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Becoming a Castle

27 March 2013
I petitioned BYU in January to see if I could possibly have my first semester of college taken off my transcript. I was 17 that semester and I was dying. I had severe depression and was suicidal, and I had un-diagnosed social anxiety which made me feel like a crazy, useless person. I didn't go to class more than a few times that semester. I have felt guilty about it for the last 8 years.

I didn't really expect anything to come of the petition, but a chance is better than nothing and it's better to try and fail than to not try. So I turned in a petition with documentation, the support of the University Accessibility Center, and a two page letter I wrote to the petitions committee explaining in detail what happened. (I'd like to send it out to a few people who don't know about that part in my life, mostly because I'd like some feedback on the letter and stuff. If you're interested, comment and I'll email it to you.) I am proud of myself for this part in particular:

I understand that having my grades removed is not a given and that it’s a rare thing to have done; however, I believe that I faced significant mental health challenges during the Fall 2004 semester and that I was unable to perform to the best of my ability. Since returning to BYU in January 2013, my husband, doctor and I have all noted a significant increase in my personal happiness. I love going to school. I love BYU. I am happy that I faced these challenges in 2004 because if nothing else, they have allowed me to appreciate every second I am able to spend on campus now.

Honestly, it's true. Even though this trial sucks and I hate it, I am still happy with where I am now. Sure, I'd like to have graduated at age 19 and gotten a medical degree and etc., but if I had done that I wouldn't have Hawk and Sparrow. (This is how I came to terms with not serving a mission too, by the way.) If my life had gone as I had planned it, I would be more accomplished on the outside, but significantly lonelier and sadder on the inside.

So thank you, Lord, for taking me where Thou wouldst have me go. I'm sorry I fight it so often. Please help me to listen to Thee and to understand that Thou hast better plans for me than I have for myself.

I think I finally understand that C.S. Lewis quote:

“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of - throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.”

If only

23 March 2013
If I hadn't listened to my doctors, I would probably have a 5 year old and a 3 year old right now.

I would also probably be dead

But sometimes I'm not sure if being dead and never having any more children isn't kind of the same thing.

Sparrow has been really good this week. It's easier to be fine with an only child when that only child is hell-on-toast.

What It's Like to Have an Anxiety Disorder

20 March 2013
My friend Owly found this for me today. I read it and cried. It is so accurate. Last night I had a two hour panic attack. Because the only thing I could think of was how awful I was as a parent and how mean I was to Sparrow when he was a little baby 2 year old. And then today all I could think about was how I was horrible because I was missing school from having a migraine due to the medication I took to help with the panic attack. Anxiety disorders suck. And it's important to note that not all disorders manifest the same way, which makes them a pain in the butt to treat.

Things we are trying to do all the time:

  • 1. be safe

things we can’t help but do all the time:

  • 1. second-guess ourselves
  • 2. behave impulsively and reactively
  • 3. take everything personally
  • 4. worry
  • 5. worry
  • 6. worry
  • 7. have difficulty accepting compliments
  • 8. have difficulty reciprocating friendly gestures
  • 9. have difficulty finding the courage to respond
  • 10. have difficulty not being suspicious of others’ intentions
  • 11. make a huge deal out of the smallest thing

things you should keep in mind:

  • 1. we’re scared of everything
  • 2. pretty much all of the time
  • 3. it’s an actual disorder
  • 4. it manifests as impulsive behavior
  • 5. you can’t fix us with words
  • 6. telling us “worrying is silly” won’t make us stop worrying
  • 7. it’ll only make us feel silly
  • 8. and then we’ll worry even more
  • 9. “oh god, am i worrying too much? what if she calls me silly again?”
  • 10. like that
  • 11. also, we wear a lot of armor
  • 12. cold, heavy, affection-proof armor with spikes
  • 13. we constructed this armor as children
  • 14. we’re fairly certain you will never be able to pry it apart
  • 15. but there is a nice person under there, we promise

things you can do for a friend with an anxiety disorder:

    ...
  • 11. they will obsess over how she is being interpreted
  • 12. they will anticipate being judged
  • 13. it took me four hours just to type this much
  • 14. even though i sound casual
  • 15. that’s because i have an anxiety disorder

things you shouldn’t do:

  • 1. tell us not to worry
  • 2. tell us we’ll be fine
  • 3. mistake praise for comfort
  • 4. ask us if we are “getting help”
  • 5. force us to be social
  • 6. force us to do things that trigger us
  • 7. “face your fears” doesn’t always work
  • 8. because—remember—scared of everything
  • 9. in fact, it would be more accurate to say we are scared of the fear itself

if you have an anxiety disorder:

  • 1. it’s okay.
  • 2. even if you worry that it’s not okay.
  • 3. it’s still okay. it’s okay to be scared. it’s okay to be scared of being scared.
  • 4. you are not crazy. you are not a freak.
  • 5. i know there’s a person under all that armor.
  • 6. and i know you feel isolated because of it.
  • 7. i won’t make you take it off.
  • 8. but know that you are not alone.

You are not alone.

5 Year Pictures

19 March 2013
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I'm a little late in getting Sparrow's 5 year portraits done (because Hawk said we already had ENOUGH pictures of him turning 5, what with the Disneyland trip and all.) But then I found out that a local photography studio had baby bunnies for Easter and I had to hold baby bunnies so I sneakily booked a session. I don't know why I think I'm being sneaky since we only have one bank account and Hawk is the one in charge of it. But whatever - I held baby bunnies!

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Oh, Sparrow? He didn't like the bunnies. He was, in fact, petrified of the bunnies. I have never met anyone who was so scared of bunnies in my life. I did not know it was possible to be afraid of bunnies.

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Actually, he was so well behaved I thought maybe aliens had stolen my child. Sparrow is notorious for being hard to get good pictures of, because he can't hold still, look at the camera and smile at the same time. Only recently has he gotten this figured out and he still usually gives this weird cheesy grin thing which I don't like. He's really cute he's just hard to photograph. When I buy cameras I have to make certain to get one that can take rapid-burst pictures and then I have to go weed through 50 pictures to find the one where he did not have his eyes crossed or his tongue hanging out. So anyway, yay for photography studios who take great pictures, are reasonably priced and have baby bunnies.

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I used to feel guilty whenever I took Sparrow to a portrait studio (every 3 months his first year and then every 6 months until last year.) But I don't feel guilty anymore. Because he is my only child, he will always be my only child, and how much longer am I going to get to dress him up in whatever I want and make him be cute? My time is numbered. Soon he will be a surly teenager and he'll shave his curly hair off just to spite me and he'll paint his eyeballs black.

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And I just realized like two days ago that I have approximately five pictures of Hawk and I during our first year of marriage. That is so sad. That is ridiculous. Don't be like me. Someday you will be old (like me) and will want to look back and see what you looked like when you were newlywed or pregnant or 22 and you will look and there will be no pictures. And you will be sad. And then you will remember I told you so, because I can see the future.

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Bionic Thumb

18 March 2013
Hawk sprained my thumb. It happened 10 days ago and my hand hurt so bad all last week I thought I would die, but I figured I was just being a wuss. It got worse over the weekend so I went to the doctor today. Just a sprain. Nothin' they can do. Take Ibuprofen. Oh, and tape thumb to Popsicle stick for 2-3 more weeks. So now I am walking around with a stick-thumb. I have been aiming the stick at Hawk and trying to give him splinters. Which is perhaps part of the reason I ended up with a stick-thumb anyway. I'm like the early prototype of the Bionic woman, only much lamer. (I was just trying to lighten my husband's mood by tickling him. I have learned my lesson. Tickling = Sprained thumb. Next time I tickle, I will tape up my hands first.)

5 Year Olds and Ritalin

14 March 2013
We started Sparrow on medication in January. It is not something we wanted to do, especially since we tried it last summer and he had a very bad reaction. But it was to the point where we didn't have any other options available. Counseling wasn't working, special diets weren't working, nothing was working. We have tried everything. We started on an anti-anxiety medication first and then after a month added in an ADHD medication last month.

The difference has been phenomenal. We have seen a marked improvement at home, but more important is the difference at school. In November, Sparrow could follow directions 20% of the time. He can now follow them 90% of the time. In November, he could transition from activities without tantrums 10% of the time. Now he transitions well 90% of the time. He used to play with peers his own age 30% of the time (he preferred to interact with adults so he could control the play) and now he's up to 70% of the time. The Ritalin has made such a difference. It is obvious to us that he feels better about himself and is much more confident in his abilities to behave. He no longer focuses on how "bad" he was during school. He no longer gets in trouble constantly. He doesn't have to go to the "safe area" (he used to spend lots of time away from other students because he would lash out physically.) Just prior to starting medication, we met with the school to form a Behavioral Plan for Sparrow. We authorized his teacher to physically restrain him if necessary. I am so thrilled to report that since he started medication, he has not had to be physically restrained.

He's still a challenge. He's been extremely mouthy and talks back a LOT over the last month. But he can sit still. He can focus! He can concentrate! I can't believe it.

Here's what cemented it for me. I signed Sparrow up for a talent agency a long time ago. I apply him to "gigs" every once in a while, but there is rarely anything available for his age group. Last week they had an opening for a boy age 4-6, so I applied him and he was chosen to do a photo shoot for a local business. Sparrow has never photographed well because he can't hold still, look at the camera and smile at the same time. So I was nervous about today. We talked a lot on the way to the business about listening and obeying the photographer and I just hoped for the best.

We get there and Sparrow was polite. He was kind. He was a model for a basketball company/place, and he shared the ball with the other kids and asked them nicely if they wanted to play with him (and didn't throw a fit when they said no.) He was able to smile happily and naturally at the photographer when asked. He was able to hold a pose for several minutes at a time, even with the distractions of 5 open basketball games playing around him and another child-model who kept sneaking away and getting into the photographer's bag to steal candy. (Seriously!) I couldn't believe it. I was so happy I could have cried. My little boy seemed normal today for the first time in a long time. He acted like a 5 year old instead of a 2 year old. I am so proud of him. I am so happy we started medication.

I am still concerned about the long term effects. I am also concerned about his anxiety. Last summer he had panic attacks when we went outside (every time we went outside, opened a window/door, or did anything outdoors ever) because of bugs/bees. I don't know how he'll react this year but we are starting to talk now about bugs and bees and how they are growing up and will visit us this summer and if we leave them alone they will leave us alone. So we'll see. We'll cross that bridge when we get there. But oh, the improvement.

For the photo shoot today, they had the 3 kids dress up in dorky basketball outfits. Sparrow's made me about die laughing. He looks just like Napoleon Dynamite! This was really the first time he's held a basketball (we are not sports oriented parents and he's already accident prone enough without having giant balls lying around the house.) He really liked bouncing the ball with me and I taught him the Spanish word for ball while we played. Now I'm thinking about enrolling him in a soccer or some kind of sports class this summer. I just put him in a ballet class for preschoolers which starts in April (we went to the Sleeping Beauty ballet at BYU a few weeks ago and he was entranced - he LOVED it. I was so bored I fell asleep.)

In terrifying news, on March 1 I took my English midterm. I was sick and had a fever of 100, but I suffered through. I emailed the teacher after the midterm and told her I was sorry and that I had studied but was so sick I couldn't work up to my normal standards. Today we got the midterms back. Except for me. My midterm did not come back. The teacher never got my midterm. What?! The testing center didn't give it to her. I am terrified. Did I not submit it right? Did it just get lost? I can prove that I took it - I mean, I can tell her what questions I remember from it; I know the exact time I took it; I sent the email to her... but what if it's gone forever? I know I didn't get a great grade on it but a 70% is better than a 0! I am nervous and I don't know what is going to happen (she's looking into it but what if it's gone?!)

I also sprained my thumb last Friday and can't do things like button up stuff, hold my violin, open zippers on my backpack... bah!

Here's a picture I grabbed of Sparrow today. I can't wait to see what kind of shots the photographer got (he said they should be ready in a week and I can use the pictures for whatever; he was taking them just for this basketball place and stock photography type stuff.)

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Doesn't that just make your day? I can't wait till he's old enough for me to use this picture as blackmail!

Kindred Spirits

05 March 2013
Today is my grandma's birthday! Sparrow and I were going to go visit her today. He made her a special card in preschool (for him, that is a huge deal. He does not like to do arts/crafts things very much, and at school there are tons of toys vying for his attention.) But then when he got home from school, he was so sick. He had a little fever. So we stayed home. I was very disappointed. I had hoped to help make my grandma's day special. Everyone deserves a special birthday! Sparrow even cried "but Mommy, if we don't visit today, it won't be Grandma's birthday anymore! She needs to have us with her on her birthday so it will be fun!"

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I guarantee, little Sparrow, if you give her your germs and she gets sick, she will never forgive you for this birthday present. NEVER.

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I love my grandma so much. She is my second mom. I lived with her (and my mom and aunt) until I was 3 and I still remember it. I used to stay over at her house every weekend until I was 14 to give my parents a break from me. I grew up with her as a very strong influence in my life, and I am so grateful for it. If I hadn't had my grandma I truly don't know if I would be here today. Sometimes I didn't do things because I knew she wouldn't approve (or I did things because I knew she would.) She supported me when I needed it most - she's still my biggest fan, and one of the only people I have ever let read my first novel (because it's just so bad.)

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My grandma and I are kindred spirits, buddies and pals, two peas from the same pod. We have the same wacky sense of humor. She likes to make me fix her computer and I like to laugh at with her. We have our own special language - sometimes Grandma can't think of the words she is trying to say, so she draws a picture with her hands. And I get it every single time. Everyone else just looks at her and thinks she is loony. (Which she is, let's be honest.) The other day I was talking to Hawk, and I couldn't think of the word so I started drawing a picture. Hawk rolled his eyes and said "I'm not your grandma! I don't know what you're doing!"

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My wacky grandma and mom in 2009.

Grandma is an amazing example to me. She raised my mom and aunt by herself and went back to school to get her Master's degree in teaching so she could support her family. She joined the church as an adult and has the strongest testimony of anyone I've ever met. Don't let that fool you - she has a wicked sense of humor and a rebellious streak as long as she is tall (and she is tall!) but she tries her best to behave herself when she has to :)

100_1235 Great-Grandma and Sparrow on his due date.

Sparrow's original due date was March 10, 2008. I wanted so badly for him to be born on March 5th! What an amazing present for my grandma, and what a fun thing for both of them to share a birthday. But he had his own ideas. My grandma was the first person I called when I was admitted to the hospital. She was the first person in my family to meet little Sparrow. After he was born and in the NICU, she flew to Arkansas and moved in with us. She cleaned my house from top to bottom and scrubbed it till it sparkled. (It was really dirty, because I was so sick I couldn't do more than the bare bones job and even that got overlooked once I was put on bed rest.) She fed us, helped me learn how to take care of Sparrow, and put up with all of us.

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Grandma and me in 1986

Don't get me wrong - she's not perfect. She has had a computer since 2001 and still can't figure out how to use the Internet (she also still uses dial-up, which makes her frustrated because it's so slow, but she won't shell out more than $10 a month for the Internet so she can't upgrade. Gah!!) She can be VERY BOSSY just like my mom. She's more subtle about her bossiness, but it's still there. Sometimes she goes to the drive-thru at Wendy's and orders a "Carl's Jr." She can't spell to save her life. Sometimes she tells my mom and aunt that I stole her Lortab and am a drug addict. (thanks Grandma!)

HPIM0783 Four generations in 2008

My grandma was my first best friend. She has always taken care of me even when I didn't deserve it. She is my defense when I need her, even though standing up to my mom is really scary. She is my refuge. I don't know what I would do without her. I love her so much. I am so grateful that I have been able to be so close to her throughout my life. She is the best grandma anyone could ever ask for. She is the kindest, most patient person I know. She is beautiful. And her house smells amazing all the time. Oh, and she's the only person I will ever happily talk to on the phone. I HATE phones, but I can talk to my grandma for 2-5 hours a week without issues. She's the only person I ever call, and it is awesome.

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At our family's sealing in June 2012.

Sparrow loves his great grandma Dian too. I LOVE that we are so young in our family. I love that my grandma will likely meet her great-great grandchildren. I love that she is so active and fun to be around. Shopping with her is one of my favorite things ever. I hope that someday Sparrow can have the kind of relationship with my mom that I have with my mom's mom, but somehow I doubt it. Because I don't think anyone could ever be as close as my grandma and I are. We are twins, only 40 years apart.

IMG_1460 Four generations in 2012

Happy birthday Grandma. I love you more than I can ever say.

