Tag Archives: winter

It never. stops. snowing.

I tweeted this the other day, but I seriously feel like I am the only person in the northern half of the US who isn’t sick to death of snow by now.  We got another 4″  or so overnight, and with today’s shoveling the drifts are officially higher than our car.  I’d take a picture but I haven’t been outside yet (Jeff missed the bus and drove himself to work).  I think Simes and I are going to take Roxie on a walk later, though, because despite the snow it’s actually not super cold.

Let’s see…it’s been over a week since I posted.  What’s been going on?

I finished an AWESOME project and am dying to show it off but I have to keep it under wraps for a while yet (the recipient checks in here every now and again).  I’m also trucking along on Jeff’s mansocks (yawwwwnnnnnn) and when I finish those I’m going to reward myself by FINALLY casting on for Catkin.  I’ll only be, like, the last person on earth to knit it.  I have some yummy Dyeabolical Tenacious Tencel fingering weight set aside for it.  It’ll be the first thing I’ve knit for myself since, well, those stripey knee socks (which are now hibernating) that I cast on right before we moved to Ohio.  SOMEONE (a pointed look in Simon’s direction) has severely curtailed my knitting time, what with his need for “food” and “diapers” and “stories” and “playing” and “interaction”.  Jeez.

We managed to get our act together and hit storytime on Thursday.  These storytimes are SO much better than the one we went to in LA.  More chaotic, but more fun.  Also, there are at least 4 other pregnant moms in the toddler group (plus the teacher/librarian, too).  I’d try to make friends if I weren’t so damn shy.  And of course the kids are still a little too young to really play with each other, so there’s not even really the whole “hey your kid and my kid like to play together! Want to come to our house for a playdate?” opening.  Ah well.  Moving in 6 months anyway; I’ll just try harder to make more friends in our next city.

Simon was LOVING the tunnels during the free play time:

After storytime was over we weren’t quite ready to go home but didn’t have any errands to do, so I called Jeff and asked if we could take him to lunch (one of the benefits of living 5 minutes down the road from his work!).  We also seized the opportunity to get official “helping Daddy at work” pictures for this office:

Simon is terribly helpful, you see.

Because Jeff and I are boring and old, we didn’t make any plans for Valentine’s Day.  But then it turned out that Sarah was free, and there was a showing of the Lego Movie that ended before Simon’s bedtime, and when the stars align so perfectly you can’t just not take advantage of it.  So we ditched the baby and went on a romantic date to see a kid’s movie (lol).  AND IT WAS AWESOME.  It’s one of those movies that really truly isn’t just a kid’s movie or a grownup movie.  I really can’t remember the last time I liked a movie so well.  Can’t wait to get it on Blu-Ray and share it with Simes when he’s a bit older 🙂

On Saturday we decided to head up to Cleveland and visit the children’s museum, since our last couple of family adventures have been more grownup oriented (the Akron art museum doesn’t really hold a lot of entertainment value for the under-2 set ;-)).  It was a little bit expensive for the three of us to get in ($8/person, even though there wasn’t really anything even remotely interesting for grownups), but Simon LOVED the whole thing so I guess he got $24 worth of fun out of it for all of us.  (Seriously though – since kids get reduced/free admission to a lot of grownup events, doesn’t it seem like grownups should get it for kid events?  It’s not like Jeff and I were personally enriched by the fake grocery store or fire truck setups).

Here is where I spam you, big time.  Sorry (not sorry).

We spent the first half hour or so in a play area that was done up like a farm, for the really young crowd:

Simon spent most of his efforts repeatedly mowing the carpet, but he also took a turn on the tumbling/crawling mats and played with the silo/crops activity.  At one point when we’d just been there for a few minutes, Jeff and I were watching him play and Jeff said to me:  “See how he’s over playing all alone?  I wish he’d play with the other kids.”  I told Jeff, “What do you think we’re doing?”  We looked around and sure enough, across the room was a cluster of other parents all socializing, while we were off in the opposite corner with our arms crossed.

