Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Home-made Little Squirt

Our cloth nappies have been going great guns. I’m still loving it, and definitely wouldn’t go back to disposables. Only problem is, with all this cruising and crawling business, our flushable liners have been wiggling around inside those nappies and failing at doing their job. Let’s just say there’s no point in a flushable liner if it doesn’t catch anything worth flushing.

So Peter and I had been talking for a while about investing in a little squirt. They’re a neat little invention.. a high-pressure hose with a spray-gun nozzle designed to attach to the cistern of the toilet and are used to wash the waste from cloth nappies straight into the toilet. Only problem is, what with saving for our big trip, we didn’t have an odd $75-$90 laying around spare to spend on a little squirt. I had the brainwave of making our own. I looked up some information online, and found some ideas. Pete and I had a look through them, and he came up with a list of things he thought he’d need to knock one together.

So today I headed to Bunnings, and with the help of a lovely gentleman named Garry, I found all our little bits and pieces and managed to get our own little squirt together. Pete connected it this afternoon, and it works perfectly. Only thing we need to do is cut the hose down a little bit.. don’t think we need it that long!

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Best thing of all?? It only cost me $25.00! (And a handy DIY-type hubby!).

If you’re interested, this is what I bought:

  • 1x13mm reinforced hose - $9.88
  • 1x Spray gun to fit hose - $3.99
  • 1x 1/2 inch threaded ‘T-junction’ - $3.43
  • 1x15mm nipple attachment (yes, plumbing can sound really dirty) - $1.78
  • 1x15mm by 13mm male hose end – 69c
  • 1x20mm by 13mm male hose end - $1.04
  • 2x 13-20mm hose clamps - $1.42
  • 1x roll plumbers tape - $1.89

new woman!

One of the things I have been really looking forward to since having Mayana is getting back into normal bras! I’ve been in maternity bras since about 8 months into my pregnancy, and the ones I had fitted when Mayana was born are starting to get too big now that Mayana has settled down to only two breastfeeds a day.

Buying bras for me is usually somewhat of an ordeal. I can never find anything in my (ample) size in a normal department store. I usually have to go to some specialist bra shop and spend a mini-fortune on what usually ends up being a decidedly unattractive bra.

So imagine my glee when I walked into Target last week and discovered that have a new range of really pretty feminine bras, in MY size (!!!) for a really great price!!!

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I walked away with these two gorgeous bras, for about $35 for both (thanks to their 25% off sale). They fit me, they make me look like a real woman again… and at a much cheaper rate than surgery.. hehe.

No more saggy baggy maternity bras for this yummy mummy! (well apart from the 7.30am and 6.30pm breastfeeding sessions in any case).

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Pearls of Wisdom

Blog This - challenge 18

Pearls of Wisdom - what is the best life advice you've recieved? How did you use that advice and how has it impacted on your life's path? What pearl of wisdom have you passed on to others?

I think one of the best pieces of advice was something my dad told my husband and I at our wedding. And considering he and my mum have just celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary, I definitely take his marriage advice very much to heart.

He told us to always remember, that marriage is not about give and take. In life we often think that relationships are about 50% give and 50% take. You think about not only what you can give to a relationship, but also what the relationship will give to you. My dad said that marriage should really be about 100% give. Give 100% to your relationship without thinking about what you can get in return.

Treasure the person you are married to, value your relationship, know that it is one thing in your life worth putting everything in to. He told us that love is choice. Some days, you won't feel that 'in love' feeling, some days you may not even like your partner, but every day, you make a choice to love him. A choice to give 100%.

Some days it's harder than others. Especially once the bubba came along. But every day, it's worth it.

25th Wedding Anniversary

Twenty-five years of love, joy and laughter
It might sound like a lifetime to some
So far it’s definitely been a ‘happily ever after’
But as they say the best is yet to come.

