Thursday, December 31, 2009

A New Perspective

Do you ever hear a phrase that gives you a new perspective on something? As soon as you hear it you slap your forehead and think “Of course! Why didn’t I see that before?” Just recently I heard one on self discipline.

In the blink of an eye Christmas is over and New Year’s is right around the corner again. As I put up the Christmas presents and decorations my mind turns to taxes and New Year’s resolutions. I know, I know, I know. I can hear you groaning through the monitor. Don’t be tempted to turn off your monitor at this point, I’m not going to beat you up. There are no New Year’s Resolution Police.

I pretty much hate New Year’s resolutions

The last two years I’ve made New Year’s resolutions that were pretty easy to keep. In 2008 I resolved to get pregnant. Resolution accomplished.

In 2009, buoyed by my recent success with 2008’s resolution I resolved to give birth.

Ta da! Meet Doodlebug, the newest and cutest member of our family. Well, there’s no way I’m going to be able to top that!

Okay, let’s see. I could work on the weight I want to lose, or actually keeping the house reasonably clean. But I’ve made those resolutions before, and here I am in my size way- bigger-than-I-want-to-admit-on-the-world-wide-web jeans with my computer desk threatening to cascade an avalanche of paper on the floor if I make one false move. And I start to think I just don’t have the self discipline to change myself.

And then I read something that resonated with me. Okay, it was more like being struck between the eyes with a two by four, but you know what I mean.

Self discipline is remembering what you really want. (Pam Young)

Now I always think of self discipline as sacrifice and hard work and deprivation. And it’s often about failure, guilt and beating myself up. But it’s really not that at all. It’s just about making decisions about what is important to me and following through on them. I can do that.

It’s not hard, or scary or depressing. It’s liberating, freeing and hopeful. It’s about knowing who I am and what I want and going for it. It’s keeping my goals foremost in my mind so I don’t get distracted by all the other stuff that inevitably happens in life.

Maybe the goals I have set in the past haven’t reflected what I really want. Maybe I just got sidetracked along the way. Either way the solution isn’t to buckle down, beat myself up or try harder. The solution is to figure out what I really want and hold onto that. That seems a whole lot easier to me.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Guest Post

Today I am the guest poster on one of my favorite blogs Want What You Have. Here is a copy of that post.

Does it strike anyone else as odd that strangers in Walmart feel it necessary to give you advice on child rearing? There must be some secret school where people go to get an advanced degree in raising other people’s children. Their preferred method of spreading their knowledge seems to be accosting weary moms in produce aisles and checkout lines.

I am always surprised that I get a lot of comments on wearing him on my back. Usually I become aware of people laughing and comments about the “baby backpack”. I am not sure what the big deal is, but I have learned to keep to myself some of the less conventional things we do like making baby food and using cloth diapers. They seem to cause big reactions when I mention them. And my biggest secret? I started potty training my son before he even learned to crawl. And here’s the astonishing part, its working.

When I was pregnant with my son I first read about elimination communication. The basic idea is that infants instinctively do not want to wet or soil themselves and will attempt to communicate their need to go even as newborns. If their caregivers respond to this by giving them an alternative to using diapers they will do so.

I was fascinated by the idea that infants are capable of letting their caregivers know when they needed to pee or poop much like they are capable of communicating their need to eat. And I have to admit the idea of not washing tons of poopy diapers appealed to me immensely. But even though this is how women around the world care for their children I was pretty skeptical this would work. It seems common knowledge that most kids are not toilet trained until age three or four and most just aren’t ready before then. Right?

When my son was 9 months old I decided to give it a whirl. What did I have to lose? I already knew to expect a poopy diaper shortly after a meal and figured it might be easier to sit him on the potty rather than wash out the poopy diaper in the toilet.

The first time we sat on the potty I just plunked him down and started reading him his favorite book. After a few seconds I don’t think he even noticed he was on the potty. After all, Pajama Time! is a pretty engrossing book.

My only focus was on making potty time be a positive experience for him, and to my surprise he pooped in the potty. Wow! When I started singing and clapping about his success he looked slightly confused but quickly decided it didn’t matter why we were celebrating and so he sat on his little potty and danced along.

After that I sat him on the potty once or twice a day after meals or if I noticed he was trying to poop. To my utter amazement, it usually worked and I soon realized he was using the potty 75-80% of the time I put him on. We stepped up to using the potty at almost every diaper change.

I gradually realized that he was taking less and less time to go potty. If I sat him there when he needed to go, he was pretty quick about it. Could he be getting it? Were we really potty training at just 10 months old? He’s doesn’t really understand what he’s doing does he?

Last week I sat him on the potty and wasn’t paying much attention to what he was doing. I was busy looking at a boo-boo and band aid he had on his foot. When I looked up at him he was pointing down into the potty and looking right at me. Sure enough, when I peeked in there, he had peed. I think he gets it.

We have a long way to go before he is fully potty trained and I’m sure we’re going to have some more bumps along the way. Maybe the shoppers at Walmart will have some suggestions for those too, but in the meantime I’m just going to enjoy not having to wash out as many poopy diapers.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Update to the Gag Gift

As promised, here are the pictures of my parent's opening their gag gift.

My husband found a site that allows you to make your own Western Union telegram so we make up one that said, "Have won major award will be delivered tonight stop".

We put the telegram in a gift bag from PF Chang's.

Reading the telegram....

Mom realizes what the gift is.... She doesn't look too happy. She kept repeating, "Oh no, oh no, oh no. They got us a leg lamp."

Dad realizes what it is.... He looks considerably happier than mom did.

Mom and Dad admiring their new lamp. Well, admiring may be putting a slightly positive spin on it.

Mom kept saying they were going to leave the lamp here for Doodlebug's room, but in the end Dad packed it in the car. I wonder if they put it up in their house.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Returning an Adopted Child?

Have you heard about the couple on Good Morning America who want to give their adopted son back to the state? Their story is a horrible one. The child has been violent and even tried to kill them by burning their home down and has been locked in a psychiatric ward for the past year. They are attempting to change Oklahoma law to allow them to return the child to the care of the state.

But it both makes me mad and breaks my heart what they are trying to do.

I cannot imagine the terror and anguish that this couple is feeling. To know the child you love and are caring for wants to kill you, and would try. And he's coming home next month. I know they are desperate. I know they are terrified of having this child in their home. I would be too.

But he is their child. If he was their biological child they would not be pursuing this as an option. Adoption often gets a bad rap. The children who are adopted are often treated as though they are a second choice. Comments are made to their parents about how they are not their "real kids". Just this week I heard of an adoptive mother who became pregnant. Her co-worker asked her if they would be giving back their adopted 18 month old child now. Really? Do people think like this? Do people think adopted kids are expendable?

There is a lot of adoption within our family. Our second child will be adopted, not biological. I have always thought that I would adopt my children, instead of give birth to them. This is a topic I am passionate about.

I am angered that this family would go on national TV and announce they want to give their child back. I am angered for this child as well as for every other adopted child in this country. I am angered at the perception they are perpetuating that adopted kids are expendable. That they have a return policy. That they are less a part of the family than a biological kid.

Can you imagine being an adopted child and watching this news report? Thinking your place in the family might not be secure because you were adopted into it and not born into it? What would that do to a child?

I hope that out of the show today this family gets a solution. I hope it's a solution that protects everyone involved and leaves the family intact. I hope for everyone's sake it comes soon. And when it does, I hope they run that story about adoption on Good Morning America too.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Mmm...Meatballs for Dinner

Ever wish you had a personal chef? Someone you could call in the morning and say, "I'm in the mood for spaghetti and meatballs tonight. Could you please have that ready at six o'clock? I may not have the personal chef, but I have the next best thing, my crock pot.

Now I know what you're thinking, "A crock pot? What is she, crazy? That's not anywhere close to having a personal chef." Ah, and that last statement is where you would be wrong. I am in serious love with my crock pot. Since my son was born I can find odd snatches of time to cook, but rarely time for a time consuming project like making meatballs, frying them and then putting them in sauce to cook for several hours. But my crock pot solves that problem for me.

When I have a few minutes early in the day I mix up the meat and other ingredients. Then I throw it in the crock pot raw and by dinner time I have spaghetti and meatballs. Mmm, it's a wonderful comfort food and so easy to make.

