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#1 of 52 Old 12-04-2008, 03:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Updated the title of thread to reflect its evolution! Keep posting pics and ideas!!! :


We live in a very tiny (<850 sq. ft.) house. It is just myself, DH, and our 18 mos. old DD. DH is in law school full time and I am trying to balance being a mama with doula work and writing my doctoral dissertation, so we don;t have much (read: any) extra money or time to invest in the house right now.

We loved this house when we bought it two years ago. It has a lot of charm, but we have been feeling cramped because of how much STUFF we have and are really trying to downsize and declutter, keepng only what we truly need/love. Please take a look and help me love our house!

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#2 of 52 Old 12-04-2008, 03:50 PM
 
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It's awesome!!!!

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#3 of 52 Old 12-04-2008, 03:59 PM
 
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I love it! I especially like the dining room, the colors and cabinets in the kitchen, and how clean the desk area is!!

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#4 of 52 Old 12-04-2008, 03:59 PM
 
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I love houses with character! That staircase is awesome. I love your banister. And the arch between the living and dining rooms. And the wood floors. You have a great house!

Kirsten, mama to Monkey since May 2007 and Bean born 11/7/09
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#5 of 52 Old 12-04-2008, 04:13 PM
 
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Your house is beautiful! I love the woodwork and the colors you've chosen. When my daughter was born we lived in a 600-square-foot house (with another couple hundred in a partially finished basement that we used as a laundry room/music studio), so 900-sq.-ft. seems big for a tiny house to me!

It doesn't look cluttered at all. I don't know how you managed not to have toys all over, but I salute you!
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#6 of 52 Old 12-04-2008, 04:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all so much :! I love all the things you mentioned, too. It's just so easy to forget sometimes when the quirky things I don't love so much seem to be what jumps out at me. We could obviously use a bit more seating in the living room and our basement is the dirty, unfinished kind. But we are working with it, slowly. We are turning the second bedroom (which has built-in bookcases along one whole wall) into an office which DH and I can share. We had it set up as a "nursery" for DD, but since we all sleep in the family bed, it seemed like waste of space to keep it as a nursery while all of our books got musty down in the basement. I can't wait to work upstairs this weekend. Thanks again for the feedback, keep it coming!

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#7 of 52 Old 12-04-2008, 04:22 PM
 
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The entryway might feel cozier if it didn't open right up into your living room. Simply moving what you have might be helpful. You could try pivoting your bookcase clockwise 90 degrees to help to define the entryway. Then move the couch to the right 90 degrees in front of the other windows. By placing the toys in the corner next to where the couch used to be, it will be partially concealed by the couch. It will also simplify your entry area. Then, try a small table with a mirror over the top (to double-check your look on your way out the door) where the toys were to complete the entryway....how's that so far?
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#8 of 52 Old 12-04-2008, 04:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It doesn't look cluttered at all. I don't know how you managed not to have toys all over, but I salute you!
Honestly, we just don't have that many toys! One of the perks of not having any money right now, I guess!

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#9 of 52 Old 12-04-2008, 04:22 PM
 
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The architectural touches and colors are great, and I love your style. That bathroom is really lovely! In all honesty, I would declutter even more, though. For instance, do you really need all of those inexpensive glass vases above the kitchen cabinets? I have like, two or three in different sizes and that's probably more than I need. Just a thought.

Also, the play area looks cluttered to me. Rather than downsizing the stuff in that area (that's not really a lot of toys, after all, and toys are important!) I would either invest in more upward shelving in that corner so that the toy storage stays a little more contained (shelving can be really inexpensive too ) or I would move her toys to a larger space by getting rid of oterh "stuff". It would be nice if she had her own playroom, since it IS a two bedroom house. But I understand that this is not always possible!

We have a two-bedroom apartment that we share with two little boys (2 and 4), and in our home the dining room doubles as an office (and it works and looks very nice, I think!) This frees up the second bedroom for the boys. We just moved here from a one-bedroom, where their toys used to be in a corner of the living room (and our computer desk was in the living room too!) They love having their own playroom now.

