Happiness is: spring weather in January

01/31/2012 at 8:51 pm | Posted in baby sunshine, Happiness is | 1 Comment

I spent today at home with a sick Sophie, and in one of the brief ibuprofen-induced breaks from her fever, we went outside for a walk. I plopped her in the grass so I could wrangle the stroller from our front porch.

She loved it. Ran her little palms over the ground around her, squinted into the sun.

It’s so neat seeing the world through her eyes.

Happiness is: a reprieve

01/30/2012 at 9:53 pm | Posted in Happiness is | 4 Comments

Today was hard. Yesterday was hard, too. And last night was a flashback to the newborn days.

Each of the girls was awake at least once an hour, sometimes both at the same time. So Marc and I bounced like pinballs to and from and between their rooms, landing on our respective sides of the bed for a blessed 30 or 45 minutes of sleep until the next cry rang out.

Lily was wracked with coughing fits, and Sophie (poor Sophie!) is battling an ear infection and a virus at the same time. Her fever spiked on Sunday and didn’t come down all night. She was so sick at one point that she had the shakes. Scared me to death.

I got through this day with one eye open.

Sophie wanted to be held all day, and Lily needed lots of attention. Pulled in a million different directions is something I’m used to. But it’s different — taking a toll on my heart, too — when they’re sick.

So when Sophie finally relented to napping in her crib this afternoon, Lily and I sprawled out on the living room floor. We folded laundry and watched my favorite cooking show.

This little moment in time erased all of the hard stuff. Just like that.

It still amazes me how that happens.

One of the most awesome gifts of parenthood.

Happiness is: a lounging baby

01/29/2012 at 8:38 pm | Posted in Happiness is | 5 Comments

Happiness is: silly children

01/28/2012 at 9:07 pm | Posted in Happiness is | Leave a comment

Lily and her pal Ian thought it would be hilarious to put on Mr. Potato Head glasses.

It was.

Love these sillies.

Happiness is: lemon butter cuticle creme

01/27/2012 at 8:03 pm | Posted in Happiness is | 3 Comments
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Burt's Bees lemon butter cuticle creme

The number of little yellow tins I’ve worn through could probably circle the moon. I love, love, love Burt’s Bees. And lemon butter cuticle creme is a saving grace in the winter.

I’m the worst fidgeter there ever was, especially when it comes to my hands and nailbeds. So when the air gets cold and dries up, my fingers look like a war zone. Enter Burt and his cuticle cream. I rub it in at a stoplight, after washing my hands, before my fingers touch the keyboard. Every day. Because it works. And it smells really, really good.

(Neither Burt nor his bees paid me to say any of this. I just adore the company and their products.)

Happiness is: a new lovey

01/26/2012 at 7:41 pm | Posted in Happiness is | 3 Comments
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When Lily spotted the North American Bear Company box on our doorstep, her squeal could have been heard in China. She has been waiting on this particular package. Not-so-patiently.

And finally, last night, her new princess doll arrived. Lily dug her out of the box, wrestled the tag from her neck and squeezed the doll to her chest. “She’s so soft, Mommy! Feel her! And look at her yellow hair! And her princess crown!”

Together, they plopped on the couch until the dinner bell rang.

Already two peas in a pod.

You Capture: colorful

01/26/2012 at 10:53 am | Posted in snap happy | 15 Comments
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Now that she’s officially mobile, Sophie is ALL OVER THE PLACE.

It’s like the house is one giant puzzle to solve. Oh! There’s a room here? I haven’t tasted this furniture yet. And what’s that? The dog bowl? Yum!

When she discovered the fridge, we moved all of Lily’s artwork out of reach and stuck a bunch of Sophie-friendly magnets on the bottom parts. She loves playing here. Until she sees my camera and comes crawling over. But the magnets always lure her back.

And the rest of us? We’re just following in her wake.

Happiness is: little bitty baby booties

01/25/2012 at 10:36 pm | Posted in Happiness is | Leave a comment
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I was trolling Etsy for DIY message board ideas, and this happened:

I didn’t buy them.


(Thoughtful Stitches on Etsy)

Happiness is: Sophie's first work of art

01/24/2012 at 9:14 pm | Posted in baby sunshine, Happiness is | 3 Comments
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Isn’t this awesome? Baby finger-painting.

This was the most wonderful surprise waiting for me at home on the counter after a loooong day at work. Usually it’s a heap of bills, lunchboxes and dirty bottles.

I love that you can see her little fingerprints. And how her mind worked, when presented with paint and a blank canvas for the first time.

So beautiful.

The light

01/24/2012 at 11:00 am | Posted in Everything else | 8 Comments
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The sound of my bedroom door creaking slowly open yanks me out of the most delicious dream I’ve ever had. I’m living in Paris with my family and we’re eating crepes and having the best time ever.

Lily tiptoes over to my side of the bed, touches her nose to mine for her morning kiss and tells me that daddy has made pancakes. “With M&M’s in them, Mommy!” She scurries away. I try to focus my eyes on the clock. 9 a.m. Marc let me sleep in. Bless him.

Downstairs, the baby is squawking and belly-crawling all over the kitchen floor. Lily is slurping up her pancakes. Marc mans the stove. The dog licks my knees.

Happy chaos. I smile.

But slowly (ever so freaking slowly), the darkness drifts in. I feel it settling over me as I rock Sophie later that morning. My insides twist up. And, as if the previous couple of hours had never happened, every single little thing starts to bother me.

The baby won’t settle down for her nap. My belly is pooching out over my pants. The house is dirty. Lily is playing too loudly. Doesn’t she know her sister is trying to fall asleep? And Marc. Poor Marc. He bugs me, but I don’t know why. Because I don’t have a reason.

I just feel bad.

I try not to snap at the people I love, but I do. I try not to bang things around as I go about my chores, but I do.

I don’t want to feel this way.

“Let’s go to the store,” I say to Lily, in the most cheery voice I can muster. She agrees, and we set off. I kiss Marc good-bye, promising to be in a better mood when we return. He looks skeptical.

And then it happens.

Lily dances to Adele in the back seat. She makes herself laugh. It’s contagious. We troll Target for all that we need (and some things we definitely don’t need). She hugs me and tells me she loves me, out of the blue.

I smile, and it feels real.

The light beats the dark.

And my heart sings.

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