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Surviving the Polar Vortex

April 26, 2019

Here I sit on April 26, with snow in the forecast this weekend.  I am usually not one to complain about winter, but let's be honest, this past winter was really, really rough and it just keeps lingering over our heads.  Let's hope this weekend is our last wintery one!  


I started to write this post a long time ago and didn't know if I was going to share it.  Not really sure why?  Just now I decided to hit publish.  Maybe you'll like seeing a glimpse of my life as a stay at home Mom?  If not, no offense taken.  Having the opportunity to capture my kids randomly while stuck inside was fun.  The polar vortex...not so fun!  


During the polar vortex it seemed as if my kids would never be back in school.  My oldest ended up having a full week off due to a scheduled day off and then weather closings.  A friend of mine was spot on when she said, if we had known the closings were going to happen for sure, we could have gone south for the week!  But instead we were trapped, so I decided to have "Mom School".  I was texting friends telling them about and everyone was curious to what I meant.  By no means was I starting to home school...hats off to the families who home school...I do not have the patience of a teacher.  My "Mom School" was a way to get through the bad weather with the hope of us all staying sane.  For three days I created a schedule and stuck with it. In the end, we survived and I actually think my kids had fun.  


I will be the first to admit I am not a superhero when it comes to parenting.  There are many days I struggle and say to myself "man I really sucked today".  I engage with my kids, but I am 100% caretaker and probably not the "fun" parent.  But ever once in awhile, I can surprise myself and I think the week I was trapped in my house with my kids, is one of those times.  


I do have a disclaimer.  My kids LOVE being at home.  They would much rather spend their weekends staying in their pajamas and playing than packing up and going to places. For the most part they really do play with toys and play well with each other.  Don't get me wrong, we are not a device free family and I personally love device time.  So when we are home all day, there is definitely device time.  But I think my husband and I manage it pretty well...somedays better than others.


I documented my "Mom School" days so I could play with my camera. I have read blogs from many photographers who document a day in their life.  I haven't had the energy to do this, so I thought the Polar Vortex was pretty good timing since for the most part we were stuck in the house. So while this isn't a true day in our lives, it was our life for three days during really bad weather.  So take a look at what "Mom School" is all like around here.  I am thinking this will be our life on rainy summer days.  


So here we go...


My day does not start before some coffee.  Most mornings I am up way before my kids so I can have coffee with my husband and its quiet.  My new Keurig froths my cream for me and its an amazing treat in the morning.   




After my kids get up and have breakfast my kitchen looks like this. I really don't know how this can happen in like 5 minutes, but it does. 



After cleaning up its time to brush teeth.  When there is no school, this can be such a chore.  You would think I was asking them to gather up all their American Girl Dolls and get them ready to be donated!  




I then announced "Mom School" was in session.  Let me give a shout out to my oldest's teachers.  They emailed families some ideas for keeping the kids busy during the weather, so I obviously took ideas from them #notateacher #notascreative.  First up on the list was to write a play and act it out.  This was so sweet.  My oldest wrote a play about a girl being a bully, but in the end turned around and became a better friend. I love how much her school teaches anti-bulling.  



We then had a scavenger hunt in the house.  I wish this had taken more time.  Within 10 minutes it was over...heavy sigh.



 At this point we made it to lunch...thank God the day is half over!  So far we have had limited tears by the youngest and tattling has been minimal.  Looking at this image, her treat after lunch looks like ibuprofen.  I assure you they are Skittles.  


We have a library very close to our house, so we did bundle up one day and headed to the library after lunch.  My oldest has her own library card and LOVES checking out books on her own.  The Amulet graphic novel series is one of her favorites...for those of you with young readers.  


 With our books from the library it was time to make a fort and read.  Fort making is the best, my kids love building them...as most kids do. Its the getting them to put everything back when they are done that is a challenge.  My kids are famous or saying "well we are going to play with this tomorrow".  Anyone else hear this excuse for not wanting to pick up?  #manipulative


          *Hope this photo bomber is making you smile.  He's my boy!*




Next up was science and craft time.  For Christmas my oldest got a really fun science kit.  So we opened it up and worked on one of the experiments.  They had to watch a color tablet dissolve in cold, warm, and hot water.  The had to guess whether it would dissolve fast or slow depending on the temperature.  Pretty cute watching them work together and document their findings.  


I turned to Pinterest for a craft idea.  I seem to collect craft supplies over time and I always have something to work with.  Its like my husband and his tools.  We are not DIYers, but when needed, he has the tool.  I don't know how that happens?  


Our craft project was making turtles out of an egg carton.  Super easy and really cute! 




We are now coming to the end of the day and guess what time it is?? DEVICE time!  Also known as, quiet time, bliss time, my time...you get the point.  With the fort still up, they decided to have their time under it.  My five year old plays on Minecraft and knows how to navigate in the worlds she is creating.  I am certain she isn't the only five year old, but it amazes me.  So many things she knows and does that our oldest never did at her age.  


Finally I ended the Polar Vortex with some celebrating and a glass of vino.  I think I deserved, wouldn't you agree?  




-50 degree windchill gave me time to play with my camera more, engage more than I normally do with my kids, and bonus I think my kids actually learned a few things.  But most of all we SURVIVED! #highfivetous


Here's to getting through one more blast of cold, wintery weather this weekend and on to more weather like this past week.  We live in Wisconsin...I know none of this really surprises anyone.  But even still, its OK if you feel annoyed this weekend.  Know you are not alone!  

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TEL ~ 608.212.7976
email ~ butterflykiss_photos@yahoo.com
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