Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Missing Pop

He was the best.  He loved sports, a hard day's work, a good steak, a cold beer, hugs, books, oldies, celebrations, dogs, yard work, UVA, his family, and quiet nights in his den with some fiction, a good t.v. show and the buzz of his life all around him.

It sounds like a cliche.  It is a cliche, but I miss him every single day of my life and I cannot comprehend why it has to be that my kids' memories of their grandfather will be made mostly through stories and photographs and imagination.

Luz, Pop and Chlo-zee-bee (probably circa 2007), making a memory:

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Parenting Firsts

The last few weeks have presented a few parenting challenges.  It is all relative; I know that.  I have two healthy kids and try to be mindful of that blessing every morning when I wake up and then again every hour of every day.

But even in this place of bliss there are moments...I heard horror stories about potty training and then experienced them once or twice.  I remember frightening tales about the dangers of co-sleeping and recall a few nights falling asleep in the rocker, the baby barely hanging off of my lap.  I grew wide-eyed at tales of explosive diapers on airplanes and experienced it for myself when Luz and I took our first plane ride together right after Hurricane Katrina.

There were a few other things I heard about but, fortunately, never experienced...until I had two almost back to back (incidentally, it happened right after breaking a mirror - Luz's brand-new extra-special birthday present mirror).

The first happened on a drive home from Metairie last weekend.  James suddenly became feverish, uncomfortable, and incredible whiny...moments later he vomited all over himself, his car seat, and whatever else was within a few feet of his mouth.  Cleaning a convertible car seat with a five point harness is as nightmarish as I expected it to be after the descriptions I had heard.  In fact, it was so awful that we picked that day to fully convert James to a booster seat and trash the old convertible.  I suppose I am lucky that it took almost 7 years of parenting to experience that loveliness.

The second bit of awesomeness occurred on Friday night at the ballpark when we discovered that lice had somehow made its way into Luz's dugout.  Oh yeah.  LICE.  Luz was spared, so was Christian, James and I were not so lucky.  What followed was a miserable night of washing and drying and cleaning and freaking out...until...we made the decision to call the "nit picker".  Yes, there is such a thing.  There is this incredible lady who lives in New Orleans and moonlights as a nit picker.  Yes, there is a premium involved but have you seen my hair? Have you tried to keep a 3 year old still long enough to delouse him? It was worth every single penny we spent.  She is lovely and efficient and totally Mary Poppins and Winston Wolf all wrapped up into one.  So, if you find yourself similarly situated, don't hesitate to contact her at  You will not regret it.

After delousing until midnight, we were ready for 48 hours away from the house and headed to the country with mom-mom for some much needed r and r over the holiday weekend.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Goings On

The end of the school year always catches me off guard.  There are countless half-days and celebrations, parent involvement activities, fake birthdays, school birthdays, free dress days and countless other extravaganzas.  Those things, coupled with the start of the summer and the piecing together of camps and babysitters and trips here and there, is enough to make my head spin.  I am trying to stay organized but I am not sure I am doing a great job...but I have managed a few pictures so that I can remember it all in a few weeks when everything is distant blur.

Luz, representing her class in the annual May Crowning celebration...made me smile:


New Orleans Day at ASH:

7th Birthday Celebration #1 at Airline Skate with her classmates:

At the Spring Recital...introducing her song, Windsong:

With GG and James, celebrating:

At the Brownie "bridging" ceremony:

I think that about wraps things least for now!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Boy & Bike

About two months ago it clicked and James had the whole pedaling thing down.  Now he is unstoppable and can ride as much as a mile, smiling the entire time, ringing his bell and waiving to the people he passes on the street.  He also enjoys exploring the neighborhood and riding laps around the playground on the corner while Lu and I play 2 square, swing, or sit on the bench chatting.   It is a perfect way to spend the afternoon.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mama's Day

Have you seen the most recent cover of time magazine...

I woke up to this lovely Mother's Day tribute this morning and it warmed my heart.   With every fiber of my being all that I really care about anymore is being an awesome mother, whatever that means, and oftentimes I am pretty sure that I fail miserably - like the other day when Luz told me about a story she was writing about a young girl named Magnolia who had a birthday party but her mother could not make it because she was busy at work.  The troubling part was that she did not seem particularly upset about it, quite to the contrary, she was rather matter-of-fact.  Ugh.

It was a lovely mother's day, filled with all of the things that I care about most, time with family and friends, rest and relaxation, and lots and lots of hugs and kisses from the kiddos.  We were lucky enough to have Nana and Papa-T in town for the weekend and an idle Saturday resulted in a few long hours or productive yard work and an awesome new herb garden...what a wonderful mother's day my fingers are crossed in the hopes that I can keep this garden growing.

James and Nana, watching the gardeners:

The weekend ended with a beautiful sunset and an evening swim followed by a delicious dinner at Anne and Luis' house where we celebrated all of the moms and Christian (oh yeah, did I mention it is also his birthday?  the nerve).

Monday, May 07, 2012

It Happens All At Once

I am the mother of an almost 7 year-old.  I watch The Voice, but you knew that already.  Actually, I record it and then watch it.  I am listening to the pop music countdown on 97.1 on Sundays for the first time in decades.  The last specific memory I have of listening to the weekend top 40 (it happened often when we were little because my mom has always loved music of all kinds) was in the parking lot of an A&P grocery store at one point in time when the song, King of Pain by The Police, was #1 in the charts (if I was a little more energetic I would do some quick research and pinpoint the time to a particular year but I know you don't really care).

As if being an avid Top 40 listener was not enough, I also recently started reading this:

and LOVED it.  And I am now stuck on another popular trend:

But this does not really count, right?  What really scares me most is that I am sort of considering reading this book:

Someone stop me before I start wearing maxi dresses (I tried one; it looked terrible on me.  I am way too short).

Whoa, swallowed up in fabric, and that is Eva, one of the most gorgeous ever!

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

This and That

In the beautiful blur of springtime in NOLA all kinds of wonderful things have been happening - long walks, picnics, hours playing at the park, pony rides, school fairs, visits with friends, music (lots of it), dog adoptions (almost, not quite though), softball season, and many other things.  All of this is happening while work has been incredibly busy and the end of the school year is wrapping up and totally chaotic (yeah, I am not sure how that happened so fast).  The summer is already mapped out and we are looking forward to a few trips and plenty of time for r and r BUT what I really would like is one of those Sundays I experienced as a kid, the kind that seem to drag on for hours and hours filled with sunlight...every now and then I have a glimpse but then I look at the clock and it says 10 p.m.

Luz, first catch, City Park NOLA:

James, pony ride:

Luz, riding an inflatable mechanical bull, I know, I had no idea it was a thing: