kamloops blogger

New Season, New Blog Posts . .Hopefully!

Sorry for the total radio silence over here! I can’t even remember the last time I sat down and had some free time on my laptop. It is rare and when it happens I usually waste time on Pinterest! So let’s see what has been going on…
Summer went by in the blink of an eye. As per usual we got inundated with smoke from the forest fires. It unfortunately has become the norm for Interior BC. Well actually a lot more areas than that but those are where the fires are that effect our breathing space. It is not only horrible to be happening in the first place but really puts a damper on the summer fun when you can’t breathe fresh air or see the skyline. We still managed to make the most of it though and got in lots of camping and lake time. Feels like forever ago but the warmer temps are long gone as are our tan lines. Till next time summer, you were a peach! No complaints for fall though. It is one of my favourite times of year, especially here in Kamloops. The colours are stunning and for the most part we have sunny days. Crisp but sunny. A few months ago we removed a few fruit trees from our yard so the leaves clean up is pretty minimal this October. In a way that is great but it also took away a lot of fun for the kids. They love playing in the piles of leaves, as most kids do. Still my raking time has been drastically reduced. I will take it!

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We are in the throes of Halloween as it is only a few days away. A local landscape company put on fireworks last weekend which was a blast. The fireworks were fantastic though the fact that EVERY CHILD in Kamloops was in attendance made the whole event a little overwhelming. Not to mention my daughter sliced her tiny finger open getting it caught in the port-o-potty door, followed by a bad reaction to too much candy and the site of blood and puking all over me. All is well now but I will not be surprised if we have trouble getting her back in one of those again when its potty time at a public event. Halloween falls on a Wednesday this year so that means Hallie has preschool for half of the day, followed by an afternoon/evening of Trick-Or-Treating and large amounts of sugar. It will no doubt be a very long day, but hey that is what it’s all about!

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I love, love, love Halloween but this year i have found it challenging to really get into the swing of things. We still have yet to carve pumpkins and the decorations are not up to the usual Hayward standards. We will have to make up for it next year and go all out! Or maybe we will make up for it this Christmas. The kids are already asking me when the Christmas tree will be arriving. God help my husband, they are turning into Christmas obsessed little monsters, just like their momma. Speaking of monsters….. The phases these two are in at the moment are quite the treat! That was some thinly veiled sarcasm in case no one picked up on it. Jackson is two and is … emotional. A mama’s boy. Stubborn. Sweet as pie. Constantly running around. Oh and hates sleeping. Hallie just turned four. Also emotional. Slightly bipolar it seems at times. Very attached to mom. Heart of cold. Extremely sensitive. They love and hate each other fiercely and like to drive me bonkers. Can’t wait to see what the next phase is like! Often leaving the house with them is extremely daunting but it’s exactly what they need most of the time. That or a tranquilizer… I mean they are perfect little angels and I am never annoyed at them (eye rolls here!). Time and time again I keep telling myself I need to read a parenting book or meditate or work on my patience…. but when I actually have time to think about these self-improvement plans, I end up wasting time googling home decor ideas and recipes on Pinterest. I tried listening to some parenting podcasts on a recent road trip to Vancouver (for a little Luke Bryan baby!) and after four of them I was so annoyed at the people speaking, the sound of their voices was making me cringe. Not to mention I was with Henry and he couldn’t stop making fun of them so it took all of the learning right out of the activity. Sometimes I think parenting is just a survival game. And your weapon of choice is coffee or wine. At least mine is! So now that we are up to date on current events, where are we headed. November is busy. I have limited my business to three local events, including one at a winery. I need to shift the focus of the business to more online presence. The markets just take a bit too much time when you factor in load-in, being there and taking everything down. So I hope to focus on building up the website which you can check out here, and developing the brand on Etsy. If any of you have experience in building your business on Etsy I would love to hear from you! It seems a bit daunting but I know it needs to be done. November will also present some health commitments including flu shots for the kids and the usual dentist visits. Can’t wait for those! Again, sarcasm detected here. We will also begin the slow filtration of ‘winter decor’ which really is my way of decorating for Christmas early. I usually stick to natural tones though so it’s not too obvious (to the husband) and wait for December for the festive pops of colour. Just a hint we are going to play with a lot of greenery and wood this year. I think it’s time I learned how to use power tools. My DIY to-do list is far too long for a certain handy husband. In the next few weeks though I hope to share some DIY decor projects we have already completed, some recipes I am loving at the moment, and some holiday plans and bucket list items we intend to tick off this winter. So stay tuned for some fun, I promise to make more time for sharing on here.

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Spring Break

This post is a little late but hope y’all had a great spring break!! My kids are little and not in school so it doesn’t really apply to us but for whatever the reason may be, it still felt like a break. It was like everyone else’s routine was flipped sideways so we could get away with it too. We had busy days to start. A ton of fun stuff planned too! However, don’t they say something like ‘make a plan and see what your toddler thinks of it’. It’s murphy’s law in my house I promise you that. Both kids got super sick. Hallie had a really gross cold that simply made her super emotional all the time and gave her the hall pass for cartoons and ice cream whenever she wanted. Jackson however took the ‘man cold’ to new levels. He is JUST coming round the corner to feeling well. Needless to say, all plans went out the window and we were somewhat housebound. We still managed to get out and play at the park and what not, but we definitely kept to ourselves. I really didn’t want to be that mom who spread the kid’s cold germs like confetti. It is such a relief now though that everyone seems to be feeling better. We had a pleasant shift in the weather today as well so we are hoping for a sunny Easter weekend away in Grand Forks and not such runny noses. Hey a mama can dream right!? One delightful morning I did want to share with you from our sicky spring break was what we called pancakes and pjs. Hallie was adamant we all wear our cozy housecoats one morning so we decided to really make a morning of it and test our new Pampered Chef pancake molds. Couple lessons learned. They are a ton of fun, especially when you get to the final step of actually eating them. Second lesson, there is an art. These are quite tricky to master (especially if you are a perfectionist) but I think after a few rounds of trying, I will get the hang of it. Come on now, we all want star shaped pancakes. No room for the boring ol’ circular style anymore right? Gotta step up my pancake skills stat.

(If you want to get your hands on these they are sold through Pampered Chef, and are quite awesome! The silicone molds are a great size, super durable, and I LOVE the pancake mix shaker. Can’t wait to take it camping and only have ONE dish to do after making breakfast!)

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(Who knows what happened to the housecoat!)

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New Year, New Blog Post… finally!

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Well my big January 2018 comeback to writing was slightly delayed. Did anyone else find it extremely difficult to bounce back from the holiday season and get into a routine again? I sure did. Still am struggling a bit actually. But slowly, as we begin our activities again, put down the holiday celebratory cocktail and pick up that clean eating schedule again, things seem to be shifting into place. Our holidays were BUSY. The front door seemed to revolving with friends and family filtering in and out. It was of course very welcome and a lot of fun! Exactly how the holiday season should be. Certainly gluttonous as well. Salads we non-existent and meat and cheese platters seemed to dominate. We laughed, we loved, we ate and we drank.  The kids had a ball too. Christmas is absolutely going to be a hit with them every year. Now that January completely zoomed by, and February has made her debut, we are focused on being healthy, happy and trying to slow down the day-to-day. As I do every year, I looked back on last year’s resolutions. Well not even resolutions. More like lifestyle commitments. I smiled when I saw that we had managed to incorporate it all. I didn’t really do anything different this year. Just a few mini goals and when you add them all up, it just means try to BE better all around. Spend more time in the present with my kids and husband, less time looking at Facebook on my phone. Buy less on Facebook! Damn you to hell mom swap and all the dollars you sucked out of me this year on things I didn’t need, nor was I looking for until I scrolled passed. You know you have been a victim too! Less television, more reading. More crafting and creating! Clean smarter and not all the time. Less laundry! I realize these are all remedial tasks so far…. be kind to others and go out of our way to help people out. Volunteer. Donate. Be mindful of our neighbours and friends. Be thoughtful, intentional and surprising. If I learned anything in 2017, life is short and throw a curve ball.. It reminds us of that often and sometimes in painful ways. 2018 will be more about making all of our moments count, and less about stress, worry and grudges. And though we are already well on our way into the year, I am excited to dive in. Cheers to all of the days ahead, and hopefully more blog posts on my part!

Cutting Board Rejuvenation

I am a big fan of my wooden cutting boards in my kitchen. I have different types of wood and different shapes. Not only do I use them multiple times daily I also like to have them displayed on the counter. This means I need to keep them looking fresh. I always wash them after use but sometimes, just like many areas of the home, they need a deep clean. In an attempt to move more chemical-free at home, I did some research to come up with a cleaning recipe used by many. Effective and as natural as it gets.

What you will need:

Lemon cut in half, use one half of a lemon per cutting board

Coarse Sea Salt

White Vinegar (you can also use a vinegar cleaning agent)

Oil

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Start by covering the board in white vinegar.  Sprinkle a heavy dose of sea salt all over the cutting board. Use your half lemon to scrub it into the wood. While doing this, squeeze the lemon so that the juices pour out. I did this for about two minutes. Then pour a couple tablespoons of oil onto the board. Continue scrubbing with the lemon, mixing the oil into the salt and vinegar and covering the entire surface of the cutting board. Do this for about one minute. Let sit for fifteen minutes. Rinse clean. Voila! Fresh and clean, looking good and ready for use.

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The End Of Summer

Somehow we have gotten ourselves into the middle of August. Normally I am a glass half full kind of gal and would be thinking we still have lots of summer to go, including a nice September! This month however seems to be a huge downer. The BC Wildfires have taken over the province. Not only is it super smoky but it also seems to bring the temperatures right down making it feel very fall-like. Of course the bigger issue here is for the people in the dangerous areas closer to the fires. My heart goes out to the evacuees who have been forced to pack up with very little notice and stand by waiting to see if their home survives mother nature’s rage. It really is heartbreaking. The community I live in has been outstanding with supporting evacuees which I have to say makes me so proud to live where I do. Unfortunately there is not an end in sight for ending a lot of these fires, but we pray for all of those effected by it and hope for the end soon. Perhaps maybe we can claim back a little of our summer too! We certainly plan to pack as much into the last few weeks of August. This week is a busy one as I have the Farmer’s Market tomorrow for my business which always makes for a hectic week. I am also getting all aspects of family life ready for the end of the week…. parent’s vacation weekend! Yes. We are leaving for three whole days. Gramma has a friend joining the toddler battle field and they are taking care of the two little rascals all weekend long. I know right now I am going to miss my babies like CRAZY (no FaceTime calls allowed, lesson learned on a previous trip – drunk momma talking to babies = ugly crying in the bar). Hubby and I are headed down to Vancouver to see some friends, do some shopping, eating and drinking, AND to see Zac Brown Band! I find it slightly hard to contain my excitement for this show as I have been hoping to see them live for maybe the last five years. So bring it ZBB, this momma is so ready! Once we return we have to pack right up again and head out to see family in Grand Forks, kids and all on this trip. Here’s hoping for a couple winery pop-ins on the way there. And back. We’ll see! Then once we get back from that trip it is right out again in the trailer for a weekend on the lake. Funny how all of this vacation time may just exhaust us. As long as no one gets sick I am going to be happy. Germs ruin the best of times in this family lately. All of this busyness and thinking about the fall season approaching really just leaves me wanting watermelon, sprinkler jumping, sticky popsicle kisses and wet grassed sweaty babies. Summer is so wonderful here in Kamloops and we are totally feeling shafted with it being cut so short. It actually even started late after the longest winter of all time. Time to get out as much as the smoke allows, and soak up all the last sunshine filled summer moments that we can, am I right? So as I catch up on the first Bachelor In Paradise episode (Can I get an Amen for the classiness of all these fabulous people!) I toast you – cheers to the end of summer and all we can cram into it without losing our minds!

 

OHYA! Did I mention how excited we are about potty training. Public toilets (she thinks its the best…..) Pirate Pack dates. Oh and our new funny faces.

