Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Songs for the Whole Family, Part 2

Yesterday I wrote about songs that I like to sing to my daughter at various points in the day. There was one thing I left out, namely, why I sing these Rock / Broadway / German Techno songs to my daughter instead of the usual nursery rhymes and lullabies.

The thing about lullabies is that they are very violent for some reason. Consider this little ditty:

Rock-a-bye baby, in the treetop
When the wind blows, the cradle will rock
When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall
And down will come baby, cradle and all

In this lullaby, lumberjack parents climb to the top of a tree with a baby strapped to the dad's back, then put the baby in a cradle and gently place it atop a bough. There the cradle lay unsupervised, just waiting for all that potential energy to become kinetic.

Then out of the South comes El Nino, America's favorite illegal immigrant, which whooshes through the forest. Egads! This particular branch breaks under the strain of the mighty jet stream, and the child falls hundreds of feet to his or her doom.

We can only assume that the baby who falls in the lullaby is as lucky as the Indian baby who was flushed down a train's toilet and survived on the train tracks, otherwise this lullaby is just too violent for my child. Either way, I give the parents who brought their child up to the treetop an F for parenting.

Or how about this one...

The itsy-bitsy spider
Climbed up the water spout
Down came the rain
And washed the spider out
Out came the sun
And dried up all the rain
And the itsy-bitsy spider
Climbed up the spout again

In this lullaby a child is bathing in an outdoor shower that is apparently infested with Black Widow spiders. The shower, it should be noted, is exposed to the elements, and whoever is taking a shower is also being rained on.

Taking a shower outdoors + raining at the same time + spider bite = life sucks.

The moral of this lullaby is that nothing stops a determined spider from achieving its goal of obtaining the advantageous position of height right before pouncing a helpless child taking a shower left outside during the rain. I'd like to personally thank whoever brought this gem of a lullaby into the world.

Now compare those ultra-violent lyrics to Twisted Sister's "I Wanna Rock:"

I Wanna Rock! (Rock!)
I Wanna Rock! (Rock!)
I Wanna Rock! (Rock!)
I Wanna Rock! (Rock!)

Not only are the kids soothed and entertained, but they also associate the word "rock" with the action of rocking. It's edutainment!

In conclusion, we as a society put so much blame on violent video games like Grand Theft Auto IV and the Bratz game for much of our children's actions, but in reality it all starts with these lullabies. We're embedding violence right into their minds from the get-go. We all need to be more responsible as parents and start singing better music to our children.

Do you wanna rock? Do you want your chilluns to rock? Then get off that high treetop, stop menacing the spiders in your out-house and sing these joyful yet rocking songs to your children.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Songs for the Whole Family

I like to sing. Singing accomplishes two things: it helps me to release my pent-up energy, and it aggravates the living daylights out of everyone on my block.

I sing to Anne a lot, and the song I sing depends on what we're doing at the time.

For instance, if I'm rocking her or if she's in her rocker, then I sing Twisted Sister's "I Wanna Rock!" If I'm waking her up so she can eat after a good night's sleep, I sing "Oh What a Beautiful Morning" from the musical Oklahoma, and yes I hit every note (well, the minor or sharp of every note anyway).

If I'm moving her legs around in the "bicycle" formation - which helps with gas as well as avoiding doody explosions - I sing Queen's "Bicycle Race." And when I'm giving her a bath I sing the German techno version of "Rubber Ducky."

Macht's gut und danke für den Fisch!

What songs do you sing to your chilluns and why?

Monday, April 28, 2008

The Bertrand House

My friends Brad and Shasta are in Europe for a crepe-filled vacation, featuring such notable countries as England, France, Switzerland and I can only assume Amsterdam.

Shasta won some kind of scholarship that sent her to London for a few weeks, and Brad, having decided that he couldn't trust those boys across the pond, flew out to meet her. Now they're on an extended vacation in Europe and are blogging the crepe out of it. Check out their exploits at the Bertrand House.

Speaking of the Bertrand House, since both Bertrands are gone for a while I think I'll go steal their belongings. I'm sure Brad has insurance or something to cover his losses. If he's lucky, he can settle his insurance while he's in Europe, exchange his dollars for Euros, then cash out when they hit another all-time high against the dollar. It's the perfect crime, where I gain all of Brad's stuff and he gets a partly-free trip to Europe, plus a little extra in the way of insurance payments.

So you see, traveling to Europe is not only fun but affordable. Looking forward to seeing all the pics, Bertrands!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Soothing Sounds from the Wii

Here's an interesting factoid: babies remember sounds heard in the womb.

In fact, babies remember the songs you played while pregnant so well that if they hear a song after birth then they'll stop and listen. So one good way to soothe a crying baby is to play whatever music you listened to while you or your partner were preggers.

Now, you might remember that I played Guitar Hero III for the Wii all throughout Betty's pregnancy. Well guess what?!

Yes, it's true: when Anne is crying and having a fit where nothing can soothe her, all I need to do is turn on the Wii, turn it up to eleven and rock my friggin ass off. She remembers all the songs! They soothe her! Now I have an actual reason to play Guitar Hero III other than for pure entertainment!

The only problem is that Anne demands perfection. I play on Expert (cough cough), which can be tough at times. If I miss a note then the music stops for a beat or two, and then Anne starts crying. So unless I play like my life depends on it then it's all for naught.

That's why you need to tell Betty that I need to practice more often, so I can be better, and so Anne won't cry. It's not for me... it's for the baby.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Network Ninja

I always thought if I had a baby girl then I would become an even bigger puss than usual. But I've found that the opposite is true: all I think about is protecting my ladies in the most violent way possible, depending on the situation of course.

Even my dreams have been really violent. But having bad dreams isn't so bad - they've actually allowed me to envision several dangerous scenarios and then mentally act out possible responses. In my dreams I always win, of course, but that's usually because "Dream Bob" is totally awesome and super-strong.

My dream last night involved a carjacker, and to thwart him I ran up behind him and kicked him in the back of the knee, then stabbed him in the neck with one of my keys. I've been whittling one of my keys into a super-sharp knife for about three weeks now and I think I can puncture a jugular vein if I have to. My dream only affirmed this response to a carjacker.

My dream two nights ago involved a home intruder attacking me in my kitchen, and since in my dream I was eating at the time I used my fork to stab the assailant's brain via his forehead. It was grotesque, but it didn't stop me from finishing my dream dinner. And good thing we registered for the good silverware, right!?

Now I know what you're saying: "Bob, you're a short, chubby, flabby computer programmer. Nobody is scared of you. Even your wife's Kindergarten class occasionally beats you up."

Touche', dear Reader. But little did you know that I have been honing my skills to become...

A Network Ninja!

That's right! Every day at work I do actual work for 30 minutes, then I pop up from my chair, lay belly-down on the ground and do 50 push-ups. I then do lunges over to the coffee bar, do a couple of power squats while I pour myself a couple cups of Joe, then flex my butt muscles as I walk back to my cubicle. Once there I "air chair" while I work for another 15 minutes, then it's rest time until the next rep.

So you see, I'm in training, both mentally and physically. Right now I'm lightning quick, and my next goal is to improve my physical strength. I just hope and pray that I never have to use my mad skillz in actual combat. Until then, bring on the virtual assailants.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Earth Day

It's Earth Day! Yay, Earth!

I'm all about saving the environment so my daughter and her children will have long and wonderful lives. But I'm just not too sure about some of the promoted ways to save the planet.

Take CFL lights, for example. We're told that CFL lights take less energy to run and will eventually help in the fight against Global Warming. But what they don't tell you is that they contain mercury and can be harmful to your family's health if one breaks in your home (or in your trash). Environmentalists also don't tell you that CFL lights emit a really wimpy glow. Until CFLs are safer and brighter, I'm sticking with the status quo.

Hybrid cars are also all the rage in Environmental circles. Sure, harnessing electric power to fuel our cars instead of oil sounds neat. But if you understand cars, then you know that cars are the most fuel-efficient while you're continuously driving, such as when you catch all the green lights. The most power lost is when you brake, then it takes a lot more fuel to get going again. So it seems to me that the real enemy is not cars, SUVs or trucks, but traffic lights. If we stop putting traffic lights up every 50 feet we can stop braking all the damn time, and we will burn less fuel and ultimately save the planet. Death to traffic lights.

You hear me, Baton Rouge?!? Death to your traffic lights!!!

Or maybe we can just change the lights in traffic lights to CFLs.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Gnome Chomsky

Me and my little one had such a great day today! And by "my little one" I of course mean my LSU Garden Gnome.

[Picture: Me and my gnome]

Betty gave me this beautiful classic figurine as kind of an inverse "pushing present." Apparently I've impressed her with my mad fathering skillz so much that she felt the need to rush out and get me something. And of course I've always wanted an LSU Garden Gnome. Who doesn't?

I named him Gnome Chomsky. Look how cute we are together! Just always be sure to support his head while you hold him.

[Picture: Me and my gnome, part deaux]

Since we just landscaped around our patio we thought we'd let Gnome Chomsky keep an eye on things outside. Now, even if I'm inside or away from the house, my garden gnome can Tiger Bait the crap out of stray cats, dogs and joggers. Is there anything more aggravating than people exercising?! Ugh!

We thought the gnome might get lonely out there all by himself at night, so we gave him a companion in the form of this awesome LSU stepping stone that our friends gave us at our patio party. See how Gnome Chomsky watches over it so diligently?

[Picture: Gnome Chomsky watches over the LSU stepping stone]

Some people have statues of the Virgin Mary in their yard (aka, Yard Maries), but we have the divine power of a tiny wizened mythical creature backed by the awesome power of the LSU Fightin' Tigahs. I hope you Tulane and Southern fans on my street are taking note.

[Picture: Gnome Chomsky watches over the LSU stepping stone]

Warning: I cannot promise you that Gnome Chomsky will show restraint or mercy upon your pet if it wanders into my garden. If you do not want your dog or cat, who routinely urinates on my Knockout Roses, to be torn to smitherines, you might want to invest in the female LSU Garden Gnome and try to divert Gnome Chomsky's attention with it. The choice is yours.

Sorry, joggers, but the gnome will be less lenient with you.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Anne of the Day

You've probably noticed that I'm not blogging as frequently as before. Part of the reason is because I'm usually either sleeping or changing diapers, but another reason is because I've been working on an Anne of the Day web page.

I got the idea for the Anne of the Day web page from my brother and his wife. When they had their son they sent out daily pictures of him. It was so much fun to get pictures of my Godchild in my email each day! He's so cute! (In a manly way, of course.)

At first I was a little leery about putting pictures of my daughter up on the web. Then I remembered that I'm a homicidal maniac and that it's probably in everyone's best interest to show respect to my daughter. Even so, I'll probably end up putting a login screen on the Anne of the Day website sometime soon.

But for now you can check it out by going to

Education Nation

One of the best things about having kids is getting to play with all their toys. Sure, having a boy would have meant I would have gotten to play with Transformers, X-Men, Ninja Turtles and whatever other cool toys will come out within the next few years, but having a girl has its own advantages.

Girls mature faster than boys, so I'm hoping I can get her to play with all of the educational toys. I want to get one of those dolls that goes to the bathroom so Anne can learn how to clean it, then apply that knowledge to cleaning herself. (In the same vein, Betty might want me to play with Anne so I can dress up dolls so I'll learn how to dress myself. Good luck with that one, honey.)

I'm also hoping to limit the amount of TV that my daughter watches to educational programs. I haven't been watching children's TV (other than SpongeBob) so I don't know what's good for kids. But remember that episode of Anamaniacs where they sang the Nations of the World?

Now if I can only find songs about the Periodic Table and the list of Presidents of the United States then I'm on my way to parenting success!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Milk Drunk

After a baby suckles merrily upon a mother's breast, the baby can go into a state known as being "milk drunk." Milk drunkeness is identified as looking satisfied, being very sleepy and having a MAC (Milk/Alcohol Content) greater than .08.

In reality it's like being drunk for realsies but without the hangover or beer goggles.

In order for a baby to get milk drunk you have to have three things in place.

First and foremost there has to be a mommy with huge milk-producing hoo-hoos. My wife is fulfilling this requirement so much that I've dubbed her the Milk Truck. "Here comes the milk truck!" might just be Anne's first words. If at all possible you need to get the baby to drink from both hoo-hoos, because everyone knows that a 2-for-1 Happy Hour at Cafe Mom is the best place to get milk drunk.

Next you have to keep the baby up long enough to be fully satisfied in a single feeding. Sometimes Anne will doze off in the middle of feeding, and that's where Big Daddy comes in. I tickle her feet, zerbert her side, or read excerpts from my Tanory Tantrum Potty Book (which is still in the works).

Lastly, you need to make sure that your baby has a safe and secure place in which to be milk drunk. The best practice is to have a designated swaddler, as you never want your baby to attempt complex folding patterns while under the influence of milk.

Remember, your baby needs that booby milk - it passes vitamins to your baby and helps build up his or her immune system - and your baby is in no danger of becoming a Boobaholic. Just be careful because we can't say the same for Da Da....

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Super Baby!

It's a bird! It's a plane! No, it's...

Super Baby!

[Picture: Super Baby!]

I knew my child was special, and I've always thought of her as being super, but I didn't know just how super she was until some innocent bystander needed to be saved from danger. In just the blink of an eye Anne made her way to a nearby telephone booth, changed into her alter ego, and saved the day.

With her high-pitched screams and ability to squirt her doody like a fire hose, it was only a matter of minutes until her foe was defeated. Did I mention she can also fly?

[Picture: Flying Super Baby!]

I, of course, attribute her superhuman abilities to my side of the family. She's Daddy's little girl, after all! Her mother thinks she takes after her, but come on... my daughter can destroy her arch-nemesis with a well-timed diaper change, and which one of her parents is constantly talking about his or her adventures to and from the bathroom?

Daddy wins! Victory!

[Picture: Super Baby with Da Da!]

Regardless of who our baby takes after, our baby is super! Thanks, Shelly, for this great outfit! Hopefully we'll be able to fit her into it a few more times, otherwise I'll have to start digging in my closet for other costumes.

[Picture: Super Baby is ready for her closeup]

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Come On In Boy

I was going to write a blog which threatened any young man who will eventually like to take my daughter out on a date. But then Betty's cousins told me about this great song by Rodney Atkins - it's called "Cleaning This Gun (Come On In Boy)" - and it says everything I would have written and more.

At this point I'd like to thank my father-in-law for never once threatening my life while I was dating his daughter. I've done a lot of things that, looking back, I would not find acceptable in my daughter's choice of boyfriend. One thing that comes to mind is dressing up as a caveman for Halloween and essentially just wearing a tiger-striped thong, then being photographed and put into LSU's weekly newspaper and called "The Naked Guy."

(In my defense, it was a costume party and I wanted to dress up as something extra-scary for Halloween. I think we can all agree that me in a thong is as scary a sight as we'll ever see.)

So thanks again, Jimmy, for never trying to kill me (as far as I know). I hope I have your patience when my daughter is in college.

Baby Picture Comparison

Oh my gawd, ya'll, look at this baby picture comparison I made up. This compares Anne's picture to me as a baby. The resemblance is uncanny!

Click here for baby picture comparison

Actually, Betty's parents brought over some photo albums and Anne looks just like Betty did as a baby. It's amazing how she can look like both of us at the same time. But since I'm the one writing the blog I get to say that she looks more like me. Hurray!

I'm Pooped

I'm pooped.

Not pooped as in "tired." No, I mean, I'm pooped as in I'm "covered with poo." Don't worry, I washed my hands before I started typing on the computer.

It all happened this morning while I was changing my daughter's diaper. She was happy as can be when, all of a sudden, she gave me a look that was insanely cute but also instantly recognizable as the "Thar she blows!" look. I ducked for cover but I still managed to keep one hand on the baby, and that was all she needed for target practice. Soon her diaper, the changing table, the carpet and my hand had been fiercely dealt with by my daughter's laser beam butt cannon.

How great it must feel to shoot your own feces across the room at an incredible velocity. At least I know that her stomach and excretory functions are working correctly, and we also know that she's eating enough. That makes Da Da happy!

I've never been prouder as a parent.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Hot Momma

Betty is now a mom, and she's still a hottie, so that officially makes her a MILF.

For those of you who don't know what a MILF is, it's like a GILF but younger (usually). And if you don't know what a GILF is, consider yourself lucky.

I, myself, could be considered a DILF, or more appropriately, a DYLF, if only anyone was into short stocky guys with unibrows other than Betty. And Betty isn't into the "F" part of DYLF at the moment, if you get my drift. And I know you do.

Anyway, please help me congratulate Betty on her new MILF status!

Monday, April 07, 2008

Labor of Love

Betty's labor was nothing like I expected it to be. I pictured her having contractions for a few hours, us timing their frequency and duration, then calling the doctor, and finally the mad rush to the hospital with me avoiding potholes and other dangers of Baton Rouge roads (such as other drivers).

I even pictured myself having to deliver my own baby in the back seat of the car if the light at Airline and Perkins went out and traffic backed up too far. Hey, it's been known to happen - even our governor had to deliver his own child.

But it was nothing like that at all.

We went in for a scheduled appointment on Friday at 10:15. The doctor saw us around 10:30 and said Betty was 4 centimeters dilated. He said there was no reason why she couldn't have the baby that day and so Betty was wheeled over from the Women's clinic to the hospital, which is conveniently located right next door.

There were seven other babies born that morning, so things were a little hectic. Several nurses come and went, and at first there seemed to be a lot of confusion. But we finally got a nurse dedicated to Betty, and from there things went extremely well.

They put Betty on Pitocin to help speed along the delivery. They told us that she would dilate 1 centimeter per hour from that point, so I thought I had 6 hours to go. At this point it had been a while since I had last eaten, and we had plenty of time before the pushing started, so I went downstairs with my dad and with Betty's dad to get some food. The cafeteria was closed but the grill was open, and the grill-meister told me that the best thing on the menu was the French Dip.

So French Dip it was.

In the time it took me to eat my French Dip, Betty dilated 5.5 centimeters. Someone called my cellphone and told me, and at first I was shocked but then my body went into overdrive. I ran down the hallway to the elevator, swiping small children out of the way as I barreled through the hallways, and drop-kicked the door of the delivery room open.

Baby time!

Betty would push and the baby would drop, but when the pushing stopped the baby went back up into Betty's belly. It wouldn't stay down. We found out that the baby was turned on her side, which made it impossible for the baby to come out that way. We were scared that Betty would need a C Section, but the nurses assured us that she was past that point. The nurses helped get Betty on her side, and pushing that way helped the baby to turn to the proper position.

Then the doctor came, Betty pushed twice, and out popped the baby! I teared up a little as emotions overcame me, then I snapped into complete calmness. Betty was alright, the baby was perfect, now all that was left was for Daddy to not pass out in the corner.

I can't describe what it feels like to see your baby born. It's surreal. I also can't describe looking at your little girl and seeing her smile, cry, or burp - everything she does is amazing and totally beyond words.

The best I can do is quote the song Heaven from my favorite band, Live, when they sing, "I don't need no one to tell me about Heaven / I look at my daughter and I believe."

Pictures of Anne Louise

Here are a handful of pictures and one short video of Anne Louise (aka, Weezie) from her first couple days of life.

Click for pictures!

Anne is doing great! Her hobbies include eating, sleeping and taking frequent potty breaks. She absolutely hates to have her diaper changed. And she likes to wear her hats, because not only do they keep her head warm and toasty but they are also fashionable.

Her fingernails were pretty long and so she scratched her face a few times. We tried putting those little mittens on her but they just fell off, probably because she's so tee-niny. So we ended up putting some baby socks on her hands. Not only did those work much better, but then we got to play sock puppets! Awesome!

Anne and I watched the LSU Lady Tigers' basketball team lose to the Tennessee Lady Volunteers last night in the Final Four, so I got to give my daughter her first lesson: Defense wins championships. She passed her hearing test with flying colors so she can't use the excuse that she didn't hear me when I preached to her about posting up under the net.

Afterwards Anne started falling asleep while feeding, so I got to give my "There are people starving in Africa who would love to have that colostrum" speech.

Anne also had a slight touch of jaundice so I sang Coldplay's "Yellow" to her. Lucky for me she can't tell that I'm tone deaf... not like that's ever stopped me from singing before. If she ends up hating the color yellow or hating piano rock, I guess I'll take the blame for that one.

I really love being a daddy! Rocking my baby is my new favorite hobby. And Betty is doing great. She's amazing. I always thought she was my better half but now I know she's my better 7/8ths.

