The “Debbie Downer”

I have had a rough couple of weeks. Between being physically exhausted (taking care of two toddlers and being pregnant is hard work), emotionally drained, the excessive heat, and just regular shitty things that happened, it’s been HARD. Yet no one would really know! I am a negative person, married to a very positive person, after 12+ years his positivity has rubbed off on me (but also therapy has really worked)…

See, from being a negative person I never thought I could fix problems. I would just complain about my problems and not do anything about them. After having kids, although it was harder because I was so overwhelmed I decided to change and try to find solutions to my problems. I had no mommy friends, so I went online and got some! I was tired, so I took it one day at a time, and took breaks in between. I had no help, so I hired some. I was bored, so I got museum memberships and started going out.

I can’t say I don’t complain anymore, I believe we all have a Debbie Downer inside of us, but I just don’t feel like dragging everyone down with me, so I just complain to my husband!!! LOL, poor guy. But recently I have met a couple of people who are true Debbie Downers and I finally feel my husbands pain every time I complained to him!!

Don’t get me wrong, every single person has the right to complain and we all do, because we are human, but when you complain every single day for things that you can fix then that makes me mad. It makes me mad because I have come to the understanding that there is always going to be someone who is going through something worse than you.

I don’t want to diminish people’s problems, but sometimes I hear moms complain about things so trivial like how the kids didn’t complete their art project at the library, and I think to myself, damn my kid has cancer and I feel I shouldn’t complain, because his cancer is treatable, as opposed as kids who have cancer and have to go through chemo or radiation. Those are REAL problems. Those are parents who can really complain. Yet you never really hear them complain. I admire that.

Like I mentioned before I have had two rough weeks but everyone keeps telling me I look good. My answer has been, just because I feel like sh%$t doesn’t mean I have to look like sh%$t!!! So although I am still a rather a negative person, I am not a Debbie Downer, I think that problems have solutions, it’s up to us accept our solutions and move on.

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July 25, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Babies, cancer, experiences, friendships, Parenting, toddlers, Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

May the Force be with me… Even past MAY!

It’s been a while since I have jotted down anything. May has been a beast. Emotionally, physically, in every single aspect of life. It has brought new challenges as well as new adventures, and it has taught me that life is just full of unexpected blessings.

It started with me leaving Facebook for what lasted maybe a week! I wanted to spend more quality time with myself instead of with the newsfeed. This brought some challenges as I missed some events that were in the calendar. I made my own calendar anyways and decided that we would do something fun every weekend in May.

There was three Baby Expos for me to attend. The Queens Mamas Expo, The NY Baby show , and the Big City Moms Biggest Baby Shower (an event I look forward to the whole year). If you are wondering why I like to go to these events, there is a simple answer, I LOVE BABY STUFF!!! I am obsessed with strollers, and bottles, and carriers, and baby toys. There is always something new and exciting to look forward to. It makes me want to keep having babies so I can keep having all these things! Seriously I have a problem. I have individual details on these events that I will post later on.

Gavin had baseball and there was Mother’s Day weekend. This Mother’s Day was so special. I got to spend it with the two most important moms in my life, my own mother and my sister. We had such high quality, amazing family weekend, with activities that included the zoo, shopping, Smorgasburg, and lots of picture taking! It was very special as my sister and I once again find ourselves in the same predicament.

May also let me see some old friends, that I have missed dearly, and it was full of birthdays and party fun. From first birthdays to engagement parties, we had a little bit of everything going on. I also got to spend an amazing weekend with my siblings. We see each other maybe once a month but my parents are always there. This time around, due to a family death, my parents were away and the 5 of us were “alone”. Of course, my sister had her 3 kids, I had my 2 and the dog and my brother had his dog. We ate, we talked, we shopped, we just had a great time. To me this is important because I know so many people that don’t have siblings or if they do, they don’t have the same relationship that I have with mine, and I think it is such a blessing for us. During that time we had lunch at a little food truck in Woodbridge, VA. This food truck had the most amazing Puerto Rican food I have ever had outside of the Island. The 2 hours we spent there, felt like we traveled not only in time but also we were back in our Island, we were just hanging out somewhere close to the beach, with a nice breeze and the sun shinning down. (All this sounds so corny, but even though we fight, ALOT, we are incredibly close, MAYBE TOO CLOSE!!)

As I look forward to June, which except for the death of my great-great aunt, has been amazing, this is shaping up to be an incredible year. Glenn is still cancer free, and our boys are growing into incredible little people, we are excited for the adventures we have had and the new ones coming up. Puerto Rico here we comeeeee, SWAGGER WAGON we will come get you really soon, and meeting the new member of our family. Come December our adventures will multiply!

June is looking good, I am ready to celebrate my 31st birthday. Which will be, I have to add, my third birthday pregnant! And yes I know it’s crazy, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. Let the craziness begin.

Pregnancy announcement3

June 14, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Babies, experiences, new year, Parenting, toddlers, Uncategorized. 1 comment.

Relationships??

Adversity changes everything. From the way you feel to the way you react, to the way you interact. Especially with your family and friends. I have an amazing family, we are a bit nuts, but we love each other very much so. Since the diagnosis of my little boy everyone has reacted in different ways and I, in turn have no idea how to react to their reactions! An example is how my brother, who is the godfather of my baby, had the crazy idea to get a tattoo of my baby’s name and the date of his surgery. I understand why he feels that way. On the other hand, my other brother, had no idea how to react so he just didn’t call me at all. He was keeping update via my parents, but didn’t know how to speak to me. It’s hard to understand how people feel the way the feel.

Then with friends is even more conflicting. Be it because they don’t know how to react or don’t know what to say, but I have had mix reactions from different people who I didn’t expect. I have to say I don’t want to name names, but there’s a friend who has been amazing!! Lets just say our kids have 50% the same racial combination! I really felt and feel so much love from this person, and her family. The attentions have been amazing. On the other hand there are friends who have, to this day, even asked how the baby is doing. Hey, some people still don’t know what he had was cancer!

Needless to say, between hospital stays and visits for follow up tests and checkups, plus lonely holidays I have had way to much time to think. The best things in life are really free. You will get what you put out there. I really want to put out there positiveness. Just hope that the next day, week, month, year will be better. Not monetarily, although that would be ok too, but more about the blessings and small joys of life, like healthy happy children, and a wonderful husband…

February 17, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Babies, cancer, experiences, friendships, Parenting, toddlers, Uncategorized. 2 comments.

The Blanket

I am lucky to have a very talented mother. Not just talented because she’s my mom, but talented because she can anything. Her creative persona is always on high. She can knit, cortchet, she’s a graduated pastry chef, and every time I see what she can make I am amaze at the artistry in her craft. Everything is done to the best of her abilities and the highest perfection any artist could have. She has made me so many hats and scrafs and she has made my boys a couple of baby blankets.

When my sister got pregnant with her first baby almost 10 years ago, my mom made me  a blanket for my future baby. It was white with green turtles and green trim. I saved that blanket until November. I was saving for my future daughter, but for my son’s  surgery in November I took the blanket out and asked the nurse to keep it with him at all times (I have always loved turtles and in Chinese culture they are considered good luck and long life). This blanket was special. So on Monday I brought it with me to the hospital as baby was getting follow-up MRI (I’ve been trying to explain to friends and family that, even though he is “cancer free”, there is a 10% chance of recurrence, and we have to monitor the boy for 24 months- this period includes, MRI’s, urine test, oncologist visits, and so on). Every time he has an MRI I like him to have the blanket around because he does have to be under anesthesia. This always freaks me out.

After the hospital we had to go run some errands. It was a rainy, gloomy day. We headed to Babies R Us, the first stop in our run, I go what I needed, then we went to look for a couch, went to a couple of place and nothing, and after that decided to go to Ikea, when I’m getting together the stroller I can’t find the diaper bag. So I don’t really mind. I keep going like nothing since everything in the bag was replaceable, until I remember that the blanket was inside the diaper bag. I start crying like a little maniac, calling every place I went that day. Still today I called and nothing. No one knows, saw, or has the diaper bag. I didn’t even know how to tell my mom that I had lost the blanket. When I did she asked: “which one?” I replied with a description and she said “I have no idea what blanket that is. I don’t remember it at all”. It made me feel better for a minute, but I’m still hoping that I will call Babies R Us tomorrow or the hospital and they will have my diaper bag with the blanket in it. It might be superficial to some that this is why I’m weak. I’m an emotional mush when it comes to these things, even our couch, which we just got rid off and I cried. Because there are so many memories attached to that material object. To think my baby had the blanket during that time of pain, brings tears to my eyes, yet I realized that the most important thing is that those memories, and not the material things. It is up to me to remember and nurture those memories so that I can pass them on to my boys when they have their boys and so on. Memories are what keep us going. Making memories, living them, reliving them by passing them on and so on. So as I come to terms with the fact that I will never recuperate my turtle blanket, I enjoy the short memories I lived with it.

