Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Days of Dallas!

Well, I had been there for the past 4 four days. I came home last night and now I am leaving again to head back in the morning. Whew! What a long week! Just wanted to let you know the reason for my sparceness this week. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

18 Weeks Strong!

It's so hard to believe that I have almost hit the halfway mark in my pregnancy! I still don't show enough for people to think I am pregnant, just getting fatter. Maybe that's a good thing but I am itching to look pregnant! I have a new aversion to pickles, cheese pizza, ranch (I know, I dip everything in ranch like a good southern girl) and yogurt. I go back to the doctor in 3 weeks to find out the sex of the baby.

E will be completely done with school in 5 weeks and we can start cleaning out the baby's room soon enough. I am starting to get really excited. I got a few new pairs of maternity pants while I was away because I had grown out of my original ones I bought when I first started gaining weight. I think I have gained about 8 pounds in all so far. Nothing new to report, really! But I wanted to update you all.

Today's Aggervations

Well, I am back at work today...with lots of aggervations!!

number 1...because of the hurricane, all of the hotels in town are all booked and so for the next 2 weekends I will running conferences in Dallas and the following weekend we will be in NYC running another conference. The weekend after that, we are out of town for another conference. It was supposed to be in Houston...but that may change. That's the next 4 weekends in a row. Sigh!! I am too tired and pregnant for this!

number 2...yes the campus is back working and functional but all of the fire alarms are beeping nonstop outside my window and I am about to pull my hair out and it's only been and hour and a half!!

number 3...none of my maternity pants fit today. Mediums are too small/Larges are too big. So I have a choice...either I can suck it up and be miserable all day with pants that are too tight or scavenge for safety pins all over the office before my pants fall down. Unfortunately, I opted for choice number 2 and I am miserable either way.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Chunky Loaded Mashed Potatoes

Since E worked so hard in the yard the other day, I knew he would be starving once he came inside, especially since he skipped lunch. So I tried to making something hardy that would replace the carbs he would need to get through the rest of the night. So I baked a marinated pork loin from I bought from the grocery store and then made my own creation of Chunky Loaded Mashed Potatoes. I love these and I also found E eating them cold out of the tupperware yesterday for a snack! I hope that you like them.

Everyday Bailey Saturday Morning!

Normally, we have a Saturday morning ritual. (And by "we", I mean "me") E sleeps in. But me? my pregnant alarm is set quite early. I get up, make some coffee (2 pots these days, one decaf and one fully leaded) and then start on a special breakfast. Last Saturday was no exception ...except...Maggie wanted to join in this time. She slept in with E for starters. I got up and made the coffee. I was making a Blueberry Coffee Cake this particular morning. Yum!

Next, we spend the next hour or 2 sitting in front of the tv eating breakfast watching the news or anything we both like that is saved on our DVR. During the morning coffee, we typically don't pay attention to a whole lot else except getting our coffee fix.

Well, Maggie sat on the couch for a while with us and then jumped down very quietly. She snuck into the kitchen and started eating her own piece of coffee cake. E heard a noise, ran into the kitchen and caught her in the act. She was quickly devouring the rest of our breakfast. That Little Sneak!!!
Here she is playing dead which she does really well when she doesn't want to obey!

Finally Home!

While our time away was nice and we were extremely appreciative of our family's generosity, we were definitely ready to get life back to normal. We stayed with my grandparents for about 10 days. We had only originally planned to stay 3 days and 2 nights so we washed alot of clothes while we were there. Maggie had a fenced in backyard with lots of squirrels and birds to chase. My Nanny babied her BIG TIME by defrosting steaks and ground meat for her, feeding her ham bones and ham and cheese hot pockets. Maggie even felt comfortable enough to crawl into bed with my grandparents. Nanny enjoyed having me there to cook new things with her. Papa even having E around so they could talk politics and tinker on the computers.

We got home on Friday afternoon after lunch. After several days, we finally had sewage and power so we knew that clean water wouldn't be far behind. Sure enough we got clean water on Sunday so all is back to normal, at least for us!! We checked the house and everything was fine. We do have a large tree branch on our fence but E should be able to fix that by replacing 2 of the slats on the fence. But OH MY debri was everywhere. Since I really didn't have maternity work clothes lying around the house, E gave me the OK to stay inside all day get things done in there. I felt guilty about not helping but once he told me he wanted me to stay inside, that made everything better.
Driving into town was very erie. It was still somewhat baron and lots of businesses were still closed. Lots of trees down, giant piles of debri in front of everyones home, blue tarps on every other roof, traffic lights out and homes still boarded up. Very weird!! Here's a few crappy pictures of what we saw on the way into town.

