This is a test of the emergency iPhone system

This is only a test. Do not be alarmed if you feel extreme jealousy that you can not update your blog remotely as i am doing using my new iPhone app.

Anyway, found this app and testing if it works...


Little Monkey heads off to the big leagues!

Little Monkey has his first day of school on Friday (a half day for practice). As you can see above, Big Monkey and I saw him off and he was so excited to have new friends and toys to play with, he didn't even notice when we left the room. Also, pictured below is his official "first day of school bento box". I have been stocking up and making lists of what I will send him to school with for lunch. Do you think I have a chance of winning "cutest lunch contest"? Is there such a thing?


Thanks for your support!!!

For Local Blog
in New Orleans
I won! That's right... I am now officially your pick for best parenting blog in New Orleans. Thanks to everyone who voted!


Does blogging make me an exhibitionist?

Tonight Big Monkey and I got to go on the elusive "date night" since LM is spending the week with his grandparents. We went to see Julie & Julia and it was, of course, charming and adorable.

It touched, although not as thoroughly as I'd have liked to see, on the life of a blogger, and her relationship with her blog and her readers. As a blogger, I often ask myself if I am sharing too much. How often have you, as a blogger, written down what you are truly feeling, only to hit the backspace because you know you are sharing too much? You think twice, not because you don't feel the need to "get it all out", but because you fear what people will think about you once they learn what you really have to say. How many times have you asked, would this be better, for me and the reader, if I was just completely anonymous?

And that leads to the question, why do I blog? Why do I feel the need to share my life and opinions with everyone who knows me and many who don't? Am I just a self-absorbed exhibitionist who is screaming to the world "its all about me!"? Or, do I just think I have something to say that others might find interesting as well? Who knows...

I'm actually not sure what the answer is. I'm sure many of you have an opinion. But, some of these questions led me to take a little break from blogging, but I have missed it and I'm back.

Little Monkey starts Preschool in two weeks and I have lots to catch you up on from the last month so I'll be posting regularly again (I hope)...


I've missed you too!

Big Monkey and I took a cruise a few weeks ago and since we got back I just haven't had much to say. I've chalked it up to a summer blogging break. I'll be back real soon.


Following in Daddy's footsteps

Did I mention that LM is crazy for iced coffee? Ok, its really just a splash of coffee with a lot of whole milk, but he is crazy for it! Maybe we have someone in line to take over the family biz?



To our favorite Latin American restaurant in Kenner:

Although we realize you are being truthful, let's just leave it at menudo. If folks really need to know what's in it, they will ask you.


The Champions of the Rodeo

July 4th weekend, my Dad treated me to an evening at the Louisiana State High School Rodeo Championships! The last time I had been to a rodeo was when my Dad took me when I was about 8 years old. Now, the rodeo ambiance isn't usually my scene, but it ended up being a lot of fun.
You could tell these kids had put a ton of work and care into their sport. Even when they didn't do well, they never gave up. It was inspiring and I hope Little Monkey has something he enjoys that much when he gets to be that age.My pictures turned out terrible. I discovered that my beloved digital camera is no good for action shots. This was disappointing because I had imagined coming away with some really good pics.
There were definitely enough Wrangler, Dodge and NRA advertisements to make any Southern girl proud!


Being a tourist in our own town

Last week on a rare day off work, Big Monkey and I got some alone time while Little Monkey stayed with the nanny. We decided to see NOLA as a tourist. We started off with lunch at one of our favorite Mid-City restaurants, Liuzza's. When I was little, my Dad lived in Baton Rouge. Every once in a while we would make the 70 mile trip into New Orleans just to go to dinner at Liuzza's. I remember thinking, as a girl, how special a place it was to drive that far just to go eat! Their fried green tomatoes with shrimp remoulade are my absolute favorite. (chicken salad stuffed creole tomato, red beans and rice, and a Barq's root beer in a frozen mug)
After lunch, we headed to the New Orleans Museum of Art in City Park. For some crazy reason, we haven't ever been there. It is even free for Louisiana Residents and only $8 for others. The building itself is beautiful. But, of course, the best part was the air-conditioning! There is no better feeling than stepping out of 99 degree weather into a 68 degree building!
After the museum, we headed out to Lakeview to see the slab where my Grandparent's house had been before Katrina, but also to have New Orleans snowballs at the neighborhood snowball stand. I veered away from my ole favorite flavor, Nector, and, to my disappointment, went with Yellow Cake Batter. It was not nearly as good, but did the job of cooling us down and giving us our afternoon sugar rush.We had a great time and took some fun pics for your enjoyment.....


Ok Klinger!

Little Monkey has become obsessed with the shoes in MY closet. He wants nothing to do with Big Monkey's shoes. His favorite thing to do is sit down and make a humongous pile of my shoes on top of his legs. I guess I should be proud because he has made it his own "Memory" game by matching all the shoes up too. His favorite are this pair of red shoes I only wore during my last trimester of pregnancy. They are way too big now (on me and LM), but these are the first ones he picked out to prance around in. Do you think he remembers them :)


Dancing Babies make everyone smile

This Evian commercial was posted on my Mommies ChatBoard today and I had to share it. BM and I have watched it a milion times and crack up just as much as the first time we watched it. Who wouldn't smile at roller skating babies?!


The diet begins again...

This stuff is sooo good and only 20 calories and 0 grams of fat! How did I not know that fat free half and half exists? No, I'm not getting paid for this. It is really just that good. What's the catch?

This morning I used it to make my own version of Hungry Girl's Chocolate Banana Smoothie recipe. It was delish.

I am hard-core back on my diet starting two days ago. I'm kickin' it old school by actually counting calories. I've never done that before (I ususally go WW) but I found this great site, My Daily Plate, that makes it really easy. You go in and calculate how many calories you should eat per day based on weight, height, activity level, etc. They have like every food known to man already in their database and you just put in what you eat and it calculates your calories for the day. I'm having fun with it so far. Hopefully it won't get boring fast. I'll keep you up to date on what I lose.


Some days surprise you

What a strange day it was to lose two legends within hours. RIP Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett. Today at work, I checked CNN and noted Farah Fawcett had passed away. It obviously didn't surprise me as I had been hearing of her illness for months. I mentioned it in passing to a coworker and went about my day.

But, then, later that evening, we had a client event and in the distance I heard someone in the crowd mention that Michael Jackson had died. I, being the celebrity gossip hound that I am, immediately looked up and said, "what, no you mean Farrah Fawcett". And she said, "no, I just heard Michael Jackson died." I was shocked. That totally came out of left field.

Now, I grew up with Michael Jackson in my consciousness since I was about 8 years old. I was never a superfan but he was always there and I did my fair share of moonwalks in my day. But, it really shocked me to hear of him dying. A couple of things surprised me by my own reaction:

1) He apparently died from cardiac arrest. My father had a heart attack last month and is doing well now, but this reminded me of just how easily it could have gone the opposite way.

2) Even though Michael was much older than me, he was part of the collective memory of my generation. In some ways he defined parts of it... art, music, fashion. He truly was an American icon, even if some don't want to admit it.

When I got home, I immediately went to Facebook to gage the reaction and it ranged from mourning an artist to disgust that some were sad over the passing of a "pedophile".

My reaction is one of mourning, not necessarily for the man, but for the loss of what could have been if he had not been plagued by physical and mental illness. Imagine what more someone of his talents could have given the world, had he not turned into what he eventually became. The whole story is just sad.

Anyway, I'll leave you with one of my favorite songs:


Happy Birthday Little Monkey!

Yesterday was Little Monkey's 2nd birthday! We had a wonderful party with family at Leenie and Grump's house. LM got tons of presents and had a great time. My grandparents got him a baby baby grand piano and he LOVED it. I definitely think we have a little virtuoso on our hands. Here are some pics of the fun.


Nosepicking 101

This is what Big Monkey taught Little Monkey when I went shopping last weekend....

Now that's a classy kid I've got on my hands!


My Little New Orleans Po-Boy!


On the Road Again...

