Big Boy Room Reveal!

I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving!  I'm probably off Black Friday shopping right now, but I thought I'd share a few pictures of Wyatt's finished room!  It took me so long to finish setting it up because I did several of the projects myself.

If you remember from a few months ago, I was trying to decide between a car theme or a construction zone theme.  I ended up ordering the construction zone bedding because I liked the colors better - it went better with the yellow walls so I didn't have to repaint, and Wyatt loves trucks!  

But the more I thought about it, the more I decided I didn't want to do a specific theme - Wyatt is into so many things right now.  Animals, cars, tractors, airplanes, trucks - he likes all of that.  So instead of a particular theme I just did a miss mash of things that I know Wyatt likes.  I really like the way it turned out, and I'm glad we kept the yellow walls because his room is so bright and cheerful!


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The projects I did for his room:

-Derek and I got an old sewing table at the thrift store for six dollars, and I repainted it to turn it into a nightstand.  The nightstand was going to be tricky because the bed is so tall, so I was glad we found something that would work - and overall it only cost me $15!

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-Obviously I made the felt circle banner, which I posted about earlier this week:

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 -I also just hung a string with mini clothes pins so We could hang some of Wyatt's art work in his room.  I cut out the letters of his name to hang too.  I think it will be fun to add some of his masterpieces to the string as he makes them!

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-The biggest project was the plaques I made to hang on his wall!  I am really happy with the way they turned out.  I might post a little tutorial on how I did them soon, so stay tuned.

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I bought:

-New bedding from Amazon.

-The book shelf and storage cubes from Target


Everything else I already had!

It was a bit of a process moving Wyatt into his new room - my little guy is not a big fan of change.  But he's to the point now where he'll go down in there pretty easily for naps, and with only a little work at night.  

I was going to get him a step stool so he could climb up in to bed - but WYatt can actually climb up there pretty well all by himself, and he has no trouble getting down either!  I was also going to get a guard rail since the bed is so high, but I didn't have one ordered yet when we moved him in there - so I just put a bunch of pillows on the floor and a couple pillows on the edge of the bed as a barrier - and Wyatt has had no trouble rolling off yet, so I think I'm going to hold off on buying the rail.

As far as whether he likes the room - he loves his truck bedding!  He always wants to lay on his "truck pillow" - the other pillows will not do.  He was also really excited about the plaques I made for his wall - he was watching me paint them and couldn't stop chattering about the car and trucks!  I think he likes it, he's just getting used to the big switch.  I'm glad I included so many things that he likes, because I think it makes him feel more comfortable in there to be surrounded by so much fun stuff!

The Greatest Thing

Today is Thanksgiving.  A day when people all over the country take time to reflect on the things that they are thankful for.  I love making lists of things we are thankful for on Thanksgiving, but I think it can be easy to focus so much on the things, especially material blessings, that we forget about Who gave us these things.

This day isn't about the turkey, or football games, or even spending time with family.  This is a day to give thanks to God, not only for the blessings He has given us, but for who He is and what He has done.  It should be a day not only of thanks, but also of praise - not just for listing blessings, but for reflecting and remembering what a great God we serve and thanking Him for everything that He is.




One of my favorite passages of Scripture around Thanksgiving and Christmas is Mary's song in Luke 1:47-55:

“My soul magnifies the Lord,
 And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.
 For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant;
For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed.
 For He who is mighty has done great things for me,
And holy is His name.

 And His mercy is on those who fear Him
From generation to generation.

 He has shown strength with His arm;
He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
 He has put down the mighty from their thrones,
And exalted the lowly.
 He has filled the hungry with good things,
And the rich He has sent away empty.

 He has helped His servant Israel,
In remembrance of His mercy,
 As He spoke to our fathers,
To Abraham and to his seed forever.”

The lyrics of one of my favorite Christmas songs, Magnificat on Todd Agnew's Christmas CD, is based on this passage.  You can listen to it here. I feel like it presents Mary's song so beautifully, but it resonates with me so much because of how it focuses on God and His work.  

He has done great things for me, and for you.  Even if you have nothing but the clothes on your back, this is true.  We are entering into the Christmas season, when we celebrate the fact that He became a man, so he could die for us.  So He could rise from the dead and save us.  That is a great thing.  It is the greatest thing.  

God and who He is right at the top of my list, right along with this mighty thing that He has done for us. I'm so glad to serve such a strong, holy, and merciful God as this.

