Our 8 month old Squishy

April-May was eventful! Squishy had his first bout of diarrhea. Apart from the frequent wet poops though, he generally seemed like his normal self. Of course, as newbie parents, we were beyond stressed. We’re not really sure how he got it. We think it may have been some soup he had at a restaurant. Or it may have been related to his teething? He started eating his fingers more during that time.

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The worst of it happened the night before we were set to leave for Davao. We had just come home from his doctor who assured us that Squishy was fine and that we were doing everything we could to make sure he stayed fine (hydration drinks, probiotics, zinc drops, and diaper rash cream).

As soon as we got home (it was around 8 PM, our flight was at 4:30 the next morning, and still we had A LOT of packing to do), Squish pooped again and this time we noticed red streaks in his poop. We assumed it was blood and freaked out. After consulting with his pediatrician, we went back to the hospital and had a fecalysis done and waited. It was the longest one hour of my life. (The whole time though, Squish was acting completely normal). The results came back and his poop was completely normal except for the fact that it was softer than usual. The pediatrician said that it might have been some irritation in his butt hole. My mom says that it might have been fibers from the red couch we were sitting on (and he was happily licking) in a restaurant earlier that day. We were relieved. It was almost 11 PM when we got back home, put Squish to sleep, started packing, and had a hurried dinner. Mikey took a quick nap (I couldn’t sleep), and at 2AM we left for the airport.

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Squish was such a trooper! He was his usual cheerful self throughout the whole trip! His first plane ride went well. I breastfed him while waiting for take-off and he was asleep before we were in the air. I held him the whole time and my arms were like jelly after, but I’m so glad that he wasn’t irritable or in pain. The plane ride home was more challenging because the flight was delayed, he didn’t fall sleep right away, and he even pooped at the beginning of the flight. He didn’t seem to be irritated by the air pressure when he was awake. He was just really hyper because he was so sleepy. But as soon as I breastfed him after changing his nappy, he fell asleep and it was smooth sailing from then.

Squish had a great time in Davao! He loved swimming! And Mikey loved swimming with him too. He said that it reminded him of when he used to go swimming with his Dad. ❤ Squish liked splashing in the water and he loved playing with his floaters. I loved Squish swimming too because he would sleep so soundly after! In fact, I spent much of the trip eating dinner in our room because Squish was fast asleep and I had to watch him. Our room had cable and Mikey would send plates of food. I was a happy camper. Hehehe.

We got to spend time with more kids and babies while we were on vacation. Squishy loves watching kids and interacting with babies. Sometimes, he just watches them quietly. He becomes really happy when he gets to sit next to his cousin who’s just 2 weeks younger than him. It’s fun to see them interact and discover each other! We have to watch them though because Squish likes to pull hair and his cousin likes to scratch.

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We noticed Squish becoming more and more clingy with me this month. He’s still a happy baby, but there are times when he won’t want to go to anyone else—even Mikey. But as soon as I have him, he’ll happily interact with people. This becomes a bit problematic at night when I want to rest a bit and Mikey’s supposed to take over. But I noticed that his clinginess is directly correlated with his crankiness, so I just try to make sure he doesn’t get overly cranky.

Squish’s sleep is also evolving. He normally has two long naps (one in the morning and one in the afternoon) and one short nap in the evening. But there are days when he can stay up all day and then he passes out at night. Hahaha. It’s getting harder to put him to sleep when there are other people around. When it’s just us at home, all I need to do is breastfeed him and he falls asleep. When there are other people around, he fights it. But as soon as we’re alone, he’s knocked out.

Squishy can stand without holding on to anything now! He starts off sitting up and then he tries rocking himself forwards and upwards, until he’s able to rock strongly enough to get on his feet. He looks so pleased with himself when he does it. He’s more confident on the bed, though—he stands up really fast, and he’s not afraid to plop back down on his butt. But when he’s on the floor, he stands up very carefully.

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I think Squishy inherited his father’s musicality! Last month, we noticed how obsessed he was with the Gilmore Girls theme song, Carole King’s “Where You Lead”. (The show is perpetually on in our home.) When the intro would kick in, Squish would stop whatever he was doing and start dancing! His dance consists mostly of arms swinging up and down while he grins toothlessly. Eventually we realized that it’s not just “Where You Lead”, but almost any theme song of a TV show (we’re currently marathoning That ’70s Show and he stops when that familiar guitar riff plays), or any song he’s already familiar with. He still loves the Hamilton original broadway cast recording too!

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Squish listening to That 70’s Show theme song

Squishy is finally big enough to sit in shopping carts! He likes dancing to grocery store music, attempting to grab things off the shelf, and occasionally making random shouty noises. It’s nice because it’s almost as if Max is adjusting to our lives now. Going shopping isn’t as much of a production number as it used to be!

 

Squish is a tall baby! The doctor said that he’s in the 90th percentile for his height. This is why he doesn’t look as chubby as he used to. Breastfed babies also tend to be leaner. There’s been some pressure from others to put him on formula, but two of our doctors assured us that he was healthy and encouraged us to continue breastfeeding if we can. But it’s hard not to compare your baby with others. Our doctor said that for as long as Squishy is happy, alert, engaged, and healthy, breastfeeding is the best for him. Besides, he’s already started eating solids (which is going well!) and that’s another source of nutrition. Hopefully we make it to one year! After that, we can re-evaluate. Maybe by then I’ll start pumping more seriously and we can lessen the direct feeds.

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I can’t believe we have an 8 month old baby already! I miss blob-on-the-bed-Squishy!

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2.5 month old Squish! ❤

Bump in the air: Wrap-up.

When the idea of traveling to Hong Kong during my third trimester initially came up, I was hesitant. In fact, I even told Mikey that it might not be a good idea for me to tag along. I suggested that he go and I would stay behind for the weekend. Even though I was technically still allowed to travel (only expectant Moms 34 weeks and up need a medical certificate), I was really worried about slowing everyone down. But Mikey and his Mom told me not to worry about it and that they would go at my pace.

I’m so glad that I went! The last time I was in Hong Kong, I was in grade school. And before Squishy, we really wanted to go to Hong Kong this year! When the two red lines appeared, we thought we had to put it in the back burner so it was pretty mind-blowing when this opportunity presented itself.

Here are some things we did (either on purpose or by accident) that made our Hong Kong trip a lot smoother for this 29-week-whale-of-a-pregnant-woman:

  1. Clear everything with the doctor. We took a risk by booking the ticket before consulting our doctor. Thank goodness she gave us the go signal to travel. She just made sure that everything was OK with Squish a few days before we left and she gave us really sound advice for the trip: (1) wear comfortable shoes, (2) wear your maternity belt, (3) monitor the baby’s movements, (4) bring medicine with you in case you feel unexpected heaviness/cramping in the abdominal area, and (5) listen to your body—if you’re tired, sit down, if you need to pee, pee. Don’t over exert yourself. We made sure to do all of this during the trip!
  2. Wear the right clothes. For me, this meant: rubber shoes, maternity belt, light dresses, and a light shoulder bag. I knew that we were mostly going to shop and eat. So it was really best to start off as light as possible! It also really helped that Mikey had his PacSafe and did a bulk of the carrying.
  3. Prepare for the plane ride. The R2D2 pillow really made a difference! I tend to have lower back problems when I’m seated for an extended period of time and smooshing R2D2 behind my back made for a comfortable 2-hour plane ride. Don’t be too shy to ask for an aisle seat (especially when your Squishy has taken a liking to your bladder)! I didn’t even think of this! Thankfully, Mikey’s Mom requested for it! Also, make sure you have a medical certificate with you (one that certifies that you are fit to travel), just in case. Even if I didn’t need one according to the Cebu Pacific Website, the rules may be different in the country you are visiting. Best to be prepared than caught off-guard in a foreign land.
  4. Get a good hotel. While this goes against our normal el-cheapo tendencies, booking a room at a well-located, comfortable hotel really made a difference! The easy access to different modes of transportation (bus, MTR, and taxis) allowed us to do more in a short period of time. Also, it was really nice to sleep in a comfortable bed at the end of a long shopping day.
  5. Don’t be afraid to take the taxi. Again, this normally goes against our travel SOP, but what you’re actually paying extra for is a chance for your body to catch up and re-charge for the next activity (kind of like characters re-charging in video games before they go off into battle).
  6. Travel with the right people. I am so fortunate that I traveled with my husband and in-laws. They understood my condition and knew that I needed to rest periodically. They would ask me every 15 minutes if I was okay, offer to do a bulk of the carrying, choose the appropriate transportation for each destination point, and they never made me feel bad about it. ❤

I’m so glad that we got to go on this quick trip! I’ve already made a mental note of processing Squishy’s passport as soon as we can! ❤

As I write this, we are now at 30 weeks! I can’t believe we’re about 2 months away from meeting you, Squish! We’ve already had so many adventures! ❤

Bump in the air: Day 2.

Day 2. Sunday. Squishy and I woke up early again. We were up at around 7:00 AM and the room was still dark. Even though I had a lot of energy and I was excited to make most out of the day (it was our last day), I knew that I was still recuperating from the previous day’s adventure. My knees and my legs felt a little sore (kind of like how you would feel the day after you exercised for the first time in a long time). But thankfully, my back was fine and my ankles were back to its original size in the morning.

We took it easy in the morning. We decided to spend the day in the mall next door, the New Town Plaza. So we had some time before it opened at 11 AM. We had breakfast in our hotel—pour over coffee (just the aroma for me), French baguettes, prosciutto, parmesan cheese, blue cheese, and leftover cheese tarts from Sogo.

At around 10:45 AM, we walked to the mall and shopped until lunch time. We found a nice bookstore in the ground floor of the mall and we were able to buy two books (one for us and one for Squishy) and two postcards (we try to get a book every time we travel to mark the trip)! We walked back to the hotel for lunch and we had a really good pigeon and dim-sum at the Royal Park Chinese Restaurant (20% off because we were booked in the hotel! yay!).

After lunch, we spent another hour in the mall before heading back to the hotel to pack up all the last minute stuff we bought. The bell boy brought our bags to bus stop and we waited for the A41 bus to take us to the airport!

As soon as the bus arrived, Mikey loaded our baggage and we were quickly seated comfortably. The bus ride was very relaxing. Because it was day time, we got to see a lot of Hong Kong (we missed this before because we arrived at night time). In 45 minutes, we arrived at the airport and checked in!

After we checked-in, we had a farewell meal at Tai Hing again. This time, I devoured my own order of goose leg. ❤ We had some time to spend in the airport, so we did last minute duty-free shopping! I found Pigeon brand disposable breast pads in their drug store for HKD 50.00 (about Php 300.00/USD 7.00). I registered for the same box in Manila and here it costs about Php 599.00 (about USD 13.00/HKD 99.00). I should have gotten more!

By 6:45 PM, we were at our gate waiting to board. The Cebu Pacific ground crew in Hong Kong was much more organized than the ones in Manila. They actually gave PWDs, senior citizens, pregnant women, and families traveling with young children time to go ahead of the line. They didn’t do this in Manila (they announced it in Manila, but literally 10 seconds later, they started letting everyone else in. it doesn’t take much common sense to understand that  PWDs, senior citizens, pregnant women, and families traveling with young children will need more than 10 seconds to get to the final check-in point).

For some reason, our seats seemed much tighter this time around (maybe it was all the eating). But even though it was a bit tight, it was a pleasant enough plane ride! I brought my R2D2 throw pillow again and I had an aisle seat (which made the Squishy induced bladder stimulation manageable). We arrived in Manila a little after 10:00 PM. We were tired but overwhelmingly grateful. We already missed Hong Kong, but there was undeniable comfort in crawling into your own bed again. ❤

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This is us on the plane heading back to Manila. I’ve stolen Mikey’s strawberry pokey. ❤

So, Hong Kong, this is definitely a see-you-later. The next time we’re there, Squishy will really be able to join all the fun! ❤

Bump in the air: Day 1.

