Thursday, March 28, 2013

Pile-o-Fluff HTF Giveaway!!!

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Here at SoftBums we are doing some spring cleaning. We have found a couple HTF's and we want to give our fans a fair chance at them.
 

For this weeks HTF Contest the theme is all about Spring Cleaning.


Spring is a time when the weather is (supposed) to be getting warmer, you open up the windows to let in the fresh air. You organize the pantry, clean all the winter coats and store them for the next year. Clean & dust and get the place ready for a new season.

Being the green person you are, we thought you might like these all natural cleaning recipes to help you get started:

All Purpose Cleaner
2 tsp
baking soda
1/2 tsp
Dawn dish soap
4 TBSP white vinegar
400 mL warm water
Stir/shake to mix well. Use a
squirt bottle for optimal usage.

Dusting Spray
2 tsp
olive oil
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 c white vinegar
1 c warm water
Stir/shake to mix well. Use a
squirt bottle for optimal usage.

Toilet Bowl Cleaner

1/4 c baking soda
1/4 c borax
1 c white vinegar
Place ingredients directly into toilet. Mix gently with bowl brush. Let sit at least 30 minutes before scrubbing.

Granite Cleaner

1/2 c rubbing alcohol
8 drops
Dawn dish soap
2 c warm water
Combine in a
squirt bottle.

Glass Cleaner

1/4 c rubbing alcohol
1/4 c
white vinegar
1 TBSP cornstarch
2 c warm water
Stir/shake to mix well. Use a
squirt bottle for optimal usage.

Tub Cleanser

1/2 cut grapefruit
1/4 c
kosher salt
Place salt directly on grapefruit half. Scrub your tub!

OK OK on to the contest...

SPRING CLEANING HTF SOFTBUMS SHELL CONTEST:


How to Enter: Simply tell us your secret spring cleaning tip in a comment below. 1 entry per person, only comments on this blog post count & include your email address.

This contest has ended
Winner has been announced here:
http://loveclothdiapers.blogspot.com/2013/04/pile-o-fluff-htf-giveaway-winner.html
 
Pile of HTF looking for new homes.
 
 Here is last weeks winners:

Out with the old in with the new.

 

We asked our superfans what suggestions they had for SoftBums and we've gotten a lot of great feedback. Many of the suggestions we were thinking about doing anyway so it's great to know they'd be appreciated!!


There were so many cool ideas we are going to random.org
to pick the winners...
 
Out of 138 entries the 2 winners of this weeks HTF Shells are:
{Stephanie Otero- Soft bum Trainers!}
{Meaghan Blood- The bigger pocket opening to reach the toggles should be standard! and more solids!!!}

Stephanie & Meaghan email us at info@softbums.com to claim your HTF SoftBums Shell!!
 
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Monday, March 25, 2013

The Future of Cloth Diapers

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The Future of Cloth Diapers

by Guest Blogger Briana from Strickly Speaking Blog

When my husband and I found out we were going to be expanding our family there wasn't a doubt in our minds that we were going to use cloth diapers.  We like to save money.  We like to make the planet smile.  And we really like things to be easy.  That's why we chose to cloth diaper.         

In her Bumkins 20 years ago
                My mom did the cloth diaper gig when I was a baby,....23 years ago, and repeated the routine with my younger brother and sister using an All-in-One system.  Now I'm doing the same thing with my five-month old daughter using the SoftBums system and couldn't be happier-or as happy as I can be wiping a little baby booty!
 
                Comparing the diapers my mom used to my current stash there isn't a huge difference, other than the most important factor that mine are WAY more cute.  With all kidding aside, I do have a few ideas I can see as a possibility in the future of cloth diapering.

Her Daughter in Her SoftBums
                I think in the next 20 years cloth diapering is going to become more mainstream.  I'd love to be able to drive into town and be the first in line for the current Calendar Bum each month as the wait for the mailman sometimes feels like an eternity!  I hope my daughter can drive to a local store and pick up her cloth diapers just like other parents can stop on their way home from work and grab a box of Pampers. 

