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April 11, 2001
a year ago
two years ago

Cold Power Outage

The world is covered with snow, this morning. There's a good eight inches all over the place, but the air is warmer than freezing so everything is starting to melt. Sadly, the power is out, so we've been making do with what we can. The crank radio is on, the fridge has only be opened once, and the milk is outside in the milk box.

Jet is all bundled up and doesn't like it much. We're all in an extra sweatshirt or something to keep warm as the heat is still dependent on the electric thermostat. The good thing is that we could light up the gas stove and make oatmeal for a hot breakfast and boil water for something warm to drink. So we're fed, and Jet was fed first thing in the morning because I couldn't pump.

We're pretty much set for the moment, but I really hope the power comes back on as the heat would be very useful. It's leaking from the windows pretty thoroughly. We do have hot water, too, so that's good.

I keep thinking about pumping, but I don't know where I'd store the milk.

2:28 pm: I put it out in the snow. It's less than 40 degrees outside, so I'm not too worried about it going bad. What I am worried about is the stuff in the fridge and the freezer as the power is still out. This is the longest that power has been out here in Colorado, and I'm mildly worried.

Isabel is going up to call the power company to see if there's an estimated time for when the power will be back on. The airport's closed and a lot of places even closed in Denver proper. It seems that the Longmont area and the likes has been hit less hard than Denver itself.

One other thing I worry about is the heat and Jet. With all the snow and the cold and wind outside it's starting to get chilly inside the house. We had him completely bundled up this morning and he hated it, but he slept eventually inside the sling against my body heat, with blankets and his bunting wrapped around him.

When he really wanted to wiggle, I put him in two layers with an inside onsie and an outside footie solid, long-sleeved outfit and he seemed warm enough. He had a great time playing like usual, making his terydactal baby noises and bapping his toys and nearly rolling over onto his side. He also talked like crazy. When he got tired, however, he got cold again. So we put him in a blanket and stuffed him back in the sling and that worked very well indeed. Just the blanket proved to not be enough. He just yelled harder and his hands were ice cold.

I half wonder if we shouldn't move to a hotel tonight if we're going to have to spend a night in a house without heat. It should be easy enough to move into a hotel room and just deal.

We've been able to cook with the gas stove, but if that had been electric we would have been doomed to cooking outside on a camping stove, or something. I'm glad we were able to do that, and the limiting factor has been getting stuff out of the refrigerator. We've tried to do quick strikes and just get everything at once, but it's hard and it's always letting more cold out when we do that.

The house is fairly cold, so things may keep longer. I dunno, though. All the milk is still out in the milk box and I hope that that will keep out there as I didn't want to move things into the fridge, especially if we don't know where it's going to go.

If it's not one thing it's another. Firstly Jet's immunizations and now this. The third, or maybe, really, the second thing was John being at a work conference all day today, tomorrow and the next day as well, and he had to be up at 6:30 to get there by eight. So he had power for his shower, and, thank goodness, the heat was on for a lot of the early morning. He didn't get to make coffee, but he figured he'd get one on the way to work.

I wish I were at work today, almost. It would have been nice not to worry about heat. Bill called to say that he'd be by tomorrow to do my review and figure out goals for the coming year. That'll be interesting.

The power tried to come back at four, but didn't quite making it. It did give me hope.

John reminded me that refrigerator and freezer stuff would be fine for 24 hours if left mostly undisturbed. That helped some of my peace of mind.

It suddenly struck me, as I was trying to change Jet as fast as possible,that he actually looks like a baby, now. For the first few months, he looked more like a tiny, old man, wrinkly, peeling drying skin, squat, and frowning a lot. Now he actually smiles in responce to things. His cheeks are baby plump. And he's smoothed out, lost his acne and his skin has gotten used to the air out here.

He plays more and finds more things to enjoy and be awake for. When he was newborn he really hated getting changed. Whenever his skin wasn't touching something, he would start crying. Now, he actually enjoys being on the changing table more often than not. He can stretch his long legs without any impediment at all when the diaper's off and he luxuriates in a really long stretch, gurgling happily. He also has fun drawing his legs waaaay up when I put the diaper on him, it's become something of a fun game and since he's already covered by the diaper, it's not inclined to get messy, which the stretching can sometimes be.

