Saturday, June 30, 2012

Tropical Storm Debby- Our Flood- 6/24

The weather was rainy- the news said Tropical Storm Debby was going to dump some rain, a few winds, and that was it. Nothing huge.. no warnings, nothing to listen for except the possibility of a tornado warning. We've had rainstorms far bigger than what they were predicting. In an instant things could change, we knew that, so we took precautions, and responded quickly when within 15 minutes, our home was on the brink of being flooded. Here's our story.

We went to church on Sunday. Our friends and family from up north called worried. We took this picture to assure them that there was nothing to worry about. This was on our way home from church:

When we got home, we got changed, and heard the intensity of the rain increase on our roof. My concern was our pool, as it's in our screened in lanai, and I didn't want it to overflow. The rain was bad, but the week before, we'd seen heavier rain. We looked into the front yard, and there were puddles in the street.

The rain continued to pound. We looked outside again, and saw this:
The street was beginning to get water in it. Again, not totally unheard of- Florida storms can be a little crazy. As my husband pointed out, the water was over the sidewalk. Our property is on an incline, up from the road, so honestly, we weren't really stressed.

That's when things started to change. We noticed the water was starting to really rise, and the rain was intensifying. It couldn't get as high as our driveway, we thought, because of the incline. This was about seven minutes from the last picture:

We decided it would be a good idea to try to move the car closer to the house. Our garage had stuff from the storage unit in it, and we wouldn't be able to put it in there. We pulled it sideways, as high as it could go. The rain continued to fall.

I ran to the back of the house and realized the pool was three inches under water already. I ran out because I saw the neighbors back yard was full of water, too. The water OUTSIDE of the screened in lanai was higher than inside our patio. What would happen if the water outside came into the lanai??!

I ran back into the house, grabbed plastic, tape, anything heavy, towels, and enlisted the kids to help shore up the doors, from the inside! Water was starting to come, and sit into the tracks on the bottom of the sliding glass doors. We have three doors across the back of the house- one in the den, one in my room, and one in my daughters. We moved the furniture away from the doors, and as close to the middle of the house as we could. My son has a picture window that's almost floor to ceiling in his room. We went in there next and took this picture:

There was a total of fifteen minutes from the puddles over the sidewalk picture, to that one. Fifteen minutes until we sat and watched and prayed that the water wouldn't come into the front of the house, because it was coming into the back of the house, through the sliders.

Two of our neighbors were outside, doing everything they could to pull debris from the storm drains, one, hurried inside to try to call the county for help.

The county turned the pumps on, and fifteen minutes later, it looked like this again:
During the whole storm, I was inside with the kids, and my husband was mostly outside, trying to help our neighbors, and save our home, car, and garage. The neighbor to the right of me was barely affected, the two neighbors to the left of me had 4-7 inches in their homes.

These are some of the pictures that my husband took as the water was receding:
The water line went a quarter of an inch from going over the windowsill.

The water line, as it receded.
The highest it got was a quarter inch from the top.
The kids were scared, I maintained my composure in front of them, but was freaking out as I updated my status via facebook, begging our friends and family to pray for us, and our town.

The next day, we had blue skies, nobody could tell anything happened, until they saw the water lines, or piles of ruined household items at our curb, and at many of our neighbors.

The day after Tropical Storm Debby

That's the hubster; he's 6 feet tall.

We are extremely blessed, as the flood did no major damage. We had to pull up the laminate floor in the back, and allow it to dry properly. There is one section that might totally need to be replaced. The water came into the garage, and we had to throw out a large amount of our stuff. Many memories, holiday decorations, pictures.. and my husband handled it magnificently. I, on the other hand, sobbed. (The fact that I was six weeks postpartum may have had something to do with that.) But looking back at it, we were blessed because we could have lost so much more. Stuff is stuff and can be replaced.

Our old neighborhood basically got annihilated- some homes had 18 inches of water in it!  I'm very grateful we survived with very minimal damage, and with only a little bit of water in our home. To everyone that was affected much worse that us, I will continue to pray for you.

So.. our friends and family may look at us like we're insane when the next storm comes around and we go above and beyond to try to protect our home, but I don't care. I never experienced a flash flood like that.. but to know that the county could have prevented it, by ensuring the pumps were on- broke my heart.


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Breakfast Coupons- Silk, Jimmy Dean, IHOP, Philadelphia Indulgence +MORE!

