Monday, December 29, 2008

Just To Let You Know

Things have been busy around here - Christmas, family in town, a big wedding, and a baby due in 10 or so days can take up more time than you would imagine. But, in all fairness, the real time burner is a little gift Santa left under the tree for Christian.

Here's what we have been up to lately:

I had another doctor's appointment today and she told me that I haven't really progressed much since last week. I feel much closer to giving birth today than I did a week ago, but I guess that stands to reason. I have another appointment in a week and the doctor wants to talk about inducing at that time. As far as I am concerned, the baby can stay put for a bit longer. I still have plenty of things to attend to at work and, with all the distractions around me, I have not been particularly efficient. Fortunately, Molly came over yesterday and helped me get the baby's room into shape and it is totally done - clothes washed, crib made, mobile put together and attached to the bed - we are ready.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Lunch At Bon Ton

We met up at Bon Ton for our annual Eustis family Christmas lunch earlier today and it was delicious!

Here's a pic of the bug playing with her crayons:

and us outside of Bon Ton

After my doctor's appointment this afternoon (no significant progress, baby still on track for January 9th) I dragged Molly all over town in an attempt to complete my Christmas shopping. I am finished, I think, but completely wiped out. I feel like I could sleep for three days.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Nothing Like The Holidays

La Luz is flipping out with all of the excitement. My siblings have all arrived safely in NOLA and, so, things are buzzing around mom and pop's house. Josh spent hours in the kitchen creating a delicious dinner for everyone, La Luz visited with Aunt Molly (who apparently learned how to crochet over the last 6 months - a scarf for the bug and a blanket for bbv - wow) and avoided nap time. I spent my night dealing with laundry - washing, sorting, folding, putting away, etc. I still have a few more loads of baby clothes to wash and a bit of organizing in the baby's room to deal with, but I have to put it on hold so I can devote some time tomorrow night to last minute shopping and wrapping. I managed to throw a nursing bra and a few pair of underwear into a bag along with a sweatshirt for Christian just in case this baby decides to arrive a bit early. I am now totally wiped out and am looking forward to crashing because the baby is moving around a ton and is hitting a bunch of nerves. Ouch...checkup tomorrow should give some clues as to when he might arrive.

But first, a few pictures from the weekend:

La Luz and GG, enjoying some kettle corn at the Arts Market:

Me and the bug, waiting for Nana and Papa-T:

At Miracle on Fulton Street:

Checking out the Nutcracker in the revolving door:

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Merry Merry Merry

There are quite a few exciting things going on around here. Nana and Papa-T came into town yesterday afternoon with a car filled with Christmas treats - just like a pair of Santa's elves. La Luz got to celebrate Christmas a little early and open her presents from everyone in Atlanta and Christian and I got an early Christmas present consisting of some very exciting Ikea furniture and home improvements. In addition to all of the gifts and upgrades around here, we are putting the finishing touches on the Best of 2008 cd. It should be ready soon and I promise to post a track list once it is complete.

Last night, after a delicious holiday dinner at Ruth's Chris, we walked through Miracle On Fulton Street and were just in time for the snow. It was all very magical, at least it was for a certain three year-old.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

BBV, 37 Weeks (I Think)

Especially towards the end of the pregnancy I get confused when I count weeks. I think I am 37 weeks, due on January 9th, but then maybe that is not the proper calculation? I keep forgetting to ask the doctor. I will find out next week when I go in for my check up.

At any rate, here's what I look like at 37 weeks with BBV:

I compared the pictures Christian took of me today with pictures he took at the end of my pregnancy with La Luz and the size and shape of my belly is very similar. I think I am sticking out a bit more with this one and am slightly larger but the difference is subtle. I would post some compare/contrast pics but the shots are of my naked belly and I don't want to offend anyone. You will simply have to trust me.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

BBV Update

I had a check up this afternoon to get a status update on BBV. Since most of you probably aren't interested in hearing about the specifics of what is now going to be a weekly exam, I will summarize it all by telling you that everything is on track for an early January delivery date. Interestingly, I hadn't really felt any contractions/cramping until about an hour ago. I think, however, it could be attributable to a combination of the exam and bouncy Wrangler ride, in bumper to bumper traffic, all the way out to Barnes and Noble. (I spent a few hours this evening preparing all of La Luz's Christmas gifts for her friends. Next up, the Christmas cards. I have to get those in the mail asap.)

When I got home tonight the bug was very excited about one particular Christmas present from a classmate - a Rudolph nose. Last year these things freaked her out. This year...well, see for yourself:

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas Festivities

Today was a very exciting day for La Luz - the nursery Christmas concert! After listening to the girls sing dramatically abbreviated versions of a couple of Christmas classics for the overly-excited moms and dads (I have never seen so many video cameras operating at once) we were escorted to the classroom for cookies and sandwiches. The highlight of the morning was a surprise visit from Santa. Amazingly, this happened:

...thanks to La Luz's incredibly patient and encouraging teacher. Turns out, she actually enjoyed sitting on Santa's lap and describing the particular presents she expects to find under the tree on Christmas morning. I told you so!

Here is a pic of the bug in front of the manger scene outside of her classroom. She is very proud of all of the hard work that went into the display:

More excitement is in store for the remainder of the week - pajama day tomorrow followed by red and green day on Thursday. Christmas break officially begins and is kicked off in style with a movie day with mom-mom on Friday, followed by a visit from Nana and Papa-T over the weekend. When I tell you this kid can barely contain herself with all the excitement, I am not kidding you. I think this is precisely the way the holidays are supposed to be when you are young.

The pictures are all sub-par today. It was too tough to get a good shot with so many other people trying to capture the moment.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Two Loves Combine To Make One Perfect Dress

Kelsea and Katharine, La Luz's former and current babysitters, stopped by last week to visit and give the bug her Christmas present. Kelsea has always had a knack for picking out precisely the perfect gift for La Luz - remember the nightgown with orange and hot pink initials? It is still in very heavy rotation and is covered in unsightly stains. It will never be retired.

This time, the gift was a beautiful smocked dress with Peter Pan, Wendy and Tinkerbell around the neck. I didn't know such a thing existed and, apparently, La Luz didn't either because when she opened the box and saw the dress it blew her mind. A dress, her favorite article of clothing, and Peter Pan, her current favorite movie, collide to form the perfect present. Needless to say, it has to be pried off and even then only because it needs washing or because she is supposed to wear a uniform to school.

Check it out:

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Favorite Holiday Pastimes

One of my favorite Christmas memories is the time spent driving around looking for Christmas lights. Mom and Pop used to pile us all into the car one night during the Christmas holidays and we would drive around looking for stellar Christmas decorations. I am not sure why this was so exciting to me as a kid, but I still get a kick out of checking out a good light display. I suppose the peak of light hunting in NOLA was the start of Christmas in the Oaks, which later became Celebration in the Oaks, and was, initially, just a driving tour. After the chaos of our trip to Celebration in the Oaks on Saturday night I sort of wish that it was still a driving tour.

Here is me with the bug, getting ready for Celebration in the Oaks:

We got to City Park around 6:30 and the line to get into the park was not too bad. Walking around inside of the park was tolerable too. There was a decent crowd, but not enough of one to seriously complicate things. The trouble started in the are where all of the rides are...thirty minutes in the ticket line, thirty minutes waiting for most rides and about twenty minutes at the concession stand. All of the waiting around sort of took the fun out of it. In fact, I am not sure if Christian will ever go back to Celebration in the Oaks. I think he was ready to defenestrate when we encountered thirty minutes of bumper to bumper traffic on our way out of the park. And yet, somehow, I think it was all worth it because La Luz had a blast.

Christian and La Luz at Celebration in the Oaks, prior to Christian's meltdown:

Over the weekend we also visited another NOLA Christmas lights tradition - Al Copeland's house. I am sure the neighbors hate it but La Luz enjoyed every minute of it. Free popcorn and cotton candy for the kids, Rudolph playing on the facade of the house and a gigantic creche, what more can a kid ask for?

Checking out Copeland's lights:

Next weekend - Fulton Street - and I think that will take care of the Christmaslights festivities.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

NOLA, Sugar Coated

I wasn't kidding. It really is cold here. Check out what happened this morning:

Lucy's First Snow Day from Julie Vaicius on Vimeo.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


It is cold cold cold, at least by NOLA standards. Last night it was about 70 degrees. When I left the house this morning it was about 59 degrees. I left the office mid-day for a lovely lunch with the girls at Flaming Torch to celebrate the upcoming arrival of BBV and it was 56 degrees. Tonight as I left work it was 48 degrees, raining hard, and windy. A few minutes ago it was 45 degrees outside, raining hard and windy. This is perfect holiday weather (minus the wind and rain). I am incredibly thankful that our heater is working. I think it would be unbearable for me otherwise. We are such wimps, I know.

A few more recent pics of La Luz to warm you up:

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

A Quick Save From The Cutting Room Floor

Here are a few pictures of the bug from an impromptu photo session on the front porch last Saturday. I thought one of these might make the cut as the Christmas Card 2008 photo, but Christian occasionally steps in as artistic director and offers an opinion. Consequently, you will not be seeing any of these pictures on our Christmas card but they were just too cute not to share:

I am working on getting a decent shot of our tree to post, but am having trouble with the lighting at night (basically the only time I am around to take the picture). I know I bellyached about the tree a few days ago, but it really is quite cute and the pictures I have taken do not do it any justice. I will try to take one this weekend during the daytime.

