Friday, February 27, 2009

200th post....200 Random Things about Me

1. I enjoy spicy food, the spicier the better.
2. I miss Cajun Cuisine especially crawfish. It is almost spring which means crawfish boil time.
I can smell them just looking at this picture.

3. My eyes share everything that I am feeling. I can hide a lot but it always shows in my eyes if you know how to read them.
4. I swam competitively for years. I still love to dive in a pool and leave the world behind and SWIM.

Hint: I am the girl standing on the left.
5. I modeled briefly in the eighties…big hair and all.
6. My sis and I were known as the big hair sisters.
This is one bridesmaid's dress that I did wear again. Check out the Can-Can photo later.

7. I never knew how deeply I could love another until I held Lily Wen for the first time.
Lily Wen's referral pictures. So tiny and cute. Love at first sight!

7. I never knew how intense love could be until I held Lily Wen for the first time.
8. I have been loved and loved well and hope to find a special love again one day.
9. I have a wild side.
10. I can be a tad bit direct to put it bluntly. Sometimes this serves me well and sometimes it gets me in trouble.
11. I have amazing friends. Some that I have known since elementary school, some that I have met through our unique experience of adoption including my bloggy friends and many that I have met in the small town that I now call home. I only hope that I am as supportive of them as they are of me.
12. I used to be a horse wrangler at a girl scout camp.
13. I went to drama camp when I was in the 9th grade and convinced everyone that my name was Candy (short for Candace (my maiden name was Cain)). Hence, I received mail for Candy Cain for a long time after camp. It was drama camp and I was theatrical, not a stripper but very theatrical!!!
14. I like to shock people and will say outlandish things just to watch a reaction.
15. I make a mean Margarita.
16. I would love to have one more day to spend with my Dad and introduce him to my children. It pains me deeply that they never got to meet him. I miss him each day and think of him more often than I ever share with anyone.
17. I have boundaries and cut off my emotions to avoid being hurt. I have written a lot about it especially in college but continue to do so. I admire people that are more emotional and share so openly and easily. How do you stop being so guarded?
18. I am guarded but at the same time, I trust completely.
19. I am Pro Life (don’t want to start a debate but have strong beliefs from abortion to the death penalty and stand firm).
20. I am a high achiever and believe in challenging myself and like to see those around me challenge themselves.
21. I would drive over an hour for a Starbuck’s Venti Coffee Light Frappucchino
22. I tease about living in the middle of nowhere but couldn’t imagine living anywhere else at this time in my life. I am surprised daily by the blessings in this area.
23. I used to roller skate 2-3 days a week in middle school and loved it.
24. I have dyed my hair every color of the rainbow (almost) but black.
25. I once was a Can Can girl for a skit at a half time show in a pro rodeo. The skit included an outrageous bar room brawl. Now that was fun!
There's that dress, redone for the performance! Did I mention that I'm creative?

26. I have ridden in a boat parade at Mardi Gras.
27. I have lived on a parade route in Baton Rouge and miss it at this time every year.
28. I can still remember the feeling of jumping off of the high diving board at our local swim club. I loved plunging into the water.
29. I have parasailed and loved it.
30. I completed a 12 mile hike through Yosemite National Forest when I was not in the best of shape. It was quite an accomplishment and I have some of the most amazing photos from the day.
This pic was taking as we were driving out of Yosemite. Gorgeous!
31. My favorite flower is the Lily especially Stargazer Lillies.
32. I am not very fashionable but love dressing Lily Wen and Graeme

Lily Wen has always been a fashionista!

33. I think one of my best features has always been my hair…from big hair, to long hair to rock star short. I love my current cut!

This hair had a life of it's own (with a little help from AquaNet)
34. I need a minimum of 8 hours of sleep a night or I am not worth a darn.
35. I am more of a night person and hate to get up early period!
36. I love to drive fast (one of those things I inherited from my Dad).
37. I don’t think I could ever tire of watching the snow fall. I absolutely love it.
38. I am fond of silver cars. I think they hide dirt better than other colors and this works for me. My Honda Passport, BMW 325i and now my Honda Pilot have all been silver. Even the tree hugger car, the Honda Insite that we owned for a little while was silver.
39. I love holidays and entertaining and decorating the house.
40. I love gardening especially herbs and cut flowers.
41. I have not done a lot of what I love since moving to my current house and it is time to get to it.
42. I love the sound of rain. I love to nap on a rainy cold afternoon.
43. I love award shows and watching people get overwhelmed.
44. I have slept out under the stars…AMAZING
45. Graeme’s smile melts my heart each and every day!

He is always laughing. Oh the Joy!
46. I have an artsy and creative side.
47. I enjoy writing.
48. I am an avid reader and am usually reading 4-5 different books at the same time.
49. I never skip to the end of the book to see what happens. I love the suspence.
50. I put my pajamas on as soon as possible in the evenings and sometimes on the weekends, I never take them off.
51. I love scented candles and usually have one burning at all times when I am home.
52. I am a middle child..with a brother who is 3 ½ years older and a sister 3 ½ years younger.
53. I am blessed that my parents valued education: my brother is an oncologist, my sis has her Master’s Degree in Social Work and I have my Master’s Degree in Speech-Language Pathology.
54. As a child, we used to vacation at Peaceful Valley Dude Ranch in Bandera, Texas or we would head to the beach at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. I want to give my children the same kind of memories that my parents gave us.
55. I love camping. Tent camping and cabin camping. Looking forward to taking the kids.
56. I used to dream of living in the hills of West Virginia. I visited every summer to see my cousins that lived there. I now live in the mountains of southeastern Kentucky.
57. I love children’s books and have accumulated a vast collection.
58. This quote from James M. Barrie’s Peter Pan has always been one of my favorites, “You see, Wendy, when the first baby laughed for the first time, its laugh broke into a thousand pieces, and they all went skipping about, and that was the beginning of fairies.”
59. I love to sing very loudly when I am alone. I sound awesome in my own head but know that I cannot carry a tune.
60. I am a speech therapist.
61. I asked one of the children that I worked with what they would like when they completed testing and he replied an old fashioned pie fight. I now give choices to children.

Yes that is me on the left with pie on my face! Did I say I love my job?
62. My favorite flavor of ice cream is mint chocolate chip.
63. I see the results of poverty on a daily basis in the area where I live. Sad so sad.
64. I am a practicing Catholic. I was raised as a “cradle Catholic” but had a strong Baptist influence from my Paw-Paw who lived with us.
65. I vividly remember watching as my Paw-Paw was the first person baptized in the new building of his church. He was 81 years old at that time.
66. When I think of my Paw-Paw, I think of flannel shirts, hard peppermint and chewing tobacco. I always smile.
67. I first announced to my family that I would adopt when I was in the fourth grade. It is something that I have always believed in my heart. God planted that seed early for me.
68. I was strongly affected when close family friends adopted their first daughter when I was 13 years old. I remember gazing at Amanda and feeling the earth shift underneath me.
69. I have had many wonderful conversations with Danielle, my Godsister who is also adopted, about what life has been like for her growing up adopted. I hope to use this information to be a better parent for Lily Wen and Graeme.
70. I used to write poetry.
71. I have really enjoyed the Twilight books. They remind me of books I read as a teen.
72. I once went to a midnight release party for one of the Harry Potter books. I think I was one of the oldest people there.
73. I would probably get a tattoo if the opportunity to do so ever arose.
74. I love Mickey Mouse and have quite a collection of stuffed Disney memorabilia.

My sis, Jodi, Mickey and I sometime in the 90s

75. I had my tonsils removed at 21 years of age and truly believe this is a surgery that should be done when one is much much younger.
76. I think Disney World is one of the most magical places on earth and can’t wait to take my children there.

77. I was one of the first people to ever ride Splash Mountain at Disney World. I had a friend that worked at Disney and Disney workers and friends got to test ride before the attraction was open to the public. That was so cool.
78. I once had drinks with Trisha Yearwood’s band after the concert and before they boarded the bus for the next town.
79. I have never been to Europe but have been to China twice!
80. I spent summer in college going back and forth between the beaches of Florida and the deck of a camp that floated on 3 large pontoons on Lake Maurpas in Louisiana.
81. I spent that summer with a group of friends and we had named ourselves the Partyholics. My nickname was Wild.

