I love winter. I really really do. I love the crisp days where the sky is the bluest blue, and when frost freezes on your eye lashes.  I love how the smoke just hangs in the air, and the contrast of the white billowing clouds from office buildings and fire places against the blue skies.

For proof, I’ve added a few pictures throughout this post.

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Christmas 2012 photoshoot. Note, that wood pile has been decimated
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Getting little miss used to skiing!

Ottawa is seeing its coldest day in almost a decade: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/story/2013/01/22/ottawa-coldest-day-in-eight-years.html  We are a little ways north of Ottawa, which means it is a few degrees colder.  The temperature is hovering around -30, and with the windchill it is almost -40!  Brrr. 

This kind of weather is full of incredible memories for me.  I always had my best biathlon races when I couldn’t feel my fingers enough to pull the trigger….I spent an amazing 3 weeks in Ladakh teaching hockey and rarely felt my toes before the sun made its ways over the mountains around noon, and I spent a winter in Mongolia huddled in warm faux fur coats, eating fatty dumpling soup, and breathing in Ulaanbaatar’s polluted air, skiing with Rob at Jay Peak, spending a night at Ama Dablam’s basecamp in Nepal.

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Winter Day in Ulaanbaatar
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Freezing at Ama Dablam Base Camp, Nepal

There is no sarcasm here, I really like winter, I am actually really excited to have a January baby, and I hope that she’ll love winter and everything that comes along with it as much as I do…..this week though, winter is throwing everything it has got at me – and really, I had plans.  I had plans to sit on my butt, rest for the big arrival, finish making my rag rug for the baby’s room,  store up some sleep, and watch some Bollywood under the guise of working on my Hindi.

1. Fevers and Chills – Rob is away this week. I think he might have timed it like this on purpose. The few weeks before the baby makes its arrival is always the hardest.  Sleepless nights, lots of appointments, and a super bitchy/hormonal/anxious wife.  To top it off, Max has decided it is his responsibility to remind me what it is like to have a newborn. Sunday night Max was up 6 times.  Monday, we were up until 2AM in a fit of tantrums, wanting to be held, and pointing obsessively at the TV and saying “Choo Choo” – 20 month old speak for “Mommy you better put on Thomas the train, or you are not going to see the end of this night.” Max was feeling a bit warm so I tried to give him some Tempra.  The struggle that ensued had the medicine dropper flying into the toilet, and bright red tempra on the bathroom walls, the toilet, the mirror and the shower.

The next morning when I woke up I had an email from a friend mentioning how so many “mommy bloggers” only talk about the good things and “miracle of birth”.  Oh there is definitely a miracle involved I thought sleeplessly. It is a miracle that I am having a second kid or that anyone on this planet procreates at all after nights like last night. 

2. I am man. I like fire. I am woman. I am practical. – Guys out there, please explain your obsession with fire.  Is it your only link with your neanderthal past? I am woman I have babies, I am man I play with fire? Our furnace has been broken for quite some time now, and we’ve been making do with our fireplace.  I admit, there is something a teeny weeny bit satisfying about hacking at logs frozen in the woodpile outside, drying them off, tramping bark over my white carpet, ashes spewing out of the fireplace as I struggle to keep it going and the coals hot, and trying to keep Max away from the fireplace and flames, and smelling like wood smoke.  If we were at a ski chalet, and I had a glass of wine in my hand, I might even call it romantic.  

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Romantic Ski vacation. Life before kids.

We live in Canada. It gets cold outside…sometimes very cold.  A fireplace is nice. A furnace is pretty much a necessity. This easy , practical, reasonable decision, actually took some convincing. 

“Nicole, why don’t we just save the money and get a furnace this summer before we leave for India for the tenants”. 

“Rob, it is winter, it is cold, why don’t we get a furnace NOW, oh and incase you’ve forgotten, we are having a baby any day, and I don’t want to be struggling with keeping the fireplace going with everything else.  We need to make life easier, not more difficult. 

“That is ok Nicole, I’ll look after  (play with) the fire”.

“Rob, you’ll be away at work, you’re going away for a few weeks, I am sick of cleaning up ashes and tree bark and wasting my time trying to get the fire going when I could be doing other glorious things like dishes.”

“Well, it isn’t that bad, I seem to be able to keep the fire going. I like it.”

“Yes, I understand you are the fire master Rob, but, do you remember how cold the house got when it was -30 outside even with the fire? It was 10 degrees inside! We can’t have that with a newborn. We are all going to get sick”.

“Me. Like. Fire. Me. Like. Make. Fire.  Me. Make. Fire. For. Baby.”

“I’m calling the furnace walla. Decision made.” 

3.  Trees. Lots and lots of trees.

 So, one of the million and one things I love about living in Chelsea is the trees and the remoteness of it.  This does come at a cost though, and that is constant power outages. Luckily we’ve been spared so far from the ones that last for days, but we have definitely had a few that go for a fair number of hours.  Luckily, Max thinks flashlights are pretty cool toys. Last night, to top off the brutal cold, our power was out through the night, until almost noon. Oh what fun.

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I was hoping that little miss would make her arrival a bit early on her own, so I could avoid the torture of labour induction.  Really, she is a practical little gal, and will probably stay hibernating in her nice little warm den for just a little while longer, or at least until her momma can feel her fingertips! 

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