It’s Called Gratitude

I’m grateful for fun-filled weekends: giant water slides, swimming, and a pony!

I’m grateful for the unexpected influence we can have on people without knowing it.

I’m grateful for family: a visit from my brother and his family from California to start the week (did they really just leave on Monday?!?) and dinner with my father-in-law and his long-time girlfriend this evening.

I’m grateful for a vacation day in the middle of the week.  As we had Little F saying, “Happy birthday, USA!”

And I’m grateful for air-conditioning.  Like much of the country it’s been hot.hot.hot here for the past couple weeks.  I never knew 89 degrees could feel so balmy.

It’s Called Gratitude

This week I’m grateful for:

— Old friends and new babies.  Welcome to the family, Baby K!

— Hearing the words, “Thank you, Mama” come out of Little F’s mouth without prompting.

— A love of music and a new (toy) guitar.

— A city with lots of fun things to do.  A visit to the Makers Faire and Science City with the family plus Guncle E made for a fun morning.

— My family for letting me serve them variations of cheese and crackers for dinner more than once this  past week as the temperatures have climbed into the mid-nineties and above.

It’s Called Gratitude

In honor of Father’s Day, let me just say that this week I’m grateful for my dad.

Here are some fun facts and memories about him related to parenthood:

He has had a hand in raising five children, none of us related to him biologically.

He used to pick me up from pre-school every afternoon and take me to the Creek Store, which was a little convenience store which was located next to a creek on our way home.  Yes, I was quite creative back then; I’ve been blessed with my quick wit from an early age.  I was allowed to get one item from the store each day.  Each day!  I learned I hated Butterfingers and Cracker Jacks thanks to those stops.

I’ve been the only kid that he’s seen grow from an infant to an adult.

I don’t remember a dance recital, softball game, piano recital, or a band concert I was a part of that he didn’t attend.  And there were a lot of them, let me tell you…  I had a very structured childhood. (Can you say Tiger Mom?)

The first newborn he cared for was Little F.

I have been very lucky to have had him as my father for the past thirty-six years.  Here’s hoping for thirty-six more.

 

 

It’s Called Gratitude

I’m grateful for Big E.  Three houses, two dogs, one child, and five years of marriage.  Thanks for sticking by me for all of it!

I’m grateful for a wonderful camping trip with Little F.  No one got poison ivy, we only found one tick (so far), no one got bug bites, and no one got sunburned!  Instead we had a great, shady and breezy campsite, quiet neighbors, and two glorious nights spent in a tent.  Even the dog was well-behaved and got in the swing of things: our fairly neurotic dog was sprawled out under the picnic table last night, eyes closed and a smile on her face.

Happy boy and a happy dog

 

I’m grateful that even though Little F has definitely hit “the terrible twos”, watching him learn and put things together more than makes up for his defiance and tantrums, which seemed to have appeared overnight.  He’s using the pronoun “I” correctly, he’s saying full sentences, he’s singing and dancing and using his imagination.  It’s been great to watch it all come together.  He was in the back yard with me earlier this week and grabbed a flower head from a wild onion plant and started dancing around and singing into it, “Like a microphone!”

Singing into his “microphone” in the back yard

 

It’s Called Gratitude

This week I’m grateful for friends: monthly breakfasts with a wonderful group of women, birthday parties for a four-year old, and those who randomly appear to make us smile.

I’m grateful that we were able to cloth diaper almost exclusively for two-plus years.  We’ve run into a stubborn yeast infection that I think is going to turn us over to disposable diapers from this point on.  Luckily we’re getting closer to being fulling potty trained each day.

I’m grateful for our make-shift yet totally awesome fire pit in the backyard.  Whenever I feel like I’ve reached my stress limit and am about ready to lose it, I can go outside and relax in front of the fire and all is well again.

I’m grateful that Little F got his chickenpox vaccine.  We were on a delayed vax schedule for Little F but are basically caught up with all vaccines at this point.  At said four-year-old’s birthday party we were exposed to a child who just broke out in the tell-tale rash this morning.  Fingers crossed that the next three weeks pass without any indication of illness!

And once again, I’m grateful for my husband and my son.  Cheesy as all get-out, I know, but true.

It’s Called Gratitude

I’m grateful for long friendships that span the major life changes that can force people apart.

I’m grateful for thunderstorms with all the rain they bring and for sunny days that follow them.

I’m grateful for air conditioning.  Seriously, running around after two boys in 90 degree heat outside makes you appreciate 70 degrees inside.

I’m grateful that neither Big E nor I smoke any more.  It’s been about four-and-a-half years since I quit and about three times that long for him.  Seriously, I can’t remember the last time I was around that many smokers!

I’m grateful that when two little boys (fourth cousins!) were given balloon swords they chose to look through them like goggles and run at each other, fall down and laugh, then get back up to do it again instead of fighting with them.

What should we do with these balloon swords?

Let’s look through them while running towards each other!

That was fun!

Let’s do it again!

And I’m grateful for family, in the various ways they belong to us, as wacky as they may be.

It’s Called Gratitude

“What’s gonna set you free? Look inside and you’ll see. When you got so much to say it’s called gratitude, and that’s right.”  –Beastie Boys

I decided if I’m going to try to blog daily for at least the next year, I need to come up with some type of predetermined topics. So Sunday will be my, “It’s Called Gratitude” day.

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I’m grateful for the sunny morning we were able to spend in the backyard chasing bubbles and chewing on sticks.

I’m grateful that I was able to transplant the hostas I dug up from the single-girl house into this yard as a reminder of that property.

I’m grateful that we got to take Little F to his first Major League Baseball game today, for free!, since my BFF since elementary school was out-of-town for the weekend.

I’m grateful that my husband is so supportive of my crazy ideas which I hope to nurture into reality someday.  Some day…

(I’m also grateful that Big E caught a cleaning bug this morning and mopped the kitchen floor.)

And, as always, I’m grateful for Little F.  This afternoon he ran around the house holding a broom like a guitar saying, “Hello Everybody! ‘Dinosaur Party‘ coming up!”