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Archive for June, 2009

Toddlers and tornados

Thoughtfully penned on June 22nd, 2009 and generally concerning Life with littles, Summer Fun

On Friday, June 12, we had one of those storms. The kind where you look out the window and think, “Man, the sky sure does look weird,” just moments before the bottom falls out. The kind where the tornado sirens blare. The kind where warnings like, “take cover immediately, find cover in the center of your house, wear your shoes and have ID with you,” scroll across the television screen. The kind I had rarely experienced prior to moving to the flatlands of the Mississippi River.

It started about 4:45. Little was watching Caillou on the computer when I glanced out the front windows and noticed the sky had a very eerie orangish-green hue and the quality of light was very odd. I turned on the TV to check out the weather situation and almost immediately the lights began to flicker. About that time Matt walked through the back door and just a short time later – think seconds, not minutes – the rain started falling (thank God that Matt made it home before the bad weather hit!).

Looking out of front window the rain was falling so heavily and the wind was blowing so hard that it seriously looked like we were in a tropical storm. Rain was coming from every direction at once and we couldn’t see the crepe myrtle in our front yard (maybe 10 feet away) for all the water falling. It wasn’t long before the power went out for good, the tornado sirens revved up, and we were packing it up and heading to the hallway (our most interior location).

Little wasn’t sure what to make of it all. She didn’t cry or act scared, but you could tell she was a little nervous. She wanted to be right beside Matt or me or, preferably, in my lap until everything had passed by and she could see that it had cleared up.

Boo, on the other hand, was totally unfazed by the whole thing. He thought everyone being in the hallway together was big fun and the that flashlight was the greatest thing he’d ever seen.

We emerged from our hallway-hiding-place on two occasions only to hear the tornado sirens start up again so back we went. When the storm finally rolled on we were able to get out and survey the damage a bit. Fortunately, most of our immediate area suffered little or no damage – there were a couple of houses that lost large limbs from trees (none fell on houses, thankfully), a couple of houses lost a few shingles, and, of course, there were all kinds of small branches and debris from the trees. We found out later that an F1 tornado had cut a swath about a mile and a half south of our house and done more considerable damage, so we were indeed fortunate.

We had no damage beyond the power outage, but a power outage in June in the South is enough to drive anyone toward the edge (especially a pregnant lady!). We went on with our Friday evening as usual expecting the power to be restored any time. When we woke Saturday morning and were still without power we decided to get out of the house for a while and hoped the power would be restored while we were gone. By Saturday afternoon we’d pretty much given up hope of it coming back up anytime soon.

Saturday evening, a dear sweet friend took pity on us and our hot selves and invited us to her house to spend the night. There are not words to express how thankful we were for her friendship, her hospitality, and her willingness to help us out. And the four kids (ages 4, almost 3, 20 months, and 14 months) thought a sleepover was such great fun that the older two have asked more than once if we can do it again!

We found out on Saturday that more than 75,000 residences were left without power and that the electric company was saying that it could take all week to get everyone restored. We came home Sunday afternoon to ponder our possibilities – should we pack up and head to Nashville for a few days, should we try to stick it out in our hot house, should we head back to S’s house, should we try to find a hotel room in town – and to our great surprise and delight our power was restored at about 1:30 that afternoon.

We are so grateful to God for keeping us safe, taking care of us, and providing for us during the storm and the crazy weekend that followed.

The stash

Thoughtfully penned on June 12th, 2009 and generally concerning Babywearing

Those of you who know me (or have read here for a while) know that I’ve fallen in love with babywearing since Boo was born. So, when Steph mentioned earlier in the week that she was going to host a “babywearing stash” link-up I knew I wanted to play along.

Here’s my current stash:
From left to right: Nest baby sling (shore), BabyHawk, Sleepy Wrap, handmade sling I got from eBay

I’m contemplating making some changes to the stash as the arrival of baby #3 approaches – possibly adding an ERGO, maybe selling the green/blue sling, and Matt would really like a Kelty backpack. But this is where I am right now.

If you want to see how other bloggers are babywearing, check out the stash link-up.

Our week

Thoughtfully penned on June 11th, 2009 and generally concerning Life with littles

Today is day four of an unusual week for us. Both of my friends who we usually hang out with during the day are unavailable this week (one due to vacation, the other due to VBS). On a normal week we would get together with one or both of those friends two or three times, but this week we’re all on our own.

We’ve had a pretty good week, just the three of us. We’ve played inside and outside. We’ve ridden bikes, played with the water table, played with the water hose. The kids have laughed, cried, wrestled, played nicely, and fought. You know, average days with a preschooler and a toddler.

Monday and Tuesday we stayed home all day.

Yesterday, Little was getting a little stir-crazy, so I asked what she wanted to do and she chose the zoo. I was afraid we would get rained on, but we ended up having a lovely morning (albeit very cloudy and hot). We wandered around looking at the animals for about two and a half hours.

We saw most of the animals we like to see – pandas, polar bears, zebras, giraffes, penguins – everything except the hippos and meerkats which were off exhibit when we went by. We even made it to the sea lion show where Little got to see the sea lions blow bubbles, throw frisbee, and play ball.

It was a nice leisurely morning and I think both of the kids really enjoyed it. I know Little did, she always does, but Boo is getting big enough to really get into the animals now, too. He got really excited and pointed and squealed when one of the animals he could see was moving around. So cute.

Little wanted to go to the park today, but it rained some this morning (and looks like it could again at any minute) so everything was wet. We’ll be hanging out at home again today.

Next week we’ll go back to our usual play dates, and Little and I will both be happy to visit with our friends again. But I have to say, I’ve kind of enjoyed our quiet week this week.


Thoughtfully penned on June 9th, 2009 and generally concerning J

I’ve mentioned before that Boo really likes his food. He’ll eat just about anything that doesn’t eat him first, but if given a choice he will always grab fruit before anything else.

I keep fresh fruit, frozen fruit, canned fruit and fruit cups on hand so that I always have something to offer him. Because, seriously, I think he would pack his bags and leave home if he had to go through an entire day without at least one serving of fruit.

The other day Matt picked up a watermelon and a honeydew melon when he ran to the grocery. After we’d all finished our dinner Matt cut the watermelon and doled some out for himself and Little while Boo waited patiently for his share.

Matt was cutting pieces off of his slice to give to Boo, and every.single.time he put watermelon in front of Boo the boy laughed hysterically. Boo would be sitting in his chair totally silent and Matt would hand him some watermelon and he would just bust out laughing like it was the greatest thing ever.

It was so funny to watch and hear him. I don’t know what was going through his little mind, but he was obviously enjoying his watermelon.

Where will we put it?

Thoughtfully penned on June 8th, 2009 and generally concerning Life with littles, S

Complications keep coming up with this third baby thing. Not complications with the baby itself or the pregnancy, but space issues. Things like which children will share the larger bedroom, will we move Boo into a toddler bed or have two cribs, and, biggest of all, what will we do about three carseats and a car?

I’m having a difficult time thinking about giving up my Subaru wagon. I feel like it kind of makes a statement about who I am and who we are as a family (crazy, I know!). But after much measuring and contemplation I’ve finally accepted the fact that we will not be able to put all three children in the backseat. Even if we could find three seats that would fit, it just doesn’t seem like a very safe option because it would be such a tight fit.

So, the large car search has begun. We’re trying to consider all of our options: a sedan with a larger backseat, a crossover, an SUV with third row seating, and, of course, minivans. Each option has its pros and cons, but it’s beginning to look like the best fit for our family is going to be a minivan (much to my consternation). Matt’s been deep in used car research – pricing, what’s available in our area, best cars for the years we’re looking at, etc. – for the last couple of weeks.

Last night, after another hour or more of looking he tweeted, “reading car reviews makes me want to just buy a bike.” Any recommendations for a bicycle built for five?

Poor neglected little blog

Thoughtfully penned on June 4th, 2009 and generally concerning Life with littles, Motherhood, S

A lot has happened around here the last few weeks, yet none of it has made it to the blog. I am still around, and everyone is fine, I just haven’t had the time or energy to pull together coherent posts.

Here’s my excuse – Matt and I found out a few weeks ago that we’re going for the Little People trifecta. Baby number 3 is due early in January, and right now he or she (along with the two little people already present in the house) is sucking the energy right out of me. And making me feel pretty sickly to boot. So, I’ve been neglecting this little blog as part of my effort to remain upright until Matt makes it home in the evening.

I promise I’ll be back…sometime.