Wednesday, March 31, 2010

As We Head Into Easter

Tulip Girl and I differ on a few (slight) theological things ...But I LOVE her blog, I'm so thankful for the internet!

As we head into Easter I thought this blog post was fitting, encouraging and a helpful. And she wrote it 5 years ago.

Restoring Gently and Carrying Burdens

Why do we, in our pride, expect things of our children that we don't even walk out in our own life.

It's been an exhausting week (and it's only Wednesday!!!) - I've found myself at the breaking point it seems at some point every hour of the day. Toddler behavior is absolutely baffling and incredibly draining, frustrating and pull- you-hair-out infuriating.

I found these blog Entrys encouraging this morning.

Delayed Gratification...The Irony

And lastely from a wise mama on GCM with 3 grown sons.

"And lastly, and I say this gently, as the parent of grown kids, knowing *insert parenting guru* is also the parent of grown kids: we have wonderful children--he does, I'm sure--and so do I. But without even knowing his children I can know this about them: they are not perfect. They hurt. They make mistakes. They struggle. They are prideful and overly simplistic at times; and crippled by shame and hesitancy at others. Yes--they are beautiful examples of human beings, his children (I assume), and mine (I know.) But they are not perfect. If they were, they would not be human. If it were possible to raise children to perfection, then God would have sent a parenting method, not Jesus. Our marching orders are not to raise our children by a method to be like *insert parenting guru* children. Our marching orders are to be Christians to and with our children."

( I found that one HERE on TulipGirl)

I think this Easter will be very interesting for me- as a Mama fully recieving grace to get through the rest of this week.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Putting My Foot Down

I've been so sleep deprived the last few weeks that I've gotten kinda lazy- or more just haven't had the energy to care about how much TV or whatever Riley was doing... She was happy and out of my hair and that's all I cared about.

But if I hear the theme song of Max and Ruby again I'm going to rip out my hair. That and I just need to buckle down and get back to more structure in our day.

So this morning she got to watch ONE episode of Max and Ruby and we turned the TV off and went and read books for 35minutes... And then she was absolutely inconsolable because I was nursing the baby and she wanted ME, so we went downstairs and I gave her the choice of Super Why or Sesame Street- she choose Sesame Street (with much tears that she wanted Max and Ruby)- so she gets to watch this while I exercise...And then we're going to head out and run errands until lunch/nap. So with that said, our new rules are

One episode of Max and Ruby in the morning (ends up being about 17min the episodes are all commercials which we fast forward through) reading time and then she can watch some thing educational while I work out and then I get ready for the day...I really intend to stick to this- it's just so hard after a bad night I just want to zone out on the computer while Amity nurses but the good weather is coming and having a structured morning will mean we have more playtime outside...right?

Okay getting off so I have TIME to squeeze in my work out!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Life's Sound Track

Life has a sound track...It's been different at every stage, but when you hear one of the songs from certain times it brings the feelings flooding back.

I've talked about this before...But as I was putting my babies down for their naps singing our old favorites, it hit me again.

I will always feel joy and deep sadness when I hear Puff the Magic Dragon (one of Riley's all time favorite books) or Oh I'd Like to Visit the Moon. I will never ever forget singing these songs while holding my two week old baby girl. I sat perched at the edge of my toddlers bed- rocking and nursing my newborn while simultaneously patting my toddlers back as she fell asleep.

Today I sat by my toddlers bed, big baby already nestled in her bed asleep- and sang for Riley those songs.

I wish babies didn't have to grow up so fast. I personally find myself scratching my head over people who can't wait for their kids to put themselves to sleep- and to push it to happen as soon as possible. I'm going to miss this season so badly- I hope they wait until they're 12 to go to bed alone...At this moment I don't want them to ever be too old to be sung to sleep.


Me Eiether!

Ugh I hate how I don't feel like blogging for a while and then every thing piles up and I have all these thoughts I need to process.

I found this blog on GCM: I Don't Want My Children To Be Happy

My Thoughts..
I found this line of thought beautiful! TRUTH!
In the USA we live in a society that has forgotten what this country was founded on. So many expect every one to do things for us, that life should be easy. We are only happy when we're taken care of and bla bla bla. It's a lie. This country was built on people who made huge sacrifices, they worked hard and were self educated. We believe the lie the only way to have a good life and be happy is to go to college, have a good career and raise good strong American kids who think like very one else and go on to graduate high school, dive into college and have good careers. Now I'm not saying any of those things are wrong...We're all called to different things.

