Thursday, January 29, 2009

Best of 2008

It is Wednesday around noon and I have a few spare minutes to myself. I suppose I could shower, maybe look over some work that needs my attention, do some laundry, or write a few thank-you notes; however, I decided that a week between posts is far too long and that my time would best be spent updating the blog.

I intended to post this list of our favorites from 2008 back in December but somehow never found the time. I apologize for the delay. At long last, and not in any particular order other than what sounded best where, here it is:

I'm A Lady Santagold
Geraldine Glasvegas
Heavy Water/I'd Rather Be Sleeping Grouper
Ghosts Laura Marling
The Kids Don't Stand A Chance Vampire Weekend
Why Don't You Let Me Stay Here She & Him
Shine On The Kooks
In Our Talons Bowerbirds
Carmensita Devendra Barnhart
Your Protector Fleet Foxes
Standing Next To Me The Last Shadow Puppets
Maria Jose Frederico Aubele
Up! M83
Chemtrails Beck
Blue Flower/Blue Flame Destroyer
Record Year The Decembrists
I'm Outta Time Oasis
Young Love Mystery Jets
Juno Tokyo Police Club
Spanish Death Song The Builders & The Butchers
Undeclared The Dodos

My personal favorites and the ones that were in heavy rotation for me this year were Vampire Weekend and Fleet Foxes. Some of the songs are clearly Christian picks. Lucy also had a bit of input this time around. Can you guess her selections?

The few free minutes are the result of instituting a little tough love around here. The baby is crying in the pack and play but I am told that this is okay. I don't know about you, but I have a hard time putting this guy down:

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

What's Been Going On

There is something about living in the haze of 3 a.m. feedings and not leaving the house that makes time pass in a very strange way. Somehow I have already burned through almost two weeks of maternity leave, so time is clearly flying by...and, yet, the days linger.

I really don't have any news to report except that James is incredibly adorable and La Luz seems to be enjoying every minute of having a newborn around. So little goes on around here in a given day that a shower is a major event. I am doing my best to shield La Luz and Christian from the fussiness in the middle of the night so that they can get plenty of rest and go about their normal, daily routine; however, it is inevitable that we are all a little bit wiped out. I feel better, much better. I don't need pain medication anymore, I barely need Tylenol and, though my stitches ache, I am not wincing every time I move. It is too soon to tell, but maybe there is some truth to the argument that a c-section makes for a better recovery than a regular delivery. I will let you know.

We are still working on clearing space off of the computer so that I can download all of my pictures. In the meantime, here are a few that mom took yesterday of James and of the rest of us enjoying Richmond's birthday dinner. Please excuse me. I look (and am) exhausted.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Just Coming Up For Air

I am no good at recovering from pregnancy and delivery. After giving birth to La Luz I couldn't sit upright for weeks and had raging headaches and counted my pain medication in a panic, worried that I might not have enough. The experience this time is not altogether different. Okay, I am not counting pain pills this time. There are plenty left and I am actually getting by with a double dose of Tylenol every few hours. But, I do have plenty of pain, this time in a totally different place. I am a bit disappointed that childbirth damaged me in two places. It would have been nice to select one location, but I suppose that's how life goes, and it is, of course, such a small price to pay.

Right now my days and nights are spent much in the same way, holding the baby, feeding the baby, changing the baby's clothes and diapers. I am living in p.j.s or stretchy athletic pants and am limited in the amount of trips I can take up and down the stairs. I have watched plenty of terrible t.v. and I promise that when I return to work I will no longer complain that I would like a day off of work to do nothing but lounge on the sofa watching t.v. I have been fortunate to have a ton of extra help and I honestly don't know how I would manage without all of the love and support of family and friends.

James is quickly adapting to the world outside. He doesn't flinch when Loki barks, never minds when La Luz covers him with kisses and continues to enjoy being swaddled and cuddled, two things La Luz never allowed as a newborn. I don't really mind the sleepless nights this time. I remember how fast the time goes by and how very little of it is easy to recall once the time has passed. Every single minute of it is a blessing.

Here is another picture from the day he was born. I have plenty more but can't download them until the IT person (Christian) clears some space off of the computer. As I start to feel better I imagine I will have more energy to post. Until then, please excuse the inconsistent posts. I am, after all, on maternity leave.

The happy and very surprised family...Who would've thought you could have a child on its due date and that it could take place in an hour and a half.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Home Improvements, The Best One Of Them All

After what I thought was most likely false labor and a completely unexpected, 180 degree turn, James Christian Vaicius was delivered via a totally unplanned c-section at 10:50 a.m. on January 9, 2009.

He weighs 7 lbs., 10 oz and is 20 1/4 inches long. He likes to sleep, rarely opens his eyes and already responds to his big sister's voice. I think he is perfect:

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Home Improvements, Part II

In honor of my due date tomorrow, the focus of this particular home improvement is the nursery. The nursery is actually the guest room/Nana and Papa-T's room so we really did not make any substantial changes. We cleared out a few things and set up the crib and changing table, and swapped out some of our books for baby books and toys. The big change for this baby is a rocker/recliner from Pippen Lane which is still being put together and will not likely arrive until a few weeks after the baby, although at this rate...

Crib and changing table - apparently you can't use bumper pads anymore and, frankly, that is fine with me because they are such a pain to take on and off the crib, particularly when changing wet sheets in the middle of the night:

La Luz's rocker with the new blanket, made my Aunt Molls and toy/book shelf:

As you can see, we are ready. I guess this guy just isn't quite there yet.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Home Improvements, Part I

I have been distracted by all of the chaos of the holidays and the countdown to the arrival of BBV and I never got a chance to show you the latest home improvement - our fabulous Christmas present from Nana and Papa-T. Check it out:

We now have a kitchen table and chairs lit by a most-impressive fixture. Everyone was skeptical about my choice of lighting, bellyaching that it was too 'modern' (except Nana) but once Papa-T installed it (an impressive accomplishment considering the odds when he first tackled the project) I think it became a crowd-pleaser. It is like a whole new world for us. We sit down and face each other during meals (as opposed to rubbing elbows at the bar) and Loki no longer loots La Luz's breakfast (and lunch) from the coffee table in the den (I know, pathetic that I allow her to eat breakfast standing at the coffee table in the den in front of cartoons, but this was before the advent of the kitchen table).

Nothing soothes the need to nest like getting just what one needs to improve the aesthetic of a room and the day to day function of a family. Thank you Nana and Papa-T, oh, and Ikea.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

BBV Update

I had a doctor's appointment this morning and learned that nothing has really changed since last week. Despite feeling what I thought were contractions this morning and general discomfort off and on throughout the day, bbv does not appear ready to make his debut. Consequently, I am scheduled for an induction next Wednesday. The doctor said she would let me go up to two weeks beyond my due date, but I just don't think I will feel comfortable enough to last that long. Who knows, maybe he will decide he is ready to meet the world before next week. I am not holding my breath.

Monday, January 05, 2009

At Long Last

It is something we had tried to do for ages. Every time Molls was in town, or we had some reasonable excuse, we attempted to plan dinner at Lilette. For whatever reason it just never happened until last week. With Molly's vacation drawing to a close and the impending arrival of bbv, mom decided a special girls' dinner was in order and the logical choice was Lilette.

We had possibly one of the most delicious dinners I have had in NOLA and I think we will all look forward to the next special occasion so that we can have an excuse to return. There is no question that it is pricey but we enjoyed every bit of it.

My menu choices for the evening were - sizzling shrimp, roasted beets with walnuts and goat cheese, and the heart of palm salad. Absolutely delicious. Mom had the kobe beef special and the heart of palm salad and Molls had tuna (a substitute) and sunchoke puree with one other item that I can't remember. The beef and tuna were spectacular or, as mom said, "sublime". We shared a trio of delicious ice cream for dessert of which, I am sure, I had the lion's share.

I highly recommend Lilette if you are looking for an entirely special dining experience. Our reservations were for 7 and it was perfectly comfortable inside at that point. By about 8:30 the bar was packed and it was a bit noisy so, if you don't like too much activity while you are eating, dine on the early side. On the other hand, if you like the excitement of a packed restaurant and bar, make late reservations. The waitstaff was totally attentive (though not in an annoying, hovering, kind of way) and never seemed distracted by the crowd building at the bar. Either way, I do not think you will be disappointed.

Here is a picture that mom took of me with Molls, enjoying our lovely dinner:

Sunday, January 04, 2009

What Did And Didn't Happen This Weekend

We did not have the baby this weekend, but we did have another major event. After a sad and somewhat teary farewell to this guy:

We brought this guy home:

We hemmed and hawed and tried to avoid it and considered being stupid parents meriting the intervention of social services but, no matter how we rationalized, there was just no way around the fact that the Wrangler was not a safe place for La Luz, much less a newborn to ride around. So, we settled on a Forrester and, I have to say, it is lovely; nothing fancy but everything we need. I am not thrilled about the additional monthly expense, but with both of us sharing in the pick up and drop off responsibilities, it was inevitable.

The bug's last Jeep drive

In other exciting news, BBV is still enjoying plenty of quality in time inside of my womb. Despite feeling some aches and pains last week which may or may not have been contractions (does anyone REALLY know what those pre-labor/false contractions feel like anyway) that made me grimace and reach for nearest couch, the baby is still gestating. I suppose he is content to go all the way until his due date, January 9th, and I can't say I mind, particularly if I feel the way I felt over the weekend (pretty much ache and pain free as long as I don't do too much). This is about what my weekend consisted of (after an early morning trip to Audubon Park on Saturday with La Luz and Loki lead me to believe I was about to give birth under Shelter #4):

Me, sitting up not because it is more comfy but because of the raging heartburn. Clearly this baby will be covered in hair.