Great news about the heater - our ac/heat man checked it out earlier today and it was apparently some sort of clogged line. He fixed it within minutes and the bill was minimal, particularly considering I was bracing for another astronomical, unexpected expense. Thank you, thank you.

Monday, December 08, 2008

A Few Things

The upstairs heating unit in our house is broken. We are not exactly sure what is wrong with it, but are guessing that we are not lucky enough for it to be just a fuse. Richmond offered to climb into the attic and take a look at the furnace yesterday, but heating systems scare me a little too much to allow that to happen. The temperature has been tolerable upstairs, though it was a bit chilly over the weekend. We will be fine tomorrow but I understand there is a front coming through mid-week. Let's hope it is repaired by then, and please cross your fingers that it is not another $1,000.00 repair, because my dream rocker/glider for bbv is slowly slipping beyond reach.

We took La Luz to Build A Bear at Lakeside this weekend. We have passed by it a few times and she has stood there, slack jawed, taking it all in. The place is insane and the workers must be medicated because after just thirty minutes in there Christian and I both had migraines. La Luz loved every frenetic minute of it and even responded to all of the insane 'stuffers' commands - and she is not a child that likes to respond precisely when prompted. The end result of our trip is a huge pink and black leopard who goes by 'Pinkish Blackish'.

Here she is giving Pinkish Blackish her first bath:

Last but not least, Cao defeated Dollar Bill on Saturday. Hooray. I am finally a little bit less embarrassed. I can't say that I am thrilled to have Cao representing my voice, and I seriously doubt we have much in common, but I am happy nonetheless. As my friend Jennifer said earlier today, "I would've voted for a box of farts over Dollar Bill."

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Oh...Christmas Tree

All of the holiday preparations have really caught me off-guard this year. Since when is the first weekend of December the deadline for purchasing a tree? I thought we had weeks, days at least. I was wrong. We decided to pick out a tree today but we should have decided to do it a few days earlier. We missed the great batch of trees at Whole Foods ($50, healthy, and a new tree planted for each tree sold), we missed the ease of shopping at Holy Name (2 days only, Friday and Saturday) and ultimately had to go all the way out to Elmwood to one of those tree lots where the people that run the show sit inside of a trailer collecting large sums of money from suckers like me while half-drunk old men walk around trying to make thirsty, sparse trees look appealing. Our 'helper' spent the entire 30 minutes with us never knowing that his fly was down. Somehow I just didn't think it was my place to point it out, but it made me a bit uncomfortable when he squatted down to 'talk' to La Luz.

At the end of the day we got a decent tree. We paid way too much for it (even though he told us that the price he was 'selling' it to us for was really the price of a 7 ft. tree, not an 8 ft. predictable) and I am concerned it spent weeks sitting on the back of a truck before even arriving in NOLA, but I think it will do the trick.

On account of my condition I was spared the light-stringing duty this year. Christian kindly tackled that job (for the first time in his life, if you can believe it) and he did not enjoy it one bit. I suppose I cannot permanently retire the job. It would not have been possible for me to do it this year; I could barely get close enough to the tree to hang an ornament.

Even though it is a school night, we let the bug stay up way past her bedtime so she could help put the ornaments on the tree. She enjoyed every minute of it, particularly finding her favorite ones from last year. She is already asking if the presents will be here when she wakes up. Time is one of the trickiest things to explain to a three year old. I wish I could make time go by as slowly for me as it does for her.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

La Luz & Edward

Betsy and Edward came over to our house for dinner and a bit of fun. It is totally entertaining watching Edward and La Luz play together these days. They had a great time and particularly enjoyed our trip to La Divina after dinner. La Luz even cried when we got home because she wanted Edward to stay and play.

Here are a few pictures of all of the fun:

Wednesday, December 03, 2008


One of my all-time favorite Christmas cartoons came on earlier tonight and, because I have too much going on at work, I was only able to catch the last ten minutes. When I got home Christian and La Luz were lounging on the sofa under blankets, drinking hot chocolate and watching Rudolph...exactly what I wanted to be doing. I am glad they got to enjoy it. For some reason La Luz was not scared of the Abominable Snowman this year. Last year she was terrified but this year she thought he was hilarious because he has "boobs". Go figure.

Speaking of terrified, La Luz is still completely freaked out by carousels. What is her problem? Does she think the horse is going to break away from the carousel and go galloping off somewhere? Is she worried she might fall off? Because I have never seen that happen. Maybe she thinks one of the other horses might eat her. The only way she would agree to ride on it was with me right behind her on the same horse. Have you ever tried riding one of those things as an adult? Have you ever tried riding one of those things 9 months pregnant sharing it with a petrified 3 year-old? It was possibly the longest and most uncomfortable 7 minutes of my life.

