Lincoln: 6 Months

January 26th, 2015

I should probably stop calling my baby Linky-poo before it’s too late and I CAN’T stop. Seeing as how he’s a whole half-year old now and getting to be a big boy his baby nickname isn’t so cool anymore.

I don’t have any actual stats because we haven’t been to Linc’s 6 month appointment yet, but I can sum it up with: FAT. I tried to carry him in the bucket seat yesterday and my arm almost fell off. He’s HEAVY. He’s also outgrowing his 9 month clothes at an impressive pace, so I’m buying 12 month stuff. It’s hard to buy ahead for a kid who might keep breaking the scale or who might thin out as soon as he starts moving.

Right now his preferred form of movement is swimming. We went to a pool party yesterday and even though the water was a little cold he was SO HAPPY in the pool. He still loves his Otteroo neck floaty in the tub (despite the fact that it still looks insane) and I can’t wait for summer when he can float around our kiddie pool as much as he wants. I’m even considering mommy & me swim lessons, since he is such a water baby. You know his love is obvious if I would intentionally put on a swim suit to make him happy.

As of today, Lincoln has 4 teeth – top two front and bottom two front. They are very very sharp. He also has very sharp, very fast growing finger nails and a freakishly strong grip. He likes to show how much he loves you by grabbing the hairs on the back of your neck and ripping them out while biting your face and going “AHHHHGGGGRRRRHAAAHAAHAHAHAHA”. He’s a vicious baby zombie trying to eat you alive. It’s pretty cute the first couple times, but at this point I think he might actually be trying to kill me.

Likes include sitting up, hitting things, the cat, the dog, Evan, Caroline, singing, funny voices, when you tell him he’s kind of a jerk, laughing, tickles, patty cake, bath time, sleeping on people, sleeping in my bed, being worn, biting, shoving food in his face, blankets, flinging himself off high surfaces and anyone who will talk to him or hold him.

Dislikes include missing naps, tummy time, teething and being alone.

linc 6 months

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6 Month Milestones (from Caroline’s 6 month post, originally from BabyCenter)

Mastered Skills (most kids can do)
Turns toward sounds and voices – He’s a nosey parker and wants to look at EVERY sound.
Imitates sounds – A little bit. Makes mamamama and babababa sounds but I’m not sure it’s imitating.
Rolls over in both directions – He still can’t roll stomach to back. Isn’t that supposed to be the easy way???

Emerging Skills (half of kids can do)
Is ready for solid foods – SO READY GIVE ME ALL THE SOLID FOODS.
Sits without support – Excellent at sitting, only falls over occasionally.
Mouths objects – HAHAHAHAHAHA Yes.
Passes objects from hand to hand – He’s very good with his hands and grasp, but I’m not sure I’ve seen him pass anything.

Advanced Skills (a few kids can do)
Lunges forward or starts crawling – Flings himself around and can turn while on his belly, but hasn’t made muh forward progress yet.
Jabbers or combines syllables – Talky talky baby.
Drags objects toward himself – Surprisingly good at this one. Probably because he refuses to roll or crawl or lung, so he has to be good at reaching.

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My Week(221) in iPhone Photos

January 25th, 2015

I took about a zillion pictures of Linc’s face this week, mostly because he refuses to be more than 6 inches away from MY face anymore. The babywearing is coming in handy, although I’m mostly using it in non-picturesque situations, like when I’m wearing pajamas and just need to pee. You don’t need to see a picture of that.

Sunday:

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SORCERY!

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We are very attractive.

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Children at the casino is always classy

Monday:

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FACE

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Someone was exhausted from having company all weekend

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I’m not sure if Leah still even reads my blog, but she’s totally going to kill me for this screenshot. I KNOW HER.

Tuesday:

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This is what Caroline thinks I look like. At least my legs are really thin?

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Yeah, sure, that whole bed is TOTALLY just for you.

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Sister reading time

Wednesday:

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Prune face

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Warm enough to wait for the bus outside. Almost.

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This was probably poor choices, but she had a lot of fun

Thursday:

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Trying to catch snowflakes

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MORE FACE

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Swim face

Friday:

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You might be tired of his face but I am not

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#NotWhole30

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Are these the cutest or are they the cutest? For my Tula.

Saturday:

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She put a headband on him and then told him he had to smile and look at the camera. I have no idea where she gets it.

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Don’t even try to tell me she’s too big, she loves it.

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THAT WEEK WAS REALLY LONG

Soooooo I wrote that huge post about babywearing and literally no one read it so I feel like an idiot. I’ll stick to just talking about it with my real life friends who understand my crazy. Tomorrow the schools have just declared half day, and then Tuesday and Wednesday we’re having a STORMPOCOLYPSE so no one will be going anywhere. Yay snow! As of right now I’m pretty excited, although if we lose power I will be much much less so. Luckily we are all stocked up on milk, bread, toilet paper and wine. And diapers. And Diet Coke. We’re good.

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Woven Wraps: An Exhausting But Not At All Exhaustive Guide

January 23rd, 2015

In case you hadn’t noticed (because you don’t actually read my blog or look at the pictures) I’ve become slightly obsessed with babywearing. I’ve ALWAYS been a fan of babywearing – my PR page has said I love baby carriers for the last 4 years – but my interest has exploded into obsession since Linc was born.

I’ve actually gotten more questions about my wraps than I’ve ever gotten about anything on the blog ever, so I’m going to write a really long post about it, answering some of the basic questions and tracing the path that lead me from someone with an Ergo and a ring sling to someone who has a different carrier for every day of the month. There will be a LOT of links, a LOT of pictures, and a LOT of stuff I miss. I’ve only been doing this for 6 months and would not call myself an experienced wrapper at all. But I have spent sort of a ridiculous amount of time and energy (*cough* and money *cough cough*) in the babywearing world in those 6 months, so I am confident I can at least point you in the right direction.

woven wraps graphic

(Disclaimer! Because I feel like I have to! I am not an expert!  I’ve only been doing this a short time and I’m still learning, which is why I am including lots of links to lots of places where you can get information from people who have been doing it longer. I actually took down my old babywearing posts a while ago, since some snotty jerks in a forum made fun of me for…following the directions on my carriers. Despite the fact that I literally said “I AM NOT AN EXPERT” they acted super offended I even MENTIONED babywearing without a certificate from the organization that makes you an official expert. So in case you’re one of those people, kindly go screw yourself. If you really just want to know why I keep wearing all these tablecloths, this post might be interesting.)

When I talk about “wraps” what I am talking about is woven wraps, which are long pieces of material you use to tie a baby to your body. There are other wraps, like the Moby wrap and Wrapsody brand which are stretchy or made out of things like jersey or gauze. There are also ways to DIY baby wraps, using a specific kind of fabric or 100% cotton tablecloths. There’s a whole group on Facebook called DIY Babywearing that can help and is full of ideas. But for this post, when I say “wrap” I mean woven wrap. And since I just typed 400 words just as the intro to this, I’m going to divide it up as easily as I can.

WHO…Uses Them: Anyone who wants or needs to carry a baby without their hands. Which means YOU! You can use wraps! Most of the people I know who wrap as a hobby are women but plenty of dads babywear.

WHO…Do I Wear: All the babies! And the toddlers. And the preschoolers. And possibly your big kids if they really need a ride and you’re up for the workout.

WHO…Makes Them: There are bunch of companies in a bunch of different countries who make both machine woven (MW) and handwoven (HW) wraps. There are also weavers who either work as part of a collective or individually to make wraps. There is a (probably incomplete) list of HW weavers here and MW companies here. After 6 months of hard study, I can name about 85% of the MW companies and probably 35% of the individual weavers. It seems crazy overwhelming at first but if you enjoy looking at wraps it gets easy fast.

WHAT…Are They Made Of: Cotton, linen, wool, hemp, silk, tencel, repreve, bamboo, alpaca, baby camel (for real), and other fibers both natural and man-made. Different blends feel very different, get softer at different rates, are more or less supportive and are beloved by different people. I LOVE hemp. It is not everyone’s favorite. My friend Sarah LOVES wool. It makes me itch just thinking about it.

Weave macro shots girasol vanamo pavo didymos tekhini kokadi cloth of kin

Brands top row: Girasol, Vanamo, Pavo, Didymos. Bottom row: Tekhni, Kokadi, Pavo, Cloth of Kin. These blends include cotton, wool, hemp and repreve.

WHAT…Do I Do With Them: You use them to hold your baby. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of different ways to use a wrap to carry a baby of almost any size. I can use the same wrap to wear Linc as I can to wear Evan. You can do front carries, back carries and hip carries. The best way to learn how to use a woven wrap is to find some people in person who know how and make them show you. I hounded my friends who babywear into agreeing to come to my house every week just so I could learn from them. If you don’t know anyone who wraps in your area – or you’re not a pushy as I am- there are YouTube videos and websites. If you like hearing an explanation while you wrap, Babywearing Faith is great. If you want closed captions while you watch someone wrap, Wrap You In Love does that. And if you don’t like videos, the Wearing Wiki has all the how-tos written out(plus TONS more info on wraps – it basically makes this post pointless).

WHAT…Do All These Numbers Mean: Wraps come in sizes, generally 2 through 7 although technically there are size 1s and size 8s. Those sizes corespond to meters (or centimeters), which are how woven wraps are measured. But they don’t correspond directly – a size 7 wrap is not 7 meters. Here is a chart to explain the sizes in detail. Your “base size” is the size in which you can do a Front Cross Carry. I actually HATE Front Cross Carry, so I only own one wrap in my “base size”. Instead, I bought wraps I liked in a variety of sizes and learned lots of different carries. If you plan to only buy ONE wrap total, a size 6 (4.6 meters) is a good bet. Sometimes wraps also list their weight, which is written as grams per sqaure meter (290 g/m²). Often the fiber content is included too, which means then you have a lot of numbers all in a row. For example, a wrap will say “Size 5, 4.5 meters, 50% cotton 45% linen 5% silk, 290 g/m²”. I won’t say those are unimportant numbers, but if you just want a wrap to hold your baby, figure out your base size and buy something 100% cotton.

WHEN…Do I Use Them: Anytime it would be useful to have your baby attached to you, starting from birth. When Linc was tiny it was super nice for outings with the kids – we went to the fair and I wore him on my front and zipped right on and off the (baby-friendly) rides. I could keep a hand on Caroline on the carousel while still holding on myself and know Linc was secure. Now that he’s a little bigger I can put him on my back when it is inconvenient to hold him, like while I’m trying to make dinner or at the big kids’ swim class. If you’re going somewhere and think “Ugh, it will be such a pain to take the stroller”, that is the perfect time! You can also wear just because you and your baby like it. Wraps are pretty and make me feel pretty, even in my yoga pants.

Tekhni Arche Peacock

Pretty colors in a pretty finish and I don’t even WANT to wear a coat over this one. (Tekhni Arche Peacock – it’s just visiting and is going to a new home Monday.)

WHERE…Do I Get Them: This is the most complicated part of this post. You can buy wraps in lots of places, but probably not at Target or Walmart or the local mall. You might have a fancy boutique baby store near you, which would be an ideal place for you to go and see them before you buy. If you’re interested in borrowing a wrap to see if you like it (a good idea!) there are babywearing lending libraries where you can check-out or rent carriers. You can google to find one in your area or check out the Babywearing International list of national chapters, since many of those groups have libraries. There are lots of retailers online that sell in-stock wraps. I’ve ordered from PaxBaby5 Minute Recess, Mom’s Milk Boutique, and Wrap Your Baby. Some wraps you can buy directly from the companies that make them or the boutiques that had exclusives made. Those are usually sold during “stockings”, which means you have to click and buy them really really fast before everyone else does. But if you want to learn about what’s for sale and what they cost, the best, most overwhelming, most interesting, most complete, most time consuming way is to join some of the Facebook buy/sell/trade groups. The largest is The Babywearing Swap. You’ll have to request to join the group, but that doesn’t commit you to anything. You can join and just stare at the posts for months feeling overwhelmed or join and jump right in to buying. Essentially it is a garage sale and you are buying from strangers on the internet. There is a feedback system to help you feel more comfortable that people are trustworthy and admins you can report sketchy or scammy stuff to and all purchases are made through Paypal, which provides buyer protection in case your wrap doesn’t show up. Esentially it’s as easy and safe as Ebay. There are other groups too, including Babywearing on a Budget where everything is under $100 and the High End Babywearing FSOT where everything is…NOT under $100. When you join any of those groups, be sure to find and read the rules. And be prepared to spend way, way too much time browsing.

WHY…Do These Tablecloths Cost So Much: If you have never looked at a wrap before, the prices are going to shock you. You will have exactly the same reaction I (and probably almost every person who now wraps) did: OMG I AM NOT PAYING $150 FOR A PIECE OF FABRIC. Maybe you will stick with that belief and never even want to wrap and that is totally fine. I wear $17 yoga pants from Target with my $250 wrap and that works for me. Unlike almost anything else, wraps don’t depreciate once you open them so even if the thought of paying $200 for a piece of fabric may be hard to swallow, you can get at least half of that back when you sell, if not almost all of it. Some of them are very affordable because they are woven in bulk by machines. Some are affordable because they are made in Guatamala where handweaving labor is cheaper. Some are mid-priced because they’re made in the USA at small factories who specialize in fancy textiles but can produce a medium sized run of a particular pattern or color. Some are expensive because they are one person who weaves by hand on a loom and dedicates hours and hours and years of experience to each wrap. And some are really really really REALLY expensive because they are very famous, very highly sought after, and some people have a lot of money to throw around. Think of wrapss like purses. You can buy one at Target or you can buy a Birkin. Both will hold your stuff, some people just like the fancy one.

babywearing woven wrap stash shot

If you make a bunch of babywearing friends, you can try ALL THE WRAPS without having to buy them yourself. This is from our meetup.

WHY…Do You Even Bother My Stroller Works Fine And You Seem Crazy: I won’t lie, I might be crazy. But like I said before, this has become a hobby. I fall somewhere between very interested and completely bananas on the wrapping scale. I’ve spent way more money on wraps than I should have ever imagined. I have a couple that I am almost scared to use because of what they are worth. I have fallen madly in love with a pattern or wrap and stalked it online and dedicated hours and hours to aquiring it…only to turn right around and sell it as soon as it shows up because it’s just not love. (That’s actually pretty common, it’s called “churning” in the wrap groups.) But in the end I mostly just love wearing my baby.

And now I am going to make some suggestions! These are suggestions, not rules or even guidelines. Just some stuff I’ve learned.

– When you join any of the babywearing Facebook groups, READ THE RULES. They all have pinned posts at the top and files full of information. The buy/sell/trade sites are JUST for B/S/T. If you need advice, you want to join one of the other groups, like Everyday Babywearing or Babywearing 102. Some of these Facebook groups are huge. HUGE. Like 70,000 members huge. If you follow the rules you make everyone’s life easier and your post won’t get deleted. Please please please read the rules.

– There is a huge learning curve to wrapping, but it gets easier. I practiced wrapping on Caroline a lot since although she’s heavy she can also follow directions and she’s patient enough to let me mess around with the wrap to get it right. With Linc I learned ONE carry – the kangaroo carry – and just did that over and over and over until he was a little bigger and I was more confident. I have only just started back-wrapping him out of the house and in public. The more you do it the better you get, so practice practice practice.

– People who love wraps also love things made out of wraps. There are lots of shops that cut them up and turn them into other things. This seems crazy too, but you will learn to accept it.

– Babywearing, especially wrapping, leads to a lot of selfies.

Action shots

I do not own all of these right now. I buy, I sell, I buy, I sell, I look at my pictures and think “Wow, I totally forgot I even had that one!”

– Before Facebook, most of this stuff happened on TheBabywearer.com. They still have a ton of info and B/S/T forum, but it’s pretty old school. I’m actually boycotting creating an account because I do NOT need another way to waste time. That’s what Facebook is for. But if you like things at a slower pace and want ALL THE INFORMATION that is an amazing resource and the people there are super knowledgable.

– Used wraps are easier to wrap with than new wraps because they’ve been broken in, so buying used is not a bad idea. That’s what the Facebook groups are for and as long as you’re following the rules and ask questions politely, people are SUPER happy to help.

– It’s also not a bad idea to have someone you can ask “Is this a good deal?” or “Do you think this would be a good wrap to start with?” I can be your person if you need one – email me or message me on FB. Plus having someone to talk to wraps about makes the whole thing more fun.

– Girasol is a brand handwoven in Guatamala. They’re known for their rainbows, but they make lots of different wraps in lots of colors and they’re afforable. If you need one wrap to convince you wrapping is fun and easy and useful, buy a Girasol. (Absolutely a debatable opinion, there are other brands that would be just as good, but Girasol was my gateway drug wrap so I like recommending them.)

