Snow or no snow??

I have SEVERAL blog posts to write, and a couple more I need to take pictures for. Hubby gets a 3 day weekend this weekend, and then is off for a week starting Wednesday, so hopefully I will have some more blogging time to catch up (since I now nap during Jarvis’ nap every day!)


Everyone’s been asking how the weather is up here… and let’s just say, it’s unseasonable warm, and we have yucky mud everywhere… It’s not feeling very Christmas-y… So for fun, I compared the past 3 years….


Looks like no white Christmas for us this year!!


Flooding | An Update

So, since I know most of our family reads this, I decided to do a little update on the flooding situation up here in Minot. There’s lots of information about what caused the flooding and how the city handled it. I’m not going to go into too much detail.


There are lots of pictures and information on KXNews’ website and on their facebook page


But basically it’s a combination of a cool summer last summer that didn’t evaporate all the melted snow, with record levels of snowfall this winter, late, rapid snow melt, and record levels of rain this spring. All those combined in Canada and North Dakota to cause the Mouse/Souris River to flood. This river runs from Canada, into North Dakota, and then back up into Canada. Minot is situated between two ‘hills’ (North Hill and South Hill- so original!) and the river runs throughout the Valley. There are several dams along the river including the one just out of Minot, Lake Darling. All of the dams were over-taxed and full and required RECORD releases. Some miscalculations meant that they level of releases had to rise rapidly. The city worked to create dikes that were 20 feet tall, 30 feet wide at the base and 8 feet wide at the top to protect as much of the city as possible. For the most part, they were successful. However the LARGE volume of water still has flooded a good quarter of the town. I have not been to town myself, but I have heard something like 6000 homes have water in them, up to 1000 with water to the roof line. There are over 12,000 people evacuated. *However, people were notified early enough that most people emptied their houses of their belongings and there has been NO loss of life so far, Praise the LORD!


The water crested at 1561.82. The record level in Minot previously was from 1881 at 1558.


When a city floods, there are lots of complications. Basically the city has been cut in half with one small road open to get from the north to the south. The hospital, all grocery stores, and most clothing/supplies stores are in the south. They have set up a temporary hospital up North and are considering opening the base grocery store (which is 16 miles north of town) to the residents in the north. 


The river crested on Saturday at a lower level than they had originally anticipated, however, with that crest, they discovered that untreated surface water had made it into the water treatment facility. Base is on the city water, so all of town and base were put on a Boil Water order. Basically any water for consumption was to be boiled for 2 minutes before use. We were encouraged to conserve as well. Although this was slightly annoying, it was not much for us to deal with considering our home was still dry and we were safe. 


Sunday evening brought severe thunderstorms, hail, and tornado warnings across the counties adding more un-needed rain. 


Monday, several mains broke in town, a common occurrence after flooding, and the town lost all ability to provide water to the citizens. They have shut down all water in town. We have a reservoir on base that is filled by city water. Once it runs out, we will be out of all running water too. I have heard that despite severe conservation (no dishwashers, rare flushing, no laundry, very short showers/sponge baths for babies, etc) we can only expect for it to last about 5 days. So far there is no estimate on how long it will take to repair the water main breaks since they are under water. 


The projected receding timeline for the water is SEVERAL weeks, we are expected to be back at 1559 this week (which is still ABOVE the 1881 record level) and for it to take up to 3 weeks more for the River to be back in it’s banks. FEMA has finally stepped in to offer assistance for those who are evacuated. We already were desperately short of housing in Minot due to the oil boom, so we are hoping they will be able to fill that void with some temporary housing. 


We are safe, our house is dry, the commissary is continually restocked with food and is upping it’s water stock. Obviously, the biggest thing we are facing right now is if the water runs out. We choose not to buy a bunch of bottled water when the boil order started because boiling water is fairly simple. However, now we are having to find/pay for bottled water in case we run out completely. The commander on base has requested that any family members that can leave, do, to reduce stress on the water conservation. However Delta has taken advantage of the situation and is charging their holiday rates ($700-1200) instead of their normal rates ($400-700), which is making it difficult for people to leave. Since we only have one car, it’s not an option for Jarvis and I to drive someone, because the hubby will still have to work.


Mostly, I ask for prayers, for the people who have lost their homes and will be in limbo for months. And for the water situation, that they find a way to provide safe, clean water to all of the residents in town and on base. For now, we are sticking around, conserving water, and praying. Love you all-


-C

Punkins…

Thank you for all the comments, they made me happy : )

We are well into fall here, and it’s been beautiful- weather in the 70s for the past two weeks, which compared to last years 30s/40s, is very, very warm! I’m sure winter will hit any day now and we will be back to the subzero temperatures…. but for now….

It’s fall, and that means punkin patches, halloween costumes, swings, and lots of walks! We are looking forward to a visit from Poppy and Oma this next week, I know Jarvis (and us) can’t wait to spend some time with them!

 

Enjoy…. (LOTS more up on http://www.jaceandchelsea.shutterfly.com in the Fall 2010 and Jarvis-10 months albums)

Love,
J, C, & J

Time Flies When You’re Having Fun!

Jarvis is 2 months old! (One week ago :D)

Sorry I’m a little behind! Jarvis is actually 2 months and one week tomorrow!
He is growing like crazy! Monday he had his 2 month checkup. He weighed in at 11lbs 2 oz- up from 8lbs 2 oz at 5 weeks! He was 23 inches long, up from 20 inches at birth, and his head was 15.5 inches, up from 13 inches at birth. The doctor checked him over and he looked fine! He is growing really well on the formula, eating like crazy! He feeds 6 times during the day and usually takes 5.5-6 ozs at each feeding. He is working on sleeping through the night, but still wakes a couple nights a week for an ounce or 2 of formula around 4 am. But he is well on his way!
He has hit several milestones in the past few weeks. Around 5 or 6 weeks, he started smiling “socially.” Which means he smiles when he sees J or I and enjoys making faces and smiling during play time. The best is when one of us is feeding him and then other walks in the room. When he catches sight of the person walking in, he smiles around his bottle- just makes your heart melt!! He also started “talking” A LOT!! He coos and aaas in conversations with us, talks to his toys, and even ‘sings’ along with the lullaby we sing when he goes down for naps/bedtime.
He has also started actually being interested in toys and mobiles! He spends some time every day laying under the play gym and is fascinated by the mobiles I made for his room. He has also discovered that he can control his arms and legs! If you lay him on his back, he kicks and jerks his arms up down. He often hits himself in the head because his control is not completely there, the poor thing! But he does have enough control to bat at toys and mobiles, and he attempts to open his hand and grasp at them!
He continues to hold his head up well during tummy time, and can hold it no problem while being held upright.
He naps well most of the time, and like I said, is sleeping more at night, which makes Mommy and Daddy happy!
Overall he is a very happy content baby! He does really well on his three hour schedule, and seems to bounce back pretty well from missed naps or being out and about, but does become fussier in those situations. Like any 2 month old, he needs his naps!
Here are my favorite picture from his 2 month shoot that I did- there are more on shutterfly!


He and I will be making our way to Texas in just over a week- we can’t wait! I am a bit nervous about traveling alone with him- it’s over 8 hours of travel! And figuring out what to pack has been a little different (those cloth diapers are heavy!)
J is doing well at work, very busy, but lots of flying, which is good. He is always working on projects: worktable for garage, computer, hidden monitor in the living room… etc! I have started up an online store to sell my sewing crafts after several orders from friends here in Minot. I am also continuing to sell my scrapbooking supplies. Plus I have made lots of great friends- I go to a Christian group called Mothers of Preschoolers once a week and participate in a playgroup with a bunch of other mothers. Jarvis is the youngest, so he doesn’t really play, but it’s good Mommy time!
The weather has warmed up here, it’s been in the 30s!! The snow is melting and we are seeing roads, driveways, and sidewalks for the first time in several months! The fog has been really bad, but the sun peeks out occasionally! However, we’ve heard to expect a least a couple more snow storms before spring comes to stay! All I can say- I think I may actually prefer the snow to the mud that has taken over our backyard! Muddy, muddy puppy paws!
Love you all!
J, C, & J

Still Pregnant!

Hello again!

As of now I am 37 weeks, 3 days, I will be 38 weeks on Wednesday. The OB appointment went well this week, no effacing or dilating. I have been having lots of Braxton Hicks contractions (false labor), but nothing painful or real!

J and I went to childbirth class on Friday and Saturday, I pretty much had already read everything (big shocker!), but it was nice to get to talk to one of the nursery nurses and the hospital procedures and such. J learned some new things and we got to practice labor positions and support and I got a massage :D. Good news- until this past week, the hospital had only been allowing one person to even be on the maternity floor with the mother due to H1N1 and flu season. But as of this past week, two people are allowed in the delivery room and immediate family can wait in the waiting room down the hall! J and I were thrilled about that, because as wonderful as I am sure he will be, I think it will be really nice to have my mom in there too! Plus any family in town won’t have to wait until we are discharged to meet the baby! They can come to the room and nursery right after birth!

As far as Christmas plans go, J and I have very few because we don’t know if we with be with or without a baby! Some family will be in town for Christmas, and others are coming afterwards. However we do know that we will be sticking around Minot for the holiday season! J hopes to get his ground training and qualifying flights done in the next two weeks and will be working/flying through the holidays! The squad here is very small and work quite a bit, so it’s a win/lose situation to have him flying again! It means longer work days, but also means more flight hours, which he wants!

If you’ve been watching the weather at all, you know that the two of us Texans are freezing our tushies off up here! Literally! It hasn’t been above 15 degrees for a good week, and not above 30 degrees for two weeks! We nightly (and sometimes daily) drop down into the negatives, and frequently have a 10 to 20 degree wind chill. In fact tonight we are under a severe weather warning because we will have temperatures around -25 and with wind chill it will be -45!! It’s absolutely amazing how cold that is. Your breath gets taken away the second you open the door. Mailboxes, doors, and windows freeze shut. Snow stays very dry and blows in the wind all the time because it never gets near melting (the upside is very little ice!). The dog comes in from 10 minutes of going to the bathroom and has ice crystals on his whiskers. However, we’ve adapted remarkably well already! I opened the door yesterday morning to let the dog out, and thought- wow, it’s really warm outside- then stood outside without a jacket for a minute or two. I came back in and checked the temperature- it was a whopping 13 degrees- VERY WARM! Really we are dealing with it very well. There’s just this whole other list of things you have to think of in a cold climate, but we are learning! J has even ridden his bicycle to work the past couple of days. Since we only have one car- this allows me to have the car to go into town, and since he works a mere 10 minute bike ride down the road- he doesn’t seem to mind! He does bundle up really well though and we bought some (very expensive) snow tires for his bike. Everyone at the squad thought he was crazy!

We are at the point that we are pretty much ready for this baby to come at any moment, which it could! We hung pictures and my amazing hubby has been ticking things off his to do list since he came home, he really is rather handy!

We are working on setting dates for our big Texas trip, but it will most likely be in the month March. We will email everyone with that information once we finalize the dates, and we will let you know what city we will be in when and such. We know all of our grandparents and siblings and cousins are anxious to meet the baby, and we are sorry it won’t be sooner, but J is saving up his leave so we can spend plenty of time down there! We are choosing to drive so we can stay longer for cheaper, so coming down in January or February is not the best time weather wise! Plus traveling with a one-month old doesn’t sound like fun- 3 months is much better!

Here’s the 37 weeks picture:

We love you all very much! I will try to stay on top of updating more often here towards the end, and we will be sure to post when the baby comes! We will try to call as many people as possible, but tell extended family to check here for updates and pictures! I will have internet in the hospital and plan on using it! 😀

J