Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Altitude's 4th Game

Brian, my mom, Jayce, Monica, and myself all attended Jaina's fourth soccer game last Saturday. We were a little worried at first, because the team's star player Lily, didn't show. She is the one that primarily scores all of our teams goals! But not to worry, Brooke, Nina, Lauren, and even Courtney decided to take up the slack this game! The Altitudes continue to be undefeated!

Jaina started the game out very hesitantly. Its kinda hard to teach aggressiveness as it applies to sports. Besides, Jaina is the only first grader on her team and one of the only ones that hasn't played soccer before. You should have seen the size of the kids on the opposing team this time! Those third graders looked like fifth graders! I would have been intimidated, too!

So, we are trying to encourage Jaina that its okay to steal the ball away. If the ball is up for grabs and you see a member of the opposing team come at it, it really is okay for you to get in there and try to take it first!

This is my favorite picture! Watch Jaina push that girl out of her way! GO JAINA!

Good game, guys!!!

Thanks for coming, Monica!!!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

three new posts

Check below for all the new posts from Keep It Together. I know most of my readers have me on their blog roll, so only my newest post will show up. I would hate for anyone to miss cute pictures!


The Weather Cooperates

Although Sept. 22nd was the first official day of Fall, we sure didn't feel it until later in the week!

Its just not "Fall" to me unless we are wearing long sleeves or light weight jackets. For the most part, I LOVE the weather in the south. I love the heat of the summer and the briefness of the winter. What I can't stand is the wishy-washy flipping back and forth fight that the seasons do twice a year. Is it hot? Is it cold? Do we need pants? Or shorts?

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know you are supposed to layer and all that jazz. But I hate wearing layers. And besides, it may be 60's in the morning and the jeans you put on might feel great, but no one wants to wear hot denim pants with the 80's (or even 90's) sun blaring down through your car window.

Whatever I send Jaina to school in, chances are, she'll be miserable in it before the day is over.

And then we'll have one week of cooler weather and everyone in SC will rush around breaking out the long sleeve clothes for their kids. Then the next week will be 90's and you are back to wearing the same tank top and short set you bought at the beginning of last summer.

You can tell some of the leaves on the trees *want* to turn colors, but its just not quite time yet. And don't you dare put out mums right now... not unless you want them to live!

On Thursday, we had a cool overcast day and I was able to put long sleeves and pants on Jayce to wear comfortably. He's just too cute :)

We have a cat named Pearl

Isn't she a beauty?

Lucky for us, no one in the family is allergic to her.

She gets along fabulously with the dog Alli.

She doesn't shed.

Pearl is happy with lucky charms and a bowl of milk.

Her skein of yarn is her favorite toy.

Jayce's first friend

Although Jayce has attended our chapter of MOMS Club since birth, including his own '05 playgroup once a month made up of kids just his age, Jayce really hasn't made any friends despite all his exposure to the same kids. He can recognize some of them by name... Connor, Liam, Caroline, etc, but he's never asked to play with them or been excited about seeing them before.

There are 4 little boys in Jayce's special needs preschool morning class, but only one of them have I gotten to know over the past few weeks. Sometimes I forget that this really is a small town and you are bound to run into the same people at the same locations you frequent with your kids.

I attended a MOPS (Moms of Preschoolers) group when Jayce was a toddler. I enjoyed it, but Jayce didn't really and it became more of a hassle than a pleasure to go. But I really loved getting to know some of the women in that group. It just so happens that one of those moms I met lives in my neighborhood and is now my Tuesday/Thursday walking buddy. Another mom I met through MOPS just recently received a PDD-NOS diagnosis for her 3 year old son. It was this mom that I ran into at McDonald's one day. Another mom she was sitting with looked very familiar, but it was she who placed me soon after meeting me, "Your son is in my son's preschool class!" And so is the story of meeting my new friend Becca.

Becca's son Lou is a sweet happy child, a great balance to my negative non-compliant grumpy kiddo. (And yes, he really is like this a lot, you just won't see too many pictures of Jayce acting contrary. I have a tendency to only shoot smiling happy Jayce). Jayce and Louis have really hit it off and seem to enjoy each other's company at school. Jayce now says Lou's name synonymously with attending school.

