Fireworks, Power Outage, Smoke Alarms, and a Swollen Eye

Lions and tigers and bears, oh my.

All the kids were just settling in for bed the night before last night when the booming of fireworks launched them all out of their beds and instantly to the windows to watch. When there are fireworks locally we can usually get a good view from one side of the house or the other.

When the fireworks were over, we started the bedtime routine again. Like it wasn’t fun enough the first time (oh no, I didn’t just say that).

All the kids were settled once again, in their beds, when everything suddenly went very quiet and dark. The power was officially out. So, why does this matter at night when you are trying to get little people to sleep? Well, it gets very dark and very quiet in the house, and all the neighbours go outside to look around and make lots of noise even though it is after 10pm at night.

We used the tablet as a flashlight and dug out the candles and the butane lighter (no we don’t smoke, we use it to light birthday candles). We set up a tea light candle, in a jar of water, in the bathroom because it is very dark in there.

When we realized that the lights were not coming on anytime soon, we started the bedtime routine again. This is the third time. Oh just you wait, there’s more (seriously).

While the twins were settling, Jonah and I were quietly discussing how quiet and dark our home is without fans and computers and other household humming. We enjoyed the quiet and I spent some time reorganizing files on my laptop (offline, of course), while waiting for the snoring of the twins.

Finally the little people were all settled and asleep. Wahoo.

Daddy heads to bed and I watch some Netflix before I crash. I need time to turn off my brain, of the issues of life, before I finally shut down at night. I used to read books every night (note to self, buy a really good novel to dive into).

I am just dozing off when the smoke alarm goes lets off a blast. It was not a full alarm. Just a loud beep. I shot out of bed and called quietly to Jonah (because the kids were still all sleeping, thankfully). He had heard it too, but wasn’t sure if he was dreaming or not. We stood in the hall, confused. I was sniffing for smoke. He went and checked the other floors. All clear. We went back to bed. I was a little shaken, but I fell back to sleep.

About 40 minutes later, the smoke alarm is going off again, this time fully blaring. 2:40am to be exact. It woke all the kids except Zion. The alarm was going and going and going. By this point I am fully dressed and all the kids are wide awake, wondering if there is a fire.

In our townhouse we have 3 floors and one smoke detector on each floor. If one goes off they all go off. Jonah and I did our sniff for smoke and check all the floors for fire. When we have finished our second inspection for the night, Jonah disconnected the smoke detector on the main floor (because that was the one that was setting the other ones off – according to the flashing red light), which shut off the deafening noise. Finally. This was not a decision taken lightly. We did still have two working detectors in the house and we would investigate and or reset it in the morning (when the really loud noise wouldn’t wake up the whole neighborhood).

We started the bedtime routine again (this is the fourth time now) and Zion slept through it all. It takes awhile for Hosanna to settle (she was wide awake and so was I). When she finally drifted off to sleep, Zion came in and curled up beside me. He was happy that the power had come back on, not even realizing that the smoke detector had gone off.

I was a bit nervous and way overtired and had trouble getting back to sleep. I slept fully clothed in case the smoke alarm went off again (well, the one was unplugged, but there were still two more that could have gone off).

Elisha was feeling a bit panicky (he has Autism and ADHD), so I told him just to choose a movie on Netflix to watch (aka distraction) and try to go back to sleep (which he couldn’t, but he stayed in his room and was quiet so everyone else got to sleep). The next morning I sent him out for coffee, so he could have some quiet time to himself. Then I put in a phone call to Grandma to take Elisha out with her so he could have a quiet day.

The next morning came way too soon and I could not drag myself out of bed. Jonah brought me coffee and my laptop, so I could tend to a client appointment while I tried to wake up.

Most of the day was a blur, tending to design clients, hanging with the sleepy kids, and just when I was thinking of a nap, we had a minor crisis.

Moses had been complaining of itchy eyes for part of the day, but when he came into the living room in tears, looking like he was ready to claw his eye, he had me pretty worried. Jonah had a good look at his eye in the sunlight and it was determined that this was an emergency. I immediately gave him some Benadryl, in case it was an allergic reaction to something, and called my mom for a ride to the ER (thus ending a peaceful day for Elisha a wee bit too soon).

A little while later, we were headed off to the ER. I had just been there last weekend (for the lumps in my head and neck) and I was so looking forward to spending the afternoon there again instead of napping (I am being sarcastic here).

The waiting room was fairly empty when we arrived. There were two men in front of us. I have no idea what was wrong with the first man, but the second man was hearing voices and talking to the nurse about the time that someone held a gun to his head.

We saw the nurse and told her the story of his eye. They checked his temp and his pulse. Then it was over to the next chair to double check our address and get the pretty bracelet.

While Moses was waiting for his bracelet, a mother and a little boy came in. She was panicking and he was crying, but trying really hard not to. Best I could gather, he was around 6-8 and had fallen out of a loft bed and hurt his arm. The mom and the nurse both thought it might be broken. He was in so much pain. I saw the mother coming and going from the back of emergency a few more times during our visit and that little boy is still on my mind (prayers going up for him).

After Moses got his bracelet, we had to follow the green dots on the floor to get to the other waiting room. The front waiting room was nearly empty, but that inner waiting room was bursting at the seams. I think they do that to lull you into believing that it would be a very short wait. Then once you are all signed up, you stay because it is simply too much effort to go somewhere else. I could be wrong about that, but that is why we stayed even after they told us it would be two more hours.

We snuck into some chairs by the blood lab beside these three older ladies. Two daughters and their mother. They were so sweet. We are hardly there five minutes when an aide walks and older man down the hall in front of us and he peed all over the floor. Like for 6+ feet and apparently all over the bathroom. I felt really bad for him, but it was extremely humorous watching the fuss that followed. Two out of the three ladies sitting beside us, the lady that belonged to the man that had peed, and a gaggle of nurses were trying to stop people from walking in the urine and falling. I was thinking a crossing guard would have been helpful at this point. Rest assured, housekeeping was called (more than once) and came and cleaned the hallway and the bathroom.

Waiting is not very fun. Moses was tired (from the Benadryl), hungry (it was dinner time) and bored (because the television wasn’t working and I didn’t think ahead to pack a suitcase).

First we saw a nurse, then we saw a resident, and then we saw a doctor. By the time the doctor finally saw Moses, most of the swelling had gone down and the bloodshot redness was a almost a distant memory. They put dye in his eye to make sure there were no foreign bodies in there. Prognosis: severe allergic reaction to something unknown. If his eye swells up again give him more Benadryl. I am glad we went to check it out, but it was a long 4 hours and when we got home after 8pm (we left around 3pm), I was exhausted.

And then it was bedtime….

Elisha had been up since 2:30am and was a bit cranky and very overtired. Moses and Malachi went to bed well. And while I was putting the twins to bed, I fell asleep. I was asleep until someone brought me the phone (a quick phone call from my sis). Jonah was still up and I thought I would go spend some time with him. We rented a movie (which turned out to be longer than we thought) and then I wrote this post and saved it as a draft (to edit and post after I got some sleep). I fell asleep thinking about things I am thankful for.

At bedtime with the twins, we each say three things we are thankful for. Here are my three thankful things for tonight.

  1. I am thankful that Moses’ eye was something simple and easily healed.
  2. I am thankful that we only had to do bedtime once tonight.
  3. I am thankful for a bed to sleep in.

What are you thankful for?

PS – Just so you all know, Jonah hooked up the smoke detector during the day yesterday and it hasn’t gone off since. Maybe it just needed a reset after the power outage? 

Afternoon Naps…

There is something special about taking a rest and drifting off to a peaceful place in the middle of a hot sunny afternoon. The fans were drowning out kid noises and someone turned out the light and closed the door, while mama tried to grab a few extra zzzz’s. I have been making it until mid afternoon and then my head aches and longs for sleep.

I was thankful for a do nothing day that afforded me some quiet time to retreat to my room. My sanctuary, albeit littered with kids toys and reminders that lovely little people live here, when I need some time just to step away. Even if that sleep ended in someone turning on the light and jumping on the bed just to see if I was awake (he’s 5 and I love him and we had a good snuggle).

Pain is nothing new. Having been in pain for the better part of the last 10 years with one thing or another, I can handle it, most of the time. This time, I just wish I knew what was causing the pain, the lumps, the headaches, and the fatigue. It has been a little over a month since I first went to the clinic complaining of lumps in my head and neck (on the right side only) and I don’t feel like I am very much farther ahead than when I started.

I am no closer to answers, but I have an ultrasound booked for next week. I have no idea what they do when they ultrasound your head (clue a girl in here). I have had baby belly ultrasounds before, so I assume it is similar, but that is all I have to go on. At least I don’t have to drink crazy amounts of water and hold my pee (being thankful for what I can).

