Tuesday, July 29, 2014

 

As a working mum, I need a decent breast pump in order for me to continue my breast feeding journey. And I'm so glad I invested on a hospital grade double electric breast pump.

I have a UNIMOM FORTE which I use at work.

As early as my 2nd trimester, I am already researching on the best breast pump to get. You see, most decent breast pumps are not cheap. Not cheap at all. Eh kilala nyo naman ako, I am a WAIS mum. I wanna make sure that I spend my money well. Baka naman nakatipid nga ako sa formula milk, eh maghirap naman ako sa pump. Waley din!

During my research and blog hopping, I noted that the most popular and most recommended breast pump is the Medela. I checked and its a whopping 14k! Yun pa yung mura ah. Cartwheel plus split ang lola mo. Mahalia Rodriguez. I know that a lot of mums swear by their Medela but I honestly can't afford it. Oh sya sige na nga, maybe I can pero promise tutulo talaga yung luha ko at mapapa-walling ako ng bonggang bongga.

So ginalugad ko talaga ang world wide web para makahanap ng murang breastpump and I was overwhelmed by the wide array of choices.

Manual vs Electric. Single Pump vs Double Pump. Closed System vs Open System. Rechargeable. Portable. Different flange sizes. Wide Neck vs Narrow Neck. Affordable vs 100k++. Whoaahh! Madami-daming research ang nangyari ang ilang gabi akong nagbasa ng iba’t ibang blogs.

I saw a lot of blogs that discusses how great their pump is or what’s the best thing about their pump but there are only very few that explained why they opted for that specific make and model. Most would even tell that its a pump that is recommended to them by a friend or a sister or a pedia. But I believe in “to each her own”. Iba iba ang needs natin at iba iba ang status natin. What might work for you won't actually work that well for me or vice versa. So now, I am coming up with a list on how I finally decided to get my Farlin and Unimom Forte pumps. And hoped that this post would help new mums to decide on what pump to get.

1. MANUAL vs ELECTRIC

On my 1st week of breastfeeding, I suffered from breast engorgement. And Skye would usually have a hard time feeding because of the overflowing milk. My pedia told me to pump at least 0.5oz before offering my breast to Skye. Just to relieve the breast and make it a little soft so the baby can latch properly. I tried hand expressing pero hindi ko na-carry. So I got a cheap manual breast pump.

I went to Baby Co. and got myself a FARLIN MANUAL BREAST PUMP. It's only Php600++ that time coz I got it on sale. I was actually skeptical at first. Inisip ko sayang din ang Php600 baka hindi effective. Avent Manual nalang kaya? Kaya lang its around 3K. Konti nalang pwede na sa electric breast pump. Diba? So before actually buying, I read up. Thank heavens I am a member of Breastfeeding Pinays. I saw that many of the mummies there actually use this brand and the Looney Tunes one, so go na ako.

I opted for a cheap manual pump because I’m just at home. And I only need it to pump 0.5oz of milk. Just to relieve the engorgement and eventually, to help with the plugged ducts. Plus I know that I’d soon buy a double electric pump pagbalik ko sa work so buying the pricey Avent is not WAIS. I didn’t buy an electric pump right away coz honestly, I am not sure if I can actually continue breastfeeding the baby. The first 6weeks of breastfeeding are the hardest, so there are loads of time where I find myself asking if I can actually do it.

I actually think that getting a decent manual pump is important. Hindi naman kasi laging may kuryente diba? Remember Glenda? And it’s perfect if you need to pump on the go. Yun nga lang medyo nakakangalay ang manual pump. Actually, I still use my manual pump when at home. Kasi I leave the electric one sa office.

I got the electric breast pump a week before going back to work coz I need to “practice” and get the hang of it. When the baby reached her 6th week and all the breastfeeding issues was gone, dun lang ako naging super sure that I really want to do it. And since I know that I’d use the pump the entire day at work and that I have limited time to pump, getting an electric breast pump is a must, at least for me.

So in summary, if you need to pump occasionally and don’t mind the extra effort then a manual pump is okay. But if you need to pump more often and can’t pump manually then an electric pump is what you need.

