Reactions to hearing you're expecting #4 or more? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 32 Old 05-10-2010, 09:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am expecting (a very newly discovered surprise) my 4th child. My kids are all about 2 years apart so it seems like I am always pg! This baby was not planned and although dh and I will be very happy to welcome this new addition, the news is only days old and I'm wondering how it is all going to work.
Anyway, my point...
I will be visiting my entire family in about a month. I want/need to let them know but I know the reactions will vary. I suspect my parents will be concerned about how we'll handle it all financially and all the rest. They may react in a "what were you thinking" tone?. My brothers and Uncles will surely fire off a few birth control jokes and my neices and nephew will just say Wow!
I don't expect much real excitement over the matter since afterall, I'm always pregnant everytime I visit, and they are not the warm fuzzy crowd.

I know that my aunt in law was appauled that we had a 3rd since we would be going beyond replacing ourselves. Both she and SIL never had kids. The other reactions from dh's side will range from gufaws to disgust and offers of offensive amounts of money to "help" (we are not broke, just a tight budget and we are not high consumers anyway).

My point is that I'm not looking forward to this announcement. Especially since I have not wrappedy head around it myself...and that may be a while.
I'm going to feel like a freak show, maybe ignorant or irresponsible in the eyes of others.
How did you handle others reactions to your having...ANOTHER KID???

Amy

Mama to DS1 (4/04) DS2 (HBAC 11/06) DS3 (HBAC 12/08) DS4 (HBAC 1/11). Wife to one handsome hard working DH.
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#2 of 32 Old 05-10-2010, 09:37 PM
 
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I'm expecting #4, too, and my oldest is 6. So I feel you!

My family is (luckily) pretty supportive, but even so, I was kind of dreading telling everyone. My best advice is that the anticipation of telling was worse than actually sharing the news, and just act REALLY happy and look at people like they're crazy if they don't share your enthusiasm.

Congratulations--I'm sure this new little person will bring so much joy to your lives.

Wife to a wonderful dh and mom to four beautiful kiddos, dd (3/04):, ds1 (1/06), ds2 (10/08), and ds3 (7/10)
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#3 of 32 Old 05-10-2010, 09:54 PM
 
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Congratulations!

We have #4 (unexpectedly) on the way, with all of ours spaced about 2 years apart also. My mom was very surprised ("are you serious?!") and that was by far the best reaction from any of the family. FIL's response was "sh*t happens" and my dad didn't say anything (it was on the telephone) and he simply left the room and went and got the gin.

One of my friends was very excited, hugged me and told me congratulations. Her response really sticks out for me, and is one I'll always remember happily.

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#4 of 32 Old 05-10-2010, 10:11 PM
 
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With #4, people pretty much had just written us off as being crazy. Now I'm pregnant with 5 and 6, and I think people are excited because it's twins. DH said we couldn't have planned it better-- if we had just announced we were pregnant, everyone would have just rolled their eyes and made smart alec comments. But twins? That's news!

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#5 of 32 Old 05-10-2010, 10:12 PM
 
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I'm expecting #5 and had miscarried 6 weeks prior to conceiving this pregnancy. The miscarriage totally blindsided me, I was 'done' having babies and then I was pregnant. That one was hard to announce, financially we were on very, very shaky ground... but the miscarriage devastated me. I hesitate to say this one was planned but both hubby and I were thinking whatever happens, happens. I'm 14 weeks and still haven't announced. At first it was... I'm afraid to go through another miscarriage and have to go through untelling everybody again. Then it seemed the more weeks that went past the more I settled into it being our big secret, lol. Eventually they'll figure it out, right?

The reason I'm hesitant is because my family hasn't necessarily been happy about the announcements of #3,4, or the miscarriage... I'm not looking forward to facing their disappointment, disapproval, or issues with my reproduction. It's my body, my baby, my marriage... no one is paying my bills!! I am really fretting over the reaction and have many times considered just announcing over facebook just to get it over with.

