Unlike many Alaskans I equate “wintertime” with “indoor time.” So with that as a theme here’s a look at my extreme indoor week (season). Figuring largely is the classic case of knowing what you ought to do, if not necessarily how.
~ ~ 1. Meals ~ ~
We’ve gone through 3 gallons of milk this week. Jay told me that is normal, but this is the first time in recent memory it’s been three fresh gallons. I hadn’t really noticed if this was our rate before.
I’ve been trying to use stuff off our shelves– canned, dried and frozen stuff– so meal-planning has taken longer. I’ve twice this week fallen back to “stand-bys” like sandwiches and frozen foods. Since these don’t have left-overs I used our huge supply of beans to make a chili for Jay’s lunches.
The bonus with this system is that I don’t have to eat beans– or make my kids eat something I’m not interested in eating myself. Definitely going to remember this.
~ ~ 2. Dog ~ ~
With a high-energy dog like my Lab, being stuck indoors can be a little tense. I was thankful to see that she’s not the type to beg for walks at -40°, but even without wanting to be outside her spring is still tightly wound.
She’s been gaining weight for about a month and a half now (short-hand for “no-exercise”) and while she’s done well up till now I feel she might be reaching her limit.
Fortunately I just got re-motivated to focus on her training, and I’m told that should help.
~ ~ 3. Children ~ ~
The kids are actually easier to keep entertained than the dog, especially when you add movies to the mix. Jay has a T.V. tuner in his computer and a series of programs he combines to record certain Saturday morning cartoons and remove the comercials.
The delightful result is a collection of sweet and fun options without the discontent- and consumer-training interruptions. Other activities:
- Risk– I can’t stand it, but Jay plays with Natasha– essentially by playing himself but letter her move the pieces. She feels so grown-up and is *thrilled* when she wins.
- Rummikub is one I like better. Practices pre-math skills like grouping, matching and sequencing. Not that I thought of that before we started. It’s just the game that has the best memories for me.
- Running. Yes, seriously.
- I think every house with kids should have a kitchen island. Before nap-time a couple days ago we put on some “wild” music (some high-energy stuff from Riverdance) and chased each other around for a chunk of time before storytime. Totally confused the dog, but the children and I found it head-clearing.
~ ~ 4. Exercise ~ ~
The running is some of the only activity I’ve done in the last week. Despite all my options… (here comes the YBH: yes but how) finding other elements of my day more important and engaging just crowds this out.
I find once I start I enjoy all sorts of things that work well in my living room:
- Free weights
- Running (with the kids– as I already mentioned)
- Indoor walking (silly concept, but okay for what it is)
~ ~ 5. Housekeeping ~ ~
Being confined to house makes maintaining the home a higher priority. We’ve been working at this since Christmas and I’ve been relieved at how we’ve been doing.
Having a solid half of our clothes outdoors has helped with this, along with the rearranging that gave the kids an area to play, and (more important) a place for everything to go.
Vacuuming is remarkably easier with floors kept clear… but yesterday I began bringing in bags of things and putting them away. Having the drawers full again makes me realize how *much* we have, and what we were able to (almost comfortably) live without.
If things get harder to keep up with we might have to think about thining back again.
~ ~ 6. Writing ~ ~
Writing has simply got to be the easiest hobby for mothers, and I’m so glad to have it.
- There’s no clean-up
- You can work on it while you do pretty much anything else
- It can be both a means of escape and remembrence– two contradictery things I appreciate as a mother
- You’re already used to sleeping less because of your true children, so staying up for a beloved project seems only natural
~ ~ 7. Other fun indoor things we’ve done ~ ~
- Music (both to make and to listen to)
- We want to see if we can work through every children’s book in the house before the end of winter. At least, that’s how I pitched it. My ulterier motive is to provoke new favorites so I’m not reading the same dozen all the time.
- anything with scissors paint or glue (though these I seriously limit)
- Including the kids in dog-training (a whole new dynamic, there)
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