Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to you and your families and best wishes from all of us.

We will be back again soon!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

PWAC CC II Christmas 2006

So, La Luz got to spend some quality time with her cousin Edward today and was, for the most part, on her best behavior. Here she is sharing her miniature bent-wood rocker:

and here's baby Edward holding his own against a tough competitor:

I love that the two babies are starting to interact. I can only imagine how much fun it will be to watch them together next year.

Thanks to the deluge this morning I got soaked twice before my day really even started. I was completely saturated and I had on my brand new, freshly tailored pants that were a bit of a splurge and that I loved until I realized that when they get wet they stink. I had to sit through three hours of CLE looking around at everyone near me, paranoid, wondering if they thought I have a bathing issue.

In addition to walking around stinking all day the other result of the downpour is that the leak we thought was remedied by the gutter repair work we did this summer is still around. Consequently, there are big bubbles in the sheetrock, discolorations in the walls, and lumps in the paint in two rooms. We also discovered two very minor leaks around other windows which I intend to pretend don't exist. I hate to even think about how this is going to be fixed.

There is some good news though, I was ultra-productive at work today. I think I might actually make it through next week out of the office without suffering from an anxiety attack. I also think I am finally going to break down and get a blackberry or a treo for my peace of mind.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Looking Like A Proper Girl

La Luz donned the outfit Kelsea so sweetly gave her for Christmas. I think she looks adorable and can't wait for her to wear it again:

Apparently while I was busy at work La Luz had a great day. She exchanged Christmas gifts at Ash-Fin, had lunch and a nice visit with some of mom-mom's friends and even learned how to say "sayonara", watched Fox and the Hound with Pop, and ate a bunch of sugar with Christian. By the time I got home it was late and La Luz was bouncing off the walls but in a great mood. I think she is still awake in her crib, babbling.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Caught Up in the Fray

No time to post tonight as Christian and I had a babysitter and decided to brave Metairie for some Christmas shopping followed by a Christmas party. La Luz got to spend the better part of the evening with Kelsea and was thrilled. Kelsea truly spoiled La Luz and gave her a precious outfit and a book for Christmas. I can't wait to put her in the outfit tomorrow and I promise to take some pictures. In the meantime, here's a pic of La Luz sporting her NYC t-shirt:

Monday, December 18, 2006

Feeling the Music

When I got home from work tonight Christian and La Luz were, as usual, rocking out and making dinner. Here are some pictures of La Luz jamming out with my shuffle. Christian swore that she put the shuffle in her back pocket all on her own.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Comfort & Joy

For what seems like days it has been incredibly foggy and grey each morning. When you look out of the window it makes you feel like it is winter, as it should be in mid-December. It has, however, been a bit on the hot side. It went up to about 75 degrees today and I actually had to turn the ac on in my car at one point in the middle of the day. I am not asking for 40 degree weather, just a litte something to make it feel like Christmas around here. A picture of the tree in our backyard looks like it was taken in a place where there are proper changes of seasons and, perhaps, in December it actually feels cold outside. Here's what late fall in New Orleans looks like at about 7:00 a.m. on a Saturday:

On Friday night we went to a Christmas party at a friend's house and La Luz had a great time playing with her friends Emma & Luke. There were some incredible Christmas decorations at the house too. La Luz couldn't get enough of the gigantic, larger-than-life snow globe and the light-up reindeer. On the way home we passed by Al Copeland's house and we were all in awe. I hadn't seen the lights at his house since I was a little kid and, understandably, the display has improved with time and advances in technology. If you are at all fascinated by Christmas lights it is well worth the trip. He also allows walking tours and even serves cotton candy for the kids (and, I suppose, any adults who would like to partake as well).

Saturday morning La Luz and I bummed around the house until Christian decided to wake up. We all went to P.J.'s to satisfy La Luz's most recent addiction, bluberry muffins. After breakfast we went to the Bywater Arts Market for our first attempt at Christmas shopping. Here's La Luz ambling about the uneven Bywater streets:

On Saturday night I made meatballs and spaghettit for Papa George, GG, mom-mom, and pop. La Luz was very excited to have a crowd of her favorite people join her for dinner. We had a wonderful time and it made me wish that I had a regular monthly dinner night when they would come over so that La Luz could spend more time with them. I think the dinner was pretty good in spite of the fact that I am nothing of a chef. The best part of the night was, of course, the company.

On Sunday La Luz and I were both up bright and early. We went to mass and looked for the baby Jesus, as usual. Christian went to the Saints game which ended up being a let down. When Christian got back from game we headed over to City Park to meet up with baby Conor and Betsy and check out Celebration in the Oaks. La Luz loved the lights and is, I think, starting to sort of understand the whole Christmas lights idea. There was a Santa there but once I got within about 10 feet of him she started flipping out so there is still no picture with Santa. Here are some pictures of her at Celebration in the Oaks.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

For the Love of Mr. Noodle

La Luz pretty much loves all things Elmo so it should come as no surprise that she loves noodles (all of you moms and grandmoms who have been forced to watch Sesame Street too many times will understand the reference). Tonight we indulged her a bit and let her have marinara with smart ground (tofu version of meat and not because we don't like to feed her meat - it just happened to be all that we had around) and spaghetti. She decided that she no longer likes to eat noodles that we cut up for her. Instead, she wants the real thing - long, difficult to eat, potential choking hazards. She had a great time but the clean up was unbelievable, which is why she only gets spaghetti noodles once in a great while.

Pics tonight are courtesy of Chritian who was smart enough to get the camera before everything got really messy.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Dora Gets Political

It was an exciting night in the Vaicius household. I arrived at the house to find La Luz and Christian knee deep in the contents of a package that Nana and Papa-T sent. The box was filled with goodies - everything from bones for the generally forgotten Loki to these really cool Christmas tree ornaments made out of yarn to a ton of outfits for La Luz that Aunt Ruthie sent. If she hasn't already, Aunt Ruthie is going to turn La Luz into a clothes horse no matter how hard Christian tries to make her a tomboy.

In addition to the exciting package, the night was even better because AJ invited us over for dinner. We got to hear all about her adventures in Audubon Park the day before with mom-mom and La Luz. Apparently while feeding the ducks (or rather being dive-bombed by the ducks) AJ attempted to kick a piece of bread to the ducks in the water and, isntead, kicked her shoe off and into the lagoon. I would have paid top dollar to watch mom-mom and AJ attempt to retrieve AJ's flip-flop from the lagoon using whatever braches and reeds were nearby.

La Luz was really excited about the Dora bath toys Nana sent her and was ready to get in the tub the minute we walked in the door. The toys are a Dora doll with flippers and an inflatable raft with a baby Dora and Diego inside. You can imagine what happened when Christian got a hand on the toys during La Luz's bath. Whereas I merely had Dora and Diego enjoying the waves on the beach at Destin, Christian had Dora and Diego paddling for their lives to escape Castro - a little heavy for a half-hour with Mr. Bubble if you ask me.

The toys worked so well that they actually presented a new problem. La Luz refused to leave them in the bathtub and insisted on having them with her in bed tonight. I can't win.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Lucy's Lights

Thanks to GG I now know that the 13th of December marks the feast of St. Lucy. I remember as a child that I used to love to read my book about the lives of the saints and I also enjoyed the small celebrations we would have on certain feast days during religion class at Sacred Heart. Generally speaking, the stories of the saints all tended to be dramatic and terribly tragic, and why not, they likely wouldn't be saints at all but for the drama and tragedy.

Apparently we don't know much about St. Lucy, other than that she is the patroness of the eyes, which explains the rather gorey statue in St. Patrick's of St. Lucy holding a platter with two eyeballs on it. She was martyred at the begining of the 4th century and became a saint soon thereafter. During Emperor Diocletian's rule Lucy distributed her dowry to the poor and was a suspected Christian. The guy that was essentially Lucy's fiance turned her in to the authorities when he learned of her generosity.

The name Lucy comes from the Latin word "lux" or "light" and to celebrate the feast of St. Lucy young girls wear crowns of light. On the 12th and 13th of December you can see meteors that come from the constellation Gemini and these are known as "Lucy's Lights".

I wish that I had crown of light for La Luz to wear tomorrow or that it was clearer outside so I could stand on the balcony and look for Lucy's Lights. Maybe next year. Instead I will just remember the martyrdom of St. Lucy and say my thanks for the light La Luz brings to me.

Monday, December 11, 2006

What are the Neighbors Thinking?

It was another typical Monday around the office. I arrived at around 8:45, sat down at my desk, looked up and itwas 5:45...and December is supposed to be a laid back month.
Christian and I were truly engaged in tag team parenting today. When I walked in the door at 6:30 he grabbed his bag and headed to P.J.s to finish making his exam and grading papers. I hate evenings when we are this busy.
La Luz and I enjoyed a quiet night together. She practiced her new skill - turning the Christmas tree lights on and off. For some reason Christian taught her how to do this and she loves it. I am sure the neighbors and anyone walking past the house think we bought blinking lights on purpose or else that a crazy person lives here.

I spent the rest of the night putting away clothes. It literally took hours. I don't know if this is a problem that is particular to my household or not. We have an absolute inability to put clothes away around here. We are on top of the actual laundering of the clothes and don't seem to have any problem folding everything. The problem we have is actually getting the folded clothes from the basket to the drawers or closets. We will use every basket in the house (and we have 3) and once those are filled we will cover every empty surface with stacks of clothes. It is unreal and I think it is a problem that is here to stay. Whenever I waste a night putting clothes away (like tonight) I vow that I will keep up with it from here on out. I promise I won't though. Three or four weeks from now one of my nights will be dedicated to putting away clothes, again.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Glad Tidings

The weekend started in chaos becuase my work Christmas party stretched far beyond the customary five hours of debauchery. I finally extricated myself around 5 p.m. only to learn later the next day that the merrymaking lasted until the wee hours of the night. From what I hear, I was lucky to escape when I did because the later it got the less tasteful the stops along the way became, or so I hear.

Christian and I took La Luz to an ornament making party at Beth and Gabriel's house and she loved it. When we arrived about an hour into the party it was utter madness. There were kids and toys and food and glitter and paste on every square inch of the house. We had a blast.

On Saturday morning we woke up with great anticipation waiting for news that Nana and Papa-T were on their way.

To kill time, La Luz and I voted (for what that was worth) and strolled around Magazine Street and enjoyed the Merriment on Magazine festivities. We saw Santa and Mrs. Claus outside of Whole Foods and I was almost able to get La Luz to sit on Santa's lap but she freaked at the last minute. At around 12 we learned that there was something wrong with the instruments on Papa-T's plane so they had to cancel their flight. Needless to say, we were very disappointed but we managed to enjoy the weekend despite missing them terribly.

We went to a Christmas party at Paola and Jose's on Saturday night. It was really a grown-up Christmas party but we were allowed to bring La Luz because Paola still hadn't met her and Amanda was in town just for the weekend and wanted to see her. Paola and Jose live about five blocks away and yet we never see them and it boggles my mind. I don't know how it is that we get too busy to get together. There was a time when I saw more of Paola than I saw of my own husband. They have a beautiful house and I was very envious of how everything inside matches or at least follows a general contemporary theme.

While La Luz napped on Sunday Gerrish and I went to Festivus. It was very nice but not quite as big as some of the monthly art markets around the city. I picked up a very cool 'cd-turned-ornament' for our tree and some neat green and red Mexican paper cut-outs for Christian. They were serving satsuma mimosas but had run out by the time Gerrish and I arrived so we settled on a nutella crepe instead and it was delicious.

Christian and I finished all of the Christmas decorating on Sunday afternoon. The tree is up and even though it sheds needles if someone so much as coughs nearby, it looks great. Christian was inspired by something and bought a bunch of poinsettias for the front porch and strung lights and garland on the balcony. I guess you really shouldn't live in a house with a balcony unless you are willing to do some Christmas lights. When it got dark enough outside we stepped outside to check out his handiwork and it looks brilliant.

Oh yea, and we watched the Saints.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

The Cleaner, Germ Free Family

We finally rebounded from a misreable bug that knocked me and Christian out in the begining of the week and even infected mom-mom. La Luz might have had it at some point but it is so difficult to tell with babies because their behavior can be somewhat erratic for no reason whatsoever.

So, to finally rid the house of every germ in the hopes of having maybe a week when we are all well at the same time I washed every sheet and towel, scrubbed every sink and toilet, and broke down and bought two gigantic cans of Lysol. I covered every square inch of the house, even things that probably aren't supposed to be hosed down with disinfectant. In the process I really pissed off Christian who thinks that the reason why we keep getting sick is because we are too clean and there are too many chemicals around. I am flattered that he belives the house is so clean but I don't follow the logic. I stood my ground and continued to spray and it made him misreable but I felt better about it, that is until I got to daycare and the ladies there told me that I couldn't prevent these types of viruses if I bleached the house from top to bottom. Can this really be true? What do I know?

Nevermind the unstoppable germs, we are all feeling just fine today. We are looking forward to a weekend of all sorts of Christmassy things and, if we are lucky and the weather holds out, a quick visit with Nana and Papa-T who will fly into town on Saturday.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

A Moment of Grace

Here is a picture of La Luz and me that Jen took on Sunday. It is rare that I have such a quiet, peaceful moment with La Luz so this picture is a treasure.

Her Father's Daughter

Sometimes I wonder how La Luz got stuck with all of my genes. However, every now and then she makes a face or gesture that is 100% Christian. Occasionally, it is even better than that and somebody, in this case, Aunt Linda, sends a picture that proves La Luz is her father's daughter.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Cold, Cold, Cold

More than anything that stands out about this weekend is the fact that it was very cold. There were a few things that made it special, as usual, but I learned how much of a pain it must be to live in places where it really gets cold, like snow cold, not southern cold. It was a chore getting La Luz into her seat every time we had to drive somewhere on account of the many layers of clothing. I wedged her in and snapped the belt and she complained for the duration of the ride each time, probably because the belts were constricting her breathing. I would have fussed too. I don't think I would go anywhere in the winter if it was cold enough to require a proper snowsuit. It would just be too much of a hassle.

The weekend started sort of misreably because La Luz decided to wake up at 5:30 and since Christian had been out the night before for a bachelor party the morning child-rearing duties were my responsibility. Needless to say, I was not thrilled. La Luz looked pretty cute in her feeties though. Thanks to her grandmothers she is going to stay nice and warm this winter. The greatest gift about the feeties is that having them on encouraged her to dress the baby doll, finally, so that they could be twins.

On Sunday we went to baby Betsy's christening at St. Stephens. Betsy looked beautiful and was so well-behaved. She didn't cry once during the ceremony. I was amazed. La Luz was actually not too bad either. She was a bit chatty during mass but I don't think too many people were put-off by it. After I pointed out a particularly vivid stained-glass window she didn't stop talking to it. It was sort of funny but also probably not really appropriate for the middle of a church service. She kept saying, "Hi, Jesus" and "What's your name baby?".

At the party at Attie's after the baptism La Luz enjoyed a plate full of shrimp grits and strawberries. When we got home she crashed while Christian and I watched the Saints game.

We woke La Luz up out of a deep sleep around 4:30 so that we could go pick out our Christmas tree with the few remaining minutes of light left in the day. It was La Luz's first Christmas tree shopping experience since we were living at mom-mom and pop's at this time last year. I think she had a good time but was definitely overwhelmed by the entire ordeal, understandably. At one point as I was heaving trees left and right, trying to find just the perfect one, I looked off to the side and saw Christian and La Luz out of the corner of my eye standing close together, acting like they needed to be rescued from the blow-up santas and light-up nativity scenes. The two of them have a much lower threshold for that sort of madness than I do.

At the end of the day we found what seems to be a good tree. Since we lost all of our Christmas accoutrements we splurged and paid to have a stand put on the tree at the lot. It really doesn't get any easier than that. When we got home and got the tree inside we realized it is much bigger than it appeared to be at the lot. It is a great tree though, even if it is a behemoth. It might take us until Christmas to decorate it but at least the house finally smells like the holidays to me.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Let the Race Begin

I have resisted discussing politics because I tend to get a bit wrapped up in my own bull-headed opinions and it puts me in a lousy mood but today I just can't help it. Last night I mentioned to Christian that I thought it was odd and, frankly, a bit dissapointing that Karen Carter hadn't been running any ads on tv and the radio reminding everyone to vote for her as opposed to, oh, a criminal. Christian assured me that they would be starting soon and he was right. Tonight as I was driving home I heard my first attack ad for this run-off and I am glad. People should be reminded about Jefferson's looming indictement. They should be reminded that he is a thief and that he does not have their best interest at heart. They should be reminded that just because he is smart doesn't make it right for him to steal. They should be reminded that he is useless to us, that he has been stripped of his position on the house ways and means committee, and that he has made the citizens of New Orleans, yet again, a laughing stock to the nation. I am tired of that perception and I am embarrassed by it and I can't blame people in other states for wondering what exactly it is that we are doing down here. I think it is disgusting and indescribably vain that Jefferson is even running. If he were a decent human and really cared about the city he would not have been so presumptuous as to even run for re-election. Instead he did, and the people in his district proved him right by getting him into a run-off. I am sickened by the whole mess and am not even all that optimistic about the run-off. I hope I will be listening to a constant barrage of attack ads from Karen Carter's camp this week. Winning the election should have been a cake-walk for her.

