Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas adventures...

Christmas was closer to family, we were able to attend all the Christmas activities.  The first Christmas activity was the 2nd annual Christmas cookie decorating party at Michelle and Leonards's.  Leonard prepared the day before and started baking cookies at 10:00AM.  He baked 8 or 9 different kinds of cookies, two of which we were gently forced to decorate: sugar and gingerbread.  Gavin had fun, but has not figured out moderation.  I guess he decorated his cookie the way he wanted to eat it.  They made him a very special "G" cookie that he promptly decorated.  There was a heap of cookies.  The pictures below cannot even begin to explain the amount of cookies!  

The cookie Gavin decorated all by himself!
Only a portion of decorated cookies.

We had so much fun at Michelle and Leonard's, we thought we'd give it a shot.  Christmas Eve we baked (only a dozen) cookies for Santa and decorated them.  GiGi stopped by on the way to Karen's to help, too.  

Finished products!  Santa ate almost all of them!

Gavin helping me icing the peppermint cake we made. 
I think he got more icing on his face, then on the cake ;)

Christmas Day was hectic!  Gavin woke up is his normal fashion...yelling for Dada.  Gary went upstairs to get him to show him the present Santa left.  I waited anxiously at the bottom of the stairs with my video going trying to capture the moment.  Instead I hear, "Dada, I gotta go poop"  So, I continued to wait...Once he finally came down, he was super excited!  He rode his new bike all morning!  Once we finished opening gifts at our house, we got dressed and went to GiGi's house.  Apparently, GiGi heard a raucous in the shed outside and found MaMaw and Santa in the shed with another toy for Gavin...So, I put the turkey in the oven and we went.
Gavin helped Jack open his present.

I'm unwrapping the present Gavin made for us at school.  The only time Gary picked up the camera...trying to get a picture of me crying.

Seeing his tractor for the first time...

Santa left him this cool microphone, too. Gavin provided a little Christmas entertaining.
Uncle Danny enjoyed his Christmas present!!
Later that day, Michelle and Leonard came over. And Gavin got more presents!

Gavin's "Risky Business" moment...move over Tom Cruise!
It's an LSU Christmas!

We had everybody over our house for dinner.  Everything was delicious!  The next afternoon, NaNa, PawPaw, Sara, Michelle and Leonard came over to celebrate.  And there were more presents! Gavin and Sara played so well together! We hung out all afternoon and watched the Saints whip up on Atlanta and Drew Brees break Dan Marino's passing record. 

Friday, December 9, 2011

Potty mouth.

We recently started potty training Gavin, and it has made him a lot more aware of things...

He asked me the other day where my penis was. I explained to him that boys have penises and girls have vaginas. He said, "where's your dawhina?" geez. Then, we were at the store the other day and I had to use the bathroom so bad! He came in the stall with me and was very attentive. As I hovered over the toilet, he got a closer look. He then asked very seriously (and loudly)..."Mama, you pee out of your butt?" How do you answer that??? You say yes. He can learn the truth in health class...

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Christmas time!

When I a was younger, one of my most favorite things about Christmas was "Christmas in the Oaks". Now that I have a child, I was really looking forward to bringing him and experiencing it through his eyes.

We went last Saturday with Aunt Michelle and Uncle Leonard. We got there right as it opened, thank goodness! We headed straight for the rides. Gavin lost his courage about riding the ferris wheel almost immediately! And so did Mommy! I had nightmares about all the things that could go wrong, so we decided not to do it even though he regained his courage. Instead, we went to the Carosel. He was skeptical at first, but seemed to really like it! Mommy, Daddy and Aunt Michelle all got pretty dizzy. Next, we decided to get in line for the train. Gavin was really excited about the ride. What was even better was that the train had a police escort. After the train, Gary and Gavin rode the Carosel again and then we headed off to look at lights. On the way, we stumbled upon some fun kids rides. Gavin loved riding in his blue jeep. He pushed buttons and turned the steering wheel(s) like he was really driving. He rode the jeep twice before we moved on. We then found a dump truck ride. So cool. He loved it! We finally went to see the lights, but my little man had seen enough. He didn't really care about the lights so we headed home. He talked about riding the rides the rest of the night and kept saying, "Momma, I had so much fun tonight!" He talked about the rides in bed and for at least the next two days. He had such a blast!

On Sunday, MaMaw came over and we went to get a Christmas tree. It was different this year because we normally get a tree from Home Depot. It's an bring a knife and cut the string off the tree, shake it out and decide if you want to take that tree home. This year we went to a tree place. All the trees were nicely standing and we were in and out in 15 minutes! It's a really cute tree. The next day, GiGi, Alexis, Josh, and MaMaw came over to bake cookies and decorate the tree. It was a lot of fun!

We had a very special visitor show up at the Marchand residence last night. It is our elf on the shelf. The first thing you're supposed to do is name it. Gavin named him elf on the creative. We read the book and that night put him in his spot for the next morning. Gavin was so cute when he saw him (in the Christmas tree). He was so shy and kinda hid behind Gary. It wore off as the day went on. Gavin was being a little bad. He hit Dada, but then asked him not to tell the elf.

This Christmas is going to be so much fun. Gavin sure does love having his family around!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

I'm really very bummed that my camera broke, and I have no pictures of Thanksgiving this year!  We had a ton of fun anyway.  Michelle and Leonard hosted Thanksgiving for the first time this year in their new house.  It's really so warm and homey.  We had turkey and dressing, gravy, broccoli and cheese, green bean casserole, carrot mashed potatoes (made by who else??), macaroni and cheese, rolls and a host of desserts!  The weather could not have been more perfect and Gavin played outside with Josh and Alexis a lot.  I really am thankful for so many things...

1.  My WONDERFUL, supportive husband.
2. My amazing little boy.
3.  My smart and well behaved dog.
4. My family in New Orleans who love my babies so much.
5.  A house to live in until we find our own.
6.  My health and the health of those around me.
7.  Cars that work.

I could literally go on and on right down to having air to breath.  It was pretty awesome to drive 20 minutes for Thanksgiving and then 20 minutes back home.  No more 10 hour drives from Dallas!!  Gavin loves having his family around so much.  It's better than I ever expected!

The next day, we left Gavin with GiGi to go to the LSU/Arkansas game with Tina and Jonathan.  They drove down to be with Tina's family in Baton Rouge for Thanksgiving.  We got tickets to the game and watched LSU beat up on the hogs to go undefeated this season!!  I smell another National Championship!  Gavin did great at GiGi's house.  In fact, he didn't want to leave.  Yet another perk of living close to family ;)

BIg boy bed!

We decided that it was time to put Gavin in a big boy bed.  After a lot of deliberation between Gary building and bed and buying a bed, we decided to buy one.  Gary wanted to build him a "scooper truck" bed complete with working parts.  Cute idea, but I know our little worker would be really preoccupied with his new "toy" and get very little sleep.  So, we went for the generic blue race car...mostly because I thought the Lightning McQueen car was entirely too busy and limited the sheets and quilt we could put on it.  Gavin doesn't know the difference and loves his Lightening sheets.  His pillow case has two different with Lightening and one with Francesco on it.  He flip flops just about every night.

The first night was a little difficult.  He stayed up talking for a couple of hours.  I don't know if he was scared or excited or a little bit of both.  Finally, he called for some water.  Gary went up and laid down with him for a bit and that seem to comfort him enough so he could go to sleep.  He's been a real champ ever since.  He only got up one time (from a nap) without calling me first.  He does let me know every time he calls for me and I go up that, "Dada said I don't have to call you...He said I can get up all by myself"  Gary has no recollection of this. 

I have to admit that I LOVE him sleeping in a big boy bed.  I get to lay down with him and read books and snuggle with him before bedtime.  Right now, it's my favorite thing!  I'm ashamed to admit this, but sometimes I would crawl into his crib and snuggle with him.  It's hard not to when he pats the mattress and says, "Come on in, Mama"  I wasn't always so excited about him getting a big boy bed.  On top of worrying that he would climb out of bed and hurt himself or wake us up, it symbolizes him growing up.  I realize that he is not a baby anymore, and I can never go back.  But, I have to let him grow up and enjoy every second of it!  I sure have enjoyed every stage so far...and I sure do love him!

Monday, November 21, 2011

My big boy...

This week we started to potty train Gavin.  I was skeptical and nervous for a couple of reasons: diapers, although disgusting, are really convenient, and it would mean my big boy is growing up.  Well, we brought his potty downstairs, and he almost immediately began to use it!  He hasn't had one dirty diaper in almost a week!  Strangely enough, wet diapers seem to be more of a challenge.  Maybe we need to up the anty on wet diapers.  He has even been going to the bathroom in public although I feel like I have to issue a public apology everywhere we "pee" because the boy does not know how to aim...yet.  The other night while we were at dinner, Gary took him to the bathroom.  When he got back to the table, he told the waitress who applauded and congratulated him.  The couple behind us clapped, too.  Then, last night we went to dinner and Gavin told me he had to make a "ba loop" (the sound poop makes when it hits the water-he came up with that all by himself).  So, we went to the bathroom and sat on the toilet.  After about 15 minutes, he was finished!  What a big boy!  Apparently all the time in the bathroom created a bit of a fuss outside the bathroom by someone waiting to use the toilet.  C'mon!  As we were leaving, a random stranger said "hi" to him.  Gavin proceeded to tell said stranger that he did "ba loop" on the potty.  Confused, the man looked to Gary for a translation.  Gary quickly told the stranger Gavin pooped on the potty.  The stranger then pointed out that Gavin had some water on his shirt to which Gary replied, "That ain't water."  Geez.  Anyway, I'm so proud of my big boy.

