This week’s dash of gratefulness

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Last week was a super productive week for us. We were so lucky to have my mother here all week to help out with projects, and we’ve accomplished a lot!

I am glad she was here with us to celebrate Mother’s Day. Our celebration entailed planting more flowers in the garden – a few peonies, some lilies, and some phlox – gifts from Chouchou for Mother’s Day.

Reflecting back on the previous week, here are five reasons I am grateful:

Mothers.

Thank you to my Mom and all the Moms that have adopted me – for their unconditional love, never ending patience, and undying support. They’ve shown me tough love, endless energy, optimism. They’ve given me ideas, answers, and strength.

To all my friends – amazing women and mothers who inspire me and give me strength. Who listen, share, and are there for me.

I love them all and am so thankful for them. I couldn’t have asked for a better tribe of women to walk with me through all of life’s adventures. 

To-do lists.

What? Yes. In the beginning of the stay-at-home quarantine, I had grand schemes of fail-proof schedules to get Mon Cœur (MC) and me through the day. Those were quickly tossed out the window. Then we had nothing.

Now we use to-do lists. Honestly, the only thing we have as a routine are meals, nap, and bed time. Everything else is flexible. Why should I drive myself crazy boxing things in to a time?

At breakfast every day, I make a list of things I have to do: laundry, vacuum, meal plan, blog, balance checking…

And MC makes a list, too. Sometimes she “writes” it, most of the time she dictates it to me: pillow fight, play Sneaky Snack Squirrel, check the strawberries, check eggs, chase ducks, nap, organize corner play area, thank you notes. Can you tell what I wrote on her list?

The to-do lists have been great- they help me stay on track with what I really need to get done, helped me delegate things for Mom to do every day, and for MC, it is a “reading activity” (we add pictures for her right now so she can see her list and mark off items as she completes them).

I’ve tried keeping my daily agenda, a bullet journal, making schedules, etc. But a plain old to-do list just plain gets the job done, and it’s made things a lot less complicated.

It also feels so good to strike through an item that’s been completed – done!

Our tribe.

I feel so ridiculously lucky for the tribe we have. Family, friends, colleagues, neighbors, former students. After the appointment last week, I asked Chouchou to do an announcement video with me. I knew I’d be announcing on the blog and on social media, but I wanted us to be the ones to personally tell friends and family – I didn’t want it to be a “discovery” the next time someone was scrolling through the blog or their feed.

So we made a quick video and sent it out before posting our news. The response has been overwhelming. Full of love, support, and “happy tears.” We knew people had shared in our grief, although I’m not sure I appreciated to what extent they had really grieved Millie with us and hoped for another pregnancy with us until we had received responses back. I felt waves of hugs and positive vibes from all over the world as we sent out our announcement.

Chouchou.

We’re both a little anxious right now, and yet, he lets me do my thing. I wanted to make the announcement video for family and friends and although that’s not really his thing, he did it with me, for me.

He wants to celebrate Millie’s memory on the date of her delivery. He asked me, “What do you want to do on the 30th?” We’ve decided on a day working in the garden as a family, maybe a little picnic in the garden.

When we first were coming to grips with what had happened to Millie, I was told by many people – including all of the delivery nurses, doctors, and the chaplain – that he and I would process our grief differently. That has been so very true, and yet I am so grateful that he continues to communicate his feelings and thoughts to me and we share together our grief even as we experience and process it differently.

Mon Cœur.

She is so stinking smart. She has a humor about her that keeps us laughing. Her imagination is vivid, and I love to just watch her. Sometimes she decides that she’s done playing Sneaky Snacky Squirrel, and she fills her log up with “candles” and sings happy birthday to herself and blows them out.

Sometimes she’s a rule follower and other times, she marches to her own beat. The other day, I set out dot stickers and started a pattern along a line – blue, green, blue, green, blue. Instead of following the pattern, she made her own – green the rest of the way down the line…I smiled at her interpretation. We haven’t really worked with patterns yet. Patterns are a concept they teach in Kindergarten in Virginia, so I am not overly worried. I was happy that all the stickers were on the line and spaced pretty evenly.

She’s independent – she wants to do it all herself – dig a hole for the flowers, climb a hill, check the mail, or sing happy birthday, “Don’t help me!,” as she puts her hand over my mouth.

She is so full of love – we’ll be working on a puzzle, playing a game, or running around outside, and she’ll pause, pucker up, and lay one on me. “I love you, Mommy.”

As we push through to the middle of another week, I try to stay focused on reasons to be grateful and feel blessed. I know many followers like to read the grateful posts, so I will try to post them more regularly like I had been! I’d love to hear from you – please share in the comments: What’s made you feel grateful recently?

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