Thursday, December 31, 2009

Poop Face

It always happens when I decide to be productive. Something bad, that is.

It started when I decided to clean house. I had just gotten back from Walmart (try going at 8:00 am; the quality of people is surprisingly less than troll-like and more human-friendly. Well, not really. But maybe since I was more tired I was less inclined to notice the 400 lb woman wearing biking shorts...). I was going to vacuum, mop floors, wipe counters, and eat oreos. You know, basic house-wife crap, and Rip was going to watch. Rip was sitting in his bumbo on the counter, chewing and trying to inhale my grocery list via slobber, to which I decided that you can always make a new grocery list and you cannot always eat oreos uninterrupted. So I was chewing and Rip was chewing and we were both fairly content. Well, there's only so long a baby can enjoy a grocery list before he decides that eating the words 'milk, cereal, bread...' does not actually constitute eating the real thing, and so Rip started to cry and whine. I ignored it for a while, but really, it started to get louder and the oreos lesser. So I picked up baby and headed to the bedroom to put baby down for a nap. I smelled poop and so I bent my head down, and without looking, put my face up to his bum to smell and see if what I was smelling was indeed poop. It certainly was. And there was certainly so much poop, that my face now was covered in poop, along with my hands, and everything else making contact with baby, including my grocery list. The baby had basically just pooped on my face. This was kind of like the last straw, except that it really wasn't, since he will undoubtedly poop on my face again, and I still am not allowed to spank him (I guess he's too little or something? I dunno, the logic confuses me too).

As I sat down later and contemplated the events of the day, I started getting confused. When did this happen to me? When did my face start getting pooped on? When did I start going to Walmart at 8 am and start considering buying clothes there? And most importantly, when did I start eating oreos at 9 am? I'm like an alcoholic. I'm disgusting. No wonder the baby decided to poop on my face. My life is definitely different than what I had imagined as an 8 year old. What happened to owning my own zoo and letting all the animals out of their cages for walks? And what about turning into an Indian so I could live in a tepee and ride horses all day (inspired by Dances with Wolves)? Nope. I'm getting pooped on and going to Walmart instead. At least I still have half a bag of oreos left...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Into the corner

I'm tired of being tired. And I'm tired of Rip jamming his tiny head into the corner of his crib, wailing and waiting to be rescued. Seriously. He refuses to even consider sleeping through the night. He used to demand to be fed and now that I'm letting him cry it out at night, he has opted for plan B, which consists of him scooting himself into the nether part of his crib with his head crammed into the corner. I can't just let him cry because he just keeps jamming his wee body harder and harder into the corner, testing my motherly limits of compassion. I inevitably get up, drag him back to the starting line, plug the binky back in his mouth and wait for 3 hours later where I will undoubtedly do it all over again. He might be lazy, but he's pretty clever.

"Think you're just going to let me cry all night? We'll see. We'll see..."

He's so small and yet so evil. It's hard to do anything but be impressed by his sheer spite. He really is doing it out of spite, I'm sure. He's teaching me a lesson and I'm learning quick. I'm trying to determine if it would be better just to feed him at these merciless hours. Would he stop doing the head jamming thing?

Rip- "Nobody sleeps a solid 6 hours in this house! Nobody!"
Me- "No, of course not, your liege. Of course not. We would never. Pulling your small body from the perils of the corner of the crib at 3 in the morning is our greatest accomplishment! We desire more of it! Never sleep at night again, your wickedness."

Anyway, I think I'm just really tired and really hateful of all the idiots who have babies who willingly sleep through the night. Rip has done it a total of 4 times and that was months ago. And if you start volunteering advice, be prepared to find an evil package on your doorstep at 4 in the morning. And it will be wailing. And not rolling over.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Snow? Why?

We moved back to Utah. For an explanation, please find loaded gun and shoot, either me or yourself, since I can't bare explaining why we moved for the 9 billionth time.

I haven't updated for a long time, being somewhat busy with moving, trying to find a house to buy, and just wanting to do other things besides inform the 5 people who read this of what they already know. So here is the update. We moved, we're still trying to find a house, and Rip still ceases to amaze me with his sheer laziness. He won't roll over because instead of getting frustrated and trying to move his big body, he lays his head down and begins wailing. Fine. When he's 17 years old and I'm still carrying him around in my arms, please do the polite thing and avert your eyes.

We went to our Springville ward (where we're currently renting while we look for a house in the more north, more normal parts of Utah), and let's just say there were some differences from our San Diego ward. If you know what FFA stands for, you're better off than we are. Not knowing that almost got us kicked out. **Please see Future Farmers of America for any questions** I'm not complaining I'm just saying that it's all very different and I'm trying to adjust by saying things like 'folks' and 'rootin' tootin' (no one has said that yet, but I'm pretty sure they're all thinking it...). Anyway, I might just be mad because I tried to take Rip in the baby jogger and suddenly realized that baby joggers are not meant for 3 feet of snow with ice packed on top. In fact, nothing is meant for 3 feet of snow with ice packed on top. Not me, not Rip, not the baby jogger, not nuthin.'

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Family Pictures 09

I thought everyone might want to stare at pictures of my family. I'm pretty sure I thought right. If you're wondering about my hair, know that it was sort of windy last Sunday when we took these, so my hair has a wind-blown effect. If you're wondering about Josh's hair, the wind blew it off.

I like this picture because Rip looks cross-eyed and somewhat handicapped.And this is where we had to climb a mountain to get back to our car. It was wild. Rip was in the stroller screaming; it was difficult not to 'accidentally' let the stroller go. Just kidding?
We haven't edited them to fix all the shadows and stuff, but we're on it (probably not). We just wanted a family picture at the beach and we are too cheap to pay for a real photographer (no offense Laura; we greatly appreciate the pics and I consider anyone who can focus a camera, all the while squealing loudly in order to get the attention of a 3 month old, a photographer).It was really hard to get Rip to look at the camera, so the first two pics are pretty much the only ones where he was looking at Laura. The rest, he's lazily drooping his head or screaming his face off. Case in point. Either he's really tired or he just hates his parents. Hard to say...

Friday, November 13, 2009

Rip van Stink

There are a million more, but these are two of the 5 million pictures that I have actually downloaded from the disc. These are from Rip's photo shoot when he was 2 weeks old. He doesn't actually look anything like that now (his hair is getting lighter and lesser), but who can really keep track of these things? Apparently I'm supposed to get photos of him every week of his life. I do not plan on doing that. I plan on not doing that, in fact.

This is what he looks like now, though, at 3 months. And yes, he's wearing a CALLE shirt in the first picture, and no, CALLE doesn't make baby clothes. A friend made it for us, so you can all stop trying to purchase one. You can borrow Rip's, but only if you're slightly overweight, since he is too.

I saw a man unicycling around town the other day (this was before I took my leave of absence from society; I haven't left the house in 5 days and I don't plan on leaving any time soon. I kid not.), and I told Josh about the guy on the unicycle, to which he replied, "That guy is lucky I didn't punch him in the face." I wanted to point out that I was the one who saw the unicycler and not Josh, thereby making it impossible for Josh to punch him in the face, but I opted against that and decided rather to nod my head along in agreement. And either Josh has a strong dislike for those who ride unicycles (all 2 of them), or I've completely rubbed off on him. It's a toss up. Either way, I like it. Anyone who randomly wants to punch others in the face has my support.

Monday, November 2, 2009


So you might be wondering what we were for Halloween... you might not be. We're obviously Utah mormons. You can't really tell in the picture, but I've stuffed my stomach to look like I'm pregnant, ratted my hair, putting the 'Bump-it' to shame, and I have a baby taped to my leg. Josh has a BYU hat on, socks with sandles, and jean shorts on. Needless to say, our California ward got a kick out of the 'costumes.' We get sick of hearing about 'Utah mormons' and such, and so we decided to go with it and make a joke of it. They loved it. And Rip is obviously a ghost. A scary one.

The other pictures are from a week ago when we watched some friends' kids. I'm trying really hard to take more pictures and look like a good mom. So far I'm 0 for 2.

You might be wondering how old Rip is. He's 2 1/2 months old. If you feel like he's been 2 1/2 months old for at least 2 years, you're not alone. D0esn't it seem like he should be older than that? Doesn't it seem like time is standing still? Doesn't it seem like Rip shouldn't be able to open his eyes that wide? Well, he can. And he does it often. In fact, this seems to be his expression of choice. As my sister, Meg, put it, "His eyes are taller than they are wide." I'm sort of concerned.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Spit up

I keep meaning to update with pictures and videos, but I've opted to spare you, or rather, spare myself. I hate updating. I probably hate it because my fingers are sore and tired from the constant removal process of spit-up. Seriously. Rip doesn't just spit-up either, he pours sour milk from his mouth like a fountain... the entire day. Spit-up sounds kind of cute and innocent. What Rip does is neither cute nor innocent. It's a vicious assault of my person and my decency. It's an act of terrorism and it needs to be stopped. I'm pretty sure it cannot be stopped. This baby was designed to try me and milk upheaval tries me.

There are so few breaks in between the constant upheaval of milk, that I've resorted to wearing t-shirts all day every day. This might not seem low, but considering I firmly believe the t-shirt to be an article only worn to exercise or sleep, this is a huge development. I loathe myself for stooping so low, but even my resolve to dress like you aren't going to bed has dissolved. My will has dissolved. Life, as I know it, has dissolved. I love the word 'dissolve.' Dissolve.

And to top it all off, the baby just puked on my bedspread.

I'll post pictures tomorrow/later/probably never.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

My life is better than yours

I'm furious. I just wrote an entire post and was just adding a title when somehow I deleted the entire thing. Honest to goodness, if this computer was a living thing it would be shriveled on the ground weeping, for fear of the harsh expletives that fell out of my mouth.

To sum up what the would-be post said, I noted that I didn't have much of anything to write, being that I sit at home with a baby all day and realistically, babies do not make for very interesting companions (anyone denying this is welcome to come and sit with me and Rip and see all the wild adventures we get into; it's both magical and wild and I'm lying. We get bored staring at each other all day, so he screams on the floor and I watch 'What Not to Wear' at subhuman volumes). I mentioned that I left the house the other day with a shirt covered in a film of spit-up and someone pointed it out to me, asking, "Is that spit-up?" Without the slightest measure of embarrassment, I said, "Uh huh. Want some?"

I also noted that I tried to shave Rip's head today but was foiled by Josh, who was horrified by the idea. I pointed out that Rip is currently sporting a comb-over and would be utterly humiliated by it, if he was at all self-aware and not completely focused on milk and the consumption thereof. Josh stood his ground, but has left for work for the day. I'm not sure where he put the clippers but it's only a matter of time. I give it 40 minutes until I crack and shave all the dark fuzzy goodness away.

Last, I mentioned in the deleted post about looking worse than I did 2 weeks ago. Sad, but true. I guess that can be expected with a diet rich in brownies and chocolate chips. I plan to start running my big post-pregnant body, but am slightly concerned about dying along the way. I haven't exercised for a long time, and I'm pretty sure my body is going to remind me of that when I'm trying to haul all of it up a horse trail, and it's trying to haul itself to the refrigerator. We'll see. I'll keep you updated on my love-handles.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Utah ruins babies

So I'm still alive, barely. And so is the baby, barely. We're making it. We had a scare back a few days after we got back from Utah, but we've pushed past it. The baby had some wild notion after being held all day every day by family that that was going to be the norm from there on out. He had a rude awakening when the day we got back, he sat on the floor screaming for want of being squished in someone's arms. Muahaha. I won that battle. Well, actually I didn't since the baby is sitting in a sling strapped across my chest. Hey. As long as my arms are free, I consider myself the victor. Courtney - 1, baby -9,757,866.

Now, pretend to care and stare at some pictures of Rip. He is 6 weeks old going on 2 weeks old. I swear he should be progressing in some regards but he is still refusing to do much of anything besides poop, stare, eat, cry, sleep, and eat. Oh, and poop.

Here is Rip at 6 weeks sitting in his bumbo. Or trying to. Hey. I'm desperate.And Josh took Rip swimming. Here he is clinging on for dear life. I'm pretty sure Josh had some kind of hickey after this.

It's funny because I was looking at the box of diapers sitting in Rip's room and noticed a few discrepancies.

First off, the baby and the mother are both smiling. Together. At each other. At the same time. In the same place. Now, if that were me and Rip, I would be smiling and he would be staring blankly in response. Or, he would be smiling and I would be scowling because I've just finished changing a diaper and he is currently doing his best work to insure that I will very soon be changing another diaper. See the problem? They were both smiling and so far, I'm not convinced that that really even happens.

The second problem with the diaper box is that it only comes with 216 diapers and honestly, a day's supply in a single box just seems dishonest.

Third problem, the mother looks well rested. Either that isn't her baby or she is one of those idiots who has magic babies who sleep through the night. She should have dark circles under her eyes or at least have a little crazed look about her. I prefer both.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Disgusto Manifesto

I would post pictures, I really would, if the Rip wasn't possibly the most disgusting baby to ever have lived. I say this all with a heart full of love and fondness, of course. It's just that he has the worst case of baby acne, and to add to his grotesque features, he has developed cradle cap, scale-like things all over his head. I hate it. It frustrates me to no end. It's like if there is a single gross thing that can happen to a baby, Rip is sure to break out with it. I'm starting to search for gross baby skin diseases on the internet, just to be prepared for when Rippy gets it. I have to mentally prepare myself.

We went to the beach today with some friends and I found myself hiding Rip in a blanket so no one could see his nastiness. I'm pretty sure one girl figured me to be an overly protective parent, little did she know I would have let the stray bum with one arm hold Rip, had he asked. On second thought, the bum would probably have been worried about contracting one of Rip's skin diseases and asked not to let the baby get too near. I don't blame him.

It just doesn't seem fair that my baby looks like he's been washed in acid and then scrubbed with a scouring pad. People often peer into his car seat and inevitably come up with, "Adorable!" or "Precious!" Come on people. His skin is trying to eat itself. Let's just call it what it is and be done with it. It makes me dislike the general public more than I already do. What's worse is that I feel responsible to acknowledge his nasty skin to every person who comes within 40 feet of him. It's exhausting. I'm exhausted. And Rip's skin is exhausted from trying to ooze and blemish so much. When this phase is over (likely never), I'll post a picture or two. Right now I'm too busy searching for cures for shingles, as I'm sure Rippy is on his way to getting it.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Happy 30th, well, almost...

Last night, as Josh and I were about to embark on the wonderful world of oreos and sleeping babies (our baby was asleep, thanks due to letting him scream himself hoarse... we're awesome parents), it hit me. Tomorrow was Josh's birthday. "Tomorrow is your birthday! Holy crap! Am I seriously just remembering?" Josh's reply was something like, "I wondered if/when you were going to remember. No big deal," all said with a smile.

For the following 30 minutes, I continued to apologize, force more oreos into his hands, and promise all sorts of fantastic ideas of how I could take him sky-diving (no I couldn't) or I would take up surfing (unlikely) or anything really to just make him believe that I'm not as terrible a partner as I sound. I couldn't believe I had forgotten! Granted, I have a newborn baby that pretty much consumes my waking thoughts, but still. I mean, it's his birthday and I'm his wife and I'm supposed to not only remember these things, but plan huge festivities with clowns and balloons and wild trumpets (?). Because as anyone who knows Josh knows, he deserves the wild clowns, balloons, and trumpets.

Josh turns 29 years old today, which might as well be 30, for how old it seems to me. We're both stunned he made it this far. I'm not one for mushy/sappy tributes to loved ones, but Josh deserves one. He's that awesome, that I'll forgo my sarcasm for a minute and relay to my friends and family who read this blog just how incredible he is. I could go on and on why Josh is amazing, but I'll keep it brief to just 5 reasons Josh is the best person I know.
  1. Josh is the hardest worker I have ever known. He is the perfect example of doing things even though you don't want to (a completely novel idea to me). He works hard at everything in his life, at his job, at his calling in church, at being a good husband, father, everything. If something is to be done, it is to be done the right way.
  2. Josh is the most dependable person I think I've ever met. If he said he would do it, you have a 100% chance that he'll do it. Josh does exactly what he says he'll do. This is a miracle in today's world, in my opinion. You just can't rely on people to do what they say they're going to do. I'm one of those people.
  3. Josh is a people person. There is noting he loves more than sitting in a group of people and just hanging out. He loves to talk but he loves to listen as well. He doesn't have to be the one talking to have a good time, he doesn't mind listening as well. I love this about him.
  4. Josh is considerate. He thinks about others before he thinks of himself. He thinks about my needs before his own. He gets up every night/morning with Ripkin and feeds him (I pump a bottle and put it in the fridge for him), changes him, and puts him back to bed. He does this all so I can sleep. He wasn't asked to do it, he asked to do it. He wants me to be happy so the baby can be happy so the baby doesn't get thrown out the window. He cares that much.
  5. Josh is enthusiastic and is never too cool for anyone or anything. He's willing to try anything and isn't afraid of looking like a dork, which he rarely does. He can be friends with anyone.
Basically, I admire the crap out of him (I have such a way with words...). He is someone I want to be and he really is one of the best people out there. He's a goodie and a keeper. I hope Rip ends up half as good as he is. I'll consider my job well done as a parent if that happens.

The picture above is right before I delivered Rip. Whenever I think about that whole experience, I think of Josh sleeping on a cot next to me. He was so uncomfortable and miserable, but he wouldn't leave me, even though I repeatedly told him he should go. This picture reminds me that we're in it together, and that makes looking at Ripkin's baby acne bearable (his face looks soooo bad right now. I won't leave the house for fear of people thinking my child has the plague and being quarantined). Knowing Josh is in it with me keeps me sane.

Happy Birthday Joshy! Sorry I forgot, but don't worry. I went to the grocery store and bought hot dogs (something I refuse to do) for you. That's how awesome I am.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

He's Here!!!

Ripkin Joshua Robbins
Born August 12, 2009
8 lbs 8 oz

20 inches
He arrived! I don't really know what to say about the whole experience, other than I'm a firm believer in epidurals. Magic. Sheer magic. After two days of painful and regular contractions, I'd like to be a spokesperson on how amazing an epidural is. I was due to be induced on the 13th, but considering I was having contractions 5 minutes apart pretty regularly, they admitted me. Pretty soon the nurse told me we were ready to start pushing, and after the initial push, she turned to me and said, "You want a C-section?" I told her 'no.' "Well, then you better be planning on pushing a whole lot harder than that." I quickly obeyed and 2 hours later, there was a huge baby blinking at me. I couldn't believe how big he looked to me. I was expecting a low 7 pounder... not so much.
He's kind of a chunk, and after a week, this boy has gained an additional 7 oz, making him just under 9 lbs. He also now measures at 21 1/4 inches, meaning they measured him wrong in the hospital. That or he's the incredible hulk and grows an inch and a quarter in the span of 5 days. Not likely... Anyway, that may not sound like a lot, but considering he gained 5 of those ounces in 2 days, I'd say the fella takes after his mom in the eating category. He likes to eat. He chooses to cry when he is not A) Sleeping or B) Eating while sleeping (we call this sleep-eating; it occurs when he falls asleep while nursing but then pretends to still be interested in eating when someone attempts to move him... such a fun game). We still love him, and as Josh pointed out to me today, "I really like that kid" (referring to his Rip).

On the second night at home, I woke up to find Josh and Rippy snuggled in together, both fast asleep (the cute part being where Rip is sleeping and not crying for more food). It sort of looks like two dudes just hanging out together.

And this is Josh working while gazing at Rip and his chunkiness. I seem to be the only one concerned that he's so chubby so fast. Apparently I make cream with a side of cellulite for milk. Figures.
I really do love this little creature. It was sort of a shock at first, seeing him and knowing I was now responsible for the little being, and it still is a shock, but a rather pleasant one. I think we're going to get along just fine, as long as I keep the milk coming, that is.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Too close

I think my eyes are too close together. I came to this unfortunate conclusion after I went swimming tonight and put some of my neighbor's goggles on. They immediately started trying to pull my eyes apart. I took them off, tried a few adjustments, and put them back on. Nope. No good. My eyes are definitely too close together since the flesh was nearly torn away from my face in an effort to see while I swim underwater (I can't open my eyes under water; never can and never will).

No, I have not had the baby. I have the sneaking suspicion that this baby would much rather sit squished in a ball in my gut than have to emerge from his warm bubble and hear me complaining about my grotesquely swollen ankles (picture tree stumps). Oh well. There are worse things, like having eyes that are too close together.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Dr. H

I think I hate my doctor. No. Scratch that. I know I hate my doctor. Yeah. Hate him bad. Needless to say, I had an appointment today. I went in hoping he would congratulate me on a pregnancy well-done, and end the misery that is pregnancy. He did quite the opposite actually. He took my blood pressure, felt the baby's head, measured my massive belly, and told me he would see me in a week.

"But doctor, I could be in full-blown labor and ready to deliver and stuff. Shouldn't you check more stuff out? I could be dilated to a 10 or something. Shouldn't we know?"
His response: "Have you had any contractions?"
Me: "Not really..."
Him: "Then you're not in labor. See you next week."

As I sat there, shaking with the absolute injustice of the whole thing, fury started to consume me. It became hard to breath, blindness overtook me, and the only coherent thought I had was how to destroy this abnormally tall man. I couldn't believe it. He wouldn't even check things out! And who was he? This man had never been pregnant! It's a power trip I tell you. Seriously. It's like playing god, telling people when they can or cannot have a baby. Sick and wrong. Twisted, really. I loathe him. And the only way I could think of to pay him back, besides giving him an absolute look of death, was to not see him in a week and to make it a little longer. That's right. I took some of the power back. This quack isn't going to tell me when to schedule.

And who let men go into this field anyway? They know absolutely nothing concerning the matter. There's really only so much you can learn from a book, the rest is based on personal experience. Never mind that my dad is a heart doctor and never has had a heart attack himself, completely different scenario. The bottom line is that this man is a horrible individual. As I was driving home, I kept trying to think of ways of how to get back at him. I thought about changing doctors last minute. I thought about stalking him and leaving hate notes on his windshield. I even went so far to think about somehow kidnapping his kids and holding them for ransom until he induced me. I haven't really come up with a solid game plan quite yet, but I'm pretty sure I'll know it when I hear it. Oooh, I hate him. And feel free to send me some ideas on ways to absolutely ruin his life. So long as I'm pregnant, the man should suffer.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Almost 37 weeks...

Muahaha! Now you have to have that frightening image ingrained into your memory. I suffer, you suffer. That's the way I operate. Most people have the decency to show their nasty prego bellies covered. Not I. I want you to feel the pain, the discomfort, and the sheer horror of seeing the truly grotesque, because really, pregnant bellies are disgusting. And yes, my belly button is sticking out and no, I do not cover it up with a bandaid or tape. I just don't really care that a protruding button makes you uncomfortable.

I'll tell you what, though. There has never been a time in my life when more people have wanted to discuss my weight and size. Someone asked me the other day if I was having twins. Another woman expressed to me that I should be careful. I'm getting too big and I still have a long way to go. I wanted to point out that it might feel like a lot longer to her after I rip her apart limb from limb, but I let it slide; I'll wait until after the baby is born and people are still asking me when I'm due to fully erupt. Another keen observer pointed out the other day, "Wow. You're really out there! I think I only gained 15 lbs in my pregnancy." Uh huh. Thanks lady. I'll be sure to leave that in my suicide note.

But I was thinking about how once you're pregnant, it's a like some kind of free for all to say whatever you want. I've gotten a lot of "You sure are getting big! I saw you just 4 weeks ago and you weren't nearly this big!" or "You sure do look uncomfortable. And it's only going to get worse." What I want to mention is that I don't look uncomfortable because I'm pregnant; I look uncomfortable because you're standing too close and I'm thinking how best to strangle you. I don't even know these people. At least my mom has the decency to try and cover up her weight inspection with some non-subtle remark about finding a new fat free candy or remarking how fun running can be. Seriously people. I don't point out your weight, no need to point out mine.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

My Esophagus

I am currently listening to my neighbors' two little girls crying. It's nine o'clock in the morning and they are sitting in their pool, but are wanting their dad to turn the heat on. He has refused, and they have turned to moaning out, "Your own daughters..." or "Do you want us to turn into icicles?!" Keep in mind they are 4 and 7 and they are quite serious. Josh and I have found ourselves laughing hysterically at the constant stream of whine, since they are both in tears and have not yet considered just getting out of the pool to avoid how "freezing" it is. I'm pretty sure it isn't below 80 degrees.

In other important occurrences, Josh had waffles this morning and asked me if I also have a dry esophagus in the mornings, making it hard to swallow bready foods. I'm turning the question to you, since I only laughed in his face. But no, I do not have a dry esophagus in the morning or at any other time of the day. I suppose my body supplies enough esophagus juice to keep it properly moisturized.

I would also like to add that I saw pictures from my baby shower in Utah and I'm pretty disappointed in anyone and everyone who failed to mention to me that I resemble a water buffalo in a purple shirt. That hurts, people. I thought you were my friends and family, and true friends would always tell a person that he or she looks like a bloated buffalo. Either way, I guess it doesn't matter since I have one more month of looking bloated and buffalo-like, and then I can start starving myself to prepare for my brother's wedding. My goal is to look only three times the size of his wife.

Monday, June 29, 2009


I've been in Utah for a while and it was awesome. I'd give you (whoever 'you' is/are/whatever-is-grammatically-correct...) a rundown, but that would take a lot of time and I'm too busy doing other stuff like not folding laundry and not putting dishes in the dishwasher (did I ever tell you that I had once made a promise to never leave dishes in the sink once I had a dishwasher? Let's just call it being naive...). Just know that it was all I ever dreamed of and more. Yeah. Magical.

Now, on to more pressing issues like how I can manage to punch a patient in the face without actually getting arrested...

It occurred to me today that the average human being is a complete moron when I was confronted by an average human being at work. This average human being had been in the orthodontic office not two weeks ago when I met with her and helped her through her contract and fee estimate. She had signed everything and was walked through all the details -insurance agreements, possible additional charges, etc.- and seemed to grasp the general idea of it all. Well, apparently not, since she walked back in today and notified me that she would be unable to pay the treatment fee but was still interested in starting treatment. I sat there, confused (being an average human being myself entitles me to such moments of absolute confusion), and trying to grasp the true meaning of what she was saying. She explained to me again, that she would be unable to afford what we had quoted her for treatment, but that she was still planning on coming in for the appointment to get her braces on. I was still stupefied, and so I told her I would have to get back to her. Her reply: "Okay, but try calling after 1pm. I have a massage right before then." She then proceeded to drive away in her brand new car (no kidding; the license was still the dealership one).

Now, I may be average but I have a pretty good idea that massages and new cars cost money. After stewing in my own bewilderment, I concluded that we could not give her braces for free and I will tell her promptly after she is done with her massage. After I punch her in the face, that is. I smart.

Monday, June 8, 2009

House Hunters

After watching at least 5,000 hours of House Hunters, Josh and I have learned several things.
  1. In order to properly view a potential house for purchase, one must thoroughly criticise the paint color, light fixtures, flooring, and any other possible thing that the previous owner might have considered 'tasteful' or 'personal.' You must constantly say things like, "This room is hideous! Who lives here? Cavemen?!" You ignore the fact that the previous owner has feelings and might be watching your careful evaluation of their beloved former home, and continue to remark how only the truly insane would consider painting a living room yellow.
  2. It is only natural when buying a house in the price range of $65,000 to expect a finished basement, granite countertops, all stainless steel appliances, real hardwood flooring, large/luxurious master bedroom, and a manservant who waits on you. Oh, and if the space is less than 2000 square feet, that obviously won't do, since you most definitely need some kind of spare bedroom for when your 30-something year old son or daughter moves back in with you, because they need a little bit of breathing room when it comes to their finances (aka they're in serious debt from all the chain smoking).
  3. Josh is gay. We realized this after seeing episode after episode (we have busy evenings, obviously) where the man would continually point out his need for a 'man cave.' What goes on or in a man cave, no one knows, but since Josh blatantly admitted to never needing this mysterious 'man cave,' we ultimately had to face the music that he is gay. He was sort of sad about it at first, but once I told him he no longer had to pretend to care about the NFL, he perked up.
  4. In order to appear on House Hunters, you must first prove to be completely ridiculous. You must say things like, "I've just outgrown this space" when living as a single person in a 2 bed 2 bath condo with 3000 square feet. Or you must complain that your current living situation does not allow for you to entertain dinner guests, and upon buying your new home, you prove to all of America that you are now able to entertain you and your one friend. Unfortunately, you come to realize that it wasn't the space that was keeping you from entertaining friends and family... it was just you and your lack-luster personality. But at least you have a large dining area now.
  5. Being one of the real estate agents on House Hunters is a lot like being cheerleader. When a client points out the carpet being eaten by weavel, you point out the great view of the backyard. When a client happens to notice there's a hole the size of a cannon ball in the ceiling, you call it a 'laundry shoot.' And when a client is able to remark on the blood splatteres and, "I'm coming back for you" smeared in blood on the wall, you call the former owners 'artists' or 'individualists.' You have to cheer for the good points, and ignore everything else.

Friday, June 5, 2009

30 weeks

You might be wondering why I'm posting a picture of me in my big blue scrubs, with my hair in a greasy bun, with a message, 'It's a boy!' tattooed across my baby bulge. I sort of am too. And I'm sort of wondering why I even have this picture, except that I'm not wondering because I really do know why I have this picture. A friend is throwing me a baby shower and decided it would be 'such a cute idea' to have a picture of me and all my big blue glory on the invitation. Only problem (besides it being an absolutely awful idea), is that she got this idea while I was working and needed to get the invitations out, according to her, "two weeks in advance!" Uh huh. So this is where I come in. She comes to my work unannounced, with a camera in hand, and pulls me outside, where she starts taking pictures. I might look pretty docile, but I was livid. And had she not be doing something very kind and generous for me in the first place, I might have screamed obscenities at her and run myself into oncoming traffic. But I didn't do either, and this is what the end result was. Luckily, she couldn't quite figure out how to get the picture on the invitation and it never worked out. Please sense my disappointment.

But in tribute to her efforts, and since everyone is practically salivating for a picture of the mongo woman (it's like one of those train wreck photos; moderately horrifying, but unable to look away), I am letting the world see me for what I am. A big, beautiful, blue-smurf woman. Josh is a lucky guy.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

A stranger's touch...

I keep meaning to take a picture of my hugeness, but I continually and conveniently forget how to download pictures. Today I am wearing a green shirt. Picture Chris Farley in a green shirt. There's your picture.

All my life I've heard of the great debacle of pregnant women and having strangers randomly touching their stomachs. Some women find it alarming and don't want anyone, not even loved ones, to do the belly rub. Others don't really mind, but find it uncomfortable having a strange woman lightly caressing their abdomen in the grocery store. I was always curious to see where I stood on the matter, being that A) I have absolutely no personal boundaries and would likely welcome the contact and B) I am naturally inclined to seek out praise. A belly pat might as well as be a pat on the back, as far as I'm concerned. "Yes, I am an inspiration to others." or "Why thank you, I do have an absolute glow of immortal beauty about me, don't I!" and even "Sometimes I do wonder what it's like to not be such a good mother, but then, that wouldn't be me..."

So the fact that not a single stranger has yet approached me or my belly, offends me. I've tried to erase the look of pure loathing from my face, so as to encourage those typical of belly-rubbing to feel comfortable in breaking the ice with me, but nothing! I've even tried the occasional smile every now and again. I'm not sure I have it quite down, since it usually looks more like I'm baring my teeth and less like I'm inviting them for a simple stomach stroke. Bottom line? If someone I don't know doesn't come up and ask me when I'm due, all the while hugging my belly, I'm pretty sure I'm going to have a meltdown. I can easily picture myself approaching random grandmas in the grocery store and accusing them of hating babies. I might even use foul words like, 'anti-babite' or 'heathen bigot' to get the message across. Either way, I'm pretty damn close to getting arrested for accosting old ladies for not worshiping my belly or even acknowledging my greatness in baby baking, and I might need to get bailed out of jail one of these days. Will you be the one to help, even with news headlines like, "Rabid Pregnant Woman Beats Granny in Albertson's" or "Large Woman Wearing Green Shirt Overreacts When Sales Clerk Does not Congratulate Her on Supposed Pregnancy!" I just want a little credit.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Ribs and a baby

Someone told me that keeping a blog is a lot like keeping a journal and since we're told we should keep a journal, I will make this post more a journal entry and less a narrative on the idiots around me. Just kidding. Ent is not an idiot.

Dear Journal,

The baby has taken to a new game of escape-o-baby. He does this by trying to crawl out my throat through my ribs (this tends to end when I shove my fist down on his little body, trying to force him out of there), or trying to push his way out through the right side (he favors the right side; I don't know what this means or if it is at all significant in any way... probably not, but you must document these kinds of things when you're writing in a journal. It's journal 101). That also ends with me trying to push him back to where he belongs -the center of my stomach -where I shouldn't feel every little arm or foot of his entire body. He really is trying to make a break for it, to which I remind him that should he come out now, he'll be sleeping in a drawer with absolutely nothing to wear (this might work with a girl baby, but since boys care very little or not at all about what they wear, he seems more determined than deterred). I'm not ready for him to come because I still haven't caught that new mom fever where I'm obsessed with bedding and blankets and breast pumps, so until then, he is to remain in his stomach prison where I will continue to watch him from the outside trying to get to the outside. I watch my stomach bulge and poke and I scold him for his disobedience, but applaud him for his sheer will. He really has almost escaped like twice. Josh gets mad at me for poking him back down, accusing me of hurting him. We're pretty sure he's going to come out lumpy from all the poking. We still love him.

Other things you should know but probably don't care about, journal, is that I had a mind-blowing breakthrough of self-discovery. Josh and I were at Target registering (worst experience of my life) for the convict baby (he seriously just kicked me hard when I typed that. I think he already resents me... he shouldn't resent me until he's at least 16 years old), when this self-discovery happened.

The kiosk machine thing wasn't working and the girl at the front was trying to figure it out. When I say she was trying to figure it out, she was doing things like looking at it from 10 yards away and explaining to us that sometimes the kiosk was "just so dang persnickety." I honestly sat there starring at her, trying to look as menacing as possible (a 300 lb pregnant chic can manage that look pretty well), so she would stop saying 'persnickety' and start doing something about the kiosk failing. Josh was all roses as he smiled and joked with her, telling her we were in no rush. It was sickening, and it only made me more determined to make every employee at Target sorry they ever decided to don a red shirt and become an employee at Target. Whether or not we were in a rush, I was trying not to rush and punch her in the face for saying 'persnickety' like 12 times. That's when it came to me. We're one of those couples. I'm that biotchy woman and Josh is that overly nice guy. The girl always looks like she ate something fowl and the guy just seems overjoyed that nothing ever seems to work. You always wonder if she takes off her human mask when they're at home and transforms back into the demon she really is. Meanwhile you could tell the guy that his car just rolled over by a monster truck and his home was just seen burning to ashes, and he'd say something like, "Ho hum! Isn't that something!"

This realization has been very liberating and I'm glad I finally recognize what I really am. I'm a demon and Josh is a ho hummer. Very liberating indeed, since it explains everything. Everything.

So that's about it, journal. The baby is currently using my rib cage as a stepping stool and I need to take care of that pronto. It's amazing that he never gives up.


Saturday, May 9, 2009

Ent and me

I'm hungry. I'm always hungry.

In other exciting news, I'd like to give an update on the most exciting aspect in my life right now. It's my tomato plant. I realize I've never actually mentioned him (it's a boy; everything in my life is male right now...), so this isn't so much an update as it is breaking news, but whatever. I like 'update' better.

I'll cut right to the chase. My tomato plant, currently named Ent, after the Lord of the Ring tree shepherds, is causing quite the controversy throughout the ladies in my church. To put it plainly, there are tomato experts with a thorough understanding of proper tomato plant rearing throughout the county, and not a single one has a tomato plant as large, as prosperous, or with as many fruit as mine has. He is actually flourishing under my black thumb and has even brought spectators to their knees in awe. He is that amazing. He is bushier than most, leafier than most, fiercer than most, and even braver than most. We have a problem with bunnies here but not a single bunny has dared partake of this plant's forbidden fruit. They fear him, I'm sure, as we all do just a little bit.

The jealousy that has been the result of his success has not gone unnoticed, however. I often have to keep an eye on resentful neighbors, just to ensure that they don't try to poison him. I doubt that would effect him too much, being that he is as sturdy as a full-grown oak tree, but I still wouldn't like to see any part of him suffer. He might lose a leaf or something.

