Monthly Archives: June 2012

After the Storm

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We had a serious storm rip through the area last night.  It came out of nowhere and was gone just as suddenly as it started.  Kyle, Ashley and I were sitting around talking when I thought I heard Reece coming out of his room upstairs.  I was checking on the baby when Kyle noticed the storm.  I noticed something wasn’t right when Reece was still sleeping but the doors were shaking in their frames.  When I came downstairs both Kyle and Ashley were staring out the window at the crazy weather.  The rain was blowing sideways!

We weren’t frightened by it but I knew a bunch of people in the area were really freaked out -via Facebook-.  We went to bed and didn’t give the storm another thought.

This morning we went to a ceremony for Kiana -Kyle’s cousin- at American University which meant we’d have to drive though downtown DC and up Embassy Row.  It was a bit of a shock to see how many massive trees had fallen.  I saw some of the damage on the news before we left but it didn’t seem too bad, just classic news-program overreaction.  The damage didn’t add too much to our drive.  Most of the problems occured when people stopped to take pictures or rubber-neck.  We did notice a few road closures but it really didn’t seem like the storm damage was as bad as the news made it out to be.

Throughout the day I periodically checked my Facebook and got a few updates from local friends who still had no power.  It did seem like other bases and neighborhoods were hit way harder than we were.  I began to feel like we lucked out.  I think when all was said and done 1.5 million people in the DC and metro area were without power.

Later in the afternoon we headed out to my dad’s house.  There were no traffic abnormalities for most of the drive -for DC, haha- but we were immediately hit by nearly stand-still traffic as soon as we got off the highway.  Dad had warned me there was a lot of traffic lights out along the main roads but it was crazy how little organization there was in the intersections.  It was a fend-for-yourself situation in EVERY intersection.  Most people treated it as a four-way stop but there were some people who plowed right through.  I remember anytime we had traffic light out, in Florida, a police officer would be directing traffic.  We didn’t see a single cop the entire drive.  It was such a mess.  Dad’s apartment has a great view of a busy road and for a while Ashley and I sat outside and watched the mayhem.  I was surprised but glad we didn’t see an accident.  We called it a night earlier than we had to because we didn’t want to be on the roads in the dark with no traffic signals.

I know what it is like being stuck in a hot house with no hope for electrical restoration in sight.  We are offering our house as a cool place to spend the day if any of our local friends are still without power.  Just call or text one of us.  Be careful out there if you have to drive anywhere, some people just don’t know how to drive when something like this happens.

Oh, the Heat

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Like most of the country, it was HOT here today.  The car thermometer said it was 106 outside when I went to pick up dinner stuff from the commissary.  106!  The news said with the humidity factored in we had a heat index of 115!

I grew up in South Florida so I am accustomed to hot summers.  In fact, I prefer it hot outside.  Blistering, sweltering hot!  When it is hot you can change into a swimsuit and head to the pool.  When it is hot you can find a piece of shade under a tree and crack open a book.  When it is hot there is no better excuse to wear shorts, flip flops and a tank top.  You surely can’t do any of that when snow is in the forecast.  I look forward to the super hot days.  I plan my week around them; groceries and errands can wait if I have the perfect day to go to the pool.

Today was a bit ridiculous.  We had a few errands that could not be delayed so Kyle, Reece and I loaded up into the truck and got busy.  We had a few things to do at the hospital -Reece had an appointment and Kyle and I had medical records we needed to update and collect- so I figured the crazy heat wouldn’t take it’s toll on us.  We would be indoors with the exception of walking to and from the car.  Somehow though, the crazy heat slowly ate away at all three of us.  By the time we got home a nap was needed.  We put Reece down and Kyle and I headed to bed.  Reece wouldn’t sleep -maybe because it was hot in his room- so Kyle took him down to the living room to play while I slept.

It is just crazy to me how draining the heat can be even if you’re not outside straining yourself in it.  When I went to the commissary I lucked out with a close parking spot and a cart waiting nearby so I didn’t have to carry Reece, but it still exhausted me.  I should have probably drank more water today -and there is no excuse not to- but the sun took it out of me faster than I realized.  It is not the feeling of the temperature that bothers me, to be honest, I like it.  I just takes a toll on my body, especially being pregnant.  I need a cool pool and a cooler full of Gatorade next time it gets this hot; which is likely going to be tomorrow.

Cravings

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Pregnancy cravings can sneak up on you when you least expect it.  Tonight, we experienced an attack of craving so intense it had to be fulfilled.

Carvel Ice Cream cake is hard to resist when it is already in the freezer.  If there isn’t any immediately available one could easily move on and let the craving pass.  Ashley, Kyle and I had some Carvel cake about two weeks ago so with the memory still fresh on our taste buds the idea of getting another one since then has been tossed around more than once.  A week ago we almost gave in while picking up a few groceries.  All three of us gawked and drooled in front of the freezer before Ashley’s self control convinced us we shouldn’t give in.  Kyle is still a bit upset we didn’t get one that day.

Tonight, after a delicious dinner of steak, sweet potatoes and steamed green beans, the idea of an ice cream cake floated into the room.  If it were already in the freezer we wouldn’t have discussed it longer than it would take to whip it out and divvy it up, but we didn’t.  To fulfill this craving someone would have to drive to the grocery store off base -about a 10 minute drive- and hope they had one in stock.  With the NBA Draft going on tonight -meaning Kyle would not be leaving the couch- and Ashley sore from the gym yesterday, it was decided I would be the one to go.  I suckered Reece into tagging along with me -he didn’t have much of a choice, considering I am his mom-  and at the last second Ashley decided to go as well.

So, in the end I am happy to report the nearest grocery store did have a Carvel Ice Cream cake and the craving was satisfied; for Ashley and Kyle.  This pregnant girl was indifferent to the idea of ice cream cake tonight but I wasn’t going to put up a fight -they are delicious-, especially when Ashley was the one that brought it up and Kyle nearly wet his pants at the idea.

 

PS. As Kyle proofed this, the three of us began a heated conversation as to WHO REALLY wanted the Carvel cake.  Thus the reason I underlined ‘craving’ and ‘idea’.  Kyle’s was confused as to why I ate cake if I ‘didn’t want it’.  Not the case.  I wanted some as soon as we had some but I could have been perfectly happy if I went without tonight.  Ashley argued that I must have been craving it if I drove out to buy it.  Makes sense, but I am home most of the day, every day, so I don’t mind getting out of the house like someone who is never home might.  Both made valid points.  Carvel Cake is AMAZING but it was definitely those two who had the craving tonight, I just tagged along for some yummy dessert.

 

Maternity Clothes are Crazy!

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After yesterday’s realization that I am no longer comfortable in most of what I own, I felt it was time to bite the bullet and get a few maternity shirts.  Kyle agreed to go with me for morale support and to assist with Reece.  I really wanted him there because I know he will be straight with me.  If something doesn’t look good or is too expensive he will be the first person to speak up.

 

We decided to go to the Pentagon City Mall because it had both A Pea in the Pod and  Motherhood maternity stores.  The first one we came across was A Pea in the Pod.  I knew both stores were affiliated and that A Pea is higher end, so I walked in there prepared to leave without purchasing a thing.  Initially though, I wasn’t blown away by the prices.  Maternity clothes can get stupidly expensive for no reason at all.  So when I saw shirts for $35-60 I figured I may not be in such a bad predicament.  They even had a sale going on, buy one get one free!  Yay!  If I dig around a bit I could get out of there without breaking the bank. 

Danielle, the sales girl who helped us was great.  As I picked things out to try on she put them in the fitting room.  I think she was listening to Kyle and I talk because she even picked out a few things that were along the same lines of what I was looking for.  After searching the whole store, Kyle and Reece took their seats and I began the tiring process of trying things on.  First the tops I picked out.  Reasonably priced and within the parameters of the BOGO sale.  Danielle kept busy near the fitting rooms and voiced her opinions and suggestions during my fashion show; it really was helpful.

