30 January 2008

No sleep but lots of sibling love

Morgan's sleep has suddenly dipped, and she is waking for an hour then sleeping for an hour - all night long. I'm feeling really ragged and conflicted, and talking a lot about what I could do to fix it although I know deep down it is just part of her journey to interdependacy. I can't stop feeling like I must have caused it by meeting her need to co-sleep. But when I tried to change that pattern and have her sleep in her own room her sleep got worse, so unless I'm converting to sleep training there is no way out. The bottom line seems to be, this is her need. Do I meet it at cost to myself, or do I ignore it at cost to her?

She and Jenna are sharing and playing so sweetly together all the time at the moment. They do have little spats, mostly Jenna being too rough when she tickles or hugs. Sometimes Morgan lashing out with a hand when she doesn't want to play any more or when Jenna tries to take something from her. But they are so affectionate to each other I feel really left out! When things get heated and I separate them to play with different toys and get some space from each other they both seem to take it as a punishment. They sit opposite sides of the room or other sides of the baby gate and cry for each other.

Jenna went for a walk with my mum today and Morgan was really unhappy to be left behind. She cried at the door for a while, calling for "Jaya" and banging. After a while she would let me feed her and we had a cuddle but she just kept pointing at the door and saying her sister's name. She points a lot to say what she wants, it's fabulously funny. When she wants to ask permission to have something she points at the object and then to herself.

She wanted Martin's sandwich the other day and her little hand went, sandwich-Morgan, sandwich-Morgan, MORGAN. Her face just said pleeeeeeease!

When we finally left the room today to go to the bathroom she marched right on into Jenna's bedroom and pulled back the covers. Perhaps she hoped that Jenna was only upstairs taking a nap? Anyway after that she knew that her sister wasn't in the house so she just brought me the sling and gestured to the door until Jen got back.

28 January 2008

Shoes - or not

Morgan just wants to be down ALL the time now, forget on public transport, it's everywhere. In town she insists on coming out of the carrier but she will absolutely not come the way we're going and she throws herself on the floor and screams with rage if I try to direct, lead, coerce or persuade her. If the reins go on she will throw herself around until I remove them - putting her back in the sling doesn't help, standing her up doesn't help, it's freedom or nothing.

I'm finding it really hard, and also really hard to not make a big deal about it. I'm very aware that I use the words stubborn, willful, determined, independant, about Morgan much more than about Jenna - and much more perhaps than I should do. She is all of those things, but in a normal quantity for a secure and happy baby with loving people around her all of her time. It's unfair for me to turn them into characteristics when they're just habits, if you see what I mean.

The other problem with her walking, apart from those outbursts at not being allowed to walk freely wherever she wants, is the matter of shoes. She has been walking confidently for long enough for her to get walking shoes, but nowhere makes them in her size (just below a 2). In fact, Clarks don't even make crawling shoes in her size. If they did I wouldn't buy the dratted things, I don't support the idea of selling shoes for babies who are best in socks in the first place. If they acknowledge, and they do, that shoes are harmful for babies whose feet have not had time to spread through unaided walking, then why do they sell the things? A case of, "not fit for purpose" if ever I saw one. Clarks' walking shoes start in a 4!

She is being protected when playing out of doors just by the little fabric booties and leather sockies (eg Starchild, Inch Blue, Robeez, Daisy Roots) that she has been in for a while. It's not ideal for concrete and so on but I want her to be fitted properly for appropriate shoes and that isn't an option until she starts to fit Startright's size 3.

I have worked out a big puzzle today. Jenna was waving a magnet around (yes I know, she's still allowed them) and she found that it stuck to the radiator as she did so. So she tried some other things, yes it sticks, no it doesn't, what about the TV? I stopped her just in time, reminded her what happened last time. But she seemed really not to have thought about it at all, she was just trying, in full experimental small child mode. Her brain wasn't clicked to finding an answer yet, she was still in the messing about stage. I'm sure of myself that if she had touched the TV she would have made some pretty patterns again AND NOT REALISED until it was too late that it wasn't a result she wanted.

I have to learn to assign positive intent a bit more. The more I watch her closely when we talk the more convinced I am that her reasonning is rarely like mine. Sometimes I expect her thinking to be too adult, because her behaviour can be and because she talks like a little adult a lot of the time. She came close to breaking the TV again (which slowly recovered from the first time) and we learnt more about each other than before, when I yelled and she cried.

