I feel as though I am stuck in the middle of the Age 3 Theater Production from hell. Ryan is the orchestra conductor and I’m scrambling to play all the instruments in the right order and at the right tempo.
He’s always been an everything-in-its-place sort of kid. He organizes his toys, puts things back exactly where he found them, must have the applesauce in the top right section of his plate, etc.
But we’ve moved beyond the typical “I need the GREEN cup!” stuff. Now, he’s discovered the joys of role playing, and this discovery has added a whole new level of frustration to everyday chores.
For example. Every time Ryan has to go to the bathroom, this is what happens:
1. He tells me he has to go on the potty and then stares at me until I nod and start walking toward the stairs, at which point he yells that he has to go first and runs past me up the steps.
2. At the top of the stairs, he waits for me to walk into the bathroom and then tells me to start closing the door. I have to yell “the door is closing!” so that he can let out a girly “aaaaahhhhhhh!” squeal as he runs into the bathroom.
3. Once the door is closed, he exclaims “Oh no! We’re gonna get stuck! How we gonna get out!?!” Then he decides we’ll have to call a superhero to help get us out of the bathroom.
4. Once he’s done with his potty business, I have to pretend the soap dispenser is a phone and call the superhero to tell him that “Mommy and Ryan got stuck in the bathroom again! Can you help us get out??”
5. Ryan uses his hand as a phone, pretends to be the superhero and agrees to help. We both hang up our phones and Ryan opens the door (this is a 30-second process featuring a fake struggle to turn the knob and lots of grunting for emphasis).
6. We walk back down the stairs holding hands. (I must never, ever go ahead of him lest I face his wrath.)
It was cute the first five times. The last 95 times have been decidedly less cute.
However, straying from the storyline results in an epically ridiculous tantrum, which is also not cute. Since I’m a pick-your-battles sort of parent, I play along.
But sometimes, when he utters the words “Oh no! We’re gonna get stuck!” I want to cry. (Full disclosure: One time after a particular long week with 472 trips to the bathroom, I did actually tear up. Yes, I still called the superhero.)
This is, of course, merely one example. I am also given strict instructions for the way I help him brush his teeth, the way we carry his dirty dishes to the sink and the way I sing him songs before nap time.
When I change his clothes, he has to pretend to fall down after each article of clothing is in place. In order to get him in the car seat, I have to tickle him and then let him tickle me, pretending that it actually tickles, which obviously it doesn’t cuz he’s three and sucks at tickling.
I want to encourage his imagination, which is amazing and fills me with pride. I know these little rituals give him a sense of control and security. And in my experience, trying to rush him along only starts a war I don’t care to waste energy on.
But sometimes … I just want him to freakin’ pee so we can move on with our lives.
This year, in addition to my first-ever Phase Three of Life Holiday Gift-Giving Guide, I’m excited to offer a Holiday Gift-Giving Give-Away for my readers.
It’s a way for me to thank you for sticking around all year and listening to my incessant “gosh, it’s hard to move!” and ”gee, age 3 is rough!” commentary.
All three of the ladies offering give-aways and/or coupon codes happen to be friends of mine. I make it a point to only be friends with supremely talented individuals, so I can assure you that you will love their products.
Also? Each shop happens to be a small business, which makes this post just a wee-bit perfect for Small Business Saturday. And hey, even if you don’t win, you will find unique, affordable gift ideas for your loved ones. So you DO win.
For your friend
Need a fun, pretty gift for your best girl? The answer is obvious: jewelry. We love it and we can’t get enough of it. What I like about the Jac & Elsie Etsy shop is that her creations are 1. very cool and 2. very affordable.
Jac & Elsie is bringing back the “friendship necklace,” but not in an annoyingly obvious sort of way. In her chic, modern version, only you know the meaning. For example: keys, love, fork/spoon/knife, puzzle pieces, and my personal favorite:
Oh, also? She loves me so much that she named one of her new Color Pop Necklaces after me. Go ahead, check out “The Meghan.” I’m a crimson base with a pop of red. Oh hell yeah.
THE GIVEAWAY: Jac & Elsie is offering a special Jewelry Grab-Bag Giveaway for Phase Three of Life readers. To enter, simply visit her shop, then come back here to comment to tell us: What item in the shop would you buy as a gift for someone on your list?
