So, you know what happens if you remember to check the mail once in awhile? If you're me you might just find a $900 expense check for your husband.
I am missing my husband a lot right now. I am missing the extra pair of hands that would allow for more cuddles, more kisses, more just trying to absorb these first days of Leila's life. They are passing so quickly, and I am sad to say that I feel like I'm not committing enough of these moments to memory. I am so busy trying to run his household by myself that I feel distraught that there aren't enough hours in the day for me to enjoy my baby and my babies as much as I would like.
Ugh! Maybe it is just this infernal rain that has been hanging tight over the Sunshine State for the last ten days, but, today I am having a hard time feeling cheerful. What I wouldn't give to have nothing but time, like I had with my oldest, and to know what I do now, so that I could make the most of that time and enjoy it to the fullest. Hindsight and all that.
Last night was my first night alone with the children. It was actually probably the best night I've had since we got home from the hospital. I'm not sure if that is because I was flying solo, or just luck. I did get up at least every two hours with one baby or the other, but, it was for short periods of time.
The day started for TLL at 6:45, and thus it started for me at the same time. I had just changed her and given her a bottle when Baby Girl woke up. TLL was a good sport and I was able to give BG her bottle, and then wake up the kids and get them ready for school. BB announced on his way out the door to walk the dogs, that the 'decorate a water jug' contest for his field trip today wasn't voluntary, it was actually mandatory. So, I sawed the top off a water bottle (that was half full) and dabbed some thumbprint fish on it while he was outside. Then I packed his lunch, in a plastic bag...classy, I know. 0f course, he forgot the jug.
I tried to take it to school. Really, I did. I jumped in the shower. Changed three diapers, dressed three babies, packed a diaper bag. I was however too late. When we pulled into the school the field trip buses were already gone. I am still choosing to count the trip as a partial success. The fact that I was anywhere dressed with three children under three by nine in the morning is an accomplishment in my book.
Since we were dressed, and because I was running low on formula, and as I was high on my imagined success we went to Target. I was pushing the babies in the double stroller and holding H on his kiddie leash. Hahahahahahaha! It was awful people. Purely awful. H fought the monkey's tail (his kiddie leash is a monkey) the entire time. He walked backwards, sat in the middle of the cart traffic, etc. BG couldn't decide if she was hungry or not, so we stopped to feed her no less than three times. And...Target was out of my formula. Yup. Out. It took us an hour to make it to the baby section in the store...and they are out of stock. Hah!
I was already dreading another trip to the store with all of my babies, like, bone deep shivers of horrified anticipation. So, I decided that we would pay a few extra dollars and go to the grocery store that is right next door to Target, and get enough formula there to last until my husband gets back. Once there, I walked too close to the bulk bins, and before I could stop him, H plunged his hand into a bin of carob malt balls and ate as much bounty as he obtained with his grab. Aack. I am still waiting for the grocery store security to come after me. The best part though, was that after buying the formula, I LEFT IT AT THE STORE. As in, I had one freaking bag, and I left the damn thing at the checkout counter.
I guess that I'll have to go back and see if they are going to hold the bag for carob malt ball ransom or not. However, I'm not going anywhere until the kids get home and I have a few extra hands. If for nothing else, at least they would try and find a diplomatic way to say, "hey Dumbass, you forgot your bag," without getting grounded.
It has been raining here since Monday. It is supposed to rain through Wednesday. There is something about a lack of sunshine that seems to suck the joy out of everything...including a new baby.
H is driving his father (and me, though to a lesser degree) nuts. I know that it is a bad case of cabin fever. He is actually a dream of a big brother. He really loves his babies and doesn't seem to be jealous. TLL is a different story...that girl isn't happy. I hope that she'll adjust after a few days, because right now it isn't pretty folks.
Which leads me to asking...can anyone suggest a baby sling/carrier? I have an el cheapo one that isn't comfortable. I hate it. TLL hates it. I haven't even tried the baby in it. I have never really used one, but, I'm a little desperate. If any of you have used one and liked yours...please tell me what to look for and offer any advice. Pretty please!
My husband (whose postnatal hormones are worse than mine) remarked today that the last 3 days have felt like 3 years, but, not in a good way. As much as I hate to admit it, he is right. I am hoping to achieve some type of organization and finish shopping for Baby Girl this weekend. I am keeping my fingers crossed that once she has a place of her own to sleep, and once I know if breastfeeding is going to work out, along with other assorted little details still needing to be hammered out...I am fervently hoping that everything will fall into place.
Oh my. I'm not sure what I am going to do when it is just me and my two hands. Holy Hell, today was HARD. I wanted to get to the pharmacy when they opened today, so...I started getting the babies and myself ready around eight. We didn't make it by nine. As a matter of fact, we didn't make it by noon either. One o'clock is a bit more accurate.
I am screwed with sleeping arrangements at the moment. The baby is in TLL's crib. TLL is in the portable crib, newly relocated to my bedroom. There isn't anything to put either baby down in on the first floor at the moment.
In other news, I am giving breastfeeding the good old college try again. I am using formula, but, trying to nurse first, before her bottle. I guess time will tell if my milk will come in for the new baby.
Tomorrow we have an appointment with the baby's pediatrician. I LOVE her. She is a true homeopathic pediatrician. She rocks. Totally. I'm pretty fond of the midwife that delivered the baby too. This was the best 'birth' of my six. I plan to share a little more about it soon. Unfortunately, I am not sure we will actually make the appointment unless I start getting everybody ready tonight.
Thanks so very much for all the support, prayers, and well wishes. It feels like I've been on a wild roller coaster ride since Tuesday morning. Lots of excitement, but, I've been scared to death too.
There are times that I feel proud, like I've got it together. There are other times that I feel like a fraud. I wonder if random people at the grocery store, mall, where ever, can tell what my house really looks like when we are away at play. I am frightened that I am emitting certain signals that say, "we are here because we couldn't stand being there." These things really do plague me when I'm out in public with my brood.
My house never seems to come together all at once. Whether it is the children's domain that I just shut the door on and ignore, or if it is the laundry room where I just can't fathom bending over to pick up all the socks from the floor...I worry...constantly.
It is particularly difficult right now. The pull and push of my vacuum and tile cleaner are agony for me right now. The numbness that creeps up my legs (yes, even my good one) when I stand too long, punish me for trying. I can crawl upstairs at night proud of all my work, just to find that tomorrow it will all go back to hell in a hand basket because even picking up TLL brings tears to my eyes. I am trying in these last few weeks to find a healthy medium between letting the mess and clutter overtake us, and not letting the pain consume me as I battle it. It is hard.
I have always been a big believer in letting God decide how big a family should be ( leftover of my Catholic upbringing) but, this pregnancy has been so physically hard on me that I am pretty sure that I can't do this again. What I take away from my children who are here and need me, is causing my heart to ache. There are nights when that ache is a contender with the pain from my body.
My first two pregnancies were a breeze. I mean, I was good to go, didn't understand what people complained about, right up to labor and delivery. My third was pretty easy. With H, I was quite uncomfortable at the end, but, then again I worked my last shift in labor and then drove myself to the hospital. The fatigue nearly killed me in the first three months with TLL, the pressure at the end was pretty hellish. My stepson was living with us at the time and unemployed, so I had plenty of help, and could nap to my heart's content. This time around, I have been so tired that staying awake is hard. The pain and pressure have been constant companions for months now. I'm not sure if it is a culmination of two pregnancies too close together and single parenthood, or if it really does get harder the more you do it.
The only thing that I am certain of at the moment is that I have more laundry to do. I have to clean the tile, pick up the floor in my bedroom, vacuum, clean the kitchen counters, dust, and scrub bathrooms. Please God, give me the strength.
I had planned to make a quick trip to the mall today. The game plan was run by Gymboree, spend some money, and then grab lunch and head to the grocery store. Except...today was the first day that the new train ran...inside our mall. A huge miniature train that ran from one side of the mall around and back! I was just as impressed as my two year old by the train zooming past our stroller.
We had patience, and our first stop was Gymboree. Where saving money, earning Gymbucks, and finding matching outfits for my girls has become my current obsession. Today netted me 2 matching dresses, 5 shirts, 2 pairs of capri pants, 2 hair bows, and a pair of undies. For $50...with a voucher for $25 to spend in July. My kids were so good while I was shopping that we just had to go and ride the train.
