Thursday, November 1, 2012


This was our first "holiday" in the new house and Emaline's first Halloween!  GiGi and Grandma drove over for the festivities, and our friends Brian, Alisha and Garrett came over to trick or treat.  We all went out around the neighborhood and Grandma held down the fort at the house and handed out candy.  Gavin was Mike the Knight, Emaline was a dragon and Jack was a horse.  Poor Emaline was so hot in that dragon suit...the head and feet didn't last very long.  Speaking of not lasting long, Jack's saddle lasted about as long as it took me to make it...about 15 minutes. 

Gavin had a BLAST!  He literally ran from house to house, at times screaming with joy!  He knocked on doors and yelled "TRICK OR TREAT!"  "HAPPY HALLOWEEN!" 

We decorated as soon as October came! We had spider webs, giant spiders, ghosts, creepy pumpkins, and pine straw. We did learn a valuable lesson...don't wait until Halloween Day to get a pumpkin to carve. Gary had off on Halloween Day, and we spent most of the morning driving around looking for pumpkins!! We didn't find one pumpkin. But I do have two cutest pumpkins ever!

 Gavin and Garrett
Grandma's burrito!

 Dada, Em and Brian
 My camera couldn't keep up!  This picture says it all...

Grandma holding down the fort!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Big boy...

I sure do love my big boy.  He is dressing himself and doing most of his self care himself.  Although he puts his shirt on backwards every other day, I am so proud of him.  He also helps out around the house so much.  The other day I took the trash out and he said, "I'll put new trash bags in for you mom."  He helps me clean the floors and dust...
He is such a great big brother!  He loves Emaline and is so patient and sweet to her.  He is such a snuggle bug, and he gives the best hugs and kisses.
His favorite things to do right now are to play pretend, play cars, and play outside with Jack. 
He goes to music class once a week, too!  He really enjoys it!  He participates, sings, plays's so fun to watch.  He makes me proud by how well behaved he is.
He's not always well behaved!!  He has been testing us a lot lately!  Saying "no", not listening...I'm sure normal toddler things.  I always wish for more patience because all in all he is such a wonderful boy and we love him sooooo much!
 My sleeping angel!  This shot actually woke him up!

 Here, he is pretending to be a "grass cutter man"  I told him to pose and I would take a picture of him to put on a business card for him.  Funny!

 How funny is he!?  Yes, he dressed himself.
 Making pretzels with me!

 This moth let Gavin come right up to him.

When Gavin went to catch the moth, it flew into his sleeve!  

5 months old

I can't believe my little girl is already 5 months old!  She gets more and more beautiful every day!  She is really starting to develop quite the personality!  She is pretty mellow and content, unless she is hurting.  She's been dealing with her teeth lately, and has been pretty grouchy at times...understandably.  She is so active and always moving, except when she's sleeping.  It is really difficult to feed, bathe, dress, or diaper her.  She is constantly trying to roll over.  She kicks her legs and flails her arms.  You can tell she just wants get up and run around with her brother.  She tries really hard to grab things, and most times succeeds.  The other day, I had a bowl of cereal on the counter, and she grabbed it, spilling it everywhere!

She loves her toes!

She is sitting up for up to 30 seconds by herself! 

She is a daddy's girl, and he is so wrapped around her finger.  Dada makes her smile and giggle like no one else can. 

She is still really comfortable with Grandma, but is starting to open up to other people...especially GiGi, Aunt Michelle and Uncle Leonard.

She is copying things we raspberries.  And I could swear she says "HI" in the same high pitch tone in which we talk to her.  She growls and grunts and squeals and squeaks.  She is trying to make her voice heard as the tiniest Marchand. 

She is a precious member of our family, and we all love her so much!


A boy and his dog...

Only a few short months ago, Jack and Gavin didn't pay too much attention to each another.  But, since Hurricane Issac and our evacuation, they have been pretty inseperable.  It seems like as long as Jack is around, Gavin feels safe and is content.  Gavin brings Jack everywhere with him...outside, up in the game room, in his room (on his bed!) He's very protective of his furry brother.  If I fuss at Jack, he tries to stick up for him.

I think Jack (sometimes) enjoys the attention.  We taught Gavin hand signals and commands, and Jack listens.  Jack acts indifferent and even put out sometimes, but when Gavin walks down the stairs in the morning, he wags his tail and waits for him.  If Gavin goes outside without him, Jack paces by the back door until he can go, too. 

They really are cute together, and I'm so happy they have each other.  Jack was the first to make Gavin laugh, and he continues to make him laugh everyday!

Monday, October 29, 2012

New house.

We have a new house.  On 75 Piper Lane in Mandeville, LA.  I love this house, and I think everyone is so happy here.  It needs some work, but it's perfect for us, and we will put our touches on it...eventually.  There were a few things that sold me on this house.  I love that it's on a cul de sac in a very small, quiet neighborhood. Although the kitchen needs updating, I love the lay out and the huge bench seat by the big bay window.  I imagined family and friends sitting on that bench while I cooked.  Gary has his own separate space above the garage for his office.  I love the openness of it!  I could go on and on!  It seems to get better every day.  Not only is the house great, we love the area.  My mom told me I can't say, "Yes, it's right down the street" anymore.  We have everything we need so close.  All of my favorite stores are down the street, and we have 3 grocery stores within 5 minutes of our house.  We love the neighborhood.  There are a bunch of kids moving into the neighborhood, and our neighbors are great and friendly. There is a pond in the back of the neighborhood with ducks!  We have ducks!  It's really a great life for us, and I can see our future here.  I can see our kids growing up here and growing old with Gary here. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012



I've decided to give up breastfeeding (again).  I've gone back and forth over the last month and every time I think I'm giving up, I end up trying again. 

Emaline and I have never been very good at this nursing thing, but it worked.  I was able to meet all of her needs as painful as it was, literally and figuratively.  Then, I got sick.  I got strep throat and had 102 + degree fever.  I was achy and cold all the time.  I didn't think I could take the pain of nursing her, not to mention I didn't want to be that close to her and get her sick.  So, I pumped and someone else fed her, most of the time.  Then, we had a series of stressful and/or busy events...evacuation for hurricane Issac, packing and moving, vacation.  My supply just couldn't keep up with a growing baby.  I had to supplement with formula while we were evacuated for Issac, and I cried a lot about that.  I wanted to nurse her for at least 6 months, if not a year.  But still, I kept trying.  And my milk supply keeps fading.  I've tried Fenugreek (which makes you smell like maple syrup), eating oatmeal, drinking beer, chugging water, etc...none of it working.  The only thing I could have done was pump after every time I nursed her, but I didn't want to do that.  I didn't want to take the additional 10-20 minutes after every feeding to do it.  I don't want to nurse her, offer her formula because I'm not filling her up and THEN pump for 20 minutes.  I could have, but I didn't.  I have an active 3 1/2 year old and a 4 month old to take care of all day.

I'm trying to make myself feel better about this decision, and I think about how free it will make me.  Free to eat and drink whatever I want.  Free to wear whatever I want without thinking about accessing a boob during the day.  Free from the pump and "my goat".  Free to let other people feed her so I can have a break and other people can bond with her.  I am not free of guilt.  Even the formula bottle gives you crap about not nursing..."Breast milk is best, but if you can't nurse because you are inadequate, we have a formula right for you".  Ok, I paraphrased that.  Ugh.  I feel guilty about her poop, too.  She's been a little constipated with the formula.  And it's starting to stink.  No more sweet yellow seedy poop.  She hasn't been sick yet, but I worry about her exposure to sickness without my antibodies to help protect her.  She's been around some pretty gross germs and has never gotten sick. 

There is something very special about nursing your child.  It is connection that only you have as a mother.  And although I'm not all hippy sentimental about it, I am emotionally connected.  I get upset when I see anything related to nursing her...the pillow I use, the pump accessories, the hideous bras I wear. 

I am making barely enough to feed her in the mornings.  I'll continue to do that until I can't, I guess.  I know this is a bump in the road and only a small fraction of the ways I can bond and take care of her.  I know my sadness will subside, but right now it's hard.  Am I crying right now?  You betcha!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Summer vacation 2012

Without a doubt, this vacation was about the boy!  Anything, and almost everything, he wanted, he got.  You want another donut...that makes 3, ok!  Beach....yes!  You want to sleep in NaNa and Paw Paw's condo...of course!  I think it was a real vacation for him.  It was a busy week, and he was exhausted at the end of every day.  No real chance to be scared of anything. 
We were able to get outside a little bit on our first real day there. Emaline had her first trip to the pool, and seemed rather unaffected.  No smiles but no signs of distress either.  The weather kinda deteriorated that evening, and we weren't able to go to the beach.  We didn't need the beach when we had NaNa and Paw Paw! 
The next day was forecast to be bad weather (it wasn't), so we planned a trip to the Airplane Museum.  They had some really cool stuff there!  Gavin enjoyed himself and Paw Paw enjoyed telling Gavin everything he knew. 
The rest of the time was pretty much a repeat of the day before...Gavin waking up wanting to go to the beach!  And he did.  And he loved it.  He loved chasing the tiny birds.  He loved digging in the sand.  He loved crabbing at night, which is a ridiculously fun activity to watch and to participate!  You are basically hunting these little (and sometimes BIG) crabs in the dead of night armed only with a flash light and net.  Some people, Gavin and NaNa, caught said crabs with their bare hands! 
We ate dinner together every night and just spent time as a family...the way it should be!  Michelle and Leonard came over the weekend to help celebrate Paw Paw's 60th birthday!  We grilled out and ate cupcakes to help him welcome in the new decade!

 Emaline laughing at brother....

 Me and my big boy.
 Gavin loves his Paw Paw...

 Get 'em, Dada!
 Poor little crabs...we let them go at the end of the night.

 Gavin helping Paw Paw with his present.

 Bathing beauty.  She did not like the sand!

 Uncle Leonard and Gavin burying Dada.

 Happy birthday, Paw Paw!
 THAT's why!
 Glad you're ok.
Best pic of week! Sums it up pretty good.
We had so much fun!  Can't wait until next year when Emaline is a little older and can enjoy the beach a little more.