Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Look Ma' No Hair

I had a client development dinner tonight after work so I was a little late getting home and then I had to watch the finale of Top Chef which I dvrd.
I didn't get to take any pictures of La Luz today. I assure you she looked cute.
Instead of a new picture I am posting an old one of her from this time last year watching Superbowl 2006. Wow...

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Sometimes There's Nothing To Hold On To

I only have time for a quick post tonight as I am about to pick up Molls and head to Canal Place for the exclusive New Orleans showing of Air Guitar Nation. I figured since Molly was the stage manager for a play/musical in NYC last year called Air Guitar this would be right up her alley and I am always up for a movie (or strangely-themed documentary, whichever).

La Luz is still a bit on the grouchy side. I am starting to wonder if maybe the attitude is not related to her cold but rather to her age. She is not so much grouchy as she is obstinate. She insists on watching Dora every night and whines about wanting bun-bun (and we have worked very hard to make sure that bun-bun stays in her bed). It is so much easier to capitulate but I know I need to fight the good fight now or suffer more extreme consequences later. So, in an exercise of amazing patience on my part this evening, I indulged La Luz and allowed her to take five minutes selecting the perfect bath toys. It such a frustrating procedure. An animal or doll is selected and firmly grasped only to be discarded moments later when something shinier catches her eye but then reclaimed once reason takes over. This can go on and on and on and on. Here she is with the ones that made the cut tonight...a little mix of old and new...monkey has been a strong favorite since the summer and tiny Dora (not to be confused with little Dora or big Dora or Dora dolly) is a newer addition (Three King's Day gift from Christian) :

Monday, January 29, 2007

Puppy Love

Over the weekend Loki and Jax, the next-door neighbors' puppy, made a series of desperate attempts to have some quality time together. Here they are, their love separated by a three-foot fence:

The exercise is endless entertainment for La Luz who becomes ecstatic when both dogs jump up on the fence. She thinks it is the most incredible thing in the world, with the exception of fake baby bottles and dolls:

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Not Quite Well Yet

I was really looking forward to the weekend because I finally felt better, Christian had not caught whatever it was La Luz and I had and La Luz seemed, well, like she would be able to enjoy the weekend. At 3:30 mom-mom called me because La Luz wasn't napping and was feverish. She looked like this...

So, Christian took her to the doctor at 4:00 and the doctor diagnosed a double ear infection and put her on a new prescription. Great, a double ear-infection? A single ear infection I can handle but a double, it sounded downright unfair. This is what Friday night looked like at the Vaicius house...

Saturday was an excellent day for me. I finally cashed in my mother's day 2005 spa sampler gift certificate at H20 with Kelli while Christian and La Luz lounged around reading, playing, and watching dvds. Oh yea, and going stir crazy. Being locked up in a house with a sick toddler for hours on end can be tricky. I guess it was a good day to be stuck inside since it poured all day long.

The trip to H2O was incredible. I had a massage (for the second time in my life). This time was great. I even got on the table and faced in the proper direction (as opposed to my first massage when the masseuse came in and cracked up because my head was where my feet were supposed to be - how was I supposed to know? I thought the rolly thing where your legs go was a pillow). The massage was followed by a facial (my first one). It was incredible. All along I was sort of luke-warm about the facial thinking I might skip it and trade it in for some other service. As it turns out, it was my favorite part of the day. I have the lowest-maintenance skin regiment of any girl that I know so I just didn't think a facial was for me. I stand corrected. I don't really know how to describe why I liked it so much other than to say that the whole procedure felt incredible and my skin looked very different afterwards. The day ended with a combination manicure pedicure in the same room with Kelli so we actually had an hour to visit without chasing the kids around. It was a perfect gift.

Christian and I watched movies both nights this weekend since the weather was lousy and we didn't want to leave La Luz. We watched All The King's Men on Friday night. I like the way the movie looked and I enjoyed the story but I think Sean Penn's acting was a bit over-the-top. The main point of watching the movie was to see Richmond's scene. I couldn't find him and I even knew which scene he was in...f. On Saturday night we watched Brokeback Mountain. Once again, I like the way the movie looked. I was actually sort of disappointed because I love Ang Lee and I figured there had to be something pretty incredible about it since it won best picture last year. I guess my problem was that I didn't really like, identify with, or care about any of the characters and I didn't 'buy' the realtionship. I understand the theme but I didn't believe it was sincere. Maybe I would have felt different about it if I saw it in the theater.

Today Christian went to Baton Rouge for some volleyball related event so after a quick cup of coffee at PJs together La Luz and I walked up the street to mass. She was very well behaved but only because she had milk and then snacks to keep her occupied. After mass we went over to mom-mom and pop's to hang out with them and Richmond and Molly. When La Luz woke up from her nap she seemed to be feeling okay so we spent the remainder of the afternoon swinging and sliding at the park. Here she is enjoying a bit of the great outdoors...

Thursday, January 25, 2007

What The Sun Brings Out

Today looked like it was going to be beautiful. I spent only about ten minutes of the day outside and early this morning the sun looked like it was finally going to come out. It did. Apparently the day was perfect, even if it was a bit on the cold side.

La Luz celebrated the sun and played in her swing and on the front porch with mom-mom and Molly who was making her first outdoor appearance in over two weeks. I wish I could have been there...

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

What Goes Around And Around

Well, I officially have whatever La Luz has/had. I started out with a bit more sneezing than normal for me yesterday and that progressed into a somehwhat runny nose and now I am completely congested. It is amazing how powerless my immune system is against these toddler germs.

La Luz woke up with a bloody nose this morning and apparently had two more while she was at daycare. Mom-mom and the ladies at daycare suggested we get a humidifier so Christian picked one up at Walgreens tonight (what must've been our tenth trip there this week). The humidifier wasn't cheap but it looks cool and it apparently fights 99% of common household germs and mold. I guess we will see. The good news is we were able to convice La Luz that it is neat instead of scary. I don't know how. It sort of scares me and it makes a strange gurgling noise every now and then. Let's hope she doesn't wake up in the middle of the night and change her opinion.

Here's a pic of La Luz playing with her dollhouse from Nana and Papa-T earlier tonight:

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The Power of Suggestion...And Grape Flavoring

We have somehow managed to convince La Luz that amoxicillin is delicious. I think it is because because Christian will spare no expense when it comes to La Luz and agreed to pay an extra dollar to the Walgreens pharmacist to sweeten up La Luz's prescription. Now when she hears it is time for her medicine she is ecstatic and keeps complaining that we are shorting her on her proper dose and overloading some of the stuffed animals instead.

Here's La Luz...

and now here's La Luz just seconds before she gets her medicine...

Monday, January 22, 2007

More Of The Stuff That Heals You

Today La Luz spent the afternoon with AJ and, as a result of her incessant, disgusting cough, found herself at the pediatrician's office. Apparently La Luz has a sinus infection and so, once again, she is on amoxicillin. It seemed to work last time she had it and I guess I can't complain, she hasn't been sick since November, or maybe it was early December. I don't remember but considering the germs traded back and forth at daycare, I would say that she is due.

She is generally in a decent mood but I can tell she is not 100%. She is a bit crabby, doesn't have much of an appetite, and is experiencing I guess what is the toddler equivalent of attention deficit disorder. She got half-way through taking the clothes off of her baby doll and gave up when it became too taxing. Here's what she left behind:

I am just hoping that the medicine will allow her (and me) to sleep through the night. I think we both need the rest.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Just Catching My Breath

The weekend flew by and I sort of figured it would. The past week was so chaotic that by the time Friday rolled around I was a basket case but a happy basket case. I spent most of the weekend breathing sighs of relief and trying to clean up the house. Despite getting to sleep late on Saturday morning I am still feeling exhausted. I suppose I am just physically and emotionally drained.

