Tacoma Newborn Boy + Girl Twin Photographer | Leo + Mila

I have to admit, although photographing newborn twin babies can be slightly more challenging than a regular session….I love photographing multiples! I am always so honored when Tacoma area families choose to come to my cozy studio in Sumner for me to capture their twins.  In fact, this was not this families first time visiting the studio, since I captured their son’s Watch Me Grow milestone session what seems like just the other day. Now I got the chance to photograph him with his brand new baby brother and sister.  The whole family was such a joy to work with and I am especially proud of how their twin family photos came out.  Mom was also so kind to share her birth story with these two, read on for that below.

Seattle Puyallup Tacoma Olympia Newborn Baby Boy Girl Twin Twins Photographer  Organic Natural Studio Butterfly Kiss Photography

We found out we were having twins at 6 weeks and 3 days via ultrasound. It was the biggest shocking surprise of my life! Two babies at once?!! I already knew what it was like to have one, now 2?!! My husband I were excited, nervous, and in complete shock! Although my pregnancy symptoms started very early and my sickness was 24/7, I had mentioned to my husband and mom that this pregnancy was different, maybe its twins?! Seattle Puyallup Tacoma Olympia Newborn Baby Boy Girl Twin Twins Photographer  Organic Natural Studio Butterfly Kiss PhotographySeattle Puyallup Tacoma Olympia Newborn Baby Boy Girl Twin Twins Photographer  Organic Natural Studio Butterfly Kiss Photography

After we learned that we had 2 babies on the way we were just hoping for a healthy pregnancy and healthy babies. At 14 weeks we learned that Luca, our 2.5 year old son was going to be a big brother to a baby sister and brother! We were overjoyed! My sickness continued until 17 weeks and after I got to enjoy my 2nd trimester. I did get uncomfortable a lot sooner then with my singleton pregnancy- particularly my energy level and breathing! I did love all of the extra ultrasounds that comes along with a multiples pregnancy! Seeing them squirming around always warmed my heart and confirmed that they were doing just fine:)Seattle Puyallup Tacoma Olympia Newborn Baby Boy Girl Twin Twins Photographer  Organic Natural Studio Butterfly Kiss PhotographySeattle Puyallup Tacoma Olympia Newborn Baby Boy Girl Twin Twins Photographer  Organic Natural Studio Butterfly Kiss Photography

At 32 weeks I came down with Cholestasis of pregnancy. It wasn’t that surprising since I did have that with my first pregnancy too, but I was diagnosed at 36 weeks, one day before I turned 37 weeks. This time around it was critical that my bile acid levels stay under 40, otherwise the babies would have to be born. My first blood test I was at a 33, then a 66!! Then, I had the steroid shots to help the babies lungs develop faster in case I needed to have them via C-section ASAP. However, fortunately, the medication I started to take helped my bile acid levels get to 17. From that point on I had my blood work done every week to ensure the babies were safe, I had 2 Non-stress tests done every week and weekly ultrasounds. The last 4 weeks of pregnancy was a wild roller coaster ride!Seattle Puyallup Tacoma Olympia Newborn Baby Boy Girl Twin Twins family Photographer  Organic Natural Studio Butterfly Kiss PhotographySeattle Puyallup Tacoma Olympia Newborn Baby Boy Girl Twin Twins family Photographer  Organic Natural Studio Butterfly Kiss PhotographySeattle Puyallup Tacoma Olympia Newborn Baby Boy Girl Twin Twins family Photographer  Organic Natural Studio Butterfly Kiss Photography

I was so happy to have 2 healthy babies at 36 weeks that were big for twins! Mila weighed 6 pounds & 4 ounces and Leo weighed 5 pounds and 15 ounces. This C-section was incredible because once the babies were born & their vitals were checked my husband and I got to have skin to skin time with them as my surgery was finishing. Leo was born @ 8:42am and Mila was born at 8:43am. Hearing them cry and seeing them for the first time, then holding them is a love that I will never put into words. It was truly one of the best gifts in this world!

Seattle Puyallup Tacoma Olympia Newborn Baby Boy Girl Twin Twins Photographer  Organic Natural Studio Butterfly Kiss PhotographySeattle Puyallup Tacoma Olympia Newborn Baby Boy Girl Twin Twins Photographer  Organic Natural Studio Butterfly Kiss Photography

To hold your healthy child in your arms and meeting them for the first time– LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT! Then to look at your husband who is also experiencing the same feelings as myself while doing skin to skin with Mila as I did with Leo. Truly magical!! And the cherry on top was seeing our son, Luca meet his brother and sister for the first time. Our family feels complete & we are in love times 2 all over again with Leo and Mila.

Seattle Puyallup Tacoma Olympia Newborn Baby Boy Girl Twin Twins Mom Photographer  Organic Natural Studio Butterfly Kiss Photography

What a heartfelt story – thank you so much for sharing with us!!

 

Are you expecting a little one (or two)?  Take a peek at my newborn gallery and get in touch via the contact form above or email for current availability.  I love photographing multiples, twins and triplets! I take a limited number of newborn sessions each month to allow flexibility if your little bundle should arrive early/late and so that I can create something truly special just for you. Now booking Summer/Fall 2016 –  June is sold out, July is sold out, 3 sessions available for August, 3 sessions available for September, 2 sessions available for October (although you can always check for last minute availability when the time comes).  Book now to ensure availability for your one-of-a-kind newborn session.

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Meet Susan Sherwood, The Birthing Inn Tacoma

This month I am excited to share this local Tacoma resource for expecting moms and babies that is near and dear to my heart.  All three of my children were born at Tacoma’s The Birthing Inn freestanding birth center. My second born, Sawyer Fox, was also delivered with the amazing Susan Sherwood, midwife at All About Birth and owner of The Birthing Inn.  I have had the opportunity to meet so many great people as a mom myself AND working in this field that I need to share; I want to take this opportunity to help build community, support other mom business owners (and group/organization leaders), and provide helpful resources for local moms like you! So if you are looking into birthing options, birth classes, and postpartum services take a look at what The Birthing Inn has to offer.

Susan Sherwood, The Birthing Inn, freestanding birth center. Tacoma Local resource for pregnancy and babies, interview by Butterfly Kiss Photography - Seattle Tacoma Puyallup Newborn Baby Photographer

Your Name:  Susan Sherwood

Business/Organization: The Birthing Inn, PLLC and All About Birth, LLC

How many kids/what ages? 4 kids, ranging in age from 19, 25, 28, and 30

How long have you been working in childbirth/a midwife/owned TBI? I have been working in the childbirth since 1996, a Midwife since 2008,and more recently owner of  The Birthing Inn for 3 years

What inspired you to become a midwife? My mother’s birth story, giving birth to me in 1966,  it  wasn’t pleasant.  So the journey began….birth should be peaceful and an environment of love!

What is your favorite part of being at a free-standing birth center? Freedom for the mothers and their families to have the birth they dream of, with supplies and hot water that doesn’t run out:)

Can you share your favorite lesser known resource, book, blog, method, etc. related to natural birth/parenthood? The Everything Paleo Pregnancy Book: The All-Natural, Nutritious Plan for a Healthy Pregnancy Everything Paleo Pregnancy

If you could give one tip to an expecting mama considering her birth options, what would it be? Where do you feel safest to give birth? That is where you will do your best work:)

What is your favorite place you have traveled to? My home away from home is the Hawaiian Islands

Describe the perfect day with your family: A birthday celebration.  In my family we have “favorite birthday dinner” get togethers

Favorite quote/saying: ” Because Being Born is Important”  or “Ages and Stages”

What’s for dinner? Lean protein, salad and brown rice

Website/contact info:  The Birthing Inn and All About Birth Midwifery

Tacoma Midwife Susan Sherwood The Birthing Inn Butterfly Kiss Photography

Did you know, in addition to offering a safe environment for natural birth options, The Birthing Inn also offers some amazing services for expecting and new mamas, like chiropractic care, postpartum counseling, and massage therapy? In fact, I am looking forward to sharing more about their massage therapist with you all next month!  And in case you missed any previous local resources you can catch up on them all here.

Have you had any experiences with The Birthing Inn?  I would love to hear about it, share them in the comments below.

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Seattle Tacoma Olympia Family Photos | Loved Ones Sessions 2016

Seattle Tacoma Olympia Family Photographer Fall Photos booking mini sessions

Get a leg up on the busy fall season by booking your family portrait session now!  

I have limited availability for my popular family portrait sessions this summer and fall; booking now is your best bet for ensuring your family gets gorgeous updated pictures, perfect for gift giving and holiday cards. I have 6 dates/locations available to suit your needs:

seattle tacoma olympia family photos 2016-01Sunday Aug. 21 – Tacoma (beach location) @ 4:30, 5, 5:30, 6SOLD OUT

Saturday Sept. 10 – Issaquah (private farm, field/trees) @ 3:30, 4, 4:30, 5, 5:30 SOLD OUT

Sunday Sept. 11 – East Puyallup (rustic barn/field/trees) @ 4, 4:30, 5, 5:30, 6pm SOLD OUT

Saturday Sept. 17 – Puyallup/Tacoma (pond/field/trees) @ 4, 4:30, 5, 5:30, 6pm LAST CHANCE

Sunday Sept. 18 – Seattle (Seward Park) @ 4, 4:30, 5, 5:30, 6pm SOLD OUT

Sunday Oct. 9 –  Olympia (Park/River/Field) @ 3:30, 4, 4:30, 5, 5:30pm

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Loved Ones Family Sessions Include:

* 30 minute session for your immediate family
* Variety of relaxed family poses, plus siblings poses and individual portraits
*NEW* Gallery of images online to select your favorites to be edited
* Your choice of 15 edited full resolution digital files with reproduction release
* Option to order extra digital files & keepsakes, including ready-to-hang canvas artwork, photo albums, custom designed holiday cards, etc.
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Payment:

$100 deposit due to reserve your session, balance of $300 due before session (applicable sales tax will be added)
*NEW* payment plans: balance payable in 1, 2, or 3 installments for your convenience

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EARLY BIRD BONUS: reserve your session by May 31st and receive a complimentary custom holiday card design ($30 value)

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Hold your loved ones close….

To reserve your session now,please email me with the date/time you were interested in. Email by midnight May 31st and receive the early bird bonus gift, plus full payment plan options. 
I look forward to creating something beautiful and meaningful for your family this year!
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Puyallup Tacoma Organic Newborn Photos | Bodhi

A few years ago I photographed this family of three in the fall, shortly after they moved to Washington for dad to serve our country based at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.  I was so happy to hear that they were expecting a new addition to their family, and honored to be chosen as the newborn photographer to capture these memories when their baby boy arrived.  They brought little Bodhi to my Sumner photography studio, not far from their home in Puyallup, when he was just about one week old.  Bodhi had the best cheeks and some of the softest skin ever. We created an organic feel for his session, with soft colors and earth tones, and even included some natural living plants to bring the outdoors in.  His family has loved their stay here in the beautiful Evergreen State and no matter where the future takes them, the Pacific Northwest will definitely be commemorated in these photos.  Mom was so kind to share her birth story, read on to find out how close he was to sharing his sister’s birthday.

puyallup tacoma organic newborn camping tent Pacific Northwest baby bodhi earth tones peek a boo wool plaid sheepskin

This pregnancy came as a big surprise and all we could do was laugh when our due date was estimated to be two days after our daughters fourth birthday.

puyallup tacoma organic newborn bodhi earth tones peek a boo wool sheepskin

Early in the pregnancy my husband deployed and we were expecting him home during the third trimester but this pregnancy quickly became complicated during the middle of the second trimester and he was brought home early (just in time for the holidays). By 39 weeks we had made it through my water leaking at 21 weeks, strict bed rest, and several hospital visits for preterm labor before my doctor planned an induction for a rapid increase in water retention.  puyallup tacoma organic newborn bodhi swaddled boho earthy baby feet toes

There were a lot of jokes as we loaded up the car at how prepared we were, and how well packed we were, because of all the late night trips we had had to make to check labor progression in the weeks prior. I was told I could eat a light breakfast and a slice of cheesecake with a latte seemed like the perfect meal to eat on the way to the hospital. We checked in at 6:30 in the morning and I was hooked up to pitocin by 7:30.  Thanks to the constant contractions I had been experiencing for months it didn’t take long for labor to start and at 9:30 my doctor checked his position and he was fully head down so she broke my water (he was in constant motion and had spent most of the pregnancy transverse). puyallup tacoma organic newborn pictures classic simple soft knit hat

By 11:30 I asked for an epidural and it took close to an hour for the procedure to be completed.  I was expecting a few hours of relief but the epidural failed within the hour, as I was entering the transition stage of labor, and I quickly regained full control of my legs and started to feel every contraction again.  puyallup tacoma organic newborn pictures plants ferns baby wolf nature inspiredpuyallup tacoma organic newborn pictures plants ferns baby wolf nature inspired

A second anesthesiologist was brought in and she tried changing the dose and giving me a bolus but neither worked and by now it was close to 2:30. There was a brief talk of redoing the epidural but I told my nurse that I couldn’t stop myself from the urge to push and they quickly called my doctor who was in her office across town. puyallup tacoma organic newborn bodhi mom and baby pictures

The nurses and my husband spent the next 40 minutes trying to keep me relaxed, and to keep me from pushing, as my doctor battled traffic but my body was doing all the work.  My doctor ran into the room around 3:15 and told me to start pushing and that he had a head full of dark hair.  puyallup tacoma organic newborn siblings bodhi and big sister

Bodhi was born in five contractions, with the cord wrapped around his neck two times, at 3:21 in the afternoon on April 7th, 2016, the day after his big sisters birthday.  He weighed 8.6 pounds, a full pound heavier than his sister, and was 20 inches long. We spent the first hour skin to skin and he stayed in the room with me the entire time we were in the hospital.  puyallup tacoma organic newborn baby and dad tattoos

Congratulations on the arrival of your sweet baby boy, what a perfect addition to your family <3 Thank you so much for sharing your story with us.

Are you expecting a little one?  Take a peek at my newborn gallery and get in touch via the contact form above or email for current availability.  I take a limited number of newborn sessions each month to allow flexibility if your little bundle should arrive early/late and so that I can create something truly special just for you. Now booking Spring/Summer 2016 – 1 session available for late May, June is sold out, July is sold out, 3 sessions available for August (although you can always check for last minute availability when the time comes).  Book now to ensure availability for your one-of-a-kind newborn session.

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Meet Dani Kessler, Mama Kessler Oils

Dani Kessler, Mama Kessler Oils. Tacoma Local resource for pregnancy and babies, interview by Butterfly Kiss Photography - Seattle Tacoma Puyallup Newborn Baby PhotographerI am super excited to share a brand new regular feature here on the Butterfly Kiss Photography blog – interviews with local small business and service providers in the Puget Sound area that cater to expecting and new moms!  I have had the opportunity to meet so many great people working in this field that I need to share; I want to take this opportunity to help build community, support other mom business owners (and group/organization leaders), and provide helpful resources for local moms like you!  I started out this series with a really great one too, so read on to find out more about this fabulous mama.

Name: Dani Kessler

Business: Mama Kessler Oils

How many kids/what ages? Davis (6.5), Reagan (4), Emery (2.5)

Background/How long have you been working with essential oils? I first heard about essential oils when a friend kept inviting me to events for her new business. I really didn’t want to go to be “sold” something, and I’d never heard of these essential oils she kept talking about, but I knew I had to go eventually since she’s such a close friend! When I finally did go, my jaw hit the floor, sitting there at her house, listening to all the possibilities I never knew existed. With three kids I felt like someone was always sick and I was thrilled that this could be our answer. That was October 2014. We’ve only had one sick child visit to the doctor since that day!!! It took about 4-months and a major “ah ha” moment for me to realize I wanted to help others discover the power of natural products!

Why do you help empower families for better health? So much of parenting, I feel, is done on the fly. We have to figure this stuff out as we go. And the one thing that always made me feel helpless was when one of my littles was sick. The inevitability that it would get passed to everyone in the house was daunting, and there wasn’t anything I could actually DO. Our family naturally shy’s away from too many chemicals and medicines, and most medicines can’t help with most of the daily junk we have to deal with anyway. Once I experienced how empowering it was to know I could help my family in a very safe and natural way, I was hooked and I knew I had to help others start their natural wellness journeys. And at first I thought this would be just for the kids… wow, was I wrong! I have now found a daily routine to help me with my own personal health goals, from seasonal concerns, to achy joints, healthy sleep, the list goes on! Everyone can benefit from these tiny, little bottles.

What is the hardest part of doing this and being a mom? Like all moms, I think I struggle the most with feeling like I’m not doing enough. Period. Building this business on top of my day job has meant missing out on some family dinners, which is a big thing in our household. I couldn’t do it all without the support of my husband. And I’ve had to work very hard to let go of the things I just know I’m not getting to, and to be okay with it! Easier said than done. But when the kids don’t want me to leave for a presentation, all I have to do is remind them how the oils make them feel better, and wouldn’t they want other families feel better, too? It’s a pep talk that helps me too! Finding balance will always be a challenge, but I am always reminded of the saying “If it is important to you, you will find a way. If not, you’ll find an excuse.” This is important to me, my true calling, and I WILL find a way!

If you could give one tip to an expecting or new mom about essential oils what would it be? My advice would be… don’t let all the possibilities prevent you from taking action! I remember driving home after attending my first class feeling SO excited, and yet also pretty overwhelmed. trying to remember all I’d heard How could I ever know everything the presenter did?! And I hear from people all the time that, weeks after getting their oils in the mail, they haven’t even opened them! So take it one small step at a time. Get yourself a set of the most common & versatile oils, and then start with one goal or or one oil at a time. Build your knowledge gradually. As you gradually expand your knowledge, you’ll get more comfortable and you’ll realize how simple it is! Attend classes. Use reference books & apps. Ask others that use oils. Remember, the biggest trick to getting the oils to work is taking the cap off the bottle!:-)

What is your favorite place you have traveled to? During childhood, we took many trips to Australia to visit my mum’s family. Those are some of the most spectacular memories of time with my family. Some day I will to take my kids there too! The people of Australia are some of the most kind & generous people you will ever meet.

Describe the perfect day with your family: We love being outdoors and camping. Last summer we camped at our family property 11 of 12 weekends in a row! So answering this is a piece of cake… The perfect day for our family is waking up in the tent after camping out, going salmon fishing, pool & Puget Sound swimming and just spending time together. When there are no distractions from TVs, cell phones, or organized sports, it’s amazing to see how kid’s imaginations go wild! We’d wrap up with freshly caught salmon on the BBQ, s’mores around the fire and then mom & dad quiet time looking at the stars & ocean after the kids fall asleep. Ahh… I’m relaxed just thinking about it!

Favorite quote/saying: “If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping wit a mosquito.” – His Holiness the Dalai Lama

What’s for dinner? Leftovers… I have a class tonight so my husband and the kids are going to leave me a plate of whatever they decide to concoct!

Contact info: For information on upcoming classes, promotions & DIY ideas for a natural home, follow me at “Healthy Home, Healthy Family” on Facebook.

IMG_9779 (002) Erin Hargris

(photos of Dani and family courtesy of Erinn Hargis Photography)

Also, Dani has been so kind to share this special offer with all my blog readers:

If you decide you’d like to purchase a kit of oils (there are varying sizes), mention this blog and receive 3 free gifts to help you get started on your essential oil journey!

Have you used Essential Oils with your family?  Leave a comment and let us know, or just say hi and let us know what you think about the new feature.

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Around Here | The Importance of Nourishment

Here at the Brundage Homestead we provide many forms of nourishment.  We feed our animals, grains for our chickens and hay for our rabbit; we fertilize our plants with organic amendments (Did you know you can make a quick and free balanced fertilizer for your garden with nothing but grass clippings or weeds and water?) We nourish the minds of our children; we have been homeschooling our oldest daughter Avery for 2 years now, and provide a feast of subjects and ideas for her to explore loosely based on the Charlotte Mason method. We carve out time to nourish our souls; my garden is my happy place, where I can just go and stand and spend minutes or hours feeling at peace and letting the worries melt away as I spread my fingers in the earth to plant a seed or smell the sweet rewards of the wildflowers I have nursed along or savor the first bit of homegrown produce in the Spring.   Perhaps most importantly we provide nourishment to our bodies with real food cooked at home in our kitchen as much as we can.

Our ideas about food and the forms of nourishment we are accustomed to have been transformed in the last month.  It is has been over a month now since we decided to eliminate milk (and milk products/protein) from our son Sawyer’s diet.  We decided to make this step to help with both physical and behavioral issues.  The elimination diet was really daunting at first.  I mean, my boy is a self-proclaimed vegetarian and somewhat of a picky eater so we had been compensating with dairy products like yogurt and cheese since we has about one.  How were we going to eliminate cheese for the boy that had a quesadilla or grilled cheese 6 nights a week?  Well although the fears were well-meaning we pushed past them and I will be quick to admit the transition has been pretty painless.  We decided we didn’t want to just replace the dairy products with the vegan alternatives; this was going to be a good opportunity to change his – and our – diet for the better.  We have used some shredded “faux cheese” in a pinch for a few recipes. The best part is that we are noticing real change which makes any extra meal time work completely worth the benefits.

Then we visited the naturopath physician for the first time….and further dietary changes were in store. Let’s just say we thought we were eating healthy, we probably knew deep down we could do better, and with the picture painted to us in our minds eye we have begun transitioning even further.  More whole grains, and more, much more vegetables.  Sounds good to me.  Just working on getting a meal plan/recipes together now that will fit for our lifestyle and meet our nutritional goals…and day dreaming about when our garden begins providing its bounty to that cause.

The garden has been doing well this early Spring, thanks I am sure to the gorgeous warm weather we have been having.  The summy warm days mixed with occasional rain is really the perfect condition.  Our first batch of seeds we started were all transplanted out at the start of the month, and a new batch of seeds in cooking in the greenhouse now, including our warm season crops like cucumbers, summer squash, butternut squash, and of course tasty herbs and beautiful flowers! If all goes well we will be planting out those babies just before Memorial Day weekend when the danger of frost has passed in our area.  We will be buying our tomato transplants around that time too.  Since I enjoy a variety of heirlooms tomatoes, buying the starts at the farmers market has really worked well for us versus starting them from seed.  Plus my greenhouse isn’t quite large enough to start them and pot them up until it would be a good time to transplant.

Speaking of planting, I am also added some things to our perennial food forest, children and chicken garden in the back.  I started a little bit of an edible hedgerow, featuring jostaberries, gooseberries, rosa rugosa (for rose hips) and a fragrant mock orange.  I broadcast an insectary and soil building mix to cover that area while the plants get established.  Then I went a little crazy planting a big bed of lovely perennial flowering plants…I didn’t break the bank completely, although it was a splurge, because I got all the plants over the course of a week from the clearance section at the hardware store.  I was shocked how many of these plants were marked 60% off and were in great condition.  I just picked the spent blooms and pruned them a bit and they are already reflowering and looking pretty good.  I love having the pretty and colorful place next to our hammock inviting us to take a moment to relax.

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Our raised veggie garden has been planted with all the Spring cool season crops. Some bugs have found the Chinese cabbage already.blog3

Entering my Happy Place:)blog4blog5

New edible hedgerowblog6blog7

Strawberries are very promising this year – just have to keep the girls out of there or I am sure there will be none left for us!blog8blog9

Alder turned 9 months…and popped out 4 more teeth in one weekblog10blog11blog11aa

I love this boyblog11b

Family fun at the Spring Fairblog12blog13

Our trailer reno is coming along, slowly but surely.  Should be ready enough for our nearing Memorial Day weekend camping trip.blog14

So that is what is happening around the Brundage Homestead this April. Have you made any major diet changes for your family’s health this year? I would love to hear about it in the comments.

Thanks for joining me again this month for an update on our life and adventures around the Brundage Homestead. Catch up on what has been happening the past few months here

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