Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I've Been Interviewed

6-Feet Under has flipped the switch on me and I was the interviewee instead of the interviewer. So even if you don't want to know one more darn thing about me, go check her out anyway...she's pretty awesome.

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Finding Your "Muchness"


Recently I went to go see Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland with my mother and sister. Aside from getting to ogle a super hot Johnny Depp with whom I love with all of my soul, the movie was amazing. There were definite liberties taken with the story line and it was more of a combo between Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. There was one scene in the movie that I thought was really thought provoking. It has little to do with the story line so it won't ruin anything.

The Hatter was telling Alice that she wasn't quite as much herself as she once was. He said that she lost her "muchness." How many times have we allowed ourselves to be stretched too thin or shrunk down to less than half our size? How long have we let other people make decisions for us when all along the choice was ours?

I've always done what was "expected" of me. I went to college, got a good, safe, solid job, got engaged, bought a house, got married, and had a baby. What would have happened if I didn't listen to my mom or Andy or my friends? What would have happened if I was much too much myself?

Not that I regret any of my paths. They've all lead me to wonderful blessings and amazing people, but sometimes I wonder what would have happened if I went away to school like I wanted to? Or if I got the apartment in Manhattan with my friend when she asked me too? What if I wasn't so scared of the unknown? What if I were more open to taking chances?

I really want to be true to myself in this new chapter of my life. Sometimes I rely too heavily on my mother's advice. I need to grow into myself and find my muchness.

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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

It's a Sunshine Day










Even though it's mighty rainy outside, there's lots of sunshine in my blog since B Sparkly honored me with the Sunshine Award. If you don't know who she is, go check her out. She has a beautiful, current blog that's fashionable and trendy.

Now for the rules:

1) Post the logo within your blog or post


2) Pass the award onto 12 fellow bloggers

3) Link the nominees within your post

4) Let the nominees know they have received an award by commenting on their blog'

5) Share the love and link to the person whom you received this award from.

My 12 Bloggers are:

Monday, March 29, 2010

Interview with The Single Girl


After I did the Interview with Dad, I got a lot of positive responses via comments, e-mail, and on the message board I frequent so I decided that I'd do another one with my IRL friend who recently turned blogger: Teresa.

Whether you met your significant other on the playground or you were well into your adult years before you settled down or you're still looking for that special someone, you were single once...we all were. So I convinced my newly single girlfriend to submit to an interview on what she thinks about the single life. I always like to get a fresh perspective on things.

First, let me give you a little background on Teresa. I've known her since she was little, she's my sister's bestie, turned one of my besties. She was in a long term relationship for 6 years that was rocky, to say the very least. She just ended it recently. Teresa is beautiful and has an amazing sense of fashion. She's down to earth and a little dizzy, but I love her. So here's the interview, honest as always.

1. What is the best thing about being singe?

It’s great because I do whatever I want.

2. What is the worst/most difficult thing about being single?
The most difficult thing about being single is that there’s no one there at the end of the day to call, snuggle, and make you feel special.

3. Tell me about the last date you went on.
I’m newly single so I have yet to find a guy to go on a date with. The last date I did go on was with my ex-boyfriend. We went to the Wax Museum in Times Square. It was a lot of fun, we took a lot of crazy pictures.

4. Where is a good place to meet men?
I’m beginning to learn that there isn’t one good place to meet men. You have to go out and make new friends because they have friends that you will eventually meet. It’s all about networking.

5. Do you ever feel lonely?
Yea, it gets lonely a lot. Since me and my ex have broken up multiple times before, for months at a time, I know the beginning is the worst. Eventually that longing for someone else goes away and being alone isn’t so difficult anymore.

6. Tell me about the decision to end your long term relationship.
Once you know the history, it will all make sense. I’ll try to make this quick. Me and my ex were together since I was sixteen. He is a year older then me, but mentally he was always five years younger. The first two years was just puppy love and I was more infatuated with him then in love, and he was too busy being immature to love me. He was always breaking up with me and I was always calling, crying, and arguing for him to take me back. We broke up right before my first day of college and I had finally grown up that day. I never called him back. I went to my new school with a new mindset and a new life ahead of me, I could not be bothered with him anymore. A few days had past and he called me, shocked that I never called him crying or complaining. I said this is the new me, take it or leave it. He was suddenly the infatuated one. Things were looking good for a few years, since I was the one wearing the pants now. However, his immaturity still had the best of him. I found out he cheated on me, so we broke up for a few months. We got back together, a few months later we got into a huge argument that ended up getting physical. I broke up with him again. Months later I gave him another chance, when he had too much to drink on my birthday he argued with me and this time it almost got physical again but I had friends there who stopped it before anything happened. I broke up with him again. We were almost not speaking for a year when he reached out to me at the end of this past summer. I gave him another chance. He really had grown up a lot, but the damage was done. I thought I could put everything behind me and start over but I couldn’t. That’s pretty much what it boils down to.

7. How do you feel about this decision?
It’s really hard because I know if I met him today for the first time, we would have a great relationship. Every time we were together we would just laugh. We loved joking around with each other. Unfortunately the romance just died for me due to the circumstances. It was a difficult thing to do, but I know in the long run it will be a good thing for the both of us.

So there you have it...an interview with a single girl. If you want to go and visit Teresa click here, she's a brand new blogger so let's show her some love.

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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Buh Bye


I've said goodbye to a lot of things recently (and others not so recently, but they fit so nicely into this post that I had to include them). Isabella's swing is now residing in the attic, this happened at Christmas time to make room for all of her new loot. Her bouncy seat is now at my cousins house and is being occupied by a teeny tiny newborn. Her 9 month clothes are all packed away. Goodbye to her stage 2 baby food and hello to stage 3 and table food.

But I said goodbye this weekend to someone who is very close to me. My friend Lara is moving to Sydney Australia. Lara has been in my life for a long time and we've waxed and waned between closeness and estrangement. She's a free spirit who has gone away before on long vacations, extended stays in Israel with her sometimes boyfriend. I've been trying to convince her to write a blog about her travels, but she's not taking the bait. But this time she's going away, all on her own, to sew her oats before she becomes tethered by career, husband, house, and family.

She and I were vegan together for a long time, we'd have crazy dance off's, meet for dinners in Manhattan, dance all night, and hang out with our group of friends. There are no words to say how I will miss her and I'm torn between selfishly wanting her to stay and knowing that she has to do this.

Goodbye's are never easy.

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Positives of Being a Working Mom

I've written before about how being a working mom can be difficult, but I don't think I've ever written about the positives. Nothing is all bad. So when I'm feeling down about not being home I will need one of you to kick my ass into gear and point me in the direction of this out of character positive post.

I'm providing financial security for my daughter. I grew up in a middle class family, but on the day I graduated high school I was given a diploma and a good luck. No college fund. I don't blame my parents, they did the best they could, but tens of thousands of student loan dollars later and here I am. Also, I grew up in apartments. My first backyard wasn't until I was married and in my own house. I want her to be able to go to college without worry and live in a nice house in a nice neighborhood. Working accomplishes that.

I may not be good at a lot of things, but I am damn good at my job. I taught 2nd grade inclusion for three years and I've been teaching third grade gifted and talented for the past two and I'm really good at it. It's my element. I feel totally comfortable and at ease in what I'm doing and how I'm doing it. I have a 100% passing rate on state tests. I can give myself this credit.

I'm doing good. I'm helping kids. I'm making a difference. Who doesn't love someone who helps kids?

I'm providing my daughter with an example of what a modern day family is. That women can enjoy a career and a family simultaneously.

Additionally, finances aren't a worry. I don't have to worry about buying diapers, formula, baby food, or a ridiculously obscene amount of baby clothes. I'm never stressed out about bills which is a comfort in times of economic uncertainty.

