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Dear Scott, part 1.

Dear Scott,

Here we are. Day 4 into your wild backpacking adventure in Colorado. I wonder if you found your prized bull elk yet. I can’t wait to watch you provide for our family by filling our freezer with elk meat. Also, an Instagram picture for you to reminisce with our future grandchildren.  I already have so much to tell you when you come down to the real world with wifi, cell signals, and my honey-do list.

But don’t worry about that. That’s part 2.

This is part 1.

We’re fine, Scott. We’re fine. 96 hours of single parenting later, I am a completely sane individual.

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I can’t complain, really. The kids are at school for seven hours a day during the week.

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It’s not hard. I drive to the school. I drive from the school. I drive to the school. I drive from the school.

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I have the dogs to entertain me during the day.

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And I found a good book to keep me company at night.

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I hope you and Hunter are on speaking terms since you two are stuck with each other for a good 10 days. I hope you’re healthy and drinking enough water. Is your pee clear, Scott? That’s important.

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The weekend was hectic. I had to entertain the children all day. We all know I’m not the “fun” parent. I made them watch football all weekend. To catch you up – FSU lost, North Dakota State beat Iowa, and K-State won huge. It was like watching the ‘ole glory days in Manhattan, Kansas. Our house waved that flag with such pride.

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The Kansas City Chiefs had turnover problems. They lost. This killed me, Scott. Killed me.

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With all the estrogen flaring up and screaming at each other, you don’t need to worry about anyone breaking in at night. This house sits all night locked and loaded.

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Thank you so much for the flowers you secretly sent us before you left! I was shocked when the flower lady stopped by! I mean, I’m right when I say you ordered them before you left because you can’t send flowers from a mountain with no cell phone service. I just hope you’re not dead from falling off a cliff or something because then these flowers would be extra creepy because they’re flowers sent from the grave.

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So anyway, don’t worry about us. We’re fine. It’s day 4 out of 10. I’m 40% all there. 144 hours to go. I can’t imagine anything dramatic happening to me, our two daughters, two female dogs (who are complete bitches, by the way), and a female cat.

See you on part 2.

XOXO. Your wifey,

Bug

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Wait, don’t go! Find me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram. The skeleton loves Instagram stories.

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National Geographic Kids – Weird But True.

Meet Charlie.

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Hey, Charlie.

Oh! And Kirby, Charlie’s sister.

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Hey, Kirby.

They are the hosts of the new National Geographic Kids TV show, Weird But True! The show is based off the National Geographic Kids books, Weird But True! (Your kids know what I’m talking about.) And the books are based off the National Geographic Kids magazine section, Weird But True! (Your kids, your kids’ teachers, and your kids’ friends all know what I’m talking about.)

And now you are going to know what I’m talking about.

I am a 2016-2017 ambassador for National Geographic Kids. What does that mean? I’m here to tell you fine people and your fine kids what is going on behind the curtain at the National Geographic Kids headquarters in Washington, D.C.

And really, when National Geographic Kids invited me to write about dragon bones, belly button lint, and beefalo, I couldn’t say no.

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I googled the beefalo. It’s real. I googled it because I didn’t believe National Geographic Kids “weird but true” fact and now Scott has a new animal to hunt. Stop it, Peta. I’m kidding.

Back to Charlie and Kirby.

Charlie and Kirby Engelman are the hosts of Weird But True!, a new syndicated TV show airing Saturday mornings on Fox. I had the opportunity to interview Charlie on the phone this week. The siblings landed the National Geographic Kids Weird But True! gig by – get this – mostly cutting and pasting. Weird but true.

They cut and paste pictures to help explain how weird our world is. Look behind them. Cut and paste, kids. Cut and paste. This Saturday’s episode is about extreme weather – tornado chasing.

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Photo credit: National Geographic Channels/Jill Littman


Ah, they speak to me. They are in my backyard chasing Kansas tornados.

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Charlie and Kirby pose atop the “Doppler on Wheels”. (Photo credit: National Geographic Channels/Jill Littman)


Just kidding, they’re in Colorado.

Set the DVR! Saturday mornings (but not too early) on Fox. Scramble up some eggs, sit back, and tell your kids, “Weird but true – did you know Charlie and Kirby’s “studio” is filmed from their parent’s basement in Chicago?”

I told you I’m behind the scenes. 

** Kansas City – Fox 4, WDAF at 10:30 am. Every Saturday. For the rest of you – check your local stations.

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Wait, don’t go! Find me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram. Stay tuned for more curtain pulling at National Geographic Kids.

 

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Something terrifying.

No previous surgeries. No medications. No medical conditions. No known drug allergies. No known allergies.

No known allergies. NKA in shorthand speak. NKA will never be written on Kate’s charts again.

I am a humor writer but this is not a funny post. It’s a terrifying one.

“Your daughter’s next exposure to shellfish could be fatal.”

Your daughter. Fatal. The words slapped me in the face. Kate is at school now. She’s walking on a tightrope with no net under her. Or maybe she’s an acrobat on a swing with no net.

