Thursday, December 29, 2011

Big milestones!

Big milestones! by theelmerslovejesus
Big milestones!, a photo by theelmerslovejesus on Flickr.

Today sweetheart you laughed at Mommy while I bounced you on my tummy- like a full on big girl laugh! And you ALSO put your keys in your mouth all by yourself! We put them in your hands and then you put them in your mouth! And you smiled! We love watching you grow and grow big girl!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

You Rolled Over!!!

You Rolled Over!!! by theelmerslovejesus
You Rolled Over!!!, a photo by theelmerslovejesus on Flickr.

Hey there beautiful girl! You are growing and talking so much these days...always preferring to interact with everyone! You're such a sweet baby! Today you rolled over! And it was only the third day that mommy put you on your tummy!!!! So strong!!!

Friday, December 2, 2011

12 Weeks Old

Vivien. Vivi. Vivi Bug. Baby Bug. Ducky Bug. Sweet Potato. Love Bug. Munchkin. Smiles. Sassy Bug. Big Girl.

Ok, now I want you to pick out your real name from among all these monikers we gave you.

No? Don't know your real name yet? Apparently, neither do we!

But you really are the cutest little baby my eyes have ever seen. I know I'm supposed to think that. But seriously, you could not be prettier. I could do without so many bows though.

We haven't hit many of the big milestones yet...crawling, talking, doing calculus...but we're excited to see them when they come. You are sitting up better, smiling and cooing A LOT, and mommy says you're a big, big eater. It may sound odd later, but you are all about the "Meelks!" =)

We love you baby bug! (I mean Vivien! Ah, shark attack, you're going to be seven before you learn your real name).

Monday, November 21, 2011

Vivien's Birth Story

Vivien’s Birth Story

Your mom and I looked at each other confused. Now? Did she say we need to go now?

“Now?” I finally asked.

“Now,” Dr. Ruffin replied.

“Can we go get something to eat first? We’re starving,” your mom said.

“No, sorry. You can’t eat anything. You need to go straight there,” said the doctor.

We weren’t ready for this. You weren’t due for another week and a half, and even though we were hoping you would come a little bit early, we wanted to wait until you were ready. We wanted to wait until the Lord called you forth.

We didn’t want the doctors to decide.

It was a stressful day. We had a bag packed for the hospital, but we had left it at home. We hadn’t eaten anything, as it was our usual tradition to go straight from the doctor to Chickbucks, where we would have a celebration of sorts for your life and growth in your mother’s womb (Chickbucks, by the way, is an amazing combination of Chick-fil-a and Starbucks; the two together form one of God’s unique gifts to ease our burden here on earth). Now, the doctor was practically demanding that we go to the hospital so they could monitor your mother’s blood pressure. They were concerned about her; we learned later that pregnancy induced hypertension can be very serious.

As we walked across the sidewalk to the purple tower, we thought about the implications of the monitoring. What if Sarah’s blood pressure stays elevated? What if the tests the run come back positive for kidney failure? What if they want to induce labor?

In moments like these, when these “what if” questions arise, I’m grateful that I can trust in the Lord, and I don’t have to depend on myself. I myself am powerless to most circumstances. I live at the whim of millions of factors beyond my control. While I can do many things to act responsibly, it’s these cases where I have to let go. Let go of myself, my selfishness, my self-dependence. I have to trust the Lord, because I am incapable of doing anything about it on my own.

As we walked, I prayed for you, and I prayed for your mom. But foremost I prayed for the Lord’s will to be done. Because that’s the beauty of the Lord; his will is perfect, and his desire for you, your mom, and I is perfect. I knew then, and I know now, that regardless of my desire or my will in that moment, the Lord’s will was best. My perspective is jaded, clouded by emotion, and untrustworthy. The Lord’s will is perfect, just, and absolutely trustworthy.

When they strapped the monitor onto your mom it was only a matter of minutes before her blood pressure dropped to a perfect level, and stayed there for the duration of the tests. After several hours, the doctor came in and confessed “I have no excuse to induce you,” and they let us go.

This marked the high and low point of pregnancy for your mom. It was the high because we were able to really see how the Lord was in control, and we were able to completely trust him. But it was also the low because you still weren’t here, and we had to endure another two weeks of doctors professing fears, demanding inductions, and postulating consequences. Each time we told them that we trusted the Lord, and that we would not induce.

In fact, they scheduled an induction for the day after you were due. We didn’t show up. It turns out your journey into our lives was set to begin two days later.

I left work a little early on Thursday because your mom and I were going to meet one of her friends from California who had just moved to the Atlanta area. We went out to get burritos for dinner, and then we picked up her friend for some Starbucks. As we sat and spoke with him for several hours, Sarah began to have contractions off and on. She didn’t say anything to me, although we were both anticipating these moments. When we said goodbye for the evening, she admitted to me that her contractions had been coming all night.

We returned home and started to get ready for bed, when something quite hysterical happened; your mom’s water broke. We didn’t realize it was happening when it was happening, but if I could paint a picture of the moment it would look like this: your mom was laughing uncontrollably saying “babe, I think my water just broke! Did it break? I think it broke!” and your dad was standing there looking very concerned because your mother seemed to have lost her mind. After some deliberation, we decided that yes, in fact her water had broken, and we made up our mind that we were going to the hospital.

I squarely remembered the consequence of our last trip to the hospital, and even though I wasn’t hungry at all I still promptly ate a bowl of cereal, some leftover soup, a piece of fruit, and some crackers. Sarah ate an apple as well, which may or may not have been a good idea. Nevertheless, we were determined that this time we would be prepared with everything we needed for the trip, and we brought everything we could think to bring, right down to our backgammon board. And with that, we made our way to the hospital.

When we arrived at the hospital, we made our way to the third floor of the purple tower and went to check in, which is quite a hilarious process when you consider the questions they ask. “Why are you here?” Um, I’m in labor? Not all the questions were as inane, but the sheer volume of paperwork and signatures required made me happy we came early in your mom’s labor. It would have been even more tiresome with regular contractions. But it wasn’t long before we were in triage, which might have marked the low point of our stay.

The first nurse who saw us came in and did a few tests, including checking your mom’s blood pressure. Sure enough, the reading was high, and despite all our previous experience with the doctors and nurses and our expressed faith that the Lord would take care of us, everyone still feels like they need to add their opinion to our situation. It was here that our nurse “Missy” decided to tell your mom that she would not be allowed to get out of bed for her entire labor. She also decided to offer your mom this bit of wisdom: “sometimes you can’t always have the birth that you want.”

All I will say is this: don’t tell my wife what she can and cannot do when she’s in labor

By the time we made it to our room it was close to 4 AM; your mom’s water broke at 2:30AM. We finally saw Dr. Tag, one of the six doctors in the OB practice and quite frankly a blessing in scrubs, around 8AM. The report was not good. Sarah was only dilated about 3 centimeters, and progress was slow. Only this time, the consequences were inevitable. Since Sarah’s water had broken, she had to give birth within 24 hours. If she didn’t, they would have to deliver via C-section, and neither Sarah nor I was interested in that. We said a prayer, and then accepted the doctor’s suggestion of speeding up labor with pitocin, a synthetic version of a chemical produced by the body called oxytocin.

We knew we needed to do something to speed up your arrival, but we forgot the effect pitocin can have on the body. Unlike oxytocin, which when released is accompanied by endorphins, pitocin can cause contractions to come steadily without any accompanying endorphins. This makes it much more difficult and much more painful when each contraction comes. Yet at 9AM, after having been awake for nearly 24 hours, we started Sarah on the pitocin drip.

The contractions began to come hard and fast. Although they started the drip at a low level, it increased automatically every 30 minutes. We were still under orders to stay in bed, and it didn’t take long before the contractions became so miserable that your mom couldn’t even talk. To make matters worse, the majority of the pain was in her back, because you were facing the wrong way. This only compounded your mother’s pain, because not only does it hurt worse when you face forwards, but it can complicate the delivery process, and your mom was worried about you. We had already been praying fervently for you, for your life and your birth. This information only renewed our purpose, and our prayers remained constant for nearly the remainder of your mother’s labor.

The doctor had optimistically told us that with the pitocin, Sarah might be ready to deliver by 5PM. I can remember distinctly looking up at the clock and counting the minutes. We were listening to some beautiful instrumental worship music, and I did what I could to support your mom. Yet frequently I found myself standing beside her, helpless. At one moment I would push her back to help ease the pain, and the next moment that would make the pain worse. Then I would try to push on her hips, then that would make it worse. Through constant position changes, movements, and contractions, we wrestled with trying to find comfortable, or at least bearable, positions. Often, however, it was just a matter of enduring the pain for your mom, and for me it was a matter of doing whatever I could to help, which was ultimately a fruitless endeavor.

As the afternoon wore on, nurses would check on your mom to see if she was doing ok. One of the greatest blessings of this time was our nurse Sharron. Although she “advised” Sarah to stay in bed for her high blood pressure, she also indicated that she would be gone for a while and to buzz if she was needed. We got the hint, and we took the away time to move around the room. Although these movements helped with the pain for a short time, the contractions kept coming one on top of the other. By 5PM, we still hadn’t slept in over a day, and Sarah was exhausted. We had to slow down her pitocin drip or she wasn’t going to be able to give birth.

In our desperation to find some comfort and rest, we had both ended up lying on the floor of our hospital room. We badly needed to sleep, and even though we weren’t progressing fast enough, we couldn’t keep upping the pitocin. Somewhere on that floor we decided we had to get an epidural. There was no other way you could be delivered without a C-section.

We called the doctor and told her what we had decided. They cut the pitocin drip down and contacted the anesthesiologist. At 6PM, after 14 hours of labor, your mom received an epidural.

The medicine was a huge blessing. It allowed your mom to relax enough so she could sleep, and we could keep the pitocin churning along. With the added medicine we could up the dosage of pitocin, and by 10PM Sarah had dilated to 8 centimeters. The last push was coming, and it was none too soon. We were nearing the end of the 24 hour window we had to deliver you naturally before we would have to get a C-section. Although we weren’t sure about the timing, we trusted the Lord would help you along at the right time.

When midnight came around, it was time to begin delivery. We contacted your grandparents, aunts and uncles to let them know the time was near. Our nurse began to set up the equipment for you arrival, and Sarah began to feel the urge to push. Although you were still high in your mom’s uterus, the time was coming for you to be born. Your mom pushed and pushed, and after about 45 minutes, I saw a glimpse of you for the first time.

Just a glimpse. Just a peek. Just the tip top of your head…covered in hair.

It was a sweet moment after a long and tiring labor. But we weren’t there yet, and as I was spoke encouragement to your mom, she worked and struggled and strove to bring you into the world. Of the many thoughts I’m sure were running through my mind at this point, none of them seemed to register. All I knew is you are my baby girl. And I was about to meet you for the first time.

The doctor came in, and everything became really hectic. Nurses of all kinds flowed in and out, some for Sarah, some for you, some to help, some to witness. It all happened really quickly, and after the 24 hour plus labor, it’s a good thing the end came so fast. We wanted to meet you. This time, we were ready.

At least, we thought we were.

When you first came out, your cries filled the room. Your face was flushed, your body was pink. They had warned us that babies aren’t pink when they first come out. But you were. You were the embodiment of your name: Vivien, full of life.

Your mom was crying. I teared up too. I didn’t know where to go, where to stand, or what to do. I just walked around, turning to your mom, turning to you. I remember looking at your sweet face, then turning to your mom and whispering “I love you.”

She whispered back, “I love you, too.”

A few minutes later you were all swaddled in a blanket, and your mother was holding you in her arms. You weren’t crying at all, but you were just sweetly lying on your mom. I took a picture of you and sent it to all the family waiting to see you. The grandparents came back first, then the aunts and uncles on your mom’s side. Before the weekend was done, you had dozens of visitors, both friends and family.

But the part I will remember most is what the Lord revealed to me during your birth. The whole experience taught me so much about who he is and how much he loves us. I tried to capture my emotion and sentiment immediately in a poetic form. I wrote this around 2AM after you were born. It’s not perfect, but I like it that way. Because after a full day of work, followed by a full day of labor, this is all I knew to say:.

At two I watched the minutes pass.
Two oh five. Then two ten.
I’d look at her for a moment or two,
Then back at the clock again.

My arms were tired of holding her.
My back was sore from standing.
I pushed and pressed, did all I could,
but the curse was too demanding.

All I could do was watch, helpless,
At the anguish of my wife.
The toil of my body, a trifle,
Compared to the judgment upon my eyes.

With the curse of the fall before me,
And the judgment of sin upon us,
I received a new witness to mercy,
I received new hope in Jesus.

For the pain I caused my savior,
I now witness in my wife,
And I’m drawn anew to salvation,
And called to give up my life.

Now I too will be a father,
And soon, my own image will fall,
And on that day I’m sure I’ll see,
What it means to love above all.

And if I could only but cast,
A dim light toward God above,
Maybe someday too, my daughter,
Will know the truth of God’s love.

As your father, it has been and always will be my purpose to protect you, to lead you, to provide for you, and to be your shelter, for as long as you are under my care. This is my desire for your life: that you will learn the love of your Heavenly Father, that you will place your trust in him, and that you will fulfill his purpose for your life. And I pray that I will be a witness to his love for you here on earth.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Tonight we read you your first book!

And you loved it :) Okay, maybe not loved it, but you studied it as daddy and I read it to you...good job learning baby bug!!!  Daddy and Mommy were laughing reading about everyone pooping!  You know, you always chat a lot at night, after your bath and before bed...stalling already, huh? ;)

You're in your room getting sweet night night kisses from Daddy right now...we love you so much precious one.  You ought to see how much fun you're becoming these even want to cuddle with Mommy some (which is very new!)...we love you!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Aunt Wade!

Aunt Wade! by theelmerslovejesus
Aunt Wade!, a photo by theelmerslovejesus on Flickr.

You're sleeping on your Aunt Wade after a hard day of shots :)

Shots :(

Shots :( by theelmerslovejesus
Shots :(, a photo by theelmerslovejesus on Flickr.

This is a picture of one of your little legs with a soccer dog bandaid! You cried so hard you made mommy cry :( But now you're good if you accidentally get exposed to tetanus or polio or hepatitis B...sigh...

Your Daddy loves you!

Happy 2 months!!!

Happy 2 months!!! by theelmerslovejesus
Happy 2 months!!!, a photo by theelmerslovejesus on Flickr.

Yay big girl! 2 months!!!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


YOU LAUGHED!!! a video by theelmerslovejesus on Flickr.

Okay, not on this the time I managed to get a camera rolling you were yawning (which means time for mommy to put you down for a nap!), but just before this- YOU LAUGHED for the very first time and you did it THREE TIMES...Daddy was at a job interview and was VERY sad that he missed it--- big time!!! You have me smitten...your laugh brings tears to my eyes it's so utterly precious :) I LOVE YOU!!! - Mommy

Monday, November 7, 2011

After smallgroup...

We are blessed to be apart of an amazing group of couples who love Jesus...everyone just left and we're loving on you! We love you sweet girl!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

SO CUTE!!!! :)

SO CUTE!!!! :) by theelmerslovejesus
SO CUTE!!!! :), a photo by theelmerslovejesus on Flickr.

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Nap time today...

Nap time today... by theelmerslovejesus
Nap time today..., a photo by theelmerslovejesus on Flickr.

Vivi you have been very cuddly today which is totally not like you! We've had some fun just loving on you since you've wanted to be so sweet today--- we love you!
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Monday, October 31, 2011

Last Tuesday

Last Tuesday by theelmerslovejesus
Last Tuesday, a photo by theelmerslovejesus on Flickr.

Forgot to post this pretty girl! You are strong in your legs and with some assistance you'll really try hard to stand! Big girl! :)
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Little LADYBUG! by theelmerslovejesus
Little LADYBUG!, a photo by theelmerslovejesus on Flickr.

You little cutie...
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Halloween by theelmerslovejesus
Halloween, a photo by theelmerslovejesus on Flickr.

Well Vivi- Happy October 31st...this little bib was given to you by a sweet woman, Rita, from church and it seemed sweetly appropriate for today- I'll include some more pics of your first Halloween tonight! We're going to a sweet get together with friends and you have a costume...wonder what it'll be?? :)
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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Church and Grandpa

Church and Grandpa by theelmerslovejesus
Church and Grandpa, a photo by theelmerslovejesus on Flickr.

Today we took you to church and afterwards we went to Grandma and Grandpa's house for brunch- you just cuddled Grandpa and SMILED at him! We're all so in love with you Vivi...this morning I went into your room to get you and you opened your eyes and smiled right at me- melts my heart! We love you!!!
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Saturday, October 29, 2011

You're sleeping through the night!

Vivien Elmer you precious thing! We are so proud of what a sweet baby you are! Not only are you holding your head up for long spurts now (many minutes at a time) you are also sleeping through the night now! Granted, I have to put you in a baby straight jacket so you don't punch yourself awake and I do give you a good amount of milk to get you nice and full, but you sleep like a pro! Must be an Elmer kid cause mommy and daddy love sleeping too! You've done 7-8 hours a night plus another 3-4 after I feed you pretty much every night this week- soooo by 7 weeks you have got sleep down (but you could say you were doing well about 6 weeks or so). You are sitting here talking to me- well- making sweet sounds to me- it's so precious!!! You're a talker! Love you!!! Xoxo
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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Little bug...

Little bug... by theelmerslovejesus
Little bug..., a photo by theelmerslovejesus on Flickr.

After you ate :)
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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The three girls :)

The three girls :) by theelmerslovejesus
The three girls :), a photo by theelmerslovejesus on Flickr.

We took this when aunt kate was here! :)
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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Knit cap!

Knit cap! by theelmerslovejesus
Knit cap!, a photo by theelmerslovejesus on Flickr.

Uncle Larry's mom made this knit hat for you- so swet! We put it on you tonight so we could go outside at the Elmers :)
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In the hallway :)

In the hallway :) by theelmerslovejesus
In the hallway :), a photo by theelmerslovejesus on Flickr.

Daddy and I put you to sleep on my lap, but we had to get ready to go see Coco and Grandad, so we made you a little bed in the hallway while we got ready- and you are just SO CUTE Viv...what a little spirited blessing you are---- I have to post the story of you and Aunt Katie last night at the Chautas here at some point, big girl, it was a big day for you! Love you Vivi! Xoxo

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Friday, October 21, 2011

Putting you to bed...

Daddy and I decided to put you to bed together...he taps and I...well, I took this sweet picture of your last waking were born 6 weeks ago THIS VERY HOUR baby bug...what a great last 6 weeks it's been :) xoxo

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Your cousin Isaac

Your cousin Isaac by theelmerslovejesus
Your cousin Isaac, a photo by theelmerslovejesus on Flickr.

Aunt Esther sent me: Isaac just said he wanted to eat some strawberries like aunt sarah taught him "by holding the green spot". Thinking of you!
We are missing your cousins and Aunt and Uncle, Viv :)
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Mommy and Vivi

Mommy and Vivi by theelmerslovejesus
Mommy and Vivi, a photo by theelmerslovejesus on Flickr.

You just got up from your nap and were super happy! Daddy and I gave you lots of kisses! :) we love you!
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From the Hassetts :)

Hey Vivi! This outfit is from the Hassetts! I'm super glad you could wear it before it got too cold :) yay!
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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Your first overnight trip!

We stayed with your Aunt Katie in Atlanta last night! You only woke up twice! Yay baby bug!
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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Aunt Katie!!!

Aunt Katie!!! by theelmerslovejesus
Aunt Katie!!!, a photo by theelmerslovejesus on Flickr.

This is the person that we named you after...mommy's best friend katie- we found out we were going to have you on her wedding day! So although she isn't your blood related aunt, she's your namesake and one of the best women that you could ever have as an'll love her like Mommy does- I'm sure of it...
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Cute little Vivien!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Georgia Tech!

Georgia Tech! by theelmerslovejesus
Georgia Tech!, a photo by theelmerslovejesus on Flickr.

Hey baby bug! We're rockin' the GT gear today for Daddy's favorite team! You are adorable in your GT jersey onesie that the Chautas gave you :)
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Friday, October 14, 2011

Doctor today

Doctor today by theelmerslovejesus
Doctor today, a photo by theelmerslovejesus on Flickr.

Vivi! Today you went to the pediatrician and you are 9 lbs 10 oz now! You also are 22 1/2 inches in length! Yay big girl! :)
We love you!
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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

I got this onesie as a shower gift :)

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I never want to wake you...

In the early morning when you wake up hungry, you love to just pass right out on me after you eat and the last few days you've started "talking" to me in my ear while I burp you! Just little "coo's" and "ah's" but it's so'll give me little smiles sweet Vivi...
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Sunday, October 9, 2011

We left you...

We left you... by theelmerslovejesus
We left you..., a photo by theelmerslovejesus on Flickr.

With Grandma Baer while Mommy and Daddy went on an anniversary date for sushi (our favorite!) and this is what Grandma did to you ;)
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Saturday, October 8, 2011

On our way to visit Mommy's friend...

Daddy and I are spending the afternoon driving to visit Mommy's friend who is in the hospital :( It will give you and daddy some bonding time (like you don't have enough! Hah!) Because you can't go up to the room, you're too little...
Anyways, Mommy took one of daddy's lambs from when he was a boy and sewed a pacifier onto it so that it would sit on your chest...and you are liking it quite well...Your onesie was given to you by Coco and Grandad for Mother's day this past year! It might have been my first gift for you...I'm trying to remember...Love you precious girl. I love being your Mom. Xoxo
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Friday, October 7, 2011

Thursday, October 6, 2011

We missed your "sleep window"

...So here we are trying to put you to are supposedly too young to understand how to fall asleep on your own, but you certainly know that being held by daddy over his shoulder is preferable to your crib...hmmmmm ;)

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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Aunt Suzy and Uncle Bruce's gift to you...

Came in the mail today! You are gonna look SO CUTE next season wearing this...too bad Daddy would rather see you in GT gear! Hahaha :) You'll be the cutest OSU cheerleader of all time (now we just better show up as a team next season!!!)
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You resting on the floor at Coco and Grandad's

...while mommy washes your are so precious Vivien
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