Today’s Happy Place: Love.
Well, today’s the last day of my Happy Place Challenge. 30 days of thinking of what makes me feel happy, thankful, grateful. It’s been a useful exercise. I am interested to see where I go from here, particularly with a new little one coming with more joy for all of us.
Regardless, this morning, soon after waking, I realized one of my consistent Happy Places. My daughter, as usual, helped illuminate this for me. Again in the potty, she said she was going to find daddy, shut the door and said “Bye! See you later!” Pretty normal stuff. But then she came back and said “I love you sooooo much, mama.”
Yes, those are words I will never tire of hearing. Love is a feeling I will never tire of feeling. I am grateful for all the blessings of love I have in my life.
Love, friends, music, dance, food, outdoors, and life itself……these and more are all things that make me happy. What makes you happy? Are you up for a Happy Place challenge?
Today’s Happy Place: Forgiveness.
Doing this Happy Place challenge (almost at its end) has been fascinating. Some days there are so many things I could choose. Other days, like today, feel tough. There are joyful moments, certainly, but some days I just feel off. My fuse is short, my focus internal. I just find it hard to give to others; compassion requires effort. I’m just not at my best.
On days like these, I’m grateful for the forgiveness others grant me — my daughter, my husband especially.
Today’s Happy Place: Pillows
Pillows are a pregnant woman’s friend. All this stretching and expanding. Makes it difficult to be comfortable. I need at least three pillows at night. I need a pillow in the car, too. At 35 weeks, leaning back is incredibly uncomfortable for me.
Today as I lay in bed oh so comfortably, I was feeling particularly happy that pillows are available and help so much. It’s simple, I know, but finding comfort in pregnancy is a blessing. I’ll take it where I get it.
Today’s Happy Place: Great Weather!
I love fall. I love the layering of clothes and the coolness of the air and the beauty of the trees. The only thing about fall is that every warm day could be the last. Right now, fall is nearing it’s end.
Having had a winter baby and expecting another winter newborn shortly, I know that winter is hard for me. It’s hard when I’m not pregnant or with a newborn. I just like having sunny days without the brutal chill or drying wind. This birth, I am encapsulating my placenta (or having someone do it, rather) to help with post-baby blues and hormone regulation. Even so, each and every beautiful day has me thankful–could be the last!
Today was a most gorgeous day. For that I am happy and grateful. Here’s hoping we can squeeze in at least one more somewhere before the long winter sets in.
Today’s Happy Place: Small, Local Businesses!
Today was Small Business Saturday! Did anyone check out a local store or a crafts fair–any alternative to the big stores and such?
We had a few stops before we went to the playground for some extra rompy run around time. I just love handmade crafts, people who know their product and their customers, and that feeling of cheerful connection that happens in small businesses. It feels good to know that when I go to the farmers’ market or my local cloth diaper shop, my money is going to the people I am talking to and seeing each time or the farmers at home, say. Sometimes I have an acute sense of the reality that some of my favorite places only exist because people choose to go there rather than large manufacturers and distributors. I think of my hometown and other towns, pre-Walmart and pre-Target. Who knows how many little families had their whole lives shifted from companies like that moving in?
Anyway, my Happy Place today was grabbing a bit of local, handmade, small batch ice cream, the cutest dress for my daughter made from recycled sweaters, and some awesome second-hand snow boots for my daughter’s upcoming winter snow play. Thanks to all the hardworking and sacrificing families and individuals that keep small businesses alive for all of us!
My Happy Place Day 24: Giving Thanks
As I thought about what I am thankful for (seeing what everyone else was thankful for) I came up with this:
My Happy Place Challenge (http://alivingfamily.com/tag/happy-place/) has caused me to think daily about what I’m thankful for in the day to day, but aside from the long list of obvious items:
I am grateful that I have the chance (and tools like the internet and human networks) to build a community (A Living Family – Ancient Wisdom for Modern Families) for myself and others. I hope we become a connected, thriving family that easily reaches those who are in need — of support, of information, of an ear, of inspiration, of hope….Let us lift each other (and our children) up beyond where we think possible…..
My Happy Place Day 25: Healing
My daughter is only two but she does so many thoughtful, caring things. At two, there is a sincerity to them as well that overwhelms the heart. I just never know when to expect such profound kindness from her.
For instance, this morning I put her on the potty. Many folks who practice EC (Elimination Communication) have probably had the experience when you are pottying your child (reading a book, say), and just at that very moment the urge to go hits hard. Well that happened to 34 wks pregnant me, and I had to go!
We have been talking a lot about taking turns and sharing as opportunities for that discussion arise. Well, I seized on that language telling my daughter that I really had to go potty and would like a turn when she was all finished. I told her I am waiting and trying to be patient.
Now she, who knows from our multiple experiences a day where waiting occurs with patience not so forthcoming, must have empathized with me somehow. After hearing my pitiful plight, she cheerfully said “Here you go, mama. I all finished.”Gratitude filled my whole body, along with relief….. What a thoughtful gesture that made that moment so much easier for me.
A second, shorter (but equally sweet) story: She got her little quilt, laid it out on the floor, smoothed out all the wrinkles, asked my husband to lie down and said “I give you a massage.” She massaged his back and picked up his legs and put them down gently (like the chiropractor). She was so attentive and loving with those little hands and the focused look on her face.
My daughter is a healer, and she has begun with healing her parents. For that, and a whole lot more, I am profoundly grateful and moved.
Today’s Happy Place: Books and the Potty
I’ve written a bit previously about our EC experience and about how I love my daughter’s voice. Well, today’s Happy Place combines these two things.
Lately, my daughter will say she wants to read a book and then trot over to the potty. ??? Turns out she seems to have a sense that reading takes place on the potty. If she is on the potty, someone needs to be reading a book to her. Usually over and over or book after book. She’s pretty clear about what she wants and when.
Well, this morning after the sweetest, kissiest morning snuggles, I asked her if she would come in the bathroom with me (so I could keep an eye on and connection to her). “Ok!” she said, as I had a brilliant idea. I turned the tables and asked her to read to me while I sat on the potty.
Having my daughter say “Brown bear, brown bear what do you see? Red bird, red bird what do you see?” in that sweet voice and seeing her excited face at reading me a book in a moment so often the other way around simply melted my heart. I knew then that the moment would be today’s Happy Place…..and that I will think twice before rolling my eyes at having her tell me to sit and read her a book on the potty (even though we both know she won’t go and just wants to read a book)…..
Today’s Happy Place: My baby’s Heartbeat
Any mama who has heard the heartbeat of the baby in the belly knows what an amazing feeling that can bring. The last pregnancy, when my midwife asked I wanted to hear the heartbeat almost every appointment. (I think that’s because of my previous miscarriage.) Sometimes I would try to listen with the fetoscope, but I could never hear anything. (It’s harder when you don’t have the forehead vibration/connection — impossible for a pregnant mama.) I usually had my midwife use the Doppler. The hand-held Doppler is actually a form of ultrasound and brings up the issue of risks much like the transabdominal ultrasounds. This time around, I decided to use ultrasound technology as little as possible. I did want to hear that heartbeat earlier on, again out of fear from miscarriage. After I heard that thump loud and clear once, I stopped asking to hear the heartbeat. (Of course, my midwife checked the heartbeat, but she uses a fetoscope for herself.)
Today, though, I heard my baby’s heartbeat through a fetoscope!
It was hard to hear at first, but when repositioned on the belly the fetoscope gave me a clear and regular thump, thump sound that made my heart sing. Having tried multiple times before and being unsuccessful, I was doubtful and quickly discouraged. Being able to hear the heartbeat this time with just a fetoscope makes me excited to try in all the remaining prenatals. (Not too many left! Next visit is home visit! Wow!)
So today, my happy place was closing my eyes, opening my ears, heart and mind and listening to one of the sweetest sounds that has ever existed……my baby’s heartbeat.
Listening for the Heartbeat (Week 27)
Today’s Happy Place: Downsizing and Donating!
It was a busy day with lots of running around and tough moments. Still, it all feels worth it because we finally took each of our clothes, shoes, toys and children’s books to donate to New Life Thrift. Ten huge bags worth left our house today. That means we have that much less in our house, and others have that much more to give to someone in need. (We still have five boxes of books to give away.)
I hope that the donations we made make a difference to someone else. What I know right now is that it feels good to have a lighter load.
Today’s Happy Place: My Daughter’s Voice
I LOVE to hear my daughter talk and sing. It’s the way it sounds and how she says what she says rolled into one. It’s also the way she says something silly and cocks her head to one side and grins widely at me with those teeth waiting for me to be amused. These things cannot be separated from her voice, it seems.
If there was a way to capture this Happy Place forever I would. I will miss it when it’s changed, and it’s already changed so much. Unfortunately, she always seems to stop doing the cutest things right when I try to record these precious sounds.