Sunday, February 28, 2010

A night out...sans kiddos...

This weekend my hubby had a work party to go to. I know a lot of people think work parties are a drag but wait until you have 2 little kids and never get out of the house! Suddenly going to a work party sounds like Club Med! The party was being held at the Hyatt so they had rooms available for a reduced rate. We decided to make a night of it and stay at the hotel that way we could both drink and not have to figure out a way to get home safely! My parents agreed to watch the kids and they came up early that Saturday afternoon. We headed off to our party feeling as though we were going on vacation! My husband had the smart idea of swinging by the liquor store and taking our own supply, so we stocked up on Grey Goose, Seagrams, Coke and 7-Up….we were ready for some fun! We got to the hotel, checked in and had some time to relax before getting dressed for the party. We sat in the room and watched TV for a while, since we don’t have TV service at our house we now find TV irresistable. That day they had constant news updates about the earthquake in Chile and the “Tsunami” that was approaching Hawaii. In the typical fear-monger newscaster way they valiantly tried to make a dramatic story out of nothing, we watched expecting at any moment to see Hawaii washed off the face of the earth…LIVE. But no, according to the news the waves got larger but you couldn’t tell on TV. The 45 minutes that we wasted sitting there watching nothing and seeing the “TSUNAMI RUSHING TO ERADICATE HAWAII” headlines scrolling across the bottom of the screen only served to remind us that maybe, just maybe, living in an area that doesn’t get TV reception isn’t such a bad thing! But I digress…this post is supposed to be about our evening out…not a commentary on the sensationalism of the news media. So, back to the party…

The party was a Casino Night theme, around the room they had different gambling stations set up. Since I have never been to Vegas or Atlantic City many of the popular games are unknown to me. I played one or two and then we tried out the craps table. Neither one of us knew how to play but the dealer explained the game and we tried it out. I got hooked and spent most of the evening there. By the time they were closing up I felt like I was getting the hang of it. At the beginning of the evening they gave each person $25,000 to play with. I was able to turn that into $100,000 at the craps table. I was feeling pretty proud of myself and was daydreaming about going to Vegas… winning big…being catered to by the management of the casino…being moved to the “high roller” suite…everything comped of course…I was imagining how Peter could quit work and we could travel the world with the kiddos, returning occasionally to attend to our estate… it is amazing that I didn’t just float on up to the ceiling with all my day dreaming. But then they announced the biggest winners, the top winner won over 900,000! All of the sudden I realized my 100,000 wasn’t all that impressive. I still got to gloat though because my dear husband lost about 80,000 playing blackjack! Guess who gets charge of the wallet when we go to Vegas???

They had a buffet there, lots of food. The best was the mashed potato bar…yummy! When you arrived you were given 2 drink tickets, after that it was a cash bar. Fortunately for us we had our own stash upstairs. Periodically Peter would slip upstairs with our glasses and fill ‘em up with the good stuff. Now I had thought that since I’ve been pregnant/nursing for over two years that I wouldn’t be able to tolerate more than a drink or two. It’s just like riding a bike, it all comes back to you! Before long I was back to my old self, standing around sipping on my glass of vodka, enjoying the taste, the smell. And for those of you that say vodka doesn’t smell, you are wrong. It does, it smells….good. I told Peter that taking a whiff of my vodka was like getting a great big bear hug from Grey Goose. The best thing about having a night away from the kids was the flexibility, we could stay up as late as we wanted! And we did…didn’t go to bed till well after 1am…usually at 1am I am getting up to feed the baby or comfort a crying child. I had big plans for sleeping in the next morning but I was wide awake (despite the effects of alcohol) by 7am. I tried to go back to sleep but it wasn’t in the cards. We actually checked out of the hotel before our time was up and headed home to see the babies. We had talked about going to a movie or spending the afternoon together but when the time came we were ready to go home and kiss and cuddle our offspring.

’til next time…

a little more about February...

