Monday, October 26, 2009

If these walls could talk...

Eleven days until we close on both houses. Eleven days...

Yes, the selling part of selling a house without a realtor was actually pretty easy. Assembling the documents necessary for sale was not too taxing. Stressing about all of it has stunk like earthworms after a drenching rain.

I'm somewhat torn as the couple who has bought our house seems lovely, yet completely handy-man-helpless. As a result, we've had to make some last minute repairs and they now want to inspect the repairs. As if they would really know what was different... Some of the stuff was pretty minor -- like replacing a pane of glass in a window. They wanted to know if we'd had an estimate done to fix it. Umm... nope. The estimate is $15.00 for a sheet of glass and about an hour of Scott's time to replace the glass, re-glaze, and put a couple of coats of paint on it. Woo-hoo... But we did it as we were concerned that they would try to extract money for a $300.00 repair or something from the price of the house.

That's the part that has me a little stressed. We're not anonymous to the buyers. In fact, they know where our new house is as they, too, looked at it. Their adorable little daughters will be in school with our kids and we're bound to run into them here and there around town.

Are they gonna talk smack about us if, five years down the road one of our repairs goes bad? Are we forever going to feel like we need to hold our breaths lest a completely normal conversation contain the words, "So the deck fell in last night..." Even though the deck is actually in better shape than it was when we moved in, that kind of anxiety. We didn't sell them a lemon. We disclosed everything that we knew about the property, and then some. We completed all five of their requested repairs. We're ready to move onward and upward and north of town to our new home.

I'm sure there will be a moment of sadness as we close the door for the last time, knowing that we brought our babies home there and that our first memories as a family were created there. Thank goodness for photos! Thousands of photos documenting every step as we redid the house, scraping lath and plaster from the walls, re-wiring, re-plumbing, re-everything-ing. Images of my kids in the yard, sleeping in their beds, bathing in the tub... Snapshots of holidays and birthdays and just the joy of day-to-day life... These will always live on in my heart.

But it's time for a new family to grow in the house. And I'm not sure that the sole factor of owning the same house ties us an any way to the new family, much as they try to invite us for dinner and chit-chat as if we were friends. Maybe we will be some day? Who knows? Maybe Violet won't remember living there when she's invited over for a birthday party... I don't know. I do worry that we might get a panicked call some day, "Help! There XYZ happening and we don't have so much as a hammer! What do we do?" Will we be tied to the house as a retained handyman? Offered dinner to "Please come fix ABC!" How bizarre is it to step into a place that holds so many cherished memories, to reach for a glass and open the cabinets to find someone else's stuff? To sigh over wallpaper they stripped, not knowing how arduous the task of hanging it was -- to feel like a stranger in one's old home.

Truth be told, we never expected to be in the house for almost nine years. It is a starter home and we weren't planning to stick around the area for a decade. Our plan was to get Scott some teaching experience, then move to a larger university. But the rigors of working at a larger school, the academic pressures required to gain tenure seemed detrimental to what we wanted in life and with our family. And now we're staying put, just as surely as we thought we'd be leaving in 2005, 2006, 2007... We never intended to move back to Iowa, and now, it appears, we never intend to leave.

Sometimes I feel like I am shoehorned into a life I wasn't intended to live -- that my psychic twin is living on a coast, dining daily on sushi and living in a yoga studio and the I am the imagined twin planting my roots back into the Iowa soil where I was raised. I daydream about the places I'd like to go and the things I'd like to see and know that, for now, it's going to be a while before we can afford to travel the globe.

But then I take Milo to preschool and one of his classmates squeals, "It's Milo! Hi, Milo!" and he lights up, thrilled that his friend is glad to see him and I know that we are making the right choice for our family by living in a place that has soil rich enough to sustain our needs. Mount Vernon isn't a bad place -- it's an affluent, liberal, artsy community. I believe that it is safe, it has good schools, and we can reach nearly everything we need by driving a short distance to Iowa City or Cedar Rapids. Our community is growing, and if we were to get involved more deeply, we could have a large impact on the direction it takes as it grows. This is not a bad place to take root.

And so, little house in town, we're leaving you for a larger house on the prairie. I hope that you bring your new family as much fortune as we had while living there. Adieu...

Friday, October 23, 2009

Water for a Friend

I have never had a secret, nothing in my life has ever been so traumatic that I feel the need to hide an event deep within the closet of my mind. I supposed that stems mostly from my perception that my life has been pretty easy.

My heart is aching for a friend who has carried some very dark, very awful secrets with him for much of his young life. The kinds of secrets that spill out when there is nothing left but pain, anger, and betrayal. The kinds of secrets that were happening not far from me geographically, but miles away from my own experience. Devastating, horrible, life-sucking, criminal secrets.

As I'm learning these things about my friend, I am shattered to know that I was there, yet so insulated and immature that I didn't reach out to him. I'm not sure that I could have as a teenager. I can, now, as an adult, as a parent. I can stand up and say that what happened to him is more wrong than anything that should ever happen to any person. His tormentors used inhuman power against him, I hate them for that. I hate them for reforging him, for forcing him to endure the hot coals and freezing water of abuse. I am so sorry.

I know that there isn't any way for me to re-write his past. I hope that he will look to me as a person on whom he can count in the future. I feel selfish in even expressing my grief for his childhood, knowing that the scream pounding in my chest is nothing compared to the silent howl of his youth.

This has been pressing on me for about a week now, ever since I read a response to an entry in his blog. The response was written by two friends who have chosen to abandon him because his changed views on religion and faith disagree with theirs and they are offended by his deserved anger. I won't drag my feelings to his blog, I won't put my thoughts into a place that is his because this isn't my story and it is so not about me. This goes in my blog.

What is the Christian thing to do? Tromp all over the blog of a very real, very raw, very recovering person because his righteous anger upsets your crinoline sensibility? Or do you bring your friend a cool drink of water as he suffers on the cross of his past?

I'm bringing water, how about you?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Growing Violet

I think the toughest part about packing up our house to move is taking pictures of my kids off the wall. I'm not a parent that only leaves the most recent portrait up, so I counted and there are over 130 framed photos hanging in my house, mostly of my kids. Well, mostly of Milo. Poor little Violet gets the short end of the stick on that, simply because we sort of ran out of space and because I haven't filled some frames that I've been saving for pictures of her.

Thinking about Violet getting the shaft also reminded me that her birthday sort of slid through the space between tick and tock this fall, what with Milo breaking his arm on her birthday, then us plunging headlong into purchasing a new home and selling our current home, so I want to post about some of the things our little sweet pea has been doing lately.

Singing. She creates her own soundtrack as she goes about her life, "Doo-dee-dooing" and "La, la, laaaaaing" as she diapers her baby doll, cooks pretend lunches on the play kitchen, or dresses up in her princess gear. I love this! Sometimes it's just a long, breathy, "Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa-aa-aa-aaaah!" that scales her vocal range, sometimes there's actual words from a nursery rhyme, "Asses! Asses! We all fall down!", but there is always music in her heart.

Along with singing goes dancing. She's managed to pick up a delightful habit of dancing when she hears music, any music, any time. It's very cute -- sometimes, she turns slowly as if she's gliding in a billowing ball gown, sometimes she's head banging, and sometimes she's hopping about like she's raving. She skips and tumbles, twirls and dives, smiling and giggling.

One of her more humorous utterings is "No fair!" Always spat out with arms tightly crossed, chin tucked, and eyes peering out from under knit brows. I am surprised at the things she thinks are not fair -- last night, it was not fair that Milo was sitting in my lap and didn't want to move when she thought she needed to be in my lap. I imagine that I might be hearing this a lot in regards to Milo -- not surprising nor unexpected, yet sort of funny at the same time. I think it was only this summer that Milo started saying "Not fair!" I'm not quite sure that Violet actually knows what it means.

She really loves to play around with her voice and uses different voices for characters. Milo has yet to do this with any sort of consistency, though his toys have been talking to each other for nearly three years now. Violet has a particularly funny voice that never fails to crack me up -- she draws her lips into a tight circle, lengthens her jaw and talks in a very deep voice, her eyes are wide and her eyebrows raised. I haven't pinpointed who she thinks she's imitating, but she finds it funny, too.

"This is yours and that is mines!" I love how she has generalized mine to "mines." How utterly adorable! She properly uses hers, his, and yours and they all end with an "s", so why shouldn't mine?

Violet shares everything. If I hand her a cookie, she immediately demands another -- but not for herself, for Milo. She doesn't give it a second thought to hand him some of her loot, even if he hasn't asked. She is insistent that everyone have what she does, no matter what it is. She never squabbles nor tries to stealthily sneak away with more than her fair share. Her most selfish act is mine, too. She loves to lay in and nurse on weekend mornings, making it difficult for Milo or Scott to squeeze between the two of us. Neither of our boys is lacking for attention, but she is unwilling to share our special time with anyone. Given that Milo had us to himself for 26 months, I think it's OK that she has me to herself for 26 minutes on Saturday and Sunday mornings.

Finally, she has learned, "I love you!" and will tell me this as she pretends to talk to me on the phone, or as I tuck her into bed or leave her at daycare. Hearing these words from her melts me into a roiling, fizzing, pool of joy. I feel lightened by her sweetness, lifted by her smacking little kiss. I can't imagine a day going by where I don't hear this and feel it from her and truly cannot wait until she's sleeping in the toddler bed and I can snuggle in deeply to kiss her goodnight, kneeling next to her as I do to Milo, holding her as she settles into her bed, soft and warm, her little arms wrapped around my neck, fingers tangled in my hair.

And so, my little flower, you are no shrinking Violet. You are graceful, kind, and effervescent. Your sunny nature shines on the cloudiest of gray days. I adore you, my beautiful girl, and wish you a happy, happy year.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

C & C

I am so sick of coughing. Coughing all night, all day, when I'm resting, when I'm active. Just all the time coughing. I'm tired of it!

Scott and I are sharing childcare duties this week as the sitter's house continues to fall under the plague of 2009. As of right now, both of my children have ear infections, but are otherwise healthy as can be, energetic, and fine. Milo wants to pack, pack, pack for the move -- if it were up to him, he'd have the whole house already packed and we'd have nothing to eat or wear. Violet spent the entire day yesterday singing. When she wasn't singing, she was cradling her little plastic coffee cup, sipping cold water and telling me "I 'tending it's mommy's coffee!" She's going through a particularly sunny and adorable stage right now, holy cow is she cute!

Anyway, this morning, Scott was teaching, so I was home with the children. Shortly after he left, the steam from the shower I'd taken had loosened up my sinuses and my post-nasal drip started flowing -- think of all the slime under NYC in Ghostbusters II and you get the picture. And I started coughing. And coughing. And coughing. Then I was coughing and gagging. As I was making these obnoxiously loud noises, clutching the bathroom sink like I was riding out an earthquake, Milo started asking if we were ready to pack another box. Violet perched on the toilet demanding "Sausage! My want sausage for breakfast! I huuunnn-geee!"

I gasped and told Milo, "I'm (cough, cough, gag) sick right (cough, cough, gag) now. (cough, cough, gag) Please give (cough, cough, gag) me a (cough, cough, gag) minute (cough, cough, gag, gag, gag)."

"Why-eeee? I want to pack now!"

"Can't (cough, cough, gag) talk (cough, cough, gag, gag, gag) right now (cough, cough, gag), buddy (cough, cough, gag, gag, gag)."

During this exchange, Violet had climbed down off the toilet and was tugging on my bathrobe. "My want sausage! Sausage! Sausage! Sausage!"

I didn't even answer her (cough, cough, gag, gag, gag). Barf. Gag, gag, barf. Barf.

And there I was, gasping, panting, sweaty, snotty, red-faced, drooling... so not a good "me" moment. And my children were completely oblivious. As in not even phased one bit by the horrendous old-man cough-gag followed by crazy loud retching. I think that there have been bloody death scenes in movies less gory than me this morning, yet my kids both toodled on about their way as if what was happening was completely normal. That's how long I have been coughing -- long enough that it seems normal to my children. Long enough that they aren't scared or scarred by the sight of their mother gripping the bathroom sink like a life preserver in the middle of a choppy ocean, miles from shore.

That's too damn long.

Oh, and to top it off, my monthly friend decided to be on time this month, though perhaps my uterus was frightened by the coughing and decided that this wasn't going to be a good month to make baby #3. But yeah, coughing and cramps... I guess it's a good thing that the rest of life is pretty good right now, huh?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Rest of the Lost Month

I keeping with my whole "Lost Month" theme, mucho has been happening on the old home front. As in the current home front will not be our home front in, oh, about a month.

That's right, folks, not even two months after the ink dried on our mortgage refinance, we're going to be buying a new home. We walked through said home on September 17th. Considered it all weekend, put in an offer on the home on Monday September 21. Offer accepted by 6:00 that night.

Then... PANIC! Made a list of all of the things we needed to get done to put the house on the market. Panicked some more. On Tuesday, September 22 I secured a storage garage around the corner and started taking inventory of all of the stuff that needed to go there.

Wednesday, September 23. Emailed my brother for his birthday. Started spreading the word that our house was going to go on the market. Started boxing up stuff we don't use frequently.

Thursday, September 24. Took Milo for another X-ray. His arm is healing well, yay! He was a little disappointed that he wasn't getting a new cast, but didn't cry too long about it. The one he has now is holding up remarkably well and not stinky at all, which is surprising. On a whim, I was proctoring a practice MCAT and took the exam myself. I did respectably, particularly considering I haven't had a science class in 18 years... I got a 14 of 15 on the verbal reasoning section (not surprising), 6 on biological sciences (did particularly well on anatomy and reproduction), and a 4 on physical sciences (bombed organic chemistry -- I've never taken organic chemistry, so that's not unexpected, but I did do well on the physics portion, go figure). More organizing at home that night.

Friday, September 25. Emailed my other brother for his birthday. Took the afternoon off to organize closet after closet. Scott started moving stuff to storage.

Saturday, September 26. Arts festival in Mount Vernon, so I wanted FSBO signs up. Scott and all of his brothers finished recovering the deck. His dad put more brick mold around our back window. I pulled weeds, trimmed trees, and carried brush to the brush pile for about 6 hours. Took pictures for flyers. We rested that night :)

Sunday, September 27. Scrubbed upstairs bathroom, kids room, all baseboards. Scrubbed and polished dining room floor, shampooed carpet upstairs. Printed and put out flyers. About 8 picked up that day!

Monday, September 28. More cleaning in the PM -- scrubbed kitchen and bathroom floors. I've been scrubbing so much I have a blister on my knee from crawling around! Makes me think I need to do some more deep cleaning more often...

Tuesday, September 29. Placed ads online.

Wednesday, September 30. Ads went live. Link to Yahoo quite busy, yay!

Thursday, October 1. Ad runs in Cedar Rapids and Mount Vernon papers. Cleaning, cleaning, cleaning! In the midst of cleaning when a woman taps on the window and wants to see the house. Seriously? An ad for a open house on Sunday from 12-2 means stop by my home during supper on a Thursday night... Sheesh! She did love the house, though. Put up Open House signs.

Friday, October 2. Took part of the afternoon off to scrub and polish the parlor floor. Scott rounded up the last remaining stuff to be moved out of the basement and moved it out. Put up more Open House signs.

Saturday, October 3. Last minute cleaning and tidying. Kitchen, re-dusting almost everything. Did some staging and made notes about what needed to go where and when it needed to go there. Washed all of the lamp globes. Suddenly, it's brighter in the house!

Sunday, October 4. Scott took the kids and dogs to his parents. I showered, did some last minute staging, answered several questions about the house from callers. Lit candles, took a deep breath and waited for people to come over. First group arrived about 12:25. Last group left at 5:00. Six families through, four who were doing more than "just checking it out". TWO offers. TWO. One our full asking price, but dependent on sale of her home. One for $1,000.00 less than our asking price, but we contribute $2000.00 towards closing -- no other home to sell. Exhausted, we went out to Scott's parent's to get the kids and had supper.

Monday, October 5. Decompressing and waiting to see if any other offers come in. I showed the house one more time to a woman and her sister, they, too loved it. In fact, there wasn't anyone who came through the house that didn't love the work we've done on it. It is in so much better shape than before...

Tuesday, October 6. Called the people who made the second offer and told them we've accepted. They came to the house and we signed the paperwork.

Wednesday, October 7. Contacted banker, the real estate agent who is selling our new house, took abstract to title service. Arranged to have our house inspected on Monday morning. Hope to complete assessment on both houses soon.

Someone once told us, "Boy, when you make up your mind to do something, you don't waste any time!" I think that seems pretty true, LOL! In 26 days we went from walking into an empty farmhouse to selling our own home. I know they say it's a buyers market right now, but I guess that isn't necessarily true when you're selling a completely renovated starter home in a desirable community. I had the feeling that we'd be able to capitalize on the first-time home buyer's tax credit and that our house wouldn't be on the market long. I'm guessing one day isn't considered long at all...

Oh, and we're closing on November 6th. We'll be home for the holidays!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A lost month...

So it's been over a month since I've blogged. It's been quite a month, that's for sure! Here's how we spent Violet's second birthday:

I brought a sitter with me to the mall to watch the kids while I was at skating practice as Scott was in rehearsal. I was just getting off the ice when the kids came around the corner of the rink. Birthday girl came running and smiling, sitter was pushing a teary Milo in the stroller. Hugged V, then sitter wheeled Milo closer and said, "He had a boo-boo that required a band-aid." At which point Milo burst into tears. I asked to see it, expecting the normal over-dramatics he puts out when he has "injuries", but something in his eyes stopped me dead in my tracks and I knew something was off. His arms didn't really look different than each other, but the way he was crying, coupled with the way he was holding his hand set off alarm bells. Loud, clanging, obnoxious alarm bells.

I started asking him what happened, what the sitter saw, if he could move it X or Y and didn't like the way things added up, so I told him we were going to go get some pictures taken just to make sure it wasn't a bad owie. Texted Scott, packed up my stuff and headed to find mall security to report the injury.

Found a mall cop and told him what happened. He was going to call for an ambulance, but I said that would terrify Milo and I was seeking medical attention on my own, that I just wanted an incident report so that when my insurance company called the mall, they could corroborate my claim. I wasn't insinuating that I was planning to sue and made that clear, but I knew that when my insurance adjuster sees the site of the accident, they would call the mall. For the record, I totally believe that this is a case of clumsy kid and not negligence -- he tripped in the soft play area and landed wrong.

Anyway, while I'm talking to the mall cop, Violet is climbing all over me, I'm juggling my wallet, phone, skate bag, and purse, comforting Milo and waiting for Scott to respond to the text (I texted him because I didn't want to interrupt rehearsal with a phone call). The number of things I was doing at this moment plays a part in this story later. Finish writing my account in the mall cop's notebook and head to the parking lot, load kids into the car and set out for the hospital.

Milo is crying, "I don't want to go to the hospital, I'm scared!" and Violet starts repeating, "I 'cared! I 'cared!" As we're headed out of the parking lot, I give up on Scott returning the text and call him, letting him know what's going on. He agrees to meet us at the ER and then we'll let the sitter take Violet home and put her to bed.

We arrive at the ER, I kiss Violet a thousand times and apologize for not being able to put her to bed on her birthday. Get Milo out of the car, send the sitter on her way, and register at the ER. I tell registration that he's very anxious, it's apparent as he's clinging to me with both legs and his left arm, crying softly into my neck. We take a seat and Scott comes flying through the doors in a matter of moments.

We're called back to triage and the doc apparently knows Scott's cousin's kids, so they chat about that and fast-track Milo to a room. Get in and settled and a nurse comes in, does vitals and gets Milo some ice. Then a resident comes in, asks Milo some questions, does a brief exam -- poor Milo was wincing, but not crying. Orders X-rays.

Milo then gets to take a bed ride to Radiology -- the techs were so sweet to him. I tell them we're trying to conceive and need to be out of the room -- they actually sent both of us out. Normally this would cause Milo to lose it, but he didn't. They take three pictures and wheel him back out. I pretend to chase him in slow motion, which makes him and the techs giggle.

The nurse is back with a pillow and some ice for his arm, says that it usually takes about an hour to read x-rays that time of night. We turn on Ice Age and Milo seems relaxed and drowsy.

35 minutes later, the attending come in, introduces himself and says that Milo's arm is, indeed, broken. Not a bad break, but they will be putting a soft plaster splint on it and we'll need to follow up with an orthopedic surgeon Thursday or Friday. The on-call surgeon is a "hand guy" but doesn't have his schedule in front of him, but says he'll get us in tomorrow.

Milo does a great job as they put the splint on and wrap his arm and get him in a sling. As in no complaining -- totally curious, but no fussing. The nurses and techs all wave at him as we check out, wishing him well.

