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June 3 and Each Day is Better - Newport Beach, CA

Hey Everybody! All your posts have been so helpful...

Hey Everybody! All your posts have been so helpful so I have decided to chronicle my own journey, which will hopefully help someone else with hers.

I am a 43 yo mom of two teenagers. My body never bounced back from having children quite to where I wanted it to be. I saw a PS for a TT consult and he didn't think my tummy warranted one, but suggested liposuction instead. I had my inner and outer thighs and tummy suctioned. BIG MISTAKE! I have yo-yo'ed 10 pounds here and there since then and the fat comes in places you don't want or never have had and leaves God knows where. One day at the beach, my little girl said, "Mommy! You have 6 boobs! Two in the front and 4 in the back!" Ugh... Why did I do this to myself???

I made a vow to get into fitness and stop the yo-yo ride. I've been good for about 5 years. As I have gotten older, my skin has weakened and the area that was liposuctioned looks like pudding. My belly button is an upside-down smile! :( Nothing I do makes the floppy skin on my belly go away, so....I'm goin' for it!

Surgery is paid in full and I am scheduled to get my pre-baby tummy back for the first time in 17 years!

Will keep posting throughout the journey. :D

Okay...here are a couple of BEFORE pics. I could...

Okay...here are a couple of BEFORE pics. I could put my tummy on a plate, or make a puppet out of it!

I'm on the final countdown! Four more days...

I'm on the final countdown! Four more days 'till bye bye belly. I am feeling excited and trepidatious at the same time. This week will be spent making meals to pull out of the freezer next week, wrapping up my work load and getting some rest.

Well...tomorrow is "prep" day. Bowel...

Well...tomorrow is "prep" day. Bowel prep, that is. I have to drink a bottle of mag citrate at 7am and my physician husband just informed me that his patients overwhelmingly report this is hell. I had a ballroom dance lesson scheduled for tomorrow, but cancelled it because I don't think my teacher wants to join me in that kind of cha-cha!

Anyhoo...apparently I have to do this so my doc can "pull me real tight!"

The nurse who I am spending two nights with called me and gave me the low-down on what I need to pack and bring with me (don't forget the check!) on Friday. She said I needed to get a MUMU from WalMart!!! I begged to bring sweats and a zip up hoodie and she nixed that one. I just couldn't do the MUMU thing (like, I think I would get kinda bummed out post-op if I happened to catch a glimpse of myself in a MUMU!) so I went to Loehman's and ponied up $25 for a black button-down swim coverup. It's comfy and kinda...cute.

Oh, I really am dreading this bowel prep! Upside down volcano (a term coined by my funny little daughter)!

Just drank the mag citrate. It wasn't so bad.....

Just drank the mag citrate. It wasn't so bad...kinda tasted like Alka Seltzer. I can feel it rumbling around in my tummy. Just pray it doesn't kick in while I am taking the kids to school!!!

Ok y'all! Mag citrate is my new best friend....

Ok y'all! Mag citrate is my new best friend. That was...LIBERATING! Whoo hoo!

Goodbye Belly! You served me well when I needed...

Goodbye Belly! You served me well when I needed you to grow my babies and I thank you for that. But now I think it's time for us to part ways. Adios, adieu...

Did it! Am tucked in bed, pain meds on board. For...

Did it! Am tucked in bed, pain meds on board. For some reason I have to remind myself to breathe. Perhaps this is because my belly feels like it is in mid crunch position and that's when I hold my breath. Getting into the car was painful and my nurse...I could swear she was texting and driving! She's doing a helluva job now so I'm not saying anything outside how she rocks! Don't want to look at my tummy yet!

Day 2: pain is about a level 3. I still have the...

Day 2: pain is about a level 3. I still have the foley, which is great. I can't really see anything because I am in a full body binder. So far so good.

Day three and I am at home. I am so glad I stayed...

Day three and I am at home. I am so glad I stayed with a nurse for the first two days. She was wonderful! Now my wonderful husband is taking care of me. I have not dared to take a peek down there and am pretty sore. Travelling from the nurse's house was owie and I threw up. This afternoon has been pretty calm and I am able to make it to the wc om my own. Not too much coming from the drains.

Post op visit #1 all looks good (but I did not...

Post op visit #1 all looks good (but I did not look because I thought I would throw up). I cried when they yanked this girdle off and it rolled over my bruised lipo-ed thighs. Hated to be such a weenie but that HURT!!! I am probably going to sleep the rest of the day.

Am resting today. Washed my hair in the sink while...

Am resting today. Washed my hair in the sink while sitting on a barstool, which was heaven and have not needed any pain meds. I still am too chicken to take a peek!

I have to say that this ill-fitting, full-body...

I have to say that this ill-fitting, full-body compression garment is an absolute nuisance that I fear might possibly compromise my results.

I must not have paid enough attention to...

I must not have paid enough attention to preventative post op constipation because at 3am I gave birth to a rubix cube. I will be taking a daily fiber supplement from here on out! Meanwhile, witch hazel compress is helping! Whew!!

One week post op: Yesterday I had a second visit...

One week post op: Yesterday I had a second visit to my PS. They took the bandages off so I had my first look. I am so happy with the incision, as it is a very thin line placed under my tan line. It goes from the middle of my left all the way to the middle of my right side. My husband (a facial plastic surgeon) was happy (and impressed) with the results so that was great for me. Let me tell you I have never been shaped like this before, even at my thinnest I did not have much difference in waist to hip, rather boy-shaped in that area. I think I'm going to enjoy having more of a female shape!

Recovery from this surgery is no easy task. I am still laying low, sore, bruised and swollen. My feet and ankles are awfully swollen and I am periodically keeping my feet raised above heart to take care of this issue, but as soon as they go down, the swell returns. Going to the bathroom was an issue/ordeal! First of all, trying to go with the sensation of being fully clothed from this compression garment is kinda odd, and the constipation issue! I could swear I gave birth to a rubix cube at 3am Thursday! I even broke out in a cold sweat! I am so glad that part is over and am now taking a fiber supplement and off the narcs to avoid giving the rubix cube a sibling.

My belly has the sensation of Saran Wrap pulled tight over a pyrex dish. I hope as the swelling goes down I will lose that feeling.

I have felt guilty at times about this surgery and the extra work my husband is doing while I lay here on this recliner day after day. He has been so kind and loving and for that I am grateful. At times I wonder if the prolonged recovery is penance from the sin of vanity. Though not particularly religious, my Southern Baptist upbringing probably plays a role in these thoughts. Well...I figure I will take whatever comes, be thankful for bad stuff that could have happened but didn't, walk out of this recovery after "doing my time" and say goodbye to my guilt and hello to not being self conscious about that blob of a belly I used to have!

Including a photo today. Not much to see as I am...

Including a photo today. Not much to see as I am confined to this Boa Constrictor and have the drains still in.

One drain out! Haloo! My doc ordered a new...

One drain out! Haloo! My doc ordered a new compression garment for me which is a heckuva lot better than that other one. Got a good look at my tummy again and I like the new shape. I have an odd "waterbed" sensation in my whole abdominal area. Anyone else have this??? It's as if my abdomen is floating and not really connected to much. Could this be because of all the fluid and swelling??

Yesterday the last drain came out and that sure...

Yesterday the last drain came out and that sure was liberating! I came home from my doc's office, showered then met a friend for lunch. It was fun to get out a bit, but I was tuckered out the rest of the afternoon. I went into the office for a little while this morning, then got a much-needed pedicure (since I can't reach my toes). Now I'm back home for the rest of the day. My doc says she wants me laying flat as much as possible. Here is a 2 wk post op pic. I am very swollen, but can see what is to eventually come out of this. So far, I am very happy with my results and the way the recovery has gone. :)

Hmm...a word about food, gas and the bathroom: I...

Hmm...a word about food, gas and the bathroom: I have this feeling that my eating habits are going to have to change. Instead of eating three squares a day, I'm considering 6 small meals because too much food at once seems to make my tummy area feel stretched, hard, and generally uncomfortable. Anyone had this sensation??? And gas...whoa! Gross I know, but I need some confirmation that this is what's really going on. When the gas comes out, my lower ab region feels relief like never before.

Yesterday I think I just ate too much (one of those pre-period eating days) and by the end of the day I felt like I was going to split wide open. I made myself a Senna tea and got into bed by 7pm, barely moved from then until this morning. After coffee this morning the Senna tea kicked in and I am amazed at how much better I feel. Though I have been going to the bathroom regularly, apparently I was not going enough and the tea cleared up that problem.

I am only taking one Vicodin before bed just so I can get some sleep and not have the minimal discomfort I am feeling potentially compromise my rest. I also take a benedryl for the itching under this garment. Once I am cleared to take Advil (3wks po) I will ditch the Vicodin because I don't like the vivid dreams (though one dream I had after watching Californication wasn't half so bad).

Today I am going to try my new eating strategy and am curious as to how I will feel by 6pm.

I've gotta say thanks again to everyone for being so frank in their blogs because reading your experiences has helped me deal with this process.

I did okay with the little meal thing yesterday. I...

I did okay with the little meal thing yesterday. I do feel pretty puffy, but I have a feeling that Chinese food may be the culprit.

I wish the swelling would go down faster. I cannot fit into any of my jeans and my tummy is not "flat." Honestly, I look kind of like I have a baby bump. When will it go away?????

2 1/2 weeks po: The swelling goes down each day,...

2 1/2 weeks po: The swelling goes down each day, which is a light at the end of the tunnel for me. Eating small meals really helps with the tight feeling, a sensation that there is a bungee cord hooked from under my breasts down to my groin. I am trying to avoid that creepy feeling as much as possible!

I am down 10 pounds from my pre-op weight. I have NO desire to exercise because everything feels so tight and sore. Strangely, my arms and legs are sore--like lactic acid sore, probably because I am using them more instead of my core to move around. I feel especially stiff in the morning, but better once I move around a bit. Sometimes I wake in the middle of the night and stretch my arms and legs a bit.

A word about wound closure: I think it's important to ask your doc how he/she closes your wound. While your incision can be closed quickly with staples, those scars have a higher incidence of complications (keloids, "train track" scar, etc...). All plastic surgeons are trained to do complex wound closure with stitches, but some just don't want to take the time. I would be willing to pay extra for attention to detail in this area.

Adding 3wk po pics...Still VERY swollen, tight...

Adding 3wk po pics...Still VERY swollen, tight feeling. These symptoms increase during the day and by 8pm I am ready to do nothing but lie flat. Each day gets a little bit better.

I did get a little emotional this morning when I got another accounting job dumped on me that I will not get paid for. That, coupled with the recent loss of my father and news that my grandmother has 6 months to live with trying to take the time to heal was over the top and I cried.

It has hit me how guilty I have felt for spending the money, taking the risk and also taking time away from my family to do this procedure. THEN...I got kind of angry about the intense pressure women these days bear to make a living AND do all the housework, raise kids and stay/feel reasonably attractive. I don't think I should have one shred of guilt for taking care of myself for the first time in 17 years with all the swarm of things I do with others being the primary focus! DAMMIT!!!

Okay so there's the end of my pity party. Off to shower and on with the day.

Great day yesterday! I did a good job balancing...

Great day yesterday! I did a good job balancing things I need to get done with laying flat intermittantly throughout the day. My skin is very sensitive -- the slightest breeze causes goosebumps all over and the feeling in my abdomen is coming back. The numbness has been a good thing because I have not had any incision pain. I still cannot stretch to standing as tall and straight as I could before but I really think that is because of muscle spasms. They come and go in little areas all over my abdomen and just like any other cramps, my body protects that area by not moving. I called my doc about this because it got a little concerning to me and they said this is normal and that the doc might give me a rx for muscle relaxants next week.

4 weeks PO: Things are still getting better each...

4 weeks PO: Things are still getting better each day, though it seems the speed of healing is slower. Most of the bruising and soreness is gone and there are just a few little scabs left on my incision. I am wearing Epi-Derm silicone strips for scar therapy. My doc sold them to me for $80, but I ordered another set online directly from the company for $53. My energy level is great and I am starting to feel like I would like to exercise again, but the muscle spasms in my ab region would make that virtually impossible. I look like I am in pain when I try to walk about, but I am not. The spasms just make me immobile! I am going to ask for a relaxant when i go to my post-op today. I am taking breaks from the compression garment, which makes me feel human again! I can hardly believe it when I put on my cute shorts and jeans and there is no blob flopping over! Yay! I have also tried on my bikinis. The scar rides pretty high on the sides, which gave me an anterior thigh lift, but will stick out from my bottoms because I wear them straight across. This does not bother me in the least because the scar is so thin and will fade out in time and will be no worse than the stretch marks that were there before. I love my happy b-button! Though still swollen, I can imagine the final result, which is very exciting!

Went to my 1 month post op today. Doc says I am...

Went to my 1 month post op today. Doc says I am more swollen than she expected at this point and to lay flat as much as possible, keep the compression garment on and ice. There is a little "dog ear" on my left side that she says will flatten out within a year. Otherwise, everything looks great and I go back to see her in a month. She said if my compression garment doesn't feel extra extra extra tight, I should order an XS, but I'll tell y'all...I hate this thing so much the last thing I'm gonna do is spend another $185 on one! I'm burning it when I'm done with it!!! She gave me an rx for Flexeril so I'm looking forward to a break from the spasms. Happy 4th weekend every(hot)body!

5 weeks PO. Well, Y'all...the swelling is...

5 weeks PO. Well, Y'all...the swelling is definately getting better and I think I found a magic trick that helped me. I have a little massage ball that vibrates (cough cough...) and put it on my tummy for about 20 minutes last night. It must have worked on the swelling because I looked so much better this morning! I have spent the day out of my Boa Constrictor and it's been great! I finally got out to get my hair done and when my hairdresser put his hand on my waist I realized there was no gushy blob there...just a smooth waist and boy did that feel awesome! My scar is a shocker for people who know me, but they can't deny that hourglass looks better than the mono-flop that was there before. One more week of taking it easy and then I can slowly get back into a workout routine. I never thought I would miss working out, but honestly I do.

6 weeks post op: The swelling keeps getting...

6 weeks post op: The swelling keeps getting better bit by little bit. I have little "dog ears" on each side of my hips that I think will need to be revised. They look like nipples! Ewww! Since they stick up above my bikini I'm going to keep them covered with some kind of tape for the summer. My energy levels are back to normal. I'm still tender and numb in areas, but knowing this is normal makes me not worried. I definately don't feel like eating as much as I did before, mainly because it makes my belly feel too tight. I'm down 10 pounds from my pre-surgery weight, which is good. Hopefully I can take off another 5 and that's it for weight loss. I'm not trying too hard -- it seems to just be disappearing on its own. I'm back to my walking and hula hooping, but keeping the hoop off my belly and working mainly the arms.

I am so glad I did this surgery. It has been a hard recovery and I still don't have the final result, but am better than where I was when I had that flop of skin on my tummy. I am not in smaller clothes, but the clothes I do have finally fit properly. It really is a wonderful feeling to tuck a shirt and sit down without a big blob squishing over the top of my jeans/pants!

I am trying to say goodbye to my compression garment (aka Iron Maiden Boa Constrictor). Last night I tried to sleep without it, but laying on my side was uncomfortable so I think I will need to continue to sleep in it for awile. Oh I do hate that thing!

I would like to say again how reading everyone else's blogs has really helped me through this strange and wonderful journey. Your laughter, tears and candid words have been uplifting in so many ways.

Several gals have asked me about my doc, so I...

Several gals have asked me about my doc, so I wanted to say a bit about her. Dr. Semira Bayati is here in Newport Beach and she has a great, down to earth bedside manner. Along with this, she is decisive and confident. She has been in practice long enough to be experienced, but not so "old" that she's not on the cutting edge (no pun int!). I originally went to see her about my sagging breasts and she talked me out of doing that because I would have to end up with enormous boobs (which are totally no longer in style) or a bad "anchor" scar. She suggested the tummy tuck and I am so glad I did this procedure instead of a reduction/implants. I am actually very happy with my boobs now! I appreciated her honesty, as some docs will try to talk you into multiple procedures. I wanted to have a female surgeon because I felt like a woman would have a better understanding about the problem I was having and how to fix it. And finally, my husband is also a PS, has operated with her and has seen first hand what a fine surgeon she is. She has an excellent reputation in the medical community, which is important. She's easy to find on the internet if anyone is interested.

I'm taking my new tummy for a spin on Waikiki for...

I'm taking my new tummy for a spin on Waikiki for the next week! Aloha!
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You look great! who did your surgery?
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You are hilarious! I found your log very helpful! I have already met with a surgeon and plan on scheduling for September. I'm supposed to go to Vegas around Thanksgiving for my husbands bday so I was worried about the total recovery time. Thank you for taking the time to chronical this journey! I also have two kids and my muscles never came back after the surgery - so here I go!!!
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Squishy, LOVE the name. to funny. You guys really do help..
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You look amazing!!!!!! Whoever your doc was did an AWESOME
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Orillia, it seems very similar to my own story. Nice to hear from someone else's perspective. I'm a Catholic Christian woman and have been working as a registered nurse till switching over my career to a case manager. I have always worked very close to the patients and believe that God is the one to decides the best for us. But now after having 3 kids myself my younger sister is really pushing me to get the TT but I'm feeling so reluctant. What if I end up upsetting God. And then recently I saw some devastating results for which I feel extremely sorry and worried that what if that happens to me. Anyways, thanks a lot for your input. I highly appreciate it.
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Ashley, do not have a TT unless YOU want it!! If you do it because someone else is pushing you to get it, you will most likely not be happy with the results. If you really want to have one, then go for it! You will not upset God if you get a TT. There is nothing wrong with wanting to look & feel good about yourself. I agree with Orilia's sister "God made plastic surgeons!"

Don't worry about those devestating results stories. I also looked at them & freaked out, but that is very rare & usually those results were from picking the wrong doctor or being a smoker. Be sure to do your research & find a Board Certified PS that has years of experience, good results & that you feel comfortable with. Good luck!!
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I am 4 1/2 months out. At 6 weeks I went to Jamaica in a one piece bathing suit and no one noticed. I was working in winter back t home and no one noticed. Now it is summer here in Ontario and in summer clothes no one has noticed. The only ones are my kids who knew what I was up to. I waited 4-5 years to do this and it was for my own reasons, to look better in clothes.i should have done it sooner. I don't know what you asked about church (couldn't find the link). I worried weather God would approve because we are supposed to be happy with who we are because He made us. My sister is a Christian too and her reply... He wouldn't have "made" plastic surgeons if we weren't to use them. Sounded good to me and my sister was my biggest encouragement and cared for me the first 10 days. Very nice.
Hope I haven't been out of line.
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You look AMAZING! I am so happy for you. I have a quick question if you dont mind. You mentioned your "upbringing" well I do go to church weekly but my Tummy Tuck is a very personal thing. HOW LONG in you case. were you able to go out in public with out LOOKING like you just had surgery? I'm just wondering how long I will NOT feel like going to church, I dont want to be a conversation piece.... Will I LOOK normal in 2 weeks. It will be winter for me so I do have that wearing a jacket or whatever...
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Wow...that's a good question. I chuckled at first at my answer thinking, "You're totally fine to go to church as long as you aren't wearing a bikini!" Hee! Hee! But seriously, I know how you feel about not wanting to be part of anyone's whisperings. That's no fun! I was quiet about my surgery too and didn't want certain "friends" over here gawking at my scar like I was in a sideshow. You are going to be hunched over and walking like a 100 year-old lady for at least the first 2-3 weeks. depending on how extensive your surgery is. Good luck!
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Umm ok NO Bikini GOT IT. lol No I am a very modest person so no worries on that one:) I actually do have some photos posted. EEK!! I am actual 5'4" 126 lbs. I an at my thinnest and I eat healthy 98% of the time. I do exersice and am extreamly active (a bit hyper according to my husband) but need to work on cardio. MY last baby is now 16. I am 43.. (ouch that was painful to say) Consult is August 16th.. I am assuming a full tummy tuck (not extended) no lipo. a Breast lift and possible implants (still debating that one. I just want things put back where they belong! I had a C section and was home in 2 day with the baby and 2 little ones 6 and 3... But again that was 18 years ago. Well anyway sorry to ramble on.. I am just greatful to have someone to talk to about it.
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Tirby If you think saying 43 hurt, I am 61!! 5'7" at 163 now 153 so if no one noticed me then they won't notice you. I had 5 kids but the weight was around my middle. I did a little lipo on my flank area because if you're under you may as well if you need it.
I was not prepared for the aftershock!! My best advice: use your pain meds as ordered and rest that first week. I think I tried to do too much and ended up with a seroma. I am glad I did it and so will you be.
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They are silicone sheets that help with healing and scaring! Alot of people give GREAT reviews for them. I use them for my chest every night. I am older and use them for chest wrinkles and I have a chest of a 35 year old. NO winkles, which I had a lot of because when I was overweight and slept on my side a lot it created a lot of wrinkles and then when I lost the 106 pounds even more wrinkles come now I really have ZERO wrinkles on my chest just from using the Silicone Sheets~ now I want to order some in just the size of the breast to help the up scars I know I will have~ If you have any scars you that are having a hard time healing you might want to check it out instead of using cream. Just a thought!
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You only look 35!
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Ah we could be friends for life!! lol Thank you you have made my day!!!!
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What are scar sheets? I am 4 1/2 months out. Anyone else? I still feel tight below the belly button. Does this become soft again? It still hurts there to reach and bend over.
Thanks ladies!
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EpiDerm silicone sheets. You can order them online directly from the company and they are helpful for new and already formed scars.
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You look Great thank you for sharing your journey I love your pic~ Thanks for telling where to get the scar sheets I was just going to order them and pay alot more than that! How are you doing standing and walking a rounding on a everyday bases?
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Thanks! :D I'm 6 1/2 weeks out and about 75% as far as mobility. I'm tender in my hips and back where she did lipo. Still could not imagine being able to do a yoga class because it's so tight. It works better to have small meals throughout the day so I don't get too full and tighter in the tummy. My energy level is back to normal now.
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I have just started my search for tummy tuck in orange county area. I am impressed with your results. Please guide me how to proceed. How long does is take for her appointment, Is she very approachable or too busy?
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No, she does not do sinus surgery. Dr. Tim Kelley is a good sinus surgeon in Newport Beach.
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Hey girly, you look awesome, and TAN, Im super jellin. I need to tan my white ars, its kinda scary ;P We had our surgeries around the same time, Ill be 6wks post op on monday and I feel freakin great. I am back to hitting the gym again and nothing hurts, SO FAR hahaha. Well jus wanted to tell you how awesome you look, and your tummy is sooo flat! owwww sexy mama!
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Your pics are great, too! I have LOVED following your hilarious blog! You should be a writer.
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Wow, your looking GREAT!! :-)
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Thanks NewB! How's it goin?
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