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In Summary

Posted by casey on November 26, 2013 in Caden, Everett

In Summary, Your Answer to Questions About Brothers 20 months Apart.

Any Questions?

 
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Weekly Graces {Week 45}

Posted by casey on November 25, 2013 in Weekly Graces, Writing Nook

Weekly Graces

Week 45

Can you believe we are in the home stretch to the end of the year?

1. Yardwork
2. Buy one get one @ Starbucks.
3. Movie night.

4. Sweet mothers and daughters.
5. The carefree spirit of an 18 year old.


6. The boys looking up to their Daddy.
7. My husband starting breakfast.

8. Finishing all holiday shopping.
9. Decor productivity.
10. An easy appointment.
11. Everett’s non nap turning into a snuggle nap.


12. Blankets.
13. A new outfit combination.
14. The CUTEST little turkey and his Thanksgiving recital.

15. Quick Mommy and Caden date.


16. The over help you receive at Home Depot when you are female and show up showered and dressed.
17. Homemade (or in this case school made) placemats
18. Dinner with a longtime friend that just gets it and gets you.
19. Chi-O Christmas Market at Fair Park.


20. Lunch to-go.
21. This pair.

Finish our your year by sharing your weekly graces at www.jordylizblogs.com

 

 
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Two Year Old Dreams

Posted by casey on November 22, 2013 in Everett, Everett's Edition

Caden and Everett had been talking about Everett’s fire truck birthday party every day for at least a month prior to the big day.  “Do we have the decorations? Can we put balloons up?  Mommy, can we make cake in the mixer today?  I think Nonna and Pa Pa are going to bring presents!”  So on and so forth it went day in and day out.

We had extra copies of the invites littering the walls because they just HAD to see them.  I was pleased with how they turned out after an evening working on them and didn’t mind staring at that sweet face though so I didn’t fight them too much.

It didn’t help that with the closeness to Halloween, we celebrated Everett’s birthday (Nov 2nd) a week late, on the 9th.  Mass confusion on the day of his real birthday when we blew out candles in birthday muffins and looked through pictures.

Their excitement peaked when we finally spilled the beans a few days before the party that there was going to be a “bouncy castle” at Everett’s Fire Truck Birthday Party. (no you cannot just call it “the party).  We hadn’t done this before because yes, they are little, but mainly because Caden would never go in them. Recently though, Everett has been loving these when we have the opportunity putting the pressure on Caden to step up his bouncy castle game.  The day of Everett’s actual birthday we were at one of his little friend’s birthdays and both boys spent the entire time bouncing away.  With a referral for a company nearby that lets you pick up the bounce house on Friday and return it by Monday for $75, we signed ourselves up for a weekend of leg workouts.

I personally just loved watching their eyes light up as we worked to set it up which was a bit humorous in itself.  We conquered it and, BAM, bouncy castle.

Given that my boys still take a decent nap, and do so early on, the grand plan was for the party to be early afternoon shortly after they woke up.  That way everyone would be refreshed, already had lunch, but not cranky for dinner yet.  Guess who didn’t nap?  The birthday boy.  Cried and cried and cried in his room (which he never does anymore).  After an hour of us going in and out, singing him more songs and chatting we just brought him down and kept our fingers crossed.  He was quite proud of himself for getting to start the fiesta sooner.

All was well once his friends started to arrive as we assumed would be and party fun kept his “no nap meltdown potential” locked up for the afternoon!

As usual, both boys loved pointing out the various fire trucks throughout the house, décor and balloons.  It is really fun to sit back and watch them see the finished product of what they have ran errands with me more or helped compile as they look around from spot to spot.  These boys just love a good birthday!

I got a random “I can do that,” twitch a couple days before the party for a bean bag toss. I had already sewn some bean bags to just toss in these oversized red buckets I have and then I thought, surely I can assemble a fire truck toss.

Dylan’s Celebratory Dance: Yes! Victory!

Four foam boards and 30 minutes later…fire truck bean bag toss.  The little ones got the hang of it pretty quick and then used it as a peeking photo prop and for their own games which was a humorous treat too.

They took turns, shared bean bags, collected bean bags, pitched them at each other and then when back to in and out of the bouncy castle.  A decent routine was set up of bounce, get out, grab a snack, throw a bean bag, bounce, get out…you get the idea.  Kid life.  Isn’t it dreamy?

Dylan & Carson: No mischief here. Certainly not. “Can you get my face??!!”

The weather was perfect making in and out access to the indoor snacks and outdoor

Playing Hard to Get with Auntie

fun a total breeze.  I spent most of the time outdoors observing the kiddos while Colter spent most of his time indoors entertaining the guests.  He was outside too, but the truth is he is a much better social host than I!

Everett was very lucky to have a good group of friends and family that were able to attend.  Since my Dad and brother both now reside in Florida, the Orr side was lacking but Everett was VERY excited to see his Auntie Meghan and Uncle Asher who drove up from Houston with his cousins.  With them and Nonna & Pa Pa there he was feeling loved and loved on. (Pop & Nana celebrated his birthday with him back in September when they were in town, and Drew & Jess sent him a perfect package that has been a hit.)

Uncle Asher, McKee & Locke

As you know, Everett is an allergy baby, which means we have to get extra creative on birthdays to make sure he feels like he got to experience the party, enjoy the food (or a similar feast) without subjecting all of the guests to his dairy, wheat, soy, oat, corn, nut, meat free restrictions.  We are also lucky that he doesn’t fuss much about his food and seems to already know and understand what he can and can’t eat and doesn’t fight us much on that.  So long as he has something, he is pretty happy.  The cake or treat is always the extra trick.  Last year, I got him a cupcake from Tulu’s Bakery in Dallas, which I love.  They have the best sweet treats for him.  This year, I decided to make him something since I was making the regular cupcakes to save on a trip to go get it and to see how it would taste.  Now that I am used to it, the cake isn’t so hard to get a decent one, and he doesn’t know better, it is the frosting. After going over a million options that ranged from melting my own marshmallows with coconut oil (marshmallow cream has corn syrup in it, and typically you melt it with butter), to whipping coconut milk to trying this jarred kind I found that just looked atrocious, I wisened up.

No frosting.

Truthfully I think he would prefer it like that because he never has frosting and then we save ourselves the time getting something just right and the worry of wondering if it would effect him later.  His vanilla cake was really tasty thanks to a mix I found that I could further substitute with coconut instead of dairy products.  Add a few chocolate mold decorations I made for effect…and then removed before eating and you have yourself a fire truck cake for just the birthday boy.  The real dream, as to be seen shortly, was his most loved treat, marshmallows.Everett grinned and looked up at everyone singing to him, and decided to sing along with us as we serenaded him with a soulful, off-pitch rendition of Happy Birthday and while I could say we got this great shot of him blowing out his candle I would have to repent later because we never got the candle to stay lit thanks to the wind.  He didn’t know, we pretended not to know and he pretended to blow it out. Win.

And then the children swarmed.

We had a full on,  “See who can grab and stuff the most marshmallows in your mouth!”contest going on.  Everett was happy to compete share in this endeavor and we let them all go at it for awhile before handing out the real cupcakes for them. Next year I am just loading muffin cups with marshmallows.

Once everyone was nice and full of marshmallows and then their own cupcakes Everett started really going to town on his as you saw on this post.  Yes, he got the whole cake.  He didn’t get to do that at his first birthday and since he never gets special cakes and such, why not??!!  I also didn’t think he would eat all of it because he usually surrenders easily.  Well, it took a little convincing this time as he would say “No Mommy, my cake, please!” and I let him go to town on a few more bites before finally cutting him off and calling it quits on cake.  He was happy, I was happy all the kids were hopped up on sugar ready to bounce it out again.

My Mommy heart loved Everett getting to have a real, real birthday. Caden’s first two parties were pretty big (the first because it was my first baby’s first birthday and the second because I was having mom guilt about upturning his life with a baby brother).  Everett had a wonderful, family first birthday, but he was sick (croup), I was sick (adult equivalent of croup) and we all were still just plugging along.  Since Everett is my little social butterfly and he has some real “friends” even at two, I was happy to see them all get to play together and do their own thing.  We are lucky to have a good group of kiddos all within the same age that romp around and depend on each other and friends who love on our kids and support them and us.  He was spoiled, focused on and most definitely celebrated. Thank you to all of our friends and family for taking time out to give him such a Happy Birthday that both are still talking about.

 

 
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Introducing Warren {Newborn Session}

Posted by casey on November 19, 2013 in CaseyKazmannPhotography, Snapshots

This past September I had the absolute pleasure of spending time with my longtime, childhood friend Ivy and her most perfect newborn son Warren.  He was a champion model as is evident below!

Thanks Warren, for being so gosh darn perfect.
Your Mom is pretty great too.

 

 
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Have Your Cake

Posted by casey on November 15, 2013 in Everett, Everett's Edition

While I work on Everett’s party pictures, how about a peek of the real point?

He had his cake,
and he gladly ate it too.

 
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Weekly Graces {Week 43 & 44}

Posted by casey on November 15, 2013 in Weekly Graces, Writing Nook

While I am still going strong keeping my weely graces, almost a full year later, it appears I am better at posting them every other week in two week groupings.  Seeing as how I am actually keeping track of them for my own benefit, I give myself an “A” for “Effort”…which the teacher in me hates because Effort doesn’t start with or have an A in it.  I digress.

Week 43

November 1st – November 7th

1. Colter needing a sick day making him here when I ended up needing a sick day too.
2. Naps
3. Fireplaces.
4. Making a birthday breakfast for Everett in the quiet dark of the morning.
5. Listening to Everett singing Happy Birthday.

6. An afternoon full of family as we attended two sweet birthday parties for other kiddos.
7. Early family Starbucks breakfast to kick start our anniversary.

8. Impromptu organization frenzy taking care of a messy guest room & closet.
9. Quiet.
10. Toy Story
11. Leftover 70% costumes from last year pulled out and enjoyed.
12. Free apps.
13. Quiet.
14. Spiced latte coffee creamer.
15. New additions to bedroom decor.
16. Snuggles
17. Napping with the dog.
18. Real mail.
19. Neath the Wreath holiday market.
20. Making turkey crafts with the boys.
21. Quality time

Week 44
November 8th – November 14th

1. Clean house.
2. Cooperative and entertained children.
3. Their excitement over the party prep.


4. A normal morning.
5. Birthday success for Everett.


6. Seeing family & friends love on him and enjoy the celebration.
7. Time with my niece and nephew.
8. Nap
9. Photos
10. PJ Day


11. Sales
12. Early to bed.
13. A smidge of rare early Christmas spirit.

14. Kids who love doctors and vice versa.
15. Praying with Caden.
16. Cozy fixes for a freezing morning.


17. Cinnamon candles.
18. Ginger snaps.
19. Holiday sewing.


20. Talking about friendship with Caden.
21. Organizing gifts and gift giving among family.

Share your weekly graces to round up 2012 at www.jordylizblogscom

 
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Traditional Two

Posted by casey on November 14, 2013 in Caden, Everett, Everett's Edition, Family

When Caden turned two way back in 2012, and was suffering the consequences of Mommy and Daddy giving him a baby brother…who never stopped crying, we geared up and decided he needed a special birthday outing with some family time.  Being that it was February, and a bit drizzly we chose the aquarium and it was a total hit.  I tried to maneuever Everett in a stroller (big mistake) and ended up carrying him the whole time, but Caden loved it.  The weekend before his birthday was a great family success and something we remember doing just for him and for us.

Fast forward to Everett’s second birthday which was on the second.  Again, a week prior we thought it was his turn to get to check out the aquarium. Caden has been a couple times since with Nonna (right after Everett was born, and once when Everett was really sick) but Everett hadn’t yet experienced all of the watery goodness.  We surprised them after their naps and off we went.

I can sum it up like this.  The truth.

Caden was a total whiny teenage mess the whole time.

Everett LOVED it.

 Success.

I took it as a win when our purpose was to do something just for him and for his experience.  He had a great time checking out the birds and wanted to see each one in all the initial exhibits and rainforest either.  This little fella was following us about and the boys kept not seeing it fly right by their heads and land.  We would have to top and point right next to their face to show them their new friend.

 

The giant crocodile was sleeping but seeing the “Tick Tock Croc” in person was quite the sight.  We went the weekend before Halloween so Caden was a bit unsure but also a little excited about all of the spooky bats.  I had to reassure him that they were behind their glass but my lifting him he could see them handing upside down and really get a good look at them.  A perfect pre-Halloween sighting!

I enjoyed watching the otters with the boys and we got there just before a feeding so they had prime seats to watch them play for a few minutes, get a snack and then move on to the next exhibit as the rest of the visitors started to crowd for the rest of the feeding.

Everett continue to giggle and point as they swam by and we finally got them to be brave enough to put their hands on the glass which they would really swim up to to say hello.

Watching his little eyes fill up with all he sights he hadn’t seen in person before is too fun, especially as I reflect upon doing the same with Caden.

Family memories in the making.

We checked off practically every tank/cage/exhibit off the list as we weaved around to the anticipated shark tunnel.  On previous visits this area had been packed and we didn’t really get a good look.  This time, mid-afternoon on a Friday it was pretty much just us so they got a full shark experience.  I think the pictures will speak for themselves.

And my personal favorite…
They must be related.

They felt it on their own, the very reason Mommy doesn’t go in the ocean.
Yes I have watched Shark Week?  Know what it taught me?  I’m smart for not swimming in the ocean. I like to be top of the food chain people.

Could Caden have been a better visitor? Yes.  Age and stage and bad mood days aside, it was a great visit and exactly what we were hoping for Everett.  We like this little tradition for them and for being sure to take the time to do some special things with just the four of us.  They LOVE when Daddy gets to go on outings with us, so this was certainly a treat enjoyed by all.

Not to mention it was the weekend before our ten year high school reunion AND our senior prom was at the aquarium so we joked about our prom reunion with kiddos while we were there among the lovely aquarium scent…so romantic.

Until our next visit aquarium, swim on.

 

 

 
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Treating

Posted by casey on November 4, 2013 in Caden, Everett, Holiday Fun

A parenting first for us was having both boys in full costumes this year excited and ready to take on the neighborhood for trick or treating.  They had been doing lots of studying thanks to Disney Junior’s Halloween episodes of Mickey, Jake, Little Einsteins, our Spookly the Square Pumpkin movie and who can leave out Curious George’s Boo Fest.  So, they didn’t need much instruction from us.

Here comes in our super creative, out of this world creative costumes to compete with all the themed families and home-made threads. NOT! I wish I could get into the costume thing, but I just can’t…I have full overboard potential on just about anything but Halloween was never huge in our family as far as elaborate costuming went so it just doesn’t happen here.  What does happen is adorable kid-chosen, parent-influenced costumes that are inexpensive, use clothes they already have (orange courdoroys) and can happily be re-used for dress up or daily wear (raincoats) and are for sure something they are into and all about. I present, our most adorable firemen!

I mean really.  It is just TOO cute. Too, too cute. The best part is that they were SO excited.  We had been telling them that they were going to get to have firemen costumes leading up to the 31st when they were doing their “studying” and seeing that this whole shindig was really about a fun costume.  With this age though, you never know if when you pull it out you are going to get a “I don’t want to be a fireman anymore! I’m not wearing that!” So, I held my breath, thankful that I do have a “dress up” bucket for them (construction workers, shield/armor, pirate from last year and cowboy clothes thanks to western week at school) until we whipped them out.  What did we get?  Sheer excitement and joy over their whole outfit and SUPER pumped about their “Super Boots” as they call them that were picked out the week prior by Everett as a pre-birthday gift.

Caden immediately ran outside saying “Firefighter Caden, TO THE RESCUE? Do you need some help ? I can rescue you. I’m COMING to SAVE THE DAY!”  Enthusiasm and imagination at its finest.

Naturally, this meant that younger brother followed his superhero fireman lead.  What other choice was there?

They were just adorable. I obviously can’t say that enough! They also were surprisingly understanding that we had to wait a little bit before walking around.  Thanks to Mickey’s Treat episode, Caden, who is recently scared of the dark knew we had to wait until it was a little darker and he was fine with that.  Mickey waited for the “moon to come up” so he could do. Phew!  What did we do while we waited?  Played baseball of course!

Our 6th grade neighbor who was going to trick or treat with us and his little sister came over while she was still getting her fancy Cindy-Lou-Who hair styled and entertained the boys with Colter running around playing baseball.  What is cuter than two firefighters you ask? Two baseball playing firefighters!  It held them off until dusk and then they were ready to pick up their dollar store pumpkin buckets and head out.

When we asked Caden what he thought he was going to need to say up at the door he thought about it. “Hmmmm. Ummmm.” “How about, I think I might like to have a treat please?”  Yes, son, that will do.  In fact, I think that will get you extra candy.  Some might say it is a little wordy, but “I think I might like to have a treat please,” will do just fine.

It was helpful to have our older neighbors to blaze the trail for them which helped them to not be hesitant, thought a bit of hesitation going up to the doors is fine by me!

We also weren’t sure how Everett, who can’t actually eat any of the candy given out was going to react to getting all of these treats in his bucket.  Not that he knows they are treats since he hasn’t had them, but you know how kiddos just know?  Usually, when he gets something new he wants to devour it right then.  Fortunately he was pumped to just be filling his bucket.  By filling it, I mean he was coming away with some serious loot.  It is the cuteness factor

(I know it because he totally stole the Best Costume award away from the Canyon Creek Country Club Halloween party the weekend prior because the DJ and main judge just couldn’t get over how cute this not yet two year old fireman was. His very first trophy setting the tone for years of award sweeping. :) )

A successful and enjoyable Halloween it was. The boys loved the ritual.  After each house I would get a “Mommy, can you hold my hand?  Mommy, which house do you think we can go to next?”  We made a decent trek around about 1/3 of our neighborhood before Colter and I decided that their full buckets, the dropping temps and the later hour had given them plenty of trick or treating experience for one year. After all we have years ahead of us where we HAVE to go to EVERY.SINGLE.HOUSE.  Why kill ourselves now when they are satisfied and ready?

Loving the “spooky” house that had lights, little fire cauldrons and flying bats. So brave!

Checking out the bat. “Don’t worry Mommy, its just pretend.”

Sweet Everett hauled his bucket around the whole time, barely lifting it above the ground stating “I got it. I got it,” anytime we asked if he would like us to hold it from him.  No way was he letting all those treats that he wasn’t going to eat out of his sight.

They held hands, they said please and thank yous and they came home ready to go through their treats.  Everett was so thrilled and into it that he began taking as many handfuls as he could out of our own big bowl of candy (that we had yet to hand out since we had been walking) and dumping into this own bucket.  He had figured it out.

In true toddler tradition, they each get to pick out just one treat from their bucket to enjoy just before bedtime. After all, they are just little ones and don’t need to fill themselves with sugar.  Caden, just like last year picked out a Reese’s Cup (good choice son), which I don’t think he has had since last year but he picked out every night last year. Everett so conveniently picked out one of his corn syrup free lollipops that I had so fortunately grabbed and placed front and center right before showing him his bucket and over-enthusiastically saying “Oh my, a LOLLIPOP!”  It worked. He was beyond pleased. We all won. Phew!

I personally was happy that we got home in time to still give out some candy since I had bought it not thinking about both of us being out trick or treating ourselves.  Last year we sat in our driveway after only hitting a few houses with Caden passing out the goods and he loved it so I was hoping for them both to get to experience the other side of it again too.  It was perfect.  We had just changed them into their skeleton PJs and to the door they ran every time to see just who was there and just what they picked.  It was at this point, that Caden all on his own, yelled to a really sweet young girl out trick or treating by herself as she walked away, “I just love your pretty costume.”  Be still my heart. A sweet compliment from his own little heart to a shy little girl and I think it was just what she needed.  She stopped, turned, smiled and said “Oh, thank you!”