He falls asleep in the car, so Scott takes him up to bed and I take the sitter home. When I go to pay her, I reach into my purse and cannot find my wallet. I check my trunk and skate bag quickly, hyperventilating... She tells me that she's fine with me catching up to her later and that she feels badly that he was hurt -- totally not her fault, though.

After getting stuck in an endless voice mail, I finally get a hold of mall security and they DO have my wallet, thank goodness...

Long, sleepless night. Milo is very uncomfortable, mostly because he was instructed not to take the sling off, so he can't find a good way to lay in his bed. I "slept" what was left of the night next to his bed.

Morning comes and I shower and get ready to take Violet to her 2 year well-child check. While I'm getting ready, Scott gets an appointment at the orthopedic guy for Milo. We time it so that I should have just enough time to get Violet into Cedar Rapids for her check-up, get her back to the sitter's, and pick up Scott and Milo to go to the ortho. All while driving as fast as I can, knowing that my license is in Coralville with my wallet.

Naturally, the ped is uncharacteristically behind schedule, but the nurse proceeds quickly with Violet once I explain the situation. Violet stepped on the scale and stood at the height thingy all by herself, following only the nurse's instructions. Totally impressed the nurse that a 2-year-old was so responsive. But, well... she's Violet, KWIM? The child is practically perfect, LOL! Anyway -- she's 33 inches tall and 28lbs 8oz. 48th percentile of height, 46th of weight.

Ped comes into the room, I explain what's up with Milo, he is darn reassuring that the break is common, easily treated, and something from which he'll recover fully. Then he examines Miss Perfect, pronounces her Miss Perfect, and is stunned when I tell him she's been dressing herself since 16 months, amazed that she can stand on one foot to put her pants on, and was impressed by a gratuitous display of manners when she asked me for something with a "pweese" and "daysh-you." Clean bill of health, Hep A was the only vaccine.

Drive carefully to the sitters, apologize that I don't have time to tell the whole story, but promise that I will when I pick Violet up this afternoon. I do tell her that Milo is OK, but tired and ouchie.

Get home, hop into Scott's car. Drive back to Cedar Rapids, check into the dr's office 10 minutes late -- which is fine as the Dr. is 45 minutes off schedule. We're totally not bothered by that and park Milo in front of a TV with Scooby Doo showing. Everyone in the waiting room is asking him what happened and wishing him well.

We're called back, answer questions regarding his medical history -- very short, BTW. Not much to report when you're a healthy 4-year-old. Nurse knows Scott's mom. She cuts his splint off and the doc is in, checks the films, says they're pretty good, but he wants "a perfect lateral" so we trundle down the hall for one more Xray. Milo sits easily on the tech's lap, follows directions perfectly, and they get "the perfect lateral."

Doc sees new film, seems very happy -- says that the break is only mis-aligned by 12 degrees and that they generally do not recommend setting pediatric breaks until they hit 31 degrees. He said, "If this were my child, I wouldn't risk the anesthesia for 12 degrees. It's up to you, but that little amount will not impact range of motion or anything in his future." Scott and I agree that seems unnecessary, so we proceed to the cast room.

Milo selects green -- lime green, alien green, neon green. You won't miss him in a crowded room! The nurses start putting the cast on, Milo and Scott are doing the Find It from the Highlights magazine.

As they proceed, the nurses comment, "You've got one really secure child. He's amazing -- we see many adults with half the composure he has. You are doing a great job as parents -- he's just lovely!"

Through the ER visit and the doc's visit, Milo hasn't complained once. He's followed every direction he's been given and answered the questions as articulately as any 4-year-old could. He charmed the pants off of everyone he met, they all smiled and wished him well and waved at him as we left. I am so proud of him!

A broken bone was the one first-aid emergency I'd never encountered until last night, and it was the one that had me most afraid. I get woozy when I hear how people break bones, so knowing that I kept my composure, made the best decisions I could about Milo's health, and kept him calm and willing to participate in the exams feels like clearing a big hurdle for me. Scott was great at keeping him occupied and entertained while I did all of the paperwork and stuff -- days like yesterday and today make me so very aware of why I love him so much -- he's so darn good with our babies, so compassionate and kind. I just love him!

Oh, I did get back down to the mall and retrieved my wallet. I'm so glad that it was the only thing I lost!