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My brain works quite well and I appreciate all it does for me. But wires got crossed somewhere.
  1. I mix up the names of white and yellow.
    I know which is which, but unless I slow my brain down and consider carefully for a split second, I will call yellow "white" or white "yellow".
  2. I seriously struggle to pronounce the words "patron saint".
    I say "paintron saint".
Well kids, 2011 is just about over — only a few hours remain till we ring in 2012. What a year it's been! While we wait, I thought we could play a game. First, I'll say a bunch of things that happened this year. Then, I'll show you one picture of people reacting to each event. Finally, you figure out which pic was from which event! Ready? Let's go.
  1. A 6.3-magnitude earthquake hit Christchurch, New Zealand on February 22.
    80% of the city's water and sewage infrastructure was damaged.
  2. On March 11, an underwater earthquake sent a ten-meter-high tsunami crashing onto the coast of Japan.
    The quake had a magnitude of 8.9, one of the strongest ever recorded. Aftershocks hit magnitudes of 7.
  3. The UK's Prince William married Kate Middleton on April 29.
    You might have noticed.
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This is my second mat leave. As time ticks down till it's over, I've had a rising panic about missing the things I love and a slow-burning sense of relief about missing out on the things I don't love.
  1. 👍🏼 Spending time with my kids
    I love the six hours just with my baby son, and the couple of hours after we pick up my daughter from pre-school when we can play before starting dinner/evening routine.
  2. 👍🏼 Not being bound by the hours of the work week
    I adore being out and about in the middle of the day, or choosing to spend most of the day at home getting shizz done (or even resting after a bad night, busy weekend or illness). I have very few commitments that force me to be where at when.
  3. 👍🏼 "Sleeping in"
    I get up between 7 and 7:30, usually. (Unless my daughter has other plans.) So nice to be able to get up slowly, and have a cuddle with my kiddies before we start the day.
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  1. Paper route
    I was seven and shared the route with my older brother. There was one house that scared me so I would run up its driveway, drop the paper, and run back down to the sidewalk as fast as my legs would take me. I don't remember why I was scared.
  2. Bus girl at a fancy French restaurant
    I didn't get tips. My boss once gave me a $20 bill "as a pittance."
  3. Piano teacher
    I taught two kids, aged 7. They loved me so much that when I went away to university, they quit piano because they only wanted me as a teacjher. Flattering, but I also felt bad about ending their piano careers.
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This makes me feel awkward, like posting a selfie. I'm not one to toot my own horn. But here goes.
  1. Having the courage to quit
    I totally changed course in my post-secondary education, and it was incredibly difficult to convince my over-achieving self that quitting a program that wasn't working for me was okay.
  2. Moving abroad
    It's easy to say you want to, but my husband and I did it. Now the TED talk I need to hear is "Moving back home," because that intimidates me.
  3. Giving birth
    I've given birth twice, both ways. That's a rare-ish experience to have, I think.
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Please don't try to interact with me when one of these circumstances arises. I will not be a pleasant person (sorry). (Surprisingly, I don't get hangry. Hunger is something my nerves can bear...)
  1. 1.
    Smudges on my glasses lenses
    If you don't wear glasses, you cannot imagine how annoying it is to see the world through dirty glass. Every light has a halo and it is MADDENING. Solution: clean lenses with tepid water and dish or hand soap and dry with a shammy. Then return to regular life a happy person.
  2. 2.
    Having to pee
    I can manage to achieve something while having to pee, but if anything goes wrong I will have NO patience for it. Solution: acknowledge the problem and pause activities to find a bathroom. Return to life a comfortable, agreeable person.
  3. 3.
    A cluttered worktop
    Who can focus with junk covering their work surface? Solution: organize stuff into piles or better yet, get it off the table/counter completely. Return to life a productive, calm person.
  4. 4.
    Beats-heavy music in the background while trying to talk to someone
    Exception: on a night out, when that's supposed to happen. But at home or in the car? Music OFF, conversation on.
  1. "Wow, impressive!"
    She's so brave. That's my girl! She doesn't even care as she storms off that I'm standing out of sight, 40 meters away, in front of our apt building. The invisible leash is long with this one.
  2. "Gosh, she really means it."
    I still don't get why she doesn't want to come home, but dang it, she's sticking to her guns.
  3. "Ugh this is so annoying."
    It has taken us 35 minutes to get home from a place 200 meters down the street. Now we are *this close* and she runs away. Sigh.
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🌟I started this list a few days ago while feeding our new baby at 3 a.m. I honestly had no idea how long it would get.🌙 We're Canadians who moved to Cologne, Germany for some adventure in 2010. One of our goals was to travel while living here. Five and a half years later, we've done well with that goal. Here's a list, in order, of our travels...
  1. Reykjavik
    Technically before we moved to Europe; more like "as" we moved to Europe. Stopped for two days en route to Deutschland. Like being on the moon, literally. Want to go back and drive around for a couple weeks with the kids one day.
  2. Würzburg
    A stop for the night while driving across Germany to Cologne. A lovely German town with a big outdoor foosball table.
  3. Budapest
    Flew for 80€ return, total, for two of us, back when Germanwings really had discount fares. Wine tastings and wandering on foot. Beautiful.
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