Save on Breakfast this week with these great deals:

  • SAVE 55¢ on any ONE (1) package of PHILADELPHIA INDULGENCE Cream Cheese Spread (8oz.) (Find in the cream cheese section)
  • Save $1.00 on any (1) IHOP at Home® Frozen Breakfast item
  • SAVE $1.00 when you purchase any (2) Jimmy Dean® 16oz Roll Sausages (Walmart)
  • SAVE $0.75 On any TWO (2) Bagel-fuls® (4ct)
  • SAVE $1.00 ON THREE when you buy any THREE BOXES any flavor General Mills cereals: Cheerios® • Cinnamon Toast Crunch® • Chex® • Lucky Charm ()
  • SAVE $1.00 ON TWO when you buy TWO BOXES any flavor General Mills cereals listed: Chex® • Fiber One® • Total® • Wheaties® • Oatmeal Crisp® ()
  • SAVE $1.00 ON TWO when you buy TWO BOXES any flavor Cheerios® cereals: Original Cheerios® • Honey Nut Cheerios® • Multi Grain Cheerios® ()
  • SAVE 50¢ ON EIGHT when you buy EIGHT CUPS any variety Yoplait® Yogurt (Void in LA, NV, NJ, ND, and TN) ()
  • SAVE $1.25 off any (2) Silk® Pure Almond Half Gallons
  • SAVE $0.60 off any (1) Silk® Half Gallon or Larger

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    Monday, June 18, 2012

    HOUSE M.D.: Critical Cases Facebook Game *Review*

    I love HOUSE M.D.! I started watching it on the television the year after the big kiddo was born when it launched, and instantaneously got addicted. I don't know if I fell in love with the medical mysteries, or the crass attitude and demeanor of Dr. Gregory House himself, or the rest of the staff at Princeton Plainview.  All I knew was that I was hooked- an instant fan.

    Now that the series is officially over, I'm heartbroken. Yes, I'll be able to live, but thanks to the new Ubisoft Facebook game, HOUSE M.D.: Critical Cases, I can get my dose of House any time I want to.

    When you click on the game, the start up page brings you to a Dr. House avatar, that closely resembles Hugh Laurie himself, and the smaller version (on a segway!) moves from left to right to show its loading progress. The game loads and brings you to a scene that plays out by clicking the continue button. It has all of the great characters that the show has, Chase, Taub, Thirteen, and Foreman, and you- Dr. Whatever-your-last-name-is. The insults start right away, well, because you're fresh meat at Princeton Plainview. Then you are introduced to your first case in a soap-opera-esque story line (not narrarated, thankfully, just text). The patient is wheeled into the hospital, and you are prompted to click on the different tasks to help try to cure the patient.

    Just like in the television show, some of the treatment options work, and make the patient feel better, while some bomb, and the patient crashes.. to the point where you need to click your mouse to charge the paddles and bring your patient back to life.

    As you progress in this game, you unlock different parts of the hospital; the pharmacy, where you stock up and buy medications, the clinic and the lab, where you can play mini-games to diagnose your patients and unlock new items and levels. Take care of critical patients, "stitch" emergency patients, and share your progress with your friends on your wall.

    What I like most is that I can leave my case, come back later, and my patient doesn't die. I'm sure it's not typical in Dr. House's world, but I live in the real world where kids and the husband need me.

    I really love the fact that it's not run by the same Facebook game/app creator that most of the other games are, so there's no annoying gliches that I've discovered, no need to request nine-million things from your friends to the point that you're harassing them, but yet you can still have your friends send you gifts and vice-versa.

    Finally, a Facebook game that you can play that's actually fun, and user-friendly.. for real people with a life, that like to pretend to save lives. I wonder if the scenarios are different for each player, or if my first case is the same as *YOUR* first case. I also wonder if perhaps in the future, Ubisoft might add an option to really interact more, and try to guess the diagnosis, the way the characters make guesses throughout an actual episode of HOUSE M.D. on television.

    My disclaimer is that it uses words like "hell" and "ass", so you may not want to play it with kids nearby that can read, but other than that, I haven't really seen anything too bad to screen from the smaller kiddos. I don't recommend that they play it either, obviously, because there's pills, and other medical stuff that kids shouldn't touch. So just use your discretion and common sense.

    I did have fun playing it, and intend to play it when I can.. specifically on late night insomniac evenings, or cluster nursing sessions with my new little bean. I can't wait to see what else unlocks, and how this game continues to expand.

    So my advice is if you're a fan of the television program, give HOUSE M.D.: Critical Cases a try on Facebook, and share it with your friends!

    Thank you to Ubisoft for sponsoring this blog post. Please click here to learn more about Ubisoft. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective. All opinions are my own. #UbiChamps


    Sunday, June 17, 2012

    99 cent Brag Book at Walgreens! Ends 6/20

    Enter BRAG99 at checkout to score a brag book for only 99 cents, plus $2.99 shipping. Perfect for grandma or grandpa, new babies, grads, or just because! Take advantage of this deal before it expires on the 20th!


    Friday, June 8, 2012

    Wholesome Nutrition in NEW Quaker Soft Baked Bars

    This post brought to you by Quaker Oats. All opinions are 100% mine.

    As a new mom, I am looking for delicious and nutritious snack ideas that I can take with me on the go, or just grab when I'm too exhausted to move. Lately, that's been often, especially since I'm breast-feeding, as well. Breakfast, I'm finding, is the hardest meal to consistently remember to eat. After all, I do have two big kids to get ready and get on the bus, and out the door, and then moments after they leave (usually) the little one starts his fussing. I need something quick, but that doesn't sacrifice taste, and is still worth some sort of nutritional value.

