Thursday, April 30, 2009

Death to Dionne

The scariest thing that has ever happened to me in my life happened two weekends ago.  In Georgia.  While I was supposed to be on vacation.
See that picture up there?  Me in a dunce hat?  Now that's scary!  But that is NOT what happened.

What about my mom here, WRASTLING a big snake down the street?  Scary you may say?  Not so, compared to what I'm about to tell you.

David driving Mama P down the stairs on his dirt bike?  She may think that's scary, but not compared to this.  Now look closely at the next picture.  Study those front windows on the house.  Notice how open they are to the blackness of a Southern night.  And remember that.
(Why oh why do I write scary stories when I am all alone in a strange new city?  Am I crazy??)

Luckily this happened the first night that Dallas made it to Georgia.  Or was it the second?  The girls and I had been there for a few days before he got there.  Let's just say it was a "rude awakening."  Oh my gosh, I am scaring myself already.

It was Saturday or Sunday night, and Dallas and I had gotten the girls to fall asleep finally.  They were sleeping in our bedroom on the floor of the upstairs bedroom next to the kitchen.  We were under a Tornado Watch, and the tin roof outside our room overhanging the patio indicated the severity of the storm.  The rain was coming in torrents; we could hear every shift of the wind, and the howling outside was so noisy that I could not sleep.  

A Tornado Watch just means that tornadoes are possible.  A Tornado Warning means that one has been spotted or has touched down in the area.  In that case sirens go off, and you run to the basement and take cover.  After living in Georgia long enough, I've become a little numb to the storms.  But now with little kidlets, it's a little harder to sleep well when you know you've got to listen for a siren - just in case.  So I was a little sleepless.  

Dallas was across the room on another twin-size bed, and I wanted to crawl in and use him for a security blanket.  But Kensington was crying downstairs, and I didn't want her to wake up everyone in the house.  I felt like she was having some sixth sense about the storm pelting outside.  Poor kid.  So I crept down to her "room."

We put her in the storage room in her Pack 'n Play to sleep at night.  She's such a good little sleeper; she was fine with it.  I, personally, would never sleep there.  It's such a huge, creepy room.  And it's at the end of the cavernous hall.  By my dad's office.  And the shop.  You just don't sleep in there.  And did I mention that it gets really really dark at night where I grew up?  And my parents live on three acres.  So it feels slightly secluded.  

Well, I went down there to help the little Choobs, and I got her to lay back down quietly.  But I couldn't sleep in the bedroom.  Not with all that noisy wind and rain on the tin roof.  So I grabbed a blanket and went to the living room to sleep.  I was getting a little creeped out (which doesn't often happen to me), and it started to thunder outside, to make things worse.  I was the only one awake in this large house, worried that I would be the only one to hear the sirens, and the huge black windows in the living room made me feel like the storm was watching me.  

As I lay there, I was almost asleep on the couch when I heard a crash from outside.  It sounded like maybe the garbage cans tipped over.  The wind must've been really bad, I thought.  Then Choobs started crying again.  It was like the part on Secret Garden when Mary finds the crying boy in the endless halls of the mansion.  That's how I felt every time I had to go downstairs to help Kensington.  

I went down and helped her get back to sleep.  Then I headed back down the hall to go upstairs, adjusting my eyes to be able to see through the darkness.  I was passing through the landing at the front entry and actually standing on the front rug when BANG BANG BANG someone was frantically knocking on the door.  Two feet away from me, some unknown stranger/monster was pounding on our secluded country door.  And they could probably SEE ME.  See me crap a brick.

I ran hysterically up the half-flight of stairs into my parents bedroom, threw on the light, and practically hyperventilated, "There is SOMEONE KNOCKING AT THE DOOR!" as the pounding came again and again.  I was literally shaking and cowering in the corner.  (I never knew this about myself.  That this is how I would act in a time of significant stress.)

My parents jumped up and began dancing around in their underoos, too!  My dad was trying to throw on some clothes, find glasses, etc., and why he did not bring a gun with him to the door, I have yet to find out.  3:33 am.  Luckily, Big Man Dave was right behind him when he opened the door. 

"I'm sorry to bother you, Sir.  I'm not a killer.  I've been in an accident . . . ."


Now I know I could never live on three acres in the country just because of the anxiety it would cause.  Anxiety, indeed.  Believe me, I crawled into that twin bed with Dallas afterwards and my raw nerves shook me to sleep two hours later.  And he was my buddy every time we had any middle-of-the-night issues thereafter.  I'm still not the same.

I had a similar experience last year at our home in Utah.  Dallas was out of town, and I lay in bed and saw the silhouette of a man's full body coming straight to my window.  (Which was in the basement.)  I pulled the same hysterical reaction and pounded on my upstair neighbor's door.  Luckily, it was only about 10:30 pm, and Rebecca's husband Peter heroicly went outside to ensure my safety.  He figured out that the shadow of the neighbor next-door (who was on his own property) was casting itself onto my window.  Fa-REAKY.  But the scariness of that one doesn't even come close the the TERROR I felt in Georgia, by George.

Speaking of Dancing

If you LOVED the last post with our amazing dance moves, you probably would like to know WHERE I was trained, right??  (Wrong?)

When I was in Georgia last week, one of the best times I had there was visiting my old stomping grounds at Georgia Academy of Dance.  I even took a class.  After substituting a class in Utah previous to my Georgia trip and doing perfect grande jetes (split leaps) across the floor, I thought I'd have a pretty good class.

Three kids and thirty pounds later, I did okay!  Raleigh and Madeline got to take class with me, too.  Sherri, my teacher, remarked, "I would only do this for you, Dionne!"  She's so great.  I can always feel the love at GAD.  Here we are getting ready for class.  (Notice how I am completely covered head-to-toe in black and am not wearing any horizontal lines.  I had to do what I could!  And the girls wore their swimsuits and warm-ups because we didn't happen to bring leotards on our vacation.)

Raleigh is stretching in the exact same position as I am.  

We had a little "chat" after this picture was taken.

At least my back is still ripped.  I didn't know that about myself.  Hadn't had a reason to see my back muscles.

I love how the girls are keeping up!

After we finished, Raleigh and Madeline both decided that they "for sure want to do ballet."  And Raleigh wants to "wear those shoes with the box on the end of the toes."  I am just excited that they got some real exposure.  (Of course, they haven't seen all the blood and gore underneath those pointe shoes, but I'll just break them in easy.)

Here I am with Sherri, my old teacher, and one of my favorite people in the world!  She pushed me beyond what I ever thought possible, and I love her for it!  (And let's not forget my parents who put down the ca$$$sh.)

And how do you like the self-tanners I've been using?  Not too orangey, eh??  EH??

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Ugly Dance Party Part One

Be prepared to be mystified. And watch for the synchronized toe touch towards the end. You won't be sorry. This is how we bond with our family. (That's Jess with us here in VA. He's on a little trip.)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Our First Update Since the Resurrection of the Blog

I think our updates will come in spurts.  There's too much to say, so much we've experienced, and so much to do now to get settled.  Here's a peek at our new place.  This was breakfast this morning overlooking our little downtown Virginia Beach view.  We prefer to sit on a blanket in front of this window than at the kitchen table staring at a wall.  We can see the ocean (sort of) from our window, too.  At least we can see where the land turns into ocean.

Raleigh and Madeline

Here's Raleigh in her new cowgirl getup.  I think her profile is so cute!  She starts school tomorrow . . . it would've been today had registration not taken two hours.  All the better - her ultimate dream is coming true; she gets to ride the bus!  Even though part of me hopes that it is stinky and dirty to dispel all fantasies about buses, I hope it is the ride of her life!!!  (I never wanted my kid to ride the bus.  Doesn't schoolbus=troublemakers?  I hope she survives.)

We Are Alive

And we think we are well.  

Details to come.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Look Who's in Town!

Blogging becomes difficult when we are in the middle of packing for a move AND my mom is in town!  But here are some pictures to prove both.  (Notice the lack of decor and stacked boxes in the background.)  Did I mention we are moving?

Yup.  Virginia Beach, here we come!  But first a vacation in Georgia.
We'll keep you posted.

Madeline and Grammy get the giggles.

Grammy and her adoring granddaughters.

The newest and sweetest grandbaby - The Calvinator with Grammy

Could life for a grandmother be any more special??

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


These girls are getting bigger and smarter all of the time.  It's so sad.  I wish I could keep them cute and little forever.  Here's Madeline being the Pied Piper at the Lewises house.  Don't you like how "Lewises" looks so much better than "Lewis'"??  Grammar, grammar.  Punctuation.  Oh well.  I am a visual person.

I love how Juliette is looking up at Madeline here.  And Briant is just as happy as a lark behind her.
She led the kids in sliding down the stairs.  Choobs is that little blue bundle of love at the bottom.

There's that look again from Juliette.  Isn't she cute?  And this is a classic look from Madeline.

Raleigh's Latest

Here's Raleigh "counting" during a game of Hide 'n Seek at the Lewises.  She enjoyed being the BIG KID.  

Apparently, at school it is kind of cool to be allergic to things.  Currently, Raleigh is "allergic" to broccoli and apples.  Broccoli makes her "hip start itching," and when she eats apples, Raleigh "stops breathing for a few seconds."  It is pretty tragic.