Things are finally settling back down after the insanity of the holidays.  To make things more fun we were on an alternating child weekly visit plan at our pediatrician between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Nothing makes the holidays more enjoyable than ear infections, croup, stomach viruses and toddler molars (toddler molars don't warrant a trip to the pediatrician, but they sure do make My Little Guy a miserable, drooly, gnawing mess).

 Between the sicknesses (which also was passed on to my husband and I multiple times) and general Chicagoland winter (Hey high of -12, you were awesome!  So were you unending snow storm!) we hardly left the house all of December.

 Winter is a challenge for me.  I've pretty introverted and all the cold and snow and awfulness really just fuels my natural inclination to stay inside and lock all the doors and never leave.  I have to remind myself to venture outside, even if all my instincts are telling me to stay in.  It turns out it's better for me AND the kids.

 When we were in hibernation mode I found myself slipping in my parenting duties.  I developed a bad habit of turning on the tv and putting on a Bob the Builder/Thomas marathon for the kids almost every day.  I wasn't playing with them as much as before.  I (gasp!) even let my housewifely duties slip.  As much as I wanted to just stay inside and ignore the world it wasn't good for anyone.

 This week really kicked me back into gear.  Well, the second half of the week.  Stupid record windchills closing preschool and preventing us from leave the house AGAIN on Monday.  We re-established our routine.  My Big Guy is back in school, My Little Guy and I are back to building The Island of Sodor during our alone time, I'm taking the kids out to run errands, we played in the rain the other day...  We got bundled up and went exploring our park while it was covered in snow, and tested out our sledding hill a couple times.  While I hate winter and snow and cold it does make it a little bit more acceptable to see my guys enjoying it so much.  We pulled our "sleigh" on the driveway and up and down the sidewalks.  We ventured into the backyard and filled our birdfeeder.  We explored the snow covered neighborhood and I hated it less than I thought I would.


 That's pretty hard to hate.  I mean really, look at those two.

 We're back to being real people again instead of lazy, hibernating, introverted jerks.  The kids are happier, and imagine my surprise when I realized I'm happier leaving the house.  My general instinct is still to hibernate, but at least now I realize that that's not good for anyone and I have to fight that instinct.  

 Parenting a learning experience.  Not only are you learning about your kids every day, but you're learning about yourself.  I never realized how really introverted I was until I became a parent.  It made a lot of things make more sense, and it helped me adjust the way I do things to make everyone happier (mommy NEEDS that hour or so of nap time to herself or no one will be happy in the evening).  I'm learning how to be the best person and mommy I can be every day.  Sure, I still suck some days and do a whole lot of nothing but even I am not perfect.  Everyone has crap days.  I just gotta remember to shake them off and not let them become our regular days.   


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