Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Camping with a Toddler Guide

Every year, our family goes camping at a lake for the Hosh's (BB's dad) birthday. It's a big party over the course of a weekend with 10-20 of our closest friends and family and it was a tradition we were excited to share with BB. I previously wrote about Baby Camping Gear and a lot of the same items apply for toddlers. Today I'll get into more of the logistics.

Yes, that is Campy Tula!


When: Keep in mind that unless you are yurt, cabin or RV camping, you are basically subject to mother nature. For infants, I highly recommend yurt, cabin or RV camping because temperature control is so critical. When tent camping with a toddler, looking for a time of year where weather is temperate is very important. Ideal temperature is one where it doesn't dip below 50 degrees at the coldest point in the night and doesn't heat above 85 degrees at the hottest point. Usually that is somewhere between late Spring and early Fall, depending on region. Just be careful not to pick a particularly rainy spot as being stuck in a tent with a toddler for hours is not a whole lot of fun.

Check Weather Underground for historic temperatures at your camping location.

Where: Personally, when I pick a campsite, I am looking for a lake within walking distance of the campsite because the purpose of the camping trips is to allow the Hosh and our friends the ability to go fishing.  I used to try to find campsites right on the water, like Lake Hemet for example, but with a toddler keeping a safe distance from the water is a good idea. Other amenities I look for include water on site (very helpful for cooking and cleaning), bathroom and shower facilities and playground within walking distance but not within direct line of vision of the campsite (so BB won't constantly demand to be taken to the playground.)
Take me to the playground!

ReserveAmerica allows users to plug in the amenities they want and a date range of travel and it'll provide a list of campsite that meet that criteria. It's a good place to start but does not include all KOA sites. Also, most private campsites and many county run campsites are not available on ReserveAmerica either.



Food: Since camping is a tough balance of bringing enough to be comfortable while fitting in the space available in the car to get it to the campsite, food can be a bit of a challenge since many fresh foods (read: healthy foods for toddlers) need to be stored in a limited space cooler. I suggest apples, oranges and fruits that don't require refrigeration. Freeze dried veggies from NurtureMe are great, as are prepacked veggies like Libby's Vegetable Cups. In the cooler, I always make sure to have cheese sticks and carrot sticks as I know he'll eat them. Otherwise, I try to plan a menu of food that is relatively toddler friendly.

Clothing: Dressing toddlers for camping is just like dressing for adults. Plan outfits in layers as weather can go from hot to cold. Bring extra pairs of socks. A pair of comfy boots, like Uggs are simply amazing while camping for comfort. For BB, I pack a onesie, a long sleeve T shirt, a pair of shorts, a pair of pants and two pairs of socks for every day we are camping. Then I add a hat, mittens, a vest, a thin jacket, a thick jacket and a pair of snow pants. One pair of walking/playground shoes and a pair of warm boots rounds out his clothing options.

Toiletries and Medicine: Pack all the things in travel sizes in this category. Things toddler needs everyday, from comb, toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, bodywash, towels, lotion, diapers, wipes, diaper rash cream, sunscreen. Add insect repellent, toddler Tylenol, character band-aids, face, nose and hand wipes, nose frida and that usually covers most bases.

I love this playground!

Gear

Tents: Keep in mind that the larger the tent, the harder it is to keep warm inside the tent. The general survivalist advice on the size of a camping tent is to get the smallest tent you can comfortably fit in if you are cold weather camping. A larger tent can be better if you are hot weather camping, especially if outfitted with enough zip windows to open and allow air to circulate.

Sleeping Bags: There are a lot of cutesy toddler sleeping bags on the market. Very few of them are rated for cold weather, many of which are mummy bags. I could not get BB to like a mummy bag since he doesn't even like to sleep with a blanket. Instead, I bought him a one piece snowsuit to wear instead. I also brought footed pajamas. If it was mildly cold, BB slept it footed PJs, if colder, he slept in the snowsuit and in very cold weather, I had the option of layering the footed pajamas and the snowsuit.

Mattress: We personally use an Aerobed as our camping mattress and we cosleep at home so cosleeping at camping was a no brainer. An alternative is to bring separate mattresses so toddler can sleep on one while mommy and daddy sleep on the other. Low maintenance campers often just use a bed roll which provides a light padding against the ground.

Look at my tent guise!
Camping Chair: There are a lot of camping chair options out there. When Ben was an infant, we used his stroller as it was easier to move him around. He now has his own folding camp chair that he loves. Whatever low space chair option a toddler will happily sit in is the right seating choice for camping.

Toys: Keep in mind whatever is taken camping will likely come back very dirty, damaged or get lost and never come back at all. So unless it is a must have everyday toy for BB, I leave all the valuable toys at home and bring easily replaced, small space toys. Baseball sized balls for throwing, bubble wands, small water guns, etc. This past camping trip, BB's Aunt Kar bought him a remote control model ATV which he went nuts for. It was perfect for outdoors since there is just so much space to go camping.

Safety Precautions: Aside from avoiding campsites right on the water, avoid campsites that are very close to steep drops or otherwise unsafe terrain. In addition, consider campsite dangers. For instance, this year, we brought a dog gate to go around our dutch oven as it often sits unattended while things bake away inside. The dog gate prevented BB from trying to touch it's very hot exterior. I also had to make sure that any moment I would be busy cooking for the camp, I put someone responsible in charge of watching BB. Usually that was the Hosh but at other times it was FIL or our very good friend and BB's favorite Uncle Friend Jer. Even then, I had eyes on him religiously. Between being outdoors without boundaries and having an open fire, camping does add another level of safety worries.

All in all, camping with BB now that he's aware of his surroundings is simply amazing. He picked up new words, explored a new environment and just had a really good time. He got to see someone catch a fish, see birds fly across the lake, watch wood burn in a firepit and experience sun up and sun down around him, without walls block his view. He slept well and had very little fussiness except when he wanted my attention as I stayed fairly busy feeding a camp of 22 people this year. We loved it so much, we're going camping again this weekend!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Goodbye, Medela, Night

Dear Medela Symphony,

As our journey of 17 months comes to an end, I thought I'd reminisce on all the times we've shared.

The times I sat in the nursery, while my newborn slept soundly, soothed by the rhythmic sounds of the mere ounces of milk being pulled out of me. 30 minutes of pumping for only 2.5 ounces of milk. How would I ever feed my boy?

In those days, when my supply was low and I cried, worried I would never be able to make enough milk to go to exclusively breastfeeding. You were there, hour after hour, power pumping session after power pumping session.

Before I knew that I should just embrace my inner crispiness and bed share so that Baby Buckshot could nurse through the night and build my supply naturally, the middle of the night pumping sessions while my husband bottle fed BB seemed logical at the time. It must have been the sleep deprivation.

The terrors of mastitis (count: 5 times), bleeding nipples and various coconut oil and lanolin concoctions, were my battle scars from the challenges of a first time mom. Evidence of the hours upon hours I spent hooked up to you, resembling an industrial dairy cow.

My early memories of motherhood are mixed of images of my newborn babe and a pale yellow pump.

You were my reprieve during family holidays gone to long. "I have to pump for a while," I'd claim; everyone would leave me alone.

And all that time together went away as I finally achieved exclusive breastfeeding status. We had made the jump.

When I went back to work we met again, fitting in pumping sessions between meetings and projects made me feel like superwoman. Making milk and making money? That's me, having it all while I muted myself on conference calls.

But as BB started to eat more food and drink less milk, I used you less and less. What was multiple sessions a day became once a day, then once every other day and slowly, I realized it had been weeks since I had seen you.

17 months ago, I wouldn't have believed that I would be sad to see you go, off to another family with a new mom starting her breastfeeding journey with a new squish.

But I am because it means that my breastfeeding days with BB are numbered. As I say goodbye to you, I see the end of this phase of babyhood for BB in sight.

Goodbye, Medela, Goodnight.

No one ever told me how sad I would be about ending this phase with you; this passage's rite.



Sunday, December 21, 2014

Merry Christmas Little Hoo Book Review


When Baby Buckshot was born, I thought about of the holiday traditions we were going to start together. One of which being a Christmas story every night in December until the 26th. Today is December 21, 2014 and I just read him his first one for this year. Last year, we probably got through 4 books, the only 4 Christmas books in our library. This tradition Christmas story every night is a little challenging because:

1. Books actually take up a lot of space! Having to store a Christmas collection in addition to the rest of the Christmas decorations just doesn't sound that great. 

2. Holidays are hectic! Some nights, we're not getting home in time for BB's whole bedtime routine. 

3. There are more and more Christmas books every year!

When I was contacted by Xist Publishing with a free copy of Merry Christmas, Little Hoo by Brenda Ponnay, I was thrilled. In e-book form, I could build an entire library of Christmas books without taking up any addiitonal space. Plus, I can access my e-book library from my phone which means I can still read BB's Christmas story when on the go! Brilliant!

Turns out, there's a small problem with the whole e-book reading thing for BB. He knows that tablets and phones do more than just provide reading material. Like play Taylor Swift music videos. It wasn't as effective as reading him a book. 

Never the less, Little Hoo is an adorable storybook owl who happens to be timid with a great imagination. There's a themed book for almost every holiday. This Christmas one is particularly adorable with Little Hoo wondering about the various night time sounds and what they could mean in terms of Christmas. From little elves in the kitchen to Santa in the night, this story is bound to build anticipation for little ones excited about Christmas.

I would recommend buying the hard copy of this book instead of the e-book. I ran into some formatting issues as well as some out of place pages and errant text which was confusing. 




Monday, November 17, 2014

Instanatural Stretch Mark Reduction


Like many moms, since becoming pregnant, I have looked for natural alternatives to many beauty products. And I have scars and stretch marks post pregnancy that I am trying to get rid of. Luckily for me, Instanatural sent me the following products to try.

Stretch Mark CreamI love how easily this stretch mark cream glides on, how quickly it dries and that it really works. Also, the pump mechanism on the dispenser a great delivery method because it dispenses the same amount of product, thus reducing waste. The product is pleasant smelling, only needs to be applied twice a day to work and really moisturizes skin. I like also that the product uses natural ingredients.

I have tried other stretch mark creams, since, you know, I have stretch marks from pregnancy, and it is much more pleasant to use than the other creams which makes me more likely to apply it which makes it more effective in treating the stretch marks.


Argan Oil For Hair, Face, Skin & NailsI am a huge fan of argan oil as a moisturizer and this product is a great value. Many other argan oils I have used are much more expensive for less oil. This product is organic and works just as well as the others. The dispenser is really good at controlling output and reducing waste. And the quantity makes it the perfect size to use on my body and hair, whereas in smaller bottles I never felt there was enough to use on more than my face.



I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Toddlers Eating Vegetables

BB's Breakfast.
When Baby Buckshot (Toddler Buckshot now?) first started eating solids, he ate everything and loved it. New textures, new flavors, something that isn't breastmilk! And when I was pregnant, and now that I'm breastfeeding, I make sure to eat lots of vegetables so that BB would get familiar with vegetable flavors. Now that's he toddling, it seems those efforts were less than effective!

After coming back from MommyCon Newport Beach, and learning that toddlers need to be exposed to a vegetable at least 7 times before acquiring a taste for it, I came up with some ways to help this along.

1. Bake into muffins or bread. More fibrous vegetables do very well in baked goods when shredded. Think carrots, zucchini, beets, even celery. If going for a sweet bread, try adding in fruit along with the veggie to make it more pleasant. If going for a savory bread, adding in some shredded cheese often helps the item be a little more kid friendly.

2. Infuse water. I have this really awesome FlavFusion Infuser Water Bottle that I put various things to spruce up my water with and BB LOVES the thing. When he sees it, he immediately wants some to drink. So, one day, I added in spinach and apple slices to the infuser. I've also done cucumber and mint, which I personally enjoy anyway. Just don't add a sour fruit along with a vegetable in the infuser because the combination of sour from fruit and slight bitterness from vegetables did not go over well with BB.



3. Make "ice cream." BB, early on, found a love of eating cold and frozen items. A way that I've used this to my advantage is by taking frozen fruits, a handful of greens and blending them with hemp or coconut milk and creating a frozen treat. He doesn't get as excited about it as he does real ice cream, but like Dr. Alan Greene said, it only takes one bite, multiple times.

4. Blend into soup/dip. BB recently learned that he loves dipping. When given a soup he doesn't like to eat, he will, however, consume the entire soup with a carrot used as a dipping mechanism. I saw him do it with tomato soup. Naturally, it's easy to blend steamed vegetables into a hummus dip or just simply make a soup out of it when blended with chicken broth, which goes a long way with getting BB to like it.

A video posted by hoshnasi (@hoshnasi) on


5. Put into a sausage patty. Turns out, toddlers love sausage. I spoke with a number of moms and they all said the same thing. Likely because they are nugget-like in shape and easy to hold. Making sausage at home is easy and adding a new vegetable into the mix is relatively easy.

6. Mix in a salad. Sometimes, I'll steam a vegetable and mix it in with a fresh fruit salad for BB. I cut everything around the same size and make it really colorful and inevitably, he'll eat a few bites of the vegetable. I am one sneaky mommy.

7.  Eat together. For some reason, toddlers assume whatever their caregivers are eating is delicious. BB is no exception. If I am obviously enjoying something, he immediately wants to try it. This is a good way to show kids what the vegetable actually looks and feels like without adding in to something else. Sure, sometimes BB will spit out a vegetable, but the fact that he's had a bite is one step in the right direction.

One day soon, my goal of having a vegetable loving child will be achieved.

Monday, November 3, 2014

MommyCon Newport Beach 2014

As someone who is active in no less than half a dozen mommy groups, most of which are focused around the more mainstream crunchy aspects of parenting, like babywearing, breastfeeding, cloth diapering and natural products, MommyCon Newport Beach was like walking into a room where my Mommy Facebook groups came to life. Actually, the moment I got out of my car, Baby Buckshot and I ran into two mamas from Socal Babywearers that I instantly recognized. Instead of Caw-Cawing (the official call of one SoCal Babywearer to another), however, I went ahead and introduced myself. And much of the rest of MommyCon was like that. Running into mamas I knew from my groups or talking to mamas who were in my groups but I had never talked to before. I had found my tribe!


Here are some highlights, as I didn't make it to MommyCon in time for anything before 11am, I missed Babywearing Yoga AND Babywearing 101!

Sleep Consultations with Rebecca Michi
Rebecca Michi is a published author and authority on children's sleep from 0-6 years old. Specializing in gentle sleep methods, her book combines a number of different sleep methods, giving the reader options best suited for each child instead of a one size fits all sleep recommendation. The sleep consultation sessions at MommyCon were by appointment only as she booked 6 moms for each 30 minute session, addressing each of our issues in 5 minutes. Obviously, 5 minutes is nothing in terms of an in depth sleep evaluation but here are some of her tips:

If baby is having a hard time transitioning or staying asleep in a crib or pack-n-play, it is possibly the mattress or a comfort issue. Many times, crib mattresses are not as soft or cushioned as the parent's bed so changing to a softer mattress might help. She also explained that pack-n-plays are not really made for sleeping so they are not very comfortable for babies. She recommended MamaDoo Mattress Topper for parents who want to continue using the pack-n-play in lieu of a crib or co-sleeping. 

As babies transition through sleep phases, reducing from multiple naps down to 1 or 2 a day, she explained that to keep babies sleep schedules on track, it is both helpful and not detrimental, to wake a sleeping baby. Shortening, specifically, the second nap of the day, to a 15-30 minute nap can help baby get on track for a sleep schedule.

My problem, of BB not staying asleep for longer than 2-3 hours at a time at night, and needing to nurse back to sleep was addressed in depth, lucky for me! Against everything I have read about babies BB's age, Rebecca noted that many babies still do wake from hunger and that this frequency of awaking is completely normal. However, BB is using nursing as a sleep crutch so it would be important to teach him to put himself back to sleep.

She recommended that, while I can continue to nurse him at the beginning of the night and for a middle of the night feed, the lights should be dimly on to communicate that nursing is awake time. Then for the other night wakings, to sooth him to sleep without nursing. In her experience, it only takes 3 nights for a new sleep habit to be learned making a long weekend the perfect time to teach a new sleep lesson.

Swag  Bags
There were so many vendors giving away such great stuff at this event. The best two items were Kinde Twist Starter Kits and with my Project: Breastfeeding add-on, Beco Soliel baby carriers!

WeanGreen gave away Glass baby food containers, a Mam bottle, a Zen Rock teething necklace and a Diono Screenshade were included in the swag bags from Cottonbabies as well as lots of coupons. The swag included for the attendees more than covered the cost of a ticket. Score!

In the breastfeeding lounge, there were also complimentary Milkin' Cookies and water for all the mamas. And those cookies were SO good. 


Tackling Toddler Trickiness with Dr. Alan Greene
Dr. Alan Greene, author of Feeding Baby Green: The Earth Friendly Program for Healthy, Safe Nutrition During Pregnancy, Childhood, and Beyond and Raising Baby Green: The Earth-Friendly Guide to Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Baby Care, spoke on the topic of why toddlers becoming picky about food and how to address is. Here are some of the more interesting points:

  • Toddlers are wired to reject foods that are in the slightest bit bitter or sour as a survival mechanism. In nature, typically when something is bitter or sour, it is a warning that it is not safe to eat. 
  • Familiarity will cause a child to enjoy a food. Repeated offerings of one bite in 7-12 different instances from a trusted source, like mommy, daddy or other regular caregiver, gives baby the exposure and understanding that a food is both safe and eventually enjoyable. 
  • Pregnant women who eat something, like carrots, at least 12 times during pregnancy, are likely to have children that immediately like that food item when first trying it. In utero, baby has more tastebuds than any other time in life, so baby can remember the flavor from the womb and in turn already registers it as familiar when having first solids. 
  • Heroes endorsing foods make children more likely to eat them. For instance, a container of cherry tomatoes, with a sticker of Elmo on it, may result in a child being more willing to try and like the tomatoes. 
  • Early exposure to real food textures in various forms is important. It was found that because children were more exposed to tomato purees, they liked the flavor of tomatoes but often rejected fresh tomatoes because they were only used to the tomatoes in pureed form and didn't like the fresh texture.
  • Growing vegetables from a seed makes a child much more likely to love that vegetable. Getting a child involved in the harvesting, picking or preparation of a vegetable, exponentially increases the likelihood that they will enjoy the food. 
  • If a toddler is having a hard time even trying one bite of a new food, mix the item with flavors they already find familiar and enjoy. For instance, if the child enjoys marinara sauce but is rejecting broccoli, cover the broccoli with marinara sauce.
  • Toddlers like to refuse things they are given but offering limited options, like asking them if they would like an apple or a banana, gives them the illusion of control making them less likely to protest what they are being given to eat.

Dr. Jay Gordon and Jaime Lynne Grumet
When I first saw Jaime Lynne Grumet, at MommyCon, she was wearing this gorgeous  puffy skirted dress and a very high heels with her hair and make-up done to a tee. I couldn't believe that she was a mom, and if she was, she must have been a model/celebrity. Little did I know, she's actually one of the most famous moms from the cover of Time Magazine.

She, the accidental face of Attachment Parenting mothers everywhere, along with Dr. Jay Gordon, spoke on a number of AP topics from how much protein do kids need (answer: don't worry about protein, feed them more vegetables), extended breastfeeding and answered much of the audience's questions.

Project: Breastfeeding
A lot of moms hire a professional photographer to commemorate their breastfeeding days. I considered that but when the Project: Breastfeeding add-on ticket went live, I immediately jumped at the chance. Get my breastfeeding picture taken by a famous photographer while also helping to destigmatize breastfeeding? That's a win-win.

Hector was simply amazing to work with, infinitely patient as Baby Buckshot all of sudden was more interested in playing than nursing (the children's play area was right next to the Project: Breastfeeding area.) We had to come back a few times before BB settled down and started to nurse while I was sitting on the chair. By that time, I was a tired mess and BB would only settle in one position. For a minute, I felt really self conscious and put a fake smile on and was disappointed that my picture probably wouldn't turn out very pretty. But, given my 13 months of breastfeeding, me being a tired mess catering to BB in whatever fashion I could take care his needs, is probably the most honest picture of our journey.

It was also a pleasure hearing about Hector's experience with the project. From taking a picture of a mom's last time breastfeeding her child, to capturing some moms breastfeeding babies multiple times, first nursing little squish babies and now as toddlers. I cannot express how much I love this project and look forward to seeing my less than perfect but actually quite accurate picture.

Babywearing Lounge
This was the mecca of babywearing. From various wraps to soft structured carriers of all ergonomic makers, the babywearing educators and representatives from Beco and Ergo provided a very comprehensive picture of what today's babywearing world has to offer. Yes, that is Jamie Grayson, aka theBabyGuyNYC, in the center. I did not realize it was him when I was trying to get a panoramic picture. Looking back, he probably thought I was being a creeper taking his picture and not asking first!  Ooops! Sorry Jamie!

