What Do You Really Want?



Dear Readers,

Listed below are different scenarios for marriage. As you read, one of these scenarios should describe your present relationship. There are some of us who would not change our current scenario but there are some of us who dream of another scenario. Please read all of the scenarios and make a choice. If you are happy with your present scenario then pick that scenario but if you would like to make a change, then pick the scenario you would like to change to.

For example, I am married with children while both my husband and I are employed. Number 8 is my present scenario. However, I dream of changing that scenario to Number 6!





Choose one...only one!











1. Married without children and not employed while husband employed?
2. Married without children and self employed while husband employed?
3. Married without children while employed and husband not employed?
4. Married without children while both employed?
5. Married with children and not employed while husband employed?
6. Married with children and self employed while husband employed?
7. Married with children while employed and husband not employed?
8. Married with children while both employed?
10. Divorced?
11. Divorced with children?

Instructions:

Respond by clicking on the Post a Comment button below ONLY. Type your age, the number of your present scenario and then the number of the scenario you would change to.  Remember, you may choose your present scenario if you are happy in that scenario.

 For example, I would type the following answer based on my life.
 Age 41, Number 8 to Number 6

No name needed. Let's remain anonymous!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(If you respond on our Facebook page we will know who you are....we don't want to know! Please click on the post a comment below and click anonymous.)

Stay tuned for the follow up post based on all of our responses.
Until I blog again,
Tiffany





How we have "Me Time" as Married Working Mothers



How?


Just do it!


1.  Get over the Guilt of wanting to have "me time"...




2.  Next, once you've convinced yourself that you absolutely deserve and NEED this time - PLAN.  This is one we can't escape.  Although I wish all of the planning would be done for me sometimes, the daily routine of life falls on us so it's imperative that we make the necessary steps to make "me time" happen. From deciding what to do and where to go to organising the children and husband.  So we Plan.

And that's it.  It's that simple.  In just two simple steps you could be on your way to enjoying "me time" by yourself or with your girlfriends.


Candilaria and Tiffany's "Me Time"...

Tiffany and I decided that we needed "me time".  We have no qualms about feeling that we deserve it. Nope.  None at all.


It's "Me O'clock"

We planned to become tourists in our own country and embarked on a journey to Blue Lagoon Island.  It had been years and years since either of us had visited the island and were super stoked.


At 8:30 a.m. on a beautiful day we boarded the Dolphin Encounter boat - with some challenges getting there of course but nonetheless we made it.
Top Left - Our view from the boat.;
Top Right - Our first "Usie" for the day
Bottom Left - Tiffany and I with our drinks and bartender, David;
Bottom Right - We rigged up a little morning drink. Nothing like a Mimosa to kick off the day!
Welcome to Blue Lagoon!  We picked an awesome spot to cop a squat.  We lounged, we explored, we talked, we laughed, we swam, we read, we slept.  It was a perfect day.
Our colourful cups that contained the right kind of drink we needed and allowed us to have those "sweet naps" throughout the day :) 
We were having such a great time, somehow we missed our boat back. Hmmmm...not sure how that happened.  So what did we do?  Nothing.  We hung out some more. We ended up hitching a ride on the boat that transports the employees back and forth!

We topped the day off by meeting up with another absolutely fabulous Married Working Mother and the day "me time" turned into night "me time".  When I arrived home, my children were tucked in bed and fast asleep and my husband was very thankful for the day I had (wink wink).  And so was I.




Before I end this post I must share a story.  

While swimming/floating in the crystal clear waters at Blue Lagoon the most terrifying thing that could ever happen to a married woman happened.  I lost my wedding band! I felt it slip from my finger as we were swimming back to shore.  The terror on my face signalled to Tiffany that something was wrong. I became paralysed. After my freak out session, bystanders made their way over to us to see if they could assist.  A gentleman with the use of a Lifeguard's goggles dove in search for Mr. Thompson's wife's ONE good ring. Like so many women who lost their rings to the ocean I was hoping that I was the exception.  That my ring would be found.  And....

He found it!!!!!!!  Eric (pictured below) found my ring.  All was right with the world once again and I resumed to my "me time".





"Me Time" has become our favourite topic because we know how much we need it.  How much women need it.  As we mentioned during our presentation at The Pretty Brown Girl Bahamas Conference in May, we consider ourselves experts on the subject matter and we are here to show you how you can do it too!  We are here to help you. :) :)


How important are you to yourself?!  

Where are you on your own priority list? 

Make the time for you. Everyone around you including YOU will thank you for it. 



Signed, 

I (Heart) "Me Time", Candilaria

       

MARRIAGE: Watch and Try!

courtesy of kitchentablechat.wordpress.com

Does this image on the left mean anything to you? Click on the link below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MatcQT3X1d4


If you're anything like me I tried it immediately. It is certainly food for thought.


What if our focus should be on our husbands more than our children?

Hmm....

Until I blog again,
Tiffany






Summer 2014:Run, Jump and Surrender!


The Channing Dive

This is a picture of my daughter in America for the summer.

Sigh... Oh to be five years old again!

When I look at this picture many words formulate in my mind but there is one word that summarizes them all...

Happiness!
When was the last time that I was this happy? When was the last time I was willing to run, jump and surrender?

Look at the photograph. Her head is thrown back, her arms are up in the air in total surrender and she is sticking out her tongue. It is important for me to note that she has on armbands because she does not know how to swim well without them. She takes swimming lessons but is not a proficient swimmer.

Clearly, she is still willing to take the risk and jump into a pool!

The Channing Dive has inspired me to do just that, take the risk and dive!


Channing's goal was to simply get in the pool. My goal is a lot deeper. But does it really matter what the goal is? What if your attitude towards the goal is more important than the goal itself? 

I look at this photograph and will confess my five year old daughter has taught me a few life lessons with this one jump.

1. If you're going to take a risk and jump, give it all you've got.
2. Let go of your inhibitions and experience the moment.
3. Who cares if you're afraid to take the risk and jump, wear armbands!
4. Show your haters, your fears and your doubts what you really feel by       
    sticking out your tongue!
5. And lastly, if you are going to take a risk and jump you need to look cute 
   by wearing the right bathing suit!

Ladies, I have a dream for my life! I know you do too. Let's just run, jump and surrender. Let's put on our bathing suits and take the risk. If a five year old can do it then so can we!

Until I jump again,
Tiffany 








The Conscious Parent

If it's one thing I pray for daily is to have just enough patience and a certain level of awareness when being with my children. It's tough. The struggle is real!  

We think we are fully aware when interacting with our children but it only takes one action or something said or too many times fussing at them to have one of those mini breakdowns or straight trip out moments. I constantly ask myself, how do I change this? How can I become fully conscious?


How many of you watch OWN's (Oprah's television station) television show, Super Soul Sunday?

I am absolutely in love with this show! I love it so much I can just imagine my Sundays sitting in front of my television in my living room, all snuggled up with a blanket and a hot cup of tea (constantly refilling itself, of course) watching back to back episodes of Super Soul Sunday.

There is so much inspiration in a one hour show, it fills my heart and makes me feel all warm and fuzzy all over.

I was home sick one week and turned it to Super Soul Sunday and watched the thought provoking and incredibly motivating episode with Dr. Shefali Tsabary, author of "The Conscious Parent: Transforming ourselves, empowering our children."  


In this book "Dr. Tsabary shifts the epicentre of the parent-child relationship away from the traditional parent-to-child "know it all" approach to a mutual parent-with-child relationship in which the parent learns alongside the child.  This innovative parenting style recognizes the child's potential to spark a deep soul-searching, leading to transformation in parents.  Instead of being merely the receiver of the parents' psychological and spiritual legacy, children function as ushers of the parents' development."



Watching the episode could not have come at a better time. I bought the book and while I have only just begun reading it I am already completely enamored by its content.  With a unique take on parenting it seems like common sense! 

What is it to be a conscious parent?  To be conscious means to engage in an active process of conscious evolvement. This, by definition, means resisting an over-attachment to the ‘doing’ aspects of life and shifting your energies to engage in the ‘being’ aspects of life.  The state of consciousness teaches oneness.


I wanted to share with you an excerpt from the book, in Chapter 3 called "Release Your Children From The Need of Your Approval"


This particular chapter was eye-opening.


 "When we are unable to accept our children, it's because they open up old wounds in us, threatening some ego-attachment we are still holding onto."

Wow.  Acceptance in this instance means accepting your child for who he/she truly is.  Not who you think they are or who you want them to be.  To be attuned to your child's uniqueness.

That statement was profound for me because it lent itself to the confirmation that our children ultimately contribute to our overall growth, our self-discovery, and self-development. "Parenting allows one of the most powerful opportunities for us to do this, because our children are able to mirror our soul in a way few others can. They reflect back our light and our shadow in a manner that is incomparable." says Dr. Tsabary.

Children play an integral role in the spiritual awakening of the parent.


"Our ability to accept our children is directly linked to our ability to accept ourselves - both as we are presently, and for what we have the potential to become."
"How can we raise another human being, another spirit, if our own being has been largely dismissed, our spirit systematically squelched?"

Dr. Tsabary goes on to share some areas in which she is learning to accept herself:


I accept I am a human being before I am a parent

I accept I have limitations and many shortcomings, and this is okay

I accept I don't always know the right way

I accept I am often ashamed to admit my own failings

I accept I frequently lose my center worse than my child ever does

I accept I can be selfish and unthinking in my dealings with my child

I accept I sometimes fumble and stumble as a parent

I accept I don't always know how to respond to my child

I accept that at times I say and do the wrong thing with my child

I accept that at times I'm too tired to be sane

I accept that at times I'm too preoccupied to be present for my child

I accept I am trying my best, and that is good enough

I accept my imperfections and my imperfect life

I accept my desire for power and control

I accept my ego

I accept my yearning for consciousness (even though I often sabotage myself when I am about to enter this state)


These statements are helpful for me on my journey in becoming a Conscious Parent as I am learning to accept first, myself.

I recommend this book for you to read.  While not everyone will be open to this non-traditional way of parenting, and that's okay too, I hope this helps some of you who are wanting a different way of connecting with your child(ren).

Are you a conscious parent?  Do you want to be a conscious parent?

I will leave you with a little clip from the Super Soul Sunday episode on the OWN network.




Signed, 
Becoming a Conscious Parent, Candilaria



When You Don't Have The Perfect Child

I was quite disappointed to hear that my two youngest kids were required to go to summer school this year.  My daughter is going into the fourth grade and my son is going into K-5.  Yes he had to go to summer school for K-5.  My daughter has always struggled with the idea of school so it was no surprise to me that she was required to attend for math, but my son has always been a brilliant child.  However, he struggled with writing his name in cursive, hence, he was asked to do the extra classes. 




Needless to say, I was very disappointed but not in them.  I was disappointed in myself.  Until I realized that I could not put this on myself.  Yet, I just could not help but to feel this sense of ultimate responsibility.  They are failing because of me I thought.  I did not do enough.  I did not push them enough.  It is all my fault.  As mothers we secretly compare our children to those of others.  We may not say our feelings out loud but we think them to ourselves.  “ Why isn’t my child as smart as Janae?”  or “I wish my son was as athletic as Jason.”  In our heads we set unreachable marks for our children and when they are not met we sulk secretly.  Or maybe it's just me. 

I want my children to be the best at everything and they are not.  Does it make me love them any less. Of course, not.  Nothing at all could do that, but it does make me criticize myself and my parenting, my husband’s parenting, their teachers, their school, my job, my life.  I can now see why mothers make the decision to leave work and stay at home all day.  Because of that inner guilt that we all feel as mothers. This was confirmed by Shonda Rhime’s commencement address to the 2014 graduates of Dartmouth College.


Shonda is the writer and creator of the shows like Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal.  If you watch any of these shows you would understand the level of fame and success this lady is currently experiencing in her professional life.  However, as she so eloquently put it... 


“Whenever you see me somewhere succeeding in one area of my life, that almost certainly means I am failing in another area of my life.  If I am killing it on a Scandal script for work, I am probably missing bath and story time at home. If I am at home sewing my kids' Halloween costumes, I'm probably blowing off a rewrite I was supposed to turn in. If I am accepting a prestigious award, I am missing my baby's first swim lesson. If I am at my daughter's debut in her school musical, I am missing Sandra Oh's last scene ever being filmed at Grey's Anatomy. If I am succeeding at one, I am inevitably failing at the other. That is the tradeoff. That is the Faustian bargain one makes with the devil that comes with being a powerful working woman who is also a powerful mother. You never feel a hundred percent OK; you never get your sea legs; you are always a little nauseous. Something is always lost. Something is always missing.”

Wow! I thought it is not just me, other mother’s feel the same way. 

I went to drop my son off one morning and had a conversation with his teacher about his poor handwriting.  Of course, I went on and on about what I can do to fix the problem, then she said to me. “You know you can’t have it all.  You have a wonderful, well behaved son that has a sweet and loving personality.  Thank God for that.  That’s better that having a straight A student.” Hmmmm….Never really looked at it that way.

A few weeks later, I went to my daughter’s award ceremony in the pouring rain.  As children were getting nine and ten certificates, I waited for them to call her name.  She received certificates for Art and Outstanding Christian Character.  As I cheered her on I remember the words my son’s teacher said to me and in that moment I was proud of the children that I am raising wonderful honest and upstanding individuals. 




Shonda went on in her speech to say...

ANYONE WHO TELLS YOU THEY ARE DOING IT ALL PERFECTLY IS A LIAR.”

So true. 
  


Until I blog again,

Ernesta

Thank Goodness Part Two

Packed and ready to go!
Sing with me please. "Oh happy day! Oh happy day!

Yesterday, I traveled to the airport. It was one of my happiest journeys to the Linden Pindling International Airport. I wasn't happy because I was getting off of the rock, I was happy because my two adorable children were getting on the airplane with my mother...the best grandmother in the world. I thought she was an awesome mother but she is a way better grandmother!

Due to the fact that she misses her grandchildren immensely, my mother has agreed, sorry requested that she take my children, yes both of them, a five year old and a two year old to America for the entire summer!

Exhale...
Daddy Photo

Off and away!

And just like that they were off. Channing is Miss America and Chase had popcorn; they walked away without incident! My mother asked, "Are you about to cry now?" as I hugged her. I told her, "Enjoy!" She is about to experience my life!

Let the summer begin!
If I were concerned, weepy, anxious or weary about our children leaving the homestead, below you will find the photos that my cousin's wife emailed. Channing and Chase are visiting their cousins for the next few week before they travel to my brother's home!

Look at the three different facial expressions!

Chase trying to remain a part of the group!

Say "Cheese"
And so I repeat my sentiments. Thank goodness for grandmothers, uncles, aunties and now cousins too!

For those of you that are wondering if I cried at the airport. Ahhhhh yeah "NO!"

Until I blog again,
Tiffany

The Birds and The Bees

Time to have the Talk

The other Sunday sitting down in church my nine year old daughter leans over and whispers to me.  “Mummy what does rape mean?”

I responded, “I will tell you after church”, hoping that she would forget to ask, she didn’t.  She promptly asked the question again as soon as we got in the car.  I paused and said.  “It’s when someone has sex with you against your will.”  

Interestingly enough her response was a very nonchalant “Oh” accompanied by a head shake.  I thought Oh? Oh!  I was expecting a blizzard of questions.  One of them being what is sex? But noooooo, all I got was “Oh”.  I figured she was going to come back to me later that day and question more, but she didn’t.  So of course, I started thinking that it is probably time for us to have that proverbial “Birds and Bees” talk.


Sigh.  Already!  Yes Already.  If she already knows what sex is, and I am still crossing my fingers that she doesn’t, then its best that she gets her information from me and not the fast little girl at school. 

That little encounter encouraged me to start thinking about this whole subject.  I started asking myself some questions. Like “What is the right age to have the “Talk”?  How much information should I give?  If I do have the talk too early will I rob my child of her innocence?  Again, why don’t these kids come with instruction manuals?  As parents we are left to figure this out on our own.  And each parent handles it their own way.
  
I came up with three very different categories of parents. 

The first is the “Spell-its”.  These are the parents that cannot say the word sex so they prefer to spell it.  Many of your parents may fit into this category.  These parents resort to saying to their children;.  “If you get pregnant, I’ll kill you.” Or “ Boy, you better not bring no baby home to this house. Keep ya tings in your pants”.  They never explain anything and they are certainly not entertaining of questions from a curious young mind.  They are quick to call their children “brazen” or “fresh”.  And if their children are ever caught with the children of the “TMI-parents” the girls are threatened with a bottle of hot sauce and the boys are threatened with castration.

The “TMI-parent”, too much information parent, are those that are too willing to talk and share information.  They buy videos and books and do demonstrations using inanimate objects.  While their hearts are in the right place, the embarrassment the child feels usually over-shadows the information they are giving.  I personally do not feel that I need to show my child a video of copulation.  That brings up another point, the TMI parent uses the text book words to describe genitalia.  Or God forbid the slang words.  They would never see the need to say the word V-jay-jay.

The final group is the “Need-to-knows”.  This group only gives the child the information that they need to know at that particular point in their life.  They can also be called the “Just enoughs”.  Just enoughs only give you the information you are asking for and nothing more.  They only discuss the topic if they are cornered.  They carry a strict “Don’t ask, don’t tell” rule.  I feel this is where I fall. 


After being pressured for weeks by my husband, I finally had a talk with my nine year old about having her period.  She has not had hers yet and I was figuring I had a few more years.  However, my husband was very paranoid about her getting the information now.  So I mustered up the courage and talked to her.  It went fine.  At least that is what I thought.  So, a few months later, her Dad asks her if I told her what to do if her period comes, you can obviously see which of the three categories he falls in.  She answers “No.”
  
I turned around shocked.  “Yes I did!” 

“No you didn’t.  When I asked you what to do when it happens you said “Just come to me.”  

Mission Unaccomplished.

Most of my friends say that their parents never even tried to talk to them about the birds and the bees.  Yet they turned out alright.  But, I liken it to finding a store in the US without a map.  Yes, you will eventually get there but you would probably take a route that was full of toll booths and it might take you twice as long.  It is definitely a talk that should happen.  But the question remains, When?


I am open to your advice.  Let me know what you did and how you did it.  Leave your comments below.

Until next time,

Ernesta, 
Member of the Just enough club.

Thank Goodness For Grandparents, Aunties and Uncles!


Channing and my mother
My children have the privilege of knowing grandparents on both sides of our family.Our children have stories about 'Grandma' my mother, 'Grammy', Eric's mother and 'Papa', Eric's Dad.

Unfortunately, I did not have this opportunity. It is for that reason I am thankful.
Channing and Eric's Dad
Chase and Eric's Mom





































Chase with his Auntie!
In addition to grandparents Channing and Chase have an aunt and an uncle who are just involved in their lives.




Uncle Trevor hanging out with us!
When I add up all the contributions from these five individuals I can include Grandma who is responsible for making Halloween costumes every year and Channing's school uniforms, Auntie V, who bakes all birthday cakes and cupcakes, Grammy and Papa who opened their arms and home to Chase from birth and most recently the last few months and Uncle Trevor who created a business in his niece and nephew's name.

For the last five years Eric and I have been extremely blessed! We love our families and they love us too. If anyone asked either of us if there was anything more our family could do to assist us I doubt we could think of a response.

Well Grandma and Uncle Trevor have thought of yet another way to bless Eric and I while blessing Channing and Chase and actually themselves. With this one offer, we all benefit! 

You see Grandma and Uncle Trevor live in America. They miss interacting with our two little darlings on a daily basis! It is for this reason that on Thursday of this week, yes in three days, Grandma, my mother will be taking Channing and Chase to the great land of opportunity for the summer.....the entire summer!
Yes I typed it...the entire summer!


Eric and I getting excited for a bit of freedom along with Candi who is excited for us as well....kind of!


Don't get me wrong we will miss our children but thank goodness for family. I am so grateful for the opportunity to go where I want and do what I want whenever I want. Thank you mummy! Thank you big brother Trevor.

For all of you that are celebrating with me, thank you! Let's get together and have some fun! For all of you that are judging me for sending my children away for the summer, forget you!

Stay tuned for my post on Friday...the day after the kids leave and my first day of freedom!

Until I blog again,
Tiffany

Good Times and Good People

It's always important to have a friend to share, laugh, cry and plain ole have awesome times with...

Tiffany, I appreciate you!



WE ATTENDED ED'S "SUNNY SIDE UP BREAKFAST MASH"

It's Pah-tee time!

This is  the before

This is the after.  We came, we drank, we danced until our feet hurt, we got soaked in the rain.  It was great!

Tiffany realized she was wearing an earring for a bracelet! Hey, the party started at 4am. At least I had my nails on both hands polished!  We crack ourselves up.

OUR LONG HOLIDAY WEEKEND KICK OFF
Tiffany charging her phone Thursday past as we hung out before the start of the long weekend!

Cheers to all the Married Working Mothers!  Hope you had an awesome weekend!


Life is to be enjoyed.  To be lived in the moment.  To be surrounded by the people you love and who love you.  Live a balanced life.  Choose to be happy and be inspired by all that surrounds you. 

We don't feel guilty about spending "me time" or doing things without our children and husbands.  It makes us better women!  #guiltfreelife


What have you done for yourself lately?


Signed,
A relaxed and happy Candilaria

MWMs @ Pretty Brown Girl Conference!

Pretty Brown Girl Conference Flyer
"Of course! We'd be honored to speak at your conference!" This was our response when Mrs. Yolanda Darville extended the invitation. 

Us? Candi and I! Two married mothers whose only goal was to have a blog to exhale and invite others to do the same!


Beginning of our presentation
On Saturday May 3rd after brainstorming, planning, rearranging, laughing, questioning, doubting and reaffirming, Candi and I spoke to a room full of women. I remember us sitting at our table waiting patiently. That's a lie. We were not patient, we were doubting...doubting our presentation and doubting ourselves. The women filing into the room simply did not look like our audience. How were we going to connect and make an impression? Seconds ticked by...minutes as Candi and I scanned the crowd. 

Throughout our tedious meetings at Lucianos over a glass of wine okay fine...glasses of wine, we contemplated what we wanted to express to the women about 'Mind, Body and Soul, Taking Care of Yourself'. I always chimed the one basic fact I believed to be true. Yolanda invited us to speak because of who we are. We can only be ourselves! 

It could not matter if all the women at the conference did not look like us or look like they would like us or be interested in what we would discuss, we decided to be authentically us!

Candi engaging the audience
And so, Candi began our presentation by doing just that. She said, 'Woohoo, we are alone! Let's celebrate that we have no children with us this morning!" (The conference began with a joint mother and daughter session then the girls were dismissed into groups according to their age leaving the mothers in the ballroom with us.)

Immediately there was a cheer. The women who we initially judged to be different from ourselves were just the opposite....they were like us. Women!

Candi and I had done what we as women do all the time. We judged! And just like many of us who judge...we judged wrong! We thought our audience was too serious but in fact they laughed and interacted with us throughout the entire presentation. 

Our presentation was very brief but our message was powerful. Our children love us so let's love ourselves by reviving our talents, our hobbies and tidbits of time away from our families to be the women we were before diapers, stretch marks and curfews!
Candi and Sandena Neely, one of our Guest Bloggers
Candi and her daughter 
Vendor Shopping

Vendor Sampling
Materials for Vision Board

Mothers and Daughters were invited to create a Vision Board filled with long and short term goals!
Mothers and Daughters were provided with magazines to cut out pictures to depict their short and long term goals.
Vision Board Sample

Of course in true MWMs fashion, Candi and I shared a real toast in celebration. We celebrated having the courage to be ourselves in a room full of strange women. We encourage you to do the same. Just be you, accept you and then you can enjoy you and celebrate you!

Thanks for joining us Monette...another time Melinda!
This is the message of the Pretty Brown Girl Organization. Little girls must learn to accept themselves in order to celebrate themselves at an early age.

I was brought to tears as they recited their pledge at the beginning of the conference. Positive affirmations coming out of the mouths of little girls.

Awesome Sauce!



Graciously accepting our thank you gifts from Mrs. Anita Bain and Mrs. Yolanda Darville


Until I blog again,
Tiffany

P.S. Moms, did any of you notice Candi's hands at the conference? Just so you know...this is a new trend we at MWMs are starting. We are pioneers for you! This is called, 'The one Hand'! One hand is painted, preferably the hand you do not write with, the least popular hand. Here at MWMs we polish this hand because the polish stays on longer, undisturbed. You will notice that Candi's right hand is clear. At MWMs we have discovered there is no point polishing these fingernails...the polish never stays on...like seriously! So why bother! We like to call this 'Fashion with Functionality'! Like I stated earlier. We are pioneers. Be a pioneer too!


Okay alright fine...not a new trend. Candi forgot to polish her other hand the night before! What do we call this...... say it with me MOTHERHOOD!

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