I make my recipe fairly small since it's just for my husband and I. This makes enough for our dinner (served over spaghetti) and a couple of lunches for me.

1/4 lb ground beef
1/4 lb ground pork*
1/4-1/2 t Nature's Seasoning
1/2 small onion minced**
1 egg
dash of salt
dash of pepper
2 cups spaghetti sauce
1/2 package of spaghetti cooked***

Mix all ingredients together in a medium bowl. When throughly mixed shape meat into balls slightly larger than a golf ball and place in the bottom of the crock pot.

Pour the spaghetti sauce over the meatballs and cook for 6-8 hour on low or 3-5 hours on high. Serve over spaghetti.***

*can substitute all beef, all ground turkey or turkey and pork together
**or can substitute 1/4-1/2 t onion powder
***as long as spaghetti is gluten free this can be a gluten free meal

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Great Santa Debate

I am amazed at all of the controversy that Santa brings up at this time of year. As I have been reading bits and pieces of other people's blogs and visiting message boards I keep seeing the issue of whether or not to tell kids that Santa isn't real. And, oddly enough, feelings run so high that people are getting nasty to each other when they disagree.

Here is where we stand. My child will believe in lots of things when he gets to be a toddler. I'm sure he will think there are monsters under the bed, that he has imaginary friends and that Santa does exist. I will tell him that the monster's aren't real, but I will likely talk to his imaginary friends and I won't correct him about Santa.

And I do wonder, for those people who do want their kids to believe in Santa, how do you explain all the discrepancies out there about how he works? It seems like every Christmas movie has different explanations for how Santa gets all those toys delivered in one night, how he gets in houses without chimnies and what enables the reindeer to fly. It's so ironic to me that the overwhelming promotion of Santa by our culture has made it so much more difficult for children to believe in what they are trying to promote.

Our home is not going to focus on Santa or on giving gifts. The Christmas season is the time to talk about the birth of Jesus, celebrate Jesus' birth, spend time with family, and to reach out to others. We're not against Santa, he just isn't the most important thing at Christmas time for us.

Our home does have a Christmas tree, a Nativity set, an Advent calendar, stockings hung on the mantle and gifts under the tree. I'm pretty sure that Santa will be dropping of presents at his grandparents' homes and I know he will have a stocking at Mawmaw's house that Santa will drop off there.

I realize others will tell my child about Santa, ask him if he's made his list and inevitably the other kids will tell him Santa doesn't exist. When he asks us about it, we plan to tell him the real story of St. Nicholas on a level that he can understand. Basically we want him to know that St. Nicholas was a real man who loved Jesus so he gave everything he had to other people. Because he loved Jesus and helping others so much people still celebrate his life by giving gifts and helping each other out at Christmas to each other to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Santa Claus in the red suit with all of the reindeer is not real, but the spirit of generosity and giving that he represents is. Moms and Dads tell their children about Santa Claus and pretend to be Santa Claus because they love them and they want to give them gifts and telling the story to children is fun. I also plan to tell him that we should not ruin the fun for other kids and their families by telling them that Santa is not real.

Santa Claus is very much a part of our culture. There is no way my child will not hear about Santa unless we move to The-Middle-of-Nowhere without a TV, internet and human contact. And let's face it, Santa can be pretty hard to compete with. What kid wants to hear about a baby born in a manger when he can hear about the jolly man with the fancy sleigh, flying reindeer and presents? Instead of insulating our child from that or trying to deny the existence of Santa to him, we plan to let Santa be a peripheral part of our celebration and use him as a way to explain to our child about Jesus and why the baby in the manger was such an important event.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Gag Gift for Christmas

Every family has holiday traditions. Some are sweet, some are strange. One of ours involves watching A Christmas Story on Christmas Eve. Have you ever seen this movie?

This has to be one of our favorite scenes, the leg lamp. A couple of years ago they started selling the leg lamp in stores around Christmastime. I have always wondered, who the heck buys those things? Well now I know the answer, we do.

Now with all my blogging about being frugal this probably sounds like a really odd choice. And it kind of is. But here's how I'm rationalizing it. First of all it was on sale and we had a coupon. These are always very important considerations to me.

We were going to spend the money on a gift certificate for a restaurant for my parents. Now with the gift certificate they would get an evening out, but they would probably end up kicking in some money towards the bill as well. And the evening would come and go and the money would be gone. Instead, what we're buying for them is a gift that will be made into family legend. This is one of those gifts that will be talked about and laughed about for years to come. I think my money is better spent on the story that will come out of this particular gift. We even wrapped it up to resemble the way it arrived in the movie.

And since my parents have just moved they have been saying they need to buy more lamps for their house. Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Babywearing with a Mei Tai

The term babywearing has always sounded a bit odd to be. I wear a coat, a sweater, some socks, but not my child. He is not an article of clothing. I always think a more accurate term is babycarrying. But I digress....

I really love carrying my son around in a wrap. I can put him on my back in less than a minute and he is happy on my back for about an hour or so while I do whatever needs to be done. We can mop floors, go shopping, plant daffodils in the backyard, go for a walk, or any number of things. And he loves to be on my back and be able to see things from a different perspective. He espcially likes it when I turn on the Kitchen Aid mixer. Silly boy.

This picture is from a Halloween festival we went to. It was really muddy outside and a stroller would not have worked well going up and down steps, over the muddy grass and manuvering around tons of little kids.

I'd say more than half the time we go out I find it easier to have him in the Mei Tai than in the stroller. I also find that he is better behaved in the Mei Tai. He is usually pretty quiet, looking around and taking it all in.

And the most common question I get is, how the heck do you get him up there? This is the method I use the most often. I feel I have the best hold on him while wrapping and there's no danger of him slipping off my back while I'm tying the straps.

Every once in a while I will wear him in front of me. It's not a very convenient hold to get stuff done since he tends to be in the way, but it's a great way to take a sick baby to the Doctors. He feels snug and secure and I can have my hands free to get out my insurance card.

When he is sick I also use a hold where I place him tummy to tummy with me and put bot his legs out of the same side of the wrap. I can't get much done this way, but it gives my arms a break from holding him when he wants to be held 24/7. It's also a lifesaver when you end up sleeping sitting up in a chair holding a sick little one.

And last but not least, here is a picture of Doodlebug just after hunting for the perfect Christmas tree in the Mei Tai. He always grins like that when I get him out.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Homemade Snapple

We have elves. Or maybe gremlins. Or very hungry caterpillars. I'm not sure which. But they live in my pantry and keep eating one ingredient out of each recipe I want to make.

I'm pretty sure it's not my husband or Doodlebug. What person would finish off the white rice flour or eat a can of tomato paste?

I wanted to try a homemade Snapple recipe I saw this week somewhere. So I heated up some water, stuck a tea bag in it and went to the fridge to get out the juice. But there was no juice. Arg! The hungry caterpillars struck again. Hmm, is there anything I can use? Ah, frozen juice concentrate, that'll work.

I keep some frozen juice concentrate on hand for recipies that call for a little juice. Lots of my crock pot recipes say to add 1/4 cup of apple juice or something similar. If we don't have any regular juice I just scoop out a little of the concentrate, add a little water and use that instead.

I put about 1/2 spoonful of orange juice concentrate and a bunch of crushed ice in a large mug. Once my tea was done I poured it over the ice. The ice melted very quickly and my drink was cool, although not cold. I added some Splenda to sweeten it up a bit and took a sip. It really does taste like Snapple. In fact, I think I need to go and make myself another cup.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

What is Celiac?

I was diagnosed with Celiac in November 2007. I often tell people it's like a food allegy for the sake of simplicity, but it's really an autoimmune condition. Whenever I eat gluten (a protein found in wheat) my immune system responds by attacking the gluten in turn damaging to the lining of my gut. This produces an astonishingly wide variety of symptoms and complications ranging from mild heartburn to neurological impairment. For most people it leads to gastrointestional issues and can lead to other things like anemia, infertility and malnutrition.

There is no cure for Celiac. There are no drugs to take to be able to digest the protein. The treatment is very simple, do not ingest any gluten. Unfortunately simple and easy are not the same thing.

Some sources of gluten are pretty obvious. Since wheat, rye and barley all contain gluten anything with these ingredients is out. No pasta, cookies, crackers, breads, cakes... But there are a whole host of things that are not quite so easily identified and avoided. It's often hidden in foods that I would think would be okay, like bullion cubes. Suddenly I had to become a label reader, and not just on food, on everything. Lip gloss, tooth paste, medications.... Not to mention the list of unsafe foods is approximately 3 pages long. It was a bit overwhelming.

