Winter survival for beginners

Here we are nearly Christmas and it’s snowing (again). Our area (Bedfordshire) has had so much snow recently that I am bored of it. The novelty has worn off, I can’t drive in this weather (I nearly cried when DH struggled to reverse his car off our steeply sloped drive and got stuck with a load of snow and ice behind the back wheels), it’s hard to walk and keep myself upright, the stroller moving and Ben upright so I have been stranded in the house for a while.

On Friday I managed to walk to the sandwich shop and hairdressers (without kids – such bliss) and on Saturday DH bravely drove out and we had a pre Christmas cheer up meal at The Navigation in Stoke Bruerne.

As usual we loved our meals there, Steak and Marston’s Pie (Daddy), Scampi and Chips (Mummy), Fish fingers and chips (Ben), pea’s (Ciaran) and Ben and I gamely tackled the pudding menu (when I stop dieting I do it in style). Bizarelly given the freezing weather Ben was adamant he wanted icecream and ate the whole slab of chocolate icecream covered in smarties, I quickly ate my sticky toffee pudding and custard in case Ben decided he fancied something warm (Ciaran managed to get a few mouthfuls of pudding).

We then bravely walked along the canal side. As the purpose of the trip had been for all of us to get some fresh air and exercise I had worn thick pink jogging bottoms, trainers, a t-shirt, jumper, knitted poncho and coat. Ben was wearing plenty of layers and Ciaran was in his white snow suit. What did their Daddy wear? A jumper. No coat. Unsuprisingly he felt cold.

None of us had gloves (I gave Ben some last year and he kept throwing them off so I didn’t bother this year) other then Ciaran whose eyes could just be seen through the snowsuit. Despite the cold we managed a nice walk and Ben threw a few snowballs (his Daddy had taught him the art of snowball throwing earlier) mainly at me as I had said that his Daddy was off limits (I didn’t want to trigger a bout of man flu before Christmas) and Ciaran was off limits being a baby.

We got home got warm and had a nice evening watching TV and planning our Christmas viewing – apparently its BBC 1 all the way on Christmas Day.

On Sunday we had arranged for my cousin, his partner and baby to come over for lunch. DH was quickly dispatched to Tesco’s having deemed the roads and pavements too icy for me to drive or walk (I have a bad track record with slipping and breaking bones). After a nice roast dinner and being thrashed by the men at Wii bowling we decided to have another walk.

Cousin popped to his new home (5 minute walk in snow from our house) to get his dog and then, DH, the boys and I joined him. This time Daddy wore a coat and I… well I had planned to spend the day indoors and had worn an old skirt and sweater to cook dinner. All I had time to do after dressing the boys for a walk outside was pull on a pair of trainers (no socks even), my poncho and coat. Yes around sunset yesterday I pushed a stroller around the woods in bare legs (it actually doesn’t bother me, I don’t tend to get cold legs, if my top half is warm and feet are dry then I’m fine).

The two men frolicked with the dog’s tennis balls, jumping and catching the balls while the poor dog walked alongside them. Ben ran around the woods and loved joining us in calling the dog back after she ran off – Ciaran managed a few gurgles and after 20 minutes we were back home and warming up again.

Ciaran was given left over chilli con carne for his tea (in my defence I added a little soft cheese to it to dull some of the spice) which he loved. Ben had a tantrum and was inially calmed down with a plate of toast instead of chilli before deciding that the chilli on my plate looked better than his plain toast.

Today we hit a snag – no food in the house, no way to get to the shops and no delivery slots available so I’ve emailed my shopping list to poor hubby to pick up on the way home and got creative for lunch. Instead of the sandwiches I had planned to give the boys I raided the leftovers in the Able and Cole box and made a nice carrot and coriander soup (warmed up with some ground ginger) for the kids and a cup a soup for me.

So here’s my tired mummy cold weather survival tips

1. Turn thermostat down and keep the heating on at night unless you like being woken up by the sound of little teeth chattering.
2. Two children+ice+1 parent = disaster. Add another adult to the mix and its fine.
3. Get out and make the most of it – while it’s a pain in the bum to be stranded and snowed in it happens so rarely and the cold air exhausts the kids making a long lie-in possible.

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