Thursday, October 29, 2009

Getting the Gunk Out

Sarah woke up yesterday with a cough and a low fever. So, I kept her home from school and hoped that she would be feeling better today. The good news is the fever has been gone since yesterday afternoon, her cough is still present but now the snot is dripping out of her nose.

Yes, I know this is gross. Sorry. But, considering who is reading this, you likely have either wiped away a runny nose or two from your child's face, that of a niece or nephew you were caring for, or even from your family pet.

Anyhow, this morning I decided to keep Sarah home from school again until I know she is better, and work from home.

I hate it when parents bring their kids to daycare really sick, and frustrated when my child the "sick magnet" manages to pick up all the viruses and bugs these kids bring. To add to this, I can't tell whether Sarah has an eye infection or if she managed to wipe the snot from her nose into her eye. Doubly gross. Sorry. This is not unheard of in Sarah's case as she has done this before and it was just snot, but now I am not so sure.

We have an appointment with Sarah's doctor today to get her checked out to be safe and sure.

In the meantime, Sarah has let me remove the boogers and gunk from under her nose, and she tried to help. She gave me an even harder time trying to get it out of her eye. I had to accept that she would kick and scream and cry. But the gunk is out for now. Praying that Sarah does not have an eye infection and is feeling better soon to enjoy Halloween this week.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Sign Up for Product Recalls

I love to read. Fiction and biographies, magazines and stories, and news online, I love them all. But, sometimes I just don't always have enough time to get through them in a timely fashion, especially the parenting magazines, which are chock full of wonderful information both fun and useful.

My guilty pleasure is definitely reading fiction, and sometimes when my magazines arrive I push them aside and delve right into my next book when free time allows or during my work commute. However, when I do get the chance to read the parenting magazines I have found the information to be extremely useful, and valuable that I file away cool ideas for future use as Sarah grows.

Today, I decided to thumb through Parenting magazine and saw a picture of the teething rings that Sarah uses as boo boo buddies. I then realized that it was under the product recall section and gasped. The good news is Sarah has not broken or bitten into any of these teethers but boy you can imagine I quickly pulled them out of the freezer and plan to bring them back to the store in which they were bought.

I then quickly signed up online for emails to be sent to me regarding product recalls for children's products so that when I can't get to my magazines right away, and do check email often, I will know of these recalls and important information in a timely matter.

Sign up for so that you can remain in the know and keep your children safe. I also recommend your signing up for Dr. Vincent Iannelli's blog on as he is the guide on pediatrics and emails information about product recalls including medications.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Is Shouting Really the New Spanking?

The New York Times ran an article this week entitled, "For Some Parents Shouting is the New Spanking." I admit, and I am not proud of it, but I have yelled at Sarah. While I want to say there is no good reason for yelling the only one I still question is when it comes to her safety.

I have come to realize that it's necessary to remove Sarah from certain situations where her safety is in question so yelling by me, or Daniel, does become necessary to protect her. For example, over the summer I took Sarah to the park near our home where she could run and frolic in the sprinklers. The challenge was that the area was not gated off and Sarah would often decide she would rather run towards the street. While I had all my attention on her sometimes she would dart off quickly towards the street. In sprint to get her I would raise my voice to tell her to stop. And, stop she did not. In those instances, her safety is what mattered most. But, realizing that she did not hear me because she chose not to did not help her or me. Therefore, we started to limit our time at this location for this very reason and found other fun things for Sarah to do.

Outside of these situations around Sarah's safety there have been other instances where I have raised my voice at her. Experiencing Sarah's reaction during these times in which I have lost my cool with her, especially when it was not necessary, left my heart in pieces. The guilt was overwhelming. Because of this I have actually been trying hard not to yell or shout at her and have become more aware in these situations.

Being a full time working mom is no excuse for yelling. Being tired is no excuse for screaming. Being crazy busy is no excuse for losing my temper. I experience all of these and know that stress is a big factor behind moments when I may raise my voice.

Being much more aware and cognizant of when I get worked up and might shout I have been able to catch myself well before it happens. Even as I write this is it pains me to know that parenting is hard work and sometimes I get upset, but Sarah should never be on the receiving end of my frustrations.

Sarah brings such incredible joy to my life and I take great pride in helping her foster and grow. She makes me proud daily. When I know she is pushing my buttons, which she often does, I just need to keep reminding myself to stop and consider why she is acting out. Likely the case is that she wants and needs my attention and I just have to drop what I am doing to focus on her.

Parenting is both a tough and extremely rewarding job. Know that you are human and there may very well be instances where you may loose your cool over your child's 18 years under your roof.

Be good to yourself and love your children unconditionally and go with the flow and know each day is a journey and new experience.

Don't Breastfeed and Drive

While off from work today, I listened to an interview on NPR from the editors of "Dirt is Good for You," which focused on stories and confessions from parents on bad parenting practices including screaming, amongst other things. The interview was rather funny, disturbing and humbling all at the same time.

However, I was extremely disturbed by the fact that there are still mommies out there that feel it's okay to nurse their child while driving a car. Please don't nurse your baby while you are driving. I have seen this happen and it blew my mind. And, then to hear about it again on the air today angered me further. As a mom who nursed her child for 13 months, I know what it's like having a crying baby in the car hungry or needing something that she dropped. Consider having a back up plan as far as food goes by having a bottle of breast milk on hand.

Babies need to be in their car seats when a car is in motion, no matter what. If you can stop and park, I highly encourage it. But, if you are on the highway or somewhere where you can't stop please consider a bottle or other antics to try to calm your baby. Or, and I don't love this option, but sometimes you just have to let your child cry until it is safe to attend to their needs when the car stops and you are parked safely. If you can, also consider coordinating time in your car around feedings to help avoid this dilemma.

Please drive and feed safely.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Tub Tapping: The New Craze

In previous posts that I have written regarding Sarah and bath time, including her aversions and joys, this week now adds a fun, and rather hilarious, new favorite. Certainly after all the splashing and raucous play is done and the water has gone down the drain, Sarah has now established a fun, new interest: Tub Tapping and Stomping.

What is this you might ask?

Sarah, in all her cuteness, giggles and all, stands up in the tub and starts stomping her feet, left and right, left and right, left and right, faster, faster and faster. I am not sure I have seen her legs move this quickly before.

All I could do in this instance, besides being on alert to prevent any falls, is to laugh so hard it hurts, in a good way of course. I almost feel there aren't enough words to describe this incredibly funny new interest for Sarah, and the look on her face when the tub tapping and stomping begins other than pure and unadulterated joy and excitement.

And, I have to admit, kind of like the cool sound of a steel drum that makes you feel like you are on vacation, the acoustics of tub tapping are rather neat to hear.

Anyone who knows me well knows that I love to dance and I hope that someday Sarah and I can share in this appreciation together. I was so proud to see her enjoy in this effortless form of self-expression, and joy in her eyes that came along with it.

Dancing is a passion I have and I look forward to sharing it with Sarah as she grows. However which way Sarah chooses to self-express in dance, I look forward to future bath times, her spinning in circles in the living room, or jumping up and down in the playground.

Just dance. It's freedom!!!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Bath Time, Calm Time, Not Here

Sarah loves bath time. It hasn't always been this way, as you can read from previous posts. However, she really enjoys it now and really gets into it. In fact, we decided to ditch the little inflatable tub and now she loves to have free reign of the entire tub.

Daniel and I were laughing the other day about how we were under the impression that bath time was supposed to be calming Sarah down from her day, but instead it gets her all wound up. In our house bath time is a raucous time. Sarah loves to splash and play with her toys. She giggles and talks and just really loves getting herself, and me, soaking wet.

So, I have excepted that bath time in our house in not the calming down part of Sarah's nighttime ritual. We love her energy and strong interest in bathtime and continue to encourage her play. Instead, we brush her hair and then read several books in her room to help wind her down from her active day.

Tonight, Sarah was ready for bed but decided instead of falling to sleep right away she would read to her stuffed animal friends, and Froggy, of couse. Sarah then put herself to sleep.

Night night. Sleep tight.

Medicine with Flavor for Kids

Over Sarah's 21 months there have instances in which we have had to give her medicine either via mouth or through a nebulizer. And, for what feels like the gazillion viruses and colds where in a handful of cases fevers spiked high enough for Motrin and Tylenol to be used, there was no problem administering these medicines to Sarah to help get the fevers down.

However, I cannot say the same for her flu medication, as far as ease of delivery goes.

Since Sarah got the flu this past week, and earlier this year, and was prescribed medication, I have been pleased to see the benefits of the product working well, and so quickly, yet, I wish it could come in flavors. This is the only medicine we have had to give Sarah where she really refuses to take it at all.

I certainly know that medicines are not created typically to taste good and obviously to do the job they are studied and approved to do. However, try explaining that to a toddler who refuses to take the medicine she really needs no matter what tactics are used including her absolute favorites to help.

Here's hoping that soon enough these much-needed flu medicines can be created with flavor to help give them to our little ones a little bit easier.

I must also caveat that with all medication, especially those with flavor for children, please keep all medications safely secured in cabinets or locked drawers away from little hands in all instances. While we as parents know these are medicines, our little ones, who like the flavor, may not see it that way.

Let's continue to keep our little ones safe.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Young Children and Television

Like many new moms, but not all, when pregnant or even once baby arrives, say that they will not expose their little ones to television, especially since the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends against this activity for children under the age of two.

Well, I have to admit, I was this mom too. I was pretty certain that this was the approach we were going to take, but then some circumstances changed our decision and led us to earlier than planned television watching by Sarah.

Around 10 or 11 months of age Sarah got her first bout of colds and viruses, which led to us needing to use a nebulizer. After trying just about everything we could think of to calm her, including, amongst other things, her already established comforts, educational DVDs helped to distract her while she needed this important medical treatment.

When we did use television for these distractions we first tried shows like Sesame Street, Curious George and Dora The Explorer. While they were fun to watch, some bringing back childhood memories for me, all I saw was Sarah staring at the television blankly and not with much interest. In fact, she lost interest quickly.

So, instead, we decided to consider educational DVDs, and chose Your Baby Can Read!

I succumbed to the impressive (and yes, I know staged) infomercials, and also saw first-hand how incredibly responsive my niece was reacting to these DVDs. So, I plunked down a ridiculous amount of money that I questioned immediately following the purchase. Boy, I wished I could have found these at consignment or Good Will. However, I will say this, since Sarah began watching these DVDs her vocabulary has grown exponentially and so has her interest level. She loves talking with the kids on the DVD and is often incredibly excited to watch and learn when it comes on. Now she squeaks and squeals at the animals and new words and sounds she is learning.

I still stand firm on the belief that it's better not to expose children to television at this young age and to, of course, maintain a limited number of watching hours as they grow. However, should circumstances put you in a situation where you need to consider television as a distraction, choose wisely.

The Flu Invader Strikes

Mid-week this week Sarah developed a high fever, so we expected, like most other times, that the drool, snot, coughs and sneezes would come shortly there after. But, they didn't. So, we then thought the fever was then associated with possibly yet another garden variety cold or virus, and that this would eventually pass soon.

But, when Sarah had another restless night with high fevers, to the pediatrician we went on a day I was conveniently off from work. I got confirmation that Sarah has the flu. Even Sarah's doctor was surprised by this diagnosis considering Sarah's energy and demeanor at the time of her appointment, but the test was positive. Besides this being really sucky, it sucks even more because Sarah got the flu shot just a few weeks ago. I know, as a professional in the health care field there are many viruses the flu vaccine does not protect against but I still just feel frustrated by the situation especially because there is only so much protection we can provide our little ones, even when you have done all that you can.

While Sarah is active and moving around the house, sitting in her doll stroller kissing Cookie Monster, or reading books to her favorite stuffed animals she doesn't look or act like she has the flu, but she does. Her body temperature says she has the flu. The medicine is in our fridge confirms she has the flu. Her somewhat reduced appetite says she has the flu. She has the flu.

Now likely exhausted and the flu kicking in, Sarah lays on my chest wrapped in a favorite blanket sleeping.

I just hate that the flu has invaded my little one's body and hope she is feeling better soon.

I dedicate this blog to all parent's who have sick little one's at home with bugs, viruses, flu and such, and wish you peace and patience as your child's illness passes. And, here's to wishing our babies, because they will always be or babies, happiness and good health.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Kids; Viruses, Germs and Bugs, Oh My

Thank goodness Daniel and I were both working from home today, as we got a call from Sarah's daycare around 2:3o PM saying she had a 102 fever and saying she was tired, which is out of character for her during the day. And, knowing that this is an underarm or forehead temp, by the time she came home I knew it would be higher. Oh yeah...103.5.

Fortunately, since both Daniel and I were home, we were able to tag team taking care of Sarah while continuing work assignments and requirements.

I so look forward to the day when Sarah isn't putting her fingers in her mouth or sticking her tongue on everything in sight. While I know she can get germs and bugs in the air, it likely doesn't help that my little Hoover vacuum licks just about everything she can get her hands on.

Just wishing my baby an easy night and hope she is feeling better soon.

Monday, October 12, 2009

And, Now She Sleeps, Thanks Froggy

Today I had forgotten how it felt to sleep more than a few hours in a row without waking to a screaming or fussy toddler, that I was not tired and rather refreshed at work today.

I am happy to report that Sarah is back to sleeping 8-9 hours a night, at least for the past few days. I will take what I can get and hope that this habit continues.
My body has been in shock when I awake in the morning, many times before my alarm goes off, questioning if the monitor is working or if Sarah is up to no good. The latter is not really a surprise, with her climbing onto and into everything, that sometimes I wake with a start knowing that kids her age have been known to climb out of their cribs and explore their surroundings.

I suspect that the reason for Sarah's recent slumber, and this is a guess, may have something to do with the humidifier being brought back into her room since the summer. And, with Sarah now being diagnosed with allergies, I decided it was time to bring it out again in the hopes it would help her sleep and be less junky in her chest.

Well, I think it's working. I really hope that by putting these words down this habit for her will not change, at least not too soon. Sleep is definitely something I could get used to.

A very funny thing has also happened since the frog humidifier has returned. Sarah has grown a great attachment to "Froggy." She likes it, too, when the water spews out into a midst and stands next to it waiting for the dew to fall on her face. She then giggles. And, in the morning, when Sarah used to wake up with hollers for mommy or daddy she now awakes talking to Froggy and sometimes reads to him a book left in her crib.

I am so enjoying the incredible cuteness of this and the fascination of Sarah's social skills and imagination. So, Thank You Crane, the company that makes Froggy, and other adorable humidifiers that work, are easy to care for, fun for kids and great for decor as well.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Playtime: Be Creative With Affordable Solutions

I am currently off from work on Friday's, so today I decided to take a walk over to Target. It is funny how since having Sarah I now automatically make a bee line right over to the children's section. Before Sarah it was always over to furniture and home goods first. Clearly the latter does not happen much nowadays especially since most of our knick knacks keep getting pushed into storage bins and other solutions out of reach from Sarah.

Today was no different. Right to the kids section I went. I noticed a matching cards game that I first contemplated getting for Sarah. I then remembered that a while back in the dollar section I bought two boxes of cards with various objects including animals and fruits, and realized for the fraction of the cost of an actual matching game, I have a solution that has more cards, is more cost effective and more fun. So, definitely keep your eyes peeled for educational options that may not seem so obvious and could be a great deal of fun.

As mentioned in a previous post on ways to save money on kids clothes, toys, books and such, in addition to consignment stories, swap meets, flea markets and yard/garage sales, there are indeed ways to make games out of must less costly objects that already live in your home.

How many times have you heard a parent say that his or her child played endlessly with a big box that a toy, diapers or something else came in, plastic containers, or pots and pans with ladles to make music? These types of objects can create adventures for our little ones and lots of laughs too.

I say, have fun and be creative with your little ones. Look around your home and see what you can find that can fun and entertaining without too much cost, little maintenance and a whole lot of fun for all.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Toddlers and Sleep

Sarah has not always been the best sleeper. As mentioned in a previous post, I used to call her the "kitty crap napper" because she wouldn't nap for longer than 20 minutes at a time and would take a couple of naps a day.

At eight months of age, after many sleepless nights of getting up and putting her back to sleep, we decided to use the Ferber method of crying it out. With crying tears beyond belief, from me, and support from my husband and fellow moms, we were able to get through it. Sarah, after a few nights of Ferber started sleeping 8-9 hours in a row.

The Ferber Method is not for everyone. At first I balked at the thought of letting my child cry it out but we realized that Sarah needed to learn how to put herself to sleep and this process has worked for us.

Nearly 13 months after Sarah's sleeping was somewhat in check, and Daniel and I could get some much needed rest, her sleep habits have since changed. We thought there may be an association with her recent surgery but know this is not the case, or recently seasonal allergies.

So, with the humidifier on high, and the heat on as well, and a favorite song sung a few times over with back rubbing and then slowly stepping away, Sarah has begun to sleep again. Last night was the first time in a long time that she slept a full night without waking up.

As our children change their sleep habits changes too. At this age I am told there are night terrors along with growth spurts and sometimes upset tummies that may wake our sleepy ones. I am just thankful that Sarah, as well as Daniel and I, got the rest that we all needed, at least for last night.

Hoping for a good night's sleep tonight and moving forward. Sweet dreams!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Princess Power: When It's Time to Give In

As a mom of a little girl, the time may come sooner or later when Sarah may or may not want to be enveloped in everything princess. It appears that the time may be now.

For months since Sarah began walking and wearing shoes she has constantly been kicking them off. A lot of this could also be because of the constant attention I give to her feet kissing them, tickling them, singing songs about them and completely adoring them. What can I say, I absolutely lover her cute little piggies.

Thus, it has been a constant for Sarah, especially during walks with her in the stroller, or when we are out and about, or when she is at school, to kick off her left shoe especially. Eventually the sock comes off too and she giggles like crazy. How can anyone resist this?

During walks, especially, with her in the stroller I always have to be on alert to the shoe popping off, as there have been times I have had to walk back to start to find the shoe or missing sock.

This past weekend, when I couldn't actually find one of Sarah's sneakers, likely under a couch or stashed away with some toys or books, I had to go and get another pair as backup.

Until now, shoe shopping for Sarah has been mostly about what fits well, is comfortable and, for the most part, what I like. She really hasn't had much of a say in what we choose more so because she's 20 months and hasn't really cared.

This time around I took a different approach, desperate to find a pair of shoes she may like enough to want to keep on. After kicking off every other cute looking sneaker, I decided, out of desperation, to talk up the princess sneaker, which also happened to have lights.

Let's just say, the princess shoes won out.

While I like to have control over what Sarah wears now for the most part, I know that there will indeed come a time when I need to step back and let her develop her own sense of style. Hey, if she wants to wear clothes emblazoned with Elmo head to toe, or a princess dress, or anything else, I likely will have to succumb. All in all, as much as I don't want Sarah to have blue hair some day or wear miniskirts inappropriately too short, I will have to do my best as a parent to guide her well, help her be confident in her own body and help her to find her creative sense of style.

A true test of the princess sneakers happened at school today when I learned that not only did Sarah keep them on all day, she was so excited about them that she kept sharing with others her new kicks. She even kept them on during stroller walks and playground activities.

All that matters to me is that Sarah be a happy and healthy child. I know that these are famous last words but I will be doing my best to encourage Sarah to find herself through style whether it is as a princess/girly girl or a tomboy, and address individual moments of dress when they happen, within reason and when necessary.

In the meantime, I intend to enjoy the moments of her being little and in love with the pure joys of favorites such as Curious George, Dora, Elmo and princesses.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Toddler Milestone and Education Beyond Home

Today, Sarah proved several times over that she can indeed count her numbers 1 through 10. It was by far an amazing thing to see her do, and unprompted, all on her own throughout the day.

Seeing Sarah's brain in motion and her thought process evolve is so incredibly fascinating and rewarding. I yelped, applauded and praised my growing toddler. I am just so darn proud of her and amazed by her development. Every step she takes is a leap and I am so impressed and overwhelmed by the joy these milestones continue to bring.

Something like counting 1-10 may not seem like a big deal but it is indeed HUGE!!! At least for this mommy, who works full time and wishes she could be more present on a daily basis with her little one, seeing the benefits of the learning environment we have chosen for Sarah coupled with these wonderful outcomes, I realize we are providing for Sarah in the best way possible.

I don't feel I can take full credit for Sarah achieving this intellectual milestone of counting even though we have done quite a bit with numbers at home. However, I am proud to know that we chose the right school for her to be in when we need to be at work where she does indeed learn and grow, and we then reinforce at home to further establish her education.

A really good parent is someone who loves their child or children unconditionally and provides for them in numerous ways. If you are unable to be a stay-at-home parent, you are no less of a parent. Just continue to have fun with your little ones as they grow and expose them to resources you know will add to the learning you also provide as they develop and prosper.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

When Babysitting Falls Through

I am bummed because tomorrow a very dear childhood friend of Daniel's, who I have been fortunate to get to know, is getting married and I will not be able to join in the festivities. I was so looking forward to this affair and the fun I knew we would have together. But, unfortunately, and no fault of her own, Grammie got sick and will not be able to babysit as planned.

Grammie, please know we are not upset with you and hope you are feeling better soon.

We tried a few babysitters, who are actually teachers from Sarah's school, who she really likes and responds well to. But, unfortunately several of these individuals go to church on Sunday and others are not able to sit for the long hours we need. At first I thought, since I know a number of the teachers often look for babysitting to help supplement their income, and since it was a long day with a good financial outcome, I thought they might reconsider. I admire these folks for their spiritual and religious commitments and feel terrible for even thinking that money could even trump G-d. I'm being honest. What can I say? I really wanted to go to the wedding and with it being well over an hour away plus the time for the ceremony, cocktail hour and even part of the reception the day is easily 6-7 hours and likely too much for anyone other than these special people.

At first I thought maybe I was being overly protective and not letting many people watch Sarah. But, the reality is that Sarah, like many 20 month old toddlers, is extremely active and sometimes unpredictable or uncooperative. So, other than some immediate family members who have watched Sarah previously or teachers who are with her for long hours at a time and know her demeanor, it just didn't feel right to choose anyone beyond these people to watch Sarah especially being well enough away from home.

Sometimes situations like this are going to happen and we as parents we are just going to have to suck it up. It's part of the job.

I wish Lenny and Kelly a wonderful wedding and a lifetime full of happiness, love and good health. I will be there in spirit while Daniel helps to cut a rug, eat cake, and share in the festivities of this auspicious occasion. Many congratulations!!!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Sarah and Allergies - Part 2

We just came back from Sarah's doctor who is pretty certain that Sarah has allergies. Ugh.

Tomorrow we will take her for a blood test, which may or may not confirm this suspected diagnosis. Interestingly, it appears Sarah has dark circles under her eyes, if you could believe a baby could get dark circles under his or her eyes, is a symptom of seasonal allergies.

And, while we have been told we can try saline solution in her nose, which Sarah hates oh so much, we may need to put her on medication. So not liking this at all. We kind of expected that this may happen since Daniel has been suffering from chronic perennial allergies for years.

To fellow mommy Samara, thank you for sharing your personal story regarding your son Zachary. You are absolutely right in that this type of allergy is not life threatening and can be managed but that it's still okay to feel pain and sadness for your child when they are uncomfortable and know that medication may be a necessity to help provide them comfort.

Any additional tips and insights from you and others would be great to learn.

Strange Places, Diaper Changes

I was talking with a mom yesterday, pregnant now with her third, and during our conversation we laughed about one particular, inevitable task with young children not fully potty trained, and that is diapering. In this conversation I was reminded of the many times and plethora of places where Sarah and I have been where she has been diaper changed on the go.

In a previous blog post I talked about how great it was to have a vinyl pad in your car and a large sized changing pad for the diaper bag when you are out and about. But, for mom's like myself who are on the go especially on foot and with baby in tow, know sometimes that restaurants and other places won't have bathrooms equipped with changing tables. Therefore, it's important to be prepared for the strange, odd and weird as far as diaper changes out of the home would go and expect the worst and laugh hard at times. I literally have sprawled Sarah across sink tops, chairs, park benches and such maneuvering diapers, wipes, anti-bacterial lotion and a wiggly baby. This in and of itself should be an Olympic sport.

Thus, when you are out and about with your baby, and a diaper change is needed, consider local area hotels with larger bathrooms, flat surfaces like picnic tables, benches and sometimes floors (except in bathrooms) where you can lay a large sized changing pad.

Just bring lots of wipes and a good sense of humor.

Halloween Candy for the Troops

While we all recover from over indulging in too much candy during Halloween, still the candy is in our homes staring at us willing us to...