Archive for the ‘parenting’ Category

Babysitting Chaos   3 comments

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So we finally finished the house. Yeah us!,

 

We got it just the way we always dreamed it could be…it was perfect. Well…apart from the black tile floors.

 

Don’t get me wrong they were stunning…I first met them in the dust free, pet free, humans having a life free …showroom of our local flooring store. I fell in love..so elegant..so rich looking…I just had to have them…..I imagined the statement they would make when I moved them into my home…how they would majestically redefine the hallways, the kitchen, the bathrooms, the family room, laundry room and the staircase…in that moment I felt as though nothing would ever feel so right.
And then the man came and laid my beautiful treasured tile…and in an instant I knew nothing would ever be right again.

 

 

They were a mistake…huge mistake…a huge soul sucking mistake…Did you know that black tile floors expose every single fleck of dirt, dust and hair and magnify them to the power of infinity? I had to up my OCD medication just so I didn’t stand in the corner all day wielding a Swiffer wet jet like lady Macbeth…screaming “Out, damned spot.” It was a thing…I got help…it didn’t help…so we put the house up for sale.

 

 

Yes, you heard me….we decided to move…

 

 

No, not just because of the tile…I mean obviously….we’re not that obsessive….however if questioned in a court of law….I would be unable to deny ….under oath…that it was not not a contributing factor.

 
The truth is we went on a cruise and one of the places we visited was Nova Scotia and we fell in love. Not like the “black tile” love…that ended in betrayal and sadness…but real life affirming this feels like home…love. We jokingly said if there was ever a job opportunity there we would seriously consider moving.

 

 

Never joke…true story…you’re welcome.

 
Now, I’m pretty convinced the Universe eavesdrops on my off the cuff remarks like an ambulance chasing lawyer desperate to have some relevant skin in the game. I could be wrong…but just one week later, we were staring at a job offer that was too good to turn down…and 2 weeks after that we were sitting at our dining room table talking to a realtor about home cost evaluations and curb appeal.

 

 

And just one short month later …contracts were signed, our house was sold and the movers were booked. It was November 25th and in a mere 5 days we would be leaving beautiful British Columbia to start our new adventure in Sydney Nova Scotia.

 

 

You’d think the story would just end there, wouldn’t you? Probably for most people it would. But our family’s freak flag flies torn and tattered and at half mast at least fifty percent of the time so this story is not quite over yet.

 
You see we operate under the assumption that Irony and Bad Luck had a love child (Chaos- its Christian name) and when they want a night off….they leave Chaos at our house for safe keeping.
I remember it as though it were yesterday…it was Friday night and I was watching the news and a story came on about a massive flood in our almost new town of Sydney. I remember thinking it was very sad.

 

 

Now at that time I did not know I was babysitting Chaos….they truly are the worst parents….they never call ahead and make sure I’m free….they just drop him off and run…usually I don’t even know he’s there until it’s too late…and yes I have tried calling child protective services…but the last time I did they just opened a file on me….which I thought was very rude and completely unsupportive.

 

 

Anyway that night as we slept…blissfully unaware that Chaos was in our charge….our dishwasher sprung a leak and by morning our ceiling was buckling and we had 3 inches of water in our basement. It seemed that Chaos wasn’t very sleepy that night so he decided to entertain himself by making our home into a rather sad little water park.

 

We were to close on the sale of our house 6 days later.

 

 

The good news is it all worked out. Not without a modicum of trouble and strife but all things being what they are…for us…business as usual.

 

 

The bad news…It’s the end of this chapter…but don’t worry…I haven’t even got to the good part…so stay tuned…

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I’m not sick anymore….and apparently that’s a bad thing?   9 comments

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I have a feeling I am no longer cool. It is not yet official, but I have been informed by not one, but two of my children that my street cred is almost maxed out. Not sure if I can apply for additional credit, or what slippery slope I’d have to slide down to get it? Is street cred even a thing anymore?

The sad reality is I’m not sure how long I have been out of the loop; or if there is still even a loop to be out of?

