Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Mardi Gras Floats and 2 Cutie Pies!

Here are an assortment of parade floats ...

... and the best mom and sister a gal could have! Thank you for visiting us, Mom and Pip!
We love you very much and miss you already! We had fun and hope you'll come again and stay longer! We'll try to not run such a "tight ship!"

Bring on the Beads!

We have absolutely no connection to lent or any of that stuff, but I can definitely say that Louisiana knows how to party! Now what could we possibly do with all the beads we collected at this parade? No clue. But hey, we were waving our arms and screaming along with everyone else in the crowd just because it was so fun to act crazy and fanatical for these funky beads. These floats were hillarious, they were so random, too! Most of them were some kind of cartoon or tv show theme. And all of them glittered with strung beads draped everywhere. We scored a lot of freebies because of the cute little kid bundled in a purple coat on her daddy's shoulder. She got stuffed animals, cups, and a soft mini football. Hooray for Mardi Gras! After the parade, we went to a southern bistro, Copelands, and later at home, we ate our king-cake.

Girls Gone Wild!

We got the best surprise this weekend! My mom and sister popped in for a surprise visit! What a happy and wonderful sight! How I wish they could have stayed longer! It was so much fun hanging out with them! Brookie couldn't get enough of all the big-girl attention! While they were here, we tried to squeeze in some outings that would give these gals a taste of some Southern flavor! We had to hit up "Tubbs." It's a hardware store that is somehow really famous for all its Mardi-Gras gear. We had to check it out and buy some suveniers for the girls to take back home. We also picked out some good-a-licious king cake!
This is my favorite look. (below) Can anyone guess whose hiding behind that elusive mask?
Brooklyn loved being pampered with all the girly stuff that only an aunt and grandma would do to spoil a little munchkin like ours! She got a manicure and pedicure, and SHE chose the color. Yes, that would be the deep, dark purple.
Man, I feel like a woman!
More Mardi Gras pix in the next entry!

Little Miss Big

For those of you who don't already know, each and every mealtime is a glorious occasion for our little girl. Until recently, Brooklyn has been allowed to sit at her own little table. (See it in the background?) Last week, however, she let us know that she really wanted eat dinner with us at the big table. After making the necessary preparations: two plastic placemats, booster seat strapped onto chair, and food cut into bite-size pieces, she finally got her wish! As you can see, she was all smiles during the meal because she liked feeling included and grown-up!

Her table is also the right surface for dry-erase markers. So we had to test that out and fully utilize all features of this fabulous table. Now we just have to teach her that all tables are not blank tablets awaiting her next masterpiece!
After her art session ended, she apparantly needed a work out and decided to move her table all around our "huge" kitchen.
Other table manners she's cooked up lately include:

Selecting and dressing in her bib of choice (usually the smallest one that doesn't even reach her belly, but has a cute giraffe on it!) (Pretty much all of her bibs except one, are the same ones she's been sportin' since birth. I think it's time to get her some new functional ones!)

Saying thank you (sometimes repeatedly) when her food is served.

Peeling her own orange (just the small size oranges that have the loose peels - but still, I was impressed!)

Clearing her plate from her table and trying to put it in the sink when she's done. Or, she asks me, "all done?" and then tries to take my plate.

As soon as she sees non-edible food, wrappers, or empty ziplock bags, she asks, "trash?" and then immediately throws them away. She is very anxious to tidy up - I don't know where she gets this from...she can't even wait until the orange is completely peeled to throw away the seeds and peel. She even threw away the zip-lock bag I was keeping her crayons in.

We are also working on changing her begging tone to a polite asking one when she wants food or more of it. Instead of her saying "AAuun moo" for 'I want more,' we're working on "may I please have..." which usually is just a slow "I - Pease." We'll give it some time!

Monday, January 28, 2008


Brooklyn's new favorite hobby! She loves playing with play-doh. She tries to bust out all the gear nearly every day. Thanks Grammy!

Snow Way!

We were so lucky to get snow here in Shreveport! On Friday, January 18th, we were blessed with beautiful white flakes falling from the sky. None of them stayed white and fluffy once they hit the ground. So, unfortunately a snowman and snowangels were out of the question....

