Friday, January 31, 2014

Snow Buddy

     In case you haven't heard, we had some terrible issues with snow and ice earlier this week. A good Reader's Digest would be that we got more snow than expected, it stuck and froze, tons of people were stranded trying to get home and chaos ensued. We were lucky by comparison and while not together, all of us were warm and safe.
     I was at the rec center in Hoover when I got the call from my wife that the roads were starting to get bad. I had dropped Ruby off and Sailor was at the care center and could see the snow out the window. At this point the traffic outside was still moving fine. olivia called again and said her schools were shutting down and I needed to go get Ruby. I dashed out and quickly realized it was way worse than I could have expected.
     We decided the best course of action was for me to head home and for her to get Ruby, try and make it to the house and if she could not she could fall back to my mother's place. Those plans were best case scenarios. After a couple hours in traffic she was stranded on 31 just a couple miles away from the interstate. Mom ended up with Ruby and a friend from school. Sailor and I had a jump on the situation but in the end, it didn't matter.
     With road conditions rapidly deteriorating, the most direct route given our location was blocked with cars that could not climb what was essentially a gradual rise up a hill. This would be the first in a large series of pileups I would see over the next several hours. Doubling back we tried 6 additional routes home and all were blocked. This included a daring attempt up a steep climb that resulted in narrowly avoiding getting stuck by anchoring my rear tires on a curb and purposely spinning the fronts to right the vehicle and begin the descent post failure.
     Sailor was a champ throughout the entire ordeal. During the first half hour she slept quietly but after that she was wide eyed at the snow and asking tons of questions about what was going on. She never complained about being cold or hungry (thanks to the supply of bank suckers I keep in the center console) and was great company. The only time she seemed scared or concerned despite my increasing stress was during our backwards slide after the failed uphill climb.
     We made it back to 31 and began a slow crawl in an attempt to reach my mother's condo. With the roadways clogged and no progress being made I stopped for food and to get us a little break from the confines of our SUV. There was quite a line inside but we ended up with a hot meal and a nice break. Back outside 45 minutes later, it was plain to see as the traffic crawled and the sun started to fall that I would not make my intended destination.
     I phoned a friend nearby and we found a place to stay the night. Thankfully I was able to navigate to their place, passing a handful of cars who had not been so lucky. Again, my hosts deserve a huge thanks for the hospitality and thanks for all the people they sheltered that night. My main contribution was a cobbled together country fried steak chili, so good I might even make it on purpose sometime.
     My friend was kind enough to take us home the next day in his Jeep. He literally had purchased it in the week prior. In just under an hour we managed to make it 6 miles. I could tell he was pleased when we crested a hill and there were no cars at the top. Smart purchase, that Jeep. I found our dog and cat out of water but no accidents. Chopper is always happy to see us but he was extra excited this time but did whimper a bit that only half of us were accounted for. The above picture is Sailor napping on the couch after we got home. I almost couldn't believe we really made it and walking in the door has never felt so good.
     Throughout everything that happened, we were sure to count our blessings. There were many, many people who were not as fortunate as us. While our leadership and meteorologists failed, our strength as family, friends, and community shined. To everyone who helped us, we are forever in your debt and to those who helped others, thank you as well. This is certainly an experience that will stick with us for quite some time.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Snow, Ice, Etc.

So we're a little occupied at the moment with some bad weather.  You've probably heard a thing or two about it. We'll be back to our normally scheduled postings after the city thaws out...which kind of can't happen soon enough.

Monday, January 27, 2014


Ruby and Sailor got theirs did. They were very proud.

Friday, January 24, 2014

180 Degrees

So...after the terrible twos post it seems like Sailor has had a complete turnaround. I won't say that she never has a bad moment but the streak that we dealt with for a little bit there seems to have come and gone. Of course, as soon as I post this she will probably set the house on fire but the calm before the storm was nice while it lasted.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Ru and Music

     Ruby really has a thing for music. She always asks about songs on the radio and we talk about the artists a bit or the song itself. Lately her own songs have gotten a lot better too with real structure and repetition. Previously she would make up a song and sing it once and you would never hear it again. This past weekend olivia and I talked and realized she had sung the same song to us on separate occasions.  
     Playing Guitar Hero at the arcade? Her idea. She couldn't quite get the fretting part down but she was a champ at strumming. Her rhythm and sync with the notes on screen was off here and there. That said, I saw focus and enjoyment that was a bit surprising. The song she chose, "Hit Me With Your Best Shot", has also become a staple in her daily singing rotation as well.
     Since most of you probably remember this post, I'll share that Ruby has another band. This project is called "The Cribs" and also features Sailor and their friend Ellison. Ruby sings, Sailor plays guitar and Ellison is on drums. It is more hip-hop flavored than SMF's rock stylings. While I'll say that I am proud of her variety and range, I am a little jealous of her ability to come up with band names. Anyone who has ever been in a band will tell you, coming up with a name is by far the hardest part. 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Friday, January 10, 2014

Terrible Twos

     Caution! Though she looks sweet and innocent, this child is a raging being of superhuman will primed to explode at a moment's notice. While normally happy and smiley, for no real reason whatsoever she will hurl shrieks, screams and tears at you kicking and undulating on the floor like some sort of banshee bent on the destruction of your very sanity.
     Try not to make eye contact as her supply of alluring cuteness knows no end. She will unleash it at will completely undermining your ability to deny more chocolate milk, a second sucker or another ride on the carousel. Also known to crawl into your lap with blanket in hand and set up camp. If this happens, forget about your chances of ever being seen again and pray that someone notifies your next of kin.
     Often seen in the company of Grandmothers who seem to strengthen her resolve. It is well know that the Grandmother species provides a steady supply of sugar and coddling. This is a partnership certain to result in exponential disaster and strengthening of inhuman tantrum resolve.

If cornered, we advise that you grant her wishes to be held, carried or read book after book after book after book...after book. Do not run, her facial features seem to have some sort of magnetic draw that has been found to be 100% irresistible. Despite reports or opinions to the contrary, this child is undeniably caught in the grips of the terrible twos. 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Monday, January 6, 2014

Back to the Grind

     Well 2013 Holiday Season, you had a good run. It was great while it lasted but today we all get back to it. olivia was off for a couple weeks and it was great having her around and having help with the girls. Our Christmas tree, while no longer decorated, is still up in the dining room. That will be remedied in the next couple days and our display of Christmas cards will be dismantled also.
      It is kind of strange looking back on it, how fast it comes and goes. It seems like only yesterday we were shopping for gifts and talking about putting the decorations up. Christmas comes after a huge buildup and it is great when you get the release. That said, I'm not quite ready to let the good feeling of promise and joy go just yet. Today will likely be a bit stressful as we all try and fall back into our routine but I'm going to do my best to keep that joy going. Sometimes under this roof, especially on a day like today, we need all of it that we can get.