I finally started training again for my second half-marathon. My girlfriends and I are doing a girls' half-marathon Labor Day weekend. Hopefully, it will become something we can do annually and the number of girls will grow.

This time around, I am going to use Hal Higdon's Intermediate Training program which includes speedwork. I'm a bit nervous about it, since for my last half, I was only really worried about finishing.

So, for my own motivation, while running a grueling three miles yesterday, I started a list of "5 Reasons I Love Running."

1) I love having a goal in front of me that I have to work at to accomplish. It makes me feel good about myself to know that I pushed myself to do something that not everyone can do.

2) I love the camaraderie of the running community. There is always something to talk about with another runner, whether it is your next race, your last race, your pace time, your running shoes, whatever. There is an enthusiasm that drives me. I love waking up early to get out there and see other runners who have the same commitment. Even if its just a smile, you know that you both share something, they are working toward a personal goal as well.

3) I love feeling the connection to my body. Since I started running, I am intuitively connected to every muscle in my body. I feel every twitch and have to think about what it is and what it may lead to. I love having a particularly hard run and then totally feeling it in my legs and back the next day. The pain becomes addictive because you know it means you worked hard.

4) I love running because it gives me time to share secrets with myself. While running, I am thinking about all kinds of things in my head. Anything from blog posts I want to write to what I should have said when that guy bumped me in the elevator the day before. When I finish that run, I have no idea what I thought about. It leaves my mind and may or may not ever come back again.

5) Lastly, I love being totally in tune with my surroundings. While running, you have to recognize every crack in the road, every slight hill coming up, every pothole that might be lead to a fall. You must recognize landmarks to know how far you have run along your route. Along with topography, you must be in tune with the weather daily, knowing when is the best time to run, when with the temperature be the friendliest. It makes me appreciate wherever I am a little bit more when I have to recognize these things.

I'll keep you updated on my progress through the next three months of training in the miserable New Orleans summer heat!


New Orleans History

New Orleans- as seen on historical marker I saw along the Mississippi River in the French Quarter.


Pretty Purse Giveaway

I'm loving this bag and totally want to win it. Go to Wishing True Blog for her giveaway. There are a ton of choices, all of which all beautiful!


Sit your butt on the seat, damn it!

I have had it with you women who hover over the toilet seat and spray your pee all over the seat for the next person to find and clean up. Sit your ass on the seat and do your business, damn it! Do you really think you are going to catch a disease by sitting on the seat? Have you actually ever heard of this happening to.... anyone?! I have absolutely never, not once in my life, heard a true story of anyone catching a disease or even getting sick from sitting on a toilet seat.

Don't you realize that it is you that is the problem? The reason people hover is because of people who hover! The pee on the seat that you don't want to touch is from the previous person who didn't want to touch the pee on the seat!

Do you get it now? You are the problem! SIT DOWN, pee, wipe... this is how NOT to get pee on the seat for me to clean up.

And, by the way, the floor you are walking on is much dirtier than that seat anyway.


The Sleep Whisperer

We have been fortunate that The Little Monkey has always been a pretty good sleeper. Since about eight months old he has settled down into a pattern of falling asleep at about 7pm, waking at 6:30am, naptime from 10:30-1:30 daily. Big Monkey and I have each had our different "specialties". BM is good at bathtime, diaper changes, playtime, and just about everything else, but my "specialty" is sleeptime. For some reason, I've always been able to get him to go to sleep.

Last night was an especially satisfying experience. LM awoke at 2:45 am screaming. BM offered to go in so, I told him just pat his back and say good night and walk out the room. Well, of course BM lingered, which made LM want to play and when BM finally did leave, there was much screaming and jumping to continue. So, I went in, tucked him in like a burrito (my special move), patted his back, turned on his music, and whispered "Beunos Noches", and it was complete quiet, and he fell asleep immediately until 7am!

How awesome am I! I was actually pretty proud of myself and my parenting skills. It made start thinking about those few and far between times when something goes just right and how great that makes you feel as a parent. Last weekend, LM was playing in a cardboard box, taking items out of it and putting them back in. He fell out of the box and, I could tell he hurt himself. He started to whimper a bit and looked at me as if to determine if he should start a full-on wail. I immediately said "You're ok... you're not hurt... put your things back in the box..." AND.... he did just that! No crying, no screaming, he just got up and put his things back in the box. Even my father remarked that I handled it well. That was a great moment in parenting!