We also got him a big boy bed.  We decided to buy him a twin race car bed.  We haven't set in up yet because we are doing some stuff to his room (painting, etc).  He got some Lightning McQueen sheets, and I'm contemplating Curious George sheets for Christmas.  I hope he loves his new bed.  I hope he will sleep in his new bed!!  I'm sure this transition will be just as easy as all the other ones for my little man.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween 2011

This is was our first holiday since moving to New Orleans.  I found myself missing my pumpkin patch and my neighborhood and my friends.  We found another pumpkin patch close to Gavin's school that wasn't as nice as St. James, but Gavin didn't notice any difference.  He had a blast!  He picked out his small pumpkin right away and had fun running around.

Halloween night, we walked down the street to our neighbors house for their annual Halloween party.  There was food and music and lots of other kids. GiGi, Uncle Danny, Josh, Aunt Michelle and Uncle Leonard were there to celebrate with us.When it got dark, we went trick or treating.  Gavin started to whine a little bit and said he didn't want to go trick or treating...he wanted to go home.  So, I made a deal with him....let's go to one house and if he didn't have fun, we'd go home.  I scooped him up and took his bag.  I walked up to the first door and yelled, "Trick or Treat!" The nice man gave me a generous handful of candy and that's all my little police officer needed to see!  He wriggled out of my arms, grabbed his bag, and took off running up the street!  Without hesitation, he walked up to the doors and yelled, "Trick or treat!!!!"  He couldn't get enough. He wanted to go house to house getting all the candy he could!  He had so much fun! Of course, he wanted to eat all of his candy in one night, so we had to temper ourselves.

We had a blast!  It really is nice to be surrounded by family! And Gavin is finally at the age that this stuff is so much fun for him.  I'm really excited about Christmas!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Starting over...sorta

Our house is officially sold.  We closed this morning and everything went off without a hitch from start to finish.  The movers came yesterday and all of our stuff is on the road to New Orleans. Since it's been a while since I've blogged...let's back track.

Gary and I decided about 4 months ago that it was time to move "home".  I was pregnant with our second child and feeling very isolated and alone in Dallas with no family around.  We have made close friends, but they were all busy with their lives.  Although we lost that baby it still felt right.  So, we put our house on the market and the rest is history. 

Our stuff was delivered in Gretna on Monday, October 3 and we've been trying to settle in ever since.  We're lucky to have a place to stay until we buy a place of our own.  My sister has a house that was vacant, so we're staying here.  We'll save money and really take our time looking for our dream house. It's challenging because we know we won't stay in this area, but we can possibly move across the river or across the lake.  We don't know where we'll live so it's hard to know where to set up our doctors, Gavin's school, etc.  For now, we have my doctor and Gavin's school set up across the river. 

It's been stressful with all the changes, but we're closer to family.  We've already had one family dinner over my house, and Gavin has enjoyed spending lots of time with his GiGi.  It's been really nice to have her come over and hang out with Gavin while we go to Target or a Doctors appointment, etc.  It's been nice to go over there, too, and ride four wheelers and hang out outside. 

Gavin is in a new school called the Little Red Schoolhouse of Metairie.  I really love it.  He has three different classrooms: one for story time, one for play time and one for fine motor skills and crafts at a table.  He also has a huge outdoor play area with lots of cars to ride.  I love that he's with kids his age, too.  He did so well on Tuesday until the very end of the day.  The car pool lane did him in! I got out of the car to get him, and he was red faced and starting to cry.  He told me he "waited and waited and waited" for me to come.  He waited 3 minutes.  After a few minutes he was fine and chatting.

We're all settling in and getting ready for our new life!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Chuck E. Cheese

Today we took Gavin to Chuck E. Cheese for the first time.  It's funny how different it was from when I remember it as a little girl.  I don't know if it's because it is different or just my grown up view point.  There was a small section that seemed to be for smaller kids filled with cars and trucks to ride.  Gavin was all about that!  The first thing he climbed into was this big "monster truck" with hydraulics.  He really liked that.  Then, we went on all the other cars...many times!

