Tag Archives: snow

She Says… Raising An Olympian

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Since Owen still couldn’t go to school on Friday (he only had a teeny tiny patch of the rash that Emmett had all over his body, but since I knew what it was I was NOT going to send him to school and spread it to his friends), we decided to hightail it out of town for a little mini-vacay to Grammy and Grampy’s house in New Hampshire.

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The mountain air does a body (and mind) good.

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Usually we drive in the afternoon and I spend a lot of the drive stressing about if Owen is sleeping or not, and what do we do about nap when we get there, etc. This time we decided to leave as early in the morning as possible to capitalize on Emmett’s morning nap and so we didn’t have to worry about Owen napping in the car at all (and if he fell asleep, I’d count it as his nap anyway since we are working on reducing nap time little by little for him). As it turned out, it was a brilliant move and everyone was pretty happy the whole way. Definitely our most successful drive yet (THANK GOODNESS for a baby who actually *likes* riding in the car… it is such a change from what Owen was like as a baby that it shocks me every time).

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It was a weekend of skiing and enjoying the (hopefully) last of the snow! Saturday we went cross country skiing.

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Owen did great, but proved that enjoying cross country skiing is likely something you have to grow into… “I don’t want to just WALK everywhere, Mommy!”.

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He was a good sport and gave it a really good try (his balance is quite impressive for a 3 year old!), but it wasn’t his favorite activity.

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Grammy and Grampy were generous to help share the kid-duty. Grampy continued skiing with Owen and Grammy watched Emmett for the morning so Benjamin and I could get a few hours of solo (duo?) skiing in. It was one of the most beautiful days I’ve ever seen; conditions were perfect and the sunshine felt like a warm spring day.

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Sunday we went downhill skiing. THIS is Owen’s favorite. The kid is a SPEED DEMON and prefers to go straight down the hill, skis parallel, and not slow down or stop.

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We joked all day about how we had to take lots of pictures and video for the “Raising an Olympian” video they will undoubtedly need to make when he is an Olympic skier.

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Once again Benjamin and I got a few hours of kid-free ski time. It was so much fun to be out being active together.

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As with many of us, Owen’s favorite favorite part of the ski weekend was the apres ski. Aka hot tub time.

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He practiced dunking and swimming and jumping and splashing. Dude is so ready for summer when he can actually do those things for real. Weirdly, it seems like he somehow learned to swim (or at least greatly advanced his skills) with absolutely zero practice since last summer. We practically had to force him out.

An added bonus of the weekend away was that the time change passed us by without any issues at all (we were all so exhausted that everyone slept well at night, and our days/naps were all a bit different from our home routine anyway). Though it’s only been a couple days, we have definitely used the time change to our advantage and the early morning waking issue seems to be eliminated. No jinxies!

Now we’re back. Laundry is going. Kids are BOTH at school (and fingers are crossed we actually get a full week with no sick days for any of us!). Bodies are recharged and ready. It was just what the doctor ordered.

She Says… Stranded

Or, thankfully, NOT stranded. Yet.

I’m running a work event in New York this week. Given that the weather reports showed that Mother Nature was about to puke ice and snow all over the East Coast this morning, I opted to hightail it out of Boston and down to NYC last night instead of this morning as planned. Turns out that was a good call, as there’s no way I would have made it here if I was traveling this morning.

That “good call”, however, left Benjamin at home to get the kids to school in the snowstorm (they were still open! Hallelujah!) before heading to work (IMPOSSIBLE). You know what’s tricky? Going outside to shovel snow when you have a 3 year old and a baby at home. It’s dicey to leave them inside alone, but it’s also nearly impossible to hold, or even wear, the baby while you shovel. And let’s just say that Owen’s “helping” doesn’t usually equal helping. Luckily our driveway is a downhill from our garage to the road, so in the worst case scenario you can roll out and get the kids to school, and then come back home and deal with snow removal.

So I woke up this morning to icy rain and slush in New York City, thankful that I only have to walk 1 block to get to my office. Benjamin did get the kids to school successfully (go Daddy!), but called me from the parking lot to say that he might not be able to get home, as he was totally stuck in his parking spot on the way out. Womp womp.

I’m sad to be missing the big storm (I kind of love getting snowed in, despite the inconveniences) and feel guilty leaving Benjamin to clean up the mess on his own. But I am so happy to be “stranded” in a nice hotel in NYC with no plans to travel in this swirling vortex of snowflakes for a couple of days!

On our “home day” on Monday I got to enjoy a couple inches of snow with the boys. That was only scratching the surface of what this storm is supposed to bring (14″!).

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(Side note: See those mittens? Buying a brand new pair of totally huge, totally ugly mittens that Owen picked out himself seemed to solve his mitten issues. For now.)

Happy Snow Day to those on the East Coast, and Happy Freezing Day to many others! Stay safe and warm. And please send all of your best snow-removal thoughts to my husband, stranded at home with two little crazy people.

She Says… An Ode to Wrinkles (And Being 3)

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Oh wrinkles.

How you ignite such passionate ‘tude in my once-tough and flexible child.

No more. No. Now a tiny little wrinkle in his socks… or his pants… or his long sleeved shirt under his jacket… or his mittens — don’t even get me started on his mittens — turns him into a whining, screaming, tantrum-throwing mess. A puddle of conflicting emotions that somehow renders him completely incapable of using his astonishingly large vocabulary.

Maybe it’s my fault. My fault for living somewhere that requires that we wear a jacket for a good portion of the year, and boots, hat and mittens from November to March. Or that I get giddy as a schoolkid when I see the first snowflakes falling and can’t wait to get the whole family outside to feel them melt on our tongues. Maybe it’s my fault that I have encouraged him to enjoy shoveling the driveway with his tiny shovel, or making up games like sliding down the slide on his swingset into a huge pile of snow.

Because you know what? NONE of these things are fun if your three year old is blubbering over his clothes.

Or won’t leave the house because his boots “aren’t right”.

Or flailing his body around madly when his snowpants lift up his pant legs.

Once upon a time, not so long ago, I would have described Owen as resilient, open, flexible, tough. So tough that he doesn’t even bat an eyelash when he cracks his head on the floor while doing some silly stunt or has a fever of 102. But lately mere mention of putting on mittens melts him into a helpless heap. (Mittens, by the way, have to go OVER the ends of a long-sleeved shirt and UNDER the sleeves of his coat. If either of them get pulled up or down or sideways, IT’S ALL OVER).

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We got a dump of snow a few days ago that was fluffy and light and glittery. We talked about sledding for days while the temp hovered around 0 (and below). Finally, on Sunday the sun came out and the air warmed up and it was sledding perfection.

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You know, except for the fact that we couldn’t even get out the door because of the tantrum Owen was throwing over his clothes. Again. Finally in a desperate effort to meet our friends and actually have fun (YOU WILL HAVE FUN, DAMMIT), I said, “Fine. Don’t wear any mittens. I will bring them just in case and you can let me know when your hands are cold.”

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The stubborn kid would not wear his mittens, no matter how cold he got. Our sweet friend even offered her kid’s mittens for him to try, and although that perked him up slightly, he didn’t go for it. So after a few runs of AWESOME sledding down a HUGE hill, he returned to his blubbering, whiny state. The perfect way to pretty much ruin a day of fun!

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Benjamin’s parents are probably giggling reading this, because apparently he was famous for this same wardrobe issue. Especially with his socks. “Particular” does not even begin to describe it. So I guess Owen comes by it honestly. But honestly? That doesn’t make it any easier to deal with.

Anyone else have “particular” children? Any tips for me for how to help him with the wrinkles (other than wearing a spandex suit from head to toe? I’d like that invented to go under snowclothes, please…)?

She Says… Snowpacolypse 2013

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The way the meteorologists talked up last Friday’s snowstorm, you would have thought they were predicting the end of the world. “Stay inside your homes!” “Stock up on supplies!” “Expect the worse!”.

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Though their drama was probably unnecessary, the weather maps along were enough to tell me that a biiiiig snowstorm was on the way, it was probably going to take more than a day or two to get everyone shoveled out and back to normal, and there was a high likelihood of power outages due to heavy snow on branches and power lines.

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The storm was crazy. And by crazy, I mean crazy fun. I absolutely loved watching the snow fall so hard and fast that I could barely see out the window. The accumulation grew inch by inch until we measured nearly 30″ in our backyard! It was so gorgeous to see the whole neighborhood white and silent.

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Shoveling out was another story (read: NOT as fun!), but I still loved how the snowstorm dictated that everyone hunker down at home. There was literally nothing you could do except sit and wait and watch. It was lovely.

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And then when the snow stopped? We spent just about every waking moment playing outside in it. The snow was nearly as tall as Owen, so just taking a walk was a hilarious adventure.

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Here we are 3 days later and the roads are still a mess. I can’t say that I mind. It’s been so much fun! (And, we’ve had power the whole time. If I were dealing with this storm sans electricity I would have a VERY different mindset.).

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Hope everyone stayed safe and warm!

She Says… Snow Day!

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This, friends. THIS is why I love living in New England.

Last winter we barely got any of this fluffy white stuff. This year looks like it may be similar, except that we got a nice 6+” dump last Saturday night. Owen was as thrilled as I was to go play in it.

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We grabbed our sled from last year (which he is almost growing out of now) and headed out for a walk. The streets had already been plowed by Sunday morning, so we had to search out snow so I could drag the sled.

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We quickly realized that we live a very short block away from one of the best little kid sledding hills in our town.

Well, I really have no idea if it’s really the best, but it certainly was crowded (and convenient), so it worked for us.

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As soon as Owen watched “the big boys” sliding down the hill, he wanted to try it. The little daredevil didn’t blink an eye at being pushed down a HUGE hill without much direction.

In fact, he LOVED it. He loved it so much that once he got to the bottom, he bailed out of the sled face first, grabbed his sled (just like “the big boys”) and hiked his tiny little legs back up the hill shouting, “I WANNA DO IT ‘GAIN!”.

He could have done it all day.

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It was AWESOME. I didn’t get to go down the hill myself this time (I figured even though it’s a relatively small hill, sledding probably isn’t the safest activity while pregnant), but watching the joy in Owen’s face as the wind turned his little cheeks pink was enough for me.

I was so proud to watch him, so tiny, holding his own on the sledding hill with kids much older than him. He even stopped at the bottom and chatted with some of the other kids before pulling his sled back up. I couldn’t hear what they were saying, but the idea of him stopping to have a conversation with another kid just cracks me up.

Watch him in action!

She Says… Bundled

Last night we FINALLY got some snow around here. (Umm, yeah, not counting that strange pre-Halloween snow that we got in October). I didn’t even know it was supposed to snow, and (rather embarrassingly) went to bed before it started last night, so I was shocked to see the ground covered in white when I woke up this morning! It was a decent “first snow”, too. Usually the first snow gets me all excited and then ends up being a lame dusting that turns to ice. But this was a few good inches of nice, fluffy stuff. The perfect amount — all of the ground was covered but the shoveling was easy, and there was no ice.

I opened the door to let the dog out this morning and squealed to Owen, “Snowwwwwww!”. He promptly said, “BUH bye” and tried to close the door. Ha! But once we got him bundled and ready to go to school he was shouting “Noooooo” right along with me.

Prior to the snow, though, this weekend was BITTER. That kind of biting, harsh cold where the wind seems to cut through all of your clothes and pierce your skin. When just being outside stings and any exposed skin is swollen and cracked.

We’re struggling with bundling up. Well, let me rephrase that. OWEN is struggling with bundling up.

He still adores going outside. He will stand at the back door to our deck, face plastered on the window, and whine, “Ayyoh! Ayyoh!” (Note: I have no idea why he still says some words totally incorrectly, even though he says nearly 200 words relatively clearly. Outside is one of them.). We need to walk Schnitzel anyway, so we’re outside at least once a day for a good stretch.

But then he refuses to wear his “Nyeh nyeh” (mittens).

Which is fine for a little while. But then when his skin gets all red and puffy, he holds his hands up and cries. And won’t put on mittens and won’t tuck his sad hands under the blanket and won’t let me hold them or blow on them to warm them up. Then our walk is over. And if we’re not home yet? He whines and sniffles and whimpers the rest of the way. So I end up stressed, power walking and dragging the dog the rest of the way.

You’d think he’d learn just to keep his darn mittens on!

We’ve been doing his regular clothes + fleece onesie (see above) + winter coat + boots + mittens + hat + blanket over him in the stroller. I have a set of bib overalls for when we play in the snow, but usually that seems like overkill. I use the cover on the stroller when we go for walks when the air is painfully cold (like this past weekend). I call it “the bubble” and made him think it’s a super fun treat to get to “ride in the bubble”, so he’s cool with being zipped in. For now. We’ll see how long THAT lasts.

The mittens thing is beginning to make me a little crazy. We’ve been using just cotton mittens, but unfortunately he can easily bite those off (even with mitten clips). I’m thinking I need some heavy duty ski mittens that go halfway up his arms so he can’t take them off. Anyone ever seen anything like that?

Do your kids wear tolerate mittens? Even a hat is a struggle with Owen, so I’m still squeezing his growing head into a small, 9-month old hat we have with a velcro chin strap. What can I say? The kid has a small head. So far he hasn’t figured out how to tear that off. At least not when he’s wearing his mittens.

He Says… Snow Day

We had our first snowfall in Boston the other day, so we took Owen outside to see his first flakes.  We only got a light dusting, but it was still very pretty.  Of course, we had to document the occasion.