Friday, November 30, 2007

Make a Wish

I didn't have a lot of time on my post earlier regarding Olivia's wish experience from last night.

On our way there Olivia said "Tonight is the best night of my life." I said, "Really, why?" She told me that she was so glad to be able to meet three other families who have kids with something "going on in their body" and that she was meeting with people who help kids have wishes. It was too cute.

What a wonderful time we had. Our area is having to do things slightly differently as we currently have four wish children and not enough wish granters. Wish granters are teams of two who travel up to two hours from where they live to meet with wish families during this process. The first visit typically has one granter working with the parent or parents and the other working with the child to really get at what that child wants to wish for. Since we are so low right now on wish granters they had all four of our families meet at a pizza place locally. We each had a big booth and two granters from Chicago and two (a husband and wife "team") from Champaign (south of us) came. One wish granter was to sit with each family, help to fill out paperwork, and talk to the child about their wish.

We began at 4:30 and I let them know we would need to leave by 5:30 in order to pick the others up before day cares close at 6. We were blessed with the husband, on the husband and wife team, to be our wish granter. He is so very nice. He and his wife are retired and he has a job mentoring teens at a junior high. Another granter, from Chicago, had a family who hadn't arrived and she sat with us during most of our time there, talking with Olivia.

When the granters first came in, they brought each child a fleece tie blanket made by Chicago school children. They knew Olivia's favorite color was red and gave her one with red fleece with gingerbread men on one side and greeen fleece on the other. She LOVES it!!!! They also gave her a princess book! :) She was on cloud nine.

The night flew by with paperwork and Olivia describing her wish and giving them the picture of the pirate ship. Most of the paperwork was in case her second wish of Disney came through and they needed travel information, but he said he's pretty sure the first wish is doable and shouldn't be a problem. Some of the questions they ask you to answer really make me see what a blessing we have in that Olivia isn't "sick." We, unlike many families in this situation, don't have to worry about wheelchairs, nursing care, medical needs, etc. We really are blessed.

What a heart to have to be a wish granter. It is all volunteer. More money to put toward children's wishes.

We were asked whether or not Olivia's name, story, etc could be used for publicity. I knew the question would be there at some point and made sure to ask her again what she thought before we got there. She said yes, she didn't mind. He took down our local paper's name and the Christian radio station that is local. Our news, etc comes from Chicago so I don't know that they will do anything with that. I was a bit nervous signing that paper. We have "let out the secret" so to say of Olivia's status. But people have not turned around and gossiped or shared this that I can tell. It's in the hand of supporters, friends, family who love Olivia. I still am nervous about it really "coming out" but know that God is in control and that we have made the right decision. It's all about helping raise money for Make a Wish and helping to just get the message out that children in life threatening situations are able to receive a wish, not to mention how much Make a Wish could do with more volunteers, etc. When I explained to Olivia about how her wish would cost a lot of money and that people would work on raising that money, she wanted to help. She wants to help raise money for kids to get these wishes. She is wonderful. :)
Thursday, November 29, 2007

O's Wish

Olivia has "officially" made her wish...
She finally decided she wanted a clubhouse type something for the back yard. I looked up some pictures of tree houses that I've seen done on Extreme Makeover Home Edition and found the website. This is what Olivia wished for:

Now, that said, this tree house is INCREDIBLY expensive! I know they would most likely reduce the price somewhat for publicity, a wish child, etc, but still, I don't know if this is doable. But, maybe something similar. (It just looks so cool, though!) :)

I think this will definately be something that my kids and all our friends would enjoy for YEARS. I just hope we don't plan on moving ANYTIME soon. :) There is NO way this could be moved!

They do ask for a second wish, in case. Her second is Disney World which would be awesome too. I would LOVE to see/stay at the Give Children the World Village for wish children there. So, now we wait and see what happens. :)
Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Early Christmas

I received an early Christmas gift, my two chairs I've been wanting for the living room! Yay! We have furniture! They are great. They are somewhat low to the ground and a great fabric, so it's kid-friendly. :) A must! Love them!

(Our living room is not usually this clear of toys!
I had to do some quick cleaning to take the pic! lol )

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Saturday Night

This past Saturday we went up to Lincoln Park Zoo for ZooLights. It was SOOOOO much fun!! The weather wasn't bad at all and going in and out of the animal houses helped as they were quite warm. I loved it and so did the kids. They aren't usually open in the evenings and the house lights were dimmed and the animals were just right "there." They especially loved the gorillas who were very mellow and laying right by the glass. There was a mom and baby they watched forever and the male just off to the side. Very cool. We also saw the hippo swimming which we never even see when we go there.

The outside was all decorated and lit up. There were neat "snow globes" outside with characters in them. In the Lion House was Santa, but up on a platform so I couldn't take the stroller up. I was not up to taking all 4 in line with no stroller so we bypassed to a sad Braeden. The tattoo table next in the row was enough to get him motivated again! :) He and Olivia had penguins on their arms in no time! :) (I wondered though how accessible was Santa to someone in a wheelchair and was that fair????) :(

Sorry, want to keep this post on and two cuties were in the stroller! :)

Parade Pictures

Here are a couple pics from the parade. My favorite I won't post. It's the three squinting in the snow coming down rather hard as we were just about to get into the train station with our Subway sandwiches, Millenium Park in the back ground. :)

A sleepy girl in the stroller!!! Yes, it's Olivia :)

Monday, November 26, 2007

Thanksgiving Fun

We had a good Thanksgiving day. I was up at 3:45AM to get ready to take the 3 oldest to Chicago for the parade. We've gone the past two years and it has become somewhat a tradition. My friend took Little One Wed night and kept him for Thanksgiving, as she did last year, to make it a little easier. Of course it was nice and warm two days prior, but snow was predicted for the day of the parade, so we were ready. They slept in their clothes and the car was packed and ready. After I got myself going I got Olivia up, well, actually I went in to get her up and she started out of bed, she was up. I have a feeling she didn't sleep much in anticipation which is probably why we had the issues with her later. I got the others up and loaded in the car after a diaper change and coats and we were off.

The ride went well as they ate breakfast. When we got to the train station a little after 5 Olivia told me she thought she was going to throw up and didn't feel well. Not one of my finer parenting moments as I asked if she felt like this when she got up - of course she did! We could have gone back to bed! BUT, we did still go as she thought she'd be ok. She was fine but didn't eat really and slept through half the parade. It was cold though. We had other plans after the parade, but headed back instead. Girlie's face upon seeing the big balloons was priceless. She was just in awe. It was too cute!!! It snowed a bit during the parade and got pretty heavy right at the end. We had our now traditional turkey Subways for lunch in the train station while we waited for the next train. :)

After getting home I unloaded Girlie who had just fallen asleep and laid her on the couch in her snowsuit. I got Braeden who had also just fallen asleep and came in with him and Girlie was sleeping. I laid him on the other end of the couch and he fell back to sleep too. Olivia and I grabbed blankets and took naps on the floor. :) It was a full day to say the least.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A Test

Read on another blog, way too funny...

How To Know Whether You Are Ready to Have Children

Mess Test:Smear peanut butter on the sofa and curtains. Place a fish stick behind the couch and leave it there all summer.

Toy Test:Obtain a 55-gallon box of Legos. (If Legos are not available, you maysubstitute roofing tacks) Have a friend spread them all over the house. Put on a blindfold. Try to walk to the bathroom or kitchen. Do not scream. (This could wake a child at night.)

Grocery Store Test:Borrow one or two small animals (goats are best) and take them with you as you shop at the grocery store. Always keep them in sight and pay for anything they eat or damage.

Dressing Test:Obtain one large, unhappy, live octopus. Stuff into a small net bag, making sure that all arms stay inside.

Feeding Test:Obtain a large plastic milk jug. Fill halfway with water. Suspend from the ceiling with a stout cord. Start the jug swinging. Try to insert spoonfuls of soggy cereal (such as Fruit Loops or Cheerios) into the mouth of the jug, while pretending to be an airplane. Now dump the contents of the jug on the floor.

Night Test:Prepare by obtaining a small cloth bag and fill it with 8 - 12 pounds of sand. Soak it thoroughly in water. At 8:00 PM, begin to waltz and hum with the bag until 9:00 PM. Lay down your bag and set your alarm for 10: 00PM.Get up, pick up your bag, and sing every song you have ever heard. Make up about a dozen more and sing these too until 4:00 AM. Set alarm for 5:00 AM. Get up and make breakfast. Keep this up for 5 years. Look cheerful.

Physical Test (Women):Obtain a large beanbag chair and attach it to the front of your clothes. Leave it there for 9 months. Now remove 10 of the beans.

Physical Test (Men):Go to the nearest drug store. Set your wallet on the counter. Ask the clerk to help himself. Now proceed to the nearest food store. Go to the head office and arrange for your paycheck to be directly deposited to the store. Purchase a newspaper. Go home and read it quietly for the last time.

Final Assignment:Find a couple who already has a small child. Lecture them on how they can improve their discipline, patience, tolerance, toilet training, and child's table manners. Suggest many ways they can improve. Emphasize to them that they should never allow their children to run riot. Enjoy this experience. It will be the last time you will have all the answers. "

Van Update

Sorry, I forgot to talk about the van. So far so good. The brake and antilock brake lights still come on from time to time but they have for quite a while. I took it in for that long ago and spent over $125 for them to tell me they couldn't find anything. so we'll see...


It's been a long couple of weeks. And while I have had a minute or two here and there to keep caught up on many of the blogs I read, I just haven't had some solid time to sit down to write my own. so here it is...

PARENTS - my parents flew into town for a whirlwind weekend two weekends ago. Our big adoption celebration was on Sat. Nov. 10th. They flew in Friday the 9th at 5:40pm, but their plane ended up delayed and didn't arrive until about 6:30. The kids were wound up to say the least - they're arrival was kept a big surprise!!! They then flew out on Monday afternoon.

ADOPTION CELEBRATION - was on the 10th. It was such a huge success, so many wonderful people and so much fun. It was a bit stressful in that there were many who didn't know each other and I wanted to talk with them all, plus having to try to keep an eye on the two little ones. People kept finding them out and about and bringing them back. We had the celebration at a church and my parents a friend and I were there starting at 9 to decorate, it was actually from 11:30-2:30. Braeden had had enough of the one room and at one point actually found an elevator and took it by himself. I think he was a little scared, and relieved, when I opened it. There were so many people who drove near and far to attend, we were very blessed. My dad's side of the family came about 2 1/2 hours to attend, friends from by hometown came about the same distance. Friends who have never met the kids but have kept in touch from when I was involved in youth ministry in Bloomington, and a friend from my youth from there as well, drove about 1 1/2 hours. I just wish I had had more time to talk with each of them. I had scrapbooks for each of the kids for people to write notes to them and then get their pics taken, and the comments were so wonderful. Of course I got pictures of every person except Braeden's godparents, my parents, and myself. Go figure! But it was a wonderful day! For those who left early, you missed the fireworks. Braeden had eaten SO much JUNK! Then my uncle was flipping him and he said, I'm going to throw up, sure enough ALL OVER! My uncle was great and held him and much of the yuck as I grabbed the garbage can! :) He was fine the rest of the day!

OLIVIA - had her most recent doctor's appt on Mon the 12th. Her white blood cells have been low so we discussed her change of meds, which they are still deciding on. I also told them that she has been practicing swallowing and is ready to switch to more pills. They are thinking about that too???? She has also been having a bout with homework and lying lately. Last week she didn't bring home her homework notebook evey day. She is supposed to bring it home the beginning of the week of then do something in it that is written to do, each day. She had consequences of going to her room, but it didn't seem to phase her. She also lied each day about it and why she didn't have it. I read another blog where they have talked about instituting a "correction" jar/cup. There are slips of paper inside listing different "jobs" as correction for misbehavior, but then there is also a slip that says Mercy. They talked with their children about how God gives us Mercy sometimes when we deserve punishment. So, I decided to start it with Olivia. Only for two things that she is needing to work on right now - lying ( because it's usually about nothing anyway), and hurting someone, usually Braeden, supposedly on accident, but then not saying sorry. If that makes sense. Anyway, right after we talked about this on Sat, she lied about not putting away some markers in the basement. When I went down to grab something, what do you know. So, she had to pick a slip. Clean the Bathroom. It took her a good part of the day as I would have her do one part at a time, but she did great. Then she kicked Braeden, supposedly on accident, but didn't say sorry, so she had to pick again. No TV all Weekend. Monday, yesterday, she came home from school and told me that she "had a break from her bag book and word ring" tonight. I thought maybe, since it was a short week, but was surprised because she has had this every Mon-Thurs since school started. Well, it turns out that she just didn't want to bring it home. A lie again, so she had to pick again. Clean the Bathroom!!! I think this is the cleanest my bathroom has ever been. The other slips say Mercy, Clean the Basement (organize), clean the Kitchen Floor, and Copy a Page From a Book (my choice). I put up the Bathroom and tv ones up for a while, she doesn't know though.

MAKE A WISH - We finally heard from the Make a Wish people. There are 5 wish children in our area currently and not enough volunteers to be wish granters. So, they are organizing a time for all of us to get together and meet the Make a Wish people to start talking over their wishes. As of right now this will possibly occur on the 29th.

SATURDAY - I took Braeden and Olivia to see Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium. Cute movie. Braeden loved the sock monkey. He said that the monkey only wanted a hug, a cuddle, and no one would hug him, then at the end he got a hug. It was too cute.

SUNDAY - I took Braeden and Olivia to see the Indiana Youth Ballet's performance of the Nutcracker. They loved it. Braeden was a little antsy the second half, but did well.

GIRLIE - God blessed us Incredibly and the person we were waiting on to get her day care license got it in the mail Sat the 10th, so Girlie was able to start at her home day care on Mon the 12th!!! She has bitten there a couple times, but our provider is so great and knows what is going on with her. She has fostered/adopted herself and has dealt with biting before. I think she'll do really well there. Thursday, the 15 was supposed to be her ACR - Administrative Case Review - that they hold every 6 months. I took a half day because I really wanted to know what was going on with her case. Also, there was the name of a boy listed along with her name that I knew nothing about. The cw called me Wed night and in talking, I said I was going, and she said it was in a city 3 hours away! I hadn't even paid attention to the address, why would it be somewhere else? I guess this boy is a brother, or half brother, who is 17 or 18 and his worker is from there? Anyway, no way I could go and I now had a half day for basically nothing. I got a lot done for Christmas though. The cw then let me know that they have to start doing visits with this brother. They have never even met! He isn't going home, she probably isn't, why on earth have them have visits???? He is an hour or so south so we are hoping he has to travel to her and not the other way around. That is so crazy!

OTHER LIFE - we have sicknesses yet again. Girlie had a fever (slight temp) last night and this morning. I plied her with Motrin and took her to day care. Just to get through today and tomorrow I hope! Braeden last night was saying his stomach hurt and he was going to throw up. Throwing up is a big thing for him right now. :0) But he also asks for medicine all the time on the premise he is sick, because he likes medicine. I think he had gas last night, but he was complaining this am too. I got him off to school, no fever or anything, and he skipped into day care, so we'll see. I sure hope we all make it to the big parade on Thanksgiving!
Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Van Update

I picked up the van on Monday. So far so good. Let's pray this "holds" until I can afford a passenger van, or some wonderfully rich individual feels called to bless us with one! lol, :) one can hope, right!?

Swallowing Pills

Olivia has done great with the first pill she has switched over to. She was on three liquid medications upon coming to live with me at 3 1/2. She recently switched one to a pill, a small pill. She has done great with swallowing. The next she will switch is to a pill about the size of a Tylenol capsule, the first was like a TicTac. The final she will go to is a huge horse pill sized thing. Today she "practiced" for switching over to the next pill. Yesterday she swallowed, with ease, three separate Pez candies! Today, she swallowed a candy corn!!! yay Olivia!!! Our next Dr appt is Monday the 12th. We'll see what they think, hopefully she can switch to the next one for sure. Maybe both??? That would be great! No more liquids! You go girl!

What A Day

Well, Girlie is done at her current day care. When I picked her up today after work they said they were sorry, they know they told me 2 weeks, but she bit today and today is her last day. Nice. Needless to say it was a shock.

I called the agency and spoke with the supervisor who said they would try to figure something out. Asked if I had anyone in the area. Really, how many times do I need to tell people no with regards to that? The person we've been waiting on to get her home day care license was told yesterday that her paperwork is "there" and she only needs to receive her license in the mail. Which is great, but doesn't help me tomorrow. Who knows for sure how long it will take. He said he'd look into it.

Then his supervisor called to talk with me a little while later. She said that they were still working on it, but wanted to talk. She said she wasn't sure what my thoughts/intentions were but said that Girlie is a special case with all she's witnessed, etc. She said that she bites because she feels anxiety. I get that, for the most part, but don't think it's completely right. She is very smart, she is also very old for her age and isn't scared, intimidated, etc. If anything she's the opposite. Anyway, she said that this is a caregiver problem. That at home with me she feels secure, etc and that with me working she is placed in a situation where she doesn't get that nurturing she needs, so she bites. She said that maybe we need to discuss placing her in a home with a stay at home parent. I get that too. I wish I could be that, but financially can't. I just would hate to see the progress she's made over the past 3 months nixed with a transition to a new home yet again. It would be her fourth home in just over two years. I don't know how well she would do with that. We ended our chat for now.

I called the supervisor a little later as I hadn't heard from anyone about tomorrow. He said they found a foster parent at home willing to watch her as a respite during the day until my friend got her license. I talked with him regarding my hope that this will be what she needs and my feelings regarding her moving yet again. BUT, if that ends up in her best interest, hard as it would be, I would understand and would pray they found a really great home. What if she goes to one and then starts biting, etc there and they don't like it and want her moved??? I don't want her to end up a case who bounces numerous times and is unable to form attachments, etc. I wil continue to pray for this. It's all I can do. :)
Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The Boot

Well, Girlie officially received the boot from yet another day care today.

Yesterday I was told to pick her up again as she had bitten 3 times. The cw got them to isolate her instead until I was done at work. BUT I had to sign a paper saying that the next time she bit I would have 2 weeks to move her to a new place.

She bit twice today.

Tonight at the YMCA where Olivia does cheerleading, the younger 3 were in the nursery. I was retrieved after Girlie told them to Shut Up, numerous times. I guess someone was eating his dinner and she started over there. They told her they would get her a snack but that that was his. She turned to them and pointed her finger and said You shut up. She continued and got up from time out many times. I took her up with me to sit and miss out on the toys and snack and movie and she was not a happy camper, which is good. She knew she made some bad choices and what she was losing. Some parents tried talking to her after she had some time to think and she kept covering her face and not really even looking at them. She was embarrassed. I'm glad she understood but that's also what is so frustrating. She is a smart girl. She doesn't do this at home. She has bit twice the entire time she's been with us and has said shut up a couple times, but she knows it is not accepted and we just don't see it. I'm glad of that, but frustrated it still has not carried over to other areas. The looks she gives, it's like she is such an adult. I hate to think of all that the baby has been through to make her this way at the age of two, a young two at that.


Yesterday as we were riding in the car to pick up Girlie from day care, Olivia was reading signs outside as she often does now. She read one that has initials in it's name but was reading them as a word. I explained about initials and what Braeden's were, as he has a necklace with his initials he received for his adoption. (A hemp one that I made.) She then thought about what hers are, and asked me what mine were. I said that mine are LMB. She thought a moment and said, "Is your middle name Mom???"

Too darn cute! LOL!
Monday, November 05, 2007

And Again

Girlie's day care called at 10:15am. She's bitten three times, you need to pick her up. I called the agency and talked to the case aide to see if they could pick her up, even to just bring her here. He called the day care and got them to "isolate" her the rest of the day. When I pick her up they will discuss the next step in the process to me! I guess she now has a two week probationary period. If we can't "work together" to deal with this and "stop" it, then she will be kicked out yet again. :( What can I do???? She's not 4, I can't punish her at home. It's more their deal.
Sunday, November 04, 2007

Rating My "Life" :)

This was fun, but ironic how high my financial scored considering all the junk with the van right now!!! :0)

This Is My Life, Rated
Take the Rate My Life Quiz
Friday, November 02, 2007

Girlie's Face

I wish I could post a picture of my little darlin's face. Halloween morning, on our way out the door, down the two cement steps next to our house, which we walk down every morning, as it was a little dark that morning, Girlie took a fall and had quite a face plant right into the cement at the bottom of the stairs!!! Oh my, she is scratched up! Mostly her nose got the brunt of it.

Thankfully she was fine, just a bit sore and a little bit bloody. :( I was grateful that her visit with bio mom was the day before and that she won't have another for two weeks. Isn't that sad. If it was Olivia or Braeden, poor dear, but things happen, you'll be fine. :) Girlie or Little One, your thoughts immediately turn to what will people say, what will people think, what will their parent think, will the agency move them because they don't think they're "safe"... on and on. It's sad that that is what your mind starts processing.

She's on the mend, her cw knows about the accident, and if there are still marks come next visit, we'll deal with it.

On another note, her biting continues. Once earlier in the week and twice yesterday. Oh my Girlie!
Thursday, November 01, 2007

Halloween Night

We had such a great Halloween! I was able to run over to Olivia's school to help her get ready and then watch their "parade" of costumes. I've never been able to do that before! Here she is, after getting ready in the bathroom...

We had a fast but fun day! The kids at school did so well and really we had no behavior issues which you sometimes do on holidays! :) After school Olivia and I had to take in the van, pick up Girlie and then we ran to Sears to pick up our pictures. They look so great! We then grabbed the boys and went home and got our costumes on. I am "cool" mom on Halloween, I let Olivia and Braeden eat candy for dinner! :) (They really hardly EVER get candy, the night is so rushed anyway, last year I figured what the heck, let them eat as we go and we'll call it a night! ) You should see how much they have, and how much of it they will never touch! :)

Here is Braeden coming through from one house with moving monster people that he was a bit scared of! :)

The funniest was at one house where Olivia and Braeden went up the steps to get their candy. Two teens came behind them to go up as they were about to come down. They had kind of scary masks. Olivia walked right down, Braeden stood still. The teens waited and I asked him to come down. I said it was ok they were just masks and the teens said Oh are we scaring him, and backed up. He just stood there and said Sissy! wanting Olivia to come get him! I got him and we got past the big mean monsters! lol! Too funny.
Here's where they had to go through this big blow up haunted house to get candy! So funny!

My Van


Yes, that's eighteen HUNDRED dollars to fix the yucky van!

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About Me

I am a single mom to four amazing kids; each of whom just happen to have been adopted. The first three were adopted through foster care, and we just completed an international adoption from Haiti. Our family has grown through adoption and I am all the more blessed to know each of my children. I worship a mighty God, teach Special Ed, love bargains, and am inspired by Pinterest... come along with us for the ride!

Olivia - 14

Olivia - 14

Braeden - 11

Braeden - 11

Liam - 9

Liam - 9

Macy - 5

Macy - 5

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What you should know about HIV

-HIV can NOT be spread through casual/household contact. HIV is not spread through hugging, kissing, shaking hands, sharing toys, sneezing, coughing, sharing food, sharing drinks, bathing, swimming or any other casual way. It has been proven that HIV and AIDS can only be spread through sexual contact, birth, breastfeeding and blood to blood contact (such as sharing needles). - HIV is now considered a chronic but manageable disease. With treatment, people who are HIV+ can live indefinitely without developing AIDS and can live long and full lives. - People who are HIV+ deserve to be treated with love, respect, support and acceptance as all people do. Additional information on transmission of HIV can be found on the Center for Disease Control website:

Other Awesome Blogs

Orphan Crisis

• 147 million orphans in the world
• 50 million orphans in Africa 
• Every 14 seconds a child is orphaned by AIDS
• 16,000,000 have been orphaned by AIDS
• Every week, AIDS claims as many lives as American fatalities in the Vietnam War
• 854 million people do not have enough to eat
• Malnutrition is associated with the deaths of 5 million children under the age of five
• Every 2 seconds an orphan dies from malnutrition

Hence the title of my blog

Little Did I Know

Little did I know that the road would be so rocky
Little did I know that the trip would take so long
Little did I know that my heart could hurt so much
Little did I know that God is never wrong

Little did I know that love could be so powerful
Little did I know that a dream so far could go
Little did I know that God would place the right ones
Little did I know that my heart, so large, could grow

Little did I know that a dream has it’s own timing
Little did I know that this day would finally come
Little did I know that four souls would be sent to guide me
Little did I know that they would choose to call me mom

But God knew all along and He had a plan to follow
God knew all along that my dream would soon come true
God knew all along that we five should be together
God knew all along that I’d share it all with you