It’s crazy how the time flies by… So being the super cool mom that I am I decided to throw him a Twilight Party.
Now when most people think of a 9 year olds birthday party, they don’t think of Twilight.
BUT, Damon is a huge fan of the books. He is currently reading, yes reading, the series. I myself and not so into it, but figured I could manage the theme.
I went and bought candles, and Twilight stuff, and decoration… and the fun began. We were very happy that his cousins and Aunt Jody could come along.
We ate spaghetti and “blood sauce” by only candle light! Scott made a blood cake (red velvet, it was SUPER red!) and frosted it with black frosting into an eclipse, and we played a fun game where blind folder kids had to touch “organs” and guess what the food was.
But the best part was the bobbing for apple slices. Yes, slices. Originally it was going to be “Bob for Grapes”, but as we soon discovered…. Grapes don’t float. So well, we bobbed for apple slices. Now I myself have never bobbed for anything so I figured I would give it a go, and I didn’t do half bad!
But the whole night was just AWESOME! So thanks to the kids and Jody cause it really was merrier with more.
It's amazing how much thinner one can look if they are tan. A nice golden toned body instantly looks 5 pounds lighter, and looks much better then "pasty".
I myself am "pasty".
At least I have been for the last 5 years or so. I used to tan a lot when I lived by beach. I lived a mere 15 minutes from it!
(Oh how I miss that ocean air)
But about 9 years ago after my son was born, I went to go see; who my family referred to as, Uncle Bob. He was a dermatologist. My dad had skin cancer and I had some funny lookin stuff going on so they removed a bunch and did a biopsy. Didn't really give it a 2nd thought until a few weeks later I got a call from his office. The results came back abnormal. There was cancer cells in the skin they had taken. So I went back and more stuff was taken off. Since then I have taken a tone of ghostly white.
BUT... I decided that this year I was going to tan again. I really missed it, and I used to "fake 'n bake" with the chemicals but it's not cheap, you smell funny for a whole day, and it comes off in patches.
But I'm not frying myself. I know how to build a good base tan. And I never go out longer then 30 minutes. And I am soooo pleased with the results.Not to mention the extra vitamin D is a great mood booster.
So the other day I head out sporting the bikini and my book, and there is a wasp in the grass!
No big deal. I get hose and shew him off.
About 10 minutes later, he comes back. I jump up (I knew you should move slow, but I was terrified) and get the hose and once again he takes off.
But then he comes back again! He really likes a certain spot in our grass.
I decide to give it up, and pack it in and head inside. I can wait until tomorrow.
Well tomorrow comes and I head out, and my little "friend" is out there again! Same spot. He gets hosed away, and comes back. Over and over and over we do this dance.
Heart racing, I spray and run.
Spray and run, spray and run, and again. It's like 105 outside, and I'm in a bikini sweating my toosh off. I can only imagine what the 2 story neighbors behind us must have thought. I'm sure they got a good laugh.
I apparently have nothing better to do because I head inside and do some wasp watching. For like an hour I stare out my window. He comes to the spot, does his thing and leaves. Then does it again.
By now I'm growing more and more frustrated. If you have ever been building a base tan, you know it's important to go out a little each day. And this would be day 2 of no sun!
A little later I go out and there is no sign of him. So I went to the spot to check if he was building a nest. No nest. And no other wasps, just the one. Just when I think it's safe, he's back!!!!
So today... day 3. I'm mad.
Really mad. Sure enough the little *bleep* is out there again. He is getting crafty though. He knows me now... and he heads for me a few times and I water him. He can't get me though, Not with my protective water stream!
Then I remember the bug spray we have. It has a nozzle that shoots far away!
So I wait...
he knows I have something. Finally he comes back. Heart pounding I run to the edge of the patio and fire!
I try again!
Crap. I'm out of ammo. Gotta pump the thing again.
A few minutes later he comes back and I try again. A hit!
At least I think...
He flies away and I wait.
I think I have won! So a few hours later I grab my gear and head out. There has been no sign of him all this time.
Sure enough, I lay out the towel, get the hat adjusted, set the timer, and "Bzzzzzzzzzz".
That little ***bleep**** ***bleep**** ****bleep**** is back!!!!
Oh it's ON!!!!!
It's on like donkey Kong little man!
This means WAR!!!
I'm gonna kill your buzzing behind if it's the last thing I do!!! I hope I nail your "butt" with spray, and I can laugh as I watch you twitching in the hot summer sun
I headed to home depot tonight and stocked up on artillery. So tomorrow...we shall see who will be the victor. Oh yes! We shall see.............................
(Man it seems every time I update this darn thing a few weeks go by and I'm behind again.)
You see, people can call me a lot of things. But a hypocrite, NEVER. Well at least it used to be that way.
I was one of those people that cringed when I saw 3 year olds in the store walking around with a freakin' pacifier. I would think, "how on earth can you let your child keep it that long?!?!"
*On a side note.. Abby does not walk around with her binky. It stays in her bed ONLY.
So Abby is coming up on her 2nd birthday. And I realized that the time had come to ditch the binky. I was prepared... I knew there would be days of crying, and fits, and no sleep.
I knew it was coming!
So there I am Friday afternoon and snipping the tips of all (but 2, thank GOODNESS) the binkys. When bedtime comes around, we anxiously pass Abby the binky.
She looks at it....
she tries it, then looks at it somemore... and hands it back.
she looks at me
"It must be too small for you now. You are such a big girl! Binkys are for babies and you are big! Tell you what, you can still take them to bed you."
Now keep in mind, this child did not have a nap so she is VERY tired. She cried for about 15 minutes and passed out.
SUCCESS!!!! I won the battle!
But not the war.
We kept very busy that weekend and there were really no naps, so bedtime really wasn't all that bad.
But then Monday happened....
Abby screamed for 4 hours in her bed. Not "for" the binky, but because she couldn't sleep.
4 hours! I didn't know what to do. I WAS NOT GIVING IN.
And I didn't want to take her out and give her the message "cry long enough, and you'll get your way", I waited it out. Finally, she fell asleep. The problem is...
she did this EVERY DAY!!!
We were now in week 2 binky free and this poor child screams for most of the day. Plus she has been putting things in her mouth, Scott's phone now has permanent Abby imprints. Needless to say, by the end of week 1, she wasn't the only one crying. One day Scott came home early to help me out.
I was loosin' it.
So today, after Abby was in hour 3 of crying, I caved.
She got her beloved binky. And all was right with world again and that girl PASSED OUT in less then 3 minutes.
I guess she will have it 'til she's 90. And I'll be fine with it.
I will say however, that when she was 9 months old I won the war when it came to bottles vs sippy cups.
Ok, so at first I was a little weird about posting a blog entry just braggin' about my kid. But then I was like "HELLO", that's what parents do!
I mean really... why do we push so hard for our children to become doctors or lawyers and the like? So we can say, "my daughter is totally a LAWYER. Yeah, that's right. She makes loads of money, and I think she even helped your kid get out of jail once!"
Ok not really.
But I digress. I love little Abby and I am so proud of her, I'm braggin' on my blog!
Now keep in mind, she is still learning how to talk. So she can't enunciate all of them perfectly.
So when she was itty bitty, we started her on the "Your child can read" thing. She LOVED it. But with the stress of buying the new house it was pushed aside and she stopped watching because there was just no time. But we started it back up when she was about 12 months old.
Whether that helped or not, I dunno. Because you see, they teach reading by simple phonetics. So your child could read an entire novel and still not know the alphabet. So that's why I wonder.
But I will say... she is OBSESSED with Elmo and Sesame Street. Her whole freakin' world is Elmo. I'm not a huge TV person, and I know it's bad to let your kids watch a lot but she watches it over and over again. (Thanks TIVO.)
So one day in the bath, she said a few letters with her foam alphabet. We weren't really paying attention until we noticed that she was getting them right! So a little later I busted out some flash cards and started working with her. She learned about 4 letters per day.
Elmo also got her going with numbers. She can recognize 5,3,7 and 2.
We also do colors and shapes and such.
But isn't that SUPER?!?! My little genius!
Riddle me this...
How is it that the company you work for punishes you for being a great employee?
Allow me to explain.
My husband works for a company, obviously. And the company on a whole is fantastic! Good pay, good benefits, etc... But his department is a little, well, different.
You see each week they have what they call "goal". It's not a commission, but a point system in place to which you can determine what you can get on your bonus paychecks. Now first off, they call it a "bonus", but basically if you don't make this "bonus", you're fired. And now any points that you make over the goal is just more money in your pocket.
Now this "goal" is not easily achieved. you have to really work hard day in and day out to make it. Almost everyone reaches the goal, but some don't, and some go over. But you see, my husband is a super star! He is very good at what he does, and he works really hard. He will go in early, or stay late in order to make OVER the goal so that I can stay home with our kids.
(Thank you honey!!)
Sometimes he would go WAY over, and it was super! But on a whole, we know about how much he will be getting each bonus with the extra points.
But awhile ago, they sort of figured something out.
They noticed that he (and a few others) were able to go over the goal. So what did they do? They sent out a mass email (an EMAIL!!) informing people that the new "goal" was now being increased. And when people complained, they explained that they now know how many points are POSSIBLE. Now granted they did increase the bonus, BY $50!!! which is nothing compared to what the extra points would have done.
But whatever... grin and bear it right?
So what did my super star of a husband do?
He worked even HARDER!!! He was going in at like 4:30 am sometimes, just to make OVER what he used to make before in order to keep the bonus the same.
And a few weeks ago just GUESS WHAT HAPPENED...
Another freakin' email was sent out informing people that once again the goal was made higher. But the bonus was THE SAME!. Based on the same logic as before. So Scott emailed his superiors pleading with them on behalf of his coworkers and himself explaining that this new goal won't be achievable for others, and in order for him to make the same amount he has to work even more now! But it fell on deaf ears.
Unfortunately this new goal is just to high. it is almost twice what it was when he started. If he goes in early every day and works non-stop, he will just be able to make the 100%.
But "THE MAN" is happy.
They now have an overworked department whose revenue is way up, moral is way down, and the customers are unhappy because people are rushing through the work too fast to make points. So things are getting slapped together. So much so that they had to hire people and make his team answer the volume of calls coming in.
And to put a little salt on the wound, they informed us yesterday that they are now going to take a standard supplemental percentage tax rate of 25% out of each bonus check. Which, with our income bracket and me not working, is WAY more then what we would normally contribute to taxes on our bonus checks. So we are facing MAJOR income changes.
Granted we will get the money back next year, but the government is getting an intrest free loan from us that we don't want to lend.
Mother's day was awesome this year! It rocked like a boat at sea!
I got gifts, which are ALWAYS cool! One was:
A DVD of one of the funniest movies EVER...
(2 thumbs up from me)
And a new faucet for the sink!
I know it sounds odd, but my husband knows me...
Followed by breakfast, Scott doing the dishes, a call from my son (who mainly wanted to know his Facebook password I won't give him), church, and then dinner at the in-laws!
SUPER DAY!!! I still did some cleaning, but only because I love it so much.
I tried to call my step mom, but left a message. And then I talked to my mom for like almost an hour.
And apparently I am like the BEST MOM IN THE WHOLE WORLD!!!!
My kids and husband said so!!!
So there I sit one day, just hanging around and checking my email and I notice the subject line of one of them. It states something about the cost of meat, and I notice it's from our ward emergency preparedness person.
(Is that an actual tittle?!? Moving on...)
"Hmm.." I think to my self.
The email goes on to state that apparently the meat people (call them whatever. You could say farmer, but we all know there isn't much farming going on. It's more like a genetics lab) are reducing their livestock to all time lows because of the increase in the cost of ethanol (corn).
It continues to point out that for the next few months or so, the prices of meat are going to skyrocket. And with grilling time around the corner and the high demand, you get the point. And I LOVE me some BBQ!
"Hey honey?" I yell
"Come check out this email"
So there sit Scott and I reading about this new "disaster" that will be quickly approaching. I go out to the garage and take a look at our stock pile.
"Oh no", Shaking my head. "This simply will not do!"
I then proceed to look up the local store ads to see what is on sale.
Now I am forever picky about the meat I buy. I am a health nut and so any hamburger I buy must be the ULTRA lean stuff! The 97% lean. And the chicken I buy must be boneless, skinless breasts, and so on.
But the meat gods were smiling upon me this day, and there were some AMAZING deals afoot!
97% lean hamburger a mere $1.88 a lb. and the chicken breast were only $1.77 a lb.
So off to the store I go.
Away to all of them I dashed! And when I returned home to my man I was bearing over 60 pounds of flesh! Muahahaha! *said with an evil tone
No but really, I scored!
How much did I spend? $140!!!
(each bag has about 3 large breasts)
And I got just about everything we eat. Salmon, turkey sausage, pork, chicken, hamburger meat, steak meat....
So there we are again, staring. Staring at all the bags of meat strewn about the kitchen island.
"So now what?" Scott asks.
"Well," I reply. "Now we prep it and freeze it!"
About 3 hour later, all the chicken is washed, trimmed, portioned and bagged. All the hamburger is divided and bagged, the freezer was filled, and my Saturday was gone....
Um, maybe it's just me but has anyone else's "New Post" area been changed? You know, where you go to start writing a new blog entry. Well my post editor has, and I hate it!!!
I used to be able to select multiple images and start inserting them and continute to work on the post. But now I have to insert one at a time and I am stuck on the uploading screen. It won't let me go back to the old window.
(Now first of all I would like to point out; No she doesn't go to bed like that, it's a loose headband and if she moves her head it just falls, and yes she can spit it out anytime. I have to mention that because you just KNOW someone will say something, lol)
You see... my daughter like to play what I call "The Binky Game".
I HATE this game, because she always wins. As you all know, Savanna likes to cry, A LOT. And she loves her binky. The problem is that when she gets the least bit relaxed, well, the binky falls out. And now after she begins to realize that her beloved treasure is gone, she will pick up right where she left off with the screaming. So of course we stop what we are doing and replace the binky.
Now here is the kicker,
you can stand there...
you can wait all day and watch over her and she will be nice and peaceful, and that binky will stay put.
as soon as you leave and start something,
IT FALLS OUT!
Now it doesn't happen when you walk away, or when you even leave the room, it happens RIGHT at the moment when you think you are in the clear and so you start something.
Whether it be cleaning, a shower, falling asleep... that darn binky waits, and falls out at the worst possible time.
So one day out of frustration I find a headband I can't use because it's too big and came up with the what I call "The Binky Binder!"
And it freakin' worked like a CHARM!
Now don't get me started on the things we have tried to think up for hands-less feeding!
Oh and PS:
Thanks Tammy for the advice on the gripe water.
And thank you Jody for hooking us up with some!
We have used it twice and the results are inconclusive. First time it didn't do NOTHIN'.
But the second time.. I don't know if it was the water or what but like 5 minutes later she totally stopped screaming and fells asleep!!!
We will just have to try it again.
Well first of all... A big shout out to my mother in-law! She made a BEAUTIFUL dress for the wonderful occasion and completed it with a white onsie and some cute white slippers ! Thank you so much. (Savanna wouldn't let us take many pictures)
But YES! My little girl was blessed this last Sunday. She looked so pretty and just slept through the whole thing. I'm not really sure if this is like a "big" thing in the church or not, but I grew up catholic and so I liken it to when a baby is baptized so I was excited.
Now poor Miss Abby. We never really got to do a blessing with her. Oops! But at church awhile back there was a blessing for an older child and so I'm thinking we aren't too late. One day... it will be done.
Once I get a nice picture of her dress, I'll post it.
Baby colic (also known as infant colic, three-month colic, infantile colic and colic) is a condition in which an otherwise healthy baby cries or screams frequently and for extended periods without any discernible reason.
In other words... they have no idea what is wrong with your baby. And unfortunately, my child has it. Now I would consider myself a patient person. Well actually no, that's not true. I tend to want things now. Like I can never order online because if I buy something, I hate waiting for it to ship. BUT, when it comes to my kids I can be very reasonable. BUT (...again) I AM STARTING TO LOSE IT!!!! Last night from about 6pm-1am I held a screaming, kicking, inconsolable infant. And this isn't the first time. I think sometime between 12 and 1 I started crying to. Needless to say, I have had a very short temper today. I am dreading tonight. Like, really dreading it. What do you do with a baby that does nothing but cry? I feel so bad because I don't want to be around her... Every time she starts to wake up from a nap (when we can get her to sleep) I just think "Oh no, here we go". Isn't that terrible? Lucky for her, she is very cute. So those are some bonus points for her. I don't know if I could handle all the crying if she weren't so cute, LOL.
But I do have some good news!
My house is clean!
I worked very hard this week and I got our room, living room, and kitchen dusted and today I cleaned the bathrooms! spic n' span! I feel great! I love to clean.
It was kinda hard because Savanna was crying, but Scott jumped in and knew I needed to get the cleaning done or I would be grouchy all day. So it got done and I am one happy camper!
Now if the house would just stay clean ya know?
But other then that, not much else going on. I have so many pictures from Easter that I need to put on here and I just haven't had the time to plug in my camera and deal with them yet. We still have no pictures in the house of Savanna, ha. I have like 200 pictures I need to get printed. Maybe if we have another rainy day...
Oh, on a side note. Know what Abby and I did yesterday? We FLEW A KITE! How cool is that? I haven't done that in like, FOREVER!
Man, my house is so darn dusty and gross and it's freaking me out! I hate dust, And there is just an endless supply of it here! I'm not quite sure if there is just more of it here in AZ or if I just notice it more. I remember one afternoon, I decided that I was going to clean the living room. The way I clean takes me awhile because I get EVERY little nook and cranny, and if I don't have time for that I just don't bother. I can never half fast a cleaning job.
So anyway... I started with the computer desk. A few hours later I made my way around the living room, did windows, did the molding on the floors, and so on... I kid you not that by the time I had worked my way back around to the computer desk IT WAS DUSTY AGAIN! I just stood there with my jaw dropped looking at the dust. I mean, it wasn't just a few specks, it was straight up DUSTY! I know what you thinking, and I never use a feather duster or a dry rag, I go through a pile of dampened rags so that I don't just spread the dust around. But even if it just returns, I like to know that my house has been dusted. And I just don't have the time! I have wanting to come on here and blog a little, or even check my email and this is the first time I have been able to sit at a computer since my last blog. And even now Abby is whining in the background.
There have been days where I am seriously too busy to pee!
No joke! And it happens a lot. I'll have to go and then someone will start crying, or need to be changed, or something! Yest. it was like 8 pm and Abby was just put in bed and Savanna was just fed and it hit me "man, I've had to pee for like 2 hours!" BUT... I totally love having both of them! I mean, LOVE IT! They are so cute in their own little ways. Abby makes me laugh. Not like a, "oh, how cute" kinda laugh. I mean she can get me to crack up! I definitely have my little quirks, and so I'm kinda weird in my own way, and I am so glad that she is picking them up. I have been know to just bust out dancing. Like full on dancing, to no music, just for fun. I do silly voices, I'll do impressions, just thing out of routine. ya know? So many of my friends have called me weird, but said that's what they love about me. I actually have mellowed out a litlet since "growing up". I used to be way out there. (Unless I'm intimidated by someone, I usually say what I'm thinking. I know now that is the reason I have a hard time making friends at church. I feel like I have to be on guard. I have to "test the waters" and see just how much of a sense of humor someone has. I always enjoy a funny dirty joke, but others may not like the humor!)
I lost my train of thought..
Oh yeah! I love my kids... They are super and awesome and the best in world! Unless you are reading this and have kids... then, yours are the best in the world.
Are you still reading this?!?! You are a trooper! I would have stopped long ago. Give me enough time, and I start to ramble. But hey thanks for checking out the post and hanging in there till the end while I went off on my little tangent . Crap, both kids are waking up...
So I know it's been like... awhile since I last posted, but I totally have an excuse, I had the baby!!! (For those of you that don't know)
Life as I knew it, has drastically changed. What a reality check, LOL! I knew 2 would be different, but I had NO IDEA. But I love it!
SAVANNA LYNN WILLIAMS was born March 4, 2010 at 3:35 am. (A little tired?)
I am sooo glad to not be pregnant anymore, I feel like a million bucks! Super easy labor and delivery. I literally pushed for a whopping 15 seconds! I couldn't feel a thing. As soon as the legs got some feeling back I was scootin' around. Scott laughed at me because as soon as I could walk I started cleaning or organizing our hospital room. For those that don't know me, I am really anal about cleaning. I just can't have clutter or messes, just can't have 'em.
Am I a germ freak? Oddly no.
If something drops on the ground, I have no problem with the 5 second rule. I just have to have my "things" in order.
Anywayz, so the next weekend my niece was getting baptized and there was a lot going on and poor baby Savanna got really sick! Started to get a nice fever. So 1 trip to the urgent care, and a blessing at midnight later (Thanks Robert for the help)... she started to get better. But as a result, she got the runs. Which led to a WICKED diaper rash. I had no idea diaper rashes could be like that. She had open sores, and they would bleed. This poor kid has had a rough life so far!!! But she was switched to soy, and is getting better.
Now Abby... oh Abby...
That little girl was PISSED that she was left for 3 days without us and then we came back with a new baby. My sweet little girl was lost for a few days. She definitely, shall we say, "acted out". I was so upset and crying, and feared that this was the new Abby. BUT, she came around! And now she is so cute with Savanna. She is always bringing her stuff. When Savanna crys, she brings her blankets, sippy cups, binkys.... you name it. (Savanna was fussy, and Abby tried to help. Ha!)
At first she wanted to help a little too much! So we got her a "baby". So for a few days, whatever we did with Savanna, she did with her baby!
So for right now, we are getting things back to normal. I am so glad Scott can work from home for awhile. days are FLYING by! There are not enough hours in the day. And I am slowly getting used to the fact that my house isn't spotless. But as soon as a routine is established I will start my cleaning schedule again ;)
So that's been life. And it is now almost 1 AM and I am not sleeping! I should probably fix that ZZZZzzzzzz...........................
Man oh man, what a crazy last few weeks. With prepping for court, getting the new baby's room ready and actually going to court (in California I might add), it's been NUTS! So this post might cover a lot.
We got some sad news this weekend.
My son informed us that he doesn't want to be over here. At least not as often. So after a long talk we all decided that we would cut the visits in half :( And I can't say that I blame him. You see, he gets away with a lot more at his dad's house. And so our place has become somewhat of a drag. At his dad's he can play video games all day (rated M games), stay up all night, watch bad TV shows, and he doesn't have to go to church. One Saturday morning at 11 I called him... and was informed that he had JUST woken up. What?!?!? At 11? It was then explained to me that he was up until 1 am because over there he can sleep in front of the TV in the living room on weekends and watch all kinds of late night TV. Well isn't that just super.... We aren't very happy with this, but every weekend we had him we were just spending way to much time getting into battles because we expect him to follow the rules of our house. Usually by Saturday night he has been whipped back into shape, he says he is sorry and he loves us and the rest of the weekend he is a normal sweet little boy again; and the remnants of his dad's house are stripped away. I mean, I bet he is way different here then over there. But by the next Friday, we are at square one again. So if he wants to hang out there and see his "friends", we aren't going to force the issue. He really had like NO friends here. The bummer part is that now that he actually agrees and likes to go to church (He HATED it before and would throw fits because his dad didn't want him to go), he was about to make friends. Irony...
MOVING ON TO OTHER UPDATES.... COURT
You know that little post I made venting about how I hate when people can be insulting about my religion and the stereotypes? Well imagine getting insulting by the deciding Riverside County Court attorney in the child support court office... Fun.
You see, while waiting to be called in, I sat there praying that we would get to meet with one of the few happy guys I had seen all morning. You know, someone having a good day and would be willing to listen and not have a biased opinion. Well instead I got a sarcastic, 2 pack a day smoker, who hates her job and has mommy issues. Oh but.... Wade (my ex) and her just joked it up while I sat there and they talked about coffee and getting a nicotine fix.
The trip wasn't all that bad; I mean, we did get the child support lowered a little. But I was basically accused of being a dead beat parent because I want to (as they put it)"stay home and play mommy"! And "Just because I want to have a large family, and I choose to have more children doesn't mean that I can't just not work". And "There is no reason for me to stay home with my children and not work regardless if the money gained would be the same either way". The idea of a woman staying home to raise a family while her husband works is just not heard of. It was also joked that we "ride around on horses and pull carts" here in Arizona. And yes, I am quoting verbatim.
We are ready for the baby!!!! Here are pics for ya... BEFORE
AFTER Yes we painted the room and got what else we needed and we are ready to rock and roll! Well, we are still missing a dresser and some wall art,but it will be arriving in a week or two.
So now half of our house is all painted and decorated, and looking good. Now we just need to work on the other half. Which on one income.... could take awhile.
On another note, our new years resolution is going great! At least the spiritual ones...
We have been to church every weekend, doing family home evenings, paying tithing, I cooked dinner for some ward members and Scott got his home teaching assignments! Go us!
So there you have it folks. All the happenings of the Williams family for the last few weeks. I will hopefully be posting more now that the waters are beginning to settle.