Sunday, January 31, 2010


Have I mentioned that I love watching Intervention? Because I love watching Intervention. (Though I'm super tempted to write a letter to the network demanding they add some sort of symbol to their episode titles that lets you know ahead of time which stories have happy endings and which don't. Because sometimes it just hurts SO MUCH.)

Today, I was watching a rerun that I hadn't seen before. It was the story of a girl in her 20s who became addicted to pain medication in her effort to deal with her rheumatoid arthritis. And it broke my heart.

I've been sitting here trying to figure out why I was so profoundly affected by it, and I think it's because I understand her pain. I understand her all-consuming desire for relief. I even understand why she would consider taking abusive amounts of pain medication to try to achieve that goal. I just don't understand what could make a person take that final step and actually do it.

All I wanted to do after it was over was to hold Briony. She's my very best insurance that I will never make that choice. And she's a great snuggle buddy.

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Wanted: Housewife for Hire

I'm also looking for any referrals you might have for a good, reliable - and preferably 'green' - house cleaning service.

We haven't made any decisions yet, we're just exploring our options... And as lame as I feel admitting that I can't do it all - I CAN'T DO IT ALL. So I would at least like to get an estimate so that we can make the best decision for our family.

Thanks in advance!

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Wanted: Oma for Hire

Does anyone know where I can find someone to make me a bunch of Mennonite carbolicious meat buns for my freezer? They're great to have on hand - but a pain in the @$$ to make - and I would like nothing more than to pay someone to do all the work for me.

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Good Idea / Bad Idea

Good Idea:
Putting something in the slow cooker for dinner.

Bad Idea:
Putting something in the slow cooker for dinner when you're home ALL DAY to smell the deliciousness...

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Saturday, January 30, 2010

One Moment With Briony

I always intend to capture these random little moments and write them down to remember. And then it never happens. SIGH. Well, now it's happened once :)

Today, Briony was crawling around the living room playing. At one point, she wanted to get to something in the dining room but encountered a chair that I had turned on its side to block her in. She pulled up on the side of the chair and looked at the stuffed aardvark she'd been dragging around with her and said to him, 'Uh oh! What's this?'

It is *so* funny to me that she's so verbal but nowhere near walking yet. It makes these little moments about a hundred times funnier, because she looks so much like a baby while she's playing - but then she opens up her mouth and you're like WHOA. THIS DOES NOT MAKE SENSE.


Still Tasty

It's not exactly a secret that I'm an absolute nazi when it comes to expiration dates, best before dates, and potentially spoiled foods. If you've lived with me - or even worked with me - it's pretty certain that I've forced you to smell something. Or thrown something out behind your back if I deemed it questionable. Or thrown a capital-letters FIT when you ate something icky in front of me simply to watch and laugh at my (over)reaction.

My friend Amber introduced me to this awesome website last week. I've been on it at least ten times since then, so I figured I should share - because I can't be the only one who cares about this stuff. And it's actually pretty cool to turn yourself into an expert in making your groceries stretch as long as possible simply by caring for them properly.

Yep, that's right. Food storage and gravy boats in the same day. COOLEST. BLOG. EVER.

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Friday, January 29, 2010

Belated Friday Smile(s)


I was fully intending to SKIP this week's Friday Smile - simply because yesterday was STRESSFUL and I did not feel like smiling. But then Amber posted one and I feel peer pressured into coming up with something HAPPY now.


I'm being slightly dramatic. I already have a bunch of smiles in mind. Even the most stressful days always have room for smiles :)

1. Watching Briony get reacquainted with her toys yesterday and today. There were SO MANY hugs and snuggles to go around. I love watching her with her toys - and with her stuffed animals in particular - because she is just *so* friendly. She crawls around to each one, picks them up, talks to them, and then tackles them with the biggest hugs in the world. I know I'm biased, but I'm pretty sure it's the cutest thing EVER.

2. No trip to Vancouver is complete without a trip to Ikea (it's totally going to be less awesome once we have Ikea in Winnipeg). And I've had so much fun unpacking our little treasures and finding homes for them in our home. My very best find? This gravy boat, which is totally the sexiest gravy boat in the world. That's right, I said it. I don't have one, but I find myself wanting/needing one at least once a month. And my kitchen is so small that I'm pretty picky about what is allowed in - so it couldn't just be any old gravy boat. Not only is this one sexy as hell, it's also covered and double-walled. Beautiful AND functional. What more could a girl ask for? (Other than having enough of a life that she doesn't actually blog an entire paragraph about a gravy boat...)

3. Bonus friends. I got home after spending the evening with Amber and Christine and I kept thinking about how very unexpected these girls were in my life. I used to work with Christine, and I used to work with Amber's boyfriend. And somehow, they have become incredibly important people in my life - the kinds of friends who will drop everything to help each other out. I love that. It makes my heart so happy.

4. My parents are walking around on the beach right now, enjoying warm weather and palm trees and snorkeling for the very first time. I am so very happy for them. I can't think of two people who deserve it more, and I smile every time I think about them having this time to relax. As for everyone else with a warm-weather vacation planned for this winter - I am not happy for you, not one bit :)

5. God has been blessing my socks off this month and giving me so much hope for this little business of mine. I signed a new client earlier this month that far exceeded any expectations or aspirations I had for my freelance career (and truth be told, is cooler than any client I thought I'd ever work with in the agency world either). And I have - count 'em - TWO meetings booked for Monday about two more exciting opportunities. And two other projects that I'm quoting on today. I feel *slightly* overwhelmed, but incredibly fulfilled. This whole full-time mom plus working from home situation is TOUGH. Really tough, actually. But I would not trade it for the world.

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Reality Check

That's been the theme of our last 24+ hours, beginning with a baby-hating WestJet agent and then continuing on to a delayed flight and a baby who - quite inexplicably - decided that she was not going to sleep ONE WINK on the flight. We walked in our front door around 01.30 on Friday morning. Blech.

By the way, it's FREAKING COLD here. Just felt I should point that out.

I think I should win an award for having the foresight to schedule today as a Katie Day. It was so wonderful to have someone here to play with Briony while Geoff and I ran errands and stocked our fridge and cupboards with groceries again. I had hoped to accomplish much more today, but isn't that always how it goes? :)

The evening was spent at the hospital - helping out a friend who was stuck in the purgatory of the emergency department and attempting to visit my grandma (she was sleeping when I stopped by with flowers). I'm worried about both of them. The silver living was that I ended up being able to spend some unexpected time with Amber, my hospital buddy for the evening.

And now I think that Briony might *finally* be asleep, poor messed up kid. Which means that her mommy (who totally has a migraine starting) might *finally* be able to attempt some sleep of my own before I do the single parent thing for the rest of this weekend while Geoff goes back to work. Wish me luck!

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The One Where I Over-Think Everything

This trip has me thinking so much about change. It's no surprise, really, because this little corner of the world holds a substantial collection of memories for Geoff + I - both as individuals and together.

Each time I've stepped off a plane that has landed in Vancouver, my life has looked so very different. I’ve been single and stopping over on a business trip to meet a boy. I’ve been dating a different boy and meeting his family for the very first time, knowing that I’m days away from getting engaged. I’ve been pregnant and at various stages of new motherhood. I’ve been a student, I’ve been on vacation, I’ve been working, and I’ve been running a business.

Each and every one of those changes have been such a positive thing in my life, but today has been one of those days when just processing the immensity of that change - and all the change yet to come - has me feeling a little dizzy.

Don't misunderstand. There is no major change coming in our immediate future that I am aware of. But that's the thing about change. Sometimes it just sneaks up on you. It can happen in such tiny increments that someday you'll look around and find yourself standing miles from where you started without realizing that you were moving at all.

I have no idea what this year will hold for our little family. At this very moment (and for the second time in less than two weeks), I am sitting here waiting for a conference call to start – a call that promises to hold a work offer with completely unknown details and a completely unknown outcome. It’s enough to make a girl crazy if she decides to let it have that effect on her.

But all that's true is what I know today. I have a happy marriage and a healthy daughter. I have a successful freelance writing business. I’m not enjoying perfect health, but I’m working on it. I have some incredible friends. And I’m working really, really hard to find the best possible definition of ‘balance’ and what that might look like for me and for our family.

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Stop the presses! This just in... My child talks. A LOT. I know, I don't have ANY idea where she gets it from either ;)

I keep meaning to maintain a better record of all Briony's words. I've done an absolutely lousy job of it. So yesterday, I figured that I would do my best to make a list of all the words she knows now - at 14 months - just so that it's documented. This is by no means a complete list... My mom counted 25 words at the beginning of the month, and I know there are probably 10 on here that my mom hasn't heard yet - so I'll probably have to come back and update this list as I remember some more.

So here's a collection of Briony's words so far... She understands a heck of a lot more, but these are the words she actually says out loud. Check back tomorrow, there's sure to be more - we totally added 'high five!' yesterday :)

Uh Oh
Juice (she's never had juice, but she calls water 'juice' - hehe)
Foofa (her favourite on Yo Gabba Gabba)
What’s that?
What’s this?
High Five

Animal Noises: Dog (woof woof), Cat (meow meow), Lion (roar), Tiger (roar), Monkey (eee eee), Penguin (waddle waddle), Alligator (roar), Snake (pfft), Raccoon and Otter (roar... hehe), Rabbit (hop hop), Duck (quack quack), Bird (tweet tweet)

Does anyone else think it's funny that my child is looking more and more like she's going to be having complete conversations with people before she's walking? I LOVE HER :)

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The One Where I Get Disorderly

I don't know how it's possible, but the end of these trips gets harder EVERY SINGLE TIME. But did I cry about it? Nope. Tears would have been mature. Instead, I was just kind of generally miserable and bitchy all day yesterday.

In my defense, I've also been sick - and I know that had something to do with my general state of mind. But yesterday I was just full-on upset that we were going home and ready to dig in my heels and start looking at houses here. Truth? No part of me is looking forward to coming home on Thursday. And that doesn't mean that I don't love the people in my life in Winnipeg... It just means that I love the people in my life here too.

It happens every time. And so I know that - a couple of days after we're back at home - I'll be absolutely okay again. But for today, IT SUCKS.

We capped off the day with a visit at Aaron + Cait's. Marilyn watched Briony while Geoff + I spent some time just hanging out in their apartment and drinking tea. Oh, and did I mention that we held the world's first and most awesome cupcake tasting? It got pretty pretentious. And SUGARY... I threw in the towel about two samples from the end. And then proceeded to power through the world's fastest band-aid-style goodbye before flying out their door and into the car with tears steaming down my face.

I'm feeling much calmer and more rational today. (Now that I'm thinking about it, it could just be a crash from last night's ridiculous sugar high.) I fully realize that - if we lived here - it would be equally hard to visit Winnipeg and then have to say goodbye to everyone we love there. Plus we'd be living in a near-constant state of financial struggle vs being comfortably middle class. But there would be no snow...


I'm happy in Winnipeg. I love our life. I just think that I'm wise enough to realize that we could be happy ANYWHERE. Well, happy anywhere but wherever we're visiting that requires a whole pile of goodbyes.

I keep on reading this for reverse inspiration :)

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Monday, January 25, 2010


Remember what I was doing two years ago today? Disrupting an office full of people with my screaming and jumping up and down about our sweet tickets to the upcoming Lenny Kravitz concert. Of course, at this point, Past Lindsay had no idea that she'd be 39.5 weeks pregnant at that concert... But it just makes the story that much more delicious, don't you agree? :)


Monday Secret


Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Shape Of A Mother

I came across a website recently that's a celebration of the beauty of our bodies after babies - and I had tears streaming down my face as I clicked through some of the photos and the stories that go along with them.

(Full disclosure: I totally skipped over all the teenage and early-20s moms, because I honestly believe that my body, my skin, and my metabolism were so much better off when I was younger...)

But it opened up a can of worms that I'd been shoving back down beneath the surface for a while, and more this week than usual. Just the other day, Geoff found me in tears as I sat on the edge of the bed wrapped in a towel after my shower and completely immobilized at the thought of finding something to wear. I confessed to him that it wasn't about what other people think about me when they see me, or even what he thinks - it's that I am disgusted by myself looking like I do. (Was that too honest? Too late.)

It's been fourteen months. And I can't imagine a better reason to have gained a whole mess of weight and changed my body than to have carried a big healthy baby full-term (especially one as beautiful and absolutely delightful as Briony). I loved being pregnant with her and I love being her mom. But I honestly thought that I'd look different by now. Is that completely naive? Everyone told me to give it two years - or even three - but I'm starting to have moments of panic that this is as good as it gets. Yes, I'm losing weight. It's slooooow, but it's coming off. I weigh more than 25 pounds less than I did when I was 42 weeks pregnant. But I'm still wearing the same size jeans I wore the week Briony was born. No one tells you that mommy 'weight loss' is really more like just redistributing stuff. And it really is STUFF.

As a side note, for some weird reason, I have absolutely no issue with my stretch marks. It didn't take me very long at all to accept them as beautiful - though that acceptance definitely came post-pregnancy... I'm willing to bet that I'm the only formerly pregnant lady EVER who didn't take a single photo EVER of her pregnant belly, and it's my one and only regret about my pregnancy. Today, I'm actually kind of proud of those stretch marks because - to me - they represent what my body was able to do by growing a healthy baby.

But the actual shape of my body is another story entirely. It's not like this is something that has taken over every single moment of every single day. Just a lot of them. More than I want it to.

But I'm working on it. Because I don't want to spend the rest of my life crying every single time I see a photo of myself with tummy hanging over my jeans. I want to see the beauty that I know in my heart is there.

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The One Where Briony Sees All The Fish

I *should* say... all the 'FISH!' 'FISH!' 'FISH!'

Because that's the exclamation we heard about ten thousand times yesterday morning as she pointed to every single fish in every single tank and was equally excited about every single one of them. The Vancouver Aquarium rocked her little world.

Geoff + I and Aaron + Cait (my brother and sister-in-law who moved to Vancouver in August) were along for the ride yesterday, and even though we'd all been to the Aquarium before, I think I can speak for all of us when I say that what was previously kind of cool and interesting became absolutely magical through Briony's eyes.

I can't even describe it to you. I'm actually tearing up while I'm trying to write this because there aren't words to tell you how Briony's eyes lit up as she looked around, how she could not keep a huge grin off her face for a single second, how she pressed her little hands and face up against the glass, how she kept on turning back to look at us like 'WOW! You guys, this is SO COOL. Are you catching this?'

It was such a good day. It was one of those family memory days that I hoped for and dreamed of while I was pregnant and wondering what our life would be like with the little one growing inside of me - not the specifics of where we were or what we did, but the feeling I had while we were there doing it together.

And it was such an absolute pleasure to open up the world to her just a little bit and let her see something new. It's so important to Geoff + I to make sure that we teach her to be curious and explore the world outside of her own little bubble. These are baby steps... But she's still a baby :)

More photos here.
Read Cait's version of Aquarium Day here.

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The One Where I Explain About The Photos

I've been terrible about uploading photos this week... I threw up a few in the next couple of posts to help catch you up and document some highlights of our trip so far.


Snapshots: Playing + Adventuring

Playing at Grammy's house and general adventuring...

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Snapshots: Cousins

Briony loves *all* of her family, but had an especially fun time playing with her cousins Ruth + Libby when they came to visit in Abbotsford last week. (And just in case you're wondering where on earth the red in Briony's hair comes from...)

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Snapshots: Briony's First Haircut

This was the day before we left to come to BC.

I think these pretty much speak for themselves... The haircut went about as well as the Santa visit last month :)

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Snapshots: Horseshoe Bay

Detour to Horseshoe Bay to let Cait take some photos for her homework assignment. (I'm sure that hers are *much* better than ours!)

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Friday, January 22, 2010

Friday Smile


Thursday, January 21, 2010

The One Where I Catch You Up

I realize that my very first post from BC was a bit of a bitchfest. Rest assured that the rest of our trip has been GREAT. And I shall now catch you up, as concisely as I can.

Briony did great on the flight. Like GREAT. We had to wake her up at 05.00 to get to the airport and she was like 'cool, okay, what's up?' The airport was BUSY but we somehow managed to set a personal record - the time from when the cab picked us up at home to the time that we were checked in, through security, and chilling at our gate was a grand total of thirty minutes. That was not a typo. More importantly, we boarded the plane and Geoff and I were talking and laughing and playing with Briony like the happiest little family in the world. If you know us as a couple at all, you will appreciate that this is a full-on miracle. For two people who *love* to travel, Geoff and I DO NOT travel well together. The actual TRIP is always great. It's just the getting there and home again that always seems to turn into a nightmare. We're just two very different people who are used to traveling independently, and our travel styles don't really seem to mesh. Throw a baby into the mix, and it's rare that we're on speaking terms while sitting in our seats and waiting for the plane to start taxiing. It's always incredibly short-lived, but it's something that I absolutely hate. I don't want to declare that we've conquered it, but I'm hopeful for the future :)

Thursday was spent with Marilyn, catching up and letting her get reacquainted with Briony. We traveled from Vancouver to Abbotsford, picked up groceries so that Briony would have all her favourite foods to eat here, and went to bed early.

Friday was a work day for me, starting with a conference call at 09.30 and ending with a client deadline at 16.00. Geoff + Briony went for a walk and the day overall was pretty quiet. We visited with Geoff's sister Carole and her family in the evening.

