• entries
  • comments
  • views

About this blog

This blog is dedicated to telling those who read the entries about my journey in hopes that something can be learned. 

Entries in this blog

This afternoon I was talking to a female friend showing off my Miata and this guy looks out the car window and says yells to me and says "nice butt", had to be me because my friend was facing the other direction.

Then the other day my neighbor tells me her husband saw me walking down the street but did not know it was me and said she has a nice butt then she goes, that's Karen.

Funny in that I never got this before and know full well that taking hormones has zero effect on how one's butt looks so not sure why all of the sudden I am having men yell to me about my butt. What I can say even thought I am not into men that it's feels great getting these complements and is a confidence builder if nothing else. 

On a side note my friend whom I was with today purchased a new BMW sports car, seems that I was the fire to ignite her to purchase the new car. I think for the money my car was a better bang for the buck but will never tell her that as she spent $50,000 and I spent $30,000. In these matters best to simply compliment and leave it at that.

Thought I would disclose my current plans for me in regards to making changes I thought about first then acted on. There were no rushed decisions, all well planned out beforehand.

Phase one was gender reassignment surgery and breast augmentation.

Phase II current to end of February

  • The Fraxel Experience: laser treatments not only improve the look of your skin, but it will improve the health of your skin and the strength of your skin by encouraging collagen turn over and proliferation. Your skin will become more like it was in your earlier years, and after about a month, it will feel better when touched. I had three sessions done as of yesterday. I don't see a huge difference but a handful of people (whom I did not tell them I had this done) said I looked younger or, there is something different about you. I will say that this is a painful procedure on the nose and upper lip but worth it since people do notice a difference. I plan on doing this once a year.
  • Fillers for cheeks, this was done last week. Did not notice a difference until a week later and this gave me a huge smile. This needs to be done every three months.
  • Botox for upper lip, done last week too. After the first week I am seeing changes everyday for the better.
  • Voice lessons begin end of January, have four sessions set.
  • Hypnosis to enforce what I learn with voice lesson. The practitioner said one session was enough after my consultation. I asked if having a session before and after would help, she said yes so my first session (two hours) is this Monday. 

On the Frazel, botox and fillers I received great discounts. I used them two years ago for my permanent cosmetics for eyebrows and got a discount then too which they do in December. 

Phase III (last one) is planned for March which is a brow lift. Same surgeon that did my breast.

After breast augmentation I said no more surgeries but after a discussion with the surgeon who did a follow up on my breast three weeks ago indicated I could benefit from a brow lift yet admitted I was fine without one but would improve my female appearance.

Admittedly I could easily not do any of the above in regards to phase 2 and 3 but I feel they will make me a tad better. I always stress when getting procedures done to not over do it, make me look natural, not fake. 



Every once in a while I get tired around lunch time at work and luck that I park my car in the underground garage in my building. So I went down to take a nap and as I am falling asleep I am thinking it's been four months since gender reassignment surgery and started going back in time thinking, self-evaluating how life has been treating me. My conclusion was that there is nothing negative at all about me changing gender and little to no complaints in other aspects of my life.

I believe one reason for me taking this journey back to January is because I made a commitment to my therapist that I would continue seeing her at least until my surgery anniversary date. This Friday will be my second visit with her since surgery, the first was right after returning home. Besides informing her that all is well I am going to indicate that I want to wait six months until another visit simply because how life is rolling along nicely now. I know full well that I can contact her in between visits so I always can reach out if for some odd reason things change.

Knowing what I know it's important no matter how well life is going to have a life line to a therapist as life can take a down turn in a blink of an eye and wanted to stress this to others as we all deal with what life tosses us differently. What you thought was truth before hormone treatment therapy will be different say 12 to 24 months later. Heck this weekend I cried my eye's out while watching a movie, heck before hormones I will not had any emotional response at all. For someone else this could very well throw them into a depressive state of mind which may be difficult to pull out of so please keep a life line open to a therapist along your journey.  

Lastly, keep in mind you are not alone, when there are feelings (dark feelings) of depression do not hold it within, find someone who will listen and by all means vent your feelings here in a blog entry. And don't watch depressing things on television and avoid drugs and drinking, they are temporary solutions that only cause less than great emotional and mental well-being. 

My best female friend planned this morning to visit Macy's and Nordstrom's for me having a bra fitting. The first stop ended up at Nordstrom's where she knew one of the people there which has been fitting bras for almost ten year. As luck was on our side she was just finishing up with another customer so I was introduced to her and told her what I was looking for, an everyday bra with no underwire. She brought me back into a fitting room, had me take off my top and then measured me up. She then says I will be right back which was about five minutes. She came back with two nude color bras, tried the first one on which she had highly recommended made by Wacoal and it fit like a glove. I said no need to try the other one as they both look very similar. It was a very pleasant experience having this bra fitting and was grateful that total time spent from walking in to walking about was roughly thirty minutes.

We then had lunch at Nordstrom's restaurant, excellent food and great service. We when spent another two hours shopping at Macy's and a few other stores then we hit my kryptonite, Victoria's Secrets where I just had to got in and ended up with five new thongs.

Before we went shopping I hung out at her house with her two teenage children too. Her daughter was at odds with me transitioning for about a month and now even closer with her. Her son never had any issues so no problem there.



Several entries back I wrote about helping a male to female, surgery went wrong and ended up being hospitalized for many weeks because of rectovaginal fistula. Last week I saw her, she had a colostomy bag and indicated they would revisit what can be done in February.

This week she said there is a possibility of using a colostomy bag either internal or external for the rest of her life.

I can't even begin to imagine having the wear a colostomy bag forever because of a botched surgery.

My advice for anyone having surgery not out of pocket is to research the surgeons carefully. Her surgeon did 12 assist and four solo, Personally that is not enough for me to undergo the knife and you should think about this too.

How often?

The main risk of SRS is rectal wall tear resulting in rectovaginal fistula, which is estimated to occur in 1 of 400 vaginoplasties. Taken from  


The following has no real train of thought (dang female hormones :D ) but this is what's up

Just received my packet from Doctor Bower, have started filling in forms and making appointments for EKG and HIV testing. Three weeks to go to formalization on name change. Going through the list of items I need to take with me to California and see that I need a ample supply of KY jelly. I decided to do NetFlix subscription, as being there for two weeks will need something to do when unable to get around. I know it’s getting real when just about every night I imagine myself being rolled into the room for surgery. Booked room for stay, normally $200 per night (yikes), discount rate is $155 which is $2000 total and I am use to places that charge (in my area) half that price, sure wish I had people in the area.

Photos for the hotel.

On the home front, I am picking up my final letter for surgery and document for name change/gender approval next Friday. Tomorrow I meet with my legal friend to get back money and Sunday off to purchase luggage as my current luggage is old and beatup or use UPS Luggage Shipping where they supply you with a cardboard suitcase then again I may not, will have to see.

Just returned from the post office and made my payments of $28,000 for surgery. The cashier at the bank said, can I help you mam? Gave her my driver licence which is still my male one and afterwards stayed with mam.


By KarenPayne,

Prior to perusing my current path to transition I did many things correct except one thing which was to try and fit in better. The main reason was, I was sure surgery would not be an opinion as it seems the Benjamin standards were to strict for me in that I wanted to not fully come out yet still have surgery and then come out in the future. I was sure this would work for me but several therapists did not see it that way. With that, I decided surgery would not happen and did not worry about mannerism, as it would conflict with me teaching self-defense.

I still believe I was correct (not saying I am better than the therapists), no different than when I had liposuction, the surgeon said there was not much fat to remove and I thought he was incorrect but did not say anything. After wards the surgeon visited me to see how I was doing and said I was surprised that there was no fat then I thought. I had always been thin but a thyroid issue caused weight gain and never lost the fat no matter how hard I tried so I went for liposuction and was a good idea as it did increase my self-worth. My current therapist felt no different than me but was happy I decided to live as a female as required.

So my point, since last November an important lesson was learned, nuances came to light which I recently self-evaluated within me, all subtle but extremely important in the long run. They run the gambit from walking properly to clothing styles. I recently wrote about going to a Guitar Center and trying to be male but failed, it was because mannerism of me now did not allow it while last year it was the complete opposite.

With that said, I was wrong in thinking the trial period was not needed but was right that I needed to transition with surgery as part of the transition. If not for the trial period, I would still be perfectly happy but would not fit in fully.

So in closing out, at this time the trial has been a success, woohoo. For a while I thought it would never end (yes it never does end) but it has and I am fully confident that I can survive in this world as a female and will be accepted. Times have truly changed and thank goodness for people coming around to people like us.

11/10/2014 addition

Just back from the grocery store and while bringing the groceries in my neighbor stop to chat. As I was walking away, she said that my voice has noticeably changed. I thank her for the compliment as she knows about me transitioning and like true feedback. My evaluation is I have gotten better at voice control without even thinking about it. As anyone who has considered passing the voice is the most difficult part. You get the proper look but for many it fades away when they open their mouth. I am taking this seriously to the point of going to a voice coach after transitioning.

Seems Comcast has taken down all personal web sites without notifying me and this is were I stored pictures. The majority of these pictures are only stored there. So all pictures I have posted here will not show.

I called into Comcast and at this point they are clueless but I did a Google search and it appears that they discontinued the personal web sites yet the Comcast help desk person has no clue to this.


Just got off the phone with Comcast and they said they would have a tech look into this. If I can get my images back I will purchase space on a provider's site that will allow me to create a home page along with having the ability to provide links to images so that they can be viewed on other sites such as this one. I am not holding my breath here, just wishful thinking that they can get me my images.  

The majority who are transgender that want to have surgery don't have funds to move forward. The best path is to be diligent and save money for surgery and not lost focus on the end goal. One day you might have nothing to contribute while other times a few dollars. No matter it adds up in time and the key is time.

There are no magic path other than saving money but if you have two dollars to spare then by all means get a Power ball ticket for tomorrow's lottery, 450 million dollars. I might play the lottery once every couple of years but think this one is worth playing even though there are low odds of me winning.

What would I do if I won? Put my lottery ticket in my safe deposit box, tell absolutely nobody I had a winning ticket. Go about my daily life while seeking out someone to manage my money without disclosing I won the lottery. Once you are known as a winner everyone becomes your friend so I would immediately move, don't know where but would be someplace I was not known for winning the lottery. After that I would plan out my next moves. I would plan out my future very carefully by all means.

Any ways, got two dollars, take a chance.  

While performing some research I came across a memorializing for 2015 for trans-people who were murdered because they were different and society perpetuates the core problem which truly needs to change in the home before we see a drop in murders.

Some of the deaths were horrendous, being run over by a vehicle multiple times, being stoned to death, burned to death, strangulation.  I was not surprised which countries the murders happened and kind of numb in regards to how these murders were done which in and of itself is scary. Not being numb comes from things I have been involved with not related to these tragedies so all I can do is try and guess at what goes through the minds and hearts of their love one’s.

This is the page for 2015 with statistics going back to 2007.

The general public needs to take note that the majority of trans people are transgender because of a chemical imbalance in their brain. Many times work in the sex trade because they have no choice or have no self esteem because family, friends and those whom they are in contact with see and treat them as trash because they are afraid of things they don’t understand and the big one is it’s how they were raised. 

Seems like in the past two weeks a lot has been happening, genital area is fairly clear, booked hotel room, doctor's packet arrived.

Last week I paid most of my surgery fee, the remaining amount is waiting for one office to receive my paper work for a $1,200 fee.

Friday I am going to UPS for UPS luggage. I decided to send my stuff done to arrive a day before I arrive. Everything will be tossed when going back home. So the contents are disposable, it pays to save some out dated clothing.

Next Monday I part one of my name change is done then two more weeks and it's official

Two more weeks for a phone appointment with anesthesiologist

I know I am missing something (oh that's right it must be from being mostly blonde now)

A co-worker pressured me today to learn about my surgery, long story short, he confirms my thoughts that the majority of co-workers will be fine with it. Matter of fact most people are guessing what is going on with me and are guessing I am transitioning. Such a great feeling

May do airfare on Friday.

Several weeks ago I attended a week long summit at Microsoft for MVP recipients of just under 3,000 people and out of the 3,000 less than five percent were female. The woman on the far right is a Microsoft employee that has a section on what is called Channel 9 (part of Microsoft) that is devoted to to females as developers and innovators in the field. We met in passing at the beginning of the week then the next day she asked me to participate in a interview. She actually got the majority of females to participate so she segmented us into groups of three so she could get all of us on camera.

There was around 20 minutes cut from the video which did not fit into the topics that were all girl talk and some other topics which all I can say is "what happened in the room stayed in the room".