                My biggest annoyance is when my pods stain.  Now I know that doesn't affect the absorbency which is really the most important thing, but I can't help but cringe when a stain pops up.  And ladies, I know I am not alone! I know the future will bring a material that will scare away any stains thinking about staying past the wash cycle. 

                Germs just hanging out in a wet bag also won't stand a chance.  Nobody likes to mess with, well, that mess that comes along with a baby.  I bet when my daughter is cloth diapering her kids there will be something like a tablet she can just toss in the bag to not only cut down on the stink but break up the germs as well.

                I know this is a long shot, but I think the future holds a universal setting on washing machines set specifically for cloth diapers.  Gone would be the days of leaving your husband detailed instructions to wash your beloved diapers! He could just march himself and the dirty diapers to the washing machine spin the dial and off they go!  Women worldwide could breathe a sigh of relief, knowing their favorite diaper will come out of the washing machine in one clean and perfect piece. 

                Hey, a girl can dream right?
 
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Saturday, March 23, 2013

GUESS WHAT THIS IS AND WIN, 10,000 FaceBook FAN GIVEAWAY!!!

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Let's play a fun little game......

CAN YOU GUESS WHAT IS IN THIS PICTURE??

 


GUESS AND YOU CAN WIN!!!!

 

What a great year we've had!   

10k FaceBook FANS !!!!!

 Now we want to share our success with ALL OF YOU!!   

WE HAVE 10 AWESOME PRIZES TO GIVE AWAY!!

  SoftBums has been so lucky to work with such an awesome group of retailers and so many wonderful parents and babies.  It's been so fun to come to work everyday and feel supported by such a warm community.  We love you all so VERY MUCH!

Here is the little baby that started it all!  He was our inspiration for the SoftBums Slide2Size System!

 

 PRIZES ARE:

 

GRAND PRIZE: SoftBums Good To Go Package!!!

 

10 other Prizes include:

SoftBums Diapers(Of Course!)

SOFTBUMS BAMBOO CLOTH WIPES

HOTSLINGS BABY CARRIER 

JUJU BE DIAPER BAG

SOFTBUMS WETBAGS

BABY LEG WARMERS 

CJ'S BUTTER

MELISSA AND DOUG TOYS

SOFTBUMS Panda KEYCHAINS

.....And More! 

 

 

We would also like to invite you to our SoftBums Great Cloth Diaper Change Event April 20 in Maple Grove Maze, MN 10AM for fun and Prizes! Go and Register now!  http://softbumsgcdc.eventbrite.com/

 

  LINK TO GCDC FLYER!

    

 

 

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Happy Down Syndrome Awareness Day! Everyone is a little different. Let's celebrate it!

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The best thing that ever happened to me!

  One Day in the Future, instead of saying;  

 "I'm so sorry",  

The Doctors will instead say.......

 

 

 

 

 

"Congratulations! You have a little bundle of Smiles"

When we first found out our daughter would be born with Down Syndrome, I was shocked and scared.  Scared for her future, and ours. I think now, it was mostly due to the negative views surrounding this well known, but little understood syndrome.  

Every Dr., and nurse, and counselor said to us "I'm so sorry."  Every pamphlet, and article stated all the worst case scenarios, and worst case complications associated with the syndrome.  Everyone assumed we would not continue with the pregnancy and immediately tried to set up our appointment for termination, or adoption. We didn't even feel like we had a choice. And, we were not alone.  With false numbers out there, and outdated medical views, it's impossible to tell what is reality, and what is just an opinion.  Our world was turned upside down in an instant.

Almost everyone today has heard of Down Syndrome, but few people actually have much knowledge about it, or have been touched by someone who has it.  That is actually changing, slowly, but surely changing.  There have been so many advances in medicine and therapy that children born with this condition have such a great chance at a normal happy life, that it's not seen as a medical hindrance anymore.  For so many years this has been almost a death sentence to be born with this condition, that people with Down Sydrome were cast away, hidden in back bedrooms, or locked up in institutions. This has made it so that not many people knew anyone with Down Syndrome, and it was considered a sad and scary thing.  There are so many myths out there about the syndrome that the people who have it, aren't even seen as people anymore.  And, quite frankly, that is a tragedy.  To not ever be able to meet and appreciate all the wonderful, quirky, and simply magical characteristics some of these people have is such a shame.  They bring so much to the world.  Sometimes it's just the little things that make the difference.  How lucky we are to be able to enjoy all the little wonderful things that people or kids with down syndrome can bring to us all.   

