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Mommy Musings: Thoughts and Opinions, PROJECT ME, Twins/Toddler Tuesday

Sick babies, no power, and fire…oh my!

1972286_10153855313135144_1585021398_nHaving one sick baby is hard enough.  How about working all day and coming home to two sick babies and then losing power in winter?  The old me would have been angry, upset and miserable, but instead I really did turn lemons into lemonade.

“Mommy, thank you for the great night.”

These words are my trophy for what I can only call the most unusual day I had yesterday.  Maybe I should have been more careful what I wished for since I had been complaining about feeling stuck in a rut, or maybe it was one big fluke, but either way it was definitely unexpected.  Really, I couldn’t make up this stuff!

It started yesterday around 2:00pm when I got a call from Daddy.  The girls were both sick.  June had a fever and Sansa’s nose was

The growing darkness as we watched the light fade away.

The growing darkness as we watched the light fade away.

running off her face.  I had noticed they were a bit “off” yesterday, but I had no idea.  He asked if I could take the next day off, but when I checked my schedule I couldn’t because I had an important meeting at 2pm.  He warned me that it was gonna be a rough night.

But, I was positive.  I stopped on the way home for a treat of coffee since I figured I would need it.   I got in the door and there were both babies one on each of my parent’s laps looking sleepy, sick and very unhappy.  As we did the “switch off” the power started flickering and at about 4:40pm it went out.  Praying it would be temporary I said goodbye to my parents and tried to comfort the two now crying babies.  Sawyer had recently broken our batter powered light by putting it in the dog dish, and we have no candles because well, three kids and three animals plus candles equals not safe.

But, I didn’t panic.  I came up with an idea.  I told Sawyer his sisters were sick and they needed our help, so he could be the doctor and I would be the nurse.  Right away he got excited.  But I need a doctor’s bag, he said.  So I got him one of my old purses and he put it on.  Inside he found a pen and an old receipt and so I told him he could start writing prescriptions.  I gave him a specimen jar from the medicine cabinet, a bottle of vitamins and some bandages.  I had even gotten a vitamin coupon in the mail with pills on it so I gave that to him as well and he was in heaven.

Taking advantage of the fleeting light I changed and cleaned up the girls and got them to eat some food.  By 5:30pm still no power and it was getting dark.  I remembered a picture I had seen on Facebook that in a pinch you could burn some wax crayons for light.  So, by 6:00pm I tried it out.


First of all, they burned way quicker than what the picture said (I was supposed to get an hour out of a crayon).  Then, they got so hot the glass jar I had put them in cracked in half and shattered!  The girls freaked and were in tears while I was dousing the fire on my mantle with water and desperately trying to clean up the glass and wax while there was a tiny bit of light left.  Unfortunately, the veneer on our wonderful television stand/ faux fireplace (our nicest piece of furniture) is now melted.

I decided to try again in a metal bowl that couldn’t break.  That just ended up making the crayons smoke and then the fire alarm went off.  All this time the girls are crying.  I ran around fanning the air in the dark trying to get it to shut off.  Luckily it only lasted a minute.  So much for that idea.

I tried to calm the girls, but now we were on the bottles from the fridge.  Not only were they not feeling well, they were not liking the cold bottles that I had no way of heating up.


It was now almost 7:00 and still no power.  It is about -20 degrees outside and getting cold fast.  I gather the kids (and dogs) around on the floor and using my phone as a flashlight we sing some songs together.  That seemed to brighten their spirits.  As every seemed to calm down we huddled in some blankets and I was actually enjoying myself cuddling and singing.  I should mention I am a horrible singer, but I tried to sing songs  I loved as a kid, and since I hadn’t sang them in a while it took a bit of concentration to remember all the words.  Sansa actually rocked back and forth and “danced” as I sand Clouds by Joni Mitchell, Cherish by Madonna and of course Flashdance.

Me and June

Me and June

Then Sawyer, being too scared to go to the washroom in the dark peed in his pants.  I helped him to the washroom, which really upset the girls and got out the spare underwear I keep in the diaper bag in the stroller so I didn’t have to leave them to go forage upstairs with no light.  It took another half hour to settle everyone down again after that, but I felt bad for him, since it was an accident.

It was weird actually.  In spite of the dark and cold and constant crying, once everyone was settled again I felt at peace.  I felt grounded and connected, and I looked at all three of then huddled around me in the dark, the dogs sleeping beside us and I thought this is life.  This is a beautiful moment, that I once might have missed because I was too caught up in wanting the evening I had envisioned in my head, instead of the one that was going on in front of my eyes.

By 8:00pm, the girls were clearly tired, but I couldn’t put them to bed because I couldn’t leave the others alone and it was pitch black so they cried as tried to comfort them and fell asleep on the floor.  Then it was just me and Sawyer.

My poor babies sleeping on the rug (with flash)

My poor babies sleeping on the rug (with flash)

We talked. I spoke to Daddy who said it was a large area with the outage and we would hopefully have it back by 10:00pm.  I was grateful for that and tried not to think about all the things I still had to do before I could go to bed, like clean up, have a shower, get the kids to bed etc.  Instead I laughed at how this was gonna make a great blog post.

I could see the novelty of the situation was wearing off on Sawyer too so I told him we were playing pioneers.  I explained to him all about the pioneers and how they lived and what pioneer village was like.  He was very interested and kept asking questions so I kept talking.

By 9:00pm, hallelujah, the power came back.  Thank goodness because the thermostat said what I already knew which was that it was down to 12-15 degrees in the house.   I cranked the heat and boiled the kettle.  Sawyer and I got something to eat (all we had eaten thus far were some strawberries) and I put the girls to bed.

Sawyer sitting pantless with me and the dogs on the couch eating strawberries just before the power came back (with flash)

Sawyer sitting pantless with me and the dogs on the couch eating strawberries just before the power came back (with flash)

He came upstairs and helped me get my things ready for work and take the dogs out to pee.  By 10:00pm I was finally tucking him into bed and that’s when he told me, “thanks for the great night mommy”.  In spite of everything I had somehow managed to give him a nice memory of an otherwise shitty situation. Even as I write this now, I am not sure how I did it, but I feel that it is an accomplishment and a demonstration of how we can actually shape our reality.  I hope sharing my story with you will help you get through the next storm in your life, not by praying for sunshine but by dancing in the rain.

Oh, and it is also a reminder that I need to buy more flashlights ASAP!



About Shannon

I am a university educated full-time working mother of four children. Proudly Canadian, I freeze my butt off along with my loving partner, two dogs and a cat. I hope you enjoy reading my posts as much as I love writing them, but if you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all.


21 thoughts on “Sick babies, no power, and fire…oh my!

  1. I love your blog and I love this story (I also love Clouds by Joni Mitchell but that’s for a different day). I’m not sure how I’d have coped in that situation – your title alone gave me palpitations! Great work 🙂

    Posted by Lydia Devadason | March 17, 2014, 8:31 am
    • Thanks so much Lydia. I appreciate you taking the time to visit. It was a crazy day, but those are the ones that you remember so you’d might as well make them good 🙂 Cheers.

      Posted by Shannon | March 17, 2014, 8:40 am
      • I totally agree! Plus, I tend to get things wrong more often than I get them right so when things go right I don’t ever forget 😉

        Posted by Lydia Devadason | March 17, 2014, 8:43 am
  2. You did great lady! Survival Mode! And of course the power has to go out on the day you have sick kiddos. Ugh. Our power went out a month or so ago and I had to DIG in boxes in our basement for candles. That reminds me that I need to buy more candles and flashlights. It was a total gong show. Glad you all survived. Hope the babies are feeling better!

    Posted by findingcoopersvoice | March 17, 2014, 9:13 am
  3. Wow, what a night! Glad the heat came back on just in time! Also good for you for not panicking and even coming up with some fun games.

    Posted by sparrow | March 17, 2014, 10:37 am
  4. That shows how great a mom you are! 🙂 🙂

    Posted by leenap23 | March 17, 2014, 12:12 pm
    • Awww! That’s a very nice compliment! I am definitely learning and trying to make a conscious effort to do the best I can and be present in every moment (good or bad). Thanks so much for reading.

      Posted by Shannon | March 17, 2014, 1:05 pm
  5. Wow. despite all the loveliness that transpired, I have to say, it sounds like a nightmare! You fared way better than I would have!

    Posted by Marissa Bergen | March 17, 2014, 1:18 pm
    • Thanks! It was definitely unexpected. I am thankful I didn’t burn the house down lol. Thanks for stopping by. I also loved your picture in your post today (or maybe it was yesterdays), hilarious.

      Posted by Shannon | March 17, 2014, 1:41 pm
  6. You rock! This is why I love reading your blog. You inspire me. I hope if the situation calls for it, I’d become a super mom like you. Get well soon to your twins

    Posted by mrspunkandpretty | March 17, 2014, 5:51 pm
  7. Way to keep it together! I would have freaked without candles. I’m glad the lights came back on pretty quickly.

    Posted by Christie Silver | March 17, 2014, 10:31 pm
  8. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been faced with a crappy situation and thought “at least this will make a great blog!” And kudos to you for that gallon of lemonade! When we have blackouts around here, they sometimes last for days at a time and I HATE it. My kids are usually calming me down, not vice versa. But next time I will channel the zen-like feeling you described here and see if I get a few drops of my own lemonade.

    Posted by Highchairs and Headaches | March 18, 2014, 8:55 am
    • Lol. Blogging is great. I hope you are someplace warm with blackouts like that! During the ice storm we had to leave because with no power we had no heat so it was freezing and we couldn’t sanitize or make any bottles without boiling water. Good for your kids for staying calm, and thanks for reading 🙂

      Posted by Shannon | March 18, 2014, 11:03 am
  9. Oh wow, smashed glass and fire in the dark. Well done for getting through that one! Hope everyone’s better now.

    Posted by Bronwyn Joy @ Journeys Of The Fabulist | March 18, 2014, 12:38 pm

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