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!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Thanksgiving Vacation

Thanksgiving break officially started for La Luz and Christian at 3:30 on Friday. I am totally envious, as usual. I actually have quite a bit of work to muddle through between now and when my break officially starts on Wednesday at 3:00 and I am not looking forward to any of it, particularly because I know the two of them will be filling the next three days with fun and adventure while I am stuck up in my office. So it goes though.

We had a great weekend. We attended La Luz's ballet open house on Saturday and I got a total kick out of seeing how much she has learned in just two months. When she started she had trouble hopping with both feet (much less on one foot at a time) but I am relieved to see that she has now mastered both moves. It was incredibly tough for Christian to watch. As a coach be cannot watch objectively and enjoy. He has to rank the kids and then become preoccupied with the fact that La Luz is probably number 9 or 10 in terms of skill. He can't take it when she doesn't participate and, instead, stands there, eyes glazed over, chewing on her skirt. After watching her on Saturday he is ready for her to give up ballet and try out another hobby. I think that is crazy; she is three and has had maybe 8 ballet classes. It is going to be tough for him for the next 15 years if he doesn't develop enough patience to allows him to just watch and enjoy.



Continuing the ballet theme, on Saturday night La Luz and I joined mom-mom at Loyola to hear the Loyola symphony play some of the Nutcracker Suite and watch the ballerinas. La Luz was absolutely mesmerized. I think she could easily sit through the Nutcracker. I am not, however, certain that I could sit through it.

On Sunday we headed to Oak Street for the Po-Boy Festival. After hearing so much about it last year we decided it was worth checking out. It was a beautiful day to be out walking around but the crowd was huge.


It was tough maneuvering up and down the street, particularly with La Luz in tow. We ultimately ended up at Squeal, a new bbq restaurant on Oak (at Cambronne) which opened a few weeks ago and is owned and operated by friends of ours. The food was delicious. La Luz particularly enjoyed the ribs:


I definitely recommend checking it out. It is open late, especially on Tuesdays to accommodate the Rebirth crowd from the Maple Leaf.

Another recent opening in NOLA is the Borders on St. Charles. It is lovely. I am not suggesting anyone frequent it instead of Octavia, Maple St. and the other GREAT independent booksellers we have in the city BUT if it is 9 p.m. and you are in need of a new book or just want to browse around, this is a great place for you. I definitely recommend checking it out.

So, we are off to Thibodaux later this week to celebrate Thanksgiving with the family, pick satsumas, take long walks in the sugar cane fields and swing in the hammock. I can't wait!

I hope you all have a happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

What Was Old

A few things have been falling apart around here. First, the water in the fridge stopped working. It happened once before but then one day miraculously starting working again. It has been out for about a month now and hasn't miraculously started working. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind using tap water but it tastes a little funny to me, especially while pregnant, and I am not even convinced that it is properly fluoridated for La Luz's benefit anymore. We learned today (for $55) that the water line simply froze up and that this is something that will happen whenever there is intermittent use (ie, if we don't use the water for 48 hours or more). So, to fix the problem we have to turn the refrigerator off for 24 hours. Obviously that is not going to happen any time soon.

Second, the a/c in the car stopped working a few weeks ago. The break coincided with cooler weather so it hasn't been all that inconvenient but it does need to be fixed eventually. Fortunately, the heat seems to be working fine. I am hoping all that is needed is an inexpensive fix - like a little freon or something.

Third, Christian's Xbox died. After spending literally HOURS on the phone with tech support (outsourced somewhere where the people speaking English are not natives) he finally convinced them to take a look at it. Apparently it really was broken because we received a totally new Xbox in the mail yesterday.

Fourth, and last, our car got ransacked. It was open so it didn't exactly get broken into but it was rummaged through and, as luck would have it (or not have it I suppose), our two ipods just happened to be in there. The story is too long and boring to go into but suffice it to say that we NEVER leave the ipods in the car and rarely leave the car unlocked. I was sad to lose our youngest ipod but really heartbroken about the loss of our original ipod, one that we bought in 2003 (I think that date is right). It only worked when plugged into the cradle in my car but I was totally attached to it - sentimental value, you know? Fortunately, the arrival today of this beauty funded totally by soon-to-expire Amex points really cheered me up:

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

What's Up

Notwithstanding the fact that the volleyball season is over, things have still been a little busy around here. Christian has been coaching club clinics for the past few weeks and is coaching tryouts this week so, at least for a few nights, we are back to being like two ships again. Fortunately, after this week things will really slow down. I know I am going to appreciate having Christian around in the afternoon because it means so many great things - a very low-key evening for the bug, I don't have to worry about mid-week grocery shopping at 6:30 p.m., dinner is not my responsibility, and La Luz gets an early bath and bedtime for a change. Lovely lovely.

I had a doctor's appointment earlier this week to check on the status of baby Vaicius #2. Everything seems to be moving along just fine. Of course, the doctor asked me if I had any complaints - contractions, headaches...I said "no" but once I walked out of the doctor's office my head started hurting and I swear I feel something that might be mini contractions. One of these days when Christian and I are around at the same time and I am not already in my p.j.'s I will get him to take a picture of my ever-expanding belly. It is impressive.

In the meantime, here's a picture of La Luz piloting Papa-T's plane last time they were in town:

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

What Is In Store

I finally couldn't take it anymore and picked this up when La Luz and I were browsing at Octavia Books on Saturday:


I can't get over the hype and I realize that it is for teens and that my indulgence is akin to those shameful trips I take to Forever 21 and the one hour a week I spend watching Gossip Girl, but I couldn't resist.

Now, if I could just get through American Pastoral. I hope that my recent acquisition and my current struggles aren't a reflection of my intellect.

Monday, November 17, 2008

What Goes On In Her Mind

For the past two mornings the first words out of La Luz's mouth have been completely unsettling. On Sunday morning she told me that she was very tired because three 'googley' men (googley is a word she has used since she was about 1 to mean weird/off/not quite right) were downstairs with her and Loki and they were trying to put things inside of her legs. She ultimately elaborated a bit and explained that they were using a door in her leg and were, much to her dismay, attempting to fill it with seashells. She couldn't really say where Christian and I were but eventually added that Loki was able to bite them and eat them and scare them away (at least he is earning his keep). Wow. What a fantastic story.

And then this morning it was more like this:

Me: Good morning my love. Do you want some sunshine to help wake up those lazy bones?

La Luz : (grabbing for my hand/arm) I am a dying princess.

I quickly kissed her to save her and then moved on to the other topics of the morning - was it cold enough for a turtleneck, would it be too windy to play outside, did waffles with cinnamon sugar sound appetizing...

But I have been a little disturbed today and I realize that this look in her eyes, the same look I have seen since she was about 4 months old, might mean that she really is processing something sort of intense:

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Volleyball-Filled Weekend

The majority of the weekend revolved around volleyball. The State tournament wrapped up Saturday night. ASH ended up making it all the way to the finals and lost to E.D. White. Amazingly, La Luz made it through most of the game. At one point she fell asleep right on top of me, hidden underneath the hood of her sweater. I am still not sure how she was able to sleep through all of the noise, particularly considering her intolerance.

Here she is with Christian, cheering him up after a disappointing loss:


This afternoon, while La Luz took a nap and Christian watched the Saints game, I escaped to the new Macy's at Lakeside. It is something...I was on a mission to find a new pair of black boots. I should have thought about shopping for boots a few months ago because it was tough trying on boots with an eight-months pregnant belly getting in the way. Fortunately, after two hours of shopping I ended up with the perfect pair and just in time for the incredibly cold weather we are experiencing. Look how cute:

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Rebounding

When La Luz woke up this morning she begged to take off her p.j.'s and put on a dress. I figured it had to be a good sign. Not to mention, she didn't have any fever and seemed to have a decent amount of energy. I figured that would happen since I called the doctor first thing this morning to make an appointment for her. Christian took her anyway, just in case, and we learned that she had a blister(s) on her tonsils but that they were healed for the most part and, consequently, no antibiotics were necessary. Hooray for a powerful immune system courtesy of daycare! At any rate, I think she is on the mend (fingers crossed) and, since she has been fever free for 24 hours, she can go to school in the morning. The schedule juggling has been a bit crazy but we managed to make it work out. Thanks to all the offers to babysit. Be careful though, we just might take you up on it one day!

