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A sheepish return to the MotherBlog

Alright. I owe you an apology. A big apology.

The fact that I haven’t been blogging has been plaguing me for the past month and a half and I just have been too embarrassed to show my slacker face back here at the MotherBlog… which, of course, only made things worse.

So:

I am terribly sorry, and I’ll try to be better.

Thanks to all those who have reminded me (and shamed me) to come back.

There’s so much to blog about I’m not sure where to start.  For the home-improvement-diy-lovers we’ve got big news about our basement. I’ve also repainted the kitchen and we’ve got big things happening in the front and back yard (thanks to some incredibly generous in-laws!)  I will report about all that soon (I promise!) My camera has been in Northern Virginia so if you’d like a feeble excuse for no pictures and no blog posts…

Anyway, I should probably address our most recent adventure:

Irene.

Richmond (as well as many other places) was “lucky” enough to get hit with both a 5.8 earthquake and a large hurricane in the span of a week.

The earthquake didn’t cause much damage here in Richmond, but then came Irene.

This is actually my 3rd hurricane (fun fact, the earthquake was my second) so I grabbed a few gallons of water (in case the water quality was compromised) and a huge bag of apples a jar of peanuts (two of our healthier nonrefrigerated items).  Jeff picked up some flashlights and we grabbed our camping lantern and figured we’d be fine. The only factor that we dreaded was: the kids.

Our house was one of the 75% of Dominion customers left without power after Irene tore through. We lost it Saturday morning and came back Friday night. It’s now the following Monday and we’re still without internet (I’m currently borrowing wifi from my new friend Monkey Joe – by the way, this place would make a killing if they sold beer.)

We knew we’d probably be fine but we dreaded doing this whole blackout thing with two modern technology obsessed children.

Here’s what I learned with 1 husband, 2 kids and 7 days without power:

1. I am not as reliant on electricity as I thought.

Being the internet & technology loving girl that I am I thought for sure I was going to be bored to death at home without my beloved computer. But in fact, I kind of enjoyed it. I got a lot of reading done and aside from the fact that tv/internet would have been incredibly useful for informational purposes, I really didn’t miss it.

Max and Jeff using a camping stove to cook by lantern light

2. Give kids credit, they adapt better than we expect.

I dreaded how this was going to be with two tv addicted kids.  I once took tv away from Max for a day as punishment and swore to myself I would never do it again. And although Saturday was pretty rough (it stormed all day so we were stuck inside in the dark making Jeff and I mildly homicidal) the children adjusted well. We spent more time outdoors and they played with their toys more. They kicked the frozen pizza habit and the chicken nuggets (no electricity no frozen food) ate more fruit and went to bed earlier… not bad actually (even though they were a little smelly from no hot water for baths.)

3. Lacking electricity is an inconvenience, but really, that’s all it is.

We were lucky, there was a lot to clean up, but our house was safe, our family was safe and really… those were the important things.

4. If you can, surround yourself with pretty awesome people.  We had a great time hanging out with our friends on

Sunday in the desperate search for coffee and a warm breakfast and in the evenings grilling every single piece of meat you have before it goes bad. This stuff is more fun to do with fun people.

5. If you fear a mini-apocalypse, buying a gallon of milk won’t help you. My amazingly prepared and always helpful mother-in-law picked up a gallon of milk for us the day before the storm.  I woke the boys up for two days (as long as our fridge stayed cold) saying “WHO WANTS CHOCOLATE MILK AND CEREAL?!!”

6. On about day 2 I started to see a clear divide between the half-empties and the half-fulls. And I want to take any opportunity to teach my kids to be half-fulls.

Some of you may have seen my obnoxiously positive Facebook posts (because even electricity can’t stop social media):

Max watching a movie on day 3 with a dvd player I charged at work.

Irene = excuse to drink an americano every morning.
Irene- motivation to go to the gym every day… Even if it’s just for a hot shower.
Irene = a chance to try out a vegan diet. No fridge needed!
Irene = a chance to test out whether or not your kids would like camping.
Irene = more candle lit dinners
Irene = can’t do laundry, guess I need to get new clothes!
Irene = being able to do some of that fancy book readin’ people are always talking about.
Irene = instant bonding with the people around you over whether you have, or don’t have power.
Irene = listening to the kids play with their toys instead of watching tv
Irene = intimate knowledge of the placement of furniture in your home so you can navigate it in complete darkness. If ever I go blind I’m well prepared.
Irene = the only time you’ll ever be super excited just because the living room light flicks on.
So, while it wasn’t all awesome, it wasn’t all bad.  There was a lot to be learned from the whole experience. I think we had gotten a little lazy around here with too much tv and pizza and Irene helped snap us out of it. The truth is, I think all this technology spoils us, and I hope is that we can learn to value our electronics less and each other more. In fact, that I would like to institute more “black out days” in our house (no tv, no internet, no electronics)… HA! We’ll see how that goes over!

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