Thursday, August 28, 2008

Who Knows What Tomorrow Will Bring?

My little bug is a good traveler. She has been to Atlanta and back more times than I can count and she is only 3. Granted, she requires some distractions in the car - snacks, toys, dvds, etc, but I can't complain because she is generally happy in her car seat and usually falls asleep at some point. With the storm potentially threatening NOLA there is a good possibility we will be on the road to Atlanta in the next day or two. For La Luz, it is all an adventure; for me, a logistical nightmare, and for Christian, lots and lots of manual labor followed by hours behind the wheel, both of us dealing with knots in our stomaches and lumps in our throats. But, for now, it is just business as usual around here - burgers on the grill and milk shakes to use up some of what is in the freezer, followed by bubble baths and bedtime stories.

Here's La Luz, post bath, post milkshake, pre bedtime story:

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


I cannot explain to you the mayhem around here. It is impossible to determine whether this storm will have any impact on NOLA at all at this point. Nevertheless, things are crazy. There are long lines at gas stations, crowds at grocery stores, and hotels booked solid for 500 miles in each direction. Meanwhile, the storm might actually be fizzling out? Please? We haven't yet decided what we will do, if anything.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Say It Ain't So

Around noon today the buzz around the office started, followed by the creeping frenzy. I am sure the next few days will be pandemonium. I just feel sad and wish it would go away. I know it is still too early to tell, yet I can't help but worry a bit.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Suprisingly, It Is All About The Y This Time

I can understand the part about the Chinese gender chart and the needle and thread test being wrong; you have a 50/50 chance. But a mother's instinct? I thought for sure I could rely on that to determine the sex of the baby. Apparently I was wrong, very wrong. Baby Vaicius #2 is a boy:

Sunday, August 24, 2008

What Fay Brought

I stepped outside on the front porch just minutes ago and wanted to stay out there for hours. It feels incredible. Instead of humidity and driving rain, the only effects of Fay that we are feeling are a nice breeze and lower temperatures (at least so far).

La Luz and I took advantage of the breeze yesterday and spent a few hours at the zoo. The breeze masked what was an otherwise very warm day. Here she is, taking it all in:

Checking out the sea lions

Having just spotted the gorilla

Enjoying herself.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Nursery Girl

Today was La Luz's first day of nursery school. Nursery school feels much more like real school to me so I had all of the emotions I suppose a mom is supposed to have when their child starts school. La Luz couldn't wait to get there and apparently loved every minute of it.

Here she is, looking very pensive on the porch wondering why I am continuing to delay our departure:

and in her new classroom standing in front of her cubby:

I really screwed up what was an incredible, magical day for her by forcing her to go on the potty at school before we left her classroom. After over an hour in the bathroom and too many tears and at the point when we had both reached complete exhaustion, I gave up and let her go. I don't know what has to happen to make her finally agree to go to the bathroom at school but it is going to be an incredible day when that finally happens. Nobody seems to have any answers since she is otherwise completely potty trained and in fact loves going to the bathroom in strange places (other people's houses, port-a-potty at jazz fest, roadside gas stations, you name it). I guess it has something to do with being pushed too early on at school last year to go to the potty. At this point we have been told not to talk about it anymore and just 'see what happens'. We tried this approach before to no avail; here we go again. Keep your fingers crossed that she finally gets over her hang-up and say a prayer that I haven't completely traumatized her for life.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

What's On My List

It isn't my birthday until later next month and Christmas is still over four months away, but there are a few things I am really interested in right now and I thought I would share them with you:

Since I cannot run 6 miles right now due to the incredible pressure of my uterus on my bladder, I might as well read about Murakami and his discipline. I think it will probably make me feel jealous and lazy but I have never read a Murakami book and I figured this would be a good place to start.

A new pair of knee-high boots would be just the thing to make a pregnant girl feel less frumpy, don't you think?

Tiffany found this sweater while scanning the maternity deals at Old Navy. It is just what I need to get me through the winter. Now I just have to decide between the heather grey and black.

A new diaper bag is a must due to way too many spilled milk bottles and smashed cheerios in the old one. I like this design and think it is unisex enough that even Christian would carry it.

And last but not least, the most important one of all...Mustela lotion for my ever-expanding belly to keep the stretch marks at bay. I had great lotion when I was pregnant with La Luz (it is called That Glow) but I am almost out and I think the lotion has been discontinued. Neither are cheap but I think preventing stretch marks has an incredibly high value.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

La Luz at the Children's Museum

La Luz spent the day with mom-mom and they decided to brave the deluge to spend a few hours at the Children's Museum. La Luz loved every minute of it. I haven't been to the Louisiana Children's Museum in ages. We were members last year but let it lapse for some reason. Christian has taken La Luz quite a few times but they never made it this summer. I wish we would have made more of an effort because I think it is a great place and I know La Luz has a blast when she is there.

Here are a few pictures:

Monday, August 18, 2008

It Is Time To Acquiesce

I don't know why I am fighting moving into maternity clothes so much with this pregnancy. I suppose it has something to do with the fact that I didn't have to start wearing maternity clothes until I was closer to six months pregnant with La Luz. I am not quite five months pregnant and probably should have shifted to maternity clothes weeks ago, but I have resisted.

This morning was torture. I had to put on a suit since I was going to be spending the first part of the day in court. Of all of the suits I own there was just one that I could manage to get into. It was terribly uncomfortable, not zipped all the way, and inside of it I had the look of something along the lines of a stuffed sausage. The first thing I did when I got home was put on an outfit without a waistline. I think that is a good indication that it is time to bust out the paneled skirts and drawstring pants.

Here I am, not quite 5 months pregnant, baking cupcakes with La Luz:

Sunday, August 17, 2008


After a two-hour excursion to Sams to stock up on everything possible before the start of the school year, I returned home to this frightening sight:

Without me around to worry about mess and aesthetics I should have know that La Luz's room would be turned upside down, she would be wearing something very strange and it would be the highlight of her day. I am always the buzz-kill.

I like this younger, less intense pirate from last Christmas:

Maybe its just the eye patch, but the new pirate look scares me.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Only Military Corners Please

La Luz's Land of Nod comforter and duvet cover arrived today. She was incredibly excited when she looked inside of the big box and saw pink polka dots. The comforter is incredible - much plusher than any I have ever owned. I am a little jealous but thrilled that she loves it. The duvet is cute, very simple and fits easily in the washing machine. I have always struggled getting comforters inside of duvets. It is some part of the brain that most moms have but that I lack - the part of the brain that allows people to fold fitted sheets and properly use Saran wrap. For me, getting a comforter inside of a duvet is much like what I imagine wrestling an alligator feels like. Rest assured, by the time I was through I had worked up a good sweat and La Luz's bed looked not even close to as neat as this:

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Lazy Days Of Summer

There's been a bunch of this:

and a ton of that:

going on around here these past few weeks.

It is all coming to a grinding halt, however. Christian starts orientation tomorrow, camp ends on Friday, schedules are being juggled, calendars are being erased and marked-up, new babysitters are learning how things work around here and La Luz is waiting with anticipation for the start of nursery later next week. It always takes a few weeks to get into the swing of a new routine. Until that happens, I will be waking up in the middle of the night suddenly remembering the hour-long gaps on the calendar that need to be filled and having cold sweats about whether they will notice around the office if I am 'working from home' for two days next week. I know at some point in the middle of October all of this will feel very automatic to me, I just can't imagine feeling that way at this point.

Whiling Away The Hours

It is a good thing that we don't have a tv in our bedroom because I probably wouldn't be sleeping much these days. Instead, I would be watching the Olympics until 3 a.m.

Last night I spent way too much time on the sofa watching this:

and this:

I was suprised to hear Bela Karoly badmouth the Chinese gymanstics program last night. I think all or most of the gymnasts (on the U.S. team as well) look like they could be less than 16 years old. To insinuate that the Chinese government falsified official papers to have underage girls compete in the Olympics is stupid and mean-spirited. He is a crazy, bitter old man filled with sour grapes. The Chinese gymansts were great, they didn't screw up nearly as much as the U.S. team. The screw ups are what make for great entertainment though.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Graduation Day

We finally moved La Luz into a real bed last night. It wasn't that we were opposed to moving her out of the crib or that she protested leaving the crib behind, nothing like that. I suppose it was a combination of inertia, her incredibly healthy sleep habits in the crib, and a little bit of not wanting to let go of the baby. We resurrected Molly's old trundle bed from Storehouse and it is in decent shape and looks pretty good in La Luz's room. It is a very simple, contemporary design and would probably look unassuming in just about any sort of room.

I allowed La Luz to select her own sheets. I guess I read somewhere that this would make the transition easier. She selected the most hideous Disney princess sheets that I have ever seen and they feel about as comfortable as industrial sandpaper. She loves them. Fortunately, I took some advice from my friend, Natasha (a mother of four who knows about this sort of thing), and ordered a really cute and aesthetically pleasing comforter from Land Of Nod. Until it arrives I will have to look at the fluorescent pink princess sheets but, knowing how thrilled La Luz is to sleep on a Cinderella pillow, I think I can suck it up for a few days.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Weekend In The Country

We decided to spend the weekend in Thibodaux to visit with Betsy, Dan and Baby Edward who were in town from Dallas. Edward has gotten so big that I don't think we can call him "baby" Edward anymore. Here is a picture of La Luz and Edward by the pool after they finished cleaning the handrail with baby wipes. I could not capture the two of them in a decent pose at the same time. At least in this one they are both looking in the same general direction:

Most of the weekend was spent in the pool trying to beat the heat. Despite the weather forecasts on Thursday and Friday, the weekend was nice - no rain at all on Saturday and Sunday. La Luz spent most of the weekend dressed like she was ready to get into the pool, like this:

One of the highlights of her weekend was baking cookies with GG in her new apron. They were delicious! Here is a picture of the pastry chefs hard at work:

We had a great weekend and would have been tempted to stay until tomorrow morning but we had to get back to NOLA for a party for all of the ASH nursery girls at the Monkey Room and to put La Luz's 'big' girl bed together. Yes, we are finally moving her out of the crib!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Ready For The Weekend

Christian and I spent our 9th anniversary enjoying a delicious dinner at GG and Papa George's house with friends. It was the perfect way to celebrate! Christian and Papa George extricated themselves from the dinner table in time to catch a bit of the Saints game and watch them pull ahead for a good lead and eventual victory.

La Luz spent the evening hanging out at Mom-Mom and Pop's house and had a blast. She has spent a ton of time at their house this week because Christian has been busy with volleyball. Apparently she has been digging into some of the toys she played with when she was a baby and we lived there after Hurricane Katrina. Here are a few pictures mom took of La Luz rediscovering some old treasures.

Goggle glasses and bouncy chair:

Crying baby doll:

We are heading to Thibodaux for the weekend to hang out with Betsy and Baby Edward who are in town for a few days. La Luz cannot wait to swim, feed the horses and splash around in her boots - neither can I.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

In A Couple Of Years They Had Built A Home Sweet Home

Nine years ago tomorrow Christian and I were married. I don't think either of us ever imagined how incredible it would feel to go from this:

to this:

In fact, nine years ago I don't think either of us really imagined anything about what the future would be like. I guess all we knew back then is that we wanted to spend it together and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Happy Anniversary Christian

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Lucy Bug

Tonight was the neighborhood Night Out Against Crime. We spent the evening at the park on the corner with a bunch of our neighbors just visiting, eating and drinking, and listening to music. La Luz got to climb inside of a firetruck and hang out with a few firemen from the district. She was enthralled and I am kicking myself for not having my camera with me because the faces she made were priceless. I had no idea she particularly liked firetrucks.

Here she is in not in the firetruck but in her ladybug t-shirt from Jessie. Even though she is outgrowing it and her belly pops out on occasion she is not ready to take it out of circulation.

Speaking of bellies popping out, mine is clearly a pregnant belly. I guess the baby grew or my muscles finally capitulated, but at some point during the past week my shape has changed. I am showing about a month earlier than I was when I was pregnant with La Luz. I think I will have no choice but to start wearing maternity clothes at some point in the next few days. The weirdest part of it is that my belly button is starting to pop out and it never did that when I was pregnant with La Luz, who knows.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Sushi Anyone?

I made sushi rolls for the first time in years the other night and La Luz got a kick out of watching me make them and eating them. She has spent many evenings with us at Ninja and is quite familiar with sushi. After Katrina, one of our Friday night routines was dinner at Ninja. At that point La Luz was a baby and would spend most of the time in her carrier just checking out the crazy cat clocks and making faces at the waiter. They were great when she was a baby - heated up her baby food, brought out age-appropriate toys for her to play with, played peek-a-boo with her, etc. Now Ninja is one of La Luz's favorite destinations and is usually her restaurant of choice. They are still totally kid-friendly, which is always great because it reduces my anxiety. There are crayons, dinners served in plastic airplanes, juice drinks with balls floating around in them, toys and chopsticks rigged with rubber bands. After three years of practicing she is almost as good with the chopsticks as Christian. If money were not an issue and we didn't live according to a budget we would have dinner at Ninja once a week and would not have to suffer through my miserably crafted rolls.

Definitely not Ninja, but not terrible either. I haven't completely lost my touch.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Saturday At NOMA

The weekend absolutely flew by, as usual. I had a client in town and was busy for the better part of it. We had a few free hours together Saturday morning and decided to check out the Botero exhibit at NOMA. I had no idea that the exhibit is free for all NOLA residents and was pleasantly surprised when we arrived. La Luz was totally freaked out by the statues and was not wild about most of the paintings. I can understand why Botero's over-sized images of bloated men and women in compromising positions might be a bit much for a 3 year-old, but she braved through it and was actually entertained occasionally. The highlight for her was the stroll through the sculpture garden afterwards. It was so incredibly hot that after just 30 minutes in the garden we were covered in sweat.

Here is La Luz as we were leaving the house:

Somehow I convinced her to let me put her hair in braids and I think she kind of liked it:

Outside of NOMA, already freaked out, trying to hide her face in Christian's neck...pretty much the same position she maintained for the entire exhibit:

Alright, a little intimidating, and not just to a 3 year-old:

Pictures in the sculpture garden: