Friday, March 29, 2013

Parenting Mistakes

I saw this article the other day and then heard a recap of the same article this morning on the radio.  It is probably one of the best parenting articles I have ever read and I wanted to share the highlights with those of you who have not read it.

Three Huge Mistakes We Make Leading Kids...and How to Correct Them!

1.  We Risk Too Little

This talks about how modern day parents are incredibly risk averse.  We suit our kids up with every safety precaution (knee pads, elbow pads, helmets, etc.) known to man.  We don't let them play outside.  We don't let them walk to school (I might argue this one though).  We ask teachers to not use the word "no" so much because it is too negative.  We lobby for safer playgrounds (no monkey bars).  The author goes on to say that taking risks, and failing (which is a must), is a huge contributor to developing self esteem.  Kids must learn to fail before they leave home and attempt to take on the real world on their own. 

2.  We Rescue Too Quickly

Some parents do everything for their kids.  There are some kids who won't order their own food at a restaurant.  I have found that these same kids hide behind their parents when adults speak to them and don't look adults in the eye.  Some parents see this as shyness but it's more than that.  The author says that rescuing our kids over and over and not letting them have any challenges or hardships is a form of child abuse and it is parenting for the short term, not the long term.  These kids will grow up with a sense of self entitlement and think the world owes them something.  They will not see that they are responsible and accountable for their own actions.

3.  We Rave Too Easily

Okay, I have to say this one hit way too close to home.  Guilty, Guilty, Guilty. 
Raving too easily (and too often) to your kids would be saying things to them, such as:
"You are awesome!"
"You are smart!"
"You are gifted!"
"You are super!"
Everyone in sports gets trophies now.  Everyone who participates in anything gets a ribbon or certificate. 

This was a hard one for me to understand.  Why is it bad to praise our kids?  We just want to build up their self esteem.  But I can completely see his point here.  By telling our kids these things over and over and rewarding them for average or expected tasks is really just setting them up for disappointment and failure later in life.  When Garrison and Ethan move out and go to college or start a job in the real world, Mama isn't going to be there telling them how great and smart and talented they are.  They need to learn that they have to work hard in order to be rewarded.

I think a great solution the author had for this problem is that we can still praise our kids but we should use different wording.  If Garrison gets a 100 on a spelling test I should say, "Wow, you must have worked really hard for that.  You should be proud." as opposed to "You are so great!  You are so smart!" over and over.

Definitely something to ponder.

Anyways, I hope this was as helpful for you as it was for me.

To get the full article you can click on this link.


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Stand Up in Love

I was certainly seeing red on Facebook yesterday...and LOTS of it!  This was the symbol for those who did not see it or don't have Facebook.
What does it mean?  It is a symbol to show support for "gay marriage and equality". 

It is no secret I am against gay marriage.  Why?  Because the bible clearly states that homosexuality is a sin and that marriage is meant to be between one man and one woman.  Please read this entire post before dismissing this as a Christian's excuse for being against same sex marriage.

"But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband. The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband." ~1 Corinthians 7:2-3

"Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, "This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called 'woman, ' for she was taken out of man." For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh." ~Genesis 2:22-24

“‘If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads." ~ Leviticus 20:13

As Christians we do not have the authority or privilege of picking and choosing what we want to believe from the bible.  The bible is not some "outdated book" that needs to come out with new revisions every year based on what our society accepts or condones.

Here is what I have come to learn.  I used to get so angry when I saw what I can only describe as ignorance in some people.  I would get so frustrated and hateful about what people accept and condone just because of our modern world.  I have learned to truly live out the phrase, "Hate the Sin.  Love the Sinner.".  Even when people don't see what they are doing as sinful I can still love them.  Even when people parade around their sins (I am not just speaking of homosexuality) I can still love them.  Even when people hate me for my convictions I can still love them. 

Jesus doesn't want us to judge others and he definitely doesn't want us to hate others.  He does expect us to remain faithful to His word though. And He does expect us to stand firm in our faith and our beliefs. 

"Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong." ~1 Corinthians 16:13

I saw this quote by Rick Warren yesterday and had to share it.  It's such a true statement.

And another great quote from Max Lucado:

“God created marriage. No government subcommittee envisioned it. No social organization developed it. Marriage was  conceived and born in the mind of God.” ~ Max Lucado

I encourage you today to show Christ's love to the world, especially to those you disagree with.  This doesn't mean you should give up your beliefs for theirs.  It means you should love them where they are in their life and try to speak truth into their lives in a loving way.  It's what we, as Christians, are called to do.



Thursday, March 21, 2013

If We've Ever Needed You

The Casting Crowns song, "If We've Ever Needed You" is so relevant to our world today.  You can listen to/watch it here.

Every time I turn around I hear another heartbreaking story ~ physical child abuse, sexual child abuse, torturing animals, kids committing suicide, bullying to a whole new extreme, teachers sleeping with students, parents killing their children and themselves, drug overdoses, parents neglecting their kids.  When will it end?  When will we stand up and say, ENOUGH?!  When will we, as a people, admit that we really do need God in this broken world?  When will we stop pretending like we don't see the evil things that are going on in this world, thereby condoning them?

I'm sure I sound like a preacher up on the pulpit but look at the world we live in.  I know there is a lot of good in this world but there is also a ton of evil.  And looking past this evil with our rose colored glasses is only justifying it.

I think one of the most powerful lines from the song is:
Our Children Now, Will Pay the Price
Isn't that the truth?  Can you imagine what will be considered "the norm" when our kids are grown?  That is a scary thing for me to imagine. 

As parents we have an incredible and powerful influence over our children.  We have the most impact on their beliefs, behavior, morals, ethics and foundation.  We have the ability and choice to either raise children who live their lives for God and His glory or live for only themselves.  Our kids are looking to us for guidance and direction, whether they are 4 or 24 (and whether they tell you that or not).  We can teach them, guide them, provide them with a safe and loving home, give them boundaries, teach and show them Jesus by our example. 

Do you realize the domino effect this can have?  By raising children who live for God the chances that they will do the same and their children will do the same is astronomical.  And that kind of impact is just what this world needs.

If you aren't a parent you can still make a huge impact on this world.  Serve someone by being a friend or just loving them when they need it the most.  Smile at or say "hi" to a stranger.  Invite someone to church.  Volunteer.  Find a ministry that speaks to your heart.  Love like He loves us.

If we've ever needed You, Lord it's now!


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Mexican Foodies, Weekend Recap and Boyscout Potatoes

My mom and dad have passed on their love of Mexican food to me and I am proud to say that Garrison has also inherited this blessing/curse.  That kid has been chowing down on chips and hot sauce since the ripe age of three!  On Sunday we went to this little Mexican food restaurant after church and we decided to order Ethan an enchilada.  This kid LOVES to eat!  I so wish I would have gotten a picture of him but I couldn't take more than a 5 second break between his noises of "Mmmmmm" and "Uhhhhh Uhhhhh" (wanted more).  Last night I decided to stick with this cuisine and heated him up a bean burrito.  He pretty much ate the whole thing.  I think he liked it!

Who smiles as they are taking a bite of food?  Oh!

That is a Mexican soul patch right there - bean face! 
I couldn't let him enjoy his Mexican feast alone so I joined in with a Dos Equis! :)

Weekend Recap
This past weekend was great because I was able to catch up with lots of friends.  I am kicking myself for not getting pictures.  I did, however, get this great shot of my boys and my friend Cassie's adorable kiddos when we got together on Saturday afternoon.  Her son Brenden was imitating Miss Avery's frown ~ Right on B!  Garrison is showing me his "Hurry up Mom!" smile and Ethan is off in his own little world.  This is real life and I love it!

Saturday night Garrett and I were able to hang out with my awesome friend Kelli and go hear Chris Allen play.... fiveminutes from our house.  You can't say that too often when you live in the outskirts of a big city.  We knew a couple of guys in the band from high school and I had been wanting to hear them play for a while - they did not disappoint! You can check them out on Facebook by clicking here!

After staying out way too late Saturday night, getting up way too early Sunday morning and taking COLD showers Garrett and I still miraculously made it to church on Sunday with the boys.  Now that's something to be proud of!  Sunday afternoon was spent buying a hot water heater (oh the joys of owning a home).  I steered clear of the garage for a few hours while Garrett installed it.  When I came to check on him my choice to give him some space was confirmed when I saw an overturned office chair and his dress shirt ripped in a few pieces on the floor next to him.  I think there was probably a little bit of frustration in that process for him.  :)  While my husband may not always be the most patient man I am so grateful that he is able to fix things around the house for us.

Boyscout Potatoes
I don't think I have shared the awesomeness of this side dish with y'all yet.  I don't make it too often since it's basically a heart attack on a plate but here is the recipe for all of you potato lovers out there!

2 Russet Baking potatoes
Purple Onion
Package of shredded cheddar cheese
Stick of butter (yes, you read that right)
Salt & Pepper
  • Preheat oven to 425.
  • Wash the potatoes - no need to peel! :)
  • Slice potatoes as thin as possible.
  • Slice (not chop) onion as thin as possible.
  • Put one layer of potatoes in a small glass casserole dish. 
  • Put one layer of onions on top. 
  • Put pats of butter on top and salt and pepper. 
  • Repeat layers until you are out of potato slices.

  • Bake for 30-40 minutes (until potatoes are tender).
  • Put shredded cheese on top (can also add halfway through by picking up potatoes with a fork.)
  • Bake for another 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.



Friday, March 15, 2013

Loving Your Husband...Like Jesus Does (Thanks Eric!)

If we're being honest it can be hard to always love our husbands.  Even if the underlying love is always there it can be hard to show that love.  For instance, I might have a hard time showing Garrett I love him when:
  1. He is sitting on the couch not paying attention to his surroundings and asks me to get him a beer since I am, after all, in the kitchen.  Apparently he thinks I'm just drinking a glass of wine and reading a magazine in the kitchen while in reality I am trying to cook dinner with a crying baby at my feet and telling my oldest to stop shooting Nerf darts at me while I'm cooking. 
  2. I walk into the bedroom (just last night as a matter of fact) and he is literally laying down with his legs up in the air and farts so loud and long the second I walk into the room.  He tells me he just happened to be getting up at that moment.  I am thinking he timed it perfectly for me to walk in on that scene.
  3. He listens to that annoying dance music station on satellite radio when he is in my car.  Apparently this makes him feel youthful.  All it does for me is make me want to repeatedly punch him in the face to that ridiculously annoying beat that keeps playing over and over and over and over and over and over.  (Just being honest here.)
  4. I spend an hour and a half trying to make a new recipe and am so proud of myself when it turns out just right.  We sit down to eat and he gives me his honest opinion that he isn't a big fan.  I picture myself taking his plate and dumping his food out in his lap.
  5. He waits until the MOST inopportune moments to ask me for you know what.  Like when I am running so late in the morning or we are literally getting ready to leave the house to go somewhere.  I swear he does this just to annoy me.
I know you are asking, how could it be hard to show love to this guy sometimes?


Yes, there are times when it can be hard to love my husband.  Here's the thing though.  We ALL have faults.  We ALL have downfalls.  We ALL have habits that annoy people.  We ALL have the capability of disappointing people.  We ALL have the ability to be better people.

I really love Eric Church's music.  I think this song talks about how we should love our husbands. 

Click here to watch the video of the acoustic version.

Loving someone like Jesus loves doesn't mean we accept or condone certain behavior.  Do you think that by Jesus unconditionally loving us He is condoning our sins?  Definitely not.  It just means that once we have made that commitment to someone (marriage) we love them for who they are and where they are in their lives.  We can encourage them to become better.  We can pray for them.  But we should love them like Jesus does. 

Isn't it funny how some of us women easily forgive everyone except our husbands?  It can be easy to forgive our best friend.  After all, we know they have a good heart and didn't mean to hurt our feelings.  We can forgive our mom or dad or sister.  We know they would never do anything to intentionally hurt us.  But we tend to have a hard time forgiving the one we have made a lifelong commitment to.  Why is that? 

I have to remind myself to love everyone, including Garrett, like Jesus loves us.  It can be hard but it's worth it.  And believe it or not, the simple act of loving someone (like He loves us) IS serving God.

And these are those moments where I look at my husband and think, How could I ever NOT love this man?

Daddy and Garrison 2006

Daddy and Ethan 2012
 Daddy and Our Boys 2012


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Gangsta' - Open Your Eyes, Juliana - Amazing Love

As if you didn't already gather from the title of this post, the less I blog the more random my posts will likely become so sorry 'bout that in advance.  :)

I'm trying to understand what it is about Target that makes my kids go gangsta' on me.  Doesn't my seven year old and 14 month old know the only acceptable place to act a fool is at Wal Mart? 

A few weeks ago Garrison decided to pull his jacket hood over his head (and eyes) the entire time we were in Target.  I didn't think much of it until I asked him a question and he interrupted me with this gem of a comment, "SSSSHHH! I'm a secret spy and you can't see me!".  Now most normal moms would tell their kid to cut that out but not me.  I decided to play along.  (After all, where do you think he got his weirdness from?)  So a few aisles over as a guy was passing us I said, "If there are any secret spies around maybe they can help me pick out what kind of chips they want for lunch this week."  My humor was not taken well from the passing man or my son, I mean, secret spy.  The man gave me a You belong in Wal Mart look and then gave Garrison a You belong in foster care look.  Garrison pulled up his hood, gave a dramatic sigh and reminded me once again he was a secret spy. 

I made him re-enact his look when we got home and I just have to share it with you.

Today we pulled into the Target parking lot and Garrison was laughing hysterically.  I got out and went to pull Ethan out of the car seat and this is what I saw.

*For those of you who like to over analyze pictures I did start to unbuckle him and then the urge to take a picture of this ridiculous situation took over.  I promise he was buckled in while the car was moving.*

I told Ethan he could only go shirtless in Wal Mart.  Poor thing just isn't old enough yet to know the difference between these two fine retailers.

Open Your Eyes, Juliana

I was driving to work on Friday morning in a pretty bad mood.  With four hours of interrupted sleep the night before and no coffee yet that morning I felt somewhat justified for being in that kind of mood.  I was getting frustrated with traffic and hitting every red light.  I hit yet another red light and after a big dramatic sigh (you know the one ladies) I shook my head (why do we do that?) and looked out my window into the gas station parking lot. 

The scene I took in felt like a hard punch in the stomach.  There was a man in dirty clothes with a backpack on scarfing down some type of food so fast I couldn't even see what he was eating.  He then walked over to the trash can to throw away his trash and started looking in the trash - I assume to see if there was anything else he could eat.

I literally started crying.  Shame on me!  I heard a voice in my head as clear as day - "Open your eyes, Juliana!".  Open your eyes to what is going on around you.  That man probably gets four hours of interrupted sleep every night.  That man probably goes to bed not knowing if he will wake up alive.  That man has no family that he can go visit and have a great time with that afternoon.  Again I say, shame on me!  It's moments like this where I am confident how well God knows me.  He knows that I need a punch in the stomach, a big heaping dose of reality, a humbling moment in times like that.  I immediately thanked God for all of my blessings - for my family, for my health, for my job, for my marriage, for my healthy kids and for his grace. 

Amazing Love

After a long (but fun) weekend in Houston with my sister and family I found myself exhausted with a lot to do around the house.  Tonight I was over relaxing and catching up on some blogs.  I had already put Ethan down but Garrison was sitting next to me on the couch watching t.v.  I am normally SO good about staying off my phone and the computer while my boys are around but I justified it by thinking I had just spent four straight days with them and just wanted some relaxing time for myself.  At that moment I came across a friend's blog talking about how she too recognized the importance of staying off technology while her boys were awake.  If they were watching t.v. for a little bit she would watch with them.  If they were eating lunch she would eat with them.  Thank you Sarah!  After reading that blog I immediately got off the computer and spent some quality time with Garrison before bed. 

When I tucked him in he asked if I would sing him a song.  He hasn't asked for a song in a long time and I know that the day will come when he would rather listen to some horrible music through headphones at bed time than hear me sing to him. :)  I gave him some choices and he chose "Amazing Love". 

He joined in which was a shock to me because I didn't realize he knew the words.  I then asked if I could record him.  My intention was not to post this on Facebook or my blog but my blog has become a family memory book of sorts and I wanted to document how incredibly sweet this boy was at the age of seven (and hopefully always will be).  I think the camera made him a bit nervous because he waited a while to join in.  :)

And once again I find myself asking God why He gave me such incredible children.  I am humbled and honored to be their mom.