And then there is the issue of cross-contamination. Since it takes very little gluten to set off an autoimmune reaction I have to be extremely careful with my food. I have to make sure that there's no gluten in it, and that nothing containing gluten has touched it. If I'm at a fast-food restaurant and the cook puts my gluten-free hamburger on a bun it is contaminated. I can't just take the hamburger off the bun and eat it. I need a whole new hamburger. If someone has made themselves a sandwhich and then puts their hand in a bag of chips to put them on their plate, I cannot eat chips from that bag. My body is that sensitive to gluten.

While I'm on the subject, I hate using the word contaminated. To me that has implications of someone or something being unsanitary. That's not at all what I mean when I use this word when talking about gluten. It simply means that my food cannot touch any food or any surface that has touched gluten containing food. It's a like like keeping kosher. The foods must be kept apart at all times.

In my experience the medical community has few answers and very little practical help. I have been given incorrect information by several medical professionals. So where do you turn? I was lucky. I had a close friend who has Celiac as does my mom. But my saving grace has been internet sources of information. I'm not a doctor. I'm not even in the medical field. I'm just another person with Celiac trying to help out other people with Celiac.

So on my blog you will see gluten-free product reviews, recipes and links to articles about Celiac. If these have no interst to you, just pass them on by. But since roughly 1 out of 133 people has Celiac it seems that most people will at least know someone who has Celiac.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Christmas Gifts

Doodlebug and I go to the YMCA about 5 times a week. He loves it there. As soon as we get out of the car he starts to grin, wave his arms up and down and babbles away. When I hand him over at Child Watch he giggles and usually starts giving out hugs kisses to whoever takes him. These ladies are so wonderful to him and we wanted to give something back this Christmas to let them know how much we appreciate them. But with Christmas on a budget and a rotation of nine workers, that could be a difficult thing.

Hmm...I could bake cookies or brownies or something. But everyone gets so many of those during the holidays and I'm allergic to the flour anyway. Let's see...what else? I bet they also get way too many Christmas ornaments too. And do they really want to put something from my child on their tree year after year? Probably not. I'd really love to give them something so they could pamper themselves a bit. Most of them are moms, and we moms don't get a lot of time for pampering. But a gift basket is too expensive....

Then I read about a gift suggestion of bath salts. They are super easy, inexpensive and would allow the ladies to be pampered a bit during the holidays.

This is all you need.

Epsom salts (I paid less than $4 for a 4 pound container at Target.)
Some type of container (We are using baby food jars but any container would work.)
Food coloring (Optional. We used red and green to make it look more festive.)
Essential oil (Optional. We're using peppermint since we have this already and it seems pretty festive.)

Pour Epsom salts in a large jar or ziploc bag. Add food coloring and essential oils and close jar or bag tightly. Shake vigorously until all the food coloring is evenly disbursed. If you are using more than one color I would highly recommend pouring the salts out onto a plate at this point and allowing them to dry several hours.

Once the salts are dry pour into your gift containers and decorate or wrap as needed. You might want to include a label and/or instructions for use.

Voila! An inexpensive Christmas gift.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Lately I have been obsessed with baking. I don't know why. Since I was diagnosed with Celiac and I can no longer have wheat I haven't baked much. Of course, lots of gluten free baked goods are not worth eating. They leave a gritty texture in your mouth, taste funny or don't look right. Which is a real bummer after you mix up 4 or 5 different flours that all cost WAAAAAAAAY more than regular old wheat flour.

My latest success was with cut out cookies. Yum! I stopped at this website and was pulled in by the photo. These really looked like the cookies I remembered from my childhood.

Now I have to confess that as a kid the only thing I wanted to do was decorate the cookies. And not with icing, where's the fun in that? Sprinkles. Tons and tons of sprinkles. The color sugar kind, the little round ones, jimmies, any kind of sprinkles.

And the worst part was that after the dough was made it had to be refridgerated overnight. Do you know how long that is to a little kid? It might as well be until spring. Ugh.