Kate is one bite away from anaphylaxis. Kate could fall.

It took one weekend to become that mom. It took two rolls of sushi on two different days. California rolls to be exact, with crab. I became the mom that reads food labels and questions waiters. I became the mom living with a desperate fear in the back of my mind and I’m not sure if it will ever go away. I am the mom that will be hovering within a few miles from the school. I will be the mom with a very expensive EpiPen in my purse. I will be the mom whose heart stops every time the school calls.

Shellfish is one of the easier foods to avoid. It’s rarely hidden. In fact, Emma and Kate have lived their entire lives without crab or shrimp or lobster – until this weekend. It may be one of the easier foods to avoid but now it’s deadly.

The hives appeared first. We didn’t know what caused them. It could have been anything, really. Maybe her sheets haven’t been washed for awhile or maybe there was something outside that bothered her skin. It could have been a virus. The hives faded.

Kate ate a sushi roll with crab for the second time in a week. Kate loves sushi and she found a new love with crab sushi. Within the hour, Kate’s hives came back and they worsened. Her face swelled. Her hands and feet swelled. She said her throat hurt. Her breathing was ok. We kept Benadryl in her every four hours. At 2 am, with Kate scratching her body in her sleep beside me, it clicked. The crab.

Parties, restaurants, dinners, every meal Kate ate in her seven years flashed through my mind. I couldn’t think of a time she ate shellfish. She’s never eaten lobster. “Gross, it looks like a big bug!” She’s never eaten shrimp. “Ew! I’m not eating that! There’s poop in that!” She’s never eaten crab.

The crab. She shouldn’t have eaten the crab. She should have said “no, I’m not eating that!” She should have rescued the crab like Ariel, the Little Mermaid.

The next morning, there was swelling but she looked better. Her hives started to fade then come back then fade again. Eventually the swelling disappeared. She appeared normal when she walked in the school this morning. She was happy.

I emailed the school nurse and Kate’s teacher. I called Kate’s pediatrician. I explained what happened. Even though we controlled her hives and swelling with medicine and she “got over it,” my mom instinct nagged me. Scott still wondered if it was a virus.

It wasn’t a virus. No. I made that baby in my body and I can feel it kicking. It’s kicking hard and I can’t ignore it. Something is wrong with her. She’s not ok.

Every medical professional I spoke to told me the same thing – 

“Your daughter’s next exposure to shellfish could be fatal.”

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Wait, don’t go! Find me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram. I am that mom screaming to the world that my child has a severe food allergy.

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Oh Emma, Oh Kate.

Oh Emma, Oh Kate is a series of funny things my kids say. Emma is 10 and Kate is 7. 

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Me: Girls! I got an email from your new teachers with the class list!

Emma: Let me see that! YES! I got the teacher that lets us chew gum!

Kate: Ugh. The boy who has a crush on me is in my class again.

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Emma: Look at that sunbeam! Pretty!

Kate: Can you imagine if that were over our house? I’d be like “woo-hoo! Disco par-taaaay”

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Kate: Will you help me pull on my swimsuit?

Me: Sure.

Kate: I can’t be showing my little boobies with my little nipples. They’re so tiny! Ugh.

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Kate: I haven’t coughed in a long time.

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Me: Do you girls want hot lunch tomorrow? It’s walking tacos.

Emma: What’s that?

Me: You know, a Fritos bag with taco meat, lettuce, cheese….

Kate: Don’t you know by now that I hate cheese? COLD LUNCH.

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Me: Scott, will you make their cold lunches? I’m already sick of it.

Scott: Tell them they need to eat hot lunch then. You’re the parent.

Me: Oh, ok. You tell them that, parent.

Scott: GIRLS! COME DOWN HERE!

Emma and Kate: Yeah, dad?

Scott: You’re having hot lunch tomorrow.

Kate: NO!

Emma: DAD, YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW TERRIBLE IT IS! NO, DAD, NO! WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS TO US! I’LL STARVE DAD!

Kate: (rolling on the floor, pulling her hair) I HATE HOT LUNCH! I’M THE LAST ONE TO EAT AND I’LL STARVE TO DEATH. IT’S ALL YOUR FAULT, DADDY!

Scott: Fine, I’ll make you cold lunch.

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Nana: Grandma couldn’t come out to eat with us because her legs hurt her today.

Kate: She must be growing.

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Kate is struggling in math. She failed her timed addition/subtraction test twice.

Me: Kate, I know you don’t have homework but we need to practice math flashcards.

Kate: Why? I don’t have a test tomorrow.

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Scott, the kids, and I were playing a family board game. One person holds up a card with a word on their forehead. The family acts out the word while the person tries to guess what the word is. Scott held up “popping champagne.”

Me: Oh! Ok. (I act like I’m holding a champagne bottle cork and I make an exploding sound and point to the cork flying)

Scott: I don’t know? A bomb? What are you doing?

Emma: I got it. (Squats on the floor, makes a fart noise with her mouth. Then she makes a “Oo-Oo-Ah-Ah” monkey noise)

Scott: Times up. What are you guys doing?

Emma: Pooping chimpanzee!

Me: EMMA! It’s popping champagne, not pooping chimpanzee!!

Emma: Oh.

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Emma: Kate! What are you wearing? You’re wearing mom’s big emerald earrings to your yearbook picture? Those are WAY too big.

Kate: Gotta deal with it, Emma.

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I brought the girls home from school. Kate had to wear purple and Emma had to wear orange for a school picture.

Me: Emma, why did you change your shirt so fast?

Emma: I don’t like wearing an orange shirt with blue shorts. I feel like people think I’m a Broncos fan.

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Kate: Mom, would you rather eat the worst food in the world or tell me all the answers to my math test?

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Emma: Can we go to Dairy Queen?

Scott: Why Dairy Queen when Sweet Caroline’s has better ice cream?

Emma: Two reasons. One, Kate hates Dairy Queen. Two, I love Dairy Queen.

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The girls were getting ready to go to the movies with their Nana and Papa.

Me: Do you want a light jacket?

Kate: Huh? Why?

Me: Sometimes it gets cold in movie theaters.

Kate: Oh. Nah. I’ll just sit on Nana’s lap. She’s always warm.

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Later that evening,

Scott: Did you guys like the movie?

Nana: Yeah, I liked it.

Emma: I liked it too.

Papa: It was a good movie!

Kate: Ha! Papa. I forgot you went with us.

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Kate: When is Penny’s birthday? (Penny is Kate’s rescue cat)

Me: Um, I think they guessed November of 2013.

Kate: I say November 4th.

Me: What about November 1st?

Kate: November 4th is her golden birthday this year and she’ll get double the presents.

Me: Oh, I didn’t know we’re supposed to get her presents.

Kate: She would like cat nip and cat toys.

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Kate: 11 more years until I get my tattoo! YAY!

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Text message to Emma: Hey Emma, you two need to brush your teeth and floss. No snacks but you can have water. Dad will be here at 9:30 to kiss you goodnight.

Text message from Emma: Ok, I texted Kate. I said hurry up and brush your teeth butthead. No snacks but you can have water. Move your butt off the couch and do as ME and MOM said!! Go! Guess what she texted back with?

Me: What?

Emma: Who cares. (smiley face)

Me: WHAT!

Emma: I know right, such a butthead.

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I took Kate out for sushi while Emma hunted with Scott.

Me: You want to just eat at the bar?

Kate: Sure. I love sitting at the bar. So much quicker.

Bartender: Can you get you ladies something to drink?

Me: I think I’ll have…

Kate: Shirley Temple. Extra cherry sauce.

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Kate: Can we get sushi?

Me: No, we had sushi last night.

Kate: Please?

Me: No. How are you still hungry. We just ate.

Kate: (walks outside. Ten minutes later, she pokes her head in the door) I called Nana! Nana is taking me to get sushi! Waiting outside! Bye, mom!

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We were at our neighbors’ house, hanging out around the fire pit. I walked inside the house to check on the girls.

Me: You guys ok down here? Kate you look tired.

Kate: (bloodshot eyes) Mom, I think I drank the wrong Sprite. I think I had adult Sprite.

Me: WHAT. KATE. I’m going to get you some water and you are ONLY to drink this water. Do not pick up anyone’s drink.

(I walk outside and tell Scott what happened)

The next morning.

Scott: I heard you drank adult Sprite last night. Did you like it?

Kate: (shrugs shoulders) It wasn’t bad.

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Special Edition: Oh Kids.

Kid: Mom, can you please throw my baby sister away?

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Son: Mom, how do you know everyone in town?

Mom: What do you mean?

Son: When we’re driving you talk to people like Mr. Asshole in the truck and Miss Cadillac in her fancy car.

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A Budweiser commercial appeared on TV.

Son: Butt-weiser? Hey mom!

Mom: Yes?

Son: I know why I scratch my butt a lot. Because a mosquito bit my butt.

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A mom tucked her 5-year-old daughter into bed. She sang Big Bang Theory’s “soft kitty” and kissed her daughter on the face. Her daughter reached up and squeezed her boob.

Mom: (laughing) What are you doing?

Daughter: What is that big black thing? (The mom was wearing a black shirt and the lights were dim, making a shadow on her boobs)

Mom: It’s my boob. (she leaned toward the light to show her)

Daughter: Why are they so fat?

Mom: (laughing) When you get older, they get bigger.

The next day…

Daughter (to her mom’s male cousin): Did you know my mom’s boobs are really fat?

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Grandma (to 10-year-old granddaughter): Can you hold my hand to cross the street or is that not cool?

Granddaughter: It’s ok. I don’t know anybody in this town.

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2-year-old: Pentagon, pentagon.

Mom: Do you see a pentagon? Do you know how many sides a pentagon has?

2-year-old: Two eyes.

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Daughter: Did you know that when babies are born, they have a long cord thingy sticking out of their belly button?

Mom: Yes, they do.

Daughter: That’s how the baby eats. Did you know that?

Me: Yes, do you know what that long cord thingy is called?

Daughter: Neutering.

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Are your kids hilarious? Of course they are!

If you have any kid sayings that you would like to see here, please email me at: jbugbytes@gmail.com

Or friend me on Facebook and I’ll pull quotes from statuses. You and your child’s name will be kept anonymous.

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Wait, don’t go! Find me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram

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Something substantial.

It’s Monday night. That means it’s story time.

This is a continuation from the previous post. You don’t need to read the previous post to know what I’m talking about. This isn’t like a sequel to a movie. I would never make you go back and re-read something because then I’ll lose you.

Stay here. Put your feet up. Grab some wine. This is story time.

Ok, you can let down your hair too.

That’s what I’m going to talk about. Hair. My something substantial, my something of considerable size, is the hair on my head.

My hair and I have a sad and pathetic history. My hair, for the majority of my life, was the cause of humiliation, groundings, a streak of playing wingman for my hot friends, and a disappointed husband.

I am a child of the 80s. I had bangs. This is not anything traumatic because everyone had bangs. Square after square in the elementary yearbooks produced no foreheads. One year, my hair one-upped everyone else. I had short hair in the front and long hair in the back. Together. Short hair and long hair together on my head. I had a mullet.

I hated it.

In middle school, my friend bleached a chunk of hair on the back of my head. I wanted a blonde streak in the back when I pulled my hair up in a high ponytail. It ended up looking like, “peanut butter! She let her friend dye her hair and it looks like peanut butter smeared on the back of her head! I don’t know what to do with her, Tom! She can’t go to school like this!” my mom screamed over the phone.

I hated it.

Summer of 2000. I permed my hair before I left for college. Let me say that again – I permed my hair before I left for college. I am the final person to get a perm in the history of perms and then I went to college. I was the wingman that smelled like rotten-egg perm hair at frat parties.

I hated it.

I chopped my hair off after our wedding. I chopped it off again after I gave birth to Emma. I chopped it off again right before I gave birth to Kate because I knew I wouldn’t have time to chop it off with a newborn and a 3-year-old. Even though shorter hair is easier to care for, Scott fell out of love with me a little less with each chop. “You just look better with long hair.”

I hated it.

I made bad hair decisions.

I didn’t know how to control the beast on my head. I prayed my daughters wouldn’t get my hair. They didn’t. Emma has curly hair with sun-kissed highlights (that I wish I had) and Kate has silky straight blonde hair (that I also wish I had.)

I have ponytail-holder busting, thick hair. Clips won’t hold it up. I had 92 bobby pins in my hair on my wedding day. Most hats are too small for my head because I have a good two inches of hair cushioning my scalp. I cringe at the word “volume” on any hair product. Men with receding hair lines stare at me with envy. Probably.

And now the beast is framing my face with silver. When I pull my hair back tight, I glimpse at grandma-me in the mirror. I chase Scott around the house and ask if he loves his future wife. His answer is always a horrified yes.

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34 years of bad hair has taught me that you don’t tame a beast. You feed it. You accept what is yours. My parents, my peers, the men in my life – they don’t get to tell me about a bad hair day. Bad hair is my own decision. I have a full head of hair that will never need help “volumizing.” I have hair that will curl and stay curled without hair spray. 

My hair is wild and untamed. It feeds on humidity. It only knows how to grow bigger. After years of self-loathing, maybe it taught me to grow too. My hair is my something substantial.

No one let me get a perm.

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Wait, don’t go! Find me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram. I am still doing the Somethingist challenge on Instagram. Check it out – I have video of wild horses running away from my mane.

Do you love your hair or do you hate it?

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Something unfinished.

I do not know her personally.

Or maybe I do know her personally but in the same way many others know her personally. After reading a writer’s thoughts for a long period of time, it can feel personal. It’s more accurate to say we have never met face-to-face.

Her name is Ra.

She is an incredibly gifted writer, one of the greats I can’t compare myself to. No, really. If you spend a few minutes on her blog or read her book, she’ll easily pull you in. Her life story is a fascinating one but I’m only giving you a tiny part of it.

A few years ago, her husband tried to get her interested in Instagram by giving her a 30-day list of “somethings” to post. Something fragile, something shocking, something terrifying, something lucky, something obvious, something far, something near…

Tragedy struck.

Ra’s husband died. Ra is a young widow. She found her late husband’s 30-day list and is taking his challenge. She welcomed others to join too. I will post it all to my Instagram. If I can, I will write about each one too because I love a good writing challenge.

Writing is my Olympics.

Read the 30-day list here.

Day 1: Something unfinished.

I could make this one easy and tangible. I never finished the Game of Thrones books because the TV show is better. A year after moving, Scott’s home office is still unpacked with boxes scattered on the floor. And I still need to install a toilet paper roll in Emma and Kate’s bathroom. Once the butt-wiping days disappeared, I didn’t even give them a decent toilet roll set-up.

I’m not going to write about those things.

Continuing education is my “something unfinished.” This may sound odd to some because  I have a Bachelor of Arts degree from Kansas State. Class of 2004.

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I was 22 years old. A baby. A mere one year into walking out of a liquor store with a bottle of cheap whiskey. I mean, legally speaking.

Did I know what I wanted to do with my bachelor’s degree and cheap bottle of whiskey? No. I was 3 years deep in a state of panic over deciding a major. I wasn’t good at anything. I was a 3.2 average student with no desire but to just pass class. 

I couldn’t decide.

Education degree? No. Kids can sense apprehensiveness and they would destroy me immediately.

Medical degree? I’m squirming and trying to hold down chunks at the thought of it.

Chemistry degree? Kansas State University can thank me for not choosing a chemistry degree because I’d probably blow up one of their buildings and my lifeless body would be wheeled out live on CNN.

Business? My negotiation skills at a garage sale can be summed up by my “it’s all free” sign in my driveway.

Math degree? Yeah, I don’t speak Chinese.

Art degree? Wait, did you say I need a portfolio from high school? No one told me that.

Journalism? Fine, I’ll do it. I read the newspaper.

A journalism degree. A Bachelor of Arts degree: Mass communications with an emphasis in advertising. Technically.

Marriage, kids, various sales jobs filled the years since 2004. I was terrible at sales. I’m an ok mom and an even ok-er wife.

In 2013, 9 years after college, it clicked. I found my major. I found my drive, my obsession, my purpose as a human in this world – writing. People that are good at what they do have confidence. Writing doesn’t scare me. “I could have wrote that” is a common thought of mine. I’m jealous when my kids bring home book reports or anything that involves a lot of writing. I told you a writing challenge is my Olympics. I’m good and I strive for great.

My something unfinished is an English degree. My words are small. My vocabulary is weak. I’m still the 3.2 average student and I can only work with what I know. I know how to start and keep a dialogue in front of thousands of people, people I don’t know personally. Writing is a way to release my creativity, wit, and maybe a little humor.

People assume I’m silently correcting their grammar when they find out I write. That’s not true. The editors are. When my words are put on the stage, there’s always a person behind my name. It’s the editor. Editors make writers look good. They are masters of the language. I want that. I want to be a master.

I own English textbooks even when I don’t have a class to attend. I read books on writing by famous writers. I’m searching for better ways to string my words together. It sounds simple – stringing words together, letter by letter, but it’s difficult. It’s unfinished.

English is my something unfinished.

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Wait, don’t go! Find me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram. I have 29 days to go. What’s your something unfinished? 

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Screw you, anonymous.

I couldn’t sleep last night.

There were monsters under my bed. Ok, that’s not true. They were in my phone. Fine. More like monsters in my head. And they weren’t monsters. They were people yelling at me. People named anonymous.

These people read the New York Times article, Why I Decided to Stop Writing About My Children.

I don’t know why I read the comments.

Internet rule number one: never read the comments. It takes some thick skin to read what anonymous has to say.

I couldn’t sleep last night because my thin skin got a paper cut.

I read the comments because I am this article. The author admits she screwed up and she’s not writing about her kids on her blog anymore. This author’s blog was not different than the thousands of other blogs written by parents – she wrote about her children growing up for the past 7 years. Parenting is and will always be a hot topic because becoming a parent is life-changing. It’s metamorphic. It’s relatable. Your life, your body, maybe even your personality can be separated into before kids and after kids.

She wrote about her son starting puberty.

“It seems an obvious line-crossing that I wrote about such an intimate detail, but I did. At the time I didn’t pause for a split second; I was more than willing to go there. I had been writing and reading extensively about parenting tweens. I knew people might be mildly shocked, but mostly interested.”

Her dad called her and said she should stop to think about respecting his grandson’s privacy. She made the decision to stop writing about her kids. Now she writes about nature and trees.

I am not the author of this New York Times article. I don’t know anything about trees. I managed to kill three of them in our backyard.

This author might as well be called a witch and burned at the stake. I’m next. The commenters, anonymous, were talking to me too –

“You’re a narcissist. This blog is all about you.”

“Your kids will hate you when they’re adults. Have fun with that.”

“You just wrote about your kids by saying you’re not going to write about them.”

“Get over yourself.”

“How would you feel if your mom wrote about your first period?”

“You have no respect for your children. You are a terrible mother for giving them no privacy.”

“These bloggers think they can call themselves writers for using their children as stories.”

“That grandpa is a hero. Hopefully, this writer listens to his advice. Shame on her.”

“I hope your kid’s friends don’t read your blog. You just caused your son to be bullied.”

Then I woke up.

I can only speak for myself.

Screw you, anonymous.

I write about my children. I tell their stories. I write down what they say for others to read. I share pictures. I use their real names. I started this blog when Kate was 6 weeks old. My first post documented Kate’s first smile – which is funny because she hates smiling for pictures now. I have been writing about Emma and Kate for 7 years. It’s the only thing they know – “my mom is a writer.” They are proud of that. They are proud of me.

