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I'm sitting here in IKEA and someone just walked by declaring how she was lost and felt like she was in a maze.

I hope she gets eaten by a grue.

Nothing personal. It would just be amusing.
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If I keep posting that I think baby is going to show up soon, perhaps I can Murphy it into staying put longer.

I'm not ready yet. Not that another 2 or 4 or 6 weeks is likely to make a big difference there.

I had a contraction walking around today, and it totally felt like baby was going to fall out right then and there. Totally painless, though.

If I have a baby in the middle of IKEA, do you think they'll give us free stuff?
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We now have enough boy baby clothing to pretty much ensure that baby is a girl. But still next to no 0-3 month.

I want everything moved NOW and it's pretty much entirely out of my control and it probably isn't going to happen this week and it's making me really twitchy. I also want the laundry dry right now so I can go fold it. Maybe I'll take a picture of all the adorable little baby clothing hanging on the line instead. I'm tempted to see if I can move the couch I'm sitting on, since it isn't in its permanent spot.

Yes, I realize I sound insane and OCD.

All I really want is one specific trunk from storage - the one with the baby stuff. Then I can get it all out and sort it and put it away and so on, and then use it for storing blankets (the bed type, not the baby type). But it's probably buried under everything. Maybe I'll go check tomorrow when someone else can watch Leif.
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One of the things we've received secondhand is a big old playpen. Emphasis on big. I want one of the little ones with a bassinet to use as a safe place for naps, and this just doesn't fit the bill - it's a kid cage and that's all. Not really what we're looking for.

Last night I decided to go ahead and stick it up on freecycle (the message still hasn't gone through, in fact). I'm sure I could get $25 or so on craigslist for it, but since I got it for free and it was close to something I did need, it didn't feel right.

Today I stopped by the SPCA thrift store on a whim. They had an Arm's Reach Co-Sleeper. For $5.50.

Those of you who are parents probably know what a deal that is.

It's older, so I'm not sure what the actual value would be if I resold it (a newer one would be around $75), but a quick glance doesn't reveal any recalls for them. All parts seem to be there, along with three sheets. I'm not sure it 100% fits our needs - I know it can be used as a playyard, but does the side come up so that it can be used as a bassinet without being attached to a bed? But even if not, we can almost certainly trade it for something that does fit our needs perfectly.

The only downside is that now I don't get a chance to test my bedlike item on the registry hypothesis :)

I like when things work out.

ETA: Even better, [livejournal.com profile] rubbrduckage was the first to reply to the freecycle post. Yay, it's going to someone nice and I won't have to deal with flaky pickups and all that!
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I wish IKEA still made their receiving blankets. They were plain white flannel, really big, and typical IKEA cheap. I think they stopped making them around the time Leif was born because we got ours super discount cheap - 3/$1 or something.

They were so nice and big and functional and generally great.

We had way too many, and I always thought I should take up embroidery or something and decorate them for friends having babies.

I wonder how many we'll end up digging out of storage eventually.
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I hate it when I feel the need to be productive and can't do anything about it. So you get me being frantic here, instead.

The local diaper service sells packs of retired diapers (DSQ prefolds, obviously), dyed lavender, 6 for $3.75. Not recommended for diapering - I don't know if that is an actual quality issue, or because they have a conflict of interest. I should order a pack and see what sort of shape they are in and if they'll let you specify size (if they don't, a co-op of some sort might work... Or just save the too big ones for later). Because that's really cheap. Also need the check the price on prefolds at the local baby store. I assumed they were expensive, but realized that the lack of shipping cost might make up for it.

I'm tempted to switch from motherease diapers to kissaluvs on our registry. They're not that much more expensive, a lot nicer, and size 1 should fit long enough to be "worth it". They would have fit Leif from about 2 months - 18 months or 2 years. But he can still wear the motherease now. Not that I really expect anyone will buy them, anyways.

