Learning to draw at 15mths and 3 3/4

My word of the week this week has to be drawing, as both kiddies are making leaps and bounds with their drawing abilities at the moment.

LM has well and truly discovered drawing now and would love to be doing it all day every day at the moment. I have held back from letting her have crayons for a while (for fear of her eating them) and she has amazed me with the magna doodle things. Then lately we got a couple of crayons out and she was in her element.PhotoGrid_1454505406334

She does pop them in her mouth from time to time but is gradually learning not to I think. She loves it though and often takes herself off to the little table in the conservatory and sits swinging her legs. She has fallen a couple of times bless her but she just wants to get right back up.

She doesn’t distinguish that much between paper and table though and I have to control my feelings about this and remind myself that it doesn’t matter if she draws on this table. I am still trying to keep the crayons contained though as I really don’t want find her drawing on a wall or sofa one day! So it was lovely at the weekend when we got out in the garden with the pavement chalks as I could really leave her to do as she pleased. Again it ended up in her mouth once or twice but only very briefly and on the whole she was absolutely loving drawing on the pavement.PhotoGrid_1454505585883

Monkey was loving it too and it was lovely seeing them do it together.

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His drawing is coming on leaps and bounds lately too. There is still a lot scribbling going on but they are usually something, at least in his mind, and are often roads. I was dead impressed a few days ago though when I was doodling while they were drawing and drew a tree with some grass by a river… And Monkey copied me! He did so well and it was lovely to see him create an actual picture of something.

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He’s also coming on really well with his writing. He has been writing his name for some time now but it has definitely improved and then the other day he wanted to draw numbers so he was again copying what I did, and did such a brilliant job! I was so proud of him! (excuse the bag of clothes in the background ready to go to the chairty shop!) Of course some aren’t perfect but who cares, what a brilliant effort, such a clever Monkey :).20160202_091315So as you can see there has been a lot of drawing going on in our house. Do your kids love to draw?

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Monkey Says – age 3 3/4

Our little boy seems to get cuter all the time. And the things he says these days? Oh he makes me chuckle, and sometimes makes me melt. He also makes me cross though, no doubt about that!

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So what little gems has he been coming out with lately?Well for a start he is now copying a lot of the things we say, and hearing a 3 year old come out with some adult phrases really is so cute. For example

What in the world!?” and “What on earth?” when he doesn’t understand something or sees something new. Then there is also “It’s the biggest I ever seen” and “I never seen it!” meaning he has never seen anything like it before. So cute!

Less cute is when he copies our stern voice and tells us off.  “Don’t do that to me” and “Ok I said” which really riles us up. Especially when he is steadfastly ignoring us and after repeating a request (for example, Please eat your porridge) he responds very loudly with “Ok!” ooh makes us grumpy! And then when he says “Ok just calm down guys” it either makes me chuckle or really winds me up as generally I am perfectly calm and wish he would just do what I am asking him to!

I have to admit I loved it when I was pulling a daft face and he put on his stern voice and pointed at me and said “Stop doing that face ever again. You mustn’t do that again ok?” haha bless him. Not sure pulling a funny face warranted the voice and commands usually reserved for him hitting or pushing his sister though!

The way he copies the things Daddy and I say to LM is interesting too. He is forever telling her off for throwing her food on the floor or for standing on the sofa which is very sweet but sadly she ignores him even more than she ignores us. Yes she really is a madam at the moment. I love it when he copies us by calling her a “cheeky madam” though. He really hates sharing with his sister at the moment and I did think it was very cute when he held up a toy in front of her and said “Father Christmas got me this so it’s mine, ok?

20160127_104051 (3)Monkey may be stroppy at times but he is such a softy and is so loving. Daddy normally does bathtime but I was having a bath with him & LM the other day and melted when he came out with “You’re very pretty aren’t you. I’m married to you aren’t I?” and he frequently tells us “I just love you so much” and he does include his little sister in this too frequently combining that statement with a huge hug that often knocks her over haha

The questions have really stepped up lately, though not in the way I would have thought. He is constantly seeking confirmation about things he has said at the moment. “I’m all snuggled aren’t I? That box is annoying isn’t it? I need another blanket don’t I?”  I think this is again something we do with him. When we are talking to him we sometimes ask questions at the end of a sentence to encourage a response and I think this is his version of this. I have to admit that it is frustrating sometimes though constantly having to respond to everything he says!

His imagination is really showing at the moment and coming out in the form of some cracking comments.

“That was a big poo poo. It’s like a creature or something!”

“I’ve got to go and look after LM”

When something was broken and I said it couldn’t be fixed “It’s ok, the elves will come and fix it, won’t they?” Errrrm

monkeysaurus rexHe gives his toys characters a lot of times and actually inanimate objects too and they after often missing their mummy or daddy, daft little cutie! He loves dressing up at the moment too and adores pretending to be Andy from Andy’s Wild Adventures… and dressing up as a dinosaur. But he does want to make sure that he is a “friendly dinosaur” and whenever we talk about any animals, tigers, lions, crocodiles, sharks etc… they must be “friendly” ones.

He is interacting more and more with friends now at playgroup and often comes home telling me so and so is his best friend – and it changes quite a lot! Harvey, Jack, Michael, Preston haha. He has also played so so nicely with some of my friends little boys recently which has been amazing for me as he has someone else to play with! He still needs a lot of interaction the rest of the time. I loved it though when he was playing with a friend the other day and he suddenly says “Mummy, LM isn’t bad, is she?” Of course I said no and he turns to his friend and says “see, LM’s not bad.” Bless him defending his little sister!

playing with friends

One thing that he has picked up from friends that I am not keen on is the concept that some things are for girls to play and with and some things are for boys to play with. That’s just noth something I agree with and both kids play with dolls, cars, whatever and the only things LM can’t play with at the moment are those that pose a choking risk. So when he says “this isn’t for girls, it’s just for boys isn’t it?” m response is with a fairly firm no and telling him that both boys and girls can do the same things and play with all the same toys. We will see how that concept progresses over time I guess!

Another of Monkey’s favourite sentences at the moment is “Sometimes it is and sometimes it isn’t.” or “Sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t” usually after we have explained something to him or talked about something. Sometimes it is very accurate but sometimes it isn’t remotely relevant to what we have been talking about haha. Clearly copies that from me though!

Phew I could probably go on forever as he does come out with such cute little comments, but I will leave it there till next time!

 

 

Me and Mine January 2016

It’s me and mine time and time to share a family photo of us all. At one point I wasn’t sure I would get one of us all but on our family day out a couple of weeks ago I managed to grab a quick family selfie.

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LM is a bit bundled up in her scarf and bewildered by the goings on so it isn’t the best photo ever… But I still love it. We are all wrapped up against the cold and Monkey has such a big smile on his face which can’t help but make me smile. 20160116_132147

 

Postnatal Depression doesn’t make me a failure

Ok. Truth time. I’ve been struggling a bit lately. The year got off to a pretty positive new start with keeping the house clean and tidy, being fitter and eating healthier, and reducing my antidepressants. When I announced this, my friend Sam from andthenthefunbegan expressed a concern that this was all a bit much. Oh you wise woman you, you may have been right.

In my defense the house cleanliness and fitness objectives were designed to help my mental state. And they have. Having the house clean and tidy definitely makes me feel calmer. The exercise makes me feel great and I am fitter. The diet hasn’t been going quite so well though and I have succumbed to eating comfort food a fair amount because I have been feeling really low lately.

The reduction of the dose of my antidepressants started off pretty well and I thought maybe I was ready. Maybe I don’t have Postnatal Depression anymore. Then slowly… But oh so surely, the negativity, stress and anxiety came creeping back.

The ball of stress in the middle of my chest has returned and I feel like I could cry. I wake up unhappy and I get so irrational and angry. Angry with my husband, angry with my children, angry with inanimate objects. I know this feeling and I don’t like what it means. I do still have PnD and I need to go back to the full dose of my antidepressants.

Much as I don’t like it, there is a feeling of failure associated with this. Now, rationally, I know I haven’t failed. Depression is an illness and I am not better yet. I tried to reduce the medication on the advice of my doctor but this clearly isn’t the right time for me yet. That doesn’t mean I have failed. But I can’t help but feel like I have.

