All ready for Primary School {Review & Giveaway of ERGOWORKS}

Posted by ~Summer~ on November 16, 2018

Making the leap from preschool to primary school is a huge milestone for every child. Even though I'm not new to the how everything works - from registration and orientation to recesses and routines - since the firstborn is in Primary 3 already, I have to remind myself that it's a big change for Ariel who is going to make her transition very soon. While she seems to be mostly excited about it, I am pretty sure she feels the jitters too and can't help but wonder how she will adapt and fit into the new school.

Having learnt from experience in the past three years, one of the things I can do as a mum to help ease her transition is to make her feel eager and positive about the change. For starters, since I'm in the parents support group committee, I've been bringing her with me to school to let her get familiarised with the surroundings. She knows how to get to the main gate, she has tried buying her own food from the canteen, she can make her way to the general office and she has a concept of how things will work differently in the new system. We will also be attending her P1 orientation together this week so that she can get acquainted with her form teachers and classmates, learn about the school rules, receive her book list and try out her new uniforms too.

Another important step in preparing her for Primary One is to get a new school bag - not just any school bag, but a quality one that will make her feel comfortable and last through the years. I believe in investing in a slightly more expensive, ergonomic school bag in this case because I've learnt that no matter how hard the child tries to follow the timetable and pack a light load, the truth is my firstborn always seems to be carrying a rock to and fro school and it scares me to think of how it can hurt her spine over time. I'm not the type of mum who will offer to carry their school bags so they will have to be able to do it themselves. Also, since the elder sister walks home from school on her own and I have every intention of letting the little sister join her in doing so, that means I will want to feel assured that I have done my best in trying to instill good postures, maximise comfort and reduce stress by getting a good ergonomic school bag for them.

In this post, I'll be sharing with you about Ariel's new IMPACT school bag and our shopping experience at ERGOWORKS where we learnt a good deal about how ergonomic products can make a difference in our kids' lives. For those of you who would love to get a new school bag for your child too, I'm giving away not one, but TWO brand new IMPACT Air Light Spinal Protection Backpacks worth $169 each. Read on to the end for more details on how to participate.


We visited ERGOWORKS' flagship outlet at Marina Square (#03-140/141) which spans over an area of 3,000 sqft and looks not just spacious, but welcoming too. There was more than ample space for the kids to roam around and while Ariel was choosing her school bag with me, the baby brother was sleeping peacefully in the stroller which I tucked away in a corner and the big sister was delighted to start reading a book she saw at the ergonomic tables and chairs section.

A big reason why we were drawn to this place was because of the vibrant, multi-hued school bags which were hung neatly on the wall, as well as all the colourful, striking accessories and products. Ariel's reaction was "Wow, so many nice bags to choose from!" and couldn't wait to start picking out the designs that appealed to her.

For your convenience, you can also find other ERGOWORKS outlets at Centrepoint (#03-36) and Causeway Point (#03-26). Let's take a closer look at the range of school bags you can find at the Marina Square outlet and which were our favourite picks.


We have always believed in IMPACT school bags because this was the first brand we picked for our firstborn and it lasted us well through the years. Not only do these ergonomic school bags come in attractive colours, the designs are functional and the material is of superior quality too. Did you know? IMPACT is the only ergonomic brand internationally endorsed and recommended by Singapore Physiotherapy Association and The Chiropractic Association (Singapore), which I think says a lot about the brand itself.

If you don't know yet, you can get to enjoy a 20% trade in offer with any used IMPACT bag (regardless of condition) and a 15% discount with SAFRA membership card or Cordlife Circle membership card. Note that this discount is applicable for regular priced bags only.

In wanting to let Ariel have the freedom in choosing her own bag, she took time to try on her preferred designs one by one. We met the assistant Sales Manager, Winston, who was very kind to let her try them on and he took the time and effort to help her adjust the belt and straps accordingly so that the bag fitted snugly every time.

We learnt that the recommended weight of a school bag, complete with all the books and stationery, is around 15% of your child's body weight. I would like to keep it in this range for my kids to avoid unnecessary stress and damage to spinal health. If you think about it, a school bag on average weighs around 1kg already and if you have a child who weighs around the same as Ariel (18kg), that means you need to try to reduce the load to around 2-3kg. Let me assure you that this WILL be a daunting task because primary schoolers have seriously a lot of books, worksheets, files and stationery to carry to school. The good thing is with a truly ergonomic bag like IMPACT, it is still acceptable if the weight exceeds the ideal and is a little close to 20% because the bag helps to counter the 'extra' weight and evenly distribute it. Yes, a big PHEW for me.

Not all schools have in place the system where students can keep their textbooks in classrooms or provide lockers for them to deposit some of their personal belongings. This means that while it is important for the kids to learn to pack their bags according to the timetable every day, it is also equally essential that the school bag is sturdy, light, comfortable to carry and promotes better posture.

Here's sharing the top three picks that Ariel chose that day and which design she decided on eventually.

1) Ergo-Comfort Spinal Support Backpack IMPACT IPEG-130

Weighing 900g, this was one of the lightest bags that we tried and not only was it comfortable to carry due to the soft material and chest stabilisation belt, the design - with the different shades of red and pink - was one of the more stylish ones we saw. However, the downside for us was that height of the bag (42cm) made it too long for Ariel to carry. It is recommended that the bottom of the school bag does NOT exceed beyond half of the buttocks of the child. So in this case, this was not a good fit for Ariel's petite size.

2) IMPACT Air Light Spinal Protection Backpack IPEG-226

This is the latest model to hit the stores and it features a patented 3D Airy Light Back-Care System to reduce stress on spine and back. We found it rather unique as compared to the rest because it comes with a buckle and drawstring instead of the usual zipper. I thought it looked pretty nice and cool on Ariel and in fact, I think this would be a good bag to bring along for any outdoor adventure too. Available in three colours - pink, blue and purple, this was definitely one of our top picks that day. The only thing to note is that the child has to be adept at the drawstring and buckle, if not it would take longer for him/her to open or close the bag. That said, I think all it takes is a bit of practice and we would strongly recommend this model too. This is the one that I will be giving away at the end of the post so you can start to think about which is your favourite colour!

3) Ergo-Comfort Spinal Support Backpack IMPACT IM-0037A

Ariel's last pick was a similar model that her elder sister chose three years ago when it was her turn to enter Primary One. I think the main pull factor was because this one came in such a pretty shade of purple, which happens to be her favourite colour, that many girls would find it hard to resist too. Yes, I mean just look at that sweet combination of pastel purple and pink, even I had to admit that I was attracted to it at first glance too.

With the multiple organiser compartments, elastic straps, detachable waist belt and breathable material, this design has always been one of our best-loved ones throughout the years. Personally, I also prefer the kids to choose a bag with a sturdy structure so that it stands upright on its own without having to lean against the table or chair. It makes it easier for the child to reach inside to retrieve the belongings or pack the bag at the end of the class, right?

Can you guess which school bag she decided on in the end? Or rather, I think she already made up her mind from the start. Haha.

Yes, the PURPLE one, of course!

Anyway, to make it easier for parents to determine which type of ergonomic bag or furniture will suit the child most, you can also find a weighing scale and height chart inside the store too.


Next, let's move on to the accessories! Firstly, let's talk about water bottles. I have to tell you that we have been fans of the IMPACT water bottles for the longest time and I've even bought the same ones a few times because the kids somehow lose their bottles every once in a while.

The ones that we are using are the 450ml Nano Ionizer Jump Lid Water Bottle which retails at $19.90 each. Not only are they BPA free, they are also light weight, odour free, temperature resistant, heat resistant and very durable too - I can't count how many times we have dropped these bottles but they have never leaked or become spoilt. The key spring open cover also makes it easy to open and close and even my toddler is comfortable with using this bottle and does it with ease. The wide opening design also makes it easy for the girls to refill their own bottles and clean them thoroughly too.

Another unique feature of the water bottles is the inbuilt nano ionizing technology, thanks to the revolutionary, high tech Tritan FDA compliant material used in making them. This technology helps in reducing water molecules, thus making it easy to absorb and increasing the capacity to promote the body's metabolism, activate cells and enhance immunity. It is recommended that you change a bottle every year or when scratches start to appear on the inside of the bottle because that is when the ionizing properties no longer work.

Besides water bottles, IMPACT also offers a range of quality accessory products including wallets, stationery pouches and carry bags. The stationery pouches come in simplistic, functional designs and there are four colours you can choose from - red, purple, sky blue, navy blue.

I'm fully aware of how a school bag might not be sufficient to contain all the books or artwork the child might need to bring home on some days, so a carry bag such as this one below will come in handy. See how happy she looks with her new pink carry bag? Very striking, right? I guess that makes it hard for her to lose it. Haha.

ERGOWORKS is now running a Purchase with Purchase promotion whereby for every purchase of an IMPACT bag, you can receive a Back to School Bundle - stationery pouch and carry bag - with a top up of $9.90 only (usual price $46.80). Minimum spend is $90 and available while stocks last. I think it's a pretty good deal and definitely value for money!

With everything in place, I think she's more or less all set for Primary School!


We also came across some of the ergonomic furniture in ERGOWORKS and since we learnt a couple of new things, I would like to share them with you too. For instance, I was taught about the proper sitting posture and these are the things to take note of:

- Thighs must be parallel to the ground and form a 90 degree with the leg
- Feet must be rested flat on the ground or on a footrest
- The back of the knee must not be touching the seat
- Shoulders should be relaxed and elbows kept close to the body
- Back should be as close to the chair as possible to get the full support from the backrest

Winston showed the girls the proper sitting posture and I was very thankful for that because these girls have a tendency to fidget in their seats, slouch or just come up with the weirdest sitting positions at times. He reiterated on the importance of good postures and how this could potentially benefit our health in the long run.

We were also introduced to the STYLE KIDS Back Support, something which I've never let the kids try before and am tempted to do so now. These unique structures wrap the pelvis to help correct postures naturally and other than sitting in it, no effort is required of the kids so they won't even realise that they are practising the right sitting positions.

Growing up, I didn't have a study table or chair so my revision corner was always the sofa and a coffee table which I had to bend over in order to do any writing. Thus, when I became a mum and the kids started attending school, one of my priorities was to get a good table and chair set for them. We've been using our ergonomic tables and chairs at home for the past two years and I love how these furniture grow with the child since they are height adjustable. The table top can be tilted depending on whether you are using it for writing, reading or painting and the chair can be adjusted to ensure that you can getting full back support and sitting in the optimal position.

ERGOWORKS offers a variety of good quality ergonomic desk and chair sets for you to choose from, including trustworthy brands like Comta Kids, IMPACT and Ergostars. We tried out a few of them and the kids said they felt so comfortable sitting in the chairs and reading the storybooks that it was hard for me to pull them away afterwards. Well, I am hoping that having a good desk and chair will continue to motivate them to study, read more and work hard!

There are several promotions going on now, including 6-in-1 bundle deals, free gifts, free local delivery and some of the sets are even retailing for less than half price! I strongly recommend that you invest in a good desk and chair set for the kids because it will bring about benefits in both the short and long runs, especially since these products are durable and can last through the years.

Lighting is a crucial factor when it comes to protecting our kids' eyesight and I always stress to my girls that they need to switch on their desk lamps whenever they are reading or writing. For now, we are all free from myopia and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it can stay this way in the years to come. We saw a range of Philips LED table lamps being sold at affordable prices at ERGOWORKS so you can check these out too if you are looking for one.

Have you heard of an ergonomic mattress before? It's the first time I came across it so I was really intrigued about how it works. Basically, the mattress is customised and made to measure based on your height, head and shoulder measurements and designed specifically to best support the neck, shoulder, upper back, lower back and spinal cord in helping to ensure a good night's rest.

It comes in kids' sizes too and this was Ariel's favourite corner of the day. Yup, she felt so comfortable lying on the organic latex mattress and said she could sleep there all day long! As one can expect, the price of these made to measure mattresses are on the high end but if you are able to afford one, perhaps it might just be the solution to more comfortable and restful nights.

All in all, we had a most fun and informative shopping experience where we learnt a good deal about good postures and ergonomic solutions. Thank you, ERGOWORKS!

Here's a short clip to take you around the store and show you more of our experience!



Ariel brought her new IMPACT school bag out recently just so she could have a better feel of it. It's a much bigger bag as compared to her preschooler small backpack so I thought she would need a little bit of time to get used to it.

She is now quite adept at opening the bag and is also excited to pack all her new books into the different compartments. Yes, see all the different compartments which will hold the books snugly? This will help to not just organise her stuff, but more importantly reduce the stress on her back by ensuring that the belongings don't bump around when she walks.

Water bottle and umbrella go to the left and right pockets while wallet and house keys (yes, she is getting a set of keys just like her sister, in case she gets home herself and for some reason the door is locked) fit nicely into the front pouch. She is so in love with the whole purple colour and the pink zipper sliders too, and I am happy just to see that she is happy.

This little girl is definitely most pleased with her new school bag too and I have no doubt that it makes her feel excited and ready to embark on her Primary School journey soon. Woohoo, let's bring it on!



I know many of you have been waiting for this, so here's your chance at bringing home a brand new IMPACT school bag! I am giving away not one, but TWO IMPACT ergonomic bags IPEG-226 and you can choose your desired colour (pink/blue/purple) too. This is the latest design and I personally think that it looks aesthetically pleasing and seemingly less bulky because of the soft material and drawstring opening. I will be choosing two winners randomly, one from Facebook and the other from Instagram.

For Facebook (contest link here),
1) Leave a blog comment in this post to qualify.
2) Like A Happy Mum and ERGOWORKS on Facebook.
3) Like my post and leave a FB comment on why you would like to get a new school bag, tagging three friends who might love to win too.
4) For a bonus chance to win, share this post with your family and friends.

For Instagram (contest link here),
1) Leave a blog comment in this post to qualify. (You also need to comment once to qualify for both FB and IG) 
2) Follow @ahappymum and @ergoworkssg on IG
3) Like this post on my IG account
4) Tag as many friends as you can, one in each comment. The more you tag, the higher your chances of winning.
5) For 5 bonus entries, repost my post and tag me and #ahappymumgiveaway.

It is mandatory to complete steps 1-3 for FB and steps 1-4 for IG to qualify for each of them. You can choose to join either of the giveaways or BOTH to double your chances of winning. The giveaway ends on 25 Nov 2359hrs. Two winners will be chosen and contacted via DM, they will have to reply within 48 hours or new winners will be picked. This giveaway is open to all readers residing in Singapore and aged 18 and above. It is in no means endorsed, administered or affiliated with Facebook or Instagram. Best of luck, people!

Disclosure: This is a sponsored collaboration with ERGOWORKS. All opinions are our own.

Happiness is... enjoying the fruits of your labour

Posted by ~Summer~ on November 07, 2018
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October is always a busy month for us because of the final year examinations for the big girl and all the party planning I have to do for all three kids. Since we don't go for any tuition and hope to remain tuition free for the coming years, it means I have to try my best in my limited free time to do some revision with the firstborn and hope that she finds her own motivation to keep working hard and strive to do her best in not just schoolwork, but in everything she does.

I can't tell you how many times I wanted to scream out loud or lose my cool, especially when we go through things like oral and compo revision, when she can't seem to read a good number of Chinese words that she has learnt before, when she gives up on a Math question and asks me for the answer before she even attempts it, or when she repeats the same mistakes that we have already gone through. It's not easy, really not easy, trying to teach your own kid and I totally understand the frustration. That said, it's also a learning journey for me because not only have I given back much of my knowledge to my teachers and need to relearn many things, I also realised I have a lot of room for improvement when it comes to being a patient, encouraging and supportive mum. I'm very thankful for this girl who has proven herself to be responsible, mature and sensible and it's also heartening to see how she takes charge of packing her schoolbag, revises her weekly spellings, jots down her exam dates, takes the initiative to do her assessment books in her free time and is always finding opportunities to pick up a book to read.

On the other hand, I'm also planning for the year end birthday parties for each of the kiddos and even though I try to keep them on a small scale, I'm still very much into coming up with themes, doing DIY decor and inventing our own games to play too - and there's always the food and dessert table to think about. For now, I'm in the midst of doing a spy party for the big girl and her friends because she wanted this theme and I must say it's tiring yet very fun to do too! Will share more about that soon!

Like what I always tell her nowadays, you reap what you sow and for all the efforts you put into doing what you do, you will get to enjoy the reward and that immeasurable sense of achievement at the end of the day. In October's "Happiness is...", it's about enjoying the fruits of our labour and looking forward to the exciting year end.

During her exam period, I made her special 'animal' sandwiches, printed cards and wrote her good luck messages every day to encourage her. I could see how much she looked forward to opening her bag to find these surprise cards and they helped to make her feel that everything was gonna be okay and all I ask is for her to try her best. Yup, I kept repeating the same things, "Try your best", "You can do it", "Believe in yourself", "We are in this together", "Never give up" and so on because I really want her to know that she is not alone and that while grades are important, they are not everything and will never be.

Back at home, chores have to be done no matter if we are in the midst of exams or not. So, the big girl still has to help out with the laundry and in the kitchen too no matter how busy she may be. It might be unfair but I find it imperative that the firstborn sets a good example for the rest because they have a tendency to follow whatever she does, so I always remind her just how important she is to me and also try to spend a little more time to teach her and praise her too.

While the two younger ones have been fighting and bickering quite a lot recently, the good thing is that they get over it in a couple of minutes and are loving again in no time. They have also shown a willingness in helping me to cook, for instance in plucking the vegetables, peeling eggs, adding ingredients into the soup or simple frying too. Whenever we serve a dish that they had helped in the making, they will always be proud to say things like "I fried this!" or "I helped to make this!" and I guess it really makes our simple meal taste better too.

They also love making our own homemade 'pizza' and I keep reminding myself to close one eye to the mess because it's such a good thing already that they are willing to do it themselves and make their own meal. They always say the pizza tastes very yummy and I know it's because they are enjoying the fruits of their labour and understanding that nothing falls from the sky. Of course, putting in lots of ham, pineapples and extra cheese makes it very appetizing too!

Remember the 2.5kg of soy beans I bought just for their sensory play? Well, it's amazing but I survived having to pick them up and pack them nearly every night for a month! Thanks to the tent and a Daiso shower curtain for helping to make things easier though I have to tell you I still keep finding the beans everywhere in my house, including inside the toddler's diaper. Haha. Well, no pain no gain, right? I'm just so thankful to see that they had a good time playing, making a mess and just filling up buckets and bowls of beans again and again.

I don't splurge on gifts for the kids on Children's Day but I do like to make them little cards just to remind them how much they are loved. This year, we managed to carve out some quality one-on-one sessions so that definitely meant a great deal to me. We've also been interested in pop-up cards recently so I figured out they would be ecstatic to get one each from me. I sure hope they felt Mama's love for them and still feel it every day, no matter how tough things might get at times.

While we do make time for revision before the exams arrive, I don't really believe in last minute work and I don't think it is healthy to ask the child to do lots and lots of practice papers in the last couple of days too. Yup, instead, I feel consistency is the key and as long as she has been paying attention in class and keeping up with her school work, that is more important than trying to hug the Buddha's leg and cram for the exams the days before. So, we make it a point to carry on with our weekend activities and also have some time for relaxation and play on all weekdays too.

The weekend before she was going to sit for all her four written papers, we brought her to KidZania and had a Halloween celebration at SpookyTown. It was a night where we didn't talk about homework, about tests and exams, but instead we enjoyed the activities wholeheartedly and came together as a family.

The kids were totally excited to dress up for Halloween too and guess what, we eventually attended not one but FOUR halloween parties so they could do it over and over again. Haha. These lucky kids. You should see the huge box of candies we have after all the trick or treating. Still, seeing all those smiles makes it all worthwhile though I think I need to secretly stash some of the sweets away from them!

No matter how busy we are, I still make it a point to go to outdoor playgrounds, indoor play areas and we usually can't help it but go on all the free bouncy castles and ball pits we see at roadshows. Haha. I keep reminding myself that there is no such thing as "We have no time to play" because it's always a matter of our perception and priorities in life. There IS always time for play, it's just whether we want to let it happen or not.

A fellow mum who daughter is in the same class as Ariel told us her kid would not be coming to the birthday party cum Christmas gathering that we are organising in early December because her daughter has a lot of tuition classes to attend on a Sunday and they are always very busy on weekends. She also questioned why I am so free to attend and host parties when I have three kids to look after, haha. Anyway, I can sense the disappointment in her girl because all the other girls are coming, and also the stress that she might feel once Primary School starts. So yup, it was just another reminder to me that schoolwork is not the most important thing. My child's happiness is.

One thing good about being a stay-at-home mum is that I am able to go on all the school excursions with my kids. Asher and I had the chance to go to the Science Centre with Ariel and since this was her last excursion before she graduates from K2, I can see how much it mattered to her and how happy she was to have us there. Awww, yes, my baby girl is going to Primary One next year and I'm still trying to accept the fact that she has grown in the blink of an eye. Well, being a year end baby means she still looks a little tiny compared to her friends and it makes me cherish every phase of her growing up even more. This girl will turn six just before Christmas and I'm keeping her party theme a surprise for the time being. Yes, I'm concurrently planning for three parties so it can get confusing at times but please wish me luck that everything goes smoothly!

Here's a sneak peek at the first party that's coming up - check out our DIY birthday invites! Oh yes, it's gonna be a spy party where the big girl and her friends will become secret agents for a day. I can't wait to see if I can pull this off and no matter what, I hope she will have a good time because she really worked hard this year and deserves a good time on her birthday. She doesn't expect me to do a lot by the way, she said she just wishes to have 4-5 friends over and play a couple of games. It's not too much, right? I think it's me who is always trying to be the ambitious one. Haha.

It warms my heart to see what a simple hand painting session and an origami camera can do to bring joy and big smiles to these kids. I love how innocent, how pure and how easily contented they are at this stage of lives. If anything, I hope they will always learn to choose happiness and see the good and beauty of life.

It's been a long while since we started our journey with heART Studio and while we see some students skipping classes during exam period, we turned up for ours even though the girl had her Science paper the very next morning. I don't want her to think that her passion matters less than her grades, you know what I mean? It's been a tedious solo parenting month in October but still, I think we survived it pretty well and I kind of look forward to enrichment class days because it means I get to dine out with the kids and don't need to cook. Haha.

The big girl, who is a bug lover, has been keeping caterpillar after caterpillar (she even names each of them) and watching them hatch from their chrysalis one by one. It has been a most fascinating learning experience for her and I must tell you, she learns so much from observing them and can now accurately tell me when they will emerge as butterflies because she notices the colour changes in the chrysalis. Incredible! We love seeing the whole metamorphosis process and the newly minted butterflies look too beautiful for words. It's also a joy releasing them from our balcony and seeing them take their first flight into the world.

On the blog front, it's been quite a busy and productive month and we've run more giveaways than usual. I'm so, so thankful for all the media drops and my wish every time is that I get to share the goodies with more readers so I always do my utmost to request for a giveaway from the sponsors. It's my little way of saying thank you for all your support and encouragement, and it helps to know that we are never alone in this parenting journey.

That said, I do work quite hard to keep up with everything and have sacrificed countless hours of sleep just to finish up my blogging assignments. The words and pictures don't just magically appear in this space or on my social media and every post I publish takes effort to put together. Not everyone understands this, but maybe you do. So, while I'm happy to keep doing what I do, I also know that it's because I worked hard for this and thus am able to enjoy the fruits of my labour every once in a while. There is no free lunch in this world, you know? I still believe in that and I strongly think that hard work pays off. So, regardless of what your passion, job and dream is in life, please don't give up on it and keep trying for you will surely succeed one day. Maybe not always through the way you envisioned it to be, but you will get there somehow.

On the day that exams were over for Angel, we celebrated it with a bang by watching The Great Moscow Circus! See my review here. It was a surprise treat for them and they didn't know what we were watching till we got there. I must say the whole show was most amazing and I am still very blown away by all the seemingly impossible, heart pounding and even death defying acts! We spoke about hard work just now and these circus stars must be some of the most hardworking people ever and it's also because they are driven by the passion they have for this job. The show runs till 23 November so if you haven't watched it yet, you must! It's one of the best shows ever and you definitely won't regret it.

Last but not least, one of the happiest things we did this month was to have our family photoshoot and I am so thankful to have these beautiful memories as keepsakes. Seeing how the kids have grown up in every photoshoot we did over the past years, it is kind of a bittersweet feeling but I know I need to cherish these years because they will never return again when they are gone. Cloud Productions captured some of our most treasured moments (read my review here) and did a most wonderful job photographing my family and I'm so glad to have these prints to keep for life.

So, I'm definitely anxious yet excited about the upcoming year end parties, school holidays and Christmas celebrations. Yup, it's time to go shopping for Christmas gifts already! How amazing time flies! I hope you are looking forward to the last leg of 2018 too. Till more updates next month!

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