Gwendolyn At 11 Months

Mis Gwendolyn is 11 months old!  It makes me kind of sad to think about the fact that soon she'll be a one year old.  But then I remember all the money I will soon be saving on formula, and it helps.


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She is such a sweetheart, and I love the way her personality is developing!  Ever since she learned to say "Hi", she says it to everyone, all the time.  She has also started waving to people when she says hi, and it's so cute.  Whenever someone says hi back she gives the biggest grin!  She's such a social little girl.


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She is growing so much - a lot of her 12 month clothes don't fit anymore, but she's still too small for a lot of the 18 month stuff, so we're stuck in between right now.  


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She loves to eat finger foods still, and she is always reaching for my coffee cup.  She loves sneaking drinks out of Wyatt's sippy cups, so I don't think we'll have any trouble switching her over in the next couple months.  One of the funniest things is how she eats apples.  I gave her an apple slice the other day to gnaw on, and when I looked back at her a little later all that was left was the skin of the apple.  She literally peeled all the meat off and left a paper-thin bit of red skin on her high chair tray.  I wish I had taken a picture of it!  She didn't even have any teeth to speak of at the time, so I'm not sure how she did it.


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She tries to share her bottle with me - she'll be drinking from her bottle and suddenly she'll pull it out of her mouth, grin at me, and shove the bottle toward my mouth!  She wants me to enjoy it too.


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Gwen got three of her teeth in this month!  Both bottom front teeth came in on the same day, on October 28th, and her upper left front tooth came in on November 11th.  Her upper right one is just about to break through too!  She looks so cute when she smiles, with her little dimples and her three little teeth showing.


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She takes playing and eating very seriously.  It's fun to watch her because usually she has such a serious look on her face.


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She and Wyatt have been playing together more and more, and she just thinks he is the greatest.  The other day I heard her giggling, so I looked over and Wyatt was wrestling her down onto her back and then started playing drums on her stomach.  He wasn't being rough, just playing with her, and she thought it was hilarious!  


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She also seems to be a daddy's girl, because whenever Derek comes upstairs she crawls as fast as she can toward him and grins and says "Hi".  Sometimes I can tell she just wants her daddy to hold her, and she always has a smile for him.  



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She got sick this month, so we got a lot of cuddling in.  I don't love that she was sick, but when she is feeling well she hardly sits still, so I was just soaking up the cuddles.  She also has been giving me hugs and kisses a lot more - usually when Derek is holding her and we're about to put her to bed, she'll just kind of lunge at me, wrap her little arms around my neck, and give me an open-mouthed kiss.  I love it so much!  She is such a sweetheart!


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Miss Gwen,

What a precious baby girl you are!  I love seeing your personality develop, and I love how social you are.  Your attitude wherever we go is that of course everyone will like you - and really, how could they not?  Everyone is always telling me how cute you are.  You are so beautiful and precious, and I love what a sweet little heart you have already.  I can't believe you are almost a year old.  I know I will always miss your baby days, but watching you grow is such a joy.  I love watching you develop into the person God has made you to be, and it makes the future exciting.  I love every minute with you, Sweet Baby.

Love You Always,

Mama

Circle Felt Banner Tutorial

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I've been working a lot on Wyatt's new "big boy" room the last few weeks, and I'm happy to report that it's almost done!  

When I was setting up his room there was a lot of blank wall space, and I really wanted to do a banner of some sort, but something that would still feel boyish.  I came across a couple circle felt banners on Etsy, and I liked the look of them.  So I decided to make my own!

I think this is probably one of the easiest banners you can do.  Here is the step-by-step.

What You Need:

-Four sheets of colored felt
-Baker's twine or other colored string
-Scissors
-Sharpie
-Round object to trace

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1. Trace the round object onto the felt with your Sharpie.

2.  Cut out the circles.  They might not be perfect, but I think it adds to the charm.

3. Take one of your felt circles, fold it in half, and make two little snips in the center of the circle.  Do this for each circle.

4.  Thread each circle onto your Baker's twine.  You can tie knots in between each circle to hold them in place if you want to.  I didn't tie any knots and I just spread them out along the string before I hung the banner.

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And you're done!  

Super-easy, but I thought it turned out really well!  I think this would also be an easy/cute way to make a Christmas garland with Christmas colored felt, or a Valentine's banner with hearts instead of circles.  Lots of possibilities.

Stay tuned for pictures of Wyatt's new room (hopefully) this week!

