Thursday, October 30, 2008

Halloween Eve

It is amazing how much time is spent on school-related activities for someone who is three. I got home from work early today, in the door at 6 p.m. and I am still not finished all of the prep for Halloween tomorrow. La Luz and I spent the better part of the night preparing the snacks for the class because tomorrow is her snack day. I figured goldfish or cheetos, the usual crowd-pleasers, wouldn't quite cut it on Halloween so I let the bug pick what she wanted to bring. She had a hard time deciding between cupcakes and cookies but cupcakes ultimately won. Between the baking, cooling, and decorating, cupcake making is a labor-intensive and long-lasting project. Hopefully the kids will enjoy them and the hard work will have paid off.

In addition to the cupcake making, tonight was La Luz's night with the Halloween Literacy Bag. The easiest way to describe it is to say that it is like homework for someone in nursery. It is a very big deal for the kids and is always something that La Luz is very excited about. So, in addition to the time spent on the cupcakes, we spent another 45 minutes on the Halloween Literacy Bag. I will likely spend another 30 minutes printing pictures of La Luz enjoying the bag and writing a quick entry in the journal (which stays in the bag for all of the other families to read) about how awesome it was to have the Halloween Literacy Bag. The journal entry is not a must but it makes me sad to think I am too busy to document something like that for La Luz, her teachers and her class.

The night is not close to being over but at least the bug is in bed - bathed, hair dried, Halloween story read all by about 8:45. After my post I have to prepare 15 treat bags for La Luz's classmates. I made the mistake of thinking Halloween was not a big deal last year and was totally undone when La Luz came home with fairy skirts, Halloween story books, and a stuffed Pooh Bear dressed up as a pumpkin. I know better now.

Yes, I would rather watch 30 Rock and Survivor and put my feet up but I know that ultimately this stuff is more important. I just hope I can get in bed at a decent time because I have a 6 a.m. prenatal pilates class tomorrow!

Here are a few pics of La Luz from earlier tonight in her cheeky new sweatshirt from Nana. Judging by the tone she uses when she repeats the phrase, I wouldn't be altogether surprised if she acted on it one day so get ready Diane.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Jack O'Lanterns

La Luz and I spent some time carving the pumpkins on Sunday. I figured that with the cooler weather they would still be in good shape by Friday night. What I failed to account for is physics. I cut a gigantic smile in one of the pumpkins and when I got home from work today it was clear that the pumpkin is starting to collapse. I will have to take some pictures of the collapsing pumpkin later this week so that I can remember this next year...there is such a thing as a smile that is too big:

Suggesting possible faces:

Getting ready to carve:

Sitting with the finished products:

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Great Pumpkin

Thanks to Molls' reminder La Luz and I caught the Peanuts Halloween Special earlier tonight. I don't know what it is about Peanuts specials but they always put me in the mood for whatever holiday is approaching. I guess it is because those cartoons (and actually most holiday cartoons) were something we looked forward to as kids. I am not nearly as entertained by them these days, understandably, but I get a kick out of sharing them with the bug. Tonight she enjoyed every minute of it:

It is cold here, really cold. When we got home tonight it was 58 degrees in the house. I felt wasteful turning the heat on in October but it was completely uncomfortable so I acquiesced. I am sure the ac will be on again by the weekend.

Monday, October 27, 2008


At Christian's urging we decided to take La Luz to Oktoberfest last Saturday night. Unlike most NOLA babies, La Luz is three years old and this was her first Oktoberfest. I guess that is due, in large part, to my reluctance to take her there. It is usually very crowded and generally much more about drinking beer and hanging out with friends than it is anything else. I am sure Christian was motivated by the food (and the beer) and figured it would be a great experience for La Luz. I am much less motivated by the food and can't really drink much beer right now so I was reluctant, but willing to give it a shot. In a million years I would never have imagined La Luz would enjoy it so much. I knew Christian would be in heaven but the bug, no way. I was proven wrong, way wrong. She loved the food - sausages and cabbage rolls and warm doughy pretzels (okay, I loved those too) and enjoyed watching the crowd - even the drunk people smoking literally right over our food - but the highlight for her, the best part of the night by far, was the music. She did not stop dancing. In fact, I only have one picture from the night because she was in motion the rest of the time and I couldn't catch her. Who would've thought my girl liked a good polka?

