Everyday lives of the Meabon Household

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day Weekend

We spent Memorial Day Weekend in Pittsburgh with Jared's family.  We left on Thursday and came home late Sunday.  I'll post later about traveling with a nine month old but for now, I wanted to share Harper's first visit to Steeler Country and her visit with her cousins, aunt, uncles and Grandpa D.

Why hello Franco Harris!  Thank you for greeting me in Pittsburgh!

Uncle James, Grandpa D, Jared and Uncle Jeromie

Harper loved meeting cousins Madison and Dylan

She also played with a balloon for the first time in her life and that was HOURS of entertainment

Harper and Dylan

(The Meabon boys all share the same initials, hence I, II, III)

Madison (1) and Dylan (3 1/2)

It was nice to have a break from the Texas heat.  The weather was beautiful!

The bigger kids ran around

We played with the bubble machine

Dylan fetched adult beverages

And Harps soaked up all the action

We tried for a grandkid picture with Grandpa D but waited until just before bedtime.  As you can see, we started losing them to sleep deprivation!

Thanks Meabons and Millers for a great visit!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Thumbs Up Thursday

Welcome to my new Thursday posting.  Thumbs Up Thursday is my random list of things that make me smile, products that I can't get enough of, items on my wish list or just personal little reasons to celebrate. 

Want to know what prompted this?  Oprah.  That's right, I watched and shed a tear over Oprah's last show today.  She kept talking about her gratitude journal.  Then this afternoon, I saw a similar idea on another blog so I thought I'd combine the two and wha-la!  "Thumbs Up Thursday". 

To make it even more complicated, you too can participate in Thumbs Up Thursday!  Enter your blog on the link list below, feel free to borrow the official "Thumbs Up Thursday" picture, link on over and post away!  So here we go:

Thumbs Up to Clinique Black Honey Almost Lipstick.  I used this stuff in junior high and have recently rediscovered its magic.  My best friend from growing up, Stephanie, simultaneously rediscovered Black Honey and we conversed over our love of its fantasticness.  If you aren't a big lipstick fan like me, its more like tinted chapstick but glossy, silky and pretty. 

San Jacinto Junior High School 8th Graders sporting Black Honey in 1993

Thumbs Up to family runs.  I'm an outdoor runner, Jared's a treadmill runner.  However, the hubs has recently had a change of heart and we've started running as a family.  The Squirrel straps into her buddy Bob and off we go! 

And Double Thumbs Up to my husband who can pull off running without his shirt on.  While I give him a hard time because he's "that dude running down the street without his shirt on", I also don't mind having him as my trophy husband whilst running.  And maybe I'm just a little jealous because I would probably cause an accident if I stripped off my top mid-run and let the twins fly free!

Thumbs Up to www.peekinourworld.com.  Notice anything missing?  How about blogspot?  That's right.  I purchased my domain so now you can link right over to PIOW without having to plug in blogspot.  Ta-da!

Thumbs Up to The Hunger Games.  I realize I'm a little behind the times on this one but I just finished the whole series and couldn't put it down.  Let's just not discuss the fact that they were written for 7th Grade reading level.  It makes me feel smarter that way.

Thumbs Up to Facebook on your birthday.  Pre-FB, you'd get the occasional birthday wish but now Facebook makes sure all 661 of my "Friends" are aware that its my birthday, resulting in countless birthday wishes.  *NOTE:  See previous post to understand my obnoxiousness about May 24.

Quadruple Thumbs Up to Steve (a.k.a. Harper's Grandy) having another clear brain scan!  Tumor free for 2 1/2 years!

So what makes you want to give a big Thumbs Up? If you're a blogger, click below and play along. If you aren't, leave a comment!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Honey Hijack: Birthday Diva

Happy Birthday Hijackings to a Birthday Diva!

Yep, Iʼm doing it again...another hijacking. Today is my sweet girlʼs 31st birthday and for those of you who might not know Brooke intimately...well, let me just say I take credit for single-handedly creating a Birthday Diva!

I tried to create two creatures who loved their birthdays as much as their mother did but for some reason the “boy” in Brent took over around the age of 10 yrs. and birthdays for him became a “girlie thing”. Honestly, itʼs probably best not to have a Birthday Diva Son! So my once divided birthday attention now became fully focused on Brooke...and of course moi.

