Not our Vegas winnings, alas... (we'll have a separate post on this one)...but our response to being tagged by Laura over at Adventures in Juggling.
The goal of this meme is to focus on the here and now, so here we go:
1 and 2. Hallie's breathtaking smile and delightful squeal.
Even when she's sick (which alas she is right now), she's a happy baby who enjoys smiling. I just love it when I walk in the room and she sees me; she smiles from ear to ear and coos and, if we're lucky, she lets out this great squeal. No matter what other nonsense we've faced in any given day, this smile and squeal combo lifts our moods.
3. Our neighbors. We're raising Hallie in a sort of commune/harem (the guys like to think of it this way) with our friends Mark and Vanessa (parents of gorgeous Karina) and Josh and Nancy (parents of handsome Ethan, soon to be a big brother). We eat at one another's houses two to four times a week, and the kids have come to think of themselves as belonging with the others; it's very cute to see them reach out to hug and kiss each other when they haven't seen each other in a while. We even tried to vacation communally; more on this later too (have I piqued your curiousity yet?).
4. Friends who come to our rescue. We couldn't make it without them. Our network has been and is spectacular. This is what got us through Sharon's pre-term labor, the super early delivery, our NICU days, losing Olivia, our vigil for Hallie, our hibernation at home during RSV season, and, most recently, this past weekend. More on this later (yet again), but let's give a huge shout out to Renee and Kim, in addition to the aforementioned commune/harem members to coming to our (and Hallie's) aid this past 72 hours or so. Of course our family is always there for us, and we don't take that for granted at all and certainly appreciate it, but it's nice to know that there are those in this world who are not related to us who care enough to go that extra mile (or even 100 miles) to help us out when we really need them.
5. Our Simmons Beauty Rest pillow top queen sized bed. We love it and miss it and want to visit it again soon.
6. Whole Foods Market. I love being within walking distance of it and Hallie likes the bright colors and fresh smells. So what if they take our Whole Paycheck?
7. Sony Cyber Shot DSC T-100 Camera.
This is our new digital that replaces the battery-eating, space-taking Canon that we used to use. Much clearer pictures, teensy-weensy profile, fast connection and downloading to our computers, and cheaper battery costs. Who could ask for much more?
8. Pediasure Strawberry and Vanilla. This one we're conflicted about but it has saved our butts the past few days. It's super sweet smelling with a cloying, lingering aroma and is super sticky to the touch and costs a total fortune but at least Hallie will sort of willingly eat it while awake. And it's 30 calories an ounce. Neither of us is thrilled with serving her so much sugar, but the alternatives being what they are, we're happy that Pediasure is out there for us to use.
9. Our garden (in particular, Nan's Rose Bush).
We have a small brick garden in the back of our house with two raised beds and room for a table, four chairs, a grill, and a bunch of free standing pots. Even though the space is minimal, I've been able to do a lot with it. Right now, in addition to the famous rosebush, we have a lilac bush--a purple Muscovite variety (that I put in two years ago; it will hopefully bear flowers next season); two clematis; three grape vines (native Concord Grapes) that are threatening to overtake everything); two blueberry bushes; two tomato plants (I finally caved in and limited the numbers under pressure from Sharon who finds them unsightly in late summer); a slew of herbs--basil, mint, oregano and thyme that overwintered in our recently warmer climate, lavender, and sage (rosemary fails to thrive in my care or I'd have a nice song in there somewhere); a hydrangea bush; and numerous flowers (pansies, impatiens, wildflowers, etc). Years ago, someone planted boston ivy in the garden and it's lovely because it grows super quickly each spring to create a canopy that provides an illusion of privacy and dies off in the fall so that we get some winter sunlight in the back. I love our garden.
10. Gold Peak Diet Iced Tea. This brand (marketed and bottled by Coca Cola and only recently, it seems, growing increasingly available) rocks. It's the best tasting bottled iced tea I've ever had (and I've been known to drink a lot of iced tea in my time, though this pales in comparison to my diet coke (aka 'bubbly') consumption. Is it utterly ridiculous to pay between 1.35 and 1.69 a bottle for a beverage I can make myself? Absolutely. Is it worth it on a hot day when you have no time to make a pot of tea and cool it off sufficiently? Absolutely. Anyway, this tea had me and Vanessa trolling the 'net for someone who might sell it to us by the case. We didn't find anyone out there willing to do that, but we did buy some nifty 2-for-1 coupons on Ebay that should satisfy our habit for about a week.