If you do have the second bedroom functioning as an office or study I would consider downsizing the stuff in that room and moving the office function to another room. I actually like the desk in the entry way, I thought it looked fine there-- very creative use of space. But if it is not a comfortable place to study, then definitely move it.

Your house is gorgeous and lovely, thank you for sharing it!

♥ blogger astrologer mom to three cool kiddos, and trying to figure out this divorce thing-- Blossom and Glow ♥

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#10 of 52 Old 12-04-2008, 04:23 PM
 
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Wow! I love your home. It looks very cute and happy! It looks like you have figured out a lot of clever ways to utilize your space. And your funky 1950s bathroom makes me smile. Thanks for sharing!
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#11 of 52 Old 12-04-2008, 04:24 PM
 
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May I also say, that I love all the details about your home. Your color choices etc are terrific. You have really great color taste etc.
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#12 of 52 Old 12-04-2008, 04:24 PM
 
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Lovely home. The colors are beautiful. Just a very few thoughts.
  1. The guitar on the stand on the stairs would drive me bonkers. Can you either mount it on the wall or pare down your collection of guitars from three to two?
  1. The flower vases on top of the kitchen cabinets. Do you need this many? It looks like clutter to me.
  1. Can you clear more of your horizontal space on your tables? Hang photos on the walls.

In general, I'd keep track of the things you actually USE over the next month that are out or on surfaces. Be ruthless. If you don't use all the things on your desk, the utensils in your crock in your kitchen, all the toys in the play area, etc. then reduce the amount that you have out and put the rest in organized storage away from sight.
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#13 of 52 Old 12-04-2008, 04:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Then move the couch to the right 90 degrees in front of the other windows. By placing the toys in the corner next to where the couch used to be, it will be partially concealed by the couch. It will also simplify your entry area. Then, try a small table with a mirror over the top (to double-check your look on your way out the door) where the toys were to complete the entryway....how's that so far?
I LOVE this idea, but the only problem is that the loveseat is blocking a radiator (with a cover we made). If we moved it in front of the front windows, we would open some space, but it would be right in front of the radiator.

I know exactly what you're saying, though. I totally agree that the entryway needs to be set apart in some way.

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#14 of 52 Old 12-04-2008, 04:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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LTB - I love the idea of the dining room doing double duty as an office, but it just wasn't practical for us when we were using it that way. For one, our table (which my grandmother was baptized on!), is round and we don't have anywhere to put bookshelves. We had considered trying to build some ourselves around the entryway, against the wall, but that idea just sort of fell by the wayside. Do you think it would be to cluttered with all those books in there? The upside to using the 2nd bedroom as an office is that it has built-in bookshelves (swoon).

McF - We probably could move that guitar somewhere else. My DH likes to buy and refinish old guitars, but it would make the stairway feel so much more open. Thanks!

sls - thanks for making me feel better about our bathroom!

We can definitely downsize on the vases .

Great suggestions, thanks!

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#15 of 52 Old 12-04-2008, 04:43 PM
 
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I LOVE this idea, but the only problem is that the loveseat is blocking a radiator (with a cover we made). If we moved it in front of the front windows, we would open some space, but it would be right in front of the radiator.
What about putting the rocking chair and other chair with their backs to the entryway, keeping the couch where it is and put the toys between the repositioned bookcase and the chairs? It's hard to figure out from just the pictiures how each one relates to each other.
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#16 of 52 Old 12-04-2008, 04:49 PM
 
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tiny? it`s great! we live in a 262sq.foot apartment...so your house is awsome!
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#17 of 52 Old 12-04-2008, 04:54 PM
 
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LTB - I love the idea of the dining room doing double duty as an office, but it just wasn't practical for us when we were using it that way. For one, our table (which my grandmother was baptized on!), is round and we don't have anywhere to put bookshelves. We had considered trying to build some ourselves around the entryway, against the wall, but that idea just sort of fell by the wayside. Do you think it would be to cluttered with all those books in there? The upside to using the 2nd bedroom as an office is that it has built-in bookshelves (swoon).
Hmmm, the built-in bookshelves in the second bedroom does lend itself to being the office, doesn't it? And since you are both in school currently, it is very important that you two have a comfortable space to study in.

I still would like to see a larger playspace for your daughter, though. The truth is, you don't have enough space for all of the functions that you want, so something will have to give. Have you looked at IKEA stuff yet? I'm not talking about buying anything there, but just that they have a lot of great ideas for multipurposing small spaces. The living room can be set up as more of a playroom, without the need to have just one corner be a play area, if you incorporate a theme of fun and playfulness throughout the whole living room. In other words, a playroom for DD that also happens to have adult seating.

If you need more storage space, consider lining the dining room walls with shelving (square shelving in very dark brown would be very chic). This could be used to store toys, art/craft supplies for DD, and/or dishes, and display more of those photos, and all of it can be done very attractively. I love your dining table set, btw.

♥ blogger astrologer mom to three cool kiddos, and trying to figure out this divorce thing-- Blossom and Glow ♥

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#18 of 52 Old 12-04-2008, 04:54 PM
 
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Lol - You have as much Cheerios on hand as we do!:

My grandmother's best advice to me was to "always store everything as close as possible to where you use it, keeping what you use most often handier than things you use less often."

I hope that helps.
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#19 of 52 Old 12-04-2008, 05:03 PM
 
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totally pretty! i think your living space downstairs will open up a lot when you move the office stuff upstairs. that will be awesome. i thought the play areas were very tidy and i, too, looooove the bathroom. i can't believe you think the tile is hideous. i love it. at least you want to cover it rather than rip it out, so the next person might enjoy it!

i thought you could simplify the dining room "stuff" on the table & cabinet, and little things like putting up the picture that's on the floor behind the loveseat (is that a treasure map?), reducing the quantity of vases or putting them away, etc would visually streamline things.

have you considered ditching the microwave? what about removing the table with your breadmaker (since you don't use it!) and pushing the play area back into that corner?
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#20 of 52 Old 12-04-2008, 05:04 PM
 
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Wow! I love your home. It looks very cute and happy! It looks like you have figured out a lot of clever ways to utilize your space. And your funky 1950s bathroom makes me smile. Thanks for sharing!
That 50's bathroom is awesome. I love the tile floor. It is beautiful!!! hmmm, not very often that I love a bathroom floor - LOL
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#21 of 52 Old 12-04-2008, 05:04 PM
 
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Hmmm, the built-in bookshelves in the second bedroom does lend itself to being the office, doesn't it? And since you are both in school currently, it is very important that you two have a comfortable space to study in.

I still would like to see a larger playspace for your daughter, though. The truth is, you don't have enough space for all of the functions that you want, so something will have to give. Have you looked at IKEA stuff yet? I'm not talking about buying anything there, but just that they have a lot of great ideas for multipurposing small spaces. The living room can be set up as more of a playroom, without the need to have just one corner be a play area, if you incorporate a theme of fun and playfulness throughout the whole living room. In other words, a playroom for DD that also happens to have adult seating.

If you need more storage space, consider lining the dining room walls with shelving (square shelving in very dark brown would be very chic). This could be used to store toys, art/craft supplies for DD, and/or dishes, and display more of those photos, and all of it can be done very attractively. I love your dining table set, btw.
My house is a little bigger than the OPs, but we don't have a devoted playroom for our LO. Aside from that, my DS is also rather high needs and won't play in a different room than I am in. So my solution is to set up various play areas around the house, much like the OP has done.

Our living room has a train table and a large basket for toys. I also keep a basket of wooden blocks under the futon, along with a potty chair. In the dinning room, DS has his own small book shelf which holds books, craft/coloring supplies, play dough, musical instruments, and play food. Also nearby is the play kitchen that I made him for Christmas last year. Our office has a basket of kids books for DS, as well as a toy barn with animals. In our bedroom, DS has another basket with books for bedtime reading. Then there is also another play area in his bedroom, but since it's on the second floor and he's rarely in there, he doesn't play in his room very often. I rotate toys to different rooms every so often, so that he doesn't get bored. If you want to see pics of these play area, let me know and I'll post them.

