|February Art of the Month project
* I'm growing little seedlings inside to get ready for our garden. I did this once in Provo, but not since, and it's been so fun each day to check on our little plants with Porter and see what is sprouting and growing. I think I'm probably doing it all wrong (I heard 'The Garden Guy' on the radio last weekend tell that the right time to plant squashes inside for Logan is the end of April...) but it's just so fun to watch those little seeds grow!
* We refinanced our mortgage and it worked out so super. Our payment is the same each month, but we went from our 30 year (24 years left) to a 15 year mortgage. (We paid down the balance a bit, dropped the PMI, and lowered our interest rate to get the same monthly payment) It has been a few months, but since I haven't yet set up auto-pay I'm still looking at the statements each month, and it just makes me happy to see so much more money going toward the principle now!
* I started using real butter on my toast in the morning. I always thought that if I left butter out, it would go rancid before we could use it all. Then on a recent trip, we bought some butter and I realized we could use a stick of butter pretty quickly! I think I'm the only one who uses it now, but it is still just fine. And I kind of feel like I've conquered one of my fears (I'm so brave, I leave my butter unrefrigerated!)
* I made the kids some mix-tape CD's for their little Valentine's Day bags, and I have loved sharing some of my favorite music with them. It makes me so happy when we listen in the car and they sing along or say "go to #9!" or whichever. (That's 'going the distance' by Cake by the way :)
* Orange juice smoothies. Since I got my braces, salads have seemed like kind of a pain to eat. So instead, I've been having an orange juice smoothie every day with lunch and it's my favorite thing to eat each day. (orange, banana, carrot, spinach/kale, yogurt, oj, vanilla)
* A decent go-to hair solution. I remember when Ellie was a baby, I got a bad haircut that was also shorter than I had hoped, so I pretty much just pulled my hair back for about a year until it grew out. But looking back I think, even if I'd loved my hair I still would have pulled it back every day because I had a little baby. A year or so ago (perfect timing!), I learned how to do an inside-out kind of braid that I like, and when I'm pulling my hair back most days it makes me feel like I'm still kind of put-together.
* Shampoo as body wash. I've always used body wash in the shower (instead of soap) and whenever I had to replace it, I always felt kind of annoyed at how expensive it was! (Because I use 89 cent shampoo, so $3 for body wash was three times the price!) At some point, we ran out of body wash and it took me so long to replace it that we just kept using shampoo in it's place and then I finally realized that was just a brilliant solution, so that's just what we do now and it just makes me happy (Last time I went to buy shampoo, I saw "shampoo, conditioner & body wash in one! "And I thought they probably did nothing different to their formula, they just put a different sticker on the front!)
* An extra-large wrap for Isaac. Isaac was outgrowing our favorite wrap that he loved to sleep in, but he still slept much better all swaddled up. Really quickly before naptime one day I cut apart the old wrap and sewed in some fleecy fabric to make it longer and wider -- and it was super wonky, but it worked just perfectly and I love wrapping him up in this funny mismatched little wrap! (He's sleeping arms-out these days though so it's just about time for the wrap to retire)
* A few little homework solutions. Owen has these 'fluency pages' he does each day to practice letters, sounds, and sight words. For the first month or so of school, these were just kind of torture because Owen would get so distracted between each...letter... on... the... page... So I turned it into a timed challenge and now each page takes about 30 seconds and it's his favorite part of homework. Ellie was getting super worn out from her homework too each week, so we just changed things up a bit a few weeks ago and it's been much happier for her. (Things like finger spelling and typing her words instead of writing them all 3 times, and drawing pictures about her sentences instead of re-writing them)
* Using a check at the store -- I went to check out at Lee's this morning and realized at the last minute that I'd left all my cards at home. I asked them to hold my groceries for me and thought through the morning's schedule for when I could come back with my card to pay. As I was walking out, I realized I did have my check book -- hooray! And guess what? I asked for a pen, and the cashier said 'oh, you don't have to fill it out, we just run it through our machine kind of like a debit card' -- cool, right?