Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year

2010 has been a wonderful year. Of course the best part of 2010 was the birth of Jacob and all the joy he has brought us. I am also thrilled that we added a nephew Max and niece Olivia to our extended family.

I am very sad to say good bye to 2010 but am excited to see what 2011 will bring. I know that we will have a lot of milestones coming and memories to make. Jacob will turn 1 and Andrew will turn 30 on 11.11.11. I have been charged with planning a big BLOW OUT b-day bash for him so save the date and make your travel arrangements. :)

Tonight Andrew and I decided to stay home with Jacob to ring in the new year. I have to say it is the best new years eve I have ever had. Andrew made us lobster tail and crab legs. The meal was AMAZING! I think tonight we started a new New Years Eve tradition.

I hope everyone has a wonderful New Year and Happy 2011!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Traditions

As Christmas arrives tomorrow I started thinking about the traditions that we will start with Jacob. Over the past few years holiday traditions were not that important to me but since I've had Jacob they have become a little more important.

Andrew and I have decided that we would really like Jacob to be in his home for Christmas and open his presents here. Andrew was always at his home on Christmas morning and so was I. I have very fond memories of waiting patiently on the stairs or outside a closed door until my parents said it was time to see what Santa brought me. I want Jacob to have the same memories of running down the stairs of our house to see his loot. Of course this year he won't be running down the stairs but I do think he will be crawling at lightning speed to get the shiny bows off the presents.

Growing up my family had taco salad Christmas eve, went to church, and then we came home and got to open one present which were always Christmas pajamas. Then we would set out cookies for Santa and read the Twas the Night Before Christmas. Tonight we will go to church and then head over to a friends house to have dinner with her family and a few other friends. Then we will bring Jacob home, set out some cookies for Santa, and read Twas the Night Before Christmas. I know Andrew is a little sad about missing out on the taco salad but there is always next year.

Tomorrow morning we plan to wake up with our alarm clock (Jacob) and have a relaxing morning. We will probably open our gifts and then wait for Andrew's parents to arrive around 10. I can't help but think back to last Christmas morning when Andrew and I opened the envelope that told us we were having a boy. I remember crying and crying because I didn't know how I would raise a boy. All I knew was how to play with dolls and buy dresses. Now I cannot imagine having a little girl. My little boy is so perfect, sweet, and the 2nd love of my life.

When Andrews parents arrive we plan to have brunch with them and open some more gifts. Around 1pm my parents, Aunt Rachel, and Uncle Adam will arrive and we will spend the afternoon visiting and paying with Jacob's new toys. Then around 4pm we will all have Christmas dinner together. I'm sure Jacob will be pooped by the end of the day but it is so nice that everyone is coming to visit him on his first Christmas.

I'm very excited for us to start some new traditions in our house. I hope they are ones that can continue for years to come and provide great memories for Jacob.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Christmas Tree

Yesterday we decided to go and cut a Christmas tree for our living room. Last year we went up to Dillsburg, PA with my parents and cut trees down. The experience was great and a lot of fun. I expected the same thing this year but it was a bit different with an infant and new Christmas tree place.
We showed up somewhere in Carroll County, Maryland at a tree farm with about a million other people. When we got out of the car I thought it would be a good idea to put Jacob in the baby bjorn so it would free up my arms to help Andrew carry the tree. Well....we hadn't put Jacob in the bjorn lately and even though it said it was good up to 29 lbs. we forgot Jacob's belly jiggles like a bowl full of jelly and so the bjorn wouldn't close on the side. So off we went carrying Jacob what felt like a mile to find the perfect Christmas tree. After we found it and Andrew got down in the mud to cut the tree down he realized the saw he borrowed from the tree farm was too dull to cut through the wood. I had to walk (what felt like a mile) back to the car and get his saw. Once back with the saw, Andrew cut the tree down, and then we had to walk the mile back to the check out with Jacob in one arm in the tree in the other. We must have been a site to see. I will say that Jacob was the perfect baby through the entire experience. He didn't cry, played on the ground, tried to eat hay, and didn't mind the freezing cold weather one bit.

Today, Aunt Rachel and Uncle Adam came over to help (watch) us put decorations on the tree and play with Jacob. We had a very nice afternoon with a fire going in the fire place, stockings hung by the chimney with care, and a beautiful lit tree with all our decorations. This year I got Jacob a little tree for his room. When I was little my mom had a little tree for my room and I loved that I had my own little tree so I decided to start the tradition for Jacob. His grandma Birmingham gave him a little train last weekend that I put around the bottom.

Andrew and I are looking forward to a very different Christmas this year. We feel very blessed to have such a beautiful little boy.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

6 Month Stats

Jacob had his 6 month appointment yesterday and he seems to be doing great!

Weight: 20 lbs. 10 oz - 95%

Height: 28.5 in. - 97%

Head: 44 cm - 75%

The pediatrician seemed really pleased with his progress and said he is doing everything he should be. We need to start feeding him more cereal everyday but other than that he is great! He showed off with his reaching, standing, sitting, and rolling over. He even showed her his 2 little teeth coming through on the bottom. She said by his next appointment at 9 months he will probably be pulling up on things. (Watch out mom and dad)

Since his last appointment at 4 months Jacob has started to sit up on his own a little bit, eating solids, reaching for everything, babbling more, passing items from one hand to the other, getting teeth, and scooting a little on the floor.

Jacob has also started swim lessons on Tuesdays nights. He really seems to like being in the pool and splashing around. We put him on his tummy, back, sing songs, and last Tuesday Andrew dunked him twice!

Our little boy is growing up so fast. This morning I put him in his swing and he looked like a little boy, sitting up and watching his daddy put the jogging stroller together. I'm excited for him to hit all his milestones but sad that he is growing up so fast.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The best weekends are those with family!

Over the weekend we went up to PA to visit with Andrew's parents, his sister, brother in law, and our nephew Garrett. Garrett was staying over at Grandma and Grandpa's for the weekend so Jacob got to spend the entire weekend with his cousin. I think he had a blast! Garrett spent so much time with Jacob and was so sweet with him. Grandma got Jacob a barn with animals and a farmer on a tractor so Garrett showed Jacob just what to do with the toy. Garrett also played with all of Jacob's toys, rolled around on the ground, and entertained Jacob with wrestling, jumping all around, and riding his bike. I think Jacob was really wishing he was a little bigger so he could chase after his cousin. I had a wonderful time watching the two of them interact.

As they get older, I'm sure at times, Garrett will probably be annoyed by Jacob tagging along, but I hope they become good friends over the years. I couldn't help but picture the two of them dressed in their camo, heading off to deer camp with their daddies for the first day of hunting season. For the record I never thought I would picture that, but it is a tradition in Andrew's family. I also know how much Andrew loves to be in the woods with his dad, uncles, and cousins and I want Jacob to love that time as much as his father.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

5 Months

My baby is growing up so fast. I cannot believe that today he is 5 months old. I feel like these last 5 months have flown by. Not to long ago I was planting flowers in the backyard when I had to go to bathroom and my water broke. How did my little 8lb 6 oz baby grow into my 18lb/19lb bubba?

Last night I had a very sweet moment with him when we got home from daycare. He was in a really good mood and sitting in his blue seat on the bay window as I was cleaning and preparing his bottles for the next day. I was talking to him and asking him about his day and he just started "singing". I started to "sing" back and we did this for about 15 minutes. I think we were both having a fun time as I would "sing" something and he would "sing" the same thing back. I wish I could have recorded the interaction. Andrew came home and could hear us from outside. He tried to record our session but Jacob became more interested in the camera than singing.

My little boy has changed so much this last month. He is rolling from his back to stomach in a blink of an eye. He still hasn't figured out how to roll from his front to back. He is starting to get up on his knees but isn't scooting too much. He is a lot more interactive and very interested in what is going on around him. He loves to sit at the dinner table with us and I think he would love to eat what we are eating. So far he has had sweet potatoes and peas. I think tomorrow we will have him try avocados. He loves going to daycare and is very social when he is there. His teacher Miss Beth loves him. She always tells me how sweet he is and how he is always in a good mood. He has a few friends in his class that he loves, especially one little girl, Nora. He loves to snuggle and cuddle and I am so thankful for that. I hope he never gets tired of his mommys hugs and kisses.

Over the weekend I had to put all of his 3-6 months clothes away and got out the 6-9 month clothes and washed them. I cannot believe that we have filled up an entire bin of clothes that he has grown out of. Sometimes I wish he would stop growing up and stay my little baby forever but then I remember that there are so many wonderful moments to come.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Daddy is Home....Thank Goodness

For the last two weeks Andrew has been in Montana for training. When he left two Sundays ago I was very nervous and scared but Jacob and I had lots of activities lined up to keep us busy. The first week went very well and we were visited by Grandma Barb, Aunt Rachel, and our friend Leila. Friday we headed home to PA to spend the weekend with my parents and Jacob got sick. The second week by ourselves did not go very well. We were both home sick on Tuesday and Wednesday and Aunt Rachel had to come save us on Monday night, Wednesday night, and Thursday night. Thank goodness for Aunt Rachel!!! Thursday night Aunt Rachel came over to babysit while I went to bell choir and I left counting down the hours until Andrew got home. When I arrived home at 8:30, Rachel had Jacob fed and asleep and I couldn't have loved her anymore. I took Jacob upstairs, put him in his crib, and took a long shower and went to bed. Finally, at 2am, Andrew came home!

We missed daddy during the two weeks he was gone, but we talked to him every night on the phone and sent him picture updates 2 or 3 times a day. Jacob learned some new tricks while he was away. He started sleeping on his side, sucking his right thumb, staying on his stomach more, is sticking out his tounge,and playing in the jumperoo. Andrew was so happy to see Jacob on Friday morning and they have been inseparable ever since. I think Jacob is very glad to have his best friend back.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Orange Cap

Today Jacob and I went to get the mail and we got a gift from my grandmother. I had no clue what it was but when I opened it up it was 2 knit caps for winter! She knit Andrew one 2 years ago for hunting season and when Jacob was born we asked her to knit one for Jacob. To my surprise I got a matching cap to go with the boys.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Yummy....Rice Cereal

Jacob started rice cereal on Sunday. We mixed it with breast milk the first time and it did not go very well. He got pretty pissed that it tasted like breast milk but was not in a bottle. Tonight we mixed it with formula and it went much better. He really seemed to enjoy it and even started making some pretty funny noises as he ate. We think he is definitely going to be a linebacker when he grows up.

If he continues to do well with the rice cereal over the next few weeks he will be able to start some fruits and vegetables. I spent Sunday evening making some butternut squash and sweet potato baby food for him. I have peas, green beans, and apple sauce to make on Friday or Saturday. I think he is really going to love trying new foods.

Friday, September 3, 2010

4 Month Appointment

Today Jacob had his 4 month appointment and it was very exciting. He will now be able to start rice cereal and baby food! I can't believe how quickly he has grown up.

Weight: 17 lbs 5 oz.- 90th percentile

Height: 26 1/2 inches long- 90th percentile

Head Circumference: 42 1/2 cm.- 90th percentile

Last Saturday at dinner with Andrew's family everyone made a guess as to how much he would weigh and Uncle Jason is the big winner.

Here were the guesses:

Mike- 15lbs. 12 oz.
Garrett- 16 lbs. 8oz.
Barb- 17lbs. 1oz.
Kristi- 17lbs. 2 oz.
Jason- 17lbs. 5 oz.
Sally- 17 lbs. 8 oz.
Andrew- 18lbs.

Over the past two months since Jacob's last appointment he has started to laugh out loud, put his hands together and hold things, hold himself up with is arms when on his tummy, and is now officially rolling over from back to tummy! His hernia is looking a lot better and we hope he will be able to pull it all the way in as he starts using his stomach muscles more.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Milking Mom on the Go

Today was a first for me. Jacob had a head specialist appointment today at 1pm downtown. We were supposed to show up at 12:30 so I left work at 11:30 to pick up Jacob and Andrew. As you know, from my last post, I have been having a hard time producing enough milk so it is very important that I pump on schedule as much as possible. I usually pump during the work day at 9, 12, and 3. Picking up Jacob and Andrew at 11:45 and traveling downtown was cutting into my pumping time so what does any working mom do you ask?!?! She pumps in the car on the way downtown of course. YES people, I had to pump in the car as people flew by and we flew downtown to the appointment. Never ever in my life did I think I would be milking myself in a car. Andrew looked over a few times and never said a word because, honestly, I don't think he knew what to say. After all was said and done....3 oz! I really don't think I'll be doing a pumping on the run session again for all of 3 oz.

Jacob's appointment today went very well. He has a mild tightness of his right neck muscle that we are going to get some physical therapy for. He also has a slight case of asymmetry of his head but the doctor thinks with a little more time on his tummy and upright in a bumbo seat he should be back to normal in about 3 months. We will go back in 3 months to visit the doctor and physical therapist for them to evaluate his progress. I felt great after the appointment and much better about Jacob's head.

By the way...for those of you betting on his weight, today he weighed 17lbs. 6 oz.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Milk Wars

Andrew helped me come up with the title of this blog posting last night. I have been at battle with my boobs and daycare for a while now. Since the first week of daycare, the teachers in Jacob's class have pretty much made me feel like a terrible mother and like I am starving my child. It seems like everyday I go in to pick him up they are telling me he either needs more milk, a different size nipple on the bottles, or he is crying after every feeding. In the last 3 weeks his bottles have gone from 4 oz, to 5oz, and now to 6 oz. Now, you have all seen pictures of this chubby child and know that he cannot be starving by any means! I swear every time I give Jacob a bath he has a new roll on his thighs that I have to clean. :) I really do not want to give Jacob formula because I set a goal to breastfeed/pump for 1 year.

Well, Friday was the last straw. I went into daycare on Friday afternoon and the Director pretty much gave me a tounge lashing for not leaving enough milk for Jacob. I got home and was really upset thinking that I was this terrible mother and I knew that I could not pump 24 oz. worth of milk to leave for him everyday. I quickly got on the phone with the lactation consultant at the hospital and she said pump for 10 minutes after Jacob eats over the weekend to try and produce more milk. I thought I am really going to feel like a cow. Andrew happily reminded me that cows only get milked two times a day and I would now be getting milked at least 8. (Thank you Andrew) Well, I survived the weekend and got enough milk to send 4-6oz. bottles with Jacob on Monday morning. Unfortunately, I have not started producing more milk. I actually think I am producing less.

My sister Carrie sent me an article today that made me feel much better about the situation. You just do what you can and don't stress. The important thing is that you enjoy the time you have with your baby- and it doesn't have to be through breastfeeding.

And because no blog posting is complete without pictures.......

Sunday, August 22, 2010

JMT Picnic

Last weekend we went to the annual JMT picnic. The last few years we have gone there has never been a theme but this year it was a Hawaiian one. On Friday I went out to the consignment shops and looked for a bargain on a little Hawaiian shirt for Jacob. I found a great little outfit and it was a hit at the picnic. Isn't he soooo cute!

Jacob has had a pretty good week at daycare this week. He got his first daycare cold on Sunday and has had it the whole week but he seems to be recovering. I think Andrew and I had the cold worse than Jacob did.

Monday, August 16, 2010

New Sounds

I have really enjoyed Jacob finding his voice and love when he "talks" to us. Over the weekend, Andrew and I noticed he is making more and more new sounds. I think he is picking up on some new "words" at daycare from his friends. He seems to really be adjusting well to daycare and today I found him reading a book when I went to pick him up :). I wish I would have had a camera on me to capture the moment. He is very close to rolling over and I hope to capture it on video soon.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Daddy and his Baby Boy

Lately I have noticed how much Jacob loves his daddy. Of course, I always knew he loved Andrew but it is so neat to see his face light up when he sees him and how he "talks" to Andrew when Andrew talks to him. I was very sad on Monday morning when I had to walk out the door and head back to work but Andrew gave me a wonderful picture to keep in my head all day. Monday morning Andrew put Jacob in his blue seat on the bay window and was singing Old McDonald to him as I left. At work all day I was picturing Jacob looking at Andrew smiling while he sang him a song. The two of them have really become great buddies over the last 3 months.

Hunting season is not far off and I think Andrew is a little sad that Jacob still has a lot of growing to do before he is ready to go out in the woods with his daddy. I know Andrew has very fond memories of going out in the woods with his dad when he was little and even now that he is grown. Even though Andrew can't take Jacob out hunting this year doesn't mean they still can't dress alike for the season. Last year at Christmas Andrew and I went up to Cabela's. While we were there and Jacob was busy growing in my belly we decided to purchase a little camo onesie for him to wear during the hunting season. We didn't plan on Jacob being so huge so now he is wearing the onesie a little earlier than expected but he looks darn cute in the outfit! Isn't the butt flap hilarious? I think we will need to purchase him a new little camo outfit to wear around Thanksgiving when all the guys head off to deer camp to the start of hunting season.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Day Two

When I went to pick Jacob up yesterday they told me he was one of the best babies they have ever had (I'm sure they tell every mother that). He ate all his bottles, took 4 naps, went in their swings (he hates our swing), had tummy time, back time, and didn't seem to care that I was gone at all. After coming home last night he took a little cat nap after eating and then fell asleep at 8:30 last night and didn't wake up until 7:30 this morning. I think daycare wore him out.

This morning we woke up and headed over to daycare after packing his lunch box with milk. I put him down in the middle of the room and he started to smile and coo at the little girl that was screaming yesterday. He didn't seem to care that he was back and the teachers just loved all over him. I left today feeling much better and am glad that we made the decision to send him where we did.

Jacob with his lunch box full of milk and ready to head off to daycare.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Daycare- who needs it.....oh yea, we do.

Today was D day at the Birm household. I never thought this day would come when I would have to take Jacob to daycare and head back to work but it is here. Last night I was pretty beside myself knowing I would have to take him to daycare this morning and I didn't really want to close my eyes and go to bed because I was hoping if I didn't sleep today wouldn't come but of course I knew that wouldn't happen. So I went to sleep, woke up this morning, fed Jacob, and then we headed to daycare around 8:15. I got all his stuff out, set up his cubby and crib, and then kissed him good-bye. He looked a little terrified because when I left there was a little girl in an exisaucer screaming in delight at the toys she was playing with but I knew he was in good hands. I quickly headed to the door before I completely broke down and decided I would take him home instead of leaving him there. I cried for a few minutes in the parking lot and then decided that I would go to Starbucks, get a coffee, and read my book because I didn't want to go home and see his blue seat on the bay window empty. After I was done at Starbucks I still didn't want to go home so I did some retail therapy at the mall. I spent about 2 hours walking, shopping, and missing my baby. After spending a little too much money I headed home to the empty house. Of course the minute I walked in and saw his empty seat I lost it again but then I called my mom and she made me feel better. I am really hoping as the days go by it will get a little easier to be away from him. I head back to work full time next week and I think they will be keeping me pretty busy so I won't have much time to miss my little man but I think I will still count down the hours in the day until I can see him again.

I am very thankful to my work for allowing me to be able to spend so much time with Jacob before he had to start daycare. I know some mothers have to go back 6 or 8 weeks after having their little ones and I was granted extra time which was so nice.

Friday, July 30, 2010

The Beach

Sunday through Wednesday Andrew and I stayed in Rehoboth Beach with Jacob. Adam's parents let us barrow their place for a few days so we could have some relaxing family time before Jacob starts daycare and I have to head back to work. We had a wonderful time together and Jacob didn't seem to be phased at all in a new place and new daily routine. He slept on walks, slept when we went out to eat, and slept pretty much the entire time.(Now if I could only get him to do that when we are at home) We took him to the beach on Monday night and the pool on Tuesday afternoon. Wednesday, on our way home, we stopped at the University of Delaware to have lunch and show him where his mommy and daddy met. We took him for a little walk on campus and he stretched out on a blanket on the mall. We had a great time together and great vacation.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Does it get any better than this......

Over the past few days Jacob and I have been at war when it comes to napping. He wants to nap on me and be held and of course I want him to nap in his crib so I can accomplish some things around the house. I usually get him to fall asleep on me in his bjorn and then try to sneak him into his crib but the little sucker is to smart and wakes up about 5 minutes later. I will try to calm him down and try to get him back to sleep in his crib but he will have nothing of it and then he ends up back in the bjorn to sleep. I have been getting pretty frustrated with him but then he flashes his smile at me and my heart melts and I forgive him.

I finally got a picture of that smile......

Monday, July 19, 2010

Brand New (Used) Car

A 2006 Volvo XC70

That's right.....I finally got a new car! Andrew and I have been looking over the last few weeks for a new and safer car for me to drive. We started looking at new SUV's and then decided they were just not something we wanted to afford right now. We know they are giving great deals and hard to pass up but it's easy for me to pass up a $400/$450 car payment each month considering we haven't had a car payment for about a year and a half now. The car has everything I want with leather & heated seats, tinted windows, sunroof, bluetooth, AWD, GET UP AND GO ( I never really had that in the Camry), and a nice big back to throw the stroller and groceries in. Jacob seems to really like it too. My little sister asked if I was sad to see the Camry go and I said nope because this car is FANTASTIC! I may look like a real soccer mom in it but that's okay with me.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

2 Months

On Tuesday we had our 2 month check up and I think we have a future linebacker on our hands. Look at these stats:

Weight: 13 lbs. 10 oz!!!! 95%

Height: 24 inches 90%

Head Circumference: 40 cm 85%

Ohhh our poor grocery bill when he hits high school. I think Costco and Sam's Club probably make a killing off of moms with big boys.

I think one of the best things that has happened to us this month is Jacob sleeping anywhere from 6 to 8 hours during the night. He doesn't usually sleep much during the day but I am enjoying the long stretches of sleep at night. He is also starting to smile and make noises more and more. Last night he did two little squeals and I loved it!

Don't worry about his sticking out belly button. He has an umbilical hernia and the doctor said that he will probably have to have it operated on when he is around 1 to pull it back in to his belly. It doesn't hurt him right now and makes him extra special :)

Monday, July 5, 2010

Happy 4th

We had a wonderful 4th yesterday. We spent the day with Andrew's family and had a great time visiting. We got to Andrew's parents around 11am and headed down to the Boiling Springs Children's Lake to watch the Anything Floats event. Anything Floats is where people make rafts/boats out of different materials around their house/local improvement store and put it in the water and race each other. There are 2 men, 4 men, 6 men, and 10 men events. The rafts were pretty funny and creative. We had a wonderful time looking at all of the different floats and watching them race eachother. Jacob ended up sleeping through the entire event but that is fine with me.

After Anything Floats we went back to Andrew's parents and had a wonderful afternoon hanging out with family, eating delicious food, and catching up on the events that have happened over the last few weeks. I have to say I was a little sad because we are ususally at the beach this week with Andrew's parents, sister, brother in law, and nephew watching fireworks and playing baseball in the back of the condo but I'm really glad that I didn't have the stress of taking Jacob to the beach this year. Andrew's parents did book a house in OBX next year over the 4th so we all talked about how different the vacation will be next year with 3 little ones in the house. (We also talked about hiring a nanny/manny to take with us so if anyone knows someone let me know :)) It is amazing how much we have grown in the last few years. The first time I went on vacation with Andrew's sister and brother in law we weren't even married yet and Kristi had just found out she was pregnant with Garrett.

Here are some pics from yesterday:

Friday, July 2, 2010

Poor Brasil

Today we went over to the day care where Jacob will be going in August. We met his teachers, got the list of a million things they need, and let Jacob meet his friends. There are 5 boys and 1 girl in the class and the teachers were very nice. I only got upset once while I was there which I feel is probably pretty normal. I hate to see what I will be like when I actually have to drop him off the first day. I think I need to plan a day of shopping, manicure & pedicure, and a few other things to keep my mind off of my baby being away from me.

After we were done at day care we decided to go downtown and watch the Brasil vs. Netherlands game with Uncle Gui. When we arrived there were about 10 minutes left in the game and Brasil was losing. I dressed Jacob in his Brasil shirt that Gui got him and he got a lot of ohhhs and ahhhs. In the end Brasil lost and Gui was not in a very good mood. We stayed, had lunch, and tried to cheer up poor Uncle Gui. I think by the end of lunch he was feeling a little better. It was our first time out with Jacob in a restaurant/bar and he was very good. He basically slept the entire time except for the 15 minutes it took him to have a bottle and burp.

Tomorrow we head up to PA to visit with all of the grandparents and for me to test drive some cars! We'll see if anything actually comes of these test drives. (I'm not getting my hopes up)