Saturday, August 30, 2008

Some thoughts

I feel like I have been a bad blogger lately. It probably is due to the fact that we are crazy busy. And keep in mind, anything after our summer of NOTHING is going to be "crazy busy".

Matthew started back to teaching a few weeks ago and told me he almost has his head above water. Poor guy. I drag him on vacation a week before school starts...heeheehee.

He started his classes at University of Arkansas on Monday. He has started year 2 of his PhD. Year 2 of how many? We have no idea! We just know that eventually, he will be done. He goes to class Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday nights...needless to say, Nora has been following him around today, staying very close.

I started teaching for Harding Monday night. I think I am going to have a great group of students. I only have 15 and they seem eager. Hopefully, they are not TOO eager and email and call me all the time. That really drives me crazy. You can tell I am a caring teacher, huh.

I received a phone call, frantic phone call, asking me if I could teach the same class in Harrison on Thursday nights. The class made at the last minute and they were desperate for an instructor. So, because I am a sucker, I am teaching in Harrison on Thursday nights. The drive (1 1/2 hours each way) actually isn't too bad. I am going to be listening to books on tape. Which beats "Wheels on the Bus" any day. It's so quiet in the car too.

All of the students in the Harrison class are brand-new graduate students. Fresh blood! They are scared! No matter how often I tell them, "You CAN do this! It is not impossible! Don't let the syllabus scare you...we have all semester to get this work done", I still get a bunch of deer-looking-in-the-headlights stares. I even had one student already drop out. Sigh.

Okay, now on to my kids...enough about me and Matthew.

See this precious baby...I weaned her. I had planned on waiting until Monday, but I didn't get home Thursday night until 10:30pm and Matthew had obviously already put her to bed. She slept all night. Then, last night, I went out to eat with some friends and didn't get home until 11pm. Again, she was obviously already in bed and slept all night. So, we're done. I am sad, but not to the point of tears. I really enjoy nursing my babies. Oh sure, at the beginning of their lives, it was a toe-curling experience that never ended. I felt like a cow. I was constantly leaking and none of my shirts fit. But, I still loved it. I was the only one that could provide that need.

But, we know that Elyn is not our last baby and I will get to do it again. I'm sure after we are done with babies and the shop is closed up, I will go into a state of depression.

But for now, I have my body back!!!!

Look at Nora, reading a book about Elmo potty-training.

And that is the extent of the potty-training going on in this house right now. I know, I'm a failure. I gave up. Don't judge me!

It all started when we had our disastrous plane trip. There was no way I was going to continue with the potty-training when I was close to needing medication for my nerves. When we got back home, I tried again. And my kid nearly had anxiety attacks while on the potty. It's not worth it. I have had people tell me, wait until she is ready...don't push her...she will do it! And then others, who I want to poke in the eye, tell me...don't give up, keep on her, she'll do it if you stick with it.

I am choosing to take the advice of those that tell me it's okay to quit. Maybe by the time she goes to kindergarten she'll be potty-trained.

Elyn decided to walk everywhere tonight! Sans walker...this is just the only picture I have of her in the walking position. Matthew and I sat on the living room floor tonight and she walked back and forth to us about 10 times. The funniest thing was that Nora didn't want to miss out on the action, so she walked to Matthew and me also. Silly girl! Elyn has been getting her morning naps this week. Over the summer, there were too many times to count that her morning nap consisted of a quick snooze on the way to the gym and then on the way home again. Well, I decided that she needed good morning her bed. What a novel idea.

So, while she has been napping, Nora and I have been spending time together. She loves Pla-dough. It's not my favorite because of all the little pieces that go everywhere, but I guess it doesn't really matter if I like it or not.So creative, using it is as glasses.And this is the most pitiful picture I have seen in quite a while! Doesn't she look so sad. Why the sad face, you ask? Did I just hit her? Were her hands trapped in a vice of some sort? Had Nora pulled her hair? No, none of the above. She was done eating. Yep, when she took her last bite of her lunch the other day, this is what happened. I gave her some green beans and she started crying even harder. Geez. So, I brought out the applesauce and she was all smiles again. By the way, she HATES baby food and will not let it in her mouth. Oh, and apparently green beans too.While Elyn was crying, Nora looked at me and said, "Take my picture...cheese!" Little stinker, she wanted a smiling picture while her sister was crying. Just a few things going on with us lately. Thanks for stopping by.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

100 days to go...

until I am required to be in shape enough to run 13.1 miles.

