Sunday, September 28, 2008

Fire Ant Mayhem

I was going to make some peanut butter and honey sandwiches for lunch, and I couldn't find the honey because Michael decided to re-arrange the kitchen. He had put some of the food from our overflowing pantry into the kitchen cupboards and the honey was now in the cupboard. He noticed that there was a fire ant on the honey and thought that was a little odd. So, he had another look around and discovered that our cupboard had been overrun with fire ants! They were crawling all over EVERYTHING! It looks like they were getting in through the wall somehow, because there was a constant flow of them and there weren't any ant trails anywhere else in the kitchen. It was such a mess. We took out everything that we could and shook off as many of the ants as we could into the sink and chopped them up with the garbage disposal but they just kept coming and coming and crawling out of bags and boxes! I threw away a ton of stuff because it just wasn't worth the fight and then sprayed down the trash can with raid so they wouldn't get out. We got as much stuff out of the cupboard as we could so that we could spray the areas where it looked like they were getting in and then smashed as many of them as we could on the counter and everywhere else trying to not get bitten. Now we have the cabinet emptied out but it seems the dead ants just keep growing and growing in number. There are hundreds of dead ants in there. It's so disgusting! I HATE those stupid little things!!! We can't even play in our own backyard because of them, and now they're invading our house. Not only are they getting into the kitchen, but there is literally a pile of dead fire ants in front of the back door and all along the floor from the door following the wall. Hundreds of them! Thankfully they're dying soon after they get inside, but it's still just frustrating that they keep getting in. These thing are vicious little buggers that cause nothing but trouble and I am sick to death of them! I feel like I'm back in Moses' day and it's the plague that nobody mentioned. We're wondering if they're so bad right now because of the hurricane? Oh! Speaking of, look what these things do when it floods. They all group together in a pile and float around! A friend told me to watch out for floating mounds of ants and I thought she was kidding. Nope....not kidding.

I miss the days of walking around barefoot in the backyard. Heck, I miss just being able to play in the backyard! Whitney refuses to play outside because last time she did she had fire ants crawling up her legs and back and all the way up to her face! Now, she's a little traumatized. (That's why we got the trampoline...which is now was the only way she'd play outside since the ants couldn't get her.) I miss picnics and sitting in the grass. I miss the days of not carrying around benadryl cream in my purse to put on ant bites when we go to the park. (sigh) Did I mention I don't like fire ants???

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Advice From People In High Places....

I feel so much better after a great weekend! I was really feeling like I needed some comfort a few nights ago, so I went to the scriptures. I said a little prayer that I would be able to find something that would bring me some comfort and I opened up my scriptures and totally started laughing when I read the scripture that my eyes first fell on.

"A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world." St. John 16:22

Heavenly Father really does have a sense of humor, doesn't He! "Natalie, just chill out! After this baby is born you'll feel so much better. You won't feel sick, you won't be a pimple head, you won't be cranky and hormonal, and when you hold that little baby for the first time, all your worries will melt away and you will be filled with so much joy! So, take a deep breath and stop complaining....please. Good grief."

Well, I don't think He'd really say it in those exact words...but you get the picture. : )

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Top Ten

Okay. I just need to vent a little, I'm sure I'll feel much better after I get this all out. I've been cooped up too long and things are just so out of whack and I just feel like I'm about to go tonight will be a venting post. Here's my life on a not so normal day.

Top 10 Things On My Mind Tonight

1. Where on earth are we going to put this baby!?! There's no room in our bedroom (see #2), the kids' room has no room unless we put the crib in front of the great big window which of course is a really bad idea...and there' s no way I'm putting the baby in the living room downstairs...or the kitchen for that matter.

2. Why did I let Michael kick me out of our master bedroom, master bathroom and even out of the master bedroom closet!?! I've been alienated and he has taken over the ENTIRE master living area all for himself!!! He got this great big weight machine that does all those different exercises, and couldn't put it in the garage because it's too hot and smells like gas. Couldn't put it upstairs in the "club house" because it was too heavy and wouldn't fit. The only place he could put it was our master bedroom. He doesn't want us in there messing things up or getting hurt, so I had to move out alllll my stuff from the bathroom and closet so that I didn't have to go in there anymore and the kids wouldn't follow. So now, our bedroom...HIS. Our bathroom with a nice big tub and two sinks and lots of cupboards....HIS. Our nice big walk in closet with extra storage shelves....HIS. ALLLL HIS. What was I thinking!?! It's not fair!!! I have to share a bathroom with the kids! I can't even keep a razor in the shower to shave my legs with. The only place I have for any of my stuff is the little bitty closet in the guest room (which is the "club house" I was previously kicked out of.) The "club house" is now the master bedroom which has room for the bed and dresser. Barely. The dresser is about a foot away from the bed. I know he's really wanted one of these for a long time and it makes him feel good about himself and I'm trying sooo hard to be understanding...but I just miss things the way they were. Plus, now when he comes home from work he locks himself in his "man room" for most of the evening so I feel like I don't get to see him very much. I'll probably stop complaining when I see those rock hard abs...

3. If I don't get to leave the house tomorrow I think I will go crazy. I haven't left the house in 7 days. With the whole gas situation I can't have the car...aaaaaah! I hope things get back to normal soon. I wonder when we'll be able to buy real milk again? I've already taken our last two gallons and to stretch them out, I did them half powdered milk and half regular milk. Not the best tasting...but much better than straight powdered milk. Ever tried "Morning Moo's" milk substitute? Again, not as good as real milk, but MUCH better than regular powdered milk. You can find it online at We bought the big thing of it...I think it makes 32 gallons or so.

4. Man, that potato chowder I made for dinner tonight was nasty...I'm never making that again. Turkey bacon...just not quite the same as regular bacon. It freaks me out that they used artificial coloring to make it look like's just not right. It looks like a gigantic piece of bacon chewing gum. Nasty.

5. Back to baby.... how on earth am I going to survive that first few months of having a brand new baby on my own? The whole zombie thing is sooooo hard and I turn into Mr. Hyde with no sleep. I sleep on the couch so Mike can get his sleep since he has to work. I mean, it's not like there's anything he can do to help anyway. Then I'm exhausted allll day and have to still take care of the house and the kids and the meals....and do it all over again the next night and day....on and on. I'm out here a million miles from home, mom has to work so she can't come out, I get postpartum depression really bad and there's no way I can get home with two kids and a newborn on my own. Again, what on earth was I thinking? I'm not ready for another baby...I like the way things are now. We have found our groove. I don't want it to change. It scares me that it's too late to turn back. Isn't that sad?

6. I have more pimples right now than I think I've ever had before. The great big painful ones. What happened? Is it pregnancy acne? Stress? I can't do anything about it like putting any medications on it because I'm I just have to deal with looking like a pepperoni pizza....which actually sounds mighty tasty right now.

7. Which brings me to my next thought, what's up with morning sickness!?! Seriously, why don't they just call it all day sickness? It is soooo hard to find something to eat that doesn't make me gag at the thought of it. When I finally find something that sounds okay, I go through the trouble of making it. Then, as soon as it's ready to eat it sounds absolutely appalling and it goes straight into the trash. All I can seem to handle is Slimfast and toast. Blah.

8. Why on earth do I look 4 months pregnant? I'm less than 2 months along!!! It's just not right. I shouldn't have to be wearing circus tents yet. But if I don't, then I look 4 months pregnant and when people ask, "oh, you look so cute, when are you due?" and I have to tell them I'm not due until May. Then they look absolutely confused and start counting on their fingers. It's so embarrassing...

9. Good news, I'm craving fruits. Bad has to be in the form of a dessert. Give me bananas...but it has to be in a cream pie. Give me some citrus fruits...but make it into lemon bars. Give me strawberries.... a strawberry sundae, that is. I'm going to be 200 pounds by the time I'm 5 months along.

10. Remember that TV show from the 90's called "Rescue 911"? I found it on youtube! Whitney loves to watch it with me. So far, she has learned not to run with scissors, not to play with guns, don't talk to strangers, don't jump on the bed near windows, don't car surf, don't fall off of the 8th story of a building, don't play with poisonous snakes, don't climb into the washing machine, don't trip over a cord attached to a deep fryer, don't stick your arm down pool drains, don't swallow pennies, don't fall asleep at the wheel, don't climb under garage doors while they're closing, and don't make a full body cast out of paper mache just for fun. I have learned that I need to bring my kids with me when I have to go potty so they're not left unsupervised for 2's always, "I was only gone for about 2 minutes". Oh. And hot dogs? Very bad...unless you puree them...but who wants to eat hot dog mush? Well, anyway, good show. Though I must say William Shatner is not the stud muffin I remember him to be. Again...what was I thinking!?!

Well, there's top ten things on my mind tonight. I'll probably read this in the morning and laugh. I think I feel a little better...though now I'm craving banana cream pie and pepperoni pizza. Aw nuts. Mmmm. Nuts. Peanuts? Blah...gag. Almonds? Ah, yes. Almond... M&Ms. We don't have any Almond M&M's. They're probably all sold out at the grocery store...along with everything else. It would take a half of a gallon of gas to get to the store. Double nuts. Mmmm. Nuts. Yes, my friends, this is how my brain is really functioning.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

A Big Sigh of Relief!

Well, last night was definitely one of the scariest nights of my life! We lost power around midnight and it was just soooo dark accept for the flashes of green lightning and blue flashes from transformers blowing. It got REALLY scary around 3 a.m. I have to be honest, I just sat on the couch in the dark and hugged my pillow and cried. The wind was unbelievable! It sounded like there were people outside screaming, but it was just the wind. It was like a high pitched screaming deep rumbing sound...kind of hard to describe. The worst part was when it picked up our trampoline and threw it into the fence! SLAM! I was so scared that the wind was going to blow it into our neighbors house and it would hurt someone. I pleaded with Heavenly Father to not let it blow away and cause any damage and of course apologized for being too dumb to not take it apart and bring it in the garage in the first place. Then it got lodged between the side of our house and the fence and every time the wind would blow it would slam into the side of our house. Michael was so brave and went out in the middle of the hurricane and tied it down. He was absolutely drenched when he came back in and made the comment that it wasn't like standing under the shower, it was like standing under the faucet! It was hard to breath because the wind was so strong and almost impossible to see from the rain bands. He's my hero, that's for sure. We took hour long shifts staying awake to make sure one of us would hear my cell phone go off for alerts since we were on tornado watch. The kids woke up crying around 4:30 a.m. so I went and stayed with them to try to calm them down and ended up falling asleep. Michael stayed up the rest of the time and let me sleep. Bless his heart!

Here's a picture of our smashed up trampoline and the nice little hole in the fence. The green rope is where Michael tied it down.

When the sun came up and I could see outside I saw that the damage really wasn't as bad as I was imagining in my head while I was listening to the wind howl and scream. There are tons of trees down everywhere, fences that have been blown away, and lots of roof damage. Our Bishop and his family had their roof collapse on their house last night, but it sounds like they are okay. That's the worst of the damage from our neighborhoods that I've heard of. I haven't heard much from Galveston and the coastal areas yet because they haven't been able to really get out there yet. It's still underwater.
This is a house across the street with some roof damage...I saved some of the shingles that were on the ground for mementos.

A billboard down the street...I'm actually quite happy this billboard is gone. It was a half naked blond bimbo drinking a martini.

All in all, I must say I am pretty pleased with the way things went. I'm so glad we had the generator!It really made all the difference. We had the window unit air conditioner going so we were very comfortable inside. We had food from a nice cold fridge and freezer, water and the kids watched movies on the TV....really, it wasn't too bad at all. Our generator and air conditioner

We consider ourselves very, very blessed because I know so many people are still without power, people with 6 feet of water in their homes, people who have lost loved ones, people without food or water and people who have lost everything they have.

Oh, on a good note, the people from the barge that I told you about in my last post all made it through the storm okay! I keep hearing these amazing stories of rescues by the coast guard. There was a 16 year old boy who was swept out to sea yesterday evening. He spent all night out at sea and was found and rescued this morning. I love hearing about miracles like this! I hope to hear many more stories like this.

Well, I am absolutely exhausted. I think I'll go to bed now. We have a busy day tomorrow. After we have a little sacrament meeting our ward is all going out to help people who have been affected by the storm. I think it will be a really neat experience! Thanks again to all of you for your prayers, and to those who offered to take us in!!!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Update 1

I don't think we'll have power much longer because it keeps flickering, so I'd better do an update now while I can! It was a beautiful evening, the calm before the storm. It was actually really nice and we got our lawn chairs and sat out on the driveway watching the clouds go by and enjoying the strong breeze. There was a curfew set for 8 p.m. so we came back inside and tried to keep the kids up as long as we could. We made our central bathroom our temporary safe-room since it is in the middle of the house and there are no windows. The kids are both asleep in there now, thank goodness! The wind is really starting to pick up now and it's getting pretty loud. I can feel the windows move as the wind hits them. We are under a tornado watch until about 10 a.m. tomorrow morning, so that's what worries me the most right now. Since it's night I can't see very I guess we'll just have to rely on our ears and keep praying that we'll be okay! So far there are about 250,000 people without power and they're expecting it to be a million by the end of the night. They're saying it could take up to two weeks for us to get power restored if we lose it...that really makes me nervous! We've got about 30 gallons of fuel saved up, but I don't know how long that would run the generator. I heard that there is about 40 percent of Galveston who have ignored the mandatory evacuation orders and have stayed behind to try to weather the storm and I am just amazed by their stupidity! They have been asked to write their social security number on their arms in permanent marker so their bodies can be identified later. I saw on the news that one family has a ground level house on the island who are staying behind, with a son in a wheelchair. They said they would be fine because they had life jackets! It literally makes me sick that people would stay behind and not only risk their lives, but knowingly risk the lives of their children. Their last warning was that staying to try to tough out the storm was certain death. How can people really ignore that warning? It makes me so if you can't tell.
There are also 20 people stuck on a barge about 90 miles from the coast that were stranded when they lost power and steering on their barge. The Search and Rescue people aren't able to save them because it is too dangerous. Please keep these people in your prayers! This is such a huge, terrible storm and so many people are affected all over this coast. When this 20 foot storm surge hits it will be devastating and I'm sure there will be loss of life.

Well, that's the update for now. We're still doing fine for now, but things should get pretty bad around midnight. Well, the power is flickering again so I'd better get off now. Thank you all for your concern and prayers! I know they are heard above the howling of the winds! I'll be sure to update tomorrow morning if we have power. If not I'll update as soon as I can, and I'll do my best to keep in contact by other means as well. Love you all!!!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Real Deal

I haven't written anything about Ike, mostly because I was in denial and tired of getting worked up every time something was heading our way. I just found out it's actually called "Hurricane fatigue". I was sick to death of hearing about hurricanes...but now I can honestly say that I'm really scared of this one. Apparently this is the real deal and we are in real danger now. Ike is a huge monster and is supposed to hit Friday. They're expecting a Cat. 3 at landfall, I've heard rumor that it could possibly turn into a Cat. 4...but I don't know if that's just weather forecasters getting a little too excited with too much coffee and not enough sleep. We're supposed to get winds from 80-110 mph here where we live. I can't even imagine what that will be like...well, maybe I can. I can imagine it won't be much fun. The stores are packed, there are gas lines everywhere, and there is definitely a feeling of tension in the air, and this time it isn't exciting...not even for me!

The city officials are talking about evacuations right now. They're kind of stressed because the storm was supposed to hit further south and not affect us as much. But then it shifted northeast and they don't have all the time they need to evacuate the cost. They are asking people in Houston to not evacuate if we don't absolutely need to because the highways are packed and they don't want people to be stuck on the roads in traffic jams when the hurricane hits. After Rita it took people like 30 hours just to make the 5 hour trip to Dallas. People ran out of gas and were stranded on the highways in the heat. It was an absolute mess! This time they will open counter-flow lanes and have supplied gas stations with back-up fuel resources, so hopefully things won't be as chaotic this time for the evacuees. As for us, we're staying put so the people who really need to get out can get out. We've tried to become as prepared as we can, so hopefully things will go okay.

Whitney is pretty nervous, so I worry about how she'll do when the hurricane hits and the winds start howling. Last night she prayed that Heavenly Father would catch her if the hurricane blew her away...poor kid. It breaks my heart that she really thinks those thoughts in that sweet little head of hers. So, please keep us and all of the people here in your prayers. I'll keep you all updated as long as we have power!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Baby Names

A few days ago, Michael and I were talking about baby names. I asked Michael what names he liked. This is the list he came up with. Well, the edited version anyway...

1. Slaughterhouse
2. Guss
3. Cabbage Patch
4. Don Diego
5. Bear
6. Jasper
7. Barge
8. Firehose
9. Doom Machine
10. Zebidee
11. Betty
12. Monroe
13. Giblet
14. Sharptooth
15. Hogwild
16. Gilligan
17. Sparrow
18. Phoenix
19. Woodlouse
20. Yuppie
21. Pogo
22. Tron
23. Blackbeard
24. Gazerbeam
25. Accordion

I've decided that he will not be naming our next child, though this list is pretty entertaining.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Change It Up, Baby!

Okay. I'm sick to death of Hurricane news. So, how about if we change it up!

About a month ago I was taking a nap on the couch while Aaron was taking his nap and Whitney was playing games on the computer. I woke up with the strongest feeling that one of the kids was standing next to me watching me like they needed to tell me something. So, I opened my eyes to see what they needed and nobody was there. But that feeling was still there and I knew that it was one of my children. Then, I realized that it is one that is still waiting for their turn on Earth. It was a really neat experience and I missed that presence after it left. Like when you hold your newborn baby for the first time and then they take it away to clean it up and weigh it and you get that twinge of "hey, give that back!". I wasn't planning on having any more until Aaron was potty trained...but apparently this little spirit was sick of waiting! So, ONE month later........

Yes, it only took one try...guess they were really in a hurry!

When I told Whitney that we were going to have another baby and that I had the baby growing in my tummy, she gave me this distraught look and said, "Mom, that's DISGUSTING!!! We're not supposed to eat babies!". That girl cracks me up! She's going to be such a great big sister! I can just imagine her telling the baby, "I remember when mommy ate you!". As for Aaron, of course he has noooo clue what's going on, but that's okay. I don't think he'll mind until he doesn't fit on my lap anymore!

I'm feeling good so far, just your typical tired, hungry, moody, sore bigger-boobed woman who gets those waves of "blah" throughout the day and who has to use the ladies room every half an hour. I'm happy to be pregnant, though, and can't wait to meet this little spirit who came to tell me that they wanted to be with us and to hurry it up already.