Friday, February 27, 2015

My K-I-S-S-I-N-G Song

We are brought up around Disney Fairy Tales, Playground Songs, and stories of "Happily Ever After". There is the story of Prince Charming. Let's not forget about Cinderella looking for her glass slipper and falling in love with her price. Flynn who saves Rapunzel from the tall towers where she is kept away. Even our four legged friends Pongo and Perdita from 101 Dalmations, they too shared a love story.

Do you remember the Playground song: "The K-I-S-S-I-N-G Song" ?

Just in case you don't remember it goes like this:

(Girl's name) and (boy's name) sitting in the tree
K-i-s-s-i-n-g! (spell it out)
First comes love.
Then comes marriage.
Then comes baby in the baby carriage,
Sucking his thumb,
Wetting his pants,
Doing the hula, hula dance!

Cute huh? You most likely can recall that one. We all sang that whether it was in a group of our girlfriends or taunting another kid on the playground. We tried our best to embarrass some poor kid who had no idea what the hell love was or what trouble it would someday bring. No, we were all innocent at one time.

Some of us also play out our own Disney love stories in our minds. Over and over and over...

Love, as I have figured out, doesn't always happen in fairy tale format. My love story, well, my love story is how I believe it was suppose to happen. In some eyes it would be considered nontraditional. Some may even refer to it as living in sin. Sin, yes, I have plenty of times. But if living in sin means discovering the most incredible loves of my life...then I wouldn't change a thing.

Taken by Wild Clover Photography

Jay and I met six years ago. We were friends first. If someone would have told me I would be in this life with him now I would have laughed. Hard! But back to my love story...5 years ago we started dating. I did fall in love with him right away. You know that feeling when you touch someones hand and you can just feel it. It is as if there is this hot, intense force drawing you together? Maybe you know what I mean. That is how I felt the first time we actually crossed the line of friends and did somethings as simple as kiss and hold hands.

It wasn't a fairy tale from there though. Things were not always easy and we did have a few "bumps". After a couple of months we figured out that we both wanted to explore our relationship. Things were great. No, scratch that, things were amazing! We spent our time laughing, enjoying one another, drinking, eating...then I got pregnant.

Our first son, Chase, was not planned. We were still excited and the prospect of this tiny creature coming into our lives brought us closer. Chase was born in 2011. Life as we knew it changed. No more late nights drinking and having sex. It was now late nights exhausted from our son and the thought of sex was the farthest thing from my mind. 

Still, after child number one, we decided to try for number two. We planned and after some extra curricular activities, we were blessed with another boy, Wesley, in 2013.

It has been five year, two children and finally on Valentines Day, Jay asked me to marry him. And I said YES! When I told a friend about my engagement what she said next has stayed with me:

"I think you sort of have to, at this point. Except you DON'T actually. So it says something that you did. You're kids are so lucky that you keep choosing each other". ~ Friend

No, we did not get married before we had children. Our love may not be a traditional love story. It is MY love story! It is Cinderella meets Prince Charming. Only in my Disney film Cinderella gets knocked up while trying to find her glass slipper.

Five years later I am still crazy in love with Jay. We are different than we were five years ago. We are different because we are better. We have grown together. We have learned together. We have laughed, cried and yelled at one another. Yes, I do believe it says something powerful about our love that we do keep "choosing each other". No matter what hurdle life throws at us, and with two boys I know there will be plenty, this much I know for sure:  I always know at the end of any day, that the man walking in that door is the only man that I want to grow old with.

Happy Friday!! If you like this be sure to please hit the Like button & Share! Have a fabulous day! 

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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Learning to Say "YES" When I Really Want to Say "NO"!

There have been some lessons in my house over the past couple of years that have been unexpected. I have been pushed and challenged in ways that sometimes surprise me. In moments where I try to teach my children, they in turn are teaching me.

In my house I don't always want other hands helping me. I tend to get annoyed when I am cooking in the kitchen and suddenly the entire family is crammed into the small space while I am trying to prepare dinner. I am the master at multitasking. I feel I actually work better this way and that trait helps me at work and at home. So when daddy comes in the kitchen and stirs something when I have my back turned I want to smack his hand away. Usually I just grit my teeth and bite my tongue. Then there are those little people in my house who are always eager to help mommy. Little hands who want to be right there and are enthusiastic about doing something with mommy.

Here's the things friends: I would rather tell them NO. Yes, I sometimes find it exhausting, annoying, and time consuming to have them help me. But I don't tell them "No". I fight the urge of that word slipping from my tongue and instead do my best to include them. I have learned scratch that, I am learning to let go of some control and allow my children to help me. This may mean that there are times that things take twice as long, become ten times more messy, and the task may not always be done to what I would call "perfection". What it is done with is effort and enthusiasm...and toddler love!

I do love that quality that both my boys possess, wanting to always "help". I have a few things that I let them help with often, if not daily. Here are a few things that my toddlers do in my house.

* Helping with the animals: We have two dogs and one cat in our house. The boys love to help feed them. Sometimes they help put the food in the bowls. Other times it is bringing the dogs their food once it is together. Even the simple task of giving them a treat makes them happy. Both of the boys also will pick up the bowls when the dogs have finished eating to hand them to me to put away. I believe strongly that they should have a part in taking care of their pets. I want them to know and understand that having pets is not only loving them, it is taking care of them and being responsible for them.

* Laundry: When I say it is time to do laundry the boys rush to my side. From sorting laundry by dark and whites, to handing me clothes to put in the dryer, or taking the clothes from the dryer so that I can fold them. Both of them happily take part in this. Folding laundry tends to take me twice as long but I know they love to help.

* Baking or cooking: My Four year old loves to do cooking or baking projects with me. Baking often becomes a weekend activity for him and I. He loves making things and is proud of whatever we do. When I am cooking dinner he will run to get his stool so he can "help". I will admit this may be the hardest one for me. Things tend to get messy and end up all over the counters and floors. I despise a mess of any sorts! Here is where my patience is truly tested. It is our "thing" though. I want him to have the memory of cooking with me and hope this is something we do for years.

* Doing the dishes: Occasionally my Four year old also wants to do dishes. This is another example of how things can get messy and drive me batty. Usually daddy is the one who supervises this while I leave the room.Of coarse he doesn't exactly get them clean and one of us has to re-wash them...yet who I am to tell a man "No" when he offers to do the dishes! I am hopefully doing his future wife a big favor in having him do some housework...Even if I have to mop up the floor after he is done.

* Cleaning the kids room: Whenever I do a clean through of my sons room, whether it is going through toys or cleaning the floors, I involve him in being a part of this process. It is his room and I do my best to teach him to help take care of his things. If I am pulling everything out of his room to clean you better bet he is right there helping me. He knows the drill by now, and catch this, he likes doing it!

These all become lessons for my children. I also believe they have become lessons for me. In allowing my children to do these tasks I have to be patient. I admit, I have to work on this one during any of these chores. I have to slow down and allow their creative little minds and hands help to tackle some of the things which I could get done in a fraction of the time. I believe this teaches them responsibility, accountability, and allows them to grow to be independent individuals. I do not want my children to think that mama is going to do everything for them. If they make a mess, they need to pick it up. If they are done with their toys, it is their responsibility to pick up their toys.

It is my job as their mother to guide and teach them. I knew that part before I signed onto this job. Yet what I wasn't prepared for is all that they would teach me in return. I am figuring it out every new day. I may not always get it right, but that is what tomorrow is for. 

Thank You for Stopping by!! Do you give your children chores? How do you include them in the daily tasks?

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Friday, February 20, 2015

My Son is a Thief

My four year old had been home from school for a couple of hours. We did the usual check in about school, snack time and then he watched some TV. I was cooking dinner while talking to his father when I see this head pop around the corner. Chase, my four year old, had a mischievous look on his face. I looked down to see he had a little toy in his hand. At first glance I thought it was one of his several little Lego guys. Something caused me to look a little closer. I think it had to be the look he had on his face, I just knew something was not right. I asked Chase what he had and he replied with : "A little guy". There he was, little drummer boy.

Because I am Mama, I know every toy my son has. If you are a Mama too you know what I mean. I am always cleaning out, weeding out, and organizing the heap of toys in my sons room. I like to keep this as organized as possible and will occasionally go through his toy box to throw away sort through (shhhh, don't tell him I throw things away!) things which I consider junk. Therefore I am familiar with most of his toys and know almost all their names. This little drummer boy and I had not met. No, Mama never forgets a face!

I asked Chase where he got this "little guy" to which he responded: "In my toy box". I knew Chase was lying and I was trying to give him the opportunity to tell me on his own that he had taken the toy from school. I asked another time and his reply was the same. Hey, I guess if you are going to lie at least keep sticking with the same story right?! Chase had this shit grin on his face though that he couldn't seem to hide away. I directly asked him if he had taken the toy from school. One more time, my son the thief, lied to me and told me that he had found him in his toy box.

At this point I asked Chase to hand to hand over the toy and told him to go to his room for a moment. I needed to take a second to think about what I wanted to say to him rather than react to the fact that he took something from school, then lied to me about it. To be honest I even shared a laugh with his father about it before calling him back to the kitchen. One thing though that I try my best to instill in my son is that in this house, we don't lie. In this house, we are honest. I think I was more upset that he lied to me than the fact that he took the toy. The fact that he took the toy, well that was an entire different set of feelings I was dealing with too.

Chase was asked to come back in the kitchen where we had "the talk" about  how we don't steal and we don't lie about stealing. I asked him how he would feel if someone took his toys and didn't give them back. I then placed the toy on a shelf where he could see it and let him know that he would be the one to return it to his teacher when he goes back to school.

He is Four, I do know this is age appropriate and that this may not be the last time this happens. I have to admit though that something happened inside me. I felt disappointment that he did this. He had never taken anything before. I felt responsible for his actions and even a slightly embarrassed about it.

This has nothing to do with me! No, Chase was just being a kid. He is testing limits, pushing boundaries, and challenging me. That is exactly what he should be doing. He is learning, exploring, and discovering what he can and cannot do. It is my job to help teach him. This wasn't just a lesson in learning for Chase; this became a new lesson for Mama.

This morning as I am sipping my coffee, hearing the laughter from Chase's room, I smile to myself about it. I think it is time for me to pour another cup and continue looking for that parenting handbook...I know it has to be around here somewhere...

Happy Friday Friends!! Have a fabulous weekend!

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Sunday, February 15, 2015

5 Reasons Why Going to the Gynecologist is like Dating

I just got that damn postcard in the mail a week ago. Now that I think about it, it is more like weeks ago! Yeah, I believe it is in the pile of mail I have sitting on my drying machine. I haven't completely forgot about it. I know I have to pull that sucker out and dial the damn number and make the appointment. It's that time a year again: Annual Pap Smear time! Yahooo!!

I started thinking why do women dread these appointments? Is it because we are forced to lay on our backs with our feet in stir ups while our legs feel like they are being forced to stay open with a vice grip?!

Going to the Gynecologist (let's go with Gyno for short) is similar to getting ready for a date. Maybe it's the first date, the seventh date, or maybe you have been married for years. Here are the Five reasons I came up with that compares why going to the Gyno, is like getting ready for a date.

1-  Committing to a date: Life is busy. There is work, friends, events, children, etc. Every woman at any stage in her life is busy these days. Finding the time to actually commit to a particular date is a challenge within itself. I know that if I am making an appointment with my Gyno I need to be sure that I am not working and someone can watch the kids. Same thing if I am going on a date (what is that??) with my man. Let's be real ladies; even going out on a date can seem like a hassle rather than something that we really want to do. I have fifty other things that not only should I be doing, but that I want to be doing. Going to the Gyno is not at the top of my list!

2- Anxious Nerves: So you finally broke down and set the date. Now you have to actually go! Just like setting that date with your man (or woman!) you start to get nervous. Similar to a first or blind date, you have a nauseous feeling in the pit of your stomach. The very thought of going to this appointment makes you want to vomit. You remember a date like that right?  Your stomach starts doing somersaults and suddenly you are wondering why the hell you decided to do this. Is it too late to cancel? What if I just don't show up? You have a conscious though and you know, just like standing up a date would be cruel, missing your appointment without a phone call would be frowned upon as well. Unlike a date, your doctors office might even charge you for a "no show". Best to just keep it now that you made the commitment! 

