Thursday, March 27, 2008

The fellowship of the ring

On Tuesday night we saw the happy couple in person. What can I say? They are happy. We all dined at home with Little Mama, Big Daddy, Gustavo and Werner. Food fun fellowship and the ring. That morning we visited the High to see the O'Keefe exhibit. I enjoyed the art of the other women in the Stieglitz circle more than O'Keefe's, especially the photography. The companion exhibit, Transaction, is well worth seeing- Contemporary Latin American art. Following our jaunt through the High, we luncheoned at Table 1280. We last ate there when I was still pregnant. I enjoyed it even more this time :) The potato soup was prepared with broth and truffle oil- warming and light at the same time. Speaking of light, the space is drenched in it. Therefore, the restaurant has a very positive vibe. I could have sat there all day.
Rob got our van back yesterday. (Please Laurie, please tell us why you had the rental van. We have all been losing sleep over that mystery. ) Well, dear readers, I hold you in suspense no longer. One of the seatbelts in our Sienna became hopelessly jammed the weekend of the tornadoes. It had to be completely replaced. Said seatbelt replacement mechanism took 3 weeks to arrive at the dealership. That, is yet another mystery.
We fly to Boston this morning - all 5 of us! We will then drive to Maine to attend the funeral of dear Pop Fiske. I will reflect on our trip when we return. I hope we don't leave a child behind anywhere.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Lord is risen indeed, Hallelujah!

The weekend started with fatigue. In fact, by Friday morning as I was getting ready to teach, CC threw up on me, causing me to change my pants. I then went to pump before I left and felt something wet in my lap. I had forgotten to attach the bottles and was pumping directly into my lap. Got sleep? Upon returning home we found two huge holes in the yard. Atlanta Gas Light surveyed the area on Friday morning and found a leak in our outside gas line. They dug up the yard to repair it. To their credit, everything was back in its place by 5pm and you can't see that they were here.

Friday evening brought a wonderful turn of events. Gloria and Scott were in Savannah for the weekend and got engaged! Hallelujah. I am thrilled for them both and for our family to gain this handsome, kind and intelligent man. Welcome to the family Scott! See photo of happy couple:

Saturday morning brought the Jefferson Avenue Baptist Church egg hunt. We have taken the kids to this hunt for about 4 years. There were very few kids there this year so Robert got 66 eggs and Esther, 51. Yellow and Purple puffy bunnies in photo with Robert are their prizes for gathering so many. :)

Saturday afternoon after a MUCH NEEDED nap, Gustavo and Werner came to visit and meet Cecilia. It refreshed my spirits to be in their company, catch up, and hear their tales of the tornado that swept downtown, just outside the window at their downtown loft.

And now for Sunday, drumroll please. After Rob left the house at 5am, I pulled the kids together, put them in Easter finery (provided by the grandparents), brushed teeth and took them to church. For Cecilia, it was an All Saints' debut. This proud mama paraded her around in her Easter dress that matched Esther's. Girly girly. See pictures. Following a gorgeous service, we headed to our friends, Michelle and Nicole's house for Easter brunch and ANOTHER EASTER EGG HUNT.

Upon returning home, we noticed all the family cars outside our next door neighbor, Wilma's, house. Esther and Robert ran over to visit. Guess what their family was about to do. Have an Easter egg hunt. Robert and Esther searched for eggs and played outside with Wilma's 7 grandkids (ages 9-16) for the next 2-3 hours. When all of the kids came to our backyard to play on the jungle gym and play football, baseball etc. I was in good neighbor heaven. See photo.

As I retired upstairs with CC I reflected on the beauty and renewal of the day. The Lord is risen indeed, Hallelujah! Thanks be to God.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

all around Atlanta

Despite being up from 3-4am with a snorting gurgling baby, I awoke feeling decent today. My body and mind were well aware of a 10am appointment for a massage. I drove the kids to school and then took off for midtown. Sidenote: my normal route was completely blocked due to tornado damage. I drove by Oakland Cemetery and wondered when we might be able to return- this historic site is closed due to millions of dollars worth of tornado damage. So much for resting in peace. :)
Once in midtown I walked 3 blocks from the church to the spa. I felt like a genuine city-dweller getting blown around by the chilly morning air. The spa was warm and welcoming. I didn't want to leave. I want to go back right now! Gloria, my massage therapist, normally works at the Omni Hotel but is working in midtown due to repairs at the hotel- major tornado damage.
Not quite ready to go home I made a lunch pitstop at Java-ology on Edgewood Ave. I really like this local coffee shop- they make the best Chai Tea Latte in town and I have tasted them all. Today I sampled the sandwich menu. It took a long time to get my food so I stepped up to the counter to inquire. The owner assured me "the cheese is just melting m'am." Then he brought my Veni Vidi Veggie sandwich. Oh mama. Served warm on focaccia, the grilled vegetables, pesto and goat cheese brought a huge smile to my face. As I left, i made sure to thank him for the best sandwich I have had in 2008. Hands-down. Maybe I will go back and get another one for dinner. Just after a trip to Natural Body for the second massage of the day. . . but I digress.
Once home, I got a message (not a massage, bummer) from Rob. He was stuck at the Publix on Ponce with CC because he lost the key to our rental van he was driving. I drove back to town to get him, we picked up the kids from school, drove to Buckhead to get a spare key, drove back to Publix, Atlanta traffic, traffic, lots of lights etc. etc. On the drive home Rob found the original key in the rental van. Ain't life crazy? Why do we have a rental van? That story is for another day.
Back to the massage- thanks to Karla Kosar for the gift certificate that got me in the door. Girl, I felt sooo spoiled. Back to the sandwich, did I mention the goat cheese, the perfect temperature, the mushrooms? Back to reality. . .

"When I found the key in the van, I screamed. I actually screamed, didn't I Robert?"- Rob
Upon hearing that today was the first day of spring, "Goodbye stinky old winter!"- Robert

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Life keeps going

After a day of being emotionally and physically exhausted (yesterday) our friends, the Kosars, came over. Being house vain, I was worried about the dust while having company. I let it go. The kids had a great time together, the Kosars new dog, Joshua-Chipper Jones, pooped on the deck, and we got to reconnect with Karla over an Irish -inspired meal a la Rob. That was enough to lift my spirits and energize us. Happy St. Patrick's Day.

Earlier in the day, Virginia Shenck visited us to see the baby and discuss the upcoming pilgrimmage. We sat ouside in the sun. Although I had to dismiss myself due to pure exhaustion, her company was lovely- ready to listen, talk and take in the presence of a new baby. Thanks Virginia!

The kids slept late today (that never happens!!) - til 8:15!!!!! So, we ran late getting to school but I let that go too. Some quotes:

"I could just eat her (Cecilia) with a biscuit!"- Karla Kosar
"Sing really loud Mommy so that God can hear us!"- Esther, on a walk with me outside singing nonstop

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Thunder tornadoes and hail, oh my!

Yesterday started pretty normally, I began teaching again and jumped in with 3 classes. Elephant collection. Then we attended a fun play presented by Robert's class based on the Eric Carle book, Brown Bear Brown Bear. Every child had made a paper mache mask of the animal that they represented. Robert was a navy boar. He led the class in, making sure to stop at the second pole to get everyone in position. :)

Then we drove, sans Rob, to mom and dad's for the night. Just before bedding down for the night, the storms hit Atlanta. I couldn't peel my eyes from the coverage on TV. I am still a kid from Nebraska, terrified of the eerie green color that proceeds tornadoes and the late night trips to the basement. Once I did fall asleep, it wasn't for long. Let's just say that some of the worst thunder last night was inside Cecilia's diaper. Then when I heard thunder of the outdoor sort I switched on the TV to track the storm. The kids slept fine. I might have gotten 5 hours.

Today's big plans got laid in place last night. I secured tickets for Horton Hears A Who online. While having our pre-cinema lunch, the sky turned to a sickening green. We moved to the bar to be away from the windows. During a spell of lighter rain we waded to the van (4 inches of water in parking lot) and drove 2 minutes to the theater. Then it started to hail. Being the seasoned storm paranoic, I know that hail directly proceeds the big T. I pannicked and basically threw Esther out of the car with Granny.

Dr. Seuss managed to calm my nerves. Good movie. Take the whole family and see it. If you go, take me too- I had to leave twice with Esther for potty breaks so I missed some. When we got home we checked the weather on TV. Major storms passing through downtown ATL. The tornado that they showed from a camera at the airport was HUGE. Rob started to drive home from Charlotte at that point and turned back after 10 miles of traffic and bad weather.

Tonight we seem to be in the clear. Glo and Scott came for a yummy dinner. The kids are asleep. That means I should be too. Here's to tomorrow: after all, "tomorrow is another day."

"Mommy, you're supposed to have two hands on the wheel to drive. . .you have one hand on the wheel and one hand on your lipgloss. . it's important. . .to stay safe use two hands . . . that's the rule."- Esther
"I think the birds (tree frogs, actually) and the geese are having a sing-along outside."-Robert
"I just yawned Mommy, cuz I just talked so much."-Esther
"I am scared that the tornado will pick me up and take me away from my family."-Robert
"Do you want me to hold Cecilia?"-Granny, Papaw, Granny, Papaw etc.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Heavenly breezes

Ahh. Today's weather is a great reason to live in Atlanta. It reached 67'! Rob and Robert headed to the dentist this morning, half asleep, for an 8am appt. As a concession, Robert got to stay in his PJs. sounds like fun. Then they hit Thumbs Up Diner for a pancake breakfast, Robert still in PJs.

We girls stayed home and got dressed. Around noon we helped Wilma (our next door neighbor and friend) clean up the pine cones in her yard. The kids got a treat in return. :) We played play-doh (outside), filled the birdfeeder, laid down on the grass to watch hawks- you get the picture. Today it was lovely to be alive and outside!

On a different note, I want to express gratitude today. Gratitude for my WASHER. That's right. I use it every single day to wash away the poop, milk, poop, spit up, blood, mud, food, pee etc. of the day. I don't have to grind my fingers to a pulp getting it all clean. A machine does it. For that, I am grateful.

"It seems to me that Esther has gotten out of time-out."- Robert
Upon hearing the funny newborn snorts that CC makes, "She is talking with her nose, mom!"- Esther
"This pasta with the green stuff on it tastes okay. I guess I am getting used to it."-Robert
"Thank you God for my washing machine."- me

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Snow in March

Today is Saturday so Rob and I tried to doze a little this morning while Robert and Esther played and watched TV. This is one of parents' dreams come true- children independent enough to entertain themselves while you continue to sleep. When the kids saw snow blowing around in the wind this morning, they had to include us. "Mom- look outside! IT'S SNOWING!!" So it was. The blustery snow continued til noon. In March$%^&%%^^*()#!

We had a lovely dinner last night provided by and with Victoria, our trainer and friend. It was great to have some company around. Pat Kiley and Marie-Louise Muhumuza visited us in the morning. I have started to realize that company/quality social time is very stimulating. It helps my energy level at this point. Thank you everyone who has checked in on us!

Speaking of visits, Mike, Leslie and Katherine Aiken brought dinner tonight and dined with us. What a blast! Katherine was VERY interested in the baby and even held her like a big kid. :) Good times.

Quotes not to forget:

after dinner, "Mom, I'm gonna go." (where are you going?) "I'm gonna ROCK ON!"- Esther
"How many poops did CC have during the night Mom?" -Robert
"What's the magic word mom? Toot-er-ama!"- Esther, at 2:30am

Our thoughts are with Little Mama tonight- recovering from shoulder surgery. Rest well, we love you. Here is a little photo to boost your spirits:

LM and Esther in 2005

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

a few days with Cecilia

CC is in good company with Curious George Cecilia, lounging

Robert and Esther are ready to go!
On Sunday Robert and Esther left for a Disney cruise with mom and dad. Excitement filled the air the minute they awoke knowing that this was the day (finally) when they got to go. Can you see the glow of anticipation in the photos?
Rob left soon after the kids for Florida to see Grandma Tina. Santina, sun, golf, baseball, and Grandma Tina's FOOD. Not a bad deal.
Cecilia and I camped out in newborn baby bliss. By Monday morning the house felt lonely and quiet. Not that Cecilia isn't good company. Thankfully, we got out of the house for a movie yesterday. Glo and I saw The Other Boleyn Girl. Following the movie, we late-lunched at Metrofresh. The salads were good but let's talk about the white chocolate macademia nut cookie that followed. Gloria proclaimed, "This might be one of the best cookies of my life!" Really, I mean, hello, it made the blog! Rob returns this afternoon- yeah! As for CC and me, we might head out for a walk. She is a little heavenly creature. So sweet and soft and cuddly and new and gooey. Ahhhh. I won't forget our time CC, just the two of us. I think she posed for the pictures. 3 weeks old and already posturing for photos!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

A girly whirly pink birthday party

When I awoke on Saturday morning I felt dismal. I had been up with CC from 2-4am plus other feeding times during the night and Esther's party was planned for the afternoon. How could I possibly pull off a beautiful day for my little girl/big girl, now 3 years old?

Rob pulled the house together while Esther and I headed out for party supplies. At the dollar store we found the perfect party hats- pink Easter bonnets. see photos! As we wandered around, I let Esther pick out a present for her sister (snack cups that look like pig faces) and party favors (comb, brush and mirror set in handsome carrying case). I loved spending the morning with her- we shopped, chatted and laughed. At Old Navy we picked out a great swimsuit for the cruise ship- white with pink giraffe print. Look out Nonnie. Turns out, spending the a.m. with Esther calmed me and made me feel like I had chosen to spend my time wisely- with my daughter on her birthday. As it should be.

Back on the homefront the family troops (Glo, Scott, mom and dad) showed up with party fun galore. Mom crafted a beautiful pink cake (thanks Martha!) and Glo and Scott could hardly fit into their car with all the pink balloons they transported to party central. Did I mention the huge bouquet of flowers that made the room complete? Again, see photos.

The weather was beautiful- over 60'? The girls played, ate cake, opened prezzies and wore their hats willingly. I enjoyed hanging with the adults and seeing Esther take it all in. Magical. Happy Birthday Estherbean! I love you.