About the only time you saw me with straight, non-poofy hair was at the camp!
82. I used to hang out with the male strippers that performed every Wednesday night at the Texas Club in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
83. I have moved every 5 years: moved from Baton Rouge to southeastern KY in 1991, moved to Charlotte, NC in 1996, moved to Baton Rouge, LA in 2001 and back to Ky in 2006.
84. I have a specialized certification that less than 300 people in the world have….Certification in Auditory-Verbal Therapy. After 6 years of intense training, I flew to Denver, Colorado to take the certification exam.
85. The night before I took the exam, I went out with all of my mentors who were in from all over the country for a conference. We shot frozen flavored Russian Vodka the night before the biggest test of my life. Don’t worry, for once in my life, I sipped!

My mentors Todd Houston, Beth Walker, Katherine Wilson, Hettie Kenny and Kim Jondrow-Panciera, Beth (in pink suit is a friend) and me up front. This was taken at the begining of the night.
86. When I flew home from Denver, I found out that my father had been diagnosed with lung cancer.
87. I first knew how bad his cancer was when I saw the look on my brother’s face as he looked at my father’s scans. (my brother is an oncologist).
88. I was blessed to be with my father during chemo treatments, doctor appointments, amazing conversations and for that moment when he passed from this world. I would not change a moment about that time spent with him. Oh to have one more day…
89. Lily Wen’s full name is Lillian Christine Wen Miracle. She was named after my father, Christopher, with her middle name Christine.
90. I had my first kiss on one of those summer visits to West Virginia with the boy that lived across the street from my cousin. I had such a crush on Jimmy and lots of flirting went on before that kiss. He was later diagnosed with leukemia and died way way too young.
91. I truly believed in my wedding vows when I spoke them and I would have never ever thought that I would be getting a divorce. Now that I am in the process, I am at peace.
92. I have been to the top of the St. Louis Arch
93. I have climbed portions of the Great Wall of China
94. I have even thrown up on a police officer’s shoes on Bourbon Street in New Orleans. It was the flu of course.
95. I have climbed the pyramids at Chitchinitza in Mexico.
96. I rarely say no to a challenge
97. I took the Louisiana Chapter of the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing through reformation and served as the President of the association for 2 years.
98. I am currently sponsoring a sweet baby named Antonia who is in a foster home in China. She has a complete cleft lip and palate just like Graeme. We need more sponsors for Antonia and the other babies. If you can help, click on her picture on the side bar.
99. I have never eaten snow cream but I can share from personal experience that the combination of Kahlua and snow is delicious!

I love the snow.
100. I thought that writing 200 random things about myself would be easy, I was wrong. If you are still with me, bless you.
101. I once danced partially naked in the sprinklers of a resort at one of the most magical places in the world.
102. There are songs that I hear that instantly take me back in time bringing laughter or tears.
103. I celebrated the millieneum at a plantation in Louisiana. I figured if there were major issues with Y2K, I would be fine on an old plantation.
104. I once hand sewed an entire quilt. It was Lily Wen’s 100 good wishes quilt. I bought a book and taught myself. It even won a local quilting contest.

Lily Wen with her 100 good wishes quilt. Ever stitch done by hand.
105. I also taught myself to embroidery the Chinese symbols on the quilt. I bought a book…
106. I used to spend hours scrapbooking
107. I love to photograph my children and other things that catch my interest.
108. I would travel back to China and adopt one more child if only I could.
109. I have ridden in a rickshaw.
110. I have my grandfather’s father’s bible. He was a preacher and it is in delicate condition.
111. I was named after my father’s sister, Margaret Ann Cain, who died at a young age from cancer.
112. I have a pin that says, “Cancer Sucks”. You just can’t say it better than that.
113. I have left a camp early in the morning to go crabbing with friends. We caught them, cooked them and picked them clean sitting on the deck of that camp. Great times.

Sitting on the pier eating the crabs we caught. (I'm in the striped towel)
114. I am a graduate of Louisiana State University. It was voted the number one party school in America for one of the years that I attended. I do not take full credit for the title. I did manage to graduate magna cum laude with my Master’s Degree.
115. I loathe duty after school.
116. In college, I drove a 1979 Firebird Formula. Bright red. I had a wardrobe to mach my car.