For your love
Not sure what to gift your significant other? Does he have enough button-down shirts? Does she have more scarves than one person could ever possibly need?
Go the sentimental route with Media Bug Unlimited’s song lyric prints. Personally, I’m partial to this one:
THE GIVEAWAY: Kristin is giving away a custom 5×7 lyric print (like this one) of your choice! To enter, simply visit her shop, then come back here to comment to tell us: What item would you buy as a gift for someone on your list?
Kristin is also offering 15 percent off all orders for Phase Three of Life readers through the end of the year. Use code PHASE3 at checkout.
For Practically Anyone
Everyone feels a strong connection to at least one place, whether it’s the city they grew up in, their college town or the place they currently call home. Annalena at Salty Lyon hand-draws ink maps that show off the character of a city in a unique, graphical way.
The Phoenix map is hanging in my home (I have the wood block with black ink and red trim). She has dozens of cities available, but if you don’t see the one you want, you can custom order the city of your choice.
Annalena is offering 20 percent off any purchase in her shop for readers now through Dec. 7. Use code P3LIFE13 at checkout.
You’ve got one week to enter the Jac & Elsie and Media Bug Unlimited give-aways! Remember – just visit one or both shops and leave a comment below about which item you would buy as a gift this holiday season. I will announce the winners here on my blog and on my facebook page on Saturday, Dec.7.
So get to it! Shop, comment, shop, comment.
(And don’t be a scrooge – spread the word!)
Welcome to the First Annual Phase Three of Life Holiday Gift-Giving Guide!
(Exciting, isn’t it?)
Two things to note before we get started:
1. I only give advice on things I really know. I know pregnancy, infants, toddlers and preschoolers. Anything older, you’re on your own.
2. I am hosting my first-ever GIVEAWAY, courtesy of a couple of my all-time favorite Etsy shops. That happens tomorrow in my “Part II” post. Stay tuned.
Ok, shall we begin?
For the expectant parents
Hands down, one of my favorite gifts we received right before Ryan was born. Maybe it’s because I was a new parent, but it never occurred to me to get something ahead of time to capture the traditional ink handprint and footprint.
For the newborn
We bought this guy while I was pregnant. He became our “changing table toy,” which means Ryan only got to play with him when it was diaper time. He was often (mostly … sometimes) enough to keep Ryan occupied and happy while we changed him. He is now my go-to gift to send after the baby is born. Practically everyone else sends clothes, so it’s fun to be the person who sends a toy.
For the one-year-old
This is one of those extra-bang-for-your-buck gifts. Ryan got a version of this when he was a year old; he loved it immediately and still plays with it sometimes. It’s colorful and cute, so when Ryan isn’t playing with it, it actually doubles as decor. (How many toys can you say that about?) We had it in front of our fireplace in Phoenix and we have it on Ryan’s dresser now.
For the two-year-old
Ryan got something similar to these as a gift from his godparents a few months before he turned two years old. He stacked them, knocked them down, put them on his head, and nested them back together; over and over until they were falling apart. Then we taped them back together and he played with them for another six months. Our godson is getting them for Christmas this year (ahem, pretend you didn’t see this, Tay).
For the three-year-old
These giant-piece floor puzzles are so cool. Ryan got his first one when he was two-and-a-half years old; he now has three of them and will get a couple more this Christmas. He loves the large, easy-to-connect pieces and is always very proud of himself when he completes it. This year, one of my nieces and one friend’s kid will be getting version of this puzzle. I was tempted to buy one for every kid on my list; I love them that much.
What are your favorite gifts to give and/or receive for young children? Leave a comment and add your suggestions to this list.
(And did I mention I’m doing a GIVEAWAY tomorrow??)
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the seasons of a childhood. How kids are so fast to move on to the next stage just as you get your footing in this one. How your struggles constantly morph while your joy expands in unexpected ways.
How there is no real time to analyze and reflect before you are full-body dunked into the next phase.
A good friend of mine gave birth to her first child last week. She told me her son screamed his head off for four straight hours the first night they were home from the hospital. And I remembered back to when Ryan was brand new. Oh yeah, that was hard.
She told me how he wants to breastfeed all-the-livelong-day. And I remembered. Oh yeah, that was painful.
She told me how every little sound he makes at night wakes her because she’s afraid something is wrong. And how an absence of sound makes her worry that he stopped breathing. And I remembered. Oh yeah, that was scary.
She told me how he pooped all over the scale at the doctor’s office. I laughed really hard and I remembered.* Oh YEAH, that was disgusting.
When I think back to those early newborn days, much of it is a blur. Hell, most of his first year is a blur.
I think it’s because for most of that time, we were sleep-deprived and in a constant state of worry over his health.
Since we left Arizona, Ryan has had only one cold. Nothing else. Have I even mentioned that here? The allergies that filled him with congestion nearly every day of his life, the respiratory issues, the endless ear infections? All gone virtually as soon as we landed in Pennsylvania.
I almost never think about it these days. His health was something that ruled our world for two years and worried and frustrated us beyond belief. I wonder how many times we said, “If only he wasn’t sick all the time…” ?
But once the health issues cleared up, we shook ourselves off, mentally checked it off our list and moved onto the next parenting challenge.
Passing certain childhood milestones feels a little like conquering a level in a video game. You survived, so in hindsight, it wasn’t that bad. You take a second to pat yourself on the back, but then almost immediately, some new ferocious enemy comes at you and you are forced to refocus.
And because you have zero experience with this new adversary, it seems harder.
I admit it; I’ve been a little sour about age 3 so far. The aggression, the unpredictability, the attitude. I have felt at times that maybe I just don’t have the skill necessary to beat this level of the game.
But the insanely cool thing about parenting is that with each new challenge and frustration, you also get something that spreads joy and pride through every square inch of your body.
My friend told me yesterday how her week-old son smiles slightly in his sleep; that already he can hold his head up well; that he makes direct eye contact.
Her pride reminded me of the first time Ryan rolled over and the first time he laughed. How he called me “Baba” before he could say “Mama.” How he started walking on Christmas day.
One minute you’re stressed about midnight feedings; the next minute you’re stressed about how he plays with others at school. One minute you’re bragging about neck control; the next minute you’re bragging about all the letters he can identify.
Lately, around here, it has felt like the things to be frustrated with have piled up while the things to be excited about have collected a layer of dust.
Then at bedtime last night, Ryan reached up on his toes to show me how he can turn his own bedroom light on and off. I’d never seen him do it before.
(Flip) See?! Now it’s dark in my yiving room!!**
The pride threatened to explode out of me. I had to tell someone.
I texted my friend. The one with the newborn. Just in case her little guy decided to keep her up all night, just in case she found herself feeling frustrated or overwhelmed, she could think, “but hey … before I know it, he’ll be turning his own bedroom light on and off!”
Because with parenting, there is always something to wistfully remember, there is always something to conquer and there is always something to look forward to. And surrounding all of it, there is joy.
**The day he stops referring to his bedroom as his “living room” is going to be a very sad day for me.
There is a story my family likes to tell about the first time my parents took me to a baseball game in Cleveland. I was maybe 5 or 6 years old and my mom excitedly told me we were going to see the Indians!
We found our seats in the stadium and watched as the players ran onto the field and started the game. I sat through an inning or two before turning to my mom and asking, “Where are the Indians?”
I had been patiently waiting for a tribe of Native Americans to arrive.
I thought of that story last week when I was trying to convince Ryan that it was a good idea for us to go to McDonald’s together.
Me: Are you ready go to McDonald’s? You’re going to love it! You can play at the PlayPlace and then we’ll get lunch!
Ryan: No animals! I wanna go to the playground with the rainbow slide!
Me: No, the playground with the rainbow slide is outside. The one at McDonald’s is inside. It’s too rainy to go to the one with the rainbow slide, so let’s go to McDonald’s instead.
Ryan: I don’t want the animals!! I want the playground!
Me: I don’t know why you keep talking about animals, but I promise you’ll love McDonald’s.
Ryan: NO ANIMALS. I DON’T WANT TO SEE OLD MACDONALD.
Me: Ohhhhhhhhh …. no, buddy …. this is different. This isn’t Old MacDonald’s farm; it’s a restaurant with a playground and french fries.
Ryan: Oh, ok! Let’s go!
We are still getting to know each other. But at the risk of damaging our fragile new relationship, I have to ask you: What the hell is your problem?
I watched as you viciously infected my child, morphing my once sweet and loving boy into the whiniest, bossiest, most aggressive version of himself.
