Tag Archives: potty training

Radio Silent

26 Aug

Whine: I feel a little guilty. I should be rustling up some grub for my posse instead of writing.

Cheese: They’re not going to eat it anyway (we’re having fish). See? It’s magic. The guilt is gone.

I am not unaware that my most regular posting streak has been interrupted by a most unfortunate lapse in any and all communications. If I were a spy (which I totally am in my fantasy life) and my blog were a sat-phone, the last few weeks would be what we spies call “radio silent.” Which is a tactic by which a super-smart (and ridiculously good looking) spy decides to throw her enemies off the trail by no longer communicating with command central. Which is totally why you haven’t heard from me in such a long time.

While I’ve been out thwarting dastardly plans for world domination, life in my house seems to march on. Brother Bear continues his improbable growth spurt. 28+ inches at his four-month checkup. Which explains his ongoing need to wake me in the night. Last night’s hourly awakening being no exception. Except the night before, he slept all night. Which just goes to show you that he is quite clever, because he knows that changing up his attack each night will be the quickest route to insanity for me and therefore I will be pathetic and defenseless and prone to feeding him whenever he makes even a tiny peep. And yes, I am complaining about him sleeping through the night. Hate me if you must; it is very hard to save the world when you are sleeping in 1-hour increments, although it never seemed to bother Sydney Bristow.

Apparently all this world-saving has me neglecting proper nutritional education, as Lil’ Sis just pulled a lime half out of my drink and said “I love cherry limes” right before giving it a big lick. Yes, she thinks they are called cherry limes, since she only ever sees them at the bottom of my 44oz styrofoam cup.

Another byproduct of my super-awesome alter-ego is that there is quite a heap of big news to share, but I’ve been too busy kicking bottom and taking names (this is a g-rated blog after all) to share it.  So here are three of the biggest news items, in no particular order.

1) I have a job. It pays.

2) I have a ‘new’ vehicle. It does not require that the three car seats be stuffed end to end in the back seat.

3) Lil’ Sis is 95% potty trained. Goodbye Pull-Ups.

Both item #1 and #2 seemed to drop out of the sky and into my lap. #3 is as big surprise to me as it is to you.

The job is very part time. It is for my church, working with the elementary kids’ program. And every day is Bring Your Brother Bear To Work Day. Which is especially awesome, as I sit through a planning meeting with Slurps/Burps McGee attached to me. But it works for us, and I (ahem) LOVE my new boss.

The vehicle is new to us. It’s a minivan and it used to belong to some very generous people who also happen to be closely related to me. (In other words, my parents got sick of watching us cram their precious grandkids into the back of a sedan and gave us their car.) It is so much easier to get from Point A to Point B without having everyone have to hold their breath just to fit in the back seat. Also, the lock has a clicker. Which I realize is soooo 2001, but my old car didn’t have one, so I’m just saying it’s nice since I usually end up trying to unlock my car looking like a pack mule and/or bag lady (it’s one of my undercover disguises, you know).

And Lil’ Sis has just decided to make my life easier. At least in the bodily fluids department. I still clean up messes from time to time, but she has pretty much single-handedly potty trained herself. And for that, she will get a car when she is 16. (The minivan will still be running then, right?)

We have been jetsetting and swimming and living it up this summer, and I sure hope I eventually get a post out of that excruciating day of travel (only one excruciating day of travel? surely you jest.), but first we have to go on one last road trip because the all the other ones we just finished weren’t enough. And also because fantasy football drafts are just better when you’ve driven 8++ hours each way over a long weekend to do them. Heh.

My name is Aaron and I like to boogie. At 5 AM.

We got free hamburgers for dressing like this. So there.

A picture of my uber-blonde alter ego. But shhhhh, don't blow my cover.

Laugh Track

28 Jun

Whine: I just finished my yearly summer gig (It pays! Can you believe it??). Which means that the two weeks I spent waking the kids up and shipping them off to various babysitters was just enough to train their little bodies to be up and at ’em right at 6:15am. I like money as much as the next gal, but I’m not sure it was worth if they keep this up.

Cheese: You get a whole lot done when you start your day before Matt Lauer has even had his coffee.

Did you ever see the episode of [insert name of favorite sitcom] where [insert name of male character] had two dates in one night? Somehow this lovable goofball [I’m imagining Kirk Cameron as a young Mike Seaver here, although my extensive archival research did not produce evidence of said Growing Pains episode] had managed to get himself in quite a pickle, with one lovely girl waiting for him at the table of the Italian restaurant and the other standing by the punch table at the school dance. The camera cuts to Mike Seaver [or whoever] changing his tie and pocket square as he runs back and forth between venues, trying to call the right girl by the right name, often with the assistance of [insert name of awkward yet loyal best friend].

I always hated the two-dates-in-one-night episode. First, because I really hate tension. And what’s more tense than two angry girls in 80s shoulder pad dresses sparring over the adorable yet slightly-chagrined leading man? But I also hated those episodes because they were just. so. unrealistic. Nobody pulls off being in two places at once. Ever. Not even for the thirty (twenty-two without commercials) minutes of a sitcom. But apparently the live studio audience always bought it hook, line and sinker because they laughed with every close call and pratfall.

I live my life now trapped in a sitcom cliche.

Except for instead of two dates in one night, I’ve got three kids and one me. I run back and forth from room to room, putting out fires. Some are figurative.  Big Sis is in my bed in timeout for dishing out some unauthorized Swift Justice on Lil’ Sis. I turn on World Cup Soccer just to make the consequences that much more severe. I call it punishment by vuvuzela*. Lil’ Sis is sitting in the empty bathtub waiting for me to finish cleaning up the “oops I forgot I don’t wear diapers anymore” spot from the hall rug and come hose her down. All the while, Brother Bear lays screaming  in his bed as if his toenails are being ripped off by a hungry troll. Which is only partly true; I fed the troll this morning.

Scenes like this litter the sitcom of my life. Running back and forth, trying to remember whose name is whose and where exactly I was going in the first place and why there’s a bag of cheese under the pile of unopened mail. Except there’s no laugh track. And all the time I spend cleaning up bodily fluids in real life would be conveniently edited into a thirty-second montage complete with quirky background music. Good grief what I wouldn’t give for some quirky background music. The laugh track I can live without because cleaning up pee is never as funny in the moment.

But give it a couple of hours (days if it’s a really bad one) and I have edited the whole thing in my head down to what it really was, just a sliver of time in my twenty-two minute episode (I get NO commercial breaks around here) where I lost the numbers game (Kids 3, Mom 0) , sandwiched between the ubiquitous moments of character building and requisite sappy ending. Then I bring it you, my live studio audience, and we can all have a good laugh. I hope.

Mr. Dad reading to his live studio audience.

*Vuvuzela, in case your household calendar does not orbit the local/international sports schedule as mine does, is the sound of thousands of atonal horns being blown without skill like the droning of a stadium filled with tone-deaf bees. Also known as the South African fans at the World Cup. Trust me, it’s torture.


Oh, Canada: Guest Post by Rachelle

19 May

Whine: How may Canadians does it take to clear an overpriced package of diapers through customs? Too many.

Cheese: Somehow Lizzie Rabbit (my two-year old) understood just how imperative it was that she use the potty chair this week.

So I’m just back from Canada, eh.

I followed my loving husband (aka Go Daddy, due to his uncanny resemblance to the Energizer Bunny) here on a business trip.  It all went surprisingly well. At first.  The girls and I spent a relaxing day at the park and the art museum, followed by naps just before Go Daddy arrived back at the hotel after a long day of meetings. (He’s partly responsible for that ominous sounding “One World Alliance.”)

Once Go Daddy finished with his business making alliances with the world, he was itching to get out and do something (hence his name). So we gathered our two little darlings (two years old and 3 months old) and headed to the aquarium.  We took a cab there no problem. Unfortunately, after a loooooong day of smudging up the glass trying to get to the fishies, we discovered, much to our dismay, it was not quite so easy to get one back to the hotel.

So we walked back. Four miles. During nap time. It was all I could do not to join in the yelling and screaming that was coming from the exhausted kiddos. We finally arrived back only to have Go Daddy decide that we should take a water taxi to the nearby island for dinner.  After a surprisingly pleasant dinner, we got home around 11pm. Pacific time, my friends.  I only tell you this to let you know how tired we were before things got really ugly.

The next day we went through customs to our standby flight, taking care to mark our bags properly, crossing our t’s and dotting our i’s. Well, two cancelled flights later we were still in Canada and the bags were on their way home — wait for it — with the diapers. We went back through customs to another hotel and began to seriously dig into our resources.  “Lizzie Rabbit you must only use the potty from here on out”  “Tiny Tura,  no pooping, okay?”  We all ended up in various states of nudity because that’s all we had left.  But, you know, it’s Canada, so it was alright, right?

Once we handwashed a few items and made it to the airport I had to walk aboot a kilometer to the domestic terminal to the only pharmacy in the whole airport, only to find out it was closed on Sundays. Then I found a 7-11 nearby sure they would have diapers becaise I saw them there when I was desperately searching for wipes earlier in the week.  By the way, homemade wipes are awful, or at least I am not very good at it.  Well, irony of ironies, this 7-11 had lots of wipes, but no diapers. Of course.

I finally prayed, literally, for a miracle.  I randomly stopped in a magazine stand to cheer myself up with something trashy to read (there’s no therapy quite like that of Star! Magazine), and low and behold- diapers!   “Yay!”  I actually yelled that, out loud, and the cashier said “Congratulations, that’s our last pack.”  We finally did make it on the plane, but we had a very hard time trying to explain to the customs officials why we had no luggage and only a bag of diapers to our name.

Rachelle is married to Go Daddy (who is Mr. Dad’s “little” brother) and a very full-time mother to two little darlings. She spends her “free time” rearranging the eye shadows in her Caboodle and would love to work as a frappuccino tester for Starbucks when she grows up.


Through the Looking Glass

6 May

Whine: I am living in the Poop Years. Every day I clean up poop. Off bottoms, out of clothes, off the floor of the public restroom stall. Some sweet day I will look around and realize that I have not cleaned up anybody’s business all day long, and that will be a very good day. But for now I arm myself with Resolve carpet cleaner and lots and lots of SoftSoap.

Cheese: Angsty teens doing melodramatic ballet to my favorite 80s uber-cheesy love ballad? Yes, please.

Yesterday it happened. I have always wondered when the day would come when one of my kids would figure out that they could turn the deadbolt and lock me out of my own house.

Well, yesterday was that day.

I unloaded Lil’ Sis from the car, unlocked the front door, tossed my keys down, and turned to retrieve Brother Bear from the car.  Then I turned to discover Lil’ Sis smiling at me from the other side of my front door glass. I tried the handle. Nothing. I banged on the door and shouted encouragingly for Lil’ Sis to turn the lock and she made a few feeble attempts. Nothing.

Then my little imp, who looked concerned about the situation for all of one nanosecond, turned tail and wandered off to explore the empty house Home Alone-style. I watched helplessly from the driveway as she toddled over to the table, still replete with unwashed breakfast dishes. My cries of horror went unheeded as she reached up to take a big drink of the milk that had been sitting out since breakfast.

I frantically called Mr. Dad who suggested I try the windows and see if any were unlocked. I was glad when there weren’t any, as we all know how it goes when I try the window approach to home entry. By that time Lil’ Sis had wandered back to smile and wave at me through the double-paned glass of the front door. Then she ran off to the far reaches of the house, probably to scald herself with hot water or pull bookshelves on top of herself.

No, of course I didn’t panic or freak out or think about calling 9-1-1.  Ok, maybe I did. But then I moved on to more productive behavior. I managed my internal near-hysteria by doing the following:

1) Thanking GOD that Brother Bear was not locked inside with his doting older sister, who would surely have suffocated him with kisses and hugs and pillows or bitten his toes off (she actually tried that the other day).

2) Running through all of the possible window-breaking scenarios to see which one would be least likely to cost me lots of pain and/or money.

3) Thinking what a HILARIOUS blog post this would make once I got Lil’ Sis out of there without drinking all my household cleaners or cutting her own hair.

4) Praying.

And miraculously, after I rang the doorbell about seven hundred times, Lil’ Sis walked back over and turned that lock.

I pushed open the door and scooped up that little sweetie, repeating over and over what a good job she did and how much I loved her as I squeezed her as hard as I could. Then I gave her guardian angel the rest of the day off. Heaven knows he needed it.

Home Alone 4: Revenge of Lil' Sis

Dear Whine and Cheese

22 Apr

Whine: Today I made the mistake of buying the sisters each a butterfly net. Then, once I got the nets off their heads (and mine, once) I spent the better part of my afternoon bug hunting with the girls. And by “with the girls” I mean me digging through the dirt with a stick and picking up worms with my bare hands while they called out encouragingly from the safety of the swingset. 

Cheese: I got a “Bravo!” and a “Take a bow!” and even a “You’re an expert, Mom!” Man, if I’d known worms would make me so popular, I would have bought a worm farm a long time ago.

So NOT my idea.

Many of you out there are wondering just exactly what it takes to survive as a multi-child mom. I’m no octo-mom, but being home alone all day with three little urchins requires some creativity, and I’m happy to answer your burning questions. (Actually, if they’re burning, you should probably see your doctor.)

Dear Whine and Cheese,

Since having my baby a month ago I haven’t figured out how moms actually eat. Doesn’t my baby realize that if I don’t eat, neither does he?

Sincerely,

About to Eat my Own Arm

Dear, um, Hungry,

You’ve asked the central question of motherhood. Whether you are struggling to eat because your jelly-bean-sized fetus is rejecting all nourishment or because every time you get some food multiple someones are a)crying, yelling and hollering or b)climbing on top of you trying to get a bite, you’ve got to figure out how to eat, lest the very underpinnings of our civilization (i.e., happy mommas) crumble and fall apart.

That being said, here are a few tips for avoiding the low blood sugar meltdown:

1) While you sit in your car to nurse the baby who screamed through all twenty-four aisles of the grocery store to the pitying (judgmental?) glances of midday shoppers, scrounge around through the jumble of bags until you stumble upon something edible, like a bagel or a candy bar or a few of both. Wash them down with a warm Diet Coke or the cup of day-old water that has hints of dog hair floating around in it. I’d go with the Diet Coke if I were you.

2) When a lovely, kind and compassionate person brings dinner for your family, immediately serve yourself a plate, shoot your husband and kids The Death Look and run to your bedroom. Enjoy your feast while you sit on the floor and watch the reruns of Hoarders on A&E, because at least someone’s living room looks worse than yours.

3)  Two words: Drive Thru. Because they can’t get to you — or your food — if they’re strapped into their car seats.

I hope this helps you retain all your appendages, for this week at least.

Yours Truly,

Whine and Cheese

Dear Whine and Cheese,

I’m now a mother of three. How on earth am I supposed to leave the house, let alone grocery shop?

Sincerely,

Old Mother Hubbard

Dear Mother Hubbard,

When grocery shopping it is important to remember a few things: your grocery list, your coupons (all expired, of course), and a few giant lollipops. Don’t hesitate to utilize the XXL-sized Racecar shopping cart. Just be warned that you will need to complete a driver safety course in order to maneuver the cart without knocking over the cardboard display filled with sample-sized bottles of Irish Spring bodywash that not one of those pitying midday shoppers will help you pick up. Also know that despite the ungainly size of the cart, no actual groceries will fit inside without a delicate house-of-cards-like arrangement. By the time you reach the check-out your chips will be totally crumbled and the labels will be ripped off all your boxes of cereal, but at least you’ll have food to rummage through when you’re stranded in a parking lot feeding The Hungriest Baby Who Ever Lived.

Yours Truly,

Whine and Cheese

Dear Whine and Cheese,

I’m thinking of having children. Should I have noise-reducing headphones surgically attached to my ears?

Sincerely,

La, La, La, I Can’t Hear You

Dear La La,

You pose a fascinating question. Certainly the sounds of early childhood can be overwhelming. The crying in the night when you just barely just fell asleep. The shouts of “she’stouchingmeWAAAHH” from the back seat. The disturbingly loud and metallic crinkle of the new biodegradable chip bag (seriously, SO loud!). The dollar store cd of kids’ songs whose squeaky fast-forward sound makes you wonder if when recording a cd for the dollar store you pay for the recording studio by the minute.

But if you were to muffle all the cries, shouts, crinkles and squeaks, you’d also be muffling the sound of the tiny sweet baby stretching and yawning next to you. And you might miss out on hearing your six favorite words: “Mom, I have to go potty.” (Even if it is a false alarm.) And when you’re up to your wrists in worm slime, you might need your ears free to hear the encouragement of your biggest fan.

So, La La, I wouldn’t attach the headphones, but I’d sure keep ’em handy for roadtrips. Or trips to the grocery store. It’s hard to push a huge grocery cart with your fingers stuffed in your ears.  

Yours Truly,

Whine and Cheese

The Sisterhood of Wearing No Pants

26 Feb

Whine: I went from a deep, dreamy sleep to being jolted wide awake in an instant this morning. I’d forgotten all about the joys of pregnancy charlie horses. I spent the next fifteen minutes trying to move my leg, as it had decided to freeze itself mid-spasm, right at the peak of the pain.

Cheese: Thankfully, Mr. Dad wakes up a lot less crabby and a lot more coherent than I do and showed that charlie horse who’s boss.

In the weeks and days before the arrival of Lil’ Sis, there was much anticipation. Big Sis was excited to meet her new little sister. Excitement turned to awe when she met that squirmy little red-haired baby. But the awe quickly faded to disinterest when she realized that babies don’t do anything. I distinctly remember the disappointment in her voice one day when she said, “(Audible sigh) She’s asleep, again??”

But the disinterest turned into irritation the minute Lil’ Sis got mobile. Her only objective, it seemed, was to be in Big Sis’ space and destroy whatever it was she was building. I spent the better part of a year encouraging one sister to acknowledge the other’s existence and schooling the other on the concept of personal space.

And then one day, it happened.

I looked over from my perch on the couch to see them playing. In the same vicinity. Almost together. I held my breath, afraid that any sudden movement on my part would break the spell and I would be back to officiating another round of NO! That’s My Most Valued Piece of Carpet Fuzz and You Can’t Have It!

As the days and weeks passed, I noticed more and more of this erratic, illogical behavior. Instead of 100% fighting, 0% cooperation, they had moved on to 99.9% fighting and 0.1% cooperation. I was ecstatic.

You can imagine my shock this morning to walk into the bathroom and see two kids with no pants on. At first I was truly alarmed. But once my heart rate slowed, I realized that Big Sis had not only used the bathroom herself, but had assisted Lil’ Sis in removing her Pull-Up and using the potty chair. AND THEN she was emptying the potty chair and rinsing it out without making a mess. Talk about heart failure.

In that moment, I saw family. Big Sis doing what big sisters are made to do and lending her Lil’ Sis a hand. Teaching her the ways of the potty. Being kind and gentle and encouraging without having a glaring mother forcing her to do so.

Just a few minutes later, Big Sis had been banished to timeout for refusing to share her toys and for yelling at her sister. Incidentally, as I was trying to explain to her why she had been disciplined, she turned around on the chair and mooned me. I suppose Big Sis should have been a child of the 70s, using civil disobedience (and nudity) to fight The Man. Well, I am The Man. With difficulty, I suppressed my grin and swatted that bare little bottom. (FGTKY anyone?)

So Big Sis sat in timeout, sulking and pondering the injustice of having to share her toys. And what do you know? Lil’ Sis wandered over and started offering toys. The next thing I know, they were snuggling in the chair together playing and chatting like best buds. 

In that moment, I saw grace. Even though Lil’ Sis had just moments earlier been the victim of Big Sis’ maniacal tirade, she has a short memory for that sort of thing. And in the end, she likes her Big Sis so much, she’s willing to put up with some ugly parts to get to the good stuff. Stuff like jumping on the furniture together, making a two-headed ghost out of what is supposed to be fabric for the baby’s quilt, and, most importantly, ganging up on Mommy.

Moments like these give me hope that my girls will grow up and be friends. Not just the kind of friends who share jeans (although noone around here seems to like wearing pants, so that may be a non-issue) and lip gloss, but the kind of friends who hang out on the porch swing and talk, just because they want to. The kind who jump in and lend a hand when their sister needs help. And who have short memories for petty arguments and bring peace offerings to heal the wounds of battle.

Speaking of battles, I’d better go. I think the now one-headed ghost is terrorizing her other half, who is running for her life.

Proof of the 0.1%.

Freaky Friday

16 Feb

Whine: Curse Sonic and their “Limited Time Only” ploy. I was on the verge of making a good decision and settling for a half-price Diet Coke. But then I realized that if I didn’t get the chocolate cherry shake today, I don’t know when I’d get another chance. Limited Time Only, my foot. I fall for it every time.

Cheese: The reason we were at Sonic in the first place is because Lil’ Sis used the potty chair. AT PRESCHOOL. Are you kidding me? What kind of alternate universe is this??? I don’t know, but I think I’ll stay a while. I like it here, it’s very clean and dry.

Speaking of alternate universes, I suppose it’s time to for me to hop on the bandwagon and post my “holy-cow-we’ve-never-seen-this-much-snow pictures.” Let me just say, I grew up in the frozen tundra of the midwest and I know my way around a snowbank, so last Friday was not the first time I’d seen a large amount of snow. But I’ve lived in Texas for almost twenty years now and have got to say that for us that snow was EPIC.

Now I know that while the more southern states were freaking out and cancelling school, the true northerners were probably feeling quite Snowlier Than Thou. My Uncle Dave defines this as “the attitude exhibited by persons of Northern descent towards those that are more snow-challenged after any snowstorm, whether it is one inch or three feet. Usually accompanied by eye-rolling and mocking laughter.” Don’t deny it, yous guys, you know you were.

But I sure didn’t care who was rolling their eyes or laughing, I got to play with my kids in the snow!! I have such fond memories of sledding and skiing and building snowmen and eating snow (the white stuff only), and I felt such joy at getting to let them in on what winter is actually like.

Until it was time to get ready to go outside.

First, I made sure everyone had gone potty. Those layers are a beast to peel off in case of a tinkle emergency. Then I put three layers of pants on each person, me included, which ensured that I looked like a whale who was seriously off course. Then we went for the coats, hats, gloves, scarves, etc. Which left all of us in pretty good shape. Except for the feet. Noone in Texas owns snow boots. We hardly have close-toed shoes let alone waterproof boots. I was tempted to cover the kids’ feet in plastic bags, but the fact that we’d already spent 30 minutes bundling up won out and we headed out with our inadequate footwear.

The "before" shot. You can tell because noone is crying yet.

My first order of business was to teach the girls about snow angels before the snowy yard became covered in tiny footprints. I showed them how you carefully plop down on your bottom. Then you lean back and swoosh your arms and legs across the snow. And then you gingerly get up so as not to disturb your angelic silhouette. Except I forgot to factor in one tiny detail.

I am eight months pregnant.

So there I am lying face up in a heap of snow, stuck on my back like a very unfortunate and bloated turtle. My kids are not too compassionate, mostly they are laughing at me flailing around in my eight layers of clothing as I try to return to an upright position. Forget not disturbing the angelic silhouette. I just needed to get up. I finally rolled over onto my knees and hoofed myself up, but not before making a note to myself about who should and should not do snow angels.

At that point Big Sis had taken enough direction on how to enjoy the snow and proceeded to spend the next thirty minutes engineering a snowman. Lil’ Sis spent the same 30 minutes whining, fretting  and crying. Girlfriend does not like to be cold. She finally stopped fussing and found a suitable activity. Walking next to the curb, dragging her feet through the three inches of slush. In her mary janes. Whatever.

Looks like fun, doesn't it?

Two jolly, happy souls.

The next day was even better though. First, because we got a bunch more snow. And second, cause Mr. Dad had the morning off. So we went through our layering ritual, stuffed the fluffy children into their carseats and headed to a nearby school. Then we went sledding.

What do a plastic swimming pool, a tabletop, a garbage bag and a laundry basket have in common?

Yep, you’re right. They double for a sled when you are in a pinch. We slid down that tiny hill about a hundred times. I’m not sure who had the most fun, although I can guarantee you it wasn’t Lil’ Sis, who again spent most of her outdoor time railing against the cruelty of Old Man Winter.  I feel sorry for that girl if she ever has to live where forty degrees is a mild winter. And as luck would have it, she’ll probably marry a Canadian.

But Mr. Dad and I had a blast sledding down that hill long after Big Sis lost interest. I felt a tad foolish, a grown woman who couldn’t even use her kids as an excuse for sledding down that hill again, cause one was off crying and the other building yet another snow man. But hey, we get this much snow down here once every lifetime, so I was not going to let feeling sheepish stand in my way. Even when I fell off the sled at the bottom and couldn’t get up.

Lil' Sis did not find this amusing.

By Saturday most of the snow had melted, we had used our annual bundle of firewood and the heavy coats and scarves had been returned to the back corner of the closet. And I was glad. I used to think I missed the snow. But now I know the truth: two days a year of the stuff is plenty for me. If I need more than that I’ll book a flight to Canada.