Olga’s Supplies

Sabrina is home from Germany, and even her sisters are happy about that. Last night, Brea and Bean headed out to see a movie together, and I forced them to let me take their pictures before they headed out the door. And as I've mentioned before, Bean loves nothing more than to go into silly mode when the camera is pointed at her..

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Breanna doesn't care for her picture taken, and she'll probably be quite annoyed with me that I posted this in-between shot. I love in-between pictures though!

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And now.. the supplies for Olga! Sorry I didn't get them posted sooner, but I've been doing quite a bit of yardwork and other stitching. 🙂

Stitch Count for Olga: 101w x 104h

Fabric used: 36 ct. Vintage Tarnished Silver (Lakeside Linens)

Fibers used: Crescent Colours: Black Coffee, Old Oak Tree, River Rocks, Persimmon, Amber Waves, Joshua Tree, Dandelion Stem, Antique Lace.

Frame by: The Family Tree Frame Company (A "Branch" of Crescent Colours)

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Thank you so much for all the lovely compliments regarding this crazy cat, btw! I'll do my best to come up with a dog. 🙂

Olga

Here she is! She'll be released on the 28th. 🙂

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Texas, Part II

I'm soooooo happy to have my Bean home again! My goodness, she's been gone since June 2nd and we've all missed her very badly. She even started crying when she hugged me in the airport, and then of course I welled up… My Sweet Sabrina is home.

And now… I need to get the rest of these Dallas photos posted!

As I mentioned yesterday, I didn't take my camera with me to Hurricane Harbor, so you lucked out on Day #2. However, Day #3 was spent in downtown Dallas with my camera in hand, and let me be the first to tell you – my sister is one hard chicky to keep up with. But we managed, and Audrey only had to ask us a few times if we were ready to call it quits yet.

Our first stop downtown was to the Dallas World Aquarium…

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Here's Neenee, throwing a tantrum… poor Neenee!! (She was mad that Sophie could reach the information monitors and she couldn't.)

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And here's Neenee a little while later, throwing another tantrum. (She was still mad that Sophie could reach the monitors.)

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And now she's really mad, bc Sophie isn't getting mad back.

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Or maybe she was mad that I was taking her picture while she was throwing a tantrum.

After the Aquarium, we drove further into the city and passed the famous Sixth Floor building…

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…And then on to yet another cupcake shop: The Cupcakery.   

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Neenee wanted Sophie to try her orange cupcake…

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I could be way off base here, but I'm guessing she didn't like it.

Once we were in the car again, Neenee entertained herself with her new maracas that her mommy surprised her with…

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(That was my favorite picture of her.)

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Then it was off to the Country Marketplace for vegetables! Audrey makes the best roasted veggies with olive oil…

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And she puts dill in absolutely everything!

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Here are the girls, playing with a digital scale. Natalie is quite satisfied that she can "reach" this one…

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Sophie adores her baby niece…

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Audrey was NOT kidding when she told me they had hundreds of different kinds of cheeses!

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And since I'm a sucker for olives, I had to take a picture of only a portion of the olive bar…     
 
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The flowers were beautiful! Any kind you could think of! I loved all the signs over the different sections…

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What a fabulous shopping center this is… there were so many samples of things to be eaten, one would never have to actually cook anything on the day one visited. :)  I wish we had one of these where I live… everything from the soup bar to the bakery to the vintage-style candy was outstanding!

We made our purchases, and out into the intense Texas heat we went again. In the car, Sophie decided to help Natalie cool off by covering her in baby wipes…

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Since it was still going to be a few hours before dinner (roasted vegetables with angel hair pasta) was going to be ready, we made a quick stop for the best tacos I've ever eaten

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Oh my goodness. I want one of these where I live too. If you've never had a Fuel City taco, drive there now.

Home again, home again, to Audrey's house for dinner…

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(That was its pre-cooked state.)

It was so much fun sitting around Aud's living room with Shaun and Paul and the girls, just chatting and laughing. At one point, I realized that Paul and Audrey and I were reminiscing about our childhoods, just like I would hear my parents and aunts and uncles do when I was little, and I was quite amused by the thought… except I never heard them say things like "Man, I remember the time Mom tried spanking you and you farted on her hand."

(My apologies to anyone who is offended by the word farted, which my mother had convinced us kids for years was the "f-word.") 

On our last day, Shaun drove Sophie and I to my brother's workplace so we could say our goodbyes to him… in typical fashion, as soon as the camera was put away, Paul was all smiles again.

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(Btw, he was also smiling when he farted on our mom's hand.)

And now Sophie and I are back home in fit-for-human temperatures, still unpacking and wishing we lived closer to Dallas.  It was a lovely visit with family. 🙂

Texas!

I had a wonderful time visiting my family in Dallas this week! I took over 300 photos while Sophie and I were there, and that didn't include the day we visited Hurricane Harbor (I refuse to take my camera anywhere near splashing children)… but don't worry, I won't load them all here. 🙂

After we drove the 45 minutes from the airport to my sister and brother in-law's home, we all went to an awesome Mexican restaurant called Abuelo's. This is my cutie-pie brother, Paul. I think he should apply to be on The Bachelor. (Oh quit rolling your eyes, Paul.)

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And here's my favorite brother in-law, Shaun. On the drive from the airport, Sophie asked how long it would take to get to their house. "Twenty more minutes," Shaun said.

"It's only been twenty minutes?" Sophie lamented.

"Everything in Texas is bigger – even our minutes," Shaun said.

Shaun cracks me up. 

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(Don't you love his shirt? I bought that for him.)

The next day we headed out for a day of shopping, our first stop being Sprinkles, which is a darling little cupcake shop…

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Here's my sister, Audrey, holding our purchases…

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Here's my favorite cupcake…

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The heat was melting Natalie's chocolate-marshmallow cupcake before she could eat it…

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After we were finished, we walked over to a nearby fountain that had caught our attention… it appeared as if someone had poured laundry detergent in it – not only from the enormous suds, but from the freshly-laundered smell!

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Our next stop was the Galleria Mall, and the first place we came to was Saks Fifth Avenue, and the first price tag I saw was for $1,989.00, attached to a homely dress.

Saks Fifth Avenue cracks me up.

Inside the mall there was an ice-skating rink. Sophie loves to ice skate, but Natalie had never been, so Sophie put on her teaching hat and went to work on her little cousin… watching her learn to walk in the skates was the cutest thing… Audrey and I couldn't stop giggling at her!

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Audrey and I chewed most of our nails off, nervously waiting for Natalie to get the hang of it. Sophie was extremely patient, but for the most part, Neenee didn't want any help. It's both a terror and a blessing when a child has no fear – depending on which emotion wears you out first.

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For two hours, Neenee was content to make her way around the rink with a death-grip on the railing. Kind of like how I choose to ice skate.

I eventually ended up loaning her my jacket when she got chilly…

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She loved "skating" as much as her older cousin did, but as worn out as Audrey was from the worry, I doubt she'll be taking her again any time soon. 🙂

The next day we went to Hurricane Harbor, as I mentioned earlier. The heat was insane, but it was still a super fun time, and Soph and I got to ride a whopping two rides in 3 hours! Here's a photo of the girls in their matching outfits before we left…

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One of the cutest things about Neenee is that she loves to have someone play Super Mario on her Nintendo DS while she sits close to them and watches. It keeps her entertained for hours – literally. Sophie played quite a bit for her, but once in a while Natalie take over the controls and become engrossed in the game…

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She truly is a delight.

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And on that note, I suppose I'll go. I'll get the rest posted tomorrow, but for now I have lots of laundry and cleaning and some stitching to do! Deadlines loom, and my backside hurts from sitting here editing all these photos!

Btw, Sabrina called and said she's in Chicago now.. she'll be home in four hours, and I'm soooo excited to have her back!

Family.

Sophie has only one cousin, named Natalie.

Natalie has only one cousin, named Sophie.

Sophie and Natalie were very happy to see each other, after such a long time apart.

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The end. 

Finishes!

I thought yesterday's post would be my last for a week or so, but I found some extra time on my hands before I leave for the bustling city of Dallas, and thought I'd share some finishes that were sent to me!

This is Salem Sisters II, from Marika.. she's a cyperpal of mine from New Orleans. One of these days I just might take you up on your offer of a Mardi Gras boa, Marika! 😉

Marika
Great job, and congrats on finally stitching something for yourself! 🙂

These freebies were finished by Cathi in Berlin.. she made a few changes to them, and I think they turned out great!

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Thank you for sharing them, Cathi! (Btw, all freebies can be found in the "Freebie" link in the sidebar under Categories. 

Here is Sandrine's Trifle for a Friend freebie.. beautiful colors, Sandrine! I love seeing how people have changed this chart to suit their tastes.

Sandrine
And finally, here is Margit from Germany's  Hares' Visit she made for a sick friend.. I love how Margit has put this together! What a kind friend you are to share a stitched piece with your friend, Margit, and I'm honored that you chose one of the hares to give to her. :)  

Margit from Germany
I'd like to thank you all for your lovely emails and shared finishes – they never cease to make me smile. Thank you!

I'll see you all soon!

Before I Go

Joonie and I leave for Dallas tomorrow to see my brother and sister and her family, but before I go I'd like to share a few moments from our summer so far, here at chez Stewart.

Breanna has been trying to charm me into buying her a new camera, pulling out her entire bag of tricks – deceitful sweet smiles and all…

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But my answer is always the same: "You have a job."

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Last week I noticed Friday wouldn't stay out of the hostas. He and the other dogs kept sniffing around them and were very focused on whatever was living in the dense foliage. Before I knew it, my boy had grabbed a squirming little creature and gobbled it down. FRIDAY!!!!! THAT'S DISGUSTING AND YOU'RE A VERY NAUGHTY BOY, WHATEVER THAT THING WAS YOU JUST ATE! He and the other dogs went back to sniffing in the hostas, which prompted me to take a peek under the leaves…

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Looks like Little Bunny Foofoo was left without a sibling. Poor thing. With some difficulty, I rounded up the Mighty Hunters and shoo'd them into the house, allowing Foofoo to gather her wits and make her escape. It appears the Rodent Sympathizer in me won out over my inner Rabbit Nazi, who hates her begonias and marigolds and sweet potatoes being eaten while she sleeps. And lest I continue to speak in third person – which is something I despise almost as much as rabbits - Rabbit Nazi shall stop speaking now.

Earlier in June, Sophie was having a sleepover with one of her many bff's, and the power went out. What's a pair of bff's to do? Since I don't collect flashlights, I only had one dimly-lit one on hand. However, since I do have a penchant for candles, I lit as many as I could and the girls used them to illuminate their game of Life. But first they had to organize all the game pieces, which was no easy task… (btw, all the power outtage photos are blurry bc I couldn't find my tripod in the dark.)

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Breanna and I decided to try "writing" with the camera and a candle flame, but we weren't very successful… this is Brea's attempt at spelling her name while I took the photo:

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When that didn't work, we had to find other ways to entertain ourselves…

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If Miss B's cell phone was out of commission, the world would be a dangerous place…

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The girls' game of Life was going along smoothly, all things considered.

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When the game was finished, the bff's decided to make a scary video of themselves in the dark.  Here they are, watching the playback and enjoying their on-screen talents. I used a flash for this one, which is why it appears the power was back on…

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It was shortly after this point that Sophie's bff was heard to say, "It feels like we're Pioneer girls!"

Which leads me to ask a burning question: Why didn't Laura Ingalls just text her dad with "Pa? Can you bring the wagon by and pick me up from the schoolhouse now? Nellie is being mean again."

I was looking down at my camera settings, trying to see them the best I could so I could take Brea's photo, and she quickly rearranged herself for the camera, without my knowing. Of course, I didn't realize she'd done that until I looked into the viewfinder to see how the photo came out.

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I'm so proud.

When the lights and power came back on, there were shouts of happiness from the bff's, and Breanna went back to texting.

We interrupt this program to bring you a few moments from the beautiful country of Germany, where my middle child happens to be…

There she is in a teen club, not realizing that her mother, who is in the USA, can spy on her via Facebook.

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And here she is with Katie, on a rooftop beach. In Germany. Why don't we have any rooftop beaches?

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And I love this tunnel of flowers! Why don't we have any tunnels of flowers? (If you check my mom's blog, I bet she has a tunnel of flowers in her backyard somewhere.)

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We now return you to your regularly-scheduled program

I wanted to go to a farmers market last weekend, but I was mistaken on the days it would take place. Instead of turning around and driving back home, Sophie and I stopped into Jones Brothers Cafe and had some lunch…

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A few days later, I headed back out. But not to attend the farmers market; Breanna hadn't gotten to try the tart yogurts I'd been raving about at Jones Brothers, so I decided to take her there – and to snap a few pictures of her around the area while we were at it…

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Suddenly, she was distracted by something on the wall…

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It was an ant. This modern girl, who loves all things techno and gadgety, was enthralled with an ant. You'd have thought she was a pioneer girl or something.

On Monday I took Soph to a brand new city pool. She'd been waiting not-so-patiently for it to open so she could try out the superslides! However, when she was finally able to do so, the idea was a little daunting… but she decided to face her fear and climb the long stairway to the top.   

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There she is on the right, getting instructions on how to slide down properly…

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She squeezed her eyes shut and went for it!

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…And was very happy she did.

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Back up she went, about 400 more times…

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It was during this pool visit that Sophie's ears suddenly began to hurt. She had been complaining for a while that they seemed to be popping, so the next day I took her to the doctor. Turns out she has allergies, which are causing her ears to misbehave. She now has to take allergy medicine, which is a sad thing bc it has taken the edge off of her usually bright temperament. Even having her favorite food – grilled steaks - at her favorite place to eat – the back porch – did nothing to put her real smile back on her face.

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My girl now knows what it feels like to experience the awful side effects of antihystamine tablets: welcome to zombieland, Sophie. I've lived there myself on occasion – although your dad would say it has nothing to do with allergy meds. I'll show him zombie.

And that's about all I have left to get caught up on. I'm very excited to see my brother and sister and niece and brother in-law tomorrow, although I'm not looking forward to what the altitude will do to poor Soph's ears. 🙁 Hopefully her cousin will be able to make her smile again.

If you send me any emails, I won't be able to respond until after the 24th. Until then, thanks for taking time to visit my blog, and I'll see you soon!

Good Girl

If I ever find myself in such an unstable state of mind that I consider acquiring another small dog, it would have to be a Japanese Chin. This dog is truly the epitome of charm and good manners. Except for when she's climbing into the open dishwasher or trash can, trying to find anything – and everything - to eat. We won't count those times.

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We also won't count the fact that she's snoring very loudly in the next room, and I can barely hear myself think.
 

Appreciation Day

Earlier this week Mike and I took Sophie and one of her bff's to the Firefighters and Police Appreciation Day celebration in a newly-developed area of the city. There was free food for all, a concert, bounce houses for the kids, and lots and lots and lots of testosterone. Which is probably why there was no alchohol served.

Sophie and her bff had a great time, despite the long lines…

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I find the little "tail" Sophie makes with her oversized t-shirts (using a rubber band) to be amusing. And while I don't find that particular shirt amusing, it's nice to be able to spot my child from 8 miles away.

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The inflatable obstacle courses are a favorite with pretty much any kid…

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…and Sophie, being the rambunctious 10-year-old that she is, wound up with an aching back after this tumble:

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Her bff, being the extreme girly-girl that she is, descended the slide a little more delicately:   

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I'm not sure where else in the country they have Godfather's Pizza establishments, but around these parts, the "Godfather" is a fun celebrity to have around (bc he usually has free dessert coupons)…

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His "mobster face" cracks me up…

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Right across the street from the park was a little shop that caught my eye…

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Mike and I sneaked off to check it out, thinking the girls wouldn't give a hoot that we were gone…

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We were wrong.

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(How did they know where to find us?)

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Mike had been eyeballing a raspberry cupcake, and one of the owners (Mr. Bill Jones) took notice. He brought it over for Mike, which I thought was very sweet. While I was thanking him, Mike was gobbling it down.

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Once the rapture of the raspberry topping was over, he came to his senses and spoke with another of the owners – Mr. Bill Jones' mom, Elizabeth Jones. She was such a sweet lady, and sat at our table talking to us about tart yogurts (which are out of this world, btw).

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The employees were all so nice! The gentleman to the far left (I missed getting him all the way in the photo) is the Senior Mr. Jones, who is also one of the owners. Mike thought he looked awfully familiar, and eventually discovered that he and the Senior Mr. Jones had worked together when Mike was in the OPD's homicide unit. It turns out that Senior Mr. Jones does the OPD's autopsies, which Mike had to attend regularly.

Only in America can one perform autopsies during the day and run a cupcake shop at night. (I wonder if the employees have any clue…)

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I was enjoying some of the best coffee I've ever had… 

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And in the meantime, someone handed Mike a sample of raspberry tart yogurt, which meant he forgot that Mrs. Jones was speaking to him. So she drank her coffee instead…

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I just love this photo…

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Eventually we returned to the celebration we were supposed to be attending, and had a very enjoyable time. The girls were worn out by the time we left, so Mike stopped at a gas station to get them something to renew their energy. After all, they were getting ready to have a sleepover at our house, so they needed the sugar.

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I'm pretty sure Mike was still inside the gas station, waiting for someone to offer him a raspberry ice cream cone.

When he finally returned to the car empty-handed, we headed home.

And that's how the first Firefighters and Police Appreciation Day went. We appreciate you, Mike.

Mike?

Oh nevermind… he's eating something.