Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Port city playdate

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Sorry for the delay in posting all of our holiday travels and pictures. We truly enjoyed our time seeing everyone "on the road", but getting back into the swing of things after having so much time off with Lucy was a little bit rough!

Click on the arrow above for our adventures in Shreveport (aka Christmas #4), including some snuggle time with Boogie and Pop Pop, our new playhouse from Santa, a play date with the Salvails, and much more. Two of my favorite memories from this trip are the visits with had with our old friends from high school (we girls fondly refer to ourselves as "the BFFs") and their children. There is something incredibly heartwarming about seeing your baby play with the children of the people you have laughed with and loved for over half of your life. So neat to see how their looks and personalities have been infused into these little ones! Most of the BFFs have slightly bigger kids now, but Lucy did get to enjoy some floor time with little 3-mo-old Caroline Walls. We also got a chance to hang out with Andrew's gang and all of their babies -- I called it "Daycare Richard" because at one point we had 7 or 8 kids rolling around and playing with all their Christmas toys on gym mats together. Good times...

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmastime is here

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We are so happy that Aunt Michelle & Uncle Allan decided to stop playing Yankee and move back to Dallas! We had a great visit with them on Christmas -- they are great cooks & made us a super delicious Christmas Day brunch complete with French toast and mimosas. Although Evie didn't play very well with their 150-lb dog (she thinks somehow thinks she stands a chance in a doggie brawl against Max), I had a great time learning how to play the Madden football video game with my nephew Alex. My mad skills even resulted in a touchdown! :)

That evening Michelle & Allan came over to my mom's house and cooked us an amazing dinner -- things were well under way when I woke up from my nap with Lucy. After months of being the caretaker, it was a real luxury to have someone take care of us! After dinner we opened presents and Lucy received quite the stockpile from Nana and PawPaw -- she had a blast "opening" them by ripping off the paper. I think she was more interested in putting the paper in her mouth than the actual gifts, though. It's really more fun than I ever imagined to buy for little ones (even if they have no idea what you got them!).

Before we left town the next day, we got to do some shopping and lunch with Nana and Aunt Michelle. I miss having leisurely girl time with them, so it was a fun treat. Thanks for everything, y'all -- we miss you already!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

A brush with "great"ness



So... we kicked off our "four Christmases 2008" tour in Natchitoches to see our Honey, who is currently attending graduate school at Northwestern. We enjoyed a wonderful home-cooked holiday meal (topped off with delicious pecan pie) and a fun gift exchange -- Andrew and I are especially excited about our cast iron pots. We've been talking for years about how great our grandmothers' cornbread tastes cooked in them and now we have our very own to figure out how to "season" over time.

From there we headed to Tyler, TX on Christmas Eve to see my grandparents (aka Mammaw and Pappaw Owen). It's was Lucy's first time to meet Pappaw, and they hit it off splendidly! Some of most fondest memories growing up involve spending time with these two special people, and it means so much to me that they are still around to get to enjoy time with Lucy. They now have 5 great-granchildren and are doting on all of them just as much as they did us!

Then we headed to Dallas that evening and headed out to a beautiful candlelight service with Aunt Michelle. Of course the sweet child who had charmed everyone all day had a complete meltdown in the sanctuary, so we had to take turns walking the lobby with Lucy until the service was over. But I'm glad we got dressed up and made the effort -- the sermon was thought-provoking and it just doesn't feel like Christmas to me until I start crying during the last verse of "Silent Night" when everyone sings a cappela while illuminated by a soft glow. And of course, Lucy started cooing and smiling at everyone on the way out the door and smiled and laughed all the way home. Of course. :) And then Michelle and I had an old-fashioned slumber party in our mom's bed and stayed up way too late talking, and everyone fell asleep while visions of sugarplums danced in their heads...

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Where's Lucy?


Apparently this is what happened at daddy day care when Andrew was left in charge of folding clothes while watching Lucy so we could pack for our Christmas trip. I'm thinking this could turn into a regular blog installment -- a variation on "Where's Waldo" if you will. Stay tuned...

Monday, December 22, 2008

All I want for Christmas...


...is my two front teeth!

As most of you know by now, this is the pictures on the Powers holiday card this year. It only took about, oh twenty-five takes to get this one (finally accomplished by Andrew standing behind me and making funny faces and noises) but I think it turned out pretty cute. Not only do I like that my little ham is giving you her best flirty smile, but also that you can see so much of her toothless gums! Lucy is really teething now and I'm sure it won't be long before those bottom two little pearly whites make their big appearance.

We're doing "Four Christmases" this year and are currently gearing up for our big road trip to Natchitoches, Tyler, Dallas, and Shreveport to see friends and family. I'm so excited to share Lucy's first Christmas with so many loved ones who can't wait to get their paws on her. I'm sure we'll have plenty of fun pictures and sweet stories to post when we return. Safe travels and Merry Christmas, everyone!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

That's pretty damn hot

We are in the middle of the very tedious process of trying to train Lucy to sleep longer in the morning and to take better naps throughout the day. Andrew and I were having a discussion around 5:30 this morning (after I had been up for about an hour at 3:00 am trying to get Lucy back to sleep -- for the fourth or fifth night in a row) about how he really needs to make her take a nap in the afternoon when they get home from daycare, so she's not so cranky that we have to put her to sleep early in the evening.

Andrew said he had tried, she didn't seem to want it, she fusses, etc. I again stressed my position about the importance of the nap and without missing a beat he replied, "she gets hotter than catfish grease if you try to put her down before she's ready." Ha! What was the start of a grumpy conversation between two sleep-deprived parents quickly turned into a big laughing session. He's funny, that one.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Jump up, jump up, and get down!

Lucy has been having lots of fun in her Jumperoo for a few weeks now -- talking to the zoo animals and putting the dragonfly piece in her mouth, but she just recently learned how to "jump" in it and now there's no stopping her! It's so much fun to watch her smile and squeal in surprise and delight at this newly discovered skill. Take a look at the action!

video

Friday, December 12, 2008

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care...


It was so nice to be able to hang up that third stocking when decorating the house for Christmas this year! :) A big thanks to Boogie for not only coming down to take care of sick Lucy so I wouldn't have to miss any more work, but for decorating our new tree while she napped as well. What a wonderful surprise to come home to. We appreciate you!

Sneaux day

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We heard rumors on Wednesday evening that the temperature was supposed to get down to freezing and that we might have some serious snow. Having lived in Baton Rouge for the last decade, I was thinking "Yeah right!" and "I'll believe it when I see it!" And... see it we did! The BR Metro area got about 3 inches of snow on Thursday and I heard on the radio this morning that some places in Louisiana got 8 inches. A very beautiful holiday treat!

All the kids in the neighborhood (most of whom had never seen real snow before) gathered in our across-the-street neighbor's yard to play and make a snowman, and they even pelted "Mr. Andrew" with some snowballs when he drove up (yes, they sent the kids to school on buses while it was snowing, then cancelled school at 7:10 am and sent them back home). Of course, Lucy slept through most of the snowfall -- we got a few pics when she woke up from her nap but she was still sleepy and seemed pretty uninterested. I think the award for the family member who enjoyed the unexpected weather the most was Evie; she went nuts playing around with the other dogs in it.

I'm sure a snow day doesn't seem like such a big deal to some of you, but according to one of our neighbors it hasn't snowed and stuck in the Red Stick since 1993 (15 yrs!). Click on the arrow above for a postcard documenting our winter fun!

P.S. The title of this post came from our local news broadcast reporting about the day's unusual events. We thought it was stupid but kind of funny.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Cover girl


A little fun with digital photos (done while at work, of course). I may be just a little bit biased, but I do happen to think Lucy's the cutest baby of the year! You can make your own cover on the Parenting website to showcase your little cutie & then e-mail, save, or print it. Oh yeah, and they also have a lot of good parenting advice and baby product reviews, too. :)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Giving thanks

Click to play Lucy's 1st Thanksgiving
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We had a nice, quiet celebration this year in Baton Rouge that involved no traveling during a holiday for us for the first time in 4 years! Andrew's sister (Aunt Katie) and mom (Honey) came down to share our Thanksgiving meal and Honey brought down her amazing cornbread dressing and some wonderful pecan pie. We had an amazing feast followed by our now traditional after-dinner viewing of "Elf." I even mastered a new recipe this year -- homemade pumpkin cheesecake! Having enough to feed twenty people for a family of four really helps bring how very fortunate we are into clear perspective. Just one of many things to be thankful for this year, including stable jobs, a dry roof over our heads, reliable cars to get us where we need to go, good friends and loving families...

Katie & did some decorating of Lucy's nursery on Friday afternoon and then Honey kept Lucy that evening so Andrew & I could go out on a date for my birthday. It was so nice to actually have time to talk during a leisurely meal without being interrupted by diaper changes or bottle feeding and it really gave us a chance to reconnect. We actually started to feel like real people instead of just "parents" as we hung out drinking wine in a courtyard people watching afterwards! Andrew & Lucy gave me a beautiful necklace with her birthstone in it and a Marble Slab ice cream cake -- those two do good work! And we had some friends over for fried fish, beer, and cake on Sunday night to continue the celebration. Yum!

I am so blessed this holiday season with my little family and give thanks for my loving, supportive husband and our sweet baby girl who was definitely worth the wait.

Green holiday

I recently discovered a wonderful company thanks to Oprah that allows you to opt out of receiving hard copies of catalogs in the mail. It's called Catalog Choice and you simply type in the name (or search for) the catalogs you no longer would like to receive and they contact those vendors on your behalf. So easy! Using this service has drastically cut down on the amount of junk mail we receive, especially since most shopping I would do with these vendors is now conducted online anyway. Even though we recycle the ones that do manage to trickle through, it still makes me cringe to get so much waste. So... please give Mother Earth a present this holiday season and sign up!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Silent night

Lucy has been very, very sad the last few days -- woke up screaming and crying on Sunday night with a fever and a nasty cough and we've had much of the same pretty much every day since then. She's miserable and looks at you with these watery eyes that scream "Help!" every time she coughs and it's so pathetic that it just tears your heart to shreds. Mommy and Daddy are also completely exhausted from being woken up every few hours from a new coughing attack. Sigh... rough week. Very rough week.

She woke up at some crazy hour the other night and absolutely nothing would calm her down -- rocking in the chair, shushing, walking the floors were all frantically and enthusiastically dismissed for over an hour. I was overcome with desperation trying to find something to induce sleep so her little sick body could get some much needed rest. And because I was so tired and could think of nothing else, I started singing "Silent Night". Didn't know why God put this song on my heart until I got to the chorus: "Sleep in heavenly peace, sleep in heavenly peace." And wouldn't you know it, she was asleep by the time I finished the song. :)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Gobble, gobble



I got to have Thanksgiving lunch with Lucy at her daycare center today. Made me feel like such a grown-up to be attending my first "school" function as somebody's parent! :) I got there in time to observe her laughing and squealing her head off to the sounds of the "music lady" who comes once a week with her guitar to sing with the babies. Lucy already loves music (especially silly singing) and I attribute this to her listening to her Mommy sing in the shower and her Daddy play all sorts of instruments while she was in utero!

Lucy sat with me while I had some old school Southern Baptist home cooking and then I got to feed her and rock her to sleep before I went back to work. Made my afternoon at the office much more bearable! And I got to go home with a treat -- Lucy's first artwork (see above), a placemat covered with fall stamps that her teachers helped her make. Think we may just have to laminate it for future holiday meals. Great day!

Jingle Bell Rock (um... Disco)

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Monday, November 17, 2008

"I do" and Dippin' Dots



I had to go to Houston last weekend for a social studies conference, so the whole family came along with me. Other than trying to find creative places to change an infant in the middle of nowhere, we had a really good time -- fun Aunt Katie came down from Baylor to see Lucy, Andrew finally got to eat at Chuy's (so maybe he'll stop talking about it now for at least one more year), and we got to visit with our favorite Houston residents, the Nick family! Alpa, Jonathon, & 9-mo-old Aiden met up with us downtown for lunch and some afternoon fun at the Houston Aquarium. I think it was Aiden's first "play date" with another baby, and he and Lucy were equally enthralled with smiling at each other and trying to hold hands. Very, very cute!

Lucy fell asleep on the thrilling Shark Adventure train and missed out on the carousel ride but I think Aiden really enjoyed it! We laughed a lot at the expressions on our littles ones faces as they watched the colorful creatures swim around the tanks, but... I think the award for the funniest sight went to the newly married couple parading around the Aquarium grounds (in ballgown/veil & tux) posing for photo ops and buying popcorn and ice cream from the outdoor vendors. I really can't explain the full weirdness of this scene, but Alpa & I had a good giggle fest over it. Thanks for the Texas-sized hospitality, y'all!


P.S. The highlight of the conference for me was an award-winning documentary about the historic Faubourg Treme district of New Orleans co-produced by Winton Marsalis. I thought the film did an amazing job of capturing the real spirit of the city and the soul of its people, and I highly recommend checking it out if you get the chance!

Monday, November 10, 2008

In the hood


Getting all bundled up to go to school in the morning. Brrr...

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Belated Boo!

