Powerless & The Babble Top 50

by Kathy on July 11, 2011 · 4 comments

in Abby, ALI Community, Bob, Decisions, Family, Our Home, Pain, Sean

I started writing this blog entry this morning, before a short and very strong wind and rain storm blew through Chicago. Within about 10 minutes the crazy weather was over and we had lost power. As it turned out our electricity would not be restored for another 9 hours!  To say that it was a challenging day is an understatement, but we made it through. We managed to make the most of the circumstances and I was still able to make some headway with packing for our move (we close one week from tomorrow). I tried to be creative in light of having no artificial light or air conditioning on this hot and humid summer day. I chose to pack in areas of the house that had the most natural light and that also tended to be cooler. 

This afternoon, when I realized that the power might not come back on in time to save the contents of both of our refrigerators (we have two, we kept our old one and moved it to the basement after we remodeled our kitchen four years ago), Bob advised me to go to the gas station not far from the corner of our block to buy a big bag of ice and then to bring it back and fill one or more coolers with it to “save” as much as I could fit into them from our fridges. The hour or so to follow was filled with moments where I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry (and I found myself doing some of both)!

I ended up getting a really big bag of ice that was really cold. So the whole way home I had to keep readjusting how I held it, because it was so cold it was painful. It reminded me of being in the childbirth class that Bob and I attended when I was pregnant with Sean. They had us do this exercise in class where the women would hold an ice cube for as long as possible and while doing so practice our breathing (and the men were supposed to practice coaching us through the experience). The colder the ice felt and the harder it became to hold on, the more focused on our breathing we were encouraged to be in preparation for the pain and discomfort we would feel later on during labor and delivery. I always thought it was a funny way to try to train us for such a huge event in our lives and was amused to reflect on that today.

Getting back to the bag of ice… by the time I got home, Abby had woken up for her nap (don’t worry, I wasn’t gone long). I had told Sean if she woke up, to go upstairs and visit with/entertain her until I got home. So I dropped the bag of ice in our “cube” shaped cooler and went upstairs to get Abby out of her crib, change her diaper and bring her downstairs, so that I could get to work on transferring as much as possible from our refrigerators to one or more coolers. As I ripped open the bag of ice, expecting the ice cubes to disperse, I realized (as I had somewhat suspected during my walk home, when I noticed its contents didn’t seem to move around much) that it was really more like one big block of ice! 

The next thing I knew I had the knife sharpener from our cutlery set, the closest thing I could find to an ice pick, in hand and I was hacking away at the block of ice, trying to make the cubes come lose. It worked, but it took awhile to get the job done. I can laugh about it now, but at the time I was pretty overwhelmed and frustrated. At one point I looked up from being very focused on chipping away at the ice and saw Sean standing to my left getting a real kick out of the whole thing and Abby standing to my right looking confused, enthralled and a bit scared. After I got all of the ice cubes to separate into our “cube” shaped cooler, I realized that it pretty much filled that cooler and there was very little room to actually put anything in there! At that moment I told the kids how much Daddy would be making fun of Mommy right then if he was home. I clearly had not thought this whole thing through very well.

So I realized that I would need at least one more cooler, both to get rid of some of the ice, to make room for perishables to be put in the cooler, and because I figured that if I found another one, that I would probably be able to rescue more of our food than I first thought was possible. This was especially exciting for me to realize at that moment, as we had done our weekly grocery shopping trip last night on the way home from our nephew’s birthday party, and I kept thinking, as I was worrying about losing so much of our food, what a waste of time and money that might turn out to have been!  

Next the kids and I headed out back to the garage to try to find another cooler. I knew they were located up in the rafters and would need a big step ladder to get to them. Luckily (depending on how you look at the situation), our minivan (which otherwise would have been in my way) was already out of the garage, as I had to disengage the opener (because the power was out) to get it out earlier in the day to take Sean to summer camp. I set up the step ladder and had Sean stand at the base and hold it in place. I have done that many times over the years for Bob, when he was climbing on it, so it seemed like a good idea to have my son do this time for me. At the same time Sean and I did our best to try to get Abby to be distracted by toys in the garage, so she wouldn’t be hanging out at the base of the ladder when I was trying to reach and then somehow manage to finagle a large rectangular cooler down the ladder and get back down without falling. I had contemplated before I started up and then back down the ladder telling Sean if I fell and got knocked out to call “911!” But I didn’t say that and luckily it was a non-issue. 