I just found out that it’s not even cool to say “cool” anymore. Apparently “sick” is the new cool. Which is beyond confusing because being sick has never been something I have ever aspired to be. In fact, at the first sign of illness I usually start downing Echinacea like my life depended on it. Now I find out that I should have been embracing my “sickness” as though my reputation depended on it.

It’s not like I haven’t tried to stay current.

I listen to the latest jam (which I recently figured out is music and not a reference to a fruit preservative.) This has not been without sacrifice because listening to the repetitive nonsensical content that some popular artists spew onto the airwaves is tantamount to ear torture. Not to pick on anyone in particular but if losing my cool (aka sick) mom status means never having to hear Rhianna’s “Umbrella” ever again….it would almost be worth it. What the “Ella Ella” is she going on about anyway?

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I used to have the language down. Sadly that too…”was so five minutes ago.” Actual words have now been replaced by acronyms; LOL, IDK, and OMG and of course the most banal of them all…. the letter “k”.

I have a sneaking suspicion the reason for this trend is the youth of today can no longer spell. Of course that’s just a working theory and when presented to a focus group of teenagers the idea did elicit some serious eye rolling. The good news is that they weren’t having a seizure just indicating a reticence to agree with my hypothesis.

Keeping abreast of the all the fashion fads has also been a bit of strain. I would dearly love to have a few minutes alone with the genius who came up with low rise jeans that showcased everything from tramp stamps to little Johnny’s boxer briefs. If only there were things that I could un-see.

The world is changing too fast, it’s all about emoticons, snap chats and selfies. There is even something called the vine which I was super excited about until my daughter pointed out it had nothing to do with the production of wine. I also don’t see the point of posting mindless status updates on Facebook. Do we really need to know what people are feeling and doing every second of the day? I myself prefer a little mystery.

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I guess the truth of it is that I don’t want to be “sick” anymore. It’s exhausting and confusing. I’m okay letting it go. Not all of it of course, just the bits that grate on my nerves like white girls who sing along with gangster rap like it’s their personal truth. The fact is holding on to youth and youthful ideas are a bit like chasing a ghost. It seems like it might be fun because you’ve heard about it on twitter but when push comes to shove it is just way too scary.

Posted October 25, 2014 by janyceresh in children, family, Humour, parenting

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The day peace and quiet ran away   20 comments

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Yesterday, I found peace and quiet. I was so excited and overcome that I decided to put them in a safe place so that we could have a proper visit later, when I had a moment to spare. Later came, and well, I think we all know how that story ends. They are now officially missing in action; or is it inaction? I put up some posters in the neighbourhood but no one has called. I fear the worst.

I should have spent more time with them when I had the chance. Now they are gone and I am not sure they are ever coming back. I was going to file a police report but that seemed like a dead end. I knew in my heart of hearts if they had been found by someone, that person was never ever going to admit it, much less return them to me.

I was so careless and cavalier, thinking that there would be time to get to know each other better. I so desperately wanted them to feel at home where I lived; that was wishful thinking. The dogs probably thought they were a stranger and barked them away. Let’s face it they were definitely new to our neighbourhood. Everyone knows peace and quiet can be quite skittish when confronted with two nervous chihuahuas.

The strange thing is that they seemed to enjoy spending time with me as much as I did with them. It seemed that we had a real connection in our short time together. Maybe I was just deluding myself; maybe I was just a rebound for them. They probably had a fight with some Buddhist caught in traffic and needed a soft place to land until the dust settled.

Now, I’m left with 2 radios; one blasting hip hop and the other some sort of angry rap music. The kids are fighting over dishes and my husband is in the garage using tools powered by an air compressor. There are no less than three televisions on, and the dogs are talking to everyone who walks within a block of our house. I’ve been reduced to speaking in a voice loud enough to be heard in Beirut in a vain attempt to get everyone to shut up, shut down, and shut off.

It seems like my life at the moment is not a safe place for peace and quiet to reside. I get it, I guess. Perhaps one day we will meet again. I wonder if we will know each other when and if we do? Will I smile and embrace them as old friends, or will I feel awkward and not know what to do or say? Will I miss what I will have to give up to have them stay? Is losing the busy chaotic bustle of my loved ones when they finally fly the nest the price I’ll have to pay to win them back?

Sadly, with the housing prices these days, I have the sneaking suspicion that my children will be residing with us for a good long time to come. So, I guess I’ll just have to keep looking for peace and quiet and see if maybe they have a guest room I can stay in from time to time.

 

 

 

The Weekend technology forgot   32 comments

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Sometimes I think to myself, ‘now that’s a great idea. I should totally do that. In fact I can’t wait to do that because it is going to be the start of something amazing.’ These ideas usually come to me around 3 am, which is slightly inconvenient because I do tend to be asleep at that time. However, given the sheer genius of these epiphanies I am not prepared to tell them to make an appointment.
That is, until last week. When I forgot to not remember an idea that came to me mid slumber.
I further exasperated the fact by mentioning it to my husband, who thought that it may be the greatest idea since sliced bread. So we decided to share it with the kids over breakfast.
The meal started light and fun; my youngest showing his siblings YouTube videos and my eldest taking selfies and posting them to snap chat. It was just your average breakfast with the family since technology put down roots in our home.
My husband and I looked at each other and knew that this was as good a time as any to share the good news. No, we weren’t becoming Jehovah’s witnesses; it was something with way more shock value than that.
We were going to take away all the electronics for the entire weekend.
I’ve heard silence before, but that was rare and entirely foreign in my home and while it was in this instance brief, it was none the less quite breathtaking. Of course, that was just the calm before the storm. The subsequent squall that ensued was only slightly less intense than a baby daddy reveal on the Jerry Springer show.
It seemed that the children were a little hesitant to jump aboard and embrace the days of yore, when technology was a tv with 13 channels and no remote. Our phones were tied to walls and if we wanted to watch a movie we had to rent one at the video store and make sure we remembered to rewind it. Our music played on record players and the pictures we shot took a whole week to develop.
We told them more stories of our own childhoods, explained the freedom and joy of being outside, building forts and riding bikes. We couldn’t wait to be free of the confines of our homes and rarely would appear back unless hunger overtook us or it was too dark to play capture the flag.
They stared the stare of great sadness as they came to terms with their impending loss. They realized it was fruitless to argue. We had made up our minds. They asked a few questions.
How would they cope without Netflix?
… What would this new existence feel like if it couldn’t be shared on Instagram?
Also, my favorite … If a tree falls in the forest and no one tweets about it … does anybody #care?
We gathered up the devices and the experiment began.
It was without a doubt the longest, most painful weekend I can remember in quite some time. It rained every day and every night. They couldn’t play outside, they didn’t ride their bikes, or climb trees, or play kick the can. They just stayed inside. They fought, and argued, and tortured each other to the point that I almost ran away from home. I’ve never been a huge fan of Mondays, but last week I was very pleased to see it arrive.
You see, it was my fault. I had failed to teach the fun of being stuck inside on a rainy day, of playing board games and baking cookies and building forts inside. I tried at one point, but I was met with little enthusiasm and I think one of them might have growled at me. So I just backed away slowly.
Next time I will have weather contingency plans. Yes, there will be a next time, because I want my kids to be free and unplugged and able to communicate ideas in real time and not just by text. Technology has made itself quite at home in the twenty first century, but that doesn’t mean we can’t pack it up and send it camping from time to time.

If the truth hurts it’s probably a conspiracy.   31 comments

 

There is an evil imp running amok in my home and, while I’ve never actually seen him, I know exactly when he’s been around. I believe he works at night and probably has other ne’er-do-well imps assisting him.  I’m sure he thinks he is amusing.  He is wrong.  The shenanigans he and his fellow miscreants get up to are both cruel and self-esteem-crushing.

What does he do you ask? Well I’ll tell you.

He has been slowly shrinking my pants and other articles of clothing that, only 6 months ago, fit me perfectly.  I think he has a little sewing kit; he sneaks into my closet at night and makes minor adjustments to the waistbands of my trousers.  Nothing too noticeable at first, just a nip here and a tuck there. He is obviously all about the long con.

It’s not just my clothes he’s been sabotaging either.  He has also managed to have all the bathroom scales set 15 pounds heavier.  How he does that is beyond me.  Clearly he has a background in engineering.  Or maybe he is invisible and stands behind me with a foot on the scale while I’m on it.  I really wouldn’t put anything past him.

 

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Now, how he manipulates my mirrored reflection is beyond me. When I’m standing in front of it, it actually looks as if I’m slightly more robust than I used to be.  Maybe he was once employed at a carnival and was in charge of the House of Mirrors.  It makes sense; I’ve been in those places and they can make anyone look like they follow a strict diet of Ding Dongs, burgers and Big Gulp sodas.

Why is he picking on me, though?  What did I do to deserve such a blatant attack on my self-esteem?  I’m a good person.

I support local charities.  Why, just last week the girl guides came to my door and I bought 8 cases of their thin mint cookies. Not sure what became of them, though. I saw the boxes in the trash a few days later. Maybe the little imps got hungry and helped themselves to my stash.  I certainly couldn’t have consumed them all by myself, and I was the only one who knew where they were.

I am also doing my part to lower my carbon footprint. I used to work out regularly, which caused me to breathe harder and with more frequency. Recognizing that my increased out flow of carbon dioxide could potentially have a negative effect on our already fragile eco-system, I have sacrificed my exercise program for the greater good.  Don’t quote me on the science; I don’t claim to be an expert. I’m just one person trying to make a difference on this great blue marble we call Earth.  It takes a village, people.

Now while I cannot prove with absolute certainty that these imps exist, and that they have been slowly but surely wreaking their havoc on my existence, I have come to a decision which could prove to be quite lucrative. I’m going to start a home-based business. I will provide overnight clothing alterations for a nominal fee.  I’ll hang them up in my closet and put the little scamps to work for me instead of against me.  That will teach them to mess with an entrepreneur.

I have to run; pizza’s here and I have to make sure they didn’t forget the extra cheese. Did I mention how I support local businesses?

 

 

Posted March 20, 2014 by janyceresh in family, fitness, Humour, parenting, Uncategorized, Weight

Death of a Dishwasher   39 comments

Recently, my dishwasher passed away. We held a small funeral; immediate family members only. It was a sad day, but as I’m not one to dwell, I put on my big girl pants and started shopping for a replacement. Sounds callous, I know, but I think wherever old Dishy Mcdisherson is, she understands.

It didn’t take long to find the “one”. She was perfect. Gleaming stainless steel with a heavy load capacity. She even had a food disposer, which is great for us because my children think pre-scraping is something that happens right before they start a fight with one another.

I was in love, or at the very least, willing to stop seeing other dishwashers.

I purchased her and brought her to her new forever home. Weird how I refer to her as a her . . . Perhaps because doing the dishes is a woman’s job . . . Said no woman ever. I just put that in there to see if you were paying attention.

Anyhow, back to my story.

I was so excited. I couldn’t wait to have her moved in so she could begin making my dishes sparkle and my silverware shine. I called my husband and told him to strap on his work belt, charge up his power tools and channel his inner handyman.

When I arrived home my hubby and I brought her in and carefully carried her up the stairs and into our kitchen. I should qualify the word “carefully”. We may have hit a wall or two on the way up, which will probably require a smidge or so of dry wall repair and a dab of paint but luckily, she came through unscathed.

At that point, feeling I had done my part, I left to share the big news with my Facebook friends. Just as I was about to send my exciting status update, however, I heard my husband express himself in the most colourful way. Judging by his tone and his preference for words that rhyme “truck “and “spit”, I immediately knew that something was amiss.

I called out, asked him what was the matter. He then said three words to me that I will never forget.

“It doesn’t fit.” Just like me in high school, she was too tall.

I couldn’t believe it. How was this possible? I had done all the research, asked all the right questions. I had even stared into the salesman’s eyes and asked him “is that your best price?” This situation was unacceptable. I told my husband to take the wheels off and any other non-essential parts; make it fit. Sadly, he had already thought of that.

So I walked away. I needed time to think and my husband was starting to become poor company to be around. It wasn’t five minutes later that I heard the sound. It didn’t make sense at first; it was just this loud buzzing and grinding noise.