When we got off the train, at the play place of course, I let the kids play for awhile. TLL was in constant motion. She couldn't believe her good luck to actually be let down to play. It was fun to watch.It was a great day. We had so much fun. UNTIL, the big kids got home. BB has been nothing but sassy. JB fell getting on the bus and we're watching her wrist because the school nurse seems to think she could have broken it. H is crying because BB is being a brat. LB is being pretty quiet, but, maybe I just can't hear him over all the other screams.
My cat, the love of my life, fell from the second story banister onto the computer desk (1st floor) today. He was limping at first, but, will now allow me to pick him up. He has eaten heartily, a tuna feast (in other words, people tuna from a can) and is now napping. I really hope that he is okay. If I see any more limping or signs of discomfort after his nap, I will take him to the vet first thing tomorrow.
I am so f*%king scared. I love Toby like one of my children. Horrible to admit, I know...but true.
Today has been a day to play catch up. Having Hubby home for an extra couple of days threw my schedule off, and as a result this Wednesday was much like a Monday for me. The only difference is that I can't indulge my guilty pleasure of watching Jon & Kate and eating dessert after the kids are in bed.
I caught up on the laundry. I actually have two more loads, but, they barely count. One is baby laundry and the other baby toys. I finally loaded the dishwasher and as a result I can see the bottom of my sink, and am able to fix dinner. A delightful dinner of Annie's Cheesy Shells and multi-grain garlic bread. Unfortunately, we are out of bread (and sandwich meat but there is always PB) so I was forced to present this other fine culinary option. I know the kids will rejoice.
The trash is at the curb...all two weeks worth as I was way too sick to undertake the haul last Wednesday. I still need to clean the kitchen counters, change the litter box, and wash the tile and kitchen floors. I am almost shaking with anticipation.
In other news, on tomorrow's agenda is a thorough cleaning of the children's room, and a good scrubbing of the bathrooms. If I am lucky, I will attempt to scour the frame to the bassinet and wash the bedding. There is only a 50% chance of success when I attempt to clean the bassinet, so I've been putting it off, but since Plan B is....nope, no Plan B, I guess it is time to see if we need to buy a new _____ or not. Do we get another crib right away, or another bassinet, or maybe a portable deal for the first few months??? Only time will tell.
TLL is rallying against the idea of another sibling at this late date. She is now getting up 4-5 times a night. I am so very tired. Very, seriously, tired.
In other news, the a/c is fixed. It only cost me a couple of hundred dollars...pretty good since it isn't even my damn a/c.
I think I am going to go and pick through the children's leftovers, because I'm starving. I figured out why when I opened the microwave to put the rest of the garlic bread out of the cat's reach, and my lunch was still in there.
Mother's Day started for us on Friday at LB's class Mother's Day Tea Party. In addition to yours truly, LB invited my aunt. Allow me to preface what I am about to say with assuring you that I know my aunt loves my children and that there is very little she wouldn't do for them, and that I am very grateful for that. Though, I wasn't terribly happy that my aunt accepted LB's invitation without talking to me about it. I was even less thrilled that LB wrote and presented his poem to my aunt. It down right annoyed me that she reacted by asking (very loudly) if I was "mad that the poem" was written to her. Finally, when LB gave her the flower pot that he had worked on, it hurt my feelings. I suppose it is safe to say that it is now documented how very shallow I am.
My aunt took Hercules, Jelly Bean, and Little Boy to her house to spend the night that Friday night. Please note that this is the same aunt who went with us to get H's cast off. On Saturday, she dropped the kids off. She kept their bathing suits, and instructed the kids to call and ask her to drop them off if they need them (like WTF??????) and she forgot H's splint. Ummm...like she was there with me at the hospital when they custom made the damn thing, she heard and asked questions about him having to wear it for three weeks...but from the time she picked him up until Sunday when we got it back...apparently the damn thing never touched his arm. She was kind enough to get flowers for me from the children, a balloon from H, and a card from all. I was touched. Being touched warred with being very annoyed that she constantly oversteps her boundaries. She also informed me that she will be attending school the day of LB's birthday, and that she would like to 'co-host' what I have planned for his class. There is nothing like asking! She seems to forever live under the impression that it is better to ask for forgiveness than permission. Bitter much, Viv?