February 12, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Babies, cancer, experiences, Parenting, toddlers, Uncategorized. 3 comments.

Of course here it goes 2012…

Of course here it goes 2012….

December 31, 2012. Babies, cancer, experiences, new year, Parenting, toddlers, travel, Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

A big week in a small dose

(This post was originally about 2,500 words… I did the best I could to edit down)

How does a 9 month old change the lives of people he doesn’t even know? How does a 9 month old make people, who have never been to Church pray? How does a baby make people who haven’t spoken in years talk to each other? I’ll tell you how. By teaching adults to get over the bullshit because at the end of the day there is nothing worse than suffering from a health related issue. My son just went through what has got to be the hardest thing a baby and a parent could ever go through.

Hospital stay, tests, surgery, and the dreaded Cancer diagnosis. Yes, cancer. Neuroblastoma. After a scare with bloody stool, an x-ray, sonogram and MRI, a tumor the size of his little heart was to blame for our visit to the hospital. Sitting in the room with a group of 5 other doctors telling me that the way to attack this would be surgery to remove the tumor, was the hardest 20 minutes of my life. Holding the tears that whole time was like I was dying. As soon as I left the room the river started to flow as I couldn’t stop crying until the next day. Not only did my son got diagnosed with the second most common type of cancer, but the surgery was brutal. He had a microscopic camera inside his body, the incision in the removal site, a decompressing chest tube (to avoid swelling of the lungs), an IV on his foot, a central IV line at his neck, an artery line in case of blood loss, a breathing apparatus down his throat, and electrodes to monitor his heart. Yet, with all of this going on, this child proceeded to stand up after anesthesia wore off. He stood up in his little hospital crib like nothing was going on. His recovery was so good that he didn’t need to go to the PICU (Pediatric Intensive Care Unit). He was in recovery a total of 3 hours and next day he was his happy self. We left the hospital Friday and this kid still amazes me. He is trying to walk, and laughing his merry self. He hasn’t even complaint about pain even though his scar is about 5 inches long. This baby and what he has been through has made family members communicate with each other. It has made people pray for him and his recovery. So much that I have a list of hundreds of people who sent their prayers for him, some of whom are not even religious yet found it in their heart to give us a prayer! I never thought I would be strong enough to type this and not cry. I think I have more faith than I thought I had a week ago. Seeing how my little baby has been through so much and still manages to enjoy his little life, shows me that no matter what’s going on, he’s strong and he will get through it.

It’s crazy how things happen and it bothers me that this happened to my sweet child but I also think everything happens for a reason and I am not the one to play God. He will not let us go through something we cannot handle. It reminded me of the Serenity prayer, which reads “God grant me the serenity 
to accept the things I cannot change; 
courage to change the things I can; 
and wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time; 
Enjoying one moment at a time; 
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; 
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
 as it is, not as I would have it; 
Trusting that He will make all things right 
if I surrender to His Will;
 That I may be reasonably happy in this life 
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.
 Amen” (Reinhold Niebuhr).

Our battle is only beginning. We will not know anything until the tumor biology come back and the next three test are done, but I just know that today we are happy. Today my baby played, laughed, walked, and enjoyed himself in every possible way and that is the only thing that matters for him and that is the only thing that I need to be strong for him and get over this.

.

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November 30, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , . Babies, cancer, friendships, Parenting, toddlers, Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

The Good Mommy Debate

Is it bad to give your kid french fries? Is it good to only buy organic stuff? Who determines if you are a good or bad mom? I think your kids are the ones. You won’t know the real answer until later on in life, if ever at all. The reason I wanted to write about this is because yesterday I went to a birthday party and realized that Gavin hadn’t socialized with his little friends for a while. I told my husband that I felt he could be socially awkward because of this but he reassured me that Gavin was fine. He continued to tell me how I go a lot of places with him and he sees a lot of people daily, and he asked me not to compare him to the other kids. Mind you I was not comparing the kids to Gavin, I was more comparing myself to the other moms, who seem to have everything figured out. They have regular play dates, go to the playground regularly, do Gymboree or other activities, only feed their kids healthy stuff, mostly taking snacks with them everywhere they go. I wasn’t hating on these moms, I was questioning if I should be doing the same thing. And then on our way to therapy I had the discussion with my husband and he again let me know that I was a good mom. He said I love them and that is the most important thing.

While at therapy this conversation came up. The therapist proceeded to ask me if I thought I was a good mom. Without thinking about it I answered yes. Then she asked me again, “are you sure?” Again I replied yes, then she said “you’re not sure because these little things and other moms ways wouldn’t make you question yourself.” I have to say I was a bit…a lot hurt. How could I possibly let other people deter what I think about myself? How did I get to the point where I am unsure. I kept thinking about my conversation with the husband and with the therapist, and realized that I am a good mom. I try my hardest to spend as much of my time with them. I actually spoil them with time!!! I take them wherever I go, we go to VA/MD once a month, we go to museums, zoo, they went to Puerto Rico and Disney World and they interact with people every day. So what if we don’t go to Gymboree every week, or go to the playground every afternoon. I try and that is the best I can do. They have been incredibly privileged to be able to experience other places that are not NYC, they have so much stuff, and guess what, Gavin may not have regular play dates but he does have a permanent play date. It’s incredible the amount of interaction between him and his brother. So why would I let what other people do affect me. The reason I gave Gavin french fries was because during a storm we got caught in the car, so we did the drive thru. I will stop feeling guilty about it. It’s very hypocritical to me, to say that I will never do something when you really can’t control the future. What if in the future all they have is fast food!? Could you imagine all the moms who would flip out at the thought of their kid entering a McDonalds? I have always believed extremes kill people. People who eat to much fast food every day are unhealthy but people who never eat something other than vegetables are also unhealthy. Kids need to try everything and I rather them try it with me and not in the school cafeteria or in a day care, or from another friend. So what if the AAP says that Gavin should’ve had watch tv before 2?? Is not like I sat him in the high chair and plotted him in front of the TV everyday! Listen, I started My Baby can Read at 4 months and he started recognizing things. It was amazing, and Mickey Mouse is my man! He’s my go to guy, because I still have to find ways to cook, clean, do my homework, wash the laundry and eat! And I hate to use the TV so that I could get those things done but the truth is that there is no other way! Sorry mamas sometimes you just have to give in! Is not like I have him watching Real Housewives of Atlanta or Sponge Bob Square Pants! It’s amazing how much he can learn if we discuss the show together! Anyway, what I want to say is that not everyone has the same life. My husband is not home every night, he has shift work, our time is very different than the average person, so our family has different tendencies and ways to do things. And so what? I LOVE MY CHILDREN. I give them everything that I possibly can so that they are comfortable, I try to teach them, the best you can a 2 yr old and a 8 month old to share and be nice, and I also feed them and bathe them and talk to them. And honestly whatever organic, fast food, TV, no-TV lifestyle I choose is what works for us. I will not let people’s judgment make me doubt my parenting! I am a good mom! Hell I’ve been breastfeeding for the last 2 years! I am a good mom and the only opinion that matters is that of my husband and my kids. And seeing the way they kiss me and hug me and seeing the way the smiles is all the reassurance I need! I hope!

