Hayden is 12 months

Hayden is 12 months | chocolateandcarrots.com Hayden is 12 months | chocolateandcarrots.com Hayden is 12 months | chocolateandcarrots.com Hayden is 12 months | chocolateandcarrots.com Hayden is 12 months | chocolateandcarrots.com Hayden is 12 months | chocolateandcarrots.com Hayden is 12 months | chocolateandcarrots.com Hayden is 12 months | chocolateandcarrots.com Hayden is 12 months | chocolateandcarrots.com Hayden is 12 months | chocolateandcarrots.com Hayden is 12 months | chocolateandcarrots.com Hayden is 12 months | chocolateandcarrots.com

  • Date: February 5th, 2016
  • Height: 32 inches
  • Weight: 27 pounds
  • Sleeping Pattern: Hayden has weaned himself down to one (1-2 hour) nap per day lately. Occasionally, he’ll take his second, but otherwise, he’ll go to bed quite early. Once he goes to bed at night, he usually only wakes once. We’re currently weaning him off the bottle for those night time wake ups.
  • Eating Habits: He eats 3 solid food meals per day with some finger foods, too. I still try to have him drink 3 eight ounce bottles a day, but he seems too busy for that lately. We’re still trying hard to understand sippy cups. I’m looking forward to when he understands how to drink from them so that we can move on to the transition to whole milk!
  • Development: Well, he’s full on walking! He did a few steps at the beginning of his 11th month and he’s getting better every day! He will now take up to 10 steps unassisted and even tries to walk from holding onto the couch. We still patch his right eye every day for 3 hours.
  • Mischief: Hayden knows when he’s not supposed to get into something. It’s so funny! He’ll look back at you to make sure you’re watching and then laugh while he gets into it (i.e. the dog’s water and food, the fire place, the dishwasher, etc.).
  • Cuteness: When he’s tired, he’ll lay down on the floor and look up at us and laugh. It’s so darling. He also doesn’t mind his crib at all. When he wakes up, we’ll go into his room and talk and sing with him while he talks and plays pick-a-boo through the crib.
  • Talking: He still is a babbling master and isn’t afraid to tell us when he’s bored, annoyed or hurting.
  • Favorites: Playing chase around the house, walking and watching the washer and dryer spin.
  • Firsts: Hayden walked for the first time on January 16th.
  • Concerns: He still hasn’t figured out the sippy cup, so we’re still working on that. Also, he still doesn’t like anything squishy as a finger food. He’ll eat basically anything that I spoon feed him, but really doesn’t like any ‘wet’ finger foods. For now, he’s been doing well practicing his finger foods with things like Cherrios, pancakes, puffs and bread.
  • A Day in the Life: Hayden wakes up around 6am. We immediately put his patch on and feed him a solid food breakfast (lately it’s been some pureed fruit and some pancakes). He’ll play for 3-4 hours depending on our schedule and then he’ll take an 8 ounce bottle followed by a nap for 1-2 hours. He’ll wake up and enjoy another solid food meal followed by more play time. Then, it’s off to bed around 7pm after another bottle. He’ll usually only wake up one time in the night.
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Hayden is 11 months

11 months | chocolateandcarrots.com 11 months | chocolateandcarrots.com 11 months | chocolateandcarrots.com 11 months | chocolateandcarrots.com

  • Date: January 5th, 2016
  • Height: 30 inches
  • Weight: 25.9 pounds
  • Sleeping Pattern: Well, this past month has been crazy. With the holidays and a 3 week stretch of sickness, sleep has been all over the place. This month, it’s sleep training time! In the meantime, the usual schedule over the past few weeks has been wake ups at 7am, one three hour nap around 1pm and up until 9pm. Oh, holidays. I’m hoping to get him back into a consistent 3.5-4 hour stretch of awakeness before nap times.
  • Eating Habits: Hayden was completely finished with breastfeeding as of last month. Now, he has about 4 eight ounce formula bottles per day and 3 baby purees every day. During the weeks of sickness, he refused all solid foods, and now we’re just getting back into a good food routine. I’m also trying hard to get him to eat finger foods that isn’t Puffs or bread. Right now when he has finger foods on his tray, he refuses to try them, squishes them and throws them off. Real fun.
  • Development: Not much has changed this past month. He is still crawling quickly, pulling up and I wouldn’t be surprised if he started walking soon. We still patch his right eye every day for 3 hours until surgery in a couple months.
  • Mischief: We’ll just call him spirited or strong willed and leave it at that.
  • Cuteness: He’s starting to play with Liam a bit more now. It’s darling when they play chase together or get into the toy box together!
  • Talking: He can say mamama, dadada and bababa. The babbling is darling!
  • Favorites: Walking while holding our fingers, crawling after Leland.
  • Firsts: Hayden had his first Christmas and New Years (which he slept through most of)!
  • Concerns: He is having a hard time figuring out a straw sippy cup, so we’re figuring out alternatives for that to transition off of the bottle soon.
  • A Day in the Life: Hayden wakes up around 7am. We immediately put his patch on and feed him a solid food breakfast (which lately has been oatmeal with fruit and peanut butter). He’ll play for 2-4 hours depending on our schedule and then he’ll take an 8 ounce bottle followed by a nap for 2-3 hours. He’ll wake up and enjoy another solid food meal followed by more play time. Then, it’s off to bed around 8pm after another bottle. That is really basic and it changes every day, especially this month with so many transitions, sicknesses and holidays. I’m hoping next month will be more routine!
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the one question you should ask your child TODAY

I’m honored to be a Stonyfield Ambassador this year, sharing knowledge, love and good food. Let’s talk about love.

the one question you should ask your child TODAY | chocolateandcarrots.com #stonyfieldblogger #sponsored

There was an article written on Babble that prompted this amazing discussion about love. While my kids are still a little too young to answer the question, “What can mommy and daddy do to make you feel more loved?”, I see it in their eyes, actions and mood that when we spend quality time with them, they feel more loved.

I couldn’t help but be drawn to this prompt by Stonyfield to ask the question of my own children. On that note, I’m so sad to be leaving my position at Stonyfield as a blog ambassador and blogger captain (manager of bloggers). The question resonates so greatly with my new way of being a present mother [link to previous new year’s article] and how I’m planning on restructuring my actions toward my children.

My kid’s entire way of living, behavior and smiles are a reflection of how much they feel loved. The more I play pretend car wash with Liam or help Hayden walk around the house, the more they smile and giggle, the more they feel loved.

Here are just a few kick starter ideas for ways we have seen our children feel loved:

  • Give them tasks like vacuuming (which Liam incidentally loves)
  • Let them be a helper such as holding a tool in the garage or kitchen
  • Get on the floor with them, literally.
  • Ask them questions about what they are observing
  • Make up stories with them
  • Physical activity like running around the house and chasing the dog
  • Participate in the same activity as them, even if that means cuddling on the couch and watching a movie together.

As we enter the new year, won’t you ask the people around you, “How can I make you feel more loved?”

This post was created in partnership with Stonyfield. All opinions are my own. Please read my disclosure policy for further information.

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Hayden is 10 months

Hayden is 10 months | chocolateandcarrots.com Hayden is 10 months | chocolateandcarrots.com Hayden is 10 months | chocolateandcarrots.com Hayden is 10 months | chocolateandcarrots.com Hayden is 10 months | chocolateandcarrots.com Hayden is 10 months | chocolateandcarrots.com

  • Date: December 5th, 2015
  • Height: 30 inches
  • Weight: 25.9 pounds
  • Sleeping Pattern: Same as last month. Two naps during the day and usually only one wake up in the middle of the night.
  • Eating Habits: Well, this has been an interesting month for eating. Two weeks ago, Hayden decided out of the blue to simultaneously refuse breastfeeding whatsoever and not to take the pacifier any more. It was on the tail end of him having a cold virus and he couldn’t breathe through his nose very well. But, since he’s recovered from the cold, he still doesn’t want anything to do with the pacifier and about every other night will breastfeeding right before bed (yes, only once every 24-48 hours).
  • Development: He is in full-on crawling mode. He is getting quite fast and follows us from room to room now. He’s also pulling up on everything. We’re still patching his right eye to strengthen the vision in his left eye. We’ve noticed a great improvement in the vision of the left eye so far. He’s still on track to have surgery to straighten his left eye after he turns one year old.
  • Mischief: Wowzers. This man has a temper like no other. He’s starting to get Liam in trouble some, too, when he starts crying even when Liam didn’t do anything. Oh, brothers. He’s also into everything since he’s been crawling. Time to baby proof the house!
  • Cuteness: Hayden gets terribly tickled when he sees Leland (our dog). It is so cute! Also, Hayden has started having fun with mimicking. He will make a sound or splash in water and loves when we mimic him. He loves the power!
  • Talking: It’s official, he can say ‘dada’ now!
  • Favorites: Walking while holding our hands, playing in the walker outside in the garage or driveway and eating noodles by himself. Yay finger foods!
  • Firsts: (or last) Not really breastfeeding any more, so he’s inhaling bottles like crazy now. Hayden had his first trip to IKEA on November 23rd and first Thanksgiving on November 26th!
  • Concerns: Abruptly weaning off breastfeeding. :-/
  • A Day in the Life: Hayden wakes up around 6:30am, has a solid food meal (oatmeal or some fruit/veggie combo) and plays for 2 hours (we usually run errands, take Liam to school or play at home, all while He wears the eye patch). Around 9:30-10am, he will drink a 6-8 ounce bottle to fall asleep and take a 40 minute – 2 hour nap (all depending on the day). He’ll wake up and have another solid food meal and play for 3 hours of total wake time. Again, he’ll drink a bottle to fall asleep (worst. habit. ever.) and take a 40 minute – 2 hour nap. He’ll wake up in the evening and have another solid food meal and play time. Right before bed he might breastfeed (or I’ll have to pump before bed) and then have a bottle to fall asleep. He’ll usually wake up once in the middle of the night (around 2am) and fall right back to sleep after a diaper change and bottle.
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Hayden in a Pumpkin

Hayden in a Pumpkin | chocolateandcarrots.com

We thought it was the cutest thing when we carved a pumpkin for our first born, Liam, to pose in. However, it was a little more challenging to find a large enough pumpkin for Hayden. We found one and were so excited to give it a try with Hayden!

Thankfully, it was a SUPER warm day and he didn’t mind it one bit. He made himself right at home and even decided to try a bite…that didn’t go too well. I hope you like our little Hayden Pumpkin as much as we do!

Hayden in a Pumpkin | chocolateandcarrots.com Hayden in a Pumpkin | chocolateandcarrots.com Hayden in a Pumpkin | chocolateandcarrots.com

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Must Have Gifts for the New Mom

Sometimes it’s hard to know what to get for a new mom. To help you, I’ve made a list of my favorite things as a new mom! Get to shopping, the holidays are right around the corner! Here we go…

1. Hemming Birds Bibs – I don’t know any baby or toddler who doesn’t need bibs at one point or another. From spit up to drool, Hemming Birds Boutique has every bib you’d need. I’ve used their Charlie Bibs and Ollie Bandana Bibs for both of my boys and they’ve been amazing! After loads and loads of laundering over the past 3 years, they still look and feel wonderful. The attention to detail that these ladies put into their products is amazing, plus the packaging is so darling that it makes for the perfectly ready gift!

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photo credit: Hemming Birds

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photo credit: Hemming Birds

 

2. Gift Cards – A must for the oodles of diapers, wipes and/or formula they will be needing. Think Amazon or Target gift cards.
amazongiftcard

 

3. Meals – Those first few weeks are so rough and not having to think about dinner is always a wonderful gift. To make it most easy on the new parents, simply ask them what day you can bring them a meal and if they have any allergies you need to be aware of. Then, bring it ready to dive in! Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole, a homemade salad and Frozen Triple Chocolate Pie is my favorite go-to mama meal to bring over.
Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole | chocolateandcarrots.com

 

4. Withings Activité Tracker – I didn’t have a fitness and sleep tracker with my first baby, but I’ve used the Withings watch/tracker since Hayden was born. It’s been wonderful to always have the time on my wrist for feeding purposes through my sleepless days/nights, have extra motivation to get up and exercise with the activity tracking and have it automatically track my sleep patterns. It even has a silent vibrating alarm (although you won’t need this when baby is little!). You should see the insane lack of sleep that a new mom gets. My tracker app on my phone is always mad at me for not getting adequate sleep. Ha! I really do like seeing how much sleep I’m getting and not having to worry about calculating it. It does it all for me and it gives me great motivation to take care of myself post-baby. Withings has three different varieties of Activité trackers that range from $150-$450.
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5. Nursing Tops/Bras – I bought this replicca maternity/nursing top for my winter baby and LOVE it! But, other tops and love are Basics and Bravado! and buy in one size up to make sleeping most comfortable. Robes are always a nice gift, too.
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Happy Shopping, Happy Holidays and Congratulations to the new mom!

This is not a sponsored post, just products I genuinely love!

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Hayden is 9 months

Hayden is 9 months | chocolateandcarrots.com Hayden is 9 months | chocolateandcarrots.com Hayden is 9 months | chocolateandcarrots.com

  • Date: November 5th, 2015
  • Height: 29 inches
  • Weight: 23.2 pounds
  • Sleeping Pattern: This month has been much better. If he wakes up, it’s just once in the middle of the night. Else, he goes to bed around 7:30-8pm and sleeps until 6:30am. Then, he takes two naps throughout the day that vary in times.
  • Eating Habits: He has 2-3 solid food meals, 2-3 4 ounce bottles and 4-5 breastfeedings per day. He’s also had a great deal of interest in pinching finger foods lately, so we’re beginning to start with soft foods.
  • Development: Well, he is at the beginning stages of crawling. He does a combination of crawling and scooting across the room. However, he much prefers to walk while holding your hands. He actually gets very angry if you make him sit or crawl when he knows he could be walking. On another note, I can tell his left eye is getting stronger with patching his right eye for 2-3 hours every day. This month he got his four upper teeth and started working on the #3 and #4 teeth on the bottom. Needless to say, there’s been a lot of drooling and biting.
  • Mischief: His temper has begun to shine through more these days. He isn’t shy about letting us know if he’s uncomfortable, bored, or isn’t doing what he wants to do (i.e. not getting food to his mouth fast enough, not walking when he wants to, etc.). He also has been doing quite a bit of biting while breastfeeding. That paired with terrible impatience with waiting for a letdown is why he is quickly weaning off of breastfeeding. Sad.
  • Cuteness: Hayden makes sure he is the center of attention. We’ll catch him looking around at everyone when he is doing his assisted walking. He also is so proud of himself that he uncontrollably giggles and yells with the biggest grin on his face. Also, if you happen to lock eyes with him across the room and smile, he’ll typically light up and smile back.
  • Talking: He still moves his mouth when he wants to be heard and it’s usually in the form of ‘mamama’. Yayayay!
  • Favorites: He still can’t go to sleep without his pacifier and loves chewing or sucking on it throughout the day. He is also beginning to love playing with Liam’s toys and playing in the walker. The Johnny Jump Up is always a fan favorite. Hayden loves playing with Leland and getting spooked when someone jumps around the corner and says “boo”!
  • Firsts: Hayden took his first road trip with the family this month. We traveled to Asheville and the Blue Ridge Mountains for 36 hours to enjoy the fall colors. It was a lot of driving, but he did a wonderful job in the car! He also experienced his first Halloween! The whole family dress up as characters from Star Wars. Hayden dressed as the cutest R2D2 ever and his daddy and Papa turned his stroller into an X-Wing Fighter spaceship. So precious!
  • Concerns: Nothing bad on his part, just concerned about how soon I’m going to have to baby proof the house!
  • A Day in the Life: Hayden wakes up at 6:30am, breastfeeds and plays for about 30-60 minutes. He then enjoys a bit of solid food for a second breakfast and plays a bit more. He takes his first nap around 10am. Once he wakes up, he breastfeeds, plays, has some more solid food and plays some more. Then it’s second nap time around 2pm. Then we repeat once more when he wakes up: breastfeeding, play time, solid food, play time, breastfeeding, bottle and bed. He may wake up to breastfeed in the middle of the night.
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love more. judge no more. #endmommywars

I’m honored to be a Sisterhood of Motherhood partner, a sponsored blog partner this year. I’m joining Similac and making my pledge to #EndMommyWars.

Love more. Judge no more. #EndMommyWars | chocolateandcarrots.com

I’ll be the first to admit that I judge other parents and I go out of my way to do things in public to avoid being judged by others. I don’t like that I did this, but I judged mothers at the playground who spent their time on their phones while their children played. I thought it looked terrible that they were focusing so much energy on their devices instead of connecting with their children.

For the longest time I’ve made it a point to not get my phone out when my kids are playing at the playground to avoid the very same judgements that I was making of other mothers. However, when your kids are playing nicely by themselves and you’re just standing there, it can be boring. I made it a point to bring a book to the playground to learn or entertain myself while they played. But it doesn’t matter if we’re reading a book or playing on our phones or anything. I shouldn’t judge. I won’t judge. You never know someone else’s story until you get to know them, so the least we can do is not judge them…at all…ever.

Now, what I want you to do is go watch the #EndMommyWars film. It’s really short (about 7 minutes) and is a moving and eye-opening perspective into other mother’s choices and how a judging mentality has personally affected them.

Tears. I’m in tears. Hearing these mother’s stories and reflecting on my own judgements, both on other mothers and myself, has me wanting to just give every mother a hug and say, “You’re a great mom.”

Immersing myself in the #EndMommyWars campaign has really educated me and changed my perspective on life and people. I know this is going to sound quite filled with rainbows and butterflies, but I just want everyone to be happy and feel supported. I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure everyone around me feels that way. I want the best for everyone who I touch in my life; whether that be the single dad at the emergency health clinic, my own parents or the mother on her phone at the playground. Let’s be supportive. There is more than one right way to raise a baby. We need to support each other’s decisions and #EndMommyWars. Share your thoughts and watch the film again at endmommywars.com.

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This post was sponsored by Similac and has partnered with bloggers like myself for its Sisterhood of Motherhood program. As a part of this program, I have received compensation for my time, but all opinions are my own. Similac believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Similac’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations. Please read my disclosure policy for further information.
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Hayden is 8 months

Hayden is 8 months | chocolateandcarrots.com Hayden is 8 months | chocolateandcarrots.com Hayden is 8 months | chocolateandcarrots.com Hayden is 8 months | chocolateandcarrots.com

  • Date: October 5th, 2015
  • Height: 29 inches
  • Weight: 22.2 pounds
  • Sleeping Pattern: This month has been rough. With traveling to NYC, touring Charleston and teething, sleep has been scatterbrained. He wakes up at least once, if not twice per night. I will usually only feed him one of the two+ wake ups. The other times it takes a quick swaying in mommy’s arms and he’s back to sleep. During the day, however, he’s been sleeping much better. He usually has three one+ hour naps.
  • Eating Habits: Things haven’t changed much from last month. He still has about 5-6 breastfeedings, 1-2 bottles and 2 solid food meals throughout the day.
  • Development: He’s so close to crawling! He will get on his arms and knees and rock back and forth before laying on his stomach again. More often than not, he’ll shuffle on his tummy backwards to get around or do 360 degree spins on his tummy. He is also basically mastered sitting up by himself. I still sit behind him or put a pillow behind him when he gets the wabbles, but he rarely falls.
  • Mischief: He likes constant attention and his attention span has gotten a little shorter this month. I can tell he is ready to be on the move and gets frustrated that he can’t do what he’s trying to tell his body to do!
  • Cuteness: During our trip to NYC, Hayden smiled at everyone he made eye contact with. Needless to say, everyone was very fond of Hayden. I’ve never seen so many happy people in New York City!
  • Talking: He has found his voice (both in crying and talking). He will ‘talk’ by saying what sounds like “Yayaya” or “Vavava”.
  • Favorites: Now that he can sit up on his own, he loves playing with toys on the floor. He especially loves chewing on Sophie the Giraffe and these cloth blocks that crinkle when he squeezes them.
  • Firsts: He traveled with Katie and me to New York City for the first time on September 12-16th. He is an amazing travel buddy. He adapts quickly and easily to life on the go in the Ergo! Hayden has also added a few foods to the list like broccoli, apricots, oatmeal and cinnamon.
  • Concerns: With all the traveling we did this month, Hayden has been extra tired. Because of that, his eyes have been more crossed than usual. We went back to the eye doctor today and we have to start putting a patch over his good eye for a few hours every day. We’ll do this for a few months and check back with the doctor on progress. Most likely he’ll have to have surgery around one year of age.
  • A Day in the Life: The schedule is pretty similar to last month, with the exception of having more wake ups during the night this month. I blame that on crazy schedules and traveling. Hayden will wake up for the day around 6am, breastfeed, play for 1 hour and go back to sleep for 1 hour. He will wake up again, breastfeed, play for 1 hour, solid food, play for 1-2 hours and go back to sleep for 1-2 hours. Again, he will wake up, breastfeed, play for 1 hour, solid food, play for 2-3 hours and go back to sleep for 1 hour. He’ll wake up for a final evening session of breastfeeding, playing and bottle and breastfeeding before bedtime around 8pm. He’ll wake up 1 (or more) time(s) throughout the night to feed again.
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stonyfield organic fruit snack pasture

I’m honored to be a Stonyfield Ambassador, sharing deliciousness including these brand new Stonyfield Organic Fruit Snacks! Come explore the pasture with me!

Stonyfield Organic Fruit Snacks #stonyfieldblogger | chocolateandcarrots.com

Believe it or not, Stonyfield now makes fruit snacks! Over the past few years they have been innovative and now make many different varieties of organic yogurts (for adults, kids and babies!), frozen yogurt (pints, quarts, popsicles and pearls) and even milk, butter and cream.

Now, I’ll be the first to admit that when I was a new mom, I made a mental vow to do my best to feed my children the healthiest foods possible (with a few splurges because who doesn’t like cake and ice cream!). I had beautiful intentions of not keeping junk food in the house and only having healthy alternatives for my children to reach for. While these are still my ambitions, I’ve added some healthier snack options to our pantry (and diaper bag).

Let’s face it, kids love junk food.

Shoot, I love junk food!

It’s delicious.

Since the power of junk food can swing a toddler’s mood from devil-child to angel in 0.005 seconds flat, I keep the healthiest junk food in my arsenal at all times. You never know when you’re going to need a little reward or bribery in the middle of the grocery store! And since I’m such a fan of fruit snacks and they bring back such fond junk food memories for me as a child, I wanted to offer the same things to my kids…but without the junk.

The new Stonyfield Organic fruit snacks are that option.

They come in small packs of 11 cow shaped gummy fruit snacks. There’s only 70 calories, 40 grams of sodium, 17 grams of carbohydrates and 10 grams of sugar in each packet. To me, that’s a beautiful thing for a little treat that puts a smile on my kid’s face. I read the label and know exactly what everything is:

Screenshot 2015-09-27 06.18.46

Stonyfield Organic Fruit Snacks #stonyfieldblogger | chocolateandcarrots.com

The fruit snacks melt in your mouth and satisfy the sugar cravings. The berry flavors are delicious, too! Plus, who doesn’t like playing with little cows…

…do you like my pasture?

Stonyfield Organic Fruit Snacks #stonyfieldblogger | chocolateandcarrots.com

This post was created in partnership with Stonyfield. All opinions are my own. Please read my disclosure policy for further information.

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