Just for Laughs

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My daughter helped me decorate the Father’s Day cake the best way she knows how…with her fingers… ūüôĄūüėā

 

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My Threenager

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Ah, 3 year olds.

I’d forgotten how annoying they are… So dramatic, so illogical. Toootal divas. Everything has to be exactly a certain way (and I guarantee that way will change 7 thousand times), or they lose it.

Let me explain to you how ridiculous my life is right now. My daughter is currently passing a cup of almond milk back and forth between microwave and fridge to get it to just the right temperature. This is what I’m hearing:

“It’s too cold!” *scamper scamper *beep beep

“It’s too hot!” *scamper scamper *swoosh swoosh (what sound does an opening and closing fridge door make anyway? Well, you get the idea)

“It’s too cold!” *scamper scamper *beep beep

“It’s too hot!” *scamper scamper *swoosh swoosh

*Facepalm. I can’t… What… What is happening…

And the screaming!! What is it with the screaming!!! She is getting so sassy and rebellious these days. She looks me dead in the eye and quips an emphatic “No”. Like she’s challenging me, DARING me to say otherwise. She clenches her fists, widens her eyes, and convulses her body in rage, and screams til she’s red in the face.

I just want her to grow up.

And yet I want her to stop. She’s already learned too much. She’s learned that it’s pistachios, not “pikachus”¬†(I wanted that one to last forever!). She’s learned how to put on her own pants (working on shirts). She’s learned how to have a replacement toy ready to hand her baby brother if she takes one out of his hand, so he doesn’t cry.

I’m holding tight to her remaining adorable linguistic habits. She still says anyone instead of no one. As in:

Mama:¬†Y, who’s sitting here? (in this empty chair)

Daughter: Anyone!

She still says “cited” instead of excited, “byoofuw” instead of beautiful. She still beams passionately, “I missed you soooooo much” every time I come back to her after being out for 2 hours.

And in reality she’s really not that bad at all. I’ve dealt with way worse three year olds in this family… Won’t name any names…¬†ūüėÜ

I Committed a Horrendous Crime This Morning

All I wanted was to go about my morning simply and peacefully- my head low, keep to myself, keep out of trouble. Go through our regular routine – feed the kids breakfast, change clothes, brush teeth, off to school. But noOooOooOo, we would have none of that nonsense. Nope, absolutely not. There was no way. It was just too much to ask.

T (now 5) decided he wanted to get a haircut (who do they think they are with their little tiny brains having their own little tiny desires…well, actually in T’s case, whatever desires he has, he makes them HUGE. He makes them KNOWN. He has steadily honed his skill of pestering and prodding and aggravating and infuriating until he breaks you…). One of my husband’s good friends (we call him Samchon – “uncle”¬†in Korean) showed up to church on Sunday with a brand spankin new haircut, and T decided he wanted one just like it. I specifically explained to T that it was still too early (too cold; not yet “Spring” enough on this snow covered 23rd day of March…God, I hate the weather) to have the sides of his hair shaved and the top of it long and flowing off to the side. I asked him to wait. No, he wanted it now. I said let’s do it after school. He said I said that yesterday. I said I don’t have any experience cutting hair; let’s go to the shop later today. He said he wanted me to cut it. Sigh. This is the boy I exploded at a few days ago for being obnoxious and defiant telling me he hated my lunch and wasn’t going to eat it (I made him eat it). I still feel bad. I mean there are ways to get your message across and elicit change without losing your cool (So I hear. Any and all instructions welcome below!). So I gazed at his adorable little face (my face) and his skinny little body (when did he get so tall and skinny?) and I nodded ok. He gave me his word that he would accept a compromise of just a trim today and a more thorough, shorter cut in 2 or 3 weeks. We had 30 minutes until we had to be out of the house. We shook on it. My fate was sealed.

So, listen guys. I personally think I did a hell of a job. My first time cutting a boy’s hair! It looks half decent, no? It did take me the full 30 minutes – maybe a bit more. We were closing in on being late for school and the kids hadn’t eaten breakfast. Aiyaiyai what are you thinking, Diane, just WHAT are you thinking, really?¬†I guess I felt like a challenge?! A little race against the clock to really get the blood pumping and start the morning off right?! *Eyeroll. I was almost done. A little snip here, buzz there, comb this bit out, even that bit out. Aaaaand….. THERE! Done! Good enough. T had been smiling the entire time – very fidgety, but he made it through. He was excited.

