Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Brighton 7 months

Okay, since I am a HORRIBLE parent that keeps a BLOG instead of a BABY BOOK for my poor SECOND child, I better AT LEAST note that BRIGHTON can CRAWL!! He's been scooting for about a month and about two weeks ago he was laying on his stomach and suddenly he sat up... or maybe he'd been sitting up sooner and I just finally realized he was doing it... like with his rolling. I happened to notice one day last month that Brighton was NEVER where I left him. He'd always be on the other side of the room. He never moved while I was playing with him, so I left the room and spied. He was rolling around like a soccer ball! So I was BOUND and determined to catch his first CRAWL. Well. I didn't. BUT, for the baby books sake we'll say it was yesterday! We were at my Grandma Brown's house, for her birthday party, and everyone saw him shimmy those little fat legs together and crawl for a toy. I do think his crawling happened in the last week so it won't be THAT far off. (I'll make it sound good for his baby book! WHICH- I AM working on... kind of. I think I've done part of the first page on Heritage Makers. My kids only 7 months old... HENCE the BLOOOOG)!!

His four top teeth just came in, also, SO he has a total of six teeth. Which is just FABULOUS. He's a humongo baby with teeth. He's going to look like a dang three year old that's still getting breastfed and wearing a diaper. Not to mention poor MEEE. Whoever said your nipples lose all feeling when you breastfeed OBVIOUSLY never breastfed a baby with TEETH. Brighton chomped down on me and I didn't know how to get him OFF!! I know I said Brighton looks like a turtle. I'd like to edit that comment. Brighton IS a turtle. A snapping turtle! And once he snaps there is no getting him UNsnapped! My little family was all seated around our new tv watching something wonderful... Barney or Diego... when I did the motherly act of feeding my little boy. And then I was screaming, "OOOOWWWW!!! OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWW!!!!!!!" And Brooklyn and Starling were just staring at me. Did they offer to help?? No. They just watched my agonizing face as I tried to decide rather to thump Brighton in the head or tug. I chose tug which was the WROOOONG decision. He bit harder, hanging on to his milk supply with jagged razor blades. Yelling didn't deter him. I finally decided to sacrifice my finger and stuffed it into his chubby cheek and sqeezed until he let go to cry. And NO I didn't feel bad for pinching his cheek. NOT one BIT. He's lucky I ever let him on again!

He's still as jolly as ever, the most smiling baby I've ever seen. Teething has been rough on him AS has this cold he has that WON'T go away. BUT, he's still a big ole' pile of happy. And I KNOW he can talk. He spouts out random words like "I love you" and "Ma Ma" and "Bwoo Bwoo." AND NOOOOO those little instances can't go into the baby book as his first words YET, but I've heard them and Starling has heard them. Last night we were leaving and he said "Bu Bye." (I know... overzealous parents and their overzealous ears... lol). But I can understand his babbling! Especially when he is telling Brooklyn off. When she snatches a toy from him, which is every three seconds, and she says, "Oh! Brighton that is MY horsey, but you can play with THI-IS..." (And its like a sock or something), Brighton will start going off, chomping those little jaws and Raw Raw Rawing at her. Its pretty hilarious. He's hilarious. My whole LIFE is just flippin hilarious. (a bit of sarcasm in that last one. I'm just remembering my battle two minutes ago in the laundry room when I tried to hang up my freshly washed- although it did say dry clean only- dress and I dropped it into the rabbit's water, food, and then litter pan. So "hilarious", in this instant, is also a synonym for chaotic, clumsy, and WHY WHY WHY).

I'd LOVE to keep going with lovely thoughts, but my "hilarious" little SCREAMING Brooklyn is crying, "MOOOOMMMMAYYY.... I neeeeed my CHOOOOOCOLATE MIIIIYIIILK." Why can't she be attached to a stupid BLANKET!?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Lets get Complicated

OKAY. So Starling and I have been REALLY happy lately. I got my CAR BACK, we closed on the Oak Grove land, my moods are like a NORMAL woman (so only MILDLY spastic). We've been having more time to spend as a family. So, OF COURSE, I am COMPLETELY discontent. SOMETHING has to change! Usually when things get real good I go off and get a new PET to challenge my family's sanity... or I get pregnant... but I already have a Dog, a Cat, and a Rabbit. AND a two year old and a six month old. Unless I get a goat, I'm out of ideas.

So I think I spaced writing about my CAR. Not the FIRST, SECOND, or SIXTEENTH thing... but the LAST thing. Lets see... QUICK refresher...so I finally got my car BACK from North Carolina and the FIRST thing I did was get stuck in a RANDOM parking lot in Collins (because I got lost and couldn't find my way back to HATTIESBURG and PULLED into a parking lot and into a huge HOLE where a WATER fountain had been removed). No. I did NOT see the MOON sized CRATER before MY new car was STUCK unable to go FORWARD or BACKWARDS. That was okay.. I flagged down some dude on a BIcYCLE who flagged down some dude in a TRUCK, who happened to work nearby and got a HUGE chain and yanked me out of the hole with only MILD judgement on my inability to SEE the GINORMOUS hole in the small parking lot. It only ripped up everything under my car. I thought Starling would've murdered me, but he only held his breath, and the steam exited his ears silently. (OH HOW different we ARE)! Then I was told I couldn't get a tag in MS and we had to take it BACK to North Carolina for them to FIX the title. I got my car back AGAIN. ONE YEAR LATER. Immediately Starling drove it through a parking lot and one of those sewage lids POPPED up and gashed the bottom runner thing. (I can't even SPECULATE on the NAME of that part or HOW FURIOUS I was- hypocrite? maybe...), that was bad but I got my TITLE so I was THRILLED!! THEN I drove my car to the Zoo in New Orleans and tried to parallel PARK and did GREAT until I had to back out. I did JUST like I was supposed to do. LOOK in my side mirror. I watched it RIGHT up until it POPPED off because I was passing a pole. Luckily some dude was walking by and handed me my mirror so I had something to give to Starling when I got home. I thought he'd finally throw his hands up in the air and tell me he gives up! I need to drive a bus because I can't take care of a car, but he just put his eyes back in his sockets and reattached the mirror. THEN I got my TAG FINALLY!!! THEN, my Inspection sticker was expired so I went and got that. I DROVE out of the PARKING lot and onto HWY 98 thinking THIS thought. "I am FINALLY LEGAL with a TAG and an INSPECTION sticker in my PRETTY CAR!" As I THINK this thought, the car in front of my slows down rather rapidly. Not to FEAR, the NEW and IMPROVED driver that I am, was following a safe distance behind so I tapped that brake. No problem. EXCEPT I heard squealing tires and so I pressed my brakes HARDER. MY foot was FLAT on the floor board and I STILL heard squealing brakes and then BAM!! And even though I was completely braked, my car was lurching forward. BUT then the people in front of me drove off!

I sat in my car for a FULL 64 seconds confused as a child trying to pick up a cemented penny wondering how in the HECK I hit those people in front of me. THEN when someone started banging on my WINDOW, I realized HALF HORRIFIED, half relieved that I didn't hit someone. Someone hit ME. Of COURSE it was a GINORMOUS truck that had a BIG METAL POLE/ RAIL thing GUARDING it like some dang WAR tank. So my CAR was completely destroyed. THEN the NEXT day I drove my LOVELY pile of metal to SAM's and when I LEFT I noticed someone had SLAMMED a buggy into my driver's DOOR.

Yeah. I was ready to ACCIDENTALLY blow up my car and collect the insurance money. BUT- my luck I'd burn my hand, or catch on fire, get caught, and spend the next ten years being some psycho woman's girlfriend in some jail cell. I would rather ride around on a SCOOTER for the next ten years than THAT- SOOOOO I just chewed Starling out instead (since it had ANYTHING to do with him and all) and then dropped my new and destroyed car off at the Auto Collision Fix It people. I got to drive around a rental car for two weeks while they fixed it. I don't know what kind of car it was... but its the closest I've ever come to riding in a Hurst. An HMR or MMR or something like that. It was DEFINITELY made for speed. It went zero to sixty in like... three. Days.

So when I went to get MY car back and I saw it shining there in front of me... Not only did I have a new bumper and trunk, but they had washed and waxed and vacuumed my car, I was ecstatic! And even though when I barely touched the gas and it LURCHED me forward into traffic and I nearly peed my pants, I was SOOO happy to be driving in traffic in MY car. And I have taken REALLY good care of it since I got it back. I'm trying SO hard not to run things over and so far so good, except for the little bush I had to take out because I couldn't seem to get around it. And I really WAS sad about that... its one of the crate myrtles that Starling planted. He hasn't looked at it yet. I hope it lives, but that crunch it made when I ran it over didn't sound promising.

ANYWAY- I have NO idea why I got off on my car. I'm SUPPOSED to be writing about the BIG CHANGE!! SO... since everything is GOOD again- Starling and I found out WHY!

LOOOOONG story short- BEFORE Starling and I ever got married, or went on a DATE for that matter, (I think it was the 2nd time we'd ever MET) we decided we would have five children, the FIRST would be named Brooke, (to carry on the Wind and Star earthy garb) and we would foster care/ and or adopt some kids. THEN we DID date and we spent PLENTY of time talking about youngins. We weren't convinced that WE, as a COUPLE, would exist in five years, but we were CERTAIN that we wanted TONS of kids. Well, we got married, and I IMMEDIATELY wanted kids. Starling wanted me to finish school first. I was SO VERY INTO Social Work in college and THEN was told that if I worked for DHS I couldn't foster care. So? I did some severe praying and switched to Psychology. Some lady actually found Starling and me and asked if we'd adopt her twin grandson's. I was a WhOPPING twenty years old. Starling was 25. Too young? Barely married? We sent up ONE prayer, told the Grandma that YES! We'd do EVERYTHING in our power to get those boys! And we did. I called Texas every day in between classes and HOUNDED the Social Worker in charge of the twins. She was RUDE and UNHELPFUL and completely peeved that I even KNEW about them since they weren't UP for ADOPTION. AND then she told me I was entirely to young to be considered anyway.

BUT! The whole experience completely altered our universe and Starling and I were determined that we WOULD indeed foster care. So we went through the classes while I was pregnant with Brooklyn. BUT once I had Brooklyn I got cold feet PLUS our house was in NO WAY ready to hold ANY kid, let alone TWO. Then we got comfy. SO we prayed about it again, didn't feel like it was the right time, and so I started getting in shape so I could join the Reserves, and I found out I was prego with Brighton. We kind of stopped thinking about Foster Care. We'd been told it wasn't the right time so MANY times, that we just stopped praying about it. UNTIL we got all comfy this LAST time. I was reading something very dear to me that I read often, and it HIT me that I needed to pray about Foster Care again. I went through my normal list of justifications... #1 I have two children- how would they be affected with another child #2 We wouldn't have any idea what kind of kid we'd be bringing into our home #3 We are so HaPPy right now... WHY am I always on some MISSIOn to complicate the simple? #4 How am I going to say NO if God tells me YES?

So. I waited. I have gotten paranoid with two babies. I am WAY obsessed and over-protective. They SLEEP with me. They go where I go. I have never hired a babysitter. I've left Brooklyn with FOUR people, only ONE not being related to me. I shield my home from Satan's little scary people like the Media shields liberalism. I guard what my children watch on Netflix, what they listen to, who they play with, where they go... I have to admit, foster care has seemed LESS and LESS appealing... what with all the horror stories out there... But when I prayed... I felt a SURE enough peace about it as distinct as jumping into a cool pool on a hot MS summer day. All I said to Starling was to pray about it. I figured he has a harder head than me when it comes to praying about things he may not want to get the answer to... but he surprised me and didn't put it off. And he got the same answer I did. It is TIME.

SOOOO we just went to the class again. TWO days 9 to 5. Brighton went with us and was PERFECT the whole two days. (He's making up for it now with his 4 top teeth coming in but he needs a chance to fuss or I'm going to start thinking he's not really my kid or at least ALL STarling's kid with NONE of my GENES). NOW we are filling out the HUMONGO packet and getting our ducks in a row.

Foster Caring is ALREADY a blessing... NORMALLY its like giving an aligator a ROOT canal without losing an arm to get Starling to part with stuff... ESPECiaLLY furniture... but since we have to make room for an extra child, we've torn our house APART moving stuff OUT. I'm so impressed by Starling's willingness to part with his belongings! I don't know WHERE we are going to stash all the stuff that I was hiding in and under dressers and furniture BUT we'll manage. (That garage sale pile is filling up an entire storage unit AS we speak- and still growing). It feels SOO liberating to be FREE of STUFF. I am emotionally attached to PEOPLE onLY. Now. Having said that- we are going to have a dang WONDERLAND in our back yard for our kiddos because our friend's dad just gave us an AWESOME play house thing to go with our already cool swing set. (Which is SUCH a blessing because Starling WAS planning to BUILD one WHICH- add that to his 974970873 OTHER projects- would TAKE a LOOOONG time)! So I'm hoping that means all the building supplies he has out there can dissipate since he no longer needs them! woe... all this talk about cleaning almost got me hyped up enough to go PAINT! almost.

ANYWAY- we've talked to Brooklyn about foster caring and she is REALLY excited. (Because a two year old KNOWS what having another kid live with us is going to be like. She TOTALLY comprehends the term "fostering"). I asked her if she would like a little boy or girl to come live with us and she said, "OH YES!! A BIG ONE! ONE BIG AS ME!" which is the plan... between 2 and 6. Its bringing our family closer just in preparation. Well... and farther apart- at least in the SLEEPING department. We have to have BOTH kids sleeping in THEIR beds with a BEDTIME before we get our new kiddo. (Our rules not the state's). I can just imagine the TRAUMA my two screaming kids would cause a child already terrified of sleeping in a new place. And I'm PRETTY sure its illegal to just ADD a third kid to our bed. The state would probably think we were a couple of Michael Jackson's.

Anyway- its going to be awesome! If we only foster ONE kid- and can make a difference to that ONE kid... then my life will be THAT much more fulfilled and my kids will be THAT much more understanding of people. And our family will be enriched and blessed and hopefully other families will see that fostering CAN be a blessing and feel the need to hit their knees and see if they have it in their hearts to open their homes to a child who is in desperate need of love. There are TONS of kids in need all over MS. And when we asked how many foster families are in Hattiesburg, the social worker said she only knows of 10. And YES, it'll be a sacrifice. And YES we will be making our home vulnerable to the unknown. But, I want my kids to know about sacrifice and helping people more than I want them to know about coveting video games and cell phones. And if its too much? Then we'll stop. Its not permanent. Until we adopt.

But on a lighter note, at least Starling doesn't have to worry about me dragging home a GoAt!

Friday, November 25, 2011


I love my kid. Well, KIDS... BUT I have to offer the BIG DISCLAIMER up front. I love Brooklyn. And that is why Starling got an early Christmas gift yesterday.

The day started off normal enough. I got woken up to Brighton's fingernails trying to pull off my eyelids. I was in the middle of a KILLER dream that I was SOOO going to write into a movie as soon as I finished dreaming it, so I hurriedly stuck Brighton on my boob and squished my eyes shut to fall back asleep. And the dream KEPT being awesome... right up until the time I opened my eyes and forgot EVERYTHING. UGH. I'll NEVER be a famous writer! UNLESS I can get someone to put me under hypnosis and I can give a play by play of my crazy dreams on tape. BUT they probably only make sense when I'm unconscious, anyway. Maybe NOT remembering is my brain's coping mechanism to nicely keep me from being HIGHLY disappointed with my unconscious creativity.

Anyway- I was laying awake... half-way.. when Brooklyn, who wasn't supposed to be at my house, climbed into my bed and tackled me. She'd stayed the night with her Mia and Pi Paw. Starling and I got to take a REAL DATE NIGHT! We ate Chinese and I wore HIGH hills, we went shopping CHILDLESS, we had alone time, we spent almost the whole time taking pictures of each other being irrevocably re-DONK-ulous, trying to one up each other with our new cell phones. We went GUN shopping... yeh. Really. We FINALLY get ALONE time and Starling takes me GUN shopping. He's lucky he didn't let me handle a LOADED gun.

I got up, and after finding my contacts, was able to SEE my cute little family. I didn't even SHOWER, just got dressed and rode into town with my mom and kiddos. We did the little family lunch at The Bottling Company. Since my Dad and Uncles and cousins have put so much work into it, I'll give it a little PLUG- YUMMAY FOOD!! I had the BOCO burger which I HIGHLY recommend! (I loaded it down with mayo and I recommend that, too). AND the brownie and ice cream dessert is finger lickin SMACK-TASTIC!

Okay- now that I'm HUNGRY- I'll MOVE ON. So after Brooklyn gave me an overview of EACH guitar (and I think there are at least 6 or 7), the color, the size, the location, the location in relation to the OTHER guitars... AND a NOT so brief description of everything ELSE she saw, we left stuffed like a Thanksgiving Turkey. We headed on over to the BCH and Company. (The Old Roses/ New Hudson's place). My mom said they had some killer cute jacket thingies. WELL RIGHT next door to that is Pet Palace. I let Brooklyn look at the animals every time we are on that side of town. She loves to pet the "Bunnie Pigs" (guinnie pigs), the rabbits, look-and-run from the snakes, watch the birds... And so it was no big deal to let her run take a look before we went shopping.

Brooklyn skipped along passed all the fish to where all the real animals are located. (Real= HOLDABLE and FLUFFY). She poked her head up to the rabbit cage.

NOW, if you haven't read my previous blog about the demise of our little bunny Cleo... basically- we got her, loved her, random cat attacked her when I let her play outside for a minute, and she later died from internal bleeding. It was AWFUL terrible and I said NO more BUNNIES because "I" (not BROOKLYN) sobbed for like 24 hours after watching that bunny's last twitchings before she died.

We've been back to Pet Palace MANY times since Cleo passed on and Brooklyn always holds the bunnies and says, "Yeah... Cleo went to live with Hebenly FA-THER and He made her feel better." And she NEVER wants one of the bunnies. (WHICH is GOOD because they are usually those Velveteen rabbits that like to kick and I'm PRETTY sure they cross breed those things with DONKEYS).

I looked into the rabbit thing, too, and saw the most ADORABLE little bunny EVER, and said, "AWE! That little bunny is SOOO CUTE!!" And Brooklyn's eyes landed on it at the SAME time. "OH!! MOMMY!! CLEO is BACK!! OH CLEO!! MOMMY give me CLEO!!" I scooped up the little bunny that IS the same breed (Loppy)as Cleo, but not really the same coloring, and let Brooklyn hold it. "Umm... this isn't Cleo, honey..." I started, but Brooklyn wasn't listening. "Oh CLEO! I'm so glad we got you back! You went to see Hebenly FA-THER! And He made you ALL BETTER!" And she was hugging it up to her FACE and she was KISSING it... "Mommy! I'm so happy! And Cleo can come home with me and live in our laundry room again!" And then she looked up at me with ALL the joy a little TWO year old can have after finding her long, lost friend, "Mommy! Did Jesus make Cleo All BETTER!?" It wasn't really a question. BUT WHAT was I supposed to SAY!??

"Err... Uh..." I paused. I racked my brain with explanations. I could explain how LOTS of bunnies LOOK like Cleo but actually AREN'T Cleo... its called a BREED of bunny. I could tell her how Cleo DIED and DEAD things can't come back to LIFE. I could point out that THIS rabbit isn't GRAY like CLEO and really looks NOTHING like her deceased rabbit...

I opened my mouth to explain....."Yep. He SURE DID! I'll get a box."

I asked the worker dude if Cleo was a girl or a boy. A girl, he told me. Phew. Good. I wasn't sure how I would explain how Cleo went to live with Jesus and came back a BOY. SOOO when I got home I got to face STARLING. I told him... "I got you an early Christmas PRESENT!! Here. Open it." And I handed him the box. He opened it. His eyes closed and he sort of gulped air like a fish that's been chunked on the boat floor with no water. He looked at me like he MIGHT ask WHY the heck I got ANOTHER rabbit when I JUST told him I could NEVER live through another animal death. I silently told him through telepathic ways that I would NEVER let this one outside. It would live happily ever after in our laundry room. But that wasn't good enough. I could tell he was going to argue with me so I just laid it all out for him. "Brooklyn thinks its HER rabbit!" And it was all good in the hood.

See. Starling loves Brooklyn, too. And she has us wrapped. And I don't think we could EVER tell her NO if she was truly sincere about wanting something. (I don't mean the 2 year old tantrum- I want a sucker- want. We actually ENJOY telling her NO when she's being a terd. I'm talking about the doe eyes. The grin that stretches from one dimple to the other. The little bounce of excitement that makes her little curls twirl around her giddy face. The little hands clasped together as she begs so angelically... strategic, "PUH-LEEEEEZE!!"). Therefore I have banned myself from taking her ANYWHERE where she may encounter attachments. I may be nabbing monkeys from zoo's or something. Kidnapping cute little boys she's befriended at Chic Filet. Seriously. I'd do crazy things for my child. For example, Kaylee Humphreys and her little brothers stayed with us for a few days. Brooklyn LOOOVED them staying here. When Brooklyn woke up and they were gone she said, "BUT MOMMY! I want my KAYLEE BA-ACK!!" And I had to physically restrain myself from driving her to Kaylee's house. AND you know what Starling and my conversation for the NEXT three DAYS was???

"SOoOo what do you think about Foster Caring a teenager and some play mates for Brooklyn??" Like- we are DILUSIONALLY obsessed with making our child happy. We have a bunny living in our LAUNDRY room for BROOKLYN's SAKE!! And do not EVEN get me started on BRIGHTON. If Brooklyn has us wrapped, I don't want to begin to THINK of Brighton's charisma... Starling is going to have our back yard dug into a giant FORT with trap doors and paint ball targets everywhere. And probably a tennis court in the front yard. And I'm going to be yanking my hair out saying, "BUT- BUT..." And Brighton is going to be grinning and his little eyes are going to be disappearing behind his humongously fat cheeks, and my heart is going to melt... "OKAY, Brighton... If it makes you happy...." AHHH!! That is EXACTLY why kids stop being cute when they turn sassy. So parents have no problem telling them NO. So I just need to keep it together for a LITTLE bit longer...

In the MEAN time... Santa better stay away from my kids. I don't want him asking them ANYTHING! We're liable to end up with an INDOOR PONY!!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Round SEVEN- Chic Filet Camp-Out

Chic Filet- Baton Rouge
I received a text from my friend Autumn before the roosters had time to yawn OR open their eyes LET ALONE CROW. “Where ya’ll AT??” Well.. I WAS sleeping, which I flipped over, covered my head with a pillow, and KEPT on doing. Then STARLING started receiving texts from Eric, “They’re on number 85… you better hurry!!” UGH… he’s such a liar. Eric, Steph, and Les had stayed the night TUESDAY so that they could get to the Chic Filet Opening first thing Wednesday morning for the 1st 100 competition. WE (Starling and I) had no intention of leaving Hattiesburg until after lunch on WEDNESDAY. (WHICH would have been JUST FINE). But then Autumn told me they were on number 50. I actually believed HER. I rounded up the troops.
We called our friend Justin who thought we were leaving that AFTERNOON (as we had PLANNED). He didn’t answer so I left him a creative voicemail. Then Starling called and left a fun voicemail. Then we were having so much fun with this that we just kept taking turns calling except Justin finally answered and spoiled our fun. We loaded up the car with the essentials… bedding… jackets, drivers license… picked up Justin and headed out. Brooklyn couldn’t WAIT to get to Chic Filet. We only stopped twice. ONCE on the side of the road so Brooklyn could pee in the grass and later for gas. We got to Chic Filet around 11:30. Remember how Autumn told me at SUNRISE that they were on number 50? WELL- I received my number. Number 49. GEEZ. LIES… Brooklyn was bouncing around like a ping pong ball ecstatic to be at Chic Filet and to meet up with her cousin, Alayna. They looked like the ending of a movie. Two characters that have searched the duration of the movie for each other finally meet up… the JOY, the bouncing, the hugging, the giggling… Alayna lives less than two minutes away from our house. Apparently that isn’t close enough for Brooklyn.
The temp was PERFECTLY HOT. Luckily I’d dressed the kiddos in shorts. I was in JEANS and was so hot I considered just cutting them into shorts.

We all met THE COW.

We set up our tent and unloaded our car. HMMM… in the PACKING process we’d managed to leave one of our duffle bags. THE ONE with half of our sleeping geer and the jackets. AT NOON- that didn’t seem too consequential. At SEVEN, when tents were flapping around like wind chimes and the temp dropped to TEN degrees, it suddenly seemed INCREDIBLY CONSEQUENTIAL. I searched through the diaper bag and found two pair of pink sweat pants. Brooklyn’s. SOOO Brighton and Brooklyn geared up in pink pants. ALL of our jackets were in the bag, that LATER, we found RIGHT where we left it… at the BACK door. SO we wrapped the kiddos in blankets.

Before the cold hit in, we played several competitive games, did some intense dancing, and ate a LOT of Chic Filet. FREE.

Brookyn FELL sleep on Starling's HEAD. Ha ha
Brighton even got to join in the fun. They asked for the youngest person to sit in the free space for human bingo. Brooklyn did it first but DID NOT want to do the second game. So she rode on her daddy's head and Brighton JOYFULLY took her spot as the center of attention.

I won a water bottle for winning human bingo.

Stephanie won a hat and a water bottle. Aaron won a t-shirt for threading three pastas on a spaghetti only using his mouth. Stacey won a mystery gift which turned out to be AMAZING. A CHIC FILET CD of how they came to be. WITH a bag of Popcorn. She was perturbed about THAT BUT STARLING was happy because she gave it to him. Starling lost a Chic Filet chair in the scavenger hunt race BECAUSE he tried to UNTIE his knotted up SHOES instead of TAKING off his shoe and SHOWING his shoelace. There were only 3 people left in the race at that point and he would’ve won it if he would’ve just LISTENED to his WIFE yelling, “YOUR SHOE! YOUR SHOE!! HOLD UP YOUR SHOE!” But it was okay. He won a chair at the last Chic Filet Opening. Stacey and I won the DANCE OFF competition. A PLUSH COW. (To add to my collection of 126 OTHER plush cows that we use as dog toys). Stacey and I were SHOCKED that Aaron didn't win a cow because I'm pretty sure I've never seen ANY man (or living creature) bust a move like HIM. We also won red balls and other stuff. I don’t know what all Starling won. Between Stacey and Brandi and me, we were chasing after five kids. Alayna got picked up by her Aunt Melanie and Kohen was a perfect angel attached to Stephi the whole time. It was awesome fun.

Sleeping was the only mild hump… we had one SKINNY sleep mat and one FAT SHORT one. And two BODY sleeping bags made for hiker people. (Even though it’s been forever since Starling hiked the Appalachian Trail, he STILL thinks he has to buy hiker stuff). Needless to SAY, the body sleeping bags are meant to suction to ONE body. SO Starling's body a lot bigger than when he was a STICK BUG hiking the trail... BUT I STILL made him fit Brooklyn in there with him. Starling tried to protest until he looked at me. I was trying to fit Brighton in my even TINIER sleeping bag WHILE laying on a mat that was MEANT for BROOKLYN. I spent the entire night wrangling Brighton back INTO the bag with me. Every SINGLE time I'd nod off, he'd scoot out the top to SPREAD and I'd touch his arms and FLIP! They were ICE CUBES. (Not that he minded). AND I was FREEZING because Brighton + me= TOO FAT to zip up the sleeping bag. Maybe next time we'll double check before leaving half our night gear. And then of course the WIND. I finally stuffed Brighton deep enough that he couldn't move and defrosted him enough from sticking his little chubby arms on my STOMACH that MY teeth had stopped chattering. I IMMEDIATELY had to stick MY arms out of the bag to hold the tent UP. The wind was blowing SO furociously that even though we were a foot or more away from the wall of the tent, the tent was TOUCHING my FACE.

Stacey and Brandy were sleeping on a twin air mattress with Jayden AND eventually Taelyn. Hudson was the ONLY confortable sleeper who slept soundlessly in his pack-n-play until morning. We were all in one tent. Its a pretty big tent. I decided at that moment that my family could definitely live in that tent if we had to. (Assuming we had our other duffle bag of sleeping gear).

I woke up probably at three a.m. and thought that we should be hearing the lovely cow bell that rings at 5:45 to get us up and lined up. But it never sounded. I kept trying to sleep but it was pointless. When 6a.m. FINALLY decided to SHOW up at Chic Filet, we were ALL already awake just cuddled up in our blankets trying not to DIE from exposure. It wasn't sooo bad in the tent. OUTSIDE the tent was brutal. The wind was making the tents dance and me SHIVER. Starling bundled Brooklyn up in his sleeping bag and I bundled Brighton up in MY sleeping bag and we CARRIED them like that.

(THAT wasn't HARD). Brighton only weighs 20+ pounds NAKED. Lets stuff him into a pile of fluff and make him about three feet more ROUND. And lets NOt change his diaper yet because its so cold. THAT alone probably added 6 pounds to him. His PEE is HEAVY. Somehow I didn't drop him before we made it inside.

Pots and pans banged and everyone cheered. It was better than graduation. Like I'd know since I graduated early from High School and Oak Grove wouldn't let me WALK because of it... and then I just had my College Diploma mailed to me. SO, for me, ANYTHING is more exciting that graduating. I dumped Brooklyn OUT of her sleeping bag once we were inside so that she could eat. I piled the sleeping bag in the corner of my booth and stuck Brighton, still tightly wrapped and sleeping, on top of that. The Chic Filet workers, numbering three workers to ONE guest, brought me my food, drinks, condiments, and asked if they could "refresh my beverage" in consecutive five minute intervals. Finally, after eating the DELICIOUS chicken wrap and AMAZING whole grain oatmeal topped with dried fruit and nuts and brown sugar, and downing my orange juice, we were ready to depart. BUT not without ONE last picture. SOME people had already left, but the part of our group remaining huddled up. I made EVERYONE come to ME because I didn't want to disturb my sleeping Brighton. And as I EXPLAINED this, I patted the sleeping bag were Brighton should have been.

AND that is when I had a "Mr. Smead" (off Peter Pan) moment. If you recall Mr. Smead lathering up Captain Hook's face for a shave, which was actually the buttocks of a white bird, and then, turning back and finding NO HEAD. (The bird had flown away). He exclaims, "OH! I've never shaved him this close before..." And he proceeds to look for Captain Hook's head.

Well I patted the sleeping bag and there was a sleeping bag. But when I looked down I couldn't find a Brighton. I started digging around and having a panic attack because Brighton was NOWHERE in the pile of fluff and puff! I didn't realize I'd made a fuss until I looked over and saw half the Chic Filet staff staring at me with their mouths gaped open that I couldn't find my INFANT that can't WALK. nor CRAWL. One dude pulled the table out and THERE was Brighton. Still asleep. Still wrapped in HIS sleeping bag. Under Starling's seat. I guess he moved and just SLID on down. Craziness. I'll add that to my list of Proud Parental Moments. (That list is getting rather LENGTHY).

We drove home and climbed into our bed around noon. I didn't wake up until almost 5, and only to get showered and ready to go to Jessie's Essential Oil's Class, that I SWORE I would NOT get involved in. I tried to tell myself, "You can NOT like this product because you can NOT afford this product." WELL, one class later, and I had Starling over to Jessie's trying to get HIM sold so I can spend a couple hundred Stocking up on Essential Oils. AND, for the record, they are quite medicinally sound. Brighton started running a fever (I wonder WHY) and Jessie gave me some diluted peppermint for him. I rubbed it on his feet and head. Fever evaperated AND he smelled WONDERFUL. Brooklyn started coughing last night and was all congested... rubbed that pepperment on her feet and under her nose... cleared her up. And I got stuffy and stuck that under my nose and am breathing air like a freshener.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Dear Blog,

I have to write since it’s been like half an eternity since I last blogged. I have GREAT news. Our master bath has a painted closet (SOOOO the twenty piles of STUFF that were stacked- and later, on account of our DEAREST Brooklyn, strewn- all over our house are FOR the MOST part, BACK in the closet). SECOND- John the 2nd has joined us in the bathroom and sits bold and proud as all ceramic thrones do. He likes sitting in the upright position in the master bath instead of upside down and disgracefully exposed in Brighton’s room. (Although- I liked him in Brighton’s room awaiting his new position better than when he sat on our front porch greeting all of our visitors). Like I said. GREAT things happening in the Johnson home.

The master bath is ALSO painted, but not trimmed out… (okay- I AM the trimmer sooo I can’t complain about that part… BUT Starling is the ceiling artist that is going to blend the skip trial (that CAN’t be how that is spelled…) from where we moved walls for the remodel SO I can’t do MY part until he finishes HIS part and I blend the PAINT on the ceiling. So I can totally blame the hold up on HIM. As for the HALLWAY- Starling has RE-MUDDED like a CUZILLION random spots that I never knew were problematic. (I do NOW because the once unnoticeable imperfections painted the same color green as the REST of the hall, are NOW HUGE WHITE glaring UNFINISHED, and quite frankly distasteful to the EYE, BEACONS). So I’m REALLY happy that Starling hasn’t been able to wrap up work early this week and PAINT them. Oh! Why don’t “I” just do it MYSELF? GLADLY. I’ll just duct tape Brooklyn to the LIVING room WALL while I attempt rolling the HALLWAY. AND, assuming Brighton doesn’t need to eat for 6 hours, THAT plan will work perfectly. EXCEPT for one thing... MY INABILITY to ROLL paint. Starling has BANNED me from doing it. (Believe it or not he's a perfectionist when it comes to his walls- hence the dang constant WHITE spots appearing all over our house that I have to KEEP covering up. And then HE has to RE-cover-up because my painting sucks more than a vaccuum).

OMY. SPEAKING of BRIGHTON and EATING. (That was a couple of sentences back before I went off into left field, IF you've gotten confused and lost in my rambling). His appetite has INCREASED. I know I shouldn’t be surprised… he’s over 20 pounds now… but I’m the COW. The GREAT PRODUCER of CREAM and BUTTER. And NOW… AFTER Brighton is done nursing, and I mean done like he can’t suck another drop out of either fritter, he wants MORE. So- okay- this is new to me… tonight he was OBVIOUSLY getting frustrated that his dinner was done before HE was. I was TOO because usually he eats and there’s plenty left for him to snack on later. BUT anyway- he was STILL hungry. (Honestly I feel like I offer him a dang all you can eat buffet and he leaves saying- that’s it? I’m still not full). Insanity is what it is. I opened up a jar of babyfood. Sweet peas. (More on the mush and goop than sweet or peas but WHATEVER). He ate half of the jar and didn’t want more of that. BUT he wanted more of SOMETHING. So I fed him an ENTIRE jar of applesauce. I suppose he would've continued eating THAT until he burst, so I just told him he was done. THEN he got a nice little bath, we had family time (Mommy mandated) in the "night-night", and then he FLOPPED about like a snow penguin until he’d maneuvered his way BACK to my boob and he nursed to sleep. And SLEEP?? The boy is like a dang bear going into hibernation. He SLEEPS forEVER. OR until I wake him up… which I usually end up doing. And when he DOES wake up, he forgets to YELL for me and so I don’t know HOW long he just chills waiting for me to realize he’s come out of his cave.

NOW BROOKLYN. SLEEP? Ya-NOT so much. If I go to bed at midnight, SHE goes to bed at midnight. If I wake up at 5 in the morning, SHE wakes up at FIVE in the morning. It’s like she has little sensors that go off if I wake up. I’m seriously SHOCKED I don’t find her at the bathroom door when I go pee in the middle of the night. ALTHOUGH I DID this morning.

She’s very needy right now. I figure it’s to be expected with all the projects we’ve been doing. (WHICH is why I haven’t been blogging). AS I type and take yet another THIRTY minute BREAK prolonging this dang BLOG from being COMPLETE, she is asking, and I mean 10 times in a row, “Can you come and play house with me please, Mom?” And I’m off to do that AGAIN. How can I resist her SWEET side?

Okay… Starling is now reading to Brooklyn in Spanish. So I made my get away. That sounds so harsh- like I'm trying to get away from my child. Like I don't LOVE and CHERISH all 24 hours and seven minutes I am BLESSED to spend with her EVERY day of my ENTIRE LIFE. TRUST ME. I'm not trying to get away from her. I do NOT value my BLOGGING over Brooklyn wacking "MY" babydoll's head with HER baby doll's hand and sending HER baby to time out. Over. And OVER again. I really don't. But- for historical purposes and family memory preservation, the BLOG must go ON.

I LOVE when Brooklyn tries to talk Spanish with her high pitched little lisp. She’s the cutest thing… except when she’s NOT being cute and being a little turkey. BUT she’s MOSTLY cute.

We’ve been unpleasantly SHOCKED at her this week with her saying things like, “PLEASE leave me ALO-O-NG.” (Not alone. Along). “PUH-LEEEZE go AWAY.” But in the next instant she’s all butterflies and kisses. I’m kind of seeing what life must be like through STARLING’s eyes living with ME. WHICH is utterly depressing.

FOR THE RECORD- I haven’t had a single BREAKDOWN ever since I started popping pills like balloons after a fiesta. Three magnesium, three fish oils, an iron, and a prenatal. EVERY DAY. (Its probably working because I spend so much time CALCULATING and counting when and WHAT pill to take- I have no TIME to go berzerk). I still have an occasional mood swing which occurs in direct relation to the whininess of my CHILD (not children- Brighton hasn’t gotten to the whiney stage yet) and/or the hour my husband returns home from work and WHAT pass time he THEN chooses. Like- if he CHOOSES to clean the kitchen… NO mood swing. If he starts looking at guns on the internet… MOOD SWING. But those are completely justified and have nothing to do with my raging hormones, THOUGH STARLING likes to BLAME my hormones for EVERY harsh word I ever throw at him. Dried sunflower seeds stuck to the bottom of plastic cups can NOT illicit RAGE. Nor can dirty socks, random shorts/shirts, dirty dishes, etc draped or dropped over my furniture in a room I just finished cleaning. ONLY my HORMONES are capable of making me angry. Period.

That being said, I better take my meds with me on our adventure tomorrow. Starling insists that the pills I’m taking cannot POSSIBLY do what I THINK they are doing. OKAY- well that is a WHOPPING FABULOUS sugar-pill affect and I’m just going to KEEP on BELIEVING as LOOOONG as I can. BECAUSE I tried to believe in a lot of OTHER pills that did NOTHING. UNLESS you count the cuzillion SIDE effects, in which case- they did a LOT to WORSEN me. We’re off to the CHIC FILET opening in Baton Rouge tomorrow. Another family camping trip. Another 104 value meals IF we are the first 100, which we PLAN to be…. Assuming I didn’t blab to SOOO many people that they fill up the parking lot before WE get there. And I should be able to actually wear make-up. Getting ready is now a two day process and I mean that quite literally. TODAY I showered and WASHED my hair. Usually that’s as far as I get. BUT- I went all out and DRIED my hair with a BLOW DRYER… instead of the fan drying it while its scrunched under my head on a pillow get yanked and tangled by Brooklyn’s fingers. I even had great dreams of actually applying MAKE-UP… but THAT didn’t happen. So. TOMORROW I’ll put on make-up and my hair will only have to be brushed. THAT I can manage in ONE DAY. Hopefully.

I need to go to the gym but its 10:30 and I could carry luggage in the bags under my eyes. Sooo I think I’ll have to go TOMORROW or just SKIP until we get home Thursday. My poor brain thinks it’s been transplanted into some nutsy productive person’s body lately and its having a very difficult time functioning at such a high pace. No naps. No breaks. Its ready to shut down. Its bogging down like this stupid computer! (which is an ENTIRELY DIFFERENT story for a DIFFERENT day).

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Brighton 5- 6 Months

You are SIX days away from being SIX months OLD!! I'm NOT even believing how humongous you are and how quickly you've reached your whopping 19+ pounds! (yeh- i just weighed you naked. 19.2). You are BEYOND perfect. Each little roll is so painstakingly lush and delicious. You have Asian eyes that completely disappear when you grin. (LIKE tiny little RAINBOWS). I guess every Mommy thinks they have the perfect baby, and I'm no exception.

You light up like the SUN at NOON every time I look at you. It makes me feel all special and warm and cozy inside. (Even though you light up when ANYONE looks at you- NOT just me- EVEN when CHARKLEY looks at you. Even when you see a stuffed animal that you THINK is looking at you). You are getting more and more handsome everyday. And you are ALSO getting more and more personality. Even though you are content pretty much always, you still voice your demands. FOR EXAMPLE: You LOVE sitting up. BUT that isn't good enough anymore. You want to GO. So if you see a toy and you can't reach it leaning as far forward as you can go while still sitting on your bum, you scream at the toy giving it ONE last chance to come to you. If it isn't in your hands within that second, you HEAVE yourself forward onto your FACE while moving your legs out from under you and crawl like a SEAL... sort of FLOP your body forward until you GET where you want to be. Its HILARIOUS! Daddy sat you on the bed. I was on the other side of the bed and you saw me. I can ALWAYS tell when your hungry because you start giggling hysterically and hyperventilating. You flopped onto your back, rolled onto your stomach, and started yelling and squealing as you tried to go forward to get to me. We laughed and laughed because you couldn't get any traction. Your feet would slide out from under you and you'd fall on your face and get SOOO agitated. Finally Daddy put his arm behind your feet so you could kick off. And don't worry. You got me back for making you wait to eat. You ferociously grabbed me with BOTH hands and nearly yanked off my milk supplier dragging it into your mouth.

You are SOOOO strong! Daddy can be a worry wart. (Even though that is MOSTLY MY JOB). He has told me probably SEVEN times in the last ten days that he's scared you are going to suffocate because you sleep with a blanket pulled up to your face. I just laughed at him. I told him that you are VERY particular about what goes over your face and you were QUITE capable of removing anything that was unwelcomed. He said, "What about a pillow?" A king size pillow is awfully big and heavy for a five month old... or so one might THINK. BUT- I've watched you sling a pillow off the bed with your arms so I showed your daddy. I threw a king size pillow on your head. You lifted it with your arms above your head and peaked out and giggled. Daddy added more weight to the pillow. You SLUNG it off giggling. I feel like I am raising Bam Bam. Especially when I dress you. I put your boots on yesterday and you lowered your LEG down on MY leg and I seriously thought you cracked my bone. And, like Brooklyn, you lOVE to kick. So... while you are YANKING me around while I'm nursing you, you are Kick Boxing my stomach. So I ALWAYS have sore abs but NOT because I worked them out... they are BRUISED.

You bit my finger today and there are TEETH in that mouth of yours. You bottom teeth have cut through the skin. I'm happy for you... I know you've been in some pain trying to teeth, but I'm not HAPPY about the "situation" one bit. Brooklyn didn't get teeth until almost a year old and that was GOOD for breastfeeding. I don't know how teeth are going to go over with my chest. You already eat like a starved LION coming into contact with raw meat. I just hope your TOP teeth take their sweet time coming in. I may have to FORCE you to drink your milkshakes from a bottle!

You are a total giggle box. I don't care if I'm having a mood swing from DOWN UNDER... when you get to giggling, I can NOT HELP myself. I get so tickled at your little laugh that I end up cackling along with you which ONLY fuels you to laugh harder. At any given time during the day, a fly on the wall might see a wheezing woman doubled over on the floor with tears shooting out her eyes with a two year old giggling like a music box bouncing on the sprawled out woman while a Brighton is swaying in front of them giggling so hard he's falling over. Your Daddy has come home to this comedy act quite a many of times. You are such a light in our home. Brooklyn will be whining and fussing and she'll start her bouncing that proceeds all tantrums. You think it is HIlARIOUS when she bounces. So there I am about to bash my head through the stove top because Brooklyn is TWO and ACTING TWO (and I have the patience of a grenade) and out of the blue- here you go cackling. I can't for the LIFE of me keep a straight face and neither can Brooklyn. You are only 5 months old and you are like the little Peace Maker already.

AND, like eating straight CREAM isn't doing it for you, you chew on EVERYTHING you can get your hands on including your FEET. I can NEVER keep socks on your feet and I'll search and search for the LOST socks. Where do I find them? Under your head. SOAKING wet from DROOL. AND I don't feed you baby food or anything yet... you are totally ready and the doctor TOLD me I can give you food now, but #1 I'm just so dang lazy and... oh. There's really only a #1. So we went to Chic Filet and I'd already nursed you and we were eating. Well... you were getting bored in that high chair and trying to grab at my chicken. So I handed you a big chunk to chew on. You greedily bit down on your treasure and your face contorted up like I'd just given you WAR HEAD Candy. Then you had a little seizure thingy. Your eyes started watering. THEN you stuck that chicken in your mouth and took another go at it. You didn't get any better about liking it... but that never stopped you from gnawing it. You gummed that thing until it was a slobbery pile of goo. And you don't much care for lemonade, either.

You are an angel and I could not have DESIGNED a more perfect baby for our family. I love Love LOOOOVE you!! I hope you stay this happy forEVER!! I'll do my darn-dest to keep from screwing up in the parenting department. (But I really can't make any promises. HOPE you are RESILIENT!!) Here are some pics of you and your lovely sista taken this week.

Dear Blog,

Sorry I haven't written in like- FOREVER. I'll give you a quick rundown of my last 2 weeks. Starting October 24 through today: Monday: I took Tu Tu Cute pictures of my niece Madison and Brooklyn (for which I'm making a canvas that is going to be SUPER cute... aSSUMING I ever make it).

Tuesday: I babysat and took the kiddos IN the WAGON to the library for Trick or Treating at the Library. (OAK GROVE should SERIOUSLY invest in some dang SIDEWALKS. I am STILL picking STICKERS out of my FEET from sludging through random BRIAR patches that block my SHOULD be clear path from my house to the library. AND we have super nice people in our town that stopped and asked if I broke down and needed a ride. Awesome! I ALWAYS have my little red wagon handy when I break down).

Wednesday: I made Chili for the Chili Cook off. (Yes. It was incredible. Incredibly out of about six cans. AND then I tried to make it look home-made by placing it in a crock pot and adding onions and some spices. It worked okay... There were no left overs. I didn't even try it to see how it turned out. When we got home from our Fall Festival I asked Starling if he'd tried it. "Uhh...no..." I think he sort of felt bad, but I reassured him it was fine. "I steered clear of it, too, honey. I ate out of the WINNING CHILI crock pots"). I babysat two of my favorite kiddos, Colton and Boston. We made cupcakes (ALSO for the Fall Festival). I bought gummy worms to stick on top of Green icing with crumbled oreos. (Ya know... worms crawling out of dirt?) ANYWAY- Colton wanted to know if he was going to get to eat a worm or WHAT. I told them they could each have one and the rest had to go on the cup cakes. Colton started eating his. Brooklyn chomped down on hers. BOSTON was holding his but looking AWFULLY uncertain about biting into it. "What's wrong, Buddy?" I asked him. "Ummm... will it bite me?" I noticed then he was staring at the gummy worm's mouth. I laughed. "Do you think it'll bite you?" He shook his head no. "Its NOT real." But he made no effort to bite it. "Will you bite off his head?" He asked me again. I told him I would. I stuck it up to my lip and SCREAMED, "AHHHH!!!!!" Boston, Colton, and Brooklyn all three screamed. I yanked it off my face. "DON'T BITE ME WORM!!" They giggled and laughed. THEN I said, "Colton... YOU bite its head off." Uh uh. He didn't feel so brave about biting into that gummy worm. Brooklyn didn't want to either. So I chased them around for about 30 minutes making that worm bite them. I haven't laughed that hard in a LOOOONG time. THEN, after the boys got picked up, I had to decorate my trunk for Trunk or Treat. Luckily my mom had some Halloween decorations since I waited until the DAY OF to try to come up with some stuff. I made my trunk into a tomb and since it was dark by the time the kids Trunk or Treated... I probably could have just NOT bothered decorating it because I'd used black felt to make the tomb and that's pretty much what my trunk looked like. BLACK FELT. OH WELL- I took candy. THEN of course I had to get DRESSED. I was Spagetti and Starling was a Meatball. Brooklyn was Dorothy and Brighton was a Turtle. (a Turtle costume that was actually made for a dog. BUT- I got creative). We went to the Festival and I didn't see my children until the END because as soon as we got to church my babies were swept away by the older kids. I was busy stuffing chili into my beak (everyone's but mine) so I was glad for the break. I got NO pictures of ME. AGAIN! I always DO that... I take pics of everyone else, go home, get undressed, and say CRAP! I didn't even take a picture of my spagetti outfit! OH WELL. I wasn't redressing up. Thursday: I painted and had a meeting about Missionary Work.

Friday: I went and got my inspection sticker for my Altima. My LOVELY car. FINALLY 100% legal. Sticker. Tag. AND I went to the Post Office to get a money order thingy to send to Jackson so they'd make my license UNsuspended. WELL of course BOTH kids fell asleep RIGHT before I got to the post office. "Can I just LEAVE them in the car while I RUN IN??" I asked myself. NO. I'll probably get arrested. SO? I haul BRIGHTON's car seat out and place it by the post office door. THEN I lift Brooklyn out and haul HER back to the post office. I'm PARKED right in front of the post office- like NOT two miles away or anything. I turned around and TWO people are having a PANIC attack over Brighton. I hear one of the women saying, "--heard about this kind of stuff happening on tv but I can't believe someone would actually just DROP a baby off!" And the other lady, "WELL I'll take him!" And instead of interrupting them and telling them its my kid, I just waltz up with Brooklyn over my shoulder and let them TELL me about how they just CAME out of the post office and THERE he was. When they finish all of their speculating and have worked themselves into a frenzy, I tell them he's mine, LAUGH, and waddle the two sleeping children to the counter. I bought my money order and then, ready to mail it, realized I had to FILL it out. Is there a PEN? NOOOO... Am I about to haul the kids ALL the way back to the car and FIND ONE?? HECK NO! I'm already in a state of physical DOOM, both arms yanked from their sockets and muscularly jello. Some dude is trying to rush past me and I see a pen in his shirt pocket. "OH YOU have a Pen?" I can tell he's about to make up an excuse so I nod to the one in his pocket. "Oh...uh... yeh." So I hurriedly fill out the money order and hand back the pen. He's trying to RUN from me. "WAIT!" I chased him down and RE-GRABBED the pen. "I filled out the customer's copy." I filled out the RIGHT part and gave him back his pen. "WAIT!!!" I grabbed it again. "I have to write the address on the envelope." I DO hope he wasn't in a hurry. THEN I headed towards Chic Filet to meet Starling for lunch. I finish telling Starling how HORRIBLE it is to take children on errands, hang up and some car slams on brakes in front of me. I in turn punch my brakes. I think I'm all good but then I hear the loudest squealing of tires on asphalt and I am SOOO confused. I push my brake down harder but I THINK I'm already stopped. And then... CRASH!!! HOW in the HECK? WHAT? The car in front of me drives off. It took me seriously an entire MINUTE to realize "I" didn't run into a car, but a GINORMOUS truck tail ended me. GREAT!! GREAT!! SUPER DUPeR!! WOW! Talk about FABULOUS timing! I glance at my kids and I absolutely, positively, do NOOOOOOT want to look at my car. NOOOO. Please don't be damaged. Please don't be broken, car. I just got you LEGAL to DRIVE!!! I finally look. Ooooohhhh.... my trunk is CRUNCHED. Like an EGG. My tail light is busted off. I MIGHT would've fallen out in the road and let the passing traffic run me over, BUT there was a distraught young man to tend to. "I'm so sorry! Are you okay?" And then his mom and dad showed up. They were apologizing ninety to nothing. "Its fine... we're all fine..." "THIS is his FIRST wreck EVER! Never a speeding ticket, nothing!" I assured the mom AGAIN that is was okay. "This is MY first wreck, too," I told her, "That wasn't my FAULT..." Out of... umm... five? Six? Twelve? but who's counting....? I really only count the ones involving OTHER vehicles THAT have a police report to go with them. That's only... um... THREE that count. TWO bump ups I had didn't have any damage- well to THEIR cars- so THEY don't count. And all the OTHER crashes with phone poles, trees, ditches, removed fountain holes, bolders, traffic barrels etc??? Yeah. Those don't count either. I told the dude he's just lucky he's gone FIVE years without an accident. I can't go five minutes. I mean... REALLY. I drove to New Orleans a few weeks ago and ripped off my mirror on a light pole. WHILE staring into the mirror. It SHOWED I was clearing my car. RIGHT before the mirror disappeared from sight with a loud POP. Luckily Starling fixed it.

I didn't have time to cry or anything. I had to get ready to go help at my friends' wedding reception. We, of COURSE, drive to the WRONG Clubhouse. I rush in and some lady runs up to me and asks if I've seen Kelly. "No! That's who I'm looking for!" So I rush around looking for the mom of the bride. And then I notice everyone is drinking and a lot of them are already drunk. What? Mormon people don't drink alcohol and so I was SOOo confused NOT to mention I'd been scurrying around for ten minutes and STILL hadn't seen anyone I knew. I found the lady looking for Kelly. "Umm... what KELLY are you looking for?" She said a DIFFERENT last name than the Kelly I was looking for. CRAP! So then we finally went to the RIGHT place. We left there, picked up the kids from my parents, and got home after midnight.

Saturday: We woke up WAY before my brain could've POSSIBLY been expected to function. We slugged around to do our garage sale. NO ONE that said they were going to SET UP STUFF showed up. AND some crazy lady was harassing me the WHOLE time. AND Starling left ME with my CAR but accidentally took my KEYS. So I was just chilling stuck with a crazy lady that was telling me how SHE was going to RUN the flea market. I was biting my tongue because she didn't KNOW that I'm the one buying the property she THINKS she is going to run. She was just going ON and ON about how SHE was going to tell the GUY (the guy being my HUSBAND) that she was renting this giant building and that he was not going to charge her a lot of rent at FIRST because she needed to be established before she had to pay rent and BLA BLA. FINALLY I couldn't take it anymore. "Are you referring to Mr. Johnson?" "Yeah- my partner has been in touch and we've worked it all out." "Is that right? Well I'm Wendi Johnson. His wife." THEN her story started BACK pedaling. "Well my partner hasn't been able to get him on the phone. But tell him we've got our plans all worked out." When she left, I called Starling. He had a feeling to stop and talk to this lady that does flea markets on his way back to me. AND the crazy lady SHOWED up at THAT place and, having never met Starling, TOLD him that she WORKED there and was RUDE to him. We got the biggest kick out of her. Like HOW many lies can you tell someone in ONE day. Needless to say- the Bargain Bash Kickoff was a DUD. AND we know who we are NOT renting to. But, after I forgave Starling for LEAVING me with that NUT JOB, we met with a very nice lady who we may do some business with. (WHICH, by the way, the crazy lady told us was her ParTner and that- SUrPriSE!- was also a LIE). We ran home from our meeting with her, changed, and went to the church for my friend's Baptism. I spoke on the Holy Ghost. We left straight from there and went to a Fiesta. A real one. One of our Spanish friend's was having his 40th birthday. His wife is white. Okay- it started off normal with her family being there. He opened gag gifts and it was fun. Really fun! But that's because I've only had white girl fun. I didn't have all that much to compare it to. Then all the rest of the Spanish people showed up and all the white people left except us. THEN the REAL party got started. CAN i JUST say... I was SOOOO born into the WRONG culture!! I'm officially a wanna be Latina. The Salsa music was turned up. KIDS were running wild shaking moroccas and dancing. The ADULTS ALL danced! And it was family friendly dancing. Brooklyn was passed from one dancing adult to the next. I have NEVER seen Brooklyn have so much fun. She had a morocca in each hand and she was in the middle of all the dancing. Starling and I jumped in the dance train and I was LOVING IT!! Starling had his guitar and he played all the fun Spanish songs that I know, too, since I live with him. SOOOoooo Awesome! I know what REAL fun is now and I hate to tell ya- white people just don't do it right. And the FOOOOD... omgracious... phenomenal. From now on, Starling is getting a Fiesta birthday. And so our my children. And so am I.

Sunday: We went to church and afterwards we went to Hayden's baptism and then crashed into a nap and probably would have never woken up if I didn't have a 2 year old jumping on my head yelling for chocolate milk. We went on a family walk and went to bed for the night.

Monday: 31st. Halloween... I was so burned out on dressing up that its all I could do to dress Brooklyn. Brighton got to be a chicken since Brooklyn insisted he wear her chicken suit. Starling and I did NOT dress up. We just pulled the little red wagon with the kiddos inside. (MY little red wagon... so its 25 years old and still rolling. Must be a Honda. lol). Anyway- they racked up on candy. And we burned enough calories to feel NO guilt about helping the kids eat their candy.

Tuesday: We met with two potential business partners and discussed the possibility of turning the entire land into Flea Market territory. They have some really cool ideas and the experience to DO it. I'm starting to doubt my capability in running something that big. I mean... I can't even make a garage sale happen properly.

Wednesday: I enjoyed some quality socializing at Craft Day. I made- TU TU's! That's like ALL I do now days. And PAINT. Then Starling and Eric played at the Candy Buy Back. I took the babes up their and we had a BLAST and won LOTS of cool stuff!!

Thursday and Friday: I did nothing but paint. I am so used to looking at unfinished walls that until I started painting the touch up areas, I didn't realize what a LARGE JOB we have ahead of us. Then we went to Russ and Kristen's engagement party and took the kids. We are ALWAYS the only ones that haul our kids everywhere we go. BUT- I really like having my kids around. Most days. And so we'll keep taking them until people stop inviting us because there are five of them. Brooklyn had a ball. She danced in her hot pink tu tu. Like her Daddy. She dances like her daddy. I'm going to have to put her in DANCE just for MY sanity. Brighton danced too, and giggled and laughed. That kid is SOOO happy... and perfect. And I'm STILL obsessed with him five months later. EVERY little roll!

Saturday: Starling was HOME today! FOR like the first time in FOREVER he didn't WORK on a Saturday! It was GLORIOUS!! He worked HERE instead of somewhere else. He sanded the master bath's walls so now we are ready to PAINT!! We went to Lowe's and picked out bathroom paint, new hall paint (we're going LIGHTER), and new paint for Brighton's room. Starling picked a hall color. I picked a hall color. Usually we are super great at compromising BUT neither of us were willing to budge. SOoooOOoo that only left ONE solution. Paper. Rock. Scissors. I won. The hall is going to look GREAT! Then we watched the football game and ate pizza at David's. That was a gREAT game. SO many touchdowns. NOT. BUT we had fun talking.

Sunday: THANK goodness for Daylight Savings Time- since its TODAY and I'm STILL blogging away... But I HAD to catch up!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I love how I learn something new and profound every day. Some days its as simple as learning one shouldn't go to the gym and traumatize her leg muscles the day before she goes to the New Orleans Zoo where she will be walking a random marathon WHILE hauling a 20 pound infant/ and or two year old. Some times its merely learning to forgo mascara and eyeliner if one is going to watch a movie called "Courageous" about Daddies and dehydrate from loss of fluid through the eye ducts. Yesterday it was to examine the canned goods in the pantry and throw out cans that were bought at some random salvage food store that expired in 2007. TODAY its only 9:45 in the a.m. and I'm already learning.

#1- Its done got COLD at 6:00! #2 I can't make Brighton laugh while nursing. We BOTH nearly drowned in milk when he unlatched to grin. #3 I'm currently reading the "Help." NOOooo, I haven't watched the movie yet and I'm NOT watching it until I'm ALL done with the BOOK. I borrowed it from the library. I'm on chapter 17. (still half a book to go). I've renewed the book 3 times already. I hope noone is waiting on my to finish it ANY time soon. I only give myself the luxury of reading while I'm working out, sitting at a red light, or waiting in the car while Starling shops. Since I haven't been in the same vehicle with Starling except to go to church in like- FOREVER, and I usually GAS IT when the light turns yellow, I haven't gotten much reading done. AND I slacked up on going to the gym because I've peaked. I'm not getting ANY stronger, my muscles aren't getting ANY bigger, and my stomache isn't getting ANY smaller. SOOO the ONLY motivation I have to go to the gym? TO READ. And so I suddenly enjoy the tread mill because its 20 minutes of uninterupted reading. VERSUS one minute 30 second reading spurts.

WHERE was I GOING with this story... OH YES! THINGS I learned today! I learned how to get rid of a cold from Aibleen, a character in the book. Honey, warm water, and a bit of lemon. AND the character Minnie is giving a "brainless" woman cooking lessons. LOVING those! I may be able to cook real greenbeans. SINCE Minnie has to REPEAT herself ten times and the woman she is teaching asks the "most dense" questions- questions "I" thought were pretty good ones. I sure didn't know the answers.

AND some great NEWS!!- GOT MY CAR TITLE IN THE MAIL YESTERDAY!!! WOO HOO!! IT's been a YEAR!! I did have a mild heart palpitation when Starling put on the tag. I asked, "WHY DOES IT SAY 2010!?" Because of course the DMV gave us an out dated tag. But Starling said, "Wendi. The 10 stands for the month." PHEW! Close one! And here is what I learned... NOTHING Can put a damper on me GETTING a TAG!!! NOT even finding out I have a suspended license!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Okay. Once I post this its official. And I'm going to need some SERIOUS help! I hope everyone who can WILL come SUPPORT ME!!! (Ummm like YOU Starling! And Les!) Starling got tired of me whining about WHEN I could run with this idea I've been toying with for some... TWELVE months... and finally today he said, "JUST set a date and DO it!" SO I DID! Here is my FLYER that won't show up in the RIGHT dad-gum FORMAT!


OCTOBER 29, 2011
(And EVERY Saturday)!


For $15 you can set up your OWN yard sale in PRIME location!
Oak Grove/Friend Road (behind the storage buildings)
-FUN atmosphere
-LOTS of people coming to shop
-NO clean up!
(You can leave any unsold or unwanted items)
-FREE set up for GIVE-AWAYS
-Give away your puppies, kittens, and bunnies
-Please be fully set up by 7:30 a.m.

-No more running around at 6 a.m. on a SATURDAY morning!
-We open at 8:00 a.m. (so SLEEP IN)!
-Yard sales conveniently located in ONE place!
-Fun for the whole family (including PETS)!

Call Wendi Johnson for more details!

(Set Up Fee WAVED for Grand Opening!!)
*We’d like to have a festive atmosphere complete with YUMMY food! If you have a grill and would like to sell hamburgers or hot dogs BRING IT!
*If you have a Moon Walk Bouncer and want to charge kids $.50 or $1.00 to jump- BRING IT!!
*If you have a Cotton Candy, Popcorn, or Snow Cone machine- BRING IT!!
*If you know how to make Funnel Cakes and have a way to cook them- BRING IT!!
*If you have fresh grown pumpkins, garden food- BRING IT!!
*If you have old tables that you don’t want any more, CALL me and I’ll PICK UP!!
*If you have STUFF that you just don’t WANT, CALL me and I’ll PICK UP!!

We have goals to fix up the old barn on the property and make it into a little Thrifty/Flea Market/Garage Sale thingy called... (wait for it... its ORIGINAL and CREATIVE above ALL names you've EVER known...) Starling came up with it. THE BARN. Yeah. I wanted to name it The Lilly Pad or Tu Tu Cute and sale froo froo stuff in it. BUT Starling whacked at my names like a crazed butcher. AND then proceeded to say the barn should be called The Barn. Whatever. So long as I get to FINALLY own a little store that's open only on Saturdays. For now. (We may eventually do more days. But that is SO very WAY into the future). So I hope that EVERY person out there will say to themselves, "Do I have clutter in my house?" (and I pray your house looks like mine. And I also hope you all have a Starling living there with you. OR you ARE a Starling). So you will say, "YES! I have MORE junk than I can BEAR to LOOK at anymore! I MUST haul it OFF!" And then I hope you say, "Wendi is an absolute dense and can never pull this thing off by herself," sigh, "I WILL take my junk up there and SET up a little booth JUST so she isn't standing there all by herself next Saturday morning with snot running down her face because noone showed up to her big GRAND OPENING. AND I haven't exactly collected ANY tables thus far so BRING ONE with you when you COME!! To put your stuff on. AND if it RAINS (which my luck it WILL) we'll just move it inside of the baseball building thing. But everyone cross your fingers that it WON'T rain! And if you really lie to yourself and tell yourself you NEED all those nic-nacs on your shelves, then at LEAST come and LOOK next Saturday so all the nice people that show up to help me put this on will not be sad. (And wanting to wring my neck). And it doesn't have to just be yard sale stuff... You can bring stuff you MADE! Like me. I'm bringing my tu tu's and hairbows. AND hopefully half the items in my HOME. (If Starling DOESn'T show up- then like 78 percent of things in my house may disappear...). And if you only have a FEW things then get up with some more people who have a few things. (I'm renting spots SOooO however many people and their stuff you can fit in one spot- only $15). That isn't too much is it? I'm going to live and learn. This is an experiment that I'm hoping turns out WAY better than my cooking.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Speaking of Guardian Angels...

I don't consider myself some Politcal analyst or even SUPER duper politically informed. AND I don't care to much for politicians (no offense if YOU or YOUR SPOUSE is ONE). BUT- I am freaking out that people aren't even watching the Debates?? How the heck are you going to know who to vote for?? I guess most people are just going to vote for whoever runs against our CURRENT pres, unless of course you have been living in the ground for say... the last 4 years, and STILL think Obama is gonna bring about GREAT CHANGE. (Of course... he HAS brought about great AMOUNTS of change... I don't guess our economy has been this crappy in MY lifetime). ANYWAY- WATCH the DEBATES and get informed PEOPLE!! I still haven't decided who I like. I don't like either one of the Ricks, though, for SURE. One is an arrogant DUFUS and the other is so obnoxious I long to get my THUMP on with his EARS. I like Herman Cain and Romney and the rest of them seem pretty nice. (I like nice people. If you don't then WATCH the DEBATES and pick a MEAN one!) Okay- that's all I have to say about that.

NOW- on to my OTHER issues. So THANK you all for your sweet "BLESS your POOR children for having you and Starling as Parents" comments. I'm afraid for them, too. We have been very blessed. I know MY guardian angel forewarned Brooklyn and Brighton's guardian angels that they have their work cut out for them. (And I'm plain scared to know what Starling's guardian angel had to say. He probably snorted and said, "He's reproduced?! Heaven help us all!!" Especially when he found out that he had a BOY. And then for toppers- when the angel said, "Lets hope he takes after his mother" and my angel said, "Ummm.. he married WENDI, remember?" I think that's when Starling's guardian angel mumbled something about being too old for this and he wants a transfer).

All this talk about guardian angels... I am brought back to a beautiful vacation Starling and I took BEFORE we had babies.

*soft tinkling music* - *fuzzy image clearing*

AH. There we are. It is a lovely summer day in mid June. The air is a perfect 85 DRY degrees. Glenwood Springs, CO has never been so full of happy laughing people scurrying around for the Strawberry Days Festival. Starling and I are giddily frolicking down hiking trails, dipping our toes in river streams, tripping and falling and dropping our camera in river streams (okay- maybe that was just ME), and eating from Starling's camping stove. We found a BEAUFIUL bridge (that was actually part of someone's driveway) to camp under. Starling laid out camping pads, covered them in a giant fluffy down comforter, and we LAY down just soaking up the moment. The rush of the mountain river a little below us sending up a cool spray that freshened the warm air. The smell of sweet olive trees dancing in the breeze. And of course the taste of... well we were kissing each other. (We'd found a camp ground near by that had open bathrooms where we'd showered and brushed our teeth). It was just PERFECT. BUT- we REALLY wanted to add some excitement to our trip. (Hiking up to Hanging Lakes with a nose bleed and some kid running DOWN the mountain shouting bear!!! wasn't exciting enough for us).

We were driving in Starling's red broncho, windows down, when we saw it. THE THRILL to top all THRILLS. The Colorado River, white topping. We looked at each other. Starling drove to a Tire Place and bought too giant tubes for $10 bucks a piece. The FIRST warning that came to us was from the person selling the tubes. "Where are ya'll going tubing?" He asked friendly enough. "The Colorado River." He choked and sputtered, "No, son! You can't TUBE down the river! You need wet suits and life jackets and a RAFTING guide! You'll freeze to death PLUS the water is BRUTAL!" Uh huh. "Thanks for the TUBES!" THEN we hopped into our swim suits and headed to our destination. Mississippi style. When we neared the water, we both felt a little trepidation. MAYBE it WILL be a LITTLE dangerous... SO we got a couple of life jackets to be on the SAFE side. FINALLY, nothing could stop us. NOT even the SECOND WARNING. As we determined how we'd hop into our tubes, a WHITE WATER RAFTING group passed us. ALL in wet suits and life jackets. The guide started shouting frantically, "NOO!! You can't TUBE IN THIS!!! You'll BE KILLED!!!" We waved back smiling. We'd been told by the life jacket rental people that the snow had just melted and the water temp was a little above freezing. Snow MELT, they called it. Well, being from the South, that just went over my head, and I paid it no mind.

Well, the water did look a bit choppy and TERRIBLY quick. "What if we get separated?" I asked. Starling thought about this and in his great wittiness, announced, "I know what we can do." He proceeded to TIE our tubes together. (With Cable Wire from the back of his Bronco). "What if we fall off our tubes?" I asked, really feeling a bit anxious now that I was close enough to hear the ROAR of the water. SO Starling tied US to our TUBES. And when the SECOND Water Rafting guide went by and told us we would HANG ourselves that way, we decided we were ready to go in. SO, carrying our tubes and wires, and LEAVING our shoes, I went first. My butt didn't even TOUCH my tube. The water slung my tube and sent me plummeting into ICE. Starling reeled me in with my cable wire AND my tube and did we give up? NO. I spat and sputtered, and teeth chattering said, "We better BOTH jump in at the same time." So we did. ANd OFF we went.

After the initial whip-lash and after our butts were numb we started enjoying ourselves. We were FLYING! "WOO HOO! This is AWESOME!!" The sun felt INCREDIBLE against the sharp (and I mean SHARP) contrast of the ice water. We were getting shot up in the air from the current and random rocks and LOVING it!

BUT. Then a HUGE boulder emerged. We tried to not slam STRAIGHT into it but we were going so fast and steering a tube has never been my strong point. At the last minute Starling FLUNG me to keep me from face planting and he went the OTHER way. Our cable wire WRAPPED around the boulder sending Starling FLYING out of his tube. Luckily, he was tied to his tube. UNFORTUNATLEY, he was tied to his tube. (Why Lucky and Unfortunate?) Well- if he wouldn't have been tied to his tube he would have just gotten swept away and 100% drowned. BUT since he was tied, the cable wire was cutting him in half. I pulled myself to him trying to untangle him but the water was ripping us apart. He was SCREAMING in pain trying to loosen up the wire and I was just... screaming. Yeah. NO water rafters came by to save us. It was just as well. He finally got ON the tube and was able to get situated with only MILD abrasions. We didn't even have time to catch our breath before we saw a monstrous cyclone in the middle of our path. "IS THAT!?" I shrieked. "A WHIRLPOOl!!!" Starling yelled as he started paddling FRANTICALLY. Our paddling was POINTLESS. We started sending up PRAYERS like nobody's business. I was SQUALLING telling Starling, "I don't WANT to DIE!!! We're REALLY ARE GOING TO DIE!" And Starling, who would normally roll his eyes at my dramatic-ness, just looked at me wide eyed and yelled, "WE REALLY ARE." And then we got sucked into the edge of the whirl pool. We started spinning around the lip. I closed my eyes just KNOWING I was going to die but still praying FERVENTLY that God would forgive our stupidity and PLEASE give us a second chance. About that time, Starling slammed his tube into mine which sent me JUST out of the direct swirl and the momentum sent us spinning wildly. I yanked the cord as HARD as my adrenaline arms could tug, and Starling's tube rammed into me again. We rammed each other again and again, shouting, "JUST GET TO THE EDGE!" It took us some twenty or thirty minutes to GET to the bank. NOT exaggerating. When Starling finally caught hold of a rock and DRUG me out of the death trap, we flopped on the ground and just laid there panting and defrosting. THEN we said a heart felt prayer and promised to NEVER do anything that stupid again. Then we set off to hitch hike back to the Bronco.

We'd gone WAY farther than we'd PLANNED and had no idea where we were. BUT the asphalt was HOT HOT!! Shoeless, we high-stepped our way to a Gas Station where some dude in a feed truck took one look at our banged up appearance and hauled us back to our ride.

We enjoyed the rest of our trip enjoying the DULLness and LACK of excitement.

*loud sound- back to NOW*

THAT is when I first realized the power of guardian angels. Well NOT the first time..

*clinkling sound again*

I was young, some time before I got a drivers license. I was in Petal where my best bud Natalie and I were hanging out looking for some "EXCITEMENT." We went walking. While we were blab blabbing about what boy we thought was cute in the SEVENTH grade, we came upon an abandoned house. Well, now. THAT had excitement written on the front door! (You just couldn't SEE it through all the graffiti). Fearless and invincible, as all twelve year olds ARE, we busted up into that house with all the eagerness of a raccoon in a trash can. With NO regard to laws and such, we just made our self at home, playing detective. "Look at this place! All the letters on the ground!" We went through some of it. "THERE's some clothes in this closet!" And beds. "Wow.. I wonder if its haunted!" Natalie and I started scaring ourselves, especially when we heard noises that sounded very human. When we couldn't find the stairs, we went outside to investigate. When we turned our faces upward, a face stared down at us from a window. "AHHAHAHAHHHH!!!" We bolted down the driveway and within seconds of us getting onto the main road, a CAR turned down the driveway. WE ran ALL the WAY back to Natalie's house panting. LATER, when we told the story to our Sunday School teacher, about seeing a GHOST, he informed us we'd paid a visit to the Whore House where people gather to sell drugs and such and that we hadn't seen a ghost, but a person probably LIVING there. For some reason, that seemed much scarier than a ghost. We didn't go back.


Okay... come to think of it, I have a LOT of those kind of stories. From trying to lure a ride from my Grandma's house when I was seven, just to see if I could stick out my leg like the lady in the movie I'd seen, and get someone to stop, to picking up hitch-hikers that were actually prostitutes. Yeah. I guess I'm just lucky to be alive. THANK you GUARDIAN ANGELS! (God knew I needed some angels quick on their feet, or fast with their wings...).