Thursday, September 30, 2010

Thankful Thursday - 9.30.10

  • My blackberry - I know, I know....I'm thankful for my 'crackberry'.  Some of you might judge me for it but it's such a handy gadget!  It's great from a social aspect - Facebook, texting, email, good ol' fashioned phone calls, etc.  But I can also be productive with it, I promise - I balance my checkbook, pay bills, read the news, look up weather, find directions, keep my calendar up-to-date, keep up my "To Do" list and grocery list, check sports score updates (ahem...that's important too!), and so much more!!  It's one of those things that you don't "need" it until you have it and then can't imagine living without it!  hehe
  • William's movements - Everyone says how wonderful and amazing it is to feel your baby moving inside you.  It's hard to imagine until it happens.  I absolutely adore it!  It amazes me and it's sometimes hard to believe that is our baby in there, kicking away (or karate chopping or doing aerobics or jumping jacks as it sometimes may seem).  If I'm running around busy at work or running around like crazy after work, a little jerk or roll helps to remind me what's going on inside me and I'm able to take a minute to enjoy it while it lasts.  Before experiencing it myself, I heard how wonderful it is....I've also heard how it's definitely missed afterwards.
  • Long Weekends - Heading to Cincinnati today for my last trip home (or anywhere) until William arrives!  Cousin's wedding, baby shower thrown by my family, time just hanging out to visit with everyone!  Absolutely so excited!!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Green Blog Hop

Adam and I are continuing to try to make choices to help us be more green.  I'm always trying to expand on the blogs I follow from other green mamas to get great suggestions and ideas on the little things we can do everyday! 

This Green Blog Hop is a great way to get connected if you are also interested! 

Bubbles, Bubbles Everywhere....Advice Requested!

So with all the adorable clothes we have been getting for little William, I'm starting to get an itch to start washing them and putting them away!  We are trying to decide what type of detergent to use though.  We have a HE washer and currently use Tide for everything.  We are leaning towards switching to something more green, especially for baby - and have started considering something like Seventh Generation.  They have a variety to choose from and they have a liquid detergent special for baby and HE washers.

I've also been trying to figure out what to use for the cloth diapers.  The brand I keep hearing about is Rockin' Green detergent.  I'm still a little nervous about washing these in my front load washer since it uses so much less water.

So I'm asking for your help, green and cloth diapering mamas out there!  Any recommendations on detergents for clothes and cloth diapers?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Let the Nesting Begin

I know nesting is a real thing and it generally begins towards the end of the third trimester.  Lately, after working all day, coming home with swollen feet and dealing with the headaches (not pregnancy related) I've been having, I figured it would never kick in.  I've been worried I would spend the remaining time I had left before lil' man's arrival barely making dinner and doing my normal house chores and spend the rest of my evenings with my feet up on the couch relaxing while watching TV or reading. 

I had an urge tonight though!  I wanted to hang the decals I have for William's room!  Hanging decals turned into hanging pictures in his room!  Hanging pictures turned into wiping down parts of the walls!  YES!  I was on my hands and knees scrubbing parts of the walls and the baseboards in his bedroom at around the time I'm normally getting ready for bed!  Sheesh!  How out of character!

Look how cute in the monkey/jungle-themed room!!

I love it!!!  The monkey and leaves stick-ons were a present from Adam's aunt!  I found the "No more monkeys jumpin' on the bed" decal from VINYLFORALL on Etsy - super good prices, a variety of decals and it was in my mailbox within days!  Super easy to put on - as long are you're patient!!

So excited for lil' man to get here!!  About 7 more weeks to go! 

Monday, September 27, 2010

Crossing Our Fingers

So I'm just shy of 33 weeks and there is something on my mind....

The last two sonograms (at 28 weeks and at 30 weeks), our little stinker has been breech.  My doctor has reassured me that even the late "turners" can bounce around to different positions until about 35 weeks, so I shouldn't worry - but how can I not?  From the last sono, William was measuring about 2 weeks larger than "normal".  So could be potentially more difficult for him to turn to head-down position. 

'Lil' Stinker' being breech leads us down the Cesarean route, instead of the natural path that I had hoped.  I know women have c-sections everyday and I have complete faith in my doctors and my hospital to deliver my baby safely either way, but a c-section would certainly not be my first choice.  I'm more nervous about the procedure in general and about my recovery from the surgery.  Mostly what I am worried about is not being able to experience the delivery in the same way as I could have by having a vaginal delivery.  More than anything, I am looking forward to pushing and delivering our baby and having him brought immediately to my chest and being able to start nursing soon afterwards.  That's the moment I have dreamed of before I was pregnant!  Cesarean babies may need to be tended to a little more and I'll need to stay in the OR to be stitched up while Adam heads to the nursery with the little guy and I can hope to be able to start nursing while in recovery.

Today's appointment, the doctor wasn't sure, but he thought perhaps he was head-down.  We will be able to confirm in a few weeks (at around 36 weeks) with another sono to get estimated weight and position. 

I am crossing my fingers and my toes that little man turns and can come into this world with the least amount of medical intervention possible!!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Stop the Madness!!

Whoa, Nelly - the mommy blogging world is up in a frenzy this morning!!  Words are being thrown out there and debates are being started - mainly on Twitter, I"m hearing....but I haven't taken the leap into Twitter yet.

All because of a Similac voluntary recall. 

For those that aren't aware, there has been a voluntary recall on certain Similac powder formulas. 

What is the reason for this recall - allow me to relay the message from the Similac website:

Abbott is recalling these products following an internal quality review, which detected the remote possibility of the presence of a small common beetle in the product produced in one production area in a single manufacturing facility.  The US FDA has determined that while the formula containing these beetles poses no immediate health risk, there is a possibility that infants who consume formula containing the beetles and their larvae, could experience symptoms of gastrointestinal discomfort and refusal to eat as a result of the small insect parts irritating the GI tract. 
More info:  Similac Recall

......and I'm back from throwing up.....beetle parts and larvae?  That's just nasty!

This is an unfortunate situation for all mommies and babies that are affected by this.  For the moms that trusted in the quality of the product that they are feeding their children, I'd imagine it's quite scary and angering.

However, this is NOT why all the mommy bloggers are in a frenzy!  This incident is just fueling the fire on the breastfeeding vs bottle-feeding debate!  I've said it once, I'll say it again - how a woman chooses to feed her baby is HER decision!  If a parent is going to be able to weigh decision after decision on how to raise their child, I don't understand why this is any different.  Each family needs to decide what is best for them.

Comments like "Breast milk never gets recalled" can just cause problems, in my opinion.  What about the women that didn't have breastfeeding as an option for health or medical reasons?  Mostly, the reason those comments make me mad is that regardless of your stance on the 'best' way to feed your baby, there is not a single person that doesn't deserve to get a quality product that they can trust to feed and nourish their precious babies. 

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Thankful Thursday - 9.23.10

Is it Thursday already?  How has a week gone by already in what felt like 45 minutes?  Work has been getting much busier, I've had filled evenings and my sis and Jaclyn came to visit this past weekend to throw me a baby shower!  I can hardly believe it's about that time for another weekend already - trust me, I'm not complaining!!

Plenty to be thankful for!!

  • Flip Flops - OK, so this might not be the thing I'm MOST thankful for - but with my swelling and my compromised and limited bending ability - socks and shoes just aren't an option and I love all my sandals that I can just throw on with no worries.  Only problem.....what happens when the temperatures start to drop....hmm....tricky tricky.....
  • My Friends - Jaclyn and my sister drove over 5 hours each to Peoria to throw me a baby shower.  My friends all got together at my house for the shower on Sunday.  Me?  I had an amazing time spending time with my girlies and getting baby stuff to prepare for William!  I understand that things will be changing in about 8 weeks or so, but I just want them to know that I'm so thankful for them all and all their love and support!  It made me giggle, all my engineering girlfriends trying to work together to set up the bassinet while my sister started organizing other things in William's room!  Those ladies could rule the world!  hehe
  • A Healthy Pregnancy - I have been very blessed up to this point to have a very healthy pregnancy.  Besides some of my complaining for some normal pregnancy side effects, I can't really complain as things have been very smooth and I have a growing, kicking baby boy inside me!
  • A good laugh - I'm a fan of anything that will make me laugh - whether that means I'm laughing with friends or family or at a good TV show or at myself (and I do that one a lot!), I enjoy it!  Adam and I watched the new episode of Modern Family last night - seriously just 30 minutes of some good laughs!  They had us cracking up!  If you watched - I can't wait to look forward to the "cool chair that goes up the stairs."  HA!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A Lovely Pregnancy Side-Effect

