things I don't understand thursday

Morning everyone! First and foremost, I apologize for slacking a bit on posts. Between work, potty training (yep, he still isn’t potty trained), vacations, and my STUPID kidney sickness (I’ll explain in a later post), I haven’t had much time to post.  I’ll get better though…promise! That being said, you should see some fun vacation posts coming your way soon.  Oh yeah, and possibly a post (or two) about love. Tis’ the season for love, right ladies?

Alrighty, here we go!

People who can’t control what they say.

“Dating is probably hard because of the ‘kid thing’, right?

“I didn’t think Mormon’s were allowed to get divorced. Are you worried about being excommunicated from your church?”

“How do his parents feel about him dating a black girl…is that an issue?”

“But…you have white hair.”

As much as I’m screaming inside when someone has a stupid, ridiculous statement for me, I give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they have some form of Tourette’s syndrome.  By assuming they can’t control what comes out of their mouths helps me stay sane.

Why it’s hard to make friends in your mid-20s (or when you’re married).
It’s weird what happens when you grow up. You go through high school and college with your go-to girls. You have friends to shop with, vacation with, eat with, and study with. Something happens after all of this though… sometimes your pack of go-to gals starts to scatter. They find love, get married, move away for jobs, and have babies.  The funny thing I’ve experienced is when it comes time to branch out and find other female friendship…it’s pretty hard.

I’ve never been one to have lots of friends, just a few super close ones that I’ve had for years on end. Although, I’ve never had a lot of friends, the dynamic of finding friends DEFINITELY changes once you hit your mid-20s.  Personally, I feel it’s even harder when you’re married.  My married friends have often questioned the same thing and each had their own hypothesis, but I haven’t really figured it out.

My passion for leopard print.
Awhile back, my current beau and I were spending our Monday night date night huddled in front of the TV watching the gem formally known as Teen Mom 2. He decides to be funny and compare my fashion sense to Chelsea Houska’s. I hate to admit it, but even though her aspiration to be a Cheetah girl is a tad over the top, sometimes I catch myself thinking, hey, her top is pretty cute! For some, inexplicable reason I just love leopard. Maybe it fits my personality. Maybe the color scheme compliments my skin, I just don’t know… What I DO know is I’ve never met a leopard print that I didn’t like.

The rise in teenage pregnancy.
Okay, while we are on the topic of Teen Mom 2…I am always left to wonder how these young girls keep getting knocked up.  In this day and age, there are a more methods of birth control out there than you’d ever imagine.  One very simple method could be NOT doing it, how bout’ that?

It seems like every time I and have my womanly exam done, there is a brand spanking new type of BC.  Also, what confuses me even more is the fact that parents these days are a lot more liberal and open about the birds and the bees-like topics then they were in the past. I think what bothers me the most about it is the girls that end up getting pregnant at a young age and just don’t seem to care.  Contrary to what they think, having a baby is a BIG deal and affects not only them, but everyone around them.  It’s been said that my blessed Teen Mom shows have glamorized this trend. I feel that showcasing this on MTV (of all networks) does create a certain appeal, but on the contrary it shows the raw reality of how life is when you have a kid. It shows that you don’t stay teeny tiny post baby.  It shows that your baby daddy will most likely leave. Lastly, it shows how much your life will dramatically change.

Why Target busts out the swimwear mid-January.
Is Target trying to tempt me…or make me feel like I should be working out?


Manners Monday: Awkward Questions

When are you going to have another kid? Have you found a teaching job yet? What ethnicity/nationality are you? How much was your house?  What is your SAT score? Is it weird having a child that doesn’t look like you? Who divorced who?

From time to time, we are asked questions that simply make us cringe.  These cringe-inducing questions are normally very personal, surrounding a topic that isn’t enjoyable to talk about, a touchy subject, or something we are self-conscious about.  Sure, there are individuals who can dish out the deepest, personal details without flinching, but on the flip side, others can find such inquiries…awkward.  In this day and age where money troubles, unemployment, fertility issues, and divorce are very common, I’m still amazed how some people can jump right into these topics.

We have all been there, and I sure know I have!  Below I’ve listed a few tips on how to handle these fun questions gracefully.

Number 1:  Be vague.  If someone inquires when you are going to start trying for another child, a vague answer (ie: soon, we’re not sure, or when the time is right) will normally deter any further questions and enable you to not go into detail on the subject.

Number 2:  Keep your cool.  Some questions can strike a nerve or tug at our heartstrings, so it’s helpful to take a step back before answering.  Giving yourself a moment can help you reply with composure and not let your emotions get in the way.  I have dealt with lots of questions regarding my divorce. Some questions were more intrusive than others but I try my hardest to not take these questions personally. If you run into a hard question like this, I suggest plastering a smile on your face, taking a step back, and replying with a vague response (for example: things didn’t work out).

Number 3:  Put the ball in their court.  If someone asks how much you paid for your house, put the ball in their court and reply “Who do you ask?”.  This will field the question back to them. Sure, some people will quickly retort back with a reason as to why they questioned, but others may not have a reason or struggle with the appropriate ‘wording’ and just drop the subject entirely.  If Molly asks you if you’re pregnant simply because she heard from another that you were, Molly may be embarrassed to admit this when the question is redirected to her.

Number 4:  Change the subject.  Sometimes you are asked questions that you really just don’t want to answer.  Sometimes a simple change of subject can be enough to dissuade any further discussion on the topic: “No, still on the hunt for a job.  So – how are you liking your job?”

Number 5:  Act happy/excited.  This is one of my favorite go-to tips.  If someone questions why you aren’t married yet, tell them you enjoy the single life. I have noticed that if you act excited, this will prevent potential negativity.

Number 6:  Throw in positives. Occasionally, there are some folks who love nothing more than getting on their soap box and offering advice.  This particular camp of people will ask a question, then offer advice on how they would handle the situation.  To change the subject and ward off unwanted advice, throwing in positive statements will do the job.

Number 7:  Know it’s OK not to talk about it.   Some people have the misconception that it’s considered rude to opt out of answering or putting a question on hold.  I disagree to this notion as one should never feel obligated to answering an icky/uncomfortable question.  If you are asked a personal question during a family dinner or event where other people are present, it’s okay to respond with “Let’s chat about this after dinner”.  I have dealt with my fare share of pushy questioners who still ask, even if I’ve completed steps 1-6.  When dealing with a pushy questioner who doesn’t get the hint, firmly telling them the following will (hopefully) help them drop the subject:

“I appreciate your concern, but I’d rather not talk about this anymore.  How are things going for you?”
“Thank you for asking, but this is a pretty sensitive subject for me and I’d rather not talk about it.”


“This isn’t a fun topic, how about we talk about something else?”

Unfortunately, most will drop the subject immediately after hearing the responses above, but occasionally you might run into the situation where the questioner feels you are keeping things from them or becomes offended.  If this happens, I suggest practicing the trusty ‘It’s me, not you” method.  Gently reassure them that your prerogative isn’t anything personal.

Number 8:  Control the conversation.  Even though the questions are directed to you, an easy trick to deflect attention and move into a new (less annoying) territory is to give a short answer to their question, and then turn the questions on them: "I'm doing great, thanks - and how are you and Ben doing? Where are you going on vacation this year?" Hopefully they'll be so distracted talking about their vacation plans, they'll forget to focus on you.

It’s your turn!  How do you handle awkward questions?
 I’d love to hear!


target does it again.

Target does it again.

One of the pleasures of being a divorcĂ© is the ability to spend as I please at Target without being audited.  It seriously is SO nice.  I don’t have anyone questioning my unapologetic zeal over discounted colorblocked shoes, my ability to turn a ’15 minute Target run’ into a ’45 minute Target run’, or my unexplained need to buy blue and pink striped stationary (when I already have several stationary sets) AND a matching planner because it was on sale.  I cannot tell you how many times my ex would take a look at our bank statement and question why I spent $100 on a toilet paper run to Target.  Men simply don’t get it.  Target is like the Sportscenter for the female gender.  I have passion for bold colors, endless racks of scarves, cheap home interiors, fun & funky paper products, rows and rows of organizational supplies (that I’ll never use), sparkly scrapbooking materials (again, something else I’ll never use), and the dollar section…oh the dollar section.  Target, being the sexy little Lolita it is, somehow manages to seduce me with its discounted/colorful magic until I lose all willpower.

Okay…back to my point.

A couple days ago, my ex moved my son’s pickup time until later that evening and I was left with 2 blessed hours of free time.  What does a girl do with 2 hours of baby-free time?  This girl heads straight to Target.  Most of you mothers out there can probably agree that shopping sans children is a luxury that doesn’t happen often.  This luxury enables you to shop leisurely without tears and crackers being stuffed down your shirt among other pleasant things children like to do in stores (ie: shrill screams).
As I wandered happily through Target with the original intention of buying an undershirt and milk, I ended up leaving the store with the following items:

Not one, but two pencil skirts (30% off,holla)
A Valentine’s Day themed monkey sippy cup
A Valentine’s Day themed coffee mug
Fake eyelashes
Pajamas for my son
A cute notebook
A set of mini-notecards
Biore pore strips
A cat calendar for my son (he loves his ‘meows’)
and last but not least…a scarf

Not only did I get a bunch of stuff I didn’t plan for, I actually somehow forgot what I actually went in for!
On a side note, I’m not TOO disgusted with myself as I didn’t even touch the dollar section (which is a small victory).
Those bargain priced knick-knacks that clutter up my junk drawer will have to wait until next time.

It’s your turn!
 Are there any fellow Target lovers out there? If so, how many of you are tempted to buy more than what is on your shopping/grocery list?


things I don't understand thursday

Things I don’t understand Thursday

Good morning everyone!  I hope you all are having a fabulous Thursday.  I’m giving the whole ‘weekly segment’ thing a try here so hopefully you like it!  If you don’t, just consider it a rookie mistake. 

Listed below are a few things that simply puzzle me.

Jersey Shore.
 All I can say is eww.

Why moms try to one-up fellow moms’ labor and delivery stories.
From what I’ve observed, some moms go into competition mode once the topic of labor is brought to the table.  They will go into graphic detail to get the crown.  The same competition goes for how sick each mom got during pregnancy.  Second and third place trophies go to the moms who can list off every TMI side effect from the ‘What to Expect’ book and claim they had it the entire pregnancy.

My love for scarves and stretchy pants.
I shamelessly will wear scarves year-round and although I already have one in every color and animal print, I somehow have this unexplained need to add to my collection.  Although, Blair Waldorf is one of my idols, I seem to ignore her guidance of tights not being pants.  If wearing yoga pants everywhere became socially acceptable, you’d know I’d be the first one to jump on that bandwagon.

Why girls take aerial self-portraits and post them all over FB.
Silly girls, everyone knows that if you hold your iPhone as high as you can over your head and take a shot of yourself while wearing a cleavage-bearing top that your 32A will magically appear to be a 34B.  You’re not fooling anyone. 

My passion for you-tubing old music videos.
N*Sync, Boys II Men, X-tina will forever be on my Youtube hitlist.

Kim Kardashian.
The fame of Kim Kardashian has always boggled me.  When I first heard about the ‘Keeping up with the Kardashians’ phenomena, I assumed Kim would be a hoot to watch as the show seemed to revolve around her.  Sadly, after 3-4 addicting episodes I realized that she was painfully boring to watch and remained painfully boring to this day. 

My unexplained desire to watch Lifetime.
D-list actresses portraying the Tonya Harding, Casey Anthony, and Mary Kay Letourneau in the most dramatic way possible?  Yes please!  With that being said, I may or may not have cancelled a date to watch an episode of ‘My life is Lifetime Movie’.

My need to Google unproductive things in my down time.
Three Men and a Baby Ghost, Larsa Pippen make-up tips, fat free snickerdoodle recipes, Miranda Kerr workout…the list goes on and on. 

Why most of the daughters of “Big Rich Texas” and “Big Rich Atlanta” are over 25, gorgeous, and single.
These bodacious blondes (and brunettes) seem to have it goin’ on.  They rich, beautiful, morally liberal (code for: will put out), and have trust funds as large as their bleach blonde hair. Sure, Whitney and the other blonde chick got engaged, but the majority are still s.i.n.g.l.e.

My obsession with Costa Vida.
There is only one thing better that Costa Vida and if you aren’t LDS or living in Utah County and guessed CAFÉ RIO, I am truly impressed.  The sexy little seductress that I call Costa Vida tempts me and tests my willpower several times a week.  Do I need ANOTHER cinnamon tortilla? I sure do.  Do I need ANOTHER bowl of chicken tortilla soup? You bet I do!  If you live in the Tri-City area, you probably have seen my yoga pants clad-presence impatiently waiting in line while the cook takes forever making my sweet tortilla.