I see your good qualities, I really do. Your curiosity and bravery and spunk. You have a fire for life. But I have increasingly noticed that if life doesn’t go exactly your way, you use that fire to turn my passive child into a raving maniac.
Well that’s fine, Age 3. That’s just fine. If you want war, you’ve come to the right home. I promise you I can be 100 times whinier and bossier than you could ever dream. Although I will not stoop to your level of aggression, I will institute all kinds of long and monotonous timeouts. I will take away all the toys and TV shows most precious to you.
And every time my son manages to break through your insanity and show me a glimmer of the kind, polite person I know he truly is, I will praise him and shower him with colorful stickers and fun rewards.
I will do all of this until you relent and exit my son.
I will win.
So go find another defenseless, sweet little two-year-old to inhabit. If you know what’s good for you.
I have an organized mind. I’m a planner, a strategic think.
I don’t reserve strategy just for the big things in life; there is strategy behind virtually every decision I make. The order in which I tackle piles of laundry, for instance. (Oh, you didn’t know this was something you could strategize? That means you’re doing it wrong.)
This endearing (?) personality trait lends itself well to one of my favorite hobbies: baking. If a recipe says you cream this and separately mix those ingredients together and then gradually blend the two together? That’s what I do. I measure ingredients carefully and exactly. Ninety-nine percent of the time, this yields something very tasty.
However, what this trait does not lend itself well to? Cooking.
I view baking as precise; cooking as artistic. A good cook could look in their fridge at the end of the week, take stock of what needs to be used up and create a recipe on the fly.
I cannot do this. After all, how would I know how much onion to add versus how much garlic versus … whatever. (See? I can’t even come up with a third ingredient in my fake meal.)
One of the first times I ever cooked for Mike, I made him one of his favorite things — grilled scallops. But I’d never made (or eaten) scallops before, so I bought the wrong kind, let them get too warm in my car in the Arizona heat and ultimately gave us both food poisoning.
Mike continued to date me, but he took over the cooking responsibilities.
When we made the decision that I would stay home with Ryan this year, fear slowly began to build … the cooking fear, that is.
I hated cooking. I wasn’t any good at it. I wasn’t creative enough. And, whiiiiiine, chopping vegetables is so annoying.
I knew I’d be cooking, though, at least during the week. For two reasons: 1. I couldn’t very well roam through my house all day doing zero dinner prep and then pounce on Mike when he came home from work with questions about what and when we’d be eating and 2. I knew by 5 p.m. every day, I’d be ready to hand Ryan over to his father while I spaced out in the kitchen.
Luckily, we lived with my in-laws for four months, which gave me a buffer period before I had to start performing regularly. My mother-in-law is a fantastic cook. She is the type who will glance in her freezer in the early evening and randomly decide we’re going to have stuffed peppers. Most of the time, she doesn’t cook with a recipe — she cooks from the memory of how her mom made it.
Our favorite joke while we lived together was that I was going to teach her how to get organized and she was going to teach me how to cook. True to word, we spent two full days rearranging her kitchen cabinets into a configuration that made more sense (at least to me). And I sat in that newly organized kitchen every night and watched her make dinner.
I didn’t take notes. I didn’t copy down ingredients. I just watched and talked to her about what she was making. “Oh, this is easy,” she’d say. “The mushrooms and sausage are already cooked, and the salad is chopped. I’ll shred some cheese now and when we’re getting ready to eat, we’ll just cook the pasta, throw it all together, and that’s it. Easy.”
No matter what she was making or how complicated it looked, she always described it that way: “… and that’s it. Easy.”
After four months of watching her cook, I realized it’s not as much about innate ability as it is about attitude.
It’s also about cooking in phases. If I’m home all day, I use the whole day. I make the salad while Ryan is napping. Chop the vegetables while he’s playing with his dinosaurs. Heck, sometimes I cook the whole darn meal while he’s watching Dinosaur Train, cover it and set it aside. When we’re ready to eat, I warm it back up and it’s not just good, it’s actually better because all those flavors were spending lots of time snuggling on my stovetop.
The other key for me has been finding one go-to cookbook I really love. Before I left Phoenix, I begged my friend Kelly – who is an amazing cook – to print me out some of her
easiest favorite recipes. She did that and then went one step further, buying me this Ellie Krieger cookbook, which I use at least once a week. (If you like making soup, get this book.)
