Thursday. Usually it is my longest childcare day in which I get up with the kids and get them out of the house before my wife gets up, drop my daughter off at school, do something with my son, pick my daughter up from school, get my son down for a nap, get my daughter to music class after waking son up, and then do the dinner/bath/bed routine solo.
This Thursday, my wife is out of town which doesn’t change anything except my children’s perception of the day, and that does make a difference. But wait; there’s more. After returning home from dropping off my daughter, I noticed the house was kind of cold. I checked the thermostat, and the temperature was less than the set temperature by a few degrees. The heat was not working. I quickly did my scheduled tour of the kindergarten across the street and found a local HVAC person who could come out that day. He came in the afternoon during an impromptu playdate for my daughter. The result was that the heat could not be fixed that day.
I then dropped my kids off with neighbors who also have kids, drove off to Home Depot to get some space heaters, and rushed home to get the rooms warmed up a bit before putting the kids to bed. They went down quickly. I unwound at a games night in my downstairs neighbors’ unit with my monitor happily humming the sound of our noise machine.
During my childhood, St. Louis regularly reached triple digits in the summer, and the humidity could turn crisp chips into limp potatoes. Living without air conditioning meant that we came up with strategies to beat the heat. We spent days at the pool and the library, we ran through sprinklers, we even put our sheets and pajamas in the freezer before going to sleep.
On of the best things, one that combined sweet and cold, was homemade popsicles. Our house was the place to get juice made from frozen concentrate. We usually mixed a sweeter one such as 5 Alive or grape with a can of lemonade or limeade. These were mixed in the venerable plastic pitcher that lived in the fridge, but when it got hot, we poured the mixture into popsicle makers and waited until they were solid enough to eat.
My favorites were straight lemonade and lemon and limeade mixtures. The others were good, but there is something very refreshing about the tart sweetness of those citrus fruits.
Of course, they didn’t cool us down as much as any of the other heat-busting strategies, but they were yummy.
Today, I took the children to the local hardware store and bought two trays of popsicle makers. They are similar to our old ones, but they have some great improvements. Mostly, they are not cups precariously balanced on small dents in the tray. The integrated straws have yet to be tested for functionality, but I hope overall the results will be similar. My daughter and I poured juice, from a bottle, into the containers and placed the handles on top. Tomorrow, we will see how this experiment worked. I hope my kids will remember popsicles fondly as one of the great things about summer.
Wednesday was the first day of summer. Boston, where it has been mild and even chilly recently, decided to usher in this technical season change with the brute force of a sauna set on insane. With temps in the upper 90s, people were wilting. The temperatures do not compare with what it was on the day elsewhere or what temperatures others have already been having, but when compared to what we were experiencing previously, this really felt like summer!
My daughter spent the day with my wife riding carousels and the ferry. It was hot for her, and when they got home, they turned the AC on. Good choice. The kids’ bedroom can get fairly hot when it gets into the upper 90’s outside. The bathroom, however, was manageable now that there is film on the windows. We did skip bath, though.
Thank goodness there are two water parks in easy walking distance and a few more just a short trip away!
A left-over piece of film that we practiced putting on the window.
On Sunday, I cut and installed UV window film. I am by no means a pro, and the results showed that as well as the impact of having an incessantly talking daughter with me as I measured and cut the material. A few were not quiet what I wanted them to be, but for this project that was fine.
The bathroom that we wash the kids in every night faces West. It used to be shaded by our lovely tree, but when half of the tree fell off, the full sun falls on the room for quite a bit of the afternoon. The room bakes. This year, I decided to see if installing UV film would help. I cut the pieces to what I thought would fit, and for the most part I was pretty close.
The result is fairly bubble free, but the film itself adds a bit of distortion to the view. However, we almost always always have these windows covered with shades, so that really doesn’t matter. I am interested to she how the film affects the room on a bright day.
I will also cover the windows on our front porch because it gets very bright and roasting in the afternoon and evening, as well. Unfortunately, I will have to get another roll to finish the project. This roll had a set of creases that will be contained all in one window, but I still need more for the door.
My daughter loved being there while I cut the pieces out, and she got the scraps. We used these to test out the directions on how to apply the film to the window. She now has several strips of film on the windows in her play room. She even did a nice job with the squeegee.