Friday, December 31, 2010

Fare Thee Well

2010, you were not what I had expected.  On January 3 of our dear 2010, I wrote a post declaring to all (who read this blog) that 2010 was going to be a great year.  I could feel it.  I was a little misguided by my optimism I think.  I mean, it wasn't a bad year, could have been better, but it most definitely wasn't what I expected. 

To focus on the good seems appropriate nonetheless: Marcus did, in fact, receive his PhD after a lot of work.  He was selected for a post-doctoral program with Kaiser Permanente.  We continue to bunk with his parents (well, we have a separate room from them) until this post-doc is over (thank you!).  Sammy has continued to progress.  Callie is continuing to progress.  I've been busy to the 10th degree and so have accomplished much, but have also been distracted along the way and have NOT accomplished much of what I had intended.  I had thought that 2010 would bring a lot of changes within myself -- changes I felt would happen because I felt so motivated.  My entire world was going to change because I was ready.  Guess not.  And I really thought we'd have a baby by now.  We're still not even approved.  (big 'ole sigh)  Perhaps, though, we don't have a baby yet because I've been too busy to focus on what I need to do for myself to prepare us for a baby?  (sigh)

So, fare thee well 2010.  You brought me some good, but I'm ready for the fresh start.  This year, I have big plans.  Oh yes.  I am   s l o w i n g    d o w n.   That's my plan.  There are things I want to do, and I'll still do some of my projects.  I mean, really, you can take the girl out of the project, but you can't take the projects out of the girl.  uhhhh, that didn't turn out like I'd thought.  What I mean is that I'll always have some kind of project going on, but I'm also going to practice saying "no" to myself so that I'm not distracted from the more important things.  That's my thing this year -- my resolution I suppose.  Slow down.  And perhaps, 2011 will be the year that I had intended 2011 to be.  
So, ring in the New Year!  2011's my year.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Oh heavens!

I've been gone for so long ... gone from the world of blog. And, I'm going to make an attempt to come back.

Lately, I've been too busy, tired, and busy. In 2011, I'm slowing donw. I don't want to feel so old. I don't want to feel so spent all the time. So, I'm slowing down.

I'm not sure, yet, how much I'll attempt to catch-up. But there are a few things that are important to note.

* I bought a camera! And I absolutely LOVE it!!! Well worth the frustration, inner turmoil, and research. I love this baby. Sony NEX-5. More to come on that (most likely).

* Christmas was great. It's been fun to be around family.

* I expect New Year's to be good.

* I'm going to focus much more on writing again and get my book finished.

* I enlisted Scotty and we redid the laundry room. That means: wallpaper removed, mildew removed, cracked ceiling fixed, "frosted lemon" paint up on walls, white trim almost done, and it looks good. My perfectionist streak in me is dissatisfied with parts of it, but it looks good.

* I got some awesome awesome shoes for Christmas. I love shoes, and I love these.

* I'm questioning Santa and how I want to handle his legend with our kids as they grow up. I know it's fun. But to what end? It's a battle I've been having with myself for a few weeks now. I'll have the battle with Marcus as soon as I figure it out myself.

* I have decided what makes Christmas magical is the feeling of "good will toward men" that everyone has during this time of year. I love it.

* I have also decided that New Year's is a perfect time for resolutions...because the light of Christ is so abundant during the Christmas season, it seems so appropriate that come the new year, people would want to improve themselves...isn't that what the Spirit prompts us to do? Improve ourselves to become more like the Savior? I've spent some time thinking about this.

* I know I said I'm slowing down, but this year I'm also focusing on writing. I want to keep up on our blog again. I like blogging. I just do. But I'm wondering if I should keep Lil' Samsquatch or merge them. I mean, why do I need 2 separate blogs? A lot of people do it. My initial reason for it seemed appropriate, but now I'm wondering what the purpose is. Hm. Any thoughts on this?

* In terms of writing, I'll be working on my book, continuing to be a regular contributor to Kidz, and have recently been asked to be a regular contributor to Mormon Women, a blog about Mormon Women, but geared towards those who are not members of the LDS faith. I'm really excited about it. I think it'll be good.

* I can't stop watching House Hunters and Property Virgins. I'm on another HGTV kick and I can't stop. Do you know that it's still a seller's market in Lubbock, Texas and you buy a super cute home with 4 bedrooms, living, room, nice backyard, good kitchen, walk-in closets for $155,000? Yes people. Those homes exist...just not in San Jose, CA. Of that, I can assure you.

* The woman who created the Thera-tog (the suit that Sammy wears) will be coming to San Jose and doing a week long training session with all the therapists at Samantha's CCS. Her physical therapist wants to try to get Sammy to be used as a demonstration with Bobbie Cusak! How cool would that be?

And, I think that's it for right now.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Grinch Who Stole Christmas

This year we carried on our family tradition (three years standing) of creating a family Christmas movie.  The first year, we stuck to the tradition Nativity Story.  The following year, we took a stab at A Christmas Carol.  This proved to be far more difficult than the year before.  Children were older and uncooperative, there were more characters, and the filmer/director was at her wits end!  But, we pulled it off. 

This year, since we were all around, we extended the acting to another member of the family -- little Nate.  He did rather well, perhaps we'll allow him to audition again next year.  Thanks to Scotty for the awesome edit job!

So, sit back and enjoy The Grinch Who Stole Christmas -- Green Family style.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Christmas Party

Our ward just had their annual Christmas Party -- and even though I kept referring to it as the Ward Halloween Part (I'm really not that dumb to get St. Nick confused with a witch, but I must be on brain overload these days or something), it was quite fun.  There was an incredible band, Santa was there, great food, crafts for the kids.  Great night.

 This face is in no way a reflection of the fun that Callie had that night!

 Santa, in all his glory, appeared and visited with the children.  Sammy told him what she wanted for Christmas using some kind of telepathy.  This is Santa ya know.  He understands her just fine.

 Take 1: And Callie, after talking about Santa ALL DAY LONG, gave him this lovely face.  Santa was excited to see her (he knows her personally), called her by name, did all he could to get a smile from her, but she just looked like this. 

 Take 2:  ahhh forget it.  Santa's at least looking, and under that beard, I'm sure he's smiling.  His eyes are twinkling, so he must be smiling.

 Yeah for Sister Pack who played with Callie a bit.  Callie loves her Nursery leaders and was excited to see her.  But she was always very concerned about finding Brother Pack.  Much to her delight, she found him and he took her around.  I can't tell you how grateful I am for Nursery leaders who are amazing.

Other than the fact that Samantha looks like she's about to strangle Papa and then shoot lasers from her eyes to kill off all witnesses (and he smiles so unaware), she had a good time too.

 The Primary made Sammy her own crown.  She's a little wise man.

At the end of the evening, Mary, Joseph, and Baby Jesus came into the room (played by Mary, Kevin, and their-new-baby-I-forgot-his-name Isaacson).  All the Primary children followed them around until they ended up at the manger.  Callie joined in.  And Peggy took Sammy to walk around with everyone.  Marcus looked at me like, "Oh boy, Sammy's going to cause some commotion."  But, immediately, my eyes filled up with tears as she went with the other children...following Mary, Joseph, and Jesus.  I was so touched and felt how symbolic that truly is.  To have all the children following so they could come and see Jesus.  Even though Sammy was assisted, she made it to the manger.  It still makes me cry when I think of how tender and innocent and pure these kids are, and that my Sammy and Callie are among those.  I can't avoid this cliche; it really is an honor to be a mother.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

In the car...

last night running errands with Callie.

Mommy:  You know Callie, when a new baby comes, you'll get to sit in the back row all by yourself!
Callie:  We have a baby coming?
Mommy:  Well, not yet, but one day, and when that baby comes, you get to move your seat to the back.  Won't that be fun? 
Callie:  (thinking about it)
Mommy:  Do you want a baby?
Callie:  Yeah!  (pause)  We have a baby.  Sammy's my sister.  (slight pause)  Sammy looks like a baby, but she's not a baby.  She's my sister.
Mommy:  That's right.  Sammy's small isn't she?
Callie: Yeah
Mommy:  But is she a baby?
Callie:  No.  She's not a baby.
Mommy:  How old is Sammy?
Callie: Sammy's four. 
Mommy:  How old are you?
Callie:  I'm two.
Mommy:  She's older than you, but you do a really good job taking care of her.  She loves you so much.
Callie:  I love Sammy.

Callie will frequently tell me she loves Sammy.  She frequently informs me that we should go get her from school so they can play together.  But I've never had a conversation like this.  This is the first time Callie has shown me any indication that she understands there is something different about Samantha.  And I thought it was pretty sweet.  Callie is so sweet.  She's spunky and has some attitude, but she has such a tender loving heart...and I wish I could somehow get the tone of her voice through on the computer here...but it was so sweet as she talked about Sammy.  I love my girls so much.  I just love them.

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Christmas Tree

Yes, tonight we went to the parking lot by Big Lots and picked up our Christmas Tree.  Our camera battery died before we could get our family picture, so Peggy took one with her camera.  I'll get that from her eventualy.  

No, this is not the tree we bought, but it was a good Callie/Sammy size.

I just love this picture of Callie.  Such a cutie.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


I love this man.  I really do.  He's my kind of perfect.  This picture was taken last Christmas, and when I stumbled across it today...not only was I happy to find a picture of us together, and all those wonderful thoughts that went through my mind of how much I love him...but I also thought "Where in the world is that shirt?"  I had completely forgotten about it, and I have no idea where it is.  See, I'm missing a lot of clothes that I can't track down, and it's getting more and more frustrating by the day.  So, there's a lot of love going on in this picture.  For my husband, for my clothes.  At least I know where one of those things is!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

My Saturday Night

It's 10:00.  Saturday night.  I'm sitting in the living room using Bryan's computer.  Analisa left to go back to school today.  I didn't get to hug her before she left because I was still asleep in bed.  I'm sad Bryan will be leaving tomorrow.  I like Bryan.  And, I'm sad Chris is leaving too.  I feel like I'm slowly getting to know him.  Last night, while we were waiting for our movie to start in the theater, I talked to him about a family vacation down to visit him in San Diego, and I got really excited thinking about it.  I like Chris.  I'm not sad like, crying sad.  But...just sad like, bummer sad.  We'll all start life up again on Monday.  But we'll be in holiday mode, and that's always a little happier isn't it? 

It's 10:03.  Marcus, Bryan, Colin, and Chris are watching Futurama (I think) in the computer room.  Callie, even after telling me over an hour ago, "I think I'm tired.  I think I need to go to bed," is playing something in her room -- saying "shew" to the birdies.  This means her imagination is in full swing and functioning well, or she's hallucinating.  Samantha is hopefully sleeping undisturbed by the drama going on in her room.

It's 10:05.  I should go to bed.  I need to finish preparing my lesson for tomorrow -- Financial Responsibility.  I just got an email from someone who read my post on Kidz on the therapy we're doing for Samantha and I'm so tempted to stay up writing her a long email answering all her questions, but I know now's not the time.  So, I blog instead.  I need to get up early to attend BYC.  I need to have my lesson ready.  I need to pack the diaper bag and lay out the clothes for the girls.  I need to do so much, but I'm feeling so unmotivated.  I just want to sit and nothing and have no consequences for it. 

10:12.  I just went in to tell Callie no more playing...except I had to bring out the stern-mommy voice.  There are clothes scattered all over the room, mixed with a few books.  We'll take care of that tomorrow.  I still hear her...singing to herself...but that's ok.  If she only knew how often I smile thinking of her after I have a stern-mommy moment. 

10:15.  Callie is now meowing.  Very loudly.  Very very loudly.  

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thankful for Family

Callie (5 months old) with Great Grandpa Bud
This year, I've tried to explain to my almost 3 year old what "thankful" means.  She says the words "thank you," but she's never used "thankful."  I told her that to be thankful was to be happy for the things she has.  She seemed to get that, though her thankful/happy list definitely changes based on her mood.

One thing that I'm happy for is my family.  I live with my in-laws.  I'm surrounded by extended family.  Only miles away are Marcus' grandparents -- so Samantha and Callie's great-grandparents.  This week, for Thanksgiving, we have all of Marcus' siblings in town.  It's fun.  I love it.  The only thing that would make it better would be if my family moved out here and were only miles away.  I sometimes really miss them and wish they were closer than just a phone call away, but I feel so blessed to be surrounded by the Green side.  I'm thankful for them -- I'm happy I have them nearby.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Lessons Learned at the Mall

I love the holidays. I do. But today, when I went to the mall, I left feeling imbalanced and frustrated.

After a lovely lunch with family, Callie and I departed ways with the crew to head back for a nap (for Callie) and work (for mama). I was stopped by a man at a kiosk selling hair products.

Lesson #1 -- don't stop. Don't ever stop. When they see you and start walking towards you, do what you need to do to avoid stopping. Smile and quickly avert your eyes. Ignore them completely. Pretend you're about to vomit. But don't stop.

I wasn't interested in his product and told him. But he was persistent, insured me it would only be one moment, and let's face it, I have a hard time saying "no."

Lesson #2 -- It never takes one moment.

He wanted to put some serum in my hair to make it shine. Ok, fine. Who doesn't like shiny hair? He asked me to sit down for a minute.

Lesson #3 -- Don't sit down, and if they repeat "for just one moment" it certainly will NOT be just one moment.

As he combed through my hair, in disgust, he told me how dry my hair was.

"What is wrong? Why is your hair so dry? Look at this."
I responded with a classy, "Yep. Well." I mean, does he want me to get into the whole story of why my hair is too dry?
"Look at this," he continued. "It's so dry. Why?"
I guess he does really want to know why. "I haven't cut my hair in over 6 months." And maybe I should be embarrassed by that, but I was more annoyed at his disgust for my hair, that I said it with almost a sense of pride.

Lesson #4 -- You've been there far too long when you allow yourself to go into the ugly version of yourself mode -- it's never ok to feel good about such a bad bad thing. One should always take care of the hair.

He smiled. He said he wanted to use an iron on my hair. I, surprise surprise, actually washed and dried my hair today and so had no desire to flatten it out. In fact, most of my desire at this point was to leave. I'm sitting down, Callie is playing with the pink flat iron, and I keep looking over at this over kiosk of guys who are looking at me, clearly enjoying the fact that I'm stuck.

Lesson #5 -- You got yourself into this; noone can save you. So yes, high desire to leave.

As Mr. SuperSkinny reached for the flat iron, I told I didn't want him to use it on me.
"No flat iron please."
"This. This. This flat iron?"
"No. No flat iron."
"Flat iron?"

He takes the flat iron to my head and flattens out a HUGE portion. Oh my.

"Look how shiny. Look beautiful."

I had no idea how long my hair really was. I'm a bit shocked, but annoyed nonetheless.

"Isn't it beautiful and straight, and shiny?"
Oh brother. "Yeah. It's shiny. And straight. Thanks. I have to go now."
"Just one minute." (Refer to lesson #2)

He proceeds to give me the sales job on the ceramic straightener and I look over and see the 2 guys still looking at me with amusement. I pleadingly look over at them, but what are they going to do? Perhaps save me with their Christmas Cell Phone Saver-deal-thing they have going on over at their station? I politely try to tell Mr. SuperSkinny that I'm not interested in a hair straightener and he looks at me as if I'm the least fashionable person on the planet. He may have me there.

"You not straight?"
Is he talking about my hair still or my sexuality? "It's fine. I use a straightener sometimes; I'm just not interested." I feel like I'm going into the whole it's-not-you-it's-me routine.
"You like curls?"
"Ya know, I normally don't even do my hair." And when the guy doesn't get the hint, start fabricating the truth. I mean, ok, I do my hair...not everyday, but I'm starting to think I should play up this "least fashionable person on the planet" persona. It could work for me at this point.
"Let me...let me..." He takes a section of hair, on the other side of my head, and curls it with the straightener. (sigh) "Beautiful?"
"Yeah, it's pretty. Thanks. I really have to go now."
"Just one more minute."
"No. I really have to go. I'm on my way out. I have to get my daughter to bed. I start working in 1/2 hour. I have to go. Thank you."
"You want me to straighten it out?"
"No. I'm fine. This is great. Thanks."  It's not great.

And I leave the mall, with a curly right side and flat left. Imbalanced. Frustrated. I get Callie in her seat and notice that the burned rubber smell I keep getting whiffs of is my hair.

On a good note, my hair is soft...and probably shiny.

Lesson #6 -- There's always a positive that will come out of a pile of negatives.

At the time, I was rushed and frustrated. I was even more frustrated knowing it was all my own fault. But in the car, I found it quite comical. It was a nice afternoon.

Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Prediction

Hear ye, hear ye.  Let it be known that R. Marcus predicts the following:

Within the next few years, there will be a Kate boom.  In other words, many people will be naming their baby girls Kate. 

And Jenny agrees. 
(Though I think read somewhere Kate's full name is Catherine Elizabeth.) 

And I so love that name, and now, it will be ruined by trendiness.  But can the name Kate really ever be ruined?  I guess we couldn't really ever have a Kate anyway.  Samantha, Callie, Kate.  Too many "ka" sounds?   

Anyway, I'm quite excited for their little wedding.  I remember watcing Princess Diana walk down the aisle.  I sat in our family room watching the entire thing.  I think I was 8 or 9.  It was so magical to me.  So, yes, I'm cheesey enough to not only be excited about this wedding, but to create a blog post about it. 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Conversations with Samantha

These are actual conversations that took place today after church.  I repeat...these are actual conversations that took place today after church.

Conversation #1
While Samantha sits in her high chair, her mother feeds her an extra buttery grilled cheese sandwich.  The mood is lighthearted and happy. 
Mommy:  Sammy, do you want more?  Mmmmmmmmore?
Samantha:  mmmmm
Mommy:  Mmmmmoooore?
Samantha:  Mmmmmmmooooore.
Upon hearing Samantha's request for more, Mommy gives Samantha more to eat.  This conversation repeats 3 times.  Enter Daddy.
Mommy:  You've got to hear this Marcus.  Ok.  Sammy, mmmmmmmmore?
Samantha begins to kick her legs with excitement.  And though she hesitates to cooperate, decides she will after all and asks for "more" to eat.  All rejoice by clapping and cheering.

Conversation #2
Mommy, trying to multitask, begins to do some therapy during lunch.  She takes a flashlight and flashes the light in Samantha's eyes.  Samantha moves her head away and squirms in her highchair.
Mommy:  Samantha, if you want me to stop, you'll have to say "no."
Samantha:  NO!
Mommy:  Very well then.
Mommy immediately puts the flashlight away and continues to feed Samantha lunch. 

Conversation #3
 Mommy continues to give Samantha parts of the extra buttery grilled cheese sandwich.  Samantha begins to not accept the food anymore and Mommy senses thirst.  She picks up Samantha's cup and offers it to the child.
Mommy:  Sammy, do you want water?  clearly annunciating Wa.  Wa.  Wa-ter. 
Samantha:  reaching for the cup Wa.  Wad.  begins savagely drinking from the cup
Mommy:  Very good Sammy.  Water.  Water.  The sky opens to the heavens and angels descend, singing songs of praise...or at least it feels that way.

We are so excited about Sammy's progress lately.  We all, therapists included, have noticed how much Sammy's been "talking."  The other day, it occured to me that if I didn't start working on this with her, responding to what she was saying and using the opportunities to guide her speech, she'd lose it; she'd begin to connect that what she's saying isn't getting the response she needs/wants.  So, I've been working really hard to help her realize that what she says is meaningful and can help her get what she wants.  And, today, well, it was a pretty awesome day.  Our computer is down, so I haven't been able to upload pictures in a while and it may be some time before I can, so until then, yeah for progress!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Utah: Economic Zion

Well, according to Newsweek, Utah has become "an economic Zion."  In their short article "Promised Land," they give quite the complimentary review about Utah's economy.  Over the years, I've known many people to say that they could never live in Utah.  But, with unemployment these days...and how great Utah seems to be doing...they just may reconsider that.

Friday, November 5, 2010


Before Samantha was born, I looked for a carseat and stroller.  This caused me such stress.  I wanted to get the perfect ones.  I didn't want to have buyer's remorse over something that I would be using everyday.  I hated that feeling.  I ended up buying what it was I bought, and I was happy with it.  No big deal. 

I have that feeling again and it's making me sick.  I'm getting ready to buy a camera.  A good one.  In the past, I've asked around.  I've asked what people like.  I've gone back and forth.  I decided: I'm just going with the Canon Rebel because I can get more for the $.  But, as I searched today, I couldn't keep from looking at Nikons again.  Truth is, I don't know what I should want in a camera.  I'm uneducated in the way of the camera, and it's so frustrating.  Whatever I read, I don't understand.  And I'm looking to purchase this camera in the next few weeks.  I want this camera Christmas morning.

Picking out a camera is more stressful than picking out my stroller.  This is liking finding the right guy.  I'm finding a hard time committing to a decision here.  Rebel?  Ok.  But there are many different Rebels.  Nikon?  Ok.  I know I like Nikons.  And I found one that was a good price....but should I go with the Rebel instead?

What is the most important feature of a camera that I should be looking at?  Do I want video?  Will I regret not getting a camera with video on it?  Down the road, will an extra $100-200 make a difference?  Is it really ok to get a used or refurbished camera?  Will I get an ulcer trying to decide all of this?  And when it comes down to it, won't I just, most likely because I don't know anything about cameras, be happy with whatever I end up deciding on?  Probably.  But maybe not!  These are the questions I'm dealing with these days.

I wish someone would just say, "Look Jen, just get the _______ because ______, ______, and ______.  Oh, and by the way, here's $$$$ to purchase the camera."

I'm sure I'll figure it out.  But I hate the process!  I just need to relax and decide, right?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Screen Door

Samantha loves doors.  She always has.  She loves throwing them back and forth with all her might to watch them swing open and shut.  She loves slamming the door shut...hearing the loud bang...but then is annoyed when the game is suddenly over.  So, naturally I open it again for her.  Most of the time a wedged pillow keeps the game going for long enough to keep her thrilled. 

But Samantha also loves screen doors.  Yes.  She has figured out she can slide the screen door open and shut (and she's probably the reason we had to replace the old screen door that kept coming off its track.  I'm pretty certain we should have bought the replacement for that.).  The other day, while in the kitchen, I was hearing her at the door while I was busily working on something, when it became quiet.  I stopped, looked over, and found this pig face staring at me:

What a delightful face!  I laughed quite a bit and took a picture. 

After, she gave this face.  I'm not sure, but I think her tongue was starting to feel a bit strange after licking a screen door!  It'll do that ya know? 

I'm so grateful for my little Sammy.  She most always keeps me laughing.  What a funny girl.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween 2010

 Introducing: Dr. Callie

 Dr. Callie cares deeply about her patients.  Here is her most recent patient, Samantha.  As you can see, Samantha is wearing 2 foot casts and has a bandaged head.  This is serious stuff here.  But Dr. Callie handles it with ease.

First, she urges Sammy to "stay calm."  Next, she checks for a normal heartbeat, which she can detect without even listening through her stethoscope -- she's that good.


As you can see by the smile on Sammy's face, she's happy to be in Dr. Callie's care, for Dr. Callie has great skills, but also a kind bedside manner.

And after all the work is done, why not hit a hayride?

Yes, Samantha and Callie were quite a hit at the ward Halloween party...bringing in the prize for "Most Original."  They are quite a team these two.  They both had a lot of fun at the party...the jump house, the cotton candy, the parade!  Oh did Callie love the parade.  I wish we had video of it...but Callie pulled Sammy's hospital bed ( wagon) the entire time.  Sammy giggled and Callie, at one point, yelled out, "It's Halloweeeeeeen!"  It was a great night.  Unfortunately our camera's battery was low and went kaput on us, but at least we got these gems.  I was hoping to get a picture of the girls with Eric and Stuart Russell (Marcus' cousins) who were down visiting, but it didn't happen.  In fact, I'm really rather bummed that we didn't get a picture of them at all.  Oh well I suppose.

Happy Halloween

Friday, October 29, 2010


 These just make me smile.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Ready for School

This picture is actually kind of old but just found it again in my camera.  This girl is going to be so ready to start school!  She loves waiting for the bus with her backpack.  I know she'll love it, but there's such a different feeling about the idea of Callie starting school.  I feel like, in a way, she's more vulnerable than Samantha.  I'm not sure if this makes sense, but because she has good cognitive understanding and is a bright little girl, I'm afraid of all the stuff she'll be exposed to...the taking sides, back biting, being yelled at by other kids, having hurt feelings, feeling incompetent...all that stuff.  Oh how I want to protect my little baby.  But, she'll be fine, and that day is still off in the distance...but when I see this, it just makes me think.  I love my princess.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Hand Foot Mouth

Saturday: Granny's (and Annie's) birthday.  We went out to the Olive Garden for dinner to celebrate Granny's 80th.  It was a nice dinner, especially because it was the first time Marcus and I went out to dinner without the girls in a long time...maybe a year?  It was like a real date ~ with our family.  Samantha and Callie went over to the Black's where Sydney, Kelsey, and Brittney babysat for us.  They have dogs.  Callie loves dogs.  The last 1/2 hour, Samantha was a mess, uncontrollably crying.  They earned their money.

Sunday: I wake up late and we rush to get ready for church.  Samantha sits still through Sacrament. Callie sits on Daddy's lap.  Life is good.  Life is peaceful.  I enjoy the talks given, am sad about my friend moving, enjoy how cute Marcus looks.  That afternoon, I notice a rash on Samantha's hands.  I'm a little concerned, but don't really know if I should be at this point.  By evening, it looks like this:

 left hand

 right hand

I start to worry.  This doesn't look so good.  But then I thought...hey, what if it's an allergic reaction to the dogs?  That would explain the extreme sadness and the rash.  When she falls asleep, we slather on some cortisone cream to see if it helps. Oh, and Callie seems to have a pretty high fever though our thermometer wasn't working.  She's definitely not happy and very warm.

Monday: Callie's not doing much better.  I prescribe a day of tv and sleeping on the couch and as much fluid as she'll take.  Sammy, on the other hand (no pun intended), wakes up to this. 

Improvement.  I thought...surely it was an allergic reaction.  After some debate with myself, I send her off to school.  About 30 minutes after she leaves, I get a call from her teacher.  The school nurse wants me to pick her up.  I call Kaiser's advice nurse and she said it sounds pretty classic for hand foot mouth.  From the time she left the house and arrived at school, her little dots had turned into bumps...blister-like bumps.  Poor girl.  

Tuesday: Callie's fever is down.  We ate pancakes and played outside.  We went to the doctor to confirm for the school hand foot mouth (they have to send out an exposure notice now), and the doctor said it looks like it's starting to clear up already.  No new pictures, but things really do look a lot better.  It still may be a few days, but we're on the mend.  He found a few sores in the back of her mouth, but for the most part, she's pretty happy.  Callie decided she wanted pineapple.  When she took a bite, she screamed (Callie's a little more delicate).  She was pointing to her tooth so I was afraid she finally had a cavity -- something I'm constantly obsessing about.  I couldn't find anything.  I didn't see any sores.  I had her stick her tongue out, and sure enough, at the back of her mouth, just before her throat, she has a few bumps.  She did eat the pancakes though and has been drinking water.  Tylenol will have to be her friend for a couple days maybe.  

Wednesday: Each day looks a little better.  Her hands look a lot better and there's just one little bump on her foot that I notice.  Callie hasn't showed any other bumps/spots.  Just the couple in her mouth.  I hope that's the worst of it.
So there you have it.  Hand Foot Mouth.  Luckily it's just one of those things that runs its course and it's not really dangerous...just a pain in the hand, foot, and mouth.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Whole Wheat, Oatmeal, and Banana Pancakes

When Marci asked if I'd choose pancakes over waffles, I went with the waffles.  I mean, I love waffles.  But today, I made some homemade pancakes for the girls.  I'm a homemade pancake/waffle mix girl, but I haven't done it in a long time.  The mixes always leave a chalky feeling in my mouth.  Am I the only one?  Well, when Callie asked me today if she could go to McDonald's house (yes, it's McDonald's house, not McDonald's), I told her no and that we'd make pancakes.  She was slightly appeased, and I was still getting over the fact that my almost 3 year old was asking to go to McDonald's.  I don't think I knew what McDonald's was until I was 7.  We've only been there a couple times ourselves...but I'm kind of disturbed.  Ok...getting back on track.

So, I decided not only were we NOT going to McDonald's (easy one for me there), we were having homemade pancakes.  I wanted to try something new.  I did.  And I love did the girls.  You know when the pancake is so good you don't even need syrup?  Yeah.  Mmm

Whole Wheat, Oatmeal, and Banana Pancakes
1 c. uncooked rolled oats
1 c. whole wheat flour
3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 c. brown sugar
2 T. dry milk powder
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 egg
2 c. milk
2 T vegetable oil
1 t. vanilla
1 banana, mashed

This is how I did it.  Mix all the dry stuff together in a mixing bowl.  Put in the wet stuff.  Mix it all together and let it sit for 5 minutes.  Heat up your griddle like you would normally for pancakes and cook same as usual...cook until bubbles form and the edges are dry.  Flip, and cook until browned on the other side.

These are so good and easy. 

I'm not reconsidering.  I think I'm a homemade pancake girl after all. 

Hand Foot What?

Yeah, when Maren commented that hand foot mouth was going around, I thought she made it up.  I had never heard of it before.  I looked it up, and behold, there is such a thing.  And long story short, Sammy has it.  So, we're hanging out at home this week.  I'm off to make the girls some pancakes.  And we'll post pictures and stories when Callie's taking her already-much-needed nap.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Just Another Sunday

We try to do our best of avoiding too much of the tube.  Yes, that darn television, if you aren't careful, can suck you in.  I've gotten really good at cutting back on the shows I watch.  I really only watch a couple shows now...though really, I probably shouldn't watch anything.  And we've cut way back on tv for Callie.  She was watching a lot in the mornings.  So, we have a new routine that gives her 1/2 hour in the morning, and that's what we shoot for each day.  That one "I'm-still-waking-up" show that she can watch is ok in my book.

But today, oh dear me, today was filled with tv.  She was chipper pre-nap.  You know those days when you are madly in love with your children?  They can do no wrong?  They are just little angels and you feel so lucky and blessed to be their parents?  Yeah.  It was that day for me.  I was enjoying Callie so much, I even stayed in bed with her until we both fell asleep for her nap.  When was the last time you did that?  It's the best.  I was singing her to sleep, brushing her hair with my thing I knew, Marcus was tapping my foot wondering if I had really fallen asleep.  Um, yeah.  I was asleep.  Anyway....

While Callie napped, I took Sammy on a TWO hour walk!  Holy moly friends!  When was the last time I did that?!  Marcus was able to relax a little bit and I talked on the phone to my mom, Bryan, Analisa, and my mom again before I got home.  Yes.  It was quite the walk.  I'm just glad Sammy enjoyed it too.  She was so content, and adorable.  I'd stop to see how she was doing, and she'd just look up at me and smile.  She's been in a remarkably fantastic mood the past 2 days. 

Back to Callie...So, post-nap wasn't too great.  She wanted me to hold her, so I did for a long time.  I just sat on the hallway floor with her and held her.  I noticed she was quite warm.  We decided she could relax and watch some tv.  Well, poor girl, I think is in fact sick.  Blargh!  After I painted her finger and toe nails pink (upon request of course) she began chattering her teeth like she was in the Artic!  In fact, she was shaking so much she could barely hold her cup of water.  Our thermometer died, so I'm not sure what her temperature was, but I'm just hoping it's not too high.  Poor girl.  So, yes.  Callie was indulged with vegging on the couch and watching tv most of the afternoon.  But really, when you're not feeling so hot, there's not much else you want to do.  So, she gets a pass on this one.

Samantha has some ailments of her own.  She has developed this insane rash on her hands.  There's some on her knee and her feet too.  I have no idea what's going on.  It doesn't seem to bother her, but I'm going to see if it's not better by tomorrow and then call the doctor.  I dropped her off with a babysitter yesterday, and I'm wondering if she's having an allergic reaction to the dogs?  Not sure on that one.  Either way...

I just hope that both Callie and Samantha haven't spread something to all the other nusery kids!  How sad would that be?  Ah well...just another Sunday I suppose.

Feeling Ready

Whenever anyone thinks about adding kids to the family, I would think there's a bit of "Can we really do this? Can we really handle this?" I mean, I would think that's not only a normal thought, but also responsible. (Right?) So, lately I've been thinking about how well I could handle a third child. Today, sitting in church, holding Samantha...with Callie on her daddy's lap...I thought "We can do this." It felt really good. And I'm starting to really want that baby -- so Sacramento, hurry up on Peggy's background check already! We want to get going and find our little baby. Ok?

Thursday, October 21, 2010


What I love about this picture -- 
Abby: Birthday girl right up front ready for the picture.
Owen: The lone boy in the picture.  His body language seems to shout, "What!?  Pink? How am I possibly going to eat this!?"
Natalie: That little tongue diving into the frosting.
Katie: Her scrunched up face.
Avery: Her perfect smile and bright eyes -- and check out those cheeks!
Callie: Wearing her ballerina shirt with her glittery silver skirt...she's lookin' mighty cute.  Pretty much perfect.  Oooo I love this girl.

Nothing like cupcakes at the park to celebrate a friend's birthday.  Thanks Abby for being born and for sharing your pink cupcakes.  We sure love ya ~ and we'll definitely miss you when you move away. (weep, sigh)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Good Questions

Let the tagging begin... this was fun to think about.  Good questions Marse!

Pancakes or waffles and why?  (OR what is your favorite breakfast food?) 
Waffles.  I like the slight crisp that the waffle iron gives them.  Plus, there are hundreds of little empty pools ready to be filled with syrup or whipped cream...what's not to love about that?  But my favorite breakfast food is french toast.

Favorite date?  Where, when, and why?
Oooo I've had a lot of really good dates, but my first date with Marcus was pretty great.  We doubled with Bart and Leanne, ate dinner at Osaka in Provo -- even had the back room and sat on the floor, played frisbee golf after dinner, visited Barnes & Noble and chatted it up, and ended at my place talking and looking at pictures.  What we did was fun, but there was also the excitement of the first date with the guy you know you're interested in and you know he likes you too.  It was just the perfect first date.

Which is more prevalent in your home?  Cars or princesses?
Princess "stuff."  With two girls, it's no surprise I suppose.  We've got the dolls, a couple crowns, Tiana and Tinkerbell images.  But I think most of that is Grammy's influence.  Callie loves it, but she's super into cars, trains, airplanes, helicopters, doctors, soccer, wrestling...all that rough boy stuff.  But underneath, she's all girl requesting manicures and pedicures, ruffly skirts, etc.

What singular thing determines your happiness more than any other?
I'm with you Marse...the cleanliness of the kitchen.  First thing in the morning, if I can see a clean, clutter-free, ready-to-start-a-new-day kitchen, I'm pretty happy.  When we lived in our own place, I was much more anal about it.  It drove Marcus a little crazy.

If you could change one thing about your wedding, what would it be and why?
Dancing.  Dancing.  Dancing.  Marcus isn't a dancer, his family doesn't dance, and the wedding was in California -- his side of the family.  So I dropped it pretty quickly.  It's my biggest regret.  I love dancing.  Analisa and Bryan would have busted a move on the dance floor -- and I'm pretty convinced Chris would have too...our guests would have, and all my friends who came out to the wedding totally would have been out there with me.  It would have made that party/celebration feel that I wanted at my wedding.  What can I say?  I'm a party girl.

Facebook or blogging and why?
I like write and blogging is my outlet for that most times.  Like many others, it's a form of journal for me.  I like Facebook for the quick messages back and forth...seeing other people's pictures, etc.  But I don't utilize Facebook the way others do.  Marcus calls me a blogaholic.  Maybe I am.  I dunno.

Favorite blog you follow (or stalk)?  Why?
Make It and Love It  has great, easy craft ideas
House of Smiths  I love her style.  Some of her projects look incredible and are manageable!  I see herself and then dream about one day, when we have a home, how I'm going to do her projects in this color, with that stain, whatever.  Love it.  And she's super cute.

Kidz  It's a special needs blog, and before I became a regular contributor, I enjoyed the uplifting and supportive nature of each post.  It's been a great place for me to meet other moms who live a special needs life.  I've learned so much from them.
Jonathon Canlas Photography  Because I'm in love with his pictures and wishes he lived here and was my best friend so he'd do a session for free with my squirmy Sammy!  I love love love his style.  He's great.
Little Green Notebook  I LOVE this site!  I've bookmarked so many of her projects as "to do" when we have our own place.  I love it!  

Oh asked for my favorite BLOG -- singular.  I'll stop here. 

If you could buy one item RIGHT NOW for under $200, what would it be?  Why?
Probably shoes.  This morning I was tempted to run out and get a pair today.  I love shoes.

1. Jessica N.
2. Rose

3. Tara
4. Amelia
5. Katie Slade!!!  Yes YOU!  It's been so long!:)
6. Julie Massey
7. Julie of Thad and Julie:)
8. Erin Cecil
9. Andrea Carruth

Tag, you're it.  Here are my questions for you.

1. What is the nerdiest (and possibly best) quality of your man?
2. Frozen yogurt or icecream?  What flavor?
3. What one thing gets you geared up for Fall?
4. Favorite musical artist?
5. In honor of Halloween: What is the creepiest place/situation you've ever been in?  Where, when, what happened!?
6. Book you could read once a year 'cause it's just that good.
7. Finish the statement: If I had the guts to do it, I'd.....
8. When do you start getting ready for Christmas?  (I like having Christmas shopping done before Thanksgiving if I can!)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Miss Delacourt Speaks Her Mind by Heidi Ashworth

For some time now, I have wanted to read Miss Delacourt Speaks Her Mind.  Admittedly, I know the author rather well and so wanted to read her book.  But I was always frantically reading other books for book clubs and things about Samantha's condition, that books-to-read from my own list never quite happened.  Recently, I felt it was time to put everything else aside, sit down, and finally read the book from my books-to-read list, and I'm happy for it, as it really was delightful to read.  Miss Delacourt is considered Regency Romance.  What's that?!  Really, I didn't know and assumed it wasn't for me.  I usually don't equate my reading preferences with books in the "Romance" genre.  However, I was pleasantly surprised when I realized that I do, in fact, like regency romance.  ("I do so like green eggs and ham.  I do, I like them Sam-I-am!")  So, if you like images such as ...
silly young women primped, with ringlets framing their faces, in their loveliest gown, eagerly trying to attract their one true love (who happens to be rich of course)

secret kisses (that you've been hoping would happen throughout the entire book!) between the two who-aren't-supposed-to-be-together-for-one-reason-or-another-but-who-find-themselves-the-perfect-match-nonetheless...on English green lawns

and Colin Firth with a good set of side burns, dressed to perfection, with a coolness in his tongue, but an intrigue that is so...intriguing for lack of a better word

then perhaps you'd like regency romance too (Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer) and just don't realize it.

I read Miss Delacourt rather quickly.  Going from reading about neurons and recovering brain function to a regency romance took me some time to adjust.  I enjoyed what I read, but it wasn't until page 100 that I was quite hooked.  (page 100 came quickly).  You cringe at what some of the characters do, you laugh out loud, and you are happy in the end.  It was really just the entertainment that I think I needed.  I felt whisked away to another time period and it has made me want to read more in this genre...or at least put Pride and Prejudice in the dvd player!  There's something about those stories, isn't there?  The secret love that can't be expressed, the decorum of the time interfering with true love.  I love it.  Based on my small regency exposure, it follows the pattern of this genre.  I knew, or thought I knew, what would happen in the end, but I didn't know how we'd get there...and that's what was fun for me. 

So, Miss D Speaks Her's a fast read and worth reading for all you secret romantics out there.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Now I Can -- Can We Now?

I'm not sure what to do. Now I Can is an intensive physical therapy center that I truly believe that Sammy could benefit from. I've researched them out a little bit. I've talked to some therapists. And I even called our old PT back in Spokane, WA and asked her about the methods used there, etc. Our old PT back in Spokane does intensive therapy. While we lived there, Samantha was too young to do it. And as much as I wanted it then, and would be very much interested in having Samantha work with Echo again -- intensively, I feel compelled to go to Now I Can. I'm not sure why.

Therapists here have told me about places in the Bay Area that do similar intensive therapies. They use the same neurosuit. They are much closer. And still, I'm drawn to Now I Can. Why? I'm not quite sure. But over the past few years with Samantha I've learned to follow those feelings, because usually, there's a reason...and most often, it's turned out well.

So, Now I Can. I want to do it. And I think she's at a good age to do it -- in fact, I think this is a great age to do it...when she's still young. Good changes do and can happen when you're older, but it's so much easier to create those pathways in your brain NOW that will give her what she needs to move and function better.

Right now, I can only imagine her walking without stumbling. I can only imagine her taking a step down instead of falling face forward! I can only imagine her using a spoon. I can only imagine her walking and standing without orthotics. I can only imagine these things now, but I believe they can really happen. Really.

Problem: Expensive! It's a 3-4 week session that is $2000/week. We're talking at least $6,000. I could drive out to Orem, UT. And I'm pretty sure I could find a place to stay. The arrangements wouldn't be super easy, but I think it could be worth it. I want to do some fundraising, and I really believe I could earn the money doing a few things here.

But, I'm having a hard time making the decision to do it or not. I have a hard time committing to something, even if it's a good thing, when there's that much money involved. What if I don't raise the money? What if I can't pull it all together? It just makes me nervous.

I just need to start a real investigation, see what times are still open, and pray I suppose. I really want to get her a session though. I'll, of course, keep everyone posted on what we decide. This could really really be awesome. But who knows? Maybe now isn't the time?

Friday, October 15, 2010


I am hilarious. I mean, really one funny girl am I...because I'm cracking up over here. ahhhhhh ha ha ha ha

Lisztomania. I currently really like this song. It's just catchy. And it helps that Sammy giggles whenever she hears it. It's cute. I can't embed this youtube video with the song, but it's worth checking out. It's fun, especially if you like some of these old movies.

Now, I know I'm not the only one who makes up their own words. But when I finally remembered to look up the real words, I giggled. I knew I'd be pretty off, because most of my words were just babbles and made up words...but here were my words (in red) with the real words (in blue). (Read it as you listen to the song. You'll see where I'm coming from.)

So sentimental, not sentimental no
So sentimental, not sentimental no
Romantic not disgusting yet
romantic not discussing it
Darling, I'm down and lonely when with the fortunate only
Darling, I'm down and lonely, with the unfortunate only
I've been looking for something else
I've been looking for something else
Do let, do let, do let, jugulate, do let, do let, do
duelette, duelette, duelette, juggle it, duelette, duelette, duelette
(See now, the first verse wasn't too off yet. The "do let" part, I got the sound right, but in my mind it was "duel" ..."duelett" like a little duel. And then naturally, you juggle afterwards. ahhhh)

Let's go slowly discouraged
Let's go slowly discouraged
Distant from other interests on your favorite weekend ending
Distant from mother interest, on your favorite weekend ending
This love's for gentlemen only that's with the fortunate only
This love's for gentlemen only, that's with the fortunate only
No, I gotta be someone else
No I gotta be someone else
These days it comes, it comes, it comes, it comes, it comes and goes
These days it comes, it comes it comes it comes it comes and goes

Think less but see it grow like a riot, like a riot, oh
See less but see it grown, like a rhine, like a rhine, like a rhinoooooo
I'm not easily offended
Not easily offended
It's not hard to let it go from a mess to the masses
Nah, I go let it go, from the mess to the masses

Think less but see it grow like a riot, like a riot, oh
(See above.... yes, again, I thought it was "like a rhino." No, it didn't make sense, but nonetheless...)
I'm not easily offended
It's not hard to let it go from a mess to the masses

Follow, misguide, stand still
Fellow Miss guidance, still
Disgust, discourage on this precious weekend ending
Discour, discourage on this reggis weekend dingding
This love's for gentlemen only, wealthiest gentlemen only
this love's for gentlemen only, welkiest gentlemen only
And now that you're lonely
and now that you're lonely
Do let, do let, do let, jugulate, do let, do let, do
duelette, duelette, duelette, juggle it, duelette, duelette,

Let's go slowly discouraged, we'll burn the pictures instead
let's go slowly discouraged, we'll burn the pictures instead
When it's all over we can barely discuss
when it's all over we can barely discuss
For one minute only, not with the fortunate only
for one minute only, now we're the fortunate only
Thought it could have been something else
Gonna gonna be something else
These days it comes, it comes, it comes, it comes, it comes and goes
these days it comes, it comes, it comes, it comes, it comes and goes

Think less but see it grow like a riot, like a riot, oh
I'm not easily offended
It's not hard to let it go from a mess to the masses

Think less but see it grow like a riot, like a riot, oh
I'm not easily offended
It's not hard to let it go from a mess to the masses

This is show time, this is show time, this is show time
this is your time, this is your time, this is your town
This is show time, this is show time, this is show time
this is your town, this is your town, this is your town
Time, time is your love, time is your love, yes time is your

Towwwn, time to show it up time to show it, it's time to show it up
Time, time is your love, time is your love, yes time is your

toooowwwn, time to show it up time to show it up, it's time to show it up

Maybe this isn't that funny to others, but some of these parts are pretty creative, don't you think? I mean, I guess a rhino isn't that easily offended. And come on guys, this is YOUR town and it's time to show it up. Maybe have a duelette, over Miss Guidance, then juggle. I'm just sayin'.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Moving Forward

Adoption. It's about love, right? Yes, indeed. And fear, and anxiety, and stress, and frustration. Sheesh, I tell you what.

I have a file set up. It's title? Adoption 2009-2010. Well, I have a feeling I'll have to change the title to "Adoption 2009-2011." That's just crazy. We began the process in November, 2009. It's now October 2010, and we still are NOT approved. Can I tell you the frustration level is just a bit high? Actually, I take that back. It was a bit high. Things have taken a little turn.

Why aren't we approved yet?! Good question. I assure you it's not because we are thieves or secret spies. No no. We aren't approved yet because, I'd like to say California is all messed up...but I think it's really because it's all a part of a greater plan that has been taking it's little 'ole time unfolding before us. See, I truly do believe that Heavenly Father is in charge, and He knows when our baby is here for us. Right now, our baby isn't here. Our birthmother isn't ready.

On the logistical side of things...there is a law...the Adam Walsh Law. I think it's actually great. But this required a separate screening in both Utah and Washington (since we've lived there) and for whatever reason -- which we now know but would take too much effort to explain here -- it took FOR.EVER. to get back. Furthermore, since we are currently living with my in-laws, they need background checks as well. Thankfully, they were compliant. But my mother-in-law's prints were not. Her prints have been rejected multiple times and we are waiting to get clearance through a name check.

During the past year, I have often wondered what the hold up is. Callie was 8 months...beginning to placement. That's super fast, I understand. But this, this just seems unreal how many obstacles we were coming across. We've prayed. We've done what we could. And we wait.

Yesterday, my clearance came in. Now all we wait for is my mother-in-law's prints. And I feel like things are so much closer. And now, I'm beginning to be scared, and anxious, and stressed thinking about having another child! Isn't that scary?! But also so so so wonderful.

I've been starting to have some of those feelings I had when we were waiting for Callie. I'm starting to have thoughts about a little boy (we'll see), starting to have these little flutterings in my stomach and chest, starting to feel like things are much closer than they seem at this point...and that makes me so incredibly excited -- and a bit anxious.

We shall see. We're still not approved. But hopefully that's not too far off...and then....just keep moving forward I suppose.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Overnight Strawberry French Toast

So yummy and is possibly beginning to be an October Conference tradition.

Makes 8-10 servings

12 slices of day old bread
8 oz pkg cream cheese
1 c. fresh strawberries cleaned and cut up
12 eggs
2 c. milk
1 t. vanilla
1/3 c. honey (or maple syrup)

1 c. white sugar
1 c. water
2 T cornstarch
1 c. strawberries
1 T butter

Cut bread into 1 inch cubes. Place half into a greased baking dish (9x13). Cut cream cheese into little pieces and place over bread. Top with handful of strawberries sprinkled over bread and cream cheese. Top with remaining bread cubes. Beat eggs in large bowl; add milk, vanilla, and honey (or syrup). Mix well; pour over bread cubes. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Next morning {Hello Sun!} remove from refrigerator 1/2 hour before baking. Preheat oven to 350. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Remove cover and bake another 25-30 minutes or until center is set and is folden in color.

Prepare the sauce in a saucepan by combining the sugar and cornstarch. Add water and bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir constantly and boil for 3-4 minutes. Stir in strawberries and reduce heat; cook for 10 minutes or until strawberries begin to fall apart. Stir in the butter and pour over french toast.



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