On Saturday, we met up with our friends Jason + Amy for brunch (mmm... pancakes). As usual, it was so great to see them and catch up a little bit. Briony surprised us by falling instantly in love with Amy - within about thirty seconds of their arrival at the restaurant, she was reaching for her and I don't think she took her eyes off her the entire time. I wish we lived closer, but as we discussed over some ridiculously unhealthy comfort food, we probably see each other more than we see lots of our friends who live in the same city as us. They recently returned from a trip to Italy, Greece, and Egypt and are currently researching and planning a 150 day cruise around the world... There's a quote that I've read about how you need to work to be completely happy in your own life so that you can be truly happy for the people you love when good things happen to them - and I think it is so true. I'm completely happy for us, and I'm completely happy for them. And I want them to jump on a boat TOMORROW because I'm pretty sure that's the final item on their pre-baby bucket list ;)

Later that afternoon, Geoff's sister Joanne and three of her kids came and we spent time with them until they returned to Kamloops on Sunday. It was fun to have a full house, and extra-fun to watch Briony with all her cousins. They love her *so* much, and it didn't take her very long at all to be talking and giggling with them (and crawling all over them on the floor).

We had hoped to see Aaron + Cait on Sunday night, but Aaron was feeling under the weather so we had to cancel. I worked for a bit and watched some of the Golden Globes before heading to bed early yet again.

It's probably important to note that - at this point - Briony had been having some truly terrible nights. Since arriving in BC, we'd been dealing with lots and lots of nighttime teething drama (on top of the whole time change challenge). My heart was breaking for her, but at the same time, I was SO TIRED and just wanted her to sleep.

Monday was another work day for me. I headed for Starbucks and set up my 'office' for a couple of hours. I don't think I've mentioned it here yet, but I signed a new client the day before we left on this trip and I am *loving* this work. This might be bold, but it's probably my favourite copywriting that I've ever done - and we're talking about a decade of copywriting here. It also happens to be for a major company. MAJOR. But one that I can never disclose because I've signed NDAs that will probably affect my great-grandchildren. Sigh... Just trust me that I want to sing from the rooftops on a daily basis about the caliber of work this little freelance writer from Winnipeg has been able to land.

On Tuesday, we all packed up early and headed for the border. I hit up a few outlet stores for baby (ahem... TODDLER) clothes for Briony, assuming that she will eventually outgrow her current size. This girl has seriously been wearing the same size since summer. It's starting to really freak me out, but given how quickly she flew through every size before that, it's also a little bit nice to be able to actually have her WEAR all the stuff we've purchased for her. I found a few things for Briony's mommy too - nothing super fabulous or exciting, but I was happy. Our best find of the day was a bookstore that was two days away from closing their doors. I found four books that I'd really been wanting - three in hardcover - for $25. THANK YOU, RECESSION!

And you all know what happened yesterday :)

So there you have it. All caught up. I'll try to do a little better during the last half of our trip.

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The One Where We Get Rick-Rolled

Today was one of those ‘are you kidding me?’ days. It started out with Briony being awake and SCREAMING at 01.30 this morning. For those of you words-not-numbers people, that’s ONE THIRTY. IN THE MORNING. It was so ridiculous that language fails me. From 01.30 until 02.00, Geoff + Briony + I sat on the couch in his parents’ living room looking at each other like ‘what the HELL is going on?’ Even Briony looked like she wasn't quite sure about what to do next.

My official mommy diagnosis was teething + hungry + my baby girl being taken over by SATAN. She got Orajel. She got Motrin. She got a bottle. She got prayer. And then she got another five hours of sleep. SO not enough for her mommy, but no one asked me. There was much weeping and gnashing of teeth.

We got up, had breakfast (which Briony threw onto the floor in FISTFULS like someone else’s child), and then someone needed to drop Marilyn off at her volunteer job. I think I was the fastest volunteer in the history of volunteerism. I was seriously on my feet and lunging for the keys before she had even finished asking, yelling over my shoulder that Geoff was in charge for the next fifteen minutes. And I don’t feel like a bad mommy AT ALL for saying that the ten minute drive + my five minute stop at Starbucks to pick up the largest coffee that money can buy was freaking glorious. (I realized after I got home that I was in sweats with no make-up and nasty hair. Kind of horrifying.)

I returned home to Geoff standing helplessly at the bottom of the stairs holding Briony and saying to me that she would not nap and she would not stop fussing while she was awake. I handed him a bottle and then jumped in the shower while Geoff tried to offer six ounces of formula to appease the demon that had taken over our previously lovely baby girl and simultaneously attempted to dress said demon child.

And then we set off in the general direction of Vancouver. It seems that God had finally heard our cries for help, because Briony nodded off almost as soon as we started to drive. HALLELUJAH.

We picked up Cait from Emily Carr and then headed over to the Gastown area where we met up with Aaron on his lunch break. We had a nice little walk and an awesome lunch before returning Aaron to work and Cait to school. It was *so* nice to see them, and to see where Aaron works. I don’t know why things like this matter so much to me, but they do.

(Oh, and it’s important to note that at the precise moment Cait climbed into the car, Briony turned normal again. Seriously. And she was her awesome self the rest of the day. WOMEN!)

So you might think that our luck had officially turned around. But, my dear Reader, you would be sadly mistaken. Because this is the point in our story where we made a critical mistake. We decided that we’d head out to Richmond for an hour. Geoff had somewhere he wanted to stop and I figured that Briony and I could take this opportunity to cruise through and pick up a few things on my list from Ikea.

We got through Ikea in record time and it was around 15.00. We decided that we’d better head for home instead of making Geoff’s stop (stupid, because we totally could have done Ikea another day – or stopped at the Coquitlam location instead – but whatever). This was all fine, except that – while we were in Richmond – there was a major accident on one of the major bridges out of Vancouver and they’d closed all but one lane to deal with the aftermath. If you’re familiar with the city at all, you know that this VERY BAD NEWS. Because Vancouver lacks adequate routes out of the city on a very good day.

It wasn’t our route out of the city. And it wasn’t even rush hour yet. But none of those simple, logical facts matter because the near-closure of this one bridge backed up every other route out of the city. Badly. The short version is that we were in gridlock for a long, long time. Capital letters GRIDLOCK. Gridlock like we were sitting at an intersection while it cycled through green-yellow-red green-yellow-red many, many times before we got to move a single inch. Forget about a car length. A car length would have been awesome. A car length would have been PROGRESS.

We made it home in around three hours, which is terrible. Briony was cool for most of it, but then I resorted to stuffing Cheerios into her mouth to keep her happy (read: quiet and not yelling to be released from her car seat in an essentially stationery vehicle). And when I ran out of Cheerios, it became Mum-Mums. Fortunately, I had a few crumbs left at the bottom of our second and final package when we pulled into Geoff's parents' driveway. I think I would have used our house key to carve small chunks of flesh off my arm and fed them to her if it would have meant a happy baby. Thankfully, it didn’t come to that. But don’t think I hadn’t considered it.

We got back just in time to drop Briony off with Marilyn, throw on a different shirt and some lip gloss, and head out to meet our dinner reservation with Geoff’s sister and her family (a belated Christmas gift from us). We got to the restaurant before they did and Geoff and I seriously collapsed on the couch in the lobby. I had just enough sense to realize that it would be entirely inappropriate to just curl up and sleep there, but it took all my willpower to stay upright and remember to blink. We sat there and just looked at each other, too exhausted and frustrated to talk or think or feel.

Just then, the song playing in the restaurant ended and a new one began. But not just any song. It was Rick Astley.

Geoff and I turned to each other and began laughing uncontrollably. He barely managed to blurt out: ‘It all makes sense! We were Rick-Rolled. THIS ENTIRE DAY was one gigantic Rick-Roll.’

And we laughed and laughed and laughed.

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Monday, January 18, 2010

Baby, I'm a Rockstar

In all my packing and cleaning and arranging and flying and catching up, I have completely neglected to inform you of a rather auspicious event that occurred last week. It seems that I am the recipient of a very exciting award (Golden Globes? SO AMATEUR).

My lovely friend Erin has bestowed on me the honour of the Blog Rockstar award.

I'm not entirely sure that it means. But I'll take it. Along with displaying this nifty little image, I am apparently required to share with all of you the reasons why I am in fact a rockstar.

So without further ado...

1. I'm friends with Erin. She's pretty cool.

2. I'm quite possibly the world's most awesome car-based singer and dancer.

3. I am at least 50% responsible for creating a baby with the coolest dance moves EVER. Seriously. That girl is pretty amazing. Just ask to see her zombie cat dance.

4. I think I could do a decent job of being rich, if ever given the chance.

5. I would have the most amazing entourage of friends :)

And now, I must pass along this honour to other deserving bloggers. Congratulations to Amber (maybe this will encourage you to post a little more often... hehe) and Lindsay (now THAT's a rockstar name)! You've officially been pimped ;)

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Prayer Request

I just read something on my friend Nicole's blog that brought on immediate tears because I so completely relate. Some friends of hers need prayer this week. If you're prayer-inclined, please pop over and read this post - and then get to work! Thank you :)

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Monday Secret

This is my favourite secret this week entirely because of the spelling mistake it contains and the comment that was submitted after:

I know it's a typo, but I really love the idea of buying a heroine on Venice Beach.


Sunday, January 17, 2010

The One Where I Apologize For My Lack Of Blog Updates

No excuses, other than the fact that we've been busily and happily catching up with a pile of family and friends in and around Vancouver since we landed last Thursday. Oh, and I'm working. A lot.

I'm fully intending to begin chronicling our fabulous adventures tomorrow. But for now, you'll get a couple of photos (which are *almost* as good and proof that we - or at least Briony - are happy and healthy).

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Friday, January 15, 2010

Winnipeg Car Seat Clinic

We brought in Briony's car seat to be inspected before she was born, and it was one of the best things that we did to get ready for her arrival. We had done a good job of following the manufacturer's instructions, but the firefighter who helped us provided some great suggestions for making her even safer (and cut up a pool noodle for us to help customize the car seat installation for our car's backseat).

If you have a kid in a car seat, I highly recommend going to get it checked out - even if you're sure that you've done it correctly, especially if you've switched car seats or use it in multiple vehicles. Just a few small adjustments could make a big difference in your child's safety, and that is certainly worth a few minutes of your time. (This advice is coming from a mommy who's had a baby in the car while we've been rear-ended TWICE since she was born. She's been absolutely okay both times, and it helped me breathe easier at the accident scene knowing that we did everything we could to be 100% confident that she was as safe as possible in our car.)

There's a car seat clinic being offered in Winnipeg next Saturday, which is a *great* option because dropping in at a fire station to do it on another day can sometimes mean waiting or needing to come more than once if the firefighters get called out (this happened to us twice).


Child Car Seat Clinic: Free to Community

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Manitoba Public Insurance is hosting a car seat clinic at the end of the month.

We'll inspect car seats to ensure they're:
* properly installed
* the right stage for the baby, and
* adjusted properly.

St. John Ambulance certified child car seat technicians conduct all inspections.

The clinic will be held at the MPI Claims Centre at 125 King EdwardStreet East (Route 90). It's just south of Ellice Avenue on Route 90.

The clinic runs from 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

The clinics are free-of-charge and no registration is required.


Friday Smile


Tuesday, January 12, 2010


I just booked an appointment for Briony's first-ever haircut. Then I hung up the phone and promptly burst into tears.

I have no idea how I'm going to handle sending her to Kindergarten.

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Monday, January 11, 2010

Reasons Why This Weekend Was Awesome

Reason #1: Quiet Friday Night!
Okay, so the weekend started off with Geoff working a night shift - which was somewhat less than great - but I crashed on the couch with some trashy television and a bowl of popcorn, so it really wasn't bad at all. Especially because Briony was in a great mood and went to bed without a single squawk at 7.20 pm. It's *so* nice to have her back!

Reason #2: Mommy Empowerment!
On Saturday morning, I hosted a Family First Aid workshop with a bunch of other moms. Our instructor was an emergency nurse and first aid trainer who happens to be the mom of a seven month old. The information was AWESOME. I seriously think it was the best use of a Saturday morning that I've ever had. I just feel so much calmer and more confident about being a mom. If any of my blog readers spend time with kids and aren't sure they'd know what to do in a choking situation, how to do CPR on a baby or older child, when to go for stitches or a tetanus shot, what household items are most poisonous and what to do if someone gets a hold of them, when to worry about a fever (hands up here!), or *so* many other first aid questions - I hope you'll consider doing something like this. With a minimum of five people signed up, this instructor came to my house with all of her teaching gear and handouts and the cost was only $20 per person. I hope that we'll never need to use any of the things we learned, but it was $20 very well spent.

Reason #3: Date Night!
Saturday was a Katie Day which also meant that I got to run a few errands baby-free in the afternoon and then Geoff and I grabbed an early dinner and saw the new George Clooney movie. Have I mentioned how much I *love* a Date Night that includes George Clooney? LOVE. And 'Up in the Air' was a really good movie. We're still talking about it. My only *slight* disappointment was how different it is from the book. I know why they changed a lot of what they did, and I love what they kept - it's just not a pure book-to-movie experience. But I'd highly recommend reading the book and/or seeing the movie. They're both excellent.

Reason #4: Family Day!
Geoff + I decided that Sunday would be Family Day, and we spent the entire day hanging out together with Briony. We had a quiet morning and then went out for lunch and ran some errands while going for a walk. It was really, really nice. What made it even sweeter was that I picked up the last copy of the Glee DVD set at Best Buy. I am not ashamed. That show is awesome.

The plan is to continue Family Day later today and meet up with some of Geoff's coworkers and their kids at the Forks later for skating. That plan will only happen if I can get some client work done... And so I best go and be productive :)


Book Club News

Just thought I'd throw it out there that our Book Club is down a few members due to babies and life and other time-sucking complications. There are still six of us, but we'd be interested in adding a couple more...

We meet around once every six weeks and rotate through different weekdays for our meeting dates. We're reading books that are being made into movies, and our current selection is 'Up in the Air' by Walter Kirn. We'll be meeting to discuss it in early February, so you still have time. Email me if you're interested!


Monday Secret


Friday, January 08, 2010

Welcome Princess Eloise

It's a GIRL!

I'm *so* happy for my friend Nicole and her beautiful little family. Guess mama really does know best because she's been feeling girl for virtually her entire pregnancy. Baby is healthy and beautiful. Mama is healthy and beautiful. And picks particularly amazing and perfect baby girl names, if you ask me. (You didn't, but it's MY BLOG. So there.)

Whew. Now I can quit blog-stalking and go to bed :)

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Scaredy Cat

Hello. My name is Lindsay and I'm a first-time mom.

Today, I brought Briony in to her pediatrician just to make sure that everything was okay with her. I needed to know that her doctor was aware of what had happened last week and to ask some questions about the test results and how long it's been taking for Briony to get back to normal again - especially because we're leaving in less than a week.

I'm also concerned about her weight... We were already keeping an eye on things because she hadn't gained very much between August and November. And now we found out today that the progress we'd made between November and Christmas - almost a pound - has been lost now while she's been sick. GRRR. I know that she'll catch up again, it just hurts my mommy heart to think that she's not as strong and healthy as she could be. She's losing all the rolls on her thighs and her cute little tummy... It makes me sad. She's growing taller but she's only about four ounces heavier than she was five months ago.

Anyway. She's doing okay. The last of the test results came in over the last two days and they're all totally normal. Based on today's exam, the antibiotics have worked their magic - and I actually got to take her off them tonight. It's just going to take a few more days for her to bounce back into being Briony.

I miss her. I got to see another glimpse of her this evening. She was screeching and giggling and being funny just like *normal* tonight, and then we had a super-smooth bedtime. It felt like before Christmas again, and it made me happy (especially because Geoff's working tonight and her *normal* bedtime is around 7.20 pm - HELLO mommy time!).

The very worst part of today was seeing how much residual TERROR is present after last week's hospital experience. My baby girl is seriously traumatized and frightened of all things medical. As soon as someone got within three feet of her with a stethoscope, she lost it. LOST IT. And I'm not too proud to admit that she was not the only one crying about it.

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Friday Smile

I'm *hoping* that Nicole + Shane's baby news will be my Friday Smile sometime today...

But in the meantime, I bring you a quasi-related quiz that I just did on Facebook:

This made me smile for a couple of reasons:

1. For a name that was supposedly *so* very common, it's shocking how often I need to spell my name for people. Like ALL THE TIME.

2. Briony would rock this quiz, but this quiz also assumes that different = good. I'm not entirely sure if she's going to love her name or hate us forever because she will constantly be correcting people when they try to say (or spell) it.

3. I'm pretty sure my parents thought they were being more original than this.

4. I'm pretty sure my sister Jessica will do worse on this quiz than I will. I'm just assuming that she was not the only Jessica born in 1988 :)

5. It reminded me that I'm still expecting some baby news today. And that ALWAYS makes me smile. If this baby is half as cute as Palmer, I don't know if the world can handle it. I don't know if I'm cheering for a girl as a playmate for Briony or a boy so we can double her chances of marrying into their awesome little family (hehe).

Sorry, Angsty Briony In Fifteen Years When You're Searching Internet Archives To See What Your Mom Really Said About You In 2010. I'm sure you're soooo embarrassed.

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Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Duckface Returns

I've been watching a lot of Glee this month. Like A LOT OF GLEE. I can't help it, it makes me *so* ridiculously happy - even the episodes I've seen ten times already.

But imagine my heightened excitement when I finally managed to place the actor who played rival choreographer Dakota Stanley on an episode that aired earlier this fall. It's DUCKFACE! From FULL HOUSE!


I know you're excited too :)

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Reasons Why Today Was Awesome

I am *not* having a particularly good day today, so I thought I should make time to find some happy.

Reason #1:
I have a mom who is willing to drive one hour each way to come watch Briony for two hours. That is awesome. And Briony is always *so* very excited to see her grandparents. She is lucky to have so many amazing people in her life who love her almost as much as we do.

Reason #2:
Geoff is working all day and I STILL HAD A SHOWER. Not usually noteworthy, but Briony is not 100% herself yet and her high-maintenance baby behaviour has been testing every limit I have. The drama when I leave her or put her down for even a nanosecond is getting ridiculous, and it's just been easier to roll with it than to fight it while she's still sick - so my hair was looking kind of gross this morning. I had a meeting at lunchtime today, though, so I needed to shower. And I did. But about 10 minutes after I finished drying and straightening my hair, my darling daughter thought it would be HILARIOUS to run her slimy banana fingers through it. And then laugh hysterically. Yup, I went to a meeting with banana-streaked hair. FABULOUS.

Reason #3:
My banana-hair meeting today was with The Arthritis Society - I'm helping organize a brand-new event this May, a 1K and 5K fundraising walk at The Forks. I'm *so* excited, and I'll share details as soon as they're ready. The website should be launching in early February.


Tuesday, January 05, 2010


I don't know why it took SO LONG for this to finally happen (scratch that - I do - it's totally politics and red tape and too many people getting involved in something simple), but Lindsay got impatient and decided to just do it on my own.

This week marks the official launch of the only group for young adults in Manitoba living with arthritis or fibromyalgia. We're hoping to meet in person for the first time in March... So between now and then, I'll be working my tail off to try to find other people like me! Otherwise I'll be having a very lonely cup of coffee with myself in March (hehe).

If you know anyone in the Winnipeg area who lives with one of these diseases - or a related autoimmune disease - who is in their 20s/30s, please send them my way... We have a Facebook group (Young Adults With Arthritis in Winnipeg) or they can email me.

I am *so* excited to meet other people who are living with some of the same challenges that I do. It's always hard to live with a disability, but it's a special kind of hard when you're trying to date, to go to university, to build your career, to get married, to start a family, to raise kids... I hope that this group will be able to provide some much needed support to a very special group of people. Waiting for March is like waiting for Christmas :)

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Monday, January 04, 2010

Reasons Why Today Was Awesome

Reason #1:
I administered absolutely NO baby drugs today (other than antibiotics) because my baby girl was fever-free ALL DAY. Amazing. I can't even tell you how much better I feel with that weight lifted off my shoulders. Because CLEARLY it's all about me, hehe. It was so good to see her dancing and hear her chattering nonstop all day. We didn't even mind cleaning up her massive mess in the living room after she went to bed because that mess meant that she was playing again :)

Reason #2:
We met my parents and Aaron + Cait for brunch at Cora's today. And Cora's is always awesome. It should have been a sad brunch because Aaron + Cait flew back to Vancouver today, but it wasn't really sad at all because Geoff + Briony + I will be on the west coast in less than ten days. Oh, and we finally got to give Aaron his birthday gift: the complete Danger Mouse series on DVD. He loved it just as much as we knew he would.

Reason #3:
We went shopping for a while this afternoon and I found two items that had been eluding me: the cranberry brie pastry appetizer from Superstore and a blazer that fits my post-Briony body for client meetings. My victories were especially sweet because we nabbed the second last box of the appetizer (which has apparently been sold out for most of the holiday season) and the blazer I found was the one I originally wanted when I started looking this fall. The store had only two left: one in Size 0 (are you kidding me?!) and one in my size. Both were marked down to $40 from $150. I swear I heard angels singing and a radiant spotlight shining directly onto my fitting room. Of course, the blazer will no longer fit once I eat the cranberry brie pastry appetizers...

Reason #4:
The Bachelor started again tonight. I'm SO OVER pretending that I don't absolutely adore this show. And this season launched with an epic scandal. Apparently, one of the women sleeps with a producer and is disqualified and sent home mid-season. Can you hear my happy sigh from wherever you are? There is NO WAY this season will disappoint. And there is so much more good television to come this winter. As a side note, I'm not really sure when I started watching this much television - I suspect Briony's arrival had a lot to do with it. I'm just more grateful than ever for our PVR so that I can squeeze these guilty pleasures into non-family time (and skip commercials!).


Monday Secret


Sunday, January 03, 2010

The Light At The End Of The Tunnel

Briony's doing better today. It was a rough night and a rough morning, but it feels like we turned a corner this afternoon. Her fever was *much* lower after around 2 pm today and she was starting to babble and play and dance again. I was really missing all her happy baby noise :)

I relaxed enough to leave Geoff + Briony at home for two hours and went to Starbucks to get some work done. I realized while I was there that - other than our trip to the ER - I haven't left our house since Christmas. THAT'S INSANE. No wonder I feel like I'm losing it just a little bit.

Now I'm three days behind on EVERYTHING and not really sure how to get myself caught up...

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Saturday, January 02, 2010

The Morning After

We all managed to get some sleep last night, though not nearly enough. Maybe this is why people choose to have kids while they're still very, very young? :)

Briony's doing okay. It's taking both Motrin and Tylenol together to keep her fever under control, which is not a long-term solution but it will get us through today. When the meds are working, she's actually crawling around and looking at books and playing peekaboo with us a little bit - not back to normal, but much more like herself than yesterday or even this morning. This morning, she just lay in my arms for an hour and a half and would only lift her head up every ten minutes or so to give her stuffed aardvark a hug. I'm so grateful to have Geoff home today because I was still pretty worried about her this morning, and having two of us here has allowed us to tag team for naps. YAY for NAPS.

We're going to be okay. It's just been a long couple of days. And Briony being sick necessitated us pulling ourselves out of our planned Family Day with my parents and siblings today. Geoff's still going to join the boys for the Moose game tonight, but I'm taking some time to feel a little bit sorry for myself for being the only one who can't participate at all. I was *supposed* to be meeting my mom and Jessica and Cait to go shopping this afternoon, then hosting my entire family for dinner and having a movie night here with all the girls + babies. We're hoping that Briony will recover enough for us to be able to see Aaron + Cait for brunch on Monday before they fly back to Vancouver.

I'm a little flared up after yesterday's drama. My back and shoulders are pretty messed up after spending the vast majority of yesterday carrying around a hysterical one year old. I already called and booked a massage for next week, but there just might be a bubble bath on my agenda for sometime later today.

Some days, this mommy thing is HARD. Yesterday was definitely one of those days. But there's still nowhere else I'd rather be than here taking care of her.

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Friday, January 01, 2010


Briony got sick today.

She was running a slight fever last night around 11 pm and I gave her meds for it, but she woke up a few times between 11 pm and 3 am before finally settling down until 8 am this morning. She woke up with a definite fever, so I gave her meds again and she napped for most of the morning.

Just after lunchtime, she started shivering and shaking and I noticed her lips, feet, and hands were turning a greyish blue colour. I called Geoff at work and then Healthlinks. While I was on the phone with them, I checked her temperature again and it had suddenly spiked very, very high - like in the course of less than ten minutes - and she started to really scream. The Healthlinks nurse told me to hang up and call 911. So I did.

The ambulance was here *so* fast. From the time I dialed 911 to the time there was a fire truck and an ambulance on the street and six strangers in my house, it was less than three minutes. Kind of reassuring, actually. I kept on expecting someone - the 911 operator, the paramedics, ANYONE - to tell me that I was being a hysterical first time mother and that she'd be fine, but before I knew it we were in an ambulance and then pulling up at the Children's Hospital emergency department.

We spent around six hours in Emergency today. Geoff was able to come and meet the ambulance when it arrived and stayed until we had seen the pediatrician. I called my parents, so I was only alone for maybe 30 minutes between Geoff returning to his ward and their arrival. Plus the all the scary ambulance stuff, of course. I could have happily lived to be seven hundred years old without ever experiencing an ambulance ride with my child.

My sweet Briony screamed almost straight through from those first phone calls until well after my parents arrived. It broke my heart into about a thousand tiny pieces. And then those pieces were ground down to powder during all the tests... I think I'll need therapy for every horrible mommy thing I had to experience today. After all the tests were over, Briony wouldn't even come to me anymore - she was so mad at me for holding her down and letting the nurses do all those things to her. She's over it now, but it broke my heart.

In the end, the x-rays were clear (YAY) but her blood and urine showed that she's fighting an infection. We're finally back at home now, and her fever started to climb a little bit again - but she's on antibiotics now and we're keeping a close eye on things. Geoff has already called in and cancelled his shift for tomorrow.

It was a scary, tough day.

She's sleeping now, and Geoff + I are EXHAUSTED and ready to call it a night too. I can't relax yet... I made a little bed on her bedroom floor. I'm sure that parents become somewhat less psychotic once they've had another child (or two or ten), but there is only one Briony in this world. And I love her very much and I'm still worried about her.

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Looking Back, Looking Forward

I really like New Years. It might be the geek in me. I just think it's such a healthy process to take time to reflect on the year that's past and set new goals for the next twelve months. This week, I've been doing lots of thinking about the past year. It was an interesting one, that's for sure. Not *quite* as eventful as 2008 - and I'm incredibly grateful for that. But we had so many highlights.

Briony went from being a six week old to being a thirteen-and-a-half month old, and there aren't really words to describe all the changes in her (and in us). It's been a ridiculous adventure, and we're only getting started. I know that we hadn't really planned to be parents quite yet, but I can't imagine what we were waiting for. Briony is the perfect addition to our family and she came at the perfect time. I can't imagine my life right now without her in it.

Geoff and I celebrated our second anniversary on September 30. It's kind of overwhelming to think that we were strangers only a little more than three years ago. Life can change so very quickly, and this was such a good change. Again, I hadn't really planned on getting married as young as I did, but I can't imagine what I was waiting for. I love being married to Geoff, and I love our little family. There's nothing else I'd rather be doing with my life right now.

I finished my mat leave, quit my job, and started a business. None of those things were comfortable for me and all of them pushed me out of my comfort zone. But the reward for that leap of faith has been both immediate and substantial. I have no idea what the coming year will bring, but today I am able to spend the vast majority of my time at home being Briony's mommy and I'm bringing in pretty much exactly what I was making when I worked full time pre-Briony. I'm tired - exhausted some days - but if this isn't living the dream, I'm not really sure what is. And for however long this season of my life lasts, I want to embrace and enjoy every single day.

I turned 28 in July. You can place all your jokes about how I'm such a baby still RIGHT HERE ( ). This is not exactly where I thought I'd be at 28, but my ultimate goal was to be happy. And I am. So let's call it mission accomplished. As ridiculous as it sounds, I'm really looking forward to 29 and 30. There is just *so* much good still to come for our little family of three.

It was a tough year for my health, and that's something that I've really been working on. All the work I've done since I was 10 to balance my life needed to be refigured in light of all the changes in our family. I'm slowly figuring out how I can be the person I need and want to be to my friends and family - and still make myself a priority. It's a journey.

We got to spend lots of time with family this year, including a bunch of trips to the west coast to see Geoff's family and our friends there. We were there for the entire month of May, and my mom came to join us and help celebrate my very first official Mothers Day. While she was there, I had maybe the most significant day of my life in 2009: the day we got a phone call to let us know that all her tests came back cancer-free. I have no idea what the future will hold for our family, but it was one of those days that you remember forever. I remember going for a walk that afternoon with my mom, Geoff, and Briony and just being very aware of how significant those memories would be, making note of what the sky looked like and how the sun felt on my face, wishing that it could all somehow be saved and recorded and bottled up forever. It was a very good day, and one that I'll remember always.

I'm more excited about starting a new year than I ever have been before. I know that 2010 will bring lots of changes for us as we continue to figure out all the transitions that we've started in the last year or two. But I've never been more optimistic. Living through a cancer experience in my family and becoming a parent have done so much to change my perspective on what's important and where my treasures lie. The world looks different to me now, and for the first time the idea of change isn't as scary to me... Although seeing that statement in black and white is kind of scaring me right now, as if I just taunted fate... :)

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