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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

the real reason for my lilapsophobia

We spent a little time in the basement last night (and by "we" i mean me, Henry, and Rufus cuz my husband can't bear to not watch the storm) while the sirens blared. Yep, spring is here. As I was sitting there trying to entertain Baby and fretting about all the things I should have gathered and brought downstairs with us, in case our house actually did get swept away, I started thinking: Why am I so freaked out about tornadoes anyway? I haven't always been this way. Oh yeah, it's because of that one time. By far and away the strangest experience I've ever had...

The year was 2006. I had just returned home from Fire Safety Night at the preschool where I was student teaching. I was living in Iowa City on the top floor of an apartment complex. My roommate was not home, so I changed into comfy clothes and settled in on the couch to watch my favorite show: The O.C. A few minutes later, my show was interrupted for a severe weather report. We were under a tornado warning. Great. I can't remember exactly where the storm was at that point, but I remember them telling people in Iowa City to "find the safest place in your home." Uh...third floor apartment, remember? So, being the perpetual rule-follower that I am, I grabbed my cell phone, turned up the volume, and headed into the bathroom to wait it out. They must have tuned back into regular programming at some point, because I remember trying to track what was happening in Orange County from the safety of my bathtub. I think I also placed a call to my parents to let them know I was okay.
It wasn't long before the weather team was back on the air, letting us know that the tornado was heading toward Iowa City. Okay, feeling a little nervous now. And then these words: "The tornado heading toward Iowa City will be reaching Menards in five minutes." MENARDS?? I live approximately 2 blocks from Menards!! Oh crap. And this is the point in the sequence of events where my panic unleashes. All I could think about was getting to the lowest level possible...whatever that meant. I didn't know anyone else who lived in our building, but I didn't care. I grabbed my car keys and my cell phone and dashed out the door. Now these apartments were the kind where the door goes directly to the outside, so once I stepped out of my living room, I was OUTSIDE. I ran down two flights of stairs to the lowest level and I could actually hear the tornado. It sounded like a combination of a hair dryer and a train. I knocked on the first door I came to. No answer. I knocked again and heard, "Who's there?" I shouted, "Please let me in!!" The door opened and an older man (probably mid-sixties) was standing there staring at me. And he was scary looking. I quickly spit out something like, "I live upstairs and there's a tornado and I need a place to go." He nervously let me in, pushed me into his bathroom, and shut the door. Oh, and I forgot to mention this part: He was on oxygen, so I was sharing the bathroom with about a dozen oxygen tanks. It wasn't until this point that I actually considered I might be in danger, aside from the tornado. This guy was creepy and much bigger than me. I knew I could outrun him, but what if he tried to hurt me or something? Yikes. I figured I should at least try to let someone know where I was. I tried to call my roommate. No answer. I tried to call my friend. No answer. I tried to call my parents. NO CELL PHONE SERVICE. And then there was a knock on the door and the guy says, "Girl, do you want some juice?" "No," I say. "Girl, do you want a cheese sandwich?" "No," I say again. (What the heck, right??) So now I'm crying. Then I hear him on the phone to his mom. He says, "Mom, I've got a little girl here. I don't know what to do and she's freaking out!" I continued to sit there and wait, thinking the storm had got to be over soon. And then Oxygen Tank Man opens the bathroom door and says...
"Come here, I need to show you something."
"No, I'm staying here."
"No! You need to go to a safer place. Another tornado is coming! I'm going to show you the laundry room."

For some reason I felt like it was safer to comply, so I followed him. We walked through his apartment and past the couch, which had a bear head sitting on it. A bear head, people. He pauses by the kitchen and says, "Can I make you a cheese sandwich?" "NO!" sheesh. Then he leads me to the building laundry room, which had cement walls. (I never knew that room existed. Woulda been nice to know about 15 minutes ago.) He told me I should stay in there. This is when I decided I needed to make a run for it. I think I had heard the weatherman say there was a break in the storm, cuz I somehow knew that if I hurried I would be okay. I quickly told the guy I was leaving, to which he replied, "You can't leave! It's dangerous!" I told him I'd be fine. Then he stepped in front of the door and locked it. AHHH! I squeezed around him, unlocked it, and pulled. It wouldn't open. I tugged harder and broke the seal. I decided I needed to get to my cousin's house, so I ran to my car and drove as quickly as I could the mile or so to his place. I got to their basement just in time for the second tornado to whip through.

