Wednesday, January 8, 2014

-17: What We Did While Stuck in the House for Two Days

{Via my friend Amy on Facebook}

I know what you're thinking.  Enough already about the cold.  Sorry folks, but these snow days deserve documenting.  I don't know what got into me, because I truly am a summer/beach/hot days/sunshine kind of girl normally, but something about the extreme temps suddenly motivated me to...turn into Mrs. Science?  Well, except my version of "science" involves just exploring and looking at/touching/eating cool stuff.  There wasn't much explanation of scientific principles going on here, just, "Hey kids, watch this!" as mom bundled up and headed outside to throw boiling water around.  

Also, I know that Facebook can be a time suck and a downer in people's lives (if you let it be), but in this case I found real camaraderie there.  There was something cool about the weather bringing everyone together in this shared experience (regardless of job/marital/parental/social status), and forcing everyone to slow down their normally fast-paced lives in this culture of ours that so often seems to equate "busy" with "important".  We discovered just how porous and energy inefficient our new-to-us 1960 house is, but you can't help but feel grateful to simply have functioning central heating on cold days like the ones we've been having.  After having initially been thrown into stay at home motherhood and then muddling through a rough (for me) year of moving last year, I don't always pause to appreciate the flexibility of my life, but on snow days when I'm not stressing about work or scrambling for back-up childcare I certainly do. 

Anyway, I'm proud of myself because we managed to have some fun and not go totally stir crazy.  It helps that the kids are pretty much homebodies who usually prefer to just play, play, play at home anyway (and watch a little TV - let us not forget the TV's important role in surviving winter).  Fortunately, Joe was able to work from home and avoid commuting.  Although that always means he's truly working a full day and not hanging out with us, it still greatly helps my mood and mental state just to have another adult around, even if I only see him in 3 minute breaks throughout the day.  Little things, like the ability to say, "I'm taking a shower now, so could you please get Waylon up if he wakes and starts fussing in the next 10 minutes?" are kind of huge.

So, we survived and rather enjoyed our extended holiday break.  It was back to school today, which for Georgia meant lots of tears and that "first day feeling" all over again, but I guess that was to be expected.  Gotta get back in our groove.

First up: freezing bubbles. This proved harder than anticipated due to wind. But it worked. I also thought it was amazing how quickly my plate full of bubble solution froze, so I brought that in for the kids to see. (Oh, I guess I should mention - I was the only idiot going outside. Everyone else watched from the window.)
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Funny, I did not have bubble wands handy in January, so my choices were limited to "tiny" or "coat hanger".

Next: throwing a pot of boiling water in the air and watching it immediately freeze into "snow" before hitting the ground. Probably not a good example to set for a two year old, but I thought this was AWESOME and therefore did it twice. DSC_0653
{Do these two pairs of pants make my butt look big?}


Next: making ice balls by filling balloons with water and food coloring and then letting them freeze. Here are ours nestled in the snow atop our patio table. DSC_0667

Of course, the real fun is in unwrapping them. DSC_0674 DSC_0675 DSC_0677 DSC_0678 DSC_0679

What, Mom? I'm definitely not licking them over here. DSC_0683 DSC_0684 DSC_0686 DSC_0693
I think I kind of did something wrong because this project was messier than anticipated. Too much dye, perhaps? Now they sit outside looking like giant, beautiful jelly beans catching the light. DSC_0699
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Except for the clear ones, which we tried melting with salt and cracking open with a hammer. DSC_0703 DSC_0712 DSC_0706
Mmmmmm. Salt.

This next "experiment" didn't happen on purpose, but I just wanted to show you how poorly insulated our kitchen pantry is. Our cans of La Croix sparkling water turned into partially frozen slushies. DSC_0638

Next up (remember, these weren't all on one day): We got all Little House on the Prairie up in here and made some maple syrup taffy by boiling it and then drizzling it over snow. DSC_0721 DSC_0725 DSC_0729

Finally, we made snow ice cream. Actually, we made two different batches to do a taste comparison of the different recipes. : ) (Let me know if you want any of these things.  After eating all this stuff I read some article discussing the fact that snow radiation levels in the Midwest are testing higher than normal due to the wrecked Fukushima reactor in Japan.  Cripes.  Hopefully it's not above the safe limit and we didn't eat enough to cause harm!) DSC_0732 DSC_0738 DSC_0741
Georgia preferred the first batch, but I thought this one was better.

Other than all of that, and the aforementioned television, we just had a whole lotta silliness. Like Kiwi Crate homemade headbands, toilets in office chairs, and chasing people in a Crock-Pot box. Long, housebound days, but good times.
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I guess Waylon is trying to further improve Joe's workplace efficiency. : )

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Well, I think my work here is done for at least the next six months, don't you?     


Maggie said...

I want the ice cream recipes for the next time it snows. Definitely doing that. And I applaud your colored bubble project - but I have a fear of dyes. It looks incredible though!!

Susan said...

This is impressive!! Those pics of you outside by yourself putting on science shows made me laugh :)

Ann Price said...

Great ideas and impressive follow through! I think a snow day warrants some great science fun as well as sweet treats. Well played indeed!

jessica said...

Dang, Kate! I'm impressed! I love the science experiments!

Sarah said...