I have returned!

I think I may have forgotten how to use the computer, seeing how I have not touched it in about, oh, three weeks now.  Every day has flown by, while still being really really long.  (How that is possible, I really have no idea.)  Kids!  Doctor appointments!  Kids’ doctor appointments!  The fun just never ends!  A three-year-old needed a tooth extraction (long story).  The other twin needs his tonsils removed (not as long of a story).  The six seven-year-old had a checkup with his pediatric ophthalmologist (fairly self-explanatory).  I needed a small bowel x-ray series with contrast (funny story! The barium I had to drink causes me to vomit uncontrollably, so as I gagged and retched in the waiting area the other patients eyed me with apprehensive alarm and then I what do you mean, you don’t want to know?)

So in short, the past week of my life has vanished like it was sucked in to a giant vacuum.  Now I know what you are thinking- “Jennifer, clearly you must recognize this as an obvious symptom of extraterrestrial abduction.”   While I agree it could be, I can confidently state that I was not taken by aliens.  Had they beamed me up, I would have refused to return.  Kidding!  Ha ha!  I am not one of those whiny, ungrateful mothers that is always complaining about how difficult her children are!  No, I know I was not abducted by aliens because had they appeared in my bedroom, I would have made them take the kids instead.  But!  Strictly for educational purposes.  Every little boy wants to learn about space!  And who better to teach them then a friendly, helpful alien!  (Well, possibly Patrick Stewart, who also happens to be Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the U.S.S. Enterprise.  I watched a good bit of Star Trek: The Next Generation in middle school and have had a mad crush on him ever since (that deep voice!  that bald head!) despite the fact that he is roughly one hundred and sixteen years old.)

Anyway, as I was saying before I distracted myself, who better than to teach about space than an extraterrestrial or Captain Jean-Luc Picard?  No one, that’s who.  CERTAINLY not a “scientist”.  Jennifer is still very bitter on Pluto’s behalf.  Not a planet!  RIDICULOUS!  How would the “scientists” know- they have never even BEEN there!  Now I may have mentioned that due to previous television viewing habits I am extremely knowledgeable about space, and Pluto, I ASSURE you that you will ALWAYS be a planet.  Every out-of-date science textbook definitively says so!  So don’t listen to those mean old “scientists”.  They are probably just jealous of you for… something.

Wow!  When I started writing I had absolutely no idea that my post would be almost entirely about outer space!  I wonder what else I am an expert on?  Hopefully fontage.  (I invented a word!)   My font appears to have changed, and it was definitely not by me.  (ALIENS!)

July 31, 2008. Tags: , . Uncategorized. 1 comment.

This post has been SNAILjacked

The past few days I’ve felt like a mentally challenged snail.  Lately I had been doing fairly well at somewhat resembling a normal/functioning mother/human, but today I am (not really) fighting off snailiness.  My brain is tired, the rest of me is tired, I feel like I need to nap for four days.  (Is that really so much to ask?)  I have been dragging myself along, sluggishly, (ha ha!  Gastropod humor!) hoping it is a temporary condition. 

I feel like a tired snail, of limited brain function, carrying a very heavy shell.  A heavy, messy shell, inhabited by baby snails, who are also messy, as well as LOUD.  Baby snails that are constantly fighting at the top of their little snail lungs.  Whilst they love each other very much, they show this love by wielding Hot Wheels tracks in a menacing fashion, and by pelting others with small metal cars, which results in an orchestra of SCREECHING.

Sometimes the snail mommy feels like unloading this very LOUD and MESSY and HEAVY shell and fleeing for the Canadian border, not because she doesn’t love the baby snails, BECAUSE SHE DOES, but dude that shell starts to get old sometimes.  The daddy slug tries to help, but he has to work at a job that pays him money in order to purchase the massive quantities of food and shoes the baby snails consume.  (You were probably not aware that baby snails wore sneakers, because they are positively microscopic.  But to sneaker salesmen [snailsmen!] “smaller” in NO WAY means “cheaper”, and the day they grow out of their shoes rather than decimating them and therefore needing yet another pair is the day the mommy snail SPROUTS WINGS.)

