Real Life with Rita: Snowed-in with the Littles

Jo and I are wrapping up each month with a look into everyday, real life with us. Jump over the the YouTube channel to check out her busy January. Seriously. She went from snow storm to sunshine at the poolside lickety-split!

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Let’s start with some honesty: Today (1/28) has been a struggle.

I’m sure it has at least SOMETHING to do with the fact the kids and I have not left our middle of nowhere valley in…ooh, let’s see… 12 days and counting? And we have not even left the house in three straight days–eek!

Ok… Before you start thinking I’m some kind of insane hermit… Let me explain…

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The last time I was out was Saturday, January 17. It was a family of four venture to run errands, hit mass, and grab some dinner. Good times.

Ironically, it was all in an effort to have a relaxing Sunday where we could sleep in rather than get up for church and then we could just be home all day.

Like most Mondays, we spent the day with my mom at our Grammo’s house. (She also lives in our Valley, for the record).  Tuesday was the usual day at home.

Wednesday the “fun” began: SNOW!

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I wish I’d captured on video Dorothy’s reaction to seeing the ground covered in snow for the first time this year. At the same time, it’s a treasure I’ll hold in my heart forever that is all mine. I suppose it’s comparable to a kid’s excitement over Christmas morning. She was talking nonstop (mostly jibberish), running to get her boots and snow pants, and go straight out the door in her PJ’s!

We only had 3-5 inches.
It didn’t even pack well.
It didn’t matter.
Dorothy has been going on about the snow for a solid two months (thanks to Daniel Tiger), so she was thrilled. I made the smart decision to take her out while Jacob slept. Getting one kid ready for snow is enough work. We made a snowman by simply mounding up some snow. Later her older cousins came and took her sledding and we called it a day.

Fun times in the snow…!

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The next day is when it got interesting.

The forecast called for ice and snow that night. When you live where we do, winter storms can be pretty threatening… Ice often translates to long lasting power outages. Mingus actually took a half day off work in order to help make sure we were fully prepared for not only being snowed in for a number of days, but being snowed in with no electric. I made sure all the laundry was done, dishwasher was empty, back up water was stocked, the wood stove ready to go, plenty of fuel for generators and chain saws, and I pre-cooked food like soup and rice that is easy to heat up..

Well, the snow did not disappoint: we had 18+ inches dumped on us in 24 hours. The ice was very little, so the power was never an issue. Win-win!

But going outside in snow snow THAT deep with a one and two year old? Not a winning situation. Sounds like fun until you’re halfway through dressing them and one is crying, because you’re insisting she wear gloves while the other is fighting with all his might to not put his arm in the jacket…. AAAAND you still have to get your own boots on!

We actually only went out on Friday because we were walking to my parents’ for my dad’s birthday. The snow was so steady (and deep) it wasn’t exactly a play day.

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The Good: Getting to enjoy mom’s homemade apple dumplings and hearing Dorothy rename them “Grumplings”.

The Bad: Realizing your phone is missing after being home for at least 30 minutes… Knowing the last time you used it was to take a picture out in the snow… And the snow is still coming down…and it’s dark. Eek!

Mingus insisted it had to be inside when it kept ringing, saying the outside temps would cause it to shut down as a safety feature. I insisted it was buried in the snow because we’d looked everywhere in the house.

Not only did hubs go out in the falling snow and search, but I bundled up and DUG in snow on my hands and knees in the dark until the knees of my purple snow pants had soaked through. No dice. No phone.

I finally decided if God wanted me to find it I would have by then and it wasn’t in the cards and I needed to just enjoy the night with my husband while the kids slept.

Sure enough, Hubs-the-Hero saved the day in the morning. He found the phone while shoveling the packed down footpath by the house. (For the record: I did dig there!) Amazingly, it was unharmed and it still working just fine. Good job, Otterbox!

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Saturday we did some sledding with the kids. It was still so cold and deep, though, it was hard to enjoy with them. The best day was Monday when the temp got up to the 50’s. With that much snow, the melting did little damage, but it was much more comfortable for the kids and they had a blast. Dorothy even made her first solo trips down the “big” hill in the sled.

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Between Mingus’s shovel, my dad’s tractor and my uncle’s backho, the gravel roads got cleared enough for trucks to make it out for work on Tuesday, so things have been “back to normal” the rest of this week.

EXCEPT…. I’m still trapped.

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I could make it out, I’m sure. I could even find a way to get back, but the snow is still covering and deep in the areas that don’t get sun, including our driveway/road. My mom hasn’t even been driving her Camry out either, so the Mom-Van is better parked safe in the driveway. I also haven’t bothered to tackle the chore of dressing both kids and myself for snow play. That means we’ve stayed cooped in the house.

So here we are… Day #3 trapped inside the house. Thanks @BusyToddler for a little sanity help with a recipe for bath paint. That helped a little today, but I am ready for a change… Whether that is getting out (NOT in the snow), driving somewhere for an adventure or even having someone come play.

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But this is part of the “job” of motherhood, and being a stay-at-home working parent as well. I know the reality is that this is just like a teething spout. It’s a rough in the moment, but nothing big at all in the end. In another day, week, month… It will be forgotten and the only thing I will remember are the things that matter…

I’ll remember our first time painting in the bath.
I’ll remember Dorothy talking constantly about “Crosty” the Snowman.
I’ll remember Jacob coming closer and closer to taking his first steps.
I’ll remember watching them play dress-up together after fighting over the same toy only moments before.

We are so blessed by the little moments, it’d be a dirty rotten shame to let any frustration or impatience ruin it.

What a blessing to be able to spend 12+ straight days in a beautiful place I get to call home with none other than my family.

February brings special thoughts and feelings of love. I challenge you to use the month to find love in all moments, even the frustrating moments. Find love in everything and you’ll be better for it.

-R.

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See what’s happening in Jo’s world on the Vlog! (And a quick snippet from yours truly!)

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