In the past few years I've combated these last few months of Winter with making an effort to go outside. A few years ago I was babysitting a small boy and I remember that Winter being very hard. I only had a car back then and with two children of my own and no way to fit a third car seat in the there we just had to stay home. Even errands like grocery shopping had to wait. Being cooped up for several months during a time of year I already find a little difficult was . . . well . . . difficult :) After a while I realized that I needed to actually do something about this so I bundled up the three little ones (almost 3, almost 1 and 18 months) and braved the outdoors! Chloe walked and the younger two rode on a sled with the 18 month walking sometimes. I had to put Benjamin in a booster seat (on top of the sled) that had a back on it so he wouldn't fall out of the sled. We walked to the nearby parent link center sometimes. Sometimes we would borrow toys from them and that helped when we were at home. It gave the kids something new to play with for a while. But mostly we just walked. The kids loved it and it was great for me to get out of the house and breathing some fresh air.
The winter after that we had to brave the cold again to put some smiles in the air - only this time I realized that poor Benjamin did not like going for walks! He would scream if I put him in the sled and would only be okay if I held him (perhaps he remembered the time he fell out of the sled the previous winter?). By this time he was nearly 2 and not that easy to carry! On top of that I was pregnant and easily tired. So our jaunts outside were mostly Chloe and me outside in our yard while Ben slept.
The winter after that I had a small babe and I would bundle her up in a wrap and wear TR's jacket over top of us both. Then we'd go out walking. Ben was fine with the sled this year and even loved to get out and walk. We had some slow ambles as everything is interesting to investigate (even snow clumps!). And there were moments when we'd have to stop and watch all the interesting street cleaning going on. But it wasn't the exercise so much as the change of scenery, the birds, the air - just being outside.
It's so therapeutic for me. In the summer we pretty much live outside and I find it hard to be indoors so much in the winter. Yesterday I was so very tired and it wasn't a good time to nap. I bundled up the older two as Kara was napping and we all went outside for a bit. I fed the bunnies, carried out the compost, shoveled out swings so the kids could play on them, breathed in the air. By the time I came in I was ready again to face the tasks ahead of me without too many yawns :) I'm so thankful that the weather has been warmer this week and we can enjoy being outdoors!