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When you get that notion, put your backfield in motion

Officially a Mom


Putting that Backfield in Motion since 2003

Sunday, April 30, 2006

I got a fever

And the only prescription is more My Space surfing! Holy friggin' crap am I addicted to My Space. I don't even have a "space" and I can't get enough of that place. Everyone and their proverbial mamas are on there. So far, I have been stalking catching up on all the former cast members of the Real World and Road Rules, my junior year organic chemistry lab partner, people I went to high school with, friends who were friends only because of the ex (aka big fat loser), and my ex brother in law (dude, is FINALLY out of the closet). I'm trying to figure out if my super-Catholic, holier than thou, "our family is perfect" ex-mother-in-law is more proud of her oldest son- the bartending college drop-out or her youngest son- the flaming homosexual. Unfortunately, that question will remain unanswered as she is one of the few people in this world NOT on My Space. I'm more proud of the flaming homosexual. Girlfriend looks hot!

Anyhoo, while perusing My Space, I came upon the space of a former friend who, like me, is all about the husband and the kid. Her space is decorated with family photos, tales of playdates and vents about why Moose A. Moose and Zee can't have their own show on Noggin seeing as how they are the only two characters worth watching (give me the petition, I'll sign). In her "about" section she described her 2.5 year old daughter as beautiful (she is) and very intelligent (errr, what?). Come on people, can two and half year olds really be "very intelligent"? What constitutes a "very intelligent" two and a half year old? I mean, unless the girl is emplyed and pulling her own weight in the household or doing some linear algebra between counting from 1-10 and singing the alphabet song, is it ever fair to describe a two and a half year old as intelligent? Never mind "very" intelligent?

Or is the problem with me seeing as how I can think of lots of words to describe my fanulous Gavinator but "very intelligent" is not one of them?

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Friday, April 28, 2006

Mission impossible

Do you know how hard it is to pump when you have a "crick" in your neck and you can't look down?

It's hard. Very hard.

Women weren't meant to breast pump on touch and sound alone.

I shouldn't have worn black pants today.

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Monday, April 24, 2006

Right before my very eyes

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G-mail #10

Halloooooooo, everyone! It’s official! I’ve hit the double digits! That’s right, I’m TEN months old. Actually, seeing as how I’m a little late getting the old g-mail out, I’m ten months and three days old. So sorry this is late but I’m a busy little girl. So many people to see, places to go, cheerios to eat, and diapers to poop in. I am loving the warm weather! Mommy, brother, and I go on a walk and play outside every evening. All of our neighbors are outside so I’m starting to spend more time with more people and guess what? I’m not afraid of strangers any more! I used to cry when people juts looked at me but people are really cool and they say such sweet things about me! Of course, they always have to pinch my cheeks or my legs and that is getting a little old but what can I say? I’m pinchable! I am slowly but surely getting a little less pinchable. I’m starting to grow into all my chub so people better get it while it’s hot. According to my doctor and my mommy, at 24 and a half pounds and 30 and a half inches, I am totally OFF the growth chart but for the first time, my weight for length is on the growth chart. What that means to all you not up on growth charts is that I’m proportionate. Whew, that’s a big word for a little lady!

Well, aside from the awesome weather, the highlight of this month was going to West Virginia and seeing Pa and Great Grandma again and meeting all my family and friends. Are you ready for this? This is everyone I met: Sarah, Peanut, Gabe, Patrick, Peggy, Jon, Emma, Jake, Brody, Cathy, Mike, Isabella, Emily, Christian, Jennifer, Xander, Roberta, Aunt Rachel, Uncle Scott, Brittany, Colin, Lisa, Max, Erik, Jennifer, and Jaxon. That’s a lot of people to love and miss, huh? Mommy tells me there are even more people I need to meet and love on this summer! I’m one lucky little girl! I’m especially lucky because all of mommy’s friends have little boys and they are some cutie patooties! I know big brother is betrothed to Isabella but I’m still not sure who I’m gonna be betrothed to! Christian was a little forward for my tastes but he is really cool and so funny. Peggy would be a really cool mother-in-law and Jake and Brody are awfully sweet but Patrick and Gabe can give them a run for their money! Then, of course, there’s Max and he is from Norway and there is just something about a baby who coo’s with an accent!

Me and Pa
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Me and Christian
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All of us
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Me and Max
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Mommy had a great time in Charleston. She hung with all her old buds and met some of her Babycenter buds and she actually had a night out downtown. Don’t worry, I didn’t let her off the hook. I was awake and crying for her when she got home at 1:30 am!!! The nerve of her! Doesn’t she know I like my milk promptly at 1:00?????

Mommy is now the tall one AND the one with a singleton!
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Mommy should have been nursing me…. Not nursing that seven and seven!!
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Mommy and her Babycenter buds
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I may have been rough on mommy in West Virginia but I am sleeping more and more. On my ten month birthday I slept ten hours straight- an all-time best. I usually sleep 6-8 hours straight in my own room before making mommy come and get me so I can sleep with her. Mommy is feeling so much better since I let her sleep. Also, big brother and I are getting along really well. He is starting to talk more and more and that is easier on all of us! He is my bestest friend!

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I celebrated my first Easter! Mommy took us to Aunt Heather’s and we went to the Bunny Bash and I had my very first picnic. I had so much fun playing with Ally and Maddie. I can’t wait until I see them again. Hopefully mommy will take me up there again real soon. On Easter Sunday, we had dinner over Aunt Sue’s house! It was a lot of fun. I didn’t get to eat any of the meal but it looked like mommy enjoyed it and I was content to munch on cheerios and plastic Easter eggs. I still nurse and eat mostly baby food but I’m beginning to eat more big people food. I had spaghetti and I loved it and big bro likes to share his Mighty Bites with me. I started eating yogurt this month- YUMMY- and peas are still my favorite food. I could eat peas morning, noon, and night. Makes sense since mommy calls me her sweetpea!

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Well, that’s all from here. We’re enjoying springtime and I hope all of you all are too!

Love you,

The Goosers.

Bear Compare

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Friday, April 21, 2006

Seven degrees of Amanda

A couple years ago my sister moved into a new neighborhood and her neighbors were from New Jersey. I was talking to the husband one evening and as he described his childhood, I realized it sounded exactly like my best friend Nikki G’s description of her childhood in New Jersey (she moved to West Virginia in the 8th grade). It turns out that he lived next door to Nikki G in New Jersey! So, I thought that was rather small world-ish that my sister’s neighbor in NC used to be my best friend’s neighbor in NJ before she moved to WV.

Well, fast forward to last Monday when I was bored and decided that given all the recent hype, I would check out My Space. They have a people search function and the first person I ALWAYS search for when given the chance to search for long, lost friends is my old friend, Kelley. She moved from WV to Md when we were in the 5th grade and thanks in part to my Great Aunt living in Baltimore, we were able to stay in touch. The last time I saw her I was 23 years old. When I moved to SC I lost touch with a lot of people and I was especially crushed to have lost contact with her- someone I had known for so long. My dad had heard from an old neighbor that she had moved to California and I seriously doubted I would ever be able to find her. So I typed in her name and lo and behold, Kelley is on my space. I immediately joined my space so I could send her an e-mail and I promptly heard back. She is in California and- start singing “It’s A Small World”- her neighbor is one of my old neighbors in WV! I rode the bus to high school in the tenth grade with a guy who now lives in California next door to my old best friend. Weird. I’m beginning to think a good portion of the US may just know each other because of me.

On a side note, I looked up a lot of people on my space and unfortunately curiosity got the best of me and I looked up the ex. Holy, freakin’ crap the dude is a loser. Yes, I was once married to a 29 year old bartender who lists Jim Beam as the “person he would like to meet”, boobies as his “favorite things” and decorates his “space” with the Pittsburgh Steelers and dancing boobs. All I can do is shake my head.