Why Bravo casts single women on the “Real Housewives” series.
The show is called The Real HouseWIVES, not the Newly Divorced, Still Single at 40, or Real 40 Year Old Socialites. Perhaps Bravo employs the single ladies because they are more exciting (and less annoying) than select married housewives (ie: Kyle Richards).
 Not to totally get off the subject, but the definition of housewife goes as follows:  A married women whose main occupation is caring for her family, managing household affairs, and doing housework.  Do any of these women actually manage household affairs or do housework?  No.  They spend their days shopping, lunching, having snarky/gossipy conversations on speakerphone, going to benefits, and agonizing over how someone else gossiped about them. Apparently ‘Pot calling the kettle black’ means nothing in Beverly Hills.  These housewives, widows, and snarky socialite somehow manage to keep me entertained season after season. Sorry I got really off subject there…now back to my point.  I’m sure Bravo can find a few ACTUTAL housewives who are exciting enough to keep the show on the air, right?  The only single lady I’d miss would be the ‘truth cannon’ formally known as Brandi Glanville.

How the casting crew for the Bachelor finds so much crazy.
This is one of many questions I have about the casting of the Bachelor.  Do they have a preference for girls named Ashley?  Do reject college educated girls?  Does casting favor girls with jobs like ‘professional ice cream taster’ and ‘professional gymnast’? How many times in an episode do the girls need to say they have an ‘amazing connection’?
I am always amazed that each season, the casting crew seems to outdo themselves by upping the amount of crazy. I’m sure anyone can get a little crazy living in a house full of girls fighting for a rose, but I simply wouldn’t put myself in that situation. 

Airport attire/etiquette.
Somewhere, there is a memo that I didn’t read that clearly explains the proper dress code and etiquette for flying.  This memo states the following:

·         When dressing for a flight, find your most comfortable lounge wear. One is to not stress about their personal appearance when flying. Proper outfit suggestions are: baggy T-shirts, pajama bottoms, sweats, large sweatshirts, pajama shorts, and wifebeater tank tops.  For examples, please visit peopleofwalmart.com.

·         One is to arrive casually late to the airport.

·         If there is a line present when waiting for your boarding pass, sigh loudly and swear under your breath about how slow the airport staff is.

·         Take as much time as you need to find your wallet, credit card and ID when the attendant is issuing your boarding pass.

·         When one arrives at security, it isn’t polite to take off your shoes, jewelry, sunglasses, and accessories until you are asked by TSA.

·         When entering the plane, stop and carefully examine each and every overhead bin to find the perfect one for your carry -on luggage . 

·         If the passenger next to you isn’t using his/her armrest, this is a non-verbal cue that you can use it.

·         When exiting the plane, remove your luggage from the overhead bin slowly and carefully as the plane’s turbulence could have opened the top of one of your 3 oz. liquids.

What are some things that you've never been able to understand?  I’d love to hear them!


Manners Monday: Engaging with fellow moms

You could be walking blissfully through Target when your baby starts crying.  You instantly reach down to pick him up and a mother comes out of nowhere and says ‘You really shouldn’t pick a baby up every time they cry. You don’t want your baby to be coddled, do you?’.  You are bottle feeding your baby and a fellow mother approaches you to offer breastfeeding advice.  You could be enjoying a Gymboree class when you run into a competimommy who feels inclined to tell you how her child is pretty much way better than yours.  Who knew a child could swim, sign, repeat the entire alphabet, still take 2 naps a day,  read, and be completely potty trained before the age of two?

I give these moms the benefit of the doubt as they may not know their random, unsolicited advice or judgment is viewed a little… rude.

Below are a few simple steps to successfully engaging with other moms:

Step 1:  Practice the SAIL method.  SMILE, ASK QUESTIONS, INTRODUCE YOURSELF (and your child), and LISTEN.

Smile.  A smiling person is more approachable than someone who is sullen and frowning.  First impressions are everything and people are generally more willing to befriend a smiling person over someone with a grumpy exterior.

Asking get to know you questions not only helps you get to know another person, it helps others feel comfortable around you.  Who doesn’t enjoy talking about themselves every once in a while?

Introducing yourself (and your child) is very important.  A friendly ‘Hi, I’m Rochelle and this is Adriana.  I’ve never taken this class…Do you like the instructor/teacher?’ can do way more than ‘This is our first time…Do you like this class?’.  Although the second example is still friendly, a proper introduction and a friendly ‘Hi’ is more personal and friendly.

Listen when talking with other moms.  I can’t stress enough the importance of active listening.  Sure, your child may be running around like a tazmanian devil, but atleast try to listen.  Empty other thoughts from your mind and really listen to what the mom is saying.  This may be her first outing in weeks with actual adults.  Make eye contact, nod occasionally, and intermittently say, ‘I see" or ‘Really?’ to indicate that you not only heard but understood what was said.

Step 2: Don't be a competimommy.

Competimommy:  ‘Your little boy is so sweet. How old is he?’

Mom:  ‘Thank you!  He’s 2 and a half.  How old is yours?
Competimommy:  ‘Mine is 2 as well…almost 3.  Wow, he sure is big for a 2 year old.  I bet he will excel at sports.  Does he take swimming?’

Mom:  ‘No, I haven’t put him in swimming yet.  Unfortunately, most of the weekend classes are full and I work on the weekdays.’

Competimommy:  ‘Oh no!  I work too, how funny!  You should try taking off work a little early.  That’s always worked for me.’

Competimommy:  (mildly interrupting) ‘Somehow we also fit playgroups and Gymboree into our schedule.  It’s just so important for children to engage with other children that even though I’m but, I still make it work’.

{child clutches diaper region}

Competimommy:  ‘I think your soon needs to be changed…Wait, is he potty trained yet?’

Mom:  ‘No, not yet.  We are working on it though’.

Competimommy:  ‘Really!!  Our little guy was trained 6 months ago.  Best of luck!’

Word to the wise:  Don’t be that girl.

Step 3:  Don’t offer unsolicited advice.

If I had a nickel for every time another mom gave me unsolicited advice, I would be able to able to fly to Paris and back…twice.  I find it a bit odd, because I know a few moms who this simply doesn’t happen to.  Maybe it happens and they don’t know it or perhaps others feel I need a little more direction than others, who knows?  Still, I’d like to feel that there are other moms out there that would be just as taken back or offended by some of this random advice.
My mom has always taught me that if someone doesn’t ask for advice, don’t give it.  If one feels absolutely inclined to hand out advice, I suggest nicely asking if they would like pointers.

Step 4:  Handle special situations with care.

Once you are on friendly grounds with a fellow mom and a relationship progresses, it’s only natural to let certain guards down.  The fellow mom may reveal that her child has disabilities, she may no longer be with the child’s father, the child’s father may be completely out of the picture, or the mom may have a same-sex partner.  Sensitive subjects like these should be handled with the utmost respect.  Too much questioning or getting into the subject too deep can rub a mother the wrong way.  Every situation is different and even if you know someone who has a child with disabilities or someone who’s ex is absentee, can cause hurt feelings if brought up to the mom.  My best advice is to listen.

Step 5:  Don’t be a Plastic.

Ten points to you if you understand the Mean Girls reference J.  I’ve read many studies on how mean girls grow up to be mean moms and I agree 100%.  It’s sad, but some women can be just as clique-ish as high school girls.  I know a few Junior League-esque Hilly Holbrook types (another 10 points if you instantly thought, THE HELP!) that are mean moms to the T.  They know all the hottest gossip about who’s recently separated, who has the newest Coach purse (the non-outlet mall variety), and can recite every detail of why one mom is feuding with another.  Unfortunately, some can find all the gossip a little unsettling.  Some people gossip…it’s their thing.  However, I suggest knowing your audience.  Before going into a tangent on how Noelle in your mommy and me class has a fake Longchamp and is so tacky, take a step back and know your audience.  A daily dose of snark may make ones day, but on the flip side, it may turn someone off to you, completely.

Lastly, a lot of parents seem to forget that our children repeat everything.  I used to service in Primary at church and boy oh boy, I’d get all KINDS of personal info about their parents.  That being said, if you don’t want another mom at playgroup knowing your true feeling about her, I’d suggest not vocalizing them around your kids.  Better yet, maybe don’t vocalize them at all.

Step 6:  Keep the SAHM/Working mom judgement under wraps.

If you can’t fathom how one could leave their children for 8 hours a day, it’s normally best to internalize that thought.  Likewise, if you think staying at home all day/everyday would drive you up the wall….It’s only polite to not vocalize your opinion on the subject.  Remember, everyone has a choice on what is best for their children.  It is never polite to vocalize your opinion on another mom’s choice to stay at home or work.  Since this is a sensitive subject to a lot of moms, I recommend being curious, not judgmental.  Both parties of moms tend to have their guards up and feel they need to overexplain themselves once this subject is brought up.  A good way of broaching the topic is: ‘That’s really cool! What is a normal day like for you?’  By asking this non-threatening question, the other mom will be at ease and know you are genuinely interested in her life.

Step 7:  Be respectful during play dates.

As much as I adore Brandi Glanville, it irks me that she just brushed off the fact that her sons feed on another person’s lawn.  Come on, who does that?  Anywho, I feel it’s important to have a ‘When in Rome’ mindset when it comes to play dates.  First, try not to show up too early or too late.  If you are like me, I normally get the best cleaning done before guests show up and if someone shows up too early, it really ruins the cleaning process.  It also can be viewed as rude to show up late.  Second, being mindful of another’s house rules is a must.  If the house rules call for shoes to be taken off at the door, take off your shoes.  If the hosting mother has a formal living room, try and keep your children from exploring it.  Also, keep an eye on the host mom’s children.  If the mother doesn’t bat an eyelash as her children run from room to room, slide down the stairs, and play with the baby grand piano, she may not mind if your child does the same.  Still, I would refrain from letting your child let loose in someone else’s home.  I would wait for verbal/non-verbal cues from the host mom.  Third, practice proper etiquette.  Even if you are used to making yourself at home in the kitchen, finding your own way to the restroom, and just plopping down wherever there is a free seat, on a first time visit to someone’s house it’s only proper for the host to direct you.  Sure, it may be easier guiding yourself to the restroom, but what if that restroom is broken?  What if the host mom has a restroom specifically for guests?  What if the host mom may feel uncomfortable with people helping her out in the kitchen?  In addition to this, make sure both you and your children mind your Ps and Qs.  Ensure that you and your children offer a warm thank you prior to leaving.  Lastly, please clean up after yourself.  Make sure your kids clean up too.

 Step 8:  Don’t brag.

I’m sure life is so hard when you are mistaken for Lauren Conrad everywhere you go, but do we all have to hear it on a regular basis?

No one likes a bragger.  I know a few gals who just love to toot their own horn.  It’s cute at first but after awhile it can get pretty annoying.  For all the braggers out there, I suggest you direct your braggy comments elsewhere…like Facebook.

Step 9:  Try not to be cliquey

Although it’s natural for people to gravitate towards certain types of people with similar interests/values/lifestyles, it’s important to be social with everyone.  To be totally honest, finding other mom friends is hard.  I’m sure many others out there feel the same way.  It takes a lot of certain women to step out of their comfort zone and engage with other women.  One reason it’s so hard for some is because of the cliquishness.  I strongly suggest making everyone feel welcome in whatever environment you’re in.  If you’re at toddler story time and you see a mom sitting alone, invite her over.  If there is a new mom in your congregation/ward, invite her over for a playdate.

On the flip side – A lot of moms still encounter cliquishness, even after several get to know you attempts.  If this happens to you, keep in mind that you aren’t doing anything wrong.  Some women are too set in their ways to let others in.  Sadly enough, the need to band tightly together and not let others in normally stems from some sort of self-esteem issue.

Step 10:  Playgroup isn’t a fashion show.

Dressing your kids up is fun, but not always appropriate. Be realistic in how you dress your child. He or she should be wearing shoes they can safely run around in.  I’ve seen so many children slip because of poor-fitting or overly-dressy shoes.  Also, dress them in play clothes.  Save the dresses, tights, and hair bows for church and special occasions.  Kids tend to get messy in playgroup, after all, and they should feel comfortable enough to do so.  They should wear clothes that are okay to spill paint on or are suitable for sliding down the slide.   This goes for moms too.  Sure, you may feel inclined to dress to the nines for a playdate, but remember... you will be chasing little ones around and may want comfort over style.
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