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.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Things That Make You Go "Hmmmm"

Today was one of those crazy days in the Vaicius household. It was the kind of day that reaffirms my belief that if you are going to have a baby you should try to do it in a city where you have a great support system. Christian had volleyball try outs for Cajunland tonight and I had a bar assocition dinner so orchestrating the afternoon and evening for La Luz was one elaborate juggling act. I think that scheduling the life of the Vaicius family could be a full-time job for someone. We were fortunate that mom was willing to take the evening shift which includes feeding and bathing La Luz and, frankly, dealing with the moodiest time in her day. Here's a peek at what happens while La Luz is at mom's house:

I don't really know what to say about these pictures. I could spend hours discussing the implications of my 16 month old baby girl standing on a scale, but I will spare you. Rest assured, it is purely out of curiosity and not, in the least, at all related to her mother's tenuous relationship with food and weight. For now I will say, it looks like fun and we are incredibly blessed with some excellent helping hands. Without the helping hands and the love that goes along with them, I just don't know how we would get by.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

All The Things I Forgot Aren't So Easy

Last night at about 3 it started to rain. I knew it would happen before it started, not because I am clairvoyant but because Loki has that dog's sense about bad weather. He knows it is coming when it is just a few miles away. At 2:45 he was pacing and drooling. I figured either Christian forgot to walk him last night or it was about to pour. The rain was pretty intense. Loki hated it. I loved it. There are few things I like as much as the sensation of being all cozy in bed while it sounds like the world is coming apart at the seams outside. The storm even woke La Luz up at some point. I don't remember if she actually cried though, I think it was more of a commentary, or an explanation to the animals of what was going on outside.

The most significant thing about the storm this morning was that it served as a great reminder for how fragile some things still are around here and how accustomed to it I (and I guess everyone else living here) have become. The newspeople were frothing at the mouth, people in certain areas of the city were advised to leave their trailers and head to shelters. I forgot that thousands of people are still living in trailers. On the way to work most of the street lights on St. Charles were out or blinking. Rain is not supposed to knock out street lights, unless you are living in a city whose infrastructure might just be hanging on by a thread. When I got to my building parts of the ceiling in the concourse had caved in and there were puddles of plastery rainwater. I remember climbing stairs instead of using elevators for months after Katrina and I never complained. I also remember that the lights in the building would flicker in and out and I never complained. The lights started flickering again this morning and I just sort of sighed. I don't really care all that much it just reminds me that I have gotten used to things being just a bit challenging. I am okay with it but I wonder how long it is going to go on like this. The worst part is, those are simple, inconsequential things.

The rain moved on and around 3 the sun came out again and the temperature dropped, and dropped. It went from about 76 degrees this morning to something really cold tonight. I think the high tomorrow is 60 degrees, which would make for the coldest day yet this year. I can't wait.

La Luz had a great day. After I picked her up from mom's we went to Gerrish's for a bit to have a drink and meet Eric. La Luz spent the entire time playing with Otto, Gerrish's adorable boxer. He was so sweet with La Luz. He is big and clunky though so it was a bit tricky letting them play together. When it was time to go La Luz threw a fit because she wanted to stay and play with Otto. The entire ride home she kept asking to play with him.

Christian had volleyball tonight so we were on our own. When we got home she putzed around the kitchen while I washed some dishes. She was acting like a busy body, going to and fro with her hands filled with keys, baby, purse, and bottle. The usual nightly routine.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Just Another One of Those Days

I believe I spent a grand total of about an hour and forty-five minutes with La Luz today. It was the best hour and forty-five minutes of my day but that's all I got and it kills me. She wanted to sleep late this morning and I understand that sort of thing because I love sleeping so we had very little time together before work. I didn't get home from work until late and Christian took her to a signing party for the senior volleyball players this evening so the only time we had together tonight was a few minutes playing in the den followed by a quick bath and bed. Lately she has asked to skip the bedtime story and go straight to her bed, a girl after my own heart. Consequently, I didn't even have the pleasure of reading to her and rocking her for five minutes.

Here's a picture I was able to snap during the few minutes of play time we had together this evening.

It was just moments after I had wrestled her to the ground to kiss her, hug her, feed her her bottle, and rock her in my arms reminding her how much I love her. She wasn't having any of that and did all she could to break free as quickly as possible. Sometimes I forget that not everyone likes to be smothered with love. At least that's what I have heard. But I don't know, if you are going to be a part of this family you sort of have to grin and bear it. We are tactile folks, the Vaiciuses. We deal in hugs and kisses. So, beware La Luz, you can run, but we will catch up eventually.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Monday, Monday

I was up at 5:30 this morning in order to get ready and out of the house in time to make it to Lafayette for a hearing. I will be up early again tomorrow for pilates at 6:00 and I am already tired just thinking about it. I haven't been in 2 weeks so I am dreading the stiff limbs and unbending back. Catherine, the instructor/pain inflictor, will probably roll her eyes at me as if I am looking to waste her time and the $30 I pay per session.

Christian handled the morning alone swimmingly. He and La Luz managed to get dressed, fed, and out of the house before the first school bell. I met them for dinner at Theo's after I left work and was shocked to see that La Luz had on an outfit that actually matched. This is a huge accomplishment considering Christian is color blind. I was impressed and so happy to see both of them. The mornings, though always rushed, are my favorite times around here so when I leave before the fun begins it makes my heart ache a bit all day.

I didn't have time for pictures so I will include a few more from the weekend:

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Victory for ASH and the Return of Christian

The ASH volleyball season ended, finally, and with a bang. They defeated Morgan City to win the State title. Hooray! Needless to say, there was plenty of volleyball going on this weekend and La Luz and I definitely got our fill.

On Friday night La Luz spent the night at mom-mom and pop's so that Christian and I could go to the 'end of the season' volleyball party and stay out all night. La Luz loved the break from the tedium around here and, from what I understand, she was on her best behavior. I think she slept from 8 until 8. Sadly, Christian and I did not really take advantage of the fact that La Luz was spending the night out. I think we were in bed and asleep by midnight. Lame.

Saturday morning after picking up La Luz we went to the playground, our second home on the weekend. We were hoping that one of the great bonuses about the house is the built in entertainment value having the playground and the children's library within walking distance. I think we have already gotten our money's worth. I am dreading the onset of winter when it gets too cold to play outside. Then again, there are generally only about 3 days like that every year.

Catherine happened to be driving by and noticed us so she decided to procrastinate studying for a few more hours. She played with us at the park and even let La Luz chew on her keys. After hanging out at the playground Catherine came back to the house with us for lunch. It was nice to hear all about what is going on in her life. She is doing a rotation in Pineville so she had some entertaining stories about what small-town living has been like over the past few weeks. I guess times have changed though, apparently they sell pre-made sushi at the grocery store near the hospital, so life is not completely challenging.

The volleyball championship was Saturday night so Pop, La Luz, and I headed out to the game to cheer on the team. La Luz was a great sport for the most part and even allowed me to put the red barette in her hair for about ten seconds.

This morning La Luz, Loki, and I went to Audubon Park for a nice, cold run. It took a long time. I like to blame the speed (or non-speed rather) on Loki having to smell every square inch of the park and the heft of the stroller, but I think those are excuses. Meanwhile, Christian slept late. He surfaced at some point and when La Luz saw him it was like she had discovered some old toy she used to play with every day but then forgot about. The excitement was short lived, however, because Christian had to go to a Cajunland clinic this morning and then had to watch the Saints game with Uncle Rich. In the little time available he somehow managed to take La Luz to the playground for some swinging and sliding which meant that I had thirty minutes to myself. I poured a cup of coffee and stared out of the window - talk about a gross misallocation of time. I seem to have squandered a bunch this weekend.

At the end of the day we had jambalaya and pecan pie at mom's. It was a treat to not have to cook and to have a real meal. Lately I have been living on Gardenburgers and La Luz's leftover Spaghettios. Oh, and wine and Halloween candy. Disgusting.

The week is going to be a real treat starting with a 9 a.m. hearing in Lafayette. It has been a while since Christian has had a solo morning so keep your fingers crossed that they make it out of the house fed and fully clothed.

Two more birthday shout-outs today! Aunt Lucy, La Luz's namesake in Houston - lots of hugs and kisses for you and Uncle David and Happy Birthday. And, to Toita in Argentina - Happy Birthday! I will try to get La Luz to call you and say "hola, Toi", besos!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Ghost Dad

It is a little quiet around the house because it is the middle of the State volleyball tournament. ASH is doing great and all but I just wish it would hurry up and be over already. La Luz has made it clear that I am not, and Christian is, the "fun" one. Similarly, Loki will generally have little to do with me unless it involves the prospect of a walk or a bone. I am, frankly, a little tired of the long faces and the false hope. La Luz and Loki jerk to attention everytime they hear the sound of an old iron gate in need of wd40 (and there are plenty in the neighborhood) only to be disappointed when nobody climbs the stairs. So, if any of you see Christian, please tell him to hurry up already. Last I remember, he looked something like this:

La Luz still managed to find plenty of joy in her day, however. Check out the pictures of La Luz swinging that mom sent to me while I was at work:

I know, I can't believe this is what is going on while I am quibbling about pretrial statements and continuances. The pictures take me back to what it felt like to spend an afternoon swinging, without a care in the world. A sensation I will now only have through memories.

La Luz sends Aunt Margot a big birthday hug! Have a great day Aunt Margot. Happy Birthday! We love you!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

A Little Chinese Food for Thought

Tonight La Luz and I dined with mom-mom and pop because Christian was coaching the first of one of the state championship games and then celebrating the victory at Fat Harry's. At my suggestion, we ordered Chinese food and it was delicious. The fortune, however, was somewhat daunting. It read: You will overcome many obstacles before finding peace. It was not exactly the type of fortune that makes a pint of chicken fried rice sit comfortably in an already weak stomach. Nobody else had the kind of fortune one expects either like, 'great things will come to those who are patient', or, 'a wise man will recognize his kingdom', so I am just going to write it off as one of a bad batch of fortune cookies.

The rest of the night involved more of the same old nightly routine of locking and unlocking the doors. I guess I am just in awe...can this game really be all that entertaining? I am not kidding, she could do this for hours on end. I suppose shouldn't complain.

The new McSweeney's (#21) arrived in the mail today all wonderful looking and enticing. I love that the folks at McSweeney's recognize that there is something incredible about the look and feel of a book. It is the reason why I still prefer to shop for books at an actual store as opposed to online. A brief review while La Luz busied herself with the doors confirmed that it will be a great read. There are some wonderful short stories and interesting art, as always. There's even a Roddy Doyle short story called, The Pram. I am particularly excited about that one since (yawn) babies are now one of my favorite topics. The bonus this time is that interspersed throughout the issue are copies of actual letters received at the Ray Charles office at various times. Not that I am a Ray Charles fan in particular, I just like the concept. The oddest one I have read so far is unsolicited advice to Ray Charles about his diet, no kidding. The writer, the Annointed King of Orange, asks Ray to give up meat and to eat, in this order, 10 oranges, 4 haas avacados, 5 bananas, 5 apples, and 30 grapes. Everyone in the Banos family knows what all that fruit will do to you, bad idea.

Plenty of politics to discuss too but I just don't have the heart. For those of my friends and family who live out of town and are perplexed about the fact that Jefferson is in a run-off, I have no explanation for why it happened and I am very discouraged. Once I stop fuming I will write a bit more about my thoughts with respect to the 2nd district race.

Finally, today La Luz sends birthday shout-outs to Sarah and AJ! Lots of love to both of you.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Election Night

Fortunately, I seem to have made an almost complete recovery. I am still allowing myself to drink soft drinks and eat carbs operating under the theory that protein, vegetables, and fruit might not be the best things to put in my unstable stomach. Christian feels lousy and now has some cold/congestion/stuffiness similar to what he had last week. It is also the end of volleyball season which means it is state playoff time which means Christian is never around. I am getting sort of weary of this 'sick dad'/volleyball dad stuff because child rearing is not a one-person job. Plus, occasionally La Luz prefers his company to mine, and, let's face it, who can blame her?

Mid-term election night in the Vaicius household has been like any other busy week night. While La Luz busied herself with the old game of 'lock, announce your arrival, unlock, say goodbye' with the french doors, Christian and I watched some tv. We have been watching the election returns for most of the night and, with the exception of some of the national races, there is no clear winner in any of the races I care about. I mean, it mystifies me that winners of the St. James Parish School Board Presidency and Lutcher Fire Chief are decided before the polls close but I will have to stay up all night or wait until the morning to find out who will be the one lucky enough to be in a run-off with Jefferson (which brings up another thing that mystifies me but I will save it for the run-off).

Instead of staying up all night to, in all likelihood, be disappointed, I think I might as well go to sleep.

Go Vote

I was sick with some weird and awful 24 hour virus from sunday night until last night. Christian came down with the same thing about mid-day yesterday. We were misreable and could barely take care of La Luz. Please keep your fingers crossed that La Luz does not get it. Because of the craziness, I didn't have time to post but wanted to remind everyone to vote today.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Saturday Looks Good to Me

La Luz is lucky enough to have jetsetting grandparents, literally. Since the weather was nicer here than it was in Atlanta, Papa-T decided to fly himself and Nana down for the night and spoil La Luz with a surprise visit. Of course, La Luz was ecstatic to spend some time with Nana and Papa doing silly things:

Like playing with the hats Nana brought her:

swinging with Papa at the park:

and hanging out on the deck all morning entertaining us while we drank our coffee:

It was such a nice treat for all of us even if it was a quick visit.

I spent much of the weekend testing out the black and white function on the camera. The camera is almost a year old and, not that it is particularly complicated, I have learned very little about how to operate it. Most of what I can do with the camera involves automatic settings. Christian always makes me feel quilty about the fact that I can't really do anything with it, like I have no right to possess such a fancy thing if I don't care to master the camera's true potential. Honestly, I am dying to learn how to use it but, let's face it, I have very little time after La Luz and, oh yeah, my job. So, what little time I have left over I generally like to put towards something relaxing and the 200 page, 6 point font, camera manual is not it. But, bit by bit, I am adding to my list of capabilities with respect to the camera.

Here are two of my favorites of La Luz:

Thursday, November 02, 2006

The Special Syrup

Here are a few pics of La Luz to make your Friday even better.
She seems to be feeling much better thanks to Sulfameth-Trimeth-Sup, better known in the Vaicius house as that delicious liquid candy that only very special girls, babies, Elmo, and Dora get to try.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Spirits in the Sky

In celebration of All Saints Day today and Dia de los Muertos tomorrow I would like to pay a little tribute to some of the people I love and miss so much. The pictures are in no way representative of special favorites, they just happened to be accessible. I hope that next year the gallery will be all inclusive - that will give me plenty of time to dig through mom and Diane's scrapbooks in search of more pictures. Apologies to those of you who ended up inadvertently in some of these pictures. I hope you will not mind (that means you Molls and Sarah).

In each of these people I see qualities I hope that I have, in some way, acquired and will be able to pass along to La Luz. With the exception of Mema V., I was lucky enough to have known all of these people very well and I have beautiful memories of my time spent with them. I have always tried to share stories about their lives with my younger cousins and I hope that I will remember the stories when La Luz asks me if Dama was the kindest person I have ever known, if Grandad was the perfect example of a gentleman who loved his family above all things in the world, if Mema E. was the one that made us love books and if she really woke Pop up every morning by clanging around pots and pans in the kitchen, and if Nana really did ply us with candy and marry someone who owned an ice-cream factory. I don't know as much about Mema V. but when La Luz asks me to tell her a story about the most courageous woman I have ever met she will hear her story but she will also hear that Mema V. had an excellent sense of humor and was always joking around.

When I think back on all of the people who are no longer here but who are still such an intricate part of my life I feel like I am blessed.

"Let us now sing the praises of famous men, our ancestors in their generations."
Ecclesiates 44:1-2