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(Even when you look like this)

Showing off

04 March 2013
I was sick in bed all weekend. Hawk took care of Sparrow and they played at the park and watches movies together while I pouted in my room. Anyway, I am 90% better now, but Sparrow has caught my cold. Poor, poor baby ("Mom! I'm not a baby, I'm a BIG BOY.") It's so pathetic to see him sick with his little cough and hoarse throat.

This is only the 3rd time in his entire life that he has been sick with anything. He's 5! How does a child go 5 years only being sick three times? Especially considering he was born 7 weeks early, in the wintertime, and I've never gone out of my way to avoid being exposed to germs with him. (Mostly because I just kept forgetting about it until after we'd be leaving the McDonald's playplace and by then it was too late.) So it's hard for me, because I don't know how to handle a sick child since I have so little practice with them. Not that I'm complaining!

I just re-discovered this video. I took it the last time he was sick, when he was 2. It is so cute. Oh this kid. His cuteness is ridiculous. (If you watch the video, when he says "strong and furdy," he is trying to say "strong and sturdy.")

In the good news segment of our evening - I finally finished a project I've been working on since Christmas! I am so excited and relieved to finally have it done. My good friend in our neighborhood was due with a baby girl on Valentine's Day so I decided to knit her a baby sweater. I started it right after Christmas, congratulating myself on having such good time-management skills/early preparation skills, whatever. Yay me. So then suddenly it's Valentine's Day, the baby is born (what a great birthday!) and I still don't have the sweater done. Yikes! I went into a frenzy of knitting and completed it last week, but I want to deliver it in person and I don't want to be sick when I do that!

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Look guys! I went a WHOLE BLOG POST without talking about school! Aren't you proud?

Blessings blessings everywhere

02 March 2013
It's the little things that get me, people. These little blessings I receive daily that I don't pay enough attention to. So here I am, calling myself out to accentuate the positive. Some things that have happened this week:

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I lost my wallet on Wednesday. I was at BYU in the Student Center and left it in the bathroom. I walked all the way across campus to the testing center to take my linguistics midterm, realized the wallet was gone, and trekked back over to the Wilk to find it. The entire time I prayed that I would find it. I had just withdrawn $40 in cash and it was in the wallet, along with all my cards and temple recommend. But when I got back to the Wilk, my wallet was exactly where I left it. I am confident that it had been seen, but not touched. And that is why BYU is awesome. And also why I was witnessed in the girl's bathroom in the basement of the Wilk saying a prayer of gratitude on Wednesday.

I studied my pants off for my linguistics midterm and I may have passed it. Woo!

057 This picture is from last February but I had to post it because look at those eyes!

Sparrow was finally approved to start taking an extended release formula of his medication. He started ADHD medication in January and he improves about a half hour after he takes the pill. The improvement lasts for 2-3 hours and then he is back to hanging off the ceiling. His school has seen massive amounts of improvement, which is fantastic, but they get the nice Sparrow and he comes back home and the medication has worn off and then I lose my patience within 3.4 seconds and it's not nice for anyone. So he started the new meds today and he gets a BIG THUMBS UP from me and Hawk. Let's hope we continue to see an improvement. I could really use some improvement with this kid so I don't feel like the worst mommy in the world anymore. (I'm kinda mean to him. I need to be more patient. I hate being patient. I want to be good at being patient RIGHT NOW. I don't want to have to DEVELOP patience! Ugh!!!)

20130215_200041 Apparently, this is a bunny face. The more you know.

This week I was truly thinking of withdrawing, though. I'm not doing well on my tests and I don't know what my grades will be like but they probably won't be very good. And it's hard. It's hard to learn this stuff and hard to deal with the stress and the panic attacks of doom. But as I was preparing myself to walk to the registrar's office to ask them about the withdrawal process, I remembered how badly I wanted to be in school, and how I've wanted this for so long and here I finally am. And I remembered - my biological father was able to give me my very first father's blessing from him back in January, the day before school started. And in that blessing he said that the Lord was mindful of me - that the Lord wants me to be in school, and that I am where I need to be, and if I trust in Him and work with Him, I will be okay. What an incredible promise (and what an incredible blessing that was. I am so grateful I had the opportunity to receive that blessing, which was even more special since it's the first father's blessing I've had in 6 years and like I said, the first one I've ever received from my bio-dad.) So I'm still enrolled and I have decided even if I end up failing my classes and my grades are awful and I get kicked out - so what? I'm still learning. Maybe I don't test well, but I try my very hardest and I do my best on every assignment I am given. And I love this learning stuff.

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Four generations of fun!

My favorite class is still Spanish. I can't believe how much I come away with there. I've started reading simple children's books in Spanish - stuff published for 6 year olds - but I GET it! I can read it! I have been listening to Spanish music and radio and I CAN UNDERSTAND THE WORDS. Sometimes I start thinking in Spanish. It's so cool. I have always wanted to live in a Spanish speaking country. It is my dream to take Sparrow somewhere for 3-6 months and just live like real people. I really want to go back to Guatemala, but now I'm interested in Spain too. And Mexico, to learn more about my stepdad's native country. And Paraguay, where my brother is serving his mission. I want to go everywhere and I want to talk to all the people. Even though I can't really talk well in Spanish yet. At least I understand it! And my other classes are good too. I don't necessarily enjoy Critical Literary Theory but at least Linguistics has started to get a little more understandable.

IMG_2863 7 years ago this month Hawk and I started "officially" dating.

More blessings - Hawk. Hawk is the biggest blessing ever. He has been so patient with me and my anxiety and stresses and not cleaning the house and etc. I wanted to make treats for my Spanish class for Friday morning, and I planned on making cookies and muffins. So on Thursday I wake up from a nap and I'm dying of the plague. Fever, chills, cough, the works. But I can't NOT go to school - I promised my friends I would bring treats! And I had a midterm to take too. So Hawk helped me make all the treats, which was a lot of baking, and then this morning got up early to drive me to school so I wouldn't have to carry it all in by myself. Then he drove back to Draper while I was in school, picked up my anxiety medication, and brought it back to Provo for me. And then he took care of Sparrow all day while I sat in bed bemoaning my fate. (I took that midterm with a 100 degree fever. By the end, I gave up. I left 3 essay questions blank because I just couldn't think straight. Ugh.) Hawk is amazing. I wuv him. Also, he puts up with my random freak out sessions. Last week I started bawling because I'm going to graduate. IN TWO YEARS. "I don't want to graduate!" I wailed. "I'm so happy at school! I never want to graduate!" "Uh... can we worry about this in 2015?" Hawk said. Sheesh.

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Finally, today is the 1 year mark since Daniel left on his mission to Perth, Australia. I love that kid so much and I am dying missing him. Sparrow talks about Uncle Daniel all the time. We both miss him immensely. I am so proud of him - he is setting such a great example for Sparrow. Sparrow has a map of the United States that he carries around with him and the other day he would point to the different states and say "Mom, if the prophet asks me to go here to Maine on my mission, I will go to Maine. If he asks me to go to Montana, I will go to Montana. If he asks me to go to Alaska, I will go all the way far far far away to Alaska and it will be cold!"

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Meanwhile, Tony will return home in June from his mission to Paraguay. I am excited to see him again. I don't think Sparrow remembers his Uncle Tony very well, if at all, but I hope they have a chance to connect and grow close once Tony comes home. I can't wait to meet Tony at the airport! I am already planning what to have on his welcome home sign! I just peeked at Tony's blog which I keep for him, at this entry. When I translated Tony's Spanish the first time, I relied pretty heavily on Google Translate. Reading his Spanish now - I totally could do a better translation job now. I know what he's saying! And I know which conjugation form thing he is using! Wow! (I keep a blog for Daniel too. His is here. Of the two of them, Daniel is definitely the better writer. Tony hasn't emailed me in weeks. Like he's got anything more important to do than to email me. Pfft.

091 Bamboo doesn't like it when I study.

If you have made it this far into my ramblings, I would like to reward you. I will teach you to say "to meow" in Spanish. It is "maullar." (mao - yar. I could totally write this out in phonetics too - yay linguistics!) I learned this word two weeks ago and seriously walked around for several days going "maullo! maulla! maullas! maullamos! maullais! maullan!" Hawk was concerned for my mental health. But now you, and I, know what cats say in Spanish. Maullar. Best word ever. My life is complete. When I move to a Spanish speaking country, at least I will able to communicate with the gatos there. Such a relief.