Monday, February 24, 2014

Pigtails, Beautiful Weather, and an ABC Video

I thank God every day for these boys. I'm such a boy mom. But, sometimes I do wonder what it would look like if we had girls...
Practically every picture of me growing up has me with pigtails. We called them "handlebars." I LOVE pigtails on little girls! Little boys, maybe not so much! Ha! But it was fun playing! And clearly it was time for a haircut, which we have since taken care of!

I am dying over these pictures! The boys love for me to "play" with their hair. Most days it consists of mohawks after bath (I totally gel their hair to make it stick!), but one day, they wanted pig tails and of course I had to oblige! Joel was so mad and told Hudson that I was posting his picture all over the internet. Only the few readers of the blog will see these! One day they'll thank their rehearsal dinners!

We have had such a crazy winter! The last two posts are about snow, and this one is about 70 degree weather in February! This past weekend was amazing! Saturday morning we went down to Irondale to see the trains. These boys would rather do this than anything in the world. We go so much. We weren't so lucky Saturday morning. Usually we see a bunch of trains, but we didn't see anything Saturday. It was still fun though. There is this little caboose train that they loved playing on!

Pre-hair cuts...
After naps, we headed to the park. The boys played their little hearts out. The weather was so, so nice. We did not want to leave!

We stayed until dark! I love that the boys are at an age where they can just make friends at the park and play with whoever is there. It makes it so much more fun.

That night was a Dairy Queen night! Have you ever seen a cuter face?!?!?

Sunday was a great day to get out the bounce house. The boys played outside for hours. Harrison's entire head was soaking wet from all the sweat!

Hudson also had t-ball practice! He is loving it this year! It helps that 8 of his buddies are on his team!

I'll end this with the cutest ABC's you'll ever hear. Don't pay so much attention to the first part...he can do it, but was not exactly cooperating when we started!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Another Snow Event!

We had another 3 day snow event last week. It ended up raining for 2 days and then finally snowing (schools were extra cautious and closed for 3 days!). It was such a beautiful snow when it finally started Wednesday night! We all watched the snow fall from inside, and I wanted so badly to take the kids out in it, but Joel did not want them to go out. I really think it was the fact that HE didn't want to go out! Ha! When he took Harrison to bed, Hudson and I snuck outside and had the time of our life! Seriously, we had a ball. And Hudson thought it was the coolest thing ever getting to stay up late and play! I've never seen this boy SO giddy! I think we were outside for 2 hours!
We had about 3-4 inches fall in a matter of hours. It sure was nice being home for this one! All of the neighbors were out too, so that was fun. Hudson and Tony built a big snowman after an hour of snowball fights!
The next morning, we raced outside to let Harrison play in it before it melted (and it melted fast!). He was not as thrilled about it as Hudson was! He wanted nothing to do with it.

 He was happy to be riding in his jeep instead!

And of course Hudson had to make sure the 4 wheeler could get through the snow again. It had no trouble!

So that was another lost 3 days of work. And today is President's Day and the kids' school is closed again! I've promised myself this year to not get stressed out about things like this and enjoy the unexpected extra time with the kids, and so that's what we're doing. We're having fun and I'm working when I can, which means early, early mornings and late, late nights and weekends, but it's ok! You can tell the blog is suffering though and that's just because I have no free time to do it! The kids are at a really fun stage right now and really all I want to do is to be with them anyway--they totally come first! Although Hudson is begging to go back to school...he just loves it and told me today that he was going to go unlock the doors at school and go in! I told him we were going to the zoo instead and thankfully that was ok! :)

Other than our snow days, we've spent the weekends doing projects around the house. I've been playing tennis on Saturdays and that has been a blast, and t-ball kicked off yesterday for Hudson! So we've been really busy, but it hasn't been all that exciting, thus not many pictures!
The boys asked to match exactly one day and then asked me to take their picture. They are such a mess!

Harrison loves him some Elmo!

This is a terrible picture of the 3 of us, but I'm putting it on here to show Hudson's crazy curl. His hair really has a mind of its own and on this day, the curl in the front on the top looked like I had put a roller in it! It was hilarious!

 We've actually had some warm days in the midst of all the snow days. It has been crazy weather and is a wonder that we haven't been more sick. Harrison did have an ear infection a few weeks ago (again!), but we can't complain too much since he's only had 2 of them since his last surgery in July, so I would have to say that's a win for us!

 I just love this big genuine smile that Harrison has! He is happiest when he's outside (just not in the snow!)!

