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

Click to play Lucy's 1st Christmas
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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!

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

Click to play Lucy's 1st Snow 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. :)