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#31 of 52 Old 08-17-2010, 03:53 PM
 
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Hi Ladies,

I haven't posted on this thread before, but I used to frequent the older forum. I thought I would post this listing for any of you mamas who do web-writing and are experienced with breastfeeding and have done some health content. I am a Guide at About, been there for just over a year and really happy there.

If you are considering applying, my advice is to apply soon. It just went up today. The way the screening process works, the sooner you get your application in the better. The screening process is rigorous, I will tell you that. If you have any questions, I'd be happy to answer what I can here.

http://beaguide.about.com/cwapplynow....htm&x=76&y=23
QUALIFICATIONS:

The Breastfeeding Guide will be someone with professional experience working with Breastfeeding women in a one-one and group setting. Ideal backgrounds for the position include:
- a lactation consultant who works directly with breastfeeding women
- a doctor, nurse or health educator with extensive experience educating and treating breastfeeding women
- a health writer or medical journalist with extensive experience writing about breastfeeding
- a La Leche League leader or someone with similar training who can clearly report on practical as well as medical facts related to breastfeeding

The Guide will be able to discuss all aspects of breastfeeding and will possess a solid, up-to-date grasp of the topic.
The Guide will:
- be someone who is already familiar with and active in online discussions and communities that focus on food allergies
- be an excellent writer and communicator
- discuss complex medical topics using simple layman’s terms and avoid unnecessary jargon
- display an excellent “bedside manner” to help users through what may be a difficult time in their lives
- be willing to have all articles medically reviewed and edited prior to publication
- establish a friendly, authoritative voice
- consistently produce concise, accurate, legible copy
- possess a basic understanding of HTML and Internet use
- establish confidence in the scientific credibility, accuracy and comprehensiveness of About.com content
- keep current with the latest news, issues and events related to breastfeeding
-be willing to maintain the site's navigation, forums, newsletter, landing page


PRIMARY AUDIENCE:

The primary audience for About.com’s Breastfeeding content is women who breastfeed or plan to breastfeed, at least to some degree, for some period of time. The site should answer their questions about breastfeeding and help them make decisions about their breastfeeding goals. The audience includes women of many minds about breastfeeding, not all of whom will be interested in breastfeeding exclusively. Sensitivity to the range of approaches to breastfeeding is required. The Guide should be able to the needs of those who wish to supplement breastfeeding with formula feeding or who are looking for assistance weaning a child.

TOPICS TO COVER:

Please keep in mind that Health channel guides are held to a high standard and all work will be reviewed by an editor prior to publishing.

The About.com Breastfeeding Guide will be working with a site that has content created by a former Guide already in place. Any Guide candidates should visit breastfeeding.about.com to explore what we already have on the site.

The current Breastfeeding site covers the basics of breastfeeding. While the new Guide may choose to eventually update some of the current content, the Guide’s primary responsibility is to build upon the existing base of content. To do so, the Guide should concentrate on the following topics -- this list is not intended to be complete; it represents a suggested minimum of the topics to be presented in the About.com Breastfeeding site:

Basics
-What you should know about breastfeeding before your baby is born
-Baby’s first feeding and latching on
-Different positions for holding a nursing baby (images preferred)

Baby’s Needs
-What to know about “scheduling” a baby’s feedings
-Tracking how your diet affects baby
-Information about nursing older babies and children
-Adding in solids or supplementing baby’s diet
-Managing special situations (preemies, special needs children, allergies, etc.)

Medical Advice
-Why breast is best – from what’s in breast milk to the benefits of the act itself
-Dealing with basic problems such as mastitis, blocked duct, engorgement, inverted nipples
-Dealing with serious problems (from abscesses to health conditions that affect mother’s ability to nurse)
-Situations in which a mother cannot breastfeed


Weaning
-When/how
-What to expect (from baby and your body)
-Options for feeding after breastfeeding/while weaning


Support for Moms
-Locating and working with a lactation consultant
-Breastfeeding in different situations – at work where there are poor accommodations, when you already have one or more children at home, when you’re traveling, breastfeeding for adoptive mothers, etc.
-Breastfeeding tips for those who feel “shy”
-Advocacy and awareness around breastfeeding
-Soliciting tips and stories from readers that will help others
-Profiles of LLL and other organizations that mothers can turn to or start on their own
-Product recommendations and reviews (written by you and solicited from readers): pumps, soothing products, bras, etc.

Special Considerations:
1) Reorganizing
In addition to writing new content, the Guide should be able to re-organize and “re-package” content that is currently on the site to make it easier for breastfeeding moms to find information and resources related to their specific condition.
This may include any or all of the following:
•Revising categories
•Updating User Paths
•Crosslinking to Parenting and Health Guides
•Creating pieces of contents that are hubs of information about different topics –hubs may include the Guides’ own content, the former Guide’s work and content from other Guides on about.com

2) Connecting to the larger community
The Guide should be a person familiar with online resources and advocacy groups. He or she should actively participate in blogs or other forms of discussion around this topic. We expect the Guide to build relationships with other who are reporting and discussing breastfeeding. This site should grow into one of the respected sources for answers and discussion on the web.

3) Creating sticky content
The Guide should have an eye on keeping readers interested in staying on the site and returning. Some of the most successful methods for doing so include:
•Creating quizzes (What do you know about breast milk?)
•Using images to illustrate and educate (example: what how to do a football hold)
•Building hubs of content – pieces that link readers further into the site by offering more related information presented in a well organized, visually enticing way
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#32 of 52 Old 08-20-2010, 03:03 PM
 
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Genre? Yikes! I'm not sure. And not being sure panics me - if I can't see my potential readers, maybe I don't have any, right? I suppose "mainstream fiction novel" comes closest, although I can't think of a single soul (except me) who'd enjoy reading it...

That said, anyone interested in critiquing? As in, first reader type ("this doesn't work at all!") critiquing, not grammar, spelling, etc... (or excessive use of the ellipsis)...

Jenny, reading & writing mama of dd(18), ds(6), and ds(3)
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#33 of 52 Old 08-20-2010, 09:26 PM
 
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hi! i'm excited to stumble into this section of the board! i'm a freelance writing mama. i'm a playwright by training and passion, but in recent years i've been making most of my money ghost-writing children's fiction (i'm working on my 8th ghost-novel), as well as doing some web content.

i have gotten a lot of work through Guru.com, for those asking where to find work.

i had just started work on my first non-ghost children's novel when i got the gig for the job i'm currently working on. i'm going to try to squeeze my book in, too, but money is tight so the paying gig takes priority, of course.

i have a four month old, so most of my writing happens when he is strapped to me, sleeping, and 4 y.o. DD is out playing with Papa or in bed for the night.

looking forward to getting to know you mamas. for now, i'm heading back to work ...
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#34 of 52 Old 08-20-2010, 09:58 PM
 
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Wow, Joy, how did you get a ghost writing gig? How is the pay?

Mama to two lovely boys and a new baby due mid-May 2011
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#35 of 52 Old 08-20-2010, 10:26 PM
 
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Wow, Joy, how did you get a ghost writing gig? How is the pay?
i've gotten all my ghostwriting work through Guru, which is a site where people post jobs and writers bid on them, with samples, resumes, etc. there are a lot of annoying "My life is a bestseller, someone write a novel about me for $250 while I keep all the rights" kind of postings, but when you wade through those you can find some real clients. the pay for the ghostwriting is excellent (with a serious client), much better than content writing or translation.

my family is funny - my parents are very righteously indignant that i'm "not getting any credit." but hey, i'm getting paid up front before anyone else makes a dime for creative work, and i feel like i've gotten a massive education in fiction in the process, to the point where i feel confident enough to write my own fiction now. five years ago i would have told you unequivocally that fiction was not my game.
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#36 of 52 Old 08-22-2010, 02:22 PM
 
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oh great, i joined you all and now i'm a thread killer.

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katiedid, I'd be interesting in hearing more about how you've found your content jobs. I did a content writing job for a bit before I was pregnant but they're not hiring at the moment.
i got a great standing content job from Guru.com, and i see a lot of them on there.

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Originally Posted by rainbowmoon View Post
So on to my next question... Does anyone know is there is a way to buy health insurance by joining a writer's guild? I know there is such a thing, but forget with what organization. If anyone knows please PM me!
i have access to health insurance through the Dramatists Guild, but it's not great insurance and i just get mine through my husband's work. the Author's Guild (novels) and the WGA (film & TV) both have health insurance, too, if you write in those forms. just from googling, i found this: https://nwu.org/insurance it looks like a freelance writers union, which says they have health insurance only for the state of New York, but are working on a national program.
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#37 of 52 Old 08-22-2010, 08:41 PM
 
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Hey, ladies. Hope your week went well. I made my goals so I'm pretty pumped about that. What about you? Do you guys make weekly goals for yourselves?

Mama to two lovely boys and a new baby due mid-May 2011
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#38 of 52 Old 08-22-2010, 11:09 PM
 
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Not me.

I have managed to reduce my workload (hopefully in a way that is both enduring and incrementally better all the time) for the office, but I'm in overdrive at home. I've made an insane amount of pickles, canned almost enough tomatoes for the year, frozen corn and green beans...and we're almost 2 weeks into Ramadan.

I'm starting to get sad, though. I feel like I am putting off and putting off to achieve everyone else's objectives but mine. Waaah.

School starts soon, though, and I have no intention of going back to work as many hours as I had been working all summer. I have developed two really good kernels of ideas for work I want to do. Now, just need to take the time for them. Soon. Soon.
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#39 of 52 Old 08-23-2010, 11:52 AM
 
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i'm glad to see this thread started up again! genre? well, when i get around to writing, fiction. at the moment, i'm knee deep in writing articles/conducting interviews for a "green" magazine i'm so glad to have found steady work. they don't pay as much as i'd like but it's not horrible. online magazines are the best! some of them pay pretty well and it's so cool to see your work when it's all complete. they demand A LOT though. it's taken me so long to get to this point though. YEARS. has everyone else had a long struggle to get to the point where they feel like they can actually call themselves "freelance writers"?

wife to wonderful dh_malesling.GIF mama of three-DS1 born December 30, 2005 and DS2 born September 27, 2008 and one lovely little girl born September 7, 2011jumpers.gif

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#40 of 52 Old 08-26-2010, 03:53 PM
 
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has everyone else had a long struggle to get to the point where they feel like they can actually call themselves "freelance writers"?
i've always called myself a writer - usually a playwright - even when i wasn't making any money. i find naming things really important. BUT, it has been a long time of building to the place i'm at where i have steady clients and make decent money and am highly rated on Guru. that feels GREAT. i've just started to feel like if something horrible happened to DH, i would actually be able to support my kids okay. (i have a theatre degree and had previously wondered what on earth i'd do in that situation.)

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Do you guys make weekly goals for yourselves?
no. but i've never really had to make myself write. right now, with a small baby, the task is really figuring out where to carve out the chunks of time, but i know that whenever i have those windows, i will write.

i'm excited because my 9th grade English teacher and i are going to start exchanging chapters of our middle-grade novels! i'm going to be so tempted to give her a grade.
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#41 of 52 Old 08-26-2010, 11:00 PM
 
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Hello everyone,

I posted in Questions and Suggestions and was directed to the July thread but I didn't actually post until August 5th, after this new thread was started. My apologies to anyone that has already seen this.

I don't write for a living or even for a hobby but recently I made up a nonsense song for my 6 year old daughter at bedtime, rather than sing the usual lullaby. She insisted I put it in writing. I sang the final product to her the next day and she suggested I "copy" it.

I now have minor delusions of publishing it.

With my nephew's help I think I can put some basic sheet music together for it.

Realistically, is there any avenue for the average joe to try and publish a single work while protecting their intellectual property?

Thanks,
~Cath
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#42 of 52 Old 08-29-2010, 05:47 PM
 
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I called it quits on the rough draft on Friday of my fiction work. I was sick and sick and tired. I knew any other changes could come in the edits, but now I'm afraid of the editing. How did you guys get through editing if you have already done so? How long did it take? Any recommendation on what to do , not to do? I want to be done in a month or so. I hope.
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#43 of 52 Old 08-30-2010, 08:58 AM
 
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enfpintj, I've heard that it's better to put your first draft aside for about 6 weeks before rereading it. It gives you distance and objectivity, especially if you're sick to death of (or in love with) the material... I didn't wait before rereading my first draft, and I wish I had.

After 6 weeks, you'll want to reread your draft and make notes about what you like and don't like.

Jenny, reading & writing mama of dd(18), ds(6), and ds(3)
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#44 of 52 Old 08-30-2010, 10:12 AM
 
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I called it quits on the rough draft on Friday of my fiction work. I was sick and sick and tired. I knew any other changes could come in the edits, but now I'm afraid of the editing. How did you guys get through editing if you have already done so? How long did it take? Any recommendation on what to do , not to do? I want to be done in a month or so. I hope.
edit an entire novel in a month? in all honesty, and in my humblest of humble opinions, there ain't no way. You need to go through and through and through it, beginning to end, and more than once. More than 5 times. Ten times. Most editors say, "don't show me a thing until you've gone through it 20 times!".

Believe me, I was just like you way back, thinking I could do it quick. But, as I've learned, there is no quick with editing. If you do a whole book edit; then take a chapter a week, devour it and chop it up, polish and shine it to perfection; then go back through and do one more overall edit, you might be able to do it in 3-4 months.

But I would not rush the editing phase. Writing your first draft, yes. I like the 'write a book in a month' way because all first drafts need editing, and because I know how long a good edit can take.

Don't dismay. This is where most writers quit, but not you. You're going to put it down for a few weeks, mull it over in your mind, and then dive into editing. And you're going to hate it. You're going to loath editing - for a while. Then, all of a sudden, you're going to see the light, see how all this editing is making your novel so darn good! And then you're not going to get enough of it. Heck, the only reason you wake up before the crack of dawn is because you get to edit in silence, and you'll love it. You'll LOVE editing!

And then you'll be done. And ready to take on your next novel.

Read This Year You Write Your Novel by Walter Mosley. He talks about how much editing he does and why. Very quick read.

I know. I was not at all interested to even try to edit. Take a break, start fresh, and just do it. You'll be happy you did!
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#45 of 52 Old 09-02-2010, 05:25 PM
 
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thanks for the responses about editing. I really am not looking forward to doing it. It has taken me almost 3 years to get to this point. I did alot in fits and starts where months would go by between writing. I also did not go back and edit in between. So, most of what I have written I haven't touched in months if not years literally. Last week I worked on it and called it quits, but before that it was memorial day. I think that covers the 6 week waiting period for all but the last stuff. I probably won't pick it up until next week or so.

I understand what you are saying mommyhawk about taking it slow, and I'm sure it'll be longer than I think. I hope it won't be that long though. I'm not going to quit, I just want to be done with it. My first reader is ready to pass it on to her friends.
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#46 of 52 Old 09-03-2010, 03:33 PM
 
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enfpintj - remember, most first novels take between 5 and 10 to complete, so you're on the right track It's painful, but it's all about learning the craft inside and out too, so although we're rolling our eyes and withering in pain, we're learning great lessons that we will bring to our next books - and those books will not take as long to finish due to what we learned with the first! That's something to look forward too

I started my novel back in July 2004, a first chapter and an outline. My son was 9 months. I didn't touch it again until May 2008, after baby #2 was 2yo and I realized that I wanted to be a writer...so what was I waiting for??? (babies) So I wrote the first draft - by October 2008 - and didn't touch it again until March 2009 - to let it sink in... (holidays, babies) That's when I started editing, did it once through on my own, joined a critique group and enjoyed it at first, but quit recently because it was taking soooooooooooo long and felt like a hobby. I want to write for a career. So now I'm editing again on my own and loving it. WHEN I'll finish, I have no clue. But I can't wait to get it done and out the door for my first slew of rejections! See what else I can learn about this whole process.

Keep up the good fight!
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#47 of 52 Old 09-04-2010, 04:22 AM
 
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Hi everyone,

I'm so happy to have stumbled upon this thread tonight!

I wondered of anyone has taken any online creative writing courses? Or, any favourite informational websites or books you may suggest to this wanna-be-writer? Specifically, I have children's stories in mind.
Thankyou.

Erin

Mama to DS 02/15/06, and DD born 08/31/09!
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#48 of 52 Old 09-04-2010, 04:40 PM
 
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Editing
just saw this on Query Shark today and it sums up editing perfectly:

...can you see how clunky it is? One of the things you need to develop is the ability to edit yourself. All first drafts (and most second and third drafts!) suck. That's ok. The trick is to see what needs to be fixed.

Online Creative Writing Classes

I took a free course with Writer's Village University online and it was fun, informative, and best of all, I found great writers from all over to chat with and see how we all thought the same, talked the same, and for a lonely writer in her own little writing world, it was needed . Non-writer's are great, but they just don't get it
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#49 of 52 Old 09-04-2010, 07:00 PM
 
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Well, looks like I'll have time to write again soon. And maybe also some creative energy to use so I'm not just wasting electricity running my computer, or ink and paper.

Things are in sort of a lull at the office now that the FT writer job has been filled by a qualified person, so I can sort of sit back and chill a while. The gardens are winding down, too, so I am not under the gun to can and pickle until I can no longer hold my arms out in front of me...and this is the last week of fasting, so soon I'll have my wits back.

What's cool is that I've sort of started developing some new project ideas, both in different genres from my current WIP. I like the idea of switching between projects if one thing gums up or another is suddenly inspired. Of course, I like the idea of finishing anything even better. Anyway, what I'm here to say is that the dark cloud isn't over me anymore. I can feel the creativity coming back, and words in my mind are not such a garbled mess, feeling clearer all the time. I was grieving the ability to write when all my other "lives" were too demanding.

Even better, it looks like I have the opportunity to step away for a short vacation. Well, vacation for me, biz trip for dh. But it's overseas, and kids and farm will be cared for by dear friends and family. I will spend time alone, really alone, and more or less without responsibilities for a week. I'm really hopeful I can have some nice days of relaxation, reading and writing.
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#50 of 52 Old 09-05-2010, 01:41 AM
 
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I wondered of anyone has taken any online creative writing courses? Or, any favourite informational websites or books you may suggest to this wanna-be-writer? Specifically, I have children's stories in mind.
Thankyou.
honestly, the best education is reading tons and tons and tons of books in the genre you want to write. see what works, see what doesn't. analyze the books you love and the ones you hate and understand why they arouse your passions. anything that says it's going to tell you how to write a book is full of it, IMO. that said, these are my favorite books about writing (not how-to):

Bird by Bird, Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott (about the writing life)
The Forest for the Trees by Besy Lerner (about the publishing industry)

i have also heard great things about On Writing by Stephen King, though i've not read it yet.

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Anyway, what I'm here to say is that the dark cloud isn't over me anymore. I can feel the creativity coming back, and words in my mind are not such a garbled mess, feeling clearer all the time. I was grieving the ability to write when all my other "lives" were too demanding.
yay!! i'm so happy for you. i hope your vacation is restful AND productive!

i'm pounding along with my ghostwriting gig - it's going faster than i expected, so i'm also getting some work in on my own novel. with ghostwriting projects i always write a detailed outline (so the clients sign off before i start writing). gee, maybe i should write a detailed outline for my own projects ...
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#51 of 52 Old 09-05-2010, 03:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm so tempted to go and start a September thread, but I'm leaving it for someone else because I started this one... and haven't had time to come back since!

So I started a freelance job about a month ago and am finding it surprisingly doable. So, yay. It would be MORE doable if DS would nap, and/or if DH would get his butt out of bed in the morning and give me an hour, or even 30 minutes, to write.

I just went and signed up at Guru.com after reading the first couple pages of this thread, too. Geez, I am never going to have time to just HANG AROUND on the Internet again at this rate. (And I went and bid on ghostwriting somebody's porny-sounding novel, too. It sounded like easy-ish money, though.)

Winnie -- I agree, I think reading is the best education. The only online course I have taken was a synopsis writing course through the Romance Writers of America, a few years back, but synopsis are a whole different skill. (It turned out to be only semi-useful since I write fantasy/SF, and the long synopsis is used differently in my genre.)

enfpintj -- It took me far longer to edit my novel than it did to draft it in the first place. I finished the first draft in 45 days, the 2nd draft in 4 months, and the third draft in about 16 months. (I got pregnant in the middle of that one, though, and was too nauseated to write much, so much of that 16 months consisted of doing NOTHING at all.)

1jooj -- Seriously, I am jealous of your vacation plans! Oh, time alone to do whatever you want!!! I love DS to bits but it's been so, so hard going from having time to myself to having a baby on me 23.5 hours a day! I am getting really frustrated about lack of time to do anything non-child-related lately.

Erin, mom to DD (1/06) and DS (10/09)
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#52 of 52 Old 09-05-2010, 06:38 AM
 
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