>Getting enough exercise while parenting a toddler

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A child runningImage via Wikipedia

Chances are, if you're the main caretaker of a hyper toddler you're already getting all the exercise you need. If you're still looking to squeeze in a little extra, though, here are some ideas:
  • Go exploring. Take your little one out for a walk and let them explore the great outdoors.
  • Play rough (but not too rough). Roll, jump, romp, and play around with your little tyke.
  • Dance. Toddlers love to dance - or watch you dance - and it's a great work out.
  • Do toddler aerobics. Use your little tyke to do weight lifts - chances are he or she will get a kick out of it.
  • Do toddler yoga. There are tons of positions you can do with your toddler, both as a team and separately.
  • Play on a playground. This is just classic fun for the whole family. :)

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>Cleaning tools of the trade

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KICK DetergentImage by jayKayEss via Flickr

As a little follow up to the housework post, here's some cleaning items I have found to be indispensable and irreplaceable:

  • microfiber dusters - These guys really work. They easily pick up dust and hold on to it. You can beat them out between most usages. Once they get too dirty wash them out with shampoo and water, hang them to dry, and then you're good to go again. White is a really good color to get with this - you can easily tell when it's time to wash the duster out again.
  • dish detergent filled scrubber brushes - These brushes not only make washing dishes a lot easier, but they also make cleaning off stuck on food a lot quicker.
  • thick microfiber towels - They soak up spills like nothing else I've seen. Dust and dirt is magnetically attracted to them. They're soft and fluffy. There's not much not to like about them
  • white vinegar - This is not only good for cleaning but it also helps kill odors.
  • baking soda - This is great for controlling odors and also situations where a mild abrasive is needed.
  • bleach - Good for bleaching, disinfecting, and keeping algae out of the pool water.
  • concentrated degreaser - A little bit of this in a bucket of warm water and you can clean anything. It's especially great as a floor cleaner. For tougher jobs use it full strength.
  • concentrated oxy dish detergent - A little goes such a long way it makes buying any other kind of detergent a waste of money.
  • aerosol window cleaner - Cleans a lot better than the spray, and useful in cleaning large windows when combined with a squeegee.
  • squeegee with built in sponge - This can be used for everything from cleaning windows to cleaning the shower and bathtub. It makes all of these tasks a lot easier.
  • microfiber car wash mitt - This is for those situations where you need to clean a large area that can't be squeegeed (like a wall).
  • Yankee Candle Company tarts and a warmer - This will make your home smell so very, very nice with just one tart.
  • old school mop made out of bound yarn - I don't think they have yet to make a mop that can clean as quickly or as thoroughly as one of these. Swish the mop from side to side rather than trying to push it back and forth and you'll find yourself speeding through mopping.
  • bagless vacuum - Not only do you not have to bother with a bag, but you can take the whole vacuum apart to ensure that no dust build up is getting pushed back out in to your home. Additionally the suction on these things is nothing to be sneezed at, and they can pick up almost any small object without much danger.
  • plain shaving cream - Rub a little of this until it disappears on your bathroom mirrors to keep them from fogging up.

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>Keeping up with housework while parenting a toddler

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Image via Wikipedia

It seems impossible! You've got a little tyke running everywhere, getting in to everything, and you're trying to keep him or her from doing it while managing to get your house cleaned up.

Let's break this up in to parts:

1. Get your little one under control
  • Teach your child not to mess with certain things. When they start to mess with something they shouldn't, remove their hand and tell them firmly no. If they still go for it, firmly tell them no again and remove them from the area. This may take some repeats but eventually they'll get the idea.
  • If your little one gets defiant with your instructions, a time out doesn't hurt. He or she will cry, scream, and generally pitch a tantrum so be prepared for it. Wait until he or she has calmed down, and then reintroduce him or her back in to your environment.
  • Use distractions! Make sure interesting toys are around. Electronic toys usually get boring quick, but classics like blocks, balls, ABC magnets on your fridge (make sure they're not choking hazards), a cobbler's bench, drums, pots and pans, and even tightly closed empty two liter bottles can keep your little one entertained and out of trouble.
2. Get Evolution or Microsoft Outlook

  • Both Evolution and Microsoft Outlook have excellent task, calendar, and memo functions.
  • Use the task function to list everything that needs to be done around the house.
  • Use the calendar function to record appointments.
  • Use the memo function to list everything that needs to be bought
  • Make a printout of the calendar, tasks, and memos every day and post them on your fridge.
  • If you use a Bluetooth enabled cell phone, sync it up with Evolution or Microsoft Outlook.
3. Learn how to waitress

  • Learn how to multitask - keep several things running at once, especially when it comes to keeping an eye on your child and doing housework
  • Learn how to prioritize tasks based on urgency and importance
  • Learn how to handle high stress, high pressure situations on your own time and not to rush yourself or lose your cool
  • When your little one makes a mess at his or her eating area, clean it up immediately. With practice you'll be able to get this done in no time, and it won't be such a chore.
4. Don't try to be super woman
  • Take one task on the list at a time. Do one, then take a break. Do another one, then take another break. You'd be surprised how much you'll end up getting done just taking your time.
  • If you start to feel stressed, slow down. Your work will be much shoddier if you're trying to get it done while you're strung out and rushing.
  • Don't worry if you can't get everything done on the task list in one day. The point is that you're getting the stuff done.

5. Have fun and clean lazy
  • Have fun while you're cleaning. Listen to music and dance. Watch some T.V. out of the corner of your eye. Play with your little one and try to teach him or her how to do simple clean up tasks like picking toys up.
  • Clean lazy. If you see something small that needs cleaning, even just a spot, go ahead and stop to clean it up. This will save you cleaning a bigger mess later. ;)


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>managing your responsibilities while parenting a toddler

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Fresh vegetables are common in a healthy diet.Image via Wikipedia

A mother in a forum I frequent was having a melt down today about her inability to keep up with housework, exercise, healthy eating, and being a good mom.

I know a lot of moms out there right now are feeling the same way. I'm no expert, but I do keep a clean home, exercise regularly, eat a healthy diet, and most people (with the exception of my mother in law) say I'm a fantastic mom.

So I'm going to write a series of posts on how I battle these problem areas in toddler parenthood. Wait for it. :)
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>decisions...

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Description unavailableImage by gneri67 via Flickr

David and I had a long talk, and it came down to these decisions we can make:
  • He can work and I can stay at home with Brennan and take care of the house
  • I can work and he can stay at home with Brennan and take care of the house (not working)
  • We both can work and take turns with Brennan and the house (hasn't even happened with us both not working)
  • We can get a divorce and part ways
We've decided to try to aim for the first decision. I don't know if it doesn't work out what will happen... we'll just have to see.
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>I'm fed up.

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A baby in a playpen.Image via Wikipedia

I'm tired of you sitting on your computer all day not spending hardly any attention to me or your son.

I'm tired of you staying at home while I work and hardly doing anything to keep the house clean besides sweeping, mopping, doing dishes once a week, and occasionally making dinner.

I'm tired of you getting angry at me because I'm upset that I feel I'm working as a single mom with an extra tag-a-long.

I've tried asking, I've tried begging, I've tried "To Do" lists, and you ignore all of it.

And let's be serious. You have not seriously looked for a job. You did at first and then you quit. You started waiting for a job to fall in to your lap. Now one has, thank god. Thank god that you'll finally be getting up off your ass and doing something.

But if you keep making Brennan stay in his room or his playpen just because he gets in to trouble like a toddler does rather than standing up and being a man and teaching him how not to get in to trouble like you're supposed to...

If you keep expecting me to keep this marriage, this house, and everything else going while you have fun in your chatroom and ignore the fact that life is just passing you by....

I want a divorce.


