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Thread: Secular Confessions

  1. #44281
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    I actually loved speech class; it was the only time I ever felt comfortable speaking to any of my peers in high school (because I had a little script to follow!)

  2. #44282

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    Speaking in public to a large group of strangers is one of my all time favorite things! I know I'm weird! I feel smarter and more confident doing that than almost anything else in the world (provided.i have a vague idea of what I am going to say).

    My computer died yesterday, so please forgive the typos! I want another Mac and have the money for it right now but my dh is trying to convince me to get a cheap PC. I don't want a PC, I want a lovely 27 inch iMac!

  3. #44283
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    I can sympathize. My mac is dead, too.
    Me (40) DH (47) & furbabies * m/c 7/08 4/12 11/12

  4. #44284

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    I know I'm falling for a pretty face, but that pretty face doesn't get infected by viruses! ;)

  5. #44285
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    Quote Originally Posted by girlwonder View Post
    I know I'm falling for a pretty face, but that pretty face doesn't get infected by viruses! ;)
    Me (40) DH (47) & furbabies * m/c 7/08 4/12 11/12

  6. #44286
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    Uggg, I hate public speaking. I do ok with it but I just dread the few times a year when I have to teach a class. I much prefer working with my patrons one on one or one on two.

    PC user here. I am just used to them and we use them at work. I have an ipod and ipad but that is it. Aren't the virus people now making more that infect mac's anyway?

    Jennifer, 35, DH 36

  7. #44287

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    I like public speaking if I have something to read, or even an outline. I can't do debate or speech off the cuff.

    I had to take public speaking in college and it was really neat to see a couple people who really hated it at first but then for the speeches where they had to talk about something they were passionate about, they really owned it and did a great job.

  8. #44288

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    Oh yes, real speech class! I've taken quite a few of those. Not on purpose, but it just kind of happened. I enjoyed them, to an extent, and did pretty well. Which is funny, because I'm very shy. But, living in Japan for a year and being "on display" at ALL times really helped me get over that! And then, I was asked many times to give impromptu speeches (in Japanese), and did fairly well with those. And when I left, I wrote a farewell speech to my school, and gave it completely from memory, and everyone was so impressed. So I think, since all that, that public speaking hasn't been so bad for me.

    And I've ALWAYS loved participating in a good debate! I'm screwed when it's just hubby and I, because he HATES any type of not being in 100% synch with each other. I'll be so bored.

    Oh... I haven't had a Mac since my old (OLD) Apple. How I loved that thing! In fact, I think I still have it, hah. I'm a bit of a hoarder... Though it probably won't survive the purge I'm doing now. Well, technically now I need to finish putting the fabric up on the new walls, THEN I'll finish the purge. Can't wait to be done with all this!! And start saving money again, phew. Between all the projects I'm doing, Christmas, hubby's birthday (and hubby is the type of guy that if I don't buy him something $300+, he tells me to just not get him anything), and Japan, our bank account HURTS right now!

    But, we're narrowing down the dates for Japan, will probably buy tickets soon(ish). I've put Japanese kid songs back on in the car, we'll see how long those last, hah.



  9. #44289
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    My speech class was in college too, and it helped me a great deal. I was still fairly new to the country, and speaking up was an alien concept. Eventually, I ended up having to give lots and lots and lots of talks during my grad work, so that became pretty routine, too. It was intimidating at first, though, because all those professors and people with massive brains and upteen degrees were sitting there, staring at you, and there were always, always, always questions. When I first started giving talks, I'd have an outline to speak from, would practice at home, time myself, etc. Eventually, all that stopped, and all I'd do is to just be massively prepared, in terms of the reading/research related to the subject.

  10. #44290
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    I have always been terrified of public speaking. In fact, one of the reasons I chose not to complete my music major was because of extreme stage fright and fear if performing in master class. Somehow, grad school taught me to be more comfortable and almost enjoy public speaking. There is nothing more empowering than knowing a subject well enough to stand up in front of people and answer random questions. It really changed me, going through that experience.
    Me (40) DH (47) & furbabies * m/c 7/08 4/12 11/12

  11. #44291
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    I think that I'm the only person in the Western world, not celebrating Christmas. My poor kid, scarred for life from not getting a darn thing for Xmas.

  12. #44292
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    Stay strong! I wish I could not celebrate at this point.
    Me (40) DH (47) & furbabies * m/c 7/08 4/12 11/12

  13. #44293

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    Suja, why do you mention that? Did something happen? Did someone say something to you about that?? I hope not!! Christmas is a TON of fun, yes, and kids love it, yes, but there's plenty of other fun stuff to do. Crazy people!! I don't "do" Santa, and I've had many people tell me I'm "robbing" her of the magic of Christmas. People can be so ignorant!

    Mandy, why do you wish you didn't celebrate? It's just what you make of it! If you don't want to, just don't, easy! Sorry, that's rather bossy of me, isn't it...

    We had an interesting story today. We saved the zoo! They have their Zoo Lights up, which we LOVE. Couldn't go today, though, since it's a school night, and the Zoo Lights are, of course, late. So we just went to the normal zoo. They were getting ready for Zoo Lights, though, and everything was coming on. Also, normally they kick us out before 4:30, but since they were reopening again soon, they late us stay. For a while, other than a few employees, we were the ONLY ones in the zoo, it was awesome.

    Well, I finally turned us around to head home because it was late and I had to get Maiya home. On our way from the far side back to the parking lot, I noticed something wafting up from a pile of leaves behind some of the lights. At first, I didn't think anything of it. It's been cold and rainy, you see a lot of steam. Plus, we'd just come from the reptile room, and there are a lot of misters in there. But then I thought... What the heck would a mister or even steam be doing coming from a pile of leaves?? Plus, behind the lights, with tons of wires around? Yeah...

    So I checked it out, and sure enough, it was smoke, coming from where the wires plugged together. The whole connection was melted and warped, had a bunch of leaves welded to it by this point. Maiya was worried, but her first instinct was to run away. I've gotta work on that with her!! Obviously, we couldn't just leave the wire minutes away from a fire, amongst dead, dry leaves. So we went and found some employees.

    They were SO HAPPY to hear from us. They told us they could smell it (I hadn't smelled it at first, since I came from upwind) but couldn't find it. They were quite a bit away! And even when I led them to it, they were practically standing on top of it and couldn't see it, because the sun had shifted and the smoke wasn't highlighted like when we walked by the first time. So they said thanks, many times, and even told Maiya that she saved the whole zoo. Obviously, they were playing it up for her, but she LOVED it. As you all may know, she is big, big, big in to rescue stuff right now. Over the weekend, we "saved" a girl who was lost in a museum, and today we "saved" the Oakland Zoo. She is feeling mighty proud of herself lately!!

    I mean, obviously, the girl would likely have been fine, since every single employee in the museum was looking for her. And even if a fire had started, people would have noticed very quickly and it would have been put out before it got out of control (I hope, since we go there often!). But still, kind of fun to play the rescue heroes!



  14. #44294

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    Cool! What heroes you are!
    We keep Christmas low key so it's not stressful. I do a 25 days to xmas countdown so each day is a craft or outing and also wrap a library book with a Christmas theme and leave a clue to where I hide it. We have a Santa doll that Sawyer thinks is Dumbledore so I hide him too. It's less about christmas and more about keeping ourselves busy to survive the cold days! My kids have not asked for one thing for Christmas! I casually asked them what they were hoping for and they both said they just wanted to be surprised!

  15. #44295

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    Yes, ours is very low key, too. We have some decorations up, that took all of an hour or two. Maiya and I are occasionally working on some crafts as Christmas gifts / cards, and then we have Christmas morning and Christmas dinner with my parents. That's it!!

    Well, except for her preschool's holiday party. I'm supposed to do more for that than I do for my own Christmas! Crazy. And that's soon, I gotta get going on all that stuff.

    Your kids are the sweetest! Maiya hasn't been asking for much stuff. Even when she went to see Santa, she didn't ask for anything. Santa asked her if she wanted a doll (my animal lover, who has a few human dolls that are basically untouched. Yeah, dolls are not her thing!!), and she just responded by telling him that her friend already gave her a present and it's under the tree, hah. I've only asked her once, and my parents asked her once, what she wanted. Once, she said a watch. The other time, she said she wanted ear plugs and an sleep mask so she could sleep better at night. Got the watch! The rest, not sure about.

    Though, did I tell you guys the story of her bike? We're getting her a bike for Christmas, and I don't want her to know, but had to size her. So we went to the bike store to "buy a gift for Daddy", who likes to ride his bike. I told her "While I'm shopping, you can ride a bike if you want." Even though I brought the sales man over and we sized her and everything, she still didn't make the connection. Near the end, she was telling me she REALLY LIKES that bike. And "I know! You can get me this bike for Christmas!" I told her no, we were there to buy for Daddy. She went riding off, under pretense of looking for something for him. A few minutes later, she came back and announced: "I know! You can get us BOTH a Christmas present!"

    I told her "Maybe"!

    Now I'm all interested to see if she'll be surprised, or half way expecting it...



  16. #44296
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    Wow, Janet, you are heroes!

    I tried not celebrating last year, but then of course my mother makes me a stocking, and is heartbroken because we don't want to spend Christmas with them opening presents, and I end up feeling like a selfish jerk, and everywhere you go people ask you what you are doing ... You just can't avoid it. Maybe I'll temporarily move in with my Jewish friend and not answer the phone.
    Me (40) DH (47) & furbabies * m/c 7/08 4/12 11/12

  17. #44297
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    I haven't done my tree and stuff yet and it crosses my mind to not bother since it's just the two of us......but I like it. It brighten the house and changes things up. Not a lot to do when it's -7 outside! I just really hope that by next Christmas we can celebrate a baby's first Christmas.

    cool on our own heros! That is so cool!

    Jennifer, 35, DH 36

  18. #44298

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    Haha, thanks all.

    Mandy, very true. The parents. I think my mom would DIE if I didn't want to celebrate Christmas with her. Hope it isn't too bad, whatever happens (or doesn't!).

    Jennifer, yeah, I was the same way. We ended up just doing one little tree when it was just the two of us. But it was still nice!

    And yes!! You're second on the list, baby's first Christmas is on the way!



  19. #44299

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    Wow, Janet - the zoo story is amazing! Thank goodness you were there.

    We're having a more low-key Christmas this year than we ever have, because for the first time in my 40 years of life, we will not be spending Christmas eve/day with my parents. Yes, in 40 years, I've never been away from them on Christmas. I've tried, but it's a big traditional holiday for our family and they made a huge fuss. Finally, this year, dh and I put our foot (feet?) down. We don't want to travel to their house with all of our presents. We want to just have Christmas at home. It's pretty exciting for us, actually, since we can finally do our own traditions, smaller stockings, smaller presents - the way we want it. And no church!!! Whew.
    Of course, we're still traveling down to see them the day AFTER Christmas to spend a few days with family, but that's ok.

    Janet, what bike are you getting for Maiya, and what size? A bike is the only thing Noe's asked for this year. Specifically, a bike with "bright colors - either pink or purple," and a bell. We're thinking a 16-inch one - is that the size you're getting for Maiya? She's an inch or so taller than Noe, isn't she?
    Actually, Noe asked for three other things too, now that I think of it: a piggy bank, a clock, and a hamster. She's getting the piggy bank and the clock.

    DD1 hasn't asked for much. She turns 16 two weeks after Christmas, so there's that, too. Sixteen! It's hard to believe. My baby... Anyway, I'm taking her and a couple of her friends to a weekend-long anime convention the weekend before her birthday, so that will be her "big" gift. For Christmas she'll just get a few smaller things. She really likes makeup from small independent companies like Portland Black Lipstick Co, so I'll probably get her some of that (she's so funny because she loves makeup but she hardly ever wears it!). And some special socks.
    -- mom to DD1 1/98 and DD2 10/09


  20. #44300
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    Gretchen, funny you say that, because DH feels strongly about that and I agree. We are both in our 40's and as children, we were in our own homes for Christmas. We didn't go to grandparents' houses. So being expected to spend holidays at my parents' house at our age just makes us feel like we aren't being allowed to grow up. Our parents didn't go to their parents' houses at this age. Even worse when we don't have kids ... We resent being the "children" at Christmas. I'm much too old to be the child everyone is excited about getting to see open her presents.

    Easier for us a bit because we live in the same city, but even so I resent having to think about showering and going out on Christmas morning. If that isn't a time you're allowed to spend in your pajamas, what is?
    Last edited by Gwenn; 12-11-2013 at 10:35 PM.
    Me (40) DH (47) & furbabies * m/c 7/08 4/12 11/12

  21. #44301

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    Ah... That's a good point about Christmas day. I guess I'm lucky that my parents are close, because, like you all, I INSIST on having Christmas morning at my house. And yes, I spend Christmas day unshowered and in my PJs! Even at my parents', haha. It's just them and us, though, so it's not a big deal. They're in theirs, too!

    We'll probably buy her this exact bike: http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-us/...n/14872/66214/ It's not exactly what I want... I'd prefer one in green, or even purple. She would prefer purple. And it's a 12", but I think 14 would be better for her, but the bike shop I'm using doesn't offer 14". But, this is the bike she fell in love with (complete with bell and basket! Both of which she LOVES. The basket even has a flower on it, which she also LOVES.), and it's with a good, reputable company. They do any maintenance or repairs on the bikes, and have a trade up program for when she's ready for the next size. I haven't bought it yet, so am looking at other good legitimate bike companies (versus, say, Toys R Us), and will see what happens!

    I am going to take the pedals off, though, so she learns with it as a balance bike first. I think she'll do much better that way than with pedals. If I were to use pedals and training wheels, she would be in a 16", which I imagine is what Noe would need, too. But, with no pedals, her feet need to be flat on the floor, and this works well for that. And the 12" is easier to balance than the 16" (or even 14), because it's lower to the ground. But I don't want a "normal" balance bike, because you can't put the pedals back on when they are ready! Plus, this one can be raised quite a bit. So I'm hoping it will get her through the next year at least, even after she starts using pedals.

    16!! Too fast, too fast. Oh, and speaking of your baby... She may have told me she will be doing an exchange to Japan? It was kind of in passing while she was talking to her friend, so I'm not sure I understood correctly...



  22. #44302
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    Janet, how cool! I'm going go incorporate that into tomorrow's story time.

    I just feel kind of Grinch-y. We had a birthday party last week, and I bought a ton of gifts for him. There is a toys for tots type thing in her school, and I bought a couple of things for that. There is a book sale in conjunction with tomorrow's holiday performance, and I'll likely buy something for the class. What's my kid getting? Not a **** thing.

    She really wants a doll. One whose eyes open and close. The nice dolls are all super expensive (she does NOT take adequate care of her things, IMO), and the others, I'm frankly scared of, often. I start looking on Amazon, get overwhelmed by the number of choices, and quit. The other things she wants are doll accessories, like a stroller and crib. Costco has some nice ones, but what's the point of accessories, if there is no doll?

    Maybe it's just guilt over always buying her books, puzzles, and science kits, and not all the foofy girly/princessy things she wants. Anyway, I just feel a bit bad that I can't be bothered to do something nice for her, although, it is not like she is lacking anything, really.

  23. #44303
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    Yeah I am not all that bummed about not going home for xmas this year. We have done a few times since moving but not every year. I would like to hang out with my parents and enjoy that.....but to be honest, I don't really like a lot of DH's family that much and if we lived close it would be hard to get out of spending xmas day with them. I LOVE his mom and generally like his one uncle (he never married and has no kids) as long we don't talk about gay stuff because he's really into his being Catholic and well half my family is gay and I wouldn't take to well to anything being sad badly about that. So long as we avoid that though, it is fine. His other uncle, I think is a puke though I haven't exactly said that to his mom even though she pretty much knows once grandpa is gone, she probably will not see him much. And really cannot stand his one cousin....we have had FB issues before.
    Definitely there is an advantage to living 5 hours away....easy excuse to not do things we don't really want to do. I think parents need to realize that things change. My first year in the house my parents and sister came up by us for xmas and that was fun. But now my sister has to split time with her finace who is one of those families with a steps involved and siblings on both sides and they have to figure out timing with that. So if my parents come by us, they have to figure out what to do with the dogs (my sister usually watches them) as they are a pain at my house since I don't have a fenced in yard. And miss time with her. Or miss time with me. What I see happening in the future is that they will probably come up by us some weekend around xmas to see the baby but probably most will not be the day itself. And when I have a baby, I really want most years for the kid to wake up at home so I'm not dragging a bunch of presents.
    And if Dh's mom can give up the smoking between now and when grandpa dies, I think it's a likely chance she will be living with us. I don't think it would work being at our house if still smoking. Otherwise we would have to try to find a cheap apartment nearby us for her. Either way, in future years she will almost certainly be around for holidays.

    Suja, I'm not any help because I would LOVE to have a reason to go to American Girl and buy a Bitty Baby and all the accessories. I don't think that just the dolls are that expensive.....pretty much in line with what I spend on DH's Legos. Maybe a good baby doll would help teach her to be gentle and more careful? Since it's a baby?
    I love American Girl stuff. I like too that you can get dolls that resemble the child. So if my daughter ends up looking nothing like us, I can at least get her a doll that has her skin, eyes, and hair coloring. Even DH likes to look at the catalog when it comes and thinks that the accessories and dogs the dolls have are pretty cute. I really think he needs to be a dad to a daughter.

    Jennifer, 35, DH 36

  24. #44304
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    Oh and that bike is so cute! My parents used to take me shopping for my own gifts. They would say, grandma has a friend whose granddaughter is your age and they were trying to figure out what a girl your age would want. Eventually they had to stop that as I was old enough to catch on that surprise.....what I said I liked at the store was what was under the tree. LOL

    We got our bikes and scooters for christmas from Santa. Only bad thing is living in WI, we really couldn't use them until April usually. I think my parents still have my first bike. Pink Schwinn with a white banana seat and white basket. I didn't learn to ride it until I was SEVEN because I was afraid I would fall and scratch my beautiful bike. Before that I had trikes and hotwheels. My sister of course learned to ride a bike a whole lot sooner since she was trying to keep up with the big kids on the block and was just well, more coordinated then I am and not nearly as prissy.

    Jennifer, 35, DH 36

  25. #44305

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    Jennifer, you and your sister sound a lot like me and my sister. I had the pretty banana seat bike with the flowers on the seat and the handle streamers and the basket, and I just pedaled it around the culdesac. My sister had the bmx bike, which she was always riding with the big kids and the boys. Once they set up a ramp (piece of plywood with bricks underneath, natch) in the street in front of our house. My sister egged me to go on it on my banana seat bike, and when the other kids joined in teasing me, I tried it. Fell, hit my head on the curb, got a concussion with optic nerve bruising and saw rainbows out of one eye for six months.

    Janet, I like that bike! Noe insists on pedals - we've tried both with her at the store - so we're going with the 16-inch. I think we're getting the Diamondback Mini Della Cruz. I like the cruiser style. But we're also looking at the Trek Mystic 16 and the Electra Hawaii 16. Both of those get great reviews for durability and quality but have steel frames so they're heavy. I think we'll have to check them out at the store without Noe, maybe this weekend.
    -- mom to DD1 1/98 and DD2 10/09


  26. #44306

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    When we stay at my folks' over Christmas, we definitely stay in our pjs all day and sit around and eat. That's a good thing. It's just the excess, the Xmas Eve church fuss, having to bring all the presents down and then home again, not being in our own home. But to be honest, the kids LOVE being at Gramma's house for Xmas morning and are a little concerned that we won't be there this year. They (and my folks, and my siblings) feel like we're being big party poopers. For us, though, as adults, we want to have our own traditions and time in our own home. By the time my sister and I were old enough to remember, we had Christmas at our house and my grandparents would come to our house to stay. The trouble with that now is that our house is small, and my parents don't feel comfortable staying for more than a day or so unless they get a hotel. But my parents' house is large enough to accommodate all of us kids with plenty of space, and always has been, so that's why we've always been there. But like I said, we'll go down the day after and spend a few days, and hopefully that will make everyone happy enough.
    -- mom to DD1 1/98 and DD2 10/09


  27. #44307
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    I have to admit....I am kind of confused about this removing of the pedals. So how does one ride a bike without pedals? Just sit on the bike and walk it like a cozy coupe?

    If I had a job that was one that shut down for a week at the holidays, I would probably be a lot more open to going back home. But in a hospital we really don't close. My department shuts down for xmas day and that is it. No holiday pay means I have to use my PTO. My DH get holidays but if he calls before or after he loses all holiday pay and it has to be from his PTO. Works fine in the summer but this time of year we have to always think about snow storms and what if we got stuck at down there. So it's generally easier for us to go a non-holiday weekend.

    Jennifer, 35, DH 36

  28. #44308

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    Oh, Suja, you do plenty nice for her!! Hope you are in better spirits now.

    Thanks Jennifer! My parents did the exact same thing with presents. Well, for a very short while, hah.

    Gretchen, OUCH!! I was such a cautious wimp as a kid. Maiya gets it from me!

    Yeah, Maiya wanted pedals at first, too, and training wheels, but I told her she will fall more with them (did I mention she is a cautious wimp??) until she learns to balance. So, hopefully she will try to balance with this! But, if not, then I will just put the pedals and training wheels back on, since we will have them, anyway. But I want her to try for a few months without, first! And hopefully she will fit well enough on the 12" for a while, that even with pedals, it will be worth it, with the trade up program. Or so I can only hope, anyway!

    Did you find a good bike this weekend?

    I'm sure everyone will adjust to your new traditions! I've had a few people pouting over my insistence on having Christmas morning at our house, too, but oh well. They'll get used to it!

    Jennifer, yup, pretty much like a Cozy Coupe! Except you also learn to balance. The idea is you push yourself, get up some speed, and then pick your feet up and coast a bit. It's actually how I learned to ride my bike- I just had pedals. I tried to use those pedals for YEARS and it wasn't until I just started walking that I ever figured out how to balance. Years wasted! So I'm trying to start Maiya out that way, in hopes that she will learn to balance first, pedal second. But we shall see!

    So, we have our first marriage counseling appointment Wednesday!! And not a moment too soon. It's been so sad here. Hubby either works until 2 AM, or gets home and pretty much goes straight to bed. Admittedly, he says he's not feeling very good right now, so maybe he just needs the sleep, but still. I'd rather have a husband, than a room mate and child support!!



  29. #44309

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    Here you go, Jennifer, video of balance bikes! It's very promotional, but it gives you an idea how they "ride" them.



  30. #44310

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    I loved my American Girl doll, but I was a bit older, probably 8 or 9. I loved the accessories but it is a lot to keep track of and take care of.

    Do any of you know kids who play Minecraft? Josh really wants it, but he does enough on screens already we think, plus since he is getting a leap pad we think that's enough. But we are still torn.

    Janet, good luck at therapy

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