3- The Prep Work: You have a couple hours before the appointment and now it is time to get ready. Pluck your eyebrows. Make sure that one pesky chin hair you have is pulled out. Then not only are you going to shower for this joyous occasion, but you are even going to shave your legs! If you get real daring you might even trim up those lady parts too so it doesn't look like you are growing a beard for the start of the Red Sox Season. If I am going to the Gyno or getting ready for  a date, it is more than likely I am going to go through these motions. It is the kind thing to do!

4- Sweet Talk aka Conversation: Here's the thing, as awkward as it is to lay there on my back I feel that having a conversation helps to pass the time. If she/he is down there all up in your "stuff" I figure you should get to know one another right? There is nothing like that awkward silence on a date. You know what I am talking about, the kind where you can hear the other one chew their food as you are sitting there wondering why the hell you decided to come. Maybe it is a comfortable silence, the kind after being together for years and no words are actually needed... But what if it is like that uncomfortable first date? Then what do you talk about?! The weather? Ask her/him about themselves? Bring up sports, what is their favorite team? Or what about all that snow Boston just got? Yeah, I think I will go with that!

5- The Goodbye Kiss: So you have made it through the appointment. Thank God that shit is over! Luckily she/he leaves the room so you can quickly throw on your clothes. (Don't you wish you could ask your date to leave the room so you can get dressed before you talk again?!) Anyway she/he comes back in. You "talk" about "things" and now it is time to rush out the door say goodbye. Do you say "Thank You", shake hands (they were wearing gloves) or in some instances maybe a hug is in order. I am certainly not going to kiss my Gyno goodbye...though after what she/he just did I would say some kind of reward is deserved for both of us!

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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Being the "Other" Woman

I use to know this woman. There were many things about her I will never forget. She lingers in my memory and once in awhile I can catch glimpses of her if I close my eyes and take a moment to drift back in time.

She was feisty and vivacious. When she laughed the whole room could hear her. She was a bit on the wild side. She liked to party, to drink, to dance into the early hours of the morning. It was knee high boots, lipstick, and perfume.

As I talk about her now I see her spending money frivolously as she sits at the bar with a drink in her hand. It is only her. Sometimes there is a man but he never stays for that long. She cannot seem to get it right. Dating for her is like a train wreck. She is constantly derailing and losing herself more along the way. She thinks that she is happy. She does not yet know what happiness is.  

My eyes fill with tears for her and I blink them away and smile. She just wasn’t ready. She needed to let life happen. There were mistakes to be made. Lessons to be learned. She needed to grow. To be able to love herself before life could give her the greatest gifts of all.

Fast forward a bit. I can tell you now that this woman is no longer there. Today is she is stronger and more fierce than she ever thought she could be. She has learned to fight hard for the things that she wants. It is through her unsteady feet that she learned to find balance and stand tall. She learned what it felt like to take chances. She realized that there is a plan for her. The road ahead was paved with laughter, love and tiny miracles.

Love came walking into her life. Real love. The kind that ignites a fire in you and creates a warmth in you only felt by true love. She found companionship and loyalty. She didn't need to look for it, love found her.

Then, the most amazing thing happened; she became a mother.

This woman would learn what the real important things were in life. It didn’t always mean that she would always feel glamorous. There would be no more staying up all night because she chose to; it would be because her children kept her up all night. She wouldn’t be at a bar dancing. Dance parties would now take place in her living room with her two children bouncing right next to her. It was in these moments that she would feel more alive than she ever did. It took two little boys to change her world. They saved her.

Motherhood can be "messy". It is truly the hardest job that I have had. I am challenged each moment of every day to be the best that I can be for my children. I don’t always get to shower. It has been a long time since I have had lunch with a girlfriend or even a date with my man. I don’t get raises, or recognized as “employee of the month”. I hardly hear “thank you”. I rarely get my hair done and let's not even talk about how long it has been since my last pedicure. Some days I am exhausted and just want to get away.

All of that is so small compared to the bigger things motherhood has brought me. I am truly the happiest I have ever been. There is nothing like this love. I am consumed by it and grateful to be this woman now. This woman is blessed to wake each morning to two boys who make every second worth living. Every moment that I am given with them is a treasure.

I think about that other woman once in awhile. I haven’t forgot about her and she comes alive in me from time to time. I can see her other times when I watch my children. She is right there in them; pieces of me living on in them. I would be lying if I said I didn't miss her...

Today, now, this woman; she is a the woman I was meant to be.

If you liked this post (fingers crossed) than please Like, Share, and Tweet! Much Love! 

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Sunday, February 8, 2015

Sleep is Overrated: Said No Mother Ever!

It has been over four years since I have slept. Really, I am not kidding you. Some mothers are blessed with these sweet little babes who pop out of them that sleep like little angels from the moment they put them in their crib. My boys, they like to be sure mom is exhausted on a daily basis.

First it was Chase, my four year old. The first couple weeks of his life the only way I could get any sleep was to let him sleep on my chest. I tried everything from his co sleeper to his swing and even the car seat. He would have none of it. All Chase wanted was my warm body. It was my first go at the whole mommy thing and I had this perception that my baby would sleep in his crib. Isn't that is what is suppose to happen?! Wrong! Absolutely false! For me at least.

Chase eventually started to sleep in his co sleeper but being the big, chunky baby he was, grew out of that quickly and then he was into his crib. He would sleep in his crib yet still wake several times a night. It wasn't until he was around eighteen months old that he started to wake less frequently and allow me to get some sleep.

I was working full time with Chase and we did try sleep training. First at six months then again at nine months. The first time I failed miserably. I couldn't take the crying. It cut through me and nothing about it felt right. At nine months I had hit a wall and decided that we would try it again. This time I was a little more fed up ready to try the sleep training. After four to five nights he was sleeping longer and mama was feeling more like a human.

He is four now. He still wakes at night. Sometimes one to two times. There are nights I believe he is waking up from bad dreams. Then there are the others which he cries and admits he "just wants mommy". That's all well and good once in awhile...but then again have you met my sixteen month old Wesley?

It was decided before this little creature came along that I would co sleep. This time around this babe would be in bed with me. The first few months were a breeze compared to his brother. Then four months hit. The teeth came...and I once again was blessed with another child who would not sleep. Some nights he still wakes hourly. He is a Pro at nursing (seriously, this kid could earn an Oscar for it). I believe he thinks it is his job to literally suck the life out of me each and every night. He is like a baby vampire. Instead of blood that he that attacks me for, it's the milk my awesome boobs make him. Like a vampire, the little milk sucker does bite! (Insert screaming)

I have never been a good sleeper. Even without the interruption of my children I tend to wake frequently or lay there praying for sleep before one of them wakes me. I am pretty good at rallying most days. I can hide my exhaustion well and sadly have learned to function this way.

I try my best not to complain, bitch, yell, or cry about it...but honestly...mama just wants to sleep!

If you are one of those moms who have been blessed with a good sleeper, do me a favor: please keep your mouth shut! Seriously, all of the sleep deprived mothers might accidentally smack you. If you are a sleep deprived mama like me reading this: Hey woman, high five! Let's remember soon this will all be a clouded memory. Until then, pour yourself a drink. It might just help to get you some sleep before the time your child cries for you!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

January Running: Frosty Lashes and Icy Nipples

I am not sure about you but January felt like it had one hundred days crammed into it instead of thirty one. I am not a winter gal. I do not ski (never have), I do not snow board, ice skate, or take part in the luge. No, this girl would rather be on a beach with a drink in her hand. Scratch that! I would rather be on the beach with sunshine and drink. Yes! That is what I am talking about.

I am so done with the 0 degree temps and frosty eyelashes. I may hate this time of year but it does not stop me from going out and doing my workout. I run. That is what I do. I made the commitment to running so this means I am out there when I would rather be home sipping a beer coffee.

It has definitely been a challenge for me. Since I have been running through the winter for a few years now I am pretty good at figuring out how to dress. I did mess up a few weeks ago and paid for it. We had one day that was 30 degrees and I had such a wonderful run. The next day it was down in the single digits. I must have still been in some euphoric state that I hesitated on my running gear and under dressed. I didn't run as far as I intended and I came home cold. I could feel my skin tingling from the sting of the cold air blowing through my running pants. Parts of me were freezing ( I will let you use your imagination) and no one wants to get frost bite on their genitals. (I know you were thinking it!)

This was taken Sunday. It was a cold but good run!