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>Blogger vs. Wordpress

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Image representing Blogger as depicted in Crun...Image via CrunchBase

I've asked myself a billion times why I don't use Wordpress like I used to and instead have turned to Blogger.

The answer is simple enough - Blogger is simple enough to let me get my stuff done quickly yet customizable enough to let me give the blog a feel of my own. Let's face it - Wordpress has gotten bloated. Waaay bloated. It's time that we start taking another look at our applications and start working on streamlining them - cutting off the fat and getting down to the nice, tasty meat.

Just my two cents from an old school web designer that started out with horrible, hand coded html pages. ;)

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>dribble dribble

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REDWOOD SHORES, CA - DECEMBER 20:  A sign with...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Well, after a few days the Klonopin seems to be making things better. Let's hope they continue this way.

It looks like David has finally found a job, and it's a pretty decent paying one as well.

I've been keeping myself busy by occupying myself with things that have needed to be done at the house, spending time with Brennan, and playing around with Ubuntu.

I'm on my last week of Analysis & Design of Information Systems. Making a B so far... it could be better but I've done my best balancing it, home, and work and I am proud of myself for coming this far.

Brennan is by far most definitely a toddler now. He walks, runs, and climbs all over the place. He understands a lot of what you say to him too although he can't repeat it all back. We're now starting on slowly potty training him - that is, allowing him to watch us and decide when he's ready to go.

If you haven't heard of the O.C. Supertones, you should definitely check them out. Awesome band.






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>Klonopin days

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I've been having repeat panic attacks and blackouts and the most I can get done is a heightened dose of Klonopin.

This sucks. I'm missing work because of it too. Double sucks.

Awesome song. You should check it out.







Against All Authority - Silence is golden but duct tape is silver

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>Gnome's got style

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Gnome has come a long way in its themes.



Hey look, my theme matches my blog! Hahaha





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>Panic! at the McDonald's

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WILMINGTON, OH - DECEMBER 16:  Nicky Lily-Warr...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Today I had a panic attack at work. My general manager was having one of her days - not smiling at me, not greeting me. Then she instructed me not to rinse out the coffee filter in the front sink. I asked what I should do with it then, and she told me that if I had told my one year old son not to do it I would expect him to figure out what to do with it. That's when it happened.

So I went to the doctor today, and he changed me from being on Geodon to being on Klonopin. Note that this was far from being a first time panic attack, and the only medication that has worked so far for it is waaaay out of my price range in the dosages it takes to have any effect (Depakote).

This is no minor drug. A relative to Valium, it's highly addictive and easy to overdose on. I'll be taking a small dose though so most of that (I hope) will not be a concern.

I have high hopes though that this will work as well as Depakote did for managing my anxiety. I'm keeping my fingers crossed! I loved Depakote but I hated the weight gain, not to mention the price tag.


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>it's working

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So far the Klonopin seems to be working, and that's just with the first two doses. It makes me feel kind of sleepy but it's not anything unmanagable like the irresistable sleep Geodon brought on. The most important thing though is that it has eradicated my anxiety. David felt my back today and there was not a single knot in it.

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>Streetlight Manifesto - Point/Counterpoint

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Streetlight Manifesto - Point/Counterpoint (Demo)

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>Lessons well learned

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There's a few things I've learned about Ubuntu so far...

  • Ubuntu Geek, while well meaning I'm sure, is wrong. All you have to do to get Flash operating in Opera is download the files he specifies and install them, then copy the libso files over to Opera's directory. All the fancy command footwork is not necessary at all, and one of these days I'll get around to writing another tutorial on it.
  • Banshee is God when it comes to managing a Creative Zen in Ubuntu. It doesn't hiccup like other apps when Ubuntu mounts the device before starting the program, and the features it packs are nice, such as automagically syncing your Zen when you plug it in.
  • I may be rusty with Linux, but I can still turn a few tricks when it comes to tech support. I helped Derick this evening with figuring out how to edit the video resolution and was able to immediately pinpoint why he was having live CD troubles (you old schoolers know exactly what I probably told him).
  • Flash in Linux still sucks, as well does webcam support.


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>Ubuntu 9.04... wow, have you grown

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Ok, there's something I have to admit about Ubuntu 9.04. Ubuntu has become a genuinely user friendly operating system now. It took my one year old system like a champ. It fell short on sound but even the fix for that is easy enough to walk someone through confidently. Congrats, Ubuntu. You're finally, well, there.

I look forward to seeing how Kubuntu has came along, as well. Surely you haven't abused your younger sibling in your haste to get here, have you? We'll see. :)




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>Ho hum

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Well, it looks like I'm going to be stuck with Ubuntu only for a while as my restore discs aren't working. Grrr...

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>Ubuntu, you shouldn't have... really...

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Ubuntu 9.04 packed a nice little punch for me when I installed it.

It went on to happily reformat my hard drive instead of installing alongside Vista like it was supposed to.

This marks the last time I trust a Linux installation to automagically install itself next to Windows.

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>Brennan plays with his hat

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This is just a video I took of Brennan playing with me and his hat.

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>Brennan putting on his hat

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This is a video of Brennan putting on his hat for the second time. I missed the first time unfortunately!

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>Happy father’s day baby

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fathers day 2009

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>Fast Food Rules #2: Don’t shoot the messenger!

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I’m sorry your meal costs too much. I’m sorry my restaurant chooses to charge you for a “courtesy” water cup. I’m sorry that charge is too much. I’m sorry your burger was underdone, I’m sorry our ice machine was out of ice, I’m sorry there wasn’t any sweet tea made because a stampede came in and drank it faster than we could make it.

That’s no reason for you to throw your change at me or my manager though, mam. Nor is it any reason to cry, scream, yell, or curse. We’re not the guy at the top pushing the red button, and we’re sorry we’re not, because if we were, it probably wouldn’t happen because believe me… we want to see you happy. Nothing makes work more miserable than miserable customers.

Don’t shoot the messenger… shoot the sender. If you’re not happy with what you’re getting, hit him where it hurts and stop coming. Otherwise you’re just making yourself – and us – miserable.

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>Fast Food Rules #1: Stop badgering us for skipping you when you were the one out of line.

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I don’t know what possesses a full grown man to forgo his kindergarden training and throw a temper tantrum because he got skipped while out of line in a fast food restaurant.

Listen to me very carefully:

When there is a line in front of the cash register, do not stand at the other end of the counter and wait for the cashier to turn to you for your order. Please wait in line like everybody else and I promise you won’t experience any more “skipping”. Ok?

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>Brennan takes a swim

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Brennan takes a swim in his new pool.

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>running away

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Recently I’ve been faced with a very trying predicament.

A friend of mine recently went through a rather messy divorce. Since then she has been faced with the responsibility of finding a place for her and her son to stay. At first she looked like she was on the right track – she got a job and started saving up money. But then she started dating a much younger guy, and since then it has seemed like she’s wanted to regress back to her high school days as opposing facing the responsibility she’s been bestowed with.

She denies it’s happening, yet her family confirms it and I can see it with my very own two eyes. Week after week she spends everything she has and doesn’t have anything left over to save even though she lives with her mother.

I don’t know how to tell her this, though. I don’t know how to tell her that what she’s doing is really worrying me because she could end up affecting her life in ways that I’m sure she doesn’t want to see happen. I don’t know how to tell her that because she’s such a proud woman that she will not only deny it but probably get pretty downright angry with me too for even thinking she could be slipping off.

So I sit and I wait, hoping that something will happen to snap her out of this, or that maybe I’ll be proved to be wrong all along.

I understand what she’s feeling. I know what it’s like to look at the mess behind you and the mountain in front of you and just want to say screw it all. You can’t do that though… otherwise that mess and that mountain will just continue to grow…

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>Some of Brennan’s antics

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FILE0019

This is a sight I came home to one day – Brennan passed out in the floor on top of a blanket. Awww.