Girasol rainbows

Top to bottom: Rainbow herringbone, Snow Flame, Fireworks, Starlight Reflections

– You do not have to have more than one wrap. Do not feel bad or like you are doing something wrong if you don’t have a whole collection worth more than most people’s cars. And you know what? If you try wrapping and don’t really like it and decide to just use an Ergo or a ring sling or *gasp* a stroller? You do you. It’s fine. Different families, different choices. But if I see you in public and you’re wearing a wrap, don’t be surprised when I squee and leap at you to talk alllll about how I just learned a HJBC with a CCCB with my Pavo shortie.

Aaaaaaand I think that’s it?? If you’re an expert and want to fix something, feel free to let me know. If you still have NO idea what I’m talking about and have questions, leave a comment and I (or one of my super awesome real life friends who I absolutely blame for this whole obsession) can help. If you want to tell me I’m totally, completely nuts and you’re never reading my blog again because CLEARLY I’m a terrible person who thinks of her children as accessories and will prevent them from ever walking because of this child abuse I call babywearing…cool story, bro. I’ll be over here snuggling my baby in a wrap.

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My Week(220) in iPhone Photos

January 19th, 2015

Three day weekends confuse me. I forgot it’s Monday at least 5 times today. Wait, is it Monday?

Sunday:

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My children got up so early I saw the sunrise. At least it was beautiful?

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This adorable moment photobombed by a nose-picker

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Neck floatie of torture is still enjoyed

Monday:

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Singing a snow song

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Making calls on her shell phone

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This is not a baby blanket but the baby does not care

Tuesday:

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He’s skeptical at my decision to go “a little lighter” at my hair appointment

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Best color

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Grocery shopping helper

Wednesday:

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OH SISTERS

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I was doing SO WELL not buying things…and then I stopped

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There has been a lot of this recently (MAYBE BECAUSE SHE KEEPS GETTING UP AT 5 AM)

Thursday:

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We’re getting really good at this

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But this is still the only place he will nap.

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Angry Birds helps him wait his turn

Friday:

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THESE ARE NOT ALL MINE DON’T FREAK OUT. It was a babywearing playdate.

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The color of the wrap = the color of his eyes

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Baby friend chat!!

Saturday:

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Post-dance sticker goes on your head, obviously

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DID SOMEONE SAY NURSIES????

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A lady at the grocery store threatened to steal him. I don’t blame her.

I an very much enjoying our day off today and not really looking forward to the rest of the week where we all have to get up and DO STUFF. Not doing stuff is so much easier. Especially in January. Blech.

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My Week(219) in iPhone Photos

January 11th, 2015

It’s really cold. I have a lot of feelings about it being so cold, but they’re all very negative and I’m trying to remain upbeat. But basically, eff this effing weather and eff you January I hate you why can’t it be effing June already?

Sunday:

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As if he didn’t already eat enough, now he thinks he should get PEOPLE FOOD too.

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I mean, look at those thighs.

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Kids these days with their selfies.

Monday:

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She insists on greeting her bus driver in french when she wears her “french hat”

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Really impressed with the post office

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This was the highlight of their day. Evan wants to know if he can wear Linc all the time.

Tuesday:

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Before…

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…neglecting the children during…

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…After. It still looks mostly like that. One whole week!!

Wednesday:

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STILL COLD

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Let’s play a game called: Whose baby is in your lap?!

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Irony: That wrap I’m wearing probably could have paid for the plumber to fix my dishwasher. BUT I’D RATHER DO IT MYSELF AND HAVE THE WRAP.

Thursday:

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It’s a little staticy in our house

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SHUT UP DON’T MOVE

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So…basically I’m done here?

Friday:

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We tried to wait outside for the bus

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But gave up and stood inside staring out the window instead. Well, I stared. Linc continued to think he’s people.

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Pretending she’s at a cafe

Saturday:

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She’s got a teenager attitude – sure, you’d make a good seat, whatevs.

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He ordered celery, so I let him order red drank instead of milk

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And we out!

Last week was our first week back at all our activities…and yet I completely forgot to go to them. We just skipped swim class. So my goal for this week is to make it to all our appointments and classes and activities and dinners and stuff. If you see me on Wednesday and my hair looks like crap, you’ll know I’ve already failed, since my hair appointment is TUESDAY.

And someone please fix this weather. Ok, good talk.

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