Thursday, February 28, 2008

bouncing back

Yesterday was the day for getting it off my chest. Today is the day for moving forward. After I take Lion's advice and eat a big bowl of ice cream.

I was determined to keep him up until 8pm. The more I considered it, the more it made sense. My instinct was that he was sleeping so much on the weekends to make up for a lack of sleep during the week. But the flip side of the argument is logical as well. So I'm embracing it.

I also made a chart to record how long it takes him to fall asleep and the number of times he wakes up during the night. If nothing else, it will help me to more clearly see the situation.

I was determined for 8pm. We stuck it out until 7:45pm. He got up once and laid in the doorway between the kitchen and living room. I never got up to see what he was doing, but it sounded like he was just listening to the swishing his pajamas made against the plastic "wood" floor. After 20 minutes he got up, shut the door, and made a lot of noise climbing into bed. He got up one more time after that. At 8:20 I checked on him and he was asleep in the middle of the floor.

Other things I want to implement include a stricter sensory diet, a snack before bed (he generally doesn't want one, but I want to offer it), and cutting down on tv time. By a sensory diet I mean specific sensory activities such as jumping on his trampoline, bouncing, playing in the water, using the therapy ball, pushing/moving heavy objects, and playful wrestling that his teacher and I do at the same times each day. My theory is that if I focus on sensory needs, he will be calmer throughout the day as well as at bedtime. My theory is also that cutting down on tv time may or may not actually happen. But I will attempt it. =)


OH -- I totally deserve a cookie or a medal, preferably a cookie. I so cut my son's hair today. Just around the ears and across the back, but still. I cut it and everyone kept all of their body parts.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

emotionally drained

I'd say exhausted crying is the theme this week. Why? Anxiety? Depression? Hormonones? Conflicts? Fragile X? Sleep deprivation? I've felt very fragile and tired. By fragile I do mean that my FX symptoms feel amplified and I feel teary-eyed and crumbly. Today was the sleep clinic appointment. Today . . . I needed someone with me today to help me tell my story. I guess I went in with such a positive experience from the behavior clinic that I just expected more.

The doctor walked in without a file, without the papers I diligently filled out and promptly returned, and without a clue as to why were there. He proceeded to ask me An Hours worth of questions about Punkin's birth and developmental history. When he asked, "Has he had any developmental delays?" the sinking feeling in my throat sunk to the bottom of my stomach like a ton of bricks. I handed him Punkin's IEP and a completed rating scale from his teacher. "What is this?" "It was requested. So I brought it." "Great, I'll make a copy and file it." I think I lost it internally. ????? This is the Center for Disabilities and Development. This is important to me. I do not feel like this important to you. Why should my son and I trust you?

So after an hour of questions, I pried Punkin off my lap (from bouncing. for an hour) in order to complete the physical exam. This included the basic ear and lung check along with the elusive "look in the mouth." When I reached out to hold Punkin's arms down, the doctor said, "Oh no. We don't want to upset him or he won't cooperate later." Okay, in theory this is really sweet. But in reality, it's impractical. If he needs his tonsils checked, he needs his tonsils checked. I am so good at the "hold his arms down and press his head against my chest to keep him still" move. Let's get busy. Get 'er done.

In the end, the result of the visit was a muddled mess. On one hand, I'm relieved because no one seems to think anything serious is going on. On the other hand, I'm anxious because no one seems to think anything serious is going on. They basically told me that "He's in bed too much." I allow him to nap too long on the weekends and try to make him go to bed too early. He should be sleeping for an hour at most (they reccommended 30 minutes) and going to bed much later. They were unconcerned with the frequent crying and waking up during the night. I know other families deal with much worse -- children who are awake and crying (or just awake) for hours. But let's face it -- even five minutes is disruptive. And five minutes every two hours adds up to 25 minutes a night. Which adds up to 175 minutes every week. And in all honesty, I have been So Exhausted lately that I have no idea what time he wakes up or what he does or how long it takes to calm down. I don't know. All I know is I'm tired.

