On the Road Again….

It’s that time in our family where the meeting of winter sports meet summer sports.  Our oldest is still playing second season hockey and has started ball practices, our middle is still prepping for her karate grading  and has also started her ball practices and our youngest is just dreaming of seeding fields on the farm – oh and his ball starts this week! My husband is going over the farm machinery, checking fields and looking after all the details for spring time work and seeding on the farm. And here I am prepping my piano students for May exams, coaching Ally’s ball team and basically organizing and scheduling our crazy life for the next couple of months.  Honestly – I wouldn’t have it any other way! We are all doing what we love to do and even though we might seem like we are going in 8 different directions at once – I do enjoy some of the one-on-one time I get with the kids because we are going in different directions.

There are a couple of things I do – prep-wise – that keep us going in the right direction.  A visible weekly schedule  – I had a fancy schmancy dry erase monthly calendar but honestly it wasn’t the best. It was overwhelming to look at the whole month as opposed to just a week at a time.  SO I pulled out a piece of paper and put it in a page protector. (Ya I’m crafty like that)   I fill it out weekly with a dry erase marker – with Manitoba weather chances are ball games are going to be cancelled and rescheduled. The kids and look and see where they are going – my farmer husband can see which towns his kids are playing if he has a chance to get away from the field – and I have a visual to see what’s going on and where everyone needs to be.  It’s cheap, it’s easy and it works.

Another prep I do for the controlled chaos is pack a snack bag.  My kids get off the school bus close to 4:00 pm and we are usually on the road again (if they have a practice or a game) by 5:00pm.  That means an early supper or a supper on the go, and once their activity is done they are hungry! Scratch that – they are HANGRY! So to feed the wild beasts I have a bag of snacks that goes in the vehicle with us.  Usually filled with snacks they like and will fill them up or tie them over till we get home.  This week we have almonds, Clif Bars, fruit cups, applesauce, granola bars.  I’ll also put fresh fruit and veggies in there or any baking that I’ve done (muffins, cookies etc).  Some juice boxes and Powerade or Gatorade will be there too , as well as the kids water bottles. Along with some wet-naps, napkins and spoons.

SO hopefully this crazy, chaotic season will run smoothly and everyone will get to the places they need to be safely and well-fed.  Moms on the go – what are your go-to time saving methods you use? Let’s help each other get through the busy seasons of life!

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That Spring.

I woke up this morning and looked at my phone (to check the time because I could the hear the kids up and moving…..at 6:50am….it’s Saturday #learntosleepin) and there was my Timehop from 5 years ago.

This is what it said…

new words/phrases learned by my kids in the past 24 hours: dehumidifier, sump pump, shop vac, weeping tile, plan of action, indoor basement swimming pool

It was 2011.  That Spring. The one where it was very wet, and flooding our basement, washing out roads, farm land and cities around us.  The one where I was a very 8 months pregnant.
It was not a fun spring. It was scary. We’ve had wet springs before- but this one was different. When you are at the mercy of the weather and the rain and the water just keeps coming it can be very, very stressful (ESPECIALLY for a very pregnant farm wife)
Fortunately we were somewhat prepared – we had a dehumidifier, sump pump,shop vac and a generator ready to go.  But nothing prepares you for the phone call from your husband when he says ” I think you should go to your moms for a while, the road is washing out and you need to get to the highway”. There I was packing for two preschoolers, myself, the hospital bag and making sure I had everything upstairs that needed to be  – to save it from the unplanned indoor swimming pool in the basement. Add on the extra worry that if the baby decided to come early – that maybe my husband wouldn’t be at the birth (total hormonal break down).

I remember driving down our road, and knowing that the water was going over the road heading east that I would go west and curve back around to the highway. Turned west drove one mile – found a lake on the road.  Awesome. This was the conversation that followed:

Kid #1 – where did the road go?
Kid #2 – Can we go swimming in that?
Preggo Momma- The road is under all that water, and no we are not swimming in it.
Kid #1 – why are we turning around?
Kid #2 – Why can’t we go swimming?
Preggo Momma – Well, we need to get to the highway and we can’t drive through a lake so we are turning around, and no we are not swimming because we don’t swim in flood waters in April.
Kid #2 – Can we go swimming in Brandon?
Kid #1 – If we make it to Brandon.
Preggo Mamma – We will make it to Brandon and no we are not swimming today at all.

It turned out fine and we got to my mom’s and stayed for a couple of days while the spring runoff went through.  Kid#3 wasn’t born for a while (ended up being 2 weeks late) and my husband was there for the birth.

It was, however, a wake up call.  We live in the middle of the prairies.  If the roads had fully washed out on both sides of our lane we would’ve been stranded. In Winter we can get snowstorms that can knock the hydro out for days and dump enough snow that we can’t go anywhere. Did I have the necessities needed for our family to survive? Or would we have been up the creek with out a paddle (literally and figuratively)? So I now have a Emergency Supply List of things we should have in case of an emergency. Some people call it being paranoid – I call it being prepared. Top of the list is of course food and water (enough for 72 hours)  and a first aid kit.  But now we are so dependent on our cell phones but with no electricity there is no charging them! So I purchased a wind up radio/usb port/flashlight  from Amazon. It covers all the bases and also allows you to stay connected to the outside world! Here’s the link to my Pinterest Board Life Skills for Extreme Emergencies  – I know the title is a little melodramatic but it has some great ideas and instructions on what to have in your emergency kit and how to be prepared if you ever are in an extreme emergency.

When my husband and his farmer friends become old and have coffee at the diner in town – they will talk and reminisce about the spring of 2011.  Even now when spring comes around we compare the amount of water in the spring run-off to 2011. We are older, wiser (well that might be pushing it 😉 ) and more prepared because of 2011.  So here’s to 2016 – which at the moment is looking like the driest spring we will have experienced yet :/