We spent most of February in the house due to all the snow on the ground. The kiddos continue to amaze me each day with how much they are growing up and learning! Here are a few photos from this month.

Wythe, eating a banana like a grown up!

Ainsley, my happy baby

Ainsley wide awake...daddy snoozing...

Wythe getting a bedtime story from daddy

Wythe, sporting his spikey hair

Ainsley sporting her construction hat

'til next time...

Thursday, February 25, 2010

More about snow...

Not only did we get a lot of snow at the beginning of February but it hung around for the longest time! Almost a week after the snow the ice cycles were forming on the house and on the garage.

front of house

front of garage

Even after the power company removed the power lines from our driveway we were still unable to get out of the driveway. We had several issues that prevented us from venturing out. To start with the tractor arm broke when Peter started working on the driveway so not only was the bucket inoperable but he couldn’t even try to drive the tractor and try to pack the snow. The next big issue was the tree blocking the entrance of the driveway. Even if we could plow the driveway we still had to get the tree moved. When VDOT cleared the road they cut the main section of the tree that was laying across the road and pushed it into our driveway, then they plowed, pushing the snow up over the tree. So the tree was now blocking the driveway and was also buried in a snow bank and crusted with ice! The week after the storm several of our neighbors came to help dig us out.

some neighbors helping out

They started by digging the tree out of the snow bank, then cutting it up, dragging it out of the way, and then one of our neighbors used his snowblower to cut a path down the driveway!

a beautiful sight...our driveway being cleared...

It was so nice to be able to get out of the house again! Even though the main road was in pretty bad shape we were able to get into town to get the necessary items…diapers…formula….alcohol!

However, the weather continued to stay cold and the snow was very slow to melt. This picture shows our back patio about 2-1/2 weeks after the storm.

'til next time...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Blizzard of 2010...

There is only one word for February 2010….SNOW.

our front porch

Our area has been hammered this year with snow. We have had several large snow storms and have now recorded more snow fall since they began keeping records. We lost power for a couple days, that was a challenge with having babies in the house. I will admit I’m not as adventurous since having the kids. Fortunately for us we have the wood stove so we could stay warm. This wood stove is not really designed for cooking but we were able to cook by perching small pans around the top of the stove. It doesn’t get as hot as some of the stoves we’ve had before, we couldn’t get water to boil but we could get it to steam. I cooked potato soup one day, it was a good thing that I started it in the morning because it took 9 hours for the vegetables to get tender. We also had eggs and sausage for breakfast so we definitely didn’t go hungry.

front of our house

The worst part is not having water but at least when you have snow you can melt snow. Also, when you lose power in the snow it makes it easier because you can put all the food from your fridge and freezer out in the snow.

looking from the house toward the driveway

A storm like this makes us question our judgment putting in a long driveway with a curve in it! With almost 3 feet of snow on the ground we get really stuck here. Peter tried to clear a little bit with the tractor but the snow is so heavy that it broke the arm of the tractor.

our poor broken down tractor

So he began digging trenches in the snow to get to the detached garage and office and then another trench to the road so that we could walk out.

Wythe - "in the trenches"

When the power was out we knew our neighbors across the road were trying to heat their house with a fireplace. Peter loaded up three bags of firewood and some hot water and hot soup and hiked to their house to deliver our care package!

Peter - loaded up to deliver food and wood

By Sunday evening their power was back on but ours wasn’t. We loaded up the kids, Ainsley in the baby Bjorn and Wythe in the backpack carrier, took flashlights and hiked over to their house for dinner and to watch the Superbowl. You would have thought we were die-hard football fans, when in reality we were just eager to get out of the house. That night our power was turned back on, electricity is a wonderful thing! We really got lucky with the electricity, normally it wouldn’t be turned on so fast but we had lines down across our property and across the road so that made it a priority.

our truck is under there somewhere...

Peter and Wythe

me and my precious boy

what a pretty snow!

'til next time...