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Who looks like they ate FOUR pirate packs…. it’s my one sitting on the floor haha! Oh Jackson . … . .

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Summer Daze

Can I start off by asking where the heck has July gone?! Summers are always busy. I know that. This year though I feel like it is zooming by. The days may be long but the weeks seem to be disappearing way too quickly. Tomorrow is the beginning of August which means we are well on our way to Fall and this mama is just not ready for that.

I can also say that with two babies running round, my house seems to be in a constant state of chaos. Toy bombs have gone off in every room, about twenty-five sippy cups litter the living room and kitchen, chairs are knocked over, blankets and stuffies are everywhere. I simply walk around following the monsters, picking up in each new disaster zone they have created. The floors are hazardous due the fact that multiple popsicles are consumed throughout the day, and when you have small hands that means most of said popsicle melts all over the floor. (Normally I encourage outside popsicle consumption but due to the wildfires and the smoky air, many outdoor activities have transformed to indoor). The kids are always sticky and sweaty and covered in grass or sand from the beach. The laundry NEVER ends and has honestly lead me to believe that there must be at least three other people living here that I am not aware of. Bath time needs to happen on the daily and quite often dinner and bedtime is a bit later than one would hope (as in me!). Amidst the mess are sticky watermelon kisses, movie night snuggles, and all of the sprinkler jumping giggles you can handle and I am SO OKAY with that. Not only does summertime fun exhaust us but it brings out the best in everyone in this household. So as we enter the final month (and pray for an Indian Summer in September) we intend to do ALL of the things and get out as much as we can. We still have a couple camping trips to do and I definitely think a few lake days are in order. Before you know it pumpkin spiced lattes will be around and we will be planning our Halloween costumes. So lets stay up a little later, play in the pool a little longer, and embrace the summer heat (40degrees on Friday!?) while we can!

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Beaches & Baby Bums

Well it’s finally June & summertime fun seems to be in full swing for us. May & June were so busy that I completely neglected my laptop and instead have been soaking up every moment of the day with my babies. Well that and managing my orders for my business and current stock for the farmer’s market every week. Life is busy! What do you do when you get too busy? Why you take vacations of course! I started the month off with a quick Runaway Mom’s weekend to Kelowna. I learned a couple things on this getaway. First, I still cannot hold my liquor if shots are present. No matter how sweet and girly-named they may be, they are the devil and a very quick route to being completely hammered. The second thing I learned is that you let a group of mamas off the hook of parenting for the weekend, things get pretty wild pretty quickly. Lets just say a lot of fun was had, and a lot of Vitamin Water was consumed for the following five days trying to recover all nutrients in my body I had destroyed. I fear the brain cells are gone for good though. So after returning home to my babies whom I missed SO MUCH, it was time to flip the script and get ready for a little family vacation to Osooyoos. The kids decided I should PAY HARD for skipping town on them. They accomplished this by not sleeping at all really all week long. Also being overly needy so that I found it almost impossible to get anything ready for the trip. It basically took me all five days to prepare. We finally got away on Friday morning though. Hubby is crazy busy with work so he was not joining us. My mom and I rented a lakefront townhouse for a week. Probably the best set up you can get with small children. Tons of space in the actual house so everyone had comfy sleeping quarters, play areas, etc. We also have a patio overlooking the lake with a bbq and a bit of lawn area for the kids to play on. Lastly, there is a fantastic outdoor pool and hot tub! Throw in the fact that we are dead in the middle of wine country and it sounds like a pretty perfect time to me! We are halfway through the trip and I think I have put a good ten pounds on between the good eating and the great sipping. But summer is a bit like December in that sense. Who cares! So far here are everyone’s favourite aspects of the vacation:

Me: Pineapple Ceasars (yes they are a thing), sleeping in (should not jinx it by talking about it), having all my meals with a view of a beautiful lake, and lastly, day-long playtime and fun with my babies. They have miraculously turned into excellent vacationers. Again, should not speak about this or even think it. The ability to jinx great behaviour is not a good thing….