Here she is at the birthday party last Saturday. Check out the white knuckles:

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

BBV Update Week 35.5

I had a checkup today, just in time too because I have been feeling pretty intense pressure on my bladder for the past two days. The doctor assured me that it was related to bbv's position (he finally decided to turn himself around and face the right way) and is a common affliction during second (and third, etc) pregnancies. Apparently there is not much I can do about it other than lie down and/or take hourly trips to the bathroom. It is a huge distraction during the day, but other than that I cannot really complain.

I am starting to freak out a bit about making sure I get everything done before bbv arrives. The doctor said history is a great predictor and, since La Luz was late, this baby will not likely be early. Nevertheless, I can't help but feel a bit anxious and wonder if I will get everything done before he arrives.

In honor of my 35.5 week visit, a few pictures for those who haven't seen me recently. I have grown a ton over the past week, or at least that is how I feel.
Once again, please excuse the p.j.'s. In all fairness, Christian just took the pictures and being in p.j.s at 9 p.m. is perfectly acceptable in my opinion.

Monday, December 01, 2008

My Favorite Time Of Year

I love the period of time between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I enjoy pretty much everything about the holidays, with the exception of the pressure to shop and spend. This time of year comes with an added bonus in our house - no after school activities for Christian. The evenings and nights are so incredibly different when Christian is not coaching. On a typical afternoon he will pick La Luz up from school around 3:30 or 4:00, they will walk home and, maybe, stop at the playground on the corner. At around 5:30 they will eat dinner together (and, yea, I hate to miss this and realize I really should be there, but it makes much more sense for the bug to eat dinner between 5:30 and 6:00) and then, by the time I get home around 6:30, La Luz is bathed and ready for bed, usually coloring and/or watching a movie and chilling out. At that point, all I have to do is all that I have wanted to do all day long, visit with her and hear about her day and tell her about mine. In addition to all of that, I never have to worry about running mid-week errands during my lunch break or on the way home from work, further delaying my arrival home, because La Luz and Christian have plenty of time in the afternoon to take care of all of those odds and ends.

Tonight when I got home La Luz was all snuggly in her warmest pjs (it is very cold for NOLA tonight and these pjs are justified, I promise) and was thrilled to show me her latest acquisition - an Advent calendar from the Birmingham Browns! I cannot believe they remembered! Of course, I have been keeping my eyes open for one and have not found one, so this arrived just in time. Thank you so much!

Look how warm and cuddly:

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving Weekend

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I planned on getting tons of rest, reading all of my magazines and my book, and lounging around in the hammock. Unfortunately, the rainy weather kept me from lounging around in the hammock and La Luz's incredible energy kept me from getting all the rest I wanted. I made a pretty good-sized dent in the stack of magazines and in my book, but there were just a few too many good distractions to be super-productive. Even though I am probably more exhausted than I was when vacation started, I can't complain. I will never pass up an opportunity to spend time visiting with my family members who no longer live nearby, sitting around the bonfire at the end of a long day, and watching epic Scrabble battles, no matter how sleep-deprived I am at the end of the week.

On Wednesday the guys put Christian's put his early Christmas present from Nana and Papa-T to work and fried up a bunch of turkeys. Here they are, hard at work, sort of:

Thanksgiving day was spent with a large group of extended family members who came to Thibodaux for a family reunion of sorts. The highlight of the day for La Luz, other than hanging out with Edward, was the hayride.

The weekend ended with a bit of drama when coyotes threatened to invade the more residential area of the farm, probably in search of turkey carcasses. Fortunately, they were kept away by the dogs but it made for a very exciting hour of barking and howling (or whatever it is that coyotes do). It was tough to tell everyone goodbye, even though I will see most of them again over Christmas. It is going to be even tougher to get back to the old routine tomorrow morning. I am hoping that the excitement of the holidays will keep me energized because I am finally hitting that stage in my pregnancy when I can't imagine that I still have over a month before the baby is due. I definitely grew over the past week and I can no longer see my feet. Let's hope they aren't swollen!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Happy Birthday Pop

La Luz waited all day to celebrate Pop's birthday this evening. I think she was really anticipating eating the cake and opening all of Pop's presents - two of her favorite pastimes. Lucky for her, there was plenty of cake and Pop has never really been all that 'in' to opening his presents. So, she got to do everything she wanted (except spend the night, which was her last-ditch effort to delay our departure and her bedtime - nice try).

I think one of the best birthday gifts you could give Pop (other than a nice meal with friends and family) is a Saints team that can play a decent game of football on Monday night t.v. There are some things within our control that can make for great birthdays, this is a nice surprise particularly because it is entirely outside of our control and completely unexpected. Go Saints!

So, Happy Birthday Pop! We love you!