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Kiwi Mummy Blog Review – Wattie’s Little Kids Range

One of the advantages to being a parenting blogger is getting the awesome opportunity to review products designed especially for kids. Through the Kiwi Mummy Blog site, Wattie’s have sent me a box of products to review from their Little Kids Range. And we all know how much I love getting stuff. And talking about stuff. Win win, really.

Now, funnily enough, Princess also loves getting stuff and talking about stuff. I got the carton in the mail and excitedly we opened it up and looked at the contents.

Not feeling 100%, I said that we would have a proper look in the morning. Sadly, Princess put the box on the bench and, true story, stared wistfully at it for a good ten minutes.

That night, I had the hideous misfortune of getting the Worst Headache in History. No exaggeration. I was out for the count. Husband had a small, early morning shift so was home in time to take Princess to school. When he got home, I was head down, bum up on the bedroom floor whimpering and Princess was dressed and ready to go to school. “I got myself ready” she proudly told her Daddy. “I even made my own lunch”.

Even from my death bed, my thoughts immediately went to that box of Wattie’s samples sitting on the bench.

Sure enough, once the multitudes of medication had kicked in enough for me to lift my head, I came out and looked in the box. Yup. Every packet open. I didn’t ever see her lunchbox that day but I can guarantee it was chocka block full of items from the Wattie’s Little Kids Range. It was.

And so, my review has added contributions from Princess, aged 6.

It would pay to mention as well at this point that, due to BabyGirl’s dairy allergy, Wattie’s were really good in ensuring that the majority of products were dairy free.

Heinz Little Kids Mini Corn Cakes – Tomato

These crunchy little corn cakes (kind of like mini rice cakes, but a bit crunchier) are really, really delicious. And that is me saying that! I really liked them. In fact, all three kids did. These are aimed towards the 1-3 year age bracket, they are ideally sized for little hands and aren’t over powering with flavour. They are crunchy without being tough, so ideal for little teeth. And they taste good, despite not having tons of flavouring. The tomato flavour is subtle so perfect for kids who turn their noses up at anything flavoured (I’m looking at you, BoyChild). Like I said, all three kids really liked them. Four, including me – I’d eat them for a snack quite happily!

Princess: I really liked these crackers. They are small and yum and I like them crunchy.

Heinz Little Kids Wholegrain Cereal Bars – Apple and Blueberry

These are little muesli bar-type things that, once again, are portion sized perfectly for little hands and little stomachs. But the age guideline is just that – a guideline. Princess put two of these in her lunch that first day, and asked me to buy more when they packet ran out. Again, the flavour was subtle, which is great for little taste buds.

Princess: These were so good oh my gosh Mum you need to buy these every day? Can I have some more? And the box made a good swimming pool for my doll?

Heinz Little Kids Fruit and Vege Shredz – Peach, Apple and Veg

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These were the clear winner of the day.

“They’re made from 99% Fruit and Vegetable juice and purees and are shaped and sized for little fingers to easily pick up, encouraging independent eating”.  –Wattie’s

It’s funny – last year I actually purchased some of these, with the plan of telling BoyChild they were lollies and seeing if he would eat them. Back then, he was terribly fussy and barely ate anything (he is considerably better now). He eagerly picked them up, shovelled them into his mouth, then looked at us with a look that said, “how could you? I trusted you” and spat them out. *shrug*

This time around, Princess took a pack in her lunch (they come in small bags, a great portion size for morning tea) and absolutely loved them. BabyGirl had a packet for her lunch as well, and devoured it. So, I thought, hey – let’s see if BoyChild will eat them. What do you know? He did. He didn’t go crazy for them like the girls did, but he ate them. Which, in his world, is a win-and-a-half.

Truth be told, the entire box of these didn’t last a day. When Princess came home from school, her and BabyGirl had another pack each, and then shared the last pack after tea.

Win.

Princess: I really really really REALLY love these. They are like lollies but not because they are good for me and have veges and are good for my teeth and I really love them. Mum will buy them again she said.

Heinz Little Kids Brekky To Go – Banana Oats with Cinnamon

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I wasn’t able to give this to BabyGirl due to it’s dairy content, and because of the “baby” packaging, Princess and BoyChild weren’t interested either. No worries – I called in the assistance of a little guy we will call Baby J. He is one of BabyGirl’s friends and a keen eater.

This was no different, Baby J loved this. These sachets are ingenious – we practically lived off them when the kids were tiny. They are a perfect shape and size for the kid/baby to feed themselves. They simply hold it and suck out the contents.

The great part about this particular product is that it is breakfast in a tube. They should make these in adult. Maybe they do? I’m not sure. But I would buy it. When I’m running around the house trying to get Princess to school and BoyChild to preschool, poor old BabyGirl often finds herself sitting in the car eating toast from a plate while we drive to the various drop offs. Or, carrying the toast with her while we take Princess to her class. Truth be told, yesterday both her and BoyChild had toast-on-plates-in-the-car. At least they had plates, right? My point is, a breakfast on the go thing like this would be handier (and considerably less crumby!) for those rare (read: common) mornings when I am darting about like a headless chicken.

Wattie’s Little Kids – Spaghetti Bolognese/Hearty Beef Casserole

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Spaghetti Bolognese is one of Mr T’s favourite meals, so we have it at least once a week. The kids tolerate it, so when I saw this tin I thought they might scoff at it, perhaps poke the noodles a little.

The girls loved it. I served it as their dinner when Mr T was working late, and we went through two tins between the girls. Once again, not overly seasoned and the veges were blended in well enough that super-sleuth Princess couldn’t pick them out. BabyGirl is (and always has been) a great eater, so she just wolfed it back, no holds barred, making me regret the decision to get rid of her bibs. A mess was made, that’s for sure. But they loved it. Definitely something I will consider getting again, especially for those cold winter nights when Mr T isn’t home for dinner (and, frankly, I can’t be bothered cooking a fancy, nutritious dinner for the kiddos).

The Hearty Beef, I was sceptical about, I won’t lie. Perhaps it drew up flashbacks of the baby shower game I once played where we had to try unmarked tins of baby food and guess their flavours. I did not guess Hearty Beef correctly.

That being said, I gave it to BabyGirl on a rainy, cold day for lunch. I needn’t have worried – she looked at it, poked it with her fork, tasted a bit with her finger, then it was all on. She devoured it!

These cans are certainly not appetising for adults, but they aren’t intended to be. They contain food and seasonings suitable for the subtle tastebuds and small tummies of little kids, and they really are ideal for that reason!

I’ve said it a few times, and I will reiterate – this Wattie’s and Heinz Little Kids range is perfect for its target market – kids aged 1 – 3 years. The portion sizes, flavours and packet sizes are ideal for little hands and little stomachs. I was impressed – it’s been a little while since I’ve looked at the toddler/baby food aisle and I feel like I’ve missed out on some ideal morning tea/lunchtime snacks for not just BabyGirl, but for the older kids as well. Will definitely be buying many of these again.

If you want more information, head over to the Wattie’s website  and have a look at the full range

And, have a look at Kiwi Mummy Blogs as well, for more reviews as well as access to lots of other blogs written by other Kiwi Mummies!

Finally, Princess has asked to have the final word:

I think that this is a really neat product. I liked the muesli bar a lot and I really loved the Shredz, they were like lollies but better because they are healthy. I love them.  Thanks, okay, bye.

Kiwi Mummy Blogs
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They Didn’t Say It Would Be Easy

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Well, here we are, three weeks tomorrow since the day we left home for new beginnings.

I expected that the kids would struggle with the adjustment – I mean, it took Princess literally months to settle into school, so it was going to be a long, draw out process adjusting her to her new school. And BoyChild was much less the same at his old preschool. I was prepared for weeks of tears, tantrums and upset.

I wasn’t prepared for it to come from me.

I clearly underestimated my amazing kids. It took days for them to settle into their new routines. They loved their new schools, they made friends and connected with people instantaneously.

So, where did that leave me?

Due to careful planning and organisation, each morning we were out the door at 8:30am, and by 9am I was back home again. With nothing to do. The kids were great, they didn’t need me.

I didn’t know anyone down here, we knew that when we moved. I don’t know what I expected, I knew it would take time, but as the days went on and I spent more time in our temporary accommodation, without my usual things to keep me busy (like, my stuff), I got bored. And, I’m a doer. So with boredom came overthinking. And with overthinking came loneliness. I ran out of things to do – BabyGirl is at that age where taking her shopping is like, well, I think I’d rather stab myself with a stick. She is very independent and doesn’t give a rats when I walk away from her. So, we couldn’t go out anywhere. And she won’t sit in the pram so that cancelled out taking walks around our new town.

Before I knew it, two weeks had passed. Mr T commented that it was going “so fast”, but I felt like the time was just dragging. I sat down one night, after the kids were in bed and everything was settled, and realised that it had been two week, two weeks, and I had not spoken to another adult. I mean, I’d spoken to my husband, obviously. And people in shops, the kids’ teachers, those kinds of people. But I hadn’t spoken spoken to anyone. I missed my friends. I missed going over to their houses, sitting down over a coffee and just talking. About nothing and everything. I had already used up all of my cellphone talk time calling them and nattering away, but that wasn’t the same.

I went to bed that night, and cried and cried. Poor husband wasn’t sure what to do! I was lonely. I was busy, and it was chaos and noise and the kids were having a blast. But I was lonely. I’ve never felt that way before – in my life I’ve always lived with other adults, or had a job, or had some other form of interaction with people.

Of course, it was going to get better – it had to! But telling me it would get better had little consolation at the time. It’s a bit like buying bigger sized clothes for your kids – telling them they will one day fit them doesn’t fix the fact that they don’t fit them at that moment.

The weekend came and went, we had fun as a family, and I pretended things were looking up. Because it had to, right?

Today is day twenty. And today, the fog lifted.

A parent spoke to me at school today – said hello, introduced herself, told me a bit about herself. It was brief and innocent, but it was what I’d needed, what I’d craved for nearly three weeks. Human interaction. I nearly cried.

And then, I spoke to our new landlord and organised moving into our permanent house tomorrow. And organised our furniture to be delivered. My stuff! My baking tools, my food mixer, my clothes! MY BED!

And then, I joined a gym. I put BabyGirl into the creche (so she got to have playtime with other kids, without me there) and I had a workout. By myself. And I chatted to other people at the gym, and I chatted to other mums at the creche.

Just like that, I felt like a person again.

I still miss my friends and my life “back home” dearly, but today was the first day I was able to see myself settling here, happily.

I found a this wonderful quote last night, and couldn’t believe how apt it was to my situation.

And how, in just one day, things started to be ok. I was going to be ok.

I know you are scared right now

maybe you miss

someone

maybe your heart hurts a little

or a lot

or maybe you’re not quite sure

of who you are

or what you want

but that feeling you

want back

it’s still here

it never really left

and one day you will realise

that the only person

who can find it again

is you

 

 

 

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Kid-glish (Kid English)

Ah, kid-glish. I love it. Yes, I’m talking about that language our kids speak – their own interpretations of English. .

When kids are learning to talk, they come up with the most fascinating and hilarious takes on everyday words – whether they hear them wrong, or, as was often the case with Princess, was adamant they were saying it correct and you were saying it wrong, it is cute, and adorable, and you don’t realise how much you love it, until it’s gone.

Princess is six now, and, by and large, she speaks like a regular kiwi kid. There are a few Kidglish words that still creep through, and I won’t lie – I no longer correct her, because I want her to keep saying them. Perhaps it’s my way of keeping her that precocious little toddler for as long as I can? Yes, yes, I think it is.

Some of Princess’s fantastic Kidglish-isms are:

Blutterfly. She read an entire book on blutterflies to me yesterday, and everytime she said the word blutterfly, my heart smiled. I’m smiling as I write this, I love it.

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Bas-ghetti. This is a classic one, I think every kid (and half the adults I know) mispronounce spaghetti. Still cute.

Nem-a-nems. I will be sad when Princess realised M&Ms are actually, literally, an M and an M. I adore her calling them nem-a-nems!

