My kids love to ice skate. With our winters, that feel like they last forever, it gives them something fun to look forward to in the winter.
Honestly, our winters aren’t “that” cold compared to a lot of places. But we don’t experience the fluctuations that I remember as a kid growing up in Nebraska.
It might snow today and be fully sunny and pleasant tomorrow. That is not something we experience here. It’s just this constant cold and darkness that eats away half of your personality by February.
Once the sun sets in summer time you feel like you are saying good-bye to an old friend you won’t see until the next summer. This would be the same summer that is gone in a blink of an eye and poses no real threat of getting hot enough to break out into a sweat on most days. I only joke that I feel a heat stroke coming on because in actuality, I’m tired of needing a jacket in August.
That might be a tiny bit of an exaggeration, but that’s how it feels by the time you hit January. Despite how whiny that feels, I really love this place.
Last year was the first time we bought our big kids ice skates of their own. It was one of the best decisions we’ve ever made as parents. Willow was only two and didn’t seem remotely interested in skating. She loved sledding and that seemed enough for her last year.
This year, the girls had outgrown their ice skates, so we got them some new ones for Christmas. Willow was so taken with the ice skates and was so bummed to not have any.
At three now, she loves to do everything the big kids do. At the very least, she likes to at least have a chance to try what they are doing.
Adam and I were out on a bit of a date last weekend and were looking through a second hand store. As I was walking through the back of the store, I spied a little pair of ice skates. They seemed to be begging me to take a closer look. They were so cute. Little white figure skates.
They did seem like they would be just a speck too big, but as fast as kids grow at this stage I figured they would still work. I could always put an extra pair of socks on Willow if needed to make them work. They were only two euros, which made them an impossibly hard deal to turn down. In fact, I couldn’t turn them down. They were perfect!
They needed new shoe laces and a bit of a cleaning, but structurally they seemed great. Not that I’m any expert on ice skates or anything. I just learned this year that ice skate blades need to be sharpened from time to time. Who knew? I certainly didn’t.
Anyhow, I brought home the skates and it was so fun to see Willow’s excitement over them. She wanted to put them on right away so I helped her.
Sure enough, they are a little bit big, but not bad at all. The up side is….we should get at least two years out of them before she does indeed, outgrow them!
The whiteness of the skates seemed to be slightly yellowed. So I looked here in town for some white shoe polish. I couldn’t find any so I resorted to looking online for how to make my own. And while I didn’t learn how to make white shoe polish, I did find lots of options for cleaning up leather shoes.
Amazingly, these skates are made of real leather and are so cute. Did I say that already? What is it about little things that are so stinkin’ cute?
I gathered up a few supplies and Willow and I spread a bath towel out on the kitchen floor. She was pretty eager to help me.
The things I decided to try out using were toothpaste and a toothbrush, and a basic school eraser. I had read both things are good for helping to clean up scuffs and marks.
I tried the eraser and, honestly, it didn’t do a thing on the skates. It might work on a certain type of scuff mark, but it didn’t do anything on our little ice skates.
Our second attempt was with toothpaste and a toothbrush. We just used the cheap whitening toothpaste from our local grocery store, nothing fancy!
Putting toothpaste on an ice skate is really a three olds version of fun. She LOVED it. I gave her a toothbrush and let her scrub away at one skate while I worked on the second one. It did really seems to clean them up and get a lot of grime off of them.
We did remove the shoe laces first. It really makes it much easier to get the tongue cleaned and saves you from getting toothpaste on the laces. Which is not what you want to do.
It is a messy venture to say the least. I had toothpaste all over my skirt by the time I was done and Willow had it all over her too. At the end I just used a damp rag to wipe off all the toothpaste and grime. I had to rinse it out and do that a couple of times to get it all off. But it did come off just fine.
I was a little disappointed that it didn’t really remove the little rusty spots from the shoe lace rivets. And the worn away areas would still be improved by actual show polish.
I’m sure if I went searching in Tartu I would find somewhere that actually sells a white shoe polish. I’m not sure, if or when I will ever get around to that.
The last thing we did was to slather lanolin all over the skates to add back in some moisture that we undoubtedly took out with our toothpaste scrub. Plus, I was hoping it would help to act as a bit of a barrier against water in the future.
Ever since I’ve had kids, which is most of my married life, I’ve had a tube of lanolin around. That stuff is awesome. It works on anything and everything. I could speak of it’s virtues forever. But this would definitely be a first time I’ve ever used it on shoes of any sort. It seemed to work pretty good though.
I grew up watching my dad polish up his cowboy boots over the years so I gave these ice skates my best buffing and shine I could. I think my dad would be proud!
They look much better. I am not sure the pictures really do it justice. No, you won’t mistake these for brand-new skates off of someone’s shelf, but they look pretty nice. And I have one very happy little girl who is constantly trying on her “new” skates and trying to walk on the rug around the coffee table and asking when we’ll have real ice to skate on which, from the looks of it, will be very soon.