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Wednesday, April 19, 2006

How to get out of jury duty

Me: Hi, yes, ummmm, I was called to jury duty at the end of this month and I was just calling to make sure that arrangements could be made to meet my "special needs".

Docket clerk: Special needs?

Me: See, I'm a breastfeeding mother and I need to pump my breast milk while I am away from my daughter to ensure that I can continue to provide breast milk for her.

Docket clerk: What kind of arrangements will you need?

Me: I will need adequate time away... about 20 minutes every two or three hours... and a private room for me to pump my breast milk. I need the room to have access to a sink and/or running water. Then I will also need a refrigerator that I can use to store my expressed breast milk in.

Docket clerk: I see. Can you hold?

Me: Yes I can hold, thank you.

Shuffling of papers, clicking of the phone on the desk.

Docket clerk: Ma'am?

Me: Yes?

Docket clerk: Ummmmm, how about if I just excuse you from jury duty?

Me: That would be wonderful seeing as how I will need to pump breast milk when I'm away from my daugher but I would really like to fullfill my civic....

Docket clerk: No. No, ummm, just don't worry about that. I'll excuse you and maybe...

Me: I'm sure she'll be weaned in two, maybe three years and then....

Docket clerk: No. No, don'y worry about it. I'll excuse you. I, ummmm, understand. You are excused from jury duty. I'll just make a note of it right here.

Me: Thank you. Have a nice day.

Docket clerk: You too.

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Tuesday, April 18, 2006

All the cool kids are doing it

Well, I’ve been tagged by Melissa so I must list six weird habits/things/facts about myself:

1. I always wear earrings. Always.
2. I’m slightly obsessive compulsive about drawers, curtains and doors. The curtains must be straightened to my liking and all drawers and doors must be closed!
3. I’m afraid of becoming overweight.
4. I make sounds effects when I drive (like squeal, crash, honk, etc…). I am overjoyed that Gavin has begun making the sound effects, too, as the husband can’t stand it when I (we) do it.
5. I have had the same shower routine for as long as I can remember. I do everything in the exact same order every time I shower. Get wet, shampoo hair, shave right leg, rinse hair, condition hair, shave left leg, rinse hair, shave armpits, wash body, wash face, rinse, and I’m done.
6. I’m a total freak about music in that I think I have a touch of sensory dysfunction because certain songs remind me so much of certain places and people that I can smell, see, feel, and practically be exactly where I was and who I was with when I used to hear the song. Some songs bring back memories that are a bit too much to take and I have a hard time listening to them. Freshman by The Verve is one of those songs.

Now, if you are reading this, consider yourself tagged. Come on, do it. I did it for Melissa, so you can do it for me. And then come back and tell me so I can read your quirks.

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Monday, April 17, 2006

What’s wrong with him

What’s wrong with him? Don’t I wish I knew.

Sometimes I can convince myself it is only typical two year and a half year old behavior or that boys will just be boys. Other times I can almost believe he is just high needs or spirited or perhaps a bit on the hyperactive side. Sensory integration dysfunction compounded with the speech delay is a likely culprit but there is no consistency in his sensory seeking or sensory avoiding behaviors. We received a letter regarding our appointment at the developmental pediatrician and fortunately, he tested negative for autism but he was found to be at risk in the following areas:

Activity/impulsivity
Aggression/defiance
Separation distress
Negative emotionality
Compliance
Attention
Empathy
Prosocial peer relationships

We have an evaluation with a pediatric psychologist next month and we are, of course, continuing with speech and physical therapy. I attempted to Google all the above terms and do some research of my own to be better prepared for our psych appointment but I got as far as negative emotionality when I discovered a common outcome in children who exhibit all of the above characteristics: they all grow up to be terrorists. Needless to say, I immediately quit the Googling because I’m still nursing Grace and let’s face it, it would take a hell of a lot of sour apple Vodka and Sprite to get me through the rest of the list and I don’t think Grace’s liver is up to the challenge. When I first read the list I was upset but I also was immediately in denial. "But aren’t those characteristics of ALL two and a half year olds", I lamented to anyone who would listen. At face value, those are characteristics of most two year olds. Most two year olds are active, impulsive and don’t want to listen or pay attention to anyone. The difference between usual two year old behavior and two year old behavior that gets a letter mailed to you with a list of risk factors for growing into a terrorist is the intensity. Let me put it this way, if all two year olds were peppers some would be a little hot, some would be a lot hot, and some wouldn’t even be hot at all. The Gavinator? He is a habanero pepper. Some two year olds may make your eyes water and some may even burn your throat burn but my kid will burn your freakin’ face off.

I am once again facing the truth that things with my son are not quite right. I first faced it back in October while attending my niece’s birthday party and Gavin threw a three hour fit. I am facing it again after once again visiting my sister and her kids and taking Gavin to a Bunny Bash. It is very rare that I take him out of the confines of his sensory safe home environment but when I do, it is like hitting a brick wall and unfortunately, both of those walls were hit when I travel solo with him out of town. I had no sooner unlatched his carseat straps when he began screaming, kicking, and writhing. Any attempts to entertain Gavin with all the Bash had to offer resulted in him putting his hands over his ears and running in a straight line far, far away from me without ever looking back. I was hoping he could participate in the Easter egg hunt but Gavin doesn’t engage in play or activities. He only runs free like a wild animal and I don’t even think he could get the concept of collecting eggs as it doesn’t involve him spinning, jumping, spitting, or screaming. I ended up strapping him down in Grace’s too small stroller and wearing Grace in a sling for the better part of the afternoon. We eventually made our way to a playground and Gavin enjoyed that but he began his usual seeking of visual stimulation and would only run back and forth across the play bridge with his eyes less than an inch from the red metal bars totally oblivious to everything else around him.

I just watched him and while my heart filled with love for my unique little boy, I could only watch the other children with envy. Not envy for me but envy for Gavin. Their world is one in which information from all the senses is processed normally. There is no need to cover their ears, run, push or pull, scream, or run back in forth in front of red metal bars over and over again. Sure, they can do those things if they want to but they don’t have to. Gavin has to. My sister asked me “what’s wrong with him” and what are the therapists telling us to do for him and I really don’t know. The only thing I do know for sure is that I love him so much it hurts but I’m tired and sometimes… like when I’m all misty-eyed from merely looking at pictures of children his age who are able to calmly and happily participate in an Easter egg hunt… I wish he was normal. Not for me but for him. There is so much he seems to be missing out on and it can’t possibly be fun to live in his sensory screwed up world. Of course, I don’t expect him to live up to my standards of happiness and I realize doing what he does makes him different from other kids but it also meets his needs and brings him some happiness. Unfortunately, it is not happiness alone that allows us to function in society. School is right around the corner and it is a totally different world than our sensory safe home dictated by Gavin’s needs. The boy. He is going to need to fit in one day.

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Friday, April 14, 2006

No time for blogging as of late

With the lovely weather here in the southeast I have been spending most of my time outside and that has cut into blogging time so for those of you who enjoy my rantings and ramblings; sorry.

Of course, the lovely weather is only a teeny fraction of why I haven't had much time to blog. The Goosers has been sleeping for 8 hours straight this past week so I have been SLEEPING and get this! The husband and I have dusted off the old libidos and managed to horizontal tango not once but TWICE this week! Two records were set in our household this week! This is the most sleep and sex I have gotten since Grace has been born. Not sure you wanted to know all that but there you have it.

Life is good.

In the meantime, enjoy some pics of the kids!

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Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Three things me no comprehendo

I so totally and completely do NOT understand:

1. How Grace can fall asleep peacefully in her stroller while me and two neighbors yap at the top of our lungs and the Gavinator screams and screams and screams yet not fall asleep easily in the peaceful quiet of her own bedroom with the soothing sounds of the ocean and a Fisher Price ceiling light show.

2. How I can pump two times a day for 40 minutes and get a mere 8 ounces and then pump three times a day for a full 60 minutes and still get only a mere 8 ounces.

3. How I can love with all my heart the television show American Idol but hate Kelly, Ruben, Clay, Fantasia, Carrie, and every other crap pop song on the radio by an American Idol contestant/winner.

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Monday, April 10, 2006

Can you pay a rainbow to be less beautiful?

How many times to I have to feed Grace mangoes before I stop talking like Mango from Saturday Night Live?

Do you want the Mango, Grace?

No, you can't have-a the Mango (smacks butt).

Such is the Mango.

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Sunday, April 09, 2006

Moves like a jungle cat

I found this to be oddly hypnotic. So much so that I have spent the better part of my morning watching it instead of doing the million other things I should be doing. I need a life.

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Saturday, April 08, 2006

Fiber has never been so cute

Gavin is totally addicted to Kashi Go Lean cereal. He asks for it by saying:

"Tashees, tashees, tashees"

And when he gets it a bowl he says:

"Ohhhhhhh, tasheeeeeeeeeeeees".

Abso-freakin-lutely one of the cutest things I have ever heard. Seeing as how Kashi has something like 7 grams of fiber or something per bite, the diapers leave something to be desired. They should have named that stuff Colon Blow.

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Thursday, April 06, 2006

Walk America

Premature birth is the leading cause of newborn death and many lifelong disabilities. Premature birth can happen to any pregnant woman, and no one knows why. Every year, a half a million babies in the US are born premature. In 2005, four of those babies were born to two of my best friends. Both Sarah and Peggy experienced weeks of hospital bed rest, premature delivery of fraternal boy twins at only 30 weeks, and weeks of caring for the boys in the NICU. I can’t pretend to imagine for one second what they must have gone through while being faced with premature labor, what can only be described as the NICU roller coaster, and caring for not one, but two babies with such great needs. When I was home last week I was amazed to see such healthy and strong little boys reaching so many milestones.

You can help the March of Dimes fight prematurity by taking steps in WalkAmerica or by sponsoring my friends at:

Peggy

Sarah


Join WalkAmerica and a million compassionate people nationwide who care about saving babies. Do it in the name of someone you love – a premature baby, a healthy baby, your own baby or the baby of a relative or friend.

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Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Home

We had a great time visiting family and friends in West Virginia last week. It was made even more special by meeting fellow feeding choices debate board cohost, Lisa, and poster, Jennifer. The week was so great, in fact, we discussed the possibility of moving back during our entire trip home but as much as I would love to be close to so many people who mean so much to me, I also would love to be able to provide for my family and there is no way I could do that in West Virginia. I wish I didn't have to worry about money and could take a job working on soft money doing what I do best- community nutrition in rural areas- but I had a graduate assistantship doing that kind of work so I know the long hours, the grant writing, the traveling even in several feet of snow, and unfortunately, I also know the extremely poor pay. I worry about money making what I currently make so I can't imagine supporting a family on half that while residing in an area with a higher cost of living. Oh well, it gives me a place to visit and to miss, right?

This was my longest trip home since I moved back in 1999 so there was plenty of time for me to do everything I wanted to do and see who I wanted to see and you would have also thought it was plenty of time to get annoyed by my family and remember why I moved away but surprisingly enough, I found them enjoyable as well. The Zoloft must really be working. My grandma (who is 82 years old so I will forgive all of her parenting advice faux pas) was the worst with her constant complaining that Gavin wasn't potty trained (You mean he uses the bathroom in his pants? Maybe if you took him to the toilet he would go there!), Gavin's hair was too long (I can't see his face!), how do you know people you haven't met (what's the internet? What's a bulletin board??), and how long was I going to nurse Grace (But she has teeth!!!)!?! My bother and his family were visiting, too, and his almost two year old son is about .001% as active as Gavin. He was an extremely easy-going, laid-back little fella. Looking at him and Gavin next to each other was like watching a this is your brain (zoom in on Colin quietly playing with Thomas the Tank Engine), this is your brain on drugs (zoom in on Gavin running, screaming, and spitting for the 15th hour in a row) public service announcement. I overhead dad telling my brother that it is obvious from Colin's behavior that he is a really good dad. As I had just dragged Gavin upstairs kicking and screaming to bed for the fourth night in a row, I popped my head around the corner and said "well then I must be a really bad mother then, huh?". You could have heard crickets. Dead silence. I know I'm not a bad mother and I know Gavin isn't a bad kid but it's the whole sibling rivalry thing I suppose. Not that I actively engage in any sort fo rivalry, I just would have liked to have heard something other than "wow, he sure is wide open, isn't he?". Just what the hey does wide open mean?

Hanging with girls was just like old times. On Thursday, Peggy and I went to Sarah's house and took both sets of twins and Grace on a walk around Edgewood. Unlike the old times, double strollers and fat babies in a Bjorn are much more difficult to maneuver around the narrow streets than cans of Coors Light stolen from our parent's refrigerators and instead of talking about boys we talked about architecture of the homes, landscaping, and poopie diapers. On Friday night we went downtown and I managed to stay out until 12:30and only have one drink. It was a far cry from the days of rockin' until 3 am and drinking Jack Daniels on the rocks and countless Jager shots but it felt liberating to be out when the moon was up and without babies in tow. Sunday I went to see Emily and meet her new son and then later we had a get together at Peggy's. Our conversations were more about baby milestones, diaper preferences, formula preparation, and dealing with breastfed babies who bite than anything else but the baby talk was punctuated with moments of our constant stupidity that shall forever remain timeless. We had a good fifteen minute conversation about Mike "tapping" that ass. The ass being Cathy's, of course, and the point of the discussion was lost on everyone involved by for some reason we went there. It is amazing to me that after all these years, everything was exactly the same yet very different. It is not only a blessing to have the same friends I have had since I was 11 but also to watch them and their families grow and change and share in their joys and experiences. When good things happen to people you love, it is like they are happening to you, as well. In looking at our beautiful kids and wonderful husbands and families, it is easy to see I have a good life and I owe part of that to them.

One of the biggest highlights of the trip was meeting the Babycenter girls in real life. It was so cool to feel like you know someone even though you have never physically met them. They and their children were exactly and even more than I had ever expected. We got along so well and the conversation flowed. It really is fascinating how much you can learn about people by participating on online bulletin boards. We had dinner and drinks on Friday night before heading downtown and then they came to the cookout at my Dad's house on Saturday. While I got along with them as well as with my old friends, these women only know me as Gavin and Grace's mom. I didn't start posting on the feeding choices debate board until Gavin was three months old and that was when our online friendship started. I had lived a whole lot of life before my first child turned three months old but so much of who I am now and even how I look back on who I have been has been shaped by being a mother. So while they mostly know me as a mom on a computer, and likewise, that is how I mostly know them, it was easy to see we knew much more about each other than our feeding styles. It sure is going to be difficult to debate with them after meeting them. Good thing we usually see things the same way!

I find it odd that in the same trip I can see my old friends who I have known my whole life and my new friends who up until then I only knew online. It does get difficult to make relationships as we get older. While I have made a few good friends here in SC, it certainly doesn't come as easy as it did when I was younger. I remember my dad always telling me that I would never have friends like the friends I had growing up and he was sort of right. Of course, he didn't have the internet.

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Monday, April 03, 2006

It will mean a thing in 17 years

What a difference 17 years can make.

1989

Cathy, Amanda, Peggy and Sarah
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2006

Patrick, Sarah, Emma, Gabriel, Peggy, Brody, Isabella, Cathy, Jake, Grace, Amanda, Gavin
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