Andy. Familiar with the movie, Annie? Princess still believes this is a movie called Andy, about a boy with ginger hair, who, for whatever reason, wears a dress at the end of the movie. When the new version of Annie came out, she said to me, “This is different, isn’t it?”. I thought she was referring to the fact that the “new” Annie was African-American. But no – she thought it was different because the “new” Annie was a girl! Who calls a girl Andy? That’s just silly, Mum.

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And of course, Princess isn’t unique in this way of speaking. BoyChild has started coming up with some dooseys as well. My favourite, hands down?

Bumbumbee. Bumbumbee! Bumbumbee! I can’t even. I just laughed and laughed when he said it, I couldn’t help it. I even corrected him without thinking, and he said, “No, mum – bumbumbee”. Oh my lordie, I will be sad when he realises what he is saying. I secretly hope he is a successful, grown man who says, “watch out for the bumbumbee”.

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Thankfully BabyGirl is still right in that age range where at least half of her words are variations on the real word. She asks for tuddles (cuddles) a lot, and lots and lots of tisses (kisses). She likes to drink wee-tar (water) and loves eating doodee bars (muesli bars). She pretends to be an a-pha-phant (elephant) and a chuck-ung (chicken).

But, alas, soon the day will come when she too is speaking in words that everyone can understand, “proper” English, if you will. I know they say kids grow up too fast, so it’s practically my job, nay, my responsibility to keep my kids speaking Kid-glish as long as I can.

And, to finish, I leave you here with this. Benedict Cumberbatch, esteemed British actor, cannot say “penguins”. He calls them “peng-wings” and it is so adorable I just want to adopt him as Child #4. Just kidding.

But not really.

You are welcome.

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The Unbeatable Argument Styles of a Nearly 6-year-old Girl

Princess argues with me. A fair bit, I’ll admit. I can tell her teenage years are going to be a blast.

She has a way of arguing that is not unlike that of her father. She is right. Regardless. Which makes disagreeing nearly impossible.

And, just as when her father and I disagree, I end up backing down. They both read my backing down as giving in. It’s not – it is merely that I cannot be bothered arguing any longer.

The difference between her and her father is this – with Mr T, it is often a matter of opinion as to whom is correct. With Princess, nearly every time I can say with full confidence that am correct. But she stands her ground, so I back down. I probably should work on that!

Here is a prime example of one of our arguments. This took place last Friday.

Me: You don’t have school tomorrow, that’ll be nice to have a break.

Princess: I do have school tomorrow

Me: No, you don’t, sweetie – it’s Saturday.

P: I go to school on a Saturday.

Me: No you don’t, it’s the weekend.

P: I do.

Me: No, you don’t. It’s the weekend. You go back to school on Monday.

P: No, you are wrong. I go to school on Saturday.

Me: No, you don’t.

P: I do. At my old school I went to school everyday. You said I go to school every day.

Me: You go everyday except on the weekend. That’s Saturday and Sunday.

P: So, I do go on Saturday. You just said.

Me: *sigh* No. I said you go everyday except Saturday and Sunday.

P: But at my old school, we did news on a Saturday. Why would we do news if we didn’t go to school?

Me: I’m sure you didn’t do news on a Saturday.

P: We did. You don’t know. I did news on Monday, some kids did it on Thursday, some did it on Saturday.

Me: I …. I just don’t think you did.

P: I did do news on a Monday.

Me: I know .. I just … hmmmm.

P: So, I do have school tomorrow. On Saturday.

Me: No, you don’t.

P: I do. You said.

Me: *silence*

P, smiling smugly: I am right. It’s ok, Mum. You can’t be right every time.

Me: *facepalm*

One day I’ll learn.

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We Have Arrived

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What a whirlwind few weeks we have had here! It’s now Monday morning, and I have just seen Mr T off on his first day at his new job. I’m so proud of him, he has worked hard for this and truly earned his right to be here! As BoyChild and I stood at the door and waved him off with the towering, snow capped mountains in the background, it just felt surreal.

This is our life now? We live here? For good, for real? When did that happen??

We flew down here last Thursday – we had a couple of friends come and see us off at the airport, I cried (like I knew I would) and Princess asked her little buddies, “are you coming with us?” – and seemed pretty surprised when they said that sadly, no, they weren’t coming with us.

The flight down was relatively painless, until BabyGirl was told to sit in her seat, leaving her tray table and window shade up. No, she said. Go away, she said to the (very lovely and patient) flight attendant. She was having too much fun going from seat to seat, to sit down! After a very loud tussle, I got her into her extension belt (attached to mine because she is was just a little bit too little to sit by herself). She screamed and screamed and I sunk into my seat in embarrassment – when that kid screams, she screams. She was calling for Daddy who was sitting on the other side of the aisle, so after some very quick eye-conversation and hand gestures, I quickly un-did her from my belt and threw her across the aisle to her dad, who, just as quickly, had her buckled into his seat. There, easy.

Ha!

“I WANT MUMMA!!!! MUMMMA!!!!!! MUUUUUUM!!!!!”

Sigh. Because by now we were well into our descent, we couldn’t do another shifty change around. Naturally, Princess started to cry for me too. What a picture it must have been – me, sitting completely alone in three seats, while Mr T wrestled two crying (nay, screaming) girls and a happy little guy (full ups to BoyChild who just loved the flight!). After lots of shhhhhh’s and whispers of “you’re ok … mummy loves you … hi over there!” we were nearly ready to land.

So, of course, we took off again. Yup. The pilots had a missed approach, and off we were again, up, up into the sky. The girls were thrilled, I’m sure you can imagine. And, I bet, so was every other passenger on that plane, no doubt cursing the parents of that loud, screaming child who just would. not. let. up.

Because we were no longer descending, Mr T and I did another quick eye-conversation, and just like that, BabyGirl was back on my lap again. It was like a freakin switch got turned off. Not only did she stop crying, she fell asleep. Out cold. Just like that. Sigh. And, interestingly, she slept through getting off the plane, being held at luggage collection, being put into the pram, being put into her car seat, being put into the pram so we could get lunch, being put into her car seat once more, and arriving at our temporary accommodation after a long drive around town. Guess it’s sleepy business, crying like that.

And just like that, we have arrived.

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On Day Two we had to find a doctor because Princess developed strep throat. On Day Four BoyChild got a vomiting bug – just what we need when staying in fancy temporary accommodation.

And now today. Day Five. Mr T has gone to work. The girls are still asleep. BoyChild is sitting next to me talking to his iPad. And I’m thinking about the reality that is our new lives. It’s exciting, it’s exhilarating seeing those looming mountains outside our door and realising that this is our new home. It’s frightening making a new start, and it’s sad remembering all of our friends going about their everyday lives back home, without us there.

But that’s all ok. Because this morning I saw my husband off for his new job. And I couldn’t have been prouder. This would be significantly worse if I wasn’t sharing all of these experiences alongside my best friend, and these crazy three little minions who seem to tag along with us xx

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The Final Countdown

And here we are, with less than a week until the Big Move.

I’m sorry, but I think I’ve inadvertently fallen into a time travel situation? Because I swear the last 6 weeks has gone by in two days.

The reality of moving away from the life we know and love, and on to a new adventure, has really hit me in the last few days. And, I think it has hit Princess as well. She seems to fluctuate between super excited, devastatingly sad, and hyperactively silly, about a million times each day.

There have been tears already – today we opened our home up to any friends who wanted to spend time with us before we go, and from 11am until just now (nearly 10pm) we had a constant stream of people coming in and out. It was amazing, it was exhausting, and it was sad.

Two of the hardest people to say goodbye to today were my Mum and Step Dad. They live 4 hours away from here, but we see them at least once every two months. It was hard today, saying goodbye to them knowing that the next time we see them will probably be after xmas. I was doing ok with my tears until Princess started crying and crying. She set me off, and we just stood there crying as BabyGirl happily waved, “BYE GRANDMA! BYE GRANDAD! SEE YOU CHRISTMASSSSS”.

Mr T cleared out our shed today, and had the nerve to call me a hoarder. I mean, honestly. I am not a hoarder. I am a Collector of Important Things and Memories, thankyouverymuch.

We have hired a giant skip bin, and we seem to be having a skip bin battle. He puts things in, I take them out. He tried to throw away my old airline uniform that I have lovingly kept for ten years. He said it was junk! Um, hello? I said it was worth a lot of money, not to mention the memories. He said he looked forward to retiring on it. I politely informed him that I did not appreciate his sarcasm.

And so here we are. Tomorrow we are holding Princess’s 6th Birthday party. It’s two weeks early, but this way she gets to enjoy it with her friends. We have argued all day about whether or not she is actually turning six tomorrow. You’d think I, of all people, would know what day she was born, given that I was there, doing most of the work.

Monday, the packers come to pack our stuff. I plan to hover.

Tuesday, the movers come to take our stuff.

Wednesday we clean.

Thursday, we fly out. On our big adventure. The Big Move.

It doesn’t feel real, but it’s leaning that way. And, truth be told, I’m actually leaning towards excitement myself.

Am I ready? No. But I will be. They never said this adult business was easy, right?

Right?

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The Fantastic T Family Is On The Move

I’ve been quiet on here these past few weeks, because changes are a-foot in the Fantastic T household.

Mr T, dear husband, has received a promotion at work that will see us up-and-off, moving from windy, cold Wellington to just-absolutely-cold Queenstown! For those of you unfamiliar with New Zealand’s geography, Wellington is at the bottom of the North Island, Queenstown is near the bottom of the South Island. 943.9km away.

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Moving a family that far is a long, drawn out process. So it’s great that husband’s work gave us six weeks notice. Six weeks to uproot and change our entire lives. Not stressful at all, no siree.

Seriously though, this is an amazing opportunity for us all – the kids are at the age where they are so adaptable to change. BoyChild is 6 months from starting school and BabyGirl has yet to start any form of preschool, so the disruption for them is minimal. And husband gets the job he has been working hard towards for nearly ten years.

Princess is nervous and a little bit anxious about the move, but we spend a lot of time talking about all the many fun things we are going to be able to do when we get there. The snow! The skiing! The adventures! She already has a little book for addresses and she is excitedly getting everyone’s details so she can write letters to all her friends.

How about me, then? Well, I won’t lie – I’m scared. I’m excited, and nervous and anxious. I’m happy and I’m so sad I get a pit in my stomach whenever I think about the reality of up and leaving the community that I have spent the last five years building around myself.

People are telling me that I will meet new people, make new friends – and gosh, that is exactly what I am telling Princess! But here’s the thing – I don’t actually feel like I’m ready to say goodbye to the friends I have.

I have written about my friends before, I absolutely freakin love them. When husband and I moved here and had kids, I didn’t know anyone. I met one amazing lady when Princess started kindergarten (her son started the same day) and it was with her that we then met another, and another, and another like minded person, until we had formed a tight knit group. We are all mothers, we all work part time, and we spend a lot of time together. Our kids are best friends. Our husbands are great friends. And I am going to have to say goodbye to them in two weeks. I’m not ready.

I know I will see them again, and with the wonders of social media I will talk to them most days online. But it will be four months before I see them again. Kids grow a lot, will BabyGirl even remember that she has an inseparable friendship with her little friend?

Friends are hard to make when you are an adult. I learned a long time ago to treasure those that come along, because amazing friends are rare. I know that my friends here know that I treasure them. I spend my days trying to be strong for the kids, for the husband, excited for this wonderful new chapter in our lives. But I am scared of saying “see you sometime soon” to these ladies who share my life with me.

I will miss the night time trips to the supermarket together, “just to get out of the house”, I will miss the random drop ins because they were passing and saw my car in the drive, I will miss the pot luck dinners, the coffee trips. I will miss the laughs-until-our-tummies-hurt-and-we-pee-a-little-and-laugh-some-more.

I’m sure in six months, a year, I will look back and laugh at how concerned I was about the move. I will visit here and things will be just like they always were. But still. I’m scared. And sad.

We leave in 17 days. I am cramming as much into these days as I can. Day or night, I’m opening myself up to see as many people as I can. And relishing days like today, where I got to spend the day with three friends and their kids. And got to cuddle my amazing friend’s 4 week old baby, sad that she will grow so much in between visits.

That’s the thing with being an adult – sometimes you have to make decisions that are best for those around you, and take steps that scare you. It’s all what makes us who we are.

Doesn’t mean I have to do it with dry eyes.

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