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My Very Own Cocktail

Updated at the bottom:

Let’s see if I can write this without crying.

I don’t write a lot about my siblings…actually, I don’t write at all about my siblings because they’ve asked me not to blog about them. Therefore, you have no idea what sort of incredible, wonderful, brilliant siblings I have. I have been cleared to tell a single story that came up during Thanksgiving and in order to do so, need to create a blogging name for each. I was running through possibilities last night–plugging their names into the ever popular Get A Chinese Name? Professor Poopypant’s Name Change-o-Chart? Randomly thumbing through the Best Scottish Baby Names book and pulling out Ealusaid and Cainneach?

Apparently what I believed to be the perfect names were my last thought before sleep and I found them scrawled across a post-it note next to my bed–Hansel and Gretel.

Things always seem more brilliant at 1 a.m. But since the story is more important than the name, they will henceforth be known as Hansel and Gretel even though neither is German, plump with candy from a gingerbread house, or itching to push a witch into the oven. Just know that these names made perfect sense in my head last night before drifting off.

At Thanksgiving, Hansel and Gretel sat down at the dessert table across from me. Gretel sort of stared up at the ceiling for a moment and addressed her comment towards the light fixture. “Hansel and I were thinking that a Virtual Lushary should have a very real drink–you know, for the bartender and all of the regulars. So we worked with a mixologist at Van Gogh Vodka to create two custom cocktails for the Lushary.”

She passed two certificates across the table complete with recipe as well as several bottles of flavoured vodka. It took me a long time to process exactly what she meant (not just because I’m a bit dimmer than my siblings but because I was really overwhelmed), but what she meant was that Hansel and Gretel had been conversing back and forth via email with a mixologist at the vodka company to create two customized drinks that summed up the Virtual Lushary as well as myself. The first is the Cafe Conception and this is the only place where this recipe exists (and I know because I’ve been googling it):

Cafe Conception
the signature drink at the Virtual Lushary to ensure good luck in all treatment and adoption endeavours

1.5 oz Van Gogh Espresso Vodka
1 oz Chambord
1 oz Cream

Having a signature drink for the Lushary (I’ll save the other recipe for next time–but I’ll take guesses as to the key ingredient) makes it feel like a real place. Having my siblings (and the kind mixologist at the premium vodka company) create this drink for us touches me beyond belief. I, of course, responded to their gesture with immediate tears along with more sniffles once we were home and I repeated the story to others.

So, though you don’t know what they look like or their real names, I have figuratively placed their portraits on the wall behind the bar and I am forging them two tankards with Hansel and Gretel embossed on the side and placing their cups on the shelf with the cups of other regulars. They will always have a seat at the Lushary.

As always, it has been a little more than a month since we met, bitched, cried, comforted, and caught up each other on our cycles and lives. Pull up a seat and I’ll pour you a drink. Let everyone know what is happening in your life. The good, the bad, the ugly. How you made it through Thanksgiving dinner (all the non-Americans are saying, “what Thanksgiving dinner?”) or how you’re dreading Christmas morning. My only request is that if a story catches your eye, you follow it back to the person’s blog and start reading their posts. Give some love, give some support, or laugh with someone until your drink comes out of your nose.

I have a ton of assvice in my back pocket and as a virtual bartender, I will give it to you unless you specifically tell me that this is simply a vent and you do not want to receive anything more than a hug.

So if you have been a lurker for a while, sit down and tell us about yourself. Remember to provide a link or a way for people to continue reading your story (or if you don’t have a blog–gasp!–you can always leave an email address if you’re looking for advice or support. If not, people can leave messages for that person here in the comments section too). If you’re a regular at the bar, I’ll get out your engraved martini glass while you make yourself comfortable. And anyone new, welcome. I’m glad you found this virtual bar.

For those who have no clue what I’m talking about when I say that the bar is open, click here to catch up and then jump into the conversation.

Happy Drinking. But don’t get too drunk because I’m soon going to need you to read through your archives for the 2007 Creme de la Creme list


I think being quoted in the Globe and Mail makes you an honourary Canadian…right? So I sing to you: ‘O Canada. Our home and native land! True patriot love in all thy sons command.

P.S. Now we’re equals, Noah. I think this entitles me to a vote.


