Monday, February 1, 2010

Friday it snowed in Nashville. The zoo closed at 10:00 am and I was able to leave shortly after. The roads were already getting crazy. It's not like snowy winters back home where the DOT has the tools to assist safe travels; since Tennessee so rarely gets any substantial snowfall, we simply do not have the necessary plows, sand, salt, man-power, and other helpful tools to make the roads driver-friendly. Case in point: my residential neighborhood has yet to be cleared; it is Monday.

That is not even taking into account the ridiculous "skill" the average Tennessee driver tends to exhibit in any less-than-ideal weather. It is not uncommon for Tennesseans to abandon vehicles if weather conditions become too extreme: abandon them immediately, without bothering to pull over to the side of the road or to find a parking lot. Even though Nashvillians have driven the same roads for years, when the yellow lines disappear due to snow, they simply "forget" how many lanes a road is supposed to have and do their best to ignore all common sense. Last night, a neighbor decided to park her car in the middle of the street, in the valley between two extremely icy hills. The "other driver"is always an idiot in Tennessee and never to be trusted. You may have 100% confidence in your own winter driving abilities but will still not be able to avoid them all. You are outnumbered.

The steady, beautiful snow continued all day on Friday and into Saturday. The Nashville Zoo has remained closed and allowed me a 4 day mini-vacation at home. It has worked out really well as it has allowed me to take over primary care Sofia and free up James to spend one evening in Murfreesboro with a visiting-from-Baltimore friend and to focus on his studies. Geology seems to be taking a lot of extra effort this semester. It has allowed me to spend some quality time with my baby.

Sofia and I have done a lot of snuggling and bonding. It is a simple pleasure to pull her into bed with me in the morning to nurse. A pleasure that doesn't happen on most work days since I have a schedule to stick to. Those moments, early in the morning, are so dear to me. We nurse, drifting in and out of sleep, until Sofia decides it is time to wake up. Then we play in bed, giggling at each other, both equally amused at how funny the other one is. Sometimes James comes in to join us and we all have a rousing game of peak-a-boo under the sheets. Sofie likes to see the light change under the purple canopy of cotton, she screams in delight as the sheet gently falls back toward her face. Other bed games include: holding the cell phone when the alarm goes off and makes it light up and vibrate, pulling Mommy's hair, reaching for glasses on Mommy or Daddy's face, and a belly laugh inducing round of "eat the baby" (Daddy is the reigning champion of this one).

Yesterday Sofia and I took our first bath together. We had to deal with a little bit off pee pee (Sofia's, not mine), other than that it was delightful. We played with her Paddle Boat toys and fish squirters. After a good 20 minutes, James knocked on the bathroom door and said he wanted to come in. It was girl time. Sofia enjoyed the bath, but was a bit confused as to why I was in there with her.

We also played in the snow on Sunday. I was feeling a bit of cabin fever and needed to leave the house so James suggested going over to the Sanborns. All of us played in their backyard. We went sledding down their hill 'Tennessee Style": using a cardboard box as our sled. It actually worked pretty well at first but became less efficient as time wore on. Sofia tried her first taste of snow (much to Daddy's displeasure); Anissa and I thought it might feel good on her aching gums. Kate played so hard that her hair was drenched from sweat, not snow, under her hat. It was nice to take some family photos with such lovely backgrounds.

This morning Sofia has been a dream. She's been in the best mood: very playful and full of smiles. She's been very vocal today, by far the loudest she has ever been. Screams of delight, laughs, babbles, and taunts to the dogs have filled our household all morning long. It hasn't been the most productive for James' studying, cuteness tends to be distracting, so he's leaving the house soon to go to the library.

I love snow days. I'll take the bad drivers if it means I get to enjoy all the rest.