We've also gotten the boys together for 3 play dates that have been really fun! We headed to the park on a gorgeous day last Wednesday:

I think both Jayce and mommy benefited from this new friendship :)

Get ready for some serial posting!

We've had a super busy past couple of days!

On Thursday, Jayce was "sick" (and by "sick", I mean he had a clear, slightly drippy nose, but since his teacher is paranoid about germs, I couldn't bring him to school) so we hung out together all day doing all the things that Jayce likes to do.

Friday was a teacher workday and we were supposed to go pick apples at the Apple Farm, but we got rained out. Instead, we headed down to the cultural center to see the history museum and the science center (the same one we go to every week). Our friends Jessica, Dana, and Jeanne, with all their children, joined us. We had made lunch plans with our friends as well, but we had to get back by 1:00 PM to see Carmen for EI. Friday night soccer practice was canceled due to the rain as well.

We started this morning off by heading over to Jaina's 4th soccer game. Monica joined our cheering section at the last minute when she found out the game was still on. The girls did amazingly well and The Altitudes are STILL undefeated! More about the game when I post pictures.

Today was the annual GREEK FEST at the church Brian's mother used to attend when she lived here in town. We had a blast! The food was good, Jayce loved the dancing, and Jaina sweet-talked her daddy into buying her a beautiful bracelet :) Pictures will come soon. I am having trouble getting our computer downstairs to read my CF card after I formatted it. I guess its a Brian Job :)

Anyway, I do have pictures to post from earlier this week. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Update on Jayce's therapies

You remember my "WE GOT TEFRA!" post?

Well, we got back into Occupational Therapy (OT) and Speech and Feeding Therapy (ST) at the local hospital at Pediatric Rehabilitation Services. I love everyone at Peds Rehab. They are so great. So wonderful. They love the kids, they bend over backwards to make sure everyone is receiving the best care possible.

We were so fortunate to get back into ST/Feeding with Miss Candy (yes, her name really is Candy... how appropriate for a feeding therapist!) Candy was really great with Jayce last Spring. Although our progress was slow in my eyes, she assured me that there are 32 steps that a child with autism must take in order to try a new food willingly. That word is crucial. We do not want to make food a battle, we do not want Jayce to be afraid of food, we want Jayce to enjoy eating and to see it as a pleasure.

Candy has just come back from another conference dealing with food aversions. She is now loaded down with tricks to get kids like Jayce to see food as "safe".

I was amazed at how well Jayce did on Tuesday. Normally, Jayce won't even tolerate a new food on his plate in front of him. He tries to get up out of his chair, he turns his head, he starts to tantrum. This time, Candy called the applesauce "mud" and the pasta "worms" and the peanut butter "dirt" and the cheerios "circles". And they just played. She had him touching all the above foods with the greatest of ease! Now, he did exhibit some defensive behavior when something got to be too much for him. He splays his hands on the side of his face as if he is saying, "Stay away from my face! Don't come near!" and also a lot of head turning and nose crinkling. Jayce will actually crinkle his nose at just the mere thought of food or the mention of the word.

Our plan is for Jayce to work 60 minutes on feeding one week and 60 minutes of speech the next week. We used to do 30/30, but it was hard for Jayce to switch gears and we felt like we weren't accomplishing as much as we could. Jayce's expressive speech has come a long way! He is now categorized as a "mild" expressive speech delay. His vocabulary has greatly expounded and he is putting words together for sentences. Now we need to work on pragmatics. The way he uses language. Jayce might talk a lot now (thank goodness!) but its hard for him to string words into sentences using proper structure. He uses almost no pronouns or adjectives, unless he is repeating exactly what you've just said. For example, he was obviously thinking about the EEG test the other day and was telling me about it.

"Doctors," he said. "No touching the wires, Jayce. Go nite-nite bed. Doctor's bed. All gone take a nap doctors. Pretty hat! No touch the wires."

All that will get better with time and more therapy. We are very careful to model the correct way he should be saying something. If he says, "Jayce is messing with washer" we say, "I am messing with the washer" so he'll then repeat the phrase that way.

However, his receptive language assessment showed that he is now in the category of "severely delayed". This is no surprise to us, considering he can only follow a one-step direction and doesn't seem to understand what we say a lot.

Another funny example....