I'm going to bet someone does get us the Pack-N-Play, which is the lowest priority thing on the registry, just because they so desperately want us to have something even vaguely crib-like. Not that I'm complaining, really. I wouldn't have put it on there if I didn't want one. I'll just be highly amused.

Leif fell and split his lip today. Poor dude. Amazingly, especially given his monkey tendencies, I think this is the worst he's ever been injured. And it really isn't that bad - bled a lot at first, but the cuts are small.

What should I do with this nice useless crib bumper I have in my posession? It's all yellow and gender neutral and stuff and I hate to throw it away. But it really is useless in its current form. Even if we were doing the crib thing, they're a safety hazard. And it takes up space.
Lists of what we have/need/want. Not that interesting. Mainly for koyote's benefit. )
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We are giggling like 12 year olds at the medical education supply manual.

You would too. Think of a medical procedure, they have a "lifelike" model for it. Complete with detachable penises.

I don't know if I could be a medical student - I'd laugh too hard.
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I found one of those "Rub my belly for good luck" Buddha shirts at the thrift store this afternoon.

Unfortuntaly, there are too few people in this world that I actually want rubbing my belly.
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We got new phones! Blackberries! Yay! It's been over a year since I've had a phone with even a functioning address book. And now I can update at all hours of the day and night! Aren't you all overjoyed?
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I woke up hearing someone messing around with our stuff outside. Turned out to be the neighbor's cat, who wanted in out of the rain. But now I can't get back to sleep.

I'm tempted to give the doula program a piece of my mind. I sign up for two days a week. On those two days, I can't go further from home than the library (and even then I'm unlikely to get there within the 30 minute response time if they call - I basically have to be sitting at home ready to go for that to happen) and have to be ready to drop everything at any moment, pack Leif off to friends, and rush to the hospital. This means that my friend is also on call on these days.

I haven't been in since November. It's disheartening, especially since I'm the only person on the schedule those two days. I get no feedback, so I don't know if there's something I'm doing wrong that's causing me not to get called. I did get called once, but it was randomly on a day I wasn't actually on the schedule, and they found someone else before I could arrange care for Leif.

Looking at the tentative schedule for the next two weeks the coordinator just sent out, I don't think it's just me. Only four people (out of 50 or so on the mailing list) responded for her first request for availability information, and there are lots of slots open. I'm sure some will come out of the woodwork (like I did) now that she's basically sent the final reminder, but still, it looks like people are losing interest. Only 2 people other than me attended the last group meeting.

I have a friend who was in the program a few years back who eventually quit because she was never being called in.

I know the coordinator can't force the midwives and nurses to call doulas, and maybe there just truly isn't the demand. Not everyone wants a random stranger to come in and sit with them during labor.

Still, it seems like something needs to change if they want the program to work. The current coordinator is moving on to a new project (making the hospital into an official baby friendly hospital, meaning basically that they provide exceptional breastfeeding support), so perhaps the new coordinator will be able to push the program a bit more.

A funny LJ coincidence happened yesterday. In the morning, someone posted in [livejournal.com profile] ucdavis about seeing a cop staking out a local bank with a rifle, and mentioned seeing some people across the street taking about it and taking pictures. In the evening, I saw a post while reading friendsfriends from the person who had been taking the pictures. The really odd part - she's was just visiting Davis for the weekend, and our mutual friend lives on the other side of the country and has no connection to Davis. She was, however, with a local friend who is on the friends list of my former roommate. Small world.

Leif is in love with the Babar movie. It's cute, but I find I really don't like the colonialist, materialist message it has. Yes, the elephants are of course oh so much happier wearing clothing and living in a city than they were frolicking in the wild. And then there's the mommy-death, which, if I'd thought about it in advance, probably would have had me avoiding it entirely. The inconsistancies between the movie and the bonus episode on the DVD bug me, too. In the movie, he clearly becomes king as an adult. In the bonus episode, he's a child king. Ah well, continuity is for wimps.

I should try to get more sleep. 5 hours really isn't enough.
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I so wish we'd had these a year ago!
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Leif is out of the house for at least the next three hours, regardless of whether I get called in for the doula thing or not.

I can:

A. Clean
B. Take a load to the consignment store
C. Go to Borders, get a drink, sit in a comfy chair and read a book ALL BY MYSELF!

If I knew I had the next three hours free, I'd do A and B first, but I could be called in at any time. I should be good, but it's soooo tempting. This feels like a once in a lifetime opportunity.

I think minor cleaning and then Borders is going to win.
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I want to find a source of cheap Thomas/Brio/etc. compatible trains that don't come with track pieces. We have more track pieces than we know what to do with, but the trains themselves are expensive and get lost too easily.

IKEA apparently has a $5.00 four-piece set, but they're very uniformly painted, just plain ugly, and only available in stores. I'll probably end up stocking up on them as filler-trains anyways when I get the chance.

I should find out what the plain trains at the local toy store cost. They have some other surprisingly cheap train stuff, so perhaps they are affordable. Better yet, I'd like to find out who they order from :)

If I could find a cheap source of basic non-buttugly trains, I'd start working on my evil Christmas money-making scheme. Also, blue and green fabric, like the print you'd find on top of a train table, either with or without pre-printed tracks.
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The party went well. The number who showed up was just about perfect, given the space we have. Much fun was had, and we'll be subsisting off of hummus and tatziki for the next week or so. We got to meet [livejournal.com profile] essara_lemuroid and family, which was nice, as we aren't really friends with many parents around here.

I have a new icon. Yay.

Leif has started getting really grabby and possessive in the past few days. I know part of it is just his age, but it's a little distressing seeing other kids treat Leif that way, and then having him immediately turn around and do the same thing (the main episodes of grabbiness were over the chalk, and earlier that day he'd had crayons taken away from him by their owner).

It's hard to know what to do when it comes to the other kids. We can get Leif to share, but we can't force other kids to behave a certain way, and Leif's too young to understand why we want him to act differently.

Speaking of disturbing, it's interesting seeing how suggestible he is when watching movies. His Wiggles movie has a song about having a drink of water, and he very frequently asks for a drink of water during that song.

Thankfully, they don't really "advertise" much in that particular movie beyond water, bananas, and vegetables.

Leif says "No" in the most adorable manner. He has an amazingly cute voice when he chooses to use it. "No" is especially cute for some reason.

Was reading through a parenting community, and found one post about a parent who had been seen verbally abusing her kid, saying (and forcing him to say) how he had been a huge mistake and ruined her life. People expressed proper horror. A bit further back, there was a post asking what people would do if their 13 year old daughter got pregnant. A lot of people said something along the lines of "If she chose to keep the baby, that's the end of her social life. I'm not providing free babysitting."

Isn't that the kind of attitude that can lead to that sort of situation? I understand not wanting to be the de facto parent... but if the baby had come at a more socially acceptable time, I imagine the grandparents would be falling all over themselves to watch the baby from time to time so the mom could do something social.

I also imagine that if the parents had another baby when the child was 13, the child would be expected to babysit and otherwise care for the baby on a regular basis.
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In today's TV guide (well, TV Weekly - the free one that comes in the newspaper), there is an entry for a show called Today. The description:

Sesame Street Live performs; lingerie for Valentine's Day

After looking at it for a bit, I realized that it was probably referring to two separate segments.

Leif apparently adores The Wiggles. This is the second time he's seen it - the first was at five months, and he adored it then, too.

I don't understand the deal with kid's TV today. There just isnn't much of anything on. PBS, Nickelodian, and Disney are the only stations that appear to be playing little kid TV, and Sesame Street doesn't come on till 10:30. Right now (The Wiggles just ended) I have a choice between Arthur (which we know from experience Leif doesn't like), Higglytown (which I've never seen), and Rugrats.

Perhaps we shoould just turn off the TV.

He seems to be feeling much better today. His fever has broken, at least. His appetite still doesn't seem wonderful, though he has eaten some pear. I can't tell whether his current stillness is Wiggles hypnotization or tiredness, but he does seem happier overall.

My dad does not believe in heaters, and the house is currently colder inside than it is outside. I knew there was a reason I should have brought Leif's sweat pants with us.
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Mooching internet access (and kitchen use. We're baking cookies. yay!) off of a friend tonight...

We got Leif a red moose/dragon/dog-like thing at Ikea, as it was the first stuffed animal besides his cow puppy that he's shown much interest in. He snuggles it, gives it a kiss, and then casually tosses it away. I suspect he's picked up from one of his videos that you're supposed to snuggle stuffed animals, and is mimicking that without really understanding the concept.

He has started giving us throwing his arms around our neck and giving us kisses, though.

Any of you other parents seen the Baby Songs movies? Some of you younger non-parents may have seen them as kids, even. They're quite obviously 80's vintage. The first one we got ("Baby's Busy Day", actually the second one in the series and the source of Leif's stuffed animal knowledge.) is fairly normal, if somewhat inane. The ABC/123/Colors one is stranger. Some of the songs are so amazingly bizarre that I'm tempted to stick them online for others to marvel at. The "Good Night" one, which I bought today, is just wacked, and religious to boot, in a rather UU way.

[livejournal.com profile] koyote wishes I would stop buying them and find some other movie for Leif. Leif likes them though, and I find them strangely addicting. He's probably right, though.

Some crazy person is ranting loudly outside. We have lots of crazy people around here, homeless and otherwise, including one who talks about how she has a thing for towheaded babies every time she sees Leif, and insists we get him and ourselves tinfoil hats to protect us from the government brain control waves. Really. We try to avoid her.

I guess that's what we get for living next to a park in LA with covered picnic tables and semi-public showers (they're intended for the users of the guest docks, but the lock code is pretty much general knowledge).

We probably won't be here much longer, though. We're working on moving up to Oregon. Bandon, specifically. It looks like a nice place, except for the lack of public transportation, which could be problematic. We intend to get a car, but I really don't want to have to learn to drive. Bah.

Leif fell asleep at something like 6:30 tonight. I dread to see what time he wakes up in the morning.

I lj-friend people for three reasons - I know them, they friend me and I don't have any specific problem with them, or I find what they write absolutely fascinating for some reason. Two people in the latter category, [livejournal.com profile] zeppo and [livejournal.com profile] pamamama, deleted their journals at some point in the recent past. This makes me sad.
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I finally get to go to a fabric store tomorrow! Yay!

I need elastic for the diapers, the fabric and webbing for Carrier v2.0.

I got a chance to briefly try the Packababy a few weeks ago, and really liked it. Leif felt lighter in it, though that could just be because I was only able to try it out for a few minutes. It's basically the same style as mine, but the straps are two long pieces of webbing that cross in the back. Most of the baby's weight is supported on the webbing, rather than the fabric and the seams, so there's less chance it will break. This seems to help distribute the weight better, too.

It also means that the carrier should take less than half the time of the first carrier. The straps took a lot of sewing.

Because the straps carry the weight, I can use a lighter weight fabric than the canvas I used before. This will be nice, both because it will be cooler for the summer and because it will fold up smaller and be more manageable. This is why I tend to carry the mock-up I made out of muslin when we go out with the stroller or backpack carrier. I don't trust it for long-term use, and it isn't the most comfortable thing ever, but it's holding up surprisingly well for something that I never really intended to use at all, so it works well enough as a backup.

The packababy uses hemp/cotton combination on the outside, and cotton canvas on the inside, but it seems to be a lighter weight canvas than the stuff I'm using. Even with most of the weight on the webbing, I'm not sure how lightweight I can go and still have it work well. Hemp is strong, and I doubt I'll find any at the local stores (though it sounds like G Street might have a good selection, if [livejournal.com profile] silkensteel can figure out how to get us there. That would really be the best, since there's a Joanne's right there, too).

Colors... I like the off-white with the purple fishy panel I have now, but it stains awfully easily, and babies stain things frequently. We have some green star patterned flannel that would look great with black, but I have a feeling Leif would boil in that. I want to do something with this froggy print receiving blanket I have, but I don't know if I'd like a carrier made out of that. I guess I'll just see what they have.

I'd like to make the belt buckle instead of tie, to make it easier to adjust tighten. This may not happen right away, though (which is fine. I can just tie it until I get around to putting buckles onto the belt).

I don't feel bad about blatantly copying the packababy, since this is for my own use. If I decide to sell them, I'll improve on the design I currently have rather than making a packacopy.

(Incidentally, seeing the packababy convinced me that my carrier looks good enough to sell, especially if I get the right needle so the fabric stops catching and be a little more careful. It was nowhere near as neatly sewn as mine, though it wouldn't surprise me if the one I saw was one of the earlier ones they sold. I don't have the time right now to make an actual business, though)

We're planning to sell our stroller and baby backpack and get the Kelty combination stroller/backpack. We tried it out at the store today, and it's more bulky than our current backpack, but not bad. Not exactly the best of both worlds, but not the worst either, and probably good for our needs. Plus, it matches my Kelty backpack. Gotta coordinate.

It just started raining. It sounds so pretty!
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[livejournal.com profile] koyote got us Palms for Christmas. These things are neat. I may actually use it :) I was resistant to getting a new palm because my old visor worked just fine for reading books, which is my primary use for it. But this one plays MP3s, too.

(It would actually have been cooler a year ago, when I actually had significant amounts of time to do things like read books and listen to mp3s while out)

I may end up actually using it for a PDA, though, since it's useful and small enough that I'll actually carry it around with me.

I briefly mentioned something about fictionwise.com before I left on vacation. They sell ebooks from popular, established authors, which is cool. Most ebook sites I've seen are basically self-publishing sites. Nothing wrong with that, but it's nice being able to get ebooks of the same books I'd buy in stores through legitimate methods.

The only problem is that their book-length books (as opposed to short stories) are generally about the same price as the cheapest available dead-tree version (books available in hardcover are in the mid to high teens on fictionwise, books in mass-market paperback are $6-$8 or so. Maybe slightly less, but no more so than if they're discounted in stores). In some cases, I've seen dead-tree versions for cheaper.

This gives me very little motivation to buy from them. I know that the production and distribution costs can't be as high, and they don't advertise that they pay authors higher royalties (which I'd be ok with), so it feels like they're just trying to rip me off. At least if I buy the dead-tree version, I can sell it back to an used bookstore.

On the other hand, they sell short stories from popular authors, often for under a dollar. This is neat. It's a service that I don't think is really provided elsewhere. You can buy genre magazines or anthologies, but you can't pick and choose which stories you want. I don't feel ripped off paying for this.

Maybe I'll email and ask them about why their prices are so high. They'll probably say something about piracy, which is silly, since the piracy is going to be done regardless of distribution method - there are plenty of people out there willing to sit around and scan a dead-tree copy. Besides, their usage restrictions are a little ridiculous. I'm not allowed to share copies of the books I buy with anyone. I'm not going to be posting my collection for anyone to read, but [livejournal.com profile] koyote and I are going to share, just as we share dead-tree books we buy. It'd be silly for a married couple to buy two copies of the same dead-tree book. Why would I want to pay the same price for an ebook that only I can use? I understand that sharing an ebook is not the same thing as sharing a physical book, since I can't control how many copies are made of any copy I share with someone else, but it still seems silly.

Bah. Palm Digital Media apparently suffers from the same price inflation.

Fictionwise is working on an ebook lending library, which is just a weird concept. The ebooks expire after 7-14 days, and only one person can check out a copy of a book at a time. This seems a little odd to me.
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I'm a bit confused as to how to pack for this trip.
Babble about the million things we need to bring )
I'm still trying to arrange a petsitter. I don't think we have any firm plans on where we're staying the Bay Area, or when exactly we'll be there.

I had a dream the other night that we somehow forgot to bring anything with us. I bet I have a dream within the next few nights that we're trying to leave the house to go to the airport, but keep getting sidetracked. I always have that dream before traveling.

If anyone in the Bay Area or Southern California is interested in getting together, please tell me so we can finalize our schedule. The Bay Area is the main part that's up in the air. We get in Thursday the 20th, early enough that doing something in the afternoon or evening isn't entirely out of the question. [livejournal.com profile] koyote is working on Friday. We're heading to Davis somewhere between Friday morning and Sunday morning (I may leave before [livejournal.com profile] koyote, depending on whether anyone in the Bay Area is desperate to meet Leif. I'll be in Southern California Dec. 1-6.
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Credit ratings suck. I've been the leaseholder on an apartment and had my name on various utilities for two years, and I still don't have a credit rating because I refuse to use a credit card (no, I'm not looking for advice about credit/credit cards at this time. I already know how to get a good credit rating if I want it. I don't think I should have to. Shouldn't not being in debt after several years of being financially in charge of myself count for something? In fact, I'd probably qualify for more if I did have debt. Grr).

We want to switch cellphone service to Sprint for a number of reasons. However, they require a security deposit since I don't have a credit rating, and they don't allow you to add an additional line to your account if you have to have a security deposit. You have to have to separate accounts, which dramatically increases the cost (adding a second line to the plan we want is $7.50 a month, the next lowest account that does what we want is like 5 times that).

So now we have three options: 1. stick with our current AT&T plan, 2. keep my line AT&T and switch [livejournal.com profile] koyote to Sprint, or 3. do two lines with Sprint.

1 isn't going to work since [livejournal.com profile] koyote needs the data capabilities that Sprint offers for work. 2 may or may not be practical if we have to pay extra to downgrade our plan, or if we can't get down to a lower cost than the lowest Sprint plan.

We could always just drop my phone entirely and use long-range walky-talkies (not as silly as it sounds...we saw some with a seven mile range, which is more than enough for our usual needs), our landline, and a calling card for emergencies.

Probably not going to happen because we like our cell phones too much. Plus radio reception in [livejournal.com profile] koyote's office apparently sucks.

As [livejournal.com profile] koyote mentioned yesterday, we're seriously thinking about getting rid of our car. Trader Joe's and the ghetto K-Mart (plus other things) are within a 20 minute walk. That's all we really *need* on a regular basis. All of our favorite restaurants except one are also within this 20 minute range. A whole bunch more of our favorites ([livejournal.com profile] koyote's work, the library, a shopping mall type place, Barnes&Noble/Starbucks, Target, Whole Foods) are within an hour's walk. We discovered today that it may actually be quicker to walk to the pediatrician's office than to drive (we can get there more directly, without having to deal with traffic). Public transportation is close, too.

If we sell the car, we can afford to get good, comfortable bikes and trailers, which will cut down the time to all these places significantly. We'll also be able to do things like take a taxi if other transportation isn't a a good option for whatever reason.

We're going to try to avoid using the car as much as possible until January. If things are working out well, we'll sell it.

I was carless for three years before I met [livejournal.com profile] koyote, and for part of the time after that, so it isn't really something new to me.

My initial reaction to the idea is that I don't want to lose the safety net of having a car. But really, it isn't a safety net. The ambulance is the safety net. The car is the lazy net.

We're also thinking about withdrawing large amounts of cash from an ATM as needed, and using that instead of the ATM card for most purchases. Avoids ATM fees, helps with budgeting, and keeps Big Brother from tracking our purchases (unless they track cash now, in which case we're just screwed).

This does nothing to solve that pesky credit rating problem, however.

The weather suddenly switched from hot to comparatively chilly. I wore a long sleeved shirt the whole time I was outside today. I'm so spoiled from growing up in Coronado. When it was hot, I was dying for it to be cooler. Now that it's cooler, I'd prefer it to be just a little warmer.

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