 

At least we know where he gets it 😛

Also, one of the moms in the room was wearing a “flags of the confederacy” t-shirt with camo pants and combat boots.  I’m not sure they would’ve been our type, anyway.

More than the farm area, though, Simes loved the suspension bridge that was in the “city” (bank/grocery store/doctor’s office area):

After a few hesitant steps, he was trotting back and forth across it like a pro.

But the best thing of ALL was the water activity.  This thing was so cool, even as a grownup.  (Maybe I did get my $8 worth after all)

They had rain jackets in every size and step stools for the little ones, and Simon immediately cozied up to the table and set to work.

For a while, his primary occupation consisted of holding his arm over a spout and sending water jetting up his sleeve (so much for the cute little rain jacket).

Explaining his master plan to Daddy:

They had a bunch of bath and pool toys, magnetic fishing poles and random floaties:

 

Further upstream (we were at the downstream end) there were more complicated things set into the table – mechanical water wheels, locks, etc. – but those were arranged at a higher level (apparently for older kids and, you know, gravity) so we didn’t mess with them too much.  Not gonna lie, I sort of wanted to go play, but Jeff wouldn’t let me shove 6-year-olds out of the way.

Once the little dude was thoroughly waterlogged and getting cranky, we headed home (after a full wardrobe change in the car, of course).  He conked out before we even made it onto the highway.  Success!

Sunday was quiet – Jeff judged a mock trial thing and we ran out for haircuts and FroYo – and that was our weekend!  Just right 🙂

We’ve officially reached the stage where I adore sleepy Simon pictures more than ever, as they belie the sheer chaos that encircles his every waking moment.  I look at pictures like this and he’s just so quiet and peaceful and I love it.  But then he wakes up and we go spin in circles and play fetch with the dog and build  massive block towers just to kick them down, and that’s even more fun.

Isn’t he just utterly kissable?

This afternoon we’re making 12-grain sandwich bread:

I use this recipe and Bob’s Red Mill 12-grain cereal, which makes the whole thing so easy that most of the time it’s honestly more convenient than going to the store.  And it tastes like a gazillion times better too, because DUH.  (Also I add 2T each of vital wheat gluten and soy lecithin, because I can.  It also helps the dough have a little more resilience, while still being soft and tender.  Come to think of it, I could use some vital wheat gluten and soy lecithin for myself. :-P)

And now I need to go tend to my dough and build some of those aforementioned block towers.  Hi-YA!

And then the sun shone upon my pasty skin and I shriveled up and died

I was all set to bitch about how St. Louis’s total snowfall for winter 2011-12 is going to end up being something stupid like 5″, but then I cruised by The Spohrs Are Multiplying and Heather mentioned that it was 88* in LA last week and suddenly I just can’t complain about a ‘mere’ 5″ annual snowfall.

 

I may not survive a whole year in California, y’all.  For real.  I may not.

 

Last week one of my coworkers was like, “Kate, I will laugh so hard if you get out to LA and you start to get tan and dye your hair blonde and start driving everywhere and stuff.  I wouldn’t be surprised.”

 

And I just looked at him, the long, silent dead-eyed stare of ‘oh surely you do not really think that. I mean, do you even know me?’

 

As you, my true friends and compatriots, all know, I will indeed not spend my time in LA getting a boob job and Tweeting about celebrity sightings in Starbucks.  I may, in fact, gleefully string a year-long paper chain around our apartment there, counting down the days until we get to go somewhere with proper seasons.

 

I can’t wait.

 

I mean, I can’t even process the thought of enduring nearly ninety-degree weather in the middle of winter.  What do you do with that? Seriously?  Do you run the a/c year round?  When do you wear boots and sweaters?  How can you appreciate the beauty of the seasons and enjoy watching them change if they never change?