So how does one create a Birthday Diva?

1. One must 1st be a B-day Diva to create one.

2. You must start at year 1 and each year there after increase the party extravaganza with greater pomp and circumstance. Thinking back we had backyard baby pool parties, clown face painting parties, Cabbage Patch parties, gymnastic parties, multiple swimming parties, way too many slumber parties...the list goes on and on!

3. The real key to Birthday Diva-ing is you must begin celebrating your official birthday approximately one month before your actual birthday. Therefore, in Brookeʼs case May 1st is adequate and appropriate to begin sending birthday wishes to a Diva. Just a small aside here, Jared, like Steve needed to learn this lesson the hard way, by trial and error. Needless to say the first few b-day celebrations proved ugly for both hubbies until they realized Birthday Divaʼs do have expectations and those expectations really need to be met. While not pretty, this is a truth of being a BdD.

4. Gifts! Now, donʼt get me wrong. Calls, e-mails, facebook well-wishes are all fine and dandy...but, a Diva really loves her gifts. Wrapped, big bows, presented during a little lunch or dinner, surrounded by a few friends, or many all singing and making sure you know you are special, this is what we secretly, okay openly admit to and go on and on about ad nauseum.

5. Finally, a Diva can NOT have too many celebrations. These b-day galas can be known to go on for at least a week. The reasoning is simple, various groups of friends, have various needs for celebrating… i.e. a lunch with new friends, dinner with old work friends, family celebration honoring the said Diva, strangers passing on the street who have heard itʼs your b-day and feel the need to join in. A true BdD can drag this celebrating out to the max and never tire of the joy of the festivities!

So there you have it, the good, the bad and the ugly of being a Birthday Diva.

All I know is itʼs been so fun and all joy to have 31 years to celebrate the life of my little girl. She has grown into quite an extraordinary woman, wife, mother, sister, daughter and friend and I am so proud and amazed at how she lives life.

So Happy Birthday dear Brookie! Arenʼt we glad we now have little Harper to follow in our footsteps…

Love you,




Monday, May 23, 2011

Verbal Spewing

I recently read a developmental milestones article about 9 month olds.  It said that at nine months, babies start to recognize their names and that you should refrain from calling them anything but their name.  This could prove to be a problem for Harper. 

I inherited my grandfather's habit of nicknaming and "verbal spewing".  I can vividly remember sitting at the lake with Papaw as he read the paper and hearing him say without eyes leaving the page, "Is your name Brookee-doo, Doo-dee-roo, Doodle-ee-doodle-ee-doodle-ee-roo, Roo-tee-too-tee-mou-dous, Mou-de-le-tou...." and on and on and on.  It would take on different variations, forms and nicknames but I rarely remember him just calling me Brooke.  Papaw would do this for my brother, my cousins, our parents, our pets, neighborhood dogs and cats, ducks on the lakes, squirrels in the tree.  You get the point.  My mother also inherited this habit, hence my names growing up varied from Brookie, Boogie, Booger, Boogie Bear, Lucy, Lucy Goosey, Girly, etc.

I don't know if Jared picked it up from me or if he came that way too but we know one of us has really done something wrong when "Brooke" or "Jared" is used when talking to each other.  Otherwise, we usually call each other some variation of Lover, Lover Face, T, T-Knucks, Knuckle Beater or Squash.  When we're out in public or with a group, we tend to get weird looks, followed by a "What did you just call him?" and then "What does that mean?"  To be honest, I probably couldn't tell you where the names came from in the eight years we've been together but they make sense to us.

All of this being said, at nine months our daughter is currently learning that her name is one of the following:
Harper-do-shus, Dough-sh, Dough-shul-troshush, Squa-doosh, Squirrel, Squirrely-girl, Whirly-whirl, Doo-doo, Doo-doo Head, Poopsinpants, Pumpkin-Head, Pumpkin-Face, Pumpkin-Pants, Lover-girl, The Girl, Harps and Harp-a-lar-pa-ding-dong

So I'm officially working on calling her Harper but I can't make any promises that she won't show up to pre-school introducing herself as Doo-doo Head Elizabeth Meabon.  Something tells me that might not go over too well. 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A Mother's Voice - Katie

I started following Katie's blog just after Harper was born.  Katie is a mother that has had to face some different circumstances through her journey of motherhood.  Over the last year when I've had days where I was feeling overwhelmed with medical issues, frustrated because Harper wasn't hitting the milestones that I am told she should be hitting or just having a little pity party for my daughter, Katie's blog always seemed to be ever-so-timely with words of wisdom, honesty and a few "ah-ha" moments.  She navigates motherhood with elegance and I appreciate her sharing her words of wisdom here on PIOW.  Thank you Katie!


