Seattle Snowmageddon Captain’s Log

Yes, it’s true. We’re buried in snow here in Seattle. Remember when I said we were getting a spring preview just a few weeks ago? Well, mother nature had a good laugh and then dumped all winter on us in the span of a little over a week.

Never in my lifetime have I seen this much snow in the foothills of Washington. We typically get a few inches a year, typically over a day or two and then in melts. This year is mountain-level snow, and it is crippling our hill-covered city.

Captains’s Log – Day 1:

It started on “Big Game” Sunday {I refuse to get sued writing a post about SNOW of all things}, and luckily I had spent the morning at the library, getting donuts, and walking downtown because the first round of snow kept me home bound for 4 days. This picture was taken as the snow first started to fall, hence no jackets and just the light dusting of snow.

Three kids in the snow

For four days after this picture, the only time I left the house was on foot, going to sled or to take the kiddos to and from school {no school for two days, 2 hour late start for two days}. This is my Captain’s Log.

Captain’s Log – Day 2:

The phone rings: no school. We were terribly under prepared for the snow to stick. As I said, we rarely get snow days in Seattle. They always say they are coming and we end up with a light dusting. No one actually thought we were getting  snow, and it was obvious. Half of us are hacking up a lung and feeling sick, so we take a sick morning.

The half of us that aren’t sick are dying to go in the snow and spend the morning digging for snow gear. The older two couldn’t wait to play in the snow so they head out in jeans, thus creating mountains of laundry, and doing their best to bury their Daddy’s van so he would have to take a snow day. Their efforts succeed, and they couldn’t be prouder of themselves.

Snow clothing is located and now my entryway looks like someone dumped an entire closet full of clothes on the floor, stairs, and all those hooks we just put in behind the door. Gloves of just about every size, snow pants in all the sizes in between baby #2 and baby #3, and all the discarded clothing that “didn’t fit perfectly” are left in mounds. Utter chaos.

Not one child of mine can put on their snow gear by themselves, so getting everyone suited up is an Olympic feat. We’re still figuring out how many layers we need for each activity, which means I’m perpetually carrying a bag of stuff that we *may* need and it typically fills up with all the layers they decided they don’t need halfway through the day.

Finally out and sledding and it almost feels worth it. We’re zipping down hills, kicksledding on the streets, and having a heyday. Baby #3 decides she is too cold and it doesn’t matter how much fun I’m having – I’m done. She’s screaming – which she never does – and it takes us what feels like 50 years to get back home and then to tear off all of our layers.

The big kids return and beg for a Harry Potter movie. Little one and I fall asleep minutes in.

Captain’s Log – Day 3:

The phone rings: no school. No work day #2.

Snow is piled up and our street is still completely covered. The only way I will be leaving the house is on foot.

The kids go crazy and are pulling snow gear out before I’ve even showered. I feel awful and am running a fever like the little one. I agree for the older two to play in the backyard by themselves while I get ready, secretly hoping that they will be sick of it by the time I’m out. Nope.

We all suit up, this time with a better understanding of our layers and how cold it is outside. The older two are better at getting their gear on. Not perfect, but an improvement over previous days.

Neighbors call us to sled and we finally make it out to them. Little one handles the cold much better this time, but I’m miserable. I suck it up, figuring the snow will melt soon and I will be sad if I miss our entire winter weather blast.

Everyone is tired and cold, so we call it around lunchtime. I work and nap the little one, and hubby proceeds to finish up some of the projects we’ve been putting off. So grateful, but so tired.

After dinner, the older two beg for a Harry Potter movie and hubby agrees again. Little one and I fall asleep minutes in.


Captain’s Log – Day 4:

The phone rings:  2 hour late start at school. Work resumes like usual.

Snow is piled up and our street is still completely covered. The only way I will be leaving the house is on foot.

I shower, the kids lounge around playing, and then we make the trek to school on foot. Little one refuses to walk, so I pull her in the sled. It seems like overkill, but I quickly realize how smart it was when we reach the school and I see how crazy icy the entire school grounds are. I’m still celebrating the win when we get back home, in about 1/3 of the time it would have taken if she had walked instead of being pulled.

After school activities are still on, and the little one insists on the sled back to the school. I agree because I just want to get there and back  as quickly as I can. The kids use it for sledding while waiting for their names to be called. Again, I’m very grateful we have the sled, even though it’s a pain getting in the back field.

After dinner, the older two beg for a Harry Potter movie and hubby agrees again. Little one and I fall asleep minutes in.

Captain’s Log  – Day 5

The phone rings:  2 hour late start at school. Work is on regular schedule.

The snow is melting, but our neighborhood is still hidden under blankets of snow. Apparently the main streets are passable, but you wouldn’t guess it by looking at our street. Hubby promises to get me out tonight and it’s all I can think of all day. I even agree to three hours of sledding after school knowing that will kill time and get me closer to freedom.

