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Friday, May 4, 2012

Best excuse for carrying a little weight? I JUST had a baby!

Since my son was born in 1994, I  notoriously used the excuse, "I just had a baby" to explain any extra weight on my body. It worked well with people I didn't know, until of course, they asked me how old my baby was. I would boldly respond, "Oh, he's 13 now." To which their natural next sentence would sound something like this: "Aww... 13 months is such a sweet age." Yes... it is a sweet age. However, I would fail to explain that my kid was 13 years old at the time.

I finally pulled it together and got back to my ideal weight and then all of a sudden I was pregnant again. At first I was concerned about weight gain and then became secretly excited that I wouldn't have to worry about it because I had a good 13 years ahead of me to blame any weight gain on my new baby. The problem is that I'm in my 40s now and as I get older I start to realize that my body begins to crack when I'm not treating it well. Hence, the need to try and figure out a solution that works with my busy schedule and natural non-conformist, rebel attitude about going to the gym.

The idea of fad diets - like the cabbage soup diet (come on ladies... you remember this diet, right?) - does not sound even remotely appealing. Diet pills make my heart race now, much unlike in the 90s when they gave me a buzz. So now, I have to be mature and responsible and try different methods for getting in shape and losing additional, non-wanted body chub.

I recently discovered a fun little yum yum that Dr. Oz spoke about on his show. (Okay, truth is I was flipping through the channels and accidently ran across his show and got stuck there for an hour.) The little yum yums are called Re-Body® Hunger Chews™. According to the Doc, these chews help control cravings, which in turn help control weight gain. Hmm... okay... sounds a bit interesting. Then I researched the product to find that it contains a fancy ingredient called Satiereal® which is an extract of Saffron. So you ask, what the hell is Saffron? Okay, you might not have asked that, but I did ask it with the voices in my head because I'm not a mom who spends a lot of time in the kitchen.

Here is the cool part: Saffron is a spice. It is also a natural appetite regulator THAT... wait for it... helps regulate the levels of serotonin in the brain, which are responsible for mood and appetite. Dude! Really? When I began doing research on Re-Body® Hunger Chews™ I found a scientific study done in 2010 by a team of French researchers who found that saffron had the capacity to boost serotonin while dramatically decreasing feelings of hunger between meals. Common sense tells me that if we can boost the serotonin (girls on anti-depressants know all about serotonin... been there... done that, right?) then we can certainly curb our stress and emotional eating habits. That makes sense.

Click on this link to find the yum yums on line to order.
I received a package in the mail and immediately ripped it open and ate one. All before reading the directions, of course. It tasted like a piece of chewy mandarin orange flavored candy, sort of like Skittles but bigger and better. After inhaling the first one, I read the package to find that the directions call for one chew twice daily before meals. And, of course they disclaim that a healthy diet and moderate exercise, along with Re-Body® Hunger Chews™, are a delicious solution for a weight management program. Blah, blah, blah.

So far I've been taking the Re-Body® Hunger Chews™ daily for about three weeks. Truth is, I feel much better. I haven't had any spikes in "the beast" - what my son affectionately calls my mood swings - and I'm not craving sugars and snacks throughout the day. And, this morning, I put on my favorite jeans and they are loose. Bonus! Unfortunately, years ago I disposed of all scales in my home and have banned them indefinitely so I don't know how much weight I've actually lost, but I can tell by the clothes I'm wearing that success is happening.

I highly recommend that my girls try this little yummy miracle in a bag. It's tasty. It's fun. It tames the beast. It'll slim up the chub and bring you back to sporting that super hot body in no time. And, the best part is that you won't have to use the, "I just had a baby... ummm 13 years ago" excuse anymore! Word!

After you have tried them, be sure to post on www.myteenagerandtoddler.blogspot.com and let me know how it is working for you. I'll keep posting updates on my experience as well. And, if you have already tried them be sure to post about your experience to share with our readers!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Tame the Beast.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin manipulate - vb: to negotiate, control or influence (something or someone) cleverly, skillfully, or deviously.

My kids are masters at building manipulation tactics that work brilliantly when dealing with me. As many of you know, I have the man-boy, who is turning 18 in a few weeks, and the baby girl, who is a three-year-old toddler dictator. Each kid has their own distinct personality traits, and manipulation styles. Both of which have proven very successful - much to my dismay most of the time!

My Son - The Charmer.  Man-boy has had the same consistent style of manipulation since he was little. He's smooth. He's gentle. He bats his eyes and gives a sheepish grin. And, he wins - every time. He knows exactly how to handle his mother.  For example, I'll be fuming mad at him for something he's done that I don't agree with - not taking out the trash, leaving food in the living room, staying out too late, not checking in when I expect him to, or not managing his money and then constantly bumming money off of me. I'll get myself totally worked up and ready to let him have it and then, all of a sudden, he gives me "the look." His big brown eyes start to widen and he tilts his head and says, "Mom... you are so beautiful. I am so lucky to have such a wonderful, beautiful mother and all of my friends think you are the best. It really makes me proud to be your son and I just thought I'd tell you that today."  Ugh. Whatcha gonna do? I find myself exhaling and all my anger just melts away. My response is usually, "Oh that is so sweet Man-Boy. How much money did you need for the movies tonight?"

Sucked in. Every time. He calls his tactic, "Taming the Beast," and actually that is pretty accurate. When the mama is beast-like, a little sweetness takes care of the problem every time and the mama's wallet magically opens. I instantly forget why I was mad in the first place.

My Daughter - The Dictator. Baby girl's style is completely opposite of her brother's style. She is a brute. She bull-dog's her way to get what she wants. She is extremely controlling and strong-willed. Baby girl doesn't mess around with the sweet-talking charms her brother utilizes. She demands what she wants and gains momentum the longer it takes for her to get it. I remember when she was a little over a year old and was waking up in the middle of the night wanting to be fed. Her pediatrician told me it was vital that I didn't continue to give her the feedings because she was old enough to start sleeping through the night. He said if I didn't stand my ground, she would develop bad habits. His words exactly were, "Mom. It's a battle of the wills. You just have to figure out who has the stronger will."

That answer was easy. She did! I would let her cry with the hopes she'd wear herself out and go back to sleep. But all that would happen was her momentum got stronger and stronger. She could cry for hours to the point of turning red and sweating because she was so pissed at me. Her adrenaline kicked in and I swear it was like Darth Vader took over. Finally, I would give in and do what she wanted to calm her down.

She still has the same strong will that she had as an infant. She wants what she wants and when she wants it.

Both kids have such distinct personalities - which are completely different from one another. I can see that my son will go through life as the charmer he has always been. Everyone loves him and he's always been very popular with his peers and the parents of his peers. He is compassionate and sweet. He's also always working an angle, but no one really knows it because he's so smooth. In other words, he gets what he wants but other people don't realize that he manipulated the situation to his benefit. I'm thinking sales or public relations will be a good route for his career path.

With baby girl, all I can say is, "Oh Lawdy! Good luck to any man who comes into her life!!!" He is certainly going to have to learn how to "tame the beast" when she gets her mind set on something. She is a born leader, for sure. I can envision her running a business or perhaps, ruling the world like a Power Puff girl. Whatever she does as an adult, she'll be in control of it as well as everyone around her.

Both kids have a little bit of me in them - the good, the bad, the ugly! But, at least in my world, I think it's just about perfect. At the very least, we certainly know how to deal with each other.








Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Boy! You better take a bath and learn how to speak.

Okay Mr. "I'm Working the Drive-Thru at McDonald's" boy, it's time you and I have a talk. 

First of all, you need to shower. Seriously, dude. You work in a restaurant. I realize that it's McDonald's, and perhaps you don't think it's important to show responsibility towards your employer by displaying personal hygiene. However, there are thousands of people a day who see you. Just because the fries are greasy, it does NOT give you the green light to not wash your hair, brush your teeth or clean your face.

Secondly, it is vital that you enunciate your words when you are speaking to customers. Sentences such as, "thank you" should not sound like "taannnu." No sir. And, "please pull forward" should not come across as, "plapolfooo."

WTF? Really?

Even my son, who speaks "teenager language," looked at me and said, "What the hell did he just say?" You received a failing grade from one of your own peers. That's bad! 

Let me tell you this young drive-thru employee, laziness will not help you to move forward in life. Although I applaud you for working a respectable job, I give you a FAIL on your overall cleanliness and vocabulary. When you use one long, weird, drawn-out syllable rather than a well-spoken sentence, you sound lazy and detached. It doesn't take anymore time to say it correctly - especially when customers have to ask you three times what you said. Dude! Three freakin' times! Think of this, oh mighty slurer of words, in essence you just spent more energy saying it wrong than you would have if you had just said it correctly in the first place.

Perhaps I should post this to your parents, rather than you. Parents! Pay attention to your kid! Do you not notice that he looks as if he just came off of a three day drunken black out? Do you not notice that he slurs one long syllable rather than breaking it into three distinct words? Send that boy to "Camp Mom" and I'll get him squared away.

Now here's the deal kid. I want you to go home tonight and take a shower. Put your clothes in the washing machine so they are clean tomorrow (and please, for the love of God, pull them up over your hips! When you brought out our food in one hand while holding up your pants in the other, I just about choked) and get a good night's sleep. Tomorrow is a new day. I hope you will heed my advice and clean up your act because next time, I assure you, I will be telling this to you directly through the McDonald's window.

Sincerely
Management Mom






A Good Friend Knows How You Take Your Coffee. A GREAT Friend Adds Booze.

I saw this statement on a friend's wall on Facebook and began sharing it with my closest friends immediately. With my group of hot mess girlfriends, this statement is about as close to the truth one can get. I love my coffee. And I really love my coffee with a hit of Bailey's in it.

Every morning when I get up, the first thing I do is make coffee. Even the kids know not to speak to me until I've had at least half a cup. At this point, I don't think they even make eye contact with me in the mornings. I'm not sure though because my brain is in a fog and they look like little people blurs. The voices in my head are screaming, and I truly think my arteries begin to shrink as the oxygen level depletes from my body.

Then... a few glorious swallows later, the brain fog starts to rise and the sun begins to shine and all is right and good in my world. I used to wonder if anyone else was as neurotic as I was before their morning coffee, and then Facebook came into our lives. Now I see that I'm not alone in the world of coffee-depraved non-morning mothers. Most early morning posts from my friends go something like this: MUST... HAVE... COFFEEEEEE.... NOW. Short and sweet, but effective and understandable.

I decided to start stepping up my coffee game and try something a bit more sophisticated than the typical grocery store stuff. I found a cool website about coffee and then was led to an online company that sells all sorts of amazing coffee and gifts. It's at called ROASTe. Cute, clever little name.

The first thing you do when you go to the website is choose your coffee profile. LOL... I love it... am I a dark roasted, whole bean, organic, decaf, flavored or espresso-based gal? Umm... all of the above? To narrow it down, I chose organic which took me to the top choices based on my profile. They have names like Jim's Sweet Love or the Appalachian Trail blend which are kind of cute and endearing. I think this mama will have some of Jim's Sweet Love, please. :)

Literally, any type of coffee you can imagine is on the site - which has a bad-ass design, by the way. Because I'm a graphic artist, if I get to a website that looks like a wanna-be hack produced it, I totally glaze over. But this site is gorgeous and it makes me want to drink coffee. Seriously. Where is Jim with his sweet love, right about now?

Since my sophistication has been raised a notch, I am putting in my first order tonight with ROASTe. The prices are reasonable - about the same as what you pay at the grocery for boring, non-sophisticated coffee - and there is FREE shipping for orders over $35. This makes me happy. And, I'll be even happier when Jim gets here and gives me some of his sweet morning lovin'! Since I'm a coupon shopper (hello... single mom.. two kids...) I found a coupon code for $5 OFF on a first coffee purchase. When you go to ROASTe, type in: BLOGME5 at the checkout when you make a purchase. Cool beans! Literally. :)

Word up to my neurotic, fog-brained, non-morning moms... I'll keep ya posted on the yum yum and my new boyfriend Jim.

To Shelter or Not to Shelter?

From my observations, there are two main directions parents take when raising their kids. The first way seems to be the "shelter" approach and the second is the "not shelter" approach. Many times parents believe they must protect their child from any harm... from falling out of a tree (for God's sake don't let a kid climb a tree) and skinning their knee (kids shouldn't run anyways) to getting their feelings hurt in school (because life in general is so passive) or playing with the wrong crowd (because certainly they won't have to decide who is good and who is bad as adults.) 


 My philosophy is different. I'm more on the "not shelter" end of the spectrum, with a slight variation. Ever since baby girl was beginning to toddle around the house, I'd make a point to not gasp in fear as she stumbled. You know that sound, right? The sudden intake of air a parent does when their baby takes a face plant. If baby girl falls, I simply say, "Your okay... let's keep playing." She is now the toughest little chick on the playground at day care. Others will skin their knees and begin the melodramatic crying and sudden need to be held and coddled, while baby girl just gets up, brushes herself off and dredges forward to the swing set. She'll look at the cry babies as if they have three heads. Ain't nothin' but a thang! The truth of the matter is this: babies learn to walk by falling. Simple.  


That also plays a part in the development of a child later in life. If we shelter our children from everything in the world, then how will they know how to protect themselves and make the right decisions when they are on their own? Here's an example: I had a friend in high school who was very sheltered from everything. She wasn't allowed to listen to any music unless it was pre-approved by her parents. She wasn't allowed to date. She wasn't allowed to go to parties. She sat in her room at night watching the world go by through her window. Then she met me. I was in high school during the 80s and didn't have a cell phone, computer or internet. Instead, we just had fun. We went to the beach about five days a week, we went to parties, we hung out at the mall... we were free-spirited, happy teenagers. When I met my new friend, I put on my best "suck up to the parents" skills and soon won them over. Then, my friend was allowed to run around with me - on occasion - in my '67 VW Bug (affectionately named Moosehead after my favorite beer.) I taught her important skills such as how to sneak into an R-rated movie with a purse full of beer, and how to crash parties with your friends. We laughed until we cried and enjoyed being teenagers. After years of being sheltered, my friend had a hard time adjusting to being an adult once she moved out of her parent's home. This is when trouble can really begin for sheltered kids, because they are not prepared for what the world is really like. In other words, they don't fully develop their common sense - a vital component to self preservation. 


The variation to the "not shelter" component of my parenting style is that I always keep a quiet, watchful eye on my kids. Most times, they don't realize it, but I'm always alert and "on call" to swoop in and save the day - but only if I am needed. I don't expose my children to the harsh realities of the world because I want them to be kids. I've heard many parents talk to their children as if they are adults with subjects such as world war, death and destruction. DUDE! Those topics blow! I don't even want to hear about that crap as an adult so why the hell throw that on a kid? However, I do allow my kids to naturally learn about bad things during their day-to-day interactions in life. I believe this helps to develop their common sense and abilities to problem solve and cope. 


 So, with all of that being said, give your kids a break if you are an over protective parent. Let them spread their wings. Let them breath a little. Let them climb trees and skin their knees. If not, you might just end up with an anti-social, whiny little adult on your hands - and THAT my friend, ain't fun! Just sayin'!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

From Chuck E. Cheese to Sushi

I can't believe my son will be 18 years old in just a few weeks. That is such a milestone in his life. And, really, it's a big milestone in mine as well. 


I think back of the days when he was so sweet - always wanting to please and do well. Now he doesn't try to impress. I remember when he was innocent and naive. Now he's sort of a perv that dry humps the air and walls to rap songs like a stripper in a club. I remember when it was so easy to make him happy for his birthdays - when Disney and Chuck E. Cheese were his favorites. Now, he wants dinner at a Sushi Restaurant and then plans to hit clubs at midnight when he's officially of legal age. Instead of scrubbing off temporary tattoos, I am shown photos of permanent tattoos he plans on getting. 


Reflecting back on his childhood is bitter sweet. He has been by my side his entire life, protecting me and always watching out for me. I've been by his side his entire life, protecting him and always watching out for him. I remember telling him when he was younger how I wanted him to stay living at home until he was much older because, truth be told, I couldn't imagine my life without him.


Now I realize that he has to move on and grow, without me watching his every move to make sure he is safe. There comes a time when all moms have to let go of their babies so they can grow into the adults they are meant to be. And, we must realize that they have learned from us how to behave and handle life. I see that in my son. He is strong willed, charming, witty, and compassionate. He's also a major pain in the ass. All of these qualities he has learned from me. 


I will miss having him here all the time when he does officially move out, but I'll also probably enjoy some aspects of it. Not having to hunt for my hair dryer will be nice. Having privacy in my room without him barging in will be nice. Not having to rewash loads of laundry over and over again because he doesn't want to put them away and would rather throw them back in the machine, will be nice. But, those nice aspects don't really out weigh the not-nice aspects of him leaving home. I guess I will have to adjust and realize that the future will also have it's great rewards. And, I will always be his mother. 


I have so much advice to give him as he approaches adulthood. But, I think the best advice right now is this: "Son. Remember that now you can be charged as an adult if you get into trouble. So, please remember that when you go out "clubbing" at 18 in the big city!"


Monday, January 23, 2012

Ruining my Kids... One Day at a Time.

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There are many moms out there that are perfect. I mean, perfect in every way. They are organized. They always look polished. Their SUVs are clean. Their houses are clean. Their kids go to bed at a set time every night - after having dinner at the exact time each evening. And, of course, the meals provided have been home-cooked and are planned in advance for the week. Meatloaf on Monday. Roast beef on Tuesday. Spaghetti on Wednesday. You get the picture.

I'm not one of those moms. I'm a complete disaster! As a matter of fact, I'm so opposite of the perfect moms that my kids are survivalists in the making.

I am so disorganized that I'm constantly hunting for shoes for baby girl. She has about 40 pairs of shoes (that's normal for a 3 year old, right?) but there always seems to be one missing when I have the perfect outfit for her. I buy her hair bows and bands but can never find them (actually, I think she hides them from me.)

My son is ready to get his driver's license, and I keep rescheduling it because I tell him I'm so swamped with work that "today isn't a good day." Truth is, I have no freakin' idea where I carefully filed his birth certificate and social security card. Dang... where did I put those? I know they are in a safe place somewhere... but where?

I'm never polished looking during the week. The only time I put on make up and fix my hair is if I have a client meeting. Typically I'm in sweat pants and a wife beater tank with big fuzzy house slippers while doing important professional phone conferences with clients. Many of the clients have asked me to get Skyp so we can video chat and I keep avoiding it because that'll mean I have to look presentable and God knows I don't want to deal with that nonsense! When I meet with a client for the first time, I look fabulous. Skirt, heels, blouse, matching briefcase, hair perfect and make up on. But, after the meeting, if I like the client and decide to work with them I make it clear that this will be the only time they see me dressed up (totally feel like I'm in drag!) and to expect jeans with holes in them, a t-shirt and UGG boots next time. Like it or leave it. I'm too old to care about impressing. They should be impressed with the amazing work I produce and not fancy clothes and make up, right?

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When it comes to keeping my SUV clean and organized, I get a big FAIL on that. It's filled with mail that I pick up and ignore (only interested in the checks that arrive - the rest of the mail sucks), cheerios and sippy cups that have rolled under the seats that I find days later only because my car starts to smell. Typically, baby girl will begin the stripping process in the car on the way home from daycare and the first thing she takes off are her shoes (hmm... need to check the car for some missing shoes) so there are about 10 pairs in there. The only time I "muck out" the car is if I know I am picking up someone that matters - like an adult (and sometimes I don't even do it then.)

I am a hoarder when it comes to storing food. I think this is because I lived on a farm for so many years that was far away from any grocery stores. Therefore, when I'd do the 38-mile-round-trip to the store, I'd make sure I bought enough food so that I wouldn't have to go back any time soon. But, when I buy all this wonderful food and put it away, most times I forget to cook it! I'll have the most beautiful pot roast, chicken breasts and steaks in the freezer that will go bad because I never remember to take them out and thaw to cook for an evening meal.  I end up with meat that is freezer-burned, but lots of quick, fix it meals that are eaten instead.

How do these perfect moms do it? I can't even remember to take my house key with me 80% of the time and end up having to climb in a window in the middle of the day to get back into my house! The neighbors think I'm crazy - I'm sure - when they see this 44-year-old mother of two hiking herself up on a ledge and flipping in the house face first. I've gotten so many bruises from doing this, I look like a roller derby skater.

My kids think I'm crazy, especially my teenage son. He sends me text messages that say, "MOM... don't forget to cook dinner tonight" or "MOM... don't forget to pick me up from school today." Yes... it's true. I have forgotten him a couple of times. Oops... sorry son. Mommy loves you!

