Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Aricia

Brought Aricia for her vaccination today at the PDs clinic

I am happy that she has put on weight,making her now 3.3kg-which is the average weight of many newborn babies.

Also, I received yet anothe good news that there isn't anymore heart murmur. Got me quite worried there!

Monday, October 30, 2006

My growing children

Athena
I know I've asked and wondered why my daughter never asked me endless questions on "why why why" since she's already 4!
She's beginning to asks me now when she's in the car.
"mummy, why is there yellow yellow colour thing?"
"mummy, why got 2 arrows?"
"mummy,.............."
So many questions on the road, I wonder if she's going to be a driving instructor next time.

Then yesterday, she saw a hole on the floor of a shop and asked me why are there holes on the ground. So I explained it's for the glass door, to close and secure it on the ground. I further asked her to observe our gate as well.
I totally forgot about it until she stepped into the house and blocked everyone from entering the house and said "mummy, where got so many holes? No hole what! where? where?"

Aricia
A few days ago, I noticed Aricia was trying to turn from side to side. I hadn't realised it at first, I put her on the pillow and turned my back against her. Next minute I felt her legs kicking at me. I turned to look at her and realised she has moved herself.
I'm not trying to boast of her milestone. It's impossible for her to turn at this age, but I'm shocked at the strength she has.
Wanting to prove myself, I put her back in the position and observed her. And she did move from her back to her front (with her butt sticking out - so cute!) then she was trying to turn again, I helped to turn her head to the other side and she turned herself 180deg. Wow! And it happened a few times.


A Messy Mother's Life

No, no, I am still around in Singapore. I haven't had much time to post an entry, as I had my post-natal massage for the past few days. The wrap caused some uneasy feeling, and when the last 2 days I was lucky to have the boss to come down in person to do the sessions for me - I was wrapped even tighter with the bengkung cloth. Couldn't breathe; didn't have much appetite; can't move much (but still gotta move) so it was rather uncomfortable; felt like a handicap - I drop things accidentally on the floor but can't pick up. It's just like the first two weeks after my surgery.
But I must admit the massage is quite enjoyable, so I've booked for another 8 sessions with them. I will have a week break before I resume again on the 6th. I think it's better this way too, coz' I need to get things for Athena's birthday party next month; go down POSB to settle the Baby Bonus thing and etc etc...

I don't know to say if my life is in a mess or my wardrobe is in a mess! This is the time when I look ridiculous if I continue to wear my maternity clothes (too big) and some of my pre-pregnancy clothes are still a little tight at the hips - argh! problem area!! So, I've got clothes which are too big and too small.Literally STUCK IN BETWEEN!!
I think you can imagine how messy my wardrobe is now, I've sorted out only a few clothes which I can wear and left those 'I think still got chance to wear back' and the remaining clothes still packed in the vacumn-packed bag inside my wardrobe. I can't stand the sight of it but I haven't found the time to really sort out my clothes (not with the little one wanting to be carried all the time)
And yesterday (Sunday), we went out to Marina Square. Okay, I was out of action from the shopping malls for only 5 weeks but everything looked so new & exciting to me. We passed by Mango; BYSI; Miss Selfridge; and what nots. I told myself "I must shop till I drop". I don't know if it's the lack of confidence I have now as I feel fat and ah-soh looking that I just want to wear back sexy clothes to beautify myself. But then what sexy clothes are you talking about when you're still fat?! See fats bulging out will only make people vomit.

My girl's room study table is in a mess too! I haven't had the time to tidy up the place and to do Aricia's scrapbook. And to sort out the presents our friends have given to Aricia.

Is it my laziness? Am I finding excuses? Or really no time?? I think I should put Aricia somewhere for that few hours while I tidy up my stuffs. Enough time?

Another thing, I'm thinking if I should 'revive and relactate' for the sake of Aricia. Aricia is partially on EBM now. I should think 5 weeks is still a good chance for me to relactate to boost my supply, too long delay will be more difficult.
But then again, that girl is abusing her mummy. I tried latching her back on and I must admit she (thankfully) still hasn't gotten confused with the nipples and milk bottle teats. But the way she abuses me makes me suffer in pain. When she drinks, she likes to whine a little; turn her head here and there. So you can imagine how she pulls *** Ouch! And a few entries prior to this, I mentioned about bleeding. I'm not bleeding anymore but it's painful still. Will her continous sucking make it worst and never to heal?
Also, I have to consider :
1. Am I willing or able to wake up every 2hours to feed that hungry girl
2. Am I willing to stay up that extra half hour to pump after night feeds
3. Am I willing to sustain BF for long
4. Am I willing to look like a panda and risk falling asleep while I'm behind the wheels
5. Am I willing to continue holding back all the junk foods just to give her quality milk
6. Am I willing to bring the pump out whenever I am out (pump excess or when she misses a feed)
Other concerns:
1. Not enough breastfeeding tops, unless guaranteed a nursing room in the place I am at; if not I may have to end up breastfeeding Aricia in the toilet?!?
2. No time to do my own things, meaning I'll be 100% paying full attention to you.
3. Totally neglecting Athena as a result of that
So to 'revive' or not?!
Having said so, I think for this I would need the help of a lactation consultant and not the BMSG counsellors?

Athena is happy that her mad mother is quite laxed with her now.
1. I haven't been revising her music lesson. Well, in the first place I have no idea what has been going on for the past few weeks.
2. I haven't sat down with her and guide her in doing the assesment books I got for her
3. I haven't been flashing cards at her every day
4. I haven't been reading to her
As much as I would like to resume these with her asap, the little one has kept me busy. I think I will have to wait until Jan2007. A new year, a new start.

I can't believe it! I thought I'm a organised person, suddenly I find things in a mess and I feel so awkward.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Too sentimental or a miser?

Am I too sentimental or am I a miser?

Digital Camera
Hubby went to collect his free Sony Cybershot DSC-W50 at Sony Gallery today.
At the shop, the staff asked if he wanted to upgrade the camera when my hubby was asking about the cost of the memory stick card (err....blur staff) I whispered to him "is there a need to pay so much more for a upgraded camera? I am still happy with our Olympus camera" - bought in June 2003.
Then hubby asked again for the various memory space cards and the size gets bigger. I whispered again "are you getting alot of cards. Our Olympus have 4 cards liao leh...."
I don't know if he took my words into consideration at all, we left the place without upgrading the camera and only bought one 512MB card.

