Keep calm, and winter on.

3:09 PM

   Not very often, but every once in a while, a blog post just DOES it for me.  Makes me smile, nod my head, laugh, clap my hands, and even shout an audible "Yes!" now and then.

This one did that for me.

   I'm sure you've seen it infiltrating Facebook feeds by now, but you know what, it deserves the shares because it is just that good.  The comedic timing could have not been any better as we are all cooped indoors these days with icy, wet snow forcing us inside, children dropping like flies with cases of cabin fever and the mamas quickly following.  Or preceding.  

   So.  By the inspiration of that hilarious post and out my sheer necessity, I present you with:

   I haven't driven anywhere since Tuesday (!!!) so come tomorrow, that will be a week.  A week!  Friends, if you know me at all, that is no small thing.  Granted I have gotten out of the house to go somewhere once, but it wasn't me driving, so that hardly counts.  So no stretch of the imagination is needed to wonder how quickly it can start to feel stale and stifling indoors with two active little ones.  Hence, the cabin fever cures.

   NONE of these are new ideas or rocket science, so please don't expect anything ground-breaking.  It is literally just a glimpse into our life here at home today.  But sometimes even if it's not a revolutionary idea, it can just be nice to have an idea that you didn't have to think up.  When Randy is around and the girls ask me something, I will often tell them to "Ask Daddy" because A. he often has wisdom to shed light on the situation and B. I am Just. So. Tired. Of. Making. Decisions!!!  I have a slew of my own to make that seem never-ending and so when you add to them the decisions/questions/requests of little ones?  It can just get to be too much.  So here you have it, 5 simple, fast, ridiculously easy ways to cure cabin fever, that you didn't have to think up.  Enjoy.

1.  Finger painting.  
   I'd been having trouble getting Jocelyn interested in tracing her letters, and since some of her peers are already writing their letters (or even names! eek!) and of course we all know we have to keep up with the Joneses….I am trying to work on letters.  That was a run-on sentence, maybe I should teach her about those too.  Point is, letters can get boring pretty quickly (or is it just me?) so lately we've been tracing them with finger paint.  Once again people, not rocket science here.

Headband ℅ The Parcel Post Company by my friend Nicole.

2. Chalk and cars.  

   You know those cool carpets/rugs that have roads and bridges and buildings and all sorts of things printed on them for driving your little matchbox cars on?  Well, we don't have one, because we don't have any boys.  But I'm starting to think that's a little bit silly, because after all, girls drive cars too, and have just as much fun doing so. Nevertheless, I made do by drawing my own little "car carpet" on our coffee table which is painted with chalk paint.  I made a little pond, tree, houses and other things that they were supposed to avoid and of course didn't.  Sigh, I hope they don't inherit my driving skills.  Of course the chalk wipes off which can pose a problem, but then you just get to create a new landscape! Win-win.

3.   TV/movies, or lack thereof.

   O.k. so if your kids are anything like mine, sitting down to a favorite show or movie is one of their favorite remedies for being cooped up indoors.  But sometimes it seems like that's all they want to do and they will continually beg for one after the other and poor Mama can only hear the Veggietales theme song so many times, am I right??  I've been trying to think up ways to limit their TV exposure but it seems like a never-ending battle and this simple, no-brainer trick has helped…..

    Covering up the TV!  I warned you it was a no-brainer.  Explain that the TV "needs to rest" or is "done for the day" or whatever reason you want to give.  For some reason this seems ample explanation for little ones, and removes the constant temptation of them asking to turn it on.  They seem to forget all about it when it's covered up.  Once again, not my original idea but who cares!  I'll take it. 

4. Picnics in the living room.  

   I received a priceless tidbit of advice from Erin, (a friend from church) who suggested spreading a blanket for little ones to play on.  I must admit, I think I smirked inwardly a little when I heard this tip thinking, "Like THAT will help."  But it actually does!  For some reason, having a little bit of a "boundary" helps them focus on that small area to play in.  I'm not sure why this works, but it does.  Recently we have been spreading out this quilt that my girl friends from back home made me when I was expecting Jocelyn and it causes me sweet nostalgia every time.  This is great for reading books, building with blocks, playing with toys and dolls, tea parties or picnic lunches before nap time…..the possibilities are endless.

 (Ever the first-born, she loves to feed whoever will allow her to, and mother whenever she can.)

5. Last but not least, good old fashioned photo shoots.

   This can be anything from dressing up in silly outfits and using props and striking crazy poses, to just having your camera handy to take it out an any given moment and snap a picture.  It passes the time, and if you trust your kiddos to handle your camera to take some shots of their own, it passes a lot more time!  Ironically, that's precisely how this post happened.  I didn't even plan it, we just happened to do these things today and I had documented it with pictures already when I read that post by Jamye Doerfler  and I thought, THAT'S what I need to post about today.

(Jocelyn to Charlotte) "O.k. so I'll be sober first, looking solemn and contemplative and you look giddy like someone just told a joke or something but not too-overly-happy, you know? Just "Smize" a little and look pleasant, and then we'll switch.  Ready?  Go!" 

(Charlotte thinking inwardly)  "That's your version of not-too-overly-happy?  Girlfriend, that's a genuine cheese.  You better work on that."

   In closing, I mentioned that we did these things today….all before nap time.  So that would be the one drawback to these activities.  They are fun and entertaining for sure, but don't seem to last for very long periods of time.  And so of course the rest of my morning has not been super productive other than a load of laundry or two and soup in the crockpot for tonight.  So don't expect these "cures" to be a quick-fix that doesn't take any maintenance.  They certainly do, but they also help the morning pass by quickly without getting to go anywhere, so I'd say it's worth it.

I'd love to hear feedback from you!  What are some easy, quick ways you handle the winter blues?

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  1. I am doing a little catch-up with your blog today and I literally laughed out loud while reading! I am glad that the blanket tip has worked so well for you, of course I wonder what other "advice" I have generously given that has been smirked at ;) I will share that one of our favorite activities while snowed in was making various obstacle courses across the living room. Great for wearing out the littles as well.

    Painting letters is a fantastic idea, we'll have to do that when we get around to working on letters (the Jonses are way ahead of us) as Addie Mae loves painting and I love a variety of approaches.

  2. I have found that the simple things are the big things. My girls enjoy laying out wash cloths in a hopscotch pattern for a quick game of hopscotch. Save a few cans & have your husband drill holes in them (or you if you're handy) and make stilts. I've been intending on doing a blog post with a few of these ideas but just hadn't gotten it done yet. Maybe someday. :)

  3. We are wintering on, not sure about calmly. :) I use the TV idea. Sometimes I tell Dakota in the morning that today there are no electronics all day. It seems to help rather then just saying nonononono all the time. At our stage with a little one turning 1, any project on the floor is destroyed so we clean off the table and he plays on top of there a lot. :)

  4. That article was hilarious!! I liked your ideas, too. We've been "snowed-in" AND on-and-off sick, so it's been quite a winter. But hopefully spring is just around the corner, right?! :-) I wrote a list of "cures" for midwinter blues, too...

  5. These are great shelley! cutie pie girls btw.

    And yes. I saw that post on fb, almost didn't check it out... and then haha was glad I did. I live in an ever shrinking old farmhouse, I'm telling you. I may not make it. And we have another storm arriving tonight bringing anywhere from 8-12 inches. more. more. MORE! I have no plan. My mind is emptied of Surviving Winter With Alot of Children Plans.

    I remember putting cheap shave gel/hair gel in a heavy duty plastic bag and taping it shut for them to "make letters." They could squish it around without getting messy. Which means, half the fun is cancelled out. for them. ;) Also old fabric/sheets whipped into "curtains on a spring rod placed in a doorway makes a great puppet theater or "stage." Having a designated movie time at say 4pm still helps around here. Especially when they have to complete their chores or showers first, it's a great carrot to dangle. yes, I dangle carrots when I can without shame. :)


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