I followed the sound into the kitchen and it was there I found the source. My husband was wielding a jigsaw like Jason from Friday the 13th, minus the hockey mask. It seemed that he had concluded, in his infinite wisdom, to cut our kitchen counter in half and slide her into place. When I asked him how he had come to this decision he said “it didn’t fit…so I made it fit.” While I did argue the method I really couldn’t fight the simplicity of his logic.

So what began as an innocent quest for cleaner dishes ended up as a rather extensive and expensive kitchen renovation.

You might be wondering what the moral of this story is, and that, my friends, is surprisingly simple.

Measure twice ….cut NEVER!!!

 

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I Can’t Remember Where I Left My Mind?   44 comments

 

Missing one mind last seen about 19 years ago. Known associates slender figure and perky boobs. If you should find it do not approach. It is more than likely happy and blissfully unaware that it isn’t exactly where it should be. I like to imagine it living a life full of existential thoughts and brilliant hypothesis on a beach somewhere in the Caribbean.

For a time my mind and I were inseparable. Now I find myself losing it on daily basis. When I was a student we worked together learning new skills, challenging antiquated ideas and strategizing the exact amount of effort required to stay wake during calculus. I was for lack of a better word, brilliant.

I thought that my brain and I were capable of just about anything. Maybe not curing cancer or time travel but I definitely should have been able to pitch my own reality show. Now when I see shows like the Kardashians I am reminded how deep into mindless mediocrity I have sunk.

Now it’s not like I was ever offered a MENSA application but I did have days when I could remember where I parked my car at Costco. Now I just push my cart with the broken wheel around the lot 2 or three times muttering to myself like a lunatic. If anyone asks if I need help I just laugh and tell them that my personal trainer suggested that this kind of exercise is all the rage in Europe and if they would like I could email them the literature.

I remember days when I used to find my keys before I lost them. I could remember appointments without obnoxious prompts from my smart phone. You could ask me the name of best friends aunt that I met that one time at the beach in 1986 and I could rattle it off like it was no big thing. These days if I am able to identify the name of the child I am addressing in less than 3 attempts I feel like I just won final Jeopardy.

I know it’s too late now. My mind has moved on and it forgot to leave me a forwarding address. Sadly if it had left me one I probably would have just put in a safe place with all of my other important stuff. These items much like the body of Jimmy Hoffa are not likely to be located again in my lifetime.

So what happened? What changed?

Is it sleep deprivation? It might be I haven’t slept through the night since….wait what year is it? Suffice it to say it’s been awhile.

Could it be stress…studies have shown that there is a definite link between stress and diminished cognitive function. Although I can’t remember where I read that.

My best guess is my mind vacated the building about 19 years ago this coming March. How can I be so certain you ask? That’s when I became pregnant with my first child and it’s never been the same since. I think my mind had to leave to make room for the rest of me. I became a tiny bit enormous.

It’s not all bad news though, I do occasionally I have intermittent moments of cohesive thoughts. I usually try and do something constructive when they come on like balance my check book or figure out where I left my cell phone, but today I chose to write this instead.

Will my check to the electric company clear this month? It’s possible, but I should make a mental note to buy some candles and put some matches in a safe place.

Who am I kidding chances are this time next week my house will be plunged into darkness and for a moment or two I’ll probably think…Zombie apocalypse? 

 

 

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Posted February 27, 2014 by janyceresh in canada, family, Humour, Mensa, parenting, pregnancy, Uncategorized

Am I A Crazy Canuck?   13 comments

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It has come to my attention that while watching Olympic hockey some Canadians have quite literally lost their minds. We as a nation are proud of 3 things the first thing is hockey and the other 2 are….well other stuff..

Sadly, a lot of us are probably genetically predisposed to so called hockey fever. However there are times like these when something almost primal takes over and we take our passion to a whole other level of crazy.

And as I believe an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure…..here are a few warning signs that may indicate that you too might need a 2 minute time out in life’s penalty box.

1. You refuse to wear anything but your teams colours on game day which normally is just patriotic but maybe not so much when it only includes body paint and hair dye.