The stigma associated with depression is a difficult one to break. I have always tried to be understanding of anyone with depression but I do think it is difficult to fully understand until you have it… And even then it’s tough! Surely I should be able to snap myself out of this? Come on think positive, stop wallowing! But I know now it isn’t that simple.

Recognising that I need to go back to the full dose of my antidepressants isn’t failing. Failing would be not recognising what I am feeling. Failing would be not accepting the help that is available to me. Failing would be letting the Postnatal Depression take hold again. To give in to the anger and tears and stress that prevents me from being the mum and wife that I want to be and that I know I can be… With a little help.20160124_171935

So I am not failing myself or my family. I am back on the tablets for a bit longer. I will try and reduce then again at some point and will see how it goes as you don’t know if you don’t try. But now isn’t the right time. These years at home with my kiddies are fleeting and I don’t want to waste them feeling stressed and unhappy and blaming them for the way I am feeling. It’s not them it’s PnD.

And you know what? I hate depression. Depression sucks. I hate the way it makes me feel. The way it makes me want to curl up and stay silent. The way it stops me enjoying my family as much. Maybe this is uncomfortable reading and maybe I am over sharing and I apologise if you feel that way. But maybe you feel the way I do and it helps to know you are not alone. Someone recently told me that by sharing my Pnd I had encouraged them to seek help too. That makes me so proud and grateful and if this having this stupid depression and talking about it helps someone else… Then I won’t say it is worth it as I wish I didn’t have it….but it helps so I will keep on sharing.

My word of the week is depression.

MaternityMondays

National Trust Stowe Gardens in Winter

We love a good day out, and that is one reason why we love being members of the National Trust. There are so many places to go that are great fun with kids. It is even better when you have friends who are National Trust members too as you can combine a lovely day out with having a good catch up with friends.

Last weekend was one of those days as we met up with our lovely friends Chris (who hubs has known since he was a kid)  and Sarah (who blogs over at runjumpscrap) and their little Gremlin at Stowe Gardens. The weather was thankfully kind to us and we had a really great fun day.

Enjoying the gorgeous sceneryPhotoGrid_1453804146597

Climbing the monumentsPhotoGrid_1453804408566

Puddle splashingPhotoGrid_1453804604030

Chasing bubblesPhotoGrid_1453804937962

Generally having a nice time running about and catching up.PhotoGrid_1453805129858PhotoGrid_1453805260393

Important things to note if you plan on visiting Stowe.

  • There is quite a walk from the entrance and visitors centre to get to the actual gardens. They reckon 10mins at adults pace (if that) but with little legs this can take a lot longer so it may be worth taking a buggy, that way you can conserve their energy for when you are actually in the gardens rather than just getting there and back.
  • The paths are very accessible for buggies which was brilliant.
  • The cafe itself is at the visitors centre so bear that in mind if you are planning on eating lunch there and maybe think about eating at the start or end of your visit. Otherwise you will do as we did and basically get to the gardens then turn back again to get lunch then get down to the gardens again!

I think next time we will actually take a picnic (weather permitting) as there is so many lovely spots to have a picnic throughout the gardens and then we could spend more time exploring.

We really did have such a lovely time and the kids enjoyed having a good run about while we were nattering and it was nice to get out and enjoy the fresh air. It was so peaceful there too and really did me the world of good. I look forward to visiting in the summer as I imagine it will be stunning!

Little Miss at 15 Months

I have to admit I struggle a bit with writing these updates now, they take a bit of effort collating it all, remembering everything I want to write and making sure I have good piccies. Which is probably why I have not been very good at getting them done on time lately! So I think from now on they will be a bit less frequent, to take the pressure off. I will still do updates but only every 2-3 months I think!

Anyway on with the 15 month update! Our little lady isn’t a baby anymore. She runs around like a little loony, makes her feelings known and she is so so clever. At least to us. I haven’t got a clue what little ones are ‘supposed’ to be doing at this age and I don’t really care. I just want to marvel at every little development and enjoy every moment of her growing up.20160119_151808

She adore books. She loves turning the pages and she loves being read to. But only the books she wants you to read.. And you have to do it the way she wants. If I lay the book on the floor so I can read it while she is getting dressed then that isn’t good enough. I have to hold it up. I have to let her turn the pages when she wants and read it in whatever order she dictates too haha. If I don’t then ooh there’s screaming. Some times I haven’t the foggiest what she wants and I just know I am not doing it right because of the screaming! She certainly is a feisty girl, which I love.

One of her current favourite books has some ducks in it and she loves pointing at them saying her favourite word “dah” over and over again as it does seem that she does mean duck when she says this. Though she also says it when looking at fish and a lot of other things too! So I can’t be 100% certain.20160122_124540

We do have a couple of other almost words too. She is good at shouting an estimation of hiya to people, often accompanied by a little wave which is seriously cute. Especially when she shouts it and waves to complete strangers while she is in her buggy haha.

The most commonly yelled word though is her version of uh oh. No cute uh oh here though, no, LM’s version of more of a shriek. Uh Aowww. Actually drives me crazy, especially when she is shrieking it because she has deliberately dropped all her lunch on the floor. Hmm uh oh indeed!

This happens a lot as she is very much in a phase of dropping things deliberately. Everything. Food from her high chair. A box of crayons. Any container must be emptied in fact. If she has climbed the stepstool in the kitchen then anything on the worktop (usually a selection of toys for her but occasionally something I actually need) ends up on the floor. In the bath she throws all of her bath toys out meaning water goes everywhere. Hence lots of shrieking uh aaowww.

It is also said a lot when she wants us to do something. Our girl has always loved hats and shoes and she will often present us with a random shoe or hat or glove saying uh aaowww until we put it on her! This has extended as she loves coats and jumpers and dresses too and bless her she does have a good go at getting them on herself though she doesn’t remotely succeed. She’s hilarious though and is clearly going to love dressing up. When I was sorting clothes recently I kept having to stop so I could dress her in something she had found in one of my piles. Little cutie!20160106123627

Even at just 15mths LM is showing signs of being far more independent than her big brother. She will potter about and play on her own in a way that Monkey has just never done, even now really. I do play with her of course but often I don’t need to. I’m there keeping an eye in case she needs/wants me but quite often she is content doing her own thing, and actually I do feel like some of her play is quite advanced.20160114_104803

Much of her play involves posting things and putting things in and out of containers. But then there is a level of imaginative play which melts my heart. She adores playing with dolls and any toy really and is so caring towards them. She absolutely melted my heart recently by playing with a dolly, putting her in her buggy, feeding her an ice cream and then giving her a kiss. It was so cute!PhotoGrid_1453140396648

I loved seeing her do it with her brothers Buzz Lightyear doll too, she absolutely adores Buzz! She is lovely with woody too making him stand up and walk. Such signs of imagination already which I just adore.20160122_155717

She is a really cuddly little lady too and loves a good snuggle with a teddy, a doll or a blanket. She even wanted to cuddle one of my bags the other day and tried to go to sleep on it… Which obviously was not very comfy! Love seeing her snuggle on the bean bag or a blanket though!20160117_082452

She is also massively cheeky. There are things she knows she isn’t allowed to do, like standing on the sofa or pressing the buttons on the side of the TV… So she does them anyway with a huge grin on her face. Little madam honestly!

Her walking has been coming on a lot lately. She’s been walking well for ages but she can walk further now and is even running quite a bit. The main improvement though is that she will now sometimes walk with us in the right direction. Not always or even most of the time but she certainly does it sometimes. She walked all the way home from Monkey’s playgroup the other day, which isn’t far (about 5 mind at a normal pace) but certainly the furthest she has ever walked!

There are still a lot of times where she is adamant that she wants to go the opposite way and honestly there is about a zero chance of persuading her otherwise when she is set on doing something! Feisty little lady that she is. Which of course means that there is a lot of screaming and the start of some serious tantrums when she doesn’t get her own way. She also falls over a lot too… So I am grateful for the padded snowsuit and that it is cold enough for mittens (when she keeps the things on that is) as they do protect her a little. She has had some nasty grazes on her nose from face planting the floor though poor thing. She will also just randomly decide to have a little lie down on the floor sometimes too… Oddball!PhotoGrid_1453665663172

I’m sure there is lots of other things I could say but that’s enough of an update for now about our gorgeous, clever, Feisty Little Miss at 15mths old.

Starting the year feeling organised

The word of the week, and of the past few weeks in our house to be honest, is organised. Hubs had a good long break over Christmas for the first time ever and it really was amazing. We got the house tidier than we have since Monkey was born I believe and made a decision between ourselves that we were going to get ourselves more organised. We are out of the baby days and the building work in the house from the extension is all finished so there really is no excuse anymore.

So far we are doing well at the general cleanliness and tidiness of the house. We have implemented a tidy up time before bath time every day to get Monkey to help us tidy up the toys and we are both trying to be less lazy and get the washing up done straight away and to generally just keep on top of things. I’m not going to lie it is hard work some days when we are shattered but we are managing and it is lovely to have a house that is on the whole clean and tidy most of the time. It means our weekends are freer to enjoy rather than needing to blitz the house and feels a little like we have grown up haha. Took till our early thirties but we got here!

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All tha hand me downs we have for LM to wear for the next few years!

There has been some bigger organising going on too. Hubs has tidied and organised the garage and we have some new shelves up in there though it is a work in progress. He has also been organising the loft and making a huge amount of space in there. Which is where I come in! Half of the stuff in our loft is clothes for the kiddies. Hand me downs for LM to grow into and clothes Monkey has grown out of. We have already given away a lot but there was some serious organising to do of the remaining. So that has been my job this week. Sorting all the various bags and boxes of clothes properly and finally. I have also found homes for lots of the clothes and am hoping one of our neighbours with  a new little girl may like the rest otherwise it will be off to the charity shop with it.

 

Another big project has been sorting out the TV. We have been Virgin Media customers for a long time but only have the basic package and honestly the price has just been going up and up and up and driving us crazy. It hasn’t been that great either as the Tivo box is just so slow sometimes. So we have been trying to work out what to do and have decided to give freeview a try instead. There was an aerial in our loft from previous owners, though it wasnt connected and it took a bit of back and forth to the shops, hubs has been in and out of the loft fixing the cables and we had to try out a couple of different boxes but we finally seem to be sorted now.

There are a few things to get used to and different buttons and things we have to learn but on the whole it seems to be working well. Though we have had to spend money to get to this point it will cost a lot less overall as we won’t have the monthly outgoings anymore, yippee!

photoalbumsMy personal little project has also been organising our family photo albums. I plan to write a bit more about this later but it is quite a task getting it all sorted as I got quite behind. I love photo albums and though it is taking a lot of effort organising photos on the computer, getting the best ones printed out etc. I think it is so worthwhile. Especially in the digital age where otherwise you just end up with thousands of files on a computer that no-one ever has a chance to look through let alone organise. So it is a bit of a labour of love getting that all organised!

 

So there we have it, tonnes of organising going on! Feels good to get things done though doesn’t it?

The Reading Residence

A lovely winters day

I don’t like winter when it is grey, wet and gloomy, but give me clear blue skies and fresh frosty air and I absolutely love it. I love to get bundled up warm and go for a walk in the crisp air before heading somewhere cosy to warm up afterwards. After a wet week last week the forecast for the Saturday was for a perfect winter’s day, so we made plans to walk over to our local country park. It started out just as us then we thought we would see if the in laws fancied a stroll with us, then hubs’ younger brother decided he would like to come for a bit too.

We strolled over then after meeting up with Granny and Granddaddy had a play on one of the playparks.PhotoGrid_1453220093982

Uncle Simon arrived shortly after and we headed in to one of the cafes to warm up with a cuppa and cake.

My teacup is empty at thhis point by the way!

My teacup is empty at thhis point by the way!

Then it was out for another explore. It was interesting making sure LM stayed away from the lakes as she does love water! She enjoyed strolling along with her family though.PhotoGrid_1453220373293

There was a really funny moment where another little one of a similar age saw LM and began ecstatically waving and shouting to her. They had a little meeting of minds here I think and then LM wanted to follow him and his mummy instead of coming with us haha!PhotoGrid_1453220433587

We continued our walk via the site of roman villa that hubs and I remember playing on when we were kids.PhotoGrid_1453220693786

Randomly there was loads of pretty shellfish shells about (assuming they were dropped by birds but did they get them from the lakes?) some had ice in and Monkey very cutely
decided that they were “baby ice” that were missing their mummy. Daft little cutie!PhotoGrid_1453220742447

We got the selfie stick out at this point to get a shot of us all and didn’t too badly with hehe.20160116140127

By now it was getting toward lunchtime so Uncle Simon headed home and we popped into the other cafe for a bite of lunch and to warm up with another cuppa.

Food obviously tastes much nicer from Mummy's plate

Food obviously tastes much nicer from Mummy’s plate

Last stop of the day was feeding the ducks with LM repeatedly shouting “dah” “dah” at every duck she saw haha. She says dah to other things too but will always shout it at any duck picture or duck she sees so I am pretty sure she means duck some of the time. PhotoGrid_1453221025658

Then it was time to head home, with a quick stop for a family selfie along the way.20160116_131512

20160116_132147A lovely winters day.

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Life Unexpected

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Tempting Fate

Do you believe in fate? Are you superstitious? I don’t think of myself as a particularly superstitious person. I walk under ladders and on cracks on pavements. I can never remember if black cats crossing your path are meant to be good or bad luck. But.. and there is a but… There are some things I do seem to believe in. I recently read a post from Mama at My Kid Doesn’t Poop Rainbows about sods law. This is one I know well… as do most parents I’m sure. When you need your little one to nap, they are bound to be wide awake, and when you want them to stay awake, you guessed it, they are fast asleep. I won’t go on but you know what I mean.

Then there is tempting fate… And I can’t help it, from experience I do set a bit of a store by tempting fate. No matter how irrational I also believe it to be and how much I know that saying a particular sentence is NOT going to change the course of events… There are some things I will not say for fear that doing so will have disastrous consequences. And I’m not alone in this.

My husband has a thing about saying the Q word in reference to work. Quiet. The moment you say “ooh it’s quiet today” you can guarantee a catastrophe the likes of which have never been seen before meaning you are run off your feet and working late and stressed beyond belief. So the Q word is never uttered by him at work, and I have to admit I was the same when I was working too

Linking back to sods law, one thing that I am sure many parents will not do it discuss how well their child/ren are sleeping. Woe betide any parent who mentions that their child is sleeping well. Whether they are referring to on that occasion or in general.. It feels like a mistake to utter the words just in case by saying it you cause then to wake screaming!

On a journey you absolutely cannot utter the words we are making good time, or hasn’t it been a good journey so far… Because you know that you will then hit an epic traffic jam or every road leading to your destination will have been closed resulting in diversions that spread the length of the country.

These are just things I know to be true. You can say something positive and then it feels like the powers of fate decide to do the absolute opposite… Purely with a sort of “ha! In your face” motivation. Even writing this feels a bit ridiculous I grant you but then why I do I believe it?

So every now and then I like to try and tempt fate to doing something nice for me instead. For example right now I am going to say this. We are in the midst of a serious phase of poo escapage. In truth it has only happened twice (but come on, when it comes to poo, surely once is more than enough?), once when a certain cheeky madam removed her nappy and stepped in it… smearing poo across the floor, and a second occasion which resulted in fishing poo out of the bath. Shudder. So I am saying again, that we are in the grips of a serious phase of poo escapage in the desperate hope that the powers of fate choose once again to prove me wrong (please, please, please, please). What do you think of my chances? ;)

Do you believe in tempting fate? Or am I writing utter nonsense in yout opinion?

Siblings January 2016

Parenting 2 kids can be a lot of hard work, there is no doubt about it. But one of the best things about parenting 2 kids is watching them grow and develop together. I love watching my two have fun together, yes they annoy each other and bicker and snatch toys from each other but on the whole they get on brilliantly and I couldn’t ask for more. Monkey especially is so good and tolerant of his baby sister thank goodness and it is lovely seeing them together. So without further ado here are a few shots of my gorgeous pair over the last month.

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LM is screaing with joy here I promise!

 

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dear beautiful