A to Z Challenge, E is for Enough

To the mom out there who:

  1. Feeds your kids cereal for dinner when you don’t feel like cooking;
  2. Let your kids sleep in your bed because sometimes enforcing the nighttime routine is impossible;
  3. Has a mountain of unfolded laundry you can never seem to cross off of your to-do list;
  4. Stays up late to eat Oreos so you don’t have to share;
  5. Can’t wear a bikini because you have stretch marks and a pouch;
  6. Wears yoga pants 7 days a week because you don’t care anymore;
  7. Gets 8 hours of housework done in 3 because you work full-time out of necessity;
  8. Skips dinner and goes straight for the ice cream because you’ve had a bad day, and dammit, you deserve it;
  9. Cries yourself to sleep at night wondering if you’re making the right decisions;
  10. Doesn’t fit in with the other moms because you don’t wear the right clothes, drive the right car, have the right job or amount of money;
  11. Scrapes together $2 in quarters so your kids can have a snack at recess so they don’t feel left out;
  12. Cuddles with your kids while they’re asleep because that’s the only time you get kisses anymore;
  13. Has no friends because all of your free time is spent napping;
  14. Survives on anti-depressants, caffeine and prayers;
  15. Lets her son wear cowboy boots and athletic shorts to school because it’s just not worth the fight today;
  16. Has screamed at her child today, causing him/her to hate you for a while;
  17. Has little ones winding around your feet every minute of every day;
  18. Turns the car radio up full blast to drown out the sound of crying or fighting voices in the back seat;
  19. Has adult conversation with your kids because you can’t talk to anyone else;
  20. Drives a POS car because you’re paying your kid’s way through private school so that they can have a good education;
  21. Presents fake smiles in public but has meltdowns behind closed doors;
  22. Goes overboard with birthdays and Christmas hoping for just one “thank you”;
  23. Shops more frequently at Children’s Place than Victoria’s Secret;
  24. Won’t date because you can’t handle another failed relationship at your kids’ expense;
  25. Uses vacation time only when your kids are sick or out of school;
  26. Fights with your ex-spouse about parenting differences;
  27. Hides Candyland and Chutes and Ladders because you’ll scream if you have to play them a 12th time;
  28. Has no more storage on your phone because pictures of your babies have put it on overload;
  29. Talks to yourself in the mirror because it may be the only intelligent conversation you have all day;
  30. Can’t even fit into your fat jeans;
  31. Reads countless blogs and self-help books because you want to be a “normal” mom;
  32. Has left a store with $300 worth of groceries in your cart because your child had a tantrum over M&Ms;
  33. Overdraws at the bank because your car needed tires, but you also promised a pizza night;
  34. Can’t wear mascara because you’re not sure if today is the day you’re going to lose your mind and cry in front of everyone;
  35. Risks contracting your daughter’s virus because she’s puking again and needs someone to hold her hair and rub her belly;
  36. Has no more wall space in your house because they’re all crammed with pictures of your babies;
  37. Throws away the appointment card on the fridge to make room for the picture of a donkey which you mistook for a gray dog, and thus ensues another tantrum;
  38. Doesn’t know how to approach “The Talk” with your almost teenagers;
  39. Doesn’t get to sleep in the bed with your spouse because you work different schedules so that someone is always available for the kids;
  40. Is potty training “too early” because you’re pregnant again and can’t afford to have two kids in diapers;
  41. Forgets to brush your teeth because you’re brushing smaller ones twice a day;
  42. Tells your 5’3” teenaged son that he can totally play in the NBA if he wants;
  43. Has slept on a bare mattress for a week because you don’t have time to wash the dirty sheets or even remake the bed;
  44. Ignores your spouse because what you WANT to say cannot be said in front of tiny ears;
  45. Feels guilty on date night because the “fun” babysitter wasn’t available;
  46. Constantly compares yourself to other moms to make sure you’re “doing it right”;
  47. Buys new sippy cups instead of washing the old ones;
  48. Cries because you can’t think of a good place to hide Christmas presents;
  49. Battles with their toddlers, EVERY DAY, because they don’t want to eat their veggies;
  50. Is the happiest, hottest mess anyone has ever seen…

YOU. ARE.  ENOUGH.

XOXO!

Meg / cC

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A to Z Challenge, D is for Depression

Genetics, bad life choices and environment have affected my life in a way that causes me to become depressed on a weekly, sometimes daily basis. Today, I thought I’d talk about how becoming a mother has altered my mood – good, bad or otherwise.

I started seeing a therapist at age 11, right after my mother left our family. I don’t remember much about it, except that my goals back then were way different than they are now.  I didn’t go to therapy with the intentions of “feeling better” because I didn’t know anything was wrong with me – I thought the world around me was crazy.

Then at age 14, I saw a family practitioner and I was prescribed Paxil to treat what he called a “chemical imbalance.” I didn’t like it – I hated it, in fact – but on his and my daddy’s recommendations, I took it for a while.  Immature, naïve and unintuitive back then, I didn’t really care to pay much attention to how the medicine made me feel.  I didn’t know what side effects were and I honestly couldn’t tell much of a difference when I took it.

After my first divorce, I moved out of state and in with a family member who encouraged therapy. She thought it would be an eye opener, and boy, was it ever.  That therapist prescribed a cocktail of Wellbutrin and Paxil, and it did help me feel better.  But I wasn’t consistent about taking it and eventually, the effects wore off.

When I started working with my current employer, I signed onto amazing benefits that allowed me to seek medical treatment of any kind without paying a cent over my monthly premium. In 2012, I tried to commit suicide and so I felt it was necessary to seek help.  That’s when I began seeing my current therapist, a gem of a guy named Mark, and I’ve been seeing him since the middle of 2013.  In 2014, I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, Type II, as well as Clinical Depression and Persistent Anxiety.  It was a real eye opener for me.  I had wandered around this dumb town, following my routines and doing what I thought was expected of me as a wife (I was remarried by this time) and mother.  But there was a brokenness deep inside me that I couldn’t shake.  So the therapist prescribed Catapress for nightmares, Zoloft and Xanax.

Fast forward to today and I still carry those same diagnoses and symptoms. Medication has helped (I have been switched to Lamictal and Xanax as needed) but I really believe therapy has given me the tools necessary to live my life without these crippling and overwhelming feelings of sadness, emptiness and hopelessness.

Sometimes, as moms, we feel things that we cannot cope with on our own. Our emotions can get the best of us.  My kids are growing up and I’m finding that they need me less – or at least need me in different ways.  And sometimes that hurts.  I’m starting to realize that they’re big now and that kisses and hugs aren’t as necessary, that they’d rather spend the night with friends than hang out at home with their very uncool mother and that they don’t want to be spoon fed and rocked to sleep.  I LOVE my kids.  And most days, I’m saddened by the fact that their love for me seems to have fizzled out because they don’t NEED me anymore.  They certainly don’t need me like I need them.

So these days, therapy is a place where I can talk to someone about those kinds of things. It’s a place where I don’t feel judged or obligated or criticized.  It’s a place for me.  Sometimes life is just hard, especially when biology has cursed you with mental illnesses like Bipolar Disorder.  Sometimes moms just need a place to talk without feeling like the world is on their shoulders.  And sometimes, personal growth requires professional help.  The older I get, the more comfortable I become with the idea that asking for that help is perfectly fine.

I am definitely an advocate of therapy. It is a tool that can be made available for anyone, if you’re brave enough to take that step and make it worthwhile.  Remember that we don’t just have to survive.  We can choose to LIVE.

XOXO!

Meg / cC

A to Z Challenge, C is for Calendar

Every mom is busy. All.  The.  Time.  So in this post, I thought I would go over my daily routine when I have the kids, and also provide a couple of time saving tips to help other struggling moms.

6:30 – Out of bed. If I get up a minute past 6:30, I am late for work.  But I am not a morning person, so 6:30 on the nose is the best I can do.  At 6:30, I’m in a mad dash to shower/bathe, because at exactly

6:45 – The kids have to wake up. I go into their rooms, sit their clothes on their beds and typically say softly, “Lou/Bubba, wake up, we’re late.  Get dressed, brush your teeth and hair.”  Because even though I haven’t looked at my phone or watch, I know we are.  And I also know that if I don’t tell them to brush their teeth and hair, EVERY morning, they will not do it.  For some reason, they think the schedule changes day to day.  So while they’re getting ready, I race to my bathroom to fix my hair (or try to), brush my teeth and put on my clothes.

7:15 – It is around this time when Jack gets home from work (he is a night shift ER Nurse). He usually stands in the bathroom doorway and talks to me while I’m getting ready.  When the kids are fully dressed, they grab their backpacks and Jack takes them to school for me (because he’s very sweet and he knows I’m always late).  With goodbye kisses, reminders about school tests, lunches, etc., they are out the door.

7:30 – I’m usually in the car by about this time rushing to get to work. If I am five minutes off, I hit rush hour traffic and I end up being 15 minutes late for work.  My work day starts at

8:00 – Also around this time, Jack is back home from dropping off the kids at school. He usually texts me and tells me that he’s going to bed, and to call him and wake him up if I haven’t heard from him by 2:00.

3:00 – Jackie picks the kids up from school.

3:15 – The kids come in and immediately ask for a snack. One child gets in the bath while the other get out his/her homework.  Once Child One is finished with his/her bath, Child Two gets in.  When I get home at

5:30 – They are typically still doing homework. I run to take my bra off and put on some yoga pants, while both kids are chasing me around the house asking me 6 million questions which Jackie could’ve easily answered if they’d have asked him instead of me.  The main question is, “What’s for dinner?”

6:00 – I start cooking. Some of my kids faves – spaghetti, Hamburger Helper, ribs (without bbq sauce), fried chicken, pizza, and anything that contains mac and cheese.

6:30 – We sit down to eat. Lexi promptly asks, “So…how was everyone’s day?”  No one answers in full – usually just a “fine” or a “good” suffices.  Sometimes we watch t.v. while we eat and sometimes we just talk.

7:30 – The kids are finishing up homework at this point. Neither of my kids come home with “paperwork” to do, but they both have to STUDY.  And this past year was particularly cumbersome, as our kids, especially Sis, were studying two and three hours a night.  While Jack studies with them, I typically fold a load of laundry, wipe down the kitchen, make various grocery or to-do lists or something else equally productive, so that by

8:30 – We are all exhausted. The kids are in bed by

9:00 – Bedtime is quite the production at our house, at least during the school year. We take turns giving hugs and kisses.  Lexi typically falls asleep in her room with the light on, which mean Jack or I have to turn the light off when we go to bed.  Jameson David has a fondness of the living room couch and he sleeps there most nights, even though he has his own room with his own t.v., his own WiiU, his own Netflix profile, his own Kindle.  I don’t know if it’s the bigger t.v. or the open space or the softness of the couch cushions, but he sleeps better in our living room than in his own bed.  It’s very odd.

9:30 – Jack is usually in bed, playing on his phone, and I’m picking out clothes for the next school/work day.

A few time management tips from working mother, who also knows how busy all moms are, regardless of their schedules:

  1. Designate a place in your kitchen, within the kids’ reach, and keep it stocked with their favorite snacks. This will keep you from having to get up every half hour to fix drinks or divide out chocolate chip cookies. Note – my children are usually NOT hungry when they say they are hungry, but rather, they are bored. Do not feel compelled to cook every time they utter that six letter word. Offer a snack until it is actually meal time. Some of my kids’ favorite snacks – cookies, microwavable bowls of mac and cheese, Doritos, fruit roll-ups, candy bars and Capri Suns.
  2. Pick out everyone’s clothes at night for the next day. This prevents a LOT of morning chaos. Since I started doing this, searches for missing socks, “Does this make me look fat?” conversations, and “There’s a stain on this t-shirt!” debacles have all been eliminated.
  3. Clean as you go. Wipe the stove down while you’re cooking and load the dishwasher while food is simmering. Wipe down the bathroom sinks before you wash your hands. Sweep the porch while you’re watching your kids play. Wipe down the fridge while you’re putting groceries away.
  4. If it takes less than 2 minutes, go ahead and do it. It won’t take much of your time, but if you do this a lot during the day, you’ll find that your house stays straightened up and maintained. It’s much easier to maintain a house than to clean it top to bottom once a week.
  5. Learn to love the vacuum. Our floors downstairs are painted concrete. I have one area rug in the living room. The stairs and bedrooms are carpet and the bathrooms are tile. I vacuum it all. To hell with a broom. As much dog hair as is in my house, I will never have time to sweep, mop and vacuum as much as is needed. My solution? Vacuum it all. Save some work. Save some time.
  6. Delegate. Chore charts are your friends. If your husband is as great as mine, even he will help (he may just need a little direction). My kids are 10 and 7. I’m not picking up their dirty clothes and toys anymore. If every member of your family devotes 20 minutes a day to housework, no one’s day is controlled by a dirty house, but things still get done. It’s the best of all worlds.
  7. Prioritize. The rooms in my house that require attention on a daily basis are the kitchen and living room. For other families, it may be that bedrooms require more work. Make sure you’re touching a little bit every day, but focus your energy on areas with the most traffic.

Not making any promises, but this may help some. Happy time managing!

XOXO!

Meg / cC

A to Z Challenge, B is for Baby Names

Today’s featured image contains pictures of my little tiny babies, Lexi and her bow on the left, of course, and Jameson and his slobber on the right. It’s true – I’ve got baby fever. My tubes are tied and I can’t have any more kids.  My thinking, in part, after I found out Jameson was a boy was that I had a boy and a girl and I couldn’t have any other kind.  Also, my mother popped out five girls of her own, and was actually pregnant six times – I wasn’t interested in following in her footsteps.  And I also wasn’t interested in having any more children with my then husband.  He was headed nowhere fast and I knew our marriage would dissolve eventually.

But for two solid years I have wanted another baby. I am married to the love of my life.  My children, at ages 10 and 7, are growing up and they need me less and less every day.  I’m still young, but my career path was set 4 years ago and Jack and I bring home pretty good money between the two of us.  Add all of that up, and I am in desperate need of another baby.  So in today’s post, I’d like to discuss my kids’ names, both present and future, and the meanings behind them.

Alexia Lee-Ann: I initially hated this name.  Alexia was the character in the made for t.v. Disney movie “Wish Upon a Star,” starring Katherine Heigl (before she turned into a diva).  But her dad had picked out that name years before he’d even met me, so I gave in.  In return, I got to pick her middle name.  LeAnne is my middle name.  Lee was my great grandmother’s middle name (Vir Lee), as well as the middle name of my ex-husband’s grandmother.  And Ann is my mother’s middle name (at the time we were close so I thought it’d be a nice gesture).  I couldn’t decide between the two names so I hyphenated it.  It suits her.  She goes by Lexi, Lexi-Lou, Lou-Lou and Sissy.

Jameson David-Scott: Since my ex picked Lexi’s name, Jameson’s name was all my doing.  From the second I took that pregnancy test, I knew he was going to be a boy, so I didn’t really look at little girl names.  My grandfather’s name was James, and he was the BEST, most handsome little old man.  He passed away when I was pregnant with Sis, and Papaw’s middle name was already taken by my ex’s nephew, so I went with Jameson, which means “son (or grandson) of James” (duh).  David is my ex’s dad’s middle name and Scott is my ex’s middle name, so again, we hyphenated it.  He goes by J, J-Bird, Hoshmen (inside joke – my nephew couldn’t say “Jameson” when he was little and what came out sounded like “Hoshmen), J.D. or Bubba.

Emilia Carol-Kaye: If I have another little girl (and I REALLY hope I do), this is the name I picked for her.  I’ve always loved the name Emilia.  Not with an A – but an E.  And it’s different, which is exciting.  Carol is my mother-in-law’s middle name and Kaye was my Aunt Sharon’s middle name.  I absolutely adore them both, and in keeping with the “hyphenated middle name” theme, it is only appropriate.  Disclaimer – I am not SOLD on Emilia.  I do love the name, but since I’m not choosing that name as a symbol or for any other reason, it is possible that it could change, possibly to something a little less conventional, like my maiden name, Smith (as her first name).  If she is ever born, I’d like to call her “Doll,” because that was the name of Jackie’s grandmother.

Jaxon Samuel-Drew: If I ever have a son (again, I’d love to – bring on the babies!), I would name him after his Daddy.  Lexi and Jameson called Jackie “Jaxie” for the longest time, and Jaxon fits the bill.  I’ve always loved “J” names anyway.  Samuel is the name of Jackie’s uncle and cousin (Big Sam and Little Sam) and Drew is my Papaw’s middle name (James Drew) – the name Jameson couldn’t use because, like I said, my ex’s nephew already went by that name.  Jaxon will be called “Shooter” just because I think that is the cutest nickname ever.

I’m still deciding on my next little girl’s first name, so if you have any suggestions, post it in the comments! Also, if you’re expecting and looking for ideas, below are a few names that I love!  They didn’t make my cut, but could possibly make yours!

Baby Names

XOXO!

Meg / cC

A to Z Challenge, A is for Alexia

Dorky Mom Doodles is one of my favorite bloggers, and she did an A to Z Challenge in regards to the funny things her kids say. So I thought I would imitate that challenge, only discuss motherhood in general.

A is for Alexia.

Alexia is my oldest. She is 10 (and a half) years old.  She was named after the Katherine Heigl’s character in the made for t.v. Disney movie “Wish Upon a Star.”  I was not fond of the name when her dad mentioned it to me before I even became pregnant; however, “Lexi” suits her, and that’s what we call her.  Or Lexi-Lou or Lou-Lou or Lula-Belle or Sissy.

I think Lexi has changed me more than anyone. She was born when I was only 19.  I was obviously very young, immature, selfish and naïve.  Sad as it is, because you’re supposed to already be an adult when you have kids, Lexi and I kind of grew up together.

Now, don’t get me wrong – Lexi is not my girl, in a sense that she cleaves to attention from the father figures in her life. She loves her daddy and she LOVES her stepdaddy, and they love her back.  As Lexi grows, though, I see so much of myself in her.  She’s slightly vertically challenged, thick-thighed and chubby cheeked.  She is giggly and silly and usually smiling.  She is smart, sweet and willing to please.  Lexi is also sensitive, easy to upset and somewhat sloppy.

My hope for Lexi is that she outgrows that part of her personality that causes her to act based on someone else’s approval. All she wants is for someone to be proud of her.  She is constantly seeking the approval of me, Jack and her dad – and even her dad’s parents.  I remember being that way.  I wanted everyone to approve, so I made decisions that I thought would make OTHERS happy.  I make doubly sure to tell Lexi – often – that I’m proud of her and that I love her and that she is a great kid.

And she is. And when I’m old and gray, I will still call Lexi one of my greatest life achievements.

XOXO!

Meg / cC

50 Reasons to Find a Husband

  1. His t-shirts make great pajamas.
  2. He comes equipped with a hammer and wrench and he will use them both at your discretion.
  3. He doesn’t care if you spend all weekend NOT wearing a bra.
  4. He puts his arms around you when you’re cold.
  5. He’s a human ladder/jungle gym for your children.
  6. He knows what tampons and kind of chocolate to buy.
  7. He sits with you at all of your doctor’s appointments.
  8. He tells jokes that make you laugh.
  9. He rubs your feet.
  10. He never makes you beg for kisses.
  11. He tells you you’re pretty even when you know good and well you look like you’ve been hit by a bus.
  12. He drives you wherever you want to go.
  13. He holds your bags at the mall.
  14. He lets you pick the movie.
  15. And the snacks.
  16. And the drink.
  17. And won’t even ask you to share.
  18. He is always available to handle automotive emergencies.
  19. He’s a fun drinking buddy.
  20. He won’t judge you if you scream at the t.v. during the game. In fact, he may even join you.
  21. He lets you pick the restaurant.
  22. And dessert.
  23. He lets you pick the radio station.
  24. And he thinks it’s cute when you sing along, even off-key.
  25. He transforms into the perfect bodyguard whenever appropriate.
  26. He kills all the bugs, mice and snakes.
  27. He’s always on time, and he will wait for you.
  28. He takes five minutes to get ready, which leaves you with an entire bathroom all to yourself.
  29. He brings you Tylenol when you have a headache.
  30. He lets you pick out all of your clothes. He’s like your own personal mannequin.
  31. He is always okay with eating sandwiches for dinner.
  32. He kisses you on the forehead.
  33. His bicep makes the perfect pillow.
  34. He buys you presents just because.
  35. He takes you to the animal shelter to look at all the puppies.
  36. He loves you the way you are.
  37. He would take a literal bullet for you. Or shoot one at someone else if you asked.
  38. He lets you cry on his shoulder when you’ve had a bad day, and he doesn’t even make you feel like a psycho for crying.
  39. He picks up heavy boxes for you when you want them moved.
  40. And he’ll help you rearrange furniture until you’re happy with the room layout.
  41. He defends you, even if he thinks you’re wrong.
  42. He calls you “Sweetheart.”
  43. He spent a lot of time picking out your wedding ring.
  44. He watches Friends with you, and he even pretends to enjoy it.
  45. He never cares whether or not you wear make-up.
  46. But he doesn’t care if you spend hundreds of dollars on it.
  47. He rubs your back if you say it hurts.
  48. He works hard to provide for you and your kids.
  49. He plays “catch” with your kids in the heat, so that you don’t have to sweat.
  50. He always smells handsome.

I would highly recommend finding a husband. They’re the best.

Or maybe it’s just mine?

XOXO!

Meg / cC

Survival Skills – Home Videos

My father made lots of home videos of us as little kids. It was a cool video camera – one of those that contained a whole VHS tape and sat on his shoulder like he was carrying home a drunk woman from a party.  It was gray with a one-eyed binocular type thing that he used to look through when he was filming us, to make sure the camera was focused correctly.  A lot of the videos were made when I was between ages two and four.  I can’t really remember the actual events, but I do remember watching those home videos much later.

In one video, we were at my father’s family reunion. I must have been about three.  I only had one sister at the time, who is exactly 16 months younger than me.  We were both wearing overalls with red shirts on this particular day.  Elizabeth’s hair was platinum blonde and in a ponytail.  It almost looked like she was wearing a giant cotton ball as a hat.  My hair was not as cute in its brown mullet type thing, but my cheeks were chubby and I talked like a lawyer, which sort of made up for my lack of cuteness.  In this video, we were playing “kitchen” with bowls, spoons and rocks, stirring “salad” on the ledge of the front door of whatever house we were visiting.  There was a little boy that wanted to play with us, by taking rocks out of our “salad” and throwing them onto the ground.  I wasn’t interested in that game, so I grabbed another handful of rocks, put them in my salad and moved to another place along the front door so I could play by myself.  Elizabeth hardly ever said words, even though I’m convinced she could talk, so she just stared at this little boy, confused as to what the rocks did to deserve such mistreatment.

My mother is seen in the video a couple of times, drinking Diet Pepsi and wearing a scarf as a bow in her short, permed brown hair. My father is seen a couple of times as well.  I believe he was wearing a “muscle shirt” and shorts.  The highlight of this video, though, is a lizard that kept running in and out of the bricks along one wall of this house.  My father convinced my Gran, his mother that the lizard was after her, and in a couple of instances, he sneaked up behind her and pinched her on the butt.  She would then scream, jump up and run away.  It was always fun to watch it back and see our cute little family.  I don’t know what happened to that video.  I’m sure my Gran has it somewhere.

I’m turning three in another video. We are all at Gran’s celebrating.  I remember my parents telling me that my mother had dropped my Sesame Street cake.  She sent Dad running to the grocery store for a replacement and came back with a lovely tray of sweetness that contained orange and brown iced flowers.  I didn’t care.  I was three.  I rolled my eyes when my family sang “Happy Birthday” to me.  I opened presents filled with costume jewelry, some play make-up and my favorite – a blow up swimming pool.  Again, I talked a lot.  I must’ve thought I was a grown up, because the other kids were in the arms of their mothers or grandmothers, and my birthday table consisted of young adults.  This “grown up” mentality has become a theme for my life and a plotline all its own.

In yet another video, Elizabeth and I are at a friend’s Ninja Turtle themed birthday at Pizza Hut in my hometown. I must have been about four, maybe a little younger.  I had the same awful haircut and chubby cheeks.  I had a crush on the birthday boy’s big brother.  I do remember wanting to sit beside him and got really upset when he wasn’t interested.  I mean, he was probably seven, but he could be to blame for the insecurities I find in relationships.  I’m still pondering.  Then again, with the haircut I was sporting, I can’t exactly blame him.

And in the final video, we are visiting my mother’s dad, affectionately called Papaw. Not “Paw-paw” or “Papa” – Papaw.  Pap.  Awe.  In this video, I’m wearing this awful outfit sewn by my mother.  Capris and a tank top with a neon-colored heart pattern.  My hair looked a lot better.  My bangs had grown out and my mother let me wear it up in a half-ponytail.  I liked coming to Louisiana because I got to play in the dirt and hold baby kittens all day, while Elizabeth preferred to unintentionally choke them while carrying them around by their necks.  Also in this particular video, my cousin fell out of a tree and bit her tongue, and that could’ve been a real emergency, if my family weren’t too busy filming and laughing.

Like I said, I don’t remember the actual events. But I do remember the videos.  And in the videos, we look like the perfect family.  But now, at almost 30, I can say without reservation that looks can certainly be deceiving.  A once happy family turned awful.