Thursday, December 27, 2007

Olivia

Olivia Ann Irons
Born: December 18, 2007
Weight: 5 lbs. 14 oz. Length: 19 1/2" long
Proud Parents: Lori & Sean
Proud Siblings: JaeLyn, Zack, Kylar, Tayler, and Jaia
We Love You Baby Girl!

Merry Christmas...

We made it through Christmas without Ava being sick this year!!! And what a wonderful Christmas it was spending it with her and her actually being well this year. When you have a child, it just brings a special kind of magic to the holiday season. To see the wonder and amazement in their eyes and in their expressions it is a memory your heart will hold close forever. And it is moments like these that make being a parent so rewarding and quite honestly priceless. Okay, enough for now with the sappy Mommy moments. When Ava woke up on Christmas morning she woke up to a decorated Christmas tree, with many wrapped presents under the tree just for her. And of course in the Dora wrapping paper too. What would a christmas be without presents wrapped in one of her favorite cartoon characters! She neatly lined them up on the couch, only to be told she couldn't open them yet until her Daddy was there to see her open them. Imagine trying to keep an almost 2 1/2 year old from unwrapping her christmas presents! Next year I am not so sure I will be so lucky in getting her to wait for her Dad. Haha. So I did end up turning on the movie Polar Express which the girl absolutely loves. In fact, I think I've seen the movie like 10 times in the last 3 days! But it did keep her out of the presents (Thanks Tom Hanks for making such a great movie)! :)

Well finally Paul arrived and Ava was soon able to dig into her presents. And I have to say I am so proud of how well she did. It was the cutest thing ever. She would go over to the tree, take one present and then go sit in the middle of the living room floor and patiently open the present. And of course not leaving even a tiny piece of wrapping paper on any of the presents. She would then ooh and aah over each gift. Then she would go back to get another present under the tree, go back to her "spot" on the floor, same process of opening the next gift of leaving no paper on the gift, and ooh and aah again of that present. She did this with every gift. It was such a wonderful experience watching her and she was really enjoying each gift and not tearing into each gift and not really looking at them. So that was a proud Momma moment watching her have patience and care with each gift. We even had to tell her a couple times she could go and get another present under the tree. She seemed really happy with all of her Christmas gifts. It is really hard to even say which one is her favorite because she likes all of them. Though I do have to say I was quite surprised with her Baby Alive dolls she got. As soon as she opened that present she wanted them out of the box. Paul took the girl doll out first and Ava quickly went to work at undressing her and undoing her diaper and taking it off. Then, Paul got the boy doll out, which Ava quickly took from him and began undressing him. As she is taking off his diaper I see this "boy" baby doll has a penis! Yes an anatomically correct baby doll. Ava's expression was classic and mine was as well. In fact I am on video laughing at this boy doll. I was pretty shocked to say the least. Which Paul managed to catch my words on video. Not that I am opposed to her having anatomically correct dolls or anything, it just caught me off guard. Toys now days! I tell ya! I couldn't wait to show it to my brother and sister when they came over for Christmas dinner! Haha We so were not acting like adults about this new baby doll that Ava has, that is for sure! This will definitely be a Christmas memory I will always remember!

Christmas dinner went well too. I made most of the food and had Christmas at my house this year. I had my Mom and Step-Dad, my Dad and Step-Mom, my brother, his wife, my nephews Austin and Jordan, my niece Alyssa, my sister, and my newest niece Olivia. My nephew Kylar spent Christmas with his Dad and his family. And my oldest brother had to work Christmas day. Dinner was great and everyone loved all the food. We had quite a lot of food too. And once everyone left there was quite a big mess to clean up too. One of those kind of messes where you think "man why did I agree to have dinner here!" I told my sister and brother that Easter and Thanksgiving are on them this coming year! :) All in all though it was a wonderful holiday and we have been very blessed this year. We hope you had as wonderful of a Christmas holiday as we did. May 2008 bring you and your families many blessings and much deserved happiness throughout the coming year. Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Christmas Pictures...

Okay, so I haven't taken Ava to officially get a picture done in a portrait studio in quite awhile. But I thought at almost 2 1/2 years old it would be a piece of cake. Yeah right! Seriously, I think by the time this experience was over I was borderline having a migraine. This is so not an experience I want to have anytime soon again. First of all let me just say she looked absolutely adorable in her Christmas outfit. Sparkly silver shoes and all. But to get her to actually sit still or pose was virtually impossible. She wouldn't sit still for 10 seconds to simply say "cheese", let the photographer snap the picture and call it a day. Then this brilliant photographer (insert sarcasm here) tried setting Ava on her lap to get to know her??? This woman obviously does not know children that well because anyone who knows any two year old, knows you do not scoop up a child and put them on your lap. You have to let them get a feel for you on THEIR terms. Not the other way around. So, when this lady was holding onto Ava, Ava was flailing about and not having any of it. Trying to wrestle free of this woman's hold on her. So here I am thinking "oh great now I have a kid who is crying and freaking out and now her face is going to be all red and blotchy in the pictures". Great way to force me into buying the enhanced b&w pictures there lady! My sister went with us and after 2 minutes of this my sister is like "well I guess you are just going to have to realize you are not going to get any pictures of her". Oh no, I am here for pictures and we will get at least one or two pictures. I was determined, even if it cost my my sanity...which it darn near did. I did plan on doing an outfit change as well with her in her Illini cheerleader outfit, but after this experience I was willing to forgo that experience and hang onto what little sanity I had left. Had I opted to go for it, I think I might have been carted right out in a straight jacket.

Amazingly enough though we were able to manage a few shots that were actually pretty good. Not the pictures I had hoped for and had envisioned before this experience...but you know you just have to take what you can get sometimes. And it was an experience I actually paid for. $75 of 30 minutes of an experience I wouldn't want to live over again if someone was paying me the $75.

Feeling helpless...

I found out on Friday my Mom has Alzheimer's. My Mom is only 52 years old. I've suspected it for some time now, but to get anyone in this place to take it seriously or to think that COULD even be a possibility was hard to do. We went to a neurologist in 2005 and I think to myself if he had not been so close minded then, to the fact she could have it and that she wasn't too young to have it, maybe we wouldn't have lost two years of slowing it down. More time to have with my Mom remembering. In my heart I knew it wasn't just depression. I knew it was something more. I thought I would feel relief that it was something more than just depression, but now I am angry because I know what lies ahead for the most part. I feel selfish for feeling angry. I feel sad and honestly I feel scared. My Great-Grandma (my Mom's Grandma) had Alzheimer's and I remember her well and what the disease did to her. I am scared to know that one day my Mom may not recognize me or recoginze my daughter. I don't want to become a stranger to my own Mom. It is hard enough that she cannot recall how old I am or when my birthday is. Things before this ugly disease invaded her mind she could recall without a second thought. Now it is like a complete blank to her. But I know that is not the worst of what is to come. Someday she may look right at me and think I am but a stranger. She may not remember I am her daughter. She may not remember my name or that she gave birth to me. She may look at my daughter and wonder who this little girl is.

I am sad for being only 30 years old and watching my Mom simply fade away, unable to stop this from happening. Unable to fix what is broken. I am angry, because I feel like my family is slowly withering away. My Mom has always been my life, my heart, and my best friend. She has always been there for me no matter what. How do you not feel angry, sad, and scared as hell. I have never in my life felt so completely powerless an helpless. I am angry because I feel like my daughter is losing out on knowing the most amazing woman in my life. I am angry because Ava will never have the grandma I always imagined and dreamed she would have. I am angry at myself for being angry. When I lost my Grandpa 4 years ago that was hard enough and I was not ready to say good bye to him...and now here I am just 4 years later and facing the one of the hardest moments of my life. How do you stand by and watch the person you would lay down your life for, just slowly slip away?

I am having a harder time accepting this than I thought. I thought I would be okay once I knew what the diagnosis was, because then I would know what is going on. But how does one accept a diagnosis that basically will erase most of the memories of ones existance? There is no cure for this, at least yet anyway. There are medicines that can slow down the process, but what are you slowing down? I mean it just draws out the process of the disease and what is inevitable. Is it not painful enough to endure, let alone to slow it down, but knowing you cannot stop it. Eventually it will have its way and in the end it is going to overtake you no matter what medicines you take. Right now I am just angry.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Life of an amateur blogger

I really need to get better at this blogging stuff. I usually have the best intentions at heart, but to get into the habit of blogging on a regular basis is kind of hard. But hey at least it hasn't been like 6 months in between posts, so that is a start. Okay enough about my lack of blogging.

As for life here in my house...things are going pretty smoothly. I just signed up for the New York Institute of Photography online course. Paul just shot a wedding this past weekend for an old co-worker of his. It was difficult for him, but he managed to pull it off. So I am proud of him for that. He was eager for me to sign up for the NYIP course since he just did that wedding. He is interested in seeing what the program has to offer. And of course so am I. Paul has been quite busy with other projects as well. He recently submitted a few drawings and some photographs into our County Fair. We heard he won some awards but we are not sure on what pieces. So we are anxious to find out what took a ribbon. Personally I think all of his stuff is award winning/first place material but then again I just might be a bit biased.

Now onto the latest happenings with Ava. The last couple weeks she has been a bit of a handful. Mood swings galore again. And here I thought we were on to smooth sailing. Kids...they sure know how to throw you off course. At first I thought it was due to her getting some new teeth...but that just doesn't seem to be the case. Not that I don't think she isn't getting more teeth because I think she is, but man she has been a pistol lately. And she has the patience of a gnat...which is not a whole lot at all. Though it isn't all bad (we love bedtime around here...lol)...no really she is learning so much lately and her already broad vocabulary is growing more and more every single day. Just in the last few days she has begun saying "Are you okay?", "oh man", "achoo" (for faking a sneeze), "elbow" (and no she is not trying to say Elmo...she doesn't care a thing about Elmo and doesn't watch Elmo), "Please" (finally...she has learned one manner...not that she says it on cue yet...but there is hope), and "wait". I am sure there are more but these are the ones I can think of right off the top of my head. The funny thing about her saying "are you okay?" is she knows when to say it. It is so darn cute. Moments like these make my heart melt...that is until she goes back into moody tantrum mode. She has been getting a few time outs here lately because of the tantrums. Here is too hoping she snaps out of this moody phase soon. :)

Overall though life here has been interesting and busy. Ava and I are spending some more time outdoors as she loves to be outside and the meltdowns are far less when we are outside or on the go. She may just end up one tan toddler by the end of the summer. I hope to get her a small kiddie pool too because the girl LOVES water and I know she would have a blast in the pool. I've gotten picture of her in her Dora swim suit as well as this adorable pink with brown polka dots bikini swim suit. That swim suit is adorable. I will need to figure out how to post pictures on here. Okay well that is going to be it for now! :)

Sunday, April 29, 2007

New Words and Phrases...

as of late for Ava. She can now say her name. How very proud of that I am. She also says, "no, no Max" to Kylar's dog when he barks or jumps on her. Also if I am getting ready to leave she will say "I go bye-bye." And when she is pretend talking on the phone as she likes to do, she says "yeah, I know." She must hear me say that on the phone since I say that quite a bit. Now if she just starts saying the word "like". :) She also now can say the letter "A". We are currently working on the alphabet. I am very proud of her. When it is bed time I will ask her if she is ready to go to bed and to go get "baby" her doll. So she goes and gets baby, her blanket, and she goes to her bedroom door and says "Nite, Nite." Too freakin' cute. And another phrase she is starting to say is, "I Love You". She says it in a sing-song kind of way. Silly kid. She is just learning so quickly anymore. I am currently working with her learning her body parts like her nose, eyes, hair, lips, etc. She does know her hands and feet when I ask her though. :) One very proud Mommy! :)

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Silly Kid...

Ava sometimes just amazes me with the things she does. On Friday evening I had my niece Alyssa who is 30 months old and Ava who is 20 months old. Now Ava is taller than Alyssa even though Alyssa is 10 months older. It looks like Ava has her Daddy's height and Alyssa is taking after her Mommy (my SIL). So the girls were playing together and usually they will shove or push each other when they want something or the other is in their way. Well Ava has a Little Tykes play kitchen and Alyssa was standing at the sink of the kitchen and Ava was standing at the refridgerator. Ava decides she wants to stand at the sink, but being only 20 months old Ava is not able to convey to Alyssa she would like to stand there, so Ava decides that she will just MOVE Alyssa. So Ava gets behind Alyssa, wraps her arms around her, and then tries to pick her up and move her to the side. I was laughing so hard watching her do this. Of course she was not able to physically move Alyssa over to the other side but she did manage to get her off the ground just a bit. It was too funny. Silly kid. So now she has this thing where she knows she is bigger than Alyssa so she keeps trying to pick her up and move her out of the way.

Monday, April 2, 2007

The Joys of Motherhood: Part II

You thought sleepless nights were bad, well let me just say welcome to the wonderful world of TANTRUMS! From the age of roughly six months to 12 months life seems quite a bit easier. In fact you gain confidence in your parenting abilities. You made it through the phase of sleepless nights and are now cruising along enjoying each wonderful new milestone your precious offspring bestows upon you. Life is pretty much perfect. You are basking in all the amazing moments, enjoying each smile, every silly laugh, and all the slobbery kisses. For those of you who have yet to embark upon the age of one, you might be deluded in thinking you have well over a year before your precious bundle of happiness hits the phase known as the "terrible twos". I too admit I was duped into believing I had one more year of bliss and enjoyment as well. Enjoy your little ones first birthday because the day after they turn one you will think someone must have come in the middle of the night and abducted your sweet angel, replacing them with a head-strong, and I do mean head-strong, determined to do it their way and only their way toddler.

At first you will chalk it up to them getting a new tooth, regardless of the fact they are showing no other signs of teething other than moodiness. Then after a week of seeing no new teeth, you decide quite certainly well then they must be going through a growth spurt. Why yes that has to be it. A couple more weeks pass and you realize your toddler looks no bigger than a week or two before. In fact their clothes still fit the exact same as they did two weeks ago. So then what could it be that has made your angel change so suddenly. Then it dawns on you that perhaps they have an ear infection. Afterall, you cannot explain this sudden change in attitude. You determine quite certainly they must be ill. While making the call to schedule an appointment with you pediatrician you silently berate yourself for not seeing the signs sooner that your angel is sick. Now while on hold with the receptionist at your doctors office your toddler who just moments ago was sitting quietly at your feet, playing happily with her favorite baby doll notices you are on the telephone. She quickly loses interest in her favorite doll and climbs up your pant leg, stretching as far as her chubby little arms can reach. She stands on the tips of her toes, smiling a slobbery toothy grin. Your heart melts at how cute she is. You know she wants the telephone but right now is not the time to play pretend with the telephone as you have done countless times before. You tell her "No, no sweetie, Mommy is on the telephone right now." But your little one is determined, she reaches and stretches again but this time starting to grunt as well. Again you tell her "no, no" in a loving way. You reach down for the baby doll she was just seconds ago happily playing with. Surly you can pacify her for just a few minutes more with he favorite doll. But it is not her favorite toy she wants. She wants the telephone. She begins to whine. You say "here is baby, play with baby. Give baby a kiss. See Mommy give baby a kiss." All this to no avail. She throws herself full force onto the floor. The wails and screams growing louder by the second. You worry she has given herself a slight concussion by throwing herself like that onto the floor. You wonder how much longer you are going to be on hold for crying out loud. All you need to do is schedule an appointment for goodness sake. You search desperately for another toy since she has no interest now in her baby doll. You find her favorite book and offer that too her. Again she wails even louder as she grabs the book from your hand and flings it across the room. Her face is turning a deep shade of red. Next she begins banging the heels of her feet onto the floor. You panic wondering how much more destruction her poor little body can take. Then by a miracle you hear the line click from the classical music that has been playing in your ear for what seems like an eternity to the voice of the receptionist. "Yes, Mrs....." You quickly interrupt, "I need to sched...." The receptionist breaks in and says "Please continue to hold for just another minute". And before you can even utter another word your ear is once again filled with the sound of classical music. Do they not realize your child is sick and completely out of sorts. Did she not hear the anguished cries of your BABY! Well of course not, she cut you off in mid sentence to put you back on hold. Why the nerve of that woman getting your hopes up like that. You are quite sure this woman does not have children of her own. Your thoughts begin to wander back to a time not so long ago when you yourself did not have children. You are quickly jolted back to reality when you hear loud banging. You look down to see your child has now in her fit of anger begun banging her forehead against your wooden floors. All the books you've read have repeatedly told you to ignore this kind of behavior but how can any mother ignore this. You are terrified if she keeps banging her head against the floor she will end up with a concussion and quite possibly brain damage. And where on earth did she even learn this. It is not like you or your husband go around banging your head on the floor when you are upset. This whole situation has you near tears as well. You pick up your angel and try to comfort her as she flails about in your arms. Then it dawns on you...your cell phone. Why yes that will pacify her, why you did not think of this before is anyone's guess. You grab your purse from the kitchen counter and quickly rummage through your purse for your brand new shiny pink Razr phone. You hand it triumphantly to your daughter who instantly stops crying. Within seconds she figures out how to flip the phone open and she begins to push buttons. You begin to have doubts about giving her your cell phone. After all it is brand new and what if she drools all over it and it stops working. Or what if she dials some number for another country. How will you explain a cell phone bill to your husband for hundreds of dollars? You decide this probably wasn't your best decision ever, not to mention all those parenting books advising not to give into the behavior. But you'd like to see how they would react if they were in your shoes at this very moment.

"Sorry for the wait"...the receptionists voice breaks through the line. It is about time you think to yourself. You give all your information to the receptionist asking for the earliest appointment available. She tells you the first available appointment is on Monday at 3:15 p.m. What do you mean on Monday you practically shriek into the phone. Does she not have anything sooner? Can't she squeeze you in? Is she out of her mind thinking you and your baby can go through the entire weekend. Never mind that it is 3:45 p.m on Friday that you are making this call. You tell her you can be at the office in 10 minutes if she could just get you in. The receptionist explains they are completely booked until the time they close but if you feel it is that much of an emergency please feel free to take your child to the emergency room if it cannot wait until Monday. At this point you are beside yourself. You are so upset you yell into the phone "well fine then." and then hang up on the receptionist. You slam the phone down angrily on the coffee table as you fling yourself down on the couch and have a good cry and a temper tantrum of your own.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

The Joys of Motherhood: Part I

The Joys of Motherhood Part 1

It has been awhile...a long while since I've really written anything even semi-creative. In fact if I think back it was before I even had a child so why not use this blog space to tap back into my so-called creative writing skills. Though I am sure they are quite rusty and lacking since well it's been awhile. So here goes the first installment in the Joys of Motherhood Part 1. Enjoy for those of you who can sympathize and those who do not yet have kids take it as a word of advice and the brutal honest truth of becoming a mother and the um joys it entails. Yeah uh the joys it entails! :)



Sleepless Nights

Before you became a Mom, your friends who were already Mom's used to share willingly the stories of how wonderful it is to be a Mom. These Mom's were even able to spin quite the tale on how even the sleepless nights were worth it, because it was "a bonding experience with the baby". Though, what they fail to mention is that after months, and I do mean months, of sleepless nights it isn't all that much of a bonding experience when really, what you want is a night of uninterrupted sleep. Oh sure, the first couple months it's no big deal, because you cannot sleep anyway due to first time Mom jitters. Even the sound of the cat breathing keeps you awake and basically you are running on some kind of adrenaline high anyway. Well, after about the third month, you come off that high. In fact, you come crashing back down to reality, and your body then realizes, what it needs most is SLEEP! You are not asking for much, just 4 or 5 straight hours of sleep. Boy, don't you feel duped in believing that when you were childless, and your friends with children mentioned midnight feedings, you thought the baby would fuss at midnight, you would feed the sweet little darling, and before you know it the baby would be peacefully sleeping and you yourself would also fall into your own dreamland. Reality hits hard when you realize midnight feedings are every 2 hours...maybe 3 hours if you are lucky. But in that 2-3 hour span you are required to get the baby to nurse or bottle feed, burped (which can take awhile), then changed, and finally rocked back to sleep. When all that is done though, you find that you are now fully awake, with no possibility of even closing your eyes and finding a bit of sleep.


So here it is 1 a.m. and you find yourself sitting in front of your computer monitor, checking e-mails, playing a game of solitaire, checking your myspace or the like. Then finally, sleep begins to sound like a good idea again. You make your way back to your bedroom, crawl into bed, snuggling deep into the covers, laying your head on your oh so comfortable pillow, eyes drooping closed, peeking just one more time at the clock that reads 1:57 a.m. Aaaaah, there you are, falling head first into the wonderful, euphoric state of sleep. Then you hear your little one stir on the baby monitor that you've positioned right next to your head. You begin to panic, thinking no this cannot be. You are mere seconds away from falling asleep. Is this some sort of cruel joke? Your eyes dart frantically to the clock once again, the time reads 2:04 a.m. Your not so dear husband, at this point is snoring peacefully next to you. Oblivious to any sound that could possibly come from that dreadful baby monitor. You fight the incredible urge to elbow your husband in the side, but instead you choose to wrap yourself in your blanket, pretending to be asleep. All the while, you hear every sound coming from the baby's room. You curse the person who invented the damn baby monitor. Telling yourself you grew up just fine and your Mom didn't need a stinkin' baby monitor. You steal another glance with one eye this time mind you, at the digital display on the clock 2:06 a.m. Willing yourself to just go to sleep for crying outloud. You are wasting precious seconds here because of your paranoia. Finally you feel it. Sleep is on its way! The feeling of sleep engulfing you is better than any day at a spa, hell you tell yourself a night of restful sleep is even better than any sex. Which when you think about it, it is sex that got you in this situation in the first place. But enough of that now...sleep, oh wonderful sleep. You feel sleep wrapping itself all around you from head to toe. Why yes, this IS so much better than sex. You feel yourself smiling, this state of slumber feels so incredible.

You begin to dream, and oh what a dream it is. You are on a white sandy beach, looking mighty fine in your bikini, of course, this has to be you before you had the baby, sipping pina coladas, bare chested, chisled men waiting on you hand and foot. You hear the waves of the sea lapping at the beach, then flowing gracefully back out to the ocean. You are thoroughly enjoying your view of the hot, sexy men, oh yeah and the ocean too. Next thing you know, Mr. Sweet Cheeks (that's the name you give him since you have no idea what his real name is, but he does have a nice set of cheeks if you know what I mean) offers to rub you down with sunblock. How could you refuse such an offer and from someone so sexy. So you roll over onto your stomach. Mr Sweet Cheeks is rubbing sunblock on your shoulders, up and down the sides of your arms, across your upper back. He then moves down to the back of your thighs. Oh, this is absolute bliss. Heaven almost. You then hear the wind howling loudly in your ear. What is this...trouble in paradise. Oh wait, that is just the sound of your husband snoring loudly in your ear. Damn him for trying to take away your moment of bliss. This time you do elbow him in his side to shut him up before he ruins your dream. Hubby grunts and snorts, as he rolls over, barely noticing he was elbowed sharply in the side. But at this moment, you could careless because you are going back to paradise. Now where were you...oh yes the rub down by Mr. Sweet Cheeks...back to those calves and thighs. He even gives you a foot massage before all is said and done. You cannot even remember the last time you had a foot massage, let alone by someone as fine as Mr. Sweet Cheeks. After your massage from head to toe Mr. Sweet Cheeks brings you another drink, since you basically gulped down the pina colada. This time he brings you sex on the beach. You sit there happily sipping your drink, reading a steamy romance novel. Before long, your imagination gets the best of you and you begin fantasizing about Mr. Sweet Cheeks and you having your own "sex on the beach". But, just as quickly as this fantasy is playing out in your mind, you are quickly jolted back to reality on the beach, as a crab has latched onto your big toe. You scream out in pain as you roll around in the sand, flailing your foot about, trying to shake off this crab who has mistaken your toe for its lunch. You whack your head on a coconut, which jars you painfully back to reality.

You suddenly realize it has all been a dream, however, you somehow managed to roll right out of bed and that coconut you whacked your head on, was really your bedside night stand. But to be sure it was just a dream, you grab at your big toe to make sure it is still there. Just as you are about to crawl into bed, you hear the baby wailing on the monitor. Your eyes dart to the clock and see it is now 2:14 a.m. and your not so dear husband, has managed to sleep through you falling out of bed, whacking your head on the night stand, and the screams of your little angel. An hour and a half later, you stumble back to bed, knowing that in 30 minutes or so the whole process starts over once again. Just as you close your eyes, your husband rolls over and says "you just getting to bed, it's going on 4 a.m."

Blogging somewhere other than just...

my myspace page. Hopefully I will start blogging on a more regular basis. Why not since I do have a few extra minutes here and there and during nap time for my very active, spirited, risk-taking toddler. Why not talk about the day to day life of being a stay-at-home Mom. No two days are the same that is for sure. Besides maybe, just maybe this will be an outlet for me to keep my sanity...well what is left of it anyway. :) And of course when reading be sure to note the humor and the sarcasm...really it helps keep the sanity. :)