Thanks, Brooke, for including me in your guest blogger project.  I’ve loved reading others’ perspectives on motherhood!

I have actually begun four different posts now in an effort to define my thoughts on motherhood.  I blame my inability to commit to a thought process on sleep deprivation.  I will also blame it on my gray hair which seems to be increasing rapidly lately.  I love being a mommy and I suppose fitting all my thoughts into one post is really challenging me! 

I have two children.  Will, age 3, is all boy with blue eyes and curly blond hair.  He is active and into pirates and baseball and soccer.  He loves to play pretend and dress up and I never know at any given moment which character I may be dealing with.  He loves to eat fish and chocolate.  He runs everywhere and never ceases to amaze me.  He asks questions beyond his years and has the most contagious laugh.  He also happens to be a quad congenital amputee.  My daughter, Ellie, is 9 months.  She cuddles and loves to eat.  She also loves her doll and makes the most precious cooing noises while she sleeps.  She squeals like no other and amazes me with her sense of contentment – despite often difficult circumstances.  Ellie has a syndrome causing limited range of motion in her joints which results in a great deal of therapies and surgeries.

In many ways, my motherhood experience (so far – only 3.5 years in) is like everyone else’s.  I worry about nutrition and sleep schedules.  I visit preschools to determine the best school for our children and our family.  I make playdates and I study discipline techniques.  I’m sleep deprived most of the time.  I try to find time for my husband and I around the schedule of a nursing baby.  I run errands and cook dinner and try to just get the dishes done at some point during the day.  I play outside.  I play dolls with one hand while wielding a sword with the other. 

But, as the mommy of two small children (age 3 and 9 months) who also happen to have different, unrelated physical disabilities, I find I am in a unique position of parenting.  I schedule doctors appointments and therapies.  I research and research and then I research some more.  I study new techniques and proven methods.  I keep an ongoing notepad of questions to ask specialists.  We budget for surgeries and medical travel expenses.  I’ve flown with my children for appointments more times than I can count.  We’ve seen doctors all over Texas and in Boston.  I have doctors and genetic counselors and therapists on my Christmas card list.  I answer questions on a daily basis from curious children and adults about my children’s unique differences.  I think about the what ifs for their future. 

In parenting under some unique circumstances, I thought I might share some of what I’ve learned.