At the end of August is when I go to see the ear, nose, and throat specialist. I wish it was not so far away. If I don’t get some relief soon, I might have to start being a squeaky wheel. I almost wrote squawky wheel – that might work too. If you know me at all, you know that I am good at being squeaky when I need to be. It is really hard to focus and accomplish anything when all I want to do is curl up in my room and have a nap to make the pain go away. And yes, I do have pain meds, but they wear off.

We are entering our birthday season around here which will be a wonderful distraction. Does every family have a birthday season, or just us? We start the end of July and the song goes like this – Moses, Jonah, Our anniversary, Grandpa, Auntie, Malachi, Grandma, and Cousin – finishing up on August 24th. It is a busy month. Then September, October, November are event free around here.

Another wonderful distraction will be family visiting from the US next week. We only get to see them once or twice a year and we love our time together (well, I really do, I can’t speak for them – I really hope they enjoy their visits with us). There will be 15 of us staying in our place for 5 days. Call me crazy, but I am actually very excited at having wall to wall people around here.

There is no shortage of things to be doing around here: like finishing up some client work, working on graphics for some special projects (I’m learning new skills), doing taxes (for last year, yeah, don’t shoot me), ordering homeschool curriculum (just a little behind here, come on, give me a break, I have had a headache), and the usual, daily, keeping up with a big family, kind of stuff.

Thanks for listening to me share my heart and whine just a bit. I do try to keep things positive around here, but dealing with the lumps in my head, and whatever they are, is a bit consuming for me right now and I need to be able to share those things (and how wonderfully refreshing afternoon naps are) with you.

We do appreciate your prayers.

First Fishing Trip


A few days ago, Elisha came home all excited and asked me if he and Moses could go fishing with Grandpa and a family friend. We were told only two big boys could go, so Malachi was feeling a bit sad (but he will get his turn soon).

Elisha (13 with autism) has a bit of trouble with anxiety. He was excited about going fishing, but nervous at the same time. He had a bit (okay, a lot) of trouble settling for bed, which meant he had next to no sleep last night.

Well, going fishing in Sooke means that you need to get up at 4 am to get picked up at 5am to make it out there in time for the tides (I really have no clue what I am talking about – just repeating what I was told). Which also means that you need to set the iPod, the tablet, and have a wake up call from Grandpa. Moses was up first, with Elisha following behind, and daddy waking shortly after.

I woke up to hearing the door click downstairs and the phone missing from beside the bed (because Jonah wanted to let me sleep in, bless his heart). Grandpa had already come to get the boys and they were on their way. Back to sleep I went.

Nestled in bed between two squirmy, sweaty, sweeties, I fell back into a deep sleep. Jonah woke me at 8:30am asking me to enjoy a quiet, coffee-time with him. Quiet because the chatty one was out with Grandpa. It took me a good 30 minutes to fully wake up. Coffee was wonderful. Quiet was amazing. What a quiet morning we had.

After coffee, it was time to get to work.

The boys had great fun fishing. I am so glad we all endured a little discomfort getting them out the door. Before we knew it, they were back from fishing (and lunch at Montana’s), with a boatload of fish, and Grandpa came in and cleaned the fish and put it all away – fish fry for dinner, yum.

Since Malachi did not get to go fishing, Grandma took him out for the rest of the day. He loves to just hang with her and Grandpa. Apparently Grandma and Malachi did some shopping because they came home with some brightly colored shirts for Jonah, for his birthday.

Did I tell you yet that it was Jonah’s birthday? Well, it was. He had to get up early, but he got to enjoy a quiet morning to himself, then he got leftover birthday cake and chocolate bars (thanks to Malachi and Grandma), and then as he was cooking salmon and steaks (salmon steaks and beef steaks), he burned his arm (right in the bendy elbow part).

So, the day started with fishing, for the boys, and ended with a beautiful salmon dinner. The boys did great on their first fishing trip, especially considering there is no bathroom on the boat (who buys a boat without a bathroom?). My mom and I joked that the first thing we would look at would be the bathroom and then the color.

Here’s to new experiences and a mostly good day. And boys that are growing up. (too fast).

My Boys, Glamping in Style…

One day back in June, Jonah got a phone call from a friend inviting him and the boys to go camping. Of course they were thrilled and jumped at the chance to go. Well, let me tell you, after our camping trip in March (also known as winter around here), the boys had fun and were living it up in style, Glamping, at Fort Rodd Hill.