Somedays, maybe most days, do I want to be SAHM? Sure. Is that going to happen in the near future? No. So I might as well enjoy the perks of it.

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Itchy Ovaries

After Isabella was born, amidst the sleepless nights, crying fits (mine and hers), and sheer misery of poop, fussies, and spit up, I would have sworn on a stack of Bibles that I was never having another one...ever. Andy would have agreed with me.

The dreariness of those early days is gone and I'm enjoying being a mother and all that it entails, and I've decided that I definitely want one more baby. Sometimes I think I want to wait a long time, like 3 or 4 years and sometimes I'll see a super cute pregnant lady and my ovaries will twitch and itch a bit and I think more along the lines of sooner.

Ultimately I think it will be on the later side of the spectrum. Maybe 1.5-2.5 years from now. Since I'm nosy and ask a lot of questions, I've noticed that there are two trains of thoughts on when to add to your family: have 'em spaced close together so you can get that unpleasant baby junk over with, because I'm sure we can all admit night wakings and diaper blow outs are zero fun. And then there's the space 'em out thought train that says to get through one and then move on to another.

I understand them both, but find myself in the latter category. I want to enjoy all of Isabella's babyhood with 100% attention. I want to save enough money so that we can move into a bigger house. I'm enjoying our little family too much. I want to be skinny for long enough that I can enjoy it before the ass begins to expand. I don't want to give my husband a heart attack.

So there you have it. I want more kids...well I want another kid, but I'd say its safe for me to pack up those maternity clothes for a while.


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Monday, March 22, 2010

Isn't it Ironic?

I have a masters degree in early childhood development and education birth through age 6 and I don't know jack. Maybe I should go back and return my diploma?

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We Have a Winner

True Random Number Generator 9

That would be "Unfit" Mom. Congratulations and I'll be e-mailing you shortly, like right after my kid stops crying, to get your info!

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Saturday, March 20, 2010

9 Months Old


Yesterday Isabella turned 9 months old! She's growing up so fast. She's still sleeping well and she's gotten much better with her eating. She's just not a fan of green veggies, which is ok I guess for now. We haven't had a problem with food in a bit, I'm guessing she just got over being pilly about eating.

She's crawling now, which is not as exhausting as I thought it would be. Since she's still pretty lazy, she'll only crawl to get something that's out of her reach. Her naps have gotten slightly better. She takes two naps a day. Sometimes they're an hour and a half and sometimes they're 45 minutes. Who knows with this kid. She stays up for about 3-4 hours between her naps.

She's also getting very wriggly during photo sessions which means for every 30 pics I take I get 1 good one where she's not lunging for the camera.

She's very, very vocal and squeaky. She makes the sounds for mama and dada, but she uses them randomly without meaning so I don't count them as words. She's just so much fun. And it is officially time for me to start party planning for her 1st birthday! video

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Friday, March 19, 2010

Just a Reminder

The Rachael Ray Cookware giveaway ends on Sunday, so if you're interested in entering click here. I'll be announcing the winner on Monday.

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Wordless Wednesday


















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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I'm At a Loss

This has been one tough week and I just don't know what to do. Isabella has been in rare form. Not that she's always super happy and content, because she definitely has her moments, but since Wednesday, she's been super fussy.

She doesn't want to be put down. She doesn't want to be held. She doesn't want to play with you on the floor. She doesn't want to play by herself. It's not all day, but she's pissy eyed more of the day then she's happy. I know she's teething because of the red cheeks, chewing everything, and mushy diapers. I also know that she's a bit congested. But she wasn't this ornery when she cut her first two teeth.

She'll put herself to sleep at night fine, but then a half hour later she's screaming. It sounds like a pain cry, but the second I pick her up she's sleeping. I put her down and she's crying. I'm just at a loss for what to do.

Is she in pain? Is she not? Do I let her cry? Pick her up? Tylenol is helping moderately, but she still wakes up. Thankfully not during the night but 1-3 times between 7:30 and 11. I don't want to let her cry if she's in pain and I don't want to pick her up and rock her if she should be self soothing. I need some sage advice!


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Sunday, March 14, 2010

Rachael Ray Cookware Giveaway


In my youth I've eaten many a delicious dinner on bar stools, and I still do if I'm being honest. But now that I have a lot less time to spend eating out, I need to cook a lot more. Rachael Ray is the queen of quick and her cookware is awesome. And if I can make a meal in 30 minutes, I'm pretty jazzed up about it. So when CSN stores contacted me for a giveaway, this prize naturally caught my eye.

I've personally ordered from CSN stores before and, besides from selling everything you could possibly imagine, they are a company of integrity. Not to mention that they started off as a teeny tiny company and have grown so much, just like so many of our blogs. Therefore I feel very honored to be able to award one of you with Rachael Ray "Bubble & Brown" 2-piece Stoneware Baker Set in Blue.

Now for the rules

Mandatory Entry

1. Follow my blog or leave a comment telling me that you already do, make sure you leave your e-mail or have it visible in your profile. (1 entry)

Extra Entries

2. Follow me on Twitter or leave me a comment telling me that you already do, make sure you leave your twitter ID (1 entry)

3. Visit CSN and tell me something that you like, as if you could pick just one thing (1 entry)

4. Follow my IRL bestie on her brand new blog, isn't it fun to get in on a blog on the ground floor? (1 entry)

5. Blog about this giveaway on your blog (2 entries)

6. Grab my button or tell me you already do (2 entries)

7. Vote for me on top mommy blogs (1 entry)

This giveaway is open to residents of the U.S and Canada. It will close on Sunday March 21, 2010 at 11:59 pm. Make sure you leave me a comment for each entry. Don't forget to leave 2 comments for a double entry. Good luck ladies.


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Friday, March 12, 2010

In My Sister's Shadow


My sister and I have a great relationship. We're very close. Which is surprising since we're not only on different pages in life, we're in different books and different libraries. My sister, Meaghan, and I are polar opposites. I'm kind of tortured and dark and she's all laid back and carefree.

It's no wonder that people gravitate towards her. She's funny, silly, and she really doesn't care about the little things. She just rolls with the punches where as I will analyze everything. Why did that waitress give me the stink eye? Was I not polite enough? I left her a nice tip. I don't understand. I'm pretty dramatic. I don't understand how two people who were raised by the same parents, in the same house, and afforded the same opportunities could be so different.

I love my sister and I would do anything for her. But sometimes I feel like I'm living in my little sister's shadow. I get why people like her better than me. Hell, I like her better than me. But it's so blatantly obvious that it sometimes stings. She even admits that my father likes her better than me, which doesn't help my daddy issues any.

She just makes and keeps friends so easily and seems immune to the things that bug me. I'll get upset for days if friends do something and don't include me and she just kind of shrugs it off. I wonder what it would be like to be the favorite all the time?

This post really doesn't have a point. It's more self-indulgent than anything.

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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Food Fight

And I'm not talking about the fun kind where you end up covered in Johnny's mashed potatoes. I'm talking outright refusal to eat anything that isn't orange (sweet potatoes and carrots). I have to say that I never thought I'd be writing a post about how my little chunka doesn't want to eat.

She sucks down her bottle well enough. Breakfast is pretty easy. Lunch is so/so, but dinner. Oh my dinner. She sticks her tongue out. Turns away. Fusses. Yells. Cries. She's not having it. I've tried table food (meatballs, eggs, cheese, baby carrots that aren't pureed, bread, pancakes, mashed potatoes) and she usually loves them, but for the past two weeks she'll have nothing of it. Especially if it's green. I was a Goddamned vegetarian/vegan throughout my entire pregnancy and my child is refusing veggies.

