Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Cast of Characters

As promised. Because even I get confused with my code names.

Heather - me
Bucket - my husband
Llama - our daughter
Hawaiian Punch - Bucket's sister
iHusband - her husband
Tuna Roll - their daughter, Llama's cousin
The Army Guy - my brother
Frenchy - his wife
Z-man - their son, Llama's cousin
Wolfman - my brother

Those are the ones that exist presently. There are at least four people in the immediate family who don't have appropriate code names yet. I'll edit and add as needed.

A gratuitous Llama picture for the morning:

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Late with the Christmas pictures...

Here they are, nonetheless.

Llama tried to escape from Santa Claus, but she didn't cry.

My big crawling girl, Christmas morning.

I managed to dress her, but not myself. You don't get to see my face, either, as I was not really prepared for the day. In classic Heather fashion, I woke up late and scrambled around. This is Llama and her cousin Z-man playing with her new ball popper, a gift from Uncle Wolfman (he has wolves... hence his code name).
Christmas Eve, Llama and Tuna Roll with their great-grandparents. Coordinating dresses, of course!
These pictures are all out of order because Blogger and I are having a disagreement. This was the Saturday before Christmas, when she saw Santa. He brought her the very first Christmas present. Look at that concentration!

More photos will come after New Year's Day, when we see the other side of the family. Llama and Tuna Roll have matching dresses again! Hawaiian Punch and I are going to keep this up (the matching) until they tell us to stop.

I think I need to create a "Cast of Characters" post so everyone's code names/relationship to Llama and me is available. That's tomorrow's gig.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas comes but once a year...

Tonight, Llama, Bucket and I went to Bucket's grandparents' house for dinner. I drank a good bit of wine, and then we came home to let Santa Claus in. He visited with us and ate some cookies, helped me start tomorrow's breakfast, and then was on his way. We meant to go to Mass, but Llama was tired and we're pretty sure we can take a mulligan on this one. We hope, anyway.

Although Llama doesn't get it at all, she liked opening her presents from Bucket's grandparents and great-aunt. I can't wait for my brothers to get here in the morning so we can open all the stuff Santa left under the tree and gorge ourselves on fattening breakfast.

I'm going to sit here with Bucket and look at the lights on our tree... and think of this very night, five years ago, when Bucket asked me to marry him. It's a very good night.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I cried while I wrote this.

Through an MSN board, I was introduced to the blogs of two people who are living through my worst nightmare. One is Matt Logelin, whose wife died of a pulmonary embolism without ever holding their child, and he blogs about his life with their daughter. The other is Emilie. She is dying of an uncurable cancer that was diagnosed while she was pregnant with her second child, who is only 2 weeks older than Llama.

If you're a parent, you can understand the icy trickle of fear that happens when the thought of life without your child crosses your mind. The thought of Llama growing up without me leaves me breathless.

Last night, as I sat in the rocking chair in Llama's room, holding her and rocking her back to sleep, I thanked God for the opportunity to be her mother. And I asked Him to allow me to continue to be her mother until she doesn't need me anymore. And I apologized to Llama for the times when I asked (even silently) for her to just please go to sleep, please, please, please, or the times when I resented Bucket for leaving us alone to muddle through. Thank God I have the chance to do it.

Ah, sorry to have laid that out there on Christmas Eve-Eve. And now I have to work on my own particular brand of crazy and get the house cleaned so I can host Christmas morning. I hope you're ready for whatever brand of crazy you're selling this week!

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Mumbling Wives Club

Established December 21, 2008. Consists of Hawaiian Punch (Tuna Roll's mama now has an appropriate code name), Llama-grandmama (who does not yet have an appropriate code name and is also Tuna Roll's grandma), and me. Apparently none of our husbands can understand us, ever, and this became the topic of conversation at last night's dinner.

We all understand each other just fine. I think it's the husbands who have a problem, not us.

As an aside, my Google Analytics is working. I used a free online tool called SiteScanGA, by EpikOne to figure it out. I'm pretty proud of myself.

Posting will be light this week, until Friday - when I hope to put up one meeelion pictures of Llama's first Christmas.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

I'm adding something new.

I've added Google Analytics to my blog. Not because I'm a creepy stalker, but because I'm nebby like that. It'll tell me where people are reading from - just city/state or country (not that I'm conceited enough to believe I have foreign readers... my brother goes back to Iraq shortly and I'm curious to see if the military will let him see this).

You don't have to do anything. Nothing changes on your end. I'm not even sure what changes on mine, to be honest, because I am not the computer guru of this house. Bucket thinks my blog is silly and he is not interested in helping me figure anything out, so I guess we'll see if I can do it alone or not.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Breakfast with Llama

Llama eats three meals a day, and she does not like to be fed anymore. She is a big girl, and she wants to do it herself. To some extent, I agree with her. On the other hand, I like for some food to get inside her instead of on her or the floor, or in the dog.

A couple weeks ago, I made her some scrambled eggs and cheese. She likes it a lot, it's probably the most frequent breakfast choice around here. I was feeding her when the doorbell rang.

I didn't think about it, I just got up and went to answer the door. I left the bowl and spoon on her tray.

This is what I came back to:

See? She is a big girl. She has this all figured out. No assistance needed from me.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Hello, Pittsburgh Poison Control?

Llama plays with cooking utensils, spices, and pots and pans while I cook dinner every night. She makes a bunch of noise, throws stuff around, and has a great time. Every single night. It seemed like such a great idea because she was right under my feet (constantly under my feet...) and not able to get into anything bad.

Who knew Llama had the motor skills to open the vanilla? Who knew she would drink and keep drinking the vanilla?

Not I.

Who smelled fresh-baked cookies and looked around for them before realizing her daughter was drinking the vanilla?

That'd be me.

I realized that what had been a brand-new, unopened bottle of vanilla on Sunday (when I used one tablespoon to make cookies) was now half empty, and there was none on the floor and none on Llama's shirt. She smelled like a really nice boozehound. I called my mother-in-law, but she didn't answer because she has a class on Thursday nights. I called Bucket, but he didn't answer his phone. I started to freak out as I read the bottle and realized that my vanilla was 35% alcohol. I did the calculation in my head and further realized that 35% equals 70 proof. And she drank half the bottle.