We finally pulled him away from all of the car rides to play a little ski ball.  I still love ski ball.  The one thing I loved as a kid was, you could crawl/walk right up to the board and throw your ball into the 5,000 or 10,000 point hole.  The plastic on this machine seemed so low that there was no cheating to be had. We played on these machines for a while and got a really pleasant surprise! Chuck E. Cheese himself came right up to Gavin for a hug!  I wasn't sure what Gavin's response would be, but he went right to him and gave him a great big hug.  He's gonna Looooooove Disney World!  The funny thing was, after Good ole Chuck left us, he walked past a couple of kids, approximately 8 and 10 years of age.  The 8 year old turned around, much to her horror, to see a giant mouse walk past her.  She took off running and screaming, and Chuck threw his hands up in the air and kept walking.  That, my friends, was funny!!
We put our tickets into the ticket counter (which I think Gavin enjoyed more that any game there) and redeemed our prizes!  Gavin got an orange lizard and some sweet hearts.  Not bad for his first time!

Visiting Aunt Beth

This past weekend I went to New Orleans to visit my best friend, Beth.  I was originally visiting to have a girl's weekend and to throw her a baby shower.  We didn't get to throw the baby shower because on August 1, 2011, she gave birth at 25 1/2 weeks to a 1 pound baby boy named Gabriel Joseph.  Beth felt the baby move less and less, so her doctor had her come in for monitoring.  What they found was not good.  The baby was very sick and needed to be delivered right away if he had any chance to survive.  The doctor said if she had waited another day, he would not have made it.  After tons of tests, the doctors finally figured out the cause.  Beth had contracted CMV( at about 20 weeks and her body started to fight off the virus, and the baby.

It's been almost a month now, and he's had his share of struggles, but continues to fight.  He is the smallest baby I have ever seen.  I was surprised every time I walked into his room to see him.  He's hooked up to tubes and IV's that help support all of his systems, but he is so cute.  He has blonde, fuzzy hair and eyebrows.  He has a perfect nose and big hands and feet.  He responds to his mom when she talks by opening his eyes and turning his head in her direction.  He moves his little arms and legs all around and protests being handled with the most demonstrative facial expressions (much like his dad).  He's perfect.  Except he's not supposed to be here.  He's supposed to be in his mom's belly growing.  Life is so unfair sometimes. I know that things happen for a reason, but why at the expense of a tiny baby and the mother that wanted him so badly.  Beth visits him every day, but she's getting tired.  The physical and emotional stress are getting to her.  I can't imagine what she must be going through.  I have a hard time dealing with Gavin being sick with a cold, so I know her heart is breaking for her little guy and everything he's going through.  The doctor's are doing everything they can for him, and I continue to hope for the best for my friend and her family. We've postponed the baby shower until further notice. I really hope I get to throw her that baby shower in a couple of months...

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Vacation 2011

What a week.  The front end and back end were tough with all of the driving...12 + hours total from Dallas to Orange Beach, AL.  We stopped off in New Orleans on the way to the beach to spend a night with my sister.  We celebrated a belated birthday for me at my sisters house with a BBQ and doberge cake.  YUM!  My mom and Michelle and Leonard came over to my sister's house to celebrate with us.  It was a great time!  Although I was so tired of driving!  Literally!

But, we woke up the next morning and did it again.  We went to lunch with the family and then headed out to the beach.  Gavin was an angel during our driving.  He watched TV, slept and talked to us.  He took the drive better than I did.  The drive to the beach was great until we hit the exit to the beach....then there was traffic. And a lot of it!  It was hectic getting checked in and getting dinner.  Gavin finally started to get cranky.  We told him we were going to the beach, and he wanted a damn beach! We finally took him to the beach and he loved it.  The waves chased us for a little while and then we went up to our condo to settle in for the night.  

Every morning we woke up around the same time and did the same thing:  breakfast, beach, pool, lunch, nap, pool/beach, dinner, bath,  nite nite.  On Tuesday night, we actually bathed and went to a nice dinner.  All other days and nights we hung around and cooked and ate at the condo.  It was fantastic!  I loved not getting in the car for 5 days!

Gavin loved the ocean!  He didn't want to get out.  He also did not want to be put down.  He wanted someone to hold him the whole time.  He loved the waves and classified them as either "bumpy" waves and "splashy" waves.  The splashy waves were bad.  They got into his eyes and mouth, and he. did. not. like. it!  He did love the bumpy waves.  The last couple of days, he really enjoyed the sand and running on the beach.  He also learned to appreciate the "big boy" pool.  

We had a few visitors.  Nana and Paw Paw came up for a couple of days and so did GiGi, Josh and his friend Bryce.  Gavin was especially glad to see GiGi.  When she got there, no one else really mattered.  He wanted GiGi to bathe him, read him a book, tell him a story and put him to bed.  

It really was a great time had by all!  It was relaxing and fun, overall.  Can't wait to go again next year!! 

Here are some of my favorite pictures from our week...