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Happy Almost Halloween!

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Hope you all are gearing up for a fun and happy Halloween.  While I could be happier, I’m kiiiind of in an alright-ish place for now.  Sure I wish I was still on vacation, but enough is going on right now to distract me from the mundane, barren existence which is infertility.  As it ends up, we are going to the States for Thanksgiving AND Christmas this year!  So in about 3 weeks, I’ll be headed back to the Holy Land of Target and Whole Foods!  I want to try a Tofurkey for the first time!  I have big plans ya’ll.

 

SO!  Being as Halloween is the only holiday I’ll be here for, I thought I’d share my decorations and what-not.  We are going to have a party on Friday, which is the actual date of Halloween for those who don’t know.  Unfortunatly, as Halloween hasn’t quite caught on too much here in Switzerland, I doubt we’ll get any Trick or Treaters!  :(  A tip I picked up from Lausanne Mom, is to put a small Halloween decoration on your mailbox.  That way, if there happen to be ToT’ers in your area, they’ll know that they are welcomed to ring your bell!

Keeping in the tradition of the past few years, we themed our party this year.  I won’t reveal the theme just yet.  But the first year was 80s-90s, then last year was comics.  Which I apparently never wrote about?  Oh well, I guess it’s because I went through my 3rd mc just a few days later.

I think not as many people are coming to this year’s party as in years passed, because it’s on a work-day, even though it’s a Friday.  And you know what, I’m totally fine with that.  It’s not like our apartment is huge, and I just have better things to worry about!  The people who want to be here, will be here, and I’m happy about that!

As much as I’d love to live permanently on a beach, I do sometimes enjoy the fall, and all that comes with it.  Putting up decorations makes our home feel more cozy, and it makes me feel like I’m doing a good job at keeping a nice home! (I know that’s so 50s housewife, but whatever!)  One of the compliments that I most love receiving is when people tell me my home looks nice and cozy!  And I am by no means a professional, or even that great of a decorator, but I do what I can.

So here is what our “mantle” looks like in all it’s glory:

Halloween Mantle, The Swiss Wife Style

It kind of has a retro-vibe going on, because most of the decorations are OLD!   I have been wanting to frame those old Beistle decorations for years now, so I finally did!  According to my mom, they were given to us by a grandmother-figure in the early 80s, and they were old then!  So who knows when they are actually from.  I think you may still be able to buy reproductions of these designs today.

The leaf garland I picked up at Coop last year, and the battery operated string of “leaf lights” is from Maxi Bazaar.

The pillar candles and holders are from Ikea.  The 2 skinny candles in the middle are from my childhood!  As well as the pumpkin head ghost candle holder on the left.  The mini spider chandelier I got probably about 10 years ago from the dollar store.  The plastic pumpkin things that are lit-up are from an old light set.  I just pulled the pumpkins off and stuck a light from the leaf set in them.

Halloween Decor, The Swiss Wife Style Halloween Decor, The Swiss Wife Style

The bow on top…I have no idea!  It could either be from my childhood or the dollar store in my 20s, I can’t remember!  And the Peanuts figurines are from Hallmark of course!  My mom gave me the Snoopy one on the right this year, and the other one within the last couple of years.  They play sounds from The Great Pumpkin!

In addition to our “mantle” I have a few other things up around the house, along with some yummy-smelling candles.  Here’s what our dining room table looks like:

Halloween dining room table, The Swiss Wife-Style

Definitely not as whimsical!

How many other people have the ol’ glass pumpkin candy bowl?!  It was a staple in my house growing up, and when I was in my 20s, my mom bought one for me!

Speaking of candy, last night I made some peanut butter cups!

Vegan Peanut Butter Cups for Halloween, The Swiss Wife Style

This was my 2nd attempt at making pb cups, and I like the results I got this time much better.  Although they are a bit melty, since the chocolate is based from coconut oil, and that melts as soon as you touch it!  For the chocolate, I used the “chocolate topping recipe” from this pie I made a few weeks ago.  I just doubled it a few times.  And there are a hundred recipes out there for homemade peanut butter cups!  I followed along to this one, using the chocolate I had made.  The first time I made them, I just melted vegan chocolate chips.  I wasn’t happy doing it that way because I felt it was too much chocolate, too bitter, and it was too hard when you chomped into it.  Using the chocolate from Wholly Vegan, you get a nice soft bite!  I will keep experimenting though, that’s one awesome thing about being a vegan!  You’re always experimenting and trying new things, especially over here where we don’t have the luxury of going to a Whole Foods to grab some Justin’s PB Cups!

