Tag Archives: minnesota

friday things.

:: casually sidesteps the awkward fact that she hasn’t blogged in 3 months… ::

1. Both of my kids are currently napping at the same time!  This doesn’t happen very often but when it does, I freak out about all the “free time” I have and then spend an inappropriate amount of time debating what I should do with said “free time”, which ends up being just a big fat waste of the “free time”!  I could take a nap too, but the few times I’ve tried that during the elusive double kid nap, I barely fall asleep before I’m woken up by human foghorns and then I just end up feeling like a piece of old sushi for the rest of the day. (<— what.)  I also kind of want to just watch TV or read a book or something… but I’m not currently into any shows (any recos?) and the book I’m reading is about parenting so that’s super boring.  (ha.)  I usually just end up doing chores… laundry, emptying the dishwasher, washing wine glasses, etc. etc.  But that stuff sucks, so today I’m letting the dishes sit in the sink so I can go back to my roots and do some good old-fashioned blogging on the interwebs.  Excuse me while I dust off my Mario Teaches Typing skills.

2.  annnnnnnd Crosby just woke up, so I’ll see ya again in 5 months!

**I’m back.  It’s 3 weeks later.  ::facepalm::

So let’s just try to get through this quickly, shall we?  (That’s what she said.) ((Sorry, I’m a little rusty.)) (((That’s what she said.))) ((((Ugh.))))

3. We FINALLY found and moved into our new house last month.  It’s a sweet bungalow in South Minneapolis, and we are absolutely, 100% loving it.  Eh…. make that 99%….. I just found some weird bugs in Willa’s room and I’m a little squicked out.

4. We took a family vacation to San Diego with my mom, stepdad, brothers + their fams a few weeks ago and it was super fun… we truly had a blast.  However.  A “vacation” with two small children…. can we actually call that a vacation?  It’s kind of like everyday life, in a different setting, doing much more exciting errands.  Actually, this old Huff Post article sums up my feelings prettttty perfectly.  No but seriously, we had a great time.  And if I had my shit together better I would have written a whole post about it with lots of photos… instead you’ll just have to use your imagination to picture us building Crosby a potty (AKA large hole) in the sand so we wouldn’t have to leave the beach to find a bathroom.

5. I wrote an article for a website a few years ago when we first moved to Portland about how hard it is to make friends as an adult.  And many years later, I feel like I’m reliving that yet again.  Don’t get me wrong, some of our very best friends in the whole world live within an hour or two of us right now, which is baller.  (<—- stop.)  But not many of them live super close by.  Like, bop on over for a quick playdate or a glass of wine close by.  So I’m still very much feeling the growing pains of moving to a “new” city.  I really haven’t made any new friends since we got back here and I’m kinda just like… howwwww do I do this?  Is there a dating site for making friends??  If so, ugh, no thanks… that actually sounds awful.  I’ll just have a drink by mahself.

6. Speaking of, I miss Portland daily.  That place has a large chunk of my heart.  And my stomach, actually. If someone could send me a pound of Stumptown, a salmon flight from Bamboo, a khati roll from Bollywood, some salted caramel ice cream from Salt & Straw, a Loukanika salami from Olympic Provisions, a bottle case of wine from Stoller, chicken wings from Pok Pok, an Arbor Lodge breakfast sandwich from The Big Egg, a poke bowl from Zupans, and all of my Portland friends, that’d be great!  (I promise I won’t eat my friends, though.)

7.  I really really love my dogs.  But I really REALLY enjoyed having a 3-month break from them.  I REALLY REALLY appreciate my in-laws for babysitting them for 3 months while we looked for a house.  I REALLY REALLY REALLY need to purchase some lint roller refills.

**Was interrupted by kiddos again.  It’s 4 days later, BTW.

8. Remember in Dumb & Dumber when Jim Carrey asks that guy if he wants to hear the most annoying sound in the world?  Well, my sweet Willa has perfected that sound.  Like, to a T.  She usually whips it out during the witching hour when all hell is already breaking loose.  It’s suuuuuper precious.

9. Speaking of my sweet Bill (unfortunate nickname that she’s stuck with, sorry gurl!), she is almost 8 MONTHS OLD.  Please excuse me while I sob into her newborn pj’s.  And my little Crosboy is going to be 3 in August.  How.  Why.  Etcetera.  Seriously though, I feel like time has flown by since we moved here.  Yet, somehow I haven’t aged a day.  :: she says as she tucks her boobs into her jeans and plucks a gray hair out of her eyebrow. ::

10. The other day Crosby pooped in the potty and wiped himself… with his hand.  And then wiped his hand on the wall.  I’m just going to leave you with that little visual.

Have a great day!


we’re moving!

Big news, guys.  We’re moving!  Back to the motherland, Minnesota.  My super smart hubs got himself a sweet job offer at Target HQ and to make a very long story short, he accepted it.  WE accepted it.  And so, we move.  Back to the land of hotdish, parkas, lakes, mayonnaise-based salads, and talking about the weather.  Back to where both Casey and I grew up, where we first started dating (in 9th grade), then broke up (10th grade), got back together (junior year of college) and fell in love.  Back to where we got married and back to where we made the decision to leave Minnesota in the first place and have some adventures.  Since then we’ve lived in Tucson, Chicago, Tucson again and Portland.  And now, it’s time to go home.

This decision wasn’t made lightly.  In fact it was THE most bittersweet decision we’ve ever had to make.  We are so in love with Portland and the life that we’ve made here but at the end of the day… we miss our families.  And now that we have two little ones it’s become even harder to be away from them.  Both Casey and I grew up close to our families and extended families, and we want the same thing for our kiddos.  We can’t wait to see our parents/siblings/grandparents/aunts/uncles/cousins more than 1-2 times a year.  We can’t wait to celebrate holidays and birthdays and all that happy crap with our fams.  BUT.  We (me especially) are pretty devastated to leave this wonderful place that we’ve called home for the last 5 years.  We have done and seen and grown so much here… I’m absolutely heartbroken to say goodbye to this city and the family of friends we’ve made here.

Adulting is so hard sometimes.  Hold me!

We leave in one week.  (We’ve been slow to share our news with the larger population.)  All of our stuff is being packed/moved/stored for us (double fist pump!), so we basically just need to pack a few things and get on an airplane.  And by “a few things”, I mean: 2 dogs + dog crates, 3 large suitcases, 3 large carry-ons, 2 car seats, a stroller, a pack and play, a diaper bag… and a partridge in a pear tree.  We’re going to look like a hot mess rolling up to the airport!  We’ll be staying in temporary housing in downtown Minneapolis until we find a new house.  We’ll also be putting our Portland house on the market as soon as we leave here.  Any takers?  She’s a real gem!

I’m nervous to leave here for so many reasons.  We’ve made such amazing friends, I have such a crazy wonderful support group of mom/kiddo buddies, and we’re just really happy and comfortable here.  It’s hard to imagine leaving all that behind for a city where I honestly don’t know many people anymore.  I also only know Minneapolis as a carefree 24-year-old, so I have no idea where the good neighborhoods are to buy a home and raise a family.  We’re basically starting over from scratch.  So, if anyone has any tips or suggestions on neighborhoods/schools/pediatricians/gynos/wine stores please let me know!

All that said, we are truly excited for this new adventure.  And we’re ECSTATIC to be closer to our families.  A 1700 mile separation from them is about to become a thing of the past, and I’m pretty happy about that.

Watch out frozen nose hairs, we’re coming for ya!


summer vacaseytion, over and out.

Hiiiieeeeee! Hi hello! I’m back as promised, with a (seriously long, good luck!) post about what in the heck we’ve been up to lately. And why I hadn’t written anything in so long. And really the only excuse I have is that my fam and I have been taking full-fledged advantage of the long work break that Casey has been on, which has meant a lot of traveling, a lot of exploring, quite a few family naps… and not a lot of blogging. It’s been kind of lovely to disconnect a bit but I’ve really missed coming here to share ridiculous thoughts and stories. I mean, I can only say so many stupid things to Casey before he just up and leaves the room or picks up his phone to check ESPN. But here, I can say as many stupid things as I want and you just accept me! Right? Right. Wait, right?? Right. Right? Riiiiiight…

You’re checking ESPN right now, aren’t you?

So cutting to the chase, our summer has been pretty freaking sweet. Until today that is, because today is Casey’s first day back at work after his 9 week break. I really have no right to complain or feel bad for myself, do I? But has that ever stopped me before? Nope. WAAAAAA! It’s just been so amazing to have this time together as a family. We’ve made so many fun memories this summer and to have Casey home for this long, especially with Crosby at the age he’s at, has been seriously awesome. I’m super thankful, but totally bummed it’s over.

Anyhoo, here’s the part where I detail pretty much every little thing we’ve been up to for the past few weeks. I feel a little indulgent for sharing all these fun adventures… but I also want to make sure we have these memories saved somewhere. So.  Read on if you please!

The Thompson Summer Summary (summery?!) comin atcha… in 3….2…

Week 1. As I mentioned before, we took the first week of #vacaseytion and basically ripped apart, and then put back together, our backyard. We’d been wanting to fix it up back there since we bought the house but never really had the time or the dolla bills to hire someone to do it. (I actually called one landscaping company and when I told the designer our budget she laughed. Hrmmph.) So we took it on ourselves, like a coupla studmuffins. We built a deck, finished a fence, tore down an old crumbling shed (ok, fine, we paid a man with a machine to do that) made a giant sandbox, planted grass, did a bunch of landscaping, and then spent 3 days blowing dirt out of our noses. I wish I were kidding. And anyways, it’s nothing fancy and there are still a few things we’d like to finish up, but it’s such an awesome spot to relax and hang out now.  Here’s a quick before/after glance…ShawnnaThompson_vacaseytion_2

Weeks 2-4. After all that manual labor, we peaced out on a 3-week trip to Minnesota. And as a reminder, we drove there. The verdict? Guys, it was great! The dogs did great, Crosby did great, it was great! I’m not even being sarcastic. For the first time ever. I mean listen, we all got a little stir-crazy from time to time, and the drive to Minnesota was definitely easier than the drive back. But all in all, it was actually pretty fun. And I didn’t even eat any french fries or corn nuts! I KNOW, RIGHT?! (PS would anyone be interested in a blog post about our tips for a long drive with a baby? Yes, no, maybe?)

We pretty much hauled ass on the way there (24 hour drive in 2.5 days) and stayed at little KOA cabins along the way. Which I would highly recommend! Especially if you’re traveling with little ones and/or dogs and just need a place to crash for the night. Each little cabin we stayed in had a double bed and a bunk bed and was just the right size for us. There are some cabins that have bathrooms but ours didn’t, so the downside was using campground-style bathroom/showers. But, as a pretty seasoned car-camper, I can tell you that KOA bathrooms are hands down the cleanest camping bathrooms I’ve ever experienced. Major kudos, KOA. Plus the cabins are way cheaper than hotels. Plus, it’s an experience! Plus, after you put your little one to bed you can sit outside at your picnic table and drink wine from a sippy cup and talk to your next door cabin neighbor about his time in Vietnam. MEMORIES. Are we sick of talking about the dang KOA’s yet?

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Once we got to MN we spent the better part of 2 weeks bebopping from family to family. It was amazing to be able to spend more than just a night or two with each of them, as we usually do on our trips back to the motherland. We actually got some good quality hang time with everyone. Let’s be honest though, everyone was way more excited to hang out with Crosby than with Casey and me, but we’re cool with it. I mean, can you blame them?

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We’re always on a sort of emotional rollercoaster when we leave MN. We love love being with our families, and we honestly love Minnesota (in the fall, spring and summer), but we also love love Portland and our life here. It’s just always such a weird feeling of, which place is home?

Though you know what some people say… home is just where the wine is.

“Some people” may or may not be me.

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On our drive back we stopped in Couer d’Alene, Idaho for a few nights and rented a house near the lake. That lake is killer, man. And our house was right across from it, with like, deer prancing through our yard and such. It was so beautiful, so relaxing, and so friggin’ HOT. Note to self: next time you’re booking an airbnb for your family in the middle of summer, make sure the house has AC. Rookie mistake.

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Week 5. After we got back to Portland from that long-ass trip, we unpacked our bags and just sort of laid facedown on our bed for 5 days. Not to worry, we took occasional breaks to see friends, barbecue, drink some beers, and feed Crosby. In that order, but backwards.  On repeat.

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Week 6. Next on the list of adventuring was taking Crosby on his first camping trip. So we got back in the car, packed with somehow more stuff for a 4-day trip than it had been for a 3-week road trip (??) and headed down the coast to a campground outside of Florence, OR. I gotta hand it to Crosby, he handled tent-life much better than we expected. (Would anyone be interested in our tips for camping with a little one? Yes, no, maybe? Who do I think I am, some kind of expert?) The area was amazeball central…. we explored some sand dunes, hung out around a lake, ate a bunch of campfire pizzas, I tripped over a rock coming back from the bathroom late at a night and got a huge gash in my toe… it was lovely.

IMG_1728 IMG_5115IMG_5080IMG_5089 IMG_5077 IMG_5116 IMG_5140From there we traveled back up the coast to the little town of Netarts where we had rented a house for the weekend with a few friends. 3 couples, 4 dogs, 1 baby, 13 freshly caught crab + approximately 187 bottles of wine. Perfect combination for a lovely weekend. Not lovely? Crosby’s 5:30 am wakeup calls. Especially after staying up way too late playing pass the pigs and zoomie zoomie (what up, MN drinking games!). Luckily our friends were good sports about having a 24 pound alarm clock waking them up on their beach vacation.

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Week 7. And so THEN! We again came home and relaxed and did some Portlandy things for a week… beer festival, splash pads, zoo, beach, beers, wine.

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Week 8. We packed it all up AGAIN for another camping trip. This time we headed to Crater Lake in southern OR. Have you ever been? Good glob it is beautiful! Seriously one of the most breathtaking places I’ve ever been to. We camped near the lake and spent a whole day driving around it and attempting our asses off to get a decent family photo of all 5 of us, in which Crosby is looking and the dogs aren’t attempting to jump over the rim of the lake in order to catch a mother effing chipmunk. Epic fail.

But these views!

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RIGHT?!

We spent 2 nights camping near the lake, which was more than enough because holy COLD at night. The daytime was beautiful but it got down to the upper 30’s both nights we were there. Crosby was such a trooper, especially because he’s been teething like a b, but he woke up at 4:30 (!!!!) both days we were there. Not okay. Understandable, but not okay.

From there we went to Bend, OR for a quick overnight trip, which was really just an excuse to hit up a bunch of their breweries. Priorities, people. After that, we had hopes of staying a few nights at Mt Hood but the campground we wanted was full/Crosby’s toofs hurt/we were all kind of poop-a-looped, so we just headed home a few days early.

Week 9. Hang time, downtime and more chillaxing.  Nothing too exciting except one day we took a little day trip to Hood River to drink wine/taste beer.  (If you’re sensing a theme to this summer, let’s discuss it over a beer….)

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And that, as they say, is that.

I’m super bummed that Casey is back at work, but a teeny tiny part of me is also excited to get back on some semblance of a schedule with Crosby. Like I said, we really took advantage of this summer to relax and be on vacation (I took more naps in the last 2.5 months than I have in the last 5 years.) but now I feel like we’re ready to get into a groove again. I also need to feel productive again, like I accomplished something other than, hey I didn’t nap today! Weird. So here is me, putting in writing that I will (hopefully) be putting more things in writing in the near future. Whether you like it or not :)

Thanks for making it to the end!  And hey, what have you all been up to!?  I’ve missed you!

 


december stuff.

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Hi friends!  Happy holidays!  Or, can I even say that anymore now that Christmas is over?  (Waa!)  Maybe I should say… Happy awkward time in between Christmas and New Year’s when you’re still sort of in vacation mode but still have to be productive at work and you’re so distracted by how extra tight your pants are after all those holiday feasts but you might as well keep on eating like a hippo until after New Year’s Eve when you will be starting your new workout/diet regime and will no doubt look fantastic in no time!  Or something like that?  Anyways, I hope your Christmas was merry and you got everything you ever hoped for etc etc.

Now can we talk about my Christmas for a second?  This is my blog, after all.  And actually, let me back up.  Let’s talk about my December, since I haven’t posted anything in over a month.  Consider that your Christmas present from me!  Wink wink.

December went by so fast I can’t even handle.  We spent the first half of the month doing Christmasy things around Portland.  Since it was Crosby’s first Christmas, (Crosmas!!  <—- I just thought of that now!  What a waste of a perfectly good hashtag.) we wanted to make sure to be as holly and jolly as possible before skipping town to head to Minnesota for two weeks.  Yes that’s right, we took a two-week vacation (?) to MN for the holidays.  It was SO much fun to be with family and to introduce the little dude to some of our favorite people who hadn’t met him yet.  Including both Casey and my siblings.  That’s by far one of the hardest parts of living far away from family… our siblings, grandparents, good friends didn’t get to meet our kid until he’s almost 4 months old.  That’s a lot of dirty diapers old.  So anyways, it was amazing to be together with everyone for the holidays.  However… in hindsight, what the hell were we thinking taking a two-week trip with a refluxy 3 1/2 month old?  Seriously.  He was a trooper through it all but we definitely had some tough moments.  Including every moment between the hours of 9pm and 9am.  Yeesh.  Thank gawd for our families who were so understanding and constantly offered help (though I didn’t always take it…).

Sidebar.  Here’s the thing with fussy babies, and mine specifically… as much as I want a break sometimes, it is really hard for me to accept help.  I’ll admit it.  I so appreciate when people are willing (and eager!) to take him off my hands for a bit when he’s crying but I rarely accept their offer.  Why?  Because it’s completely impossible for me to relax if I know he’s upset and someone else is trying to soothe him.  And I’m just sitting there, doing nothing.  You know?  I guess it’s because I feel like Casey or I should be the ones to calm him.  Or maybe that we’re the only ones who actually CAN calm him.  Even though that’s not even true.  Maybe we could do it faster, but any one of our lovely family members would be able to get him to chill out eventually.  So why can’t I take the help?  I don’t know.  Any other parents of fussy babies know the feeling?  Or am I just crazy?  Don’t answer that.

Anyways!  Back to our Crosmas trip to MN.  We flew out super early in the morning, and I was basically having an anxiety attack thinking Crosby was going to have a meltdown on the plane.  He did not.  He slept for most of the flight and only squawked a couple of times once he woke up.  Little angel.  And thankfully there were about 10 other families with babies on the plane too.  We were in good company.  I told Casey after we got off the plane that I felt like I needed to go around and high-five all the other parents because holy shit is that stressful.  And speaking of which, have you guys seen this story about the parents who handed out goodie bags to people on their flight?  What do you think?  Good idea or no?  I personally wouldn’t do it.  Babies be babies.  And really… if a baby screams in your ears for three hours are you really going to be less annoyed if you were given a box of Junior Mints from a stranger?  Probs not.  I think just common courtesy and politeness, both to and from and the parents, is the best approach when flying with a baby.  Also vodka.

Ok, tangents over.  Back to our trip.

A good chunk of our time in MN was spent driving.  Which was interesting, given that Crosby hates to be in the car.  But man he was a trooper.  We drove from Minneapolis to Rosemount to Brooklyn Park to Big Lake to Alexandria to Kensington to Minneota to Ghent back to Alexandria and then back again to Ghent and then finally took our last 3 hour drive to Minneapolis to fly out. That flight back to Portland started out a little rocky.  Crosby screamed for approximately 15 minutes before we even took off.  I was gushing sweat as we both tried everything we could to calm him down in the tiny shoebox of personal space we had.  Plane seats have never seemed so small as they did during those 15 minutes.  And I’m pretty sure everyone in the 3 surrounding rows saw my boobs at one point because I was, frantically as calmly as possible, trying to feed him to get him to calm down.  LOTS of boobs flying about.  He eventually passed out, and stayed asleep the rest of the flight.  Ahh memories….

On that note.  A short photo diary of our month…

shawnnathompson_christmasstuff_4Even though we knew we’d be gone for half December, we still went and cut down a tree.  It’s probably my favorite holiday tradition that Casey and I started when we moved to Portland and I was not going to let Crosby miss out on his first tree cutting experience.  #hesleptthewholetime.

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IMG_3683We also too him to see the Zoo Lights at the Portland Zoo.  Again, slept through the majority of it.  And in case you’re curious, that’s a rain guard on his stroller.  It’s not like we keep him in a bubble for no reason or anything…. :: side-eye::

shawnnathompson_christmasstuff_3IMG_3707Again, not impressed.

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IMG_3673Then we took him to see Santa!  Everyone loves Santa!

IMG_3675Right?IMG_8891Oh. Nope.

Onto our trip to MN!
shawnnathompson_christmas_4I mean, if that isn’t the most kissable face you’ve ever seen…. Crosby looks pretty cute too. Heh. Heh.shawnnathompson_christmas_5

shawnnathompson_christmas_sixCrosby and Rudy.  Total BFFs.

shawnnathompson_christmas_3Girl cousins!

IMG_3808And boy cousins!  Also, please note the zubaz in the lower left corner of this picture.  No, that’s not me.  It’s my brother.  I’m way classier than zubaz.

shawnnathompson_christmas_1Oh wait.shawnnathompson_christmas_7Two chins are better than one. Is our family motto.

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I would have liked to post about a bajillion other photos but my wordpress/dashboard is giving me a helluva time today.  But, I’m sure there is enough self-indulgence in this post to last you until next time.  Right?

Happy New Year, ya muggles! xo


see ya, christmas!

 

Tis the season for long overdue Christmas posts!

We’ve been back from MN for about a week now and I still can’t quite comprehend that the holidays are over.  What a crock.

Every year on New Year’s Day I want to punch someone in the face because it’s just too depressing not to.  Know what I mean?  There’s so much funness all through November and December and then Jan 1st hits and it’s kaPOW!  Congratulations! You have absolutely nothing to look forward to until the 4th of July!  Ugh, it’s the pits.

But but.  We did have a really great trip to Minnesota, which I’m trying to keep in mind every time I start winding up to Hulk Hogan someone in the head.  Despite the fact that it was -25 below the night we arrived (death), the trip was jam-packed full of family, seafood, presents, Folgers, bowling, and Chevy Chase, of course.  We were lucky enough to be back for a full week and we really tried our darndest to see as many people as possible.  We had 6 Christmas get–together in 7 days.  Mission accomplished, I’d say.  Also, pass the wine.

It’s funny how after so many years of splitting Christmas with the families, we look forward to different things at each place.  Casey’s family, we always “go back” to his Grandma’s where potato sausage and lefse are in abundance and the battle to steal the scratch-offs in the gift exchange will ultimately end the night.  At my mom and stepdad’s, we know we will eat 12 times per day, but always make sure that we save room for popcorn + a movie before we pass out in a food coma on the most comfortable bed in existance.  And at my Dad and stepmom’s, we know there will be some (ahem) competitive game playing, beer and Christmas Vacation.

I now ask you to pull up a chair, grab some popcorn, lefse and beer and check out an onslaught of the Minnesnowta Chrismost.  Here we go, weeeeeee!

famfam[ ^^ these family photos ^^ show our progression throughout the week – we started classy and ended weird.  also, brother ben’s face in the bottom photo… i can’t even…. ]thomps 2thomps 7thomps 4thomps 3thomps 5photo 2 (1)[ baby jeebus granted us a 32 degree Christmas day.  hallelujah! ]gehring 1gehring 2[ mastering the art of photobombing. ]gehring 4gehring 5gehring 6IMG_5358vk 4vk 1vk 5vk 6[ brothers, getting the giggs while playing Quelf.  worst name for the best game. ]vk 8 [ in addition to my abundance of chins,
i also inherited my papa’s love of Christmas Vacation. :) ]

Mele Kalikamaka, my friends.