Mid-summer night’s…err update!

Posted July 18, 2014 By Jill
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Is it just me, or didn’t summer used to last forever? From the time the dampness of spring rains settled into a blazing heat, we played all day, running in and out of doors, sneaking popsicles from the freezer, carrying errant kittens helter-skelter, tracing words in the dirt… for hours and hours until it was time to eat dinner. There was never anything on TV but we were never bored. Then back out we’d run, checking on the horses, stopping for minutes at a time to watch a butterfly poised on a flower, and seeing justhowclosewecouldsneakuponitbeforeitflewaway…. never, never close enough! Now it’s mid-July and normally I would think of fall not starting until late September when it starts to cool off, but we’re having our long extended summer cut short by–duh duh duhhhhh!

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Back to school!  *sob*

This will be our first time with a child in the school system. Our voracious reader taught herself how to tie her shoes after I explained it twice maybe–several months apart. She can easily tell time, run an ipad (although gets to do very little of that)… and stuck with mom through lessons about adding and subtracting so that I have no doubt she’ll be completely bored to tears in Kindergarten. Sorry teachers?!? We won’t know anything at all until the first weekend of August which might give us 2 weeks to track down all the supplies, clothes, etc. needed for the year. Can I just.. hire a babysitter? Life happens and it’s not always easy to get things done like create awesome breakfasts when you have 3 kids to get ready to drive or walk, but likely drive… appx 1/2 mile to the bus stop:

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So anyway, back to our update, during the first half of summer, we went to bible school and learned more about Jesus. We also learned about not pinching our fingers in the hinge of the heavy bathroom door at church. We were sent home with some pretty awesome music CD’s the kids love. The only CD player is in the truck. He he. They are quiet when I play it except for requesting their favorite tracks. Woohoo! The adults and baby attended a church conference.

 

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Casey was the conference mascot (just kidding, but everyone adored her!) while the big kids stayed with my folks for a while. My niece visited after the baby’s baptism. We saw fireworks, Keeley was in her pageant, waved to hundreds of people from a convertible and soaked up her 3rd runner up win. I think she learned some great lessons about dealing with other adults, which is important. Brennan has been along for the ride, and Casey handles everything with a ‘just feed me mom’ attitude. Easy peasy. We’ve started 2 reading programs and concluded one today. 2 stuffed Clifford the big red dogs, a watergun, tickets for 3 different events, and a couple dozen free books came home with us. We reads lots of stories, ate cupcakes in the shape of paw prints, saw working dogs of various types (therapy and K-9) and did many other random things. We watched Disney Junior, and tried to keep up with Casey trying to crawl, and of course have sent the kids outside to play as much as possible. We started a garden and have had a few cherry tomatoes to munch. Now that I think about it, it’s really been a whirlwind!

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As summer carries on, we’ll finish up the other library program (as much as I love it, unless we have more cooperation next year, we’ll only do one), do more harvesting, mow more grass, plant more trees, have more surprise popsicles and start the dreaded countdown. The more I think about it, the more I worry, so I’m trying not to think about it. I know homeschooling is easily an option we could undertake if necessary, but I’m kind of looking forward to having some time dedicated to the non-brunettes in the family. As independent as Keeley is, she’s still bossy, still picks on the 2 year old, and thus garners way more than her fair share of attention. I have a blonde who needs to learn how to read her letter sounds for pre-reading, to get BACK on a good nap schedule after being derailed with tantrums at naptime for months, and baby who needs a break from the LOUDNESS! Hopefully we can also do all the things that have been on the bucket list for 3 summers: hit the zoo, some museums, etc. etc. before K goes to school. Wait, that’s the imaginary bucket list. Right? Because who has time to make an actual list?

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When I started cloth diapering, I didn’t understand. I really didn’t. I happily replied to those having stink issues ‘oh well microfiber works fine for me’– in my 4 month old’s ebf poo washed in town water heavily softened so it’s nearly perfect! Then we moved and our water changed. That cr@p got real — really fast.  For those of you who I may have inadvertently brushed off 5 years ago in my new mom euphoria, I sincerely apologize. Ewww. I discovered that the diapers with the organic cotton inserts washed and stayed cleaner better than the ones with microfiber inserts.  No matter how I softened, stripped, washed with harsh detergents, and bleached, bleached, bleached, the smell came back. I had ENOUGH. One of the reasons we switched to cloth diapers (and there were many) was the chemical smell and possible chemical stew that came from using disposables. If we couldn’t get these admittedly super thirsty fabrics clean in a brand new top loading machine with bleach and harsh chemicals (which, wait, now we’re putting THAT on our baby instead?!?) then we needed a change!

To what you may ask? Most modern pocket diapers come with 1 or 2 microfiber inserts standard. What’s the alternative?

In doing some research I found that other people had more luck with simpler, easy to wash cotton flat diapers. The kind grandma used to use! Say what? I didn’t want to give up my awesome colors and prints or the ease of pocket diapers, though, and my baby had sensitive skin, so I switched to flat diapers — as pocket diaper inserts and have never looked back.  Read more about why FLATS are my favorite diaper inserts HERE!  Seeing some results from the RDA that there was more yeast growth on microfiber than cotton, and knowing of course that if the inserts didn’t have strict attention paid to them that things got ugly really fast, it got me to thinking: what’s really in that ‘cloth’?!?

 

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microfiber inserts

Compare them to a cotton flat (like a tea towel, but better!) and you’ll realize that they’re man made and have a lot of non-fabric components to them. They’re.. dare I say it? Plastic-y! Huh. It turns out, that tagline made famous several years age ‘not your grandma’s cloth diapers’ has a double meaning. Microfiber, though modern, really isn’t always your friend. It shouldn’t be used against baby’s skin! The more I thought about it, the more I realized it was more like plastic, and less like cloth. It even repels moisture until pressed, which is why so many people want to automatically strip their diapers if they do an ‘absorption test’ because it simply beads up–but there’s a double whammy, because it can also press back OUT and lead to compression leaks — like in a car seat! So why is microfiber used? It’s cheap!

After weeding out all my microfiber and trying to strip them one more time for donation, I decided I wouldn’t ship them to anyone else for them to try and salvage. After use on 1-2 babies and in harsh conditions, they had flattened beyond belief, held smell despite intense stripping and quite frankly, didn’t pass the sniff test. My problem to deal with, not anyone else’s. My husband asked what else could be done with them. I asked if we wanted to put around 30 inserts that still smelled like pee into rotation as mop pads or anything else. He agreed with me that it was time to let them go. Their life, while useful, was over.

Like any good country girl that has something she can’t recycle, use as a rag, compost, and doesn’t want to send to the landfill, I requested a bonfire*.  Yes, I torched my microfiber inserts. Now before there is a riot going on in the comments about re-purposing them, etc. I will repeat that these were END OF LIFE inserts. Done. So despite wanting to be green and eco friendly and etc. we got rid of them along with a pair of inappropriately holey jeans, a raggedy wash cloth that mildew smell wouldn’t come out of after the 5th consecutive year of wiping tiny hands and faces, cardboard boxes we hadn’t recycled and some good old-fashioned fallen tree.

fireinsertslogo

*Warning: Burning may be illegal where you live. Don’t try this at home… just don’t.

I was actually really interested to see those b@stards go up in flames how they burned, especially compared to the other cloth items.  Except. They melted. Think end of campfire meal foam plate, but much, much slower.  My husband couldn’t get them to light. This little guy almost got roasted, too. Life in the country.

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We considered marshmallows, only to realize that we’d left them at family’s house the week before when visiting. Heartbreaking, I tell you, heartbreaking. Anyway, so the cardboard and wood started going up, and he got around to the cotton items and they did just fine. But those inserts sat there, not even smoking, until they were covered with a blazing inferno, and then they shriveled up (like plastic) and melted away to nothing. Then we thought, you know, this may not be the best thing to be inhaling, and backed off. Yes, we were fine dealing with cardboard, wood, and even cotton, but once the microfiber started to burn, things got ugly, and that’s when we decided to back off. This is what we’re using in our diapers?

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Melted, not burned.

So other than really cool photos of fire and a little bit about our cloth diapering experience, what are you taking away from this? CHOICE. If you need to put new inserts in your diapers after a couple of years, consider prefolds or flats. There may come a time (I certainly have pushed for it, and others are right there with me) that a choice is offered in the future when you purchase pocket diapers: Microfiber or Cotton. I’m not going to lie. Cotton, especially organic cotton or a cotton/hemp blend is going to cost more. But in this instance,  the old adage ‘you get what you pay for’ really does apply. I encourage you: choose cotton. Choose natural fibers over something that acts like plastic. Choose something that is good to have against baby’s skin and could be used for many, many years in different forms. Some people are using the diapers that their parents used on them or that their grandparents used on their parents on their own children, or as dust rags for 30 years. No kidding, they last a lifetime!

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pad folded cotton flat diaper, like grandma used to use!

 

Have you made the choice to replace microfiber with a more natural choice? What was your experience?

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I’m crazy enough for both of us

Posted July 12, 2014 By Jill
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This has been my mantra for a while now. Sometimes I forget and get drawn in by other people’s stupidity drama. But I’m finding that I want to close a lot of things down. Likes on facebook, etc. Because of how the site is cracking down on non-paying fan pages (for instance there’s a penalty of ‘not sharing with your fans’ if you do certain things… you can’t use the word giveaway, you can’t post a link, you can’t share a picture.) It’s hard to point people to your blog without a link. It’s hard to promote a giveaway without saying you’re having one. If you want to PAY Facebook to boost your post, well then by all means, they’ll SERVE IT to X number more people than they currently do. As it stands, right now they’ll SERVE IT to a few people. If those people engage, e.g. comment, like the status, etc. then it is served to more people. If none of the original SERVED do anything, it is dead in the water. Sometimes 15 people will see a giveaway link out of almost now 1800. That’s insane. A few months ago, all 1800 would see it and be thrilled. Now it feels as if you have to jump through 17 hoops with your pants on fire in order to see what you want. But anything you might hate or facebook thinks you’re interested in, turns into a live video that pops open and starts blaring the minute you scroll past it. Not just once. Every single time. It feels as though facebook is trying to kill the blogger. So anyone and everyone will share the lamest link with the most drama and scandalous garbage JUST to make people engage, so that there’s a chance one of your less popular posts will get viewed. Head, meet wall. Repeat as needed.

 

I don’t really need anyone else’s insanity, quite frankly, I’m crazy enough for the both of us.

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Fun Monday: 4th of July Weekend

Posted July 7, 2014 By Jill
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We visited family on the fourth and watched fireworks on the 5th. The kids got their face painted while I worked the library friends booth and chatted. The kids and Matt hung around with some of our friends (and babysitter) until I was done helping. The fireworks were fun and Casey was completely nonplussed. The fireworks were more of a strange sound to her. She didn’t cry. So mellow. Kind of nice not to have a baby cry and have to hide. Mostly she nursed through the whole thing. I think she was more annoyed that I woke her up when taking her off the breast when it was time to go than anything.

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PrefoldstoPottyTrainingFINAL ***Welcome to the Prefolds to Potty Training Event and Blog Hop, hosted by lo-wren.com and Change-Diapers.com! This event began as a one year cloth diapering anniversary celebration for Lauren last year, but has grown into a celebration of the journey from diapering through potty training. Join us for two-and-a-half weeks of cloth diapering and potty training guest posts, introductions to some amazing products (to help get you through the diaper-potty training journey), two amazing grand prize packages, and a blog hop with fifteen other bloggers giving away cloth diaper and potty training prizes! Be sure to check out (and thank) our amazing grand prize sponsors, and “hop” on over to the other participating blogs via the linky at the bottom of this post. ***

Too hot this summer? Take a break and enter to win this one size pocket diaper that makes you think lime!
This OS Pocket Diaper I used on my first child from birth through potty training. It was my go-to for overnight diapering during that ‘night wetting’ stage after daytime training was done! We called them ‘night-night’ diapers and fit long after some smaller brands were outgrown!

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2500th Post! Our life (then and) now

Posted June 23, 2014 By Jill
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This was my initial blog posting, well the 2nd day anyway, where you first learn about ME, before kids… bwah ha ha. I think I’ll read some more later and share some gems. I was a year from being pregnant then, and had NO IDEA how soon that was all going to .. implode. It’s only taken a bit over 7 years to reach this milestone… Fast forward to now….on the day of our 13th anniversary, our baby was baptized yesterday. Our third baby.. oh how things have changed. I had so many opinions and so many answers! Now, I have fewer opinions and even fewer answers.

Roses

Roses-1 from my mom and 1 from each girl = four

Garden

Garden-cherry tomatoes, tomatoes, peppers, regular and sweet potatoes so far

Bird Feeders

Bird Feeders

Lilies

Lilies- 2 kinds, the first have faded, love flowers that take care of themselves

Re-forestation

Re-forestation so many new trees

So not much has really changed in the last 7 years (ha ha). I mean, I get less sleep, but I’m happier. I have 3 kids and still married to the same guy (who is the father to all the kids, thankyouverymuch) and live in a house out in the country just like ‘we’ve always wanted’.. awesome!…. I still love getting a chance to paint, or cross stitch, or read, or watch birds out the window. On the other hand, I rarely get a chance to do those things because I’m doing things like singing ‘time for your check up’ as I change the baby’s diaper, glare at the 5 year old who is whining, and hugging the 2 year old all at the same time. My hands are full. But so is my heart! So is my heart!

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Disclosure

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Who, me? Yes, you!

Tell me your story:

We all have a story. Living your life is one thing… but sharing your story is one of the things that makes our lives have meaning. Because we’ve chosen cloth diapering, or it has chosen us based on a situation, such as financial need or illness, it has changed our lives. It has changed our story. While overall your day to day might only be different from ‘next door neighbor’ based on washing and cuteness, for many of us it has become something else. It may not seem radical, but perhaps bit by bit this ‘thing’ has taken over. Perhaps you’re a blogger who earns credits through cloth diaper stores and saves your family $ on diapers and gifts, or maybe you’re an affiliate and that $ goes back into your budget for your older kid’s clothes. Maybe you love to educate others but lack a teaching degree and so you spend time on forums helping other people out. Maybe cloth diapering has spurred you to use cloth napkins or reusable menstrual products or ‘green’ toys or to know where your food is produced or products are made, or to sew or grow your own vegetables. Maybe it’s made you a more confident mom (or dad), maybe the money you saved bought a TV or paid for private education for older children, or put healthier food on the table. Maybe it’s made you a stronger advocate for your child, more aware of social issues and provided help for someone you know. Maybe it just makes your kid (and you) more visible to other people because cloth is ‘different’ and you’ve made a stranger into a friend. Maybe you’ve made 100 ‘invisible friends’ online. However this crazy thing we call ‘modern cloth diapers’ has changed you…I want to encourage you to tell your story…visit my Facebook page, leave a comment. Follow me on feedly.. but share your story with me. Who knows.. we may learn from each other…enjoy my story, and some tips/tricks/hacks I’ve learned on my cloth diapering journey….

My evolution of cloth diapering

The VERY first time I learned about MODERN cloth diapers and wanted to try them. A lot has changed in six years!

When I almost gave up because I had no support and no experience! — I used to care if my kids wore pants INSIDE the house! HA!

My FIRST EXPERIENCE WITH A POCKET DIAPER– I am LAUGHING so hard since now they make up 99% of my stash! Go visit me circa 2008!!!!

Our AIO experience

Discovering the wonders of an AIO and trimness

Discovering pail liners

Contemplating cloth full time

Best of the best and reviews!

Best diaper for a newborn? Click HERE to find out (aff link)! It’s my favorite paired with just about anything underneath! Mine have gone through 3 kids and still look like they’re in pretty good shape! Big babies? Go for smalls instead of newborn size! It should get you through until one size diapers fit! Want the play by play of our experience? Go HERE! Want to know whether a cloth diaper is worth it for the newborn stage? I’ve also reviewed a few different styles of newborn diapers HERE!

Best insert to replace microfiber? FABULOUS FLATS!!!! They an inexpensive, long lasting, all around BEST! They can be used for a ton of things. See which ones I’ve compared HERE! They also each have their own review!

What diapers have you reviewed? That’s easy. For all my reviews, go HERE!

Tips, Tricks and Hacks!

What about storage? Click HERE for the answer to my buddy Jutta’s “hack” request!

I have a question about... Try HERE or HERE or HERE or finally HERE! I answered a ton of questions a couple of years ago! I have a lot more experience now, though, and times they are a ‘changing! If you wonder if my answer is still the same on any of these, ask me again and point to which link it was on and I’ll try and update with all my ‘new’ knowledge!

Have you ever? ... if I have it’s probably HERE!

If you read nothing else about cloth diapers, then hop onto this HOP and read what these ladies have to say. Whether it be 1 year or 10, 1 child or 4, we’ve all been there. We’re in the trenches with you. We’ve seen what you will see, had problems you will encounter, and amassed an amazing wealth of knowledge on cloth diapers. So pin this, bookmark it, save a link to any of us in your email, etc. You will want to keep these links! PS There’s an affiliate link in this page and in all the other pages–we’re all affiliates for Kelly’s Closet ^ see the title? Good! It means we know what we’re doing! ;-) It’s also a contest, we can earn 225 Diaper Dollar reward points!!  <–this means more diapers for baby and/or to giveaway! Speaking of giveaway what’s in store this week? We will be giving away one $100 Gift Certificate via Kelly’s Closet! 

 june1614affiliatetipsgiveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

As always, this is my blog and I tell you the truth. My humble way of saying, the opinions are my own, and may differ from yours, so use your best judgement in every purchase decision you make–wise in these economic times, right?

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Fun Monday: When I grow up…

Posted June 16, 2014 By Jill
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I remember saying once I wanted to be a veterinarian. Then I realized I had to give animals shots. I’m positive I wanted to be a princess before I found out I was a commoner and all the princesses lived overseas. At certain points I wanted to be a mom and wife (hey I got there at least!).  The older I got the more walls seemed to go up in my face, so I don’t recall as an older child what I wanted to do. In my wife/mom role, though, I end up being a chef, a chauffeur, a maid, an organizer, a teacher, a therapist, a recreation specialist, etc.

 

Right now my kids want to be princesses. I’ve explained to them how they’re commoners. They dance at royal balls anyway….

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Cloth Diapers and Long Term Storage

Posted June 14, 2014 By Jill
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All of the methods I’m describing below work for short term storage, too. Truth telling time? A lot of my diapers go from laundry basket to bum without much stop in between. Even folding a full load of flats and stuffing pocket diapers only takes 7 minutes (yes I timed it) so it doesn’t add a lot to your laundry routine, but sometimes in any given week it doesn’t happen right away– and that’s okay. Typically I just take a ’round over and jab into a container’ sort of method. Putting them waist down helps hold the flaps together and keeps them neat. Because the container has straight sides, they stay pretty well stacked and balanced, no matter how many are in there! My suggestion is that when you HAVE the time, you take the time to line them up nicely and it will be easier to keep it going in the future. If it’s a mess in between? Honestly I don’t have a lot of time to consider the aesthetics, it’s just a routine I’ve gotten into and it makes me happy to see everything lined up, because for 30 seconds, everything looks pretty! This is the type that I have used:

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This one works well for me, and since it’s see through, and fits on my changing table shelf, it’s the longest lasting method we’ve used.

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This worked well for when we used a standard sized diaper, but….

CDW diaper mess

…when we started using flats, which were bulkier and put more diapers in rotation…well it ended up more like this… so we went back to the changing table + bucket method!

 

My buddy Jutta asked for this hack: How to neatly fold covers for storage without pre-stuffing them. I don’t want to snap them because that just feels like a waste of time. Snapping them off the line and then unsnapping to put on baby. They end up a jumbled mess stuffed in a container and it’s not pretty.

Answer: Wow. She came up with a good one, right? I’ve put away diapers long term twice now. The first time I used the original plastic/vinyl packaging that my aios came in and re-sealed them in there and threw them into a rubbermaid TYPE container along with all the other diapering stuff, after making sure everything was 100% dry–very important to avoid mold! You don’t want anything to be wet or the container to be airtight. The second time I didn’t use the packaging but just shoved it all into the box, again not pretty. I need to ‘file away’ our newborn diapers again. There are several ways to make it look more neat. I’ll tackle a few main categories. I would gather all the diapers and sort them into containers by style so that they’re easy to find, and because I’m like that? I’d organize them by rainbow order of color too. OCD anyone? Here goes:

LONG TERM STORAGE-DRESSER METHOD

Using the tips below, store diapers just like clothing in an out of the way dresser drawer, cupboard or bin.

LONG TERM STORAGE-CONTAINER METHOD

Pocket Diapers or Covers with inserts

If you want to avoid stuffing them for long term storage, you could just lay the inserts in the outer pocket and wrap it around to make it full and look pretty. Aplix/velcro diapers would be fastened to laundry tabs and you could just round the edges over and place them top down so that the crotch (I actually used a thesaurus and could not find a synonym, but it’s such a weird word!) of the diaper is facing up. This would work for snap diapers, too, you don’t have to snap them, just tuck the tabs loosely around and line them up until you fill the container. This is the way a lot of people put diapers into containers for daily storage since it allows you to find the diaper you want at a glance. Alternatively, you could simply stack them up as if they were underwear. Another option would be to use a divider type of product (think packing kitchen glasses for moving) like the insert of a wine/beer box to roll the covers into a loose tube and let the inserts simply stack alongside of them. Finally, you could just lay each diaper flat on top of another with inserts tucked in between each layer, which would keep them from shifting and coming loose in the box.

AIOs/Hybrid or Pre-Fitteds

Stack on top of each other or waist down similar to pocket diapers above. Store disposable inserts separately in case of biodegrading.

Flats, prefolds

These would do best trifolded or pad folded and stacked. You could also diaper bag fold the flats and store them that way since they don’t come loose as easily as other folds.

 

How do you store your diapers? Long term or short term?

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C: 6 month check up!

Posted June 12, 2014 By Jill
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boo!

18 lbs 1 oz and 28 inches long

with sis

with big sis-she may outgrow her in a year!

Just wanted to put an update out there. C is getting really big. Meeting all milestones, trying to get to knees and rocking early, spins in circles and scoots backwards, etc. She’s off the charts in weight and at 95-97% of height of all babies that age. Big girl! If she’s like the rest, next time and the next she’ll fall a bit, but that’s okay. We love her, big, small, short, tall…and getting ready to…. crawl! Ahh!

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