Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I can finally take a breath...

This weekend was a flurry of activity...we had a pig roast to attend on Saturday, as well as an OSU/USC party. THAT made for a full day of FUN! On Sunday, we decided to head down to Lebanon for the Day Out With Thomas, a fun little activity where you can ride the actual Thomas the Tank Engine. It's quite a big deal for the kids, as there are many Thomas-related activities (many of which are free!) and many photo ops, as well as the main event...the 25 minute ride on Thomas.

Now as you may know, Noah is a Thomas freak! He LOVES his trains and takes at least two everywhere he goes. He knows them all by name and disposition... "That's Diesel-10...he's always cross! This is James! He's cheeky!" He plays out entire stories featuring the trains of The Island of Sodor on his train table. He and his friends Sam and Alex do nothing but talk of their trains...they are such good little buddies! So when Sam & Alex's mom told us about the Day Out with Thomas, we decided we were in! I mean, how could we miss the inevitable expression of raw surprise and delight on those little boys' faces??? It would be priceless...

We secured tickets for the 3:00 train ride, and knowing that we had a little over an hour's drive, we decided to leave around 12:30 so we would have time to take in all the other activities beforehand. Sunday started out as a beautiful day! The sun was shining and the kids were ready to go and being very well behaved, considering they had no idea where we were going! We arrived in Lebanon, found parking, and met up with the Homans. The wind was really wicked! Right as we got there, the gift shop tent blew down, so the workers were hustling to get everything out and to a small warehouse-type building across the street. The whole area was situated close to a park with a ball diamond, so you can imagine the dust and debris that was flying everywhere...every time the wind would kick up, the kids would cover their eyes or bury their faces in our clothes. At one point, we heard a train whistle...it was Thomas himself, chugging down the track, pulling 8 coaches!! The kids were SO STINKIN' EXCITED!!! Sir Topham Hatt was a man dressed in a big inflatable-type suit, but we didn't get to go see him, because they hustled him inside quickly...you can imagine what could've happened to him, as inflated as he was! LOL! Basically, in the first 10 minutes we were there, they closed everything down except the actual ride on Thomas. We decided that the kiddos didn't know any different, so we just pretended it was all part of the game plan and went for ice cream while we waited for our 3:00 ride. At 2:40, we headed up to the boarding gate. As we waited in line, we took pics with Thomas and chatted about how this wind storm was pretty freaky...we could hear sirens all over the place, and as I mentioned already, we were being pelted with sticks and gravel and plenty of dust. Just as it was time to board the train, we noticed that Thomas wasn't there yet. The ticket-taker announced that a tree had fallen over the tracks and that they were pushing back our ride-time to 3:45. Of course, there were plenty of people who stared pissin' and moanin' immediately. Not us. We just decided to go entertain ourselves for another 45 minutes...no big deal. We headed over to the warehouse building where they set up the gift shop to try to get out of the wind, and let me tell you, that was almost worse! It was so HUMID...and the power was out through the whole area, so no A/C. It was definitely better to stand outside. When it was finally getting close to our assigned time, we started heading to the train, which they were already boarding to help get people in out of the wind, even though we still had 20 minutes yet before departure. The kids were about to pee their pants, they were so excited! They were ON THOMAS!!!

At departure time, the conductor made an announcement that the police had asked them not to run the train anymore, as there were 2 more trees down on the track and they didn't feel it was safe...refunds would be issued if we would leave our contact information. They couldn't do it right then, as there was still no power. SO, after all that time, we didn't get to ride. We decided to make the best of it and told the kids, "WOW!! Wasn't that COOL??? We got to come and see Thomas and get our picture taken with him, and have ice cream! You even got to sit in one of his coaches!!" They all were fine with it...not one single fit. Remember, we did not build this up at all...they didn't know where we were going, and we never gave them any details, so as far as they knew, that's all it was!! The ride home was crazy! There were trees down everywhere...fire trucks and medic crews at every intersection...roads closed...stoplights blown off...barns missing their roofs. We were getting a little anxious about what we would find when we got home! But luckily, our damage was minimal. We lost two table umbrellas, our tent ended up in the woods, and the playhouses had blown apart, but nothing of huge significance. We were very lucky! The homes of the community behind us were without power and still are...so we've been having neighbors over to use our shower and our generator, and anything else they need.

Now, if you've made it this far, give yourself a pat on the back! Because there is more to the story! On Monday morning, I was trying to make sure all our friends had what they needed to help with the power outage, so the kids and I were driving to all of their houses to check on them. I stopped into Deetra's house last, because I had talked with her just an hour before and she said they were fine, and even had electricity. But as I was coming up on her house, I decided to pop in just in case. Shea answered the door, and I walked up the stairs to see Deetra sitting straight up on the couch. I started talking to her and then noticed that she was staring rather intently at me..."Deetra, are you ok? Dee...are you having contractions?" She replied that yes, she was... and they were coming regularly, about 4-5 minutes apart. "WHAT? Did you call Shawn? Is he on his way?" Well, yes and no. She had called him, but told him not to worry, she'd just give it a little bit and see if they stayed regular before asking him to come home. I told her she needed to call him and tell him to leave NOW. So she did, and he asked if I could stay with her until he got home....DUH! YES!!! In the meantime, we called Dr. Powell and she said to tell Deetra to go to the hospital right away, she was sure the labor would go quickly. We called Shawn back and told him to meet us at the hospital...just what every husband wants to hear! I think he drove 80 mph all the way there, but hit many detours due to all of the wind damage. We got Deetra's stuff together, dropped the kids off at Jodi's and headed to the hospital. By the time Shawn got there, we had her checked in, in bed, monitors strapped on and she was checked by the nurse...4-5 cm and 100% effaced! Baby Boy Huntington was on his way!!! OMG, I was so nervous, but I was trying to be calm and reassuring for Deetra. Just walking into L&D makes me tense up. I do not find anything about the hospital to be soothing in any way. Guess I won't be having any more babies, eh? Anyway, all the grandparents were on their way, Shawn was there, and it was time for me to go, after giving my friend a quick foot rub and telling her good luck and to remember to keep her face relaxed. I headed out the door to go pick up Kendall, Noah, and soon-to-be big sister Shea. I got the kiddos home, made them lunch, and got to work on the brownies that Deetra had requested as her post-delivery treat. I'll tell ya what...those brownies weren't out of the oven for 15 minutes before Deetra's mom called. Whew!! And what quick labor! I had taken her to the hospital at 11:30 or so, and baby boy was born at 3:46 or something close to that. I grabbed Shea, told my kids to stay with their dad, and Shea and I headed to Kroger for Ben & Jerry's (another request from Deetra). Hey, the girl's got taste!

We got to the hospital, met the newest member of the Huntington family, and had a birthday party for the little peanut. Brownies, ice cream, and plenty of family. He is one loved little guy!So now, this morning, I can finally breathe. I think I held my breath all day yesterday! Oh yeah, and school is cancelled again today, since there is no power. Maybe I won't get to breathe after all...

7 comments:

Miss Got Wings said...

quite an adventursome few days you've had! but what a blessing to be there for a friend right when she needed you to be. way to go with your gut! and how exciting for all of you. he sure is a beautiful baby.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for all you did Monday for Shawn, Deetra and Shea. We are so thankful that they have so many wonderful friends and you really had to go over and above the call of duty on Monday! We are so glad you were there for them and that you got to be part of such a blessing. The brownies and ice cream were wonderful, how very nice of you. Thank you so much for all you did, Will is already enjoying his extended neighborhood family. Wayne and Paula Huntington, thrilled Grandma and Grandpa!

jenelle said...

Such a bummer about the Thomas thing. We did that with Ryan when he was little and he LOVED it. They didn't have coaches then, just long open cars with benches on it. He was scared out of his mind at Sir Topham Hat too. Glad that you guys made the most of it anyways.

Crazy weather, and crazy busy girl. You are a good friend. Good thing for Deetra that you were checking in on people. You can bring some Ben and Jerry's this way if you would like ;)

Miss Got Wings said...

btw - I'm making Grandma Cindy's Stuffed Peppers for dinner tonight - yummo! They are such a hit in this house :) Thanks again.

Kuckie said...

Kate - It was very exciting for sure! But I could do without any excitement for a few days now! And those stuffed peppers are the bomb, aren't they? So glad you & Tony like them!

Paula & Wayne - No biggie! They would have done the same for us!

Jenelle - Next time I'm up your way or you're down mine, we'll get some high quality ice cream!

Claire said...

Wow - I realized I was holding my breath as I continued reading your adventures!!!! What a great friend you are - I am so proud of you! When I had my first baby a friend brought me homemade chocolate chip cookies and a thermos of ice cold milk and I have never forgotten her doing that!!

Teresa said...

Oh my...I'm so behind on my blog reading...I'm bummed that I didn't get to read this one right away! Wow...Kuckie...you are such a wonderful friend! Deetra is so blessed to have you!!

That's great that the kids got to see Thomas and I LOVED the picture of Noah seeing the train...priceless!

 
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