Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Something in my nose?

Do I have bad breath? Toilet paper hanging from my shoe? Where's the love people?
I haven't heard from you in days. Was it something I said? Didn't say?

Come on peeps. Let me hear you roar, or reply, whichever you prefer.

Beef of the Week will be posted tomorrow, so the question is,

What is YOUR Beef of the Week?


Tuesday, February 27, 2007

All it takes is 5 minutes

All it takes is 5 minutes for things to start heading your way. I am a believer because it just happened to me. Yippee kai a mo' fo'.

I have been sitting on a couple of freakin issues that were nagging me to pieces.

Case in point #1:

INSURANCE. Rt had tube surgery at the beginning of the month. Since we were in the "paying deductible" phase of our insurance, we owed $1200 for the ear procedure. Once that money was paid out, we then entered the "just paying 10%" on any future doctor visits/procedures until August. The insurance company doesn't have any co-pays, so everytime we see a doc, we walk right in, no moo la la to the system. It is soo nice and convenient. Therefore, we never owe anything upfront for any visit. Actually, our insurance tells us to NEVER pay for anything until an invoice has been sent to them. I get it, it totally makes sense. So, when we go in to get Rt's ears done, they told us we owed our deductible portion right then and there before the surgery could even begin! Well, shit. They said they called our insurance co and they said we DID owe the $1200. What the hell? I thought we weren't supposed to pay upfront, blah blah blah. We were so confused at this point, but wrote the check anyway. In the end, we did pay more than we were supposed to, so I have been on the phone with the insurance co and the surgery center trying to get my $$ back. All morning long, one side was saying this, the other that. BUT, I just got back from visiting my very prego friend AMY and got a message on my voicemail. The first thing the surgery center woman said was "Looks like we owe you some money. We'll get that to you on such and such date". Yippee kai a mo' fo'.

Case in point #2.

VIDEO TAPES. Rt is turning two in April. Last year, hubs made a video of Rt's first year to show at the party. It was a major hit. So, we decided we would do it again. One problem. Were in the hell were the little bitty teeny weeny ass video tapes? We looked everywhere. There aren't that many places to hide in this house. We have a kid, so nothing is just laying around. Everything is up somewhere. So, a week goes by and we still hadn't found the tapes. Hubs said we would tear the place apart on Saturday. Dude, that is 3 days from now. I am in distress NOW. Can we say trip to Hawaii, New York, everything Rt has done since he was 1 year old? GONE??? Did it get tossed with some of the Christmas decorations? The only evidence we had was the footage in the video camera began sometime in mid-December. The Christmas tree in the background was the obvious clue. So, where in the hell did one of us put the tapes sometime in December? Dude, I can't even remember if I took my vitamin last night. How can I solve this mystery? I am mostly a visual person. I can imagine seeing something somewhere and look and it's actually there. So, after I got Rt down for a nap today, I listened to the voicemail regarding the insurance refund, I had a conversation with hubs, told him I should find the tapes now since everything was falling into place in the past 5 minutes. As I was saying that, I visualized the tapes, opened the drawer to the butcher cart, (which has become my desk drawer, since my computer resides on top of said butcher cart) and the tapes were shoved back in the back with the rest of my important paperwork for safekeeping. OH MAH GAWD. Yippee Kai A Mo' Fo!

All I can say is, sawheet!


Monday, February 26, 2007

Rub a dub dub

Rt and gurl cuz TR in the tub.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Britney, Can it be, P.P.D?

It wasn't too long ago that I was wondering whether or not I was suffering from P.P.D, Postpartum Depression. I am still, to this day, unsure if in fact it really was ppd, but I have a pretty good idea I was dealing with something very overwhelming. What got me thinking about this again was the latest "happenings" with Britney Spears. Dooce posted about it today and it brought up a good point, why isn't anyone talking about ppd? Everything that is going on in her life right now screams something is really "off". Actually, it's her responses and actions to everything going on that are truly "off". I have started to really feel sorry for her, wondering how hard it would be to be in the spotlight, enduring what she is enduring, while suffering from something so massive.

Then, I thought about my journey again. I first questioned how "I" felt when Rt was 5 weeks old. I had gone down to San Diego with hubs to attend a work baby shower for Rt. We lived in LA at the time and hubs worked remotely. To celebrate the new arrival, we were asked to come down for a couple of days so his team could meet Rt. Hubs would be working most of the time, but it was to be a nice getaway for us. About that time, Brooke Shields came out with her book, "Down Came the Rain". I, of course, was so intrigued by her story on Oprah, I bought her book that day on Amazon. I had begun to read a little bit of it, but didn't really take a huge bite out of the book until I had some time to burn in my hotel room while Rt napped. I think back to that time and wonder, what the hell were we doing traveling with a 5 WEEK old in the first place? Talk about thinking I could do it all. What, you mean having a baby changes things? You mean, I actually should take some time to get accustomed to the biggest change in my life, before signing up for every opportunity presented to me? Much easier to see that now, but back then, no way, no how.

I recall moving Rt up to Size 2 nipples on his bottles and freaking out wondering why he was choking so much while feeding. I even called LVGurl in a panic asking the "been there done that already mommy" what the hell was wrong with my exorcist baby. Seems so silly now. 0 + 2 = 2, but in those days of no sleep and no recollection of who I was, I wasn't trusting anything coming from my brain. Which also included diving into the PPD depression book when I had a 5 week old. Let me just paint the picture. I was in a La Jolla hotel room, 10 stories up. This hotel is very narrow. Our room had a wide view of the ocean, but go out the door and there is a wide view of the parking lot way down below. I have never been too afraid of heights, but I was feeling some major anxiety and the height factor wasn't helping. I don't think I was ever in a depressive state of such magnitude as Brooke Shields, but I did ask myself, hypothetically, "Do I want to throw my baby off the balcony?" Once that fear set in on me, I turned on Felicity as quickly as I could and promised myself to really focus on how hot Ben was until the show was over and I could get back in the car and go pick up the hubs. If it hadn't kept my mind clear, I would have loaded Rt into the car, and sat in hub's office parking lot all afternoon until 5:30p.m.

Of course when something like this happens, you don't get on the phone and call all of your friends and tell them how f'ed up you are feeling. This secret, shameful disease doesn't scream acceptance. I think it's a good start that it's becoming more talked about and studied, but the hardest part about it is the internal failure that a new mother feels while battling something she has no chance of winning alone.

So, after many nights of getting more and more minutes of sleep, the days were more joyful and the nights were less feared. So, I really don't know if it was just a combination of lack of sleep, natural anxiety and starting a new job that I had no experience in or I did battle my own case of P.P.D. I think the true test will be when we have another baby. Will I now have enough mommy wisdom to recognize when it's time to take care of myself and when it's time to be Supermom? I am not sure, but I do know it's not going to stop me from doing it again.


Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Beef of the Week

One word. EBAY

Mo fo EBAY. Actually, it's not really ebay this time, it's the chick that is selling her kid dvd's that is getting my panties in a whod. I ordered 3 of Rt's favorite signing videos from this woman on ebay. I could have just spent $5 more and purchased them on one of a trillion sites, but noooooooooo, I went the ebay way and look what I got: NOTHING.

Here is the detailed scoop. I ordered these dvd's sometime in mid-January. However, the order was put on hold for about a week until Paypal confirmed I lived where I lived, etc. So, after that mess, it was already Jan. 26th. The most annoying thing out of all of this is you don't get an email from the seller, EVER. Unless, you actually email them to inquire about this our that. I merely emailed this fine woman wondering when the videos were shipped, what carrier did she use, and what was the tracking number? My email went out on Feb. 7. Plenty of grace period if you ask me. I believe I got a response a day later, but wasn't "with it" enough to realize it was sent to "My Ebay" section, and not to my yahoo address. So, on Feb. 11th I saw her reply which was basically a stall tactic, "oh, you didn't receive the dvd's by now?, let me know and I will send a new shipment out immediately." Now, if that doesn't scream "oh shit, I forgot to mail those", I don't know what does. Long story, even longer, I wrote her back and what have I gotten since? a Paypal email stating a USPS mailing label was created on Feb. 12th, AND THAT IS IT MY FRIENDS. I have emailed her 2 more times since then asking for a reply, asking her for updated tracking information, asking IF SHE WERE ALIVE. I even threatened her with a negative feedback,(which you are not really supposed to do), but what other cards did I have???? So, today I left a "neutral" feedback stating I had not received my order. I had to go through this lame tutorial before I left the semi-kiss of death feedback. The real kicker to the seller is she is HIGHLY RATED. I think she has a 94% positive feedback rating.

In the end, hubs said I should get my money back from Paypal. BUT I HAVE COME SO FAR! I can't give up now. I want JUSTICE!! Has this happened to anyone? If so, do tell. I need Ebay support. Is there a meeting I can attend for this? EBAYANON?

Until then, Rt is thoroughly educated on what to expect when he gets to school. Do YOU know the sign for "Pay Attention"?


Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Partner in Crime

Thank you little one for being such a sweetass sidekick today. I love days like these.
I feel like we can take on the world and laugh the entire trip. You rock.


Monday, February 19, 2007

Monday Meme

Thanks LVGurl for making me think back to times well suppressed.

6 things that are bizarro about me.

1) I named my first Madame Alexander doll Jenny. I received another MA doll for Christmas the next year and named her Jenny 2. (I didn't ever play with the first one. Asked for a second so Jenny 1 wouldn't be lonely.) I had an imaginary friend a few years later. Her name? JENNY. She was from Orvel, Texas. (Don't think it exists.) Once I was through playing with Jenny, the imaginary friend, I told everyone she went to visit her grandmother in Horrible, Texas. (Don't think it exists either.)

2) My favorite candy? Gummy Cherries. I also have a major love for Cherry Starbursts, Very Cherry Jelly Beans, and Cherry Sours. Cherry Pop Tarts are also fab. Any other flavors? Maybe Strawberry, but anything else is NASTY.

3) I have to put my left sock/left shoe on first. ALWAYS. My father told me when I was little. "Left for luck and right for might". Ever since then I have NEVER put my right anything on first. THANKS DAD for making me OCD on this one.

4)I put my '88 thunderbird into reverse while going 20 miles per hour. Why? I have no idea. I was a sophomore in high school newly driving and trying to show off for my friends, I guess. Wow, what a smart cookie.

5) I shaved my side burn hairs when I was in lower school. (they were long, but for some reason, had to go.) I thought if I shaved them, they wouldn't come back. Why did I want them to go away? I have no idea. Let's just say it was a GOOD look.

6) I took someone else's birth certificate to the tag agency and got a REAL id. They asked me if anything had changed regarding my stats. (this gal was 5'9", brown hair and blue eyed. I am 5'6", blond and hazel eyed) I said I had put on 5lbs. That is all I could think of. Well, whatever I did say, it worked. Away I went with a real id with my picture and someone else's info. PLUS, this gal didn't know I had her birth certificate in the first place. Classy, eh? Anywho, I went down to Dallas, Texas for the OU/Texas football weekend. I had gone to a fraternity party (with a total knob) at the Hard Rock. The ONLY cool thing about the entire night was Punky Brewster was at the party as someone's date. This was pre boob reduction, so she was the hit of the party. Long story short, I lost my id that night. Somewhere. In. Dallas. I didn't realize it until my friend CeCe and I were driving back to campus. I called all the LA Quinta Inn's I knew in the Dallas area hoping someone had found my id. Finally, one lady said a housekeeper had found an Oklahoma ID in the parking lot and had shipped it back to the address on the id 2 days before. UM, HELLO! This gal doesn't know I had her ID!!! So, CeCe and I jumped into the car, drove 30 miles to the address and hoped something miraculous would happen when we got there. I rang the doorbell and waited not knowing what I would say when someone answered. Luckily, No one did answer. I noticed the mailbox was attached to the outside of the house. I went ahead and opened the lid, saw an envelope from La Quinta Inn addressed to "me" and took it. I ran as fast as I could to the car and drove away. While driving, I looked inside the envelope and what did I see? MY SWEETASS FAKE ID! Woo hoo.


Friday, February 16, 2007

A day late, but not a dollar short

Valentine's Day in our house was on Feb. 15th this year. Hubs was supposed to fly back from SD in time for some sort of dinner celebration on the 14th. (not that I was cooking anything or had anything prepared, he was just supposed to be here. I did, however, have a gift and a card) BUT his plane was delayed and he did not return home until a few minutes before 10p.m. So, our BIG Valentine's celebration began and ended with a goodnight kiss.

So, to make up for the missed holiday, last night hubs and I put Rt down, then sat down for a nice dinner of fillet, baked potato and roasted asparagus. Ohh, and there was wine. I think we ended up polishing off the entire bottle or close to it. It was just what we both needed, a quiet table for two after a long week. To end our intimate dinner, we exchanged cards. Funny enough, our cards had the EXACT same message. We must have been feeling the same vibe. Then, I told him he should open up his present. He had such a shocked and sad look on his face. I guess when I mentioned before we should be "cheap" this year, he took my suggestion literally. He wasn't that much of a slacker though. My gift to him wasn't rolling in dough. He received a shirt from Target, some Ghirardelli chocolates, also from Target, and a pail full of chocolate kisses and coupons good for activities to be used at a later date.

I told him we could share the coupons. That way, we both would get an actual present. He said he didn't want to share.(I think he really liked the "get out of jail free" coupon or was it the "free round of golf without any huffing from me" coupon that sold him?) He DID say he would make some of his own coupons just for me. Now, how many of these coupons do you think will have to do with a "freebie"?


Thursday, February 15, 2007


[A is for age:]

[B is for booze of choice:]
Corona, mmmmm beer

[C is for career:]
Currently doing the mom thing, not sure what's around the corner

[D is for your dog’s name:]
no doggie

[E is for essential items you use everyday:]
chip clip/ponytail holder

[F is for favorite song(s) at the moment:]
Coldplay is keeping my ipod busy

[G is for favorite games:]
Asshole, card game in college, man was I good.

[H is for hometown:]
Houston, TX. lived there a whole 3 weeks. Oklahoma City for 14 yrs

[I is for instruments you play:]
Violin, piano back in the day

[J is for jam or jelly you like:]
strawberry, grape, blackberry

[K is for kids:]

[L is for last kiss:]
Rt when I was putting him down for a nap, great pucker face

[M is for most admired trait:]

[N is for name of your crush:]
Brad Pitt always shows up in my dreams, but I am still trying to get he and Jen back together, so no lovin for me, ooooo Ryan Gosling is fab too

[O is for overnight hospital stays:]
Just for Rt's birth, I think

[P is for phobias:]
Any dead animal in my backyard. Damn bird.

[Q is for quotes you like:]
Yippie kai a mo fo.

[R is for biggest regret:]
Not going to OU my first year of college

[S is for sweets of your choice:]
gummy cherries

[T is for time you wake up:]
dude, whenever Rt decides. Anything before 6am is unforgivable

[U is for underwear:]
um, yes.

[V is for vegetables you love:]
roasted asparagus

[W is for worst habit:]
piles, piles and more piles

[X is for x-rays you’ve had:]
right ankle, right thumb, right elbow

[Y is for yummy food you make:]
tamale pie, caramel brownies

[Z is for zodiac sign:]
all i know is virgo

Thanks again LVGurl for keeping my blog current.


Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Oh Danny.

To the man that would give in and dress up as Danny on Halloween for me.
You rock my casbah.


P.S. Do you still have that sweater? See you tonight!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

I can see that...

Your Personality Is Like Ecstasy

You're usually feeling the love for the world around you - you want to hug everyone.
And while you're usually content to sit back and view the world with wonder...
Sometimes you're world becomes very overwhelming and a little scary.

Thanks LVGurl for the idea!


Beef of the Week

Ok, I had mentioned doing this every week at the start of this blog, but I forgot it existed, so that is my excuse.

Today's topic is Cream of Wheat.

I am not sure where my taste for Cream of Wheat came from, but I just dig this stuff. I especially like to add some brown sugar on top. mmmmmm. I hadn't had it since I was little until I bought some not too long ago. Of course, now that I have a child, I never have time to eat myself, so using the microwave to heat my meal is the best chance I have. The problem with using the microwave is you have to check and stir every 30 seconds. If you decide you do not want to follow directions, forget there are directions to follow, or get distracted and once again forget to follow said directions, the cream of wheat WILL EXPLODE in your microwave. Have you ever tried to clean up explosive cream of wheat? It is so sticky and just EVERYWHERE, it pains me to no end when this happens. It has happened to me twice this week and it's ONLY TUESDAY. So, I am boycotting Cream of Wheat until I have forgotten how hard it is to clean the mess, and then, just maybe, I'll try again.


Sunday, February 11, 2007

Go Lincoln, It's ya birthday

I decorated my house in lights just for you.
Nah, I just wanted to show off my decorating abilities over the holidays.
I decorated the entire house IN THE RAIN.
(well, actually it was spitting, but it was still wet!)

Go e, it's ya birthday.

Friday, February 9, 2007

Leader of the Plaque

Vroom, Vroom. Had my trip to the dentist today. Yea, bob. You know when you are supposed to go for just a teeth cleaning, you hope, deep down, they will tell you everything looks immaculate, you will never need a filling the rest of your life, and your teeth are so white, they can't believe you have never had them whitened. (actually, they said that once, I was so proud. I guess I brushed away all the diet coke stains just in time.) Well, that wasn't this trip.

The hygienist waltzed in making some comment about how Anna Nicole Smith was SO on drugs and thought Anna didn't actually know the father of her baby. (It's the other guy, come on people!) I was surprised to see she didn't have a poodle skirt on to match her blonde ponytail and sipping a soda pop out of a straw. Bottom line, she was a tad flighty and reminded me of Sandra Dee. Anywho, after her continual comments on everything that was airing on the flatscreen above my head, the doc walked in.

I wasn't sure who it was since she was wearing a mask, but she said she was the dentist, so I took her word for it. I still don't know what she actually looks like, but I have seen her husband. He happens to be the other dentist in the practice. So cute. Too much time with the hubs in my book, but yea team dentist. She proceeded to tell me some of my fillings in the top back section of my mouth are taking over and I am on CROWN WATCH 2007. WHAAAAH. What is happening? I turned 30 and all my beautiful half silver/half white fillings need some "updating". When they say things like that, they mean, um, can we whittle down your tooth to a stump and put a faky on top? Sigh. Did I mention I have really white teeth?

The good news of the day is Rt went down for a nap at 12:30pm (which is early) and fell asleep within 5 minutes. I guess he was pretty pooped from sleeping all night, then waking at 4:55am. I don't think he actually fell back asleep, and I am pretty sure I didn't either.........


Thursday, February 8, 2007

You kiddin me right?

Dear Rt,

I don't know what it is that is keeping you from falling asleep this afternoon. Was it too much stimulation at the nursery this morning, that keeps you from dreaming of bunnies, cars, and choo choo's? Were you not thrilled to hang out with the other toddling kids while mommy went to her book study? Did you eat too much pear and can't come down off your natural sugar high? Was it the rush to get you down for a nap that keeps you from winding down slowly into fluffy cloud slumber? Whatever it may be, WOULD YOU LET ME IN OUR YOUR LITTLE SECRET?? I'm slowly losing my mind here.

So far, you have been in your room for 2 hours with no nap in sight. Wait, correct that. You are now standing next to me telling me about the letter "P" you just found on the floor. Right before that, you mentioned something about "nite nite" and I asked you why didn't you nap. You stood there and said "ummmmmmmmmmm, car, cow". I am not sure why I even think for one minute I am going to have an actual conversation with a 22 month old. As you can clearly see, I gave up on the nap thing today. I mean for God's sake, he was in there for the entire duration of a typical nap, so all I could do was end the insanity.

I know this phase too shall pass, but come on! I yearn for my afternoon chillouts. It's not like this happens often. In fact, I can only recall one other time he boycotted a nap EVER. So, I will probably just go to Target or something and try to move past the non-existent break I got while Rt played, cried, and played again in his crib today.

All I can say is EARLY ASS BEDTIME TONIGHT MISTER. Just wait till your father gets home! Haha, actually hubs was out of town last night and will return this evening. Just in time to help my ass in case this lack of sleep carries into the night.

ah, the perks

Wednesday, February 7, 2007


Not that long ago, I had no idea what these three initials stood for and I am sure there are quite a few of you that still don't today. Not to worry. It's a trap.

I am one of those moms who takes pride in finding the perfect deal when it comes to buying children's clothes, toys, etc. I am not one to keep my secrets to myself either. The better the deal, the more often I share my fabulous discoveries. Let me tell you, it ain't easy in this world today to keep a decent budget when it comes to your children. There are so many influences out there that make you want to compete with the rest of them to have what they have. It's human nature. I feel pretty good about where I stand when it comes to actually purchasing these $$$ items, but the wishing and wanting will always be in the back of my mind. And why not? This is the first time at this parenting thing. There are so many "new" things out there that seem just delightful. Since I am currently not bringing in a salary, it is my job to save money where I can to make our funds last longer. So, this makes for lots of passing by the $$$ and heading for the bargains. Luckily, I enjoy buying clothes for future seasons. So, what is on clearance right now, was 5 times more expensive 3 months ago. Who cares if Rt is wearing it next season. They're kids, they have no idea, YET.

Back to the initials. PBK stands for Pottery Barn Kids. Should there be music playing as I type this? It is one of those stores that just has the cutest infant/kids stuff that you really can't find many other places. Someday, I will save my pennies and buy Rt a bedding set for his big boy bed when he moves out of his crib, (maybe on EBAY, ha!) but until then, there's another solution!!

I live in a wonderful town for children. I have been so lucky to meet 5 great friends who all have kids Rt's age. Actually, Rt is the youngest, but they are all within 2 months of each other. 5 boys, 1 girl and 3 of them have the same name. (what are the odds?) Anywho, over the past year and a half we have all stuck together during these trying times of parenthood. We celebrate each other's birthdays, we go away on weekend trips without the kids, and even go out during the week for dinner and drinks. (well, I know I was drinking, I can't say I was paying attention to anyone else.)

Since the kids have birthday's so close together, it seemed more and more difficult to come up with a "cool" gift for each child let alone pay for all 5 gifts so close together. So, we came up with a solution like the one we currently use for our own birthdays. We all go in on one bigger gift to help ease time and finances. How cool is it to get a big gift for your kid of your own choosing?? This year, I told all the gals to go to PBK and find something under a certain price that they wanted for their child. Once the orders were in, the "buy" button was clicked and voila, we are finished birthday shopping until next year!

I am sure there will be many times in my life as a parent, I will have to bite the bullet and buy my children the thing that they just "have to have", (cause I am softy at heart) but while the decision is still ALL mine, I don't mind hitting Mervyn's on 50% off day.


Monday, February 5, 2007

Drain baby, drain!

Just got back from Rt's tubes surgery. What a relief to be through with that. It was quite a non-eventful experience considering Rt had to "go under" for the procedure.

We had to get there an hour before the surgery to be prepped, etc. Rt came dressed in his pj's and was excited to get out and about with mommy and daddy. After playing with the toys in the waiting room, we all were asked back to the prepping area. A teenage girl next to us was commenting on how excited Rt was skipping down the hall. She said she wished she was that positive about her surgery. Rt continued to play with more toys while they took his pulse and temperature. After speaking with the anesthesiologist and surgeon, we wrapped Rt in a warm sheet and walked him back down the hall to the main door. He was placed in the nurse's arms and was carried away. The look on his face wasn't that of fear, just a look of wonder why we weren't coming with him. Sigh.

So, to keep busy, hubs took off to Starbucks while I made conversation with the rest of the waiting room. (how odd, right?) Anywho, by the time hubby came back and I ate my muffin, the doctor was telling us how well he did during the procedure. He was awake, but not happy about it. He said his right ear looked fine, but his left one had a good amount of fluid still in it. A final confirmation we were doing the right thing with the tubes.

Once we entered the recovery area, Rt was in the arms of a nurse crying hard with his eyes closed. She said he hadn't opened his eyes yet. She placed him in my arms as I laid down on the bed cradling my helpless child. It was so heart wrenching. My heart truly ached when I walked in and heard him so upset. They said he probably felt dizzy, out of it, and angry that he couldn't do the things his mind wanted him to do. Then, Rt wanted his daddy. It was so sweet to see how much he needed both of us. After some diluted apple juice and some chex cereal, Rt was back to his happy self. Once the paperwork was taken care of, we were lead out the back door and on our way home.

As I said, it was extremely gratifying to know we did the right thing for Rt and were even more grateful knowing he was in such good hands during our first and probably not the last scary surgery with our boy.


Sunday, February 4, 2007

Where the wind comes sweeping......

I am back from the funeral in Oklahoma. It was a tiring 48 hour trip, but I am so thankful I was able to be there for my grandmother alongside my family.

Will post more tomorrow once I have gotten a decent night of sleep.