Baby’s First Hallowe–Snow Storm?

I fully intended for today’s post to be about Lucy’s first Halloween party, but nature had other plans. See way, way back–before the baby was even born, I think–my wife and I were talking to my parents about how we were bummed we’d miss our friends’ annual Halloween party because of the baby (or at least not stay as long). For a different kind of event, we would ask friends to babysit, but all our friends would be at the party or doing their own thing, so we’d probably just stop in with the kid, have a drink or two and bounce when she got tired. My parents immediately offered to make the 9 hour drive from Toledo to New York to watch little Lu, so we figured we were all set.

We even came up with a pretty great family costume idea for the party’s “wildly inappropriate” theme. My wife worked on the baby’s costume and we each figured out our own looks that we got ready towards the end of last week. On Friday afternoon, my parents came in, but by then we started hearing about an unexpected event for the end of October: a snow storm. I usually don’t take things like this too seriously as the meteorologists/stations around here tend to blow things way out of proportion, but considering how early in the year this one was, I had a feeling it was going to be as bad as they were saying (which was 4-6 inches during Saturday with an accumulation of 10-12 over night). There was also the threat of power outages and fallen trees because they all still had so many leaves. As the snow or ice fell, the leaves would freeze and add a ton of weight to the branches, making them crack.

So, while my parents were out running an errand before coming over on Saturday and the snow seemed to get heavier and bigger every time I looked at the window, I figured it would be a good time to get some pizza, a few things out of storage and gas in my wife’s car. It wasn’t too harrowing, but I will say that people in this area have a tendency to become even worse drivers when the weather turns. I know it’s a cliche to complain about the drivers of any place you’re not from, but I consider myself a pretty good driver–one used to the snow thanks to living in Ohio and learning how to drive from my dad–and most other drivers, regardless of origin, don’t meet my expectations.

I didn’t have any problems while out and neither did my folks, but after we were all back at our place and full of delicious pizza, we got word that the party was cancelled because one of the hosts got called into work. It wasn’t looking too good by that point anyway, so we weren’t surprised. We were a little more surprised at around 5:00PM when the power flickered and then went out. We’re not unaccustomed to losing power here–our record was about 72 hours a few winters back–but this was the first extended period of time where it happened and we had the baby.Thankfully, since we’ve got a healthy supply of candles, flashlights and warm baby clothes, she didn’t seem to notice. Because we have a gas stove, we were able to still cook, which was good because I had bought a lot of ingredients for a soup I’ll write about over on Monkeying Around The Kitchen. After dinner and some more conversation, my parents took off for home–they’ve started driving through the night to get home at a decent time on Sundays lately–and we did our best to entertain ourselves, but were all pretty tired and wound up going to bed early.

Sunday morning we didn’t have any plans, so I got up and dug our cars out of the snow. It was odd because the sun was out and the snow was already melting off the trees–or what was left of them–so the snow and cold weren’t much of a threat, but we were still powerless. My wife bundled up the baby and we went for a drive. We had talked to a neighbor who suggested we head in one direction so we did. It was hard to tell who had power and who didn’t, but after about an hour of driving we wound up in nearby Washingtonville at a breakfast place that was pretty swamped with people who looked like they’d all spent the night without power. On the way home we heard on the radio that half of the people serviced by our power company were without power, making it one of the three worst outages of all time.Since we live in a pretty big condo/apartment/town house complex and, I believe, are on a fairly large grid, I was hoping we’d get it back on during the day. I admit that a big part of that was because I wanted to see the Steelers/Patriots game. That’s always an interesting one in our house because I’m a Steelers fan and my wife likes the Pats. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be, though my dad did keep me up to date via text messages (our phones weren’t working great, but would occasionally send and receive texts).

However, just around 8:20PM or so, things kicked back on! I had given up hope for the night and figured I’d spend the rest of the evening hanging out with the wife and reading Joe Hill’s ultra creepy Heart-Shaped Box, but the return of power meant we could watch part of The Amazing Race and the premiere of The Next Iron Chef, which was pretty awesome. The funniest thing about the whole experience was how used to routine I’ve become. Even if I walked into the bathroom and used the touch light to see what I was doing, I would still automatically put my hand to the light switch as I left the room. My wife did the same thing. I even tried putting a credit card application into the shredder while the room was lit by candlelight.Luckily, Lucy’s not used to things like that for the most part. She seemed a little confused why we were in the dark and maybe just a little out of sorts about the whole thing, but since she was warm and fed, I think it wasn’t so bad for her overall. Besides, the snow gave us a chance to try out Lu’s snow suit and introduce her to the white cold stuff. She seemed to like it, especially eating it, but got sick of having a cold butt after a while. Can’t blame her for that, no one likes a cold butt.

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