Saturday, January 31, 2009

Redneck Illinois

What would cause my three year old son to be wearing these (tights and leg warmers) and asking, "Dad, can I go take a bubble bath?"

I shall explain

See, I am an Idaho girl at heart. I lived and breathed snow most of my life. Where I am from, winter is REAL! It starts snowing in October, and some years goes into May. (Check out this picture from May in 1993.) It gets so deep there, cars have been known to get lost!

Now, don't get me wrong, winters here in Illinois are FREEZING!!! COLD--that is all winter is here. There is no fun to be had. People stay inside so as not to get frost bite on their eye balls and anything else that is not protected. There is snow...about an inch, and it is a wet snow...verging on ice at all times. If there is more, it will melt within a day and be muddy ice. It is basically just wind and biting chill. I have lived here for 12 years now, and can honestly say that I have seen real snow twice--several years apart. So many years apart that our oldest is the only one to have every been sledding, and she does not remember it. When we first moved here from Utah, the unpacker dudes unloaded our skis/boot/poles, solid snow boots, and snow shoes and laughed and asked exactly where did we think we had moved to?

But three days ago it snowed here enough to make the Idaho in me jump for some serious joy! I was so excited! I could not wait to go play! I had to go play! I HAD TO! So Mr. KIR and I went out in search of snow gear to get us ready. Mr. KIR went to one store, found a sled and came home...such a Midwesterner. I on the other hand, went to 6 stores and scoured this side of the state. I was still only marginally successful. I was LUCKY to find snow boots for the kids, and only one store had two pair of snow boots in my size (men's). I could not find any real gloves and absolutely no snow pants or any other snow play paraphernalia.So in order to take the kids sledding with Mr. KIR's cousin David, I went home and did what all Illinoisans do. I got out my redneck.

I searched all over the house and made a big pile of stuff that would keep us all warm. I had:
  • the girls dance leg warmers
  • 3 pairs of Sweetums tights
  • 4 pair of sweat pants
  • Mr. KIR's long johns
  • Sweetums only turtle neck
  • hand me down snow pants (navy-size 5, red-size 5, purple/pink-size 3, light blue-size 2)
  • 4 coats (mine-green, Pony Girl's-grayish blue, Sweetums-pink, Little Man's-yellow)
  • several pair of thin Illinois style gloves (layering, I would be layer)
  • hats of varying colors
  • scarves we own for building Mr. snowman
  • and socks...lots and lots of socks.

    We all looked like the best Hillbillies this side of the Mississippi. Everyone's pants were too little, and high-waterish, and nothing matched. I was elated. We would be warm...Pony Girl was not amused! As we headed out to the only place in town with any sort of hill, she informed me that she was going to be so embarrassed because she looked HIDEOUS! (She is just lucky I did not do as David suggested and wrap their feet in walmart bags and stuff them back in their tennis shoes--Thank Heavens we had boots for his little girl too!) I simply informed her that she would soon be having so much fun she would not care what she looked like. (I got a good eye rolling for this one:)

    It was hilarious to see what people were wearing and using as sleds! I so wanted to take pictures and post them. But my inner "not want to be considered the weird lady at the hill who parents must protect their children from" gene, I didn't. Just know, that we were the best dressed on the hill, and grain sacks, pool floaties and inner tubes are all considered fine Illinois snow toys.

    We sled for a few hours and played on the park equipment before heading home. We had a blast! My kids were worn out and my old bones ached. We had hot cocoa and I needed a bubble bath.

    So you see, that explains why Little Man was being so Little Man-ish in his tights, leg warmers and wanting a bubble bath. If you had been here, you would have looked just like him!


Life with boys... said...

I love IT!!! Now just think you could live in Chicago where all those thing sare available and there is snow, but it hardly ever seemed white! Glad you had fun and I love the pics!

As for Pony Girl and her embarrassment, looks like you're even Miss, as she was recently on the black list as I recall...

Robin and Don said...

I cannot believe any of your kids were embarrassed. They look totally normal. Maybe that is the Illinois in me speaking. I never thought of Illinois winters and snow quite that way. You know when we were growing up, I swear we had more snow. We had several snow days every year and I remember on several occasions being snowed in, the whole family. I remember the bus getting stuck at least twice. But I don't think Holly would remember any of those days. Strange huh? Global Warming?

Lynne said...

I saw snow pants in Wal-Mart a few days ago in the kid's sections...maybe you'll find some in Effingham while you're there!

Melanie J said...

You have to keep that picture of him forever. What a great memory!

McEwens said...

Can you say Blackmail photo in a few years!! He is adorable! Sounds like a wonderful day of fun!

Robyn said...

I am ready to ship some of our snow over your way! I will be on the lookout for some cute snow clothes for you. I personally have used walmart bags inside shoes, your feet do stay nice and dry!

Robin and Don said...

Dr. Jackie that is a wonderful guess but I am sorry to tell you, you just misdiagnosed your patient. You will just kick yourself when I tell you what it is. Here is another clue, 20% of the population will get this in their lifetime. Many of us multiple times. I can tell you it is a virus that I know you have.

Robin and Don said...

You got it!

Kimberleigh said...

I'm way impressed you guys made the effort to play in it! Just the thought makes me exhausted! :) I'm done with the snow and cold already here! BRRRR!