Thursday, March 7, 2013

Blake & Miranda and Be Real

I love me some country music and Blake and Miranda are rocking my world lately with two of their newest songs.

I hit snooze about three times this morning but when I heard Blake I couldn't resist getting up with a smile on my face.  I do not swoon over famous guys too often but, Blake, there is just something about you.  (Do you like how I'm talking directly to him like he is actually reading my blog?)

"It'd Sure Be Cool If You Did" 

This was the first time I have watched the video and I am yet again intrigued by this stripper shoe trend.  What girl really wears those, walks down stairs and spends an entire night dancing in those?  The reason she looks so happy at the end when the guy picks her up is because her feet finally get a break.  I digress.
You can watch Miranda's new video for "Mama's Broken Heart" by clicking here.  I love her because I always get the vibe that she doesn't take herself too seriously and always takes the humor to another level - like in the video when she is cutting up her food...cracks me up!
As funny as that video is it's also the sad truth for some people.  There are so many women out there put on a happy face no matter what and teach their daughters to do the same.  Why?!  God forbid people know you have feelings and heartache just like them.  I understand raising your daughter to be lady like but there is a big difference between lady like and fake.  
I look around and see some women who seem so lost.  They don't know who they are, what they stand for and look to others to define them and make them feel better about themselves.  It makes me so incredibly grateful for my mama.  I think my poor mom has probably had many "whose daughter are you" moments (definitely more with me than my sister) but I also think she is proud of the women we have become. She has raised us to be real, not perfect. 
I think one of the most important things we can teach our daughters (and sons for that matter) is to be real.  How many guys have you heard say that their wife is not the same person they married?  Well, no shit Sherlock.  Did you really think she was a football loving, no pooping, clean loving, never nagging, non hormonal lady?  This woman you speak of is non existent, my friend. 
Like it or not, sometimes being real is letting your crazy show a little.  (I said a little - for those of you who have more crazy than others.)

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Death by Acorn and It's Almost Laughable

My seven year old loves to pick flowers, leaves and even acorns for people he loves.  I still have a leaf in my purse he gave me two weeks ago.  I would save the flowers but that is not possible since he picks weeds instead - I just don't have the heart to tell him they die an hour after he gives them to me.  I saved four acorns in a compartment of my driver's side door in my car.  As he told me when he picked those out, each one represents someone in our family.  Yes, let's all take a moment for a collective "Awwww".  Well apparently Garrison thought it would be fun to spread those acorns out on the driver's side floor board of my car yesterday.  Why?  I don't know.  I have a weird kid is the only reasonable response I can come up with. 

This morning, after:
  1. Rushing out the door
  2. Listening to Ethan SCREAM his head off because he didn't like the first, second or third sippy cup I gave him
  3. Me asking him out loud why he was so picky
  4. My gas light going off the second I pulled out of the garage
  5. Garrison telling him, "You get what you get and don't throw a fit"
  6. Having to drive back to the house to get my glasses after remembering I didn't put my contacts in
  7. Dropping Ethan off with his oh so patient and incredible sitter who he magically quieted down for and so sweetly started drinking out of his sippy cup with...

I was driving to work and I kept feeling my foot roll over something on the floor board.  At one point I even gunned the gas accidentally and almost rear ended the car in front of me.  I reached down, pulling a muscle in my shoulder blade, and grabbed it.  That damn acorn that used to always make me smile when I looked at it almost became the death of me.  I can see the headlines now, "Mom of two dies in auto accident.  Cause of death - acorn." 

I felt like I should have been drinking out of this mug today:

It's Almost Laughable

After my nightmare of a morning I was driving to work thanking God that I am working part time at a job with a much slower pace and lower stress level.  I have mentioned before that I have lots of stories from my last job and would share them some day in this blog.  I used to be an Executive Assistant for the COO at a mid size company.  The owner of the company (who had five assistants who changed as often as I changed my underwear) was based in California and while I did not support him 100% of the time I did support him when he was in Dallas staying at his rent house (which costs more than any permanent house I'm sure I will ever own).