Going in I did not indicate I was once male but at one point it made sense in that my old male mindset could contribute to the conversation. If you watch the video note there is no surprise and that the women doing the video said she would had never guessed it. Afterwards the two woman on my right said they had no clue until I said my former life was of a male.

The woman with the short hair is a lesbian which I learned from her becoming a Twitter friend and also from chatting with her on a Microsoft bus headed back to a building where the main events were being held.

After watching the video I was not happy with my posture and voice (voice was okay but needs more work) but then again we are our worst critics. On a side note as planned two years ago I have made an appointment with a voice therapist in January to work on my voice. I chatted with the therapist several weeks ago, we discussed her plans with me, she has worked with trans people before. An hour time is $70-90, a sliding scale. I indicated to her that my goal was to not strive for the best but to strive for acceptable for what I am capable of without pushing the limits.

On a comical note, the little rubber figures on the table may seem odd but they are given out to people who had been interviewed and well sought after so I cherish mine.

My suspicions prior to my acquaintance undergoing the knife were right on point which I will get into here.

We headed off to the hospital at 4:30 AM, arrived at 5:30 AM, admitted and shortly afterwards she was taken back for pre-surgery. About one hour later she was off to the OP, they had given her a sedative already (I was not given one at this point). There is a leaderboard that updates through the stages e.g. prep, in room, closing, out of OR. 

She told me ahead of time the surgery was scheduled for 4-5 hours, I said it's more likely to be seven or eight hours. Well they told her right before going in, 8 to 10 hours and her friends who came to support her thought 5 hours and were not really prepared for that.

She went into the OR at 7 AM, came out at just before 7 PM, surgeon talked to us and said there were complications but would not tell us which I can understand but surmise a few things.

After the surgeon talked to us he picked up his backpack and seemed to be heading out, I was surprised that he was not staying to check up on her.

I had some reservations about the surgeon as he only had done six of these surgeries before, told her this but she was head strong about pushing forward. One of the issues is she is on social security, lives on just over one thousand dollars a month. I can understand this but if it were me would be concerned that the surgeon did not have more than six surgeries prior.

I am sure the complication reasons will be told today, one thought is they had issues with blood supply (long story), another a skin graph was needed and couple this with his original estimate which extended past 8 hours.


One of the woman I work with stopped me and asked if I would like to go out with the other woman in my section. There are six of them that every week they go out to dinner and have drinks.

She said that they all discussed should they ask me, all of them have known me for years in my former male life so they kind of know what I am like. Any ways they all agreed that I should be asked.

From the short chat with had it really sounds like it could very well be a good time and get in with these ladies. What is interesting is most of them are in their late to mid thirties which is much younger then me but that is not going to stop me from going out with them.

I am very grateful that they did think about me and accepted me.

On a side note I have noticed the difference in what woman talk to me about before and after transitioning in general, things I could only guess or even for that fact never guess. Like when I had my nails done in the past few months, the ladies there talk to me about those things that would never surface before I was Karen. So that is simply another aspect of a continuing journey and things to look forward too.

My best female friend pointed out to me recently that even when I was male that she perceived me as female because to her, my body structure/shape was that of a female which she kept to herself for a long time. She went on to say that I did not need makeup because of this fact. Note, one does not have to be gorgeous to come off as female, heck I see myself as average no matter what I am told.

Over the past year we would go out clothes shopping, the first thing that stuck in my head was how she could look at a piece of clothing and comment how well it would look on me or how badly it would look on me.

With that said combining born body structure/shape (which encompasses the face too) I think many overlook the fact that not everyone can pull off say a strip top because if we are overweight it will draw attention to us. Another example, the majority of male to female have no hips so one might look for tops that accent the hips with a flared top but again use caution as your body structure may exasperate the waist and take away what was done with the flaring of the top. We all have seen cisgender females out of shape wearing Spanx leggings and know they look great on an average figure but not so much for slightly overweight or excessively overweight. I bet if you asked them they would deny this and in their mind wear them because they are easy and are comfortable.

Back in the day I purchased female clothing void of the above and pulled it off, and still do. The catalytic for this entry comes in two parts, first from talking with my friends and just today the following.

I work in a company of 1000 plus employees where some I know from an elevator ride or waiting in line for lunch and chatting while my team mates are close friends and acquaintances. Coming down from the fifth floor to the first floor one of the employees (known only from the elevator and cafeteria), a female turned to me and asked how I was doing? Then say that, you nailed it last week. I said what do you mean? She said that outfit you wore last Monday, well you nailed it. Heck I can’t remember what I wore so I asked her. She said a grey skirt in particular as it complimented my long legs. I don’t have long legs but I know for a fact because so many people told me so that I have great legs. What I see happened was I wore a skirt that complimented me for the age I am at. Interesting enough the skirt was kind of see through so I wore a while skirt beneath the grey skirt and let the white skirt be a tad lower than the grey skirt. In short it works for me because of my body structure. Now if I were to wear tight jeans and tight top it would work against me because of my age and also would show that I don’t have great hips so back to the flared top.

So in closing focused to two things, body shape and appropriate clothing to compliment or enhance said body structure but also keeping in mind how old you are.

I’ve recently joined a closed group on Facebook where the majority of male to female members will post pictures of themselves and ask if they pass physically. Just about every since member who post and ask if they are passable indeed passable.  Having been on this journey would like to offer a small piece of advice which is forget about passing physically and focus on your female voice.

When I or any heterosexual male or female encounters a female without thinking “are they really female” expect a softer voice then a male voice. When the female speaks in the same tone as a male that will make the heterosexual male or female wonder or think “is this really a female”.

My guess is many male to female transgender or cross dressers realize this already but want to stress that this can not only lead to people wonder about you but also may very well cause them to be embarrass and infuriate them to incite a mindset to cause you physical harm.

There is only one method to circumvent this when out in public which is to practice speaking as a cisgender female does. For many it’s not easy, like myself I had to practice, practice, practice. The most difficult part as one gets older is to not only train your voice but also to retrain your brain.

Example, as you close to finish speaking your brain says “now I can relax” and attempts to to back to the male voice if for no other reason that it’s easy while speaking in a female tone is hard work especially keeping a conversation going.

If you can afford to take voice lessons even for a few sessions this will assist in building a proper foundation for what you need to do later to keep up appearances both with your physical looks and sounds that come out of your mouth.

Several times a month I go out with several cross-dressers and transgender groups in my area and I’m the only one, say out of twenty that use a female voice. All of them speak like men and if they didn’t speak the majority would pass one hundred percent as cisgender females. Do they go out in public? Several do yet are known to locals as cross-dressers and never will pass.

For the next part a little history.

I joined a cross-dresser group who are located 40 miles from me back in 2000. At that time I was not even trying to transition in the public and never made it to any of their events which are several times a week. Another group opened in my immediate area and they have one member who belongs to the other group (40 miles away). The decide to meet here in my town in a gay bar, I thought, great, finally get to meet them.

Went to the bar, walk in and there is this thirty something cisgender female with a guy sitting at the bar, she looks at me and says, hi gorgeous, you smell sexy. I said thanks, got my drink and sat down. Five minutes later she come over to my table, sits down next to me and we start chatting. Shortly there after the one cross dresser group walks in, they are all wearing prom dresses (the theme of the evening, not be thou). I wave at them, remember they don’t know me and they stare until I wave them over. I introduced myself and the night was fantastic. Later on the leader said that when I waved and she looked over she thought we were two cisgender females and was dumb founded that I was post-op as my voice passed with no hints of male.

Fast forward to last weekend, the leader of that group was suppose to be down by 8:30 but arrived at 7:30 (I've been there since 7). I greeted her and said, thought you would not be here until 8:30? She said, I know you don’t stay late and wanted to talk to you which I thought was cool. Had a great conversation to say the lest. Another member who didn’t know I was trans or post-op was told by another member and was shocked at how well I controlled my voice.

Pause: Although my voice is not a 100 percent it’s fully passable. Even to this say I do warm-up exercises because my brain will still fall back into old habits.

With that I want those who have decided to read this far to know that it’s not easy (some may disagree but they are the minority), one must be committed to not only appearing as a female but make efforts to speak the part too. 

Have you heard Autumn? https://autumnasphodel.com/222/transgender-female-voice I feel the same as her in regards to mindset. There are plenty of resources on the web so thre is no excuse not to try.

The power of the mind is incredible


I went back to work on Monday and had a pretty good idea how it would be as in acceptance with other co-workers. After four days no surprises, everyone I worked with or came in contact with where fine with me.

One women whom I use to work with many years ago, still works there but in another section came over this morning and chatted with me. She was happy for me and said I looked great.

Another woman who is in my area but I do not have contact with came over this afternoon and started off with that she was fine with me using the ladies restroom as were everyone she had talked too. She was talking to one female employee who asked her “Who is the new employee” talking about me. Then she said that Kevin Gallagher (me) and Karen Payne (me) could easily be related. That was just too funny. Then she goes on to say that she (me) looks great in skinny jeans, I laughed then before I could say anything the woman talking to me says “I agree” and that you have a great butt and look even better in leggings (which I wore today).

There were other conversations that we “glad to see you back Karen”, small chit-chat and that was it.

There were a handful who walked right by me and thought they did not approve of what I did but four out of five later came over to my desk and said they did not recognize me while the other I only saw once so unsure of them.

So the week has ended on a good note as tomorrow I work at home. I am feeling great now.

Had problems sleeping last night but got around three hours then awake for one then slept for about four hours. The pain during those hours was fairly intense until my friend woke up and gave me my meds. After the medication was taken I almost feel like I am back to myself unlike yesterday after medication was taken I was still in pain. Right now the pain is almost non-existing. It's just before 5 AM which means five hours to go for my post-operation checkup.

I can easily see myself back to work next Tuesday if recovery stays on the path it has been so far.

My recommendation for post surgery is to sleep in bed with your upper body elevated about 30 degrees or as I did, been living in a recliner which I did for operations in the past, works great.

I was watching a television show called "American Odyssey" where men in the show (in North Africa) are walking around in robes. I stopped and thought, wow, I have completely forgotten what it's like to have male parts swaying around between my legs and it has been just over four months since those parts went away. Now I can't fathom this at all, what was it like, nope, no memories. I think part of it was that after 2013 I was tucked 98 percent of the time as I could not bear to things moving around between my legs. I honestly thought about the above for a good 30 minutes and zilch.

Thinking of my new breast, I am guessing in time the same will happen, can't remember what it was like to be flat chested.  

In the end not remembering things from the past is yet more closure :) 


By KarenPayne,

For 99% of the days since surgery I have bad mornings. Most of them I wake up way too early. Many of them I feel nausea to some extent and just down right crappy. Usually take a two hour nap within two hours of waking up.

I have noticed the past few days that I am starting to feel better.

What really makes me feel normal is right after morning dilation and a nice hot shower.

Anyways thought others going down this path might be alerted to you too may experience this too.

Unfortunately at the time of my transition was when my sister developed a fatal cancer and could not bring myself to fly east to see her one last time. My impression was we have a decent brother sister relationship but after her passing my mother told me I was more to her than what I had imagined. I so regret not being stronger and just gone to see her. Please don't let something like this ever happen to you.

Since then I have been thinking of getting a tattoo of an owl which was something she was into but for a multitude of reasons never did get a tattoo of an owl.

Today I was walking in one of the more popular malls and spotted a Pandora store which I later learned was the only one in the greater Portland area. I asked if they had a owl charm and they did so I had them set me up with a bracelet and charm. So now as I see it I wear a token to remember my sister by on my wrist.

I miss you Suzy



By KarenPayne,

Two years ago, I decided that I was going to transform so one of my first real steps was with tattoos. Any tattoo I had done was well thought out and no thought of any being even remotely male centric. The image below shows several on my shoulder and several on my neck. Besides those, I have several below the waist in front and (horrors) a tramp-stamp on my backside although I deplore it being called a tramp-stamp. These tattoos not only provide strength and comfort but also mark a time of never going back to being a male. As a side note I had my eyebrows and eyelids done by a specialist with this type of work and brows were shaped no different than a female with my facial structure. After SRS I am getting my final tattoo, the design is still a work in progress but know it will be one a marker for remembering who I really am.

I know there are many who consider marking one’s body with ink is bad but for me it means so much more than some ink making an indelible mark on me.


So recently I moved from the smaller dilator to the medium dilator, first time was painful the whole time but got a little better each time yet was still painful.

Tonight I just finished and very happy that there was almost no pain. If things progress as they have been I should be good by say Sunday.

Any ways the purpose of this entry is too tell others who will go down this path is that in the beginning it is no picnic but does get better. :)

eek not looking forward to the larger one :(