Monday, August 22, 2011

A Visit from the Tooth Fairy

Week 12: Another exciting week in the bayou! Mary Virginia had her first full week of school this week! She was so excited to go back and see her new friends! She does however not like a few things about school: she doesn't ride the bus, she doesn't eat breakfast at school, and she has to nap. Oh, and she wants to know when she can wear her regular clothes to school again! She was a good sport all week...we didn't fight in the mornings getting dressed, which is HUGE for us, and she did her homework everyday after school without complaining (that is right, we had homework every night)! Her only true complaint was that her bows were not quite right, apparently her bows aren't as big as the other girls hair bows! During nap time on Monday, MV was bored (no surprise), so she wiggled her loose tooth until it fell out, so that was a fun surprise when I picked her up from school! (The picture is not great, but she wanted to show everyone her missing tooth.)

As we got ready for the Tooth Fairy to come for a visit, John Bay made a decision....he was going to give her his "bap bap", but he wanted a new dump truck in return! We wrote the Tooth Fairy a note and bagged up all of the pacifiers from around the house and put them under his pillow. It was a rough night, but the tooth fairy came through! She stopped by to visit MV and JB! Although JB loves his new dump truck, he is not at all happy with the Tooth Fairy. He has told us repeatedly that he is going to fly up to heaven in his rocket ship and snatch his bap baps and tell the tooth fairy not to take them anymore! We are still having a hard time going to bed and the nap has completely gone away...but that is the price I will have to pay to get rid of the pacifier!

After the excitement of the Tooth Fairy visit, we went right back into our regular routine of school, painting, and horseback riding!

I was lucky enough to have a Girl's Night Out with Fran and Stefani on Saturday night. The boys and the kids had a fun dinner at Zippy's! I wish that I had been able to get a picture of the 3 husbands and 5 kids! For those of you who don't know, Zippy's is pretty close to LSU, so there were a lot of college age kids there too. I would have loved to have seen them all there! Sunday, we took in the sights of the zoo - I am not sure what we were thinking heading to the zoo when it was almost 100 degrees outside, but the kids loved it and the rode around in style!

(JB watching the tigers)

(The giraffe was disturbingly close to the fence...he could have reached out and touched/bit any of us. Ed had a staring contest with him - the giraffe was giving him the evil eye most of the time!)

After a long hot day at the zoo, we had a chance to cool off and we finally did the one thing that I have been putting off since we got here...we stopped and bought some crawfish tails. Now, let me tell you that we got the crawfish from the gas station by our house, a little bit scary if you ask me! Ed decided that he would cook for us, and we had delicious crawfish ettouffe! What a wonderful way to end the week!

We are so excited about the upcoming week! Mimi and Balba are coming to visit and Ed and I are heading to New Orleans to celebrate our anniversary!

I have been painting even more, so check out my new artwork!

Monday, August 15, 2011

New Beginnings

Week 11: This is a week of new baby starts kindergarten! I can't believe how fast the time has flown by. We spent the week getting ready for the first day. I took Mary Virginia to meet her teacher on Monday. She also had kindergarten testing that day...she loved her teacher and her classroom. I think she wanted to stay and play on Monday! We had a little break and then then boys went on Thursday and the girls went on Friday for their first full day!

After getting ready for school and a trip to the library (of course), we decided that we needed a "last day of freedom" to play and celebrate with anything that MV wanted to do. She chose to go to yet another new playground that we found near our church. I still can't say enough about this state and their parks...another great one...and no sand!!! The kids had fun running around and I was able to sit in the shade at the picnic tables and watch them - the park was gated so that they could not escape! This park was built for handicap accessibility and it was wide open and easy for John Bay to play!

And what "last day" would be complete without a Happy Meal and a trip to "Old McDonald's" (MV's version).

And then the much anticipated 1st day of kindergarten...MV was so excited to put on her uniform and get ready to go. (John Bay wouldn't stop running around long enough to pause for a picture.) Here she is showing off her uniform and her new lunch box...JB and I weren't really sure how to handle ourselves as we drove through the carpool line...I kept telling myself that I was not going to cry and I did really well as she jumped out of the car and ran into the school without even looking back. As we were pulling away, JB piped up in the backseat and said "hey mommy, are we just going to leave here there." That is the point where I completely lost it. Through the sobs, I answered "she has to go to school today, so we had to drop her off." And the happy voice from the back seat responded "OK then, let's go home and play." I couldn't help but smile.. and we did just that, we went home and played all morning.

After a full day of school, MV was off to riding lessons again. I know I have said it before, but we are so lucky to have found this barn! MV loves the lessons and JB loves the dirt! He even found a swing - I swear he can find a swing to play on anywhere we go! He had the most fun climbing the horse pins and playing in the dirt! He even got a bath with the horses!

