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Gestational Diabetes

>> Monday, February 28, 2011

I love getting closer to my due date, but as it gets closer there always seems to be yet another test that needs to be taken. Around 28 weeks your OBGYN will mention that it’s time for the infamous glucose test that tests for gestational diabetes. You know that yucky sugary drink every pregnant woman dreads drinking? Yes, we're talking about that! If I didn't have the urge to hurl before, I do now.

Pregnant women who have never had diabetes before, but who have high blood sugar (glucose) levels during pregnancy, are said to have gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes affects about 4% of all pregnant women - about 135,000 cases of gestational diabetes in the United States each year.
Gestational diabetes starts when your body is not able to make and use all the insulin it needs for pregnancy. Without enough insulin, glucose cannot leave the blood and be changed into energy. Glucose builds up in the blood to high levels. This is called hyperglycemia.

Gestational diabetes affects the mother in late pregnancy, after the baby's body has been formed, but while the baby is busy growing. Untreated or poorly controlled gestational diabetes can hurt your baby. When you have gestational diabetes, your pancreas works overtime to produce insulin, but the insulin does not lower your blood glucose levels. Although insulin does not cross the placenta, glucose and other nutrients do. Extra blood glucose goes through the placenta, giving the baby high blood glucose levels. This causes the baby's pancreas to make extra insulin to get rid of the blood glucose.


Usually there are no symptoms, or the symptoms are mild and not life threatening to the pregnant woman. Often, the blood sugar (glucose) level returns to normal after delivery.
Symptoms may include:
· Frequent infections, including those of the bladder, vagina, and skin
· Increased urination
· Nausea and vomiting
· Weight loss in spite of increased appetite


Gestational diabetes usually starts halfway through the pregnancy. All pregnant women should receive an oral glucose tolerance test between the 24th and 28th week of pregnancy to screen for the condition. Women who have risk factors for gestational diabetes may have this test earlier in the pregnancy.


The goals of treatment are to keep blood sugar (glucose) levels within normal limits during the pregnancy, and to make sure that the growing baby is healthy.
Your health care provider should closely check both you and your baby throughout the pregnancy. Fetal monitoring to check the size and health of the fetus often includes ultrasound and non stress tests.

The best way to improve your diet is by eating a variety of healthy foods. In general, your diet should be moderate in fat and protein and provide controlled levels of carbohydrates through foods that include fruits, vegetables, and complex carbohydrates (such as bread, cereal, pasta, and rice). You will also be asked to cut back on foods that contain a lot of sugar, such as soft drinks, fruit juices, and pastries.
Most women who develop gestational diabetes will not need diabetes medicines or insulin, but some will.

If you are overweight, decreasing your body mass index (BMI) to a normal range before you get pregnant will decrease your risk of developing gestational diabetes.


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Easy DIY Decor for Your Home or Nursery!

>> Monday, February 21, 2011

I decided to do more hands on crafts for our baby this go around...and now I have a bug that makes me want to paint everything! Here's one that I did a week ago:

What you need:
* A letter to paint. I got mine for $8.99 from JoAnn Fabrics.
It's a Paper Mache 23.5" letter. Yeah. Almost two feet. It's HUGE!
* A base paint. I used Krylon's Oil Rubbed Bronze Spray Paint.
Pick a color to highlight your nursery, match or color coordinate or standout!
* Something to paint on. An old sheet, a drop cloth, newspaper, art paper.
* A nail or two or hook for back of letter. Also, you can lean this on a shelf, or have it self standing
for a wonderful statement piece.
* Another IDEA: grab some scrap-booking paper and trace the letter onto it. Cut it out and paste using Mod Podge & then go over it with Mod Podge to seal!

The first letter of our Baby Boy's name to join us next month!

Spray Paint.
I was going to go over it with a crackle paint, but liked it plain better!

First coat of paint:
[please do this in a well ventilated area or outside or have someone spray it for you]

Letting it DRY!

All DONE! Put it over his crib!

I have a couple more projects left to do. Have any of you done some of your own DIY crafting/decor?
Do Share!!! Leave links to pics if you have any! We'd love to see!


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Baby Blues or Post Partum Depression? More Common Than You Think.

>> Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Nothing can quite compare to the joyous moment of giving birth. All of the waiting, planning, decorating, naming, hoping, wishing all comes to fruition when you're holding your bundle of love. It's all going to be perfect, just like you imagined in your pregnancy daydreams. The daydreams where you're rocking in your sweet baby and singing songs and he or she coos. But along with all the joy, comes the stress of being completely responsible for a human being that no one gave you a manual for. It can be an extremely overwhelming time. Whether the adjustment is that you had your first child and have never had any real experience with a newborn, or it's your fifth and the stress of trying to keep up with everyone and everything can feel like it's too much to handle. These conflicting emotions of how you feel, how you think you should feel and how everyone else feels about the birth, along with out-of-whack hormones can really do a number on you. Baby blues, Post Partum Depression, or Post Partum psychosis my result from the extreme stress, and it is far more common than given credit for!

So, what exactly is Post Partum Depression [PPD]?
There are three types of PPD: Baby Blues, Post-Partum Depression and Post Partum Psychosis:
· The baby blues happen in many women in the days right after childbirth. A new mother can have sudden mood swings, such as feeling very happy and then feeling very sad. She may cry for no reason and can feel impatient, irritable, restless, anxious, lonely, and sad. The baby blues may last only a few hours or as long as 1 to 2 weeks after delivery. The baby blues do not always require treatment from a health care provider. Often, joining a support group of new moms or talking with other moms helps.

· Postpartum depression (PPD) can happen a few days or even months after childbirth. PPD can happen after the birth of any child, not just the first child. A woman can have feelings similar to the baby blues - sadness, despair, anxiety, irritability - but she feels them much more strongly than she would with the baby blues. PPD often keeps a woman from doing the things she needs to do every day. When a woman's ability to function is affected, this is a sure sign that she needs to see her health care provider right away. If a woman does not get treatment for PPD, symptoms can get worse and last for as long as 1 year. While PPD is a serious condition, it can be treated with medication and counseling.

· Postpartum psychosis is a very serious mental illness that can affect new mothers. This illness can happen quickly, often within the first 3 months after childbirth. Women can lose touch with reality, often having auditory hallucinations (hearing things that aren't actually happening, like a person talking) and delusions (seeing things differently from what they are). Visual hallucinations (seeing things that aren't there) are less common. Other symptoms include insomnia (not being able to sleep), feeling agitated (unsettled) and angry and strange feelings and behaviors. Women who have postpartum psychosis need treatment right away and almost always need medication. Sometimes women are put into the hospital because they are at risk for hurting themselves or someone else.
What are some Signs & Symptoms of PPD?
· Feeling restless or irritable.

· Feeling sad, depressed or crying a lot.

· Having no energy.

· Having headaches, chest pains, heart palpitations (the heart being fast and feeling like it is skipping beats), numbness, or hyperventilation (fast and shallow breathing).

· Not being able to sleep or being very tired, or both.

· Not being able to eat and weight loss.

· Overeating and weight gain.

· Trouble focusing, remembering, or making decisions.

· Being overly worried about the baby.

· Not having any interest in the baby.

· Feeling worthless and guilty.

· Being afraid of hurting the baby or yourself.

· No interest or pleasure in activities, including sex.

Who is at risk for PPD? Any woman who has given birth in the past few months regardless of race or ethnic background. Sometimes PPD sets in quickly after birth and sometimes it's months later. It can happen after your first, second or seventh child. If you have had a past history of depression, it is always a good idea to tell your physician ahead of time. I know that with my first, told my doctor that I had been treated for depression as a teen and young adult. Telling her made her aware that I could develop PPD, so she would ask how I was doing after birth at different intervals thereafter.

How is PPD treated? Postpartum depression (PPD) is treatable and it will go away. If you suspect your are suffering from it, there shouldn't be any shame is asking for help. The type of treatment will depend on how severe the PPD is. PPD can be treated with medication [antidepressants] and psychotherapy. It is also advisable to find and attend a support group to talk with other women who are going through the same thing. Because even though this issue is still being swept under the rug, each year approximately 950,000 women are suffering postpartum depression, and many are not getting the help they need. If you are breastfeeding, talk with your physician about taking antidepressants. Some of these drugs affect breast milk and should not be used, but your doctor can recommend other options.

