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Birth of a baby alpaca

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Last week when I was in Oregon, I had the most fantastic experience. My friend (who has a serious yarn addiction) and I were driving from Hood River to Mt. Hood and just had to detour to follow some signs for an alpaca farm with yarn for sale. We drove up to the farm and saw some people and alpacas in the barn. As we walked up we found that one of the alpacas was about to give birth. We stood amazed as first a tiny nose appeared, then very slowly, a snout. It wasn’t until the cria’s head emerged that it occurred to me to ask if I could take some pictures. The owner agreed and I ran to get my camera.

In the few short moments that it took me to retrieve it, a little hoof had appeared, then a second one.

This might have been an incredible experience for those of us watching, but mom seemed unimpressed by the business. Notice that she’s still eating!

Now mom’s getting a little assist.

It’s a girl!

Hmm… what’s this then?

Is that you, Mom?

Hey look at me – I can sit up!

Getting acquainted.

Careful mom! Don’t knock me over – I’m not too good at this sitting thing yet.

My first bath.

Hey, has anybody noticed that my blanket is the wrong color?

Know what? I think I’m going to like it here!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SPARKCHANTAL 9/16/2014 5:36PM

    you just have to be in the right place at the right time!

did it fall like a giraffe? check out some birth Videos on YouTube, they are amazing.

and thanks for your comment on my georgie-blog; isn't it great when your furbabies recuperate after you have given up on them! this is about the fourth time with my georgie-boy. hopefully there will be no more such Drama, it really drained me.


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JANET552 7/14/2014 7:24AM

    Awesome!!! Your pictures are great and I love your commentary. Detours sometimes turn out to be such amazing adventures.

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ZOEYBLU 7/6/2014 1:32PM

    OMG..... Now that is a Great Vacation !

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LEW0213 7/4/2014 8:11PM

    What a wonderful experience you had!! And the pictures were amazing. I never realized that crias had such long legs at birth. I bet the owners were happy to have a girl. Thanks so much for sharing the pictures.

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PANDABEAR42 7/3/2014 11:58PM

    so AMAZING...beautiful pictures and explanations. enjoyed your side trip to the Alpaca farm.

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KAYDE53 7/2/2014 10:09PM

    Wow, that was emoticon

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LINDAK25 7/2/2014 9:32PM

    Oh, wow! Lucky you! Isn't it neat how when they're first born, they look like they need to be inflated?

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BEWELL48 7/2/2014 9:24PM

    Wow, that is incredible. BTW did you buy some yarn?

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MILLISMA 7/2/2014 1:41PM

    That is just amazing. How lucky you were to be there at the right time!!!!

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LOUIE-LILY 7/2/2014 12:45PM

    I couldn't wait until later . . . this is just too precious! What great timing you have to have arrived just in time! emoticon
Will write you on the weekend - on a quick lunch break!
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KAREN608 7/2/2014 12:21PM

    Sweet! We used to have goats, and many babies born. They smell so fresh first out of mom, all sterile ... one was born in below zero weather so brought him inside the house to dry him off, so firsthand experience. Lovely photos!

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MARIWELL 7/2/2014 12:05PM

    What a wonderful experience! Baby looks so sweet!

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PEACEFULONE 7/2/2014 11:52AM

    Amazing! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Two Year Sparkaversary

Friday, May 30, 2014

Today marks the end of my second year on SparkPeople, and I can't believe the progress I've made! The first year I surpassed my original goal of losing 57 pounds by losing 61 instead. During my second year I lost another 11 pounds by the end of January, putting my total weight loss with Spark People at 72 lbs. I decided to stop there and instead focus on maintenance. I have to admit that maintenance has been a bit challenging. Originally, I'd envisioned my maintenance program would involve upping my calorie intake range a bit, and finding a good target somewhere in the middle. But that was before I went so far below my original target weight. Once I reached my current level, I found that my "maintenance" range does not differ one whit from the one I used to lose the weight in the first place. There goes any secret plan I may have made for Chunky Monkey sundaes.

Instead, I adjusted my daily intake from the lower level of the weight-loss range (which was 1200 - 1550 calories), to the mid to upper level, and continued with my moderate exercise program. I typically eat between 1350 - 1450 calories a day. I say typically, because it hasn't always been smooth sailing. I've taken more than my share of tumbles from the healthy eating wagon, and am currently two pounds above my lowest weight. (Hey, it was 5 pounds, so don't you "tsk tsk"¨ me emoticon ). The issue for me is to allow myself small liberties without falling head-first into an endless pasta bowl. Easier said than done. I'm slowly identifying my "trigger foods", and at least banning them from my house, if not my life. For example, I discovered that a certain diet treat manufacturer (we shall refer to them here as "Slender Bovine") makes a fabulous ice cream sandwich that combines two of my favorite flavor combinations (okay, after chocolate and peanut butter, which comes after dark chocolate and red wine), chocolate and mint (you just knew there'd be chocolate in there somewhere, right?). Well, I was ecstatic! I brought home said ice cream sandwiches and proceeded to eat one of them after my healthy dinner as one of those aforementioned small liberties. Unfortunately, it was followed by a second ice cream sandwich, and then a rampage through the kitchen cabinets. When I emerged from my food-fueled stupor about two weeks (and several pounds) later, I sadly crossed that particular product off of the small liberties list.

My reaction to the ice cream sandwiches surprised me. I had the very same reaction each time I ate one. (I'm a scientist after all, and couldn't stop with a sample size of one - repeatability is an essential part of any reasonable scientific study). However, I'd been having chocolate brownies as a treat for some time without the same disastrous result. After examining the ingredient labels for both foods I came to the conclusion that the issue was with their relative sugar content. The brownies I had eaten were delicious, but they were made with whole wheat flour, and of course, contained no ice cream. The two products have the same amount of fat and protein, but the brownies have a third fewer calories and sugar, and more than three times higher fiber of the ice cream sandwich. I don't really know if that's the answer, but I suspect that I am metabolizing the brownie more slowly and not triggering the instant sugar high (which makes me want even more), that resulted from eating the ice cream sandwich.

So, long story short, it's been a learning process so far and will probably continue that way. I just know that I feel better than I have in years (the most important benchmark), have a whole new outlook on life, and a whole (much smaller-sized) new wardrobe to boot. Not bad for an old girl. Unlike dogs, we apparently can learn new tricks.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARBEALL 11/10/2014 6:56AM

    Congratulations on your two year SP anniversary!! After reading your first year success I had to see how how your second year went. Thank you for sharing your continuing success and lessons learned!!! You are a true inspiration !!!!!!

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JANET552 6/14/2014 6:58AM

    emoticon Happy "belated" Anniversary!! Congratulations on your success!! Thanks for sharing your experience in maintenance. I'm not needing it quite yet but the more you learn, the more you know. Interesting thoughts on the brownie vs. ice cream sandwich. I think I have always lumped sweets into this vast hole called "don't eat" which of course means I want it all the more. I'll have to investigate the parameters a bit more.

Have a happy and healthy day!!

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MARIWELL 5/31/2014 4:56PM

    Wow Judy - You've done great in two years! I love reading about successes and the learning process involved. There's a lot of trial and error to this new lifestyle routine. I must say I've developed a fondness for the ice cream truffle in the brand you mentioned. I've noticed it can start the ball rolling for an evening of eating things I don't really need to eat. Evenings seem to be a problem for me. I have to learn to keep myself occupied and my mind off munching.
Congratulations on your success and anniversary!!!
emoticon emoticon

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LEW0213 5/30/2014 10:41PM

    Congratulations, Judy. You have really done a great job and should be very proud of yourself. They say that Maintenance is harder than the actual dieting. Keep us posted on how you're doing and what you are learning. I hope I can get to my maintenance level some time this year. You go, girl!! emoticon
Hugs, Linda

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LINDAK25 5/30/2014 8:17PM

    Happy Sparkaversary! Wow! You've done GREAT! I just had the same anniversary three weeks ago. I lost between 30 and 40 pounds within the first 6 months and I've maintained. Unfortunately, I need to lose another 60 to 70 pounds. Hmm. At least I'm maintaining, right? It's those extra calories I enjoy each day! Like you, in order to lose weight I really have to stay under 1350 calories. Oh, pooh.

It's true, some treats you just have to ban from the house. Oh, and another thing to consider: Slender Bovine contain sugar alcohols. While they won't make you hungry, they can cause digestive issues like gas, bloating, and diarrhea. Not something you want to eat too much of.

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LOUIE-LILY 5/30/2014 8:56AM

    emoticon emoticon
That is so awesome! I haven't been having as much luck . . . or to take personal responsibility . . . perseverance! However, your scientific evaluation of said "bovine named" ice cream sandwiches, curiously and most cooincidentily, happen to be my downfall as we write . . . I keep thinking I can stick to my "one only" resolution . . . but there I go . . . another one, two, three emoticon
I will follow your example and ban them from the house as clearly I lose control every time I have "just one." emoticon
You are a wonderful example to all of us! emoticon
Congratulations! emoticon
Hugs, emoticon
N, L&L

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PATSYB7 5/30/2014 5:45AM

Keep up the good work!

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KAREN608 5/30/2014 12:50AM

    What you mentioned about calories kind of drove home the point I knew doing calculations. To be a proper weight 1500 calories is the top limit. My mind still in a tizzy with this info, as I like eating 2000. So must find great substitutions and fortitude. Ooh.

Congrats on two years and marvelous results for your lifestyle changes.

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ROXYCARIN 5/30/2014 12:36AM

  emoticon emoticon

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ZRIE014 5/30/2014 12:32AM

  have a good day

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GOLFINMOMMA 5/30/2014 12:29AM

    emoticon on doing so well on SP. It helps those of us who are relatively new to work our way thru the ups and downs and remember there is light at the end but it is not really the end just the start of anew phase.

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SUGAR0814 5/30/2014 12:28AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Just for laughs - perspectives on aging

Sunday, December 22, 2013

These were sent to me by a friend. Just had to pass them on. Enjoy!

Statistics show that at the age of seventy, there are five women to every man. Isn't that an ironic time for a guy to get those odds?

Middle age is when it takes longer to rest than to get tired.

By the time a man is wise enough to watch his step, he's too old to go anywhere.

Middle age is when you have stopped growing at both ends, and have begun to grow in the middle.

A man has reached middle age when he is cautioned to slow down by his Doctor instead of by the police.

Middle age is having a choice of two temptations and choosing the one that will get you home earlier.

You know you're into middle age when you realize that caution is the only thing you care to exercise.

At my age, "getting a little action" means I don't need to take a laxative.

Don't worry about avoiding temptation. As you grow older, it will avoid you.

The aging process could be slowed down if it had to work its way through Congress.

You're getting old when "getting lucky" means you find your car in the parking lot.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PEACEFULONE 2/17/2014 11:59PM

    Yup, I'd say that rings true. Thanks for the smiles.
emoticon mm emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DEBBLO 2/8/2014 5:52PM

    Thanks for the laugh ! emoticon

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APHRODIDTE 12/31/2013 12:48PM

    Cracked me up!!!

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GAYLLYNNE 12/23/2013 7:08AM

    These are great and oh, so true!

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KAYDE53 12/23/2013 12:17AM

    emoticon and oh, so true!! emoticon

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KAREN608 12/22/2013 11:18PM

    Good ones and true.
I'm trying to avoid acting my age, but at 54, my teeth are old, my joints abused...
and my older cousin warns me to enjoy what I have while I have it, she is ten years older. SO I am on Spark and going to do my sparkiest this new year since she warned me what the future could be. If it isn't, I'll be better and still get to enjoy old age. Whatever old is.

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LEANNAW4 12/22/2013 8:24PM

    Love these! Sadly, I also FEEL them and know how true they are!

Friend: "What do you want to do?"
Me: "Whatever gets me home earlier."

So true. Thanks for sharing!!

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LOUIE-LILY 12/22/2013 7:53PM

    Lol, I'm afraid I'm able to identify with more of these than I'd like emoticon
emoticon emoticon

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LINDAK25 12/22/2013 6:01PM

    I can usually find my car, I just have to remember which one I'm looking for.

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JANUT57 12/22/2013 4:41PM

  emoticon emoticon

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Poisoned! A precautionary tale

Sunday, December 01, 2013

I had a bad night on Friday, and an even worse day on Saturday. I literally felt as though someone had pummeled me in the stomach. Because I felt so bad, I got little sleep on Friday night, and when I got up on Saturday, I had no appetite at all. Unfortunately, what I did have were house guests. Now, these are people I genuinely like, and had really been looking forward to seeing again. On Saturday morning, however, houseguests were about as welcome as the flu, which I was beginning to worry that I had. I managed to choke down a little cereal for breakfast, plaster on a phony smile, and say, “Well, what should we do today?” Sadly, my houseguests did not respond with, “Let’s all retire back to our beds, and spend the day in a stupor” which is what I would have preferred to hear. So, into the car we trooped and spent the day sightseeing. At least they saw the sights, I spent most of my day going through a mental litany of my symptoms and probable horrifying causes. “Let’s see,” I thought as a drove down the freeway, “salmonella?” “No, can’t be that,” my mental dialog continued, because I had no nausea (except when thinking about food), and none of the other equally nasty consequences of that particular microbe. “Ulcers, maybe?” wondering if one could actually develop ulcers by worrying about having them. Hmmm, none of that seemed right. “The flu?” No, my throat wasn’t sore, I had no fever, and my aches were completely centered about my middle section. “A stomach virus?” Nope! Same problem as with salmonella.

In the meantime, my friends got hungry (as normal people are wont to do), so we stopped for lunch, where I managed to eat a cup of vegetable soup and a piece of wheat toast. Big mistake – more stomach pummeling ensued. At long last we headed for home, but then there was dinner to be faced. While my friends feasted on fried oysters, wine and other lovely delicacies, I had a scrambled egg, some unbuttered grits (I managed about ¼ cup of those) and another piece of dry toast. It was about that time when I finally accepted the sad, but obvious conclusion that my predicament was entirely of my own doing. You see, I’ve been Sparking now for a year and a half, and have drastically altered my lifestyle. I now eat reasonable quantities of wholesome, healthy food (imagine!). I don’t deny myself guilty pleasures, but instead sprinkle them into my diet on occasion and in moderation. “And if Thanksgiving isn’t an occasion, what is!” my indulgent-self protested. “Yes, but remember – in moderation” my Sparked-self replied.

In reviewing my sins of the past two days, the word “moderation” was hardly applicable. First, there was the heaping plate of food of which I ate every bite on Thanksgiving. “Yes, but we didn’t eat the pumpkin cheesecake for dessert” my indulgent-self whined. “No, but you ate it for breakfast on Friday!” my Sparked-self replied. “And then there was the second glass of wine with Thanksgiving dinner, the tapas plate filled with rich cheeses and fatty meats before dinner on Friday, the pork with that rich onion fig sauce for Friday dinner, followed by the pumpkin pie, and all washed down with a few more glasses of wine. Face it, you brought this on yourself!”

Sad, but true… It seems that a year and half of a healthy lifestyle ill prepared me for a weekend of decadence. Lucky for me, the lesson was blessedly short-lived, and I’m almost back to normal today. And it was a lesson well-learned. I don’t want to live like that anymore. Yes, the pumpkin cheesecake was delicious, and there are more pumpkin cheesecakes in my future, I’m sure. But I am resolved to be responsible about the way I treat my body, and to continue down the path that Spark People has set me upon… a well-rounded healthy diet in a well-rounded healthy life. And as for the pumpkin cheesecake, sure, I’ll still have a piece now and then – just maybe not for breakfast.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CLESHER 12/2/2013 4:39PM

    Couldn't have said it better myself "a well-rounded healthy diet in a well-rounded healthy life."....I did not like the food coma this holiday put me in either....healthy is the only way to go!!!


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FALLENSHORT2013 12/1/2013 11:03PM

  Ditto here---ate and drank WAY too much, I was looking forward to it, wasn't I? Our stomachs are creatures of habit, I guess....now I have to follow suit!
I was amused, however, at pumpkin cheesecake for breakfast. I routinely eat pumpkin pie for breakfast during holidays, except for the eggs, it's not that different than my pumpkin smoothies. Of course, I don't eat the crust; don't like pie crust!

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MILLISMA 12/1/2013 8:35PM

    A very hard lesson to learn but everything you said is so true. As you turn away from the unhealthy food, eating them and without portion control can make you feel really terrible. Glad you're feeling better and wiser.


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KAREN608 12/1/2013 7:29PM

    Whew! This never happens at the Cybercafe here.

Lessons do tend to be painful.

A good warning to the rest of us about big holiday meals. And leftovers.

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ZOEYBLU 12/1/2013 4:55PM

    You are a wonderful writer my friend !

.....I felt like I was right there ,along with you with every step of your journey.

Glad your felling better !

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LOUIE-LILY 12/1/2013 4:38PM

    Oh my, a hard lesson to learn the hard way! It's so true, as we eat healthier our bodies do rebel to reverting to old habits. I wasn't sick, so I have to think I wasn't being as good as I thought because I did wolf it down! So glad you're feeling better though!

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LINDAK25 12/1/2013 2:31PM

    And what a lesson to learn! I'm finding that I can't eat like I used to either. That's a good thing, right? Now, if I could just listen to those alarm bells in the first place I would feel great all the time.

Glad you're feeling better!

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JUNEAU2010 12/1/2013 1:55PM

    A very good lesson! I have experienced the same thing, though to a lesser degree.

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Muffin Top

Friday, September 13, 2013

A Spark friend commented the other day that she was beginning to lose her muffin top. I came to a realization today as I looked at myself in the mirror. With the natural migration of body parts southward over time (especially the wobbly bits), at my age, I no longer have a muffin top. It's more like a muffin bottom!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MILLISMA 9/15/2013 9:07PM

    LOL....you are so right!!! It all keeps heading south.

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LOUIE-LILY 9/15/2013 2:25PM

    LOL -At least it's shifting around!

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LEW0213 9/14/2013 10:13AM

    Good one! I think every part of me that is able has already gone southward. I wouldn't even know where to start to go back North.
Hugs, Linda

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KAYDE53 9/13/2013 11:47PM

    emoticon Tell me about it!! What about thunder thighs, my problem!? emoticon

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LINDAK25 9/13/2013 8:44PM

    Ha! Is that what that is? Better than a loaf, can't wait until mine is just a muffin!

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ALDEBARANIAN 9/13/2013 8:27PM

    LOL Oh no!

Too much information.


hat's really gross!

LMAO emoticon

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KAREN608 9/13/2013 7:58PM

    Right now my figure is that of the Michelin tire guy.... roll, roll, roll.
Love the names given to extra flesh!
Spare tire, etc.

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CHOOWY 9/13/2013 12:29PM

    You've got the best sense of humor! Heehee.....at the state fair yesterday, I just saw some machines that you stand on and they (supposedly) vibrate away all the wobbly bits........I'd probably knock myself out!

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KAZZIE531 9/13/2013 10:42AM

    ROFLMAO..............why is it WE get the muffin tops and guys get the bear bellies??

I love the muffin bottom............Thanks for the laugh

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LADYJ6942 9/13/2013 10:36AM

    Love the reference,I'm okay with a muffin bottom being a mom of 4 but the muffin top is melting and while DH is mourning it I'm loving it. Good luck

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SUNSHINE192DAY 9/13/2013 10:30AM

    I just lol'd so hard! Thanks so much and you have a wonderful attitude!

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NKING1982 9/13/2013 10:30AM

    Haha, congrats on your muffin bottom

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ANDREAG89 9/13/2013 10:26AM

    LOL!!! emoticon
I laughed at "wobbly bits" and then the "muffin bottom" explanation.

I hear you loud and clear, and am trying to get rid of anything that might be muffin-ing out of the clothes it shouldn't!!!

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