Category Archives: Family Talk

Exhausted Mentally, Emotionally and Physically

Boy does the rain never stop in the lives of the Cook’s. We can’t seem to live a life that allows for a breath of fresh air. When we do things we “go big” so to speak. Between my husband and son, these past 2 years, or more specifically the last 6 months have been an utter whirlwind of emotions.

This past weekend was my sons birthday and we headed to the beach to enjoy a nice weekend away and a well needed vacation “from our problems.” Little did we know our problems were going to transpire into an exhausting, scary weekend away from our abode. The evacuation routes you often see when you head to the coast was exactly what we needed this trip…except in the form of a hospital. Unfortunately I saw them when we entered town and bookmarked it in the back of my mind hoping it was my fear stepping in; not reality. Although we tend to frequent hospitals on an all too frequent basis, Ocean Beach Hospital was a step in the right direction.

As we left town Thursday we were driving over the bridge in Portland waving goodbye to Randall Children’s Hospital opting to never arrive there again unless for the delivery of a newborn baby. Well our wish came true this weekend except that it was only granted for the children’s hospital. Stepping foot into an ER at the beach was not excluded from our list of high hopes. The day of Cooper’s 2nd birthday, he came down with a nasty “bug.” I use that word lightly as my son never has symptoms of a common cold except simply not being able to breath or talk. No runny nose, no cough, no sore throat, no ear infections no nothing is ever on the agenda. So when Cooper came down with this nasty little “bug” we were a bit disappointed as it was the day of his birth and we had planned to play most the day at the beach. Well….that did not happen. He was still in high spirits and we still had a great day.

Come evening, I lay him to rest and kissed his little lips. While playing cards with the family I checked on him and noticed he was very wheezy in his breathing; both inhaling and exhaling. It worried me but not enough to let me anxiety kick-in in overdrive. We kept playing cards and headed to bed pretty late. Less than an hour later Cooper was up and struggling to breath, sleep and simply lay still. Laying in bed with us for a bit, struggling to breath and simply not feeling good while I worried all night long if my little man would quit breathing, allowed for very little sleep. It was an exhausting night!

The following morning he woke up in good spirits and within the hour quickly took a turn for the worse. From playing to laying on the floor writhing in pain and a fever that shook my spirits was very unnerving. His breathing progressively worsened allowing for four adults to become highly concerned. Early nap was definitely on the schedule while multiple phone calls to the advice nurse took place.

My mom and I escaped for a couple hours during nap to grab coffee and enjoy the shops in Long Beach. We had a good time and also grabbed some medical supplies for the little man; humidifier, probiotics and honey sticks to coat his throat. Upon our arrival back at the house, my son just woke up to be extremely labored in his breathing to the point it was beyond scary. His little body struggling with each breath wheezing and with no vocal cords at this point was so scary. He couldn’t talk at all!

Off to the ER. We quickly arrive and immediately were seen by a doctor. No cold symptoms still causing for confusion yet again. They decided to treat for Coup and quickly give a steroid shot as well as a ventilator full of medicine. Within minutes we noticed his little voice coming back to us in a very quiet, raspy sense, but it was better than nothing.

Three hours later they send us home with strict instructions to follow up with our pediatrician. Talk of further complications such as cystic fibrosis came up which of course plagued me with fear. On the other hand, finding something that could be causing this is more of a relief than simply no answers at all. All I want is to find a reason and start treating. Now of course, I really pray nothing is wrong with my son and that we can avoid further hospitalizations but that doesn’t seem like the easy answer we will receive.

Wednesday we followed up with our pediatrician with great success, I feel we finally are in forward motion in search for answers. We have an appointment set with a pulmonologist and will be treating Cooper for croup on a preventative level. Our doctors believes Cooper unfortunately will continue to get croup and has had it previously. We will be treating on a daily basis to lessen the severity of croup as we cannot actually prevent it at all. But the goal here, is to keep us from frequent hospitalizations and labored breathing.

This is only the beginning of the long road ahead, but in some weird way I feel confident and relieved that we are seeking this further and searching for answers. Hoping his little esophagus is our only issue will require us to continue battling croup until he’s roughly 5 years old. The good news in that this condition does not have long term effects. Praise Jesus!

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We will wait, pray and be thankful that as of right now, what we know to be true is bearable! I will keep you all updated with how the appointment with the specialist goes.

Moment of Truth: Life was never promised to be easy, but God did promise He will never give us more than we can handle. At many times in my life, I have felt I was on the edge and God swept in and allowed a calm in my storm. Circumstances may not change, but our hearts do. I pray my heart grows tender and I continue to seek the Lord, rather than build resentment and allow fear to take over my life.

Father’s Day Weekend

Yes, Father’s Day has come and gone but can’t we still celebrate it more than once a year? Okay the real reason I am posting about Father’s Day two weeks later is because our lives continue to take the roller coaster ride and apparently we never want to stop and get off.

Between a sick child all the time and leaving town for a long beach trip, I finally got around to Father’s Day weekend. :)

For father’s day weekend we went out to one of our favorite breakfast places, Cafe Du’berry. They have great breakfast for a good price! They have always had amazing food and most of the time we get the same thing. Although, this time, Cooper is old enough to eat his own little dish and boy was I impressed with their french toast. It was beyond amazing. I think the toast was homemade with a lemon-egg mixture that the bread soaked in before cooking. I would never order french toast when out for breakfast but this french toast is something I would consider ordering next time for myself. It was that good! :)

Here’s Cooper and Daddy waiting and playing patiently before breakfast arrived.

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I ordered a dungenous crab omelette. It is and was always delicious. They use massive chunks of crab with an incredible sauce that makes your mouth simply water. It was so big I shouldn’t have ate the whole thing but I did was uncomfortably full afterwards but comfortably satisfied.

IMG_4622Cooper decided he wanted to play on the tables outside of the restaurant after eating. That lasted about a minute as he wanted to get into all the sugar packets and crumple them up and toss them on the ground. 
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Stopping at Fred Meyers on the way home, daddy put this 4th of July hat on Cooper and although he always looks adorable….. HE HATES HATS!!!

IMG_4625We had a good morning with breakfast and ended the day with a round of golf! :)

Happy Father’s Day honey, I love you!

Silver Falls

We went to Silver Falls a couple weeks ago and couldn’t have asked for a better day. It was BEAUTIFUL and the best weather possible. We had such a good time and Cooper couldn’t have been more entertained. Cooper has an obsession with water and this was exactly what he needed to keep him more than entertained. He kept asking for “more wa.”

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This was the first waterfall we came upon. It was beautiful and a very short little walk.

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We decided to walk towards the large falls and see what was in store for us. As we walked along the way this was the calm part before the storm, or shall I say the enormous waterfall that laid ahead. Cooper enjoyed slapping the cool water while his little brain soaked in the beautiful scenery. 
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Finally we approached the enormous waterfall that began to get really loud the closer you got. It was a huge fall and with my fear of heights, I had to keep my eyes ahead, not down.

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As we got closer I noticed the walk behind the fall that you can embark on. I was terrified as it looks very narrow and deathly from here. I kept telling Michael he can walk it if he so desired while Cooper and I stay behind. But as we got closer the path was very wide and actually really incredible.

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Here’s Michael walking ahead to test it out!

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This is the view from behind the fall. We made it! It was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. It was incredible. Unfortunately it was also extremely loud. It sounded as if I jet engine was taking off right above you. Cooper’s little ears began to hurt so we quickly walked through after a few photos.

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This is from the other side. We kept walking as we wanted a good solid hike and boy was this beautiful every step of the way.

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Headed back to the car hungry and thirsty, my little man stood in the trunk eating his yogurt and filling his tired little body up with nutrients. 
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He crashed out on the drive home, sweet baby had such a good time!

Man or Wo-Man

Ever question why your son enjoys your perfume or why he wants to wear your necklace? Or maybe your little girl wants to dig in dirt or play with tools like daddy. Is it really something to question or are your kids simply being a kid and exploring all life has to hold?

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The other night Cooper decided it would be fun to wear my shoes around the house. My husband watched the final game of the series for basketball and Cooper tromped around beyond gracefully. I thought it was so funny to watch him focus and concentrate so hard to walk around with them on his little tootsies. My husband began to laugh pretty hard while Cooper tried to step on him with the shoes on getting frustrated that they kept falling off. But, on the other hand, he thought Cooper shouldn’t be wearing girl shoes. :) I explained that the concept to Cooper was simply succeeding at the task that laid ahead. Cooper has no idea girl vs boy other than his ungraceful beating of the hammer, throwing things and digging in dirt. A true boy at heart while on the contrary my little niece does not partake in the loud chaos of Coopers activities but sits quietly with her dolls and princess.

The process begins.

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They kept falling off and we had to get re-situated.

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Finally, walking like a champ.

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Successful concentration.

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“Don’t interrupt me mommy!”

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“I did it, I walked the whole room without them slipping off. Success!”

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Michael and I got a good laugh out of our son enjoying the concept of walking in overly large shoes.

My son loves playing in my makeup bag twisting the caps off one by one, wearing my necklace and spraying perfume. Does this make him less of a man, absolutely not. It is pretty simple actually. He is home with me all day long and sees the things I partake in and wants to dabble as well. He also mimics everything daddy does in the evenings; digging in dirt, playing with tools, messing with the lawn mower and simply getting dirty. This is part of learning as a child how to do things and wanting to be like mommy and daddy. There is no need to worry in their little adventures.

Moment of Truth: I truly believe it is innately ingrained in all of our children that a boy will be a boy and a girl will be a girl.

Little Man Workouts

Oh how my son never ceases to amaze me. His sweet little personality in every step throughout the day is a constant reminder of thankfulness.

I believe Cooper has officially put himself in charge of daddy’s workouts and I believe that Cooper would make the best trainer out there.

He decided he wanted to work out with daddy and do his ab workout. His tiny little body lay next to daddy while he copies everything daddy does from P90X ab ripper x.

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“Look Daddy, I can do them too!”

“Get to work daddy” as Cooper has happily put himself in charge of daddy’s workouts and keeps him going. He continues to ask for “one more” every time Michael stops to take a break. “One more” pull-up, “one more” sit up. Keep going daddy, it’s fun to watch! :) 

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Sweet baby was so proud of himself. I can’t believe this little guy is going to be 2 next Saturday the 21st. :( It’s been really hard on me as I am so happy he’s growing and developing his cute little personality, but I am also so sad the baby stage is officially gone.

5 Minutes Inside a Mom’s Head…

What does five minutes inside a mom’s head really look like? I saw this article and laughed to myself while crying over the harsh reality that it is beyond true in every mom’s life.

The comforting thing is we all know what one another is going through while men sit on the sidelines contemplating the next win in basketball or whose going to get drafted to which team.

Some people may think 5 minutes is nothing but a long relaxed deep breath. These five minutes are anything and everything but a deep breath. More like gasping for air, panting as if you just ran a marathon or simply drowning and still making your mental checklist.

I saw this article and it was a must share. Any and all of you who have children will relate to this article while every man reading this may think we’ve lost our minds and have our “job” so easy. “Easy?” You want to talk about easy? My life is everything but easy. Yes I may stay home with the kids and not get up at 6 and get to work by 8, work all day to have an hour lunch to enjoy the sun, take a walk or even go out to eat with the dudes to only get home at 6 pm. Dinners made for you and your kids bathed and ready for bed. “Yes, I stay home with the kids, yes MY job is easy!”

Sometimes I want to yell this to every man out there who complains about there regimen of working to support the family. I 100% appreciate and support any man who is willing to care for their family so the wife can take the opportunity to hold the house together and raise the children with good morals and standards while keeping them in a family environment rather then childcare. I also appreciate the simple fact that my husband can earn triple if not quadruple the income I could earn in a given year. Yes, I support you and greatly appreciate you and all the hard work it takes in our society these days to have a one income family! Thank you!

On the other hand, learn to appreciate your wife. Appreciate your child learning manners, learning their alphabet, getting socialized on play dates, having educational toys and activities to participate in. Appreciate that your child and wife are probably happy when you reach home at the end of the day.  Appreciate that you probably don’t partake in most the household chores, errands, grocery shopping, laundry and bills that’s been taken care of for you! Appreciate that when an outburst happens at home, your wife probably knows how to handle the situation and guide you through it!

This may make you laugh at the harsh reality of it, but lets be honest, a man wants respect and appreciation so badly. This is what makes a man a man. We all long for respect and appreciation as well. We may long to receive it in different ways than our spouse but oh how true it is to feel that respect for what you do on a daily basis. Both men and women need to bot give respect and receive respect. We work our jobs because that’s the job we’ve been given at that point in time and we need to be thankful and appreciative of one another. Households are no easy to run and we all know earning an income to support a family is a challenge in and of itself. No need to put one another down and compare our job tasks, simply appreciate them and love them for what they do!

For a little humor read this article: 5 Minutes inside a moms head

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Thanks to: huffingtonpost.com

Moment of Truth: Multi-tasking is the essence of a mother’s life. Learning how to manage her family to get everyone where they need to be, projects done, bills paid and fresh clothes to wear is the essence of a mother who cares. All you mom’s out there, you do a great job even though it is often a thankless job! Keep it up!

Sometime I wonder…

Sometimes I wonder why I wake up in the morning and continue on the day of disastrous events. I end the day in a state of oblivion laughing at the messes that continue to come my way.

I find the only way to make it through crazy chaotic kid days, is to laugh at what takes place rather then get too uptight about it. Kids are kids and are innocent little people trying to make it through their own day in a big world being told “no” all the time.

I find it’s easier to laugh at the crazy responses rather then get upset as if they are an adult choosing to be ignorant. :)

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My sweetie laying in the pile of clean clothes.

I wake up this morning to an early start with kids being here around 7:30.

Take Haylee to Preschool- out of gas and running late.

Leave gas station and ALL 16 oz of my coffee spill on the entire backseat floor.

Get to preschool in the nick of time.

Clean up coffee disaster

Spend time with a girlfriend while the boys play (relaxing)

Pick up kids- I have a tummy bug that persists all day long.

We have an accident in two of the kids pants while at the park.

Kids play in the sandbox and little Ian decides to chomp on seashells.

Kids leave for the day- make dinner and my husbands doesn’t eat due to not feeling good.

Husband came home with migrane

Cooper is crying, he wants his footie pajamas on and I put his foot-less pajamas on as it’s very hot in our house.

My husband and I cave in to our little son wanting footie pj’s and a muffin. We laugh to ourselves in utter oblivion of what this night consists of.

Nights not over– Cooper goes to bed late, I rush to the store for my prescription.

8:57- pharmacy closes at 9, I walk in the door with NO perscription.

8:58- Pharmacy calls, they found my prescription laying on the ground.

9 pm- try and dish up some granola for a snack, spill it everywhere. (Husband chuckles)

I begin to tell my husband this is how my ENTIRE day has gone while I accidentally puncture the container the granola is in, spilling the remainder amongst the rest.

Stare at the pile of clean clothes covering the floor while I wish my prescription was in hand, pj’s on, face washed and clothes were folded.

I refuse to fold the clothes tonight and will begin my day again tomorrow around 7.

Husband needs something printed and scanned. We both spend 30 minutes trying to figure out why the printer will not print the current document but prints 5 different items from three months ago.

Paper jam- try again.

Paper jam- finally we get duplicates of the item and we send it off.

10 pm- in bed

Moment of Truth: Some days you simply can’t wish them away and must laugh at the stupidity you discovered each hour. How are your days similar?

My Poor Baby!

My poor baby has been everything but healthy since he was born. He has continually been sick and I can’t seem to understand why. In and out of the Children’s hospital, doctors office and canceling many appointments to avoid the “hustle and bustle” of life to help get him back on track.

Here we are today and he has had a temperature ranging from 100.2-104 for the last four days. He starts off the day really cool and as the day progresses, he’s burning up. The next day, he starts off really hot and throughout the day it goes up and down but never away. The doctors office had me bring him in today to check him out. Two and half hours later, no cough, no cold, no ear infections, no nothing!!! How frustrating it is to sit there for 2 1/2 hours for what seems to be nothing except a high possibility of contracting some other sickness.
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This time the trauma came from strapping a bag on his private parts to catch any output of urine. The little man hasn’t been drinking or eating so I have had to force fluids yet again. It took 2 hours for any output to come our way and finally my sweet baby was able to tell me when he did. I was so proud of him. We made a big deal about it as he was so scared about this foreign bag strapped to him; hoping this begins an exciting phase of potty training once he begins to feel better.

They tested his urine and all came back good. They have no area to pinpoint why he has such high fevers other than he simple is that child who gets sick all the time. My natural reaction as a mom is to assume something bigger is taking place that they haven’t yet caught. Two trips to the children’s hospital, many doctor visits and continual sicknesses make me a bit curious. They reassured me yet again today that it must be a viral infection. Hoping this is true but annoyed I keep visiting the doctors for no reason but to waste my sick child’s time.

The doctor did reassure me that at some point in a child’s life they will experience sickness on a very frequent basis, whether the first three years of their life or once they reach kindergarten. That comforted me slightly.

So….our fourth day of fevers is almost over. They advised me to push through tomorrow forcing fluids. If by Saturday or Sunday, the fever still persists than we must return for more testings. Praying for him to wake up with no fever and an appetite is all I can hope for right now. After no sleep last night and dealing with an unhappy child, I am ready for some good times to come!

Moment of Truth: The healthy times with your child often make you forget how blessed you are to truly have a healthy baby. Sickness and disease is running rampant throughout the world and the healthy little ones need to be embraced and we as parents need to be thankful. Our prayers need to go towards the sick babies and families that are suffering emotionally, physically, mentally and financially. Our family has only begun to taste what this really looks like and I pray we don’t continue down this road with frequent hospitalizations.

Zoo Bliss

We went to the zoo during Memorial weekend and had the best weather possible. Not too hot, not too cold and NOT too many people. It was fabulous. Although Cooper loved the large Seal, he was more interested in the construction taking place to enlarge the Elephants area. Our son loves tractors and trucks more than words can describe. He lights up like a Christmas tree and wont stop shouting “trac-or, truck” until you finally repeat him and acknowledge you see it as well!

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In the midst of all the construction going on, he did enjoy betting the little pygmy goats. 

IMG_4193Standing in the back of a Safari Truck…
IMG_4195Daddy and me time! 

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Cooper taking us on a wild safari ride.

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Enjoying the large “fish” or seal.

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“Trac-or, Trac-or” Loving the construction.

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Who would have thought that in the midst of all the construction you would have a good time with your son? I didn’t think it would be that enjoyable as the tractors were everywhere but I quickly forgot how much Cooper is obsessed with tractors and could watch them all day if given the opportunity. We had a really good time, he enjoyed himself and hopefully one day my little man can sit in a tractor with his Papa. 

Wonderful Accomplishment

Last night I was trying to get my son dinner, bath and bed. As usual we were playing outside for over two hours to have him rudely awakened to coming inside. My son would live out side and be the jungle boy if I let him. He loves outside no matter how long we are out there, he never wants to come back in. It’s a fight every time.

Tonight, was no different than any other night. He cried coming in and didn’t want to eat dinner. In the midst of this the neighborhood cat was stomping around and popped up to our door (it’s a glass door) and Cooper got so excited. So, trying to distract him and make him happy, I held him and out we went. We followed the cat around but this cat unfortunately was not scared of Cooper and wanted to be petted. Trying to scare him away as I did not want my son touching a stray cat, my great idea went south pretty quickly. Down Cooper went, around the house following the cat trying to pet him. Finally, the cat wanders off realizing not pets were being handed out. Crying once again, we head back inside to attempt dinner!

I’m starting to realize the evenings are everything but easy. My intentions are great, but do not work out in my favor most of the time. My husband gets home in the midst of the chaos unfortunately adding to the scene almost every night. Although his intentions are to come home and play with Cooper, his late arrival can be challenging with a tired, hungry boy refusing food. If you are following me, my patience has evaporated by the end of the day. :)

Tonight, after I got Cooper wrangled inside for the second time, Michael walks in the door at 6:40 (20 minutes before his supposed bedtime) to take him back outside….ugg all my hard work defeated once again. While they were out there, Michael took his dinner trying to sneak bites in and be helpful. Although this didn’t work, he started the negotiation process. Cooper is too young to negotiate and truly understand what that means but to my surprise Michael was able to negotiate one round of staying outside a little longer if he took a bite. Not sure if Coop really knew what he was doing, but this was quite the surprise to me. It was pretty cute to see the boys out there negotiating play time over chicken nuggets.

A few minutes later, we get him bathed and on to dinner one more time. I saw Michael had some chocolate chips that he snuck to Cooper without me seeing. He had one left and Michael tried to get him to do the same thing, take a bite of chicken and get the chocolate chip. That did not work and ended quickly. The desire for more chips were an immediate reaction that I was left to conquer.

I decided to test this theory and see if Cooper really knew what was going on and if he simply had me deceived that he was too young or if he simply has me wrapped around his cute little finger. Pulling out five small chocolate chips, I repeated the same thing. “One bite of chicken, one chocolate chip!” Finally, five minutes goes by and he’s just livid. I decide to put the chocolate chips away to not reinforce bad behavior as we have previously done.

As I put them on the counter things got worse, but only for a minute. I offered him the same thing “one bite of chicken (or strawberry), one chocolate chip.” He reached for the strawberry and proceeded to place it within his tiny mouth. He rapidly chewed it and received a chocolate chip. His cute little smile and poofy cheeks while trying to eat the strawberry and the chip at the same time was pretty adorable. Pointing his finger asking for one more, he grabbed another strawberry and received another chip. The third time, he reached for the last THREE pieces of strawberry and shoved all three in his mouth before beginning to chew. Super cute and smiling so large while juice dripped down his little chin was a laughing moment we both shared together. This moment made my day and to see him not only take to the negotiation process but to finally shove it all in so he could be done quicker was beyond me.

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Showing me all the strawberries were gone!

We laughed together and he received the last three chocolate chips for such amazing behavior! OR….shall I say because he is the cutest child on the face of this earth and we are now sharing jokes together as mommy and son. :)

Moment of Truth: Once realizing my negotiation skills worked, it was a reminder that it wasn’t about negotiating but the simple fact he and I worked together and accomplished a task and it all ended in smiles. :)