I think that there must be something in the water because I know at least 4 ladies about to deliver babies. I am always on the hunt for fun baby presents. Sometimes I’m feeling creative, and I’ll make stuff, but right now I’m in a rut, and I’m buying stuff that I think is super fun.
Last when I was in Fredericksburg I went to a little shop called Beulah’s.It’s a great little baby store with some fun maternity clothes mixed in. Anyway, Beulah’s sells a product called Baby Bling. They are baby teethers designed like fun jewellery. You can read all about them here. I think they’re the best idea that I’ve seen in quite a while, but that’s probably because I have a baby who does nothing but drool!
I originally bought this as one of my baby gifts, but when I got home I realised that it was perfect for me. Really, I should have just bought all the store had, then it could have been my generic 2008 baby gift (somehow, I don’t think the baby boom is stopping at 4!). Ahhh… hindsight!
I bought the teether pictured above. I think it’s the perfect mix of style and functionality, and it keeps the baby from chewing my sleeve and watch!
My sister came for a visit last week. She went to Denver for a family wedding that was in Salt Lake City, and she decided to come see us for three days in the middle of her vacation. She has a great husband, and he took care the kids so that she could have a vacation all by herself. She was supposed to take a photography class, but it got cancelled at the last minute (I’ll let her talk about this if she wants to, but does anyone else think it’s rude to cancel the day before, by e-mail, when you know someone is flying in from out of the country?). Very annoying for her, but great for us! Although, I think my children may have scared her just a bit. She thinks I’m a little crazy anyway, but when you add my three crazy boys it makes me look like I need to be committed! (Really, my kids are angels… most of the time!)
Christina is not big into stuff, so we didn’t go to the outlets for shopping, but we did hit Fredericksburg, the Alamo, the Riverwalk, my favorite San Antonio restaurant, and the movies! It was only three days, but I don’t know if we could have packed any more into it! We also had lunch with Christina’s old college roommate who happens to live a couple of miles from me.Christina and her family are a little nomadic. They follow their bliss, and I think that they might be getting ready for a new adventure. I’ve been trying to convince her to come to Texas. It is February, and it’s 80 degrees outside! What’s not to love? (I may not be feeling the same way six months from now, but that would hardly convince my sister to move here!)
All of my immediate family is in Canada now, or planning to move there in the near future. Doug is worried about the magnetic pull that Nova Scotia has, but I’m pretty sure that we won’t be moving there any time soon, so my best bet is convincing some of my family to move down here. Christina and I have kids the same age, and she and I are way tighter than we were when I was twelve. We could have Yahtzee tournaments every week-end! We need some family close by. We need some cousins to play with on a regular basis!
Come back Aunt Christina!
Does anything say family vacation like Mardi Gras?! We’ve done Disney, Yellowstone, Banff and Nova Scotia, but the French Quarter in February just may be the piece de resistance in family fun!
We arrived in Baton Rouge on Saturday afternoon, and spent some quality time with Doug’s grandparents. doug’s been working on a computer program for his grandfather, and he wanted to test out “phase 1.” On Sunday we headed off to church, and then for little drive through the old neighborhood. After the old neighborhood we went through some very deluxe new neighborhoods that weren’t around when Doug was growing up. He also showed me his old elementary school.
Doug’s brother Scott and his family came drove up from New Orleans on Sunday night, and the boys watched the Superbowl together. Aimee and I checked out computer sites and played with the kids.
Monday was lundi gras which obviously is the precursor to mardi gras ( I had no idea about any of this. At my house Shrove Tuesday meant nothing more than pancakes for supper!). This was our parade day. For those of you who don’t know, mardi gras is not just Tuesday. It’s a whole week or two of activities, and they take place all over. We were going to attend the Orpheus parade and whatever one came right before it.
We drove into New Orleans after a quick stop for some Popeye’s Fried Chicken. I was a little paranoid about having my kids around all the craziness but it wasn’t at all like I thought … until later! For the parade we parked at a local high school for the bargain price of $25, but it was a deal because it included the use of the faculty restrooms.
After a very stern lecture to Samuel about the importance of holding hands we made our way one block to St. Charles street. This was the very beginning of the parade route. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I’ve seen some specials about spring break at mardi gras, but here we were there were a whole lot of families. In fact, I think Scott’s bishop was just a few feet from us with his family. I think that makes it an acceptable FHE! Unless of course you include the little girl asleep in the wagon next to us who is wrapped up around a bottle of Crown Royal!
So, the first float approaches; it’s all very exciting. Doug boosts Samuel onto his shoulders. Doug catches his first throw and hands the beads to Samuel. Then, that’s it; my son officially became a bead freak! All I hear is , “throw me something mister” and “I want some beads. Give me some beads, please.” He’s yelling at the top of his lungs, and is very impressed with how much stuff he gets. He received many many beads and a beanie baby from Salt n’ Pepa, that’s right people, there were celebrities present. Later on in the evening I received some beads from Helio of Dancing with the Stars. I’m never parting with those! Also, I learned later that Orpheus is Harry Connick jr.’s parade, so part of me hopes that he was there, and I didn’t see him because he was in a mask.
After a couple of hours at the parade Scott and Aimee took our kids to their place so that we could go to the french quarter. Doug thought that it was important that I have the full experience so that I could make an informed decision. Well, no I’m informed, unfortunately my eyes are still burning! Here are a few lessons that I learned in the adult part of mardi gras:
1. No matter how well it’s done, body paint does not replace clothing.
2. Just because there’s someone dressed up like Elmo does not mean that children should approach.
3. Apparently liquor makes makes some very unattractive things bead-worthy.
4. Just because there’s a group there to “save your soul” does not mean that they won’t sneak a peak.
5. You should wear a pair of shoes that you’re ready to throw in the trash.
6. Mardi gras beads have a magical power all there own.
I cannot tell you how many girls I saw dancing for some plastic finery who had absolutely no problem being video taped or photographed. It was very disturbing. Apparently the place wasn’t even all that busy, but it was total insanity to me. When I think mardi gras, it’s usually in a spring break girls gone wild kind of way. I usually fell a little old for this kind of thing. Well, let me tell you, you’re never too old at mardi gras. Let me clarify, I am too old, but there were lots of women who should have been home with there grandchildren, who were instead taking off their tops for beads. Not pretty.
After touring Soddom and Gomorrah we headed back to Scott and Aimee’s for some King Cake. She replaced the usual cream cheese filling with cherry pie filling. As Dora’s backpack would say, “Mmm mmm mmm, delicioso!”
So, here’s my informed opinion: I think the parades, in the right neighborhoods, are completely family appropriate. I think some parades are better than others, but there’s usually a whole run down in the paper and on the internet. The french quarter however is appropriate for no one. Stay away, far far away!
So, this is my youngest in all his glory. At his two month check-up the pediatrician mentioned a concern with his head. After a trip to the neuro-surgeon it was determined that my son is a “lazy baby!” The other problem is that he has a lazy mother! I didn’t give him enough tummy time, and the left side of his head became a little flat. The best piece of advice I’ve received was to “distract him while he’s sleeping” so that he gets even pressure on both sides of his head. How, I ask you, do you distract a sleeping baby?
So, the doctor prescribed the helmet. It’s all custom designed for his head, hence the $1600 price tag (thank goodness for Aetna). It’s got a fancy comic book design, but it’s also a little creepy. After we saw what other people had done with their helmets, I kind of wished that we left it plain so that we could have turned it into an LSU helmet!
So, you know how babies smell like babies. Well, with the helmet, babies smell like a high school locker room, and that’s when everything is good. When he gets a fungal infection on his head, it’s a whole other degree of nasty!
I debated about writing this, after all, they say there are two things you shouldn’t discuss in polite company: politics and religion, and this is really a twofer, but then I figured the dozen or so people out there who read this know me, and you know my intentions. I do have fun things to write about. I have two words for you: mardi gras! I’ll be back later with all the pictures. For now, here are my political rumblings for today:
I don’t know why I get so obsessed with politics. I can’t even vote! Still, I find myself picking a candidate, reading all the reports, listening to talk radio during our many road trips, and watching way too many debates. This is not the first time. I stayed up all night to watch the 2000 election returns, and I was completely enthralled with the SLC mayoral election while I was living there.
I should be used to disappointment by now. I think it’s kind of like the checkout line at the grocery store. Whatever you do, don’t stand behind me!
I am currently a little disillusioned with the whole process. I feel like it’s been going on forever, and I’m worn out. To top it all off, today the guy I liked dropped out.
Now, here’s where I’m going to get a little bit bitter:
I expect canditates to get a little nasty, That’s how politics works. I don’t like it, but at least you get to see a person’s true colors. What I don’t get is every “news” station being so undeniably biased. What I don’t get is the christian preacher candidate attacking another candidate’s religion in the newspaper. I don’t expect unbiased from the editorial section, but I do expect a little balance. When, during a debate, McCain is called out in a bald faced lie, and keeps on lying, no one questions him. Apparently being a war hero 30 years ago gives you carte blanche for the rest of your life.
I would like to think that Romney’s being Mormon had nothing to do with the way people campaigned, or the way they voted, but I don’t know how realistic that is. I have read a lot of blogs that were downright idiotic. If, however, you want to exclude someone based solely on their religion at least have the decency to be honest about it. I don’t know how many times I heard reporters say that they had personal issues with Romney without ever going into one detail. The fact that no one wanted to address the fact that Huckabee and McCain were working together to block Romney, and don’t even get me started on the Super Delegates on the Democratic side. I actually heard a Super Delegate say she hadn’t yet decided on her candidate, on primary day, because she was still trying to decide between her “gender” and her “generation.” What about the issues?
I know I shouldn’t be bitter. This is a process, and it happens every four years. I should be used to it by now. I should just sit back and enjoy the cartoons on jibjab, but I am finding it very difficult. Alright, maybe this will serve as some kind of purge for me. Maybe I will learn to let go, or maybe I will actually get more involved. Why should my non-voting status affect my ability to back a candidate?
I will be a citizen one day, and then, watch out world!
p.s. If any immigration officials are reading this, I have the utmost respect for the whole political process!