Hubby gets home late working extra to make up for Monday and Tuesday. By the time he gets home and we get suited up and bundled to get out of the house, it’s too late to do much of anything. We agree on Target and I am crazy excited.

My glorious trip to Target should have taken 15 minutes, but I milked just so I could enjoy walking the almost deserted aisles. My snow boots squeak every step of the way, but the store is so empty no one seems to care.

Back home we go, knowing the next round of snow was likely going to be even worse.  It’s already snowing. Again. My poor sedan slips and spins at each turn, and that is enough excitement for my poor heart for a good long time.

Captain’s Log – Day 6

School is on-time for the first time this week. It’s early release, which I appreciate because it’s supposed to start dumping snow in the afternoon and I want to make sure it’s walkable in the snow. Work is on as normal.

I wasn’t expecting an on-time start time to school, so I realize I need somewhere for my little one to go during my volunteer shift in the classroom because preschool just isn’t going to happen on foot. A flurry of calls and texts and it’s approved to just bring her with me and have her sit in a stroller in the classroom. Pushing the stroller on snow is straight-up miserable, especially on the field. I am exhausted by the time we reach the classroom.

Sledding for hours after school while the snow starts falling harder. We make it home just as it starts dumping again. By the time we went to bed that night it was already piling up.  Luckily we had no plans for Saturday, because I knew my car wasn’t going anywhere the next day. Kicksledding girls

Captain’s Log – Day 7:

Snow is piled up and our street is still completely covered. The only way we will be leaving the house is on foot.

We meet friends for sledding and spend the day enjoying the snow as a family.  It continues to snow all day long, which everyone is fine with because we have nowhere to be.

After dinner, the older two beg for a Harry Potter movie and hubby agrees again. Little one and I fall asleep minutes in.

Captain’s Log – Day 8:

The phone rings: I need to get out of the house today, this isn’t a drill. We arrange to get our kids to the grandparents and head to Kirkland with my family. It’s a rough day, and a really long day.

Even though we snacked all day, some of us are starving by the time we pick up the kiddos. The snow is already coming down hard and I know I might get snowed in again for who knows how long. I agree to Red Robin and it’s amazing. Coming home in the freshly fallen snow is not. Even with help, we can’t get back up our driveway. We ditch it on the street.Family in snow

Captain’s Log – Day 9:

The phone rings: no school. Work is on like normal.

I need to get out of the house today, again. Hubby is at work, so I arrange for sitters. 98 texts and calls later, I have someone watching all of my kids, I just need to get the kids to them. My brother in law comes in and rescues me, taxiing my kids to playdates and family in his 4 wheel dive vehicle. There’s no place for the sled in the car, so it gets drug behind us and the kids think that’s hilarious.

All sorts of coordinating from afar and hubby successfully picks up all the kids from their playdates after he gets off work. The snow is still coming down heavily and luckily my dad can get me home. The roads were treacherous and awful, white knuckle the whole way from Kirkland. I arrive home safely and the kids are thrilled to see me. I should leave more. But, then I remember all the coordinating of sitters and I remember why I never leave.

Captain’s Log – Day 10:

The phone rings: no school. Work is on like normal.

This new round of snow has now buried my car to the point that the neighbor kids came by to ask if we were home because they couldn’t see my car. You know, the car in front of our house on the street. They couldn’t see it.  That is how bad the snow is.

It’s hard to really quantify the snow because there are drifts everywhere and it’s been packed down and then dumped on again, but I’m guessing we got over a foot of snow in just a matter of days. Some places have almost 16 inches of snow.

I spend the afternoon catching up on work and emails. Deadlines aren’t going to be missed because of the snow.

Hubby gets home with a few grocery items we might need now that our milk delivery was cancelled for the second week. We decide to make kick the can ice cream in the ball makers we got years ago. It’s harder in the snow than I thought it would be because it gathers snow and ice. It turns out despite the fact that we forget to stir it and our kicking is half-hearted at best.

I refuse to make dinner because I already made ice cream. Plus, I fed them at lunch. The oldest makes mac and cheese all by herself, and I’m calling it a win.

I *almost* don’t want these snow days to end. Although, I must admit it’s going to be great when I can drive again. I miss driving, I thought that would take longer.

For anyone laughing at us Seattleites complaining about 12-18″ of snow, I hear you. But, what you need to know is that because this kind of winter event is so rare, we literally have no infrastructure for this type of snowfall. Add in our hills, our climate that tends to fluctuate from freezing to just above and causes crazy amounts of ice, and our lack of snow plows, and it all means disaster.

I wish I knew the origin of this diagram I saw on Facebook, but there’s no attribution that I can find. If anyone know who did this, let me know so I can credit them!

topography of Seattle

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