Showing posts with label me time. Show all posts
Showing posts with label me time. Show all posts

Pamper Me: How I Make Time for Me and What Makes Me Feel Special

Monday, July 9, 2012

Since I've been a work at home mom, I've had to redefine a lot things to fit our lifestyle and budget. When I had my office job, I would meet people for lunch, now I meet for coffee. I used to keep regular appointments to get my brows waxed, now I only go when I travel for blog related events. Manicures and pedicures are reserved for special occasions. Trips to the spa? Pretty much a thing of the past. I definitely had to re-think the way I defined 'me time' and being pampered. I know taking time for myself is important. I get really grouchy when I don't and then I make my family miserable.

Most women of color will tell you that getting their hair done is less a matter of vanity and more necessity because our hair can be pretty hard to take care of. In fact, before we married I told my husband that getting my hair done is and always will be a line item in our budget. He's never complained. I've learned the hard way what can happen when I don't visit a professional. There's a reason I will gladly drive 38 miles one way to see my stylist every 9 weeks. Because she's a miracle worker.

Even though I consider going to the salon a necessity, I still manage to turn the trip into a nice day out for myself. Before I get there, I usually stop for a smoothie or coffee. I bring a book, some magazines, snacks and my iPad. When I'm finished, me and my bouncy hair will try to meet up with a friend at My Happy Place for dessert at The Cheesecake Factory.

If no one is available to hang out, I spend some time window shopping at the mall and then popping into stores we don't have in my part of town. DSW, Loehmann's and Saks Off Fifth are some of my 'must visit' places. A few hours alone in the stores looking at new trends and scouting clearance racks is a great way for me to recharge my batteries.

As for being pampered, I'm lucky I get to feel that way all the time. I feel pampered when my husband opens doors for me, pulls out my chair or holds my coat open so I can slip it on. I feel pampered when my son opens the car door for me and kisses me good morning every day. Spa trips are great, but I will take these little endearments from my boys over a mud wrap any day. By adjusting my thinking a little bit, I realize I don't have to spend a lot of money or make a lot of effort to feel special.

Honda Likes Moms Sweepstakes
This is post two in a series of sponsored posts and sweepstakes for the San Diego Honda Dealers Association. Visit and comment weekly for a chance to win Amazon gift cards!

5 Reasons I'm Psyched for Back to School

Thursday, August 18, 2011

'School Supplies Pencils Erasers August 07, 20101' photo (c) 2010, Steven Depolo - license:
Can you tell I'm pretty happy school is starting? Not because it's been a hard summer. Tyler has matured so much this past year. It's just that, in my attempt to be more of a Yes Mom, I've agreed to just about every invitation we've had this summer. And now? I'm tired.

Earlier this week he asked me "what are we doing today?" and I said "nothing unless you're driving." I'm over it. I'm ready to get back to a routine. I'm ready for my house to stay clean for more than an hour. In no particular order, here are five reasons I'll be dancing back to my car next Wednesday after morning drop off:

1. Morning news. I usually start my day with a cup of coffee and the Today Show. It will be nice not to have cartoons as background noise.

2. Walks on the beach. I should be training for the 3 day. It will be nice to drop Tyler off at school and head to the coast for a really long walk. One with no "are we done, yet," "I have to go to the bathroom" or "my legs are tired." 

3. Time with friends. I've been a bit of a hermit this summer. A leisurely coffee date that turns into an early lunch sounds heavenly.

4. Blogging. If I'm going to jump in with both feet on my new project, I need time and focus to make sure it goes smoothly. I said before this is the time for me to shit or get off the pot. I've neglected all my social media this summer and it's time to regain my focus.

5. Errands. I really want to be able to run errands without a shadow. One of the side effects of Tyler being in hockey is his increased appetite. He was a good eater before, but it's just plain silly. If I have an afternoon of errands, I have to pack a bag the way I did when he was a toddler. If I don't, I end up hitting the drive thru. We've spent more money than I'd like to admit at the Target food court.

I'm sure I could keep going but listing any more than five will make feel like I'm being selfish. 

What are some of the things you're looking forward to about 
back to school?

