Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Snowverload, Snowmageddon, Snowpocalypse, Thundersnow...

The wind is howling outside and we heard thunder and saw a huge lightning flash a little while ago. We're in the middle of a crazy blizzard and now there's thundersnow. Who knew the thunder and snow could go together? 

The current headline on the Chicago Tribune's home page is, "The Worst is Yet to Come." Lake Shore Drive (the main four+ lane highway in Chicago that follows the lakefront) is closed and there is a packed bus full of people that has been stuck for 3 1/2 hours. I can't imagine how frustrating that would be. Some people got off the bus and started walking in the storm, but some promptly turned back around because it was so so cold, windy, and snowy and had limited visibility. And after the bus got stuck, a whole pack of cars got stuck behind the bus and have been there for hours as well.

This picture submitted to the Tribune is HILARIOUS to me - it's caption says, "Day at the Beach." 
(source - http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-chicagoblizzard2011-20110201,0,7206535.ugcphotogallery)

Our city's school district (and pretty much every school in the Chicago area) has cancelled school tomorrow - supposedly it's the first time in 32 years that our district has had a snow day! (This is not a confirmed fact, so I may just be spreading a rumor, who knows). This isn't one of those places that shuts down easily.

Chicago's firefighters have acquired 50 snowmobiles to help get to people stranded in their cars or who need of other assistance. I haven't seen a single car go down our street since about 8 p.m.

Tonight I tried opening our back door and the wind promptly slammed the door shut. It was a FREEZING blast in the face - current temp is 21, but we obviously have a major wind chill going on here. My friend in one of the western suburbs posted on facebook that their power went out. 78,000 are without power around the Chicago area as of tonight. Yuck. I'm very grateful we still have power at this point at least. 

Ben left as soon as the market closed and caught an earlier train in the late afternoon. Unfortunately, everyone else downtown had the same idea and his train was completely packed and the trains were running about 20 minutes behind schedule. He walked home from the train in the blizzard conditions and looked like this when I opened the door (I can't get him to wear a scarf for Pete's sake!). Ben is planning on taking the train back in tomorrow to work a normal day. Hopefully it won't be too treacherous for him (though I won't be surprised to wake up in the morning and find him still here if the trains are having problems).

So on to other big news... Charlie started preschool today! He has been dying to join Eli and we decided that once Charlie turned two, we would try it out. Eli's preschool is Montessori-based, so his class has a variety of ages ranging from two to almost five years old. Charlie will be the youngest kid in there, but he had no qualms about joining the class.

We've talked about Charlie starting preschool a lot in the last week or so and it's so cute to see the big smile on Charlie's face when he says the word, "Preschool!" We're slowly phasing him in to the full amount of time (the class is 2 1/2 hours), so we went for an hour today. Here's Charlie on his way up to the door, wearing his striped hat, gap hoodie, snow boots, and crocodile (dragon) mittens. He had a great hour in the class and I think he'll integrate just fine. He didn't even look back when he walked down to the classroom, and Eli was excited to have Charlie in school with him too.

Finally, here are some quick shots of the snow from inside looking out of my kitchen window around dinnertime (there is way more snow accumulated out there now, six hours later):
The boys had fun building villages with their blocks. I liked all of these little houses in Eli's village:
The storm is still supposed to continue through tomorrow afternoon. I have big plans to make cinnamon rolls, play inside with the kids and snuggle with them on the couch to watch a movie. Sometimes it's nice to be homebound (for short amounts of time...). 


Heather said...

The storm sounds awful, but kind of fun to have an excuse to stay home. I won't torture you with describing our weather in Los Angeles right now...

Jenna said...

Oh Sarah! These storms are the worst. We have been hit too. Mostly with ice. Eli's villages are great. Maybe an architect. :)

Beckie said...

SNOW M G!!!!
I LOVE that picture of the "beach" so cool!!!

Laura said...

The storms lately sound pretty crazy!! I'm glad you made it home safe! Last week there was a storm in Maryland where my family still lives and my brother's commute ended up being 3 hours long when it is normally 10 minutes!!!!! Happy Bday Charlie!! He is getting so grown up! And joining preschool, Wow!!!