Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Before, During, and After

Before the storm we spent the morning cleaning the bathroom and closet in the master bedroom so that we would have a place to shelter. When we were finished with that we put away the dishes and played with LEGO and had lunch. Here's Zoë helping with the dishes:

The girls came home from school around 1:15. I had them help me tidy up the rest of the house, not that you can tell now because after we were finished cleaning they started playing again. Zoë fell asleep so I decided to take a nap as well (the awake kids were playing LEGO). Our nap ended when the UPS guy dropped off a package and rang the doorbell.

The package wasn't for us. It was for our neighbours.

I walked it over in the calm before the storm. It was hot and muggy and eerily quiet. The silence was interrupted by a clap of thunder and Benjamin met me at the door.

"Mom! Will you get in here?!" he hollered. "It's thundering and lightninging!"

I started chatting with Andrew to tell him what Benjamin said, because I thought it was cute.

"I have to take shelter," Andrew interrupted me at 3:36.

"Are you on a watch or a warning?" I asked.

"Warning," he said. "Alarms are going off like crazy. You might have a warning, too."

"I think we're still on a watch," I said. "My phone alarm didn't go off."

But then I checked my phone and found that it had (perhaps while I was walking to the neighbour's) so I rounded up the kids and we bunkered down in the closet with blankets and books and pillows and snacks.

It was fun for about the first fifteen minutes, but soon the novelty of sitting in a crowded space and listening to the storm rage around us wore off. We were only supposed to be "in shelter" for a half hour, originally, but just before our warning expired another one was issued—for another forty-five minutes!

Safety is great but sometimes it sure is an inconvenience! We passed the time reading aloud to each other, texting with Daddy, and taking silly pictures.


Benjamin started tooting like crazy so I asked him if he needed to go potty.

"Nope. I don't. These aren't poop toots," he insisted. "They're just regliar toots."

A little later I asked him again and again he insisted he didn't need to go.

"Nope. I'm fine. I don't need to go at all."

A little later I asked him again.

"No way, Mom!" he said. "It's dangerous out there!"

Part of me could see where he was coming from. Our closet was so cozy, what with all those pillows and sisters in there. We could hear the wind raging outside and the rain pounding on the roof. The bathroom, though just outside the closet, seemed too open to him, I'm sure. But nature calls!

"Benjamin—the toilet is right there. We'll just go potty really quick and come right back, okay?"

He went, thank goodness.

Andrew texted to say that he'd pick up pizza on his way home from campus, assuming Little Caesar's was still standing. I'd used up all my dinner prep time trying to keep the children in the closet, so I didn't mind dinner being brought to us. When the warning expired we went outside to play for a while. The kids were happy to stretch their legs. Especially this little guy...

Andrew asked Rachel how Benjamin was doing and she texted back, "He's doing fine (for Ben)." Sitting in an enclosed space for that long is hard when you're a bouncy little guy!

It was garbage day today and we found a stray garbage can that had made its way down the street in the gutter:

I don't know where it belongs but I'm sure it will make its way home eventually.

The clouds were still pretty crazy!

Here's Rachel by the creek that runs through our yard:

And here she is with Miriam's umbrella:

Miriam found this worm and named it Zoë in...honour...of Zoë...I guess...

Zoë got to enjoy some outside time, too...

...before I brought her back inside. She spent several minutes screaming and pounding on the door before her siblings noticed her.

Miriam brought Zoë-worm to the door to show to Zoë-baby and found, much to everyone's delight, that worms stick to glass!

Here's Zoë trying to grab it from our side of the door:

And here are all the girls watching poor Zoë-worm slowly sliding down the storm door:

The big kids spent quite a bit of time plastering worms to the door for Zoë to watch.

(It rained so hard that our entire porch got soaked, which is pretty unusual, which is why our storm door was wet).

Zoë and I went back outside when that game got old (because she started hollering and hitting the door again because her siblings had stopped playing with her). Here are all the big kids playing with a collection of worms on a pipe:

And here's Zoë taking a turn playing in the gutters:

She is too cute for words!

When we first went outside the gutters were raging with water (Benjamin got soaked up to his belly button!) but by the time I let Zoë play in them they were a gentle trickle.

Nothing too terrible happened in our neighbourhood—a few downed branches and feral garbage cans—but there were a few tornado touchdowns elsewhere in the city. One touched down on Cole Mill Road, over by the church, so mutual (and Activity Days for Rachel) was cancelled tonight because the church has no power. I've heard of a few other upsets elsewhere, but all's well in our neck of the woods!

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