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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 6:30 am 
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Semen Strong
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L has never been left with a sitter since she was 10wks old and she cosleeps (doesn't even have a crib) and wants just me to go down and then wakes up intermittently to feed. I don't know anyone I'd trust to babysit her at night yet, and I wouldn't have fun imagining that she was upset and unhappy at night. Even though babies are resilient; I just don't feel like its the right time to leave her alone yet. She cries if I leave her for 5mins and I know she'd stop eventually but I hate the thought of her being freaked out and sad.

There are 2 events here -the rehearsal dinner where they invited L and the wedding which is adults only and of course the church ceremony which is at 4 and even that is getting close to the witching hour for her. We'll go to the ceremony, throw rice, and I'm even open to going to the reception location so L can be in pictures with her Dad. But I can't think of anything worse than being at a grown up formal event with a screaming exhausted baby or with leaving my kidlet and worrying about her.

Brett is on board now, but it was a bit dicey. I totally get that he wants to celebrate with his friend and wants his family there, but we can do that at the ceremony.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 8:26 am 
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Tofulish wrote:
We'll go to the ceremony, throw rice, and I'm even open to going to the reception location so L can be in pictures with her Dad. But I can't think of anything worse than being at a grown up formal event with a screaming exhausted baby or with leaving my kidlet and worrying about her.


Yeah, like you I just accepted during that period (toddlerhood) that there were some adult things I could not do, given my parenting style and my children's personalities. It sounds like this will be a good compromise - everyone gets to see baby T and her sweet smile, take some pictures, and then you go home before the witching hour :-)


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 12:08 pm 
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***LIES!!!***
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I do really think you need some no baby time with Brett, though. Maybe find something to do in the morning/afternoon some weekend where you could drop Leela off with us for a few hours (with some expressed milk and diapers and we'd handle the rest)?


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 12:18 pm 
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I agree with ariann. I know it's absolutely none of my business, but I think you guys could use some baby free time and Leela will most likely have a blast! Grey has so much fun without me and he finds new ways to express himself and learn from someone besides me, it is really amazing. And the best thing in the entire world is his face when I return!


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 3:05 pm 
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Semen Strong
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I know we do! Maybe we could do tradesies? L doesn't even need breastmilk during the day, she eats like a trooper. As you've seen by the fact that she'll happily eat anything Malka fails to guard adequately!

B is traveling this weekend, but maybe once the holiday rumpus is done?

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:38 pm 
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Yup, sounds good to me! We would definitely love a few hours off, too!


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 3:57 pm 
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Nooch of Earl
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Tlish, I was certain Vi with a sitter last week would be a disaster, and it ended up working out great. We had a work thing to go to for husband's job, and my parents had left town, so we had to find someone kinda random on Sittercity.. but she'd worked for years as a nanny, was super awesome, had glowing references, and did a great job. I think it was a fairly reasonable evening for her - Vi, who's gotten very very separation-anxious in the last month or so, had a bit of a meltdown when she figured out we were leaving, but the sitter was able to change her diaper and put on her PJs and then took her for a stroller walk, where she fell asleep and then slept on the bed until we got home. It was amazing.

The only bad thing was that my husband was all pissed off when I kinda got up to leave in the middle of a group discussion to get home when we promised the sitter we would be, but I'd given him like 20 minutes of warnings that we needed to wrap things up and he still didn't jump into the conversation and say we needed to go. Everyone else had kids more in the 8-13 year old range so they all brought kids (who were playing outside next to the pool, so not an option for us to throw in V with them) or left them at home. I kind of felt like it was reasonable to say we had to be home by 9 from a dinner thing that started at 5:30. But really, that was the only thing that went wrong. It is frustrating that >4 hours of babysitting only really bought us like 3 hours at an event, though.


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 4:25 pm 
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Semen Strong
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That is good to hear about the sitter. I am willing to admit that I am the problem here :) I would like to try it during the day for an hour or two and then maybe do a night.

And my partner also gets so into convos etc that he disregards set time limits. We were leaving Thanksgiving (with my friends) and it took 90 minutes to say all our goodbyes. I had L in a backcarry and even that wasn't calming her. He really has a great time there and felt like he would have liked more time to connect with people, but sadly hovering over a toddler and then trying to avoid the inevitable late afternoon meltdown really makes it hard to pay attention to others.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 11:55 am 
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Nooch of Earl
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I totally understand that - I was never left with a sitter and didn't babysit so I wasn't really sure how the whole thing works. If we'd had time I would have liked to do a day or two of "mother's helper" type scenarios, where I cleaned the house while the sitter tried to keep V occupied.. But at this point that might actually be more difficult since from my husband and mother I gather that it's more difficult to keep her happy and away from me when I'm in the house than happy when I'm just completely gone. V will be fine playing with Brent until she sees me, and then it's crisis mode.