1.      Just because you would never dare do something yourself doesn’t mean you don’t need to make a rule about it.  If you have a boy, always assume they will try something that may seem totally illogical to you.  Create rules and say them out loud.  (Ie:  I would never consider jumping naked off a fort.  I wouldn’t dream of making a rule about this because I wouldn’t do it.  A little boy would.  Make the rule.)
2.      Celebrate everything.  I think I would take a lot more for granted if I didn’t have children with disabilities.  One of the many blessings I’ve found is that we don’t take things for granted.  I can vividly remember when my son first grabbed hair as an infant.  This was not easy for someone with partial hands to accomplish.  We celebrated!  I can remember vividly when my daughter first rolled over.  Again – a celebration!  I’ve even been known to get cupcakes and hang a banner for milestones we’ve worked really hard on.  I love that every seemingly little thing is a big deal in our family – we appreciate it more.  I watched my child run on the beach today and I was overwhelmed with emotion as he runs – a child missing his feet yet he runs.  I am so thankful.
(Sometimes, you might have to hide the celebration.  Once, we were at a local restaurant with friends and for the first time ever, my son removed his clothes in the play area and took off running.  Apparently, he was hot.  Also, see point #1 – I didn’t have a rule for this.  Now, I do.  While I dressed him and explained that he can’t remove his clothes publically, inside I was screaming & dancing for joy as we had long been working on independently undressing himself.  Clearly, this demonstrated he had mastered that skill!  I hid that celebration!  Even when he runs away from me and proceeds to get in trouble for that, inwardly I am so thankful that he can run!)
3.      Throw out the books and let go of expectations of others.  (Easier said (or typed) than done.)  I have often struggled with other’s expectations of my children or of my parenting.  I used to think I owed explanations when someone would ask me why my child was not yet doing whatever particular milestone they were concerned about.  I used to cry a lot more (especially in the grocery store) when a nosy person would ask me about my child’s differences.  I’ve learned that I don’t owe an explanation and that my child will accomplish what they need to on their timeline.  Granted, we do therapy and see specialists to help them but I need to give them (& myself) the grace to accomplish things as they are able.  Also, I’ve learned that the parenting books leave a lot out.  They certainly don’t cover unique circumstances – like losing three months of infancy because your child is in a body cast or how to manage sleep schedules when you are constantly flying to see doctors.  Throw out the books – seek wisdom & counsel from friends and family you trust and lean into the God who created your child.
4.      Someone once suggested to us that the greatest testimony we could give our child during difficult circumstances was to show him how a marriage looks like in the face of pain.  Everyone will endure pain.  It’s part of life.  Teach you children how to manage painful parts of life within a marriage by demonstrating this yourself.  Focus on your marriage and your children will reap the benefits.  I think it is so easy to be consumed by the demands of raising children and mothering and just trying to get the dishes done that we forget to spend (awake) time with our spouse.  This is often a big struggle for me – the exhaustion of the day, the stress of appointments, the demands of a nursing baby, etc.  But, when I consider the value of teaching my children about marriage, it helps me to reconstruct my priorities and focus on the man I love who gave me these precious babes.
5.      I think my favorite parts of being a mommy are the little moments.  They are the moments I don’t have videos of or pictures to remember them by.  They are moments spent in the mornings cuddling in bed together.  They are the funny things a child says that you can’t always remember later but you know you laughed so hard at.  They are the moments of helping them brush teeth and go potty and get dressed.  They are baths and how absolutely delicious a clean baby can smell.  It’s the moments of smelling warm nap breath and feeling a warm cheek after you’ve awoken them.  It’s singing silly songs and dancing in the kitchen together.  It’s rocking and sometimes shedding a few tears as you rock and cuddle and realize it’s going by so quickly.  It’s playing together.  What better way to spend a day than sword fighting and digging in the dirt and reading stories and cuddling on the couch and racing cars and making pretend dinners and playing dress up?  It’s saying yes to the boy who asks you to marry him and requests that you wear the pink princess dress he loves on you to the wedding.  It’s nights like tonight when my son sang the lullabies back to me that I’ve sung to him since my pregnancy.   It’s those late night cuddles when I can’t resist crawling in his bed just for a minute before I head to my own.  It’s holding a baby so closely and knowing there is nothing in the world to compare to the feeling of a sleeping babe on your chest.  I try to remember to memorize these fleeting moments.  They are often so quick and even the routine ones won’t stay routine forever.  I want to recall their smells and their sounds and their softness and every little thing about being their mommy.  It’s so easy to get caught up in the demands and business of being a mother and then to miss the moments of being a mommy.   It’s the greatest joy and privildge of my life.  I don’t want to miss a single moment.

I’m only a few years into this journey.  I have so much to learn and am often overwhelmed by the sheer joy of motherhood coupled with the enormous responsibility.  I love blogs in that they offer a sense of camaraderie, a companionship as we figure out this whole mom thing together. 

Thanks, Brooke, for sharing thoughts from so many moms and for including me!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

We have a date!

Harper's surgery to repair her omphalocele has been set for Friday, July 8.  I'll give more details on the surgery itself once we get back from pre-op in June.  Please keep Harper's health, her worried parents and the medical team in your prayers as we lead up to July 8.

Thank you for all of your love and support over the last year!

Bathing Beauty

First time swimmer - as you can see, the Squirrel takes the pool very seriously

Monday, May 16, 2011

A Mother's Voice - Kim

I'd like to welcome our West Coast contributor, Kim!  Kim is a first time mom to Carter and grew up right here in San Antonio.  She and her family are now residents of Seattle and when our grass is brown and drought-ridden, Kim is still snapping shots of Carter in luscious, green backgrounds.  Makes a girl thirst for some rain!  Kim is one of those people that can go to a restaurant, have something delicious, go home and recreate it.  I do not, will not ever and can not ever have those skills so I appreciate her sharing these new found recipes on her blog for those of us that are domestically challenged.  Thanks for your contribution Kim!

I Always Feel Like Someone is Watching Me…

I know. I’m sorry. That little ditty has been perpetually stuck in my head for at least a year now too. The best part? I think that insurance company stopped running that series of advertisements just a month or two ago. How nice of me to re-introduce that little ear worm, huh?

This might be a silly story for some all of you, but I distinctly remember the night my freshman year in high school when I found out I made cheerleader. One of the women (a past coach whom I never had the opportunity to work with) serving on the panel of judges said “Just remember, you are now a CHS Cheerleader. There will always be someone who is watching you. Every single move you make will be seen.” I’m sure that was a bit of a scare tactic to make sure we didn’t get into the usual high school trouble and subsequently embarrass our squad, coaches, and high school. But it stuck with me. Sometimes (ok, often in my young 20s), I would hide that voice in the deepest depths of my brain and ignore it, but it’s always been there.

Over the last 8 months that voice has gotten a lot louder. It cries. It sings. It screeches. It squeals with glee. It says “mamamamamama.” It babbles as it tries to form its first words. Best of all, it giggles uncontrollably when I kiss it’s cheek. It’s my son Carter Joe.

About a month ago, I wrote a post about setting a good example for my child. Overall, I realized that I’m not perfect (gasp!). Ok, I have always known I’m not perfect, but I started really seeing things I very much wanted to change. I’ve come to notice over the last few weeks that not only is my day-to-day life being watched, but so are my facial expressions and my reactions to everything. Hot coffee makes me wince or say an unsavory word and wave my hand over my mouth? CJ finds a way to mimic it the best he can.

After watching him pick up so many of my facial expressions and hand motions (I’m trying to teach him a few sign language skills and within 5 days he seems to be catching on to a couple), I challenged myself to think about every action I took over one day. First he rejected the fresh mango I pureed for his breakfast. I had JUST tasted it and thought it was a little tart. He made my tart face and proceeded to giggle every time I tried to feed it to him. After the 2nd bite, he acted as if he was going to upchuck the rest of his breakfast. Epic mango fail. Later, it was bath time. He used to LOVE bath time, but we had a bad experience while on vacation. It involved a shower (no tub) with wildly unpredictable temperature changes and the world’s shortest shower and longest top-of-your-lungs-all-of-our-friends-on-vacation-with-us-thought-we-were-torturing-our-baby-scream. Since then, bath time has been a crapshoot. I’ve tried to work myself into a very positive mood about it, but if I show any signs of stress and walter the whale (that’s a toy, not a body part) points his blowhole within 3 degrees of the wrong direction…well, let’s just say bath time promptly ends. Back of the ears clean or not, bath time is o.v.e.r. Some days, if I’m calm enough going into bath time (read: my child actually napped and ate when he was supposed to) walter can direct his spout in any direction and it’s only a minor hiccup.

It’s a bit of a slippery slope to take every move you make to that level of scrutiny, but it’s not that hard to keep in check when you can adopt the concept as a whole. That certainly can be problematic when you are mired in the detail of today’s life. Whether you stay at home or are a full time working mom, it can be difficult to put your mind in the place of a little critter who has been in this world for a mere 196 days. Wow. Writing that out… one hundred ninety six days … This world is scary to this old gal who’s been on the earth forever. I’m blessed with the opportunity to rediscover it with my first born son. Life really couldn’t get better than that. A simple thought such as “196 days” can help put the right expression on my face no matter the circumstances, and I'm hopeful he'll copy it.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

A Lesson in Garage Sales

I love my husband.  But before this morning, "garage sales skills" was not one of his strong suits.  Today was a learning lesson for him and as an observer, I must say it, was quite entertaining.

Okay, rewind.  Our neighborhood has a neighborhood wide garage sale twice a year - one in the spring and one in the fall.  This is the only time you are permitted to place your items on your front drive for people to peruse.  Since Jared and I married, I have been a Junior League member so all of our things we've needed to get rid of are generally part of my quota donation as a membership requirement or we've gotten lazy and just dropped them at the Goodwill Donation stop near our house in Atlanta.  This fall, we missed the neighborhood garage sale during Harps stay in the hospital.  Since then, anything that we've come across that needs getting rid of was stacked in the garage and attic in my "garage sale pile".  Jared would roll his eyes each time the pile grew and an item was added and I would hear, "Bubs, this is ridiculous.  No one is going to buy that/No one is going to come to the garage sale/Can't we just throw that away?/This pile is getting in my way."  I held my ground and promised to take any unsold items immediately away but, by God, we were having a garage sale.  In December, I handpicked for my JL Donation but careful so that we would have plenty for a successful garage sale come spring. 

The neighborhood news letter came out alerting us to the upcoming sale and Jared, again, went on and on about how no one would be in our neighborhood for the garage sales.  On Tuesday, signs were posted outside of our neighborhood gates on a busy street announcing the sale.  Then, the neighborhood directly across from us announced their neighborhood sale on the same day.   Do you see where this is going???

Friday night, I tagged our items and arranged them in the garage so they could easily be moved outside to the driveway the next morning.  All electronics would line the driveway, household items would be displayed on our tables, boxes would be under the tables with cds, games and other entertainment items.  All clothes would be hung on hangers on the garage door and shoes would be placed underneath this to clearly mark off our garage  from the sales area.  The garage would stay off limits so we wouldn't have to move our lawn equipment, baby strollers, pool equipment, etc to a hiding spot.  The sale officially started at 9am but my plan was to be out by 8am.  My parents had tables we could borrow for display.  I asked Jar to run grab them after the Squirrel went down on Friday night but he said he could grab them in the morning.  At 7:30am, the GSR (Garage Sale Rookie) made a trip to my parents' house to pick up the tables.  This trip took place about 30 minutes later than I would have liked but I'd put up with enough eye rolling, complaining and whining so whatever - somebody had to pick up the tables. 

At 7:58am, as I'm finishing feeding the Squirrel her breakfast, GSR comes bursting through the doors in a panic!  "THEY'RE HERE, THEY'RE HERE!!!! WE'RE MISSING IT!  WE HAVE GOT TO GET STARTED IMMEDIATELY!!!"  So I tell GSR to finish getting the girl dressed, I'd get it set up and when he was done, he could come help.  The response?

GSR: "No, I've got it." 

Me:  "Seriously???  Its ok GSR.  I've done a million garage sales.  I'll do it." 

GSR:  "NO (hand thrust forward to emphasize the NO), I'M going to do it!"

GSR then proceeds to run in and out of the garage door about 5 times in a serious tizzy.  I finish the Squirrel's food and get her dressed, throw on my shoes, strap the Squirrel in the Baby Bjorn and walk outside to join my new sales partner in our weekend yard shop.  Jared is surrounded by 30 people with the whites of his eyes showing and looking like a baby bunny realizing its trapped in the crosshairs of a bazooka.  He has set up our two tables, thrown tvs, pictures, gaming systems, decorative items, etc, on the tables and then chunked five large bags of clothes and shoes on top of everything on the tables.  People are digging through the tables, leaving items all over the floor, thrusting money in his face and rummaging around through our garage in our things that clearly aren't for sale.  When I saw them pushing my Bob Stroller around to test it out, I nearly had a heart attack.  Um, do you realize I just paid a few hundred dollars for that thing????  It is not for sale and no, you can't convince me to sell it for $20!

I turn to GSR and (probably not my smartest move) say "What the heck is going on??? What happened to the system?  Why is all of this just piled up?"  Wow, bad idea. 

So we take a couple of minutes, regroup and get things as organized as we can while the garage sale scavengers continue picking through our things.  I calmly direct (ok, maybe frantically shout) a few directions and soon, we're looking a little more business-like.  I get into the thrill of the sale and notice GSR is missing.  A few minutes later, my husband emerges from the house with a very sweaty buyer following him.  GSR lets me know that the person needed a tv and he wanted to show them the guest room tv.  Um, when did we decide to sell that tv and did you really just take that random stranger through our house??? Again, I love my husband but he is WAY too trustworthy. 

After about an hour, 200 shoppers and a nice amount of loot in hand, Jared starts seeing the beauty in a garage sale and starts asking what else in the house we can sell.  He starts strategizing on how we could have been more effective, what the "hot ticket" items are that we need to have in the future and how we should have been out and set up by 7am to be the most effective.  Well, excuse me GSE (Garage Sale Expert).  Looks like we have a convert, don't we?
Toward the end with our dwindled down goods on display