Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Coming Home

So after the Burger King left, and the power finally came back on, this is what we found (Charles had done considerable clean-up before we got home):
Here's the front of the house (the shutters are closed because the window was broken in the storm). Charles had been pulling the kids' wagon around the house picking up the trash that was all over our yard. The house next door is under construction, and lots of construction debris was scattered in our yard (shingles, vinyl siding, general trash, etc.). Their chimney even flew off during the storm and hit Charles' truck. Doesn't look too bad for a week after the storm.
A close-up of the damage to our roof. Relatively few shingles compared to most other houses around here.

Broken window. I'm getting pretty tired of cleaning up pieces of glass -- they seem to just keep showing up. I noticed the mulch in our flower beds is full of glass too, so I guess I'll have to wear gloves when I work out there for a while. The kids' swingset, with the slide flipped up. It is actually just barely poking through our neighbors' fence. Thank goodness it wasn't any closer to their fence. The fort part of it appears to be ok, but Charles will probably have to rebuild the swing part.
Most of our damage is small, like the doorbell. We have some broken outdoor outlets (the covers broke off), all of our trees are leaning, all the annuals and most of the perennials are dead or uprooted, but all of the shrubs are looking good, so at least that's something. Damage at our rent house was slightly more severe, but still not as bad as it could have been.

It really wasn't bad, considering what it could have been, but I've decided I don't like Burger Kings anymore and will stick with McDonalds from now on.

Our Flame-Broiled Vacation

Two Fridays ago, on August 29, I packed up the kids and we evacuated to Nana & Papa's house for, as Cole calls it, "the Burger King" (specifically, Burger King Gustav). We stayed for a week and a half until we got power back at home.

The kids had a great time playing outside, driving Papa's tractor, building fires, and swinging on Blackie. Here are a few pictures of our "vacation":

Our Almost Vacation

Charles has a friend with a condo in Gulf Shores who has been offering to let us use it for quite a while now. A few weeks ago, we tried to take him up on it. We picked the kids up from school early on a Friday, turned on their dvd player, and headed to Alabama. Stopped along the way for beach toys, and made it to the condo way before dark, ready to hit the beach. The condo was great, and the kids had a great time playing on the beach (Chase has only been to a beach once, and Cole has never been before). Chase played in the waves and found seashells. Cole, who is scared of the water, made sand castles and sand angels (like snow angels, but in the sand -- he did this all by himself, it cracked me up). Wish I'd had my camera on the beach, but I left it in the room. We brought the kids to Lambert's for dinner, and of course nothing makes boys happier than a restaurant where they throw food at you.

The next morning, we woke up and turned on the TV and found out that the tropical storm which we hadn't really been worried about getting to Alabama for a few days was now expected to hit later Saturday. We brought the kids to the beach for a few hours before packing up. They had a great time on the beach that morning, burying each other in the sand and collecting shells. Cole got brave and actually went into the water (clinging to me). I really liked it better when there was at least one thing on Earth Cole was afraid of. But anyway, they had a great time. They could see fish swimming around their feet and got a huge kick out of trying to catch them. A lady walking down the beach gave the kids a hermit crab she had found. They insisted that he was their new pet, and since we were cutting the trip short and had an empty aquarium at home, we let them bring him. Chase wanted to name him Sandy, Cole wanted to name him Rocketshippy, so they decided to name him Sandy Rocketshippy.

Saturday around 10am we put the kids (and Sandy Rocketshippy) in the car, pressed play on the dvd player, and discovered it's broken. VERY long car ride home. Once we got home, we dug around in the cabinets, discovered we actually own hermit crab food (purchased for a captive lizard a long time ago), and set Sandy Rocketshippy up in the aquarium. Unfortunately, Sandy Rocketshippy left us a few days later for that big sandcastle in the sky, and the kids are back to trying to domesticate frogs and lizards.

Here are a few pictures from our trip:
Notice how Cole's feet aren't touching the ground. Cole's feet never touch the ground. He is ALWAYS in motion.
And here's Chase chilling out on the balcony. He loved it out there (as long as he wasn't too close to the railing).

Hopefully we can go back sometime and stay a little longer than 18 hours.

Visits from the Tooth Fairy

Back in January, when we went to the dentist, he told us Chase's two bottom front teeth were starting to get loose. By the time we went back to the Dentist in July, one of them was pretty loose. The Dentist showed me where the permanent tooth had started coming out behind the baby tooth, and suggested that Chase go ahead and pull that loose tooth out. Chase balked, and the dentist let it go. By August, Chase could lay one tooth completely down, but still wouldn't pull it out. Finally, on the way home from school one day, he was fiddling with it and it just came out.
Despite knowing this was coming since January, we were woefully unprepared. No tooth fairy pillow or tooth box. We went with a small box we had around the house, and Chase buried it under the pile of about 5 pillows he sleeps with. Cole slept in Chase's bottom trundle so he could be part of the experience. I imagine the tooth fairy had to do some pretty fancy maneuvering (think Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible) to make the exchange with all those obstacles. She managed, though, and Chase woke us up at about a quarter to 5 the next morning to show us the crisp new dollar bill the tooth fairy had left.
Here's a "Before" picture of Chase with a mouth full of teeth:
And here's an "After" picture (he kept sticking his tongue in the spot where the tooth used to be):

After his first tooth fairy experience, Chase decided this tooth business was a pretty good racket, and pulled out his other tooth 4 days later. Same box was used, and same result. By the time we evacuated to Nana & Papa's for Hurricane Gustav, the $2 was burning a hole in Chase's pocket, so he got Papa to bring him to Kaffe's and somehow managed to purchase about $20 worth of stuff with his $2. Must be magic tooth fairy money.

Here's a final toothless "After" picture with 2 missing teeth: