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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Observations On Minnesota in Winter

Minnesotans develop the "winter hunch" which is actually two different things with the same name. The first winter hunch is when people are walking outside during winter. Good posture disappears in Minnesota at this time and is replaced with hunched shoulders and a bowed head. This is partly because people are trying to shield themselves from the cold and partly because their winter jackets are so heavy that they can't stand up straight anymore.
The second winter hunch is one that most Minnesotans think they have. It goes something like this, "Uff-da, I got a hunch it's gonna snow tonight, and ya betcha we're gonna get stuck at home tomorrow." "Yup, better head to the grocery store and buy us some more lefse/flour to make lefse to get us through."

Two lane roads turn into one lane roads overnight. When the snowplow goes through, it pushes all the snow from the middle of the street onto the side of the street, creating huge mountains of snow right along where cars would normally park. This leaves little to no room for parking and definitely space for only one car to drive on the street at a time. If you're heading up a hill in winter, you better pray you don't meet someone coming down because one of you is going to have to back up, and it'll probably be you because the other guy won't be able to back UP the icy hill to let you through.

Small children disappear during the winter and are replaced by small abominable snowman-type creatures. Some theorize that this is due to the 14 layers most parents put on their child before allowing them to go outdoors in the winter.

Ya sure, ya betcha it's cold! 'Nuff said.

People who visit Minnesota in the spring bring home tales of ghosts and strange people who wear shorts when it's 48 degrees outside. A typical Minnesotan's skin only sees sunlight for about 4 months out of the year which means that after a long winter, they're literally as white as a ghost. Minnesotans are also known for thinking that any temperature over the freezing point is shorts and sandals weather.

Winter in Minnesota would be the perfect time to commit a crime. Everyone's bundled up from head to toe with only their eyes showing anyways, so a burglar could easily blend into a crowd. He also could get away without anyone being able to identify his vehicle because it would be probably be covered with snow, sand from the roads, and slush. His license plate would be covered up by the miniature snowdrifts that build up on anything that isn't completely smooth, making a positive ID practically impossible. Unless he's like that one crook I heard of on the radio the other day. He was very careful all the way through the burglary, but made one little mistake as he left. He backed into a snow bank to pull out and left a perfect imprint of his license plate in the snow, leading police straight to his door. Oops.

Occasional frostbite is nothing to get excited over. Don't try telling other Minnesotans that the tip of your pinkie got frostbitten while you were out shoveling 2 feet of snow and expect them to be impressed. It happens and it's no big deal.

When schools close for a snow day during a blizzard, it generally doesn't deter people from going anywhere. So the kids have a snow day? Load 'em up in the car and let's go shopping!

During the summer, Minnesotans talk about the road construction. During the winter, they talk about the weather. When it hits 20 below 0, Minnesotans start using the phrase, "Cold 'nuff fer ya?" liberally. At that point, most will also start wearing a knit hat outdoors as well.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Milk and Minivans

I've come to terms with having a boy and am throwing myself wholeheartedly into the color blue. On a recent shopping trip, I purchased blue pacifiers, blue receiving blankets, blue sleepers, and a blue pacifier holder. I could use what I had from Princess, but most of her baby accessories are pink. I made sure to get neutral colored big ticket items, like the baby swing, bouncy seat, etc., but went crazy with pink for everything else. So this time, I'm going crazy with blue and no matter what I have next time around, I'll be prepared.

After drinking very well from her cup for a while, Princess has started throwing her cup (full) of milk on the floor again. I had read somewhere that if your child is begging for a bottle when he or she is too old for it, go ahead and give it to them. The child will soon tire of working so hard for such a small amount of milk and will want their cup back. So I figured why wouldn't this work on Princess? She went in time-out for throwing her cup and when she came back, I handed her a baby bottle with a slow flow nipple. I told her that because she wasn't being a big girl when she threw her cup, that she could no longer have a big girl cup and had to drink from a bottle like a baby. She was hesitant to take the bottle from me at first so I set it on her high chair tray and left the room to get a load of laundry out of the dryer. When I came back to the kitchen, Princess's food was untouched and she was blissfully sucking on the bottle. She took it out long enough to smile happily at me, and I took the opportunity to reinforce the theory that bottles are for babies just in case she didn't get it the first time.
"I baby." she said, popping it back into her mouth.
Okay, maybe that would've worked better if she weren't obsessed with babies and everything about them. Guess I'll demote her to a sippy cup for a while and keep giving her time-outs every time the cup lands on the floor. Hopefully she'll get the idea that throwing her cup is NOT acceptable, and I'll be able to upgrade her back to a regular cup before she turns three.

Remember that nice minivan I mentioned in my last post? Less than two weeks after buying it (or to be more specific, taking out a loan for it), I managed to scratch the sliding door on the driver's side. I very stupidly thought I could get out of a parking spot that most other drivers would be able to get out of without mishap. I forgot to take into consideration that I AM A TERRIBLE DRIVER! The term "woman driver" is not without some truth in my house. The local body shop in town gets a good laugh every time I come in because I'm what you would call a regular there, and my mishaps are generally incredibly stupid. My dad who was with me when I scratched the van, called them up before I could get there and told them what happened. When I walked in the door I was met with snorts of laughter. The owner's wife told me that she'd heard I hadn't even gotten it off the car lot before wrecking the van. Which was somewhat true because I was back at the dealership having a new latch put in the glove compartment when I scratched the van.

The first time I damaged a car was 6 days after getting my license. I was attempting to adjust the radio while going around a curve and ended up going off the road, flying through a mailbox, over a driveway, went airborne over a ditch, and landed in a cornfield narrowly missing a light pole. I was fine, but had the joy of calling Hubby, then my boyfriend, at work and telling him that I'd wrecked his car which he was loaning me until I could get my own. After that incident, he still married me though, so whenever he gets mad at me for doing something to whatever vehicle I'm currently driving, I remind him that he knew what he was getting into when he married me.

Unsolicited Advice:
I recently read two books that I recommend for any parent. "Time-Out for Toddlers" by Dr. James W. Varni and "It Works For Us" by Tom McMahon. The second book is a compilation of helpful tips for just about every child-rearing situation from hundreds of different parents.
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