It was such a nice feeling to have it go textbook. Unfortunately, that doesn't happen everyday so when it does, I totally savor the moment.


A day with Little Monkey at New Orleans City Park

When I was a little girl, I used to come to New Orleans often to visit my Grandparents. My favorite thing to do was go to the amusement park in City Park with my Grandpa. I remember being so scared of the teacups that one time the man even stopped the ride in the middle to let me off because I was screaming so loudly! But, my absolute favorite park of our trips was taking the train around the park. I loved watching all the families having picnics, the paddleboats on the water, and the oak trees sprawling across the grounds. Well, this weekend I finally took Little Monkey to the park and we had a wonderful time!

Big Monkey was stuck in bed sick all weekend, so LM and I had the whole three days to ourselves. Below is a pictorial of our adventures...(LM takes his first train ride!)(LM trippin on shrooms)(LM meets Mary's lamb)(LM second go on the carousel went a bit smoother)(LM finds a bench the is just his size)


Vote for me, please!!

Check this out... My blog was nominated for the Best Local Blog- New Orleans Edition. Click on the pic above to vote for me!



An agreeable driver

An awesome license plate we saw in Virginia when I was there...


I guess bobbing porcelain horses are a bit scary...

Little Monkey was treated to his first carousel ride last weekend at The Mall of Louisiana. He started off ok and I thought, "wow, we might make it through this without tears, screaming, and embarrassment", but then he saw my mom standing on the sidelines and he lost it. He cried the whole ride and acted as if the horse was going to buck him off at any moment.

The worst part was seeing the 9 month old girl who was also on the ride all smiles and giggles...


All Bento, all the time....

Over the last two years I have heard about Bento on my mommy chat board and largely ignored it as something that only moms with lots of time on their hands (i.e. not me) would even remotely be interested in. But, since I haven't been able to run, I have developed a need for a new hobby in my life (i.e. something to spend wasteful amounts of money on). So, since preschool is rapidly approaching, I started wondering what LM would bring in his lunches and stumbled upon my new favorite blog, Lunch In a Box. It is all about the ins and outs of bento-ing, and I, of course, have become obsessed.

After some (and by some, I mean hours) of research, I made the leap to check out the Ichiban Kan website and make some purchases. My package arrived Monday night and I now proudly give you my first bento box.... ta-da!I think it looks pretty good. I had it for lunch Tuesday and I made another one tonight for tomorrow. As they keep coming, I'll post more pictures of my creations.



Have y'all heard about this website? My sister introduced it to me while I was up in DC. Its called Scanwiches and the premise is that this guy buys a sandwich everyday and before eating it, he scans it and then posts the picture to the website.

Surprisingly, it is actually pretty interesting to look at some random guys lunch everyday. My first reaction though, was that he must go thru a lot of windex cleaning that scanner everyday!


You Can't Go Home Again...

As a kid, I moved around quite a bit, moving 6 times before college. For third through fifth grade, we lived in Alexandria, VA. So, since I was in Alexandria for my run, I decided to visit my old stomping ground for the first time since we moved away 23 years ago!

We lived in a condominium and I always thought that was pretty cool and that we were kind of like the Jeffersons (one of my favorite tv shows at the time) minus the wisecracking housekeeper, of course.

(See the corner balconies? Count ten up and that's were we lived)
Everything seemed so much smaller on this visit. I remember the walk being kind of far but, it was, in fact, just right next door. At both the school and the condo, I told people how I used to live there and they let us inside and were happy to have us and show us around.
(Me in front of the much refurbished rec center behind my elementary school)
My school was right down the street and I walked there every morning and home every evening. There was a great recreational center at the school that I would stay at for after-school activities. The school also had a wonderful gifted program and I remember learning a lot there.

It was really great to revisit a little piece of my childhood...


Half Marathon report continued...