1 Jen { 11.26.07 at 10:18 pm }

What nice siblings! I am very impressed. I can’t wait for the next drink!

2 Lori { 11.26.07 at 10:20 pm }

I spent the holiday with my middle sister (Sheri) and her family, drinking a mojito or two.

Last night we did turkey all over again with my youngest sister and her family (Tami). We got an early start on eggnog season.

I’m going to send both my sisters this post as a hint of what other lushy siblings do.

Also, I’m reading The Handmaid’s Tale. I can hardly wait to see what other readers are experiencing.

Cheers to Hansel and Gretel!

3 Jess { 11.26.07 at 10:29 pm }

Cheers to your siblings…I’ll take one!


4 Mary { 11.26.07 at 10:35 pm }

What fabulous siblings you have! Anyone who not only gives you alcohol, but also has drinks created for you must be amazing. Cheers to them!

Ok, so miscarriage number 5 is over. I am feeling more human, but I have yet to cry. (Does that make me a bad person? Like I didn’t love my baby enough?) I am so afraid that if I let myself fall apart I won’t ever be able to pick up the pieces. It probably doesn’t help that no one in my “real life” has even acknowledged our loss. When my mom told my sis her response was “oh, it’s that time of year again.” Like I plan my miscarriages to coincide with the holidays or something! On a happier note, my SIL (DH’s sis) offered to be a surrogate for us if we should need one. Touched my heart she wants us to be parents so much.
So, the good, the bad, the ugly yet to come (always dread the holidays as much as I love them)…I’ll try the new special of the house. It can’t hurt, right?

5 Rebecca { 11.27.07 at 4:53 am }

Pomegranetes! That’s my guess for the ingredient!

6 Rebecca { 11.27.07 at 5:03 am }

And I can’t spell!

And I’m still bitter, nearly 24, and not knocked up. We’ve been trying for 2.5 years, but we don’t get to move on yet. Not for another SIX YEARS. It hurts. Especially when people don’t get it, or tell me I’m ‘only young’. Yeah, I am, but tell me, after 2.5 years how frustrated were you? (not YOU personally, Mel. You know)

Watched a programme last night where two methadone dependent addicts had IVF, had twins, then wondered why their kids got taken away. On what planet is it okay for METHADONE DEPENDENT ADDICSTS who hadn’t even quit heroin to have IVF, but not me? Hmm?

7 Bea { 11.27.07 at 5:29 am }

It’s pretty cool having your own drink – congrats. I think this calls for a drink.


8 Caro { 11.27.07 at 6:04 am }

One of the new drinks please. Things are going well for me at the moment but I’m starting to get nervous about the big scan next week.

9 christina(apronstrings) { 11.27.07 at 6:17 am }

i’m going to pull up a comfortable chair. because i am going to be here forever. waiting. for adoption. to get our donor cycle started.
and the adoption social worker had the audacity to tell me that “adoption is a big decision that you shouldn’t hurry.” what part of it’s been two years does she not understand? and how fvckin paternal is that? of course we haven’t thought about it, we’re just going to drop thousands of dollars and commit to a child for eternity based on a whim.


make it a double.

10 Samantha { 11.27.07 at 7:14 am }

Thanks to Hansel and Gretel for coming up with signature drink. I am definitely in for trying one of those. Given that I’m done cycling (forever?), I can even enjoy one in real life. I guess you could say the place where I am is a crossroads. I could pursue more treatment to induce ovulation, more IVF, donor eggs, adoptions, or nothing. Right now my plan is not to have a plan but to chew over my options. It’s a really rough time for me emotionally. I’m prone to bursts of anger and bursts of tears. Glad to be kicking back at the virtual lushery where everyone understands.

11 loribeth { 11.27.07 at 7:30 am }

Well, how cool is that?? Cheers to Hansel & Gretel, not just for the drink but (especially) for the thoughtfulness behind it. I’d love to try one! And I will probably need a drink to get me through the next few weeks at work… we’re 10 days away from releasing our year-end results & my office is a nuthouse, & will be right on through to our annual meeting in early March. So much for the Christmas spirit. :p

12 Erin { 11.27.07 at 7:45 am }

What an awesome pair of siblings you have there! We cracked a (real) bottle of champagne at our house after finally receiving our referral, almost exactly 3 years after starting TTC again! P had sparkling apple juice and we toasted our new son.

13 BethH6703 { 11.27.07 at 8:05 am }

I am most definitely in for one of them new fancy schmancy drinks! Maybe 2 (or 3, 4, or 5)!

Currently, I suppose I’m scared. Scared the Met isn’t working, that maybe the *almost* diagnosis of PCOS is wrong, scared that the next step will have to be IVF, and scared that we’ll never be able to afford it. And scared that maybe we’ll never get there, that I’ll have to completely rewrite my dream future to not include kids, and TERRIFIED that I’ll never be happy without them…

Aren’t I just a Ray O’ Fuckin Sunshine? Pour me another, please.

14 Sherry { 11.27.07 at 8:33 am }

Wow – shake me up one of those conception cocktails! I’m all for anything with cream and coffee flavored booze!

What a great story about H&G. And to think, not even my husband knows about my blog, let alone my brother.

As for me – Thanksgiving was tough. Both my and DH’s family excel at ignoring things – you know, if we pretend it doesn’t exist, it doesn’t? So we had to slog through yet another holiday pretending to be joyous when we’re really just brokenhearted that there are no children of ours at the dinner table sticking their fingers in the mashed potatoes…

We’re gearing up for another cycle in January, probably our last. Oh yeah – and now that I seem to post only once every 30 days, nobody comments on my blog anymore. boo hoo!

Pour me another!

15 Carla { 11.27.07 at 8:34 am }

Hansel and Gretel rock! I’ll have a Cafe Conception please, and pray that it brings us luck–latest IUI was November 21st, beta is December 5th. Our clinic wants us to move on to IVF if we don’t get a positive this time, but we aren’t financially ready for that yet (insurance covers nothing IF-related). So we are really, really hoping this IUI gets us to those two pink lines next week, and to a actual baby to bring home next year.

16 Shelby { 11.27.07 at 8:37 am }

Your siblings are truly amazing! I can’t wait to try one of these Cafe Conceptions. YUM! However I can tell you that the next time I buy vodka, it will be Van Gogh. What a great company to be willing to do that too!

Things with me are progressing very well. However my blood sugar is out of control. The doc upped my meds on wednesday, but it’s hard to tell if it’s helping yet. For now, I’ll just have a cup of hot tea. Not exactly exciting, but it sure is yummy.

17 Cece { 11.27.07 at 9:05 am }

Shirley Temple for me (as in slap me silly and call me Shirley, I’m pregnant!).

I’m going in for my 3rd beta on Weds – but a had a great rise in numbers from the first to the 2nd. My frist beta was the day before Thanksgiving, and it was 37. Monday (5 days later) it was at 269. My nurse said she would have been happy with 130.

18 Somewhat Ordinary { 11.27.07 at 9:14 am }

Wow, your siblings are awesome for thinking of all of us!! I’m guessing pomegranete vodka is in the other drink. I can’t wait to hear about that one.

19 A.M.S. { 11.27.07 at 9:14 am }

Oh, please pour me one of those Cafe Conceptions! How cool is that? I second the guess that pomegranate is included in the other drink and I can’t wait to try that one.

Scary surgery is behind me and I’m finally able to see why everyone kept talking about how much better the second trimester is. I’ve finally stopped tearfully wondering how I was ever going to make it through this if I had to feel that bad all the time. Now, if I could just convince my fabulous surgeon to switch to general practice so she could be my doctor forever…

20 Tigger { 11.27.07 at 9:23 am }

I’m dreading Christmas this year, more than usual. There is a new great-grandbaby in the family and my MIL is absolutely nutso over her. Watching her with the baby is like being a target dummy in a boxing ring. My mother is convinced she’s not going to survive the cancer this time around, so I’m trying to deal with the idea that she’s NOT going to be around for a long time. And finals are coming up in three weeks.

I’ve been really bad about reading blogs lately, and I haven’t updated mine in the past few weeks either. Too stressed. I’ll take the signature drink please!

21 Ellen K. { 11.27.07 at 9:36 am }

Nice shout-out in the paper!

Mmm, I’ll take one of those cocktails; thanks to your siblings for their libation creation!

Currently I’m juggling freelance work, a hunt for my missing wedding ring, plans for my 5th wedding anniversary (poor timing with ring loss), and holiday plans. IF is on the back burner, but IVF orientation is scheduled for Dec. 13, with injectables class at the end. This will be my first experience with injects. DH is almost as nervous as I am. I ordered two boxes of smelling salts.

22 Gil { 11.27.07 at 9:49 am }

Congrats on being featured in the article, alongside myself, Tertia, and a host of other good bloggers.

I love the signature drink! Hmm, wonder what it would taste like? Chambord is a staple in my liquor cabinet!

Hand me one of those drinks; I’ll need it to steel myself for upcoming rounds of IVF, assuming we get that far!

23 SarahSews { 11.27.07 at 9:51 am }

I’d still be crying if my sibs did something that sweet. So incredible. Yeah for awesome siblings.

I’m currently 7w4d pg and just scared all the time. I’ve had pink spotting every day for over a week, which I would like to blame on a super fun yeast infection and the accompanying treatment but some part of my heart just doesn’t believe it. We’ve never made it this far and I feel like I’m just not lucky enough to deserve this incredible stroke of luck.

24 JJ { 11.27.07 at 9:52 am }

Incredible to have such loving siblings, isnt it? I am lucky to have that same love and affection-there’s nothing like it!

LOVELY drink! Cant wait for the next one!

Im definitely holding out my glass for the lovely signature drink.

We are anticipating our upcoming FET. VERY nervous…yet calm. Can there be such a mix? Cheers!

25 MrsSpock { 11.27.07 at 10:03 am }

That is so awesome! Salut!

26 Heather { 11.27.07 at 10:16 am }

I’m pulling up for a drink and thankful that it’s a virtual drink – as in, it’s Tuesday and I’m still recovering from the alcohol I consumed on Saturday while trying to drown out my sorrows.

We’re coming up on the one-year mark of “trying” and I’m trying to swallow the fact that we will probably have to start making some decisions soon – about doctor visits and drugs and whatever else. I never thought I would have to make these kinds of decisions… Pour me another…

27 Leah { 11.27.07 at 10:26 am }

Way to go, being quoted as the IF blog queen that you are. I am damn proud to know you! 🙂

I am impressed with the person who wrote that article. Not only did they include some of my favorites (you, Julie, Tertia), they didn’t say anything mind-numbingly stupid or incorrect.

28 orodemniades { 11.27.07 at 11:09 am }

Aww, how sweet of Hansel and Gretel! As soon as I can drink I’ll raise them a toast – slainte!

29 Maria { 11.27.07 at 11:26 am }

Wow, your siblings, Hansel & Gretel(love the names, sound so thoughtful and amazing. I have yet to get my sister to even read my blog…she’s too busy.

The drink sounds so delish. I really want to try that. Can’t wait till the next recipe.

30 Roy { 11.27.07 at 12:01 pm }

How drunk do you have to get to not remember pulling a puppy from its amniotic sack and urging it into life? Because some of those details are way too gross to remember. Or I can just keep remembering, because my rubbing and warmth kept that tiny puppy in this world. Exhausting, but one of the best moments of my life. It was incredible.

I think I’ll wait till next time and order the other signature drink, right now I’m absolutely craving a warm Kahlua and cream, steaming hot in a mug, please.

And if anybody from MI wants a puppy in 2-3 months, comment on my blog. I’ll post pictures of them in a week or two so you can all see their adorableness. Even at birth they have that addicting puppy smell, so snuggleable.

31 calliope { 11.27.07 at 12:04 pm }

wow. That drink is going down niiiiiiiiiiiiiiice. Your siblings are fabu!

I am actually planning on being a happy virtual drunk as I am getting ready for IVF 1.5!! I begin stims in one week.

So effing much has happened since my false positive Hep C test in October, and while I won’t pretend to understand WHY it happened I do feel this bizarre sense of pride that I didn’t throw myself down the stairs.

I’d like to buy a 2nd round for everyone at the Lushary to thank them for all of the support they gave me these past few weeks.

32 Elizabeth { 11.27.07 at 12:08 pm }

Things are good in my neck of the woods: 13w today. Cece got me thinking about how the goalposts keep moving… “I’ll let myself get excited when…” or “I’ll really believe this is happening when…”

All I want is a huge glass of deep red wine, dry, berry and vanilla notes – but the signature cocktail sounds *delish*. Yay Hansel and Gretel!

Yay you and the others for the article! Have a Cafe Conception on me, Mel 🙂

33 deanna { 11.27.07 at 12:19 pm }

What a beautiful gesture! That’s just so thoughtful (and creative!)

And, I just happen to have an unopened bottle of chambord & vodka…just need a little cream. (Although, I also have some pom juice, too!)

34 serenity { 11.27.07 at 12:31 pm }

Genius drink. Cafe Conception. YUM. I’ll take one. Ok, two. Maybe more, since it’s virtual.

Things are going well for us at the moment, but I’m still in that weird space where I can’t quite grasp the fact that in a little more than 4 months, there might be a baby in the house. One that’s OURS.

But I’m going along with the registering, the ordering of the stuff, in the hopes that someday maybe it won’t feel like I’m a pretending.

35 Baby Steps to Baby Shoes { 11.27.07 at 12:50 pm }

I will take one of each of the signature drinks (one for each hand, of course). What wonderful brother and sister to do something so thoughtful.

I feel like a complete moron today. I just realized that I am wearing two different boots! Both are black knee boots but different toe shapes and heels. I am just hoping no one notices and I can get by with it all day.

The upcoming Christmas season is hitting me hard. It was last Christmas when I became convinced that there was something wrong. I never thought we’d be in the exact same state as this time last year. And I don’t really see how it’s going to be any different this time next year.

Friday is our appt with the RE. Wondering if it’s worth it to do any more IUIs. I am torn because they are (mostly) paid for, but pretty darn pointless with the current numbers. I just want to feel like we are making progress and it seems like things just keep backsliding further.

36 megan { 11.27.07 at 12:54 pm }

i’m thrilled to see you in the globe. nice work, ms. honourary canadian! can we expect to see Canadian spelling on your blog from now on?? 🙂

i love that the lushary has it’s very own signature cocktail now…and it sounds delicious! i’ll take one, please…and a round for the house if you will.

37 Ellie { 11.27.07 at 1:14 pm }

Thanks, I needed a reminder of how lucky I am for my siblings!

Well I read a lot but I don’t comment much and although I’ve been considering starting my own blog about IF (I have one for my classroom), I haven’t as of yet. I could spend hours just reading all of yours. You all are amazing…just so funny, witty, and easy to connect with. Thanks so much for putting it all out there.

Anyway, my hubby and I started TTC back in May of 2006. Done Clomid (all doses), Femara (all doses), hcg trigger…nothing gets me to ovulate. I am on Metformin and have seen bits and pieces of success there but nothing to brag about. Just had Lap w/ ovarian drilling and endo removed on 11/14. Trying Femara again in Feb (we’re on a break), then starting Gonal-F/IUI in March if needed. Scared, excited, nervous, and mostly just nervous about getting too excited. Anyway, I’d love to actually get to know some of you guys, so feel free to email or comment! I promise to start lurking less and speaking out more!

38 Yoka { 11.27.07 at 1:59 pm }

I just read the article about you in the Globe and Mail. Are you in the Washington D.C. area or in Washington State? I am in NoVa (but work in D.C.) and would love to connect. You can email me at: yokaadopts@gmail.com

39 Stacy { 11.27.07 at 2:04 pm }

That is so sweet and thoughtful! I regularly pop over here, but I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and get active. 🙂 I’ve had 2 m/c and just had a chemical pg on Halloween. I started a blog when I got that positive test. There’s not much to it yet, but it’s a start.

Right now, we’re toying with the idea of using Clomid next cycle, even though I don’t have ovulation issues. I’m nervous about the side effects, though. We’ll see…

40 Heather { 11.27.07 at 2:05 pm }

You are right, your siblings rock.

I’m going for my fourth IUI on Thursday. I have no hope that this will work.

My friend just got back a non-doubling beta and I can use any all assivce/stories.

41 nancy { 11.27.07 at 2:08 pm }

Wow. Just a big ~wow~ for Hansel and Gretel. (and by the way, I think they very well could push a witch into an oven. Wouldn’t everyone?)

Me? ugh. Hard day. Hard week. Especially hard day. Just got the news I am forced on the sidelines yet again while I endure another uterine surgery (four, if you are keep track). I’ve read 3 BFP announcements today (and of course, I’m happy for them, but damn, I’m sad for me). I read something that really offended be about secondary IFers. You know the drill, when it rains, it pours.

I thought I was doing okay yesterday, but the tears started today. I am very close to leaving work to lay in a fetal position on my couch. I don’t want to go through the motions anymore today.

42 KatieM { 11.27.07 at 2:58 pm }

Hello, my name is Katie and I’m a notorious lurker, haha. This is the first time I have ever officially posted here, and today seemed like a good day to chime in ;-).

My long story short is I am 22, will be 23 in January, and have been trying for almost 2.5 years. As of right now I am unexplained and went through several failed IUI cycles this past year with my poophead of an RE. We finally got pregnant on our last IUI with him, but ended up having a miscarriage which I had to diagnose myself. Right now I am on my wait cycle (cd15) after said m/c, and am going to see a new (hopefully better RE in Jan).

I’m new to the blogger world, and am just getting my feet wet. =)

43 Stacie { 11.27.07 at 3:06 pm }

Hansel and Gretel sound amazing. How wonderful that they support you so much that they would do this for you! Amazing is the only word I can come up with to describe how great that is.

While I have never been much of a drinker, I sure could use one now.

Things have been hard here on my end. After three years, 3 iuis, 2 miscarriages, and 3 ivfs, we finally got pregnant with twins that stuck. Then we added IC at 20 weeks, cerclage, bedrest, PROM at 26 weeks, hospital bedrest, and early delivery at 28 weeks. Now I am struggling with the NICU and all of the uncertainty that comes with that.

A drink or five would be lovely right about now…

44 Barb { 11.27.07 at 3:32 pm }

Wow! What a great article Mel! Thanks for sharing the link!

And your siblings are dolls. Mine is younger and has no idea what to do with all this.

45 Barb { 11.27.07 at 3:34 pm }

Oh.. and for the lushery confession..

I’m currently bummed that this cycle seems to be going to shit and I apparently no longer respond to oral O inducers. I’m concerned about the money we’ll have to spend on injects and the yet MORE waiting.. always the waiting..

My personal life is good other than work and ttc.

46 Nessa { 11.27.07 at 3:34 pm }

Boy do I need the lushary right now. Things are rough – all the way around. I could quite work, or be fired, today and not really care. I’m tired all the time, and I have thought about packing up and leaving my husband. That’s only a thought though, I would never leave. It’s just that rough. It makes me sad that we’ve gotten to this place. We’re both to blame.

We are on the edge of deciding what to do: treatments, start the adoption process, or just put everything on hold. I’m sad and tired(I think I may have mentioned that already) and am tired of my own sadness on my blog.

Nobody gets it, nobody understands and everyone is getting pregnant. I got rediculously drunk this last weekend hoping it would help and it didn’t – I just ended up with a bad headache. Anyway, at least here the hangovers won’t be too bad.

I don’t know what I need, so feel free to despense the assvice, unless of course you tell me to relax. Then I will hunt you down and rip all your lady bits to pieces.

Please pass the booze.

47 May { 11.27.07 at 5:02 pm }

Big thunbs up from me to Hansel & Gretel. I’m looking forward to the second recipe.

48 Julia { 11.27.07 at 5:11 pm }

Your sibs rock.
I will have a special or three. Ok, four. My vacation was exactly one fruity drink too short. I hope to remedy that tonight. Maybe will even try this thing for real.
And I second the guess about pomegranate vodka in the other drink.

Me? Waiting for the u/s next week. Hubby had some blood tests today and is seeing the urologist on Monday. We both see the RE next Wednesday. Big week. The damned surgery better get scheduled for shortly thereafter. I am seriously impatient now. Maybe, maybe we can get a cycle going for January. Or maybe not. Which would make me go through the anniversary sans a cycle. It will suck. Ok, I need a few more drinks.

49 Holly { 11.27.07 at 6:19 pm }

A good glass of Cabernet is all I need, but the signature drink does sound delicious. Very sweet of your siblings!

I’m going nuts while I’m in my 2ww after my first IVF, and it’s no fun. I’m going in for my first beta this Friday, so hopefully I get some good news. Although I’m trying to brace myself for whatever results I get.

50 Kami { 11.27.07 at 6:26 pm }

Give me one of those signature drinks. Things are still going well with this pregnancy from DE, but since it is virtual I feel I must participate. What wonderful sibs you have.

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