2. SINGLE PUMP vs DOUBLE PUMP

While looking for a decent electric breast pump, I came across a couple of nice single pumps. UNIMOM ALEGRO is one of them. It was even on sale at Lazada! Parang around 4K na lang. I was so tempted to buy it. But, reading its description on babymama.ph (where I got my Unimom Forte), it is intended for occasional pumping mums. And I am not an “occasional” pumping mum. I’ll be a hardcore pumping mummy for at least 12hrs on weekdays.

I need a double pump so I could pump faster. If you’re at work, you have limited lactation break. So it is important that you maximize that break. And the best way to do it is to pump your breast simultaneously. Especially since we have to pump for at least 15minutes per breast to ensure that the breast is properly emptied. So imagine if I have a single pump? 30minutes pumping palang yun. Eh nasa ibang floor pa ang lactation room namin. So ba-byahe pa ko. Ang tagaaaal! So double electric it is!

3. AFFORDABILITY

Oh yes! The very famous line – looking for an affordable breast pump. Tapos magko-comment ng Medela! Hahahahaha! Alright! Alright! Actually, you really can’t blame them. Affordability varies per person. Malay mo nga for her affordable na ang 14K na Medela coz honestly, there are hospital grade pumps that costs 100K! I guess one should set a price range.

Like what I’ve mentioned above, a 3K Avent Manual Pump is something I don’t consider affordable. For me, it’s already expensive. I’d probably get it if I don’t have any plans of buying an electric breast pump. But I know that I’d eventually buy another one so I need to look for a cheaper alternative. Thank heavens I found Farlin. I love my Farlin actually. And most of all, I got it on SALE.

My Unimom Forte costs around 7K. But I got it on sale at babymama.ph at around 6K only. That’s also why I got it instead of the Spectra M1 that I am also eyeing. The M1 is around 8K. 2K difference that time! Kung hindi sale ang Unimom Forte I would have got myself the M1. Pero the major things that made M1 more pricey are the things I could actually let go. Like the fact that it’s rechargeable and that it’s smaller than Forte. I can leave the machine in the office. I don’t need to lug it with me everyday coz I have Farlin at home. And an outlet is always present at work and at the lactation room. Sayang ang 2K.

See? You need to read the specs of the product and see which are the things you can actually live without. Affordability is finding a product that best suits your needs at the lowest possible price. You won’t get your money’s worth if you buy a breast pump packed with extra features that you don’t really need. So if you need the pump occasionally, why would you shell out 6K for a hospital grade double e-pump? Sayang! Get a decent manual pump or single pump diba?

4. CLOSED SYSTEM vs OPEN SYSTEM

This is one thing I learned just recently. Dahil sa pagbabasa ng kung ano ano. A closed system pump is the mold-free pump. Milk and milk residue don’t get inside the pump at all. Apparently, most pumps available in the market are open system, na may high probability na magkaron ng mold kasi nakakapasok ang milk sa machine. Kaya din hindi daw advisable that you buy a second hand breast pump. Of course we’re talking about milk here. We don’t want our baby’s milk to get contaminated or whatever.

Unimom is a closed system pump. So it’s a plus. I think it’ll be safe to re-sell.

5. PORTABILITY and EXTRA FEATURES

Most hospital grade e-pump are kinda bulky. Mine weighs 2kg. Mabigat din. You have to think on how you plan to use it. We have a lactation room. I leave the machine, the tubes and the bottle stand at the lactation room. I just put everything on a bag. I even have a marker and my masking tape there. But if you are always on the go and you plan to use the same pump at home, then I guess you should get a more portable pump. M1 is a good choice. My friend got a portable Medela.

Some pump are chargeable, some can be battery operated. Those are also nice features. If your work would require you to travel or go out within the day and the best place to pump is on your car then by all means get a battery operated pump. But if those extra features are just “nice to have” then maybe you can get a different pump at much lower price. Pero of course kung afford mo naman then go!

6. NARROW NECK vs WIDE NECK

If you are like me who use storage bottles instead of bags then I guess you should also consider this. Both my pumps are narrowed neck pumps. Yung regular bottle size. Wide neck is yung kasya sa Avent bottles. The good thing is, my Farlin pump comes with a narrow to wide neck converter. Astig diba?! So when I’m at home, I could pump directly to my Avent bottles. Pero very seldom lang naman yun. I’d usually use my storage bottles.

7. FLANGE SIZE

In babymama.ph, they would ask you to measure your nipple size to know which flange size best fits you. I think this is also another thing to consider. A lot of mums would disregard this thinking that every flange would fit every breast. Syempre hindi yun totoo. Meron malalaki nipples, meron sakto lang. This one is a nice guide.

Screen-Shot-2013-09-23-at-12.14.53-PM It is important that you get the correct flange size. Because usually, incorrect flange size could cause low output or sometimes, painful pumping. Ayaw natin nun diba?

8. BRAND NEW vs SECOND HAND

Yep! I actually considered getting a second hand pump. Cheaper? Baka mas wais. I was thinking, okay na din to get a second hand pump siguro. I’d just buy a closed system pump para sure walang molds ang machine. But then again, I decided against it. Don’t get me wrong. I’m totally fine with getting a second hand breast pump but personally, I think it’ll be best if you buy one from people you personally know. Especially if you’ll plan to use the flange and the valve and those parts that has direct contact with the milk. Again, personal opinion ko lang to. I think hygiene-wise medyo alanganin. Lalo na if you don’t personally know the previous owner. Baka kasi hindi sya malinis sa gamit diba? Mahirap na. Another option ko noon is to just get the machine and buy the flange kaso if I’ll sum it up para na din akong bumili ng bago. So bago nalang! Hahahahaha!

9. AVAILABILITY OF PARTS

Another major thing to consider is the availability of the breast pump parts. So you got yourself a decent pump, tapos after 1 month nawala mo yung isang small part. Kaloka! Bibili na naman ulit? Isang set? Make sure that the pump parts are available and affordable. I know a couple of mums who got their pump online and had it shipped. Ayun! Walang parts dito sa Manila. Bibili ulit online, papaship tapos ang price para ka ring bumili ng brand new. Waley!

 

There you go! This one’s a bit lengthy but I hoped it would help you in one way or another.

Happy breastfeeding mummies!

 

xoxo,

Reigne

Posted on Tuesday, July 29, 2014 by Celerhina Aubrey

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Yay! Finally! I know a lot of you miss my Mila Stories sooooo much! :) Medyo dumadalang na din kasi ang Mila Stories kasi busy na busy ang Nanay ko sa apo nya. As in araw araw para syang kabute na maya maya sumusulpot sa kwarto namin para i-kiss si Skye. Minsan nga gusto ko ng palayasin. But well, gets ko naman why she’s like that, ang tagal nya kasing inantay magka-apo eh.

So yeah! Now I have another batch of Mila Stories for you guys. Yung iba inaalala ko pa. Dapat talaga sinusulat ko yun agad eh ng hindi nakakalimutan.

Anyway, I hope this one would crack you up a bit.

Enjoy!

 

CAUSE OF DEATH

cause-of-death

** Paglabas ko ng pinto namin, I saw a dead mouse on the porch. Well, wala naman talaga kaming "porch" pero basta dun sa may tapat ng bahay malapit sa pinto. Hehehehe..

Me: Ma! May patay na maliit na daga dito sa tapat. (I am dead scared of rats so imagine how horrified I sound.)
Mila: Naku! Ayoko! Takot din ako sa daga. Kay Joy mo yan ipaalis.
Me: Ney! Alisin mo nga tong patay na daga dito. Huhuhuhu...

** So I went inside na to give room to the companion. Pagpasok ko ng bahay...

Mila: Ne! Bakit namatay yung daga? (seryoso itsura nya dyan ah!)
Me: Aba malay ko Ma! Doctor ba ko? Ano gusto mo gawin ko? Ipa-autopsy ko pa?
Joy: (to Mila) Mommy, inatake po sa puso. (to the mouse) Ayan kasi nakaw ka ng nakaw ng taba. Na-karma ka tuloy!
Me: *speechless nalang*

Why do I have to live in a household like this? Nadagdagan pa ng baliw ang bahay ko!!!

 

KOPIKO

kopiko

**Mila asked the companion to buy Coffee Mate. Eh sakto busy ang utak ng lolo mo sa pag iisip ng tamang ingredients ng Burger Steak so hindi nya na-gets. Pag uwi may dalang Kopiko Instant Coffee...

Mila: Ay Joy! Coffee Mate hindi Kopiko! Ano ba naman iniisip mo kasing bata ka?
Me: Hay naku! Ganyan talaga yan, pag inutusan mo yan siguraduhin mo na nasa sayo ang atensyon nya kundi mali yan talaga. Lagi na namin yan pinag aawayan.
Mila: Naku naman! Sana hindi sayo magmana apo ko. Kundi kawawa naman yan. Eh yan si Nene ang mga grades noon 98, 97 tapos mababa nya Filipino 93 o 90. Naku naman talaga. (Sabay exit)
Joy: Eto si Mommy minsan nakakasakit din to ng damdamin eh. Anong gusto nya palabasin? Pakita mo nga sa kanya Ney yung score ko sa test na 97!
Me: Sus! Eh kinopya mo lang yun.

Oh diba? Nang dahil sa Kopiko na kwestyon ang talino ng jowa ko. Hahahahaha!

 

EYE GLASSES

salamin ni mila

Salamin ni Mila. Yan na yung joke. Oh diba? Pati salamin kulang-kulang. Hihihihihi… Proud pa sya dyan!!!

 

Hindi masyado naghahasik ng lagim si Mila sa Facebook lately. Kasi busy sya sa pag-stalk sa Facebook ng Tatay ko. Kaloka no?! :)

 

xoxo,

Reigne

Posted on Thursday, July 24, 2014 by Celerhina Aubrey

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

IMG_0529

Yep! It’s our monthly thing. :) Can you believe it?! 5 months has actually passed since I gave birth to a cutie baby girl. 5 months already!!! OMG! Every time I’d look at her now, I just can’t believe how fast time flies. She’d doubled her birth weight already. She could now sing! Hence the mic and the musical notes on this month’s birthday cake c/o My Sweets Haven.

 

Oh diba?! Bongga kung maka-awit! She’s like that especially every nappy change! As in. Such a sight to behold. Ang sarap panoorin especially every time she’d sing with a matching serious expression. Parang nasa The Voice Kids lang. She really loves singing. Sana naman mahal din sya ng pagkanta. Sa akin kasi galit sya eh. Yung kanta, hindi si Skye. Hehehehehe…

One more month and she’ll be ready to start solids. OMG! I can’t wait. And Skye too. She’s been bugging us to feed her already. Would look at the food on the table. Would grab our hands every time we eat. She’s gladly accept the spoon. As in sabik na sabik ng kumain. Poor girl. So now I am looking for good food processors, blenders and juicers so I could prepare her food properly. Of course we can’t feed her cerelac or those infant “instant food” readily available in the market coz it’ll be like feeding her junk food. Sayang naman ang pagpapa-breastfeed ko at pagtanggi sa formula kung “instant food” din pala ang ibibigay ko kay Skye. I want her to eat mashed potatoes, carrots, apples, banana, ampalaya. I want to prepare juices for her. Healthy and natural food. And I hope she won’t be a picky eater.

Oh all these crazy things. I know that one day the little girl would end up eating fries and cheetos like her Mum, but nevertheless, I’d like to feed her the “right” food while I can. And while she won’t throw tantrums.

OMG my Baby Lala! You growing up too fast. Nanay can’t keep up. One day I’m learning all about 4 month growth spurt and the next day we’re already done with that. Now I am researching about Baby Led Weaning and healthy baby foods. I mean, come on!

Regardless, I am just so so so happy right now. Ecstatic actually. That I am blessed with a lovely little baby girl. Who makes everyone swoon. I swear just your smile can melt this Mum’s stoned heart.

I love you from the moon and back. I love you like a love song and more than that.

 

xoxo,

Reigne

Posted on Wednesday, July 23, 2014 by Celerhina Aubrey

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Monday, July 21, 2014

This weekend is a blast! I spent my Saturday and Sunday with the girl best friends. And honestly, I miss it. I miss spending time with friends. The past year has been nothing but me and the baby. I really can’t go out because I need to be home early for the baby. I’ve said no to a lot of gimmiks. Loads of reunions. Of dining out. Of travels.

Don’t get me wrong. Of course I don’t regret choosing my darling Skye over my friends because honestly, I’d rather stay home and cuddle with the baby that stay out late with my friends for a night full laughter, good food, probably some beers or a videoke.

But I miss it. I miss laughing my butt off. I miss eating out with friends. I miss talking to my friends in person. Lagi nalang sa viber or chat eh. I miss making chicka. I miss shopping!

Actually, I got myself a decent eyeliner last Saturday. After months of using the cheap one I got here that smudge like crazy, giving me a black eye by noon. And I am sooooo happy! I am ecstatic!!

Buti nalang my best friends are manangs. Their idea of a fun weekend out is actually a visit to the parlor at 2PM, a little shopping and a dinner which ended by 8PM. And then a Sunday lunch date in a Korean restaurant. On both occasions, I was able to bring the baby. Hitting 2 birds with one stone! *fist pump*

So yeah. Still no night outs for me. No videoke sesh. No movie dates (She’s Dating The Gangster!!!!!). But at least I can still have fun with my girl friends. Over dinner and lunch. Over a make up counter. And while trying to wrestle them with my Red Lipstick!!

Life is fun after all. Actually, it’s way way way better.

 

xoxo,

Reigne

Posted on Monday, July 21, 2014 by Celerhina Aubrey

2 comments

Friday, July 18, 2014

Breastfeeding could have been a whole lot easier if only all of us mummies can stay with our little ones 24/7.

dfd6e180e12a3ffb3c4147656d962069 ** Image grabbed from Google.

But some of us, like me, cannot afford to stay at home. We have to work so the family can have a better life. And since I am very much determined to feed Skye with only breast milk, until she self-weans, building my milk stash is another major road bump on my breastfeeding journey.

I have mentioned again and again in this blog that I had supply issues. Not when direct feeding the baby, of course, but when pumping. There are days when I can only bring home 8-9oz of milk. Not enough for Skye who consumes 12-16oz already. I am very much struggling.

Usually, your supply issues would be a lot noticeable when you pump milk out since you can measure them unlike when you direct feed, where you just pop the boob and let the baby dede for as long as she likes.

There are days when I'd question myself and my ability to provide milk for my darling little one. I am so afraid that I won't be able to supply her with enough milk. I am so afraid that I'd resort to formula feeding. So I worked harder.

Skye's almost 5months and still exclusively breastfed. I went back to work last May and has been pumping M-F for more than two months already. Right now, I have enough milk stash to last her for at least 3 days. Until now I can't believe that I was able to do it. That I was able to provide milk for the baby. Nag-growth spurt pa sya a couple of weeks back. She'd consume 18oz per day and would dede all night! Kaloka!

So let me share with you what I did to build my stash and to atleast increase my pumping output.

1. Pump for atleast 15min per boob. I use a double electric breast pump so it's faster for me to pump but I always make sure that the timer is on everytime I pump. It is very important that you pump for atleast 15min so you could get the 2nd or 3rd let down. Dati kasi, I'd pump until there's no more milk coming out. Usually that's only around 5-10min. But I read on KellyMom that you should pump for 15min kahit wala ng milk na lumalabas. Just continue to pump and after a couple of minutes you'd feel another round of let down. Usually, that's equivalent to 1 more ounce of milk. And we all know that every drop is important.

2. Use the correct pump setting, especially if you are using an electric pump. My pump has a knob that defines how strong the suction is. I thought that I'd just set the pump to it's max suction strength to produce more but I'm wrong. It is important that you try to imitate your baby's suction so your breast could produce more. In my case, I need to set it to low suction strength for 1-2min to stimulate the breast and then set it to a couple of notches lower than the max setting. Max setting is too strong for me and my breasts. It's really more like a trial and error thing. Try different setting and use the one where you are most comfortable with. It took me 2weeks to finally define the correct setting for me but once you do, pumping would be a breeze. Of course, it'll be easier if you pump manually coz you define the suction strength.

3. Set a schedule and follow it religiously. I pump every 3hours at work. 11AM, 2PM and 5 or 6PM. I make sure I follow the schedule and pump religiously so my body would know that there's a need to produce milk round the clock because this mummy needs to collect them.

4. What you can't produce in quantity, produce in frequency. I've already said it on my previous blog entries but, really! It does saved me and my breastfeeding journey. Usually, I'd add some more pumping sessions in between feeding or while feeding at night and early in the morning. I'd reserve my righ breast and won't let Skye feed on it at night so I could pump early in the morning. It's usually the right breast because my right breast produces more pumping output. It is kinda tiring honestly but you just have to do it.

5. Pump during weekends. Yep! even though we are direct feeding on weekends, I always make sure I still squeeze some more pumping time on weekends especially early in the morning and right after shower coz mas madami ang output. Also, I'd feed the baby on the left breast and pump on the right even on weekends para makaipon. Really, if you think about it parang nag iipon ka lang talaga. Every ounce na pwede idagdag sa stash, malaking bagay na yun.

6. Read a book. watch a tv series. Sing. Do whatever it is that would help you relax. I now read a book everytime I pump at work. It helps me relax and take my mind off the pressure of pumping more milk.

Those 6 really does helped me a lot, especially 1-3 and 6. As in I noticed a big difference on the amount of milk I was able to produce while at work. Kaya din hindi na ako ganon kadalas na nagpa-pump sa madaling araw. Whatever it is na napa-pump ko sa office, madalas enough na for the baby. I'd just pump early in the morning or after my morning shower. Or sometimes, I'd squeeze another pumping break at work the minute I get in.

But actually, I have also decided to not worry with the amount of milk I can pump. Eh ano kung 2oz lang ako per pumping session? Dadalasan ko nalang. And funny enough, the moment I stopped worrying, dun naman dumami ang milk ko. Now I can pump 4-5oz every 3hours! Madami na yun since I direct feed at night and during weekends naman. Plus we follow the 1-1.5oz per hour rule. Actually nga, hindi na din ako masyado nagtitipid sa milk na iniiwan ko. Dati I'd really push the 1oz per hour rule. Now, 1.5oz per hour na kami. Sometimes I'd leave 18oz of milk and would allow the baby to consume it all. But of course, I am still very firm na max na ang 1.5oz/hr. I don't want to overfeed her naman. Hindi maganda ang effect kay Skye. Usually nagiging fussy sya sa gabi and she can't sleep well.

Breastfeeding is not easy. You have sacrifice a lot. You have to really understand it. You have to make it work.

I now understand why a lot of mummies gave up on it. It’s no joke. And if you are someone who needed to be away from your baby, the difficulties are magnified a hundred times more. But there’s nothing we won’t do for our darling little ones, right?

Have a fun weekend ahead!

 

xoxo,

Reigne

Posted on Friday, July 18, 2014 by Celerhina Aubrey

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Saturday, July 12, 2014

fairy_tale_fail

The bestfriend has been bugging me to read a Mina Esguerra book for the longest time now. She’s already a fan, having read a couple of her works. I must admit I’m a bit curious but the pregnancy and the baby has kept me away from my beloved books for so long. So now after telling me that a Mina Esguerra book is actually on Wattpad, I immediately obliged and read up. Glad I did!

Fairy Tale Fail is probably a typical love story. A girl got her heart broken by “I thought Mr. Right”. Girl wanted to get back to her "prince charming” and along the way, she met The One, which is soooo far from the Prince Charming she had on her mind. Typical. But written in such a nice way that you’d find yourself so engrossed on the story.

Mina Esguerra is a good writer I must say. She has this way of telling her story in a straight forward kind, without the hoolabaloo. Unnecessary details are omitted. Not providing too much information and yet gave details that are refreshing and engaging. It’s such a fast read but it’ll make you smile after reading the last chapter. The way you’d feel after a nice, yummy meal. Or a nice movie.

I love that it’s an easy read. I find that reading helped me relax a lot. I read everytime I pump and the good pumping output is a proof. I also think that reading is the main reason why I’m not suffering from post partum. All tiredness, all depression, every crazy is forgotten the moment I read up. And this book being an easy read helped me a whole lot.

I can’t wait to read on other Mina Esguerra books. The one’s highly recommended by my bestfriend. I honestly need to get my hands on them soon. And I hope I can get an ebook. I prefer ebooks now.

So yeah, if you’re a bookworm like me, do support our local authors and buy a Mina Esguerra. You won’t regret it. And yep! Grammars are all a-okay.

 

xoxo,

Reigne

Posted on Saturday, July 12, 2014 by Celerhina Aubrey

3 comments