12.20.2008

"I have to get this"

Jackson went with me to the bank today. As we were driving I looked at him in the rear-view mirror and saw him peacefully looking out the window, and picking his nose. I said, "Jackson, stop picking your nose!" In a very relaxed tone he said, "Yeah, in a minute Mom. I have to get this."

12.17.2008

Finally a diagnosis

In my junior year of high school I started getting these horrible pains in my jaw. The glands would swell up and I couldn't eat or drink. I was always tired so first we thought I had Mono, but I didn't. We went to the doctor and got x-rays, an MRI, and did everything we could to figure out what it was, but nobody could ever give us any answers. Then in college I had a lot of joint and muscle pain so I went to a Rheumatologist. He took some tests and narrowed it down to Rheumatoid Arthritis or Sjogrens Syndrome, but still had no answers for my jaw problems. I was tired of going to the doctor and not getting any answers so I just gave up on it. Once we got to Cali I decided it was time to get an official diagnosis so I could try to make sure things didn't get worse as I got older.

My primary care doctor referred me to a Rheumatologist in Santa Cruz. I made the 45 minute drive up there and she takes one look at me, asks me how old I was, humored me for about 1 minute, ordered some blood tests then sent me on my way. I went back two months later and she says, "Your tests show several abnormalities, but you're so young. Let's just wait and see what happens."

Okay, obviously I'm not crippled or anything, but wouldn't it be smart to figure out what it is now so that I can keep myself from eventually being crippled? She made me so mad. Just because I was young she wouldn't treat me! So I told my p.c. and he referred me to a different doctor (and was so mad he said he would never refer any of his patients to the first Rheum.)

This new doctor actually took me serious and answered my questions. He looked at my blood results and said, "You have many abnormalities. Your main problem is Sjogrens Syndrome and that is most likely what has caused your jaw problems also. Let's treat the Sjogrens first, then see what other underlying issues you have going on."

Now that is what doctor is supposed to do !

So here is what Sjogren's Syndrome is:
Sjögren's syndrome is an autoimmune disease in which the body's immune system mistakenly attacks its own moisture producing glands. Sjögren's is one of the most prevalent autoimmune disorders, striking as many as 4,000,000 Americans. Nine out of ten patients are women. The average age of onset is late 40s although Sjögren's occurs in all age groups in both women and men.
About 50% of the time Sjögren's syndrome occurs alone, and 50% of the time it occurs in the presence of another connective tissue disease. The four most common diagnoses that co-exist with Sjögren's syndrome are Rheumatoid Arthritis, Systemic Lupus, Systemic Sclerosis (scleroderma) and Polymyositis/Dermatomyositis. Sometimes researchers refer to the first type as "Primary Sjögren's" and the second as "Secondary Sjögren's." All instances of Sjögren's syndrome are systemic, affecting the entire body.
The hallmark symptoms are dry eyes and dry mouth. Sjögren's may also cause dryness of other organs, affecting the kidneys, GI tract, blood vessels, lung, liver, pancreas, and the central nervous system. Many patients experience debilitating fatigue and joint pain. Symptoms can plateau, worsen, or go into remission. While some people experience mild symptoms, others suffer debilitating symptoms that greatly impair their quality of life.

So the medication that I'm taking is also used to treat Malaria. I don't like taking medication, so I'm doing some research to find natural ways to treat it. I might have some problems with this though. If you know me well then you know that I have annoying food/texture issues. All of the natural remedies include ingesting things whose names alone make me gag a little bit. This will be a major challenge. Hopefully some funny stories come out of this new adventure.

12.15.2008

Smoothies and Bed-Wetting (Great combo huh!)

Payton is a super picky eater. If he had his own way he'd eat fruit bars 24/7. He doesn't like to eat real fruit. I think he probably has texture issues like me. I finally got him to eat strawberries and bananas, but they had to be Organic. Seriously. He could tell if they weren't Organic and he would spit them out. After a while I got tired of paying so much more for Organic fruit, and he wasn't too interested in the fruit anymore. I've found that smoothies are pretty much the only way to get fruit in his tummy so we've started having smoothies for breakfast. The smoothie the boys seem to like the best is this one:

3/4 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
3/4 cup 1% milk
2 teaspoons peanut butter
1 banana
1/2 cup frozen unsweetened strawberries
2 teaspoons (chocolate) whey powder
4 ice cubes

(1 8-ounce serving has 235 calories, 11 g protein, 39 g carbs, 5g total fat (2g saturated), 4 g fiber) I use the smoothie as my breakfast meal replacement. They boys have it with their eggs and toast.


And here's a Jackson story that shows he's just like me.
When I was Jackson's age one of Jackie's friends spent the night. She wore knee-high socks to bed and we all slept in the same bed. I wet the bed, getting her socks completely wet. (Gross, I know). When we woke up in the morning I wouldn't admit that I wet the bed. I just kept saying, "I just sweat a lot when I sleep. I didn't wet the bed! I'm just really sweaty!"

So Jackson woke up this morning and had wet the bed. The first thing he said was, "Oh wow, I was really sweaty last night. I guess I better change my pants. I can't believe I was so sweaty."


(In our defense, we're both REALLY heavy sleepers, so when I was his age it just didn't register to me that I needed to go potty or that I had gone potty.)

12.10.2008

Training him well

Jackson was so cute today and I tried to take pictures of it, but my camera was on the Fritz, so no pictures to document this story. Sorry......

As I do every day around 3:00, I asked Jackson to pick up his toys so the house would be clean when Daddy got home. While he was cleaning up I was back in my bedroom putting laundry away. With the washer and dryer running, and the radio on in my room I couldn't hear very well. After I'd been in my room for a few minutes I hear some noise, so I go and check on things. Jackson had finished picking up his toys then decided to go into the closet for the vacuum, and yes, that noise I heard was Jackson vacuuming. I said, "What are you doing buddy?" He says, "I'm just cleaning up. I have to earn my keep so that you don't sell me to the gypsies."

(Side story: My dad used to tell us he was going to sell us to the gypsies when we were kids. It's one of those things you never think you'll say, but then it comes out of your mouth without any thought. I think I've said it to Jackson twice, jokingly. Obviously it made an impact.)

12.09.2008

Surprisingly Happy

Payton is a lot like me when he wakes up. He's generally moody and grumpy. Add the fact that he's almost 2 on top of that, and you've got a very challenging child on your hands for those 30 minutes after he wakes up. It was quite a relief for me when he woke up this morning and he was happy.

Nate went in to get him and the first thing he said to Nate was, "I poop." Then Payton came into my bedroom and told me that he pooped. So I laid him down to change his diaper. He put his hand over his nose and said what I usually say, "Oooh, Stinky. Yuck!" (He's never said that before).


Later on in the morning as I was getting Jackson ready for school Payton came in and decided to be really helpful. Jackson put on his clothes, then I sat him on his bed to put on his socks and his shoes. As I put on the socks Payton grabbed Jackson's shoes out of the closet and started to put Jackson's shoes on his feet. Of course I had to put them on for him. But when we were done he was so proud of himself for helping out.


I couldn't help but wish every morning would go like this. A morning where he didn't cry because there were no fruit bars. He didn't throw his plate and all his food on the ground. He didn't cry because we were out of juice. A morning where he's just happy and content. It was beautiful.

12.07.2008

My latest projects

I started both of these quilts before we moved last year and never got around to finishing them once we got unpacked. The studio where I worked needed a baby quilt for their Silent Auction, so I found the opportunity to finally finish my projects. The blue one is completely hand stitched and took forever, but totally worth it! Now I'm back in the zone and want to sew all the time again!





12.05.2008

Move Your Boogie Body

This video never fails to make me laugh, even when all I want to do is cry...........Enjoy!!

12.02.2008

Thanks Ya'll

Thanks to the people who gave me their blog addresses! I'm pretty sure I've been able to restore the rest of my links! That's that great thing about blogs, you only need a few peoples links and from there you can find 30 more! For a while there yesterday I was so devastated because of my silly blog being messed up. I'm still bummed about losing all the cute things Jacks said, but life goes on I guess. Anyway, thanks for giving me your links!

12.01.2008

I need your blog address!