So, as I told you in the last post, although the race was officially canceled, I decided I had NOT flown 1100 miles to NOT run 13.1 miles, so I just started where the starting line had been, set my Garmin, and headed off down the trail.

As usual, I started out way too fast and finished my first mile at about a 9:30 pace which is way too fast for me. I felt pretty good though and kept going between 9:30-10:45 for about the first three miles. Of course, then the hills came and I had to slow down considerably.I settled into a 10:15-10:45 pace and was feeling really good about it. As I hit each hill, I had to slow down to between 11-12 minute mile pace, but I was ok with that.

The water stations were placed well. I had decided not to take any GU with me and I'm still not sure if that was the right decision or not. I was definitely starting to get hungry about midway through and could have used a bit of a boost.

At the half-way mark, we turned around and headed back the way we came. I was still doing and feeling pretty well although my average pace had slowed to about 10:45.

Then I hit mile 8! The mile between 8 and 9 just really sucked. I definitely started feeling every hill and was just getting very tired in general. My legs started burning and I really started wanting this to be over. I just kept counting down the miles in my head and started thinking about anything else I could think to think about. Finally, I made it to mile 10 and things started looking up. Beyonce's "Single Ladies" came up on my Ipod and I even managed a "raise the roof" sign to my fellow runners.

Mile eleven started well enough and I even kicked it into high gear for a bit, but by 11 1/2, I pretty much lost all steam. My old friend, achilles tendinitis (which I haven't had for over a year) returned in my right foot. It was starting to get really painful and the next mile and a half was pretty miserable. I just kept thinking, "you are almost done and look what you will have accomplished!"

Finally I knew I was getting close to the end and saw some spectators ahead. I ran as fast as I could and finally saw LS standing at the finish line with camera ready. I was so glad to be done with that race!

Unfortunately, my achilles tendinits continued to get worse the rest of the trip and I wasn't really able to do any sightseeing due to that and the rain. I went to the doctor yesterday and got some medicine so I'm hoping it goes away fairly quickly.

Now, on to the next half-marathon in September. Hopefully that one will actually count!


Half-Marathon Race Report... Time 2:25:07

Running a half marathon... check (yep, that's me, checking that off my list)

The weekend started out great. My Little Sis (we'll call her LS) picked me up at the airport and we went to her house to call it a night and rest up. We awoke to rain and decided to scrap our plans of going into DC to, instead, hit the Pentagon City mall. After some shopping, we headed to Alexandria and the hotel where the race "expo" was to be and where we were staying the night. This is where the fun began.

It is no accident that I put the word "expo" in quotes. Although I am fairly new to running, I have seen my fair share of expos and, this, my friends, was no expo. This was essentially a grouping of three tables in a hotel restaurant with some running pamphlets on it. But, I knew it was a small race so I trekked on. Next, I picked up my bib, timing chip and t-shirt. Unfortunately, none of the volunteers could answer any of my questions about the shuttle to the race, the pasta dinner, or really anything else about the race at all.

I also noticed that only about 20 people had signed up for the pasta dinner, which was pretty disappointing since I was really looking forward to meeting other runners. When we got to the dinner, there were no introductions, and the race director was screaming loudly at the hotel staff to the point that we were embarrassed to be part of the group. The "inspirational speaker" ended up speaking on the topic of co-ops which I am still unsure of how that has anything to do with running. Let's just say, you know a dinner is bad, when we both left before they broke out the ice cream cake!

The morning of the race I woke early enough to take a shower and get to the start by 6am. They had a rolling start which meant you could start at any time before 7am. To me, this sort of defeats the purpose of a race since I get the most out of actually racing other people. When you don't have that initial shot of adrenalin at the gun going off, you lose a lot of momentum. I decided to wait until the "official" start of 7am in hopes it would be a bigger crowd at that time.

So, 7 am comes and goes and there starts a rumbling through the crowd. As I soon find out, the National Park Service has revoked the race director's permit because he got a permit for 300 people and signed up 1000. His excuse.... "they never stopped us in year's past!" What an idiot!

(Me hitting the stop button on my Garmin as I stepped over the finish line!)