In the 2-1/2 months we’ve lived in this house, I have only repeated meals a handful of times. I wanted to spend a few months trying tons of recipes to get a handle on what I like to cook, what I’m good at and what turns out well. Today I made the slow-cooker turkey chili pictured above; tomorrow will be chicken cacciatore (new recipe); and later this week, a healthy variation of macaroni and cheese (Ellie Krieger). On the other nights, we’ll eat leftovers or something quick and easy like grilled cheese sandwiches and soup.
Staying true to myself, I even found a way to make it strategic. I scour the grocery store ads every weekend, plan meals for the week and shop on Monday morning while Ryan is at preschool. I want to eat as healthy as possible for as little money as possible, so that means shopping sales and making sure nothing goes to waste. It’s a challenge, but I think I’m getting pretty good at it.
This year has been a big year of learning and growing for our family. We’ve stretched out of our comfort zones, tried new things, taken on new roles. The most surprising realization for me might be that I actually … like … to cook.
I have been talking up Halloween to Ryan for weeks. At first, he thought the idea was sort of neat. “I could be a giraffe,” he said. “Or a frog!”
Until one day when he adamantly decided he didn’t want to dress up at all. No amount of thoughtful discussion could convince him otherwise. We perused the Halloween costume edition of the Pottery Barn Kids magazine. We watched the Charlie Brown Halloween special. I showed him pictures of himself dressed up for past Halloweens.
The response was simple every time: “I DON’T WANNA DRESS UP.”
I became desperate. I ditched the (very brief) notion I’d had about making his costume myself and took him to one of those giant Halloween stores that pop up in October and walked the aisles, telling him he could pick out whatever he wanted.
Monkey? No. Spiderman? No. One-eyed Mike from Monsters, Inc.? I DON’T WANNA DRESS UP.
In the middle of the very last aisle, he gasped.
“A dragon!!” he yelled.
I looked over and saw it: a A red dragon with a tail and horns and a pitchfork… Oh, that’s actually a … Nevermind, yes. It’s a dragon. Wow, a red dragon! You could be a red dragon!
We paid our $26.99 and left happy.*
From then on, every time someone asked him what he was going to be for Halloween, he grinned and said, “A dragon!” He couldn’t wait.
Last night, I took the costume out of the bag, laid it across my bed and thought to myself, Hmmm, it really looks like a devil, not a dragon. But he thinks it’s a dragon, so whatever. He’ll have so much fun wearing this at his Halloween party at preschool tomorrow …
… the preschool that is housed in the basement of our neighborhood evangelical Lutheran church.
I’m … sending my three-year-old dressed like a devil to a party at a church.**
During a week in which his behavior at school has been, uh, less than angelic.
Luckily, he hated the hood part of the costume. (Praise Jesus!) So, five minutes before we had to leave for the party, I grabbed a pair of scissors and turned it into this:
Not only am I pretty sure this costume won’t get him kicked out of preschool, I also figure this means I did actually make it myself.***
My words have dwindled here a bit over the past couple of weeks. That’s because my writing has been focused elsewhere.
I’m, like, a newspaper reporter again.
But, dude, it’s so much better this time around.
I landed a regular freelance gig for the local newspaper, which means I am scheduled each week to cover night meetings (school board, city council, etc.). I’m assigned based on my availability and my proximity to the meeting. In other words, I only get sent out for stories that are close to my house on days that I feel like doing it.
On days I work, I eat dinner with my family, go to a meeting, come home and file my story that night. The next morning, I wake up and go back to my regularly schedule life: pre-school drop-offs and grocery shopping and banana bread baking and Friends marathons.*
I think I may have found it … that elusive balance we all crave.
It’s amazing the way life can work itself out. When I left the newspaper industry four years ago, I assumed I was saying goodbye to it forever. Newspapers – and newspaper reporters, for that matter – are a dying breed. I got out the first time around on my own terms before I became another casualty. I knew then and I know now: I don’t want to be a full-time news reporter.
But a freelance reporter? Oh hell yes. It’s easy, flexible money. I’m building professional contacts of my own in the area. I’m dusting off clothing, shoes and oversized work bags that haven’t been used in months. I tell Ryan, “I have to go, sweet pea. Give me a kiss. Mommy’s gonna go make the monies.”**
Honestly, I have felt more like myself over the past couple of weeks than I have since we got on that airplane seven months ago. I know work isn’t everything. It is important to me, but it was never the most important thing. Family is. Hands down, every single time. But people are complicated, layered beings. And beneath my Family Layer is a Work Layer that was shriveling up and in need of some attention.