So I found this website with really cute blog backgrounds. I was trying to use one on my blog and it ended up deleting a bunch of my info. Yes, thanks to that cute blog background I've lost the cute things that Jackson had said, and I lost my blog lists (It makes me extra mad because I saved my old blog info just-in-case, but for some reason some of the HTML didn't save correctly, grrrrrrrrrrr). I'm sure I'll be able to find the links to some of your blogs again through the comments that you've left, but could all of you who check my blog leave your blog address in the comments section of this post so I can link up to all of your blogs again!

11.30.2008

.....

"In the end, the number of prayers we say may contribute to our happiness, but the number of prayers we answer may be of even greater importance. Let us open our eyes and see the heavy hearts, notice the loneliness and despair; let us feel the silent prayers of others around us, and let us be an instrument in the hands of the Lord to answer those prayers."

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

11.29.2008

Sensitive little Jackson

Payton has this little Penguin stuffed animal that he carries with him almost everywhere. He had it with him today when we went to Moss Landing to look at the Sea Lions. We were on a deck that was totally fenced in and Payton kept trying to push his Penguin through the fencing. I think he was trying to free him so he could be "back in the wild". Jackson kept trying to stop Payton and was really getting upset about it. I took him to the side and got down on his level so we were eye to eye. I asked him what was wrong. He said, "Payton is trying to drop his Penguin." I asked him why that bothered him, and with tears in his eyes and his lip quivering he said, "If Payton drops his Penguin it will go in the water and I won't be able to go and get it for him and he will be sad."

All I could do was hug him tight and tell him what a good brother he is. It really impressed me to see how concerned he was about Payton's happiness. Jackson really is such a sweet boy. I'm so lucky.......

11.26.2008

P-Day

The Turkey is thawing, pies are baking, vegies are being cut, and I'm pretending that I'm not nervous for tomorrow!

I posted about Motherhood on my other blog. Please read it and give me your opinions on motherhood!

Raking Leaves, Turtles, and New Words

Here's a short update on us!

About 2, maybe 3 weeks ago I decided to finally get out there and rake the leaves. This took me two days and I filled up about 12 40 gal. bags. It was a big job and my back hurt. Over the weekend I was so happy to see that Jackson wanted to take his turn raking the leaves!
Jackson's friend Beckham has a pet Turtle. While they are out of town for Thanksgiving we get to babysit little Turtle. I'm thinking this is the best kind of pet. He makes no noise, he eats lettuce, and it takes almost no effort to take care of him. We've only had him one day and the boys and I are totally in love with him.

When Jackson saw me taking pictures of Turtle (I don't know his name, so we just call him Turtle) he said, "Take pictures of me mom!"
Jackson has gotten really good at boosting my self-esteem. I had a doctor's appointment in Monterey today so instead of going home after dropping Nate off we just went to McDonald's for breakfast. We were eating pancakes and Jackson says, "Mom, when we're at home you're a really good cooker. I really like your food that you cook at home. You're a good cooker."
Little Payton put so many words together yesterday! He completed a whole paragraph and I could understand each word (this is a huge deal since Payton's usual communication is in the form of grunting and pointing). Nate had a 24 hour shift on Monday so all day yesterday he slept. Payton knew that Daddy was home, so he was curious as to why Daddy wasn't out playing with him. After Payton looked all around the house for him and couldn't find him he came to me and said, "Daddy? Where's Daddy? I wanna see Daddy!"

11.24.2008

Above the Hate

Many people of other faiths are tired of the way that the LDS church has been singled out for the passage of Prop 8. They have started a petition for people to sign to show that we will stand together to say "Enough!" to the campaign of hate and intimidation being waged against the LDS Church and other supporters of California's Proposition 8.

Sign it!

Neal A. Maxwell

I found a great video clip. Neal A. Maxwell gave this talk in the 70's. How fitting is it for our time? Check it out!

Happy Birthday Nate!!

Nate is officially 30 today!! Unfortunately he has school today, then he has CQ tonight so that means he's pulling a 24 hour shift on his birthday. What a way to celebrate turning 30! We gave him his presents on Saturday, then yesterday we had some friends come over for a "BBQ" (we actually don't have an actually BBQ, so I cooked our turkey burgers in a pan. Lame, I know) and tried to play some games. It's hard to play games with 9 kids running around. So HAPPY BIRTHDAY NATE!!

