Fynnlee, Greyson

Life with Greyson and Fynnlee–16 Months

Somehow the summer is over. And I’m not happy about it. We have had the most amazing 3 months in Western PA. I don’t remember a recent summer with such picture perfect weather. Lots of playtime outdoors and something about sunny days that lend to stellar moods.

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So our kiddos are 16 months. Which is almost 18 months. Which is dangerously close to 2. OMG my babies are almost 2!

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16 months is the best month yet (broken record much?)! Between the game playing and the dancing and the trying to talk and the RUNNING. All of it is so much fun.

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Pacifiers

You might have noticed an excessive use of pacifiers during our Rhode Island trip. Ironically, I’ve been trying to limit the use of them to naps/bedtime and car rides. But during our trip, they were both feeling semi-crappy and they were put into a lot of new situations with new people. Those little rubber binks really do help to comfort them and I wasn’t about to take them away from them.  Ideally we’d be weaned off of them completely by 18months. But like everything else with these two…I’m just gonna wing it.

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Bottles

No bottles in sight. We actually ditched them at the beginning of last month. I had really only been giving bottles at bedtime. One day I was emptying the dishwasher and I just decided to pack them all up and donate them! I actually kept 2 in case there was a huge revolt but it was really no big deal to them. They still get a sippy of milk at night before bed and that’s really all they care about.  I see no reason to stop the milk at night any time soon.

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Toothbrushing

Their Grandma is a dentist. These kids should have perfect oral hygiene. Truth is…we’re just getting started. It took Fynnlee a while to actually put the toothbrush in her mouth.  And Greyson prefers to use it to brush his hair. But we’re working on it. We show them how we brush our teeth and they try to copy us. Sometimes.

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They hang out on the dog bed more than the dog.

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Food

Their tastes change every day.  As of right now, Greyson will eat 3 whole carrots (steamed with a little butter). Fynnlee is obsessed with chicken. Both love fruit still…bananas, berries, cantaloupe, oranges, Greyson could eat a whole watermelon (including the rind). Still love pasta, pesto, yogurt melts, goldfish, cheerios, Chex, fruit/veggie pouches. I’m not stressing as much about it.  They’re growing and are healthy and that’s all I care about. The only beverages they consume are milk and water. They definitely prefer salty over sweet. I accidentally bought the multigrain Cheerios, which are lightly sweetened and they wouldn’t touch them. But they devour plain ole boring Cheerios.

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Sleep

Sleep at the beginning of the month was horrible. Blame teeth, ears, full moon…whatever. But one of the kids were up every morning at 4am, if not sooner. But a few days after we returned from Rhode Island, things seemed to settle down and they’re waking up anytime between 5 and 6:30 (omghallelujah!). Total game changer. Jerry and I actually stayed up until…wait for it…TEN O’CLOCK one night and finished up Stranger Things (so weird but pretty good).  They still take one nap at school for 2-3 hours and 2 naps on the weekend. Greyson HAS to be hitting a growth spurt because he’s eating everything in sight and took a 3 hour morning nap and a 2 1/2 hour afternoon nap over the weekend.

One thing is for certain…fresh air and exercise is good for sleep patterns!

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Communication

The only word they (still) say consistently is Uh Oh. I’m so ready for them to learn a new word!  We are terrible about trying to figure out their language. They are clearly trying to say certain words but we can’t always figure them out.  And we can’t figure out what is said intentionally or accidentally. The other day, Fynn looked right at Jarrad and said Hi Daddy. Clear as day.  And she says Mom a lot, as does Greyson. And they know the sign for More (they learned this as school).


That about wraps up 16 months. Life is better than I ever imagined. I can’t wait to see what September has in store for us!

Fynnlee, Greyson

Life with Greyson & Fynnlee–15.4

How much luggage do 4 people need to travel to Rhode Island for 3 days. A lot, apparently.

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This past weekend, our family flew to our nation’s tiniest state to attend a wedding and family reunion. It was a whirlwind 3 days! I’m not going to lie…I was pretty anxious about this trip. We were trying to pack a lot into a few days. There was going to be a lot of running around (which I don’t handle well), Greyson was getting over an ear infection and a case of hand, foot and mouth. And I was just waiting for Fynnlee to catch the virus and be miserable for the whole trip. But it was a lot better than I expected. Fynnlee didn’t get HFM, although she did end up with an ear infection as well. And the kids were pretty awesome about being schlepped all over the state. I honestly don’t give them enough credit.

