snow

Greetings from Hell…I mean Siberia…I mean North Carolina

SnOMG

SnOMG

Greetings from snowy North Carolina. No, you didn’t misread that.  My fair state is having another snow storm and this storm comes packing ice on top of snow.  In my area, we might see 6 inches of snow with a half-inch of ice on top before another couple inches of snow comes through tomorrow.  A half-inch of ice?  That could be catastrophic, to borrow the adjectives the forecasters have been using.  It really could be, though, because that’s the threshold at which branches snap and power lines buckle.  Fun times!

In this area, we have two winter weather events that make us catch our breath and say a prayer: the ice storm of 2002 (we lost power for 5 days) and the ice debacle of 2005 which resembled Atlanta’s situation a few weeks ago.  And we might have enough ice to recall 2002 and current traffic closely resembles 2005.

I’m glad my little family is at home.  We’ve been home all week actually.  Daniel appeared to be getting sick on Sunday but we kept our fingers crossed.  Monday, however, he was pale, lethargic, and warm.  He also threw up at the front door.  Home it was!  Yesterday his eyes started to take on on the tell-tale look of pink eye, so we stayed home and went to the doctor. Yep, pink eye. And Jimmy has it too. It also snowed a little bit yesterday.

This morning I woke up around 3 AM and had a scratchy throat. I currently feel like I’ve been hit over the head with a 2×4. Daniel’s school was closed today (good decision IMO) and it started snowing at 11:30 here. After 4 hours of heavy, big, fluffy flakes, the precipitation has transitioned to a mix of snow/freezing rain. Yay!

Again, we are home, snug and safe. We’ll “weather” whatever comes our way.  Keep your fingers crossed everyone feels better soon and that we don’t lose power. I might lose my mind.

Signing off from the frozen tundra known as North Carolina.

Oh Right. It Snowed.

It’s a recap of SnOMG14 only a little over a week late!  If you aren’t in NC or are in a part of NC that didn’t see much snow, my area was blessed with 4 inches of powdery, fluffy snow a week ago. And then the state shut down for 4 days. Not kidding. The schools in the neighboring county were out for 4 days. Those of you in snowier parts of the world, go ahead and get out your chuckles now. We went to sleep on Tuesday night with light snow falling and woke up to a winter wonderland (cue over-used cliche) on Wednesday.  Daniel was entranced by the snow, and if I had let him, he would have been out in the snow by 7 AM.  I managed to hold him off until 9:30.

The manor house in the snow

The manor house in the snow

This snow was his first decent snow since he was 18 months old, so he had a blast.  The only negative about the snow was that he wanted to build a snowman, but the snow was too powdery for that.  He still managed to fling lots of snow at me.

He really, really loved flinging snow at me

He really, really loved flinging snow at me

He made snow angels.

Little sweet snow angel

He slid down the slide into a snow pile he built from snow brought over from his dump truck.

snow3_2014

snow4_2014

I pulled him on the sled around the yard as he shouted, “Mush! Mush!” (no pictures of this because it is difficult to be a good sled dog and take pictures at the same time).

It was cold, but the sky was clear and the sun was out. We had a great 45 minutes outside….until he suddenly realized he was very, very cold and his hands and feet were very cold, wet and burning. See, we don’t have snow boots or water-proof gloves suitable for snow. This is the South! At his age, he’d likely outgrow anything we bought him before he had a chance to wear them in the snow, so we put on normal gloves and sneakers. I kept asking him if he were cold, but he always answered that he wasn’t. Mom FAIL because Daniel is 4! Did I really expect that he was going to reply, “Why, yes, mother.  I am cold.  These thin gloves and sneakers won’t keep my hands and feet dry and warm, so we should probably run along inside now.” No.  He was going to play until his body screamed at him.

It screamed at him, and he started crying.  We ripped off his clothes and got him in a warm shower, and I felt awful.  His hands were red and he was shivering.  We had stayed outside too long.  Lesson learned. Daniel soon warmed up and was dressed in warm PJs and had hot chocolate and pizza for lunch #MomGuilt.

We stayed out for a shorter period of time the second day.

***

The snow, while beautiful, also had its frustrations.  Jimmy officially works from home now, so he doesn’t get snow days.  That meant that I was 100% on Daniel duty.  It was like Jimmy was there but not there.  I tried to do a few conference calls but found it impossible.  Daniel would be playing by himself in another room, but his keen hearing had him running to me the moment he heard me log in for a conference call.  Then I couldn’t peel him off of me: “Mommy, who are you talking to? Mommy, can you come play with me? Mommy, what’s this? Mommy, can you open this?” Thank goodness for the mute button. On the phone, that is!

Let’s just say we all felt like caged animals in the house for a few days, and I was happy that Daniel’s school had a two-hour delay on Friday.  He wasn’t thrilled to get back to our routine, but I was.  I don’t mean to imply that I didn’t have fun or that I would have rather been at work (the horror!). It was just an adjustment.  We’re all still getting used to Jimmy working from home, and the snow really highlighted how some of our household processes had changed.

I think I’m done with snow for the season, however 🙂

"Helping" me on my conference call

“Helping” me on my conference call

White Deer

snow, sleet, ice in North Carolina

Snow/sleet/ice

A few days ago, Daniel and I were driving through our neighborhood, almost home, when he asked, “What’s in that yard?” I was dutifully looking straight ahead, but I started checking out what was on either side of me to figure out what he was talking about, and it was then that I saw them.  At first I thought they were dogs running like crazy from the house on the left.  Then I realized they were deer.  Three young deer.  They raced across the front yard of the house on the left, leaped across the road and raced across the yard of the house on the right into the trees.