Well, gotta go - NFL Network is on and miss Annie needs me to explain the Nickel Defense to her. I'll blog more later, if Anne lets me.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Baby Tanory is Here!

Victory! Baby Tanory is here!

Anne Louise Tanory was born on April 4th around 5:30 in the afternoon. She was 6 pounds, 9.2 ounces, and was 20.5 inches long. She looked like me (but cuter!) at first, but she changes every hour.

Anne is beautiful! She came out with those long Tanory eyelashes. This might mean she'll also have the Tanory unibrow, but we'll deal with that later.

My family hasn't relinquished my camera yet, so I can't post pictures at this time. I might even make a separate, password-protected website to hold all the pictures - you never can be too safe when it comes to posting pictures of your kids online. But we'll see.

There's only one rule if you come to see her: whoever holds her when she has a poopy diaper has to change her.

Betty was incredible throughout the entire pregnancy and did an awesome job during labor. She's such a trooper! If I get a cold or a sore throat, I'm out of commission for a month. But Betty was up and around a couple hours after labor. Men and women definitely were not created equal - women are far superior. Betty is simply amazing.

Thanks for all your love and support over the past 9 months! We'll post pictures when we download them from our camera.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Doghouse Flowers

If you ever want to be the center of attention while amongst strangers, try walking through the neighborhood grocery store with a dozen roses in your hand.

This solitary action elicits all kinds of responses. From women you'll get, "Aww, those are beautiful! What are they for?" and from men you'll get, "Did something wrong, eh buddy?"

I explained to the old women in line ahead of me that these were "Doghouse flowers." Ah, they said as they nodded in encouragement. Yes, we understand. Good luck to you! We hope she forgives you for whatever you've done. She probably will, since you're getting her flowers. Or maybe she won't, since you had to buy so many.

Then comes the dreaded question: "What exactly did you do?"

We know what I did. Let's not go into it again. We all know it was dumb. I'm forgiven for the moment, and let's let sleeping dogs lie. For the record, I'm calling anyone in particular a dog.

After I told them they were no longer on my side as much. Yes, they said, we can see why she's angry. One lady even pushed her cart into my car out in the parking lot then shot me the bird on the way out.

"Hey!" I yelled. "That ain't where that buggy goes!"

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

The First Rule of Pregnancy (for Dads-to-be)

As everyone knows, the first rule of Fight Club is that you don't talk about Fight Club, and the second rule of Fight Club is that you don't talk about Fight Club.

Likewise, if your wife is pregnant, the first rule of Pregnancy is that you don't talk about your wife's hormones. This is also the second rule, as well as rules three through Rule 425 Section B Article 7.

Good thing my couch is so comfy, because that's probably where I'll be for the next week. Yes, I mentioned the hormones.

There's no defending it. I shouldn't have said it. Actually, it didn't need to be said at all. My wife has been outstanding throughout this pregnancy. She's more mild-mannered now then she was before. Heck, she's more mild-mannered than I am! If anything, my hormones have been more out of whack than hers. I'm emotional, dammit!

So why did I say what I said?

I know it's not an excuse, but at the very moment I said it my body was trying to multi-task. If there's anything you should know about me after reading my blog for any length of time it's that 1) I'm an idiot, 2) I'm useless, and C) I can't multi-task.

I was fighting ants in my kitchen at the time. My brain was telling me, "Squash these fascist insects and let the kitchen return to its flowering democracy!" while my ears were hearing, "You are really cute up there on that stool killing ants." My oh my I was in no mood to hear my wife talking about how magnificent my butt is. I just totally lost control.

"There are ants up here! Don't you understand! I am not a piece of meat!" (My statement about her hormones will not be posted here, as I'd like to sleep in my own bed sometime this year.)

I broke the first rule of Pregnancy, and I'm sorry. I didn't mean it. I was trying to be heroic and instead ended up being a jerk. I will be your Huckleberry if that's what you want. Just let me come back to bed.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Closing Time

Well gang, everything has an end.

Every night for almost two and a half years I've sat at my computer to write a blog post. It's become a part of my daily routine. But with the baby on the way, I think it's time to call it quits.

We have one life to live, and I'm extremely thankful that you have been a part of mine. Thank you for sharing in my life and experiences via the blog for the better part of the past two and a half years.