Category Archives: parenting

My Hair Regimen 2019

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My Hair Regimen 2019

Hey, natural moms!! Raise your hand if you’re like me and neglect your hair because you’re a mom…I’ll wait…………Uh huh, exactly as I thought, most of you put all your energy into child rearing and forget about you. I’m with you,girl.

With Amani self care went out the window. I was raised by a single mom who worked and neglected her social life a lot. So to prove I was a good mom, I did the same. A year into that, I was like “Nah, I have to breathe. So I started figuring out how to make myself feel better when I can’t go out. So I went natural in 2013. I started off really strong dedicating alot of money and time to getting my hair in check.

Fast forward and I have Avery,who is a HANDFUL and I don’t have time for hair. But when I do try to tame the bird’s nest on my head, I keep the same regimen as I did 6 years ago. As tight as my budget for myself is, I managed to get a couple new hair products,some I’ve used faithfully and a couple new things. I’m a product junkie, so definitely tell me what you’re using on your and how you use it.

Pre poo(prepping the hair with product before wash. This step makes the hair more pliable for washing.

I usually use use a cheap conditioner by VO5 for pre poo but I think I have found a holy grail with Creme of Nature’s Clay and Charcoal prepp treatment. I’ve heard good things about the detoxifying benefits of charcoal so I wanted in. OMG, it immediately softens the curls before the hair is even clean. It goes on smooth and has a slight detergent smell but I loved it. I section my hair into six and apply the product generously to each section.

Then I cover with a plastic cap and headscarf for ten minutes. Enough time to make sure Avery isn’t destroying something or annoying his sister.

Washing:

I rinse out the pre poo, then apply a shampoo. I love ORS’s Monoi Oil Anti Breakage Leave In cream. It doubles as a deep conditioner, which is the next step. I never used the shampoo or conditioner that’s in the same product line. I like good slip in my shampoo and this shampoo has meh slip. It is sooo hard to squeeze out the conditioner from the bottle because it’s really thick. It should have been in a jar. But just after shampooing, I noticed less breakage as promised. Because of my neglect I had a lot of breakage. Yes, I’d use this shampoo and conditioner again.

Conditioning:

Because of aforementioned breakage, I needed a protein conditioner. It helps with breakage by strengthening the hair shaft. I normally use ORS Hair Mayo but I needed something powerful so I turned to Aphogee’s 2 Step Protein Treatment. It’s watery in consistency which apparently is good for my low porosity hair but ut hardens in the hair fast so apply quick ly. I left it on for 10 minutes and it took quite a bit of rinsing to make sure it was out. I don’t think I’ll use it again, the hardening of my hair was not cool.

I applied the ORS Monoi Oil Anti Breakage conditioner(see previous picture)because protein conditioners really dry your hair out and you need to replace that moisture. Im not going to lie, I love this line because the packaging is my favorite color but the products are very good. I love that there are no overwhelming scents and it’s not expensive. I use a lot of products on my hair and I don’t want competing smells on it.

I usually leave conditioner on my hair for around 30 minutes. Its covered in a plastic cap and head scarf. More time to check in with kids, scroll Twitter, or look up new Pinterest crockpot recipes. I have this multi tasking thing IN.THE.BAG.

The Big Finish:

After I rinse out conditioner, i add a leave in conditioner. Creme of Nature Argain Oil line is primo. Ive used the shampoo, intense conditioner,and curlxl creme but the leave in is my favorite. It makes the hair shiny, has a clean scent and the oil keeps it moisturized. It’s a liquid spray that yoh must shake to activate.

After that, I apply my oils which is usually Jamaican Black castor oil, extra virgin olive oil, or coconut oil. The blend I’m currently using is JBCO, EVOO,and tea tree. All of them have excellent hair benefits including thickening of hair, antifungal properties, and moisture retention. If I’m not going to twist my hair right away, then I make six large cornrows and cover in my headscarf when I sleep.

I know this routine seems like a lot but your hair needs love and time and patience, just like your kids. If you have other methods of hair care, I’m all ears. Find me on IG, Facebook, and Twitter.Until next week!!

The Mystery Blogger Award- My First Nomination for Anything!!!

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The Mystery Blogger Award- My First Nomination for Anything!!!

I’m sooo late with this but I’ve been hanging out with my mama so…Anyway, I have been nominated by All Moms Blog. Thanks!!! I’ve never been nominated for anything so I’m very honored. This award was created by Okoto Enigma.It’s a way for all of us bloggers to get the recognition they deserve. I think that is amazing!

The Mystery Blogger Award rules:

  1. Put the award logo on your blog
  2. List the rules
  3. Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog
  4. Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well
  5. Tell your readers three facts about yourself
  6. Nominate between ten and twenty bloggers
  7. Notify your nominees
  8. Ask your nominees any five questions of your choice (with one weird or funny question)
  9. Share a link to your best post(s)

Three Facts About Myself:

1. I’m adopted into my own biological family. Huh?! I know but let me explain. My brith mother was unable to raise because of drug andd alcohol addiction. Her ilder sister,my aunt, took me into her home when I was 7 years old. She legally adopted me when I was 14 years old. Legally, she is my mother.

2. I once stuck my hand down a bowlig ball return. I thought my ball was taking too long to come back to me, so I went in sfter it. The ball did return and got stuck on top of my hand. I uellled for help, my camp counelors ran over and freaked out. Th owner was there and took the machine apart,freed my hand, and bought me and my brother nachos. I was good but my mom was PISSED…at me. She knew the only.one to blame was me becausd I alway did ridiculous things like that.

3. I am NOT a Beyonce fan. I was actually scared to say that because those BEYhive people are crazy! They really out here threatening peoplenwith physical harm. But my blok and delete game is strong, bring it on! When I was a teenager Beyonce’ solo career was just taking off. I was a fsn like all my friends Bs even had a poster of her in this pretty leopard print dress. My favorite songs from her first solo album were Baby Boy. Me,Myself,and I, and Naughty Girl. But as I got older my music tastes changed. I respect her for her contributions to music and Black culture,but I’m good on Sis.

MY NOMINEES FOR THIS AWARD(no specific order):

1.Transcribing Memory

2.Caffeine and Composition

3.Bing Writes Content

4.Entertainingly Nerdy

5.Nerds of Color

6.Significant Encounters

7.HeARTtalk- Healing Through Art and Story

8.Mother Jones

9.Bitches Gotta Eat

10. The Bloggess

Answer to All Moms Blog’s Questions:

Do you write/blog as a hobby or career? What is the most consistent topic to write about?

I do it as a hobby currently but hope to one day make an income blogging for brands.

You can live anywhere in the world. Which place will you choose to live and why?

Aside from my hometown where I currently live, I think I would.like to live in Paris. I think I’d enjoy spending the. rest of my life enjoying Parisian art,music,and history.

What’s a holiday that doesn’t exist that you’d like to create?

Hmm…one to celebrate Black nerds and bookworms.

What advice from your experience would you give to someone on their journey to achieving their dreams?

There’s no time limit on when you should have achieved your dreams.

How would you describe your life today?

Im in a regenerative phase in my life. Attitudes,behaviors,and ways of thinking have died and a new me is emerging.

5 Questions for the Nominees:

1. If you could be any animal what would it be?

2. Do you cook? What’s your favorite dish?

3. If you could meet any musician,living or dead, who would it be?

4. What do you do for fun?

5.What does your life look like in 5 years?

NOMINEES, DROP ME THE LINKS TO YOUR POST IN THE COMMENTS!!!

Falling Into Gratitude

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Falling Into Gratitude

With Fall upon us,I’m feeling pretty grateful for the change in season and the celebration of life that will be happening for my family. My daughter will be twelve years old on 11/23 and my son will be 1 on 12/5. Yes,that is technically still Fall. I’m ready to celebrate life. But let me rewind a little bit.

