Saturday, August 28, 2010

Catch up

So what's been going on with the FlyingFish?

A lot. We've been pretty busy around here for the past couple weeks, with no real end in sight! We definitely have a lot more boxes still hanging around than we would like, but we're making some progress getting everything put together around here. It's amazing how much different a process it is to put a house together when you're mostly busy chasing a toddler around, and you just try to squeeze the unpacking in during nap times and when she's in bed for the night!

We've gotten one room painted so far - only 5 or 6 more to go - and we've even hung a few things on the walls (in the room that's NOT being painted... the living room!). We're loving our new furniture, and we're pretty sure the pool's going to be great if it ever gets done. The clay kicked the installers' butts, and then the rain moved in and nothing got done for almost a week! The pool that we were supposed to be swimming in after only about 5 days is now on day 24 of installation and it's still not ready!

In case you wondered, though, this is what a pool looks like when it's being built:
Right now, we have what mostly looks like a pool, including the concrete decking, a liner, water that's been sitting too long with no pump or the salt system, and a ginormous
red clay mess in our backyard! Everything should be done with the pool on Monday, including some more work with the heavy machinery (Michaela's favorite...see? There she is watching the show going on in the backyard again!)
to grade the yard a bit, and then we'll have to re-sod a giant chunk of the backyard so that it's usable. We'll be able to use the pool, at least, but Fred will be stuck tied out in the front yard til the sod is done since we can't take the chance of him tracking the red clay into the house.

In time honored Waitt family tradition - no project is ever easy or small... right, Dad?

It'll be worth it, though, when we can actually get out of the house for part of the day, even if it's to hang out in the very warm pool! I'm tired of being cooped up in the house because it's just too hot out to be outside! Poor Michaela gets soaked in sweat sitting in her carseat after only a few minutes! We actually let the car run for a while when we get ready to leave the house - not to get it warmed up like in the winter, but to get it to cool down so that it's bearable for the short trips to the store!! CRAZY!!

Besides the pool and unpacking, I've just been trying to get in the groove of the stay-at-home-mom gig. Thankfully, the kid is adorable, so it makes it a little easier to deal with the wanting to pull my hair out moments! I'm looking forward to getting completely unpacked and settled so we can start exploring a little bit more! Of course, since she's taken to napping for about 4 hours a day, it's tough to get too much done outside of the house, but I've been finding something - anything - to do every day, just so neither one of us gets too stir-crazy!

Speaking of adorable.... she is, right?
One of her new favorite things is to sit on the couch all snuggled up on these pillows we got from Ikea on the way here. I have to admit, they're comfy pillows! It always cracks me up to see her just chillin' on the couch like a regular person, though!

Another new favorite thing - having her picture taken, but only if she can point at the camera (or iPhone, usually) and then see the picture afterwards! Such a ham!

This was her first ice cream from an ice cream truck the other night. We're not entirely sure the ice cream truck is actually licensed to sell anything, but, whatever.... it was all wrapped in original packaging and we wanted ice cream!

And this last one is Michaela hammin' it up in her new rocking chair (that we bought in Houston - at Ikea - and Jason forgot about. I would've put it together myself, but the Ikea directions frightened me!) She LOVES to sit in the big rocker and try to rock, so this is just perfect for her. She climbs up and down a million times a day, and has definitely gotten the hang of rockin' away! The only problem is that we have to keep reminding her that her toosh belongs on the seat, not her feet!

That's about all the new stuff from here. In a week, Michaela and I will be heading up to CT for a quick visit. Mom and Heather were supposed to make a trip down here, but Mom's got some stuff going on that means she can't travel. So we'll happily leave the wicked heat and humidity behind for the cool(er) northeast for a few days. We're leaving Jason with the painting to do, so hopefully, when we get home, pictures will go up and the house will start to feel a bit more like home! In the meantime, I'm looking forward to the trip to CT and the chance for most of the grandparents to see Michaela, and to get a little family time myself. It's so nice to know I'll be able to leave here at 8:30 in the morning and be there by 3 in the afternoon! Such a change from the Kodiak travel!!!

Once we get the house finished, we'll be sure to get some pics up. For now, no one wants to see that, so I'll stick with pics of the kid....everyone likes those!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Today I am....

.... a civilian.

For the first time since July 10, 1995, I will not be carrying an active duty ID card (as soon as I get to the base this morning to trade for the dependent one).

Of course, this could just end up being a temporary break since I've got 2 years to decide if I want to go back, but it feels pretty final to me.

In my 15 years of service, I got an amazing education which included traveling to all parts of the globe (Guam, Alaska, Europe and Russia as a cadet), got to sail from Nova Scotia to Venezuela and everywhere in between as a junior officer on two different cutters, worked with the best boss I ever could've asked for at a District staff, was fortunate enough to have the CG pay to send me to grad school for fisheries management, and then had my absolute dream job as the CO of a fisheries training center.

It hasn't been all good, of course - not living with Jason for 3 years while we were separated by orders kind of stunk, and so did getting seasick for those first 4 years - but I still wouldn't trade it for anything. The Coast Guard has been good FOR me and TO me. I feel blessed for the experiences I've had - good and bad - and will be forever grateful that being at the Academy gave me the unexpected bonus of finding my husband.

Although I've been on terminal leave for the past 5 weeks, and I've been doing the SAHM thing for the past 2, today is my first official day as a stay at home mom and "just" a Coast Guard dependent. I think I'm excited about it. I think it'll be good for me and the baby. But I'm also a little nervous and scared to make such a transition and to do something so completely different from what I've done since I was 18 years old.