Enough. Let's get to the important stuff. Check out this crazy operation:

La Luz apparently sat in a puddle at daycare and I had not updated her change of clothes since the start of the school year so all they had to put her in was an under-sized onesie. She looks like a gigantic sausage. I love it.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

As Christmas is Just Around the Corner

It is starting to look like we are going to be able to convert our house into a winter wonderland this year after all. Today we received a package from Nana that included a bunch of ornaments, a miniature snow globe, and a wind-up Santa, among other things. Thanks to those goodies and the ornaments from mom I imagine the house will look like Santa's workshop, sort of. Now we just have to get a tree. But first, it has to get cold. I don't want to sweat while I am putting up the tree; that would sort of take the fun right out of it.

I don't think La Luz understands Christmas but she knows who Santa is and has no problem with the concept of presents. Here she is earlier tonight playing with the present Nana sent her along with the Christmas goodies:

Apparently when La Luz woke up from her nap today at mom-mom and pop's she insisted on putting on the lei. Interestingly, she spent the next hour wearing the lei while watching a Sesame Street episode focusing on Hawaii. Is she clairvoyant or was it a coincidence? You know what I am going to say. Anyway, here she is:

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

You Chase The Light

Today there are two very special birthdays to celebrate. La Luz's friend Camille turned 1 today and you can read all about it at Camille happens to be one of the most agreeable, happy babies around. La Luz will always be indebted to Camille for allowing her to break in all of Camille's brand new baby stuff before she was even born when we were Hurricane Katrina evacuees and were living with Camille's mom and dad:

So, Happy Birthday Camille.

One of my best friends, Julian, also celebrates a birthday today. The last time I saw him I was very pregnant and we only got to visit for about an hour. We haven't lived in the same city in over a decade and yet we have somehow managed to stay close for 16 years. I credit Jules with keeping us close. He has always been great about staying in touch - sending letters and later e-mails filled with pictures of fall foliage, snow, apple trees, crowded European streets, interesting architecture, his friends...He will be in town for Christmas and will finally get a chance to meet La Luz. I can't wait. I am already preparing her for their first meeting. Here we are a few months after we first met 16 years ago. We are not sure but we think this might be the only old picture of us together that survived the Hurricane:

Happy Birthday Jule.

Things quieted down a bit at work today, fortunately. I actually made it home at a somewhat decent time and was able to feed La Luz her dinner. Thanks to Uncle Richmond's e-mail we remembered to watch the Peanuts Christmas Special tonight and it was great. La Luz loves Snoopy, and why not.

I was delighted to discover that La Luz's new favorite activity is sweeping the leaves that have collected on the porch, on the steps, and in the front yard. It is incredible how offended she is at the sight of a bunch of leaves. She makes a disgusted face and announces that it is a mess and proceeds to sweep the leaves away with her hands. Christian told me they spent a half hour on the porch this evening clearing it until she was satisfied. Wow. I cannot wait to bust out the broom this weekend. Here she is tending to the leaves:

Monday, November 27, 2006

Just Another Day at the Office

As if returning to work after days of uninterrupted time with La Luz was not challenging enough...I ended up getting stuck at work until, well, I am still here. I left the house at 8 this morning, dropped off La Luz at daycare at 8:15 and haven't seen her since. It is not always quite like this at work and I think I am sort of doing penance for a legitimate, somewhat excusable mistake, but it is misreable for today at least. I just have to remind myself that most days are at least a bit better than this.

Pilates tomorrow morning at 6 a.m. I wonder if I will actually be able to make it. Maybe I will still be here at work.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

I Should Have Known Better

For the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving I was positively giddy with excitement at the thought of the upcoming holiday. First, I was beside myself with the idea that I would have two, possibly three, days out of the office. Second, I was overcome with joy at the thought of Beajoulais Nouveau and turkey and, oh, whatever else I could find at a traditional Thanksgiving dinner like pecan pie or chocolate pie or cherry pie. Third, I was looking forward to spending the better part of 4 days playing with La Luz in Thibodaux where she spent so much of her early life during our evacuation without any of the distractions of home. Although the weekend was wonderful (with the exception of the mosquitos - why are there mosquitos in November?), it did not play out precisely as I had anticipated.

By Wednesday night I started feeling sick and by Thursday morning Christian had such a bad ear infection that his doctor finally called in a prescription for him. La Luz was feeling much better after three days on antibiotics but by Thursday night I would have offered up my left pinky toe for some relief from my sore throat. So, by Friday morning I was also on antibiotics. What a sorry lot we were - barely able to swallow that turkey I had been thinking about for so long and certainly not able to go anywhere near the wine. It isn't like I was going to behave like a glutton, I just wanted to indulge a bit.

We were lucky enough to have the family around so it made it easier for us to recover. Notwithstanding the awful colds, we still managed to carry-on and enjoy the incredible weather and scenery. (For more check out There is nothing like being out at there during the harvesting season. Yea, the fields on fire sometimes make it difficult to breathe but I love the smell. I also love the sound of the trucks loading the cane and the tractors rolling in and out of the fields like clockwork, all day long.

La Luz is so comfortable in Thibodaux. Watching her eating lunch on the porch while she watched the cane trucks come and go made me realize that the sounds and smells that I love are also special to her because of the time she spent in that exact same place last year. The flags, the birds, the windchimes, the horses - they are all things that she knows so well and loves. Here are some pictures of La Luz's Thanksgiving weekend:

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Happy Birthday Pop

Sixty-one years ago today Pop was born and the world would never be the same and is luckier for it. So am because without him I wouldn't be here and neither would La Luz.
Pop isn't much for birthdays and would probably be satisfied if his came and went without so much as a mention. In our family, however, we like celebrations and traditions are important too. So, we always celebrate his birthday and on good years he actually seems sincerely happy about his presents. Granted, the ones that tend to get the best reception year after year are wine and peanuts, but so be it.

I figured that on the day of his birthday it would be appropriate to post a picture of Pop as a toddler. I am not positive but I think he is two in the picture, close to La Luz's age now. In looking at the picture, I realized that everyone is right, La Luz really does look like Pop and he really was a cute baby. Here, see for yourself:

It is undeniable.

Happy Birthday Pop with all of our love!

Giving Thanks

On this day last year my beautiful nephew Liam was born. I have never felt further away from my family in Atlanta than I did on that day. Once we learned that Liam had arrived I wanted, more than anything, to be there to hold him and shower him with love. Instead, we had to celebrate in our own way, waiting anxiously for the next batch of pictures and news of his latest tricks.
Here was our first look at Liam:

Over the past year we have watchd Liam turn into a blond, blue-eyed, bundle of joy. Whenever La Luz and Liam are together the contrast in their coloring is incredible - La Luz, so mediterranean and Liam, so aryan. It is perplexing that they share the same blood. Their personalities are completely different as well. It is no secret that I longed for (and still do) a snuggly baby and La Luz will have none of it. Liam was the answer to my prayers. I remember the first time I held him he let me squeeze him and hold him close to me for hours.

So, here I am one year later, feeling so far away and wishing all over again for the chance to hold Liam. Instead, just like last year, I will have to be satisfied with pictures and the hope that when we visit in December he will curl up into my arms and sit on my lap for hours on end. Happy Birthday Baby Boy! We love you and miss you more than ever! Aunt Julie, Uncle Chris, and Lucy!

Oh yea, and I hope everyone enjoys a nice dinner with friends and family followed by a long nap. I have so many reasons to give thanks this year but rather than do it all today I will just start with being thankful for Liam.

From Worse To Better

Last night Christian decided that he probably had an ear infection. La Luz woke up at about 3:30 and spent the rest of the night in our bed. It is amazing how much room a 17 month old can take up. I was very uncomfortable. When I left the gang this morning at 8:15 to head to Baton Rouge for the day the outlook was grim. Loki was bitter because I didn't take him for a proper walk, Christian was in pain and waiting for his doctor to call back and confirm an appointment, and La Luz, though she seemed to be feeling better, didn't want me to put her down. It was not easy to extricate myself but I knew that the day was going to be much harder on Christian.