** I am still so attached with the Olympus camera, can't bear to part it.

Home TV
Our living room Akira TV decided to die on us yesterday. Servicing would costs us $300+ so hubby decided to get a new TV.

Then that guy said "buy a flatscreen for our living room and then we change also throw away the TV console ( I looked at him and thought of Athena's VCDs and our amplifier; DVD recorder; DVD player etc... where to put them ) to free up the space" "or.... buy a flatscreen for our room and move our room TV outside?"
So I told hubby "isn't it more expensive to get a flatscreen for the living area. Buy too small, don't look nice for a living room; buy too big so expensive. Move our room TV out since it was originally the living room TV until you won this in a lucky draw, then the flatscreen in the room will be smaller and cheaper.
** Haha! A miser after all!!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

An offer too good to be true?

Seems too good an offer but I ain't gonna take the risk.

KZ upon seeing my panda eyes, offered to sleep with Aricia and care for her during the night? Too good to be true right?? Since she was the one who offered to help. I declimed the offer, making excuses like she still has to do the housework in the day and cook for the family, what happens if she gets so sleepy and burn my house down as a result of her negligence?
I can't say for sure that she will ill-treat my children. She don't look the sort to me but then again, you can never judge a book by its cover. And I am not taking any chances.... what if she gets frustrated with me for telling her off for things etc... she may vent her frustrations on my children - what more to an infant who can't cry for help.

Just a few days ago, she volunteered to bathe Aricia just because 'she saw how my mom bathe her the day before'. "I know how mom, I saw ah-ma do it." I must be insane or have no hands if I actually let her do it. I know it takes time to practice but no way was I going to let her bathe a baby when she has naver done so before, what if she drops my baby in the tub? If she had wanted a guineapig, don't use my child! I was scared shit that I vowed never to leave her alone with KZ, unless no choice - these weekdays mornings when she had to help look after her while I am doing my massage & wrap.

Like I mentioned before, I can only ask her to do housework and cook. Can't leave my child with her.... I mean, how would you judge her caregiver's skills when she 'promptly prepares to warm up the milk ' when she hears her cries?? We all know that babies cry for many reasons; diapers wet; colic; stomach pain etc.....

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Family Day

Was so glad to have the PH today, so that hubby can relax at home.But it didn't take us long to decide to leave the house instead.

Athena, on the other hand, had been wanting to go over to mom's place. So we brought her out to TM for lunch; a walk around the place and then proceed to mom's place. We needed to do everything fast too, because Aricia's Godma2 - Ai Leng wants to visit the god-daughter in late afternoon.
Had lunch at KFC, where she enjoyed the cheese shake chicken popcorns. She was happily shaking and licking the cheese off the container.Had a little fries and a whole cup of hot Milo. As for myself, I needed to watch what I eat and moreover was still pumping - settled for a Shrooms burger and a hot Milo
We walked around the mall. Athena remembered I promised her the colouring art; promptly brought us "upstairs to where my music lesson is.." She did her colouring while hubby went into Popular. He came out with a DVD of
Princess Hours, a drama which I have been catching daily ever since it made its debut in Singapore.

Athena had her fun-time in ToysRUs, oh my.....I miss the times when we do our weekly routine together.

Walked around a little before we popped by NTUC. Athena fell asleep and it sounded more logical to put that bui-bui girl in the stroller while I carried the little one. Hubby said "this girl will spoil the stroller man!" Haha! He had problem pushing that close to 18kg girl around the supermarket.

Brought bui-bui to mom's place. Where she quickly and proudly announced to her dua-kim "I brought Aricia here."

We left for home soon, just in time, Ai Leng was about the reach our house also!

Had a chat with her and then she left about an hour later. Umm... looks like we gotta catch up another time! Thanks for coming by

Friday, October 20, 2006

All for the sake of vanity

I hope it pays off.. I started my first session of massage and wrap.

I was told that the bengkung wrap is very tight, I thought it was bad but umm......it's quite tolerable. Maybe I'm only saying this to make myself feel better.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

F.R.E.E.D.O.M

Thank goodness the month went by quickly, as I was about to go insane from couping up at home.

Today, marks the important day of Aricia's turning a month and for me - end of confinement period. Actually, not really so as I will still be practising it for another 10 days. Whatever it is, since it's exactly a month - it gives me the excuse of visiting my paternal grandma. Since she's the only grandma who's still survived by her children and grandchildren; it is only right that she gets to see her 3rd great-granddaughter.
We were supposed to visit her in the morning. But I was not told of the cancellation by my aunty until I called mom to inform I was on the way. Turned out the whole family fell sick so they advised against exposing the little one to the germies.

At my mom's place, my neighbour heard me knocking at my mom's door, opened their door to see Aricia. I was shocked to see Johana all grown up. She's 4 months old already! And so big?! The last time I saw her was before I popped and I remembered Johana was a little bigger than how Aricia is now. Johana is so cute, and was warming up to me. She loves to be carried too! Oh my.......
We shared on breastfeeding; chinese medicines (she's Malay) and then she told me on how she's trying to make her daughter lie on her front(which Johana hates) so that she'll learn to crawl. I bursts out laughing and told her "she hasn't even turn from back to front. You want her to crawl? She'll only turn about 5 months and crawl at about 6-7 months." Sometimes I think back, parents are overtly too anxious about their baby's milestones that they didn't realise that they should treasure the 'can't move; lay still and look at you' baby at the moment. But I admit, I was like them before.

I heard Athena's voice and realised she didn't even go to school today. Ai yoh.........when the mother's in confinement there seems to be no rule at all. She skips school at her whims and fancies (father; grandma; uncle gladly let her skip school),nobody tells her to brush her teeth every morning and night. I must check if she's got any decayed teeth or not.
A while later we left to meet up Wilma (Aricia's godma) for lunch. Lunch was great (coming from a person who has been eating boring food)most importantly company was better.

After lunch, mom,2 kids and myself headed to Raffles City. I needed to do some shopping but first thing on my agenda was - I need to get the milk outta my breasts.It was geting quite painful. Yup! I actually brought out my breastpump and packed into my already 'filled with things' bag. I haven't done this for a long time, coz' it's much simpler to bring Athena out- only need her water bottle; my pair of scissors and a pack of wet tissues. Now I'm back to square 1!!
After pumping; feeding - almost an hour gone. Walked around a little; bought the older girl a big heart shaped helium blown balloon. Then had to leave to go to TM - need to register Athena for next year's YJC class. But before that, it was a stopover at mom's place to put my EBM in her fridge.

The day ended before my eyes very fast. And should I rejoice at my freedom? I really don't know, I gotta think about the pumping and pumping.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

What a bloody experience

Now that I have been pumping, I must always be put to face another challenge. Why me?
Others have no problems with their milk supply.
No bloody experience.
When I talk about bloody experience, I don't mean sore nipples. The sides of my nipples cracked and I can see the 'platonic plates' crack on both sides of my nipples. Now, pumping has to be done slower and 'eyes-on' because if not, I may have blood going down the pump. Even when done slower, blood sometimes still trickle down. So, it's like I gotta pray hard this pumping session will not have been bleeding. My little princess has been drinking my 'strawberry' milk, even my helper told me one morning "mum.... I want to show you this.... Got blood. Can drink?" "Drink drink, mummy do not have enough milk already. Let her drink mummy's blood."

Mom and hubby sees me in such a state (mind you my nipples are even painful when I'm not pumping); tells me to stop all the pumping. And although I claim I will stop if it's really low supply, on the other hand I still want to try. Thanks to my friend who gave me a call to let me on another way to increase milk supply. On the other hand, I'm waiting to hear what the BMSG counsellor has to say.

Thank you very much Moo Han for your timely sms-es and call, knowing I am in need of help. (yah...can you supply your EBM for Aricia too?)Thank you, I will try your remedy tomorrow.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Aricia full month celebration

* The day has come for us to celebrate Aricia's turning one month in advance *

The Chinese celebrate the birth of a child on the 30th day of his life, calling this joyous event "full month" 滿月.

This practice was done since a long time ago in China. At that time, infant mortality rate was high, so if the baby survived his first month, it would mean that the worst was over and he could expect to live. If the baby was a first-born son, some families would throw grand banquets to celebrate and announce his name to relatives and friends. To symbolize new life and good luck, unshelled hard-boiled eggs dyed red were given to guests. Red eggs are an integral part of full month celebrations. They were distributed to relatives, friends, and neighbors even if no banquets were given.

Even now, we still continue the tradition of giving red eggs to announce the arrival of a newborn baby. In Singapore, the Chinese also prepare a glutinous rice dish to distribute along with the red eggs. Different dialect groups have different ways of making this dish. If I remember correctly, the Teochew version is sweet and steamed. The Hokkien version is savoury and fragrant, cooked with fatty pork, dried shrimp, Chinese mushroom, dark soy sauce, and fried shallots. But this dish was a privilege, reserved for the birth of baby sons only.

Times have changed, things are made simpler these days. In order to thank family and friends for their gifts, proud new parents usually give cakes and ang ku kueh(red turtle cakes)- signifies longevity as turtles have long lives.And I have no idea when and who came up with the two different shaped ang ku kueh. If your newborn baby is a girl, the ang ku kueh is flat. If your newborn baby is a boy, the ang ku kueh looks a little pointy. There you go! You never knew all these do you?

We started the day practises by cutting her hair (we couldn't find anywhere to cut, so mom snapped off some from near her ears); then cut her nails; gave her a nice bath with pomegranate leaves. The mom (me!) also have to shower with pomegranate leaves inside my bucket of herbal water. Then we changed the little "Royal Princess of Athens" - Aricia - into her dress. Well, it wasn't supposed to be a dress, it is a romper but because my baby is too small and if we had not sewn up the romper part; we would not have been able to see her legs.Haha! Thanks to mom who helped me with the sewing.

Cutting Hair
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Look! Who's cutting her hair today also?!
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Cutting Nails
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Shower Time
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All Dressed Up & Ready to GO!!
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We then proceeded to Pow Sing Restaurant for our family lunch. Although it was Aricia's full month celebration, Athena didn't lose out on getting the attention. She got another new toy from 小姑 and a thick file filled with various cartoon characters colouring pages; a big box of colouring pencils from 大姑.
Lunch ended. But before we left, I quickly gave out the cake vouchers as well as these favors I had prepared.
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Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

We then made our way home, we were tired and I kept thinking to myself "It's time to pump.It's time to pump."

When we got home, I realised that we did not even take a family photo at all. So we had to make do with this.
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Saturday, October 14, 2006

Job well done!

Job Applied For : Elder sister
Applicant Name : Athena Ting
Applicant Age : 3+

I still can't believe my little sweetheart, has grown from a teeny weeny baby to what she is today. Progressively over the years, I've had my ups and downs raising a child.
In my eyes, she was still a baby. In my eyes, she had all the attention she's been getting from us - her parents; from my family members who all would finish work early to rush back home to be with her. So, will it be easy for her to do her job.

When she applied for the job early this year, I was worried and then kept finding excuses "I need to spend some two-some time with her otherwise cannot keep her company" etc...

But she's coping well, and even better than what I had expected. She didn't demand more attention from me at all or do naughty things to make me angry.
She loves her sister so much that she laughs at herself being kicked and punched by Aricia. She gets tickled at every little action Aricia does.She will say things like "mummy, mummy just now Aricia touch / push my hand you know?"
She helps out and even wants to carry and feed Aricia.

I have a feeling that Aricia will end up bullying the sister instead. And being the mummy, I'll have to stand in and discipline the naughty one. I think I will end up favouring one child more than the other.

How much should your baby drink?

All the while I've been relying on this method which I found was quite accurate when feeding Athena.

4 years ago, like all first time parents I didn't know how much milk to prepare for my girl. What I managed to notice was that she started at 35mls and somehow I did slowly increase her intake as each week passed. And when I found out about this calculation from the website, it proved to me that I was feeding my girl the correct amount.

The formula as given : eg. baby weight's 3.2kg

3.2 x 2.5 x 2.5 =20
20 divide by no of feed per day
eg. 20 div 8 = 2.5oz per feeding
(2.5oz amounts to approx 70mls)

It was kind intention from friends who told me or tactfully hinted to me that I'm under feeding Aricia as I told them she's drinking every 2 hours instead of normal babies at 3 hours. I know everyone reading this will think "she must be very hungry, for goodness sake increase the milk intake. Poor baby & you silly mother!"
However I do have my reasons for standing true to my belief.
1) Both my babies were born small, not the average 3.2kg and above babies but a mere 2.6kg and 2.3kg baby. So naturally the intake is lesser than any average infant
2) Babies are born with small stomachs, I can't over fill my babies stomachs in the hope of extending their feed intervals - they may end up regurgitate the milk.

On Tuesday, I brought Aricia to see her PD and raised the issue of "is 50mls per feed too little or too much for her" She was stunned at my questioning and asked why, so I told her what friends had advised me but what I believed and the calculation method I relied on. She smiled and told me "your girl is doing very well, considering she was born at... 2.3kg" Then she taught me another formula :

150mls per kg
So if baby is eg. 3.2kg
3.2 x 150 = 480mls
(Baby needs 480mls per day)
480 div by no of feeds
e. 480 div 8 = 60mls per feed

[Okay, we give and take a little. Considering maybe the method I'm relying on is the angmoh calculation and hers - our Asians calculation.]

In all, I was assured that Aricia is infact drinking more than she should already.And there's no way I can do a sudden tremendous increase coz' she did say "yes! babies stomach are small." Wah! I so smart hor? I think I can become a PD already!! Dr Teo. Umm.....

But since Thursday, I'm happy to say that she's gradually increased her intake to 60mls - of course what! she's growing day by day (her cries goes louder day by day too!)

I'm a little overjoy today!

Why?

1) Because I am now 57kg, pre-pregnancy was 56.5kg.

2) Because I can wear a few of my pre-pregnancy clothes, zip up to halfway and that's it! Haha! On the other hand, I can still safely zip up some clothes - a little tight on the hip area I must admit.
But I realised this time round my tummy went down quite fast, with Athena I was also able to put on my pre-pregnancy clothes before the one month is up but the fat tummy was stuck on me for a long time until I conceived again.
*motivation*- slim down more.
Cali Fitness I will be back soon!!

3) Because in 5 days time my confinement period will be over. I can't wait to tour around Singapore. I can't wait to eat all the yummy yummy food and my icy cold ice-cream + desserts etc..

Feeling: A sense of achievement

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

A visit

It was nice of my ex-colleagues to come by to visit Aricia yesterday.

Thanks for their lovely gift for Aricia too! And snacks for Athena. Athena was happy coz she not only had biscuits and chocolates to munch, she had Aunty Caroline to entertain her.

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Was it worth saving the confinement nanny fee$?

As my confinement is coming to an end, I began thinking if it was worth saving the confinement nanny fee.

I have said before that I must ensure that my confinement period is done properly (as do not want to suffer next time), but during these 3 weeks I realised I haven't had much rest as I should have. And I actually fell sick yesterday, at first I thought it was due to haze but then it became clear to me that I was not displaying the symptoms of the haze illness but it was due to stress and lack of rest. Popped in Panadols and fell asleep without drinking my DOM.
My helper currently can only help me with the housework; cooking; boiling longan drink;boiling water for my bath. Other than that, she can't care for a baby. Afterall, she's still a kid herself. She has tried feeding Aricia and changing her diapers but she forgot to burp her and she cleaned the wrong way. So, how can I trust her? She can't bathe Aricia for me, so all I can do is to wait when mom comes by with the groceries to help me bathe her, or hubby to do it on weekends. If not, all I can do is to do a Top & Tail for her, minimizing the contact of water.

Why did I start regretting my initial decision of not wanting a confinement nanny? Like I've mentioned earlier, I found myself not resting. Only able to get a minimum of 1-2hours nap in the afternoon, if I'm lucky. Other than that, I'll be busy feeding her almost every 2 hours; carrying her to sleep(she loved to be carried) and if I'm lucky to be able to put her down to bed to sleep- she'll only be sleeping for less than 30 minutes before she wakes up for her next feed. The vicious cycle goes on, then you can start wondering how I can slot in time for my shower and my pumping. The answer is - I can't! If I'm lucky I'll be pumping while she's sleeping, but before I can finish pumping she starts crying for milk. It's easy for the BMSG counsellor to tell me to pump every 3 hours "do not worry about housework blah blah, all you need to do is to rest when baby is resting and nurse." Yah, sounds easy. I can't pump every 3 hours, I'll be lucky if I can have 4 pumps in 24hours - which is bad coz' it means my body will only supply this amount of milk each time. And ultimately my milk supply will go down. There goes my hope of breastfeeding for at least 6 months. Just in case you're wondering how I can find the time to post a blog.. well an entry will be typed for hours.
The other reason for me to regret my decision and help my hubby save the money is - although my maid helps to cook my food with instructions given by mom. Aometimes I feel it would have been better if my mom did the cooking, I wonder if I've cleared of all the "air" with the ginger I took or if my helper had put enough ginger. Another reason, the amount of water she boils for me to bathe - she do it her way even though mom gave clear instructions. First she boil so little water, then I told her "can you please increase a little water coz' I can't wash my hair", then she adds a little more the next day. The following day mom bought a new herbal bath and thinking it's big pack she went to add even more water. And the water - oh my goash! Enough for me to shower & wash hair twice. It's so crazy!!I don't mind if the water is still little but at least the herbal bath is thicker??! The worst thing that I've just found out. Darn! She actually put a big tablespoon of sugar in my longan drink. Now what's that? We all know that longan is sweet enough and my mom had not asked her to put sugar. So why did she act smart? I had not suspected anything at all thinking that she had put in alot of longans coz' it does taste thick, but mom stole a sip from my drink and found it sweet. So this morning, while KZ was boiling the longan drink; she caught her putting sugar inside. She told her off and then mom was wondering why the longans finished so fast that she has to keep replenishing it. She realised that she put in big heap of longans and she even said "yes, ah ma you say put 4 palms of what i grabbed" My mom didn't say so and moreover my mom said if you based on how much you can grab, do you know that sometimes longans stick together thickly, so today the drink is thicker tomorrow if you happen to grab lesser then it'll be diluted. My life is in her hands!
Another thing that made mom angry was she was so impatient. Mom was explaining to her how to brew the herbs for me on Friday (6th), and she probably thinks that she 'smart' since she helped brew once for me(but different herb) went "yah yah yah ah ma. I know I know I know....." and even sometimes before mom can say anything she'd say this "yes, I know this one is expensive" like trying to suan my mom like that. Anyway back to that incident when mom was explaining to her how to brew the medicine, she kept saying " I know I know..." and then took the herbs from mom's hands and quickly dump inside another plastic bag. Then on Saturday, I was surprised that I did not have anything to drink, I asked her and she said no. I kept insisting that I am supposed to drink everyday and she showed me a plastic bag under the sink "ah ma say this one I cook any time I want.. mom don't have medicine to drink." What I glanced inside was the normal herbal soup mixes where you can buy from supermarket. I called mom and she said I was supposed to drink. So then mom asked to speak to her on the phone, helper kept quiet. I went to see the plastic bag again and was shocked to see my herbs inside. So was she paying attention to my mom and she thought that was for everyone to drink? Come on, everyone else gave birth also huh? Don't be so geh-kiang lah! I was mad at her and told her off for the first time since she was employed. And she cried that night when she realised it was my birthday and she had angered me on that day. Apart from those behaviours she displayed, she is still a great help for household chores. But I think I should have hired a nanny to entirely care for me and baby.

Sunday, October 8, 2006

Can we spoil a kid by......?

Aricia, as compared to Athena, demands more attention from us. She likes to be carried, she'll cry until you have to go over to pick her up. Then when you think she has fallen asleep and put her down - you will hear her about 5 minutes later.

Hubby says "try not to carry her too often. You'll only spoil her." But can we really spoil a kid just by doing that?

Personally I feel that even as adults, we yearn for the need for nearness, contact and security - what more to mention a baby who's suddenly brought out to the world. And moreover when they start walking; crawling they would be so interested in their new skills that they do not want to be carried. So, why not carry them as much as you can now right?
When a child feels loved, they tend to draw closer to their parents.
When a child feels loved, they tend to be sensitive to the feelings of the people around them - and naturally have high EQ

So, do you carry your child all the time? And what so you feel about this issue?

Saturday, October 7, 2006

Happy Birthday To Me!

I always looked forward to birthdays when I was younger - which means I get my chocolate cake and pressies. And then when I hit 21, I was even more excited to "get my key" and actually celebrated it. The following years to come, I always hope nobody reminds me of my birthdays, and kept a low key.

October 7 this year - what does it mean to me? At first I was excited, I wanted Aricia to be born the same day as me, but it's way past my EDD and my obstetrician kindda looked at me and said "no way!" Also good lah! Having gone through what rubbish I uttered when I came out of my consciousness and the pain, better that I'm not suffering now.
It's good I managed to keep a low profile today

Then first sms was from a good friend, Jasmine late last night. And the funny thing she asked was "So, how are you feeling?" I kindda sent her back saying "can't eat; can't go out.. what do you think?" But honestly it didn't matter to me, although I'm beginning to go crazy for being confined at home.Friends then start sending me sms-es, my brother and sister called to wish me. They couldn't smuggle in a cake through the window (as they did one year) since I no longer stay there. And I had a last sms from the girl who sent me the first sms - Jasmine. So comical!

I thought hubby would forget about my birthday this year, because he normally don't buy me pressies (after we got married) but bring me out for s meal. And what more, I'm confined at home and can't eat anything except for confinement food. Athena and hubby went out for lunch nearby. When they got back, Athena excitedly told me "mummy, you got s Happy Birthday cake and daddy buy one yellow flower." That girl can't keep secrets one....... but I didn't have to go outside to see what yellow flower she was referring to, it would be my favourite sunflower. She ran back into th room and brought in the flower. I pretended and asked "who's that flower for? Mummy lah!

We did the cake cutting in the night, with the excited girl eyeing on all the chocolates on the cake and taking the knife- waiting to cut the cake and swinging it about dangerously. She sang and helped to blow out the candles. Even before I finished cutting the cake, she picked up all the chocolates (except one). Kids! They get so excited seeing a cake.

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Anyway, Happy Birthday to myself. I've got a big pressie this year - Aricia (with me suffering as well lah!)

Friday, October 6, 2006

Mid Autumn Festival

What does Mid-Autumn Festival mean to me in a "always Summer Singapore?"

The Mid-Autumn Festival is looked upon at different perspectives as I grew older.
When I was little, it means looking forward to carrying paper lantern. I think it's just me, but my paper lanterns always get burnt very fast. It's either I am clumsy or I'm not fated to carry paper lanterns. Then paper lanterns made way for cellophane designed lanterns. I carried that and..........conclusion - I'm clumsy. Yup! My lantern got burnt too!
As the years went by, asked mom for the meaning for the full moon and she told me the story about Chang E (read below for extracted stories). I didn't pay much attention to the story but remembered about her pet rabbit. Then I proudly say "I'm born in the Year of the Rabbit". What does that mean? I don't know.. I was only a kid spouting rubbish. (and still spouting rubbish)
Then I was told about the story of the rebellion, and secretly wished there was a note telling me my future (who I was to marry). Yah lah... now marry wrong man lah! Haha! Kidding!!
And yes, as a little kid I love mooncakes. I love those plain ones without yolks - cheap taste what!?

When I started falling in love....... going out with then boyfriend now husband. He told me that Mid-Autumn Festival means admiring the moon with your loved one. Wow! He actually said those sweet words. (no wonder I got conned into marrying him) And I remember every year, if I was in Singapore we'll go out to "see" the moon. One year I was sad that I will not be in Singapore to admire the moon with him. Then he said "never mind, you open your hotel window and see. I see from here lor....Then we're both admiring the moon." At that time, I wonder if he really went to admire the moon or he was probably snoring away, while I stupidly look at the round moon myself.
Sound very romantic hor?
After we got married 4 years later, we never did admire the moon together. I think he'll snap back at me "siao ah... you want to see, you go and see lah!"

Married with kids. Now it means buying a lantern for my daughter. Only to find her afraid of carrying lanterns. Brought her to those festivals for 2 years, she'll eat those mini mooncakes and run away from the lanterns that we got from her. Finally lesson learnt! I'm not going to buy anymore lanterns for her. But grandma bought her one this year. She happily held onto the lantern....

6th October 2006 :
Hubby came home early and was so excited and showed her the Whistling Sparklers he bought for her. Mom was not at all pleased, saying that I'm still doing my confinement period blah blah. But I needed to get out of the house, and should think it's harmless since I'm only out in the playground. Coinceidently, dad and bro was here so they went down as well.
Hubby asked "where'e the moon?" Athena : "there..." and pointed to the round light in the playground.
Hubby lighted the Sparklers, and girl was seen running away. Very funny.... I was videotaping, and the girl actually ran away very far.
Then we asked her to carry her lanterns which she did for a short while and then put it on Aricia's pram "for my sister to play "
We didn't bring down any mooncakes to eat. Not much left to share amongst them 3 adults and 1 kid.
In half an hour's time, we went back home.....since she wasn't doing what she was supposed to do. And we were sick of the hazy smell!


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Extracted from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mid-Autumn_Festival

The Mid-Autumn Festival (Traditional Chinese: 中秋節, Simplified Chinese: 中秋节; pinyin: Zhōngqiūjié; Korean: Ch'usǒk or Chuseok 추석/秋夕; Vietnamese Tết Trung Thu; Taiwanese Tiong Chhiu;also known as the Moon Festival, Mooncake Festival, or the August Moon Festival. In Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, and Malaysia, it may be referred to as the Lantern Festival, similar in name to a different festival which falls on the fifteenth day of the Lunar New Year) is a popular Asian celebration of abundance and togetherness, dating back over 3,000 years to China's Zhou Dynasty.

The Festival falls on the 15th day of the lunar month 8 of the lunar calendar (usually around mid- or late-September in the Gregorian Calendar), a date that parallels the Autumn Equinox of the solar calendar. At this time, the moon is at its fullest and brightest, marking an ideal time to celebrate the abundance of the summer's harvest. The traditional food of this festival is the moon cake, of which there are many different varieties.

The Mid-Autumn Festival is one of the two most important holidays in the Lunar calendar (the other being the Lunar New Year), and is a legal holiday in several countries. Farmers celebrate the end of the summer harvesting season on this date. Traditionally, on this day, Asian family members and friends will gather to admire the bright mid-autumn harvest moon, and eat moon cakes and pomeloes together. It is also common to have barbecues outside under the moon, and to put pomelo rinds on one's head. Brightly lit lanterns are often carried around by children. Together with the celebration, there appear some special customs in different parts of the country, such as burning incense, planting sweet-olive trees, lighting lanterns on towers, and fire dragon dances. Shops selling mooncakes, before the festival, often display pictures of Chang'e, floating to the moon
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Extracted from : http://www.chinavoc.com/festivals/Midautumn.htm
About Mooncakes :
There is this story about the moon-cake. during the Yuan dynasty (A.D. 1280-1368) China was ruled by the Mongolian people. Leaders from the preceding Sung dynasty (A.D. 960-1280) were unhappy at submitting to the foreign rule, and set how to coordinate the rebellion without being discovered. The leaders of the rebellion, knowing that the Moon Festival was drawing near, ordered the making of special cakes. Backed into each moon caked was a message with the outline of the attack. On the night of the Moon Festival, the rebels successfully attached and overthrew the government. Today, moon cakes are eaten to commemorate this legend and was called the Moon Cake.

For generations, moon cakes have been made with sweet fillings of nuts, mashed red beans, lotus-seed paste or Chinese dates, wrapped in a pastry. Sometimes a cooked egg yolk can be found in the middle of the rich tasting dessert. People compare moon cakes to the plum pudding and fruit cakes which are served in the English holiday seasons.

Nowadays, there are hundreds varieties of moon cakes on sale a month before the arrival of Moon Festival.

About Folklore :
Folklore about the origin of the festival go like this: In remote antiquity, there were ten suns rising in the sky, which scorched all crops and drove people into dire poverty. A hero named Hou Yi was much worried about this, he ascended to the top of the Kunlun Mountain and, directing his superhuman strength to full extent, drew his extraordinary bow and shot down the nine superfluous suns one after another. He also ordered the last sun to rise and set according to time. For this reason, he was respected and loved by the people and lots of people of ideals and integrity came to him to learn martial arts from him. A person named Peng Meng lurked in them.

Hou Yi had a beautiful and kindhearted wife named Chang E. One day on his way to the Kunlun Mountain to call on friends, he ran upon the Empress of Heaven Wangmu who was passing by. Empress Wangmu presented to him a parcel of elixir, by taking which, it was said, one would ascend immediately to heaven and become a celestial being. Hou Yi, however, hated to part with his wife. So he gave the elixir to Chang E to treasure for the time being. Chang E hid the parcel in a treasure box at her dressing table when, unexpectedly, it was seen by Peng Meng.

One day when Hou Yi led his disciples to go hunting, Peng Meng, sword in hand, rushed into the inner chamber and forced Chang E to hand over the elixir. Aware that she was unable to defeat Peng Meng, Chang E made a prompt decision at that critical moment. She turned round to open her treasure box, took up the elixir and swallowed it in one gulp. As soon as she swallowed the elixir her body floated off the ground, dashed out of the window and flew towards heaven. Peng Meng escaped.

When Hou Yi returned home at dark, he knew from the maidservants what had happened. Overcome with grief, Hou Yi looked up into the night sky and called out the name of his beloved wife when, to his surprise, he found that the moon was especially clear and bight and on it there was a swaying shadow that was exactly like his wife. He tried his best to chase after the moon. But as he ran, the moon retreated; as he withdrew, the moon came back. He could not get to the moon at all.

Thinking of his wife day and night, Hou Yi then had an incense table arranged in the back garden that Chang E loved. Putting on the table sweetmeats and fresh fruits Chang E enjoyed most, Hou Yi held at a distance a memorial ceremony for Chang E who was sentimentally attached to him in the palace of the moon.

When people heard of the story that Chang E had turned into a celestial being, they arranged the incense table in the moonlight one after another and prayed kindhearted Chang E for good fortune and peace. From then on the custom of worshiping the moon spread among the people.

People in different places follow various customs, but all show their love and longing for a better life. Today people will enjoy the full moon and eat moon cakes on that day.

The moon looks extremely round, big and bright on the 15th day of each lunar month. People selected the August 15 to celebrate because it is a season when crops and fruits are all ripe and weather pleasant. On the Mid-Autumn Festival, all family members or friends meet outside, putting food on tables and looking up at the sky while talking about life. How splendid a moment it is!

Thursday, October 5, 2006

Photos of my two darlings

Athena

Aricia

Wednesday, October 4, 2006

She's finally a known child

Finally! After 16 days, our little princess has an official name in the eyes of the law. (otherwise she's always known as D/O of Lily Ann)

Went for my postnatal check today (again, last one was on Monday) coz' of the unexplained bleeding I got from my scars. After which, I decided to do the Birth Registration for her near the Admissions Counter.

Just last night too, Master Tan's staffs faxed over the choices of Aricia's chinese names. Alas! The one- who always failed chinese and barely got a C6 for my GCE O-kindda stared hard at the words and don't even know the meaning of the words. Hubby can't help me much, mom tried but said alot of words have added strokes to make it more suitable for naming children. We were given 5 middle names and 5 last names, which we can do a match up to 25 names. Choosing a name is a difficult decision, coz' we do not want our child to be ridiculed at in school or at work, we wanted a nice name (who wouldn't) for little Aricia. When it came to the middle name, it was an undiscussed agreement that we both like the word 诗 which we had wanted for Athena's name but the strokes didn't permit. So, we were finally left with 5 choices, 2 of which didn't sound right. Hubby likes 2 names " 诗霖" & " 诗洁". I thought both are nice names but I translated the 霖 in the chinese dictionary as "long spell of rain, copious rain"- when I said that I mimicked the action of crying and immediately he knew what I meant - afterall in 2 weeks already we've seen how much she's been crying to get her ways.

(although I had another name in mind) we then struggled how to name 诗洁 in dialect. Hubby is a Foochew, obviously we didn't know how to translate name into Foochew when he hardly speaks the language. We used our "smart" brains to name our two children - in our own ways.
陳诗洁 became Ting See Jie; Ting Si Jie and hubby came up with Ting Si Jung (huh? I went "clock?"- too far from it) and Ting Si Jay. Very difficult! Hubby then went to sleep & left the dirty job to me. I finally thought of "Tze" I did a search in the internet and seems ShiJie sounds like a manly name, although they use different characters. But otherwise how to name her ? Aricia Ting Tze Chieu? Sounds even more manly!
What was the other name I had in mind? 璇. I thought it sounded feminine but I didn't know the meaning at all. But thanks to the internet for helping me with the translation - 璇 means beautiful jade;star. Aha! Dialect name would sound nicer too - either Shuan or Shuen. Real crazy! We're not Cantonese but the idiot mummy can name her child with a Cantonese name. So now I have to tell hubby the other option in the morning.
He agrees with the name that I liked. I dunno if he really likes it or kindda give up with the naming decision. He could have thought "better start naming her so that my wife can stop bugging me."

At the counter, I submitted and we got her birth certificate bearing the name :-

ARICIA TING TZE SHUEN 陳诗璇

Come to think of it... shouldn't it be Tse Shuen? Tze sounds like Zhi.


PS: Just if you were wondering how we named Athena. Her chinese name is 陳昭绫, we could have named her Ting ZhaoLing coz it still sounded okay, but hubby suggested we could use his sister's 'Chow' which we thought it did rhyme. So our 老大 proudly calls herself " I am Athena Ting Chow Ling" (and we always disturb her Ting Chow Chow- smelly smelly)

Tuesday, October 3, 2006

She's grown

I haven't really paid much attention to Athena since 2 weeks ago, except for hugging her and kissing her.

However, what I've noticed is that she seems to have grown - fatter! In a week, she seems more mature in the way she talks.

And yesterday when I decided to trim her nails for her... I kindda held her hands and noticed her fingers seemed bigger; her nailbed seemed bigger. Did she have a spurt overnight or what?! Her hands didn't seem like it belonged to a toddler but a big girl. Soon, I don't think I'll be able to hold that tiny hand anymore........

Sunday, October 1, 2006

Dimples are genetic?

Sister came by few days ago, and we started talking about Aricia's left dimple.

I had always thought that dimples means the person who has it resembles his/her mother or father. But my sister told me otherwise. She had explained that dimples is genetics and that it has skipped me, so it goes to the next generation - my children. And I'm still jealous of my brother and sister having two dimples each. And I have none, I kept asking mom if I was picked up from the rubbish dump, since I didn't have any dimples.

So my sister explained that I have the genes in me, so it goes to my child - skipped a generation. And she further explained "I have, brother have, Ah yong(our cousin) and Ah Ben(our cousin) also have. Then Ah Ping(our cousin) don't have."

I tried getting answers from the web and only found this :-
Extracted from : http://www.uni.edu/walsh/genetics.html

Mendelian Genetics
Mendel studied dichotomous traits & how they are passed on to offspring
2 possible "alleles" for each trait
The combination one has (1 from mom, 1 from dad)
is called your "genotype"
2 matching alleles = "homozygous"
2 different alleles = "heterozygous"

In heterozygous individuals, the allele that is "expressed" (seen in individual’s appearance) is the "dominant" allele

The traits that are expressed make up your "phenotype"

The allele that is not expressed is the "recessive" allele

There are more than 2 alleles for some traits
Most traits, in fact, are affected by more than 1 gene

Sex-Linked Traits

In the case of genes located on the X chromosome, females would have the usual 2 alleles for each gene but males only have 1 X chromosome and thus 1 allele (the Y chromosome contains only a small number of genes related to gender)

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Extracted from :- http://www.science.edu.sg/ssc/detailed.jsp?artid=4862&type=6&root=4&parent=4&cat=40
Question No. 19243 :
I understand that traits such dimples and unattached earlobes are considered dominant traits. Is it possible for a child to have such traits when both parents do not exhibit such traits? Is it possible for such traits to "skip a generation"?
Visible human characteristics or traits are controlled by groups of information called genes that are composed of nucleotides. Each gene codes for a particular protein. (What actually determine our traits are proteins, not DNA.) Many genes are combined to form a large piece of DNA called a chromosome. Each normal human being has 46 chromosomes, or 23 pairs (diploid) in each body cell. In forming the gametes (egg or sperm), one of each chromosome pair will be given, so these cells have only 23 single chromosomes (haploid). In this way, the father contributes half of the genetic information (genotype) for the child; the mother will contribute the other half.

The position of each and every gene is in the exact corresponding location on the same chromosome of every organism within a particular species. Even closely related people look slightly different from each other because of alleles. Alleles are different forms of a gene that controls a trait. Some alleles are dominant and some are recessive. Recessive alleles are only expressed if the homozygous recessive genotype is present. Genotype refers to the actual DNA sequence, or actual alleles present, whereas phenotype is the visible expression of the genotype. An individual with two of the same allele for a given gene is homozygous, and one with two different alleles for the same gene are heterozygous.

Both detached earlobes and dimples are considered dominant traits.

Human Trait Dominant Allele Recessive Allele
Dimples Have dimples No dimples
Earlobes Detached Attached
Freckles Freckles present No freckles

Notes:

* Dimples are natural dents in the face to the right or left of the mouth. If a person has only one dimple, they should be counted as having dimples.
* A person with attached earlobes will have the lowest point of the earlobe attached to the face. A person with unattached earlobes will not have the lowest point of the earlobe attached to the face. In fact, you may be able to put part of your fingertip between the face and the unattached bottom portion
of the ear lobe.
* Tongue-rolling is not a simple inherited trait. The genetics behind tongue rolling are not very secure.

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Does that answer my doubts? Too deep for a pea-sized brain me to understand. But even so, it's what my sister claims, I wonder then how is it my two daughters take after my hairy-ness (which is akin to being horny - haha!), why didn't it skip them. Now hubby may have to consider sending the two of them for IPL, while the poor mother have to resort to shaving. See! The hubby treats his daughters better than me!
Now, I'm so jealous of Athena's long and thick eyelashes. And Aricia's dimple.

My naughty girl

Aricia has finally taken over the role as the naughty one in the family. Athena, on the other hand, has turned more sensible and helpful. I'm so blessed!

We had our easy days when Athena was so much easier to care for when she was a baby; sleeping through the night when she was about 2 or 3 weeks old. So, we thought raising a baby was easy (since we had it easy) and took up the challenge of going through the whole process, 4 years later (and not forgetting 4 years older ourselves - we haven't got much energy now you know!) Boy! Were we proven wrong and the challenge of dragging our aged body up from the bed when she "sings" in the night. And my dear Aricia is a hungry girl, she drinks every 2 hours!!

Yes, we all know that breastmilk is easily digestible and hey! it's good news coz' I've finally got the stimulation from her sucking that now my supply is good. At least she's now on breastmilk and I'm happy. The only setback is that since it's only my breasts that will produce milk (and not hubby's or mother's) so I had to be the only one struggling to get up from the bed everytime. And having just gone through a major surgery, the stitches are painful. I gotta take my time to move my body up from the sleeping position to standing position (carry her out from bassinet)back to sitting position and vv. Multiply that motion by 3-4 times in the night + xxtimes in the daytime. Darn! I'm like an owl in the night , I only take short nap in the daytime. I really wonder how I can survive on less than 5 hours of sleep. Well... all I can say is I actually did it!!
Then when she takes the milk, she likes to end it by taking my nipples as her pacifier. Ouch! When I pull her off, she cries. And oh yes! She has this very funny habit when she's drinking milk. She'll drink and then since it's so soothing, it sorta makes her sleepy right? She loses her catch and start crying, at the same time her head turning here and there searching for my nipple. Then she sucks for less than a minute and start crying (again) and then continue sucking. I just dunno what she's up to but for sure she's a cry baby.She loves it when I get so tired during the wee hours feed that I put her on me to sleep. And then I have problem getting up, had to ask hubby to carry her . But what aggitates me is during the early wee hours feeds, she'll drink and then open her eyes big big to look at me. When I asked her "what you looking at? You're supposed to be sleeping." She opens her eyes even bigger and give me a sponteneous smile. Sigh.....

In the first few days, I insisted that I do the feeding wholly by myself. And if anyone is to give water, to give her by spoon. Nobody complaint except for my mother-in-law (who on Sunday, I was discharged only the day before) made a remark early in the morning which apparently I heard it "who will feed a baby by spoon? Feed the baby by the bottle" Actually I don't know what's so difficult to feed by spoon, I mean she's only done it once whereas we've been doing it countless times even in hospital! And although my hubby supported by idea of feeding by spoon, he could have explained it to his mother the reason for doing so. If I hadn't bothered about Aricia, I'd also want to have things easy my way too. I could have let her drink from bottle straightaway, then at least I can have my rests (I'm supposed to be resting you know!)

Now that my supply is good, I've changed to pumping out my milk. It was a decision too, after I've seen bleeding on my scars (still bleeding) and tolerating the pain I've been getting on that side - I think I've been straining myself too much by getting up & down from the bed too often. So, I pump in advance a few feeds for Aricia. I tried latching her on yesterday to remind her about her latching on the breasts. Thank goodness, she hasn't forgotten about it. But it was a wrong move on my part, she ended up drinking & suckling a 'pacifier' and when I pull her off - she cries. So, you guessed it when she was happy and sleeping on me, I was in pain both on my nipple and my stitch.
We also decided to let her try formula feeding for her night feeds, hopefully to make her sleep longer. But alas! That hungry girl still gets up every 2hours for her 45ml feed. Athena didn't drink that much, only about 35ml and she can sleep for long period.
Anyhow, we will try for 1-2 more nights. If it's proven fruitless, then I might as well let her drink breastmilk in the night too! I just gotta pump more.

This is a photo of her today - at 13 day old. Ye-ye (dad) says she has grown, which we say she didn't. See for yourself whether she has thrived.

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