Ice, Ice Babies

January 18, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Posted in Family, Photo Tuesday, Transylvania | 18 Comments
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“Hear! hear!” screamed the jay from a neighboring tree, where I had heard a tittering for some time. “Winter has a concentrated and nutty kernel, if you know where to look for it.” — Henry David Thoreau

Thoreau’s jay obviously knows something we don’t. We are winter novices. Where we come from? The city all but shuts down with the tiniest dusting.

So these daily snowfalls we’re having in Romania, these slick sidewalks and frozen trash-can lids, this maze of wet-boot tracks trailing through our apartment building … Well, it’s strange.

And not altogether pleasing.

We took the kids ice skating last weekend. My daughter fell and cut her hand before she’d even gotten in the rink. Before she’d even gotten her skates on. Things did not improve, tears were shed, and we soon headed for warmer ground. And frothy mugs of hot chocolate.

Yesterday, after school, we tried sledding. First time down the hill? The kids hit a bump, tumbled off, and face-planted in the snow. They could not be talked into a second run, no matter how much we coaxed and soothed. The only remedy was the car heater. Cranked on high. To sufficiently thaw frozen noses and eyelashes.

Yes, we are winter novices. And we are ready. For sun, for spring, for a day without perpetually wet mittens, for a day without mittens at all. It’s coming soon, right? Right??

Is there winter where you are? How do you (and your children) make the best of it? And how do you hold on till spring?


Fluffy Bunnies in Romania:
Read the tales
See the photos.



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  1. oh wow. I am stunned. I live in Colorado where people fly in airplanes so that they can come here to SKI. To have extra winter, deep winter, fluffy winter.

    I just didn’t realize that some people don’t experience winter. How dumb am I? Thank you for this enlightenment today. Now I better understand why you family photo was such a feat!

    I wish I could loan you my mind where there are safely stored dozens…hundreds…of cozy mittened memories. Here’s one:

    When I was very little my father, newly divorced and probably buying children’s clothing for the first time on his own, bought me a pair of down mittens so we could go night skiing together. They were HUGE. Way too big for my little hands. But they were all we had and so I wore them anyhow and happily so because I could tell my father was happy to be skiing with me.

    I didn’t really care that nothing fit and everything was bungled. What I remember about those memories was that my father wanted to be with me. He loved to ski and he wanted to share that with me. He wanted it so badly that he was willing to learn to purchase things he’d never purchased and go out into the cold, dark night to chase me down the bunny slope. It is one of the warmest memories of my childhood.

    Your kids? They will only remember the warmth of your cocoa and the good times in the car. I promise.

  2. My girls purport to love snow and want to go sledding, but once I start with the mittens, snow pants, hats, and so on, they change their minds. The Boy isn’t old enough to know the difference quite yet between green (grass), brown (wet mud), and white (snow — we’ve only had one or two dustings). I think once we have a real snow, the girls will find the gumption to sled for a 1/2 hour or so. I better stock up on the cocoa!

  3. I wish I had words of encouragement. I hate winter. And get LOTS of in unfortunately. For me it’s just about surviving… there’s not a lot of enjoyment.
    So um… yeah. Have fun with that!

  4. Winter…I love the look of the snow falling, and the joy of a snow day for the kids, filled with sledding and snowman building and hot cocoa. For the first month. Then reality sets in, with two hour long commutes (for a 30 minute drive) on the icy highways; kids fighting over the video games b/c they’re tired of being out in the cold; my hands with no circulation turning numb even in the warm house. Winter lasts well into March in these parts, and I’m sick of it by January.

    One fun thing I did with the kids when they were little? We would fill 8×10 cake pans with snow, then create snowmen/balls/houses while sitting at the kitchen table. We’d even make “snow sundaes” with hot fudge sauce and sprinkles on top of the snowballs…the loved that!

    Good luck surviving the Romanian winter…when does spring usually arrive? How much longer do you have until you return to the U.S.?

  5. Oh how I am actually wishing for snow here in Cincinnati. It’s been such a tease this year…20s on one day and then 50s and downpours of rain. Usually I’d be fine with it, but my 2 & 4 year olds are just itching to go sledding and build a snowman. I feel for them. Unlike last year, we’ve barely seen a dusting so far.

  6. If the snow isn’t too powdery, building a snowman is next on your list of things to do. And keep the hot chocolate coming! As a child, I used to ride a sled down a small slope on our property. After a couple rides, it wasn’t worth the effort to lug the sled back to the top! By then, I was too cold to stay out any longer. Now I live where winters are mild, and I like that much better.

  7. Great pics!

  8. embrace it! i wait all year for the snow and the cold and the mittens and the hats. just look around and notice how beautiful it all is…

  9. Hot Toddies…

  10. It’s winter here on the outskirts of the Windy City. Decent snowfall last week and a dusting last night. Pretty cold out there, but I don’t have the winter blues … yet. We’ve had so many unseasonably warm days all fall and “winter” that it seems wrong to complain. We grilled out on Christmas Day. The first week of the year my kids played outside every afternoon. We’ve not yet hit the cold-all-the-time-never-see-the-sun-will-spring-ever-come moment. Check back with me at the end of March!!! Stay warm. Keep the hot cocoa a flowing.

  11. […] Finally, finally, we made it to the hill, where children with purple hats and orange coats and blue sleds flitted around like bits of confetti from a busted pinata. It started to snow. Of course it did. […]

  12. Beautiful, as always. We’re supposed to get 6 inches tonight and we’re all so excited!!!

  13. Gosh these pics are amazing. Poor Lollipop – hope she’s better. I tried flag football once. Me, the girl who doesn’t like sports. So it’s only fitting that I broke my finger at practice, on my first day, before the game even started. Needless to say – last time I ever tried sports again 🙂

    Also, what a cute sled! I love it.

  14. Winter can be a challenge. Once you realize everyone has frozen snot on their faces and toes will freeze under blankets after the fun is finished, you can enjoy it more. Around here, the (goat) kids still run and bounce and play and bask as long as it’s not snowing at the time. Hang in there. Spring isn’t too far off.

  15. Love the sled pulling picture! As of now, we here in the southern US have not had any big snow, ice, ick yet this year and I can’t say that I am sad about it. I share the same memory of our town shutting down when the snow comes, even just a flurry. Heck when they even mention it here on the news everyone runs to the grocery store to buy up all the milk and bread as if they are going to be stuck in the house for weeks…. 🙂

  16. Beautiful work.

  17. Never lived in a place where winter becomes a problem. In Texas, a little ice, and all the schools and road close. That only lasts for a day. In Arizona, snow is something that is a novelty. In fact, people bring snow in for winter parties.

    Hope you have access to hot chocolate. Gorgeous pics as always.

  18. Love your pictures! They came out so well!

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