What’s Working: February 2017

I thought I might start sharing frequent posts about what is working for us right now. Similar to Anne’s What’s Saving My Life, I love the chance to focus on what is working. This is the kind of post I wish I could find–tips on what life with two kids of different ages looks like, some non-sponsored product recommendations, and a heavy dose of optimism. I’ll add one thing for each boy and three of my own.

  1.                              The foyer before

    Redoing our foyer: Each year we try to budget for a home improvement project. This year, we decided to do something small.  After adding a porch to our house, we started using the front door more often. I found that our foyer was really discouraging to me. It was dark (with just a table we put there when we moved and a box for shoes I eventually added) and just felt a little soul-sucking (not to be too dramatic, right?!). So I bought a few things, we hung a mirror and a coat rack, and it feels totally different. We pass it or pass through it dozens of times a day, and it feels frivolous to say so, but it actually makes me happy every time I see it. It also makes it so much easier to hang up coats, put up the kids’ shoes, and store our hammocks. I’ve also never “finished” a space before with all the little extras (like the perfect lamp), and that was super fun (and it’s much more motivating to keep a finished space tidy!).

  2. Hammocks: After my brother bought a hammock, we decided to try one too. We ended up having to get two because Liam loves having his own. We get our dose of Vitamin D, I read aloud to Liam, I watch the kids play, and it all feels so luxurious from a hammock. We store them in a box in our foyer
                               The foyer after

    , so they are always dry and ready, even right after the rain.

  3. Writing by hand: I have struggled to find writing time ever since having kids. Recently I found out how much better I write, how much more frequently I write, and how much more I can actually write when I write by hand. I bought two notebooks and three pens, and I find so many cracks of time to write. I used to think I wrote better using a computer, but I find I actually am so fast at typing that I get ahead of myself and discover less through the process of writing. So handwriting it is. This book really encouraged me to write by hand again. (Also: a computer attracts kids like moths to a flame–I blame the glowing apple).
  4. Liam (3.5 years): I used to be really good at letting Liam help me, even if it took longer. Lately I’ve found myself making excuses and just trying to get something done quickly. So I’m trying to involve him again even if it takes longer or gets messier. And I’m trying to be appreciative of his efforts. We’ve also started home preschool again, and it’s making our days so much better! (If you’re interested, I’m using this curriculum).
  5. Walt (1 year): The learning tower is still a huge help when I’m trying to wash dishes (I give Walt a long-handled spatula and let him play or pour while I work). I also still love the laundry basket for allowing him to stay stable in the bathtub (and prevent crawling!). He has been really fussy and clingy lately, and he loves to climb, which makes life a bit more complicated.

A few recommendations:

  • I recently discovered the Read Aloud Revival podcast, and I love it.
  • I just finished this book and am working on the sequel now.
  • I bought this cream locally and using it on my dry face along with some Vitamin E oil. It’s amazing! I used it all during high school but forgot about it until recently.
  • I’ve signed up for this free 10 minute/day challenge, and I’m excited!

What’s working for you right now?

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