I work in an office as a management employee.  It is expected that I dress fairly decent in business casual attire and appropriate shoes, and, on occasion, am required to wear steel-toed shoes to walk in the manufacturing shop.  Pre-pregnancy (or more like pre-third trimester) my shoes basically consisted of high heeled pumps, dressy heel sandals or steeled toes.  As my pregnancy progressed and I got bigger (and walking more clumsily), heels were getting far too uncomfortable to be an option so I bought two pairs of dressy sandals - one black, one brown, to wear to work. 

Everything was fine and dandy.

Cue 32 weeks.......

I'm about to the point where I need to call in 'fat feet' to work.  More like 'swollen feet', but either way, when I am waking up and unable to slide my feet into any pair of shoe in my closet (with the exception of my Old Navy flip flops), we have a problem.  What's a girl to do when her pot roast feet won't fit into any shoes?  The answer - a girl is to wear her Old Navy flip flops to work......very professional.

Do I smell another shoe shopping trip coming up?  In the meantime, I'm chugging water like it's my job and trying to cut out the salt to hopefully turn my balloon feet into something closer resembling a smaller, more deflated balloon.....lovely....

Monday, September 20, 2010

Does This Baby Make Me Look Fat?

I am close to the 32 weeks mark!  We are more excited to meet William than ever!!!

These pictures were taken right before my 1st baby shower, with friends, at 31 weeks and 4 days!

Whoa, belly!

Who's pregnant??

Sunday, September 19, 2010


OK...I'll be serious, I love sleep.  I value my sleep.  I've been fairly successful in avoiding being sick and I feel it's because of the regular sleep I get.  I do realize that a baby will absolutely change this.  I'm also starting to realize the irony of the people that advise me to get my sleep now, before the baby arrives.  The irony coming from that this is already becoming difficult and baby is still two months away.  Is this just practice and a small taste for what's to come?

10:45pm - went to bed, fell asleep almost right away
1:30am - 1st trip to bathroom; Adam got home from hanging out with friends and I talked to him for a few minutes
1:45am - Adam is asleep
1:46am - nasty lightning and thunder keeping me awake
1:48am - William feels as if he may have found a secret passage thru mommy's belly button and has decided to attempt to escape.  Translation - holy crap, baby is a-moving and a-kicking enough to keep mommy awake
2:00am - still awake;  check weather on phone to make sure we aren't about to blow away
2:30am - still awake - mind racing with things I have to do today for shower
2:50am - finally asleep
4:31am - puppy is now throwing up in the bedroom
4:34am - since daddy is still passed out, mommy is now on hands and knees cleaning up doggy barf
4:39am - let dog outside
4:42am - let dog inside
4:43am - 2nd trip to bathroom
4:44am - back in bed in barf-free and sanitized bedroom
5:10am - William dancing in mommy's belly again....still awake
5:30am - finally asleep.....again
7:40am - 3rd trip to bathroom....time to start the day and getting ready for baby shower

Not sure if it was excitement for the baby shower, hormones, William rehearsing for So You Think You Can Dance, my hip pain or the storm....but sleep is getting more and more difficult.  Shouldn't a gal be able to kind of enjoy her last few months of  baby-free sleep at least?? 

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Thankful Thursday - 9.16.10

  • Stocked Fridge - This is something I've never been without and it's easy for me to take advantage of one of the most basic human needs - a fully stomach.  I have the ability to run to the grocery and pick up anything I might need (or want) and not have to worry about when my next meal will be.
  • Toilets - OK, this one might seem awfully weird, but it came up in a conversation at work and let's say - whoa boy, am I thankful for our modern toilets and the plumbing systems we have!!
  • My Scrapbooking Room- I love scrapbooking and when living in apartments for the last 10 years, have always had to cram all of my (expensive and large) collection of scrapbooking 'stuff' in a corner, in bags and boxes.  This made it so hard to get anything done and I fell so far behind (and still am!).  I love having a place to organize everything and easily be able to go downstairs and knock out a page in my scrapbook or make a few cards!!  Adam got his man-cave in our house and I got my scrapbooking room!
  • Adam's "Handyman" Skills - In the last week, Adam has set up William's crib, dresser, car seat and stroller, (and probably by the time I post this) a changing table.  It's been so nice to be able to come home after work and seeing these already set up and done!!  His 'Mr. Fix-it' skills have come in handy plenty around the house!!!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Fetus Olympics

That is currently what is happening inside my body.  You hear stories all the time and it's understandably normal for a pregnant woman to feel a baby's movement.  However, it is completely different than anything I could have expected. 