My kids know I write stories about them for others to read. I think they would like their stories as adults. I would want to know what I said as a child. Everyone loves to hear stories of an early childhood they don’t remember.

My kids have never read my blog in its entirety. I’m not sure they would want to read about my bikini wax or my advice to men on how to get laid. Maybe one day, they’ll appreciate my writing as a woman. Or not. I am not the first mother to publicly write about adult topics. I do not write about Emma and Kate’s changing bodies or their drama at school. I don’t write about their insecurities. I do not write about them as much as I used to but that is just because of their ages. That is life. They are becoming independent. My life – my blog – is opening up to more than just my kids.

This little blog – yeah, it’s about me. I’m the main character. It’s my perspective on life as a mother, wife, sister, daughter, and friend. I know my kids because I raised them. They are two of the funniest people I know. And they know it. I want the world to laugh with them.

If you think I’m taking away their privacy then don’t read it.

Oh, and make sure you tell Mark Zuckerberg that because, to me, a blog post about my kids is just a long caption to a photo. I wouldn’t post a picture of them naked much like I wouldn’t write about which future boyfriend makes them cry.

I can sleep tonight because I know I am doing the best I can. As for my future adult children – I hope they write. For damn sure, I hope they read and write. I hope they write stories about their crazy mother in the nursing home.

I hope they write better than me.

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Oh Emma, Oh Kate.

Oh Emma, Oh Kate is a series of funny things my kids say. Emma is 10 and Kate is 7. 

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Kate: Daddy, why do you make mommy pay for everything?

Scott: What?

Kate: Every time we go out to eat, she always pays with her credit card. I think you need to pay sometimes too.

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Kate: Look at that! Take a picture of that! That sign says wine.

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On our family vacation, Emma fainted due to dehydration. Scott and Kate were granted permission to join Emma and me in the hospital room.

Kate: UGH! I had to pee three times in the waiting room because daddy keeps making me chug water like I’m Emma or something.

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Emma: The back of this menu says, “All the sand between your toes take out all the troubles and the woes.”

Kate: HA! Unless you faint before you get to the sand.

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Kate changed into her swimsuit in front of me. She dropped her pants and underwear to her feet.

Kate: Don’t you be putting my business on Facebook.

Me: I would never put that on Facebook, Kate.

Kate: Or Instagram.

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I took the girls shopping in Florida.

Me: Look at these necklaces, girls. So cute.

Kate: HA! Emma – look. That necklace says, “Shell yeah.” You know – like hell yeah.

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Me: Girls! Wave at the people on the boat! They’re waving!

Kate: I don’t wave to people I don’t know.

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Kate: I can’t wait to leave Florida! NOT!

Scott: Not? Where did you learn that?

Kate: I made it up.

Me: No, you didn’t.

Kate: NOT!

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We were swimming at our friend’s house in Florida.

Rob: What time do you girls go to bed?

Kate: 9!

Emma: No, Kate. We go to bed way after 9. Why would you say that, Kate?

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Emma: Will you download Music.ly on my iPod?

Me: Well, only if you are friends with people you know in real life. Do your friends have this back in Kansas? I’ve never heard of it.

Emma: They do. I actually knew about Music.ly but I didn’t think you’d understand.

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Me: Emma? Kate? Where are you ?

Emma: We’re in Kylee’s room!

Me: Oh. Hey what are you guys doing in here?

Kylee: I’m trying to figure out a name for my fart since Kate’s is Bob.

Me: What.

Kate: Say hi to Bob. (farts)

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Emma and Kate were done with art camp. They received free t-shirts on the last day.

Me: Oh, these shirts are cute! Everyone signed it on the back! Aw!

(I turn the shirt around and see Emma’s signature on Kate’s shirt – “You are a butthead. Love, Emma.”

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Kate had some friends over. I overheard them talking.

Friend 1: My mom doesn’t fart.

Friend 2: My mom doesn’t either!

Kate: Well, MY MOM FARTS. All the time.

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Emma: Will you make us pancakes?

Me: What about waffles?

Emma: Nah.

Me: Doesn’t a big, fat Belgian waffle sound good? Buttery…syrup in holes.

Emma: Fine. Pancakes today and waffles tomorrow.

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I drove Kate to gymnastics. She had a stuffy nose.

Me: OH MY GOSH. KATE. THAT SMELLS SO BAD.

Kate: Now I’m mad because I can’t smell my own farts.

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Kate walked in the room.

Me: Why do you look guilty?

Kate: Uh, don’t know what that means. (walks out of the room)

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Kate: Cool means “I don’t care” in my language. Tell me something.

Me: I love you, Kate.

Kate: Cool.

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Emma and Kate were talking about something in the car.

Kate: FREAK YEAH, EMMA!

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Kate: I don’t know why but I love staring at things.

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Emma: Something is at our front door. What’s this?

Me: Oh. A phone book. Throw it in recycling.

Emma: What’s a phone book?

Me: It’s a book with everyone’s landline phone numbers. We have the internet now so no one uses phone books anymore. I don’t even know why they still print them. What a waste of paper and ink.

Emma: So it’s like an antique or something? (Open phone book and starts reading it.)

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I opened my eyes to Kate staring at me in bed.

Me: What are you doing?

Kate: I’m not getting out of your stinky breath until you ask Nana if we can come over.

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Me: Hey, Emma. Do you want the rest of this donut?

Emma: No.

Me: Really?

Emma: Well maybe. Just put it in front of me and I’ll think about it.

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Special Edition: Oh kids.

I was at my friend’s house with the kids.

Christine: STOP SLAMMING THE DOORS! (runs upstairs, then comes back down)

Me: Is it Emma and Kate?

Christine: No. It’s just chaos.

Kid (listening on the couch): Chaos? Oh, I love chaos! (runs upstairs)

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Mom: Look at that guy mowing the lawn, kids! He’s mowing perfectly straight lines.

Kids: Wow. Those are perfect.

Mom: Can you smell that fresh grass smell?

Kid: Nope, that’s just my fart.

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Kid: SHUT UP!

Mom: Did you just say ‘shut up?’

Kid: No. My barbie did.

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Kid: Siri, please make the TV work. Siri, PLEASE MAKE THE TV WORK.

Mom: She can’t make the TV work, she is just a computer voice.

Kid: Oh ok, got it. Siri, can you please make Netflix work on the computer?

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Kid: Mom, someday when you get a lot of money, you could buy a cookie dough shop. If you do, I might buy some from you because I like cookie dough.

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Kid, 5: Mom, does your baby inside you have a uterus yet?

Mom: Um, yes. Wait, how do you even know about uteruses?

Kid, 3: Yay mom! Give me a high five!

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Are your kids hilarious? Of course they are!

If you have any kid sayings that you would like to see here, please email me at: jbugbytes@gmail.com

Your child’s name will be kept anonymous.

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Game of Thrones.

I should be writing.

I mean, I know I’m writing. But this sort of writing is a guilty pleasure type of writing. I don’t need to worry if this writing is any good or not. This kind of writing doesn’t have a deadline or a boss or tens of thousands of readers.

I’m the boss and I can write what I want. My life. My blog.

My favorite qualities in my dear husband, Scott:

  1. He’s encouraging. Scott will find what makes you you and then he’ll remind you. Every day if he has to. He’ll remind you what you’re good at. He will pick you up, take you fishing, and build you a writing room. I mean, if he has to.
  2. He has a cute butt. Two perfect bubbles. You can look. He won’t mind.
  3. He has an mania-obsession for Game of Thrones that should be looked at by a psychologist but it’s so damn funny I don’t want his jokes to stop. The man makes me laugh.

 

Scott: Bug, you need to watch Game of Thrones with me.

Me: I’m reading the book. And you know what happens when we watch shows together – you go out of town and I continue watching without you.

Scott: What?

Me: What.

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Scott: So Bran fell because he saw some dude having sex with the queen?

Me: If you’d read the book, you’d know the ‘dude’ is her twin brother.

Scott: SHHHHHHH I’LL FIGURE IT OUT.

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Me: I quit reading Game of Thrones. Too many characters. I’m getting confused. And I have other books I want to read.

Scott: Then watch it with me!

Me: I’m not really into fantasy.

Scott: It’s not fantasy.

Me: Yes, it is. Castles, knights, and dragons. It’s fantasy.

Scott: It’s violence and romance. It’s not fantasy. Don’t say it’s fantasy.

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Me: How was work?

Scott: Fine, m’lady.

Me: M’lady?

Scott: Wait, are you going to turn this into a blog post?

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Scott: Every time I take my belt off, I feel like I’m taking off my sword.

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Scott: Man, we got hammered last night. What did we drink?

Me: Well, Lindsay and I split a bottle of wine and then you decided you wanted wine too and you poured yourself a glass. Then you kept ordering more bottles of wine. Maybe it’s because we’re in Florida.

Scott: Oh yeah! I had one glass of wine then imagined myself on Game of Thrones and kept pouring more. I’ve been craving wine ever since I started watching.

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Scott: I climbed 100 flights of stairs on the stair stepper today.

Me: That’s insane. I did 30 flights. How do you not get bored?

Scott: I watched an episode of Game of Thrones.

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Scott: Did you notice what the band played at the 4th of July neighborhood party?

Me: Hm, no? They’re an Irish band. Devil Went Down to Georgia?

Scott: No! I mean yes, but they also played the Game of Thrones theme song.

Me: What.

Scott: I’m like ‘hey! I know that song! Game of Thrones!’ I looked around and no one was watching. So I got my phone out and I filmed them. Want to watch?

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Scott: FEEL MY FOREHEAD.

Me: Ew, no. Why?

Scott: Season 5 just ended. I broke out in a sweat. Feel it. Feel my heart race.

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Me: Scott. Get up. All you do is come home from work, eat, and sit on that damn couch and watch Game of Thrones.

Scott: Do you remember when we first got married and we couldn’t stop watching 24? We would go all night watching just one more episode.

Me: Yeah.

Scott: It’s just like that but better. I’m emotionally connected to these people.

Me: You’re what?

Scott: They’re like my friends.

Me: Oh. My God.

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Scott: I only have one more episode left before I’m caught up.

Me: WATCH IT.

Scott: I think I may save it for tomorrow. I’ll have something to look forward to after work.

Me: NO, WATCH IT NOW.

Scott: Goodnight.

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Scott: What do I do now? It’s over.

Me: Hang out with your family. Even Kate growls when she hears the words ‘Game of Thrones.’

Scott: I feel like…like college just ended or something. I don’t know what to do with my life.

Me: What?! And you think I’m dramatic.

Scott: Hold on. I’m downloading the soundtrack.

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Scott: I can’t fall asleep without Game of Thrones.

Me: Why don’t you watch the outtakes or something? I’m sure there’s something on YouTube.

Scott: …let’s see…mother of dragons Jimmy Kimmel.

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Me: Fine, Scott. I’ll pause my book and start Game of Thrones. I just don’t want to go to your level of not being productive.

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Scott: HOW COULD YOU WRITE THAT?

Me: Huh? What did I write?

Scott: You posted something on your Facebook page that was a Game of Thrones spoiler! Look at Jessica’s comment! You’re already pissing people off.

Me: But there are spoilers everywhere. That movie I saw last night had a spoiler! And that soundtrack you downloaded shows dead faces! I like spoilers. I can emotionally prepare myself and not get too attached. And thanks for telling me Jon Snow dies.

Scott: WHO TOLD YOU THAT?

Me: Bad Moms, the movie I saw last night. My mouth dropped. There are spoilers everywhere, Scott. You can’t get mad at me.

Scott: Just don’t post anything else or you’ll get people making comments about more spoilers.

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Me: I heard on the radio today that Game of Thrones’ last season will be season 8. Like final – no more ever.

Scott: Yes. I knew that. Duh.

Me: But they announced it yester…

Scott: Yeah, I know.

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Scott: I woke up last night and I heard you watching Game of Thrones in bed.

Me: Oh, you should have asked me to turn it down.

Scott: I turned around, smiled, and went back to sleep.

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I should be writing.

But now I have Game of Thrones to watch.

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Wait, don’t go! Find me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram. I won’t post any Game of Thrones spoilers.

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An elk runs my fitness routine.

There’s an elk roaming a mountain in Colorado right now.

He’s 11,000 feet above me.

It’s a bull elk. His antlers tower four feet above his head. He eats grass and flowers. He drinks from the clear, cool mountain streams. His surroundings are majestic, a wilderness untouched by man. There are no roads. No trails. He screams a bugle into the thin mountain air, challenging another male for his prize of getting laid. They always want to get laid. 

This elk runs my fitness routine.

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I will never see this elk, not alive anyway.

I don’t have the desire to shoot an elk. I’m content with killing my meat with a swipe of a debit card at the grocery store.

Scott will see this elk. He’ll lure this elk to him with his come-hither calls. He will pull back his bow and close one eye. And he’ll release. That’s what happens when the only thing on your mind is getting laid.

Scott is an outdoorsman. That’s what they call a man like him in 2016. But back in, oh I don’t know, 1870 circa Little House on the Prairie – Ma and Pa Burton would be chatting it up with Ma and Pa Wilder while gnawing on a turkey leg.

A turkey shot by Pa Burton. His survival instincts are incredible.

Fast forward to 2016 – the era of selfies in a cornfield. The hunt Scott is about to embark on is for elite fitness levels. Imagine carrying your house for the week on your back. Now imagine you’re carrying your house on an incline, not a smooth treadmill incline but a rugged incline. You’re going 6,000 feet up. You will be whacking down tree limbs, crossing streams and losing oxygen.

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And that’s just the ascent.

If successful, descending will be brutal. Add 100 pounds to the house on your back and stumble back down the mountain. And then you do it again because elk meat weighs more than 100 pounds.

Scott will be accompanied by his friend, Hunter. They will not have any communication with the world, not even a nagging wife text. Scott and Hunter will be hunting an elk but they will also be surviving whatever mother nature decides to throw at them. A mountain lion. Freezing temperatures. Wounds that require stitches. I know how it sounds. It’s hunting at the highest level. It’s insanity.

It’s Pa Burton.

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Scott’s workout routine at the gym includes a weighted vest and hiking boots. He spends hours on the stair stepper. He hikes in local parks with rugged terrain. He hikes with his backpack filled with 100 pounds of corn on the weekends. He drags me into the oven of 110 degree heat index. We don’t hunt together but we do workout together.

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“I’m hot and this is bullshit.” – Ma Burton

Scott is training his body to handle the extreme and unexpected. And I am choosing random times to sprint towards Scott – BOOM! – to see how fast his reaction is to an angry bear. Have you seen The Revenant? He could die if he’s not prepared.

There’s an elk roaming a mountain in Colorado right now. He’s taking me to levels of fitness I’ve never felt before.

 

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