I'm Erin Jo. I'm thinking, writing, dreaming, mothering, loving, living, praising, BLESSED to be Fiona to my Shrek and Mommy to my four amazing kiddos.



Shrek is "like an onion with many layers" but has a heart of gold. He's my husband and my friend, and we just get better all the time.



Lily is my first baby and only girl. She's smart, funny, tall and kind. Keeping up with this girl is a challenge and a joy. She's terrific!



Max is one part ogre, two parts lover and all boy! Our little man has a temper but gives the best hugs of anyone I know!



Colby is as ornery as he looks. He flirts shamelessly, even with strangers. He's all mouth and curls and the loudest by far.



Luke is the baby of the family, but holds his own. He's happy and adorable. And he's a terrible sleeper. =)

Keep Calm and Carry On… and On

Tired Mommy and Luke

A lot of my regular readers probably won’t be able to read this post. Here in Southeast Ohio, we all learned a new vocabulary word this weekend. Derecho. Say it with me… “de-REY-cho!” It’s basically a strong, widespread wind storm with fast-moving thunderstorms mixed in. Kind of like a tornado, only straight. And kind of like a hurricane, only without the ocean. If you want to earn a gold star, learn more on the Internet. I recommend this NPR news story from this morning, which fueled my own education.

My firsthand, real-life experience occurred with the real, live phenomenon on Friday evening. I weathered the storm here at home with my kiddos, with the DH (dear husband) at a place called Camp Nevermind. All I have to say about that is “Never mind!”

We fared well: kept electricity, no major damage, food cool in the fridge, Facebook friends soothing me with their posts and fueling my need for knowledge through my cell phone that, oddly, couldn’t connect to others for calls, but kept me Internet-savvy. I even had the bonus experience of getting to welcome my momma and my niece, Julia, for a sleepover because all roads to my mom’s place were blocked by fallen trees.

As the night and day wore on, I learned that a dear old tree we’ve long called “the snake tree” at the family farm came down (and we were right about the snake part!); that my brother’s neglected awning on his camper tore, whipped over the top of his camper, and (fortunately) didn’t poke any holes in our camper parked behind it; that my great aunt and uncle had a stately tree come through their amazing home’s attic and dining room ceiling a couple of towns away; and that our little hamlet of Waterford somehow managed to be the only or one of the few places in the county with electric.

I have many, many (hot, understandably jealous) friends and colleagues without power still, three days later. The estimate for most of them is that it will be restored by midnight, July 6. And the heat wave is incredible. It hurts to breathe outside at some point everyday. Walking into it reminds me of stepping into a sauna or into an attic on a hot summer day. But no, it’s just our July. And July is mad.

On Saturday, we headed to the lake to clean up debris and cool off in the water. At some point, both my mom and I noticed Luke didn’t seem to be cooling off like the rest of us. I had my sister take his temperature: 103.1 degrees. A half hour later, even in a chilly air-conditioned car, we were coming up with 104.4 and 105.1. Suddenly, I had a sick one!

What I thought would be a routine trip to the ER for an ear infection diagnosis and antibiotics turned out a little more major. I won’t go through it all again, but it involved a crash in his demeanor, a reading of 105.3 degrees, chocolate milk vomit, a frantic call for extra clothes from my sweet cousin, chest x-rays, IV fluids, blood draws, strep test, urinalysis and meds. Six hours in all. The diagnosis was not clear, but we settled on dehydration and an ear infection.

My sick little man and I got home at 2:30 in the morning on Sunday. I wasn’t at all sure we weren’t going back to the ER until Sunday afternoon, when we finally got that fever to consistently stay down around 101 degrees. This photo above is a tired mommy and a sick, cautious-looking Luke. Look at the wisdom in his eyes! He’s definitely one of mine.

So I should head to bed… with a prayer for all of those without much-needed power in this heat wave, for those who are on the brink of sanity, for those who fared far worse than me or even my friends without power and water and with a respect for those who lived in these crazy conditions before these wonderful amenities were commonplace.

I am thankful for family and friends. For fabulous ER docs and nurses. For my home, my vehicle, my air conditioner, my perspective.

I will be calm, if you’ll carry on.

5 Responses

  1. Rachel says:

    Glad Luke is feeling better!

  2. Karen Rutter says:

    I think there are a lot of moms who are thankful they are dealing with no electricity rather than a little boy with over 105 degree temperature! Poor little Luke. I’m so sorry that my stupid cell wasn’t working that night. I guess there was a tower that got hit or something. But I’m glad Luke’s temp is staying down now, and glad you don’t have to deal with no electricity on top of Luke’s temp. I’m also praying for restored power for all those without. Hang in there!

  3. Great blog again! I too am thankful for having your home to retreat to and the added bonus of having electric! I told someone that I now understand why in our ancestors pictures they looked so grumpy. They were sick of being hot, carrying water and chopping wood! I am so glad that Luke is better and that we always have someone willing to help us if we only ask. Thanks Renee!

  4. Kim McCutcheon says:

    So glad Luke is feeling better. Those high temps scare me. And I’m right there with you praying all of our friends and family get their electric back very soon!

  5. Patti Miller says:

    Just got my internet back and was without power for 5 days, but we managed fine. Minor outside damage, but far more fortunate than some of our friends and family. Prayers for all that are still feeling the effects of the strom. So glad Luke is feeling better. What a scare. I know a seasoned mother of four, you handled it well, and better than I would have. Events like the past week sure make us thankful for all we have, all we have to do is look around and see so much worse than we were dealt.

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