I know three are people out there blogging a theme for the entire alphabet. I’m just morphing what I would normally write into alphabetical format 🙂 Today I’m going to pretend that that its 3 things thursday because I like the exercise of a list of things that make me happy, and, I’m going to do it with the theme of the letter O. In clicking around I found an insightful post about the Gratitude movement and how it is galling in many ways. I tend to agree with some of her points, I’m more of an optimist and a bright side looker rather than ‘at least I’m better than…’ comparison person. I think the differences in those are probably subtle but for me, counting the positives really does brighten a situation and that is what 3 things thursday is about for me.
#1 – Open door weather. Open door, open window, open toes! It is 72 degrees, sunny, slight breeze and a perfect style day. Weather does make a difference and I’m so glad the perfect not too hot, not too cold time is here
#2 – Oreo. I try to bake all the treats as a way to cut down on how many I eat. Oreo’s are a notable exception because I have no idea how I could make one and I love to eat them. Most days we have a cookie break around 3, post nap – pre bus, and we call someone on facetime to have our cookie break with. This is so regular that my one nephew calls me Aunt Cookie because he gets a cookie when I call (and maybe I gave him a bunch when I visit). Oreos have held a special spot over the years but right now they mean taking to my mom or sister and a little sweet break.
#3 – Opinions. I might forget names but I tend to remember dates and April 17-19 will always be a time I remember the start of the American Revolution. It was fought for many reasons and the right to have my own opinion is one of them. The Unites States has evolved in a good way where people feel free, sometimes obligated, to express their opinion on all things. I like to listen, my mind has been changed, usually I get a better understanding of things and sometimes I get utterly confused on the issue because of too many conflicting yet logical opinions. Right now cultural appropriation is the one I’m most conflicted on. Its in the news and on facebook and causing good discussion but I honestly DO NOT KNOW what is right. For me, in my opinion, if I do something from another culture it is because I like it and it works. Why do I have to stay in my tiny box? The world is out there! There is a youtube on how-to anything from sari draping to polish sausage making. I don’t particularly identify with being Irish since I grew up in the US in the middle of Long Island where you don’t have to look far to find some other culture/religion. Things I thought were absolutely normal, like lox on a bagel, are foreign concepts here in the midwest. Apparently I have a huge chunk of yiddish in my vocabulary that I had NO IDEA was anything but normal slang until I moved here and nobody had a clue. I’m glad that I have the right to talk and listen, but, it would be honestly easier if there was some ‘decision’ on what was the ‘right’ way (but then someone would be mad I’m sure)
The O words that make me happy, or at least thoughtful, this week~
It seems way too early for this and I was hopeful that we would snap out of it but instead of it going away the cold seems to be taking over the entire US (except for FL and HI 😛 )
Here in MN it isn’t all that big a deal because our houses are built and we have plenty of warm clothing, but, but all my southern friends are in potentially worse situations even if they are 30 degrees warmer because freezing is still freezing. (funny story, I went to china and had to watch my packing so I only brought a light jacket figuring I was used to -10 their 30 degrees would feel balmy. #1 China does not heat all their building and really don’t heat their factories #2 I now own a chinese thermal outfit #3 I’m a giant in china, I had to buy an XXXL) According to Weatherbell.com it was a record low in far too many places this week…. I fear to read more on her site but this was a good article…
This post is far less for my neighbors in MN or even NY but for all my blog friends and readers in the southern states. Here are some tips I hope help;
1. Really close your windows. You might think they are closed but make sure the lock is locked, even a tiny crack is drafty.
2. Curtains help insulate, sunlight helps heat. Figure out when you get lots of light and open blinds, shut them tight if there is no sun or at night. If you don’t have thick curtains for a bad cold spell hang something up like a blanket just for the short term.
3. Roll up blanket or towels to put along the bottom edges of exterior doors.
4. After doors and windows, walk around and feel for drafts. We had a major draft from our fuse box and also a light switch on an exterior wall. Try to cover or insulate wherever you can but just know weird things might be drafty (especially if your house was not built for freezing).
5. Keep a (few) faucet(s) dripping all night. Moving water is less likely to freeze. If you want to conserve, stick a container under the drip and use it the next day for your coffee maker or the cats water. No need to waste but way better then a frozen burst pipe
6. Put thought into your footwear when you are going out. If you own boots, just bring them, just in case you need to walk for help. Might also be good to put a blanket in your car just in case
7. If you are in a house NOT built for cold, check out your furnace. It might be better to set your thermostat at something low like 60 so your system isn’t overburdened. If it is 15 or 20 degrees outside, your system is making your house 40 degrees warmer (if it is at 60). Think about the summer, you set your AC at 75, how often is the outside over 100? That is only cooling 25 degrees…. If your cold, put on a sweater.
8. Wear layers. It really is warmer to wear 4 thinner layers then one bulky one. Tights under pants, tank tops under shirt, under sweater… Wear a hat
9. Electric blankets. This is down the list since it is not free, but, a cozy electric blanket makes beds very nice.
10. On the subject of beds – any kid mattress that is covered in plastic will be COLD. Put a warm blanket under their sheet and forgo cute pjs and just dress them in sweat pants and sweat shirt and socks if you know they are not going to stay under covers.
Those are my tips to make cold a bit more comfortable. Stay safe and warm!
ps. took me 20 days to resort to weather for a blog post 🙂 tomorrow…. my cat!
I’m mid ‘thing’ on many many things that I’m not quite sure what to do…
The deck is waiting on 48h of sun in the forecast and that isn’t happening this week.
The birthday party is basically shopped for and I still need to make cupcakes and frosting but can’t really do that too far in advance. We also need to get balloons, scoop ice cream (the best party tip ever! Pre scoop ice cream into cupcake wrappers and keep (covered) in a cupcake pan in the freezer. Take out at party time and Vola! no waiting, no annoying scooping while 10 kids are sugaring themselves up) I suppose I can make the treat bags but that really is not a big deal and we are semi unsure of how many people are coming. I’m positive on 4 kids (plus my 3) so I’m going to just make for 10 since I have a ‘firm maybe’ and then a bunch of people that never answered. Zoe’s most desired guest is coming so that is really all that matters!
My sisters wedding is on the horizon and I finished my one major task of creating this flower girl dress.
Don’t give me too much credit – it is actually a flower girl dress from my wedding that I took out all the blue flowers and added coral and changed the ribbon and we are set.
I’m lucky that she picked this dress (a style I totally love btw) and that my friend kept the dress that was her daughters. There are close to the wedding things on the list but can’t do them here or now so I wait until the right time.
I’m waiting on the bread in the oven so I can’t really leave… it is also pouring rain so no lunch hottub.
There are dull things to do like clean my desk or clean a number of other things but I plowed through the bills and things that had to get done yesterday so everything else can be easily procrastinated. I do have a few sewing projects but I am generally busy for the next few days that I would just be pulling out the stuff to leave a mess because I won’t have time to finish. Tomorrow we are going to a cool petting zoo, Saturday party, Sunday mothers day, Monday normal Monday but should start packing, then Wedding extravaganza! Then home again.
There is just a weird feeling right now that I SHOULD be doing something but everything I can remember is either done, can’t do yet, or don’t really need/want to do. I’ll just eat lunch I suppose and get ready for the afternoon.
The weather… blah… thats all there is to it. I’m glad I have a boat load of Polaris stock still because there is one thing Polaris loves and that is SNOW. I’m sure the guys there are even getting tired of it though. I do wonder how they are doing now and then but as long as the stock goes up I’m happy.
Anyway, despite the weather I went easter shopping. Last year I saw the cool idea of putting one (or a few) puzzle pieces in each plastic egg so when they get all the eggs they can make the puzzle. Niamh and Zoe both love puzzles and I’m sure we can keep Fiona from eating too many pieces and I scored a Dora 100 piece puzzle for $1 at WalMart. I’m sure I over spent in a way, but, I invested in baskets this year. Other years I’ve gotten cheap baskets or used ones we had but that was because I didn’t want to get matching nice baskets until I knew we had all the kids. I better not have jinxed myself but now we have 3 cute coordinating baskets for 3 cute coordinating girls. All the same size, each with a different liner. Other then that we got the sand toys for the season and a stuffed animal and a bit of candy and Lars is contributing video games because in his childhood he remembers jelly beans and nintendo games. (we got wii but same theory).
I also believe we have FINISHED the EPIC search for a flower girl dress. It took longer to find a flower girl dress then it did to find any other dress in this wedding. However thanks to the power of pinterest, texting, and facetime and the internet we have it done. I also procured my shoes and shoes for Niamh… it was a productive and not as expensive as it could have been day. I also, you know, worked a bit – I have my social media job for this client wired pretty tight now so I have my eyes open for someone new. I would LOVE a bar or something like that because I have some cool ideas but I’ll see who comes along. On the random job front I also had a decent phone interview with the chair of the business department so maybe in the spring she might need me. Nothing like plans 8 months out for me to completely forget about them so I will not be disappointed because it won’t be on my mind, or, I’ll get a great surprise around Thanksgiving – who knows!
