Jan 20, 2012

Safe, warm, and with power once again

It has been nearly a week since I left my house. Saturday the older kids and I took down the Christmas tree while the little three napped. Let me tell you, pine water does NOT clean like pine-sol. We tossed the tree over the back deck and the plan was to take it to the dump the next day. I ended up not going because I had someone coming to buy some furniture from Craig's List. When Liam woke up from his nap, the moment he saw the tree was gone, he burst into tears, poor little sweetie was so sad his tree was gone. That night we got some snow, not a lot, but enough that I didn't want to leave the house, as I need new tires.

By Monday it was a huge mess, we kept getting more and more snow. They canceled school on Tuesday, and the kids were so happy to have a four day weekend. Wednesday we got a huge storm and had over a foot of snow. For this area, that is a lot. I had the boys shovel the walk, in case it iced over, and it did. Thursday morning I heard my sleep number bed clicking, which told me we had lost power. And indeed we did. I knew we were running low on staples, and the only gas in my home is a gas fireplace that we did not have the gas key too, and that has never worked. We had enough cereal for that day, and we had stuff for sandwiches, but none of my meat was thawed, so I BBQed some potatoes in foil and we topped them with cheese, sour cream, and bacon chunks. The sun had set, so we were enjoying dinner by candle light, with plans of all the kids and I sleeping close in proximity, when the lights came on.

Now, we were excited, but not convinced they would STAY on, because they had been flickering on and off all day. One time Austin said "I hope we have lights by bedtime" and I said "I hope we have lights right. now." raising my hands to my ceiling... and just then the lights turned on! But were off almost immediately. As soon as it was clear the lights were on to stay, we sprang into action. One kid heated up leftover meatloaf and green beans to go with our dinner. Another kid plugged in all portable electronics, cell phones and the space heater. I turned up the furnace and made sure the pilot was on. We did not have high hopes it would last. 200,000 people in this area were without power, and could be for up to a week, so I did not think we would be one of the lucky ones to get lights within 12 hours. The new housing development behind us was not as lucky. A full 24 hours later, their windows are still dark.

In the night we lost most of our tree branches on our shade tree in the front yard, all barely missing my car. My neighbor was also fortunate that her large tree, that lost its largest branches, also missed her cars. Our enormous tree in the back yard was leaning, and it was clear it would probably come down. There were concerns it would take the fence with it, but my neighbor and I watched as it tipped, and then broke off, landing a few inches from the fences. Until the ice melts and we can move the branches, I will be stuck in my driveway. The kids have had a full week without school. Power flickered off again this afternoon, and I let out a string of profanity, but thankfully it came on before I could add a 6th word to my diatribe.

I also got a nice long nap this afternoon which was MUCH needed as I have been sick since earlier this week with a cold that has now settled deeply into my lungs. Christopher and Matthew have also been sick. Between the three of us, I think I have lost half a bottle of Tylenol, and most of a box of Kleenex.

Jan 9, 2012


Gah, anyone else dealing with the post holidays winter blues? I still have my tree up because it is my first live tree, and I can, but I think it will be going down soon and maybe I can shake this mood. Sheesh, with the kids back in school and Bobby back in Afghanistan, I am finding that the daily grind is really just getting to me lately. I am not one of those overboard decorate the house in November type people, and normally I look forward to January 2nd, but I think I was just overstimulated this year. LOL

So if you had any effect from post holiday blues, what did you do to shake the funk??

Jan 3, 2012

Happy 2012

I have had a busy 3 weeks. For any new readers, my husband works all over the world, but since March 1, 2011 he has been working in Afghanistan and Iraq. A month or so ago he got an email from his boss informing him that he had unused paid vacation and that they needed to be used up by the end of the year, or some of it would be lost. We knew to bring him home we would have to pay out of pocket for airfare, and that we had a limit on how long he could stay in order to get the maximum deductions as an ex-patriot on our taxes, and with paid days off in December-January, we were able to bring him home for 3 weeks over winter break. The kids were home from school his entire vacation, save for 1 day.

Because he missed Thanksgiving because he was traveling, I made him a complete turkey dinner with all the fixings. We also had a great Christmas and got our very first live tree, and went to a tree farm to get it. Then, for new years, my sisters and I all went to my moms house and had an incredible weekend together. The kids did an ornament exchange and my mom made a huge, wonderful, dinner for the 22 of us. Today, the fun was all over. The kids went back to school. Bobby boarded a plane back to Afghanistan (via Paris and Dubai). Thankfully I was so busy with driving to Seattle, and first of the month errands that reality has not yet set in. I am sure as we transition back into our old routine, that will change and we will all struggle in our own ways, until once again we get back into routine and it will get easy again. Until then, I will continue to hug my kids extra close, and remind them how special and loved they are.