Thursday, July 29, 2010


We are off to the beach for a very brief 48 hours. My fingers are crossed for no oil, blue skies, peaceful children and days that go on and on and on. I can' wait to shake the sand off of my feet and give up on the salty knots in my hair. I can barely contain myself.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Bring On The Dancing Horses

I think I might've mentioned before that Luz is absolutely terrified of carousels. I am sure it is related to something Christian and I did or didn't do during her very early years that has resulted in this strange phobia and I sense that it probably ties in with her unfounded fear of rocking horses. Yes, rocking horses.

It is no secret that Luz does not have even a drop of "risk taker" in her blood and it can be a bit frustrating at times. I generally try to exercise patience but there are moments when all I can do is stare at her, mouth agape, stunned. It happened a week or two ago when she screamed because she almost "fell off" the one and a half foot, plush rocking horse in James' room, something that is not technically high enough for her to fall off of. It happened again last Saturday. I took Luz and James to the zoo for a few hours and at one point Luz worked up enough courage to get on the carousel, wanting to be part of James' first carousel experience (I doubt this was his first carousel experience but it was the first one that the two of us were a part of). I should've realized she was not up to the challenge when we circled the thing three times before she reluctantly settled on the giraffe (one of only two animals that does not move up and down). She insisted on being strapped in and insisted that I keep an arm around her which proved to be incredibly tricky while trying to balance James on the extremely tall, neighboring camel. James was in heaven and couldn't get enough of it. Luz screamed and cried the entire time, attracting the attention of everyone around us (including, quite incidentally, my Kindergarten teacher). I had no explanation and couldn't figure out how to fix the situation so I just let her scream and white-knuckle the non-moving pole. It was something.

After the terror of the carousel, she stuck to things that were more her speed. These are statutes, by the way, and are likely not designed to be climbed on by kids:

The most daring display was this jump and it made me smile. Baby steps:

James, on the other hand, was unstoppable, as usual:

I appreciate the differences, I really do, but there are moments when I wish I could get to the bottom of what makes her so scared of something that brings so much joy to other kids.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Happy Birthday Papa George

We eneded a rather peaceful weekend celebrating Papa George's 90th Birthday. It was a lovely night and a treat to be a part of Papa's impressive milestone. I was touched when he went around the room and told a story or two about each person there to celebrate him. I hope that when/if I am 90 years old I have such sensitivty to detail and a mind for trivial facts. It was lovely to see him talking politics in the hallway and retreat to a quiet corner shortly thereafter to discuss the pros and cons of playing ultimate frisbee at an altitude of 11,000 feet. Wow. There is clearly something very incredible about this guy and I felt blessed to be a part of it tonight.

With GG:

Christian and I had the luxury of two nights out without the kids. Last night we had dinner with friends at Coquette and it was delicious. If you haven't been there yet, I recommend it. The food was not necessarily outstanding enough to win a seat in my top 5 NOLA retaurants, but it was solid and the ambience is very nice. I liked the exposed brick walls and the wooden floors. We all agreed, however, that the table and chairs proportions are off. The table was too low for the height of the chairs, or vice versa. It is a very nit-picky detail but one that we all noticed.

The rest of the weekend was spent in the backyard running around in the sprinkler and wading pool or inside in the AC. It was hot and the only disturbance that Bonnie brought our way was more moisture. The rain last night was unimpressive. The only reason it felt like an even slightly tropical storm was the lightning. Because it was so hot I only ventured out with the kids a few times and after just a few minutes outside they looked like this:

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Restore the Gulf

I haven't spent any time on the blog bellyaching about the oil spill. I have done plenty of it at home and listened to an earful from Christian every day since the leak started but now it is time to take up a little blog space with a psa for all of you.

If you haven't done it yet, stop by and sign the Petition to Restore the Gulf. As with everything important for post-Katrina NOLA, the activist group, Women of the Storm, has made it as easy on all of us as possible. Just click on the blog title or the link right here and sign up. It takes a second:

Sign the Petition to Restore the Gulf

You can also be a constant reminder to others of what is going on down here and do it in style in one of these comfy, distressed t-shirts. I wore mine during recent trips to Georgia and Virginia and felt the love:

If t-shirts aren't your thing, maybe you can should just kick back with Abita's latest specialty brew, SOS. I know I am going to be washing down some LA seafood and sharing it with friends.

And then there's this great video that the Women of the Storm put together. If you haven't seen it yet, please watch it and share it with everyone you know.

I will save the debate about the moratorium and the politics for another day. For now, just do your part to spread the word.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Thanks to her Garmin, Nana is a force on the road not to be reckoned with. Last Friday she trekked a few hours north of Atlanta to Cleveland, Georgia to introduce Luz to the magical world of Cabbage Patch Kids. I remember my first Cabbage Patch Kid, Jennifer. She had gorgeous brown hair, dimples, and a sweet disposition. According to her birth certificate she was a Gemini and I loved her. On the Christmas morning that I found her under the tree it felt like no small miracle. Those dolls were the hottest Christmas gifts out there and one of my aunts, in an act of sheer love and desperation, had to buy her girls' Cabbage Patch dolls on the black market. It was a cash only operation and the dolls were delivered in black hefty bags under cover of night, and it was worth every bit of the cloak and dagger style drama.

Here is a bird's eye view of Babyland:

So, while we were enjoying our quality time with James, watching him splash around with every camper in the metro Atlanta area at the Centennial Park Fountains, Luz and Nana watched some dolls get birthed out of cabbage heads and it was, indeed, a magical experience for Luz.