A couple of weeks after I gave birth to Avery, I noticed some changes in my mother. She was supposed to take Amani to and from school for me for th two weeks following my discharge from the hospital while I healed. Two days into that,Mom tells me she can’t take Amani to school anymore because she’s having trouble breathing. I thought it was an excuse to just not walk Amani for me, so I resumed pickin her up myself 4 days post partum. But Amani confirmed that her grandmother was having trouble breathing. Then my mother went to a new doctor which was odd because she had been with her previous one for ten years. She offered no explanation and I didn’t go with her fo her initial visit. However, Mom did tell me that the doctor was concerned about her kidney health and warned her if she didn’t do something about it soon,she wouldn’t see the end of 2019. Tht freaked me out but Mom didnt seem to take it seriously. She continued to treat her body like a garbage dump and didn’t go back to see her doctor until April 2019.

The news she gave me did remind me of when another doctor 5 years or so prior told her she has thirty something percent kidney damage. So,I start paying closer attention to Mom. She’s already stopped going clothes shopping, grocery shopping, and no longer wants the landlord or our upstairs neighbors to see her. That was weird because aside from spoiling the kids, she LOVES to shop til she drops. We used to hit Macy’s clearance rack regularly then spend an hour in the home department looking at Martha Stewart sheets. She didn’t even want a Christmas tree for Avery’s first official Christmas. We always argue about putting up decorations and she always win. This time I won. Red flag number 2.

Her appetite diminished pretty rapidly and I noticed she was losing weight. I cried when I found an entire pot of cooked but barely eaten ox tails in the refrigerator. I cried myslef to sleep that night. She NEVER leaves an oxtail uneaten.When I asked Mom abou her health,she’d say she was fine and she promised to reschedule the doctor’s appointment she broken several times. I stopped believing her. As Winter turned to Spring, mom’s attitude changed and she became very mean and callous. She picked silly and meaningless arguments with me, my brother,and Amani. I took the brunt of her anger to deflect from Amani. She seemed to become jealous whenever I took the children out or whenever my brother went out with hs girlfriend. Amani started complaining of the mean things her Granny said to her when I was out of ear shot. I said nothing to my mom about it most of the time because I knew she was sick but twice I couldn’t let it go. She missed Amani’s 5th grade graduation, which was so heart breaking to deal with.

I started telling close family members that I suspected Mom was gravely ill and I didn’t know how to help. They offered no real help or moral support,not even when I assured them she was letting herself die. I turned to a close friend and a woman who I knew as my aunt although she was no blood relation. They encouraged me to cease trying to get help for Mom,who made it clear she didn’t want help. So, I started preparing myself for life without Mom. Don’t get me wrong, I kept the faith that God would intervene but I came to a peace that maybe this was His answer.

By the time school started, Mom looked gaunt with dark circles under her eyes and her pupils were looking yellowish. I knew she was dying and I hated her for making me and the kids watch it happen. How could she proclaim to love us but act as if we don’t know what’s happening to her?! The Lord jumped into action just as I was about to give up. My mom wound up in the hospital emergency room and stayed there for 6 days.

She had to start life saving dialysis immediately. At first she refused but I finally spoke to her about how everything looked through my eyes since she had gotten worse. I told her we were already living without her and I could see how that made her feel. She relented. I was so relieved that she wasn’t going to die but I was still angry about what she put us through. But that was another conversation for another time, I got to keep my mama.

Mom has been on dialysis for about 3 weeks now. She must have treatment three times a week. I’m happy to say that she is sticking with it and her disposition has improved. She wants to enjoy life and people again. Her appetite has returned and she’s looking forward to a trip to Macy’s to find new duds for her smaller frame. She even has a crush on another dialysis patient but won’t tak to him until she’s “looking good”(her words). I’m in eternal debt to God for extending mercy and grace to her.

My faith was definitely tested this year. I wanted some things in my life changed and this was a test of how bad I wanted it. I learned alot about myself and my mom. Both mom and I have emerged from this closer to each other,but more importantly closer to God. I know her perspective of this is different from mine but our conclusion is the same…God is REAL!

ONE MORE THING BEFORE YOU GO:

My mom had a pretty hefty hospital bil that her insurance covered most of. There was a $300 balance that thanks to your donations has dropped to $80. Sounds like nothing but its a big deal for us because we just can’t afford it. So, help a fellow mom, blogger, and human out. You can donate to my Cash app or Pay Pal. Thanks to all of you who donated, it was a big load off getting the amount down. See you all soon!

What Is A Single Mom?

