Monday, November 27, 2006
Of course, that's the root of my quandaray, really. In order to be able to afford homeschooling (that is, me quitting my job and having the family rely on one income), I need to move away from my parents. There's no way we could afford it out here in Silicon Valley.
That's probably the number one reason we haven't moved yet. I can't imagine being away from my parents, who are two of my absolute best friends. And great parents. And excellent drop-of-the-hat babysitters. I love to watch my mom play with my kids. I can't imagine interfering with that wonderful relationship. Or my relationship with them. And, now that they are getting older, I just want to be there to support them if they ever ever ever need it at all.
But staying here for them means sending the kids to public school. In California. Gah. If I want them to see a half decent school, it means moving to ultra yuppieville. Not only do I not want to pay that kind of money on a house (renting, that is, I could never afford a $2 million home), I don't really want to live around a lot of the people who live there. Not to mention, it means giving up on owning a house.
Life has too many difficult decisions. All I know is I can't stay at my present job. I won't really go into details (I have no desire to Dooce myself!), but I really just don't like it, despite the excellent pay, benefits, and perks it has. The project is just too demoralizing.
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
When mom's have babies, they're told their babies know their own mommy's smell. Let's be honest, this "smell" is really a mommy "stench" because Mommy is too tired to take a shower some days.I was just thinking about this yesterday. My kids just started daycare/preschool in preparation for me going back to work on Friday. (And yes, it's tearing me up inside and I hate this. Ugh. It doesn't help that my job isn't on my "fun" list right now either... but I'm not going to say anything else about that and inadvertantly dooce myself.)
One of the sort of silly things that actually really bugs me so much about an infant in daycare is how when I pick my baby up at the end of the day, she (and before same with my son) doesn't smell right. She smells like some other woman, or her dryer sheets or something. It really stabs me deep in my heart and makes me want to cry right on the spot. I can hardly wait to get home and give her a bath or change her clothes or just et her all stinky with ME smell.
I don't know if it's a subconscious hormonal animal reaction, or if it's because just knowing she smells like someone else reminds me that someone else spent the day holding her, and rocking her, and feeding her, and it wasn't me. Someone else got to see her smiles, hear her coos, and be the center of her world. And that kills me.
But I've survived this before. My son started daycare even younger than she did, and he's still fiercely addicted to me. I'm not really worried that she's going to bond with someone else more than me. I just ache to be with her. It just feel horrible to be apart, and when she smells wrong it 's just being smacked in the face even harder with a constant reminder that I wasn't there.
Friday, October 13, 2006
Personally, I just can't get enough of the word "dolt". It's short, to-the-point, and actually sounds like an insult.
I was always rather fond of "ugful", but I'm not sure anyone ever used that except for Shakespeare.
Sunday, October 08, 2006
The living room and den are passably clean. The other rooms are doing okay. The dishes get done every night. I've been making dinner most nights -- sometimes it's more impressive than others. ;) I've been making cookies with my son, and playing games with him. I read to him at night almost every night (sometimes the baby chooses bedtime to want to nurse, so I end up missing reading those nights, but my husband gets reading duty that night). We have been going places, like the Children's museum. We even did some simple science projects yesterday -- paper chromatography and a study of surface tension. Not that he had any idea what he was learning, but he had fun, and he'll remember the projects, at least.
For paper chromatography, all you need is markers, coffee filters, and a little bowl of water. Pick an interesting marker color, and put a dot about an inch from the bottom of the coffee filter. Then put the filter in the water, making sure the marker dot doesn't go under water. Hold it in the water, and watch the water slowly creep up the filter. The marker will travel up the paper with the water but (and this is key!) different pigment colors will travel at different rates. This allows the water the separate the marker ink into it's constituent inks. For example if you test brown, it generally splits into cyan, yellow, and red (or magenta). You'll see that some markers colors use the exact same pigments, just in different ratios. (Here's a discussion, with images. I recommend a dot of marker, not a line. You'll get better separation. ;) )
For surface tension, all you need is pepper, dish soap, and water. Grab a bowl (or a tupperware container, whatever!) and put about an inch of water in the bottom. Sprinkle pepper on top (if you have a pepper grinder, it gives the kids something to do while you do the dishes... :D Plus, if your kids like pepper grinders like mine does, he's thrilled he gets to use it for something, and might spend less time putting pepper all over his dinner, resulting in dinner that doesn't get eaten...). The pepper will distribute itself evenly over the top of the water. Then, use a finger or a dropper or something to drip one drop of soapy water into the middle of the dish. Plop! All the pepper suddenly flies to the edges of the water! (Here's a good discussion of surface tension. Or do a google search!)
And finally, yesterday I made some chicken stock. Sort of. See, I had the husband go to the store last week, and asked him to buy "chicken parts". I don't think I said what they were for, and I probably should have been more specific... See, bought boneless chicken thighs. Did I look at the package? Nope. I saw thighs and decided to make some soup. I'm having allergies or a cold or something, and figure having some chicken stock around would be nice. So I simmered the chicken thighs for an hour or whatever before I took them out to get the meat off the bones. I went though half a dozen thighs before I realized there were no bones! Argh! I am pretty surprised though. I do have a broth that tastes like chicken, and after a night in the fridge it's obvious it has at least some gelatin in it (the stuff that makes chicken broth act like jello when it's cold -- but the gelatin mostly lives inside chicken bones, I thought!), despite the complete lack of bones. The broth is a really odd yellow color though. You could mistake the tub of it for lemon jello... until you eat it!
But that's where I am right now. I don't know if it's post-partum hormones... or lack of sleep (lack of sleep is a very strong depression trigger for me), or just the realization that I'm going to have to send my two babies back to daycare. Or all three. Or even more.
I'm sort of in a horrible predicament though, for someone as picky as me and for someone who plans as much as me. When I became pregnant, my husband wasn't working and was home with our son. So I didn't look for a daycare for the baby or a preschool for my son. Suddenly, a mere week or two before the baby was born, my husband got a job offer that he just couldn't refuse. (And I wouldn't want him to -- he really needed to get back to work. While staying home with our son was great, it isn't something he wants to do permenently...!)
The problem is, he got a job offer when I was super pregnant, miserable, and incapable of thinking straight. Then the baby was born, and let's just say that's not a good idea to calmly discuss ways to part mommy from infant. I, um, basically refused to talk about daycare for a few weeks, as if ignoring it would make it go away. I already knew that 6 weeks was not long enough to find a decent daycare. The good ones have 6 month waiting lists. Luckily, I realized that with my husband now working, we could afford for me to take longer than the standard 6 weeks leave. So I submitted paperwork for 6 more weeks.
This entire time, I've been mentally beating myself up for not putting them on daycare waiting lists "just in case". Which is crazy -- the daycare my son went to requires $100 to get on the wait list, per kid. Who has a spare $200 laying around "just in case" when there's onle one income?! But hey, tha'ts depression. Crazy thinking that seems logical, all just to make you feel worse about yourself. But I feel like I've let everyone down. I didn't plan well enough, and now they'll be going to who-knows-what daycare. I'm not happy with the idea of placing my kids at whatever place is unpopular enough to have a short wait list, you know?
I was watching a science program on TV last night. I think it was Nova. And there was a segment on a guy who isn't just an accomplished writer, but also an accomplished scientist. And they were talking about how most people think those are two poles on some sort of linear scale -- the artist and the scientist. And in fact, they really have so much in common. And they discussed with him (and other writers and scientists) how hard it is because with both disciplines, you get engulfed by your work. It has to be your passion. Or, as they said, you don't become a writer or a scientist just because you want to, you become one because you can't NOT be one. It calls you. And while you are engaged in a book or an interesting problem, you aren't a very fun person to be around. You are obsessed. You totally throw yourself into the problem, and everything else has to wait. And they're completely and totally right.
So I started crying my eyes out watching it.
I miss science. I miss it so much. I want to grab a problem and throw myself into it and discover some neat new science thing. Or just read articles until I understand the world better. But I cannot. When I was in grad school, I saw that being a good scientist and being a good wife and mother is pretty much impossible. At least for me. Maybe some people can pull it off. Maybe they have more energy, or a less demanding family, or something. But I can't do it.
I think only other moms understand the level of sacrifice that it takes to have kids.
It's a sacrifice that I will never regret. My kids and my husband are more important to me than anything. They are more important than me and my needs. But that didn't keep me from wondering, and wishing, and crying. Just for a moment, to mourn the "what could have beens". But that just feeds the depression monster even more.
Well, my mom stayed home with us for 10 years. And then she went back to science, and she's done pretty well in her career after all, I suppose.
But I hate having to go to work and having it be something I don't care about. It's pretty much the worst of both worlds isn't it? I spend all day long away form my kids, wasting energy on something I don't even care about, and I don't have the energy or time to do what I want to at home. And I don't have the energy or drive to really do my best at work, since I really just don't care. Don't ge tme wrong -- I do my best at work, and I gve them my best. But your best is always better when you're inspired, and have that drive you get from passion.
Monday, September 18, 2006
"The techniques sought by the CIA are: induced hypothermia; forcing suspects to stand for prolonged periods; sleep deprivation; a technique called "the attention grab" where a suspect's shirt is forcefully seized; the "attention slap" or open hand slapping that hurts but does not lead to physical damage; the "belly slap"; and sound and light manipulation."
I mean, seriously, my kids subject me to 6 of the 7 on a semi-daily basis. They have never, however, induced hypothermia. They're more likely to make you sweat to death. On top of those other 6 techniques, they do other fun things. I think we'd get a lot more information out of the terrorists if we made them nurse a teething baby. We could hold a tube of lanolin just out of reach!
(Nursing is going pretty well, but she gets a little too, uh, enthusiastic. Like her brother was...)
Friday, September 08, 2006
I've had it pointed out to me that I, uh, sorta forgot to mention that I
had a baby!
She was born on August 4th, after a relatively easy labor. Thank
goodness... Her brother was not an easy birth, and the recovery was
awful. (With him, my husband had to stay home for 4 weeks just to take
care of us!)
She is a happy pretty pink pudgy little piggy. She makes the cutest
little grunting noises and already sometimes lets me sleep 5 hours
straight at night. (Her brother had colic.... So I'm shocked and pleased
that I sometimes get sleep, instead of a baby screaming from midnight
until 3 am...!)
By 2 weeks after she was born, she was already a pound over her birth
weight! She's a very good eater... Or I have really powerful milk, or
Now, if only I could get the house cleaned up before I have to go back
to work. (*sigh*)
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
I have been recovering pretty quickly though, which is great! I had a very slow, long, horrible recovery with my son, so I was expecting this all to take longer. Happily, I'm already doing a lot of chores and starting to declutter again. I don't know when the place was last vacuumed, though. :( I have a ton of catching up to do.
Of course, today I feel pretty horrible. I don't know if it's allergies or what. My abdominal muscles are still incredibly weak (thehy were stretched really thin!) so I usually have a sore back, and I have to wear an abdominal binder or I feel like my guts are going to fall out. Some days they still feel like that anyway!
So, right now, the goal is to keep up on the daily tasks like the dishes, laundry, etc.. and start decluttering the den. I really need to get my son's toys all cleaned up, because right now they are all over everything in every room, and he can never find anything he's looking for! I'm hoping to bo some up that he isn't using, and put some others up on shelves so that there's some actual floor space available. Then I start migrating to the other rooms to fix them. I know I'm supposed to go to a new room each week, bt without hte den cleaned up, I just don't see how I can clean up any other room!
Yesterday I got some shelves out of hte garage and cleaned them up and started putting the fisher price little people toys on them. Just with a little cleaning like that (and getting dh to move some boes out..!) it's already a lot better. I just wish I felt better and oculd run in and do it all in one day. I've been living in mess and dirt too long, and I'm worried about the fact that we haven't vacuumed or dusted enough, in a house with lead paint! Ugh... I hate this place.
Monday, June 05, 2006
Yes indeedly, just about 6 hours after my May Update post, I found myself at the hospital in labor & delivery being checked for pre-term labor! Everything's okay -- it's not pre-term labor, just an awful huge honking pile of unpleasant, yet non-productive, contractions. The doctor put me on bed rest for a week. Now, it's nice to get to have an unexpected vacation from work.... but the house just fell apart! My regular OB says bed rest isn't shown to prevent pre-term labor, but (on the other hand) when I stand up, I'm dizzy, short of breath, and my contractions worsen. So I'm still on self-imposed bed rest. With minor exceptions (I let myself do a load of laundry every day. I'm not even folding it! But at least everyone will have clean, though wrinkly, underwear).
My dad's coming over to visit later. I'm trying not to freak out over the dirty dishes in the sink, and the mess everywhere. I think I will bother to go take a shower and put on some pants, though. ;)
DH fed us three meals a day, kept The Boy in clean diapers, and went to the grocery store. The Boy cleaned up the toys on the floor of the living room each night. But most of the other chores did not, in any way, get done. It's hard to watch the house fall apart like that, but there's nothing I can do about it.
Oh well. A little set back. It's still not as bad as it was 5 months ago, and it will get better again. Baby steps.
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
TemperanceDoing very well here, I'd say. I'm pregnant, so my caffeine habit is at a minimum (I drink one cup of coffee a day), I drink half a glass of wine maybe every couple of weeks. I don't generally over-eat because it just feels too uncomfortable with my already huge stomach. I've been eating low carb, trying to avoid another diagnosis of gestational diabetes (and I did it! No GD this time!). I cook dinner almost every night, and it tends to be something tasty and pretty healthy. I'm having a lot more salads, too.
SilenceI'd say I'm about the same here. I mean, I don't really have time for much "trifling conversation" but I don't think I've done anything in particular to weed it out.
OrderI'd say this is right up FlyLady's alley! I'm working on finding a place for everything (even if that place is the trash or goodwill, or whatever!) and finding a time to do all the important things I have to do. Those times might not be specific hours and minutes, but certain parts of the day. Very FlyLady, and I'm making a lot of progress here.
ResolutionI'd say I'm also improving here. Instead of making lists that I never follow, and then get guilty about not following it, I do more of the things I resolve to do more often. Still, like all other things, there is room for improvement.
FrugalityWe are certainly more frugal in one very big way -- grocery store shopping! Fewer trips, less wasted food, less eating out. I think DH has cut down on some of his spending, but we could certainly work more here. But I do notice the grocery bill difference for sure!
IndustryI'd say this is definitely improved. I do spend more time working and less time resting. However, some people might say that isn't necessarily a good thing in a 29-week-pregnant lady. ;) I really do need to improve in this, though I have improved some. I do still spend a little too much time "waking up" in the morning. Heck, right now I should be getting work done and instead I'm journaling.
SincerityOkay, probably not doing so hot here. I'm pregnant. Things just spill out.
JusticeProbably about the same as before. I don't think I have much of a problem with this.
ModerationEh, once again -- I'm pregnant. Not an excuse, but it isn't something I've been able to manage to curtail. I do harbor resentment, and I am allowing things to get to me.
TranquilityAs far as my son is concerned, I think I'm mostly better at this, though when I'm in a mood, I'm certainly not that great. My patience sometimes flies out the window. With dh and at work, I'm probably far worse. It's been hard, and I know I'm letting to beat me up inside.
Chastity...still none of your business. ;)
HumilityOh lord, it's hard to be humble.... and I'm not.
Yes, I know, I need to update more often... I just don't seem to have the time!
Lately I've been really bogged down by the fact that I feel like no one helps me. Dh has noticed the work I've been doing, and gives me a really sincere thank you from time to time. Of course, that's nice and it feels good! But working full time and being 29 weeks pregnant, I'd like it a whole lot more if he would pitch in! Or, at the very least, not criticize our 3 year old son when he tries to help me. I swear! :P I know he's trying to be helpful, but I just want out son to not be traumatized by helping mommy clean.
Anyway, I'm doing pretty well keeping up with daily things. I just can't seem to find time to clear hotspots or declutter, which gets a little frustrating and tempts me into thinking I haven't gotten anything done. But hey! When I got up this morning, the dishes were done, the sink was clean, the living room floor was picked up, I could find the tv remotes!, and the dining room table was mostly clear (one end is a hotspot) and clean. It was so nice to be able to sit down and eat without washing dishes or being disgusted. Oh, plus there were plenty of clean clothes (I still need to work on laying the out, but at least they're all clean, folded, and mostly put away!)
I've come so far! I hope ill be able to get some more decluttering done before the baby is here.
Oh! And I go grocery shopping only once a week (plus dh goes to costco once a week for meat, cheese, and bread) and make dinner almost every night! :) sure saves time and money, and its tastier and healthier too!
I'd say I'm doing pretty darn good. :) So, it's not perfect. No one's perfect. I'm getting better, and I'm doing pretty well. And that's good enough for now.
Thursday, May 04, 2006
Anyway, I've been trying to slow down and do baby steps. I'm really not good at that. I find it too frustrating in the beginning, because you know, we're alreayd at this point because things are so messy we can't stand them one more minute. So I can't handle that I may not get the place looking "cleaner" until 8 months from now.
I think I finally started getting it last year, but then we all went on vacation, got sick, and I got pregnant! I totally "fell off teh FlyLady wagon" and had to get back into it again. I wasn't all that good at it to begin with!
Anyway, I'm going through her 30 baby steps now, trying to take my time. I just got a little upset that I was only on about step number 12. After getting back on the wagon for two months. So I decided to see what the rest of the steps were, to see how much more work I had to do to really get fully into what I was supposed to be doing. Well, to my surprise.... I'm doing most of the later things already! I really only have about 5 more things to add to my routine, it looks like. (Though I still need to get more solid on the things I have there now). But it isn't another 20 things, and that's what's important! I'm already planning dinner, checking calandars, eating well, and doing my laundry every day! GO ME! Those were all tasks to add in the coming days. I really, really only have 5 things to add, eventually. I think on top of those, I have another dozen (maybe?) in mind I want to add, specific to me. Like cleaning out the pet cages (ugh!).
Still to add:
- Kelly's daily missions (not adding those until everything is decluttered enough somewhere that I can actually DO them)
- Make bed (Actually, does anyone have a recommendation here? My husband and I have our own sets of sheets/covers/blankets/etc because we really aren't good at sharing, plus I always want to be super-toasty warm, and he apparently sleeps better when he's freezing to daeth. How do you make a bed with two sets of everything??)
- Look at Ask Flylady every day
- Complete Control Journal
- weekly pamper mission
Just yesterday I was getting really upset again that I felt like I wasn't doing anything right. But I managed to make some dinner, straighten things up, keep the laundry going, and all that with a bad sinus headache! While I was working from home, watching my son, helping DH with homework, and I managed to clean up the front yard some.
Yay me!! I like making lists of accomplishments. It seems ot always make me feel better. I think having a really super long to do list just makes me really scared and upset. But I really am doing a lot! I just have a lot of demands! (Maybe we can find a way to declutter those too!!)
Friday, April 21, 2006
I was doing so well. Past tense. I have managed to keep up with some of the simpler routines, but certianly nothing resembling decluttering this week. It's too bad, too, because I was really looking forward to this week, in the bedroom! It's just been a bad week. We did actually get other important things done instead, I guess. DH did mow the lawn yesterday. I did pruning outside on Wednesday. I've gotten to the store and made dinner. I'm kept up on laundry. I've even gotten to bed earlier, and gotten up earlier so I could have a little alone time in the morning. That's helped a lot, because I can get some nice work done at home in the morning when I'm at my most constructive.
We also have had The Boy out play play for over an hour every day, which he hasn't been getting a lot of before now, due to rain. But with all the being outside, it doesn't make it easier to clean inside! We also spent a fun time last night with the neighbors looking at stars. I guess we have gotten a lot done. Just different stuff, really. The living room isn't that far out of control, and the den is almost unchanged since it was cleaned, since The Boy hasn't really even been down there. I've kept up my swish & swipe in the bathrooms, too.
Okay, I guess I'm not doing too bad! Just missing out on my zone decluttering and my hotspots. I wish I laid out my clothes every day, but really it's not as big a deal when you have the laundry done and folded away, since it's so easy to find clothes!
Wow. I feel a lot better now. Thank you for listening, internet!
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
But I have a big ego, and tend to think most people are, uh, not so useful. Ben Franklin would yell at me for that, though he was exactly the same, now wasn't he? ;)
On top of that, there is the ever-present issue that if I try something, it means I could possibly fail. We perfectionists don't like that! So if I don't really try, then I can't really fail. But hey, you also can't really succeed, now can you? So I guess I sabotage myself before it even has a chance to work.
At the very beginning of the past 3-4 weeks of FLYing, after my first big day where I really noticed a change, it totally freaked me out. The living room was CLEAN. Vacuumed. No toys on the floor. Clean! It was wonderful. And moments after I realized that, I thought that now I was going to have to work to keep it that way. It made me happy, it made my son happy. And how could I deny my son happiness? But I doubted I could keep it up because, after all, I never had before. So that clean room managed to inexplicably make me feel like a failure and a bad mom! How crazy is that? But I do the same thing to myself all the time.
But I've gotten past that, at least for now. I managed to push through and get these routines more settled. The beginning must be the hardest. When you have no routine to build on, it's hard to get traction! But I finally did. I have routines! And they are already getting so much easier. I have laundry practically on autopilot now. The living room and den have been decluttered every night to make sure the floor is clear and toys are put away. It's so nice to get up to a cleaner house.
But the really hard part was the first leap of faith, to do the work and get to here. It's so, incredibly hard. I don't have enough trust to do it, usually. I think the only reason it worked this time is because I'm pregnant. What's that, you say? Pregnant? What does that have to do with it?? Well, basically, I'm in the second trimester. That means that we're past the first trimester exhaustion. We're past morning sickness. We're not quite to the point that you feel like a huge beached whale and that moving isn't possible, much less cleaning. And, to top it off, you have extra energy provided by the need to nest. It's like being possessed by some sort of cleaning demon! And that extra energy and drive and craziness gave me just enough oomph to finally get off my rear end and get some stuff done! Thank you pregnancy hormones!
Thank you FLYLady.
Okay, okay, I haven't been keping this up to date at all! The good news
is that I have begun FLYing! Maybe that's why I haven't found time for
I'm nowhere near "perfect". But I have been trying to follow my routines
in good faith for several weeks now. And you know what? I don't need
complicated progress reports to know I'm improving. I know because my
house is cleaner! (Duh!)
I've almost finished my first month, and its just making so much more
sense now. My problem was that I could never see how her way could
result in a cleaner house. It seemed like their weren't enough zones for
all my rooms, so I spent all my time trying to invent new zones, or
squishing more in. Crazy! Now I'm just happy because a few rooms are
clean, from zone decluttering. Ill get to the other rooms in time. I
know I will. I can't believe how well this works but I just never
manages to keep at it for a few weeks to find out!
And really, I still have very simple routines and sometimes even miss
things in my routine. Yesterday I didn't manage to do a 15 minute
decluttering. Mondays seem to be hard days for me. But my other rooms
still got picked up, and my.sink is shining. What a great feeling!
Monday, March 13, 2006
Here's hoping this week will be better. I think we're mostly over the intestinal illness of doom.
Friday, March 10, 2006
Now, I know Flylady would like me to still get up and do 5 minutes here or there, but hey -- I'm pregnant, throwing up, dizzy, headachy, and have all the joy that intestinal distress can bring you.
Friday, March 03, 2006
I actually know this, deep down inside. When I was yonger, I know I always forgot something when I was getting ready for school in the morning. I'd forget to brush my teeth, or forget my deoderant, or something equally horrible and embarrassing. So I developed an entire bathroom routine. It took some time to get all the steps in the right order, but I put each one in the easist place for it to go, and for over a decade now, I do the exact same thing every morning. For example, I brush my teeth before my shower, because I hate minty mouth taste, and that way I can use the shower water to rinse my mouth out over and over while I shower. I make sure to brush my hair and put on deoderant before I use lotion, because lotiony hands can't grip anything. ;) But it takes weeks or months to figure out exactly where each step of something even as seemingly simple as a morning shower routine should go to make everything run as smoothly as possible. And I think I tried to take on too many steps at once.
So we're going to try for a more simpler routine. I'm having a lot of trouble not making this a much longer list! I think partly because at one point I was doing a much longer list. :(
1. Get up and get dressed right after breakfast.
2. Empty dishwasher.
1. Five minute room resuce.
2. Make dinner.
1. Do dishes and shine sink and take dirty cups downstairs.
2. Lay out clothes for tomorrow and take dirty clothes downstairs.
3. Plan tomorrow's dinner.
Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Yes, I've deleted some posts. I realize that blogs really have to be more focused to be useful. So this one is now all about home life (cooking, cleaning, etc.), self-improvement, and so forth.
I was doing pretty well last fall, but somehow over Christmas (and vacation, and getting pregnant!) everything fell apart. Gotta get back on the wagon! I'm 16 weeks along as of today.
So it's off with lists, lists, lists, and more lists!