Monday, September 16, 2013

The Rains Came Down...

We've had a lot of people contacting us to make sure we're okay after the flooding, so I figured I'd better write a post. Yes, we're okay. Yes, Sue is okay. Both households actually fared pretty well, although Sue definitely has a lot more to deal with than we do!

On our end: I drove Mark to the bus stop before taking Isaac to school on Thursday morning, and we had no idea from that trip that there was anything out of the ordinary going on - other than the fact that it was raining (it never rains here). By the time I was about halfway to Isaac's school, I realized we had problems. The drainage area we were trying to drive by was overflowing into the street. It was only about an inch deep in the left lane, but it was a few inches in the right, which meant that all the traffic was trying to cram over to the left. Since I was watching the other cars, I wasn't paying as much attention to the rain, but I figured we'd drive home a different way. After dropping Isaac, we piled back into the car and tried to execute my back-up route home: past the library. Um... That was a mistake. For those who don't live here, the area in front of our library flooded enough to submerge cars, and it happened rather quickly. Luckily, the police station is right there, and they redirected me before I got into that mess. Unluckily, that cut off our route home, and we had to figure out how to go around. Going around was pretty bad too. There was an area that had about 6 inches of water on the road that I didn't realize was there until I was in it (I was behind a semi and he just went right through it, so I didn't know in time to stop). Somehow, we made it home in one piece. I spent the rest of the day dealing with power outages, trying to figure out how I was going to get Isaac, and how Mark was going to get home. A good friend was already at Isaac's school when they decided to let the kids out early, so she just brought him home. Mark skipped out of the office early, and it's a good thing he did, because it sounds like he may have caught the last bus that made it across one of the flooded streets that day. (As they crossed the street, flood water actually got onto the bus floor.)

That was Day 1 of our adventure. The next day was uneventful around here: school was cancelled and Mark worked from home. Saturday was a different story. I was frustrated because I had intended to run some errands right as the thunderstorm started. I'm so glad I was home though! Because of the hail, our drainage around our house was blocked, and the water started leaking into our laundry room and guest bathroom. Mark and I spent about 30 minutes bailing water, and, amazingly, it looks like there's no damage. The coolest part about where the leaks occurred is that the laundry room has a drain in the floor, and the bathroom is the one we put off replacing the flooring for! (We already purchased the flooring even, so it's ready to go in if we have to rip the old stuff out.) Again, we lost power for a bit. We hung out in the basement while the tornado sirens went off. We mourned our demolished garden.

See, not so bad on our end. At least for us. Here's some pictures of the intersection down the street though (I took some pictures of the hail in our yard, but they turned out kind of blurry, so I'm leaving them out for now):


On Sue's End: I'll let you check out the news for details there. To summarize, Estes Park got hit hard. The roads in and out are severely damaged. Sue's house isn't exactly in town, it's up on the mountain a bit. Luckily, that's high ground. Unluckily, that means that the water was flowing downhill very quickly. Which meant that her dirt road got washed out. After we finally got to talk to her (Estes Park had no Internet or phone for a couple days), she said she'd hiked down the road a ways and there were sections where the road is only a few inches wide now. Here's the picture of Little Valley Road (the only road into and out of her neighborhood) from the news:


Sue's neighborhood was evacuated, but she chose to stay because she and some neighbors are working on a plan for how they will be able to get more of their things out. (This is important, because it will be months before getting in and out will be a realistic possibility otherwise.) Her house has some issues with water - sounds like a basement bedroom was leaking - but, overall, the damage was minimal.

We've been incredibly blessed throughout this whole ordeal. I've tried to get in contact with friends in Boulder, Longmont, and Lyons to make sure they're okay, and we've been sad to hear just how extensive the damage is for some of them. We're just trying to keep them in our prayers.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

It's About Time!

I realized a while ago that we hadn't updated our family picture in 2 years. And that picture was still our blog header... One of our big problems is that we happen to be good friends with quite a few very talented photographers - picking one to do our pictures is a struggle, since we don't want anyone to have hurt feelings if we go with someone else. We finally decided that we better have some pictures done anyway, especially since we added another kiddo to the family. It turns out though, that after we'd booked a time for Malachi's baby pictures with one friend another offered to do pictures too. So, we decided to go with both! They are both amazingly talented ladies, and we've been excited to see their work. Here's the first installment of photos, taken by Shannon Langager (she did the ones in the new header too):





Sunday, September 1, 2013

Almost Two Weeks

Malachi will be two weeks old tomorrow, and the time has just flown by! Having the third baby is so different than the first - there's not really any downtime, since there's other kiddos to wrangle. We're in the stage where we feel like we live in the car, which is okay with us, since we all looooove our Swagger Wagon. (Seriously, we do!) In addition to being in the car a lot, having Sue and my parents come to help out during Malachi's first week, and not getting tons of sleep, here's what we've been up to:

Isaac got invited to two different birthday parties for kids in his kindergarten class. The first one was a pirate party. He didn't want to go full out with a costume, which ended up being just fine, since there were only like two boys there... Here's the partial costume:


The only picture I took of Malachi in the hospital. I think he looked just like Isaac did.


At home, with the schnuller.


I know it's upside-down, but here's one where you can actually see Malachi's face. (Sort of)


If he's not in his car seat, the baby lives in the bouncer seat.


With Isaac's guys:


Jon added his guys too:


Isaac drew a fabulous picture of Wall-E and Eve being chased by Auto.


For homework, Isaac had to draw a picture of his family and count us. It's still weird to be a family of 5.


And he did some fabulous rhyming.


Malachi awake.


And Jon not awake.


Poor Jon has been woken up from naps every day this week so we can pick up Isaac. One day, I'll get his nap schedule adjusted to account for school drop-off and pick-up. 


Here's how the house has looked for the last two weeks... Three boys on the floor, surrounded by toys that they aren't playing with.... 


Again, it's upside-down... Anyway, Malachi actually likes tummy-time, so we do it a lot.


Isaac decided to draw Malachi, since he loves him so much.


Jon is still making cookies for the 3 bears with play dough. Hopefully, no bears take him up on the offer.


We had a breakthrough with school this week - two consecutive days with no tears! And 3 days total with no tears! Isaac even told us that he missed school the other night. Hurray! Hopefully, we won't loose momentum now with the long weekend...

For those who want to know more about Malachi, here's what we've got: he's pretty mellow - almost never cries. He's pretty content to just sit and watch his brothers all day. He LOVES hats. Seriously, he'll be swaddled and have his pacifier and still be cranky until he has a hat on. His sleep is decent right now, at least as decent as you get when you're two weeks old (he's only eating at night at 10 pm-ish, 2 am-ish, and 6 am-ish). We call him "Kai" for short - had to follow our trend with the names (I for Isaac, J for Jon, K for Kai) (and, actually, that was totally unintentional, we just liked the nickname Kai).

To clear up some misconceptions about the last post: labor wasn't that quick, just the last 20 minutes were. The other 12 hours were boring... For the record though, I'm not sure I prefer the quick part. Besides being physically intense, it was emotionally shocking - it took a while to register exactly what had happened, and I wasn't able to really be present with my baby until my brain got settled. I did have an epidural. Typically, I have blood pressure issues during labor, and getting an epidural helps keep everything down, so I had decided ahead of time to go ahead with it again. It didn't take on the left side of my body though. The head of the anesthesiology department actually came and apologized about it (which was nice, but totally not necessary, since I'm aware that these things happen sometimes).

We only had one day this week that was pretty tough, and that was partially our own faults... Mark and I still haven't learned to slow down again. We ended up with too many things scheduled back to back, a kid who got sick from being in the car too long, a kid who had a leaky diaper in the car, and a kid who was pretty upset about not being fed on time. Plus, we got lost in a sketchy part of town with the gas light on... I was really glad Mark was with us! Amazingly, we recovered from that with no long-term trauma. We'll get the hang of this again, I'm sure.