She sweet talked Nana into not one but two dolls, opting for a set of premie twins instead of a more mature tween Cabbage Patch doll. She is now proud owner/mother of Lucille and Felipe and she has enjoyed every minute of taking care of her 'kids':

Monday, July 19, 2010

Many Splendid Tables

I flew up to Atlanta on Friday to meet up with Christian and the kids and in just a few short days Christian and I managed a number of noteworthy meals. Our first stop after landing on Friday and taking James to splash around in the Centennial Park fountains was La Fonda. I have been a huge fan of La Fonda for the cheap and delicious paella and Cuban sandwiches since I was a student at UGA. It is a regular stop for us when we are in Atlanta (along with the sister/brother restaurant, Fellini's) and the quality hasn't changed in fifteen years. Incidentally, neither has the price. James was lucky enough to share his first La Fonda experience with us:

Don't worry, Luz was busy with Nana at the Cabbage Patch Kids hospital in North Georgia. Quite unbelievably, this was actually the first time Christian and I spent the day alone with James.

We followed up our very reliable lunch at La Fonda with dinner and drinks and drinks and drinks at Holeman and Finch, a place that we were both very curious about because of the much-hyped, "24" sought after burgers prepared each night. The burgers absolutely lived up to the hype and the fries were so enticing that I even had a few. We spent the evening with friends we had not seen since their wedding about 6 years ago. It was a huge treat to have four hours to catch up and to do it while enjoying great food and drinks.

Although the food was incredible (and there are at least a dozen things on the menu that we did not try that I was very curious about), what really stood out was the incredible service. The place was absolutely packed between 9 and 11. We decided to eat in the bar area because a few small plates and drinks turned into about ten small plates and many more drinks and, before we knew it, we were essentially eating dinner and just decided to just stay put. During the time when patrons filled the bar, standing cheek by jowl, the servers and waitresses moved in and out of the crowd with patience and ease. They were totally accommodating to even the most needy and annoying guests. I was impressed.

And speaking of annoying guests, this guy was there in an old, somewhat dirty looking t-shirt and plaid shorts:

with an entourage gathered around him worshipfully, falling all over themselves.

Last night we had dinner plans with friends of ours, another couple we get to see too rarely, and Christian lobbied hard for Fogo De Chao. I guess it is not a particularly hard choice because the food really is good and the salad bar is the best around. I toyed with the idea of just having a salad but when the bacon wrapped filet mignon made its way to our table I couldn't resist. I exercised a little restraint considering I didn't pack running shoes and had already burned through the few extra miles I banked last week. Unlike Christian, though, I did not wake up in the middle of the night suffering from 'meat' sweats.

And maybe you wouldn't think there was time for yet another bite to eat...but there was...I never leave Atlanta without at least one stop at the local Atlanta Bread Company for my absolute, hands down, favorite veggie sandwich ever. I am a total addict and have been for about a decade. The veggie sandwich is really nothing special but the taste is unparalleled by any other I have ever had. They also have great cookies. So, if you are in Atlanta or driving through and looking for a healthier fast food option, this is your place:

We did plenty of other things too. Really. We swam, played at the local park, checked out the aquarium, ice skated (well, Luz and Christian did), swam some more and lounged around just a little. It was a lovely mini-vacation and it was tough to get back, particularly because the night started with two cop cars and an ambulance arriving at the one house on the block that seems to draw that sort of attention. Ahhh, NOLA.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Not Knowing Quite What To Do With Myself

My inspiration is on vacation so, rather than chasing after the kids with my camera, I am doing what I can to fill this quiet time productively. I have been catching up with old friends, sorting toys and clothes for goodwill, building furniture, and running as much as possible. I don't like being alone. I am not the kind of person that craves personal time. I work so much that each second with Christian and the kids is a treasured moment, but I understand the importance of remembering the other things that interest me and of creating memories for the kids. So, while Luz and James are swimming and playing and staying up late and eating sugary snacks, exhausting Nana and Papa-T, and really learning what summer is all about, I am going to take advantage of the empty house and tackle a few projects. All the while, I will be daydreaming about these guys:

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Fourth Of July

Over the years we have developed a nice 4th of July tradition. We head to Atlanta for my annual running of the Peachtree Road Race followed by what has grown into a huge pool-side bbq at Nana and Papa-T's house where we spend hours catching up with family and friends. It is always a special time because it is one of only a handful of days during the year when we have time to visit and our children develop friendships. I hope it is a tradition that will continue for many years.

Even though we were only in Atlanta for a few days, I managed to take quite a few pictures. What follows is a somewhat random sampling:


Yet another terrible attempt at a shot of the kids:

James, playing in the dollhouse:

Liam, wiped out:

Ready for mischief:

Watching fireworks:

After a long day of swimming:

L and J at this incredible play area inside of the mall. Atlanta is filled with things like that to make life easier and more enjoyable:

Hanging out with Papa-T early in the morning:

Tuesday, July 06, 2010


I guess everyone had the same idea we had - pile everyone and everything into the car and go east for 8 hours, hang out with family and friends for 48 hours, and then go west for 8 hours. What should have been an 8 hour return trip was complicated by way too many cars leaving the beach and heading back to NOLA. As a result, it took us closer to 10 hours and we didn't get home until late yesterday. I am wiped out and I have a long day of depositions in Baton Rouge tomorrow. I will post pictures from the wonderful weekend later this week - assuming I can climb out from beneath the pile of laundry and bags to be unpacked. Until then...

This has to be my fiftieth attempt at a picture of all of the grandchildren together. I was, as you can see, unsuccessful yet again. I don't know what irks me more - James freaking out or Luz's hair in her face.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Vacation Had To Get Away

We are off to Atlanta for a very brief 4th of July vacation. I am looking forward to visiting with family, lounging by the pool, and running the Peachtree with Papa T.

I hope you all enjoy the holiday weekend. I know we will!