Known for riding her son’s scooter and winning water gun fights, Meredith is the parent’s pick for play reviews, finding products that parent’s love and kids don’t put down. Answering the prayers of parent’s everywhere, Meredith’s must-read blogs from “Toys That Travel Well” to “Playtime For Moms” are reviews that provide parents with the real rundown.
A couple years ago I made a very conscious decision, a personal pact, to STOP complaining about the weather.
It might not sound like that big of a resolution to some folks. But I live in Chicago. The land of the over zealous 6 month winter, unpredictable skies, and those lovely off-the-lake winds that give the word "blustery" some serious street cred.
But complaining about the weather...something I have absolutely no control over, seemed not only fruitless but a great way to inject a big ol' dose of sad trombone, "wah-wah-waaaaaah" right into the vein of my day. And once I had decided to stop making it the easy, go-to conversation starter and shared-experience scapegoat, I started to notice how prevalent this weather-related grumpiness is.
It doesn't mean I wake up all sugar plums and bunny rabbits on "yucky" days, I just choose not to DWELL on it and let it get me distracted from what I really want out of my days.
So today, it's rainy and dark and okay, a bit "gloomy" here on the Midwest prairie. I was ready and kinda willing this morning to pull on my cranky pants, and let the world know this wasn't the weather I'd ordered, until Truman suggested we just go ahead and walk to school in the drizzle...sans umbrella.
He recently got a Ripstick and has been wiggling his way to and from school each day, happy as a clam. And although I offered to drive him this morning, he simply wasn't willing to let a bout of sky spitting get in the way of his playful morning commute.
I made Tru put on his brother's longish NorthFace rain coat with the hood up, I threw on my water-proof jacket and favorite Hunter boots, leashed up the dog, and out we went...into the delicate little April shower. And it was sublime.
Letting the rain saunter down my face and soak my hair felt raw and refreshing. The perfume created by new grass and fresh rain beats Chanel No. 5, any day. And I really like Chanel No.5. Cars went by and folks glanced over looking sorry for me, as if I'd been "caught" up rain-creek without an umbrella. And I just smiled and soaked it all in.
Our happiness is (usually), a matter of choice. Every dang day. Rain or shine.
So if today is proving to be a rainy one, for whatever reason, here are a few ideas to help you rip off your cranky pants and let the sunshine in.
1. While your kids are at school or taking a nap, surprise them with a 'homemade" Angel Food cake. It's the EASIEST thing to whip up (literally 10 minutes from box to bake), it's a killer after-school snack topped with fresh berries and whipped cream, and NO ONE can be cranky around an Angel Food cake.
2. If you're stuck inside today or all your kids' after-school activities are rained out, drag out their old baby photos or home videos and have a "this is your life" kinda night. Add popcorn, blankets on the floor and a few pillows and you've got a PAR-tay! Kids LOVE to hear stories about when they were little and mine now like seeing pics of their dad and I when we were young and cool.
3. Go and buy some cheap glow sticks, shove them into balloons, blow up said balloons, and wait for dark. Best gloomy day toy ever.
4. Make these ridiculous and super simple marshmallow poppers with your kids. You probably already have all the supplies in your house. Trust me, make a few extra... you will want one for yourself as well.
These are from the amazing peeps at Real Simple Mag., and you can see how to make them right HERE.
5. If you're feeling especially playful today, you work from home, and you have somehow managed to work down through MOST of your to-do list, call some of your mom pals and hold a midday matinee. Either including your still-at-home kids or just for you MOMS. Let's not feel guilty about a 2 hour "16 Candles", "Sex and the City", or "Bridesmaids" time-in.
I'd LOVE to hear your favorite ways to rock a rainy, or otherwise gloomy ol' day, as well. Fire away.
Now go find your favorite Wellies and show those puddles whose the Boss Lady.