Happiness Is…{a kiss}

I have a really wonderful gift for JDubbs ready for Father’s Day.  I will share it with you Sunday, but until then, feel free to admire this wonderful photo of my kids that is my inspiration.

And if that doesn’t make you happy, nothing will!

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Happiness Is…{the darnedest things}

Remember that show with Bill Cosby, Kids Say The Darnedest Things?  Well Jax is now three-and-a-half going on forty and sometimes the most hilarious thing come out of his mouth!  Such as…

1.  Playing a video game at the local pizza place with Grammy, where you each get to steer a car around a race track.

Grammy to Jax, in her hard-core Boston accent: “Maybe next time your car will win.”

Jax to Grammy, with exaggerated patience:  “Grammy, it’s CAR not CAH.  You forgot the “errr” sound.”

2.  JDubbs and Jax come home to find our lilac tree has been uprooted somehow.  Bear? Gravity?  Who knows?  They go to investigate.

Jax: Daddy, what happened to our tree?”

JDubbs: I don’t know, buddy.  Maybe it just fell down.”

Jax, my own little Lorax:  “I bet the Once-ler got it.”

stellar photo credit to JDubbs

3.  Jax, playing nicely alone, in his usual good guy/bad guy mentality:  “Come on!  Let’s go defeat the bad whores!”

Me, choking on my soda:  “Jax! What did you just say?”

Jax, looking at me, puzzled and innocent: I’m battling the evil HORSE, Mom.  You know the one from Tangled?”

Me, feeling like a moron: “You mean Maximus?”

Jax: Yes.” but what he really meant was, “Duh, Mom. I’ve been saying “horse” since I could talk.  What else would I have said?”  Riiiiiiight….

And these are just the ones I can remember off the top of my head!  Oh that Jax sure does keep us on our toes!

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Happiness Is…{littlest league}

I mentioned yesterday how Em and I spend our Saturdays together now that Jax has begun his fledgling baseball career.  JDubbs found a six-week mini-camp for 3-5 year olds, where they are introduced by a parent to the fundamentals of America’s pastime.

I’m not sure who’s more excited!

I can tell it’s just like when I took Em to my niece’s ballet recital–all those dreams and ideals about what it’s like to have a little version of yourself coming true.  JDubbs played baseball in college and it’s a passion of his–I bet this was what he dreamed having a son would be like.  I must admit, I certainly love it, too!

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Happiness Is…{bathtub babies}

Happiness Is the slippery, smiley, sweet faces of my babies in the bathtub.  I know I’ve mentioned this before, but it bears repeating, especially with photos like these!

I think it’s the eyelashes.  I am a sucker for dark, drippy eyelashes.  And watching them play together so nicely.

Bathtime bonding in black and white is one of my favorite things.  What are yours?

Noggin!

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Happiness Is…{dancing and dandelion seeds}

Last weekend I had the pleasure of attending my ten-year-old niece’s dance recital.  JDubbs was at a concert so I brought the kids and we headed to the auditorium ready for some fun.

Em wore her tutu for the occasion.

It was so exciting not only to watch my niece perform, but to watch Em’s enchantment at all the older girls in their costumes up on the stage.  She sat in awe for three dances and then wanted to head onstage herself.  I literally had to chase her down the aisle and pick her up kicking and fighting to be let down so she could join in the performance.

After that we took a break and headed outside with my sister Jessie to give the kids a chance to stretch their legs.  We didn’t go far before a patch of dandelions caught their attention and we spent quite a while casting dandelion seeds to the wind.

Now my kids gather bouquets of them wherever we go.

Then back inside to see my niece perform 4 of her 5 dances.  I was so glad to be able to be there for her–even though we’re not too far away, our schedules often conflict with my sisters’ kids’ events.  I was so happy to be able to be there and for my kids to be there to share in her excitement, too.

Fun with family, enjoying our days.  Life is good.

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Happiness Is…{big cousins}

My ten-year-old niece Erika and nearly twelve-year-old nephew Christian came up for Em’s birthday festivities last weekend.  I had a chance to take a small trip alone with them in the car, and to take a walk with them and my kids one afternoon.  I’m happy to report that after some much-needed quality time, of course this auntie loves those two more than ever.

And so do my kids.

It was a simple pleasure: I merely sat on the ground with my camera and watched the fun unfold.  First, they each searched for the perfect rock and then began a classic game of hopscotch.  I captured the camaraderie and enjoyed the dynamics between two adolescents and their Mini-Me’s.

I’m not sure why I didn’t get as many photos of my niece since she is just a big a ham as her brother, but she must have been feeling a bit more mature that day, or my attention was focused on my three-year-old wielding a rock.  Anyway, even with the age difference, I sure am grateful that my kids have such amazing big cousins to look up to and play with as often as we can!

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Happiness Is…{malls and carousels}

Do you remember when a mall was just a regular old building with a lot of shops?  I remember loitering there, being a regular old mall rat, with very limited options as to how to spend the time.  Window shop, try clothes on, maybe buy something, flirt with boys, call my parents from a pay phone, repeat.  Now malls are actually pretty with seating areas and so many dining options, gardens and ice skating rinks and even a carousel!

Now, I grew up in a town with a mall.  My children have not.  The nearest mall is 45 minutes away and it it barely deserves its shopping center status.  Think more Kmart and less Nordstrom.  I am not such a hillbilly that I lose my mind every time I see a Target, but give me a few years and I just might reach that status.  I admit I do try to find a Target every time I venture toward Civilization, but malls are rare for us.  My kids, on the other hand, think malls are incredibly fascinating and wondrous places to explore.  Window displays in American Eagle are playgrounds.  Escalators are better than Christmas morning.  But having a real live merry-go-round right there in the food court?  Their heads just about exploded.

So of course, we went on.  All four of us.  It was really fun and sweet and it made me really happy.  One of the better things about having your kids grow up–they start to love the same things you did as a kid.  And they only fought about which horse to ride for ten seconds.

These were their faces before the ride started:

And these are their photos during:

Hilarious!  Joy and fear all wrapped into one.

Then we wandered around the mall, did some summer shopping for the kids, went on a couple of those 25 cent rides and spent 45 minutes in the Disney store.  The best part?  We left the land of Lightning McQueen and Disney princesses without buying a thing and the kids didn’t make a peep.  I think they get so overstimulated in there with commercial overload that they can’t even think straight.  Or maybe they think it’s a museum or something.  It’s not that we wouldn’t buy them something if they really wanted it–they don’t ask.  Seriously.  Sometimes I think living in Vermont is the best thing ever could have done for these kids.  They don’t even know how to pitch a fit in a store yet.  The operative word being YET.

And just when it couldn’t get any better, JDubbs made some excuse to go run and buy me a shirt I had admired but didn’t think was in the budget to buy.  He handed it to me and said, “Happy Monday.”  Now if that isn’t happiness, I don’t know what is!

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