November 9, 2012. Babies, friendships, Parenting, toddlers, Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Friends

How do you know who your real friends are? I have noticed recently that most of the people around me are simply acquaintances. I am lacking real friendships in my life and I think I know why. People lack integrity, and when I notice that, I just put a wall up and not let the friendship develop. I’m also afraid of being hurt. I feel I give people a lot of chances, because I’m uberemotional. I am let down or things just fall through.
I have a person in my life, who I consider my friend, and our friendship has been tested many times, yet I feel like that friend is a flaky one. If they had to pick, they would pick someone else, and why am I friends with someone who is not equally a friend to me? Is the idea of loving someone without being loved back! It hurts, with this person in particular because, this person keeps putting me aside for someone else. I have put my heart and so much energy into this relationship and I feel it has been wasted energy. There are also friends who I care for dearly and yet they didn’t even consider me to be part of their special day.
Even friends whom knew I was walking the Avon Walk and didn’t even make a small donation, not even words of encouragement!!!
I feel like in order to avoid this I have to become this bitch person who doesn’t give a crap and I just delete people from my life. Interestingly enough, the people who have proven to be real friends are people that years back we never thought we would be friends. The one card I received on my 30th birthday was not from my family or my husband. It was from a Coastie who I haven’t seen in person since 2007. It was so bittersweet to read the card. In a way i was excited she had taken the time to send me the card but it also put into perspective the friends that didn’t even wish me a Happy Birthday. I know this sounds like a complaining blog but I just feel like I am missing that element in my life. I love some of the mommy friends I have met in the last 2 years and I have a handful of core friends that are dear to my heart and will always be my friends, yet I wonder why I have 100 people on Facebook. What do these people bring into my life? what are they taking away from my page? I put everything on Facebook, so I am essentially sharing my life with them. Why have them at all? I am curious about how people determine who are their friends and who are acquaintances.
I think it’s time for a Facebook cleansing. Why? Because I should not need to edit what I put on there when I have family and friends who are eager to see the pictures of the boys and stuff. So, sorry to my acquaintances! Facebook will be family and friends only… And I do feel some sort of pressure because my life is constantly changing, due to kids, schedule, big family events, but that should never break real friendships. It’s like single people trying be friends with married people. And then having kids and trying to be friends with people with no kids and then having two kids and trying to be friends with the one kids and then trying to be friends with people who have different lifestyles. It’s freaking hard!!! So I do value what I have, which is why it hurts! Why is it that there are always major obstacles even when you seem to be in the same circumstance? Like the stay at home moms versus the working moms! Or the breastfeeding versus formula feeding moms? Why can we just get over all the bullshit? It’s also hard for me because my family is somewhat far and my husband doesn’t have a big family, so I want my boys to have a core group of friends who they can rely on later on in life and them likewise. I want my kids to create childhood friends!!! And I thought it would be easier to make that happen with the people who are already friends but apparently not! Gavin’s friends are amazing people I have met over the Internet since he was 6 months! Moms who have provided much needed friendship during a period of time that is hard and yet so much harder when your friends don’t understand.
I have to say that there is a group of few people who I have grown very fond off, why? Because they don’t care about the kids, about what we wear, nothing, we can go out with them and our two kids and well have grand time… Well talk about anything and everything and they have been incredibly supportive.
Anyways I think I’m done!!! Tomorrow is a new day and a new Facebook shall arise!!! To the ones who read, please let me know you do!!! Thanks!!!

November 4, 2012. Babies, friendships, Parenting, Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Baby weakness!!!

I have to say I am very bad at keeping a calendar. Yet I can try for the most part to remember everything we need to do every day. But sometimes memory fails and I forget. I forget that my baby boy just turned 9 months yesterday. It’s incredible that he is only 9 months, considered still an infant, yet I feel he has been with us since the beginning of our journey. It’s hard to explain what one feels when he sees their children smile, or when they say silly things like “cuddle mami” or when the say “te amo” (“I love you” in Spanish). I was thinking about the relationship I have with my mom and my siblings lately and thought of something. I will be my mom… Eventually my kids are going to grow up and get married and have their own kids. So I am trying desperately to savor every single second they are mine! Not that I am this over bearing mother or something,  but I do spend more of my day just being amused by the beauty that are my children. By the smiles they give me, by the hugs, the kisses, the snores, the complaints, and the cries.