How Can I Better take Care of Myself? There are some other things that can help as well as taking meds and seeking therapy:
· Get good, old-fashioned rest. If it's your first you can try to nap when the baby naps or see if a friend or family member can help watch the baby while you catch some Z's.

· Stop putting pressure on yourself to do everything. Do as much as you can and leave the rest! Ask for help with household chores and nighttime feedings. I know that when you're anxious, this is easier said than done, but let the house go! Now is the time to take care of yourself and your baby. Hire a neighbor girl to come clean the house if you need to.

· Talk to your husband, partner, family, and friends about how you are feeling.

· Do not spend a lot of time alone. Get dressed and leave the house - run an errand or take a short walk. Also easier said than done when you are recovering and have a new baby, but a short walk outside listening to your iPod WILL help.

· Spend time alone with your husband or partner. Get away from the stress. Even if you get out alone for a quick McDonalds run, it will help. Or grab a redbox and have a "date night" at home together when baby is asleep.

· Talk to your health care provider about medical treatment. Do not be shy about telling them your concerns. Not all health care providers know how to tell if you have PPD. Ask for a referral to a mental health professional who specializes in treating depression. Bottom line: Tell them what is going on and how you feel. You don't have to excuse how you feel because of "pregnancy hormones" or the stress of a new baby. If you're an anxious first time mom like I was and can't sleep because you're so worried about if your baby is breathing or not, ask your doctor for help. I could have felt a lot better if I'd recieved the help I needed.

· Talk with other mothers, so you can learn from their experiences.

· Join a support group for women with PPD. Call a local hotline or look in your telephone book for information and services.
Always remember that you are not alone. Many women go through this and anyone is at risk. Don't ignore how you feel, there is no shame in getting help. The sooner you realize you need the help, the sooner you can get back to feeling better. Happy, healthy mommy makes happy, healthy baby! [or at lease better able to handle the colic phase...]


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Surface Inspired Wall Decal Giveaway WINNER!

>> Friday, February 11, 2011

The WINNER of the Surface Inspired Wall Decal Giveaway, as chosen at random by random.org is:

 So, the coordinating comment is:

Please email service@milanmaternity.com to claim your prize! 

::: DON'T FORGET ::: Stop by the Surface Inspired Facebook Page. TODAY ONLY they are having a promotion of 40% off of their wall decals! It's an awesome deal!!! Check out their page for the code!


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Things No One Should EVER Say to a Pregnant Woman...

  Things No One Should EVER Say to a Pregnant Woman...unless they wish to be attacked either verbally or physical assault. Saying or doing any of the below to a pregnant woman could result in being admitted to an ICU, put in a full body cast or have a loss of limb or life. Consider yourself warned. Oh, and if you could pass the word along...you could save an idiot.

1. "Are you SURE you're not having twins?!?"
Really? Is that an honest question? I'm pretty sure I would KNOW if I were having twins. There's this really neato invention called an ULTRASOUND. So, NO, I'm NOT having twins. You might be curious, but you just pretty much called me a HEIFER!
2. "Are you sure you're ready for a baby? It's a LOT of work." Wait...are you saying that having a baby is going to somehow change my LIFE?! I had no idea. Thank you Capt. Obvious for letting me know...now that I'm pregnant and all.
3. "Haven't you had that baby yet?" OI. Pregnancy is looooooong enough without the constant reminder near the end, thank you very much. 
cafepress.com shirt
4.  ACTION: Stranger touching belly. Um. Hello. Have we met? No? STOP TOUCHING ME! It's weird, it's creepy, it's random, it's a violation of my personal space which is already being invaded by a growing human, and did I mention it's CREEPY?! Some people don't mind this but everyone I know including myself finds this less than pleasant.
5.  "Wow. You look TIRED." Whoa. Thanks for the newsflash. It's not tiredness by the way. It's absolute exhaustion at it's purest. It's that I could sleep for a year and then take a nap feeling. Unless you have been pregnant, no amount of previous sleep deprivation can touch this feeling. Even those nights in college spent cramming for exams. I would TRADE for that kind of tired. Don't remind us we look crappy. Please & Thanks.
6. ACTION: response to baby name. If your response is anything other than, "Ooo, nice!", "I like it!", "Beautiful!", "Great Choice!": KEEP IT TO YOURSELF. We are on an emotional roller coaster and we have AGONIZED over the perfect name for our blessed bundle of joy. Saying, "I don't like it", "It's weird", or "Why THAT?!?" : will only get you drop-kicked. I had this experience over Thanksgiving. I honestly thought I was going to attack my husband's grandmother. OI.
7. "Get all the sleep you can now. You won't get any when the baby comes." Ya know, I would totally sleep if I could. I prefer my sleep. But insomnia in pregnancy is real. Heartburn that wakes me up, and feels like Mt. Kilauea is erupting in my chest is real. Trying to arrange my pillows to attempt to get comfortable enough to sleep, while a growing human uses my bladder for a punching bag...so real. And no matter the amount of liquid I ingested before bed, getting up every 20 minutes to pee, it's real. So while I would LOVE to take your advice and SLEEP....I can't. My body won't let me.
8. "Did you use fertility drugs?"/"Was this an accident?"/"Don't you know what causes pregnancy?"/"Don't you have television?". While these are meant as jokes or curiosity, it's rude and insensitive.  Unless you're willing to fully disclose your personal private life with me, don't ask. Every child is a blessing and miracle. I mean an ENTIRE human is growing in my body?! Amazing.
9. "You look like you're about to pop!" Pop? I'd sure like to pop you over the head with a broom stick. I'm X-amount of weeks pregnant. You're rocking a beer gut. At least I have a good excuse.

There are however a couple things that should ALWAYS be said to a pregnant woman:
1. "You look Gorgeous/Beautiful/Amazing/Stunning!" Any nice thing to make her feel better. What? She looks like a sweaty, hot mess in her hubby's over-sized t-shirt, her hair looks like it hasn't been washed and her too small shorts are revealing her unshaven legs?! She's beautiful. Just say it and mean it. She most likely can't reach or even SEE her legs.
2. "That's wonderful!" No matter what she said. Her baby's name is going to be Pharoh, she's going to be using cloth diapers that she's sewing herself, she's breastfeeding or formula feeding, she using hypno-birthing, having a home birth, co-sleeping, Ferberizing, joining a tribe of tree-huggers, or teaching her child to read by 6 months of age. Your response is always "that's wonderful."Being pregnant we are liable to cry at the drop of a hat or lash out like a psycho or change our mind. We are women after all.

Well, there ya have it. Feel free to share other idiotic things people have said or done to you or some other beautiful pregnant woman you know...


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Get Your Glow On: Part II

>> Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Milan Maternity has your fashion for pregnancy and beyond covered, keeping you and your your bump looking super chic while comfortable. Well, comfortable in your clothes anyway. We all know that getting comfy while pregnant, especially in the third trimester, is a feat that rivals climbing Everest [often requiring a Picasso assembly of pillows]
Last fall we covered "Get Your Glow On: Pregnancy Skin Care". In that article we talked about what is safe to use, great for your skin and suggested some amazing products that fall within those guidelines. I think it's time to tackle part two of the pregnancy glow: FAKING IT. This is also referred to as makeup. For those who even with an awesome skin care regimen can't seem to get that infamous gestational glow, relax. I got you covered. Blame the hormones that are taking over your mood and body without care to their effect on your beautiful skin. So the first thing you need to know is that it is safe to use makeup as long as it does not contain : retinoids or salicylic acids. Your skin absorbs what you put on it so keep it safe.

Check Your Labels For No-Nos:
-Differin (adapelene)
-Retin-A, Renova (tretinoin)
-Retinoic acid
-Retinyl linoleate
-Retinyl palmitate
-Tazorac and avage (Tazarotene)

Majority of your typical over-the-counter cosmetics are going to be generally safe, just check the ingredients label. Some of the safest choices are mineral makeups. My favorite mineral line is Afterglow Cosmetics and I have used that for a little over a year now. Completely organic and vegan line of products. And for the first time ever for this mix girl : A COLOR MATCH. You can actually call or email them the color of foundation you currently use and they will match it. Other mineral brands that are pretty good and safe are: Physician's Formula [they have a mineral line] and Sonia Kashuk's line. Those latter two brands can be bought from Target, Wal-Mart, drugstores and online.
NARS blush/highlight duo

  Ok, so now you got your makeup and you need to fake the glow. Here's what you do:
1. Start with a clean face. Exfoliate for a smoother skin surface & then moisturize. You can use a tinted moisturizer and it is both safe and a really good idea to use something with an SPF.
2. Use a stippling brush to put on a liquid foundation or a kabuki brush to put on powder foundation.  This helps to get a more airbrushed look that a sponge or your fingers can't really achieve. Apply concealer afterward if you need it to cover dark circles and/or blemishes.
3. There are two ways to go about the next step: Combine this step with step 2 if using liquid foundation: Mix a highlighter with foundation [one to two small pumps is good]. Or lightly sweep a powder highlighter over cheek bones [good for powder or liquid foundation].
4. Blusher. It brings some color back to your face. I lightly stipple on a powder blush on the apples of my cheeks, cream blushes are also very effective.
5. Smooth some highlighter across your brow bone and in the corner of your eyes to open them up.
Physicians Formula Mascara
6. Eye makeup, eye liner and/or mascara can be applied now if you wish to wear it! I tend to opt for a neutral look with taupes and browns. It looks great with all eye colors and blends well into the highlighter.
7. Lips! I love using a nice, non-sticky lip gloss in a pink/peach/coral neutral like the NARS lip gloss in Chihuahua. Another great option is the Sonia Kashuk luxury lip color in truffle or soft pink.

  That should be all you need to fake the glow! Even with two kiddos, I can apply this all in about 5 minutes. I call it my "5 minute-fake-like-I-actually-got-sleep-last-night look." This will come in handy when I'm back in the throws of post-partum sleep deprivation.


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AllyZabba Review and Giveaway

>> Tuesday, February 8, 2011

We didn't realize until we were on vacation over Christmas break that my one year old was seriously attached to his blankies in his bed. It didn't help that he was sleeping in a new unfamiliar place, but I didn't even think to bring his blanket, nor did I want to pack the huge thing. (My daughter never had any attachments except for her binkie, so I wasn't familiar with the blankie or toy attachments some babies have). The only thing I brought with us even somewhat close to his blanket was an old burp cloth. But when I gave it to my son, he fell asleep within five minutes. An old burp cloth was the last thing I wanted my son to carry around and sleep with over vacations, plane rides, and other excursions, so I wanted to find him a little snuggle blankie that would provide him comfort and help him sleep. I found out about AllyZabba and the super soft blankets they made and was able to try the Aloha TravelZabba. The TravelZabba is a smaller version of their regular sized AllyZabba blanket. It is 16" x 14", so it is PERFECT for traveling, car rides, and for my son, something for him to snuggle to sleep. As soon as I pulled the TravelZabba out of the package, my little buddy grabbed it and held it up to his cheek. It was love at first sight. It is so very soft! Okay, I'm not going to lie, it is THE SOFTEST blanket I've ever touched. This is a little embarassing, but I seriously love it and want to snuggle with it just as much as my son does. It's not really my size though, which has me thinking I might need to get the adult-sized MegaZabba for myself. {With my son carrying it all over the house, there was a day that we didn't know where it was for like 5 hours, and I seriously was so sad about it...for myself, more than for my son. Embarassing, I know.} My daughter even tries to steal it whenever she gets the chance.

My little guy is kind of funny...he doesn't want a big blanket on him when he's sleeping, but he wants to "hold" a blanket and snuggle it until he falls asleep. The TravelZabba is PERFECT for him. Here's my little dude with the TravelZabba the second day we got it. He snuggled for few minutes and fell right to sleep. So cute.

Nap #1

Nap #2

So a little more of the details: Each AllyZabba blanket is handmade with one silky satin side and one super soft plushy side. Think minky, but a billion times better. The plush side has a raised rosette pattern to give a little texture without taking away from the buttery softness. AllyZabba makes their blankets with one silky side because babies and especially newborns, love the feel of silk against their skin; it is very similar in texture to the lining in the womb. A doula wrote in to AllyZabba, "You've got this one right. A silky blanket is one thing I tell new parents that they actually need for thier newborn." Wow, right? If only I would have known this when my buddy was just home from the hospital and it was IMPOSSIBLE to get him to go to sleep and stay asleep in his bed. AllyZabba blankets are high quality and luxurious little snuggles for babies, toddlers, AND adults. They are sure to become the favorite lovey!

AllyZabba is giving away a TravelZabba of the reader's choice to one lucky winner!

Win It: (submit a comment with your e-mail address for EVERY entry completed)
Mandatory Entry:
1. Visit AllyZabba and tell us which style you'd choose if you won.
Additional Entries:
2. Follow this blog (on the right side column under Followers)
5. Does your baby have an something they "need" to fall asleep? What is their little lovey? Tell us.
6. Sign up for the AllyZabba newsletter to get exclusive discounts
7. Share this blog post with one of the "share" buttons at the bottom of this post (1 entry for each!)
8. Enter any of our other current giveaways
Giveaway open until Tuesday, February 22nd 11:59 PST to US residents only. Winner will be chosen by random.org.


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Luna Bar Giveaway Winner!

Luna Bar Giveaway Winner:
chosen at random by random.org:

So the coordinating comment is:

Please email service@milanmaternity.com to claim your prize!!!


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MyBirthClass.com Giveaway Winner!

>> Thursday, February 3, 2011

 MyBirthClass.com Giveaway Winner:
chosen at random by random.org
So, the coordinating comment is:
CONGRATS Tiffany!!!

Please email: service@milanmaternity.com to claim your prize!


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Milan Maternity: Lucia Top Winner

as chosen by random.org

So the coordinating comment is:

Please email: service@milanmaternity.com to claim your prize!


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A Little Thing Called Nesting...

>> Tuesday, February 1, 2011

So, here I am: last two months of pregnancy and the nesting instinct is in full swing! It's overwhelming and I can hardly sit still. I look around and see various things that need rearranging and reorganizing, the nursery is hardly close to being finished, there's still many things to purchase, and I am supposed to be taking it easy and resting. HA! Can't do it. The overwhelming mentality that if I don't do it myself, it won't get done has overtaken my brain.
The nesting instinct that many pregnant women go through near the end of pregnancy is a primal instinct. Females everywhere in the animal kingdom undergo the same nesting instinct. It is defined as an uncontrollable urge to prepare your nest for the new baby, tidy up and finish projects. For some, it can also be a sign that labor is near, especially as they approach the 40 week mark.
Nesting can lead to some somewhat strange behavior to the viewer: cleaning cupboards in the middle of the night, scrubbing things with a toothbrush, disinfecting everything in sight...and those not in sight, folding and refolding baby clothes, packing and then repacking the hospital bag and/or baby's bag, tossing out perfectly usable stuff in order to purchase new for the "nest". It can go on and on!
There are some precautions to take though, such as with painting the nursery. This is one I am having trouble restraining myself from doing and have to busy myself with other activities to distract. There are paints that are Eco-based/no VOC that are supposed to be safer. We are using Valspar and it has all it's chemicals intact so the hubby and friends are doing the painting. Make sure the room is well ventilated and that you don't eat or drink in the room while it's being painted.
Other precautions: wear gloves while cleaning, try to steer from strong aromas like ammonia and bleach and don't change cat litter. The ammonia/bleach aren't good for you to breath in. The cat feces can carry a parasite that causes toxoplasmosis. Toxoplasmosis is a blood infection that can cause birth defects, blindness, deafness and other issues.
All precautions taken, nesting can be fun, humorous and greatly satisfying. This week is the week all my nursery furniture, bedding and room accessories are coming in...if I can get hubby to finish painting the nursery tonight I can get stuff moving in!
Then I could get back to reorganizing the kitchen cabinets and re-alphabetizing the spice rack...


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