That's right, I'm back! Back at the keyboard typing an entry, and back in the Big Easy. It's been a crazy couple of months - Nic getting the job offer at the end of July while we were on the Alaska cruise (for pics of that, see my Facebook), scrambling to get housing and schooling lined up then packing up the whole house (with help from Rick) and driving all our stuff and our kids (again with help from Rick but also my mom) down to New Orleans. Mom was only supposed to be here for like ten days, but she ended up staying a whole month (more if you count the trip itself). Now she's been gone a week and a half.
Mom was DEFINITELY a huge help and I really miss her company (and laundry/mopping skillz). But I wanted to make sure she got paid in entertainment for all her help, so I was trying to do something fun with her every day. Now that she's gone, we're settling into more of a toddler/baby-centric routine. Nic takes the big boys to school in the morning, then I hang out with the littles on the third floor (which is basically one huge playroom) for an hour or two.
I didn't realize how little crawling room there was at the old house until we got here. Opal's scooting her boot all over the place! The downside of that, though, is that every time I turn my head she somehow grabs some disgusting carpet garbage and crams it into her still-toothless maw, so that I turn back and see her big knobby cheeks mum-mumming on something mysterious and I have to stick my finger in there and sweep around until some lint ball or mysterious plant material falls out. One of these days, I just know I'm going to do that and a chewed-up roach abdomen is going to fall out. Yeah, the roaches? They're big enough to leash.
Anyway, then I put Zeb downstairs to watch a show for a bit while Opal and I take a nursing TV break (that's her nursing and me watching TV, not both of us watching shows about nursing, because sadly my "I Didn't Know I Obese and Pregnant and A Stripper With OCD and a 136 lb Scrotum" Discovery Fit and Health isn't on our cable plan, which I keep meaning to look into but keep forgetting because I'm distracted by our nightly dose of "The Sopranos" and my deep well of depression from the end of "Breaking Bad," plus "Ink Masters" and my queens are keeping me entertained enough for now). After that we head out to a playground (there are several good ones, some in very nice city park settings) then get home in time for lunch with Nic, who finally works close enough that he can do that. Then Nic puts Zeb down for a quick nap and goes back to work and I try to get some stuff done before I have to get the boys from school, after which we only have an hour or two before Nic comes home for the night.
"You know what my second favorite thing is, after weather and snakes? Baby Opal!" - tender little Woog, who has declared he's going to marry his sister. Meanwhile, Zeb is the whipping boy, sustaining multiple scratches and even bite-induced bruises from Wolfie (Eli's anti-Zeb maneuvers leave fewer obvious marks). When I try to remind Wolfie that he used to dote on Zeb the same way he's doting on Opal now:
he tells me "I only like babies when they're babies, not when they're toddlers." I'm hoping he keeps his special moosh moosh spot for Opal, but I'll make sure to take pictures like this every chance I get just in case the warm fuzzies don't last:
Otherwise, Eli is very obsessed with cities, specifically Google Earth looking at them, checking out skylines, comparing the sizes of cities population-wise and area-wise, comparing skylines, comparing airports, and drawing cityscapes both real and imaginary. Wolfie, as previously mentioned, is focusing his obsession on weather, specifically "Strangest Weather on Earth," and to a lesser extent scientific shows like "Outrageous Acts of Science." Zeb has been, um, challenging (getting up on chairs and stealing cookies in the blink of an eye and mixing glass candleholders with my bird from woodcarving class into "soup" in the garbage disposal being the two most recent examples), but I think now that we're settling into a routine his sweet loving side is starting to outshine his naughty side once again. Not that the sweet loving side wasn't always there, it's just he is definitely the most energetic and challenging toddler yet. Even Grandma Ellen, who is usually a big softie who quails when I get too harsh and irritated and start doling out punishments, was being driven insane by the dude by the end of her trip. She even said, and I quote, "I don't know how you do it - Moms of boys deserve an extra Mother's Day!" They were all acting really nuts, largely because of the move I'm sure, but they're all starting to get better. And our first true "terrible twos" two year old has even more hope around the corner - next month he turns three! I can't believe that's already almost here!
I'm going to have to put up a BUNCH of Opal weekly pics. I haven't put them up in forever but we've definitely been taking them every Wednesday! Gotta go shower now, because it's not a rare luxury like I sometimes treat it, it's basic hygiene! But here's the inspiration for the title of the post - Opal can wave hello now!