As an adult I learned to dislike rolling out the dough as well. Flour everywhere, dough sticking to everything and trying to get it all to the same thickness was near impossible.

And yesterday I found a great advantage to gluten free sugar cookies. No putting the dough in the fridge. And rolling it out was a snap. It's not sticky so there's no need for extra flour. I just plunked it on some waxed paper, flattened it out with my hands, and rolled the rolling pin across it once or twice to get it smooth. Easy, peasy. Which just leaves more time for decorating.

Gluten Free Christmas Roll Cookies
Recipe makes 2 1/2 dozen cookies (depending on the size of the cookie cutters)
1/2 cup shortening (I used butter flavored Crisco)
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups GF flour blend (I used Jules Nearly Normal Flour recipe)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2-3 Tablespoons milk


1. Preheat oven to 375F. (I confess that I never do this. Once I get the cookies rolled, cut out and decorated, it will be at least another 30 min so I do this much later.)

2. Cream together shortening and sugar until fluffy.

3. Add the egg and beat for 2-3 minutes.

4. In a separate bowl, whisk together GF flour mix, salt and baking powder.

5. Add flour mixture to creamed ingredients and mix until well incorporated.

6. Add 2 – 3 Tablespoons of milk until perfect, non-sticky cookie dough is achieved.

7. Roll out cookie dough to 1/4″-1/3″ thickness.

8. Cut with your favorite cookie cutter and liberally decorate with sprinkles. If there are no sprinkles, what is the point?

9. Bake 6 -7 minutes until the edges just begin to brown. (My oven took 10 min to get to this stage.)

Friday, December 4, 2009


One of my dear friends just found out she is pregnant. Yay! As she and I were talking on the phone I realized I had a lot of information I wanted to pass along but who wants tons of advice? And just how much can you take in one sitting? So I just decided to blog about it. I can give her the link and she can read it if and when she wants to.

One of the best things we did was hypnobabies. Now in order for you to properly understand why the outcome was such a big deal for me you need to know how a I felt about childbirth. To say I was terrified was the understatement of the year. Whenever I started to think about giving birth I would feel panicky and start to cry. I am not good with pain, the sight of blood makes me throw up and I could not fathom that a baby could actually come out of a hole so small. I mean come on, that sounds more far fetched than Santa Claus! Not a really good place to be once I got pregnant. But since I was in fact pregnant and this kid had to come out somehow I knew I had to find a way to get a handle on my fears and bring them down to a more rational level.

I found them by doing internet searches for ways to alleviate the pain and fear of childbirth. I have to admit I was really skeptical, pretty much the whole way through. I mean hypnosis, really? What kind of hocus pocus is this? Once I figured out that hypnonsis is really only focused relaxation and I was not going to cluck like a chicken during childbirth I was able to get past the new agey name and learn the techniques. I liked the classes since we learned a lot and the relaxation techniques did seem to work and oftentimes put me to sleep, which is great when I woke up with pregnancy insomnia at 3:00 every night. It seemed a bit incredible to me that you could do an entire birth pain free and med free. I really just did not want to have to be restrained from running screaming from the hospital.

I had a rather high risk pregnancy and had to be induced, which I really did not want. I put it off as long as possible until my midwife finally just scheduled the induction and told us when to come in. When I started feeling contractions my husband put the hypnobabies music on the stereo and I sat in the rocking chair. I was hooked up to all sorts of monitors so I could not go much of anywhere. The only way they could tell I was having a contraction was I would drop my head, take a deep breath and stop rocking. I did end up opting for the epidural when the contractions became more intense, but we kept the music on and I just laid in bed and basically relaxed. I was so relaxed that the nurse and my husband kept thinking I was asleep. The day after my son was born our nurse came by to visit. She had never worked with someone doing hypnobabies before and she told me, "I don't know what you paid for that class, but it was worth it."

I used hypnobabies a lot after my son's birth. I ended up having an emergency c-section which left me pretty sore for a couple of days. I used it to stay relaxed when I first got up to walk, when they took my staples out and when the nurses would come in to look at my incision. It kept me from tensing up and making the pain worse and gave me a sense of control over some of the situation. I may not be able to control a lot during my son's birth, but I could control my reaction and I was able to keep myself calm
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