When I got back tonight around 7 it was as if I had returned to a completely different place. Two days of antibiotics worked a bit of magic on La Luz and Christian's decongestant seemed to be alleviating his pain. Loki was still pouting but I could handle that without any problems. I felt invigorated for a second, like we might actually be able to enjoy the Thanksgiving holidays. I am going to stick with my original plan and try not to go into the office tomorrow. I initially planned on taking La Luz for a walk around the park and coffee with Betsy and baby Edward so that I could feel like a stay at home mom for a morning but now it looks like we will just have some quiet time at home while Christian catches up on some sleep. If she has one more fever free day and another 24 hours on antibiotics I will be comfortable having her around everyone on Thanksgiving day.

Here's a pic of La Luz that Christian took tonight. I finally bathed her and I think it put her in a much better mood.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Sick Day

Christian had to spend the first day of his Thanksgiving vacation taking care of the poor little bug. I think it was a very long and tedious day for both of them and the outlook for tomorrow is not much better. La Luz went to the doctor this afternoon and she decided to put her on an antibiotic. Yes, her third one in three months. It is a good thing I have pretty much outgrown my tree hugging/granola stage because I don't know if the old me would have tolerated so many meds. My only hope is that it does the trick and that La Luz is back to her old, lovely self by Wednesday.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

What Happens When You Get A Flu Shot

Everything started out great this weekend. I got out of work at a decent time for a change and when I got home Christian and La Luz were still at Whole Foods shopping for whatever they decided to make for dinner. We had a nice, quiet night at home together and La Luz spent the majority of the evening doing what she normally does these days, changing imaginary diapers.

On Saturday morning when La Luz woke up it was clear that she was a completely different baby than the one I tucked in the night before. She was coughing and congested and a bit lethargic. I figured it was just daycare sniffles and decided to do everything that we normally do on Saturday mornings - run with Loki followed by breakfast and an hour or so at the playground. By the time we got home from the playground La Luz had fever and felt misreable. She has improved thanks to Tylenol but she has had fever off and on all weekend. I hope it is related to the flu shot she got on Friday and not some virus that we will all get just in time for Thanksgiving. I think I remember the doctor or nurse or someone saying that the flu shot is, essentially, the flu so it often makes people who get it come down with flu like symptoms - counterintuitive but so be it.

Despite not feeling so great La Luz still enjoyed her time at the playground. Here she is in the shirt that was a most unexpected, sentimental, and adorable gift. The mother of one of Christian's students gave it to us last year after La Luz played the baby jesus in the ASH Christmas celebration. The shirt was worn by all of her girls and she wanted La Luz to have it. Needless to say, it is very special.

On Saturday night we went out despite La Luz's illness. We had been planning on going out for about a week, had hired a babysitter, and even made reservations. Consequently, we didn't want to cancel plans for a bit of fever. We went to dinner at Vincents and to the Prytania to see Marie Antoinette. Dinner was great but it was incredibly crowded and we sat in the bar area so I had to compete with the football games for Christian's attention.

I thought the movie was great, stunning really. Christian, not so much. Jason Schwartzman was poorly cast in the movie. Sometimes I actually winced when he delivered his lines and I don't think it was the script. I think he just has a hard time playing anything other than that one specific, quirky, loveable-oddball character. Kirsten Dunst was excellent as Marie Antoinette, however. I loved how the movie was limited almost entirely in scope to what happened at Versailles. I guess it was as I always imagined it would have been but Sofia Coppola did such a nice job of showing the excess through the eyes of youth and naivety. It really was like one giant party, but a party hosted by and attended in large part by cluless children. I love the scenes in the predawn light and most everything shot outside because she made it fuzzy and golden and clean. It was the best stuff in the movie and such a contrast to the bold colors and lavish, almost claustrophobic, indoor scenes. My only complaint is that there weren't enough of those scenes. I wish she had been a bit braver in that respect.

I am thrilled it is a short week. I have been waiting for months for Thanksgiving vacation and it is almost here. Christian is off the entire week so he is going to spend the day with the bug Monday and Tuesday and then on Wednesday we are off to sugar cane country for Thanksgiving weekend.