Friday, April 29, 2011

Having a baby doesn't have to be expensive.

I haven't blogged in awhile.  Combination of ickies lingering forever and just daily stress of being a mom to 4.  Sometimes I do have to parent too haha.

I read an article today that inspired me to write this.  It was called Parents Beware: It's a Diaper Emergency.  It talked about the upcoming price hikes that were announced by the 2 largest diaper brands in America, Pampers and Huggies, who will each be increasing their prices 3-7%.  I haven't bought or even looked at the price of disposables in a long time but remember they were quite pricey already when I was still buying them.

The article listed some suggestions for parents to save money including buying up a bunch of diapers in bulk now before the price increase and switching to cheaper off brands.  I was sad that no where did it suggest cloth diapers.  That would be the best way for all parents to avoid the increase.  Instead of buying disposables in bulk now take that same money and buy a stash of cloth and you won't ever have to buy another diaper again.  That's the theory anyways, cloth is addicting so you probably will buy more just because they are so cute.  You will still save money in the long run, even with the extra "splurge" cloth buys.

The above post plus a post written by Rainbow at Confessions of an Earthy Young Mom called Oh The Money We Could Have Saved... made me think.  I hear all the time from people that they can't believe we have 4 kids and that 1 new baby costs so much  (an average of $10,000 in the first year) so how can we possibly manage with 4, especially 3 so close in age.  I assure you we are not spending anywhere NEAR what most do!

The average expenses broken down are:

By far our biggest savings, I stay home.  None of our kids are school age yet.  The average daycare costs $700 per month per child.  Sure you can find some for less, I know of a few people who get in home for $100 a week.  Even if you take $100 a week x 4 kids, that's $400 per week.  That is just not feasible.  It makes no sense for me to work, it wouldn't even cover the daycare expenses if I did.

Daycare is the largest portion of the estimated $10k is in baby's first year of expenses. has a great first year baby expense calculator and for their average price of $10,158 for the first year they have a moderate estimate of daycare costs at $768 per month for 6 months, and who only works 6 months?  I guess they are assuming you will have taken the first 6 months of baby's life off work?

I understand not everyone can stay home, I am simply stating this is what works for our family since I am addressing the questions I get as to how we can afford so "many" kids.  This was a decision we made after Little Man was born.  The daycare we found was going to run $180 a week.  Once we figured in the daycare costs, my gas too and from work, lunches for myself, and our second car payment/car insurance we realized I would be paying to work.  It was in the negative.  So for us it just made more sense for me to stay home.

Staying home does not come without its sacrifices.  We had to voluntarily surrender my car and I went 2.5 yrs without a vehicle to drive.  Operating on 1 income is hard and you have to become pretty creative at times but it is very doable.

The next highest expense in that estimate is formula.  Again, we save huge amounts by simply breastfeeding.  Formula is figured in at $105 a month ($1,260 per year) on the average cost through Baby Center but other places I have searched list the average price in 1 year to be between $1500-2000 to formula feed a baby.

Again I am not trying to tell anyone how to raise their own kid BUT if you are doing the math and simply think you cannot afford another baby (or even your first) this is a huge expense that can easily be eliminated.  Breastfeeding is free.  Sure you could argue food costs money but you have to eat no matter what so in my book its free.  I didn't even need/use any of the extras that I thought I needed with my first including the pump (never had time to pump since he nursed so frequently), bottles (Little Man and Smucnhkin would never take a bottle), storage bags (couldn't pump anything to store) or nursing pads.

Next you have the cost of diapers.  Baby Center lists the average cost per month for diapers to be $72 when using disposables.  I think this is a low estimate as when we were using disposables we used a $20 pack of diapers per week.  So $80 a month x 12 months is $960.  That doesn't include wipes, I would say at least another $40 for those and that's probably a low estimate.  Total $1000 in the first year to use disposable diapers and disposable wipes.

We cloth diaper.  I wish we had cloth diapered from the 1st baby on, we would have saved close to $3,000 just for Little Man (since he didn't potty train until he was a few weeks shy of age 3 and 3x1000=3000).  Sure, there may have been times he used less diapers but on average we needed the $20 pack a week the entire 3 years. We could have saved another $2,000 for Smunchkin and $1,000 for Monkey.  That's a lot of money I would love to have in my pocket right now!  It makes me feel sick to my stomach to think we spent that much on diapers in the past!

We started cloth diapering in August when Tubs was 3 months, Monkey was 15 months and Smunchkin was 25 months.  It hasn't been a full year yet but if we needed 1 $20 pack for 1 child and we have 3 in diapers we would be using an average of $60 a week in diapers alone.  So every month we save ourselves $240 by cloth diapering.  Honestly, we wouldn't even be able to afford that!  We could barely afford the diapers for 2.

You can start cloth diapering 1 child for as little as $50 depending on what route you want to go.
$50 will buy you an Econobum pack that has 3 covers, 12 prefolds and a wet bag in it.  This is enough to cloth diaper 1 child if you wash everyday.  Many people want to buy 2 of these to start so they don''t have to wash each day. 

When we started out we used covers and prefolds exclusively.  It is the cheapest way to start cloth diapering but, in my opinion, it is also the hardest method (many love and prefer prefolds though, its all about preference).  I have since been fortunate enough to try out other diaper designs including pockets, AIOs (all in ones) and even an AIO hybrid that also had a pocket for extra absorption.

For a little more you could start out with the Best Bottom system, much more user friendly.  The webapage says it costs about $401.78 to start (that's 8 shells at $16.45 each and 24 inserts in 3 sizes at $3.76 ea) BUT You could easily buy 3 shells at $16.45 each ($49.35) each and 8 inserts in each size ($90.24 total) to get you started.   That would only be an investment of $139.59 (plus shipping) You would have to wash everyday but you would have enough to cloth diaper your child (with 8 diaper changes a day reusing each shell 2-3 times).  The shells are reusable as long as baby is just wet. Wipe them out and reuse.
We have a giveaway open right now on Instinctual Mamas to win a Best Bottom diaper, check it out, it closes Sat May 7, 2011.

By far the easiest cloth diapers are the AIOs.  I love my Blissful Booty AIO's and if you have the $$ to spend (especially if cloth intimidates you) I would suggest these.  They are sold in 4 packs for $64.00.  Personally, I think two 4 packs would be enough to CD baby if you washed every day (that's 8 diaper changes a day).  Some may want to go for an extra diaper or 2, or maybe even another 4 pack just to give themselves more cushion.  These are not OS (one size) diapers though so you would have to buy at least 8 in each size.  If you skip the NB size that means you would still need 8 small, 8 medium and 8 large so CDing in AIOs is a bit pricier ($128 for each size minimum) but still far less than disposables in 1 year.

I would suggest a mix and match stash.  Buy a few of each to try out and decide what you like before you invest fully.  There are a few programs out there that let you try out different diapers and keep/buy only the ones that you like.  Many places have such programs including Jillians Drawers, Diaper Daisy, Moms Milk Boutique and Diaper Junction

No matter which style of diapers you go with you still only spend anywhere from as little as $50 to $500 + in the diapers in baby's first year.  Then $0 in the 2nd year (theoretically, as long as you don't fall victim to the aforementioned fluff addiction) and if, like me, your kids do not potty train until closer to age 3 that's $0 in the 3rd year (unless you opt to buy cloth trainers).  The same diaper stash can also be used for baby #2, #3, etc etc so the savings just keep multiplying year by year child by child.

Baby Center lists the cost of cloth diapering, after the initial investment of the stash, at $19 per month.  I assume that's for detergent and water/electricity usage.  Our water/electric bill did not even go up noticeably when we started cloth diapering.  I expected a jump in at least the water bill but nothing.  The detergent we use is $14 and it lasts 3 months (we wash everyday).

50 years ago disposable diapers were considered a luxury only the rich could afford.  Now everyone sees them as a necessity and lower income families are sacrificing food and hanging diapers to dry and reuse because they don't realize there are alternatives out there.

We also use cloth wipers which is another major savings.  1 10 pack of wipes is all you need for 1 baby and you can even make them yourself using flannel or simply use some soft baby wash cloths.

As Rainbow pointed out in her blog, there is a lot of baby gear out there and most 1st time moms fall into the hype that they NEED all of it.  I was no exception to this.  I thought I needed the perfect nursery just like in all of the magazines.
Most placess tell you you NEED:
Fancy (aka EXPENSIVE) Car Seat/Stroller combo
Crib mattress
Changing Table
Changing table pad and safety pillow
Glider or Rocker
Bouncy Seat
Activity Center/Exersaucer
Play Mat
Crib Bedding
Coordinating room decorations to match crib bedding
Baby monitor
breast pump
milk storage bags
High chair
Nursing Pillow
Baby bath tub
on and on and on. 

The list of "must haves" is quite long and overwhelming.,  Baby Center lists the average cost of many of these but you can also change the prices in the first year calculator to adjust to your baby and what you bought.
I fell into this hype with my first too and bought/was gifted everything on the list above plus some.  Very little of it was ever actually used though. 

This is the list I would give a first time mom:
a good sturdy and safe car seat.
some sort of baby carrier, wrap, sling to wear baby
comfy PJs to lounge around the house in and nurse baby on demand
a good book to read while baby nurses
new sheets for the family bed and let baby cosleep-a side car attachable co-sleeper if you don't want baby in your actual bed.  Co-sleeping helps significantly improve nursing success rates and has been proven to actually DECREASE the risk of SIDS when done properly.
a baby bath tub
strap on booster seat with tray-less $$ than a high chair and uses far less space.

By far less stuff to clutter your house with or waste your money on.

I remember when Little Man was born I felt so bad because he had so few toys/books and we couldn't afford much.  I quickly learned though that after baby has had a 1st Christmas and 1st Birthday this is no longer a problem.  By the second year you are literally drowning in kids toys, books, movies, etc.  Have a 2nd child and OH MY!  Right now I want to cry most days because of the massive amount of toys in our home.  I have literally purged and purged toys the last 4 years and our home is still over run with them.  I am the opposite of a hoarder, I enjoy giving things away.  This is not an exaggeration (anyone who has a few kids will know its true) if I kept every single toy that each of my children had ever been given it would fill out entire house easily floor to ceiling.  No lie!
Baby Center lists toys/media at $35 per month x12 months ($420 per year ).  We spend $0 unless its a kids birthday/Christmas that month.

Baby Center lists this at $59 per month x 12 months ($708 per year).
Personally we don't have money to spend like this.  Thrift shops, Craigslist and even EBay are great alternatives.  You can find like new and sometimes even new clothes for 75% + off of the original retail price.  Plus, with all 3 girls back to back there are lots of hand me downs going on in our home.  We are lucky enough to have a few awesome friends who give us their kids hand me downs as well.  We pass on the love when our kids out grow things too, either giving them to families that can use them or donating them to our local clothes closet that gives clothes free to families in need and sells them really cheap to everyone else.

I used the calculator to type in the things we use/do for our family to see what the first year expenses are in our home.  This really only applies to Tubs since I sadly did not cloth diaper until her. I left a few of their average costs in for things like the baby tub, hooded towels, utensils, bowls, sippy cups, wash clothes, etc.  I took out pretty much all of the gear and plugged in the used price I paid for our double stroller and what we paid for Tubs car seat. No daycare costs, I let it do the $19 a month for cloth diapering.

TOTAL: $565 per year for baby's first year. 
I like that price much better!  That's a savings of $9,435 from the average of $10k.

Leaving the diapers in for the other kids (at their $72 a month price since it wouldn't let me change it to $80) it was still only $1,201 for 1 baby.

There is no reason why having a baby should cost so much.  If you do your research and are willing to make some sacrifices in your own life adding another child into your home will barely make a blip on the monetary radar.  Honestly we didn't even notice the addition in terms of money with baby #3 or #4.

Its not easy, our biggest savings is also are largest sacrifice and that's me staying home.  We rarely have any extra money left over at the end of the month.  Our bank account has been known to have balances less than $1 and the luxuries are very few and far between for us.  However, our bills are paid each month and more importantly our house is full of love.  I would much rather have a home full of love than money any day.

one happy mama,

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sunday Surf 04/09/11

So I did not post a Wordless Wednesday post this week.  I have been icky sick all week long and making it to the computer is the furthest thing from my mind.  I did read several great blogs this week that I still wanted to share.  This will be a shorter than usual SS post though.....

First, Cathy from Blissful Booty started the official Blissful Booty Buzz blog, check out her first ever post Welcome! A little bit about us....   I know she has some great stuff to come!

Tanya at The Rockin Mama Blog wrote a post all about The "Good Baby" Secret* which was so funny yet so true at the same time!  I always get mixed messages.  I always hear "oh you baby is so good, so happy, always smiling" and then I hear (often in the same breath) "you need to put your baby down more, you shouldn't hold them so much it just spoils them" or "babies need to learn to self sooth and yours never will until you start putting them down".  UMM, I will take my happy "clingy" baby any day thanks.

I thought I Knew Mama wrote a post about What is BPA? Why is it bad? What can I do?   Good read but upset me to learn that BPA is in canned goods.  We only eat 4 things in cans; tuna, beans, tomatoes and black olives (and maybe the occasional soup every 6 months or so).  We eat a lot of those though.  Why do they have to put crap in everything!

While we are on the subject of toxins in everything, check out Becoming Crunchy's post Moving Away From Household Toxins – an Update for some great easy how to's to begin switching yourself and your family away from toxic chemicals to more natural options.  It's really easy to do if you just do it 1 at a time.  Within a few months to a year you will be amazed at how much you have changed.  Its overwhelming to try to do it all at once but much easier to phase old things out and new things in.

The Mom Informed wrote a great blog about What Baby Led Solids IS and ISN'T .  We did jarred baby food with Little Man but he hated it and refused to eat much.  With Smunchkin and Monkey we did some jarred but I made a lot of my own too.  With Tubs we have never bought a single jar nor have I made any baby foods.  I fed her lumpy style mashed avocados and bananas about 3 times from a spoon but she hated it.  It has been all her ever since.  She absolutely refuses to let you help her eat.  Try to give her a bite of something and she will turn her head away crying.  She is all about doing it herself.

TouchstoneZ wrote a great post about Gentle Discipline that I really identified with as I continue my ever faltering journey away from punishment and towards a gentler way.  Sadly I have been the mom in the library many times, in the actual library no less haha.  Are You Asking Me or Telling Me

I read a great blog on BlogHer all about how blogs can influence you and really change how you do things.  I think anyone who enjoys writing/reading blogs can attest to Blogs Changing My Life.

And finally, I read a beautiful poem over at Mommying My Way called Remembering.  Grab your tissues!<--don't say I didn't warn you.

That's all for now, I can't sit at the computer anymore.  Check these blogs out and give them a like.  They are all awesome blogs to follow.


Thursday, April 7, 2011

I never wanted to be "THAT" mom

this just screams "My mom's a Hippie!"
No, I don't mean the mom I already talked about in Great, now I am THAT mom!

I am talking about a totally different type mom.  One that I knew all along I NEVER wanted to be but now consider myself a proud card toting member of.  Well, proud for most days at least, exempt from the periodic bouts of second guessing brought on by friends/family/doctors.
This mom is the "Hippie Mom", or at least that's what I called her before I became one myself!  I saw her as the happy, love, rainbows and flowers mom.  The quirky mom who did "weird" things that just were not "normal" like breastfeeding, cloth diapering and cosleeping.  The mom who's kids ran around wearing tye-dyed items and peace signs all the time.

The "Hippie" Mom may practice:
*Please take not these were my impressions on this type of parenting before I ever had ANY kids.   I was such a great mom back when I had NO kids!

Breastfeeding,- YUCK!  I most definitely did NOT want to breastfeed my kids.  I saw it as something inferior to formula and something that only had to be done by those who could not afford the "superior" choice.  Formula companies are genius's when it comes to marketing and advertising I will give them that, even if it does violate WHO Codes.
*Once I was on the breastfeeding wagon I still felt it was totally gross and unnecessary to nurse a child over 6 months.  Once 6 ms hit I decided it was gross over age 1 because even formula is only given until age 1.  Once age 1 hit I decided it was gross to nurse past 18 months, he seemed like such a baby still.  Once he hit 18 months I decided 2 was the "gross age" for me.  He self weaned at 22 months so I have yet to actually reach an age that is truly "too much" for me as the girls had to be weaned much younger due to my unexpected pregnancy with Sariah.

Cosleeping- PLEASE!  No kids in my bed thank you very much.  That's a bad habit to start, once they are in they are in for life.  Just ask my friend who knows a guy who knows a guy who's hair dresser knows a guy who's kid slept in their bed until he was -insert extreme number that seems way to old to you here-

Baby Wearing- I'll take a bucket baby any day please!  How do you expect me to get anything done around here with a baby strapped to me?  That's what they invented baby swings, exersaucers, bouncy seats, the newest latest greatest must have baby gizmo for don't you know.

Baby Led Solids- do WHA A HUN A?  Are you speaking English?  If you are as confused as I was on this check out The Mom Informed: What Baby Led Solids IS and ISN'T
*I am now proud to say that Sariah has not had 1 single jar of baby food, ever.  Kimmy and Karma had some but I mostly made theirs, Sariah I didn't even do that.  She ate some lightly mashed bananas and avocados and just went form there to soft foods she could get to her own mouth.

Cloth Diapers- UMM, GROSS!  I have better things to do with my time than scrape poop out of diapers!  Wait, you mean you are supposed to do that with disposables too?  LUDICROUS!

Gentle Discpiline- Or as I liked to call it, Ineffective Mamby Pamby crap.  This is why kids are growing up to be spoiled, self-indulgent brats!  Smack them around a few times and they will shape up REAL quick.  It worked for you and I right?

Delayed or Anti Vaccines- Yeah, just rely on all of us people who vaccinate to keep your kids healthy too.  While you are at it, keep you cootie laden child away from mine before my kids catches some rare disease.  Its not like anyone dies from receiving a vaccine, right?  Besides, if they were really all that bad the government would make them illegal, after all the government always has the best interest of us all at heart.
*I have since learned all vaccines are not 100% effective and plenty of vaccinated kids still catch things like whooping cough and chicken pox.  I also have a daughter who has had 2 "seizures of unknown origin" at 6 and 12 months the just happened to have occurred within DAYS of receiving her vaccines.  They did many tests and could never figure out why the seizures occurred, finally classifying them as "unknown origin".  So we now do selective/delayed vaccines in our home.

baby lead solids, mmmm hummus.
There are many more "sins of the Hippie Mom" but these were the major ones I was against.  Many I fell "victim" to within days/months of my first child's birth.  Others it took awhile longer to convert me to the "dark side".  There are still others I waiver back and forth on such as vaccines and  homeschooling.  I can't handle homeschooling now, not with the girls so young and close in age. I jsut feel I would not be able to give Teddy the proper time/attention needed to really learn, but I have not ruled it out in the future.  I am not so sure I am ready for Free Range kids either but who kows what may come to be.

The thing is, the mom I thought was so cooky actually has a few things going for her!  She is informed.  She doesn't just blindly follow the pack doing what everyone else does because, well, that's what everyone else does.  She researches and looks into all of the options, choosing the one that is right for her family.  Not saying mama's who parent the opposite have not also done their research and are informed, just saying I made snap judgements about the Hippie Mom before really giving her a chance.

The Hippie Mom can surprise you.  Sure, she seems a bit extreme at times, but she always has the best interests of her kids at heart.  She is a fighter and she is willing to fight for those that she loves.  She also makes a really great friend, if you can get over all the "crazy" things she may post on her FB wall daily.

While your at it, take a look at a few of those "crazy posts".  It was other crazy Hippie Moms who converted me to many of the things I was so vehemently against before having kids of my own.

So I would like to rename this mom, she is no longer the Hippie Mama in my eyes, she is the Instinctual Mama!  She trusts her instincts and listens to her kids.  She is not the sum of her parenting choices, she is simply a mom making the best decisions based on her knowledge!  I am a proud to list myself within her ranks!

this unlikely Hippie Mama,

P.S. My kids do not own anything with peace signs, they may have a few tye-dyed items though.....just sayin......

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Sunday Surf: 04-03-11

Sunday Surf time again, I am really starting to like these posts, I think they are becoming my favorite :)
Not all of these blogs were written this week but I read them all this week:

I will kick this post off with a great blog that my BFF Tanya wrote over on The Rockin Mama Blog called There's a "Hide" button.. feel free to use it.  Loved this post because I have been told more than once that I "share too much" on Facebook and that my posts can be quite annoying.  Ummm, gee thanks?  No one is putting a gun to your head and forcing you to read what I post.  Please feel free to use the hide button on me or better yet, defriend me if you feel this way!
I personally LOVE to celebrate with my friends when something good happens and commiserate or vent with them when things are not so good.  I like seeing things they have made and are proud of whether its their garden, a new dress or their dinner meal.  Most of all, I love to hear about their kids and the milestones they are hitting.  I am a SAHM often trapped in the house with 4 kids age five and under, often FB is the only adult interaction I get until my husband comes home from work.  So let me share exciting news, milestones hit, things I am proud of and even have the occasional vent fest if I want please.
She also wrote several more awesome blogs this week that you may want to check out.

Next up is a blog that Tanya linked to me called Scars that Run Deep; "All That Matters" after a Cesarean.  I often feel guilty that I still harbor anger and resentment over Tubs birth.  I tell myself all the time that I need to get over it and I feel like a horrible friend when I hear of a friends beautiful vaginal birth and feel a slight twinge of jealousy on what I was cheated out of.  Tubs was my 3rd birth so I knew exactly what I was missing out on.  I was all alone for the entire c-section, very close to having to be put under general anaesthesia, and had to wait almost 2 hours to hold her for the very first time.  It was comforting to know that I am not alone in these feelings.
If you have not heard Tubs birth story, you can read it here.

I read a great post over at Cotton Babies about how to start cloth diapering for free or almost free.  Jenn's Thoughts: Almost Free Diapers - How to diaper your baby when you can't afford disposable diapers or cloth diapers has some great tips on how to use things you most likely already have in your home as cloth diapers to get you started.  I have used a few of these tricks myself.  Starting out our stash was small for even 1 baby and I was covering 3 tushies with it.  I used a lot of old t-shirts, old receiving blankets and old hooded by towels as diapers.

I really enjoyed reading Four Lies Sleep Trainers Tell You (And One Truth They Won't!).  I was pushed a lot with Little Man to sleep train him and told more than once that I was setting myself up for disaster later on down the road by letting him nurse to sleep and co-sleep.  Well, GUESS WHAT, he stopped nursing at 22 months and stopped co-sleeping at age 3.  They really will learnt to do it when they are ready and I promise they will not be 'stuck in your bed forever" as I was told so often.  My favorite part is when she points out that none of us really like to sleep alone.  So why do we expect our infants, merely days/weeks old, to do what we as adults do not like to do?
When done properly co-sleeping actually REDUCES the risk of SIDS1  Something I keep meaning to blog about but keep forgetting, hopefully that will comes soon.

The Sparkle Mama wrote a great post that goes with the one above, sort of.  Having trouble sleeping? This is gonna sound weird.... about having trouble sleeping even though her baby was sleeping through the night and using her baby's blanket to cuddle with.  As a co-sleeping mama I can tell you that when the baby transitions out of your bed you do miss them.  You miss that cuddle time and it can be hard to sleep.  In the moment it may seem like the co-sleeping is never going to end but once its done you miss it.  Little Man is 5 and I still miss cuddling with him in bed!

My friend Jenni wrote a hilarious post on her blog about her son, THAT DOESN'T GO THERE LOGAN!  SO FUNNY!  Her blog is worth following just to read the hilarious antics her son gets involved in haha.

There was a great guest post over on Job Description: Mommy about the 1 moms journey to choose cloth diapers: Choosing Cloth

Great new blog from The Leaky Boob- Breastfeeding = Breastfeeding  I must say I LOVED this blog!  All about fitting, or perhaps more about NOT Fitting into molds/stereotypical roles.  I have been told more than once that I "look like that type of mom" in reference to many things including breastfeeding, my Instinctual parenting ways and cloth diapers yet I have also been told I "don't really look like the type" by others.  Really?  So what does "that type" look like?  I am also not an all or nothing parent.  I pick and choose from a wide variety of styles what works best for our family. Parenting styles are not 1 size fits all and just because you follow a few philosophies of 1 style does not mean you have to follow them all.  Sure, we are a dye free family for the most part but I put colored sprinkles on Little Man's Birthday cupcakes, GASP!  I know, right, the SHAME!  We also eat fast food about once a month, sometimes mama just needs a day off and the kids deserve a treat! 

If you participated in Code Name: Mama's March of Kindness, or if you didn't but are curious about it, check out her final wrap up.  It has links to some really great blogs and blog posts!
March of Kindness – Final Wrap-up Post & Giveaways

I hope this provides you with some great reading material this Sunday/Upcoming week.  I know I enjoyed reading all of these blogs and so many more this week but alas I cannot list them all, chores are calling my name and as is the beautiful day outside.  I wonder which one will win.....

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