Jayce was eating a bag of cheese-its in the car one day. We got home and he immediately rushed to the laundry room to see if the clothes were done in the washer so we could put them in the dryer. He laid his bag of cheese crackers down on the floor so he could put the wet clothes in.

A few minutes later he announced, "All done dryer! Clothes in the dryer!" and went off to play.

I asked him, "Jayce, where are your crackers?" and Jayce responded, "Crackers? Want crackers?" I looked on the floor, but didn't see them. "Jayce, did you leave your crackers in the laundry room?"

"Crackers laundry!" he says excitedly. All I can think is Oh no. he put the bag of crackers in the dryer!

"Jayce, where are your crackers? Can you find your crackers?"

He says, "Oh no! Crackers! Gotta find it! Its lost!"

"Jayce, did you put your crackers in the dryer?"

He gets really excited now and says, "CRACKERS IN THE DRYER!!!"

Usually, when he repeats himself like that, you can take that as an affirmative answer. I was getting worried now so I stopped the dryer and pulled out all the wet clothes looking for the bag of crackers. Again, he tells me, "crackers laundry dryer!" so I pull them out a second time, with no luck.

Finally, I walk through the kitchen and see the crackers on the counter, where they have been this whole time. Jayce must have put them there, but he totally didn't remember (or understand) that we were looking for them.

We also met his brand new OT on Tuesday. I loved her! And first impressions mean a lot to me. So far, my gut has not been wrong! She and Jayce hit it off very well. She is young and energetic, fresh out of MUSC (where, coincidently, his old ST by the same name now works!). She seemed very knowledgeable about Sensory Integration Dysfunction which is primarily the reason we see an OT anyway. It was a very smooth transition.

So, that's it. That's what we are going to do every Tuesday from 1-3 pm. We are still looking into other programs as well for Jayce. And he gets ST and OT again at school as well. This is going to be a great year for him :)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

You know I am lazy when...

I put a slide show up on my blog instead of uploading individual pictures. And I hate slide shows. Actually, I love slide shows when someone links me to a full-screen version of them through picasa web albums or flickr. I just can't stand them on blogs for some reason. I almost never look at all the pictures if its in a slide show form. I guess its because I read SO many blogs that I don't have time to wait for it to load.

So, here I am putting yet another slide show on my blog. I will not be upset if no one looks at the pictures of Jaina playing her third soccer game. They are all kinda boring, if you think about it. Shooting sports is not my forte and its hard to get creative. And you can take 200 pictures and only get a handful of decent non-blurry shots. And because I have Jayce to deal with as well, its not like I can wander around the field changing position with my telefoto lens (I don't have a telefoto lens. I actually don't own ANY lenses other than the 15-80mm standard).

Okay, so maybe I'm in a bad mood this evening? Hmmm... I shouldn't be. I had a good day. I am tired, though. I think I'll go to bed and leave updating about Jayce for tomorrow's post :)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Brian's *%$# IBM Birthday Party

Brian turned 34 this year. Tradition calls for a huge birthday bash. Unfortunately, our original date and time had to be scrapped due to a project at his work, so we had to switch it to the previos night. That made several people have to decline. But we still had fun and it was a good turnout despite.

Themes of past parties have included: Justice League, Star Wars, Superman, and The Colbert Report. This year, it was Jaina's idea to have a computer theme. She had seen Dodi's computer cake pan in her garage one time and knew it was perfect for her daddy.

Brian has been VERY unhappy with the support his company and team have received from the very expensive IBM system that they had purchased, so we decided to turn his party into an IBM bash. (No offense to anyone who reads this that works for IBM or who's spouse works for IBM. I ams sure you personally have no part in this particular system).

Anyway, the party was basically an excuse to eat a computer cake with an expletive on it, play beer pong, and bash a computer (kinda like what they did to the printer/copier on the movie Office Space).

All in all, it was a great night. My mom let Jaina spend the night with her and we just put Jayce to bed when people started to arrive. He slept the entire night and even let his mommy and daddy sleep until 8 the next morning!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Schedule Smedule

You guys know me, I detest the word "schedule". After all, who wants to be a slave to time? Jaina and I are definitely more carefree, uninhibited, flexible, and spontaneous. We base our activities on how we feel, not what time or day it is. Jayce and Brian? LOL, not so much! Those boys love their routine. They like to know that their world never changes and that everything is constant. I do see merit in having both personalities living in our home.