Mother's Day brought pancakes for breakfast, courtesy of yours truly. Then after my husband slept in, we all got ready to go out. While I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off, BB gave me an awesome clay owl that he made in art (he did an excellent job) and JB gave me a beautiful card that she made in class that included the most lovely letter. Hubby contributed a card that was more of an effort than he usually makes, and it made me smile, granted not as much as the coffee maker would have. I finally managed to get everyone dressed and out the door, and we headed to the mall. The plan was to get new shoes for BB, but, we found nothing. I did get the sweetest outfits for JB and TLL, they match and are adorable! So in love with dressing my girls right now...right down to their socks and hair bows!
We had barely made it home when Hubby got sick. I'm not sure if he got the crap we had from germs lingering around our humble abode, or if it was the sub he ate at the mall...but, the man is sick. Granted...much sicker than I was, and far less able to even answer the kids when they talk to him, even though he isn't nine months pregnant...but sick. I made him stay here last night and I am not sure if he'll be able to go back tonight or not.
I hope all the Mommies out there had great weekends!
I have seen recently two things at Costco that I am drooling over. A Henckels knife set for $150 and a Keurig one cup coffee maker for $120. I was hoping that my husband might take the hint on one or the other.
He called and talked to my stepson, and when he hung up I told him that he should have wished his ex a Happy Mother's Day.
My husband's response? "Why, when is it?"
I'm pretty sure it isn't looking good for a gift...huh?
Well, H tossed his cookies again. I had just finished making the bed, he was fixing the pillows for me...he managed to get the bed, the carpet, the bathroom rug, the top of the toilet, the bathroom floor, and my shower curtain.
I just put the sheets back in the washing machine. TLL's sheets are in the dryer. I am now out of laundry detergent...so, I need to get some. I am trying to figure out how I can get two kids with diarrhea and one that keeps puking to the store without any major disasters.
Tomorrow H's cast is supposed to come off. Sick or well, we'll have to make that appointment.
Oh, yeah...the kitchen light fixture just came crashing to the floor. Good. That'll help somehow, I'm sure.
So far today, I finally got in touch with Hubby, I had been trying since last night. When I pointed out to him that I had been trying for 12 hours to get in touch with him, he responded with, "I have to sleep, and it isn't like I'm going to take a phone to the bathroom with me." That conversation left me with all kinds of great hope that he will be here when the baby is born.
I have changed TLL's sheets/diaper/clothes three times. I have changed H's twice. I have started three loads of laundry so that I'll have sheets to put down for TLL when she hopefully takes a nap. She has been up since roughly 4:00 a.m.
I have baked three sets of fortune cookies, but haven't yet met with any success.
I used an entire roll of paper towels to clean H's vomit up off the floor.
I need to sterilize bottles. I need to do more laundry. I need to remake beds with clean sheets. I am so tired, I am on the verge of tears, I am hot. I wish that I had someone to pass the reigns off to for a couple of hours. I don't.
This is my 100th post, and while I am working on something a little more thoughtful than my normal stuff, today needs to be shared. Really.
For some strange and completely inexplicable reason, with this week being Teacher Appreciation week at school, I thought that for Compliment Day tomorrow we would do something a little more special than just paying our teachers a compliment. I thought that it might be fun to do fortune cookies, and let the kids write compliments instead of fortunes. Why overachiever Mom? Why?
I was out of vanilla extract and I needed rice flour for my daughter's teacher who has a gluten allergy, so we went to the store. I was starving, because eating has seemed like a lot of trouble the last few days, and an organic smoothie (the daily special) sounded like perfect fast breaker. While I was ordering at the juice bar, H went into a coughing fit...which left me scrambling to find napkins, because I knew that he would make himself throw up...and he did.
The young girl working the juice bar looked like she was going to toss her cookies. A grandmotherly looking lady and her husband were quick to bring me a plastic produce bag and some paper towels. They told me that they have 7 children (um I think that is what they were saying, my attention was elsewhere) and I was very grateful for all of their kind words and help. There is no doubt that had they not been wearing church name tags, I would have been more friendly and forthcoming...but, I had terrible visions of someone trying to sell me Jesus (I'm already sold...promise) while I was trying to keep my son's cast out of the line of fire and using my jedi mind powers to keep myself from getting the dry heaves. They didn't do that. They were just all around kind, caring, and helpful people. Thank you! Thank you from the very bottom of my heart.
