Snowday = Pinterest

Our snowy front yard
Our snowy front yard

This morning, around 6:30am, I groggily woke up, put on my glasses, reached for my phone to check the time, and noticed that it was snowing. Not a lot, but it was.

“It’s snowing” I said to Sean as he began to stir. The snow was light and unobtrusive, and I really did not think that it would continue for more than a few minutes.

Maybe Maya will get to see it when she first wakes up, I thought to myself.

I got out of the shower.

“It’s really coming down now,” Sean said as I came back in to the bedroom.

“Well, it must not really be a thing, because I haven’t heard from school.”

I went about my morning routine; Maya woke around 7:30am and she and Sean spent some time chatting about the falling snow while I made coffee and smoothies. I asked him to get her dressed because we needed to leave by 8.

7:40am: We get the call – two hour delay. I go back upstairs and change from my maternity “work slacks” into jeans. Maya stayed in jammies.

By 9am, school was cancelled and the snow was still steadily coming down, lovely to look at.

Maya is pulling her "dog sled" - she's the sled dog.
Maya is pulling her “dog sled” – she’s the sled dog.

But after having THE WHOLE WEEK off last week due to a little snow and a lot of cold, I was staring down the barrel of another day stuck inside with a twonager and trying to avoid a Caillou marathon.

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Well, I had pinned a number of “things to try” for a day stuck inside with a kiddo, so I supposed we would go ahead and try some of those things.

First, we made what I am calling “magic sand” but was really just a bowl of baking soda, some little bowls of white vinegar with food coloring in them, and two spoons. When you put vinegar on baking soda, it fizzes. This has been A) a revolution for me in cleaning the house – thanks to Pinterest and the 9,864,3993.78 pins dedicated to the hidden uses for these two common household items and B) cool to me that it fizzes, so it was sure to entertain Maya also. Plus throw in some food coloring (I kept it limited to two because it was getting messy already) and voila – entertained kid for about 20 minutes.

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I count it as a Pinterest success.

Next, as I tried to gear her up for nap-time with a soothing warm bath, we microwaved a bar of Ivory soap. Again, science is weird and cool. It did not break my plate, as one commenter on the original site had said, but it did get way too big, so I had to keep stopping the microwave and letting it deflate a little before continuing.

Then, it broke up pretty quickly and anti-climatically in the bath tub, but I think it was worth it to A) get Maya in the bath mid-day and B) watch it grow in the microwave for two minutes.

Before it became a million little "clouds"
Before it became a million little “clouds”

I don’t need to worry about letting her stand with her face inches away from the microwave for that short amount of time, right? I didn’t ruin her pure-self for good with micro-waves?

She napped, I read Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I should have been cleaning out the fridge or filing papers, but you know, snow day. (Review: I’m really enjoying it. I have enjoyed everything I have read by her.)

Sean had since braved the arctic to go to the store. He said our neighborhood and side road were bad, but the main roads were fine.

I’m glad he went, because I needed Cream of Tartar (I have no idea what this is actually used for) for our post-nap Pinterest experiment: homemade Play Dough. And yep, I was drawn to the smell-good essential oils recipe.

Once again, I kept the options down to two – I only had two essential oils on hand: lavender and jasmine, so Maya picked her two colors: purple and green.

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BIG THUMBS UP for this one. It feels so much better than store-bought play dough (at least than the off-brands we have gotten so far) and the good smells were a pleasant bonus.

Maya made a snowman out of the dough that was much more successful than our tiny-snowman-made-of-ice from our back deck a few days ago.

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This kept her busy for a good half hour or so, and we can pull it out again because it’s storing nicely in an old tupperware.

All in all, not a bad day for the Pinterest solutions to cabin fever, though the prep and set up and clean up all amount to about as much time as the actual playtime – but that’s something to kill the time too, so win.

We have a two-hour delay tomorrow morning now, so maybe Maya will be just as thrilled with helping me clean out the fridge? Though I hope we don’t encounter as much science in there…

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Chronicling: Please, let it go already!

One day, maybe a year ago, I wondered about this movie that I saw people talking about:

I saw John Travolta botch saying Idina Menzel’s name at the Oscars and didn’t think much of that song at the time.

Then I read on Girls Gone Child about Frozen and Feminism.

So I watched a YouTube video of “Let it Go” and let my daughter, then almost two, watch it with me.

Again, I didn’t think anything of it. But some seed was planted. Maya requested the video again. And again. Then we checked out a few other songs. But again, I didn’t think anything of it.

A few months ago, my cousin had us over for dinner, and thinking ahead, she rented Frozen so Maya could watch the whole movie. Maya had never seen a whole movie before (she has always gotten distracted and wandered away), so I was shocked at how fixated and focused she was.

She watched the WHOLE THING – as did all of the adults, despite the movie being rented to distract the kid so we could enjoy adult conversation.

Since then, she has become obsessed. She is no longer Maya, she IS Anna. And I am no longer Mommy, I am Elsa. Daddy is Kristoff, and one of our three dogs (whichever is most near) is Sven. A Christmas cookie tin is Olaf (yes, it’s shaped like a snowman). A now ever-present light blue sheet draped over chairs in our living room is the ice castle.

Maya wearing her "Anna gloves" (yes, I know Elsa was the one that needed gloves)
Maya wearing her “Anna gloves” (yes, I know Elsa was the one that needed gloves)

There are some moments where I am SO impressed with her imagination and brain-ability. She has only seen the movie three times (in as many months), but she has already memorized lines from scenes and makes me act them out over and over. Granted, she only knows a line or two, and I am totally improvising, but she still wants to create the scene:

For example, she will make me sit on one side of the closed door and she will sit against the door on the other side and she will want to build a snowman, and I have to tell her to “go away, Anna…”

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It will be the early scene where Anna wakes Elsa up by pulling on her eyelid. Maya makes me lie down and pretend to be asleep, then she pulls on my and says, “The sun is up, so I am up. Let’s play!”

OR

It’s the scene where Anna goes to the ice palace to try and talk Elsa into coming back. She says, “Elsa? It’s me, Anna.” I say, “Go away, Anna” (because I do not know my lines verbatim) and she says “But I just got here…” and tells me I look different.

Also amazingly, she can sing chunks of a couple of the songs. I am in awe of this tiny baby brain (am I in denial about her growing up?) being able to memorize and sing swaths of “Let it Go” and “Do You Want to Build a Snowman”.

This is probably not making for very interesting blog reading, but I am just so amazed that I had to note it down for my own memory.

Truth be told, I am totally sick of being Elsa. She literally calls out for Elsa when she wakes up – middle of the night or first thing in the morning. I miss being Mommy. I have started to tell her that, “You know, Maya is just as cool and brave as Anna, and Mommy is just as cool as Elsa, even without ice hands.” But I have to admire that her little, developing mind is creating this fantasy world and play-acting.

I remember now that when my little sister was two or three, she WAS Dorothy Gail from The Wizard of Oz. She wore red “ruby slippers” everywhere and her blue and white gingham dress (or was it a long tee shirt that she pretended was the dress?) She would not wear anything else. I was only ten at the time, so I may not have been marveling at my annoying little sister’s creative imagination, but I do remember this being a very solid and lasting phase.

So this post is to add my little babe to the billions of kids who have gotten Frozen Fever (an oxymoron?) and to remind myself of this solid and lasting phase of creative imagination in my little Anna, I mean Maya.

I do, however, look forward to the day that I wake up in the morning with ANYTHING OTHER THAN A FROZEN SONG  in my head.

Even at Nana's house...
Even at Nana’s house…

P.S. I am glad that Maya is identifying with Anna; I think she’s the real star of the movie and the good role model. I also really enjoy Olaf and am happy to sing about snowmen in summer anytime you want me to.