It’s day 6 of a 9-day school vacation and I’m still standing. That’s a good thing. Actually, I really like having the kids home from school. But, figuring out play dates in between doctor and vet appointments isn’t all that fun. Still, we’re managing to fit in some fun stuff… So here goes:
 I’m thankful for my membership to the Wildlife Conservation Society (http://www.wcs.org/) so that I can go to the Bronx Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo, Queens Zoo, Central Park Zoo AND the NY Aquarium as many times as I want for the $120 annual membership fee (parking tickets included). THAT’S a HUGE deal. As such, I was able to take my kids and one of the old soul’s friends to the Aquarium today for just the cost of lunch. What a great and easy play date!
 I’m SO proud of [and thankful for] my kids. Brian and Michael started out in the stroller but I told them that I’d let them out if they stayed with me and followed Olivia. They all did beautifully. The boys followed their sister and she attended to them as needed. Only once did I have to remind the boys not to run off but to stay with their sister and her friend. They moved from window to window and tank to tank, oohing and aahing at the sharks, turtles, seals and walruses like big little men. And, when I told them it was time to get back in the stroller, they hopped in without any protest. It doesn’t get better than that!
 I’m thankful for my children’s gentle and courteous personalities and naturally good manners. I had the recent displeasure of spending time with a mildly rude child who knows me well enough to know my name. Still, the child said to me, “Hey you, can ya do this for me?” To which I promptly replied, “Hey you? My name is Maggie.” And, the child answered, “Whatever!” Hmmm…. Well, I do live in New York!
 I’m thankful for the underlying hints of green sprouting through the dormant winter grass in my backyard. It’s coming, I know it!!!! Spring is peeking around every corner. It was a sunny and glorious 54 degrees today. YEAH! (Down to 18 again tonight!)
 I’m thankful for my gentle soul of a husband. I didn’t know that he had accepted an invitation to a hockey game tonight. (I knew he was invited. He told me that. But, he never said he was going. Even insinuated he wasn’t. As such, I assumed he wasn’t going because I’d just sent him to a hockey game on Monday for a Valentines Day date with the old soul .) When I calmly expressed my disappointment about not knowing in advance, there was no fight, no loud voices, no anger between us. He merely explained how it came to be and then sat with me and the kids — fully engaged — until it was time for him to leave. Sure I’m sorry he’s not here… But, I’m very thankful I don’t have one of those fighting, yelling, disagreeable or completely absent husbands.
To tell you the truth, this peaceful life we’re living here makes me pretty happy.