April gets a thumbs up. It was a productive month. And the weather was… nice. I say that begrudgingly. It’s no secret that I’m not a fan of sunshine and clear skies. It makes me moody (I should be ashamed as a native Californian). But that seasonal affective disorder, where people with SAD (fitting) are depressed and withdrawn in climates where there is less sunlight at certain times of the year… I’m the opposite. I like a few sunny days here and there. But anything longer than a few days and I get SAD. But in April, it was welcomed. It was a nice change from the long, cold winter. But I’m good now, after April. Bring on the May Gray and June Gloom. There I go talking about the weather again…
In the nice weather category, we spent most of April outside. Our backyard is back to being the main place of action when we’re home. Especially with the toddler. Maive is all about going out back. The minute she wakes up, she’s at the back door. And as soon as a big kiddo wanders downstairs, she brings them their shoes so they can take her out back. Even though they’re barely awake. That’s one thing I absolutely love about our home. When we had only Blaise and Laine—and Saige briefly—we didn’t have a backyard. We’d hit up parks almost daily. And when not at parks, the kiddos played on our small cement patio and in the general open space behind our townhouse. It wasn’t fenced in and apparently they weren’t supposed to play in the common area. I learned this recently, almost five years after we moved. Rumor has it that the new HOA lady—a middle-aged woman without kiddos—has caused a ruckus for those living there with kiddos, that they cannot play off of their cement patios. She was also instrumental in having the community play structure removed… that was behind her unit. A year after it was removed another one was installed. I imagine there was quite the uproar given the amount of kids who live there. Why are most HOA people so involved with how others live?! It definitely attracts a certain personality.
But yeah, our current backyard… when we were building and I was pregnant with Baby, I decided I wanted to make our backyard super kiddo-centric. I really didn’t want to drag all four to parks. And I love having a fenced yard. Confinement. So when we moved in, we set it up to be our own park: play structure, climbing dome, trampoline, digging area, garden area, and we aren’t lawn people—we let the kiddos ride their bikes around the backyard. And a few years after living here, Brian built out the skate ramp in the back of our garage. I pop open the back garage door and the kiddos have the entire backyard and garage to entertain them. All confined.
When we weren’t playing out back, we were out and about. The big out and about of April was our weekend trip to Steamboat Rock State Park. Even though we rented a cabin, we were mostly outside. All about our trip here.
The park where Blaise and Laine lived when they were toddlers. Maive and I had a few hours to kill while Saige and Baby were at their outdoor class in Redmond. I had a bunch of errands to run—from Issaquah to Redmond—so we checked off all of those. I’ve always felt there needs to be some sort of equality. Like if I have to drag a kid around on a bunch of errands, then they should get to do something for them. My parents always dragged my sister and me around on weekends to tile showrooms, furniture stores, model homes… it was incredibly boring. This was back in the ’80s. Parenting was different back then; we were on our parents’ schedule. At least in my childhood. I survived. But I won’t do that to my kiddos. Rather, if I do then they get something also. Like a trip to Farrel-McWhirter.
Maive had a blast! I’ve never really had only one toddler. The older four came in pairs, being born back-to-back. It’s a different experience. Not that I would change anything but as a 42-year-old mom who has been there, done that with all things toddler, having only one is a welcomed change. Maive loved seeing all the farm animals. I think this was her first time seeing sheep and goats?! Pandemic life has really halted some experiences she normally would have had by now. After the animals we made our way to the tire swings, before snacking on a makeshift lunch I bought at Target. Errands and toddler time, success!
Skate park kiddos.
The girls were at an art day camp, spring break and all. Although we never have a true spring break. Between all the programs they attend, spring break happens at different times. This day they happened to have Monday off from their part-time public school. Off to art camp they went. I had only registered Saige and Baby but that morning, Laine woke up and I asked her if she wanted to go also. With 10 minutes before we needed to leave, she decided she wanted to go. I quickly packed her a lunch while she got ready. She made a breakfast to go and off we went to Redmond.
After dropping off the girls, Maive and I headed back home to load up for the skate park. Blaise’s buddy wanted to hang out, riding bikes and scooters. Blaise hopped on his bike, I loaded Maive in the stroller, and off we set for the skate park. It’s about a mile from our home, which was a perfect distance for Blaise to test out his bike. We bought them mountain bikes two Christmases ago, and he had yet to show any interest in riding the thing. Before we left, I asked him ride around the block to be sure he was comfortable with the bike. He prefers his old bike, which he continued to ride after getting the mountain bike. He did great, around the block and riding to the skate park.