On Friday night we had dinner at mom-mom and pop's to celebrate Richmond's birthday. The dinner, courtesy of Aunt Julie, was delicious. Molly even joined us - her first trip down the stairs since returning from the hospital so it made the night extra special. Here's a picture of La Luz with me and her Uncle Richmond.

Saturday was wasted doing mundane stuff around the house - a total bore. We did, however, get an incredibly large chest for the living room to put all of La Luz's junk in. It is amazing...after La Luz goes to sleep and we thow everything in the chest it looks like adults actually live in our house. Here's a pic of La Luz climbing in the half finished chest. She really has a way of inserting herself into the middle of whatever project we are working on. Oh yea, in this pic she is wearing her favorite new outfit - her Christmas present from Aunt Linda and Uncle Geddy. Why is it her favorite - because it has Dora on it of course.

On Saturday night we went to an engagement party and Kelsea babysat for La Luz. We left La Luz on the couch, cuddled up next to Kelsea watching Dora and Diego. The Dora thing is really getting old but, I have to say, she is learning Spanish which is kind of cool since neither of us is bothering to teach her any. Christian said it is almost impossible to go to the grocery with La Luz these days because Dora's face is plastered all over every bad thing you don't want to buy your kid - candy, cookies, sugary name it.

La Luz did not want to sleep on Sunday for some reaon (probably because we stayed out late the night before and decided to meet Uncle Richmond for a night cap at St. Joe's instead of going home and going to sleep - but we had a babysitter, it seemed silly to waste it) so from about 5 a.m. until I capitulated at around 6:45 she was in and out of our room, her room, our bed, and her bed. It was so early that Loki hadn't even stirred. Needless to say, it was a long, grey, rainy morning and I drank a ton of coffee while she played this game again, the opening and closing the door game. Just when I thought she was over it...

But she was so cute that it was easy to forgive her, particularly because the weekends really are my only solid, uninterrupted time with La Luz. I have to remember to enjoy every second of it, even the pre-dawn ones.

While La Luz napped late Sunday morning I decided to go out for a quick run - ALONE. It was, as usual, totally liberating to not have the stroller and/or the dog. I ran to Coliseum Square and down Magazine and I loved passing the bars where Saints fans were gathered to get ready for the game. Every person I passed had on either black or gold or a jersey. It is phenomenal to see how Saints mania has taken over the city. I love it and I loved watching the game. Even though it is not exactly what we hoped for, it is pretty close. When I watched Reggie Bush somersault into the end zone I felt better than I have felt in a long time. I was watching the game upstairs with mom-mom and Molls (well, okay, in all fairness we weren't exactly watching the game - we were chatting and I was digging into Molls' great magazine collection) and when he scored the roar from downstairs shook the floor and we cheered so loud that La Luz started dancing around mom-mom's room. It was a lovely, light moment after a long and draining week. So, thanks Saints.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

So Much To Celebrate

At around 5 p.m. this evening my cell phone rang and I saw that it was mom calling me. The ache in the pit of my stomache intensified because I knew my mom was calling because she had the results of the biopsy. To my indescribable joy, the news was only good, relatively speaking. The cancer had not spread beyond the ovaries and all of the tissue samples tested negative. There is nothing more that chemotherapy can add to Molly's prognosis so the treatment from here on out is to do follow-up testing on a regular basis with an obgyn oncologist in NYC. We all feel incredibly blessed. No doubt Molls has some work to do over the next few weeks and no doubt the seriousness of what has happened to her will reveal itself over time but none of this will happen in front of the back-drop of chemotherapy and for that we are lucky. Thanks everyone for your prayers, love, and support over what was, at least for now, probably the worst and best week of my life.

We celebrated by allowing La Luz a quick visit with her Aunt Molly. She has been asking about her all week so I figured it was the least I could do. We have so much to look forward to over the next few days and it is nice to know that I can celebrate without feeling the paralyzing sort of sadness I have been experiencing.

Tomorrow is our big brother, the leader of the pack's, birthday. He turns 35, yikes...Happy Birthday Big Brother. Here we are circa 1976, probably:

Tomorrow is also La Luz's golden month anniversary, if there is such a thing. At any rate, she turns 19 months old and there is so much to report about La Luz's development over the past few months. I was remiss and failed to chronicle all the good stuff that she was up to when she turned 18 months so I will have to try and make some notes about what she is like at 19 months. The most important developmental step in my opinion is that her soft spot is almost completely closed. I know, 19 months is old to still have a soft spot but the doctor promised me that it was not a concern until she turned 2. So, here's La Luz, the night before she is 19 months:

And, last but not least...WHO DAT!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

A Sort of Homecoming

I know she would prefer it to be to her 1 bedroom apartment on the upper West Side but for now Molly is thrilled to be home. It is amazing how much good a change of scene can do. She was discharged around noon today and when I stopped by the house on my way back to the office from Franklinton she looked like herself again, but a smaller version of herself. I would not have thought something as simple as being discharged from the hospital would be so significant but I guess I am learning to appreciate the small gifts. I am impressed with how fast Molly is recovering. She had major surgery and now wears the scars to prove it and tonight when I stopped by after putting La Luz down she got out of bed, ambled down the hallway and sat around mom's room with me for an hour laughing. I noticed her laughter is getting deeper so she must be getting comfortable with the stitches and finally accepted the fact that laughter will not split her tummy open.

La Luz was in rare form tonight, climbing all over me, hugging me, kissing me, hitting me with her Dora figurines...I love the escape from reality that she provides, even if it is fleeting.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Brief Update

I just got home after a few hours in the hospital with Molls. Wow, what a difference from the girl I left behind this morning at 6:30. When mom arrived she said her goal for the day was to wake her up and boy did she wake her up. I am so proud of Molly. She weaned herself off of the dilauded and the composine and she no longer has an iv. She is taking Tylenol, yes, Tylenol for pain. I can't believe it. Tylenol does not even get rid of my 5 p.m., work-stress headache! I think being off of the heavy pain meds makes all the difference in the world because Molly and I talked and laughed and gossiped like we would have on any other day. She even made me watch this show she likes, Veronica Mars, and then gossip about the Golden Globes. I can't get enough of discussing the Golden Globes - how great Reese Witherspoon looked, how odd Angelina looked and how Sacha Baren Cohen is actually kinda' hot. I know that I shouldn't get excited about anything because I have been let-down so much these past few days but I think Molls might be home tomorrow night. I can't wait.

No pics of La Luz today as I wasn't around her but for a few quick minutes this morning when I got home from the hospital. She spent the afternoon and evening with AJ and was, from what I have heard, on her best behavior...of course she was in the lap of toddler luxury, but still. I don't know how I would do it without all the love and support of friends and family.

I am off to Franklinton in the morning for work and I think I might be driving in sleet or snow. Hmmm, should be interesting. I will just be looking forward to getting back to New Orleans and, hopefully, to a visit with Molly at home!

Monday, January 15, 2007

A Quick Note

I am off to the hospital to relieve mom and spend the night with Molls. I vowed I would be at her side through whatever and I certainly owe her for all she has done for me. I would like to entertain her with my commentary while watching the Golden Globes but from what mom tells me she is not feeling well at all (nausea from the drugs) and will not be amused. I guess I will have to keep my mouth shut. We thought she would be home today but it looks like a more realistic day is Wednesday.

I made it through work today. I arrived late, left early, and was totally distracted but I think it is a great start. Baby steps.

Here's a little light for you:

So, Don't Mind If I Fall Apart

On Friday my precious baby sister had surgery to remove a gigantic (15 lbs.) tumor from her left ovary that her doctor in New York discovered only a few days after Christmas. Although all of the preoperative tests came back normal and although we were incredibly optimistic going into the surgery, after the doctors removed the tumor and ran some tests they discovered that it was malignant. Though we initially belived they would only remove one ovary, the doctors removed everything. They also took samples from her tissue and will biopsy it. We will not get the results until later in the week. It was devastating news and the weekend has been tough but if there is one thing that my baby sis is, it is tenacious. She is 100% focused on getting better, getting home, and getting back to NYC, the city she loves. In the meantime, I am using her strength and determination as a source of my courage. That, combined with the love and support of our friends and family, makes getting through these tough days possible.

For all of the 26 years that she has been alive I have treated Molly as not just my sister, but my baby. I was convinced when she was born and I was all of 7 years old, that she was mine to keep and have acted that way ever since. Here's a picture of us circa late 1981 or early 1982. I don't think I ever put her down until she became to big for me to carry:

There is something unique about the bond between sisters and there is something extra-special about being a big sister because you take on the role of mother/protector/guardian in addition to best friend. But I think there is something extra-special about being a little sister too because you are forced to assert your strength and independence and Molly has certainly done that.

Please keep Molly in your prayers over the next few days because there is no such thing as too much love.

La Luz, yet again, did a great job of living up to her name this weekend. When I was completely inconsolable and good for nothing but sadness, she reminded me that it is no way to live. She also learned a new phrase today, "Buddha Belly"...Pop's contribution to her ever-expanding vocabulary that he felt the need to teach her during his first solo stint as babysitter this morning (incidentally, he did a great job). Admittedly, when I heard her say it was one of only a few times that I laughed this weekend (Molly might disagree...she got angry whenever mom and I would make her laugh because it made her stitches ache) so I appreciated it.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Walk With Me

Here are a few pictures from the march to City Hall. It was incredible and you can rest assured that we got our point accross. The most beautiful moment for me was when the group marching from Central City arrived - mid city and cbd marchers had arrived a few minutes earlier. The Central City contingent walked slowly, quietly, with pride and respect. They were greated with cheers, whistles, claps, and love. For at least a little while today we were all in it together and it felt really nice.

I know I was hoping that the march would get 'it' out of my system but this afternoon I read the piece on NPR by David Koen, a personal friend of Helen Hill the beautiful mother/wife/artist that was murdered last week. This one is also beautifully written and an incredible tribute. I highly recommend that you check it out. You can access it by clicking on the link below: 
I have to stop reading these tributes to Hill and her husband. It is making me delve a bit too much into the biblical questions that test my faith, the very simple and very old, "why do bad things happen to good people...why them and not me?" I just can't do it anymore because it is making me misreable. I will never forget to honor Hill and her family and will always keep them in my prayers but I have to move on to something more positive now.

I am the first to roll my eyes at the mention of C. Ray but today he sat there and listened to what everyone had to say with dignity and respect. I think it is a step in the right direction and it certainly took some courage on his part to attend.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

High Hopes

I've got high hopes for the march to City Hall tomorrow. I have to belive that something good will come of this. At the very least I hope that the march will get 'it' out my system so I can go back to living for a while. I am obsessed with the crime problem and the way that the citizens feel about it. I read every essay/article/editorial/blog post I can get my hands on. I am completely addicted, like a junkie. The ideas are all the same, for the most part, some are just better at hitting the nail on the head than others. They all make me nod my head in agreement and the really good ones make me cry. The best one, and most heartbreaking of all, was in the NYT today. It is called, Taken By the Tide, and is courtesy of Op Ed Contributor, Billy Sothern. If I can figure out how to insert the link I will. I guess maybe I am waiting to find the one that explains how to fix the problem. Surely someone knows how, right?

In the meantime, my spirits are lifted, at least for now. The family got together at mom-mom and pop's for a delicious dinner - one of Aunt Margot's specialties, BBQ shrimp. The food was delicious and the company was perfect. One of the main reasons I have decided to live in New Orleans is so that I can be near my family. I know that it is what I would miss most if I have to leave.

And for a little more 'lightness', since you really can't ever get enough as far as I am concerned, here's a sweet picture of La Luz playing with the balloon she got at Bruce's party. She loved it until the following morning when it lost 1/2 of the helium and floated at her height. At that point it totally freaked her out.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

La Luz's Daycare

The hours are erratic and the caregiver to child ratio leaves something to be desired, but there's lots of love to go around:

I have to give a shout-out to the Times Picayune for setting aside a bunch of space for columnists to try to make sense of all of the crime in the city. Thanks to Chris Rose for saying it just like I wish I could have said it. Thanks also to Sheila Stroup (I usually don't have the patience to get through one of her pieces because they are too sweet and cute) and to Jarvis DeBerry for telling it like it is. All of this fear, frustration, and desire for change can only lead to something better, right? I am interested to see what happens at the march on Thursday. Give me any reason to be optimistic and I will take it. I have to.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Making Monday Even More Difficult

As if I don't have enough trouble waking up and then making it through Monday, I upped the ante last night when I decided to go to the Prytania for the 10 p.m. showing of The Holiday with Molly. It was entertaining and sweet and sad and exactly what I expected - a nice escape from reality. I really don't like Cameron Diaz though. I wish I could figure out why she bothers me. And really maybe it doesn't have anything to do with her personally, just the characters she plays, she annoys me on screen. I feel neither here nor there about her off-screen. There is something about her in the movies that gets under my skin and irks me. She was good in the movie, same with everyone else. I want to hate Jude Law but he is too hot. Jack Black always makes me laugh and I love Kate Winslet.

In a grim and somewhat embarrasing reminder of the city we live in I made up an escape plan which I detailed to Molly before the start of the movie on the off chance that some fifteen year olds with semi-automatic weapons decided to hold up all ten people at the Prytrania - we would use the side door and not bother with gathering our belongings. Luckily we didn't have any problems. How pathetic that I would even be preoccupied with such thoughts. This is the city we live in though, right?

I was reassured by the rally/meeting at Sound Cafe and the plans for a march down Canal Street to City Hall on Thursday. I think it is an important show of our complete desperation and our lack of faith in our leadership. I guess the residents of New Orleans have to add one more thing to the never-ending 'to do' list : flooded house, march to City Hall... Maybe citizen action is the only thing left that can fix the problem. It is just frustrating that the citizens of New Orleans are all running on reserves - physically and mentally - at this point. How much can people be expected to take? How many 'calls to action' can people respond to?

Maybe La Luz has it right, maybe just a few minutes in the Elmo chair is all it takes to make things right. Here's a little something sweet so that we can all get some sleep and not forget that we have lives to live:

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Are All the Good Things Fading?

For the better part of the weekend Christian and I (and pretty much everyone we know in the city) walked around feeling depressed about the family that lived in the marigny/bywater neighborhood and was the subject of a cold, brutal, vicious, and disgusting attack last week. We, like many other people, found ourselves second guessing our decision to stick around. The reasons why we want to be in New Orleans and why we want our daughter to grow up in this place somehow seem less significant. Maybe being a mother has made me a ninny, maybe there is just too much more at stake these days. For now we are here and it is taking every ounce of courage inside of me to pretend like it is the right decision.

Almost as if the city has a keen awareness of the sentiments of its residents, things sort of fell into place and reminded us about the good things. During my brief lunch break on Friday I crossed through Lafayette Square to meet Soheil for coffee and there was a bikini clad girl sunbathing in the middle of the Square. Then Soheil (who I haven't seen in over a year) was talking about how he thinks he might move back to New Orleans next year with his girlfriend. Lately I hear much more about people leaving the city so this was inspiring. On Saturday night we went to a Twelfth Night pary to commemorate the start of the Mardi Gras season at our friends' house. They live right around the block and are the reason we are living in this house now. It was a great party and we spent time with friends and other families from the neighborhood. I appreciated the reassurance and the reminder that it is possible to have fun and enjoy being a New Orleanian.

This morning after La Luz, Loki, and I trekked to Audubon Park in the early morning rain, Christian and I decided to take La Luz to the zoo. She really hasn't stop talking about the time she spent there last week and we needed a bit of a distraction. We are starting to worry that she might be becoming a bit addicted to her Dora dvds. We made it through an entire weekend without watching any tv but she asked for the Dora dvds quite a bit. Here's a picture of me with La Luz in front of the gorillas. The silver-back is really frightening as far as I am concerned but La Luz loved it:

As for other news, La Luz has decided that she loves the Virginia t-shirt pop picked up for her during his last trip to UVA. She didn't want to take it off on Saturday morning when it was time to get ready for the birthday party:

La Luz went into a space walk at her friend Bruce's birthday party. She loved it. I was a bit worried about it but she did fine and some of the older girls helped her down the slide (spacewalks have changed a ton since my day). After the birthday party visited with Aunt Molly who is back in town for a while:

La Luz's weekend ended perfectly as far as Christian was concerned. She ate some of the sausage he grilled and then lounged around on his lap while they watched the football game. Like father, like daughter - or something like that.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Testing My Faith

The story about the New Orleans husband and wife gunned down during a home invasion in front of their two-year old breaks my heart. You can read the story, the headline in the Times Picayune this morning, at
It is not, by any means, the only sad story (I felt ill after I learned about the brutal murder of the drummer from the Hot 8) but it struck a nerve becuase they are like me, I imagine. By all accounts these guys are precisely the sort of people that we need in the city right now and then this...It makes my heart heavy and my body want to curl up into the fetal position for days while somebody makes the sadness go away. Somebody with more smarts and skill than me please fix the problem with the crime in this city because, yet again, I am reminded that maybe this isn't the best place for us after all.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Amazing What a Difference A Year Makes

Since it is the start of a new year and all it sort of has me thinking back to what life was like just one short year ago. I will save the discussion of Katrina because I have been thinking about it quite a bit lately and, frankly, just don't feel like mulling it over anymore. It is strange, though, that a year ago we were still living at mom-mom and pop's, still wondering what we were supposed to do next. Our flooded house was on the market and the first few offers fell through for various reasons so we had to just sit and wait and see if the house would sell before looking for a new place to live. I remember feeling completely frustrated, confused and a bit hopeless.

Here we are one year later in a beautiful, dry house (don't get me wrong, it has its share of problems - three of which were fixed today when the plumber came over) and life has again developed a routine around here. Tonight club volleyball started up again so Christian and I saw each other for a brief 20 minutes during the 'changing of the guard'. I have to admit, after last year there is something sort of comforting about having a routine.

Another big change is what has happened with La Luz over the past year. Everyone warned me that it would go by fast but this is nothing like what I imagined. It seems like I blinked once and suddenly my baby turned into a little kid. She can speak in sentences that are easy to understand, she can remember most words after hearing them once, she has no trouble associating the word with the actual thing, or feeling, or event it represents. She is great with her numbers, even better at the ABC's can sing portions of songs, has memorized some of her dvds (no we do not allow her to watch that much tv), has no trouble getting her point accross, ever, can follow most commands (as long as she is in the mood), and has a great sense of humor and compassion. I am enjoying this time so much and it breaks my heart to think that I will blink one more time and she might be a teenager.

Here we are on Christmas Eve last year

and now this year

I know it looks like it but I am not wearing the same outfit, exactly. I am amazed at how much she has grown when I look at these pictures and I am reminded, again, to cherish every second becuase I know it won't last.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

If You Could Spare Just a Few Minutes of Your Time

Watching La Luz really get into the Christmas experience was priceless but the best gift for all of us was the time we got to spend with family and friends. It sounds tired but at the end of the year all I really want to do is have a conversation or two and share some laughs with people I miss terribly for the other 360 days out of the year. This year was exceptional in that we got to spend time with many people we haven't seen in ages.

Me and Jules together again for a few hours

Me and 'my' Molly, together again for about forty-eight hours

Uncle Josh and Uncle Richmond, in town for just a few days

Baby Edward who gets more irresistible every day

My sweetiepie-godchild-nephew, and the most affable toddler around, Liam

Susan, who I visited with while chasing the babies around the house and wrangling them for pictures (with exception of the 45 minutes while she was cutting my hair)

and, finally, Nana & they are on the apex of Red Top Mountain where we enjoyed an exquisite sunset and panoramic view of the Georgia mountains.