While JB was getting dirty...MV was working hard with her lessons. Ms. Abby even set up an obstacle course for MV and Bailey to try out! They had a fun lesson and worked really hard. She is really showing great progress and learning so much!
The weekend turned out to be pretty uneventful - I was planning to register MV for dancing on Saturday when she surprised me and told me that she would rather do Girl Scouts. So, instead of heading to the dance studio, we went to the Girl Scouts meeting and registration. MV is so excited...they don't even have a full kindergarten troop yet, but she wants to know when they are starting! So, y'all get ready for the cookies!! We met another one of the other girls her age that wanted to do Girl Scouts and it turns out they go to the same school and she lives one street over from us! Things are really looking up! Saturday lead to a fun afternoon of yard work and playing in the pool in the backyard with some of the girls in the neighborhood and then the best pizza and game night!

Sunday we had a breakfast at church to meet the kids' Sunday School Teachers. It was a nice way to start the morning and a good way to meet some people in the church. The people at this church are so nice and are wonderful to the kids! Once again, we are so lucky to have found a place where we feel welcome!

Anyway, it has been a slow week as school is in full swing. MV had her first homework project to get us adjusted to being in school! JB is having a blast playing and exploring the house without a big sister around to tell him what to do! Ed is busy at work and I am painting more and more - and loving it (check out my artwork pages).

Monday, August 8, 2011

Down by the River

Week 10: This was a week of recovery...we were exhausted from our trip to Florida! We had so much fun playing with our friends, that we needed a few days to recover! We still went to the library and played outside with friends, but we tried to take things easy! We waited until the end of the week to explore more of Baton Rouge. I took the kids down to the Mall of Louisiana, which they loved because there was a Chick-fil-a, a carousel, and the cookie store! After a morning of unhealthy treats and riding in circles, we went to get haircuts to get ready for the first day of school!

She looks like such as big kid!

The kids and I also made a trip to the Baton Rouge Zoo, which was wonderful, as always! As soon as we got to the zoo, the kids were dying to take a ride on the train...I agreed reluctantly. As soon as we got on the train and it started moving, the only thing I heard was "when can we get off", but at least they got along. It will be a long time before we take the train again! Train Ride at the Baton Rouge Zoo

Boy was it hot at the zoo! The animals were all taking it easy - everyone was asleep or sitting out in the grass. Our favorite part of the zoo is the tiger exhibit! The tigers were all napping on Friday...the kids thought this tiger was crazy!

After to zoo we went to horseback riding. MV rode a new horse that was a little more difficult than her previous horse, Bailey. This horse, Indy, had a mind of his own. All he wanted to do was to go back to the barn and have a rest under his fan! Indy had a little trouble following directions (much like his rider), so it is going to take some time to get used to riding a new horse.

I guess you know that you spend too much time with crafts when this is how you spend your Saturday morning...making crafts. Mary Virginia asked me why I was always painting and I told her that some people were interested in buying the burlap door hangers that I was she decided to make her own crafts to "sale". She wanted to make fuse bead magnets and she told us that she was going to "sale" them around the neighborhood on her postal route! Her first sales pitch was to Gigi - who has committed to buying a few! So, watch out if you see MV coming, you may be asked if you would like to buy a craft! (She is actually really good at designing patterns...making mommy proud!)

Saturday night we had planned on going to the Hot Air Balloon Competition, but it was canceled due to expected bad weather - which never happened! We had a great night anyway...we cooked out and visited with friends!

Our exploration continued on Sunday after church...we took the kids downtown to the Arts and Sciences Museum. It was a little like McWane Center, but not nearly as nice! The kids had fun playing and exploring in the science area and in the discovery zone! I am sure we will make a trip back, but we are going to venture over to the Hammond Science museum too - it looks more like what we are used to!

We also took a walk along River Road to see the Mississippi River. It still looked a little high...the USS Kidd was in the water (usually it sits on dry ground). We had fun watching the barges and the tug boats. After exploring, we drove over the bridge so that the kids could look up and down the river.

We were able to convince the kids to go with us to the USS Kidd Museum too! It is such a neat place - I can't wait to go back and look around without kids! They had a few kid friendly exhibits like a tug boat that the kids could "drive" and a gun room that the kids could walk through and look at the cannons!

We topped off the day with a trip to Menchies! YUM! We have been looking for a place like Yogurt Lab since we got here! MV loved it and John Bay slept through it!

The highlight of our week was meeting Mary Virginia's teacher and seeing her classroom. All of the grades except for kindergarten started school on Friday. Their classes have testing for the first three days of school and then the boys go next Thursday and the girls on Friday! MV has the sweetest teacher! We cannot wait for a wonderful school year!