Anyway, the mommy snail loves her baby snails VERY MUCH, and in order to preserve their fragile snelf-esteems she saves up her frustrations in order to vent them all over the internet.  Naturally, the internet is THRILLED.  But she has to do something so her shell doesn’t crack (ha ha!), even if it just amusing herself with truly horrible snail puns.  So for anyone that is still reading this (why?!) the mommy snail (who can type! with her microscopic fingers scientists were unaware she had) profusely apologizes.  HOPEFULLY tomorrow a human will be back in charge here.  (And if she happens to be Canadian, don’t try to find her, she has already changed her name and hair color.  On a side note, baby snails make great pets, and I know where you can get some CHEAP FREE.)  (Kidding!  Snails are not bad mothers, and love their babies very much, but have found acerbic sarcasm to be a useful coping mechanism.  Please don’t judge the snail harshly until you have walked a few inches in her slime trail.)  (“Slime trail“?  And you are STILL reading this?!  Go do something productive!  SHOO!)

July 23, 2008. Tags: , . Uncategorized. 1 comment.

Have I ever mentioned Matthew?

Being the middle child, he tends to get overlooked.


As I mentioned here https://pinkparachute.wordpress.com/2008/04/30/matthews-gift/ (I know there is a fancy way to trackback/ link but I have no idea what that may be.  For the same reason I do not yet have pictures on here- Technological Incompetence) Matthew is “unique” and “special” and all of those “other words” one uses when they are trying to say “he drives me insane”, without sounding like a bad parent.  He has NO PROBLEM sharing his VERY OPINIONATED OPINIONS quite LOUDLY and OFTEN.  (I have absolutely no idea where he gets that from.)  He most definitely does not subscribe to the idea of being a man of few words, but apparently believes that he who speaks the most sentences in his life will win a fabulous prize when they are old.  Or something.  All I know is that he is always talking.   

So anyway, Matthew turns seven on Friday!  Do you know what this means?  This means he has only had eleven and a half months to plan his birthday party!  (He has also been talking about his Halloween costume since January.  Talking VOCIFEROUSLY.)  Now planning a party takes a lot of work, all of which has been OUT LOUD.  First one must decide upon a location.  Luckily, that has not been a problem.  We are having a Miniature golf/ Chuck E. Cheese/ Bowling/ Movie theater/ Pool/ Laser tag party.  What do you mean, we can’t have it in six places at once?  I guess we just have to have six parties then.  No?  Mommy is so mean.  Speaking of so mean, on any given day if Mommy/ Daddy/ Michael/ Twins have offended Matthew, they are promptly NOT INVITED to his party.  Until Matthew is reminded that without his parents there is no party, in which case they are magically reinvited.  As are his brothers, since they are required by Matthew to BRING GIFTS.

Did someone mention gifts?  How generous!  Matthew is not picky!  He will accept anything you wish to give him, as long as it is a Gameboy Advance/ electric guitar (not a toy, only the REAL THING will do)/ Speed racer toy (he did not see the movie)/ Ben 10 toy (he does not watch the show)/ Power Ranger toy (he does not watch that show either)/ Pokemon cards or toy/ Wii (Daddy has one, but obviously  Matthew needs his OWN)/ any other toy sold at Target or Toys R Us or in an infomercial/ puppy.

Puppy?  Matthew has been TERRIFIED of dogs since he was a baby.  No one has any idea why, as nothing traumatic has ever happened to him, but even a puppy no bigger than a squirrel makes his eyes flash with panic.  So by typing ‘puppy’, you must be using your razor- sharp wit to create a joke, right?

Ha ha!  NO.  A few weeks ago Mr. TERRIFIED of Canines the Size of His Thumb decided he desperately wants a dog for his birthday, and not just any dog, but a GERMAN SHEPARD.  (Whaaat the freaking hey?  The child completely bewilders me.)  As you can imagine, with four kids, three cats, and one husband the LAST thing I need in this house is ONE MORE THING that pees, poops, and makes noise.  (Sorry, Matthew.  I think one of our piles of laundry moved, go play with that.)  (I am so mean!  I might not even be invited!) 

So let’s see, we have the place, and the gifts.  Is there anything else?  Guests?  Oh, of course!  Because they bring the gifts!  Food?  No thanks, he’ll be busy opening gifts.  Cake?  Eh, maybe after the gifts.  No, I think we hit all the important points.  Although with five days left to go, all of the above will change at least seventeen times.  (Except for the dog, which will be the one thing he does not change his mind about, since it is also the one thing he has no chance of getting, because his mom is SO MEAN.)

If anyone reading this has the slightest idea what is going on here, please let me know.  Because despite my best efforts, I am THOROUGHLY PERPLEXED.

July 21, 2008. Tags: , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

I promise to write about something else next time (like boogers!)

So I’m SURE everyone has been clinging to the edge of their seats in anticipation of how we handled The Pee Situation.

(Wait!  Why are you leaving?  Where did everyone go?!  Everyone knows pee is funny!)

We were pretty dumbfounded, so we tried to imagine “What would a Good Parent do in this type of situation?”  Gathering our patience and wisdom, we sat down with Matthew and had an earnest discussion.  “Big boys tinkle in the potty.  If you won’t act like a big boy, then we can’t give you big boy privileges.  Your bodily fluids not only carry germs, but are offensive to other people.  Blah blah manners blah blah set example for your little brothers blah blah etc. etc.”

He listened intently, considered this information gravely, and prepared his humble apology.  That went something like “Yeah, well, someday when I’m grown up and can do what I want I’m gonna pee all over wherever I feel like and you can’t stop me ’cause I’ll be a grownup and you won’t be the boss anymore and I will pee anywhere I want.”  It was quite a relief to know that CLEARLY we had chosen the proper approach.

So in fifteen years or so, don’t avoid the obnoxious wino urinating in the alley next to the bar.  Give a cheerful wave and call out “Hi, Matthew!”  You may not want to mention it to me, though, because it’s very possible I might burst with pride over raising such a model citizen.

July 18, 2008. Tags: , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

If you only have daughters, or your children are under the age of atrocious , you may wish to avert your eyes

While the twins are still very high maintenance (fighting, tantrums, drawing on walls), it is so nice to see that it does get easier as kids get older.  Michael and Matthew (8and 6) squabble occasionally, but in general get along pretty well, and are able to amuse themselves fairly independently.  Sometimes, it is even possible to accomplish something with them around.  (Who would have guessed?!  Not me!)  This morning they hatched a scheme to fill little spray bottles with water, and squirt ants out on the sidewalk.  They were happily occupied, so I decided to do something crazy: The Dishes.  As in rubber gloves, sponge, soap, water- a highly complex operation!  It was so nice to actually accomplish something, I didn’t even mind them running in and out of the house (door slamming) to refill their bottles in the bathroom.  Sure, they were noisy, and making a mess, but they’re boys!  Around here, if no one is screaming like they are being murdered, then it is considered positively peaceful

My positively peaceful scrubbing was interrupted by Michael, who informed me that Matthew PEED in his squirt bottle, added a little water (for volume?) and sprayed him with it.  SURELY Matthew was joking about such a prank!  Because no one would actually do that, right?  Because that’s…repulsive?!  Except that no, he wasn’t joking.  He proudly admitted what he had done, because as everyone knows, pee is HILARIOUS!  Do you know what is funnier than urine?  Nothing!!  Ha ha ha ha!  Comedy gold!

Needless to say, mommy was not NEARLY as amused as he was.  She is STILL devising a proper punishment, because no matter what she says or does, it’s still about pee!  Which is SO FUNNY!  And a consequence is not all that effective when one is laughing hysterically.  So if anyone has any suggestions on how to handle this, short of tying his peenus (ha ha!  Pee!  Endlessly amusing!) in to a knot, which is slightly tempting, but most likely not actually legal, feel free to share them with me.  Growing up (as a girl) I tinkled in to the toilet.  THE END.  Birthing a herd of deranged males has thrown me in to completely uncharted territory, for which I am woefully unprepared

What did I say earlier?  It gets easier as they mature?  Ha ha ha ha ha!!!  That is ALMOST as funny as pee!  (Pee!)  (It never gets old, I tell you!)

July 16, 2008. Tags: . Uncategorized. 1 comment.

Donkeys are like horses, only BETTER

Did I ever tell you about the time my husband thoughtfully bought me a gift, out of the blue, because it made him think of me?  (Aww!)  It’s a t-shirt with a cute little donkey on it that says “I’m a smart one.”  Now, I know what you are thinking.  (Very smart people can always tell what others are thinking.)  “Jennifer, it is so awesome that you have such a generous husband that buys you gifts that remind him of you.”  Yes, I agree.  I especially applaud the fact that he is creative about it, rather than choosing something really boring, like expensive jewelery.  (What’s that?  You have more to say?)  “Jennifer, I am so pleased for you for marrying someone that respects your intelligence.”  Well, to be honest, I don’t think he can help it.  My geniuosity pretty much stares him in the face each and every morning.

So that’s all!  I thought I would share that marital tidbit with you for inspirational purposes.  Perhaps one day you too can find someone special who acknowledges that you are a wise being.  A well-schooled burro.  An intelligent donkey.  A smart… I’m sorry, what now?  That can’t be right.  My true love seems to have made an unintentional error of sorts.  I will be back later, I need to use my mad brain skillz to go clear a little something up.

July 13, 2008. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Health and Beauty Edition (I am not a doctor, just an expert)

     Maybe you remember from the post underneath this one that my primary source of information these days comes in magazine form. Since I barely even remember what “real” writing is like, I have decided to use these glossy little vestibules of knowledge as my inspiration for today’s blog edition! Like Vogue, but published TODAY instead of weeks ago, making Blogue more ‘au courant’, which is FRENCH and clearly shows I know what I’m talking about.
     Perhaps you have wandered the hair care aisle at Target and noticed the proliferation of products whose purpose is acheiving ‘beach hair’. Frederic Fekkai Summer Hair Beach Waves- $22. Wella Liquid Hair Body Surf Beach Hair Styler- $29.99. Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray- $21.50. Jennifer’s Awesome Advice- free.
     That’s right! I achieved a full head of ‘beach hair’ on vacation, without the aid of overpriced styling aids! And I am more than happy to share my knowledge with you, since you are my favorite reader (don’t tell the others, we don’t want to offend anybody.)
     First! Stop showering. If you are tempted to be clean, throw yourself on to the nearest horizontal surface and take a nap instead. (The more practice you have with napping, the easier it is to achieve that ‘scrunched’ look.) After you awaken, stagger over to the mirror. If your hair has not been washed in several days and you smash it while snoozing you may already be experiencing success! But if you have fine hair, or are just having trouble achieving that proper volume, spray your head with a light coating of spray starch (about $2 in the laundry aisle) and gingerly insert your hair in to a blender. Now obviously blenders can be dangerous to humans, so keep it on Low.
     Now you look like a Brazilian supermodel, AND you saved twenty dollars! Who knew today would be your lucky day?!
     Okay Jennifer, I admit that now I am fabulously beautiful, but what about healthy?

     Well! In (the first half of) the current Oprah magazine (no, I have not finished it) a David Katz, MD, which stands for Medical Doctor (or Many Dollars, which is the same thing) discusses some of the health benefits of fasting. He says some studies suggest that short fasts can raise good cholesterol, and lower inflammation of the blood vessels. Interesting! However, being a HARD-HITTING JOURNALIST, I did what any HARD-HITTING JOURNALIST would do- I Googled “fasting”! After visiting various sites full of dubious medical information I stumbled upon the following:
          Recorded since the beginning of time, fasting is a practice that has many benefits for the body. Not only does it give the body a chance to heal itself, it also cleans all the toxins and poisons from the body. The health benefits of fasting can leave you feeling more energized and more physically fit that ever before.   (I copied and pasted that from here http://hubpages.com/hub/benefits_of_fasting.  Which is totally different from plagiarizing. I think.)
     Verrry Eeeentersting, no? But does it work? I am THRILLED TO REPORT that for my FAVORITE READER I have volunteered to sacrifice myself for the sake of science! I fasted not only from 1:30 pm to 6:15 pm yesterday, but also 10:25 pm to 6:40 am this morning! I have to say, I have not yet noticed any dramatic improvements in my health. But rest assured I will keep you COMPLETELY UPDATED on any progress!
     I think that wraps up today’s Beauty and Health edition of Blogue. I will report back to you when my HARD-HITTING JOURNALISM finds more exciting information to share. Remember, it’s what is on the outside that counts, seeing as your insides are just kind of pink and slimy.

July 10, 2008. Tags: , , , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Stay back, I have my cranky pants on

I have always LOVED reading.  As a child I preferred to sit in my room and read over playing with friends, swimming, really anything else.  My mother used to punish me by taking away my reading privileges, and my teachers were horrified!  Denying a child books!  But what else could she do?  Send me to my room?  Take away television, phone, playmates?  Awesome- more time to read!!  (What can I say, I’ve always been odd “unique”.)  In seventh grade we had a school field trip to Gettysburg, so I did what every other twelve-year-old girl does on a long bus ride with her friends- I read the copy of Gone With the Wind I bought from the gift shop!  Luckily it was over 1,000 pages long, so I finished it not on the bus, but at home that evening.  Luckily, because when I finished it I SOBBED for THREE HOURS.  (And then read it again the next day.)  I thought I had loved reading before, but it became a FULL- FLEDGED OBSESSION.  I devoured books voraciously.  And then?  I started manufacturing kids.  And WHO WOULD HAVE GUESSED that the more children I produced, the less I was able to read!  Whether it be time, or energy, or the fact that my brain resembles a wad of gum melted to the sidewalk, anymore I get a satisfied thrill by finishing a Lands’ End catalog.  Which brings us to some Vacation Stats!

     Number of books squirreled away in various suitcases for my reading pleasure: 8

     Number of books actually read: 0 Half of an Oprah magazine belonging to my mother-in-law  (Dear Grammy, after we collapsed on the living room floor arrived home, I noticed that I had accidentally stolen it from you.  But don’t worry!  I will return it as soon as I’m finished reading it.  Which will be anywhere between Thursday and when the twins go to college.)

Are you ready for some amusing irony?  Splashed across the side of Oprah’s abdomen are the words “LOOKING FOR A GOOD BOOK?  We’ve got 27 terrific summer reads for the plane, porch, pool, hammock, beach, bed…”  Well now!  I have been everywhere but the hammock and let me tell you there was NO BOOK READING going on there.  (“Plane”!  That’s a good one!!)  Now I’m sure that anyone who has raised small children and actually lived through it can smile encouragingly and say “Someday you will read books/sleep/not be crazy again”, yet I am becoming increasingly suspicious that “someday” is a desperate figment of my imagination, rather than something that is actually going to occur.

I have sucked you in to my vacuum of hopelessness!  Isn’t it fun here!

Michael had a check up today, and his pediatrician casually mentioned that if we had any travel plans that included leaving the country, to, you know, Mexico or somewhere, to let him know so that we could schedule the proper hepatitis shots.


Was I supposed to know that?  How was I supposed to know that?!  (If you say “by reading a book on child-rearing” I will throw something at you.)  This whole parenting operation is an endless web of complications.  That, or I am dramatically under-qualified for it, I’m not sure.  I would ponder that question in depth but if being a mother has taught me anything it is that THERE ARE SOME QUESTIONS YOU DO NOT WANT TO KNOW THE ANSWER TO.  (Like what happened to the upstairs bathroom.  Please don’t tell me.  Just clean it up.)

Yesterday was approximately 57 hours long.  Today is shaping up to be the same.  But I PROMISE that tomorrow I will spread cheer and happiness and goodwill to all corners of the internet!  Although I’m not certain the internet has corners.  I AM certain that I am too cranky to care.

July 8, 2008. Tags: , , , , . Uncategorized. 3 comments.

Vacation- Part It’s OVER already, stop being lazy and think of a new title

We’re home!  Everyone survived!  Some people return from vacations feeling refreshed, or rested.  I feel a sense of accomplishment and relief.  We made it!  Someday vacations may be relaxing, but that time is NOT NOW.

I am back on my own computer!  That does not count down the minutes I am using like a bomb preparing to detonate!  I may go on a wild binge and write a HUGE POST, just because I can.  I will try not to break the Internet, but I make no promises, because I’m going to type a lot of words.  I’m not exactly sure how big the World Wide Web is, but hopefully it will be able to hold them all.

Dear Jennifer,

     Is it possible to change the poopy diaper of a large three-year-old (that should have been potty trained ages ago) in an airplane bathroom that is the approximate square footage of a postage stamp?

                                                                        Signed,  Just Curious

Dear Curious,

     No.  It is definitely not possible.  But I had to manage it anyway, as I noticed the other passengers stealing furtive glances at the instructions for the emergency exit.  And as Gregory and I plummeted towards the ground, all I would be able to think is “Fellow travelers, I don’t blame you one bit for pushing us out, because those diapers STINK when not contained in a stuffy airline cabin.”

                                                                 Sincerely,  Jennifer

Dear Twins,

     If you do not potty train soon, I am donating you to a petting zoo.  The zoo will politely decline, so I will be forced to tie you to a fence and hightail it on out of there.  You know that I know that you know how to use the potty, but that you would rather play/wrestle/stare at a blank wall rather than do so.  Now I don’t always feel like walking all the way to a toilet either but even total laziness must have limits.  Cats spend 93% of their lives napping and even they use a litter box.  So ENOUGH WITH THE DIAPERS ALREADY.

                                                                Love, Mommy


After the plane landed, we had to herd the kids through customs.  Our official was very tall, and burly, and intimidating in his uniform, complete with stern expression.  And did I mention tall.  A hulking mass of disapproving government security!  He probably immobilizes his prey with a cool glance, before crushing them with a flick of his pinkie finger.  I gingerly handed him a pile of passports and attempted to count little heads as they darted about in front of me.  I was trying to remember exactly how many children I had when a gruff voice barked “WHERE IN NEW YORK.”

Where in New York what?!  Where in New York do I peddle my drugs?  Where in New York do I hand out illegal firearms?  Where in New York do I sell poor quality Gucce and Rollex watches?  What?!  Tell me before you arrest me and cart me off to the slammer!  Or crush me with your pinkie!  Are the lawyers on the cover of the phone book any good?  As I stammer “uh…umm…” it dawns on me that my passport includes my place of birth.  My mind is paralyzed as I try to remember where I was born.  I blink at him for a full fifteen seconds before squeaking “Um…Long Island?”  I’m not sure I feel very safe with the fact that I was allowed to enter the country because if I did not look like a suspicious character than I DON’T KNOW WHO WOULD.

At this information Mr. Stern Burly became positively congenial!  He went to Nassau Community College so (even though my parents moved to Maryland when I was a baby) we were practically pals!  I chuckled nervously at this remarkable coincidence, and as my shaky knees knocked together it became painfully obvious to me that any future plans that include a life of crime would have to be aborted.  If I dissolve with paranoia when COMPLETELY INNOCENT than I will not be able to shoplift a roll of Lifesavers.  (Lifesavers!  I used your name!  You may mail out my royalty check!)  (What do you mean, “copyright infringement”?)  Homeland Security can rest assured that at least one citizen is completely incapable of lawlessness.  [In the interest of full disclosure, although I stated I brought no food in to the country I DID have a box of granola bars, but they were individually sealed American granola bars that were imported to Mexico, and so I was not smuggling as much as RETURNING them to their rightful home.  Do not feel the need to arrest me.  They have already been eaten anyway.]

So apparently the Internet can hold more words than my brain is capable of at one time!  (Which is probably not as impressive as I’m going to pretend that it is.)  I am sure you will hear more Vacation stories over the next few months, because I tend to remember things in fits and starts.  However, I also tend to to be easily distracted, so you may get lucky and be spared excessive Vacation tales.  Who knows?!  Every time you read a post it will be like gambling!  COMPLETELY LEGAL gambling, of course.  Because this here blawg abides by the law.

July 6, 2008. Tags: , , , . Uncategorized. 1 comment.

Vacation- Part How should I know, I’m not even sure what today IS

Super speedy update edition:

The twins are happy with their baby soups (bathing suits) and gobbles (goggles), floating in the kiddie pool.  The older boys are DETERMINED to squeeze in every activity we meant to get to all week long.  T-shirt painting!  Iguana hunting!  Complaining about having to swim instead of watching t.v. in the room!  We are doing it all!  Unfortunately for me, no one here aged 3-8 sees “resting” as a viable activity.

But!  We will have plenty of time to “rest” tomorrow, on the plane!  (Ha ha ha! Ha!)  Our shuttle to the airport leaves at 6:40am, which would be fine, except our flight isn’t until 9:30.  Most  likely, though, travelling seven and a half hours with four rambunctious little boys won’t be too bad.  Now please excuse me while I go drown myself in visit the pool.

July 4, 2008. Uncategorized. 1 comment.

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