Friday, August 27, 2010

Katrina 5+

Five years ago today I was four days out of the hospital with a c-section and the Little Buddy was 9 days old. We were sitting on the couch watching the weather. I started to freak out and called my dad to tell him that the hurricane was coming and we needed to "get out". We needed to evacuate to North Carolina. He was on the golf course at the time. He hadn't seen an update since the day before and he said that it wasn't a big deal. Then he told us to check into a hotel. I flipped. I think that was the first and only time that I didn't fully accept my dad's advice as law. An hour later he called us back and told us to come on. By the time we got there it was the middle of the night and I gave W formula so I could drink wine. I was exhausted and still recovering from surgery. On Monday after the storm when we realized that we wouldn't be going home we decided to christen W in the Mountain Chapel. Grown men and women were crying for this baby. (and I am crying now). We still see people when we visit to this day who remember W as the Katrina baby.

W wouldn't sleep in his crib for 2 1/2 months. I will never forget the first time he and I came back to our house. He took a nap in his crib and slept like he had never slept before and that was when I knew I was ready to come home.

Hurricane Katrina seems so surreal. It seems like it was 20 years ago that I was living in Baton Rouge, post par tum depressed, with another couple who would turn out to be some of our best friends.

W will never grasp the full extent of what happened to him his first two months of his life. Fortunately he won't remember the mom that I was-crying all of the time but all the while loving him so fiercely.

I was and am lucky to have J as my husband. Patient and thoughtful of not only me and W but of what he needed to do to take care of our family.

We were lucky to have my parents put us up for 4 weeks while J and the firm got settled in BR. I realized this past weekend at the company's anniversary party just how special the firm is. I knew we were lucky to be a part of it but they really have some amazing people who responded in a way that many other companies never did, quickly, efficiently and always thinking of their employees and the future of the company.

Everyone has their story. and so I know that ours could have been much worse but the descriptions of our looted home still play in my mind. I can never remember if I really saw these things or if it's just what J described to me in detail. His whole closet scattered all over our bedroom. Our bed totally torn apart. A cocktail glass on the hallway floor with a bottle of vodka that the looters had left behind. My jewelry box left out open and empty of my grandmother's jewelry. More sentimental than valuable. The busted up back door swinging wildly open.

I remember the first time J brought W and I back to NOLA to visit. It was an inexplicably beautiful fall day. It was cool and sunny. I remember the way the sun shone through the trees.
I do. I remember driving down Magazine Street and eating on paper plates at Theo's pizza. It was the most delicious and happy meal that I had eaten in a long time.

Sighhhhhh! Fiver years later we are looking back and thanking God for bringing us home. Like I said, everyone has their story and I don't think any of us will ever tire of telling our own because it was like the strangest dream you have ever had.

Today W is five years old, starting Pre-K and loving every minute of it. Five years ago I never had time to imagine what this day would be like for him. For a few months we lost our dreams for our children. But now we can start dreaming again.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Dirty Sponges

I have a thing about sponges. Used dry sponges gross me out. I can't take the smell. Then when you wet them they smell worse. AND the stank clings to your hands if you touch the sponge. It's a distinct smell. Do you know it? For so long I thought it was our New Orleans water that gave them this stench. but when I went to visit my parents their sponge smelled the same way. No one else seems to smell this smell except for me. Anyway, I went to Luke last night with Uncle RaRa and Aunt JoJo. The restaurant smelled like those stenchy sponges. and on our way to the back where we were to be seated, the smell just got worse like they were wiping down the place with my old sponges. Yuck. But that was the only thing that bugged me about Luke. It hasn't always been my first choice of restaurants. I have always sat in the front room and it makes me feel like I am in a cheap hotel lobby. But last night we ate in the back, near the kitchen. I loved it! The food as always was delicious and the service if anything was rushed but still good. OMG. I cannot wait to go back and eat one of their onion tartes all by myself. The waiter explained the cooking process to us. They take puffed pastry, bake it lightly then pan saute it, put the brie de meaux (I think it was that) and carmelized onions on top and melt it down. To die for. My mouth is watering as I type.

When we decided to go to Luke I was kind of bummed. I am trying to eat healthy and light but I knew that I would have to have the Croque Madame if I went there. I actually was encouraged to get the chicken over the CM by the waiter. I wasn't disappointed. MMMMMM-MMMMM. We arrived around 6:20 and were home by 8:00. So it was quick and easy and delicious. They just need to bleach their sponges.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I know this is a late post but
Happy Birthday Baby LB!!!! I was so happy to meet you. You are beautiful.

My fans are missing out on this absolutely adorable new baby girl. I can't post a photo because she is not technically mine but oh my, you would just want to eat her up.

Uncle RaRa and Aunt JoJo should have their sweet baby soon and then I will have two new baby girls in my life. and boy will Auntie Ann spoil them rotten.

You are not alone!

W is a nonstop chatterer. This from a child who didn't speak until well past 2. I mean, he goes on and on and on and on and on and on and on and get my drift. He is a crazy talker. He asks a ton of questions, especially in the car. He is fascinated with the break, ignition, gas pedal, how fast we are going, the green lights, stopping at red lights. But he also just talks. It's almost like he just talking to hear himself talk. I do that every now and then so I am not judging. I mentioned this new phase to J and he said, "I know. I love it!" What a great dad. I do too but sometimes....well, I won't say it.

So this morning I was going through my emails, the ones that I skip over but have to get to at some point. The one from Baby Center said this:

"Ages 4 and 5 are sometimes called the chatterbox years. Talking is how your child gets a handle on the intricacies of the language and also learns, expresses new ideas, and forms social relationships. So be patient if your 5-year-old doesn't ever seem to pause. This is an important and necessary developmental stage-not to mention a fun one. Hearing her every thought expressed is like having a window into her brain!"

I like when I read stuff like this because I know I am not alone.

A Little Bit of a Break

Big sigh of relief! They are both at school and I am feeling good. Pman had his first day on Monday. Can't show you a photo because they broke my camera cord but he sure looked cute. What to do with myself.......Hmmmmm. A good friend said she was feeling empty having both kids in school. Me, not so much. I love them with all of my heart but I am ready for a little bit of a break. And believe you me, it really is a "little bit of a break" because before you know it they are out for conferences, and fall holiday and teacher development day. The list goes on.

But anyone who questions my loyalty as a mom should think twice. This time inspires me to not only be a better person, more fit, more patient and to pursue interests that I haven't had time for in the past 5 years but also and more importantly to be a better mom. After our morning away yesterday I sat on the floor and did a gargantuan puzzle with W. That took us forever but we had fun. Then we sat in the sun porch and read his new library books. It's been awhile since we spent quality time like that. We all played basketball with big tupper ware containers in the hallway. I admit, it started to go down hill about the time we went outside to blow bubbles. But up until then we were all happier and having more fun than we have had in a long time.

So welcome back all you moms who needed just a little bit of a break.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

W starts Pre-K

Can you believe it? That five years ago W was born and about to be torn out of his home to live in evacuation mode? and now he is starting Pre-K. My baby.

He had a great day. It could have a lot to do with the fact that Thursdays are always donut day but I think that he just had an all around fun time. I also think that he was as ready to go back to school as I was to have him go back to school. It was a little bittersweet but, golly I was ready. We were all bored and hot sitting around this city with nothing to do. Our pool is now closed during the week. My kids are not huge fans of the monkey room and I am too lazy to take them each and every day somwhere to keep them entertained. Nothing wrong with a little creative boredom, is there? Wrong. It was driving us all crazy.

So off we went for his first day of big boy school, with his big boy backpack, ready for whatever came him way. Here he is. I think I overdid it on the backpack but I didn't want to get the small one and then have him look like a baby to all the other kids. Little did I know that it would be bigger than him.

and good news for all of us. Once school really gets rolling I will have the much desired time that I need to keep up with my fans! Happy schooling everyone.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Pman still takes a pacifier. I go through stages of being aggravated with it and not but more so when he's throwing a tantrum over not having one because he has thrown it somewhere random. Anyway, it happened this afternoon after bath time and it was totally annoying to me at the time. I told him that it didn't matter that he couldn't find it because in a few weeks he was going to have to give his pop pops to Baby J, Uncle RaRa and Aunt JoJo's new baby. He screamed back in aggravation. Then I was getting him dressed and putting on his diaper which made me a bit more aggravated just because I was already annoyed so I added, "and you are going to have to give Baby J your diapers too because she's a baby and you can start pee peeing in the potty."

His response, " I don't like Baby J!"

So there.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

I had just gotten out of the shower, was drying off and about to put on my bathing suit for our morning at the pool. W and Pman walked in on cue (it's like a whistle sounds the minute I take off clothes, sit on the toilet or get out of the shower). and W says, "Hey, I like your things that make milk for cows."

I think it's time I stop dressing in front of them. What do you think?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Poopying (v.)

Poopying-I can't find a definition for it but it is certainly an often used word in our house. It's a verb of course and W does a lot of it. But since Pman has approached the two and a half mark, W seems to be doing a lot more "poopying'. Or so we thought. It kind of got out of control. I mean, he was poopying for hours upon hours and then one day I intruded on his privacy. That's a big thing around here. "I need privacy" is a sacred phrase. If you say it, it's taken seriously by anyone and anybody. It's the only thing I can say to get alone time in the shower or the potty. But one day I disregarded his statement. Please forgive me oh, poopy god of privacy, and I walked in only to find W on the closed toilet reading a book. His response was that he needed to get away from "all of Pman's crying."

Amen brother. That one statement completely describes our lives right now. God love him, that Pman, but anything to find a few minutes of peace from him. Even if it's sitting in the lou for half an hour.

On another note...W went to the potty this morning after listening to Pman whine and cry over anything and everything. I think he went in for solace and ended up deciding he had to go. So he was in there for at least 30 minutes. When finally he asked for help, the toilet bowl was full, as usual. Really full. I know, too much information, but he got up and I told him I would flush it and he said, "the flusher is broken". I sighed and thought to myself, you knew the toilet was broken but you just filled her up anyway? and yep, shurnuf, she wouldn't flush. What a great beginning to the day.

Monday, May 17, 2010

I have forgotten

I have to admit I had forgotten about you, blog. Not that I don't love you but my life has become so hectic that I don't have much down time to remember what you gave me when I was a lonely new mom looking for an outlet. and then someone asked where I was and I remembered the good times. So I'm back.

The boys are crazy big and I feel so guilty that most of Pman's life hasn't been documented. Neither on here or in a journal. He will have huge gaps and for that I am sorry. because he is quite the character, still Master P in every since of the word. Kind of crazy, kind of a terror but oh so loveable and cute. I told J last night after he had his way with me by cutting his eyes around at me that he was going to skate through life thinking he is cute and using those cutting eyes and dimples on everyone and everything who gets in his way. J's response was horrifying!!!!!

"Nothing that Marine Officer Boot Camp Training won't cure him of"

I know he says things like that to get a rise out of me. It ain't happenin'.

We've been to the beach since we've last talked. It was a happy trip. Just look how my boys have grown!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Aaaah! Finally I have a few hours to myself and what am I doing? sitting at a coffee shop, blogging, reading magazines and researching camps for my kids. I know most of you have been wondering if I fell off the face of the earth. But I didn't. The kids were out of school for what seemed like forever and I am now on a mission to get all schools to go back the Thursday after Mardi Gras. Do they really need another whole week of vacation? I mean, we have Thanksgiving and we have Christmas and now we have almost a day off for Super Bowl and then the Victory parade and then Mardi Gras and THEN, yes, it's still going, we have conference day and a few weeks later Spring Break!!!!!!!!!!!!! Enough!

Oh. I also have to apologize for promoting Real World New Orleans. I am obsessed but I don't know what it's like to live next to them so if it's you I am truly sorry. I would be the neighbor ranting and raving at all hours for them to shutup. Yes, I would be "the crazy lady next door". But as I understand it there is "a crazy man next door". I feel for ya, man.

The boys are such big boys now. I don't even know where to begin. They are really so funny and I need to learn to enjoy them every second of the day because this time is fleeting. P is Mister Funny Pman now. He will be the class clown I am afraid and W, well he really does learn something new everyday and I am so proud of him. He is going to "rule the pool" this summer if he keeps up this pace at swimming lessons.

When I get home and don't have some wierdo sitting next to me I will post some photos.

Until then...

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Lights are on and the cameras are rollin'

Tonight after Superior Grill I made J drive past the Real World House. I have secretly been watching its progress and it is looking pretty darn good. But tonight! Tonight!!!! The lights are on. Like Christmas!!! and the cameras have got to be rollin'! I mean I knew they had to get the kids in before Mardi Gras. It's only common sense, that they get them settled in the city before the mayhem of Mardi Gras is thrown at them.Which is the reason why I have been casing the joint.

