Monday, October 29, 2012

Home Sweet Houma

No surprise, Joseph and I both survived our 1st night apart.  I got to eat at one of my favorite restaurants, see some live music, have drinks with friends, and Joseph got spoiled by his grandparents.  Win-win!  The next day we rented a car and drove down for a night as well to visit with relatives, especially sweet Gran Gran.

There was quite a freaky sight as we were leaving town for the airport - huge plumes of thick smoke everywhere that made me think the town was going up in flames.  Turns out it was "just" the burning of the sugar cane fields, which they do to make harvesting the cane easier.  How is a northerner supposed to know that?

The Sun Also Rises.... New Orleans, as it does in every city we visit.  And lucky for us we were staying at a hotel with a great view so we could appreciate it when Joseph predictably woke us up at the crack of dawn every day.  The Westin at Canal Place is situated right on the Mississippi River.  Their rooftop pool deck was the place to be to see a pretty amazing sunset and sunrise.

Our room didn't face the river, but even from way up high on the 29th floor it was easy to spot the arrival of Mimi and Poppy in their big ole yellow banana truck.

They stayed with us and watched Joseph for a day while we were at lectures, and then (*gasp*) they took him to Houma for the night.  Yes, for the 1st time in 5 years and 3 months I let Joseph out of my sight for a night.  I can finally check that one off the New Year's resolution list.  Any apprehension I had was quickly relieved just knowing we'd get to sleep in past sunrise!

Mardi Gras World

One of the great things about these medical conferences we go to is that there are many special events and dinners in the evenings, generally all free of charge! One night there was a big party at Mardi Gras World, a ginormous warehouse which is "literally the place where Mardi Gras magic is made," as it make most all of the floats and props seen on parade.  Even greater when we can spend the night with good friends like Nadeen.  Brent, Nadeen and I were a residency team in the NICU together 15 years ago!

Lots of fun props to goof around with.  Love that last picture of Nadeen (with another Georgetown residency friend, Jacqui).  Especially because she wasn't goofing around, she just couldn't reach!

Saturday, October 27, 2012


 One of the happiest places on Earth:

Where a very happy 5 year old was introduced to the wonders of a delicious New Orleans staple, beignets - a plate full of warm fried dough buried under mounds of powdered sugar.  There is literally nothing else on the menu besides beignets, cafe au lait and a few other beverages.  There is no other reason to go there, and that suits us just fine.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

See You Later....


We just attended the American Academy of Pediatrics' annual conference, which was finally back in New Orleans for the first time post-Katrina.  There's always a fun, family oriented welcome reception on the 1st night.  How amazing we thought it was to let the kids hold a real, live baby alligator.

But then they brought out the 1 year old.
You've never seen so many ridiculously happy kids!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Pillow Pal

With Ethan's birthday coming up, I thought long and hard about if I really wanted to buy a close friend just another toy to clutter up the house.  In the end I decided I'd rather make him something more personal.

I had filed away this brilliant idea for a pocket pillow from my friend Liz, and this was the perfect occasion for it.  It can function as a tooth fairy pillow, or the pocket can just be used to leave sweet notes or surprises for your little one.  The back has a zipper (which only took me 3 tries to do......and it's far from perfect, but it is hand-crafted with love.....).

Word has it that Ethan loves it!  Seeing as I do too, it just might become more of a regular present for the turning-6-year old crowd.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Lego Man

Our good buddy Ethan just turned 6 and had a fun Lego themed party over the weekend.

A company called "Bricks4Kidz" came with Lego related activities to entertain the kids.  First they each got to build their own Lego Man character to keep, and then they formed teams and built a motorized car to race.

I just may have built my own Lego Man astronaut, with a jet pack, just like Joseph wants to be for Halloween!  Funny, because Lego Man was one of the 1st ideas we had for a costume this year, but I thought it might be hard to walk around at school or trick-or-treating with that big ole head on.

This little guy has been there watching me craft Joe Joe's space suit all week.  So far, so good.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Houston, we have a project.

After much careful consideration and harassment encouragement on my part, Joseph recently made a decision: for Halloween, he will be an astronaut.  WITH. A. JET. PACK.

Luckily I could find a pattern for an astronaut costume.  The jet pack might take a little more creativity.

For some inspiration, while Brent was out of town last weekend, JT and I went to the Air and Space Museum downtown.  He loved watching video of the Space Shuttle launch and learning more about the planets.  I'm surprised he's held onto his fascination with outer space for so long.

We left with some great ideas and a new Air Force plane to boot.

T minus 17 days.  Time for me to get to work!
Otherwise Houston, we may have a problem.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Go Public!

We are fortunate to live on a very quiet, suburban street, yet within a 10 minute walk the perks of city living await us - easy access to public transportation via the Tenleytown Metro station, our amazing, newly renovated Janney elementary school, and our also newly renovated branch of the DC public library right next door.

Although we've been plenty of times to browse or attend story hour, this was the 1st time we used our library card to borrow books, inspired by a homework assignment to check out a book about Autumn.  I've had to explain a hundred times over how we really do need to bring them back, but JT is not particularly fond of that concept.  A bibliophile does not like to part with his books!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Beginner's Luck

He nailed Coach Ernie one of the 1st times.

But it was clearly beginner's luck.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Promises, Promises

I'm loving open house Tuesdays, when parents get to come into class for a glimpse into what's been happening in "K-R" (Kindergarten - Miss Rockwell).  SO lucky that Tuesday is one of my days off from work.  SO cute that all the students signed that list of promises! 

One recent Tuesday Brent and I both got to go and witness an exercise with the writing journal.  An image is projected onto the high-tech "Smart Board" for the kids to follow the lesson plan, in this case writing out the number 7, drawing a grid, and filling in the boxes with their choice of 7 objects.  It's quite compelling to see how kids learn these days!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The New Measure

For a city kid, I think this is a better measure than the pencil mark on the door frame.  Height will now be referenced according to what Metro station we can reach.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Hero Up!

My amazingly smart, sweet and adorable godson, Will, turned 3 on Saturday and celebrated with a superhero themed party at JW Tumbles.  (See all of the incredible details on Aunt Missy's blog!).  Marvel Comics reigned supreme with the Avengers and Spiderman everywhere in sight, and superhero attire was encouraged.  I luckily had a Captain America T-shirt handy, and although it's from the rival DC Comics, Joseph had a Batman T-shirt ready to wear.  All he needed was for his SuperDaddy to make him a quick Batmask from this tutorial and Batcape from this tutorial, and POW, Joseph was set to "hero up!"

We make a pretty dynamic duo ;)

Sunday, October 7, 2012


We may very well have been one of the few remaining families in the free world still strapping a 5 year old into a 5-point harness car seat in our primary car.  Joseph, by the way, is as big as many 6 & 7 year olds! The time came recently when he really just couldn't comfortably get all those straps up, down and all around him, so thanks to a conveniently timed 20% off sale on Britax at, we now have a new booster seat for Joe Joe in my car.  Hard to believe he's been in that same car seat since he was 6 months old, but it's time to pass it on for our neighbor's daughter Chloe to use.

He seems to love it.
But is this really safe?!?

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Rock Star

Quite a while back in the Spring we had a photo shoot done by a photographer who displays her children's portraiture in my office.  We met at nearby Glen Echo Park and got some wonderful shots sitting on the big rocks along the little creek.  It took 5 long months to finally get our prints, but they are star quality!  One of these is sure to become our header photo as soon as I get the chance.