Thursday, October 30, 2008

Assuming, Instinct & Learning More Lessons

My mother always told me to trust my gut instinct, and there have been times when I trusted it but I denied it thinking “Have some faith, there must be some good in this person.”

Denying it has always proved me a fool. And per a person, I’ve tried not to be a fool more than once … maybe twice.

My mother always told me “Your Grandpa always said that assuming makes and ass out of you and me.” But I still find myself assuming at times. And slowly, but surely, I’m learning that I should trust my instinct and ask instead of assume.

Lately, and often, it’s been assuming along the lines of things with my boyfriend and the boys.

I assumed that they carved pumpkins the way my family did. Every October we’d get pumpkins and my sister and I would scoop out the junk (pumpkin guts) from the insides. Then my dad would carve out the faces and we’d get a couple of minutes to watch with the candles inside. (This is on video every year up until the middle of high school.) I found out this year that the boyfriend does all the dirty work. (I didn’t ask, but I assume the boys either watched or played some where else.) But this year, the boys got to scoop out the pumpkin guts, and they had a grand time doing it. And the boyfriend was glad that he didn’t have to do it.

Other things I assumed was the elementary school knew and had on record that he has sole physical custody of the boys. (One of my greater fears is that I’ll go to pick up one of the boys from school and they won’t be there because they’re mother [Let’s just call her Jane from now on] decided to just pull one of them out, or worse – take off with them.)

We’ll, I had quite a fear installed in me when Older Boy brought home a Parent Conference Sheet with Jane’s name on it. There is no reason, in my mind, why her name should be on it. I consulted with the boyfriend and he had no idea why her name would be on it either. I ended up calling the school to have a chat with the secretary. Turns out when Jane’s mother [we’ll call her Janice] registered the boys, she put Jane’s name down, with her phone number. (For those out of the loop – Jane decided not to have any physical custody of the boys. Pays no child support, takes no responsibility or puts out much effort in raising them, and just had a new baby with her new boyfriend.)

So we changed the information. Luckily, the secretary is compassionate and smart and calls the boyfriend to let him know that they need paperwork on file. So today, the boyfriend will be making copies of custody papers (for the school and for him to carry on himself).

Another thing I assumed was that after the incident where he told Jane that she could have the boys for the weekend (without consulting with me [See “And Then I Exploded] for details) that he would know not to do so. Well, I’ll tell you what, if I had not grown to be a bigger person by now, I would have walked out yesterday.

I had to drive down to Southern California this weekend to pick up some stuff from my storage unit down there. At some point this week (possibly Monday, I can’t remember when) the boyfriend dropped the idea “What if we drop the boys off at Janice’s house on Thursday for a couple of hours?” I kind of looked at him dumb founded. “But we’re carving pumpkins on Thursday, remember?” I answered. “Oh yeah,” he says. And that was that, so I thought.

Yesterday, he drops it again – in front of the boys. The boys, of course, got all excited. How could I be the evil, mean stepmother and say no to that excitement? Instead I kind of stayed quiet and looked at him. He came over:

Me: Did you tell Janice that she could have them, and not consult with me?
BF: *silently looks me in the eyes*
Me: You did, didn’t you.
BF: *more silence*

I am rather proud to say that I controlled the anger that swelled up inside of me. And, as I felt my pillar of trust in him momentarily shake, I held it up and told him that: It’s not ok that he does that.

Me: We’re either in this together or we’re not. And if we’re not then this isn’t going to work.

It would be a lie to say that I didn't feel a bit betrayed ... that my trust in him momentarily wavered like a flag in the wind. But I let it go at some point that evening after I pep talked my way down from being angry.

Now, I assume a lot of things with the boyfriend because I don’t want him to think that I don’t have faith in him. That I think any less of him. But I’m starting to realize that maybe some of the women in my office and my mother were right. Men are essentially jus that, Men. And you have to tell them detailed, exactly what’s going on.

My favorite line is, “I’m not a mind reader, so you’re going to have to tell me what’s wrong.”

Another thing I assumed was that he understood how rather delicate the situation is when it comes to me and Jane. I was rather irritated that Jane had kept some clothes, particularly an outfit I bought Younger Boy. They don’t live there and really, it would be so nice (and convenient) to have more clothes for the boys here. I made mention of it to the boyfriend and asked that he make sure Younger Boy comes back with it. So he says to her: “Would you put Younger Boy in the outfit he came over with last week on Sunday. Crys bought it for him.”

