The Little Things
I always thought that I was a grateful person. I was grateful I had a job; I was grateful I had a car; I was grateful I had a house. I was grateful for my family, my friends, and all of those who loved me. And then I was lucky enough to be blessed with my own family. I was and am immensely grateful for Chris, Clare and Maren.
Today I am grateful for all of those same things. But I am also beginning to notice the little, "unimportant" things that I may have overlooked in the past. Today I am also grateful for:
1.) Leggings that double as pants. Since Clare's diagnosis, my self-care doesn't exist. I haven't worked out once since June 18. I don't eat well. My dinners are comprised of a bowl of special K, a Skinnygirl margarita, a handful of Doritos, and Clare's leftover dinner. Because of all of this, I am grateful for compression leggings that make people think I just left a yoga class. But I didn't. I just ate 2 pieces of pie and my jeans haven't fit since I was 16 weeks pregnant with Maren.
2.) Butter. We are so fortunate that Clare hasn't lost much weight since she was diagnosed. Her diet includes noodles, buttered noodles, noodles with butter, and cheese. We have relied on butter to load her up with calories and she loves it. 28 pounds STRONG!
3.) My fancy hair dryer. I have a lot of hair and I like it BIG. My nights are filled with putting the girls to sleep and making bottles. My mornings are full of dirty diapers, little girls complaining about the outfit I pick out for them, and french toast sticks. I feel like I have 18 minutes to myself each night and zero time for myself each morning. My super high powered high dryer allows me to dry my hair in 5 minutes so that I am able to spend those 18 minutes doing what I love - watching Netflix.
3a.) Dry Shampoo & Hairspray. No explanation needed.
4.) Target & Giant Eagle Pick-up. This is a game-changer. I shop online and within a few hours I am able to go and pick it up at the store. I don't leave my car. I haven't purchased diapers, formula, or baby food in an actual store in 4 months. I literally would not know what to do if I had to take Maren in a store with me.
5.) Frozen. We have watched Frozen 274982374923874 times. But it consumes Clare's attention and it provides me with time to do laundry (For the First Time in Forever) and give Maren a bottle. Thank you, Anna & Elsa.
6.) Pacifiers. Maren is almost 9 months old. She doesn't get upset often, but when she does a pacifier is usually the solution to every problem. Pacifiers buy us 10 more minutes of sleep in the morning or prevent a baby-breakdown. I believe we have a dozen pacifiers throughout our house. Do you know how many we have when we NEED one? Zero.
7.) iPad. Do you know what it is like traveling with a 3 year old on a 5 hour drive every other week? It's not great. But the iPad has saved the day repeatedly. The iPad has also been a lifesaver during long hospital days or when Clare needs to have her port accessed. iNeed the iPad.
8.) Coffee. I have always held coffee in high regard, but my love of caffeine has grown exponentially over the last few months. It helps me get out of bed in the morning. It helps me be productive at work. It helps me keep moving when I get home and need to give baths, make buttered noodles, and shove Doritos in my mouth.
9.) Amazon.com. I believe that Amazon will take over the world, and I am gladly funding it. Beyond groceries, Amazon is my go-to. Amazon supplies our family with mouthwash swabs and medicine cups for Clare's chemotherapy. Amazon supplies our family with books, baby shampoo and bows. I am a loyal Prime member. I love Lightning Deals. I adore Alexa. I am hooked.
10.) Stickers. Stickers have been a gift to each nurse, doctor, social worker and child life specialist since June. Our favorite stickers are Disney princesses that have glitter. Clare feels so happy to be able to give each person a sticker. And each recipient is so appreciative. Each time we return to Rainbows or Cincinnati Children's, Clare is able to see the sticker she gave away still on an ID badge or folder or lab coat. Stickers have become Clare's calling card.
Of course I am grateful for all the big things too. I am grateful for Maren's health and I am grateful that Clare is feeling well. How Clare feels each day completely dictates how I feel each day. When Clare feels good, I feel great. When Clare isn't feeling so well, I feel terrible. But Clare has been having INCREDIBLE days. Days where she runs and dances and colors and laughs. Her good days and even her not-so-good days are a great reminder that there is always something to be grateful for.