Saturday, July 30, 2005

Falling with style

I've resolved to be less obsessive.

(Why, you ask, am I making resolutions in the middle of summer? Isn't that a New Years thing? well, sod it. I don't celebrate christmas or new years - the last day of the year for me is October 31st - so, HAH! I'm free to make resolutions whenever I wish. *does a little 'I'm free' dance*

But seriously, I've been really stressed these past 7 weeks and it's NOT my 7 week old. He's eating like a champ, sleeping 6 or 7 hours at a stretch at night, and aside from some daily Evening Crabs (due to gas), he's a piece of cake.

So what's the deal? Didn't you just do a happy post, Blue? In the words of the great Han Solo: "We're fine, we're all fine here ... how are you?"

Uhh ...

My oldest daughter is making me insane. She's past toilet training (we're still perfecting the nighttime training, but she's damn near got it) but I'm struggling with getting her to NOT wreak havok in her room during nap and bed-time. My oldest son is driving me mad. This is a child who can entertain himself for over an hour at a go but for the last 7 weeks has been up under my feet and right in my face every waking second. My youngest daughter is just frustrating. At 17 months she can creep, crawl at high speeds, stand alone, and jam to music but refuses to walk. She can understand complex sentences ("Go put this shirt in the hamper" or "It's time to brush our teeth"), she knows signs, heck, the girl can hum the theme to Spider-Man for goodness' sake!! But she refuses to talk.

I am irritable, volitile (more so than usual, lol), restless, and prone to general outbursts. I'll have a bit of energy to do something then go for long stretches of listlessness with no will to do anything. And I'm not sleeping well. I wake up anywhere between 2 and 4 and can't get back to sleep. Like my father, I spend this time staring into the darkness, thinking. Well, at 3am this morning I decided I knew what the problem was.

I'm obsessing.

I have an obsessive personality (although, according to Dr Google, not OCD despite some checking and re-checking, ordering, and hand-washing issues. Can't tell you how relieved I am. [/sarcasm])

See, I'm a stirrer and a taster. I can't leave anything alone. I add ingredients to tried and true dishes, constantly rebuild things in the barnyard, I even pick at scabs. I'm spending all my time obsessing about what's going on.

And it's just normal stuff! My oldest is not yet 3 1/2 for Pete's sake!

I need to learn to chill.

Take toilet training. I have had great success with Dr John Rosemond's methods but I can't seem to stop myself interfering. Rosemond's method works but you have to keep your hand out of it!! Toilet independance is just that: an independance thing. The point is to let the child do it. I have so much trouble with that. I nudge, then suggest, then insist, then blow up because he/she's made a mess yet again.

Fortunately my children have been forgiving. My darling Tall Girl trained - just as her brother did - in less than 10 days, despite my heavy-handed parenting. *sigh*

They're just babies. And they're good babies. Now if I can just learn to be a good momma ...

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 10:22 pm   1 comments

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Happy camper

Nothing exciting to report. Actually everything is going so well over here I'm waiting suspiciously for the next bad thing to happen.

It's been beastly hot but I've managed to make it up to the barnyard a few times to work on fences. It's honestly nice to get the excercise even if it is making my bad knee hurt like a ^#$&*.
It's also mind-clearing. I've always found that working in the barnyard was theraputic. You're completely alone. You can think. Unlike working in your yard - weeding, pruning, planting, mowing - your handiwork in the barnyard can't be readily observed (and judged) by others. If you have to leave a hedge half-way pruned, a hundred people drive by and see it. If you don't finish planting the geraniums, your mother-in-law makes a little comment next time she's over. If it takes you six months (or *ahem* 3 years) to stretch a fence or build a hay-rack that's between you and your goats.

Oh, and speaking of goats ... I'll try to have a pic of the new LaMancha buck soon. He's such a cutie!

----

Inside the house is mostly serene as well. Long Tall Drink of Water Son is doing great, a bit gassy, but nothing earth-shattering. He's been sleeping quite well and will doze from 9pm to about 4 or 5am before demanding to be fed.

My 6 week post partum checkup went flawlessly. I weighed 3 lbs less than my pre-pregnancy weight - a loss of 50lbs - but am not too excited as I have 60 more to lose. *sigh* But the doc did give me the go-ahead to have sex! Sex! I kept my expression carefully neutral. I didn't have the heart to tell him that Evil Genius Husband and I have been doing the nasty since I was 2 weeks post partum.

And lastly, Tall Girl has proven me hopelessly paranoid by continuing to stay dry and use the toilet unassisted. She's even sleeping in her big girl bed in the room with Boy over nap-time. So I guess the 'oops' a week ago was just that: and 'oops' and nothing to get hysterical over. Uh, yeah ... I knew that ...

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Oh, before I go ... I wanted to give a big huge {{{hug}}} and a thank you to my commentors.

You guys may not realize this but I really appreciate your input. I read it all very carefully and it really helps. Everything from the simple "you go girl" to the been-there-done-that-here's-what-I-did advice is taken to heart. I can't thank you enough. You people rock.

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 6:24 am   3 comments

Thursday, July 21, 2005

And now for the Thrifty Farm Report ...

See, when Evil Genius Husband and I started having babies, I, the farmer, was, by nessessity, kind of stuck in the house (and apparently collecting commas for later use). An ex-suburbanite, EGH gamely tackled the farm chores as I became less and less able to be any use in the barnyard (hugely pregnant, nursing, caring for a newborn, chasing a toddler, etc, etc). As time went on he became damned good at farming and soon he was taking care of the four-legged animals on the outside while I took care of the 2 legged ones inside.

I still make the executive decisions - who gets bred to whom, who gets culled, and so on. ( I also do all the construction, not because I'm nessessarily better at it, but because I have the Grand Plan (*snort*) in my head of where everything should go. And I love building stuff.)

So I had put an advert in the local farm paper this week selling some animals and got the oppertunity to do some trading. I much prefer trading. I mean, why shuffle bits of paper about between two people and the bank when you can just trade goods for goods? You have something I want, I have something you want ...

With the advert came the usual array of baffling phone calls.

I have Katahdin sheep - pronounced kuh-TAH-din after the mountain in Maine - and some mixed Dorper (DOOR-pur)sheep. I had one of these mixes for sale - a Katahdin/Dorper cross ram. The phone rang bright and early:

"Hello?"
"Yeah, I seen you had some ah them katydids?"
"Excuse me?"
"Katydid doopers. In the paper."
"Katydids?"
"Katydid doopers ... SHEEP!"
"Ahhhhhh ... yes, how stupid of me ..."

What in the world are people thinking? Are they taking a stab at pronouncing things they've never heard? Can they only read at a first grade level? And why, oh why, do folks continue to mispronounce things even when they're talking to you and you're pronouncing it correctly? Do they not understand that you're saying the same words? Or do they simply thing that you are the one mispronouncing it?

The problem seems rampant in the livestock circle. I used to breed and show dairy goats. I had Saanens (pronounced SAH-nen) and a large number of people I encounterd insisted on saying suh-NEEN. Hell, that doesn't even make sense! Then there's 'Barbie Doll' sheep (not to be confused with Babydoll sheep - a real breed) It took me years to figure out that people are talking about Barbados sheep. Hello! Barbados is an actual place. On a map. bar-BAY-dohs. Jeez.

The domestic livestock world has some real tongue twisting names: Oberhasli goats and Gelbvieh cattle spring to mind, but goodness gracious, these lazy people misprononce the simpler ones. Of course within the dairy goat community there's a hideous trend of pronouncing the noun caprine (the genus of the goat is capra) as kuh-PREEN. Uhh ... no. It's CAP-rine. Use your common sense. Say: canine, feline, bovine, equine ... So would caprine be kuh-PREEN? Bloody NO!!! Some of these folks are very intelligent - I've met them - but they insist on this mispronunciation.

So, uh, anyway ... back to trading ...

I had a good day, trading that Katydid Dooper (*rolls eyes*) and my lone turkey for a nice LaMancha buck (and have been humming the song from Don Quixote since). It was good to get back out into the barnyard even inthe 90 degree heat. I always miss it. I confess to getting much more pleasure from standing around at a stock sale or farmyard bullshitting about animals than I would at a playground in heated subtle competition with other moms.

