momlife

How To Be a Better Mom in 10 Easy Steps

First of all, let us be clear- YOU ROCK ALREADY.  Your kids don’t care whether you made homemade brownies for the bake sale or whether you spent 1,110 hours creating cut-out dinosaurs on the Cricut for their birthday party.  You keep your kids fed. You keep your kids safe. You kiss them and hug them and love them and sometimes they eat candy and sometimes they eat kale and THAT IS ENOUGH.  So if you’re asking yourself how to be a better mom, lady, we’ve got news for you- you are the best mom your kids could ever have. Period.

We asked a lot of amazing mommies just like you to tell us about the mothers in their lives- their mamas, their friends, their kids’ aunties and the random mommies they pass in Target who are keeping their cool while their child goes feral.  And we were so, so happy to see that it isn’t always the BIG things that make a person a great mother. It’s the little things, done sweetly (or even begrudgingly!), on a regular basis that shows your kids that you are there for them.  And if your kids don’t notice it? Well, WE notice it, and odds are, the other people in your life do, too.

So keep on keeping on, Mama. You are doing an AMAZING job. Here are twelve ways that you are probably rocking this #momlife without even knowing it.

Are you looking for ways to be a better mom? We just want to remind you- we think you're already amazing. Read why at TheSaltyMamas.com. #howtobeabettermom #mothersday2018 #mothersday #momlife #motherhood #unitedinmotherhood

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Mama Mojo, Married with Children

5 Ways to Make Date Night a Priority

From the moment you have a baby, people will start giving you advice. One of those helpful tips is to make date night a priority. Everyone tells you that you need to not just be “Mommy and Daddy” but need to find a way to remain husband and wife, or to some degree, boyfriend and girlfriend. When this happened to us, we’d smile and nod and agree in theory. And then every Friday and Saturday night, we’d be on our couch, in sweatpants, watching some crap on TV before sloughing off to bed. Now, I’m not going to lie. That’s borderline my perfect night. But at some point it got to be so routine and so impersonal. It was then that we started to understand why date night is so important.

It was one thing to make date night a priority in theory, but it was time to make it a priority in practice. Here are 5 ways you can.

#datenight #datenightforparents #fundatenightideas #cutedatenightideas #romanticdatenightideas #fundateideas #romanticdateideas #mommydaddydatenight

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Kids' Activities, Uncategorized

10 Outdoor Toys for Kids That Will Get Them to Leave You Alone

Summer is almost here, and with it will come these LONG stretches of time that need to be filled. You can put your family on a schedule that breaks the day into manageable chunks. You can run to all the activities, spend your days at those dollar movies, head to the beach, and swim at the pool. And yes. We do think you should do those things, if you and your kids are into it. But also? Sometimes you need a BREAK.

The best way to get your kids to leave you alone encourage independent play is to send them outside, and then leave them to their own devices. We recommend you splurge a little on some amazing outdoor toys for toddlers that will grow with them. The best outdoor toys for kids will last you for YEARS, and most of them aren’t even a huge investment.

Even if you need small outdoor toys that don’t take up a lot of space, you can find some amazing, open-ended outside toys for kids that will help them learn to love to play outside. So do some Amazon shopping, and then grab a cocktail and get ready to make outdoor happy hour a THING for your family this summer.

Check out our list of the BEST outdoor toys for kids to encourage indpeendent play (and get you some peace and quiet). Toys for kids from 1 and up, from thesaltymamas.com. #outdoortoysforkids #outdoortoysfortoddlers #outsidetoys #bestsummertoys #summertoylist

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Saturday Six

Saturday Six

Another day, another trip to Target for a birthday card for my Dad where we leave spending $80. Just us? But, I mean, Cole really needs some shorts that actually fit…..And Evie needs new rubber bands….HAND SOAP! This is just how our brains work now. So here are the six things that are jumping out at us this week. Enjoy!

This post contains affiliate links. You can read more at our Legal Page. Thank you for supporting The Salty Mamas!

