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First Years Wave Stroller Review

>> Friday, April 29, 2011

While pregnant I was on the hunt for the best affordable baby gear I could find. I read hundreds upon hundreds of reviews [which I do before I purchase anything!] on hundreds of different products. When it came time to pick a stroller, it was no different. The fact that this is our last baby made me want to get something different than my usual. Unfortunately what I wanted was quite a bit out of our price range. Think: the Inglesina baby pram stroller or the UPPAbaby Vista. I really wanted a vintage type of stroller, especially a pram. So, I looked high and low and decided there wasn't one in my price range. Then out of nowhere a few months later, I came across The First Years Wave Stroller. I totally squealed! Could it really be a fraction of the price of the Inglesina with almost all of the bells and whistles & even some features that made it BETTER!

One of the features that makes this better than the Inglesina is that the bassinet is not a separate purchase. It's also part of the next step seating as the bassinet actually transforms into the regular stroller seat. For something you actually don't get to use that long [approximately 4 months or so], it's a great money saving value! Something that might remind you of the Graco Flip-It Stroller, is the spinning feature. Spin with a flip of the wrist from front facing to rear facing. Also good for soothing a fussy baby. The change in direction helps to keep things fresh for baby. What makes it far superior to the Graco Flip-It stroller is the fact that the wheels on the Wave stroller don't change position. Meaning that you still get ease of the front swivel wheels as opposed to the back locked wheels, which was the biggest complaint about the Flip-It. You can clip the compatible car seat, First Years Via, or use a Graco or Evenflo car seat with it because it comes with a car seat adapter. Yet another piece typically sold separately that comes with the Wave.
Flaws? Well, nothing is perfect. The only flaw I can truly find is the smaller under basket. I have a large diaper bag and it won't fit, but I hang it from the handle with no issue. Oh, and I bought a separate cup holder thing for about $10 since it doesn't come with one. Considering how much cheaper this is to the high end strollers, these are small things. Below is a video demonstration/review that helped me and sealed the deal! I love it when a product works like it's supposed from other moms. Especially when it's a good deal!


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Going Natural and Homebirth

>> Thursday, April 28, 2011

On ‘Going Natural’ and Homebirth-

{The homebirth experience of my amazing friend Leslie!}

When I was pregnant with my first baby, I took the ‘Prepared Childbirth Class’ at the hospital and for the first time considered a natural birth. Prior to that point, I had subconsciously reserved a place in the crazy section for women who chose to opt out of painkillers for childbirth. I mean seriously—pain in all the wrong places, right? I came (literally) from a mother who had all five of her children via c-section and so didn’t even realize what a vaginal delivery was until my mid-teens. Talk about a reality check!

So at 7 months along, I read a lot in Lamaze Magazine and the all-knowing internet and from various Bradley/Thinking Woman/Gentle Birth literature. The points made for natural birth resonated with me and I decided I would ‘go natural’ if possible. I’ll admit that when my due date came and went and during an especially difficult part of labor (I found out later that was what transition feels like!) I had to call on the reserves of dedication to natural childbirth, but overall it was rewarding and very right for me.

With that experience behind me, I became a ‘going natural’ kind of gal. When I found out I was expecting my second baby, I looked for a midwife instead of an OB and was unsuccessful until I was 30 weeks along. A friend who was expecting her fourth baby raved about her midwife and her experience with homebirths. At that point, I had not ever considered a homebirth (again…I had a spot reserved for those people) but I was intrigued. I called the midwife she recommended, introduced myself and asked a lot of questions and was amazed. She made me feel so ‘able’ and at ease and she didn’t pressure me into using her or that homebirth was the only way to go or what I had to do. She simply asked why I wanted to have my baby that way and let me work it out in my mind for myself. I am a believer in prayer, so….I prayed about it. I had good vibes and decided that I wanted this wonderful woman to take care of me and my baby and that I wanted to give birth at home. This decision was met with incredulity from many sides; my OB, of course, my pediatrician, my mother-in-law. In our country it is unusual and unexpected. Many people are not well-read on birth options and only know about ‘the one story they read in the news’ and so have preconceived ideas about homebirths. I was already aware of this and so I was able to shrug off the inevitable negative criticism and embrace the people who supported me and my educated choice.

Fast forward to my 40 week appointment: nothing was happening and I was of course feeling sorry for myself AND having nightmares about having an 11 or 12 lb baby two weeks late. My midwife was good-natured about my pessimism and reassured me that everything would be fine. On my 'calendar' due date I left my 2 year old home with my husband so that I could go do all the things you can’t do 9 months pregnant with a 2 year old. You know—a little retail therapy, a peaceful lunch and pedicure with a friend. Later that day I started to have regular, non-intense contractions 5 minutes apart and so I went about my usual routine. Before bed I felt like the contractions might be more serious but I still expected them to subside. Well...I woke up at 2am after dreaming for 3 hours about labor and decided it was definitely real and definitely more intense. I made calls to family and my midwife just after 5am, and by 7am when everyone started arriving at my house, I was dilated to 7cms and working through some big contractions. I got in my bathtub (insert here that not only did I settle on a natural homebirth, but also a waterbirth) and felt sort of giddy, because when I was that far along with my first, he was born less than two hours later. Not so with #2. Two full hours later, I was still laboring in the tub and felt worn out, but still positive thanks to my husband and midwife. Another 2 hours after that my midwife broke my water during a pushing contraction and my baby boy was born three contractions later.

He swam out and my midwife steered him right to my arms. He was all sorts of color—blue and green and white. He had oxygen for a few minutes which pinked him right up. He didn't cry. After a few minutes, he opened his eyes and looked at all of us. I held him until the blood stopped pulsing through the umbilical cord and then me and my baby were separated and my husband held our new little son. He put him on the scale shortly thereafter and that cute ‘little’ baby weighed in at a whopping 10 lbs 8 oz, SERIOUSLY. I totally called it. And no wonder getting him out was hard!

I delivered the placenta in the water and then my husband helped me to my own warm bed. There was a lot of blood, so my midwife gave me a shot of pitocin almost as soon as a laid down to stop the bleeding. I had to have stitches, and you know what? For just having pushed out a huge baby, I sure felt wimpy crying over a few stitches. In the meantime, my mom and my mother-in-law gave my son his first 'bath' and dressed him in his own clothes. When I was strong enough to hold him again, they brought him back to me and....we started recovering!

I love natural birth because of the way it makes me feel and the way my baby and I are able recover. While this choice is not for everyone, I encourage every Mom I know to read about it so that you can glimpse how incredible your body is all by itself. Also, when choosing someone to assist your birth—whether it is a midwife, an OB, a family doctor or whoever—choose someone who believes in you and builds your confidence in yourself and your abilities.

And here, a plug for midwives: Midwives are incredible. My midwife had been practicing for decades and had been through everything I was doing before. She came with a whole car load of medical equipment and supplies to take care of us and she was so capable and gentle and kind. And she was just a regular person, not an extreme hippy-type like I think many people envision midwives to be. She stayed with me for several hours and then came back to my house two days later to check on us, and again two weeks later to be sure that we were recovering well. She was the best thing that happened to me during my pregnancy and I’ll be forever indebted the friend who gave me this woman’s phone number.

Being at home to recover was the best present I could have given myself. I got to rest and sleep in my own bed and I felt so comfortable. I loved welcoming family and friends and then being able to go to the other room for privacy when I needed it. I felt better so much faster! My labor/birth/recovery process was everything I hoped it would be.


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Hapari Swimwear Giveaway

>> Tuesday, April 26, 2011

It's that time of year! We're all excited for summer, but being pregnant or having been pregnant can leave you less than excited trying to shop for swimwear that will flatter your new figure. Hapari swimwear has you covered. Literally. They design great modest suits that will cover and smooth the curves you don't want to show, and flatter your body in all the right places. I love their selection of modest tankini suits, especially and that the bottoms are sold separately so that you can mix and match your selection to fit your own style. Check out their Tummy Tuk bottoms; they're PERFECT for a "less-than-flat" post-partum belly. I can't wait to try them out! I also like that all of the tankini tops can be worn in 3 different ways: a halter, tank, or criss-cross. That way you can change it up and choose what is most flattering on your body. Hapari also offers Mens, Plus Size, Girls and Juniors, and Masectomy swimwear.

