Things I am grateful for (or that, depending on the phrasing), daily during November.
- SteelyKid's immune system has, sometime when we weren't looking, matured enough that she no longer gets every cold that goes around daycare. Her getting sick is much rarer these days.
- I have awesome co-workers who are smart, enthusiastic, and generous.
- Babysitters. =>
- Chad's parents, who I get along with so well and who are so generous to our family.
- I've weaned the Pip to the point where he's only nursing twice every twenty-four hours, which means NO MORE PUMPING.
- It's ten to twelve and all the TV networks plus the AP have called it for Obama, without relying on Florida—so I get to be grateful for both the content and the timing of the news.
- No need to wait until the end of the day for this: the Pip is one today. Happy Birthday, buddy!
- Today's 10,000+ word brief went out with minimal high drama.
- The Pip was astonishingly calm about his physical today. The only thing he objected to was his shots, and only for long enough to eat a couple Cheerios after.
Also enormous baby is enormous: weight: 25 pounds 14 ounces, 96th percentile; height: 31", 89th percentile; head circumference: 48.25 cm, 95th percentile.
- Dry fallen oak leaves: the satisfying crunch, the slightly sweet smell, the enormous piles that can be raked up, and the fun that can be had with those piles:
[Image: SteelyKid in a big pile of leaves, the Pip standing next to the pile holding some leaves in his upraised arms.]
- Thank you, veterans, for your service.
- Days off—unexpected ones, even (I never wrote down on my work calendar that work was observing Veterans Day on Monday, so I had no idea we had it off until a co-worker mentioned it on Friday).
- Team parenting.
- Tonight, I tripped and fell while playing Flying Baby!! (holding the Pip belly-down and whooshing him through the air), but did not hurt or even scare said Baby!!, somehow.
- Gotta go with the Internet today, for all kinds of things, not just the above.
- We've never had a serious health problem with the kids.
- Both sides of the family together at Thanksgiving. So what if we hold Thanksgiving dinner on a Saturday to make it possible? That just makes it a family tradition.
- Cheese. Ice cream. Cream cheese. Butter.
That is: yesterday I officially weaned the Pip, so that I could eat whatever I wanted for early Thanksgiving. (In practice, a piece of cheddar cheese tasted weird, and I haven't had the middle items yet, but buttery rolls and mashed potatoes were great.) I can also now eat soy, which was not something I craved itself but is in all kinds of food.
- Online legal databases with powerful search tools.
- Did daycare dropoff this morning (the kids go to the Schenectady JCC) and was reminded how much the kids enjoy it there and how much the staff enjoy them. Stable, professional, loving child care is, as many of you know, no small thing.
- Dental insurance.
- I feel shallow saying this, because second Thanksgiving (it's like second breakfast, but with way more food) was just as lovely as early Thanksgiving, but honestly right this minute the thing I'm most grateful about is being able to watch an entire Patriots game all by myself for once, and a most pleasing one to boot.
- A financial situation that is both stable and comfortable.
- Copious local access to quality healthcare.
- The revolution in personal digital devices: my ereader, netbook, and iPod all make my life happier daily.
- Even on tough days, the kids enjoy each other's company so much, it's kind of amazing—better than I'd ever dared hope.
- SteelyKid! Singing songs, making up games, giving great hugs, learning to read, running "faster than a cheetah" around the house, drawing family portraits (see icon for preview and behind the cut for the full thing), and just generally being fascinating to watch grow up.
[Image: three stick figures on construction paper]
(The change in color for Chad's mouth is in the original.)