Thursday, February 27, 2014

NuRoo and the Benefits of Kangaroo Care

I first learned about the NuRoo brand while shopping at a craft store and I saw a mama wearing her little one in what looked like a tight fitting shirt. Penny was about 6 months old at the time and the mama also had a little girl around the same age so I asked her about the shirt. She explained that it was a NuRoo and that I should check it out!

After doing a little bit of research I learned that NuRoo Pocket is more than just a babywearing shirt. The moms behind NuRoo created their line of products with scientific research backing up the benefits of kangaroo care (skin-to-skin contact) for newborns and mothers.

Learn about the science of skin-to-skin at Nuroo
Kangaroo care / skin-to-skin clearly has so many benefits that I instinctively used with Penny but never understood the science behind it. For her first couple weeks I instinctively kept her close to me at all times (bedsharing from day 1) and most of the time simply wore a diaper and laid on my chest, with a blanket covering us; nursing on demand. As a second time mom I have a much better idea of how to do these sort of things more efficiently (and let's face it - with two under two efficiency will be an absolute must!) and I'm excited to have the opportunity over the next few weeks to try out NuRoo's fabulous line of mama-baby products with my second daughter, Ruby:

  • The NuRoo Pocket - the product that started it all for me. After learning about kangaroo care from NuRoo I feel like a completely new world has been opened up for me in learning about the incredibly amazing bond that mothers and their babies have even after birth.
  • The NuRoo Nursing Scarf - I fought with my nursing cover with Penny. It was horrible. I could never get it figured out and felt like it was honestly the biggest bulls eye for drawing attention to oneself while nursing in public. While on a family vacation for my brother's University of Alabama graduation I was admonished for wearing "a blanket" in this heat by an older man, who then laughed when he realized that there was a baby under there. NIP, for me, should be a natural and carefree act, and I felt like by working so hard to cover myself that I was making a bigger production out of it than if I could just gracefully nurse and then move on. Nursing scarves are a big part of my post partum wardrobe and the NuRoo Nursing Scarf has like a bazillion ways you can wear it too!
  • The NuRoo Swaddler - I didn't swaddle Penny, perse. For her first couple weeks she was mostly in just a diaper and wrapped in nicely in one of the many receiving blankets I had sewn for her. I had mixed results from other moms who loved swaddles and others who hated them, so I just glossed over swaddles in general and never tried them out. But my love for NuRoo products gives me the umph to check this swaddle out for Ruby, especially since it has a 3 in 1 design to allow the swaddle to grow with baby.
Did you babywear or practice skin-to-skin contact with your littles?
Which of these products appeals the most to you?

Keep an eye out in the coming weeks for full reviews of each of the above products!

Be Social. Learn more about NuRoo
online  //  facebook // twitter 

Disclosure: I received product in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Monday, February 24, 2014

You want a true picture of a man, see him through his daughter's eyes.

Did anyone catch the recent episode of The Crazy Ones?

This is one of the couple shows that we DVR and watch in the evenings after Penny goes to bed. Last night we caught up with an episode that aired recently and it pretty much brought tears to my eyes.

To watch my husband grow with our daughter over the last two years has been life altering. There is nothing in this world to see how a daddy dotes on his little girl. So many people tell us about what trouble we're in for in having two little girls two years apart, but I can't be more ecstatic. I'm so excited about the relationship they will have with each other, as I didn't have a sister growing up. What really pulls my heartstrings is knowing just how much Adam loves Penny and how much deeper that will be when we have our second little girl in the coming weeks.

Penny's love for her daddy is also evident. The way she lights up when he comes home from work, running and screaming for the door as soon as she hears that key slide into the keyhole. The way she sweetly kisses him in the mornings when we all wake up together. The way she asks "Daddy home soon?" at least half a dozen times a day. When she says "up, please?" and he always responds "Daddy will always pick you up," and her little hands stretch out even higher to get caught sooner. Theirs is a bond like no other, and I love watching it grow each passing day.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

What Should I Bring to the Birth Center?

Delivering in a stand alone birth center is different than delivering in a hospital for several reasons, in my experience. In Washington State you typically are discharged from the birth center 4-5 hours post partum. If you and baby are completely healthy and fine, there's no reason to stay any longer. For my first birth I was a little anxious about being sent home so quickly (especially knowing that many of my friends stayed at the hospital for 2-3 days), but found that after 3 hours I was more or less ready to get settled in my own bed at home. It would be quieter and I would have everything I prepared at my finger tips.

For this reason, my birth bags are really minimal. Everything for myself, husband and newborn fit into a carry-on luggage. I packed it at 37 weeks and kept it in the back of my car, along with extra towels (in case of early waters or for the ride home).

For mama:
  • Warm, comfy robe
  • Warm socks and slippers
  • Labor clothes (sports bra, swim suit, skirt / pants)
  • After birth clothes - loose, comfy pants, nursing tank, zip up sweat shirt, Nuroo pocket (I am so excited to share my review once Ruby is born!)
  • Breastfeeding gear: cloth nursing pads, Motherlove Herbals Nipple Cream
  • If you wear contacts try to remember to remove them during labor and bring your glasses, I didn't want my tears to flood my eyes and leave me completely blind.
  • Something to pull your hair/bangs back with
  • chap stick, deodorant, face cream - just a few small items that will help you begin to feel yourself and refreshed once you come down from your amazing high!
A great idea that I came across from Ooops I Craft My Pants was to make post partum padsicles ahead of time! For these I simply poured witch hazel onto some disposable pads. I will be using Deerfoot Herbs Post Partum Sitz Bath solution for a few relaxing baths as well as will be making the switch to Mamacloth post partum cloth pads (review soon!).

For dad:

  • Change of clothes, swim trunks
  • Cell charger, cell phone, camera
  • That Mama Gretchen also made the great suggestion of his favorite snacks for the daddy birth bag- because the marathon of labor is tough on Daddy too!

For baby:

  • Coming home outfit (probably the hardest decision for me to make! I packed 3 different outfits..)
  • Coconut oil to rub on their bottom to help the meconium slide off easily
  • 1-2 diapers
  • Swaddling blanket
  • Car seat, extra blanket
  • Hat


  • I loved coconut water during labor. So refreshing and hydrating!
  • Fruits
  • PBJ sandwich
  • Fruit juice popcicles
  • Trailmix
  • Broth (I keep bone broth frozen in ice cube form) 
  • Applesauce
What did you pack in your birth bag?

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Pierogie Babies: Almost there!


Well, clearly a lot has happened since my last pregnancy check in on the blog (uhm, 6 weeks ago..oops). Little Ruby has been rolling, shaking, twisting as normal and head down. It's so hard to summarize how I feel these days! Excited to meet her (beyond all measures), but also completely content in her coming in her own time. I had Penny at exactly 39 weeks so next week is when I'll really go on watch. However, yesterday I was hit with some major nesting instinct and pretty much tore the house apart, so we'll see what happens ;)


As always, Penny is such a joy. Over the last month or so she has started talking so much and her memory is impeccable. We visited the Aquarium/Zoo about a month ago and she still talks about visiting the sharks and all the things she saw there. We also got chickens about 3 weeks ago and she gets a real hoot (ohhhh bad bird humor) out of them. We have a bay window that looks out into their pen and it's one of her favorite places to hang out if we're not visiting them in the backyard.

My Duraburb has been the main mode of family transportation for the last couple weeks and she very delightfully squeals "mama's honk honk!" whenever she sees it. Though yesterday she asked about Daddy's honk honk (which I'm assuming she meant the old green truck we've had that we sold about a week ago) and I had to very proudly tell her that only mama has a honk honk now - Daddy does not! Adam traded in his very tired commuter car (my faithful high school ride, mind you) and got an early 2000's Saab to replace it. We also are planning to downsize even more by selling my Volvo when the Duraburb is completely tested and ready to hand over.. Which will bring us down to 4 cars from 7. To be fair 2 of them are Adam's toys so they spend most of the year patiently waiting for the perfect ride.

The last 2 weeks have been rough for our family though. I came down with a mild cold, got better and then fell deeper into it. Then Adam caught it. And now Penny has a mild flu. This is the first time that she's ever been sick for more than a day (halleluah for nursing through toddlerhood!) and it's just been heartbreaking to watch her go through this. There's been tons of extra snuggles and she's been back in our bed for the last 3 nights and I'm happy to say that she is very close to being her old self again as of this morning. Which is a good thing, because with the end of the pregnancy drawing near I need to have my whole family in the best shape possible.

One last thing before I go.. As I was brushing my teeth last night and sitting on the edge of the tub last night, Penny walks up to me and gives my big belly a hug. She sweetly kisses it and says "wef bebe Ribbit" (love baby Ruby). It made me think of this saying that I'd like to have put up on their sister room someday..

The fun part.. Cast your guesses on Ruby's birth! Here are the stats from Penny's:

Born at 39 weeks gestationally (today 2/20/14 I am 38 weeks 3 days)

8 hour 40 minute labor
Born in the water
6 lbs 14 oz, 17 3/4"

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Handmade for the Heart - Ada Rosman

This post was originally part of the Handmade from the Heart Giveaway Hop.

Anything handmade speaks a certain voice to me. In a world where everything is automated and scientifically processed, we've lost the connection of why we're all here. To get to know one another, right? Handmade gifts are always held so close to my heart, they remind me of the love a person put into their work and how they may have thought of me (or the idea of me) as they were crafting their passion.

Ada Rosman is one of those people - she has a serious love for her craft.

Growing up in a Polish household in Washington State wasn't always easy; my parents tried to make connections with local Polish families to help keep our traditions and language alive but we didn't live close to a cultural hub (like Vancouver BC or Chicago). Nonetheless, this is how Ada and I met - her family and mine were quite connected back in the day. Her father is my brother's godfather and we used to play all the time as little kids. Over time things grew apart and in the last few years the families have reconnected and it's been fun getting to know Ada as adults and see each other now and again when "The Polish Mafia" gets together - as some people call it. We've got a lot in common when we can jokingly laugh at some of the very typical Polish things our mothers do when they are around each other.

Today I want to share with you Ada's handmade jewelry and a few questions about her shoppe and inspiration.

What made you want to study metals when you decided to go to college?
I found my own creative space in the arts right as I was getting ready to graduate from the University of Washington. It wasn't until what was "supposed" to be my last year at the University that I first started to work with metal. When by what seems to have been chance, I had decided to take a metals class that literally changed everything. I was truly drawn to the medium and actually changed both of my majors so I could get a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Metals. I am truly inspired by the medium and the ability that it has to not only be a piece of jewelry, but a wearable piece of artwork that is able to tell a story as well as remember the past.

What inspires you the most - nature, architecture, food, people, culture? Tell me about how your travels inspire your jewelry.
My work continues to be influenced by my culture and historical moments in the past, but also by my travels. Thanks to travel I have become to realize that each place, every new person, and diverse culture continually influences and inspires my work. I absorb everything around me and reshape it into wearable artworks. This spring I’ll be introducing new jewelry designs inspired by my recent travels this past year to Poland and Mexico.

Tell me the story behind a really special piece that you've created recently.
I really enjoy making custom pieces since I get to learn more about the person that will be wearing it as as well as giving it - it gives me the chance to create a special piece of wearable art that carries the wearers’ own personal story. My thesis show for graduation was definitely a series of work that challenged me and influenced my current work. The BFA thesis work was about my families journey from Poland. We escaped from what was then Communist Poland by driving our Volkswagen Beetle to a refugee camp in Rome, Italy before we were able to come to America.

If you could travel anywhere and live there for 3 months - where would you go? What draws you there?
I would definitely love to travel throughout Argentina. A country that fuses Latin American culture with European influences. I am drawn to the diverse landscape and stunning scenery as well as the astounding art scene.

Get 20% off your Ada Rosman Jewelry order by using code PIEROGIEMAMA20
Enter to win a $50 gift certificate to Ada Rosman's shoppe here:

This giveaway has ended. Thanks to all who entered!

Finalizing being 3 - Our visit to Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

Becoming a second time mom has put me through a lot of emotions lately. I'm so excited to meet Ruby; to hold in my arms this little being that I've held inside of me for the last 8 months. I'm wildly anticipating how this experience will be different and the same as the first time was with Penny. I'm also thoughtfully embracing these last few weeks we have together as just us three - Adam, Penny and I - before we become four.

As many of you know, we're project oriented around here. Renovations, car projects and new ideas sprinkled here and there are just how we are. We very rarely stay still. I should rephrase that and say that my husband rarely stays still; he always has at least one project currently in the works. His skills and knowledge have really been the key element in why we've been a successful single income family for two years. But too much of one thing is never a good thing; and so one of my main roles in our relationship is teaching him how to slow down and enjoy the moment. :)

With the weeks drawing to a close before Ruby's arrival, we've taken a few very precious breaks from our busy work to create memories of just the three of us having fun. Recently we visited our local zoo & aquarium combo - The Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium. I grew up going on field trips there and it was really interesting seeing how much has changed but also stayed the same since the last time I had been there over 15 years ago.

She loved looking at the fish tanks. She learned all about the different colored fish and was especially impressed by their sharks.

Visiting the walrus exhibit was my favorite part. I grew up in the area and one of the field trips you can count on every year was going out to the Aquarium. They used to keep beluga whales as well, but that program ended in the early 2000's I believe. All the same to me, after seeing Black Fish I don't think I will ever view zoos or aquariums the same way ever again. Nonetheless, it was so amazing to share this experience with my daughter as it is one of the most vivid memories I have of being a little kid.

This experience made such an impact on Penny and I'm so glad we did it. Every night she wishes good night to each of the animals she saw - "Shark? Nigh-night. Seal? Nigh-night. Biiiig feeesh? Nigh-night..." and then she launches into how much she loves each one - "Wev (love) shark. Wev seal. Wev fish." And of course we always sneak in a "do you love mama/daddy too?" and she responds, thoughtfully, "wev shark. Wev mama. Wev daddy. Wev Wurt (Squirt)."

Our time as three is drawing to a close, but even the twinge of sadness that comes with change I'm so excited for the possibility of the new. I know that in a few short months that both Penny and Ruby will be running around, causing trouble and melting my heart with their cuteness that only two sisters can do.

See what zoos The Pierogie Mama has written about

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Save 20% on Zubie for your Love!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Zubie for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Keeping track your car's maintanence is tough; in our house between the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, our renovation and not to mention soon to be two-under-two household, sometimes even the best planners need a little bit of help.
Zubie is an interesting automotive service that keeps track of many of those things for you and links them to a mobile app, leaving the trouble of remembering numbers and dates behind. Families that don't have someone who they can call upon for quick diagnostics or repairs can rest easy with the services that Zubie provides:
Engine Problems: Be alerted to problem codes reported by your engine, and understand what they mean.
Check Engine Light: Know exactly why the light is on, and avoid an unnecessary trip to the repair shop.
Dead Battery: Track battery levels and be alerted to a problem BEFORE a dead battery leaves you stranded.
Repair Cost & Insight: Know how serious a problem might be, and receive an estimate of likely repair costs before you go to the repair shop.
It doesn't stop there though - use Zubie to help keep track of teen drivers, monitor driving habits and also link up with others for trips.

So are you still thinking of what to get your sweetie for Valentine's Day? Consider a Zubie - what says "I love you and care about you" more than removing the stress of keeping up with car maintanence? Use the promo code SAVE20FEB and SAVE 20% on your Zubie key and one year of service. **Offer good through March 31, 2014. Shipping charges apply.**

Be social. Follow Zubie on on Facebook and on Twitter.

Visit Sponsor's Site

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Local Mom Spotlight at Seattle Local Mom Blog

This week I'm the local mama featured on Seattle Local Mom Blog, headed up by Allison and Megan. 

One of my new year's resolutions for The Pierogie Mama is to get more in touch with my local roots. Becoming a mama of two has been a shift in perspective for me - I'm no longer just "trying to survive;" I've ridden the wave of new mamahood for the last 2 years and now I'm about to become a seasoned mama. Oh man. What that means to me is that I'm not going to hunker down, attempting to keep my life in order and have a routine. Routine - schmoutine. Let's get out and have some fun! So I'll be getting out of my comfort zone by going out into the world with my soon to be 2 kidlets and writing about it. A big part of that for me is branching out to my niche - mama bloggers!

So thank you SLMB for sharing my little story and here's to keeping up that New Year's Resolution of mine :)

Check out my spot light and if you're a local, be sure to cruise around the site as well. There's tons of resources for Seattle area moms and of course some non-Seattle stuff too!

Start your child's educational journey with EmbarK12

This post brought to you by K12, the leader in online education. All opinions are 100% mine.

Penny may be only *almost* 2 years old, but her education has been on my mind since day one. Do we pursue the public, private or homeschool route? Each one has its pros and cons, and thankfully we are nowhere near having to make that decision yet, but I do like to keep my eye out for programs that can help support us as we guide our children through their educational journey.

K12 is an interesting opportunity because it's an online curriculum that is available for K-12 grades. Many parents are using it as early as preschool age to help their children get a leg up and become accustomed to a more formal, structured learning experience, but also keeping it at home. Once your child enters the school system you have the opportunity of working with their teacher to coordinate with K12 curriculum as well!

Here's a list of resources for parents who are thinking about using EmbarK12 with their preschooler:

EmbarK12 Online - Over 830 interactive activities to engage your preschooler.
Kindergarten readiness programs by K12. Try a sample activity today.

EmbarK12 Comprehensive- Online and hands-on preschool program for your early learner.
After checking out the previews if you are interested in signing up you can take advantage of a 50% off discount that will be valid for the next 7 days (though 2/13/14). Just use promo code EmbarkSpecial to get the program for $29.50 for 12 months instead of the normal $59. Sign up for EmbarK12 Online.

Visit Sponsor's Site

Friday, February 7, 2014

The perfect cloth diaper detergent: Country Save

I've been on my cloth diapering journey for just about 23 months now - I am so amazed at how much has changed and yet really a few things that have stayed constant. We've changed up our cloth diaper routine based on Penny's age and needs, but even through 4 moves in those 23 short months (and vastly varying water types) - one thing has stayed the same: our laundry detergent.

I'm a die-hard Country Save fan. Its single formula has worked for us through hard, normal and soft water. A 10 lb box lasts us well over 6 months, and that's including using it on regular clothes loads too. And I'm not even using an HE washer; I've got a 5-10 year old washer/dryer combo that we inherited when we got married and it's probably not as efficient as most others, but it definitely gets the job done.

The key is that it is a super concentrated, powder formula. It leaves no residue or scent behind - my clothes and diapers just smell...clean. No artificial "mountain air" or "fresh linen" (that one always cracks me up) scents. If I ever want my laundry to have a special scent to it, I just add a little bit of essential oil to my wool dryer balls and its still all natural.

My cloth diaper washing routine is as follows:
  1. Always using the largest water setting, I run a cold/cold rinse without any detergent. This rinses out any soils on the diapers.
  2. Then I run a hot/cold load, filling the provided scoop about 1/4 of the way with Country Save detergent and add it to my hot load. I keep the door open and let it agitate (restarting it several times), so that the cloth diapers have extra time in the hot water and detergent. Then I let the cycle finish up with the cold rinse.
  3. One final cold/cold rinse!
  4. Natural fiber inserts can go into the dryer (with wool dryer balls, never any softener or sheets!), microfiber and all covers are air dried. During the winter I dry them on a rack in front of our pellet stove over night and in the late spring / summer / fall I dry them outside using the natural bleaching power of the sun - aka "sunning."
Country Save is always:
  • 100% Phosphate-Free
  • Completely Biodegradable
  • Safe for Septic Tanks
  • Ideal for Sensitive Skin
  • Fragrance & Dye Free
  • No Optical Brighteners
  • Cruelty-Free
  • No Animal Testing
  • No Animal By-Products
  • Ultra Concentrated Formula
  • Highly Economical
What else can I say about Country Save besides that is is awesome, economical and I don't have to worry about harsh chemicals coming into contact with my family's skin? Oh, it's Pacific Northwest locally owned! I love my local businesses!

Buy Country Save at or 

Disclosure: Thank you Country Save for sponsoring this post, though I only share about products that I truly love! This post contains affiliate links.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Spotlight at Mama's Blissfull Bites

Head on over to Mama's Blissful Bites and check out my little feature.

At least 2-3 times per week I find myself over on Amber's MBB facebook page looking for dinner inspiration. This lady has some awesome ideas, and her readers do too! I recently added her baked turkey taquitos to our Mexican Tuesday dinner theme and I'm loving them!

Check out Mama's Blissful Bites on 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Doodle Pants Sweats and Tshirts: Little Monster Missy

Kids in sweatshirts: adorable and a little sad at the same time... they look so grown up!

We've had the opportunity to review Doodle Pants childrens leggings in the past and have found that they are our #1 go-to for pants because they leave tons of room for a cloth diapered bum. I feel like cloth diapered little girls especially suffer from the borderline hilarious but mostly horrifying badonkadonk that regular kid clothes give them. I've had parents ask me if my daughter's diaper needs to be changed because it's so puffy looking! So we found that Doodle Pants leggings fix that problem perfectly and keep my princess's legs warm at the same time. Both her and my dignity have been saved. Win-win! Thanks Doodle Pants :)

Now the big news is that Doodle Pants is rolling out coordinating t-shirts and sweatshirts for their most popular leggings too! We got to accessorize Miss Penny with the Pink Monster line, with a toddler sized sweatshirt and t-shirt to match her adorably monstrous leggings!

Sizing: Penny is wearing a 2T sweatshirt, 12m t-shirt and 24m leggings. 
The little miss has loved this outfit so much that she has worn at least one piece of it almost daily and asks for her "wet shurt" whenever there is a chance we may be going outside. 

Lusting to add these cuties to your collection? You're in luck - my readers get an exclusive 15% off deal - use the coupon code PIEROGIE15 and you're in business.

BTW, did you miss my original review of Doodle Pants' cloth diaper friendly leggings?

Don't miss your chance to win 2 sets of leggings from Doodle Pants in my Favorite Things Giveaway

Which leggings design would you like to see in a sweatshirt?

Disclosure: I received product to try out in exchange for my honest review, though all opinions are my own. I love Doodle Pants!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

A Few of My Favorite Things: Cloth Diaper Edition (Review & Giveaways!)

Welcome to the Favorite Things Giveaway Hop, hosted by the Cloth Diaper Revival

Each blogger participating has a great cloth diaper prize for you to win, worth at least $20, so after you enter mine, be sure to hop around to all the others in the linky!  Don’t forget to enter to win one the GRAND PRIZE for the event!

Oprah gets to giveaway some of her favorite things, right? So here's your chance to win some of mine!

1 Funky Fluff Bamboo Fusion 2.0 cloth diaper 
This diaper saved my (well, Penny's mostly) butt for night time. We were beginning to go through a phase where it seemed like anything and everything leaked throughout the night and then I got to try the original version of Funky Fluff Bamboo Fusion diapers. Worked like a charm! Then I got the opportunity to review the revamped 2.0 Fusion diaper and was just as pleased!

1 10lb box of Country Save Detergent
At the beginning of cloth diapering, I gave several brands a shot. Country Save has withstood the test of time and our diapers have consistently remained clean and a 10 lb box lasts me a LONG time. In the almost 23 months of cloth, we've probably gone through about 4 10 lb boxes; and that includes at least 75% of our clothes being washed with this detergent too!

Doodle Pants
Every mom wants her little cuties in adorable outfits, right? I first discovered Doodle Pants because they make cloth diaper friendly leggings, which we absolutely adore! You will get a chance to win 2 pairs of Doodle Pants leggings. Now they've come out with a line of clothing to coordinate with some of their most popular styles of leggings! I can't wait to share pictures of Penny in her Pink Monster outfit.

1 box with 6 Woolzies Wool Dryer Balls
Woolzies Wool Dryer Balls have been essential in my laundry regime. They've cut down on my drying time, are all natural and mean ZERO fabric softener or dryer sheet use! That's been a huge help in making sure that our cloth diapers have zero build up. Learn more about how Woolzies wool dryer balls save money.

$20 egift certificate to Irresistibly Green
Now it's your turn to get you get one of your favorite things, or try something new! The Irresistibly Green family has so much to offer; from cloth diapers to skin care to something for the home. They even have a great bargain bin to stretch your dollar further!

Enter here!

Disclosure: The Pierogie Mama, Cloth Diaper Revival and the Favorite Things participating bloggers are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill prize obligations. This post contains affiliate links.


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