One of our neighbors a few streets over...we saw several houses like this or worse.

This is our street

Our house...with just a few branches down

The Backyard (The only damage we suffered was this limb on our back fence.)

E spent all day Saturday bonding with his new chain saw and using the car and several ropes to drag large branches from the backyard to the front yard. He worked incredibly hard all day. And then had to come inside do homework all night. I felt really bad for him. And just when we thought we came out on the other side unscathed, the kitchen sink started leaking. Well, to be accurate, it looks like it has been leaking since long before we bought the house. E went to make himself a pot of coffee to stay up all night and do homework when he heard the water dripping into the cabinet underneath the sink! So he spent all day Sunday with a major headache, stuck up under the sink completely redoing all of the plumbing under there. It's still not finished. It looks like I won't be cooking for a week or so until he can get a chance to pull the cabinet out, fix the leak and replace the subfloor. Sigh! With all of the homework he has with this last class he is taking and all of the debri left everywhere, time is something he doesn't have alot of. So for the next few days, I am using all paper and plastic ware and ordering out unless I want to wash dishes in the bathroom sink.

More Food!

We had a few friends over the other night. I was already planning on cooking a big feast just for fun and to try a few new things so we figured we would share the wealth. I personally think that E likes to watch Giada de Laurentis on the Food Network for more than what she cooks... but he did seem to remember 2 recipes that he really wanted me to make. One was her
Macaroni and Cheese. Very Good! We made it for Easter and then took it to a church potluck recently. It was a huge hit.

The second recipe he wanted me to make was her Chicken Carbonara. (sorry, I forgot to take pictures) It was also a HUGE hit!! Everyone at dinner LOVED IT and wanted the recipe. It was fabulous. Although the leftovers weren't as good, the pasta, served with a salad and garlic bread was amazing!!

For dessert, I made the Barefoot Contessa's Apple Turnovers. They were good but personally I felt that my Apple Dumplings were much tastier and much easier!!


Well, is everyone ready for the massive amounts of posts coming your way?  So many in the making long before Hurricane Ike was even on the radar.  So please forgive my overload of info the next few days.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Just a Quick Update

Well, I know I haven't written in almost 2 weeks now but TRUST ME...I have good reasons and I will try to do my best to share with you all.  First of all, school was "supposed" to start last week and I was working like a dog to get everything ready for the first day.  

Second, what you all are probably wondering, oh, a little storm named hurricane Ike.  Wednesday we got the call that the University where I work was closing for Thursday and Friday.  We got the county's mandatory evacuation at 6am on Thursday morning and the military FINALLY called it around 9am.  Luckily, all of supplies were already packed since we had just evacuated from Hurricane Gustav 2 weeks earlier.  E went into work to find out what was going on so I took that opportunity to get his suitcase packed and then pack the car for evacuation.  We left Thursday morning once he got home and went to visit my grandparents for the weekend.  Well, what we thought would be just a weekend, turned into a indefinate trip.  Saturday, after the storm hit, a friend who stayed stopped by our house to check everything out for us.  We got the all clear, at least from what he could tell.  E had tight locks on the back gates so he really couldn't see the backyard.  Some of our neighbors weren't as fortunate though with trees through their homes, debri through their windows and roofs that may or may not be fully intact.  

So me and E are staying with my grandparents for a while.  We thought about going home to check everything but with the price and limited quantity of gas, we just thought that we would let someone else use the gas that needed it and save our money for who-knows-what will come our way in the coming days.  We will definately have a refrigerator problem when we get back though.  But the word so far is that our city doesn't have clean running water, sewage, or power at this time.  Sewage is supposed to be working again at the end of the week and power?  Well, let's just say we aren't holding our breath for power.  The estimate at this time is 3 weeks!!!  We have had a tough time wrapping our minds around that fact.  

I feel like we are stuck on Gilligan's Island.  We just thought this weekend was going to be our three hour tour.  But for all of those that have called to check on us, thanks for your concern and we appreciate all of your thoughts and prayers during the past week.  Boy did we need them.  But there's nothing we can do at home once we get there except sweat and not bathe so we are staying in Mobile for indefinately and enjoying the air conditioning and the lights for current time.

