As of late I've been grinning like an idiot more than usual, and it's because I've been so very happy knowing that Noah will be home every night next year. It's especially important, because Ethan is now showing awareness of Daddy leaving for work at night, and he's become something of a Daddy's boy on those evenings.
Not only would it have been hard for me to comfort little man out of his despair, it would definitely have been hard on Noah to keep leaving his tearful little tot. I wouldn't want him to have to go through what one of his squad buddies did, when his little girl cried "Daddy no work!" one night as he was about to leave.
Are you all crying now? Excellent.
So I've decided to list a few things that I'm grateful for in 2008, a.k.a. The Year of Challenges, because I've been reminded by our good fortune that gratitude really and truly does improve life.
1) The experience of giving birth, and also having given birth to The World's Best and Cutest Baby. Need help living in the moment? Go through labor and delivery.*HOLY CRAP. I JUST DISCOVERED THAT GALAXY BARS AND DOVE BARS ARE THE SAME THING. Therefore...
2) Having received a Sealy Posturepedic queen size bed of my choosing for free (for participating in a consumer panel). Although it does make getting out of bed in the morning that much harder.
3) Being part of an excellent family (extended family included) who also happen to live in interesting places around the globe (Chicago, Alaska, New Mexico, California, Northern Ireland, England, etc.).
4) Receiving gifts from the Irish relatives, such as adorably trendy baby clothes from Next and the World's. Best. Candy. (Galaxy, anyone*? Don't get me started on Fruit Pastilles. And we're not even scratching the surface of the truly fantastical, including mint Aero, Curly Wurly and clove rock.)
5a) Understanding a bit of Northern Irish slang ("'bout ye?" "a wee cuppa" "brill" "class" "she's mustard" "wee skitter" "eejit" "skew-whiff" "Paddy's market" "up the Lagan in a bubble" "good craic" "pulled through a hedge backwards" etc.). I'm proud to say I knew every single bit of slang on this list. (Warning: Curses are included at the bottom of the page. And I'd never heard ANY of them before.)
5b) Understanding my Irish Nanny when she speaks, when most people don't. Although I don't blame them, because most of the time she talks up the left. Sample Nanny discourse: "So I says, like, you know, Just one wee minute. And she says, What does she want? And I says, She is a cat's mother. And she says, Away on! And I says, You're a wee huzzy. [You did not!] Ach aye, like, you know."
6) Making new friends through blogging.
7) Reconnecting with old friends through blogging.
8) I am grateful that Dove bars are Galaxy bars! That will make my life a lot easier, not having to wait for Galaxy to arrive in the mail. However, I will miss the Galaxy packaging, which features Middle Eastern script, lending an exotic feel to the whole thing.