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#6 of 32 Old 05-10-2010, 10:15 PM
 
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: I'm sorry. In all honesty, I haven't had one single negative reaction. Though DH had to deal with a few "YOU'RE having a kid?" reactions--it's his first, and a lot of people didn't expect him to marry much less have a kid. In fact, I think his aunt's reaction was the most outrageous: "Erik, I thought you were a virgin!"

I'm sure I've been talked about behind my back, though.

Sabra: Mama to Bobbie (3/02), Linda (1/04), Esther (10/05), Marie (11/10), & Douglas (11/12)

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#7 of 32 Old 05-10-2010, 10:18 PM
 
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I am expecting a suprise #4 and am also a single mum with 1 special needs kid.
The nicest replies I got were,
"Gee you're fertile........"
and
"Am I supposed to be happy about this?"

and the meanest were more than a handful of abortion comments.

Ads for how I handled it... not very well, and I waited until 13 weeks to tell most people when I could no longer hide the belly.
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#8 of 32 Old 05-10-2010, 10:32 PM
 
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Be proud of your little family!

We're on the 2 year plan and I think family is wondering why we haven't announced another one yet. And my work actually has a pool going (so I've heard) about when I next will announce.

People are stupid and say cruel things. Be prepared to let it bounce right off of you.

Michelle: wife to J, mom to M (2001), E (2003), C (2005), S (2007) and O! (2009) And someone new in 2011!
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#9 of 32 Old 05-10-2010, 10:40 PM
 
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First of all, congratulations!

We are also expecting our first (although, this is our 8th pregnancy- we had 4 miscarriages before this little one!)

My brother doesn't think we should have more children because he doesn't think we can afford it. We live on one income, and he knows my husband makes less than he does. When my brother was single, he was able to save some, but he definitely lived a lifestyle that took most of his paycheck. (He gets his hair done and highlighted at a salon, eats out a lot, lives in expensive housing, expensive clothing, nice vacations, etc.) Now he's married, and they have two incomes plus child support coming from her 3 yos dad, and he says things are tight. I imagine they probably make a little shy of double what my husband makes... with just three of them!

So I can understand why he thinks we just CANT afford to have "all these kids" or any more children. Quite frankly, we're doing just fine, but he can't fathom that.. since our incomes and budgets are vastly different.

We've had some people say we're overpopulating or straining the earth. I disagree with that. I think people are very misinformed on that issue (although, they tend to think I'm misinformed.. so... lol!)

Thankfully, my parents have come to accept our growing family (we hope to have more, God willing)... and seem to be excited about each pregnancy. I think seeing us as serious parents who have a good balance of love and discipline (loving discipline) instead of just allowing our kids to go nuts and crazy and rule the roost, so to speak, helps. And, my husband and I have a strong marriage. I DONT think they'd be very supportive if A) we didn't have a good marriage, B) our kids were bratty C) we were too strict and demanding of our children, D) we felt it was up to the government to provide everything for us.

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#10 of 32 Old 05-11-2010, 02:06 AM
 
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We're also expecting #4, and I, too, found announcing it more difficult than with others. I agree with the advice to be SUPER happy about it when telling people. That will really affect their opinion. We are thrilled, so that's what I tell everyone. Ours was both a huge surprise AND kind of expected (the timing was the biggest surprise, but I think it's good), so it's been a little odd. And we've had plenty of, "So, is this it yet?!" and "Was this planned?" and "Well, gee, I hope it's a girl this time!"

Hopefully you'll have a chance to really absorb the situation and be settled with it before sharing the news. I think that helps a lot.

HeatherB ~ mama to 3 wonderful boys:  reading.gif 03/02; modifiedartist.gif09/04; sleepytime.gif 09/07 - and Eliana, babygirl.gif 11/13/10!  
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#11 of 32 Old 05-11-2010, 02:22 AM
 
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Can you get other people to break the news to your family members first? That way they can work through their shock & make all their rude & stupid comments amongst themselves before you even get there? That's what I'd do.

And I double/triple/quadruple the advice to show a truly happy face about it all. You're having a baby! That's absolutely joyous. Your little baby is going to be loved & be lovely. Don't for one second lower your eyes in guilt or shame. Smile, be proud, feel the love you have for your fantastic growing family & don't allow other people's issues to give you shame. You didn't do one thing wrong. Just because some people don't value big families anymore is none of your concern. Congratulations!

(Just remember, you & your dh can rant & vent & bash everyone that said mean & ignorant things to/about you once you get home!! Just try to hold it all in during the event! )

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#12 of 32 Old 05-11-2010, 09:57 AM
 
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It was hard to announce our fourth.

The worst responses we got were:

I'm assuming you're happy about this?

Was this planned?

Well...I'm happy if you're happy.


Not too bad, really. People just aren't all about fourth babies the way they are about earlier babies. I'm starting to be okay with that, 'cause you know what?

I'M all about this baby!

congrats on your new little one!

RedOak ~ Momma to DS (8) , DS (4) , DD (3) , & DD 9/10 ~
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#13 of 32 Old 05-11-2010, 10:06 AM
 
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Originally Posted by annettemarie View Post
With #4, people pretty much had just written us off as being crazy.
Haha! Number four was our tipping point, too, when folks just started to write us off as nuts.

It's like... you're "allowed" to have two children. Everyone wants their boy and their girl, don'tcha know?

Then a third? Well, everyone is entitled to one accident... or if your first two were the same sex, you're allowed to try one more time for the other sex.

But four?? Okay, you're doing this on purpose now!

Sharing your news should be on your terms when you feel ready. It doesn't have to be next month when you see your family in person.

You could tell one person (your mom, maybe?) and let her pass on the news. Then you only have to deal with the initial reaction of one person rather than a crowd.

You are under no obligation to announce your pregnancy face to face with anyone who won't respond happily.

Oh... and a big CONGRATULATIONS from me!!!

Catholic homeschooling mom of two daughters and four sons... baby Mark born on 8/27/10. Kidney Disease Awareness
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#14 of 32 Old 05-11-2010, 10:11 AM
 
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I think we got the worst of it with #3 (lots of pressure from my mom's family to get my tubes tied and such ). I think most people we know have figured out we're going to have a bunch of kids, so mostly we just get the "do you know what causes that HAR HAR" comments. I've just started answering with a really bored and disinterested "sex."

It bothers me that so many people can't comprehend that anyone would WANT to have more than one or two children. The assumption is that if you have more than that the younger ones must be "accidents" and that irritates me.
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#15 of 32 Old 05-11-2010, 10:18 AM
 
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Originally Posted by VillageMom6 View Post
It's like... you're "allowed" to have two children. Everyone wants their boy and their girl, don'tcha know?

Then a third? Well, everyone is entitled to one accident... or if your first two were the same sex, you're allowed to try one more time for the other sex.

But four?? Okay, you're doing this on purpose now!
So true!! We're only working on our third, but we "had our boy and girl." So when we announced #3 everyone was shocked!! Everyone, co-workers, casual friends, family (except those who knew we were TTC) said, "But you already have your boy and girl?" and then some variation of, "I'm shocked! Was this a surprise? Don't you know what causes that by now?" We still haven't ruled out a fourth, so when/if that happens, I can only imagine what people will be saying. Whatever.... We're happy!

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#16 of 32 Old 05-11-2010, 10:52 AM
 
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VillageMom6, I love your take on it. And yes, be happy, be joyful. Show no weakness because people sense it. Again, unless you're pregnant with twins. Then everyone will fall all over themselves trying to convince you it will be OK.

BTW, my husband is a pastor and we had *church members* saying "Don't you know what causes that?!?" I mean, really? My nan was all "How did this happen?!" so I started to explain in explicit detail, which shut her up pretty darn quick.

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#17 of 32 Old 05-11-2010, 11:26 AM
 
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Yeah, I can relate, and all I can say is . I think one of our greatest travesties as a nation, is our attitude towards having children. Of course, I come from this from a Christian perspective-one being that God never changes, and nowhere in His word did He ever teach that children were anything but blessings. The first, the third and the tenth...all blessings. We as a society have changed as to what we perceive blessings to be=convenience, affordability, etc.

We started getting these comments with our third. From strangers. Then, the family simply started treating us as if we were insane. My dh's family is full of career women with no children, or perfectly planned one or two..and that's their choice, but don't expect it to be the choice of others!

It got so bad with our fourth, that coupled with what looked like I was going to be forced into unecessary repeat sections, and I had my tubes tied at her section. It was one of the greatest mistakes of my life. I began suffering from PTLS way before I even knew I regretted the TL. We had it reversed a few years later, and I'm pregnant with our 2nd reversal baby!

Now we are simply REAL WACK JOBS to just about everyone, except my parents who are supportive. We don't vax, planning homebirth, I homeschool ("yes, I'll still homeschool all of them in high school") cloth diaper, breastfeed, don't use birth control, etc., so this just fits in!

I know we are talked about poorly among his "high achieving" family, but I'm finally OK with that. I told the family in an email...and just laid it all out that we are expecting, very excited, having a homebirth, etc. No one responded. I know they are high achieving, and that's fab for them. However, our goal in life happens to be different. Our goal is to seek Christ, and raise mindful children for His glory...we can't expect to merge when our two philosophies are so different.

I am so very happy for you! You have the children that are on your heart, and others can choose to do what they'd like with their reproduction. I find it really disheartening how many people think it's OK to use b/c and not get questioned, but the moment you make a choice to have more than average children, suddenly YOUR WOMB is open for discussion...

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#18 of 32 Old 05-11-2010, 12:03 PM
 
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#5 here and I am used to it by now. My mom groaned and said "oh Heather!!" and acted like I just told her I punched a kitten in the face. Same reaction all three of us girls got for each and every pregnancy, so I expected it. She was the one who told my dad, and she won't even TELL me how he reacted it was that bad.

Oh well, *I* know I can handle it. I have never asked for their help so what is it to them?

Heather: Mama to my amazing boys A-14.5, C-13, & M-5.5, and my sweet girl S-2.5 and introducing our little surprise Liam Michael, born 12/28!
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#19 of 32 Old 05-11-2010, 12:11 PM
 
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I'm expecting #7, and no one has said anything negative to my or DH's face about it. Everyone knows we wants lots, so it's no real surprise we're having another. People have asked when the next one was coming along before I got pregnant, and we always say "we're working on it" .

I'm sure there's nasty comments going around behind our backs though.

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#20 of 32 Old 05-11-2010, 12:16 PM
 
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We are having #5 and our oldest is 6. We haven't gotten any negative comments to our face either. In fact I'm surprised by all of the positive comments I get in public. Dh and I both come from big families, so no issues there.

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#21 of 32 Old 05-11-2010, 12:19 PM
 
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s

Number 4 was hard for us too. Lots of comments about one of us needing to get "fixed". Also the question, "Was this one PLANNED?" was asked a number of times.

Hopefully your announcement will go well. If not, just let the comments go and have yourself a good laugh!

Congrats!!!

Homeschooling mama of four fantastic kids and wife to one great guy.
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#22 of 32 Old 05-11-2010, 12:59 PM
 
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Well- we cheated by jumping from 2 right to 4!

But we've actually always thought 4 would be a great number. Everyone thinks we're nuts for even thinking about #3, especially since we already had our one girl and one boy. We've gotten a few "I'm happy if you're happy" responses from family. I haven't told my boss or co-workers yet and in my field (scientist and aspiring professor at a university), 4 children is definitely going to make me an anomaly. Err.... I mean... a trailblazer!

I had to become a parent before I really learned to quit caring what other people think. One of the best lessons I've learned as a mom.
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#23 of 32 Old 05-11-2010, 01:56 PM
 
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It bothers me that so many people can't comprehend that anyone would WANT to have more than one or two children. The assumption is that if you have more than that the younger ones must be "accidents" and that irritates me.
No kidding! It's so presumptious just to assume that nobody could possibly want more than two.
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#24 of 32 Old 05-11-2010, 02:09 PM
 
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We've heard the snarky comments since #4 and just announced #6. Funnily, this time only my mother was rude to my face. Everyone else kept it behind our backs which is cool with me.

Now if someone says, "Don't you know what causes that?" we just say, "Yeah, we have gotten REALLY good at it" or something similar.

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#25 of 32 Old 05-11-2010, 02:16 PM
 
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Yeah, my favorite come back for "don't you know what causes it" is "yeah, we're good at it."

And for "was this planned?" I love "it was planned by Someone!" ('course I guess that would only work if you believe in God... but it's so sweet. )

Not that anyone has ever said anything negative to me. I think I live in a bubble & keep myself surrounded by like minded people (& everyone else just talks about us behind our back). Thankfully our parents are supportive & know we want a zillion kids. Although my mom has said some really bizarre stuff, lol, at least none of it was actually rude. I do get "oh bless you!" often from strangers when they hear the # of kids we have. My brother did respond with "geeez, how many kids do you NEED??" when I told him about #4. I told my mom to tell him about #5. lol

And congratulations again!

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#26 of 32 Old 05-11-2010, 02:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow!
I thought I was going to be alone on this and that my family is particularly mean! My friends have all been very happy gor me znd supportive...thank goodness for that.

Thank you all for sharing. It helps.

Mama to DS1 (4/04) DS2 (HBAC 11/06) DS3 (HBAC 12/08) DS4 (HBAC 1/11). Wife to one handsome hard working DH.
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#27 of 32 Old 05-11-2010, 03:36 PM
 
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Haha! Number four was our tipping point, too, when folks just started to write us off as nuts.

It's like... you're "allowed" to have two children. Everyone wants their boy and their girl, don'tcha know?

Then a third? Well, everyone is entitled to one accident... or if your first two were the same sex, you're allowed to try one more time for the other sex.

But four?? Okay, you're doing this on purpose now!

Sharing your news should be on your terms when you feel ready. It doesn't have to be next month when you see your family in person.

You could tell one person (your mom, maybe?) and let her pass on the news. Then you only have to deal with the initial reaction of one person rather than a crowd.

You are under no obligation to announce your pregnancy face to face with anyone who won't respond happily.

Oh... and a big CONGRATULATIONS from me!!!
LOVE THIS! This is totally right on! We are having our 4th, too, and most people reacted positively ... only a few negative reactions ... much better than I thought. Maybe it is because our youngest is spaced out further than our others were (our 3rd and 4th will be 3.5 yrs apart). I think the positive reactions were mostly because when people would ask (when our 3rd was a baby) if we were done, I would always respond, "I don't know -- it depends on what God has planned for us" or something like that. That would always stop the comments right away.
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#28 of 32 Old 05-11-2010, 04:49 PM
 
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We're on our fourth and haven't had any negative comments so far...but I did with my third...stupid stuff like, "oh, but you LIKE children". Um, yeah, I guess I do? I pity the children of those mothers, lol...

I agree that you are under no obligation to tell them when you go or at all if all you get is crap from them! IMO, rudeness doesn't deserve a response.

If they found out and called you on it, I'd say something like, "you've been so negative in the past about our personal decisions that we figured you wouldn't want to know/weren't entitled to a personal announcement."

caution: one-handed nak

typos likely

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#29 of 32 Old 05-11-2010, 05:18 PM
 
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This is #5 for us - and I have only told 3 or 4 friends who I knew would be happy for us. I have no plans to tell anyone in my family for .... oh I don't know .... do I ever have to tell them? Would it be rude if I just showed up to Christmas dinner with another kid?

We've been getting comments since #2 ... and now our oldest will be only 5 when this one comes.

I love my big family & don't really think we'll be stopping any time soon ... so I don't really care if they want to be rude... but they don't need to know my business then.

~Bekah~ wife to Richard ~ mom to 4 on earth & 4 in heaven
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#30 of 32 Old 05-11-2010, 05:18 PM
 
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Not on #4, just #3, but my mother scolded me. Give me a break.
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