Hallie: Chasing & ‘feeding’ the ducks, lounging on ‘Sophia’ our jumbo swan floatie, gummy bears & juice boxes. Oh and definitely going on shopping adventures downtown. This girl really does have simple needs.

Jackson: Hmmmm talk about simple needs. Loves to sit on the grass and watch the ducks. Likes to climb the stairs. Loves mealtime and wrestling around in mama’s big bed.

Gramma: I haven’t asked her yet but I have a feeling the view of the lake and all of the wine are probably up there on the list.

Now if we could just get our booties to a winery! I doubt it will happen but maybe we can pop into a few on the way home simply to purchase a few bottles. Don’t think my kids will tolerate a tasting or tour hah! Come Friday we will hustle on home, only to get the trailer ready and take off again for a weekend of camping and baseball! All this vacationing will either leave me completely relaxed or totally exhausted. Stay tuned!

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Put Your Big Girl Pants On

I will be the first to admit, I am rather slow at certain things when it comes to parenting. Potty training – still ain’t happening. Not my fault now though, she has chosen to embrace the diaper. The battle shall be hers and hers alone. For now. . . Drinking milk from a bottle – the effort is there I promise you. I have tried every sip cup on the planet and girlfriend still wants her milk out of a bottle. It’s not like she is dependant on it to go to sleep or anything, she plain ol’ likes it. But yes I know, it’s gotta go. Lastly, the crib. Hallie was in her crib up until quite recently. She never attempted to climb out of it and slept quite well in it, so why on earth would I let the lion out of her cage. Or lioness I suppose. After a few road trips though where we had no choice but to set her up in a ‘big bed’, we decided to take the plunge and stick her in a toddler bed. Well that didn’t really last long at all. She LOVED it. I however did not love trying to be a contortionist when trying to comfort her in a nightmare. I would be lying half on the floor with my back twisted and my arms attempting to stroke her hair. Two nights of this and a new decision was reached. Toddler bed OUT, bigger bed IN. Since my kids share a room and there is really no room whatsoever, we went with a twin. After a month of just a mattress on the floor (yes I know, parental neglect) I ordered a lovely bed on Wayfair. I am so excited to share a few snippets of the big girl ‘side of the room’. There a moments every day that I see this baby girl turning into a big girl. It’s so hard as a mom to watch this happening but at the end of the day, that is what we are here to do. Raise these little people into bigger people and send them off into the world. Oh ya and hope that we did a thing or two right along the way. Perhaps that why mommas keep having babies. One gets growing up and the baby fever sets in again. I always tell myself Jackson is here because I wanted 2 (or 3?) kids and wanted to give Hallie a sibling close in age. But lets be real folks, it was baby fever! Lord help me when I see too many preggos in one day. For now though these two troublemakers are keeping me rather busy so lets keep the baby makin’ at bay.  In the meantime though, we can pick out super cute bedding and throw pillows for their big girl room.

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H E R B S

I have a major soft spot for fresh herbs. Really anything out of the garden. Last year we installed two are garden boxes in our yard and it was shocking how well they did! We had a crazy amount of very large cucumbers (I mean like five new ones daily, it was slightly out of hand), a TON of homegrown potatoes, carrots and green peppers…. it was a beautifully, flourishing garden. We had way too much kale and swiss chard and will probably rethink that this year but how are you to know before ya know right! Anyways, every year I like to make a valiant effort to have fresh herbs growing on hand. Since it is still a bit chilly outside, I thought keeping these babies indoors would be best, and why not on my kitchen window sill. That way they are nice and accessible for all of your cooking needs. This was such a simple task that even those who lack a green thumb can easily obtain one. Here is what you need:

Herbs of choice: I chose chives, parsley and cilantro. I LOVE cilantro in guacamole and tacos so it’s a staple in this house since we eat them so often.

Pots or some sort of planter (you will need one that is a good size for the amount of herbs you have chosen)

Potting soil to top up if needed

Spray bottle

Start by filling my kitchen sink with about 2 inches of luke warm/room temperature water. Gently remove herbs from the plastic containers you purchased them in. Place them in the sink of water, sitting upright, and let them soak up the water for about a minute. Remove from water and gently loosen the root. Place in your new pot and add potting soil as needed. Place in a bright place with a good amount of sunlight. Trim herbs as you use them in your cooking to keep them growing evenly. Happy planting!