But what does the Bible really say life is about? As Christians, isn't our job as the salt and light of the earth: to do what God calls us as individuals - maybe that means being a little (or a lot!) different. Not in a "we're better than you" kind of way- but living life with a passion for truth- a passion for what God has put on OUR heart. To think outside the box and ask HIM- that's where happiness (more over contentment) is.

So in earthly day to day terms- for some, that does mean college- and if that's what God wants for my children HE will provide for them. Perhaps He will us as their parents to help. But also there are lessons- there comes a point where a young adult needs to decide "this is what I'm supposed to do" and they need to do their best to make that happen and trust the Lord for the rest.

All this to say, we're not planning our family, we have a number we'd like to have at least (4) but we're open to less, or a lot more. If God sends them- He'll provide. At 25, I really can't imagine saying "I'm done" when it comes to having kids. I guess, I hope, down the road we'll hit a point and we'll know we're done.
So yes, we have kids, and I'm sorry babies- we won't be able to make you happy if those are the things you really want in life. Our family may not look "successful" in most peoples eyes, we're poor as dirt at the moment- we don't have much savings in our bank account, and neither of us have degrees. But we love to learn, and we're always learning. We are self-educated pretty well informed and passionate people. We love the Lord and the things He has put on our hearts and we are excited about where He is going to take us in life. Isn't that really what is important in life? What will a college degree and a nice house get us when we our standing before God at our lives end?? We'd rather be dirt poor, love our children, trust Gods provision, and enjoy the journey (with all its bumps) together.

I do want to point out that the college degree- not evil. The nice house and cars- not evil. But if they are our goal in life??

Still chewing on this...

Friday, March 12, 2010

New URL and made some changes!

When Ryan is kissing us all goodbye in the morning he goes to Riley and says, "I Love you Riley Joy, have a good day!" and then Amity Joy...And then I get the last kiss, "I Love you Mommie Joy."
He's been doing it for a while now... The Joy Thing has become such a funny thing in our family. We decided to give our daughters my middle name "Joy" as a way to honor my Dad (passed away 2/22/06) who loved my middle name and said over and over in my growing up years "Hannah Joy, we named you right!"
But we have so many Joy's in the house that Ryan is getting nicknamed "Ryan Joy" at work because all of his family stories have so many "joy" words (we call Riley Joy - RILEY JOY when we talk about her quite often because the name "Riley" can be a boys name and it's confusing to people around us for some reason ergh)...Anyway funny background story.
In other news I've made some changes to help with my sanity. When I'm on my computer I am usually reading articles on parenting or some activismy thing or another (either breastfeeding or childbirth :0)- I need to concentrate so I can hurry and read things up and process my thoughts and get off the computer. There is nothing more annoying to me as children clawing and pawing at me when I'm trying to concentrate... I was spending more time on the comptuer than I wanted to and it was always frustrating. So this morning I cleaned up the playroom, I reorganized some stuff and this is what I came up with:
My sewing table is now officially my computer desk- I can concentrate and focus and be done with it!

Amity can be gated in the playroom area and Riley can play in there too or watch TV- I'm quite excited to have this organized so nicely.
(Oh and Ryan she hasn't been watching TV all morning [it's 10 a.m.] We had the TV off most of the morning so far she played on the slides and played house with her babies for a LONG time while I cleaned and Amity rode around on my back- just to clarify :0)
Anyway, I think this will really help some of my stress level- I can be on the computer and concentrate becuase I'm sitting at a desk. Also Amity kept getting at my laptop corder- all cords are now safely hidden behind the couch. :0)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

I'm a Mess- bad day.

I wish I was better at recognizing my emotions. I hate learning this, it is so foreign to me and HARD. How the heck am I going to teach my kids??

It's been a very very hard day, girls were up at 4:30 am - up for the day. And it's been an emotionally draining day. Riley is never OFF- she's on 24/7 and the talking, non stop talking makes me want to pull out my hair. That on top of a not napping fussy teething learning to crawl frustrated and sick of the world baby- well its' been a hell of a day.

