April 15, 2011

Reader Question: How Does a Second Child Change Things?

Jessica writes:
I am pregnant with our second. We have an almost-3-year-old with a speech delay and sometimes I feel like we are barely holding it together. We both work outside the home. Can you (and maybe readers) tell me how having a second child changes things? I am really scared.

This question gives me an immediate split response as I remember how HARD it was at first, and how FINE it was in the long run. What I remember about having a toddler (Rob) and a newborn (William) is walking around thinking endlessly "This can't be done. This can't be done. This can't be done." (When it happened again when Henry was born, I concluded that it's something magical about the toddler-plus-newborn combination.)

But then after awhile things got more comfortable and familiar and I thought, "Oh I get it: this is what people mean when they say 'the new normal.'" I couldn't really remember anymore what it had been like before the new baby arrived, and when I TRIED to remember I found I was imagining it must have been a blissful relaxed time with "only one" child, and how oh how did I fill my time? But as you know, and as I knew, it had NOT been like that. In fact, it had been pretty much the same as I felt now: busy, and sometimes barely keeping things together, but other times things working okay.

It would be hard to say SPECIFICALLY what changes, or how it changes, or what that's like. Remember before you had your first baby? People could tell you what it was like for them to bring home their first baby, and what changes that made in their lives and marriages, but they couldn't tell you what it would be like for you---and they couldn't really explain even their own experience well enough to give someone else a true picture of it anyway. There was nothing for it but to wait and see for yourself. Nevertheless, I can tell you some of the things that changed in our house, and others can tell you what changed at their houses.

One thing that changed for us is that it's harder for one parent to give the other a break. With one child, one parent can take the child to the store, or play with the child in another room, and the other parent can be free. With two children, one parent can still do these things with both child, but the perceived burden will be significantly higher.

On the other hand, I found that in my particular marriage, this led to my resentment levels dropping considerably: with one child, I felt like Paul was always free to go off and play on the computer or something, figuring (rightly) that there wasn't much for him to do while I was nursing the baby; with two children, it made sense to both of us that each of us should be taking care of someone. I would be dealing with the baby, and he would be busy, too, playing a game with the toddler; or I would be bathing the toddler, and he would be holding the baby. It gave me a feeling of balance and fairness that led to a happier household overall.

Another thing that changed for us is that a number of things started feeling more "worth it"---I'm thinking of as the younger child got older. Getting out all the painting stuff for one child seems like a lot of work; for two, it seemed like I was getting double value for my time and effort.

A fun change was how endlessly fascinating we found it to notice the similarities and differences between the two children. This was a game we hadn't been able to play with just one child. Taking pictures of them together was also surprisingly entertaining, as was dressing them in coordinated outfits. Geez, I know this sounds lame. BUT IT WAS FUN. Really, a very pleasing side effect of two or more.

Another change was how big our older child seemed all of a sudden. It was like he was a baby that morning, and a totally competent walker-talker that afternoon. I felt like the new baby gave me a much greater appreciation for the older child's skills---things I hadn't noticed so much before, like how nice it was that he could tell me what was wrong, or point to what he wanted, or be set down anywhere without slumping over like a cute little slug.

And the flip of this was also true: I found I could appreciate my second child's babyness so much more, because I could see it in contrast to the older child. Instead of feeling like his babyness was practically all used up at 6 weeks (as I did with my firstborn, although to be fair that was in the middle of a hormonal cry fest), I felt like he seemed small and cute endlessly. And I could appreciate the simplicity of his needs: he needed food, or warmth, or a new diaper, or snuggles---he didn't need a twentieth "Why?" answer, or to have it explained why he couldn't have my coffee, or to have me to decide how much television he could watch.

Oh dear, I don't feel like I'm answering your question AT ALL. Perhaps now is a good time to get the comments section going.

Update! Jessica writes:
Hello! A couple of years ago I sent you this question.

I wanted to tell you how incredibly reassuring this post and the subsequent comments were. I sadly ended up losing the pregnancy I was writing about, but got pregnant again a few months later and we had our beautiful second son in May 2012.

I think the biggest lesson I learned is that babies are DIFFERENT. Our first son was a difficult, difficult baby. Everything was hard -- feeding, sleeping, awake time, going out, staying in. Therefore, I fully expected our baby experience to be replicated, except also with an older version running around wreaking havoc and demanding attention.

As it turned out, our second is the proverbial "easy baby" and our very difficult toddler has matured into a only moderately difficult preschooler.

Because of my paranoia, we had arranged for a young babysitter to come play with our older son for a couple of hours a day during our baby's first few weeks, and that made a huge, huge difference, especially as I recovered from a c-section.

But my fretting was mostly unwarranted. Older son LOVES the baby, and we haven't experienced too many alarming backslides in his behavior. He tries to be too rough with the baby -- of course -- but that's pretty easily handled. Our days are intense, but joyful.

So thank you to you and the commenters for helping me through the fretful anticipation period. As is almost always the case, the worry turned out to be much worse than the reality.


Christine said...

The first three months were really hard. After that its been nothing but fun, seriously.

For me, my first was such a challenge and such an adjustment. My second has been nothing but fun and has brought so much joy to my life.

The best part is them together, its the best. They love each other so much.

Think of it this way, most people have two kids right? If all of those people can do it so can you!

Frondly said...

This is So! Interesting! To Read! what with our second child arriving this summer.

I'm mostly worried about the one-parent-not-giving-another-a-break because I get significant breaks now, and yet I always feel they could be longer. The idea of having fewer breaks is TERRIFYING.

But at least I won't be pregnant anymore. There is that.

Trina said...

For me, having a my 2nd child was actually easier than the first because I felt so much more confident dealing with a baby than I did with the first. I knew how to breastfeed, I knew how to change a diaper half asleep in the dark, etc. But, there were a lot of things that were harder too. It always seemed like my older one needed something right when I sat down to feed the baby. She also stopped napping about 3 weeks after the baby was born so I was a lot more tired.

Please know, that it is so different for everyone. If you hear folks on here telling horror stories or saying how incredibly easy it is to add another child to the family, it might not be that way for you. I agree with Swistle when she said remember when everyone was telling you what it was like before your first one was born and you thought you had an idea until you were actually experiencing it. Just know that you can do it and it might be hard at times but you will get through it. I wish you the best of luck and congrats!

Anne said...

When my husband went back to work after baby 2 (our kids are 20 months apart), I was convinced I would not be able to do it. Constantly reminding myself that I was certainly not the first person to have 2 kids helped a LOT. The first month or two are tricky, with not getting a lot of sleep at night and having to rock or nurse baby to sleep with a toddler running around, but once baby could be put down to put herself to sleep it became easy. Busy, no doubt, the logistics of leaving the house are harder, but by 4 months you won't remember life with only one child. You WILL feel sad at the loss of your time with an only child (which is not resentment towards baby 2 at all), but you get over that pretty fast too. And you'll get a break every now and then again at some point. Dad can take big to the store or park while little is napping, and eventually they will nap/have rest time for at least an hour overlapping. Whew, I just rambled, but you'll be fine :)

Elsha said...

I also felt like having a second was easier. I knew I would be co-sleeping, how to nurse, how to bathe a squirmy infant.

Also, even though breaks were fewer, different things felt like a "break." When we had our first, I wanted my husband at home all the time helping me (and he was a student so he was home for most of my maternity leave.) But when we had our second, being left alone with the baby (and only the baby) was a break. Just one tiny infant to deal with instead of an infant and a toddler? Sign me up!

Nik-Nak said...

What I want to know is will I ever be able to go grocery shopping again without another adult? The 18 month old needs the seat partt of the buggy, I need a lot of items so a stroller is out, where does the newborn in the car seat go? Am I doomed to be stuck in the house until they re both school age? I suppose this is where baby wearing would come in handy but it is pretty safe to say I won't be attempting that.
Oh, and this may sound stupid but, do I seriously have enough love in my heart for more than one children. The feeling I have for just the one is overwhelming, I can't imagine what my heart will feel like when another comes along....

(Can you tell we re about to be trying for our second? This is a hot topic at the moment in our household)

Joanne said...

I had a 2.5 year old with a speech, and other, delays when I had my second and it was fine. I mean, it was complicated sometimes and I was tired and couldn't sleep as much as I would have with the first one, but overall it was a great experience. It is busier, but one thing I loved was that I had done it before. I was really more relaxed and able to enjoy her babyhood a little more than I enjoyed my son's. I slept SO much more with my second than with my first, in the beginning. I took Swistle's advice about sleeping in the chair and just nursing and sleeping all night and it made my first six to eight weeks a lot better. One thing that was also better was that my first was super fussy and so was my second, but with my second I had a much better appreciation of the fact that it wouldn't last, that it would pass. With the first one, it's hard to believe anyone that it will get better, or that they will ever sleep, or whatever. Good luck!

el-e-e said...

Since you both work outside the home I assume, as my husband and I did/do, I can tell you that I really enjoyed my maternity leave with my 2nd. The boys (husband, 3-y-o) would leave for work and daycare-- we didn't want to disrupt AJ's schedule with a 3 month absence from school-- and baby and I layer on the couch for another couple of hours. Nice! And different from the moms who were alone all day with more than one, I realize.

el-e-e said...

Also, AMEN re: sleeping in the chair all night at first!! I did that almost from say 1 with the second baby, and everyone got more rest!

Heather R said...

@Nik-Nak I was totally going to say you just wear the newborn...I waited to go grocery shopping until baby #2 was a couple months old (my husband did it in the evening until then) and then I wore him in a bjorn and eventually in an ergo. A lot of stores now have either a car the older one can ride in in the front or an extra bench seat so there is room for multiple children.

For me, I thought the first 6 months were hell. I had PPD and my older child was very hard to deal with....the baby was a piece of cake. I wondered why I ever thought having one baby was so hard. It gets easier and then harder....right now they are 2 and 4 and they fight all day long....they love each other, but my God, all I hear all day is whining and screaming. The moments when they get along though, is SO cute and it is all worth it. Swistle is right about the "new normal".

JCF said...

@Nik-Nak--I was also going to say that you wear the newborn, until I read the rest of your sentence. Just out of curiosity, why won't you be attempting babywearing? I swear that my Moby Wrap (for the newborn) and then my Ergo (which I still wear my 2 year old in sometimes, on my back) are the only things that kept me sane once I had more than one kid (I have 3 now). Not just grocery shopping, but also cooking dinner with a fussy baby, cleaning, etc.

To the original question, I think Swistle's answer is fantastic. You can do it. I constantly told myself (and still tell myself with a 3 yo, 2 yo, and 9 mo) that I'm not the first to have 2 (3) kids. It helps when I think I won't make it through the day. It is a lot of hard work, it is fun, and it is great to see a relationship develop between siblings. Someone told me once that the gift of the second child is perspective. I love that.

Ann Wyse said...

Just wanted to say that I really love this post.

I think it does a great job exploring a topic that is both individual and yet universal without being in any way trite.

Lippy said...

We found the second one to be less of a shock. I thought our first would kill us, and was terrified about a second. With the second I was better about asking people for help, and sleeping if anyone came over to see the baby. I didn't feel obligated to entertain or pick up. As someone else mentioned our first still went to day care so I did get more time than most. It helped that our second only woke up once each night for a feeding, our first use to wake up every 90 minutes so that may have been part of the difference.

CARRIE said...

I had such a difficult time going from no kids (COMPLETE and UTTER FREEDOM) to 1 kid (RESENTMENT AT HUSBAND FOR KEEPING HIS SAME OLD EXISTENCE WHILE I WAS MOM), that going from 1 kid to 2 kids was an absolute picnic. The spacing helped (3.5 years apart).

But then when I had the 2nd boy (child 3) exactly two years after the first boy (child 2)....that was more difficult, but still nowhere near as difficult as going from zero to one.

Swistle said...

Nik-Nak- We started having one adult run to the grocery store alone, while the other stayed home with the two kids. Way simpler. But if midweek I needed to go, I just wedged as many items as I could around the car seat and on the tray thing under the cart and in a shopping bag pulling hard at my poor wrist.

Cherie Beyond said...

My daughter was 2 1/4 when my son was born and I spent about 6 months in that "It can't be done. It can't be done" phase. I was up about 5-6 times a night, exhausted, hormonal, in the midst of potty training, my son was fussier than my daughter was. I cried a lot.

Have I depressed you yet? Super. Now listen: it got so much better. Yes, two is a lot more hectic than one. Even now (they are 3 1/2 and 14 months now), there are moments when I think: "It can't be done." But, of course, it can and it will.

I agree with wearing the baby as much as you can. It frees up your hands and gives you less to worry about. Also, don't be a sleep martyr. After I went back to work after 3 months, we split middle-of-the-night responsibilities. Because my son was still nursing, I got him when he woke up. My husband was responsible for my daughter. Later, when we nightweaned the boy, we switched. The difference between getting up twice a night and four times a night is enormous, trust me.

Mostly, just remember that it can be done, and it's worth it, it's just really, really hard in spots.

(It also might interest you to know that while I'm typing this, the two of them are playing together in the middle of the living room and I AM NOT NEEDED AT ALL.)

MelissaInk Designs said...

When I had my second child, my first was a new 3 year old who had just outgrown his speech delay :)

Having a second child was THE BEST thing I've ever done. My older one really grew up (something he may have done anyway, but it really seemed to take off when "the baby" was presented) AND seeing them together, being brothers (even when they're arguing) is spectacular. In my experience, two was SO, SO much better than one.

I was able to better enjoy my second child as a baby - the first was filled with anxiety and all the first-time-mom I DON'T KNOW! So much easier with a second.

Oh, it's far from perfect, but (like Swistle said) it was NEVER perfect anyway.

bluedaisy said...

Going from 1 child to 2 was our hardest jump (we now have 3). The first 3 months were the toughest (as some have mentioned above). While you will think "this can't be done!", you might surprise yourself with little strategies that help make things easier. My boys are only a little over a year apart but things like plopping toddler with snack/sippy cup/stack of books next to me feeding the newborn- both children are occupied. Also, don't try to DO EVERYTHING. Set small goals in the beginning and then work from there. And if anyone offers to help--SAY YES!! Every little moment with an extra set of hands helps. Seeing the 2 together is one of best experiences for sure- you will adjust and your heart will grow bigger than you ever thought it could!

jen(melty) said...

no horror stories here. You are allowed to believe it will be just fine. I loved having a baby when I had my first, and she was still a baby, yet a self sufficient 30 yr old when my 2nd was born. I thought it was just her personality. Number 2 was SO DIFFICULT but I never resented her. She still got cuddles and attention. For awhile the baby was mine and she was my husband's. Then my 3rd was born and Mr. Difficult 2nd born was no longer a huge issue. He was still himself, but I "knew" him; it wasn't like I was getting TWO screaming attention-seekers. The hardest thing ever was my first day alone when 3rd was barely a week old, I was still in pain from birth, and I had to go out with all 3 of them alone; and now I laugh at myself, at least only 2 of them could run away! I had many days where I was yelling at someone to stop touching/climbing/beating someone up while nursing a baby but I was able to see the humor in that then.. it does get easier :)

g~ said...

I was another who felt that going from 0 to 1 was a BOMB in my life but adding the second was a breeze. One thing was that I was already USED to not sleeping as much. I was USED to the new rhythm of life with a baby. I had tricks up my sleeve for dealing with a fussy baby, middle-of-the-night fevers, etc. My husband, ironically, felt that going from 1 to 2 was harder, at first, because his "Daddy is HOME!" attention was divided amongst the two. I will say, however, that my second spent an embarrassing amount of time sleeping in her crib/watching us in the bouncy chair/laying on the blanket next to us, etc. They're 5 and 7 now and I am SO GLAD we did it. BUT NO MORE! I so admire all of you who manage a household with more than 2 kids. Whew!

kate said...

I have a three year old daughter and a three month old son, and it's actually much better than I expected it to be.

With the first, I felt like getting anything done was such a production - laundry, grocery shopping, errand running - and with the second I don't feel that way at all. I just throw him in the bjorn or the stroller and take him with me. I even walk my ill-behaved dog with two kids, and it doesn't seem so bad. It's as though once the chaos of two has entered your life, and you've adjusted to it, everything seems manageable. Perhaps not pleasant - grocery shopping with two kids is not fun! - but totally manageable. Even handling dinner and bedtime by myself, which initially seemed like a ridiculously difficult task, seems like no big deal now.

The hardest part for me is the opposite of what Swistle said - the division of labor has seemed unfair. Until very recently, the baby has been colicky, and it seemed like because my husband could focus his parenting efforts on our older daughter, the baby was essentially my problem. I mean, it makes sense - I'm nursing and he's more dependent on me, plus I actually like the newborn stage and my husband doesn't - but I constantly felt like he was getting to deal with the easier child, while I had the difficult one. That problem has more or less gone away now that the baby is growing out of the colic, though, with my husband taking a more active role with him.

Also, I went back to work last week, and I'm struggling with that. Part of me is happy to be back in the society of adults, but mostly I feel frazzled and conflicted and missing my baby. Bu I know there's a period of adjustment and it will get better.

The best part, though, is this overwhelming feeling of happiness I get from having two kids, from watching them interact with each other, from feeling like, man, this is my family, it's so great.

Anne said...

@Nik-Nak, I NEVER wore my firstborn. Had a Bjorn, didn't even take it out of the box. With the 2nd, I used it all the time. Grocery store, playground, children's museum, baby #2 just rolled with anything in the Bjorn. I too waited a month or two before attempting the grocery store with 2, but after that we haven't had a problem. And once baby is bigger (mine is ONE today!!) you can use one of the carts that has a double seat up front. What seems completely impossible right now becomes normal before you know it.

Laura Lou said...

What helpful, useful, and reassuring experiences! My 2nd is due in 3 weeks, and every time I do anything I've been thinking "how am I going to do this with 2!" Thank you for the reminders that it can be done, we will adust, and it might even be enjoyable.

Mama Bub said...

Here's the weird thing: I found my first baby so completely overwhelming. With the second, I had about a week of weepy, hormonal craziness and then it was just... gone. It felt FUN to be taking care of a baby and even now, ten months into not sleeping through the night, I don't feel like screaming every time the monitor lights up in the middle of the night.

With one, I felt so desperate for time alone. With two, time with just one kid feels like bliss. I've learned to open the car door for the older one, let him climb into his seat, then go buckle in the baby, then back to buckle in the older one. I've figured out the the grocery store is mostly a nightmare with two, but if I wear the baby in the Ergo, it's manageable. (Still, NOT FUN, but doable.)

Jennifer H. said...

I'm only five weeks into it, but so far having 2 is much, much easier than I'd though (or than I'd feared). There is a "spinning plates" aspect to it, but the work of two is balanced by the perspective of having done it before. I was another one of the moms who felt like a bomb had been dropped when the first baby was born, I was just always fretful and freaking out about something. The lack of freaking out this time has really provided me with some free time. Also, I don't know if this is an overshare, but the times after the birth of our first child were the lowest in our marriage of 10 years. I figured another child would bring another dip, but it hasn't at all, we've really been ridiculously happy.

Aimee @ Smiling Mama said...

First, CONGRATULATIONS to the mother-of-two-to-be! For me, personally, many things have been easier. My body recovered faster, for one, which was a very nice surprise (two vaginal births). Second, the lack of sleep was easier becuase I KNEW I'd sleep again ONE DAY. Looking back, with #1, I think I truly questioned if I would EVER sleep again. My husband and I definitely share care more now, I call it the "divide and conquer" method of parenting. For example, if he's running out to Home Depot (or insert other errand), it is now just the norm for him to grab a kid, where as when we just had one, he wouldn't consider taking a kid with him. I also joke (joke so you won't think I'm a really bad parent but it is really kinda' true!) that #2 is much more independent in terms of self-entertainment at a younger age because he's ignored more than #1 was. Now, of course we don't TRULY ignore him, but I simply can't be on the floor playing with him for hours a day like I did with #1.

Again, just my experience...BTW, mine are nearly exactly 4 years apart and are now 15 mos and almost 4.5.

Monique said...

My first two were 4 1/2 years apart, so I had it pretty easy, since the older could more or less care for herself, in that she could feed herself, more or less dress herself and so on, so I could do for the baby while chatting with the older etc. If I needed to nap while the baby was napping I could trust her to watch a show or color or whatever she decided on, since she was a very rules compliant child (had these two been reversed FORGET ABOUT IT). My biggest fear (as someone else stated), was how was I ever going to have enough love for the second? Even my husband had this fear. Nicole is so great, and we love her so much, how are we EVER going to love another the same? You just do. I don't know how or why, but you do! It's just there and wonderful. Then 10 years after the second we had a third (a boy after two girls), and yep, the love has stretched again! Good luck with adding to your family!

OT-Mom said...

My first 2 were 15 months apart, and my older one also had a speech delay and behavioral issues. When my daughter (my second) was born she also had terrible allergies. The stress was enormous. Now that my boy is 4 (and has almost caught up in his speech), and my girl is 3 (still with allergies, but no longer with the horrible ezcema), I can honestly say that that time has made me a better mother, and better person. God knows how much I can handle. I know have 3 children (all under the age of 4)... the baby has actually made us all better. She is a blessing. So, in short, the 2 years after I had my second child were the hardest 2 years of my life, but also the time of greatest growth and soul searching.

Anonymous said...

thank you for the encouragement! i hear nothing but "it's sooo hard with two." and "oh you think one is hard...ha!" and since we're expecting number two this summer, that's not exactly what i need to hear. i realize that it's going to be more challenging, but it's refreshing to hear about the positives as well. thank you for helping me be more excited about the challenges and fun things ahead!

Kelsey said...

I think the transition from one to two is in some ways easier than none to one... And it is nice to be able to at least pretend you know what you're doing with the second one!

I agree that the first child seems much older/more competent once the next baby comes along!

Alicia said...

I am of the zero-to-one baby is about seven quadrillion times harder than the one-to-two babies school.

The really funny thing I remember - and I will always remember this because it was like you could see the lightbulb go off over my head, as DUMB as I obviously was - was walking into our apartment with the second baby and thinking, "I'm REALLY going to take advantage of that 'sleep when the baby sleeps' advice this time!" (I didn't the first time) and then going, "Heyyyyy. WAIT A MINUTE." I literally had NEVER considered that I wouldn't be able to just take a nap with our 3-year-old if I wanted. DUH.

Hmm. I completely agree with Swistle on the resentment levels. I had never thought of it this way, but TOTALLY TRUE.

Kinda similar to the similarities/differences game is the bonus knowledge you get with your second (and beyond) children that (a) everything your first child does/did is not BECAUSE OF YOU (either your awesomeness or your terrible parenting) because (b) you can do mostly the same things with them, but THEY ARE SO DIFFERENT.

Also agree with how big the older kids seem. I always remember this with changing diapers the most. It was like I had a baby... in diapers... and then all of a sudden, the baby is like this HUGE MAMMOTH BABY, with huge mammoth, ahem, junk, flailing his legs up in the air like a helicopter, touching his poop.

Anonymous said...

I have a 5 yr old and a 3.5 month old and I work full time outside the home. The thing I marvel at the most is how organized I have become, and also how un-lazy I have to be. I am still going at 10:30, 11 at night with the washing and cleaning and getting-stuff-together. (my husband has really stepped up too with the dishes and the day to day cleaning.)

Yes, it is soooo much more work but I find it so surprisingly rewarding. And, being a family of four feels really complete.

Good luck!

brzeski said...

How does the 2nd kid change things? For me, like many others here, it made my "baby" (2 1/4) into a little girl, just about overnight. (In terminology as well as perception. Although now the 2nd one is 2 1/2, and I still call him the "baby". I guess it's the price of being last.) All of a sudden it wasn't just Hubby and I and a baby - like a fun experiment - it was a family. I don't know why that shift happened at that point, but it is more intense and more fulfilling, having 2.
But the biggest, bestest part is watching the older one turning into a big sister. They have SO MUCH FUN together. I mean insanely, crazily good times. There are spats of bickering, yes, but for the most part it's Kid Party Time. My husband and "the baby" were gone all last week, and after about a day my daughter said to me "It's so BORING without Benny here."

Maggie said...

Others have spoken better to the reality of having a 3 year old + a baby. Because my kids are 6.5 years apart, I can't offer much in the way of information on that score. However, because both my husband and I work FT outside the home, I can speak to that. I so appreciated my maternity leave with my second in a way I didn't with my first - I wasn't all stressed out and confused and my husband and son went to work and camp and it was just baby and I at home for about 7 hours a day, which was heaven. However, once both my husband and I finished our maternity and paternity leaves, life became more complicated in getting everyone out of the house in time for work/school in the morning. It took us a few weeks to work out how everyone was going to get where they needed to go on time, but now that we've got it down, things generally work pretty well. It may take some time to figure out how things will work, but they will work and it is doable and it is so worth it even if it's tiring as hell sometimes ;-)

Kenner said...

LOVE the update!!! (And also, I wasn't a reader at the time of this post, but having just added a newborn to my speech-delayed toddler, I totally understood both the question and your advice was spectacular!) :)

Sam said...

It amuses me endlessly to comment below Carolyn and say "hi friend!" to her. I don't know why. I'm easily entertained I suppose.