Groundhog’s Day is a winter milestone. We have made it this far. Even if spring is six weeks away, it’s only six weeks, right? Modern Mrs. Darcy used the occasion of yesterday’s holiday to blog about “what’s saving my life right now.” Winter doldrums make it easy to complain. But we can focus on the good instead, and not just the obvious biggies (healthy kids, a furnace that works). Linking up with her, here are some other things that are making me happy these days:
My mud room. Certain design aspects of my house just work for a larger-than-average family. The mudroom is key. There are two doors: to the garage and to the driveway. There are benches and hooks and a big closet. It doesn’t have to be neat (it is a “mud” room after all) even if we do now have a basket for mittens and a basket for hats. But it’s nice to have a place for wet boots and coats and backpacks and to know that those things will be there when they are needed again.
My treadmill. The “dreadmill” is boring. It is. But slushy ice is slicking up the roads. My day time schedule is in flux with feedings and helping with the big kids and school runs. I can hop on the treadmill and walk briskly or run slowly for 10 minutes, deal with whatever issues come up, then get back on again later. It makes physical activity possible, even if such spurts must fit into my time confetti. Yesterday I did my first full mile run post-delivery and it felt great.
Almond butter. Why did I not know about this until a few weeks ago? Yum.
Magazines. I’ve been using my baby-feeding time to read through both The Economist and People magazine weekly. I am starting to think that being a well-informed person requires reading both.
The night nanny. She started this past weekend. I’m nursing but what’s great is that I can sleep soundly except while feeding. So Sunday night, I went to bed at 9:45, and woke to feed at 1:15. I went back down at 1:45 and slept until 5:15. Fed to 5:45, then dozed on and off until 6:45, because to be honest, I probably didn’t need that last hour (though it was nice!) Last night, since I went to a dinner, I’d pumped, and at her suggestion she gave him that bottle for the 1 a.m. feeding. So I was off the hook from my 10 p.m. bedtime to 4:30 a.m. I feel more human when I get more than 2 hours of sleep at a time.
The Great Beanie Baby Bubble. I’m reviewing this for a publication, so I’ll limit the review here, but if you’re looking for a good non-fic read, I highly recommend Zac Bissonnette’s latest (out later this month). This tale of toy tycoon Ty Warner is darkly comic and well-paced. Creative non-fiction fans will appreciate the structure of a few well-placed set pieces. Even as I worried that the post-crash ending might slow down, Bissonnette would stick in random stuff like a visit to a strange father-daughter pair who’d photographed every Beanie Baby and literally had tin foil on their windows. If you put these details in a novel (like Warner’s paranoid mother stealing his luxury car, or Warner winding up in a dark closet with flashbacks after babysitting his girlfriend’s kids one night) no one would believe you. It’s also a good exploration of the psychology of bubbles, and how people really do believe that past performance is an indicator of future results.
Coffee. On cold winter mornings, a good strong cup is such a lovely way to start the day. I’m sometimes up enough before the kids that I can enjoy it and my oatmeal (with ground flax, pecans, brown sugar, and that wonderful almond butter) in peace and quiet. It didn’t happen this morning, but it does on others, and it’s great.
What’s making you happy right now?
Photo: The mudroom.