When our first was born we co-slept until he was 6 months because I was nursing, then he went in his crib and had no problem. When he was 17 months we transitioned him to a toddler bed so that the new baby could use the crib right away. The transition went smoothly, yet 4 months later after sleeping peacefully through the night, he started waking up in the middle of the night and coming into our bedroom. The first time it happened we were awake and we saw this little person walking, scratching his ears and saying mami… we both melted and let him get in the bed. Well it has been about 5 months and he’s still doing it. We have thought about ways to take him out of our bed… but then I had a revelation! This might be the last time in his lifetime or maybe in mine, where my son will want us, his mom and his dad, to sleep with him and embrace him and give him love… Not that as an adult he would hate us, but it will never be the same. So I told my husband, if you don’t mind, then I don’t mind… But we are getting a King size bed… not just king, a California king so when the second one wants to come and sleep with us then he too will have space.

I don’t really care what people might think of me when it comes to this. I know I have plenty of alone time with my husband, and I enjoy being alone in our bed, but the truth is, we’re kind of stuck together! Until death do us part. Gavin and Glenn will only be this age once.. and I don’t want to miss anything. I don’t want to change anything… I will take any heartache right now so that I can just see them smile. The joy those kids give me is unmeasurable and I know you might think I’m exaggerating, but no one except for my family really knows how bad I wanted to be a mom. To have a child in my arms and nurse him and cherish him and just enjoy that love that is like no other.

Gavin says te amo mami and I just melt. He can do whatever he wants and I’m weak… I can’t help it. Glenn just looks at me and smiles… When he says mama I will be done.

No one will be able to recognize me, I will be meting on the ground…

November 3, 2012. Babies, Parenting, toddlers, Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Growing up!

So I started a video blog diary for my boys… is that crazy?? I hope to stick to it. And it makes me kind of mad not to have started it before. But today as I was nursing my little chunk at 8.5 months I got emotional by the baby scent coming from his hair. I have always thought babies smelled delicious! It should be bottled up and sold. I don’t know any mom who wouldn’t buy it! But as I saw him try to launch and take one step all by himself, that scent reminded me of how much I have experienced in only 8 months. How much joy he has brought to our lives, even though he was completely a surprise from God- and Aruba!

Yes, when you become pregnant for the first time, EVERY SINGLE PARENT out there is telling you “ENJOY EVERY MINUTE, THEY GROW SO FAST” and we believe it, but is not until you have your second baby that you really notice it. You see the different periods, you see everything with different eyes. I think Glenn reminds me of when Gavin was little, but Gavin as a toddler reminds me more that Glenn will grow up before I notice. I don’t know if this makes any sense to you but it does to me.

See the way I see it is this. Gavin and I had unlimited, uninterrupted, uncomplicated time together. We met great people, we leisured, we slept (a lot!!, thank God). Now I don’t stop. It’s always something going on. And I love that, but it also takes away time like today, were I just sat and for a whole hour and nursed and smelled my baby. Before it’s too late. I am glad I have been at home. I could not imagine it any other way. As I start to look for a job, to start as soon as he turns one, I wonder if that is the best decision. Because I don’t want to miss anything. I don’t want to miss him in the morning when he wakes up or at night before he goes to bed. With Gavin I had that, and I want to experience it with Glenn as well. I want to marvel in the way they hold their Elmo or Mickey and go to sleep. Or be able to actually sit down with them on the couch when they ask for cuddles. And take a picture of that hug between brothers, that hopefully they’ll keep giving each other for the rest of their lives.

There are just so many emotions. I don’t think I’m perfect, but I am glad to have been able to take the time and enjoy those moments. Because in the blink of an eye just like that they vanish. Like the baby scent. Like a shooting star, you are just able to see and when you make your wish, the star is gone.

Am I crazy? Am I the only mom who feels like this? I hope not. I know a lot of moms who just had second babies. I hope if they take one piece of advise from me is this: really take the time to admire the small things, the things that a baby sitter will not be able to appreciate, the things that even a distracted dad will miss. Be click happy! With the camera! With the phone, with anything that can possibly record that moment in your brain forever. And enjoy even the cry, every laugh, every crazy moment, for you will miss it once they grow. And they will grow before you know it.

Last picture with no top teeth!!! ImageGlenn Mason 8 monthsImageImageBrotherly LoveImage

October 18, 2012. Tags: , , . Babies, Parenting, toddlers, Uncategorized. 4 comments.