Plus, going from two incomes to one is a bit of a shock to the system. A little extra money now and then? Not terrible right now.
The strangest part about this is the fact that I write for Mike’s hometown paper. I’ve never written for a paper that was read by family. The first time a couple of my stories ran, Mike’s uncle called his mom and said, “Hey, I just saw Meg’s byline! She’s reporting again?!”
It’s a little intimidating to write for an audience that has lived in this area for, oh, their entire lives, while I’ve lived here since, oh, April. But it’s forcing me to learn about the area on a deeper level and that sort of knowledge is what makes a place start to feel like home.
Now I just need to make some local friends and I’ll be REAL happy/balanced. Lehigh Valley happy hour, anyone?
*Just kidding, Mike! (Ok, FINE. Once. I watched a Friends marathon once. I am weak.)
**I know, I call myself a “writer” and then speak to my son in this horridly ungrammatical fashion. I can’t help it … I think it’s funny to say “make the monies.”
I moved Back East for fall.
That’s an oversimplification but it’s sort of true.
I wanted Ryan to grow up with the sort of memories I have as a child. Distinct seasons, soft grass, colorful leaves, a crispness in the air that signals an end to summer, a start to school, the too-tiny window of time between too-hot and too-cold.
In Arizona, we had a gloriously long spring. We obviously had plenty of summer. And the thing most people don’t realize about the desert is that the winters can be pretty bitter cold. (That whole “at least it’s a dry heat” thing? That same dryness makes the winter temps feel colder, too.)
What we really, truly lacked in Arizona was fall.
So this year, I felt I needed to honor my first real fall in nearly a decade. With Halloween photo cards. Christmas card-quality Halloween cards.
Usually, when I’m creating Christmas cards, I pick out a design I like and then crowbar photos I already have into that design. The end result is always the same: I like the cards. I don’t love them.
I wanted to love these cards. So I thought about them for several weeks. I perused the design options at Tiny Prints and after a bit of indecision (so many cute options!), I chose this card. Simplicity speaks to me and this design grabbed me the first time I saw it.
Now? I just needed Ryan to cooperate with me during the photo shoot.
Easier said than done with a three-year-old who has his own agenda every second of every day. I knew I couldn’t plan it. I knew the opportunity would make itself known. So, I sat back patiently and waited.
Sure enough, one morning a couple of weeks ago, Ryan woke up in his Halloween jammers desperately wanting to play outside.
“I don’t know, buddy … it’s early and the gutter guy is coming soon … well, alright, you can play outside for a little bit … UH … IF you wear your dinosaur head and pose for Mommy’s camera first … ”
He pretended to be fully on board, made me all sorts of promises about looking at the camera and following direction. Then we went outside and I got a bunch of this:
Dude. Come ON. You’re a dinosaur! Have fun with it!
Ok. This is not working…
Ryan, run toward me! Run at Mommy!
Ok, now we’re getting somewhere. BUT, we need scary!
That’s not so much “scary” as it is “hopeful for candy.” What else you got?
Hahaha, I get it! You’re all “Milk Duds?!? Where’s my Kit Kat, fool??” Funny! But I need scary.
So cute! Now … ROAR AT ME LIKE A DINOSAUR!
AH-HA! This I can work with…
It only took five minutes, seven “if-you-don’t-do-this-for-me-you’re-not-playing-outside” threats and twenty-two snapshots before we got the perfect pose.
Overall, pretty painless for our first attempt at a staged photo card shoot.
And according to the text messages I’ve been receiving this week from family, the card is a hit.
Disclaimer: Tiny Prints did not pay me for this post, although they were gracious enough to offer me a credit to try their product. I’m not a frequent product review blogger and only consider it when the brand is one I personally connect with and offers a product I truly feel comfortable recommending.
I'm Meg. An Ohio girl who relocated to Arizona after college and met a Pennsylvania boy. Married him and had a kid. After nearly a decade in the desert, we moved Back East to be closer to family and changing seasons. I'm a freelance writer and a stay-at-home mom. I'm a great baker but I'm still learning how to cook. I am too organized and too sarcastic for my own good.
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