Two and a Half and Maybe a Quarter
Two Months

Like Sand In A Swim Diaper...

So. We're going to the beach tomorrow. I have been quietly and not-so-quietly freaking out about this trip for months now.

Two adults. Three children. One challenging five year old. One tempestuous two year old. One BABY. Five days. Two boobs, one minivan, 156 miles, three hours, two bedrooms, one bathroom, seventeen million pounds of luggage and not nearly enough bottles of wine. 

Right now I'm packing. I'm kind of like this:

Photo (55)

There's just so much crap to drag along now, and it's up to me to remember every last bit of it, because Jason likes to pack as if we're heading for a stint on Survivor instead of comfy family vacation. A bathing suit and some rice! A toothbrush!  Sunscreen if you're fancy!

If I asked Noah to pack for the beach he'd toss one shoe, two red t-shirts and 500 Lego pieces into a suitcase and call it a day. Ezra might stick with the task a little longer, but would probably pack a lot of plastic food, a dozen stuffed animals and an outgrown Halloween costume.

And don't tell Ike, but he's pretty much the most useless one of them all. God

So I'm here ping-ponging around a disorganized mental list of everything five distinct human beings could possibly require at the beach, like clothes underwear pajamas diapers pull-ups burp rags bathing suits sunscreen more burp rags toys DVDs toiletries towels swaddling blankets travel crib bottles?? macaroni and cheese granola bars peanut butter sippy cups Kindle Tylenol wipes onesies beach tent hats shoes shampoo oh FUCK THIS LET'S JUST PACK THE WHOLE HOUSE.

Status update! Now I'm like this:

Photo (56)

This is going to be so fun! Priceless memories here we come! Please to pray for our survival thank you. 

Comments

Ginger

You are so hilarious. Go and have a good time showing Ike the beach for the first time! My vacation motto (straight from "Coal Miner's Daughter") is what we don't take, we'll buy and what we can't buy, we'll steal. :)

agirlandaboy

That's been the hardest thing about being a wife/mother for me: realizing I can't just freak out about my own shit now because there are other people who *don't* freak out about their own shit, so I have to do it for them. So much freaking out, man.

agirlandaboy

That's been the hardest thing about being a wife/mother for me: realizing I can't just freak out about my own shit now because there are other people who *don't* freak out about their own shit, so I have to do it for them. So much freaking out, man.

PinkieBling

Good luck making it through the packing! I'm always so exhausted from all of the prep and travel, the first thing I want to do at my destination is konk out. And I don't even have kids! May you have a safe, relatively sane, and wonderful trip. :)

Tara

I remember the days of traveling with my little one (I only ever had one, so I can't speak to THREE, holy God, I'm in awe of you). I typed up a vacation packing list in Word and kept it from year to year, and I loved watching the child-related stuff dissipate. Now that my son is 6, I think the only thing on his list that's not on anyone else's is his stuffed animals (excuse me, "sleeping buddies").

You can do this--you've done it before, just with one less person. Wishing you a safe, happy vacation!

Jessie

Don't forget the baby powder.. it helps with the whole sand in the diaper thing.

Jessie

Don't forget the baby powder.. it helps with the whole sand in the diaper thing.

Amy

i feel your pain. going camping with hubby and 3 kids (5,4,and 4) and just went through the same experience. wishing us both luck!

Olivia

Yes, I used to be able to pack the night before a trip, but the last time I let it go like that I turned into a monster running around trying to remember everything. And I only have one toddler. I've learned my lesson and now make multiple lists weeks in advance that I edit as needed. One for the family, one for me, one for the baby...and I start packing at least a week ahead with all the stuff that can be done early.

Good luck. Remember there are stores if you forget something.

Olivia

Yes, I used to be able to pack the night before a trip, but the last time I let it go like that I turned into a monster running around trying to remember everything. And I only have one toddler. I've learned my lesson and now make multiple lists weeks in advance that I edit as needed. One for the family, one for me, one for the baby...and I start packing at least a week ahead with all the stuff that can be done early.

Good luck. Remember there are stores if you forget something.

Olivia

Yes, I used to be able to pack the night before a trip, but the last time I let it go like that I turned into a monster running around trying to remember everything. And I only have one toddler. I've learned my lesson and now make multiple lists weeks in advance that I edit as needed. One for the family, one for me, one for the baby...and I start packing at least a week ahead with all the stuff that can be done early.

Good luck. Remember there are stores if you forget something.

Olivia

Yes, I used to be able to pack the night before a trip, but the last time I let it go like that I turned into a monster running around trying to remember everything. And I only have one toddler. I've learned my lesson and now make multiple lists weeks in advance that I edit as needed. One for the family, one for me, one for the baby...and I start packing at least a week ahead with all the stuff that can be done early.

Good luck. Remember there are stores if you forget something.

Olivia

Yes, I used to be able to pack the night before a trip, but the last time I let it go like that I turned into a monster running around trying to remember everything. And I only have one toddler. I've learned my lesson and now make multiple lists weeks in advance that I edit as needed. One for the family, one for me, one for the baby...and I start packing at least a week ahead with all the stuff that can be done early.

Good luck. Remember there are stores if you forget something.

Kailee

This post made me laugh! We're planning on a 9.5 hour road trip with our baby in two weeks. He's two days younger than Ike, and being our first we are FRETTING about making sure we pack everything.

Last night, after he slept over 6 hours in his bassinet, I asked my husband if we should pack it as well. He looked at me like I'm a crazy person, but we're FINALLY getting some real sleep! I don't want to mess with the system!

Good luck! I cannot even imagine what it would be like with TWO more children! We would have to take a U-Haul.

Don't forget the corkscrew!

Amanda

I have an excel spreadsheet that I used to pack us for Myrtle Beach last month. Would you like a copy? Myabe it will help a little?

Kailee

This post made me laugh! We're planning on a 9.5 hour road trip with our baby in two weeks. He's two days younger than Ike, and being our first we are FRETTING about making sure we pack everything.

Last night, after he slept over 6 hours in his bassinet, I asked my husband if we should pack it as well. He looked at me like I'm a crazy person, but we're FINALLY getting some real sleep! I don't want to mess with the system!

Good luck! I cannot even imagine what it would be like with TWO more children! We would have to take a U-Haul.

Don't forget the corkscrew!

JCF

Oof. We have three kids too --3, 2, and 1. We almost stuck with our sedan, with the plan of putting three carseats in a row, and I thank the sweet baby Jesus daily for bringing us to our senses. That minivan is regularly packed to the gills. We drive 12 hours each direction to visit family on a regular basis. Between clothes, diapers, toys, Pack and Play, double stroller, etc we can hardly fit the PEOPLE.

I always have low, low expectations about how trips with three little kids will go, and I am usually pleasantly surprised. I hope the same for you!

Heather

1. Pack the stuff you can't buy there.
2. Pack the stuff the littles can't live without.
3. Fill suitcases to capacity.
4. Buy the rest of it there.

Have a great time.

Madeline

They sell diapers, sunblock, beach toys and wine at most beach locations(except perhaps actual survivor locations), I promise! We went to Cape Hatteras (14 hour drive) with my little ones every year forever, and they were the best vacations we ever had. You will be fine and you will have a blast! (ps-good advice in comment above-don't forget the baby powder-essential for sandy feet/butts etc.)

Madeline

Oh, and best part of beach vacations? Small children sleep all night! Even when they all have chicken pox!

Brandi

I always tell myself that we're still going to be in civiliation and there will be at least one store with stuff I need. So just remember that. And maybe open one of those bottles of wine for the packing part of the trip! Good luck Amy! And have a good time! Can't wait to see kid photos from the beach!

Brandi

I always tell myself that we're still going to be in civiliation and there will be at least one store with stuff I need. So just remember that. And maybe open one of those bottles of wine for the packing part of the trip! Good luck Amy! And have a good time! Can't wait to see kid photos from the beach!

Kerry D.

Yeah, my husband packs his stuff and is "ready", but I'm packing for two kids and myself. And the snacks, the entertainment, the blankies etc. And he gets irked when we have to go back two mintues after we pull away from the driveway because I forgot something. Have a fantastic time at the beach. Be safe!

obabe

close to every beach house, there is a wal mart. no vacation is complete without a trip there, regardless of how much or little you packed. just find wal mart and youll be fine. enjoy!!

Caitlyn

this is why I married someone better at packing than I am. I still get nervous while we're packing for a trip because no one's freaking out.

Megan

You don't even want to know what it's like when we pack for a three-hour ONE DAY trip for four humans and two (small!) dogs. I swear, my car's cargo space is worth its weight in gold after these trips.