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Lucy fell asleep before the trick-or-treaters finally began making their rounds, so she didn't get to show off her cuteness. Fortunately Mommy snapped some shots of her getting into the Halloween spirit in various ensembles (we were officially supposed to be a teddy bear). Click on the arrow to enjoy!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Boogie and Pop Pop




Lucy had a great visit with Andrew's dad (Pop Pop) and stepmom Linda (Boogie) last weekend. We got to talk politics while drinking some wine [makes everything go down a little easier!], witness Lucy's new tricks of rolling over and shoving her feet into her mouth, do a little shopping, watch some college football and enjoy a few good meals together. What more can you ask for? We're so glad they were able to make the trip down from Shreveport -- Lucy's a lucky girl to have so many fun grandparents!

Are you sure I'm supposed to eat this?

Lucy got her first taste of rice cereal this weekend, and it was a hoot! She alternated between: looking at us like "Is this really okay?" while scrunching up her face, and seeming excited that somebody finally decided to feed her some real food! Luckily we caught some of it on video (sorry about the blurriness from the camera being in compression mode -- we're still figuring this video thing out!) while Boogie and Pop Pop were here to witness the big event. I think she likes the taste, but is still unsure of the texture and the whole spoon idea.

video

Yes, we can


"...To all those who have wondered if America’s beacon still burns as bright – tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from our the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity, and unyielding hope.

For that is the true genius of America – that America can change. Our union can be perfected. And what we have already achieved gives us hope for what we can and must achieve tomorrow."
~from President-elect Obama's election night acceptance speech

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

And now, a word from Lucy...


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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Hot stuff

We have been a little sad this week -- Lucy got her second round of vaccinations on Monday and has had a fever every night since, making for a lot of discomfort and fussiness. She's also had a stuffy nose which led me to finally break down and get a humidifier (which I'd previously sworn we'd never need). There is undeniably something deeply maternal that flows through you as you rock a sick baby while holding her burning hot head in the middle of the night.

Even though I've come to work totally exhausted and overwhelmed every day this week, I am so very grateful that I've been trusted with the care of my sweet baby girl. She is getting big so fast and I find myself trying to purposefully remember how she feels cuddled up under my chin with her little feet cradled in my hands... I know she won't be small enough to hold her like this forever.

We got the shots during her 4-mo check-up, and according to our pediatrician Lucy is very healthy and "well proportioned." :) Here are her new stats:
  • Head circumference: 16 1/2 in [75th percentile]

  • Weight: 15 lbs, 10 oz [85-90th percentile]

  • Length: 24 1/2 in [75th percentile]

Hopefully we'll be feeling better soon!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

My ride

Lucy cruisin' the neighborhood in the nice fall weather -- it's gotten cool enough to actually need a blanket for our legs in the evenings now!


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Inappropriate crush

We are both big fans of Michael Cera -- first from his days at George Michael Bluth on Arrested Development (in my opinion, one of the funniest TV shows ever created -- it's cancellation was ridiculous!) and then in movies like Juno. Love his sweet nerd appeal plus his droll delivery and spot-on comedic timing.

We got a babysitter (thanks Tara!) last Sunday night to go see Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist and he hit another home run. Although the movie didn't quite live up to my expectations, it was a fun reminder of going out in high school where you never really had any plans and driving around with friends was half the fun. And Cera's character Nick was as hilarious and endearing as all his other roles. Loving him...

Monday, October 20, 2008

Sunday in the park





The weather here finally decided to resemble something close to fall, so we gathered up the gang for a Sunday stroll in nearby Highland Road Park. Lucy took a nice nap in the carrier while we walked the frisbee golf course and Evie was punch drunk with excitement over the chance to protect her baby from all those other fierce dogs at the park. We even got to watch the weekly Latino soccer league match from a blanket under a giant oak tree. Go Team Rojo!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Prematurely bald?


Lucy now has a growing bald spot on the back of her head -- I guess it's from the hair rubbing off when she sleeps and rides in the carseat. Andrew has a growing bald spot in the front of his head, presumably from genetics and... from generally getting to be an old fart. Here's a picture of some daddy-daughter bonding over this sensitive issue.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

This little piggy...