 

I just don’t get it.  And I don’t especially want to get it, but I’m about to get it so I guess I’ll just shut up and get it.

 

That is to say, yay for year-round growing seasons and ambitious plans to can all the things!

 

(And in the meantime – anybody have some fun suggestions of more ways an introverted Midwesterner can fill a year in LA?)

Duluth material

Oh, St. Louis.  You never fail to surprise me.

 

 

This was Saturday.

 

 

You can’t go wrong with a giant, fluffy, late March snow.

 

 

If I were living in my utopian homestead yet, I’d call it a sugar snow and go start boiling my maple sugar into syrup.

 

Alas, I have no maple trees, (actually, I have no trees at all) and thus must settle for an agave/maple blend from Trader Joe’s.

 

I love heavy snow.  Especially when it falls onto my shawl.

 

 

Please don’t ever go away, winter.  I’ll miss you.

 

Dusting sugar crevasse

This past Saturday, I wanted to go to the mall.  I wanted to buy a tailored waistcoat, and Jeff needs a suit, and it was free pretzel day.  That was our plan, and it was a good plan.

But like many good plans, it didn’t end up happening.  “Free pretzel” turned into “Oooh let’s eat at Fitz’s!” and “mall” turned into the Powder Valley nature center.  Practically the same thing, yes?

They have a few short (we took the longest one – and it was only 1 1/2 miles), easy trails (hilly, but all paved), and a big nature center:

Jeff’s favorite thing in the entire world is inside this nature center!

(Umm…that’s a map. Y’know.  ‘Cause he likes maps.  A lot.  Probably more than he likes me.)

Guess what else they have inside the nature center?

Telescopes! (I told Jeff that if you have to crouch over double to play with one of the exhibits, you’re *probably* not in the intended age group.)

Guess what else they have?

Unfortunately named signs!  (Hi, I’m Kate and I’m a 12-year-old boy.  You knew this.)

Guess what they have in this unfortunately-named area?

Fiberglass fish heads! (I think this needs to go on Facebook.  Don’t you agree?)

Guess what they have right by the entrance?

Attack deer! (Sort of like Sue the Attack Dinosaur from a couple weeks ago.  And again, Jeff didn’t suspect a thing.)

I like guessing games.

OK now I know this is gonna sound really crazy, but I LOVE the Missouri woods in winter.  I mean, they’re fine in spring and summer (and autumn is my favorite!), but there’s just something about winter…

I think it’s because we always went to Watkins Mill or Lake of the Ozarks State Park in the wintertime as a kid, so seeing the leaf-covered ground and dormant trees reminds me of those times.  And then I have half a mind to hop on my pink bicycle with no training wheels thank-you-very-much and pedal ’till I hear my dad’s whistle telling me to stop and wait for everyone else to catch up.  And while I’m waiting I’ll eat some Shark Bites and try to feed one to a squirrel 🙂
So even though you could hear – and see – (UGH) I-44 through the trees, it kinda took me back, just a bit.

(though this adventure really just made me sad about lock-step suburbanized ‘fun’, too.  Much of St. Louis does that to me.)

Like any good park, Powder Valley has a stream:

See that stick? There in the water?  THAT WAS MINE.  I found it on the ground and I was carrying it and spanking Jeff with it and hitting it on trees and generally just having a Grand Ol’ Time and then Jeff TOOK IT and he THREW IT right into the water. Poophead.

Goodbye forever, Stick.  It was nice knowing you.  Go, become one with the water.

You know what else is nice?

BOOTS.  HOT DAMN I LOVE MY BOOTS.

With the winter mostly over, I think we need to check out some other great local parks.  Hopefully next time it’ll be one that allows wotten goggies.  (PV is completely dog-free, which I think is stupid.  Why have a park that doesn’t allow leashed dogs?  Even wotten ones?)

PS > Keep posting your KITCHEN-RIGHT-THIS-INSTANT photos! I’m loving them 🙂