It's Okay That It's Different


After last week's post, where I talked about how having the second baby is different, I got a few responses from people saying how they feel bad for their first child.  By the time their second child comes around they know more of what they are doing, and the general thought process seemed to be that the first child got short-changed because the parents didn't have as much experience for the first as they do for the second child.

So I thought I should address this before moving on with this series.  Yes, you do have more experience for your second child. And that is because your first child is the one that changed you into a mother.  You can see yourself changing before your very eyes with that first baby.  But does that mean the first baby is being short-changed?  That all subsequent children will have it better because mom finally knows what she's doing?  Not at all.

Mothers have been raising first babies with zero mothering experience since the beginning.  And you know what?  Their lack of experience generally does not mess up the first child.  On the contrary, firstborn children are typically the achievers and leaders in the family.  Over half of our U.S. presidents have been firstborn children, and over 90% of the first astronauts that the U.S. sent into space were firstborn children (source).  The fact that their mothers raised them with no experience didn't seem to hurt them much, even though their mothers may have felt just as worried about the "mistakes" they made with their firstborn.

There are definitely benefits to being a firstborn, and there are also definite drawbacks.  But so it is with any birth order.  Derek and I actually have an ongoing (friendly) discussion about who has it harder, the oldest (that would be me), or the youngest (that would be Derek).  

Bottom line - you are not going to mess your first child up just because you make "rookie" mistakes in your mothering journey.  If kids were messed up that easily, I think every person on earth would have issues, because even the best parents don't handle everything perfectly, with any of their kids.

As a firstborn myself, I sometimes tease my parents that I was the "experimental" child - that they made all their mistakes on me.  But honestly, it's all in jest - I'm happy I was a firstborn child.  Even if it is true that I was the "experimental" child, I know that being the oldest has made me who I am today, and I'm grateful for it.  I also think that it's kind of cool that I was the baby that turned my mom and dad into parents.  It's not a drawback.  It's rather special.  

Don't let your inexperience with your first worry you or make you feel like the second child has it better.  There are good things about both situations, and it's okay that things are different for one child as opposed to another because of birth order.  The world needs it to be different.  It needs firstborn personalities, middle, and youngest personalities.   I think God knew that and designed personality dynamics that way on purpose. It's a good thing.  

Do your best with each of your children, be as fair as you can.  But also learn from your experiences, and apply those lessons without giving yourself a guilt trip.  

It's okay.

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If you have any specific questions/comments for me, comment below and I'll make sure to cover it in a future post!

Snowy Day Must-Haves

Yesterday we woke up to a beautiful white blanket outside.  Alas, I cannot stay home and enjoy it again today (work, you know), but yesterday was just cozy and lovely.  So just for fun, I thought I'd post my snowy day must-haves.

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1. Candles.  You cannot have a snowy day without lighting every candle you own.  At least that's my philosophy.  Preferably they are Yankee candles, because then the yummy scents will permeate your entire house.

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2.  Hot chocolate!  Or a hot beverage of your choice.  Self explanatory.

3.  A fire.  In the wood stove of course.  The crackling adds a lot to the ambiance.

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4.  A big, cozy sweater.  Time to dig it out of the dresser!

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5. Jello.  I might be the only person on earth who does this, but I like to mix Jello with fresh snow and make my own snowcone-in-a-bowl.  I'm telling you, it's good stuff.  Lime is my favorite.

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6. A good book.  I'm reading Stars Collide by Janice Thompson right now, and it's pretty cute.  I think a Mary Higgins Clark mystery is next on my list.

7.  Christmas music!  Of course!  I think this one is on my list to buy this year:

Merry christmas to you cd sidewalk prophets


8. Adorable children playing quietly on the floor.  Okay, you can enjoy a snowy day even if you don't have kiddos.  And having them play quietly is a rarity. But happy little voices are the highlight of these winter days to me.

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What are your snowy day must-haves?

18 Weeks Pregnant (Baby #3)

 I am now 18 weeks pregnant!  

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This will probably be posted a little later in the morning because we moved Mr. Wyatt up to his big boy room last night.  It was quite the adjustment for the poor guy, so I ended up sitting in there with him for an hour - and he still cried when I left.  It makes me feel horrible, but his old room has pretty much been dismantled, so we had to move him. Anyway, obviously getting Wyatt settled was more important, so I'm just finishing this post in the morning instead.

Baby has been moving more again this past week, which makes me feel good!  The movement has slowed down for a while there and made me wonder if everything was okay, but then it started up again.  Still can't feel it from the outside, but maybe soon!

We've been working on deep cleaning the house this past week - well, actually it's mostly been Derek working on it.  He likes the house deep cleaned a certain way, and honestly he does do a better job than I do of it!  For everyday cleaning I beat him, but for deep cleaning, he's the go-to guy in this house.  So anyway, all we really have left is the floors.  I'm hoping to get them done before our party in a couple weeks!

Speaking of party, the gender reveal party is in the works!  I was attempting to keep our gender reveal a little smaller this time, but then I felt like I didn't want to leave anyone out that we invited for our other two parties - so a full-blown party it is.  I'll post a few more details over the next couple weeks, but our party is officially set for December 7th! We find out the gender on the 3rd, so I'll have three days to keep it quiet.  I'm pretty excited to find out!  This is the tie-breaker baby.

Purchases made - just stuff for the party, plus I bought a new baby carrier!  Well, actually two.  The carrier I had with Wyatt broke early on with Gwen, and I just got a cheap carrier that I don't like very much to replace it, so I knew I needed a new carrier.  I couldn't make up my mind between a Bijorn or an Ergo, so I got a Bijorn brand-new at a consignment shop for $30, and then I got a knock-off Ergo on Amazon for $14.  I'm pretty excited about this because I'll get to test both of them out, and I think they'll both be good for different circumstances.  The Bijorn I can use when baby is small (and ergonomics for baby's hips really only become an issue in some cases once baby gets bigger, according to my research), and then I have the Ergo knock-off once baby is big enough to use it (since it works better for infants over 4 months and I don't have a newborn insert).  I tried out the Ergo knock-off with Gwen, just to make sure all the buckles were sturdy since that seemed to be a concern with the reviews, and I liked it!  I'm glad I'll have a nicer carrier for this baby since they'll probably have to be in a carrier more when we're out and about.

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(From Instagram.)

I'm still feeling great, just some back pain here and there, and some weird pressure and pain down low.  Usually that doesn't start until the third trimester for me, so it's been a little disconcerting to be feeling that way so early this time, but everything seems to be fine so I'm not too worried.  Probably just ligaments stretching.  I've been feeling a little tired again over the last week, but that comes and goes.  No real cravings!  The belly button is already an outie!

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It Is Not The Same

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If I had to pick one thing to tell moms who are expecting their second baby, I would say don't expect things to be the same with your second baby as they were with your first. 

I think most moms kind of have a handle on the idea that their second baby might be different from the first in a general sense.  They know their children might not have the same sleep habits, eating habits, personality, etc.   But I think one area where this can take moms by surprise is how they feel right after their baby is born (stick with me here).

If you were at all like me, that moment when you met your first child face-to-face lives in your memory as one of the most powerful moments of your life.  Looking at that sweet baby that you carried nine months and realizing that they are all yours - and you are responsible for their little life.  It's exciting.  It's scary.  It's new.  It's overwhelming, that rush of love and emotion that you feel.  I think some moms expect that same exact rush of emotions with the second.

In some ways, it is the same way when you meet your second child for the first time.  It is still one of the most powerful moments in your life.  The love still rushes over you.  But it's not exactly the same.  With the second, you aren't as scared.  With the second, bringing home your baby is no longer an entirely new thought - you've done this before.  You know what you are doing now.  It will be a different mix of emotions.

Will your second baby change you?  Absolutely, but not in exactly the same way as your first.  They'll change you in a different way than any subsequent babies as well.  Every child will be a little different, and that's a good thing.  It keeps you growing.

When you met your first baby, you were a brand-new mom, still trying to figure out what that meant - now you are already a mother.  You are more comfortable with this whole process.  It is different because of it, but it is no less beautiful.  

Don't put expectations on those first moments based on your experience with your first.  Meeting each new baby is a unique and powerful experience in it's own way - appreciate each first moment for what it is without the comparison.   Every time you first lay eyes on your child is indescribably and equally special.  Treasure it.

Sit With Me

"Sit wif meeee? Sit wif meee?"

These are words I hear on a daily basis. Usually I happily comply and snuggle on the couch with my oldest. But lately my plate has been full, and so the requests of "Sit wif me" have been met with "not right now", "in a little bit", and "maybe later, buddy".

The other night I was putting Wyatt to bed, and he asked again to sit with me. It was already well past his bedtime. It had been a long day, Derek and I were trying to wind down for the night, and I knew Wyatt was stalling. So I told him it was time for bed right now, and he needed to go to sleep.


But then tonight, Derek and I were sitting on the couch watching a TV show, and I looked over to see Wyatt sitting on the edge of his chair, swinging his legs, watching with us.  I asked him if he wanted to come sit with me, and he grinned and shook his head.

And it struck me right then that my days of hearing "sit wif me" are limited. My boy is growing up a little more, getting a little more independent every day.  I regret not taking the time this past week to fulfill his simple request.

I still have a lot on my plate. My days are still jam packed with "to-do's". I still am exhausted every night. But the next time I hear that sweet little voice ask me to slow down, to just sit with him for a while, I'm not going to pass it up again.

 I never know what time will be the last time he'll ever ask me. And those times when I do pull him onto my lap and kiss his sweet head while he snuggles in with his blanket and sticks his thumb in his mouth?  They are fleeting. I want to enjoy it and take each opportunity that I can.  Everything else just isn't quite as important anymore.

Snippets

-I'm really horrible at thinking of crafts to do with Wyatt.  I really don't have an excuse since there is always Pinterest, but I guess my talent is just not kid's crafts.  All I can ever think of is coloring, and Wyatt can only take so much of that!  Anyway, last week at MOPS we had a "pick two" meeting, where you could pick two speakers to listen to for a half hour each.  One of the ones I chose was "Crafts You Can Do With Your Kids".  Afterward I was so inspired I went out and bought a bunch of craft supplies!  They had so many fun ideas that I think Wyatt would really like to do!  Plus, let's face it, my house needed some more craft supplies.  I'm hoping to get to work on one of the crafts with Wyatt this week - I'm thinking if we do it right we could even use the finished product as part of Gwen's birthday decorations!  I'm excited.

-Speaking of birthday decorations, I also picked up supplies to make Gwen's party invitations.  I'm not sure why I do that to myself.  It would be so much easier to just buy invitations.  But I like being able to personalize them and make them match my theme.

-While I was at it I finally bought stuff for our gender reveal party invites and I mailed those out this week!  I can't believe it's only a month (actually less than a month) until we find out the gender!  Usually my doctor's office makes us wait a ridiculously long time to find out, but I talked my doctor into letting me come in a couple weeks early!

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-I'm in such a crafty mood lately.  I think it's because I've spent so much of my spare time on the computer lately that my mind is screaming for a break.  I have this really fun sign-making idea.  I won't say too much because if it turns out well I'll post about it later.  I'm just waiting on my dad to cut up some of his spare wood for me and I'm going to get started!

-My nesting urge is in full swing this week (I think it might also have to do with the fact that we have so many parties coming up).  The goal this week is to completely de-clutter and organize, work on setting up Wyatt's room, and deep-clean the bathrooms if I have time. Oh, and repaint a wall  That might be a little ambitious, but whatever doesn't get done this week gets moved to the weekend, so the more I can finish the better.

-Last weekend I got together with some friends and we did one of those wine-and-painting classes!  Obviously no wine for me (I don't drink alcohol anyway), but I really enjoyed it!   They had snacks and non-alcoholic drinks for free, and all our paint supplies were ready to go.   It's been a long time since I painted anything, and it was kind of scary getting back into it.  But once I figured out what I wanted to do, it was really fun, and not as intimidating as I thought!  Makes me want to break out my paints at home sometime.  I thought it was also cool that no one at our table actually followed what we were supposed to be painting with the instructor - we all improvised.  The instructors came around and told us that they decided they thought all of us must be going to art school on the side.  Anyway, here are our paintings!

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(Please excuse the excessive watermarking.)

And here's a closer picture of mine.  I really like the way it turned out!  The painting we were supposed to be doing was really heavy and dark, and it just wasn't my style.  I just knew I couldn't do it the way it was, or I wouldn't want to hang it in my house.  This one is so light and airy and me.  I'll actually hang it somewhere.

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-On Sunday Wyatt woke up, climbed into bed with us, and started talking about "Christmas snow" and "pretty lights".  It baffled me, because we hadn't even been talking about that to him yet this year!  Maybe he had a Christmas dream?  So we decided to head off to the Christmas store to buy some ornaments! Wyatt picked out a tractor ornament, and we got a new family ornament and one for Gwen's first Christmas.  It was a really fun trip!  He doesn't look too excited here, but he loved looking at all the Christmas things.  A couple days later he climbed into bed with me again and said he wanted to "Go see Christmas!"  We settled for Christmas movie instead.

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Just some snippets of life this week.
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