Can I tell you how much I cringed when I heard that last part. “Great” I thought, “That’s surely going to stir the pot.”

Later, after he dropped the boys off at Janice’s, I told him I would really like it if he would refer to “me” as “we” on some occasions. The thought was first installed when the boyfriend’s sister asked how Jane was reacting to me.

Me: She’s been calling for them more often lately.
BFS: Well yeah, she doesn’t want them calling you Mom. She's jealous of you.

I tried to tell myself that it’s because maybe she’s changed. Maybe it’s because she’s on maternity leave. Jane wouldn’t try to make it a competition, would she? I came home from Southern California on Sunday. I had a lot of time to think. And in that time I’d turned my back on my instinct about Jane and convinced myself that she’s not going to be like that. She’s not going to be competitive with me. This is going to be a good relationship.

Well, I got home on Sunday and noticed that the boys had on “obviously just bought, straight from the rack” shirts on. “Hrm” I thought. And after the boys mentioned “Mommy bought me this shirt” it all came painfully, to my stubborn pride, too clear.

I consulted with the boyfriend.

Me: Did she buy them those shirts.
BF: Yeah.
Me: Funny, she buys them nothing new until now.
BF: Is that because what I said to her?
Me: *Nods head* Possibly
BF: And she made sure to send them home in them on Sunday so you could see it?
Me: Every time I give her benefit of the doubt, she always disappoints me. Why does she always have to disappoint me?

Man, was I a fool. A voice of good inside tells me to think “It’s just a coincidence” and another voice inside tells me “Trust your instinct. That Jane is a sneaky, tricky lady. Stay on your toes.”

I’ll tell you what though, I will be trying my best to ask instead of assume from now on. Trying to defuse as many fiery situations before it happens, if I can. I’m not delusional and I know I can’t defuse them all, but I can work on avoiding them from happening if I can, on my side at least.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Instant Mom Adventures In Potty Training

I wanted to share something that I’m proud and excited about. Since I’m working from home I’ve been working with Younger Boy on potty training.

When I first moved in (September 14, 2008) Younger Boy was in diapers. Never indicated when he had to go potty, just went in his diaper. Yet he was showing signs that he could control it.

I wondered if his resistance to go potty had anything to do with the divorce (his last stance to hold on to anything he knew from before), a lack in support and encouragement to go potty in the toilet (my boyfriend was the only one encouraging it, but since he works during the day Younger Boy was with people who weren’t encouraging it) or a combination of the two with a dash of stubborn. (The latter being Highly likely.)

And then I came along.

After about a week of having to work and change diapers I got pretty tired of it. I went out and bought some training diapers on September 22nd. He started to show some progress, but figured out that the training diaper was just a fancy diaper that worked like his big brothers’ underwear.

Well, I will not be outsmarted by a 2 year old.

I went out and bought toddler underwear. And since Thomas & Friends are his favorite things in his 2 year old life right now, I found some Thomas & Friends underwear. And I decided to ask him what he wanted.

Me: Do you want to wear a diaper or Thomas & Friends underwear?
YB: Thomas underwear.

So we started working on wearing underwear. And oh boy, did my poor carpet get some leaks. (It made me kind of chuckle because the apartments charged a pet deposit fee, and I must say that Younger Boy has put more stress on this carpet then both of the cats combined. Maybe they should, instead, charge a Child Deposit Fee.)

I used a potty chart with heart stickers for going potty on the toilet, and a fish sticker for going poop on the toilet. Here’s a picture of the chart and Younger Boy’s progress:

Not too many fish on there, yet. But, he is recognizing when he has to go potty. He’ll actually go running by me on his way to the bathroom announcing “I have to go potty!” and triumphantly comes out saying “I get a heart.”

He also is sleeping in underwear all night, and wearing underwear all day. In fact, I’ve thrown the remaining training diapers up on the closet top shelf (reserved for out of town trips in the near future, but hopefully not distant.)

  • Peeing on the toilet
  • Wearing underwear full time (out of training diapers)
  • Becoming aware that “I have to go potty”
  • Acting upon that awareness
  • Can put clothes on and pull them off (with some assistance now and then)
  • Sleep through the night without wetting the bed
  • Sleep through a nap without wetting the bed
  • Being able to hold it when someone else is in the bathroom

Next on the list:
  • Becoming aware that “I have to go poop”
  • Acting upon that awareness
  • Pooping in the toilet. (Oh yeah.)

I thought that it was about time to share something exciting from my experience. I don’t require a pat on the back, but it is nice to be able to see that I’ve made a difference. Who knew that seeing the number of those hearts grow on that chart could inspire me that “Yes, I can be an instant mom and, hopefully, do a good job at it.”

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Photo Shoot

We took the boys down to the Sears Portrait Studio to get photos done (we didn’t want to pay for school photos, and it was going to be a family photo shoot until the boyfriend *accidentally* had to cut his hair rather short and I refused to take photos with him until his hair grew back.)

I never quite realized how difficult it would be to take photos of an 8 year old, a 5 year old and a 2 (3 next Monday) year old.

Now don’t get me wrong, I never had the false impression that children would be perfect little listeners with the ability to sit still.

At my old position I had the opportunity of planning and executing a cat/kitten photo shoot. I never want to take professional photos of cats again. And I also participated in a reptile photo shoot (where I got bit by the snake – twice! And then took photos with the snake and my sister). I definitely don’t want to take professional photos of snakes – ever.

From the experience with cats, I figured kids would be no big problem. Pffff … I think it was more stressful.

They just really didn’t want to listen. The Younger Boy I expected it from, but not from the older two – Silly me. Exaggerations in everything – one would have thought that we were trying to torture them. And the photographer … well, I wish she had been a little bit quicker with that clicker button.

I finally stepped in with Younger Boy, had him positioned, he was looking at the camera, and I did the whole “1, 2, 3 – Lift hands up and dash off as fast as you can” and she still didn’t click that button. Rawrrrr! I guess it’s rather frustrating for someone that has been the photographer.

Regardless, we did end up with some really nice photos of the boys.

But, OH! The Frustration! It didn’t help that the boys must have all gathered together at some point and made a plan to try and push me to my limit with every sort of test imaginable. It was an ambush, and I was pretty peeved that I hadn’t at least been given the proper Declaration of War.

It seems to be like that a lot this last week. I about ran from the house, hopped in my car, and got the hell out of here. But I didn’t because I know that this is just all a part of the transition.

Man I really dislike this transition. I guess I’m just curious what others do to get away, to find their piece of mind, to relax. What do you do when you feel like you’re going to lose your mind and fear that you just might be going crazy?

I’ll have to come back to this when I’ve had a chance to unwind my brain a bit.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

And I Felt Relief

I’ve hardly had a moment to myself the last week or so. I really need to learn to find some time each day for me, because I think I’m going to lose my head sometimes.

I bought a book recently, and it is amazing. It’s A Career Girl’s Guide To Becoming A Stepmom: Expert Advice from Other Stepmoms on How to Juggle Your Job, Your Marriage, and Your New Stepkids by Jacquelyn B. Fletcher. I love this book. I’m only in the first chapter, but it has already helped a lot already.

It’s an interactive book, and asks you to get a notebook because they have a few questions in each chapter, and it asks you to be quite honest in doing the exercises. It even suggest that you discuss the things you discover with your husband/fiancĂ©/boyfriend.

I cried tears of relief after just reading the intro. I’ve read another book on being a step mother … it wasn’t bad. But it didn’t really reach me. But this book … this book spoke to me. I’ve already marked it up and wrote in the margins.

I’m only partway through the first chapter (Cinderella’s Man Didn’t Have Any Kids; Why Does Mine?), but it took me about an hour and half to really get through the first 10 questions. (Which I answered during a bout of insomnia Monday night.) I wanted to post them here for you in case any of you wanted to try the exercise. The first section of Chapter One (The Fall of the Fantasy) was about confronting what your fantasy future was (Something I’ve already admitted having problems coping with), and trying to learn where you can compromise and what you need to let go of.

  1. What did you imagine your married life would be like?
  2. In what ways is your current situation like what you imagined?
  3. In what ways is it different?
  4. Is it OK for you to express sadness about the ways in which it is not what you expected? If not, why not? Write down the emotions this brings up for you. Write down all the negative feelings it dredges up even if you’d never admit them to anyone else.
  5. When you think of the phrase “It’s not fair!” what comes to mind? Throw a tantrum on the page and get it out.
  6. What is your definition of family? Write down “My family is…” ten times and see how many ways you answer that question.
  7. What is your vision of yourself at 85 years old? Where are you? Who is with you?
  8. What is your family supposed to do for you?
  9. Describe what you want your new family to be like.
  10. What’s your definition of home?

I must admit that Question 5 was most therapeutic. In fact, after I had answered Question 10 I had another one for Question 5. I think it helped the most because I was able to get out all that frustration and anger and bitterness, and make some organization out of the feelings and thoughts, instead of having them jumbled and shoved deep down inside where they all get mixed up together. I can start to heal that now that I've really stopped to take a look at what was causing all that anger in this current situation.

So now, I just have to work on finding time to sit down to finish the chapter out, because there are more question at the end of the chapter that I need to sit down and do (without kids awake) because man – getting all that out brings quite a few tears and causes quite a few meltdown moments of head down on table.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Flight Of The Bee

Well, I’ll tell you. The flight of the bee ended when that sucker stung me yesterday. I was walking across the yard, Younger Boy in hand, when I felt the sting … straight through my jeans. And it really hurt. But I’m a trooper and I hoped, hoped that maybe it wasn’t that bad. Well, then I realized that my jeans had pulled the stinger out and as I took a step, stung me again. Bastard jerk jeans … cause the initial bee sting wasn’t painful enough.

It was a painful ride home. And I’m not allergic, thank the lord, but I am really, really, super sensitive to venomous stings. In fact, in the 10 minutes it took to drive home, I started to feel the dizziness. Being stubborn, and sometimes stupid, I thought. “Ah hell, maybe it will go away.” I made a baking soda and water paste to suck it out (hopefully). And tried to work a bit and relax. (Not so easy when your leg is painfully throbbing.) I put Younger Boy and Middle Boy down for their nap, sat down to do some work. And about an hour later, I had a sickly feeling in my stomach. I was still fairly dizzy and I started wondering if maybe I should go to the hospital.

But, since my throat wasn’t swelling, I wasn’t breaking out in hives, and the worst was my leg hurt like hell I decided that a Pepsi and a Motrin would have to do. Well, that didn’t do too well at all. About 30 minutes later I was super dizzy and disoriented that I knew I couldn’t drive to pick up Older Boy, much less drive to the hospital.

That was scary. Luckily for me, the boyfriend’s sister and her husband were home. So they came over. She stayed at home with the boys, the boyfriend picked up Older Boy from school, and her husband took me to the emergency room.

I’ve been stung before, that ended up with a trip to the emergency room too. And this time was no different from the other times. I got the same old dosage of Benedryl, that messes me up even more, and a tip sheet of how to make ice packs and baking soda pastes.

So now I wait anxiously for the boyfriend to come home with some more Benedryl for me … because my leg hurts and itches. And we live on the second floor, and all those stairs don’t help me feel any better. Thankfully, the boyfriend got off work early enough that he can pick up Older Boy again.

Anyway, it was scary knowing that I wasn’t well and worrying "What about the boys." I was getting dizzier and dizzier by the minute it seemed as I waited for his sister and her husband to get here. I was sitting on the floor with Middle Boy debating if I should tell him that if I fall asleep to make sure to ask who is at the door in the chance that I passed out. I’ve never had anyone but me and the cat to worry about before. If I got sick, the cat laid on me and cuddled with me and I drank orange juice and ate soup until I got better, and all was well. But now … man, there are three other human responsibilities that rely on me to make sure they get to school, get fed and are cared for. And I just feel the need to state once more that it was damn scary being that out of it and not sure if I would be conscious enough to answer the door when they arrived.

Not only that, but man, I have got to take better care of myself. Not that I woke up that morning and thought “Hrm, I think I’ll be reckless and get stung by a bee today” but the whole “I’ll shake this off” thing ... because I didn’t shake it off. I could have been at the hospital a whole hour and 40 minutes before I got so bad that I was sitting on the floor leaning up against the couch. This parenting stuff is tough stuff, and I had a scary reality check. Not only do you have to take care of the kids, but you have to take care of yourself so that you CAN take care of the kids.

Not that I didn’t have respect before, but I have an even bigger respect and understanding of this parenting thing now. I guess you learn the lessons as they come along.

Exciting Off Topic News: My cousin is the Grand Master at a local Dojo, and we’ve brought Older Boy and Middle Boy there. Both the boyfriend and I are so proud of them both. I know that we both think that this form of martial arts and environment is exactly what both boys need to find confidence in themselves and a whole new attitude on life. And they both seem to love it. I can still see the big grin on Older Boy’s face as he did his first lesson. And he stuck that thing out. So Proud!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Warm Fuzzies

My beautiful friend Rachael tagged me, and I thought, “Heck, why not. It could do for some good, positive introspection.” I’m supposed to list the 5 things I'm thankful for and 7 things about myself.

Things I'm Thankful For …
1. My family and friends. I'm thankful for their support, love and lessons.
2. My life experiences. Good or bad, horrifying or amazing they have shaped me into the woman I am today and will continue to help shape me into the woman I will become.
3. My memories of growing up in a multi-ethnic household. [I'm Filipino, German, Native American, Mexican, English with some Russian.] Between the food and the fun, I am thankful that I grew up not knowing racial lines or seeing people as different colors but as who they are.
4. My ability to cook and know my way around the spice rack. I have made some really tasty dishes, and continue to surprise myself in my ability to create delicious feasts for the family.
5. Ice cream and cheesecake. They are sinfully delicious on my tongue and I don’t give a damn what they do to my thighs.

7 Things About Myself
1. I love nature, especially being out in the California redwoods. There is nothing more calming then sitting out breathing in the smell of the forest and hearing the sounds of the forest. And the beauty in a single orchid (my favorite flower) steals my breath away.
2. I have lived in 20 different places, so far, in my 27 years of life.
3. I love the Winnie-the-Pooh ride at Disneyland and watching the movie. I get all giddy and giggly like a 7 year old.
4. I used to dance ballet when I was younger (11 years) and aspired to be a prima ballerina. That obviously didn’t happen, but I still love to go to the theatre to watch a show.
5. I am an amazingly strong woman – in heart and soul. No matter how much it hurts, I always pull myself back up and head back into the game.
6. I read in a nice warm bubble bath. And I’ve only dropped one book so far in the past 17 years that I’ve been doing it.
7. I like to travel. I love visiting new places (and old) – especially to see the culture and have a taste of the culture.

Monday, October 6, 2008

The Vodka On Top Of The Fridge

I spent the whole weekend with my boyfriend and his family. His parents were down to celebrate their anniversary so we brought the boys over to both of his sisters’ houses (Saturday and Sunday) to hang out with everyone.

I love his family. But sometimes I feel like such an outsider. It makes me kind of sad. I know that I have the rest of my life to build new relationships, but right now it kind of sucks. I love hearing stories of when they were growing up. It’s quite humorous.

I think what makes me feel like such an outsider is that my life has been completely different than theirs, and it makes me feel like a wild, party girl. (And although I did have my party days, they’re not quite what I know a wild, party girl is.)

I’ve found that sometimes I’ll say something that is obvious to me, from my life experiences. And the boyfriend looks at me like “what?” It has happened while with his family too. I forget how it came up, but I brought up Beer Pong. And I got the “What?” look. And then he asked some of the others there and I got multiple “What?” looks. And it was far simpler to just stop from there than to continue on. And I lived this really independent life for so many years! All of them got married young, all have at least two kids minimum. (All the siblings, no joke!) So sometimes I feel like the young out of control wild child teenager compared to them.

And man, do I ever feel like a party girl when I’m with them. I don’t drink every day, nor do I get out of control. But I do enjoy a nice glass of wine with dinner or a delicious cocktail now and then. I grew up with alcohol in my family. My dad would have a glass of red wine every night with his dinner. My mother is a tequila connoisseur. I’ve worked on becoming an amateur wine taster and learning all about the different wines. I’m aware of alcoholism, and I don’t believe that my drinking habits even come close to alcoholism or being out of control. (As I have seen it in real life with family and friends.) But when you’re with a family that hardly ever drinks, and with a boyfriend that literally just started drinking (mainly more because he’s met me and my family) well … I feel like I’ve corrupted him. I feel almost evil, and dirty, and wrong.

His parents were over last night to look at the apartment. We had bottles of Vanilla Absolute, Strawberry Stoli, Hazelnut Kahlua, the remains of some Strawberry Margarita mix and some nasty Mike’s Hard Lemonade bottles (his because man that stuff is nasty) on top of the fridge. (Off Topic, if you’re looking for a tasty White Russian mix – I recommend a 1 part vanilla vodka, 2 parts Hazelnut Kahlua and the rest half and half or whole milk. So good!) On Topic, I heard his mother being motherly and, in that worried motherly tone, reminding him that alcoholism runs in his family. (It reminded me of my mother except she starts off with “Don’t forget depression runs in our family…”) But it made me kind of flinch as I sat there at my computer working.

Every time we see family (either his or mine) it’s like he’s discovered something new that he likes or dislikes and has to share it. He likes Corona. He likes White Merlot wine. He likes margaritas. However, he’s not fond of straight liquor, and I really don’t foresee the two of us toasting over Irish Car Bombs together in the future. There was another time this weekend when it was jokingly pointed out that the boyfriend didn’t drink until he met me. And I know that it was jokingly, but man … I dislike being blamed for the choices people make. (Not that they were accusingly pointing a finger. I guess it’s just a tender spot to push with me.) Do I influence people? It’s a possibility. I’ve been told “I blame you” for a lot of thins. I believe that anyone can be a role model or influence (good or bad) in a person’s life. But it’s how the person being influenced perceives and acts upon this influence. Man, I hope that made sense.

It makes me wonder about how our wedding is going to be. I can see it now. My family would be on one side with the glasses of alcohol, laughing and being their crazy selves (sober or not), and his family in the corner with their sodas, looking upon us all saying “Tsk, Tsk.” OK, maybe not completely 8th grade school dance. I’ve had drinks with his sisters before. But still … sometimes I feel like the wild, fraternity sweetheart college girl in the group. And it’s not a bad thing, but it can just be an awkward thing. I guess it’s something we’ll all just have to work on accepting.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

I Feel A Little Bit Like I Failed

It was around 11:30pm and it was insomnia … brought on by too much going on in my head and preventing my tired brain from enjoying precious sleep. It wasn’t even that I was worrying about anything specific. I was just awake – Uneasy, emotionally uncomfortable and awake. I decided catching up on One Tree Hill was the best way to deal with it. And one little line made sense of everything.

“I feel a little bit like I failed.” Brooke Davis’ character said to her therapist.

And the minute I heard that line, the light bulb went on in my mind. The clarity of it all came on in a wave, and a weight felt lifted as I figured out what it was that was bothering me.

I’ve mentioned before that I am way too hard on myself. That my standards of myself, for myself, expected of myself are always set higher than the average level of acceptance for any task. On MySpace surveys I’ve always listed that my worst fear is Failure.

Failure is terrifying to me. I work too hard to fail. I’ve always been that girl who gets everything that she wants because she works sooo hard to get it. And if I don’t get it, then it’s because I’ve decided along the way that I just didn’t want it anymore. Competitive in personality I’m the girl that takes on the challenge of being told “You can’t do that” because it’s such wonderful satisfaction in being able to show them wrong.

Except that I feel a little bit like I failed, and it’s been eating me up from the inside.

I feel a little bit like I failed myself when I quit my job. I worked so hard to get my degree, to get my job. My dream job has always been to be an editor at a magazine. Now, I realize that my life now doesn’t mean that I still can’t be that. But the job I had was my dream job in itself. In fact, once I started it, it became the dream job come true. And after all that hard work, and all the effort and love that I put into my education to get my job and my job once I had it, I walked out on it. I feel a bit empty inside. I feel a bit like I’m missing a part of me. I feel a little like there is a hole in my heart when I wake up in the mornings to start off the work day. And in a way, I feel a little bit like I failed myself.

I know the task now it to let it go. I actually got to live my dream job … my dream career … And, it is still attainable. So it hasn’t passed me by. The opportunity isn't gone.

And now, I just have to accept and know in my heart that this is all true.

And now, I just need to make new goals and new expectations. I guess it goes along with the change and the Mantra (see last entry for the Mantra).

And now, I need to understand that even though I feel a little bit like I failed – I really didn’t.