Day 1. Saturday. Squishy and I woke up early the next day (well, I started noticing his kicks at around 6 AM, but I officially got up at 7 AM). I was energetic and excited! The doctor advised me to wear comfortable shoes for the trip. Comfort was something I kept in mind when I packed. I matched my rubber shoes with light dresses, my maternity belt, and a shoulder bag carrying the bare essentials (face mask, wet wipes, extra pantiliners, money, mobile phone, and lip balm). Mikey was sporting his new PacSafe, so he did a bulk of the carrying throughout the trip. In his bag, he carried our water, extra shopping totes, and travel documents (plus all the shopping bags that joined us along the way).

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On our way to the MTR! Here’s Mikey in his poncho. It rained for a bit.

Before we went about with our day, I was oriented by my three travel companions: I must, must, must tell them when I’m tired or when I need to rest. Mikey even asked me to come up with a secret signal so that I could alert him even if I was shy. But I wanted to be a trooper. I didn’t want to slow any one down.

The first order of business was breakfast. We found the connecting bridge from our hotel to New Town Plaza and found one restaurant open for breakfast. We settled down in Fairwood. It was not too remarkable, but the coffee was good (I sipped from Mikey’s cup) and the food was filling enough. After a quick breakfast, we headed back to the hotel for a bathroom break. In less than an hour, we were on our way back to the mall so that we could take the MTR to Sham Shui Po—a well-known tech hub in Hong Kong.

Our first MTR ride went really well! We had two transfers, but on each train, locals would offer me their seats! ❤ So I was very comfortable throughout the trip (and moved by the wonderful display of compassion).

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Heavenly McDonald’s OJ.

When we got there at around 10:00 AM, the area was still slowly waking up. The only thing that was open was a McDonald’s so Mikey decided to have a breakfast platter and I order orange juice. The orange juice in Hong Kong McDonald’s is amazing. It’s like the stuff they serve on planes and in hotels.

At about 10:45, we decided to try our luck again to see if anything was open. The Tech Hub wasn’t open yet, but the stalls lining the streets were slowly opening. We found a huge stall with baby clothes and Lola bought Squishy two new five-piece Carter’s sets (at HKD 59.00/Php 360.00/USD 8.00 each set) and an unbranded onsie (HKD 29.00/Php 177.00/USD 4.00). I wish I had gotten some more!

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Sham Shui Po at around 10:00 AM.

By 11:00 AM, the tech hub was slowly opening and Mikey was the happiest boy on earth. It was three floors of tech stall after tech stall. After the first floor, everything looked the same to me. But Mikey, Lola, and Lolo Benjie found something interesting at every stop. Half way through the first floor, I noticed that my ankles were kind of chubby so I would sit whenever there was a chair available and try to rotate my feet to relieve some of the pressure. Surprisingly, it was only my feet that felt the discomfort. My back, knees, and legs felt fine (I think the maternity belt really works!). By the time we were almost done with the second floor, my ankles were chubby, there weren’t as many seats to bum around on, and I needed to pee. I asked Mikey if I could go to McDonald’s and wait for them there (there was a whole other floor that they needed to explore). Lola cut her shopping trip short and accompanied me to McDonald’s. When we got there, we had some more orange juice (yum!). It wasn’t too long before our companions returned (Mikey admitted that he was tired too). It was about 2:00 PM when we decided to head out for a late seafood lunch in quaint fishing village of Lei Yu Mun.

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Lei Yu Mun was so pretty!

They decided it was best to take a taxi because the walk from the nearest MTR station would be hilly. So we took our first cab ride from Sham Shui Po to Lei Yu Mun. I knew that it was really for my benefit, but my companions told me that it wasn’t too bad because we were a party of four (probably amounting to an additional HK$10 each).

When we got to the entrance of Lei Yu Mun, we were greeted by a decorated arch and a dock full of boats. It was very nice! It was about a 5 minute walk to the market area where our restaurant was located. Unfortunately, I don’t remember the name of our restaurant. It was the first restaurant after the market entrance. It was the best seafood I ever had. They keep all the live seafood in tanks behind the restaurant. We got to go there and choose our lunch!

We ended up ordering steamed shrimps, bamboo shells in spicy taosi sauce, deep friend slipper lobster, and fried rice. The meal cost an arm and a leg and I’m so grateful that I got to try it! Squishy was kicking up a storm after our wonderful lunch!

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The view from the Yau Tong Station (nearest MRT station to Lei Yu Mun).

After lunch, we decided to take a taxi to the nearest MTR station. It would have been very possible to walk, but the route to the station was uphill and I don’t think I would have had the stamina to keep up. We took the MTR Station to Sogo along Causeway Bay for some more shopping. We spent a few hours there and Lola even bought Squishy Sophie La Girafe (we actually got one! Yay!)! We also took a trip to the groceries to buy breakfast for the next day. After Sogo, we walked to Hysan Place so that Mikey could visit an Apple Store. At around 6:30 PM, we were in a cab again on our way to the Ferry Terminal for a Peking Duck dinner at the one and only Peking Garden! ❤

The Ferry ride was amazing. It was quite full when we entered, but I didn’t have trouble sitting because they take priority seats very seriously in Hong Kong. There was always one available for me, and if there wasn’t the locals would always offer their seats. ❤ I wish it were like that in Manila.

In Peking Garden, we feasted on a whole peaking duck served in two ways: (1) with the skin and some meat, spring onions, and hoisin sauce wrapped in a Chinese “pancake” (kind of like a burrito wrapper) and (2) with the meat diced up and scooped into lettuce with hoisin sauce. Oh, the joy Squish and I experienced with every bite!

We were all quite tired from the full day, so we decided to take a taxi back to the hotel. The taxi ride was quick enough (around 20 minutes), but it cost us about HKD 100 (about Php 606.54/USD 12.89) for the trip.

As soon as we got to the hotel room, I washed up and made a pillow tower to raise my feet. I also did my last is-Squishy-kicking check of the day (he was quite active! I think he really enjoyed the duck!). But I was so tired that night that I don’t even remember falling asleep! I just have images of Mikey pulling the comforter from under me so that he could tuck me in properly. ❤

Day 1 was a blast! Tiring, but a blast! I can’t believe how much ground we got to cover!

Bump in the air: Day 0.

Squishy took his first international trip over the weekend! We were really fortunate to be able to tag along for a quick trip to Hong Kong! ❤ It was so much fun and I’m really glad that we got to do it even if I’m a whale in her 29th week of pregnancy.

The trip was fun, but it was different from the way we used to travel. Mikey and I love traveling barako style (a.k.a. el cheapo). We walk everywhere, take the cheapest public transportation available, pack in as many activities we can into a day, and get cheap accommodations. We had to do things a little differently this time. We start our travel log at Day 0!

Day 0. Friday. We boarded the plane at around 7:00 PM, but left Manila at around 7:45 (hello, Cebu Pacific). The flight was about 2 hours. The last time we were on a plane, we were in our second trimester and the trips to and from Davao were not very comfortable. This time around, I decided to bring my R2D2 throw pillow along. It really helped! The plane ride to Hong Kong was very comfortable. I used R2D2 on my lower back (sorry for smooshing you, buddy) and I even got to take a quick nap. Squishy’s doing this great thing now where he uses my bladder as a chair or a squeeze toy. There are times when he moves and I feel like peeing. Usually, it’s very little pee, but our doctor specifically advised me not to hold in my pee during this trip. If I feel like I need to go to the bathroom, I should try going. Thankfully, Lola made sure that we got an aisle seat and it made getting up to pee much easier.

We arrived in Hong Kong a little after 9:30 PM. The first thing we did was take a bathroom break. The bathrooms in the HK airport are so nice. There were toilet sanitizers in every cubicle and automatic paper towel dispensers above every sink. After our fancy toilet break, we headed to immigration, and went hunting for a late second dinner. I first spotted a McDonald’s (Lola made a face), but we ended up having a heavenly goose second dinner at the restaurant next to McDonald’s, Tai Hing.

