Friday, January 22, 2010

The Aftermath

That title seems timely, considering the terrible disaster in Haiti last week. I was actually thinking of the crazy wacky wild holidays finally being over and my home life getting back into a routine, but as I typed that, my heart and mind quickly turned to the people grieving, hurting, and struggling in Haiti. Prayer. Money. Good thoughts to them.

So, back to our happy home. Christmas tree is now down, which is sort of like packing away an old friend. I find the glow of the tree so calming. Maybe I'll put up lights year-round -- but that would take away some of the magic of the holidays. Never mind. But if we get too upset missing the tree, we can just look over at the dining room, which is where it still lies . . . in the box. . . in a pile of the rest of the decorations still not stored away. I'm over it. Is my cluttered living area an issue of eternal significance? Nope. Oh, and  neither is designing a visually appealing blog, apparently (soon, soon).

OK; I think in lists quite a bit, so here are the top ten crazy/fun/silly/exciting/terrible happenings of the last month or so:

1. Roadtrip #1: Christmas with the Haygoods. My great-grandmother Nettie "Mama" Haygood left this legacy, which is an annual family reunion in December for the families of her 6 children. Yes, it's a crowd, and a roadtrip to Liberty, MS. Even though most of the younger folks are ready to just eat and run after they arrive, some of us (me me me) enjoy at least getting to set eyes on the extended family and catch up a little. We hadn't made it to this gathering in several years (before any kids), so this was a treat for me. An ornament exchange is part of the tradition, and most of our ornaments we pull out each year came from the "Haygood Christmas."

2. 6 of my colleagues were laid off just before Christmas due to the state budget woes. Dang it. There are no words for the state of higher education or the state of, well, the state. But, come on, people. Isn't there another way?

3. Christmas with the Wilsons was at our house again this year, and Ellie discovered again how much she loves all her "tuzzins" and her Maw Maw "Fansiss", who read us the Christmas story from the book of Matthew. I really enjoyed looking around at our family and all the kids as they were listening to her read. In the middle of the toys, feast, and decorations, we all sat still and listened to Maw Maw read from the Bible. Good stuff. New tradition: I sure hope so. No pictures -- too busy being the hostess, I guess, although I didn't do much.

4. Roadtrip #2: Christmas with the Noonans/Alvarados/DuConges, and eventually the Perkins'. Shrimp and corn chowdaaaaaaa. Bubba's spicy rice dressing. Maw Maw P's seafood gumbo. Desserts-a-plenty. Ellie rediscovers more "tuzzins" -- even more girls!  We had an impromptu marching band all around Nene's living room. Do I love that my family will be silly with my kids, too? Yes, yes, I do.

5. We spent way too much on our 7th anniversary get-away, but man, it was worth the money. We stayed at The Parc England Hotel and ate at Bistro on the Bayou. Shrimp, crab cakes, dessert, ooh la la. I just realized how much of this post is about food. We just relaxed and went shopping at Hasting's and Goodwill. We even found a big girl bike for Ellie . . . for 3 dollars!

6. I found myself ringing in the new year all alone. Sounds depressing, doesn't it? Well, think again. I put the boys down to sleep, and since Ellie and her Daddy went to Zwolle to pop fire crackers and see Maw Maw and Paw Paw, I had the house to myself after 8 PM! What in the world to do? Watch a movie and fall asleep before it ends AND before 2010 arrives in the Central timezone. Great night.

7. So, Jack can roll over now from front to back -- on purpose. Well, for the physical therapist, anyway. He did it over and over for her, but doesn't always perform when I'm playing with him. The little brat. :)

8. The boys are still giving us fits with eating baby food. But they love red beans, mashed potatoes and gravy, and banana pudding. I think we're fighting a losing battle. Bring on the big people food.

9. We have also stumbled into a cool new schedule where the boys nap opposite but both sleep all night. At first, I was all "what the heck? I will never get anything done." But I've come to really enjoy the one-on-one play times with the boys. They share everything, so why not have mom to themselves occasionally?

10.  Roadtrip #3: New Orleans and the Children's Museum. My UHMAZING husband's idea: Ellie and I head out of town while he and the boys go look at muscle cars at the World of Wheels. Didn't I marry well? I got to visit some wonderful old longtime friends, and have loads of great imaginative fun at the Louisiana Children's Museum with Ellie, Maw Maw Judy, and Nene (and yes, more of the tuzzins Chloe and Briana). And oh yeah, King Cake from Randazzos. . . .. . . sinful and wonderful. Listening to David Sadaris's "Santaland Diaries" on the way down south (which my aforementioned amazing husband downloaded to his IPOD for me) = icing on the yummy cake.

11. And a little lagniappe from today. Ellie saw the sun sparkling on Cane River this morning and shouted from the backseat: "The water looks like popcorn . . . dancing!"

Choose Joy,