Monday, June 27, 2011

Crazy but Great Weekend

This weekend was, without a doubt, one of the craziest, busiest ones I've had. The kids both had Saturday birthday parties so we left the house at noon to get Kaylen out to the local gymnastics place for a 12:30-2pm party. I left her there and Kelton and I drove out to Stephanie's so that he could hang out with Andrew and I could hang out with Stephanie. It wasn't long before I was on the road again, sans Kelton (who wanted to stay and play some more), to pick up Kaylen. She excitedly told me all about her party while I drove us back out to Hockinson. We hung out there for a couple hours until it was time to take Kelton to his party. Kaylen decided to stay and play so I drove Kelton to his party and then back to Hockinson. In the car, along with my son for the second time that day (and the first time in ages!) he chatted my ear off about everything. It made me sad to realize how long it's been since I've had time alone with either of the kids. We move as a pack of three - with almost no "one on one" time. Clearly they both need more of that with me.

Kelton's party was a sleepover, but prior to RSVPing he had decided he only wanted to stay until 8pm. Good enough. Then he called at 7 and asked if he could stay until 8:30. Fine with me. Then, at 8, while I was on my way with Kaylen go to pick him up, my phone rang. "Mom?" he said, "I think I want to spend the night after all." We talked a bit and then the mom and I talked and it was all decided, he would stay (I didn't want to impose on the mom since Kelton had already made a decision to come home and not spend the night). Big event for my boy! He has never spent the night with a friend before. At my sister's with his cousin, yes. At another cousin's, yes. But never at a friends without family.

He was so sweet. He called me three times between 8 and 10 to say goodnight. I could tell he was nervous but we chatted about how cool it was and really great that it was just him and two friends (the birthday boy and another friend of his). In between phone calls, I got Kaylen to bed and finished up chores before crawling under my covers. It had been a long day with lots of miles driven but I had happy kids and I was feeling quite content with life myself. I drifted off easily and was only up once with the dogs. I was up for the day at 7am and I felt great! I can't tell you the last time I had blocks of sleep like that. Sleep is gooooooooood!

Kaylen woke before I had finished my first cup of coffee so she came into snuggle. We chatted for a while and then jumped into the shower. We needed to collect Kelton (who Kaylen was missing a lot!) at 9am.

At 8:30 my phone rang. It was Kelton calling to remind me I needed to pick him up at 9. I told him we were both ready and just waiting for pick up time. He said "Oh! Then can you come now?" Sure thing!

We buzzed over and picked him up and then, as he told us all about his time away, I drove to the grocery store to pick up some needed things. We were back home before 9:30. As the kids settled in for some TV time together, I did chores that needed to be tended to. Around 11, we headed to Hockinson to spend a very sunny day in the woods. The three kids teamed up and went on a hike around the property. We could see them off and on as they hiked through the trees and brush. Their laughter could be heard in the distance. One of those moments you just want to capture forever.

We spent a few hours over there and then packed up everyone and headed here for some pool time. The kids couldn't wait to jump in and ended up playing in the pool for about two hours. I don't know how they stood it - they were chilled clear through but no one wanted to get out. Finally, I got them paraded through warm showers and into dry clothes and then set to making everyone dinner. The little fishies were all very hungry!

Later on, it was popcorn and a movie before bed. The kids had a sleep over in the living room, a boy on each couch and Kaylen on the air mattress on the floor. After their busy days, they were all out like lights in no time - which is good, because so were the moms!

Today the kids are hanging out together while I do all the regular stuff in my day: chores, job hunt, more chores, feeding everyone, etc. Truth be told, it's almost easier to have another child here because the kids don't stay focused on making each other miserable and I haven't heard "I'm BORED!" or "MOM!!! Kelton/Kaylen did XYZ to me!" once yet today. Stephanie headed to work early and will be back later today to pick up Andrew.

I have to say, this weekend was a great "summer" weekend. Nice weather but more importantly: happy, laughing children. Their laughter makes all the craziness of life worth it.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Ummm....WHAT?!?! I was at the library for the Thursday summer event and I decided while the kids were occupied looking for books, I would visit the facilities. There was one of those cute little infant seats attached to the know, the kind you can strap your kiddo into so they don't crawl all over the bathroom floor? The kind I wish they had when my two were small? Yeah - that kind.

Anyway.....I eyeballed the instruction on it and then I paused....I re-read. WHAT?!?!

What kind of crazy big infants are out there anyway??? Kaylen, at age 6, doesn't even weigh 50lbs yet. The child is not small for her age - she is average sized according to the percentile charts so really?!?!?! A 50lb infant?


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Saving Grace

I started watching the TV series Saving Grace tonight and I'm already on episode 4. (It's good - by the way - but a very poor substitute for In Plain Sight. It's going to take me a while to get over that one.) I should really be sleeping. I haven't slept much since Friday night. My mind won't shut off and I find that even when I do finally drift off, I'm still running through the endless play list in my head of things so it never really feels like I get any rest.

The house is quiet right now....which is good since it's almost 11pm. I can hear Kelton breathing from his room. It's funny...I've always been able to hear Kelton breathing but Kaylen? She breathes so quietly I have to bend down to check on her. Ying and yang, that's them. Aside from the rhythmic breathing I can hear a cat on the other side of my laptop screen cleaning himself before he settles into sleep. I can also hear the soft white noise from the machine I have on at night to block out the noise so the kids aren't woken as often as I am. In the distance, I can hear cars, about a block away, as they travel one of the busier roads between arterials. And just now? The clock chiming to let me know it's 11 o'clock.

Eleven more minutes and I can make a wish. Eleven eleven. A magical moment twice a day. A time made for wishes. I make a wish that is always the same these days. I feel a little like Kaylen when she was 2, 3 and 4. Her wish was always, always, always to ride a unicorn on a rainbow. With all her little heart she believed that wish would come true if she just wished hard enough. Last summer, when she was five, she went to make a wish on a wish flower (and dandelion gone to seed) when she suddenly looked up and said "My wish is never going to come true, is it Mom?"

It broke my heart to tell her that it wouldn't. At least not outside of her dreams. Innocence shattered.

Do wishes ever really come true? Is there magic fairy dust out there somewhere? I want to believe in magic and little girls getting to ride unicorns on rainbows. I want to believe that life really does work out for the good. That unending happiness awaits for us all.

My faith is lacking these days. And like the TV show I have started watching, I could use a little saving grace. And probably a whole lot of sleep. Things are always better when sleep is being had.

In Plain Sight

A couple months back, Stephanie hooked me on one of her favorite shows and I have to say...I love it SO much! Seasons 1-3 are available on streaming Netflix so I have spent time in the evenings watching each and every episode. I watched the last episode of season 3 last night and then I was hit with "Aww man. I don't want it to be over." Sure, I have season 4 to watch every Sunday night but it's so not the same and cozying up to my laptop at night watching a couple episodes and losing myself in the world of WitSec (Witness Protection) and US Marshalls.

So now I need another series I can watch. Stephanie recommends Saving Grace so I will check that out and see if it grabs me but honestly? I can say that no one will ever replace Mary Shannon and Marshall Mann.....but mostly Mary Shannon. :)

Any guesses what is going on my Christmas Wish List? :)

One of Those Weeks

I was hoping it was just "one of those days" but as one day turned to two and then into three I can see where I need to be realistic and just call it "one of those weeks".

Sure....absolutely...there has been good moments peppered in there but I am not sleeping or eating and that always is a huge red flag that all is not well in Denmark.

I can't really tell you what it is that has me in its clutches - I guess you can just sum it up to a whole lot of things that in and of themselves have a doable stress level (!) but when added together it's like an atomic stress bomb.

I am so ready to be at a place in my life when my worries and anxiety doesn't consume me. I want manageable situations. I want peace.

Monday night I found a flea on Jordan and I swear to you, I just about lost it. One more stress (which again - is totally doable on its own) to have to deal with. Animals have been flea treated and I spent today washing bedding and blankets because the dogs sleep in the kids room these days and I don't want fleas crawling on my children while they sleep. Over-reactive? Maybe. I know that in years gone by, a single flea treatment does the trick and life goes on but this time? This time it was just enough to toss me a big further over the edge upon which I am standing.

I just need to breathe. All these things will pass and everything always turns out as it is meant to turn out but letting go of all this (in the grand scheme of things) small stuff is a challenge right now.

I try to remind myself that I hit walls and I am just mid-smack right now. In a week or two, these days will be a memory and I will have made it through just fine. Logically I know all that. But right now? Right now everything seems big and daunting and terrifying.

A line in a song keeps going around and around in my head......

"I know it's hard and you're scared and you're tired and it hurts"
(Fall into Me by Sugarland)

Yep - that's me today. And yesterday. And the day before. But really? I'm ok for it not to be me tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

It's Feeling Like Summer

What does that mean around here? Time to set up the big pool! Right now I am sitting on the patio listening to the kids happily splashing and playing in the water. Kaylen was so excited to see it that she could barely contain herself. The kids and I carefully laid it out and hooked it up to its filtering system and then started filling took about 2 hours to fill but that sure didn't stop Kaylen from playing in it. Kelton waited until it was full and then PLOOSH! In he jumped and there they have stayed.

Hours of summertime fun and hours of fun listening to my kids while they are busy making memories.

Kaylen waiting, waiting, waiting......

She just couldn't wait any longer. Out came the swimming suit and lifejacket (no - it's not a rule. She just likes it) and the blow up chair......

And here they both are - having a great time!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Frozen in Time

I am feeling kind of lost tonight. After a super great weekend, I think I am having a bit of trouble with re-entry to real life. On top of that, a friend posted a picture on Facebook of her and I when we were about 11 years old and, while I don't remember the moment in time that the camera had frozen, just seeing the little kid me brought a rush of "homesick feelings".

I found I had this strong urge to pick up the phone and dial my childhood phone number. Maybe it would be like a time warp and my mom would pick up....or maybe even the child version of me. Maybe I would hear the voices and noises in the background that had been the sound track to my life back then. Dishes clanking in the kitchen, the table being set, the dishwasher loaded, the sibling arguments, my parents voices....all of it that, until I saw that photo tonight, were miles and miles from my thoughts.

I know you can't go back home. I really do know that. After all, the phone number that reached my childhood home from 1964 until 2004 most likely belongs to someone else (and yet, it is still the number I dial whenever I try out new keypads. Those digits are forever ingrained in me - part of who I am.) and my childhood home was sold back in 2004. Yep - I know you can't go back home but tonight? Tonight I really wish I could. Tonight I am missing days gone by and all the safety and security of being a child...and all because of a photo that froze a millisecond in time.

A picture is worth a thousand words and a million feelings.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Last Day of School

Ummm...excuse me but didn't I *just* write the post titled First Day of School? Seriously. This has to have been the fastest year on record. No... I didn't say "best", I said fastest. I'm sure we can all remember back to those early days of hell...I mean school...for Kaylen and what that came to mean for her and I and how that snowballed into a not great mid-year for Kelton and how, overall, it was just an extremely emotionally draining year BUT...looking back, it does feel like it has gone by quickly. Once February hit and Kaylen tackled school on her own, it was a one hop stop to June.

Kaylen's teacher and a few others were chatting with me a couple days ago and the general consensus is that Kaylen arrived in September very much a 4 year old emotionally but is exiting as a very solid, self-assured 6 year old. I couldn't agree more. She definitely had a huge growth year both in height and in maturity level. It's stunning...and amazing...and wonderful.

Both kiddos brought home their report cards today and I am very proud to say they are doing fabulously. Above grade level (though Kelton's teachers made note about how he is so much more than his grades even reflect but he doesn't feel the need to do more than the basic amount expected. When I read it to Kelton he shrugged his shoulders and said "Yeah. I know. I don't want to. But you already knew that, Mom. I'm the same way at home."

Tag. He nailed that one right. :) At least he knows himself, right. :)

As in tradition, the kids humored me and posed for their "last day of school pictures". I love this tradition because it allows me to see how much they have changed over the past nine months. Just take a look for yourself. :)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Cameras and Photographs

I have noticed that I rarely use my cameras anymore. Instead, I use my cellphone camera because it's easy one step loading to Facebook (which explains the amount of photos I post there) and I can email pictures to myself for easy loading up on this blog. My other cameras take better quality photos for printing but seriously? I can't remember the last time I printed pictures. (I suck like that. Sorry kids. Ti view photos of yourselves, you will need to look on the various external hard drives. *sigh*)

Lately though, I have been yearning to have a real camera in my hands again and take really amazing pictures. I love the zoom feature on handheld cameras because they zoom so much better than my phone. I have a couple small cameras (one is good but has issues from Kelton dropping it a few too many times and the other has a painfully slow recovery time) and then I have my Canon S315. I am in love with this camera. least I was.

It takes great photos (though not as good as a fancier camera but I'm ok with that) but a couple years ago I stopped using it because every time I zoomed (which is a lot. I am a big zoomer because it allows me to get close ups from a distance) the lens would extend out and then shut the camera off. Frustrating is an understatement.

I have wanted to get it fixed since it started doing it is often the case, days turned into months which turned into years and there it sit...on my counter gathering dust.

It is decidedly much more daunting to try to figure out where to take it and how to afford the repair than it would be to say....oh I don't canon camera batteries. That would be a cakewalk for me. Not knowing how much the repair would cost holds me back. $50 or under I could swing but more than that? Not at this point.

To top that off, I don't even know where a good place to take it locally would be. The place I found looks umm.....fightening...when I drove by. I'm not sure I want to even walk in there. At least, not alone.

So here I sit. With a great camera I want to use, but can't. I really do need to do something about it. It's too sad not to.

Friday, June 10, 2011

No Words Needed

Toothless Wonder

As of this morning, she is my Little Toothless Wonder!


Thursday, June 09, 2011

Lost Tooth!

Kaylen has had a very wiggly front tooth for weeks. I was beginning to think she would never wiggle it free but lo and behold, last night, after I said goodnight to her, she was wiggling it and popped the root on it. She arrived at my side with a very bloody mouth but the tooth was still in place - hanging by a thread.

She wiggled and wiggled it and tried to pull it but no luck. Then it hit her - her teacher has been asking Kaylen if she could pull her loose tooth for a couple of days! The deal was set. We would go to school tomorrow and have Mrs. G pull it (she is a friend of mine so I knew it would be ok with her. Which is good. Because I don't pull teeth. It eeks me out waaaaaaaay too much! Heck, I can't even watch them wiggle their teeth. Yeah yeah - I'm a wimp and I'm ok with that.)

But wait a second! The tooth that was about to fall out was *not* the tooth that had been loose for a couple weeks. It was the one next to it! How did *that* happen? Kaylen and I giggled at the turn of events and I mentioned that maybe Mrs. G could pull both of her front teeth. She wasn't sure about that one.

This morning came and off to school we went. Mrs. G was all too happy to help out. Within moments, the tooth was free! Kaylen declined having her get the other one out but promised to work on it. She is adorable but seriously? Does she not look just a little like a jack o' lantern? :)

Front tooth number one is out. A full 6 months ahead of when Kelton lost his front tooth. Which I guess shouldn't surprise me. All her life she ran 6-8 months ahead of Kelton in development (crawling, walking, etc.) and I do believe she had teeth come in earlier than Kelton did...which stands to reason why they would come out earlier than his did.

She is growing up fast! Next week at this time she will officially be a first grader!

How she looked just a couple days ago:

The proud girl holding her tooth!
She held onto that tooth all day and showed it to everyone!

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Babies Babies Everywhere

I am going to be an aunt again which is great news but for my kids, this is the first baby born in the family when they are old enough to know what is happening and they are *very* excited. Almost daily Kaylen will ask if the baby has come out yet and almost daily I explain that no, the baby won't come out to play until the end of July or beginning of August.

The baby shower for my sister-in-law is this weekend so the kids and I spent this afternoon carefully selecting gifts. I actually bought some things a couple weeks ago - practical stuff - so today was all about the fun stuff! The kids, after much back and forth between themselves, decided they wanted to pick out toys so that when their cousin was old enough, she would have something to play with. Genius thinking, if you ask me. I didn't receive toys beyond infant rattles as gifts so this was pretty exciting for me to help them with. Leave it to kids to bring about the important part....looking forward. It's true, 6 months goes by faster than you think.

All this baby shopping has me jones-ing for a baby. Well ...not *a* baby. Having my two as babies again though to be honest, I do have days when I think another baby wouldn't be the worst thing in the world. (No worries - I have a firm grip on reality. No more babies for me.) Walking the aisles, breathing in that "baby smell" that new baby gear gives off. The diaper row which smells like powder. The bath smells. The shiny car seats and strollers and highchairs. The unstained clothes. It brings me back......I get all dreamy and then...BAM!

Oh brings me back to a time when I thought I knew exactly how having a baby would go. I had it all planned. That advice that people offered? HA! Well of *course* I knew a baby would change my life....that was the point. And wasn't going to sleep when the baby slept because there were household chores to get done. I would sleep at night because babies only wake up once and before more than a few weeks, they would be sleeping through the night. And co-sleeping? No freaking way! Wasn't happening. We had a crib and the baby had a room.

I remember clearly when I was about 6 months pregnant and I was sitting at my desk at work. I checked my personal email to find an email from a new-ish parent from one of my message boards. She was responding to a post I had placed about the crib being together and the nursery being almost ready and how perfect everything was and would be. Her email was full of advice which, at the time, I took as a personal affront. I wrote back and thanked her for her advice but in my little family we would be running things differently. After all, the baby was joining OUR lives, we weren't joining his.

Yes....all you parents may commence laughing now.

It didn't take too many months before I profoundly regretted the email I sent back. I was broken, as new mothers often are, because life with a newborn does not go as planned....or dreamed. Sleep? HA! What about the carefully designed weekly chore list I created for myself because I would be home with the baby and have tons of time on my hands? I'm not sure it ever surfaced after the first couple of weeks of being kicked around the house. Not only did chores not get done but I had gained so many more things that needed to be done that I was truly overwhelmed. Dakota would come home from work and I would pass off Kelton as I begged to do dishes, fold laundry or vacuum. ANYTHING that would help restore order to my wildly out of control existence.

The baby didn't sleep during the day. Ever. Well - let me rephrase that. Ever when not inside the circle of someones arms. Instead, he stayed attached to me either nursing, snuggled in the Baby Bjorn or just cuddled in my arms. I answered emails and read message boards around this lump of a child who became part of my outside being (which is no where near as easy as when he was inside my being). I walked the hall, I bounced, I sang and, at my wits end, I would cried with him. My dreams of the perfect existence with an infant? Shattered on the floor into pieces that I had to step over on my way to pump milk because I swear to you that if I had to nurse him one more time that hour I was going to lose my ever loving mind.

It wasn't all bad....not by a long, long shot. I had this amazing little baby in my arms - a long awaited dream come true. Proof that there are miracles. I could sit and stare into his beautiful eyes for hours and often did because he never slept. It was just so not what I expected. Not even close. I found my groove, in time. But it wasn't the dream I had in my head. The fantasy of life with a baby...with a nothing like reality. Reality is far better....and far worse....then anyone could ever tell you. It's something that if you have experienced, you know and if you have never, you just can't possibly understand. I thought I knew before I had children. I read everything, I was prepared...except nothing can prepare you. Not a single thing.

And then, with Kaylen, I went into the whole parenting thing (round two) more self-assured. I had nursing down (Kelton nursed for two years. I was very good at that part of mothering and in the beginning that is what you need to have down with a nursing infant.) and I knew having a baby would be tough and tougher still with a toddler to care for. I knew that the baby would end up in my bed after waking once or know, when I was too tired to think I could stand up and return her to her bed. So to cut to the chase, we set up her crib next to the bed. She didn't have a nursery because I knew she would spent no time in it. I was ready. I thought.

Baby #2 is not Baby #1. The crib? Yeah. Ummm...not. Kaylen had an incredibly high startle reflex so she spent her time wrapped tight in someones arms, sleeping on our chests as we tried to sleep on the couch or as we took turns bouncing her in our arms as we bounced on an exercise ball. Where Kelton was laid back, Kaylen was incredibly high needs. Kelton hated to be swaddled but Kaylen required it because of her reflex and, what I know now, was her sensory issues (she required swaddling for 15 long months which had me sewing receiving blankets together to create a bigger blanket to swaddle her). Kelton had been a content baby, Kaylen screamed 24/7 for MONTHS. Nursing? Yeah. That one was a hard slap of reality. While I knew what to do for my part, Kaylen couldn't get the hang of it and at 8 days old, she and I landed in a lactation specialists office for help and the pain and damage a terrible nurser creates? Well - it takes MONTHS to heal. But I was committed and we made it through. She was a long term nurser as well. But I will never tell anyone that nursing is easy...or natural. For some lucky few? Sure. But trust me when I say it isn't for the non-committed.

Remember that crib? She never slept in it. Maybe a few hours here and there but nope. It went unused.

I often think back over the real, honest advice given to me by both new and seasoned parents and I am humbled to realize how arrogant I was. I know that giving advice to other parents-to-be is received the same way I received it - not well. I made a promise though, I would tell my story with truth - the whole ugly and beautiful truth because the parents that sugar coated it, or the non-parents who fed my completely unrealistic dreams? Those are the ones I wish I could trip and watch fall flat on their face. Turn around is fair play and all. :)

I sincerely hope all new parents have an easy go. An angel baby. And some do...but most don't. Some people are completely unfazed by the upheaval a child brings into your life and some of us reel for years. Every baby is different and if there is one thing I would like to bring to the table it's this: it isn't the parents who determine the course, it's the baby. A teeny, tiny little person grabs hold of your heart at the same time they grab control of your life. And you are never, ever the same.

It's good. It's not. It's amazing. It's not. It's everything. And nothing. But above all else, nothing is ever, ever, ever the same.

And I wouldn't have it any other way.

So here's to babies everywhere!

Monday, June 06, 2011

Level III

And I don't mean a promotion.

This afternoon when I went out to collect the day's mail I discovered, amid the mass quantities of junk mail (which beats bills hands down any day of the week), a 5x7 mailing alerting the neighborhood to a two time level III sex offender who moved into our safe haven.

So. Not. Perfect.

We have only had a handful of nice days so far this season but this is the first year since I have lived here (9 years) that the street in front of the house is teeming with children. The kids, of which Kelton is the second oldest on the block, are just now being allowed out of the safety of their backyards so that bikes, scooters and skates may be ridden and played with. On a warm day, my front yard has no less than four children, and probably more like five or six, playing catch, pretending to be at the beach with a big beach umbrella, sunglasses and a book or helping to water plants. My driveway is the speedway leading to the street where another child (or usually me) is standing to yell "clear!" so they have ride down the slope and safely into the street. It's actually a very cool feeling to have my kids interacting with the neighbor kids someplace besides just the line for the school bus. And while I don't enjoy being the neighborhood babysitter, I deal with it because with my kids out there I'm going to be there as well anyway.

But now.....oh but now. A bit of evil has snuck in on us and is living across the way.

I read the flyer and quickly did an inventory of the block. I know who lives in all but three of the houses and a fourth house has always been a bit sketchy for me so the kids have had some iron clad rules all their lives regarding that house.

An hour later, my phone rang. My neighbor from across the street called and asked if I had gotten the flyer. We talked a bit and tried to figure out where this person would be living. As it turns out, she knows the person living in one of the house but she agreed on my narrowing down to the three other houses. I held the conversation with her from my front yard as I surveyed the block. The sketchy neighbor along with a few other people were out in their driveway and the longer I stood there, the more uncomfortable the homeowner, who I know by name, looked. I didn't really think much about it.

My neighbor and I said our goodbyes and I proceeded to make dinner for the kids. Like a bolt of lightning it hit me! A conversation I had overheard on Friday afternoon named this particular person's name. It's a name that doesn't belong to anyone else on the block that I knew of and I remember thinking "Who is that? Hmmm...must be someone staying with them."


Crap. The sketchy house. The guy from the flyer is living there. I called my neighbor back and filled her in on my thoughts.

Ok. So "know thine enemy" I can check off the list but dang it. This sucks. True, I don't let the kids out there by themselves (except for brief moments of going in and out of the house for this, that or the other) but geez...I was so looking forward to long summer evenings with the kids and their friends just hanging out playing while I read or chatted with another neighbor. I feel like the peacefulness of my summer evening fantasy has been shattered and it isn't fair.

Yes, they have to live somewhere. I just really wish it wasn't a stones throw away from my children.

I'm grateful for the alert. I really am. I know that there are registered sex offenders in virtually every neighborhood across this country and I get that no one is immune to what I am feeling right now. It really is just another reminder that as a parent, you can never let your guard down when it comes to the safety and well-being of your children.

All that said, I'm hoping he moves soon. Really soon. People do come and go from this particular house frequently so it isn't out of the question...I just hope it is sooner rather than later.