The Move to a Big Girl Room

Kiddie Movers (main pic)

About 2 months ago, Terry and I decided that it would be a good idea to start the process of moving Paige into the second bedroom and into a toddler bed.  We will need the cot for the new baby mid-March and would rather have one change at a time for Paige.  I have read horror stories about how some kids just do not adjust well to change and completely regress when they have to change rooms, or move into a toddler bed, and when a new sibling arrives.  I must be honest that it was a concern for me if too much changed for Paige early next year.

So, I looked around and got pricing of bed styles that I liked, and weighed the pros and cons of going for a toddler bed or just jumping straight to a single bed – we decided on the latter.  I found a small company in the Midlands area that make cottage style furniture from solid pine and they were actually cheaper than the popular Durban manufacturer, even with the additional delivery charge from the Midlands to Durban.  We placed our order and waited…and waited…and waited.  It took about 21 working days, which is a long time waiting in anticipation, and the communication skills of the staff were well below average.  BUT, the bed was delivered to us on 19 October and it is GORGEOUS!  Exactly what I had hoped.

We put her new linen on the new bed, hung the new curtains, and moved her play mat and toys.  We had already discussed and decided that we would start Paige off small, putting her in her new bed, in her new room, for her midday naps for the following week, and then we would start her at bedtime over the weekend (in case there were midnight wakings followed by scared screams).

Well, Paige was having none of this.  She slept so well for her first nap in the bed, that the next day she proceeded to tuck herself in for her nap, while our amazing nanny looked on in surprise.  The second night was the one, and when we said to Paige it was bed time she ran straight to her new room and climbed into her new bed, instead of going to her old room where the cot still was.

She loves her new room, and more than that, she seems to really LOVE her new bed!  No adjustment issues, no anxieties about waking up in a new room – nothing.  I think she adjusted better than we did.

You know how silly we first time parents can be, fretting about certain things because you are petrified of the unknown.   All the time spent “Googling” tips on how to handle the transition from cot to bed so that it was stress free for all concerned – what an utter waste of time.  Paige has, once again,  proven to be a tough little cookie, and she really doesn’t seem to be bothered by much.  She takes each new challenge in her stride and just adapts to her surroundings.  Terry and I adapt quite well to change, so I don’t know why we thought that she would be any different.

Anyway, it has been 2 weeks since the bed arrived, and she has made the room her own quite quickly.  All it took was a little Hurricane Paige moment for all of her toys to be blown around the room in a whirlwind mess.  She know where everything is and doesn’t even glance into her old room anymore.

The decor of her new and improved Big Girl Room is still a work in progress but it is looking lovely so far and I am so pleased with how everything is coming together.  It is bright and fresh and girly, and is adaptable for her to grow into her new environment.  We still have a few key bits and pieces to do but a little each month is easier on the bank account (I know you know what I mean).

I want to share a few of the DIY plans that we have in mind, so stay tuned for that.

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Vacationing at the Hospital…

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…jeez that was NOT fun!

So, I’ve been M.I.A. again for a while but wow have things been crazy!

My ‘partner-in-crime’ in the department we run at work had a major car accident beginning of September, when some tool of a driver side swiped her on the freeway and then fled the scene – some people hey!.  She’s getting better but was off work for 6 weeks due to her back injury.  This meant that I needed to take the reigns and assist her clients with ongoing and new work, as well as maintain my own workload, and was a bit more chaotic than normal but I am on top of things…sort-of.

Then, 4 weeks ago today, Paige started with a mild fever and some Captain Cranky Pants antics in the afternoon, but she had been teething again so we put it down to that.  She ate some dinner and went to bed without too much fuss so we thought all was well…All was NOT well by around 23h30, when her distressed screaming woke us up. Raging temperatures, shivering and a cough that sounded like a barking seal.  We gave her some fever meds and tried cooling her down slowly with a damp cloth.  After about an hour of this Terry sent me to bed saying that I had to get some sleep and take care of the bean in my tummy, and he would stay up with Paige until she settled.  She eventually did…and then started up all over again…and then settled…and this continued through the night.

By the time the sun came up I had already emailed the office saying I wasn’t going to work as I had to take Paige to the doctor.   I got her and I dressed, packed her bag with a change of clothes and her teddy and went to my mom’s place at 7h30 to wait for 9h30 to roll around when our doctor’s rooms open.  By 8h00 Paige’s coughing was worse and she had started wheezing terribly so I decided that we were not waiting for the doctor’s rooms to open, we were going straight to the Hospital.

My mom dropped us at the emergency entrance so I could run it with Paige while she parked the car.  At this point all of my emotions had built up to boiling point and I took one look at the nurse and just burst into tears.  Through my blubbering I explained what had taken place, what meds we had given Paige and asked them to please ignore my sobbing but I was pregnant, exhausted and overly emotional.  The nurse smiled and told me to come through.

The nurse tested blood pressure and heart rate, all while Paige was screaming at the strangers poking and prodding her.  A doctor came to examine her but between her fidgety screams and my blubbering he simply put his hand on my shoulder and made the call to admit her.  He said her breathing was laboured, he suspected Croup and infection in both ears and he did not want to upset her further or stress me out in my condition.   We waited for admissions to sort themselves out and about an hour later we were taken to a room in Paedeatrics.  The only nice thing about all of this was that we had been put in a private room so that I (the blubbering pregnant lady) did not get exposed to any other illnesses that the other kids were carrying.

The Paed came an hour or so later and gave Paige a once over.  She confirmed what the doc in casualty had said and we would have to stay the night so that they could give her a course of anti-antibiotics and nebuliser treatments every 4 hours.  My mom stayed with us until Terry was able to get to the hospital from work and then we just sat around in the room, waiting.  Terry stayed over the first 2 nights, with me staying with her during the days, and I sent him home on the Saturday night to catch up on some much needed sleep.

On the Friday morning they insisted in hooking up a drip but with Paige being such a fighter and so strong, we strongly suggested that they give her something to calm her down.  She slept for 6 hrs.

We hoped that we would be released on the Saturday morning but the doc came and said that her ear infections were clearing nicely but she was still coughing and they wanted her to have a few more nebuliser treatments.  She had started moving around more and wanted to play so we asked if the drip could be taken out as trying to keep a toddler still is like trying to count the raindrops.  Thankfully she was hydrated and the antibiotics were done so they agreed.

I woke up with butterflies on Sunday morning.  Terry arrived with breakfast and then we waited for the doctor.  At around 11h00 she said Paige was well enough to go home. YAY.  I don’t think she had left the ward yet and we were already packed and waiting for the discharge papers.

Toddlers and hospitals do not go hand in hand.  You are confined to a small place, with no where for them to play, and are expected to some how keep them still while medication is being administered.  Have you ever tried to explain to a 19 month old little tot why they cannot go and play with the other kids in the rooms next to them – HA!  The nurses were all very friendly and they tried to be friendly with Paige but she pretty much cried every time one of them walked into the room, so there were no long lasting friendships being forged there.  The one really stupid thing that happened EVERY DAY was that they would bring Paige her meals and then literally, as she started eating, the doctor would come in for a check up, or a nurse would come in to take temperature or something.  Paige would get all upset again and then wouldn’t want to eat when they left.  That’s what little kids do!  Surely the staff would know this, dealing with kids every day, and would time their visits a bit better.  On the 3rd day I literally told the nurse to get out before she even got through the door.  Paige’s lunch had just arrived and she was nibbling on her chicken, and then guess what, the nurse wants to come and hook Paige up to the nebuliser – which makes her cry…I DON’T THINK SO!!  I sent her on her way and told her to come back in half an hour.  She hesitated but obeyed, and Paige ate her first whole meal since being admitted.  WIN!

Being in hospital with your little terror is horrible, but it has to be done sometimes so you just need to make the best of it.  We brought her home comforts to make the room her own – her pillow, blanket, teddies, toys and books.  I filled a carry-on size bag with stuff to entertain her with – which seems like absolute overkill – but it works (to a certain degree).

4 days, 3 nights and a lekker hospital bill later (that medical aid will hopefully cover completely).  Fingers crossed that we don’t need to go through that again any time soon (or ever again).

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Size Does Matter…

…when you are shopping that is.

