Sunday, January 6, 2013

Bryce's First Christmas

Well I can definitely say that Christmas break did not go as planned, but Bryce had a really great first Christmas!

We kicked off the weekend by doing a lot of last minute things. I dropped off Bryce with my parents so I could get some shopping done. In under 2 hours and less than 100 dollars later, I was done! Pretty impressive huh? Sunday didn't go as planned either. Bryce woke up coughing terribly bad and was really cranky so it was almost impossible to get anything done. Monday morning came and his cough was so bad he was wheezing even when he wasn't coughing so I managed to snag an appointment at the pediatrician on Christmas Eve. I was worried it was RSV since there had been a case in his class. They swabbed him, and he didn't have it, but he did have a really nasty cold and gave us an inhaler, which Bryce loved (not). I then left Bryce at my mother-in-laws house so I could go home and clean and wrap presents. Then it was back over to the in laws to celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve. We had a really great time opening presents and eating dinner. Bryce wasn't really sure what to think of all the paper ripping. Then it was back home to snuggle in bed to anxiously await Santa's arrival!

Santa brought Bryce a walker! We brought Bryce out into the living room so he could see all the presents and the tree lit up and he played/chewed on his walker for a long time before he even noticed the other presents. He wasn't too impressed by the unwrapping like I thought he would be. Still taking it all in and trying to figure out what in the world we were doing. Then it was time to get dressed and head over to my parents for Christmas breakfast and presents before the weather got bad. We had a delicious breakfast and then opened presents. By this point, Bryce was starting to catch on to the ripping paper part and acted interested in what we were doing. He spent a good time playing in the floor with his new toys! Then, before we were even done opening presents, the ice storm had already hit in full force. Everything had a layer of ice on it and it was beginning to snow. We debated on what to do. Take a risk with Bryce in the car trying to get home? Stay? But we don't have enough formula to stay. So Scott decided to brave the ice to run home to get formula and other misc items so that we could stay the night until the roads were better. IF we were going to be snowed in (most likely without power) we might as well be together (and in a house that has a fireplace and a gas stove).Luckily he made it without much trouble. Then, right in the middle of Christmas dinner, the power went out. We finished eating in the dark. Then dad went into disaster preparedness mode. He assigned everyone their own personal flashlight. He filled all the oil lamps with oil and got them lit. He then hung up blankets over all the windows to preserve heat. He then went under the house, got out every ice chest we own and started loading food into them and left them outside. He brought in the chemical fire logs to use in the fire place. We only had 3 so he figured we better ration those out as long as possible. Sounds so silly if you have never been in an ice storm before. We had been through this EXACT thing before. On the exact same day, believe it or not, years before. While we had our hopes up that the power would come back on soon, we kinda knew we were in it for the long haul. We sat there in the dark, listening to transformers blow as they lit up the windows with neon blue/green. It was very dark, and very quiet. We debated playing cards or even trying to manage a puzzle by lamp light and then dad decided that the best thing would be to listen to old records on the Victrola. He wound it up, put a record on, and listened as music from another time and place come roaring out of the wooden chest. We listened to some silly music that was supposed to be "educational" and some Smokey the Bear music but we also listened to the classics. Bing Crosby's "White Christmas" and Sinatra's "Silent Night". It was a real white Christmas and was real a silent night. Bryce spent the night in his pack and play in front of the fire while the rest of us braved the cold bedrooms.

The next morning, still no power. I checked Entergy's website to see if our apartment had power. Hallelujah! In a sea of red there was my tiny little 950 sq feet of Heaven in a tiny patch of green. We had to have been in the very, very, very small percent of Little Rock that had power. We waited until the heat of the afternoon to drive home. The roads we passible but trees were down all over the place. I wanted to stop at Walgreens on the way home to buy some Dr Pepper (because we all know what HELL it would be to be without any soda for days on end!)! Guess what? Walgreen's shelves were bare...of any food items. People where borderline looting the place. People were walking out with charcoal grills and propane tanks. Desperation on their faces, buying anything they could use to survive on until the power came back on, which no one knew at that point when that would be.

 Scott took me and Bryce home to discover that trees were down blocking the way into our apartment. I was very scary carrying a baby down an icy slope covered in jagged tree limbs, but we made it. Scott then went to Target in search of Dr Pepper (husband of the year). He said their food department was pretty scarce and not a loaf of bread in the place. He tried to buy gas but every gas station he went to was sold out of gas. It doesn't take much for people to panic. Now I know why people hoard gas.

It wasn't so much being without the luxury of TV and light that was so hard to deal with, it was having no heat source outside of 4 feet from the fireplace.We only went without heat for about 24 hours and I know how grateful it felt to come home to a warm house and warm toilet seat. I know I have no room to complain because many people froze for days on end and didn't even have the luxury of a fireplace.

After 2 very cold nights, my in-laws came to spend the night with us. The night after that, my parents came and stayed with us. Our apartment was a revolving door of people seeking warmth and refuge. I was glad to take them in. The low point of Christmas Break was when Entergy finally announced it would be most likely 7 days before the power was back on. Everything I wanted to do and check off my list was not going to get done.

power out in the middle of dinner!

Its only 6 pm but its dark so I guess that means its bedtime!

You can't tell but dad is wearing a helmet light as he figures out how to play the victrola

This is an oak tree that is at least twice as tall as the house. That is a limb going straight down touching the fence. 

the next morning

Bryce was getting into everything! (see the fire extinguisher? yep. Captain Prepared got it out and moved into a central location incase the oil lamp or candles started a fire)

early morning light

didn't slow the birds down!

My first Christmas. I was 7 months old here.
I guess I really can't complain. I got a week and half off of work that I got to spend with my family, husband, and baby. In the end, that's all that really matters.

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