He walked to the mirror. Of course this wouldn’t be Parenthood if he smiled and said, “Thanks, Mom, great job!” He LOATHED it. He screamed at the top of his lungs and proceeded to wail and wail as if I had just burned all of his toys.

I should have known.

I should have known.

The rest of the morning is a blur of tears and screams and threats and bribes and questioning my choice to become a parent. I thought 5 year olds were past tantrums. To be fair, though, I realize full grown adults can also have the same reaction about a haircut gone wrong. I’m sure he’s not the first person, young or old, to swear they would never leave the house until their hair grew out.

We did finally get to school. Only 90 minutes late. Ironically, I have to go to T’s school at 1:30 to watch him receive his Student of the Month certificate.

My daughter literally just looked at the hair scissors and said to me, “I want to do a haircut Umma!” Lord help me.

The Winds of Change

I recently realized I totally take for granted the fact that I can enjoy four distinct seasons. (Fact you already know #139: Some states essentially have only one season!) That’s one great thing about living in the Tri State area (among many other things! No, that’s not the ONLY good thing about New Jersey¬†ha ha very funny…)

I love the transition between seasons. It feels mysterious and expectant. One period ends and another begins. My heart flutters with hope. Possibility. Like the possibility of buying new clothes… what did you think I meant? ūüėČ

I wouldn’t mind moving, though. During our recent Thanksgiving trip to Alabama to see my sister in law’s family (Congratulations on Baby #3!), I found myself retracting what I had said during our first visit about never even considering moving there because it was just too dang hot. I realized that was probably because I was pregnant and my body temp was off the charts. Also, my logical brain and emotional brain were scrambled up like a bunch of eggs.

I love the idea of experiencing life in different parts of the country and the world. I seem to thrive on change actually. I get restless/antsy if things stay the same for too long. I noticed this especially when I was pregnant with my first, and then had my son, and then went back to work, and then stopped and became a stay at home mom. All of these four events were about 9 months apart. The consistent changes kept me engaged and excited. It all worked out perfectly actually.

Ah good ol’ New Jersey. Snow in March. What else ya got, Mother Nature? Bring it on! (But just let it be Spring before April, please. Thanks.)

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I GOT THIS

Having three kids has been… well, I can’t sum it up into one word. Except maybe “hard” ha!

But I am slowly, surely getting back to living life as we had known it (as much “living” as that is… some might say having your schedule -not to mention your mind- revolve entirely around very noisy, messy, emotionally unstable miniature people and being restricted from going out to party on Friday nights, traveling the world, or enjoying an uninterrupted hot cup of coffee while binge watching your favorite shows on a lazy Saturday is not exactly living the dream, but I don’t care. This is the life I chose and I love it (Ok, I love/hate it. It’s complicated.).

I’m proud of myself because two days ago I finally made my alone-with-three-children-to-the-mall debut. It started out rough because the whole time we were getting ready to leave, Baby was in the car seat wailing, but thank goodness, he fell asleep halfway through the car ride because Older Brother so generously held his pacifier in for him. He’s a sweetie when he wants to be! Actually his sweet streak continued through the whole time playing in the play area and eating his lunch. Of course I used bribery. I held McDonald’s (not even the food, just the happy meal toys is what he’s excited about) over his and his sister’s heads, and that did the trick. We made it through the three hour outing without a scratch! Woohoo!!

And to add encouragement to accomplishment (I’m coining a new term. This is the flip side of “add insult to injury”. Tell your friends.), yesterday, I got all three of my offspring to bed ON TIME, BY MYSELF (Appa had an errand). I started it all off with a desperate prayer, then I held my breath and dove in. I TRIED to put my 5 month old to bed first so I could then focus on the older two, but of COURSE he woke up 20 minutes after I put him down (it’s been this way for 2 weeks now. Lord help us.). Sooo, there I was having to deal with all three. Baby has also just been exceptionally fussy; always wanting to be held, but I had to just let him cry for a little while while I got my older two into pajamas and insured that they brushed their teeth. It had to have been a comical scene to an outsider. My 3 year old and 5 year old are rolling around every square inch of the bed and spilling over onto the couch, bookshelves, everything. Rolling over each other, laying on top of each other, whining, screaming. “That’s it! No stories!” I shout. Lights out. My baby in my arms is writhing around like a rabid beast. I am completely clueless as to what has gotten into him. All I know is he has a VERY serious case of ants in his pants! Finally, gradually, the chaos dwindles. I decide to start singing (hey, I’ll try anything!). I sing all my favorite songs in an attempt to distract myself from how frustrated I am and how my arms have begun to throb and my fingers have gone numb (remember, I’m still bouncing, patting and rocking my baby, changing his position sporadically). But I just stayed consistent and let my kids all work out whatever the heck they had to work out for 30-45 minutes, and then, finally, by the grace of God, they drifted off one by one. Man, talk about relief. *Insert emoticon of woman wiping sweaty brow*

And TODAY!! Oh my God, today I bathed ALL THREE OF MY CHILDREN. I even bathed!!! It’s been a great week.

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The sweet, sweet, gratifying image of a sleeping baby…

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I am sort of at a loss for words. A fitting title is not coming to me.

But to my point – do you want to see something so funny?!!

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No, I did not get into a fight.

That is a hickey!!

My five month old did it!!! I am on the floor laughing.

He was so fussy and wouldn’t sleep at his usual bedtime. I’m nursing him and rocking him and bouncing him. He’s doing everything but sleep. Chatting up a storm; going back and forth between giggling and whining or crying. Finally, he started sucking on my chin and I didn’t really think anything of it and just let him, cause I figured hey, if it calms him down…. and now I have this!!! I’m laughing my butt off. I swear parenting never ceases to amaze me… Every day is full of new surprises…

Things I’m Going to Miss

So, I’ve been really trying to be present and appreciative and zen like; reminding myself to live in the moment and give my growing baby my undivided love and attention as often as possible.

This may be the last week I can really¬†stretch my¬†“appreciation” for this pregnancy though…¬†As time goes on, I’m getting more and more to the point of “I’m so done!” Baby feels like he’s just going to drop right out.

But I want to be able to say I really cherished each moment (to the best of my ability in between pulling my hair out running after these other two) of this last pregnancy. So, every night, I take a few minutes to pray (My prayers tend to¬†go like this, “Please help my children behave; please give me strength, patience, compassion, kindness, love, more patience…”)¬†and read Scripture and try to¬†get into Mommy/Fetus mode. To zone in and to connect. Tonight, I’m connecting through writing. Not thinking too deeply; just saying what comes to mind at this moment. With that, I bring you:

Things I’m not Going to Miss about Being Pregnant

  1. The stiffness/soreness in my neck and shoulders
  2. The extreme sensitivity of my right hip (I think it’s a pinched nerve type thing. Possibly sciatic nerve.)
  3. Pregnancy triggered hand eczema (started with my first pregnancy. Got it under control in this final pregnancy with diet restriction and creams! #Win!)
  4. Heartburn (all three, but I think my first was the worst)
  5. Lady¬†issues (This is code because I don’t want to disturb anyone with TMI. Started with my second pregnancy but I have it TOTALLY under control in this pregnancy due to…PROBIOTICS! My God, this stuff is amazing. Absolute LIFESAVER)
  6. Aching bones in pelvic area especially when sleeping (and only being able to sleep on my sides! Argh!)
  7. Being swollen
  8. Having a sore butt and thighs after any drive longer than 30 minutes
  9. Not being able to bend down properly
  10. Numb wrists and hands (this is a totally new symptom that I never experienced in my other pregnancies. Started like 3 weeks ago and it’s super weird and disconcerting…hoping it goes away right quick after I have this little one!)
  11. Lumbering around like a cave man. So….heavy….
  12. Waddling around like a duck. I’m usually pretty good at avoiding this signature move, but as it gets this close, it’s hard to avoid…
  13. Feeling all the pressure of this growing being stretching me out and moving my organs out of the way. As a result, peeing all the time, stomach feeling smaller, lungs being restricted…
  14. Trying to keep two kids unharmed, fed, clothed, bathed,¬†and behaved, while feeling all of the above. Especially bedtime OH MY GOD.¬†We fell into the habit of all lying together until they fall asleep…(long story). But both want me to face them at the same time, they’re either fighting or totally distracted by everything, they take FOREVER to¬†fall asleep, etc etc¬†(I can’t wait for daylight savings again. The light seems to make a huge difference) ARGHH

Things I’m Definitely Going to Miss about Being Pregnant

  1. The kicks! And punches and hiccups and somersaults. It’s the weirdest, coolest, unexplainable feeling…a little human squirming around inside. And¬†trying to figure out:¬†Is that a foot? An elbow? Is he making a snow angel?
  2. Trying (and failing miserably) to take the perfect video of all the exquisite, excited movements. I swear they can tell when you turn the camera on. It’s like they get stage fright.
  3. Certain enhanced body parts…
  4. Lounging around with my older two as they rub/pat my belly, feeling¬†his movements¬†and giggling; pillow talking¬†with them about what the baby is doing and what he’s going to be like
  5. Never being really alone; having a little sidekick with me at all times
  6. The excitement; the expectancy. What will he look like? What will he be like? How will the dynamic in our family change? He’ll fit right in like a missing puzzle piece we never knew we had and bring an overwhelming sense of calm and joy to our family.¬†Right? Right?!
  7. Looking at people with doe eyes and having them offer me¬†their seat or to cut them in¬†line hehe…
  8. The right to act completely b*tchy now and again and be excused…
  9. The extra warmth and compassion from my husband – more spontaneous meals out, more cuddling (his hands are definitely my favorite to have on my belly), more attention, more taking the kids out so I can relax, just all around more lovin’
  10. Watching the perfectly formed (well, after he gets past looking like an alien) tiny black and white skeleton bouncing around on the Ultrasound screen
  11. Baby showers! I had to plan my own for my first cause no one thought to throw me one… Skipped it for my second. But by my third, my two closest friends here in NJ decided to plan one! Yay! It was really small, but it was perfect. Just sitting around catching up with friends, eating yummy food, opening presents (Yay free stuff!), playing games, and overall relaxing and enjoying good conversation. Nothin else like it
  12. Hearing baby’s tiny, yet strong and reassuring heartbeat on the Doppler
  13. People being more understanding toward me (i.e. not glaring at me as my 4 and 2 year old whisk by almost knocking them over, but just smiling knowingly and forgivingly). Not everyone, though. Some people are just dang harsh!
  14. Having that ultimate feminine silhouette. Despite the general weight gain, pregnant bellies are just so cute and endearing! And one out of every 30 photos is actually quite flattering!! Not to mention –¬†absolutely no expectation to have a flat middle for once –¬†Yay! I can relax and not suck it in for 9 whole months!

There are so many fascinating, incredible experiences and stages¬†in life. Everything has a beginning and everything has an end. It’s bittersweet, but in a way, comforting. I wish all of you strength and peace, appreciation and love for whatever you may be going through right now. Every situation, good and bad,¬†presents an opportunity for growth and a¬†lesson learned. Every single experience makes us more human.

Welp! It’s an hour and a half past my bedtime! Good night!

Caffeine

So I’ve never been much of a coffee person. At least not a habitual drinker. I partake in coffee for the sake of socialization. I’m a social drinker. I certainly enjoy a Mocha Frappachino or a cafe mocha every now and then.

That being said, I’ve never experienced much of a reaction to caffeine. Never in all my 27 years have I noticed it making me more alert or keeping me awake at night (or any time of day for that matter).

Until last night.

I suppose I miraculously discovered the magical threshold. Turns out I’d just never tried drinking enough coffee. Or enough on an empty stomach. Or enough while pregnant? There could be all kinds of contributing factors, but all I know is, after having a medium Frappe Mocha from McDonald’s (which honestly looked to me like it should have been called a large – what was that like 4 cups worth? At least 3…) around 4 pm, I could not for the life of me turn my brain off come 11, 12, 1 in the morning. I started to really worry that I was somehow starting to develop insomnia (which I’ve heard from friends can be really annoying and sometimes scary). I lay on this side, I switched to that side, I sat on the rocker, I turned on the AC, I turned off the AC, I took a break and browsed my phone for 10 minutes, then tried it all again, all to no avail. My mind was racing a thousand miles an hour. On top of that, my baby was excitedly performing a full on acrobatic routine in my belly. I started to worry that I had really messed him up… And then my worry continued on to other things…if I was really prepared for labor and delivery, if I would be strong enough, if I would have him prematurely, if something would be wrong with him, if something is wrong with me, Can I handle 3 kids? What am I gonna do? What if they all fight every night and NO ONE. EVER. sleeps?!! Luckily, as if on cue, my son woke up and came to my room and lay next to me. That was actually surprisingly comforting. Kind of snapped me out of my little panic attack. I held his hand and my anxiety dissipated. Of course I still couldn’t sleep… and just as I was finally drifting off a while later, his sister came to join us (*sigh… what else is new…), which woke me up again and got me started again on this seemingly endless cycle. I think I ended up actually falling asleep around 3 or something. Got a good 3 and a half hours in! Hooray!

All in all, a learning experience. I FINALLY get what all the fuss is about! I finally understand how powerful caffeine is and how it affects people. I’ve also resolved to NEVER do that to myself again.

Note: Before you pounce on me, I know it’s not advisable to have that much caffeine on any given day while pregnant (I repeat; I did not know this medium would be such a large medium…). Up to this point, I have strictly abided by my midwives’ recommendations of no more than 2 cups of coffee a day, and I very rarely even have that. Caffeine from chocolate? Well, that’s another story…

Other note: If you think that cup is as funny as I think it is, you can find it here.

‘Bama!

Ok, it’s getting really bad how I’m posting things so far after they happen… Blame my at home business, blame overlapping toddler rearing and pregnancy… I dunno AGH! My blogging seems to go in waves of productivity and non-productivity…

So two weeks ago now, we took a little family trip to visit my older sister in law’s family in Auburn, Alabama. Beautiful state, but a bit too hot for me if I’m honest. Their April felt like what I’m used to back here in NY/NJ in June/Julyish. I’m pretty sure I literally got sunburned after only an hour or so every time I stepped outside (without sunscreen). Back in NY/NJ, I rarely wear sunscreen anywhere but my face unless I’m going to the beach. Not sure if this change is related to the difference in the ozone layer or what, but just something I noticed.

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Here’s baby girl, Aunt J, and I strolling to the community gym and pool in the apartment complex.

Besides being hot, though, Alabama is beautiful. I love any place that’s green and treeful (The Diane Dictionary: entry #412). Driving around and seeing farms and cows again was really nice. It brought me back to my North Carolina road tripping days.

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Swimming! Well, standing. I don’t know how to swim anyway. I just kind of putter around clumsily, gasping for air the whole time. #25weekspregnant

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One of my daughter’s favorite things to do is to feed me. I don’t know if this is a good thing or a bad thing…

We didn’t plan anything extravagant while we were away. Spent a lot of time just relaxing. Besides working out and hanging out at the pool, we lounged around the house playing video games, cards, and Monopoly, watching tv, baking pies. My sister in law J and brother in law Y worked hard on planning my dream gender reveal photo shoot. Love you, guys!

We did take a little drive down to Destin, Florida. Played on the beach, checked out some local eateries (I recommend Donut Hole and Boshamps Seafood and Oyster House!), rented a boat (Thanks, Dockside Watersports & Parasailing!). Silver Dunes Condominiums was lovely. The rooms were clean and well kept and having the beach literally a 2 minute walking distance from us was pretty perfect.

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3 1/2 hour drive. The kids did really well (playing, singing, using their gadgets, eating, sleeping) for about 3 hours…before all hell broke loose. I won’t post any pictures of that. 

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View from our condo

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Lookin out over the water

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My children seem to endlessly have dirty feet 

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Making our way to the beach

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Y and her doting older cousin

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Look at that crystal clear water!

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Cleanest, purest white sand I’ve ever seen

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Best buds. So glad they could be reunited. Just noticed that photobomb in the back. Who is that, Appa?

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BAM! Look at dat bellay!

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Splish splashing with the daddies

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So glad my husband thinks family vacations are important. They’re the only things he’ll really take time off for.

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My little angel. Hard to believe she’s not going to be the baby anymore soon!

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She’ll always be a daddy’s girl, though. She goes running to him instead of me a lot these days. Pretty adorable.

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T writing his name in the sand. What a studious boy trying to get in some practice while on vacation!

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Obligatory legs on the beach photo. Ignore my wonky toes

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I like shadow photos

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Wanna go back

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Boating!

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Me gazing adoringly at my daughter despite her quirkiness. Is she eating that mouse?? ALSO, Floridians are so friendly! Three people in the span of 10 minutes told me they loved my shirt/thought it was hilarious (“I grow people. What’s your super power?”). NY/NJans are not nearly as quick to speak to strangers let alone compliment them.

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Couple photo! Yay! This is probably 2 seconds before he collapsed from my monstrous weight on him.

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Back at the room. Whose idea was it to bring s’mores?! OMGGGGGGG 

We headed back to Auburn after a refreshing beachy weekend. Back in ‘Bama, we tried to use up the rest of our time as wisely as we could (time always goes too fast!!) despite being pretty exhausted already.

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Had to visit the Waffle House!

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Ice cream from Bruster’s Real Ice Cream! Free cones for shorties! They have a chart shaped like a giant ice cream cone that measures about 3 1/2 feet tall and if you’re shorter than that, you get a free mini cone! Too cute! 5 stars just for that.

I think this is about the point my phone ran out of memory to be honest. Always happens! One of my biggest dilemmas since becoming a mom.

Hope you enjoyed this brief glimpse into our lazy little getaway. Tell me about some of your favorite places to relax!