FILE0039

Another day we found Brennan sitting in the laundry basket with all the clothes out in the floor (of course).

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>I found it!

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It’s my next laptop! It’s waiting for me in St. Augustine! I must have it!

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>Johnson’s No More Rash Diaper Rash Cream – A Review

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Johnson’s No More Rash Diaper Rash Cream is a marvelous little item I ventured across a few months ago. A few months ago Brennan developed a nasty diaper rash. The ointment we used at the time (Bourdeux’s Butt Paste) wasn’t doing anything for the rash. We decided to check out another ointment, and Johnson’s No More Rash Diaper Rash Cream caught my eye.

The front of the tube claims to be a 3-in-1 formula. Below that it explains that the three things it does are:

  • Helping to heal diaper rash
  • Forming a protective barrier
  • Soothing red, irritated skin

Sounds pretty typical, right? Well, let’s look at the back…

The active ingredient is Zinc Oxide at 13%. Still sounds pretty normal. What really caught my eye was the ingredients…

This tube lists the following important things in its ingredients:

  • oat kernel flour – Oatmeal is like magic for the skin. It soothes and it helps with healing.
  • lanolin – This one is familiar from when I was breast feeding. This stuff is great for battered up nipples. It soothes, it protects, and it helps heal.
  • panthenol – This is good for skin conditioning.
  • vitamin E – This is good for skin conditioning.

At around $4 it’s a great deal, too, so I figured we had nothing to lose by purchasing it.

Well, it didn’t clear up that rash. We ended up having to give Brennan a prescription ointment prescribed by his pediatrician because it was thrush. It’s an unknown as to how he developed it because we change his diaper every time he goes.

By this time though I wanted to test this ointment out more. This is why – Bourdeux’s Butt Paste, the only ointment we had found to work at all with Brennan, is a really nasty, sticky consistency, so much so that it seems to irritate his skin some while putting it on. It also means you end up having to use a lot. On top of that, you can’t get it on any fabric because it will stain it.

I had none of these problems with Johnson’s No More Rash Diaper Rash Cream. The consistency is smooth, cool, and creamy. It doesn’t state, and a little bit of it goes a long way because it goes on so smoothly.

I soon found out that when Brennan got a rash, this stuff really worked. It soothed his rash as I put it on since it felt cool and glided on smoothly. It also cleared up his rash fast… usually only one, maybe two applications were necessary. I didn’t get anywhere near that kind of performance out of Bourdeux’s Butt Paste… it usually took a few days of constant applications to clear up the rash.

I’ve been using this diaper rash ointment for 3 months now and it has became by far the best diaper rash ointment I’ve used. If you’re looking for something that just works and doesn’t break your wallet, check this one out. :)

3 comments:

>Shannon talks about her new mohawk

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I took this video just minutes after David buzz cut Shannon her very first mohawk. She loved it!

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>Brennan sleeping

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Brennan looked so cute sleeping one day I had to take a video. ;)

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>Brennan makes a holy mess!

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[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VeccLsjMqi4&hl=en]

This is the little present I found in Brennan’s room one day. ;) He pulled everything out of the drawers and his toy box and scattered them everywhere.

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>Brennan shakes his head “no”

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[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0idUUlt_4yA&hl=en]

Brennan loves to shake his head “no” for no reason at all.

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>Brennan points and lectures

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[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JbjaaFQCsKY&hl=en]

Brennan has this funny habit of pointing at you and lecturing you in baby gibberish. We managed to catch it on video one day while trying to get him to do something else he tends to do.

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>Brennan sits in his toddler chair for the first time

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[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ht6dFRaEiRU&hl=en]

One of the presents my mom got Brennan for his birthday was a toddler sized Handy Manny chair. Brennan was too small at the time to get in and out of it, so we’ve kept it in his room, waiting for the day he was big enough for it. Well, that day came as you can see. :)

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>what makes everything so totally worth it…

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DSC_0007

DSC_00062

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