A Real Housewife in Beverly Hills

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Two weekends ago I headed up to Beverly Hills to stay at The Four Seasons and attend the HOP movie press junket. You know, a typical weekend. Before I left I did a little grocery shopping, a little straightening up and made a pot of chili for the boys to have leftovers. I tried to squeeze in a mani/pedi too. I told Phil I was heading out to get one and I got an eye roll back.



"Well, I don't want to show up in Beverly Hills looking like a stay at home mom."

"You are a stay at home mom."

"Yes, but that doesn't mean I have to look like one!"

In the end I decided replacing my foundation was more important than my having my nails done. I left Friday afternoon and almost the entire drive up to LA I was obsessing over my appearance. My gray hairs were out in full force, I was in desperate need of a good blow out, I'd broken two nails and my stress acne was flaring up big time (thus the need for new foundation). 

Hi Russel Brand, nice to meet you. I'm Hot Mess Housewife.

Alright vanity, you win.
Instead of heading to the hotel when I got off the freeway I went straight to Beverly Center and the nearest MAC counter*. I had my face done, complete with fake eyelashes.

Now, I didn't have it done because I was worried about what everyone else would think of me. I did it for myself. Sure, I could wear makeup every day. But, why? I'm home alone all day. It's not the same as being out and about.

When I was a "working mom," putting on makeup and curling my hair was part of the package. I looked nice. Now, my standard uniform is a ponytail, jeans, wedges and a comfortable top. When I see other ladies all made up to go to Costco, it seems kinda silly.

For one night, I wanted to feel confident and self assured. I wanted to feel pretty. If you haven't tried them out, fake eyelashes do it for me, every time. 

When I got to the hotel, I pulled on my Spanx, my new shirt and boots and walked out of my room feeling like a million bucks.

L to R: Catherine, Kim, Dan, Meredith and Sara

Seana and Renee
I met new people, made new friends and was able to do it with a real smile. Not a self conscious one.

What do you to make yourself feel like a million dollars?

*I saw Amy Adams at the Clinique counter. She is just as pretty in person and tiny! I'm not used to being taller than anyone else! Thank you to Universal for the royal treatment (and my hotel, movie tickets and awesome food)! Photos courtesy of Chris and Kristen Photography

Feeling Guilty About Not Feeling Guilty

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A few days ago, when the snow really started falling on the east coast, I saw a Tweet go by that got me thinking about my Mom Guilt again. The Tweet was tagged with #snowday and read something to the effect of: "my kids are why I work from home, they are not an interruption." Then, my mom said something to me that stung a bit. I told her I don't usually cook a big dinner on the days Tyler's sports end late in the evening. Her response? "But why not? You're home all day." Ouch.

See, I've been feeling guilty for wanting Tyler to go on vacation. By himself. Every year since he turned one he's spent time at my mom's house during Christmas break. Since my Gramma comes from St. Louis and stays with my mom for three months, it's killed two birds with one stone. The Gramma's get some one on one time with their baby, Tyler gets (even more) spoiled and Phil and I get to act like the couple we were before we became parents.
Giant Gavelphoto © 2010 Sam Howzit | more info (via: Wylio)

When we asked Tyler if he wanted to go this year, he said no. I'll admit, my first thought was "how could he be so selfish!" I know, I know. He's only 8. He has no idea why his vacation is so important to his mom and dad. But my gut reaction, combined with that Tweet got me thinking about the idea that we should love being parents 100% of the time. Now that I'm a SAHM the pressure is even worse. It's my job to take care of my family. I should throw myself into it wholeheartedly and enjoy every minute of it, right?

Well, I don't. I love my kid with a fierceness that still surprises me. I love him so much it can be all consuming at times. I love him so much that, occasionally, there's not enough left for my husband, too (another thing I feel guilty about!). And that's my problem. Anything that takes up that much of a person's time, energy and focus is exhausting! I love being a mom. Specifically, I love being Tyler's mom. But every once in awhile I need a break. WE need a break.

Phil and I could really use the time to ourselves this year. We treat Tyler's time away as mini vacation for us too. There's stress that I can't write about just now and it's making me a bad mom and a bad wife. With Tyler gone, in addition to going to dinner somewhere with no kid's menu and watching R rated movies before 9:00, we have a few days to really talk and re-connect. And, maybe my mom and Gramama will crack the whip with eye rolling in a way I've been unsuccessful at so far. I'm sure Tyler could use a break from me, too.

I guess I can't call Tyler selfish without labeling myself the same. But is it selfish to want a break from the daily grind? Society tells me it is. But then there's also the idea that 'if Mama ain't happy, nobody's happy.' And just to throw in another curve, couples who make time for each other have happier marriages. So which is it? Selflessly take care of my family, take care of myself or nurture my marriage?

I don't know why this is such a struggle for me; finding balance. I think because I don't earn a steady income, I feel like I have to bring something to the table and right now all I've got is my time. Time to cook, clean, do laundry, grocery shop, take Tyler to practice, etc. etc. I'm lucky to be an at home mom. I know that. I don't want to go back to work. At least, I don't think I do.

Anytime I feel guilty about something I know it more than likely stems from some insecurity or doubt about a decision I've made. But in this case, I don't feel guilty about wanting Tyler to go visit my mom. If anything, I feel guilty about not feeling guilty, if that makes sense. Don't get me wrong, I miss him when he's away, but the margarita at Happy Hour helps ease the pain.

So, yes, I admit it. I want my son to away for a few days. When he does, I'm going to make a conscious choice to enjoy it and the few evenings I'll spend with my husband. Alone. This does not make me a bad person. Nor does it make me a bad mom. In fact, think it makes me a better mom. Screw you, society.

*Tyler changed his mind and decided to go! Thank you, Little Brother!

Telling Myself to Shut It

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A few weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to be invited to the Rancho Bernardo Inn for a morning at the spa. I chose an 80-minute. I totally needed it. Between our shitty mattress and the walking I've been doing for the 3 day, my back was a giant knot.


When it was my time to go into the treatment room I was giddy. After I got through my typical massage day freak out (Is my bikini line shaved enough? Will the salt scrub sting since I was stupid and shaved my legs this morning? I hope I don't have to pee. Please God, don't me let me pee or toot when she's pushing on me!) I settled in, ready to be kneaded.

My masseuse got started and I felt myself relaxing. But after awhile, my brain started whirring. I was going through my To Do lists, reminders, schedule, composing blog posts and thinking of what to make for dinner. I literally had to tell myself to STFU and enjoy the damn massage already! Several times.

Jen, Beth, Christine and Sugar
Here I was, in this gorgeous spa getting an awesome massage and I could. not. relax! If ever there was a time to sit back and enjoy the moment, that was it. I hate it that my mind is always working. I have white noise 24/7. There are nights when I can't fall asleep because of the whirring. It's exhausting.

I know I could do yoga or meditate to relax but I don't think relaxing is my problem. I think it's that I never feel caught up. If I'm not constantly thinking of what needs to be done and how to make it all happen I'll fall even more behind.

Perhaps my main problem is time management? Is this just a me thing? Or maybe an anal person thing? A mom thing? Have you ever had to tell yourself to STFU and enjoy the moment?

*Rancho Bernardo Inn provided my treatment, lunch and spa slippers. Katie of La Jolla Mom has a great review of the Inn itself. More pictures from the day are on Flickr.

Admit It, You've Done It Too

Monday, April 19, 2010

It's Monday. You have a party to go over the weekend at your new blog friend's house. You need a pedicure but think, I've really got to get caught up on laundry, I'll go tomorrow. The next day it's grocery shopping and so on and so forth until finally it's Saturday afternoon. 

Of course your outfit, down to the peep toe shoes, is already planned. So, what to do? You have two choices. Either change your outfit at the last minute possibly resulting in a clothing crisis, or, you can get creative:

I had the flower painted on at the Head to Toe Women's Expo
I went with the latter.

National Mom's Nite Out San Diego: Save the Date

Friday, March 26, 2010

I can't believe it's time to plan the Mom's Nite Out party again! Last year's event was a lot of fun. I'm hoping to find another great location as well as bring in some great sponsors for the swag bags and door prizes. I have a Mom's Nite page on Facebook that I'll keep current with information. I'm actively looking for sponsors. If you've worked with a great company or brand you think would be a good fit, please let me know.

Thursday, May 6th, 2010
Location TBA
Time: Should be 6:00-9:00pm

If you're in San Diego, I hope you can make it!

That Kind of Day

Monday, April 6, 2009

Yesterday was a perfect Southern California day. It was the kind of day to stay in bed past 9:00, have coffee on the patio and flip through the Sunday paper.

It was the kind of day to ignore emails and Facebook, Google readers and Twitter.

It was the kind of day for flip flops and tank tops, lawn chairs, a good book and kids playing in the yard.

It was the kind of day for taking new bikes out for ride, enjoying the breeze and faces turned up to the sun.

It was the kind of day to fire up the grill for burgers and corn on the cob.
It was the kind of day that doesn't end when the sun goes down.

It was a meet-the-neighbors-at the-pool-after-dinner kind of day.

The best way to end a day like yesterday would be sipping an ice cold Mike's Hard Lemonade in the jacuzzi, watching the kids do Canonballs into the pool.

That's the kind of day yesterday was. It was the perfect day. It was my day. And it was just the kind of day I needed.

I'm Here, But I'm Not *Here* (picture it in italics)

Friday, February 27, 2009

Hello! You're still here? Awesome. Thanks for sticking around! This week has been Cuh-Razy! I am a perfect example of be careful what you wish for. I am in the weeds. I'm treading water and barely keeping my head above the surface, but it's been stimulating, exciting, challenging and fun. I hope it's a sign of good things to come. Bullet points of my week (sorry, I know that's so lazy):
*Met with an event planner I know from my book club. She actually asked for my advice on marketing, PR and social media (sucker!). We talked for several hours and I think I gave her a lot of ideas on things she can do going forward.

*Met with my friend's boss about her medical spa and also talked marketing etc. and created a flyer for them for a Spa Week they're having soon.

*Started on our homework from the financial advisor who's helping us for the magazine article. We each pulled our credit scores from one of the three agencies. Hello 880! Pam gave us a lot of good advice and we're hoping she's right about several things that can lower monthly payments and allow us to funnel money toward debt management and savings.

I am hoping to get back on track and resume regular blogging next week. I'm contemplating sneaking out of the house one day this weekend with Phil's* laptop and squirreling away somewhere with free WiFi so that I can get caught up on all the things I owe people.

What's been going on with you? Miss you guys! Have a great weekend.
*Yep, that's his real name. He gave the OK. Photo from Google Images.

Why I Need to be Freed From Housecleaning, by Mel

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A whole year of housecleaning would be great for my mental health and my marriage. I might even go so far as to say it would be life changing. For the past several days I’ve been cleaning and straightening, cleaning and straightening. And I’m over it.

Cleaning is a catch-22 for me because I’m anal and I LOVE a nice clean house, but I don’t like to clean. When the house is clean I can relax. Clutter makes me jittery, anxious and distracted. Even if I’m reading or watching TV, if the house isn’t clean I’m not completely relaxed because my sitting down is time I’m not spending cleaning. And then I feel guilty so I straighten. Then I get angry because cleaning is kind of a time waster.

When I think of all the hours I’ve spent scrubbing, dusting, wiping, sweeping and vacuuming I get sad for the time I’ve lost. Those are hours I’ll never get back and I could have enjoyed them so much more! I could have relaxed with my family. I could have read all the books in my ‘to be read’ pile (which, at last count, has ??? titles). I could have watched more academy award nominees. I could have started my scrapbook (well, maybe not that). Point being I’ve spent hours maybe even days or weeks! doing something that makes me feel anxious, jittery, distracted, guilty, sad and angry.

Tonight I asked my husband if he would make a video explaining why he thought I deserved to win a year of housekeeping services from I thought it would be nice to turn the blog over to him for a change.

His response? “Sure, just tell me what to say.”

I tried again. “Just talk about what you think winning would mean to me.”

“My brain doesn’t work that way. I need a script. Have Drama Kid do it.”

Oh, hell, forget it. I’ll do it myself.

That anecdote perfectly sums up why I need this. Because it seems that most days, if something needs cleaning I do it myself. That’s not to say my two boys aren’t helpful. They are. But if someone were to ask all the members of my household “who here has ever scrubbed the toilets?” I feel confident I’d be the only one raising my hand. Cleaning just isn’t that important to them. But it is to me so I take on the bulk of it. And back comes the anger and sadness but this time there’s a little bitterness and bitchy mixed in.