Boy do I have some work to do!

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Ten Things Tuesday

Wow, it's been awhile since I have I go:
XBOX Wife Ten Things Tuesday
1. I had a nice run tonight. It has been forever since I have run on the road. The treadmill has been under my feet most of the time. The weather was beautiful and I didn't die...always a good thing.

2. I started working on Elyn's first birthday invitations today and I think they are going to turn out okay. I can't believe she is ready for a birthday party!!!

3. A new semester. I started teaching again last night. I didn't make too many mistakes and I think my students are excited.

4. Lunch with Matthew. We went to eat lunch with Matthew today. Nora was so excited! It is always a nice change to our routine.

5. All-ready prepared dinner. I made some taco chicken last month and froze half of it. This afternoon, I got it out of the freezer, let it thaw, and viola!, I barely had to cook dinner.

6. Nora's imagination. Tonight at dinner, Nora told me that her dog (her invisible dog) was under the table. I asked her what her dog was named and she told me, very seriously, "Floppy". A few seconds later she informed me her cat was also under the table. Her cat's name? Full. Hahahahahaha!

7. Elyn has decided to stay a crawler, and for that I am thankfu! I'm not ready for her to grow. She takes steps, every now and then, but she prefers speed crawling over walking.

8. A fixed camera. My camera was acting up last week and I took it to the camera shop for them to look at. Apparently, I have using it tremendously...way more than the average picture taker. I didn't think I took an abnormal number of pics, but the "expert" at the store told me that my battery was all used up. THANKFULLY, he gave me a new one for free. I suppose he knows I'll be back in a few months for another and he can charge me then.

9. Reading. I have gotten to read several books in the past few weeks. I love to read and it is so nice when I have some quiet time.

10. Matthew, Nora, and Elyn. My favorite people and I am so very thankful for them!

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Monday, August 25, 2008

Mother's Day Out

Nora had her first day of Mother's Day Out today. She will go every Monday from 9am-2pm.

She was so excited and asked me as soon as she got out of bed this morning, "Am I going to school today?".

Here she is with her teachers, Miss Angela and Miss Teresa. Nora was so interested in all of the toys that she had a hard time standing still for a picture.
I am about to go pick her up. It has been a nice morning and I have gotten a TON of things done...but, I miss my little girl and am excited about finding out about her day.

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Saturday, August 23, 2008

Cousins party

Last weekend, Nora, Elyn, and I went to Texas to attend a family reunion on my dad's side. It had been YEARS since I had seen some of my relatives and I thought it was high time that I make up for that.

Little did I know that I was in for a ROUGH traveling experience.

Keep in mind, I am not afraid to travel by myself and I am not afraid to travel by myself with children. Some people have anxiety attacks at the mere mention of traveling with small kids and no other adult to accompany them. It doesn't bother me too much.

I am pretty organized before embarking on the journey.

I use a backpack instead of a diaper arms are free. I take our portable DVD player with me...instant sanity. I keep both girls in the double stroller AT ALL TIMES, no matter how much the eldest insists that she can walk...I don't worry about them getting stolen. I take advantage of all help...if someone feels sorry for me, great, they can fold my stroller and put it through security while I am removing our shoes. I have tons of snack on hand...instant noise reducer.

And I have great travelers in Nora and Elyn, that makes a huge difference too.

When I got to the airport last Friday, I was prepared and a tad over-confident.

We boarded our plane (really, it was a puddle jumper...tiny) and got seated. Both girls were angels, looking around, taking it all in.

The flight to Houston was pretty uneventful. Nora watched The Bernstein Bears and after a few seconds of fussing, Elyn fell sound asleep. I was reading a book and was paying no attention to the time. I was enjoying my peaceful flight.

Then, the flight attendant gets on the intercom.

"Ladies and gentlemen, I'm sure you have noticed that we are already 40 minutes past our arrival time (um, no, I haven't noticed because I have been enjoying the quiet time in Row 3...what, we're 40 minutes past time? Has the pilot not had his foot on the gas?). Well, the captain has just informed me that we have been in a holding pattern over Houston for the past 45 minutes ([Elyn starts to shift in my arms]...Lady, stop shouting so loud on the intercom!). The airport in Houston has been shut down due to weather conditions and we are being re-routed to Baton Rouge (ummm...I am supposed to go to Austin, do you think the captain can re-route us there? Maybe I should let him hear my screaming baby and I'm sure he would happily go north). Once we land in Baton Rouge, you will all have to remain on the plane until the airport in Houston re-opens. That could be anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours (Lady...hi, remember me? The one with the two kids...are you kidding me????? These kids need to MOVE and I don't know if the germ infested airplane carpet, that is only 6 inches wide, is going to cut it). Let me know if can do anything to make the trip more enjoyable for you (seriously.).

We waited in BR for 30 minutes before we took off for Houston. The nice people on the plane played with my kids and let me go to the Ladies' Room. I don't think the excitement of being on the plane had worn off yet for Nora because she was angelic the entire time. And once I let Elyn down on the floor of the airplane, where forwarded emails of "Things Not to Do on an Airplane or you will DIE" flashed through my head, she was fantastic too.

When we got to Houston, surprise, surprise, our flight to Austin had been canceled.

I went to customer service to wait in the 2 hour line to see when I could get a flight. You could tell that the people working at customer service were sad, sad, sad that they were on the schedule today. I think one was even trying to call in a replacement. Oh, to just be able to call in a replacement.

Some guy, who was on my first flight, saw me waiting in line and came over to give me a phone number to call instead. I called and within 5 minutes the faceless person on the other end of the line had me booked on a flight that left at 7:55pm.

I was supposed to arrive in Austin at 3:45pm.

I was not as prepared as I thought I was at 10am that morning.

I looked into my stroller to find both of my children fast asleep. I found the nearest outlet, plugged in my cell phone and our DVD player. Both were in need of serious charging...especially if mommy wanted to make it to Austin without some medication.

After Nora and Elyn woke up, we went to find something to eat. At least we were at a large airport and had many choices.

Guess what the airport did not have...a children's area. If I ever build an airport, that is a requirement. How can an airport not have a play area for kids? Our little airport in Northwest Arkansas has THREE kids areas. Ridiculous.

Here is something I like about the airport...the family bathrooms.
While I was going to the bathroom, I didn't have to keep an eagle eye on Elyn and make sure she didn't put something in her mouth. I think she looks hilarious in this pic.

And this is what Nora did the majority of the time we waited for our flight. I did not feel like making up fun games for us to play together or having quiet reading/coloring time. I was, again, too busy keeping up with active little sister, making sure we would not need to go to the ER because of something she picked up off the ground and ingested.

Our 7:55 flight did not take off until 10:30pm. We arrived in Austin at 11:30pm. My mom had been waiting at the airport since 2pm that afternoon. We were all exhausted! But, so, so, so happy that we had arrived!

On Saturday, we got to spend the day with my family. It was fantastic! I got to see my brother, Dave, his wife, Renee, and their little boy, my nephew, Wade. My dad wore a smile all day. I think he was proud to have us there. We were sad that my sister, Marty, couldn't be with us, but she was on vacation in South Carolina.

This is my cousin Shanna's little girl, Peyton. LOVE. THOSE. EYES. She turns one next week and is just the sweetest little thing.

Nora drove her absolutely crazy! She could not keep her hands off of her and was constantly wanting to hold her and pick her up. You would think that Nora didn't have a little sister.
This is my nephew, Wade. Couldn't you just eat those cheeks. He turned one in July. He is quite solid and so sweet and calm. My girls looked nuts next to him.
Saturday night, at the cousins party, Elyn only wanted to be with one person. Guess who? I guess the day of traveling before had caught up with her.
Here is my dad, with two of his kids (me and Dave), Dave's wife, and his three grandchildren. Three grandkids under the age of three.

My dad has 12 cousins. Each year, they have a "cousins party". I can remember these parties from when I was little. They were always so much fun. Sometimes it seemed like they lasted all day long. This year, it rained for the majority of it. But that didn't stop the good times. Nora loved getting to play with all the kids...and there were a ton! It was great seeing all my relatives, even though I couldn't remember the names of some. I hope the next cousins party we attend is in the near future.

Before we left on Sunday, we headed over to Kathy's house. Kathy is basically family and we have known her many, many years. It was so great that she got to meet my girls and play with them. We love you Kathy!

Our trip home was less eventful...thank goodness. No flights were delayed and we actually landed at our homebase 5 minutes early. However, half way through our journey home, I called Matthew and told him that I was probably going to kill Nora. Kill her or give her away. She had the meltdown of meltdowns on the plane from Austin to Houston. He encouraged me to not kill her and to bring her home. I found a chocolate chip cookie, inhaled it, took a few deep breaths, said a prayer, and took a very alive Nora home.

It took us about two days to recover from our trip, but it was totally worth it! We made great memories and loved seeing our family. Thanks for the trip, Dad. Thanks for being with us, Mom.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Two firsts

Tonight, Elyn ate spaghetti, obviously all by herself, for the first time. I'm not sure if what actually made it into her mouth will sustain her through the night.

This big girl also took her first steps!!!!!! I have some of it on video. We counted five steps that she took at one time. She is 10 1/2 months old and ready to move on her own two feet. Nora was really sweet, saying, "Come on Elyn...good job!".

It's been a big night at our house!

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Need a good photographer?

Well, if you live in Northwest Arkansas, I have one for you!

My friend, Melissa Halford, just started her photography business and I was lucky enough to have my sweet girls photographed by her at the beginning of the summer.

Check out her website ( and fall in love! She is super talented and will make you feel like you have been friends forever when you first meet her.

And, if want to see the pics of my beauties, go to "clients" and type "dallas" in the password spot.

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Sunday, August 17, 2008

Trip to remember

The girls and I just got back from a trip to Texas to visit my dad and that side of my family.

Lots of stories to go along with the pictures...both I will try to add tomorrow.

Let's just say...NO POTTY TRAINING happened this weekend! It would have put me over an already crumbling edge.

Seeing my family was great. It's the traveling I could have done without.

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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Update on potty-training...Updated

***Updated...If you do not enjoy reading about the trials of potty-training, then I suggest you find another blog to read for the next few days. It's what is consuming my life, so it will consume my blog. You have been warned.
Today was a fantastic day! No accidents at home, panties were dry the whole day, she woke up DRY from her nap (she wears a diaper to nap and bedtime)...and then, we went to the grocery store. I put her in a Pull-Up and told her if she needed to potty she needed to tell me. All through the grocery store, I reminded her and asked her. Each time she told me that she didn't have to go. Went to Chick-fil-A after that and repeated the same question and answer series. We were sitting there, I was feeding Elyn and Nora was eating her chicken when she looked at me and said, "Tee-tee!". I scooped up Elyn as fast as I could, asked the ladies sitting at the table beside us to watch my stuff (they looked honest) and ran Nora to the Ladies' Room. I sat her up on the potty and she went!!!! Yea! AND her Pull-Up was dry! And when Matthew got there, after his meetings, she said she had to go to the potty again! She went to the potty and still had a dry Pull-Up! I was so proud of her!!! I was a little concerned though because she hadn't pooped all day! I kept telling all day that if she needed to poop then she needed to go on the potty. she kept telling me no. Fast forward to bathtime...she pooped. AND she blamed it on Elyn! Hahahahahahahaha!!!!! Apparently my girl has a case of the "shy poops". I'm hoping it does not lead to constipation! Any suggestions?
Overall, I feel like today was a success!

Ughhh...I am exhausted! Potty training is not a bed of, if you think it is you are a LIAR!

Yesterday, as I mentioned before, was a beating. She had FIVE accidents in the morning and I was ready to call it quits. Thankfully, Matthew came home for lunch and brought some sanity with him. I sure appreciated that dose of sanity.

The afternoon was much better! She was accident free...until we got to church.

I decided to stay in her class with her because I didn't feel it was fair to saddle her teachers with the load I had brought. I constantly asked her if her panties were dry and they were. The problem happened when I started feeling smug. I looked over and saw an odd look on her face. Yep, you guessed, she had pooped in her panties.

This was the first time she had pooped all day and didn't quite know what to do, what with her being in panties and all.

We cleaned up and 5 minutes later it happened AGAIN!

I cleaned her up again and put on the last pair of panties I had brought.

I continued to ask her if her panties were dry when all of a sudden I saw her grab herself and say, "Potty!". Sadly, we didn't make it in time and her last pair of panties was wet. I put a diaper on her and left the room. I mean, there was no need for me to hang around anymore.

I wasn't sure I was up to a repeat from yesterday when I woke up this morning. So, I put a diaper on her first thing (I know, I'm a quitter). But, low and behold, she announced she had to tee-tee a few minutes after.

So, at 2:26pm, we are accident free. We'll see how the rest of the day goes, but I am feeling a little bit more optimistic.

I feel like I am training for my own Olympic medal.

Day one: not too sure about this!
Since all training is happening in the kitchen, we have spent the majority of our time playing on the floor. Elyn is just happy to have something to destroy.
Nora wanted to get in on the picture action too.
Day two: a little bit more confident.
Cute little panties!
My house is a disaster area, I have not showered today, both of my girls are still in their pajamas, and I have three loads of laundry waiting to be folded. See, I told you diapers were easier!

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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Attention blogger buddies and thanks Scott!

I have received many comments from my blogger friends regarding my blog's ability to update.

If you have set up your blog to tell you which of your friends' have updated their blogs (does that make ANY sense?), then you know that my blog is not one that updates...and it's not because I don't. We all know I have loads of thought-provoking posts all the time.

My computer-savvy friend, Scott told me the problem, and here it is:

For some your RSS feed is a little screwy. Have all of your friends try linking
to you through this instead:

So, if you feel up to it and have a few seconds, maybe you would like to change my info.

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

What I have dreaded has begun

***Updated to add: Several of you have asked me what book I use. It was recommended by a friend (shout out to Danielle) who used it with her daughter and it worked like a charm. Unfortunately, we have not experienced the same stellar results that she had (FIVE accidents already today...I may lose my mind!). Anyway the book is Toilet Training in Less Than a Day. It was originally published in 1974. Some of the language is old-fashioned and the drawings are rather outdated, but it's still a good book. Although, I think I will use a Sharpie to change the name of mine to: Toilet Training in a Week...Please God, just a week!***

I never have understood why some parents are so eager to potty-train their children. It makes NO sense to me. Don't they realize how much easier it is to keep the kid in diapers?

The only thinking ahead that is required with diapers is "did I put one in the diaper bag?".

When potty training, you have to think "Okay, if she goes to the potty immediately before we leave to go (insert location) then when we get there, I can rush her to the bathroom and hopefully we will avert any accidents".

Then, while at said location, you are constantly on your toes, checking your watch, asking your child, "Do you have to go to the potty?" one million times, watching for the "tee-tee dance".

And then, before you leave, you have to go to the bathroom, pray for SOMETHING to come out, and then rush home before a wet carseat has to be cleaned.

Sigh. It's exhausting just typing it.

Well, today was potty-training day number one at our house. And really, potty-training did not even begin until 4:30pm.

BUT, during the 4 hour time frame before bed, Nora tee-teed in the potty 4 times (each success rewarded with a peanut butter M&M...tomorrow, she is rewarded with stickers...I don't want to cause childhood obesity with potty-training) and had 1 accident. And, I'm not so sure she would have had the accident had she been indoors.