Waiting for the next song, hoping it is (for the tenth time of the night) the chicken dance

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Boo At The Zoo And Other Fun-Filled Events

We have had an incredibly busy weekend and it isn't over yet. I am posting early today because La Luz and I are getting ready to head to City Park to meet Christian at Voodoo Fest for a few hours. He decided to go for the entire today but I figured there was no way the bug would make it for 9 hours and we had plenty of important things to do around here like carving pumpkins and taking naps.

The weather has been absolutely amazing. In order to take advantage of the cool temps and sunny skies we spent as much time outside as possible. We didn't get much done around the house - it is desperately in need of a good vacuum thanks to Loki, but I suppose that will have to wait until next weekend.

Friday night we took La Luz to Boo At The Zoo. She selected her Sleeping Beauty costume - not my favorite choice, but it is the one at the top of her list since it is her most recent acquisition. I think that the fact that it is a two-part costume and not a full dress makes it look incredibly cheap (or maybe it was incredibly cheap - Christian bought it so I am not sure). The length of the skirt is terrible too - it hits just below La Luz's knee - absolutely un-princess-like. I also hate the plastic heels that make up the costume. La Luz insisted on wearing them all around the gravely zoo, stumbling like a miniature drunk. She had a great time at the zoo, danced around like a crazy lady, clawed Christian in horror if she saw an even mildly creepy costume and ate more candy in three hours than she normally does in a week. It was a great start to the weekend.

I will post more about the weekend later. Here are a few pictures in the meantime:

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Me, 7.5 Months

Here are a few pictures of me and my belly taken earlier tonight. Please excuse the messiness in the background and La Luz's general ragamuffin look. Like I said, it has been a bit crazy around here. In fact, I didn't even get home from work until around 7:30. I think we will have some time this weekend to restore order around here. There are no guarantees, however, as there are many activities in the lineup - Boo at the Zoo, Oktoberfest and Voodoo Fest.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

BBV Update

Things have been so incredibly busy around here that my time as a pregnant lady is flying by. It is hard to believe that the baby will be here in just a few months. I am actually starting to get the nesting sensation again. I can feel the desire to nest creeping up on me and it is a little unsettling. There is not much that has to be done before the arrival of bbv, but considering how hectic things have been and how the weeks feel like days, I think I better get busy making lists and taking inventory.

I had a doctor's appointment and the glucose tolerance test yesterday. I passed the glucose test - very strange considering I failed it when pregnant with La Luz. I was very careful about what I ate the day before the test the first time. I stayed away from carbs and was careful not to eat too much sugar. This time I ended the night with a glass of chocolate milk and some cookies I got on one of my recent flights. I can't understand why that didn't cause me to fail.

As for other important information, the baby's heartbeat is still in the 140s, La Luz's was always in the 160s. Overall, things look good. I have another ultrasound, since I am of advanced maternal age, in early November. It will be nice to get another look at the little guy before meeting him in person.

Christian and I are both feeling a little overwhelmed, like we were crazy to consider throwing a newborn baby into the chaos of our lives. I know we will be fine once the baby arrives and we fall into a new routine but, in the meantime, the anticipation is incredible.

One of these days when Christian is not totally preoccupied with volleyball I will get him to take a picture of me so that you can get an appreciation for how much my belly has grown over the past month. Wow.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Great Pumpkin Hunt

One of my favorite childhood memories (and it is probably true for my siblings as well) is the annual Halloween trek to the French Quarter to pick out our pumpkins. The event always involved mass at St. Louis cathedral, a trip to Cafe Du Monde and an hour or two hanging around in the french market looking at touristy junk and picking out our pumpkins. Our annual trip usually occurred on the weekend that daylight savings took place (this has changed over the years as daylight savings has been pushed back a few weeks) and usually coincided with the first burst of cool weather. It was the moment that defined fall and the start of the holiday season for me as a child.

When I read that the french market finally had pumpkins for sale again (they haven't had them for years while the renovations to the market have been underway) I decided it was the perfect opportunity to continue a tradition that I always loved. So, on Sunday morning we headed down to the French Quarter, enjoyed a leisurely breakfast of beignets and a stroll through the french market. After much consideration, La Luz selected two lovely pumpkins to carve into jack-o-lanterns and two 'babies' because they were 'cute' and the mom and dad pumpkins needed children.

Here she is, at Cafe Du Monde:

And checking out the pumpkins:

By the river on our trek back to the car:

At home with the family, including the baby pumpkin she got from Aunt Margot the night before.

The remainder of the day was spent playing with the pumpkin family...hours of entertainment..

Monday, October 20, 2008

Nursery Art Takes First Place

I am generally inundated with art work courtesy of La Luz. Once a week a gigantic manila envelope is sent home filled with crafty treasures created over the course of the past few days. I am usually consistent about hanging things up and rotating out the old for the new (of course there are a few things that just might not ever be taken down - the glittery Saints helmet La Luz made last year hasn't moved since it was first taped to the back door around this time last year) but sometimes I cannot help but laugh at some of the projects. I notice this year that La Luz's drawings are more compact and to the point. There are more things depicted in her art work and less blobs of color. It is often tough to answer her questions about the specific pieces of art, knowing that I am probably mistaking a cloud or tree for a puppy or cat. I do my best to bluff.

When I heard that the Nursery girls had designed a scarecrow as part of a project at the Botanical Gardens at City Park I couldn't resist checking it out. La Luz had a vague understanding of what we were about to see but really didn't put two and two together until she rifled through the pile of mini-pumpkins to locate the one she had made. Once she spotted it, she was thrilled.

A very impressive scarecrow indeed. Most of the accolades should go, I imagine, to the hard-working teachers.

Hanging out on the front porch, before heading out to City Park.

It was possibly the nicest day we have had in a LONG time...perfect weather, good sunshine.

Standing next to Uncle Sam the scarecrow:

Digging for her mini-pumpkin:

Things are still incredibly hectic around here. I had to go out of town again - this time to Shreveport - yesterday and today. My guess is that it will be about three more weeks before we can take a deep breath and relax - then again, maybe that is just wishful thinking...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

What's Going On

I am going out of town for a few days, leaving tomorrow around 6 a.m. La Luz and Christian will be on their own, supervised, of course, by Loki. I am not thrilled about being out of town right now as things are VERY hectic but I am going to try to enjoy it as much as possible and maybe even relax a little bit.

Back on the theme of getting psyched about baby #2, my friend, Tiffany, gave birth to a beautiful baby girl just before dawn this morning. She is perfect and holding her for just 10 minutes earlier today was a great reminder about how calming it is to hold a newborn baby. It was just one more reason to start getting very excited about the next few months.

I imagine posting will be tricky over the next few days so I am including some photographs of La Luz from the zoo last Sunday where we met up with baby Cate who was in town for the weekend:

Monday, October 13, 2008


La Luz brought home a sort of questionnaire that we were supposed to fill out together as a family. The questions were all about her birth and the period of time before and after her arrival and what we did (or didn't do) to get ready for her. To help clarify that she was actually a baby at one point we showed her some of the video from her first few minutes of life. She has seen pictures of herself as a baby plenty of times but the video is something new (or at least something she hasn't seen in a long time). She can finally (sort of) process that the baby in the video is her. However, she kept saying things like, "why is HE crying?" and "what are they (the doctors) doing to him". There are a few things about the whole ordeal that she wasn't wild about - the fact that there was a lot of crying involved and the fact that I was lying down in the bed. She kept asking why I wasn't getting, because I couldn't feel my legs, okay. When I explained to her that I will probably be in the hospital for a few days after her little brother is born she wasn't thrilled. I am glad I have a few months to gradually get her warmed up to the idea.

Seeing the video really made me think about the arrival of baby #2. I know the next few months will fly by so I am trying to make it last and remember every minute of it. Basically, after looking at the footage of La Luz as a baby, I am totally psyched. I think Christian is a little pumped too - for the first time.

And now, a picture of the bug in her Sleeping Beauty crown on the front porch. Yes, she is posing again. I don't know who told her it was cute to tilt her head and put it in her hand like that...

Weird sunshine and shadows...I need to get a sun shield for my lens.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Who Dat!

La Luz set foot in the Superdome for the first time in her life today and I think she brought the Saints a little bit of good luck. We had great seats, a parking pass and it was a noon game so we agreed that all of elements were right for La Luz's first Saints football game experience. Although the roar of the crowd was a bit off-putting at first, after some cotton candy and the purchase of a gigantic foam hand, she settled in and had a great time.

Here are a few pictures of La Luz enjoying her first time in the Dome:

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Happy Birthday Mom

Tomorrow is mom-mom's birthday and we have some great surprises in store for her. Don't worry mom, I promise there are no clowns involved. I know better than that. According to the DARN scale tomorrow is a 10. I didn't arrange it but it certainly makes a great birthday present.

I love you and hope you have a very Happy Birthday!!

Here are a few pictures of La Luz from her recent night at mom-mom's. She was obviously having a very good time:

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Another Busy Day

La Luz spent the afternoon with Aunt Julie visiting GG and Papa-George, a very special treat for her. She must have been charming because GG let her have ice cream. After work, La Luz joined me for dinner with Jessie and Tiffany at La Thai and she was only mildly squirmy. Fortunately, she was totally entertained by her Halloween pumpkin basket from Jessie. After dinner we headed to Tiffany's house to check out the nursery. Her baby is due in a few days and everything is ready. Seeing the teeny, tiny newborn diapers made me very nostalgic for when La Luz was a baby and totally excited about baby #2's arrival in a few months.

Here's La Luz, already competing with baby #2 for attention:

Monday, October 06, 2008

Go Saints

There's nothing like Monday night football to create an incredible buzz in a city that already really loves its football team. Today the city was covered in black and gold and it looked great.

Here's La Luz, starting the day off in style:

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Some Of This, Some Of That

We had a very busy weekend and, in typical fashion, it flew by leaving me to feel sort of discombobulated at 9:00 p.m. on Sunday. Don't get me wrong, we accomplished quite a bit, which is no small feat considering Christian also had a volleyball tournament this weekend, but there is still so much...and the rest of my night is going to be spent on the sofa watching tv, wishing I could make Sunday night last forever.

Saturday morning, after ballet, with all the time in the world:

I will start off today by apologizing for the fact that the morons in my neighborhood, once again, voted for William Jefferson. I have no explanation and if you want to think we are all fools, so be it, because it seems to be the case. There is hope that he will not survive the run-off against Helena Moreno next month. I am doubtful; I have no faith in the voters in my district.

Now, off of the politics and on to the good stuff. La Luz was hard at work this weekend. First, the Halloween decorations. She insisted that we needed decorations outside of the house to celebrate Halloween. Those of you who know me understand that I do not have much Martha Stewart in me and very little patience for crafts. That said, I acquiesced and bought some of that white spider-webby stuff I have seen on houses around town. I figured it couldn't be too hard to use. I was wrong. I managed to get La Luz, Loki and myself caught up in it and the end result looks so miserable that I will have to say La Luz did it. Despite looking like it was put up by a crazy person, La Luz loves it and screams every time we go in and out of the gate. The rest of the decorations were easy, pre-made stuff that didn't require much installation. It is definitely nothing fancy, but far more festive than it was before we started.

Here's La Luz, helping me install the web:

The second chore was sanding and painting an old piece of furniture that has been in need of a rehab for some time now. La Luz loved helping Christian sand and paint and I was thrilled that my services were not needed. Unfortunately, neither of them were particularly careful while painting so I spent about an hour trying to get paint out of La Luz's hair and off of her skin - not an easy task at all. Christian managed to get a chunk of white paint in his hair and, although he is very preoccupied with it and asked me to cut it out, I had to break it to him that it is not noticeable thanks to all of his gray.

Here she is, hard at work with Christian:

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Train Wreck

Christian just kicked me out of the tv room. Despite his initial, very powerful protestations, we were watching the Vice Presidential debate. I guess he finally heard the word nuclear pronounced "nucular" one too many times and insisted that the channel had to be changed or he'd be forced to gouge his eyes out with the nearest Crayola. I can't blame him.

While I am (sort of) on the subject of politics, don't forget to vote this weekend. There are a few important local elections on Saturday.

La Luz, helping us exercise the right to vote, Spring 2006.