The Heat Invasion

It’s been a weird year.  First we had the longest, coldest winter I can ever recall enduring.  Temperatures down to 10 degrees for several days straight, so much snow you could almost imagine seeing penguins lugeing down the street past the mailboxes and frozen-shut cars.  We bundled up and hibernated through the cold as best we could, but spring was a long time coming and it didn’t truly start warming up until May.

Well.  Color me daft for pleading for sunshine because now we’ve got it.  Buckets of it.  Steaming, stinking buckets of sunshine pervading our lives and liquefying the rubber right off our cars.  Heat wave?  This isn’t a heat wave.  This is a heat deluge.  An infestation, an occupation, an effing hostile takeover.  Washington should never get this hot.  We’re simply not equipped.  Very few houses are air conditioned, and the local stores never remember to stock up on enough fans which means that two days into a hot weather streak there is no comfort to be found anywhere.

Our house was 89 degrees yesterday (it was almost 100 degrees outside), and this was after all the windows had been shut all day and the drapes were drawn over every window.  Do you have any idea what it’s like to try to fall asleep when it’s that hot in your house?  No?  Allow me to paint you a picture…

You trudge upstairs, cursing your tank top-and-shorts ensemble for being too warm.  The window is open but the only way you can tell is because more hot air is flooding in.  You step into your room and let out an involuntary gasp because it’s literally like standing in a sauna.  The heat is oppressive, and as you lay back on top of the sheets of your bed you can feel waves of heat rising from your mattress.  You imagine yourself as a pizza, cooking slowly on a hot slab of stone.  You drift into a fitful, twitchy sleep only to awake when a drip of your own sweat pools in your eye and startles you awake.  You blearily gaze at the clock, with it’s stupid red numbers, and you despair at having to spend another six hours and thirteen minutes roasting alive.  You close your eyes again and try to fall back asleep, but all you can do is recoil in horror at the sensation of feeling your skin emitting more sweat.  The night passes slowly, and you awake in the morning feeling pummeled and sore, like instead of sleeping you were rolling around in the clothes dryer all night.

It’s distinctly possible that moving the throw pillows off our bed last night prompted me to burst into tears over the prospect of yet another sleepless night.  It’s also distinctly possible that watching penguins on Planet Earth as well as Wes telling me he loves me also made me cry, so maybe don’t put too much weight on that particular statement.  However!  It’s hot!  And I’m not sleeping!  Which means one thing: miserable pregnant woman.


I think we might have found a way to cope with the dreaded heat, though.  I crash on the floor of our basement, where it’s slightly cooler, until about midnight when the upstairs is a little more manageable.  Wes wakes me and we trudge up to bed together, sleeping with the windows and curtains open and three different fans going.  It’s noisy and bright, but infinitely better than the alternative (sleeping in the hot, oppressive, quiet dark).

Does anyone have any tips or tricks for dealing with a heat wave?  Suggestions welcome!

15 thoughts on “The Heat Invasion

  1. A light dusting of baby powder (or cornstarch if you aren’t ready to smell like baby) on the sheets helps to absorb the sweaties and make the sheets feel cooler to begin with. I can’t remember if the effect lasts all night or not.

    Surprisingly, a hot shower or bath can trick your body into feeling that the “regular” temp air is cooler. At least you don’t sweat getting out like you do after a more comfortable lukewarm shower. (You can thank Blanche DuBois for THAT bit of wisdom.)

    I can’t imagine living here in the hot, muggy south without AC, and we’re supposedly used to the heat, so my total sympathies to your discomfort.

  2. Oh, if you have double hung windows, push up the bottoms on the 1st floor and lower the tops on the upper floor(s). Theoretically this should take advantage of the heat rises rule to create some air movement via convection thus pulling in the cooler air of the evening while exhausting the hot air.

  3. -Blanche, Ooh! I’ll have to remember the baby powder trick tonight, thanks so much! Clever tip with the convection effect and the windows, but unfortunately our windows slide open from side to side. Thanks so much for the tips, though!

  4. As a life-long Puget Sound resident, I am half ashamed to admit it but … a window air conditioner in our bedroom is saving my life this week. I never EVER thought I’d have an AC in my house, but pregnant + 100 degree heat = NO FUCKING WAY. The AC is saving me. I can’t believe this is me saying this but … I’d recommend it. :/

  5. -Ariel, Ha! Don’t you love the shame that comes with enjoying air conditioning in Seattle? Feel no shame, everyone knows excessive heat is bad for babies, yes? Wes and I have decided that if A/C isn’t in the cards this summer we’re DEFINITELY getting it next summer. There’s no way I’m trying to comfort a fussy infant in a 90 degree house.

    Frankly, at this point I need someone comforting ME!

  6. A friend of mine said, on July 4th, that she “doesn’t care about global warming” and just wants it to “be sunny every day” and “never rain again.”

    I blame her for this weather. You can, too, if you like!

  7. -Working Girl, I TOTALLY BLAME YOUR FRIEND! Not that I want it to be glacial around here or anything, but I think sunny and mid-70’s is ideal, with maybe 1-2 days a week of rain to keep things green. I hope your friend is without A/C!

  8. For me, I feel cooler if my feet hang off the end of the bed (when on my side or stomache). I have no clue why. Otherwise, a oscillating floor fan kept me cool when I lived in S FL and the AC went out. Good luck! I’d spend the whole night in the basement. on the bare floor. maybe a pillow.

  9. -Kelsi, Maybe the extra air circulating around your extremities helps them feel cooler? I’ll have to try dangling my feet off the edge of the bed and see if that doesn’t help. I would love to get an oscillating fan, but all the stores have sold out and I never remember to buy one when the weather is bearable!

  10. At least you didn’t have to move in this heat! Ugh, it was horrible, and our new place actually gets hot, unlike our old apartment, so we were completely unprepared. Luckily we got a window air conditioner for the bedroom from Tim’s gradparents. But it’s still hot downstairs!! Grr. To think I actually used to enjoy the heat.

  11. -Delisa, Oh my gosh, I can’t imagine having to move in this heat! I’m so sorry! What a fun way to enjoy your new place…? At least you have the A/C for your room!

  12. I just built a homemade air conditioner for $50… works like a dream!

    look for it on youtube, or online: Geoff’s homemade air conditioner

  13. -Matt, Don’t you tempt me, sir. A homemade air conditioner? Sounds too good to be true! I’ll have resident super-genius engineer guy (aka Wes) take a look at said video and see if we can make that dream come true this summer. Thanks for the tip!

  14. Ice packs wrapped in a tea towel on the back of your neck and your feet. Lifesaver. But you probably don’t need it anymore as it’s cooled off significantly today!

  15. -Sparklytosingle, That is an excellent suggestion! I’ll definitely remember that for when the weather inevitably takes another turn toward the ridiculous!

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