7 Quick Takes: Indoor Living Edition

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:

  • Games
    • 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:

  • Pilaties
  • 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)
  • Playdough
  • Baking
  • ***Reading***
    • 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.
  • Crafts
    • stamping
    • card-making
    • anything with scissors paint or glue (though these I seriously limit)
  • Including the kids in dog-training (a whole new dynamic, there)

More 7 Quick Takes At Jen’s blog.

7 Quick Takes on Untangling Tales

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