    QSBB 3D Carton Cinn Pecan.jpg (2 documents, 2 total pages)

    I've recently been introduced to the a new breakfast snack by Quaker called the Quaker Soft Baked Bar. This new snack bar  is made with real fruits and nuts that you can eat on-the-go OR warm up in the microwave for a real bakery experience. This great snack can get you through until your next meal and comes in two delicious flavors-  Cinnamon Pecan Bread and Banana Nut Bread. Holy Yum!

    These treats aren't just tasty, but are packed with 140 calories, 5g of Fiber, 6g of Protein, and they are an excellent source of 5 B-Vitamins! I am so eager to try the Cinnamon Pecan Bread Quaker Soft Baked Bar warm, that I asked my husband to see if he could find it for me on his way home from his side job today. He's excited that I'm requesting a more wholesome food choice, so he promised me he'd look.

    QSBB Yum Image high res.jpg Look at the yumminess on this bar- it's not your typical granola or breakfast bar, is it?? I'm sure both of the flavors are delicious, and I can't wait to try them both.

    My kids don't typically like breakfast bars of any sort, but I could see them trying to take either of these bars.. especially the Banana Nut Bread one, as they usually inhale my homemade bread when I make it through the year.

    Have you seen these breakfast bars in your local supermarket? Have you tried them? If so, what's your favorite flavor??



    Visit Sponsor's Site


    Thursday, June 7, 2012

    Healthy Candy?! AlternaVites Kids Review

    My kids love candy. I don't often let them splurge on the super sugary kinds, leaving them for Halloween, or special occasions, or birthday parties. What they don't like is vitamins. Getting my kids to take their vitamins has always been a chore. They don't like it because it's too grainy, or "they taste weird", some (the gummies) they want more than the recommended dose, because they love the non-vitamin-bears, so I cannot buy them because they're *not* candy, although they look too much like candy. They can't really swallow pills yet, and face it, why should they?

    I recently found out about alternVites Kids vitamins, and thought I would give them a chance. We received a package of the Raspberry Cotton Candy flavor sticks to try, and I opened a pack to investigate. Yes, I even tried a little, and I was surprised that with 0 grams of sugar, these could be so sweet! Finally, an easy kid-friendly, powdered, flavorful supplement- perfect for my picky kids! At first, the kids thought they're eating a pixie stick, (which we NEVER have, unless they got it on Halloween!), so they got really excited to take them. I had to explain to them that this was "like a medicine", because it was vitamins. Alex is old enough that he just rolled his eyes with a, "pssh, ok mom,"  while Abbie understood and was super happy because it "tastes good".

    After having them for a few weeks, I can tell you that this is the first vitamin supplement that they WANT to take, and remember to ask for, even if I forget. I love the fact that it doesn't make my kids bounce off the walls, and I can feel confident that they are getting the vitamins their growing bodies need.

    The serving size is one packet, once a day. AlternaVites are targeted for kids ages four and up. I will tell you that if you try this product, it is much easier to sit them down, and let them sprinkle some on their tounge a little at a time, as if they were eating a real pixie stick. I tried with Abbie to sprinkle a little, and ended up dumping a bunch on her tounge the first few times. She took the job over quickly, and has been doing a much better job than I did.

    AlternaVites Kids retails for $15.95 a box (30 packets per box), and ship free when you buy two or more boxes. There's an adult formula also available, but it retails for $29.95. For a list of the vitamins and minerals in AlternaVites Kids, or to learn more about this product, visit their website. Be sure to enter moms20 during checkout to receive 20% off of your purchase.


    Tuesday, June 5, 2012

    Journey 2: The Mysterious Island DVD Giveaway Ends 6/15

    Warner Bros. is proud to announce the release of Journey 2: The Mysterious Island on DVD and Blu-Ray; June 5th 2012!  

    Sean Anderson (Josh Hutcherson, The Hunger Games) finds a hidden signal that he believes will lead him to his long lost grandfather (Michael Caine, Miss Congeniality).  With the help of his new step father (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, The Scorpion King), Sean finds a map and starts his adventure which leads him to Kailani (Vanessa Hudgens, High School Musical) and the island of Atlantis!  Sean and his friends battle giant bees, killer lizards, a volcano of gold, and electric eels to escape the lost city and make their way home!

    Just for fun, check out the Journey 2: The Mysterious Island blog app: 

    Want to win this DVD for your family's collection???

    Here's how:
    • Take the Mysterious Island quiz and post your results!
    • Share your favorite adventure activities from the blog app above!
    • Pin this post on Pinterest! Button is below ;)
    • Tweet this: Please R/T: WIN a #Journey2 DVD @4BabyAndMom! Ends 6/15

    This contest end 6/15/2012 at 11:59pm EST

    The prize will be sent via FedEx or UPS. No P.O. Boxes please.



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