The car with my "Rebel Woman" plate on the front.
117. I am a reality TV junky. Thank goodness for Tivo or I would never see a show!
118. I ate at Kentucky Fried Chicken while in Anhui Province, China. We laughed about being the inspectors from Kentucky.
119. I was able to visit my son’s orphanage and would love to volunteer in one. I carry the faces of the children we left behind in my heart and pray for them daily.
120. As a teenager, I did community projects through Girl Scouts at a Women’s and Children’s Shelter. The spirit of the children was overwhelming.
121. I have the most obnoxious laugh. It is loud and comes from deep within.
122. I love the look on Lily’s face when she accomplishes something for the first time.
123. One of my favorite times of the day is sitting with Lily Wen and Graeme in the evening and reading them stories.
124. Listening to my children say prayers at meals and their nighttime prayers is just so sweet.
125. I can sing the entire sound tracks for High School Musical 1 and 2 and for Hairspray. Lily Wen loves musicals.
126. I have seen the Wiggles LIVE! I know you are all jealous. I loved when Captain Feathersword did an Ozzy Osbourne impersonation. I think I was one of the only people in the audience that got it.
127. I once stayed up all night to watch the sunrise at the beach with my cousin, Rick, and one of his best friends. I am so glad we did that because a few years after this time, Rick was killed in a car wreck when the car he was driving hit black ice.
128. I have been white water rafting down the New River in West Virginia.
129. I was once obsessed with how long I could keep my fingernails and now I am obsessed with cutting them as short as possible.
130. I am inspired by Mary engelbreit.
131. Christmas is just not Christmas without the Nutcracker. I loved watching Lily dance in it this year.

My ballerina!
132. My favorite color is purple and I once painted my master bedroom in purple stripes.
133. My other favorite color is red.
134. Music inspires me and can change my mood.
135. I am MOODY!
136. I become quiet when I am overwhelmed….thanks for sticking with me even after long silences on the blog.
137. My longest standing relationship with a male was with my Bassett Hound that I had for over 14 years. Bandit was a constant companion.

Bandit, the best dog ever
138. I love going to theatre productions and really enjoy the outdoor theatre that is just an hour from my house.
139. In the seventh grade, I was kidnapped temporarily. Our bus driver took the whole bus of kids for a 2 hour unscheduled ride when we were supposed to be going home from school. We were all returned unharmed. She was later arrested and relieved of her job.
140. I swam with the sting rays in Mexico.

Me with the stingrays. My eyes are crossing with an intensity trying to telepathically tell my sis to take the pic already!
141. I was called Sissie. It was my name until I refused to go by the nickname any longer when I was in the fourth grade.
142. While riding in a cab in Santo Domingo, my friend, Steph, and I were forced to get on the floor of the cab as there were gun men on every corner while the President of the country was escorted through town. I’m still not sure if it was necessary for my safety or if the cab driver just thought it would be funny to make the American girls get in the floor.

In the cab on the way to the airport leaving Santo Domingo. The big hair did not hold up after this ride.
143. On the trip to Santo Domingo, we lived on Poptarts and Heineken.
144. I can’t imagine a day going by when I don’t read something.
145. I lived for years without a cell phone and now, I can’t stand to be without it.
146. I absolutely hate to clean house. I can’t wait to pay off some debt so that I can hire a house keeper again.
147. I have a new addiction…Facebook. It has been great to chat with old friends.
148. I had breakfast with Minnie Mouse.

Just me and Minnie.
149. The first concert that I ever went to was Shaun Cassidy. I was in the fourth grade and I was sitting in the fourth row. I caught the roses that he threw into the audience. I was mobbed by teenage girls and walked away with a few pedals.
150. I loved the Partridge Family and Sony and Cher.
151. I dreamed of marrying Shaun Cassidy, Leaf Garrett or Scott Baio.
152. I grew up in the best subdivision, Park Forest. Our lives revolved around the swim club. I am still in contact with many friends from the neighborhood.
153. I sleep best when it is cold outside and I am snuggled under about four blankets.
154. I cry when I get mad.
155. I have a snow man collection. I usually put them up after Christmas and keep them up all winter.
156. I love having fresh flowers in my house especially when they are flowers that I have grown.
157. I am a klutz and can fall anywhere at anytime.
158. I have had 3 surgeries, tonsillectomy, knee surgery and carpal tunnel release.
159. I am cold most of the time.
160. I was a GT kid (Gifted and Talented). What I remember most about the testing day is going out to lunch just Dad and I after it was over.
161. Two of my most favorite trips were when I went to the beach with just my mother and when I went on a cruise with my sister and mother.
162. I love driving on curvy mountain roads. I find it exhilarating.
163. Now that I work in the school system, I am obsessed with checking the weather. You get addicted to those snow days. It won’t be as much fun when we are still in school in July!
164. When Graeme hugs me spontaneously, it is the most amazing and joyous feeling.
165. I stink at math and am so grateful for the invention of the calculator.
166. I have really enjoyed the blog. I have loved the friends that I have made. I enjoy peeking back at pictures from a year ago and marvel at the changes.
167. I lived in one house growing up but changed schools 7 times. Catholic school to public elementary to public middle to magnet middle to new magnet middle to public high school to private high school. (Desegregation in Louisiana…interesting time)
168. During college, I dated outside of my race. It was a life changing and defining time in my life.
169. I love the smell of the coffee almost as much as the taste.
170. I enjoy being barefoot walking in the grass, the sand or just in my house.
171. I can’t get enough of watching my children run outside with wild abandon and pure joy on their faces.
172. I like the feeling of falling in love….meeting someone, anticipation, butterflies, the first kiss, long conversations, enjoying time together….I like the feeling of falling in love.
173. “I won the parent lottery.” It’s a quote from The Last Lecture but it so applies to my life. I can’t imagine growing up any other way.
174. I played clarinet in the band for years and even made the honor band once.
175. I used to dream of being a cheerleader but always lacked the coordination.
176. I have never had a problem pottying in the woods so the squatty potties in China were no big deal.
177. I love koalas and pandas.
178. The number 13 has always been a lucky number for me.
179. As a child, I would love to climb in our attic and go through old boxes of stuff/memorabilia. I could spend hours up there.
180. I have always had an unhealthy fear of fire.
181. I love having time to myself and being the mother of two little ones there is never enough time period.
182. I would not change that for the world. My time with my children is precious to me. I waited so late in life to have children that I think I appreciate my time with them all the more.

183. My favorite things that I bought in China are glass bottles that have Lily and Graeme's faces painted on them. They were painted on the inside and are so special to me.

184. I am a little picture crazy and can’t have enough pictures up.
185. I can easily strike up a conversation with just about anyone and am rarely intimidated.
186. I took a personality scale once and my strongest traits were decisive and dominating.
187. On a cold day, I love to build a fire in the fireplace. There is something about the smell, heat and crackle of the wood as it burns.
188. I still remember many of the Girl Scout songs that we sang around the campfire and I still sing them to my children.
189. I could not live without my satellite radio. I went from 2 local radio stations to a world of music.
190. The classic rock and Disney radio are the two most played stations on my radio when I travel.
191. I had Lily Wen’s pictures taken at a plantation in Louisiana when we lived there and these are some of my favorite pictures of her.
192. Even though I am a speech therapist, I had not had a child with cleft lip and palate on my caseload for probably 10 years prior to receiving my referral for Graeme. As soon as I had his referral, I added 3 babies with CL/CP or just cleft palate to my caseload. It was as if I was being prepared yet again.
193. I could never have imagined what it would be like to be a Mom to a son. He brings so much love and joy to my life each and every day.
194. I love sleeping in fuzzy socks.
195. I have ridden in a Gondola once. Since I have never been to Italy, how is that possible you ask? I rode in one at the Venetian in Las Vegas.
196. I once got Lily dressed in one of her silk outfits from China to go eat Chinese food to celebrate Chinese New Year. The Chinese restaurant was closed so we ended up at the Mexican restaurant instead. The memory is still one of my favorite New Year memories.
197. I keep a journal for both of my children and if nothing else, I write in the journals for each birthday and each gotcha day (the day I first held them in my arms).
198. My 25th high school class reunion will be summer after next. It just doesn’t seem that long ago that I was in school.

One of my class pictures. I wish the today self could go back and talk to the then self. The things I could tell her.
199. I love to look at the night sky with a full moon or an abundance of stars. It seems magical.
200. I have completed this list of 200 things. Hard to believe! My children are snuggled next to me and it is time to put them to bed. If you made it to the end, you are either a true friend, wildly curious, a little insane or bored out of your mind. Whatever the reason, thanks for taking the time!


Kristy said...

Ok Margaret I read all of them and it is not because I was bored. It is because I am a true friend.
Here goes:

#'s 48, 50, 51, 52,59,42,71, 73,102,150,151,153,154, 155,42,and 184 ARE SOOOO ME!!!

My favorite color is purple!

Love #19

My life is an Open Book as you can tell by my blog, I am not very guarded about anything, and sometimes that trait is good and sometimes not so much!!

I love working in the yard!!

I am the Ultimate Cher Fan!!!

I love the picture of you in the car with your hair blowing!

#76 I think that is the one about Disney...LOVE IT, LOVE IT LOVE IT!!!

I love this post!!!

I love the BIG HAIR...I was so there!!! I graduated in 85, when did you ???

In my lifetime I have been a bridesmaid over 20 times, so for that green dress, I had a few of those myself!!! lol

Oh and as for #176, I'm a Country Girl, if I gotta go, I WILL go!!!

Thank you again for sharing , I feel like I know you so much more now!1

Love you, Kristy

Chelley said...

Love the hair!!! Really it is cool!!!

That was An awesome post and how you seemed to get to 200 without much problem's cant wait for the 300th post!

Kristin said...

Wow! I love your list. I read each thing and kept thinking how much we have in common!!

I had my tonsils out at 21 also. I agree, do it at at earlier age. It was no fun.

It's cold and rainy here today. I am looking forward to my nap----it's a perfect nap day!

I hope you have a great weekend!!

Mama Duck said...

LOVE that list!! WOW!! (I have over 500 posts on my blog though, so forget it! It would take me 10 years to think of 200 things, and I couldn't possibly do more.) Love the big hair, love that hand-sewn quilt--so many of those things were so terrificly funny, and others were so heartfelt and poignant! WOW! I'm impressed!

Cora said...

Wow that is quite a list! I am glad to get to know you a little better. Great post! said...

#201. Margaret is one of the most amazing people Mary Broussard has ever known!!! We miss you in South Louisiana!!! :)

Melody and Brian said...

I read it all. Loved the pics too!

You wore big hair well!

zsjmom said...

That was just plain fun! I have to say that it was fun to see how much we have in common and how different we are.
Stargazer lillies are my favorite flowers, and I once heard that China thinks of their children as flowers, so I almost named Julia, Lily.

I love to be at the pool with my kids, but I am borderline afraid of water, so I was never a swimmer, and I still prefer the side of the pool.

Try as I might, I could never get my hair into that high 80's style. However, I do think that yours could rival my sisters who both managed quite well during those years.

As for loving my children, Zach was the first human that I ever truly thought I could die for. All the others are loved every bit as much, and I am crazy about how much Julia loves to just cuddle, and yes, if I can do it again, I will adopt again.

I have to admit that I do have a certain amount of jealousy that Shaun Cassidy was your first concert. His album was the first album I ever owned, and I just loved him. -yes, this is indeed sad but true

I also have journals for each of my children, but they have been neglected for far too long now. Wyatt's webpage is my journal for him.

I used to scrapbook for hours at a time, but I have allowed myself to turn that over to blogging.

I love that you have so many pictures included in this post as well.

I would absolutely love to volunteer in a Chinese orphanage. I could go back every year to visit China.
I'm still praying for you.

FHL said...

I made it to the end...hope that makes me a friend and not insane *wink*

Loved this post! If the Army ever moves us into your neck of the woods....we'll have to plan a night to the theater! My favorites are Les Miserable and Phantom...but I love them all :o)

I hope you're having a good weekend Margaret!
P.S. The big hair pics made me smile! I keep waiting for it to come back in style :o)

Denise said...

I read them all too. We have so much more in common than I realized, except you had a bit more fun in your youth then I did! Shaun Cassidy was my first concert too!

Thanks for sharing your list and letting us get to know you better.

Ivy said...

Hi I wanted to invite you to the Matilda Jane online show today. I know RMJ has a wish list with them and I have her list too!
All you have to do is go to their website and email me I'll put you in contact with Beckie or you can go to The Seventh Diamond for details too.

Love this post.


Donna said...

Margaret, that was awesome!! I read "most" of them :) You've had some life - done so many things!! I loved your pictures, and oh the HAIR! lol...
Oh, and I also have my masters in SLP, but I've not practiced since my oldest (13) was 16 months old!