Blaise was happy to hang with his buddy whom he hadn’t seen since last summer. They game online together often but it’s not the same as seeing each other in real life. The Carnation skate park has a small mountain bike track, with dirt mounds. Blaise enjoyed riding on those when they weren’t biking and scooting in the skate bowl. Maive enjoyed running about in there also. Luckily there is never anyone there when we go… not that we go that often. But it’s totally underused in my opinion. We’ll hit it up soon; Baby has been asking to go again.
April is that time of the year, when we head up north to see the fields of tulips. This year Brian tagged along, and we hit up La Conner after for some lunch and ice cream. All about our day trip here.
Almost daily, I hit the trails around Carnation. I either run or walk—or do a bit of both—anywhere from 4-10 miles. Lately I’ve been running more, which feels great. I was finally back on my running game last summer until I fractured my foot in September. I had to stop all foot-related activity for three months, and then take things slowly before I was back up and running. Literally. Now I am, and I’m feeling better than ever with my running. Although, I’m not enjoying going with Maive and Mel anymore. I feel like they hold me back a bit, with pushing the stroller and Mel either pulling or lagging, depending on how many miles we go. My latest goal is to get up early and go running first thing, alone (and then take Maive and Mel mid-morning as usual, walking only). I’ve managed to do this twice. And both times felt great. I even bought Air Pods encourage me to go; I run better with bass. Now if only I can stick with this. It takes what, 21 days to form new habits?! I already get up early. It’s the getting out the door part…
Another hike with Karann! Otter Falls is absolutely stunning. All about our hike here.
Tuesdays are our only nothing day. Except they tend to fill up with something, since it’s our only nothing day. Not this Tuesday. We literally had nothing. I corralled the kiddos and we set out for the four mile loop from home, down the trail, along the river, through Tolt MacDonald Park, through downtown, to home again. Sometimes I get looks with all five and Mel, sometimes I get smiles. It depends on the crowd. Haha. One time I had all five hiking and I got a, “Good job, mom!” comment from an older lady. I remember the compliments.
I also remember the interesting comments. One time an older lady asked the age difference between Blaise and Laine. When I answered 10 months, she said, “Well, someone had sex too soon!” Hahaha. The other noteworthy comment—they’re always from older women—was when I was pregnant with Baby and had all three at Farrel-McWhirter. I was loading up the kiddos in the van, about to head home. This older woman walked over to me and said it was a good thing I was having a fourth. She told me she had three, all grown now, and she really regretted not having a fourth. That the middle child thing is real, in her experience. I’m sure there’s waaaay more to the story there but I thought it was an interesting comment to make to a random pregnant lady, trying to leave the park with three tired kiddos. And when I was pregnant with Saige, and people would ask if it was my first and when I’d say no, my third, they’d ask what I had at home. When I’d say a boy and girl, almost always people would ask why I was having a third. Because having a boy and girl was good enough apparently?! Then again, we live in a two and done area. Unless you have two of the same gender, then it seems to be okay to have a third. People are weird. I have many experiences while being pregnant five times. Anyway, the walk…
The kiddos did great! But I think we’re past any complaining because I don’t want to hear any. They know. And we do this walk often enough that they know what to expect. When we made it to the Tolt MacDonald playground, it was nearing lunchtime. To make life easy, I ordered Red Pepper pizza to grab as we walked through town. One of the benefits of the kiddos getting older is that I can send them inside to get things. I had Mel with us so Blaise and Laine were the pizza picker-uppers. It worked out well. We grabbed the pizzas and continued walking home. I always feel better on the days we do something all together. Especially outdoors. Add in a back patio pizza lunch and it was a successful mom day.
One of Saige’s kindergarten buddies wanted to hang out. We decided on Farrel-McWhirter. Not only is it a great park overall, it’s also a great park for toddlers. The open space is perfect for toddlers to run and still be seen from far away. And since I have a toddler and Saige’s buddy has a toddler, it worked out perfectly. The kiddos played near the swings a while before we walked along the trails and checked out the water areas. Eventually we ended up on the grassy area near the tire swings. It was after lunch when we left for home. Saige and Baby are in a weekly online Roblox gaming club and this was their first day. They love the club!
April was also the month for car issues. Almost $3,000 worth between both cars. Awesome. And now it’s May, and my car is back in the shop. For another almost $2,000. I feel like it’s always something, and the always something wants money thrown its way. Early in April when it was starting to get warm and I’d use the air conditioning in the Suburban, I could tell something was off. And when we were coming home from the tulips and it was super hot, the air conditioning was kaput. It was blowing warm air. And since I was taking it in for the air conditioning, I went ahead and had them fix the second-row screen that hasn’t been working for some time. And also my window issue (this was me being picky). The windows go down and up with one click of the button. Somehow the driver side window wouldn’t go up with one click. Down worked. I wanted up fixed. So this was added to the list. Everything is all set now, from the first round.
Except the screen had to be ordered, so Maive and I went to North Bend to kill the hour it took them to replace the screen. After dropping off the car, I walked with Maive in the stroller to Safeway to buy some tulips. I needed some fresh ones for the kitchen table. I grabbed a pie for Brian, also. Next was Carter’s. That was the plan until I walked over there and learned they have COVID hours, opening at 11am instead of 10am like usual. It was 10:45am and I didn’t want to wait the 15 minutes, knowing my car would be ready around 11:10am. Walking back toward the service department, Maive and I found a park. We settled in on a bench while Maive nosed around on the grass, taking breaks to snack. A man walked through the park—I believe he was homeless—and he asked how my day was going. When I said, “So far, so good,” and asked him how his day was going, he said, “You know, I’m feeling more mellow today than yesterday and I’m not sure why.” Haha, I like this. An unexpected response. We told each other to have a great day and he walked on. I then got the call that my car was ready. I loaded up Maive and off we went to grab my car. The North Bend service shop is so much better than Issaquah. But that’s a whole other ramble.
The van had a window issue. Brian took the girls to get milkshakes on the way home from gymnastics one day. When he rolled his window down he said it sounded like a gunshot, that maybe the window had shattered. Thankfully it was only the motor. The Suburban is back in the shop now thanks to a leaking fuel pump. Also, something is going on with the rear camera—the screen blacked out on me last week, with a line of text that says, “Service rear vision camera system”—but they can’t reproduce this issue. Which means I’ll likely be back in North Bend a fourth time sometime in the near future. And another expense.
Maive is my sidekick. Which means she has to go with me to grab the other kiddos, from their respective programs. I think her favorite pickups are on Thursdays, when Saige and Baby are at their outdoor program that rotates parks in Redmond. Here she is at the Redmond Watershed and Perrigo Park. About Perrigo Park, I’ve always heard it pronounced Pear-eh-go. Anytime I’ve met other people there; two times the kiddos had summer camps there; the weekly outdoor class the girls attend… everyone has always said to meet at Pear-eh-go Park. But one mom in the girls’ class, she calls it Purr-re-go Park. Searching Google, there are two different pronunciation videos, each offering up the way I’ve always heard it called and also one how the one mom says it all weird, haha. I’m pretty sure it’s the non-weird way but now I’m not sure?!
April out back! Let’s see. I bought a new patio table and chairs. The other one was nice and all but it was a bit smaller. And it also had paint and evidence of kiddos projects that I couldn’t get out no matter how hard I tried. I’m not a refinisher person. I’m better at shopping. Several days of outdoor play, all day long. There was a volcano day. A popcorn eating day. A vampire day. Bubbles all over. Swinging galore. Water under the trampoline. Several friend days. And many more days not pictured. Today has been an out back, all day day. As I type from the new patio table.
In the productive category, April was all about planning and purging. Two of my favorite things. Exciting, I know. But I LOVE filling up the calendar with things to look forward to doing… even though when the time comes, I’d rather stay home. But I go. And I enjoy myself. Usually. And purging. That feeling of clearing things out and getting rid of stuff, almost like a high?! Haha. Whatever it is, I LOVE that feeling.
As of April, I have the calendar filled through the end of the year. Normally I’d have done this already but the hang up was Laine’s gymnastics. We received her practice and meet schedules for next season mid-April and I got right to calendar filling. Laine will attend 11 meets next season, starting in October. Five of those meets are before the new year. And between those five meets, I’ve booked some really fun trips. I’ve always tried to go somewhere once a month, usually a few hours drive from home. Nothing big. But something. I buy into that whole provide experiences for kids thing. The one I’m most excited about is Skamania Lodge. They have an aerial park and zip line tour; both look super cool. I randomly fond this place looking at a PNW travel blog. Sold!
Between quick trips and gymnastics meets, there’s that whole school thing. Everything school starts in September. There are some days when I’m overwhelmed and tired from all the kiddo Ubering and juggling of their different programs, that Brian suggests that we put all the kiddos in regular school. As tempting as it is—to have one school for the four kiddos, on the same schedule, right up the street—that’s a big nope from me. As much as I support pubic schools and think we should give more money to them—and pay teachers waaaay more—it’s not the option I want for our kiddos. I like the freedom and flexibility we have going on… the ability to do what we want, when we want it in regard to learning and travel. And so I’ll Uber them around next year here and there, and forgo the idea of public school. Each year I ask them if they want to go to regular school—I feel they should have a say—and each year they all say no. This is the first year where Saige briefly considered going… until she found out it was all day, every day and that she wouldn’t be able to attend her weekly wilderness class.
And after April, the kiddos are registered for their different school programs and we have a set school schedule. Score. Two of the programs were late figuring things out, pandemic life and all. It’s all good. I’m excited for them, for the classes and programs they’ll be taking… things I wish had been available when I was a kid. The only thing I don’t have figured out for the school year—by choice—is extracurriculars. Aside from Laine’s gymnastics, I’m not sure what all the kiddos will want to do outside of school stuff. I’ve always required dance—specifically hip hop—because I view it as a life skill. We’ll see what the kiddos choose to do come fall.
Now I’m not sure what to do with myself. I spent almost all of April—when we were home—purging like crazy. And I’m amazed at how much stuff I found to get rid of?! I’ve always thought of myself as somewhat minimalist. Not like a white room with only a bed kind of minimalist. But the kind that only has what is needed (with five kids). Man, I was wrong. I went though everything. Every room. Every closet. Every drawer. All shelves. Holiday bins. The garage. Even the backyard toy chest. I even assessed furniture, did we need it all? The answer was nope! And the treadmill that we never use anymore since the trail is right there… that sucker was gone within an hour after asking if anyone in our neighborhood wanted a free treadmill. After my purge fest, I ended up with two Suburban loads worth of stuff to get rid of. And it felt absolutely amazing once it was all gone.
All purged, organized, and cleaned I feel like I have all the time in the world ahead of me. There’s no heading out and about, and having any I need to… things hanging over my head. Of course there are the daily I need to… things. But those are easy peasy when the house is in order. It’s easier to clean with fewer things; and it’s much less time-consuming to clean when everything is organized and in its place.
And somewhat under purging… I hired lawn people in April. We had the lawn prepared for the spring, with whatever is supposed to be done. Thatched and aerated? And a few other -ed things. I’m not a lawn person. Neither is Brian. We really couldn’t care less about our lawn but we have an HOA. And HOA people care about lawns. Brian has always said we do the bare minimum to not get a letter. One summer we got a letter for having a brown lawn. We had been in California and didn’t water while we were gone. Eh, it turns green eventually. Our neighbors on either side of us had brown lawns that summer also, and also received letters. I have a totally unfounded and likely ridiculous theory: I think the more conservative someone is, the more they care about their lawn. It goes with that whole American Dream thing. Home ownership with a white picket fence and nice lawn. But yeah, our lawn is looking like we care. Even though we’re not conservative, haha. And it’s consistently looking like we care; I hired the lawn people to maintain it all bi-weekly.
I also had all the carpet cleaned in April. Our purged, organized, and cleaned house is looking and feeling great—inside and outside.
THE REST OF APRIL.
I don’t have any pictures from our Easter festivities. I’m not sure why other than I didn’t have my phone on me that morning?! The kids were up just before 6am. Once one was up there was no going back to sleep. We do up Easter around here. Not in the Jesus way but in a mini-Christmas way. With eggs and baskets. Growing up we celebrated Easter. The Easter Bunny hid eggs and baskets for us downstairs to find right when we woke up. At first he’d hide real eggs, until that one year a real egg went unfound until the hot summer months and the entire family room smelled awful. And then Easter evening, both sets of grandparents came over for dinner. It was a fun, family-filled holiday. That I had absolutely no clue what it was actually about until later in life.
So of course, I do up Easter for our kiddos. There are baskets filled with everything candy. And presents hidden along with the baskets. Unwrapped presents since they’re hidden. And we hide plastic eggs downstairs, filled with candy for the kiddos to find first thing. This year I went a bit crazy on the basket and present part. Thankfully there are no pictures to prove this though. Crazy or not, the kiddos had a great Easter and we enjoyed the day at home, relaxing while they played with all their new loot. Maive, Mel, and I did sneak out on the trail. And I discovered a wavy tree. That I pass by almost daily. How have I not noticed this before?!
Brian and I are vaccinated! Maybe it’s weird but I was so excited to get shot. Thankfully we hadn’t had any COVID concerns, until late April, so It wasn’t like we have been terribly worried about catching COVID. But getting vaccinated felt right; we’re doing our part and it also protects us and those around us. When we were in Steamboat Rock State Park, Brian and I briefly considered getting vaccinated there; there were so many appointments compared to around home. Technically we weren’t eligible but since there were so many appointments, we figured why waste vaccines if there are willing parties?! We didn’t. We were hiking Steamboat Rock later that day and didn’t want to risk having any side effects. We hiked and then my friend texted me, that there were over 1,800 appointments available the following week at the Evergreen State Fairgrounds. Another friend had used being a teacher to get her vaccine, as a homeschooler. I went back and forth and decided that I do teach the kiddos, and we do see several kiddos each week. Perhaps I was rationalizing but whatever. I scored two for Brian and me. As teachers.
The day before our vaccination appointments, I happened to have my annual exam with our doctor (and Maive had her one-year, late, with five shots that she took like a champ!). Whom I LOVE. (We all see him.) He is so worth the drive to West Seattle, even with the bridge closed. We were chatting and he asked if I had been vaccinated yet. I said no, that I had an appointment the next day. And that I took liberty calling myself a teacher. He said to go for it! He said his whole family was getting vaccinated; his wife, his teenage sons, his college-age sons, all before eligibility. He said they want everyone vaccinated so they don’t even ask questions. And the fact that he was encouraging and promoting vaccination made me feel good. I was going to get it anyway. But knowing the man whom I trust with all things medical who has always taken me seriously—and whom delivered all my kiddos—was recommending the vaccine, I was totally sold. Even with my teaching profession. And really, we were two days away from vaccinations being open to everyone. Here I am, rationalizing away still. Clearly I have issues breaking rules.
I went first in the day, at 9:30am to get the vaccine. It was a drive-thru process. And so freaking cool. I love that I didn’t have to get out of the car. They have it down. Drive up, check ID, get shot, wait in a moving line for 15 minutes, and go. The vibe reminded me of a flight to Hawaii. How everyone is in a fabulous mood, all happy for themselves and everyone else. The vaccine administrators were overly excited to be giving shots, enthusiastically congratulating everyone for getting their doses. And the men—whom appeared to be paramedics—who were walking up and down the lines of cars, asking how everyone was doing were giving thumbs ups to everyone who said all was well. It was uplifting. And being around others who also made the choice to get vaccinated, it felt great.
I had to wait an additional 15 minutes since I admitted that I have a penicillin allergy. It was all good. Maive was cool about waiting. If I had realized it was such a smooth process, Brian and I would have gone at the same time. Instead, he went at 12:30pm. Neither of us had an side effects. I went for a run later that day, after we went to a friend’s house to play. Brian went for a run also. All was well.
We actually went today—together this morning, with all the kids in tow (they got donuts after)—for our second dose. It’s been 10 hours as of right now, and we’re both feeling normal. I even went for a run around noon. My only complaint is that it was too hot on the trail. Seventy degrees today, and bright and sunny. Not cool (literally and figuratively). Rumor has it side effects can kick in anywhere from 6-14 hours after. Hopefully we’re in the clear…
Update: It’s now 25 hours later. We both had insomnia all night long, sleeping terribly. I woke up with slight nausea, almost feeling like early pregnancy. I took some Tylenol and after 20 minutes, I felt fine. Only tired, but that’s not uncommon. I’m probably going to hit the trail soon. It’s a May Gray day, finally! Brian is tired also, and says he has a few body aches but nothing that will stop him from having a normal day.
On people getting vaccinated… my friend sent me this King County map showing that majority have received vaccine in nearly all King County zips. This may sound snobbish (okay it does) but I’d bet a map of education levels would be similar. Ouch, did I say that?! As I sit in Carnation, hahaha. Snobbish aside, I totally get the hesitation to get the vaccine. I’m not one to think there should be forced vaccinations for anything. And I say this being pro-vaccines, all of them. I’m a my body, my choice person, with all things. As for the COVID vaccine, I felt the benefits outweighed the risks for our lifestyle.
Thursday afternoon, April 29, I received an email that Saige and Baby had been exposed to COVID during their Monday dance class. Since the class is a POD class we set up back in fall—with friends we know—we quickly all texted and deducted it must have been the teacher since it wasn’t any of our kiddos. Great. I quickly emailed all the kiddos programs they were set to attend Friday, letting them know our kiddos wouldn’t be there and why. And that we were going to get tested Friday morning. It was so nice to have the day off. Even under the circumstances.
Another dance mom had found a drive-thru rapid testing place in Bellevue. I made appointments for all six of us; Maive wasn’t eligible since she is under three. Some things aren’t set up to make life easy for large families. I had to enter all of our names. And then all of our insurance information under each name. No biggie in the grand scheme of things but time consuming. We parked, the nurses came out and swabbed all of us. We went ahead and got the deluxe COVID testing package (what we called it). Apparently the rapid nose swab test is only 85% accurate. To cover that 15% margin of error, we also all had the finger prick to get a blood sample. The blood test takes a few days. Thankfully we were all negative, with both tests. That was fun. We took the kiddos to get milkshakes after since they were all really great getting tested. And it turns out the dance studio said the exposure was in the common studio area, so maybe it wasn’t the teacher.
And April at home.
Let’s see. Maive asleep. She doesn’t last much after 5pm. There are no naps. She rallies to keep up with the big kiddos until she can’t. Saige taking a beatboxing class. It was fun! Baby taking her weekly phonics class. Three are reading, one to go! Two technically, but toddlers don’t read for a while so I’m not counting Maive quite yet. Maive with her new luggage. We’re flying to California this year instead of driving. Maive needed official luggage. Snugs on Brian’s desk. Brian is allergic to Snugs. We’ve tried kicking the cats out of his office but they won’t accept this. Instead we bought another air purifier that sits right next to his desk, in addition to the other three we have around the house. Baby wanting her picture taken with her fuzzy journal?! Indy—our friend’s pup whom we watched while they traveled—hoping for food to fall to the ground. Maivers in the bath! She has grown to love baths. She wasn’t the biggest fan at first. Now she expects bubbles every time. Baby with the piggies! Me workbook planning, but attempting to take a clever picture instead of workbook planning, haha. Maive raiding the pantry now that she can climb on the big stools. Awesome. And Maive asleep with Moosie! Moosie gave us quite the scare in April…
When we made it home from Steamboat Rock, Moosie was not looking good. He was super thin and frail, and the right side of his cheek was swollen. I don’t think he had eaten or had any water while we were gone (we had a house sitter). I emailed our vet that Sunday who came Wednesday. He had gotten worse and I swear he was close to death. He has an abscessed tooth. We started him immediately on antibiotics and she gave him a round of liquids. Thankfully the medication started working right away, and the swelling went down within a day or two. I started feeding him wet food three times a day to get his energy and weight back up. Within a week, he was looking great. Within two weeks, he was almost back to normal. We discussed removing the tooth but he was so weak that we wanted to take the safe route first. And she discovered he has a significant heart murmur, that puts him at risk under anesthesia.
It’s been four weeks and all was well until today… the swelling is back and it appears he’s been scratching at his cheek since some fur is missing. I quickly emailed our vet the moment I noticed this. We’re going to risk surgery to get that pesky tooth out. Moose is much stronger than he was four weeks ago but I worry. Hopefully we can get him taken care of in the next day or two. Our wonderful vet is working on securing a surgeon and appointment for the sweet guy. Another something to throw money at… (although he’s totally worth it!).
That was April. It’s almost mid-May and we’re kind of taking this week off. We’re all running on burnout mode. I’m SO ready for this crazy school year to be over… even though we have a crazy summer. One of these years I’ll learn to hold back a bit with the calendar filling. Maybe. I say this every year.