I also have to note that this event is just babywearing heaven. The Tula Wrap Conversions and gorgeous woven wraps all the mamas were wearing their babies in was better than a fashion show. ETLA, Meeyoo, Pavos, Giras abound. It was a real life Stash Shot Saturday!

MommyCon was a great experience! Highly recommended for expectant mothers or those who have children toddler age or younger.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

One Year of Parenthood


One year ago today, after 25 hours of labor, and 10 months of pregnancy, I had a little boy. This little boy went from being a helpless little swaddled bundle of joy to a mobile and demanding toddler of joy.

Here is a sample of what I've learned this past year.

Pregnancy is the easy part. No really, anything that happened from vomiting everyday for 4-5 months to waddling around like the worlds heaviest bowling ball was resting on my pelvis was easy in comparison to now. Why? Because the Baby Buckshot was safe in my belly and not out in the world where he is only attracted to the most dangerous thing in the room. Why yes, BB, thank you for reminding me that I forgot to cover one electrical outlet in the entire house.

Babies sleep less over time. First day in the hospital, BB slept a lot. So much so that the hubs and I wondered if we had won the baby lottery. Until the second day, when he cried all night. And then the first week, when he didn't know when to sleep and when to stay awake. Then, just when we got any kind of nap and bedtime rhythm down, sleep regressions and teething hit and it was back to square one. Over. And. Over. But it is try, try again.

I am softer than I thought. Not just in the pudgey postpartum belly way, but in the, "Now, I have all the feels so when I watch a sappy movie or read a touching quote, tears" way. Something my husband, who had never really seen me cry before, is having to adjust to. There was a line in Love Actually, "Joni Mitchell is the woman who taught your cold English wife how to feel." Baby Buckshot is my Joni Mitchell.

Nothing bonds women like motherhood. I was never a girl's girl. Most of my friends were men, I had a hard time keeping long lasting friendships with women until motherhood. Suddenly, all the female friends of my past have re-emerged and there's an instant support group. Old friends, new friends, all friends. If you have a kid, I'm likely going to be your friend.  I'm going to guess this has to do with the fact that nothing, and I mean nothing, has taught me not to judge other people's lives like a little human being who has obviously been put into my life to see everyone else's perspective. No judgement here, other mamas. Just another mom trying to do her best with what she has.
 
Moms fight. Over everything. Did I also mention that nothing riles up other women against each other like motherhood? I wrote about it briefly here but I have to say it again. Nothing seems to hit a woman to her core like commenting on how she's opting to feed her infant child. Breastfeeding, formula, nursing in public, adding cereal to a bottle. Oh. My. Drama. Llama.

Poop can travel far. This is one of the early, most poignant lessons. A lifetime of only seeing excrement go into a toilet bowl did not prepare me for the ability of a tiny human to blow poop straight across a changing table, past a lamp and directly onto a wall. More than once.

The greatest expression of our love is also the greatest challenge to our marriage. My idealistic prenatal self thought that parenthood would be this amazing bonding experience where my husband and I would feel magically connected. And most of time, this is true. We have learned the ability to collaboratively take care of BB, even when upset with each other. We just seem to get upset with each other much more often. The first year of parenthood rivals the time we spent planning our wedding in terms of conflict and only now am I hearing that this is very common for first time parents. For those just starting, it takes about a year and it all works out.

Breastfeeding. There is no skill I have ever learned that is as emotionally charged as breastfeeding. And succeeding to this point give me this deep sense of accomplishment, for doing something my body was made to do. It's weird how something that was so stressful and painful in the beginning gives me sad pause when I think about it ending.

Everything is fleeting. For someone like me, who is a constant planner, learning to let go and deal with one short term problem at a time was a learning process. Solutions for some baby problems were absolutely necessary one minute and totally obsolete the next. Turns out, life seems to move slow but the moments just fly by.

My mother really, really, really loves me. It took becoming a mother in my 30s to realize the depth of my mother's love for me. It has spanned my lifetime, it has included my husband and now her grandchild. Until I loved my own baby, I had no idea the depth of a mother's love. Afterall, who goes from changing a person's diaper 30 something years ago to changing that person's child's diaper three decades later? Only a woman in love.

Happy birthday, Baby Buckshot. I love you to infinity and back.
 

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