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Friday, April 29, 2011

National Infertility Awareness Week - Myth Busting All Over the Place!!

Myth: As soon as you adopt, you’ll get pregnant.

Resolve is an amazing organization sponsoring National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW) to shine the
light on this devastating disease.  As their website states:

RESOLVE’s goal is to increase the conversation about infertility and to inform the public that:

*Infertility is a disease that affects 1 in 8 couples of reproductive age
*There are many ways to build a family 
*Help reduce the stigma by bringing attention to the details/issues/costs surrounding all ways people diagnosed with infertility can build a family.
*Understand when to seek the help of a specialist

One big way this can be done is to tackle some of the myths associated with Infertility.  I remember all too well how frustrating it was to try to explain to the people in my life what I was going through while actively trying to get pregnant.  Virtually everything others tried to say to help ended up being hurtful and aggravating and only served to isolate me further with my pain that no one seemed to understand.  And given that those things were generally said while I was also dealing with a particularly draining or painful treatment event did not make for a time when I felt like gently educating those around me.  Usually I would instead snap and say something mean and then I had some nice guilt to pile on my already large load.  I can remember one time standing paralyzed in the middle of my yard, utterly speechless (couldn't even find the words to tell my husband what was going on at the moment), completely dumbfounded (jaw-dropping dumbfounded) and sobbing over something someone had said.  The tears were coming so fast and were so abundant that I couldn't even see - and I am not normally a cryer.  By helping to educate others on Infertility, I hope to spare other Infertile folks some of those frustrating and painful conversations and moments.  If more people understood the truth about Infertility and let go of the myths, the chances of saying something hurtful would decrease for sure.  And trust me, the last thing an Infertile couple needs is more hurt.

So, here I go to bust a myth.

Myth: As soon as you adopt, you’ll get pregnant.

Resolve says Busted!: This is a myth!  Adoption does not guarantee or ensure pregnancy, and it should not be used as a means to try and get pregnant.  Pregnancy is a biological process, and a couple can not determine if and when they will become pregnant.

Let me expand on what Resolve says about this myth and have a little mini-rant too.  Why someone would say this to someone else is just beyond my comprehension.  So, John and Jane Doe have depleted their savings to go through many, many cycles of varying medical interventions to try to become pregnant.  Clearly those doctors didn't know what they were doing because the obvious solution is to adopt since that is most definitely part of the biological equation necessary for a successful pregnancy.  All those people out there with biological children without adopting - yeah, you all are freaks of nature!  You should have had to suffer for months and years of failed cycles to then be placed under someone else's judgement of whether you are worthy to raise a child before being allowed to adopt and THEN you can get pregnant.  On second thought, I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy.

Not that adoption isn't a wonderful and beautiful thing - it just isn't the cure for the infertile body.  Adopting won't fix what is wrong inside the reproductive parts or the endocrine system or the many other causes of infertility.  Adopting won't magically set the stage for a successful pregnancy.  Adopting simply builds or expands a family.  Whether the infertile couple goes on to experience a successful pregnancy or not has no correlation to the adoption itself.  I didn't go into adoption expecting to get a pregnancy out of it.  I wanted a baby - I wanted to be someone's mommy - I didn't care how that child came to be.  And to excitedly insinuate that a pregnancy could result from an adoption is like insinuating that adoption is second best and that the mother won't be a bona-fide mother unless she births a child and thank goodness she adopted so that she could finally get that elusive pregnancy and be a true mom. 

Oh we know that isn't what you meant but that sure is how it feels.  I mourned pregnancy because I wanted the experience of it, of birth, of nursing.  I wanted the sickness and the aches and pains and sleepless nights and waddling walk.  I wanted to feel a baby move and kick and tumble inside of me and push my belly outward.  I wanted to have that baby all to myself for 9 months before giving birth and finally seeing the face of the child I carried.  Genetics never had anything to do with it.  I was already in the habit of collecting up family members that had no genetic ties to me anyway and I never felt like that was a requirement to be family.  I still hoped for the chance to grow our family through a successful pregnancy but I certainly didn't think Reagan was going to be my magic key to the pregnancy and birth experience.  And guess what?  She wasn't.  And neither will her soon to be brother.  And that's ok.  Because I get to be their mommy and that is the best thing in the world! 

