Thursday, 30 April 2015

Guest Post - House of Boys

It never ceases to amaze me how a room with two sleeping boys, ages four and two, can smell like a frat house. They’re still just wee ones, but already I’m seeing glimpses of my future.
I am the sole girl in a house full of boys. This becomes abundantly clear to me in moments when a room erupts in laughter over booger explosions or bodily functions that result in foul smells, when they ask dad to play sports with them because he’s better at it, or when they want to do things “like dad,” such as peeing standing up. I’m assured by several men I know, especially those who only have brothers, that it’s only bound to get worse. Maybe worse is a harsh way to put it, but the point is, there will always be things for which my sons will default to my husband and situations in which I'll be somewhat sidelined.
That's not to say that there aren't days when it's supremely awesome to be the reigning queen. As much as I’m the odd gal out in some respects, being the only one does hold certain advantages. My littles are learning early that proper respect is important, and they’re all quick to shower me with love and thanks when I make their favourite meal or help them with a fun project. They’re turning into little gentlemen, just like their dad, and they all know how to make mama feel special.
And I'd be remiss not to mention the inevitable question that comes with this scenario: "Are you going to try again for a girl?" It always strikes me funny, as if to say I might have the opportunity to choose. If we were to decide to have a third child, it would be to expand our family, regardless of sex.
I’d rather not speculate, in writing at least, on the future of my fertility. Though, I will say that it is sort of weird to think that I may never have a daughter. I guess because my mum has both a daughter and a son, my mother in law has both, and many of my friends have both, I had a notion in the back of my mind that I’d be in the same situation, to get to forge a mother-daughter relationship in which I was the former instead of the latter.
But the truth is, no matter what the future holds, I'm very content with my happy, hectic little home just the way it is. I've grown quite accustomed to my house full of boys. Super heroes, Hot Wheels, Lego and sports gear are my game.
I have two completely unique kids who give me more fulfillment than I ever thought possible. I wouldn't give up my boys for all the tutus and hair bows in the world. Motherhood is motherhood - regardless of which way the coin flips, you always win.
Lindsey Bunin is mum to two busy boys, wife to a pretty perfect husband (who is also a twin!) and a full time editor. She lives in the suburbs of Halifax and blogs at and

Thursday, 16 April 2015

The week the Husband left

Last week. my Husband flew to Vienna to visit his twin brother Shane, for 10 days. Which meant leaving me alone, with all 4 kids for 10 days. Mike works alot, which leaves me to referee the kids frequently on my own, but never for this long.

Compared to many other families, 10 days is just a hiccup. There are so many spouses who have to travel for work and ones who are forced to be left alone with their kids for so much longer! Those parents deserve medals, a free puppy, or a trip to Disney!
It's not easy to be home as the primary parent and it's not easy to be the parent away from your loved ones. Although Mike was touring a beautiful historic city and enjoying all you can eat ribs, while I was hosting birthday parties, cleaning throw up and breaking up fist fights.

Here are a few tips that helped me survive my "spouse-less stay-cation"!

Keep in contact
Nowadays, with Facebook and Skype, it's easy to keep in contact with loved ones who are far away.
We skyped with Mike every few days to check in and catch up on his trip. We sent pictures and Facebook messages daily, updating him on our happenings at home

Ask for help
I'm fortunate enough to be surrounded by family and friends who were able to help out when I needed them. Helping to drive a kid to an appointment, drop them at dance class, or even keep one for an overnight! The help was very much appreciated.

Do something special
Just because Mike was away didn't mean we couldn't do something fun right here at home! I took the kids to a hotel for a night and we ordered pizza, swam in the pool and watched an in-room movie. (that we received free of charge because Jessee told them it was her Birthday and that their father had left them for Easter) They obviously took pity on us!Who knows what they were thinking! Haha!
It was a great way to take their mind off Mike being away, and it was nice to treat them to a little get-away as well.

Find time for yourself
Whether it was cleaning to some music, watching a movie, or enjoying a glass of wine and surfing the web, I made sure to set aside a few evenings just for me, doing whatever I wanted to do.

Set up an organized schedule
Since I was the only one doing the dishes, laundry and house cleaning, I set up a little schedule for myself so I wouldn't get overwhelmed. For example, laundry in the morning, dishes and tidying up in the afternoon and my evenings were free to spend with the kids!

Now he's back! Reality continues on, and I have a cupboard full of delicious Austrian chocolate. It just might have been worth it :)

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Guest Post - First Time Mom - Preparation, labor, and what comes after.

Jen is a very dear friend, who I'm pleased to welcome as this week's guest blogger! She chats about being a mom for the first time and relives the good, the bad, and the ugly. She resides in Pictou and shares her cozy, country homestead with her husband Ted, 5 month old son Colton, and their 2 dogs, Maggie and Jake.
So, I'm a first time mom. It's taken me years and dollars to get here but I've made it! No one really tells you the truth about it (thanks, "friends" haha) so you don't know until you're in it. It's the hardest job I've ever had, and I've worked with troubled youth and drunks (which aren't all that different from each other). But it is also the most rewarding job I've ever had. I didn't know love until I saw this mini version of my husband and I. Life changing. I've learned a few things about preparation, labor and what comes after and I feel I should share them with my fellow moms and moms to be.
For me, pregnancy was the easiest part. Yeah you're worried, sleep deprived and hungry...none of that goes away. In fact, it's magnified...sleep is a thing of the past so get used to it. I promise you will learn to function on the least amount of sleep you've ever gotten in your life. You worry about EVERYTHING. His first cold, is he eating enough? Is he warm enough? Is he too warm? Even his poop. It's normal and you will figure it out.
A wise woman once gave me excellent advice, she told me not to worry, there is nothing you can do about it and everyone does it so the doctors and nurses don't care (I don't believe that) but you WILL poop while giving birth. Since I was numb of pain, I seriously thought about it half of the time I was in labor. I still don't know if I did because I didn't ask and I don't wanna know! I did, however, spray pee all over my doctor. TMI?
You WILL think you are a crazy person. You think pregnancy hormones were bad? I cried multiple times a day for a week and a half. I legit thought I was losing it. My wonderful public health nurse assured me it was normal and then I got over it. I realized I wasn't crazy and my husband is the most understanding man on the planet.
Some hot topics...circumcision, bed sharing and immunization. No matter who you talk to, there is always debate. According to the good ol world wide web, all 3 will kill your baby. I've done 2 out if the three and happy to say my child is still breathing (yay me). It's all personal preference and you will do what works for you and your baby.
Babies are loud sleepers. Like, super loud. Like there is a goat baaing and tooting in your bedroom. When they aren't waking the whole household, you will check their breathing. It's normal and they will grow out of it. Thankfully!
Breastfeeding is hard but, like a Jillian Michaels video, you have to try work through the pain. Soon enough you'll barely feel it (unless your baby dramatically pulls away and takes your nipple with them) and it's worth it. Nipple cream is your best friend...apply generously. And if you can't, or decide not to breastfeed, don't feel guilty or let anyone make you feel guilty. Your kid is being fed and that's all that matters.
Prep two months in advance. ..pack a bag, make food you can freeze. Packing while panicking isn't good. You'll end up taking something useless like sunglasses....and you'll forget important things like the thickest pads on the planet. If you don't prep food, you'll be living off toast and cereal because it's easy.
Don't read books...ok do, but know that just like adults all babies are different. What works for your friend's baby may not work for yours. My pediatrician told me I am the expert of my baby...I'm getting there!
There is so much more, and there is more for me to learn, but there is a few to get you started
Happy mothering! Jen

Jen and her husband Ted
Colton at 5 months

Friday, 27 March 2015

Guest Post - First Time Mom - The battle of the Momzilla

Amanda is a childhood friend of mine and a first time mother. She juggles motherhood, a home-based business with Arbonne and expresses a passion for art. She resides in Toronto with her husband, Mike and their 4 month old son, Murray. 

The battle of the Momzilla

There were few things that scared me about becoming a parent. I wasn’t fussed about pregnancy, or even giving birth. After all, we have been doing it for millions of years, I was sure I could handle it. Right up there, however, in the top 5 things that scared me about being a mom, was the battles that ensue between other moms – bullying, judgment, infliction of guilt over the cruelty of exposing your newborn to non organic cotton, soothers, rock music, you name it.
My husband and I had countless discussions over the course of our pregnancy on how we were going to do this parenting thing – Breastfeeding, disposable diapers, feeding on demand, and perhaps most important, no co-sleeping. Under no circumstances. In his own bed, that is what is best. After all, co-sleepers end up being co-sleeping, sooky 8 year olds., and before you know it, you don’t even know what the other adult looks like naked, it has been so long since you have actually slept together without another wee human in between you.

We had our little boy in November, and I prepared myself for battle. The battle of the Momzilla. I was skeptical to even enter the world of “mommy meet ups”, but being a social animal, knew it would be a long winter if I didn’t at least give it a go.

So, I entered the ring. I listened with “sympathy” and secretive pride at the stories of sleepless co-sleeping nights, the other parent in a totally different room; latching problems, feeding positions. I waited for the looks of disdain and judgment as I pulled out my earth filling disposable diapers.  Held my breath for “tsks” as I tentatively shared that I left my son alone in his crib while showering, and left him upstairs at bedtime, had never laid down while feeding. But those “tsks”, those judgmental looks, never came. 

And then it hit me. I was the Momzilla. I had an idea in my head, as much as I said I didn’t, that my parenting was the right way. That somehow, I had the correct manual on how to raise a human being. My opinions melted away, and for the first time, really listened to the experiences of others. 

Cloth diapers are environmentally great, and not that inconvenient. Did you know that some daycares don’t allow kids to use them while in their care? And it is the best way.

Sometimes breastfeeding doesn’t work. And then the baby drinks formula, and it is the best way. Moms go back to work, leave their kids with a nanny, breast pump every two hours in their power suit in the office bathroom stall, and see their kids on weekends. And this is the best way.

And some parents co-sleep. They wake up everyday with that little person snuggled so close, feeling safe and warm until they are ready to go to their own bed on their own, and their family is all there, in the bed, together. And this is the best way. 

I am now so grateful to be a part of a group of strong, courageous, fun, loving new moms. There are late night/ early morning texts of panic or celebration, tears, belly shaking laughter, strolls in the park. We talk about our babies, about other things besides our babies. We drink beer. We watch 50 Shades of Grey. We leave our judgments at the door. 

And we know that we are the best mom. Each and every one of us. We are the best mom.

Monday, 16 March 2015

How to survive a Staycation

It's March Break for my kids this week and sadly we aren't going anywhere. I've explained to the kids we're having a "stay-cation". It's like a vacation, but where we stay at home.
After the screaming and swearing died down, I presented my suggestions for a super, awesome staycation. These ideas are easy, creative and cheap!

Theme days 
Kids love to dress up! Create a theme day from a movie or book.
We had a Toy Story theme day where the kids dressed up as characters from the movie and we watched all 3 movies throughout the day.

Cupcake decorating
This activity is not only delicious, but creative and keeps kids busy for at least a good hour.

Movie Day
Pop some popcorn, snuggle up in some comfy pjs and put on your favourite movies. If you need some inspiration, check out my Top 5 Family Movie Review

Scavenger hunt
In our case, the weather outside is frightfulso our hunt would take place inside.
You can hide certain items yourself around the house, or send the kids to hunt for things you know are already in sight. Create a list of items and draw pictures for the little ones who can't read yet.
Make it challenging (it'll take up more time) like finding a blue and white polka dot sock or something you know would be difficult to find.
Group the kids into teams and send them on their way! Make sure to have a little treat or surprise at the end for them to enjoy:)

Beach Party
My kids are huge fans of beach parties! They put on bathing suits and turn our bathroom into a sunny destination!
They lay out towels to "sunbathe" on, make fancy drinks and play some beach themed music. It's a perfect way to forget about all the snow outside the bathroom window! This is also a perfect time to paint some nails or rub on some temporary tattoos.

Tip: Make it extra fun by throwing some Barbie dolls into the party too! The bathtub is perfect for a Barbie pool party. Use facecloths for Barbie towels, plastic tupperware for boats, and the faucet serves as a perfect Barbie diving board.

Get outside
I've expressed before that we aren't a Winter season family, so this suggestion is for everyone but us.
Try out a new activity like snow-shoeing or a sleigh ride. Pack some hot chocolate in a thermos to take along and enjoy what Mother Nature has to offer!

I'd love to hear some of your ideas for a fabulous Staycation!

Friday, 13 March 2015

Confessions of a Super-Mom

 Behind the scenes!
Baggy clothes, messy hair and the beginning of what will be a long history of back problems

Occasionally, I've been referred to as a "supermom". This makes me laugh because I have a vision of a super-mom and it's not me. I wear no cape, have no super powers, or fly.

Wikipedia states that the word supermom is a term used to describe a woman who, either out of choice or out of necessity, tries to simultaneously excel in several occupations, one of which is being a mother.

It's of course a flattering title. To think that someone believes I have the ability to do something that other women can't. Taking all my kids to the grocery store, organizing a birthday party or re-decorating a room while running a house-full of kids. These activities are more of a necessity and I don't ever expect to excel in them, haha!

Mothers who feed their kids only organic food.
Mothers who are on time.
Mothers who use cloth diapers.
Those are my inspirations, my trying tasks.

I envy mothers who have their hair brushed, makeup on, and a stylish outfit to match. Correction, I'm fascinated by those mothers. Hell, if you've taken a shower, I'm intrigued.
Where did they find the time and energy to do their hair, and put on makeup?
Did they pick out that outfit from their collection of laundry baskets in their bedroom corner?
You're wearing heels to gymnastics class? How are you able to chase your kids across the parking lot in those?
My normal wardrobe consists of yoga pants and a hoodie. There's no style there.

The truth is, every mom is a super-mom. Every mom faces parenting obstacles everyday, no matter how big or small. Whether you have 1 kid or 10, it's never easy. They often try my patience, can annoy me to the fullest, and exhaust the F@#$ out of me. But, I thrive off my children, live vicariously through them and absolutely adore them.
Parenting is one of the hardest endeavors I've ever taken on. I chose it, and for me it's a necessity.

I love it.

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Candle Makeover

I love candles. They're pretty, smell nice and are great decorative items.
I had a few candles around the house that looked like this. They needed a little makeover!

I had a huge supply of decorative paper and decided to make a night out of it!

I cut the paper and wrapped it around the candle, gluing it in place on the back of the candle. I dug out some burlap and raffia from my craft box and tied that around the candle.

I had an empty spot on my buffet table that fit it perfectly.

Ta da!

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Guest Post - Foster Parenting

When I invite someone as a guest on the blog, it's because they have something to share that I have no experience in writing about. Foster parenting is a subject I find fascinating, heart warming and truly interesting.
My friend, Karen and her husband have recently become foster parents and I've asked her to share their experiences.

When Brooke approached me about writing a guest post on her blog about foster parenting, I spent several days deciding what I should say. The truth is that being a foster parent is terrifying, heartbreaking and completely worth it. We hug crack-exposed toddlers. We listen to stories of how a parent was violently injured. We do our best to explain that the police and “big people” that raided the child’s home were doing it to protect her from dangers that she didn’t even know existed. Our families see, first hand, the stories that we used to only hear about in the news - stories that we would turn off when we couldn’t bear it anymore.

Being a foster parent is one hundred times harder than I thought it would be, but it is one thousand times as rewarding as I could have ever imagined. That crack-exposed toddler will eventually hug us back and begin to trust grown-ups. The kid, whose memory of their parent being injured was so fresh in their mind when they came, will begin making new memories – ones will with laughter, playing and love. The child who was terrified of police will proudly parade around the house wearing not one, but two sheriff’s badge stickers.

When people find out I’m a foster parent, most tell me they could never do it and add a statement like “I would get too attached” or “I could never give them back.” I’m never sure how to respond. I’m not sure how to politely say that it isn’t about us. It’s about them.

Without foster parents, these children end up in shelters or group homes or worse. So what if you could do it? What if you could “get too attached” and then “give them back” when the time comes. Foster parents aren’t super heroes. Thinking of us as heroes makes our job seem unattainable for the average person, but it isn’t. Anyone that can love a child can be a foster parent.

Imagine for a moment that you could “give them back.” As foster parents, we have to be happy for them when they are reuniting with their parents or moving in with a family member. We celebrate with them, laugh with them and jump up and down with them when the call comes to tell them that they are going home. We help them pack their things and send them on their way, smiling. Then, when they are pulling out of the driveway in their social worker’s car, the tears will come. Behind the closed doors of a now empty bedroom, we allow ourselves to grieve for the child we just lost, and we remind ourselves that it isn’t about us. It’s about them.

