Although we’ve had electricity at our home since last Wednesday, we still don’t have cable, phone, or internet access at home. Which is fine, really, because Comcast’s rates are so absurd as it is that it’ll be a nice break from a full-month’s bill from them. Speaking of which, do you know if you call to change your service in any way, they CHARGE you for the phone call? Don’t even get me started.
Work is really busy. One of the hats I wear is as risk manager, and needless to say, with properties affected by both Gustav and Ike, I’m swamped. Oh, and did I mention I am also on the Garage Sale Committee for our area’s Mother’s Of Multiples sale October 17? I decided one of my contributions would be to create an online volunteer scheduling system using subscription based software in order to reduce the amount of time swallowed up by any one individual having to do this manually via phone calls and excel spreadsheets. And to prevent any accusations of favoritism for the more popular shifts. I had no idea parenthood was a lot like junior high.
So this is the best my September posting is going to get, until I can find some time.
We arrived to San Antonio late in the evening on September 11, ahead of Hurricane Ike’s anticipated path through urban Houston, where we reside. We took enough clothing for three days, not expecting we’d end up there for a total of ten.
The next day, we went to the hospital where my mom works. We told her we’d take the kids so her co-workers could see in person two of the five little creatures she speaks of incessantly between bringing people back to life and taking out their intubation tubes. After a brief visit, you know, because they’re kinda busy making sure people stay alive post-surgery, we left and went to my dad’s house.
This was the first time my dad had seen the babies since the week after their birth. And Tato especially was mesmerized. I don’t know if it was the tone of his voice, the resemblence of his bald head to his own, or the captivating ponytail that had him hooked.
Later that evening, we went to Alamo Cafe on IH-10 and pretty much took up the whole center of one side of the restaurant. I commend the staff for not flinching when we asked for a table for twelve: 4 infants, 1 toddler, and 7 adults.
Much of that night, we watched the drama unfolding on the Weather Channel regarding the projected path and coundown to landfall of Hurricane Ike. But some time around 11:00, I decided enough was enough, said my prayers for those affected, and went to bed.
The next morning, I started mapping out plans to return to Houston to assess any damage. But mostly to clean out the refrigerators and freezers. I knew we probably didn’t have power, which was confirmed via text message from our neighbors who rode out the storm at home. Neither Jennifer nor my mother wanted me to return, but I just remembered the refrigerator stories from friends who went through Hurricane Katrina, and I just didn’t want to have to deal with rotting food and otherwise perfectly good refrigerators that had to be thrown out. Granted, we had friends who had keys to our home, but they had enough going on with water and wind damage to their OWN home. Plus, you always want to check things out for yourself. As a compromise to my mother’s paranoid concerns regarding safety, my dad went with me. I didn’t take any pictures, but I did take some video which you can see here and here. But fair warning, you should take a dose of dramamine before watching these, or a shot of tequilla, or whatever it is you do for motion sickness.
My sister-in-law, who is still on maternity leave, mentioned that she was going to Stroller Strides the morning of September 15. And since we were all ready to get out of the house, we decided to crash the stroller striding party, or as Jennifer calls it, the Diaper Derby. Not only did we attend this in a different city, but we came with twins, and we were two-mommies at that. Everyone was welcoming (and in already great shape). The class totally kicked my ass. Enough to think about the fact that I still need to lose weight and exercise. But not apparently enough to take further action.
As working mom’s, and because Jennifer works on Saturday’s, there is little occasion to start something new and do it together. So we took advantage of being stay-at-home parents and tried rice cereal with the kids a couple weeks before we originally anticipated. Which is fine, really, because it’s not like we were giving them the keys to the car or anything. They both took the Eat-First-Ask-Questions-Later approach and seemed to like it enough. Towards the end, Tato really just wanted the damn bottle. His words, not mine.
Jennifer had set the cup down on Carpet’s tray table and she immediately picked it up. I’d insert something snippy here about her raging independence, but that would be self-incriminating.
On Saturday, September 20 (yes, we were STILL THERE!), we took a drive out to the Shops at La Cantera, a wonderful outdoor shopping center not too far from my mom or sister’s homes. And I qualify “not too far” with the fact that we live in Houston, and if you can get to your destination within 30 minutes of your house, it’s considered “close by”. Whereas for locals, our “close by” would be considered the other side of town.
Later, we went to Rudy’s BBQ, a delicious picnic table joint just north of town. This was the RJBs’ first trip to Rudy’s but since I didn’t have my camera with me, I took it with my poor-quality-camera-function on my Blackberry. Still, how cute are they with that BBQ sauce!?
The next day, Carpet was especially chipper at the inception of meltdown time, that section of time between 6pm and bathtime that can send their heads spinning. So I just snapped a shot of her on the bebe chair just before bath time.
And here’s a photo of Tato, with eyes that draw you in. Or at least they do me.
We returned to Houston early morning of Monday, September 22. We dropped the kids off at the montessori school around 8:30, then Jennifer dropped me off at work around 9:00. My dad had driven in the day prior to set up the generator my boss let me borrow now that he had power. He also set up a small window a/c unit that one of the neighborhood kids’ group families had let us borrow, since they, too, had power. Jen went home to finish helping and to get everything ready for baths and bedtime so that when we got home with the kids, it would be a seamless transition for them.
Thankfully, we had only two evenings of sleeping without power in house. The generator kept the nursery cool and the guest room that we stayed in sufficiently cool with a fan. After putting the kids down to bed, we’d go upstairs to wash bottles and eat dinner. It was 90 degrees in the house. And if you moved VERY VERY SLOWLY, it actually wasn’t that bad. It did, however, have a way of making you feel like you were trying to take a breath of air with a mid-sized vehicle sitting on your chest.
Power was restored at our house on Wednesday, September 24th. Being that we’re only home a few hours a day, it took us a couple more days to get almost back to normal. Just in time to go pick up my mom and sister from the airport so they could attend the twins’ Baptism. Jennifer’s mother and grandmother also came in from Louisiana. And we were joined by several other family members, both of origin and chosen. And while at least the Baptism will be a separate post that I hope to write before they are one-year olds, I conclude with this lovely photo of us and my second neck, framed by their godparents, Karin (l) and Alli (r). It was a blessed event and lunch at our home afterwards, more of which I’ll share soon.