1. It’s Hammock Time

The weather got NICE and the kids want to play outside all day long. But Mama is tired and wants to relax. So basically the best thing that ever happened to Christine is this hammock.  She grabbed it at Costco, but don’t worry, you can get it on Amazon! It is comfy enough that you can lay in the sun and read a book all afternoon (if the kids leave you alone) but it’s also sturdy and doesn’t sway so you know it’s not going to swing and hit your kid in the face if they’re playing with it. If they fall off they won’t hit the structure and it’s the safest hammock we’ve found for the littles to play on!

2. Korean Ground Beef 

We were totally twinning this week when we sent each other matching pictures of our Friday night meal prep. Since we were planning to feed this to five kids with different preferences it must be a crowd-pleaser overall. Want more family meal ideas? Don’t forget to check out our Family Meals and Recipes Board and follow us on Pinterest!

 

3. A Very Disney Movie Bracket

Our friend Becca is back in the bracket game, this time breaking down Disney movies (which, I think it’s safe to say, we have very strong opinions on!) Round one just ended, but voting for the Sweet Sixteen starts Monday! So for now, go check out who made it out of the first round and join the smack talking as you can campaign for why your favorite movie should go all the way. And if your favorite movie already got beat? Use the comments to bemoan the injustice of it all. They’re rad chicks and can handle it.

4. Christine’s New Phone Case

Christine’s old cell phone case started out a beautiful minty green blue, but has become grubby and dingy and minty green blue gray. But, being the cheapskate she is, couldn’t justify buying a new case just because the old one was ugly. So I guess she’s sort of thanking Izzie for throwing her phone across the room and cracking the case. Especially because this beautiful rose gold number is on the way!

5. Kids Eat Free

We love to go out to dinner, but a) it get’s expensive when you’re feeing a family of four or five and b) well, no, it’s really just a! So we are MASTERS at working the system at places where Kids Eat Free. Which is especially helpful when your kid wants to eat shrimp all the time (seriously, it adds up!). So off we go to Gladstone’s on Thursday nights so the kids can at least eat free. I mean, his face says, “I love shrimp” but trust me when I tell you that Mommy’s face says, “I love FREE shrimp!”

6. The Saturday Six is Moving!

Starting next Saturday, April 28, the Saturday Six will be coming STRAIGHT to your inbox! To make sure you never miss a thing, make sure to sign up for our weekly newsletter here!

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Saturday Six

Saturday Six

It’s been a great week in so many ways, but we’ve had about as much coffee as we’ve had sleep (strike that…WAY MORE COFFEE THAN SLEEP), so let’s get right to the good stuff. Here are the things we’re loving lately!

This post contains affiliate links. You can read more at our Legal Page. Thank you for supporting The Salty Mamas!

1. Easy AF Chicken Pesto Pasta

You had me at “Easy AF,” Chicken Pesto Pasta recipe.  This recipe is SO yummy, SO easy, and can be made in a single pan in 20 or thirty minutes.  It transports and heats well, and even tastes delicious using Gluten-Free Pasta (see below). Perfect meal to take for new babies, or a friend that just needs a little extra help.

2. Take and Toss Products

We’ve been on the struggle bus with sippy cups for something like six months. All the cups are always dirty and the lids are unfindable. Since the kids like milk first thing in the morning, we were always confronted with this problem around 5:30 each morning, and we had had enough.

And then we remembered that Take and Toss products are like $3 for a set, and bought a mess of them. Saying it changed our lives is embarassing, but also an undertsatement. Sometimes you just have to throw some money at the problem (especially when it’s THREE DOLLARS) and make it go away.

3. The MiFold Booster Seat

We love to throw an extra kid into the mix on a regular basis.  Playdates can change your whole vibe, and having a friend tag along is the easiest way to turn a good day into a great one.  We keep extra carseats in our car in case we get the chance to bring another kiddo along with us, but it just takes up so.much.space.  Then we realized our kids are in the weight and age ranges for the MiFold Booster seat. This bad boy folds up to the size of a tablet so it’s crazy easy to store, and certified to keep your kids (and their friends!) safe.

4. Guest Post at KateTheAlmostGreat.Com

Jaymi has been going through some health struggles for the last six months or so. It was an endless barrage of symptoms and appointments and tests that came up normal.  Finally, Daniella recommended that she tried going Gluten Free, and to her delight and horror, her symptoms all disappeared.  So now she lives that GF life….which is hard for people to understand.  Check out her guest post over at Kate the Almost Great about the 6 Biggest Misconceptions she’s encountered since going Gluten-Free (and what’s annoyed her most about the lifestyle).

5. BFF Tattoos

Becca at WithLoveBecca.com let us know that you can get a temporary tattoo made of your BFF’s face. Which is either horrifying or amazing, depending on how creepy your relationship is with your bestie.

We’re ordering a whole batch for this summer, in case you were wondering.

6. Jellies & Saltwaters

Chrisitne rolled up to a Chick-fil-A lunchdate wearing adult-sized jelly shoes, and Jaymi just about lost her mind. First of all, because of the cuteness, but also because it’s SO nostaligc. The new version is way softer, but just as adorable. Grab a pair for yourself here.

Which got us to thinking- what other retro shoes are making a comeback? We quickly found that you can get some Saltwater Sandals for yourself (and a matching pair for your littles!) as well as a modernized version of Birkenstocks, all of which seem shockingly on trend for summer.  What would be your summer shoe of choice? Tell us in the comments below!

Salty Mama Lists

100 Things I Regret

We live in a fast paced world where there are opportunities around every corner. And we’re supposed to say, “YES!.” I mean, it’s the age of #YOLO and #NoRegrets. It’s a time when we’re supposed to grab the bull by the horns and when Andy Cohen asks you if you regret anything you said or did this season you can proudly say “I don’t believe in regrets.” (I’m looking at you Luann). But me? I’m sitting over here being a medical test dummy for my 3 year old and thinking how I absolutely should not have let her get the Doc McStuffins kit for pooping in the potty. Sure, I could try to brush it off as a “learning experience” but we’d rather go back in time and prevent the thermometer wet willy I just got from ever happening. That, and these other 99 things.

#NoRegrets is great and all, but this is #momlife, and I've got over 100 regrets. What are yours?  #momlifeisthebestlife #momlifestyle #momliferocks #momlifebelike #momlifeisthebest #momlifebestlife #momlifeyo #momlifeinabubble #momlifechronicles #momlifeunfiltered #momlifeisthtebestlife #momlifeishard #momlifestyleblogger #mommyhumor #momhumor #momhumorblog #parenting #dadlife

I Regret….

  1. Not accepting WAY more help when it was offered in the first couple years of parenting.
  2. That one Halloween when I ate all the candy.
  3. Not getting more pedicures.
  4. Wearing white shirts when my kids were babies.
  5. The number of times I was too lazy to make myself a meal and had chips and salsa for dinner.
  6. That one trip to Reno with two kids under two and cramming four people in two airplane seats.
  7. The time I assumed my kids fussiness was due to teething and not to an ear infection.
  8. Not bringing an extra pair of pants.
  9. And underwear.
  10. Taking all three kids to the movies at the same time.
  11. Telling the kids about the super fun and exciting thing we’re not doing until next week.
  12. Beating myself up about not losing the baby weight.
  13. The time I peeked in on the kids at the YMCA and the baby saw me and started to cry.
  14. Buying so many tubs of low carb ice cream before deciding I don’t care about carbs.
  15. Not taking more pictures of myself with the kids when they were teeny tiny babies.
  16. Not making that drink a double.
  17. Waiting so long to give my son formula. 
  18. The time we went to Chuck E Cheese at noon on a Saturday.
  19. Forgetting to grab the wipes.
  20. Not getting an epidural on that second baby (Jaymi).
  21. Not getting an epidural on that third baby (Christine).
  22. Pretty much all of 2004.
  23. Not giving all these people a piece of my mind in the moment.
  24. That seventh “blue drink” on the cruise.
  25. Not super sizing my fries when I had the chance.
  26. Parking my car on the street the night it got side swiped.
  27. Not taking my kid to the bathroom the first time they said they had to go.
  28. Asking my sister about how long she thought it would be until she had the baby. While she was in labor.
  29. Stopping for diapers on St. Patrick’s Day 2014, because during the time it to me to get them my daughter got bit by a dog.
  30. Not using my Chick-fil-A reward before it expired that one time.
  31. You know those letters your therapist tells you to write, but not send? I regret sending it.
  32. Waiting so long to buy LuLaRoe leggings.
  33. Letting my kids eat in the car.
  34. Keeping a Sharpie within arms reach of my children.
  35. Not teaching my kids that they have to wear underwear every single day.
  36. Everything about this situation.
  37. Letting my kid sleep in my room so long.
  38. Moving my kid out of their crib when I did.
  39. Watching Waterworld.
  40. Not noticing the Starbucks cup in the trash can before my 18 month old drank out of it.
  41. Almost every time I’ve answered an unknown number on my phone.
  42. Waiting so long to replace our old college furniture.
  43. Not printing out more pictures of my kids.
  44. Leaving my kids lunchbox in the car overnight.
  45. Forgetting to call the YMCA and not getting a spot in the kids club.
  46. Introducing my kids to the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers.
  47. Not sleeping when the baby slept.
  48. Wearing cheap bras.
  49. Not checking under the carseats when I thought the car was clean. 
  50. Not going to Applebee’s more often for $1 drink specials.
  51. Yelling at the girl at the McDonald’s drive through when I was having a rough day and my coupon wouldn’t scan.
  52. Drinking that coffee at 8pm. And yes, it’s probably the only time I’ve EVER regretted drinking a coffee.
  53. Every time I’ve ever refused pain medication.
  54. Not noticing until 8 at night, home alone, with all three kids, that we were COMPLETELY OUT of diapers.
  55. Wearing high heels to my kids’ baptisms.
  56. Forgetting it was street sweeping day.
  57. Buying generic cough drops.
  58. Forgetting to turn everything off and ruining my Ohm Hour streak.
  59. Not signing my kid up for the summer camp he really wanted before it sold out.
  60. Running into the baby’s room to make sure she’s alive only to have the running wake her up.
  61. Repeatedly running into the baby’s room, after not having learned my lesson the first time.
  62. Not getting a refill on my Cherry Coke before leaving Chick-fil-A.
  63. Choosing being on time over getting coffee on the way.
  64. The time I let my toddler take a nap at 5pm.
  65. Saying I didn’t need anything for Mother’s Day.
  66. Sleeping on the couch last night. My back is not in it’s 20’s anymore.
  67. Buying expensive sunglasses.
  68. Buying cheap bras.
  69. The time I will never get back trying to finish The Goldfinch. 
  70. Teaching my kids how to use Alexa for their own personal gain.
  71. The time I wore white and then let my kids eat Cheetos near me.
  72. Basically any time I wore white post having kids.
  73. Not ordering dessert more often.
  74. Falling off the workout wagon.
  75. Forgetting my phone at the library.
  76. Forgetting my phone at the library right before it closes.
  77. Forgetting my phone at the library right before it closes on a Saturday night when they won’t be open again UNTIL TUESDAY!
  78. Thinking it was “just a rash” and ignoring it for a minute.
  79. Buying every toy we have that makes a ton of noise.
  80. Buying the Costco sized bag of raisins. When will I learn the kids will turn on anything I buy in bulk?
  81. Forgetting to restock toilet paper in the bathroom.
  82. Letting my kid take a nap at 4pm.
  83. Saying, “No I can do it myself” when I just should have said, “That would be great, thank you.”
  84. Leaving fake tanning lotion within reach of my two year old.
  85. Letting my kids own a cowbell.
  86. Not spending more of my kids’ formative years teaching them you don’t eat bananas out of the trash.
  87. Taking my fertility for granted.
  88. Getting the kids all excited to get Chick-fil-A and then remembering it’s Sunday.
  89. Anytime I ever took the kids with me when I had to try on clothes before buying them.
  90. Thinking I didn’t need a stroller anymore for a day at the aquarium with three kids.
  91. Forgetting to return the giant stack of kids’ library books on time.
  92. Letting my kid stay up WAY past his bedtime to watch “one more cool part” until the movie was over.
  93. Saying yes to Play-Doh.
  94. Not making it absolutely clear to my children that you HAVE to wear pants in public. All the time.
  95. Asking my son how I looked in my bathing suit. (Spoiler alert: “Squishy”)
  96. Not getting more pedicures.
  97. Not hiring a babysitter when I just needed a break.
  98. Believing my kid when he said he definitely had his shoes. (He did not).
  99. Anytime anyone ever made me feel bad about any of my parenting choices.

