Wednesday, January 20, 2010

What to Do When It Rains

I do not know if the rest of the nation is aware, but it is Raining here in California. We are on our fifth day of rain which feels like a really big deal considering the drought we have had for years. And the fact that we now have twin toddlers.

4 years ago when El Nino raged, four days of rain would have meant pajamas and tea and a few good movies and fire in the fireplace. These days it means strategies (heavy toy rotation:: lots of toys in the garage and only a few in the house, rotate heavily before they get us, repeat daily), short trips timed around the tornadoes (not really tornadoes, just really crazy thunderstorms) and a new treat or two.

When the boys were born, Tim's sister came down from Oregon with a load of hand me downs. Good ones...we have used the books she passed down since the day the boys were born and we are barely through them all after almost three years. And some prime dress up clothes, plush firemen suits with hats, a race car outfit, and the gem in the bunch...Buzz Lightyear. The boys have taken a real shine to the Toy Story I and II movies (during what should be their nap time but disappeared so very long ago). They love the two characters passionately and we find them sewing each other up in the armpit area and 'falling with style' daily.

Monday I arrived home from work, sprinting into the garage to find Tim emerging from their storage closet with the 'dress up' bag in hand...I have to admit for the first time. I was saving them, okay? From the dismantlers, you know?

His timing was perfect as they were a little bouncy and frazzled from the day inside. Out came the firemen outfit, the race car outfit, and the Buzz...the ONE Buzz outfit. Erm. Not very good planning on our part. It was not total bedlam, but I could see Owen visibly agitating as Mason contentedly flew around and buzzed things with his arm laser.

Our solution? Frantically calling the Disney stores in our vicinity to see if they carried another Buzz suit. Answer :: No. Next step :: Toys R Us, a place I have walked into once since they were born. No go there.

Then Amazon. Oh, trusty Amazon. We looked through the Buzz outfits with O and then he looked at me with his lash framed eyes and said "Woody?" And I clicked twice and had paid for the piece without even caring about the seriously inflated price.

Our by line that night was that Woody was on his way. Imagine my chagrin when the email I received noted an estimated shipping date on January 25. Waaaay too long. Waaaaaay too long.

Next solution? Take Buzz and wash him and tell the boys it had to rest for a day or two and hope they totally forget it exists.
He really did need a wash as within the first 15 minutes of wearing the mostly white outfit, Mace managed to sit and smear chocolate all over his bum. At least, I think it was choc (it was, it was).

Well, today I came home from work to a lovely brown box with its familiar marking. And lo and behold, Woody had 2 sweet quick much appreciated days. You can bet that Amazon seller is going to get 10 stars.

And we had a nice afternoon and night in. Pretty nice. Until I lost it when I had to take the suits on and off and on and off and on...
Toy Story

Only two more days of rain left. I hope we all survive. And how in the hell do you people that live with toddlers in terrible inclement weather climates make it through? Wow.


Sadia said...

Bad weather here comes in the winter (below freezing this year) and in the summer (30+ days above 100 degrees). We just find indoor energy burners: the library, the Children's Museum, the indoor moonwalk place and yes, sometimes the Chick-Fil-A playscape.

I've been thinking about you. Do you remember the two students who were killed in Claremont in 1997 during those horrible rains, when the tree fell on the Pomona campus? They lived in my dorm. I didn't know them except by sight, but I became friends with one of their girlfriends later. Big trees still scare me after a heavy rain.

Stay safe, please.

Mama Llama said...

We drink.

LauraC said...

Um yes, we have heard about the rain in California and I hate to admit there has been a little mockery. It mostly comes from the 500 miles in 2010 challenge because I went for a run in torrential rain yesterday and it was only 37. And another woman in Maine went for an outdoor run in snow and 20 degree windchill.

Fortunately our weather in NC is nice enough to go outside year-round, one of the "must haves" on our list of an ideal place to live. Yes it's 95 and 99% humidity in the summer but spending enough time outside helps you get acclimated (and the pool helps!).

When I get really desperate during our rainy season in March-April, we often lock the garage door and let the kids go to town in there. They're old enough now we can work on cleaning it while they play. Over Christmas break, we taped down paper and let them finger paint on the floor. We let them ride their bikes and set up an easel in there.

And you would miss out on some of the best toddler parenting moments if you didn't take them outside, let them play in the puddles and splash in the mud. We don't even have rain boots, I just throw the whole mess (shoes and all) in the washer when we're done! I've even been known to let them play in the mud of my garden. Obvious reasons why none of this has been captured on my blog!

Hang in there, hopefully cabin fever a la The Shining takes on a whole new meaning after this experience!

Sally said...

We play in the rain. The boys don't care at all, and I think going crazy inside is way worse than getting wet. And we usually have the playground to ourselves on a rainy day. Just come in when everyone gets too cold and change clothes and cuddle on a warm couch.

Bea said...

When it's yucky outside, sometimes I take Robby to Lowe's and let him ride all the riding lawnmowers. If he's really antsy, we also just jump in rain puddles with boots on, and the toy section at Target!

jillian said...

Once again, too adorable for words.

Inclement weather? I remember we'd just go out and play anyway. Get bundled up as necessary and come in before any digits fell off ;)

Cari said...

Well, it's Portland, so we just go out in the rain. He hasn't melted yet, and puddles are FUN.

Sereknitty said...

Living in the often rainy, Pacific Northwest, we can all get cabin-fever after several in-door days. Most of us have a full set of rain gear and go outside, regardless if it's raining; we have a place called Jungle Jack's that has indoor, age appropriate play areas; the mall; or Mickey D's play area. Sometimes, all it takes is going to someone else's house to give the toddlers a change of scenery and a new toybox to play in.
Wouldn't it be nice if the rain was spaced out a little more, instead of a deluge once every few years??

LauraC said...

I realized in hindsight that my comment could have sounded jackassy. I think people in other parts of the country are used to dealing with this. It's kind of like here, if there is a THREAT of ice or snow, they cancel all the schools. While in Chicago, I still worked at my job in a blizzard bc the El always runs. So I get a lot of crap taking snow days for one inch of snow!

Bon said...

lol. i was baffled by the beginning of the post, trying to figure out why the rain had you all freaked out. then i realized, OH. they go OUTSIDE with the kids.


love the costumes, and the shots. :)

a li'l bit squishy said...

I'm kinda with Bon on this. It is rarely warm enough here for ABOUT 6 MONTHS to really spend any significant time outside :/ (we do anyway, because CLEARLY we are crazy, have to be to live in this climate)

Your Buzz and Woody are beautiful!! And here's hoping the rain clears up so soon!

Mama Llama said...

I can't believe I forgot to suggest making homemade play dough or cornstarch dough! It entertains my son for HOURS! A lifesaver when we have cabin fever.

meyer said...

sometimes we just get on the bus and take a nice long ride through town and back. seriously. loads of things to see, firetrucks, busses, people getting in and out. but I know this will not go on forever....:)

Kellee said...

I think it is absolutely lovely that your children are so used to being outside that the inside days are rough for them. I end up being stuck inside for days at a time, without even noticing. Suddenly I'll look up and realize I haven't stepped outside in 3 days. But that is just me. Personally, I'm LOVING this rain. Living down the street from you in Las Vegas, we are getting plenty of your rain here as well. Love it!

Preeti said...

You had me laughing so hard with this story. Since we live on the "wet" coast of Canada, we've perfected the art of rainy weather tricks for the tot. Playing outside in the rain is what invariably happens. For indoors, dress up always works along with help Mama cook (when I'm making dinner) or help Mama knit (when I'm knitting) or help Mama clean (when I've got the vaccum out) Funny part is that she thinks I'm playing with her and I don't know how long I can play this help Mama card before she realizes!!