It took a few seconds for my brain to process what it saw: two young brown deer and one white deer.  We live in an area with lots of trees, so seeing deer isn’t unusual.  As a matter of fact, Daniel and I watched 5 deer wander around our back yard last weekend.  It’s not unusual for me to see deer crossing the street: deer are notorious for darting across the street with little notice where I work.   However, I had never seen a white deer before.

I joked on Twitter that I hoped the white deer wasn’t a sign of doom or death.  I looked it up, and white deer symbolize purity, an impending spiritual quest or a message from the gods that you had transgressed a taboo.

My imagination took over, and I started wondering what message the white deer had for me based on what is going on in my life right now.  Had I committed some grievous sin against the universe?  Notice how I instantly go for the worst interpretation.  Am I about to be tested by a spiritual journey? I kind of hope not because I think that’s what the last year or so has been.  No more testing, please!

In truth, I’m sure the white deer is simply a white deer.  It happened to cross my path because I was in the right place at the right time.

Sometimes I envy the ancient civilizations.  We modern humans often roll our eyes and laugh at how they attributed everything that happened in their world to a sign from their gods.  How they had huge number of deities governing every aspect of their lives.  We think how primitive their thinking and their understanding of science were.  How very precious these first civilizations were!

Yet, these people felt connected to their gods.  They felt like their gods were literally everywhere and took an interest in their lives and their world.  If the crops failed, perhaps they had displeased a god.  If the harvest was bountiful, the god was pleased with them.  It is simplistic but reassuring at the same time: there is something bigger than they are keeping watch and taking notes.  And if they had transgressed, there were definitive actions they thought they needed to take to make it better: offerings, sacrifice, rituals.  Possibly brutal and disgusting to modern sensibilities, but I can imagine how it would have been a relief to feel like you could do something to change your luck in the world.

I contrast that with how often I want to look for a sign, a symbol, a message in nature, in a certain song on the radio, in a dream before acknowledging the more likely randomness of events.  During the darkest days of our time in infertility hell, I often wondered WHY we had been selected for this outcome.  Were we being tested like Job?  And what about those who had children with little effort?  Were they truly better people?  Were we being punished?  More importantly, was there something we could do to right our karma?

The truth is that life doesn’t work that way.  Life is a crap shoot and sometimes you’re up; other times you’re down.  No omnipotent, omniscient being is picking on you, even if it seems like that.  White deer running across the road are simply white deer running across the road.

I long to believe there are mysteries in the universe yet to be solved; that there is more to life than what it seems.  My heart tells me one thing while my stubborn brain tells me another.

***

I had a three-day weekend last weekend, and it was much anticipated and very nice.  I needed it because I was not looking forward to the work week to come.  Things are a little crazy at work right now with uncertainty due to the recently-announced need for a “mid-year correction.”  The week was culminating in two days of meetings for the entire staff and then another meeting afterwards that I was dreading.  I was in a bad mood all week and just knew it was going to be a bad, no good, horrible week. When you dread Friday, you know you’ve got problems.

Suddenly, mid-way through the week, things started to change.  I skipped a day-long meeting and had a quiet day in the office to catch up on some work, picking up Daniel a little early so we could cook dinner and have a little more time together.  Thursday, mere hours before the staff meeting started, the Friday portion of the meeting was cancelled due to impending bad weather.  With snow/sleet/ice threatening, Jimmy urged us both to stay home on Friday, keeping Daniel home with us since we didn’t want to be caught trying to navigate nasty roads with him in the car.

Friday morning, the nasty weather started earlier than expected, and I was grateful we decided to stay home.  I got some work done, and then we three snuggled and watched it sleet all day.  I even took a nap.  It was a lovely, low-key day.  An unexpected…sleet day and another three-day weekend.  I told Jimmy that the week had ended beautifully, much, much better than I had thought it would even only a few days earlier.

Maybe white deer…maybe there are some mysteries still left.

 

 

Snow Day!

My snow babyWe were so excited that we had snow/sleet/ice over the weekend. We love winter weather (at least a little bit), and it was also Daniel’s first substantive snow. It started snowing heavily here late evening Friday, so visibility wasn’t great. I wish Daniel had been able to see the gigantic flakes. Saturday was grey and cold, and once the precipitation stopped, we took him outside. It took me about 10 minutes to layer on the many layers to keep him warm, and we spent about 2 minutes outside LOL. J deemed the steps too slick for us to proceed further, so we took a few pictures there. Daniel had seemed fascinated by the snow because he pulled himself up to our kitchen window to look outside. I can’t wait until he’s a bit bigger and can really enjoy the snow!

I wish we had been better prepared for him and the snow. We don’t have boots or a snow suit or anything. I didn’t think it was necessary to buy one because if I did, it would jinx any chance of snow. Since I didn’t buy one, of course we had snow 🙂 J and I have decided that at the end of the season we will buy a sled and other items so that next year when it snows and when Daniel is big enough, we will be ready!!

I see snow!J and I worked from home today (and we really did work!). I always fight the (ridiculous) impulse that I must be at work at all times, but I finally convinced myself that it was ok to work from home and that we don’t have snow very often in NC, so I need to enjoy it when I can. Poor D has been teething badly today (I think the other three top teeth that have been threatening are coming through finally), but I think we were all cheered by the sunny day and the warmer temps. Life will return to normal tomorrow, but we will remember the nice, long weekend we had.