So let’s recap: angry, sad, jittery, anxious, distracted, guilty, bitchy and bitter. That’s one hell of an emotional roller coaster. I love roller coasters but this one has me tired and I’m ready to get off. I’ll still clean because hi, nice to meet you, I’m anal. But knowing that once a month someone will be coming to help me would take such a weight off. I could legitimately relax. And a relaxed mommy is a happy mommy. A relaxed wife is more likely to put out (Shut up. You know it’s true).

I need this. My family needs this. Free me from housecleaning. Please.

You can enter too. Rules and info here. (photo from here)

Three Things on Tuesday

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I should wait and post Three Things on Thursday (I love alliteration) but oh well. This is going to be a busy week. I'm going to resort to bullets:

1. I participated in a focus group yesterday for HP that was so interesting! I can't talk about the product but if they are able to pull this off it will be really sweet. It's nice to see a company who wants to make technology for moms actually include moms in the development! Before the product and advertising are complete! (This is my addition to the online furor over the Motrin ad on Twitter)

2. Drama Dad got a raise!! It's not a giant one, basically cost of living but with companies shutting down and layoffs everywhere we are SO grateful and I am so thankful he has such a great job with a great company.

3. I met with one of my favorite bloggers yesterday. I was nervous because my hair appointment isn't until next month, I haven't had a mani/pedi since my weekend in Florida and I have a zit on my cheek. But, I had so much fun! Even waiting in line at the bank. Her daughter is just as cute and sweet as I new she'd be. Thanks so much for hanging out with me Casey (Laural too!). Even if I did take you to a substandard park (Indside joke, you had to be there).

A Day in the Life at the Drama House

Monday, October 13, 2008

Mrs. G has asked that we share a typical day with you. Being an at home mom, many of my days are carbon copies of one another: lather, rinse repeat. And I'm OK with that.

I have my
book club, my blogging group, my adopted soldier and The Bitches to help mix things up. And this past weekend I took a little trip to Orlando to meet some of my newest blog friends (more on that later).

My day starts fairly early.

After much grumbling and stalling we head upstairs.

I feed both animals, make lunch and it's back downstairs for the brushing of the teeth and hair, finding of the shoes and Star Wars Lego guys and then off to school.

Occasionally I get to walk Drama Kid into school to say goodbye and if I'm lucky I get a hug and kiss before he runs off.

After drop off I head down to the beach for my walk.

By the time I get to the beach it's about 9:15. I walk for distance not speed so I'm usually not home until close to 11:00. I have breakfast which is some combination of coffee, tea, chai latte, cereal or my oatmeal.

Then I shower and spend hours some time on the computer. I'll start laundry, load the dishwasher and try not to cringe every time I walk by Drama Kid's room.

After this it's errand time. I'm either at Costco, Henry's, Trader Joe's, getting gas, returning library books and/or movies, buying birthday presents or any of the other things that "someone" should be doing to keep the household running smoothly.

By now it's close to pick up time at school and the mad dash to make it to martial arts class somewhat on time (school lets out at 3:10, class starts at 3:30). I read and listen to my iPod.

Class ends at 4:20 then it's home for homework, a little play time, dinner and getting Drama Kid to bed. Writing it out makes it seem really boring. Sometimes I think I need MORE in my life but then I take a step back and realize I have everything I need, and lots of stuff I want and it really can't get any better than that.

Head over to Mr's G. for a list of other Day in the Life stories.

Must See TV

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I love TV. I know what people say about it being a time waster and rotting your brain. Whatever. There's some great stuff on TV! I'm stoked all the fall shows are back. Here's what I'd be watching every day if my family decided they didn't need to eat or wear clean laundry (click on the picture to view larger):

What about you? What will you be watching at night?

Wordless Wednesday #11 Yum!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

38 Miles

Thursday, August 14, 2008

According to Mapquest, that's the distance between my front door and the salon I'll be going to today to get my hair done. Why? Because that's where the stylist I go to, and have followed around the county for about 10 years, works. Because once you find the person who can work magic with your hair, they own you. I'm nothing if not loyal.

I have always had a love hate relationship with my hair. When I was little, I loved having hair, hated getting it done. I wasn't "tender headed" but the tugging, pulling
and hurt knuckles from those giant beads at the end of the elastic hair ties as well as  the occasional burn from the hot comb (heated on the stove) made me (and my mom) a little cranky.
Now, as an adult, I love getting my hair done but hate the expense and the time I have to spend on it. I love my highlights. I love the scalp massage (almost orgasmic!). I love the look of a fresh blowout. I love how shiny and bouncy my hair is when it's just been done. I love that my husband and son remember to compliment me when I get home.

I hate the three to three and half hours I spend in the salon (though with travel time there and back I get a nice amount of 'me time'). I hate the smell of the relaxer. I hate the occasional chemical burns on my scalp.
But, ethnic hair is high maintenance hair so high it's ho, high
ho down the freeway I go. I don't think there is anything else in my life that I will schedule 9 weeks in advance, secure a sitter and make sure the car has a full tank of gas for other than a night out with my husband which better end with sex.
So, if you happen to be at My Happy Place later this afternoon and see a woman who looks like me with shiny swinging hair, please stop and say and hello.  

(hot comb photo credit here)

Do Not Disturb

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Sometimes Children Should be Not Seen and Not Heard

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

For instance at Dream Dinners [Warning: judgements ahead]. I love going to Dream Dinners. It's definitely "me" time. They have good music, samples from next month's menu's and I can have a coffee or tea while I chat with the other meal preppers.

I don't think anyone would argue that places like Dream Dinners, the nail salon or the hair salon** are places parents (99% being moms) go to get away from their children.

So why would I possibly want to be surrounded by yours?! Leave them AT HOME!

My mom was generous enough to take me to Dream Dinners when we visited two weeks ago. We thought we were in for a relaxing morning. Nuh-uh.

Now, the kids in question weren't being bad (that would have pushed me over the edge!) but they were there. Period. In my way. BAREFOOT around my food!

The owner spoke up and said, "uh-oh, I see a pair of shoes here!" in a jokey, sing-song way and the shoes stayed on for the rest of No Sitter Mom's visit. But they shouldn't have come off in the first place.

The kids were pulling chairs up to the stations and telling their endless, no point to them kid stories (you know the ones: "and then, and then") to the staff, who were trying to be polite, but hello! I need more chicken breasts over here!

And then there was the other mom who brought her older daughter along for some bonding time. Normally, I would have no problem with this. I hope Drama Kid develops a love for all things culinary.

However, (you knew there had to be one) this mom daughter pair treated each meal as a piece of art. At the stuffed shells, the daughter used the squeeze bottle to oh so caaaare-fully make perfect pesto circles on top of each shell.

Then, each shell needed exaaaaaaaaa-tly 12 pieces of shredded mozzarella arranged in a mound built to specifications known only to her but designed for optimum melting.

Grrrr! It's not rocket science it's ricotta! The poor woman next to them waiting to finish her smaller portion was dancing and weaving like a boxer darting between the pair to grab her ingredients. Then Shoeless Joe pulled up chair right next to her without so much as an "excuse me" then left it there to go back to his coloring.

Seriously? Was there not one, neighbor available to help with the kids for two hours? Another mom? A relative?

Yes, she could have been a single mom. Yes, the sitter could have backed out at the last minute. Extenuating circumstances blah blah blah.

And don't even get me started on the wailing 9-day old newborn. Poor thing was obviously not in the mood for chicken paella.

There have been plenty of occasions where I would have loved to get a mani pedi, see a movie or leisurely sip a latte. But my kid was with me so I didn't. And the one time I did have to bring him to the salon? Not a peep. Because I bribed him with fast food and brought the DVD player.

Maybe my beef is not so much with the kids, but the parents. Tell them to use their manners. Tell them to be patient. Tell them to use their inside voices.

And if you know you have to bring them along to the Typically Kid Free Place? For goodness sakes plan ahead. Snacks, drinks, a movie, books, coloring, the kitchen sink. Anything to keep them quietly occupied (read: not bothering the rest of us). Thank you in advance and let the games begin!

**Full disclosure: I took Drama Kid to the salon for my 8-week hair appointment. Which happened to fall on Drama Dad's Reserve weekend. Which I can't cancel because my stylist is crazy busy. I have to book my next two appointments while I'm at the current one or I'm hosed. Anyone with ethnic hair knows where I'm coming from. The roots cannot wait!add to kirtsy
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