Thursday, May 31, 2012

Life in the Red Stick

I haven't really updated much on how things are going here. We've been in Baton Rouge a month, so here is just a mish-mash of stuff related to life in Baton Rouge:

1. I mentioned a couple of posts ago that I feel as though we are in a bit of a time warp.  When we lived here before, we had friends who had just had babies.  My friend Martha's kids were in high school. Now those babies who were not even a year old are entering the 5th grade, and Martha's youngest "kid" just graduated with his Master's degree and has a paying job.  Yet, some of the roads, businesses, and buildings look exactly the same as they did ten years ago.  It's a weird feeling.

2. We are enjoying having friends over more often because Baton Rouge isn't as spread out as Atlanta. (That was really my number-one complaint about Atlanta.)  Our closest friends can get here in ten minutes.

3.  I had forgotten how HOT it is here. It's HOT. Did I mention that it is HOT???

4.  I can't remember if I mentioned this before or not, but my job is now "official." I'm very grateful for that fact.  (The "unofficial-ness" may need to be explained in another blog post.)

5.  Darryl's working from home has been an adjustment.  Not a bad one, but it definitely is one.

6.  We really like the house we are renting. It is amazing how much easier it is to keep a house neat when there is room for everything. (Well, almost everything.  We still have a sleeper couch in our garage.) I especially like the openness of it.

7.  I do miss Publix. That hasn't changed.

8.  I also miss my friends, but can I tell you how awesome Facebook and text messaging are? Seriously.  No, it isn't the same as seeing people face to face, but it is nice to feel in touch with everyone, you know?

9.  Amelia is doing well. She has some activities lined up this summer to get her involved with some kids her age, and she seems to enjoy that.  I'm hoping that now that school is out, we'll see more of the neighborhood kids out and about.

10.  I feel like I need a 10. Oh wait...Tim wants me to find and become BFFs with this local celebrity athlete. I'll do what I can, Tim.  I'll do what I can.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Amelia in Action

For the first time in at least six weeks, I connected my "good" camera to the computer to get my photos (I have been taking most of my photos with the iPhone lately), and I found these that cracked me up. They were taken about mid-April when we were still in Atlanta.

Amelia LOVES to put on her princess dresses...with her blue-flowered rainboots. And she loves to wear her rainboots when it isn't raining. She decided to make this random stick her magic wand. However, she got a bit carried away with it and wanted to run with it, so...

I took it away from her and she was not happy. (Yes, I totally photographed my child while she was pouting.)


Amelia was home with me for the past few weeks.  After the first week, I decided we needed an activity, so I signed her up for swim lessons. I figured she could use a refresher course since it had been at least six months since she had been in the pool. Last Thursday was the day parents could see all the kids had learned.

Here she is, ready for action. (If she becomes an Olympic swimmer, this will be in People magazine one day.)

And here she is, getting her freestyle on. (She is actually best at backstroke, but I didn't get a good photo of that, alas.)

And here she is, satisfied after a good effort.

It has been so hot here and Amelia really enjoys playing in the water and being outside, so we got this over the weekend.

Not only does Amelia enjoy it, but her mom also enjoys it because she can sit in the shade and read a magazine while Amelia WEARS HERSELF OUT.

And you know what parents call something that wears out their kids? MONEY WELL SPENT.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A List: A little bit of this and that

1. Last night I watched the last 20 minutes of American Idol (Go Phillip Phillips!), the last 20 minutes of Glee, and the last 20 minutes of Dancing with the Stars. I have realized that is pretty much all you need to watch to get the gist of the season.
2. To be honest, I have watched DWTS all season. But Oh. My. Word. That show knows how to drag out a finale.
3. I am on Day 3 of doing Weight Watchers online. I thought about not mentioning it on here because, for Pete's sake, I've blogged about my losing weight efforts approximately 582 times. But I'm at "that point" right now, meaning I have one pair of shorts that fits.
4. Amelia and I have rented Barbie's Mermaid Tale three times from Redbox. Darryl thinks we should just buy it, but I don't know that I want it in our permanent collection.
5. I am taking an online scrapbooking class by Ali Edwards called 31 Things. The focus is on writing about a certain topic/aspect of our lives every day for 31 days. (So technically, you don't have to be a "scrapbooker" for this class. If you know how to type and can take a photo, you're good.) I'm enjoying it so far; it is definitely helping get my writing mojo going a little.
6. I am currently reading Mindy Kaling's Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? and I. Love. It. (I am too lazy to post a photo. Google it.)
7. We're adjusting to life in Baton Rouge and are enjoying being back. I feel a little like we're in a time warp, but I'll go into that a bit later. Another post for another time.
8. Also? I miss Publix.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Mother's Day...and Motherhood Thoughts

I realize it is Thursday and Mother's Day was four days ago.

