Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Winter Practice: Part 2, lessons learned

First of all, before I bare my soul on this whole wintry weather freak of nature we just endured, let us take a moment and remind ourselves where I am from, shall we?


Not here:


Not here:

Outside our bedroom. October 28, 2012
In Texas, in the winter, do you know what my kids wear on their feet? Crocs. With socks. That's it. They haven't owned any shoes other than Crocs for the last 5 years. (I'm not joking in the least, other than Church shoes, they only own Crocs. None of them can tie shoelaces, and I don't intend to teach them any time soon... yay homeschooling!)

Do you know why? 2 reasons. 1) they are expensive so I make them work hard, those shoes. 2) They don't need anything else. 

They don't need shoes to keep out the rain and cold in Texas because it never rains, and it's never cold. At least that's what it seems like now that we live here where there are all kinds of weather phenomenae that I forgot existed, namely rain and snow.

 I don't even know where their Crocs are at the moment. They are dead to me now.

10 Reasons why God knew we needed a practice winter (crazy storm that dumped snow on all of Europe, in October). In descending order...

#10. Birkenstocks - no matter how trendy they were in the grundgy 90's or how much I love my very own pair - are not winter shoes. Plain and simple. I strongly dislike shoe shopping, hate it in fact, with the burning passion of 500 suns. I'm gonna see how long I can go in my Converse. I mean, at least they have a back on them.
This is for my mom. I know how much she misses seeing these lovely shoes on my  feet... every. single. day.

#9. Did you know that regular clothes get wet really quickly? I did. But I forgot.  And did you know that they are really cold once they're wet? I did. But I forgot. New impermeable coats for everyone! And impermeable pants for the kids! And impermeable shoes for Martin and me!  And more sweatshirts for playing and layering, and more socks, and more, and more, and more everything! Ahhhhhh, consuming...

All of this is completely necessary to house all the clothing that is needed for a family of six  to weather the winter.  These bins have the scarves, hats, gloves, etc. The radiator to the right will have hooks above it for quick hanging and drying. Organization is... and that is what I want.

#8 Do you know how hard it is to get kids' hands into gloves?  Little hands, like the size of a small dog's, or perhaps a raccoon's, that sort of size? It's hard, really hard. It makes little beads of sweat pop out on your forehead and you start sounding like the dad in "The Christmas Story" as he attempts to fix the furnace.  I will be knitting only mittens for the foreseeable future. I strongly dislike knitting two of anything in a row. BO- ring. But they're super cute once they're done.

#7 Do you know how long a single snowman will last outside, even after all the snow around him has melted? Going on three days strong... losing one eyeball at a time... and really creeping me out.

#6 Hats. Everyone has to have a hat. Even me. I don't particularly like hats, but I do particularly like my ears, so to keep them in place I will submit to the hat. I'm making this one for myself. That's obviously not me in that photo. That woman is happy to be wearing that hat....and looking rather suggestively at our snowman...

April's Castiel Hat by Wooly Wormhead

#5 Radiators are my new best friend. I will never again knock the "radiators of death." True, we have already had our fair share of injuries due to these suckers but they can dry out anything you hang on them in less than 2 hours. Anything. It's worth a few scar stories, I'd say.

Photo courtesy of Adelina.

#4  When you drive a car on snow without snow chains, or even winter tires, your car will start to slide down the hill. 'nuff said.

#3  Unless instructed, children will eat snow off of anything. Anything. Banisters of public buildings,  piles on the roadside, car bumpers. Kids are just disgusting like that.

#2 All you need to know how to cook all winter is soup. Lots and lots of soup. So far I have mastered a couple good ones, and that is something, as we all know how terrified I am of soup.

I make this every other day.
#1 You must always have hot chocolate after a day playing in the snow. There is no other appropriate drink. (Except for maybe a Dr. Pepper.)

2 left from my birthday 6 pack. 2?! That is showing some real restraint,  people. 

P.S. I obviously need a lot more practice when it comes to sledding. Seeing as how I threw up my hands in fear as I began to plow into my first-born, rather than try to protect his small 6 year old body.

 I'm only one woman.


  1. Well thats how it is more or less till march...
    at least we do not have so much exhaustive humidity/hot as Texas ;).

    If you have AT it might be tricky in the winter. manual transmition is easier from what I have heard.

    If it will be hard you can always but 4x4 SUV, with such a car Polish winter and roads are peace of cake.

  2. I do dislike Alabama, but I admit, I quite enjoy the weather here.
    I remember the Winter we had in Poland in 2009/2010. It lasted forever. Every single time there was any indication that Spring may be approaching, it would start snowing again!
    I used to enjoy our Real Four Seasons, but lately something bad has been happening with the weather in Poland. Yes, it is nice to have white Christmas, but 8 months of snow (vide 2009)?! Come on already!

    1. I have heard the horror stories. Of course, then last winter, it didn't actually freeze until January and that was also the time of the first snow. Followed by the lowest temps. in years and then a rather mild winter and spring after that. It seems that the weather here can't make up its mind. Everyone has mentioned to us that Polish weather is def. changing.

    2. we sometimes have harsh and sometime mild winter, sometimes sunny sometimes less sunny other seasons. isn't it like this everywhere ?

    3. Why do you dislike Alabama ?
      pozdrowienia z Gdańska :)

    4. Olivia, something IS happening with the weather in Poland. I remember it being completely different, when I was a kid. I remember very sharp and cold, but short Winters and milder Summers. Then, we had a couple years of extremely hot Summers and now the Winter's gone crazy.
      Totally unreliable! :) And yeah, it does drive people crazy.

      xgda, why would I like Alabama? ;)

    5. I have no idea, never been there :) just was courius what you dislike about it.

    6. also I must say Poland/States comparision are always interesting for me.
      Some time ago I was thinking to move especially because of weather, low earnings and always increasing (and media scaring of it) cost of living, but currently I am more thinking about settling down in Poland

    7. I think I'm just a big city person. I'm from Wroclaw and I really miss, well, the culture.
      I know I would be able to find myself in a bigger city here, but Huntsville is definitely not my favorite place. It's not diverse and every new place they build turns out to be a bank or a parking lot.
      Then, there is this "Southern hospitality" that I don't always get...;)

    8. The weather is changing not just in Poland but all over - Look at what just hit New Jersey/New York... and the droughts in the US this last summer.... flooding in Europe.

    9. Interesting this might be caused by warm atlantic amo +warmer climate. My mom told me she remember making tunels in snow when she was a child... (cold amo). Hope it will not be back ;) in Poland. I must do some more reaserch.

      btw. What I truly hate here in PL is tv scaring people. Just this week on the news
      - electricity prices will encrease 2-3 times soon (made from coal, so deficit)
      - trash bills will increase 2x now (will be handled by public administration)
      - water will increase 4 times in incoming years (water deficit)
      - gas already increased to 500$/1000m3 (comparing to us 100$)

      If you lisen to it you can get sick of living in Poland or crazy.

  3. Hi Olivia,

    I've been reading your blog since about May, although this is my first time commenting. I feel kinda weird commenting on the personal blog of someone I don't know. I don't mean to intrude. But seriously, seriously, I am crying with (sympathetic) laughter right now. Your posts always brighten my world.

    1. Thanks Michelle, I absolutely love comments from strangers! It's a public blog because I'm pretty sure my family would soon stop answering the phone if they were the only ones out there to listen to my ramblings... ;)
      Also, my family rarely comments on my blog. You are in the company of strangers, and they are some wonderful readers.

  4. I will be happy to learn how to sleed in winter. :D Feel free to join us and our son when snow will be good for sleeding. :D We have great place for this kind of fun. :D


    Nasza zima zła :)

    Do not be so scared of just little snow and below zero Celscius temperatures :)


  6. Be careful when you drive on kostka. Kostka is very slippery with a dusting of snow.

    Take care and enjoy your first Polish winter :)

  7. I cannot BELIEVE how organized your winter gear is already. We're starting our THIRD winter, and our entryway looks nowhere near that good. Pat yourself on the back, woman!

  8. ROFL! I'm sorry. I shouldn't make light of other people's travails, but you southerners are so hilariously dramatic about the cold. I once had a cousin from El Paso visit us in the middle of January. The look on her face when she got her first full blast of Chicago winter was priceless.

    But do not fret. Your sledding navigation will improve with practice.