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Outnumbered

Outnumbered is EXACTLY what I feel these days. But not in a negative way at all so please don’t take it that way. When I got pregnant with my second babe, a million thoughts would run through my head DAILY. How would I take care of two tiny humans? How would I find time to make each little person feel equal and loved and give them enough one on one time? How on earth could I be expected to keep two little people alive with only two arms, two hands, one set of eyes and no sleep? Quite frankly it seemed impossible. But I knew we would manage just as every other mom of two out there does. Moms of three and four and five, I salute you as you are obviously made of extreme super hero powers that I have yet to discover (did I just say YET as in I might do so in the future?!). Those first few months of going from ‘one baby to two’ are a total blur. Maybe it was sleep deprivation. Maybe just a bit of shock at how my life quickly turned from busy to a total shit show. Maybe it was all the wine drinking I decided to catch up on. Nevertheless, there were two of them and one of me. And as young and innocent as they are, those two gremlins are SMART. They know exactly what they are doing when they are doing it.
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Jackson….. nine months old and going on 72. He is the oldest man on the block. You put a cardigan sweater with elbow pads on that kid and hand him a pipe and he looks the part of an old professor pondering away in his library or gentlemen’s smoking room. To say he is sensitive is an understatement. If you greet that old man with the wrong pitch of ‘hiiiiiii babyyyyyyy’ (which is sister does daily) and you will get a bottom lip so big a bird could fly along and poop on it. Now put a farmer twist on this old soul as his teeth have decided to come in out of order: two centre bottom teeth and two at the top out to the sides. Can anyone say hillbilly? This does not seem to bother him as he loves to eat every darn item in the kitchen cupboard. I must say for baby led weaning, this kid is setting new records. It’s a good thing he is starting young though, learning how to fight for his snacks. You need that sort of fire on the playground these days. We do also have to check the wrist rolls daily to make sure he hasn’t hidden a cheerio in there for later. He may be an innocent baby boy but he sure knows how to scrounge and get the last bite in there before I notice. God help me when I haven’t swept the floors that morning and he decides to snag a dust bunny. Just kidding, I usually catch those.
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Miss Hallie…… We have always known this girl had a heart of gold. She is the drama mama who wants to take care of everyone and be involved in everything. She carries her tiny Paw Patrollers around in various receptacles (READ: whatever she can find or steal from mommy) and if one so much as falls or gets lost along the way, it’s very much true to being the end of the world. Tears, dramatic collapsing to the ground, you name it. I don’t even know which one is her favourite anymore as they all seem to deem much more importance than ANYTHING else on earth. And boy does she love her brother. It’s a mixed emotional roller coaster ride of course. I love him, I want to kiss his head, I want to smash his head into the ground or trap him behind the loveseat so he cannot touch any toys sort of love…. I can honestly see how hard it is to be a toddler sometimes. I mean I have absolutely no understanding as to why said meltdown is usually happening but I can appreciate how difficult it can be to understand why things are the way they are. Why did the microwave eat my sandwich? Why did you take away my toy? Why are you giving it back? Why can’t I play with the knives in the dishwasher? WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY?! This two year old tantrum too shall past my sweetness. Oh wait is that a shiny paw patrol toy hiding under the sofa? *TearsEnd*. Seriously no day with a toddler is like the next. But with all of her current ups and downs, my little lady does have a total heart of gold and it really is hard to stay frustrated for more than a minute…. until an hour later of course. But that is life with a toddler right? They tell me age 3 and 4 it gets easier…. Said no mother ever.

So these two. Every day they test me. Push me to limits I didn’t know I had. Take me to places of love and joy that I didn’t know I could experience until they came into the world. So for every moment that I feel helpless and completely like it’s two against one, which it usually is, I know we are making memories and experiencing what we know as life. Life with my crazy babies.

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