So, as not to run around like a chicken with my head cut off most days, we developed a nice relaxed flexible routine, (not a schedule, mind you!), that will help keep us organized in the late afternoons and evenings. We get home at 2:45 and I let Jaina veg on the couch for a bit or play, whatever she chooses. Jayce usually has his rest time in his room, no more naps for him unless they are in the car. At 4:00, Jayce has the option of either TV or the computer, since I sit down with Jaina and complete homework. Then at 5:00, my friend Patty calls and talks to me while I do dishes. I really hate dishes, but I find that they are bearable if I am talking on the phone :) Around 6, I throw the kids in the bath (or Jaina showers while Jayce bathes) and I also start dinner about this time. If dinner is complicated, I start it first and bathe kids while it cooks. If dinner is quick and easy, I start it after I get them out of the bath.

Brian walks in around 7 and we eat at 7:30. Jayce goes to bed before we sit down to dinner (which has its pros and cons) and Jaina picks out her bedtime books from the library right after we eat. She's usually in bed asleep by 8 or 8:30.

So far, its worked really well. Sometimes we hit up a MOMS Club activity at 3:00 afterschool or go to the Science Center. Sometimes we just hang out at the park or have a playdate. Whatever floats our fancy that day :)

Yesterday, we headed to the Fire Station to attend a MOMS Club field trip.

Jaina loved it, Jayce not so much. I ended up keeping him happy by letting him play with my DSLR camera. You KNOW I was desperate to keep him quiet if I gave him my good camera to keep him occupied! He took over 100 pictures (with flash!) and ran my battery down, but boy did people remark that he held it together for that last 1/2!

Here's a picture of his shoe. Good photography, Jayce! :)

Jaina and her friend Connor, while listening to the video about fire safety:

After the video and lesson on fire fighters, the kids got to go outside to see real fire trucks. Jayce? Yeah, didn't want to have a single thing to do with it. Instead he pushed the stroller around and around through the garage, to the front door of the station, back to the room that the video was in, back to the garage, and so forth. We must have done at least 20 laps around the place. I had to follow him to open doors and such (and to make sure he was out of trouble) so I completely missed Jaina getting to ride in a fire truck :( Thankfully my friend Dana saw that I as occupied with Jayce and kept a close eye on Jaina for me. She is such an awesome friend!

After we got in our car to head home, Laura stuck her head out her window and said, "Hey! A bunch of us are going to head to the park! Wanna come?" Jaina immediately agreed and I thought about it. I had a billion reasons to say no.

-It was already 20 until 5:00 PM
-We needed to homework
-I was making a new recipe that night and I had no idea how long dinner would take
-I had 3 piles of laundry calling my name to fold
-The kids were in long-sleeves (it was cool yesterday morning, but hot by afternoon)
-We were out of juice in Jayce's sippy cup and no water for Jaina and I to drink.
-The fire station kind of exhausted me, so I was looking forward to going home.

But we went anyway. And had a BLAST! We stayed until 6:30 and I never once looked at my watch :) We ran through a Chick-fil-a drive thru on the way and grabbed a large coke for us all to share.

And you know what? Brian called as we were walking in the door at quarter til 7:00 to tell us he'd be late. I fed Jaina soup, threw the kids in the bath, put them in bed, and Brian and I had a lovely meal just the two of us at 8:00 PM :) It all worked out fine!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Play Time

So, Jaina's been teaching Jayce how to play games with her.

Overheard in the car:

"Simon says, pat your legs!", Jaina instructs. Jayce obediently pats his legs. "Okay, now Simon Says to beep your nose! Beep your nose, Jayce!" and Jayce does it. "Now, Simon Says to be a tree! Be a tree Jayce! Tree! NO! Be a tree!! Yay, you got it!" and then the funny one, "Simon says be a cookie! Can you be a cookie Jayce? Be a cookie!" Even *I* don't know how to "be a cookie"

Overheard in the living room:

"Do you want to play Duck Duck Goose, Jayce? Play Duck Duck Goose? I'll teach you! Come here Jayce!" Jayce follows her to the living room and says, "Duck!" excitedly. "Okay, now, sit in a circle, Jayce! Sit here in a circle!" (Jayce is the only kid in the room besides Jaina )

And the other day:

"Jayce! We are going to play Hide and Seek. Hide and seek? I'll count? You hide! Go hide, Jayce! Go! Jaina count! You hide! Okay, I'm going to start counting.... 1....2....3..." and Jayce stands there and counts along, "1....2......3"

Jaina says, "NO, Jayce! *I* am the one who gets to count! Go hide! Go on! Run, Jayce! Run!"

