Friday, September 19, 2008

We survived Ike!

WELL! This has been a very adventurous week for Houston! Here's our Ike story-it may be too long to read, but you can just scroll down & look at pictures if you want. We not only wanted to share our story with you all, but we also want to look back on here & remember all the details too! Thanks for everyone's concerned phone calls, texts, etc from everyone worried about us throughout this hurricane! It really meant a lot to us!

FRIDAY NIGHT 9/12- It started getting very dark & very windy at 7pm. We came inside for the night & got all prepared for the storm. We left Rylie's pack n' play at Dave's mom's house & couldn't fit her crib outside her door frame, so we brought her mattress downstairs to our room & moved her play area gates in there & put around the crib-making her a temporary bed next to ours.

Rylie's temporary bed

We loaded up on flashlights & candles. We cooked a frozen pizza & put in a rented movie about 9pm & tried relaxing as outside started getting worse. Throughout the movie, the power kept going in & out. Around 11pm, the movie ended & we tried going to sleep, but the wind outside was so loud! I woke up a little after midnight & we'd lost power for good & it was starting to get very hot in our house. I tried sleeping some more (Rylie meanwhile had been sleeping the whole time since about 9:30pm!)

SATURDAY 9/13-I woke about 3am & it was SOOOO SCARY outside!! Our small trees in the backyard were blowing around like cooked spaghetti noodles being waved around. They kept hitting the house (on our bedroom window in the back). The wind was sooo loud & the rain was splashing against our house like waves from the ocean hitting it. Our fireplace in the living room (next to our bedroom) had this loud BOOM! BOOM! noise in it sounding like bombs going off because of the heavy winds outside (yes, our fireplace flap was closed too.) We turned on the radio & the news said the worst was still to come within the next hour. We were having winds about 60 mph at the time & the worst ones coming were 80-90 mph. SO, David & I ended up going into our closet because it's the only room in the house without windows & is actually furthest away from any windows from other rooms & it was pretty quiet in there. We just laid on pillows & slept in there, meanwhile Rylie still snoozed away in our room throughout everything! David said he woke up about 5am & saw the eye of the storm & other neighbors out looking at it. He looked for stars, but didn't see any. It was completely calm until 8am & then the back part started. I woke up about 10 am, as Rylie was waking up too. We had no home damage!!! Thank God! David started our generator (LIFE-SAVER!!!!!!) as Rylie & I ate dry breakfasts. It was still raining a lot & pretty windy outside. We called all our family to tell them we were ok. Then we just waited for the rain to stop so we could go outside & look at the damage. We took this opportunity to let Rylie try out her walk-behind toy (her activity center converts to this).

About 1:30pm the rain stopped & we finally went out. We talked to some neighbors & then drove around our block & took pictures of damages.

Our back door area & Rylie's upstairs window screen blown off

Our driveway with lots of debris

House across the street with tree split-luckily it landed next to his house & not on it!

Our side fence leaning into our neighbor's yard-he fixed it for us tho!

This house is behind ours & got a tree knocked on it!

House down the road with tree knocked over & it pulled up some kinda pipe with it.

The entrance to our subdivision is closed because a huge tree knocked over a bunch of power lines-this is why we're not getting power back on for awhile :/

Another house down the street had a tree twisted & knocked over-that's just how strong those winds were!

Rylie & I took a nap when we got home while David hooked up our neighbors fridge with an extention cord to our generator. Then Rylie & I woke up to our fire alarms going off-this very high pitched siren & the alarms were shouting FIRE FIRE FIRE! I immediately knew there wasn't a fire & the alarms were just messed up from being cut off. David disconnected all of them. Then our neighbor stopped by & invited us over for dinner-they'd grilled steaks & potatoes!! =D They wanted to thank us for hooking up their freezer to our generator. After dinner, the sun was going down so we were cleaning up & then we noticed the water had been cut off. This was breaking point. Our neighbors said they were gonna leave (they have twin 3 yr olds-remember their bday party in July?) and I didn't think we could stay here either without water to bathe in. We got home & David put our window a/c in our room & the water came back on!!!! I was so scared we'd lose it again, I quickly put Rylie in the bath tub without waiting for the water to heat up & scrubbed her down in about 45 seconds! David & I quickly showered too & then we got our home phone back on. We both called more family with updates until the home phone went out again. About 10pm we settled in & went to bed.

SUNDAY 9/14- David & I woke about 3:30am to weird noises by the window a/c. I immediately feared for looters, especially when we saw weird lights outside afterwards. David & I quickly got up to go check what was going on & realized it was lightning in the distance & the noises on the a/c was rain drops. It quickly picked up & was so loud on the a/c unit-sounded like marbles hitting the metal. I finally got back to sleep about 5am & we all woke around 8:30am & it was still raining outside. David had to go into downtown Houston & work at his church for an hour because they had power & were still having 1 service. Rylie & I cleaned up, ate breakfast, & watched the news on our livingroom TV hooked up to the generator.

Rain, rain go away...come again another day!

Rylie started getting restless so at 11am when the rain stopped, I loaded her in her stroller to take a walk outside. Our neighbors across the street asked if we could store some food for them in our fridge/freezer which of course we did. David came home at lunchtime & after eating, put Rylie down for a nap & we cleaned outside the house from debris. We joined our other neighbors for dinner-grilled steaks & potatoes again! YUM!!! It got very cool that night-a blessing!!! David loaded our generator with gas & we hit the sheets.

MONDAY 9/15- We all got the best night's sleep since the temperature's gone down. We ate breakfast & then took a walk outside. We ran into some neighbors who said Red Lobster in town was open, so we all went to lunch there. Red Lobster never lost power actually so the food was ok to eat! Then the 3 of us drove around for 30 min looking for gas with only 3 stations open & each having 2 miles worth of lines (seriously!). We finally got in 1 line but after not moving for 20 min, came on home. We started to feel very discouraged. What if we don't get power back soon? What if we run outta gas for the generator & our cars? Will everything be ok?

After having a big lunch, we gathered with our neighbors for a light dinner-cheese, crackers, grapes, apple slices & fruit dip made outta cream cheese & brown sugar. We all just sat outside & talked for awhile. It was nice!

TUESDAY 9/16- Our 4th day without electricity & now it's becomming 2nd nature. I have to carry the microwave to the plug, unplug our fridge, plug in the microwave, heat up breakfast, plug back the fridge, carry the microwave back.....everything is taking a really long time to do. I will always appreciate our dishwasher after this! David went into work for a little while. I cleaned up the kitchen & tried chasing after Rylie. Without her toy-gated-area, she's into everything and it's especially dangerous now with power cords all over the place. David came home & did some laundry. He had to disconnect a bunch of stuff & plug in our washing machine. We had to hang everything up though because the dryer takes too much power for the generator.

Our clothes & towels hung on all our railings

I ran down the street to Wal-Greens. They were about outta everything! I got some Coke's though. The last thing you wanna drink in the heat with no a/c is coffee & I needed caffeine! I got home & David ran into town to get some more groceries. Randalls in the next town had produce back in stock & HEB was open too. I had coordinated with neighbors dinner plans-we were gonna make spaghetti! Our neighbors cooked noodles on their stove top because theirs is gas-still works. We hooked up a 2-burner thing David bought to our generator & made the sauce & had everyone over. It was sooo good!

WEDNESDAY 9/17- I feel like I forgot what the outside world looks like! I feel like I'm seriously on another planet-much further away from people than we really are. We're already used to having no electricity now. David went into work again while Rylie & I ate breakfast & watched more news (that's all we get right now.) It's sooo sad to see how some people lost everything from IKE. I wanna volunteer & do something-more than what we're already doing for our neighbors. The news though said we could donate stuff, but we gotta deliver it & #1-I don't know my way around Houston all that well & #2-It's hard to get gas still, so I just can't do that. David got home about 1:30pm & changed the oil in the generator. At 3pm, we started a fire in our outdoor firepit I got David for Christmas 2 years ago. We had the neighbors over to cook hot dogs over it & then s'mores! =D

David starting the fire

Rylie watching Daddy start the fire outside

S'mores!!! A summer classic!

We were done eating by 5:30 (I know, we're old now! lol But we gotta eat early so we'll be cleaned up by sundown-about 7:30pm). It's hard to imagine not eating dinner with the neighbors every night after the power comes back on. After cleanup David ran into town to get more groceries & tried to get gas, but all stations had really long lines. I put Rylie to bed & did this "home spa" I read in a magazine (magazines are a lifesaver during all this-something to read!). I made the face mask in the magazine & just relaxed (email me for the recipe)! We had also heard previously in the day that our neighborhood would have power by Saturday & more restaurants were opening in town. Good news!

THURSDAY 9/18- We're seriously now sick of not having electricity! lol David's work got power back so he's gotta work most of the day. I wanted to take Rylie out somewhere just to get outta the house, but I feel like I gotta guard our generator-afraid of looters. I feel like the more this goes on, the more desperate some people are getting. We're sick of watching only news-it's too depressing. Joined neighbors across the street for dinner-grilled hamburgers. Then cleaned our house & had to light some candles for good scents because without air circulating as much it's getting stale smelling. We've now found out we won't be getting power until next Monday-UGH!

FRIDAY 9/19- :( After breakfast, I took Rylie into town where more things are opening & we walked around Target & Kohls (they're next to each other here) just to get outta the house! All the street lights were still out though. We came home & our neighbor was kind enough to take our empty gas cans out & fill them up for us (of course we pay him for them, but it was nice of him to run that tedious errand). While Rylie napped, I got very very bored. I just walked around the house cleaning parts of it, looked at old photo albums, listened to old cd's to pass the time. David got home at almost 5pm & I took Rylie's 11 mo old pictures.

Here's some other random pictures David took as well for the blog.

Our window a/c in our bedroom

Generator out back

Power cords going into our house & the neighbors

All our gas cans we gotta keep full

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