Monday, January 23, 2012

Things I'm Loving - Winter Edition

Winter has finally - as we knew it would - arrived with a vengeance. Last week we had several days with temperatures significantly below zero, with our characteristic stiff Minnesota winds making it especially unpleasant. Today we are actually getting some snow and, though I cringe as I say it, I'm thrilled. If it's going to be winter for several more months - as we know it will be - we ought to at least have some snow to play in. The kids are absolutely mad for sledding, even down the very mild incline in our driveway (hooray for small children and their minimal expectations). Anyway, there are a few things that have been mitigating the misery (for me) of extremely cold temperatures and I thought I'd share.

1. Tazo Green Tea, Zen Flavor - I don't usually love green tea, but this is a really nice, refreshing flavor. I can't really drink caffeine after about noon anymore (hello, thirties) but I love hot drinks in the afternoon when it's miserable outside. This is a really nice option. And kind of funny since I bought it for Chris's stocking and I appear to be drinking most of it.

2. Chapstick Overnight Lip Treatment - I am sort of a chapstick addict, especially during the dry winter months. This just has a really nice, smooth texture without being gummy...I keep it in my car so it's cold when I put it on and really soothing. Plus, it reminds me of my sister. She's had a tube of this in her purse about as a long as I can remember :)

3. Our hot tub. I was NOT sold on the concept when we moved in, partly because I perceived that they required a ton of maintenance and partly because I am really paranoid about the kids around water. As it turns out, the maintenance is almost nothing (well, technically it is nothing for me since C does it all) and all entrances to the tub are secured in such a way I don't worry about the kids. Anyway, the hot tub is in a sunroom just off the master bedroom and the sliding doors across one wall look out into our backyard. We've ended up using it most evenings and it's really nice when it is snowing to open up the doors and enjoy the chill without having to actually be outside.

4. Kneesocks and slippers:
Don't you wish your girlfriend was hot like me?

5. The indoor swimming pool and splash pad. We joined this fitness center around this time last year and it is such a great option in the winter. Especially now that the kids are reliable enough that Chris will go in with them and I can watch from the side!! Oh, how I hate to be wet. They are both so much more comfortable in the water this year and we will be signing them up for swim lessons in a month or so. The water in both the kids' pool and the big pool is nice and warm so they won't have to suffer the full-body shivers and blue lips I did during my swim lessons.

6. My new gloves that allow me to operate my phone while wearing them. C picked these up for me at Costco this weekend and I am sold. They are thick enough to keep my fingers mostly warm, but thin enough that I can do the fiddly things like fastening five-point harnesses around wiggly children. Best of all, the thumbs and pointer fingers are covered in some sort of material that allows your touch to register on the iPhone. Much better than the solution I had planned, which was to cut slits in my crappy $1 Target gloves.

Mostly, though? I'm loving the fact that one way or another, this winter will end and we'll have another gorgeous summer to help us forget about it.

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