- Quick and easy meals. Like hotdogs. Or macaroni and cheese. Quesadillas are also a good quick fix. I know they are not the most nutritionally sound, but it gets some food into the kids and they don't seem to mind.
- My mother. I could write a book about how great she is and all the things she's done to help me out through my whole life. Right now I'm thankful for her being in town so I can have some adult company while Kevin is gone for a few days. And for her sympathetic listening to my parenting issues.
- Friends who are willing to help me out at a moment's notice. I have been blessed with several friends who have been willing to watch my kids (or one of them, at least) while I go to work one day a week, or when other things come up. Last week Kevin was gone and I had to call someone at 8:30 in the morning and ask if she could take Allison for me in 5 minutes. She was so graciously willing to watch her for a few hours, and I was able to go to work without a crazy one-year-old tagging along (let's hope that never actually happens!). That very same night I had a meeting to go to and was rescued again by a very kind couple who even came to our house so I could put Allison to bed and just go to my meeting and back. Thank you, thank you to all my lifelines on this one - you know who you are!
- Being able to afford our mortgage. While all the "housing crisis" woes swirl around us, and I can't believe what kind of [much nicer and bigger] house now sells for what we paid for ours several years ago, I am thankful that we aren't in any danger of losing our home or anything like that. So while we are kind of stuck where we are for now, at least we're not going to be forced out and lose everything like many people are these days.
- Naps. Allison is a great napper and sleeps almost the whole time Emily is at preschool in the afternoon. It's wonderful when I need to get a lot of work [read: my work for the Zoo, not housekeeping type chores which really never get done] done. And when I don't have to get a lot of work done, I sometimes can sneak in a nap myself. A lifesaver during these times of pregnancy mixed with bad allergies.
- My husband. I think I've been giving him a pretty hard time lately, but he puts up with it and still even tells me how much he loves me several times a day. What a gem.
- The nice moments with the kids. Lately they don't seem to happen as often, but amidst all the chaos there are always those little glimmers of love and affection and just plain "can you believe how cute she is?" moments. Cherish those.
- Air conditioning. Our PG&E bill might be a fortune this month, but after a weekend of 100+ degree days and a full summer more to come, I can't think of surviving without it. What a blessing to be able to control the temperature in our homes - really!
There. I feel a little better now.