I'm really on top of things.

I had a really good Mother's Day.  Darryl and Amelia gifted me with a gift card to a spa.  Woot!

And, of course, that morning, we called our wonderful Mama/Nana to wish her a Happy Mother's Day!

Our friend Rebecca invited us to her parents' house "out in the country" for their Mother's Day cookout.  While that may sound awkward -- going to a friend's extended family's gathering -- it actually wasn't because we had met and been around much of Rebecca's family before for other things.

The weather was perfect, and Amelia even got to ride a horse for the first time.

For the record, I'm not a horse person.  I don't mind looking at them from afar, but they scare me a little.  I won't tell Amelia that, though. :-)

Amelia also found this gear in the playroom.  I think she'll adjust to living in Louisiana just fine.

When we got home, I took a power nap while Amelia and Darryl went to Lowe's, and that evening, we had La Madeleine's for dinner (my choice, obviously).

And I have no good transition here, but just know that the following relates to motherhood:

So, back in Georgia, there is a tragic story that has gotten a lot of attention from the media about a grad student who rode a homemade zip line, fell, and cut her leg.  The injury itself required stitches, but otherwise was no big deal until it was discovered that the girl was suffering from flesh-eating bacteria.  Now, she has had her leg amputated (with future amputations a probability) and is continuing to fight for her life.

My friend Blayne and I were discussing this story last week, and I said, "Well, I guess I'll add 'Do not ride any homemade zip lines' to the list of things I want to be sure to tell Amelia."  (To be clear, I'm not making light of this story at all.  I'm just thinking that this girl's situation must be a living hell not only for her, but also for her parents.)  As soon as I said that to Blayne, I was reminded of something my mother once told me.

When I was in college, I received a letter from my mom.  (This was before everyone had email, y'all.)  After she updated me on news and tidbits of information, she said something along these lines:

"I don't think I ever told you this, and you probably already know it, but you DO know that you aren't supposed to let your hair dryer fall in a sink full of water, don't you?  You can get electrocuted that way."

My mom and I still laugh about that story from time to time, but I think as mothers (and I'm sure fathers feel the same way), we feel this overwhelming burden to keep our kids as safe as possible...but we realize we can only control so much.

There is no way to warn our kids about -- much less protect them from -- every hazard in the world.  And that is scary to think about.

What is the fine line between warning our kids about dangers, but also encouraging them to "seize the day"?  (Seriously...if all my friends were riding the zip line, I probably would have too.)

I let my daughter ride a horse while trying not to think about all the stories I've heard of people getting kicked in the head by horses or falling off horses.

And something tells me this motherhood thing isn't going to get any easier. :-)

But I love it, with all its fears, insecurities, and "am I doing the right thing."

And for the record, I did know that I should not let my hair dryer fall in a sink full of water.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Fun Times with Friends

I found the cord, so get ready for some photos!

In the couple of weeks before we left Atlanta, I "lived it up" by having some good times with friends.  (Darryl might or might not have called me a "social butterfly" during this time.)

First, I had dinner at On the Border with my friend Sabrina.  She used to be the guidance counselor at my school and really has a soft heart for kids, especially the "hard to love" ones. :-)  Somehow, On the Border became "the" place where we would always meet, so it seemed fitting that we meet there again.

One day, Amelia and I went with my cousin Vicky (Amelia calls her "BeeBee") to the Georgia Aquarium.  It was a fun visit and not crowded at all!

(I like how there is only one tiny fish in that photo.)

Then one night, I met my friend Casi at The Cheesecake Factory.  Casi and I have been friends since high school.  However, we found that even though we both lived in the Atlanta area, we were able to see each other only a few times a year.  We think we saw each other more in the past when we lived in separate states, so we're hopeful we might see each other more in the future now that we are in separate states again!

Another night, I met my friend Tim and two of my former colleagues, Pam and Lisa, at Flip.  We had a delicious meal (my burger had pimiento cheese on it, y'all), complete with yummy milkshakes.  'Twas a fun time!

