Monday, August 29, 2011


Here is a picture I snapped of Pres last Monday morning:

Getting ready to start a new week. I was ignoring Irene and pretending it wasn’t really going to hit the good ol’ RVA. Fast forward about ten hours from this picture and a call comes through my cell phone. Sue, the director of Pres’ school says, “Preston fell. He’s ok. But very banged up.” Apparently he was pushed accidentally off the playground when he and the other boys were running around. I walked in and he looked like he went a few rounds with Tyson. Because he fell onto the spongy ground his entire forehead was mottled. He had red, raw scrapes under his nose and chin and scrapes up and down his shoulder and arms. Awesome. Bath time was fun. With the stinging water.

And then there was Tuesday. And I snapped this pic. And you have to love the shirt-because let everyone think he is an offensive lineman instead of the fact he got banged up on a playground.


And so it goes. We are off to start a Tuesday. And then 1:51pm hits. My co-worker is in my office. We hear what sounds akin to cattle running across the ceiling. But it doesn’t stop. And I feel the cattle apparently under my floor as well. And we realize that the Earth is SHAKING. Here are my thoughts in the 35 seconds this 5.9 magnitude earthquake is hitting RICHMOND VIRGINIA mind you, “Oh my God. What do I do? Under my desk right? Or was that air raid drills? Doorway!” (which I later find out from Mel is the worst place to be but whatever. “Ok I’m in the doorway. I see everyone. We are all in doorways. Should I run? Is this building going? Oh my God, the building is going to go. I shouldn’t run down stair wells. Where is Preston right now? My mother? I’m going to run. Why won’t the building stop shaking? Should I take my white Louis Vuitton?” My heart never beat so fast. I never felt so powerless. I never felt more for the victims of 9-11 in the Twin Towers. But it stopped and I ran to the phone which somehow had not shut down and was the first…(of course) panicky parent to call the school. And Portia the director hears me say, “Portia, this is going to sound crazy, but we had an earthquake in the West End….” This is how ridiculous I was at that moment that I thought clearly no earthquake in the West End of Richmond can be felt 25 minutes south west of Richmond. Apparently the kids slept through it. Considering Preston would sleep soundly in an Afghanistan war zone with Cirque du Soleil performing, I had no doubts he didn’t feel a thing. Then I was on a hunt for my mother, even having her paged at the gym. She had been driving but I had visions of her curio cabinet on the floor. I mean an earthquake in Virginia. One more magnitude on that Richter scale and there would be Bono and a telethon in central Virginia. We all survived, one picture fell off my wall and didn’t break. It was something I never hope to feel again. I think the most annoying thing was the delay in receiving text messages. Obviously should the world end on 12-21-12, I will not fair well during the mass destruction.

And then there was Saturday. I went food shopping the night before a hurricane. For my weekly groceries. And laughed that there was a lone loaf of bread on the shelves. I bought fresh flowers, fruits, veggies and wine. There was no panicking from me. After all, I had things to do tomorrow. Like my standing every seven week highlight/lowlight appointment with Jessie. Woke up on Saturday and there was more wind blowing from my a/c than Irene. Here is Preston watching the drizzle.


Getting ready to head to my parents for the Giant/Jet game (which I didn’t get the memo at that time the game had been postponed). IMG_7815

Then Jessie texted me the salon had no hot water. Um, look at Exhibit A above. Clearly I will withstand frigid water since I am gone for the next two Saturdays and cannot deal with that two inch mess on the top of my head. I’ve never seen Jess do foils so quick. I escaped the salon and five minutes later, Chesterfield County was black. Nary a light anywhere. Except Sandy’s house. So I charged my BlackBerry. My parents with their gas stove had homemade meatballs going so we’d weather this Irene until she left us in the morning. I was pacing by 11. I hate not knowing. Why had the power not gone back on? Where was the grid? Why can’t they fix the grid? What makes the grid even go down? If there are trees on the lines (which there were) I didn’t know because I had no TV, no computer, no Internet, no Facebook. I hate not having answers. In my profession when I question a witness they have to answer. The obvious response was relax, take a break, have a glass of wine. I even put the iPod in the battery iHome, but after a few dances with Pres around the kitchen I was done. By 7 am with a flashing red battery left in my BlackBerry that is begging for juice (and the shakes setting in), I was on a quest for what makes me move and become slightly less cranky…caffeine. No power equals No Keurig. I was halfway down Hull Street when my neighbor texted (I was running the BlackBerry on pure hope and a dream at this point) that we were back up! I raced back to my parents and saved as much food from their (two) fridges and freezers and ran home to make a HUGE pot of coffee. So we survived. There are some without power still. Like Mel. Who e-mailed me to tell me she had a lot of activities planned that sadly all required electricity. Including flat ironing her hair tomorrow I would presume. I truly think at this point I’d be beside myself with no lights. Here are Pres and I after the storm. We even went to Sunday Park to sit on the docks and watch the boats.




And at that point the weekend was over….yeah. Not so much. Preston made the brilliant decision after a viewing of Toy Story 3 to try out couch diving while I went upstairs to the bathroom. It didn’t end well. And his chest hit his wooden step stool. So I hear a (very) audible thud following by a scream. He was hyperventilating. Once I calmed him down and I felt his chest, I was slightly reassured that he was ok. His sternum hurt so we were off to the Kid Med that opened so close to my house Pres can spit on it, (even though he requested the hospital). After a series of chest x-rays and a sticker and ice pop I very happily put the monkey to bed. I am hoping he takes that activity out of his repertoire. REALLY???? Really.

Today….well today was pretty boring…and I am SO ok with that.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Introducing….PRESTON RAAB!!!

There are three things I wished for when I was divorced….and this year two of these wishes have come true.  I have closed and moved into our home, the home I built for Preston and this past Friday, August 19, 2011, my son is now officially and legally, Preston Raab.  The change of last name is something I have dreamed about-not to mention how irate I become when calling CVS for a prescription only to hear, “Oh it will be ready in 15 minutes Mrs. Lombardo.” Vomit. When I saw that written Order I could not help but tear up.  It’s been myself and my family, the Raabs who have supported and raised this fine young man.  Just in time for kindergarten (and labeling all the school supplies)!  Here he is!


I picked him up from school, sat him on the playground and showed him the name on the Order.  He looked at it and said, “Yes!” It was such a great moment.  To celebrate, Preston, Miss Kim and I all went out to dinner.  Yesterday my mother took him to Target to pick out toys to celebrate his new identity.



Monkey and Mommy Raab!


Monday, August 15, 2011

This and That

Tinka and Steve came down to spend the weekend. Due to a fire in the eastern part of the state, the smoke would have made Busch Gardens a non-ideal spot for Saturday. Over Easter everyone noticed Preston, who uses his right hand, can’t throw right to save his life. Yet throwing left, he’s dead on accurate. It’s like A.J. Burnett verses Mariano Rivera. And we need him to throw a bit more Mo. Steve and Katie had bought Pres a righty mitt for Christmas. But Uncle Steve to the rescue with a new lefty mitt! What a great uncle!


And no trip to Short Pump is complete without a train ride!


Preston loves trains. It’s really no secret. He’ll even spend hours reading his train “maps.”


Another super funny t-shirt that Grandma bought Pres.


Of course I can never resist a photo shoot with the love bug! I cannot believe he is starting Kindergarten in three weeks. Of course we are starting dry runs in the morning to get him ready for the bus! How is he going to Kindergarten?





Sunday, August 7, 2011

Mel’s Bridal Shower

What an amazing bridal shower.  It was such a gorgeous day!  Debbie and Erin put together one heck of a party.  Here are some pictures from the amazing day!  The bridal party gave Mel a honeymoon basket with her luggage, flip flops, candlelight dinner and couple’s massage on the beach at their resort and other little goodies:


I bought her candles from Yankee Candle and wrote her a note  for when she should light each candle through the year.  Her mom, Debbie, wrote her a poem using household items.  Tara and Teri asked Pete questions about Mel.  Every time she would get a question wrong she’d have to chew a piece of gum.  Of course at first we told her it would be a cherry tomato.  And Mel abhors tomatoes!


Here are some other pics from the day!