Well, I’m off to do some party-prep!  How will you be celebrating Halloween?  Happy Haunting!  :)

Cape Cod

I had always wanted to go to Cape Cod, ever since I saw the movie Splash.

(Fast forward to about 50 seconds in if you’re impatient.)

Man…I need to watch that movie again soon, one of my favorites!  But anyway, back to business.

So when we got invited to a wedding there, I was pretty excited!  I didn’t know what to expect.  Sadly I didn’t see any mermaids, or else I wouldn’t be writing this right now, because duh, I would have been adopted into a mermaid family, and computers don’t work underwater.

 

What?  Could totally happen...  *

What? Could totally happen… *

 

The drive from Boston took forever!  There was a lot of traffic and it was pretty insane.  Whenever we visit a place, we always say whether or not we could live there.  Well, driving around Boston while we were there pretty much solidified it for both of us.  Nope!  Sorry Bostonians, I could not live there!  Plus you know, ew…the Bruins!

We finally arrived at the hotel that the wedding was held at.  Our friends had supplied us with a few choices of where to stay, but I always find that staying at the actual hotel where the festivities are to be held is so much more convenient, right?  The hotel was nice, in a slightly old-fashioned charming way.  It sorta-kinda reminded me of where they stayed in Dirty Dancing, if DD had taken place in Cape Cod.  I loved the nautical, beachy decor.

The only thing was, it was pretty expensive!  And breakfast wasn’t included.  Ah well.

The day we got there we said hi to our friends, but stayed out of the their way since it was the night of the rehearsal dinner and all that.  I know how stressful it can all be!  We headed down to the beach to watch the sunset.  It was great to finally be near a beach, even it was not really “beach weather.”

Falmouth, Cape Cod, The Swiss Wife Style

 

Falmoth, Cape Cod, The Swiss Wife Style

Falmouth, Cape Cod, The Swiss Wife Style

That night we ate dinner at the hotel restaurant, Red’s.   I had a cheese-less pizza, much to the bemusement of our waiter.

The next morning we had the buffet breakfast.  We didn’t know there was 2 different prices to the buffet.  Cheaper if you just do the continental, and not get hot stuff.  But again, whatever.  I had a bagel and vegan cream cheese that we bought at Whole Foods prior to leaving Boston.  (I also had hash-browns, which is why I got charged for getting the more expensive breakfast!)  I had also bought some Silk hazelnut coffee creamer at WF, so I was a pretty happy camper with all of my “luxury” vegan items that we can’t get here.

We took a walk on the beach, and checked out the gym.  The gym wasn’t that special, but it got the job done.  After that we relaxed until it was time to get ready for the wedding.

I had ordered my dress from Zalando.ch prior to our trip.  I knew I wanted to wear navy blue, as a nod to being on the coast.  I narrowed down my choices online, (thanks HB friends!) and ordered 2 dresses.  I think I’ve mentioned before, but Zalando.ch is kind of like Zappos in the US.  Free shipping, and free returns.  So I ordered the 2 dresses thinking I would just return the one I didn’t like.  I was nervous about the sizing, since it’s so different here, I was ordering from a brand that I had never tried on before.  But I crossed my fingers and took the plunge.  I ordered these 2 dresses:   

 

I wanted to order one in one size, and one in another size, but they were both only available in one size that would work for me, so I just went with getting them both in the same size.  When they arrived, I tried them both on, and really liked them both!  I couldn’t decide.  I threw a quick poll up on instagram, and the butterfly dress won.  So I went with that one!  (I still kept the other dress, by the way!)  I paired it with magenta earrings and a magenta scarf/shawl, and some old Payless vintage-y black peep-toe heels.  I got a few compliments that night, so I guess I did alright!  (Fashion=hard.)  I will say though, that I will definitely buy this brand (designer?) of dress again!  I love the way they fit, and the size I got was perfect for me.

 

The only picture I have of me in the dress.  Blogger fail!

The only picture I have of me in the dress. Blogger fail!

 

The wedding was very nice.  We started outside, at the ceremony space. overlooking the beach and water.  Then there was a cocktail hour, then we moved inside for the reception.  The music was great and we pretty much danced all night! It was fun.  More friends need to get married please!  I do love a good wedding.

We left the next morning, but first we drove quite a bit out of the way to hit this little vegan spot that D had looked up online.  I wasn’t feeling that great, so all I ended up getting was a PB&J.  D got a vegan reuben, and I had a taste and it was really good!

After that we hit the road back to Boston, we had a early morning flight the next day…..

 

*photo taken by Maria Trias, minus the tail!  More on that to come.

 

I’m back!

Well, here I am again.  Back from vacation.  Was it just a dream?!  Nope, it really happened, and it was fabulous!

We started out in Boston.  We got a rental car at the airport, and drove to Cambridge, where we stayed for a few days at this little B&B.  If you don’t know, Cambridge is where Harvard University is located!  It was a pretty nifty little area, but the area around Harvard itself seemed a little sketchy.  One day we took a long walk and passed by the university.  I don’t know if we were walking past the back (neglected?) side, but it was NOT what I was expecting!  There were a lot of what looked like homeless, drunk, and/or high people.  Definitely not what I was expecting after watching Legally Blonde so many times.

But anyway.  The B&B was affordable.  Nothing glamorous, but nice.  The included breakfast was ok for vegans.  I had a bagel with peanut butter one morning.  It’s within walking distance to many restaurants and shops, and the metro station to get into Boston.  There’s a Mom and Pop grocery store right across the street, that has a bit of a Trader Joe’s vibe.  The first night we got there, we ate at a cool place called Christopher‘s.  I had a tofu-beet veggie burger.  It was pretty good!

Side note:  omg, WHY is it so hot down in the metro stops!?  Yikes…The metro is fairly easy to figure out, we only messed up once or twice!  ;)

The whole reason we came to Boston was because one of Diego’s friends was getting married.  We met a bunch of friends out one night, at a bar/restaurant near Fenway Park.  It was called The Yard House, and they had a lot of vegan items on their menu!  Though do make sure to tell them if you are vegan because they will double check the ingredients for you.  For example, D and I ordered the Gardein sliders, but as it turned out the buns they used weren’t vegan.  The manager actually came out and explained this to us, and told us they could use sourdough bread instead of the regular buns.  Sold!  I fell in love with the place.

We did one day of site-seeing in Boston.  It was pretty nice, but the weather was windy and a bit chilly.  We didn’t really see anything too exciting.  We went to the cemetery where Paule Revere was buried.

Here lies Paul Revere, The Swiss Wife-Style

And we went down to the famous harbor.  You know, where all the tea was dumped?

Boston Harbor on a gloomy day.

Boston Harbor on a gloomy day.

 

 

We ended up passing an area where a few food trucks were setting up, for lunch.  But it was pretty early still and we weren’t hungry yet.  Too bad because one of the trucks was a vegan taco truck!  I didn’t get a picture of it :(  Never fear though, for lunch that day we made it to Veggie Galaxy. 

 

This place was AMAZING!  And I really think the word “amazing” gets overused these days, but in this case it’s totally accurate.

There were SO many things on the menu I wanted to try.  But I narrowed it down to a chocolate peanut butter “frappe” (milkshake) and cheesy fries.

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The taste of the milkshake was great.  But it was verrrry thick!  I knew it would probably fill me up (understatement) and so that’s why I only ordered the cheesy fries.  Now, to be honest, I didn’t love the fries.  The “cheese” sauce was nutritional yeast based, and you could really taste it.  Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  But they also had some very strong herbs on there.  The whole thing kind of tasted “Thanksgiving-y” which is not really what I’m looking for in a plate of cheese fries.  But none the less, the place was still one of my favorite things that we did on the trip.  We got some desserts to eat later.  I got carrot cake, and I totally forget what D got!  (Some sort of muffin maybe?)  But my carrot cake was great!  The frosting was delicious!

Seriously, if you are vegan or vegetarian and anywhere near this place, GO!  GO NOW!

Other things we did while there included going to Target what seemed like 10 times, meeting D’s uncle out for lunch at a mall, and meeting one of my sorority sisters out for dinner!  I hadn’t seen her in ages!  It was great to catch up.  She and her husband actually craft their own hard cider in Salem.  Their company is called Far From the Tree, and they’ve been featured in local magazines! They put a lot of hard work, thought and love into what they do!  Unfortunately, we didn’t get to try any products since we met outside of Salem, but hopefully next time!

Another thing we want to do “next time” is go to Cheers!  We simply ran out of days there.  We had to get down to Cape Cod to attend the wedding…..to be continued!

Useless

I’ve done nothing today!

I always get like this right before we leave for a vacation.  It’s like leaving is all I can focus on, and I don’t care about anything else, I just want to GET THERE!  (Hmm, sound familiar?)

If I could sleep the days away (one week!) til we leave, I would!  I definitely tried to today. 

I just feel SO overwhelmed with everything lately!  Vacations always seem to come at just the right time, when I don’t think I can handle anymore of what life’s been throwing at me.  Just in the nick of time before I collapse, and must be sent off to the loony bin. 

Of course there’s waiting to see if I’m pregnant.  Dealing with my 3 boarders.  Some of whom, if I’m being honest are acting like assholes.  Someone definitely just left a skid mark on the couch.  ::sigh::  I wanted to get a “bangin’ bod” before hitting the beach/pool in Mexico.  Yeah…that didn’t happen. It’s hard to get anything done when you’re dealing with high-maintenance dogs who can’t be left alone.  Sometimes, when they’re all sleeping or being calm, I’m afraid to even move because it will set off a frenzy of excitement.  I can’t even go to the bathroom with out at LEAST one of them parking themselves outside the door.   I try to stay calm because it’s during possible implantation time…I always seem to be boarding high-maintenance dogs around that time :(    I think I’m definitely going to scale things back after vacation.  It’s just not worth the stress. 

So anyway, like this very posting, I myself have pretty much been useless today. 

I’ll leave you with some pics of the resort we’re going to in Mexico (after we go to Boston/Falmouth for a wedding.)

1966307_759219787477345_1830998110877410453_o 10612818_761366490596008_5695927318189515764_n 10633480_762821757117148_5388757490216554348_o(Photos taken from the Facebook page of the Excellence Playa Mujeres.  Save a hammock for us folks, we’re coming!)

I beg to differ…

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Has anyone seen this article floating around, titled “Motherhood: The Big Fat Fuck You.”  ??

I’ve had a few friends on my Facebook newsfeed sharing this.  Every single time, I want to make the comment, “Actually, I think IF and RPL are the big fat FU.”  (Or how about cancer?  SIDS?)  I mean really.

Listen, I understand.  I KNOW that motherhood is a trying, and sometimes thankless job.  I’m not trying to judge.  I know for sure in the future, there will be days when I feel like I’m going to lose my shit over something my child has done.  I think back to the time when I was about 5, and I had long, beautiful hair down to my waist.  Well, I had some clip or something stuck in my hair, and I was bugging my  mom to get it out.  She was on the phone, and shooed me away.  So I found a pair of thinning sheers (my mom went to hairdressing school back in the day) and proceeded to shred my hair to bits to get it out.  A huge chunk of hair on one side of my head was missing.  When my mom figured out what I had done, she called my aunt and asked her if she wanted me. 

So, obviously it’s not all sunshine and roses!  And I am not saying that I will never complain.  But what did people do before Facebook?  I’ll try to voice any complaints the old fashioned way.  I know this is somewhat hypocritical, as on this blog I complain a lot!  But, I feel as though it’s my own little space to do with what I like, so….there.  Ha ha! 

And I try not to be a big Facebook complainer anyway.  Someone’s always going to have it worse.  I have friends that aren’t married yet, or have never been to Europe. Friends who’s parents are dealing with terrible illnesses.  So, if I complain publicly of Switzerland’s lack of a Target, I’m sure I’d get a mega eye-roll from a lot of folks! (And rightly so!)   Once in a while, I’ll let something fly, but then I get people jumping all over my back for being a “complainer” so it’s just best to do it elsewhere!  (Like here, my own personal slice of the internet.) 

I wonder how many other women might view this article as a personal attack?   (As many things seem to be when you are dealing with certain issues.)  Mothers who have lost a child to death.  Mothers who have an autistic child, and might never hear the word “Mom” come from that child’s lips.  And yes, mothers yet to be. 

Maybe some will say I am being too sensitive.  Well, damn right I am!  Sorry (not sorry)  if everything I have been through in the last 2 and a half years has made me just a bit sensitive. 

Perspective, The Swiss Wife Style

Feeling good

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What a week I had last week!  On Wednesday, I had to get an Iron IV.  It was my 2nd time.  For some reason, my body has not been able to hold on to iron.  I’ll get tested again in October, after I get back from my vacation, so see if my levels have improved. 

Then Thursday I got my tattoo

And on Saturday night we spent the night with our friends at their chalet up in Nendaz.  But by the time Saturday rolled around, I was not feeling like a happy camper.  I felt so sick!  I had this sick feeling in my stomach that lasted for days, and was accompanied by a raging headache 90% of the time.  I did manage to enjoy myself though. 

Us with one of the dogs of our friends.  The best dogs ever!

Us with one of the dogs of our friends. The best dogs ever!

I didn’t know if it was the iron, or the fertility drugs that were causing me to feel so gross, but it really sucked!  In the past, the Puregon (FSH) has given me headaches, but not as bad as the one I dealt with for 5 days!  I was so miserable, and it lasted into the beginning of this week.  Finally, on Wednesday, I began to feel more normal, and as of today, those symptoms are gone.  Although now they are replaced by lovely Progesterone symptoms!  But let me back up the train…

This past Monday I had an appointment at the clinic to get a follicle scan, following another week of Puregon.  I had 2 that were mature, and 2 more that would be by the time I O’d.    So I don’t know if that means that I O’d 4 eggs, or 2…or what?! 

So now we wait.  I’m on progesterone for the first time, because I requested it.  My LP was only 11 days last cycle, so I felt that was a bit short.  It’s been varying a lot lately, which I don’t like.  When I asked about it, the doc basically said “Well, I don’t see a need for it.”  But then she went on to say that my progesterone has never been tested before!  Um, what?!  Isn’t that usually the first thing that is tested?  Now, I may have had it tested waaaayy back in the day, after MC 1, and I was still with a regular OB.  But upon looking back in my records from the fertility clinic, I found that my post-ovulatory progesterone has never been tested!  I was quite shocked.  The only record I have of it being tested was at the beginning of my last pregnancy, last fall.  (And I had to request it then too!)  It was normal at that time. 

Oh, one more thing…when I asked the doc if, since we’d be leaving for vacation within days of finding out whether or not this cycle was successful,  it would be a problem traveling with Clexane (heparin) should I get a bfp.  I was met with a blank stare.  She asked me to clarify. 

“Umm….well you said last time that during my next pregnancy I should be on blood thinners…?” 

Pause as she looks back into her records. 

Now, ok…I don’t expect my doctor to know my favorite color or food, but I would damn-well expect that she remember the treatment she prescribed to me!  As she looked back, I am almost certain I heard her murmur under her breath, “Ah yes…3 miscarriages.” 

Pause for shock.

I know she is new, but COME ON.  I would happily sit it in the waiting room for 5 extra minutes, if it meant my doc was skimming my record to be sure that she was caught up on what is going on, and my history!  And to give me even an illusion that she cares about me, and whether or not I will ever have a baby.  She did apologize for the oversight, but still.  It did absolutely nothing to help quell the feeling that I have been getting shitty, and sub-par treatment here. 

One good thing as of late, I wrote to our insurance company to find out what, if anything would be covered should I seek some treatment while in the US.  And I think they will cover stuff!  Even up to an IUI!  I just have to get an estimate of how much it will cost.  (Any bets as to more or less than it would cost here?)  So, if we’re not successful this cycle, I’m going to contact some clinics in Jacksonville Florida, and get a quote for costs for a  FULL work-up of testing while I am there visiting my parents for Christmas.  And maybe even an IUI?  Anyone reading from the Jacksonville area who has a recommendation of the best clinic?  I think in my short research I saw 3 that looked promising. 

12 days til vacation!  Will it be just the 2 of us, or will we have a stow-away?  Between the possible 4 eggs, and the addition of progesterone, I’m feeling a bit optimistic.  But I don’t want to get my hopes up too much.  Time will tell!

Present to myself.

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On Thursday, I bought myself something pretty. 

 

New Tattoo, The Swiss Wife-StyleI had been wanting a new tattoo for a pretty long time, and made this appointment months ago.  To be honest, I didn’t think I’d actually be able to get it.  I thought for sure I’d be pregnant by the time the appointment rolled around.  Ha! 

So, why the Koi?  Well, I knew I wanted something to signify the struggle I’d be through for the last few years.  With my short (Google) research, I figured that Koi were a representation of fighting through a tough time, and having the strength and power to achieve your goals.  I knew I wanted it paired with a lotus.  The lotus flower starts it’s life in the mud below the surface of the water, growing higher and higher towards the light.  Like a lot of things in tattoo culture, I think it can have many meanings.  But for me it was an additional sign of perseverance, and overcoming obstacles. 

The original idea of what I wanted grew and evolved as I chatted about it with the tattoo artist.  I found the lovely Christophe Margot through his website.  I was shocked to find a website in English, and someone who specialized in the style I was looking for so close by.  It seemed like fate!  I contacted him, and we set up an appointment to chat.  After our initial meeting, I made my appointment for what seemed like ages away.  This guy is in high demand!  I arrived for my appointment last week pretty nervous.  This would be my biggest tattoo by far, and I knew the next few hours would not be easy. 

I really can’t sing his praises enough.  He is just a wonderful person, and as you can see a very skilled artist.  He has a great passion for what he does.  He is as gentle as he can be, and always asking if you are doing ok.  He loves music, and I was treated to everything from Johnny Cash to Kevin Costner!  He charmingly asked me to clarify a few English phrases from the songs we were listening to.  I’ll admit, I always wasn’t in the right mind to answer, as it sometimes took all I had to try and block the pain from my head. 

At times the pain was quite bearable.  In the beginning, I had the shakes for some reason. I think I had too much nervous energy going through me.  My hands were sweating buckets by the time we took our first break.  But we pressed on.  I never cried out though, or fidgeted too much (I hope!)  After about 4 hours, we had to stop.  I’m sure tattooing someone for 4 hours can really take a toll on the artist as well.  I’ll admit, a part of me (uh…ok, a pretty big part!) was glad we couldn’t finish it all in one day.   We set my next appointment for November. 

Upon arriving home, I had to lie down for a bit.  I had the shakes and was not feeling that great.  I figured that I was coming down off of some sort of adrenaline high.  When I was feeling better, I Googled, “Adrenaline crash after…” and I didn’t even need to finish typing before “tattoo” was filled in automatically by Google.  So, I guess it’s a real thing.  It makes sense, all of your energy is focused on trying NOT to feel what is going on, and your body is so tense for so long.  I had never experienced this before, as like I said, all of my other tattoos are quite small in compassion.  I wanted to stay home and chill, but we had dinner plans at 8pm with friends, and I made it with no problem. 

I was instructed to shower that night, and re-cover the tattoo with plastic overnight and the next day if I wanted to.  He also told me what cream to use on it for the next week.  It was a little sore the first few days, but not bad at all really.  Now it’s in that fabulous flaky and itchy stage.  It’s really a weird thing to have an actual scaly fish on your body!  But honestly, the “recovery” has not been as bad as I thought it would be.  I believe this to be another testament to a good tattoo artist. 

So, there you have it!  I’m pretty proud of myself.  It may sound dumb, but my confidence grows with every physical trial I go through.  It started out with me getting used to having blood drawn more and more often.  Then it was painful fertility procedures, and minor surgeries.  And now it’s doing nightly injections.  And if I do get pregnant again, it will mean more painful nightly injections of heparin.  Getting through this tattoo showed me that I am tougher than I thought I was.  Do I still want drugs for medical procedures?  Hell yes!  For some reason, medical stuff just skeeves me out so much more.  But as apprehensive as I am about heparin injections in the future (and hell, giving birth hopefully some day) sitting through 4 hours of tattooing has given me confidence to face these things, perhaps a bit less nervously. 

 

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