Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Feeling My Age

I went to St. Charles Vision for an eye exam today. I have worn contacts for as long as I can remember and have become a master at extending the life of extended-wear contact lenses. Despite fully understanding the dangers, I rarely take my contacts out, shoot some solution in my eyes to start the day off and dread the thought of actually having to put glasses on.

I figured that it had been a year or so since my last exam. I learned today that it had been THREE, which means I have been wearing my contacts for way too long and need to get serious about taking them out and wearing my glasses now and then to let my eyes breathe a bit. That said, the doctor told me that, although my eyes look a little strained, he admitted that it is a consistent quality in someone with eyesight as bad as mine. At any rate, I am committed to taking better care of my eyes and wearing glasses now and then, but have I mentioned that I hate wearing glasses? I hate everything about wearing glasses, but most of all I hate the fact that I cannot see out of my glasses. I lack peripheral vision, I have something that makes the edges of my view fuzzy and I have an astigmatism that is basically not able to be corrected with glasses. Oh yeah, and I LOVE my contacts. LOVE them.

The reality check wasn't the worst part of the appointment though, the real let down was when he mentioned that I was "getting close to 40" and I am NOT, not really at least, and then asked me to do a reading test..."just to make sure we don't need to start thinking about reading glasses." I stared at him, mouth agape. Reading glasses are for OLD people, not me.

I felt like this:

But then started thinking that maybe it wouldn't be all that bad. Maybe I could try some cute Kate Spade reading glasses like this:

Or these totally awesome wooden reading glasses. They are made by Matteo Ragni, some Italian architect/designer who is barely out of college:

Or how about these necklaces glasses - certainly helps with the whole endless search for the glasses routine (sadly I think these are just decoration):

And maybe, just maybe, it would be the impetus for Lasik and I could be comfortable wearing glasses. Still though, I have never felt pretty in glasses. There is hope though - as long as I admit that I am much less sultry librarian and much more Tina Fey:

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Summer Days

For the past few summers Christian has spent most of his time off out of the country or very busy with school-related activities. He has no international travel lined up this summer and, with the exception of grading AP exams in early June, he has been around and has had some rather enviable 'one on one' time with James.

They spent this past morning at the zoo and narrowly avoided an absolute deluge. According to Christian, James was torn between checking out the animals and looking for buttons to press and 'technology' to play with.

Here's a picture of him pressing buttons, of course:

The only downside to the 'one on one' time is that James has become completely addicted to Christian lately. I used to be the favored parent, hands down, and I feel like I am slipping in the rankings. I am confident, however, that I can make up some ground over the long 4th of July weekend.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Happy 5th Birthday Luz

You turned 5 last week and I have been somewhat reluctant to write about your year for a number of reasons, one of which is that writing about it is admitting that it came and went already. While there are incredible, noteworthy things that happened, all I can really focus on is the fact that it is just another year of my time with you that has already passed. And I promise I am not maudlin during the day in and day out routine of our lives but I can't shake that bit of ache that entered my heart the first time I saw you and decided that I wanted to be by your side forever.

So, at times I am reduced to math - there are 525,600 minutes in a year (thanks Rent) which means that we have spent roughly 2.6 million minutes together and about 1,800 days and if you start to factor in the time I have been at work the number diminishes and it really doesn't seem like much time at all. But, the fact of the matter is that I have about 3.5 more sets of 5 years before you are off to college and then out on your own and I can't help it. I already worry about how much I will miss you!

Fortunately, I am usually distracted and don't have time to worry about the minutes and the days and the years during the normal course of things. I am too busy thinking about things like the fact that you picked a hand this year. You are a lefty just like your grandfather and lefties are brilliant people, what? When you figured out that you like writing with your left hand the best everything came together. Suddenly the drawings you brought home were of things and not abstract scribble scratch and you could write names and cut...with actual scissors (just wait until we get you a lefty pair).

This year you overcame your fear of rocking horses and (maybe) carousels and you now love space walks and have opinions about outfits and hairstyles and you learned the meaning of the word sarcasm. You started sounding out words and learning to spell and write and count to 100 and name all of the states in the U.S.A. You started playing video games (much to your dad's joy) and traded silly bandz and continued to play endlessly with your princess figures and your my little pony dolls and you fell in love with Princess and the Frog and developed a long enough attention span to enjoy novels as bedtime stories.

You played soccer and the piano and danced a ballet in front of an audience of over 100 people and - yeah - I know I said they weren't but they actually were looking at you and they were smiling because there is something really adorable about a tiny, smiley kid playing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. Sorry.

You developed a love for terrible, Disney, pre-teen music and top 10 radio hits that make me want to pull my hair out. You became addicted to Phineas and Ferb (I still blame your dad for this one). And, you spent most nights right before bath time dancing around your room with James for 10 minutes in a leotard and 'dancing' shoes. It is so hilarious but yet deeply personal to you (and James) so I have not been allowed to video it. Yet.

You learned more about saying good bye to people you love and the heartache that comes when you finally figure out that all of the wishing in the world cannot bring them back. You were filled with optimism and grace and hugs and kisses - the perfect medicine to pull me back from a very dark place.

You also learned about growing up and toddler-hood and the utter destruction in the wake of Hurricane James and instead of behaving like a normal person and getting frustrated and losing your patience you nurtured and laughed and took deep breaths and held out your hand so he could find it and walk right by your side - his favorite place to be.

Most of started to become an even more awesome and lovable kid and I cannot imagine how it is that I got to be so lucky.

Happy Birthday baby girl. Love, Mama

Thursday, June 24, 2010

THE Movie Experience

If you haven't been yet, I highly recommend a trip to the newly refurbished and completely awesome Canal Place Theater. I took Nana to see Sex and the City 2 last week when she was in town and tonight dragged Mary Cox there to see Please Give. I really just wanted an excuse to visit with her and sit in a plush, leather chair in the middle of a cold, dark room drinking wine. Did I mention that they serve wine there (and beer, and martinis) or that they have specialty popcorn with truffle oil and that you can have dinner while you watch a movie (or just Junior Mints and a Coke if that's your thing)? At any rate, good or bad movie, it is an experience that should be shared by everyone in town.

Tonight's movie was Please Give. It was interesting. The theme is relatively simple - how do we balance our materialism with the suffering of others around us. Yes, that is maybe over-simplifying things, but it is the overarching idea. It was a bit heavy,and yet, I liked it. I laughed a bit, cringed a lot and felt heavy-hearted right when I was supposed to.

Meanwhile, I can't say it enough - it is super-hot around here. Super super hot. We've been eating lots of snowballs and running around the backyard in the hose and getting our money's worth out of the wading pool. I can't believe it can get any hotter. I won't believe it.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


James has been completely brainwashed. Granted, he was drawn to the soccer ball (well, any spherical items) since he could crawl, but his love of soccer has reached a new level. He even picked a favorite team:

Christian has been watching the World Cup games quite a bit. In fact, if we are home, there is usually a game on if one is being broadcast. He is in a fantasy league and, consequently, is on top of all the scores and matches and knows the stats about who needs to win what games when and by how many points. I don't know any of the details, but I admit, I find myself a bit captivated too. What?

Let's face it, soccer players are easily the best-looking athletes around:

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Missing Pop

There is so much to say about everything that has been happening recently. Most importantly, we celebrated Luz's 5th birthday. Yes, she is five. 5. And really it is tough to figure out where to begin to describe everything that has happened in her 4th year of life and how much she has grown and what an interesting and lovable person she is and how every age feels just a little more incredible to me than the last.

Oh, and it is Father's Day, and I would like to tell you all about what an incredible father Christian is and it goes way beyond the fact that he has no problem devoting hours of his life to being a human jungle gym.

And even though I am incredibly blessed and am surrounded by many other 'fathers' who love me like their own daughter and are all deeply rooted in my life, I am feeling nostalgic. So, while I should be making memories of the things that are happening now, my head and heart are lingering somewhere in my history, concentrating on the memories that were made years ago but seem just a bit extra-special to me now:

Me with Pop, swinging on the porch of the big house at White Plantation, circa 1979?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

For Christian, So You Feel Less Far Away

Things have been just a bit busy around here what with Christian away and me traveling for work and all of us gearing up for a very special birthday on Saturday. There is plenty to report - James spent some time with his cousin Jack this week and they tried to entice Sandra Bullock and baby Louis over for a play date, Nana and mom-mom went to see Avenue Q - yeah, I know, words escape me, and Nana and I checked out the brand-spanking new Canal Place Theater and cracked up while watching a rather raunchy and totally entertaining Sex and The City II.

We also crashed a party the other night, we didn't mean to, it is just tough to keep the kids away from music and balloons:

More stories about the goings on soon, until then, enjoy the pictures.

Monday, June 14, 2010

What We Do There

When I was younger and we spent time on our sugar cane farm in Thibodaux I had tons of cousins around my age to play with so there was never a quiet moment. Sure, every now and then, particularly as I got older, I would sneak off to the hammock to read or throw on my shoes and head out into the cane fields for an evening run, but most of my memories are of the time I spent with my cousins, time when we got to know each other as well as brothers and sisters.