27 January 2008

Balance restored

I did an hour and a half of yoga class today, with my mum and a whole load of women of all ages and figures who had one thing in common: they had all done months of classes leading up to that one!

I felt really rubbish to start with, the only one who couldn't hold downward facing dog for more than four breaths, the only one who couldn't even get from plank (like a press up) to crocodile (lying face down with hands close to chest and elbows up) properly (ie without flopping down onto the floor). After a while I could see that not everyone could do everything and that although I lack strength in my wrists and arms, I can do other balances and poses that many of the experienced and beautiful were finding a lot more challenging.

After yoga (and retrieving Morgan from Martin whom she had been persecuting in the cafe for a while) we went swimming. Morgan did so well! We did some baby swimming when she was small, and practiced breath-holding in the bath, but this time she was fighting to get out of my arms and making swimming motions with an expression like, "why won't you let me have a go?" So I warned her that she was going to dive (our cue word for water on her face) and let go, and she swam underwater to Martin. After that we let her hold on and let go more or less as she wanted to, and she spent a while toddling around in the shallows too. She would fall over, and right herself to stand up without a fuss or a splutter - under the water the whole time.

Trusting her was the most nervewracking thing I have ever experienced, seeing her submerged (face concentrating hard on rolling herself back over and keeping her mouth shut at the same time!)... I had seen videos of babies in the water before and not really believed it. Chalk up another thing to her determination and faith in her own ability; I can't imagine ever having let Jenna try it but Morgan knew and she told me.

I am every day impressed with how she communicates. I can't always say how I know what she wants but her expression tells me or something in the way she is looking uncomfortable. It's so good.

I'm also feeling happy because I'm still getting some sleep, I think Morgan is probably waking once at the moment so I'm getting a few hours and then another few hours. It makes a big difference. Jenna is throwing some really wierd tantrums again and I can't figure out if there's something behind them apart from the immediate want and my (sometimes less than tactful) refusal. But I'm dealing with the outcome better and not yelling back.

We're having more calm days than shouty days, and I can see the difference in how she responds to me. She's more likely to stop when I ask her to and she's more likely to come to me for a cuddle than she was. I don't think she's ever going to go back to how cuddly she was when nursing though. She doesn't seek a lot of physical affection from me and she hasn't since Morgan was born, the baby gets all of the loves from her.

26 January 2008

Recipe for body contentment required

We're still really busy and really well. Happy and healthy and feeling very blessed to have each other. I'm finding that when I start to feel low about anything I get more impatient and whiney with the girls, so they react in kind and I can make the whole day go badly. If I'm in a sunny mood then little things don't get to me and we do fine, I can bypass little downswings in their moods and it's all fine. I can't be just a little bit low or a little bit high, it's all or nothing. I've been like that as long as I can remember.

Occasionally I start to think that I'm actually still depressed, but then I have the memories of how bad things were than and I know that really this is nothing. I dare not talk to anyone professional though, I'm so certain I'd either be told to stop wasting their time or I'd be informed that it's my lifestyle that's draining me and I should stop co-sleeping or breastfeeding or babywearing or something like that!

My body image seems to go up and down at the moment too. Some days the wobbly stomach bothers me, at other times I feel so beautiful and womanly and I love the marks my children have left on my skin, like tatoos of their names and stories. When I really feel like I'm ugly and awful there are two things that help.

Doing some yoga or dance makes me feel like I'm caring for myself, and it also gives me that sense of balance - awareness of my body, my position, the way I move through space and my time and place here on the earth. But the best medecine of all is other women, and their beauty. I can look at someone with the same statistics as me and think that they look slim and curvaceous and gorgeous. I can look at women twice my size with more saggy bits and more stretch marks and see how perfect they are. In turn I feel that bit more lucky to be a woman, that bit more content to be just the woman I am.

Failing all that, there is Green&Blacks. Don't let me try to convince you otherwise.

19 January 2008

Fresh air, routines, and horrible bus journeys

Our weekly rhythms are getting more, well, formal I suppose. We seem to be up at a regular time, snacking napping and going out at regular times. The internal pattern of our days is working so well, and the flow of our week as activities come and go from the magnetic weekly chart, it all makes a kind of sense. Different every day but not in the most important thing - and although Morgan is really still breastfed totally on demand we have what I hate to call a timed schedule! Our habits have just fallen like this, without intent or plan, and against my personal inclination. I don't feel tied to the clock though, so it's all... Working. Not what I ever thought I would find myself writing in this or any life time.

Getting out every day is essential for me. I just feel so much calmer with them when we're out, and they listen to me more sharply through necessity when there is more going on. The fresh air matters too, all the more for not having much use of the garden yet. When we have a planned day of quiet around the house we have to break it up with a trip to the park across the way (still bereft of swings but not without trees) or a walk to the corner shop for milk or potatoes or similar. It seems very orderly - very what I read about other people and not ever to date about myself!

One thing Morgan is being really trying with is the bus journeys that are part of almost every day. She hates to be still right now, and always wants to explore everywhere properly. That includes busses and she will squirm, cry, try to pull herself out of the sling, cling to bars as we pass them, scratch and hit me, shout no no no no no NO, point at the floor and look cross at me, try to take my clothes off, anything to get me to release her to play.

Before it was enough if the bus was moving and she could see stuff but not any more. The only thing for it is to nurse her, big old baby that she is (including that lovely habit of turning around to loud noises exposing me to the world). Either that or put up with the screams all the way (and endure bruises and funny looks along with it) - it kind of makes a mockery of my "buggy free zone" badge on the change bag. In fact I'm tempted to remove it out of shame. I'm pretty certain that she'd be just as keen to be out and playing if I tried to take the buggy into town.

She's finding things so frustrating, everything is set up to stop her from trying all the things she wants to try and doing all the great fun things she's sure she can do. Life is not very friendly to small toddlers. The only way I can think of making it easier on her is to walk into town every time but that's pretty tiring for Jenna's little legs. It's just not fair. She also thinks that teeth are not very fair - she has three and they hurt her. She is quite clear about what she wants me to do, take the owie away. She even points and gives me those expressive baby eyes.

Oh and Jenna magnetised the TV yesterday, fascinated by the lovely colours it turned. She told Martin when he got home, "I made a rainbow on the telly but Mummy didn't like it!"

17 January 2008

A pill for every ill, and some sewing days

I've been a bit headachey recently, I don't think I'm drinking enough water. There's a holistic tip for you, if you're feeling rubbish then drink some water and wait a bit before you start getting painkillers out! I'm shouting at the telly on this matter quite a bit. Society has a pill for everything. Not sleeping enough? Got wind? Stressed? Sad? Feeling bloated? Eaten too much? Life too busy? Hangover? Achey? God forbid we actually live with the consequences of the stuff we shouldn't have done just once in a while. Here's my pill - Simplify, rest, drink more water and stop eating junk. I can do those things with two children, though admittedly I wouldn't mind being able to do them all a little more. ;)

We've been fabric painting and printing today. Making some new clothes and decorating the cloth bag Jenna had for Christmas. She's done a gorgeous job of it - one side has recognisable pictures of several wild animals with faces of all her family (Morgan is in a sling lol) and the other side is a tree. It has apples, leaves, a monkey and a squirrel. :) Jenna has really exploded in creativity, she does lovely watercolours with her little grown up paints and wet paper, I can often tell what it is these days although sometimes she just loves to talk about the colours "like lots of fires mixing around and around" she says about the reds and yellows.

I've been getting the sewing machine out too, making my amature clothes for them. Morgan has a new pair of dungarees, as cute as can be in lilac tartan. I'm pretty proud of them, as they look "finished" and not too home-made. When I do get to say that I made them myself the reaction is occasionally even surprise, which is always gratifying in a petty sort of way. Jenna has a pair of cute little tartan trousers waiting to be hemmed. I wish I was better at sewing actually, wish my skills turned to perfection rather than ingenuity. As little as I can spend on patterns it's all very well being able to adapt the dratted things and re-size them beyond the capacities of the orignal design, but I do sometimes wish I could make something with totally even seams or completely matched fabric pattern!

15 January 2008

Lessons for husbands

I tried to tell Martin that I'm broody today and he replied that it would be a really bad idea to have another baby now. Well thanks there Mr Sensitive. I wasn't saying I actually want one! But he had his fix-it hat on. We narrowly avoided rowing about it by me explaining that when I share my feelings with him I don't want to be talked out of it because I usually do actually know when I'm being irrational! He got it then, and we made up. All guys should have to be taught this at an early age; Do Not Try to Fix a Woman.

In spite of general sickness we've had a really good week. Jenna is so responsible at the moment and really doing well at listening to me. She's helping me tidy up more and playing so nicely with Morgan. I love seeing them together, I really do.

12 January 2008

Crying at naptimes and landfill bemusement

One thing that hasn't been easy with Jenna recently has been napping. We all get along so much better when she has had a nap, and she gets really tired and whiney in the afternoon, but she hates it. She has never liked being away from the rest of the family, it must seem like she's being excluded from something and I'm sure she's up there imagining all the fun things we do without her. In reality we tend to nap too, but it must be hard to nap away from us and think of all the time Morgan is getting with just me.

If I let her nap down here she just doesn't these days, she comes out and starts distracting Morgan from my planned hour long feed-and-rest. Usually it has been a case of putting her upstairs and putting her back in bed any time I hear pottering. Sometimes she screams and then I will ask her to tell me what's wrong in words, which she either does or doesn't depending on tiredness. If she keeps screaming then I say I'll be back in a moment and walk away to see if she's just after prolonging things with an audience. By the time I get downstairs she's asleep. If I get to the bottom of the stairs and she's still making noise we go back up and keep trying to settle her. It is not fun.

This last couple of months there has been much less fuss and carry on. It hasn't prooved worth it, since if she wants to she can express what's really the matter and if there's nothing the matter then it seems that mummy is still going downstairs and isn't going relent and let her come down to play. The first day it felt like I was using controlled crying but it didn't take long to realise that since I'm listening to her, giving her chance to express her feelings about it, explaining to a sometimes rational three year old why she needs to rest, and never ever leaving her if she's actually crying, I'm just making sure we all get the break we need. I don't want to train her to go for a nap without a fuss, I want to show her that she can and that if she can't I'm always there.

Anyhows, self-justification of discipline asides, the last two weeks she has been saying, "I'm tired, I think it's time for my nap." And going upstairs to put herself in bed. At the least she has been saying, "oh OK then" when I tell her it's time to go. She is so grown up and aware of herself, she really does understand her own tiredness signals. Yay!

Morgan is a bit sick and yicky though, poor baby. Thank goodness she recovers so much faster than everyone else (thank goodness for breastmilk). She had some really runny and leaky nappies and I was clearing up after her a lot. Eventually I dug out a years-old disposable and put it on her. An hour later she leaked out of that too so we went back to cloth - but her first disposable nappy!

Something on that subject disturbed me today a great deal. I saw an advert for Pampers that was claiming that purchases of their products have accounted for a marvelous 28 million free vaccinations given to children in the third world! Mixed feelings on that asides, 28 million packs of nappies from ONE BRAND in the time that the promotion has been on - that can only be a couple of months. Each pack has more than ten nappies! How many nappies is that, just of that brand, in landfill? I can't begin to calculate it but I'd guess that's a lot. Once, for fun, I calculated the volume of used nappies Jenna would have used to date (she was only little). It would have filled my living room twice over. That's really no joking matter, once I think about it a little harder.

10 January 2008

Is my baby normal? ;-)

We've had Naomi and Tris with us today, they stayed last night after getting fed up at home. I love having an open house, it was so much a part of how I grew up. I don't think most people have a concept of it, that our doors are just open and we have people to stay when they need it. Emma and Chris might drop in on their way somewhere and stay over without notice, it's not a hassle or a trial and it isn't rude. That's how my house should be! The only guests we resent are guests that expect us to do for them without asking things that they would usually do for themselves. We don't wash people's clothes if they leave them in a heap - but we would if they asked. We don't babysit children unless it has been arranged more than an hour before the parent walks out. You get the picture.

All these people add to our lives, and all they take is food that we can spare and space that we can spare. The girls love to have someone here, a bit of novelty and especially if there's a child. Jenna was so delighted to find Tristan here - more babies. She can never have too many babies around.

Tristan wasn't sure about being here though, just like Morgan he cries at strange men. Martin was in the "strange" bracket. Poor dear sweet man he isn't used to being seen as a threat - babies and children of all ages normally make a beeline for him, especially at church where our pew gets very crowded what with Emma the children's worker and Martin with the rainbow bead bracelets to run off with.

I've been talking to Em today actually, she had a lot of coursework to finish, all stuff about age-appropriate behaviour and targets for different physical skills. She was asking for my perspective of what the children can do already from these targets and what it's likely they'll do next. I was shaking my head at some things, how easy it is to write a bracket down for that age group... Walking - tick! Says two or more words - tick! How clear those boundries are, can they or can't they.

What about Morgan walking - she could but she didn't. Was she meeting that target or not? Under test conditions she would never have walked for me (she probably now would go on strike if she thought I wanted her to do it)... Talking, she can say maybe ten words. But not correctly. Other adults can understand them, but not necessarily strangers. Can she say ten words? Two? At the end of the day, does it really matter in the context of my parental knowledge of her overall capability and contentment?

I'm glad I stopped looking at that sort of thing myself. I feel more able to gauge their ability without a checklist.

9 January 2008

Singing her love out beautifully

I'm not pregnant; I have to say I'm definately more relieved than disapointed this time around. I do still want a baby before long but I'm being a bit more rational and realising that wanting it doesn't mean trying to make it happen just yet as the timing could be much better - and Martin still does not feel at all ready for another either. Morgan is sleeping again, and feeding in the day time instead. She also seems to have decided to drop all her previous baby signs and stick to just one - "milk" now means anything she wants!

We had a birthday party for my mum, in a restaurant and with other people eating who weren't expecting children running around. As usual though it was lovely to go out somewhere grown up with them in tow, just being a part of normal things and not feeling that we had to exclude them. Mum loved to have them there (and wow she looked so young and beautiful) and we had a great evening. One awful embarrasment happened though, Morgan was toddling around being sweet (and eating the bits of food she'd thrown on the floor before, yuck) when a young woman at a table near us held out her hand to her, expecting Morgan to come and say hi and hold her hand. Morgan looked at the hand, looked at the lady, took a bit of chewed food out of her mouth, and handed it over. Oops.

Something I've noticed from Jenna recently is that she sings as she plays, this beautiful sing-song speech just like it describes in the Waldorf books I've read. It's usually ascribed to older children but I hear her doing it all the time at the moment. Maybe because I sing to her all the time, folk songs, old songs, classical and rock and pop and everything between, made up silly songs, children's songs, tune-less meandering melodies telling her birth story and her life and my life and every fairy tale I know.

She drinks it in. And here she is, seated, lifting her voice to the sky singing a song for her sister about how much she loves her and how much her whole family care for her - acting it out in the dolls house as she does so. "You are my sister, you are my baby, you live here with me... And mummy changes your nappy, daddy changes every stinky nappy, but we don't mind because you are our baby...."

8 January 2008

And better again thankfully

Wow I'm glad that one passed, I haven't had that dark a mood for a while but I can see where it came from. Morgan slept the other night, not last night but the night before, and suddenly I can breathe again. I don't want to leave them. I don't want to force them to be convenient. I'm OK, we're OK and I'm happy to be a mother. Still have PMT though! At least I'm hoping that it's PMT because I really want a baby but I don't feel like I'm coping well enough right now to inflict myself on another human being. When did my life become about coping when I used to really love being a mother more than anything?

Thinking of it from another angle, has there really ever been a time when I have not doubted myself for more than a few days at a time? I think maybe I've always felt like this, that some days I cope and some days I love it but it's the just making it through that counts more than anything, when I can manage to parent without causing too much harm in spite of my feelings. I guess those are the times when I'm strongest, when I feel like I can't do it and do anyway. Still, perhaps I won't be trying to add another one to the mix. I'm not ready to trust myself with a new baby and I'm just starting to find the fun in toddlerdom all over again.

We have been baking bread, making brownies, having a lovely earth-mothery couple of days. I'm actually doing what I feel like I should be doing in spite of feeling crappy. My children are precious, and I will treasure them even (especially) on the days when I don't think I like them very much.

Jenna and Aoife made some fairy cakes today, sweetly praising each other as they did so, "Wow you did really well on that one, I like those sparkles," they are really good together and wait more patiently for each other than I expected from children of this age. They seem so grown up when I see them like this, co-operating and having a real friendship, a real care for each other. I underestimate Jenna so much!

Morgan has been saying "ego" or "ago" a lot this week. Ego is "here you go" and ago is "thankyou". It's fab, just like Jenna we're not making a big deal about manners we're just trying to be polite and respect her. And she copies, like with everything else, the form she hears the most often.

