Monday, March 21, 2011

Happy Birthday, Colin!!!!

Happy birthday, Colin!  It has been a wonderful weekend of celebration, and now here we are on the true day to celebrate the day you were born, a day that changed so many lives.
I love celebrating your birthday - celebrating you.
And if you ever wonder why your birthday gift was ordered all the way from Italy, or why you had the most rockin' custom birthday cake ever, or why we celebrated your birthday for days, here's a list of just a few reasons:
... you built me a raised garden even though you know I have a brown thumb
... you are the funniest person I know
... you put up with my drama
... you know how to use every power tool imaginable
... you have tea parties with your daughter
... you make me crepes in the mornings
... you have 5,000 hobbies, all of which you are passionate about and you are an expert
... you are gorgeous
... you have shown me what truly, deeply loving someone is all about
... you build yourself an over-the-top garage because you know you're worth it
... you are the head of our home
... you let me be the heart of our home
... you make me feel special
... you watch all of my Bravo shows with me and let me gossip like we actually know those people
... you are an optimist (even when it drives me crazy)
... your kids think you are a rock star (and so do I)
... you know how to fix a car
... you can build a computer practically from scratch
... you are good to our babies
... you are like our own MacGyver, I know we'll be ok as long as we have a stick of gum and a paperclip
... you don't mind watching the kids when I'm getting ready because you appreciate that the longer I take, the better I'll look
... our babies get stars in their eyes when they look at you
... you can create a power outlet where ever I want one so I never have to be inconvenienced
... I love when the kids hear the garage door open they scream "daaaadddddyyyyy!!!!!"
... you love me as much as I love you
So are you getting the picture yet?  I love and adore you and that's why I love going overboard for you... because I am over the moon in love with you.
~Happy Birthday!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Snap, Crackle, Pop: The Secrets Of Our Pines

While playing in the backyard today, we listened to the secrets of our pine trees.  As we played, we heard the sounds of the pine cones opening.  It was as though we had just poured milk over some Rice Krispies.  It really is a special moment to be a part of when you think about it.
Anyways, the kids were curious about it, so I told them that the pine trees were talking to us; that they were telling us their secrets.
I asked Drew what secrets he thought they were trying to tell us.  He said that they were telling us to be quiet because the squirrels were trying to sleep.  I asked him why the squirrels were trying to sleep in the middle of the day and he said it was because they were eating all of the bird seed out of our bird feeder that is hanging in the tree (we have always had that problem and have tried every kind of bird feeder ever made it seems to keep the squirrels out).
Well, you can't argue with logic, so I guess we'll need to be quiet for our fat-bellied, sleeping squirrels.  What a life!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Give The Muse A Drink!!!!

My muse needs lots of help - especially when it comes to painting!
So, help I gave her.

Last Saturday night Mary, Mama Horton, and I went to Cajun Canvas.  This is one of those sip - and - strokes or cork - and - canvas kind of places.  So we loaded up our wine and headed off to do some painting.
It was Mardi Gras weekend so we try to do what we can to celebrate from a distance.  We painted Louisiana themes with Louisiana people.  It was great!
We started the evening with some good Louisiana food: gumbo, red beans and rice, and shrimp mirliton dressing with king cake for dessert.
Yum -mie!!!
Then we loaded up on a little more liquid courage and began our painting.

First we talked about what we would paint.  We were given instruction on how to do all sorts of designs.  Because it was a special occasion and a special class, we were given lots of freedom to paint what we wished using any combination of techniques she shared with us.
Then we were given pointers, like don't put your wine glass on your dominant hand side.  Wine is an awfully bad way to clean your brushes... haha.
Then, it was off to the painting.
I'm afraid they didn't feel that I needed anything more than this child's water color paint brush for my painting.  (Just kidding, that was our mixing tool).
We chose to paint a Mardi Gras mask.
We tried to look like this:

But inside, we felt like this:

But we got over ourselves and decided "we ain't sceered" and we painted and dried...


and painted and dried...


until we had this:

We had such a great time.  We will definitely be going back to do it again!

Friday, March 11, 2011

"Gettin' Our Cirque On"

I'm afraid we may have greatly altered our kids idea of the circus.  When the day comes that Drew's class will talk about the circus, the kids and teacher will probably talk about things like tents, elephants, clowns, trapeze artists, and popcorn.
Drew will surely cock his head to the side and ask about the singers, costumes, and storyline.  If they are asked to draw a picture of the circus, his blue and yellow tent will stand out amidst all of the red and white ones.   Of course I'm kidding, but his idea of the circus for now the French Canadian type.
We took the kids to see Cirque du Soleil's "Totem" on opening night Friday.
TOTEM by Cirque du Soleil
Photo courtesy of TBWA\Busted on Flickr

I know what you are thinking... "you did what!?!  You took a 2 year old and a 3 year old to Cirque du Soleil!?!"

And my answer is YES.  Yes we did.  And they LOVED it.
We couldn't have been happier with their behavior.... especially considering show time was 8:00.
I know, I know!  We were very - how can put this nicely? - brave, but we are so glad we did it because they were perfect and they loved it.
I had "prepped" Drew by showing him an example of what he'd be seeing because I didn't want him to be disappointed that there weren't going to be clowns and elephants.  Colin and I buy the DVD's of the shows that we've seen, so I played one for Drew.  I was a bit concerned when we were watching and Drew asked me if we were going to "the scary circus."  Apparently the music in one of the scenes scared him a bit.  Oops.  But all was good and he was still excited.  So excited that he danced around on his tippy toes in place when I told him that we were going to go in a tent that was bigger than our house.

Cirque tent - *iPhone Capture
Photo courtesy of RiaPereira (uninspired) on Flickr

Here is where I would like to note that Cirque was stupendous about having young children.  They accommodated all of our needs.  They even had these little booster seats for the kids that I was quite jealous of.  They were just big cushions... I would have loved one, but I'm not sure those behind me would have appreciated that too much.
We got there with little time to spare.  We figured the less time we hung around waiting for the show to begin, the better.  It was great that we basically walked in and then the show started with no down time in between.
The show was beautiful!  Of course.  We were all in awe the entire time.  I absolutely love these performances.  We didn't hear a peep out of Emma all night.  She just stared on wide-eyed and snuggling in her blanket (since it was bed time and all).
Drew, on the other hand, ooohed and aaaahed the whole time.  He was amazed by the things he saw.  There were some loud and intense moments, but he just nestled into my side and stayed brave and enjoyed the show.
totem - cirque du soleil - 17
Photo courtesy of Eva Blue on Flickr

We had some fun family time during intermission.  We first went to the shops, but it was way too crowded, so we ended up spending most of intermission outside enjoying the fresh air.


The girls enjoyed spending time together and smiling for Daddy's camera


And the boys were silly as usual

A good time was had by all. The kids were out before we even got out of the parking lot (which by the way was only 5 minutes after we got in our car thanks to a not-so-well-known back exit). Drew still talks about his favorite "scary" circus and the parts that he loves.
We will definitely plan it again the next time Cirque comes to town.

(Cirque Album)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

My Mother, Mary Jane

Mom's Dogwood

It was five years ago today that I lost my mother.
Five years ago today my father, my sister, and I stood by her side, held her hands, and watched her slip out of this life.
Here it is, 3:24pm and I feel I've just been able to take my first breath of the day.  Grief creeps through your body, into your lungs, and steals the breath right out from inside you it seems.
But now, here I am.
And now that I've given the grief time, I need to give the positives time too.

It is so exciting that  Fight Like A Tiger has been so successful.  She would be so proud of what it has turned into today.  Of course it's still (and always will be) really emotional to see it on people.  When I see that subtle "MJ" in the tiger striping, it's like the shirt is winking at me.  I know most people don't know it's there and that's the way she would have wanted it.

To date, somewhere in the ballpark of 9000 shirts have been sold!!!! And orders are still piling in!!! That equates to over $45,000 in research and financial aid to families affected by leukemia, lymphoma, and other life altering diseases that those shirts have generated!!!! $45,000 donated!!!!!! Astounding!!!!
I miss her so much and there is so much more to her legacy than this, but this is really special and she ecstatic about it.
Thanks so much to Kim and Bart Landry at Creative Impressions Silkscreening in Port Allen, LA for the awesome work they have done!!!

As for this day, it's a very tough one for my sister and me.  It was the day we lost our mother, and the day my father's heart broke un-repairably.  But my parents are now in heaven together, and I just couldn't ask anything better for them.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Emma Jane, Don't Ever Change

Our girl.  What to say, what to say.
Cartoon Feet
She's got a look in her eye that is just daring you to mess with her.
She's got spunk well beyond her years.
She's got the best sense of humor.
She's got talent.
She's got "skillz."
She's got smarts.
She's got the cutest, most contagious smile.
She's just got it!

So those cute little feet suite her.  It's the perfect picture to capture what is Emma.
But the funny part of it is that the whole outfit actually captures who Emma really is.
Emma's Choice
You see she's this little girl who is so certain, so confident, already in all that she does, that she looks to no one for acceptance (or permission for that matter).  And as I've said so many times before, while this is tough on her daddy and me, we wouldn't have it any other way.  It will serve her well later in life.
So Emma Jane, my little firecracker, don't ever ever change a thing.  You are perfect just the way you are!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Cleaning The Floors

One thing I love about kids is that they always give you an excuse to make things fun.
Drew and I love cleaning the floors.  Yep, that's right.  I just said we love to clean the floors!  I can see the anticipation fluttering through him whenever I even mention it.
We get the warm soapy water in a cup and pour it all over the floor first.  He thinks it is so awesome that he is actually allowed to pour a cup full of liquid all over the floor.

Please excuse the underwear shot... I make him take his pants off so they don't get all wet.

Then we glide around in our socks.  We pretend that we are skating, on an Olympic level no doubt.

Then it is time to dry the floors.

 Drew has a hard time with this part.  This is why I think he's going to be a skier rather than a snowboarder.

He has a hard time with his feet being connected (he comes by it honestly, I'm the same way... especially on the ski hills. I need to be able to flail if need be).

After all of this is done and the floors are sparkling, it's time for us to get cleaned up.
Then, time to start making a mess again so we can do all over again next week.