At this point most of us, just said, Screw it and started running the race. Thank God for my Garmin. I kept my time myself and finished right in my projected time of 2:25:07! I was really happy with my time and I know if it hadn't been for the hills, I could have shaved off at least 2-3 minutes.

In hindsight, I think this was a race really just meant for locals, but LS and I did have a great weekend despite the idiot race director and the rain.

I'll give a more thorough report on the actual running tomorrow. Thanks for everyone's support!


Not feeling the love

I'm at the airport right now and am more than a bit annoyed at AirTran because I just had to pay $15 to check ONE bag. I've never had to pay to check one bag before! Is this a new thing or does AirTran just suck? The worst part is I totally could have brought my bag on the plane but I am also carrying a cooler full of meat for my sister which I will now have to use as my carry-on.

So, to my former vegan, meat-hating sister, you better not waste a bite of these stuffed porkchops!


The time is near!

Tomorrow I leave for Washington DC to visit my sister and run my first half marathon on Sunday. I am really looking forward to my run. I've worked really hard and am proud that I've made it to a point I think I could actually run 13.1 miles. This coming from the girl who dropped out of jogging class in college!

January 2008 is when I started the Couch to 5k program and I could barely run for 1 minute without keeling over. Well, it took a year and a half, but now I'm running 5 miles with ease.

So, wish me luck! I'm hoping to finish under 2:25. We'll see....


Weekend run and butt cleavage

This weekend, the girlfriends and I decided to run the Bubba Gump Shrimp Run, Forrest, Run 5k through the French Quarter. It is really one of the best races I think. The shrimp pasta and caesar salad following the race are delish and since its Jazz Fest weekend, tons of people show up to run.

We had a great time and I ran my best 5k time yet. The most disturbing part of the whole morning was this....Who wears this to a competitive race. "Excuse me, m'am... Um, I think your right butt cheek just fell out of your shorts. Can you please tuck that back in there. Thanks..."


What a weekend to be in New Orleans!

This was a beautiful and eventful weekend to be in New Orleans. It was the first weekend of JazzFest, the Zurich Golf Classic, the Bubba Gump Shrimp "Run, Forrest, Run" 5 k race, and in general, just wonderful spring weekend!I think our across the street neighbors are a little too into the JazzFest spirit. When we came home Friday, as you walk out on our front porch, this is the image you see. I mean, we are all excited about JazzFest, but The Pot-O-Gold is not the one memory I want to take home from it! In all seriousness, I'm not quite sure why they couldn't scoot the potty into their driveway or somewhere a bit more discreet. (It is for the painters that are working on their house) But, in general, BM and I just thought this was the funniest thing EVER.


Open letter to latte lover

Dear strange lady who happens to live in our neighborhood and is also a coffeeshop customer:

Thank you for being a customer. Yes, we appreciate your business. The $3.45 we get from you the once a month you come in helps support our family. We try our best to make you the most delicious latte everytime you visit our establishment. I am glad you like it most of the time.

BUT, just because you know where we live, you really do not need to pound on our private home's door at 7 pm while we are putting Little Monkey to sleep and tell us how you are disappointed in your latte today. We do not need your opinion at 7pm on our front porch of what we should do to make a better latte.

In reality, it just makes you seem even more strange, and, in general, just kinda freaks us out.

Thank you,

The Monkeys


"Streetcar Named Inspire" cont'd

I've been taking more Streetcar pics for y'all around the city as I see them. Here are a few I have seen recently...(on Fulton Street near Harrah's Casino Hotel)
(Inside Hilton Riverside Hotel)
(in front of New Orleans JCC)(in front of Whole Foods- yes, those are all beer bottle caps)(outside of Superior Grill on St. Charles Ave.)
(inside Astor Crown Plaza Hotel lobby on Canal Street)

Funny story... the bellman at the Astor must have thought I was a tourist and saw me taking a picture. He asked me what I thought that was I was taking a picture of and of course I said a streetcar. I assumed he would tell me most people thought it was a trolley or a cablecar or something, but he said, "oh no, most people ask why we decorate our caskets so beautifully in New Orleans!"