We’re living through an Arctic blast here in Pennsylvania. The snow hasn’t been too intense this winter (unlike in Boston) but wow. This was a good weekend to be indoors. I’ve never had a baby in winter before. I can see upsides and downsides. The downside is that we are pretty much housebound. I can bundle him up, but even the minute it took to get him from the grocery store into the car seat on Saturday set the baby screaming. I nixed a family trip yesterday because of the minus-30 wind chill. If it were summer, we’d be going for daily walks at this point. My January baby has only had one walk, on a somewhat spring-ish 40 degree day a few weeks ago.
On the other hand, you don’t get out that much with an infant anyway, and if it were gorgeous spring or summer weather, the opportunity cost would be higher. There’s not that much to do when it’s this ridiculously cold out anyway, so sitting around watching TV, or reading while the kids play Mario Kart, isn’t quite the same sacrifice.
That said, we did do a few fun things this weekend. On Friday night, I took the 3 big kids to the circus. My husband stayed home with the baby. We had a blast watching the performers. I would really like to interview the woman who gets shot out of a cannon about her life and career choice. In the parking lot afterwards, my daughter ran away from me, which caused momentary panic (and scared the daylights out of the people in the car she was running toward). Fortunately, I was able to nab her before she got far. When I asked her what she thought she was doing, she told me that she wanted to run back to the circus. Yes, my 3-year-old wanted to run away to join the circus. In the car on the way home they all identified which performers they wanted to be. My 5-year-old wanted to be the stunt biker doing tricks on the half-pipe, which didn’t surprise me at all. He’s also told me he wants to be a soldier, and I think specifically, a fighter pilot.
On Saturday, after my attempt at red, heart-shaped pancakes (see photo) my husband took the two older boys to try snowboarding. The two boys took a lesson, and seemed to like it. Humorously, my husband shot this long video sequence of what turned out to be another child going down the hill on his board. I guess in dark coats and helmets, they sort of look the same. I spent the day at home with the baby and the 3-year-old (other than the grocery store trip). It was one of those days full of infant time. He took a long nap, but I didn’t know he’d take a long nap. So I just did what I could. I did get to play outside with my daughter, and I got a run in on the treadmill. I proofread some of I Know How She Does It. When the boys came home, we got the kids to bed and then my husband cooked a Valentine’s Day dinner of king crab legs and asparagus.
On Sunday it was so cold that we were mostly inside (I’m really glad we’ve got that treadmill!). My husband took the 3-year-old swimming at the YMCA, though, and she had a good time. At night, my husband and I went to a local BYOB for our anniversary dinner. We met on February 15th, 2003. We got engaged on February 15th, 2004. It’s been a busy 12 years. I celebrated by sleeping for 7 hours straight (the night nanny was here). This morning, I took the big kids out for breakfast, since they were all on school holiday. They devoured the diner’s silver dollar pancakes. I think next time I’ll have to order off the adult menu for them! Now it’s back to Mario Kart. Oh well.
In other news: I’ve been doing some interviews with fiction blogs about The Cortlandt Boys, my novel, and I’ll be doing a Twitter chat on writing habits and routines on Thursday, February 19th at 12:30 p.m. eastern. The hash tag will be #CortlandtBoys. I welcome questions and suggestions on making time to write, the differences between writing fiction and non-fiction, and so forth. Please join me! I’m @lvanderkam over there.