Hahaha, I totally got you didn’t I – get your mind out of the gutter! vanitysize

Let’s just get one thing straight – I am not completely delusional about my body type and size.  I do not try and pull size 10 items off the rails when in fact I am much, much more like a size 14.  The truth of the matter is, I am probably (like many ‘voluptuous’ people out there) more inclined to pick up a size 16 rather because I see myself as being bigger than I actually am.

Clothes shopping can be a major confidence killer and retail therapy is an absolute joke – it’s more like a horror movie (which I wouldn’t watch if it was an actual movie because I don’t do scary stuff well – but you get the idea) 

Anyway, that is not the problem.  The issue I have is that the sizes are not consistent from store to store, and when I shop, I have to keep in mind where I am when choosing a specific size to try on.  It just puts me off the whole experience.

For international readers, the sizing here is kind of based on UK sizes and sort-of works like this:

size 8   = 32 = small
size 10 = 34 = medium
size 12 = 36 = large
size 14 = 38 = X large
size 16 = 40 = XX large
etc
etc etc

The frustrating part is that at any given time, I probably have at least three or four different sizes in my cupboard, which all fit me at one particular time.  It is utterly ridiculous that I have a size 12 top from Woolworths, size 14 top from Edgars and …wait for it…a flopping small from Ackermans! A SMALL! I have not fitted into anything resembling a small since I was in high school (and that was some time ago).  Clearly these stores need to get together to discuss where they are going wrong and try and create some kind of consistency between their sizing and measurements.

And it does not stop there.  Oh no!

My poor child, who is only 1.5 little years is already suffering the same fate (thankfully she has no clue that it is even happening yet).  She is quite tall for her age so I buy size 3-4 yrs instead of size 1-2 yrs because the small size fits her waist but the ‘long’ pants end up being 3-quarters on her long legs, barely covering her little calves.  She grew out of her 1-2 yrs costume, so I went to buy her a bigger size and came home with a 3-4 yrs which, when measured against the 1-2 yrs one at home, was actually smaller.  That makes absolutely no sense what-so-ever.  If someone can explain that one to me then please leave a comment below and we can chat about this a bit further.

In my opinion, all of the clothing manufacturers who determine sizing are a few sandwiches short of a picnic basket, and should all be taken out back and shot (okay, maybe not shot – but should definitely be given a stern talking to).

There are so many people – yes, men and women – out there who struggle daily with body image issues and who are already self conscious about their size and/or shape.  And along come all of these clothing stores with their supposed “standard” sizing charts, which just make everything worse for your self confidence when the jeans you bought last week are a size 14, but now all of a sardine your find yourself not squeezing into that size at the store, but instead the sales assistant brings you a size 16 or 18 to try on.

To all of the clothing manufacturers and retailers out there – Thanks for making me feel great about myself.  (Note: that is me being utterly sarcastic)

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Oh-No!

No

Firstly, guess what word has suddenly found its way out of Paige’s mouth…yup, you guessed it…NO!

At 18 months and 10 days she has decided that now is a good time to vocalise her refusal to do things, instead of just shaking her head like a crazy person or running away shrieking with laughter at her own defiance.

And she doesn’t just say No!, she says No-No-No-No-No…and it goes on, all with a big grin across her smug, adorable little face.  (cheeky little bugger)

She already has a handful of other little words under her belt (that we can understand) and quite a few of her own vocab concoctions that she uses to talk about certain things, like favourite toys, or the dogs, or things that we see when out and about.

But wait, now instead of just kicking and screaming when you pull her away from a game to change her nappy, she is adding the No-No-No-No-No to her little script – in quite a loud and high pitched manner.  The neighbours must think we are completely batty.  I know that (most) parents across the globe experience a phase with their kids when nappy changing becomes the most exhausting activity known to man – but wow has Paige got her prevention tactics down to a fine art.  It has become physically dangerous.  I am not even kidding!  First you actually have to catch her,  and then get her to lie still for more than 5 seconds.  With the kangaroo punches, pony kicks and sudden rotations (like crocodiles do when they are attacking their lunch)  you have to be on guard at all times to avoid her making contact to any of your own body parts – those pony kicks are hectic.

All I can say is changing nappies during this unbearable phase is not for sissies, and I can only hope that it doesn’t last too much longer because being preggers in my first trimester is tiring enough without a full workout every time Paige needs a new nappy.  I am quite literally out of breath by the time the chore is over with and all she does is quietly get down onto the floor, and toddles off back to whatever she was doing before…leaving me to pick up wet wipes, the bum cream, other clean nappies ripped from their bag and any toys she might have been holding that were thrown around the room.  Hurricane Paige strikes again.

