Sunday, July 31, 2011

Kid Dates

As my due date draws nearer, we've been attempting to spend a lot of time with Dylan and Lexie. Yesterday, we decided to divide and conquer, and spend one-on-one time with the kids. Dylan spent the day with Grant, and Lexie and I spent the day together!

Grant and Dylan decided to go to the Steel City Con, which is a toy convention. Dylan was in Star Wars heaven! They had a great time!

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While they were gone, Lexie and I relaxed at home. We had brunch together at her child-sized play table and then played with her Barbies. I asked her to choose a place to go, and she wanted to go to Dairy Queen for some ice cream! I had a great time with my adorable date!

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On the way home, she fell asleep in the car, so I decided to join her for a nap! The boys came home shortly after I woke up. Grant spoiled Dylan and Lexie with a big bag of toys, so they kept busy all night long!

It was nice to spend alone time with Lexie before little Nugget arrives. I hope to get in a "date" with Dylan soon!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Perspective

In the wee hours of the morning, I awoke to hear our Great Dane barking. Considering the fact that she never barks at night, fear clenched my heart, and I immediately thought somebody was in our house.

I cautiously entered the living room, and could see flashing lights out the window. I stared at the police car, wondering why it was blocking the street, and then my eyes were drawn to another sight. I could hear Grant's "Oh my God" from the bedroom as I tried to register what I was seeing: a neighbor's house, engulfed in flames.

Just 1/4 of a mile away from a fire station, their home caught fire in the silence of the night. We watched as the fire trucks arrived and the firefighters sprang into action. We prayed that they had made it out safely. Grant accessed the scanner app on his phone, and confirmed that they were okay.

The commotion soon woke Dylan, who joined us at the window. We watched in horror as the fire grew, and I was overcome with heartache for the older couple that lived there. We watched until they got the fire under control, and watched the fire turn to smoke. At that point, we headed back to bed.

I laid down, with tears streaming down my cheeks, and held a worried Dylan against my side. At that moment, I realized just how fortunate we were. As I laid in bed, surrounded by the loves of my life, in my safe home, this couple was watching their home burn with all their belongings inside.

Suddenly, I realized just how trivial it was for me to complain about feeling miserable. The discomfort from many contractions, sleepless nights, and nausea from morning sickness aren't going to subside until I deliver, but I'm about to experience ultimate joy, while this couple was experiencing one of their worst nightmares. I clutched my belly and counted my many blessings until the sun rose.

As I walked out of my OB appointment today, I was able to hold onto that perspective. I am proof that one can walk around dilated from 26 weeks on, have preterm labor, and experience contractions from the first trimester on, but still carry a baby to term.

I was slightly disappointed to hear that a little bit of pitocin could put me into full-blown labor, but that the doctor felt uncomfortable doing so. He wants the baby to come on it's own for 3 big reasons: My total weight gain is very slight (still under 10 lbs and not up to my pre-pregnancy weight), I'm measuring 2 weeks behind, and the baby appears to be small.

While I believe that Nugget is going to be much bigger than they think, there's a reason that he/she hasn't been born yet despite all the contractions and progression. Nugget's just not ready to enter the world. The time will come soon enough!

So for now, I embrace the last moments of pregnancy, and am thankful for the fact that my precious baby is safe inside of me.

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

All my bags are packed, I'm ready to go...

These two...

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...are very excited to have another sibling! They just can't figure out why we have to wait!

After all, we're ready!

Our bags are packed...

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Nugget has a spot beside our bed, where he/she is going to sleep for the first few months...

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...and a currently gender-neutral crib just waiting for a gender-specific sheet, crib skirt, and name above it...

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Nugget has a seat (and a fully stocked diaper bag) in our car...

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...and a seat at our kitchen table, because we believe in family dinners from day one.

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The swing is up, the boppy and playmat are stashed behind the couch, the toys are in a basket next to the crib, the cabinets are stocked with feeding supplies, changing areas are set up around the house, and the dresser/changing table are fully stocked. The remaining baby gear is sitting on the attic steps along with a good stash of diapers...

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We are completely ready! All we need now is a baby...

Monday, July 25, 2011

38 Weeks

I have now made it past the point all of my OB's expected me to deliver by! I delivered the eviction notice, but Nugget is being very stubborn. After months of trying to keep the baby in, he/she doesn't want to come out now that it's safe!

DATE:
July 25, 2011

How far along:
38 Weeks!

Total Weight Gained:
10 lbs total, and that's making up what I lost.

How big is baby? Nugget weighs about 6.8 pounds and she's over 19 1/2 inches long. (No way-I'm carrying another 9 pounder!)

How baby is growing
: Nugget's organs have matured and are ready for life outside the womb. (Hear that, Nugget?!?) babycenter.com

Maternity Clothes: I never wore maternity clothes. Regular pants and regular long shirts still fit perfectly.

Sleep: I'm not sleeping well at all anymore.

Best Pregnancy Moment of the Week:
We're very anxious to meet our baby!

Movement: Nugget is still very active, and very strong. His/her bouts of hiccups last a long time. This morning we watched as a knee poked out of the top of my belly and a fist poked out of the bottom!

Food Cravings: I haven't had any cravings. I eat a lot of fruit, salad, cereal, and sweets!

Food Aversions:
Lunch/Dinner food and lemonade.

Morning Sickness:
I'm still taking Zofran everyday. Nugget better get here soon, because I only have 10 left!!! I really can't wait for the morning sickness to go away.

Gender:
It's a surprise!

Symptoms:
I've had a week of false labor now. I keep thinking it's going to happen, and then it stops when I go to bed! After months of contractions, I really hope I'll be able to tell the difference and make it to the hospital on time! I'm still sick every day and (TMI) still constipated. I drool while I'm sleeping-I'm not sure if I mentioned that before, but it's been happening for several months! I'm hormonal, temperamental, and impatient! Tons of contractions and pressure have been making me very uncomfortable.

Exercise: I've actually run a few times since the restrictions were lifted last week! I ran for 2 1/4 miles today, and it did nothing to make the contractions stronger. I am proud of the fact that I'm still fit, despite being banned from running for several months!

What I miss:
Feeling comfortable and nausea-free!

What I'm looking forward to:
Having my baby! I can't wait to meet Nugget!

38 Week Picture:

I sure hope this is the last one!!!

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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Happy Birthday, Grant!!!

My wonderful hubby turned 32 today, and we had fun celebrating his birthday!

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Dylan and Lexie were really excited to give him their present. As soon as he woke up, they insisted on giving it to him. They were so proud of the Darth Vader T-shirt and Sour Patch Kids that they picked out for him. Of course, Daddy loved his shirt!

We spent the rest of the morning/early afternoon relaxing, and then Grant's mom stopped by for a visit. While she was here, we had Grant's birthday "cake"...yummy frosted brownies served with ice cream!

My parents watched the kids tonight so Grant and I could go on a dinner date! Grant chose Red Lobster for his birthday dinner. We had a great time going out alone, and after I pulled him out of his seafood-induced coma, we extended our date by browsing Target! He bought some stuff with his birthday money, and then we picked up our kiddos, and headed home.

Now, the kids are in bed, Grant's brother is here, and we're settling in to watch a movie!

We had a fun time celebrating Grant's birthday!

Happy Birthday, Grant! I love you so much, and can't wait for us to become a family of 5!!!

Friday, July 22, 2011

No Change

I'm still pregnant. Little Nugget decided to be different by avoiding being born on the 22nd of the month like his/her big brother and sister! I spent months trying to keep this baby in, and now, when it's okay to come out, he/she refuses! Nugget already listens well...or is just very stubborn!

I've had false labor everyday for a week now. It feels as if I'm going to go into real labor, and then stops overnight. It's frustrating and exhausting! I really shouldn't be surprised, though. This is exactly what happened with Lexie!

Nugget better come soon, because I've run out of nesting projects. I completely moved around all the contents in our kitchen cabinets yesterday, just for something to do. It's really thrown Grant off...he doesn't know where anything is anymore!

I managed to keep busy today. My aunt and cousin are in town from Texas (funny that they are visiting during one of the hottest weeks of the summer!), so we met them for breakfast this morning. It was so nice to see them!

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After breakfast, they took Dylan and Lexie with them. I was so shocked that Lexie went along, because she's a bit shy and tends to want to stay with me. They ended up going to the science museum and out to dinner, and had a great time! Meanwhile, I got to do my grocery shopping alone!

Of course, life is always an adventure, even without my kids along. The cashier dropped my money between the register and baggage stand, so I had to wait an extra 20 minutes for them to retrieve it, and then we got stuck inside due to a thunderstorm! Never a dull moment!

Today is the first day that I haven't been frustrated with the fact that I'm still pregnant. It hit me just how quickly babies grow, so I'm content to keep my baby inside just a bit longer. It's hard to believe that Nugget should arrive in the next 16 days!!!

Grant's birthday is on Sunday, and we have plans to go out to dinner. I wonder if a certain somebody will decide to share his/her daddy's birthday?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Beat The Heat!

We're in the midst of an intense heat wave right now. Other than locking ourselves indoors (which isn't much fun with two active kids), there's not much we can do!

We were very grateful when my best friend invited us over to her dad's pool to swim today. It was really hot, but so nice to get out of the house!

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It was a great way to escape the heat for a while...that is, until it was evident that we needed to go home!

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We had a lot of fun swimming with our friends today, and I have two very tired kids to prove it!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Done

I'm going to be honest here. I am completely over being pregnant. I reached the safe zone, and I am ready to be done! I'm miserable, sore, exhausted, and beyond cranky!

This has been my most difficult pregnancy so far. I was sick until the very end with Dylan and Lexie, and even though it doesn't seem possible, I was even sicker this time! I have yet to gain back all the weight I lost, and I am nauseous all the time.

It was a struggle to keep the baby in. I had preterm labor issues with both kids, and I had the same issues this time. The contractions started in my first trimester, and just kept building in intensity and frequency. I feel like I've had pre-labor symptoms for months, and it was very kind of my doctor to point that out to me today. The contractions and pressure are going to do me in if this baby isn't born soon!

Even though it hasn't been easy, I'd do it again in a heartbeat. My babies are worth it!

I may experience more than my fair share of hyperemesis/nausea and contractions, but I do get lucky in some ways:

*I don't have a single stretch mark from any of my pregnancies.

*I may dilate early, but when I go into real labor, I don't have as much progress to make!

*My ankles, feet, and hands have never swelled.

*My blood pressure has always been excellent.

*I've never had gestational diabetes.

*I don't get anything other than mild, occasional heartburn.

*I've never had a leaky bladder.

*The constant morning sickness is a fantastic weight loss plan. I end up under my pre-pregnancy weight the moment the baby is born!

*My babies grow perfectly and are born healthy, despite my issues. And that's what matters the most!

My appointment today left me feeling very annoyed. Yes, some more progress has been made, but I waited 45 minutes for the doctor, and he had no tact whatsoever! Even though it's difficult for me to see right now, I am very lucky. I'm not going to lie though. I'm thrilled that the many months of sickness and contractions are almost behind me!!! I just want to meet my baby!

And just because...

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Come on, Nugget! Join this crazy crew!

Monday, July 18, 2011

37 Weeks!

I've officially made it to the safe zone! I gave Nugget the eviction notice. I'm really hoping he/she listens and makes an appearance soon!

DATE:
July 18, 2011

How far along:
37 Weeks!

Total Weight Gained:
9 lbs total, and that's making up what I lost.

How big is baby? Nugget weighs 6 1/3 pounds and measures a bit over 19 inches, head to heel. (I'm guessing Nugget is already bigger than that!)

How baby is growing: If Nugget is born now, his/her lungs will likely be mature enough to fully adjust to life outside the womb. babycenter.com

Maternity Clothes: I never wore maternity clothes. I actually just gave a bag of them away, because they were never used. Regular pants and regular long shirts still fit perfectly.

Sleep: Sleep? What's that? I spend the majority of the night trying to find a comfortable position.

Best Pregnancy Moment of the Week:
Getting Lexie and Nugget's room set up. We are completely ready for Nugget to arrive!

Movement: Nugget is still very active! He/She usually gets strong hiccups twice a day: once in the morning, and once in the evening. Nugget squirms and attempts to stretch a lot more. Those movements are really uncomfortable! The hands/feet/arms/legs that stick out of my belly are very strong!

Food Cravings: I haven't had any cravings. I eat a lot of fruit, salad, cereal, and sweets!

Food Aversions:
Lunch/Dinner food.

Morning Sickness:
I'm still taking Zofran everyday, and it's especially bad at night. I really can't wait for the morning sickness to go away. (21 days or less...phew! That first meal is going to be wonderful!)

Gender:
It's a surprise!

Symptoms:
The contractions and pressure are making me very uncomfortable right now. I constantly feel as if I could go into labor at any moment. Morning sickness and constipation are a part of my everyday life. I'm nesting like a crazy lady, and I have no patience whatsoever! I feel like I'm a hormonal, uncomfortable mess right now!

Exercise: I walk 4-5 days a week. As of today, all restrictions are lifted!

What I miss:
Feeling comfortable and nausea-free!

What I'm looking forward to:
My appointment tomorrow morning. I really hope there are some changes! These contractions are going to exhaust me, just as they did with Lexie!

37 Week Picture:

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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Progress

Lexie has a big girl bed and loves it...

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...and Nugget has a crib!

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Other than taking a few breaks to hang out with friends, shop, and go out to eat, Grant and I spent the entire weekend setting up Lexie and Nugget's room, and completely cleaning and organizing our bedroom.