On most days I do dress appropriately for my runs. The bottom line for me is the conditions which this very cold weather brings. It is more like learning to ice skate on my town's roads with running sneakers, than it is actually running. I don't wear any metal grips on my sneakers like some do. I have thought about trying them but worry about it throwing off my run. I end up doing a lot of running in the road and not the side walk. I do not always feel safe and am trying my best to be alert during my runs. I have noticed that many drivers do not pay attention. People are distracted while driving these days therefor it is my responsibility to be aware of my surroundings and not get lost in the run. Some days it feels like a like a game of Frogger. Me, being the frog of coarse.

We just said goodbye to January. I am hoping February is more kind to us runners out there. With that being said I did complete 82 miles last month. I was  not completely happy with that, I had a higher number in my head that I wanted to achieve. It was almost double what I ran the year before and with that I will give myself a little more credit. I must have been in post baby bliss last January (Wes was only 4 months) since I only did 44 miles.

I am also trying to make more of an effort to cross train. I have been trying video's on you tube on my off running days or on the days that I am forced to stay in my house because of Mother Nature. I am trying hard to put more of an effort in sculpting my body to become stronger for the races I have ahead of me. I have tried out a few and I have to say that the Jillian Michael video's I have done have been my favorite. I like the way she incorporates strength training and cardio into a workout. I feel challenged by her video's which is exactly what I am looking for.

I also decided to do a jumping jack challenge this month! A fellow blogger and runner, Simply Sole Searching, has started this challenge and I decided I would "jump" on board with this too. Check it out at: Simply Sole Searching: Jump for Joy in February. I am not sure if I will be able to complete it as the number of Jack's gets up to 250. But hey, I need to at least try!

Now it is time to welcome February and hope for warmer weather and better runs! Goal for February: 90 Miles minimum! Come on Mather Nature, bring it!

Happy Running!

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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The Four Letter Word Forbidden in My House

There should probably be a swear jar in my house for the amount of four letter words used on a daily basis. Some are muttered, whispered under my breath countless times a day. Others become echo's throughout the walls of this house. I should really be putting some effort into not using some of these words. Truth be told; I like to swear. Really, I am not sure I want to control it. There are so many fabulous four letter words!

With that being said there is one four letter word that is forbidden. The very sound of it makes me cringe. I truly despise this word and will not allow it to be said in my presence. If I hear it, I correct it. My children will not be allowed to use it unless it is in the correct context. I will not let my ears hear the word: CAN'T!

Chase, my four year old, is at an age where he is learning new things. He is discovering, exploring, and evolving. He is being challenged every day and I watch him get frustrated. I see the look of fear some days. I watch the change in his expression as he gets discouraged. Lately he has been saying that he "can't" do certain things. I am quick to correct him. I remind him that, yes, you CAN do it. I make an effort to help resolve whatever the situation is and prove to him that he is capable.

I want my children to believe in themselves. I want them to exude confidence. I don't want them to think they are able to fly like batman, yet I feel it is important for my children to at least always try their best. I want them to strive for the things they want and believe in; no matter how hard that may be. 

Life can be difficult and cruel. We are faced with heartache and pain. We love, we lose. We stand, we fall. We are constantly challenged and we either choose to rise above the struggles or surrender to them. I know that I cannot protect my children from any of that. The harsh reality is that I will watch most of it. I will feel their sting from disappointment. I will ache for them when they get their heart broken. I will cry along with them when they feel defeated. I will also be there in those times to reassure them. To help hold them up. I will push my children to believe that they CAN and allow them to feel that sense of pride in their decision to try.

There is a euphoric feeling that comes from being able to do something you did not think you could do. Sometimes we need to step outside of our comfort zone to discover things about ourselves. We do not always look in the mirror and see our beauty and strength deep within. It's in moments of being scared, falling down, and trying to do something we have never done before; those are the moments where we are born. Those moments may not always define us, yet they help to teach us and allow us to grow.

My motto for myself is: Always Believe You Can. I would like my children to listen to this and learn from those words. It doesn't have to be their mantra, yet I hope it creates a fire within them as they grow. I want there to be pride in everything they do. I want my children to do something because they CAN!

There will continue to be several four letter words said in my house (just a premonition I have). "Can't", that is not one of them!

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