I've had to begin a covert op of hiding the veggies. A scoop of peas in the egg before I scramble it. Squash in the macaroni. Cheese sprinked on the steamed carrots. The thing of it is I don't want Isabella to have to diet her entire life. So please tell me that this is just a phase and she won't require veggies smothered in butter or cheese when she grows up? Additionally, please tell me that if I succumb and feed her naught but sweet potato and carrot purees she won't turn orange?

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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Outer Beauty


Before I birthed the babe I was a pretty stylish girl. My hair was always neat. My outfit was always well put together. I was always nicely accessorized. And I'm sure I don't need to tell you that I was well heeled. I took pride in every aspect of my appearance even throughout my pregnancy. I didn't care that I was only wearing the clothes for 9 months, I wanted to look good.

Fashion is still in my life. I read about it while I'm wearing sweat pants. I watch my friends perfectly quaffed hair whilst I enjoy my ponytail. My heels collect dust on the shelf while I wear "sensible flats". Ummm....when did I become such a frumpy mom?

I just feel so much better about myself when I'm put together. But I'm also realistic that with a full time job and a baby, it's not possible to pull it off 7 days a week. So I'm making a promise to myself to at least make an effort to look nice 3 days a week. I think I can handle it and I still get to look yucky for 4 days. I just think it will help boost my confidence, especially since I'm starting to fit into my clothes again.

How do you all fit in time for a beauty routine?

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Monday, March 8, 2010

So Overwhelmed and In A Funk

I feel like I'm drowning and barely able to keep my head above water. I feel so overwhelmed in every aspect of my life it's pathetic.

I have so much paper work to do at work it's unbelievable. I love teaching, but it's gotten so focused on data that I spend more time completing checklists and goal sheets that I barely have a second to actually plan a lesson. Report cards are due this week and I have parent teacher conferences the following week. I'm gonna have to bite the bullet and just stay one day after work to get some stuff done because it's so crazy that it gives me no end of stress even when I'm not at work.

Andy's on midnights so I get overwhelmed with housework. Laundry, bottle maintenance (which could be a post all on its own), straightening up, sweeping and mopping since Isabella loves to play on the floor) and dusting. Not to mention cooking, cleaning and dishes. I feel like I can't catch up and even if I manage to do half of that stuff, it just starts again the next week. I'm usually pretty good with it, but for some reason this week has been tough. I give all the credit in the world to women who don't have help or whose husbands are deployed.

I've just been in a funk for about a week and I can't snap out of it. I don't want to talk to people, but then I get lonely and it just makes it worse. I feel so isolated from my core group of friends. I haven't been on the message board I go to in a little bit either. I just feel like a turtle all pulled up inside it's shell.

Hopefully since the weather is getting nice again after a month of snow storms things will get better. Fresh air and sunshine always make me feel good. I just want to snap out of this funk. Thanks for indulging in this post.

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Thursday, March 4, 2010

Remembrance

My cousin just had a baby girl. So tiny. So cute. As I held her it seemed almost foreign to me, even though I just had a baby 9 months ago. I don't really remember when Isabella was that little. Sure I have videos and pictures up the yin yang, but I feel like that time in my life was so wrought with nerves, anxiety, exhaustion, hormones, and desperation that my mind probably blocked it out as a defense mechanism. In the midst of it I swore I would never forget what it was like, I also swore I would never go through it again. Ever. But I forgot and everyone started sleeping more (more or less) and I was no longer nervous about giving her a bath or changing her clothes, because that get old pretty quick. I forgot what it was like to have a baby that doesn't smile at you yet, doesn't interact, doesn't make you crack up laughing.

A lot of people love the newborn stage when they're so small and snuggly. They're not trying to pull your earrings out of your ear or sticking their tongue out at you when they don't want to eat their peas. I never liked this stage. She was like this little tiny bean bag who cried and pooped and occasionally slept. It's so much more fun now.