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Sober Pregnancy

 

We had my first OB GYN appointment on Monday.  It reminded me of the main thing I look forward to at each appointment during pregnancy – the little heartbeat.  It really does get me every time.  Seeing that little flicker on the screen just fills my heart with so much love for this little bean.  8 weeks along and Dr H says everything looks great with strong heart beat and pretty much “normal” across all checks.

Now onto the point of this post…drinking booze while pregnant.

Morning-Sickness

My personal take is that while it is considered safe to have a glass of red wine every now and then, I would rather just avoid it completely.  It really isn’t that hard and I could probably count on one hand the amount of times I actually really wanted a drink during my last pregnancy – and even then the feeling passed quite quickly.  Never mind the fact that I am one of the lucky ladies who gets to experience all-day-sickness during all three trimesters of pregnancy, and I think that dehydrates me enough without adding liquor to the mix.

The funny side to all of this is how people seem so sad that you can’t drink.  Why?  You are not pregnant.  Nothing is stopping you from boozing it up, and there really is no need to apologise to me when you order a beer or wine or shot of something na-sty while I am waiting for my lime and water.   It’s not like I got knocked up by a random or anything, that this was done to me without my consent.  I made this choice with my hubby, this is what we wanted, so obviously I accepted all of the terms and conditions that go along with pregnancy before the ‘seed was sewn’ (as they say – I don’t know who ‘they’ are but ‘they’ say it).

I think it is because they are worried that I will not have as much fun, that every time we are out I might get bored or something because I can’t get drunk off my face.  Or that I will want to go and crawl into a corner to fall asleep.  Let me just clarify though – I will not fall asleep because I can’t drink and am bored, I will fall asleep because I am pregnant and I have a little parasite (that we love of course) restricting all of my energy like Escom during loadshedding.  (it’s a South Africa thing)

The reality is, I have always been able to have just as much fun without alcohol as with it.  It really doesn’t bother me.  I am actually quite proud of the fact that, even before we started our little family, I was fairly drinking fit but I have always been able to have a jol until all hours of the morning, completely sober, if that is what I wanted to do.  And the biggest plus side – I didn’t wake up still drunk or hanging like a half dead bat the next morning!

Anyway, morning sickness is kind of like a hangover but without the fun of drinking beforehand, so if you come and hang out with me the morning after your drunken night out of debauchery then it will be like we are experiencing the same after affects – just with different causes.

Awesome friends of ours just got hitched this last Saturday and we were there until just before the venue closed, and the weekend before that I was away for an overnight girls escape for the bride’s 70’s Disco themed hen party, and I stayed up just as late as the die-hard drinkers.  I got dressed up and danced the night away and had an absolute blast – completely sober…Yes you naysayers, it can be done.

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My Top 10 Dead Giveaways…

…that my life is being run by my toddler (sometimes anyway)

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  1. The word NO does not mean “stop” or “don’t do that” anymore.  It now means “sure, carry on, don’t mind me, I’m just pretending to try and stop you from chucking your toys out the window where the dogs can eat them” or “by all means, continue to hit me in the head with the TV remote – it feels great.”
  2. I can, at any given time, pull out a snack or toy or wet wipe from my handbag. Even when there is no kiddie in sight.  (You don’t realise how handy snacks and wet wipes are until you become a parent)
  3. If hair clips go missing, check the couch.  My theory is that there is an invisible magnet down there that attracts them, so if you can’t find any it means that it is time to dig between the seats and initiate project clip rescue.
  4. Your toddler always wants a bite or spoonful of what you are eating, and you can remind her ’til you are blue in the face that she doesn’t like it, but she will not give in so you might as well just give her a piece, and get the broom and dustpan so you can sweep it up after she spits it out in disgust.
  5. You find yourself walking around the office humming the theme song for Jake and the Neverland Pirates or Sofia the First (toons on Disney Junior), which is downright embarrassing when someone stops to ask you what that song is.  I usually just look confused and say “was I humming?” and then quickly walk away.
  6. When your child is asleep you enjoy the quiet time, but when she is awake, you fear for what is taking place in the menacing silence.
  7. Going to the bathroom alone is a luxury which doesn’t occur very often.
  8. Every time you see a dog you find yourself saying “hello doggy”…even when you are alone.  Passers-by must think I am a few sarmies (sandwiches) short of a picnic basket.
  9. When you are visiting a friend’s house with toddler in-tow you immediately scan the room for breakables that can be destroyed in the tornado that is your child, and you lift them to a higher surface.   There we go friends, I now offer free re-decorating whether you need it or not…sorry.
  10.  My car is no longer purely for transport.  It is a portable storage unit for a pram, extra blankets, clothes, toys and whatever else Paige leaves in it when we go on outings.