All of this left me with the following questions:

    1. Am I the one with the sleeping problem?
    2. Have I been causing this awful sleep famine for the past 8 months? Have I been blogging and complaining about something that is My Own Fault?
    3. What if I didn't explain my case correctly? Why do I feel like you are being smug and condescending because you think I'm overreactive and incompetent? Is it real or am I just too tender today?
    4. Is there any way I can not feel so much like crying right now?
    5. Is there any way I can erase this appointment and return on a new day with someone who walks in File In Hand?
    6. What do I do when he keeps getting up? What do I do when he asks to go to bed at 7:30? How do I deal with waking up my three year old on Saturday afternoon after only 40 minutes of sleep when he's used to 2-3 hours? (They said, "He'll probably be kind of crabby. Crabby is not the word, lady! =))
    7. What do I do if putting him to bed at 8pm ends with him falling asleep at 9pm?
    8. How can I hide my impending tears while you make sure no one else is planning to see us today and send me on my way with a piece of paper outlining the number of hours children require at varying ages and a business card with the word "melatonin" scribbled on the back?

I can't think straight. I have no memory. I cannot form sentences. I almost turned left from a one way into the opposing lane's traffic lane. Does that make sense? I was turning like they were both one ways. I tried to turn into oncoming traffic from a street and onto a street I drive on every day. Punkin ran away from me at the grocery store and I didn't even notice. I forgot until 3/4 into the line of questioning today to mention that 2 of my family members have sleep apnea. (There is, by the way, "a teensy tiny chance" that Punkin also has sleep apnea, but since the snoring is light and he doesn't stop breathing in his sleep, they don't suspect it. (How am I supposed to know if he stops breathing? I don't know that.)

Maybe if he hadn't showed up unprepared, I wouldn't be so critical. Maybe if I wasn't going through some sort of insecure, vulnerable stage I would be relieved and happy and just keep moving forward. Maybe I would be hopeful.

What I should have been doing for the past few months is keeping a chart. So I will start keeping a chart and jarring him awake during both of our happy weekend nap times and keep him up an hour later. And when that works -- cause it better work cause you know if it doesn't I will lose my Saturday afternoon 2 hour siesta Forever -- I will be better equipped to deal with the wakefulness during the night. Which is still unexplained.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

aww, shucks!

Thanks, Maddy! I think you're pretty excellent, too! And in light of my last post on detective work, I would like to say that you are a most excellent detective in your house. I want to pass this on, but I think it will be a listing of all the blogs listed along the left side of the screen! Like Kristie, Haley-O (for her crazy cat pictures--hers is the first blog I read in the morning), Jennie, Lion (because everything she writes is so easy to read -- not in a 3rd grade reading level way, but in a smooth and captivating kind of way), and this one I've recently found -- Basically FX.
Punkin just fell asleep on the chair watching Ratitoule. An award and an easy nap--not bad for what are usually stressful, napless Sundays!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

boys and bathrooms

Remember the boys? McDonalds hands out little Ronald McDonald figurines for their toddler toy, and Punkin loves them. One day at my parents' house, he was trying to hold his two boys and a stick (which he pronounced 'dick' ) in one hand. Now that we are done being juvenile . . . . He has never been one to care much about-- or even notice really -- the toy in his Happy Meal when we are actually at the restaurant. So I always take it out at the table and play with it myself. Because I'm a mature adult. I seriously should have known better with this one; he has a removable hat. You can take it off. And put it back on. Off. And back on. And off. And on. Off. On. "Hat, hat. Hee hee!! Hat, hat, hat, hat, hee hee." I actually had to remind him to keep eating his (second) cheeseburger. Definitely a first.

Eating out by ourselves is always interesting. Managing the runaway kid and carrying a tray and getting drinks is slightly complicated (and amusing, no doubt). But yesterday was the first time that someone behind the counter asked if I wanted help. I was so stunned I said no. I must add, though, that having taken three kids to McDonalds once when I was babysitting, one is a piece of cake in comparison.

Now being a mom requires detective skills. I find that these detective skills are especially fine-tuned around kids with developmental delay and disabilities. Also, I find that the more I am around children, the more my tolerance for situations involving bodily fluids grows. Now this is at least the third time I have written about poop appearing in a place other than a diaper or the toilet. I just can't help myself. The detective in me is fascinated.

That being said, I came home from having respite Friday night to find poop next to the toilet. It was child-sized, so I didn't really consider the respite worker a suspect even though the child seat was neatly tucked away. And I knew it wasn't mine. Now, the respite worker had told me that Punkin had a really hard time falling asleep and repeatedly removed his diaper. So I figured he tried to go potty on his own (HOLY COW) and missed. I was, or am, pretty proud. I just cleaned it up and went to bed wishing my sweet little guy could have made the worker understand his needs.

2am. He's crying, yanking on his diaper, and saying things I don't understand. Something about poop or potty. "Do you want to sit on the potty?"
"Do you want a new diaper?"
He removes the diaper he's wearing and runs away from me, still crying.
"Let's get a new diaper. Come here. Okay."
"Yes. WHAAA!!!" He smacks me with a Huggies.
I eventually calm him down and return him to bed. In the morning, the same thing happens. In fact, except for the two times he sat on the potty at my mom's house, he flipped out every time I had him sit on the potty at all.

So this new information begs the question, "What happened in that bathroom??

Friday, February 22, 2008

my friend said his guardian angels must be getting paid overtime

Last night I aged three years; I am certain that at least a dozen of my blondish brown hairs turned gray in the instant I turned and saw my sweet Punkin holding three large kitchen knives in his chubby little hands. Actually, at first I'm not sure I saw all three. My eyes locked on one as he laughed, thrust it into the air, and yelled, "FIGHDER!" My mother and I commenced screeching and pleading while he continued laughing, and pretty soon we had ever-so-gently wrangled the knives from his fingers. The last one was almost vomit inducing, as he was holding it by its 8 inch blade (as in not the handle). And I couldn't help but be reminded of Maddy's plight to safegaurd her house. For many of us, it is a feeble attempt, as our children don't understand danger or why standing on a four and half foot wall between the living room and kitchen is generally discouraged. And they are way too clever and way too strong, in many cases, to bow to safety latches on cabinet doors or breakables placed up high.

After the knife incident, I had every intention of going home and enjoying a glass of RELAX-- a sweet white wine in a blue bottle towards which my aunts would wrinkle their noses. But the Turkey, err Punkin, had other plans. Like staying up until 11pm. And waking up. A lot. All night. Kinda like the night before.

But this time he's waking up because he's sick. The doctor saw fluid in both his ears and the green snot all over his face was a pretty good clue that he probably has a sinus infection as well. Yummy. Hope you're not reading this over lunch.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

napping, those pesky walls, and practicing empathy

Some people don't take naps. Some people who don't take naps should maybe reconsider their stance on this subject. Just something for some people to think about.

Speaking of some people, I had to sign three incident reports when I picked Punkin up from school today. He ate breakfast so fast that when he went to wash his hands, he threw up. Then he walked into a wall. (This comes in second to the time he walked into a Coke machine.) Then he rubbed soap in his eyes.

And during rest time, he held out part of his blanket to his teacher and said, "Night night." She told him that he needed to take his own advice. I think maybe his teachers had a long day!

Tonight was the first night of my Bible study for Lent, so Mr. Man had respite. She asked if she could take him to a local college's basketball game. I thought, "You are nuts." I said, "Sure!" It sounds like it went pretty well, though. He ran around like a maniac for the first few minutes and then sat nicely beside her to watch the game.

For some reason he tends to fall asleep on the floor next to his bed when he has respite. It's like his one small act of rebellion. My Monna is not here, therefore I will boycott my comfortable bed with the super-cool truck sheets in an attempt to make her feel sorry for leaving me. This method has been entirely ineffective to date, although I hesistate to admit it for fear of Plan B.

Having a child has made me a much more compassionate person, especially when it comes to handling "problem behaviors." Now, in the heat of the moment, the emotions run from frustrated to focused to irritated to exhausted to amused. But in the aftermath, my heart often aches for his frustration, his exhaustion, and his overall inability to communicate how he feels. Sometimes I wish he could yell, "I'm PISSED, Monna! I'm mad. I don't WANNA! I don't like that!" But even though he jabbers nonstop, none of the 200 words in his vocabulary make it from head to tounge in the moment it takes to move from calm to blowout and back again.

Back again. I will be going back to the gym tomorrow. I went today. Thank you, thank you. I am going to attempt to take him with me on Saturday. Last time the child care workers had to come get me because he wouldn't stop crying, so I am scared to make him go back. But maybe I will be pleasantly surprised? Somehow I am not that hopeful! =)

Monday, February 18, 2008

morning update

He woke up at 7am on the dot. That means no boycotting.

There are now 19 broken slats on my blinds.

We are watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, and they are looking for different colors. I hear him shout, "Da duck! Da is!" I look. There is one green duck in a pond of yellow ducks. I think he knew. I think he was listening. Then Mickey said, "Say super-cheers!" and my Little Man enthusiastically responded, "Du-deers!" I always wonder how much understanding is happening with all this tv we watch. Now I don't feel like such a bad mom for indulging him. =)

Sunday, February 17, 2008

paid day off tomorrow!

Church this morning was especially nice. The pastor giving the sermon invited the children to come pick up a piece of paper and a box of crayons so that they could color a picture of how their family members show love to one another. Punkin wrote his name. He always writes his name these days: scribble, scribble, circle, circle, big line down, bang the crayon against the paper to make a dot, bang the crayon against the paper to make a dot. Since this is rather long and tedious to type and speak, I just call him Punkin. I decided that this was a good way to demonstrate how we love each other. Most obviously because he adores writing the name I chose for him, and I always tell him he did a good job. And I always will, regardless of his actual skill. Secondly because his first and middle names are those of my grandfathers. And lastly, but certainly most importantly, because God has called us each by name. He knows each one of us intimately and we are all integral to His plan. None of us are accidental or imperfect pieces of the puzzle. We may be imperfect, but God makes us righteous and uses us to His will no matter how many times we falter.

When we went up for communion, a different pastor blessed him. He said something to the effect of, "Punkin, God walks with you every day . . . He loves you." Punkin responded, "Uh, Yes!"

Lest you think the day has been all warm and fuzzy, I leave you with the following:

1. On our way out of the church to go potty, he said (rather loudly), "I pooped."
2. He broke 14 slats on my window blinds.
3. On the way back into the church he said, "I pooped."
4. I am holding my hair back with a large Twixit! Clip because I can't find a hair tie.
5. He did not fall asleep until 9:15pm. If he wakes up before 7am, I am going to boycott.
6. Today has been caffeine free. This is a big deal. Wish me luck with that 7am thing.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

rain, freezing rain, sleet, and snow this weekend -- again

As Jennie would say, I am trying to be such a good grown-up. I received my tax refund and promptly paid bills. This means that aside from my student loans, I am completely debt free! I say trying to be a good grown-up because three things need to happen before I consider myself an actual grown-up: 1) Pay my own car insurance, 2) Pay my own cell phone bill, and 3) Exchange the twin-size bed for a queen-size.

I want to write more, but it has been a long day. Punkin had four major meltdowns and no nap. I want to write about how parents are detectives, about the frustration of our little ones not being able to communicate, and about little moments of joy amongst it all. But I am SLEEPY. The twin bed is calling . . . .

Monday, February 11, 2008

tales of an absent-minded mommy

"Oh, craps!" I stare at my planner. No respite scheduled for my Bunko game tonight. I call Oma, who graciously agrees to watch him and feed us dinner. On the way to her house, I stop to buy a roll of refrigerated biscuits. Punkin is in a decent mood, and so I make the rookie mistake I've made a dozen time before--I skip the cart. He's into holding hands, which is fun for me, and it goes pretty well. Until we approach the express check-out lane. Which is not expressing me out of the store. It is holding me captive; Punkin's coat, my purse, and two packages of biscuits (they were on sale) are smashed between my chest and my left arm as I desperately grasp at his sweater with my other hand. I pick him up; he flings backwards, the dough precariously perched atop my purse, ready to drop and POP all over the crowded floor. My back spasms. Punkin breaks his moaning to scream in agony against my oppressive hold. The man in front of me invites me to go ahead of him; I accept. His groceries are already on the counter, and he is picking out cigarettes, so the cashier begins ringing up his things. He finally finds the ones on sale, asks her to retrieve them, pays, and leaves. By now I am sweating, but still smiling. If everyone is going to stare, then I am going to smile. And besides, it really is funny to see the contortionist moves a three year old can render on an adult. As I pay and we leave, once again hand in hand -- his demeanor flips like a light switch once we pass through the doorway-- I decide that no matter what we adults think, the kids always have all the power.
We arrive at Oma and Opa's, only slightly scarred. To my horror, I realize I've forgotten his pacifier. I trudge back out into the arctic blast and buy two new ones. When I return, my cell phone rings. Punkin has already been giving his sweet Oma a hard time, and I am anticipating receiving The Look (or at the very least an eye roll) after I explain why the blood is rushing to my cheeks. The respite service called. Someone is waiting at my apartment. But she is kind to me, and I decide to keep Little Man there rather than rush through the transition of returning home--without dinner--and abruptly parting ways. The drive to Bunko this month is a little long and very unfamiliar. About half way through, I reach for the directions and immediately realize that they are still sitting on the counter. No big deal, I'll call Oma and she can tell me. Can't find the phone. Now what? I can't turn around; I will be dreadfully late. I guess I will resort to pulling into a shady gas station to use a pay phone. A pay phone. An antiquated, germy, stand-outside-where-everyone-can-see--me-- piece of technology that costs 50 cents for 4 minutes. I don't dial correctly; I need more change; I still don't dial correctly; It's ringing.

"Hi, dad."

"You forgot your phone and the directions."

"Yes, say the directions fast. I'm cold."

"Erika? I can't hear you."

"Dad! Don't hang up!"

"Hello? Can you hear me?"

"I'm here! I'm here! Read the directions! Read the directions!"

"Okay, I don't think you're there, but I'll read the directions just in case."

"Yes! Yes! Yes! Brilliant!"

I get to Bunko. I win most losses; I get my $5 back.

Fast forward to today. Laundry day. I want to wait until tomorrow when I have respite, but then I'd have to wear a skirt to work. Did I mention it's going to be 6 degrees tonight? Doing laundry is gratifying but physically exhausting for both of us. We have to drive to the office, which in nice weather and with limited amounts of dirty clothes is within walking distance. But it is snowing hard. This means getting Punkin in and out of his carseat a minimum of six times. I don't know how parents with more than one kid manage. A parent with 3 kids. That's 3 carseats times 6 in and outs--that equals 18 times. 18 opportunities to sprain back muscles. Anyway, he's doing awesome in the laundry room--eating his cookies and mostly minding his own business as I sort the clothes into four washers and fill them with soap. Now comes the snafu: the coin machine refuses both of my $5 bills. So we drive to the bank, sit at the drive-up window for a while, get the quarters, drive out of our way back home because the bank is on a ridiculously busy corner where it's impossible to turn left, go back to the laundry, start the washers, drive to get gas, go to the chiropractor (the biscuit fiasco has caused damage), pick up 2 cheeseburgers for Punkin (you didn't think I was going to cook, did you?) drive back home, put the clothes in the dryer, go home and eat, and eventually go get the dry clothes. Later, I will wrangle the kiddo to sleep. These days, patience is at a minimum when the end of the day arrives. Speaking of which, the sleep clinic sounds like it will be consultative/evaluative at this point; they will save any electrodes, if necessary, for another visit.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

not a grammy, but still nice

Kristie at Life With My X Men gave me an award! If you haven't read her blog before, I suggest visiting today. We are both blonde bombshells, we both love extra cheese pizza light on the sauce with a side of Culver's cheese curds, we have the same bedding, and we both have cutie X-Men. Her younger son and Punkin are a lot a like, too. They are both lovers of Woody, of wriggling out of their clothes, and of squeezing into small spaces.
Now I get to pass the award on to some of my favorite bloggers. Sarah definitely came to mind, seeing as how she is currently my international friend from the future. Read all about her adventures in New Zealand and check out her gorgeous photos from Alaska, New Zealand, and Iowa. Lion is a fantastic writer. I wish she would write 12 times a day every day, but she's a little busy. I am extremely jealous of her extensive vocabulary only because it is so natural. Like she was born speaking 10 word sentences. And Jennie makes me smile because she is so honest. Reading her blog made me want to start my own. And lastly, Miss Wonderland, a very compelling writer who deserves more readers. So don't tell me you have nothing to do today--click away!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

i don't wish he was here, but i miss him

Went out for my usual Friday night indulgence sans kiddo. As always, adorable little boys were bouncing about the restaurant looking manageable and even fun to bring along to a casual dinner. Their naughtiness--playing peek-a-boo with strangers and tapping on the glass separating the entry way from the dining area--endeared them to me even more, leading me to say, "Oh, I miss him!" Pause. Sanity regained. "I mean, I don't wish he was here, but I miss him," I explained, sipping the last drops of my tropical paradise in a glass.

I must also mention that sometimes businesses need to put a priority on replacing the light bulbs in their signs. Looking through the window from our table, we could see clearly the sign for what once was Texas Roadhouse. It instead read, "Texas Roadho." I'm sure many, many inappropriate comments were made by passers-by, but the maturity level at our affair was much more evolved.

In other news--Aunt Kim, we have a problem. Someone has learned how to turn off the tv, open the door to the dvd player, take out the offending dvd, pull out every dvd from the shelf in the closet and line them up, choose one, and put it in the player. And to add insult to injury, he also puts these skills to use to stop and restart movies, most often Curious George. And because he doesn't yet know how to use the remote, he has to ask me for help before becoming frustrated and opening the dvd player door again, thus restarting the entire process. This has also become a bit of an issue with his portable dvd player, which I pulled out in a hallelujah moment on Wednesday, as he likes to press the buttons. A lot. But, hey, it's easier to deal with when I'm allowed to watch grown-up tv while practicing patience.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

thursday feels like the new saturday

(Picture by Laura.)

"Monna. Snow. Monna. Ooooo. Touch it?"
"Yes, you can touch the snow."
"Touch it? Touch it?"
"Yes, touch the snow."
"Is it cold?"
"Ya. Snow."
"Look, a snowball."
"Sit. Ball?"
"Here you go."
"Good throw! Ready? Catch!"
"I got it!"

I'm sitting here, staring at the screen for the twenty-seventh time today, a head full of ideas and no words to express them. Blech. How much do you love that conversation, though? After we played in the space in front of our building that I will not call a yard, we walked to the mailboxes. He carried the snowball with him the entire way, except for tossing it in front of him and running after it. That was our first snow day, and I thought after running around outside that he would fall asleep easily and sleep soundly. HA! He didn't fall asleep until 10pm, and he started waking up around 2am. I think he was falling out of bed -- hehehe. I shouldn't laugh, but he just rolls like a marble or a tube or something. Plop!

I have a confession to make. I just voted--10 times--for someone on Make Me A Supermodel. Okay I'm blushing now. I must go.

Monday, February 4, 2008

my friend from the future

I was going to show you pictures of Punkin jumping (two feet simultaneously mid-air) on his new trampoline, which I assembled all by myself. I was also going to show you pictures of the big red ball with a handle I bought for him. The one that stinks so badly I had to banish it to the trunk of my car. I was also going to maybe throw in a shot of him playing underneath the rug in the living room. I was. But whenever I plug my camera into my computer, it turns on and then goes black. The computer doesn't connect. Nadda. So you will have to use your imaginations.

In even better news, I learned a few things this week.
  1. When the red light on your dashboard turns on, it means you might actually need to buy more gas right away.
  2. God happily sends His angels to push your car across the street (at the top of a hill) when it is near death due to lack of fuel. And he makes sure that the street is across from the school where your mom teaches.
  3. It is a cruel irony that the woman who eats nothing but chicken gave birth to the child who eats only beef.
  4. It is imperative to take a Prilosec (thank you, Lola) after eating a tortilla chip covered in tabasco sauce (on a dare) to avoid a regretful morning-after belly ache.
  5. My friend Sarah is technically from the future. When she calls me from New Zealand, it is the next day there. Trippy.
  6. The likelihood that the streets will be terribly icy or that it will be generally bllizzard-like outside is directly proportional to whether or not I have respite scheduled.

Also, I finished my taxes during the Super Bowl and am ready to pay some bills. Whoo-hoo!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

picture meme

1) Answer the questions below
2) Take each answer and type it into Photobucket
3) Take a picture from the first page of results copy the html code.
4) You can’t copy the persons answers who posted this before you. *
Got this from Whitterer On Autism.

The age you will be on your next birthday:

A place you would like to travel:

Your favorite place:

Your favorite object:

My favorite food:

My favorite animal:

My favorite color:

The place I was born:
Memphis, Tennessee

The place you live:

The name of your pet:
(The pet my mom wouldn't let me get when we moved to a real city. Kind of a running joke, will share another day.)

(The pet I had when we lived in the country.)

Your nickname:

A bad habit:
mountain dew

*Except Lion, who has the same nickname as me.