I don't know about other people, but I often find the fountaining to be funny. It's that look of such contentment on his face when he does it, I guess, that I just can't get mad. It's not like we don't do lots of baby laundry anyway, and what's one more wet item? Besides urine's sterile to the body that produces it, so I don't worry about what it might do to him.

Jet's been really good today with all the other trials that have been happening, it's been nice. John wants us to meet him for dinner in Longmont, and has promised that we'll go to a hotel if the power still isn't on tonight. I have no desire to be here without heat and a baby that needs changing at night.

I'm rereading Anne Lamont's Operating Instructions and the beginning parts mean so much more now that I'm through Jet's first two months. Her fears are always so much worse than mine are that it just makes me a little happier with myself. The really neat thing, however, are her joys in her boy Sam. They reflect, so well, on my joys with Jet that it's really cool and makes me appreciate Jet all the more.

It wasn't until I heard the power blip on two times at four and then four times at five and then finally come on, fully, at six that I realized that I was feeding Jet on a starting schedule of an hour. He was eating every time I jumped up from the rocking chair to see if the power really was on and if the clock on the microwave was on. Patient boy, happily eating away while I ran around the house with him tucked into whichever arm he was patiently eating from. He didn't mind a bit.

When it really did completely come on it was just so cool. And it was just before we were heading off to dinner at Sakura's.

Isabel had been really game and for lunch she'd actually fixed the salmon onogiri that I'd been thinking of teaching her since I learned that a Japanese friend of theirs had left them a large supply of the staples of sushi making. They don't normally eat white rice, but they'd been left with large bags of Japanese short grained rice as well as nori, rice vinager, and mirin. Isabel did all of the preparation of the rice and the salmon, and when it was time to shape them, I tried, at first, to coach her verbally on how to shape the onogiri. That didn't work at all well, finally, I handed a (yes, eating) Jet to George to humor while I showed Isabel how to shape them.

The rice was just a bit more firmly cooked than was easy to shape and they fell apart pretty easily as we stuffed them pretty full of salmon. But they tasted wonderful with sheets of nori and dipped in the shaved bonito, chopped nori, and sesame seed seasoning. It was quite the triumph on just the gas stove with all the power out.

The funny thing was that after we had had sushi for lunch, we were having it for dinner as well.

We left at 6, got there at 6:30, and right on time, at 7 when I was halfway through my meal, Jet started staring at me from his place in John's arms. He then made the very small lip motions that indicated, to me at least, that he was wanting to eat. Not super hungry, yet, and not crying, but just anticipating the possibility. So I went ahead and thought I might as well try, for the first time, some public breastfeeding.

Okay, so I'd done it in the car a few time, but the Baby Buggy has this very fine feature of heavily tinted windows so no one really can see inside. I was, however, able to practice getting Jet latched on under a blanket, and thought that I might do it here, too. So I took Jet from John, got him situated, and then draped the blanket over him before putting a hand underneath to fiddle the latch-on. He got on, surprisingly delicate about it, and then when he got going well, he started wiggling. That got me giggling a little. His little feet kicking a bit to poke out from under the blanket.

But he stayed under there, getting pretty warm in the process of eating, and settled to a good snack while I ate sushi happily. That was pretty cool. I looked around and no one was staring at me, no one was frowning at me, and, best of all, no one was making motions like they wanted to kick us out. Hoorah! I know, my brain is weird. Jet was happy under there and I was happy eating, and when I unlatched him he was groggy and milkily drunk and happily snuggled into John's arm again for the rest of the meal. Yay!

It was such a blessing to walk into a heated house. One doesn't really miss such things until they go away. We found out on the news that there were still 67 thousand people without power and were very grateful that we'd gotten ours back.

Jet wanted, desperately, to eat at 8:10, so I put him on and then talked a bit with John, so Jet got his bottle at about 9 instead of 9:30. It didn't hurt to have a bit more sleep for everyone after the crazy day, but Jet had a bit of gas while I pumped. He kept an exhausted John up until I was completely done with that and looked like he was going to sleep, so I brushed my teeth. But John wasn't able to get rid of the gas, so I took Jet and fed him some of the drops and then settled on the ball to bounce him to sleep. After a few starts and eye-openings, Jet went limply to sleep at about 11, and so I followed.

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