They’ve had their ups, they’ve had their downs—as everybody does
But together they’ve stood strong throughout it all
Everything that’s come along, they’ve dealt with it with love
They’ve always both been in it for the long haul

Crying babies, dirty nappies, sleepless nights and terrible twos
Teenage tantrums, slamming doors and “I don’t care”’s!
They’ve been through it all, kept a very long fuse
And still ended up with minimal grey hairs!

Their family is their legacy, their life, their everything
We, their children, know we’re blessed way beyond measure
So much joy, friendship and love to our lives they bring
Having them as parents is among our greatest treasures

So we’re asking you to join us, as we celebrate together
Twenty-five years so far of this wonderful pair
For a picnic in the garden we would like you all to gather
It would really mean a lot to see you there!

On Saturday, my husband, brother and sisters and I actually pulled off the surprise 25th wedding anniversary party we’ve been planning for the last two months or so. I’m so stoked.

We had a big picnic in the park, with lots of my parent’s friends, old and new. It turned out to be a lovely day.

We really weren’t sure if we’d pull it off… how would we get the party all set up without my parents getting suss about it all!? I had the brainwave of sending them out to breakfast, so we had them convinced that that was our anniversary present to them.

We choofed them off to breakfast at 9am, and it was a mad rush to get everything together and down to the park. My sisters and I started the set-up, and sent Mayana and the boys to the shops for some last minute stuff. We had made over 20 gorgeous silver and blue tissue paper flowers (silver for 25th anniversary, blue was their wedding colour), had silver balloons and a big banner with Erick [love heart] Tambrey 25. It looked great.

Pete went to pick them up for breakfast as the guests began to arrive. He told them that we had decided to go up to the park for a picnic and he was picking up fish & chips on the way back. By the time they got back everyone was there waiting, and as they walked down the hill everyone yelled out a big ‘SURPRISE!’.

It was a great afternoon just hanging out and catching up with people. My mum and dad felt very spoiled. And got an extra super surprise when my mum’s parents arrived, which was very special.

Congratulations Mama and Papa on 25 years of marriage, and thank  you for being such great role-models for marriage to Peter and I, and to so many other people!

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September 09 00029My sister, brother and I serenading our parents with Jason Mraz’s song ‘Lucky’. Mayana was so cute, and whenever we got to the chorus she’d start singing along and clapping her hands. She kinda stole the show.

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She was such a good girl, had fun being passed around to all and sundry. She loves being told she’s beautiful, and there was no end of that on Saturday!

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She was so tired by the end of the day, and a snuggle from her Great Nanna resulted in a very snoozy Mayana-Berry.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009


Aussie readers have no doubt heard about the major dust-storm that Sydney-siders awoke to this morning. By mid-morning it had arrived in Toowoomba, and we were thinking to ourselves how lucky we were to be on holidays in Noosa away from it all. But by 3pm the sky began to turn an eerie shade of orange and the dust arrived.

It’s nowhere near as bad as it has been further west or south of here, but it’s still creating a fairly bizarre atmosphere and a tickle in my nose.

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Photo of the sun with my little point-and-shoot digital camera. It looked so weird!

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My parent’s street. You can usually see mountains in the background there.

If you want to see the worst of it, have a look at this youtube clip- someone captured over in Broken Hill.

How has it been where you are?

Thank You

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My heart sister sent me this gorgeous bunch of roses for my wedding anniversary. I thought I’d share them so you can enjoy them with me :0) If only you could smell them too. They’re divine!

[Heart Sisters is a program I participate every year, run by a church group in my Nana’s town, but there are women from all over Queensland that take part. We meet every valentines day to meet our previous year’s heart sister and to get a new one. Basically there is a big bunch of women, and we all fill out a questionnaire about ourselves and pop them into a basket. Everyone picks one out, and that is your heart sister for the year. Each month you are meant to send a little note of encouragement or a little gift to your heart sister. Some heart sisters really spoil each other (like mine does me!). It’s all done anonymously, and you don’t meet the person who’s been writing to you until the reunion on valentines day. It’s so beautiful to get those little notes and bits of encouragement each month, full of warm fuzzies! It’s such a lovely thing to be a part of.]

Sunday, 20 September 2009

More Carnival

Well we did end up hitting the street parade yesterday. It was pretty good (apart from the annoying people that think it’s okay to light up their cigarettes in crowds of thousands.. but that’s a rant for another post). It was loooong! And hot. There were some really good floats, and there’s just a certain buzz of excitement that only comes from one of the main streets in town being closed off and everyone being allowed to walk on it willy-nilly.

Flower Carnival 00009Mayana seemed to enjoy the proceedings – especially if they had drums and music!

Flower Carnival 00016 (2) Flower Carnival 00027 Flower Carnival 00041This float was based on the one used in the very first carnival of flowers street parade.. and the lady in the middle of the photos was the very first carnival of flowers princess (or whatever it is they call them!)

Flower Carnival 00045 Flower Carnival 00061 Flower Carnival 00066 Mayana wasn’t too sure about the Storm Troupers!

Flower Carnival 00071In the end, it all got too much for her…

Today we went back out to the park for the markets and some more flower photos:

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Some dropkicks in this city had thought it would be a fun thing to do to go and wreck some of the gardens. There were a few bare patches where plants had been pulled up and gardens run through. The organisers had managed to neaten it up enough that the overall effect wasn’t ruined too badly. I just can’t get my head around why people do things like that!

Anyway, aside from that, we have had a lovely weekend, it’s been nice to finally get to one of these carnivals, and have some fun family time together.

How was your weekend?

Friday, 18 September 2009

eight months

My beautiful Mayana-Berry is eight months old today.

I can’t believe how quickly the time has flown, yet at the same time I have totally cherished every single day. I can’t remember a time in my life in which Mayana did not exist.

The last few months have seen some big changes in my girl. She is growing really well, and while she is still small, she is healthy, and back onto the percentile chart for weight (in the 1st percentile, but at least she’s on the graph now!). At the last weigh-in she was 5.7kg. They also ran her through all the 9 months milestones, and she had reached every single one of them (and some of the 10 month ones) at only 7.5 months! She sits, crawls, stands up on anything that is still for long enough and walks along the furniture. She laughs, says Mama, Papa, Baba, Wawa and lots of other gibberish words. She claps her hands and waves goodbye. She bops along to music, and sings if she really fancies the song. She gives me cuddles and kisses if I ask for one, and I love it.

She loves to eat, and eats pretty much whatever we do. She’s really into strawberries at the moment. And hommus. And avocado. And she much prefers it when she’s feeding herself – and can’t quite understand why I won’t let her attack her wheetbix independently (I’m not quite ready for that kind of mess just yet!).

Mayana is a ball of personality. She’s so alert and takes everything in. She’s a real sticky-beak and social butterfly. She always has to know what’s going on. She loves seeing other kids, and if one even walks past her when we’re out she breaks out into a big giggle and claps her hands. She’s almost beside herself if they stop to talk to her. It’s so cute!

She is so adorable, and she fills my life, and Peter’s, with so much joy. I am so proud to be her Mama, and I love learning more about her, and getting to know her more every single day.

Happy eight months my precious girl!

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My little berry at 1 day old.

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and at 8 months

Carnival of Flowers

We have lived in this town for nearly four years, and we have never been to a carnival of flowers. So we decided, since we were going to be home while this one was on, this would be the year. We decided to head down today, because the rest of the weekend is going to be super busy.

Unfortunately our camera batteries died, so I didn’t get as many photos as I would have liked, but I got a few lovely ones of the botanic gardens section of Queens Park. They were so gorgeous!

carnival 00015 carnival 00004 carnival 00006 carnival 00008 carnival 00010We went into the Flower Food and Wine festival too. It was pretty good. The flower exhibitions were fantastic. I was so inspired by the creativity of some of the arrangements.

The wine… well I wasn’t really in the mood, and the few I tasted were reasonably mediocre. I hate that.

The food.. again okay. There wasn’t enough yummy gourmet stuff… I think the only thing on offer to taste was olives, and I’m not a huge olive fan. The food and wine festival that we went to a few months ago was far better on both the food and the wine.

The entertainment was pretty good. Mayana quite enjoyed the visiting Korean dancers and drummers. Well, the drummers mostly. While they entertained her, she entertained the rest of the crowed, by clapping, bouncing, stomping her feet (she was standing up on the chair next to me), singing/yelling and laughing throughout the performance. Let’s just say she had many, many fans.

It was a good day, and we’re thinking of heading back out tomorrow to watch the parade..

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Thursday, 17 September 2009

Is this you?

Isn't she gorgeous. Don't we all long for days like this... lounging around with a bottle of vino and a block of chocolate. I just finished stitching her last night. On the hunt for a frame now. I'm thinking of sewing her to a backing of red fabric to match her dress and popping her in a black frame. I'm not sure what I'll do with her after that!

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Vegie Patch

For father’s day, Mayana (meaning I) got Peter a stack of seeds so they could do some gardening together. Today was a gorgeous day, so we got outside and I watched while Pete and Mayana got their hands dirty.  September 09 00185 September 09 00206

Before we know it, little seedlings of zucchini, silverbeet, cucumber, beans and snap-dragons will begin to appear. And before too long we’ll have our own little vegie patch! A tomato started growing on one of our tomato plants a few weeks ago, which is very exciting. I love eating food that we’ve grown ourselves. Fingers crossed we don’t kill them!

Ps. Go over here to see some more pics of Mayana’s day in the garden. She’s such a cutie!!

teacher talk and fiery rivers

Yesterday the three of us had a grand adventure. We set off just before 7am, and drove to Ipswich to catch the train to the city. We found the train station fine…parking was another story. Eventually we discovered the commuter car park, and by the time we figured out how to walk back to the station from there, got our tickets and found the platform, we jumped onto the train about 5 seconds before they shut the doors!

The train ride was great. Mayana had a fabulous time charming the pants off all the other passengers. She has recently learned to clap and wave, and thoroughly enjoyed showing off these skills to her adoring fans. She even had breakfast on the run!

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We went to Brisbane to attend the Education Show. My dad’s business had a stall there, and it was a fantastic place to collect resources, make contacts and meet other teachers. I had some very interesting conversations, and learned a lot. My mum and dad were also there, so they spent a lot of time with Miss Mayana so Pete and I were able to look around properly. It was much appreciated, and Mayana became the new Bizfurn mascot… totally drew in the crowds for her Opa!

When the show finished Pete, Mayana, Mama and I wandered over to the city where we meandered through the crowds, browsed through the shops and ate some lunch.

The big Riverfire event was on last night, so the three of us decided we might as well stay. Despite some pretty awful nappy rash, due to two teeth on their way through, Mayana-berry was coping very will with her big day, so we felt safe. We waved goodbye to Kami and trecked back over to Southbank to find a spot.

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The amount of people there was phenomenal. Overwhelming. We ended up meeting with Pete’s brother and wife, his step-kids and their baby girl. It was nice to see Mayana with her little cousins and good to catch up.

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me with my niece, Hannah.

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Mayana with her step-cousins, Chloe & Dee. They do a great job at peek-a-boo. Mayana was very impressed. September 09 00142 Mayana and her cousin Hannah.

Then the show began.

F1-11’s did their initial fly over. Can I just say I’ve never heard anything like it in my life. Ever. While I wasn’t exactly scared of the planes – I didn’t think they were going to hurt me or anything – the noise they made had me feeling a terrified panicky feeling I’d never quite experienced before. Luckily it was over pretty quickly. Then the fireworks. They were pretty spectacular. I’m going to be all fuddy-duddy and whingy here, but I have to comment. Yes, the fireworks were gorgeous but did they *really* have to go for half an hour?? The whole time I was watching all I could think about was the amount of money they spend on this event, when I can think of about 3000 other ways that it could be better spent. I’m not saying can the fireworks, but I sometimes wonder about governments and their priorities…

Anyway, the fireworks were an interesting experience for Mayana. To begin with her face looked like this:

September 09 00157 but she gradually warmed up to it and by the end she was bouncing and smiling. Every now and again she’d bury her face in my chest particularly loud bangs, but she’d quickly look back up to see the pretties in the sky.

September 09 00160 We left pretty quickly after the F1-11’s did their dump and burn (pretty spectacular!) to try and not get too caught up in the crowd. It kind of worked. In any case Mayana was asleep in the sling by the time we got to the station.

She slept nearly the whole way home, on the train and in the car. Once home she even slept through being changed for bed, and didn’t wake up until after 7am! What an angel.

So our day was a huge adventure, and Pete and I both thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. And I’m pretty sure Mayana did too!

I've just finished reading...

Yes.. another one already! "The Jane Austen Book Club", by Karen Joy Fowler.

I have seen the movie, and really enjoyed it (I even bought the DVD). I'm always a bit dubious when I read a book after seeing the movie version. I nearly always like the book a lot better, which ruins the movie for me. And if I've read the book first, chances are the movie will really annoy me. SO it's always a big gamble for me. And it's impossible for me to not compare the two.

In the case of this book, the book and movie complement each other fairly well. I actually think the movie characters were a bit more loveable. Although they have totally turned around a number of character's personalities and traits, which was kind of weird (For example, the movie gave a much more flattering portrayal of Bernadette than the book; in the movie she is my favourite character, in the book she's my least favourite.).

For those who haven't seen the movie (or read the book), it follows a group who have formed a bookclub (5 women, 1 man) over six months as they read through Jane Austen's six novels. They meet monthly to discuss the novels, and meanwhile the book explores aspects of the group member's lives. Each group member is dealing with various struggles in their lives (adultery, falling in love, sexuality, life changes, separation from a spouse etc.).
1. Jocelyn, a single, 50-somthing woman who breeds dogs and lives alone
2. Sylvia, 50-something woman whose husband of over 30 years has just left her
3. Allegra, Late 20's, Sylvia's daughter. Is a lesbian, and needs everybody to know so. Has a tumultuous love-life.
4. Bernadette, 60-something, married many times, slightly eccentric.
5. Prudie, 20-something French teacher, married, had a weird childhood and is still adjusting.
6. Grigg, the only male. In the book he is in his 40's but is portrayed much younger in the movie. He's a tech-geek, and has never read Austen before - while everyone else are HUGE fans.

Each book club member is meant to reflect a Jane Austen character from each book. Sometimes this is obvious, sometimes not.

I didn't like the way the author wrote from the point of view of the whole group, "We suspected a hidden a genre"; "Jocelyn handpicked us..". So not from the viewpoint of one specific character, and I spent a fair bit of time trying to figure out who was 'talking'. In some instances I also found the writing a bit disjointed. Like if I tried to write a sentence like that in Microsoft Word, a little green line would appear and tell me that it was a fragment sentence.

I will be interested to read one of her other books, one which I won't have any pre-conceived ideas about, so that I can judge her writing more fairly.

The book was quite enjoyable, a fairly easy read. There are aspects of the book that I like better than the movie (like the fact that Prudie is not seriously contemplating having an affair with her student, and that her husband is not a total jerk) and it also gave a lot more background information (of course) about all the storylines.

It left me with a real hankering to (re)read Jane Austen's wonderful books.

I recommend it, and don't think that you'll be too dissapointed whether you read the book or watch the movie first. I think I liked the movie better. Which is unusual for me.

[next I'm reading "The Sweetheart Season" also by Karen Joy Fowler.]

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Happy Anniversary Baby..

Got you on my mi--ind....

That's what I woke up to this morning. Serenaded on the phone by my entire family... awwww.

Yes, today is my wedding anniversary. Four years since I became the wife of my gorgeous husband.

I am so blessed to be loved by him, and to have him as my husband. Pete is the kindest, gentlest, most generous husband you could imagine. He's my best friend, my soul-mate, and the love of my life (corny I know, but I can say it cos it's true!). Every day with him makes me smile. He looks after me, which is what he told me he wanted to do when he proposed to me.

Watching him be a Papa to our gorgeous girl has made me fall in love with him all over again. He's such a good dad, so involved and hands on and I appreciate and love his support and help more than words could say. Oh how I love him!

Pete being on prac means that we didn't get to spend the day together, and tonight he will be working on lesson plans, but we are going to indulge in a yummy dinner of take-away thai food (chicken penang & beef massaman curries), a glass of white and apple crumble for dessert. Mmmm. We usually go away for our anniversary, but we're thinking maybe while we're away in Perth we can leave our girl with her grandparents for a night and have one special night somewhere. He's also promised me a date night when we go to Noosa at some point during the uni break.

But I feel spoiled enough just having Peter as my husband. Four years in and we're still in the honeymoon phase. I hope we're never out of it!

I've just finished reading...

You may know Richard Hammond from the car show, "Top Gear". I'm not much of a car person myself, I tend to describe cars by colour only (Friend: "Oh what kind of car did you get?"; Me: "Um.. I silver one!? Apparently it's got mags or something...")

However, I do quite enjoy sitting down to watch Top Gear each week.

And Richard Hammond is a funny man. His book had a great number of laugh-out-loud moments for me (but that could just be speaking volumes about my sick sense of humour).

The book details the 'behind the scene' moments of some of my favourite Top Gear adventures.

It begins with the Polar Adventure, where Richard, James and Jeremy race across the Arctic to the South Pole: Richard behind a sled of dogs (usually not on it), and James & Jeremy in an SUV-type vehicle. You may remember that the car won, and it was quite a heartbreaking moment (for me anyway) to see Richard's dejected face as he heard the news that he had lost. His own stories about the adventure are very interesting, funny, and sometimes just a teensy bit rude.

The second adventure is the one where the team travel across Botswana in beat-up old cars.. you may remember Richard names his car Oliver. Again, a very interesting read from the persepective of Richard - especially enjoyable if you have seen the episode in question (it actually aired last week on SBS).

Hammond then recounts some other mini-adventures, like the time he ran home over 40km in severe flooding so he could be there when his daughter woke up on her birthday.

I have to admit, I lost interest a bit in the last part of the book, when Richard talks about making a documentary about his childhood hero, Evel Knieval. Not that it was boring or badly written, but because I don't have much of an interest in Evel, don't know much about him and therefore the stories weren't all that exciting for me.

All in all, I quite enjoyed the book, and I'll be pinching my brother's copy of his other book (where he talks about his near-fatal accident) as soon as he finishes reading it.

I would recommend reading it if you're a fan of the show, I can't imagine it would be quite as exciting if you weren't familiar with the episodes. It's a great laugh, and there are some VERY funny bits.

[Stay Tuned... Next I'm reading, "The Jane Austen Book Club" by Karen Joy Fowler]

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

happy [first] fathers day

Sunday was Pete’s first ever fathers day.

Our day started off with a surprise visit from my Dad, brother, sister & her boyfriend. My mum and other sister were already staying, and the others decided to join us all for fathers day.

Mayana spoiled her Papa with a new wallet, gorgeous hand-painted (literally) frame with a photo of herself & some seeds so the two of them can do some gardening together.

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Opa took us all out for breakfast at Sizzler, and it was lots of fun to just hang out together and eat (and not have to clean up)!

Then church, which was full of excitement with a motorbike flying into the building (yes, into the church!) followed by a funny competition which pitted dads from three generations against each other in a bid to see who could best multi-task. The generation with kids who were 20yrs and older won. They had more practice I guess! All the dads were given a really lovely parker pen with ‘Courage’ engraved on it.

After church we all hit the park and feasted on a picnic of fish and chips.

It was great fun, and Pete was spoiled with lots of love and special memories with his princess.

Pete: I love you babe, and you are SUCH a good Papa. Mayana and I are both so abundantly blessed to have you as the man in our lives.

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