I imagine his rapid and triumphant growth is largely due to my constant love and attention. No other living plant has ever experienced so much thought and adoration. I tell him daily that I love him. I greet him morning and night, as I go to and from work. I touch his leaves and branches lovingly, and talk to him in an adult fashion (none of that baby talk for him, he's too much of a man to tolerate that). Basically, I've found the secret to gardening and I'm going to share the steps to that secret.
  1. Buy plant and let him/her know their potential. I told my tomato guy that I would be counting on him for the summer's grocery list. He needed to provide me with enough tomatoes to be able to only eat tomatoes for the rest of the summer and never have to buy another item of food until his slow decay in winter. He understood and was never confused at what I expected from him. **See notes below**
  2. Steal potting soil from neighbor.
  3. Put plant in ground and cover the roots with stolen potting soil.
  4. Water infrequently; this keeps the plant guessing and so he gets stronger by storing up nutrients, unsure when his next meal is coming. This also gives him 'grit.'
  5. Shower him with love and force random visitors to come and admire him. This gives him confidence. He not only recognizes his potential and your expectations, but he is aware how proud you are. This gives him an ego, and kind of a cocky 'tude that helps keep bugs, bunnies, and small children away.
  6. Watch him/her blossom like a weed.
**If your plant is a female rather than male, the entire approach will be much different. There will be more encouraging and less tough love, being that girl plants do not respond well to that kind of motivation. They need more hand-holding and self-esteem boosting. If possible, tell the girl plants how pretty she is, how skinny she is, and how she makes $2 tomato cage look like a $2,000 tomato cage. She will appreciate it and shyly grow big and strong for you.**

If this doesn't work for you, than you're an even worse gardener than myself. You might only need practice so you might consider having a child before you take on the full responsibility of a tomato plant. If that doesn't take (your child didn't turn out like you had wanted and ended up pooping or peeing on something other than their diaper), you might need to face the music. Living things and you are not meant to coexist. Try buying a nice bouquet of silk flowers and call it good.

Friday, May 1, 2009


Before I post these pictures of Hawaii, let me just make clear that I am huge, and I'm aware that I'm huge. Feel free to drop your mouth in shock, point fingers, and spread images of my fat body all over the internet (I flatter myself in thinking that people care about my weight gains). I'm not afraid. I've come to face the facts that I will never be one of those pregnant women I see who look like they just stuffed a cantaloupe under their shirt and not in their thighs, neck, and face. Nope. I will be a swollen, puffed-up, and considerable mass. So enjoy my humiliation.

I guess I should kind of give a recap of the whole trip. Josh and I went to Maui with my brother Clark, and his girlfriend, Ashley, and stayed in my parent's condo there. It was really fun even though Ashley is skinny and I mostly hate skinny people, but I forgave her after she took on the role of chef for the week. We went snorkling and sea kayaking the first day, with a barbacue that night for dinner. Next day we went on a snorkling boat trip, and went to dinner that night at a fish restaurant, followed up by walking down Front Street and seeing the Banyon tree. The next day we went to a different bay and just hung out on the beach, with snorkling, of course. The following day we went up to the volcano, and Josh and I hiked down while Ash and Clark hiked up (now who's the smart people in this case...). The next day we went swimming on the beach and worked on not dying in the ocean. This is a brief summary to which you undoubtedly do not care, but to save myself from ever having to tell anyone what we did in Hawaii, there's the general gist of it. Now if only everyone I ever talked to read my blog...

Pic 1: Me doing the pregnant pose where you try and give everyone a shot of your big belly. I'm 6 months along. This is right after we got back from the luau that everyone said they would never want to see again.Pic 2: We went on a snorkling trip on a boat tour thing. It just happened to be the day that was windy and cold. We saw dolphins, whales, turtles, a manta ray and lots of other wonderful ocean things. We had to wear wet suits though, to get in the water. I can't figure out if I look more like a boy, or a manta ray.

Pic 3: This pretty much sums up every night for us. We would play hours upon hours of pitch, an old Asay card game. I'm pretty sure Josh and I only won one game out of the thousands we played and I'm pretty sure both Josh and I wanted to punch Ashley in the face. She just took so much pleasure in every win. It was sickening.

Pic 4: This was right before we went to dinner on Front Street (if you've been to Maui, you know where Front Street is).
Pic 5: This night, the Clark and Josh threw a football on the beach. They were thinking they were pretty manly, while others were probably wondering the 30-year old dudes were pretending to be 16.
Pic 6: This was at a fish restaurant we went to one night. Romance was in the air, especially when we asked our waiter (because he looked Hawaiian), how to best treat reef rash.
Pic 7: And the humiliation really starts. This was the first day we went snorkling and sea kayaking. That day was actually the best day of snorkling we had. It was pretty amazing, as is my maternity swimsuit.

Pic 8: This is all of us on the snorling boat when it was cold. Yup. We're kind of like the buttercream gang.

Pic 9: Another picture of me after the luau. Why is it in here? Probably because I think that lai head thing is amazing.
Pic 10: One day we went to Naapali Bay (?) and walked along the rocky coast, snorkled in the bay, and just sat on the beach. We love to smooch because we're so in love.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Leg cramps?

I just want to mention/gloat that I will be in Hawaii this week, and will return when life here is better than life there (aka 'never').

I also want to report that I am receiving a high number of charlie horses (leg cramps for those of you who are stupid) throughout the nights. A stranger thing I cannot imagine.

Last night's charlie was especially bad. It started with Josh being woken up by a puppy, whining sound around 3:00 in the morning. Confused and concerned, he tried to locate the source of the noise, until he realized it was me. He started asking me repeatedly if I was okay, to which I responded with only more whimpers and whines. The whimpers started to increase in volume, until I finally started screaming out, "It hurts! It hurts! Oh, it hurts!" (the details are hazy to me, since I was half-awake and half-deluded by sheer pain). To this I dramatically finished off by leaping out of bed and falling instead, due to being completely crippled by the magnitude of pain I was experiencing. I started rolling around on the ground, grabbed my mid-section and picked up where I left off with shrieks of, "It hurts! It hurts! Oh, it hurts!" (I'm only slightly dramatic; I attribute it to the fact that my mother was a drama major in college). Josh was half-shrieking himself, fully convinced that I was going into labor. "Courtney! What's happening?! Are you okay? Courtney!!!" Yeah, we're just the kind of people you want in an emergency. Anyway, I finally was coherent enough to tell him that I was having a charlie horse, to which he stopped being concerned and started laughing uncontrollably. I stumbled back to bed and tried to explain the magnitude of the pain, but he couldn't hear me. He was choke/sobbing on his own laughter.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Joy

Recognize the woman I'm standing next to? Me either.

How about now?

So last Saturday, Josh and I went to a soccer tennis tournament (looked so freaking fun, by the way), where CALLE had a booth. Travis was there with his friend, and we were just talking and hanging out. Well, Jaime, the guy in charge of the whole thing walks over and tells us that Joy Fawcett, "The most decorated female soccer player in the world" is here. Travis replies, "That's great, because Courtney here is her biggest fan!" After Jaime left we laughed for a second, Jaime not realizing that I wouldn't be able to pick out Joy Fawcett from Kobe Bryant (yes, I'm aware Kobe is black and Joy is, well... not). So later that day, Travis left to take his friend home and Josh and I are still just at the booth selling and talking to people. We see Jaime walking toward us towing some woman with her kid. I thought nothing of it, until the words, "Joy, this is Courtney. She's your biggest fan! She would love to meet you!" were uttered. I sat there for a split second, mortified. Really? I knew absolutely nothing about her except that she played for the National Team for some years back. For all I knew, she still played for the US National Team. Anyway, I sort of just laughed and said something awkward like, "Yup. Your biggest fan. I'm a die-hard." She looked vaguely uncomfortable but not nearly as uncomfortable as I felt. So I walked over and proceeded to make 30 minutes of small talk with her. Honestly. 30 minutes. Eventually, she asked if I wanted a picture to which I replied, 'No. Too fat. Don't want to take pictures in the current condition I'm in." She waved away my reserves, obviously just a nervous fan's ramblings, and I took the picture with her and her youngest daugher. So there it is. Me and Joy. Joy and I. We're tight.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Having a boy...

We found out a week ago, but I'll make the formal announcement that we will be having a boy. Oh, and my due date is August 11.I was about 99.9% sure that it was a girl (don't ask my why I thought I knew... I have no instincts whatsoever), but there was no doubting the ultrasound. The doctor got right to it, showed us the monitor and asked, "What do you see?" I shook my head in disbelief, and responded, "Junk. I see junk." Then I looked over at Josh, who had some kind of smirk plastered on his face. I wasn't quite sure what to make of it, but asked later when we left the office what his grin was all about. He nonchalantly replied, "Oh nothing. Just that there was a lot of junk. Our boy has a lot of junk." Uh huh. I'm sure.

Monday, March 23, 2009


So the wait is over. Here are my pictures from Argentina. This will be my narrative, and no, the pictures are not in chronological order.

Pic 1: This is a shot of Buenos Aires, a couple streets away from where my parents live. My parents live in the 'Hollywood' of Buenos Aires, and although they live in a good place, I wouldn't quite compare it to Hollywood.

Pic 2:
This is a picture of when Meg, me, and my mom went to lunch with some of the sister missionaries on their P Day. I kept telling them that they were unusually normal, not like the horror stories I've heard of sister missionaries. I think they might have been offended.

Pic 3: My dad and I both love these guys. These guys travel all over picking up cardboard or anything else they can possibly recycle for money. The horses are dirty, but lovable nonetheless. My mom's goal is to give one of the horses a carrot. I somehow think the driver wouldn't appreciate it. "Get that fluffy-haired blond lady away from my horse, please"
Pic 4: This photo was taken at La Boca (a seriously cute place with colored houses). The guy in the photo is obviously Diego Maradona, the infamous Argentinian soccer player.
Pic 5: This is the fluffy-haired mom that I love. She is posing outside of one of the side streets in La Boca. Meg and I both really liked La Boca because they love tourists and are exceptionally friendly, unlike most of the other Argentinians.

Pic 6: This is my mom, Sister Kathy Fitch, Meg and me at a restaurant. We watched Tango dancers as we ate. It hasn't arrived yet, but my mom and Kathy made the mistake of ordering the barbecue plate. It came with all sorts of mystery meats.

Pic 7: These are Gaucho dancers at La Boca. They were way better than the Tango dancers. They do a lot of stomping and I'm pretty sure one of them was gay.
Pic 8: This is on the day we left. Meg was 'helping' with transfers. Meg and I kept trying to get dad to send elders that bugged us home, but he said it didn't work like that. Too bad.
Pic 9: You can't see very well, but there are bottles on top of cars. That's how you know they're for sell. Seriously. Even at dealerships. They put bottles on top of cars, people!!
Pic 10: We went to the coast on the weekend we got there and stayed in this really cute hotel. They had one king bed and one baby tiny bed. Meg slept in the tiny bed. Surprised?
Pic 11: I love my mom. This is us at the coast in a city I can't remember the name of. There were jellyfish all over the shore. Gross.
Pic 12: Meg and I at the coast. We're so dang hot and identical. We look alike, yes?

Pic 13: The whole reason for the trip was to see these people. It was so fun just to spend time with them and see that they're still the same people. My dad still says 'Vicky!' in that exasperated tone and my mom still does weird dance moves. Oddly reassuring.

Pic 14: This was the day they picked us up and took us all over Argentina. We're tired and disgusting but we're happy to see 'em.
Pic 15: This really is quite amazing. My picture doesn't do it justice, but this is a picture of the villas that exist there, basically, the slums. People just put together cardboard, wood, and whatever and built these little shack homes. My dad says that in spite of having no running water and hardly anything else, nearly every single home will have both a dog and a tv. They pirate the electricity.

Some highlights not found in the pictures:
  • Taking the color code test and finding out that I have absolutely no ambition in life.
  • Going and getting ice cream with my mom and Meg and Meg telling me that I'm "absolutely worthless" to have around. She got mad because I was nervous to use my spanish at first. It still makes me laugh, though.
  • Sitting around at night and reminicising with my parents until late.
  • Meg and I trying to capture pictures of children in their school uniforms. Their uniforms were labcoats, which they looked ridiculously cute as mad scientists.
  • Having Meg complain that every single person in Argentina was staring at us.
  • Pointing out which missionaries were 'bad' missionaries, based on their profile picture hanging in my dad's office.
  • Teaching and then demolishing Meghan in chess.
  • Watching that lame missionary movie with my mom and Meg and my mom sprinting back and forth to kneed the dough.
  • Discussing in length how absolutely bizarre our family is and where this stems from.
I love my parents and am so glad I had the opportunity to go and see them. Thanks, Meg, for inviting me to go with you! I loved the adventure and am so grateful for what my parents are doing. They work so hard and we're so blessed because of it.