We got Joel a fire pit for his birthday and we've had so much fun with it! The boys love making smores!
Hopefully after today we will be able to get back on our normal schedule. Life has been crazy this past month. I don't know about anyone else, but I'm ready for spring!!!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Snowpocalypse 2014!

Well...we've had quite the week. I think I left off last Monday with a post that said the only thing that would make Joel's birthday better (on Tuesday) would be a snow day. I wish I could take that comment back! :)
I've loved hearing everyone's stories. Everyone got caught in it. No one was prepared. I've never seen so much "good" go on in one community and city in all my life.
So here's our story! As we all know, Birmingham was not predicted to get anything other than a dusting of snow. It was all headed to our south. They said numerous times that there would be absolutely no travel issues associated with this storm for our area. So Tuesday started just like any other day. It just so happened to be Joel's 35th birthday...oh what a birthday it turned out to be! I took the kids to school that morning and headed on into work. I had planned to go out to a client's office in Ross Bridge that day, but for some reason, that morning, I decided that I would just work from the office (at the Summit). It was a "just in case" feeling I had.
Around 10, the snow started falling and about 10:15 we were told to move our cars off the top parking deck, so I did that. At that point, I thought I should just go on and go because it was snowing harder than I thought it was supposed to, but stupid me just went back into work. I even got out my cell phone and put it next to me because I knew daycare would be calling soon. Why I was waiting on that "call" I will never know. Why didn't I just GO??? I learned my first lesson of the day!
Daycare called at about 10:45 and said they were closing at 11:30, and I immediately left. However, it was already too late. I got in my car and started driving. Even on the flat road in the parking lot of the Summit, my car was sliding all over the place. I decided to go down the hill behind the Summit (by the apartments) and go out that way. I was going very slow down the hill, but I lost all control of my vehicle and the car just started sliding. I hit every curb on the way down and spun. I was scared to death. I knew then I wasn't going to make it to school to pick the kids up. Joel was in a meeting at work so I couldn't reach him, not that I could really reach anyone because the cell phone network was just so full that no one was getting any calls out. At that point, I was frantic. I knew I had to get to the kids. I drove up to the light on Summit Blvd and was going to turn left to go down the hill towards Cahaba Heights and it was already blocked with cars that had wrecked. There was no going down the hill or getting out of the Summit. I just went straight across to the Babies R Us parking lot and went in, hoping to borrow their landline so I could find someone to get the kids. I was shaking and crying...there is no worse feeling than not being able to get to your kids in a crisis. The thought never crossed my mind that they would be just fine at school!
I tried calling Charlie first since he has a truck and he told me he couldn't help because his truck wasn't 4 wheel drive and there was no way he could get to me (I didn't realize at this point that roads were already clogged with other frantic parents trying to get to their kids' schools, and others leaving work to get home!). Then I called my mom (crying big time at this point!) since they live the closest to the school. She said she would go get them. I was relieved. That was short lived though because she called back about 15 minutes later and said they had to abandon their car and were walking back home.
Finally, finally, Joel called and he was on the way to get them. He works off of Acton Road, but he said that traffic was not moving. He was stuck and it looked like it would probably be hours before he got to them. I was stressing big time because daycare was closing then...why I didn't think about the fact that daycare wasn't going to just leave the kids outside if they were still there, I don't know! I also didn't even think that there would be a lot of others in my same boat! I'm thankful for ALL of those school teachers that made the sacrifice to stay with the kids at school overnight. While we were able to get ours, some were not so lucky. I just can't imagine not being able to get to your kids...I know those mamas hearts were hurting. Mine was hurting for them!
Here was my hang out for a while before I figured out what to do...I'm thankful for them letting me use the phone and hang out! I even went looking for socks that might fit my feet because of course, my shoe choice for the day was a pair of high heels. Lesson #2 learned--must keep old tennis shoes in trunk of car. Walking in high heels in ice and snow is quite difficult...and cold!
I ended up walking back to work (in high heels, no socks!) with my big computer bag in hand, because I thought if I were stuck at the office I might as well get some work done! Not! I couldn't concentrate all day. I was so worried about Joel driving in the mess, worried about not reaching the boys, and worried that I actually might have to sleep at work! I realized after all of this that our story is not bad...we were actually one of the lucky ones. And sleeping at work really wouldn't have been all that bad. It would have been a heck of a lot better than sitting on I-65 for 12 hours straight like my co-worker did.

Joel finally got to Liberty Parkway after 3 pm and walked from the top (he couldn't drive down the hill) to Brookwood Baptist where the kids were. Once he had the kids, he started the trek home with them. His plan was to walk to the Piggly Wiggly, which was about half a mile, and go in and warm up and rest, and then start again. My mom was going to meet Joel halfway on Liberty Parkway with warmer clothes for the boys and gloves and hats. It was able a 5 mile walk though!

This was the scene by River Run. There were about 5 cars in the Cahaba River. Glad Joel didn't make it that far!

 This was Liberty Parkway. It was not passable at all without a 4 wheel drive car, if even passable then. You can see all of the cars that were just abandoned. This happened ALL over Birmingham.

 This was Sicard Hollow Road on Wednesday, still not passable...

Joel and the boys got as far as Lady Liberty when someone picked them up. Thank goodness for this kind woman in the red jeep wrangler! She deserves something really nice! The boys can't stop talking about riding in the cool jeep. Joel said that Harrison was screaming and Hudson wasn't thrilled about walking in the snow and ice either, so he was extra thankful for the ride. The sweet lady took him all the way home. So, 3 of the 4 of us made it home!
As for me, I ventured out around 3 pm with 2 other co-workers that were headed to Trussville. They were going to just drop me off at the Liberty Parkway exit and I too was hoping some sweet someone might pick me up and take me the rest of the way. Otherwise, it was going to be a long walk in those heels! Ha! We tried several ways and everywhere we went was either blocked with wrecks or just completely so iced over that we were scared to try it. We ended up parking at the CVS in Cahaba Heights and walking back up to work. It was at this point that it was really sinking in that I wasn't going home that night. Depressing!!!
Around 6 or so, one of my co-worker's husbands arrived and they were headed to their home off of Rocky Ridge Road. I thought, well here is my last chance to get a bed to sleep in. I thought if they could just drop me off on Rocky Ridge, I could walk to Joel's parents house in Countrywood. It was a really, really, scary drive to Rocky Ridge, but we made it! I walked down Rocky Ridge for a bit and then made the climb into Countrywood where a big tall glass of wine was waiting on me at the Reed's! Ha! I needed it! And the second glass too! :)
I thought it would just be for one night and it would be no problem getting home the next day. However, temps did not get above freezing the next day and the roads were still a complete mess. Charlie and I ventured out around 3 that afternoon to try and get me home, but all ways into Liberty Park were either blocked with wrecks or were still not passable, and 459 was at a complete standstill. After horror stories of those people who were stranded on the interstate ALL NIGHT the night before, we did not want to chance getting in that mess. So, we went back to the Reed's for another night. Boo! Although I was very thankful for all they did for me and everyone was safe and sound and warm and decided that maybe I should just enjoy my little mini vacay...with my inlaws. :) I thankfully have good inlaws! Joel got to see first hand how it is with the boys with no help! He survived!
This was at the Colonnade Wednesday afternoon...abandoned cars everywhere!
 This was a picture Joel sent me of Hudson on Wednesday. They got some good sledding on garbage can lids in!
 Hudson made a snow angel!

 I was very sad that I was missing out on all of this, but I made it home Thursday morning and we immediately got bundled up and went outside. We took the dogs for a walk rode the 4 wheeler in the snow, and tried to build a snowman. It didn't work though!

 Then we got out the slip and slide floats and did our own sledding down our hill. We had so much fun! I went down the hill maybe 20 times too! I forgot how much fun that can be!

 Unfortunately Joel had to go in to work as soon as I got home Thursday so we high fived and traded places! However, that night, we finally got to celebrate his birthday! Hudson and I had made him a pie on Monday night and they graciously waited to eat it until I got home!

 School was still closed on Friday, however, it was a beautiful day. We still had not gotten my car yet, so I was stranded at home another day. We walked the mile and a half to the park and played for several hours. The boys did not want to leave, and neither did I! We were all enjoying the sunshine and warmer weather!

Last night, we finally went to get my car. Unfortunately, while there were no visible damages to it, it was not drivable! Dang it! I guess I hit the curbs too hard, because it's going to cost us $1,200! Whoops! Joel says no more driving in snow and ice for me....I'm TOTALLY fine with that! :)

Glad the snowpocalypse of 2014 is now over and melted. I'm pretty sure that we will not be this unprepared again. I'm planning to stay home if there is even a hint of a snowflake next time! I love the snow, but I don't like being stuck out in it!