So...my toddler is semi soaked in his own vomit, and my children and I are stopped twice more so that curious onlookers can ask if they are all mine, when my due date is, and to tell me that I must have my hands full. Really folks? Really? I'm trying not to gag, I'm holding my kid's arm away from his body, I'm pushing one cart with my belly, and pulling the other with my free hand...and you would like to congratulate me? Uh...thanks. I think I said thank you. I hope I did, because what I was thinking was, "you have got to be shitting me...you want to have this conversation now?"
I stripped H and put him in his car seat. I threw his clothes in the plastic shopping bag (I usually bring my own, I also usually have baby wipes in my diaper bag...not today though) and we headed home. I was trying to marshal my thoughts and gather my strength for dinner making and fortune cooking baking. I was almost successful until I opened the door and found Lake Air Conditioner Bye-Bye in my living room. Thankfully all of my linens were dry and available for duty.
Tomorrow is another day. One that is going to be 97 degrees without an a/c. One that will bring more laundry. I'm laughing. I can't stop. Turning the oven on to bake the cookies will probably sober me up. Whaddya think?
What a sad state of affairs we are in around my house. I am over my mini cold, though a touch of chest congestion reminds me that I have indeed been not completely well. TLL still has a runny nose and a cough, though she isn't running a fever, so I hope that she too is on her way way to being well. H is coughing, but there is no sneezing or runny nose involved. LB is running a fever tonight, and while he isn't coughing, he seems to have a cold. JB is also running a fever tonight, though her only complaint at the moment is "her head feels funny." BB is not coughing any longer, but his nose is still a tad runny and his extreme over attention to the issue is causing frequent nose bleeds. My mother has taken to calling every couple of hours to see if we are dead yet (read she is terrified of Swine Flu) and that is also driving me nuts. Blah! Germs, get lost already, okay?
Prior to JB's temperature rising, she had a friend's birthday party to attend. Super Mom struck again and we had to stop at Target on our way to the party for a gift. JB was quick to let me know yesterday that her friend doesn't like Hannah Montana (her lucky Mum) but that she loves new games for her Nintendo D.S. After I stopped laughing, I informed my daughter that we would not be buying any D.S. games...sorry Friend. But, with four minutes to party time what were we going to get? A Bratz doll that was nearly as expensive as a D.S. game was in the cart until I spotted a computer game for young animal lovers...for $4.98 on clearance...SCORE! We grabbed a gift bag, card, crinkle paper, cheap pen. We were on our way and only 10 minutes late!
Once JB was playing with her friends, I took the other four out to lunch. We went to Panera, and I guess I had forgotten how expensive it is. My heart skipped a couple of beats when I heard that I had to cough up $30 for three kiddie meals and a salad. My salad was yummy, but, um not THAT yummy. I was the food nazi in no time, demanding clean plates, and faster chewing jaws. We rolled back into party central at exactly pick up time. Whew!
It was 90 flipping degrees here today. I must admit that one double stroller (anyone out there with a recommendation on how to acquire/what I might like in a triple?) plus a 50 pound 2 year old and a 30 pound 10 month old (yep, today she is 10 big months old) equals big work for an 8 month pregnant mommy. I was sweating off all the leg make-up that I had applied so that I could wear shorts in no time flat. *I am freakishly white, especially for a Floridian.* Not to worry though, I think that wasted make-up will forever adorn the upholstery in my truck, so it shan't be forgotten. We headed for the mall, because air conditioning was a must.
The very best part of the mall right now? The expecting mom parking!!! Okay, so I will admit to you now, having spent so much of my adult life knocked up, I have in the past been guilty of snagging one of those prime spots when I was less than deserving. I think those signs should read 'Reserved for Expecting and New Moms' not be just for pregnant women, so, in the past I was actually questioned by a security guard. An awesome offense being the best defense, I replied somewhat hysterically, "are you suggesting that I'm just this fat?" Therefore, because of my past issues with parking, there is something righteous about going to the mall in my truly pregnant state.