One day for lunch, my friend Blayne and I decided, spontaneously, to go to The Varsity for lunch.  I had to have one last chili dog with rings (and an F.O., or Frosted Orange).

That evening, I met Tim and Max for dinner at Shorty's.  (A. That's why I had just one chili dog instead of two.  B. Tim and Max were impressed, and perhaps horrified, that I could put away The Varsity AND Shorty's in the same day.)  Tim, as I've mentioned before, was a colleague who became one of my close friends, and I've gotten to know Max over the past few years and consider him a good friend as well!  I will miss them!

(Don't we all look angelic in that beam of light?)

And for my Last Big Atlanta Hoorah, I went to dinner and then Les Mis at the Fox with my friend Blayne, her daughter, and her daughter's boyfriend.  (I was Blayne's date, ha!)  Blayne and I first bonded over scrapbooking (don't mock or judge, scrapbook haters), but we have become very good friends over the past year.  I will miss our weekly excursions to scrapbook, have lunch, or both!  And I stupidly forgot to take a photo of the two of us, but I do have this:

(Also, at Les Mis, I ran into my former principal and a former student!)

So that is how I lived it up before I left.  Good times, awesome friends...and I can't wait to see them again!

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

The Move

I was going to do a post complete with some photos about the move, but alas...I can't find the cord to do that.  Goodness knows where it is.

Since my last post said that we were here (Baton Rouge), you would be safe to assume that everything went well with the closing on the house and all that jazz.  I think because of the debacle the last time we tried to sell our house, we were nervous something could go wrong until the very last minute.  But nothing did.

And while there is definitely a sense of pride that comes with purchasing a house, there is something freeing about not owning one at all.  Interesting.  (To clarify...we are renting a house now and plan to buy once we find a house a love in an area we love, so that statement wasn't a declaration that we will never be homeowners again or anything of that sort.)

Our friends Damian and Rebecca flew to Atlanta to help us move.  (Good friends, yes?)  We had our last "real" meal in Atlanta at Chuy's (the creamy jalapeno dip and the beef fajitas are the bomb-dot-com), and then we finished up packing what remained in our old house before heading to the hotel.

And here's the thing: I was all prepared to do a big ugly cry when I saw that empty house and pulled away from it for the last time, but frankly, I was too tired and feeling too much like, "Thank goodness everything is packed up and we can go to bed."

Saturday, Damian and Darryl drove the moving trucks and left a couple of hours before the girls, and Rebecca drove Darryl's truck while I drove my car with Amelia as my travel companion.  Everything went smoothly, and I met my parents in Mobile so they could take Amelia for the week.

(Let me interrupt here to say my parents have been very gracious to keep Amelia two separate weeks over the past month and a half so we could take care of things with this move.  They love Amelia tremendously, but I know she can be an energetic handful at times!)

We arrived Saturday afternoon and Darryl and Damian, along with another friend, Charles, worked like dogs to get both trucks unloaded by that evening.  CRAZY.

And we've been unpacking boxes ever since.  I'd say we're about 90% unpacked, and we really like the rental house.  It is crazy how our furniture fits perfectly in it --the dimensions, the style, and so forth.  That might be a post for another time.  If I can find my camera cord.

My parents brought Amelia to us this past Friday, and she really loves her new room.  Perhaps even more, though, she loves sitting at the bar in the kitchen to eat her meals.  (Isn't it funny how little kids just love little things like that?  We didn't have a bar in our old house, so this is something new for her.)

We feel a sense of peace about being here.  Things are becoming more official with my job (my contract is in the mail!), and it feels good to be back...even though Baton Rouge welcomed us back with record high temps. :-)

So that's the lowdown.  There are a few anecdotes I will have to post, but I wanted to catch you all (my three readers) up to speed on the move.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

We made it!

Well, we made it to Baton Rouge!  And if you have ever moved before, you know that the past few days have consisted of nothing but unpacking, unpacking, and more unpacking.

We're eating, of course.  Heaven knows I'm not one to forgo a meal just so I can keep unpacking.  (To show how tired I am...I might have just typed "forego a mill." Um...)

Today, though, I decided Darryl and I needed to stop eating as though we are tourists in Louisiana.  I mean, there is TIME now to fit in what we want to eat.  So today I began with a bowl of Kashi cereal.  That's a tidbit of info I'm sure you are glad that I shared.

Anyway, I will post a more thorough update soon.  Things are going well, though.  Thanks for all the good thoughts you are sending our way!