Nugget, this is your eviction notice, effective tomorrow!

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Waiting Game

I had my 36 week appointment yesterday, and the doctor said that the conditions are right for labor to start at any time. All of my OB's predicted that I would deliver between 36-38 weeks, but my little Nugget may be stubborn!

Nugget's heart rate was a bit high, but he/she was moving around every few seconds, so the OB attributed it to the movement. I have an appointment in 4 days, so hopefully it will have slowed down by then!

The OB was concerned about my weight gain-or lack thereof-but I think it's a bit too late in the game to worry now! I haven't seen her in 6 weeks, and this is the first pregnancy I've had her for a doctor, so she was unaware of just how sick I get until the very end. I lost weight in the past week, which is normal for the last month of pregnancy, but my total weight gain is only 9 lbs. It should be at least 25 lbs. I always said that pregnancy is my ultimate weight loss plan! I am, however, measuring exactly where I should, which she said is a good sign that Nugget is growing perfectly!

When they say any day now, I just smile and nod. I heard that for 3 long weeks with Lexie. Everybody was shocked that I made it so long with her, but I was determined to make it full term after delivering Dylan preterm!

In other news, my father-in-law and my sister are in the hospital right now. Our family has had more than our fair share of sadness and sickness over the past week. I insist that the next person to go to the hospital is ME, and it's going to be for something very good!!!

For now, life is keeping us busy and we're counting down the days until we get to meet our precious baby!

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And so we wait....

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Tuesday Tidbits

It's been a while since I last did a Tuesday Tidbits post! Tuesday Tidbits is my way of remembering all the cute and funny things my kids say and do.

*One night, Dylan and I were cuddling. He said to me, "Mommy, do you remember when you used to put cups of chocolate milk in the fridge for me? I liked those old days."

*Lexie was coloring, and asked me, "Mommy, do you like dark red or easy red?"

*Lexie got mad at Dylan, and told him, "Dyl, you have some mean voices and I not buying you a toy!"

*I pulled out a jar of Nutella, and Lexie told me, "I just want to take a dip in it!" (That would translate to "I just want to dip my finger in it.")

*The kids don't understand the concept of waiting for the baby to be born. Today, they put their mouths against my stomach, and shouted, "Come out, Nugget, come out!!!"

*Not exactly cute, but definitely pitiful. A shiner, courtesy of a sibling spat:

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*Dylan loves his big dog! They grew up together!

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A tidbit for me? I finally caved in and got a smartphone. Actually, Grant surprised me with it. Yet another addiction in the making! At least I'll be able to use it to announce our big news soon!

Any Guesses?

I thought it would be fun to

Monday, July 11, 2011

36 Weeks!

It's hard to believe that we have less than 28 days to go until we meet Nugget! As I write this, I wonder if it will be my last weekly pregnancy update, or if I'll have a few more to go. Nugget really dropped today, and I'm feeling it!


DATE:
July 11, 2011

How far along:
36 Weeks!

Total Weight Gained:
Last week, I was 1 lb away from reaching my pre-pregnancy weight.

How big is baby? Nugget weighs almost 6 lbs and is over 18.5 inches long!

How baby is growing: Nugget is shedding most of the downy covering of hair that covered the body as well as the vernix caseosa, the waxy substance that covered and protected the skin. babycenter.com

Maternity Clothes: The only benefit of hyperemesis and prolonged morning sickness is the fact that I can still wear my pre-pregnancy pants! My shirts need to be a bit longer though!

Sleep: I'm sleeping much better now than I did last week. Every time I wake up, I'm in the middle of a contraction, but I barely notice them while I'm sleeping.

Best Pregnancy Moment of the Week:
Getting the house ready for another baby!

Movement: Nugget is still very active! He/She usually gets strong hiccups twice a day: once in the morning, and once in the evening. Nugget squirms and attempts to stretch a lot more. Those hands/feet/arms/legs that stick out of my belly are very strong!

Food Cravings: I haven't had any cravings. I eat a lot of fruit, salad, cereal, and sweets!

Food Aversions:
Lunch/Dinner food.

Morning Sickness:
I still take Zofran everyday in an attempt to control the morning (all day) sickness. It's nowhere near as bad as it was the first 20+ weeks, but I'm still dealing with it daily.

Gender:
It's a surprise!

Symptoms:
Strong and frequent contractions that are starting to hurt, mild lower back pain, occasional mild leg cramps at night, short temper, nesting, and my nose is starting to swell (just like it did with Lexie).

Exercise: I walk 4-5 days a week (on the treadmill, in the AC), but I'm not allowed to do more than that.

What I miss:
Feeling comfortable and nausea-free!

What I'm looking forward to:
My appointment on Thursday. It feels like I've made more progress!

36 Week Picture:

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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Getting By

Life in our house has been stressful over the past week, due to the loss of our dog.

The night Pepe passed away, Dylan had a really difficult time. He cried from the time he went to bed until right before he fell asleep. We felt so bad, that we ended up letting him come to bed with us. Our Great Dane paced the house repeatedly, looking for Pepe, instead of going to sleep.

Dylan is doing better, but our dog is still depressed. She seems very lonely now, and spends her days searching for Pepe. There are moments throughout the day when I think of him, and tear up. Between the sadness of losing him, the stress over worrying about my dad's upcoming biopsy, and the stronger contractions, I feel like I'm going to lose my mind!

On the bright side, our little baby will be here sometime in the next 28 days! We are all looking forward to the joy of welcoming a new member into our family!

Our family has been going nonstop since Friday morning. Yesterday, we had two parties to attend: one to celebrate my nephew's birthday, and another adults only party. We were gone for the entire day, but we got a great night's sleep, due to the kids spending the night with my parents! Keeping busy has helped keep our minds off the sadness.

Our first stop yesterday was at my sister's house for a birthday party. My nephew, Brandon, turned 6 last Friday!

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We stayed until the evening, and then headed over to our friend's house for a party. Grant and I didn't get home until nearly 1:00 in the morning. We went to bed, and didn't wake until 10:15 this morning, when my dad brought the kids home!

I was supposed to attend a baby shower today, but I've been having some strong contractions. It probably won't turn into real labor just yet, but I feel more comfortable staying close to home when they get like this! Whether it happens today or 3 weeks from now, my little Nugget will be here very soon!!!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Goodbye, Pepe

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Tonight, we had to say goodbye to our chihuahua, Pepe. It was an incredibly difficult decision to make, but he got very sick over the past week, and we decided to have him put to sleep.

This is very reminiscent of what we went through in 2004 with our Great Dane. The day I got out of the hospital for preterm labor, I found out that our dog had advanced kidney failure and only had weeks to live. She was only 2, so it was a huge shock. She died in my arms, exactly 1 week later. To be going through it again, while pregnant, seems unbelievable.

I am numb and emotionally drained. I feel horribly guilty for not paying much attention to him recently, and for having to decide his fate. Every time I glance at his empty bed in the corner of the living room, my heart breaks. My husband, my kids, and I are struggling to hold it together right now.

Tonight, I held him in my arms, and as he gazed up at me, I vividly remembered the day I first met him. For my high school graduation in 1998, my parents asked me what I wanted. I had always wanted a chihuahua, so that's what I chose.

The day I got him, he fit in the palm of my hand. He quickly became my little sidekick, and has been with me for my entire adult life. When I met Grant, he lovingly dubbed him "Mister Pepito Bismol." Pepe was with me for every major life event, and it's so hard to believe that he's gone.

My heart is heavy tonight. We are going to miss Pepe terribly.

I want to remember:

* When I first got him, he was so tiny that he only ate 1 tbs of rice baby cereal mixed with 1 tbs canned puppy food, twice a day.

*He slept in a tiny basket as a puppy, because even the smallest bed was too big for him.

*As a puppy, he accompanied me to the stable. He would sit in his basket on a tack trunk while I groomed my horse.

*When I still lived with my parents, he used to love sitting on my dad's lap while he watched hockey. Pepe's little head would zip back and forth as he tried to follow the puck.

*Pepe was great at keeping our cats under control. If one would misbehave, all we had to say was, "Get that cat!" and he would race toward it, yapping, until the cat ran away.

*When our first Great Dane passed away, and I was struggling with weeks of bed rest, he spent the entire time laying on the couch with me.

*He was fiercely protective of our kids when they were babies. He was fiercely protective of me.

*He didn't last very long on walks. When he was done, he would sit down and refuse to move. This resulted in one of us carrying him the rest of the way, or him riding in the basket below the stroller.

*He loved to bask in the sun. When he would sit outside in the hot sun, he would lift his head toward it, shut his eyes, and it almost looked as if he were smiling.

*Even though he got ornery in his old age, he loved his family. The day before he passed, he painstakingly left his bed in our bedroom to lay down in the living room with us.

*He was loyal to us and loved us to the very end.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Summer Days

Lazy days indoors:

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Sleeping in tents on bedroom floors:

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Hot days:

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Messy Bubbles:

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They are loving summer!