Months 8 and 9

I’m trying to keep up, but I guess I’m not doing a great job at it nowadays!  Maybe now that I’m more settled and in a routine I will be able to keep up with the monthly updates…guess we’ll see.  Here is the latest:

  • We officially sold our home in Bella Vista and are once again Fayetteville residents!  Yay!  I cannot tell you what a relief it is to be out of the old house and back into a town I view as ‘home.’ The packing and moving process was HORRIBLE with a baby, but we managed through it and now we are all set-up in our rental while we continue to look for our next house to buy.  I’ll be honest- I haven’t spent a lot of time recently looking at homes…it’s just hasn’t been a priority when there has been so much other stuff going on.  Hopefully that will change soon.  Want to know one of the best things about our new rental?  We are literally within 5-10 minutes from several good good friends…and I love it.  I love my friends in Rogers/Bentonville/Bella Vista, don’t get me wrong, but here we have more friends who are not only closer, but more willing to come over AND less busy on a regular basis.  It’s nice and something I didn’t realize I needed so badly.
  • Work is going well, except for the craziness that is the beef/brisket market right now.  It’s killing my costs and causing me lots of headaches.  I am getting a lot more work done nowadays, though, because I have put Finley in a Mother’s Day Out program a couple of days of week.  2 days most weeks…sometimes 3 days if I have a lot going on.  I cried the first couple of days, but now I’m feeling better about it.  Fin doesn’t seem to mind it and I get soooo much done while she’s there…it had to be done.  I was falling behind and didn’t have anyone to help me with her at home anymore so it is what it is and I’m ok with it now.  It’s been an adjustment, but I think that both Finley and myself have done well with it.
  • I’m feeling decent postpartum, but my hormones are still out-of-whack and I still want to eat everything I see all the time because of the breastfeeding.  I thought I’d lose all kinds of weight while I was breastfeeding, but instead I want to eat all the time and I’ve slowly been putting weight back ON instead of losing more.  It’s annoying, but I’m about to start working on slowly (like over the course of a couple of months) weaning Fin so at least I know after that I can really focus on myself for a bit and get back where I want/need to be.
  • My plan for weaning being developed…I don’t know exactly what I want to do because I’m really have mixed feelings about the whole weaning thing.  On one hand, I love that I’m still nursing Fin and giving her all that liquid gold…and I LOVE LOVE the snuggles and sweet time I get with her while breastfeeding (because face it, I have a wild child and if she wasn’t nursing I’d never get snuggles)…but on the other hand I’m really ready to start working on myself and ready to get my hormones back in balance.  I’d probably stretch out nursing past 1, except I have a vacation planned for late Jan right after Fin’s bday…and I want to have her weaned before I leave so that it’s not a shock for her while I’m gone…and so I don’t to pump/worry about it while I’m gone.  So I have a date.  I’m thinking that within the next couple of weeks I’ll cut out a daytime feeding and give her formula mixed with bm instead…and then after a week I’ll cut out the other daytime feeding…then the morning…then eventually the night…til I’m all done.  I think.  I’ll keep you posted.

Speaking of Finley, that baby girl is growing like a weed.  I’m always shocked when I look back at the previous update and realize how much more she’s doing than just a month or two ago!

In September (month 8), she began really crawling like a champ (fast…and determined, unlike months 6/7 where it was more of an army crawl or slow crawl) and saying mom/momma all the time.  She definitely knows her momma, lol.  She also continued right along with being a good eater, eating pretty much anything we put in front of her.  Finley also started waving bye-bye and clapping on her own during month 8.  She had two of her bottom teeth (center) pop through right at the end of month 7, and that’s all she still has to date.

In October (month 9), Fins started saying Dada and Bye-Bye and I think I’ve heard dog, but not 100% on that one.  She also started playing peek-a-boo this month…on her own (as in holds a blanket over head and all).  It’s adorable.  Fin has decided she GREATLY prefers ‘real’ food to baby food, so we give her purees, but we also give her bits and pieces of whatever we eat as well. So far her favorite has been pork chops/gravy with mashed potatoes and green beans.  She loves chewing and smacks her lips all the time, lol.  Fin can now walk behind toys…and quickly!  Fin also started taking a big-girl bath this month, with no hamper in the tub with her…just her on a bath-mat in the tub!  She loves it so much more, which makes it better.  Since Fin started Mothers-Day-Out this month, she also got her first cold (booo), followed by her first ear infection (booo again).  We had a rough couple of weeks, but she’s doing much better now and we’re all happier because of that.

Fin 8 months stank face

month 8 and month 9

9 months spitting

What are the stats and what does the doctor say?

We had Fin’s 9 month check-up near the end of October.  She weighed in at 18.12 and was 28.15 inches high.  Very average- 50-something percentile for both.  Her iron levels came back low (I guess that is very common with breastfed babies), so we’ve been giving her iron drops and increasing her meat intake.  She gets retested next week and they’ll see if it’s higher- if not, she’ll have to do a blood draw and we’ll go from there.  Fin also got her flu shot at that appointment- she handled it well and gets her booster next week.  Doc said she looks great and is right on track developmentally.

What is Fin eating?

I’m still breastfeeding….about 4-5 times a day. She gets baby food and/or cereal 2-3 times a day and ‘real food’ at dinner when Mom and Dad are eating. Fin LOVES guacamole, pork chops, spaghetti and puffs.  She’s a good eater so far.

When does she sleep?

She’s been sleeping well since she got over being sick.  I put her down about 7:30pm and she sleeps until 5 or 6.  I nurse her at 5 or 6, then she’s back down til about 7:30am.  She is still taking two naps a day- one late morning (around 10) and one late afternoon (around 4).  Sometimes she’ll sleep great (1.5 hours…or if she’s laying on daddy she’ll sleep 2-3 hours!), and sometimes it’s more like 45 minutes.

What do your routines look like?

We are in the process of dropping a nap so the routine is tweaking as we speak. It’s mostly like this:

  • Wake for the day around 7:30 and nurse and then change diaper/get dressed
  • Finley will bounce her in bouncer for about 30 minutes while I eat breakfast/get her breakfast ready
  • Around 8:15 I put Finley down on the floor with her toys and she’ll crawl around while I do some work
  • Breakfast for Fin (cereal/fruit) is around 9, followed by more playtime
  • 9:45/10- goes down for a nap and sleeps til 11 or 11:30
  • I nurse her when she gets up, then playtime
  • 12:30- lunch, followed by playtime
  • 3:30/4- down for a nap.  Sometimes I nurse her before nap, sometimes after…depends on how well she ate lunch and how tired she is
  • Dinner at 6pm- veggies and cereal (and maybe some adult food depending on what we are eating)
  • Bath at 7pm
  • Nurse/Bedtime around 7:30

What size clothes and diapers are you wearing?

9-12 month clothing and still doing cloth diapers (one size).

What are some things you love?

Mommy is your favorite thing ever…followed by your stuffed dog/husky and your lovies.  You are very sweet with them..carry them around/lay on them/kiss them…it’s very sweet. You love crawling around….you love standing on anything…you love to ‘rough house’….you love the outdoors….you love drinking water from cups/sippy cups…ou love to be tickled…you like to go places and be out and about….you like to have mommy crawl around and chase you…you like to play peekaboo…you are busy busy!

What are some things you don’t like?

You don’t like mommy to walk through the room and not talk to you. You don’t like ANYTHING when you are really sleepy. You don’t like taking medicine.  You don’t like getting back in your car seat after a quick errand.

What are some thing you can do?

You are so so so talented! You can sit…crawl…pull up…cruise….give kisses….play peek-a-boo..walk behind your elephant…give yourself a bottle…give a high 5 (although you only seem to do this for Daddy)…put yourself to sleep….I know I’m forgetting stuff!

What are we looking forward to in the next month?

Let’s see…we have a trip to Russellville in a couple of weeks for Thanksgiving, which will be nice.  Mommy has a trip to Dallas without Fin/Daddy in December…and she’s both excited and nervous to be gone for 3 whole nights.  I think that’s about it.  =)


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Ten Weeks/2 Months

Fin 2 months smile and slobber

Holy hell I have a cute baby, don’t I?  Seriously.  I look at her in awe half of the time and am like “how the hell did this happen?”  I’m so in love.  I guess I should start this post off by admitting that I’m a horrible blogger now that I have a child.  I realize this, and I apologize.  I think of posts I want to write, but when I have a free moment to myself I find that cleaning..doing laundry…showering..eating…working…paying bills/etc all take priority.  I’m sure I’ll get better as my days get more predictable and Finely naps for longer periods of time, but for now I just suck.  Deal with it.

A fellow blogger (http://prettycuteovaries.wordpress.com/) is doing the below list for her newborn and I love it…so I’m stealing it for my updates.  Hope you don’t mind!

What are your stats and what does the doctor say?

At the two month checkup Finley weighed 11 lbs 4 oz (63rd percentile for her age) and was 23 3/4 in long (93rd percentile).  I was shocked that she didn’t weigh more with as much as she eats, but maybe she’ll chunk up soon (I hope so…love me a fat baby!).   I knew she was long, but I didn’t realize that she was like SUPER long for her age.  It’s really made her ‘slim up’ in a ways…and now she’s too long for almost all of her 0-3 month clothes (one-pieces)!  Fin got 3 shots at her appointment and did great (although she did scream for about a full minute).  Doctor said everything looks perfect and we don’t have to go back til her 4 month appt.

What are you eating?

Finley is exclusively breastfed at this point.  She likes momma’s booby juice (as my bff’s kids call it)..and I have plenty of it!  We had some issues with her getting pretty gassy and fussy, so I gave up dairy about a month ago and that seems to have helped (who really knows…could just be she’s getting older and her body is figuring things out finally).  I’m pumping milk at night some so that I have a little freedom, and Finley takes these bottles DOWN….loves them.  Let me just say- breastfeeding is one of the hardest things I’ve done.  It is JUST now over the past couple of weeks enjoyable to me.  It was really tough at first, but I’m so glad that I stuck through it and am able to provide the little nugget with what she needs.  As of now, I’m thinking I’ll probably exclusively breastfeed until at least 5-6 months.  When she starts solids we shall see…

When do you eat and sleep?

During the day Finley eats every 3 hours.  At night, it’s every 3-4 hours…and sometimes she’ll throw in a 4.5-5 hour stretch (not common yet).  Naps during the day (there are about 5 of them) range from about 30 minutes to 1.5 hours depending on the time.  She naps and sleeps in her crib, swaddled.  See below under routines for more details…

Fin asleep in crib

What do your routines look like?

We have joined the BabyWise (it’s a book…get it if you are expecting, you won’t regret it) philosophy of Eat-Play-Sleep.  I had been told to read the book by about 3 people….and after having a couple of rough weeks early on I decided that I’d give it a shot.  So glad I did!  Overall, the book taught me how to structure Finley’s eat/play/sleep routine to fit her age and our needs.  It’s constantly changing, but it’s a good guide on what to shoot for.  Here is our current schedule-

  • Wake at 7:30-8am and feed
  • Play (tummy time/lay around and kick/swing time/etc) for about an hour
  • Nap
  • 10:30- wake from nap and feed
  • Play
  • Nap
  • 1:30- wake from nap and feed
  • Play
  • Nap
  • 4:30- wake from nap and feed
  • Play
  • Nap
  • 7:00- wake from nap and feed
  • Bath/Story time/etc
  • 9- feed and straight to bed
  • Two nightime feeds…usually around 1 and 4 or 5

You may think I’m crazy for trying to be so regimented, but I need this for a couple of reasons.  1- this has taught Fin what to expect.  Seriously.  She use to fight us to go down for any/all naps, and now she just rolls into our arms to rock and closes her eyes (MOST of the time, she’s not perfect).  2-  since I’m working from home and have Fin here, I have to have an idea of when I can schedule conference calls/projects/etc.  So far this is working pretty well.  The next step will be to merge the night time feeds into just one….then we’ll start cutting out some of the cat naps.  We shall see….but for now I’m a Baby Wise Believer.

What size clothes and diapers are you wearing?

If it’s a one-piece with legs, Fin is in 3-6 months because of her length.  Otherwise, she can still wear 0-3.  She’s still in a size 1 diaper at this point.  We are actually starting cloth diapers next week (I’ve been waiting for her to get a little more meat on her bones, lol)…wish me luck!  I’ll post about it sometime soon…

What are some things you love?

Her favorite thing to do is to eat and lay on mommy.  She also has recently really started to enjoy laying down on the floor (or couch) and kicking her legs and looking around.  She loves her hands…always trying to put them in her mouth.  She’s started to enjoy the playmat on the ground as well, which is fun.  Fin also likes bathing with mommy…but not without.  And she LOVES being in the ERGO carrier.  When I’ve taken her to WM or Sam’s I’ve had her in it…and she just looks around at the lights and people and then passes out and sleeps the rest of the time.

Fin in the Ergo

Handsy Fin

What are some things you don’t love?

Diaper changes before you have eaten or in the middle of the night.  Getting out of the bath tub.  Getting lubed up after a bath.  Having to wait to eat once you’ve decided you are hungry.  Car rides if you don’t have someone in the back with you.

What can you do?

I have a very talented baby (of course, lol)- this girl can roll over from her belly to her back already!  She did it at 8 weeks and I thought it was a fluke…but then she would do it every time we put her on her belly, so I guess it’s gonna stick!  Finley is great at tummy time and can hold her whole upper body up.  She can giggle…bat her toys on the playmat…hold a blanket while nursing…cooo..smile…talk a little bit once engaged….more and more stuff every day!  I have tons of videos showcasing her talents on Instagram…feel free to follow me at jen.hottinger so you can see for yourself.  =)

Fin up on arms

Who has visited and watched you?

Our family has been really great about visiting and we’ve had a few friends that have made an effort to come out.  I’ve been a little disappointed with a few folks who haven’t made it out or put forth much effort, but oh well..things like having a baby really show you a lot about people I suppose.  Chris and I haven’t been out together yet, but I’m hoping we can do a date night soon and have Aunt Mickey babysit.

What are some of your nicknames?

Behind her back I call her ‘the titsucker’ a lot (awful, I know).  I also call her Claire Bear…or booger…or drama queen.

What are we looking forward to in the next month?

Everything.  Seriously…this past month has been the best ever of my life.  Fin is changing every single day and it’s just getting better and better and I’m enjoying things more and more.  At times I’m like “I can’t wait til Fin can do this,” and then I remember it’ll happen before I know it and I should just enjoy the moment.

Finley at grans Finley naked baby

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A Few Nursery Pics

I’ve been asked to share some nursery pics, so please enjoy!

Nursery CanvasNursery ABC wall

Nursery Changing Table Nursery Crib and Mobile Nursery Pic Frames Nursery Sweaters Nursery Wonder Woman

Nursery with Jen in front of crib

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Glucose Test- the call

Well shit.  Got a call today, and my blood test came back a little high.  =(  I guess the ‘normal’ range is 65-135, and I came back at 145.  I’m hoping that the fact that I’ve only gained 3 lbs and that I’m measuring right on track means that I’ll be just fine, but we’ll see.


What does this mean?  I go back next week (Tuesday) for a 3 hour test.  I fast after midnight…show up at 8am and drink the orange drink….an hour later I give blood…an hour after that I give blood again…and an hour after that I give blood again.  Hopefully this test will NOT be high!  Otherwise, I will get diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes and most likely have to be on some sort of reduced carbs/sugar food plan for the rest of the pregnancy.  Not fun.  Everyone keep me in your thoughts/prayers, please!



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6 months? Are you serious? WK 23

Did you know that when I hit 22 weeks last week, I also hit my SIXTH month of pregnancy?  Seriously- check out this chart:


It does not seem possible to be in my 6th month.  I remember several weeks just crawling by, but now looking back it seems like it has flown by.  It’s wild.

Not much new happened in week 22.  Baby girl was estimated to be the length of a Barbie Doll, which I found amusing.  As of now, though, I’m at 23 weeks!  Here is this week’s update:

Baby is the size of a grapefruit!  (I wonder how big my uterus is, though, because it feels much bigger).  At 23 weeks, your baby is getting bigger. He’s about 10.5 to 11.8 inches long and weighs 12.7 to 20.8 ounces.  Plus, he’s getting cuter!  Ears start to develop and his face and eyes are forming. He’s more aware, too, and is listening to your voice and your heartbeat, as well as loud sounds, such as cars honking and dogs barking.  You may also feel your baby move when he hears something familiar.

How far along? 23 weeks

Total weight gain: I haven’t checked since my last appointment, so no telling…I assume I’ve gained at least another 2 lbs or so!

Maternity clothes? I am still in my fat jeans, but I’m wearing a couple of maternity shirts.  I think they help me look more like I’m pregnant and less like I’ve just gained some weight…so that’s good.  I’m embracing the belly…bring it on.

Stretch marks?  No new ones

Sleep:  Can’t seem to get enough.  I prefer to sleep on my back, but that’s not good at this point in pregnancy (per the doctor).  The “best” sleeping position is the left side, which allows for optimum blood flow.  When I sleep on that side, though, my hip starts hurting…so I toss and turn back and forth.  Between that, my hands falling asleep and me having to pee at least 2 times during the night, I’m up every few hours

Best moment this week: Got to see some good friends this weekend who I don’t see often…love them.  And lots and lots of baby movement.  =)

Miss Anything? Sleeping through the night.  Cocktails.   Sugar Free Red Bull

Movement:  Yes, and a lot of it….especially at night

Food cravings:  Sweets.  Egg sandwiches.  Pancakes.

Anything making you queasy or sick: Nope

Gender prediction: GIRL!!!

Labor Signs:  No, thank you.

Symptoms:  Heartburn when laying down, frequent urination, carpal tunnel.

Belly Button in or out?  In.

Wedding rings on or off?  On.

Happy or Moody most of the time:  Happy/Giddy

Looking forward to:  Having a fun weekend in Dallas with the hubs/some friends

Next appointment:  October 1st  – glucose test.

The next few weeks will be totally busy, but should be fun.  I have work in Dallas this Thursday/Friday, so Chris and I are heading down tomorrow afternoon and staying until Sunday.  We are going to try out strollers at Buy Buy Baby (we don’t have a Babys R Us or Buy Buy Baby in NW Arkansas)…I think I know what I want, but want a second opinion.  We are also going to go to IKEA and pick up the desk I want for my home office (no IKEA close either).  Have I mentioned that my amazing boss is going to let me work 100% from home now?  Exciting, but nervous about that…..will post about that later.  We are also going to do dinner with friends on Friday…..go see some roller derby….will watch the Hog game at a sports bar with some friends…dinner Saturday….etc.  Should be fun!  Chris will drive back solo on Sunday, and I’ll catch a flight to Houston, where I’ll be working for the next week.

In other news, if anyone has any suggestions on registries (what to add/what not to waste time on/etc), feel free to pass them on my way!


Categories: football, Love of my life, Pregnancy, Uncategorized, Work | 4 Comments

June 12th- Perfect Anniversary

June 12th writing prompt- describe your perfect anniversary.

All of my anniversaries have made me happy, but my favorite was when we got a little cabin near Eureka Springs, AR, for the weekend.  We walked around town…had a nice dinner…listed to some music…enjoyed the hot tub….and just enjoyed being in love.  =)  Simple and sweet.


My DREAM anniversary is anything that involves a beach and my man.  =)

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June 10th- DTD during the fertile period

June 10th writing prompt- How do you get yourself (and your SO) in the mood to DTD during the fertile period? 

OK…SO is significant other and DTD is ‘do the deed,’ as in having sex.  As I’ve explained in many previous posts, there is a VERY small window of time during which it’s possible to get pregnant.  Most women get this window each month…and many others (such as myself), only get this window naturally every 3-4 months.  When this window DOES open up, trust me…it’s go time!  When we first started trying to get pregnant, this window of opportunity was fun and exciting….but after failures month after month…and year after year….it became more of a stressful situation than a fun and exciting one.  There is too much pressure…and too much planning….and too much emotion…and hell, too much money riding on each fertile period!  That’s a lot of stress for 1-2 days, trust me.  To be completely honest, I didn’t do anything to try to get myself or my hubs in the mood after the first year……it was just time and it had to happen no mater what.  Fun, eh?  LOL

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June 7-9: Labor/SAHM/Support of Significant Other

I’m playing catch-up from the weekend, so here goes:

June 7th- You’re in labor- drugs or no drugs? Why?  I have nothing to prove- I’ll take the drugs!  I’d prefer NOT to have to take any sort of labor-inducing drugs (such as pitocin), as I’ve heard horror stories, but sign me up for the pain meds for sure.  I’m a wimp.

June 8th- If you had a choice, would you be a stay-at-home mom?  I would like to be a Part-Time SAHM, but not 100% of the time.  Ideally, I’d love to be home with my kids 2-3 days during the work week.  A part of me knows I won’t want to leave them and won’t think that anyone else can do as good as a job as I could…..but the other part of me knows I like the feeling of contributing financially AND not relying on someone else for funds to just give that all up.  Chris and I are currently working through a few scenarios for when BeBe Hottinger arrives.  I will for sure be home at least 2 days during the work week…..the rest is TBD and I’ll let ya know!

June 9th-  How supportive is your Significant Other in your TTC journey?  Chris is supportive in his own way.  For example, he lets me blog about everything….and I know he doesn’t like so many details out there for others to read.  He leaves me alone when I need him to.  He stays strong, at least outwardly, when I am weak.  It works.

Hope everyone had a great weekend!


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June Writing Prompts

I have had trouble thinking of ANYTHING besides this pregnancy, so I thought having some June writing prompts would be a good idea.  This way I have something else to focus on (and not worry about), and this way you get to read something besides my crazy thoughts and not being able to patiently wait for my next appointment.  Of course I’m already behind, but I’ll catch-up today, seriously!  And of course I’ll update you when there is an update….but for now we have to wait another week for my next appointment.  =(

June Writing Prompts:

1. Family story – how did your parents meet, how many brothers/sisters, tell us what you want. 
2. What do you drive? What is your dream car?
3. Biggest indulgence
4. Favorite snack?
5. Do you have any pets?
6. Name you picked out for your kids when you were younger. Bonus: share any name ideas you have now
7. You’re in labor: drugs or no drugs. Why?
8. If you had a choice – SAHM?
9. How supportive is your SO in your TTC journey?
10. Tell me about your best friend.
11. Describe your wedding.
12. Perfect anniversary – describe it.
13. What’s the most interesting vacation you have been on?
14. First job
15. First love
16. What did you have for breakfast today? What do you normally have?
17. Do you drink coffee? Cream/sugar/how do you drink your coffee?
18. If your insurance covered infertility treatments at 100%, unlimited attempts – what would you try and for how long?
19. What’s your advice for parenting an adopted child?
20. Favorite movie and why
21. Any horrific events happen to you when you were young?
22. What’s your favorite children’s book?
23. If you had 100,000 that had to be donated to charity what would you do with it?
24. What’s your biggest fear about becoming a mom?
25. Describe the contents of your purse. What kind of purse do you have?
26. If you could give advice to a newbie infertile, what would it be?
27. When you were younger, what job(s) did you want to have?
28. Do you speak any other languages? When do you think a child should learn a new language?
29. Tell me the highlights of your college years.
30. What’s one thing in your closet you wear when you have a nice occasion? Interpret that as a date night or important job event.

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TTC Update

Sorry it has been so long since I’ve posted- just haven’t really been feeling it lately. Partially because I’ve been lazy…and partially because when I avoid my blog and avoid checking other ttc blogs, sometimes I can pretend that everything is fine. So there is that. So what’s the update? Nothing exciting. As you know, we are on a ‘break’ from ovulation-inducing medications for a while….which means that I only ovulate every month and a half to two months at most. I have been tracking it, so that’s good. I didn’t ovulate at all in February, but my OPK test was positive (see picture below) on March 14th…which was day 32 of my cycle. I’m currently in the 2WW, which I hate. I thought about testing today, but I decided against it. I’m going to force myself to wait until Friday. I do not have high expectations.

positive OPK test

On a kind-of exciting front, we FINALLY have our appointment at AR Fertility with Dr. Miller set- it’s on Friday, April 12th. I don’t really know what to expect, but I’m happy to have a fresh set of eyes on my chart/uterus/etc. =) I’ll let ya know how that goes…

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