Sunday, October 20, 2013

Lunar Blackout!

A friend of my husband's posted about having a Lunar Blackout the other day as the moon would be at it's brightest point.  We decided that would be a great idea to see what we have, how to use it (for those of us that don't know), and to practice what we will be a sure thing to happen in the future.

This is the way our Blackout started.  I was a bit tempted to quit right from the get go after this guy decided to get the flu.  But we cleaned up throw up by flashlight.
In the morning my daughter declared this whole thing lame as  the power was not off  to the bathroom, stove, microwave.  We explained to her that they are all attached to some important unit, ie furnance, fridge, freezer, so we couldn't turn them off.  Then I decided it might be lame when I discovered I had no soda in the house but my husband did.  Boo.  Not fair, we don't drink the same poison.  And of course, being true to the moment, he informed me that the roads were closed do to the emergency so we could not go to the store, not that I planned to anyway. The morning started with fresh eggs from our chickens and bacon (as we have to eat what is in the fridge first as it will go bad).  We didn't actually turn the power off the fridge, freezer, or furnace but we were trying to live the concept.
 He is very excited and thinks we are having "izza" for every meal.  Poor kid.  That was NOT on the menu.
 This was the dish washing station.  My husband tried to explain to me the set up and I got lost.  Can I tell you I think that was the cleanest my dishes have ever been?  He had 4 pots that he scrubbed or dunked them in.
 Sharing the leftovers with the dog.
 Then the first crack in the ranks started.  My husband had given the kids an "emergency radio" so we could contact each other.  Next I hear a broadcast from the emergency broadcast station of WCEB (my husband's initials) stating there was a temporary road opening to Smith & Edwards only.  He felt we needed to go on a field trip to grab some necessary emergency supplies.  Oh brother.  Shhhh, I did grab some soda for me.
 Lunch was MRE's.  What can I say.......
I explained to my husband that I have eaten some gross things in my life but hands down this beat them all!  I was able to eat the chicken rice thing but that hot dog?  I almost lost the one bite.  The cookies were old and rancid.  It was HORRIBLE!!!!!  And I used to give my daughter (my pickiest eater) a hard time about how she will have to eat what we have during an emergency.  After this we decided to get rid of the old MRE's and restock with better food. 
Next we had a fire starting lesson.
He taught the kids several methods and/or fire starters.  It was interesting for me also as I have never seen the cotton ball with Vaseline or the lint in the toilet paper tube (my contribution).
Then as a "morale booster" we had shooting practice with Appleseed's new gun.  He gave them lessons on how to hold it, where the safety is, etc.  He is very serious and professional for a 4 year old and it was adorable.
This one was mad that we kept having him stand behind the shooters.
And dinner.  This time it was Mountain House (freeze dried food).  It was much better than MRE's.  I still was not a huge fan but this at least I can eat without crying uncontrollably.  he he
It was a great experience and I am very glad we did it.  I loved doing a puzzle with the kids by lantern and head lamps.  I loved the togetherness as no one was on the computer, phone, or watching TV.  We plan to do more of these in the future for sure.  Thanks to Frugal Farmers for the idea.

Friday, March 22, 2013


Recently Butterball was diagnosed with Sensory Integration Disorder.  I am so glad that I finally took him to the doctor.  I initially took him in for anxiety, which he also has.  But the other disorder was like a light bulb.  And I am still finding light bulbs with learning about this.  It is so amazing and relieving to understand some things. 
Here is an example of some of the things that we have learned. 
When he was little we would have sunglasses on him and also put blankets on the windows of the car. At the dentist he has sometimes had to wear two sunglasses. 
They can be sensitive to lights. 
He has always wore his belts so tight that I was sure it would cut off his circulation or be very uncomfortable. 
Tight clothing is very soothing and relaxing to people with this.  He has been sensitive to the length of clothes on his arms, or his waist.  Part of that is that he is more comfortable in tighter (smaller) clothes.  Now I don't get rid of clothes when they are too small for him, unless they are ridiculously small.  And then it is a battle when he realizes it.  He has always had a hard time finding "comfortable" socks.  Now we know that seamless socks are the best.  I now stock up when/if I find something that he will wear.  He usually wears his shoes tied so tight it is crazy but for some reason shoes are bothering him lately.  There have been days when he can't have his shoes tied all day because it "feels weird".
Some foods will make them feel like they are gagging, even when it was fine the day before. 
Ohhhhh, that explains the fit he had when he wanted triangles with cheese, which he had the day before, and then refused to eat it as after one bite it "taste weird, I feel like I am going to gag."
He is very uncomfortable in other places.  I have not tied down whether that is the noise level which can bother them, or the lighting, or just plain anxiety.
I have learned that massages, lavender, bubble baths, chewy foods, and "squishies" all help him.  Squishes is me tightly squeezing his upper legs or arms.  When I can tell he is getting elevated or bothered or whatever, then I will do squishies which I have noticed can help.
This has been a learning process that is for sure.  So yes, I will leave places when he is uncomfortable, yes I will let him wear his shoes untied, and yes I will be more relaxed about what he wears to certain places, like church.  Because if he feels better then he behaves better.  And as difficult as this disorder can be, I love this smart, creative, funny, caring, loving, sensitive boy.  A boy who wants to build robots and make prosthetic limbs and make flying shoes. This is my sweet Butterball.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Day 12 - make something for someone you don't normally get along with

Seriously?!? Holy cow this was hard to even think about. I tend to be a peace maker so I was having trouble thinking of people I don't normally get along with. I tend to have this horrible desire to get along with everyone. :) But my daughter immediately thought of people. She made little alligator gifts for her brother Butterball and put some candy in it for him.
She said she should do something for me to as "I really don't get a long with you." She cracks me up. I had told a friend about this task and she texted me a lecture later about something to do with my kids and then included, "How was that you mad at me now? OK lets make up." It cracked me up!

Day 11 - clean, fix, or do something for someone else

We have been getting very behind because we have been so sick in our house. And just plain exhausted. So on a weekend we caught up with a few. This was hard for my kids and I to think of what to do. So as we were driving somewhere we decided to clear snow off people's vehicles. We were not dressed right for this and so we ended up getting done one. UGH!
But at least we did something. I tried to get them to do more but they were freezing.
My daughter is digging what she called a potty trail (the snow was yellow) so that she could walk over to do the side of the vehicle. What a nut.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Day 10 - Get a gift card to a restaurant and tape to drive through window

I cheated! I know, shame on me! I have a friend that I texted telling her she should follow me through the drive through. Turns out she has two kids with a birthday this month and not a lot of cash so I cheated by buying her a gift card to go out to eat with the kids. Darn....I just thought that I should have taped it to her forehead or something. Hmmmmm....maybe next time.

Day 9 - send a card to a random person in the phone book

My daughter picked out our random person and we made a card and then wrote our message. And yes, I am the dork that made the card, wrote my message, realized the card was too big for the envelope, trim the card, add daughter's message, take a picture, and then mail the card. And then when I post the picture I realize the trim had cut off part of my message. I am a dork.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Day 8 - Tape coupons on the items at the grocery store

What a blast. I rarely use all my Smith's coupons so I plan to do this more.
My daughter is finally clicking into how great this is. She said, "It actually feels good to be giving like this." Hey, better late than never.
I even saw a lady near the meat section buying a ton of meat so I gave her two coupons for her meat that I had.
I had a great time.