2. You prefer to be home alone while watching the game because your so called friends have a habit of saying things like:

“Calm down it’s only a game.”

or my personal favourite:

“Are you going to pay for my TV …..cause you just put my kids Xbox through It?”

3. You tend to have conversations/ arguments with the referees that may or not be construed as threats against their person. This may happen pre or post game and usually only if you can sweet talk/bribe your phone company into giving you their home numbers. I’m not saying I’ve done it…but I’m not saying I haven’t..

4. Sometimes you forget to breathe for such a long period that you feel light headed and disorientated. A simple solution is to wear an apnea monitor which will alarm in case of a prolonged absence of breath.

5. During the game you turn off and tune out anything that could become a distraction. I might have once heard a fire alarm and smelled smoke in my building during a playoff game but I can’t be certain….the good news was that we won the game and apparently the fire was contained and on another floor.

6. You scream at your television set using language that would make a porn star blush.

7. Your doctor has recommended adjusting your blood pressure medication and having you continuously monitored for signs of acute angina during the game.

8. You stop drinking liquids 24 hours pre game as to not be conflicted by a call of nature during what might be a pivotal play.

****If you skip this step…and you know who you are…you will more than likely be the proud owner of a port a potty. ( one more reason why watching games with others is not desirable)

9. You are by nature a pacifist but 3 minutes into the first period you are encouraging your team to commit acts that in every day life would have them serving 5 to ten years for attempted manslaughter.

10. And finally ….you know you have a problem when your neighbours have circulated a formal petition to have you sedated and your cable turned off prior to face off tomorrow morning.

If any of these things are affecting you or someone you love, take heart we are a mere 24 hours away from go time…..or as I like to call it gold time. And by this time tomorrow we will be back to our normal polite non confrontational Canadian ways. That is until the NHL play offs begin in April.

 

 

Posted February 22, 2014 by janyceresh in canada, family, Hockey, Humour, Olympics, parenting, Uncategorized

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Better Call A Priest……My Husband Has a Head Cold.   51 comments

 

 

 

My husband is not allowed to get sick. I will not permit it. It has happened before and quite frankly I’m not sure how our marriage survived.

 

That being said. I have set up precautions and they are as follows:

 

1. It is now a punishable offence to enter our home with any signs of illness. We are not by nature a discriminatory family, however if you come here with a runny nose and or complaining of feeling achy you will be asked to leave. Don’t bother trying to fake good health either, I can smell a virus from forty paces and I will have you physically escorted from the premises.

 

2. If by some horrid turn of events a germ festival takes up residence among our ranks I will instantly transform our home to hazmat central. I’m not saying the CDC has consulted with me on tips to better safeguard a population in the event of an out break…but I’m here if they need me.

 

3. I arm him with anti bacterial sprays, gloves and masks.

 

4. I lace his food with so much vitamin c his skin takes on an orangish hue.

 

5. I have a google alert set up for all new cold/ flu preventative medicines.

 

6. Should he become symptomatic I have pre registered him for any and all experimental studies that require test subjects. With the stipulation that if for some reason he receives the placebo they will take full custody of him for the duration of his illness. I have had papers drawn up and a notary on speed dial.

 

You might be asking yourself what’s the big deal. So he gets sick it’s not the end of the world. Unless you are a wife. Than I’m almost certain you understand. Not only do you know what I’m talking about …you’ve been taking notes this whole time. Your welcome.

 

As for the rest of you let me enlighten you.

 

My husband has the pain threshold of a kitten with rickets. I’m not exaggerating. There have been times when he has had the tiniest little cold and he’s taken to his bed utterly convinced that a priest should be called to give him his last rites . And we’re not even catholic.

 

I once had to spoon feed him soup because he was too weak to hold the spoon. In my defence that was very early in our marriage and I was pretty naive.

 

A lot has changed since then not the least of which is we have moved closer to his mom. That way if he gets sick and there are no clinical studies to pawn him off on I can call a cab, grab his little go bag and let his mommy know he’s on his way.  

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Posted February 6, 2014 by janyceresh in family, Humour, parenting

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The Lab Report

Fake pet news. Follow us on Twitter @hellolabreport

Tea first, panic later.

One girl's story of fighting mental illness in the big city