Is that wrong? You decide. In the meantime, I'm pulling on my Wellies and I'll be up at the barn if you need me ...

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 11:36 pm   1 comments

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Caution: Pathetic whine follows - stand clear

Ya know, it's a shame that second guessing yourself doesn't burn calories. I'd be scrawny as hell and there would be some other pretty svelte moms out there. As a matter of fact rather than 'motherhood', they should just call it 'guilthood' : the great period of uncertainty.

Tall Girl had an 'oops' day before yesterday and I've been backpedalling ever since. What did I do wrong? She was doing so well. Then she turned around and was fine yesterday. Totally dry all day including a lengthy trip out (in underpants) with several stops to run errands.

I'm confused.

Then there's Long Tall Drink o' Water Son who's decided to stop sleeping 6 hours at a pop and instead wake up every two hours. Then when I try to latch him on the breast he fiddles about and hems and haws for 10 minutes before suddenly deciding to eat.

Ugh.

And while I'm bitching and complaining ... I'm also feeling guilty about Boy. I feel like he's not getting enough attention (from me) right now. Normally everyone gets plenty of 'together' time plus individual alone time with me every day. But with feeding LTD o'WS more often plus helping Tall Girl with the toilet training, I feel like Boy is getting slighted. I think he's feeling particularly resentful of Tall getting so much attention (for example, he's been announcing when he goes to the toilet).

Top this misery sundae with the facts that my minivan (not the new Dodge!) has officially lost it's AC (and it will take $900 to fix) and I can't seem to lose any of this (insert inappropriate epithet here) weight and you have one depressed person.

I sincerely hope y'all's day is going better than mine! Now if you'll excuse me I have to spend another day filled with morose cleaning interspersed with periods of moody brooding.

(remember that bit in Monty Python and the Holy Grail? "And there was much rejoicing")

Yay.

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 7:06 am   1 comments

Saturday, July 16, 2005

All hail the great white water chair!

Well, it's official. Yesterday was the last day of daytime toilet training for Tall Girl. We started last Thursday.

Yay! I'm so proud of her! She's actually doing better than her brother was at this point. Boy was more reluctant to use the big toilet and used the small pot for a few weeks. Not Tall Girl. Forget that! Yesterday was her third day being dry all day (and using the toilet unassisted) and I moved her into the room with Boy over nap-time. She got up and went to the bathroom like a champ.

Now we just have to resolve the problem of her putting her underpants back on, lol. Bless her heart she struggles mightily to get them back on but they end up twisted up or inside out. I'm not terribly worried about it.

Now we have to tackle nightime training. (and a hush fell over the crowd!) I'll keep you updated.

----

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 7:20 am   2 comments

Monday, July 11, 2005

Another rambly post: dogs, pigs and obstinate girls

Ahhh, well, the new pup was not meant to be. This is good, of course. I didn't need another dog and it was a female and the lady sounded a bit flakey who had her ...

This was supposed to be a trade thing and I got the impression from her reply that she was going to be of the sort found on my old baby-stuff trading bulletin board. The type who'd email me and write: "I'll trade you these two coupons for that can of similac and those four New-With-Tag outfits". Then they'd get all huffy when you refused - unable to grasp the fact that the shipping alone made the deal not worthwhile.

I emailed the lady with the puppy a list of my tradables and she sent back a terse reply about how her son, who is in the military, came home suddenly (?) and decided to keep the dog.

Uh ... ok.

Oh well, I'm sure there's the perfect dog out there for me. Perhaps I can trade one of my recent throwaways:



This is the little potbellied pig we 'adopted'. My Evil Genius Husband named her Mimi, but I call her KitchenAide since she eats all my scraps for me!

----

So now I might be getting an inkling of why they tell you to space your kids out a bit. Currently my newest son is breastfeeding on demand - and he demands it all the time. My 16 month old is starting to walk (ok, that's a slight exaggeration. Ms Chunk-ette is refusing to walk, actually. She stands just fine but wont take any steps. All of mine have walked and talked late! What's up with that?) And my 2 year old is toilet training.

My 3 year old, Boy, and Evil Genius Husband are maintaining the status quo by being bloody annoying.

Toilet training. Aaaarrgh! I hate it! It's the worst. I'm having a particularly sticky time with Tall Girl. She's driving me nuts. See, Boy wanted nothing more than to please me. He toilet trained in a week and was dead-set on it because he got so upset that I got upset when he wet himself.

Tall Girl couldn't give a rat's hind end. She doesn't care if she's wet. She doesn't respond at all to my angst over changing her sheets a half a dozen times or washing scads of those stupid little girl underpants. (man I hate those things. They all have some sappy, stupid characters on them. You can't find just plain white girl's underpants it seems) She's totally non-plussed when she has to strip her bed, wipe off her matress, and rinse out her undies.

Gah!

Of course we've only been at it for less than a week and she's staying dry pretty much all day. It's naptime that's getting us. She won't get out of her bed to sit on the pot. I'm wondering if she's aware that she's allowed to leave her bed to wee.


The worst bit of all is how bad I feel when I get frustrated with her. I feel like scum, the worst mum in the universe. She's so bright and charming ... and annoying. I love her so much that it makes my heart hurt but then, the next day, she's irritating the crap out of me. *SIGH*

I love you my baby girl, now wee in the pot, please!

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 9:17 pm   3 comments

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Nicholas Robert Hill

Oh, I think I've done a bad thing.

I saw someone on one of my newsgroups wanted to trade a red-and-white Border Collie puppy and I couldn't stop myself. I emailed him/her.

I don't know what I'm thinking. I have 5 dogs. I'm usually soooo good at ignoring enticing adoptable animals that I don't need.

OK, I'm lying. I do know what came over me. The splintery-like-bits-of-glass pains of a broken heart.

I hope this doesn't offend any of you non dog lovers out there, but you see, my first son - my Number One Son - was a dog. He was an amber eyed, red and white Border Collie / Aussie cross and was born on April fool's day in 1992. I got my adopted dog son at a goat show - where exhibitors traditionally wear all white - and he wee'd all over the front of my shirt. I had to exhibit in all the classes with a big yellow stain over my heart, but it didn't matter. I was in love.

That stain must have sunk straight in because that dog was my light for the next 11 years. He guarded my home, helped me with the livestock, jumped in the shower with me when he needed a bath, rode shotgun when we drove anywhere.

When my Ex-Arsehole cheated on me and I threw him out, I remember vivdly how I could comprehend that he could leave me but I couldn't fathom how he could leave Nick.

When my first biological child was born, a son, I brought him in the house for the first time and straight over to Nicky who was unimpressed with the hairless pink puppy but allowed him to take up so much of Momma's time and love and let him - as the months passed - crawl on him, play with his toys, even taste his food.

He was always hale and hearty even as an older dog so it was shocking when one day his back just went out. Evil Genius Husband had been throwing for the dogs and Nick came in almost unable to use his hind legs. He'd ruptured a disk in his back I think the vet said. (I think Evil Genius Husband felt guilty about this although I tried to explain to him that it was going to happen if not that day then the next, if not while chasing a ball then while chasing a sheep). It was inevitable and they could try (very very expensive) surgery but seeing as he was elderly and the damage was severe ...

To my shame I was unable to even stay in the room when they put him down. My wonderful Husband had to do it. I couldn't apologise to him while simultaniously thanking him and weeping uncontrollbly.

I did bring Nick home though. And dig the grave by our back gate so he could watch over the comings and goings up to the barnyard. I felt so much like Laertes*. I wanted to gather him up in my arms one last time - like I did when he was a pup, small enough to wee on my shirt - but I refrained.

I don't believe in an afterlife and I know that many who do don't think that family pets will be there but if there is and they are I'll be happy. I'd give almost anything to hold Nicky close to my heart one more time. Just one more time.



*"Hold off the earth awhile, Till I have caught her once more in my arms." Laertes at Ophelia's grave in Hamlet.
Also (after Laertes jumps into his sister's grave):"Now pile your dust upon the quick and dead, Till of this fiat a mountain you have made, To o'er top old Pelion or the skyish head Of blue Olympus."
(The town right up the road from where we lived in Lexington was Pelion. Is that weird or what?)

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 6:56 am   3 comments

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Credit or idiot?

OK, so in light of the whole Mommy -vs- Mommy thing I've been contemplating the blinkies and sigs that people on all of my various Mommy boards have:

- God fearing, jesus loving, stay-at-home mom

- Proud mom of intact sons

- Bottle-feeding, disposable-diapering, crib-sleeping mom

- CIO is wrong - babies cry for a reason

- Baby wearing, attachment parenting, home-schooling, christian mom

So I think I need one as well. What do you think?

Non-AP, crib-sleeping, breastfeeding, pro-spanking, cloth nappie washing, babyfood-making, home grown veggie feeding, conservative Pagan mom to circumcised sons?

Was that everything? Did I forget anything? I would have added: "ridiculous baby name eschewing" but some people might call me on that one. And I couldn't figure out how to work in that I have to have the toilet paper coming over the top of the roll.

----

I was reading Linda's blog and she said something I could have typed: I read many many more blogs than I've been able to put up in my sidebar. So following her excellent lead, here's Julia's fantastic List O' Blogs for your perusing pleasure. Check these people out. There are some really good bloggers here.

----

And now I'd like to share with you my latest Mommy* Drive-By:


I'm in the Wal-Mart checking out. Pleasant young cashier and I are chatting. Crabby old cashier comes up and starts stuffing my items into bags, muttering under breath about how 'people' need to bag better and faster. OK, she's mangling my stuff. The young cashier was doing a perfectly good job.

So this old cow continues to violently bag my stuff and hiss to herself as the young girl and I ignore her. I get to a point where I mention that I'm used to having all the kids with me, and the convo turns to how many I have and what ages. Young cashier is cheerfully astonished and says basic, kind, non-judgemental things (they'll all be best of friends, etc), suddenly, old bag erupts:

Old Bag: "you oughta get an evaluation!"

Long pause wherin Blue - who suffered 10 years of infertility and thought she'd never be able to bear a child - fixes her with an icy stare

Blue: "An evaluation for what, exactly?"

Old Bag: "For, you know, that ... to find out what causes it"

(Now, I can't recall with perfect clarity, but I think my jaw fell open at this point. I mean, correct me if I'm wrong here, but doesn't shagging usually cause 'it'?)

Old Bag: "Or ... you meant for this to happen?"

No, you senseless waste of carbon, I was snatched out of my real timeline by an Evil Overlord and I still think it's 1805 (just with, ya know, DVDs and cell phones and stuff) and I have yet to grasp the concept of contraceptives!

Blue: "well, yeah ..."

She stared for a bit (step right up, seeeeee the freak of nature, folks! She's alive and in person ...) then she abruptly scuffed off.

The young cashier shrugged, rolled her eyes and said: "Next time you come in I hope I'm here. Credit or debit?"


*the woman in question was wearing one of those necklaces with the little birthstone figures so In am making an assumption that she's a mom. Might be wrong in that.

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 9:15 am   1 comments

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

*twitch*twitch*

I think I may be going a bit stir-crazy.

I am - almost literally - itching to get out of this house. I know all of you are like: "Uh, so what? That's normal, especially with a newborn." No. See, you don't know me very well. I'm a misanthrope. I don't like people. They baffle, outrage, astound, and offend me. I just commented on Grrl's blog in reference to what Julia's going through with crap-ass commentors and the general concept of mommy-bashing.

See, Julia wrote that she used CIO (cry it out) for her son and a whole slew of asshats proceeded to tell her how horrified they were and what a terrible mommy she was, etc, etc, gag, retch. Well, I said that this was why I actually avoid moms IRL. I have no mommy friends off-line. I can't take being under the microscope - from little passive-aggressive murmurs of how little Jacksyn knows all her letters and numbers and mathematical symbols ... in French - to outright opinions on why I should AP.

