Bracing For Impact

September 14, 2017

Imagine you had uprooted yourself and your family, said goodbye to everyone, sold everything, boarded your flight in N. Ireland, landed in the U.S, had not yet familiarized yourself with your new city, or your new temporary apartment, hell you hadn’t even adjusted to your new time zone, when 3 days into your new life in Savannah, GA, you were hit with a mandatory evacuation notice. Irma was coming and your new city was directly in the path of her trail of destruction. This is exactly what happened my cousin, his wife and 2 kids. But the silver lining in this whole unfortunate storm of disaster? Well, they got to spend hours in evacuation traffic as all of Florida and South Georgia drove North seeking refuge. And it just so happens that we live in North Georgia. Which meant yep, impromptu, natural disaster, family reunion weekend.

Atlanta was to feel the impact of Irma too, but reports varied as to how aggressive it would be. Watching the continuous hurricane coverage, Sunday evening was her scheduled arrival time, so when we woke up Sunday morning to cloudless, sunny skies, we knew we had to take full advantage. Once Irma hit, who knew how long we’d be house bound. And with 4 kids aged 5 yrs, 3 yrs, 2.5 yrs and 9 months, this was going to require us to dig deep into our reserve of mad parenting skills, tap into Olympic levels of mental toughness, caffeinate ourselves by the bottomless pot full (for the grown ups obviously, kids on caffeine??? FU#K NO!), and of course a stash of wine and beer, to help celebrate and reward ourselves for surviving each of our housebound days, with kids.

A fabulous day like this, hard to believe we were bracing ourselves for a hurricane.

Cullen’s not concerned. As long as he has trucks, life will always be good.

The adorable Méabh (an Irish name, pronounced “Mave” for my US friends). Méabh is my cousins little girl, which based on our research (thanks Google) would make her my first cousin once removed, and a second cousin to my boys. Phew! Try processing that after a few vinos.

Méabh’s dad, my cousin (1st) Niall.


Some moral support for Méabh’s maiden voyage down the big slide.

Baby Eamon, Méabh’s little brother.

While the littler kids played on the playground, Keane was off riding the bike trail.

The bouys.

This exercise might be considered slightly controversial, or at the least questionable parenting, either way it didn’t change the fact that baby Eamon is in possession of some beast like upper body strength.

No lie, he dangled there by himself for a sold 10 seconds, maybe more. True, his face tells us he’s not loving it, but his brain tells him his life depends on his ability to hold on.

Good catch Daddy.

Done with his bike ride Keane pulls in for some playground action.

Momma Erin and Eamon.

Méabh watches as Cullen struggles with the idea of sharing his trucks.

It wasn’t easy, but 1 and a half meltdowns later, Cullen is ready to share.

Keane and Daddy rock climbing.

Méabh and Cullen, the eaters of the group. Both of them never without a snack of some sort.

Refueled Cullen is ready to get in on the climb.

We found a bearded dragon. But now he’s hiding from us.

Couldn’t get him to come back out.

Méabh goes another round of snacking with Keane this time.

Hill work, parent style.

Back home for some puzzle play.

Méabh impressing Keane with her magnet grabbing skills.

Some intense concentration from baby Eamon as he watches Keane work the rubix cube.

Cullen shows Eamon that most objects can be used as drums.

Then introduces Eamon to the world of trucks.

After dinner there was still no sign of Irma, so we enjoyed our ice-creams outside on the steps.

Cullen’s sudden concern that Méabh’s ice-cream was dripping.

The bigger kids.

And the happiest baby in the world.

Knowing this few sitting minutes of ice-cream consumption was my only real opportunity to get a photo of all the kids together, I quickly grabbed Eamon from the buggy and sat him amongst his peeps.

Post dessert and we are once again digging in the dirt.

With a huge lack of any girl toys for Méabh to play with, she was perfectly comfortable exploring all of the boys toys, especially this small green wagon.

Gearing up for a walk.

Keane insisted he would push the smaller kids.

Oh no! Baby Eamon fell asleep. Disaster cos its almost bedtime.

We found leaves!

Giant leaves.

He wasn’t happy, but we had to wake him up, if Momma had any shot at a nights sleep.

A race back to the house.

Some bubble fun to end the evening.

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