Mulligan, please!

I’m sure you’ve had the kind of day where, from moments after awaking, you wanted to start all over. The kind of day where even staying in bed and being waited on hand and foot would still be a bad day. The kind of day where…you get the idea.

This is that kind of day.

Those kinds of days begin the night before, as we moms know. Oh, do we know. Last night A woke himself up puking in his bed. For those with a scorecard, this is two pukes in a week. Luckily, I’m reasonably ok with a vomitfest, it’s the loose teeth that get me. So I’m pretty sure that these random pukes are not related to any traveling virus, but with his ongoing digestive issues. Tomorrow morning I’m going slightly insane on our fantastic pediatrician in the hopes that he can pull a few strings and get A into the GI specialist before his September 22nd appointment. Dr. Google and I have been chatting today and I have a few leads into his pooper, but I’m sure I’m missing something. I am seriously pissed that this has been going on for so long, and my MomRadar is blaring full-on klaxon horn.

J crawled into bed with us early to snuggle. I love to snuggle with him, but I’d been up late with the puke-a-rama and a small child who is physically unable to lie still while snuggling was not terribly welcome.

Somehow, doing something, I borked up my back. Upper back, not neck for a change. I canNOT take a deep breath, so I’m fighting the sensation of suffocating. Ibuprofin isn’t touching it. I’m spending today on the couch with my laptop, attempting to get caught up and ahead on a few things. Unfortunately the things that require the most attention are downstairs in my office and can’t be done lying down. If I have shingles, have bail ready for I may strangle my husband.

Someone seriously pissed in Mother Nature’s cornflakes, ’cause there’s all kinds of October out there today. Ooh! It’s up to a steamy 66 degrees now! So it’s Cuban pork roast (low and slow, baby), peach pie (Colorado peaches are in season and we have most of a 20 pound box on the counter…sinful), and all sorts of other oven adventures while it’s cool. For awhile there I had on a sweatshirt and was wrapped up in a blanket.

The Broncos play the Chicago Bears tonight. My Chicago friends are talking smack. Uh-huh…Cutler is coming back to a stadium he dissed loudly and angrily, just mere months after doing so. It’ll be a good game; I suspect a hockey game may break out.

The universe snuck into the boys’ rooms last night and filled them full of piss and vinegar and stubbornness and conflict and OH MY GOD PLEASE STOP DOING THAT AND MAKING THAT SOUND AND JESUS FREAKING CHRIST GO DOWNSTAIRS BEFORE I START DRINKING IT’S 9:30 IN THE MORNING!

(For the love of all things holy, what was that crash from the basement?)

For the last several weeks I’ve been working to reframe my thoughts and put a more positive spin on things. Today? Nope.

Pass the ibuprofin and ice pack. Today will end shortly.

Friday Fragments: August 28, 2009

Friday Fragments?

My brain hurts. My fragments have fragments. Perhaps I should seek medical attention, but…eh…

  • Contrary to all proof on this site, I am actually not dead, kidnapped, or have run off to “hike the Appalachian trail.” I am simply busy. I am also taking better care of myself. My acupuncturist and I have a working theory about the exhaustion that descends upon me with little to no warning. I’ve had mono twice. We suspect the Epstein-Barr virus hangs out in my system and, when triggered, flares up. Not into full-fledged mono, but knock-down, drag-out, please shoot me exhaustion. The trigger? Stress. Perhaps wheat. Fun to be me! This summer, with the boys out of school and A’s ongoing digestive issues/ADHD and several trips, probably triggered it a bit and that may be why I’ve been dragging. With the boys back in school I’m feeling a lot better. So to keep it at bay (and this is a lifestyle change, because this will likely dog me my whole life), I really need to focus on a healthy lifestyle. Eat well, get enough sleep, reduce my commitments, manage my stress better, exercise, and see my acupuncturist. Nothing outrageous there, just hard to make some changes, most notably the “reduce my commitments” part. I’ve dropped a few things and will continue to drop what doesn’t serve me well.
  • I’m getting a sore throat. Please just be fall allergies or dehydration. I’ve been taking my Cold Nip, which I can’t recommend highly enough to scare off colds. I take it and I don’t get sick. The only time it didn’t work was last spring when I got the flu AND strep at the same time. It just couldn’t compete. The stuff is strong, but it really works. Get some.
  • Mama got her iPhone. Mama is a happy, happy camper. Mama couldn’t wait any longer.
  • That said, MAMA IS GOING TO KILL OUTLOOK. I had to go back to Outlook so I could sync emails/contacts/calendar with the iPhone (and so help me, if you tell me I didn’t have to go back to that POS program I will start drinking heavily). Setting up the iPhone took the better part of last week, through no fault of the iPhone. It works great and makes me extremely happy. My PC is just pissed at the new intruder and knows that it is the inferior piece of technology. YOUR DAYS ARE NUMBERED, PC!!!
  • Have I mentioned today how much I pink puffy heart Pandora? In fact, I love it so much that I hit my monthly limit this week. Yeah, a monthly limit. So I sucked it up and paid for a year. Thirty-six bucks for a year of whatEVER I feel like listening to. For this musician, music to my ears.
  • So. School. We’re only a week in, so I’m keeping my mouth shut and my eyes and ears wide open. But. A was kept in at recess on the second day of school to finish some work. Talking to other parents, they’ve been losing recess this week because of being loud in the halls. Then. Got a little info sheet on what 3rd grade is doing math-wise this unit (a week? a month? doesn’t say) and it’s all stuff A did last year, if not the year before. I know the kids need review after a summer of brain rust, but OMFG. We worked on his math homework earlier this week and it about effing killed me. TWO HOURS of arguing and roadblocks and frustration to do FIVE math problems…math problems of “rearrange these numbers, then draw a circle around which one is greatest and a square around which one is least.” TWO HOURS. Oh, this was because there was some concern that using the words “biggest” and “smallest” was confusing: 75 and 57 are the same size because they have the same numbers and are both double digits. So the kids have to learn “greatest” and “least.” Are.You.Effing.Kidding.Me????? So two hours of misery and then…and here’s the eye-opener…the “bonus” question: What do you notice about the numbers you marked as “greatest” and “least?” And, no shit, A took one look at that, glanced at the problems, shouted out “THEY’RE BACKWARDS!!!!!,” and scrawled out the answer in under thirty seconds. And right there, my friends, is the challenge of giftedness. Too easy and he shuts down. Make him use his brain and watch out. Hm. Just realized I never posted about his testing at the GDC. Might want to do that, get my thoughts down, so as the school year goes on I can remember how I felt.
  • I’d like some more summer, but I suspect fall is going to come sooner rather than later. I’m actually driving with my seat heater on. It’s August.

And that is apparently all I can dribble out today. My fragments are apparently even more fragmented than I realized. I’m sure I have glue around here somewhere…

A day eight years in coming

Not even going to try to do a Wordless Wednesday on these photos. I couldn’t. See? Already written too many words. I’m doomed.

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IT’S THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL!!!!!

No, I’m not excited.

It’s a day eight years in coming. For eight years I have been a stay at home mom with kids on top of me nearly every day. Summer camps and some part time work and preschool kept the insanity demons at bay, but today…today is the day that all comes to a close.

My sons are in school now.

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I strongly believe, that for me, my sons and I should not be together all day every day. Homeschooling isn’t an option for that reason. I deeply admire those who homeschool, but I know that I just can’t do it. It’s hard enough being the boys’ parent without being their school teacher too. I’m a much better parent with my boys gone for chunks of the day, every day. I recognize that about myself and I’ve made my peace with it.

It’s going to be a great year, for them and for me. Back to School is sorta my New Year, always has been. New pencils, new backpacks, a change of season right on the horizon (and with our psycho weather this summer, today is fall-ish for sure), a change in routine…it’s all good.

A was rarin’ to go this morning. I haven’t seen him this prepped for school in a long time. I think the long summer break was wearing on him too. I could barely get a picture of him before he was in the door, then he dropped his stuff in his cubby and was at his desk before I finished wishing his teacher a good morning. It’ll be an interesting few days for him. See, he’s still off his ADHD meds. We’re playing it by ear right now. He’ll go back on meds (though a different one that won’t kill his appetite) only if the ADHD is noticeably affecting his ability to learn. He’s eating, his blood sugar is more stable lately (so he’s not having as many meltdowns…hi! cause, meet effect!), and with a few noticeable exceptions, his behavior really isn’t any more outrageous than any other eight year old. We’ll see, but I’m feeling really good about this right now.

J was excited because A was excited. Then we dropped him off at his room and suddenly…it wasn’t all that exciting anymore. A new school, new classroom, new teacher, new kids…Shy Boy flared up. And then, hallelujah, in came his best friend from preschool who also had the Shy Boy Deer in Headlights look. They grabbed each other, went off to play, and all was well. He’s going to love kindergarten, especially full-day, since he’ll get to do art and music and PE and computers.

It’ll be interesting to see how our lives change now with two kids in school. I’ll have more time to function without distraction, they’ll start to have lives outside our walls (exhilarating and terrifying at the same time), and I think (hope/pray) that things will just be a little smoother.

Don’t burst my bubble, it’s the first day. I didn’t cry at drop off, let me dream a little about how wonderful this is.

A new stage in our lives has begun.

And I can’t wait to see how it plays out.

Must get research dollars for this…

Hey! You! The one sitting there reading with a glass of wine/cup of coffee in your hand!

Do you suffer from Prepping For A Solo Tripitis?

Symptoms include, but are not limited to:

  • sudden realization of eleventy billion things that must be accomplished before leaving on the trip, or the world will end
  • a neon, yet invisible, sign to indicate that, yes!, you can go to the grocery store at 10pm after a meeting to get food to sustain the family while you are gone
  • at least one critical electronics malfunction or worrisome blinking light on the dashboard
  • two or more trips to the credit union, because you didn’t remember to get cash to pay the mother’s helper watching the cherubs the first time you went and got cash
  • and, finally, complete scheduling of the entire day prior to the trip to fully ensure that you will not drop into bed until nearly midnight, regardless of the time of your flight

If you, too, suffer from Prepping For A Solo Tripitis, you are not alone! Studies* have shown that 99.9999% of women who leave on a solo trip will suffer some form of this condition, from a mild “oops, gotta set the DVR for my favorite show!” to “holy crap, if I don’t get this bathroom painted before my flight leaves in an hour I will not be able to enjoy that flight!

There is no cure at this time. The best treatment is to just suffer through it, get on a plane, and have margaritas immediately after arriving at the destination. The favorite show can be watched later on Hulu, the bathroom walls will just get peed on, and the mother’s helper can damned well take a check.

Back Sunday.

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*studies may or may not have actually occurred, and may or may not have been random small talk over drinks with people not seen again.

Two births, too different

I tend not to dwell on the births of the boys, mainly because I’m too wrapped up in the day to day chaos of actually raising them. This month’s book club selection for the Rocky Mountain Moms Blog, Birth Day by Dr. Mark Sloan, got me to thinking about them. A pediatrician, Dr. Sloan writes on the history and science of childbirth, and writes well at that. The book draws you in, and you can’t help but think, “Would I recommend this to an expecting mom?”

Yup, I would. Right after the thought better you than me, chica, I ain’t going through THAT again. Been there, done that, don’t want to do it again.

Birth A: First child. No idea on the sex. Born on Easter weekend (I do not recommend going into labor on any kind of holiday weekend). The ever-so-kind staff set me up with an epidural, cranked it to high, and left me there. I got checked, “hey, you’re at 10, start pushing!”, and had to watch the contraction graph to know when to push. For an hour. The last 45 minutes I had the pleasure of being introduced to Pitocin, which certainly moved things along, but also caused me to say very naughty things. A was born, I got lots of happy-happy-fun-fun stitches, and it’s been craziness ever since.

Birth J: Second child. Knew it was a boy, and thankful for it, for if I had learned in the delivery room that I wasn’t having the girl my heart was set on, it would have been ugly. Born two weeks early on the hottest day of 2004. I knew what was coming this time. I had been doing yoga for a couple of years, and prenatal yoga the entire pregnancy. None of that ridiculous labor breathing crap (which is the complete opposite of how I studied breathing for years as a flutist), just deep yoga breathing and concentration. Imagine my surprise when the anesthesiologist took one look at me and said “no way, dude.” J was born quickly, without drugs, maybe one stitch, and the endorphin high later was indescribable.

Two different boys. Two different births. Two completely different personalities. And while I know that birth stories don’t predict temperament, sometimes I really have to wonder. A’s birth was difficult-ish, with drugs and being forgotten, and pushing forfreakingever. He’s a difficult-ish kid, with twice-exceptionalities and issue after issue. J’s birth was calm, with deep breathing and focus and no drugs. He is a laid-back, easy-going, happy and loving little boy. Sometimes I have to wonder, and that’s why I don’t think about the boys’ births much.

But I can’t wonder too long, because the results of those two births are older now, running around the house, being all boy-ish and running amuck.

Dear So and So: The Fragmented Edition

Friday Fragments?

Dear So and So...
I’m combining my awesome brainpower to do two, yes TWO, meme thingamabobs in one post. Yes, please, bow to my awesomeness, for it shall not return again. I will have burnt out the aweso…ah…let’s fragment with a letter, shall we?

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Dear Mother Nature: Thanks for finally hitting middle age and having a couple of hot flashes. It’s been awfully cold and rainy for a Colorado summer and my garden was a sad affair. Since you shared your Own Personal Summer with us this week, my garden has perked up and is finally sharing its bounty with us. Tomatoes abound, the basil waves seductively in the breeze, the mint begs to be Mojitoed. It is Friday, after all…Mojitos in 3…2…1…  Uh, where was I? Ah, yes, the delicious bounty of a garden in a sultry summer. However, I believe you may have outdone yourself with the broccoli:

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This would be the World’s Largest Broccoli Crown. There are two smaller ones as well. We are set on broccoli for a few days, methinks. Thanks, Ma Nature.

Off to make a cheese sauce…

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Dear Person Parked Next to Me: Your bumper sticker? Awesomeness with adhesive backing: “Nuttier than a squirrel turd.” You put a smile on my face and gave me the best line for describing my life.

Gonna find a way to work that into conversation,

The Squirrel Turd Nut

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Dear Blind Guy on the Segway in the crosswalk:

Dude, I saw you last year and about drove the MomVan into a ditch. I give you huge props for getting around, but as I don’t know you, you scare the crap out of me. At least this time you had a helmet and neon orange vest on, in addition to your walking stick. How…uh…the hell? I walk across a bare floor and find the sole Lego or break a toe on nothing and you’re rockin’ the Segway. Just promise me you won’t go any faster than you can see to stop…wait…that’s the rule about driving in heavy fog. Just…be careful.

From the lady who still can’t believe her eyes when she sees you crossing heavy traffic.

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Dear self when driving:

Watch your mouth when driving with the boys in the car, or you’ll find that the $%@^Q@#$^ driver who turned right in front of you as you legally zipped through a yellow light is your pastor and the dad of one of A’s best friends.

Frak it all anyway…

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Dear counselors at church camp:

You guys rock. You took my boys for a week, kept them happy and me sane, and despite the hour round trip drive, it was fantastic. However. Someone explain to me the details of the game “Mafiosos” the boys were trying to tell me about???

Peace out.

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Dear Starbucks:

I hear that you have a new concept store that serves wine and beer. I know you have only one store, and that it’s in Seattle. Think out of the box! May I suggest that your next location be suburban? Like, by my house? There’s a brand new restaurant-ready building a couple of blocks away, on a golf course, between two huge subdivisions!!! On a highway no less! Caffeine in the morning, wine and book clubs in the evening! Make me happy, Starbucks! I ask not much!

Waiting for my Irish Coffee…

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Dear body:

Enough already. Enough. After a phone-tag game so lengthy the assistants were commenting on it, my endocrinologist and I finally connected. My numbers? High-normal. Thyroid is a-ok, body, so WTF? Why was yesterday so bad? I should not crash hard in the middle of the day after a full-night’s sleep. And what’s with the sensation of vibrating when I was crashing? Like…buzzzzzzzzzzzzz…total stop for a heartbeat…buzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…for hours! Uncool, body, uncool.

Gonna figure it out and whip your sorry ass into shape…

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Dear Universe:

Mojito time.

Love and kisses,

Jen

Can’t believe I just did that…

I just inadvertently outed my blog on Facebook. So if you’re here from there, uh, welcome. I’ll try not to wish myself into a deep dark hole next time we meet in person.

Fun with ADHD

“Hey mom? What’s ADHD?”