I got the cooler and my kids back inside and proceeded to transfer as much as I could from both fridges into both coolers. It continued to be a comedy of errors as I tried to get things to fit into the coolers and “ice them down.” I ended up having to get a bunch of mixing bowls and fill them with ice that originally was in the coolers to be able to fill the coolers with more stuff. Then I sprinkled the ice back in and over the stuff. I was amazed at all that I was able to save. Meanwhile our floor was getting very slippery from random ice cubes falling there and melting, so I kept telling Sean and Abby to be very careful as they moved around the kitchen. 

Another funny side note, was after I opened the door of our refrigerator (something I had tried to do only sparingly earlier in the day) and had taken out everything I wanted to try to fill the coolers with, Sean and Abby were very excited to see all the yummy food that we hadn’t had access to all day! They both immediately started picking up and asking to eat things. Usually I would have been more strict about what they were allowed to eat for afternoon snacks, but at that moment I said they could have whatever they wanted! I really didn’t care, I just wanted them to be content, so I could finish what I had started. So then Sean and Abby each downed a cheese stick and some yogurt, while I finished filling the coolers. 

And guess what happened just minutes after I finished filling the second cooler with perishable food from our fridge?! Yep! OUR POWER CAME BACK ON!!! Once again, didn’t know whether to laugh or cry… But was I certainly very happy to see lights on and feel the A/C kick back in after a long, tiring and hot day in our powerless home. As I type this Bob and I are watching coverage on our local news about the storm today. Apparently there were 2,000 “311” calls (non-emergency) made in regards to trees that had gone down in the storm. There were approximately 860,000 ComEd customers who lost power in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs today. We feel very lucky to have our power back on now, as we just heard that there are still over 400,000 homes that are still powerless tonight, including one of my college friends/sorority sisters who just posted on Facebook that her family is still in the dark Updated to add: since I wrote this I have also found out that unfortunately there are still a lot of people in our neighborhood, including some of our close friends, still powerless, which really sucks. Sending lots of thoughts and prayers to all those still with out power tonight. Hoping and praying that everyone’s power will be restored as soon as possible.

Speaking of being powerless… How’s that for a transition? I am finally going to tell you about the original reason I began this blog entry this morning and have a favor to ask of you. Talk about a major tangent, right?! As some of you know, I have been nominated for “The Babble Top 50 Mom Blogs of 2011!” I would love it if you would please “like” my blog (give me a “thumbs up”) there. To vote, click here and then look for “Four of a Kind” alphabetically or in rank order (last time I checked my blog was in 132nd place, which puts it on page 3, if that helps speed up the process for you). This is a “one off” voting, so you can only vote once (per computer, smart phone, etc.). Thank you for considering voting for me. It would be a huge honor for me to be in the Top 50! Many thanks to those who have already voted for me.

I am also happy to share that a number of my blogging friends and fellow moms were also nominated. If you have time and want to check out their blogs and/or give them your “thumbs up” too, I know they would really appreciate your support! Though there seems to be a limit to how many times you can vote for a particular blogger, you can vote for as many bloggers as you wish and thus I think it would be awesome if some of my favorite mom bloggers were able make it into The Babble Top 50 as well.

Here is My List of My Top Mom Blogs on The Babble Top 50 Mom Blogs List (in alphabetical order). You can click on the names of our blogs below to pay a visit and if the spirit moves you please “like” us on Babble

Creating Motherhood

Four of a Kind

Here We Go Again

Once a Mother

Reproductive Jeans

Stirrup Queens

The Kir Corner

Too Many Fish To Fry

Write Mind Open Heart

Thank you for reading. To those effected by the crazy storm and power outage here in Chicago, I hope that you get to sleep in homes with light and cool air tonight or very soon. Thank you also to those of you who have or plan to vote for me and some of my wonderful mommy blogging friends for The Babble Top 50

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 HereWeGoAJen July 12, 2011 at 12:34 pm

Thanks for the mention! 🙂 It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.


2 jjiraffe July 14, 2011 at 11:45 pm

Thanks for the shout-out 🙂


3 JJ July 15, 2011 at 1:02 pm

Thank you my dear!


4 loribeth August 7, 2011 at 1:40 pm

Were you affected by the big power outage in August 2003? I know NYC was. We didn't have power for about 26 hours & wound up throwing out a lot of stuff, just to be safe. I guess it's one motivation to clean out the fridge. ; )


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