It has been so very long…

There’s nothing like being overwhelmed with busy to make me really want to… you know…  sit down and write a random blog that serves no other purpose than procrastination!  Believe me, I am up on ALL your facebook shenanigans!

Since I came here last, I became blonde and a fashion designer.  Yes, really.  I can obviously say that the former has caused a direct link to approximately 83% more fun.  It probably led to the latter.  The latter is the most fun and challenging thing I have ever done besides making babies.  I have jokingly called this business my third baby, and that is not far from the truth.

Right now I’m preparing to leave for Las Vegas for the international apparel expo known as Magic happening the week after Valentine’s.  I’m over the moon about it, am having a hard time sleeping, and am in extreme manifest mode.  Except for right this very minute!  That bit about being overwhelmed… it’s no joke.  My to do list:

• Finish hang tags for garments
• Finish labels for (inside of) garments
• Fix up website (lord help me)
• Have a photoshoot
• Create a lookbook from said photos
• Tighten up all patterns
• Await fabric arrival, then cut!
• Deliver cut patterns with instructions to manufacturer by 2/5/13 (this task is so huge it hurts a little)
• Create a line sheet for potential buyers (like, illustrations of clothing, woof)
• Create a banner and brochure for the show

Is that everything?  It can’t possibly even be!

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This time last year.

This time last year. This moment last year. You didn’t know it, but you were nearing my grasp for a first kiss. Everyone around was endeavoring towards this end. There were probably around a dozen of us, mostly strangers. What a momentous moment to feel you pulled from my body. An internal invasion sans pain via amazing medical technology. (Bless you, epidural)! I felt your tiny body leave mine. A familiar weight extracted, innards spilled and replaced! And then… there you were: screaming and waxy and yanked around a bright cold room in the late, late evening. They whisked you to your bewildered sweet daddy and next, he over to me for a swift, sleepy-mama kiss… and away again for a (terrible but necessary!) bath with your father and hospital entourage. Wheeled away to the never-never purgatory lounge for “recovery”, I wondered when we would meet again. Our beloved midwife madam Leonora Colen held court with me, held my hand, tethered me to the odd mortal world I felt so disconnected from. Finally informed that it would be a few hours until our next meeting, I slept. When I awoke in the middle of the night, in a new room, a new gown, a new bed, you came to me in the care of yet another new person. A nurse wheeled your strange plastic cradle near the bed and at length placed you in my grasp. You ate for the first time at my breast- exhausted, so fresh, so tired. Me too. And how you spoke! You cooed and gulped all at once with that itty-bitty so-full mouth! I’ll never love another boy the same. You’re my delight, tiny Ancel Fox. So happy you came into my life a mere 365 days ago and so happy to be discovering your personality every new day.

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Easter in January.

Today I was cleaning out some of Colette’s old toys.  Here was our conversation:

Colette: Mama!  What’s this?

Mama: Well let’s see… that is half of an Easter egg.

Colette: A Measter egg?

Mama: No, it’s from Easter.  Easter is a holiday.  A special day like Christmas or Thanksgiving or your birthday.

Colette: OooooOOOOoooh.

Mama: On Easter we can paint eggs and that the Easter bunny hides for you.

Colette: And I’m gonna find a CHOCOLATE egg!!!

(Yeah, acted like you forgot, kid!!)

Colette: Um, what’s the Easter bunny’s name?

Mama: I think it’s just the Easter bunny.

Colette: I’m gonna name her Chocolate Chip!  We’re going to paint eggs together for Easter!

Mama: You’ve got a while to wait.  Easter is a long ways off.

Colette: (clearly a tad verklempt) Wha… when is it?

Mama: Uh… March?  Maybe April?

I’ve officially lost all brain power.  I don’t even know when the hell Easter is anymore.

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I’m 9 months pregnant.  Take a look at this bellybutton and see what you think it looks like. 

Think of it as a Rorschach test.  What do you see? 

A cat?

A cat’s behind?  This one speaks to me.  I think this is it, don’t you?

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Run To Hear

Run to Hear is a benefit for deaf kids who cannot afford cochlear implants.  And ya know what?  It was organized by my fantastic younger sister (who also happens to be deaf) and some of her deaf friends.  Talk about some teenagers with motivation!  All I cared about at that age was who I was going to hang out with on the weekend!!  I am so proud of that girl.  Please feel free to share this information far and wide.


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In today’s random issue, the 40 wipe dookie, a forced competition, and pancreatic strife.

Today started with the alarm going off an accidental hour earlier than necessary. Did I go back to sleep? Naw. That woulda been sissy! Next stop was a three hour glucose test at the birthing center. Do you have gestational diabetes? Let’s find out by starving you, making you drink syrup that tastes like a horrid children’s vitamin and then drawing your blood 4 times. Mwah ha ha ha ha haaaaaa! Next on the agenda, you must bid on a house right this minute and compete with an unknown number. It better be a good one! Now… go find money! Quick like bunny! Time to pick up the girl from school! Did she pee pee before leaving the premises? Are ya kiddin me? That would be much too easy. Nothin like a damp carseat on a hot day. Mmmmm! But wait… there’s more! Let’s get to the park and have a very public doo doo. All. Over. Everything. Good thing I left the wipes at home. (Thank you, kind acquaintance for the timely rescue). Ok, day, you have a few hours to redeem yourself. Watcha got! Show me watchyer workin’ with!!!

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Simple Pleasures, #24

You know what I’m enjoying lately?  Getting my butt out in the yard!  You can probably imagine the sideways look I gave to Colby when he came running into the house a few days ago with a triumphant face proclaiming his victory about being allowed to put vegetable beds in our neighbors’ yards.  Yes, um, that’s great, but what about our yard?   How’s about we go ahead and fix it up before delving into gussy-up projects on other peoples’ property?  (Just a thought.)  I understand the rhetoric; don’t get me wrong.  We have very little sunlight in our yards (front & back) and can’t grow food-stuffs.  It’s time to plant, and that time, it is a-wastin’.  I totally get it.  But really, now.  Our yard needs some help, and it would seem to take priority in my little ole humble opinion.  

When I say our yard, by the way, I’m really only talking about most of our front yard- the part I can manage myself that excludes the giant tool trailer that has been parked in the driveway for the last two years.  (I have no say except a useless nag from time to time that falls on deaf or maybe just selective-hearing ears).  The back yard, on the other hand, is a sad and hopeless wasteland in which I have zero jurisdiction.  It’s like the apocalypse back there.  Oh, the back yard… its fence line flanked with cruddy hack-berry trees and limping chain-link, minefields of dog crap, uneven terrain, rotting construction materials, fallow gas tanks and toilets, all alongside forgotten remnants of the time when we almost had it landscaped…  I have given up on ever using that atrocity, that pathetic excuse for a back yard.  Sure, it’d be nice to have a place where the girl could run around, climb things, play with balls or maybe even a slide, but alas… every time I open the back door the theme from Sanford and Son starts playing!

And so it is that my attention is turned to our front yard and the parts that I can actually access.  I’ve begun my clean-up of all the winter leaves that fell, and started to notice a few verdant bits here and there that are making their come-back.  Colby decided he wanted a couple of small, raised beds installed and actually made a the boxes already!  Grand!  (The giant planter boxes in our next-door neighbor’s yard are also ready for dirt. And I’m sure the ones across the street are next…)  I do have to admit that Colby came up with a good schedule for getting his garden work done.  There’s about an hour each evening when I need the kitchen cleared of toddlerness to make dinner, and that is a really pleasant time to be outside.  He’s been taking Colette out with him to “help” make the garden boxes.  Everyone on the street loves that kid to pieces, so she’s having a blast being outdoors, visiting, finding worms, getting dirty, and perhaps even learning a thing or two about nature (as much as one can within the city limits).  

I’ve been getting to the front yard as much as I can… a half hour here, 40 minutes there… and it’s starting to look a tad more organized!  Leaves are disappearing, mulch can now be seen with cast iron and purple heart tenaciously asserting their top-dog positions in the beds.  Seriously, those plants are incredibly hearty and just don’t give a crap if it’s 2 degrees or 200 degrees outside.  Soon I’ll have a little photo montage for you people to show the progress!  The back yard may never have any sort of real attention paid to it as long as we’re in this house.  I concede already!  But the front… it shall be beautiful once again!

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The conversationalist

I know I put something about this in my Facebook status update earlier, but I can’t stand for it to just fall by the wayside the next time I put up some frivolous statement.  No, people, I cannot allow this fantastic morsel to go to waste, gone with the wind like so much cyber trash!  Today something special happened: I met a real, live, Golden Girl!  No, it wasn’t anyone that has ever worked with Bea Arthur (that I know of), but let me just say that I can only hope to one day achieve such geriatric greatness.  

I don’t often shop at the Sun Harvest over off Shoal Creek and Anderson Lane, but I do get there in times of need.  Like, when I have a social call, wait, sorry, like when Colette has a social call down the street in 45 minutes and I am positive that we aren’t going to come to any sort of agreement about going shopping afterwards.  There is an order to things, and I know my place: Don’t buck the toddler system.  Or, you know, do, and suffer some impressively mighty wrath.  Whatever, it’s your funeral.  I hope you have a popsicle stash in a freezer in your purse.

So it was that we found ourselves in the check out line at Sun Harvest near our social hour locale this afternoon.  Everyone loves to talk to Colette, and she gets special attention in this store given its proximity to the Ben Hur Shrine.  

*** Note: The very young and the very old are aligned against the rest of the population in ways you cannot even begin to fathom (unless you yourself are on a live-in basis with someone that belongs in one of those categories).  My own contiguous vicinity to the very young allows me a view into just how close an alliance these two crews have.  You, the parent, are a picker, a wiper, and a putter-to-bedder.  They, the grandparents (for example), are the givers of all manner of forbidden treats, put-on-ers of needless band-aids, letters of movie-watching, and coddlers of every last fake cry. ***

But back to the Ben Hur Shrine…  You know, that old folks’ club where a bunch o’ cotton-heads who like to dress up in fezzes and sequins doin’ their weird geezer carnival thing in the name of children’s charity hang out?  Oh man, Shriners.  My grandparents were into that stuff.  (OBviously I never stood a chance at normalcy.)  In any case, what this means in terms of the Sun Harvest demographic is a slant towards the silver fox.  And people, I love me some old folks.  I actually gave a 40-something year-old man grief once for taking the handicapped spot in front of the store one time.  ”Excuse me?  Sir?  Did you realize you’re parked in a handicapped parking space?”  (I mean, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.)  When he gestured towards the hangy-thing on the rearview mirror with an eat-shit-lady look, I gave him the once over eyeball and mentioned how not handicapped he appeared.  Whoops.  I probably needed a good claw-sharpening for some other reason that day.  Ahem…

Takes me like eight years to tell a story, huh?  So back to the elderly encounter at Sun Harvest…  Behind us in line today was a particularly sassy gramma type.  She’s fit, she’s got modernish styled hair, she’s wearing bright red (is there any better hue suited for such types??), and she and Colette have found love at first sight.  As they’re chatting away, she suddenly stops, sidles up to me, tips her head up, and with the sneaky sideways sorta look down towards my belly says, “Pregnant again, eh?”  I start giggling, because she’s giving the impression that it’s kind of a naughty predicament.  She keeps talking, eyes widening, “Ya know, I had four in seven years.”  Now she’s telling the story like it’s the history of a haunted house.  (Like I might ought to be freaked out about whatever the hell it is that I am getting myself into with this whole multiple children thing I’ve got brewing.)  She keeps going, “I finally figured out what was causing it.”  She’s so dry about the whole punch-line, and I’m dyyyyying in line trying to keep it together.  I told her not to give away the secret, I like to find these kinda things out for myself.  Then I let her go ahead of my full basket since all she had was a loaf of onion bread.  

As soon as she was gone, I could not resist texting this information to some select folks and slapping it up on the Facebook in said status update via smarter-than-me phone.  My dad’s response: “She’s a slow learner.”  Hahaha!  Oh, Golden Girl of the grocery store, you have stolen my heart!!!

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Efficiency and its effects upon personal standards

Sometimes, in the interest of time, you just have to let things go.  If there’s one thing that skeeves me out it’s food or drink of any sort in the restroom.  Not havin’ it.  I even hate to bring a drink with a lid into the potty with me.  And you will never catch me eating in there.  Never.  (I just threw up a little on my keyboard!)  So you know that when I say Colette was allowed to go ahead and eat her bowl of oatmeal in my shower today that we were in a hurry.  There was no way around it, y’all.  We even have a house rule of no food past the front of area of the house.  Our teensy abode (950 sf, thanks), is comprised of a kitchen/dining room/ living area/ office in the front part separated somewhat by a small hallway off of which are the bathroom and 2 bedrooms.  No food needs to go down that hall, in my opinion, ever.  Now, there are a few drink exceptions.  Like, a milk bottle can be brought to bed.  A glass of water can sit on my night stand.  And you know there is the occasional cracker that gets carried down the hallway (more like crushed in the vice grip of chubby toddler paw as she flees, evading parental interruption, squealing about baby seals or something and then crashes into a miniature grocery cart, bounces onto the bed, and, hey, whaddya know, that cracker is strewn from here to kingdom come.)  But oatmeal in the bathroom is just never going to happen on my watch.  Until it does.  Dude, you try getting her lunch made, her bag packed, some laundry/ dishes going, taking a shower, both of yourselves fed and dressed, your teeth brushed… in an hour.  Or less, depending on if she slept in (which I will never complain about.)  So every now and again, you compromise your staunch beliefs that, say, food ingestion and food excretion should happen in separate domains of the home…  But believe me when I say this: This shall not be a regular habit!  But it was pretty hilarious.  Oatmeal in the shower: I don’t really recommend it, but at least it cleans up pretty easy…

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Simple Pleasures, #23

I want to preface this post with a redefining of our relationship, Internet, as it pertains to these “Simple Pleasures” blogs.  I said I’d do this once a week.  I’m clearly incapable of that simple task.  It’s not you, it’s me.  Seriously.  But I still like you, and if you’ll still have me, well, it’s gonna be on my time.  Okay?  I promise only one thing:  I’ll blog whenever the heck I feel like it and without any regularity whatsoever.  Whew.  Much better…  In fact, I feel so liberated without all those pesky relationship boundaries!  Hug?

Okay, back to your regularly scheduled (or, irregularly scheduled as it were), blog…

I try really really really hard not to write every single blog about my kid.  But you know what?  She’s hilarious.  And I am that parent.  Today I want to tell you about how much I enjoy it when she comes home with new phrases.  Seriously, it cracks me up.  Colby and I look at each other bewildered, amused, and wonder who she keeps hearing these things from.  There are a number of sources.  Grandparents, other kids, teachers… so who knows.  All I know for sure is that she now gets excited about something and says, “Oh boy!  Oh boy!” or “Oh yeah!  Oh yeah!”  And let me tell you that this may not sound like anything much to you.  But when you don’t generally run around yourself saying “Oh boy!” about anything, much less a sliced pickle, it can really be pretty entertaining to watch a not-yet-two-year-old running around declaring such.  Said kid is probably also only deigning to don socks at that moment.  MAYBE a diaper.  Maybe just a hat…

Some of her new phrases can get be tedious.  I mean, there’s the “I don’t want it!!!!!” and the obligatory “MINE!” that I have certainly never ever ever taught her to say.  Sigh.  It’s part of having a toddler, I suppose.  But for the most part, it’s comedy.  I was changing her diaper a few weeks ago, when she lifted up her arms and said, “STREEEEEETCH!  Stretch, mama!”  Um, well, okay, stretch!  I’m glad they’re teaching you some sort of exercise or yoga at school.  Another favorite game comes from school.  It’s called “I roll it”.  I know for a fact that each kiddo has a “mat” that they have to roll up after their nap time when they’re done sleeping on it.  So now, anything can be rolled.  The bath mat, the place mats, the tortilla, the napkin… “I roll it!  I roll it!  I roll it, mama!”  Yes, baby, good, you roll it.  Woe be to the intervener of such games.  ”Colette, it’s time to get in the bath, we can roll the mat later”.  Woe, I say.  Do.  Not.  Interfere.  

In any case, it’s just eye-rollingly adorable when she’s excited about something that would otherwise seem so mundane.  And giggle-inducing when she starts in with the expressions that are new to the vocabulary.  ”Oooooh, mama, that’s coooool!”  From a toddler.  Because they know what cool is.  Mittens, apparently, and baby animal stickers as well.  Now you know.  ”Oh Boy!!!”

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Simple Pleasures, #22

You guys.  Run, don’t walk to the nearest healthy store place and buy a pint of Luna and Larry’s Coconut Bliss ice cream!  You will thank me.  That is, if you like coconut.  And also not having to worry about gorging on something sweet.  A few evenings ago, Colby strutted in the front door with a pint of it in dark chocolate format.  People, it’s sweetened with agave nectar!  Know what that means?  This sugar-restricted prego can have as much of it as she desires!  Low glycemic index is what I’m talkin’ about.  No spike in the blood sugar no matter how much you stuff down your gullet.  And I always wondered how Colby could eat an entire pint of ice cream in one sitting.  I wonder no more.  I guess I thought that ice cream made from coconut milk would be… well… icy or just not that great or something.  It turns out that even if my sweet-tooth wasn’t on lockdown I would be hard pressed to tear myself away.  It’s creamier than most actual ice cream.  Bluebell, as a matter of fact, can go to hell!  (Never liked ‘em anyways).  Oh.  I have really been having to slap my own hands away from this stuff.  Scrumptious, I tell you!  All organic?  Fair trade to boot?


New boyfriend:

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Simple Pleasures, #21

I probably need to get back to writing some of these posts a little more regularly.  It makes me feel good about the world.  Today I want to write a little something about Wheatsville Co-op.  I adore this place.  I recently discovered that if I shop there, I don’t have to worry about so many danged choices.  It’s kind of like going to the biggest European grocery stores… except that it feels tiny here (because it is).  Less choice might translate to some as poor selection.  To me, it comes across as relaxation.  This is especially because the items carried are what I have to hunt and peck for at the other mega-stores like HEB anyways.  This way, the sorting is done for me!  I don’t have to wonder if I’ll find Japanese short grain brown rice or organic dried mango (both available in the bulk item section, thank you very much!) because I know I’m gonna find exactly those things there.  I was concerned that Wheatsville would be more expensive than HEB.  Turns out that they’re even cheaper most of the time if I’m doing a comparative cost analysis of the crud I normally buy.  That is, it’s within or under the weekly budget when we’re not in desperate need of everything at home.  I mean, there are times when it’s going to be an expensive week simply because we’ve eaten all of our reserves and the cabinets are starting to fill up with cobwebs.  Regular weekly grocery runs tell me that Wheatsville’s got a competitive edge over everyone else, and I was pleasantly surprised to find this out.  Don’t get me wrong, you can’t find everything there… (Apparently hippies- and food-conscious folks like myself- don’t need BATTERIES because we can make them ourselves out of apples).  That part is a tad annoying.  Otherwise, they boast better products than, say, Sun Harvest, way cheaper crud than Whole Foods (or, as I like to say, Whole Paycheck), and certainly better prices (albeit marginally so) than HEB where I need a map to find diapers.  Seriously, I do not need 48 different brands of toothpaste, y’all.  Thanks.  So thank you, Wheatsville.  Thank you for carrying more organic products than conventional, more whole-grain products than not, friendly interesting staff, and especially thank you for not robbing me blind.  (Although your diapers really are way more expensive than they are at HEB, like by 20%.  I mean, c’mon.)  I should totally advertise for them, huh??!!

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Life’s injustices! Post #3

This be but a short post.  I just wanted to quote my dear, lovely, and so very astute friend Miss J. Hollis.  She once said, “It’s like some sort of sick joke that you can have wrinkles and zits at the same time.”  Well put, ma’am.  Well put.

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Nicole Labry Design! You know you love it!!

Now, go love me on the Facebooks.  Or, “like”, as it were.  Right here: CLICK!  I’ve decided I’d like to take on whatever projects I can before the tiny mister gets here in June, so I’m doing something that I have never before chosen to partake in… a bit of an ad campaign.  I’m not great at the whole selling myself bit, so puhleez don’t make me do this more than once!  Tell all your friends and relatives that the very best graphic design is totally right at your fingertips!  Yay!  And here’s a link to my website as well, just ‘cause.  You might find mostly overlapping material there as far as the design goes, but you’ll also find a little about section and a calling card.  Hooray!  C’mon.  One lil click and I feel like I have… fans!  Do eet!

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Life’s injustices! Post #2

I’d like to tell you some more about the wacky crap children do to you.  Today’s post is all about what happens in the wee-est hours when you are trying desperately not to have to wake up… just yet.  This week was kind of the 7th circle of hell in terms of sleep.  Le child decided that it would be TOTALLY AWESOME to get up at 6:30 every morning.  RUDE!  This is a time frame that just does not work for me and it falls a full hour and a half before her normal eye-opening.  What the crap, MAN!?  Here is our normal ritual:

6:00-ish am: Colby brings Colette to our bed (because he’s getting up at that hour and digs it)

6:00-ish to 7:30 or 8:00 am: Snuggle times for baby n mama before entire day ritual begins.

Sounds great.  But I forgot to mention the details, you see.  When she first gets in there, she needs a little bit to get back to sleep.  It’s like this: if I pretend I’m asleep, she’ll eventually go to sleep and then I do too and it’s all happy time yay.  (Not this week because nothing I did got her to go back down).  So, let me ask you, Internet, if you think you could sleep through any of these WEIRD-ass things she does.  You’re asking yourself, “What’s so weird about cuddling?”  I’ll tell you what.

1) Colette likes to pet me.  Sweet.  (Really).  And she’ll say things like, “Mama, I pet.  Mama.  I pet you, Mama.  Pet.”  She says it all slobbery through her binky, so that’s even cuter, ya know?

2) But I’m lying still, right?  Yes, girl.  Pet away.  Mama is sleeping and soon, if I don’t react, you will be too…  but then a curious little finger is petting my mouth.  And that tickles.  And it’s trying to get in to pet my teeth.  I’m laying there all stiff-lipped but sure enough her finger slips and I’ve got a small slash on my gum from her razor-sharp fingernail.  Pretend-sleep fails now.  Tiny hand removed.  Swiftly.

3) I’m lying very still again.  I even used the shuffle to kill two birds with one stone and adjust my position in the bed so my leg isn’t falling asleep anymore.  Happy.  Cuddle.  Pet…  she’s petting my bangs now.  ”Mama, I touch.  Mama, soft.  Mama…”  And now I’m trying not to twitch because she’s moved down and is petting my EYE.  What’s soft now?  My eyelashes!  That she’s trying to pull out of my face all of a sudden!!!  You’re on to me, aren’t you, kid?  You KNOW I’m not sleeping.  Tiny hand extraction, this time more gently.  You know, to encourage sleep still.

4) I have to pee like crazy.  I am full to the brim, but if she doesn’t fall back asleep right this instant, we’ll both be up and we’ll be beating the sun to the punch.  Which totally, totally sucks.  I lie still, in pain, hoping I can at least wait this out and when she’s asleep I’ll sneak off, find sweet relief, and sink back into my dreams about traveling to strange and far off places… here, kid: pet my elbow ‘cause I’m rolled over now.  What in the world could she possibly find on my elbow to bother?  How about maybe one of those infinitesimal cracks to stick that (as said) SHARP claws into?  SERIOUSLY!?  How did you come up with that???  Your brain is CRAZY, child!  CRAZY!  OWWWW!  


Oh wait…

She’s asleep!

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