I will write more and post pictures as we get more information.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Hurricane Pro / Con List

-Paid days off of work
-R&R for a few days in a cool city
-Spending quality time together
-Lots of rain during the dry season
-Finding the opportunity to finally clean out the fridge and the freezer
-All fresh food in the grocery store once you get home

-It's all anyone talks about for the next 2 weeks and sometimes 2-5 years if it was bad enough and they all compare it to the BIG ONE a few years back
-The news talks repeatedly about how well the city did compared to the response to Katrina
-Yes, there's fresh food in the grocery store but try finding it because everyone is buying groceries at the same time
-Playing catch up at work for the days missed
-Sitting in traffic trying to get to a safer location at least 3 times longer than it normally takes you
-All of the laundry that has to be done before you leave because you have to pack
-All of the laundry that has to be done when you get home because you have unpacked
-Watching people roam around the streets while you are sitting in traffic because they want to see what the holdup is all about! (IT'S ABOUT HURRICANE EVACUATION!)
-Loosing satelitte reception because the wind is blowing all of the tree branches in the neighborhood
-Unloading the car
-Coming home to a ghost town where everything is closed
-The dog acting like a crazy pooch cause she's been cooped up in the car and in a hotel room for a few days
-The fact that you can't breathe a sigh of relief because you may have to evacuate again next weekend as another hurricane starts making the trek towards the gulf coast again.

Hmmm...I think I am rethinking my love for natural disasters.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Our Day Off

Well, work was called off on Tuesday in preparation for the storm so we made a day of it and made iced coffee (from Smitten Kitchen) and Whole Wheat Apple Muffins (also from Smitten Kitchen). Mmmm. I decided it was time to get to work on some of my goals to complete before the baby arrives. I only have 174 days till the arrival and those days are flying by oh so fast!

So the Bathroom/Living Room Closet (I know that doesn't make sense and I completely agree...why does the bathroom closet open up into the Living Room?) really needed to be cleaned out. In fact, it still had boxes in the bottom left over from when we first moved into the house over a year ago. Shame on me! So here are my before and afters of the closet...



Then we made some spinach quiche and spinach dip and cleaned out the medicine cabinet and went throught the hurricane supplies. What a long day. I was exhausted.

E worked on the house some until his headache took over. He laid down for a little while and didn't wake up for 7 hours. Once he got up and starting functioning again, we wanted to walk Maggie while the weather was still mild and then watched 3 Days of the Condor. (E is on a kick where he only wants to watch old spy movies right now... I would object but they all turn out good...Marathon Man, the Lives of Others...I guess it's better than watching Harold and Kumar right?)

Oh yeah...did I tell you that me and E tried to stack the Washer and Dryer?? Even though I asked him to find someone else to take my place he was positive I could help him and we could do it easily...well,...we dropped it...It still works but whistles now.

Hurricane Gustav Update

Well, there is so to tell everyone and yet...none of it is about Gustav!!

It all started on Saturday when we got the car the packed up and the house readied. The hurricane was supposed to hit on Sunday night so we were going to leave at 3am on Sunday morning for Austin to try and miss the traffic. (evidently, so did everyone else. It took over three hours to get to Houston and it normally only takes about an hour. )

We were finally finished and starting to settle in for the night when we noticed that Maggie was at the back door AGAIN! She had to go to the bathroom yet she had just come back inside. We watched her through the window and she kept squatting to go but couldn't. She had been SUPER clingy that day and had been quite moppy thirsty. She never did go to the bathroom so we called her inside to go to bed. She roamed the house for about 30 minutes trying to get our attention to let her out and go to the bathroom and we were ignoring her hoping that she would go to sleep. UNTIL...she couldn't hold it anymore and pee'd on my carpet. Sigh!! So we got the address for a vet that was open on Sunday in Austin and took her first thing when we got there. Tuns out, she's a big FAKER!! They couldn't find anything wrong with her at the vet but still charged us $140!!

We booked a hotel in advance expecting the hotels to be packed and we were right plus we knew we would have a hard time finding a place for Maggie. Our room wasn't great but they didn't care that we were bringing in a 75 lb dog. It smelled a little funny, like a hotel that takes pets!! Maggie spent the whole time with her face glued tot he window watching the kids down below in the pool.

Well, nothing happened at home. We called a friend who stayed behind and got the word that it was sunny and hot at home so we headed back home on Monday morning. Our motive was to get there before the storm turned west and started flooding our area with rain and plus we wanted to miss the traffic of everyone coming home. It rained for a few minutes on Monday night but nothing to write home about.

So there's our hurricane evacuation story! Big Time Exciting!!