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Archive for May, 2013

A Heart-Stopping Tale: The Old Friend, A Fertility Doc, and The Subway Series

By David Kreiner MD

May 31st, 2013 at 9:05 pm

 

image courtesy of freedigital photos.net

“How do I feel?…The Mets won!” he exclaimed. And with those words exuding from his mouth, Marty’s whole face smiled from ear-to-ear.  “How do I feel?…Weak, but I don’t think I need a fertility doctor.”

Marty was on a roll, his joking relaxed me…his light-hearted mood and focus on his love for the Mets gladdened my heart as I was slowly realizing that Marty was back.

This 76 year-old semi-crippled athlete who loved to play tennis despite his obvious orthopedic infirmities of late struggled to walk, much less compete athletically, but clearly competitive sport was a great love of his.

This is how I knew Marty was back as he joked about his Mets winning the Subway Series.

His wife was now by his side, grasping for rational thought clouded by the sight of seeing her life’s soul mate lying apparently helpless on the floor, having just returned from a temporary state of cardiorespiratory arrest.  She was shaking, yet uncertain about Marty’s fate.

Karina, Dr. Karina I learned… our hero… was a 40-something gastroenterologist who initiated chest compressions moments before I arrived to the lobby of the restaurant but seconds after Marty was seen clutching at his chest, collapsing to the ground. He stopped breathing… his heart stopped beating…and he turned blue.

I confirmed there was no heartbeat nor respirations, as Dr. Karina continued chest compressions.  I looked at Marty and thought about all the fuss he had made over the years regarding road safety in our community…his involvement in tennis and the men’s club, as well attempts to bring others into the fold.

I respected Marty as a role model who I wished to emulate 19 years hence.  He was active, athletic, and responsible for the welfare of the community.

I was determined to breathe life back into this man who in my eyes had plenty more tennis matches to play, Mets games to cheer for, and kids to warn to slow down their cars.  With the will of God I exhaled my life’s breath, filling Marty’s lungs not once but twice.  In response to Dr. Karina’s chest compressions and my breaths, Marty started to perk up with a strong pulse.  His palms were now sweaty and his eyes were beginning to focus.

I dared to ask him, “Marty, do you know who I am”?

“Of course,” Marty said.  “You are the fertility doctor and the one who creates life”.

Later that evening, reflecting on the events at the restaurant, I finally felt that maybe there is some truth that Dr. Karina and I acted as agents of God and indeed did recreate life in the lobby of the restaurant that evening.

Photo credit: Victor Habbick/ http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/agree-terms.php?id=100100670

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NWW Photo Caption Contest No.73

By Tracey Minella

May 29th, 2013 at 8:50 pm

 

image courtesy of myfirstfail.com

Welcome back, everyone. (Or just plain old Welcome to the newcomers!) It’s Nearly Wordless Wednesday, our weekly photo caption contest*… or NWW to the regular players. It’s a blog-based contest where anyone anywhere can enter to win by submitting a clever caption for the photo of the week. Work a few minutes into your week for a fun and free stress-buster. Now let’s play.

Each week, the winner gets a gift card as our little thank you for playing our game.

This week’s contest winner will get a Starbucks gift card. Wouldn’t it be nice if your barista whipped you up the drink of your dreams…and it was free? Well, to get the gift card, you’ve got to be the best caption of them all. So come on and play our game and your vente favorite may be on us next week!

Before we move on to the contest, we need to announce last week’s contest winner: Jason! Remember the picture of the sailor suited baby being “pushed” up to a stance from a bunch of little brown puppies? Well, we loved this winning caption from Jason:

“Come on kid, the sooner we all learn to “Sit Up” the sooner they will start feeding us all from the table”. (Special shout out to Kimberly for a close second.)

Jason, please email your address and the words “NWW Contest #72 Dunkin Donuts” to Lindsay at lmontello@liivf.com to claim your gift card.

Now on to this week’s challenge…

This one gets its inspiration from the heroic folks who stepped up and finished the Boston Marathon this week. The photo comes from the funny stock of myfirstfail.com

Give this photo a caption on the blog (remember it’s not a Facebook contest). Can’t wait to see what you come up with!

Best entry winner gets Starbucks on us! It’s a fast, fun and free contest open to anyone, whether infertile or not, and whether a patient of our practice or not. Join our “regulars” in the weekly challenge!

Bookmark our blog and check back next week to see if you won and we’ll mail you your gift card.

Plus, if you decide to “LIKE” us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/longislandivf , we may be able to send you the prize as an e-gift right through Facebook, depending on what this week’s prize is, so you could be enjoying your winnings as early as on the day we choose the winner! But we’re more than happy to mail it to you! (So as much as we’d love you to “LIKE” us on Facebook, it is absolutely not required to either enter or win our contests!)

*This is a blog-based contest. You may only enter it on the blog. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed, or administered by, or associated with Facebook.  All entrants or participants completely release Facebook for any claims. Participants are disclosing their entry information to LIIVF, not Facebook. “Liking” LIIVF on Facebook is not required to enter or win.

Enter today! Or at least before next Tuesday!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Why not bookmark us so you remember to check back often…at least every Wednesday…so you don’t miss our NWW contests. And we also run bigger contests, too. Please feel free to suggest other fun places we could get gift cards from that you’d like to win as prizes for these fun contests or topics you’d like to see discussed on the blog. Now go enter the contest!

Photo credit: http://curiousphotos.blogspot.com/2010/01/failing-for-first-time.html and myfirstfail.com

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When You Have Years to Choose a Baby Name

By Tracey Minella

May 28th, 2013 at 10:19 pm

 

image courtesy of stuart miles/free digital photos.net

I admit I never understood those couples who leave the hospital with their unnamed newborn. What’s up with that?

Assuming you never entertained the thought prior to conceiving, you’ve got nine months to come up with a name or two (or rarely three or four). Okay, let’s say you’re not an infertility patient who knew the precise moment of conception…and therefore may not have found out you were pregnant for a month or more. That’s still a good seven months to pick a name. And let’s even lop off another month for prematurity. Six months to pick a name. And if you find out what you’re having, then you only need to pick one name. Do-able, no?

Other than Theodore Winston Longfellow III, who’s always known his boy would be Teddy IV, most guys haven’t spent years dreaming about what their baby would be named. Unlike most of us ladies who have been naming our babies since we were tiny tots in pink tulle playing mommy to our dolls.

I remember one night on our honeymoon 25 years ago when the conversation drifted to where we saw ourselves in, wait for it…FIVE years. (Like it was an eternity away!) I still laugh when I recall how old we thought we’d be at that point. Ancient at 28.

We…meaning I…brought up potential baby names. It’s what we women do. And even if we don’t share it, we’re still thinking it, guys. (Of course, neither of us predicted we’d be on a seven year infertility journey when that 5th anniversary rolled around.)

Since we weren’t going for the “classics” or the “trendy”, the chosen names changed often during the long infertility journey. When my mom died, it automatically cemented her name as the girl’s middle name, if we were to be so blessed. But the first name options came and went.

For me, choosing the names (with middle names, too) was a major part of the two week wait following each IVF cycle. It gave me something fun to do. And for the heck of it, I’d put the top contenders in order for each sex, wondering if I’d have to narrow it down to one boy and girl, or two boys and two girls, or *gasp* even more than  that. (Remember I did IVF back in the days when 4 or more embryos were transferred routinely). The name game was a welcome distraction from  the insanity of trying to interpret what every twitch I felt might mean.

I won’t even get into how many times I shopped for a baby shower gift and chose my nursery colors…

 * * * * * * * * **

Do you have baby names picked out already or do you not let your mind go there for superstitious or other reasons? If you’ve been TTC for a long time, have those names changed?

Want to share them? And the significance behind the name(s), if any?

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Infertility Podcast Series: Journey to the Crib: Chapter 14 Trying to Conceive with Clomid Therapy

By David Kreiner, MD

May 27th, 2013 at 9:06 pm

 

Welcome to the Journey to the Crib Podcast.  We will have a blog discussion each week with each chapter.  This podcast covers Chapter Fourteen: Trying to Conceive with Clomid Therapy. You, the listener, are invited to ask questions and make comments. Dr. Kreiner will answer. You can access the podcast here: http://podcast.longislandivf.com/?p=95

 

Trying to Conceive with Clomid Therapy

Clomid, the best known brand of the fertility pill clomiphene citrate, is the therapy most commonly prescribed for patients suffering from infertility.  It is often prescribed by a patient’s primary gynecologist, sometimes with no diagnostic testing performed. 

Clomid is an antiestrogen and works by decreasing the effective negative feedback of estrogen on the pituitary gland resulting in a rise in gonadotropins, Follicle Stimulating Hormone(FSH) and Luteinizing Hormone (LH).  These in turn stimulate the ovaries usually resulting in the maturation and development of one or more eggs.  For couples whose only problem is ovulation, this offers a 20% chance of pregnancy each month.  Ovulatory patients and those with other infertility issues have a lesser chance for success with the drug. 

Since Clomid has anti-estrogenic properties, it may cause a thickening or drying up of the cervical mucus which may prevent sperm from penetrating the cervical canal and reaching the ovulated egg in the fallopian tube as it needs to do to fertilize it.  This is why we recommend performing intrauterine inseminations (IUI) concurrent with Clomid therapy.

Additionally, the Clomid may thin out the endometrial lining so this should be monitored.  Since the egg does not typically last more than 8-12 hours, we monitor patients with hormone blood tests and ultrasound and then trigger ovulation with Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) to ensure that the sperm will reach the egg in the fallopian tube.  We will test women to ensure that their tubes are open and check the sperm to make sure that it is adequate as well for fertilization.

As Clomid offers– at best– a 50% pregnancy rate for women who do not ovulate and less for those who do, we do not recommend persevering with Clomid therapy too long, especially for our women over 35 years of age or those couples with other associated fertility factors. Fortunately, we have more successful, aggressive treatment available that may be recommended depending on age, duration and causes of infertility. 

For those patients without insurance coverage, Micro-IVF, minimal stimulation IVF (utilizing Clomid), costs approximately the same as three Clomid/IUI cycles but offers women under 35 years of age a better than 40% pregnancy rate and as such may be a more cost effective alternative.

* * * * * * **  * * * *

Was this helpful in answering your questions about Clomid therapy?  Please share your thoughts about this podcast here. And ask any questions.

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4 Tips to Avoid Being Grilled This Memorial Day

By Tracey Minella

May 26th, 2013 at 2:54 pm

 

image courtesy of free digital photos.net

You can’t hide in the mall any longer. The sun is out and the charcoal is waiting for fresh meat…

Don’t be the meat.

The first picnic of the summer season is starting and that means you may be thrust into big group social situations again, after a long winter of hibernating. Are you ready?

Here are 4 tips to help you dodge the “When are you gonna have a baby?” naggers:

Drink heavily. That doesn’t mean alcohol necessarily. But if you have a drink in your hand or a glass to your mouth, it can discourage conversation. Plus, you can down the contents and excuse yourself for a refill at the first hint of unpleasant conversation.

Stuff your face. Well, you don’t have to eat  non-stop, but keeping something  in your hand or on a plate that you can pop into your mouth when a nagger approaches could be key. You can’t be expected to answer an inappropriate… or any…question with your mouth full.

Have a Plan B. If a nagger is in the kitchen where you’re helping out, grab a tray of hors d’oeuvres and make a hasty exit to the yard. Or reverse.

Use the children as shields. Normally, the kind of people who nose in on your personal life aren’t the ones who play with the 100’s of kids at these gatherings. While being with others’ kids can be hard on your heart, it may still be better to jump into their game than face a nagger’s interrogation. No one’s gonna pry while you’re jumping rope or pitching a wiffle ball.

* **** *** ** ** * * ** ** ** **

So what are your plans? Do you have any other tips to add?

Photo credit: JackThumm  http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/agree-terms.php?id=10082780

 

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Babysitting and Infertility

By Tracey Minella

May 24th, 2013 at 10:11 pm

 

image courtesy of freedigital photos.net

There are several “hot topics” in the understandably over-sensitive world of the infertile couple. And babysitting is one of them. I was reminded of that when I saw a card on Facebook that said something like: “Of course, I’d be happy to babysit. As long as you never take me up on that offer.”

For me, and probably many of you, babysitting nieces, nephews and our friends’ kids was fun back in the beginning of our infertility journey. I mean way back. As in, back before we even realized we were on an infertility journey. Back when we’d first stopped trying not to get pregnant and were just sort of letting destiny happen. And when destiny didn’t happen, we started trying to get pregnant.

And still nothing happened.

And then babysitting got on our nerves.

In fact, somewhere along our seven year journey, the babysitting issue became just another complication of infertility. Another awkward, emotionally-charged relationship challenger.

In time, those early days of having fun “playing parents” while our friends or siblings had a night out or a weekend away morphed into something uglier. Resentment and jealousy…along with the torturous guilt for feeling that way…crept in. Sometimes, we’d make up excuses to avoid babysitting. We’d become secretly critical and judgmental over how others raised their kids and less tolerant over their bratty behavior. In reality, the parents’ decisions and the kids’ behavior were typical. But we weren’t typical…we were infertile. And that sad fact warped our perspective on these things and caused us to miss out on some times we can’t get back.

Turns out that babysitting… and the lost opportunities to do it…was just another happy part of life that infertility stole from us. More happy memories we could now look back on if the pain of prolonged infertility didn’t prevent them from happening.

Hindsight is always 20/20. I always say you need to do what you must to protect your heart while you are on your journey. Some can handle baby showers, birthday parties, and babysitting. Other can’t. There is no right or wrong.

* * * * ** **  * ** * * **

Do/did you babysit for others while on your infertility journey? Was it fun, or hard? Any tips for others who are struggling with babysitting?

 

Photo credit: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/agree-terms.php?id=10075943 /DavidCastillo Dominici

 

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NWW Photo Caption Contest No.72

By Tracey Minella

May 22nd, 2013 at 9:31 pm


Welcome to Nearly Wordless Wednesday, our weekly photo caption contest*… or NWW to the regular players. It’s a blog-based contest where anyone anywhere can enter to win by submitting a clever caption for the photo of the week. Work a few minutes into your week for this stress-buster. Come on and play.
Each week, the winner gets a gift card as our little thank you for playing our game.
This week’s contest winner will get a Dunkin Donuts gift card. Wouldn’t a nice iced coffee be good now? Or a donut or two? But to get the gift card, you’ve got to be the best caption of them all. So come on and play our game and the coffee and donut could be on us next week!
Before we move on to the contest, we need to announce last week’s contest winner: Tiffany! Remember the picture of the little girl drawing a chalk outline of her dog lying perfectly still on the sidewalk? Well, we thought this week’s best caption came from Tiffany:
“This puppy takes “Playing Dead” to the extreme!”.
Tiffany, please email your address and the words “NWW Contest #71 Dunkin Donuts” to Lindsay at lmontello@liivf.com to claim your gift card.
Now on to this week’s challenge…
Is there anything cuter than babies and puppies? The photo comes from the funny stock of funnychix.com.
Give this photo a caption on the blog (remember it’s not a Facebook contest). Can’t wait to see what you come up with!
Best entry winner gets Dunkin Donuts on us! It’s a fast, fun and free contest open to anyone, whether infertile or not, and whether a patient of our practice or not. Join our “regulars” in the weekly challenge!
Bookmark our blog and check back next week to see if you won and we’ll mail you your gift card.
Plus, if you decide to “LIKE” us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/longislandivf , we may be able to send you the prize as an e-gift right through Facebook, depending on what this week’s prize is, so you could be enjoying your winnings as early as on the day we choose the winner! But we’re more than happy to mail it to you! (So as much as we’d love you to “LIKE” us on Facebook, it is absolutely not required to either enter or win our contests!)
*This is a blog-based contest. You may only enter it on the blog. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed, or administered by, or associated with Facebook. All entrants or participants completely release Facebook for any claims. Participants are disclosing their entry information to LIIVF, not Facebook. “Liking” LIIVF on Facebook is not required to enter or win.
Enter today! Or at least before next Tuesday!
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Why not bookmark us so you remember to check back often…at least every Wednesday…so you don’t miss our NWW contests. And we also run bigger contests, too. Please feel free to suggest other fun places we could get gift cards from that you’d like to win as prizes for these fun contests or topics you’d like to see discussed on the blog. Now go enter the contest!
Photo credit: http://www.funnychix.com/april/funny-pictures-push.htm

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Infertility Podcast Series: Journey to the Crib: Chapter 13 Sperm Meets Egg- Why Doesn’t It Work Every Time?

By David Kreiner, MD

May 20th, 2013 at 9:48 pm

 

Welcome to the Journey to the Crib Podcast.  We will have a blog discussion each week with each chapter.  This podcast covers Chapter Thirteen: Sperm Meets Egg-Why Doesn’t It Work Every Time? You, the listener, are invited to ask questions and make comments.  You can access the podcast here: http://podcast.longislandivf.com/?p=92

Sperm Meets Egg- Why Doesn’t It Work Every Time?

We live in a society where people grow up with certain entitlements.

We expect to complete a transatlantic flight within 6 hours without delay.  While 30,000 feet up in the air we get upset if our internet momentarily goes on the blink.  When normally menstruating women having regular intercourse cannot get pregnant it turns their lives upside down.  After all, we plan our lives, our careers and our families and there often is not time allowed for such difficulties.

When the source of the trouble is the Man, the impact on his ego, his mood and the couple’s relationship can be quite dramatic.  Men have a problem that contributes to the difficulty conceiving in 50-60% of cases.  Most of these cases can be picked up by a simple semen analysis. 

Unfortunately, even when the semen analysis screen is normal about 10% of the time when routine in vitro fertilization is attempted, the partner’s eggs fail to fertilize.  This is why we recommend that we perform ICSI, intracytoplasmic sperm injection, in cases of unexplained infertility, on half the eggs.  That allows us to test the fertilizability of the eggs and treat those with deficient fertilization in the same cycle.

There are numerous causes of male infertility discussed in the chapter.  Some are amenable to hormonal treatment, some could benefit from surgery, and nearly all may be overcome with IVF using ICSI. Other supplements, herbal medicine, and adjunctive therapy are mentioned.

Recently, it has been found that in cases of severe male infertility, though pregnancies may be achieved with ICSI, in those cases there appears to be a higher incidence of miscarriages and congenital anomalies and other problems in some babies born to such couples.

Still… for those couples who otherwise would never have previously been able to conceive without IVF… IVF with ICSI offers a significant possibility for them to build their own healthy families using their own eggs and sperm.

* * * * * * **  * * * *

Was this helpful in answering your questions about why it doesn’t work every time sperm meets egg?

Please share your thoughts about this podcast here. And ask any questions. Dr. Kreiner will answer them personally.

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Long Island IVF’s 25th Anniversary Reunion Recap

By Tracey Minella

May 17th, 2013 at 9:14 pm

 

The only thing more perfect than the beautiful spring weather for Long Island IVF’s 25th Anniversary reunion party yesterday was the smiles on the faces of all of our babies and their grateful parents!

Every spring, Long Island IVF celebrates the births of our most recent IVF arrivals with a picnic for that year’s newborns and their parents. But this year…for our big anniversary…we opened it up to all 5,000+ couples whose families we’ve helped build over the past quarter century! Please “like” us on Facebook and check out some more reunion pictures there.

For those who don’t know, Long Island IVF was the practice to bring Long Island its first IVF baby, first FET/cryo baby, and first donor egg baby. The same doctors who co-founded Long Island IVF twenty-five years ago are still partners today.

We cherish every little life we’ve helped create, from the college grads to those being conceived today. But it was especially exciting to reunite with some of our oldest babies, now all grown-up, including the second baby born to Long Island IVF’s program, Alyssa.

Alyssa is the beautiful 24 year-old blonde in the picture with Dr. Kreiner. She and her mother came (her 21 year-old younger brother couldn’t make it) and they were instant “celebrities” as word spread throughout the crowd that Baby #2 was “in the house”. They each addressed the crowd, recalling how important Long Island IVF was in their lives, in a very emotional moment of the day that really helped bring home the magnitude of what Long Island IVF has meant to so many couples for 25 years and counting.

Other beautiful older babies were there. Some reiterated the same sentiment as they spoke about their lives…lives that would not have been possible without Long Island IVF. It was a humbling and gratifying experience for the whole Long Island IVF staff. As always, the fresh crop of adorable newborns and toddlers, decked out in their finest, were a joy to meet and gush over!

Everyone at Long Island IVF would like to thank all of the parents and children who came out to celebrate this very important milestone with us…and all those who were there in spirit, but were not able to come.

You and your families are beautiful. You all inspire us each day to do the work we love…building families. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for allowing us the privilege of building yours.

* ** * * * * ****

Were you at the party? Please share your thoughts and feel free to upload a photo on our Facebook page.

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NWW Photo Caption Contest No.71

By Tracey Minella

May 15th, 2013 at 8:08 pm

 

Tomorrow (Thursday) is our big 25th Anniversary reunion, and we’ve worked so hard on making it special (or at least Lindsay has!) that we could all use a little stress-buster. If you want to come to the party, just show up between noon and 2 pm to the Mid-Island Y JCC at 45 Manetto Hill Rd., Plainview, NY…but you have to be a Long Island IVF parent of any of the IVF babies we’ve helped create over the past 25 years, or one of our babies!

Welcome to Nearly Wordless Wednesday, our weekly photo caption contest*… or NWW to the regular players. It’s a blog-based contest where anyone anywhere can enter to win by submitting a clever caption for the photo of the week. Work a few minutes into your week for this stress-buster. Come on and play.

Each week, the winner gets a gift card as our little thank you for playing our game.

This week’s contest winner will get a Dunkin Donuts gift card. It’s finally iced coffee and tea weather around here! And donuts are a year round treat! But to get the gift card, you’ve got to be the best caption of them all. So come on and play our game and the coffee and donut could be on us next week!

Before we move on to the contest, we need to announce last week’s contest winner: Amanda! Remember the picture of the woman’s feet with the toenails that were multi-colored… and about 8 inches long? Yikes! Well, we really liked Amanda’s caption:

“Just put your feet in the stirr—AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!” (Of course we never really see feet quite like that on any of OUR patients. LOL.) And a great creative shout-out also to Tiffany.

Amanda, please email your address and the words “NWW Contest #70 Dunkin Donuts” to Lindsay at lmontello@liivf.com to claim your gift card.

Now on to this week’s challenge…

Kids do the darnedest things. This picture cracked me up. The photo comes from the funny stock of curiousphotos.blogspot.com.

Give this photo a caption on the blog (remember it’s not a Facebook contest). Can’t wait to see what you come up with!

Best entry winner gets Dunkin Donuts on us! It’s a fast, fun and free contest open to anyone, whether infertile or not, and whether a patient of our practice or not. Join our “regulars” in the weekly challenge!

Bookmark our blog and check back next week to see if you won and we’ll mail you your gift card.

Plus, if you decide to “LIKE” us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/longislandivf , we may be able to send you the prize as an e-gift right through Facebook, depending on what this week’s prize is, so you could be enjoying your winnings as early as on the day we choose the winner! But we’re more than happy to mail it to you! (So as much as we’d love you to “LIKE” us on Facebook, it is absolutely not required to either enter or win our contests!)

*This is a blog-based contest. You may only enter it on the blog. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed, or administered by, or associated with Facebook.  All entrants or participants completely release Facebook for any claims. Participants are disclosing their entry information to LIIVF, not Facebook. “Liking” LIIVF on Facebook is not required to enter or win.

Enter today! Or at least before next Tuesday!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Why not bookmark us so you remember to check back often…at least every Wednesday…so you don’t miss our NWW contests. And we also run bigger contests, too. Please feel free to suggest other fun places we could get gift cards from that you’d like to win as prizes for these fun contests or topics you’d like to see discussed on the blog. Now go enter the contest!

Photo credit: http://curiousphotos.blogspot.com/2009/06/compilation-of-funny-kids-58-pics.html

 

 

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