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I’ve never had goose with salted egg. It’s so good. Five Squishy kicks good!

Before we left, our doctor reassured us that everything should be fine during our trip. But she also advised us to monitor Squishy’s movements. A healthy baby is an active baby! So I took this to heart. Every hour or so, I would check in with Squishy. Thankfully, he was pretty active throughout the trip! More so if we just had a meal! Squishy loved the food in Hong Kong. ❤

At around 10:30, we were ready to head to our hotel, The Royal Park Hotel in Sha Tin. We had to figure out the best way to get there. We initially thought we would take the MTR (train), but it involved a few transfers and we had our baggage with us. We were considering taking a taxi or getting an uber when we realized that we could take a bus! Google maps said that our hotel was about 1 hour and 20 minutes away from the airport, but the bus would drop us off right in front of the hotel.

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This is us on the bus. I tried all the available filters. I looked blah in all of them.

We arrived at the hotel in less than an hour and we were all pleasantly surprised at how nice our hotel was! We got a double double room (yup, that’s what it was called 😅) where the four of us fit very comfortably (the bathroom was spacious, there were two double beds with high quality linens and pillows, there was a work desk, a couch, mini bar area, a free cellphone with data that we could use during our stay, and a flat screen TV with cable). It was quite different from our usual accommodations and a little bit pricier (about Php 6,000 or USD 130/night), but the comfort, amenities, and location was worth it. Especially the location—we were connected to the New Town Plaza (a well stocked series of malls that reminds me of our Glorietta-Greenbelt Malls), the Sha Tin MTR station, and the bus stop was literally a few steps away from the lobby.

After we unpacked our toiletries and made a rough plan for the next day, Squishy and I fell asleep with excitement in our hearts. We were off to a great start!

Swimmy Squishy

I was a little nervous about swimming. Even if I read that swimming is actually a great form of exercise for expectant moms, I was hesitant because I was stupidly worried that Squishy might get too cold in the pool. 😅 On top of that, my disastrous attempt to put on my old one-piece swimsuit (I’ve had it for about three years) was disheartening. 😓 I was hoping that it would still fit, because, you know, spandex. And while I got the suit all the way to my waist, it kinda stopped there. 😞 I literally looked like Andre the Giant:

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At first I thought it was the perfect excuse not to swim. I was prepared for a holiday of music listening and reading by the beach. But Mikey encouraged me to get new swimwear for the trip (“just so you have the option”) and I’m so glad I did!

The naturally shaded infinity pool in Chema’s is actually filled with sea water so I don’t have to worry about harsh chemicals used to treat the water. They also clean it regularly so I also don’t have to worry about sea creatures/plants floating around.

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The water was still kind of chilly, but acclimating is always fun. It’s actually quite relaxing to float around the water with my big belly. It makes me feel like my old self again because I’m so mobile in the water! Also, Squishy seems to enjoy it too—I felt his/her kicks while I floated like a whale. 😅 And an added bonus: the food is glorious here in Chema’s. Swimming all day makes me less guilty about all the eating. 😅

We can’t wait to bring Squishy here (post uterus living)! Mikey wants to teach Squishy how to swim, just like his dad taught him. ❤️

4AM Party

Dear Squishy,

It’s 4 a.m. We were supposed to get up to pee and not to practice our karate kicks. 😓

But I suppose I understand your energy! We had a lot of firsts yesterday—our first plane ride together, our first time on a boat, our first time to swim, our first time to hang out on the beach, and your first taste of chicharon bulaklak. 😁 Welcome to the beautiful island of Samal, Squish! Chemas by the Sea is one of our favorite places (this is where your Papoop and I honeymooned). ❤️

Let’s try to get some sleep now. I just got back the pillow that your father stole from us. Annnnnd in a few hours or so, we can ring our little bell and have breakfast right outside our room. Maybe we’ll have another order of chicharon. 😁

Love,
Your Landlord

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