Women always tell you that you forget the pain of labor. When I was pregnant I clung to this notion because if you can forget it, it can't be that bad. It was bad. And I had an epi. But before the epi guy (aka my knight in shining scrubs) came in and worked his magic and at the end when it started to wear off, that shit hurt. A lot. The after pain hurt too. It hurt to sit, walk, and pee...don't even get me started on pooping. I had a deep pain in my muscles from 12 hours of labor. I swore I would never forget that pain. I also thought that in order for a woman to forget that pain, she had to be a special kind of stupid. But, I was proven wrong as I have been so many times in motherhood. That memory is fading.

So remembrance can be quite the gift or quite the curse.

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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

100 Strong...

...and growing. This is totally sung to the Flintstone Vitamin commercials except it's not 10 million (see what I did there). I'm referring of course to the fact that I now have over a hundred followers.

When I first started this blog I had like 7 followers and they kind of had to follow me because they were my e-friends and it was poor form not too. I really never thought I'd make it to this point, partly because when I first started out I was a God awful blogger. If you want the proof you can go back and reread, but I wouldn't advise it. Just take my word on it...it was pretty bad.

It was all puppies and rainbows. I wasn't honest because I didn't know how other people would react. I've clearly gotten over that. Once Isabella was born things got good. I got honest. My blog got better. I found blog support sites and have "met" some amazing women who share my views.

I guess the insecure part of me also appreciates the validation. 100+ people give a rats patutie what I have to say and that's really nice. So I promised myself that once I had 100 followers I would do something cool. Like a giveaway or an ask me anything (although I'm not sure there's anything else you would want to know). So I'll think about it for a hot minute and come back at you.

Thanks to all my followers and commenters. It really makes my day when I get a new follower or a new comment. Here's to the next hundred.

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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Guilty

You can lock me up and throw away the key because I'm guilty.

I've been guilty of going to pick up my baby when I was supposed to be doing "Cry It Out"

I'm guilty of heating her bottles in the microwave. Because it seriously takes 4 minutes to heat it up in her bottle warmer and 40 seconds in the micro. I swirl for hot spots and let it sit a bit before I give it to her. I've been doing this since I stopped breast feeding at about 3 months and she's survived.

I'm guilty of letting the dishes "soak" overnight as an excuse not to do them.

I'm guilty of hiding annoying toys that I know Isabella likes because they're, well, annoying.

I'm guilty of spending hundreds of dollars at Babies R Us and The Children's Place when I was just going in for diapers or socks.

I'm guilty of having "Jammy Days." This is when Isabella and I will stay in our pajamas all day long. But trust me, she looks a lot cuter in hers then I do in mine.

No need for a trial...I confess.

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Monday, March 1, 2010

Judgy McJudgerson


I've always tried to live my life in a way that is judgement free. This is not new to motherhood. This skill is not perfected. Sometimes someone will do something that will make me give them the side eye. Like wear sandals with socks. Or, for example, when I'm out and I see a kid out way past their bed time and the kid is rubbing his eyes and is obviously tired. My instincts kick in and I want to pick the kid up and put him to bed. But I digress. But for the most part I try to be accepting of everyone's choices and lifestyles because you need to walk in someone's shoes to know the reasons they do what they do.

A few years ago a very good friend of mine was having an affair. Which, in black and white, is completely wrong. But all I could see was my friend who was going through something so painful and profound. She was a good person who did good things with her life who had made a mistake. Not many people would agree with me supporting my friend and being there for her under this circumstance, since this is something that I don't personally agree with. She lost her way and I offered her a non-judgmental ear. In the end she wound up doing the right thing, but she came to that conclusion on her own.

Now that I'm a mom, I've encountered a lot of judging between moms. Starting solids too late. Too early. Co-sleeping. Bottle feeding. Ear piercing. Cry it out. Don't cry it out. Day Care. Stay at home. Go to work. There is a seemingly infinite amount of topics on which one mom can judge another.

Other mother's choices never bothered me. As long as they're not abusing their child or hurting them in any way, I don't care if they put cereal in the bottle or let them sleep in the bed with them. To each their own. I think women need to be more accepting of each other's choices. There is no one right way to raise a baby. There is no one right way to live a life.

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