Several weeks ago, when William was in franks breech position - with his head and legs up (kinda under my ribs), I could feel movement, a little poking or prodding here and there, that's about it.  William has since lowered his legs (stinker is still breech) and is now able to move about more freely - to do jumping jacks, cartwheels, soccer, tackle football, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and any other activity that he now has the flexibility to do.  I'm pretty sure with what I've been feeling over the last few days, my baby boy has been practicing all of the above.

I figured peeing in the middle of the night, some hip pain and becoming a little uncomfortable would be what keeps me up at night.  In fact, it's actually my active baby boy!  It isn't waking me up, but after one (or two or three) trips to the bathroom in the middle of the night, I get back to bed and little William seems to think halftime is over and he's ready to bounce around in there.  It's an amazing, unbelievable, wonderful feeling!!

As my mom would say - "My arms are aching to hold him!"

I couldn't have said it better myself.....

I am always on the look out for blogs to read - I'm loving to read up on other moms' stories and lessons learned and suggestions regarding children or fun gadgets or their journey and suggestions to going green.  I've been finding excellent resources through the blogs I follow and am quite enjoying reading up on the stories (of complete strangers!).

I found a new blog today that I now follow and there is a recent post regarding a topic I am very passionate about - breastfeeding and more specifically breastfeeding in public.  Her post puts into words what I have not been able to do completely successfully and I think everyone should definitely check it out:

Mommy Made Green:  My First Offensive Post

Monday, September 13, 2010

Decision #949 while preparing for baby

So Adam and I have started our childbirth classes at the hospital.  It's a four week series, for a total of 12 hours.  I had just about no expectations going in....I figured it'd be important to learn whatever they had to offer considering I'll be pushing a watermelon out a very small part of my body in a few short months - and who couldn't use more information about how to do that successfully??

So far, us parents-to-be are learning the stages of labor, breathing techniques, partner tips, pain relief ideas, best positions for labor and best positions for pushing - who would have thought you don't actually just breath like "hee hee who" on your back in bed like they do in the movies?  We have watched several videos of births and women in labor - all women who have opted for the natural avenue.  I'm pretty sure they picked the toughest, most pain-tolerant women on earth to shoot in these videos as to not scare everyone into not coming back to class or to hopefully get more women to go the natural route, instead of to epidural-land.  I have even been inspired by these videos thinking that I might be capable of such a feat - I mean, my body was designed to do this, right?

I have previously joked that there are two ways this baby can come into this world:  1)  with mommy screaming and cursing and yelling (kind of like the exorcist without the twisting of my head all the way around)  2)  with mommy being much more enjoyable to be around.  I'll let you figure out which one is which....

So, I had always just assumed I would have an epidural - why endure the horrendous amount of pain if I didn't absolutely need to?  After learning more about labor and delivery, I'm starting to at least consider the alternative.  Here is my thought process for each:

One ticket to epidural-land, please....choo-choo.....
  1. pain during the hardest parts of labor and delivery....yes, please
  2. So the first words to my son aren't "You are grounded until you are 30 - that REALLY hurt mommy!"
  3. If something were to happen and I needed an emergency c-section, I wouldn't be knocked out for the birth of my son - this might not be as likely, but it's something that terrifies me!!  To possibly miss out on being awake for the birth.
  4. It's pretty hard to fathom what labor feels like until you are knocking on its door, right?  But I'm pretty sure they don't make women screaming like they do during labor/delivery in movies for the dramatic effect....I'm pretty dang scared of the pain!
  5. I very well could be growing the world's largest baby at this very moment...can you say 12 pounder?  That's quite a large object to be pushed thru any of hole of anyone's body.
N is for natural....
  1. I'd definitely be more in control of my body during this process - I will be able to walk and move around, less likely to have intervention (such as needing Pitocin or delivery with forceps) which could possibly lower my risk of having to have a c-section (who knew?).  I'll know when I'm ready to push and will be able to work with my body thru labor instead of depending on a monitor or a nurse.  Oh, and no catheter.
  2. For the rest of our lives I would be able to use this as leverage to ask Adam to do something - "I gave birth to our children...naturally...can you, please, paint the kitchen?"  HA just kidding.
  3. I think I would definitely have a sense of accomplishment and empowerment afterwards.  I'm sure I would regardless of what method I choose, but something about being able to work with my body to accomplish this would be something quite amazing.  And again, this is how the body was designed to do it.
  4. A bonding experience with Adam - this could be something that Adam and I work together to manage my pain and to find ways to get thru each contraction using breathing and relaxation and other pain management methods.  This, of course, would not work out if the pain is much worse than I imagine and I just become violent towards Adam - hitting him and throwing hospital objects at him for putting me in this position.  So this choice could go either way.  HA!  [and no joke - one of the videos of a woman going thru a contraction, she was hitting her husband in a rhythmic pattern while performing breathing techniques - hilarious!]
So it all really comes down to what I want and what is best for me and baby.  So I think I might go forward with an open mind of my two options...with perhaps a mindset leaning a little more in favor of buying that train ticket......

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Daddy's Surprise!

This is football season.  I am understanding that my hubby is busy with school and coaching stuff.  I've been patient.  He left me the most magical surprise for me to come home to!!


I (barely) pulled into the garage to find heaping mounds of boxes.  That could only mean one thing - so I raced up to William's room to find the crib and dresser set up!!  I was jumping up and down (and totally confused poor Tressel).  Our baby will be sleeping in this room in just a few short months!!  This will be the room where we read him books before bed and dress him up for the ladies and watch him while he sleeps.  I am bursting with excitement!! 

My baby is gonna sleep here.....

Dresser - we will also use as changing table

People ask what color his room will be - here's a looksie....

This is how Adam set up the mattress - now THAT's funny right there!  hehe

Thankful Thursday - 09.09.10

  • Dimmer switch in bathroom - After waking up two to three times a night, it's nice to be able to see where I'm going without having to turn on a crazy bright light to completely wake me up out of my nice sleep....
  • Football season - I'm pretty sure this is a repeat from a few weeks ago, but I love it!  Ohio State crushed Marshall last week and Peoria HS (my hubby's team) crushed East Peoria HS in second half surprise on Friday!  The windows are open at the house to enjoy the nice, cool weather.  It just feels like fall and football!
  • The puppy - I'm absolutely in love with a boy - his name is Tressel.  He's a black lab and he just turned 1!  I love being able to come home to my hubby everynight, but I will say that he does not stand at the door with his tail wagging with excitement to see me.  Tressel is such a cuddler and I love being able to wake up in the morning, call him and have him cuddle with me for a few minutes before I start my day.  He's our "baby"!  (yes....I'm aware I'm one of those people)
  • Kroger brand (Private Selection) Extreme Moosetracks Ice Cream - I'm not one that will turn down ice all.  I'll eat just about anything.  However, Adam and I have recently become addicted to this ice cream.  Chocolate ice cream, chocolate cups and chocolate fudge....need I say more?  Please....I urge you....go buy some.....

Monday, September 6, 2010


I'm definitely into the third trimester.  My body has already been thru so many changes so far...and they just keep on coming.  I'll spare most of the details but let's just say that I'm happy I read ahead in my pregnancy books, that google is an easy click away and mom is just a phone call away.  HA!

We started childbirth classes yesterday and the anticipation is just mounting as we look forward and continue to get ready for William's arrival!  I am just closing my eyes and trying to imagine what it'll feel like after hours (and hours and hours) of labor when they finally lay him on my chest - my heart about bursts just thinking about it....

Mommy and Daddy can't wait to meet you, William!!!

(Indirect) Shopping for William

I love pictures!  I love taking my camera everywhere to be able to snap pictures if I wanted.  I have been scrapbooking for about 10 years and have 10 filled scrapbooks.  I have been happy with my Canon point and shoot camera for several years now, but was looking to go to something different to be able to take better pictures, especially once William arrives!

We have officially upgraded to a Canon digital SLR!  I'm so excited at the drastic difference with absolutely no knowledge at all!  We are ready to capture some priceless baby moments!!