The house is not ship shape but easter is just us and it can be nice and mellow and over the next few days I’ll peck away at it. Friday we have plans and Thursday too so this was the ‘relaxing’ day of the week. I didn’t end up napping but I did go to bed last night at 10:30 and NOBODY and NOCAT and NOTHING woke me up until 6:30 and I feel nicely refreshed.
I didn’t forget about a review of the weekend yet. I got a curious email about what we did til all hours and I promise I’ll fill in the gaps but the pictures are locked in my phone and it is a story that requires a picture or two. Most of my pictures no-a-days either live in my computer or go up on instagram or g+ and one of these days I need to do more photo books but that day keeps being in the future… Well it is 4 and I must go meet the bus and darling #1!
It must be a symptom of spring, I really really want to run outside. I can’t quite yet because there is still snow and ice spots and I don’t want to run in the middle of the road so I get on the treadmill and do that. Recently I’ve been getting notes from friends about cool 5K races coming up and while I want to run, somehow a 5K has become ‘so last year’ in a way because everyone around me is doing a half marathon AT LEAST! I know for sure that there are probably 100:1 people I know that don’t run v run any distance but the runners are the ones my brain focuses in on.
In my far past I was a fast XC runner, sub 18min personal best and that included hills. I had a great coach, a great team, and I was training daily and running a race every weekend. I just spent 20 min looking for a link to the state rankings in my senior year where I believe I was #200 in the state but it is missing (in that 20min I could have done a 5k and got a drink…). Anyway, back then I never thought of running more than a 5k but now that just seems like a baby distance because of the distance runners around me. All about perspective I suppose. I think that I will do a race or two this year, most likely a 5k, I think it is important for the kids to see their mom do active and competitive things. I have to strike a balance in training because I don’t want (and can’t have without sitters) too much time away from them, but, I also don’t want to embarrass myself at a race. That is the #1 reason I won’t do a marathon – they take real training so I will put that on the list of things to do after I have time – that will be someday after all 3 children can independently wipe their own bottoms but hopefully before they are all in college.
Right now I would settle for a whole hour to actually run outside because currently my treadmill time is highly scheduled around when I can get kidcare and before meltdown nap time. Tons better than no time, but not as good as real running freedom.
Anyone want to run a 5k with me?
Today we hit the spring milesone; Zoe forgot her coat in the library and was all the way in the car (after playing outside for a few waiting on me) before we noticed. Annoying milestone because I had to go find her coat, but, the bright side is the weather is nice enough to not require arctic tundra gear.
Over the past few days I’ve gone without my coat for short trips and Niamh wore a sweater only at the zoo on Tuesday but skiing yesterday I still wanted all the gear at the top of the mountain. You know, you can get a lot of runs in if you are alone. I think I did every diamond (except ‘you asked for it’ the mogul run) 2x and fit in a visit back to check on Niamh at the 1/2 hour mark so that was 10ish runs in an hour. The snow is beginning to melt seriously but when you have 2feet nearly everywhere you still have snow for a while.
Today after the library we have a visiting boy so his mom can work so we are up to 4 for a few hours. Things are pretty mellow up there, just toss in an iPad and most things are ok. We did lunch and puzzles and I needed time to address 50 bridal shower invites so
iPad sitter rest time for all. Fiona obliged and went to sleep super fast and a half hour early. She treats the library like a cross training hour. Our library has a big ramp starting at the lobby and ending in a reading loft WAAAAY at the other end. Then there is a set of stairs. She does the loop around 8 or 9 times plus running around looking at books. Last weeks fluke of her listening was not repeated the week but really, she likes the songs and sometimes stays for a story. This week there were no songs in the beginning so she lasted about 2.4 seconds. Regardless, the library is great for tiring her out.
Afternoon plans include bread baking and maybe cookies. Then costco because having everyone home means we eat more food. I don’t know how really because Niamh brings lunch from home daily, but, we are out of all sorts of things. I feel like this week is a practice run for the summer and we are doing ok. I might have actually over-activitied the week because they seem very content this morning to sleep late and then play since the library is super close and story time is at 10:30.
Oh! almost forgot! I need to do the bank and post office – counting the library this morning I get the bermuda triangle of stay at home mom travel. I love depositing checks for contract work I do and I’m quite happy to mail 50 invitations for a fun party. Darn, so the phone just rang…. I returned the case of a DVD but not the DVD so I must go find it and now the triangle of afternoon errands is once more intact. (at least I don’t need to wear a parka)