Happiness Is…{nap time}

Yes, one of my happinesses of the day is when Em takes her nap, and not just because of what you think (although having some time alone is part of it).  Jax stopped napping so I never get to see his sweet sleeping face in the daylight anymore and therefore I never get to get many photos of him sleeping anymore, except for on my phone, which leaves a little to be desired.  So for as long as Em takes her nap, I still have a chance or two to capture the sweetness of a sleeping babe.

The eyelashes, the cheeks, the binkie!  Oh, how I love a sleeping babe.

Sweet dreams!

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Happiness Is…{first pigtails!}

What more needs to be said other than baby girl got her first set of pigtails while we were in Maine.

This is something I’ve been waiting for for…well, 16 months!  Em was born with barely a wisp of her silky blonde curls, and I’m ready for some real ponytails and barrettes!  A superficial happiness today, but happiness nonetheless.

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Happiness Is…{beach days}

My baby girl is almost 16 months old, and this weekend we took her to the ocean for the first time.

Since living in San Diego, I feel pulled toward the ocean and its rhythms, colors, majesty.  I used to live half a block away from it and spent countless hours just watching its ebb and flow.  It was important to me to take Em there this summer, even just for a day, to introduce her to the salty sea and begin a tradition of summers on Cape Cod.

This day deserves, and will receive, its own post, but for now, just know that there is nothing better than beach babies, especially on the ocean.

There is nothing like it.  I’m smiling even now, just remembering.

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Happiness Is… {siblings}

Happiness Is watching my kids’ insatiable delight in each others’ company.

Real, side-aching, belly-splitting, eyes-tearing laughter, induced by none other than his sister.

This little cherub who was innocently playing peek-a-boo with her towel had her brother in stitches.


By the way, this is officially my new favorite photo of her.  She is smiling from her eyes and that makes me all gooey on the inside.

My only unhappiness is the slight graininess/out of focus quality of some of these photos, but you can’t deny the happiness that exude.

Happiness is watching these two become friends.  Is there anything better?

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Happiness Is… {healthy babies}

Boy, do I have something to be happy about today!

Em had surgery to have ear tubes put in yesterday!  Although the aftermath of the anesthesia was difficult to watch, overall she was her old, happy self once we were home and she finally had a good meal and a good nap.  Since her big brother was off at the movies with Nana and Auntie Jenny, she had Mama all to herself (another thing to be happy about; 1-on-1 time with my baby girl).  So what do girls do when there are no boys around?

Have a tea party with baby dolls, of course!

And yes, that is how she wanted to dress.  That is just who she is.

This tea party took place about four hours after her surgery, and she was her fun, energetic, happy self.  I knew the effects of the surgery were going to be minimal since it’s such a basic procedure, but it was great to see for myself just how well she was and so quickly.

As I sat in the waiting room yesterday morning, fingers working my rosary beads in that soothing, rhythmic way that I find so comforting, my mind drifted a bit to all the other parents in this very hospital on this very day whose children were having much more invasive, much more frightening procedures than my Em.  I prayed for them as well and considered how blessed I am to have two very healthy children who only need to come to this hospital for check-ups and for everyday procedures.  I was still nervous for my baby, but I knew then and am very aware now how lucky we are to have such healthy babies.  And of course, I need not have worried because she is now right as rain and her procedure was over so quickly, I didn’t even have time to finish my rosary!  I did finish it later, and was thankful for the blessings in my life.

So that’s why I am happy (and thankful) this week.  And every week.  Healthy babies.

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Happiness Is… {roots and wings}

When I was seventeen and at my high school boyfriend’s graduation party, his mother did not have the traditional, Happy Graduation! written on his cake.  Instead, she had this:  We gave you roots and wings.  And here it is, fourteen years later (yikes!) and that quote has always stuck with me.  I remember thinking that that is what parenthood is all about.  Not just to give your children roots and keep them anchored to their hometown and perhaps never have the courage to leave.  Not just to give them wings to fly with, and yet no home to return to for a safe landing.  I knew even at that moment, with no children in sight, that I wanted to remember to raise my children that way.  To give them roots in our family and home but also wings that they would be brave enough to follow their own path, wherever it takes them.  Happiness Is believing in your parenting and doing what is best for your children and their future.

So, in the spirit of that thought, here is my little girl and her wings.

 And don’t’ think for a minute that it took any negotiating to get her to wear those.  They are just another accessory.

Fly, baby girl!!  You’ll always have a place to land.

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