Hapari is generously giving one of our readers a $96 Gift Card!

How to Enter:

Head on over to your blog, Facebook or Twitter, and post a link to your favorite Hapari.com page. You may use any of these links:


Example: (You could post something like this in your FB status, then link back to this giveaway)

"Visit Hapari for cute and modest swimwear for the entire family! http://www.hapari.com/ "

Once you've posted, come back and leave a comment on where you posted and leave the link to where you posted. Be sure to include your name and e-mail address so that we can contact you if you are the winner.

Bonus Entries:

You can submit one entry for each place you post a link: your blog, Facebook, or Twitter. Do all three and get an entry for each! (Submit a separate comment for each entry)

UPDATE: Get an entry for each day you post a link on facebook or twitter! So if you tweet daily, come back and post a comment each day you tweet with the required links.

Giveaway open until Friday, May 6th 11:59pm PST.

Good Luck!

*Disclosure Policy- I was provided the featured item(s) at no cost by the manufacturer to review and share my opinions. My opinions were not influenced in any way by monetary means.


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Earth Day Funnies

>> Friday, April 22, 2011



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Feeding Newborns 101

>> Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Now that my son is just over a week old, it amazes me how much I actually forgot since we had our last baby 4 years ago. I have found myself googling how long breast milk can be stored in a fridge, how many ounces a newborn eats and more...Maybe we should have taken that refresher course! So for those of you new to this or a little rusty, like moi, here are some guidelines I gathered together. Whether you are breast feeding or formula feeding, remember to not feel guilty no matter what you choose. Don't let anyone make you feel bad because of your choice. You are the mommy! Be empowered and know that whatever it is, you are doing your best as a mom for your little one.

Feeding Frequency & Duration:
*Newborns feed on demand whether breast feeding or formula feeding. This is usually 8-12 times per 24 hour period for the first two to four weeks.
*Crying is a late sign of hunger. There are usually signs of hunger before that like: rooting around for a nipple, sucking on hands, restlessness, etc.
*There might be times when you need to wake up your baby for a feeding by undressing or changing him/her. My son sometimes cannot be bothered to be woken up to feed!
*If you are breastfeeding, it can be unnerving not knowing exactly how much you are giving your baby. Sessions generally last 20-45 minutes. BUT this can vary depending on baby's needs. Your child will be satisfied after a feeding, breasts will feel softer & you can hear baby swallowing the milk. We took our son to the pediatrician because he would only feed for 6-18 minutes and seemed full. He wasn't feeding more than usual either. He was still getting enough to eat though. I say this so you don't worry and realize that every baby is different. Always call your Pediatrician if you are concerned. *Wet diapers are the best way to gauge if your child is getting enough to eat. Here is a general guideline for newborns. [note: this does not include bowel movement diapers]
  • Day 1 = one wet diaper
  • Day 2 = 2 wet diapers
  • Day 3 = 3 wet diapers, and so on
  • Day 6 and older = 6 to 8 wet diapers in a 24-hour period. (After your milk increases, the urine will soak the diaper.
*Sometimes new babies cluster feed. Meaning they can feed every hour or several times in 1 hour. This is normal and they will feel satisfied after cluster feeding.
*Today's formula has all of the essential nutrients your baby needs. I cannot express enough to NOT feel guilty about formula feeding. My first I breastfed for 6 weeks and switched to formula because she was severely underweight, was a preemie and I was not making enough milk. My second I breastfed for 4 weeks and cried the whole time. This time I am pumping my milk. The ongoing conflict between moms on this issue will probably never cease, which is a shame, but with all of the hormonal changes after giving birth, guilt is not something you want to pile on that.
*If your significant other would like to help out or wants to bond over a feeding also, and you're breastfeeding, I would consider getting a pump. I got one this time and it has been a lifesaver for me since I started using it a couple days ago. Hubby enjoys feeding him and I can get a little more sleep .... sort of.


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Maternity Swimwear 101

>> Tuesday, April 19, 2011

As swimsuit season approaches, choosing a cute suit that will fit well and flatter can be a daunting task whether you're pregnant or not. The ladies over at Hapari.com are providing us with some essential tips in choosing the perfect suit. And stay tuned, next week they're providing a fabulous GIVEAWAY for a gift card for one of their suits!

Maternity Swimwear 101

Whether you are just starting to get your baby bump or you are trying to get your post-baby body back, it’s safe to say your body will never be completely the same after pregnancy again. Hitting the beach might make you take a hit to your self-esteem if you get the wrong maternity swimwear, but there are some easy things you can do to make sure you look your best (either during pregnancy or after delivery) when the layers come off:

• Go dark – Darker colors are more slimming to your frame, so if you are feeling self-conscious about your weight gain, avoid flesh tones and pastels. If you gained more in your hips, you can draw the focus away by buying dark tankini bottoms, or vice versa if you are feeling a little top-heavy.

• Halter necks are your friend – Chances are, since getting pregnant you have more to support up top. Halter necks can draw attention from your belly fat to your bust, and they have the additional benefit of providing more support. Look for adjustable, wide straps, since your comfort level might change from day to day. If you don’t know what your body will be like in a few month’s time, then adjustable straps help you feel secure no matter your size.

• Underwire support is no underdog – Getting some kind of underwire support in your tankini top can help put things back where they belong. This kind of support also helps you look a few pounds slimmer, since your bust isn’t resting on your stomach.

• Control your belly – There are different cuts of swimwear bottoms, and if you have a little extra belly weight, find some bottoms that help reign things in. Either make sure that the bottoms you choose go high enough that they are not cutting into your belly fat (accentuating it), or low enough that they rise beneath the softest part of your stomach. Control bottoms, or Tummy Tuk bottoms usually fit underneath your tankini top, so people won’t see your stomach at all.

• Fabric is key – Thicker fabrics can hide more rolls, while thinner fabrics (usually the cheaper ones) will only stick to you when wet and accentuate what rolls you have. Thicker fabrics will act like more of a shirt and make you feel more comfortable if you already aren’t confident with your body.

You shouldn’t have to sacrifice wearing cute swimwear because of pregnancy. There are a lot of styles out there for many different body types, and if you know these simple tricks, you can show off what a beautiful confident woman you are.


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Tools of The Trade for Mommy Brain

>> Wednesday, April 13, 2011

I have found some tools that have proved extremely useful in the bleary eyed, sleep deprived days that are newborn-hood. Mommy Brain gets the best of us...Just take a peek at some of the silly stuff we are capable of after a night of hourly wakings and long days! The following tools can truly help you organize the scattered & scrambled info roaming your brain.
If you have access to download apps to a phone or iPod, here are a couple apps you might want to consider.

Total Baby App: It's on iTunes. This was a favorite among the nurses in the hospital's newborn nursery. They would ask when the baby was last fed, how many wet/soiled diapers, etc. Well this bad boy keeps track of it all so your brain can rest! Just tap to start a breast feeding session [and you can edit it if you miss the start or finish time], tap to record a bowel movement or wet diaper, time naps. This all helps to see what your baby's schedule is and by recording the diapers, you'll have some peace of mind just knowing that your baby is getting enough to eat!

Similac Baby Journal App: This is also on iTunes. This app does what the other app does except it's FREE and it I think it has prettier graphics. It does have a nice recorder for formula fed babies! Shows trends in feeding, sleeping and diaper patterns for you to see how your little one is doing. In this app you can also keep track of baby's growth. Each of these have color graphs. The diaper changing section has more info asked to input that could be helpful to a Pediatrician. There is also an advice section with topics on feeding, sleeping, diapers, milestones, mom tips & dad tips.

Parenting Ages & Stages App: Even though I have had three kids, I find myself Googling info I used to know right off the top of my head. This app has a bunch of info as you move through the stages of parenthood starting at pregnancy. You can customize it to each of your kids. I was able to input all three of my kiddos and can check on various topics that have to do with my child's age/stage. It's nice to have a place to turn to with a bunch of tips on what you're going through.

If You Don't Do Apps: There is an amazing baby log journal called the Newborn Baby Tracker. This notebook tracker has enough space for the first three months of tracking. Time Too's simple, day- and night-on-a-page journal uses a charting system of activity by time with simple check boxes and fill-in-the-blanks to record and view feedings, diaper changes and sleep schedules and activities, creating a visual snapshot of schedules and needs.


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Ideas to Keep Your Mom-Sanity

>> Monday, April 11, 2011

1. Read a book by your favorite author. Take at least 15 minutes a day to just sit quietly and get some reading done.
2. Get up early to just breath. Relax. Pray. Take a few minutes to mentally prepare for your day.
3. Go to bed late. Relax. Pray. Mentally prepare for tomorrow!
4. Take a candle lit bath. Lock the bathroom door. This would be a good time to grab that book! Note to Super Moms -> bring the baby monitor if you must…LOL. However, TAKE SOME TIME FOR YOU!
5. Tape your favorite show and watch it while the kids are napping or at bedtime.
6. Insist on a daily quiet time. Reward the kids for cooperation. Use the time to relax, read your book, paint your nails, whatever. Keep in mind, YOU are in charge and if you are parenting properly, the kids must comply to your daily quiet time. It really is OK! LOL!
7. Get a pedi or manicure. Better yet, take a friend and make a day of it. Leave the kids with Dad, Mom, a friend or your Mother in Law.
8. Get your hair done on a regular basis if the budget allows. This will make you feel good, hubby check you out and give you some much needed time away!
9. Schedule monthly or at least bi-monthly Moms Night Out. Leave all the kids with the Dads. They will survive and it will be great bonding time!
10. Go for a scenic drive.
11. Shop alone whenever possible.
12. Exercise regularly.
13. Go for a walk…alone.
14. Garden.
15. Find a hobby and DO it.
16. Give yourself a facial after the kids go to sleep.
17. Get dressed up for no reason. Just to look and feel good.
18. Put some make up on for crying out loud!
19. Join a book club.
20. Go to a weekly Bible study or other faith related activity.
21. Have lunch or dinner with a friend.
22. Change your look.
23. Get a pet. (this is good for Moms with older kids who still want to nurture)
24. Watch your favorite comedian on TV…better yet, go to a comedy club with hubby or a friend.
25. Go dancing.
26. Can’t dance? Take dance lessons.
27. Learn a foreign language.
28. Take a class and learn SOMETHING new.
29. Sleep in.
30. Smile more. Better smile wrinkles than frownies!
31. Buy a new outfit…or shoes!
32. Eat chocolate.
33. Eat out.
34. Ask for hugs from the kids.
35. Schedule a date night.
36. Go to the lake or beach.
37. Take a day trip.
38. Plan a weekend getaway with friends or hubby.
39. Get a massage.
40. Forget calories for a day.
41. Snuggle.
42. Cry.
43. Play a sport.
44. Learn hubby's favorite sport so you can enjoy watching it with him.
45. Rest more.
46. Laugh more.
47. Soak your feet.
48. Splurge once and awhile.
49. Test drive a sports car.
50. Volunteer.

Make your own list of Mom Sanity Savers for your personal reference! Anything you want to share, add below!


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Post Pregnancy Fashion Tips: What to Wear

>> Tuesday, April 5, 2011

There is nothing more exciting than being a new mom! Having a baby can dramatically change your life in a positive way. Unfortunately, becoming a new mom can sometimes leave you feeling less attractive than you did before your pregnancy. Don't think that having a baby means a world of bulky sweaters and roomy pants. You can still look great post pregnancy with these great tips:

Tip #1: Interesting necklines and/or necklaces will draw attention up and away from your postpartum tummy and direct it at your beautiful new-mom glow.

Tip #2: Nursing tops are a must! Not only do they make feeding easier you can still look cute!

Tip #3: Shift dresses are a hot look right now and they are an easy way to disguise your post-baby belly. Throw on some sassy heels or sandals, an eye-catching necklace and you are ready to hit the town!

Tip #4: Guard against the dreaded “muffin top” by avoiding jeans that are too tight and opting for drawstring pants or skirts with a stretchy waistband.

Tip #5: Wear your maternity jeans with a sleek tunic for a long, lean line. Only you will know if the panel is there if it's well-covered up!

Tip #6: Use wedge shoes or pumps instead of flats to lengthen your legs and balance out a broader upper half.

Tip #7: Printed or patterned tops paired with dark jeans or pants also draws the attention up and creates the illusion of a slimmer torso.

