Posts Tagged ‘winter’

The following contains photographs of a potentially disturbing nature. Please be assured that no small children were seriously harmed during the taking of these photographs.

Here is HungryMan doing his pre-sledding warm-up, primarily comprised of decapitating today’s snowman.


Once properly stretched, he loaded the family in our car and drove to the hill of his sledding legends.


“Was this your hill when you were little, Daddy”

“Yes, but I think it was bigger back then.”


“What are you doing Daddy?”

“Well little girl, I’m turning this sledding hill up to eleven.”

After a few short runs, HungryMan grew dissatisfied with the smooth flight down the hill. Determined to give Ava the experience that he remembered, HungryMan fortified the sledding hill with a ski jump.


“Whoopeee! Yes. Yes. Yes!”


“Again! We gotta do that again!”

Nate is a firm believer in what doesn’t kill you is fun.


“But Daddy, is it safe?”

“No it’s not safe, it’s dangerous!”


“Hang on Ava!”


“This. Is. Awesome!”


Whoopsie daisies”



“We’re still good.”

Last time I checked “Stop, Drop, and Roll” did not involve snow or MY three-year-old.


“Oh sweetie, did you get some snow in your face?”

It’s kind of like the log ride minus the log and safety features. Apparently HungryMan is looking for a new title, how about DangerMan?

Read Full Post »

When I mentioned the refreshing nature of white space yesterday, this isn’t exactly what I had in mind.


But then again, I grew up here.

So what do you possibly do with a world of white?


First you have to do a lot of this:


Then you go and search for the famed hill of your daddy’s childhood.


Ready. Set. Go!



In Minnesota, it’s not just harsh weather, but harsh conditions. Three-year-olds must carry their own sleds up the steep hills.


Even when the snow is up to their knees. Uff-da!


Oh, but look at the rewards.


(Don’t let the picture fool you, this girl flies.)



Yes and wonderful in every wintry way (wait…wasn’t yesterday the first day of spring).

Lest you think that sledding with daddy is anything short of an adventure, ask yourself how the snow got on top of Ava’s hat. Oh, and check back tomorrow.

Read Full Post »

was covering our grass with a fresh fleece of snow.

I’m not sure how they managed it, but every spring-hopeful branch was wrapped in white.

Here’s a view of our neighbors back yard which Ava claims is Mr. Mcgregor’s garden.


She loves to watch our neighbor working in there and makes up stories about the bunnies who try to eat his plants. I once told my neighbor this, but he had never heard of Mr. Mcgregor or Peter Rabbit. How is this possible? The man is nearly fifty. Surely mothers read to their children then.

This mama is all about divulging into the world of talking ducks and sewing mice, as well as the foolery of irksome leprechauns.

“Their just nasty!” Ava proclaimed when she saw the chairs on top of the dining table. “Oh, I don’t like those horrible leprechauns.” Then she spied a little green shamrock sticking out of the basket pyramid and and another on the floor behind her. “Oh look what they left me,” she said racing to find another one. “Aren’t they so nice?”


Ava refused to wear green all day because she had apparently snuggled with one of leprechauns the previous night and he told her that if she didn’t wear any green that day he would give her all his gold. He was a pink and white leprechaun and by her description looked like a square.

I told her that perhaps her leprechaun wouldn’t pinch her, but what about all the other leprechaun’s. She threw up her arms at the absurdity of my question and responded, “Well mama, he told all his friends not to pinch me.”

Square or not, this leprechaun’s clearly has connections.

Thus began the day long parade of white and pink ensembles as her closet has an seemingly endless supply of white and pink. After much effort and deliberation, she finally settled on bright red tank top and a “leopard-chaun skirt, paired appropriately with “pot of gold shoes.”


She spent her day clacking her shoes on the hardwood floors and re-hiding the shamrocks, which meant I spent my day hunting for the bits of green paper I cut out late last night and listening to her tap out the morse code for “we need to get out of this HOUSE!”

I made not one, but several plans for outings. Each time we would get close to leaving, I would look out the window, see the snow, and start to pout. Clearly, I am an outstanding role model.

Finally in desperation, I stuck our dinner in the oven, shoved us both in our coats, and threw open the door to the not-so-bitter cold. Ava ran back up the stairs to retrieve a pair of green socks just in case the leprechauns outside our house weren’t of the Good ‘n Plenty variety.

We set off in our matching Uggs for the pond across the street. As we were stomping out our frustrations in the slush that is our sidewalk, I heard a sound that I hadn’t heard in nearly five months.

“Wait Ava, wait,” I said attempting to silence her boots and identify the familiar, yet nearly forgotten sound. “Ducks! I hear ducks.”

We scrambled to the edge of the pond and sure enough there were two duck couples on the pond. On the pond, not in the pond as the pond was frozen.


This by far has to be been the cruelest trick of St. Patrick’s Day.

The two green heads were waddling about the ice poking their webbed feet on the cold surface trying to find a bit of free water. One of the lady ducks was hanging her beak in despair, while the other one was loudly lamenting their poor plight. Apparently gender stereotypes transcend humans.

After sizing up the sorry situation, Ava raced down the hill waving her hands like a flight director and shouting, “Over there! You have to go to the other pond over there. There’ s another pond over across that way. You need to go over there.” She stood there waving her arms in attempt to encourage the wayward ducks to go to the other pond, which was most likely as frozen as this one.

Disgusted with the ducks unwillingness to fly east, she walked back up to me to discuss Plan B.

“Mama, we need to go back to the house to get some warm water.”

“What for?”

“So they can swim”

“In the warm water”

“Mama…so we can put the warm water in the pond and then they can swim.”

“You want to melt the ice with warm water?”

Of course she did as well as get a large supply of bread and cracker crumbs to feed the “homeless” ducks.

I hurried my little Beatrix Potter home in hopes of retrieving said supplies. By the time we rounded the last corner she was so engrossed in on our leap frog version of tag that she forgot about the poor ducks and their bitter abode. Plus I was beginning to suspect that our dinner might be done cooking.

Precision, it’s not my forte.

Sure enough, the smells of a hot tamale pie met us at the door. We slipped off our wet boots and coats, hurried up the stairs, and mashed up some avocados just in time to meet Hungry Man with a bowl of green green guacamole.

Marching around the pond while the oven heated up our dinner was by far the best trick of the day.

Read Full Post »

After an over-extended family reunion, the local clouds parted ways and the bright blue sky reigned over a balmy day of twenty-five degrees above zero. In hopes of making the most of this atmospheric anomaly, Ava and I packed up our skates, gathered up our friends, and headed outside for our monthly dose of Vitamin D.


Girls, haven’t you heard, it’s twenty-five degrees. You don’t need a car in this perfect walking weather.


As you can see the Vitamin D has lots of opportunity for absorption. Sunscreen is severely overrated. Here, in the upper mid-west, we believe in layers. And we apply our layers generously. Come on Sun, do you worst. I just dare you to give me a tan.


Ava and Lydia were basically born on the ice.

Unlike Ava’s desert-grown mama, who kept whining about being cold.

Seriously, it was twenty-five degrees ABOVE zero. Would someone please remind her that it was fifty below zero last week thanks to the deadly wind chill? And she should be singing hallelujah over the seventy-five degree increase.

Luckily, Ruthie was there to help guide the frozen princess around the ice.


Thanks Ruthie, you’re a trooper. Next time feel free to loan her your snow pants or Smart Wool socks, I’m fairly certain they won’t fit, but they might curb her whining.

Ruthie was also a fearless leader in the critical ice game, Shuffle, Shuffle, Fall. It’s like Ring Around the Rosies, except you don’t hold hands or sing, and you fall down on ice. I’m fairly certain it will catch on.

Thanks to Kirsten, the girl’s mama and photographer extraordinaire (anyone brave enough to take a camera on ice is extraordinary in my book), we learned the fundamentals of falling on ice. I would not have known the importance of this as sand is always gracious to the clumsy. Not so with ice. You must put your cushiest part forward, that being your behind.

Ruthie, Lydia, and Ava chanted “Shuffle, shuffle” with each swish of their skate until someone yelled, “Fall” and they would all try to fall on their bums. Then they would get back up on their skates by themselves, (a feat I’m still impressed by) and do it again (also a feat I’m impressed by).

Ruthie and Lydia were more talented at the back-fall than the forwarding falling Ava as was evidenced by the six minor bruises that appeared this morning equally distributed between her knees.

There is, however, only so much falling on ice that two three-year-olds can endure. They went down for the last time,


realized that the ice was in fact cold and hard,


and crawled, “wee, wee, wee” all the way back to the snow bank, where they found an orange sled.


Take it from these girls, Shuffle, Shuffle, Fall is much better when you land on a mound of white fluff.

Read Full Post »