Sunday, September 30, 2012


I still have not figured out quite what, how, or why it happened the way it did, but last week was absolutely nuts.  We rolled into it off of an incredibly busy weekend and it took two solid days of rainy weather and flexible plans for me to finally catch my breath.  

I can spare you the minutia of what happened - suffice it to say, it was a combination of the usual - volleyball games, a late night or two at work for me, soccer practice, and more volleyball.  Oh, and in between all of that I turned 39, yes...yikes, I know.  I am glad it happened in the middle of an unusually chaotic time and almost came and went undetected.  Almost.

This week does not promise to be any calmer, more sports and work and then I am traveling to San Antonio for a leadership training course.  The good news is that I am staying an extra night and mom is joining me.  Although we have had mixed reviews about San Antonio, we are both curious and figured the work trip for me was a great excuse to check it out.  

Unlike last week, I am starting this week well-rested and relaxed.  Nana and Papa-T were in town over the weekend and we had a quiet couple of days visiting.  Papa-T went into handy-man, super Papa mode, as usual, and gave Luz's closet a much-needed renovation which triggered a marathon purging session of all of her clothes that lasted all day.  In between the relaxing and the renovation, Papa-T, Christian and I ran the Tipitina's Foundation 5k on Saturday evening. It was the first inaugural run and was not without a few glitches, but we had a great time, rain and all.  It was C's first road race and he almost beat me.  I guess it is time to start kicking it into gear...can't let that happen!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

MA Vacation - Finale

Before heading back to NOLA we spent some time in Boston visiting with one of my oldest and dearest friends, Saskia, and her husband, Ivan.  They met us for a quick guided tour of Boston's Public Library, easily the most amazing library I have every been in.  The building is grand and old and amazing and it is covered in beautiful art.  There are incredible John Singer Sargent murals on the top floor that are so detailed one could spend hours just looking at them and learning.  We were lucky to have a Saskia and Ivan there to provide us with the history and story behind the murals. 

After checking out the public library we stopped by the Copley Society Art Gallery to check out some of Saskia's work which was hanging as part of the exhibition.  The kids were totally fascinated seeing the work and the artist in the same place at the same time.  I know; I sometimes still get starstruck too!  

We enjoyed a delicious lunch at a place called the Salty Pig and then spent some time catching up at their beautiful condominium.  The kids enjoyed checking out Saskia's studio and all of the incredible works in progress.  It was a lovely but way too quick visit!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Soccer Season

Fall soccer started last weekend and I somehow roped Christian in to coaching Jamesy's sweet little team.  They needed coaches, James needs every possible opportunity to run around and burn off some of the extra energy and C was going to be have to be out there every Saturday morning coaching Lucy's team, so I figured it made sense.  What I didn't really think about (or remember) is that coaching 3 year olds is a HUGE challenge and is much more like goat-herding than it is like coaching.  Needless to say, by noon on Saturday Christian was ready for a loooong nap.  The kids, however, loved every minute of it and were great sports about being out at the rather hot soccer field for over three hours.

James' first game of the season went well.  There is no real scoring at that stage so I have no idea who won, but he enjoyed being out on the field and only pitched a fit when we pulled him off of the field to sub in another player.  What he is lacking in sportsmanship he makes up for in athletic ability, quite the contrast to Lucy who is the inimitable sportsman (or woman, I guess) and a lovely example of a team player - so so so much heart - I have enjoyed watching her grow in her ability and appreciation for team sports over the past few years.  

Sunday, September 16, 2012

MA Vacation - Part 6

On day six of our vacation we headed to Nantasket Beach to check out what was once (a few decades ago) a popular beach town filled with visitors 24/7 (incidentally, our lovely City Park carousel is also home to one of the 'grand' carousels and is equally as beautiful - it is also about 10 years older!).  Nantasket Beach is home to one of just a handful of these incredible, grand carousels remaining in the U.S.  It is colorful and old-timey and lovely.  It dates back to 1928 and was once the center piece of the beach side amusement park that closed a few decades ago.  It was such a lovely little town and yet it was empty, like a ghost town.  We rode the carousel a few times and the kiddos fell in love with their horses (the names were visible on the leather bridles) and then ate some ice cream while we looked at the beach (more sand, less rock, but not the kind of Gulf sand the kiddos are accustomed to seeing). 

On the way back to the house we checked out a local farmer's market.  We got some delicious raspberries and blueberries and checked out some of the other local produce.  There were tons of wonderful looking things but we knew we could not purchase much since it was our last full day in Humarock.  One of the coolest vendors was a pizza maker with a 7 mile carbon footprint.  The pizza looked and smelled delicious and the selling point was the incredible eco-friendly approach to the product.  I was impressed!

 Back at the house we visited with family, watched Ron (a longtime family friend and clown - yes, an actual clown) do a bunch of magic tricks for the kids.  We ended the night with s'mores overlooking the beach at Fourth Cliff.  It was the perfect end to a wonderful week of fun.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

More Growing Up

Luz is growing her hair out and doing a rather good job of keeping it brushed and shiny and (mostly) out of her face.  I did not want her to grow it out because it is much more high-maintenance than the bob.  But, I shouldn't complain, she washes it on her own at night and surpasses what I was able to do with my mop in third grade.  This is just one small thing she can do to show her independence and individuality and it makes me smile.   She loves old-timey hairdos and would give me all of the coins in her piggy bank if I could manage braids.  I am just fine on the American Girl Doll but when it comes to just-barely-shoulder-length hair there is no hope.  That is a job for Aunt Susan.  In the meantime, barrettes, headbands and the occasional miniature ponytail or bun will have to suffice.

Here she is on a recent Saturday morning after pulling it all together for this sweet look (how does she get the front to swoop so perfectly?):

Sunday, September 09, 2012

MA Vacation - Part 5

On day 5 we loaded up the SUVs and headed into Boston for a day of fun. The adventure started with a few hours of playing at Castle Island in South Boston where Nana and Papa apparently spent a large amount of their time in their youth.  Papa-T even worked at the restaurant on Castle Island while he was in high school and both he and Nana have fond memories of picnics with family and friends, swimming and relaxing on the beach, and later enjoying romantic sunsets while they "parked"... yep, it is true, Castle Island might actually be the place where Nana and Papa-T fell in love and I cannot imagine a better backdrop.

The kids loved the playground and rolling down the hills.  Unfortunately, we were, yet again, stymied by the unfavorable economy and did not get a chance to get inside of the fort.  We peeked inside and considered returning Thursday night at 7 p.m. for a sunset tour, but we could not make it work...maybe next time.

We tried to get a pic of the grandkids and grandparents but were missing Pete:

Poor guy did not feel like having his picture taken yet again:

Jamesy, playing on the K for kangaroo at the playground:

After an hour or two at Castle Island, we went to Little Italy to check out Paul Revere's house, the Old North Church and enjoy a delicious lunch at one of Nana's favorites, Lucia!

James and C outside of Paul Revere's house:

C and Nana at Lucia's:

Luz, so happy:

And from happiness to annoyance...probably because James is screaming for no reason whatsoever:

Much better, and everyone together:

Tired little legs find strong shoulders:

G E L A T O:

Papa-T found a friend:

We stopped at Mike's Pastries for gelato and tons of other delicious Italian treats and then to Faneuil Hall.  By the end of the afternoon Luz looked like a true Bostonian - Sox cap and Newbury comic in hand:

On the way back to Humarock we made a quick side-trip to show Luz and James the houses where Nana and Papa-T lived.  They got a kick out of seeing the old houses and imagining what life was like for them growing up.  Nana told Luz about how her best friend lived in the same house, just a a floor down, and Luz couldn't believe the awesomeness of having your best friend live that close:

Christian - outside of Nana's childhood home:

With the kids, outside of Papa-T's childhood home:

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

I Am Kitten, Hear Me Mew

I know, it has been a while, but so much has happened over the past week.  At this point, though, I just don't feel like sharing with you how pathetic it felt to discover that I am a total wimp and turn into a miserable human when I am deprived of electricity.  It pains me to be so incredibly high maintenance, but there is just no getting around it.  Suffice it to say, we are fine.  We had very little Hurricane Isaac damage around the house, office and kids schools.  More than anything it was just a very big inconvenience on so many levels (no electricity for  5 days, no cable/internet for a week, kiddos adjusting to the school routine all over again, etc), but in many ways it was also a blessing for me.  I had seven uninterrupted, (mostly) electronics-free days with the kids.  We read books, played games, imagined, swam, cleaned and enjoyed every minute of our quiet time together.  It was tough to go back to work and send them back to school on Tuesday morning.  I missed them all day long (much more so than usual).  

A few days before Hurricane Isaac made landfall, a tabby cat sort of adopted us.   We were never particularly hospitable.  Christian bought some food and put it out occasionally, but the cat never came inside, we never bothered to figure out if it was male or female, and we cautioned the kids about paying too much attention to it, fearing some sort of alley cat germs or that they might have their hearts stolen away.  I was a little sad when the storm came and thought briefly about letting him/her/it inside, but changed my mind because Christian is so incredibly allergic and I figured it was best to let the cat fend for itself (it had done a pretty good job so far).

Imagine my surprise when Daisy (yeah, we are now pretty sure it's a girl) resurfaced a few days after the storm.  Either she really is the resourceful kitty I pegged her for, or she actually has 9 lives.  At any rate, I think it is time to take her to the vet and get her checked out and fixed (although Luz is dying for her to have kittens so she can buy them each a ball of yarn to play with - just like in the storybooks).

These are from a few days before the storm - look how skeptical Christian is (incidentally, I think he loves her the most out of all of us now) as Luz makes her pitch for why we should keep Daisy:

Cats are tougher to photograph than toddlers, truly.