She was playing outside with Matthew and got to laughing really hard and just couldn't control her bladder. At least the accident was outside!

Even though she was laughing hysterically and probably would have wet all over herself even if she had been potty-trained for a year, we still went through the steps that our book told us to go through.

We (Matthew) made her walk from the site of the accident to her potty 6 times (the book says to do it 10), telling her the whole way, "We tee-tee in the potty, not on the grass". She was crying by the end of it. I'm sure this won't be the last time we do the "potty walk".

So, it's begun. She will be 2 1/2 this month and has shown some interest sporadically.

Maybe my days of buying size 3 and 4 diapers are drawing to a close.

But, it's easier.

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Sunday, August 10, 2008

It's over

Summer is over and we are sad. Matthew starts work tomorrow and it will just be us three girls at the house. We will miss him so much!!!!!! It has been so nice to have him around this summer! I know I will miss him a ton, but I think his buddy, Nora, will miss him more than anyone.

We got home last night from our SEVENTEEN hour drive. It was a long day. Our girls did a FANTASTIC job traveling...thank you DVD player.

I know I have added several pics of our trip, but I have more to share. As I was going through them tonight, I was disappointed that I didn't get more. And I got A LOT, but I feel like I missed out on several things.

This is a picture of Nora and Bailey, my cousin Julie's little boy. They had the best time together and Nora has been asking for him today. She is going to be going through a serious detox this week...Daddy is going back to work and Bailey is in Texas. Poor kid!
Okay, off to job begins again tomorrow too.

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Friday, August 08, 2008

Going home

We had a great time...
...but we are headed home tomorrow.
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Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Tantrums and sand...they don't mix

Ahhhh...the joys of a toddler.

Setting: blazing hot Florida parking lot

Problem: Nora wanted a specific sand bucket amidst a plethora of sand buckets. When she was not given the one she had her eye on, she lost it. And, I lost it.

Solution: Took beach towel out of beach bag and threw it down on asphalt (which was the temperature of molten lava by the way). Made Nora sit on it until she quit screaming...which she didn't. Everyone else in our group had already walked to the beach, leaving us to deal with each other. About 10 minutes passed and I yanked her up and we took off for the super fun beach.

Problem: She screamed and cried the whole way to the beach. She also kept begging me not to hold her hand. I guess I had a tight grip on it.

Solution: When we finally arrived at our destination, I made (threw) her sit in the tent we had set up until she quit crying. She is lucky I didn't make her sit on the bottom of the ocean until she had quit. I was about at my limit with understand, right?

After about 10 minutes of thrashing around in the sand, she told me she was all done crying. And, being the excellent mother that I am, I took pictures. Here they are.
She is all done crying in the next two pictures but I felt it was necessary to document how sandy she was...and she hadn't done any actual playing yet.

And in this picture, we are friends again...just a mere 5 minutes after the tantrum.

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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

This is where we are and this is what people ride around on. It's very "beachy".

Yesterday was our first day on the beach. We were there for a few minutes before we got yelled at for going into the water. Apparently, Edouard was in the way. We didn't know. You can tell we have been watching a lot of television since we have been here.
So we went to the pool instead. And it was fun!
But, Nora didn't feel good when we got home last night. Poor girl. Elyn was having a blast though!
I've included the next three pictures to show you how I have been dressing my children in when we are at the house. I have packed many, many cute matching outfits for them. But, they are constantly wearing their matching diapers instead. They're comfortable and I don't have to do nearly as much laundry.
We went back to the beach today and the waves weren't as big. It was Elyn's first time to get down and play in the giant sandbox. After we had been there for about 20 minutes...
I was giving her water to wash the sand out of her mouth. She didn't like the taste. I have to keep my eyes on that girl.
Tonight, we got to go out to eat with my sister, cousins and their husbands...with NO KIDS! It was very nice! See how relaxed we are.
The vacation is going quickly. We are having fun and soaking up the sun...hopefully more pictures to come later on this week.

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