Our flight was at 6:30 am (which we are never doing again, according to Jerry) and the whole family was up and ready to go by 4:30. The only upside to having kids who like to wake up for the day in the wee hours of the morning…they have no problem handling early flight times.  Our air travel was broken up into 2 legs, each were an hour. Jerry got “the good baby” for both legs and they both basically slept the whole time.

 

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I got “the drama baby” and she didn’t sleep at all. You’re shocked, I know.

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She was pretty much a rockstar for both flights and while she didn’t sleep, she also didn’t scream. We read books, played with cups, watched some Mickey Mouse and looked out the windows. It helped that neither flights were full.

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We went straight to GGs when we arrived in Providence and played with GG, Grandma, Papa & Aunt Steph for a few hours.

 

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Then it was off to our hotel to try and get a good night’s rest.

Saturday we woke up and got ready to go to Aunt Bette’s house. Jerry and I were going to a family wedding Saturday night and she, along with cousins Sydney and Kendall, graciously offered to watch the Beans.  They sent us pictures during the day and the kiddos had a great time!  Fynnlee wore herself out from playing so hard.

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They took trips around the neighborhood in a wagon

 

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And ate yummy pizza for dinner.

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While the kids were playing, Jerry and I watched his cousin Joseph marry Jessica. It was a lovely ceremony and her dress was one of the most beautiful I’ve seen. Seriously, that beading…

 

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We clean up well Smile

 

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Aunt Bette indicated she thought Fynn might have an ear infection as she was tugging on her ear all night and was pretty fussy at times. We woke up Sunday morning to some yellow gunk draining out of her ear and after a call to our pediatrician, she thought that her ear drum might have ruptured.  Yes, I completely freaked out and almost dropped the phone. I was ready to rush her to the emergency room. Dr. Mary assured me that it was quite common for a pin hole to form in the eardrum and release pressure when an ear infection is undiagnosed. So they called in a prescription for her, I gave her some motrin and we got ready to enjoy the Soscia Family Reunion!!

Good looking crew, eh?

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Jarrad’s cousin’s Paul and Diana were gracious enough to host the whole family at their home in Mass. It’s unbelievable beautiful and I did an absolutely horrible job taking pictures. (I was kind of off my picture game all weekend) There was a lobster/clam boil with some of the freshest seafood I’ve ever had. I ate my weight in clams and lobster.

 

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Not a real lobster. I failed to take a picture of the real thing.

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The kids had a great time meeting their family

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And we had a picture perfect day.

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Jerry had to fly to California Sunday evening for a business trip so we headed back to the hotel to get a good nights rest.  We were flying home on Monday and I was dragging Aunt Stephanie with us!

The Beans woke up at 4:15 and were wide awake. So while the rest of the world slept, we took baths!

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And had breakfast in bed.

 

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We walked 29874 laps around the parking lot once the sun came up.

 

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They hold hand a lot these days and my heart can hardly take it.

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Travelling with toddlers isn’t for the faint of heart. Aunt Stephanie loves her niece and nephew A LOT to take on this trip with me.

Here goes nothing…

 

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First leg, no problem. It pretty much went like this (awesome photo bomb).

 

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The second leg was a little more crazy as they were both awake. But they were pretty well behaved and we made it back home in one piece.

Jerry didn’t get home until late Wednesday and Aunt Stephanie flew back home on Tuesday. So the Beans and spent a lot of QT at home.

We played outside

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Took bubble baths

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And eased back into our routine.

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It took 2 days but we’re back to normal sleeps. Fynnlee wakes at 5 and Greyson at 6.

We already miss our New England family!

Fynnlee

Life with Fynnlee 15.2/15.3

Hello Friends!! Note the chocolate chip cookie in Fynnlee’s hand. I had a feeling she would be sharing her love for all cookies chocolate chip with her Daddy. And I was partially right. She gobbled that cookie right up. And then spit out the chocolate. Right on the floor. So an apparent fan of cookies. Not a fan of chocolate. I think Jerry died a little inside when found out.

She’s a pretty cute little cookie.

Someone is a huge fan of Summertime. So much splashing!

And having buckets of water poured on her head.

Fynnlee also made a puffy paint masterpiece.

But these streamers were the highlight of her day. She loves anything she can fling around and wrap herself up in.

She named that ice cream flavor Yellow.

And stared at herself in the mirrors for a long time.

I can’t even tell you how much this Squish loves “mowing” the grass.  That’s going to come in handy during her teenage years.

There was some serious pouring going on here.  So. Serious.

We’re at a weird stage with this hair. Trying to decide if she should go for a trim or just let it grow. She seriously has the most beautiful hair. I’m so excited to french braid it!

We’ve had such a wonderful summer. And this little girl loves the sunshine. And playing with her shadow.

We’re headed on a roadtrip to Rhode Island this weekend to watch our cousin Joseph get married. Say a little prayer for us…for safe travels and healthy kids! We can use all we can get!

Greyson

Life with Greyson 15.2/15.3

Well it’s been a hot minute since I’ve done an update on the kiddos. So let’s jump right in to the Tuesdays with Greyson reboot!

You get one guess who has an ear infection. Yep…Lovebug. And for those of you keeping track, that’s THREE ear infections in 4 months. Next one is gonna get us a one way ticket to an ENT. Poor kid.

We caught it early but he was still feeling icky. And sick babies are the worst. (But the super snuggles are the best.)

So what else have we been up to? Eating massive amounts of watermelon, that’s what. This child is obsessed. And he eats the whole piece, rind included. Gross.

He thinks it’s fabulous. We got a mini watermelon in our farmshare and he ate the whole thing by himself. I guess there are worse things he could be eating.

He is having a blast at school. They are really enjoying the dog days of summer. It’s been crazy hot here so the mornings are spent outside and the afternoons are filled with indoor activity.

They had ice cream week and this bug loved making fizzy cones!

He made a beautiful masterpiece with puffy paint.

And ran off his sugar high outdoors.

Splash day is always a hit. Sponges are a new fascination.

And what is summer without popsicles. He actually had more fun making them than eating them. Cold = bad.

I’m not sure what is being created here. Paper ice cream, I think.

This little hunk is having a pretty great August. Despite a summer cold and ouchy ears.

We have a roadtrip to Rhode Island on the horizon and I’m hoping everyone stays healthy!

Cooking, Daily Life, Jenny

Whole 30

Over the 4th of July, I was talking to Stephanie about how I have been feeling really lousy. Bloated and lethargic and just generally blah. She mentioned that she was going to try the Whole 30 Progam after the holiday. I had read about it before and had always just said no. freaking. way. But I gave it another once over, and it didn’t sound soooo bad (yes it still did) so I agreed to give it a shot with her. My main motivation in trying it were 1). My skin was a mess. I’ve been having a lot of breakouts and it was overall just dull 2). My knees were constantly hurting and swollen and I know dairy is a big culprit of inflammation. 3). I wanted to clean up my diet and stop with the sugar monster and constant snack attacks. 4). Fine. I wanted to lose a few lbs.

For those of you who haven’t heard of this way of eating, here are the basic rules:

*Do not consume added sugar of any kind, real or artificial. No maple syrup, honey, agave nectar, coconut sugar, Splenda, Equal, Nutrasweet, xylitol, stevia, etc. Read your labels, because companies sneak sugar into products in ways you might not recognize.

*Do not consume alcohol in any form, not even for cooking. (And it should go without saying, but no tobacco products of any sort, either.)

*Do not eat grains. This includes (but is not limited to) wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, rice, millet, bulgur, sorghum, amaranth, buckwheat, sprouted grains and all of those gluten-free pseudo-grains like quinoa. This also includes all the ways we add wheat, corn and rice into our foods in the form of bran, germ, starch and so on. Again, read your labels.

*Do not eat legumes. This includes beans of all kinds (black, red, pinto, navy, white, kidney, lima, fava, etc.), peas, chickpeas, lentils, and peanuts. No peanut butter, either. This also includes all forms of soy – soy sauce, miso, tofu, tempeh, edamame, and all the ways we sneak soy into foods (like lecithin).

*Do not eat dairy. This includes cow, goat or sheep’s milk products such as cream, cheese (hard or soft), kefir, yogurt (even Greek), and sour cream… with the exception of clarified butter or ghee. (See below for details.)

Do not consume carrageenan, MSG or sulfites. If these ingredients appear in any form on the label of your processed food or beverage, it’s out for the Whole30.

Do not try to re-create baked goods, junk foods, or treats* with “approved” ingredients. Continuing to eat your old, unhealthy foods made with Whole30 ingredients is totally missing the point, and will tank your results faster than you can say “Paleo Pop-Tarts.” Remember, these are the same foods that got you into health-trouble in the first place—and a pancake is still a pancake, regardless of the ingredients.

There are a LOT of rules in the Whole 30. A LOT. And they allow zero room for interpretation. They give permission to eat certain foods but not prepare them in certain ways. For instance, you can eat potatoes. But you can’t fry them…or eat commercially prepared chips (even baked) You can use almond or coconut flour to bread your chicken or add to meatballs. But you can’t use it to make tortillas. (And don’t think of saying the word pancake in their presence. They have a real problem with pancakes. Pancake is a 4 letter word to those Whole 30 people.).

So first of all, let’s be clear…in hindsight, I didn’t exactly follow the Whole 30 plan.  I didn’t read the book. I made microwave potato chips. I put almond milk in my coffee. I snacked on lara bars and dipped my plantain chips (which I bought at giant eagle) in my guacamole. I ate corn. I read labels but not as carefully as I should. I looked for the word sugar and tried to find foods that were minimal processed with ingredients I recognized.  There was some soy in a few things I ate, I’m sure. But I did the best I could and definitely finished 30 days of the WHOLE lot-better-than-I-had-been-eating plan.  And I have no shame.

Here were my WHOLE lbtihbe rules:

No grains (I did eat corn. It’s summer. I’m eating corn.).
No legumes (including peanuts/peanut butter)
No dairy
No sugar or artificial sweetners
No alcohol

And you bet your bottom dollar I stuck to every one for 30 days. Toot Toot!

The first 5-6 days are pretty tough. I’m not going to lie. Not as tough as the first 6 days home with newborn twins after a c-section…but still tough. It’s a lifestyle change and it’s difficult getting used to eating a new way. The hardest part for me was making all of my food. Truly, Lara bars, Pressed by Kind bars and plantain chips were the only prepared foods I ate.  I guess mustard, mayo and almond butter are prepared too but I’m not counting condiments as food.

I limited myself to 1 cup of coffee per day (full disclosure…I drink my coffee out of a 24oz tervis cup. Don’t judge). And I only drank water and unsweetened iced tea. And La Croix. OMG, so much La Croix!

I ate a ton of fruit. Berries, bananas, nectarines, watermelon. Probably 5-6 servings per day.  I ate a lot of raw, cut up veggies but not a lot of salads. Lots of eggs (scrambled, fried & hardboiled).  Lots of “hashes” (potatoes, turkey sausage, peppers, onions).  Roasted and steamed vegetables of all kinds. Grilled or panfried meats and fish. And smoothies.

The results:

I should have taken before/after pictures. I’m kicking myself for not doing so. Regardless…

I lost 8 lbs. Yes, weight loss was a motivation. And I’m proud to say that I lost weight. My clothes fit so much better and I’m flirting with wearing a bikini for the first time in 15 years. But we all know this doesn’t mean diddly if I put it back on. So I need keep up the hard work.

My skin is glowing. The breakouts didn’t really stop until around day 13-14 but I haven’t had one since. I also switched to a new organic cleanser so maybe that helped too.

My knees feel meh…just OK. I may just need to face the fact that I have shitty knees and my diet isn’t going to fix them.

I’m definitely snacking less. Good grief, I didn’t realize how much I was snacking. Taking little bites of pretty much everything.  Cheerios, goldfish, Hershey’s kisses. And hitting up the office vending machine more than I’d like to admit. And I’m actually thinking about what I’m eating as opposed to mindlessly grabbing a slice of cheese from the fridge on a whim.

I’m back to cooking more. Which is annoying sometimes. But I don’t get to eat if I don’t cook and I can’t survive on smoothies. I love to cook though so it’s a good habit I want to continue.

I didn’t eat out much but was pretty tough to do following all of these rules. I had flank steak, grilled asparagus and roasted potatoes. No I didn’t ask what kind of fat they used to prepare the food. And there was some sort of sauce on the steak (I think it was Hoisin based, which is basically sugar) that I scraped off as well as I could.

Going forward:

Do I want to eat this way forever? No. Do I want to keep this as a good basis of my diet. Yes. Absolutely! I’m lucky that I love fruit and vegetables. Grains and cheese are my down fall and I need to work hard to keep from overdoing it. I’m going to reintroduce legumes first. And Stevia…I really want to cut out refined sugar and artificial sweetners as much as possible. Non-Gluten grains will follow and dairy.

You all know my love for pizza. I’m not giving up pizza (EVER), but I am going to eat a lot less of it.  As I am someone who thrives on structure and fails when allowed to wing it, my plan for the foreseeable future is to live by the 80/20 rule.  With 21 meals during the week, 4 of them can be off plan. Not that I can have a free-for-all, but I can eat normal portions of carbs/dairy/sugar without guilt.  So most meals will be still protein/veggie/fruit/good fat. As will snacks. When you only allow yourself cheese 4 times a week, it ain’t gonna be American. My hope is that I continue to really think about what I’m eating and choose high quality food versus empty crappy carbs (yes, I’m breaking up with you Doritos). I don’t believe a healthy relationship with food is one where you don’t indulge on occasion. What is summer without ice cream?! But continuing with this new food mentality will make me appreciate what I’m eating a lot more.

I’m really happy Stephanie convinced me to give this a shot. She stuck to the true plan and is basically a rockstar! I came close enough to be proud of myself. I’ll check in next month to let you know if I’ve stuck to my new habits.

Fynnlee, Greyson

Life with Greyson & Fynnlee – 15 Months

How would I describe 15 months? Mostly fabulous yet a little frustrating.

First lets get to the Fab part.


My goodness, these kiddos are fun! Truth be told, our Beans never really had that crazy twin bond that you hear so much about. It wasn’t a bit deal to me though because I try to think of them as individuals rather than one unit (twins get that a lot). We have entered a time of incredible sweetness between these two. They splash each other. They play hide and seek. They chase each other around a chair. Fynnlee styles Greyson’s hair everyday. And Greyson passes his cheerios to Fynnlee at the table. They find each other hilarious. Seriously, the giggles they evoke from one another are unlike any I can manage. That’s not to say they don’t fight like normal brothers and sisters. Oh, they are gonna have some knock down, drag out moments in the near future. But I’m not focusing on that right now.


They are both crazy mobile. I need 6 more arms. Praise the lord for baby jail. Greyson is pretty steady at this point and he learned to stand without assistance within a few days of walking. They don’t cry as much when they fall. And they’re obsessed with the stairs. Good gravy…our hardwood stairs are beautiful but I feel like they are a concussion waiting to happen.


Their little personalities have just exploded. Fynnlee is still full of drama but her sweetness completely overshadows it. And Greyson’s confident side is emerging, sprinkled with the perfect amount of ornery. Oh this child is ornery! They are starting to communicate more. Mostly by motions but the words are coming. Uh oh remains the only thing both of them say consistently. But Fynnlee will repeat words correctly. And we are starting to understand Greyson’s attempt at language. I’m not pushing the chatter though. 


They both love books, Mickey Mouse, the water table, the swings and slide at the playground, being outside and “chase” (when I chase them around the room and tickle them).


Food is pretty much the same. And is part of the frustration equation. They are not consistent with what they eat, with the exception of pouches, cheerios, goldfish & pasta. Most days Greyson love PB&J, carrots, sweet potatoes, watermelon & meatballs. And Fynnlee gravitates toward bananas, strawberries, mac & cheese and chicken. I TRY to be relaxed about what they eat because I love making food for them. But I take it so personally when they won’t eat it. I know…get over yourself, Jen. They are toddlers and are supposed to be finicky eaters.


The real frustration part is sleep. The early part of 15 months sucked in the sleep department. S.U.C.K.E.D! Yes it could have been worse…they could have had multiple nightly wake ups. But they got up for the day every morning between 4 and 4:15. Bedtime is always around 7 and they are wiped out by then. There is never an issue with them falling asleep. So keeping them up later is not an option. It’s just not. So, mid month we started letting them just cry until 5. We decided they were. not. allowed. to get up until 5. And after a week of that, it started working. The end of the month we have seen a lot of 5, 5:15 and 5:30 wake ups and it’s been Ahhhh-mazing. We’ve even had some mornings will one of them sleeps until 6 or 6:30. Not both, but one of them. Of course when that happens the other one wakes up at 4. We’re just trying to push through and hope it continues to get better. Fresh air and outdoor time seems to be key for getting a good sleep out of them.



They had their 15 month check up today. Here are their stats:

Fynnlee


25lbs 10oz (93%)
30.5 inches (45%)
size 5 diaper, size 5 shoe, 18-24 month clothes


Greyson (new haircut has me like 😍)


23 lb 4 oz (56%)
31 inches (39%)
size 4 diaper, size 4 shoe, 12-18 month clothes.


Their 15 month check up was perfect. Kids are super healthy and are hitting all of their milestones. They basically spent the entire appointment tearing up the exam room. It definitely helps having both Jarrad and I at these check ups. 3 shots this time. Greyson is a rockstar and didn’t shed a tear. Fynnlee took hers pretty well until the last one. Then the tears flowed. 

So we have another month in the books {sniff}. These little people continue to amaze me every day.  I’m the luckiest woman on the planet to share my life with them.