Looking back at that job now it really is almost laughable.  Here are just a couple <horror> stories that I hope will make you grateful for your job today.  I'll save some others for another day.

Salad Bar
He walks up to me while I'm on a conference call, with a headset on, and asks if I'm on a call.  After I nod my head he proceeds to talk to me.  <Insert Juliana's confused face here.> 
Boss Man: "Can you go to Whole Foods and get me a salad from the salad bar?"
I really hate going to Whole Foods.  I stand out like a sore thumb among the granola eating, tree hugging hippies who wear socks with their sandals and stare at me like I'm a foreigner.
Me: "Sure.  What do you want on the salad?"
Boss Man: "Call me when you get there and I'll tell you."
I go to Whole Foods and call him when I get to the salad bar.
Me: "Okay, I'm here.  What would you like?"
Boss Man: "Okay, go down the line and read me off everything they have and I'll tell you yes or no."
I look up to see there are three double sided rows of food options.  Grreeeeeat!
Me: "Lettuce Choices are......" I won't bore you with all the food details, most of which I can't even spell or pronounce.
I work my way around to the dressing.  Keep in mind I'm wearing heels and a skirt.  As I have the phone cradled between my ear and shoulder and am telling him the dressing choices I slip on some olive oil that someone spilled and catch myself just in time before hitting the ground.  I pick up the phone that I dropped.
Me: "Sorry about that.  I just slipped and almost fell."
Boss Man: "Do they have soup too?"
I shit you not...true story.

Southern Gentleman?
I was his driver when he was in town, even though we had a full time driver that we paid.  One day I picked him up from his doctor appointment, dropped off his prescription, picked up his dry cleaning and we get back to the office.
Boss Man:  While on the phone, looks at me and says, "Will you grab my suitcase and dry cleaning and take them up to the office?"
We get out of the car and I fully expect him to take something from my hands.  Nope.  He saunters up to the door as I stumble behind him (once again in heels) dragging his suitcase and trying to carry his clothes over my shoulder.
Me: At least I have someone to open the door for me. 
Nope.  He walks in letting the door slam on me. 
We get to the elevator and he stands there waiting for me to push the elevator button.

I feel like I was really good at what I did and I enjoyed the fast paced nature of my job.  I know that being an EA is like catering to someone hand and foot which I am fine with - as long as I get paid well for it and they are somewhat civil to me in return.  I tried laughing off these things at the time but in the heat of the moment it was really hard.  I would come home every day stressed to the max and venting to my husband.  I was impatient with Garrison and my husband and it was just not good for us at all.  The sad part was I really enjoyed my direct boss but the owner was just a wack job, plain and simple.  I truly felt sorry for him because no one liked him or trusted him. 

Looking back now I can laugh at the ridiculousness of that place and truly appreciate any job I might ever have in the future. 


Thinking about mailing ex Boss Man this coffee mug.


Monday, March 4, 2013

Wife Secrets

After being married for 10 years I have had quite a bit of time to get to know my husband.  I wouldn't say that I take advantage of that but... oh, who am I kidding?  You bet your ass I take advantage.  Here are some examples. 

My husband is a very stubborn man.  Once he gets his mind set on something he will follow through until the job is done.  If you challenge him he will stand up to the challenge.  So, it only makes sense to use this in my favor.  If I need something fixed I will say something like, "We need to buy a new (insert whatever it is).  There is no way we can fix this."  Off to work he goes!  And it is typically fixed that same day.  (My mom has also learned this tactic with him and used to her advantage as well.)

If I really want to get out of cooking dinner I will strategically place a snack he can't resist on the counter.  He will start snacking away and by the time dinner rolls around...surprise, surprise he's not hungry anymore.

If I buy a new shirt, purse, shoes, whatever (which is pretty rare I must admit) I take the tag off and immediately put it in my closet.  When he actually notices I'm in something new and says, "Is that new?" I give him a "yeah right" look and tell him I've had it for two years and thanks for noticing! Haha!

Have you ever seen those pillows that are supposed to hint to your spouse whether you are in the mood that night or not?  They look like this.

After ten years of marriage you don't need stinkin' pillows.  You just need sweats pants.