Happiness Is…

posted in: Link Up, Monkey My Son 77 comments

If you want to be happy, be.~ Leo Tolstoy

To a 2 1/2 year old, this is happiness.

Water. Buckets. More water.

Yes, if you want to be happy, be. A toddler can teach us so much, yes?

Linking up again with little white whale for Sarah’s weekly the spill.
Little White Whale

What makes you happy?

Alison Lee is a former PR and marketing professional turned work-at-home mother. After a 10-year career in various PR agencies, and of the world’s biggest sports brands, Alison traded in product launches and world travel, for sippy cups, diapers, and breastfeeding. Alison's writing has been featured on Mamalode, On Parenting at The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, Everyday Family, Scary Mommy, and DrGreene.com. She is one of 35 essayists in the anthology, My Other Ex: Women’s True Stories of Leaving and Losing Friends. In 2012, she founded Little Love Media, a social media consultancy specializing in blog book tours, and because she doesn’t sleep, is an editor at BonBon Break, an online magazine. Alison lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with her husband and four children (two boys and boy/ girl twins).

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  • June 29, 2012 Lance

    extreme cuteness

    I like mine being able to wipe themselves and make their own cereal, but I miss the long moments of sweetness.

    hope you’re feeling well
    Lance recently wrote…Blood and SandMy Profile

    • June 29, 2012 Asianmommy

      So true!
      Asianmommy recently wrote…Discovering ChineseMy Profile

    • June 29, 2012 Alison

      Ah I’m waiting for the day when the boys can wipe themselves and make their own food. But I do love these days when they’re little. And I am well, thank you Lance!

  • June 29, 2012 Co-Pilot Mom

    Children have the unique ability to make us pause and appreciate the simple happiness that can be found everywhere, don’t they?

    • June 29, 2012 Alison

      They do, they certainly do.

  • June 29, 2012 Susi

    Water play, loved by kids the world over. My 3 year old can be kept busy for hours playing with water, buckets and containers!!! πŸ™‚
    Susi recently wrote…Scenes from the neighborhoodMy Profile

    • June 30, 2012 Alison

      I just love how simple things make them happy (and for hours too, win!).

  • June 29, 2012 Kerstin

    Wonderful pictures and very true, Alison! It’s the simple things, how wonderfully simple (but deep) a child thinks – it’s a beautiful thing.
    Kerstin recently wrote…BeMy Profile

    • June 30, 2012 Alison

      Thank you, Kerstin!

  • June 29, 2012 Cassie

    Ah yes to be a kid again…always living in the moment and not looking even a day ahead (most of the time). True happiness πŸ™‚
    Cassie recently wrote…The SPILL- If You Want To Be HappyMy Profile

    • June 30, 2012 Alison

      Children teach us so much!

  • June 29, 2012 julie gardner

    Beautiful pictures, amazing quotation.
    I am happy, thank you.

    julie gardner recently wrote…Today I’m just plain excited…My Profile

    • June 30, 2012 Alison

      Happy that you’re happy. xo

  • June 29, 2012 Mary Trunk

    This reminds me of when my husband told me that when he was a toddler his mother gave him a bucket of water and a brush and put him out on the patio. It was a hot day and my husband painted each tile of that patio with water. When he got to the end he looked back and realized he had to start over. All the water had evaporated. To him it just looked like he had a never ending fascinating project. To his mother it was the perfect “babysitting” project. Thanks!

    • June 30, 2012 Alison

      That is a funny and awesome story!! My son can spend HOURS just playing, emptying bucket of water into another bucket. And he’s smiling the whole time.

  • June 29, 2012 Sarah Reinhart

    Well, look at your little dude! I absolutely love the collage. And my kids are the same way. Just give them some containers, access to water, and they are set for awhile. (Until they start fighting and throwing the water on each other–yeah, it happens.) But truly, there is such happiness in simplicity. As always, thanks for linking up Alison. I do enjoy your posts πŸ™‚

    • June 30, 2012 Alison

      It’s a universal thing, isn’t it? Water and children.

      Thank you for the linky – I love that it gives me something to write about every week.

  • June 29, 2012 jlweinberg/jen

    He’s so stinkin’ cute! When is his birthday? Theo’s is Oct 3. I figure they must be pretty close in age πŸ™‚
    jlweinberg/jen recently wrote…What To Expect When You Are Expecting v. 2.0 RealityMy Profile

    • June 30, 2012 Alison

      His birthday is December 29, so yes, pretty close in age!

