Monthly Archives: February 2013

Jack the Wolf Slayer

I’m not on the pump tonight, yet I still only have one hand free.

A3 (3 months old) has developed this bad habit of only falling asleep while holding my hand. Ahh cute some might think, yes it’s cute until their little chicken finger nails sink into your skin. I don’t know how their nails get long so fast. Mind you, it’s hard to keep track of 60 finger and toe nails.  Try clipping the nails of a wiggling toddler.  You have to put them on your lap, squeeze them between your  elbows so they stop jiggling,  hold their head down with your neck to avoid violent headbutts in the face,  start singing songs to distract them, then it’s “look over there! A rabbit” they don’t care “look it’s Santa”, still don’t care so you’ve got to take the big guns out “Look! It’s the wolf!”  all the while you can’t even point because you have the clipper in one hand, you’re holding their hand with the other and you’re waiting for the slightest moment of stillness to clip a piece off. The wolf always works, but you can’t help but feel bad for scarring them. If you think about it it’s pretty bad, “the wolf” is here … in your house.  The wolf that blows down houses and devours little girls and their grandmas.

big-bad-wolf

One evening when we were driving home, A1 was looking out the window and asked “Are there wolves in our country? “ I started to explain how they live in the forest away from urban life… Jack stopped me by putting his arm in front me, just like when you suddenly break and put your arm in front of the passenger, and  said “Yes, but Daddy will protect you from them” and he turned to me with a one eyebrow up look.

One night A1 had a nightmare, when I asked her what she saw, she explained that in her dream the flowers of the forest were suddenly turning black and wilting because the wolf was coming. Scary stuff…   A2 has bad dreams too, just this week she yelled out “No, No, No, No!” in her sleep. Maybe she was dreaming of the breast pump! (Dear readers, our first official inside joke!  If you don’t get it read the previous post) When it happens we can’t help but run into their rooms to comfort them.

A lot of sleep talking happens in this house. I’ve done my share too. Just a few months ago in my last weeks of pregnancy I yelled out “À l’aide !” in my sleep. I was dreaming that I was having the baby in a Tim Horton’s. That same week, in the middle of the night we heard A1 scream, not just any scream, the most horrific scream. I jumped out of bed and ran to her room with hundreds of hideous thoughts running through my head. I got there she was crying, I took her in my arms. She had had a bad dream but couldn’t remember it. Her scream had scared me so much that I was still shaking from it and my heart was racing. About 5 seconds later Jack comes running in. “What’s happening?! I don’t know what happened, I was in the closet!” A1’s scream was so loud that it had startled him out of bed, semi-conscious. He opened the first door he saw to run towards his daughter’s rescue. Instead he ended up in the closet.

So when the big bad wolf comes huffin’ and puffin’, we’ll know where to find our wolf slayer… the closet.

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Foggy Glass

Me:  Jack! Do we have duck tape or something ?

Jack:  Ya why?

Me:  I’m tired of holding the breast pump. Do something!

And here I am writing this post with two free hands!

The noise the pump makes is so loud I can’t even think straight and I thought I could use the time on the pump to write my blog. There’s nothing you can really do while on the pump. You can’t watch TV or be on the phone because you won’t hear anything.  You have to sit near a plug far enough from the kids’ rooms so the noise doesn’t bother them but close enough so you can hear them if they cry. I rarely have free time and this is how I spend it. No, this can’t qualify as free time. Actual free time is a rarity. It sometimes happens that I have a few minutes to myself if the kids’ naps overlap each other. Then I’m torn between eating, sleeping or taking a shower. I usually opt for sleeping. Most times the shower is not even an option because you can’t hear them when you’re in there so I usually shower in the middle of the night, after or before one of the their feedings. That’s my favorite thinking spot. I was telling this recently to a fellow blogger when she asked her readers where they’re favorite thinking spot was. I told her mine was the shower because the foggy glass door is perfect to write my ideas down in point form, to make charts and especially to do manual calculations. If it happens during the day that I need to take time to think about something I just leave it for the shower. Sometimes shower time never comes but that’s another topic for another day.

foggy glass

Wow the noise is really unbearable… during the day when I’m on the pump A1 comes to me with all her questions that I can’t hear because of the noise it makes…A2 is afraid of the vacuum cleaner and the breast pump again because of the noise. Last week A2 would stay across the room if I had the pump, this week she’s worked up the courage to wobble on over in her little dress and hit the pump while yelling “No! No! No! No!” In her eyes the pump is probably something that’s attacking me and she’s trying to save me from it. This week A2 wore a different dress every day to daycare. It’s because I’m so far behind in the laundry that all she has are the fancy dresses hanging in the closet.

The problem is not doing the laundry, it’s sorting it between what A1 wears, what’s too small for A1 but too big for A2, what A2 wears, what’s too small for A2 but too big for A3, what A3 wears then finally what’s too small for A3 that I debate whether I should give away or keep just in case I have another daughter one day. Yeah, it’s pretty complicated. There are boxes everywhere marked with ages and seasons on them, all diaper boxes of course… Diaper boxes are used to store everything in this house and they’re also used as laundry baskets because the real baskets are obviously full.

My own wardrobe is almost as complicated. There are the clothes I wear now, the clothes I used to fit in before I got pregnant the last time and hoping to get back into soon, the clothes from before I ever got pregnant that I keep to torture myself and finally, I have the maternity wear that I debate whether I should give away or keep just in case I have another baby one day.

Now that’s a scary thought…or is it?

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Pump it up

A good friend messaged me on Facebook last night:

“No blog posted tonight…but you’re online so u must be typing…well I hope lol “

I wasn’t… if you only knew what I was doing.

I was online but couldn’t type because I had one hand busy.  I want to tell you what I was doing but I’m not sure if it’s crossing the line. It happens many times to me on Facebook to write up a status then decide to delete it before posting because I realize that I’m just speaking my mind and being shameless.

Now you’re trying to figure out what I was doing with one hand so let me tell you before you start getting ideas.

Ok. Here goes. I was on the electric breast pump.

So we’re going talk about breasts now… dear readers we have moved one step closer into our relationship…I hope you know this.

Ahhhh. Now that this topic is open, the possibilities are endless! Jack’s going to be so mad at me… he’s the one that reminds me not to make a fool out of myself. In respect to both Jack and I, we’re only going to treat this topic if it’s in the realm of breastfeeding or other children related topics.

So, yeahpump, I was holding the breast pump with one hand and surfing the net with the other. They talk about the breast pump as if it’s something normal. I’m here to tell you that’s it’s the worst thing ever! From the physical trauma to the simple idea of it, it’s pure torture. Plus they make the cup part transparent so you can see what’s actually happening to your sensitive extremities… (I don’t want to say the N word, so we can stay rated G). I assure you, that does not happen in a babies’ mouth while nursing!

A3 is only 3 months old and my milk supply has faded. I breastfed A1 and A2 for 6 months each. The milk supply ending is a direct result of my lack of sleep, my poor diet and overall exhaustion. Basically A3 is getting the short end of the stick because of her sisters and it seems like it’s going to be like that for her for a very long time. I mean poor thing has onesies with embedded poop stains on them. Not her poop… not A2’s poop, but A1’s poop from five years ago.

YOU SEE HOW I HAVE NO SHAME.

So I am trying to revive the milk flow by spending my evenings on the breast pump, by over eating and by drinking meal supplement protein shakes (on top of my meals).  Willing to gain weight for this baby…now this is love.

Dear male readers I hope you’re not traumatised by this post…

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The secret snooze button

So the last post didn’t mention poop, diapers or babies.  I don’t plan what I’m going to write, I just write. Parenthood is relatively new to me, I’ve only been a parent for 4 years, but I’ve been a worker, a student, a friend, a girlfriend, a daughter… for much longer. So I might talk about other things once in a while.

And to tell you the truth, it helps to remind yourself that yes although you are a parent; it is not all you are.  It’s ok to let loose, go out or even party sometimes. I know firsthand that it’s hard. I’ll be out and constantly checking my phone for news from the kids or find myself staring at the background image of my phone, which is a picture of my kids (of course). Well I have A1 and A2 on my phone and Jack has A3. It’s impossible to get them all in one picture considering A2 is obsessed with trying to touch A3’s eye ball.

You see how the subject always drifts to the kids?!

What was I saying? Oh ya. Going out is also hard because of the price you pay. I’m not talking about money… there are consequences to going out, so it really has to be worth it. Let’s say you go out, have a good time, come home late.Image

 6 am, you know it! Kids are up.

Although they don’t have a snooze button on the back of their heads, we’ve figured out a few ways to try and squeeze out 25 to 30 minutes of sleep for us, once they’re up. First person I need to take care of is A1 (4 yrs old), she’s up first.  So we’ll plan it the night before and she’ll play in her room till mommy and daddy are up. Hold on, it’s not THAT easy. You’ve got to come up with good new game ideas so that they don’t get bored too quickly. For example, the night before, I’ll bring out the big tub of stuffed animals, set up a desk and chair for her in her room and tell her she can play class when she wakes up (pretending she’s the teacher and the stuffed animals are students).  I must admit, it sometimes backfires because she’s so excited to play that she’ll wake up even earlier.

What I do with A2 (1.5 yrs old), is place books in her crib while she’s sleeping so that she can play with them when she wakes up and not call for us right away.

This usually keeps them busy for 20 minutes, after that we move to the next phase.

 We have a basket of toys that we keep in our room (fun knickknacks, mc Donald kids meal toys, etc.). See, this basket is usually hidden and is only taken out weekend mornings for them to play with, in our bed. Since they don’t have access to these toys often, it keeps them interested for a longer period of time.  The fresher the toys are the longer they play and the more we sleep.
All is good until they take out the big guns “We’re hungry!” Then we have to get up.
Basically what I’m trying to say is, it’s normal to not be sliding down the banister with the children fully dressed first thing in the morning.*

And if  you do not have kids, cherish that snooze button and don’t take it for granted.

P.S The sliding down the banister is a Marry Poppins reference. I’m sure Jack didn’t get it either. I tried to find a video of it to post but couldn’t come up with anything. So here’s a pic.

Mary Poppins sliding down the banister with the children full clothed and ready to go, first thing in the morning.

Mary Poppins sliding down the banister with the children fully clothed and ready to go, first thing in the morning.

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Beating the Sunday Night Blues

It’s now Sunday evening and the A1 and A2 are asleep. A3 is barely 3 months old so she alternates between sleep and wake periods throughout the day and same for the nights.

Weekends here are just so chaotic that I must say, and don’t hate me for it, thank goodness for Monday!

The best part of being on maternity leave (or not working) is not having that weird sensation in your stomach on Sunday night. You know what I mean? Like a light tickle in your abdomen that leaves you a bit nauseous and aware of your heart rate.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you’re lucky.

A good way to get rid of that feeling is to implement something enjoyable to your Monday morning and focus on that thought on Sunday evening. Like a Mocha Choco Moko Latte express or something. I dunno, I just made that up…

Another way, is to break up your day in your mind and think of all the things you need to do separately (take the bus, meeting, presentation, class).  For each part ask yourself “Is this what’s stressing me?”  This will help you either pinpoint the exact cause for that feeling, or better yet, you’ll realize that nothing about Monday is stressing you and the feeling will just disappear.  I usually go through this thought process while lying in bed or in the shower.

I’m not an expert, but this is what worked for me.

Let me know if it works for you.

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Bathroom Rug 101

I’ve been sick for the past couple of days. I must’ve caught something from the kids. Normally, when you are sick, you stay in bed or take some time off. Well there’s nothing of the sort for me. I thought yesterday would never end; I was nauseous and dizzy while A2 was hanging from my neck like a monkey the whole evening.

They warn you about pregnancy’s morning sickness but nobody tells you how much you’ll really be throwing up once you become a mom. From pregnancy to day care germs, you’re bound to find yourself face to face with the inside of that toilet quite a few times.

If you think that’s disgusting, let me mention the horrible feeling of the toilet water splashing upwards onto your cheeks…or even worse into your open mouth. Now imagine all this in a public bathroom.

Been there… and the memory is still so vivid.

Mommy throwing up is not a big deal in this house anymore. I threw up for the first six months of all my pregnancies. Basically I’ve been crouched over the toilet for the past three years. I’ve even spent nights on the bathroom carpet.rug

I suggest planning ahead and investing in a really fluffy bathroom rug before starting a family. It will offer proper cushioning for your knees not only while you hurl but also while you bathe the children kneeled by the bathtub. It can later offer you comfortable seating when your child is sitting on the potty asking you to hold their hand while they push for #2.

Four months into my third pregnancy, A2 could answer to “What sound does mommy make throwing up?” before she could even answer to “what sound does a dog make”.

I can remember a time when it was a big deal.  When I would get sick during my first pregnancy, Jack would hold my hair and hold a damp towel to my forehead. Things changed with the second pregnancy, he would still come into the bathroom to check on me and ask if I needed anything. Third time around… he abruptly opened the bathroom door and complained about how I was going to wake the kids with all the noise I was making!

Poor Jack, I make him sound so heartless.

P.S He’s not heartless. He’s awesome.

P.P.S My mother in law reads my blog. 🙂

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Wake up and smell the …


Today I decided to get some cleaning done. Well it’s not only a matter of deciding, in order to do that two of my friends had to come over and help take care of A3 so that I could get started. I knew there wasn’t much time before A1 and 2 came back home from school and daycare.

First thing I did was take the time to smell the rooms out looking for rolled up dirty diapers or lost half full milk bottles.  Most times, while changing a diaper we’re doing something else at the same time, maybe mediating a dispute between the kids or trying to stop one of them from going up the stairs, down the stairs, in the cupboard, behind the curtains… When that diaper is changed, we quickly roll up the dirty one into a ball and throw it in or near the closest garbage can. Later we collect them and throw them away. On some occasions one gets lost or misplaced by the kids. A2 thinks a rolled up diaper is a ball meant to be played with. Can we blame her?diaper

One time, one found its way in the dirty laundry basket and ended up in the wash with the clothes. I found it when I was emptying the clothes out of the washer into the dryer. I found a swollen diaper. I could only hope it was a #1 filled diaper if you know what I mean…

Some end up rolling under the couch or under one of the beds. Many things end up rolling under there… mainly half full milk bottles. By the time we find them, the milk has turned into cheese. Washing those bottles is the worst part; the smell is so horrible that I sometimes give up after a few gags and just throw the bottle away.

Don’t judge me! We’re not dirty people, we’re just outnumbered! Back when we only had A1 we had time for so much more, we would do so many activities. A1 had been everywhere by the age of 1.

A2 hasn’t seen anything. Poor thing got sick a couple of weeks ago so we took her to the clinic and then the pharmacy for her antibiotics. When we walked into the pharmacy she was ecstatic! I don’t think she had ever been in a store before… High ceilings, lights and her favorite, creme bottles! Creme bottles everywhere! She gathered up as many bottles as she could, grabbed them in a bunch and started running in the isles. I just let her be and live a little. She was so happy.

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The hare and the Anniversary Special

Hare: n. Any of various mammals of the family Leporidae, especially of the genus Lepus, similar to rabbits but having longer ears and legs and giving birth to active, furred young. (thefreedictionnary.com)

Dishes, laundry and bathing three kids leaves mommy in a cold shower by the end of the evening. No more hot water.

Right before that, A1 asked to be read a story before bed. So I started:

“ I’m gonna tell you the story of the turtle and the, the hmmm… how do we say “lièvre” in english.”

A1: What’s that mommy?

Me : It’s a wild rabbit that runs fast.

A1: Oh! A kangaroo?

Me : No. Let’s ask daddy. DAAADDDYYY

Jack answers from across the hall “What!”

Me: How do you say “Lièvre” in English?

Jack: I dunno. Coyote ?

Btw as I wrote  this Jack came up behind me and said.egg

“Don’t post this; people are going think I’m stupid… You’re still going to post it aren’t you? Your blog is nothing without me!”

And he’s right the blog is about my life and he’s a big part of it. Since we’re talking about Jack, might as well continue.

In our house weekends are so chaotic that we rarely have time to eat, so I always prepare a bowl of hard-boiled eggs so we can at least have a quick dose of protein in a snack. Jack has made it a habit to crack the egg on his head. Yes you read right. He takes the boiled egg and he smashes it on his head. It’s partly to make the children laugh but he does it even when they’re not around.

So Saturday, on our anniversary, I decided to put one non-boiled egg in that bowl.

I think you can imagine the rest…

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Red vs Blue

Ok Kids! Time for bed, it’s already 8:30 !

It’s actually 7 pm but they’re too young to read time and I’m really tired.

So for those who don’t know, I’m a mother of three girls. Let’s call them A1, A2 and A3. All their names start with A and end with A. We thought it was cute to name them in a common theme with similar sounding names. We were so wrong …it causes such confusion!

I’ll correct that and say I was so wrong to do that.  I can already hear Jack “It was your idea! I told you so…” blablabla.

Saturday night was our 5th wedding anniversary. We made plans to go out and it’s a big deal because his idea of romance is “I’m missing the hockey game for you!” We went out for a romantic dinner in a great spot. Turns out home team lost pretty badly that night. It took a little cheering up and the atmosphere turned out to be  great, alcohol and love were in the air and Jack seemed to be doing alright. During dinner, someone wearing the opposite team’s jersey walked by.( I have to add that there was a smart-casual dress code in effect). Seeing Jack’s face change I decided to be a supporting wife and I murmured a low but definitely distinct “booooooooooo!” as he walked past me on his way to the bathroom. Then, on his way back  I gave him a clear salt shaker motion two thumbs down and a louder “BOOOOOO!” … a few words were exchanged between Jack and the guy and we found ourselves a hair away from a fist fight.

The next day I made an effort to dress the kids in home team jerseys to support daddy.

See, you don’t need to know much about hockey to be a good hockey wife.

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Weekend outing: the entrance

Week end outing: the entrance

To keep them busy during the weekend let them play in a usually forbidden place in the house.

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February 9, 2013 · 11:00 am

Meet Jack

Today I was having lunch with my brother when I got a call from my husband.

I’m tired of saying “husband” all the time… it’s too official. I need to come up with a pseudonym for him.  Sort of like “Mr.Big” but nothing with a sexual connotation. Let’s call him Jack for now until we figure this out. I’ll be taking suggestions.

So I got a call from Jack “I read your blog, there’s a problem. You finished your text without a conclusion or a proper ending. You tell the reader a story and then BOOM you just stop! You can’t do that!” and apparently my brother agrees. The reason for that is the fact that I could write forever. So I write and then I stop because I run out of free time. The “story” is technically not over, it’s never over…

The conversation goes on:

Jack: You say he earns his nicknames well. How are people supposed to understand what you mean?

Me: If they read the blog, they know what I mean.

Jack: Oh ya? Ask your brother.

So I ask my brother.

Me: You read my post today, what did I mean by nicknames?

Bro: I dunno…I forgot

Me: just think

Bro: The unsupporter?

Me: CLOSE ENOUGH! See! An avid reader of the blog knows what I mean!

Jack: Avid reader? You have one fan and it’s your brother! Relax!

As soon as I finish dealing with that…I get another call. I answer. Someone’s frantically yelling at me.

It’s my mommy friend from the spa day… she read the post.

CONCLUSION: How time flies! All this chatter and I didn’t even  have time to tell you about the magic flute.

I guess it will have to wait till tomorrow…

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Kids with Kids

After reading yesterday’s “ Why a blog?” my husband said “it sounded like you had nothing to write, so you forced yourself to write that up” I have to add that he’s repeatedly told me “You’re eventually going run out of stuff to write about.” He earns his nicknames well… So I’ll tell you exactly what I told him. I’ve been studying practically my whole life. And like any student, I’ve spent countless hours in front of a computer trying to write up essays, sometimes without motivation or inspiration. There’s no way I’m doing that again!

Another interesting reaction was my mother in law. She reads my blog… and now she’s reading this and probably freaking out wondering what I’m going to say about her… lol  When I went over today, she said in a serious but playful tone “What’s happening to you ?! Why are you so stressed?! Stop worrying so much. Don’t you know you have us; we’re all here to help you.”  This meant a lot to me. She’s right. I have great support from both sets of parents. There’s not one day that goes by without us relying on them for something. These kids came into our lives so quickly that I don’t even think we had time to grow up. We’re basically kids with kids and this is our story…

So this week I’m in self-help mode. I’m trying to better organize our mess and I took a spa day.

I went to the spa with a good friend of mine who’s also a mommy. Well, she couldn’t stand still for one minute and could not keep quiet for the life of her. It was like taking a spa day with my four year old! (I told you if you didn’t stop I would blog about you. lol). It was hard for me to truly relax and disconnect. I must admit I was thinking about the kids throughout the whole massage. I kept trying to free my mind, but it was hard. Later on I fell asleep in one of the relaxation rooms and dreamt of the kids. 

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Why a blog?

 I haven’t blogged in a few days and it’s been bothering me. 

This is not working. Every time something happens I try to memorize it so that I can later write it in my journal. When I eventually have some time I try to read my journal (whatever I had time to write) so that I can blog about it. Since no there’s way I have time to do all that, I’m going to have to say goodbye to my notebook.

Aha! Did you think I was going to say “the Blog “just there? Well since I don’t want that to happen, I’m getting get rid of the notebook and I’m going to keep writing what I’m thinking in the moment.

Sunday night, I joined some friends at a Super Bowl party after the kid’s bed time.  On my way home I almost got into a bad car accident. The reason was simply that I was thinking about a million things at the same time, and therefore was distracted.

I’m usually good at finding fun ways to manage the kids and keeping my stress level down, but recently, after having baby # 3 I must admit it’s been a challenge. I really need to make some adjustments in order to come back to my usual self. There’s only so much I can do with the kids and the chaos but there’s a lot I can do with myself.  I guess this blog can be the first step by giving me a way to vent.

(To be continued)

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“Baby Brains” is an understatement

I carry a little note book around with me everywhere I go, to take notes when I get ideas of stuff to blog about. When I come back and read them, either I can’t understand my own hand writing or I come to realize that it’s a bad idea. Honestly I’m not so sure what the purpose of a blog is yet, but I’m learning more about it every day. When I think I have a good idea I have to write it down  right away but sometimes taking out a note book in public and scribbling can be weird. With all the technology these days… smart phones, I pads, I pods, tablets… who still uses a note book?

When I think I have an idea, I need to write it down right away because I can’t rely on my memory. My brain is so over flooded with detailed information about the children that I forget all the rest. I never know what day of the week it is, but I always know the exact time.  Has it ever happened to you to find yourself in front of the TV during a commercial break wondering “What the heck was I watching?” Well I’m way beyond that point. This week I dropped something and it went under the couch, as I was crouched down, looking under there, I found myself wondering “What the heck am I looking for?”

My two younger kids are still babies, but my 4 year old is starting to pick up on my deficiency. Evenings in our house are complete chaos. We have three kids to feed, bathe, change and put to bed. Problem is we have a baby, a toddler and a 4 year old, and all of them have different requirements. For example, no two eat the same. The new born is on breast milk, the toddler eats mash and the 4 year old is extremely picky. She discriminates food with color. She won’t eat anything green because it’s a boy’s color and her favorite color is pink. So I give her lobster and I tell her it’s pink chicken.

No two bathe the same, new born bathes in a small tub, toddler in the bathtub and the 4 year old already showers. Then there’s the bed time milk routine … basically the bed time routine is very long and complicated. So one evening, after we had accomplished all our tasks and all three kids were in bed, we sat down on our bed in releif, and as soon as we did, we heard my 4 year old call “Maaami? Baaabi?” and we replied simultaneously “Whaaaaaat!?” expecting the usual “I’m cold”, “I’m hot”, “I’m thirsty” or the ever so famous “My leg hurts”. Poor thing answered from her room “but mami, babi , you put me in bed in my clothes.”

There had been a minor miscommunication between me and my husband and she was never put in pajamas.

And our morning routine…Oh my! Well that’s a whole other story.

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The gift of 8 minutes

Once in a while I find a video that my kids love watching over and over again. When I do I’m going to post it for my fellow moms who can use the small time off. I’m working on having different categories on the blog and maybe dedicate a category to kids. So take your little one on your lap and enjoy.

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February 2, 2013 · 1:39 pm

“Kirk”

This is my blogging journal. It’s filled with ideas I have for the blog but I can’t find the time…

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February 2, 2013 · 1:29 pm