But tonight, every possible light in the house is on. and I wish I were in the Real World number. It's killing me. I missed my time. I have been watching since the very first Real World. So what's it like now, Real World #22? I don't know but this is as close as I am going to come to it and I am so excited. I think an afternoon stroll past the house will become a habit, after nap time. Maybe, just maybe they will invite us in for a drink and a cookie for the kids.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Slow cooker Pulled beef tacos

After another week of viruses swirling around the house I was finally able to cook dinner, other than eggs, last night. I came across a really simple recipe while reading the Living section of the paper. It's so simple I am not even providing you a link to the recipe. But first let me say,
"OMG! Why hasn't anyone told me the joys of cooking with a slow cooker?!?" My crockpot is my hero and will be your hero too if you a. are a stay at home mom sinker deeper and deeper into the depths of the witching hour as you try to placate your cranky and hungry kids and cook supper at the same time or b. if you are a working mom who is just too tired to cook dinner at the end of a long day. Never fear, Nola Mom is here to tell you, if you don't have a crockpot go out right now and buy one.

Okay-the recipe.
Rump Roast Soft Tacos

1 rump roast
1 15 oz. jar of salsa
2 onions, sliced
1/2 of a beer
5 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon oil
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon cumin

Taco toppings (can be prepared ahead)
Guacamole-store bought or fresh
diced tomatoes
diced red onion
shredded cheese
chopped cilantro

Put the oil at the bottom of your crockpot to prevent sticking.
Shove all of the ingredients into the crockpot.
Turn it on high for about 6 hours and then turn down to low until you are ready to eat.
At that point, quickly shred the rump roast in the pot with a fork.

Put meat and onions on a warm tortilla. Then top with preferred taco toppings. Delicious!

I changed a few things in the ingredient list. I wanted to add garlic but forgot and I only used 1 onion and it was still awesome but I think it will be better with the added extras.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Latex paint out of carpet

My mom thinks I am lazy. She thinks my laziness is why my house looks now the same way it did when we moved in 2 plus years ago. It's not laziness it is incompetency. No kidding. Often I will get inspired and try to do something but never fails, it always ends in disaster. Let me give you a recent example. As recent as today.

My inspiration came from my friend S. She was painting her child's room and I thought, you know, W needs a boy room. Something that looks pulled together. I should have stopped right there. Atleast I reduced the size of my dream. Originally I was going to paint his whole room and then I decided to just paint the inside of his bookshelves and start small. Baby steps, you know.

S gave me advice about where to go and how to paint, about the blue tape yada yada. The sheer amount of colors was overwhelming me. I picked one and it was heinous. Color is hard, especially blue. I was discouraged. Aunt Liz and Uncle Bob to the rescue. They helped me pick a color and I was back on track. Then the sweetest old man at the paint store, a customer, offered to help me. He pulled everything I needed for me and told me just what to do. I got home and realized after painting a section that the primer stunk and it was 5:30 in the afternoon and that there was no way W could sleep in there.

Incompetence. Should have done it in the morning. Ugh!

I couldn't clean the brush or the roller because it was oil based.

More incompetence.

I went back to the store today and got mineral spirits to clean the brush. Feeling better and ready to roll. I got upstairs. Shook up my paint, opened it....Ooooh! I need a wet rag for wiping up small mistakes (this tip I got from the sweet old man who told me I didn't need blue tape) so I ran to the bathroom to fetch my rag. I am feeling like a real painter at this point. I got back to

W's room and shook THE PAINT ALL OVER ME AND W'S NICE WALL-TO-WALL RUG! (forgot it was already open) I am screaming and Pman is just watching and Jessie, thank goodness she was here,came running up. There is blue EVERYWHERE!!!! I called S screaming! and we could have been a commercial for GOOGLE. Because she says, "Oh no! Google it!!!"

So I did and low and behold it worked. It took about an hour but you can barely tell what went down.

The total incompetence of it all just kills me. We're not a handy folk, my side of the family, but then again neither is J's. Anyway, this is how we cleaned up the mess.

(Actually, that wet washrag that the sweet old man told me to have handy, DID come in handy.)

1. blot, blot, blot with a ton of water. Blot from the outside in. DO NOT WIPE. Only blot. and get the carpet really wet.
2. Put dishwashing detergent in water and blot until you can't blot anymore. It can be sudsy. Don't worry.
3. Blot with a dry towel in between the blotting. It will pull up all of the moisture and the latex paint up with it. Be patient. It takes awhile.
4. Once it looks like you have gotten all of the paint up, vacuum. and continue blotting with a towel. It helps to blot with your feet..with shoes on.

So we are back on track. I have painted the first section of wall. and I still have 3 more to go. My only fear is that the whole cycle will begin again. Nothing is easy, for me anyway.