The next day, we learned that the roof of Menards had been completely ripped off. Thankfully, there was no damage to our apartment building. The tornado had jumped over our block and taken out the Dairy Queen a few streets over. When I told the story of my survival skills (ha!) to my roommate, she was in total disbelief. She had seen Oxygen Tank Man before and knew which car was his, so we were sure to keep our eye on him in the following days...just to be sure he wasn't lurking around the corner or something. But I did have to walk past his door every day to get to our mailbox. And by "walk past his door" I mean "dart by, hurriedly jiggle my key in the box, snatch the mail, often leave the little door hanging open, run up the stairs two at a time, burst into my apartment, and lock the door behind me."

A few weeks passed without any run-ins and I was confident I'd never have to come face-to-face with the guy again. And then I went grocery shopping at Hy-Vee. I was minding my own business, picking out my spaghetti sauce. As I rounded the corner to the next aisle, I literally ran into a motorized cart that was coming around the same corner. Just as I went to say, "Excuse me!" I saw the oxygen tank. And then we made eye contact. My knees literally wobbled. Nothing else on my grocery list mattered at that point. I was outta there.

Throughout the next few months that I lived in that building, I saw Oxygen Tank Man often but only in his car. My roommate would report sightings of him, too, but I never had any more encounters. But tornadoes, oxygen tanks, and cheese sandwiches still set fear in me. And maybe always will.

Monday, March 21, 2011

why cloth diapers

We discussed cloth diapering our kids even before we got pregnant. When we found out we were expecting a baby, the decision was made. Here's a little bit of the why...

Cloth diapering saves money. It's true! At this point (3 months of age), Henry goes through about 16 diapers a day. At Target, a package of 42 Pampers costs $8.99. Yes, cloth diapers are an upfront investment. But they don't have to be a major expense. There are many ways to cloth diaper without having to buy the top of the line brands. We started out experimenting with a few different options, so we could see which we liked best. To date I think we've spent about $500 on diapers and we won't need to spend any more at least until after his first birthday. (Unless we want to increase our quantity.) However, the real savings comes with baby #2 because we will reuse all the diapers we have purchased for Henry.

Cloth diapering is better for Baby. Cloth diapers are more absorbent, which means pretty much eliminating diaper rash. Cloth diapers don't have any chemicals in them, which means no allergic reactions (which can be misinterpreted as diaper rash). Cloth diapers are more comfortable...just look at them! Disposable diapers have been linked to some health problems, including sterility in boys. The theory is that paper diapers build up so much heat and are changed less frequently, which can have damaging effects. Also, the chemicals of course. I didn't know this until after we started cloth diapering, so it was not influential in our decision...but it makes me glad we're using cloth.

Cloth diapering is easy. This was certainly my biggest concern, and the only thing about cloth diapering that I felt I could really argue with. Now that I am cloth-diapering a baby, I can speak from experience when I say it's true! Henry is exclusively breastfed, which means his poo is water-soluable. His diapers can go right into the washing machine, as is. When we take off a dirty diaper we just throw it into our diaper pail instead of throwing it in the trash. The pail has a liner in it that is waterproof fabric on the inside layer. When it's time to wash the diapers, we just throw them all in WITH THE PAIL LINER. We run a cold rinse first and then a hot wash with an extra cold rinse at the end. Then into the dryer with a regular cycle.
I also want to note that we're not talking the cloth diapers from back in the day with pins and plastic pants. Most of them now are made with velcro or snaps. Easy!

Cloth diapering is better for the environment. Can you imagine how many paper diapers are piled into our landfills each year? Uff-da!

Cloth diapers are cute! Yes, this is just a bonus. But, come on! Who could resist that extra padded and colorful bum!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

three months

Here's the latest Henry news:
  • His cheeks are growing chubbier every day.
  • He is TALL like Daddy. He is wearing 3 - 6 month size and stretching some it of to the limit!
  • He smiles all the time and loves to be talked to.
  • He has all kinds of coos he can make and is learning that he can be quite loud :)
  • He can push his head up very consistently and gets a proud smile on his face when he is successful.
  • He notices more and more things around him, such as the mobile above his swing.
  • He puts his hands in his mouth a lot and searches for a finger or thumb to suck.
  • He is still the most content little guy and a great sleeper and eater.
  • He loves his stroller rides, which have been frequent with all the nice weather this past week.
  • He is just starting to laugh (as of yesterday)!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

in all fairness

I mean, I did grow up cheering for the Clones. And I have attended many a sporting event at the old Hilton Coliseum. And I'm sure Henry will experience the deliciousness that is the Clone Cone. And it's true he does look good in red.

But there's no doubt he'll have to love the Hawkeyes.

He can probably just cheer for me.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Henry and Grandma Great

All of these lines across my face
tell you the story of who I am.
So many stories of where I've been
and how I got to where I am.
But these stories don't mean anything
if you've got no one to tell them to.
It's true...
I was made for you.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Husbands say the darndest things

I'm quickly realizing that becoming parents introduces a whole new world of conversation topics. If you were a fly on the wall in our kitchen the other night, here's the gist of what you would have heard (can flies hear??)...and I know, I probably won't think it's as funny as I do.

Dameon: (holding Henry and whistling, trying to get him to calm down) Oh, you don't like that song? I guess I won't whistle "Camptown Races" anymore.

Lindsay: (thinking his version of that tune was just much too "all over the place" for Henry to enjoy) Babe, why don't you try "Yankee Doodle"? He likes that one.

Dameon: Okay. (and launches into this crazy trilled-out version of some sort of theme of "Yankee Doodle". Henry = still fussing.)

Lindsay: No, no. The kids' version of "Yankee Doodle".

Dameon: There is no kids' version. That's "Yankee Doodle".

Lindsay: No, just do the basic "Yankee Doodle went to town..." You know.

Dameon: Oh, you mean the trio?

(Yes, I am married to a band director.)

Lindsay: Uh...sure.

Dameon: Okay. (sings) "Yankee Doodle went to London riding on a hmmm-hmmm. Doot do doot do dee dat dat doo" Wait...what are the words?

Lindsay: (sings the correct words and then says) Do you know nursery rhymes and stuff? Because we'll need to teach them to Henry.

Dameon: Yeah, of course I do. Hickory Dickory Dock, the mouse ran up the clock. Okay, what's the rest?

Lindsay: The clock struck one...

Dameon: Yeah, I don't know that.

Lindsay: Okay, try this one: Pussy Cat, Pussy Cat, where have you been...

Dameon: I've never heard that one.

Lindsay: What?! Didn't you learn these as a child?

Dameon: Yeah, I think so. Hey Diddle, diddle the cat...(he trails off) Well, we will have to get him a book of Nursery Rhymes. You know, like those Old Mother Hen ones.

Lindsay: Huh? You mean Mother Goose?

Dameon: Yeah, Old Mother Goose.

Lindsay: There's no "Old". It's just Mother Goose.

... looks like I'll be the one in charge of the nursery rhyme teaching around here :)

life in the back seat

It had to happen sooner or later. But still. Poor Rufus. Sometimes reality bites. hard.

We still love the pup and all. And he's still very much a part of our family. But times have changed.

He's had to resort to new attention-seeking antics like chewing up pacifiers, stealing rattles, and jumping out of bed in the middle of the night to go outside.

He's even packed up his knapsack and run away from home a few times, just so we'll have to drop everything and search the neighborhood. (When he sees us searching for him, he comes running victoriously back.)

But, all in all, he's a very doting big brother. And we're pretty sure he thinks Henry is his baby and we're just helping out with him. He insists on being wherever Henry is and running to find us if Henry makes any sort of peep. We think they'll be good buddies.

And now a look back at the way things were.....

To post or not to post

I'm debating. Going back and forth. Considering how much is too much...or if there is such a thing, in this case.

I wrote Henry's birth story and it took me a very long time. We had quite the saga there toward the end. I wanted to record every last detail just the way I remember it...and for a number of reasons. First, because it was the most amazing thing that Dameon and I have ever gone through together and all the praise goes to Jesus. Secondly, so that I don't forget any of the details. And also so that we can look back when we go through it again and compare notes.

I had originally intended to post the story. Since it is so special and meaningful to us, I thought others would want to read it. And also since I use this blog as a sort of journal, it made sense to include the story of how Henry arrived.

But now I'm debating. I wrote the story so that we could remember all the details. That means it's pretty personal. You know, with words like cervix and dilation and stuff. Is it right to put that out there for the world to read? Or is it just plain T.M.I. ? post or not to post....