She asked me if I needed maternity bottoms.  I told her my thoughts on them and she suggested I try on a pair of designer ones because they are cut different.  I was like ‘what the hell? why not?’  Danielle brought me this cute pair of dark denim skinny jeans, price tag conveniently ripped off at the bottom.  I tried them on and actually liked how they looked.  I wiggled, sat and stretched in them and for the most part they passed the test whereas cheap maternity jeans, fail.  I finished trying everything else on and left the fitting room.  This is when I mustered up a straight face to ask her their price.  $280!  WHAT!  Are you kidding me?  I wouldn’t spend that much on a pair I could guarantee will last me the next six years, let alone the next six weeks!  Then she offered me a different pair, same cut but in white for $100.  I have a toddler -and a brain for that matter- so I avoid white when possible.  Even that was too much for the dark denim ones.  I am just too cheap when it comes to clothes, especially when I will only wear them a few times.

I left the store with three shirts; two were part of the BOGO sale and one was on clearance.  I still spent $80.

We then went into Motherhood which turned out to be drastically cheaper.  The clothing was obviously at a lower level than what was at A Pea but for my cheap-self, they were just right.  I left with two tank tops and a pair of simple black leggings, only spending $30.

I know I am cheap about clothes.  I like to look cute but I don’t want to spend a fortune.  There are a few shirts I purchased at TJMaxx that will last me through delivery and will still look cute afterwords.  I carry my belly pretty high so for the most part, I can get away with low-rise pants up to my delivery date.  And because I am a stay-at-home-mom, the boss doesn’t seem to mind when I wear sweats to work.  I just don’t see the point in investing too much money on maternity wear when it only lasts to a certain day.  Then what do you do with it?  Pack it away or give it away.  Either way the money you spent is gone and the uses they had are gone with it.

Little Pricks vs Big Sticks

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Today has been filled with little pricks and I think I may lose my mind.

Kyle came home from work and, I’m sure, wished he ran for the hills instead of walking in the door.  Nothing bad happened today but I get sooooo wound up by little things.  Like a good husband, he listened to me vent and wiped my eyes when I cried.  We talked and came to the conclusion that the big problems -big sticks- don’t stress me but if a bunch of little ones -little pricks- add up throughout the day I fall apart at the seams.  Like I said before, today was not bad.  I just had a pile of little pricks poke at me before noon.

I looked in my closet this morning and realized I am getting too big to fit into the things I once thought I could never grow out of.  Reece was in the happiest mood but he was also being mischievous.  How could I be mad at a giggle-box who keeps getting into things, especially when he cuddles up to me after he knows he is in trouble.  I stepped on some wooden blocks while walking through the living room.  Water spilled all over the floor.  I couldn’t find a thing in the kitchen that appealed to me for lunch.  I flipped through a few cookbooks and couldn’t find dinner.  Mac was incessantly licking his feet, ewie.  As soon as I opened the house to take advantage of this great weather the lawn guys came through.  My nail polish is chipping, which sucks considering I painted them only two days ago.  My shredder gave up on the last document I wanted shredded.

I can handle big things.  When I worked or was in school if I had a project due, I could handle it without breaking a sweat.  When it comes time to pack up the house and move to a different state, no biggs.  Shit, Kylee is due in a few weeks and as long as she is healthy, I would be able to handle things if she came early.  I figure the big things always have a solution.  I do not let them bother me because I know eventually the bleeding will stop and things will have an end.  The little things are so much harder for me to handle.  How many times can a person be pricked before they start to bleed?  Then when the bleeding comes it is too small to do anything about the wounds.

Not one thing that happened this morning was a big deal.  I admit, it all sounds so petty as I read about it.  I wouldn’t consider today a bad day, just one filled with a bunch of little pricks.  Kyle’s advice made so much sense and seemed to reset my brain.  We came up with a solution to avoid the little pricks before they gang up on me.  If all else fails, he is great with small issues, while I will handle the big ones.

Ps.  After naming this blog and writing the above post I realize that just calling them ‘little pricks’ is almost enough to be able to laugh them off.   Most little pricks can and should be considered just that, little pricks, and who has time in their day to dwell on them.

Touristy things

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My sister moved here over two weeks ago.  We haven’t gone to a single museum or monument.  Kyle’s cousin is staying with us for a few days before and after a program at a local university.  We have yet to leave base since bringing her here.

Its funny when you live in a tourist destination you tend to not visit the tourist attractions.  We have lived in DC -or the metro area- for over three years but I couldn’t tell you when the last time we did something touritsy.  It seems to have rubbed off on our guests too.  The first few times they came to visit we took them places but it seems to have gotten old for them.  The Lincoln memorial is cool but it doesn’t change.  The Washington monumnet is still closed after being damaged in last year’s earthquake.  The Smithsonians are fun but unless they have a new or traveling exhibit, we’ve seen it all.  There really seems to be no point in fighting traffic, paying for parking and seeing the same things over and over again.  

Now when we have family in town they just want to hang out with us, Reece in particular.  Last night Kiana colored with Reece for almost an hour.  That boy won’t sit still for mommy or daddy but some how she kept him interested in coloring, and on just one page!  Today, Kiana and I went to the park before the afternoon heat forced us inside.  We went on a park tour of base; playing on a few we hadn’t been to before.  Reece loved it and Kiana ate it up.  They chased each other and played together.  She snapped a few pics of him that I just had to share.  Since coming back from the park she cuddled with him on the couch and gave him a bath.  Reece is more of an attraction to her than the ones people fly across the country to visit.

I find it funny.  I grew up in south Florida where people save all year to vacation to.  When I lived there I didn’t take advantage of the beaches and beautiful weather.  It took us moving away for me to want to do the touristy things.  Now we live in a yet another tourist destination and I no longer see the appeal of taking part in those things.  We drive by the memorials regularly and I hardly even look at them.  Each time someone comes into town I offer to take them to the attractions but few want to anymore.  Tourist attractions do just that, attract tourists, and who would prefer that than spending time with someone you haven’t seen in a while.  I like bumming it on the couch in the comfort of my own home catching up rather than squeezing, sweating and suffering with a bunch of strangers. image

Following a Recipe

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It is rare that I follow a recipe from start to finish.  Kyle gives me shit all the time because I alter something every time I cook or bake.  I see recipes as more of a suggestion rather than a strict guideline.

I make these AMAZING cookies.  They started out as dictated by the recipe I got online and they were pretty good.  That was the first and only time my chocolate chip cookies have been made from the original recipe.  I will take out the original every single time I make them but I hardly look at it anymore.  Each batch has been slightly different from the one I made before it.  Sometimes they are saltier while other times they may have a different chip count.  When it comes to these specific cookies Kyle is very no-nonsense when he judges them.  He’ll tell me ‘too much this’ or ‘it could have used more of that’ and I take it into consideration.  Problem is, each change is stored in my head, i never write it down.  I can’t be sure how much of each ingredient I put in because I sort of wing it as I go.  My cookies have never been bad.  They may have been better one time over another but I can promise you they get devoured each and every time.

Tonight we are having lasagna.  I have made lasagna once before and I butchered it.  I did not follow any recipe the first attempt, figuring it would be easy.  C’mon, it is lasagna.  One of the most customize-able Italian dishes out there.  Don’t want meat?  Make it vegetarian.  Don’t like ricotta?  Use cottage cheese.  It is pretty basic too, right?  Tomato sauce -you can be lazy with spaghetti sauce or make your own-, lasagna noodles, your choice of meat or veggies, and cheese.  Don’t ask me how but my first lasagna was awful and because of that we don’t eat it in this house unless it comes oven-ready from a red box from the freezer section.

In this last week of making all home cooked meals and because Kyle’s cousin is in town, when I asked him what I should make he said lasagna.  Great!  I could have easily gotten the frozen kind but I was determined to continue on my home-made streak.  I did follow a recipe but I did have to alter it a bit.  We added zucchini, switched from ground sausage to ground turkey and substituted regular noodles for the whole grain healthier kind.   Besides that it is 100% true to what the book called for.  I was vigilant.  I read and reread each step and followed them to a T.  It just came out of the oven and it smells great.  I hope it turns out as good as it smells.  It has to rest for ten minutes before cutting into it and I can honestly say the anticipation is killing me.  I wouldn’t be surprised if it fails considering my last lasagna attempt but I am not too proud to call Dominos if need be.

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So we just finished dinner and it wasn’t bad.  It wasn’t the rich, decedent kind you get from a good Italian restaurant but for home-made and on the healthier side, it was pretty good.  I guess for some things I should follow a recipe.  I may consider myself a damn good cook but we all have our weakness and it seems the layered Italian classic is mine.