The snow is just starting to fall outside, our first "snowstorm" of 2011. I put that in quotes because a DC snowstorm (last years Snowpocalypse, Snowmageddon and Snoverkill not withstanding) is really only a couple of inches. But it's more than what I grew up with, so I'm still happy every time it snows. Dr. Fancypants has a wide streak of machismo which does not allow his wife to be seen shoveling snow (although he points out that it is as because of my asthma as because of his machismo that he doesn't me exerting myself in the cold), so my snowy duties are the fun ones--making warm, wonderful meals, hot chocolate, and taking the boy out to play in the snow. He's been dying to make snow angels (the boy, not Dr. Fancypants) so I'm hoping we get a couple inches this time around.
Growing up in California, we never really had seasons. Even in Northern California, it's pretty divided into Rainy and Not-Quite-As-Rainy. But here on the East, we really have four distinct seasons, and I absolutely love it. If we ever move back to California, seasons are without a doubt one of the aspects of East Coast life I would miss the most.
Even so, winter has major ups and major downs. Fires in the fireplace! Snow! Hats and scarves! BUT--Multiple colds! Asthma! The MOTHERFUCKING asthma!!
I didn't get asthma until I was an adult, so I'm still learning how to live with this chronic condition. Most of the time it is under control, and I'm being much better about taking my meds so I don't have bad flareups. But one of the ways I keep it under control is by avoiding triggers, and one of my worst triggers is cold, dry air. Which means extended time outside in the winter tends to be a no-no for me. Which wouldn't be a problem, except it ALSO means that my boy is cooped up inside almost every day in the winter. An energetic little boy inside all day long is not a good thing.
One change I've been able to make with our fantabulous new storm door is to kick him out in the backyard by himself while I watch from inside (usually doing dishes or sorting paperwork). That way he gets some good outside time and I don't have to risk my health. I also make a point of spending time outside with him every time the weather permits me to be outside. It hasn't happened a lot this winter, but we had a warmish spell in early January and you can bet I abandoned organizing the house to take him for a tricycle ride up and down our street.
My other strategy is to simply get him outside of the house. Trips to IKEA will likely loom large in the plans this winter. Lots of playdates. Visits to the Udvar-Hazy center.
What do you do with your kids in the winter?