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 12:18 pm 
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Yep! Same here! This morning grey was happily playing and eating with Nate, then I show up and he only wants me. I also tried to have a mothers helper once, I felt so bad for her, he cried the entire time because I was upstairs and he knew it.

Why is it that when I say something will take 20 minutes it takes me 15 and when Nate says it is takes him over an hour? And when I leave grey and Nate and say I have to do thins thing, I will be back at this time, I am always back when I say, not true with Nate. He has gotten better, but right now I am annoyed.


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 6:52 am 
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I would just like to chime in on the babysitting thing! I used to babysit a lot for my friend, when her daughter was 10 months - 3 years old + for a bunch of my other friends. Here is what I learned at that time:

-Do NOT make the goodbyes long stretched.. Small children will be really sad when their parent(s) leave, but the quicker they are gone, the faster the child will be happy. Do not allow a scene to happen (even though I know it's hard! We've had some physical clinging and screaming, which stopped within the first two minutes after her mom left.. and this was after almost 15 minutes of screaming and crying!)
-Act confident. Give your child a chance to feel safe, by showing that you trust the person.
-Remember; babysitters are generally really nice and have a lot of fun babysitting. Most kids are easy to distract as soon as you figure out what they find fascinating and fun.
-Allow a learning curve - it might take a few babysitting sessions for things to work out completely perfect. But that's totally normal and fine. It takes time to develop a good friendship with a child.
-Children will not break and they will not be traumatized by not being around you for a day or a night. It might seem horrible at the time, but it's usually way more fun for the child than for the parent. That being said, I would definitely start out gently with a few hours of babysitting maybe once a week, and then work my way up.. The first night can be a little overwhelming for a child, and it's important they have a good relationship with the person tugging them in!
-YOU WILL BE OKAY and don't panic if the babysitter doesn't respond to your texts or take the phone - they are probably just hanging out with your kid and doesn't want to be distracted. Just agree on a specific time frame in which you need them to respond in order to not freak out!

Of course, these are just my experiences and everyone is different and children are very different and all of that.. but these things seem to be pretty general to me.

And remember that you need some alone time and some adult time! In my opinion it's way better to hang out with the babysitter once a week or every two weeks and then have parents who are relaxed and feel balanced and happy and who feel like they have time to have a healthy relationship with each other and their friends, than having parents who insist on being there every single minute :) And all children deserve to get more than one perspective on life :)


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:14 am 
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Semen Strong
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We take ASL classes. I learn the signs and use them consistently and Leela is starting to use them too, which is great. My husband doesn't know them so he waves his hands and makes up his own sign every time. Using fifty different gestures for one action does not help her learn! Just learn a few signs and use them consistently. //end rant//

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 4:26 pm 
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Y'all I never knew it would be so hard in life to decide where to live. I watch my mom on Skype with Freya and it kills me. Freya is happy playing peekaboo with her and just having a good old time. K wants to move to Norway to be nearer to his elderly parents (though we wouldn't be very near, still a plane ride away, because of job considerations). My dad is suffering from what is thought to be RA (still waiting on diagnosis) and is unlikely to be able to ever travel outside of the US without significant pain. Each of our sets of friends are in different places. My sisters (who I love more than life itself) are missing Freya's every development. They're going to have babies in the not so distant future themselves too, most likely. My Aussie pal moving back to her homeland (partly to be near her family) is just accentuating my own sense of loss.

I really just don't know what we're going to do. K and I have survived the first year of the bean, with very very very little sleep, money challenges and the "troubles". He's a good dad. I love him. I feel though, that this may tear us apart.


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 4:40 pm 
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Semen Strong
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I am so sorry refinnej! Where to locate is so hard. My family is all over the place and Leela isn't going to have grandparents like my stepsister does because we don't live in Austria. Sometimes I wish we could have a little gaggle of cousins the same age all together, and its a lovely dream. Instead we live near my husband's mom and all her cousins who are in their mid-20s and have zero interest in her.

Also, if it makes you feel any better, B has RA, and we have flown to Austria and Morocco from NJ with no issues. B flies to ATL all the time (2 hour flight). Depending on the severity and the effectiveness of any medication he is on (Methotrexate worked well for B who has now weaned himself off), your Dad may be able to come and visit once the illness is better managed.

(((Hugs)))

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 4:45 pm 
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Refinnej, I hear you. It's a really hard situation and the only thing that's ever made me question whether I made the right decision or not. But you're damned if you do and damned if you don't really, and thank god for skype.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 8:02 pm 
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That's so hard, refinnej! It's killing my parents that they're on the other side of the country and I feel pretty bad about it. I hope you figure out something that works for all of you.


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 9:33 pm 
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Refinnej, I have felt that way often. I love Nate, he is awesome, but sometimes I really, really want my family. When I was in Michigan a couple months ago I just dreamt about living there the whole time and it made it really hard for me to come back to CA. I don't have any answer for you.

My 85 yo aunt has really bad RA, her hands are pretty gnarled and she has lots of pain, until maybe two years ago she traveled internationally every year! Hopefully K can find ways to manage his pain.


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 10:43 pm 
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All my family's on the other side of the country. My situation's a little different because I don't at all want to live there geographically... not a ton of jobs in my field, I don't like the climate, blah blah blah.

But goddamn do I miss my family. We moved to this coast in part because we'd be closer to solipsistnation's family (this is a big part of why I even started looking at schools over here), but that was before we were even really thinking about having kids. I really never thought about how I'd feel about having kids without my family nearby.

We don't live close enough to his family either though. I wish we lived closer to someone we're related to.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 9:06 am 
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Semen Strong
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Negotiating my partner and his friends and family is a real PITA, and I could use some advice.

His friends suggest stuff that doesn't work for Leela (like after 6pm) and then he gets annoyed at me for not making her available. The problem is that she is a melting down mess at 4 and time together becomes so little fun. And he knows that, which is why he doesn't want to go to them alone with her. Then I suggest we have a party here, and he says that all his friends have bigger houses so he doesn't really want something here. So I suggested that he ask them to invite us to a playdate at their homes, but he thinks it would be rude to ask them to invite us to something. And of course his friends are always asking when they are going to meet her, but never invite us to anything that is during the day. Also, I can't stand being around his friends' wives so I don't really see why I should have to organize something with people I don't know and don't really want to see.

And apparently we might be spending Christmas Eve with his mother. It starts at 4 and goes to 11 pm. I told him (1) Leela starts to melt down at 4 and so if we go, then we have to be ready to leave and we won't have much time (but in the past this has meant him disregarding my signals so that I am left trying to calm a screaming baby while he says his lingering goodbyes and (2) to give her notice that we are coming and when we are leaving because us showing up after not seeing her for a year means that we're putting her in an awkward spot of having no gifts for us in front of everyone else in their family, which is something almost certain to embarrass her.

Of course, it is considered "unfair" to his mother's completely uncontrolled dog and their cousin's uncontrolled dog, to keep them away from Leela, so either I let her walk around risk being knocked over by the dogs in the tiny house or I have to hold her on my lap and try and fend off the dogs. I don't want to go, but I don't think I'd feel okay leaving my child with her Dad in an unchildproofed house with 2 dogs running around to please people who have never come to see our child once.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 9:18 am 
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I'm so sorry refinnej! Both families are all in Minnesota, so it's not a conflict with my partner, but it breaks our hearts that we aren't closer to family. We want to move back so badly but can't for 3-5 years. My parents would help us out so, so much, and there are lots of baby cousins right around Sven's age, and I wish so much that we could be there right now, though it isn't possible due to work.


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 9:33 am 
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There are benefits about being far from family members! I grew up and still live in the same state as pretty much all of my family. The furthest away members live the next state over. I'm best friends with my cousins. BUT...none of us really get a chance to get away. Vacations are so expensive with flights AND hotels, and it's intimidating to go somewhere new where you don't know how their transit systems work or whatever. Sometimes I fantasize about a relative moving to a distant land like Seattle so they would have to let me visit and then show me around.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 10:46 am 
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Nooch of Earl
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Oh Tlish, posts like that make me feel sometimes like we're married to the same guy living a double life. ;) Many sympathies figuring out the MIL and friend situations.

Goodbyes are a big problem with us. In my family, if you have somewhere to go and promised someone you'd be there at a certain time, that's pretty much sacred. You leave when you need to leave, and if you've given everyone advanced notice they are like "ok, bye, have a safe trip." Not so with his family at all. Last year, we had to reschedule Christmas there because everyone was sick.. to a day when I'd had plans to get together for dinner with a group of friends, the only time I'd see most of them while back in Chicago. At Native Foods too!! It was supposed to be at 7pm, and MIL had scheduled "Christmas dinner" at 1pm so we didn't think it was a problem...nor did we eat lunch. We get there at 1pm, I'm a little concerned because there's no sign of food cooking. BIL/SIL roll in around 3pm. I think we finally ate at like 5 and then we have to open gifts, which is now rushed because we've waited so long.. And basically my plans to go out later just got railroaded because "it would be rude to leave in the middle of things" and "nobody will really be there right at 7" and "oh you can't leave now! my mother spent all this time cooking for us!" Meanwhile V burnt through her two hours of calm cooperation before anyone even got there, and is bouncing off the walls while I try to wrangle her and prevent the two minimally-trained, growling terriers from rending her to shreds. And I know this is totally first world problems but everyone has gone so overboard with gifts that it takes hoooouuuuurs.

Anyway, the solution this year is that we're just not going back. There are a lot of reasons, like that my husband will be acting CO at work over Christmas, but while I'll miss family, non-holiday interactions are a lot easier.

As far as friends go, who goes to a party because the house is a certain size? Invite people over, set out some beer and chips and maybe a minimally toddler disruptable card game (holiday cards against humanity is out!), and watch everyone be thrilled to do something low key.


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 1:13 pm 
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***LIES!!!***
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Tofulish wrote:
Of course, it is considered "unfair" to his mother's completely uncontrolled dog and their cousin's uncontrolled dog, to keep them away from Leela, so either I let her walk around risk being knocked over by the dogs in the tiny house or I have to hold her on my lap and try and fend off the dogs. I don't want to go, but I don't think I'd feel okay leaving my child with her Dad in an unchildproofed house with 2 dogs running around to please people who have never come to see our child once.


I would send him alone with her. He's her father and this is his family. If he wants to spend time with them and wants her to know them, that's on him. They have been demonstrably unkind to you and I don't think you owe him much more explanation than that about why you wouldn't want to go. Anyway you could make alternative Christmas Eve plans for yourself?


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 1:49 pm 
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Ariann wrote:
Tofulish wrote:
Of course, it is considered "unfair" to his mother's completely uncontrolled dog and their cousin's uncontrolled dog, to keep them away from Leela, so either I let her walk around risk being knocked over by the dogs in the tiny house or I have to hold her on my lap and try and fend off the dogs. I don't want to go, but I don't think I'd feel okay leaving my child with her Dad in an unchildproofed house with 2 dogs running around to please people who have never come to see our child once.


I would send him alone with her. He's her father and this is his family. If he wants to spend time with them and wants her to know them, that's on him. They have been demonstrably unkind to you and I don't think you owe him much more explanation than that about why you wouldn't want to go. Anyway you could make alternative Christmas Eve plans for yourself?


I agree with this. My other suggestion would be what I've seen a lot of people do when my neighbors (who have a ton of friends with kids, and a ton of parties) have parties -- could you bring a playpen or something, and put Leela down to sleep in that when she starts getting tired?


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 4:36 pm 
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Thanks for the comforting comments and the info about RA too. Part of the frustration here is that my dad had the chance to get a diagnosis when it was really bad a couple of months ago (apparently, it works only by drawing some fluid during a flareup), but he said that he was too busy with work stuff, and that it didn't matter because it was going to be a real pita to treat it anyway (because of conflicts with other medications primarily). He sends occasional passive aggressive emails (including one last year on my birthday!) and it's just well..hard. My sister says to remember that while he's acting like a jackass much of the time, it's just that he's really disappointed in the situation as is. Oi. When we were there this summer, we didn't get to spend a lot of time with one sister, the one I'm closest to even, and it made me really sad to see that Freya just didn't know her at all.

lb, your description is pretty much how I felt this summer too. The day before we were leaving, I spent a while walking a sleeping Freya by the lake and the thought of leaving just started weighing on my heart like a lead balloon.

c&s, this is the situation with us sorta too. If we move to Norway, we'd really need to be in Oslo for Karl to get a decent job. So we'd still be a good journey away from his parents and best friend/wife. It's not like they could come for a day trip or anything. He could get a shitty job closer to his home I'm sure, but that's not a recipe for happiness for him. Plus, it's not really a good situation for me...it's *really* remote, his dad is well let's just say "involved" in our lives when we're there, and the nights are really really forking long in the winter. I too, didn't really think about how different it would be with little ones. I missed my sisters/family/friends before, but now, my heart aches.

Jeez...I'm a downer today. :) Life is really pretty fun most days. Freya making attempts and walking and (no lie) going around saying "shiitake. shiitake" and laughing til she can't breathe because we are stomping our feet. My little weirdo makes life interesting.


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