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What Is A Single Mom?

I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts, Spawned, and the topic was Who Can Be Called A Single Mom? The hosts described how they define a single mom. I believe one of the hosts’ husband has passed away so she considers herself single. After hearing their perspective, I started thinking what “single mom” means to me. So let me back up a bit.

My grandmother became a widow in 1970 after 10 years of marriage and 5 children with my grandfather. She did not date much, deciding instesd to work and raise the children. It wasnt so hard for her to do this because she had plenty of family to look after the kids while she worked. She didnt start dating until all the children were grown. According to my mom she dated a couple losers before finding a good guy and giving birth to a 6th child. She didn’t marry my uncle’s dad but they were a couple until his sudden death. He did provide financially for my uncle through his retirement benefits and there were also death benefits my uncle received as well.

To me,the fact that my grandma had a romantic partner that loved with her means she was not single. Here’s another example. My biological mother was married when she was 17 to a much older man she hsd known since childhood. They had a son a few years into marriage and then my mom left her husband. She started an affair with another married man which resulted in a baby. The married man stayed with his wife but his wife got even with him by giving my mother his social security number to claim child support for the baby. My mom went on to have 2 more children while still legally married. My youngest brother’s father was her domestic partner for around 20 years,outlasting her actual marriage. However, I considered her single because she was married through her last 3 pregnancies and her husband and her were estranged.

I consider myself single for the same reason,kind of. I’ve never been married and I’m not in a commited relationship with someone who helps take care of my kids.

Here’s a last example for you before you decide what you think single is. My adopted mom was married to a man 20 years ago. She split up with him a month or two into their marriage and they have not seen or spoken to each other since 2000. In 2006,Mom got baptized into out faith, Pentecostal Christian. In our beliefs,divorce although recognized legally is not recognized by the church. You can not date anyone until your spouse has passed. If you do legally divorce, you still can not date or remarry until your spouse has died. So according to the church, my mom was not single until her husband died a few months ago.

So,whenever a mom tells you she’s single,think about what that means for you (if you’re pursuing a mom) and ask her what that means to and for her. Tell me,moms, how do you define being a single mom?

Time Flies..

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Time Flies..

This is a writing prompt, compliments of Mama Kat’s Losin’ It. Make sure you check out her other writing prompts and link up your posts Thursday.
1. Throwback Thursday: Choose a photo from a previous June and write a poem or a blog post.

Time Flies…

In those brown eyes

Time Flies…

Running into my arms when she cries

Time Flies..

Throwing away the baby dolls her grandmother buys

Time Flies…

I remember her non stop questions, all the who’s? What’s? Why’s?

Time Flies…

Your becoming a teen soon, with your tiny white lies

Time Flies….

You’ve gotten quite bright, like the orange wings of monarch butterflies

Time Flies…

Sex and the Single Me

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Sex and the Single Me

I needs me a man! Things with Avery’s father fell apart fairly quickly after I became pregnant. We weren’t in a traditional relationship to begin with so I was not surprised when after I told him Avery was coming, he quickly exited the picture.

I was kind of bitter about the way thongs ended and even went into a mini man hating phase. Then my libido kicked back in. I had my first sexual experience 3 months after Avery was born. It was a casual thing with someone I know. There were no real feelings attached,it was just sex and we went back to our regular friendship.

I’m not good at picking men. I never have been and I’m not sure when or if I’ll be ready for a serious committed relationship. I think I want to be a wife but I’m not sure because I’ve never imagined myself as one. I knew I was going to be a mom and its what I wanted but wife just seems a little murky to me.

I don’t have any examples of healthy relationships in my family except for my brother. My biological mother was married at 17 to the love of her life but when drugs came into the picture, her marriage was ruined. She pined for that man until she passed away. It was sad to watch her go through that. My adopted was with a great guy and they also got married. But a week or two later, she kicked him out after realizing she sidnt want to be a wife. I loved her husband and was looking forward to him being my dad. So that hurt me that things didn’t work out. This is cliche, but I’m scared of commitment and getting my heart broken.

With the things going on in my life right now, I don’t have the attention to dedicate to a serious relationship. However, I enjoy being with someone but also like being left alone. I think I will date casually for awhile. My definition of casual is we go to the movies or dinner, we are intimate, we talk or text occasionally, and we have our lives. None of these casual acquaintances will be introduced to my kids because it’s inappropriate in my opinion.

I don’t feel any pressure to get down the aisle because I’m 30 or whatever nor do I feel pressure to marry because my kids should have a father. These are reasons other people have given me for why I should be ready to marry. I DO feel pressure to find happiness for myself in whatever way I can and I’m not apologizing for that.

#MICSummer2019

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#MICSummer2019

Hey,everyone! I’m not one to celebrate our national holidays too much but I do like to find new and fun things for me and the kids to do in the Summer. There is no shortage of places to go,thongs to do,and people to see when you live in the BEST city: New York. Thanks to Mommy Poppins I know where,when,and how much events will be. My only job is to pack up the diaper bag. I am finding that my kids are at different stages of development so they like different things. Here are some events I will be attending for both of them. If you follow me on IG, I will be updating my feed with pictures of me and the kids enjoying our Summer.

1. Baby Story Time: This is a free event that runs every Tuesday at 10:30am. It’s for babies from birth to 18 months old. There’s music,rhymes,and music. It’s hosted at Aguilar Library. Limit 15 children w/caregiver. Check New York Public Library for more free events throughout all the libraries.

2. Throughout NYC parks there will be Movies Under The Stars. This past week Spiderman: Into The Spiderverse was shown. June 6th there will be a showing of Hotel Transylvania 3 and My Little Pony. The event starts at 7pm and is free. Check New York City Parks Department for movies and locations.

3.For the comic book lover in your family, on Wednesday July 10th at 12pm, Midtown Comics is hosting best-selling author Kami Garcia (Beautiful Creatures) and fan-favorite artist Gabriel Picolol. They come together with Meg Cabot (The Princess Diaries) and fellow DC author Danielle Paige to discuss reimagining superheroes and writing graphic novels, as well as sign copies of current and previous books for fans. This is going to be great for Amani because she has decided if professional wrestling doesn’t work out, she would like to be a graphic novel artist.

4. Bastille Day on East 60th Street-

Celebrate France’s national holiday at this annual street fair. Featuring French cuisine, music, dance, and myriad attractions for the whole family, this three-block fête populaire invites New Yorkers to revel in the flavors, sounds, and joie de vivre of France.

2019’s line-up includes talented performers making their Bastille Day debut on the main stage. Chow down on French delicacies like crêpes, éclairs, macarons, and more at booths along 60th street. Savor a great selection of wines, cheeses, beers, and cocktails at tastings at FIAF. And check out the kid-friendly activities, including arts and crafts, face painting, and mime.

This makes a great day trip because street fairs usually having something to please children of all ages so I’m covered there. Avery’s pediatrician wants me to allow him to try different kinds of food so it will be fun to see how he adjust to international cuisine. I think you will have to set a budget for this trip because I believe the food and activities have fees. Contact French Institute Alliance for further details.

NYC Mamas, I would love to know what you are doing with your babies this Summer. On Instagram, use the hashtag #MICSummer2019 and in September I will feature the best picture and send you a prize. Remember, no matter what you do, have fun with your children and make memories. Happy Summer!

Thoughts on 30

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I’m 30 years old now. I still can’t believe that. When you have what’s called a milestone birthday,it really makes you think. I let the Devil get in my head and tell me I was a failure at life. He played bsck to me the lives of those around me and pointrd out how I falk shorrt of that. I fell for it hook,line,and sinker instead of focusing on the good things. I’m alive,I have a home, I eat every day, my kids are healthy,I have no majot health issues. Thank you God for those blessings.

I do feel unfulfilled in my life, though. I don’t have money, a job, and cam BARELY feed my family. Plus, my mom is very sick and won’t seek medical treatment. She’s having kidney failure qnd heart problems and I think she’s given up fighting for her life. That troubles me more than anything. I’ve tried talking to her about going but all I get is the brush off. That makes me angry because I feel like her giving up is selfish.But maybe she’s scared because she knows it’s bad and it may be too late. If that is the case, I would rather face it head on than do nothing. I jave prayed yhat the Lord will move her to take care of herself but it’s out of my hands, isn’t it? Since that’s the case I have to focus on getting my own life together. I called my aunt to clme over and see if she can talk some sense into her. If that doesn’t work, I’ll just pray that Mom reconciles herself to God before it’s too late.

My prayers lately have been for God to show me what my next steps should be in order to get my life together. He seems to be pointing me in the direction of crochet. I wanted tp3 sell some of it last year but had to deal with issues with my pregnancy. But this time, He seems to be revealing the plan to me in small achievable steps. He’s an awesome God because while I’m crocheting,my mind and hands are busy,not idle.

Mind you, I don’t know the first thing about being in a self made business. But God will show me because HE is my business partner. There is a podcast, B. Hooked, that I listen to about crochet that has skme episodes about being a business. I can start there. I have a few sample stitches Ive done and I can post them for people to see. Last night, before I went to bed I got a message from the Lord to make a unisex baby blanket. I have the right yarn for it and I’ll just read a pattern. This plan CAN work.

I posted on social media that I aas moving in silence and right away one of my friends called me a dumb ass and another tried to guilt me into telling her. I told them that I’ll revealed everything when the time is right. I don’t know how they’ll feel about that but I’m not worried about it. I’m exercising my right to be quiet. If they are my friends,they’ll understand. If not,may the Lord remove them from my journey. I feel a little lighter already about things and I have to keep my focus on the Lord.

Spring

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Spring

It seems the Winter has finally lifted its foot off my little neck of the woods. Though the temperature is still a but touchy, it feels good to look forward to the sun blinding me with a cool,not cold, breeze on my back. I’m also looking forward to bringing Avery outside more. I have been itching to show the entire neighborhood the cause for my tired eyes and reflective smile.

But its not all sunshine and rainbows despite the rising temperatures. I dont know what to do with myself. Ive been going back in forth in my mind about whether I want to go back to work outside the house or make a real go of working from home. Both options scare me but for different reasons. Going back to work outside is fine but my mom would watch the children and her health is not the best. Daycare is not an option because I just don’t trust people. I have a friend who could maybe help me out but she has 7 children of her own.

On the flip side, I could make a go of being a work at home mom. I have affiliate links on here and I could stary reaching out to brands to work with. I have people in my online community who could help me figure out how to approach brands,come up wit a media kit,etc. The down side to that is I probably won’t be making much to start off with. However, my ideal situation is to work from home so I can take care of the kids and look after my mom.

I am really confused as to what my next steps are going to be. I know I need an income as soon as possible and I need to be proactive in making things happen. But while I’m praying and waiting on the Lord to order my steps, I’m going to enjoy this time of renewal,fresh starts, and beautiful tulips. Maybe the answer will reveal itself in the nature around me,who knows?

My Baby Development Series

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My Baby Development Series

For those of you who dont know, I have a monthly livestream series on Periscope. Its called Oh,Baby! and it follows the development of my son,Avery. I want to bring Avery live with me so you can all drool over him. He is in the first episode,though.You can catch it every 5th of the month at 10 am EST. THE next one airs this coming Tuesday. If you jave missed any episodes, here they are and I hope to see you live with any questions or comments you may have. If I cant answer your questions at that time, I will post the answers on my Facebook page. As always thanks for the likes,follows,and shares!

Episode 1- Introduction/Labor& Delivery:

https://www.pscp.tv/w/b0k0GjFWR2p2RFJwa0paUU98MWpNS2dPRExWdm1LTIwmjCsRiI323gRd37VS0Shed8-SKg8CDvbyp-YLDkfU

Episode 2- Routine:

https://www.pscp.tv/w/b0k1VjFWR2p2RFJwa0paUU98MWdxeHZuUk1ibHF4QoVJGxyXQrOiSiwY2uCl9OaY2Y33DGGzhu36MEfsltiV?t=2s

Episode 3- Settled:

https://www.pscp.tv/w/b0k0vDFWR2p2RFJwa0paUU98MXlOeGFPa1pOcnZHartPIfmc6lpnX1A1UPJfPJNsnqRMVhqGGldAjrK-u5TX