We also had the Primary Program in church yesterday. All the kids did a really good job and it was a great program, but I was focused on Jackson. He got to speak and he did a really good job. He likes to talk into microphones. It was cute watching him sing too. He did really great at first, but as the program went on he zoned out (as did the rest of the Sunbeams!). It is so fun to watch him grow up. I think he might be growing up a little too fast. Thanks to his new "girlfriend" he's learning a little too much about being lovey dovey. His little friend Bella likes to cuddle with him, calls him husband, and we even caught her having him kiss her so she could "wake-up". Luckily he was only kissing her on the cheek. We might have to monitor those too more closely!

11.20.2008

So much to be thankful for

As is tradition at this time of year I've been thinking about things that I'm thankful for. Not to downplay how thankful I am for Nate and my beautiful baby boys or anything, but right now I am SO thankful for the church. I am so thankful for that peaceful feeling that only comes while reading the scriptures. I'm unbelievably thankful for an unwavering testimony of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I've always loved to read, but lately my only interest has been in reading church related materials. This has been a massive blessing for me. It's easy to get weighed down with all the negativity that this world has to offer and when I'm feeling my worst all I have to do is pick up the scriptures, or any of these other amazing books and all my worries go away. Usually it's only a temporary relief, but it's so worth it. It's worth it because it's a reminder that I'm not alone. Even with all the things going on in California right now I've never been more aware of the Lord's presence in my life. I consider it a huge blessing that I get to be with Nate and the boys every day and know that the possibilities are endless for us. I can't imagine living life without the blessings of the temple. Well, actually I can imagine it. It hasn't even been a year since Nate and I went to the temple with Jackson and Payton and were sealed together as a family.

Having faith and having a true testimony of Christ's teachings truly does change you. Anyone who knew me 5 years ago or even 10 years ago would tell you that I'm a completely different person now. Back then I didn't deny what I knew to be true, I just tried to pretend that it didn't matter to me. Luckily the Lord never gave up on me. All of my bad decisions led up to one monumentally amazing blessing.........Jackson. Although the change didn't come quickly, I grew to understand the gospel more through Jackson because I could finally understand what it felt like to really love someone else more than I loved myself. I grew to understand, and am still trying to understand the huge responsibility it is to be a mother.

The decisions that I made after having Jackson led me to Nate, and now I have little Payton too. Things haven't been simple for our little family. We have had many struggles in the almost three years since we've been married. But the Lord's hand has been in our lives.

I never thought that Nate would be able to adopt Jackson, I hoped for it, but I was doubtful that his "birth donor" would ever agree to it. I just prayed and prayed for it, and one day I just knew that the time was right. I made the phone call and he just agreed. I called around to find a lawyer and found out that this would cost us at least $1000. A few days later I happened to be at the gym riding a bike. A girl who was acquainted with my parents (and I had only briefly met her once) came up and started talking to me. We just made small talk for a while and then her job came up. She said that she worked for a lawyer. He practiced some type of corporate law. I jokingly said, "Hey, ask him if he wants to do a free adoption!" I didn't think anything of it until my mom called me three weeks later and said, "Colleen talked to her boss and he said he'd do the adoption."

It took about 7 months for the whole process to be done. Jackson was officially adopted by Nate on March 29th, 2007. Two weeks before Payton was born. Then on December 28th, 2007 we went to the temple while Nate was home for Christmas Exodus.

When I look at those experiences I know that those blessings came from the Lord. I know that he has looked over us and protected us and I hope that I will always be worthy of those blessings.

11.19.2008

HELP ME!!!

We are staying in California for the Holidays, which means I will be cooking all the big meals by myself. I've got almost everything picked out for Thanksgiving but I just can't decide on a really great side dish to go with the Mashed Potatoes and the Turkey. Give me some advice on your favorite Thanksgiving side dishes so I can get some ideas!!!!

11.18.2008

Echoes and Evidences of the Book of Mormon

I'm only about 100 pages into this book, but I highly recommend it.
It looks at the Book of Mormon from a historical point on view to see if it could really have been written by people during that same time period. I already have a testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, but it is still amazing to me to see so much evidence that Joseph Smith really was called by God and translated such an amazing book of scripture. There really was no possible way he could have made up such a historically accurate story about this group of people. Read it!

11.12.2008

Is there anything better than this?





Moments like this one are so refreshing! It makes you momentarily forget that your child is rapidly approaching the Terrible Twos.

11.10.2008

My Favorite Thing



The boys are getting to the point where they actually play with each other and hang-out. Whenever I leave the room to do something, then come back to check on them they're always doing something together. Today I found them reading a book together. Other days they are wrestling. Usually they are quietly getting into trouble together. It's a lot of fun!

11.07.2008

"The chief tragedy in the world at the present time is its disbelief in God’s goodness and its lack of faith in the teachings and doctrines of the gospel."

~David O. McKay~

11.05.2008

An all new blog for Jessica!

I've enjoyed voicing my opinion out about issues that I'm passionate about. I also enjoyed getting feedback from people that read my postsn whether they agreed with me or not. Since this is my family blog I've decided to start a new blog so I can write about whatever I feel passionate about at any given time. This way my family blog will be the place for pictures and updates on my family, and my personal blog can be a place for political views, religious views, etc. etc. etc. Please check it out and feel free to comment. www.thehousewifethatcould.blogspot.com

11.04.2008

Things are looking up!

Today got off to a great start! I filled up my gas tank today and it only cost $29.00. A few weeks ago it was costing $50.00 to fill up our little Honda Civic. I was really missing those days when it only cost 22 dollars to fill the tank!

11.01.2008

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!

We had so much fun this year! The boys had three days of dressing up in their costumes. First they wore their costumes to the ward Halloween party/Trunk 'R' Treat.


Jackson got his face painted!


And Payton cried while Jackson got his face painted


Then on Thursday Jackson got to wear his costume to Pre-School. When Payton saw Jackson getting his Dragon on, Payton decided he wanted to wear his Monkey.



Jackson the Dragon!

Payton the Monkey!



The party animals!



Then they played for a while!



Jacksons good friend Ricky goes to his pre-school class so we caught some pretty sweet pictures of them together.

Then FINALLY we went Trick Or Treating tonight!!

10.31.2008

Brotherly Love

I knew that the boys had gone into the Den to read books, but when I didn't hear them for a few minutes I thought I should go in and check on them. This is what I found.


10.30.2008

Wildlife Adventures

I've had a few encounters with Raccoons since I've been here, but they have always been through a thick glass door. At first it was just with one Raccoon (at least I think it was the same Raccoon) that would come to my house almost every night and try to find food in my yard. Then either that Raccoon had babies or some other Raccoon with three babies started coming to my house regularly. I always go to the door and put my hand up and talk baby talk to them and tell them they are so cute. They look at me for a while then slowly go back to getting their food. Sometimes I even stay up late waiting for them. I'm like a little kid. I get so excited when they come around. I've always heard that Raccoons are really mean though.

So last night I took the boys to our ward Halloween party and we got home after dark. I got out of the car and Jackson was getting out of the car when I noticed a Raccoon in my yard about 10 feet away. Its back was arched and it looked like it would pounce on me and attack at any time. I just kept making eye contact with it and slowly and calmly grabbed Jackson, told him to be really quiet and I walked him over to the porch and got him into the house. When I walk around the corner to go back to the car the momma Raccoon was still in the same place with her back arched, but this time her babies were right there beside me! So her and I stared at each other for a minute while the babies just sat there and watched. I slowly raised my hand and said, "I'm not going to hurt you, you need to leave." They looked at each other then turned around and walked about 10 feet back, but then turned around and looked at me again. I said again, "I"m not going to hurt you, but you guys need to leave." It seemed like they reluctantly walked over to my neighbors driveway and just sat there and watched while I got Payton out of the car and walked into the house. I think they recognized me as their friend. That may have saved me from getting attacked by a Momma Raccoon protecting her babies.

10.29.2008

Good Friends

Finally! Some much needed photos of my boys!! We've been so lucky since we've moved here to make such good friends. My boys have made some really cute friends too! My friend Cheryl and I do a childcare swap and it works out perfect since her two youngest sons are about the same ages as my boys. I took these pictures a couple weeks ago when they were at our house. (My boys are the ones with the shaved heads!)

10.28.2008

I'm pretty sure I'm done

I think I'm done. I just voted today! Mail-in voting is the BEST THING EVER! I just don't think I can handle anything else that has to do with the election. I think I said everything I needed to say about Prop 8 and Obama. There is just so much negative energy that goes along with politics and elections and I cannot handle it anymore. I'm ready to go back to playing with my kids, cleaning, and doing laundry without all the thoughts of politics bustling around in the back of my mind. For a while now I've been really stressed out and worried about what would happen if Prop 8 didn't pass. Over the weekend I started reading in Helaman (a part of the Book of Mormon) and I saw so many parallels between the Nephites and us. The part that brought me comfort is that God always watches over and protects the righteous people who have faith in him and stand up for what they believe in.

I have stood up for what I believe in. I don't need to spend time stressing about the possibilities of what could happen if Prop 8 is defeated. I've done my part, so now my main focus has to be on making sure that I do everything I can to be righteous and be an example for my kids, my husband, and anyone else that notices me.

So, you most likely won't see anymore politically themed posts. (If I do consider taking on some other subjects I might just make a separate blog for that) I'm eager to get back to posting about my kids, Nate, good food, and good fun!

10.15.2008

Great way to start the morning!

I took the boys for a nice walk this morning and found this little (actually huge) neighbor when I got home.
I'm 99.9% sure it was all in my head, but I swear it hissed at me! I think I blinded it with the flash on my camera so when it came time to kill it, it didn't even try to out run me. Nate will be so proud that I killed a NASTY spider all by my self.

SUGAR SHOCK

I've been doing really good with the no sugar thing. I hardly ever get cravings anymore so that is like a miracle!! Nate had a "traumatic" experience yesterday and needed some comfort so he bought some sugar cookies that were also completely covered in frosting. For some odd reason I felt like I deserved a "reward" for eating so clean, so I decided to have a sugar cookie. Within 20 minutes of eating it my joints were achy and stiff, I had a headache, I could feel my heart racing, and I started getting annoyed with everything Nate was doing. ALL because of the SUGAR!

10.12.2008

Catholic Vote

video

This video was found at catholicvote.com but I think it applies to all moral Americans that value life and family. Please watch it.

10.07.2008

The Gift That Keeps On Giving

What is the gift that keeps on giving?? For me, it's the Pork Tenderloin I made on Sunday. I never knew I could love pork so much. I think it has replaced chicken as my favorite meat. The first reason why I love it: it's so easy to make. Throw it in the crock pot and go on with your day. The second reason: The only things I put in with it were water, sea salt, pepper, garlic salt, onion salt, and olive oil. That meat tasted so good and was so tender it almost made me cry because I was so happy. The third reason: The leftovers. I work on Monday and Wednesdays so when I get home I'm looking for something quick and easy to make for my family. Luckily there was plenty leftover so all I had to do was warm it up, (it was still just as tender as the night before) chop up some veggies and a salad, and within minutes we had another delicious dinner. The fourth reason: Even more leftovers. I'm telling you....that meat was so good that when I made a sandwich out of it today, I didn't even have to put anything with it. Just whole wheat bread. No cheese, no mayo, no veggies (I did have veggies on the side though). I still have more meat in the fridge.

You may think I'm kind of weird for blogging about meat, but that is how much it has influenced my week. Do yourself a favor and cook one this weekend. For busy moms, it's the gift that keeps on giving.

Lawnmower

When I moved to Seaside my favorite hobby was doing yard work. I couldn't get enough of pulling weeds and watching my flowers grow. When we got back from Utah in June I got into a major slump and pretty much stopped taking care of my yard. Some of my flowers died, or got close to it. My grass isn't so green anymore. It made me really sad. So finally, I got the desire to get back out there and save my yard! I partially blame Nate for my laziness (not really, but we'll go with it). He was the one who would mow the lawn. Since he hurt his shoulder he couldn't mow the lawn anymore so that made it easier for me to not keep up with my chores in the yard. Since we don't own a lawnmower Nate would always have to drive to self-help, load the mower into the car, come home and mow the grass, then load it back into the car and take it back to self-help. I can't do all that so I just let the yard go.

Well, I took a trip to OSH today to get a few plants, and I found the answer to my problems. An "old-school" push mower!!! I wasn't interested in paying $300 dollars for a big mower so this was the perfect solution. It obviously doesn't work quite as well as big bulky one, but it's perfect for me. I don't have to put any gas in it, and I don't have to use an extension cord. Everybody wins in this scenario!

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