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how baby sister stays cozy in the stroller for the outdoor parts of the zoo.

Last weekend we celebrated Sam’s three full weeks of being diaperless. He’s amazing, y’all. And we are button-bursting proud of him, so last Sunday we celebrated. Donuts and a trip to the zoo marked the occasion. He had his first corndog, more treats than I care to admit, and fell asleep that night in a sugar-induced toddler coma.

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While it wasn’t baby Josie’s first trip to the zoo, it was the first where she was interested in what was happening around her. She sat beautifully content in her part of the stroller, looking back and forth between me and the animals. She especially liked the aquarium:

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pardon the overexposure. fishies!

We spent the entire day with – really WITH – these two kids of ours, and it was blissful. Amidst the inevitable meltdowns, baby diaper changes, big boy potty trips, feeding and feeding and feeding, bedtime haggles and laundry pile growth, swirled right into the everyday normal moments was sweetness. Long after they were to be asleep, there was joy.

Are the days hard? Yes. Are they beyond exhausting? Absolutely. Do I lose my everloving mind on a daily basis? Uh-huh. Are mommy timeouts a real and true thing? You bet, because sanity.

But even then.

If gratitude is our lens, joy will be

These are the days, the only ones we get. I’m not saying – nor will I ever say – ‘enjoy every moment’ because let’s be real. Not every moment is made to be enjoyed. There are moments to power thru, moments to weather, moments to weep, even moments to forget. However, we do have the power to choose how we view the moments that make our days and we can celebrate them with gratitude. Sometimes it’s beyond our control because kids and hormones be crazy. But often it’s just a matter of changing lenses.

  • The fourth poo-laden diaper change of the morning? Give thanks for a working system (that’s hopefully now cleaned out.)
  • The epic toddler meltdown because you dared give the green cup instead of the blue one at oh, about 4:30pm? Give thanks for the chance to hold said toddler tight in for a bear hug to soothe both of your nerves.
  • The late-night crawl up the stairs to an unmade bed and clothes-strewn floor, a lego here and there, and pacifier hiding under the covers? Give thanks for the chance to collapse no matter the hour.

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If gratitude is our lens, joy will be our filter. And we have the power to give power to whichever emotions we choose, and to celebrate the everyday that would otherwise go unnoticed. So throw a potty party. Play hooky and hit the zoo. Snuggle instead of snapping. Eat the cupcakes, and enjoy.

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