What's Giving Me Life

When this post could easily be titled "What's Sucking the Life Out of Me." Winter illnesses keep going around and around and we've had a rough couple of weeks. But we're holding on because that's all you can do. Here's what's keeping me going (aside from the obvious things).

1. The SUN! It has been springlike lately, and today alone I've clocked about 4 hours in the sun, two with the girls (and more planned after their nap) and two luxurious ones alone during naptime! I always underestimate what an impact weather has on my mood, and despite the aforementioned illnesses, I feel inexplicably happy! Love that Vitamin D.

(Last weekend's trip into the city--Central Park was a huge hit!)

2. Turtlenecks. Because I've been sitting on this post for weeks (nothing new here), this next one doesn't quite go with our spring weather, timing-wise, but I've been on a bit of a turtleneck-buying bender lately, taking advantage of end-of-season sales. My winter "uniform" is black leggings (these, every day. Don't worry, I have multiple pairs) and some kind of cowlneck sweatshirt/tunic number. No frills, comfortable, and practical for my child-wrangling lifestyle.

Recent acquisitions:

This tunic in the gray, which looks more oatmeal in person.

This funnel neck pullover, which Mimi Jeanne called "Sleep sack!" as I pulled it out of the bag (and she's not too far off because it looks and feels like you're wearing a duvet cover and is HEAVENLY on cold days).

I also got a cowl neck tunic in Gap's softspun material--have you felt this? It's my ideal material--drapey, soft, and washes AND dries well. I don't see the tunic online anymore and I got it for about $13, so maybe your local store has one in the sale section? But I also got this hi-lo top in the same material in two colors and they're equally wonderful.

Of the non-turtleneck variety, but also related:

I copied my sister after I saw her wearing this poncho over a long-sleeved shirt.

My mom got herself, Morgan and I this reversible wrap which I LOVE and will own forever.

I'm also a fan of this eyelet-border top which I got to transition to spring.

3. Soups. I can't make enough soup lately, and I think it might be safe to say I've eaten more soup this winter than I have in my whole life combined! I've never been much of a soup person, but that has changed out of practicality, as the other 75% of my family loves it and more importantly, eats it without a fuss!

The other night I made this classic tomato soup (which is a little more time-intensive than I typically bother with but I did it on a Sunday night, doubled the recipe, and froze half without the cream, which I'll add once I defrost it ) and what is typically a maddening 4-minute dinner duration for us lasted, no exaggeration, almost a full hour, complete with classical music, happy children, candles, and angels singing above us. HOPE!

4. These notebooks, which I keep tucked into a basket with some crayons and colored pencils on the girls' little table in the kitchen. Eloise loves having her own notebook, and both girls have an easily accessible art activity that they can reach for while they're waiting for the next meal (and it's no work on my part, which is a plus). I also keep a mini chalkboard and some chalk, a hunk of homemade playdough (below), and a mini matchbox car for Amelia, who loves all things transportation.

5. Good TV. We just finished Downton Abbey and as predicted, I am in mourning. We are also almost finished with The People vs. OJ Simpson on Netflix, which is fascinating! I was too young to know what was going on when the trial was taking place, but I remember my recess aides bringing the radio outside on the day of his sentencing. What to watch next? Recommendations welcomed!

And after soliciting recommendations for age-appropriate kids' shows at Eloise's school, the girls have been watching and loving Sarah and Duck and Puffin Rock and are so happy to have something other than Daniel Tiger, which is mostly all I previously allowed them to watch :) They also LOVE Thomas and Friends, which I had previously thought of as a boys' show, but Amelia especially requests "choo choo" multiple times a day. To her chagrin, we stick with about 30 minutes a day, max, unless someone is sick. So, lots of TV lately :/

6. Third-day hair. I am still going strong with my hair routine, and am still really happy with the results. I also learned that you can train your hair to go longer between washings--did you know this?! I always thought you either had oily hair or dry hair. But after some late-night Googling (still trying to give up this terrible habit--why do I get so curious at 10pm?!) I learned that spacing out washings actually slows down oil production. I hesitantly started going one extra day between washings (I was every other day and now I'm every third) and it did take a couple of weeks for my hair to get the picture, but now it's readjusted and I am loving the time savings! If I get brave I might eventually try to stretch it out another day.

7. And because no post would be complete without me mentioning some kind of health and wellness witchdoctory: Stomach Rescue continues to be a huge lifesaver and peace of mind, and I just restocked our supply. We've needed and used this at least three times in the past month or two, and I never want to be without it! I have no idea how it works, but I know that what would have been full-blown stomach bugs are reduced to either nothing or a mild incident.

What's been saving your life lately?

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