Here is a picture of La Luz I took this morning, wearing the new fairy necklace mom-mom gave her when she came over to babysit yesterday.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

From One Extreme

This morning La Luz was in rare form. Christian had her convinced that overnight we had metamorphosed into a family of monkeys. Generally speaking, I hate playing 'pretend' or 'make-believe' type games. They are boring and silly and require too much patience. I particularly hate playing them first thing in the morning, so I was a less than willing participant in the monkey game. Christian and La Luz had blast. Her energy was endless and she sang some song about turkeys in trees avoiding getting cooked as we drove to school. At around 8 o'clock I left her at ASH, running full speed down the hallway to her classroom. She seemed fine. At noon the nurse called to say she had fever of 101.9 and that her teachers noticed she 'just wasn't herself'. Incidentally, Christian picked up on this last night and asked me to stop at store to get some Motrin because he thought she was sick. When I got home I decided she was fine, however. I feel terrible that I didn't pick up on it. Most moms know their kid is sick before it even happens. I hate to think why I didn't pick up on it. I would like to believe it is simply because I am not perceptive and not because I am too self-involved.

Fortunately, after an afternoon of Tylenol and Motrin rotation and lots of rest, she seems to be on the mend, though her head was still hurting her when I put her to sleep. Unfortunately, she missed out on an afternoon with Kelsea and we were told to keep her out of school tomorrow so she will miss the Hoe Down. It is tough to explain to a three year old why they have to miss out on things they really want to do. It sort of broke my heart to see how sad it made her feel. In addition to the fact that La Luz feels bad and is totally bummed about missing out on fun activities, Christian and I have to figure out what is going to happen tomorrow since we were specifically told that she cannot return to school. I am supposed to be in Baton Rouge for work and Christian has to teach and coach the first game of the State playoffs. There is certainly something to be said for being a stay at home mom or your own boss, and we don't fit into either category. Rock, Paper, Scissors anyone?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Christmas Shopping Starts Now

Inspired by my more organized friends, I am determined to take care of picking up some of the Christmas gifts early this year. I hate that Christian and I are usually scrambling at the last minute, squeezing in trips to the mall before and after holiday parties, spending too much (or too little) on last-minute decisions because we simply didn't plan properly. Christmas has a way of sneaking up on us. Not this year though. I have the added incentive of the early January due date of baby #2. I really don't want to be shopping through contractions or not shopping at all because I am busy giving birth. With that in mind, I picked up a present for the bug this weekend.

She loves my market tote so I figured this would be a great gift idea for La Luz. Fortunately, it comes in her favorite color too:

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Two Months Of Christmas

Nana and Papa-T took advantage of a free weekend and flew down to NOLA for 24 hours of gorgeous weather and non-stop love from La Luz. As usual, they came bearing gifts. A new book, a princess nightgown that will only come off after a round or two of negotiations and occasional tears, and this, the most prized of all, the thing that might make me loose my mind between now and whenever I finally pack up the Christmas decorations. Behold:


It captivates her and plays just about every Christmas song you can imagine. Loud.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Cherry Dress

It was another hectic day around here. The house is a zoo and I have no energy to clean it, La Luz had an absolute melt-down at the volleyball game this evening and never properly recovered, my Motorola Q died yesterday afternoon and, although I got a replacement Blackberry today, tech support at work can't seem to sync it with the work server, and the baby feels like he is literally climbing up my rib cage and into my lungs. As you can imagine, I am ready for the weekend, but I can't resist a quick post to include a picture of the bug in her newest Aunt Julie creation. For obvious reasons, she never wants to take it off:

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

A Happy, Sleepy Haze

We all stayed up a little past our customary bedtimes last night what with all of the excitement. For La Luz, that meant she was up until 9:30. I was awake until midnight and Christian fell asleep on the sofa until around 2 a.m. when he finally managed to drag himself upstairs to bed. I guess we made it through the day today in a sleepy haze but fueled by the events of the night before. I am still at a loss for words to describe how I felt watching it all unfold.

We had a quiet evening around here - dinner at mom-mom and pop's to visit and collect our treats from pop's trip to Virgina (pear preserves from Kitty for me - yippee - and 2 UVA t-shirts for La Luz - in her favorite color of course, orange). Christian is at the ASH Open House, the bug is sound asleep and I am not far behind.

Here's a picture of La Luz just because:

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Monday, November 03, 2008

More From The Weekend

On Sunday La Luz and I went to City Park with Aunt Margot for Lucas' birthday. La Luz had been waiting to meet Lucas for years and it finally worked out. As usual, La Luz was not particularly adventurous and even threw a fit once we were finally seated on the carousel. We actually had to get off of the ride. I have never had to do that before. She enjoyed watching it but had absolutely no desire to be on it, not even on the bench or any of the animals that don't move. I can't remember how I was ultimately able to bribe her to ride on it for her birthday last summer. I think maybe the reason she finally decided to ride it had something to do with Christian threatening to take away her presents.

Despite her lack of an adventurous spirit (and really this is nothing new), she had a wonderful time at the party and even enjoyed a few of the less-exciting rides:

But the real highlight for her was the favor bag and what was inside, particularly these beauties:



In other news, we had a follow-up ultra sound for baby boy since I am of advanced maternal age. Everything looked good, fortunately, and baby boy did not disappoint. It was nice for Christian to finally see what kind of ruckus is going on inside of my belly 24/7. I am not complaining more than I did with La Luz simply because I am older now, this baby really moves around. Even the doctor was surprised. I am sort of nervous that what is going on on the inside is going to translate to the sort of behavior I can expect outside. I guess we will see. Unfortunately, we were not really able to get a good side profile shot but, based on the glimpses I caught, I think the nose/mouth area is going to be very similar to Christian and La Luz.

Big day tomorrow...don't forget to vote!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Falling Back

I loved having an extra hour added to my day today. It was particularly useful this weekend as we were rather busy. The fun began on Friday night with our Halloween celebration. We trick or treated on State Street and gathered at Aunt Margot's house before and after for a wonderful Halloween party with family and friends. At the last minute La Luz decided that she wanted to be dressed up as Tiger Lilly. Fortunately, we had a hand-me-down costume from the Wilson girls, but that was about it. Christian came to the rescue at the last minute with a homemade hat and feather headdress, but the costume was less than stellar. It was, however, very comfortable and La Luz loved it.

Here she is without the makeshift headdress:


I realized when I was falling asleep Friday night that I should have put braids in her hair. Oh well, I was caught totally off-guard with her costume change. I was fully prepared for Cinderella.

I decided to let La Luz eat pretty much whatever "junk" she wanted Friday night, allowing her incredible joy before promptly removing what remained. It is interesting to me that she hasn't even asked for candy since Friday night. It got pretty ugly though. I eventually lost track of what she had eaten and then came this, the motherload:



I had to force Christian to gulp about 1/2 of it down, taking one for the team so to speak, because I knew La Luz would eat every grain of sugar in there. Who gives out such enormous candy? I think La Luz basically had a seizure when they handed it to her. She loves pixie sticks and, for obvious reasons, never knew they came in jumbo, super-deluxe size. Let's hope she forgets they exist.

The remainder of the weekend was spent, very peacefully, in Thibodaux. We had not been out there since before Gustav so I was sort of braced for what was in store. All things considered, it looks pretty good. There are a ton less trees but, overall, the houses are in good shape. The cane looks terrible but tastes pretty good. Unfortunately, the citrus crop is weak. I am not sure if it was the very prolific year last year or the hurricane this year but, for whatever reason, there wasn't much to pick. I am hoping that more will grow in the next few weeks. I guess we will see.

Here's La Luz enjoying some of nature's candy: