A 6 year old’s quest for an American Girl Doll, part 1

It all started about a month ago, on a warm sunny Spring day. The mail had arrived. And there it was. 30 pages of glossy full color heaven. The all mighty American Girl Doll catalog. It was like the clouds had parted and the heavens were singing to my daughter as her eye lite up turning each page of girly goodness.

This is the closest you will ever see what my daughter looks like.

This is the closest you will ever see what my daughter looks like.

She immediately decided that the American Girl Doll was the perfect doll for her. And a doll she MUST have in order to complete her existence on this earth. I of course, rolled my eyes and secretly wished that catalog never had arrived. I know my daughter. She plays with almost NEVER. She likes the idea of dolls. She has a collection of them. They pretty much chill in a pile in the closet collecting dust and knots in their hair. Poor dolls…. However according to my daughter, none of those dolls look like she does, hence why they are not played with and why she MUST have the American Girl Doll that looks like her. I looked at the price tag. $110.00!!!!! And you don’t even get a cute outfit or accessories with it. Are you fucking kidding me? Pardon my french, but what bullshit to expect a parent to fork out over a $100 for the doll. Not to mention $30-$50 per outfit. I won’t even spend that much money on an outfit for myself, let alone an outfit for an 18″ piece of plastic.

After she hounded me for a day or so, I decided to make her a deal (insert evil laugh now). She went through the entire and narrowed down everything she wanted, from the doll to 2 outfits to get her wardrobe collection started. We tallied the shipping, tax, and what little money she saved so far. She needed a total of $225.00. I agreed to match her dollar for dollar. Of course in mind my, I never thought in my wildest dreams she would actually follow through. Which in turn, would save me over $100. We are talking about a girl who would pan through the couch for loose change, just so she could use the little bit of saved money on yet another 6 inch stuffed beenie animal she saw at the drug store. But what the hell, right? This would be a good lesson of saving money, doing chores for money, and be patient if it was something she really wanted.

We started off with her making a poster with cut outs from the catalog of all the items she wanted. She then wrote, “Do you have any chores for me? I am saving for an American Girl Doll”. We posted it on Facebook for our friends and family to see. From that alone, she received $20.00 from a distant grandma. She also was able to earn some money from doing odd chores for the grandparents. This includes window washing for grandma, and helping her grandpa wash the boat.

She realized very quickly, that chores were a waste of time. Really? I had to think fast. My plan of teaching her the value of hard work was sinking quickly. She decided she didn’t want to help out around the house for extra money. She already has chores that she has to do as “a part of her contributions to the family”. But then there are things she can do for extra money. Apparently she is too above hard labor or something. I mean shit, all I asked her to do was pull some weeds for money. Weeds that would have taken me 5 min to pull myself. But to her, it was slave labor….

Read Part 2 of how she finally earned her money and made her big purchase. 


You love me, you really love me….. And you gave me an award!

I love blogging so much, but sometimes I want to cry when I look at my stats and I feel as though I am pretty much the only person in cyberland reading my posts, unless I am honored by the lovely comments you give my posts. Being a new blogger, it is hard to not get discouraged that you don’t go viral after your first month of blogging. Who knew, right?

However….. drum roll please….. I have been honored with an blogging award. Thank you Mama, Schmama! You made my day!

You have honored me with a Liebster Award! Sweet! So in order to accept this award, I need to do the following. And those of you who I nominated, you will need to do these as well to accept your award.

  1. You love me, you really love me!

    You love me, you really love me!

    List 11 facts about yourself. 

  2. Answer the 11 questions given to you.
  3. Ask 11 new questions to the bloggers you nominate.
  4. Choose 11 bloggers to nominate.
  5. Visit each bloggers page and tell them about the award.
  6. Thank the person who nominated you and link back to them.
  7. No track backs

Ok, so here it goes!

11 facts about myself:

  1. I married my high school sweet heart. 
  2. At one point in my life, I had 2 moms, 2 dads, and 4 sets of living grandparents.
  3. In another life, I was a hip hop dancer (but that is only when no one is watching).
  4. I am actually a belly dancer.
  5. I have never spanked my children and never will.
  6. I used to smoke weed every day of my life from the age 17-21.
  7. I have run 3-4 businesses in my life. All but one has not been successful. However I have learned SOOO much from each one.
  8. I love all Twilight and Trueblood related footage. Sorry to say, but Trueblood is like soft porn for women. But because it is on HBO, it is socially acceptable.
  9. I have a sister who is bipolar and an on and off again drug addict (off right now).
  10. I have anxiety issues.
  11. I practice Positive Discipline (or at least that is the goal).

Answer 11 questions about myself.

  1. If you were to meet your online friends in person, how would you behave?
    If I met my online friends in person, I would pretty much act the same caddy self as I am online. I have no filter in person and talk a lot of smack.

  2. What responsibility do you have that you tend to neglect?
    I hate laundry. HATE IT! I will put a load in the washer, forget it, and 2 days later check on it and it smells like mildew. So then I need to wash it again on hot and start all over. I also will have a mountain of laundry on the love seat that will live there for weeks before it actually makes its way to drawers folded.

  3. What is one thing everyone should see at least once in their life?
    When I first read this, I thought it said, the one thing everyone should see ME do at least once in their life. So I am going to answer it like that. Opps.
    I am a belly dancer. I have danced for about 10 years (on and off). I have taken a little break since having my son. But I am actually getting back into it and found a new class to take that is right up the street from where I live. Dancing is the one thing I do with my belly showing and just own it! I think I look beautiful with all the back flab and everything! You will never see me on the beach in a granny suit with that much confidence.

  4. Name one blog insecurity that you have and contrast that with one source of blog pride.
    Even though I blog anonymously and none of my family knows my blog name, I still am nervous about if I talk too much shit about them. And I would LOVE to talk shit about my husband, but he sometimes visits the blog, so you know… that may cause some counselling sessions right there.

  5. If you could fix one, just one world problem, what would it be?
    Really? That is so hard to answer. I feel like I am in a beauty pageant and need to talk about world peace and shit! Ok… here it goes. I would probably make equal rights for all!

  6. Right or left handed?
    Right handed, duh!

  7. What was your 8 year old self 100% right about?
    That I am always right!

  8. What famous person would make you totally freak out about if they started following your blog?
    Ok, this is bad, but I am a sucker for a sparkling vamp. Coincidentally, I love Robert Pattinson. So if he followed my blog, I would be stoked. However, he has no kids, not married, and could basically give a shit about anything I have to say… But who cares. I still love him to death!

  9. Draw a picture of a nose.  Include that in your post.  Yeah, that’s right.  I want to see how you draw noses. 
    No thanks! Sorry, can I still keep my award?

  10. What did you like better- elementary school, high school, or college?
    Jr high school rocked my world. I was a big fish in a small pond. Super popular, student council, sports, boyfriend, etc. Then I went to high school. Met my boyfriend (who is now my husband), turned goth, smoked clove cigarettes  and hated everyone. So yeah, high school sucked balls!

  11. Since liebster means dearest or favorite…what is one favorite belief or piece of advice you have?
    Sing!!! Even if you have the most horrible voice ever! Sing your heart out. And you don’t have to sing in front of people. It can be in your car alone. But when you sing, you can release so much built up emotions, anger, happiness, etc. It just feels really good!

Ok, 11 bloggers, here you go! You are wonderful and I love ya!
(I am sorry if you already have this award)

  1. The Bug and Me
  2. Crazy Owl Imaginings
  3. Motherhood is an Art
  4. Sandy Toes Creations
  5. Everyday Parenting Canada
  6. The Adventure of a Life
  7. Reluctant Daddio
  8. Can I Get Another Bottle of Wine
    Phew…. Ok this is what I got for now!

11 Questions for nominated bloggers:

  1. Why do you blog?
  2. What animal best describes your personality
  3. Veggi or meat? And why?
  4. Reality TV or Drama TV?
  5. How will you prepare for a zombie apocalypse?
  6. Favorite music genre?
  7. How many brothers and sisters did you have and where were you in the line of the mix. (first born, middle, etc?)
  8. If you could travel to one place in the entire world, where would it be?
  9. What does your blog name mean to you?
  10. Johnny Depp or Will Smith and why?
  11. What is your ideal date night activity?

I am obsessed with my garden. No picking the flowers!!!!

I love my garden

I love my garden

I had big plans for what I was going to blog about tonight. My birthday was last Thursday, Mother’s Day today, Shopping, etc…. But my garden has inspired me, so I thought I would go with that. However, in the light of it being Mother’s Day, this post actually applies. How you may ask? Well, let me enlighten you. It all started back when you had to light a room with a candle at night, and walk 5 miles to school in the snow with no shoes…. haha nah… But it did start when I was a kid.

I love gardening. My grandparents were huge gardeners. My grandfather grew fruit orchards and when retired, he was known for his Italian tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers. My grandmother always had the most immaculate floral garden. The grand kids weren’t even allowed to walk on the lawn. Pretty anal, right? My mother is a hard core gardener. Her garden has been in tours. We have every large family party in her backyard. She has a huge vegetable garden, a fish pond, and full hot tub with landscaped beds surrounding it.

I have little magical additions here and there. Like faeries....

I have little magical additions here and there. Like faeries….

Pretty much, the green thumb runs in the my blood. Does that mean I have green blood? Hah! Of course as a kid you don’t give a crap. “Whatever mom. Pull weeds? Yeah, right”. As a kid, you don’t appreciate the yard looking nice, or the excitement your mom has when she gets a delivery of mulch, or fresh home grown tomatoes. It isn’t until you are an adult, with a garden of your own, working the soil with a back that hurts like hell, that you really truly appreciate all the hard work that goes into having a nice garden.

The first house I rented with my boyfriend (who is now my husband), at the age of 19, I had a garden. It was pretty much a pile of sand when I started weeding it out. I remember calling my dad crying because my back was killing me and it still didn’t look like I had made any progress. But after some fatherly touch, I actually made it look like a beautiful little plot of land. From age 19 to now (age 34), I have lived in 4 different homes. Each of those homes, I have had a garden. And with each home, the garden has looked more and more amazing.

The vines are getting out of control. Like my inability to stop buying more plants!

The vines are getting out of control. Like my inability to stop buying more plants!

And now, here I am. My family is living in the home we will probably die in, (hopefully not until we are old and crippled). And by golly, my garden ROCKS IT! I love my garden. I have to admit, I am a bit of a plant hoarder. I buy plants like no body’s business. Hell, if they die, I just take them out and try something new. This is the second year with my garden, and I love every day I spend in it.

My garden serves as a haven for where my kids can play and I can pull weeds, plant, water, or just sit on my ass. We can spend quality time together, playing soccer, sidewalk chalk, or harvesting vegetables  My garden serves as education for my children. They help plant the vegetable garden, help water, help pick the vegetables, etc. My garden also serves for a hide away for me. When my husband and kids are driving me up the wall, I can hide out and say I am “watering”, and I “zen” out and in my peace and quiet.

Of course, my kids won’t fully appreciate the garden until they’re adults, as I didn’t when I was a kid. My daughter is 6 years old and I am still getting on her case for picking flowers. “Girl, you don’t pick my flowers!”

You better not pick the flowers in my garden!

You better not pick the flowers in my garden!

When my niece and nephew come over, once again, I am constantly getting on their case about picking flowers. “What the hell, stop picking my flowers!!!!” I feel like that cray old lady who gets upset when someone walks on her lawn. I will watch the kids from my bedroom window and if I see them pick a flower, I will yell from the window, “I have told you over and over, stop picking the flowers!”.  I think I am a little OCD when it comes to the garden.

I wrote in my mom’s Mother’s Day card, “When you are old, I will help you garden”. And I fully plan on carrying out that commitment. I hope someday that my children will do the same for me when I am old. Either that, or I will hire some hot young gardener to help me, and watch him when he bends over and picks up bags of potting soil. How’s that for a visual.


If there are any Santa Cruz locals reading my blog, check out this wonderful event coming up. June 15th, the Monterey Master Gardeners are hosting an all day boot camp. For $40, from 8:00-5:00 pm you get to chose from a huge variety of classes. I can’t wait for this special event. I am going to learn about organic gardening, coastal roses, composting, pruning and more. It is like Disney Land for gardeners!!!

Check it out here:

Monterey Bay Master Gardeners Boot Camp

For Mother’s Day, all I want is to be left the “F” alone!

All I want for Mother's Day is to be left alone.

All I want for Mother’s Day is to be left alone.
Photo borrowed from http://spaliciousgifts.com/

I will start this post by giving you the definition of what a “mother” is, from the words of my 6 year old daughter.

“A mother is someone who is rude and mean to her kids.”

“A mom/mommy is someone who is loving and sweet to her kids.”

And when she calls me “mother”, you know why. I wear that title with pride, as most likely if I am called a “mother”, it means I am doing my job. I can’t be a “mommy” 100% of the time, even though I wish I could.

With that said, Mother’s Day is coming. And quite frankly, I just want to be left the fuck alone on Mother’s Day. Think of it… All day by myself. Quite household. No screaming. Nobody making the kitchen dirty. No in-laws wanting to spend time together. No babies needing changing. Just me, my house, my couch, maybe some sparkly vampires, in all their hotness, on the old boob-tube, and a huge bowel of cereal with a wooden spoon in my hand.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my family. And I love my children. But why on earth does Mother’s Day mean needing to spend time with them? I see them every single day of my life. But for one day, could they honor me by getting out of my face and letting me have some peace and quiet?

When you are a mom of young children, with a mother of your own, Mother’s Day ends up being more work for you than ever. Not only do you need to spend time with your own mom (buy gifts, take her to lunch, etc), but you also need to partake in making your own kids feel like they are addressed on this special day. For example, my tradition with my daughter and my mom is to all get pedicures. Oh, so sweet, right? 3 generations of women in the family all sitting there getting our nails done. Then it is time to pay. You, as the middle woman in the family, get to pay for all of them. Obviously your 6 year old isn’t going to pay for your pedicure, and your own mother isn’t going to pay for your pedicure. And you would look like a schmuck if you didn’t pay for your mom’s pedicure. So there you have it, Mother’s Day and you get to fork out $50 to be honored and honor them in return.

This year I decided to host a Mother’s Day Eve brunch. I figured I would invite the moms, nana, aunts, sisters, and sister-in-laws over to my house for a “kid free” brunch in my backyard. This way, I could see all the moms from all sides of the family in one swoop the day before Mother’s Day. Then it would free up my Sunday to just do my own thing. Great idea in concept. However, it backfired. My father-in-law and his wife decided they didn’t want to come into town on Saturday, but wanted to come on Sunday. And of course during the 3 times a year they decide to come into town for all of 8 hours during the day, they want to see the grand kids. So there goes my Sunday Mother’s Day. Not only do I get to pay for 3 pedicures, I also get to spend time with my father-in-law and his wife so they can have an hour of quality time with their grand kids.

So after all this, I decided that Sunday would not be my Mother’s Day. Sunday would be the day that I let go to the family obligations. I would give thanks to my mom and continue the pedicure tradition. But I would give myself my own Mother’s Day.

Friday is now my Mother’s Day. Friday, the kids will be in school and daycare and I have taken a vacation day off of work. And on Friday, after the kids are gone and the hubby is at work, the house will be all mine. I am going to be all alone and it will be wonderful! I am not going clean the house. I am not going to go grocery shopping. I am not going to pay bills. I am actually going to garden and plant some flowers. Then I am going to go shopping for some new clothes. I can’t wait!!!! My Mother’s Day all to myself is going to officially start in 48 hours!

To end this post, I just want to state for the record, that I love my mom with all my heart. And even though I bitch and complain about the lack of “me-time”, I do really enjoy spending time with her on Mother’s Day. I feel very fortunate to have her live in the same town as myself where we can do things like pedicures on Mother’s Day. And hopefully someday when my daughter is my age and has a daughter of her own, she won’t think of me as “mother”, but more of her “mom”.

When blogging becomes a chore

Blogging or sleep. These days it is a hard decision

Blogging or sleep. These days it is a hard decision

I love blogging. LOVE IT. I am not a writer, but I am a mommy. And blogging has been a way for me to unleash all my mommy drama and daily journalling. I have only been blogging for about 3 months. But quickly I have become addicted  I had plenty to write about. And somehow found the time to blog 2 days a week. That is 3 times a week, with working every night with my day job, working 3 days a week in the office, working in the classroom for my daughters kinder class, and being a fulltime mom and fulltime housewife. Basically instead of crashing on the couch, watching reruns of Rosanne at 8:00 pm, I was writing in my blog. I always said if it stopped being fun, I would stop blogging.

And then something happened. People started reading my posts. I was getting comments. And I was I was seeing an increase in blog stats. Super fun, right? Super addicting, right? Well, now my blog has topped off and really requires more work on my part to get it to the next level. In reading about how to increase your blogging community, you have some work to do. You need to comment on other blogs. You need to Tweet, Facebook, join other mommy communities. Basically get out there and be apart of others communities. I love the idea. But I feel like with the limited time I have, it is so hard to write posts, and get my foot in the door in other mommy blogger communities. Blogging can seriously become a fulltime job. A fulltime, unpaid job.

So needless to say… the honeymoon period is over. Obviously there is no way I will become a famous blogger like “The Bloggess” overnight… if ever. And I want to continue blogging. But I feel like I need to get over this hump. It is like when you lose 10 pounds, but you have 30 pounds to go, yet the scale will not move past pound 11. “This one goes to 11” (if you don’t recall, that is from Spinal Tap).

So as a new mantra to myself, I need to remind myself of the following:

  • Blogging is about having fun
  • Stats do not matter
  • Sometimes you will have nothing to write about, and that is ok
  • The world will not end if you don’t blog tonight
  • If no one reads your posts, it is ok
  • You should read, comment, and follow others blogs because you enjoy reading what they are writing, not just to expect a follow or comment back. That’s bad karma.
  • Out of all the perverts that read your blog because they think
    “Poop On Your Hands” means something kinky, there is probably at least a couple people who are reading your blog because they are fellow mommies with the same mommy issues you have.
  • And once again, blogging is about having fun!

Ok, now that I have gotten all that off my chest, I have a great idea for Wednesday post! But for now, time for sleep!

Mothers sickness retreat. A girl can dream, can’t she?

Bow down to the Porcelain God.

Bow down to the Porcelain God.

This weekend something horrible happened in our household. It started with a random public barfing session from my 18 month old son, in the middle of a museum hallway. What follows this, may not be for the queasy tummies. You have been warned.

The random barfing, continued during the day. Then started back up Saturday night. He barfed on at least 4 sets of pjs, 4 sets of sheets, and 4 sets of blankets. The next morning, I found barf on the crib, around the crib, and splattered on the wall. Then the diarrhea started…..

Fast forward to Sunday night. The baby had been doing better by now. Low appetite and diarrhea, but the vomiting had stopped. However, within 15 minutes of each other, my 6 year old daughter and I were co-barfing side by side. Thank goodness we have 2 bathrooms. If you had witnessed this, you would think we needed an exorcist. I was running to one bathroom, while she was just going at it all over the floor, hallway, walls, light switches  etc. My husband was freaking out. That evening my daughter and I made camp in our bedroom. A pot by her side, and me running to the bathroom through out the night. It was not a pretty sight to see. I will leave it at that.

The next day, she was pretty much back to normal. However I was a different story. It took all day for me to be able to hold down food and water without wanting to die. My husband luckily stayed home from work to watch the kids, while I tried to lock myself in my bedroom. The moment I would come out of hiding, my husband figured I felt well enough to help with the laundry, participate in the parenting, and be a fully functioning parent. Which of course made no sense to me, and just caused us to argue about what it mean to be a nurturing partner.

In the mist of me wanting to give up on anything right and holy in this world. I was crouched over, worshiping the porcelain god, where once my family’s butt was pressed up against. Now it just felt like a wonderful cooling surface for my sweating, sagging face. How do you like that visual? Anyway, I came up with an epiphany… or maybe it was a hallucination.

Someone should create a facility, retreat, service, what-have-you, for moms to go to when they are sick. Picture this if you will…. You get sick, your husband is taking care of the kids, but who is taking care of you? (of course you are thinking: Well shouldn’t your husband be taking care of you? You would think….) Wouldn’t it be nice to go somewhere away from the house, where you can be cozy with TV, people bringing you anything you need when you ring a bell, hold your hair when you puke, clean up after you, no noise, no kids, food to drink of your choice, and just be left alone to heal?

Then, at the same time while this is all going down…. The same service would then bring hot meals to your family, sanitize the house from all the germs, do your laundry, and basically play the roll of the mom while you are off healing in paradise. I would pay large sums of money for this service.

But then I realized something…. I do have this service. It is called my mommy and daddy. I needed my own mommy and daddy to take care of me. If I could, I would have camped out at my parents house, let them take care of me, and then in return, they could then go take care of my family. They could take care of everything. Ok, that is a far stretch and way too much to ask for. However, my dad would come over in a heart beat and take care of me, clean my kitchen, fold my laundry, put a cool cloth over my head, and tell me everything would be ok, if I asked him to. But I am too proud, too “strong” (not really), to ask for help. Apparently in my mind, I can take care of everything on my own.

I still think a “mom sick service” would be a wonderful invention. Someday, you’ll see, it will catch on. Million dollar idea.

My daughter is 6 going on 16


This is NOT my daughter, although sometimes it feel as though it should be.

This evening I was watching old home movies of my sweet daughter when she was 2 years old. So small and innocent. So carefree and playful. She laughed at anything, danced around the house like a little fairy, and just rocked it all the time.

Now fast forward to age 6. My sweet little “teenager”. Oh man, I remember being a kid and saying, “I can’t wait to grow up”. And my mom telling me how wrong I was. In my mind, it wasn’t any farther from the truth. Being a grown up was way better than being a kid. How wrong I was. Now I watch my daughter as she grows up. She defiantly puts me to work when it comes to teaching her values, morals, right and wrong, and just all around living life to its fullest. It just seems like she is so anxious to grow up. What happened to playing with dolls, playing house, or building a sand castle in the backyard sandbox. Oh yes, she still does that. But now when she plays house, there is usually an imaginary boyfriend who is kissing her, or she is pretending to push out a baby in a vaginal childbirth….Yeah, that one is my fault, as she was by my side when I gave birth to her baby brother 18 months ago. It just seems like her entire attitude is similar to a hormonal, premenstrual, young lady….. eye roll and everything.

She knows the lyrics to some of the major top 40 billboard pop songs. I am constantly being asked, “Mom, put on Carrie Perry: Kiss Me, Kiss Me”. I have only told her about 100 times that it is Katy Perry. Other than that, she knows songs I don’t even listen to when she is in the car, including: Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez. Of course when I try and sing with her, I get that almighty, “No, mom, only I get to sing it”. Which of course I then begin to channel my mother and say, “Well it is my car, and when you have your own car, then you can decide the rules. But until then, I get to sing along as well”.

She tries to wear hoochie mama clothes to school. She will be in her room getting ready for school, as I work on getting the baby ready, lunches packed, diapers changed, etc. Then struts out of her room like she is on a red carpet runway. This morning she comes out of her room wearing a leotard, leg warmers (no panties), and a ruffled shirt. “Um…. what are you wearing?”. Which she responds with, “mom, it is a skirt”. I am sorry, but a little chiffon ruffle is not a skirt. Nor is a leotard considered clothing for school in any shape or form. I am constantly saying, “Honey, I see you want to wear a skirt, here are your options of skirts you can wear, including clean underwear and leggings to cover your booty when you are on the playground”.

This is a regular line I hear in the mornings, “Mom, my ponytail isn’t high enough”. If her ponytail was any higher on her head, it would look a unicorn horn coming out of her forehead. The hairdo is a HUGE deal in the mornings for her. Luckily she only needs me half the time to do her hairdo. Most of the time she comes out of the bathroom with about 5 headbands on, and about 8 clips. But she rocks it.

Lastly (but I know there is more), she acts like she owns the playground. We attend a charter school with grades kinder-8th. When I bring her to school, she works the courtyard. I watch her as she has no fear and approaches the 8th grade girls to say, “Hi Dakoda, how are you?” Then gives the girls hugs and moves onto the next group. It’s nice the older girls just think she is super cute vs an annoyance. Of course she doesn’t give a regular kid hug, oh no…. She gives the “chick hug”. You know the hug us women give each other that includes the one arm, barely making physical contact, at the same time saying. “hi, how are you?” with a slightly higher pitch than normal.

I am constantly telling her, “You may not wear a bra until you actually have boobs to hold them up”. “Sorry honey, kindergartners are not allowed to have boyfriends or kiss boys at your age” and, “Sorry honey, having pink hair is only for Crazy Hair Day, Halloween, or a special occasion.”

I love my daughter with all my heart. And I feel confident that we don’t expose her to inappropriate movies, behavior, or influences that are above her age development. I just have to continue reining her back to 6 year old land. Even if it means bursting her bubble and bringing her back to reality.