Random Thoughts: Breakfast on the go


Now that school has started, I will be driving my four kids during the early AM commute to get Big Bro to public school in time — it will be a 45 minute trip.  I would like to have the kids get up, get dressed, and go… and serve them their breakfast in the car so they can each get some extra sleep, instead of doing the breakfast routine at home.  This will require more planning by me up front, but I think it will work out.   But I’d love some ideas from you!!!!

Photo source:  Parenting.com
This is what I’ve been thinking:

  • bowl of fruit, side of bread/tortilla
  • fruit smoothie
  • cheese sticks, sliced apples
  • pancakes (made in advance, then reheated in micro-wave) and then placed in a “tortilla” warmer container
  • chocolate Nutella roll ups in tortillas (e.g., our Chocolate Tuesday, Chocolate Thursday)
  • home-made granola bars
  • fresh made bread with my bread machine… I can program in advance and have the bread ready and baked for when the kids wake up
  • Yogurt, granola, nuts
  • bagel quarters with cream cheese/jelly

There are also some great ideas I found at Parenting.com.  Some of them won’t work for picky kids or for REALLY needing to run out the door, but there are some good ideas in there.  Check it out.

Any other thoughts?   What kinds of fast breakfasts do you do for your kids?   Which of these are “portable” to your car without too much mess? 

Please share!

Thanks for listening –

– Mama K

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December 9: Tantrums, sickness, lack of sleep X FOUR


Happy Friday! Today is a “stay-at-home” day with me and the Twins. It has been a bit of a rough day so far…

Highlights of the Morning and Early Afternoon:

  • I woke up a big hungover to three kids in my bed – Red, and the Twins. What was absolutely adorable was Red was reading to each of them.
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  • Big Bro put on a t-shirt and shorts. Mind you, it’s 37 degrees outside. I pleaded with him to think about the cold outside and think about pants. The problem is that it does actually warm up during the day, and he is very hot-blooded. So my pleading went ignored – but I left it up to him to make his own decision.
  • Everyone was a bit cranky this morning. The Twins both are sick. Sneezing and big red rashes all over the place. Roseola? Not sure. But they are cranky and clingy. Big Bro is whining about everything. Red starts her whining when it came to her socks. By the time we were on her jacket, she was in full-fledged tantrum. I think the Twins’ bad moods for being sick kindof rubbed off on the older two who maybe didn’t get enough sleep last night. Anyway, all four of them were not very enjoyable this morning. Or, maybe was it the wine I drank last night??!?!?!?
  • Big Bro scootered to school while I strollered the Twins. We were extremely late. By the time we got there he was the last one in but at least we caught up with the group. He then runs outside to me in tears because he forgot his library book. I said I would go back and get it. I looked into his eyes and he looked terrible. I’m putting these kids to bed early tonight.
  • On the stroller ride home with the Twins, I took it slow. We talked about things that we saw. I miss this with them. When Big Bro and later Red were small and we were living in the city, I would stroller them to daycare which was in my office building. So at that time, I had the opportunity to talk about so many things with them – it was city living so there was just a lot to look at and teach. Water fountains, big buildings, lights (and counting the lights), going into building lobbies and talking about the holiday decorations, pointing out the flags, etc. Now with the Twins, we commute primarily by mini-van. On days that I stroll with them, particularly on Thursday and Fridays when we are coming back home, I really want to take it slow with them. I feel like I have a lot of catching up to do with these two. We talked about the crows and how they fly away and how big their wings are. We saw two dogs playing so we pulled over to watch them play and we talked about how funny it is to see dogs and how they play and wrestle and run around in circles. We talked about the holiday decorations that we saw. Twin Husky initiated conversation about the playground and the slides. Twin Husky is still pointing out all of the basketball nets. We talked about the busier road and how cars drive fast on that road. We talked about flowers and spent some time looking at them. I talked with them the whole way home and felt better that I am doing more now to teach them about the world around them.
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  • I started looking for Big Bro’s library book and found it. I threw 2 diapers and a small package of wipes in my handbag. Also two little cars to keep the kids entertained. I’m taking them out to breakfast! I went to drop off the book, and Big Bro’s class was not there – so I left a present for him….
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  • Then we headed out for breakfast. I parked and decided NOT to stroller them, but to walk the two blocks. The kids had a great time and Twin Crazy almost looked proud to be walking with me, holding my hand, and crossing the street like a big girl. While at breakfast, our table was close to all of these holiday decorations and the board underneath a HUGE penguin kept getting pushed in by Twin Husky, therefore leading the penguin to almost coming crashing down on us twice. He is such a boy. He needs to touch everything. The penguin incident happened TWO times so he didn’t even learn from the first time. We had a good breakfast nonetheless, and the twins had lots of fun things to look at in this greasy spoon of a diner.
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  • Once we got back I had to care for sick twins. Both were extremely cranky. I had snot to deal with, red skin to deal with, sore noses to deal with, and medicine to give. It took about 15 minutes for the caregiving to kick in and after that they were much more pleasant.
  • We headed upstairs and I read them books. I love how they get so excited over the books. They each run for a book for me to read. Sometimes I read to them, and sometimes they read picture books to me. They love it. They love turning the pages. They love making the sounds that animals make. They love talking with me about what they see on the page. Once I say that the books are done and its time for their nap, they don’t even fight it. They welcome it. I kiss them and they grab hold of their stuffed animals and blankets and begin to doze.
  • They’re down for a nap now and I am getting some things done around the house. I enjoy this quiet time where I can focus on things that I normally would not be able to. The sun is out and I’m feeling good. The twins are quiet so it seems like they are busy sleeping.
    • The Rest of the Day:

    • The twins both woke up in foul moods. Twin Crazy was having a hard time sleeping the entire time because of her stuffed up nose. They’re both sick and struggling. I packed them up, picked up Big Bro, and headed out to a friends house who had a HUGE hand-me-down dollhouse and lots of hand-me-down clothes for all of the kids.
    • The dollhouse was bigger than expected. I thought I’d be able to slip it in the back and cover it up quickly before Big Bro would see it, that way it could be from Santa. No such luck. This thing was HUGE. Four feet tall, at least. I think 4 floors. It wouldn’t fit in the trunk of the mini-van. I tried over and over to shove it in. Of course Big Bro saw it. So I tried to get one of the seats to fold under to give more room. It was stuck. Me and Big Bro were trying to figure it out. He noticed that his car seat was in the way. I eventually got it. Both of us were excited and proud. What a team!!! The thing took up a big part of the van on the way home. Too funny.
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    • Hubby picked up Red while I cooked dinner; Flat Meat with chicken and I did a marinade with mango jelly and basil. Big Bro was throwing tantrums left and right. He was really, really difficult to deal with tonight. The dinner was very good. The kids ate well but it took them awhile to get started — again, their crankiness was a bit too much to bear. I started to drink a Guinness..
    • After dinner we brought out the dollhouse and Big Bro, Red, and Twin Crazy had fun cleaning it. The three of them seem really excited about it. I would have loved it if I had it when I was a kid. Maybe Santa can get Red some proper dolls to play with it, and maybe some more furniture.
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    • There were huge tantrums tonight with the older kids about graham crackers, going to the potty, etc. I just think that both of them were way too tired.
    • So, today was great in that we have all of this new “loot” in the house – clothes, dollhouse, etc. But honestly ALL of the kids were so hard today. All the result of too little sleep and being sick. I really need for Big Bro to nap this weekend. And I hope the kids sleep in a bit tomorrow. Because I know I’ll be moving slowly…

      Have a great weekend everyone –
      Til next week –
      – Mama K

      September 26: Pretty in Pink


      I’m coming from a bad weekend. On a scale of 1-10, it was a 2. Today I’m groggy, hungry, have no coffee, and am feeling down.  I’m on the ferry now with all the kids at daycare/preschool/Kindergarten. Back to reality.

      Highlights of the Morning:

      • All kids sleep late this morning. We have to peel them out of their beds.
      • Today is a cheerio cereal morning for 75% of the kids. The Twins are doing well with spoons but we had several occurences of spilled bowls and Cheerios/milk all over the place and all over them. Plus, Twin Crazy has a habit of taking her bowl and walking around the entire first floor when we are not looking. So there were also trails of cereal and wet milk all over the rugs.
      • Red is initially upset and yelling when I bring down her clothes. This is because she already picked out her underwear and socks. She is extremely mad at me for this. “No problem! I’ll just put this stuff away and we’ll pick out a pair of shorts together. No problem.” She is a breeze after that. She has 3 bowls of cereal.
      • Big Bro is a handful this morning. He does not want to come downstairs without holding my hand (he needs “mommy time”). But I am in the middle of diapering the Twins and also getting Red dressed (and hugging her for mommy time), so he has to wait. It wasn’t until 8 AM until we walked down together. We dress him quickly (mommy time) and I grab some things that he could eat in the car for breakfast.
      • Hubby and I split the drop offs since we are running late. He takes Red, I take the Twins and Big Bro. The daycare provider seems honestly happy and thrilled to see the Twins again. Lots of kisses.
      • I drive Big Bro to Kindergarten and we quickly force some applesauce down this throat in the van before leaving for the line-up. When we enter his class, he turns to me and gives me a huge hug — even though we are in front of his friends.  How sweet.
      • I just make it to the Ferry in time. They were closing the gate as I ran up. This was a close call.
      • So, it is obvious to me that my kids feel like they need more of me today. I feel bad about that. I’ll need to make it up to them in the evenings this week. Make sure I spend some 1-on-1 time with each of them.

      Today at work will be the first day of a very busy week. I have guest speakers to still book, presentations to review, and final logistics to take care of. We have our two forums next week and this will be my first time doing this. I need to rock this so that I can position myself for a lighter work-week going forward.

      Highlights of my Working Day:

      • I arrive in the office and have 10 minutes to look at email (some were quite important, dealing with potential presenters at upcoming forums)
      • I then have  a 1.5 hour presentation review; consultants presented to me findings of the data compilation of one of our forums; I give suggestions and probe for the “drivers” and why the data is trending the way it is. If we don’t have the answers, that’s OK.  These are the types of questions that will be PERFECT to the forum to get conversation going.
      • I attend another meeting related to a separate project. I’m not sure exactly why I was there. I didn’t add much to the conversation and I really had a lot of other stuff to do.
      • I arranged/secured two presenters for conferences; I received some presentation from guest speakers and will need to start to review them.

      So, work is busy, but not extremely scary. Next week will be a BIG trip. I will be facilitating and presenting and winging it for TWO forums; I don’t mind getting in front of a crowd; I am looking forward to the networking and getting to know people. I get to get dressed up and maybe I’ll even wear some flashy shoes. 🙂

      So now I’m on the ferry home, missing my kids. I’m also extremely tired today. Emotionally drained.
      Dinner and Bedtime:

      • I pick up Big Bro and delay the time with him so he feels good “mommy time”.  Together we go to Red’s pre-school.   I decide to ask him to pick out a book and we lay down on one of the couches and I read to him, and only him.   That is his dose of “mommy time”.  I hope he remembers and appreciates it.   Question to readership:    What kinds of activities do you do 1:1 with your kids that are “quick” and can be done in the daily course of your day??
      • We then find Red.  She is so sweet.
      • Lastly, the Twins. They are back at daycare.  They seem to be happy.   They are eating apple fruit bars.
      • Once at home, I clean up a bit.   I set up all the kids with markers and paper so they can draw and do art.  I think its so much fun now to have the Twins “closer” in capability to the older siblings.   So now they can do art now too when their older siblings are.   This is getting to be fun.
      • As they are creating, I try to decide what to create for dinner.  I decide to cop-out and make pancakes.   And I slice some canned peaches.  Sounds good to me, and the kids think this is funny.  Question to readership:    Have you EVER served breakfast at dinner?   If  so, how often can you get away with it???
      • As I set the kids at the table, I realize that Twin Husky has gotten into Red’s pretend make up.   He is busy applying it all over his face.
      Twin Husky - Pretty in Pink

      Twin Husky - Pretty in Pink

      • Hubby gets home after kids have eaten.  I’m changing ATTROCIOUS diapers.
      • I throw out the diapers outside — that’s how bad they are — and then walk into the sliding door on my way in.  Great.
      • Twins seem a bit cranky so we start bedtime routine early; Twin Crazy is barely holding on.
      • Red and Big Bro decide to do dance routines and acrobatics in their room before going to bed.  They crack me up.
      So now it is the end of my first day back at work after a week of vacation, and after a week of working from home.   It was a tough, tough morning but work itself was OK.  It felt good to be back.   I think I can manage this conference stuff without too much stress (I think — get back to me after NEXT week…..).
      Til tomorrow –
      – Mama K

      August 17: Kids in all directions and a GREAT breakfast


      This morning was great; I had a lot of personal time with the kids and was full of energy.

      Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

      • I was getting ready when I heard Twin Husky in his room — I guess they slept in a bit this morning!  This was great because Hubby usually takes them downstairs the first thing.   So I had the pleasure of opening their door room and looking at their faces as they smiled and lit up.   Sometimes they go so far as jumping up and down and squealing but they were moving slowly this AM.  I took their smiles happily.   Picking them each up out of their crib and holding them, hugging them, smelling their hair, is such a joy.    First was Twin Husky.   “Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiyyyyyyyyy”.   Then to Twin Crazy.    They are so cute together – both standing in their room and exploring and talking to each other.
      • On the way out of their room we were greeted by Red.   She was doing her sheepish smile, and I was poking her belly.   She showed me the band-aid on her arm — and I joked with her that Daddy must have given that to her last night because I did not want to give in when she came out of her room last night saying that her arm “hurt”.   I joked with her saying that she was a lucky, lucky, girl that daddy gave her that band-aid and was poking her belly to make her laugh.   She was trying to hold her laugh in but it was almost impossible.
      • The three of them came back into my room as I got dressed.   Twin Crazy and Twin Husky immediately went to the hair brushes and started to brush their hair.   Red asked for a pony-tail and I said i would give her one but as I sit here on the ferry I realize that I forgot…. must remember to make this up to her tomorrow.
      • Twin Crazy goes the closet and says “shoes” — begins to pick up hubby’s HUGE work shoe and start to carry it around.   Hubby appears upstairs to get the kids and Twin Crazy anxiously goes to the closet and shoes hubby his shoes.   She gets two of them (different pairs) and we both thank her so much and tell her how helpful she is.
      • Downstairs I was swinging Twin Crazy between my legs and she kept asking for more.
      •  We lose Twin Crazy for a minute.  I find her in the office playing with the computer mouse so now the computer is on.  I think she is concerned about this as I whisk her away.  I tell her “don’t worry, I’ll turn off the computer for you.”
      • Upstairs I hear a door slam – I go upstairs and there is Twin Husky – he made it back up there by himself.  I opened the door to my bedroom and immediately he pokes his head around the door and says “Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiyyyyyyy” with a huge smile.   We were both cracking up.   This was another opportunity for me to pick him up, hold him tight, and smell him.
      • Downstairs, Twin Crazy is busy carrying around two milks.  She is trying to find Twin Husky to give him one of the milks.   She is really helpful these days and will go out of her way to find things and give things to people.
      • Diaper change for Twin Husky was a challenge.   He kept reaching for something he saw in the kitchen so kept squirming everywhere.  I got to kiss his belly and his feet.   He calmed down a bit.  After the change he ran into the kitchen but I think he forgot about what he wanted.
      • Twin Crazy diaper change was cute – she was playing with a milk sippy cup so got milk all over herself.   Twin Husky came over and started pointing to all the milk drips on her… from her belly to her face.   I love seeing the interaction between those two.
      • Hubby made me breakfast – bagel and strawberries.   THANK YOU HUBBY  🙂
      • I help Big Bro get changed (that is his time with me) and we joke about the piece of toilet paper we found still in his butt.   Red wants to get changed at daycare so I pack up her clothes in the to-go bag.
      • Time to go!!!!   Strap in Twin Husky; we lose Twin Crazy down the driveway and she was running towards the street.   She is very bad with that and we cannot seem to teach her to stay away from the street…. she just keeps testing us and thinking its a game – a dangerous one.
      • Both drop offs went great.    Kids were saying bye-bye.   Big Bro brought in a foam baseball and bat that he wants to share with his friends and school.

      So, this morning was WONDERFUL.  I think having coffee and breakfast really helped.   As you can see I’ve captured a lot of this morning because I had the energy to do so.   The day is grey.  It looks like rain.   For work today I will likely be focusing on the one big proposal due at end of this week.   I’ll also follow-up with the white paper client from two weeks ago to see what other work she may have for us.

      Tonight I have my doctor appointment so will not have much time with the kids.   I’m thankful that I was able to spend a good morning with them today.

      Highlights of my Working Day:

      • did some sales outreach for our partnering initiative
      • participated on conference call for our big proposal due end of week.   I now own the Master document and need to coordinate with the rest of the team to pull the rest together.  There are still a lot of questions about the approach that I need to figure out, and will need to focus on that for tomorrow.
      • Talked to the client about the Whitepaper we wrote for her and she liked the work and will get back to me middle of next week to talk about more.   Whew!   I really want to build a good relationship with this woman.

      Commute and Bedtime:

      I had an appointment tonight so Hubby is at home with kids.   So now I’m waiting for the ferry having a mineral water am in a much better state of mind.  I should have enough time when I get home to see my older kids off to bed.  Hopefully they were good for Hubby tonight.   It is dark, cold, and grey.   A winter of a summer.   I am so over it.   I would love to have my feet in some hot sand before the summer is over but not sure how possible that is…

      8 AM:   Made it home and yes I was able to spend some time with the older kids!!

      • Red was upset about a new “owie” — and it does look bad.  A big scrape on her elbow.  I put Neosporin and two band aids on it.  She felt better.  She asked me to help her get on/off the toilet and also help her get dressed because of the owie on her elbow.  How sweet.
      • Big Bro told a “story” with story cards we recently received from a friend
      • Red took out and lined up some story cards, but she was silent.   I guess she had a story in her head.  Big Bro kept trying to steal her story so I had fun trying to cover up his mouth
      • Tonight was the first time I heard Big Bro refer to his sisters as “the girls”.   “I was playing with the girls….”.    [Oh my god I have four kids.]
      • I heard Twin Husky talking as he was going to sleep.   “Uhhhhhh ohhhhhhhh.   Uhhhhhhhhh ohhhhhhh.”   Cute.   I can’t wait to squeeze them tomorrow.
      • We talked about Big Bro taking a shower in the AM.  He’s excited about this.
      • Then Red said she wanted to take a bath.  I said there wouldn’t be enough time but offered her a shower with me.  She’s excited about this now too.
      They are both upstairs now and I don’t hear a peep out of anyone.  I guess they’re looking forward to tomorrow and taking their showers.   How simple!
      Till tomorrow,
      – Mama K

      August 11: Flying high and evening reunion


      Today will be a very unusual day in our household.   I am taking a day-trip flight to present our findings and recommendations to a client audience of 15 people including the Senior EVP.   This means that I had little to no time with my kids this AM – only Red was awake (sortof) when I left the house…and hubby had to do the morning routine and get 4 kids out all on his own…

      Highlights of the Morning and “Commute”

      • I woke up much earlier than normal.   Showered, and ran downstairs to make some instant coffee.  I got dressed in a dress and black blazer, and actually blow dried my hair to make it more presentable.
      • Red woke up during this time.   She is always the early riser of the bunch.   She was a bit cranky.
      • Big Bro last night asked me to leave him a note with the names of the games on my iPad – I downloaded some and then wrote the note as I promised.   So I left the note for him by his bed.  I also left a note for Red – “I ♥ you   – Mommy
      • Since she was cranky we went back into her room to find her note.   I sat with her and read it to her and told her Big Bro received a note so I HAD to leave a note for her too.   She looked at me and started to smile – still holding it in but then jumped on my lap and gave me the biggest hug.    That made my morning and the feeling will help me through the morning since I didn’t have time with my other children.
      • The ride to the airport was easy – we live very close.  I parked in the hourly parking lot.
      • Got the ticket at the kiosk – business select – breezed through security
      • Grabbed fruit, yogurt, coffee, and juice – the best breakfast ever.   I ACTUALLY ATE!!!    AND I DIDN’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT ANYONE EXCEPT FOR MYSELF!!!
      • Make up in bathroom (this I guess was part of my usual routine — but there was lots more counter-space and lots more light)
      • Now on flight.   And its quiet!   I don’t have any kids jumping around or trying to run down the isles or looking behind or kicking the seat in front or needing an activity or complaining that they are hungry/thirsty/tired!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      • However, I do need to prepare for a major presentation I will give 3 hours from now.
      • Text from Hubby:   “Everyone was in a bad mood.   [Red] crying and not eating.  Twins fighting over yogurt…. spilling all over.   Dad exhausted and heading into long day.  [Big Bro] was sleeping in and ok.”
      • And another coffee on flight… my third…. yes I’m flying high at this point
      Highlights of my Working Day:
      • Met up with Director and grabbed a taxi to the client.
      • Looked through presentation and made some last notes to myself for talking points.
      • Met with client 1/2 hour before the meeting so she could give last minute guidance; also sold the concept of another project to her and she is excited and completely on board.  She needs to coordinate with some others in the organization but it looks like we can add them to our list of interested participants in the study we are jointly conducting with our partner.   YEAH!!!
      • Had a 1 hour presentation where we presented some very sensitive material.   I tactfully handled areas of sensitivity that I knew of, however there was a person on the phone who was not part of the process at all and was extremely defensive.   We were challenged by him since 1) we tried to include him in our previous interviews/discussions but he sent a proxy instead — so he was working with us on the first time with a lot of these issues; and 2) he was on the phone and not face-to-face.   Face to face with these kinds of meetings is so much better so you can establish actual connections to the people.   In the end though the leadership gave us high accolades, again, so we felt good about the work.
      • At this point it’s 1:30 — grab taxi to airport.   We’re at different terminals, so I’m on my own.  Go thru security, I’m starved…
      • Grab lunch — pizza, and a BIG heffeweisen beer.   I’m psyched.    During lunch/beer I start writing the proposal that is due this week.   I actually made a lot of progress and then realized my flight was boarding so quickly closed down and ran to the gate

      Work and beer go together wonderfully

      • Continued the proposal on the plane; talked business with the guy next to me — he had some ideas for this Blog so I am grateful for meeting him.
      • Grabbed another beer — the day is getting better and better.
      • Grab car – head home.   I go to ferry station to drop off the Audi and pick up the mini-van.
      • Head home and continue to work on the proposal for another hour.   Get it to a point where I can email to a Director on East Coast so he will look at it and then give me his feedback (he is 3 hours ahead of me which works well).
      • Talk to Hubby.   The plan is for me to pick up the kids and get to the ferry station in time for them to see the boat arrive.   I’m on my way!!!
      Dinner and Bedtime:
      • Pick up kids — WHAT A REUNION.    I did not see them a lot the previous night, and definitely didn’t see them in the morning.  So this was fun.  Big Bro was talking about the note I left for him.  He likes it and said he’s always going to keep it.   I have to write him more notes [feeling guilty…]
      • Red was wearing her pajamas from the night before – I guess Hubby had a hard time dressing her this AM.    Then I notice that Big Bro is wearing the same shirt as yesterday (that he also slept in).   I’m wondering if he at least changed his underwear and socks?   Oh well.
      • Ferry came in and all kids were fixated on the boat, and seeing Daddy.
      • At home with everyone!    I played with kids; tickled, hugged, laughed, ran, I love the reunions.
      • Red needed to pee and wanted privacy; Twin Crazy was running around; Big Bro was playing with a beach-ball “globe”; Twin Husky was cranky — wanting Daddy and his doggie blanket.
      • Dinner went great; Big Bro ate like a champ.   Hubby brought out mangos which were a hit
      • Afterwards we played – animals, balls, cars — and the kids all helped putting toys away
      • All kids went to sleep quickly
      So, it was an unusual travel day with significant work presentations… hubby had to pick up the slack in the AM for me to be able to even do any of this.    The kids looked good and healthy – they were a bit smelly from old clothes but that is the least of my concerns.   We were happy to be back together and getting back into our normal routine together.
      All in all a very good day –
      Till tomorrow,
      – Mama K
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