Kim in MD

I just got back from the beach with my hubs and 1 year old daughter, and I have to say, I don't know how people with multiple children do it. Packing was stressful. Travel was stressful. Childproofing the condo was stressful. Buying food for her to eat once we got there was stressful. Making sure she had enough sunscreen on in the 100+ degree weather was stressful. Trying to plan stuff to do while allowing her plenty of time to nap (beach fatigue, you know) was stressful. Gah. I'm glad we went because I think she enjoyed the new experiences, but I think calling it a "vacation" might be a stretch. Good luck with yours, though! Sorry...that was depressing, wasn't it?

Delora

Explain again why Jason isn't just taking Noah and Ezra to the beach and you stay home and snuggle Ike in bed all day? Because I think your *vacation* is basically my worst nightmare.

But! Save travels, happy beaching, yay for the sun, yadda yadda. And seriously, have fun!!! Sandcastle building with boys old enough to appreciate it is a blast.

Katie

Ugh. That's our vacation drill too: my husband packs for himself, and loads the car. I do everything else, including packing for our 10, 8, and 14 month old kids. My track record is pretty good---except the one time I forgot underwear for the 8 year old. Not a pair was packed. I still can't believe it---but at least we were at Grandma's, so I could was it overnight, and dash out for more the next day :)

The one plus side? Now all the kids check their suitcases for underwear.

Liesl

I found that it totally helped to make activity lists and group stuff I needed by type of activity. Diapering, Eating, Sleeping, Wearing, Playing, Bathing, Traveling, Safety-ing.

Then again, I was only wrangling one baby for four days. YMMV.

g.schneider

Ditto on the if you forget it you can buy it and I try to keep one master packing list for the kiddo and one for us then tailor them to the specific vacation that way I can run down the list and check every thing off.

g.schneider

Ditto on the if you forget it you can buy it and I try to keep one master packing list for the kiddo and one for us then tailor them to the specific vacation that way I can run down the list and check every thing off.

The Slacker Mom

Been there.

Except we drove from Minnesota to Montana with 3 kids in a Saturn Vue and I had a total mental breakdown 30 minutes from our destination (a family reunion) when I realized OMG I'm pretty sure the twins have AUTISM (they were diagnosed a month later) and everyone is going to notice that they don't talk!

Cue the ugly cry and the frantic tweeting and the 8 week old baby screaming to be fed and not nearly enough alcohol to make the situation bearable.

You'll be fine!

Susan

When we just had one I almost wept at the point I realized we had packed as much to go to the mountains (an hour and a half drive) for 2 nights as we had to go to Hawaii for a week... we're going back to the mountains this weekend with two (after going to Hawaii with two earlier in the spring) and I'm already stressing about remembering everything - plus the toddler is potty-training, so I have to pack a bajillion pairs of underwear (thanks @Katie for THAT reminder) and the potty.

I also have an Excel spreadsheet for packing, but that didn't prevent me from packing four sunhats for the baby and not one for the toddler.

If you pack nothing else, definitely remember the baby powder - it is a godsend for little boy parts...

Kate

Oh man, good luck! Like some of the other commenters have said, I couldn't do it without LISTS! It's so much less stressful to pack in two phases: 1) make the list and 2) check off the list. that way, no buzzing of a million things in your head all the time. Plus, you can save the list for the next (ahem) trip and skip the whole *thinking* part next time around. it's all for the memories! it will be so worth it :)

Amalah

So what I've learned from all these comments is that I should pack baby powder but I've looked all over the house and we have no baby powder and NOW I AM PANICKING ABOUT THE NO BABY POWDER THING AND WHAT KIND OF NEGLIGENT MONSTER AM I.

I think I am going to have a glass of wine now. And call Jason and tell him he's not allowed to come home unless he stops and buys some baby powder.

Amy

I just got back from 5 days on an island in Canada accessible only by boat, where my brother-in-law got married in a picturesque Pacific NW setting....with my 3 year old as the flower girl, my hubby as the best man, & my 13 month old on my lap. I had to FLY across the continent and be able to or pull pretty much everything we brought with the hands of 2 adults. The asses at the American Airlines ticket counter took my stroller b/c they have new policy it can't weigh over 20 lbs, so I did it w/o a stroller through several airports until we reached our destination. I had to take portable high chairs, cribs, and FOOD b/c...HELLO, island, we stayed in a 4 room cabin on an ISLAND. And you know what? We lived. You will be ok. But, I would make yourself a checklist on paper, you know, just to be safe.

Amy

I just got back from 5 days on an island in Canada accessible only by boat, where my brother-in-law got married in a picturesque Pacific NW setting....with my 3 year old as the flower girl, my hubby as the best man, & my 13 month old on my lap. I had to FLY across the continent and be able to or pull pretty much everything we brought with the hands of 2 adults. The asses at the American Airlines ticket counter took my stroller b/c they have new policy it can't weigh over 20 lbs, so I did it w/o a stroller through several airports until we reached our destination. I had to take portable high chairs, cribs, and FOOD b/c...HELLO, island, we stayed in a 4 room cabin on an ISLAND. And you know what? We lived. You will be ok. But, I would make yourself a checklist on paper, you know, just to be safe.

Kim

I recently packed our family of four for a camping trip. Decided halfway through that it would be a lot easier to just drag the house behind us. Good luck and have fun. Can't wait to see the adorable family memories next week.

Heather R

I have become an expert packer! Not that I like it a whole lot, but I have a system. I created packing lists on the computer for each child (and I suppose I should make one for myself too). I created sections on the list for each "need". Sleeping, eating, dressing, hygiene, entertainment, traveling, misc. It helps me not to forget anything! Have fun! We're leaving for a week long trip to Cape Cod on Saturday!

T.

I remember those days. Right now you are wondering if it's worth it. It is. It really is. Have fun!

Melissa

Aaaaah! I totally can identify, this is me every time we go on a trip, I am so stressed out by the time we get in the car I practically need a Valium.

Wiley

I have to be honest, with just two, I feel like I'm packing and loading the car for a trip pretty often when we leave in the morning. Baby into bucket aka car seat, check. Cooler packed with food, bottle parts and midday reflux med for baby, check. Canvas bag with backup clothes for baby, check. Lunchbox with lunch and snacks for preschooler, check. Backpack with hat and camp passport for preschooler, check. Cooler with flanges, bottles, storage and whatever else, check. Lunch for mom, check. Oh wait, it's splash day. Bag with towel, swim suit and swim shirt, sunscreen and water shoes, check. Oh wait, baby out of diapers at school, pack of wipes, check.

And that's just for a day. And just for two. I feel the need to take off the day before going out of town now to ensure packing prowess.

One tip I got years ago to help with stress is to remember that most places you are going do have stores and while having to buy stuff isn't ideal, it's also not that bad either.

Katie

Oh fuck, let's just pack the whole house! AMEN SISTA!!

Wiley

That captcha was awful... Discerning between just a series of q's and g's!

Wiley

That captcha was awful... Discerning between just a series of q's and g's!

Wiley

That captcha was awful... Discerning between just a series of q's and g's!

Wiley

Oops.. and now it spammed it three times. I think this may be the time to walk away from the keyboard.

But instead, some perverse aspect of me makes me try it again..

RookieMom Whitney

This post reminded me of a recent FB status of a friend who took her 3 kids to a water park and listed everything she brought, snacks, sunscreen, dry clothes, towels, etc, and compared it to her husband who brought along "a book".

My husband is the packer in our family. I do the "first draft" and then ask him to call out everything I probably forgot. Like nighttime pull-ups or the address of where the hell we're going. (Just sharing that in opposition to gender stereotypes.)

Missy

Now I need a nap. I remember those days sitting in traffic with the baby screaming and three year old yelling "My sister's gonna die!" after spending an entire week packing every item in the house "just in case." Dude, I still bring the nebulizer and the kids are 9 and 12. It is work, but it is worth it. Pack a few boxes of wine (bottles are not going to get you through this). And remember, someday, they will be able to pack for themselves. Sort of. Have a blast!

aewilkins

I let my girl start packing herself at 5. She usually did pretty OK. Until the day I sent her camping with Dad. After the 5-year-old consumed 7 (SEVEN) s'mores (guess what happend next?), he discovered she packed only toys. It was the last time she did that. She is now VERY careful to inlcude all the essentials. Not the worst thing in the world. Deligate! Noah can do it :D

AmyC65

We did a FL condo for 13 years of my kids' lives starting at 9 months old. These words of wisdom became precious gold to me: "There is a WalMart everywhere".

Taylor

Have some fun during Christmas in July. Come win prizes and listen to your favorite holiday tunes at http://www.litefm.com/cc-common/contests/index.html?id=142912 today! The month is almost over, so don’t wait until it’s too late!

Beth

BAH HA HA!!! Sunscreen if you're fancy! LOVE it!! My hubby does the exact same thing, it drives me mental and then he has the balls to tease me about my packing lists. Godspeed and good luck.

wendy

Make a list. Check it twice (an hour). Think of each part of the day, for each kid, and what you need.

And don't forget the wine. Or the corkscrew if you buy wine there!

Jessica

The hardest part for me is fitting all the stuff in the car. Do you already own a u-haul or will you be renting one?

Jessica

The hardest part for me is fitting all the stuff in the car. Do you already own a u-haul or will you be renting one?

Cy

We used to wind up at WalMart every vacation and we thought it was great. Then we got them in Illinois and we never go there. They're only good on vacation! Hope you have a great trip!

Cindy

Remembering 26 years ago...3 children, the 4th one a baby and still see myself crying in the driveway because my husband told me we could not fit the swing! ...the swing was the only thing that the baby liked ...swing and boob! ...hang in there ...some day you will look back and laugh!

Gina

Girl, I feel ya.
I am headed to ALASKA with my mom, and my three girls, ages 8, 6, and 15 months. The girls are going to be flowers girls in my brothers wedding and so we must get the dresses there! Between trying to carryon everything and pack enough stuff to entertain and feed my children for an 8 hour journey (did I mention I don't like flying?!?!), I'm about to pull my hair out. Oh, yeah, I live in Texas... Having to pull out the fall clothes for Alaska! Aggggghhhhh!

Gina

Girl, I feel ya.
I am headed to ALASKA with my mom, and my three girls, ages 8, 6, and 15 months. The girls are going to be flowers girls in my brothers wedding and so we must get the dresses there! Between trying to carryon everything and pack enough stuff to entertain and feed my children for an 8 hour journey (did I mention I don't like flying?!?!), I'm about to pull my hair out. Oh, yeah, I live in Texas... Having to pull out the fall clothes for Alaska! Aggggghhhhh!

elizabeth

I heart you.
And I'm learning this is what all moms do! Why? Why can't my oldest 2 (9 and 7)yet be trusted to pack properly... always questioning when I give them a small list: "3 pairs of underwear?! wahhh??" all incredulous like. Gah and my husband. If I don't do it for him, he's all: "I'll just throw some shizz in my bag before we leave" and the we're all in the car and he's still running in and out of the house throwing unnecessary crap in other bags (cords, batteries, gaming systems).
I feel your pain... and am beginning to freak out about weekend away that's coming up.

nicolette @ momnivores dilemma

add to the list:

ear plugs and an eye mask.

you are on vacay with 4 males for god's sake...

Cheryll

OK, I'm packing as a 60-year-0ld who's kids are breathing, home-buying,educated, vacationing people on their own, but my advice is: If you don't have it when you leave, you most likely don't need it ... or you most likely can buy it when you get there. BTW ... your boys are so lovely and your posts are guffaw-worthy most every days!

Jen

This may sound effin' crazy and totally weird, but I've been following you for so many years that I've legit had dreams where you're my best friend. I'm such a creep haha

Jen

Ok, maybe not best friends, but I totally was all, "oh, I'm with Amy, how's Jason and that darn Up House...and oh totally, Ezra's jean diaper was the bee's knees.... cause those traffic cone colored crocs are still adorable even though the fiber of my being is fighting me on it!" And then i think I told my sister "Yeah, this is Amy, you know, like Amalah who had those cart races in her old office? ?" Even in my dream I was thinking, kind of crazy that I've known her the whole time and didn't know it. Ok, I'm regretting these posts already.....

Heather

I just had my second in March and have a 7 yr old as well. We are leaving for vacation on Sunday. We have to catch a ferry to take us to the Vineyard. I am freaking out. What if we miss the ferry? what if we run out of formula? What if we have to buy things at the overpriced supermarket? I can't wait to get there and be done with this planning shit!!

Ginny

Oh my gawd. You are so funny and I DON'T KNOW HOW YOU DO IT!! Ok, I only have two kids and we are moving from Ohio to the UK (er, today, actually...) in a few hours and THAT has been a nightmare and a half, but damn, you've got a BABY. And sand. All that sand.

Angela

Hope you're having a great day today at the beach! Or at least in the car on the way to the beach.

If you happen to have already packed baby powder (which I know is like forbidden now, but whatever) it really helps to powder up after you're dry. It gets all that sticky-ness and sand off. Don't remember where I picked up that info, but we tried it and it does work. Makes for a more comfy ride home.

Angela

Hope you're having a great day today at the beach! Or at least in the car on the way to the beach.

If you happen to have already packed baby powder (which I know is like forbidden now, but whatever) it really helps to powder up after you're dry. It gets all that sticky-ness and sand off. Don't remember where I picked up that info, but we tried it and it does work. Makes for a more comfy ride home.

Amanda

We're going to my husband's home town of Saint John, New Brunswick this weekend, which will be the first trip we've taken with a baby. I've been making a written list of all the things we need to pack since Monday morning.

Stefanie

For reals, Amalah - just pack the swim trunks. I am also a hopeless obsessor with 3 kids under the age of 5 and I always get SUPER SALTY with my spouse. And then somehow, it always all works out . . .

jb

just packed my 12 year old for a week at camp, we have very different opinions on what to bring, according to him everything on the camp list "is optional"
I'm pretty sure he unpacked or didn't pack stuff I set out for him.
Socks, over-rated! 3 pairs of boxers for a week, sure, Jeans in the hot blazing sun, sure (chafe much), but its so cool! can't decide so pack 12 t-shirts. jacket, nah, found that back on the hall tree. bug spray and sunscreen yeah if you are a sissy (or fancy)
I know it rained alot, can't wait to find out how his week went!

Andrea

I look exactly like that no matter where we're going on vacation, and our kids are 8, 8, and 6!

Michele

You are SO brave! This is totally why we didn't really take vacations when the boys were little. Well, that, and we rarely had the funds to do so. In any case, I still freak out about packing. I make lists & get all neurotic about "what am I forgetting" and my husband will say something like, "Just don't forget the passports - we can buy anything else we need." Yeah, right! And BTW - we have those same Star Wars sheets!

Child Safety Gates

you will be OK. We were freaking out before our first ski holiday but everything was just great. We all had fun and safely got back home.

Just A Girl

This may not be an appropriate time to comment on this, considering the picture of your baby and new life.....

....my cousin just died of brain cancer (after an 11 year battle) at age 40, leaving behind his wife and two young children. Right before hospice had to intervene and things went downhill, he had his "Fuck Cancer" vacation with his wife and children. They had planned it for a couple of years and managed to create many beautiful memories and everyone called it the "Fuck Cancer" tour (even the kids got to call it that). He died 3 1/2 weeks after that trip, just over a week ago.

So, yes, "Fuck Cancer". It is heartbreaking and awful. I say this as a nurse who has worked with hospice patients time and time again. I say this as a family member who has lost a few loved-ones to It. Most recently, we lost our family "glue". He was the man who made everyone laugh and smile, who handled his cancer with dignity and grace, and managed to maintain the most positive attitude I had ever seen. It is so not fair when someone so beautiful is taken before we are ready and I don't believe time heals all wounds.

All of that to say, my thoughts are with you and yours. I have read your blog since 2003 and never comment and am just now catching up after a lengthy hiatus from the "blogosphere". I imagine losing your father was painful. My condolences to you. And also congrats on baby the Third! What a juxtapose or some-such, right?

Just A Girl

This may not be an appropriate time to comment on this, considering the picture of your baby and new life.....

....my cousin just died of brain cancer (after an 11 year battle) at age 40, leaving behind his wife and two young children. Right before hospice had to intervene and things went downhill, he had his "Fuck Cancer" vacation with his wife and children. They had planned it for a couple of years and managed to create many beautiful memories and everyone called it the "Fuck Cancer" tour (even the kids got to call it that). He died 3 1/2 weeks after that trip, just over a week ago.

So, yes, "Fuck Cancer". It is heartbreaking and awful. I say this as a nurse who has worked with hospice patients time and time again. I say this as a family member who has lost a few loved-ones to It. Most recently, we lost our family "glue". He was the man who made everyone laugh and smile, who handled his cancer with dignity and grace, and managed to maintain the most positive attitude I had ever seen. It is so not fair when someone so beautiful is taken before we are ready and I don't believe time heals all wounds.

All of that to say, my thoughts are with you and yours. I have read your blog since 2003 and never comment and am just now catching up after a lengthy hiatus from the "blogosphere". I imagine losing your father was painful. My condolences to you. And also congrats on baby the Third! What a juxtapose or some-such, right?

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