I do hope others will take a little time to become better educated about Infertility.  Knowledge and understanding really go a long way to helping to support your friend, family member, coworker, neighbor, etc. who may be infertile.  A great place to start is here - http://www.resolve.org/infertility101.  For more information about the background of National Infertility Awareness Week® (NIAW), visit: http://www.resolve.org/takecharge

Thanks so much for reading!

5 Question Friday - The Weekend is Here!! Woohoo!

I am doing two separate blog posts today.  One for 5QF and one to participate in National Infertility Awareness Week with Resolve.  If you'd like to join in the 5QF fun, head on over to My Little Life and play along!


1. If you could buy any car, money not an option, what would it be?
I am so boring anymore with cars.  Anytime I've ever tried to buy something other than a Honda it has been a disaster for me.  So, I stick to those.  As for the model I am currently coveting?  The Odyssey - yup, I admit it - I actually WANT a minivan.  One of my friends and I frequently do things together out and about with our kids and sometimes we have to take two cars to fit the kids and our stuff.  As soon as my little boy is born we will always be taking two cars unless we leave a kid behind at home.  But, if I had a minivan then we could still go all in one car!  Oh it is the little things.  LOL
Exterior Photo of 2011 Honda Odyssey
2. What was your worst first date ever?
It has been so long since I've had a first date and none of them were particularly horrific so I had to think about this one.  I suppose it was the time I agreed to go out with a guy that I wasn't really attracted to and didn't have much in common with but decided to give the date a try anyway.  It was such a loooooong first date and I was so bored and I kept trying to figure out a way to end it without completely hurting his feelings but he kept talking on and on and on about future things he had planned for the two of us to do and all I could think was GET ME OUT OF HERE!  After it finally ended he kept trying to set up a second date with me and there was just no way I was going. 

3. How old were you when you fell in love for the first time?
I was in love a million times before I ever got into high school (there was Menudo and Ricky Schroeder and Kirk Cameron and Magnum PI and, and, oh boy I am dating myself here!) but I suppose my first true love was a boy I met in high school who I dated off and on and off and on and off and on and off and on throughout those 4 years.  We were never one of those outwardly public couples and never could seem to get on the same page at the same time with each other but I did love him.  Part of me probably still does just because he was the first to steal my heart.  Haven't seen or heard from him in many years now.
4. When was the last time you reconciled your checkbook?
Don't ask - I am not sure I even know where my checkbook is.

5. If you were going to fashion a "Wanted" Ad for a best friend, how would you word it?
Must be non-judgemental, must not expect punctuality, must be flexible, must be able to laugh at the small, simple pleasures in life.  Oh and lots of money to share would be awesome too! 

Check back later for my Resolve post!

Monday, April 25, 2011

36 Weeks Today! - Registry Info as Requested

Today our birth mother is 36 weeks pregnant.  One more week until he's considered full-term and four more weeks until his due date!  I can't believe how close it is getting.  We are so excited to meet him.

I have had a couple people ask me if I was having a shower or if I had registered anywhere and if so would I post the info.  As far as the shower goes - I don't think anyone is planning one for me and I wasn't exactly expecting one anyway.  :-)  I am, though, hoping to have a meet the baby party sometime after his birth so that everyone can see him.  As for registering, I did register at the request of some others for gift ideas.  I know I always appreciate having a list to pick from so I registered at Babies R Us and Target.  On those registries is a 2nd choice carrier - 2nd choice to my ultimate wish of this carrier or this one
  
With having two to take out very soon, a carrier that I can use for the infant or the toddler is at the tip-top of my wish list.  I realize it is pricey though AND my 1st choice for carrier isn't available through either store so I put the 2nd choice on there as well.

So for those that asked, here are the links to my registries.  Babies R Us and Target.  Diapers, wipes and formula are all sure bets. ;-)

Have a great Monday all!

Friday, April 22, 2011

5 Question Friday - Weekend Plans

Apparently little miss Reagan does not want a pretty proper lady-like picture with the Easter Bunny this year. Yesterday she scrambled away from her daddy, giggling, not watching where she was going and promptly tripped, turned and busted her bottom lip. Just a bit ago I got a call that she was running around outside with Uncle Uncle (what she has taken to calling my brother - if we tell her to say it properly she will but she prefers Uncle Uncle). She ran, telling him - can't get meeeeee - and proceeded to trip and bust her top lip. Today is the day I planned for bunny pictures. My little bruiser is going to be in a pretty little dress with pretty little sandals and a tough cookie busted mouth. LOL I think this is a little karma because it wasn't that long ago that I was discussing a baby product I saw and laughing at who would have to be so over-protective that they would buy THAT?!?! Hmmmm....not looking like the most ridiculous idea in the world anymore. But, no, I'm still not going to buy one. Instead, this year's bunny pictures will just have to showcase two busted lips.

Saturday morning we are off to an egg hunt - Reagan's first egg hunt actually. No afternoon plans just yet but there are a few ideas in the works.  Saturday evening we are headed over to one of my BFF's house for some casual girl time.  Easter morning we will go to sunrise service by the lake at our church and spend the rest of the day with family and friends. I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend and a joyous Easter!

Now head on over to My Little Life and link up for some 5QF!




1. What is your favorite Easter tradition?
The celebration of the resurrection at church. Even as a child the Easter service was so exciting to me. The church I attend now has a lake near the property and even though I am not an early riser, I love the sunrise service by the lake. It is just so beautiful.

2. Are you a "shower" or a "long, hot bath" kind of person?
I thoroughly enjoy a long, hot bath however I don't really have time for those anymore. For cleaning purposes though I definitely prefer a shower.

3. Can you parallel park and if so when is the last time you did it?
I suppose, given enough time and patience that I could parallel park but it has never been one of my talents. It was the only area that I lost points during my driving test - points were deducted every two minutes and when you got to like 6 or 8 minutes you failed the entire test. I passed but lost points. I can't remember the last time I actually parallel parked in its true form. Usually I start whining for someone else to take over for that part. Many of my IRL friends can attest to having had to take over for me.

4. What is your favorite Easter candy?
Favorite? Just one? I look forward to the hollow chocolate bunnies the most. Closely behind are Peeps, Cadbury eggs and the egg candy-coated malt balls.

5. Easter: do you go all out with the Easter Bunny or focus on the religious part of the holiday?
We do both.  We look at the Easter Bunny and all the goodies as an extension of the happiness and joy that Jesus rose.  Easter is a celebration and what celebration is complete without goodies?!

Happy Easter everyone!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I am SO glad to see THIS!

I read an article today that I couldn't agree with more.  It is an opinion piece titled Parents, don't dress your girls like tramps.  If you have the time, please go read it.  It's really good.  I'll wait...

Did you read it?  Are you saying hell yeah like I am?!  This article speaks to so many aspects of my beliefs anyway that I was floored.  First - personal responsibility.  I am pretty big on taking responsibility for your part in things.  I don't want to hear a bunch of excuses and have to walk through the dust cloud of someone trying to deflect blame away from themselves.  If it is truly someone else's fault that will be clearly evident and you won't even have to say a word.  So, for all the whining about companies making inappropriate items, it is ultimately the parents' failure if they buy it. 

Oh and then the whole be a parent and not a friend thing.  Can't even tell you how many times I've tried to get that point across to people.  Who cares if your teenager hates you because of your rules - they are supposed to!!!  That's kind of an indicator that you are doing a good job.  LOL  I fully expect Reagan to spew hateful things at me (or at least about me) when she is a teenager because I won't let her do something stupid or dangerous or inappropriate.  And while the words themselves might hurt me in that moment, it is just not worth her future to try to be her friend first through her pre-teen and teenage years.  I am her mom and sometimes the mom isn't popular.  Oh well.  I'll live.

So that brings me back to the subject of the article.  Dressing little girls like little hoochie mamas.  Not going to happen at my house.  Now granted during my college years I had my share of hoochie mama outfits so that part doesn't bother me so much as how completely inappropriate it is for a child to dress that way.  I dressed that way during college for one reason only - to attract the attention of males.  I wanted the free drinks and the compliments and the sense of power.  I however do NOT want males looking at my child that way.  And they will - there are plenty of perverts out there.  Enough so that I don't even feel comfortable letting Reagan run naked on the beach as a toddler and that stinks because every toddler should be able to run naked on the beach.  That is their "Adam and Eve" time and shouldn't have to be sheltered because of a bunch of sick people.  Anyway...

Reagan's bathing suits are all one pieces, tankinis or rash guards.  I see those teeny tiny bikinis for sale and I just don't feel right about putting her in one.  Sure they are cute but it has always made me uncomfortable to think of a little girl in a miniature bikini and how that somehow turns her into an object in some people's minds (not to mention added sun exposure).  I see teeny tiny girls in little bikinis all the time here in Florida and it just isn't something I want for my daughter.  I want her to be an innocent child for as long as possible and besides, I think traditional children's clothing is way cuter than any hoochie mama outfit any day!

Friday, April 15, 2011

5 Question Friday and PETA Response

I am so glad Friday is here even though this week did go by pretty quickly for me.  I have no real big plans for the weekend.  We will be out all day on Saturday and still nothing yet planned for Sunday.  Maybe I'll be able to knock off some of the organizing I want to get done - but then again, maybe I'll find something better to do.  :-)

If you are looking for some Friday virtual fun, head on over to My Little Life and link up for some 5 Question Friday fun.


1. What is your favorite sign of spring?
Well living in Florida we get spring much sooner than most of the rest of the country.  As much as I dislike birds and they dislike me, I do love to watch the mating rituals and listen to the chirping as they pair off.  We have a cardinal pair living in our yard right now and they are hilarious to watch.

2. What was your best birthday ever?
Oh this is easy - it was my birthday in 2009.  It was my first birthday as a mommy (finally!) and my husband and I went to Epcot for the day with Reagan - her first Disney trip at 5 months old.  It was so cool to wear my birthday button and have so many random people say happy birthday throughout the day.  One lady who worked in The Land building sang me this beautiful birthday song in Spanish.  I could have listened to her sing all day. 

3. What is your favorite dessert?
It is a toss up between any sweet banana treat and any sweet chocolate treat.  Mix the two together though and we have a winner!

4. What is the best excuse you've ever used to get out of a ticket?
I've never offered an excuse for being pulled over.  I've always instead tried to be super polite and contrite to hopefully get off with a warning.  One big escape that comes to mind was once during college I was pulled over in an area that was notorious for speeding tickets.  When the officer came up to my car he said, "Well I had started to let you go by but then you hit that 10 mph over mark just before I turned the radar off.".  My pure reaction was an incredulous "Are you SERIOUS?!?!?" along with a sarcastic "Way to go me!"  That made him laugh so hard that he ended up giving me just a warning - and then he teased that I had better not tell anyone that I got a warning in that town since rumor had it they didn't even own warning books.  LOL

5. Do you wake up before your alarm, with your alarm, or after hitting snooze several times?
Oy.  I am really, really, really trying to get better at the waking up in the morning with the alarm thing and have made some progress but left to my own devices I will wake up after hitting the snooze button around 14 times.  Even if it is across the room - I'll just get up, walk over, hit snooze, walk back to bed and go back to sleep.  I was thinking my baby would become my alarm clock but she loves to sleep in as much as I do.  :-)

And now, only because I promised, here is PETA's response to my email concerning their misguided tie-in to National Infertility Awareness Week.  The good news is that the effort to get PETA to remove the tie-in that was led by Hannah Wept, Sarah Laughed was successful and rather quickly too.  So, my response from them is way late being posted but I did want to post it none-the-less.

From: Zoe Rappoport [mailto:ZoeR@petaf.org]
Sent: Saturday, April 09, 2011 7:31 PM
To: Dawn
Subject: EXTERNAL: RE: "Win a Vasectomy"

Dear Dawn,

Thank you for contacting PETA about your objections to our contest offering a free vasectomy; please allow me to respond for Ingrid. We are sorry to have offended you, and we have removed all mentions of National Infertility Awareness Week from our website. We understand that this was not a wise choice of words.

Our goal was to focus attention on the tragic suffering and death of homeless dogs and cats. Since the best way to prevent animal companions from having unwanted litters is to spay and neuter them, a kind PETA member offered to cover the cost of a vasectomy for one compassionate man who wants to get himself “snipped” just like his furry friend.

To learn more about our efforts to address the animal overpopulation crisis, please visit . Thank you again for contacting us and for the opportunity to share our thoughts.

Sincerely,
Zoe Rappoport
Correspondent
PETA Foundation

So there you have it.  I am grateful that PETA didn't put up too much of a fight in removing the references.  I hope everyone has a great weekend.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Really PETA?

As much as I love animals and support their humane treatment, I've never been a fan of the organizations that are more talk, pomp and circumstance than they are direct help for animals (PETA, Humane Society of the United States - NOT to be confused with individual local humane societies with actual shelters, etc.). I've often shaken my head at the tactics, antics and cultish behavior I've seen from such organizations. Well PETA has managed to touch a nerve with me and I had to speak up about it. Their latest campaign is Win A Vasectomy where " In honor of National Infertility Awareness Week (April 24 to 30), PETA will give one free vasectomy to a man who has recently had his companion cat or dog neutered."  A voluntary vasectomy for a man I have no issue with.  The neuter of a companion cat or dog is awesome.  It is the "In honor of National Infertility Awareness Week" that ticks me off.

PETA says, "Human overpopulation is crowding out animal life on the planet, and dog and cat overpopulation is creating a euthanasia crisis that is a crying shame. Disappearing wilderness, vanishing water resources, and pollution is the price that future generations will pay for more human births, while losing their lives is the price that millions of homeless dogs and cats pay when guardians neglect to "fix" their companion animals."

Wow, PETA.  Way to take a medical condition (infertility) and twist it for your own agenda.  How insulting to over 7.3 million women aged 15-44 in the United States alone and countless others who are not included in those statistics not to mention the millions of men suffering from infertility.  7.3 million women in the U.S. alone.  That is 7,300,000.  Almost the equivalent to the entire population of Virginia.  Only 12 states out of 50 have an equivalent population more than that.  That is an awful lot of people to offend in one fell swoop with such a shameless bid for attention.  We know, though, that to organizations like PETA any attention is good attention.  But I digress.

In the interest of free speech and the recognition of opinions different from my own, I chose to question PETA from a slightly different standpoint.  Hypocrisy.  I joined up with others speaking up about infertility and against PETA with Hannah Wept Sarah Laughed and wrote my own letter to PETA.

This is what I wrote to Ingrid Newkirk and Carrie Snider of PETA:

I’m not sure if I am as shocked by this PETA “campaign” as much as I am disgusted. There are so many policies of PETA that I find misguided that this becomes just the latest in the string. I was part of the hands-on animal rescue community for many years spaying and neutering every animal I could legally get my hands on and then adopting them out to responsible owners so I do have the proper perspective needed to evaluate the policies of PETA. That being said, I’d like to focus on the hypocrisy of this latest ridiculous idea. I would like PETA to publicly publish the family and fertility status of each and every member of the organization. How many pushing this campaign already have children they birthed? How many have had themselves voluntarily made infertile? How many have or are in the process of adopting a child? How much money has PETA donated to offset the costs of an infertile couple to adopt? How much money has PETA donated to support an orphaned child? I do expect every organization to practice what they preach so please, prove to the public that all of the members of PETA practice everything they preach.

I will post any responses if any are sent.  I am still shaking my head. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

I think he might have a name soon.

Recently I wrote about how we were having a difficult time naming the soon to arrive baby boy.  Just for a little perspective, back when we got the call that the birth mother was pregnant again (about 10 weeks along) I announced to some of my friends that the baby was a boy and his name was Lucas.  Throughout the next few months I would text out other announcements that it was a boy and his name was ____ where I would insert the name of choice for that day/week.  For the first couple of months I went back to Lucas several times.  My husband always said Duff.  It started as a silly toss out name before we knew Reagan would be a girl and then he tried to convince me that he really did like it so he tortured me with it.  It got dropped until we knew this baby is a boy and he started again.  Only I think this time he really had himself convinced that he liked it.

Anyway, after the ultrasound confirmed that the baby is a boy we realized we really did have to agree on a name at some point.  Lucas was no longer on the "short list" as I had discovered it recently became a top ten name.  And I am just not a fan of using a top ten name.  Which is generally a disappointment because I happen to like most of the top ten names.  So, after going through several thousand names, my list looked like this:
Archer, Asher, Carson, Carter, Chad, Corbyn, Elijah, Hudson, Isaac, Jeremy, Landon, Mason, Nathan, Nathaniel, Parker, Roman, Ryder, Sawyer, Tyson, Zander, Zane

I handed the list to my husband, letting him know that my top 5 (at least at that point) were: 
Zane, Chad, Nathan, Carson and Archer

The reason those were my top 5 that day was because he previously had told me that Hudson was not going to happen on one of the days that was my favored name.  He responded that the only name he didn't hate on my list was Zane and that we could discuss that one further.  Later.  Apparently he meant much later.

Since the baby still had no name and we are approaching full-term, I went back to the drawing board and pushed aside my avoidance of top ten to come up with an alternate list (that still managed to include some from the previous list).
Liam, Logan, Hudson, Zane, Seth, Kevin, Ashton, Tyson, Leo, Aiden, Lucas

Tyson was really starting to grow on me, Zane remained a favorite, Hudson I still loved. Seth doesn't exactly flow with our last name but was a name my husband had mentioned back before we named Reagan as a girl so I added it to the list. And with pushing aside the top ten aversion, Lucas came back to the list.

Well shortly after making this new list, my husband announces that he will agree to Zane at the same moment that I decided that I really wanted a two syllable name and was going back to cross off the single syllable names. While I adore the name Zane and it is still a huge favorite of mine, something about it just didn't feel quite as though this was meant to be our child's name.

Last night, though, I do believe we came to a decision. I said a name that was originally on my mega-list (but I've omitted it from this post) that had previously been somewhat ignored and dismissed by my husband. When I said it last night and my husband repeated it in a somewhat shortened manner (to test out that potential nickname), both of us were shaking our head yes and he responded with - that is really kind of cool. So while he said it is now between that name and one of the repeat listed two syllable names above, I really think it is going to end up being the name I have yet to write. Because that is the name that feels so right for this baby and that feeling is what has been missing throughout all the other names we have discussed. And it is kind of fitting that last night was when all of this became clear to me. Last night marked 3 years since we lost my niece Emily so I had been thinking of her constantly all day long. I truly believe she named Reagan and I had been begging her to do the same with this new one so I am positive she made a special appearance last night to let me know the correct name for this baby and that she chose that particular time so I could be sure she helped. I really wish she was here with us in the flesh but I am sure glad that she stays so close - especially to my children.

So, stay tuned for the announcement of my little frog's name. We are getting so excited to meet him!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Future Decisions

I read a blog post recently where a mom was trying to figure out whether her 5 year old son would benefit from a delayed kindergarten start and it got me thinking.  The Florida kindergarten statute says that in order for a child to enroll in kindergarten, the child must have attained the age of 5 on or before September 1st.  For Reagan, with a December birthday, she will be 5 years and roughly 9 months old when she starts kindergarten - so almost 6.  At first I was upset by this because, after all, she is (in my completely unbiased opinion) brilliant and certainly doesn't need an extra almost year! :-)  After a while though, I became glad that the decision was out of my hands - meaning that I simply am not allowed to send her during the calendar year she turns 5 so by default she will be older and more mature when she starts school and therefore less likely to struggle due to maturity issues.  And if she ever whines that she is older than almost everyone in her class I can tell her to blame the state lawmakers instead of me.  LOL

Well the next logical thought is uh-oh, baby #2 is going to have a May birthday and is going to be a boy and boys seem to struggle more than girls with the maturity required to sit and learn and now what am I going to do?!?!  Per the statutes, he could start kindergarten the calendar year he turns 5 - at around 5 years and 2-3 months.  That scares me.  I don't want him to go just to go and while I may think he is ready he quite likely might not be.  And if he isn't and I have him repeat kindergarten how might that effect his self-esteem?  He's not even born yet and I am already seriously considering just waiting and having him start kindergarten at 6 years and 2-3 months when I know for sure he'll be ready.  It is times like these when I wish they had staggered start programs.  Say an August school year start for some kids and a January start for others.  I'm sure the logistics of that, along with the cost, would be a nightmare but a girl can wish.  But, I suppose it could be worse, he could have a June, July or August birthday to make my decision even harder. 

I know we will cross this bridge when we come to it but I spend a lot of time mulling around ideas to best set my child(ren) up for success and trying hard to consider future ramifications of decisions that appear as simple as 'you are 5, go to school'.  I guess I'll just stay open to both options for now and go from there.
 
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