Jul 13, 201207:00 AM
Joie d'Eve

Living, loving, laughing, and learning in the new New Orleans

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

OK, so it’s been awhile, but I have a good excuse - a very loud and slightly smelly excuse that wriggles and thrashes and poops on itself multiple times a day. My second beautiful daughter, Georgia Ruth, was born May 30 at Touro, weighing 7 pounds, 13 ounces and measuring 20 inches. She is healthy and perfect, a robust eater and … well, not the worst sleeper I’ve ever known (that honor goes to Ruby in spades - sleepless, fussy, nightmarish-blur-of-pain spades).

 

Since then, I haven’t done much of anything beyond laundry and nursing and watching “Law & Order” and "Gilmore Girls" in breast milk-stained sweatpants. If I really feel like living it up, sometimes the baby and I drive across the Causeway and back.

 

Every so often, I have visitors, and when they get up to leave,  it takes everything I have not to cling to their legs and beg them not to go. Because this is New Orleans, my high school sweetheart’s mom came by and brought me a lasagna and some cookies. We reminisced about the days in which her son and I were the extremely nerdy literary “it couple”: I edited the school newspaper, and he edited the literary magazine. Now I work as a journalist, and he works as a bartender, and in the wake of the news about the Times-Picayune, I am not sure which one of us came out ahead. Journalism: Moderately better job prospects than poetry!

 

Occasionally, I go to the grocery store or the post office or the library. Once a month, I get to wash the cloth diapers with bleach. A couple of times now, my mom has watched the baby so my husband and I can get dinner out. I’ve gone to a few birthday parties with Ruby, and on the mornings when I drop her off at day camp, I treat myself to an iced mocha at the only PJ’s that has a drive-through and thus doesn’t require taking the baby out of the car.

 

I guess this all sounds like complaining, but really, it isn’t. The days of my maternity leave with Ruby were very much the same - a dearth of adult conversation, a wealth of bad TV, the sheer monotony of caring for an infant - but this time around, I appreciate it because I know how quickly it all goes.

 

I look at Ruby, 5 years old and lanky with bruised shins and tangled hair and a little bit of sunburn on her face, and I remember so clearly her tiny head wobbling all over the place, milk curdled in her neck folds, chubby dimpled hands in her toothless mouth - just like Georgia - and I realize, just like countless mothers before me, “My God, they grow up so fast.”

 

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Joie d'Eve

Living, loving, laughing, and learning in the new New Orleans

about

Eve is further proof, if any is needed, that New Orleans girls can never escape the city. After living here since the age of 3 and graduating from Ben Franklin High School, Eve moved to Columbia, Mo., where she received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Missouri School of Journalism and became truly, unhealthily obsessed with grammar.

She had originally intended to strike out to New York City and work in the cutthroat magazine industry there, but after Katrina, Eve felt a strong pull to return home, to her roots, her family, her waterlogged and struggling city – and a much more forgiving work atmosphere that would allow her to skip a routine of everyday makeup and size 0 designer label business suits and enjoy the occasional cocktail or three with an absurdly fattening lunch. She moved back home in January 2008 and lives in Mid-City with her two daughters, Ruby and Georgia; her stepson, Elliot; and her husband, Robert Peyton.

Eve blogs about the joys and struggles of living in post-Katrina New Orleans, the unique problems and delights of raising a child in such a diverse and challenging city – including her experiences with the public education system – and her always entertaining and extremely colorful family.

Eve has won numerous writing awards, including the Pirates Alley Faulkner Society Gold Medal, the Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence award for column-writing and Press Club of New Orleans awards for her Editor’s Note in New Orleans Homes & Lifestyles and for this blog, most recently winning the award for "Best Feature Affiliated Blog."

She welcomes comments, advice, empty flattery, recipes, drink invitations and – most especially – grammatical or linguistic debates.

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