Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The Parent Effect (And A Cure For Dry Skin)

I love playing outside in the winter, and I totally blame my parents.

When I was a little kid, I lived in a town just east of Lake Michigan.  It was a nice little Midwestern town.  It was also in an area that was hit hard in the winters by "lake effect snow."  When I was a little kid, I loved it.  

I think I loved it because my parents loved it.  My mother and father met in high school in Alabama and after they got married (like five minutes after graduation) they moved to Texas and Kentucky and then finally Michigan.  Living in the land of "lake effect snow" was a very new thing for both of them back then.  When we moved to Michigan in 1979, they immediately bought the family cross country skis and 1,000 sleds.  We would spend Saturday afternoons in the winter skiing through the farmland and woods that surrounded our house.  My dad would build snow ramps to make sledding down the hill even more fun.  We built snow forts and played Empire Strikes Back.  On the weekends, after school and on beloved snow days, we got outside and we played in all the "lake effect snow."  

My brother and me enjoying the heck out of winter in a really cool snow fort/igloo my dad helped us build circa 1980.

If my parents had bemoaned the snow and been a little less "oh my gosh, this snow stuff is amazing! look at how it drifts! let's go play!" I guess I might have been that way too.  But they weren't and so I wasn't.  It should be called the "parent effect" or something right?   

I now live in a town west of Lake Huron.  It is a nice little Midwestern town. It is not in a "lake effect snow" zone though and that bums me out. However, thanks to the Polar Vortex last year and then the great snow storm Linus just a few days ago, my kids are living my the dream.  My back porch is full of those gorgeous snow drifts, school has been cancelled for days and we made snow ice cream.

The hills are aliiiiive er, I mean the ice is frooooozen. 
 My happy place, skating on the frozen pond.

During these snow blasts, we go skating as a family as often as possible--at a rink nearby, the pond in the park.  It is hard to find time to play during this busy life, but we squeeze ice time (or sledding time or snow fort time) in wherever we can, in between practices and after school.  
We make time to play.

Lucy doing a little mid-sledding snow angel.

If we had a winter album cover, this would be it.  Look at JT doing his best Say Anything/John Cusack pose (even though he hasn't heard of either the movie or the man, lol).

I hope all this "isn't it great to get outside and play and hey winter is not so bad, it's actually awesome" attitude has a similar "parent effect" on my kids.  I hope they keep playing for forever and I hope that Tim and I get all, or most, of the credit for their winter joy.


Yes, playing outside in the winter is all kinds of amazing.  It can also do a number on your skin.  My kids may or may not get my love of winter sports, but they will most definitely inherit my sensitive skin.  I know this because unless there is some crazy recessive gene, they are screwed.  Tim and I both have the kind of skin that burns just thinking about sunshine, gets itchy if you use the wrong soap and looks like an alligator's skin in the winter.  I blame both our parents for our oh-so-sensitive skin.

We have tried all types of lotions to help us and our kids.  Before a trip to the pond last week, we put on Vaseline® Intensive Care™ Advanced Repair. Um, it was amazing. 

It was soothing and it felt like it was really protecting our skin.  Upon further investigation, I found out that Vaseline® Intensive Care™ Advanced Repair contains healing micro-droplets of Vaseline® jelly to do all that deep moisturizing. And that it is clinically proven to heal very dry skin in five days. Even this old alligator.  It is healing without being heavy and doesn't feel greasy either.  We have found our winter lotion and thankfully it's not a million dollars (only $4.99 for a 10 oz. bottle).  

Boosh! Two positive "parent effects" in one week? I hope that makes up for forgetting the snack for one child's basketball practice and showing up 30 minutes late to pick up the other child after school and constantly embarrassing the teenager by doing well, anything.

I participated in this sponsored campaign on behalf of Vaseline® and One2One Network. All opinions stated are my own.


  1. That last photo - so sweet!
    I live in year round tropical weather, which is lucky for my skin. Whenever I'm in a cold climate, my poor hands get all cracked!

  2. You are living MY childhood dream! I SO wanted to live where it snowed when I was a kid. The one time it snowed, when I was 9, was so awesome! But no ponds to skate on and we used cardboard boxes as "sleds" since you do not need those when you live in Austin, TX. ;) Love this playtime and your photos!