Thursday, September 29, 2011

Carousel...An Update

Remember, back a few months ago when Luz still hated the carousel,  but caved under the peer-pressure from James, and got up and rode white-knuckle style, looking a little something like this:

which, incidentally, was a vast improvement over every previous attempt which ended in kicking and screaming and buckets of tears - like at her 3rd birthday party:

Well...we have made even more progress.  We spent a quiet, hot morning at the Audubon Zoo recently and rode the carousel, mostly at James' insistence.  And, overall, things started much as I had anticipated they would:

but ended quite nicely.  See she actually enjoyed it:

When I was little my parents always called the carousel the 'flying horses' and, frankly, the name and then the images of the teethy horses, manes blown backwards, nostrils flared, always freaked me out a little.  So, I get it.  But at 6 you should be able to tackle the carousel with a smile...and she did, finally.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


While I was busy living it up in Annapolis for my cousin's wedding, pretending to be someone without a care in the world, I got a text from my friend, Elizabeth, that quickly took me back to reality. She had kindly agreed to cover for me and carpool Lucy to a skating birthday party (a tall task in light of the fact that Lucy had never skated before...ever).

Her text was as follows: "Congratulations, Lucy got to to take home Suzi Q, the class pet, this weekend. By the way, there is a lice epidemic at school right now so you might want to make sure Christian runs that thing in the dryer before the kids get too close to it."

I guess Christian did not understand the urgency of my request, or maybe it is just that he is a guy and does not have a huge appreciation for hygiene, or maybe he has never had lice. At any rate, late that night when I finally had a chance to talk to him he told me that he didn't bother putting the stuffed animal in the dryer because he figured it was "too late at that point anyway." Grrr. I was on pins and needles all weekend thinking about a lice infestation and my inability to handle one. And when I got home on Sunday I immediately checked heads, holding my breath the entire time, not exhaling until I was sure there was no trace of lice. Here is Luz with sweet, clean, lice-free Suzi-Q:

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me

I turned 38 years old today. 38. In two years I will be 40, at which point (as Luz so kindly reminded me this evening) I will then be 'over the hill'...yikes. So, yeah, I am feeling (and looking) a little old. But it was a perfect birthday weekend - a family wedding in Annapolis with plenty of time to visit with family members I do not see often enough, a lovely day with Christian and the kids visiting with friends and opening presents, and a delicious dinner with my family to end the weekend and celebrate in style. I totally relaxed this weekend - Christian and the kids stayed in NOLA and, although I missed them terribly (we all did), it was nice to have my hands and mind free - no chasing kids around and making sure they stayed out of trouble. Without my muses though I barely took any pictures. Fortunately, plenty of other people did... Here is one that Mary posted - me, with some of the cousins, at the wedding reception:
I am the old person somewhere near the middle, you cannot miss me.

Monday, September 19, 2011


James has been filling up the sticker charts I created as an incentive to help him potty train like it is his job. The reward - a trip to Magic Box to select a new train. He is an equal opportunity train collector - Brio, Thomas, no-name brand dime store set - he loves them all. Recently, however, he has become completely obsessed with Chuggington. The trains run on a wooden track that is compatible with the miles of Brio track at mom's house that are left over from when James' Uncle Josh was equally as crazy-obsessed with all things train. I see a train table in James' future, right?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

What's New

I finally updated the blog design a bit. I have so many different ideas about what I would like to do with the blog, but there is just so little free time these days that it cannot be a priority. Consequently, I simplified things a little and decided I would start to feature some of my favorite old pictures in the blog header and rotate them in and out periodically because there are so many that I love.

And, speaking of pictures, I am in desperate need of a new lens. I never replaced the 'kit' lens after my first generation Rebel finally bit the dust (or was dropped one too many times) and I just cannot get the old lens to cooperate these days. It was sluggish for a while and now it is practically non-responsive and impossible to use. So, I am keeping my eyes on this little guy, which I hear is a versatile 'go-to' lens and is totally compatible with the Rebel.

It is a little more lens than I need (and probably a little more than I would know what to do with), but I have a birthday coming up soon, which means I just might be in luck.

Oh, while I am would be very cool to get a pair of these:

Newtons are supposedly THE latest in running shoe trends...maybe they will make me faster (yeah, right).

One more thing...I love these charms. I got a necklace with a "J" charm when I was a bridesmaid in my cousin's wedding and I wear it almost every day. Now I just need an "L" to add to the mix and have Lucy represent!

But you want to know what I REALLY want for my birthday? It is all very simple and the older I get the more I feel like I sound like my mom and dad when we asked what they wanted. What I REALLY want are the following things:

1. sweet, well-behaved children (which I have, mostly);
2. more time in the day to spend with sweet, well-behaved children;
3. more quality time with Christian (which I had today - we went to the Saints game together, without kids, and it was a perfect afternoon);
4. one morning to sleep late in a dark, quiet, cold room;
5. less work-induced anxiety (which I might have since I just settled the last case I have that was set to go to trial in 2011);
6. the ability (mentally and physically) to run longer and faster;
7. world peace; AND
8. a new sports bra

But, truthfully, I am very happy and feel blessed to have celebrated another year with people I love...because the BEST birthday present in the world is seeing things like this...and it happens all the time:

Luz & James outside of the Audubon Zoo, Luz's pick for an activity on a quiet NOLA morning after a little celebration at the Magic Box toy store to pick up James' reward for totally owning the potty this week - even while I was out of town for three days.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Summer Afternoon....Poolside

While we were in Thibodaux over the weekend we spent many hours by the pool. It was the first time in a long time that the water felt refreshing, even a little on the cold side.

The kids swam, lounged in the sunshine, blew bubbles, napped, enjoyed picnics and even occupied themselves long enough for me to read an entire Lucky magazine...the whole thing! It was a lovely couple of days.

Here they are next to the gigantic, inflatable whale that Uncle Richmond got them during his trip to the San Juan Islands over the summer. This guy was a big hit until he split at the seam (probably when I jumped on him):

A few more pics - the one of me is courtesy of Luz - she is getting pretty good with the camera:

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Haircut...for Real

On Saturday James got a much-needed haircut and went from this:

to this:

and almost in an instant it seemed as if his personality changed too...and I know it was just me, thinking that he looked suddenly like a 'big' boy, but the personality fit...there were no naps over the weekend and all sorts of games involving running and jumping and screaming and so much talk...endless streams of questions and comments...and by the end of the weekend the haircut grew on me and it seemed a little less like the story of Samson and I could still see that sweet little baby inside when he told Winnie all about the sun setting over the sugarcane fields.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Who Dat Season

After a long day of driving that followed a somewhat contentious hearing and a sub-par night of sleep on one of the hardest hotel beds ever, I wanted nothing more than a large glass of wine and a peaceful night. I do not know exactly how it happened but for some reason James and Lucy were in rare form tonight. They were bouncing footballs off of furniture and each other, chasing each other around the house and running and jumping. Not that we sit in silence and knit and read most nights...but this was exceptional. I suppose they were excited about the possibility of staying up late to watch the first Saints game, or maybe it was the sugary Gatorade I let them drink with dinner. Or maybe they just missed me and were thrilled that I was home...I will believe that was the reason.

Here they are, in Saints gear, ready for the game:

Monday, September 05, 2011

Surviving Lee

After FINALLY beating back a virus that circulated the house for about a week we were looking forward to three days in the fresh country air, swimming, playing on the John Deeres and generally chilling out. The unpredictable storm in the Gulf over the weekend caused us to change our plans and we settled for three quiet days around the house instead. But there is not anything quiet about a 2.5 year old and there is not much that is quiet about a 6 year old who was sick in bed for three days and finally feels better. Needless to say, we all (well, almost all of us) experienced cabin fever just a few hours into our Tropical Storm Lee lock down.

Fortunately, what I initially dreaded ended up being a lovely, restful three days. I think it was a break that we all needed and there were some fabulous moments over the course of those days - lots of time to snuggle on the couch watching movies, a few mid-day runs in the cool rain through neighborhoods that are not on my usual route, walks in the rain and splashing in the puddles with the kids, blowing off steam at ASH's new gym (and a run on the new indoor track - it is incredible!), and sleep...plenty of it. I guess it is all just to say that sometimes there truly is a silver lining...and I appreciated all of this one.

James, before going stir-crazy:

James and C, ready for the UGA game:

James, playing Plants v. Zomies on the Ipad:

A trip to Audubon Park to ride bikes this evening after the sun sort of came out:

Luz, after asking C to take her training wheels off and then changing her mind...potty training and two wheel riding in one weekend is a little too ambitious considering our collective lack of patience around here: