Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Wishes

So I'm a little behind on posting...what's new. It's been a crazy few days but it's been worth the hassle. We did a little Christmas shopping in the land of nowhere and nothing and actually found a few good things. We loaded up the car on Friday afternoon and headed back to our old house and spent the weekend there shopping and sleeping like kings in our normal bedrooms.

We've been at my parent's house since Sunday. We've finally finished up our shopping and now it's time to sit back and relax and let the festivities begin.

I hope the boys enjoy their gifts this year. They may not get everything they wanted but hopefully they will grasp the true meaning of Christmas and be happy spending their time with family. I know A2 is beyond happy being here with his grandparents. He couldn't wait to get to their house to see them.

My Daddy is doing wonderful after his surgery and it's the best present I could have asked for. When I saw him for the first time after leaving his house after the surgery he looked like a different man altogether. He's over at the kitchen counter now making pigs in a blanket with my husband and the boys and it's such a beautiful sight.

The weather stinks here. It's raining cats and dogs and I truly feel sorry for those out doing their shopping around here today. It's nothing but nasty outside.

I really don't have much more to say other than that I wish everyone out there reading this a blessed holiday season. I know it can get hectic with all of the hustle and bustle and that sometimes family can get annoying but don't let it get you worked up. Enjoy the time you have and make the most of it!

Happy Christmas!

Saturday, December 13, 2008


Thursday, December 11, 2008

My Day in Pictures

Woke up this morning with a sever case of

Nothing really out of the ordinary when it comes to me and PMS. It gives me something I can put my finger on when people look at me like I have two heads. I mean come on it's not a secret that

It's just that PMS amps it up a notch or 10. Surely by now everyone around me knows that

I'm pretty good at it. I've had years of practice.
Some months are worse than others. I should have felt this particular case of PMS coming on since I've devoured everything loaded with carbs or covered in chocolate and/or sugar in this house for the past three days and truly believe right now that

Not to mention the copious amounts of Reese's peanut butter cups I hid from my family from Halloween all for myself.
Everytime I get one they all flock to me like vultures wanting to know how they can get their hands on one.

The husband knows better to push the issue and openly beg but those pesky children are a different story.

Too bad

I'm going to be writing a nasty little letter to the people at Safety 1st for not having properly working locks and latches in their stupid "childproofing" set. Sure they keep them from getting out but not from getting IN.

Obviously a concept flaw.

Don't get me wrong

I've single handedly turned them into the little monsters they are today.

On most days I wouldn't trade them for a dime...maybe a shot of tequila, but not a dime.

The husband was out of town all day yesterday and spent the night away from home. He called this morning to let me know he would be home tonight for dinner.

I guess this means I have to get up off my lazy ass and do something today. No more lounging around watching hours and hours of Gilmore girls in my pajamas.


I bust my ass most of the time cooking and cleaning and nobody ever seems to notice the difference around here when I do make special efforts to do something nice, so my new philosophy is

I'm thinking that as long as nothing is morphing into it's own entity out of the laundry pile and we can actually find the remote control then all is good.

Yes, I'm aware that there are those who will visit me with their white kid gloves on and look down on my new way of thinking but to them I gently say

I'll wait over here out of the way.
It's funny what a good case of PMS will do to the attitude. It can take a sweet, ok sometimes sweet, natured girl like myself and give her the gumption to say

to all the mundane little things floating around out there.

The other thing about PMS is that most people have learned that it isn't wise to challenge someone in the throws of an extremely nasty case.
I mean come on

We could bury your body deep in the woods without so much as breaking a nail or even a good sweat......and get away with it.

I haven't exactly figured out the best cure for days like this.

I've tried the buckets and buckets of Haagen Das but that just doesn't seem to do it for me. It just makes me feel that much worse about not being able to button the crumpled up pair of jeans laying in the middle of my bedroom floor that I had on just eight damn days ago.

It's been said that money can't buy happiness but I'm thinking whoever the hell said that was some broke asshole that never tried it.

I say never underestimate the power of retail therapy. I should make buttons and pass them out. I'll take retail therapy over a good romp any day.
Too bad when I got married I was never informed about the importance of

Oh, my husband has one with a little bit of green in it but it's mostly in the form of $1 and $5 and he rather enjoys sitting on them. That high pitch squeaking noise you hear is probably my husband walking around with his "bank."

Lucky for me I have my credit cards that he hasn't managed to wrestle from me yet.
He should notice by now the monthly surge that occurs around the same time every month. If he hasn't then let's just keep that little tidbit between me and you.
The way I look at it, it's a win win because hell who can argue with the logic of

Ah, I feel a little better already just getting that all off my chest. Freud couldn't hold a candle to my Old Navy card.

I'll feel even better when I'm back from the land of 50% off fleece pullovers in a little while. I just need to make a quick stop over at MooOMooO'sRUs for something to wear.
Bloat sucks balls!

And just so you know

Thank you very much.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Toxic Friends

Have you ever heard your phone ringing and knew in the pit of your stomach you didn't want to answer it even before you looked at the screen to see who was calling? If so you must be like me and have what I like to refer to as toxic friends.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that everyone has at least one and if you can't think of one then maybe you need to step back and ask yourself if YOU are the toxic one.

Some toxic friends are generally hard to spot and can start out as really great but once the honeymoon phase of the friendship is over that's when they shed their mask and their true colors shine through. Other toxic friends stick out like a sore thumb and it's pretty apparent they are chronically miserable and will stop at nothing to suck everyone around them into their black hole of misery.

Why am I talking about this?

My phone rang the other day and ONE of my toxic friends was on the line. I saw the name pop up on the screen and against my better judgment I hit answer instead of ignore. I haven't heard from her in a couple of years and thought it would be nice to catch up with her a little bit. I now realize I would have been better off had I dropped the phone in the toilet and punched myself in the face repeatedly for about 10 minutes.

This particular toxic friend (TF from here on out) as a rule never calls to see how things are going with me or to ask how the boys are doing. She usually starts right in on her woe is me routine and her never ending string of ailments that apparently have no cure. Most new diseases and mental illnesses get their origin with this chick if you actually buy into everything she says. I was hoping this conversation wouldn't go down that road since it had been a while since we talked and when she's in good spirits is fun to talk to.

It did.

TF started the conversation with a snarky "so you DO actually know how to answer the phone, usually I get your voicemail."

Inside my head: What a great start. Moron.

TF: "Well I just got off the phone with my boss and I now have to quit my job because my feet are so messed up and he won't let me have the days off I want." "I had this thing come up on the side of my toe and it hurt so bad I couldn't stand for all that many hours without being in so much pain."

Inside my head: I'm sure it's just a corn or a callus but by the time you went online and followed one of those self diagnosis flow charts it's morphed into plantar fasciitis. Just another excuse for you to quit job number 346,678,112 and have everyone feel sorry for you because deep down you just don't want to work.

TF: "Get this, boyfriend 1 found out three days ago about boyfriend 2 and he called the police on me to get out of the house." "I would go live with boyfriend 2 but he still hasn't kicked that dumb bitch of a girlfriend out yet. "I know she's cheating on him." "He deserves so much better than that."

Inside my head, still, because she hasn't stopped for air since I said hello: Are you serious? Can you hear yourself talking??!?

TF: "Oh, guess who's pregnant?"

Screaming inside my head: PLEASE GOD DON'T LET IT BE YOU. Two is enough!

TF: "My daughter.....again." "She met some boy (yes, boy) at the movies a few weeks ago and they hit it off so good." "He's a real sweetheart and he is so good with the baby."

Inside my head: Did she just say she met him a few weeks ago?

Ok, let me just add here that TF is talking about her 17 year old daughter who has a child already that was born premature and has real health issues. That baby should be about two years old now since that's around the last time I talked to her.

ME: "Wow, when you call with news you make it worth the effort." "Where does she live, how is the baby?" "Where do you live?" "Did you know that I no longer live in the same state as you?"

TF: "WHAT?" "Where are you?" "I was waiting to catch up a little bit more with you but I was hoping to come stay with you for a few days until boyfriend 2 can get that slut out of our house." "My mom said I couldn't stay with her, so what am I suppose to do now?"

Inside my head: She said "our" house. Wonder if she can spell delusional? Has she forgotten who I am married to or the fact that I can only take her in small doses? Didn't she just turn 38 in October?

TF: "Well, I guess I better go you wouldn't happen to have Friend 1 or Friend 2's phone numbers would you?"

ME: "No I sure don't, I guess I lost them in the move." (I lied.)

TF: "OK, well bye."

I never got the word bye out of my mouth before she hung up. Now I realize that my thoughts inside my head were not nice but I've known TF for about eight years now and all of our conversations pretty much go the same way. Only on a manic day will she actually ask about me or just talk about random things other than how the world had taken a big shit right on her head.

I met her when I met Friend 1 and Friend 2 years ago. The three of them knew each other long before I came along and none of them were very close. I was sort of the catalyst that brought our little group together. My first impression of TF was that she seemed like a pretty cool person but had this perpetual scowl. That should have been my first clue but I'm a sucker.

I'm going to let the cat out of the bag here and let you know that I'm really a softie at heart. Damn, there goes all my street cred, but I like to help people and I'm a magnet for people with issues. I went into the field of psychology for this reason. I like talking and listening and trying to help people when things look bleak. I'm a pretty good judge of character and can more often than not figure out the root and lay it out there in the open.

I draw the line with people who talk and talk and ask for help and when it's given or suggested they make NO efforts to change. They would rather wallow. TF is a wallower.

She didn't call me to see what was new or to talk about what's been going on with either of us she cut right to the chase. I knew what she wanted as soon as the second sentence was out of her mouth. It was pretty much cemented by the third. In summery, she quit her job, had no money, boyfriend was no longer going to foot the bill for her so she wants pity money from me.

She must have had a rare break in the synaptic misfiring and realized that I was the wrong person to ask flat out about money so she continued on with her story. It wasn't until I let her know that I no longer live near her that she needed to go so abruptly. I purposefully fed her that tidbit of information because the conversation needed to be over. I couldn't do anything for her and I could hear that she was mentally crossing me off the list.

Oh and that bit about wanting to stay with me was total bullshit on her part. She probably would have come over but only if she thought she could squeeze something out of me. My guess is she will be driving by boyfriend 1 and boyfriend 2's houses watching their every move until she gets bored with that and decides to drive by ex-husband 2's house to see if she can catch his new wife outside so she can scream profanities at her. She more or less just needed gas money. If she was hungry I would have fed her. If the baby needed food I would have gotten some. I don't hand out cash. She knows this and had to get off the phone.

Had she called and asked for advice or just needed to talk about things then it would have been different but when it was apparent I wasn't going to get a word in and that she wasn't even asking for me to talk that she just wanted a handout from me I cut it short. Besides I've talked to this girl so much that it's apparent that she doesn't want to change. She thrives on negative attention and will continue in this vicious circle until she decides enough is enough.

The conversation was over in 3 minutes and 44 seconds but it felt like 3 hours and 44 minutes.

The saddest thing that came from that conversation is the fact that it made me take stock of some of the people in my life and I can think of about three others who are just as toxic but in their own way. I'm serious when I say I'm a magnet to this crap.

It's no secret that I come straight out of toxicity. My own mother is the poster child for toxic. It's no wonder I was drawn to the field of psychology. I had to find a way to pick myself up from my own jacked up childhood and figure out a way to stop being a wallower myself and discover the wonders of self esteem. It's not and was not an easy task but I personally know it CAN be done. I have another toxic friend that is so sneaky in their toxic ways that she actually burned me a couple of times. I forget and say things to her that in the end have come back to bite me on the ass.

There is also one other female I have in my life that is so full of disdain for anyone who does not think the way she thinks or does things quite the way she wants them done that she will blast them without once thinking about their feelings. This person expects everyone around her to conform to her way of thinking and if they don't she personally diagnoses them with a mental illness. Regular Anna Freud that one. She is partial to no one either. She will lambaste her own children. To their face and to each other. I hope to never be filled with so much self loathing that I have to project it onto my friends and family.

Don't get me wrong. Nobody is perfect, we all grouse and complain. I've never known anyone so happy with their life that they have cheerful rainbows shooting out of their ass. If I did I would be wary of them. We all have bad days or months or hell, even bad years but when that turns into constant negativity and every thing that happens is interpreted as the worst possible situation ever it's toxic.

There are days where things rub me the wrong way and I'm in full on bitch mode but I've learned to recognize it and turn it off when I see it is starting to take a toll on those around me. I've had days where I've been on the verge of tears for no apparent reason but it doesn't make me feel any better to make the people around me feel as though I need to climb upon a soapbox and put on my doomsayer robe to drag them down as well. It takes effort.

Maybe it was good I answered the phone the other day. Since it's apparent I suck at keeping a whole list of resolutions, I will make just one to stay away from toxic people in the new year because whether you like it or not they get to you and bring you down.

My proof: This post. That phone call was at least five days ago and here I am still letting it get to me.

Do you have toxic friends/family? How do you deal with them? Do you cringe when you see certain names on your caller ID?

Remind me to send flowers to the genius who invented that little gem!

Friday, December 5, 2008

On Lack of Productivity and Unintentional Dirty Words

Talk about taking your birthday and stretching it out to make the most of it. I've managed to get away with doing as little as possible this week and there has been NO griping and complaining.

Things I've accomplished this week:

1. I mopped the floors. Some things can't be overlooked no matter how much effort I put in to ignoring them. Plus when you mop the floors it gives off the appearance that the whole house is clean and you worked your ass off all day accomplishing it when it actually only took about half an hour.
2. Loaded the dishwasher. Didn't bother to unload it though. I figure that since we only have a limited amount of things here that more than likely it will all come out a piece at a time by oh, say, Saturday.
3. Cooked dinner only three times and two of them held probably no nutritional value to my family whatsoever - frozen pizza on Monday and hot dogs on Tuesday.
4. I washed a load of towels since it was either that or have everyone drip dry or dry off on hand towels and I washed the comforter that has been piled up in a ball on my laundry room floor for at least two weeks. I only washed it because I switched detergent and fabric softener this week and the smell is like floating on a cloud.

If I weren't so lazy I'd take everything we own and run it through the wash just to have that smell wafting out of every corner of this house. This is also another way in which it would seem effort was expelled to clean my bedroom today. There is still crap all over the place in there but because the super awesome clean smell of that comforter smacks you in the face as soon as you walk in, you can't help but totally over look that junk and breathe in the freshness.

I could do that for A1 and A2's rooms but since I dipped out that extra helping of lazy this week it ain't happening. I'll wash their sheets tomorrow or Monday.

Sadly I'm sitting here trying to think if there was something else that I actually accomplished this week and I'm coming up blank. I rock at life this week! Good thing it was my birthday so I can at least give some sort of excuse other than just plain old lazy. (I'll save that one for another time. I'm not too proud.)

I did start watching the Gilmore Girls two nights ago, not productive but enjoyable for me, and after finishing the first two discs of season one I've determined that I want to live in Stars Hollow and totally be a Gilmore girl or at least hang out with them!! How could I have not known about this show?? No one I know has ever seen it so it's just a fluke that I decided I wanted to own it and watch it and I. Love. It. With. All. My. Heart!

The mom is a sassy smart ass and the daughter reminds me of my own child had he been a she and not a he. If you have never seen this show you should. Seriously. I saw the first four seasons at Sam's club on Tuesday for $13.88 each. You can't find them cheaper than that anywhere.

I tried out my new headphones the other night while watching my show on the computer in bed and let me tell you after wearing them for a couple of hours that night the next morning it felt like somebody punched me in the ear on the left side.

They work great as far as blocking out the sound (i.e. the husband and A2 snoring loudly beside me) but they are kind of big for my little ears. No matter how hard I tried to squish them to fit in there better it just wasn't happening. I wore them again last night and they didn't hurt as bad so I'm guessing they are just going to take getting use to. It probably doesn't help that I sat my computer on my makeshift upside down empty box nightstand and laid on my left side to watch one whole episode before falling asleep that first night. Notice I only watch at night after everyone else is asleep. That's the only time I get any peace.

Other things going on around here: We've all been working on our Christmas list for the past week or so. I tell you with everyone so broke this year I feel weird sending out a list this time. Is it just me or do you feel like you should be adding stuff like milk and beans and rice and bread to the list this year? Of course we are going to still shop like usual for our cast of characters but I'd rather not have people buy for me this year. (Wow. I know. Unselfishness kicking in. Maybe it just took a few days AFTER my birthday for it to kick in. Who'd a thunk it?) I still want those boots though but I've got birthday money that I can put towards them.

Even though it's a little weird I'm still sending ideas for all of us though because I don't need any more shower caps to add to my collection for those who will shop for me anyway. What's that you ask? Shower caps? Yes, I have been given shower caps as actual gifts. Wrapped up with my name on them. Handed to me with no shame with all eyes on me as I unwrap them. I'm talking the stupid plastic ones that you buy off the shelf and even ones that are given out free from hotels. I've gotten them both more than once. I shit you not. I also have a nice assortment of things that are gold and I'm not talking jewelery.

Side note: A2 has been watching Bob the Builder all week (try getting that damn song out of your head) and his new favorite character is Pilchard the cat. Well, when he's talking about him it comes out less like Pilchard and more like Pisser, or when he wants to elaborate, Piss on the cat. Got a couple of nasty looks on the DVD aisle at Sam's over that one. Not like I needed any help in that department stupid Bob with your stupid cat name.

I'm off to maybe clean the bathrooms or something. I can't in good conscience only have four things on my list of things I've done this week....or can I? It was my birthday dammit!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Birthday Loot

Case you were wondering the husband did come home with cake last night so all was good at our house and he had functioning kneecaps this morning for work. It was a yellow cake with pink butter cream frosting and sprinkles! Needless to say I had a big ol chunk last night and didn't feel guilty at all this morning when I was scarfing down me some cake for breakfast.

Is it just me or does cake taste better when eaten directly from the cake sheet? Just wondering.

By the way, next week when I'm complaining about my pants not fitting me anymore let's not bring this whole cake thing up....mmmmkay.

As for the loot:

A1 bought me these

that I've been crying for for a long time now since my iPod earbuds are all jacked up and won't stay in my ears when I'm trying to run on the treadmill. He is too sweet and bought them for me with his own money. That is saying a lot since he doesn't part easily with his cash.

The husband got me this

which will suck up hours and hours of my time now and I couldn't be happier for getting it!

I've only wanted this forever now even though I have never seen one single episode. I don't know what it is about me and TV shows but if it's good right now chances are I'm not watching it but let it go off the air or a few years go by then I'm all about it.

Shows I am not watching now but will more than likely be raving about in about three or four years:

Grey's Anatomy
The Office
Brothers and Sisters
30 Rock

I did the same thing with Charmed, Sex and the City, The Sopranos, and Will and Grace even though I did catch a few episodes here and there of Will and Grace when it was actually on the air. I'd rather own the series and watch it at my own pace and watch the ones I really like over and over.

I was thinking just the other day that I needed to stick in season one of Sex and the City and let that series run it's course again. I'm not one of those people that watches their DVDs once and never again. I get the ones that I'll watch again and again. I've got a lot of time to kill between my house and my parents house....about 8 to 10 hours to be exact depending on what we are hauling or how fast we need to get there.

A2 got me this.

I've got one of those all in one printer things right now but it sucks ass when it comes to printing pictures. Now I have no excuse. Plus it's portable and compatible with just about everything so I can take it home with me and print off pictures from other people's camera instead of having them email them to me. I'm pretty excited about that.

I got money that if I had my way will go towards these UGG boots, only I want them in the middle Chestnut color, but the husband would have to make up the difference and since I made out like a bandit from him already I'm guessing those boots will have to wait or go on the Christmas list. They are super awesome though and I want them so bad I can taste it. Too bad my shallowness doesn't decrease with age. If nothing it seems to increase.

I got a gift card to Gap which is pretty awesome and one to Cracker Barrel that I plan on using with my parents as soon as they can get out of the house since that is one of their favorite places to go and have fed us there Lord knows plenty of times.

I also got a bracelet from my mother that really surprised me. I was thinking at best I would get a phone call the day after or some cheese ball message left on my voicemail but she actually made it a point to get me a gift and give it to me in person. Could she be growing up?

To be determined later.

We didn't go out to eat because that's not a big deal for me. I made hot dogs and we ate those with chips and then CAKE!!

I got to sit on the couch and watch episode after episode of that stupid Bad Girls Club show and no one complained one bit. Matter of fact I caught them watching along with me and busted them out on it a couple of times. A1 was going back and forth from his room to behind the couch standing there watching and the husband was suppose to be reading something for his work but I looked over more than 10 times to see him looking up at the TV screen. They weren't fooling me. I fell asleep on the couch watching that junk and the husband came in here looking for me around 3 this morning.

The best thing about my birthday was that I turned 34 and that didn't bother me one bit. I'm happy. I'm healthy and I have family and friends that love me.

How'd I get so lucky?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

On Daddy and My New Love

Going to type this fast so I can spill it out and catch up to where I can feel like I'm not running behind. I'm not going to edit so just overlook the mistakes.

Last week this time I was sitting at the hospital with my mom and we were both staring at my daddy as he slipped in and out of awareness. He had his surgery a week ago yesterday and by Tuesday morning of last week he was in his own room.

He was groggy from all of the meds but he looked a thousand times better than I could have hoped for. I hope if I ever have to undergo any type of major surgery like that in my lifetime that I can come through as nicely as he did.

It was a long week sitting there and wanting to help him in any way that I could without being more of a nuisance than a help but I'm so glad I was there and got to spend that time with him and my mom. She's such a trooper herself for staying strong and helping him through this whole ordeal. Is it any wonder her personalized ring tone for my phone is the Wonder Woman theme song?

Thanksgiving day was spent in the hospital but next year and many many more to come we will hopefully all look back on this and be thankful that he is in way better health and shape than he was the year before. I would gladly eat hospital turkey and dressing alone in the cafeteria again if it meant he was going to be healthy as a horse at the end of it all.

Friday I gave them a break from seeing me at the hospital and just hung around their house hoping he would get to come home. I washed and cleaned and just tried to keep myself busy waiting to hear from them. By about 3 or so that afternoon I got a message that said he should be discharged sometime around 4:30. I was too excited.

They have this love seat that sits in front of their big front windows and I perched myself up on the arm of that thing staring out the window much like I use to do when I was waiting to be picked up for a date back in the day. I saw the lights and my tummy did a little flip.

He was home.

Every day is a better day and for that I am so thankful. Nothing in life is guaranteed but to know that he was otherwise healthy enough to undergo this ordeal makes me feel so good. It's going to take a while for him to heal up completely but he'll get there and before you know it he will be back in the floor wrestling with A2 just like he use to. I'm not so sure he'll be able to handle that any better though because that child is a tiger!!

I was going to stay longer to help out but it was really just to hang out because I'm homesick but I decided not to wear out my welcome and come on back home with my boys on Sunday. It took us until 10 pm to get here and the ride sucked major dookey balls but whatchagonnado?

Yesterday A1 went back to school and the man went back to work. A2 and I slept in and didn't do much of anything else. I did a lot of reflecting on where I was a week ago and how it all turned out. Today is my birthday (34) and it's been a good day.

My daddy and mom called to wish me a happy one and it was great to hear their voices. A1 always treats me like a Queen on my birthday so of course I'm eating that up. A2 and I went out and did a little window shopping this afternoon. I want some UGG boots but don't want to pay that much for them. I treated the two of us to McDonald's because he loves to play on the playground. The husband isn't home yet but I'm banking on him to bring home cake. If he doesn't there WILL be hell to pay.

I've put my PJ's on and I'm off to finish my Bad Girls Club marathon. How could I have not known about this trash until today??!! Discovering this filth has been the best birthday present ever. I woke up this morning to it on my television and found myself instantly hooked. It's apparently a twisted take by the Oxygen channel on MTV's The Real World which throws seven strangers together in a house to tape their every move. The Bad Girls Club throws seven spoiled little rich bitches into a house and all hell breaks loose. I've seen clips on The Soup before but have never actually seen it listed on the guide until today. (Insert sound of the heavens parting)


Today was a marathon of last season because tonight at 10/9 central the new season starts. Guess who has it set to tape? That would be me! I had to stop watching at around 11 this morning but taped the rest of them so I've got plenty to catch up on. Matter of fact that shit is STILL taping and runs til 10 tonight. I just hope for little A2's sake we have enough space on the DVR. Otherwise some of those Thomas Train episodes have to go.

I'm not even joking.

He only has about 20 Thomas DVDs so he can give up his space on the DVR for my new found trash fix. It's my birthday dammit. I'm warped. I know. Knowing is half the battle or so I hear.

Other people who share my birthday:
Britney Spears
Lucy Liu
Stone Phillips
Nelly Furtado
Monica Seles
Rick Savage and
Michael McDonald

Happy Birthday to me....and them, but mostly to me.