Transitions are always scary, though, so at least I have that constant to rely on. Now if I could just get the house put together I'd be ready to start exploring all the things there are to see and do in Mobile. Something tells me we're going to need to keep busy!

Saturday, August 7, 2010


Since there are two of us at home right now, which means I have a fighting chance of NOT having to chase the baby around the house, I figured I'd try to catch up a little bit on the blog and how things are going around here.

So we'll go back a bit to start off with... to San Antonio.... We initially thought we had just a short drive to Houston from San Antonio (you know, before the stop at the repair shop?), so we took some time in the morning to explore a little of San Antonio. I highly recommend doing that first thing in the morning since it got HOT by the time we left at noon. Not as much fun to walk around in that!

We loaded Michaela up in the stoller, broke the hotel rules by leaving Fred in the room, and headed over to the Alamo. Jason had been once before way back during an Academy spring break one time, but I never had. He was worried I wouldn't think that it was worth it, but it definitely was. One of the things that struck me was how funny it was that this modern city had sprung up around this building that has been there for centuries.
The building itself is incredible - especially since it's been there for so long and had so many different uses - and the history is pretty neat. The Daughters of the Republic of Texas (the official "keepers of the Alamo") have done an amazing job, I think, of telling the history.
From there, we headed back over to the Riverwalk, which was much quieter and much less crowded than at dinnertime the night before! Jason and I just laughed as we listened to Michaela go "ooooo" and screech every time she saw her favorite things - the boats, the flowers, and the ducks!!

Right around noon that day, we loaded everything up, blocking traffic again (since trailers are never meant to be driven around a city!!), and headed out toward Houston. At this point, the A/C sort of worked in the truck, and we were rolling along just fine. Of course, that all ended when we got just outside of Columbus, TX. After that, we don't like to talk about the truck.

So we ended up with about a day and a half extra time in Houston, which turned out to be a good thing because we got to spend some extra time with Kim and Brent - and go to Ikea. I'm in love with Ikea. I'm not ashamed to say it. I'm just ashamed of how many long weekends I now want to spend in Houston. Good thing we've got friends there - and they like Ikea, too!!

We finally left Houston around dinnertime on Friday night, and had a fabulous sweaty drive to Lafayette, LA, where we stayed for about 7.5 hours. Since we were without working A/C at that point, we decided to leave bright and early Saturday morning to try to get as close to Mobile as we could before the heat really kicked in. That almost worked! (By the way, the truck is currently at the Dodge dealership here, with the A/C getting fixed!!!)

Since we've been here, we've been busy shopping for furniture (we sold our bedroom set before we moved, and need a kitchen table since we now have an eat-in kitchen and a dining room), chasing the baby around the house now that she just wants to walk/run everywhere, and watching the pool company struggle with the super-hard clay that is the ground in our backyard. We still don't have our household goods, though we're expecting delivery of those on Monday (YAY!), but I do at least have my car now (which has working A/C). We bought furniture yesterday, which will arrive on Wednesday, and the pool will hopefully be done sometime this decade. We feel terrible for the guys working on it - it's been Africa-hot and the clay has been kicking their butts! It even broke the back-hoe!

Michaela's been entertained, though, between the empty cabinets in the built-ins and the heavy equipment in the backyard, so at least we have that going for us!
(Yes, I know there's an electrical outlet back there with no safety things in it. I don't leave her alone to play in there!!)
We had hopes that we'd be swimming in the pool by tomorrow, but since we still have giant mounds of red clay dirt in the backyard and they haven't even been able to finish getting the walls up yet (hole dug and walls up usually happens on day 1...we're on day 4 - and, yes, they're here working today!), we're looking at more like next weekend at this point. That's fine, though, because we have painting to do and closet organizer systems to design and install! YAY for a new house!!

And now I need to go because the baby is napping and I think that means I might be able to try to get to the store ALONE to do some clothes shopping!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Home, Sweet Home

Well, we made it.

We finally rolled into town at about 11 yesterday morning after a 2-day delay in Houston, $2400 and a disabled air conditioning system in the truck. Which would explain why we got here at 11 in the morning... we left at 5:30 (AM!!!) from Lafayette, LA, to try to get as far as possible before the worst part of the heat of the day.

So when we first rolled into the random garage in Columbus, TX, the other day when the truck started making awesome grinding noises and the brake alarms were going off, Jason was pretty sure it was the wheel bearings. But the motorheads, who seemed to have just decided on a whim to start a shop because they liked cars, saw that the seals were bad on the CV joints so they just assumed that was the problem. It wasn't. It was the wheel bearings.

We didn't realize that was the case until after we pulled out of Columbus to head back to Kim's house in Houston. About 5 minutes down the road, Jason figured out that it was still the wheel bearings. So we limped to the Dodge dealership in Houston, spent another night with Kim and Brent, and finally got the truck back at about 4pm the next afternoon. We hit the road as soon as we could to try to make it at least a little ways down the road that night. Come to find out, the 7 hours that TripTik told us it would take was actually more like 10... so it was good that we got started when we did.

Anyway, we still don't have internet at our house, so I'm being rude by being on the computer at our friends' house. I just wanted to update real quick and let everyone know we made it here. Oh, and to answer the question it seems everyone is asking... yes, we still like the house! In fact, we love it! Now if only we had STUFF to put in it!

Hopefully we'll get internet (and all the rest of the services you usually have at your house) set up sooner than later and I can share the details of the last few days of the trip. For now, it's good enough that we're here!!