Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Season shift

By now, it's gone from Christmas to Mardi Gras season over here, with a few celebratory days thrown in there, like the New Year, Epiphany / 3 Kings Day, snow days (plural!), neighborhood parade day, two birthdays, and Australia Day.

My modus operandi is to start, well, from the beginning and catch us all up. It was lovely having Paul home with Ada, Jack, and me so much in the last month, and we certainly tried to take advantage! New cafés, Story Land, N.O. Museum of Art; I'm getting ahead of myself. Here come the photos, and I'll just intersperse a few stories where they fit.

Merry Christmas to us! Except ... enormous. Now to change lots-o-things so that they fit.
Christmas in the Oaks! It's so, so lovely to go after Christmas Day, during the 12 days of Christmas.
 New Year's Eve movie treat, chocolate (Jack's face), and bubbly.
 NOMA, which they enjoyed!
 New neighborhood café for lunch
 House Blessing on the Feast of the Epiphany
Christus Mansionem Benedicat / Caspar Melchior Balthazar
...and then came down all the Christmas décor.
 Story Land!
 Followed by beignets at Morning Call, of course; while in City Park...
SNOW in New Orleans. Actual snow, leading to what seemed like the apocalypse on roads and in stores, but was in actuality a three-ish day stretch of inescapable chill, running taps through the night to avoid the plague of burst pipes, and no school! 5yrs experience in MN made me feel a bit silly for taking pictures, but I did it for the kids in case it all melted before they woke, ha; and after all, it doesn't happen here very often! It hadn't all melted, and we enjoyed our time, despite the cold, with extra baking, soup, and icy walks, where Paul promptly slipped, fell, and busted a lip. 
Jack liked the soup.

"Down in New Orleans where the blues was born, it takes a cool cat to blow a horn. On LaSalle & Rampart Streets, the combo's there with the mambo beat ... the Mardi Gras Mambo!"
Yeah, yeah, we ready!
 Neighborhood Confetti Kids Parade! The only parade we're on the route for 😉 followed by a king cake party at Confetti Playground
General shenanigans
 Dylan and I enjoyed our first LPO event of the new year - Fantastic! Frightening still. So good.
And then, of course, we celebrated birthdays. Our firstborn is now 6 years old, and our daughter is a whopping 4. Unbelievable. They are so awesome and bring such joy and love, and it was a pleasure celebrating them this year. Papa prepared pancake batter the night before so we could have a special breakfast despite its being a school-day. Then, Paul was "snack buddy", so he got to bring in a king cake to share with his class; and Ada had storytime/playground Thursday with a king cake party, too! That night, we had dinner at a new-ish taco place nearby, and everyone had a good day. The next day was Australia Day, but other than Tshirts and hanging the flag, we didn't mark that in any special way this year. Then, Saturday brought on the parties! As Paul is in school, we invited a few neighborhood friends but also his class to his party. Consequently, it was the first year we've had separate parties for our double birthday! But they wanted to do the same things, ha; so, our first party at midday had about 4 friends over to watch Frozen and eat mac-n-cheese, and our second party that evening had a few more than that 😳 to watch Moana and have pizza. They both wanted a white cake with a hole in it, but Ada requested chocolate icing while Paul requested white. It was a fun-filled, exhausting-in-a-good-way day! Big high-fives to Nana, Pappy, and Tante Ginny for all their help.
 Asutralia Day heat wave outside play with a new bday digger from Down Under!
 mostly 4yos watching Frozen
 mostly 6yos "watching Moana"
 Best Tante! And the littlest even says "Tata" now💕

That's all for photos this month. I do, however, have 2 tidbits of news! 
1. I started a Well Read Mom chapter here in New Orleans, and I'm excited for its growth, to get back to reading, myself, and for relationships within the group.
2. I joined the New Orleans Volunteer Orchestra! I play French Horn ... remember? No? Yeah, I almost didn't either. Rehearsals are weekly for about 6wks before a concert, and there are several of those sessions throughout the year. It brings unexpected joy, and I'm glad to be doing it.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Quick! Before the year ends!

I'll let most of these photos speak for themselves, adding captions instead of a big narrative. There's been all of Fall, Thanksgiving, Advent, and here it is Christmas time already, almost ready to ring in the new year!
Paul bought *surprise, surprise* CANDY with his tooth fairy money.
Satsuma and a pond cypress for the backyard!
 After school playground, and Jack did the monkey bars!
 Real mermaids at the Aquarium
 Jack practicing being a lector at Mass
Baby's 1st Baby-ccino
What Mom saw:
 What I saw:
 Mom was in for Grandparents' Day at St. Andrew, and then she took the big two back to TX with her for Thanksgiving...
(obligatory snapping turtle photo op)
 (s'mores on the deck with Pappy)
 ... leaving us with this guy!
until we, too, were GTT for Jack's obligatory snapping turtle photo op. And he was nervous we'd forget the fixins for the pie.
 Thanksgiving Day facetime with Charleston
 Black Friday done right:
 Stitching and crocheting
Hanging stockings on the 5th for St. Nick
 St. Nicholas brought hefty slippers this year.
 My first shot at making Weckmänner; they did not taste great.
 Immaculate Conception Mass with Paul's school & St. Andrew's extensive nativity!
 Last of the Gerbera daisy before a frost (or so I thought then ... there was, in fact, no frost, rather more 70ºs, and now there are 4 buds before an actual frost we're getting tomorrow).
 Baby knows what he likes. And Baby likes Sister's accessories.
 Precious diy-pop-out Nativity book
Out for dinner for Our Lady of Guadalupe on the 12th! Jack's showing us the doll that came with and sat on the table, too, ha.
 Got the tree, decorated it, and turned lights on for St. Lucy's on the 13th.
 Santa visits! Paul asked for "a ship, please", but specifically meant a toy Titanic, and Ada told him, "I'll like whatever you bring me", but really hoped for a baby bed. Jack, uh, well...
Mother-daughter morning out! And she wore her tutu 😍
 A Saturday morning across the river
 The Roosevelt
 Mom and Dad got snow! No luck staying til Christmas, though.
Natchitoches Christmas lights on the Cane River en route to TX
 Christmas Eve at Christ the Redeemer
 Santa's cookies
Boxing Day Bowling
 Back home for Pressies, Round 2
 Coffee date with my faves, thanks to uncle Pete

and a happy New Year!

We end the year tomorrow with Mass, and we'll start the year off right, as well, with Mass on Monday. Paul has a few days left at home before school resumes, and if we can muster the energy to get out of the house in 20º (!!), we'll have some adventure fun; otherwise, we're in for a few cozy days of movies and games ... which doesn't sound all too bad, really. 
We pray for the health and well-being of all of our loved ones in the New Year, and send special prayers to those we love who are  expecting a new child or mourning this year.