Jayce runs around the room saying, "Running! Running!"

"Okay, Jayce... you count, I'll go hide. Okay? You count! Count to 10!"

Jaina runs out of the room. Jayce follows her. "No, Jayce! You are supposed to count!'

Jayce sticks his finger out and wags it at Jaina, "Count to three! 1....2.....3.... Jaina, stop do it!" (like she's in trouble, so he's "counting" for her!)

It definitely helped!!!

Wow, all your prayers and thoughts and good vibes must have really worked today, because we had an AWESOME visit at the children's hospital!! :) WOO HOO!

We arrived at 9:00 AM this morning after driving 45 minutes in gusting rain and getting stuck on 85 in traffic. Luckily the paperwork wasn't too intensive and they called us back to the room about 5 minutes later.

The room was so cozy, Jayce climbed up on the bed immediately and started playing with a VTECH baby toy that had lights and sounds... his favorite combo! The nurse showed Jayce the purple "hat" he was going to wear and got Jayce all excited about it. We showed him pictures of an astronaut in the same kind of hat, and we showed Jayce what he looked like in the mirror with his hat on. He tolerated the "hat" well and soon forgot it was on him. We told him that the blue gooky gel stuff was "lotion" and that he would smell pretty. Since Jayce likes lotion (on his hands, not anywhere else) he found this to be acceptable.

He had 3 leads that were attached by big stickers that he didn't care for, but he did not really bother them past the first initial tries of taking them off.

Then they wrapped his head in a big gauze bandage so he wouldn't touch it anymore and it worked!

We were there for 2.5 hours, but Jayce would not go to sleep. He stayed in the bed, laying down the ENTIRE time (which amazed me) and several times, he was actually still and quiet for over 5 minutes and we were sure he'd go to sleep soon. Nope. But the tech said they think they got good tape, whatever that means.

We'll know the results soon. I'm just glad that's over with!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Keep us in your thoughts tomorrow

Tomorrow I have to take Jayce to a hospital in Greenville for an EEG. I'm not *too* worried about him having abnormal results. Although we do have epilepsy in our family, I've never really felt like Jayce is having a seizure. But since both the developmental ped and the geneticist suggested it, we need to get it done.

I am worried he will freak out. He HATES wet/sticky stuff on him. Unless he's asleep when they put the leads on (and he does have to be asleep for part of the test), he is going to mind. And how on earth am I going to get him to sleep in such a different location?

Please send positive vibes our way tomorrow. Thanks :)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Art Time and Science Time

Jaina enjoyed an entire hour of drawing with colored pencils and a "How to Draw Animals" book as a guide. She drew 8 pictures: a hamster, a fish, a dog (Momma and puppy), a cat, a turtle, a parakeet, a pink bunny with a carrot, and a lizard. We matted all of them this afternoon and hung them up around the house. I am sure a post about Jaina's Gallery will be in the works soon :)

While Jaina was busy in the art room with my mom, I took Jayce to the Science Center.

He learned about muscles, where his heart and brain are, and about the nervous system:

I tried to take pictures of the cars going down the track, but Jayce was too fast for me every.single.time! As soon as I'd set all the cars up, he'd push the big green button and send them on down the track.


We finally figured out how to use the magnet exhibit. Dummy mommy had NO idea previously that you had to turn the crank to charge the magnet. We had a great time watching little metal balls crash onto drum cymbols. Oh, and Jayce can read the words "Up" and "Down" and I had no idea until yesterday!


