Being The Baby

posted in: Motherhood, Parenting, Scrumplet, Second Child 95 comments

Baby outdoors

It’s a hard life, being the baby.

You get hauled around all day, to places other people are going, such as your big brother’s school drop offs and pick ups.

When you get older, you’ll get dragged to more big brother activities like sports and practice and school plays and graduations.

Big decisions like which school you go to will probably be determined by which school your brother is already in.

You don’t wear new clothes much because your parents deem hand-me-downs to be more practical.

You don’t even get new toys very often. Because we already have a HUGE box of pre-loved (and cleaned) baby toys.

Your high chair, Bumbo, rocker chair, Exersaucer – all belonged to your brother.

When he outgrows his bike, or remote control cars, or blocks – yup, you’re inheriting them.

Once you’re sleeping through the night, you’ll share a room.

You’ll likely not get your own room until he’s a teenager. While he’s had his own room since he was 18 months old.

Yeah, you’ll probably get his bed too when he outgrows it.

You will never know the life of an only child, where we dote on you and you only. You’ll always have to share us.

All decisions pertaining you will always be with the benefit of hindsight and experience.

I will not hover around you as much, leaving you to explore more freely your surroundings. It’d probably mean you’ll fall over more, but it’d also mean you learn to pick yourself up quicker.

I will not fret over every single food item that you eat, thinking it won’t be tasty/ nutritious enough, or that you’ll choke on it. It’d probably mean you get to eat off my plate sooner. And try yummy stuff earlier. Lucky you.

I’ll also not worry too much about mess or mud or stinky clothes, because I’ve had a few years of practice under my belt now. Which means you’re free to eat and play with abandon, chase your grandparents’ big dog around or even a kangaroo or two at a petting zoo – we know you’ll be just fine.

Baby eating

You are in a hurry to roll, sit, stand, crawl, walk, run, climb, talk – because your big brother is doing all those things. This explains you pulling yourself up to standing yesterday. Dude, you’re not 7 months yet. Slow. Down.

Oh wait, you’re the go-getter. No slowing down. No one minds really, because you’re the baby.


You will always have someone to look up to.

You will always have someone to look after you.

You will always know life with a built-in best friend.

Yes, the life of the baby, it’s hard.

But someone’s got to do it.

Baby playing with water

* It is pure coincidence that in two pictures, he’s not wearing clothes. I swear, I dress him.

** Water play and high chair use is under supervision. I’m not that blase.

Are you the baby of your family? Were you spoiled? Heh.

Alison Lee is a former PR and marketing professional turned work-at-home mother. After a 10-year career in various PR agencies, and of the world’s biggest sports brands, Alison traded in product launches and world travel, for sippy cups, diapers, and breastfeeding. Alison's writing has been featured on Mamalode, On Parenting at The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, Everyday Family, Scary Mommy, and She is one of 35 essayists in the anthology, My Other Ex: Women’s True Stories of Leaving and Losing Friends. In 2012, she founded Little Love Media, a social media consultancy specializing in blog book tours, and because she doesn’t sleep, is an editor at BonBon Break, an online magazine. Alison lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with her husband and four children (two boys and boy/ girl twins).

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  • November 28, 2012 Kim

    I think about that, too. My youngest is dragged along for the ride to school and back, sports, activities – the whole nine yards. But like you say, there is all that good stuff that comes with having a big brother and more relaxed parents, too. Also, how much does he love water play? His smile is priceless!
    Kim recently wrote…He’s a Giver, AmericaMy Profile

    • December 2, 2012 Alison

      He LOVES the water, it’s one of his favorite things. Besides playing with food of course. 🙂

  • November 28, 2012 Masala Chica

    He is beautiful. Gosh, he is gorgeous.

    I love what you captured with this post. With your words. And I love that I see this baby smiling and know how cherished he is.

    Go, mama.

    Masala Chica recently wrote…Pro-What?My Profile

    • December 2, 2012 Alison

      Thank you my friend, thank you.

  • November 28, 2012 Rach (DonutsMama)

    Ooooh, this was such a sweet post. I think about this a lot too with D and another baby. And I was the baby in my family and I do think I got away with more!

    • December 2, 2012 Alison

      Ooh, you spoiled girl! 🙂

  • November 28, 2012 Maureen

    Oh be still my uterus! Seriously he’s just too stinkin’ cute those things are yummy looking.
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    • December 2, 2012 Alison

      Baby fever much? 🙂

  • November 28, 2012 Alma

    Oh Alison that baby is gorgeous! I want to squeeze him.
    From the look on his high chair so intent and having some serious fun and the look of care free happiness in that last one is priceless. I can already tell he has the answers…if only i could speak baby.
    Loved this post… made me miss my toddler when she was a baby.
    Alma recently wrote……and so we playMy Profile

    • December 2, 2012 Alison

      Aw, thanks Alma. He is a happy chap. Mostly. 🙂

  • November 28, 2012 Nana Eddy

    Hi there… This is the first time I came across your blog and honestly, it is instant like for me 🙂
    I will definitely drop around here more and you’ll see me leaving my mark here too!

    On another note, I’m the eldest. True that my siblings tend to get hand-me-down from me, but, it is also a fact that I got hand-me-downs too! from my parents, my uncles/aunties, my cousins. lol. There is no escaping.
    Nana Eddy recently wrote…Lovey Dovey Tuesday: Second ChanceMy Profile

    • December 2, 2012 Alison

      Thank you, glad you like what you see!
      Yes, there definitely is no escaping from hand-me-downs 🙂

  • November 28, 2012 Jamie

    So cute. That is exactly why children further down the line in birthorder are more easy going and roll with things. They are always napping in the car, being dragged here and yon. Probably, they will be much more flexible in life because of it. So that’s a good thing. 🙂
    Jamie recently wrote…The baby Jesus disapeared.My Profile

    • December 2, 2012 Alison

      It is, indeed!

  • November 28, 2012 Katie E

    As always, you’ve perfectly described the life of the second baby. I need to remind my middle girl of the good things about being second though! Maybe it’s just rougher at their ages 🙂

    I was the middle girl between two boys – and not spoiled!
    Katie E recently wrote…A Small Victory #iPPPMy Profile

    • December 2, 2012 Alison

      The only girl and not spoiled? 🙂

  • November 28, 2012 Victoria KP

    Oh my! I want to reach through my computer screen and give those chubby thighs a squeeze! My “baby” is 8 and is all skinny–no trace of that adorable baby chub left. Sigh!

    I’m the “baby” of 4 kids. It’s a great deal. The parents are much more laid back. Yeah, the stuff is all second hand, but it’s a good trade off to have parents who don’t hover 🙂
    Victoria KP recently wrote…Where’s Vic?My Profile

    • December 2, 2012 Alison

      I need to make sure my 2nd realizes what a good deal he’s got. 🙂

  • November 28, 2012 tori nelson

    For the love of all that is cute! I am the middle child of 5, so I was used to the hand-me-downs and such. As an adult the main thing I take away from my “spot” in the family is that I have plenty of people around me, connected to my life, that love me. Thank God for siblings 🙂
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    • December 2, 2012 Alison

      Siblings is the best!

  • November 28, 2012 tracy

    Tell that cute boy to slow down! I love him. And his thighs.
    tracy recently wrote…Dear Daughters, Why I BlogMy Profile

    • December 2, 2012 Alison

      I did! He’s like, Mama, slow down? What’s that? He keeps standing up. Even in the middle of the night. Sigh.

  • November 28, 2012 thedoseofreality

    Seriously, there is never a time that seeing your sweet boy does not make me smile! He is just straight up adorable! 🙂 My little one has started complaining about how she will never be older like her sister, but we have been talking a lot about ALL the good things that come from being younger! 😉

    • December 2, 2012 Alison

      There are so many advantages to being the baby, really!

  • November 28, 2012 Jacki

    This concept is foreign to my husband and I. We’re both the oldest and our younger siblings are 8 years younger…. and the opposite sex, so there wasn’t a lot of sharing of stuff.

    Seriously though, how cute are those pictures!?!
    Jacki recently wrote…Full.My Profile

    • December 2, 2012 Alison

      How uncanny is it that you share that with your husband?

  • November 28, 2012 Kim

    I was not the baby, but was the second oldest of 7. Those of us at the top of the food chain were sure our littlest sister got all the breaks and was spoiled. 🙂

    Just love, love, love the pictures of your boy. Such joy and cuteness that leaps off the page! I laughed out loud at the food play. Didn’t make me laugh so much when my girls were little, but it sure is cute when it’s someone else’s baby!

    It’s so sweet to see how you’ve tempered your parenting with all you’ve learned from your first. Isn’t it great to be just a little more laid back with your second? It sounds like you are more relaxed and joyful!
    Kim recently wrote…10 Rules for Delightful Gift GivingMy Profile

    • December 2, 2012 Alison

      It was exhausting with the first. So yes, I am loving being more relaxed this time round.
      Thank you for loving the pictures!

  • November 28, 2012 Julia

    So, so sweet! And I love naked baby pictures! There are very few blog appropriate pictures of my son. He’s a nudist. (Apparently)
    Julia recently wrote…Dress RehearsalMy Profile

    • December 2, 2012 Alison

      Hee! No one in my house likes wearing clothes. Sigh.

  • November 28, 2012 Leslie

    Oh my the cuteness! He’s one lucky little boy to have a great Mom and big brother. And as the youngest, I can say there are definite advantages to not being the firstborn!
    Leslie recently wrote…Five Months OldMy Profile

    • December 2, 2012 Alison

      My sister is the baby of the family, and she had a lot of breaks, growing up. 🙂

  • November 28, 2012 AnnMarie

    I’m the oldest. Of five girls. No spoiling over here. Gia, my baby…totally spoiled. She gets the wisdom that it all goes to fast so I revel in her every move and milestone. She does get dragged to places a lot. I said if I ever got time, I wanted to write a book called, “I Grew Up on the Bleachers”.

    The pictures are so adorable. I love the hair and those lips are delicious!
    AnnMarie recently wrote…Sleepless NightsMy Profile

    • December 2, 2012 Alison

      Yes, because the baby is my last, I do revel in all the little things too. I love it!

  • November 29, 2012 lisacng

    Very cute photos your baby! Love the one of him in the high chair! This is your 3rd, so he’s really the baby! Yes, he’ll have all the hand-me-downs but you are right, he’ll always have a companion and someone to look after him. I am the oldest and sometimes, I want to be taken care of instead of being the care-taker!
    lisacng recently wrote…What I learned at a photo exhibit, plus photosMy Profile

    • December 2, 2012 Alison

      Well, he’s the second (and last). I’m a middle child, so I have no experience being the oldest or the youngest – however, I do have experience with being taken care of, and being the caretaker!

  • November 29, 2012 molly

    My “baby” is 2 1/2 but he’s still treated like a baby 🙂
    molly recently wrote…Women Connect ’12My Profile

    • December 2, 2012 Alison

      My nearly 3 year old is treated like a baby too by his grandparents 🙂

  • November 29, 2012 Lady Jennie

    That little foot curling up is just to die for. I love it. I think second babies are happy – absolutely no worries, no stress, (no clothes) life is good!
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    • December 2, 2012 Alison

      You’re right on all counts, especially no clothes, hehe.

  • November 29, 2012 Kimberly

    Oh how I love his face.
    And yours.
    You’re a good momma and I love that you don’t care about the messes.
    PS. Bumbo is awesome
    Kimberly recently wrote…Kicking Leaves And ThoughtsMy Profile

    • December 2, 2012 Alison

      Thank you, sweetie. Love you too!
      I really don’t mind the mess – it’s actually pretty fun for both of us.

  • November 29, 2012 Christine

    OMG those pictures!! Those cheeks and thighs!! I can’t take it. I was the baby of the family – brother is 7 years older and sister is 5 years old so my mother so did not care what I did. haha. I was definitely spoiled. But I think about this a lot Everett – how he never gets new things, we don’t spend as much time with him teaching him things like we did with Jasper and I feel badly. But I also know that he’s so much more independent and he loves having an older brother to look up to and play with.
    Christine recently wrote…What everyone should know about lap swimming etiquetteMy Profile

    • December 2, 2012 Alison

      We don’t need to teach them as much because they’re learning it themselves from their older siblings! It’s all good. 🙂

  • November 29, 2012 Kristen

    I bet you if I let my Bean read this she would agree with you on as much as I do!

    I am the baby of my family and the only girl so yes, I was a bit spoiled (in the good way not the Veruca Salt kind of way). I have two brothers that are 9 and 6 years older than I am and they spoiled me too. They also watched over me and made sure that I was always safe and still do.
    Kristen recently wrote…A Love of ReadingMy Profile

    • December 2, 2012 Alison

      That’s wonderful!

  • November 29, 2012 angela

    D was like that, too (is like that?) I took him out for the first time about a week post-partum for Abbey’s playgroup thing. My mom had to drive me because of the c-section. (What was I thinking??) But since then he’s been dragged around and thrown and shuffled and loves every minute of it.
    angela recently wrote…Give the Gift of Books – Personality MattersMy Profile

    • December 2, 2012 Alison

      They don’t know any other life, so just as well they love it!

  • November 29, 2012 Runnermom-jen

    Oh, those pictures…so happy!! I was a middle child, and live up to that sterotype (always the diplomat, etc…)
    I always had hand-me-downs, and I was always happy to get them, because they were NEW TO ME!!
    Your baby is so happy, you must be doing the right “stuff”. 🙂
    Runnermom-jen recently wrote…The Real Me…My Profile

    • December 2, 2012 Alison

      Yes, new to you! Good perspective!
      (I’m a middle child too)

  • November 29, 2012 Susanna Leonard Hill

    Aw! What a lovely post, Alison! The end made me teary. What lucky boys you have 🙂
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    • December 2, 2012 Alison

      Thank you Susanna!

  • November 29, 2012 Alexa

    I love those fat rolls!!! He is cute. Yes, my daughter is the 3rd child… I”m not even buying her any toys for her first birthday or Christmas!!! She’ll never know – and the spoons in a bowl are more fun than new toys anyway!!
    Alexa recently wrote…Off the ReservationMy Profile

    • December 2, 2012 Alison

      She has a lot of love, that is enough!

  • November 29, 2012 Barbara

    Second baby syndrome. I was so obsessive about what I would feed my first, now it it’s edible it’s fair game.
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    • December 2, 2012 Alison

      Haha! Yes, basically.

  • Oh honey, I was an only child, youngest grandchild AND only granddaughter. Spoiled? Rotten…
    It’s though being the youngest, just ask my n°2. But you know the weird part… they don’t really seem to mind it themselves. In fact my n°2 adores everything of her big sister, she will squeel with joy when we present her with a hand me down, just because it used to belong to her big sister. Who then in turn becomes jealous because those where HER pants damnit!
    Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes recently wrote…The once in a year choucrouteMy Profile

    • December 2, 2012 Alison

      Oh my, I bet you were spoiled!
      Haha that’s adorable, loving hand me downs.

  • November 29, 2012 Kimberly

    Oh yes. Now that I’m on the 4th go around, things here are totally different. Better, but different.
    Kimberly recently wrote…Little Man, Huge HeartMy Profile

    • December 2, 2012 Alison

      Anything edible is fair game right? 🙂

  • November 29, 2012 Sue

    You dress him? For realz? Well. You’re no fun…
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    • December 2, 2012 Alison

      Hah! Yes, I do. Most of the time.

  • November 29, 2012 My Inner Chick

    what an absolute doll face :)) Xxxx
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    • December 2, 2012 Alison

      Hee! He sends sloppy kisses!

  • November 29, 2012 Amanda Jillian

    It is so tough being the baby.
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    • December 2, 2012 Alison

      Hehe, yes, yes it is.

  • November 29, 2012 Christa the BabbyMama

    It’s all true 🙂 There are pros and cons to every spot in the birth order.
    Christa the BabbyMama recently wrote…Sibling Jealousy Rears Its Ugly HeadMy Profile

    • December 2, 2012 Alison

      You’re right!

  • November 29, 2012 Not a Perfect Mom

    you cleaned the toys? wow, got me beat
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    • December 2, 2012 Alison

      Hah! I had no choice – you could SEE the crud.

  • November 29, 2012 Jessica

    His little love rolls are soo cute! I was not the baby, but I would imagine that it is kind of tough and sweet at the same time.
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  • November 29, 2012 Natalie

    Oh I love this post…I was just thinking how Conley has hand me down clothes….and toys! I HEART this post!
    Natalie recently wrote…The Turkey DayMy Profile

  • November 29, 2012 Jessica

    Oh my heavens, the picture in the highchair MELTED me. He is gorgeous. And you are right, we can never make it the same, never really make it fair. it just is. The most wonderful thing about everything you said, though, is that you all get the same prize: family. lovely.
    Jessica recently wrote…Conversation with a seven-year-oldMy Profile

  • November 29, 2012 Farah

    Awww…he is sooo adorable!!! I just wanna squish him! 🙂 just kidding. I looove the high chair picture.

    Nah, I was the eldest. But I have a baby brother, who was the spoiled one. 🙂
    Farah recently wrote…Thanksgiving Dinner RecapMy Profile

  • November 29, 2012 Deanna

    lol he’s adorable! I love this post. So True! Gotta feel sorry for the babies, but yet they also get their way paved with parents who made all their mistakes on the oldest. (-: My baby sister got it way easier growing up than I did. (-:
    Deanna recently wrote…Stick a Fork In ItMy Profile

  • November 29, 2012 Sarah

    weeellll we know all too well about hand-me-downs around here. Matilda even gets them from her older cousin. It worked for everyone so far and there hasn’t been too much balking. I know as my kiddos get older they are going to want more of their own stuff, but I’m going to keep handing down for as long as I can. Plus, grandmas are really great for buying the new special clothing and toy items 🙂 Oscar spends a great deal of his time in the car. But he doesn’t know any differently! That’s life in a big family when you’re the baby!
    Sarah recently wrote…the sunday spill–about salty food, mending, and anonymityMy Profile

  • November 30, 2012 Janice

    First, those pics are adorable. He is growing up so fast! It was hardly yesterday that you were posting pics of our pregnant self, and now here he is – getting cuter by the day!

    Anywho, I totally get what you mean with this post. With my 3rd kid, I feel exactly the same way. Also? I think I might be a little less paranoid because he’s a boy. Gender biased, I know. I blame it on my Filipino culture. heh.

    And I am the oldest of two. But some of my friends will swear that I’m spoiled. Probably because I’m my daddy’s girl and am the first therefore oldest of my cousins on my mom’s side. (Did that make sense?) LOL
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  • November 30, 2012 Elaine A.

    I think there is a lot to say pertaining to birth order but each spot in the line has its ups and downs. I AM the baby of four and only girl and I promise you all my brothers would say I am spoiled. ;0

    he is SOCUTE!!
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  • November 30, 2012 Jessica

    I am the oldest which means I was always the responsible one. Sometimes I thought it wasn’t fair but then I remembered I got everything first, including a car. Ha!
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  • November 30, 2012 Tricia

    Oh I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, watching my son and seeing how different life is already for him than it was for my daugher. There are so many good and bad about being the baby. But I think he is gonna enjoy it 🙂

  • November 30, 2012 JDaniel4's Mom

    My guy would probably have loved being a younger brother. He has all the focus on him.
    JDaniel4’s Mom recently wrote…Great Joy- Read.Explore.Learn.My Profile

  • November 30, 2012 Laura at Mommy Miracles


    I’m having a really hard time as Christmas rolls around trying to think of gifts for the baby. I mean, we have a million toys already – things that Cameron used to play with, and things that Cameron currently plays with. They’re all fair game for the baby. So what do I get Gavin that is special to him? No idea!

    I think being the baby will be awesome and terrible at the same time. I’m already feeling some guilt that Gavin isn’t getting everything from me that I gave his brother. But by being the baby, he also gets a big brother and right now there are perks with that!
    Laura at Mommy Miracles recently wrote…The Christmas CreepMy Profile

  • This was absolutely perfect. There is a point where the tables turn, though. My youngest is old enough to stay home on her own now, so she does not get dragged to every oldest child experience any more. On the other hand, I make my oldest go to most of my youngest’s things because Jellybean spent the greater portion of her life going to multiple performances of her sister’s plays. Heck, theater is not even Jellybean’s thing , but now that they are in the same school, she has joined the theater club so that she doesn’t just have to sit in the audience through five “mind numbing” (her words) performances. Look at all you have to look forward to. 🙂 Ellen
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  • December 1, 2012 Mirjam

    Your kid keeps melting my heart!
    He’s a lucky lucky boy with such a great big brother.
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  • December 1, 2012 Tara

    OMG that kid is TOO cute. I can’t imagine how hard it would be not to tickle that belly, and make him smile. 🙂
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  • December 1, 2012 Katie

    Oh this post has gone straight to my heart. It IS my heart. It’s EXACTLY what I think when I think about Charlie being the baby…for now 🙂 Not much is just his. And you know what? I can tell by the HUGE smile on his face the second he sees Eddie…he is totally cool with that.

    There is nothing…NOTHING…like watching brothers grow up together.

  • December 1, 2012 vanita

    lol that little man is gorgeous. Sabrina and Natasha both make out like bandits as the younger sibling of a pair. it’s because the older sibling is not old enough to be willing to give up their stuff or to have out grown their clothes fast enough. they’re both only 14 months or so younger than the older one. this also means, that at christmas, i will have to buy two of everything, because they’re so close in age their interests are similar and they’re all at the same learning stage. i kinda wish i’d space them our 4 years apart instead of a pair ten years apart. would be so much more affordable. 😀
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  • December 2, 2012 Elena

    You hit the mark exactly – so many wonderful things about being the baby, and so many hand me downs. 😉 It’s funny how different it is being the baby and I always used to worry about the dragging along for stuff with Cooper. The worst was preschool drop off. He used to sob when he couldn’t stay. SOB!
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  • December 2, 2012 KMN

    Aww…how beautiful is this?! (And that little man is ADORABLE lol).

    I never had to worry about looking up to someone or having someone to look up to me…I’m an only child. And my little one won’t have that. But that’s what family is for…I have older cousins that I can look up to while still being spoiled! LOL

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  • December 3, 2012 By Word of Mouth Musings

    Ok, so very off the charts on the cute factor xxxx
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  • December 3, 2012 Ashley Ellis

    I had three boys in three years and it’s a mad house over here. The two younger ones don’t know what new feels like on their skin. The oldest complains he never gets “anything” which is crazy since we try everything on him first and then evaluate whether to do it again: the expensive gym classes, the Saturday morning music classes, etc. The other two get a grassy yard and some pots and pans.

    I think younger kids are better adjusted and adapt to new situations better and faster. Older ones get books with all the pages intact. I think I’d vote for being younger!

  • December 4, 2012 Tracie

    I’m an only child, so I’m probably spoiled. I think that is some sort of only child law, right?
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  • December 4, 2012 The Reason You Come

    Oh my, he’s adorable! And he seems pretty clever, too! 😉 Congratulations on your new pride and joy!
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  • December 4, 2012 Meredith

    My mom always used to say this, “It’s hard being a baby, but someone’s gotta do it”. Was neat to hear again. I always think about how different my second child’s life is from my first child’s–both good and bad. Very relatable post!

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