Maddie to Hurricane: Good Night Irene!

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Sleeping in the pale light of the lantern

Maddie blew town Saturday morning in the wake of Irene and headed for her grandparents place in western Jersey. Riding out the storm with the grandparents has been the quite the adventure for young Madeleine.

She’s been terribly fussy and you have to wonder if it’s the bizarre climatology that’s driving her to the brink. Between the rabid rain and loss of power – she’s had a great deal to cope with.

At around 10pm – Maddie took her dad out for a closer look – We opened the garage door for a little peek at the ill-mannered conditions.

As soon as the sound of the rain hit the baby, her inner commotion stopped in mid-strife. Her eyes opened wide as we watched the rain pepper the driveway. There was barely a hint of wind, but Maddie seemingly put her stamp of approval on these questionable conditions.

But as soon as we returned indoors – the inner turmoil returned with a vengeance. After a restless feeding around midnight, I took Maddie downstairs and left Gina with a portable battery-powered lantern.

Maddie had just fallen asleep in my arms when the power blew! Gina appeared like a character from a Dickens novel behind her lantern. I sent her back up to bed while Maddie settled down for a snooze in the pitch-black hurricane darkness with her papa.

Once she was knocked out – I left her with her Mom so I could join Maddie’s grandpa for hurricane hijinks with the generator and bucket brigading in the basement!

Maddie slept soundly until the winds picked up around 4am. She woke up angry and made it perfectly clear that she’s fed up with Irene and her wicked ways.

Maddie Prepares for Hurricane Evacuation Adventure

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You can not be serious!!

What a way to celebrate your first month on planet earth as we are just moments away from Maddie’s Jersey City evacuation adventure. The hurricane is slated to unleash her fury later this afternoon and we are already about 70 miles inland with Maddie’s grandparents.

Little did we know that our daughter had some real issues with our evacuation strategy yesterday and she employed a wide variety of civil disobedience tactics to distract us from our plan. Friday morning started off well with a nice walk in the park – but Maddie had obviously spent her quiet time plotting a little bit of chaos to unleash against her parental units when their guard was down.

Lunch seemed to go well enough – and Daddy was more than happy to take on that afternoon’s burping duties. The baby seemed to be a bit restless when she launched her first preemptive strike of the day. Maddie reared back her head and belched forth a surprisingly generous stream of mother milk down Stay Home PaPa’s shirt.

I looked down to inspect the damage when I realized that the magical goop had already doused my shirt and pasted it against my chest. She looked at me coyly, apparently very satisfied with her art work. It reminded me of a line from the movie Juno, when the store clerk tells a pregnant teenager, “That’s one doodle that can’t be undone home skillet.”

Well that shirt was shot – and Maddie was still trying to figure out new and creative ways to avoid the inevitable evacuation. Since the baby had gotten covered in some of her own goo – It was the perfect time to try the mini bathtub for the first time. Suffice it to say, bath time was a complete success and things were really looking up.

We watched the non-stop hurricane coverage while the baby took a little nap. When Maddie woke up, we went to her room for a quick diaper change before dinner. The change started off well enough – Everything was in the green, all systems go, the finish line was in site, when suddenly my little race car developed a problem.

It was eerily similar to a NASCAR crash on the final lap. First your engine coughs, then it sputters and suddenly parts and oil are flying across the track – Or in this case, stuff is shooting out of our little girl and I have no place to hide.

The yellow caution flags came out – but the damage was already done. I had some post-race cleaning to take care of before more damage could be inflicted. Casualties included my hands, the changing pad, the cloth diaper we use for added protection and even the fresh diaper that was supposed to cover the chassis.

But hey – that’s what dad’s are for – better luck next time.

As for Maddie, her tactics were brilliant – but rain or shine –we’re headed west to seek shelter from the storm with her grandparents. Hey munchkin, better luck next time!

Forget Irene – Hurricane Maddie Poses Greatest Threat

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Hurricane Maddie - Abandon hope, all ye that enter!

Being born in New Jersey, Maddie thought that of all things she would have to worry about – earthquakes and hurricane landfalls were pretty far down the list. But much to her dismay, both of those anxieties are climbing up the list at a breakneck pace.

Stay Home PaPa is stressing out the family with his evacuation plans and Maddie is not taking it well. She went on the warpath for the better part of the evening. Her only peace came when once again, the only way to soothe her was by going outside.

It was a little gusty outside and that’s just how the baby likes it. We tromped around for the better part of 40 minutes much to Mad Maddie’s delight – but once we came back inside, the dark side reared its ugly head.

Forget about Irene, Hurricane Maddie released the full scope of her fury. Those tiny, but powerful lungs generated winds in excess of 95 knots – tearing trees asunder, overturning mobile homes and giving her dad the beginnings of an aneurysm.

Like the Big Bad Wolf – she huffed and puffed until the house was barely standing. If we board up the windows, it’s hard to tell whether it will be to keep us safe from the storm or the outside world from Maddie’s wraith.

Either way – what’s been a long week is shaping up to be an even longer weekend.

Baby Sleeps While Earthquake Rocks the Matrix

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Wake up Maddie - Earthquakes really aren't that boring!

“Wake Up Neo, The Matrix Has You!”

This is the creepy little message that launched the Matrix trilogy and woke the poor disoriented Keanu out of sound sleep. I had a similar experience on Tuesday after Maddie and I experienced our first earthquake together. I was actually on the phone with Gina when I couldn’t help but notice that the pictures on the wall were moving and rattling.

Even though I grew up in an earthquake-free New Jersey, I told Gina, “I have to go! We’re having an earthquake!” I snatched the baby out of the crib and moved to the center of the room. As the shaking began to intensify, it looked liked the television mounted on the wall was experiencing some distress.


In the past, had I noticed that the television was about to commit suicide, I would have sprung into action and staged a light speed rescue operation. I would have positioned myself to make the catch and lowered my sweet electronic friend gently to the floor. But strangely, this thought never even crossed my mind!

As the television set jiggled, I clutched Maddie a little bit tighter and told the tv, “Sorry old friend, doesn’t look like you’re going to make it!”

We stayed in the center of the room away from any possible falling objects and prepared to make our escape outside. After about 30 seconds, the shaking stopped and the baby never even bothered to wake up. It was then that the realization hit me, “Wake up Neo, Maddie has you!”

As long as the baby was safely tucked into my arms – I was perfectly content to watch everything in the room self-destruct, just as long as it did not adversely impact Maddie. There was no thought of multi-tasking – no concern about any material items – just the singular obsession to make sure that the baby was perfectly happy – no matter what acts of God were unfolding before us. Somehow, I have been completely reprogrammed!

As for Maddie – she slept through the whole thing and missed all the action. The shaking, rocking and rolling was just another day at the office as far as she was concerned. When later asked about her indifference towards the temblor that shook the East Coast, Maddie indicated that unless Richter Scale really starts a Rockin – Don’t come a Knockin!!