For James and Luz, the experience is something quite different. There are less children around and, consequently, less of the types of memories that I have. But this is not to say that things are any less magical or memorable. I spent some time over the weekend looking at it all through James' eyes, figuring out what about it was memorable and awesome to him. Mostly, it was the simple stuff:


The John Deeres:

The horses:

Beckoning the dogs (I know, looks like squat-thrusts or some other odd exercises but that is how he tries to get all animals to approach him):

Reprimanding the dogs:


Chasing after her, ever so patient and sweet:

Okay, it wasn't all memorable in a good way. There was the obligatory 'fussing because it is time to get dressed and put on shoes to go to dinner and mom brushed my hair too straight':

Going into town for dinner or whatever else you might need:

Not featured : throwing rocks into ditches, a very underrated pastime.
All of this is a far cry from the days of my youth, which sometimes looked like this:

Sunday, June 13, 2010

How Was Your Weekend?

We spent ours in Thibodaux with Nana. We swam, looked at the tractors, visited the horses, stared slack-jawed at the HUNDREDS of dragonflies, and rested. It was a lovely.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Evening Stroll

One of the many things I love about our house is the neighborhood. It is, like most NOLA neighborhoods, lovely but not without its problems...crime is always a concern, street traffic can be a bit frightening when the kids are playing outside, and parking tends to be an issue at certain times of day. Cons considered, it is still perfect for us - walking distance to school/work for 3 out 4 people living here, 1 block from the parades, and fun to explore. Luz, James and I love to take evening strolls. Luz has taught James which steps are fun to climb, where to find the best rocks, and which houses the cats hide underneath. Tonight we stopped at the park on the corner for some jumping practice, spotted three lazy cats in the shade, stared at a couple enjoying a romantic dinner, giggled at a sweaty man on a treadmill, and watched two lizards look for their supper.

We took Loki with us so it was tough for me to get any good shots. Oh yeah, Luz actually changed for the event. She was dressed appropriately but decided a pre-walk wardrobe change was in order. Obviously, she picked it out.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Boy With Dog

When I got home from work this guy had a little surprise waiting for me:

It is, well, his first in-depth work of art and it is all over my living room chair:

The proud artist, displaying his talent:

Okay, it is a much better surprise than say, oh, a pile of vomit courtesy of Loki. It is also better than a chewed up diaper, courtesy of Loki. It is also much better than multiple piles of vomit, courtesy of Loki. It is not, however, anything close to the awesomeness of an ipad, which, incidentally, I wasn't expecting, don't worry.

After I got over my disappointment - really, all things considered, this was nothing...the chair is Ikea and it is currently covered in a handy Ikea slip cover that is machine washable - James and I goofed off with the camera a bit:

He loves looking at the pictures I take. He loves it even more when I let him operate the camera controls, which is never. And this brings up an interesting debate that Christian and I are having. Luz turns 5 on the 19th. She, too, loves taking pictures and is pretty handy with Christian's Canon point and shoot (who isn't, the thing is fool-proof). So, Christian suggested a camera for her birthday and I totally agree, of course. The problem is, Christian doesn't want to waste any time on a kid's camera and has opted for this guy:

which I think is ludicrous - it is pricey, filled with functions I don't even know how to use, and sets the bar incredibly high for future birthdays (I mean truly, what comes next, an iphone?). His point, and it is a valid one, is that she knows how to use it and, consequently, it doesn't make sense to get her a "toy" camera.

On the other hand, my "toy" camera suggestion seems just right for a 5 year old. It looks cute, is designed with kids in mind (on both the durability and usability front) and seems like a more age appropriate present. Take a look:

Am I being a scrooge here? Am I worrying about something that is silly? I really don't want to budge on this one but I will if all votes are in favor of the Canon. Oh yeah, there is about $100 difference in price.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Birmingham Adventure

Luz, mom-mom and I spent less than 48 in hours in Birmingham last weekend and, even though the adventure involved a break down in Heidleberg, Mississippi, we all had a fabulous time. Our dinner at Hot and Hot Fish Club was outstanding and the time we spent with family was lovely. Luz worked up enough courage to hold her twin cousins at the same time. She has Richmond on her left side and Stephen on her right side and they are total angels. I am in love.

I will fill you in on our trip later this week. I am still feeling somewhat wiped- out from the adventure and distracted but a few things around the house that need my attention (Stanley Steamer came to our house last week and proved to me that the choice of white tile for a kitchen floor might not be the stupidest decision ever. They also cleaned Luz's room, which required a massive moving about of the endless piles of toys - hence - my distraction)