It’s a…

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Well… I’ll just let the pictures do the talking. 🙂 (to our moms: PLEASE don’t kill us for posting these extremely flattering pictures. The reactions were priceless and your maybe-not-so-photogenic reactions will stay in my heart forever.)

Once we found out, we took cake balls to our family. The game was simple: bite in and see blue = boy, pink = girl.

Here’s my family’s reaction:

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Brian’s family’s reaction:

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To tell Brian’s youngest sister, we filled a cake with either pink or blue M&M’s. Here’s her reaction:

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(BTW: the M&M cake could totally be a “pinterest fail” meme. I’ll post about that another day, though…)

 

SO… could you tell????

It’s a GIRL!!!

 

Oh, readers, let me tell you. When we saw our precious little girl on Saturday, my heart melted. Brian’s too. We were filled with an overwhelming, indescribable emotion. Our sweet baby girl weighs 1 lb 0 oz, has a four-chambered heart that is pumping blood, two working kidneys, and the most precious little arms and legs you’ve ever seen!

Here’s her sweet little profile.

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Her little hand. (Her other hand was chilling out behind her head — laying just like Mommy does!)

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And her little feet.

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We do have to go back at the beginning of November for a follow up ultrasound. They weren’t able to look at her spine, nor were they able to clearly see something on the heart that they usually check. Baby girl was just in an awkward position… hiding right behind my bellybutton! She is in the 53rd percentile right now, and is doing well. We’ll just check up on her to make sure there’s nothing to worry about.

 

Brian and I are OVER THE MOON about this. (But we had no preference and would feel the same way if it had been a boy…)

So…. HAPPY PRONOUN DAY!!! Brian, Baby Girl, and I can’t wait to see how the next 18 weeks… let alone 18 years unfold. Thank you for all of your love and support during this exciting time in our lives!

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Gender Guesses

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Well, folks. Tomorrow is the big day. We have our 21 week ultrasound and should have an opportunity to find out the gender of this precious little baby.

While Brian and I truly have no preference as to baby boy or baby girl, we are just excited for this to seem even more real. (Plus, I can’t WAIT to shop for clothes and blankets and all those fun things!)

So today, we had our students and staff make their guesses. Up for grabs: A HErSHEy bar for one lucky person who guessed correctly!

IMG_20131011_130532_206The final tally was 19 for boy, 29 for girl. (Plus one punk who thought he could cheat the system by putting a half blue/half pink circle ON the line… Just to increase his odds to win the candy bar!)

 

SO… what’s your guess? Handsome baby boy Moser? Sweet baby girl Moser?

Take your vote. Leave a comment with your name and answer, and if you’re correct, we’ll send you (a picture) of a HErSHEy bar!

Halfway done — 20 week update!

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As of today, I’m 20 weeks, 1 day into this pregnancy. It was an awesome experience to go into my pregnancy app today and see that baby’s gestational age is 20 weeks, 1 day and the countdown to d-day is 19 weeks, 6 days!

I can not believe that I am halfway through this pregnancy. It seems like just yesterday we found out we were expecting. It felt like it took forever to get to the point where we could share our news with family and friends — those were a few weeks that took forever! But now… now I’m halfway there. In about 20 weeks, we’ll have a real-life little baby in our home. Mind blowing!!!

Symptoms: This has been the best week of my pregnancy so far! I’ve felt really good. I’ve had enough energy to get me through an entire day (although then I’m exhausted!) and I’ve been able to eat when I want to! And, I haven’t struggled with my allergies this week!

I still have times where I struggle with sleeping — it’s getting increasingly more difficult to find a comfortable sleeping spot. And that’s even after I made a huge u-shaped body pillow to snuggle up to! (I have a feeling that it’s only going to get worse for the next 20 weeks!) Another thing that’s bothersome — I’m constantly warm. I know it’s a standard pregnancy symptom, but I hate, hate, hate feeling warm! I would much rather be cold and have to warm up with blankets and sweaters.

Cravings: FOOD! On Saturday, I felt like I was going to cry if I didn’t have a donut. But mostly, I just feel hungry all. the. time! It’s a good thing that (besides donuts) I’ve been hungry for watermelon, cheese, yogurt, and garden veggies!

Our Baby: This baby likes to wiggle. I don’t feel hard kicks/jabs yet, but I do feel regular flutters that are getting stronger every day. 

Also, our favorite baby app told us that this week, our baby will be getting eyebrows and eyelashes. (To which Brian said, “Aww… those are going to be the cutest eyebrows and eyelashes ever!)

Until now, baby has been measured from head to rump, but now baby is going to be stretching out more and gets to be measured from head to foot! So when I say that my baby went from 6 inches to 10 inches, it’s not all growth, just a change in how baby gets measured! Baby is now the size of a banana! — a precious, adorable banana!

Next Appointment: Thursday, we go to the OB to have a check-up. I’m so excited to hear the baby’s heartbeat (which by the way is getting strong enough to be heard with just a stethoscope! … if only we had one)! Although people keep reassuring me that the glucose test isn’t horrible it’s still something I’m not really looking forward to.

Last week, we had the BEST appointment with my neurologist. My OB expressed some concern about how to proceed with the rest of my pregnancy and labor and delivery because of my intracranial hypertension. But my neurologist had some great advice and we started to get a game plan of what we can do if I experience more daily headaches. It was also so reassuring to hear him say that he didn’t know much about the labor and delivery process and would work closely WITH my OB to make sure I have the best experience I can. He could have just made up answers, but he admitted that this isn’t something he’s used to and is WILLING to find out so that I’m not miserable.

Best part of the week:  Last Wednesday, our furniture came in! So now we officially have a real kitchen table and a modest living room set for the main floor living room. Okay, so I know this doesn’t SOUND baby related, but it totally is! We’ve been waiting for a year to get our floors finished so we could finish purchasing furniture. When we found out we were expecting, we knew that we wanted to get the floors finished and the furniture moved in before we even started to think about getting the big items for baby. Now that we have everything arranged, we can officially start looking at cribs, rocking chairs, swings, bouncy seats, car seats, and strollers.  — Any advice on what to look for is greatly appreciated!

18 week update!

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Well… it’s time I start recording some of the pregnancy memories/milestones, huh?

I think the fact that we are going to have a baby is FINALLY sinking in for both of us. I mean, it still boggles our minds most days — but we’re not feeling worried or scared anymore. Just excited and nervous for the unknown. I think those are normal feelings…

Symptoms: I was very sick during my first trimester — we’re talking constant nausea, no appetite, just sickly all the time. Oh, and I had ZERO energy! Thankfully, the morning all day sickness has subsided. I have an appetite, I’m not ALWAYS tired. Now I’m only tired about 60% of the time!

I’m starting to feel round ligament pains, especially when I sneeze. And my lower back is starting to hurt.

Sleeping is uncomfortable — thankfully, I made an awesome U-shaped pillow that will hopefully make sleeping a little more comfortable. It doesn’t help that I wake up about 2-4 times a night to use the bathroom. During the first trimester, I had insomnia pretty badly. Now, I can usually get back to sleep after I get up. About once or twice a week, though, I will wake up and just won’t be able to fall back to sleep!!

Another symptom — that’s kind of weird — is that my nose is a mess! I thought it was all allergy related. But all my pregnancy apps brought it up last week. When you’re pregnant, you have an increased blood supply. A side-effect to that is your nasal membranes can get inflamed — causing nosebleeds and/or stuffy nose. BINGO! My stuffy nose isn’t JUST because of allergies already this season, it’s just because I’m pregnant!

Cravings: This is about the second week that I’ve had the same cravings — so I think they’re the real deal! I feel like I NEED – not just want – cheese! Sharp cheddar, please. And the other day, I just begged the lunch ladies to let me have two chocolate milks with lunch. Also, yogurt sounds delicious. These are kind of strange cravings because I don’t like cold cheese… and I never just drink milk to drink milk. Yogurt has always been a hit or miss food for me, but lately, I can’t get enough!!!

I’m also hungry for cherry tomatoes and sweet peppers — fortunately for Brian and I, those are the two veggies that are still producing well in our garden!

Now in addition to all these healthy foods, I just have to have Butterfingers. We finally invested in big bags of mini-Butterfingers. Usually, one little bar satisfies my chocolate needs, so that’s better than needing a whole candy bar!

Our Baby:  It’s crazy to think about how big our baby is right now. (We first saw our baby at 6 weeks when baby was just a fetal pole and a flickering heartbeat. Then again at 8 weeks when it had a head and body and tiny little leg and arm nubbins. We got a glimpse of it at 12 weeks — it looked like a real little baby!!! We thought it was big then, but the doctor told us that it was still super small and that we were really going to be amazed when it was born!)

Baby is about 5 inches long and weighs about 6 oz. (My baby apps compare it to a sweet potato!) Baby is busy busy busy growing — and pumping 25 quarts of blood a day! Baby’s ears are starting to form and it can hear sounds now. Apparently loud sounds will startle it. We make sure to talk to baby. I can’t wait to watch Lion King a million times so it knows it word for word like Daddy!

Next Appointment: October 3rd, I have a monthly check up with my OB. They’ll draw some blood, listen to the heartbeat, and at this appointment, I’ll have to take an early glucose test. I’m kind of dreading that… but I know it’s something that needs to be done.

Then, on October 12th, we have a pretty exciting appointment. Because of my Intercranial Hypertension, my OB wants me to see the high-risk doctor for my anatomy ultrasound. This way, we’ll get another opinion on how to proceed with my IH in the last half of my pregnancy. My OB has some concerns right now about labor and delivery, so we want as many opinions as we can have! PLUS… the high-risk OB has better ultrasound equipment and does a more thorough exam to ensure everything is OK with baby. HOPEFULLY, (and the doctor keeps telling us that you can never be 100% sure on gender until the baby is born, but…) we should be able to see if we’ll be parents to a little son or daughter. EEEK!!!

Best part of the week: When I lay on my left side at night, I can feel Baby fluttering around. The last few days, I’ve even be able to feel it at other times during the day (usually around 2:00). It’s kind of a crazy thing. I can’t wait until I’m able to feel real kicks, and I KNOW Brian is anxious to be able to feel them, too! 

So… my last post was 10 months ago… Let’s catch up!

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Wow. October 7, 2012 was a long time ago! So much has happened since then. I don’t know why I got out of blogging. I’d like to say it was purely because I was busy… but it’s also because it just got too hard to keep up with.

I think now, we have a pretty good reason to keep this thing updated. But I have ten months worth of news to share before we get to that…

October 2012

  • I turned 25.
  • I started coaching the one-act team. It was a great experience. I loved working with the other director and I ADORED bonded with our student actors.
  • We had trick-or-treaters!!! It was so much fun to have kiddos actually knock at our door!

November 2012

  • We did much better in one-act than we thought we would… I was so proud of all the hard work our students put in!
  • We spent Thanksgiving with our family — something we just love getting to do. We went to North Platte to celebrate at Grandma Alyce’s house. Then we came home and my family came over… it was pretty fun to host a major holiday!
  • It was a pretty mild November if I remember correctly — which is something I super appreciated!

December 2012

  • I started having daily headaches that increased to daily migraines. More on that “next month”…
  • We went to Wyoming to help my grandparents celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary and Christmas.
  • Speaking of Christmas, we spent most of winter break traveling. We went to Mahoney State Park to celebrate with the Moser family. Then to Dannebrog to celebrate with the Stantons. Then we made our way to Wyoming before getting to spend a few days at home before we went back to school. Whew! I forgot how tired that made me!

January 2013

  • A new year! To be honest, I don’t remember where we were as the year turned… but I bet we had a good time.
  • Back to the headaches. My regular doctor went from thinking the headaches were hormone related to being worried there was something else wrong. So we went to have some tests done that came back all clear… a blessing and a curse. It was nice to know that I didn’t have a tumor or lesion or any other scary House, M.D. disease. But, it meant I still had headaches every day and we didn’t know why.
  • At the end of the month, my neurologist was finally able to see me. He did a neurological exam which showed something was off when he looked into my right eye. Whatever it was he saw was an indicator that I could have too much spinal fluid building up in my brain. So I was rushed to the hospital where I had a lumbar puncture. MY CSP (cerebral spinal fluid) topped out at 25. So they removed about 20 cc’s. It was crazy. As soon as they started removing the extra CSP, I INSTANTLY felt relief. The tests on the CSP came back clean. The neurologist diagnosed me with idiopathic intracranial hypertension. Essentially, my body produces too much spinal fluid and no one knows why. The symptoms: constant headaches, elevated blood pressure, and a risk of other nasty things. The cure: who knows?!?! They put me in on a medication that would keep my csp levels in check. And the medication worked! I’ve been essentially headache free since February 6.
  • Oh… also, our speech season started! We were pretty much busy every Saturday until mid-March. Our kiddos were great.

February 2013

  • We spent our first Mason City Valentine’s day going to the local diner (which is now closed…) and then just hanging out at home. Instead of gifts, we sent each other love notes throughout the day via email/text messages. Totally OUR style. 🙂
  • More speech meets.
  • We hosted our conference tournament after two snow days and a weekend. Stressful much? OH YEAH!
  • No headaches.
  • I finally started feeling like I have a LIFE again!!!

March 2013

  • We sent TWO girls to State Speech in THREE events! This was the first time Litchfield has had a presence at State Speech in the last eight years. We were amazed and SO proud.
  • Here’s what I had to say about our season for the paper/year book/awards night:”The Speech Team traveled 944.4 miles to 7 different cities, hosted the Loup Valley Conference tournament, won 11 medals, 3 ribbons, had 2 state qualifiers in 3 events, stopped at 7 different ice cream establishments, petted two zebras, not to mention several other stuffed wild species.

    As first-year coaches, we see the season as a great success and we were so lucky to have 10 great high-school students and 6 spectacular junior-high students to work with. We look forward to next year!”

  • We bought two baby chicks and all the necessary chick equipment! I wish I would have blogged about how this all went down, but suffice it to say, we were crazy… and SO lucky it worked out!

April 2013

  • Raising the first two chicks, Yellow and Stripey, went so well that we decided to get TWO MORE!!!
  • The new chicks, Oreo and Rollie, were much more feisty than the first two… So we had to deal with that… 😛

May 2013

  • We “built” a chicken coop… okay, we assembled one that we bought… And moved the baby chicks outside!
  • We started a garden! 25’X25′ … SO MUCH PRODUCE!!! LOVE IT!!!
  • SCHOOL’S OUT FOR THE SUMMER!!! I’m so proud of Brian’s first year of teaching… he did such a great job and I know he’ll do even better this year. I’m proud of myself for making through my year of craziness — subbing, coaching, after school program, and anything else I was asked to do. My first year of subbing didn’t leave me feeling great, but last year I finally felt like I was an actual part of something.

June 2013

Get ready… this month is EXCITING!!!!

  • We celebrated our two year anniversary on June 4. It was a laid back day for the most part — a good dinner, movies, new cotton towels!
  • Two days later, I had a POSITIVE pregnancy test!?!?!?! WHAT? For real life? I guess we’ll give it a few days and see…
  • After the weekend, I had a blood pregnancy test at the clinic right before we left for our anniversary trip to Chicago.
  • THAT TEST WAS POSITIVE TOO!!!!!
  • We rode the megabus to Chicago, had an absolutely lovely time with Amanda, Brandon, and Chloe, and ate So. Much. Pizza!!!
  • We got home and a few weeks later, we had our first ultrasound to see our little baby. At that time, it looked like a blob… A blob with a HEARTBEAT!!!
  • We told Brian’s family the Saturday of Father’s Day weekend, and my family the Monday after Father’s Day. Everyone was so overjoyed for us. It was such a special time for Brian and I… I’ll never forget the reactions we received from our families when we shared the great news.

July 2013

  • We start selling produce and homemade pizza crust at the Mason City Farmer’s Market. While we don’t make a TON of money from it, it’s great to know that the produce we can’t eat isn’t just wasted. Plus, it’s fun to spend time with people from our little town.
  • Two words: Morning. Sickness.
  • We went to two weddings. One for a high school friend of mine — the wedding was lovely and it was so great to see her so incredibly happy. The other, a family friend of Brian’s… the wedding was unlike any we’d ever been to. It was an absolutely perfect statement of their individuality and true love for each other.
  • Oh! THEN we directed the Mason City’s first annual Children’s Play!!! It was well-received and our kiddos (grades 2-9) were GREAT! It’s definitely an activity we’ll continue to do in the future. 🙂
  • We also finally realized that out of FOUR chickens, we only had ONE hen and THREE roosters. Needless to say, we gave one rooster away (Oreo) and will eventually get rid of another (Rollie) as soon as he gets too aggressive.
  • Speaking of chickens… Yellow (the only hen) is laying eggs! Although right now, she’s sitting on one that we can’t get to so we’ll probably have a chick eventually (hopefully!).

August 2013

  • We took another trip. This time to Minnesota with Brian’s family for a reunion. It was a LONG, but well-worth it, trip.
  • Finally, all our grandparents knew that we were expecting a new baby… so, we were able to make it “facebook official”
  • I am exactly 12 weeks today. Due February 18. And SO ready to be done with the first trimester! I’ll do a better post in a day or so.
  • Brian started back to school today: two days of a workshop, then next week we’ll start the real thing!

…I guess that catches us up to the present.

When I started this blog, I had a feeling it would eventually become a baby blog. Now that it’s happening, it still feels surreal. But we are incredibly happy with this new adventure, our new town, and our lives in general. I’m hoping that I can keep this blog up and going. I want to remember this time in our lives. We are seriously happy with every aspect of our little world right now… It may be boring to some, but it’s worth remembering for us!

What were we THINKING?!?!

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For my Facebook friends, skip this paragraph if you followed the conversation yesterday. If not… read on!

Brian is the class sponsor for the ninth graders this year. It’s a pretty neat system… he will be their sponsor until they graduate high school, then he’ll get a new batch of kiddos. Since he’ll be so involved with them, I asked if it would be okay if I helped out. He (and the five freshmen) loved the idea of having me involved!

Our main goal as a class is to raise a bunch of money to plan prom when they are juniors. But they weren’t too big on the idea of doing magazine sales or candles or wrapping paper. So we’ve had to think of creative fundraising ideas. That’s where they were lucky to have me involved! I came up with tons of ideas that none of them had thought of. The best and easiest idea was to hold a raffle for a “Dinner at the Moser’s” on the night of homecoming. I know that “city” kids go out to eat before dances, but there aren’t many options when the only thing open on Saturday night is the bar/grill.

So I thought that Brian and I could showcase our culinary prowess and create a fancy-schmancy dinner for four. The freshmen thought it was a great idea, the principal thought it was a great idea, and it didn’t take as much planning as the Halloween dance would have. Plus, all the money we raised was profit since we donated the food. Win-win.

We ended up selling $75 worth of tickets and the winning group was a group of four seventh graders. We handed out menus to each of them and let them choose which options they’d prefer.

Salad: House salad or Crunchy Asian Salad

Entree: Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo or Sauteed Porkloin with rice and a garlic-lemon sauce

Sides: Corn, Beans, Broccoli

Dessert: Dutch Apple Pie or Brownie ala Mode

We found out that Girl D wouldn’t be able to come, and Boy A, Girl B, Girl C all chose Fettuccine and Brownie. Score 1 for Brialynn — we didn’t have to prepare 2 different entrees or desserts!

 

So yesterday, we cleaned the living room, kitchen, and moved boxes out of the breakfast nook and put a table cloth on the table. Our guests were coming over at 6, so we started cooking at about 4. We would have started earlier, but we had to run to Litchfield’s little market to get a few last minute ingredients.

Brian turned on the heat in the house (we didn’t want them to be uncomfortable and cold!) and started making bread, I started prepping salads and setting our little table for three. All of a sudden it was 5:00 and I felt like we had so much to do! But in the next hour, we boiled the noodles, mixed the brownie batter, and did all the last minute stressing that gets done before a dinner party.

At 6:00, our guests arrived: Boy A, a different boy (who didn’t even go to Litchfield), and a different girl. And Boy A’s mom. Oh man! We’d prepared one entree and dessert! What happened if these two new guests didn’t like chicken alfredo or brownies?!?! And then we found out the mom was staying — which was fine, we had plenty of food. But our table is so small that I was worried about everyone fitting comfortably!

Our solution to the lack of options was simple: we didn’t make mention that there had been other options. We just went with what we had!

We served some flavored sparkling water (in wine glasses to add to the fancy-schmancy-ness) and salads, popped the brownies in the oven, and started our home made alfredo sauce. There wasn’t a lot of talking and it felt extremely awkward. But as we started to pass out entrees, the conversation started to liven up.

Then Brian burnt his finger, chipped a plate, and our sauce wasn’t thickening up. Panic! But, with some quick thinking and turning up the heat, everything smoothed back out again. By the time everyone had finished their entrees, dessert was ready.

Brian passed out some apple cider and I plated the brownies — topped them with ice cream and home made hot fudge.

By the end of the meal, we had four stuffed guests who kept saying thank you for the wonderful meal. We almost got Boy A to do our dishes!!!

The kids ran around outside while Boy A’s mom chatted with us for a bit. Then they headed off to the school, we ate supper, kind of picked up the kitchen, watched about 20 minutes of the horrible Husker game, and then headed to the homecoming coronation ceremony.

We were proud speech parents when two of our speech kids won King and Queen!

Finally, Brian and I headed home and completely crashed! I’m so thankful that we were able to do such a fun thing for our Freshmen and for our lucky winner and his friends, but man… it was a tiring day!

But we better get used to it. I have a feeling this won’t be the last time we host a “Dinner at the Moser’s”!

Finding Routine

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I crave routine. I thrive when my life is in order and I can see and plan what my immediate future will most likely look like. Substitutes don’t get routine — especially if you’re willing to take any job that is offered. Needless to say, the lack of routine really bothered me last year. I would go through periods where I wasn’t subbing at all and got into routines around the house, then I’d get a call to sub and almost felt like I shouldn’t take it because I didn’t want whatever semblance of ‘normal’ I had to become lost. So when I got my long-term subbing opportunity at the end of last year, I was in heaven! Routine, a schedule, plans… a PURPOSE!

When I decided to sub again this year, I knew something had to change. I couldn’t just let myself get caught in this rut of not having any sort of day-to-day schedule. So I was more than willing to help when the principal approached me about helping with the after school program.

I was excited when Brian and I realized that we could car pool in the mornings — that way I could help with speech class, then come home, then go back to after school program, and finally take Brian home.

Now, no matter whether or not I sub, I have a purpose every single day.

But this means that on days I do sub, we’re gone from 7:30-5:30. And then we come home and don’t feel like doing anything, including making supper.

During the transitional part of our summer, we were in an eating rut. We went through too much mac n cheese and pizza rolls. I don’t want our fall to consist of even more mac n cheese and pizza rolls! So we’ve needed to come up with some quick “go-to” decently-healthy meals.

I think some of our readers can relate to this same frustration. How do we have delicious, fast, healthy meals without having to spend lots of time in the kitchen when we get home from work? Yeah, I know. Rachel Ray can teach us tons of 30-minute meals — but sometimes they don’t look all that appetizing and I’m not as fast in the kitchen as she is! Add in the fact that we make one big shopping trip and try to plan for 14+ dinners and never know exactly what will sound good makes it hard to shop and cook.

We’ve started to pre-make a lot of dishes on Sunday so our week goes more smoothly. And when I don’t sub, I try to get dinner pretty much ready before I go to After School Program. That way, when we get home, we can warm it up and go!

So, I want to know: What are your “go-to” meals? What tips do you have for making cooking during the week seem like less of a chore?

If you, my dear readers, will answer these questions, I will start a series to share what we learn… including pictures and recipes and tips. Please comment! I think this is something that could help a lot of us… so let’s work together! 🙂

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