When Will and I finished work Friday last week, there was a possibility of snow in the forecast for the weekend. Will went to Costco and the grocery store on Saturday to make sure we had plenty of food in case the roads got bad and we wouldn’t want to leave the house for a couple of days. We had no idea the upcoming storm would be as bad, nor that we would lose power for almost two days.
It snowed a little on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. Monday we were off school for Martin Luther King Day. I can remember sitting in the playroom with the babies, watching the snow, and hoping that we’d get enough that they’d cancel school the following morning. I really was only wishing for one snow day.
Fastforward to Tuesday morning. It was snowing quite a lot. My school changed from having a 2-hour delay to canceling for the day, but Will’s school was going to be in session. He helped me get the babies dressed, fed, and ready for the day, and then he headed off to work with snow coming down.
The weather report that night warned that the worst was yet to come. It was supposed to start snowing around 2 or 3 a.m. and we were expected to receive 8-12 inches! We both got phone calls around 8 that night letting us know that school would be canceled in the morning.
Wednesday morning we got up early and watched the snow fall. We did get quite a bit, but probably not quite 8 inches. The babies don’t have snow suits, so we took pictures of them in their warmest clothes, winter jackets, and garbage bags around their legs. They weren’t quite sure what to think of the snow.
With our limited winter gear, they couldn’t really play in it, either. So they won’t really get to experience snow until the next time it falls, but that’s okay.
The rest of Wednesday we enjoyed the snow, watched the news to see what the weather was supposed to do, and wondered if we’d have school on Thursday. Then Wednesday night we heard of the upcoming ice storm and our lights flickered a couple of times.
Snow days are fun until you lose power. They canceled school for Thursday on Wednesday night. We were supposed to get a little more snow and then freezing rain, which would cause the already icy roads to get even worse.
Thursday morning we lost power. We weren’t too worried at first. We have gas fireplace that does a decent job of keeping the downstairs area warm. We have a jetboil for backpacking, a camping stove, and a barbeque, so we could do some cooking for Will and me. The main problem was making food for the babies.
We make nearly all of our baby food, so that means most food for them is in one of two states: frozen in ice cube form or fruit that still needs to be blended up. We gave them cereal for breakfast, yogurt for lunch, and then sweet potato that had already been prepared and was in our fridge for dinner. Imogen really needs fresh fruit, either pear, plums, or peaches, to keep her regular, though. I tried mashing up a pear by hand, but it was still too chunky for her. I was able to give her a few spoonfulls of the juice, but it wasn’t enough to keep things moving.
The first really “bad” moments came that night. Will and I considered dragging a mattress downstairs to sleep on, but then decided it wasn’t worth the effort. We set up both of the pack n plays near the fireplace, and then we planned on sleeping on the couch and the loveseat. Imogen wouldn’t tolerate sleeping in the pack n play, though. We moved her to a bouncy seat, which worked for maybe 45 minutes, but then she was up crying again. Will ended up sleeping with her on the couch.
Siren did a little better sleeping in the pack n play, only I couldn’t fall asleep. The love seat is not really conducive to a good night’s sleep. It’s not long enough for me to stretch out, and my middle sinks in between the two cushions. I had just drifted off to sleep around 11-something when Siren woke up moments later. I nursed her and then put her in the bouncy seat. Then I couldn’t fall back asleep. I could hear snow falling and tree branches breaking off outside. Nieve kept wanting to go outside, and every time a tree fell I was afraid it was going to crush her. I was also freaked out that Will would end up accidentally smothering Imogen in his sleeping bag. Just too many things to worry about. I finally drifted off again after 1, then at 3 both babies woke up crying, and I had to nurse them before they would go back to sleep. I ended up sleeping with Siren after that, and Will kept Imogen on the couch. Then at 6, the babies were UP for good. Ugh.
Will put them in one of the pack n plays and gave them some toys. Then we tried to sleep more, but every 10 seconds or so, one of them would squeel, which would jolt me awake again. At that point I told Will that if I didn’t get some decent sleep I was going to die, so I went upstairs and slept in our bed for another couple of hours.
Around 9 Will came and got me, and I went downstairs to nurse the babies. He had given them cereal for breakfast again, but we had to figure out food for us to eat too. The food in our fridge was staying cool, but probably wouldn’t stay good much longer. We moved some to the freezer. I started worrying that we’d lose all of my pumped breastmilk, which represents hours of my time and effort. We had to decide if we were going to stay put or go somewhere with power.
Several people offered for us to come stay with them. The problem was that the roads were absolutely terrible on Thursday. They were looking better when we got up on Friday, though, and it was supposed to warm up more that afternoon. So we decided to call my sister and see if we could stay with them.
Very fortunately she and her husband were very welcoming. We began the process of packing up, which with two babies and a dog takes forever! I started packing up around 10:30 or 11. We had to stop to feed the babies around 12. We gave them yogurt again. After that they needed their nap. Once we got Imogen to sleep Will ended up snuggling Siren on the couch to get her to go to sleep, and then he fell asleep with her too. I tried to pack my clothes and clothes for the babies. It was tricky because I didn’t really know how many days to pack for. The news was saying that some people in the area wouldn’t have power back until AFTER the weekend.
Once I finally had clothes and toys packed, then I had to tackle food. I wanted to bring at least some of the food that would likely go bad if it were to remain here. I also didn’t want to show up at my sister’s and say, “Hey thanks. Now feed us!” So I tried to bring food I could use to make dinner for us and the babies. Then I also had to pack utensils for making baby food, like a peeler and the magic bullet.
When Will and Siren woke up, he packed his things, then started getting food for Nieve. We started loading everything by the door. Then I nursed the babies, Will got their car seats, and we were getting ready to start loading the cars.
Just as we put the babies in their carseats, our power kicked back on. I immediately felt relief, joy, and thankfulness, and then only a little irritation that it happened AFTER we had everything packed up and ready to go. It was about 4:00 at this point, and I’d been packing (off and on, but mostly on) for 6 hours. Oh the stuff that babies entail.
We left our things packed for the most part, in case we lost power again, and we started doing all of the household chores that we wished we’d been able to do when we lost power, like laundry and running the dishwsher. Very fortunately it stayed on, and the storm seems to be over now.
I wish I had more pictures. For awhile every plant in our yard was covered with an inch of ice. If I hadn’t been worried about how to feed the babies and how to get them to sleep at night, I would have taken more time to be appreciative of how beautiful everything looked.
So for now, things are mostly back to normal. Hopefully school will be back in session on Monday. Many homes in the area are still without power, but they are being fixed all the time. We missed the entire week of school, which was four days because of the holiday on Monday. We have two snow make up days built into our calendar, but the other two will come at the end of the year in June, which will be a little painful. I’m very thankful that we got through the storm without any real problems. We have broken tree limbs in our yard, but no property damage (that we know of, anyway). And the babies got through it without really knowing anything was even happening.
Of course it would have been nice to have a generator, but if the babies were a little older, food wouldn’t have been such an issue, and we could have brought mattresses downstairs and all slept on the floor without me worrying about them suffocating or freezing to death. in the meantime, I’ll try to keep more fresh fruit blended and ready the next time we’re expecting a big storm.