“A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove... but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child.” - Forest E. Witcraft

Karen resides in South Carolina with her husband, Chris and their three children. They both work full-time, raise their own family, and still find time to open their loving home to children who are in need of one. They have been foster parents since September and are enjoying every minute of it!

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Bath-time Fun

Baths are probably one of my kid's favourite in-house activities. They all love water, the warmth and playing with tub toys. Evening baths are a great way to calm my kids down from a busy day and get them in the mind-frame for bedtime *cringe*
It's also a great time for me, because it keeps them entertained so I can get some evening housework done. I can bring a basket of laundry to fold into the bathroom while they are there, clean the bathroom and since their bedrooms are adjacent to the bathroom, it's a great opportunity to spend  some time in there tidying up or put laundry away.

And who doesn't love the thought of a squeaky clean kid? Is it just me?

Bubbles can get tiresome and even certain tub toys can overstay their welcome. Here are a few fun and easy accessories that can really make bath-time a "splash"!

Turn off the lights and toss some glowsticks in the water (make sure to check there are no leaks first). Kids will have a great time watching the water light up!

Who doesn't have one of these in the kitchen? Kids will love dipping it under water and making it rain. Or use a clean sponge to create the same effect.

Bath Crayons
These look like alot of fun! However since I hate mess and destruction, I'll never buy them.
Here is a great link to make your own!

Have a beach party
Play some music, lay out some towels on the floor, and make some fancy drinks. If you have an indoor tree, bring it in to create a tropical feel.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Entryway Makeover Part 3

Our entryway has undergone a few changes over the last few months. After repainting the walls, removing the carpet, and painting the stairs, another new change was made.
If you need to catch up, view my previous post on my entryway here.

For years, we hung our coats and displayed our shoes in our teeny, tiny entryway. It was cramped, messy, and uninviting. I've always loved having an entryway table to decorate, and felt this house was missing it.


I had my father build a table measured to size and reused an older mirror I had stored in the basement. The table served as a perfect spot to display our "Family Rules". Since our front door has no windowthe hallway is quite dark. So, to brighten things up I plugged in my Scentsy lamp, which also creates a welcoming smell for anyone who comes in the front door! I have a thing obsession for baskets and thought the bottom shelf would be a perfect home for one. It's perfect for storing a pair of mittens, keys or miscellaneous items.

This project cost me $0 since I reused all my decor from other areas in the house. Bonus.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Why having a large family rocks!

In this day and age a family of six is considered a "large family". We just barely fit in a minivan, never qualify for vacation packages (family of four only!) and always get denied in those "kids eat free" gimmicks (only one kid per adult)
I grew up as an only child and later gained a step brother, and a half brother, so I never experienced a houseful of siblings. Unlike my husband who is one of three kids, all very close in age. Although I never imagined I'd have four kidsI feel very blessed that my kids will grow up with such a wonderfully, large support system. They'll always have someone in their corner, cheering them on from the sidelines and coaching them from behind the stage.

Of course there are several pros and even more cons to having a large family, but I thought I'd start the year off right and be thankful for the pros of my wild and crazy household!

You're never alone

There is never a dull moment with a house full of kids! Our evenings can easily turn into an impromptu play, baseball game or dance party. You always have a friend to talk to and enjoy your time withThe house is never empty and with so many of us, it feels like a party everyday!

Reliving milestones
I've had the pleasure of experiencing all the important moments in life four times. Watching each kid walk, talk and jump on the school bus for the first time never gets old.

You're always learning
My kids will always have a playmate! Therefore, teaching each other how to share, take turns and look after one other. They'll experience several life events as they get older and learn from their siblings.

We're always celebrating something! Birthdays, anniversaries and graduations. Special holidays, like Christmas and Halloween are so much fun with four kids!

Needless to say, happy families come in all sizes. I experienced a wonderful childhood in a small family, and my kids are having great childhoods here in our crowded house.

Yesmy kids will grow up wearing hand-me-downs, sharing a room, and adjusting to a large level of noise and a hectic household, but it works for them and for all of us, and that's the most important thing!

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

When Ninja Turtles have Birthdays

My youngest turned 4 today. Im still in shock. The day he was born still feels like it was yesterday and when I look back on the last 4 years, it seems like a blur. Being the youngest boy in a family of 3 girls was going to be a challenge, or so I thought. I envisioned him growing up surrounded by the femininity of his sisters and inheriting their love of hosting tea parties, playing dress-up and watching Disney Princess movies. When in fact, he is the complete opposite! He fits into society's version of a boy - rough, loves swords, cars and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! I have no idea how

I now find myself crawling out of my comfort zone of fashion and nail glitter to dinosaurs and action figures. It's new and kind of exciting for me. 
Instead of a Birthday of butterflies and Justin Beiber, I had the pleasure of decorating my house with turtles and ninja weapons.

Since Im terrified of balloons my aunt made these really cute turtle balloons! Simply made with ribbon and craft eyes.

Snacks were green drinks, chips and of course pizza. 

And what party isn't complete with themed cupcakes?

Friday, 2 January 2015

Top 5 Blog Posts of 2014

No need for an explanation. These are my most favourite blog posts from my year!

1. Lily's Frozen Birthday Party
I love the movie Frozen almost as much as I love The Little Mermaid, my ultimate favourite. Anything Disney, musical and involves princesses. Not to mention my love for organizing a party, and a themed one at that! I had a lot of fun with this!

Taking your kids out in public
Sometimes it's good to vent and show people that your life isn't all sunshine and happiness. That no family is perfect and sometimes if you see me sipping wine at an unusual hour, you won't judge me. I really enjoyed writing this one!

3My Blog's First Birthday
This was a huge day for me. Big. HUGE.

4 My Guest Posts
Having wonderful friends that want to be involved with my blog and share their stories with my readers is a huge blessing. Im sure all of you enjoyed the change in host as well (haha!)
You can catch up with those ladies here.

The floor that almost wasn't
Man I love that floor.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

When you touch the Elf

One of the #1 rules of the Elf on the Shelf is: You do not touch it. Ever.

In our house, we've made our own rule that only myself and my husband can pick our Elf, Sarah, up to place her back on the shelf to watch over everyone for the day. This is our third year and no one has broken that rule, until now.
I knew it would be Noah. He believes rules don't apply to him, living his life like Mike and I are Smokey and he's the Bandit.
I don't think it was the fact that he wrapped his hands around Sarah, or that he squeezed her excessively, but more-so that he threw her across the room! I don't remember much after that. There was loud screaming, crying and just chaos all over. My kids tend to over dramatize situations and this was the perfect opportunity to bring out the Broadway show. Running out of the room to hide and falling to the floor as if in intense agony.

I had to stop the madness so I quickly turned to Google. I was instructed to place the Elf in the freezer and sprinkle cinnamon near her. Sadly this was the least ridiculous remedy. The freezer makes her feel like she's at the North Pole and cinnamon acts like a vitamin for elves. Obviously that makes sense right? In the Elf on the Shelf movie, Taylor McTuttle (fantastic name) writes an apologetic letter to Santa and his Elf, Chippy, returns completely healed.

This letter was actually mailed. The Post Office will have a good laugh the next morning!

The girls checked on her throughout the day to make sure she was alright and come the morning, Sarah was completely healed and stronger than ever! Working out and sweating sprinkles all over the place.

Another crisis adverted.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Frozen Birthday Party

For Lily's 5th Birthday, we threw her a "Frozen" themed party. She loves the movie, the princesses and the song. It was a last minute idea and with a party budget already in place, I tossed around what I could. For those of you who are oblivious to this new Disney marvel of a movie, the basic theme is ice, snowflakes and everything cold.

I decorated the food table and made a backdrop to go behind it.

The backdrop was a sheer white curtain accented with snowflakes and sparkled ribbon. Using blue tissue paper, I cut it in shape of icicles and hung it amidst a homemade Birthday banner.

Included in the theme, was a white table cloth, blue kool-aid jammers and themed plates and napkins.

For dessert I showcased an Elsa cake (her dress was the cake!) and snowflake cupcakes.

The party was a hit and my girl was one happy 5 year old !

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