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February 16, 2011

Happiness, day... I've lost track

So a couple of weeks ago I sent out an electronic plea for happiness and then suddenly it was answered- in the form of my weekly e-newsletter from Chatelaine magazine ("Making everyday... extraordinary"... I'd settle for just okay, but extraordinary sounds good, too).

Sometimes you just gotta love the old Information Superhighway. (Oh, I can't wait until the girls are older and I can refer to the internet in terrible, outdated terms just to make them cringe. "I don't know, Mads, maybe we should Ask Jeeves.").

Anyways. Chatelaine arrived promising 6 tips to "look younger and feel happier." Hells bells, sign me up.

Sadly, it turns out some of them are just out of the question: A sugar-free diet? Are you out of your mind? Jelly beans are the only thing getting me out of bed some days. But here's one I could manage: Work up a sweat. So I dusted off the old running shoes and headed out for a freezing cold jog. It was my first real outdoor run in an embarrasingly long time.

Do I feel happier? I suppose. Do I feel closer to a coronary attack? Absolutely.

On we roll...

(Photo courtesy of timtak @ Flickr)


February 16, 2011 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

February 13, 2011

When your baby's not a baby anymore


You don't really recognize it, that moment when your baby stops being a baby. It doesn't come with birthdays or milestones, with first steps or first words. It just seems to happen one morning, out of the blue. You sit across from her at the breakfast table, watch her flip her long bangs out of her eyes, hear her chatter on about the dream she's had, and realize that there has been some imperceptible shift and your baby is now a big girl.

And on that morning it's hard not to think about all the days gone by: The nights spent rocking, bouncing, pleading; the days spent crouched together over board books and tea parties. It's hard not to think about the times when she would sit perched on your hip, or fit perfectly on your lap, a cozy little bundle.

Now she's all long legs and pointy elbows, she's all rolling eyes and exaggerated gestures. She tells the funniest stories and stumbles her way through the silliest jokes. She has big opinions and tiny troubles and a life outside of this safe circle we've tried to make for her.

She's my big girl, my baby.

February 13, 2011 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

February 03, 2011

Are you trying to drive me crazy?

Well, project happy hit a bump on day 2 as I was forced to throw a minor hissy fit while out shopping with the girls. It wasn't my fault. It was pure sabotage.

I'd promised Mads a craft day so we headed out to the arts supply store to pick up a few essentials. We spent about half an hour searching out ribbon, buttons, sparkly pipe cleaners, princess-themed foam cut-outs, trying to get everything on our list before A finished off the last of her cheese bun and started on her pre-nap meltdown. We made a quick pit-stop for the requisite begging for a wind-up clapping seal or symbol-playing monkey by the register. I stayed strong. 

The woman in front of us at the only open till apparently chose yesterday to return and/or try to get retroactive rebates on everything she's ever purchased in her entire life. She had stacks of receipts, flyers, bags. It was ridiculous. A thought so too, because she started screaming after about 5 minutes of it. Ten minutes later I was about to join her. Lady, I will give you the $6 if we can just end this right now. 

Finally, finally, it's our turn. So the guy rings everything through and I hand him my bank card.

Him: "Oh, sorry. Debit's down today."
A: "Screeaaammmm!"
Me: "Sorry... what?"
Him: "Our interac isn't working."
Me: "Why is someone only telling me this now?"
Him: "Umm... there's a sign on the door. Sorry."

Normally that's about the point where I leave these things alone, go back to my car and curse the whole drive home. But A was screeching and it was craft day, dammit. 

Me: "Look at the door! There are like 40 signs on the door!"
Him: "Those are for sales..."
Me: "Yeah. Someone could have mentioned it before right now."
Mads, mouth turning: "No craft day, Mom?"
Me: "No honey, I guess not. We didn't know it was broken, so we just wasted a lot of time. Let's go, let's go home now."
Him: "So... should I save this stuff for you?"
Me: Venom, with my eyes.

Then I of course spilled half the diaper bag contents onto the floor as I hauled it out of the cart in my haste to make some kind of point. I still cursed, sort of silently, the whole way home.

But Day 2 was saved when I met a friend I don't see often enough for dinner and a quick catch-up. Happiness in spades.

And then, after that, I snuck back into the arts supply store and did the whole damn shop again.

February 3, 2011 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

February 01, 2011

Happiness, day 1

So day one of Project Happy coincided with the return of Mads' stomach flu. I'd guess that even Mary freaking Poppins herself would be hard-pressed to be joyful when knee-deep in vomit and diarrhea. Sorry for the visual.

But, it is day one, and that's far too soon for failure. So I popped Tinkerbell in the DVD player for Mads, set A up with a fistful of blueberries in the highchair and hid in a quiet-ish corner of the house for a few minutes of deep breathing. Apparently it's good for all sorts of things, none of which I can recall at the moment.

I Googled this, for the record: Sit, relax your shoulders, breathe out first to empty your lungs, pause for 2 seconds, breathe in through your nose for 5 seconds, hold, breathe out, repeat 10 - 15. Tip: Think of your diaphragm as the pump - that helped me.

Then return to the living room, where small children will continue to pummel you with vomit and building blocks. And you will be a dove, flying serenely above it all. Well, maybe not. But hopefully it'll take a few seconds longer than usual before you totally lose it.

Day 1, done.

February 1, 2011 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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"Having a two-year-old is like having a blender that you don't have the top for." ~Jerry Seinfeld.

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