Project Happy: Week 20

The kids are sick.  Again.  What?  Isn’t it spring?  As in almost summer?  Why are we still doing this miserably high fever coughing all night thing?  I don’t mind the up all night thing for me…but for them?  I just want to see them happy, healthy, and smiling.  Because, let’s face it, being a kid is fun.  Unless you’re sick.

That said…we found some very happy moments.

Liam has been watering his strawberries like crazy.  He takes the job very seriously.  Some days, I wonder if we might be going overboard with the watering.  He does not wonder about that at all.  Guess what?  He’s right.  His strawberries are red, beautiful, and delicious.  And he is so very proud.

 

I won’t lie to you.  There have been a lot of tears over the past few days.  And some very high fevers that had me just a little bit worried.  But today, despite the lingering fevers and nagging coughs…we had some springtime fun.

Liam did this…

And sweet Riley Ann did this…

 

And there is one more thing that makes me oh so very happy.  I’m cheating a little bit here…because this particular thing won’t actually happen until Tuesday…but you can be sure that it happens for you with just the click of a button today…

John Mayer’s latest and greatest (biased, obviously), “Born and Raised” is set for release on Tuesday, May 22nd.  My husband, the love of my life and best dad ever, played the bass on this record.  Clearly it’s impossible for me to give you any sort of objective review here…but this record?  Will change your life for the better.  So order it.  Why on Earth would you want to wait even one second longer?

 

I’m always proud of him.  I always love him.  But right now I’m just so very excited for him.  Because when you know firsthand the heart and soul poured into something by all parties involved…you just can’t wait to share it with the world.

Also…if you would do me a huge favor.  I’m over visiting with my dear friend Nicole at By Word of Mouth Musings today, discussing the reasons behind Clomid and Cabernet.  Please visit me there.  Pretty please?

Project Happy: Mother’s Day

Every day is Mother’s Day.

Yes, I know how horribly sappy that sounds.

But when you take the hard road to motherhood…sappy is just part of the deal.

That said, my official Mother’s Day started on Friday at preschool pick-up.  Who needs actual dates, anyway?

I’ve been showered with flowers, cards, and non-stop hugs and kisses…

But the best gift of all…came in the form of a song written just for me.

 

Does it get any better than that?

My sweet, sweet girl has so much love to give.

And just in case you need a laugh (who doesn’t?)…Brendan, a member of the Practical Parenting Facebook Community, sent in this very funny story about his son:

“Finn and I went to the zoo on Tuesday. Apparently everything with four legs is a doggie and all birds (except one) are owls. As we were leaving there was a peacock roaming around by the exit and Finn was very excited because he sees a peacock in one of his books. So as we are standing there watching it (me and all the moms there) he yells out ‘Cock, cock, cock!!!’. Fast exit.”

Love it!

Happy Mother’s Day, Practical friends…enjoy whatever comes your way!

Project Happy: Week 18

I have to admit that this is really two weeks in one.  What can I say?  Kids get sick.

The small moments of happiness are everywhere lately (even with a house full of patients).

Liam is taking great care of his strawberry plants…look!  The berries are starting to grow!

Riley and I enjoyed some much needed special time.  We attended a very fun event where we met up with Jenny and E…the girls had a blast!  What’s better than making your own flip flops and beach balls in bright colors around every corner?

Riley and E playing together? Amazing.

We took a family trip to the LA Zoo…where we (finally) met Giraffie’s parents…

And today…Sean and the kids had a blast flying a kite…

Look at Riley go…all by herself!

The success of Clomid and Cabernet has been both incredible and humbling over the past two weeks.  I am beyond honored that so many people trust me with their stories…and I love seeing new people join the message boards each day.  Thank you for visiting, for sending your friends, and for your continued support.

 

 

 

Project Happy: Get Out and Play!

We are spoiled out here in Southern California.  We spend a lot of time outside.  We play in the backyard, we dig in our sandbox, we ride bikes and plasma cars in the driveway, we walk to the park, we drag our little soccer net over to the baseball field for “more room to do moves”, and we eat lunch on the back patio.  We love fresh air and sunshine around here…

But the more I read, the more I realize that most children in this country are not spending enough time outside.  We need to do better.

This week on Project Happy, I’m sharing just a few of our fun outdoor moments.  Enjoy the show…and, please, get out and play!

Let’s end this week with a cute story from a member of the Practical Parenting Facebook Community.  Sarah shared this story:  “My two year old was playing with two stuffed animals this morning. One was Mickey Mouse. The other was Minnie, but my little one insisted upon calling her “Mickey Girl”. That just tickled me.”  Remember to stop by Facebook and join the parenting conversation there (shhh…don’t tell Twitter, but Facebook is much more fun these days)!  See you there!

What made you happy this week?

Project Happy Week 15

It was a busy Easter weekend around here last weekend, so I took the week off.  Today I’m back to sharing some photos of the small moments of greatness happening around here lately.

First…we colored some lovely Easter eggs…

Then…we made this amazing bunny cake.  My family made a bunny cake every year when I was a child, and I love passing down this tradition to my kids.

Despite the cooler weather, which I actually really enjoy, we’ve spent a lot of time enjoying the sunny afternoons.  Liam created his very own carwash earlier this week…

Liam is growing.  A lot.  And sometimes it’s hard to grow.  So we’ve been sticking close together and holding each other tight when the going gets tough…

I’m not sure who put the idea into Liam’s head (her name most likely begins with an R), but Liam recently expressed a concern that he might have to outgrow his beloved lovey, Giraffie, because he’s 3 1/2.  I introduced him to my lovey, Curious George, to provide some much-needed reassurance.  Giraffie will always be a member of our family…

And my little big girl had an amazing week off from school.  She was happy, healthy, and pretty much all smiles every day for the first time in weeks.  Proving, yet again, that she is the happiest when she is free to just be creative and free.  Last night, she made this beautiful “fancy” hat, which is now being called an “Easter Bonnet”.  Love isn’t a big enough word…

Friday Funny:  The cute story of the week from a member of the Practical Parenting Facebook Community goes to Emily: When I told Zach I had to take our dog Rowan to the vet, he asked: “is she broken?”  I love toddlers!  Be sure to head over and join the conversation on Facebook.  I seem to be spending more time there lately…

What small moments made YOU happy this week?

Project Happy: The Chocolate Edition

To know me, I mean to really know me, is to know that I love Dark Chocolate M&M’s.  Not the milk chocolate, not the peanut butter, not the pretzel, and certainly not those coconut ones…only the dark chocolate.  In fact, I’m not sure that love is a strong enough word.  I might have even admitted to the wonderful world of Facebook that the reason I exercise daily is to eat my beloved M&M’s without worry.

Sometimes, however, the eating-them-without-worry thing goes just a little too far.  Particularly when paired with my other love…Cabernet.  We all have vices, don’t we?

Some new research from the University of California, San Diego points to good news for Dark Chocolate M&M lovers everywhere:  People who eat small amounts of dark chocolate more often tend to have a lower BMI than those who don’t.  Yes, I know, it’s a small study…but I’m going with it.

Here is the other good news:  Realizing that we might be taking our dark chocolate habit just a little too far recently, my husband and I decided to do some portion control.  He decided to put a small amount into an unused children’s medicine cup (bonus:  new use for old things) to avoid overindulging.  Curiosity got the best of me the other night and I sat down to do the math.

While a “suggested serving” of Dark Chocolate M&M’s is “about 1/4 cup” (roughly 66 pieces) and results in 210 calories and 10 grams of fat, our medicine cup serving (28 pieces) has less than 90 calories and less than 5 grams of fat.  There is something to be said for moderation.  Same great taste and good for the BMI. What’s not to be happy about?  Get out those medicine cups and start indulging once in a  while!

Friday Funny:  The funny kid quote of the week from the Practical Parenting Facebook community goes to Keira:  My 5 year old girls are learning the letter “W” this week at school. I said “wuh, wuh, water.”. Avery said “wuh, wuh, waisin” and Lily said “wuh, wuh, wobot.” Very cute, indeed.  Be sure to stop by Facebook to ask questions, share pictures and stories, and connect with other parents!

What made you happy this week? (Besides the obvious…this amazing information on chocolate)

 

 

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Project Happy Week 12

The other day I decided to take my amazing coffee cake recipe and make it into mini muffins.  While a coffee cake is great for a holiday brunch, it’s really not so practical for everyday life.  Enter the Coffee Cake Mini Muffin.

I have to tell you, I didn’t even drizzle my signature vanilla glaze over them (although I might in the future because why not add some extra yum?) because the kids wanted them as is, and they were delicious.  Which always leads to happiness.

I’m telling you friends…wow.  Just wow.

And while there were countless other small moments of happiness this week, I think this video made by Riley is the highlight:

Disclaimer:  I stepped away from technology for a few days, so I don’t have a Friday Funny for you this week.  We’ll get back to that next week.  In the meantime, I’ll leave you with my favorite Riley quote of the week:

“I decided not to marry Daddy when I grow up, because he’s already married to you.  Instead I will marry Liam and we can all live here together!”  (It should be noted that Liam was too busy playing cars to have an opinion on the matter.)

Enjoy your Sunday, everyone!

Project Happy Week 11

I know people say it so often that it sometimes loses meaning, but most days I just feel very lucky.  I feel lucky to be married to the love of my life.  I feel lucky to have children who fill me with wonder and make each day magical, even the tantrum-heavy ones.  I feel lucky to have friends who love me for me, family a phone call away, and a home full of laughter and love.

There were some hard moments this week.  For reasons I can’t quite identify, a miscarriage experienced last spring overwhelmed my soul this week.  By day I was happy and grateful, but by night I was sad and overwhelmed.  It goes in stages, this grieving thing, this much I know.  But when it hits me, it hits me hard.

When the sadness overwhelms me, I grab my phone and scroll through my photos.  Although I’ve always been a big picture taker, this little project of mine reminds me to capture the small moments of happiness that make up each day.  No poses necessary, just us enjoying the little things in life.  I’m so glad I started this project…it reminds me to look to the sunset in moments of grey and dance around the kitchen to break the tension of the witching hour.

I’ve noticed that a lot of people are now using the Gratitude Journal App to reflect on the bright spots of their days.  It seems like a great way to focus on perspective each night.  But I’m sticking with this little project of mine.  The kids have joined me in my quest to document the small moments of wonder.  Riley took 11 pictures of a decorative Easter chick just the other day!  While journaling has always had a place in my heart, I love seeing our small moments in photos…

With that, please enjoy a few of the highlights of our week:

Special time with Riley turned into a trip for the perfect St. Patrick’s Day manicure…

A surprise box in the mail from Mimi made Riley’s wish of a “beautiful shamrock shirt” come true…

My favorite part of a rainy day:  Little feet under a giant umbrella…

A moment of sun after the rain and before the hail means jumping in puddles…

And watching my not-so-baby boy push his Giraffie in the swing melts my heart.  Every.  Single.  Time…

The Friday Funny (funny quote or antic sent in by a reader) from the Practical Parenting Facebook Community goes to Kristin:  “Happy Green-Patcick’s Day mommy”  Seriously…how cute is that?  Share your funny parenting stories on Fridays and join the fun!

What made you happy this week?

 

Project Happy Week 10

This week was amazing.  We made two visits to the duck pond because we just can’t get enough.  We played outside every afternoon; digging in the garden, swinging on the swings, and practicing baseball (not my best sport, but I’m really improving).  And since Sean has been so busy that we haven’t seen much of him lately, we went to the studio to pay him a visit!  Those smiling faces made the very long drive in never-ending LA traffic worth it.

And so did this…

Yesterday we visited Pretend City in Irvine, which is a very fun children’s museum.  It’s exactly what it sound like:  A city made small so that kids can do things like work in a Sushi restaurant, shop at Ralph’s for groceries, build a house, tend to a farm, and so much more.  If you live in the area it should top your to-do list!

Riley and Liam worked on a construction project together…

But the highlight of my week was coming home from Trader Joe’s to find this happening in the garage (band name: The Racers):

Truly, my heart melted on the spot…

And now for the Friday Funny from the Practical Parenting Facebook Community…I couldn’t choose just one this week:

Sara sent this in:  My 7-year old, after seeing Betty White’s character in The Lorax: “Boy that Grandma, for as old as she looked, was really impressive how she could snowboard!”

And Kim sent this in:  Ben (4 1/2) told me last night, “Mama, i’m gonna tell you something thats gonna make you SO happy! I’m gonna marry you! But not til i’m bigger. Like 10, or 20. or maybe 9! But i don’t have a ring yet.”

Please keep them coming…I love reading your funny moments of the week!

 

Project Happy Week 9

A morning spent feeding the ducks at a nearby state park was by far the highlight of my week.  There was a moment with some pigeons that left a but to be desired, but all in all the kids and I enjoyed running around in “nature” (hard to come by in LA), feeding the nice ducks (“pigeons are impatient, Mommy.  But ducks are more patient” -Liam),

and running back and forth on the little bridges while admiring the waterfalls.

The kids had  such a great week together.  They were very into “sleepovers” in Riley’s top bunk…

We rode bikes and plasma cars to the park a few times…and Riley helped Liam balance along the wall on the way home.

And today it was so hot that Riley spent the morning doing this:

Yes, there were many, many small moments of happiness this week!

Friday Funny:  Carolynn sent in a funny story about her son…”My son was outside (5 yr old) & when he came in, he was asked if he was cold. He said, ‘See I have hair on my arms & legs & that keeps me warm!'”

Keep those Friday Funny posts coming on the Practical Parenting Facebook Page…I love reading each and every one of them!

Wishing you lots of happy moments in the coming week…