Monday, October 31, 2005
In the hurricane ravaged south Florida, Halloween seems to have fallen by the wayside. People are more worried about getting supplies than celebrating this holiday. Halloween decorations are minimal if any. They were taken down before the storm and never put back up. The midnight curfew doesn't help either. Most of the festivals/parties in Miami and even Fantasy Fest in Key West (where naked people celebrate with only body paint on) have been cancelled.
As a person who always loved this holiday, I find it quite sad. Yesterday while grocery shopping, Steve and I picked up a bunch of candy for trick-or-treaters not knowing if any will show. I also decided to make festive cupcakes for both of us to take to work. Unfortunately, the store was missing many important items like eggs. I had to use the last ones we had (so Steve doesn't get any for breakfast this week). That is my little pathetic effort to pump up Halloween this year. Happy Halloween!
Sunday, October 30, 2005
Cancer Saga Continues
Unfortunately, this cancer update is a negative for both my dad & mother-in-law. I realize that I don't put a lot of emotions into these updates. To be honest, I rarely get emotional about all of the little blow by blows. For me, the sadness came with the initial shocking news and then will return near or at death, which we know is soon for my dad and with in a year or two for my mother-in-law. Maybe it is healthier to be feeling it in the moment or considering that I am pregnant, maybe not. Then again, I've always been this way. So for now, I'll continue to report the cancer updates as news blasts.
The results of her cat-scan are in and the tumors are back to their original size. They now realize that the drug that was causing the nerve damage was also the one shrinking the tumors. The doctor wants to continue chemo with a new drug that hopefully will have more positive results than negative ones. She seems to have a positive attitude about this (at least the day Steve discussed it with her).
I got a call from my mother yesterday. My dad's wife told her that my dad was going back into surgery and asked her to notify everyone in the family. He is back in the hospital in downtown Houston. He has water on the brain and it needs to be drained. They were trying to avoid more surgeries, but he really wants to be alive for Thanksgiving. The positive thing in all of this is that he said he hasn't been suffering much. He is really tired, but not in pain (probably medication).
Friday, October 28, 2005
Case of the Blahs
It is Friday, which gives me a slight thrill, but other than that I feel blah... I shouldn't be feeling that way though. Power was restored to the house again yesterday. This morning, I decided to make the effort to blow dry my hair instead of the wash & go. Plus, life is slowly returning to normal at least in my mind - no stores or gas still. However, every day is a step closer to the simple comforts of life. Basically, I am looking forward to the weekend.
I am reluctantly adding a photo this week, mostly because I really don't like this shirt. It fits funny and has that ultra-wrinkly look. I wore it because I haven't worn it before and I wanted something different. Oh well... I planned to add a photo every week & this is week 26, so here it is.
**Apparently, the blogger world doesn't like my shirt either. It won't let me upload the photo. I'll try later.
Thursday, October 27, 2005
Adventures of Wilma
We survived another hurricane and although we had some damage, we feel quite lucky. Monday and Tuesday were manual labor days. Steve had to chop up the two big trees we lost. I picked up roof shingles that covered our yard. Thankfully, only a few of our roof tiles broke. Both of us picked up plant debris and dragged branches into a huge pile. We even got our power back Monday night unlike the million others in our county. Tuesday, I only worked a few hours because I think I overdid it the day before. Steve hired a 10 year old kid in the neighborhood to help him load branches and stuff and take it to the dump. I think they made 7 trips. We got most of the work done, but Steve still has to get on the roof and figure out what to do about the broken tiles. Plus, our screen door on the back porch was ripped off its hinges. We'll have to get a new one.
Life in Miami is pretty crazy right now (more than usual). Very few gas stations, restaurants, and stores are open. The gas stations all have lines that stretch for miles with cops trying to keep the peace. On Tuesday, 98% of the traffic signals were out/missing, which isn't good in a place where people can't drive under normal circumstances. Those are slowly being fixed. We have an 8pm curfew and about 800,000 homes still don't have power. Many don't even have water. Actually, our power went out again at 4am this morning and we are desperately hoping it is back on soon. One more thing (but I can't complain about this), our cable and internet are down even with the power.
Unfortunately, power was restored to the office on Tuesday. We have been back since yesterday hearing everyone's war stories. Many of my co-workers who live in Broward haven't had power or water since Sunday. The one good thing is that this mild cold front has made the weather bearable. It gets down in the 50s at night and only up to the mid 70s in the day. Temperatures are slowly creeping back up though. That is the update for now. I better get back to work.
Sunday, October 23, 2005
Hurricane Wilma Prep
Thank goodness I married Mr. Handyman!!! He spent the day putting up shutters with only a few 4 letter words. --Being in construction for 20+ years, he thinks projects & cussing go hand-in-hand. He says he won't do it around kids, but I'll have to keep Lexi away from him during those moments just in case.
Friday, October 21, 2005
A Little Protection for the House
Last night, Steve and I went to Home Depot to check out prices on hurricane shutters. We have been planning to buy them in the off season, but with Hurricane Wilma approaching (sometime in the next month or so), we decided to buy a few. We talked about the windows that we thought were the most vulnerable. We came up with 4, so those are the ones we concentrated on. We also bought shutters for the nursery - might as well start being good parents now.
I didn't think I was feeling stress over the hurricane, but I certainly felt a huge wave of relief with the shutters. Perhaps, that has more to do with the fact that I feel like staying home and not fleeing. It is more of a lazy/comfy desire. We now have a couple of rooms that are better suited for bunkering down, so more reason to stay, right? Steve still gets to make the call though.
Thursday, October 20, 2005
Computer Models for Hurricane Wilma
As we all know, mother nature is tricky. There is so much that can happen and changes that take place in storms, so predicting them isn't an exact science. Most websites show a cone (a.k.a. "cone of concern") and a few map out a predicted path. One of my friends, informed me of a site that illustrates several computer model tracks. It is www.weatherunderground.com. I am posting the interesting map above because - see where the yellow & orange lines intersect on the map? That is very close to our house. Perhaps, I should panic, but I don't feel like it.
Long ago, I decided when it comes to hurricanes Steve should be in charge of safety decisions and the house and I'll handle hurricane supplies. We have plenty of water, gas, batteries, and food - so I am doing pretty good. Poor Steve is worried about the fact that we don't have shutters or plywood. He also is thinking we might go to his parents' house, but do you see the green line on the map? That is just south of where they live. I would rather stay put or at least somewhere in Miami. That way, we can get back quickly and assess the damages - maybe we'll drop in on our boss. He has shutters and a generator.
Little Breather, So Time for a Cancer Update
My two deadlines for next week have been postponed (thanks to Wilma), so I decided to take a moment for a cancer update. My father has been moved back to a rehab hospital where they are pumping him full of antibiotics for his persistent fever and infections. They are fairly sure that he will be out for the big Thanksgiving bash. He still can't move his left leg or arm, but he can make them twitch a little. As far as his mental capacity/memory, he has his good days and his bad days.
Unfortunately, my mother-in-law doesn't seem to be doing quite as well as we thought. The tumor in her hip/back has started bothering her again, which means that it must have started growing (after the shrinkage). The doctor decided to have her skip chemo this week and do another cat scan. Perhaps, the one drug she has been on isn't as effective as they hoped. We'll know more next week.
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
Photo before Wilma Hits
The next few days are going to be crazy, so I decided to post this week's belly shot a little early. We'll just call it 25 weeks although it is really 24 1/2. Now, I have a lot of work to get done in case we don't have power on Monday. I have two deadlines next week and two the following week on top of my regular workload... boohoohoo. Lately, I prefer to avoid extra work as much as possible. I have to admit that I have been fairly good at it, but it is time to crack down.
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Hurricane Wilma On Her Way
We have another hurricane headed this way - Hurricane Wilma. To be honest, I am getting pretty tired of these. I am not at all excited about the prospect of another one, especially one that is scheduled for the weekend. Steve is hoping that the Dolphin's game doesn't get cancelled. I am just ready for the season to end.
Spoiled Beyond Belief
Saturday night, our boss & his wife invited us to dinner and the Miami Heat's exhibition game against the Bobcats. When we showed up at their house, they gave us a card with gift receipts from our baby registry. They bought us the crib, dresser, mattress, and stroller/carrier/car seat. We couldn't believe it! They had mentioned that they wanted to give us money for the nursery, but what an amazing surprise.
Besides the fact that they are so generous, this is the biggest baby prep boost yet. We have done very little to prepare so far. Steve put up shelves in the nursery and we have purchased some clothes and other minor essentials, but not many. Sunday, we went to the store to pick up the mattress and stroller (the furniture items have to be shipped to the store). He assembled the stroller while watching football. We really feel like we are getting closer to one of the most exciting events in life. I also have started to think about all the things we have to do and buy. I have to stop thinking that I will take care of these things after the holidays because I probably won't feel like it then. I need to make a long To Do List.
Monday, October 17, 2005
Never Teach Your Husband New Insults
In Utah and Idaho, instead of saying that a girl "has a nice personality," they say, "she has a sweet spirit." Basically, she is UGLY, but with her heart of gold she is definitely going to heaven. During my friend's visit last month, we mentioned this to Steve. He forgets a lot of what I say, but not this. Yesterday, when I said that I am feeling HUGE and very unattractive, he laughed and told me that I have a sweet spirit. --THANKS!
Saturday, October 15, 2005
Eat for the Cure
For the last 2 years, our company has participated in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Miami. Last year, I really got into it and ran the 5k. I actually came in 3rd for our company. This year, of course, was destined to be different. Steve and I decided to sign up for the 1 mile walk. I think I could manage walking the 5k, but thought of being out there and needing to go to the restroom was very unappealing. I avoid public restrooms at all cost and there is NO way I am going to go into a port-a-potty.
The race was held this morning and it was even more different from last year than I imagined. We woke up to drizzling weather. As we were driving to the race, the rain picked up. When we got down there, it was pouring. Our boss called and asked if we all wanted to go out for breakfast instead - SURE! Our fees had been paid and we all had our shirts so the charity part of the race had been taken care of. Everyone who had taken the public transportation piled in his suburban. Steve & I followed them to a Cuban restaurant in Little Havana. They served big breakfasts for $3 - $5. We stuffed ourselves while joking and laughing about stupid things (it was early). So - instead of getting up and exercising for the breast cancer cause, we went out to eat. Good thing, this wasn't about feeding the poor.
Friday, October 14, 2005
Belly at 24 Weeks
This is a very comfy dress, but I don't think it will fit much longer. Let me just say - Today is a great day only because it is FRIDAY and payday!
Thursday, October 13, 2005
Just When I Thought the NeighborHOOD was Improving
As I was pulling up to my house yesterday, I noticed that a police car was backing out of our driveway. I thought it was odd, but the cop didn't stop when she saw me pulling in, so I figured she was just turning around. I drove into the garage & was headed to the mailbox when our next door neighbor flagged me down. I went to talk to her and she asked if I had been home during the afternoon. I told her that I was just getting home from work now. She proceeded to tell me that their house got broken into and they were cleaned out. Since there were tire marks in her yard and they know it happened between 2 & 3pm, she was trying to find witnesses.
Suddenly, I was very thankful for our alarm system as well as the sign in our yard and the hundreds of stickers all over our windows announcing that we are protected by ADT. I am not saying that it will stop thieves, but hopefully make them think twice about our house. There are easier targets around and the owners probably have a lot better stuff to take.
This little news struck me kind of funny. I have to admit that this is ironic considering that I had just posted a blog entry about the home values rising in our neighborhood. It was just another sign that this is still the hood.
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
Why is it only Wednesday & When are We Getting out of Here?
Monday, I went to www.realtor.com to look up houses for sale in our neighborhood just to see how the prices are looking. I was quite happy to find a house with a similar description to ours for sell for over $100,000 more than we paid back in March. I called up Steve and last night we took a drive (a whole 3 blocks) to look at the house. We were so excited because it is a HUGE dump and it was empty! These people didn't put a huge price on it just to see if they could get that kind of money, they are actually trying to sell it. I can't see it going for that price, but even $50,000 less would be fabulous for us.
Of course, that led me to thinking about moving again. Perhaps in a few years, we can make a ton of money (even $100k would be amazing) and move to a better city. For financial reasons, living here could end up being one of the best things that ever happened to us. At this point, I just want to think about getting out of here.
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
For the past month, I have been wondering if baby Lexi is going to be hyper-active. She moves and kicks all day long without breaks. She slows a little at night, but not much. I have read that when this happens, the baby usually comes out very alert and a bit on the hyper side. I tried to consider the fact that I may just be overly sensitive, but today at the OB my suspicions were confirmed. The doctor had a lot of trouble taking the heartbeat because Lexi kept moving. When the monitor was in the right place, we heard a few strong heartbeats and then shifting took place. This happened over & over again. Even the doctor said, "This is a very active baby." My only reply was, "Tell me about it!"
Saturday, October 08, 2005
Emily just tagged me to list my tunes.
THE RULES: List five songs that you are currently loving. It doesn't matter what genre they are from, whether they have words, or even if they're any good, but they must be songs you're really enjoying right now. Post these instructions, the artists, and the songs in your blog, then 'tag' six other bloggers/friends to see what they're listening to.
I have to admit that it has been a really long time since a song inspired me to play it until people around me were begging for mercy. I'd say about 10 years. So, I have decided to list current songs that have caught my attention.
My Current List:
1. Anything But Mine - Kenny Chesney
2. As Good As I Once Was - Toby Keith
3. Something to be Proud of - Montgomery Gentry
4. She Let Herself Go - George Strait
5. Holy Water - Big & Rich
Yes, I admit that I listen to country music on the radio. I can't say I support them with my money though. I buy CDs by artists that are rarely played on the stations in Miami like Sarah MagLachlan, Nora Jones, & other talented women.
1. Paige - she is the only one that will probably do this.
Friday, October 07, 2005
Back to the Cancer Topic
I have made a big effort to avoid the cancer updates for about a week. Unfortunately, my dad continues not to do well. He had surgery again on Wednesday. This time, an infection developed as a result of his last surgery. The poor man is suffering beyond my comprehension.
His wife, who has been overly optimistic, is even starting to lose faith in the treatments and surgery. She sent an e-mail today requesting that we (his kids) come to see him during the holidays because he has been asking for us. She also wanted us to know that besides being in a wheel chair and sleeping all the time, he has lost his personality. He is fighting a losing battle and just isn't happy.
In the nicest way possible, she asked us how we feel about the treatments and if they should continue.
Here is what I wrote:
I sincerely believe that death can be one of the most wonderful parts of life for the person experiencing it. It is tough on the ones left behind, but we will all go sooner or later. If I was in his shoes, I can imagine myself giving up the fight rather quickly. I admire people that put up a good fight, but I don't think I would be one of them. I am telling you this not to say what decisions should be made about treatments or surgeries, just so you know that if it the battle isn't gaining any progress than so be it. You have been doing an amazing job & I support any decisions you make. I don't think any of us understand the pain and suffering that he has gone through like you have.
Basically, it has been one crazy day. I have been coordinating a mass meeting of the siblings so that we can all be there at the same time. It looks like Thanksgiving won't be at our house after all. Houston, we're coming home.
Welcome to Miami with a Bump to Your Rear
When packing to move to Miami, I realized that I had way too much stuff for my little Saturn to haul. I went to U-Haul to get a trailer hitch put on and to rent a little trailer. I came here without any problems and turned in the trailer, but never got around to taking the hitch off. Guys find this hilarious. I guess it isn't very often that you see a little Saturn Sedan with a hitch. It may sound strange, but that is the best thing I have ever done for my car.
I got my driver's license moments after I turned 16 and have been driving ever since. For 10 years, I drove all over the US (believe me) and even in the Middle East (where they are CRAZY drivers). Not once in that entire time was I rear ended. Since I have been in Miami, I have been rear ended at least 3 times a year for the past 6 years like clock work. Why am I bringing this up today? Because.... it happened again on my way to work. I was waiting near the front of the line of cars exiting the highway, when the car that was completely stopped behind me decided to gun it. He smacked my hitch pretty hard & sustained damage to his car, but mine came through just fine. -You can bet that the next vehicle I buy will have a hitch put on within the first week no matter how goofy it looks.
23 Weeks Photo #2
Once again, I am adding a pre-work photo. This ensures that there will be more than one photo for the month. Besides, I think you can see the size better with a pink shirt.
Thursday, October 06, 2005
Belly at 23 Weeks
Yesterday, I printed out my posts from last month and noticed that I had only posted 1 picture for the entire month. That sucks... So, this morning before heading off to work, I snapped a photo. You can see that the belly is really developing and that I am having a lazy hair day.
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
Tiny Progress on the House
For probably the first time ever, we stayed at home the entire weekend. Actually, our only venture out was to load up on groceries for the week. This weekend, we focused all of our energy on projects around the house. Saturday, Steve built shelves for the nursery and I cleaned. Sunday, we both worked outside. Steve was busy stabilizing our rocking mailbox, fixing an exterior door, and mowing the lawn. I clipped the hedges and weeded. I can't say that I worked too hard because it was hot. I did enough to make it look respectable though. Unfortunately, with Thanksgiving next month & lots of relatives coming, we need about 52 more weekends like this. -too late!!!
Monday, October 03, 2005
Today, we had a little group meeting at work. We were discussing an incident that occurred last week that I only witnessed. Basically, one person became irate and shouted at the other person about a very harmless practical joke. During this entire ordeal, I did a little self-evaluation. I thought about some of the ways I react and how I feel about things. I was already aware of many things, but haven't really considered them in a while and decided to share.
First, I completely realize that I feel the need to speak up when I strongly disagree with something. I can't sit idly by and pretend nothing happened. I wish I could just close my eyes to things. Not that I have to be involved, I just want to know things are being handled. If not, I just want to share my opinion to be released of the obligation I feel. Sometimes being able to ignore things keeps you out COMPLETELY of the mess.
Second, although I have very positive overview of humankind in general, I have a hard time respecting people with certain flaws. I understand that we all have strengths and weaknesses, but some weaknesses I tend not to be very forgiving about. For instance, a person who is male chauvinistic, macho, and close-minded can have other great qualities, but I become stubborn about not liking them. When a person displays several of these weaknesses that I totally dislike, I lose complete respect for them in all aspects. After that, it is hard for me to see them in the same light.
Third, if I get in a little tiff with someone and I am allowed to speak my mind, I will be over it in a very short time frame. In fact, I completely forget about the whole thing. If you argue with me and then want to bring it up several months later, realize that I'll have forgotten about it. You will probably get even angrier because I haven't been stewing all these months and you will realize that it was no big deal to me. -Sorry, what can I say?
Fourth, one of the reasons that I enjoy changing jobs is because I get tired of the same old issues and consequently have less patience with the reoccurrences. Do I have to watch the same train wreck (actually more like a fender bender) over & over & over again? It really bores me to death. Obviously, I have to learn to live with it because I don't plan on going anywhere as long as we live in Miami.
Fifth, I believe that people should try to become aware of their flaws and should work to overcome them. Unfortunately, I don't think I care to dig to the root of these issues and however unpleasant they are I continue to allow these imperfections to be part of me. Perhaps, one day I'll be enlightened and decide a change is in order, but until then I'll focus on improving other things. Probably, all things I comfortable working on.