I did the only other thing I could think of. I called Poison Control. I couldn't remember the national number, but I could remember the local one. (If you didn't know, Poison Control started in Pittsburgh and the national center may still be located here, I don't even know.)

A very nice nurse there advised me that I should watch Llama for signs of drunkenness, feed her something sugary that she would eat for sure (a popsicle was suggested), and keep her awake for an hour to an hour and a half. Signs of drunkenness. Are you laughing yet? I wasn't last night, but I am now. So I stripped Llama to her diaper and gave her a nice green popsicle. Finally Bucket called me back, and I gently advised him to come home immediately before my head exploded.

He got home and found everything to be hilarious. I was not yet in a frame of mind for hilarity. So while I finished cooking dinner (of course I did not finish dinner while I was thinking my child was poisoned), he and Llama played on the living room floor. She was dancing. She was laughing. She is my child! She got drunk and danced around. College, here we come!

And then she ate most of Bucket's dinner and half of his dessert because he was holding her while he ate (she would not be contained any other way...) and she kept opening her mouth when he brought the fork to his face, so he gave it to her. Nice daddy. She finally crashed (and I do mean crashed) about 9:15, which is far later than her usual 8 pm bedtime.

And slept through the night for about the third time in her life.

Is it wrong that I have pondered whether vanilla would be okay on a regular basis? I'm so kidding. Have a great day, and don't poison yourself!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Adventures of Llama and Tuna Roll, Number 1

That's a great title, isn't it? Llama's cousin has an appropriate code name for me to use on the internet, supplied by her mother (who does not yet have an appropriate code name).

Yesterday, my two sisters-in-law (called SILs for the purposes of this post) and I took Llama (8 months) and Tuna Roll (1 week) to the mall to have Christmas pictures taken. You may ask why we waited until 8 days before Christmas to do this, and the answer is that we are insane. No, really, the answer is that Tuna Roll wasn't even born until a week ago!

The day started when I picked up the younger SIL (seriously, I need to figure out appropriate code names for them) and accidentally beeped the horn. I am not a beeping-the-horn kind of girl, I think it's rude. But I was trying to move Llama's dresses and diaper bag to the backseat of my little car that is mostly taken up by Llama's giant seat. Seriously, I think the seat is bigger than the car and it's a miracle that I'm able to get it in and out. So I was already flustered, but I got that under control. I don't like when things don't go according to plan. We didn't even have a plan!

We arrived at Tuna Roll's house and Tuna Roll's mama (other SIL) needed to get dressed, because everything that happens with an infant seems to take ten times as long as it should. (Believe me, I know, I can't seem to do anything in a timely manner anymore.)

Then we went to go move Llama's seat into Tuna Roll's mama's Jeep, because there was no way three adults and two babies would fit in my car. Should I have been doing this while younger SIL played with both babies and Tuna Roll's mama got dressed? Yes, in retrospect. But who knew that Bucket would have jammed Llama's seat into my car so tightly that it would take a YEAR to get it unLATCHed? LATCH is such a nice idea, when it works easily, like in Tuna Roll's mama's Jeep. In the Subaru, the bars are buried deeply, and you have to reach your hand into the seat all the way back to Japan to grab them. Really. There is a rip in the time-space continuum and you can reach Japan from my car.

Finally, I got the seat loose from my car. Yay! And then it was time to put it in the Jeep, because I wasn't tired enough yet! That was surprisingly easy. The only snag was that in order to get a good install, I have to get in the seat and pull the LATCH strap. So younger SIL took a photo (because an adult in a baby seat is irresistable), and she claims it is flattering. I'm not sure because I haven't seen it.

And off we went, only 90 minutes after we had intended to leave.

So we arrived at the mall (South Hills Village, for you Pittsburghers) and went to Picture People. I had called on Tuesday and they told me to just take our chances with walking in, because they didn't have any more appointment slots available but they did keep walk-in appointments available. Whatever, that doesn't make sense to me, but I rolled with it. It was a madhouse. Of course it was! It was 8 days before Christmas! We got a time, went to eat, and returned at the appointed hour (that part is very boring).

And then we wrestled Llama into her dress. She was not a fan. Tuna Roll is much easier to wrestle, since she doesn't have much of an opinion yet. Keep in mind that we were doing this picture session during Llama's naptime! Good planning on my part. Everything was relatively uneventful until Llama fell and bonked her head. Get my Mother of the Year award ready, because we continued the photo session with just Tuna Roll as I calmed Llama. Then we changed their outfits and went with both of them. Bruises and red marks can be photoshopped out, but Christmas pictures are forever!

The photos are beautiful and will be going out in my (late) Christmas cards this week.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Oh, Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree...

How lovely are your branches! (And now that's stuck in your head, too.)

Today, Bucket, Llama, and I put up the Christmas tree. Llama mostly interfered. And it's slightly depressing, but heartwarming at the same time, to see that there are about 10 ornaments total on the tree. Depressing because we have so many beautiful ornaments not on there, and heartwarming because the reason they aren't up is Llama. All the most beautiful ornaments are blown glass or cut crystal, and for obvious reasons, we can't hang them from the most sparkly, colorful, exciting, brand NEW thing in the living room.

I've never talked about this on here before, but we tried for a long, long time to have a baby. Maybe not long in the infertility world, but it was 13 months, which felt like an eternity. I watched people get pregnant who didn't want their babies, I continued to work with kids whose parents didn't want them, and I cried a lot. For the past two Christmases, we didn't put the tree up. Last year, it was because I was already having problems with the pregnancy and I just could not do it. The year before that, though, it was because I was so sad, and putting the tree up would have been a reminder of all the things I used to do with my family as a child.

And yet, this year, it is a reminder of all the things I used to do with my family. I'm already very excited to make cookies with Llama. Can she really do anything besides slobber over some dough and stick her fingers in the icing? No, and that's what going to be so fun for us.

In other news, Llama has a new cousin. She was born 12/10/08, and she is beautiful. She is the first person we know who Llama is older than! I can't tell you how happy it makes me to know that Llama has someone to grow up with.

Merry Christmas. I know it's not here yet and I'm jumping the gun... Christmas is Bucket's favorite holiday, and it is my mother's, too. What a juxtaposition that is for me, for reasons best left for another (more depressing) post. Anyway, I hope your days are merry and bright!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Llama's Birth Story

Since MSN is closing their boards in February, and I have Llama's birth story typed out and bookmarked there, I'm moving it here. For my own purposes, I want to save it forevah. :) Although the original has all our names in it, I'll obviously be changing hers to Llama and my husband's to Bucket.

Short version: Baby Llama was born at 2:55 pm on 4/17/08. She was 21 1/4 inches long and weighed 7 lbs, 13 oz. We could not be happier.

Long version: My doctor's office had told me to stop eating 12 hours before and stop all fluid intake 6 hours before my induction. Turns out that was wrong and I was starving for no reason. We arrived for the induction on time, but there was a "situation" at the hospital, so all the doors were locked and we were stuck in the ER's waiting room (after hours entrance) for a while, and then finally we were admitted an hour later, and the pitocin drip was started about 2:00 am. It was not as bad as I thought. I really had this mental picture of my contractions going from not so bad to unbearable in a few minutes, and that's not what happened. In fact, I was just starting to use the controlled breathing techniques that we'd learned in my childbirth class when my doctor broke my water and said I had to get the epidural in order to lower my blood pressure. By the way, Bucket was watching when they broke my water. If you were wondering what it looks like, it's a "great big nasty mess" and it "comes shooting right out of you." I really liked my epidural, but it lowered my blood pressure tooooo much and I was really light-headed and nauseous once it was in full effect. Apparently I told Bucket that if I had met an epidural before I met him, I would have married it instead. I don't remember and therefore I deny that.

At 10 am, I got the epidural, and I was at 3cm. At noon, I was at 5cm and told Bucket to go call the family to come to the hospital. He thought I was out of my mind and that I had a lot longer to go, so he didn't. At 1:30, I was at 8cm, and Bucket finally went to go call people. When he came back in the room, I begged him to take me to the bathroom to poop. Because he is intelligent, he did not do that. I told him that I was either pooping or pushing out a baby and I was doing it damn fast, so he better go get the nurse. He did, and when she came back after what felt like eternity (but was really 5 minutes), I was all the way to 10cm, so they turned down my epidural to let me get started pushing. I got three good pushes, and the nurse made me stop, slapped an oxygen mask on me, and went for the doctor. She told Bucket to keep me calm and to just have me breathe through contractions rather than push. I thought they were all out of their damn minds, to tell me to start and then tell me to stop. But then the doctor came in - I pushed once and Llama's head came out, I pushed again and the rest of her was born.

I'll spare you the picture of me with oxygen mask holding slimy baby and crying. Here's cleaned up Llama:

I did the whole thing with 5 pushes in 20 minutes. If you think that's a good idea, to push a baby out that fast, you are wrong. I don't know how many stitches, because I told my doctor not to tell me. I know I am very messed up, though, and that when we have another baby, I'll definitely be induced again because they will not let me go into labor on my own. Once I started progressing, man, did I ever progress. The family did not make it on time, by the way, and then they had to wait while my undercarriage was sewn back together before they could see the baby, because I wasn't letting her go and the doctor wasn't letting other people in.

Words can't explain how much I love this little girl. She is sweet, happy, laid-back, and adorable. Breastfeeding is going well after a rocky start, and she's sleeping right now which is why I have time to post this. Bucket is the best husband and the best father, and I can't believe how much different my love for him is now that I see him taking care of his daughter (and me, to be honest). I feel like the luckiest girl in the universe.

Edited to add: Reading this again makes me teary. Llama is still my sweet little baby, of course, but she's not my tiny, cuddly baby. I thought people were full of crap when they told me time would go too fast, but they were right.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Don't read unless you want a Grey's Anatomy spoiler.

Yeah, I still watch Grey's Anatomy. All the cool kids say it's jumped the shark and that they are done watching. I've never been that cool.

So Izzie sees dead Denny and she's doing him. I read a spoiler that although she doesn't have a brain tumor, she has some kind of organic brain issue (I already forgot...) that when it "acts up," causes her to see Denny. And when it's "really bad," she bangs him. Well, whatever. At least she's getting some, even if it's all in her mind. I just want them to hurry up and get to dealing with the organic brain issue, because I'm having a real problem suspending my disbelief.

That's all. I'm kind of annoyed with it. And there are lots of other things happening in the Llama arena, but I'll have to get to that some other day. She's a very busy Llama.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Not sure what I expected...

I hate Wal-Mart and I'm not ashamed to say it. It's a frustrating, disorganized store with bad customer service. I should know, I worked at one for a few years in college. But they're the only brick-and-mortar store that claims to have the Incrediblock in stock, and I just noticed while creating that link that Fisher Price says it's out of stock, too. What. the. hell.

Anyway, I checked Wal-Mart's website and it said they had them. I called my local store and they said they had them. I drove to my local store, which is 30 minutes and 18 miles away. There were no Incrediblocks on the shelf. I went to customer service and asked if they had them. The lovely (please note sarcasm) customer service associate advised me that there were three on the shelf. I advised her, gently, that there were none on the shelf. She asked me if I "looked real hard." I said that yes, I had. She had one of her compatriots check "the back," where no Incrediblocks were found. I left empty-handed and annoyed.

Now I'm doubly annoyed because my backup plan was to buy it from Fisher Price, and it's out of stock. This was going to be Llama's big gift for Christmas. And I know she doesn't get it and that it doesn't matter, but it matters to me because I get it.

For some reason, this toy has become the symbol of everything I'm failing at right now, and I seem to think that if I can just get this one toy, I'll be the best.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Hugh Hefner didn't lose his virginity until he was married.

This message brought to you by boredom and "The Girls Next Door." Who knew I was more of a 'ho than Hef?

Llama's pulling up to her feet and cruising. She's on the move and I am astonished. I'm not quite sure what to make of her, but she's my little sunshine.

Seems wrong to follow up a thought about Hef with a thought about Llama, right? So I'll follow that with a thought about my potential mom-ride. We're seriously investigating the GMC Acadia because my little Subaru is too little, too much of a hassle, and is really annoying with the recurring mechanical problems. I have bounced back and forth between little spiffy cars and big SUVs for the past 10 years, and I think I'm ready to settle into this thing. It's not little. It's not an SUV. It's a crossover, and I am the target market. Bucket is into it, too. If we can get a deal (and we should be able to, with the state of GM and the economy in general), I'll be driving it by Christmas. Cross your fingers.

Speaking of Christmas, I am not in the spirit yet. I think once I get the tree up, I'll be doing a lot better. I'm trying to figure out how to decorate without making anything dangerous available to my newly mobile and curious Llama. Pictures will follow once I figure it out. Have a happy day!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

It's Thanksgiving, Charlie Brown!

Here's my list of things I'm thankful for. Please assume that I am more thankful for my daughter, husband, family, and friends than anyone could know and that a blog post would not do that justice.

Heather's Thanksgiving Happy List (in no particular order)
  1. Wine
  2. Grey's Anatomy
  3. Fiestaware
  4. Cute shoes
  5. The Steelers
  6. Guitar Hero
  7. Jewelry
  8. Margaritas
  9. The Wii I hope to be receiving for Christmas (perhaps Bucket will read this...)
  10. Roomba

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I hope you're going to be spending it with someone you love. I'll be with a lot of someones I love. :)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Eh, I give up on updating daily.

It's clearly not for me. :p

So, my baby girl is crawling. She's ambitious. She wants to ride the Roomba and eat the houseplant. (Yes, I only have one plant inside. I haven't killed it yet and it's been three - I think? - years. Mostly it's not dead because Bucket is really good about watering it.) Llama becomes very angry when she's denied access to the Roomba, but she's easily distracted by a block tower. She is very excited when someone builds her a nice big tower to knock down. I'm trying to teach her to clap and say "Yay!" because how cute would it be if that was the first thing she said? I'm mostly doing that defensively, because Bucket sees no problem with her listening to Howard Stern or to music with the swears in it, and I'm afraid that her first recognizable word might be "f*ck." Or "strippers." I'm not sure which would be worse, but I'd really prefer "Yay!"

On the ambitious front, you've probably heard this news already, but just in case you haven't... I was accepted to graduate school! I start January 12, and I'll be getting my master's in counseling and education. I'm very, very, very excited. The classes I have this semester are in the evenings, too, which is wonderful because we won't be paying for Llama-care. Bucket and I will do a handoff, and one night a week, Bucket will hand her off to his mom and I will pick her up there because he has a weekly meeting. Llama-grandmama offered, and I gratefully accepted.

Bucket and I will be ships passing in the night three days a week, and I'm assuming that there will be plenty of other days that I'm doing homework or he has something to do, or (God forbid) he'll be traveling again. He is nervous that it'll be a struggle, and of course it will. In the end, though, we'll all be happier for it.

I'm very excited for Thanksgiving tomorrow. Best. Holiday. Ever. Who can be upset about a day that focuses solely on food? Can't wait. Fatty's ready. I'm in charge of the wine and the appetizers. It's being hosted by my sister-in-law, who is a million weeks pregnant (I can say that because I was once a million weeks pregnant and I know the feeling) and uncomfortable. She's a rockstar. Last year, I hosted at 5 months pregnant and I wanted to die. Bucket was not working, but he was doing house renovations. I was working 60 hour weeks to make up for the lost income. I was already having blood pressure and swelling issues. And 22 people were coming to my house to eat. I delegated many tasks. And when Llama's aunt (I can't think of a cute rhyming name yet...) didn't tell me what to do for dinner, I told her what I would do. Because sometimes it needs to happen that way. I don't want her to feel like she's going to die, although that's probably going to happen no matter what.

Enjoy the time with your families - and the food! Happy Thanksgiving!

PS: Tomorrow I will do the list of things for which I am thankful. :)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Falling down on the job, part II

Again, I got all tangled up in real life and didn't post every day like I said I would. Oops. Guess I'm not ready to be a participant in National Blog Posting Month... good thing it's almost over, right?

Today, Llama turns seven months old. Right now the light of my life is bouncing in her jumper because that's one of the only places I can keep her contained. She wants to eat the Playstation wires. I guess we all want stuff, right?

Speaking of wants, I want snow. I want a lot of snow, and Bucket will not move us back to Erie where the snow is. He's so unfair, talking about how he has a job and we own a house, and all that nonsense. We have a tiny little dusting of white stuff on the grass, but Erie got five inches. Too bad I love Bucket more than I love snow, I guess.

Snow is a funny word, when you type it too many times, it looks like gibberish. I'm becoming an expert on gibberish. Llama is fluent in it and I'm starting to understand a little.

Back to how Llama turns seven months old. If you count the whole time I was pregnant (and I do), I've been a mom for a year and a third. Sixteen months. It seems like such a short time for such a big change. We should be given more time to adjust to the idea, I think. Maybe without being huge and feeling icky. My sister-in-law is pregnant and due in a month, and I do not envy her one bit. That last month was torturous. Of course, I do envy her getting a tiny, smooshy, snuggly baby. My baby is not tiny, definitely not smooshy, and absolutely not snuggly anymore. She is on the move. I am not allowed to snuggle her unless it is bedtime and she is very, very tired. It seems like I should have gotten more time for that, too.

Maybe the sleep deprivation is what keeps me going. I remember reading once, somewhere, that if you cut your calorie intake in half (?? something like that) and slept only four to five hours a day (I think... can't remember for sure...), you could double your life expectancy. Or something. I'm halfway there, anyway. I'm good with not sleeping. I cannot, however, stop eating. Some days that's the only reason I get out of bed. Well, that and the organic alarm clock. Llama is very noisy when she's unhappy. Hard to sleep through that.

And now, strangely, all I can think of is how I would like some cake and some wine. It's not even close to a time where that would be an acceptable meal. Something tells me it should be noon... or later... before I bust out the corkscrew and cake server. But it does remind me that I'm taking Llama to the liquor store with me today. Yay, Mother of the Year award, coming my way!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Good morning, Baby Llama...

I sing a good morning song to Llama every day when I wake her up. It's to the tune of "Happy Birthday," and I do call her Llama in real life. She's my little Baby Llama. Her favorite book is "Llama Llama Red Pajama," and that is why she's Llama. Daddy wears a hard hat when he's on job sites, and his head is so big that his hard hat looks like a bucket. People used to call him Buckethead, and then just Bucket... and it made a nice code name. Now you know, and knowing is half the battle.

This morning, I went in to her room, singing as usual, expecting to find her up on her hands and knees and rocking. But no! She crawled across her crib to me! We have mobility! And no baby gates. That's today's project. Cupboard latches, doorknob thingys, and baby gates.

Y'know, if I have one failing (snicker), it's that I only vacuum the things you can see. Well, really, I have a Roomba. But it only vacuums the things it can see. Anyway, Llama is like a little human dust mop, and she has found the secret stockpiles of dog hair that we keep under the couches in case terrorists who are allergic to dogs come. She keeps trying to eat it. Apparently I'm going to have to pick up the pace a little bit on the housekeeping.

With that in mind, I'm going to shop for a couch. And babyproofing items. I guess I know what Bucket and I will be doing this evening, and it's not playing Guitar Hero. Have a good day!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Falling down on the job

So I posted about November being the month where bloggers commit to posting every day, and then I didn't post for a bunch of days. Oops. Sorry about that.

Anyway, since I have last written, Llama and I went to Grove City to the outlets with my friend and her twin girls. It was lots of fun, but I do not envy my friend much anymore. I was jealous because I wanted twins. Basically, twins are twice as much work... and everyone and their mom thinks they have a right to come and make odd comments, stare, or try to touch your kids. I'm insane about that already, with just one baby. Bucket thinks I'm rude because when people try to touch Llama, I tell them that her doctor says we shouldn't let people touch her. I've also told people she had a contagious disease. Bucket wasn't around for that one. He would have thought that was really rude.

And this weekend, I went to Erie all by myself. Llama and Bucket stayed home together. They had a great time. I was a wreck. I was crying by the time I got to the interstate (30 minutes into my 27-hour-long trip) and drinking almost immediately upon arrival at the bridal shower. That's right, I had an alcoholic beverage at 11am on Saturday. At a bridal shower. I am a classy, classy lady, and don't you forget it. I called home so many times that Bucket was tired of hearing my voice. I think he heard from me more in 27 hours than he did in the past 10 years. Then I drove home like a bat out of hell and thought I had gotten a speeding ticket.

I was flying down the road at about 20 mph over the speed limit, talking on my cell phone, cruise control set. That's right, when the baby's not in the car, I'm a speed demon and dangerous as hell. I flew past a state trooper who had the speed trapper thingy sticking out the window. I knew that I was sunk. He pulled out onto the road right behind me. I hung up on my brother. I dropped the cruise speed to 5mph over the speed limit. (I didn't want to be too obvious.) And then the trooper exited the highway. I was (and am) happy I didn't get a ticket, but man. That was kind of a dick move. And I bet the trooper knows it, too. No speeding ticket for me, which is great, since I just weaseled out of one at this time last year, which means that it would still show up if the trooper ran my license, and then there would be no escaping the giant fine or the points on my driving record.

Llama fared just fine with her weekend with Daddy. So did Bucket. I typed out Llama's whole schedule for Bucket, which he promptly ignored. He took her to his mother so he could get some stuff done. For some reason, dads don't have any of the guilt with dropping the baby off with someone else that moms have. (Llama's grandmother doesn't have a cute name yet. We're working on it. One suggestion was "Grandma Va-jay-jay." It was vetoed by several people.)

Llama is getting a cousin for Christmas. Any other suggestions? Things I can provide. Toys and such. Not siblings, because I couldn't gestate fast enough. Not to mention that I want eight continuous hours of sleep before I'll consent to thinking about another baby. These decisions should not be made by the sleep deprived.

And now I will end this strange, disjointed post. Y'know, I started this blog because I used to write fairly often (and fairly well, by most reports). Today is not a shining example. Perhaps tomorrow will be better.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Realizing I made a big, bad boo-boo

So yesterday, I wrote about how I was annoyed that people who were supposed to be my friends weren't calling me back. Last night, I was frustrated enough that I left a short, angry message on one of their voicemails. I didn't say anything mean, it was the way I said it that was mean. And her feelings were hurt.

See, for more than a year, I've been feeling like these two people have become closer friends and excluded me. That colored how I chose to talk to one of them last night (the one I've known longest). It wasn't appropriate behavior on my part, and I'd be feeling just as hurt as she is if I had received a similar message.

We've been drifting apart, mostly because I felt excluded more than a year ago and decided to just keep that to myself and let it eat at me for all this time. And then when my friend couldn't come to Llama's baptism, even though it was for a very good and understandable reason, I let that combine with my hurt feelings from before. Then when my friend went on a very nice vacation, I was jealous. I haven't been on vacation in more than two years and I am not likely to be seeing any warm tropical beaches (or snow-covered mountains, or national landmarks) any time soon. So I just packed that jealousy in with my hurt feelings and held onto it.

Then I dumped it out on her last night. Which she didn't and doesn't deserve. I can't apologize enough. Before you think that this is an open apology to her, let me tell you that we have drifted apart enough that I never even sent her a link to this blog. She's been my best friend since we were fifteen years old, and I haven't told her most of the stuff on here or that this even exists, because I was being petty and jealous. I'm ashamed. This is not how I want to raise my daughter to act. I'm a better person than this. I'm a better friend than this. Or I used to be.

I've been dealing with some depression and anxiety issues. That's not an excuse. I'm stressed out, lonely, scared, and sad a good portion of the time. That is also not an excuse. I know better. I wasn't taught better, but I have taught myself better. I'm ashamed that I seem to have reverted to behaviors my mother uses and that's not acceptable to me or to anyone else.

I'm trying. I'm sorry.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Have you ever heard that November is National Blog Posting Month?

So there's this thing called NaBloPoMo, where you post every. single. day. through November. I'm getting a late start. I don't know that I'll be able to do weekends, since they're pretty hectic around here, with Bucket being home and trying to get house projects done. I write when Llama's sleeping, but if Bucket's home, all bets are off. Anyway, I'm going to do my best to keep up with it.

I'm very excited today (only partially because it's Election Day). Tomorrow, I'm going to have lunch and shop with some very fun girls and our babies! Three moms, four babies, one lunch table. I can't wait.

And I'm also kind of annoyed today because I'm supposed to go to a wedding shower-slash-bachelorette party in Erie this weekend. It would have been a snap to handle this before we had Llama. I would have just gone alone. But Llama is breastfed and she's never been away from me for more than four hours yet. I realize the time is coming when I will be leaving her in someone else's care for longer than that, but I don't think this is the time. Anyway, the original plan was that Bucket and Llama would be in a hotel room while I attended the various events and made my command performance. But now Bucket might have to be out of town, and if he is, that totally wrecks the entire plan. I can't leave Llama alone in a hotel room. So I called the hostesses of the shower (who are allegedly my friends) and asked if Llama would be welcome at the shower with me and said that if this all came to pass, that I would be unable to come to the bachelorette party at all. Nobody has answered my question yet.

Now, I realize it's very rude to bring a person to an event to which they were not invited. That is not my intention. I only want to know if they intended for me to bring Llama or not. If not, that is fine, and I apologize very much, but I will not be there at all. That is just the way it has to be, and it sucks, and people will be angry and disappointed with me, which also sucks. There is nothing I can do about that. So I wait for a return phone call and hope that sooner or later, I will get an answer. Because at this point, I kind of feel like calling and leaving the message that we aren't coming. Just out of annoyance with the whole thing, which is not the right thing to do.

Speaking of the right thing to do, I am going to go vote as soon as Llama wakes up from her morning nap. Happy Election Day!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Things Llama does that make me laugh - in list form

Because I'm feeling lazy. Or efficient. Or efficiently lazy? Lazily efficient? Anyway, the list.

  • Yesterday I parked her in front of a three-way mirror while I tried on pants. She loves herself. She laughs and coos to herself and tries to touch her face. It was a great way to occupy her so I could look at my own butt.
  • She dances to crappy peppy music in the store. Totally be-bopping in the stroller, tapping her feet together, all in time to some stuff I'm too old to recognize.
  • She tries to take my slippers off my feet and eat them. If she succeeds in getting my slippers off, she wants to lick my toes. (I don't let her eat my slippers or lick my toes.)
  • She turns her head completely sideways, like 90 degrees from where it started, to look at me when I'm getting her food ready. Her forehead almost touches her shoulder. I have no idea how she does it.
  • Finally, she pooped while Bucket was in charge!
  • She will not sleep if something more interesting is happening. It's amusing because I am the same way, so maybe it's genetic? Nebbiness must be dominant. Bucket sleeps through anything.
  • She beeps noses and laughs if you beep her nose.
  • She blows raspberries when she's not happy with her circumstances for whatever reason. You fed her applesauce? Apple covered raspberries to you. You put her in her carseat? Raspberries. You are brushing your teeth while she sits in her crib awake, but she can hear you and knows you're up? Many raspberries.
  • Licking the hardwood floor... every chance she gets.
  • She pets kitties and puppies (nicely, even!), and will reach for them after they have gotten tired of her and walked away.

Edited to add:

  • When she is done with whatever I'm feeding her, she shakes her head no over and over again. If you ask her if she's done, she shakes her head no and laughs. If I take her at her "word," and stop feeding her, she cries.
  • She loves shredded cheese. Ahhh, she is my child.

My PSA for the day... I don't care who you vote for, just go vote tomorrow!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Halloween is not even close to the top of my list of favorite holidays, but I'll take it. There's candy and costumes, which are kind of fun, except that I haven't dressed up since the year I started dating Bucket. I love mid-to-late October for so many reasons, but the biggest is that I met, became "serious" with, and married Bucket in October. Our first date was a Halloween party. I was Glinda the Good Witch, and he was a puppy. I'm so serious. If you know him, you know how incongruous that costume is. He had a black headband with ears sewn to it, some spots painted on his face, and a black t-shirt and jeans on. That's a lot more fitting with his personality - minimum effort for maximum effect, right?

He was the dj at the very first fraternity Halloween party I ever visited. I had two dates for this party, and neither one was him. His date was a different girl. And yet, somehow, after a few too many games of Jungle Juice Pong (I don't like beer), I was dancing with him. It mystified me then how the dj could walk away and still provide music, but I know now it was the magic of computers.

That was nine years ago. We've had some stumbles and we've taken our (verbal) swings at each other, but all in all, it was a very good Halloween then, and it'll be an even better one tonight.

Plus we have Llama to dress up until she can complain and tell us no. We're not trick or treating because I kind of think it's shameful to take a kid who can't eat candy out to get candy - everyone will know it's for me. And I can buy my own. So she'll answer the door with me in her octopus costume until she's tired of it.

May all your treats be tasty and your tricks cheap to clean up.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

I bleed money.

Last night Bucket and I took Llama to the mall to have her six-month pictures taken. Six-and-a-half-month pictures, really. But Bucket was in Canadia (as you may remember from my previous whining) and he asked me to wait. So I did, because I'm a good, compliant wife. Riiiiight.

Anyway, we got some in her costume and some in a cute little dress I just bought. No shopping addiction here. There were a couple naked ones, but nobody needs to see her crooked little bum except us, thankyouverymuch.

Oh, you want to see them? I don't know about that. This is my Llama we're talking about here.

Maybe I should change her name to Octopus.

Note that I have an iron grip on her hand, while Bucket is content to let her hold on to him. That's the fundamental difference in our parenting styles. I would wrap her in bubble wrap (leaving holes to breathe, of course) and hold her tightly forever, while he lets her grab whatever she wants. We're going to be coming to some sort of compromise on that sometime before she goes to school, I imagine.

But I digress.

There's a Llama on the loose, and she is coming for you.

Many thanks to Stacey at Picture People. Llama really liked her, and she got some adorable pictures of my girl. Of course, Llama likes everyone, including random men at Joann Fabrics who follow us through the store creepily. But that's a topic for another day.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The inmate has taken over the asylum.

Yesterday I said I wasn't going to say anymore about how Llama doesn't sleep. Well, I lied. I stupidly said that thinking that it could not get worse. I was wrong. Last night, she got up every 20 minutes for two-and-a-half hours, and that was when I poked Bucket and tagged him in. Thank God for tag team Llama wrangling.

So he dealt with her for an hour before it was my turn again. Finally, at 3:30am, she went to sleep. For the grand total of two-and-a-half hours. If you're counting, that means she got up at 6am. And then slept on Bucket for another hour before he had to go to work. But she would not go back to sleep with me.

We're on our fourth nap of the day. She keeps waking up every 20 minutes. Is she hungry? I don't think so. She eats lots and lots during the day. Is it teeth, you might ask? Maybe. But it's been teeth for two months, and she was sleeping better before. Is she sick? Maybe. She's snotty. But that might be teeth. No fever. I gave her Motrin anyway (yeah, send my name in for Mother of the Year) in hopes that it would knock her out long enough to sleep for more than 20 minutes. It didn't. That brings me to my theory on why she can't seem to sleep.

It's crawling and pulling up. My kid can't take one step at a time. She is not quite crawling and she's not quite pulling up, but she's working hard at both. Even in her sleep. Sometimes when she cries at night, I go in and she's stuck up on her hands and knees, rocking and screaming, with her eyes closed. I think she might even be sleeping when she's doing it. Last night, I pulled her legs out from under her (nicely), covered her back up, turned on her soother, and left. Over and over again. Until I tagged Bucket in, and he scooped her out to cuddle her.

Yeah, cuddling is against the plan - against the plan of every sleep book I've read, against the pediatrician's advice, and against the advice of every well-intentioned older lady who talks to us. But you tell a daddy that in the middle of the night, when his baby is crying and he knows he can make it better.

I know I say a lot about Bucket and how frustrating he is. I also need to make it abundantly clear that he is always, always working to make our lives easier. And that he is a wonderful, involved, extremely loving dad.

And Llama has both of us right where she wants us. She is in charge. God help us when she's 14.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Enough with the anger, on to the funny...

Llama slept last night, sort of. That means she only got up three times in eight hours. I can't believe I consider that a good night. I'm going to buy a book today that I hope will help. It's called The No Cry Sleep Solution and we certainly need one of those. Bucket can't take it to hear her cry. And to be honest, I'm not that great at it, either, which is why I get so defensive and angry when he tells me I'm being mean to her. Updates will be made as to Llama's sleep progress when the sleep pattern around here improves. Until then, I'm not talking about it because I am tired of being angry about it.

So let me talk about some things that Llama does that make me laugh. She can sit and she can get up on her hands and knees and rock. She likes to jump in her Jumperoo, but only in the morning. If you put her in it in the afternoon or evening, she gets angry. She babbles, and I swear that she said Mamamamamamamamama in the car yesterday. It warmed my heart, even though I think she was talking to her stuffed dog. She eats everything she can get her hands on, especially if it comes from a big person's plate. She is obsessed with chewing on tags. She is a smiley little girl and she likes to "talk" to strangers.

Yesterday, I took her grocery shopping. (This is not one of those boring stories where I tell you what I bought and what I cooked with it.) I take her grocery shopping with me every week, because a stay-at-home-mom takes her kid everywhere. Anyway, I did not know that she had mastered grabbing things off a shelf until I turned my back on her for one minute. Probably not even one minute. Anyway, I turned back around to see that she had ripped a hanging sale tag off the shelf and was eating it with one hand while she waved a smallish jar of peanut butter with the other. She was very, very proud of herself. I laughed. And then I took her newfound toys away and directed her to play with the toys on the cart cover, but she jumped up and down in the seat while yelling at me, which made me laugh more. So I was the lunatic in the grocery store laughing at the baby throwing a fit. Good times.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Sometimes I want to run away and be myself... today is one of those days. Already.

It's not even 8am and I am so frustrated that I just want to drop Llama off with Bucket at work and go to sleep. Alone. And probably in a hotel room, because this house looks like a pigsty. Remember how I said it was like living with a wild beast? I was wrong. Living with Bucket is like living with a tornado. A hungry, messy tornado. Combine his tornado-ness with our tiny house and the Fisher-Price showroom of a living room, and I cannot take it. It's frustrating to clean up, because I know at 5pm, he will walk through the door and leave his shoes in the hallway, his pants on a chair in the living room, a hat on the kitchen counter, and a shirt on the bed. Then he'll put wrenches and pliers on my counter, right where I'm trying to cook, and he'll get mad when I move them. He'll open the mail and leave the junk on the table instead of throwing it away. And I'll just walk behind him cleaning up until I get angry enough to go on strike, which only means that for a week I'll let the mess pile up and then I'll have to clean it all at once.

And Llama doesn't sleep. She got up every. single. hour last night from midnight to 7am. That means I don't sleep. Bucket can't hear her cry, somehow, even though she's across the hall. That is, he can't hear her cry unless I'm trying to follow the instructions from her doctor, which are to let her cry for 5 minutes when she wakes up, then go in and soothe her without taking her out of the crib, and then leave and let her cry "as long as it takes." Then Bucket hears her and pokes me. When poking doesn't get the results he's looking for, he starts telling me that it's not fair to her. Then he goes in, turns on her light, takes her out of her crib, and brings her in bed with us. Because he doesn't care if she ever sleeps on her own. He's not here half the time, so what would it matter to him? And when he is here, he's not the one to get up with her. He's not the one with the feedbags hanging off his chest. Which, by the way, she does not need in the middle of the night. She's just used to eating at night (because I didn't stop this when I should have...), so she thinks she should eat five, six, seven times a night. And Bucket thinks it's mean when I deny her.

I am so crabby today. Probably because I don't sleep. And Llama is crabby because she doesn't sleep. Bucket's a lucky man; he gets to go to the office.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

It kind of feels like living with a wild beast.

So Bucket came home on Wednesday, and it's been three full days of sharing the house with him. There are obvious benefits, like a new screen door, someone to carry in the heavy parts of the groceries and take the dog out in the rain at 11:30pm, and having someone to cook for (because I won't cook for just myself - I eat a lot of chicken nuggets while he's gone). There are some irritants, though. I cannot tell you how annoying it is that he leaves every single cupboard door open. He rumbles through the house making noise constantly. He has to have the volume on the television about twice high as I do. He eats half of the leftovers and puts them back in the fridge with the lids unsealed. Etc, etc, etc.

I know that these things are all minor. And four days ago, I would have begged for him to come home and wreck the place, leave doors open and waste food. But now, I'd like for him to be more like me. Still here, but neater. Quieter. Less obstinate about getting out of bed in the morning for the alarm clock or the baby.

Did you know that his sleep is important? Mine isn't. His is. It's an important distinction to make, you know. I kid, I kid. He doesn't actually think that. It's just his attitude and the way he expresses it that gives that impression.

Last night he stayed home with Llama while I played Bingo. Before you laugh and say that Bingo is for old ladies and they play it at churches and nursing homes everywhere, let me just tell you that I won $300. That's the most income I've had since April. And it's mine, all miiiiiine! Even if I had won nothing, the value of an evening where I was just an adult hanging out with her friends is immeasurable. You can't imagine how crappy it starts to feel when I'm just Llama's mom.

So I like having Bucket home, even with all the annoyances he brings. He makes us (both Llama and me) happy, even when we're running around behind him holding a dustpan and a laundry basket and closing cupboard doors. More importantly, he's a big reminder that I once was young and cute, that I am interesting and fun, and that there is life beyond Llama that I need to be getting involved in. And I love him. There's that, right?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I'm afraid to jinx anything, but...

According to my husband, he should be home tomorrow. This is great news. He's been gone for... wait, let me count, it's been that long... let's see, he left on September 28, so that means that he's been gone for 24 days. By the time he gets home tomorrow, he will have been gone for 25 days.

Our daughter has only been alive for 187 days.

While he was gone, I celebrated our wedding anniversary alone. Our daughter learned to sit by herself and take a few little crawling steps before falling on her face and crying angrily. She turned 6 months old. I drank an entire jug of wine. I'd like to say that I'm kidding about that last one, but I'm not. Let's just say that I don't do well alone in a house at night, and I think I should be commended for only drinking one jug in almost a month.

On the other hand, I learned that Llama (that's what I've decided I'm going to call our daughter here in blog-land) and I are fairly self-sufficient. We have a nice routine going and I'm afraid that Bucket (what I've decided to call my husband here in blog-land) is going to come home and screw it all up. We like to sleep until 8am. He leaves for work at 6:30. Right there, we have a conflict. We like to eat dinner early, between 5 and 6, and he doesn't even get home until 5 on a good day. More conflict. I think we can all three manage to alter our schedules enough to mesh once again. Until he leaves for his next adventure.

All things considered, I'd much rather have him here than... wherever he is now or wherever he's going next.

The other thing I'm very reluctant to jinx is my admission to grad school. I have to say, though, that I asked some people at my former workplace to write me letters of recommendation, and two people did so in a timely manner. One person, however, for whatever reason, did not. Then she stopped answering my emails and taking my phone call. I was desperate when I asked Bucket's BFF (do boys have BFFs?) to write one for me. He likes me well enough, I reasoned. He has a degree in education and he uses it, and I'm applying for an education program. I'm even applying to the very school from which he graduated.

I had no idea that he would write me such a glowing recommendation. He says he's "had the pleasure of knowing me" for 7 years. He says I'm intelligent, capable, dedicated, personable, committed, creative, compassionate, and that I have perseverance. This is a guy I was afraid to talk to for the first year and a half that I knew him. When I finally found my voice, I said, "Hi." It took another year before I was able to talk about anything of substance with him.

And then I got pregnant with Llama. My pregnancy was difficult. Not as bad as some people I know, but difficult nonetheless. I relied on Bucket, his family, and our friends heavily for support because I didn't think I had it in me to keep going some days. My job was stressful, I threw up constantly, and my blood pressure just kept rising. All I wanted was to stay home and rest, for just a day or two. And then the doctors told me that I had to stay home, to lay down, to rest, to prepare myself only one meal a day and have other things brought to me. All I wanted to do was get up and get out. People like Bucket's BFF (and some others who I will acknowledge one at a time) were kind and generous enough to talk to me, to email me funny things, to visit, and to (on a rare occasion when it was permitted) go out to dinner with me. I'm eternally grateful. Now I'm grateful to him for this letter, too.

I have a lot of reasons to be happy today. I'm a very lucky Llama Mama.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Cakes, cheating, and a touch of schadenfreude.

Yesterday, we celebrated my mother-in-law's birthday. And as is my tradition, I waited until the last possible second to get her gift, even though I had the idea already. (It was a Fiestaware pasta set.) It was a very nice dinner, even if the cake was... interesting. One of the recipes in the family cookbook had a large, glaring error that did not become apparent until the cake was baked. Apparently "4 teaspoons of baking flour" is not nearly the same as "4 teaspoons of baking powder," and if you add extra flour to a recipe instead of baking powder, the cake does not rise. It tasted kind of like Play-Doh, only more dense and with icing.

Anyway, Sarah and I were at the mall after church, doing our last minute shopping, when we ran into a girl with whom I used to work. She was having lunch in the food court with a man who was most conspicuously not her husband. She was totally unashamed, and I wouldn't have noticed her at all if she hadn't called me over, so she was not in hiding at all. (I guess you wouldn't go to a mall if you were hiding your boyfriend.) She proceeded to tell me that she and her husband were getting divorced as a result of her acquiring this boyfriend, but that she and the husband were living in the same house because both of them were unwilling to make any overture that the court might interpret as "not wanting full custody" of their two daughters.

I cannot imagine living in such a situation. First, to have a boyfriend and a husband at the same time seems like a lot of work to me. Not just the obvious "work," but the constant pull of both people on your time would be exhausting. Then, living in a house with someone I was married to but allegedly "hated," yet still shared children with would again, be exhausting. Trying to explain to my children why Mommy was going on a date while they stayed home with Daddy - again, exhausting.

You heard it here, folks. I love my husband and can't wait for him to come home (that's a subject best left unaddressed right now) but if I should ever feel differently, I won't be getting a boyfriend. Too exhausting.

Of course, once I heard all this hot gossip, I had to call a friend who knew this person and tell her the whole story. My friend is engaged and living with her fiance, and his point of view was that if such a situation ever were to happen to him (highly unlikely, in my opinion), he would make her life "a living hell," and he would have hot girls over all the time. He also suggested that he would buy a hot tub and host hot tub parties full of hot girls and beer.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Very First Entry

I feel like I should say something profound. I have a blog now. Blogs have been cool for, what? Like ten years? I finally joined the techno-rati.

Next step: Emailing the address to people who I won't be ashamed to have know what I'm thinking about sometimes. And trying to make sure that this doesn't become a facsimile of my diary from third grade, where I detailed what I had for dinner and whether I liked it or not. Also, I made lists of what I expected my husband to be like.

So, you know, nothing profound tonight. Maybe tomorrow.