If you know me at all, you know that I am not a cold weather kind of girl. I grew up in sunny Phoenix where we swam outdoors all year long, never needed to own a winter coat, and could actually rationalize the purchase of a convertible. People shudder at the thought of Phoenix’s notorious heat. They gasp in horror at the thoughts of temps above 100 degrees. I guess if you’ve never experienced it for yourself, it probably does sound slightly crazy. There are days when your car feels like an oven, and the metal parts of your seatbelt can leave welts on innocent skin. 🙂 July is brutal and most people spend the majority of the month indoors, grateful for the modern convenience of air conditioning. But let’s be honest, other than 2 1/2 or 3 months during the year, there are 9 months where it’s fabulous. FABULOUS. Warm days, lots of sunshine, lots of time outside, and nights without mosquitos or humidity. I think the high there today was around what the highest temp was here all summer. What I wouldn’t give to have summer weather right now!
In addition to the fact that I have no idea how to “do” snow or cold weather, the hardest part about living here is the darkness. Today it was pitch black outside by 4:30 in the afternoon. It’s so hideous. We didn’t follow daylight savings time in AZ and seriously, I don’t know why any states do. Maybe a hundred years ago it was a good idea, but today not so much. I would MUCH rather have another hour of sunlight in the evening rather than in the morning. Same for the summer. I do not need it to be light outside until almost 9 p.m. Not good for getting little ones to bed.
I find that I have to work extra hard during these winter months to keep busy and active so that I don’t fall into the trap of laziness, boredom, or even sadness. It’s amazing how much lack of sunshine can change your mood. I also don’t want to just spend the next months wishing the time away, waiting for the sun to return and to end the hibernation. So I am gearing up to make these cold/grey days great. And, in the meantime, I’m booking plane tickets for Phoenix in February.
All this to say, I would love any ideas or suggestions on how you and your family make the most of those long winter days. What’s your favorite indoor activity? How do you help a toddler and a preschooler get the wiggles out when you have a two bedroom apartment and can’t go outside? Share your ideas in the comments, I’ll think of some of my own too, and then I’ll make a winter survival post. Oh, and you Arizonans can share your summer survival ideas! Sound good?