We only live a few blocks from an indoor arena. We used to skate there often but now they never have open skating. They have an outdoor rink but the high today was -2 F. It has to be at least 20 F for me to consider outdoor skating. The next closest rink is 1/2 hour away at a community center that almost always has open ice before 3 pm.
I dressed the little girls in layers and packed extra snow clothes to put on once we got there. I dressed Tali first and then strapped her on my back while I got everyone else ready. I packed the skates, extra clothes, camera, and diaper bag into a laundry basket. I packed cheese sticks, bananas, a cup for water, water, chips and raisins for a snack. This weekend Christiana practiced climbing up and down the stairs so she was able to climb downstairs by herself. I only had to lift her down the step in the garage and then into her car seat. It was a little tricky with Tali on my back. But better than listening to Tali squawk while I buckle the other girls.
I buckled the girls, covered them with blankets, loaded the stroller in the side door next to Amanda where the seat is folded forward, loaded Tali in her side and then opened the garage and backed out. Our garage is insulated so it stays about 30 degrees which isn't too bad. I only had to run back in for my jacket. I was wearing a light fleece jacket over a t-shirt and never needed my jacket. I thought the babies would take a nap in the van because they've started to do that on occasion but Tali didn't. Christiana might have.
We got to the community center at about 9 am. I left the van running with the heat on. I unloaded the stroller and climbed in to put on the girls' extra clothes that were too bulky for wearing in their car seats. I nursed Tali while helping Amanda into her snow pants and skates. I thought it would be faster to have Amanda ride in the stroller with her skates on and carry Tali but that wasn't a great plan. It was too hard to navigate so next time I'll just wait to put Amanda's skates on in the arena. So, Amanda rode in front of the stroller and Christiana in back and I carried Tali.
Most of the people at the gym/pool/ice arena/track were older so they really got a kick out of our crew. Amanda could hardly wait for me to get my skates on. Before pushing the stroller onto the ice, I wiped all of the wheels clean to make sure we didn't get any gravel on the ice. I was planning to use a rag but I forgot that so I used baby wipes. I had a full pack since I was expecting a blowout from Christiana (thankfully that never happened until we were home).
Amanda did so awesome and the babies were mostly content. She was really pretty steady on her feet and tried hard. My boys had such a hard time learning to skate and were so miserable. They were 8 and 10 before we really got a chance to practice and they just weren't that excited about it. I'm so thrilled that Amanda loves it.
She held my hand, held onto the stroller, pushed the learn-to-skate frame (do they have a name?), and did some walking by herself. We skated for at least 1/2 hours maybe longer and then my toes were frozen so I convinced her to come off the ice for a little snack. Tali nursed for longer this time and seemed happier after that. Sometimes she's so distracted that she doesn't eat well and gets crabby. After a bit, we headed back out to skate again. I sent Mike a message to let him know where we were since it was getting close to lunch time. He called back and reminded me of Amanda's dental appointment that was 12:30 pm. It was 11 am. Ooops! We only skated for about 20 more minutes and then headed home.
It was so much fun! I can't wait to go back. Here are the pictures. There are lots because I'm just too tired and excited to decided on my favorites. Have I ever mentioned how much I love skating? I do! I've been dreaming of the day I would be teaching my little girl to skate. Now I have three of them!!!
Using the stroller for support.
Proof that I was there and wearing skates.