Being that it is Thanksgiving weekend in Canada, it seems as good a time as any to remember to give thanks for all the blessings in my life. I like to think that I practice gratitude regularly, but sometimes it is good to have a holiday that reminds you if you’ve been slacking in the gratitude department a bit.

As a sleep-deprived new Mom, I can admit there are times I am practicing more in frustration management and patience than real gratitude.

But then there are times, even among the frustrating moments, where awesome things happen (and by awesome, I don’t mean surfer-dude awesome, but the original meaning… things that create awe, or perhaps even in some cases, in a new sense… things that create “awwww”).

Yesterday, for example, I was trying to make a lasagna. My daughter needed to let out some steam and move around so I set up some play space with lots of toys in the kitchen and tried to barricade the dangerous spots from her reach. I then set about making the lasagna. Of course I was almost done when I discovered I was short one lasagna noodle and needed to boil one more. Argh. Frustration. Plus every 2 minutes I was picking the baby up and moving her back to the middle of the room where she would quickly tire of the toys and go back to investigating various things. The dog and the cat got in on the action, driving me bananas. Then a diaper needed changing.

So I start the noodle boiling, go change a diaper, come back, get the cat off the table. Again. Then put my daughter in her Exersaucer so I could enjoy a few minutes of her being “contained” for play while I finished the lasagna up and could get it in the oven so I could give her my undivided attention. She started fussing, the cat was climbing all over the counter, the dog was lying in front of the counter and I was losing my mind. I thought to myself briefly “this is why women go back to work so they don’t have to deal with this!” and then just as quickly it occurred to me that actually, women who work have it harder as they have to go to work all day, miss spending time with their babies, and then come home and deal with making dinner and entertaining the baby, dog and cat anyway!

So amidst my moment of “bananas” I suddenly let out a sigh of exasperation only to turn around and look at my baby girl playing in her Exersaucer. And then magic. She gave me the most beautiful smile. Just grinned at me. “Look at me playing Mommy! Aren’t I a good girl?” her smile seemed to say to me. It was just what I needed at that moment and I felt my frustration melt away. “What a good girl you are!” I said “Mommy loves you very much”.

Yes, I have much to be thankful for.

I am thankful for (in no particular order)…

  • my husband who supports me even when he disagrees with me, and who is such a good listener
  • my precious baby girl, who is big and healthy and happy
  • her beautiful smile and contagious giggles
  • the opportunity to stay at home with her and watch her grow and develop
  • my parents who are such inspiration and support to me still and who I can REALLY talk to
  • my extended family – I have a sister-in-law who has done so much for us in terms of bringing us baby clothes, toys and gear from her brother and his wife.  Invaluable to us!  I also have terrific nieces and nephews who are so much fun to be around and such a joy in my life.  My older brother and his wife have also agreed to be our guardian for baby girl heaven forbid something should happen to hubby and me.  That gives me so much comfort.  I have a little brother who has such a great sense of humor and always puts his fun and unique twist on things in life.  I have a new niece and nephew through my hubby and this new niece is such a neat person.  She loves music and to reflect on life and I am enjoying getting to know her.  I have a cousin who is like a sister to me and she has a baby girl too who is just 7 weeks ahead of ours.  It is such a pleasure knowing they are growing up “together” even though we live in different cities.  She also shares a lot of my philosophies on life and parenting and it is great to share ideas and thoughts and emotions along the way with her.
  • my friends – both new and long-term for their support, tips, wisdom and laughter
  • my Belly Buddy who helped me through my pregnancy and has been an ear when I needed to talk (especially when no one else would likely want to hear THAT much detail about all the steps along the way)
  • breastfeeding and that we are still going strong, especially knowing how good it is for her (and me)
  • co-sleeping allowing me to get more sleep than I think I would otherwise and allowing me more bonding time with her
  • our pets (they drive me crazy for sure, but I also have many reasons to love them too – furry cuddles and protection)
  • the fact that my fear of spiders is getting a bit better (I still HATE them, but I have the inner strength to kill them and breathe a sigh of relief every time I do so)
  • that we live in the age of the internet so I can research all things baby, and have been able to meet other like-minded new Moms (both on the net, and some in person – I LOVE Internetworking)
  • cloth diapers (cute AND good for the environment)
  • books (I love continuous learning and have read some fantastic books that feed my mind)
  • fresh sheets and towels
  • music (and especially lyrics)
  • cuddles
  • inspiration
  • creativity
  • empathy
  • Grey’s Anatomy (a girl needs a little escape once in awhile)
  • fashion
  • hot water
  • my financial savvy (thanks Mom & Dad and the Wealthy Barber)
  • Baby Centre (and to the Moms there who have shared their stories with me and each other)
  • Facebook (much as it sometimes annoys me, I also love keeping up with friends and hearing how people are doing, sharing photos and videos, etc.)
  • Skype – for allowing me to converse and see video for free with family and friends far away
  • Excel (God I love my spreadsheets – I have kept a personal budget tracking my spending for 10 + years now on one!)
  • Turkey dinners complete with all the fixings (gravy! mashed potatoes or scalloped potatoes! that yam dish with the marshmallows and brown sugar on top!)
  • Roast beef dinners complete with all the fixings (gravy! yorkshire puddings! mashed potatoes!)
  • Pasta (every kind from ravioli to spaghetti to lasagne to KD)
  • Lobster and other seafood (gosh, you’d think I was hungry, but I just ate, I swear!)
  • Sunshine-y days
  • Sunbeams
  • Rainbows (no, I am not going to say “unicorns too”)
  • Showers (the kind where I can wash my hair, not rain showers – although I like rain showers in specific circumstances like when lying in bed at night and listening to the soothing rain sounds outside)

I could go on, but I won’t.  I’m tired, baby will likely wake again soon, and I am going to go and climb into bed and be thankful for my bed, for sleep, and for the cuddles and the smell of my daughter’s skin that come with nursing when I’m not sleeping at night.