But, at the end of the day, after I've taken kids to school at the crack of dawn, worked like a maniac all day, and picked up the kids from school, they know I love them. We laugh in the car together talking about our day. We sing to music together while driving and tell jokes. I may be a disorganized mom, but I'm a loving mom. I'm there for them emotionally and they are secure.

So, kudos to you perfect moms out there. And, word up to you non-perfect moms! I guess we just have to do it our way and make it work for our kids. All is good in the world when that happens.

PS: I just went into the play room to check on baby girl and found her covered in my $100 mineral powder makeup. She had spread it out on the coffee table and was taking her hands and smearing it everywhere. Nice! I don't wear it anyways, so whatcha gonna do!



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Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Definition of a Hot Mess Girl Party

DEFINITION: hot mess girl party [hot mess girl par-tay]  - A night that consists of all or most of the following: a Chinese New Year's celebration, red clothing for good luck, chop sticks, round dime-sized chewy balls with vodka, a meatball on a stick (for those who are chopstick handicapped), 700 photos taken throughout the evening (all bad photos deleted), a bar filled with Roller Derby prom dates, a rock-the-house band (it's additionally cool to know the band members), an 80's flashback dancer who flips her hair continuously while dancing alone as she sports tight white spandex and sprays her hair with Aqua Net for extra hold (all while never missing a step), an 85-pound roller derby male photographer who needs an escort, by a hot mess party participant, to the parking lot because he's afraid of the dark, a bathroom with only four stalls - two of which are broken, Napoleon Dynamite (yes, he was there), an extra-large butt crack ultimately promising to be the best photo opportunity of the evening, two hot mess party participants having to leave early for booty calls with their boys (while some of the married participants said, "I sure miss being excited to have sex... best line of the night, I might add) and finally, a 2:00 a.m. McDonald's drive through "sit-u-ation" that resulted in two 44-year-old hot mess girl party participants almost having a throw down with mouthy teenagers.

If, by chance, you have experienced most or all of the above, you have indeed had a perfect Hot Mess Girl Party. If you have not, then you must try again, because you get a FAIL for fun. 


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Saturday, January 21, 2012

I'm moving out!

When my son was 15 years old, he decided he was ready to live on his own because he knew it all and I was a moron. I'm sure many moms have experienced the same situation while raising their teens. We were living on our farm that happened to have a guest cottage on the property located only about 100-feet away from the main house. He and I had been fighting most of the day and, rather than the typical statement, "I want to go live with my dad" threat, he packed his bag, grabbed his pillow and blanket and said, "I'm moving out!"

Okay. Where ya going big guy?

Let me just premise this story with the fact that my son is not the bravest soldier in the troop. He has been notorious for sleeping with his light on or at the very least, with his TV on, so he could hear the noise all night rather than obsessing over night-time creepy "farm sounds."

He gathered up his attitude and his belongings and marched out the front door and headed on the long 100-foot journey to the cottage. As the day went on, I never saw him. He would text message me from his new home every once in a while to check in with me and, as expected, the text messages became more frequent as night time approached. I just smiled to myself because I knew he would completely freak out once it was completely dark outside. Oh yes... it was getting close!

At about 10:00 pm that night, I climbed into bed and just as I began to fall asleep, my phone started beeping continuously. It was my son. "Mom! Did you hear that noise? Something is outside the cottage!" he cried frantically. Of course, I'm realizing it was probably a raccoon. He was certain it was a bear. A few minutes later, more text messages arrived.

He typed, "MOM!!! Please please please turn on the light and come to the front porch! I have to get out of here!" as if he were busting out of Alcatraz.

I stayed in bed a few more minutes to let him really appreciate the scary sounds before I went to the front door and turned on the light. I went out on the porch and called his name and I quickly hear, "I'm right here. Are you watching for me?"

"Yes baby... come on home."

Out of the dark, I then saw my sweet teenage son. He was walking so fast dragging his pillow and blanket with him that I thought for a moment I was watching a Charlie Brown cartoon.

As he entered the front door he gave me a huge hug and said, "Well mom. I think you've suffered enough. I've decided to move back home." Ha! Thanks son... it was lonely without you for that entire six hours.


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