“Attention Hyperactivity Disorder.”

5…4…3…

Wait for it…

2…1…

“Mom? What’s ADHD?”

Ah, yes, life with an ADHD kid. Can be crazy, can be frustrating, can be funny as hell. I have no idea if A was being funny last night or if it was just a primo example of what living with him can be like.

A had his last dose of Focalin XR on Friday. We’ve pulled him off his meds until school starts, because the kid desperately needs to gain some weight. He starting dropping on his growth chart, freaking the hell out of his ADHD doctor and giving me no small satisfaction that hey doc! I was right!

But…is he truly ADHD? Before he went on meds in 2006, we investigated every other possibility. Sleep apnea, sensory issues, food allergies, you name it (and honestly, he has issues in every single one of those areas). I refused to jump onto the medication bandwagon, even though he showed signs as early as 3 years old. But…still…is he truly ADHD? In my research I learned that if a kid isn’t really ADHD he/she won’t really respond to any medication. A responded to both the medications he was on, and responded well.

But…

He’s been meds-less for several days now and…

I don’t want to leave him by the side of the road or duct tape him to the wall or drink an entire bottle of wine by breakfast or pray to every deity in history to please.make.it.stop or anything like that.

I’m scared to death to say it, but…things are good. He’s eating. Breakfast, lunch (hasn’t had lunch in years), snack, dinner, bedtime snack. He’s behaving. It’s church camp week, and I checked with his counselors yesterday…he wasn’t hyper, and just as bored and easily distracted as the other boys during bible study (and frankly, I would be too…). And…and oh holy hell, this scares me to admit…tonight is a full moon. I know this because my full moon tracker tells me so (yes, I really have one, and if your kids reacted to the full moon like mine do, you’d want to be prepared as well!). He is…fine. I mean, I know I’m not with him all day right now, but his afternoons when his meds have worn off are familiar to me (since that’s when I tend to see him after school), and his afternoons now with no meds are no different. In fact, they’re (knockwoodmylipstoGod’searspinaroundthreetimesandspit) better. There is less anxiety, which is a big thing with him. Huge. Monstrous. No anxiety=calm kid=calmer household=mom’s liver can live to see another day! Huzzah!

Can kids outgrow ADHD? A was on the lowest possible dose for his age and size, and it may even have been too low. Is it possible that he was only getting minimal support from the medication, and instead was getting all the anxiety? Is it possible that we (deep breath…prayers to all deities of the past, present, and future) inadvertently weaned him off the meds successfully? Right before school starts? Holy hell. I know only time will tell, but I do not want to throw him into third grade (2 weeks and counting! Woot!) without a safety net if he needs one.

On top of all this, I’m still mentally processing all the information we received from his giftedness testing. Processing=looking at the inch-thick folder and playing Scrabble on Facebook. If I open the folder, I’ll have to deal with all the info in there and do something with it all and I’m not sure I’m ready yet.

So, fun times with ADHD. Never a Dull Moment and all that. But if it turns out that he no longer needs the ADHD meds, the first thing I’m going to do, with a big-ass smile on my face, is shred the prescriptions into oblivion, set them on fire, and roast marshmallows over the flames. Happy Day.

Bullet Point Tuesday

  • Things really are buzzing behind the scenes. If you’re a friend on Facebook, you noticed that there’s some mild angst. Just mild. Nothing a little screaming and panicking and gnashing of teeth can’t fix.
  • I’m working on the blog post about last Friday…oh? Want a taste? A’s blood test, x-ray, and gifted testing results all came back that day. I believe I had most of a bottle of red wine that night.
  • On Thursday you can join me in my adventures with the Corn Syrup Police at Rocky Mountain Moms Blog.
  • Catch my feelings before A got tested over at Hopeful Parents, and just hope that I return with sanity intact this week.
  • I’m burning the 26 CDs worth of college recitals and concerts to iTunes. Happy Day! Then I’ll figure out how to upload a clip here. That was our anniversary gift to ourselves. And hell’s bells…I really wasn’t all that bad!…15 years ago…le sigh…
  • On Saturday we pulled A’s ADHD meds and he’s going without. He desperately needs to gain weight, and this is step one. So far, so good. At least, I haven’t wanted to duct tape him to a wall.
  • Did you know that things don’t go away if you stick your fingers in your ears and sing “lalalalalala???” I suspected they didn’t, but I tried it this weekend anyway. Surprise! It was all still there yesterday. Nuts.
  • Summer hath descended upon us now. Perhaps I’ll get some tomatoes this summer yet.
  • Hey, look! Something shiny!
  • Aw nuts…have to go get the boys from camp now…

{wow…that may have been the most boring post in the history of boring posts…}

Dear So and So: The Crabby Edition

Somehow this week I ran across Dear So and So, and it fits for today.

Dear So and So...

Dear Mother Nature: If you insist on 60 degree temps and rain in July, then you’d damned well better pony up some 60 degree temps and sun in February.

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Dear Denver Post: I canceled my daily subscription several days ago and yet there is still a paper on my lawn every morning. Wanna know why newspapers are a dying breed? Because you are giving me something I don’t want and am not paying for.

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Dear Yellow Pages: Ever hear of that newfangled thing, the Internets? It’s awesome…I can get addresses and phone numbers on it. Ads, too. Stop delivering a new phone book every couple of months, I don’t need it, I don’t want it, and I’ve requested several times that you stop.

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Dear uterus: I know you wield great power; I was there when those squalling sons of mine came tearing out of the vajayjay, courtesy of your strength. But with great power comes great responsibility. If you don’t knock off the god-damned display of strength and power every month, I’m going to rip you out with my bare hands and feed you to the neighborhood coyotes.

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Dear stiff neck: Really? Are you in cahoots with the uterus? Knock it the hell off.

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Dear Verizon Wireless, you have six weeks to offer the Apple iPhone 3Gs before I jump ship. No, the Blackberry Storm isn’t the same; I know it isn’t, you know it isn’t, market share knows it isn’t. September 12th I get my iPhone. You offer it before then, I’ll stay with you. Otherwise, sayonara.

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Dear medical profession, part one: For the love of all things holy, figure out WTF is wrong with my son’s digestive system. Don’t keep shuttling us from one doctor to another. It’s been eight years and he’s still stopped up like a bad sewer. Roto Rooter refuses to work on kids, I’ve called.  Homeopathy is working to a point, but then you order an x-ray and we see that it’s not working enough. Don’t then freak me the hell out, ordering us to yet another specialist, with instructions to effin’ finally get him evaluated for Hirschprung’s. And while you’re at it, can we figure out the whole ADHD thing? Oh, and when I call today to get the results of Tuesday’s blood test, have a freaking answer for me. Kindly do NOT freak me the hell out again and direct us to yet another specialist. His medical records have already killed a small forest, and our insurance company is going to notice us soon. I do not want us “noticed.”

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Dear medical profession, part two: Hi. Remember me? The one who keeps calling to find out why she’s so exhausted, keeps gaining weight (the clothes I bought at the beginning of the summer are getting too small), is depressed/cranky/anxious, and is convinced her thyroid is borked despite her numbers being “normal?” Care to return my effing calls? Should my son and I look into getting a 2 for 1 at the Mayo Clinic? Don’t make me go all postal. And I’m so nice, I’d go postal not on you, but on me, and frankly, my liver just can’t handle that level of tequila.

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Dear medical profession, part three: Thank you for catching Tom’s case of shingles on Monday, before he was contagious. My immune system is pissed at me and I had chicken pox so badly as a child that shingles would take me downdowndown. He’s doing much better now.

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Dear skin: I am not 13. I am not 45. Please knock off the blemishes and wrinkles. You’re not funny. Give me a couple of years of decent skin. I ask not much.

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Dear Gifted Development Center: The best thing I could hear this afternoon at A’s post-testing conference is you’re not crazy…he’s definitely twice-exceptional…visual-spatial learner for sure…we can help you. If I hear anything less, I may cry right there in the meeting, and I really don’t want to do that.
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Dear universe: Throw me a rope here. I have one foot in the crazy hole and one on a banana peel. Stop throwing crap at me. I have so much crap on me right now I look like a Jackson Pollock painting. I keep thinking if I drop this and I drop that, then I’ll be able to cope better. And then I realized that you’re not playing nice. I don’t need to drop everything to cope, you need to quit throwing miscellaneous shit at me for giggles.
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Love and kisses,
Jen