what’s saving my life right now

These past three and a half months have been kicking my butt. And winter sometimes kicks my butt too. It’s always so easy to think about what makes life hard, but what about those small mercies that save our lives in periods of darkness or adversity or sleep deprivation?

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Monster hot chocolate. It’s no secret that I love hot cocoa. Love it. When my mom came to help me after Evelyn was born, we made this hot chocolate mix, and it’s changed my life. I’m kind of not even exaggerating. It’s positively decadent. When Evie showed signs of a dairy sensitivity, I panicked. But I’ve since discovered that cashew milk makes for really good cocoa. Every night I have a cup of cocoa, and it’s divine.

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Couch naps. Evie’s naps are not great. She’ll go down to sleep in a crib just fine, but that nap will last 45 minutes max. We compromise on real naps for the first part of the day, but come mid-afternoon I do what I need to do to maximize her sleep. And that means a couch nap. I swaddle Evelyn, surround myself with remotes, books, and devices, and cozy up on the couch for at least an hour and a half. At first these couch naps frustrated me, because I’d rather that Evie nap well in her own bed (and because I haven’t had reliable alone-time since October). But then I came to accept them. And then I came to love them. Evie will learn to nap eventually, and for now, I get to snuggle her and soak in all her babyness while I can.

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My Tula carrier. Evelyn loves to be held. But I don’t have a third arm. And I do have a toddler. Enter the Tula carrier. A couple of months ago a friend told me about Tula carriers and how they’re the structured carrier for parents who like wraps. (I tried the wrap, and it didn’t do it for me.) I wear Evie in the carrier everyday. I cook in it, I shop in it, I take walks in it. It’s pricey, but worth it. I’d be insane without it.

Podcasts. I listen to podcasts far more than I listen to music. My current favorites are Sorta Awesome, What Should I Read Next?, and The Popcast. Listening to these podcasts gives me a lifeline to other adults with grown-up interests, which is something I need on days when I hear Daniel Tiger songs nonstop.

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Vitamin-D. Oregon is rainy and cloudy and cold during the winter. And I am usually okay with it. I like having an excuse to cozy up indoors with Netflix and stretchy pants. But this year, it’s been hard, especially on Asher. So any day that isn’t raining, we like to get outside, even if just for 30 minutes. Asher has a balance bike that he rides, and I either push Evie in the stroller or wear her in my trusty Tula carrier. Intentional time outside, however brief, has been good for all of us.

What’s saving your life this winter?

I’m linking this post up with Anne at Modern Mrs. Darcy.

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