On another “parenting first” topic, during dinner that night, I got the feared “Mommy, where is your costume, what are you going to be?” Oh no.  I just couldn’t break his giddy little heart and say “I’m going to be a Mommy,” because my very specific child wouldn’t have bought it.  Then I remembered that last year when they were 50% off I bought Minnie ears. BINGO!  When I answered him the sparkle in his eye was enough to know I did good. “What? What you said?  How?  Where is your costume?”  While I planned to just throw on the ears I realized I had a new polka dotted sweater that I could throw on.  They just couldn’t believe it.  My two favorite statements were “Mommy, Minnie wears those shoes with the sticks on then like this (points two fingers up) so that they stand up well.”  He was speaking of Minnie’s high heels which I informed him I would not be clopping around the streets in.  Nice try.  I then added a touch of red lipstick and received a jolly, “Oh! I just love your pretty red lips like Minnie!”  Seeing their happiness over my “costume” was so worth it.  The boys told everyone those they came across that I was Minnie and even a few other little ones stopped and looked up at me happily as they saw me go by. Bonus points earned for sure. Yes!

Since this was Everett’s first year to have a costume (just wore a pumpkin shirt as he rode last year) I don’t have a real comparison photo, but here is a look at Caden!

We hope you were just as successful and have been stuffing yourself with sweets like us so we aren’t alone coming down off of the Halloween sugar rush.

 
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Six

Posted by casey on November 3, 2013 in Family

Six.

It is a good even number.

It is the side you always want to roll on the dice when playing Monopoly.
It is enough to justify baking muffins and only eating half of them.
It is also a perfectly reasonable number of squares to eat on a Hershey bar where you feel total chocolate satisfaction but can still claim you didn’t eat the entire thing. Who is with me?

According to numerology, 6 is considered the most harmonious of all single-digit numbers. The most important influence of the 6 is its loving and caring nature. Properly nicknamed the motherhood number, it is all about sacrificing, caring, healing, protecting and teaching others.

Well, we have officially been married for six whole years today.  Six years full of love, learning, sacrificing, caring, grieving, growing, guarding and protecting each other and our home.  Not a bad way to go.

 
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Weekly Graces {Week 41 & 42}

Posted by casey on November 3, 2013 in Weekly Graces, Writing Nook

Yes, it is true. I skipped a week.  Even worse? I skipped a week for no good reason other than I just didn’t get to it and I just can’t bring myself to add it to this past week which yes, I am also late to. I did give a brief photo grace recap of 41 down below. October man, it gets me every year. So busy.

Weekly Graces
Week 42

1. A morning at home in PJs.
2. Surprising the boys’ with an aquarium outing.


3. A day full of the four of us.
4. Cinnamon rolls.
5. Dinner with friends and then experiencing our 10 year reunion together.


6. A full night’s sleep with no baby monitors on.
7. Breakfast made for us as we went to pick up the boys.


8. Naps.
9. Everett’s first trophy.


10. Meal prep that makes mornings simpler.
11. Halloween Curious George occupying excited minds.
12. Caden continuing to ask for more letter papers to practice writing.


13.Being able to fall back to sleep.
14. The cutest cowboys for western week. Made me smile all day.


15. A massage.
16. A surprise Pa Pa sighting for Everett.
17. Lazy, rainy afternoon.
18. Roaming Target alone with a capucinno for an hour before bedtime.
19. Everett’s first tear free Dropoff at school. Thank you Halloween and Western wear.


20. Crafting time.
21. My little firefighters and watching them grow.


Share your graces at www.jordylizblogs.com

Here is what I am grateful for last week, Week 42 based on the pictures I can share which compiles a 14 graces instead of 21.  Eh…it was close.

Daddy who creature hunts with his boys.

SUVs for optimal photo shoot packing.

Fun mugs for memorable afternoon tea pick me ups.

Binoculars. Even the Pretend Kind.

Coffee. For the mornings you find your son downstairs, asleep on the couch, with all the lights on…at 4 a.m.

A garage that finally has a spot for all of our strollers.

Festive Fashion

Tweezers. Thanks kids.

Teaching.

Quinoa Beards

Pantless Gangsta Babies

Craft time and Puppet Shows. “Welcome to Sesame Street Mommy!”

A child who finds himself hilarious. Even on the potty.

 

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