Next week should be interesting, I can't wait to fill you in on the first day of school!
Note: Check out the page of "My Artwork". I added lots of new burlap door hangers!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Knee Deep in the Water

Week 9: What a week! Mary Virginia is registered for kindergarten! She was so excited to see her new school. We can't wait to go to open house next week and meet her teacher! So far things seem wonderful. The school and the staff that we have seen so far have been very nice - we are looking forward to a great year! (She wouldn't let me take pictures, she said I needed to wait until the first day.) Although school officially starts next week, the kindergarten classes have a delayed schedule...MV won't go for a full day until the 12th!

After an exciting step in getting ready for school, we took a much needed vacation to the beach! We have amazing friends that live in Navarre and they welcomed us with open arms! We had a week of sun, sand and salt water! It was a nice change to be back in our old stomping grounds...and away from the rain of Louisiana! I think the Zac Brown Band gave us our motto for the weekend...

'Cause now I'm knee deep in the water somewhere

Got the blue sky breeze blowing wind through my hair

Only worry in the world is the tide gonna reach my chair

While all of the adults (except me) had to go to work, the kids and I stayed at home and played pool side. We had a little rain, but swimming made up for that! MV, Hunter and Sydney were swimming like fish - they wouldn't stop long enough to get a picture. John Bay stayed close to the steps, but was loving the pool...check out his get up - this is the swim gear he chose for himself! We also spent and amazing day at the beach. I don't know if you can tell from the pictures, but it was a red flag day! The waves were a little larger than we were used to thanks to the tropical storm near Texas. The kids still were able to play in the ocean - with adults...don't worry, we were sitting next to the lifeguards and there were always adults in the water with them! John Bay spent most of the day on the beach building castles while the rest of the kids were collecting seashells and riding the waves. Nothing tops off a morning at the beach better than yummy icecream and a nap! If you know my kids, you know that naptime is a little difficult at our house - not this day! Everyone was sound asleep within about 15 minutes of pulling in the driveway. (Michelle had another camera, so as soon as I get the pictures from her, I will post them). We ended the day with dinner at one of our favorite hang outs, Peg Leg Pete's. I think the rest of Pensacola Beach and Navarre had the same idea! The food was great (as usual), the music was a treat, and what great friends to share it with.

Mary Virginia and John Bay slowed down long enough to get a picture.

It was a cozy start for Saturday! The kids got up super early to get ready for a day on the boat, but this is as far as they got! I think they were still worn out from playing at the beach and a late night out!

Mike and Michelle have a beautiful boat. They were nice enough to take us out for the day. We drove up and down the bay area and found a perfect place to anchor at Fort McRee. It was an old military fort designed to guard the entrance to the bay and sat opposite Fort Pickins. (When you are driving through the Navy base by the museum, when you look out into the bay, the site of Fort McRee is the area that you can see.) Boats were anchored all around the area and on the beaches! We stopped there for a while for the kids to play on the beach and to go for a swim! It reminded me of Crab Island! (Michelle had a waterproof camera, so there are some great pictures of all of us in the water, I will post them as soon as I get them!)

After swimming and relaxing we headed to lunch at the Paradise Inn. Mary Virginia and John Bay thought it was so anchored your boat and waded into the restaurant. We refueled with a yummy lunch and some fried green beans and then the kids were ready to tube! You mention a boat and our kids are looking for a tube! They did great. Hunter and Mary Virginia had fun trying to show off and stand up in the tube - John Bay was just along for the ride on his turn! They were not too sure about the salt water spraying them, but they made do and had a blast! They will be talking about this trip for a long time. There is no way to thank Michelle and Mike enough for a great trip to Florida!

Of course, what is a trip to Florida without a trip to the Airplane Museum! On our way out of town we stopped at NAS to see the airplanes. It was a quick stop, but we did get a chance to visit the new addition, Hangar Bay One. The kids were not as impressed as Ed and I were, except that they were able to sit in an ejection seat and see some HUGE airplanes! If you haven't been to NAS to the museum, it is a must see!

John Bay wouldn't look at the camera - he was too busy flying!

Mary Virgina was just being silly!

Kids on the anchor outside the museum

We were sad to leave our friends, but we know that we will see them soon! Thanks for a wonderful weekend. We are looking forward to next week and getting ready for school to start...we have a full week of preparations including haircuts and shoe shopping! This weekend we are heading to the hot air balloon championship (unless it rains), so look out for some amazing pictures! I am still hoping to get to the crawfish this week - I cooked a ton of seafood this past week, but I still haven't tried the crawfish...