Because despite all these regrets, I love my kids, I (usually) love my life, and yes, I learned from allllllll those mistakes. Next time I’m super-sizing, signing my kid up for summer camp the day registration opens and getting that epidural dammit!

What do you regret?

Saturday Six

Saturday Six

It’s Spring Break, which means we had all the kids and had to find a way to kill all the time. While we were trying to entertain The Bigs, the littlest Salty has decided that she LOVES to play from 1 to 3. In the morning. So while Christine walks around like a Mombie, she’s just looking for all the ways to make her life easier. Here are six ways we entertained the big kids and made our lives easier this week.

This post contains affiliate links. You can read more at our legal page. Thank you!

1. Spring Break Bucket List

One of the things we like to do at the beginning of a school break is sit down with the kids to make our Break Bucket Lists. Sometimes we need to manage expectations, but sometimes the kids get it just right. Like this week, Lila’s list included: Frogg’s Bounce House (an affordable indoor bounce house place), ice cream, playing with the neighbor girl and a shopping spree. So Jaymi got to planning and knocked these out while Lila was living her dream. Literally.

Especially when she got to go shopping, “by herself,” with her own money at a cool accessories store where everything was $2 – buy 5, get 1 free! Bonus points for learning about budgeting and making hard shopping decisions!

2. Tumbling All Day, Everyday

Okay, not really, but whenever the gymnastics center was open for free play, we were there. Not sure why we weren’t normally living there, because the kids loved it. One hour where they ran, jumped, bounced and got hella tired. We will never turn down a place that leaves our kids nice and exhausted. Afterwards, the little ones took epic naps, the big ones did calm activities like coloring and watching TVs in a catatonic state.

The only complaint came from the Big Girls, who felt they desperately need proper gymnastics attire. Lila’s going to need one like this, with a subtle mermaid vibe, while Evie has requested anything with a skirt.

Well, and Christine complained about some Moms that maybe thought they didn’t need to supervise their kids, but we’ll save that for our upcoming sequel to Open Letters to the People That Make Us Salty. Because turns out, we weren’t done.

3. Frozen Yogurts

In our house, sacks wax and wane in popularity. Raisins will be the hot thing one minute, then we’ll buy a Costco sized bag of then and no one ever touches them again. One snack that disappeared from the rotation made it’s triumphant return this week. The kids wake up FREAKING OUT asking if they can have a “frozen yogurt” today. We squelch the gut reaction of “Nooooo, we are NOT going to go get frozen yogurt” and remember they’re talking about the sweet little treat in the fridge.

And look at that happy face!

4. Adding an Extra Kid

It may seem counterintuitive, but we swear by adding an extra kid to the mix to shake things up. Our kids’ sibling rivalry gets a little shakeup when we add a friend to our activities. So while Christine was dreading taking her three to the nature center this week, she was saved when Lila agreed to come with them. The kids were adorable, we all got some exercise and they got to spend a fun day with a friend.

5. Apple Peeler

Our kids love apples, but are finicky about the skin. So when the little gremlins start whining about how they need apples immediately, we die a little inside. They all want apples immediately and have zero patience for the fact that we need to peel three apples while they tug at our pants and whine “why aren’t the apples ready yet???” Add to it that they also decide at the same time that they need jugs of water to drink, and the baby needs to be held and someone needs help getting on the toilet.

So yeah, Christine buckled down and bought this potato peeler to do just a tiny bit of her job for her.

6. Game Night with Friends

The surest antidote to spending all that extra time with our kids is to also spend extra time with our friends. Preferably with a cocktail in our hands. This week was the perfect storm for a girls night: Spring break, Real Housewives of NY premiere, SO much leftover Easter candy, and got the game Kinderperfect! It’s like Cards Against Humanity, except designed for people that spend their entire day avoiding Calliou and dealing with poop.

So…..us. If you dig having a game night with the girls, you should definitely grab this one!

How did you survive spring break?

parenting, The Salties, They Said WHAT?

7 Things You NEVER Thought You Had to Teach Your Kids

Having kids is a big responsibility. You hold your tiny baby and think, “I’m going to teach you letters and numbers and colors, how to throw a ball and how to read” and it can feel overwhelming and exciting all at the same time. Kids are constantly learning and part of our job is to facilitate this amazing experience for them. And then they take off their pants in a Chick-fil-A and you realize you’ve been focusing on all the wrong things. And there’s a whole world out there of things you NEVER thought you’d actually have to teach your kids.

So here are seven things we learned the hard way that you absolutely MUST teach your kids.

#whattoteachyourkids #stuffkidssay #funnystuffkidssay #momlife #kidssaythedarndestthings #theysaidwhat #whattoteachkids #teachingkids #whatshoulditeachkids #whatdokidsneedtolearn

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MicroLuxuries, momlife, parenting, Saturday Six, The Salties

Saturday Six

Have you ever done that thing where you want to do ALL THE THINGS, so you tell everyone yes and you don’t tell anybody no, and then it looks so PRETTY in your color coded Bullet Journal, but then when it comes to actually living that plan, you are EXHAUSTED and wondering what the hell you were thinking?

No? Just us?

At any rate, it was a busy, fun, exhausting week, and in the end we wouldn’t change a thing.  Here are a few of our favorites.

This post contains affiliate links. You can read more at our legal page. Thank you!

1. Impromptu Playdates

What do you do when you have leftover supplies from the preschool Easter Party, and are wondering what to do with all of those pudding cups? Invite over your besties and throw yourselves a party! We made these adorable handprint chickens (Ducks? Whatever. Birds.), ate pudding, and then the kids spent a surprisingly long time coloring these adorable Easter Egg Coloring Pages from Real Mom Recs. So if you’re looking for a last minute Easter activity, she’s got you covered! Just print, cut apart, and set them out for some kid-friendly fun that will (hopefully!) keep them occupied for a good, long time.

2. Being Prime Moms, Not Pinterest Moms

Okay, we take that back- we are a little of both. But Jaymi got so busy making cutesy projects (that she actually enjoyed making) for Abe’s upcoming second birthday that she couldn’t stomach the thought of one.more.project. So when it came time to decide what he’d wear to his party, she thought she’d check Amazon real quick and found out that they actually have a PERFECT shirt for a sports themed second birthday party. How amazing is this cute little tee? And it cost about the same as it would to make it yourself, and saves about 7 hours worth of work probably, so WINNING.

3. Gluten Free Cookies

Jaymi hasn’t had a ton of luck finding a Gluten Free flour substitute she loves, so she finally decided to google “flourless cookie recipe.” Which brought her to these AMAZING chocolate meringue cookies that somehow manage to have that real-cookie texture with none of that floury nonsense.  We’ve got more recipes (both GF and regular!) for you to check out on our Baked with Love Pinterest board.

4. Wandering Wednesday

We participate in a link up party over at Confessions of Parenting called “Wandering Wednesday.” Every week, bloggers drop their best posts on the page, and this week our post “Open Letters to the People that Make Us Salty” was chosen as the featured post.  The link up is open to new bloggers as well- you can find out how to contribute your own piece here.

5. Have You Had That Baby Yet?

We have a few close friends expecting babies soon- like, YESTERDAY kind of soon.  And yes, they are getting sick of hearing “have you had that baby yet?” and “any baby news?” We humbly suggest that they refer all inquiring parties to HaveYouHadThatBabyYet.Com.  Try it- it’s fun.

6. This Wine Glass

Because honestly, it’s been a week, and this wine glass makes us smile. Especially when it’s filled with our favorite white.

 

 

Married with Children

5 Times You Should Stop Correcting Your Partner

As a stay at home Mom, I’m a little set in my ways. I have a routine down with my kids and somewhere along the line I started to think that the only way things could be done was my way. I became increasingly frustrated with the way my husband was doing things, because frankly, I thought he was doing them wrong. He was getting annoyed and volunteering to do things less. He wasn’t as hands on as he had been in the past and I grew to resent that.

Eventually, I found myself asking, “Am I too hard on my husband?”

The answer was totally yes.

If you think you might be too hard on your partner, here are 5 ways that I lightened up.

#critical #parenting #dads #dadsparenting #amitoocritical #amitooharsh #howmyhusbandparents #amitoouptight #supportivewife #supportivemother #marriedlife #marriedwithchildren #happilymarried

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