If anyone reading this is ever faced with a decision to keep or not keep a baby with Down Syndrome, you are not alone.  It's okay to believe in your baby!   

You have no idea the joy they can bring to your life.  Our daughter is the best thing that's ever happened to us. 

 

Facts and FAQ About Down Syndrome copied from the Global Down Syndrome Association blog

In the U.S., Down syndrome is the least funded major genetic condition by our National Institutes of Health despite being the most frequent chromosomal disorder. Because of this, and because of lack of funding from other government organizations, there is surprisingly little known definitively about the condition.
The Global Down Syndrome Foundation is committed to funding medical and basic research that will provide answers to the many questions that remain.

Facts about Down syndrome: What is Down syndrome?

1. Down syndrome is named after the English doctor, John Langdon Down, who was the first to categorize the common features of people with the condition.
2. Dr. Jerome Lejeune discovered Down syndrome is a genetic disorder whereby a person has three copies of chromosome 21 instead of two.
  • There are also very rare forms of Down syndrome (less than 6%) called Translocation Down Syndrome or Mosaic Down Syndrome in which not all of the chromosome is triplicated or not all cells of the body carry the extra chromosome.
3. Down syndrome is the most frequently occurring chromosomal disorder and the leading cause of intellectual and developmental delay in the U.S. and in the world.

What is the cause of Down syndrome?

1. The cause of Down syndrome is unknown.
  • In a process called non-disjunction, the two copies of chromosome 21 fail to separate during formation of the egg, resulting in an egg with two copies of the chromosome. When this egg is fertilized, the resulting baby ends up with three copies of chromosome 21 in each of its cells. The cause of this non-disjunction remains unknown.
2. Down syndrome probability increases with advanced age in mothers. However, since younger women have more babies, 80% of newborns with Down syndrome in the US are born to mothers under 35 years old.
3. Down syndrome has nothing to do with race, nationality, socioeconomic status, religion, or anything the mother or father did during pregnancy.
4. There is NO correlation between incest and Down syndrome.
5. Between two and four percent of the time, a person is born with Mosaic translocation Down syndrome (mDs) whereby some but not all of the cells have an extra copy of the 21st chromosome and the other cells are not affected. Translocation happens when a piece of chromosome 21 becomes attached to another chromosome during cell division.
In the case of hereditary Translocation Down syndrome (a rare one to two percent of all people with Down syndrome), an extra chromosome 21 is inherited from one of the parents.

What is the population of people with Down syndrome?

1. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in 2011 estimated the frequency of Down syndrome in the US is 1 in 691 live births (up from 1 in 1087 in 1990)
2. The estimate that 90% of pregnant women in the U.S. who get a diagnosis of Down syndrome through amniocentesis choose to terminate IS INACCURATE.
  • This statistic is based on studies done that merged findings from the U.S., UK and Europe in the mid- to late 1990s. The numbers do not represent the attitudes of the US population then or today.
  • A more targeted 2012 review of just United States data and termination rates following a prenatal diagnosis for Down syndrome estimates termination rates from 1995 – 2011 were about 67%.
3. Surprisingly, The population of people in the US with Down syndrome is currently unknown. What we do know is:
  • 38% of Americans know someone with Down syndrome.
  • Because of the increase of live births of people with Down syndrome and the recent dramatic increase in their lifespan, over the next 20 years a significant increase in the population of people with Down syndrome in the U.S. is expected.
  • The population of people with Down syndrome in the U.S. has been estimated to be over 400,000. However, this number is derived from faulty assumptions – the total population from the 2000 US census, 281.4 million people, divided by the most current frequency of live births, 691 equaling 407,236. Unfortunately, this technique takes no account of the gradual increase in frequency or the increase in lifespan of people with Down syndrome. Thus, we don’t actually know how many people with Down syndrome currently live in the U.S.4. Some estimates put the worldwide population of people with Down syndrome at more than 6 million. More research is needed to ascertain whether this number is accurate.

What should you know about people with Down syndrome in the U.S.?

1. Today the average lifespan of a person with Down syndrome in the U.S. is approximately 60 years.
2. In the last several years, the average IQ of a person with Down syndrome has increased. In people with Down syndrome, 39.4% are in the mild intellectual disability range of 50-70, and 1% in the borderline intellectual function range of 70-80 (average IQ in the general population is 70-130).
3. People with Down syndrome have physical and intellectual delays from birth but there is a wide variety of abilities within the population that are impossible to predict ahead of time.
4. By law, people with Down syndrome in the U.S. must be provided an appropriate and free public education.
5. A growing number of people with Down syndrome live independently.
6. A small but growing number of people with Down syndrome are choosing to get married and live together.

How do medical issues and care affect people with Down syndrome?

1. People with Down syndrome are significantly predisposed to certain medical conditions including congenital heart defects, sleep apnea, and Alzheimer’s disease. There is also evidence of an increased risk of celiac disease, autism, childhood leukemia and seizures.
  • Some research shows that people with Down syndrome who have certain heart defects or childhood leukemia are more likely than their typical counterparts to recover or recover quickly.
  • More research is needed to assess actual frequency and recovery of such medical conditions in the Down syndrome population.
  • Many of these medical conditions can be treated, and many people with Down syndrome will not have these medical conditions.
2. It is rare for a person with Down syndrome to have a solid tumor cancer or cardiovascular disease, including heart attack and stroke.
3. Although children and adults with Down syndrome may share some common features, they look more like their immediate family members than like each other.
  • Common but not universal features include short stature, round face, almond-shaped and up-slanting eyes. Such features are not medical conditions.
4. Appropriate medical care for children and adults with Down syndrome is very important. It can make a major difference for that person’s physical and intellectual development.
  • Doctors are not always trained to provide the best medical care for a person with Down syndrome. To help, you can recommend or print out the Health Supervision for Children with Down Syndrome or Healthcare Management of Adults with Down Syndrome guidelines.
5. Early intervention for babies with Down syndrome is very important. The appropriate physical and speech therapies for the first five years can make a major difference for that child’s physical and intellectual development.

How will a baby with Down syndrome affect one’s family?

It is understandable that parents are concerned about how a child with Down syndrome will affect their family, including siblings. Every family is unique and may deal with the idea of, or the birth of, a baby with Down syndrome differently. Despite potential challenges, personal accounts and studies show that many families that have a child with Down syndrome are stable, successful and happy, and that siblings often have increased tolerance, compassion and awareness. In fact, a major study on marriages and Down syndrome shows the divorce rate among parents of children with Down syndrome is lower than the national average.

You are pregnant – What if your doctor offers a prenatal test to see if your baby has Down syndrome?

Global Down Syndrome Foundation together with the National Down Syndrome Congress have created a pamphlet for pregnant women that addresses questions related to prenatal testing for Down syndrome. Many testing companies and doctor’s offices will be providing this pamphlet at the point of diagnosis. Please click here to access or download the free pamphlet.

What is the future for a person with Down syndrome in the U.S.?

Of course, there is no way to know what the future holds for anyone. In most ways, however, babies, children and adults with Down syndrome are more like other people than not. Babies and children with Down syndrome need all the same love and care as their typical peers. Most adults with Down syndrome have the same aspirations and desires as a person who does not have Down syndrome.
What we do know is that the future of people with Down syndrome in the U.S. has dramatically improved over the last several decades and is on an upward trajectory:
1. People with Down syndrome are no longer institutionalized, lifespan has more than doubled, and mainstream Americans strongly believe in the human and civil rights for people with the condition.
2. Since the 1970s, public schools must, by law, provide a free and appropriate education to children with Down syndrome.
3. In the U.S. many people with Down syndrome complete high school, more are going on to a postsecondary education and a handful have even received graduate degrees.
4. Some people with Down syndrome live independently or in an assisted independent arrangement, and a small but growing number have a romantic relationship and even get married.
5. Many people with Down syndrome can work, volunteer and vote.
6. Actors such as Chris Burke, who played Corky in Life Goes On, and Lauren Potter, who plays Becky Jackson on Glee underscore the abilities of people with Down syndrome.
7. Mainstream Americans strongly support government programs that provide education and training for people with Down syndrome, support their families and research into the condition.
8. Mainstream Americans believe that people in the U.S. are all better off if they help people with Down syndrome.

What are the hurdles?

There are several large hurdles to overcome before people with Down syndrome can enjoy the equality and future they deserve.
1. Medical communities in the U.S. have not caught up with society’s positive view about people with Down syndrome or the idea of “new” Down syndrome.
2. Recent surveys in the U.S. of parents, doctors, and medical students indicate that outdated and inaccurate information about Down syndrome is being provided to pregnant women who are prenatally diagnosed or at birth of their child.
  • Despite 1980s legislation in the U.S. to the contrary, some doctors still believe lifesaving procedures should be denied a person with Down syndrome; in some countries individuals with Down syndrome are still institutionalized.
3. There is a major lack of funding for research benefitting people with Down syndrome, even compared to other conditions and diseases.
  • The funding for Down syndrome research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) started a continual and precipitous decline in the year 2001 – as a result today Down syndrome is the least-funded major genetic condition in the U.S.;
  • However, NIH’s National Institute of Childhood Health and Human Development is now working hard to correct the disparity of funding for people with Down syndrome and is taking the lead on educating other institutes at NIH.
4. Without research funding, best practices in terms of how people with Down syndrome learn in a classroom cannot be studied nor tools created for teachers and parents.
5. Without research funding, there can be no centralized patient registry, database or biobank system that can help people with Down syndrome who want to participate in clinical trials or education studies.
6. Without research funding, the frequency and recovery rates of heart conditions and other diseases in people with Down syndrome cannot be properly estimated, nor can they be properly ameliorated or cured.
7. Without research funding, studying people with Down syndrome cannot help the tens of millions of Americans who suffer from diseases that people with  Down syndrome have in much higher numbers.
Global Down Syndrome Foundation is working hard with the National Institute for Childhood Health and Human Development, the Down Syndrome Congressional Down Syndrome Caucus, the National Down Syndrome Congress, Research Down Syndrome and others to ensure that the National Institutes of Health and other Federal Government agencies provide a fair share of research funds to help people with Down syndrome.
If you have any questions or comments, or would like to learn more about the Global Down Syndrome Foundation please contact us at info@globaldownsyndrome.org. StumbleUpon
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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

3rd Annual Great Cloth Diaper Change

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Saturday April 20th, 2013

 
What began as a small grass roots campaign in 2011 has quickly become a global event. In 2011, we set the Guinness World Record for the most cloth diapers changed at one time, and in 2012 we broke that record by over 3,000! We are looking forward to breaking the 2012 record again on Saturday, April 20, 2013.
What is the GCDC? All over the world at 11 o’clocklocal time, Parents & babies try to set a Guinness Book of World Records for the most Cloth Diapers changed at one time.
Why? To show the world how many parents are already choosing to use easy, eco-friendly reusable cloth diapers.
Think we can beat it this year? The Record is8,251 qualifying participants at 189 locations in 15 Countries’ on 4continents! As of 3/5/13, 182 hosts have registered to hold world record events in 11 countries including Australia, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Spain, Finland, Great Britain, Iceland, Italy, Mexico and the US.
Including SoftBums!! We are hosting a location for the event in Maple Grove, MN this year!!

 We are hoping our MN SoftBums and cloth diaper friends will join us for a fun filled family day at the Maple Grove Community Center & Maple Maze!!

 
This event is made possible by the Real Diaper Association 501(c)3 non-profit organization.
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Monday, March 11, 2013

Making the Switch to Cloth Diapers!

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Cloth Diapering: How do I make the switch from disposables?


by Guest Blogger CJ from the Crunchy Fluff Blog


Making the switch to cloth diapers can be daunting, especially if you don't know where to start. When many people think about cloth diapering they conjure up images of diaper pins and stinky diaper pails filled with bleach. While this may have been representative of cloth diapering in the past, cloth diapers have come a long way in recent years.

1. Do your research.

Before purchasing anything, take your time and get acquainted with the cloth diapers available to you. There are many different types of diapers to choose from including pre-folds, fitteds, AIOs (All-in-ones), AI2s (All-in-twos) and pocket diapers. Within these types there are even more options, sized or one size, hook and loop or snap closure, synthetic or natural fibers, be sure to take the time to familiarize yourself with each type. Each diaper has its own set of advantages. Some people prefer to use different diapers for different occasions, AI2s or fitted at home but pockets or AIOs to make things easier at daycare or the babysitters. Go online; look for reviews and talk to people you know who cloth diaper.

2. Get your supplies.
There are some things you will need before you start cloth diapering. A wet bag or diaper pail is essential for storing your dirty dipes until wash day. You will probably end up needing a few wet bags, a couple to put in rotation (so you always have one available when the other is in the wash), a smaller wet bag for your diaper bag and if you use a diaper sprayer you may want an additional wet bag for the washroom so you aren't carrying wet diapers around the house.

Cloth diaper friendly laundry detergent is another must have. A good cloth diaper detergent is free of brighteners, fragrances, dyes and enzymes. Some people will use their regular laundry detergent with cloth diapers, but this is generally not recommended. Using regular detergents can limit the life span or absorbency of your diapers and it may even void your manufacturer's warranty. An exhaustive and informative list of laundry detergents can be found here. http://paddedtushstats.com/detergent-statistics/

In addition to these two items you may want to have a few more helpful, but not essential items on hand. If your little one frequently suffers from diaper rash you will probably also want to have some cloth diaper friendly diaper rash cream on hand. Diaper sprayers or diaper liners may also be on your list, depending on how you want to deal with solid waste. Dryer balls or a drying rack are a couple more items you may consider. While all of these items are helpful, they are not necessarily essential.

3. Try [a few] before you buy [a bunch].

While cloth diapers will save you money in the long run, they can be a big investment up front, the last thing you want to do is shell out a lot of cash on a set of diapers that don't end up working for you. Seeing as there are so many different choices it can be difficult to know just what will work for you. While it may be hard to refrain from buying up a whole stash of cute cloth diapers, just purchase a few of the diaper you want to try and give it a test run before stocking up. When I started cloth diapering I decided to try an AI2 cover & liner system so I purchased 2 Softbums shells and 6 inserts to try out. While this is not even a day's worth of diapers, it was enough for me to try out they system to see if it was right for me. If necessary try a few brands or types and find what is right for you.

If you are completely unsure what type of diaper you are interested in trying you may want to consider a cloth diaper trial program, which are now being offered by many cloth diaper retailers. For a small fee (and a refundable security deposit) these retailers will send you a variety of cloth diapers, usually a month's worth, for you to try. At the end of the month you can send the diapers back (after you have laundered them of course!) and purchase the type of diaper that worked for you.

4. Prep your diapers.

Different types of diapers require different types of preparation. Some diapers simply require a regular washing to make sure they are clean and ready for your little baby's bottom. Diapers and inserts that are made from natural fibers (cotton, hemp, bamboo) will require a bit more work. Prepping your natural fiber diapers will remove any natural oils from the fabric which helps to increase their absorbancy. Prepping diapers usually involves running your diapers through several wash cycles, anywhere from 3 to 10 cycles may be recommended. While this can be time consuming, it is an important step and if skipped you may find yourself with some leaky, non-absorbent diapers. Be sure to check if your diapers have any specific recommendations for prepping.

5. Try your diapers!

You are finally ready to actually test out your diapers! Don't rush it. Pick a day when you will be at home all day and have a chance to really try it out. It is best to give your diapers a test run in the day time a few times before giving them an overnight test. Depending on how heavy of a wetter your little one is, you may need to experiment with a different type of insert or diaper at night.
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