I think I’ve mentioned this before, but Babykins is extremely small for her age. She’s clung to the very bottom of the growth chart her whole life. Since the doctor determined over a year ago that Babykins is maintaining her growth curve (for those of you not in the know of baby terms, this means that she is growing at a consistent rate), I try not to worry about her small size.
One of the fun aspects of having a tiny child is shoes. Baby shoes are one of those things that make me squeal in delight. There just so small and cute! But I refrained from buying any because shoes for a non-walker are mostly impractical.
Then Babykins started walking and shoes became more of a necessity than a fashion accessory. At first I stuck her in a pair of soft-soled crib shoes, but she really started walking the week of Halloween. She needed a warmer pair of shoes to get through the winter. She needed a pair of boots to keep her feet warm when we went outside.
It’s not easy finding a pair of toddler size 3 snow boots that actually keep a child’s feet warm and dry, but I found a pair at Target thanks to their Surprize by Stride Rite line (they don’t have boots in stock now, but I bought Babykins a church sandal through this line). The boots have worked great this winter! Even better, they are just so small and cute that I just want to squeal!
We’re getting a lovely winter storm–snow, ice, and wind–so it wasn’t surprising that we lost electricity for a bit. Unfortunately, my plan to sleep in this morning (a.k.a.–sleep until Babykins woke up) was thwarted by a power outage early this morning.
I don’t think the outage itself was long enough to wake up any of us. The house was still tolerably warm and the eerie silence didn’t disturb our slumber. However, certain pieces of equipment apparently feel it’s necessary to let us know that there isn’t any electricity.
First off, we have a battery on our sump pump. Whenever the power goes out, it emits a high-pitched eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee until someone pushes the reset button.
Then there’s the baby monitor. If the monitor piece in Babykins’s room looses access to electricity, the receiver starts beeping. I understand that perhaps the manufacturers thought parents would find it useful to know if the monitor wasn’t actually working. What I don’t understand is why the transmitting piece has to be manually turned on again even if it is still plugged in to an outlet. I can’t imagine that any parent wants to sneak into their child’s room to reset the monitor while the child is sleeping.
Finally, there is Babykins’s noise machine. The handy little device has several setting options, but we keep it on “White Noise” since it is close to the same noise that the space heater and the box fan makes. However, it doesn’t return to the setting I chose when it turns back on after a power outage (because unlike the baby monitor, it can figure out that it is still plugged into an outlet). It instead automatically goes to the creepiest setting: Beating Heart. It may be soothing for a newborn, but it’s jarring for a toddler who has been outside the womb for 16 months and eerie for an adult who has read The Tell-Tale Heart.
Consequently, I was woken at 4:40 a.m. to an obtrusive Beep Beep. . . Beep Beep. . . Beep Beep as the monitor receiver told me that the transmitter wasn’t on. I tried to just turn off the receiver, only to hear the faint Thump-thump thump-thump thump-thump coming from Babykins’s room. As I started to open the nursery door, I heard the eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee from the sump pump battery’s whining that it needed to be reset.
I tried to quite everything as quickly as I could. Slipping into Babykins’s room, I pushed the “White Noise” button on the noise machine and found the power button on the monitor. Alas, Babykins still woke up despite my stealthy maneuvering. Thankfully, she went back to sleep without much fuss.
Once Babykins was back in her crib, I went downstairs to reset the sump pump battery. I was fairly alert by the time I made it back to bed. Still, I settled under the covers again in hopes of sleeping a little bit longer.
I must have dozed off for a moment, because I was jolted awake again by that obtrusive Beep Beep. . .Beep Beep. . . Beep Beep.
Yup, the electricity had flickered off again and the process of quieting everything needed to start over. It was clear that sleeping wasn’t going to be an option after this round of fiddling. The good news was that I had made it to 5:30 a.m.–the time I normally try to get up.
The first snowstorm of the season is bearing down on us. Judging by people’s reaction to the upcoming winter storm, you would think that Iowans have never seen snow before.
So, here’s a refresher course on how to handle a blizzard:
1. Wear the proper attire when outside: Coat, hat, mittens/gloves, boots, etc. Even if you are just driving somewhere, you should have these things because you would hate to be stranded without warm clothes.
2. Drive carefully: This means SLOW DOWN, even if you have a fancy-shmancy truck with 4-wheel drive.
3. Stock up on a few essentials: Make sure you have enough food and toilet paper to get through a day or so. Where we live in Iowa, it’s highly unlikely that we will be snowed in for weeks. There is no need to buy out the grocery store.
4. Try not to blow things out of proportion: It’s a snowstorm, not Armageddon. With a little common sense, we will get through this. And if you feel that this is the worst blizzard of all time, you should read The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder. That should give you some perspective.
Personally, I’m looking forward to a little bit of snow. The drab November countryside can use some dazzling white.
Ladies and gentlemen, you may not have realized this, but in the Midwest we have the winter season. With the winter season comes freezing temperatures, blustery winds, and even snow. Winter comes every year, so obviously it should take us by surprise. I think we should all be flabbergasted when it snows in December. “What, it snows?! Since when? It didn’t do this in June!” Same with freezing temps. “Since when does it dip below 20 degrees? Just 4 months ago it was 90 degrees!”
Since we obviously can’t remember what happens in winter, it’s no surprise that many of us can’t remember what to wear when the frigid winds blow. But have no fear, I have taken the time to illustrate how to properly dress for the cold.
Your winter coat should be warm (which would seem obvious, but you’d be surprised what people try to pass off as winter coats). It should close tightly and should zip or button up to your neck. Also, it should be long enough to cover at least part of your rear–unless you like having a cold butt.
2. Mittens or gloves
Mittens and gloves stop your hands from getting that tingly feeling when your hands get too cold. Mittens are actually a better choice for warmth, but gloves make for easier mobility. You should own at least one pair of waterproof mittens or gloves. NEVER buy gloves for young children, especially if you send them to daycare or preschool–getting their tiny fingers into the tiny fingerholes is a nightmare.
A hat keeps your head and ears warm. What about earmuffs and headbands, you ask? They don’t count. Not only does a hat keep your head warm, it also keeps body heat from leaving. And I know that hats give you hat hair, but deal with it. It’s winter–you can either be fashionable or warm.
A good pair of snow boots keep your feet warm and dry during the coldest and snowiest days. Snow boots should be at least water resistant, if not waterproof. Ugg boots do not meet this standard. Likewise, they should have a good tread so you don’t loose your footing on ice. I learned this the hard way.
A properly worn winter scarf (none of this decorative scarf made of thin materials nonsense) will keep your neck and lower half of your face warm. Scarves are pretty much guaranteed to make you look ridiculous, so you might as well have fun while wearing one. For the Doctor Who fan, you can always go with the Tom Baker look-alike scarf (a bit pricey for my taste, but some people enjoy this sort of thing). Today at church, I saw two little boys with scarves in the shape of snakes. Personally, I went with the ninja look in college–black coat, black hat, black scarf. Hiii-ya!
When you combine all of these pieces together, you’ll look something like this:
Will you look like an idiot? Yes. Will you actually be an idiot? No, because you’ll be dressed warmly while those “cool” looking people will actually just be cold.
Oh, and never, under any circumstances, should you go out in winter like this: