Last night I was putting Riley to bed and asked what kind of story we should talk about, and he nonchalantly informed me that he’d really rather I go ahead and leave, since he was waiting for Daddy to do storytime.

“Well,” I said, “I know Daddy normally puts you to bed, but tonight he’s putting Dylan to bed. Why don’t I tell you a story about—”

He held up a small hand. “No,” he told me. “I don’t want any stories from you.” And he turned his back to me, at which point I kissed him goodnight and sadly shuffled from the room, because I didn’t know else what to do.

It’s true we’ve fallen into a routine of me reading books and rocking with Dylan in his bedroom while JB talks with Riley next door. That’s what Riley is used to, and he loves how JB tells stories about Riley and his amazing magical skateboard which is painted with flames (“And BOLCANOES!”). I get it, but man. Ouch.

I sat out in the living room fuming about the sacrifices we make for our kids, and the ingratitude. I started thinking of the actual physical changes I have endured in order to bear these children, and I created a little mental list of Permanent Post-Childbirth Collateral Damage:

• A belly that when seated resembles a Shar-Pei formed entirely out of crepe paper.

• A pelvic floor that constantly proves how the line between “coughing” and “peeing a little squirt of pee right in my own pants” has all but disappeared.

• Thicker and more luxurious hair, especially the ones sprouting from my chin.

• Skin tags: the gift that keeps on giving!

• Afrin-addicted sinuses that haven’t taken a completely congestion-free breath since before I peed on that stick in 2005.

• An indistinguishable expanse of flesh where my ass meets the back of my thigh.

• A rear end that is often unable able to poop anything larger than a Raisinette without enjoying a full 48 hours’ worth of enflamed anal tissue afterwards.

• Breasts that require the sort of penis-wilting undergarment that comes with four hooks and enough wire to trigger a full TSA patdown. Please note these undergarments are available in Beige, White, or Wad of Chewing Gum Placed Under a Desk.

Frankly, I think my son should be presenting me with a goddamn Purple Heart, not Heisman-ing my tender little feelings at bedtime. But kids are selfish, brutally honest, and care not one bit about the ravaged body parts it took to produce them.

And we still love their obnoxious, ungrateful asses. Even when they flat-out tell us we’re not good enough.

Now, if only I could arrange for Daddy—who apparently shits rainbows and unicorns when it comes to bedtime—to enjoy a sparkled-induced hemorrhoid or two, life would feel a lot more fair.

Comments

95 Responses to “War wounds”

  1. Shelly on November 20th, 2009 6:59 am

    Ah, the gratitude of children. Bowls you over, doesn’t it?

  2. Ashley on November 20th, 2009 7:11 am

    I didn’t know what a skin tag was until I read this, and then proceeded to google it. This was at 10pm last night.

    My entire dream was based on skin tags. I was covered with them.

    I still don’t understand why women get them post birth, and where on their bodies?

  3. Mandy on November 20th, 2009 7:39 am

    Don’t forget the day when inevitably the mid-torso skin tags get caught in the elastic of said granny undergarment, causing little needling pains over and over again. This happens to me mostly in meetings with managment at work, so I can’t possibly adjust to make it better. Fun!

  4. lumpyheadsmom on November 20th, 2009 7:42 am

    My husband lets the children choose the bedtime parent. I can always tell when he asks “Do you want Mama Books or Papa Books tonight?” he is clearly hoping they all choose me (so he can go check his fantasy team while I’m on-duty for another half an hour).

    Bites him in the ass when they all choose him, though. Ha.

  5. Sarah on November 20th, 2009 7:48 am

    Oh Linda, thank you for being so honest and making me laugh about things that have previously made me cry. I am right there with you on that list (even to include having to go to PT for pelvic floor problems…), and I am so tired of the other women I know who have babies acting like everything is all good. I KNOW they have some of these problems, too!

  6. Kathleen on November 20th, 2009 8:17 am

    Oh Linda! Thank you for sharing the truth about the sharpei tummy after birth. I had no idea when I gave birth (not one single female friend or family member gave me any clue!) I was freaked out. I wish I’d had the internet way back then.

  7. sdg on November 20th, 2009 8:22 am

    Soo… think back now, to a moment when your own mother or father may have been in the same place with you.

    The War (which has presented you with these wounds) goes on – always. Mine are 19 and 17 and yes, still today, it goes on. Slightly different of course buuuut – in the words of Ed Asner “…Raising kids is part joy and part guerrilla warfare”. Think about this, when you hear Riley laugh, doesnt it make you get all squishy and smile? And the hurt from that moment is a little less. ;) gl!

  8. Christina on November 20th, 2009 8:29 am

    If I could do the sign for thumb’s up I would… I used to be the SHIT to the four point five year old but since I had the baby and he would spend all his time with Daddy during the early months I am now officially second fiddle seemingly forever. OH that he has taken to saying this is the BOY’s side of the table or GIRLS cannot do that. Are you fucking kidding me?!??!?

  9. tina on November 20th, 2009 8:29 am

    Seriously…I am laughing out loud right now. Shar-pei belly! Bwah haha! I, for one was convinced I must have a hernia or something because DAMN I have lost all the weight, why in the hell does my stomach STILL look like this? Sitting down is bad…but bending over is WAY worse. My whole stomach just falls down to my knees. Know what my doc said? “Nope..you have great abs…you’ve just got brown fat, it doesn’t really burn off too easy” (cue crickets chirping) BROWN FAT???! I feel so much better now.
    And I would add broken hair to your list. I had all this full thick hair and it all fell out and now it breaks all the time, sticking up everywhere!

  10. Laura on November 20th, 2009 9:02 am

    This, my friend, is an awesome post. Shitty for you, yes, but hilarious non the less. You have taught me to enjoy my non child ravaged parts while they are still in their upright, standing position. And I appreciate that.

  11. Cookie on November 20th, 2009 9:09 am

    Lol, the first part of the post made me a little sad, but the rest of it made me laugh. Children suck sometimes don’t they? I’m with you on the hurt I feel when my 4yo tells me he wants Daddy over me, and the after-baby body. Especially the belly and the peeing. So annoying. My 4yo will walk out of a room to ask Daddy something even though I’m standing there in the same room with him.

  12. kcornett on November 20th, 2009 9:46 am

    OMG you just made me SNORT – Very loudly.

    “Thicker and more luxurious hair, especially the ones sprouting from my chin.”

    Thanks for the laugh!!

  13. Melissa on November 20th, 2009 10:11 am

    Is it wrong that I’m sort of hoping one day to be rejected? My 19-month-old want me, and only me, ALL. THE. TIME.

    We can do stuff together but reading=my lap (even when he’s reading the book). He tried bathing her one night and she acted like we were dipping her in acid. Hot acid.

    I was home for the first 5 months and breastfed so maybe that’s it but it is awfully tiring to hear “Nooooo!!!! Mommy do it!!!” over and over. And for her to have an apocalyptic flip whenever I leave the house.

    Guess the grass is always greener….

  14. Penny on November 20th, 2009 10:35 am

    You forgot the smiley-face scar above the pubs, too, and for some of us, that undulating ripple effect it has on our stomachs as a result.

  15. Colleen on November 20th, 2009 10:50 am

    I totally empathize! I was recently in the hospital for a few nights, so Daddy and the little man got some major bonding time. When I came home he wanted nothing to do with me for a couple of days – only Daddy could get him up, dress him, brush his teeth, etc. On the plus side, hubby’s failure to purchase extra pull-ups meant a nearly cold-turkey switch to nothing but underwear at home and at daycare. Success in the potty training! A happy milestone.

    Oh, and the stomach thing? I’m right there with you. Thanks for the laughs.

  16. Teresa on November 20th, 2009 10:55 am

    yeah, my kids tore my body up as well, I have so many stretch marks, I could pass as a road map of the entire United States, I have the spare tire around my stomach, the skin with nowhere to go where my ass meets my legs, and we wont even mention the double chin I have now acquired. Then they turn around and prefer daddy over mommy, then that phase passes and they then prefer friends over parents, and then the worst…..when they prefer their friends parents over you. INGRATES!!!

  17. jackie on November 20th, 2009 12:18 pm

    I’ve lost five pregnancies and will probably never have children. I’d trade you that entire list ten times over, if it meant having a child. Even if the only bedtime stories he ever wanted were from his Daddy. You know, just in case some perspective might help. Sort of like the book deadline thing you tweeted about a few days ago.

    That said, I still found this entry hilarious and haven’t laughed that hard in a long time. Thanks. :)

  18. Mel on November 20th, 2009 12:31 pm

    Guess what? Kids hate that attitude from their parents. I hated it from my parents– I mean, they chose to have me, right? Then presumably you’ve chosen to deal with all the SHIT that happens to your body, mind, and soul. Kids are glad they’re alive, but they don’t personally owe you ANYTHING– you made the decision, now live with it. So you’re boring. So they love daddy’s stories more. So you have hemorrhoids.

    I have hemorrhoids and I’ve not so much as THOUGHT about having children. Life sucks and then you die. But at least you have two lovely little boys with whom you get to spend gobs of time. While earning a pretty good living. Doing something you love.

    Pregnancy and the aftermath screws with your body. It’s not the kid’s fault. He didn’t choose it. You did. So cut him some slack.

    It wouldn’t work to be mad at yourself, either- be mad at whoever’s dumb enough that an INTELLIGENT being designed women’s bodies. Right, so we’ll make her body shaped just SO, that once she’s had a few offspring, which is the basic POINT of her biologic existence, her innards will begin to fall out. That’s it. That’s the way to make a baby machine.

    Epic fail on God’s part. So be mad at him, his unicorn riding highness.

  19. Sundry on November 20th, 2009 12:37 pm

    This is totally payback for me bitching on Twitter yesterday about how people shouldn’t bitch about stuff, isn’t it? OKAY UNIVERSE I GET IT.

  20. jackie on November 20th, 2009 2:00 pm

    ha! wow. um. just in case i wasn’t clear enough…i don’t begrudge you your gripes about kids. i’m positive i’d have them, too. was just saying i hope some day to get the chance. was also hoping that some perspective might make it easier for you to bear the misery.

    i really didn’t mean to get people in a tizzy and hope my comment didn’t instigate mel’s diatribe in any way.

    ok whatever. this is why i usually never comment on things. gonna go shovel some banana bread in my cry hole and try to forget about it.

    still think you rock, linda :)

  21. Sundry on November 20th, 2009 2:12 pm

    It’s totally cool, Jackie. I hope you do too. I just hope people can usually tell when I’m joking around making light of things. (MEL.)

  22. charlene on November 20th, 2009 2:23 pm

    This made my day. I feel your pain and know about boys just wanting their daddy. My husband was deer hunting lasat weekend and all I hear from my boy how he misses daddy. I’m sitting there thinking I have taken you out for lunch and dinner. Played a video game and wrestled with you but your still moaning about the injustice of dad not being there. I thought you little ass but told him dad would be home before we knew it.

    He did make up for it this morning though. As we are doing the frantic shuffle out the door I said everyone ready to go. He goes no and I’m like why. He goes I have not gotten my good bye kiss from you and I can not go to school without one. Melt my heart you little punk ass child

  23. Michelle Whitehurst on November 20th, 2009 2:25 pm

    My God I could have MADE that list!!! I thought I was going to pee reading it! Thank you so much again for making me laugh out loud at work and letting me know I’m not the only one!!

  24. Gigi on November 20th, 2009 4:26 pm

    OOOOOHHHHH! It just killed me when this first happened. When mine turned to daddy instead of me. This, unfortunately with boys, goes on for years. But now??? He’s mine again – because I’m the better parent to drive with! Mwahahah!

  25. Redbecca on November 20th, 2009 8:14 pm

    Ah, “shot through the heart/and you’re to blame!” is what went through my head when I read that….
    My hubby would just say “About time!” since my son is currently mostly a momma’s boy (but getting much better about it).
    As always, you capture it perfectly, Sundry!

  26. Jae on November 20th, 2009 9:20 pm

    Hahha, this post and the comments are hysterical. I haven’t LOL’d this hard at anything on the internet in ages.

    And the Shar-pei tummy is soooooo true. I look effin’ hot standing up but when I sit down, it’s all over. Forget that I’m 15 pounds lighter than when I got pregnant, I still look like a lardass. Le sigh. At least I’ll look damn hot at my husband’s Christmas party this year instead of when I looked like Shamu last year.

    Once, I took a close-up of one of my souvenir stretch marks on my stomach with my camera on my phone and texted it to my husband. He responded with “Dear God, what is that?!” and I wrote back “The rest of your life!”

  27. js on November 21st, 2009 11:02 am

    This post is fantastic. I agree with an above comment about kids “rejecting” the parent they feel 100% secure with. They also tend to “act out” more for that parent. My daughter can be a DEMON at my house, but is always awesome at her dads. Doesn’t make it ANY easier though! “If you love me the most, ACT LIKE IT! Make rainbows and stuff kid!” Also, Jae’s comment, the last part about the stretch marks? I just peed a little! Also, I didn’t have a vaginal birth, so WHY do I pee when I sneeze/cough/laugh too hard? Fuck.

  28. Stefany on November 21st, 2009 3:38 pm

    Seriously, if we (as moms) didn’t make light of some parts of being a mother, life would be unbearable. As our kids grow up and become little people with minds (and attitudes) all their own, we have to keep a sense of humor.

    Great post!

  29. Tonya on November 21st, 2009 5:19 pm

    Great entry! I have been enjoying your blog.

  30. Amy on November 22nd, 2009 3:23 pm

    oops…looks like you got the troops riled again! But I totally get it (hate the tags, the peeing and the roids!) and right now, after having spent the last 2 1/2 weeks running my child all over hell and gone every night and weekend after spending an entire day at the office so he could perform in a musical….I’m getting nothing but shit attitude. Can I just lock myself in my room please? It’s not fair and it drives me batshit crazy, but I get it. And I love your blog so vent away. And Jackie, I hope you find an alternative. I am blessed to have two beautiful boys (even when they’re a royal pain in my patooty) but I experienced several miscarriages in the process. It’s horrible and it messes with your body and your mind.

  31. mom on November 22nd, 2009 5:58 pm

    Daddies all shit rainbows. Don’t you know that already? And they’d don’t have fucked up postpartum asses either.

    Stupid daddies.

  32. Hopi on November 22nd, 2009 10:48 pm

    You better get used to this kind of “abuse”. They are not trying to make you feel bad, at least when they are small. Smile, leave the room and forget it. These are just ways of becoming independent. And boys have a harder time, because they are always with their mothers and seldom with their fathers–unless dad is a stay at home.

    Your daughters will do the same in a different way at different ages. How do I know all of this? I had six. They are grown now, and thank god I had a mother who explained all these things to me.

  33. Helen on November 23rd, 2009 2:51 am

    Yes, I asked my son WHY he thought it was OK to tell me I could actually leave and life would go on, unhindered, he told me that his daddy is more than capable of doing everything I do, only better and that really, why WAS I here? I answered that he had hurt my feelings and that was very unkind, he then said ” well, perhaps you should think before you ask questions you won’t like the answers to.” He was 6, you don’t even want to know what he thinks of me now he is 9 and yet, I am still here.
    Having said all that, I have 3 adult children who now think I am quite the most splendid of people…it is so worth hanging on until they reach adulthood, it just feels like the childhood part takes forever.

  34. rubber duck on November 30th, 2009 12:58 pm

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    thank you!

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    favorite} it. Money and freedom {is the best|is the greatest} way to change, may you be rich and continue to
    {help|guide} {other people|others}.|
    Woah! I’m really {loving|enjoying|digging} the template/theme of this {site|website|blog}.
    It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s {very hard|very difficult|challenging|tough|difficult|hard} to
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    friendliness|usability} and {visual appearance|visual appeal|appearance}.

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    {In addition|Additionally|Also}, the blog loads {very|extremely|super} {fast|quick} for me
    on {Safari|Internet explorer|Chrome|Opera|Firefox}.

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    These are {really|actually|in fact|truly|genuinely} {great|enormous|impressive|wonderful|fantastic} ideas in {regarding|concerning|about|on the topic of} blogging.
    You have touched some {nice|pleasant|good|fastidious} {points|factors|things} here.
    Any way keep up wrinting.|
    {I love|I really like|I enjoy|I like|Everyone loves} what you guys {are|are usually|tend
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    {exposure|coverage|reporting}! Keep up the {superb|terrific|very good|great|good|awesome|fantastic|excellent|amazing|wonderful} works guys I’ve {incorporated||added|included} you guys to
    {|my|our||my personal|my own} blogroll.|
    {Howdy|Hi there|Hey there|Hi|Hello|Hey}! Someone in my {Myspace|Facebook}
    group shared this {site|website} with us so I came to {give
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    {enjoying|loving} the information. I’m {book-marking|bookmarking} and will
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    {wonderful|terrific|brilliant|amazing|great|excellent|fantastic|outstanding|superb} {style and design|design and
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    {I love|I really like|I enjoy|I like|Everyone loves} what you guys {are|are
    usually|tend to be} up too. {This sort of|This type of|Such|This kind of} clever work and {exposure|coverage|reporting}!
    Keep up the {superb|terrific|very good|great|good|awesome|fantastic|excellent|amazing|wonderful} works guys
    I’ve {incorporated|added|included} you guys to {|my|our|my personal|my own} blogroll.|
    {Howdy|Hi there|Hey there|Hi|Hello|Hey} would you mind {stating|sharing} which blog platform you’re {working with|using}?
    I’m {looking|planning|going} to start my own blog {in the near future|soon} but I’m having a {tough|difficult|hard} time {making a decision|selecting|choosing|deciding} between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal.
    The reason I ask is because your {design and style|design|layout} seems different then most blogs and I’m looking
    for something {completely unique|unique}.
    P.S {My apologies|Apologies|Sorry} for {getting|being} off-topic but I had
    to ask!|
    {Howdy|Hi there|Hi|Hey there|Hello|Hey} would you
    mind letting me know which {webhost|hosting company|web host} you’re {utilizing|working with|using}?
    I’ve loaded your blog in 3 {completely different|different} {internet browsers|web browsers|browsers} and I must say this
    blog loads a lot {quicker|faster} then most.
    Can you {suggest|recommend} a good {internet hosting|web hosting|hosting} provider at a {honest|reasonable|fair} price?

    {Thanks a lot|Kudos|Cheers|Thank you|Many thanks|Thanks}, I appreciate it!|
    {I love|I really like|I like|Everyone loves} it {when people|when individuals|when folks|whenever people}
    {come together|get together} and share {opinions|thoughts|views|ideas}.

    Great {blog|website|site}, {keep it up|continue the good work|stick with
    it}!|
    Thank you for the {auspicious|good} writeup. It in fact was a amusement account it.
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    {By the way|However}, how {can|could} we communicate?|
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    give you a quick heads up. The {text|words} in your {content|post|article} seem to
    be running off the screen in {Ie|Internet explorer|Chrome|Firefox|Safari|Opera}.
    I’m not sure if this is a {format|formatting} issue or
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    The {style and design|design and style|layout|design} look great though!
    Hope you get the {problem|issue} {solved|resolved|fixed} soon.
    {Kudos|Cheers|Many thanks|Thanks}|
    This is a topic {that is|that’s|which is} {close to|near to} my heart…
    {Cheers|Many thanks|Best wishes|Take care|Thank you}!
    {Where|Exactly where} are your contact details though?|
    It’s very {easy|simple|trouble-free|straightforward|effortless} to find out any {topic|matter} on {net|web}
    as compared to {books|textbooks}, as I found
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    {website|web site|site|web page}.|
    Does your {site|website|blog} have a contact page?

    I’m having {a tough time|problems|trouble} locating it but, I’d like to {send|shoot} you an {e-mail|email}.
    I’ve got some {creative ideas|recommendations|suggestions|ideas} for your blog you might be interested in hearing.
    Either way, great {site|website|blog} and I look forward to seeing it {develop|improve|expand|grow} over
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    {Hola|Hey there|Hi|Hello|Greetings}! I’ve been {following|reading} your {site|web site|website|weblog|blog} for {a long time|a while|some time} now and finally got the {bravery|courage} to
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    {Howdy|Hi there|Hi|Hello}, i read your blog {occasionally|from time to time} and i own a similar one
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    {It is the|It’s the} little changes {that make|which will
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    Did you {create|develop|make|build} {this website|this site|this web site|this
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    {Hi there|Hello there|Howdy}! This {post|article|blog
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    {Reading through|Looking at|Going through|Looking through} this {post|article} reminds me of my
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    {Wow|Whoa|Incredible|Amazing}! This blog looks {exactly|just} like my old one!
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    {There is|There’s} {definately|certainly} {a lot to|a great deal to}
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    {I like|I love|I really like} {all the|all of the} points {you
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    {You made|You’ve made|You have made} some {decent|good|really good} points there.
    I {looked|checked} {on the internet|on the web|on the net} {for more info|for more information|to find out more|to learn more|for additional information} about the
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    Keep on posting!|
    {Hi there|Hello}, I enjoy reading {all of|through} your {article|post|article post}.

    I {like|wanted} to write a little comment to support you.|
    I {always|constantly|every time} spent my half an hour to read this {blog|weblog|webpage|website|web site}’s {articles|posts|articles or reviews|content} {everyday|daily|every day|all the time} along with a {cup|mug}
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    {because|since|as|for the reason that} if like to read it {then|after that|next|afterward} my {friends|links|contacts} will too.|
    My {coder|programmer|developer} is trying to {persuade|convince} me to move to .net from PHP.
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    {Any kind of|Any} help would be {really|greatly} appreciated!|
    {Hello|Hi|Hello there|Hi there|Howdy|Good day}! I could have sworn I’ve
    {been to|visited} {this blog|this web site|this website|this site|your blog} before
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    {Anyways|Anyhow|Nonetheless|Regardless}, I’m {definitely|certainly}
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    {Disgrace|Shame} on {the {seek|search} engines|Google} for {now not|not|no longer} positioning
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    I {always|all the time|every time} used to {read|study} {article|post|piece of writing|paragraph} in news papers but now as I am
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    Your {way|method|means|mode} of {describing|explaining|telling} {everything|all|the
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    {Hello|Hi} there, {simply|just} {turned into|became|was|become|changed into} {aware of|alert to} your {blog|weblog} {thru|through|via} Google, {and found|and located} that {it
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    {A lot of|Lots of|Many|Numerous} {other folks|folks|other people|people} {will be|shall be|might be|will probably be|can be|will likely be} benefited {from your|out of your} writing.
    Cheers!|
    {I am|I’m} curious to find out what blog {system|platform}
    {you have been|you happen to be|you are|you’re} {working with|utilizing|using}?
    I’m {experiencing|having} some {minor|small} security {problems|issues}
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    {I am|I’m} {extremely|really} impressed with your writing skills {and also|as well as} with the layout
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    like this one {these days|nowadays|today}..|
    {Hi|Hello}, Neat post. {There is|There’s} {a problem|an issue} {with your|together with your|along with
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    {I’m|I am} not sure where {you are|you’re} getting your {info|information}, but {good|great}
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    more. Thanks for {great|wonderful|fantastic|magnificent|excellent} {information|info} I was
    looking for this {information|info} for my mission.|
    {Hi|Hello}, i think that i saw you visited my {blog|weblog|website|web site|site} {so|thus} i came
    to “return the favor”.{I am|I’m} {trying to|attempting to} find
    things to {improve|enhance} my {website|site|web site}!I suppose its
    ok to use {some of|a few \

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