Then I got a comment On a link I shared. And I felt awful and lost it. I think that's really what set me over the edge- I was feeling so hurt by the comment, so bewildered and I had cold clamy feet rubbing up my arms fingers digging into my arms- I know they wanted attention- but I've givena dn given and they aren't giving ANY THIGN back today. I know tha'ts motherhood but I'm TIRED of it. I lost it... I plopped Amity on the little roll out bed thing to let her fuss, and slapped Riley on the leg (ERGH!!!!! I feel SO awful about that) screamed at every one to be quiet (thankfully I did NOT say "shut up" so that's one thing I don't have to add to the list). and ran up stairs and slammed the door. Called Becky crying and asked her to pray for me before I killed some body. Calmed down and we had a nice chat for the next 50 minutes (thanks Beck, I promise I'll return the favor any time you need it- but I hope you don't have one of these days ever- they aren't fun!!)

I'm just so tired. And pretty much, that's it. you can go look at the comment it's under this link
I dont' know if that will show. I know I can be really over the top passionate about things (or seem that way)- but I really do try to mellow it out (seriously, if you knew how much I sensor you'd be proud of me)... I wasn't posting these links on that mama's wall and if she ever just wanted to "hide" me (or unfriend me) that's fine...I've had several people "unfriend" me because of my opinions- not going to say it doesn't hurt but what can I do about it? I hope I was kind and gracious in my response- I tried to be. I'm so very very sick of life right now- I think I'm going to go out (Ryan said I needed to) and just sit in the car and cry for a long time. It's so hard living here with people all the time- I don't feel like I can have a good cry because I dont' feel like having babies join in with me (because it makes me laugh at the irony and then I can't have my good cry)...

Anyway, I wish I could have calmly said "that comment hurt my feelings- that's okay, being hurt is a normal response to some thing like that you're not being overly dramtic about it. I need to go upstairs and breath for a few minutes and get some space."if only I had done that FIRST ergh. learning experiences suck.
this is scrambled. enough for now.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


I am a genius! You've gotta admit it.

Okay, you don't.

But there has been some thing bugging me for MONTHS and I have not been able to think of a solution for it.
Our back deck has these benches:

Yes kind of old (were refinishing them this summer I suppose)...

And NOT toddler friendly- off the short little back is a nice 5-6ft drop. Yikes.

Last summer any time we were out there I had to be on guard to redirect RJ if she climbed up on them. I talked to my Mom about maybe pulling the benches out and installing a real deck railing (as I'm actually 80% certain those benches are NOT up to code- I seem to recall the Realtor mentioning this when we were buying the house- I could be remembering wrong though). My Mom was against this idea. She likes the benches when we have company- extra seating for cook outs. She said that RJ would just need to learn not to climb up there. She said that she and Dad didn't spank us for much but danger situations were spanked for (which honestly I remember getting spanked for a lot more than that but alright.).

Okay, if that's how they wanted to handle it fine. But I'm not them. I personally don't think "spanking for danger" really teaches the child what you want them to learn. I know all I learned was how to do what I wanted with out being caught. Most young children aren't taught by punishment after the fact. They learn from being stopped before the act
(over and over). The spanking after the fact is more for the parents conscience - they feel guilty that some thing could have happened and totally freaked that some thing almost did- spanking gives them some thing to feel like they're doing to prevent it in the future...But does it?

What do kids learn from being spanked after the fact? Well many young toddlers learn nothing. Some very timid and sensitive toddlers might see the parents fear and the following spanking might be so traumatic that they'd be afraid to go anywhere near the street for many years. Others might be so confused why their parents are hitting them- the ball was in the street or the cat across the street looked fun- what's wrong with that?!?! They feel misunderstood. Young children don't think like adults. They live completely in the moment and they lack impulse control- they see some thing so they go for it. Some children might be deterred by a spanking, the majority wouldn't think about the spanking in the heat of the moment. Some thing over there was interesting or important! Also young toddlers literally don't have enough of the cause and effect mastered to understand the danger=spanking. If they are still throwing things all the time, spilling and dumping, making loud noises and generally testing every thing they can get their hands on- they don't have cause and effect figured out fully- that's why all the annoying dumping, spilling, loud noises and general testing of every thing is happening- they are little scientists testing cause and effect!