I am pretty sure I could extend this list quite considerably because I thought of more tell-tails this morning, but let’s just leave it at that shall we because I think my preggy brain is starting to kick in already and I just can’t remember them all.  You get the idea.

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Round 2

I recently found myself thinking about trying for a second little bean.  When is the right time? How do know if you are emotionally/physically/mentally/financially ready to start all over again?

A simple answer has occurred to me…you don’t know.  There is no right or wrong time that can be used as a guideline for the gazillions of parents out there thinking about having their 2nd or 3rd or 4th or…no more! Please! That is just too many mini-me minions!

I don’t think – no matter how ‘easy’ it was the first time around – that you are ever really ready to do it all again.  The constant cycle of feed, burp, sleep, cry, change, rinse, repeat..pretty much every 2 hours! I mean really, that is ridiculous!

We are all a bunch of nutters actually.  We just get past the 2-hourly feeds and the colic and sleepless nights, and the completely useless stages of a baby, then our baby becomes a toddler, and starts walking and babbling and becomes fun.  And then what do we do?  We say to ourselves, “Hey, life is just starting to get a little normality back again so I have a great idea – let’s have another baby and start all over again”.

Why do we feel the need to punish ourselves?  I’ll tell you why.  Because through all of the zombie days without makeup and bad ponytail hair, we learn about a love that cannot compare to any other feeling that exists in, or beyond our world.

Our daughter Paige is 17 months and 1 week – so in simple speak, she is almost 1.5 years young.  My husband and I have been talking about maybe trying for round 2 towards the end of this year.  Things don’t always work according to plan though.  Stuff happens in life, and one night you find yourself sitting in bed, with time ticking away to midnight, and your eyes are puffy from crying about crappy news regarding the health of a sibling, and your uncle is in hospital fighting for his life, and you look at each other and think the exact same thing, as if your thoughts were from one mind…

“What are we waiting for?”

We want our parents to dote over their grandkids, and our grandparents to at least cuddle their great-grandkids, our siblings need to know their  niece/nephew, and our extended family must meet the next generation of our bloodline.   We are family people and it is important to us.

So, here we are, 5-6 weeks later, with the recent fantastic news that I am about 4-5 weeks pregnant.  We couldn’t be happier about anything else right now and at the same time we are petrified.

One was hard enough to look after.  How the blooming heck are we going to care for two little terrors?!?

Answer:  We just will.  Because you find an inner strength that you never knew you had and the mommy/daddy gene just kicks in and somehow, through all the crying and pooping and spitting up (the baby, not us – okay so maybe we will cry a little), you know what to do.  And it will all be okay.

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It is still early days and baby no.2 will only be due around April 2015, but I thought this would be a great opportunity for me to share my personal pregnancy experience.  I’m going to blog about the good, the bad and the downright uncomfortable, so if you want the truth, without the frills and white lies, then stay tuned.

Don’t get me wrong, being pregnant is a pretty amazing experience, and the end result is obviously worth it, but wow there are some awkward and occasionally embarrassing moments.  (Sometimes it helps to share and laugh about it together)

I look forward to sharing this journey with you.

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Social Life…What’s That Again?

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I could not be happier.  Since Paige was born, my hubby and I have realised just how empty our lives were – and I don’t mean that we were wondering around aimlessly, I mean that we thought we knew what love was…then BAM, Paige arrived and we realised that what we knew was just a fraction of what was actually possible.  Cool hey.

That said, being a mom is tough.  Never-mind the endless little chores and responsibilities that come with having a kid, but I feel the ability to have a semi-normal social life slipping away (at an alarming rate I might add).

