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Totally Unnecessary aka Polar Vortex 2019 (12 months + Friday Catch Up 2/1)

The weather this week was totally unnecessary, as well all know. But we survived Polar Vortex 2019!

Did you read about Emmie’s Birthday Party Weekend? Or her birthday proper?

Friday Catch Up 2/1

Well, the main theme of this week was surviving the crazy snow and temps that this Polar Vortex weather front brought with it. Do you all remember the first Polar Vortex, in 2014, when Alex and I were taking our first trip from Chicago to Cabo, and how we got on the plane and had to get back off? That was a hot (cold?) mess, but it all worked out. And then there was the Polar Vortex the following year, but that was way less intense, as I remember. Well, Polar Vortex 2019 put both of those to shame with intensity, although the others won out in duration.

1). Pre Vortex

First we got the snow this weekend, and that just continued into Monday. My parents’ flight was delayed by 6 or 7 hours, but they ultimately got out of Dodge and back to the warmth of Mexico. We did not.

That isn’t to say that we didn’t have fun!

Alex had to go into work, so I put Emmie together and she, Ridley, and I tromped our way around the pond for a walk. I realized heading out, however, that there was no way that I would be able to get the BOB out because our sidewalks weren’t clear. So when it came time to make a decision about whether or not I would go to Stroller Strides, I hemmed and hawed and but ultimately said, “F*** it, I’m going.” The temps weren’t bad, there was just a lot of snow, and you can wear your kiddos at Strides, so why not?

I wish I had a picture of me wearing Emmie at the workout. We were a little late thanks to a very late bus and me trying to be smart but actually being stupid, but we made it, we saw several of our friends, we got out of the house, and I showed off by eating a sandwich over top of my daughter’s head while also feeding her bits of it. #boom

We went to an early class the next day, as well, and I took the Bob because I needed to get more of Emmie’s special milk. I honestly almost wish I hadn’t, because even though my stroller is a beast in the sheets streets and can handle most anything, giant snow blocks got in our way and it was a workout making it through several parts.

But thank goodness for Fit4Mom and Strides, because those classes were the only time I got outside this entire week!

Laughing with my friends, having that release and thinking about something OTHER than what was coming (plus scheming for how to deal with what we knew was inevitable) was so appreciated.

But the inevitable did happen!

2). Polar Vortex 2019

This is what happens when you have a humidifier near a sliding glass door and it is sub zero temps outside

PV2014 was the coldest weather I had ever encountered apart from when I would go skiing. And we didn’t even have to deal with it too much (we went to Mexico), but we did have 60* and 80* shifts in temps when we left and returned. I think it was neg 7 the Monday we were supposed to leave? These temps made that look like playtime.

Um no thank you (I said something far less appropriate on IG stories).

So we set up and ran space heaters all over the apartment. As several of you know, the wall heater in our main room has been broken for several weeks, with the parts on order (it is getting fixed Monday. #toolittletoolate). I think the thought of what was coming scared the heater in Emmie’s room to the extent that it just stopped working as of Tuesday. And forget the baseboard heater. THAT SAID, we are not dying or freezing to death. We are being smart and keeping blinds down to block drafts, weather stripping as well, and I have figured how the optimal places for the heaters to keep us warm without tripping the circuits. Trust me, that took a few days to figure out.

Also, I am looking for any excuse to use the oven, so I baked multiple times, made chili in the slow cooker, roasted salmon one night and cauliflower the next, and I have officially reached perhaps my greatest number of hot beverages per day, and that is saying something.

We also layered up: I declared them both Jammie Days, and I had Emmie in a onesie, leggings (unicorn of course), and socks under her fleece footie jammies (unicorn of course), and a hoodie on top (unicorn, of course). We tried to stay moving, and our hardwork payed off, because girlfriend did something very exciting, which I will tell you in a minute!

I also may or may not have just leaned in hard to the concept and not taken a true shower or have given Emmie a true bath since Tuesday. Don’t you judge me.

I’d say it was low 60s in the apartment during the day, 50s in the coldest part at night. But I checked and no one lost any toes, and my “winter layer” courtesy of the holidays and stopping breastfeeding did me a solid by not letting me freeze.

3) Cool Emmie Things!

Emmie has gone through another major mental growth spurt (or “leap”) in the past 7-10 days!

This week, she has gotten heavily into pointing. She opens her books and starts to point to things that she wants us to name, or when I bring out her banana and ask if she wants it, she points to it and gets very excited. She loves pointing to her birthday balloons, too (you bet I kept those).

Interestingly, after a week of refusing her morning oatmeal + milk + pb combo, she is back into it!

Blender spinach Muffins

She is refusing to eat the spinach banana blender muffins I made her, however, but I don’t really blame her (I had to add more flour but didn’t also increase the flavoring agents so they kind of just taste of flour). But she is very happy because I made her another round of her birthday banana bread and added more banana to it.

Emmie was very happy that I made pasta this week (she now likes it), and she also really likes the ham left over from her party. She enjoyed sharing my sandwich on Monday, even, which she normally isn’t so into. She even dabbled in some salmon the other night, which is a real victory for her picky eating phases.

As of last week, Emmie has become much more proficient at offering or giving her toys or whatever to us. She really likes to roll her new ball back to you. She honestly looks like she is having some sort of tic-attack when she does it because of how she flips it out of her hands, but I’m counting it. It generally goes where she wants it to (or where I perceive she wants it to go), so if she looks funny doing it, why not.

We were playing a game yesterday where she was trying to put on her hat–so that she could take it off, because god forbid she wear a hat–and multiple times, when I asked for the hat, she gave it to me, and then, when I would offer it back in a way to help her accomplish her goal, would pick it up with that intention and immeiately try to put it on. Basically, she understood that I was trying to help, she would kind of ask for help, receive it, and then put it to use. That was pretty cool to watch!

Also super exciting is that she made some great literal and figurative steps towards walking independently! She has been walking very competently while holding one of your hands for over a month now, and she can go pretty fast while doing it. But, up to this point, the confidence or the courage to let go or to iniate walking by herself has been lacking. She typically will stop immediately and sink down to sit and/or cry out instantly when you let go. However, over the past few days, she has started walking longer and longer distances between Alex and I and with greater and greater control.

Yesterday (Thursday), we were in her room playing, and I decided to see if I could use my phone as bait and set her up so that she would have to peel away the least amount before she started walking. And… it worked! Soon, she was waling a little triangle of ottoman > chair > me > ottoman! And she was so excited and proud of herself! Of course, there was a little fall, and I had to convince her to try one last time so as to end on a good note, but I as so proud of her for overcoming her fear, even if only for that time.

4) I’m so looking forward to our weekend plans as a chance to get out of the apartment before it rains and we are stuck inside agian. Today, I am going to a special #LetsTalkFertility Brunch hosted by CCRM. The purpose of this luncheon is to work to break down barriers to talking about fertility and to make sure that the most current and correct information regarding infertility is getting out. I will be reporting back with what I learn at the brunch!

Saturday is Emmie’s swim class, as usual, and then Alex and I are hoping to take her for a family run (it will be a TROPICAL 40ish degrees). Saturday, we are doing brunch with our friends because all of us need to have the kiddos in bed when the Super Bowl would be starting, lol.

What did you do to survive the bitter cold?

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