So here are the options, if spanking was on the table or no. Say I have an unfenced yard by a busy street- would I really let my very young children play near the street just because I could spank them if they ran out in it? *I* sure wouldn't! I'd either put up a fence, stay very very close to them at all times, or not play in that area at all! When it comes to life and limb I'm not going to allow there to be an opportunity for them to get hurt, period.

With our current porch issue...Yes, Riley knows she can't play up there, she generally stays away-gentle reminders when we head outside that the benches aren't for playing on are usually enough. But it only takes ONCE. I turn my back for a minute and RJ decides that she can reach the limbs of the tree, or a bird, or a squirrel sitting near by and for her to fall and get seriously hurt.

WHY, if I can do some thing to protect her, even have that option on the table??

It only takes ONCE for the child to run in the street after a ball and get hit by a car- yes you can explain, you can spank for the first, second or third offense...But even if they were spanked for running in the street before, it's not a guarantee that they'll remember that spanking and stop when they get near the road- especially when their favorite ball or an interesting shiney some thing is out there. They lack the MATURITY and the IMPULSE control and they are driven to the deepest part of themselves to investigate every thing...In spanking them you're telling them to ignore those God given instincts.

Yes, in case you can't tell, I have some big feelings about this. :0)

So what was my brilliant solution??

Chicken wire. Yup, chicken wire. It won't be pretty but it'll keep my babies safe- and it will be a temporary fix...We can take it down for cook outs pretty easily and it'll make it possible for me to be out on the back deck with the girls with out having to constantly redirect (because Amity is already starting to climb- by the end of the summer she'll be a pro.) We'll run the chicken wire in front of the bench, tack it to the front of the bench and into the porch and the girls won't be able to get to the benches at all.


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Thoughts on Shaming

What is shame?
Merriam Webstter defines it:
shame   /ʃeɪm/ Show Spelled [sheym] Show IPA noun, verb,shamed, sham·ing.
1.the painful feeling arising from the consciousness of something dishonorable, improper, ridiculous, etc., done by oneself or another: She was overcome with shame.
2.susceptibility to this feeling: to be without shame.
3.disgrace; ignominy: His actions brought shame upon his parents.
4.a fact or circumstance bringing disgrace or regret: The bankruptcy of the business was a shame. It was a shame you couldn't come with us.
–verb (used with object) cause to feel shame; make ashamed: His cowardice shamed him. drive, force, etc., through shame: He shamed her into going. cover with ignominy or reproach; disgrace.

Okay so I don't know if that explains it very well. We've all been shamed at one time or another. Maybe some of us grew up in homes that it was a big time tool to stop annoying behavior.

For me I heard "Stop being a cry baby", "grow up...act your age", "what is wrong with you? STOP that." those are examples of shaming.

This article entitled "Good" children- At What Price? defines shame in parenting:

Shame is designed to cause children to curtail behavior through negative thoughts and feelings about themselves. It involves a comment - direct or indirect - about what the child is. Shaming operates by giving children a negative image about their selves - rather than about the impact of their behavior.

Now I've got to say, in my humble opinion, the articles on the Natural Child Project site tend a leeetle on the alarmist/extreme side some how. I know they are trying to make a point. But it feels like some times they come across too strong. That said, I can't say I disagree with them. I can see very strongly in my life how shaming has impacted me as an adult and a mother.

I won't go into a sob story. But you can ask my husband how emotionally constipated I used to be (still am some times but I'm getting better at pin pointing what's wrong and SAYING it instead of letting it simmer)- I used to not be able to cry well, all the "dry it up" growing up really got in my head and I really had a big problem with crying.

This is some thing I'm still pondering... I wish I had more time to share but kids are getting rammy.

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Case Against Time Out

The Case Against Time-Out

So my review on this article? I think punishment is focusing on the wrong thing. Time out, spanking, really any consequence AFTER the fact isn't teaching- young children can't learn when they are upset or focused on what you're not allowing. In order to truly teach you have to stop the behavior before it happens.
Example: RJ likes to throw toys, when I see she's about to throw a toy that could hurt the toy or some one else I quickly grab her and whisk the toy away and put it up out of reach. I remind her "No throwing your toys RJ... The toy could get broken or you could hurt somebody." I do this every time I catch her before she's about to throw it. If she does throw the toy before I can get to her I pick it up and remind her and I put the toy out of reach for a while (she obviously can't handle playing with that toy right now if she's not taking care of it). It's not a quick fix, but I can't count how many things she's learned this way.

Now there is another layer- WHY is she throwing the toy? A few things I ask myself.

is she Hungry/Thirsty? Angry? Lonely?Tired? and I would add -in pain from teething? It's so much easier to react appropriately to a misbehavior if you look at what's going on underneath and address that NEED first. Instead of flying off the handle and putting my screaming driving-me-insane two year old in time-out (or spanking her) because she won't stop some annoying behavior or another. When were all calmed down THEN I can address the behavior.

I know this article is talking about constant time-outs- that they can be harmful, I agree. But I DO think a time out isn't "evil" if the PARENT needs a break. Several times I've taken RJ sat her on a chair and walked to the other side of the house so that I could calm down... Some times I've set her on the chair (and she stays there because she can tell I'm losing it ugh.) and had a hissy fit right in front of her -stomping my feet and waving my arms and running in place trying to deal so that I don't hurt somebody. Then I use my words. "I'm so frustrated and angry right now because I'm trying to do _______ and I can't because ________ keeps happening. How can I fix this?"
I'm still learning to do this- some times I fail miserably and just clam up and leave my fussing toddler sitting there while I do what I wanted to do- she's not learning any thing good from me in these situations- but thankfully we're both young and have lots of time to grown together.

My point is, it's not about her feeling bad for some thing she's done- who really learns the right lesson when they feel bad about some thing? They learn how to hide what's going on so they don't' have to feel bad next time. It's about pointing out what's going on and coming up with a plan to make it better TOGETHER. Some times that means making amends for to her sister for hitting her in the face with a toy (yes well... a kiss or a "gwentle" touch). Some times it's picking up the crayons with Mommy after they got dumped and thrown from here to eternity- and only getting 2 or 3 crayons at a time for a while. Or wiping up the spilled water and not getting to practice drinking out of a cup for a while. It's about setting them up for success so they CAN learn appropriate behavior in a positive and encouraging way. Not a negative and reactive way.

I want to talk more about shaming in my next post...But I don't have time right now a certain little baby is acting ready for another nap and so is the toddler snuggling next to me. More later.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Saddest Thing...

I have ever read.

Ian's Life

WARNING: some of the images on the site are extremely disturbing and SO sad.

This is exactly the reason I declined this vaccine and all vaccines at birth. I had an adverse reaction to this same vaccine. If you can push through the sad images and read the story you will see that they had to push the doctors to write the federal government to find out if this had ever happened before- it had happened many many times. Sad.

gotta go run put babies to bed... more later perhaps.
I've been feeling really overwhelmed by my job lately. My toddler has been miserable and the meltdowns and tantrums were pushing me to the brink. So yesterday afternoon I did some reading and praying and was trying to get my head on straight.

I found THIS overview of the book Dealing With Disappointment (by Elizabeth Cary) I found it on this blog there is so much I want to teach my kids... But it really sucks because there are so many things I'm having to teach myself first. I never truely learned "self calming" techniques- I learned how to stuff it- and have it come out in unhealthy and destructive ways. I want Riley and Amity and any other kids we're blessed with to learn how to handle stressful situations in a healthy way.

I'm realizing just how much I have to learn and it's overwhelming. Last night I was snuggling with Amity- we were talking to eachother and I was singing her songs. I was feeling so overwhelmed by the job before me. I was thinking about the date Ryan and I were heading out on and I was feeling so sad that we were leaving her behind (she had an awesome time with Nana...and Ryan and I had a nice 1.5 hours staring into eachothers eyes, wolfing down mexican food and enjoying the fact that we didn't have to chase, occupy or comfort any one)...Anyway, my mind went to the thought that if some thing ever happened to me what would their life be like (haha it almost always goes there when I'm going to be away from my babies for any length of time - normal? I don't know. :0) I wondered if she would learn the things I so desperately want her to. And it hit me again, God gave her to me. He's put certain things on my heart to teach her and one way or another she'll be taught them- and I'll learn too. He's a big God...Whether I'm the one who is blessed with the privledge of raising her and her sister (and future brothers and sisters), or not. He's going to equip me to DO this job- he already has I just need to take it one moment at a time. I get so overwhelmed with all that I don't know. Afraid that I'm missing some thing, that I'm going to be 15 years down the road and go "shoot, I wish I had known about ______ and ________" . But I'm taking my job seriously there's grace to cover those things to...