No thanks. Really. I seem to be doing a fairly good job so far with this Mom thing. You do it your way, I'll do it mine. Cool.

I mean, everyone has her opinions on parenting. I certainly do, and ... erm, firm opinions they be. You're entitled. Blog about 'em, talk about 'em (if asked), but don't try to convert me. Don't go on and on and on about how much better your way is.

Oh, and for the record? Anti-CIO people? Cry It Out is not some trendy new thing. It's not suddenly fashionable. I don't care that you've been seeing it on a few blogs. It's (generally) parents attempting to do what's best for their child ( that is: have him get some sleep ... on his own, without being dependant on another person or complex rituals).

Reject the psychobabble as well, moms! Not every little tiny thing that we do is going to adversely affect our kids for years to come. Shrinks have been sending out panicky messages since the 60s telling us that everything is wrapped inextricably up in psychology. Don't do this or this will happen.

I call Bullshit!

Parenting never used to be this hard. Past generations of women ran their households, went to work, suffered much worse adversity than we can imagine, and raised perfectly fine - and in some cases great - children. They taught them to eat at table, wee and poo in the appropriate place, read, write, and behave like humans without all the angst we modern mothers are subjected to. They did a lot of it while pregnant, nursing, and caring for other children as well.

What has happened to us? Little Jaelynne can't play on a playground lest she get hurt? Young Emmaleigh has whatever she wants whenever she wants 'cause mommy and daddy can't stand to see her cry? Caydin has all of his homework checked and corrected by daddy so he won't have that most awful blow to his self-esteem: a low grade that he deserved?

Gah! I think a lot of moms would do things differently - go more with their gut as opposed to some book by a guy with DR in front of his name - if society just laid off us a bit. Oh, and we stopped sniping at each other!



Ahhhhh ... I feel better. Say, how was your Fourth?

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 11:09 am   8 comments

Friday, July 01, 2005

Every day, and in every way ...

... I'm getting better and better.

*hack*gag*

So, yeah, stuff's getting better around here. Darling Bitty Boy (look at that face! How could you NOT love that face? He's so ugly he's cute!) has settled into a sleep routine - about 4 hours between feeds with the occasional 2 hour interval. The Extreme Crabby-ness (look for the new reality show!) problem was neatly resolved when Darling Hubby phlegmatically pointed out that Boy had displayed the same symptoms until we started lashing the Mylicon to him.

Well, dur. Poor wee thing had gas. Just like my first son. I guess the old 'labour amnesia' that you hear about, having nowhere to apply itself with me, erases all my memories of the first 3-6 weeks post partum instead. Geez, I can be an idiot.

I, personally, am still feeling like microwaved dog poo. I have no energy or enthusiasm for anything. My right leg/ankle/foot is still swollen badly, hurts mysteriously, and my arse is still as broad as the back of a barn.

And I'm hungry all day. You know, if i'm going to be hungry then I should be positively svelt. I should be so thin that if I turned sideways you couldn't see me. Then I could be as hungry as I want and laugh it off. "Oh, it's just my pesky stomach growling, ha, ha! I haven't eaten since, oh, what was it ... March?"

Bleh.

-----

(This was nicked shamelessly from here wherein the fab Getupgrrl makes some sensible promises to her unborn son.)

This is to all of my children:

Dear bubs ...

- I promise to be the best Mother In Law I can be.

I won't flinch when my Son In Law , Mark Anthony Dikhead Jr, smugly announces that my grandson - exactly half of whose DNA comes from my daughter - will be named Mark Anthony Dikhead III and be called by that lamest of nick names : "Trey" (as in très ridicule).

I will remain expressionless when my Daughter In Law says that she will co-sleep, attachment parent, breastfeed-until-kindergarten my granddaughter, Brynkleigh Bleodweggh (in honour of her 1/14th celtic side), or alternately, NOT breastfeed because "That's just yucky. Boobs are for sex."

... because this will be their baby, not mine.

and most of all, Darling Children,

I promise that I won't ever, ever, EVER, hint, infer or imply that my daughter's appearance - specifically her weight - has any bearing on her worth!

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 6:42 am   2 comments