Friday, July 24, 2009

A little less swollen...

Here is the best pic I could get of the chipped teeth...

Guess this puts our pageant dreams on hold... at least until she can be fitted for her snap-on veneers.

Baby Gate 101

Well, the first "mounting cup" went into the sheetrock perfectly. I was proud of my drilling skills and eager to continue.

However, what happened next made me wonder why I thought I could install a gate in the first place.

Check out these hotties!

Mary Ella got to hang out with these guys yesterday - what a lucky girl!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

You think THIS looks bad!?!

You should see the OTHER kid!

So today, after a long day of fun with friends, Mary Ella decided that she wanted to go to the Emergency Room since she had never been there before. It seemed like an interesting place, from all the stories she'd heard from the neighborhood kids... a place where you get cool Hello Kitty band-aids and balloons and stickers... a place where you can lay around and mope and watch movies while your parents are at your every beckon call... a place where, if you cry just hard enough, they might even get you a lollipop to suck on or, her current favorite, a cup of crushed ice! She had dreamt about this day for way too long, and so she finally came up with a plan! Little did she know that this sinister scheme would leave her face black and blue and her two front teeth chipped.

So yeah. I said it. We had our first ER visit tonight with my little daredevil... who, as you may have already guessed, decided to escape by inching through her safety gate and FALLING DOWN 12 STAIRS. YES. 12. And not fluffy, carpeted stairs. THE DECK STAIRS. HARD, WOODEN, DECK STAIRS. And where was her mother? I was taking a shower, of course. What's wrong with leaving your child on the deck by herself while you shower? Ok, I'm kidding. I was NOT taking a shower, and those of you that know me know that I would never do such a thing. (I worked in Pediatric Intensive Care, people! If I had a choice my child would be wrapped in bubble wrap and wearing a HELMET at ALL TIMES!)
I was actually right there on the porch with her. My friend Jamie and I were sitting at the patio table talking and watching Mary Ella and her little buddy Tyler play in Mary Ella's ball pit. Mary Ella, in about 0.2 seconds, crawled out of my sight, which is not all that uncommon. We do have a gate, so I was not concerned. (Of course I thought the gate was UP; it was actually cracked open, allowing her to inch through somehow.) So as SOON as I realized I could not see her, I jumped up. But it was too late. All I heard was THUMP-THUMP-THUMP about 12 times. I panicked, threw my phone off the deck and I'm pretty sure I either jumped to the bottom or slid down the wooden, splintery bannister, because I somehow got to her in about a millisecond. Worst. feeling. ever. Let me tell you. My heart stopped, I couldn't breathe, and I was shaking. But I somehow held it together, trying to keep her calm. She had a knot on her head immediately and had bitten her tongue and chipped her 2 front teeth just a tiny bit, and was crying but it was more of a "scared" cry than a "hurt" cry. Oh, I was scared. Luckily Jamie was there and I didn't completely lose it. We calmed her down, I looked her over and gave her some Motrin immediately for the pain. Then we hopped in the car and started driving to Children's while I dialed her pediatrician. Talk about scary. But she never cried again the whole night. In fact, she was a complete HAM at the Emergency Room. We were very impressed with the speedy service there, too, I might add. In at 6pm, out at 7:30. They looked her over, poked and prodded every joint and ligament (to which she laughed hysterically like the Pillsbury Dough Boy), did a CAT scan of her head since she had the terrible bruising, and found no internal injuries or bleeding, thank you GOD! We left, Mary Ella blew everyone kisses, and we were out the door with a balloon, a hospital bracelet, and a healthy (though banged up) baby girl.

I am SO thankful that she is not walking yet; if she had fallen from a standing position, this could have been so much worse.

I am SO thankful that we were right there when it happened. I could never forgive myself if I had been inside for some reason.

I am SO thankful to have a mother, aunt, husband, friend, mother-in-law to keep reassuring me that NO, I am NOT a bad mother. That accidents happen. That they have dropped their own babies on their heads before and they all turned out ok. (I really did get some of those stories tonight! And as crazy as it sounds, they really did help!)

Anyway, before the accident, we really did have such a wonderful day! We played with Tyler, Mason and Colton at Aldridge Gardens and had a blast! I will post pictures of that tomorrow. Must go to bed tonight.

Moral of the story: GET A GATE THAT WORKS. KEEP THE GATE UP AT ALL TIMES. NEVER LET YOUR CHILD OUT OF YOUR SIGHT! (You know, all those things you read but sometimes ignore!)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Dining Room Makeover: Part 1

This is what our dining room looked like when we moved in... empty and bare. We LOVE the room, and in fact, the color and the ceiling were major selling points when we bought the house. But we just didn't have the furniture or decor to fill it when we first moved in. But I am proud to say that after almost a YEAR AND A HALF, we finally have a functional dining room that I absolutely love. Here are just a few budget-friendly things that ANYONE can do to spice up a room and make it more lovely (and lovable.)

1. Add window treatments! (Preferably something already sewn, or something that can be sewn by a relative or grandma!)
We bought the fabric at Hancock's when everything was 50% off, so it was pretty cheap! Then my sweet Mom and Grandmother actually sewed the curtains for me. I wish I could sew curtains. Another day, another time.

2. Add artwork! There are so many stores now that sell cute prints/paintings for dirt cheap! Some of my favorites are Hobby Lobby, Ross, TJ Maxx, and World Market! Pier One also has a good selection but they are sometimes a bit more costly. Another good place to look are the Starving Artists Oil Painting Shows. They are usually every 3 months or so and take place at random hotels on Sunday afternoons. You get beautiful oil paintings for super cheap prices! And if you can't find a piece of artwork that works, just paint something yourself!
We bought a cheap, already-framed painting at Linens N Things for $40. I took the picture out of the frame and actually RE-PAINTED the canvas as well as the frame! And this piece of art is super easy! Just paint a bunch of squiggly, spiraled branches and add tiny white blossoms on and around each branch! It ends up looking like a modern dogwood tree, in my opinion. And it works great in our room. But anyone could do this, seriously! (Oh, and when you buy an already-framed piece of art, you usually save a ton of money!)

(to be continued...)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Listen up, Fashionistas...

Sitting here, screen door open, crickets chirping and no TV. That's the best. Mary Ella is finally asleep after a very long day of activity and travel. I am missing Bible study right now but hopefully Chad can fill me in; baby girl was just too tired and I knew she wouldn't make it. She ended up falling asleep in my arms around 6:30 and I finally put her in the crib around 7pm. Just hope she sleeps through the night!
On Sunday my friend Courtney invited Mary Ella and me to accompany her on a work trip to Atlanta. She works for State Farm and had to be in Atlanta today from 8-12ish so she invited us to go with her, since she'd have a free hotel and all. So yesterday we left around lunch time and headed to where else but Atlantic Station (read: H&M) where I cleaned out their entire stock of big dangly earrings as well as bought a dirt cheap pair of faux-designer skinny jeans that will hopefully last me a good while. I seriously have not shopped for clothes since before I got pregnant (excluding maternity stuff - does that really count?) and I had a few extra bucks from working 3 days last week, so I rewarded myself.

I have begun to love big dangly earrings. I think it is because I know that they are "in style" and so when I dress horribly (like I do 99% of the time) but have on big dangly earrings, I can justify my ungodly outfit. I have begged Chad to nominate me for "What Not to Wear." Begged. I think I am the perfect candidate. Need proof? Well too bad. I'm too ashamed. But let's just say that all too often I am sporting the old navy yoga pants, the spaghetti tank and a plastic Wal-Mart headband. But you better believe I got my dangly earrings in and they are STYLIN. I like the earrings because you can make a t-shirt and skinny jeans look not-so-slouchy and a little more cutesie. (OH, and by skinny jeans I mean the jeans that hug your ankles, not the jeans that are for skinny people, because UMMMM... NOT me.)

Another thing that I'm pretty sure is in style is big huge purses. Do any of you moms carry a big huge purse? I'm just wondering because, if you do, how do you carry your diaper bag too? Or do you just put all your "purse stuff" into your diaper bag? Or vice versa? After I had Mary Ella, I began only carrying a diaper bag. For a while, I just shoved my huge wallet, my cell phone, and my keys down into the diaper bag. Then I got a Vera Bradley wristlet, which solved that problem, because it could hold all of the aforementioned items. And because it could hold all of my necessary items, it made me think: What in the world did I actually put in my purse? And why did I burn all those extra calories by carrying around all that stuff when all I really needed was my debit card, my cell phone and my keys? So anyway, just curious about the purse thing. Because I want to be in style and I need to know how all you cool moms do it. (Ahem, Amanda.)

Ok, enough about my obliviousness to how to look like someone on The Hills.

After we left H&M, we couldn't afford any dinner (ha, just kidding, but we did eat at Quiznos). We took our subs back to our hotel and watched the last hour of the Bachelorette: Men Tell All episode. What do you all think? Kiptyn? Ed? Reid? Personally, I liked Reid. But he is gone, and even though they are hinting at his return in the finale, I don't think she ends up with him. Oh well. Now, I will say that Jillian is one person that I have noticed is pretty "with it" when it comes to style. I like all the plaid button up shirts that she has worn; and the boots. I do not like the short dresses, but if I had her legs I would probably change my mind on that. My favorite thing about her is her hair. I want my hair to be exactly like hers. I like the color and the layers and the swoopy bang. I have to remind myself that she has wardrobe people and a stylist too. She probably doesn't look like that in real life (yeah right.)

Obviously, I can't get my mind off fashion. Thank you, Courtney.

Anyway, we watched the show, talked, then went to bed. This morning we woke up and I drove Courtney to her meeting. Then Mary Ella and I went downtown to the Georgia Aquarium! We had a blast, even though it was a little hard to manage an infant and a camera at the same time. She LOVED the huge fish exhibits, though. She even made a new friend, Miss Molly, and they talked their baby jibberish while looking at all the fishies. Fun times. Oh, and Molly's mom had a Coach purse and a Louis Vuitton diaper bag. And they were filled to the brim. With what? I have no idea. I had a small [old and faded] Vera B purse which held my camera, keys, cell phone, cash, my ticket stub, 2 diapers and a travel pack of wipes. What else did I need that I didn't have? (Seriously, I am dying to know!)

Dang you, fashion.

And in the mean time, I need some creative fashion ideas of how I can look hip and cool. Granted, I WANT to be that Mommy that wakes up at 5am, has a powerhouse workout/yoga session, weighs in at 120 lbs, does her quiet time, then goes into her closet and picks out the perfectly in-style outfit and ROCKS it all day long, without getting a drop of spit-up or poop on her brand new jeans. But that just ain't reality, is it? Seriously! Give me some tips! What are your favorite items/stores/bargain deals?! What makes you mamas feel fashionable even though you are chasing around little cheerio-eating, coffee-table chewing (ha, Kristy) munchkins all day long?

And speaking of creativity and design, how can someone look at creatures like this and NOT believe that we serve a MIGHTY GOD?! I was humbled today as I witnessed the originality and beauty of His designs. Amazing...

Mary Ella's favorite exhibit was the Piranha tank. Lovely. The only creature in the entire place that could EAT her if it so desired.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Good times and a Love Story.

We had such a great weekend and I am enjoying the end of my Sunday by relaxing in my BED with my dog and my MacBook. Chad was out of town ALL week this past week! Luckily, my mom was here in town because she had a conference on autism that she attended during the day; at night she came out to the house and we enjoyed eating and playing with Mary Ella. My Dad also came on Thursday and kept Mary Ella while I worked. We all enjoyed dinner at Joe's Italian on Thursday night and then they left on Friday around lunch time. Chad's flight didn't get in until late Friday night, so Jamie and I took Mary Ella to O'Charley's for a girls-only dinner and then to Chic-fil-a for milkshakes - yum. I had never had one of their shakes before! Wow. Good stuff.
Yesterday we RESTED. Well, mostly. I saw 3 patients yesterday morning then came home to Chad and Mary Ella. Chad then sent me to get a pedicure (and I had not had one since May of 2008 - MAN, it felt GOOD.) I also got my eyebrows waxed for the first time and that was interesting too. I don't know how in the world I thought I was doing a good job on my eyebrows... all these years, pluck, pluck, plucking away... and now they are perfectly shaped and my skin is smooth with no stray hairs... from now on, they will be waxed. So worth the $7.00.
Last night we enjoyed BBQ, slaw, baked beans and home made ice cream with our small group friends and celebrated Chris and Emily's last night in Birmingham. They are moving to China to teach English at a university and make disciples! We have been in bible study with them for 2 years and are sad to see them go, but we know that our Father will be glorified in the work that they do in China! This morning our church commissioned them out and we were able to pray over them too.We will miss you, Em & Chris!
Today we worshiped and heard David's third sermon of the Love Story series, a series on the book of Ruth. What a relentless, passionate, LOVING God we serve! A God who has LOVED us, pursued us, and has promised to always protect and provide for us. I have read the book of Ruth again and again, but this series has opened my eyes to the beautiful story of redemption that is the gospel. I just pray that I have opportunities to re-teach this - I know what a blessing it would have been for me to hear this while in college. To listen to the series, go here. Really. It is worth the time!
Now I am relaxing as Mary Ella naps and Chad catches an afternoon round of golf. I hope everyone had a restful weekend!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I love the country....

Because there are dogs...

There are worms...

There is lots of room to crawl....

And 'cause my Poppa has a boat!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

One Year Old

I am going to make it quick, here! Because I feel like I have already shared a lot about what Mary Ella is doing lately. And from here on out I am only going to do these updates when she has check-ups; at 15 months, 18 months and then 2 years old! Wow! I hope that day doesn't come too quickly because this first year has FLOWN by. I blinked my eyes and all of a sudden I have a toddler instead of an infant. Scary!

At one, Mary Ella weighs 23 lbs, 5 oz. She is 32 inches long (I think. I can't remember exactly.) Her stats put her in the 80th percentile; still slimming down a bit. And we aren't even walking yet. Dr. A said everything was perfectly on track, which made me happy. At her one year checkup she received a chicken pox vaccine as well as 2 others. She did fairly well; I always pop that paci in as soon as the screaming starts. She has 9 teeth that are visible, and 1 more (a molar, yuck) is breaking through. Her hair is slowly growing and from what we can tell it will be some shade of brown with some definite curl, like her Mom's. Her eyes are HUGE and BLUE, something neither of us expected but something we would never trade. She has a sweet, gentle spirit most of the time but can also be a typical 1-year-old at times. She has her days :) Her favorite thing to do lately is open her eyes super wide and make an "Ooooh, oooh!" face like she is surprised. She does this at EVERYTHING - when she sees Elmo, food, a cup of milk, a dog, a mailman, a bug, a scrambled egg... yeah, everything is "Ooooh, oooooh!" It's hilarious.
Her favorite foods are any foods you allow her to eat. I'll just put it that way. I have also caught her chewing on rocks, a stamp, and one day I found a Fisher Price sticker in her poop. Lovely. The kid likes to eat.
Her favorite tricks are waving, blowing kisses, blowing bubbles and blowing candles out, trying to say new words - the latest being "tuh-tul" (turtle), "nyum, nyum" (yum yum), and "pup-pup" (puppy). She will moo like a cow, tell you how a car goes, dance her fanny off when HoeDown Throwdown is played on iTunes, clap at everything, and will attempt to say words such as juice, cheese, fish, cup, etc. when you ask her to. On a regular basis, she does say Da-Da, MaMa, baby, pup-pup, Poppa, Turtle, Moo, and Ooooh, as I mentioned before.
She still loves reading, swinging, pulling up on everything and playing with things that are generally off limits, like picture frames, breakables, outlets. etc. She will stand for about 10 seconds by herself but has not taken a step. She will walk with her baby doll stroller and with Chad's cooler and sometimes holding our hands. She crawls at around 30 mph.

Although days are definitely more hectic now, I am still loving this age. Every age gets better, I think. Am I ready for #2? We shall see. But I have enough to keep me busy right now.

Mommy Stuff

I realize I haven't done an official one year update, and I will do it as soon as I get in the mood. Those updates take forever. Today I just wanted to share a few things that I have found to be helpful as my child has gone from the baby to the toddler phase (although she is technically not yet toddling along, we'll still call her a toddler for the sake of this post.)

First of all, I have realized over the last 6 months that there is very little literature regarding what baby should eat, how much or how many bottles to give them at ___ months of age, etc etc. I know that Martina and I have e-mailed back and forth on several occasions, since Colton and Mary Ella are so close in age, just asking the other one what their baby is eating, how much milk he/she is taking, and whatever other questions we've had. And it gets even harder when they come off the baby food and are supposed to be eating table food, or whatever their parents are eating. Mainly because it puts pressure on you to make SURE you are cooking something healthy or, on the flip side, not eating sandwiches every night for dinner (which is our usual routine). Sandwiches certainly won't hurt your baby, but sandwich meat every night definitely isn't the healthiest thing for them, either. And I don't know about all of you, but we also love Asian/Chinese food, which is a no-no for Mary Ella because of the peanut oil/nuts, and Mexican, which is usually okay if we make it ourselves (grilled chicken quesadilla for her, fajitas for us - yum!) but we just loooove our Mexican joint down the street and so if we are craving Mexican, we're eating OUT, not IN. So if I don't take her something to eat, she ends up with a partially fried, greasy cheese quesadilla, rice and beans, all to the tune of $4.99 and she MIGHT eat half of it. She's not a fan of grease. Neither am I.
Sooooo, after many trips to the grocery store and trying different things, I have found a few things that have worked for us, and I Just wanted to share because many of you that read this blog have little ones younger than Mary Ella.

1. Whole Grain Waffles - They come frozen. Throw them in the toaster then chop them up into "bites" as we call them.
2. Scrambled Egg - We scramble one egg in a bowl, throw it in the microwave for 1 minute. According to my pediatrician, egg is an EXCELLENT protein for babies, and it also provides all the essential fatsAdd shredded cheese instead of salt and this gives them some calcium, too!
3. Fiber One Muffins - You do have to actually get up and make these (mix the batter, etc) but they have really good flavor and will keep your little one "regulated" - ha!
4. Gerber Rice/Oatmeal Cereal - always a winner. Mix with a fruit baby food to make it more of an oatmeal consistency.

1. Grilled Chicken Bites - I buy the uncooked boneless chicken tenders, and grill them all in advance. Just add a little salt and pepper. These will be safe for about 3 days in the fridge. And that's about how long it takes Mary Ella to eat the whole package. Lately, we've been so busy that I've had little to no time to actually grill a package of chicken. So a great timesaver is to buy the frozen, already cooked, grilled chicken strips (Tyson has some, we buy Target brand). Then when you need them, pull out 2-3 strips at a time, throw them in the microwave for a minute, and they are DONE!
2. Veggie Sides for One - Made by Jolly Green Giant, also in the frozen section. These come in a 4-pack of vegetable sides. We buy the broccoli cheese and the broccoli and carrots with Italian seasoning. You pull out one individual dish, put in the microwave for 2 minutes and it's done! Mary Ella sometimes eats the broccoli and cheese as her entree. And I've tried them - they are great!

When we go to restaurants, I usually microwave her some of the chicken strips and a frozen veggie side before we leave. Then I pack it in a tiny tupperware and she has her meal ready when we get to the restaurant - healthy, no grease!

3. A "casserole" - Most babies will gobble up ANY casserole. These are great and they usually contain all the fats/proteins/carbs that a baby needs, all in one dish. And you can freeze them easily too, which is always nice. But if you are like me and need something quick and easy, here's a baby casserole that I have come up with. Add some of the grilled chicken strips, cut into bites, into a bowl with a Gerber stage 2-3 vegetable of your choice. Then crumble up some Ritz crackers into the mixture. Pop it into the microwave for about 20 seconds and you have a steaming hot "casserole" for baby in less than a minute! You can also add cheese if you think it would add some flavor.

Anyway, just some ideas that I have found to be helpful...

Monday, July 6, 2009

Happy 4th of July!

We went to Florence for the fourth and celebrated with my family. We went over to Kristi's and my Grandaddy had a fish fry for the whole crew, plus some of my distant cousins that I don't get to see very often. The kids were able to swim while we just kept eating and eating and eating. My cousin Laura made some Wendy's frosty-flavored home made ice cream that was SO good. Mary Ella loved it too. She also loved playing with cousin Braxton's pet turtles because "tuh-tul" is her new favorite word! She wasn't afraid in the least bit and I would have let her play with it longer had she not attempted to pull its leg off. We watched a few fireworks at the end of the night and Mary Ella wasn't a huge fan of the noise but loved looking at them from inside the car, which is where we ended up watching the rest of the show.
- Last year on the fourth of July I was in the hospital with my new baby girl. We were at St. Vincent's, which of course has a great view of the Vulcan firework show that Birmingham puts on every year. My doctor had come in earlier that morning and told me that no one was in the corner room on the end of the labor and delivery floor, and he told me that it would be a killer view of the show if I wanted to go watch with Chad and the baby. My family came and they ended up watching the show, but I was in so much pain that I just stayed in the room and watched them on TV. It was just me and Mary Ella and I was holding her the entire time while we watched. That was the first "holiday" that she experienced in her life, and I'll always have that sweet memory!

In other random news, I have experienced the true terror that is teething in the last 2 days. I guess Mary Ella really never had any teething issues with the first 8 teeth. I remember her drooling a lot, and maybe running a temp, but never any of this constant grouchiness, fussing and not being herself at ALL. Well, yesterday morning she woke up burning up and had her index finger in her mouth just chomping it to death and crying HUGE alligator tears. I realized that she has 2 molars coming in! YUCK. And so she has NOT been herself at ALL. Fussy and crying and just plain irritated - that's the only way I know to describe it! We are using Tylenol and Orajel and popsicles and frozen fruit and washcloths. Distraction is what helps the most, though. Tomorrow is her one year check-up so I'm sure we'll have an interesting day.

Teething + vaccinations = not fun.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Birthday Week

This week has been a great week! We have been really busy, as usual, but nevertheless it has been such a wonderful birthday week for Mary Ella.

On Sunday our church held a Covenant Community celebration at Spain Park! We enjoyed spending time with our small group friends and trying out the new wagon! It was H-O-T, as you can tell!
On Monday we relaxed and Mary Ella enjoyed playing with some of her new toys! Tuesday night we grilled out with our small group and celebrated 2 of the couples in our group that are leaving us! Sara and Adam left for Texas yesterday morning and Emily and Chris leave for CHINA in a couple weeks! We have loved getting to know them over the last 2 years and we will miss them dearly! I should've taken pictures but didn't have my camera!

Wednesday morning I had to work and thankfully Shelley and Emily agreed to watch Mary Ella for me for a few hours! She had the best time and is still talking about how "cool" they are and how she can't wait to be 16 so that she can meet them for a girls lunch date. :)

TODAY was Mary Ella's actual birthday, and she was READY to celebrate! She made sure I KNEW she was ONE about 80 times during the day.
We woke up and ate breakfast, played for a while, then she took a bath and a morning nap. Then we went to AppleBees, just the two of us, and ate lunch. After lunch we met Chad at the Galleria thinking we would find her a present there. But after visiting the Disney Store and Build-A-Bear (there's no Toy Store in the mall?!?) we didn't find anything that would keep her attention... until she spotted the Great American Cookie Company. She gobbled up a SnickerDoodle and enjoyed some whole milk (yum!) and even shared a few of her cookies with us.

We rode the carousel, which she had never done, and she was surprisingly a little hesitant. Not sure if it was the giant animals or the up and down motion or the fear of nasty germs (don't worry, I sanitized the entire thing before I would allow the man to push the green button), but she finally got used to the ride...right about the time that it stopped. Boo. Well, maybe next time.
We went in Stride Rite to find her some shoes. She got her little wide feet measured and was a little freaked by that process too. We looked at a few shoes but then decided we'd wait a little longer since she's not quite walking and since she can go barefoot anyway in the summer.
So when we left the Galleria we were empty-handed! What terrible parents! So we went to Toys-R-Us and Mary Ella was in hog heaven!
We would show her one toy at a time, and she loved all of them. But the only one that she actually CRIED over when we attempted to put it back on the shelf was the $2.00 plastic ball with Elmo and Big Bird on it. So guess what Mary Ella got from her parents on her birthday? A $2.00 ball. HA! She's a cheap date, what can we say? We ended up getting her a ball popper too, because I've heard that they are perfect for babies her age, and a couple of other little things. Then we went to Jamie and Les' house to celebrate with a Mexican dinner and another present - a baby stroller! Mary Ella was so excited and she loved crawling around their house getting into everything! All in all, it was such a wonderful, happy day, and I was glad to get to spend it with my family and friends!
I can't believe a year ago today I was at St. Vincent's meeting Mary Ella for the first time! That was such an awesome day. I was the happiest I have ever been! And it just gets better! Happy ONE YEAR, Mary Ella!!!
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