We don't always say please, if it's a matter of something that she MUST do (for example giving up a pair of scissors that Jenna let her have) - we would say, "Give those to Mummy. You can have this toy, scissors are sharp." Mostly because please has connotations of her having a choice! If she has something less worrying, like a pen, I do say please.

6 January 2008

No sleep and suffering

We've had two hard, hellish days and I'm really doubting myself. With nobody to bounce it all off I'm just me on my own feeling like the only idiot around who hasn't got it - lock the kids away and don't give them the run of your life ESPECIALLY not at nighttime or they'll trample you into the ground.

I'm glad I don't feel like this too often, I can't see how it's going to end though and it's killing me hoping each night that Morgan will manage a couple of hours and then awake in the dark resenting her, resenting both of them, finding that they make mess and talk back and don't co-operate and demand my time just the same as they do when I'm sleeping properly and not suffering from PMT! How dare they! The sneaking doubt that most of this stuff just doesn't make me miserable most of the time makes me feel worse, like I should snap out of it.

What if I'm becoming depressed again? What if the idea to self-harm starts creeping back in? I'm not feeling that bad, but I could do. I need sleep, I need to share the burden sometimes with someone who won't say,"well you chose this" and most of all I need to just be on my own for any length of time just to hear my own thoughts. Martin has promised me that I can have a bath, without babies, just me on my own. I am going to make him keep his promise, because if I don't get it I can't promise to keep making tea and refraining from leaving the kids in childcare.

5 January 2008

No internet - really having consequences

We have been internet-less for nearly three weeks now I think and I've missed it a lot. I have to say perhaps I've missed it too much! But not really having real life support for so much of our lives I can get lonely and be inclined to lose my way a bit. Everyone needs a tribe. It's hard being separated from everyone and not knowing what's going on in their lives (your lives) and I have wanted to look something up or ask someone a question so many times recently and not been able to.

The girls seem really noisy at the moment, really rowdy and wanting to make irritating repetitive noises. As usual with the baby I put it down to her being a baby (though she really isn't any more) and with Jenna I tend to feel that she should be able to stop herself. This means that all my intentions are not stopping me from occasionally yelling, "SHUT UP!!" and then taking myself to the bathroom where I can lock the door for a maximum of five minutes and get myself together.

Luckily Jenna is just so good with Morgan most of the time that I don't have to think about that too much, and if the door is slightly ajar and Morgan tries to come up after me Jenna calls for me right away and stays behind her as she scales the first few steps. Nobody really told her to do that, she just knows, and she's more reliable than I am in spotting when Morgan has escaped. I'm so thankful for that, for her. She's a great kid.

Also to blame for the stress is that Morgan's sleeping hasn't settled down since she started to walk more. She's still feeding a lot at night - mostly she's so busy in the day time she doesn't feed at all but then will wake me every couple of hours for milk at night. Wake me properly too, to be up with her for more than half an hour just laying her back in the bed when she starts to climb and trying to get her to stay latched on for more than a minute. I'm tired!

1 January 2008

Woodland walks and New Year thoughts

We have had some lovely restful walks lately, last night we took on to find fruit and veg from the shops and then it turned into a lovely long night-time meander. The darkness and the cool air is very restful and good for getting the children to wind down. We should get outside more often - I can't wait for the warmer weather and to be in my garden all summer long again. Today we went to the woods with Paul and Maarja, and my mum. Kicking leaves and looking at fungus, feeling the moss and exploring the narrow paths that lead nowhere and get you all tangled up in brambles. Perfect.

It's good to get to spend some time like that with my brother too, it's strange to see my children playing with him and how readily they accept him (and Maarja) as their own. They have seen so little of him in their lifetimes but the love is real and Jenna prays for them all the time. She has an amazing memory for people and always asks about them. She can point out where they are on a map too, though I doubt the scale means much to her apart from that there is distance between us.

Since a few months ago when Paul got in touch and we really made peace, I've been missing him a lot. He was a great friend growing up, and the couple of years between us never seemed like much. He was on the same wavelength and going through the same stuff, we shared a lot of our friends at school and a lot of the trials there too (both being a little non-conformist though in different ways).

I can't think what else is going on for us right now, but I wish you all blessings in the new year and every possible joy.