Lucy has finally located her feet, and she is fascinated with them. I honestly think she looks forward to waking up from naps now so that she can play with her feet. It's pretty funny. I remembered that we received some "foot rattles" as a shower gift and dug them out of storage last night -- that took the appeal up to a whole new level and she's now trying to get the animals on them into her mouth! And yes, the changing table is still our favorite place to play.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Mini-me


These latest pictures of Lucy and Andrew have finally convinced me that aside from those pinchable chipmunk cheeks, she looks exactly like her Daddy and nothing like me. Andrew even had the reddish tint to his hair when he was baby that she has! They especially look alike when Lucy is doing something mischevious. :) And as you can see from the pictures, Lucy loves to eat at Superior as much as Daddy does!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Cooper Thomas James

Congratulations to Jessi and Sam on the birth of their beautiful baby boy!!! We have been anxiously waiting for our new friend & Cooper finally made his big arrival on Friday, October 10. We went to visit them in the hospital this weekend and seeing Cooper so sweet and cuddly swaddled in his little blanket made me a little bit teary. Lucy's only a few months old and I truly do not remember her being that small when we were in the hospital (although I'm sure the total exhaustion that came from being in labor for about 36 hours had something to do with that!). The expression "they grow up so fast" really hit home for me while holding this new life.

We wish the James' all the best as they prepare to bring their bundle of joy home and begin a new life together as a family of three!


"For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition which I asked of him." ~1 Samuel 1:27

Friday, October 10, 2008

Bigger than Christmas


Happy, happy birthday to the fabulous CDC! Candace is my beloved friend of 15+ years and in addition to being a terrific support system and always cracking me up with her keen sense of humor, these are some other things I love about her: she has impeccable taste in music and is an insanely good singer, she is frequently the life of any party because people are naturally drawn to her infectious spirit, she is an enthusiastic learner, she's a wonderful mother who has beautiful and kind children, she stills thinks that her husband of many years is the funniest person ever, she loves to eat but also loves to exercise, she is passionate about her devotion to the Lord... the list could go on and on. So here's to you my old friend -- may this new year of your life bring you many blessings and abundant joy. I love you!

P.S. The picture is from Lucy's post-baptism lunch over Labor Day weekend.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Bumbo mumbo jumbo


Lucy's finally holding her head up well enough to sit in the Bumbo seat (although we get still get tired and have to take a break sometimes). What a great invention! Now she can "sit" at the table with mommy and daddy while we eat dinner and see the world from an upright vantage point instead of always looking up at the ceiling fan. Yeah!

Shake, rattle, & roll



Lucy's new three-month-old activities include: holding a rattle and putting it in her mouth, (sometimes) realizing that kicking the toys on the play mat results in a fun noise, trying to smile her way out of being put down for a nap, and attempting to roll over while pushing up when she's on her belly. We sure are busy these days!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The godfather


Our friends Laurie and Jeff (Lucy's godfather) came down to Baton Rouge for a visit last weekend with their cutie 5-mo-old John Michael. It's amazing to see the developmental difference in babies that are just a few months apart -- John Michael's already a pro at "standing" up on people's laps, reaching up for things while on his belly (including Evie's fur!), and speaking small syllables that begin with consonants. He also loved looking at Lucy and trying to grab her face while they played on the baby gym mat, and well... she barely noticed his existence. Just like a woman! :)

Andrew and I kept JM while his mommy and daddy went on a date to the LSU game. Both of the babies were good, but the experience definitely made us grateful that we didn't have twins. Whew! We went shopping on Sunday and Laurie & I got the babies matching outfits for Thanksgiving -- can't wait to take a picture of them together over the holidays. In the meantime, here's a picture of Jeff with the kids. Thanks to the Salvails for a fun family weekend!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

"Goodnight mush"

We had our first ever storytime last night and kicked it off with a bang by reading one of Andrew's childhood favorites, Goodnight Moon. Of course, Lucy had absolutely no idea what I was saying, but... she did sit quietly and stare at the pictures and I think she liked the cadence of my voice as I read those repetitive well-loved lines. Friends who hosted my Baton Rouge baby shower secretly asked everyone to bring a book as a gift since they assumed (rightly so) that I'd want to share my passion for reading with Lucy. I'm so grateful to them for doing this -- she already has a library to be rivaled and we're looking forward to bedtime stories for many years to come!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Topping the charts


We had our three month check-up today with our beloved pediatrician, Dr. Wood. He thinks Lucy's "perfect", which we already knew but were nonetheless pleased to confirm! Her new stats are:
  • weight: 14 lbs, 1/2 oz (80th -- 85th percentile)
  • head circumference: 16 3/4 in (75th percentile)
  • height: 24 1/4 inches (75th percentile)
So... as you can see, she is a very healthy girl! Lucy's starting to drool in excessive amounts (hence the now ever-present bib) which makes me a little afraid of the teething stage that lies right around the corner. But in the meantime, we're enjoying our happy, smiley little chunk in this sweet baby stage.