Archive for January, 2006


How to Both Scare and Surprise Your Kids Simultaneously. (And why.)

January 31st, 2006 at 11:42 pm » Comments (7)

The post that could also be called "Why You Never Come Here For Parenting Tips"

Do your kids ever do the Whiny Game? Oh my gosh I hate the Whiney Game. "Can I have the Rescue Hero with the greeeeen backpack? Because I only have the ones with (insert the name of every other convceivable color)!"

We have a rule in our house. If you whine, the answer is no. Even if the answer woulda been yes if you’d been nice, if you whine it’s an automatic no. That way there is no reinforcing of the Whiney Game no matter what. This works fairly well, but every once in awhile someone will test it out just to see if the rule still holds true.

I have a new secret weapon, and I launch into it ruthlessly whenever the Whiney Game hits. Ready? It’s En Vogue’s "Never Gonna Get It." Can’t remember it? Think 90s.  "No, you’re never gonna get it, never ever gonna get it, my lovin’ No, you’re never gonna get it, never ever gonna get it, my lovin’"

Helpful Tips for Use of Secret Weapon:

Leave out the ‘my lovin’ part. Repeat, DO NOT sing to your kids they’re never gonna get your lovin.’ That’s BAD, y’all, and I don’t advocate that.

Do it like me and make sure you’re waaaay off key.

Bug out your eyes, don’t be afraid to move your neck a little, and wag a finger in their faces while you sing.

Use attitude and pronounce never as ‘nevah.’

I like to lead into it with a little context. "That rescue hero with the greeeeen backpack? You whined. You know the rule, and now….[bug eyes here, assume finger wagging position] You’re never gonna get it…"

Reactions are priceless. My kids bug out their eyes, take a step back, and totally forget to whine, and to even care about the greeeeeen backpack. The immediate reaction is to Get Away From the Singing Mommy and whining is suddenly so not important. Isn’t this beautiful?

And a bonus? Kids are so literal. If you sing they’re ‘nevah’ gonna get something, they probably will believe you. Which should completely make this approach that more effective, no? Or does it sound harsh? Nah. I’m the Mommy and i can change my mind on the green backpack thing later at a non-whiny time if i choose.

Maybe I need a song for granting the desires of their heart. Know any, guys?

Update on father in law: doing better! He’s in ICU still, on a ventilator, but it will probably be removed tomorrow! Thanks for all prayers!


Calling All Those Who Pray…

January 30th, 2006 at 1:39 pm » Comments (6)

if you can, do, and will pray, by all means have at it, please. Just found out about a loved one’s problem that  – at this point – looks like bulimia.

Also,  my father in law is in the Intensive Care Unit, with some unexplained issues. He’s quite young, and this was fairly sudden. Thank you, guys!


I am Home. And, more importantly, my hair is brushed.

January 30th, 2006 at 12:06 am » Comments (6)

Mike would just like for me to clear up the whole hairbrush thing. He claims he was unaware his brush choice would be the sole brush for the entire family. (Likely story, but whatever.)

Any guesses what song has been running through my head for the last 2 days? Here’s a hint:  Ss31

AND, I got to show off that I learned how to pick up an image and *poof* it somewhere else, which I did not know how to do before. Yea, me. Any song ideas?

Mike and I have lovely little Beginning of The Year Goal Talks each January. (Aren’t we such a fun couple? Are you just bored to tears at the thought of such a Talk? I actually look forward to them, and their Follow Ups. Yep, I am Fun Girl.)

We talk buisness goals and personal goals and I always get all stupid and shy when it’s my turn. I have no idea why, since Mike would be encouraging no matter what I said. But anyway, one of the personal goals this year was to make a conscious effort to strengthen our family. How? A weekend away as a family once a month. (I’ll pack the brush next time.) Games nights. And each weekend we’re supposed to do one new thing in town – a museum we haven’t seen yet or a play or something.

Can you tell Mike is Mr. Business? Despite the above paragraph, he usually isn’t so orderly about personal plans. But I think it will serve our family well this year.

Any ideas on the song? Come on, what Veggie Tales songs do YOU know?

I have this thing about public bathrooms. I HATE  them. So when we were on our way back, Mike said, "We’ll stop here." He pointed at a truck stop, and I gave him a questioning look which he interpreted perfectly. "It’s okay. I’ve been here before and the bathrooms are really nice." I was reassured. Content. This was the best the Open Road had to offer.

I was dumb. That was the naaastiest bathroom ever, complete with puddles on the floor around the toilets. Puddles. Eww. 

I had gone inside with Kim-11yr and we returned to the car where Mike and the 3 boys were. Mike saw me coming, eyes squinted half shut in scrutiny. Instant guilt played across his face.

"’Really nice’ bathrooms? Is THAT what you said?"

"Yeah, I think that’s what I said. It wasn’t nice?" He smiled at me, trying to charm, perhaps.

"Nooooo. Why would you say that?"
"I figure you knew I hadn’t ever gone in the women’s restroom and couldn’t possibly KNOW how nice it was… Right?" He had the nerve to look really proud of himself, despite that lame-o excuse for the outright LIE. He’s had too many roadtrip conversations with me where I wonder aloud how clean each eating establishment/gas station’s amenities might be before selecting one to try. I do mean, try. If I go in a place and it’s nasty there’s a good chance I’ll just come back out and say we need to try somewhere else. (Oh, how he haaates it when that’s the case!) And I almost annoy myself with it (no, not really) and I can totally understand why he’d want to avoid it. But I’m just a girl trying to avoid bathroom floor puddles, and that’s not such a bad thing to be, right?

The especially annoying part is that I think I fell for this (did you think I’d been IN the ladies room?!) once before, too. I must totally remember to ask more questions. And drink less water.

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A couple of cute kids at a zoo, and my tangled hair. And I’m wearing Mike’s sweater because the little cutie on my shoulder had yarped on every other shirt I’d packed.

The photo that makes me think maybe the children were a little too far away at this point.

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And the song that will now play in YOUR head for the next two days can be found here!


Away on a Weekend Trip. WITHOUT A HAIRBRUSH.

January 28th, 2006 at 9:43 am » Comments (1)

We went away for the weekend. Not far, since the little ones are too little to stand long car trips. And? My husband brought the teeniest, tiniest brush. For the whole 6 of us, 2 of whom have HAIR, which requires brushing. Brushing, y’all. It’s important, don’t ya think?  I’ll provide pictures of the world’s most inadequate brush for 6 when i return.

I’m tangled, people.

PS Did you see the Celebrity Sighting in yesterday’s Comments?


The Non-Pretty Thursday Thirteen Thing

January 26th, 2006 at 1:56 pm » Comments (5)

I tried to do the Thursday Thirteen thing, and yet am not so technologically savvy that I have figured out how to make it look pretty, like I saw at Mary’s.

But here is my non pretty list anyway, and maybe I’ll figure it out before next Thursday!

                              Thursday Thirteen

                                Thirteen Things That I Happened To Think Of…

1. Last night our family had a real live Game Night. The kind we’ve been meaning to implement forever and just haven’t. We played Chutes and Ladders and I made brownies from a box. Big hit.

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2. Mike, my husband, thinks we should take ballroom dancing one day just because he thinks we should do weird things like that as a couple. (Oh, I love that man)

3. I had planned to do the Sydney Harbor Bridge climb this past October, but then it turned out I wouldn’t be going to Australia at all in October. I would have a bigger thrill, who arrived on the 17th of that month. (Seth-3mth)

4. Today Ethan-5yr got excited over a french fry shaped like the letter ‘J.’ I got just as excited with him, and he looked at me with love in his big brown eyes when he realized I understood this small pleasure.

5. Then he ate it.

6. I almost always have yarp on my shoulder. That’s what we call it, anyway, but it’s just baby spit up. (No. I almost never smile in pictures, because I have a lifelong aversion to cameras.)

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7.  Once it’s on my shoulder, it usually gets in my hair.

8.  I slept in until 9 today. Yes, I’m a mother of 4. Amazing how that happened anyway, huh?

9. Kim-11yr usually hates me utterly, but she’s been nice lately and I’m really grateful. Usually she’s only nice when other people are around, so this is a great change. There’s a very nice kid in there somewhere. I know, because I remember her fondly.

10. Caden-1yr learned to do two footed jumping yesterday. This is early, but I am not surprised. He can throw with great accuracy and is athletic in weird baby ways that make me adore him.

11. I love the taste of Shredded Wheat n Bran cereal. It never occurred to me before that I might grow up to be someone that would eat that stuff, much less someone that eats it because she LIKES the way it tastes.

12. I think I’ll eat some now.

13. Today I am wearing pink leopard-y spotted shoes that I think are darling. (My kids tend to disagree, but then again, who cares? I never liked my  mom’s shoes either.)

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Go here to get the Thursday Thirteen code yourself. And I bet YOU’RE even smart enough to use it! If you did it, leave a link in my comments because I"ll want to visit!


Thou Shalt Not Dress Like a Slutty Slut at Church… (and Random Points From A to D)

January 25th, 2006 at 1:07 pm » Comments (5)

Yesterday Mike and I were going to the final night of a Church Thing. This was especially exciting because we were going with ONE child, Seth-3mth, and leaving THREE kids at home with our babysitter, who is wonderful. (Seriously, wonderful. Not only does she love the kids but she’s a college graduate looking for a teaching job, and she’s drop dead gorgeous. Not that it matters, but it’s odd to have that combination as your babysitter. Oh? AND? Even weirder. She drives a pretty Lexus SUV. Whose babysitter drives a Lexus? Oddly, mine.)

Anyway, back to Thou Shalt Not Dress Like a Slutty Slut at Church. Generally, I’m a jeans girl. Even at church, because we’re that casual and who cares I’m just going to get spit up on anyway, thank you very much, Seth-3mth. But since I’m post-pregnant and stink at weight loss, I don’t have too many options right now. And I’m in denial of this, so NO i won’t go buy more in this size. But alas! The answer has arrived in the mail, in the form of a recent eBay purchase. A NWT (new with tags) cashmere sweater (that was SUCH a bargain) that will look lovely with a pair of pants maybe I can wear. So  I go get dressed, and am doing all the last minute things one does before an Almost Date But Not Really Since It’s Church And We’re Taking The Baby. Like getting dinner stuff ready for the other three kids, tossing in the laundry, kissing heads, etc. And i dash back into the bathroom, AND THANK YOU GOD ALMIGHTY that I did. In the mirror? A big slutty slut in a sweater that is WAAAAAY too small. How I did not notice immediately is beyond me, because it was as obscene as a sweater could be. Not in a good way. Not in a ‘just for you later honey’ kind of way, either. Special thanksgiving prayers were offered just for the fact that i did not walk out the door looking like THAT. ICK.

And now, on with the Randomness…

Random Point A: Did y’all SEE this? Oh my gosh, I felt like such the celebrity. I have no idea how to take a picture from one place and *poof* it to another place like that either, so I’m doubly impressed. And I met new friends, which I am so not good at in Real Life, since i really don’t like to open my mouth and talk. Which can be a problem for meeting new friends, unless your new friends are mimes or something. And I don’t know any. Mimes, that is.

Random Point B: Yesterday my 8 minute shower (on the long side for me, actually) was interrupted SIX times. SIX times by the same child, Caden-1yr. He was amusing himself in the bathroom and kept stepping on things, bumping his head, etc., and each time he needed to open the shower door so that I could kiss his head or foot or whatever. Cute at first, not so much after that. And six times? The kid is actually rather athletic, and not clumsy, and oh my gosh it’s not like I keep knives laying around in there or anything. That was truly an excessive number of kiss needing injuries for one shower. But it did make me resolve to get up and get showered before he wakes up from now until, like, forever. Because, PLEASE. It’s COLD when the shower door opens that often.

Random Point C: Recently I did something amazingly dumb. Seriously, mind-numbingly stupid. See if you can put yourself in my shoes and imagine the horror. Get your favorite author in mind. Got it? Now pretend that Famous Author has a website that you frequent, since you are a Dedicated Fan. Now, pretend that you are in a hurry and intend to leave a lovely witty comment on Famous Author’s website, but for some reason, you accidentally INSULT Favorite Author. Let’s just say you – by accident – imply that by reading the books written by Famous Author, you are a little shallow, and less discriminating. (Are you gasping, here? I am.) And you can’t take it back. Because that’s how this whole stupid internet thing works, apparently, and WHY CAN’T I TAKE IT BACK?. Are you horrified FOR me, yet? Yeah. If you’re interested, you can read it here (Jan 17 comment section), and be convinced first hand of what a butt I made of myself that day. And then you can be thankful that you would never ever do something THAT dumb.

Random Point D: I suck at exercise. I love that lungs burning post-exercise feeling, but actually doing it and getting sweaty is icky. I mean, showers – as already covered here – are hard to come by, and working out and getting sweaty AND having time immediately after to shower? That’s rare. And YEAH, I get it that this is an excuse and not even a good one at that, and I know already. Just sayin, yuck. (I do like lifting weights though)

To be totally inspired by someone doing the whole fitness thing, obviously, you are in the wrong place. But this lady’s dedication is amazing, and maybe I can be her when I grow up.


Time For Those ‘True Confessions’ Mentioned At The Top of The Page…

January 23rd, 2006 at 2:24 pm » Comments (9)

TC#1 I am not sticking to my lamest ever workout plan. At all. I thought it was brilliant, since I was committing to the Whole Internet that I would be doing this. But I haven’t. I’ve probably done a paltry 1/3 of the total exercise requirements. I thought I was losing weight anyway, but now I think maybe I’ve gained. My scale cannot be trusted, so it’s hard to say. And I might be in denial.

TC#2 I am a stay at home mom with a housekeeper. Sorry. But the Proverbs 31 lady had help, too. Re-read if you must. Mike thinks that four kids is plenty of work, and that my time should be spent on the kids and my writing – not cleaning. Blame the husband if you must, who tried for a year to talk me into hiring someone before I relented. (I know, WHAT was I thinking?)

TC#3 All my kids are amazing, but I’ll probably mostly talk of 3 of them here. I’m not playing favorites, but we’re neck deep in issues with one child. They’re far too painful for me to blog about right now. This has become a bit of an escape from those issues, and I’d like to keep it that way, as well as protect that kid’s privacy about things so personal. And so I may have a housekeeper (just once a week), and ramble about nonsense and eyelashes, but this life is not without its difficulties.

TC#4  I’m a former Diet Coke addict. (More than a 6 pack a day) Now I’m a Diet Sprite addict, which is so much more virtuous since a) it’s clear and b) it’s caffeine free, and c) ‘clear’  is supposed to be better, right?

TC#5 This is a website with an Agenda, I fully admit it now, lest there be feelings of Blog Betrayal later. I’d love it if one day this website had enough traffic to be beneficial in landing me a book deal. If I’m not mistaken, publishers love to hear "Not only do I have this amaaaazing manuscript, but I also have thousands of daily readers already!" Until that day, I’m enjoying myself immensely with this site being just what it is and nothing more.

TC#6 Biggest Truest Confession Ever: I’m one of those Christians, born again style, who believes  in Jesus and everything. I didn’t really grow up in church, and sometimes I’m freaked out by the people who did, because some of them are really, seriously weird.

TC#7 This one isn’t a big deal, but I just thought of it. I don’t ‘cuss.’ That’s what we call it here in Texas, and I just don’t do it. I think I heard someone say once that it’s a lazy approach to communication when there are so many words to choose from. That was enough for my impressionable, word loving self. You won’t hear it here.

Not as scintillating as the title suggests now that I think about it. Okay, one more.

Bonus TC#1 I TiVo All Star Workouts, which is great since I get bored with exercise so quickly. Each episode is a different kind of workout. Today I was a Remedial BellyDancer, as I began to think of myself. Caden-1yr kept laughing at me, and looking at the women on the screen then back at me. Then he’d say, "Mom, uh uh" and shake his head since I was doing it wrong. I tried for an hour to gyrate and circle and undulate my abs, hips, and butt. It wasn’t attractive, graceful, or seductive in any way. It was pathetic – but I’m sore and it was a workout which was all it was supposed to be anyway.  Oh! And totally entertaining for the babies. (And yes, I shut the blinds first because I only wanted to entertain MY family)


Tagged! I must be ok…right?

January 22nd, 2006 at 10:41 pm » Comments (3)

Tagged– FOUR

Oh my gosh, I feel so loved. I’ve been a blogger for less than two weeks now and I already have been ‘tagged.’ This is acceptance better than any i ever had in elementary school. The honor came from Mary’s Owlhaven – go check out the gorgeous photos of her kids she has up right now!

FOUR JOBS YOU HAVE HAD IN YOUR LIFE
–waitress at a Steak and Ale
–day care teacher for 2 year olds (yes, the ‘potty training’ class)
–fingerprint specialist for a company working with the INS – Immigration/Naturalization Services (not as exciting as it might sound)
–co-owner of big financial type company. Really Mike runs it all, and I just stay at home with the kids!

FOUR MOVIES YOU’D WATCH OVER AND OVER

None. I do not believe in watching movies more than once. My husband does not understand this at all.
FOUR PLACES YOU’VE LIVED
–Ft. Worth, Texas

–Clifton, Texas

– Melbourne, Australia

–a hotel room, for 6 weeks with 3 kids AND a cat after our brand new home was flooded

FOUR TV SHOWS YOU LOVE TO WATCH
- Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
- Cowboy U (HA! But really, I do.)
- CMT, as long as the videos aren’t so porn-ish as sometimes they can be. Ick.

- Laverne and Shirley

FOUR WEBSITES YOU VISIT DAILY
–BusyMOm (she commented on my site today. sort of felt like julia roberts stopped by. am a little starstruck.)
–eBay
– Mary’s Owlhaven

–The Geekwif (am huge fan.)

FOUR FAVORITE FOODS
–onions
–mushrooms
–zucchini
–plain m&ms (not the small ones, the mega ones, or the holiday color ones.)

FOUR PLACES I’D LOVE TO BE NOW
–bathtub
–visiting my sister (will not disclose location since she doesn’t know I blog, and I don’t know if she’d mind)
–visiting my mom (same as above. And WHY have I not told them already? I don’t know.)
–Kauai (where my aunt lives. Who does not know that I blog, but I don’t think she’d mind)

FOUR BLOGGERS I AM TAGGING
–Anne Glamore (have you been to Tiny Kingdom yet? Check out her About picture. Love it.)
a not so desperate housewife
Love Life and a Cup of Tea
The Geekwif

(oooh, so nervous here. what if they don’t do it? still okay? hmm.)


Boys Should Never Complain About Great Eyelashes. NEVER.

January 20th, 2006 at 2:40 pm » Comments (9)

My boys have beautiful eyelashes. Why is that? I mean, I have to glob on the Maybelline Volum Express so that mine even show up. And I do glob it on, because I am a Texas girl, and we tend to do that. The places I will go without mascara….oh, right. Nowhere. The people I will see or acivities I will engage in without mascara…? Oh, uh huh. None of those either. Mascara ranks right up there with a shower first thing in the morning, in my book.

(I’ve tried all the brands, and barring a discontinued Max Factor one that I LOVED, I think this mascara is just as good as the expensive ones. Unless you have a suggestion, and then, I would listen. But it has to be waterproof, since my eyes water and I am hormonal and tend to cry without enough notice to say, "Wait! Let me change my mascara first!")

But back to my original complaint. Why do my boys have beautiful eyelashes? They do not appreciate them in the slightest, and in fact, are irritated by them. This is Ethan-5yr, who has long beautiful dark lashes that actually get tangled. Tangled, y’all! And who do you think he complains to? Yeah. If my lashes were ever to get tangled, I would not complain. No not me – I would hallelujah loudly and praise God with waving hands for the blessing, yes I would.

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*If you click on the pics, I think they’ll get bigger. Not sure if the quality is high enough to show lashes, though. But the zebra does have some gunk in his teeth. Just sayin.

Caden-1yr is a blue eyed little boy with gorgeous lashes, too. But his problem is sometimes they get wet. Like, with tears. And then he gets upset, because, waaah they’re all heavy. I’m sooo sympathetic when he comes to me to dry his eyelashes because he can’t stand all the water weight.  Gaah. I am a girl, and I should be SO lucky as to have their issues.Summer05_262

And the newest boy? Or, the Littlest Boy, as Ethan-5yr calls him? He had no lashes when he was born 3 months ago. All the others did, so this was a surprise. But now, he has long luxurious eyelashes that are beautiful. And unique. His eyelashes curl and extend out from his eyes at 45 degree angles. Like Tweety Bird’s. Or Jessica Rabbit’s. Or any animated creature with great lashes.  Hollywood makeup artists can’t make lashes do this without curling thingy-s and lots ‘o product, but Seth-3mth suddenly sprouted these gorgeous, angled lashes all on his own. (Fortunately, he’s too young to complain about them yet, unlike the others.)

January06_003_3  And there’s a reason all these little, unappreciative kids have  great eyelashes. We’ve already determined it isn’t me, of course.

That reason would have to be this guy. Who is smart enough not to ever complain about those gorgeous lashes.

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Anyway, aren’t y’all glad I cover the important things in life? :)


The Day that Jesus Came to the Door Instead of UPS

January 19th, 2006 at 2:10 pm » Comments (7)

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(Charlo is not who we had in mind when we bought this for Christmas. But he loves it.)

This is who we had in mind:

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(And Seth also loves it. It’s a Carter’s activity gym thing.)

Did you notice that dimple? Sooo cute. He used to have more dimples, but then his face got pudgy, and they disappeared. I hope they come back one day.

Two really odd things happened today. FIrst, Mike and I took our two younger kids to breakfast. Not odd, but we also took our cat. See above, to get full absurdity of this. Long story, but we all had to leave the house for a few hours, including Charlo. The cat did not yowl in the car, as expected. Caden-1yr did yowl in the car, though, doing a distressed cat impersonation that was PAINFUL. And especially obnoxious, since the cat? THe cat was SILENT, and we still had to listen to a painful rendition of cat yowling. The cat was probably horrified into silence, by the one year old making cat yowling noises.

And odd thing number 2? ALso a long story that has a 10 year history. Here it is in a nutshell, and I ask your forgiveness now. A decade ago I was also interested greatly in shoes. One Saturday someone knocked on my door, and I thought "Yea! It is the UPS man delivering my new so cute sandals with brown strappy straps from J.Crew! Yea!" Then, I looked around and realized, since it was Saturday and I was single and lazy at the time, that I was still not dressed. So, what to do? I wrapped a blanket around myself, since hello? I could not let the UPS man and those shoes go away! It was Saturday, and if they went away, I would not get them until Monday! So I – wrapped in blanket – open the door.

And it is NOT the UPS man. It is NOT my new so cute sandals with brown strappy straps from J.Crew. It’s two old white guys. Correction, two old white guys with WIDE OPEN mouths and eyes, since they were not expecting a 19 yr old girl in only a blanket to open the door. (and hello? the 19 yr old girl in a blanket was expecting SHOES. SHOES, people!) 

So what did I get instead?

Jesus.

Really. They were there because I’d visited their church and had filled out a visitor card. (which I NEVER would have done if I thought someone would ever come to my door) They asked if I knew Jesus. Nope. Did I want to? Well, been thinking about it, actually. And we stood on the porch and talked, and prayed and BAM. Eternity changing moment, while I wore just a blanket.

Later Mike and I met and we started going to this church. One of the guys from that day was teaching a class and he pointed out that you never know what you’re going to be faced with when telling people about Christ. The point is to stay focused, keep your eyes where they’re supposed to be (ha ha ha, sooo funny), and don’t let any ‘distractions’ get in the way.

Today at breakfast we ran into this guy, who cracks up into huge laughs every time he sees me. He recounts the story for anyone who is around (today it was his wife, Mike, and a friend of theirs). And I stand there, so embarassed, but so thankful that on that particular day, it wasn’t about a pair of shoes. That day it was a much bigger delivery that I was certainly underdressed for, and seemingly unprepared for.

(The shoes were glorious, and only wore out year before last. The salvation I received instead that day of course, is mine forever. So, too, is the embarrassment of this story every time I run into this guy. Who is a pastor now. Who should know better. But Who does not know better than to bring up the Naked Porch Conversion. But whatever.)