But the most fun we have at the science center involves the potential energy machine. Turning the crank, you load all the balls up the elevator-like shaft. Then they drop down a wire run until you release them onto another track. It is Jayce's favorite exhibit to play with, hands down:

We were going to make a habit out of going to the Arts Center every Tuesday, but we just got a call from Regional... he's back in therapy!! He'll start OT and Feeding next Tuesday afternoon. We'll have to make another day our science/art day :)

Monday, September 08, 2008

Autism Support Group and ABA therapy

So, I started going to the Autism Support group that our county's "Family Connection" program offers. To say that it is a small group is an understatement. I know more parents of children with autism that don't go to the meetings than ones that do. I really don't know why I go. Its not that I don't get anything out of it, because nothing could be further from the truth. But I also feel like the group could be so much better if there was more people in it. Its really hard to get a feeling of support when there is only you, the leader, and one other mom there.

Tonight we watched a DVD that a mom brought in called "RECOVERY". It was the same spiel that I heard 10 years ago in college. If you have a young child with autism, you put them in an intense therapy program called "Applied Behavioral Analysis" for 40 hours a week and in a few years, you can't even tell they were ever once diagnosed with autism.

When I took the class back at Converse, I thought to myself, "Well, if I ever have a child with autism, this is definitely what I'd do." ABA therapy is based on discrete trials, concrete data, and meeting goals. Its very easy to see all the excellent results that this program can offer children with autism.

However, no one tells you that ABA therapy is the most expensive out there. And that medicaid and most private insurances do not pay a penny. Or that schools are not required to provide it either. Or that 40 hours is a REALLY long time for your three year old to be sitting at a table working on tasks the entire time. Or that ABA really doesn't address any of the sensory integration issues that a lot of kids on the spectrum face.

I realize now that ABA therapy isn't for everyone. Not only do I know that most parents can't afford it, but I also know that there are plenty of other therapies that help. And that basic principles of ABA can be applied in many different settings other than running discreet trials.

Do I ever want Jayce to have the opportunity for ABA therapy? Yes, I actually do. I have a call into one of the academies here that provide ABA services for kids like Jayce. But I won't be stopping his other therapies or cutting his time in preschool short.

When all is said and done, I really want Jayce to get the help he needs to be able to function in society as an independent person. I don't want to change him or his personality. I don't want him to love computers any less, I just want him to be comfortable with finding other hobbies as well. And I'm honestly okay if his hand flapping never goes away. There is a theory that children and adults with autism self-stim because it helps them organize their thoughts and it just plain feels good. Why would I want him to stop? Instead, maybe we could help him find other ways that are more socially appropriate, but still necessary, for him to do.

Do I hope Jayce will recover? First you have to define what you mean by the word. Even if Jayce loses his label and no longer meets criteria set forth in the diagnostic manual, his brain is still going to be wired the same way it was when he was born. His autistic symptoms might lessen as he gains new skills, but he's still the same person he's always been. So does "recovered" mean they don't have autism anymore? I just don't know. Or does it mean that you just can't tell? Of course, then one could argue that if he "recovers" then he never did have autism in the first place, it was just a mis-diagnosis. You could drive yourself batty just thinking about all of this.

So, really, this post has no point. Just a rambling of thoughts that were in my head after the meeting. I try not to get too deep or philosophical about anything because that's just not me. I am a very "what you see on the surface is what you get" kind of person. I leave all the deep soul searching to my friend Marci who does it much better than me :)

Sunday, September 07, 2008

First Soccer Game

One last sip before game time!

Pep talk before the game starts:

And they are off!

A quick water break and a daddy cuddle for Jaina:

Jayce and Gray really got into the game! At first Jayce wanted to run around on the field and would NOT sit down. But I gave him choices, "Sit with Gray, sit with Mommy, or sit with daddy" and he choose his Gray. After a while when the game really got underway you could hear him scream, "Kick the ball! GO BLUE!". Two little girls got the soccer ball kicked into their face and Jayce was right there giving them tissues on the sidelines. He was so stinkin' cute during the game!

Jaina played a great game and got pretty equal playing time as the rest of her teammates. I was surprised at how much she was allowed to play "Forward" because in practice, all she's done is play defense in the back:

Jaina got to kick off right after 1/2 time was over for the start of a new period!

Lining up to give "High Five's":

Whew! Its done! Coming to see Mommy, Daddy, Jayce, and Gray after the game:

The Altitudes (Aka, the Blue team) won 4-0. But they don't keep score :) Only parents!

Jaina loved it and had a great time!