So I'll try to stay in the present. I'm trying to read up on every thing I can get my hands on to deal with all this... And when in doubt prayer- that we'll make it through whatever in one piece.

This quote from the overview hit me and I thought I'd share. Well I can't copy and paste, and I don't have time for writing it out so HERE is the link to tha page. I love the thought that we give our cihldren words for every thign else in life- and we need to specifically label their FEELINGS.

So I'll close with that I think... If any one else were going to raise our children (and this is going in my Will) they would need to read these books before taking on the job.

Grace Based Parenting by Dr. Tim Kimmel
Playful Parenting by Dr Larry Cohen
Dealing with Disappointment by Elizabeth Cary
Easy to Love Difficult to Discpline by Becky Bailey
The Discpline Book by Dr Sears
Families Where Grace Is In place by Jeff VanVonderan

I wonder what my list would look like in a few years from now? haha and I need to get 3 of those books and read read read!! I've just had them so highly recommended and they are my MUST read list- I think we might even look into going to the library today :0)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The worst kind of day

We're having a bad day.
I just don't like my toddler very much right now. Some of her behavior is disconcerting- she's always been intense but this is just over the top. The whining is what is driving us to the edge, and the waking up before the crack of dawn... And the non-stop clinging and whining.

Add Amity- who is learning to crawl and feeling anxious about the new skill and clingy and frustrated and very whiney with teething- well the equation gets UGLY.

I now fully understand why parents spank. Riley is ANNOYING. But honestly spanking wouldn't solve the root of the problem: the fact that she's in pain and she's chronically over-tired from the pain. It would be like if I had acid reflux I wake up with a pain in my throat and chest at 4:30-5am and I'm still really tired but the pain won't leave me alone and I'm not sleepy any more...So I get up for the day, I take a nap but the sensation is still hounding me so I don't get a good nap that leaves me MORE tired... I am so exhausted at bedtime that I pass out early but I get several hours of sleep and then sleep isn't deep enough, I'm not as bone exhasuted- the pain out weighs the need for sleep. I can see the molars coming in- it's gotta hurt like crazy. And she's not a chewy mouthy person- the only thing she'll "teeth" on his her blankie and it has to be under certain conditions. SO she just whines. and whines. and whines. she wakes us up at 4;30 a.m. whining and whining and whining. I hate the sound of it- nothing makes me want to scream more.

I am trying so hard to silence the voice in the back of my head, "If I had acted like this at her age I would have gotten a spanking for my bad attitude." But that thought when I really think it through is really stupid. Why should she be spanked for expressing how she's feeling? sure it's obnoxiou but she doesn't have the maturity to say "I'm hurting and grumpy from the pain" and to work on that- heck I don't even have the maturity (though I'm working on it) to recognize that I'm in pain and that is why I'm angry or annoyed. Why should I spank her so that she's scared to share what's going on, or to teach her to turn off her sensitivity to what she's feeling- that's going to be a great strength of hers when she's older!!!

UGH she's grinding her teeth. I've never heard her do that before. UGH.

Anyway, punishment wouldn't solve this problem...It would just drive her into feeling scared and isolated. Punishing this situation would be selfish on my part.

But I'm just so tired of this wretched stage.

We desperately need to come up with a better plan so Ryan and I aren't so exhausted.

It doesn't help that Ryan is staying up super late- he's a night owl...But even though I got to bed early I'm up SEVERAL (6 or 7 most nights lately) times a night with Amity and I can't function on that kind of broken sleep if I have to get up at 5 (and I went to bed at 8:30 or 9)...But Ryan has been going to bed really late as well (and often walking Amity untill 10 becuase she doesn't want to go to bed).

I think what we need to change is that I stay up untill Amity goes to bed and let Ryan do what he needs to and then we're all in bed by 10... So that he CAN get up and function with RJ...Because this too shall pass. I'm thinking we'll start getting Amity up at 6-6:30 and then hopefully she'll go down earlier....this post doesn't make a ton of sense...