Wednesday, February 29

One To Go

I have a major announcement to make. I feel completely safe saying this because we haven't had any accidents in an entire week. Ready? WE NOW ONLY HAVE ONE KID IN DIAPERS!  

We are so excited and so proud of our Elsa. She has completely rocked at this whole potty training business. And I just have to say that it's really awesome to not have to change a two year olds dirty diaper anymore. I love it and I love her for being so wonderful.
Our next major hurdle to overcome is her fear of big toilets. We made the mistake and potty trained her on a little toilet that sits on the ground. So now when we are out and she sees one of those monster toilets that flushed with your foot she shuts down and will not go near it. Even if her sister and I have just shown her how its done. She will have absolutely nothing to do with it. 

I guess I can't blame her though. She is still so little and those toilets are so huge and so loud. So she just dances around and grabs certain parts of her body and holds it until I rush her home so she can use her little pink potty. 

I would love to share some major potty training secret with you but I have none. It was all her. She was ready. 

So thats it. Two down, one to go. 

Friday, February 24

Crawfish Season

Its crawfish season and we are quickly learning that is a really good thing. 
This little girl is even a fan.
Pop stopped in the other day for a quick visit. Since we had an extra pair of hands on deck we felt brave and decided to venture out and enjoy a meal outside of the home. Sammy's is our spot. A restaurant we take our family to for local flavors and Southern charm and its just loud enough for us to almost blend in.

Eating out is something we just don't do since we became a family of five. It's way too exhausting.  
But we took turns holding babies and peeling crawfish and ended up having a wonderful evening out with minimal damage to the restaurant. All in the name of hot, boiled crawfish.

Thursday, February 23

Bath Time

What kind of record of Jude's sweet life would this be without the inevitable bath time photos. I can't believe this is the first bath photo we've taken of him but it seems I usually give him his bath when it is just the two of us. So he was safe. Until now.
The days of sink bathes are almost over for this guy. He is getting way too big for our tiny sink and he splashes like maniac. I am sure the sisters would be overjoyed if he were to make an appearance in the bath tub but I don't think he's up for that madness quite yet.
And I would love to include a photo of his hair spiked up or combed over like an old guy here but his hair just won't be styled. The curls rule and take over immediately after the comb leaves his head, lucky for him.

Wednesday, February 22

Mardi Gras

More than a week since my last post, feels like an eternity. We have been relishing in the spirit of the Mardi Gras festivities down here. And before I start, I have to admit that I had absolutely no prior knowledge of anything Mardi Gras. Never been, never even had a desire to go, but here we are. So if this post seems basic in knowledge thats because it is. We have so much to learn.

So little did I know that Mardi Gras really takes up most of the month of February and there are actually Mardi Gras parades taking place the entire month all over the state. Big parades, little parades, wild parades. 

Another gem of the season, King Cakes, which began showing up in stores on Three Kings Day and stay until Fat Tuesday. Nyah taught me all about this sweet indulgence as they have been enjoying King Cake at school all month. I finally did my research so I wasn't a bit phased when she pulled a collection of plastic babies from her pocket on her last day of school before her vacation. Vacation? Yes, Mardi Gras is a state holiday. Here is what she looked like when I picked her up from school on Friday.
Read here to learn more about the King Cake tradition. All I know is its dough drizzled with sweet icing and who doesn't like that? 

When we asked neighbors and anyone and everyone else where to go and what to do for Mardi Gras the first thing everyone would say was, "DON'T TAKE THE KIDS TO NEW ORLEANS (what ever you do)." I was just guessing to avoid all that encompassed the reputation of Mardi Gras? 

So what did we do Sunday? Took the family to New Orleans for the Bacchus parade, of course. We had to see what it was all about. And mind you, we are no newbies to parades. St. Croix's parades and St. Thomas's Carnival are wildly wonderful. No one in the islands seems to be the least bit shy about their love of celebrations. 

So we arrived in New Orleans. The crowds were massive and we did our thing, worked our way to the front, and tried not to get taken out by the beads being thrown. Turns out the people on the floats love kids so the girls got more than their fare share of beads. George lovingly caught and adorned the girls with all the beads they could ever imagine. 
If there was lude behavior going on, or nudity, we were oblivious. We stayed and danced and celebrated until just after 8 pm when we quickly made our exit. Overall, it was a great time and something we will absolutely do again. Our island babies were right in the mix. They loved every minute.
And I can't end this post without including a photo of the waste. Plastic beads seem to loose their luster after a few minutes and end up on the ground and that makes a whole lot of garbage. I think its all in the chase with the bead business.
So we have officially checked Mardi Gras off our life list, though I must admit, I am still partial to Carnival. The costumes are what its about for me.

Happy Lent!

Tuesday, February 14

Sending Our Love

Sending our love on this day and always in a hand-me-down, thrift store, make the most of what we have and beat this holiday at its own commercialized tendencies kind of way.
Well, all except Jude's overalls. (They fit Aunt Diane and we love them. Thank you!)
So take that Valentine's Day.
Hope you are feeling our love and wishing you a day that turns out exactly the way you want.
 Ours? Well, it's off to a great start.

Thursday, February 9

Valentine Paper Chain

Small disclaimer before I begin this post. I am not a decorator nor that great of a crafter, just in case it isn't obvious. 

But with that being said, I try my best to embrace what my kids are into and maybe get a smile out of them in the process. And Nyah's current fascination- Valentine's Day. So I am doing what I can to get into the mood though everyone else around Louisiana seems to be preparing for Mardi Gras. I'm learning.

We have been on a bit of a paper chain kick. Nyah and I made a big one for the Christmas tree out of an old road map.
So when I saw the heart paper chain behind the receptionist desk at the doctor's office, I knew we had to give it a go. 
We didn't have any colored paper in the house so I just cut up some old paintings Nyah had created and stapled away. 
I put it all together with some decorations Nyah had made at school (which is one of the perks of having a kid in school, by the way, automatic one of a kind holiday decor). And its Valentine's Day a go around here. 
And the best part, (besides the huge smile Nyah had on her face when she saw the mantle after school) it didn't cost a penny.

Wednesday, February 8

The Backyard

Though the color of the water in their lives has changed a bit, it still seems to have the same appeal. 
Water has such a way of drawing them in. Today, to do some "fishing". 
This is the body of water behind our house and up until this point, we had not let them get down and dirty in it yet. There is a steep incline heading to the water where they have the opportunity to build some speed. I have such fear that one might run straight in since we don't have a fence up to prevent this, yet.  (And now you know what I think about at night when the lights go out.)
But yesterday after they had had their share of picking flowers weeds to give each other and me, chasing each other, and squinting into the sun, I finally gave in. The worst that could happen is that one would go in and I would just have to stand up and go in after them. Big deal. 

How could an island momma have a fear of the water for her children you ask? Well, I don't know. It happens. Maybe because they aren't strong swimmers and I usually don't have all hands on deck since Jude has staked claim to them, and since the water is now in our backyard. Who knows? But this reminds me that I must get around to scheduling those swim lessons. For my sanity.

But I am so glad I dropped my fears for that moment because they had so much fun being kids. Must check myself more often. 

Friday, February 3

The Chase

There are the funniest little bugs flying around here in Louisiana. They come out after a good rain, fly low to the ground, and look like a big, slow, lanky mosquito. And trust me, I know my mosquitoes. But the best part is, they don't bite. I am sure these bugs have a name and I should look that up, but I won't.

Nyah has been into bugs lately. Not into them as some, but into watching them from a distance and making characters out of them. This morning as I was walking inside, she was low to the ground looking at something and said, "Wait! You're going to step on my prisoner!" She had found an ant.

So, as we were enjoying the warm afternoon yesterday, Ny found one of the mosquito like bugs and began following him, but only mustered the courage to touch him with a stick. 

Finally, Elsa caught on to what Nyah was doing, walked over, grabbed the bug, examined it and in just a split second realized her power. She quickly looked at her sister, held the bug out and began chasing a screaming Nyah around the drive way, while George and I looked on laughing. 

And this, in a way, sums up the drastic difference in personality of these two sisters. Both so uniquely, both so wonderful. 

*And for the record, George and I aren't really that cruel. Nyah soon realized the humor in the situation and joined in our laughter, without loosing much speed.

Wednesday, February 1

His Seventh Month

Look who decided to start sitting unassisted and sprout a tooth all in one week.
Raising kids is such a sight to behold, their advancements, their changes all on the way to becoming their little selves. The future is so unpredictable but I sometimes think of the day when we will be able to say we have three children who are _______. Be it potty trained, college graduates, friends, married, happy, and the list could go on forever. 

The pride a parent must experience when children grow in to who they are meant to be, accomplishing milestones and rights of passage along the way, must make parents feel like total champions. 
So for this little moment in time, yes, I am celebrating that I have three children who can sit unassisted. I am so proud. Let the checking off begin. 
Jude has let a little bit more of his personality out this months. And I think its pretty typical, but he wants me to hold him all the time. If I am within eye sight, he usually has his eyes on me letting out little whimpers for my attention. George is wonderful at distracting him though so the girls can still get some love, we can eat cooked food, and have clean clothes, etc.

He is a full on beast with this teething business. Anything within his reach is in his mouth with a vicious head shake to follow, chins and faces of others included.
I mean look at those puppies, ready to bust out.
And though I would like to report major advancements in his sleep situation, well that is a milestone of our dreams. I try not to dwell on his sleep patterns or lack there of but, well, he sleeps for two hours spurts at the max day and night. That's it. But we are hanging in there. At this point I realize he is waking out of habit or out of teeth growing pain but there is no solution. We are here for him. 

He can seriously cover some ground rolling and get to whatever it is he needs. He mimics us when we click our tongues and babbles, "Dada dada dadada," all day long. The moment his diaper comes off his hand heads south and stays there until he is dressed again. Boys. Congrats on that major discovery, Jude.
He is getting sweeter by the minute and his grin absolutely makes our world a better place.

Happy seventh months sweet boy.
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