P.s. Don't tell J. There is no reason that he has to know.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Snoopy and Monkey

When I was 3 my great aunt Evelyn, gave me Snoopy. He was the love of my life. He was white and soft and a bean bag to boot. I still have Snoopy. He's been with me through thick and thin. My other friends used to hang him from my ceiling fan when I wasn't looking. They tortured him. Torturing Snoopy tortured me. But we made it through and we are the stronger for it.

Papa gave W Monkey when he was just a baby. I can only wish that W and Monkey have the same relationship that me and Snoopy have. Like Snoopy, Monkey rarely leaves the house. He's a house monkey if you will but he is someone for W to talk to and play with, sleep with and someone that W can just sit with. I noticed that Monkey and W have become a lot closer. W talks to him, a lot. Just the other day I saw him whispering in his ear. W saw that I saw and seemed a bit sheepish about the whole thing. I just smiled and I certainly didn't make him feel like it was wierd. because it's not. I know what it is like to have a friend in a stuffed animal. Like the Velveteen Rabbit-they are "real". Call me a nerd, call me silly, call me plain crazy but Snoopy will always have a special place in my heart.

I recently took Snoopy down from his high shelf to introduce him to W. I thought it was time. Horrors in the Deep! It looked like he had bugs burrowed down into him. I almost cried. I still can't figure if it's just dirt or what but I can't let him go. He has no ear, or eyes and a lot of beans coming out of him but to just throw him out......makes me sick to think about it. If he can just hold on a few more years, I know that he and Monkey will have a lot to talk about.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

OPERATION 2010-still going strong

The first night of OPERATION 2010 went relatively well. I served up the boys' plates, put them on the table and called them for supper. W hopped right into his chair and began eating his french fries. He didn't whine. He didn't cry or complain. He didn't eat anything but the french fries, either, but the lack of negative attitude was a HUGE step.

Pman on the other hand was in a mood. He ended up falling off of his booster seat, busting his chin and lip and never attempting to eat. I didn't force the issue.

Day 2 of OPERATION 2010.
I almost gave in to pizza. It's J's birthday. Happy Birthday, sweet husband!
and he wanted tacos. Gotta love that. Easy and delicious but I wasn't sure the kids could wait for him to come home. But I broke up their taco shells, put some taco meat mixed with shredded cheese, guacamole and salsa on their plate along with a half of a banana and a half of a cheese stick. I didn't hear any complaining from either one. and W even ate more than Pman did although Master P at least tried the ground meat. My only fear is that they will waste away to nothing. They had a great snack of hummus and pita chips (they are so hard to figure out, I would have taken seasoned ground meat and cheese over hummus any day at their age) so at least tonight they had something substantial. and they topped it off with Red Velvet Cake I made for J's birthday.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Mom's New Year's Resolutions

It's a new year and with that comes resolutions. But this year my resolutions aren't about dieting or drinking less or working out more. (although all of those things will certainly be in the back of my mind). This year I have two resolutions.

1. To get my new blog website up and running while posting consistently with more focus.

and the most important resolution is #2.


What is OPERATION 2010, you ask? Well, as a mom, I feel there are many times that you have to break your child of bad habits. Like pooping in their pants but we finally have that down. The bad habit on which I will focus is the bad habit of my children only eating crap. Yes, that's right. I will stand for it no more.

If you are a fan you know what my children eat. Any type of cracker (goldfish, chip etc.). French fries, pizza, chicken nuggets, veggie nuggets or grilled cheese. They do eat a smattering of healthy items like most fruits, yogurt and cheese but for the most part on any given day they eat crap. Not only crap but frozen crap. Which is a huge pain in the arse when you are trying to cook supper. It's my fault. I admit it. But I resolve to change today. I resolve to no longer be a short order cook. I resolve to cook one meal for everyone. I resolve to never ever ever give in to whining and tantrums over food.

If you too are a short order cook and think you may be able to make this resolution work for you. Join me, my friend. I would love the company. Strength in numbers, you know.

I have received some advice from my pediatrician. He tells me to cook dinner and in addition to what I have cooked to include something they like. For example a piece of cheese. Then if they want something supplemental after supper is over it is okay to give it to them. It's not okay to cook anything else but you may give then a pb&J, an apple, a banana, something that is healthy and easy.

So here we go team. tonight we are having turkey burgers (just patties), rice pilaf, green beans sauteed in garlic and olive oil and french fries. I thought I would be gentle the first night and make french fries which is the food they like. I'll fill you in on my results tomorrow.