Saturday, April 24, 2010

Yet another creepy dream...

Awhile back Ambrose's "up all night" schedule was just killing me. Then I had a dream that we had to give him back. Upon waking from the dream I found myself sitting in the rocking chair in the very, very early morning hours holding a blissfully sleeping baby in my arms. His placid face, heavy breaths and warm weight healed my heart. I've been much calmer about waking up all night since then as the dream really brought it home that I would much rather be waking up all night to a warm, wonderful baby than be sleeping through the night and have no baby.

Being the somewhat religious (if liberally so) person that I am, I figured God was giving me a little reminder as to my priorities, and telling me to be grateful for what I did have (a healthy, happy baby boy) as opposed to sorrowful over what I didn't have (a good night's sleep).

I guess he must read my blog as he saw fit to send me yet another dream after my little rant and whine session this morning...

After posting I handed off the baby, whined to my husband about being up since 4 am and OMG P's been bouncing off the walls since 5:15 when the baby finally went back to sleep and it's quarter of 7 and OMG I'm tired and I shouldn't have to deal with this crap blablabla, etc etc.

I then went to the bedroom, took my pills, stacked up 4 blankets and squeezed in under them because dangit I was cold and I wanted to be nice and warm and sleeping!!!

Before I knew it I was in dreamland. I do have most of my dreams one it's light out, meaning that if I don't get to go back to sleep in the mornings for that hour or so I often don't dream, and after a few days of that I get quite crabby. I need my REM sleep! And oh, I got it...

In my dream we were... us. We were Nik and Megan. We looked a little different, and there was a bit of a film grain as I slid from first to third person and back repeatedly. I had a baby on my hip most of the time. And there was Paxton. Wild, crazy Paxton doing wild, crazy things. And then... There was the creepy woman.

Maybe it was the SPD fairy.

In my dream I called her my mother in law, though she clearly wasn't (and I don't find my MIL creepy!). She was an old, thin, grand motherly woman who just... showed up.

I know there was supposed to be family at our house in the dream and we were entertaining, so I guess that's where she came from...

Anyway at one point Nik and I were looking out the window, watching all the toys in our backyard slide down back through a hole in the gate until they were outside our yard. And suddenly the swingset was in the woods. And suddenly P was happily going down the slide. And next thing I know... she was there. The creepy old woman. She was just plucking weeds and standing between me and a smiley boy, who should have been in bed according to the dream.

My heart stopped. I knew something wasn't right. Paxton took off running and I threw the baby at Nik and took off myself. He was scared of the old lady. I caught up with him. We ran together...

I forget what happened next in the dream, but it progressed for a bit. I know there was some stuff about the old woman and other relatives being in our house. They fit into our house well, unobtrusive and polite, rarely coming out of their rooms. The old lady didn't. Friends in the dream asked her relationship to us, questioned us about her. I was scared of her. I was angry at her. I just wanted her to go away.

It was like she was haunting my son...

There was one bone chilling scene in the dream toward the end. I was in the car late at night driving through the neighborhood. It was our old car, my mini van that we sold at CarMax a few weeks ago. Both boys were in their carseats asleep and peaceful. I looked into the rearview mirror a couple times but something struck me as being off. I turned on the light on the roof of the car and... there she was.... leering at me in the rearview mirror... just... staring.... in her own carseat in the third row back. Sitting absolutely quietly.

I was flipping petrified.

My in dream mind scrambled for a reason. Why was she there (I was watching her as no one else would)? Why was she in a car seat herself (old and frail)? Why was she looking at me like that (she hates me and she's pure evil)?

Again, to reiterate, in my dream I called her my mother in law, but even in dream I knew that wasn't the case. See, IRL, I like my mother in law, she's not creepy (or old!) and she doesn't scare me. Dream lady looks and acts nothing like her and scared the bejeesus out of me!!!

So, in dream, I realize... this isn't going to end... she's haunting Paxton. She's LOOKING at Paxton. Her bony hand was touching my son. She was going after him and wasn't going to leave him alone.

So... dream me made the awful choice.

Dream me dropped the old woman off at a neighborhood church (none exists in our neighborhood that I know of). Dream me gave her some coins to put in the basket, had a little snit fight, and drove off knowing she'd find a way to follow not long after. Dream me drove around to lose her. Dream me called friends, tried to see if someone, anyone, could take Paxton for awhile, just until we lost her. Dream me found no one...

So dream me drove to KidMax. I'm not kidding. It was a small parking lot full of used cars at the back of an apartment complex in our neighborhood (that also doesn't really exist). There were families waiting in lawn chairs around campfires. I drove in, parked my car as far from the street as possible, and approached an employee with my paperwork. I was in third person then, observing me pulling out a payment quote and exiting my minivan, assuming that like in real life I was returning to CarMax, showing them my paperwork, handing them my keys and picking up a check.

That wasn't the case.

I carefully picked up the sleeping Paxton, who never woke. I carried his suddenly light body over to a lawn chair and placed him down gently. I was immediately approached by another woman who had a daughter and wanted a son. In fact she was more interested in Ambrose. Dream me was in tears, heart breaking, trying to explain that Ambrose is still nursing and can't be moved, but unable to explain that the whole point was to save him because this was the only way to get the evil old lady to stop haunting him. If someone could just take him, far far away, she might not find him. Ever. She wasn't haunting Ambrose, she was haunting Paxton and since we couldn't lose her, since she was a part of our family, we had to place him someplace safe. And it was absolutely killing me...

Then, suddenly, I woke up. My bedroom door had burst open and there was a small Ethiopian boy with a huge smile screaming "Wake Up Mommmmmyyyyy!" He turned off my sound machine for me, as he does every morning, then rushed back downstairs so he didn't miss any of his TV show.

I have never been so happy to have him wake me up.... Never.

And I think it will be a long time before I forget that sensation, that relief that this was all a dream, only a dream!!! Creepy old lady isn't real, just a figment that likely symbolizes his SPD. And no he's not going anywhere, he's staying forever and ever as he's our son and hyperactive though he may be we still adore him eternally.

I gleefully got ready this morning, rushed downstairs with my yogurt and coffee then cuddled with P on the couch for a few minutes. Knowing that I could use it as a good example of how he can act and speak with us, I was honest with him. I told him I had a very scary dream and in the dream he went far away. I told him I don't want him to go away, I want to stay with him, and the thought of him not living with us made me very sad. He just smiled and gave me a tight hug and told me that I was being silly. Of course he was going to stay with me! Silly mommy!

So, yeah... definite reminder of priorities!

I would much, much, MUCH rather deal with SPD and PTSD and anxious attachment and normal 4 year old boyisms than not have my son at all. In fact, a couple days ago I was mentioning how much rougher P used to be, how I had to hold him down while he shrieked and fought me for an hour or so every day for both nap and bedtime. "And you never thought of sending him back with a note?" she asked, in reference to the recent Russian adoption Snafu. And it occurred to me... there have been a few awful days when I wondered why I chose this. And a few times where I acknowledged that we likely not have willingly adopted a child who had all his issues on paper. And yet, I do not regret making him our son, I do not regret all the time spent with him, and as much as I wish things were easier I'm extremely grateful that we've been blessed with this bubbly, compassionate, funny little boy who calls us mom and dad. And no, I've never considered sending him back. Even the thought of him leaving our house for anything other than adulthood makes my heart tear a little....

Can this stop now please?

Dear SPD Fairy,

Okay, we get it. It's now official and diagnosed. My older son has Sensory Processing Disorder. He fits the symptoms of other SPD kids, has the same sleep problems, the same reactions and over reactions, and just like most/all SPD kids is a huge sweet heart that just can't control himself.

So... now that we know, and now that we're getting help...

Can it be done?

Like, can the SPD just go away now please?

Because 8 fitful hours of sleep and being too hyped to nap is just not enough for any child, especially one who overstimulates to the point of curling up in a tight ball when you're even going from room to room.

And really, as much as we love him, we've been having trouble standing him for, like... how long have we known him now? Yeah, that long. He's a rough kid when he's hyped and he's hyped at least 80% of the time so most of our interactions with him are with us being exasperated and him being defiant.

You see, SPD fairy, I get that my kid is different. And that's cool, it really is. And I get that he's always going to be different, and different is good. Most of the world's most important figures, especially in the art world, were and are veeeery different. And he's really into photography himself...

But there's liveable different and hard-to-live-with different. And my son? My son is hard to live with.

It's hard to have chronic insomnia yourself, to know you're likely going to be up all night with the baby anyway, and to also know that your 4 year old will wake and be up for the day well before the crack of dawn. It makes one not even want to attempt sleep because, really, what is the point? Sleep is stressful in this house.

And it's hard to know that he's going to be angry and pissy and defiant all morning. It's hard to know that he'll make a mess of his room but any mention of cleaning, even direct "pick up X and put it in Y please" will lead to him throwing his body to the ground and screaming "I can't do it!" as so many SPD kids do (as they simply save their limited strength for things they actually want to do, and thus appear lazy). It's hard to know that getting him dressed might take 1 minuted or 1 hour, that toothpaste will likely cover the mirror this morning as well, that his bed is probably soaking wet and he won't tell us. It's hard to face the day. Mornings are stressful in this house.

And... and it's hard to eat breakfast when you know he's likely going to change his mind a million times, even halfway through meals, and be 100% insistent that he didn't WANT cereal, he wanted a banana RIGHT NOOOOOW! Then he'll take one bite and get angry at you for forcing him to eat a banana. You have to have a lot of energy and patience in the mornings or else you'll simply lose it and he'll gain the upper hand, which is petrifying to him and only makes things far, far worse. It's hard to get him to leave the house, because transitions are scary and he'll think of anything he can do to stop them, including spending 10 minutes on finding and putting on his shoes, walking as slow as possible, or simply throwing his whole body down and glaring at you for no good reason. Usually, it's the slow walk that gets me...
Days in this house are stressful.

And naps... when they happen, which is probably 5 days out of the week (though we try every day with the same routine and he's always tired enough for one) they involve great detail. Naps begin with lunch, which must be big enough for him. Then comes his vitamins, 2 multi's, 2 omega-3's, 2 calciums, all of different colors and preferably with 2 stars somehow involved and with us memorizing the animal shapes of the multi's so that he doesn't have to question us too much before eating them (and we get 1 minute off vitamin time if there are 2 star shaped vites...). Next comes teeth brushing, which is a power struggle in itself. No you may not put the toothpaste on as even under direct supervision you put half the container on your toothbrush. Yes you must brush for more than 5 seconds, no you may not spit on the mirror instead of in the sink, and please stop cleaning the sink drain/floor/your foot with the toothbrush! Then it's potty time, which he's always "already done it already!" though Lord knows how many hours ago. And the whole hands washing fiasco comes next. If I leave the room at this point sometimes the whole bathroom gets a spray down (typically only if he can find a cup to fill with water then throw into the air). Finally once child and bathroom are clean and dry, we move to the bedroom. Usually the baby is beyond ready for his nap so he goes to his crib and screams his head off while big kid takes his time picking out a book and not listening to things like "now lay down" or "please let me talk." After story, massage, telling him about my day and finally leaving the room, I pick up the tear soaked baby from his room, remind P to stay in bed and go downstairs. Usually sometime within the next hour he stops getting out of bed and finally falls into a deep sleep. Or he just screams on his bed for attention. Or he keeps running around upstairs and I hear him in every room. Many days I have to wake up the baby in order to get big kid to take a nap. It's not fair to the baby. It's not fair to me. It rules so much of my life... Naps in this house are stressful.

Life in this house is stressful.

There's so much more I could list, both good and bad.

To be certain, he's a sweet kid. A smart kid. A nice, compassionate, loving kid. He captures hearts wherever we go. He's friendly and social, witty and fun. In many situations he's a totally, 100% normal kid.

But in many situations his SPD is overstressing us, and overstressing him. We're tired, exhausted both mentally and physically and I have no doubt he's the same.

So, kind SPD fairy... can this stop now please? Can he maybe NOT overstimulate at everything? Perhaps accept a change in routine from time to time without shutting down? Can he calm down with his control issues maybe? And please, please... can OT just work like magic for us now?

Oh, SPD fairy... I saw the magic just a couple days ago. After his Weds OT visit, where they introduced a body brush and theraputic music, he was so calm, so centered. He slept well, ate well, and was a ball of sunshine both here and at school. Then he fell apart at naptime, didn't sleep and has been off his rocker for two days.

I'm ready for that magic to work. It got a glimpse of a life different from ours, a life that involved a HAPPY and CONTENTED child, who slept, who ate, who played, without issue! A child who was in control of himself and thus did not have to be in control of every situation! A child who didn't act possessed or damaged or defiant or anything else negative, but who was just plain peaceful, like we'd hoped his name would signify.

So can this SPD business stop now, for our sakes AND his, and can we see that contented, peaceful, in control child again, not just once a week after OT but every day?

Is this our future?

Will there be... sleep?... in our future?

Oh please tell us it's true!

Mama M.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Self Regulation...

So just reading up on SPD (or SID I guess) I'm already getting exhausted! I'm also feeling encouraged, in that reading the descriptions of other people's kids makes me realize that A) we caught it pretty early on (so many kids being diagnosed at age 10!) and B) his SPD is liveable and manageable. His SPD makes some social interactions embarrassing, and some situations inconvenient or exasperating. But he doesn't make life impossible or even close to it.

And I've been thinking back, trying to mentally go over the past two years to think about his self regulations problems. How often did he have issues at X time and what was his general reaction to Y situation... that sort of thing.

And already I can see progress. Like, a ton of progress. All steps in the right direction, encouraging me to believe that even without OT he'd probably end up just fine. No, not growing out of it, but he himself is getting a handle on this little by little. And he's soooo much better than he used to be!


It's naptime!
P 2 years ago: Shrieks bloody murder for an hour, likely wets self, eventually crashes into fitful sleep and stays out for 3-4 hours.
P 1 year ago: Cries and whines and needs to be read to and/or physically held still for roughly an hour before falling into peaceful slumber. Sleeps 2-3 hours.
P today: whines and complains, tries some defiant behavior but mostly gets in bed and stays there. Sometimes in and out of bed for half an hour to an hour, before falling into deep sleep for an hour or two.

No you may not play with that toy!
P 2 years ago: Screaming, crying, scratching, biting, punching, kicking, flailing, spitting, slapping, etc. Has to be held and restrained until his body goes limp and he composes himself enough to actually ask for it again or move on. Sometimes took up to half an hour.
P 1 year ago: Screaming, crying, stealing toy and running, bouncing off the wall.
P today: Defiant, "yes I can!", often calms down himself within a minute and discusses the issue.

Let's meet someone new!
P 2 years ago: Crying, hiding, punching me, pinching my arms, hiding his head in my chest.
P 1 year ago: Running away, hiding, ignoring new person OR being all over them.
P today: Everyone's a friend!

General changes/transitions:
P 2 years ago: Shrieking. Violence. Crying. Often needed to be held tightly against body until he either passed out or calmed down.
P 1 year ago: Scared but acting super hyper, running! Lot's of running! Some violence. Some screaming.
P today: Gets really hyper active and talk, talk, talks! Or sings or hums or something, jumps and makes noise and has trouble keeping eye contact. But calms down himself typically within about 5 minutes and is willing to discuss his behavior. Sometimes instead of becoming hyper he cuddles in and says "I'm sad/scared/don't want to be here/do this!" Sometimes all it takes is a 2 minute cuddle fest and he's transitioned and ready to go!

So, yeah... definite improvement!

Age has helped.

Preschool has helped.

Our understanding of his needs has helped.

Project Enlightenment has helped.

Friends with similar children have helped.

And Wednesday we start OT.

So... Hooray! We may never "fix" this but can you just imagine how much better he'll be a year from now? When he's a year older? Has a full year + of preschool under his belt? And OT? And a Sensory Diet? And we understand him even better and probably have a bigger support group locally? I know he'll never be a "perfect" child or an "angel" child but my God! Just think of the possibilities!

My goal right now is that a year from now we'll be able to look back and say "good Lord how did we live like that???" because our lives will be so much easier then.... except we'll have a toddler and a new baby most likely... but I'm talking about with the SPD.... :)

Friday, April 9, 2010


It's official.

Went to an evaluation yesterday with a Sensory Specialist. P is a classic case of SPD. Funny that his previous screening didn't pick anything up, but that's why we went with a specialist this time around. He skipped his nap and was totally hyped when we got there, and went totally hyper nuts in her office. I tried to calm him and she kindly told me, "It's okay, I have to see this." It's hard to see him get overwhelmed and out of control (sometimes doesn't happen for days, sometimes happens several times in a day). It's really hard to sit back and not do much, or anything, when he does get hyped like that.

She explained a lot to me, told me why he's doing certain things, pointed out dozens of small things that clued her in to him having SPD. She filled me on on the treatment plan (45 min/1ce a week, ins. pays for 20 visits). We're now scheduled for every Weds afternoon at their Raleigh office. We'll be putting together a sensory diet for him with his OT. The stressed that this is a lifelong thing, that it will never go away, that we're just going to be learning how to work with it and make it liveable.

And I'm feeling... great. Wonderful. Stupendous even! We have a flipping DIAGNOSIS!!! Finally!!! We know what it is and we have a treatment plan, no not to cure, but to help. And things can really, generally, only get better from here. He's already loads better since starting preschool, now with actual specialized help, seeing an OT once a week, and a daily sensory diet that's consistent (he freaks out with lack of consistency) OMG!

Also? I'm not insane! And my kid is not insane! It's all something common and we can deal with it, and find support.


Now back to planning our afternoon. When he wakes up we're going to make sensory balls, 4 punching balloons that I'm going to let him fill with rice, lentils, beans and flour, then squeeze and feel the different textures. I now have puddy in my purse and I already have looked up some calming exercises for SPD kids with over-arousal. Suddenly everything seems so much more bearable! And suddenly there's a world of support out there that I feel like hadn't existed before, other parents who get the same looks and suffer the same embarrassment and deal with the same things, and kids who are truly doing better just like we hope P will do better.

So yay! Yay for diagnoses and yay for treatment plans and yay for OTs and yay for hope cause man we've really needed that!


Sunday, April 4, 2010

It's been awhile...

So here's an update on several facets of our lives right now.

Today is Easter. It's also Ambrose's half birthday! Happy 6-months-day baby boy!

He's sporting two little teethies down front and some swelling up top. He's eating like a champ, pulling himself to stand in his tub, pulling himself to the breast of his preference when nursing, twisting his body all over in protest if I hold him the "wrong way," happy in the car, sad on the floor, and having sooooo much trouble sleeping lately! He went from a nice daily schedule to like eight 10 minute catnaps and being up half the night! Aaah! It seems to be calming down but it may be a prelude of what's to come. His 6 week growth spurt lasted 4 weeks. He should be having his 6 month growth spurt soon. Let's hope we all survive!


We are not adopting from Ethiopia. Most likely. We are adopting from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Most likely. Our adoptions tend to be twisty, turny, swervy things and I think both Nik and I recognize that there are no guarantees about where we'll end up. Just hoping to bring home a daughter sometime within the next couple years. Might be a year from now, might be two, might be more, might even be less. No clue. Looks like Ambrose's adoption will be finalized this year (sent in our fee disclosure form so we're assuming they're filing that downtown; had to file that for P and took 7 months from then) meaning we'll be getting the adoption tax credit next year, about $16K all in one go in like Feb or March most likely. So that'll help. In fact, that will pretty much cover it. We may need to take a loan out to cover fees at the time, but we'll be paying it off very quickly. Either way, it'll work out. Somehow. I'm just awaiting the next twist. We already have a SNAFU with the USCIS as they don't seem to want us to cancel our Ethiopian I-600A, even though we stopped payment on the check (they gave us a receipt with a $0 balance!). I'm going to the USCIS office in Durham in a couple weeks to figure it all out and get that one cancelled... hopefully! Ah, the sweet smell of a topsy turvy adoption #3. I'm actually thrilled to see where it's going to lead (at least this early on!).


We sold my Kia Sedona. It had 2 broken rear seats, making it a 5 seater. It had 2 broken door handles, one held together with a nail, the other making me have to roll the window down to open my door. The wiper blades snapped during a rainstorm but we fixed that. A front headlight burned out for like the 3rd time in a year (can't actually recall if it was always the same one... but the light was still new anyway!). Tires were old, heat didn't work in the back, and it got about 15mpg, and more like 10mpg with the AC on, and that WILL be on for the next 6 months because just rolling down the windows on that massive van did nothing to cool it down.

So we sold it. Got $2,500 for it too! And I bought a '99 Toyota Camry with 100K more miles on it for $4K. The front seat is unadjustable, the AC only has OFF and HIGH, one of the rear seatbelts won't retract, there's a crack on the outer plastic of the rearview mirror, and, well, it's 4 years older than my old car. But it's also a Toyota, so we can afford to fix it. And we can fix that seatbelt and fit 3 carseats across the back. It cools down FAST with much better AC, and rolling the windows down actually cools everything. It's much better on gas, by a lot. And it's smaller, so I fit better. Hopefully I won't keep finding new scratches all over this car like with the massive van.

The plan is for it to last 2-3 years, while we adjust to 2 then 3 kids, and then we'll make the call on whether or not there'll be a 4th. If so? New van. Likely 8 seater Toyota Sienna. If not? Well, we'll see :)


Preschool has been out on break for over a week. I'm not totally sick of P yet. He's still showing incredible improvement even out of preschool. He's definitely regressed in the last week, though, and he's been more hyper than normal, and veeeery bossy. And like a genius I went ahead and signed up to be the Helping Parent in his class Tuesday when they go back. Smart me! Yay! But it might overwhelm him so I guess going with him might be better anyway.

We took him to church today. Just for an Easter egg hunt. He didn't partake. He shut down. Cuddled in. Told us he was sad and scared. Much better than how he used to act at church, certainly. There were no masks then. Just put honest sorrow and openness. He used his words and we chose, with him, to leave and go to a park. We went for a nice long walk along twisty trails in Umstead Park right next door, then had a packed lunch (we foresaw this) at a picnic bench while I fed the still sleeping baby. It was nice. Especially the parts where we got to cross the water. P and I took our socks off and put them in the pocket of my Maya Wrap (they're still there, in the car!) then put our non-waterproof shoes back on and crossed the creek laughing, cold water squishing between our toes. It was... pleasant :)

I'll be calling an Occupational Therapist this week, perhaps even tomorrow. We've been pulled aside countless times and told P likely has SPD (and he does get overwhelmed easily...) though Project Enlightenment said they didn't see it after a screening there. We're going to see and actual OT because, well, I'm thinking he does have it. Just a bit, probably not as much as me (I can check off half of those online checklists for me...) but still...

I feel like we're finally getting to the core. Like the compounded issues are stripping away, little by little, layer by layer. Part of that is him growing up, and part is him adjusting, and part is him trusting us, and part is him having the language to communicate what's going on inside. We're figuring out what's attachment based, what's PTSD based, what's just normal, and what's, well... what's likely something else. I think SPD might be the last thing we missed, the final link to all of the behavioral problems we've seen. Which almost seems weird now that we mostly CAN go out in public without being constantly embarrassed by his behavior. Still, there's a lot to work on and if this helps us do it, or even *gasp* finishes the job.... then hooray!


One more quick note on Paxton. He can drive me nuts. No, like, seriously. He screams orders at me (um, I've never listened to that...), he tests every limit, directly disobeys if he's in the mood, pushes my buttons, and sometimes even gets physical with me. He wakes me up early, keeps me up late, wakes up his brother, interrupts my quiet time (what little I get), and even eats my chocolate if he can find it.

But he also sings me songs about how much he loves me. He steals my pens and writes on anything he finds, yes, but on the other hand I'm always finding happy little people, with big grins and bright eyes and silly stick limbs, all over the house. Always happy, never sad, because on the inside he's actually a very happy boy. And he makes his brother laugh in the car, and he always, always, always shares every one of his treats with us, breaking off a piece of cookie or grabbing a second piece of candy to share. Typically it doesn't take too much to have him make his bed, pick up his toys and put away his laundry, nor do I have to twist his arm to have him help set the table or clean up afterwards. He always runs to hold the door for me and for complete strangers, and if he sees someone crying he will always show concern, from telling me they're upset to actually hugging them, kissing them, or trying to sooth them with his words. He's constantly making us laugh. He always tells me I'm his best friend. And I tell him he's my best friend.

Some days I don't think it's fair. It's not fair what he's been through in his short life. It's not fair what I've been through in my short parenting experience. He shouldn't have ever had to go through all he did. I shouldn't have had to hold down a shrieking child for hours a day, for months on end until he realized his nanny wasn't coming and he was stuck with me. It's unfairness all around. And yet, we have such a wonderful bond between the two of us. One that took work, and still takes work, and one we both work to nurture daily. It's very, very different from the easily formed bond I have with Ambrose. I love them, equally but differently. I'm bonded to them, just as tight yet in different ways. Ambrose is easy to bond to, easy to love in all aspects. Paxton was hard. But we did it, we bonded tightly, and I'm proud of him and myself and us together. And I'm glad that I get to experience a love like this.