Even Tressel is more photogenic with the new camera!!

Shopping for William

Several weeks ago, Adam and I started registering for baby.  Having done the wedding registry thing not too long ago, we figured this wouldn't be too terribly difficult.  Umm...wrong.

Maybe I'm looking too far into things, but picking items to use with your baby (when there are SO MANY options) is a little tricky.  It's kind of a balance between convenience, safety and just plain we-don't-REALLY-need-that.  It's a balance between looking at weights that the item supports, the materials that it's made out of, looking at reviews to see what people liked and didn't like and trying to somehow comprehend what kind of routine you'll use and what things you might find handy around the house.  I've actually enjoyed (and learned a lot) but researching some of the big items that we were selecting!

Also, we FINALLY picked out our car seat and stroller system!  
Chicco Cortina Travel System - Discovery

We already picked out the crib and dresser - but how do you pick a mattress to go with it?  My mom feels the best way is to have my dad and sis to test them the see which is the most firm and sturdy.  If it wasn't so hilarious, I would have walked away while in the store. 

It was a great, fun day looking at baby stuff!!!  It led to a very full cart and very full car on the way back to Illinois!!

Visit with Family

Weekend in Cincinnati to make a quick visit with family!

The drive was 8 hours, instead of the normal 5, because I-74 was closed down.  I took advantage of this by making the best of it, rolling down the car windows and enjoying the most beautiful day ever and started finishing up my book in the car.  (we weren't moving, don't worry)  The woman in the car next to me called me "a soldier" since I'm so pregnant and didn't have to run into the trees to go to the bathroom.  HA!

It was a great weekend - visits with family, good food, shopping for baby with Mom and Mel!

There was also a surprise visit from my favorite kiddies that I haven't seen in forever!!  After missing seeing them last weekend, they made the trip down from Columbus to visit!!  It was a wonderful surprise!!  Also got to see Mason-butt too!!!

Surprise visit from Sam, Jeb and Ellie - they are so big!!!

Mason!!  He can't help but be cute....

Friday, September 3, 2010

They're heeeere

The day has finally arrived.....not the good kind.

....damned stretch marks.....

I figured I saw them last week and thought, maybe it was just the impression on my skin from my clothes and I didn't wanna say anything out loud in case I'd jinx it and then they would absolutely be real. 

Where are these stretch marks, you ask?  Wouldn't you think on my belly or whereabouts, where my body has exploded with my ever-growing son and is now the size of a soccer ball  basketball   punching balloon hot air balloon.  You'd think...

They have magically appeared on my northern lady humps.  Swell....


Thursday, September 2, 2010

Thankful Thursday - 9.2.10

  • Going "Home" - OK, so I haven't lived in my parent's house for about 10 years now, but when I make the trip, I still call it "home."  Adam and I have made a wonderful home in Illinois but I guess my parent's house will always have that place in my heart.  I'm visiting "home" this weekend and can't wait to see my family!
  • Adam's t-shirts - After several times of me walking around in my t-shirts and Adam asking me if my belly was cold, he got the hint.  My belly was hanging out of the bottom of all of my normal t-shirts and he kindly gave me a selection and put them in my dresser drawer.  I'm drowning in the chest and sleeves, but my belly fits just right.  Hehe.
  • Our garage - We have lived in our house for about a year now and I'm still in love with the garage.  I think a garage is one of those things you don't really 'need' until you have one!  I love being able to pull right in while it's pouring down rain and unload my groceries, completely dry.  Winter isn't as bad knowing I will not have to wake up and scrape frost and snow and ice off my car in the morning.  It's just nice to have.
  • Web Cams - I love where I live in Peoria.  I love the city, I enjoy my job, I love our house, I love Adam's family being close.  There are plenty of times I miss being near my immediate and extended family though.  There have been plenty of birthday parties or graduation parties or other family get-togethers that I have missed over the past few years and I've missed seeing the fam for each, especially all the kiddies that are growing up so fast!  This past weekend, when everyone was together at my parent's house, we were able to sign on to the trusty web cam so I could see the kiddies and family!  There might not have been hugs and kisses, but just seeing them and hearing them all together gave me a taste of family again that might normally be reserved when we make it to town for holidays!


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