  • June 29, 2012 AnnMarie

    He has such big, beautiful eyes. What makes me happy? Hmmm…loaded question. Everyone I love being okay. And hugs…hugs make me happy.
    AnnMarie recently wrote…A Belated Tribute to LeoMy Profile

    • June 30, 2012 Alison

      His eyes get him out of trouble a lot1 πŸ™‚

      Hugs are good!!

  • June 29, 2012 Barbara

    Such a cutie. It’s always the simple things that they love and enjoy more.
    Barbara recently wrote…How does your garden grow…My Profile

    • June 30, 2012 Alison

      Yes! I wish we could be a little more like them sometimes.

  • June 29, 2012 Julia

    A great quote. Kids can teach us such powerful lessons through the simpilist of things.
    Julia recently wrote…Summer CapturedMy Profile

    • June 30, 2012 Alison

      My toddler schools me in many aspects πŸ™‚

  • June 29, 2012 Mark

    So true!
    Mark recently wrote…My Secret GardenMy Profile

  • Now there is a universal truth.
    Many things make me happy, such as a toddler kiss, my baby who comes over and says ‘hug mama’, strawberries, daffodils…
    Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes recently wrote…What a girl doesn’t wantMy Profile

    • June 30, 2012 Alison

      Those are good things! Toddler kisses and strawberries – love.

  • June 29, 2012 Jackie

    Sometimes it really can be that simple, right? Water & Buckets or boxes and wrapping paper! Enjoy the happy πŸ™‚
    Jackie recently wrote…Just BeMy Profile

    • June 30, 2012 Alison

      Strangely, my toddler has no affinity for wrapping paper πŸ™‚ Toilet paper, yes. Wrapping paper, not so much.

  • June 29, 2012 Galit Breen

    Yep. They sure do know where the happy is, don’t they? Love. xo
    Galit Breen recently wrote…So Very SorryMy Profile

    • June 30, 2012 Alison

      They so do!!!

  • June 29, 2012 Jessica

    So true! If we could only live in the moment as our littlest children do…
    Jessica recently wrote…For Your Viewing Pleasure:My Profile

    • July 1, 2012 Alison

      I try to do that some days πŸ™‚

  • June 30, 2012 Runnermom-jen

    Water makes me happy too…it’s soothing.
    That is an awesome collage!!
    Runnermom-jen recently wrote…Be HappyMy Profile

    • July 1, 2012 Alison

      I’m a water baby too! And thank you (love PicMonkey!).

  • June 30, 2012 Kir

    oh yes, I think buckets and water and happiness all go hand in hand.

    Love these pictures, that face just melts me every single time.
    Kir recently wrote…WOE: Gathering Buttercups: Beach TalkMy Profile

    • July 1, 2012 Alison

      Thank you Kir. He’s pretty cute, isn’t he? πŸ™‚

  • June 30, 2012 Tonya

    All children seems to just be bananas about water. It’s really sweet and oh so happy. πŸ™‚ Cute pictures.
    Tonya recently wrote…This Time Last YearMy Profile

    • July 1, 2012 Alison

      Such an easy way to occupy them!

  • June 30, 2012 Kimberly

    Absolute cuteness.
    What is with children and water?
    I hate getting wet…that’s what she said…sorry…I couldn’t help myself.

    • July 1, 2012 Alison

      *snort* Only you, I swear. xo

  • June 30, 2012 Raquel

    Isn’t it amazing how it is the simplest things that make kids happy? I think it is true for us as mom’s too. I love that you shared your post in pictures. Enjoy your weekend!
    Raquel recently wrote…Celebrating the first weekend of SummerMy Profile

    • July 1, 2012 Alison

      Thank you Raquel, have a great weekend!

  • June 30, 2012 Leigh Powell Hines

    Your children are beautiful. YOu are so right about toddlers and a water bucket. My second child is a month older than your first child. She was born in 11/09.

    Nice to meet you. Came from SITs sharefest today.
    Leigh Powell Hines recently wrote…Top Five Reasons to Visit N.C.’s High Country in the SummerMy Profile

    • July 1, 2012 Alison

      Thank you Leigh! Ah, you are in the throes of wonderful toddler times too! Thanks for visiting.

  • June 30, 2012 Katie

    Eddie could spend HOURS playing with his pool and water table. Hours. It’s SO cute!
    Katie recently wrote…Bloggers That Make Me Go BOOM! {19}My Profile

    • July 1, 2012 Alison

      It’s adorable, them and water. It’s the only thing he’ll spend inordinate amounts of time on!

  • June 30, 2012 My Inner Chick

    Yes! We can learn SO much, Mama. For example, toddlers can teach us to “live in the moment.” xx
    My Inner Chick recently wrote…Your Beautiful EmancipationMy Profile

    • July 1, 2012 Alison

      Yes, they sure do!

  • July 1, 2012 Not a Perfect Mom

    truth. If I give the kids a few buckets and some boats I have quiet for at least an hour…then a huge mess to contend with
    Not a Perfect Mom recently wrote…Better Sexytime?My Profile

    • July 1, 2012 Alison

      We play with water outside or in the bathroom so no mess!

  • July 1, 2012 Jessica

    That looks like happiness to me too.
    Jessica recently wrote…Practicing In Manual PhotobombMy Profile

    • July 1, 2012 Alison

      I can absolutely imagine you playing with water πŸ™‚

  • July 1, 2012 Christine

    That is so true. Water + buckets = bliss. Lovely pictures.
    Christine recently wrote…Friday Round-UpMy Profile

    • July 1, 2012 Alison

      Thank you Christine!

  • July 1, 2012 Nikki

    I wish I had that much energy, haha. Soo cute!
    Nikki recently wrote…A few days at the beach..My Profile

    • July 1, 2012 Alison

      My toddler is an Energizer Bunny πŸ™‚

  • July 1, 2012 misssrobin

    Yes, indeed. Why can’t we be happy with such simple things? Thanks for sharing.

    Stopping by from SITS. Have a great weekend.
    misssrobin recently wrote…I WILL Change the WorldMy Profile

    • July 1, 2012 Alison

      Children do give us good reminders – to enjoy the small things in life. Thanks for coming by!

  • July 1, 2012 Laura

    I used to leave my toddler in the tub for an hour while she played and I sat outside the bathroom listening and reading! And for some reason this post reminds me of winter when I would fill a bin with snow and let the girls play. Messy fun. Happiness.
    Laura recently wrote…Reading Together: One Hundred DressesMy Profile

    • July 1, 2012 Alison

      I do that too! Except my toddler is in the shower room rather than the tub. I sit at the doorway and catch up with blog reading and emails!

  • July 1, 2012 Natalie

    You are so right! We would enjoy the world a lot more if we saw it through a toddler’s eyes!
    Natalie recently wrote…The Differences in the Baby BumpsMy Profile

    • July 1, 2012 Alison

      I am trying to do that a lot more. Enjoy and appreciate the little things.

  • July 2, 2012 Kimberly

    My kids spend hours in the water. I love it!
    Kimberly recently wrote…What Is Motherhood?My Profile

    • July 2, 2012 Alison

      It’s the best ‘toy’ ever!

  • July 3, 2012 Robin

    So simple, but I haven’t mastered it. πŸ˜‰
    Robin recently wrote…Random Worries of a Pregnant PPD MomMy Profile

    • July 3, 2012 Alison

      You have, you just don’t realize it. Yet. πŸ™‚

  • July 3, 2012 Jessica

    My girls make me happy. My husband makes me happy. Oh, and sunshine, that makes me happy, too. πŸ™‚
    Jessica recently wrote…I could have been AmishMy Profile

    • July 3, 2012 Alison

      All fabulous things πŸ™‚

  • July 3, 2012 Lady Jennie

    Oh my goodness – our constant mantra is “stop playing with the water!” Forget the buckets. πŸ˜‰

    • July 4, 2012 Alison

      We are at this stage that if something will keep him occupied for more than 5 minutes, he can go ahead and knock himself out doing it! πŸ™‚

  • July 4, 2012 Stasha

    Yep. Or a cardboard box. Life is good like that πŸ™‚
    He is so madly handsome ALison!
    Stasha recently wrote…Wordless WednesdayMy Profile

    • July 5, 2012 Alison

      Thank you my friend.

  • July 6, 2012 Charlotte

    What a beautiful thing, to see the world through the eyes of a child. What I wouldn’t give to experience that kind of innocence again, just briefly πŸ™‚
    Charlotte recently wrote…graduationMy Profile

    • July 6, 2012 Alison

      I try to do that, see things through the eyes of my toddler. It’s refreshing!

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Alison Profile PictureI'm Alison. Writer, a mother of four (two boys and boy/ girl twins), social media enthusiast and book lover. A believer in the power of chocolate and hugs. Chugging coffee as I type. Want to know more?

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