While there, I made a new enemy at the Children's Place. Freshly imported from the wilds of non-English speaking Miami...a new sales girl. I have a coupon on a past receipt for an additional 15% off. It does say 'one time use' but usually they all know me there and could care not if I use it 100 times. Hell, with 5 kids that can all wear their clothes, I think I max most of their sales quotas. This chica gave me a very dirty look for daring to use my coupon on a $5.oo purchase, and then scribbled 'USED' through the coupon code so hard that she tore the paper. Congrats, Chica, pero no tengo miedo...you however might not like what I have to say to your DM next time I see her. Trust me, she knows me. *Please note that I have nothing against Spanish speaking folks...just so long as they speak English to me, or are visiting. If you have been here for 20 years and still speak only Spanish? Yeah, then I think you suck.*
After the Children's Place, I was in the mood for a bit of pampering, so I headed off to Gymboree. They have over priced clothes, but, you get every cent of it back in good customer service. It is Gymbuck earnings time!!! Which is so cool...thanks Pam for tipping me off. You spend $50, and they give you back a coupon for $25 off. Nifty! Granted, the only thing that I have ever purchased there that was full price was a hair bow. Nevertheless, when I am feeling snotty...the fawning from the sales people makes me remember what my life was once like. The television/toy area where H sits with other kids his age and gets to pretend he isn't really at the mall...totally rocks too! Today I scored a shirt and dress for TLL, socks for JB, and 6 hair bows for the girls for $21. Ah, clearance racks...you clothe my babes with the fruit of your hangers.
I was so proud of myself (I mean my kids of course, silly me) that we headed for Maggie Moo's for ice cream. I had an antioxidant punch with Mango sorbet which was "very tasty," as my H likes to say. After our last visit, I forbade ice cream in garish colors, so the kids had vanilla and chocolate with different mix-ins. JB refused ice cream which was a tip off to feel her forehead...warm, of course. The rest of us finished our ice cream and we exited stage left.
Since we've been home, I've done more freaking laundry, sterilized more bottles, and opened the to go box from dinner last night for my children's gourmet meal. They ate a mish mosh of fried chicken, Italian subs, and cheesy garlic bread for dinner.
I am about to carry H upstairs (really I don't want to) and try to fall asleep. If I'm not successful, I'll do some more laundry. Hope every one's weekend is way better than mine!
I know that there is a special place in Hell reserved in my honor. Today I just don't care though. I'm in Whole Foods buying freaking holistic canine/feline food. The little dude at the register (and I mean the cashier) makes a mistake. At Whole Foods, every void must have a manager turn a key to approve. I've got H screaming in the basket of the cart. TLL is screaming from the front perch. The little dude is frantically paging managers. The bag girl goes off in search of one. The people behind me in line are pissed. TLL screams to the point that she has tears and snot and what not streaming down her face. My diaper bag is buried under my groceries. I excavate and am able to fix her a bottle. H screams because he is starving, I give him his pizza. He eats the whole frigging thing before we can find a holder of keys. TLL cries because H is crying, her face is now too snotty to be able to drink from her bottle. I can't wipe her face because I've put the groceries back in the cart. Finally, a manager appears from Bumblef*%k.
Me: Do you have any idea how long I've been standing here? Manager: No, they just told me that I was needed. I was getting change. Me: Well, I hope you're happy, because we've been waiting 15 minutes for a manager. *look briefly at TLL to make sure her face is still snotty* I certainly hope that everyone in this store hasn't now contracted Swine Flu because EVERY MANAGER here was in the cash office at the same time.
My two year old is driving me crazy. Really crazy. Last night we were sitting outside. I was watching him ride his bike and then he walked up to me and hit me in the ribs with his cast as hard as he could. Before I could even catch my breath, he sunk his teeth into my side. Turned out he wanted me to move.
This morning he kicked the dog and me in bed, like we were soccer balls. He refuses to relent from his single minded quest for soda. He has bitten me twice and scratched me once. What in the hell is the matter with him? I am so over it.
We need to go to the store so that I can get dog food and litter boxes. I'm hoping that if I start getting ready now, I'll be ready to hit the road before TLL wakes back up. I am also hoping that the change of scenery might shock H into acting like a normal kid, and if that fails, maybe just a normal evil toddler.
Some days it just doesn't pay to get out of bed...although having your windpipe crushed David Beckham style isn't exactly a charming alternative. *sigh*
I have seven children. The Big Boy is a teenager, Jelly Bean 12, Little Boy 10, Hercules 6, The Little Lady 4, Baby Girl 3, and Baby Z 1. I have two adopted dogs, two cats 'borrowed' from J, and a turtle. I blog because one day I want to be able to go back and appreciate the humor.