I think making play spaces around the house is fine and logical with a small house. A designated play room is a luxury, IMO. Plus, not all children had the temperament to play in a different room by themselves.
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#22 of 52 Old 12-04-2008, 05:07 PM
 
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what about removing the table with your breadmaker (since you don't use it!) and pushing the play area back into that corner?
Could you use that table by the entryway?!
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#23 of 52 Old 12-04-2008, 05:11 PM
 
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It is a beautiful home and the design looks to be a good use of space. Its wonderful that you have a basement with which you can work. If you are considering getting rid of something you can put it in your basement for a while and then see if you missing having it around. If you do want it back then its easy to get back. Its a nice way to do a trial run.

I think keeping the windows open (although its winter) would make it look larger and bring in a lot more light for you. I suppose it depends on how well your windows insulate.

I'd look for decorative storage. Can you check out a thrift store for old baskets, especially those with lids. Clutter can be contained but sitll within easy reach for use.

I think you really have most of it under control. Congrats!

Mom of a 7 yr old, 4 yr old, and 1 yr old. Wow. How did that happen?
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#24 of 52 Old 12-04-2008, 05:13 PM
 
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I still would like to see a larger playspace for your daughter, though. . . . The living room can be set up as more of a playroom, without the need to have just one corner be a play area, if you incorporate a theme of fun and playfulness throughout the whole living room. In other words, a playroom for DD that also happens to have adult seating.
i'm about that . . . it's not like her dd is penned into the area where her toys are. it's just a place for them to belong. my poor boys have no play area whatsoever - they just play wherever, all over the house. don't they all?
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#25 of 52 Old 12-04-2008, 05:26 PM
 
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I love it. Very well done Alana.

I think you need an office for sure. We live in 900 sf and one room is our desks and dh's piano. It makes life nicer to have work space seperate and you need to be able to close the door to do your writting. Plus, musty books is a tragedy!

I like the idea of less vases - what about the microwave? Do you use it often? If so, keep it, if not, it would give you a lot more counter space. I'd get rid of the entryway desk and go for just a clean table for mail and keys. If you redo the second room as an office this should be easy.

The livingrooom feels the most tight to me. What is next to the love seat? Could that bookshelf go in the office when it is ready?

I'd sell the breadmaker on CL and see about a new place for the table (perhaps were the desk was?)

This makes me want to post my home!

Megan Davidson, Labor & Postpartum Doula, Breastfeeding Counselor, Anthropologist, Mom to August (9) and Clay (4), Partner to Shawn.

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#26 of 52 Old 12-04-2008, 05:31 PM
 
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OMG that is the CUTEST house i have ever seen! Just absolutly precious! Ilove all of your antique stuff!

Melanie- Mama to my super hero daughter superhero.gif bravely battling brain cancer. ribbongrey.gif ribbongold.gif  www.fightformaddie.com  and expecting 1sttri.gif 1/13!!!!

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#27 of 52 Old 12-04-2008, 05:32 PM
 
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I love it. Very well done Alana.

I think you need an office for sure. We live in 900 sf and one room is our desks and dh's piano. It makes life nicer to have work space seperate and you need to be able to close the door to do your writting. Plus, musty books is a tragedy!

I like the idea of less vases - what about the microwave? Do you use it often? If so, keep it, if not, it would give you a lot more counter space. I'd get rid of the entryway desk and go for just a clean table for mail and keys. If you redo the second room as an office this should be easy.

The livingrooom feels the most tight to me. What is next to the love seat? Could that bookshelf go in the office when it is ready?

I'd sell the breadmaker on CL and see about a new place for the table (perhaps were the desk was?)

This makes me want to post my home!
100%
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#28 of 52 Old 12-04-2008, 05:46 PM
 
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i'm about that . . . it's not like her dd is penned into the area where her toys are. it's just a place for them to belong. my poor boys have no play area whatsoever - they just play wherever, all over the house. don't they all?
I guess I just feel that since my kids are my equals, their stuff should get equal space and consideration. In our last apartment, half of the living room was taken up with a large wooden climbing structure with a slide. this left room for a couch (no other seating and no coffee table). It seemed only fair, after all, they do comprise 50% of the household in our house! Why should the whole living room be an adult sitting area? It seems to me like many houses are not set up to be especially kid-friendly, really. It's not about keeping the kid stuff away from the adult stuff-- not at all-- but just to make sure that the children's needs for room function receive equal weight with adult needs. For some families who prefer a more traditional sitting room for entertaining other adults in, it works better to have a separate room for storing toys and keeping as a designated play space. For other families, the living IS a playroom, in which case, 1/3 to 1/2 of the living room space ought to be devoted to children's play structures and to storing toys (IMO!) It's just about considering every one in the house equally, that's all.

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#29 of 52 Old 12-04-2008, 06:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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i thought you could simplify the dining room "stuff" on the table & cabinet, and little things like putting up the picture that's on the floor behind the loveseat (is that a treasure map?), reducing the quantity of vases or putting them away, etc would visually streamline things.

have you considered ditching the microwave? what about removing the table with your breadmaker (since you don't use it!) and pushing the play area back into that corner?
This is helpful. We can definitely try to find other places for all the tabletop stuff. Yes, that is a treasure map! I will be hanging it upstairs over my desk when we make the switch.

The table with breadmaker is very awkward, but it was my DHs grandfather's and he loves it. We could possibly move it into the "new" entryway, though.

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My house is a little bigger than the OPs, but we don't have a devoted playroom for our LO. Aside from that, my DS is also rather high needs and won't play in a different room than I am in. So my solution is to set up various play areas around the house, much like the OP has done.

Our living room has a train table and a large basket for toys. I also keep a basket of wooden blocks under the futon, along with a potty chair. In the dinning room, DS has his own small book shelf which holds books, craft/coloring supplies, play dough, musical instruments, and play food. Also nearby is the play kitchen that I made him for Christmas last year. Our office has a basket of kids books for DS, as well as a toy barn with animals. In our bedroom, DS has another basket with books for bedtime reading. Then there is also another play area in his bedroom, but since it's on the second floor and he's rarely in there, he doesn't play in his room very often. I rotate toys to different rooms every so often, so that he doesn't get bored. If you want to see pics of these play area, let me know and I'll post them.

I think making play spaces around the house is fine and logical with a small house. A designated play room is a luxury, IMO. Plus, not all children had the temperament to play in a different room by themselves.
Yes, I have always wanted to have a creative space for my family with small areas for DD in every room. I'd love to see pics of the play areas you've set up!

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I'd get rid of the entryway desk and go for just a clean table for mail and keys. If you redo the second room as an office this should be easy.

The livingrooom feels the most tight to me. What is next to the love seat? Could that bookshelf go in the office when it is ready?

I'd sell the breadmaker on CL and see about a new place for the table (perhaps were the desk was?)

This makes me want to post my home!
Thanks, Megan! I love the idea of a simple, less cluttered entryway. The living room is the most cramped space because it is so long and narrow. The main (front windows) are on the same wall as the front door, across from the wall with the stairway and the entrance into the dining room. It is very awkward to arrange furniture in a way that is comfortable since there is no real focal point to the room.

Yes, post away!

Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyblackdot View Post
OMG that is the CUTEST house i have ever seen! Just absolutly precious! Ilove all of your antique stuff!
Thank you!

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#30 of 52 Old 12-04-2008, 06:48 PM
 
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I have to clean my house first Perhaps after some more attention, I will post to get feedback.

Megan Davidson, Labor & Postpartum Doula, Breastfeeding Counselor, Anthropologist, Mom to August (9) and Clay (4), Partner to Shawn.

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