Tip #8: Dark colors are a great way to disguise parts of your body that you don't particularly like. They work well to create an overall slimming appearance. If you gained a lot of weight on your backside, wearing a dark pair of pants or jeans is a great way to mask that. Likewise, a dark colored shirt can help divert attention away from a tummy that just carried a baby for nine months. Even though it does work to create a trimmer appearance don't overdo it by wearing only dark colors. Mix it up a bit. My suggestion is to utilize this trick more often for your legs than for your top. While you can often get away with a light colored top, light colored pants and jeans are usually less forgiving.

Tip #9: Wear the Right Undergarments. Pregnancy does strange things to your body and this includes your breasts. After your pregnancy you definitely will want to think about purchasing nursing bras. These bras are specifically made for easy nursing access. Not only do they make feeding easier, but the padding on the bras will help support your chest and prevent embarrassing leakage. Wearing the right undergarments is also a great way to help your clothes look better on your body. Bras and underwear that are too small or don't give enough support will take away from what you put on top of them.

Tip #10: Free-flowing dresses are an asset to a pregnant woman's wardrobe, especially during the warm spring and summer months. Purchase colors that suit your skin tone; add delicate accessories that don't overwhelm your appearance.

Shirts come in all shapes and fits but a ruched shirt will help the belly look slimmer. Ruching gives an added stretch that will help your shirt fit and look better, as well as grow and shrink with you. If you are looking for a looser fit, there are a lot of great styles with pleating, gathers, or ruffles to help disguise that "less than flat" belly. There is something for everyone!


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Sleep Deprivation Made Me Do It

>> Monday, April 4, 2011

“I put ice-cream in the pantry once instead of back in the fridge, and looked for it for all day,” —Laura H.

“I would try to make phone calls with the TV remote.” —Marie V.

“We were going to some fancy-schmancy event (can’t remember where exactly). Needless to say, we were all dressed up—hair, makeup, etc.—and we drove to the event and I had to tell my husband to go back home…I had left without any shoes!” —Shelby B.

“I found my keys in the freezer.” —Stacey D.

“I was napping with the baby and my older children asked if they could go outside. Half asleep, I insisted they walk the fish first.”’ —Denise W.

“I once poured pumped breast milk in hubby’s cereal. And used formula in place of flour for gravy.” —Samantha R.

“I tried to scramble eggshells after cracking the eggs into the trash.” —Nanci S.

“One night I was so tired that I actually went to go to the bathroom and nearly used my 2-year-old’s potty chair!”—Sara B. “I put hand sanitizer on my toothbrush. Thank goodness I realized what I was doing.” —Susan P.

“I was talking to my honey on his lunch break while trying to find my cell phone. I kept telling him I couldn’t find my phone. He asked, ‘Aren’t you on it?!’ I was.” —Heather M.

"I put my purse in the fridge and the milk in the cabinet.. I didn't catch it until about 5 hours later." —Kate J.

"I love when I go to a room in the house with a specific purpose in mind and then get there and have no idea why I'm there. But I guess that happens whether I'm sleep deprived or not, LOL!" —Jessica B.

"Tried to unlock my front door with the keyless entry for my car." —Calleah K.

"Walked out of the house with 2 different shoes on, one black one brown. didn't realize it till we got to the restaurant!" —Britni R.

"True story: I went in for my checkup with my OB, went to the bathroom for the urine sample, and totally forgot to pee in the cup. Cup was in hand, I just forgot to use it." —Sarah S.

"I made a phone call and completely forgot who I was calling." —Elisa H.

"While nursing our babies together in the mother's room at church, my friend told me she tried taking her eye make-up off with nail polish remover!! It took her a minute to figure out why it burned...ouch!!" —Melissa L.

" I slathered hair conditioner all over my face thinking it was my face wash!" —Sarah M.

"On a college math test I put that 2+4= -5 My math teacher called me into her office and said that she "can tell that I know what I am doing, I just can't add or subtract". Ya I felt pretty dumb!" —Brittney K.

"After my first was born my husband and I were in bed asleep in the middle of the night. He woke me up to ask me where our son was (because I had been previously nursing him) and I said right here while starting to hand over the baby. However, there was no baby in my arms! I had feed him and already laid him back in bed but completely forgot I had done so : ) Yeah, we laugh and tell this story all the time."Ashley C.


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