Life

How We Survive Frigid Winters with Kids

So we live in Wyoming, which means brutal, long, cold winters. We’ve had one especially crazy snowstorm, and lots more snow since, so it piles up… and it goes on, and on, and on. Basically, once snow hits, you’ll likely not see the pavement or ground again until spring. Here are a few things that help us make it through!

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Snow Tires. We can’t just hibernate the entire winter, we need to get out of the house — for provisions, to relieve the cabin fever… sometimes, we really do need to leave the house and it’s still snowing, and there’s snow everywhere. I didn’t think snow tires would make a big difference, but after slipping and sliding while trying to make it back up a slight hill to get home, we realized we needed to do something. Our car doesn’t have 4WD, just front-wheel, and we really thought we might need a new vehicle to make it through these crazy winters, but we figured it was a better financial decision to at least try spending several hundred dollars on new tires rather than having to buy a whole new car. Let me tell you: snow tires make ALL the difference. (these are the ones we got if you’re looking) I can cruise around this town through snow drifts and fresh snow nowadays, whereas before I’d be inching around holding on for dear life. I’m not kidding when I say snow days caused a lot of stress and anxiety for me… Now? I got this!

(It bears repeating: remember safe driving practices for the weather too: take your time, keep a longer distance between you and other cars, pump the brakes if you start to slide, triple-check before turning into traffic because if you cut someone off it is pretty hard to avoid the consequences… and be very, very grateful for the guys who drive your town’s plow trucks!)

Also: get tall snow boots — snow just falls into shorter boots. That’s seriously the worst. And around here gloves are seriously necessary if you’re going to do anything outside, like scrape off your car. You might be thinking “oh I’ll be fine, it’ll just take five minutes!” Your hands will be in a lot of pain when its 12 degrees outside. Just trust me on this one.

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Embrace the jammies. The truth is, with so much snow outside we spend a lot of days indoors. And we have totally embraced spending the day in pajamas! Fleece zip-up footie pajamas are our favorite: comfy, soft and warm. Plus they’re surprisingly stain-resistant! Funny story: Adelina doesn’t own a ton of winter clothes for her size because she wears them so rarely… ha.

(I will add a caveat: I think this only applies to kids. It really helps me get moving and get energized for the day when I shower and get ready earlier; staying in pajamas half the day (or all day…) can be a recipe for depression real fast.)

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Winterize. Did you know that was a word? I didn’t until I moved to frozen tundra land! Ha ha. It means preparing your home for the deep freeze. Things like blowing out your sprinkler line and covering exterior plumbing, checking for drafts, changing your furnace filter, etc. (Stuff like this) When we get a really cold night where it’s dropping into negative temps, we’ve even turned all your facets to a drip so the your pipes wouldn’t risk freezing. Seriously, it can get that bad, and there’s nothing worse than things breaking down with little kids at home and several feet of snow piled up outside.

Moisturize. My knuckles can start to crack and bleed if I don’t frequently slather my hands up in the winter (hence the importance of those gloves, again!) Same goes for the kids, especially if they take daily baths — that’ll dry them out real quick. When Adelina was born I was giving her daily baths for a while because it helped calm her down and get her ready for bed, but her skin was seriously suffering. I finally realized I needed to cut back some because she would dry up so bad. Since Jonas has been in casts for so long, he only gets weekly baths at casting, and the difference is night and day. Besides, babies always smell delightful no matter what! (Seriously though, we need to stop having winter babies. Cold and flu season… blah.)

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Hygge it up! Blankets, copious amounts of hot chocolate, cuddling and reading books. And candles and twinkle lights. Also, watching Frozen on repeat, apparently. (This girl is obsessed these days…)

And try to enjoy the winter wonderland as much as you can, because otherwise you’ll get pretty grumpy… not that I know what that’s like! Snow sports like skiing are tricky with kids, but we can find other ways to have fun outdoors. We made snow cones a while ago and Adelina thought it was the coolest thing ever (and then requested it a million times the next few days).

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This was just strawberry syrup, but you could get all sorts of creative.

Do you have any winter survival tips? I’m not going to lie, I’m about ready for spring now… sigh.

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