Thursday, March 31, 2011

Well Seasoned....

I had big dreams people.  And they weren't to try not to be on the internet all day.

I was randomly clicking on links on Facebook and somehow I found this video of a girl in UT.  She is playing the same song that I played for my senior recital.  It was "my" song -- I played it for EVERYTHING, ad nauseum.  I could play it in my sleep.  It took forever to learn, and boy oh boy I think if I pulled out my flute right now I could bang it out.  Ok, maybe not....

Just brought back a lot of memories and reminded me that there are so many seasons in our lives.  I love the season I am in right now, and I loved that one back then.

ALSO, this piece has the MOST amusing ending I ever played.  I think it's the ending every song should have.  I try and end every hymn that way -- even when Drew gives me dirty looks. :)

**BTW, in case Helen finds out I'm posting this on my blog I think she's amazing.  I wish her all the luck in the world. :)

Who I am Becoming

This morning I did restorative Yoga.  I just felt like my body needed to be stretched out from what I am turning it into.  I really enjoyed it.  It was just what I needed.  To take some time to think about peace and how I can have that in my heart.

The truth is I'm not liking what I'm becoming because of this.  I have hard feelings towards some people who I thought would put more of an effort to help us out.  I have a hard time helping at school because I feel like that is a system where there is SO much giving and an even larger amount of people just taking and not noticing all that is given.  I have a hard time even thinking about providing service because I have so many personal needs right now.  I am definitely not happy. 

And that's not me.

I'm the person who when you ask how I am doing I say, "fabulous" -- and I usually mean it.  Now I say fabulous and turn my head to wipe away a tear.  I mean, what on earth am I crying about?  My current life is pretty darn fantastic.  We both have great jobs right now, and for the next few months.  I have had such strong personal assurances that our family will come out of this better, and all of this is happening for a very specific reason.

But that doesn't stop me from becoming the old woman in the shoe.

But, that ends today.

I so strongly lecture my kids that they can't let someone else's behavior affect how they act.  Of course, that is a lesson much easier taught then lived.  But now is the time to make it happen.  I can still be that happy, fun loving person who enjoys her friends, her life and her family without letting this ruin all of that.

I am very blessed.

My children have amazing teachers (one of whom came to dinner last night, the brave soul), we have AMAZING friends, we have a nice home that is functional and clean.  I enjoy keeping it clean and having good times with my family in it.  I have a great job where I get to help women become mothers who love their children like I do.  I have a loving family who is backing me up every step of the way.  And then there's all of you.  I have had SO much love from this blog and from friends near and far.

So how can I be happy.  Or, to use a song -- how can I keep from singing?

Honestly, I can't.

But there are things I'm doing that are NOT helping.  Things I am vowing to stop or start....

1.  Spending time on the computer.  Haha, where I sit right now.  But I'm constantly looking for jobs or houses or seeing what other houses around here are selling for.  It is no bueno.  I always feel like a disheveled heap when I'm done.  So I actually plan to spend a little more time watching TV, perhaps doing some crafts.  Doing something I love and something that lightens my heart.  Plus, I am lucky to have my phone where I can still read blogs and answer emails.  You can rest assured that I'm still reading all your blogs, it just is REALLY hard to comment via my phone.  I do love reading blogs.

2.  Using music to lift my spirits.  I love how music can make jobs more tolerable, kids happier.  I love all of that.  All sorts of music.

3.  Keeping to my regular routine.  Lately I've been letting a lot slide because I'm so worn out from worrying.  Well, if I stop worrying, I easily have time to make cookies, right? :)  I am happiest when I am productive.  There is plenty to do.  This house could use a serious fine toothed comb, moving or not... and heavens knows I love to organize. :)  Sad, but true.

Anyway, that's my plan.  I'm sorry to anyone that I've been overly dramatic to lately.  It's not my real self.  It was my scared self.  And I'm not going to be scared anymore.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Shockingly Sister Wives

Ok, judge me all I want but today when a lightbulb turned on in my head and I realized there were probably some delicious Sister Wives clips on You Tube my heart lightened.

I just think it's facinating. 

So, get THIS part.

Janelle (wife #2) brings her mom out to meet Kody's family and the mom looks into the religion, decides to convert and marry's Kody's DAD.


I mean, if that doesn't just take all your cares away and make you giggle... I don't know what will.

Also, on episode #3 they talked about how they split up their family finances.  I guess Kody takes care of Christine and new wife Robyn, and Mary and Janelle pretty well do their own and Janelle helps with the mortgage and the bills with Kody.  Anyway, it was interesting to get a tiny look into their family checkbook. 

Facinating stuff.  Here's a clip:

What's Up Wednesday

According to our census records there are FIVE people at this household.  Seems like we're all focused on one of us lately... but we all have lives (except, for possibly me).

Tiny whiny is getting so wordy.  She's in that phase where she'll say something {not particularly of our language} and then be SO mad that I can't figure out what she said.  She truly has been the sunshine for all of us lately.  I babysat a couple of kids last week and she had so much fun with them, til' she started getting tired and then she was OBVIOUSLY bothered that she wasn't getting my full attention.  I think she knows pre-nap is her time, no one else's. :)

Mr Middle is gearing up to be a stinkbug in his 1st grade production coming up soon.  He's especially proud to carry on the Erickson tradition as Conner was also a stinkbug in first grade.  He's a great singer so I'm sure he's a welcome addition to the stinkbug clan.  I do need to find him a black shirt though... I need to get on that.  He loved having grandma and grandpa here and constantly was begging to play their DS.  Only firmed up my notion that we don't need one! :)

El Presidante has heard of a possible upcoming move and I can sense he's a little nervous at even the possibility.  However, in an effort to keep things as normal as possible we also have him signed up for the accelerated learning at the Jr. High...  I'm also trying to keep a better routine when he gets home from school and I even made him room in the office so that he can do his homework without tiny fingers getting in his way {gasp, like they would do that!}.  We currently have a "magnet" system to keep people focused and on task.  Conner will lose science camp (coming up soon) if he doesn't keep his magnets the right color (they go from green to red).  I was just tired of having to re-focus him consistently.  So far, it's working like a charm.

As for me, I feel like I am on the edge of a panic attack most of the time.  Sometimes I have to remind myself to expand my lungs and get some air into me.  I'm usually a person who thrives on stress and a lot to do but I'm realizing that in order to keep myself sane I may have to shove some of the giant pile on my plate onto someone else's.  Also toying with the idea of eliminating a few things (or children... kidding) -- aka, piano lessons.

And finally, an application finally went in today for a job that we feel very positive about.  It does seem tailor made for us.  Hard to feel like things may actually fall into place, and that God maybe really does have a plan for us.  I hum that song in my head a lot during the day.  I know God does have a plan for us, and sadly it did have to include layoffs.

I'm now just praying they interview soon.  So little to do, so much time.  Name that movie....

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tuesday's Tiny Tidbit...

No one gets how Drew is getting laid off.  He's been at that high school for years, he does a great job... so let me spell it out to you.

When music teachers are credentialed, they get one that allows them to teach K-12th grade.  Hence, they can teach music in any of the grades.

Drew loves high school, so he chose that arena.

Other teachers like elementary (most likely because there are very few hours associated with it after school) so they choose that area.  Our district is eliminating elementary music.  SO, those teachers (who have had 5 hour work days for a VERY long time) will now head to Drew's job because they have more seniority.  Have they ever taught high school?  No.  Have they ever taught marching band, colorguard, percucssion/drumline, not very likely.  Will they still get to bump Drew -- according to California law, yes.  They are all certified to teach the same thing.

So, it's like someone from med surg, being able to bump a highly skilled ER nurse and just jump in taking care of her patients.  I'm not saying that it woudln't be unfair even if the tables were reversed and Drew was taking their job -- he's never taught tiny kids... besides his own.  It's just that the skill set differs.

Clear as mud?

Voila, we are looking for a job.  Got one? :)

{waiving Hello to the casual bloggers}

Guess who's the featured blogger on casual blogger today!

Casual Blogger Community


Which, honestly has been really great for me today.  It seems like bad news is comin' in like the tide today {did I mention S is home sick today... and he sounds like I'd like to, all whiney and miserable -- not that I'm sick just that I am rather whiny as of late, if only in my mind}.  Anyway HELLO CASUAL BLOGGERS.  Thanks for visiting.

Feel free to become a follower there on the right.  I write on lots of different topics and as of late you can see union politics coming to a head as my husband is laid off.  What could be more exciting then that!? :)

TMI Tuesday: The Reality of Being Thin

I started my weight loss journey in 2008... I wasn't getting pregnant and while I am not sure that was the cause I figured it couldn't hurt.  Also, I had been working out steadily since 2004 with no real loss... so I knew I needed to take it to the next level.  That time I lost about 25 pounds, and then I DID get pregnant.

Fast forward to about 9 months after P was born (January 2010) and my weight is steadily increasing despite my attempts to not eat chocolate cake.  I was tired, I was overwhelmed with 3 kids, a job, a need for chocolate cake, and I turned to weight watchers, which had always made sense...

So, here I am March 2011... and I am within 10 pounds of not having my wii character turn into a little fat pumpkin when I weigh in.  I'm almost to a regular BMI. 

The reality is, I don't feel all that different.  I still think I'm fat when I walk by a mirror.  I still think that my "saddle bags" are my worst feature.  I actually still don't think I look that different.  I guess I look a little different, especially in my face from when I was 210 pounds.  Blech, I hate those pictures! 

I guess the truth is that I was REALLY unhappy when we moved here in 2001.  I didn't have friends, and I didn't make friends for quite some time, leaving me with a 1 year old, a husband that was never home and me working part time.  So, I gained.  But then my life started to normalize, I made friends, I became happy with who I was and where I was... but the weight didn't go away.

I still inwardly moan when I have to get off the couch.  I still look at physical things thinking I can't do them... but I'm sometimes surprised that I can. 

I just don't feel all that different.

I need to go in for a physical to see what my blood work says, to see if I truly am healthier now.  Part of me doesn't want to because I think it won't be any better and that will be depressing.  That's me, always looking for the bright side. :)

I claimed a blogspot for "" and when do I use that?   I sure as heck don't feel skinny now.  Will I in 10 pounds?  Unlikely.

My app on my phone says I still have another 26 pounds to go to be at a more ideal weight, less close to the fatty line.  Will I make it there?  Who knows...

Anyway, just a little reminder that you always need to be happy where you are because it's not clear of who where you are going to be later will be any better. :)

Monday, March 28, 2011

A Bit of Faith

I was reading more in the New Testament this morning.  I was really noticing that Jesus wanted faith before he performed the miracles.  We're not talking giant amounts of faith... just a bit of it.  To believe it could happen.  And then it would.

I have a really hard time that faith and fear can't exist together.  Can faith and worry exist together?

I hope I have a lot of faith, but I must admit I have a lot of worry also.

But this week I am hoping to put faith over the worry.

Does having faith cause your worries to disappear? :)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Mormon Manners

This morning when I woke-up at 5:30 and was gently caressing my phone and it's ability to bring my facebook in my darkened bedroom I ran across this article: Mormon Manners.

I. WAS. SHOCKED by the comments.

And really, how rarely am I shocked?

I know, it's rare.

Honestly, one of my very favorite thing at church is to look around and see all of these people trying their hardest to do the right thing.  I mean, in coming to church we have made a large step towards doing the right things.  We have NO idea what those people have left at home in order to come to church.  There have been weeks where the only thing I can do was placate with cheerios and pray that they weren't insane.  There are other weeks where I turn Nazi and provide timeouts in a classroom if the kids weren't up to snuff.

There are so many crazy situations out there where we have no idea what those families are doing or where they are coming from.  It's never our obligation nor opportunity to judge them. 

Anyway, just my two cents.  And honestly if you NEEDED to read an article about appropriate manners at church maybe you should consider your own conversion.  Yes, we know we shouldn't text, or leave before the meeting has ended with a prayer.  Things happen, and everyone is their own self.

Crazy Mormons.... :)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Another Tiny Morsel About Unions

I watched a movie yesterday -- The Lottery about charter schools in NYC.  I'm not a huge fan of charter schools as I'd like every school to be amazing...

But I did learn this.

It costs 250k of taxpayer dollars to fire a teacher.

I'm not surprised, there is litigation up the yang when a teacher needs to be fired and they're unionized.

Not right, not right at all.

I am NOT for employers being able to fire willy-nilly... but if there's documented just cause then action needs to be taken.

Oddly enough, it doesn't cost much at all to lay off a great less senior teacher.  I happen to be sleeping around with one of those....

Your Inner Tiger Mom

Battle Hymn of the Tiger MotherI have been thinking a little bit about the "Tiger Mom" that is within each of us.  I'm sure you've heard about the book from the asian woman who thinks Americans are too easy on their children.

Its a post for another day.

And I haven't even read it, because we know I can't read books.  I can barely read short blog posts without falling asleep.

But I read on someone else's blog, that tiger moms know that nothing is fun until you're good at it, hence you have to practice a lot in order to have fun at it.  It isn't going to be fun as you're learning. 

This week we have our annual primary talent show and Conner was given the options of piano or trumpet.  He chose trumpet, and chose a piece with piano accompaniment.  Insert mom doing the piano for him.  Now, I know before you all start raving about how I can't do EVERYTHING well, I try to be the jack of all of the trades.  In fact, I took piano for about 9 years growing up and I teach both boys piano.  But this piece has a lot of low notes and I lost my ability to read low notes once I became a flute player.  The bass clef is nothing to me, it could drop off the face of the planet for all I care (other than that it would truly hurt my husband, the bass trombonist... seriously, we are the ying and the yang).

So I'm mauling this piece to death this week.  I have given myself 5 minutes to practice in each day.  In truth, I am an amazing practicer.  It's truly one of my spiritual gifts, I've always thought.  I could practice in a short period of time and perfect something while my counterparts in the flute section would slave for hours and hours.

It has buckets of chords wit lots of notes to be played at the same time.  I'm sure it's somewhere in the realm of a 3rd to 4th grade piece... but i-yi-yi...

But then I realized once I got it down how fun it was to pound out the majestic chords and while it wasn't fun in the beginning it was fun now.

I think my kids also learned a little something watching me struggle to pluck it out.

On Thursday, Conner threw down his book and said he wasn't going to do it.

insert: {growl, roar, bite}

He's playing it today.  We actually worked on it together and I think I may have improved his trumpet practice a little too (as a reminder to anyone, I gave flute lessons for a LONG time... so I'm not just blowin' smoke at him... we did a little diaphragm work... as i used to have abs of steel back in my flute days).

Anyway, life isn't always fun, but you can find the fun in it.  I guess I need to do that with our current little predicament.... not sure there is fun hiding anywhere... but I suppose I'll go look. :)  If only I could practice it away....

** I should say that I disagree with a lot of what the Tiger Mom talks about, at least what I hear second hand.  But that is a post for another day, isn't it?

Friday, March 25, 2011

Two Little Slivers

Here's a couple pieces of info.

I just ordered my klutz books with the mamapedia deal.  I was SO happy because you can combine their 25% off code WITH the gift certificates.  The code is NEWKZ09 -- and I got 72 bucks worth of books for 26 (I had a mamapedia credit of 10$ which I applied, normally it would've cost 36).  That was 6 books and some extra supplies.  SA-weet.

Also, my purse is up at petit elephant.  I submtited it, oh like 12 years ago... but it's up today.  Aren't I snazzy? :)

Anyway, just got done babysitting and going to our ward's Amazing playgroup.  A good day.  :)

Photo Friday: Ireland Rocks.

OH my gosh, could this blog be any MORE about me and my troubles?  Sick of it.  Off to what our family is doing, because we all know life just doesn't ever stand still around here!

So, I went through Drew's pictures and just picked the ones that made me the most jealous.  Look how pretty this pace is!  With all the brew-ha-ha I never mentioned that Drew had an AMAZING trip and found a great love for the people of Ireland.  He now has like 100 facebook friends from Ireland, what a surprise. :)

Here he is golfing.  Check out the amazing castle in the background!  Pretty sure our community course won't be exciting for him anymore!

Here's the group of adults that went.  Not sure who the lady in red is.  She must be important though. :)

And what band tour album would be complete without a bus photo? :)  But, this one's sure prettier then the band tours I ever took!

AND there were suveniers... the kids adore their hats.  Finally they'll have something to wear on international day!  Especially Paige.  She is quite the viking. :)

But, wait, there's more!  This week we had Colonial Day at school.  Conner came up with quite the outfit.

Sure do love this kid.  He's making babysteps, but I think he's slowly realizing how important it is that I trust him. 

I was in charge of the hoop rolling, and yes I am serious.  The kids had a GREAT time doing it though.  I didn't ever get a really good picture but here's one of Conner.  They also did candle dipping, and made johnny cake.  Very cool.  Huge props to our amazing teachers!

Anyway, happy Friday everyone.  Here's to a great new week!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Knowing Your Child

Conner is considering doing an "advanced" 6th grade classroom. 

Last night we went to a meeting about it.

It's so funny.  They have to go on and ON about how you have to KNOW your child, not just throw them into this because you hope they love school.

But it's true.  I've emailed Conner's teachers several times to get their opinion as to if he loves school and loves to soak in information like a sponge.

So many parents think their kids are advanced.  Conner thinks he is advanced at everything, but the sad news is that he isn't.   But, I do think this program will be good for him.  He is relatively a self starter and he does homework with very little reminding to stay on task.  At least my fingers are crossed.

Of course, who knows if we'll even be here... but you've gotta leave options open, right?

Darn Emotions

Modern Marvels: Hoover DamI think this is starting to sink it.  This morning I actually said "I think we might be moving" and you might as well let the hoover dam break at that point....

I hadn't actually ever said it.

And while we are still planning for both options it does look like staying is getting further and further from the realm of possibility.  People wonder if we'll stay and I'll just work but that seems silly, the only thing tying us here is Drew's job.  Plus, do you think your marriage could work with just you working?

I mean, it could... but it's not exactly pretty.

Anyway, I really appreciate all the continued prayers and happy thoughts.  I love all of my friends so much.  That's why hoover dam is hiding behind my eyeballs... and, and any minute....

No, I'm fine.  Really. :)

My good friend Angie this morning told me that in a couple of months we'll look back on this and be so happy with how things have worked out.  I'm trying to remember that.  Again, my friends are the BEST. :)

Have you ever thought things were going to pot and they worked out?  I might need a few stories right now....

Long Car Rides Unite!

Chicken Socks Totally TapeQuick Draw Flip Books BookLettering in Crazy Cool Quirky Style (Klutz)Draw Star Wars: The Clone WarsSome people wonder how I get through the long car rides we plan each summer.  We've even done here, to Idaho, to Yellowstone, to Utah, to here.  {sigh}

Here's the answer:  Klutz books. :)

SO, when I saw mammapedia had a great deal on Klutz books I was excited... but wondered if it would be a stupid deal like maybe they have been in the past... (aka, shipping and tax aren't included so you hardly end up saving at all) BUT shipping is included, and isn't that expensive anyway -- and FREE if you order 40 bucks worth.  I'm even considering buying two... becuase these books are great for older birthdays too.

If it's your first time buying from them, you can use  KLUTZ5 to save 5$, and if you've purchased before you can use spring10 to get 10% off.  ALSO, 5% goes to the schoool of your choice (please email me for mine if you don't have a school of choice of your own).

Anyway, I'm buying.  Just thought I'd share. :)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Easy Path of Wallowing

I just feel like I'm on a pendulum right now.  One moment I think we'll end-up staying, the next I'm sure we won't, and in between I am in the low point of possible unemployment for Drew.

But this afternoon, and many times, I have to come to the conclusion that we will be fine with all of those.  I mean the last one (unemployment) would be darn ugly... but I have a "career"... we can always find me a job, right?  I wouldn't love it, but it would tide us over.

Can anyone imagine me working nights?  Neither can I.

I guess that a lot of this revolves around the state stepping around taking more money from our district, even though we basically only get funds from property tax.  Who said the state could take my property tax?  I hate that.  So, who knows if it's just caught in a political maelstrom or if this is for real.  I hate politics.  Have I mentioned that.

BUT, back to wallowing.  I think it's so hard to just sit around and worry.  At least for me.  I can also spend about my entire day goggling for jobs for him.  I can worry, worry worry... I could probably be a worrying champion.  I just have SUCH a hard time stepping back and realizing that worrying does nothing.  Nada. nope, zilch.  NOTHING.

I also have a hard time not feeling bitter towards people who are causing this.  In reality it's no "person's" fault... it's the perfect storm of educational mess.

This morning I was reading about Peter (was it Peter?) walking on the water with Jesus... and then the storms come and he starts to sink and Jesus says "oh ye of little faith, why did you doubt"... and WHY am I doubting.  The Erickson family has walked on water SO many times.  Sometimes we don't really realize it until we're in a new boat, or whatever... but we are consistently carried by our faith.

So, my mission statement for the next couple of months is:  Do what we can, and let God do the rest.  And by "doing what we can" I do NOT mean worrying or wallowing.  I do mean networking and looking on job sites.  I'd still give us a 50/50 chance to stay here.  BUT, I'd love to find something new.  I do feel like there is something just waiting for us to find it.

Thank goodness the Internet has made that easier.  And thank Goodness, I know we can walk on water.  Storms or no storms.

P.S.  The absolute rainbow in this situation is knowing how many people love us and are willing to help us network.  There are perks to having all of my friends move to new corners of the USA. :)  I love you all {blowing you kisses}

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Want Me To Be Your Neighbor?

Have you ever read my blog and thought, darn I wish she was my neighbor.  I'd love to go grind some wheat with her....

You have?

Well, this is your chance. :)

Things continue to be bleak at the school district.  Today was Drew's first chance to kind of feel out the district administration.  While they're putting on a face that he may still have a job, behind that face they're saying to polish his resume. 

This is all terribly sad because Drew adores his job, and his students adore him.  They also had a pretty awful sub while he was gone and so now they love him even more!

BUT, life is what it is.  I consistently have the feeling that things will work out.  But recently my heart has softened to the fact that we may have to bid this tiny cottage goodbye.  And THAT is where you come in.

It's hard to figure out a district he'd want to work for.  One that really supports music and is looking for a good teacher.  So, I'm asking all of you to keep your ears open.  Even maybe to look on your school district website and see if your district is hiring.  We'd LOVE to know if they're building a new high school in your area.  We honestly have not pre-conceived notions on where we'd like to live.  This is actually the second to the LAST place we'd ever thought we would live... and look how the last 9 years have turned out!

Anyway, if you could do that we'd really appreciate it.

AND if you're currently my neighbor, there is a board meeting on this Thursday.  You can voice your feelings there... or toot your horn.  Whatever your heart tells you to do....

Congrats Goes Out!!!!

To Mary!  She won the CSN giveaway on my review blog!  Congrats, I hope you have a great time shopping with your gift card.  Please email me (link on the right) for your prize info!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Monday Musings of Lone Parenting

Honestly, I never really thought that Drew would be gone for extended periods.  I mean, he's a teacher, they stick close to the classroom, right?  I also, always thought, that if he went anywhere I'd go with. 

Oh, so wrong....

For those of you who don't know, we had to solidify my plans to go with Drew on the day that I got the email saying that I would be laid off from MY job (again, deja vu anyone?).  We just didn't think it was a smart financial decision to do when I might be losing my job.  Turns out, I didn't... but I still felt good about staying home.  My kids have a lot going on and my parents don't live here so they don't really know what it all entails, etc. etc....

Anyway.  I stayed here, and he was there.  So, here's my thoughts.

1.  I parent alone a lot of the time anyway.  My parents were SO tired after being on the bench with our kids yesterday, but I wrangle them alone many Sundays (Drew's on the stand as the chorister -- he has yet to take to heart many of your comments that he just head to the stand for the hymns). 

2.  Drew does a lot.  I don't really notice it because laundry just gets folded, crap the kids gets out gets picked up but I feel like I'm CONSTANTLY working on cleaning up, etc. lately.  It's no bueno.  I want to lose my mind.

3.  My kids need to step it up.  I mean, is there a reason to be cleaning up after a 10 year old?  I just don't think so.  To quote myself, "What, are your hands painted on?"

4. Having a parent missing really throws my kids off, especially P.  She hasn't slept well, she's clingy as all get out.  I'm losing my mind with her.  They're part of their "lives" and when they're missing it makes a big difference.  Sad, but true.

5.  My parents are the bomb.  I'm SO glad they came.  If I had to do all of it alone the whole 10 days I might have died.  Well, good chance I WOULD have died.  But I am still alive.

Well, just barely. :)

Anyway, hats of to people who's husbands leave often.  I guess you'd get in a groove.... but since the chance of him going anywhere any time soon is low... we'll just stay in our "dad is home" groove.

Do You Want To be a Better Mom

Do you ever feel like motherhood is eating you alive?
Well, when I feel like that -- I head on over too The Power of Moms... and while this is sounding really cheesy right now, it's true.  They really want to inspire moms to really be great moms.  And I want nothing more.  PLUS they just changed up their site, it's so pretty.  Looks like I know how I'll be spending MY lunchtime. :)

Car Seat Changes

The First Years True Fit C670 Premier Convertible Car Seat, Rail StripeDid everyone see the changes in the car seat recommendations?  Turns out we made the switch a tad early for Miss P, but there's no way in heck I'm turning it back around for 39 days... I almost died turning it this way.

I will say that P's legs just started to look uncomfortable and she's in the 80th percentile on height.  It would have been doable, but EVERYONE else had turned their kids.  So, we felt it was time.

Conner is pretty proud to be four foot nine (with shoes on) exactly.  Hence, he is still out of a carseat, but it looks like they're recommending boosters until that height, which is reached between 8 and 12 for most kids.

Car seats, they drive you insane. :)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Compassionate Sunday

This week I read this article about Jesus's compassion for all of us.

I had always thought that him hauling them out to sea and them catching a great deal of fish was just a miracle.  Somehow I just imagined them letting the fish go, or something like that...

This article just reminded me that God knows how we need income, and we need our families to be taken care of.  He understands that so thoroughly he caught them a ba-zillion fish before they went off the work with him, and they could know their families would be taken care of.

I find a lot of hope in that story.  I hope you do too.  Happy Sunday.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

He Loves Me

Drew finally emailed today.  Turns out he's alive.
I also downloaded our credit card statement.  He also, apparently, has the use of his hands and wallet.
It's a miracle. :)

I'm heading towards the finish line people.

Don't forget to enter the giveaway!

Friday, March 18, 2011

A Little Info On Unions

Since Drew and I have both gone through layoffs in the past 6 months I thought I'd share a little info on unions.  It seems like people don't really understand them.... and I know I didn't when I came here.  Here's a few facts:
  • Seniority is everything.  Your hire date is everything in a layoff. 
  • Your seniority date entirely trumps the fact that you are a good or bad teacher.  Had a lot of complaints?  It doesn't matter, because you have tenure and you bascailly can't be fired.  This is the same for nurses (although the hospital tends to be a bit more proactive on firings... seems like you'd have to kill a kid to get fired from the school district... Ok, not quite, but it does seem extreme).
  • Our district is only laying off elementary music teachers, but because they have the same credential as Drew they could "bump" him.  Again, because seniority is everything.
  • Your union mostly puts your money to political races.  Every time we've had a layoff I don't feel like our union is doing much to protect us.  I do think we get about 20 fliers a week between our two unions when we're having an election, telling us how to vote.  Because of this, I am considering donating my union dues to charity... although, they haven't been entirely forthright with how this occurs, etc.

Anyway, there's some info on unions you may or may not have known beforehand. 

Are you union?  Do you wish you were?

Photo Friday

I didn't take this photo... but it's probably a good representation of how life is going around here.  I'm trying to keep myself normal.  I'm trying not to hate my husband for not communicating and playing amongst the leprechauns.  I'm trying to keep on top of my kids.  That's been the hardest part.  The buck stops with me.  I'm the buck stopper.  The parents are buck supporters.... but that is all. :)  But, between me losing my mind I do have superior moments of clarity in which I feel like all of this is going to work out to our benefit.  Or, at least it will work out, and we will benefit by having a job. :)  It's between those moments.... that I turn less clear. :)  I really appreciate all the prayers and thoughts.  I have the best friends ever.  Both online and off. :)

I only have a couple of actual photos.  I guess capturing the moments of my life right now isn't at the top of my mind.  Or, maybe I don't have a mind... one or the other.

BUT, Spencer did go to the young Author's fair -- like two weeks ago.  He did such a great job reading his piece: "Caterpillar Crumble".  I was really proud of how he'd practiced and how he used a big voice.

Here he is with his beloved teacher.  I'm so glad he has her to support him.  I'm a huge fan of hers.  I'm glad she's not getting pink slipped.  That would be sad.  They also made leprechaun traps this week and while they didn't catch one, he did leave behind a little gold with chocolate centers.  I love how everything is still pretty darn fun in first grade.

So, that's what's up here.  If anyone has any tips on not holding your husband accountable for things that are completely not their fault, please advise.  Also, don't forget to enter the Pulling Curls giveaway for a 65 dollar CSN gift card.  What a great present THAT would be for yourself!  You've gotta enter by Monday night!

Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Arrest Mr. Sister Wives... I command ye.

First off.  Huge thanks for all the support our WHOLE family has gotten about Drew's pink slip.  If there's a silver lining in this is to know how much people care about us and how loved we are.  That's always a nice feeling isn't it.

But onto bigger and worse things....

People, huge news.  Sister wives is on Youtube.  Give it up.

I'm not sure I saw the whole episode, but with the clips I think I got a pretty good idea of the gist of things.  This episode was about a couple of things:

1.  The kids were going to public school.  It'd be interesting to know the REAL reason behind this.  Part of me speculates that since he brought wife # 4 into the picture he can no longer afford private school for all them's kids.  They had a lot of drama about how awful the kids might treat them at public school.  In reality, a lot of their kids are pretty little.  Most littles have no idea what a polygamist is...with the high schooler's it's a bit more sketchy.  Of course, wife #1's daughter still gets to go to private school.  One of the perks of being wife #1, I suppose.

2.  They're headed to NYC to be on the Today show to announce their show, and they're worried how the world will react to them.  I'm sure it's hard, to have the series filmed and "in the can" and just be waiting to see how it will be received.  I love how all the grandma's came into town to help out.  Funny... wonder how they all get along in the same house. :)

BUT, here's what my title was referring to.  They decide to go ice blocking before they head out to NYC.  BIG NEWS, ice blocking is illegal in Utah -- a fact known to all the BYU co-ed's.  Probably just to protect the parks and make sure that they don't get sued from people getting hurt.  But, regardless, it's totally illegal. 

So, chain him up and take him away.

The guy's a criminal. :)

I've had people wonder why I like this show.  Frankly, it's obvious.  At least to me.  There's a good chance many of my ancestors practiced polygamy, and I've always wondered what it's like to be a polygamist... it's fascinating to see it all play out.  I don't support polygamy, I have no secret desire to be polygamist, but I find it intriguing.  I do think the women in this show are pretty darn honest about how they feel.  Maybe they're not, but I enjoy it either way.

Thanks to the pirates on youtube for sharing it with me. :)

Don't forget to enter my amazing giveaway...

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


People, it's a giveaway.

On my review blog...

CSN stores, get excited and go enter.  Or, go enter and THEN get excited.  Either way. :)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Sad Pink Day

Roxy Women's Lido Slip-On Loafer,White/Pink,8 B USToday is the day the pink slips have to go out to teachers around California.

Drew happened to get his early, since he wasn't going to be in the states at the time they needed to give it to him.

We're not sure what this means for us.  I vowed if we ever got another one that we'd be outta' here... but our options aren't as vast as they once were.

But, either way we're both praying to know the right things to do.  We're also not worrying about it until the mister is back from Ireland.

There's always a lot of variables, and they're required to hand us the slips if there's a chance they'll eliminate teachers.  In this case, the elementary teachers might be able to take Drew's job, because they have higher seniority.  They'd still have high school music, they're considering cutting elementary music.

Just part of my stressful Friday.  Drew got it on Thursday afternoon right as he was trying to do grades, and lesson plans and pack and try not to lose is mind.

Friday morning add a tsunami warning... and well... it did bring things into prospective.

And now he's golfing in Ireland. 

Big hugs to anyone else who's getting a pink slip.  Regardless of how they put a spin on it, it still hurts.  Lots of work for little appreciation.

P.S.  Is this deja vu for anyone else?  Wasn't I just writing this same post about myself a while ago?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Monday Musings on Service

Yesterday our lesson was on service.  I think it's very true that the more you serve, the deeper you become as a person.  It just gives you an opportunity to see what others are going through, and being able to help makes you a happier person.  I'm a huge fan of service.

But something really struck me yesterday... and the lady said you should just do what you can.

I have a dear friend who had JUST moved into a new ward, and had a C-section but was called right after she returned home to bring a meal to someone else.  That's right, fresh surgery, with a new baby and made a meal.  I'm 90% sure that part of it was that she'd like to have a nice story to share later on.  And she's right, it IS a great story... but how often do we end up doing things like this?

I've been FA-reaking out as I try to haul a casserole and 3 kids to a friend (I'm hauling the casserole, not giving her my children... that isn't service).  Is it worth it?  Possibly.  I think there are many benefits to service, especially as you involve your children.... and heavens knows a meal can be a Godsend to new moms and those in need.

But I think the main part is to do what you can. 

When we take ACLS and CPR classes, we're always cautioned to take assessment of ourselves, and that we can't save someone else if we aren't around to save them.  Aka, if someone's in a puddle with an electrical wire, you don't jump in there... you have to save yourself first.

I think this can fit well into how service should be incorporated into our lives. 

This isn't to say that we shouldn't kind of push ourselves.  But we need to know our limits.

Last week I had a pretty stressful week, and I had a couple queries for service.  The week actually came to a head on Friday being one of my top 10 most stressful days of all time (I will have more posts on that day later).  I just had to know when to pull back.... to do what I could.

So, what can you do today?  Can you add an extra thing, and if not -- can you not feel guilty about that?

What can you do?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Self Centered.

I couldn't believe the news coverage yesterday.  A good 10 minutes on how there were a few boats dented around here.  Then, flip to a few minutes for Japan.  Goodness, shouldn't it have been the other way around?  I actually heard them say that what happened in the Santa Cruz harbor was Mother Nature at her worst.

Seriously?  Did you think about that before you said it?

BTW, wake up to a tsunami warning... it's fun. :)

But in other news, Drew left yesterday.  Poor guy, he had to do grades, lesson plans AND there was a tsunami warning.  I was worried I was going to have to start CPR.  BUT, he's gone.  Probably landed at Heathrow a few minutes ago.  My heart misses him already.

But, the grandparents are here, and that's as good as a trip to Disneyland.  AND P slept through the night last night.  Drew must've cast a magical spell on her.  Whatever he did it worked and I love him.

So, does your husband leave on trips often?  The sad thing about this one is that his Internet access is going to be fairly limited... so I'm hoping for a daily email and a few skypes while he's gone.  I think about the missionaries who went on missions leaving behind families.  It just makes me happy our church doesn't do that anymore. :)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Everyone's Different

FINALLY, a controversial post!  I got one yesterday, without even knowing it.  Much of the fallout came on facebook.  People didn't think it was right to keep C home from cub scouts.  I'm still fine with it, but I will probably think more about it and perhaps talk with C about why he's doing the thing (lying) that keeps him from GOING to scouts.  I take lying very seriously and hence, he has a pretty serious punishment to go along with it. :)

But I just love how I can get input from my blog.

I'm not the kind of girl who will get her feelings hurt if you post something against what I thought.  In fact, I really enjoyed mulling over the comments while I was making dinner yesterday.  Just giving me something to think about as I shred cheese.  Maybe that's why I've shredded my thumb so many times (true story).

But I also love that each mom is so very different, and how God must have a time trying to match each child with each mom/family.  I do wonder why my children were sent to me.  What quality did I have that would make me best to parent them.  Do you wonder that?  I wonder that a lot as I hold newborns (my own newborns, to be more specific).

In other news my husband left with a suitcase yesterday.  I really do think this whole leaving me thing might actually happen.  Darn you Ireland.  So very appealing with your leprechauns and green.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

A Little Spring Shopping?

Head on over to my review blog for some news from Eshakti.  It would be a GREAT place to get an easter dress (that you won't have to keep tugging up or pulling down... if you catch my modest drift)

What's Up Wednesday

The weeks in 2011 are just flying by?  Did I fail to mention I hate odd years.  Just a little known fact about me. 

But, enough about me.

I have adorable children.

The oldest, and possibly least responsible at times, had stolen a can of pringles, and lost a sweatshirt... all in one day.  I told him sometimes I want to dent our drywall with his head.  I also apologized for that comment later, but we had a talk about how if I didn't pack his lunch, day after day, and he'd talk to me about it and then I'd just forget -- how he might feel.  For those he's missing scouts tonight and he owes me 20 bucks for the shirt.  We shall see.  In other news, he was in a little skit at an assembly today and did a great job.  He's also helping with the announcements at school on Monday because he is OH so cool el Presidante.  It's true.

Mr Middle is doing great with reading with me this week.  He's a great reader, but with that and being that the reading lessons he gets at school aren't particularly stimulating for him I know I need to work with him at home.  He also could use a little extra attention, ala Marsha, Marsha, Marsha.  He did a great job at the Young Author's fair over the weekend, pictures to follow.

Tiny Whiny is just that.  Ok, no... well, yes.  She got MUCH tinier last week.  I weighed her in at 21 pounds with clothes on as of last Friday.  Poor thing.  BUT, she's much better.  I'm so thankful for all my friends who kept an eye on my sanity and her well being.  She is getting to be VERY fun.  Every time I change her diaper we go through all her body parts, and the fact that she is P and I am Mom.  Sometimes when she gets up she asks for people.... I love her learning her words.  I remember the first time she was sick and I thought, "UH, she can't TELL me what's wrong...." something I had taken for granted having older kids.  I'm glad to be entering a new phase of verbalization.  Also, her hair is growing out a bit and MUCHO adorable.  She even keeps a bow in sometimes. 

The Mister is packing his bags.  He can't take it here anymore.  Seriously. ;)

Happy Hump day everyone!

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

TMI Tuesdays: Poisoning

I had a request for poisonings.

Not to poison someone... silly.

What to do if your child has ingested something!

Honestly, this one's super easy.

Call poison control. 

We'd have parents call in ALL. THE. TIME about it.  And we'd just send them to poison control.  A lot of people freak out because they do ask your name and address (maybe?  mabe just your name) but I'm sure that is just for tracking purposes.  They must have write down what they told people anyway -- as a legality precuation (stupid lawyers... that one needs its own TMI Tuesday post!).  I guess if you were calling too often they might think something's up....

They have all the info (MSDS sheets and all that jazz) for EVERYTHING.  They are geniuses with poison.  If you know someone who works there... you should be extra nice to them.  Know what I mean? ;)

The poison control number for the US is:


There, go write it down somewhere and tack it where you'll need it.

Of course, the best protection against poisoning is to not have the stuff out in the first place, and also educate older children who are smarter about child protective devices.  It'd be awful to ever think my carelessness lead to injurying my kid.  I mean, any more then it already does.

Happy Tuesday everyone!

Monday, March 07, 2011

Musings on Mondays: Changes

This weekend we had 7 people get baptized into our church (I'm sure the church as a whole had more, but we had 7 in our ward).  It was a family, with some extended family.  I must tell you that standing there with my family, watching their family in the font was something I won't forget any time soon.

But, as I saw the family later in the day and on Sunday I noticed how brightly their faces were.  Their smiles were broader, their love was brighter.  It was just such a happy thing.

It made me think about how change can make SUCH A difference in our lives.  I think about the changes towards being more healthy have affected me.  I never really made a drastic change, but it was always small things. 

When you think of the big picture, if you're going on a straight line and you make a tiny course correction, how large that change can be when you get to your final destination.

Personally, I do believe the most important change you can make is being a member of our church.  We recently had friends who left the church of their own accord.  I didn't really know what to say.  I was left speechless (amazing, no?) but on further evaluation I guess I would just ask them if they were happier now?  I find that the things that I have changed in my life, in accordance with the gospel have been things that make  me the MOST happy.  That's why I continue to go (btw, 7 confirmations also happened in church today, which is pure fun with a 22 month old, 2 boys and Drew sitting on the stand as the chorister)... and it's a choice I make each week. 

This week's word of the week is "reading" -- I was reminded that Spencer turns into a lazy reader sometimes when I got his report card.  So, he and I are going to read together for 10 minutes each day.  Him doing most of the reading.  Things just sometimes fall to the side.... and that was one of them lately, shame on me.

But there are so many changes that you can make for good in your life.  What are some of the changes you have made?

Sunday, March 06, 2011

A Church All Over the World

Many people think of the Mormons as an American religion, that we basically exist only in north america. 

I love this video.  My mother in law sent me the link and I really needed to be brought up from the lows of the pukes this week, this did just that.  I love how bright and shiny Mormons are.  It's one of my favorite things about us. :)

Friday, March 04, 2011

Honoring an Honor Code

I just get tingles when I read about this.  SO often there is no standard.  I mean, there's a "standard"... but not really.  I mean, this same things happens in my own life.  You want honesty, but then you fudge things here and there... life happens....

But BYU has made fair rules, you have to read them and discuss them with your religious leader before attending the university, they are very clear that you will be kicked out if you violate the rules and you sign.  You have to re-do it each year.  It's a bother, but it's very much "out there". 

Now, I had roommates who violated the  honor code when I was at BYU, so I do know that you aren't kicked out the minute you violate... so he had to do something more then have a cup of coffee or step into a girl's room (which... btw IS against the rules)... and what he did isn't our business.

My dad and I were talking about how people find no moral standard anymore.  Prior to now it was given by religious leaders, but now they'll often say anything to get a donation.  Also, their standards change with time.

I just really like a standard, and an institution that lives up to them.

Funny story, Drew didn't shave once and we got a letter at our house saying he broke the honor code and was on parole or something.  I was REALLY wondering what he did until he came home and confessed his 5 o'clock shadow.  True story people.  BYU, it is it's own little bubble. :)

SO, rise and shout, the Cougars are out, and on their way to fame and glory....

Photo Friday: We Built this City

Well, well... photo Friday makes yet another triumphant return.  Of course, with missing last week I have a lot to discuss.  Let's get busy.

Drew and I made a visit to the temple, switching off and we figured the kids needed a reward... we were going to go to the zoo, but it was raining cats and dogs.  So, we fed our inner cats and dogs by going to Fenton's ice cream parlor in Oakland.  It was delicious.  Drew and I split.  Because we're smart losers like that. :)

The boys got their own.  Guess how often that happens.  They were in heaven.  I think this is Conner's first bananna split.  Sad, but true.

Spencer got a plain ol' scoop of ice cream.  Yum, yum.

What with our travels over the break, we decided to turn P's car seat around.  She is also in heaven.  The first day she seemed to just be freaked out.  Now, she's just a regular old person.  I remember when I had her all the kids could buckle themselves, get their shoes on, etc.  We're slowly, but surely headed back there... or so I think...

We went up to the city for a day of roaming San Fran.  We got cable car tickets, which also gives you access to the muni (which is the bus and underground system).  We tried all the methods of transport we could, including the electric cars, the cable cars and the underground.  The kids voted that they loved the underground most.  Frankly, the cable cars are the coolest, but they'll never know that since they grew-up here.  We went to the VERY cool cable car museum.  I can't believe how old that system is.  Impressive.

A golden day, with a Golden bridge.

And because Fentons wasn't ENOUGH Calories, we made a stop here too.  O. M. GOODNESS their chocolate sauce is THE BEST you will ever have.  Period.  End of story.  So good!  We split sundaes here too.  What a yummy treat!

This week has mostly consisted of this:

And some of this:

And you're welcome for not giving you a picture of the poo or vomit.  I am a giver like that.  We hope we're all on the mend here, and hopefully you're having a lovely week as well.  Happy Friday everyone!

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Good Deal on Living Social

2 movie tickets for 9 bucks at Living Social today.  Got the mister a pair.

Thank You Netflix

Where Valor Rests: Arlington National CemeteryThanks to my little puker, I've been watching a bit of netflix while she has me in a death hold on the couch.  Today I watched a documentary on Arlington Cemetary.

I can't highly recommend it enough (the picture on the right isn't he documentary... but if you have netflix just search for Arlington, I'm sure it'll come up).

I plan to re-watch it as a family around the 4th of July.

But my favorite part was the ladies of Arlington, who go to every funeral, to support families, be a friendly face and give them a business card to call them any time for the rest of their lives.

This is so similar to our relief society. 

God knows that death is such a difficult time for all of us.  As I was reading the sermon on the mount I was struck to mourn with those who mourn, comfort those who stand in need of comfort and that's just what those Ladies of Arlington do. 

I was also impressed by the guards watching the tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

It's just nice to see a place showing SO much respect to people who fully deserve it.  I love visiting that place, and this documentary brought it back for a few moments.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

I Read Another Book!

Second book of the year!  Normally, this would go on my weight loss blog, but I think the stuff in this book is more of full lifestyle changes rather than fitness/weight loss related.

Master Your Metabolism: The 3 Diet Secrets to Naturally Balancing Your Hormones for a Hot and Healthy Body!I read Jillian Michael's Master Your Metabolism.  I'd gotten this book recommended to me on my weight loss blog so I stalked it at the local library a few times and somehow Spencer found it randomly for me.  That kid, he's a genius.

This book is REALLY about hormones.  Annoyingly so.  Thankfully, I have a BSN that follows my name so I got a lot about what she was talking about but there's a lot that I just ducked from and let it go right over my head.  I am going to list 5 changes I hope to make after reading this book and why.

The main philosophies of this book are "remove, restore and rebalance"  and she uses those throughout the book talking about different things... but these are what spoke to me.

1.  Remove the Toxins -- for me, this came down to trying not to reheat stuff in plastic, and throwing away a lot of our reusable containers (looking for a good new brand to buy as we're now a little low after my giant purge), and buying organic when I can.  I was actually swayed a bit towards the organic side... mostly because I think if we start to put our dollars towards organic, so will grocery stores, bringing down the price for everyone.  I also think that there are a few items that really should be bought organic.  I'm still not there with cheese or meat, but I'm considering it.  What do you prioritize as important to buy organic?  For me, it's apples, grapes, stuff I eat the whole thing....

2.  Eat whole grains.  This has been my mantra for a while, I mean I own a wheat grinder for gosh sakes!  But, I think I'll look at packaging more often and hope to see whole products instead of processed items.  Most of the time. :)  She is clear to say that no one could follow this plan 100% of the time... small changes...

3.  Changing what I eat, when.  For instance I am hoping to eat less carbs as the day progresses.  She's anti eating after 9 pm.  Which, will be 8 pm for me.  She doesn't believe in a late might snack, but I find I'm less nauseated in the AM if I eat a snack around 8 pm (and it will be now, between 7:30 and 8, as we eat dinner about 5:30).  However, I have decided that snack will be a protein snack.  String cheese, almonds, walnuts.. .something along those lines.  She's super anti-carbs late at night.  Annoying, isn't it?

4.  Watch my sleep.  I was bad last week, but I'm usually good about going to bed early. 

5.  Workouts.  Hoping for 2k calories/week.  She wants you to work out 5 days a week for an hour or more, and possibly add more cardio on top of that.  Well, that's not going to happen... but i may be able to do more then I have.  I would like to at least try and be active on Saturdays... I wish it was lighter later in the evening.. but mother nature obviously doesn't care about my waistline....

A LOT about what she talks about is how hormones from pesticides or our plastics or chemicals in either of those affect how our hormones within the body work.

My main beef.

Jillian has no initials.  Call me annoying and crazy, but I am not sure she went to college.  I have more issues with Suzanne Sommer's book about hormones because hello... she's Chrissy from 3's Company... but it does bring up some interesting things to think about.  The doctors at work have talked a little about the dangers of soy so I know what she's talking about has some scientific backing... I just want actual scientists telling me stuff. :)

Or nurses, because they're obviously the smartest. :)

Anyway, it's an OK read.  A little too much mumbo jumbo but it is just another little health bullet in my arsenal to lose weight.  And heavens knows I could use it. :)

Good Family Recipe

I like how this meatloaf has sauteed onions, and chunks of cheese in it.  Everyone liked it but Conner.

TMI Tuesdays

If any of you are my friends on facebook, I'm sure you've been following my trails of vomit with grave anticipation.  I know, facinating stuff. :)

Anyway, P has been throwing up since Friday night... so far today, it's been vomit free.  Yay!

But something about this wasn't following the normal course.  No fever, she's had a cough and a lot of congestion with it.  I was following my regular vomiting protocol but it wasn't helping at all...

So, last night I threw the protocol out the window, and she's actually doing better.

I'm guessing the mucus was building up in her stomach causing nausea and then she'd cough and well, you know how that feels.

Anyway, today's TMI Tuesday is to trust your gut, if something isn't following its regular course contact your doctor or try something different.  Life isn't all about policies and protocols. :)

Or laundry, although my piles beg to differ. {sigh}


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