Monday morning, just before 2 am, I was awoken by the sound of the house powering down. The white noise machine cut off, the clock dimmed out, the baby monitor began complaining about a loss of source.
Having gone to bed just before 11 pm, that pretty much marked the end of my allotted sleep time. The rest of the night was spent anxiously awaiting the sounds of Mia's hunger cries from down the hall and up the stairs, which I was afraid I might sleep through even with my bedroom door open, worrying about the fast-dipping temperatures in the children's rooms, and listening to Michael cough and whine in the chiller, drier air of his space heater-less, un-humidified room.
At some point, Tom went up and covered the children with extra blankets, which seemed to make them more comfortable. I ran downstairs in the dark to find fresh sheets for the mini-crib in case we needed to relocate Michael. Somehow, both he and Abby managed to sleep through until almost their normal wake-up time. However, by the time the sun rose, it was cold and dark all through the house, and simple things- like preparing breakfast- were exponentially more difficult to accomplish without the power I'd hoped would return by then.
We have a little generator, but it wouldn't have helped us much to keep warm, and the basement room where we spend most of our days gets very little natural light. We therefore made some speedy last-minute plans to spend the day at my parents' house, knowing full-well that by the time we got everyone out the door we'd likely see the power come back on.
That is exactly what happened, in fact. Tom saw the microwave welcome message come on just as I began shuffling Abby through the front door. I struggled through a moment of doubt, but we pushed ahead anyway since Michael was already in the car, Mia was in her car seat, and Abby was thoroughly expecting a visit to Mima and Granda's.
Though it meant a late night and a chaotic bedtime, it turned out to be worth it, not only for the pleasant day that we experienced with Mima and Granda (who were home due to the snow cancellations), and Mei Mei (who had that Monday off), but also because we later heard that the return of power was only temporary, and remained only sporadically available until after two in the afternoon.
That would have been a mighty chilly and miserable day for us all.
Instead, Abby got to help decorate her grandparents' tree,
Mia danced with Mima,
and Michael got a chance to see his favorite Baby Einstein video (previously viewed only on my phone via YouTube) on the big TV screen in the Rec Room, nicely bundled up and comfortable all the while.
In the meantime, Tom had reliable internet and a private office in which to work (that must have been quite a treat for him), and I managed to get a nice long nap in the middle of the day with Mima and Mei Mei around to keep an eye on things (definite treat for me).
Since schools were closed again today, and Mima consequently off from work again, we were truly tempted to do it all again. However, the actual snowfall that occurred kept us all safely inside of our (now-toasty) own home instead.
Not for the first time, I am reminded how nice it is to carve out unexpected extra time with family, and how truly wonderful having power really is.