I acknowledge that it is most definitely (partly?) my own fault, and I am sure most moms out there can relate, whether you are a full time mom or a working mom – it is tough going either way.

I am extremely lucky that I have a hands-on, fully capable husband because we both work full time and I would be nuttier than a fruitcake if had to do it all by myself like some single parents out there (gold stars for all of you by the way).

The point is though, that I feel my social-butterfly self crawling back into its cocoon and I am finding it really hard to claw my way back out.  Partly because by the time the weekend comes I am pretty flopping (I was thinking of a stronger word) exhausted and just want to veg on the couch in my pjs, and partly because none of our immediate friends have kids.

It is actually quite difficult, and lonely at times, to be the only couple in our immediate group who have reached the ‘family’ stage of our lives.  Fair enough, it’s not their problem.

The challenge I face is the age old, well known fact that if people ask you to join them over again and you decline (for whatever reason) more than a socially acceptable amount of times, they eventually stop asking.   The thing is, that my reason for declining is a 17 month little tot who demands majority of my time, and if she is sick or hurt or fighting her sleep routine then I am sorry, but I can’t come out to play – no matter how badly I want to ditch the baby and escape the house for a few hours.

People without kids generally don’t understand this.  Not because they are insensitive or uncaring, but because that isn’t their life and while they can sympathize, they cannot empathize.  They didn’t sign up for this…yet.

When Paige was still a baby it was eezy-peezy.  Put her in the car chair and she would fall asleep on the way and most likely only wake for a bottle, then go back to sleep and we could stick her in the corner or under the table and nothing would wake up that little monkey.  Now though, she is a walking, sort-of-talking, little whirlwind who needs to be constantly watched and entertained.  She is chasing cats and climbing up stairs and being a normal, curious little terror…um, I mean toddler.

Last minute plans that were once no problem are a thing of the past – it takes time to get yourself and a toddler ready to go anywhere.  Have you ever tried changing a nappy on a tot that just wants to run around butt-naked after bath time, and who kicks and screams when you pick her up to lie her down so that you can put the new nappy and pants back on – it’s so much fun (note the sarcasm).  If you are leaving the house for more than half an hour with toddler in tow then you need to pack a bag.  A lot can happen in 30 minutes – cranky ‘cos she’s hungry/needs a nappy change/needs a nap/spit up and needs a new shirt/is teething and needs Panado…etc etc.

Oh the glamorous life of being a mom.  My grown-up thoughts are constantly being invaded by little minion concerns that require planning to factor in when naps, snacks and nappy changes need to occur during the outing.

BUT, please don’t take any of this as me complaining!  That is most definitely not the case and if given the choice over again, knowing what I know now, I would still choose a life that has Paige in it.

All I’m saying is that it is hard work raising a little being, as any parent can agree, and it is also a challenge to maintain friendships with people who are going out for drinks on the town, when all I can afford (time and money) is a coffee or lunch date in the cafe down the road.  How do I catch up with what my friends are up to you ask?…I stalk them on Facebook during my lunch half hour at work.

My current social life is borderline non-existent.

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Sorry I Was Gone So Long…

so-so-sorry

I know, it has been a while since my last post and I apologise.

You know how it goes, life gets in the way and before you know it, a month has gone by and you think “where the flopping heck did the time go!”

We have had some family stuff going on with a sibling getting some not so great news and an uncle passing away suddenly.  I will not go into specifics – mainly because I don’t want to – but it’s been a rough month and we are working through it.

BUT, as insensitive as it sounds, life does go on, and a toddler has absolutely no flinking clue about the realities of what grown ups have to deal with sometimes (which is how it should be) so you just have to have a little cry during your 1-minute shower break and then put a smile on your face while you watch Doc Mc Stuffins on Disney Jr and sing-a-long to the “time for your check-up” song while your toddler dances like a drunk minion around you.

That’s parenting.

I’ll post soon…I promise.

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P.S.  In case you haven’t the foggiest idea who Doc Mc Stuffins is – she is a kid who fixes toys and her stethoscope magically brings the toys to life so she can give them a check up and fix them.  It is actually quite adorable and they all dance around and sing little songs.  Paige LOVES it:

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