Monday, January 14, 2008

To Tame a 'Fro

So I've been wanting to give my little girl a trim. Her hair has just gotten too wild and wooly. The picture below typifies her mop on an extremely good day while she enjoys her favorite fake foods. The next picture epitomizes one of her "normal days." Basically the child's mane was so big that it emphasized her already-large noggin.
This updo probably lasted a whole hour at best, and only because she was distracted by some visiting Badger cousins.
Now, for the picture you've all been waiting for. After only one episode of clifford and two child-sized boxes of raisins, this is what we got! Ta-da! Her Dad's not thrilled with it! Oops... Even though I was sad to see those blond tips vanish, and a few of the curls, it is much more managable, her bangs are out of her eyes, and this look doesn't make her look quite so... "brainy." (I don't want to insult certain family members by calling it a big head!) As you can tell by the pictures, the child is not bothered at all by the butchery. She is so busy reading about wild animals (while dressed in her leopard frock) and matching her shapes that she doesn't even notice the difference.


If you haven't had a chance to come see us yet, this is a picture of our place now...
(we're in the bottom right apt.)
...and this is where we will be living next month.
(Not sure which exact apt., but we will be upstairs)
We will miss our old apartment and the memories we are making here this month.
We also look forward to our new place, but we DON'T look forward to moving again!

Say hello, say goodbye...

Just as we were about settled into the new apt., I saw something unbelievable. No, it wasn't a huge bug. No, not a crocodile emerging from the bayou. No, not even the vast amounts of mold in our fenced-in "backyard." Worse. It was a drug exchange across th street from us. I couldn't stop staring in shock. Unfortunately for me, the guy stared right back. Needless to say, it's time for us to get outta Dodge!

We will be moving at the end of the month. But until then, this is Brooklyn's room. Other pictures to come as I clean each room and get it picture worthy!
Brooklyn's bookshelf. Displayed on the second shelf is one of her favorite books - the children's Bible from her cousin Caden and auntie Carol.
The closet in her room. It's usually open, this is why Brooklyn is opening it up as if to say "don't try hiding my toys from me, Mom!" Here she is selecting a coat, more for dress-up than the weather. My stuff has to hang above Brooklyn's, as Stephen has claimed both hanging racks in our room! Thanks for that.
We've still got the Little People Nativity Scene going on top of the flower table.

Brooklyn's trundle bed. I check on her several times each night because usually her head is right by the cold window.

The dresser, pictures, and stuff.

Louisianna's Next Top Model

As I was in the dressing room at one of my favorite stores, Brooklyn, unbeknown to me, displayed her own fashion favorites for her dad. Our favorite of her self-selected season essentials was this colorful cap! Her next move: the look of persuasion upon finding some ugg-type boots. Her word (and mine, obviously) for these boots and most other things in clothing stores: "cute."

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The Bayou Badgers

This visual is to aid those of you who, like myself up until a couple of weeks ago, can't fathome the look of real Bayou! I am still verifying with Stephen various depictions of Louisiana from the movie "Water Boy." I still don't know if people really live ON the bayou or not! Fact or fairytale, you decide! (That is not us in the canoe.) Here's a picture of the downtown Shreveport/Bossier area. This bridge crosses over the Red River which divides Shreveport from Bossier City. Since I'm still new here, I won't pretend that I know if its really Shreveport or Bossier in that picture below! We live in what seems to be out of town, but it's not. To give you an idea, when we told people at church where we live, we had to use the landmark of McDonalds on the road that leads out of town. (As opposed to some other roads that loop around the town in a huge circle. Stephen tells me that land marks are big here. I'm figuring that one out quickly, since the street signs are not huge and are not placed next to the stop lights, like they are California. Here most stoplights are dangling on huge cables above the intersections. The street signs, even at main intersections are way off to the side on the corners of the street, like all other residential neighborhoods. The river front is the main place for shopping, dining, and apparantly gambling too!
One last thing about the weather here - it's really wet. I'm not used to warm-weather rain yet. As the apartment manager mentioned when I was signing my contract, "Leesiana has a lotta mowd." I asked her to repeat what she had said. The word I missed was MOLD. Talk about lost in translation! I am quickly learning how to turn on the accent, and love showing off my skills to Stephen. (I don't ever use the accent in public - it would feel weird even though I would fit right in!)

A Day at the DeRidder Park

At DeRidder's very own grand central park was where we spent our New Year's Eve day. Stephen, Rosalia, David, and Kimberly took turns playing tennis with the extra challenge of a strong wind to contend with. Those who weren't playing tried to keep the little ones like Brooklyn, who acted as though she was really competing, away from the line of fire. "Cheeeeeese!"
We got some great action shots on the slides. Brooklyn is preparing for a sharp turn and Stephen playing it oh-so-cool.
The best part of the park experience was getting Stephen's Kim (Stephen's older sister) and Ted (Stephen's dad) to go down this blue slide. They were a little more hesitant than the rest of us. For a video of Ted, see the Louisianna Badgers blog.