Much to our surprise - and relief - Liam was awesome. In fact, he was better in the car than he usually is at home. He slept the majority of the drive, waking up to eat, look at a couple of books, play with his cow stuffed animal - his favorite toy - and then back to sleep again. Only a few fussy moments to deal with, and he was great. Gabe drove the whole way, and I sat in the back with Liam. I had brought my breast pump and was able to pump his bottles just before he was ready to eat. It worked marvelously, although it is somewhat troubling using the breast pump so much on the way to a dairy farm...
At the farm, Gabe worked outside with his Uncle Jim and cousin Jared. He came in quite stinky, filthy, sore, and stuffy with allergies - nearly a perfect day in his mind...
Liam and I stayed inside to hang out with Aunt Janelle and Jared's wife Allison, who is expecting their first baby in October (hurray!).
On Saturday afternoon, the girls - and Liam - went to visit Mike, Wendy, and there teeny-tiny baby Amy (6 lbs), after Allison and I wrestled Liam's carseat out of the car (it keeps getting jambed in the base...we're planning to get a convertible seat soon). Amy is like a perfect little doll - Liam's 10 lbs 9 oz suddenly seemed enormous!
On Sunday, we went to church with Jim and Janelle: Liam had a major I'm-tired-of-not-being-at-home meltdown that lasted the entire service, and Gabe was attacked by a coughing fit. We were pretty bad company.
That afternoon, we hurried to dig up some plants to bring back for my garden (rhubarb, poppies, ferns, hens n' chicks) before the storm hit. The wind kept picking up, and the wind kept getting stronger and stronger. We finished up just when the rain started. Inside the house, Janelle decided to turn on the news just in case there were tornado warnings. Of course, there were, and we hid out in the basement for awhile. When it seemed as if the storm was letting up, we went back upstairs only to hear the TV announcer tornados on the ground in Aplington (that's where we were!). Back into the basement, and Jim and Gabe came in from outside because the wind had become eerily still and then picked up with gusto all of a sudden. Gabe said he had never seen Jim run so fast. The power went out; but then the storm passed, and we went back upstairs.
Then the emergency vehicles started racing past the house. They kept coming: one after the next from the neighboring communities and - as they kept coming - from increasingly distant towns. Dozens of fire trucks, ambulances, and police cars. Something bad had obviously happened. Janelle started calling people who lived in town in Aplington, hoping to find out what was going on. It turned out that the next town over, Parkersburg - where Mike, Wendy, and baby Amy live - was hit pretty bad. We were able to get power back thanks to the generator, and the news reporters described the town as "gone" and "leveled" on the South side, where Mike and Wendy live. For several agonizing hours no one heard from them. But they had made it to their basement and escaped without harm, although the same couldn't be said for their house. Sadly, Mike's grandparents died. They've salvaged what they could from the house, but could definitely use lots of prayer.
It was a pretty crazy night. We left early the next morning, since there was warnings of severe weather all through Missouri that day. We had some rain, and a bit of thunder and lightning, but other than that the trip was smooth. Liam behaved beautifully again, and we made it home that afternoon.
What a trip!
Liam really did enjoy seeing the cows...just not at this particular moment!