My Happy

Yesterday or last month, Katy did a supa-fly list of 10 things that make her happy..and then she linked to a few blogs including mine and said, "No Pressure!" Please. I am addicted to happy. I got this.
  1. "The Rainbow Connection": This is Mia’s favorite lullaby–Cheyenne’s too, when she was young enough to let me sing to her–and it is, I confess, one of my favorite songs of all time. I’m a Rainbow Connection purist–in my not so humble opinion, there is only One that can sing it right, the way it was meant to be sang, with pluck and gusto and heart, and that One, my friends, is Kermit the Frog. In the swamp, on a log, and with a banjo. But since I can’t play the first 5 minutes of "The Muppet Movie" on some sort of holographic ipod app every night before Mia goes to sleep, I’ve taken it upon myself to find a version of this song that honors the original. It did take listening to well over 50 sleepy, drug-induced Karen Carpenter-style renditions, one horrible siren song that made me want to stick my head in an oven (sorry Sarah McLachlan), one insanely gay epic fail of a cover by Jason Mraz, and a few fancy, drawn-out instrumental arrangements, before I finally stumbled upon something that was download-worthy. Runner up? Ryan Shupe and The Rubberband had the most Kermit-like sound out there, but they skip, oh, over HALF THE SONG. It’s over in a minute. Bummer. They’d have been a shoe-in for first place if they fininshed the song in its glorious entireity. Willie Nelson doesn’t do a bad job, either, but my final vote has to go to the Dixie Chicks, for this happy little bluegrass lullaby.
  2. My blog. Love it, like it was my own–well, what do you know! It is my own! And I can write on it and say whatever I want…pretty much. I’m not all about slanderin’ people, but don’t get on my bad side. I love writing. I can’t stand not writing. It’s the only way I can sound halfway intelligent, because when I actually physically talk, my thoughts get jumbled and I stutter and get all tongue-tied and I go on and on before I forget what I was talking about while I’m talking about it, and I’m pretty sure most people that don’t know me very well think I have some sort of disability. (I do not.)
  3. Snowdays. I guess I like them a little too much because yesterday, when a power outtage occured in the town, I bumrushed the middle school and the elementary school and yanked BOTH my kids out of class. I hurried them home, away from dark hallways, slippery sidewalks and falling icycles. I found out later that the power was only out for an hour at the middle school–and in the elementary school it never went off at all! I know. I got too eager.
  4. House…plans…okay, I feel dirty. This is an obsession that I haven’t really brought out into the public eye until now. I. Love. Looking at houseplans. I’ve always loved it. I would beg my mom to buy me houseplan magazines when I was like, 10. I drew hundreds of floorplans on graph paper and I kept them–all–until just recently. I used to want to be an architect just so I could seriously design houses all day long, but as it turns out, I’m not all that in the math department. Sigh. No biggie. As a grown up, I own a billion houseplan bookes. I could stare at houseplan books all day. (I don’t, but I could.) I dog-ear my favorites, which change from time to time. There’s nothing like having a cup of coffee on a rainy day and going over a new houseplan magazine. That’s a pretty peachy thought–might do that tomorrow when I’m resisting the urge to go steal the kids from their education.
  5. Cheyenne and her sic wit. This girl cracks me up on a minute-to-minute basis. In her old age of 13, Cheyenne can really come up with some seriously priceless one-liners–usually jabs at me, but funny nonetheless. She is hysterical. I was worried about her for a while–out of all the kids, she was the one that never seemed to see the humor in the everyday–even Merrick seems to know when to laugh! But I think she’s hit her stride. She is always making me laugh. And, Cheyenne is a movie quotin’ freak. She never fails to chime in at all the right times with the perfect line. It’s always relevant and always hilarious.
  6. Mia’s nonstop pretending. Yesterday she rolled up in the kitchen pushing a stroller filled with babydolls with one arm, and holding yet another babydoll in the other. With an exhausted sigh she stops, puts her hand on her forehead and asks, "Oh, my goodness. Do you have kids? I have, like, 5 of them, and they just wear me out!" So I play along: "Oh, yes, I have kids and lemme tell ya, they are so much work." Mia says "I just cannot keep up! My kids are always getting into stuff! I just need to relax in a nice long bubble bath, I think. Maybe after that we could have a playdate, or something." She keeps going on and on with the overwhelmed-mother-of-five charade, and even though I know half the stuff that’s coming out of her mouth came directly from me and my real-life conversations with my best friends and my sisters, I am dying–dying I tell you–laughing.
  7. Merrick. I could lump all my kids into one happy number, but truly they all deserve their own paragraph, because they all bring a smile to my face for different reasons. Merrick is fastly becoming a little person, and by that I mean that he’s starting to do things deliberately, not just out of anger or hunger or fatigue or excitement. He bows his head and closes his eyes to say prayers. He specifically asks to watch "Shrek", and he wants the fuzzy blanket to cover up with while he watches it (his attention span? Still that of a baby. Shrek does not actually captivate him for more than 3 minutes.) He says "please" when he wants juice or cheese 80 times a day. He has a favorite stuffed animal. He likes to wear slippers and he has preferences when it comes to outfits. He’s turning into a little boy overnight, which could make me cry if I really thought hard about it, but how can I be sad when he’s so darn cute?!
  8. Coffee. Duh.
  9. Chocolate. Double duh.
  10. And finally, my birthday. My birthday and the very thought of my birthday make me so excellently happy. This year I’ll be turning 30, and I’m trying to convince Caleb that a weekend trip to New Mexico is the best way to celebrate. Yeah, some people go to Vegas. Some people have a cupcake in the privacy of their own home. Some people have a 3-day-long surprise party that involves 25 people, air mattresses, lots of coolers, and a private box with tickets for 20 at a Redhawks game. Me? I just want to go hiking (which, coincidentally, makes me happy) and see some art–I’ve heard the art scene in Santa Fe is bananas. I don’t mind a 7-8 hour drive. I’ll stay in a crummy hotel. I’ve never been farther west than…Oklahoma. (I lived in Hawaii when I was little, but I don’t count what I don’t remember) I feel like turning 30 calls for a little push in that general direction. But no matter what I do to celebrate my birthday this year, I’ll be happy. Hey, I like cupcakes.

And there you have it. What makes you happy?

About Toni

Mom. Wife. Artist. I take care of the kids and pretend to clean sometimes. I can cook spagetti and I have never been arrested. View all posts by Toni

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