Friday, 25 July 2008

New Orleans Pics

Well I tried to do this yesterday, but blogger didn't want to work for me as far as loading pictures so I'm trying again today! Here are the pictures from New Orleans last Saturday!

Alan and Taylor hanging out watching some early morning TV waiting to leave for New Orleans from Lafayette!

The New Orleans Zoo, when we walked in past the flamingos there was this cool elephant fountain.

With a mama duck and ducklings swimming in it!

Then we went to see the elephants.
Taylor liked them!

then we continued on to see bears

and lions...
and leopards (the tigers were hiding).

Half way through the zoo it started pouring, so we waited at this gift shop.. and waited.. and waited..

Finally we just made a run for it, here is Jess and Jen back at the entrance soaking wet!
So we left and headed to the french quarter to go to the aquarium. We took the Algiers Ferry across the river.

Tom Tom shows us on the water!

We parked in the garage and went down through the mall to exit.. we had to stop at Ann Taylor so Taylor Ann could get her picture taken!

After we found the aquarium was going to be closing, we went to Cafe Du Monde for drinks and a beignet. Taylor used a straw for the first time!
Alan and Taylor across from St. Louis cathedral

and St. Louis Cathedral!

Then we made it to Bourbon St. It was really loud!

I thought this was cool

but Taylor thought it was all too boring, so she fell asleep. We headed home shortly after that, but not without stopping for caramel apples! We brought one home for Drew and they were delicious!

That was the just of our trip. I was driving so I missed a lot of photos. We did drive through a part of the area where homes had been badly damaged. It was amazing to see newly rebuilt homes, right next to ones that were abandoned. It was both sad, and at the same time good to see that people were rebuilding. Quite the interesting trip, though we will have to go back for longer to learn a bit more about New Orleans!

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Mama's little model

I still need to get the New Orleans pictures done, but I wanted to give you a few pictures in the meantime! Taylor wanted to show off how cute she was in her little jumper with matching hat (I'm certainly a sucker for matching hats!) so she was posing away!

My favorite one turned out a little blurry, but you get the "picture".

Things are going well here. I had my occupational therapy appointment for my finger yesterday. She said scar tissue was most likely the culprit so she gave me some things to do to try and break it up so I can try and get range of motion in my finger again.

Today I had physical therapy for my back. The diagnosis, poor posture and a weak core! So I have to work really hard on improving my posture when I sit and stand, and I have a list of exercises to do to try and strengthen my core to support the good posture!

I also joined the hospital fitness and wellness center today. They have a nursery and all sorts of classes, including a mommy and me swim class! So I went this afternoon for the first time. Taylor did well in the nursery and I got a 45 minute workout. It was great! My goal is to try and go at least 3 times a week.

Well, Taylor is awake from her nap, just gave me long enough to eat dinner and type this post, so hopefully I'll be able to upload the rest of the pictures when she goes to bed for the night!

Hope everyone is having a great week!

Monday, 21 July 2008

Back from New Orleans!

Well, we're back safe and sound! Going to N.O. was definitely a learning experience, but we had fun! We went down to Lafayette on Friday night and stayed in a hotel. Taylor would NOT sleep, so her and I only got a total of about 3 hours by the time we had to get up.

So Saturday morning we got up and met my friend Jess then got on the road. We stopped for breakfast at The Waffle House, then continued on to New Orleans. We started off at the zoo which was pretty cool! Taylor got to pet some goats, and look at an elephant and some big cats. About half way through the zoo, it started pouring! So we were stuck hanging out in a gift shop waiting for it to let up. We finally decided to make a run for it and figured we'd just skip the rest and go to the aquarium. Alan braved the rain before we did since he wanted to see some Monkeys. He took the map and Jess, Taylor and I got lost. We ended up running through the rain, where I dropped my phone in a huge deep puddle (Louisiana's water and the White family don't get along so well). Jess saved it though and it still works for the most part. It randomly shuts off, but only once a day or so.

We finally made it to the zoo exit and waited for Alan. We then decided to head over to the Aquarium. We drove around and then took the ferry across the river to the French Quarter. We finally got a parking spot, and then walked to the aquarium which was closing an hour later! I mean seriously.. closing a tourist attraction at 5pm on a Saturday in a hoppin' spot like New Orleans?? Craziness. We decided to forgo spending $18 to rush through the place in an hour, maybe next time!

After that we headed down deeper in to the F.Q. We were told we had to eat at a place called Cafe Du Monde and we were STARVING so off we went. Little did we know that they only serve drinks and DONUTS there. So we ordered our drinks, and a serving of beignets to share. I didn't have a place to nurse Taylor and she was getting hungry so while we were waiting I fed her some prunes and gave her some water to keep her hydrated until we got to a place to actually have dinner. I was giving her water from a glass and the waiter came by and gave me a little straw for her. I was kind of giggling because she's so little it never crossed my mind to give her a straw and didn't think she would know how to use it. But wouldn't you know it.... it took her abuot 30 seconds and she started sucking up water through her straw like a champ! That'll teach me for not thinking she could do it. Bad Mommy!

So our donuts we headed across the street to go eat some food. Boy everythign we had was fried, but it was good. Alan and I had po boy's and Jess had a Muffalata. Her's looked the best, but ours was still good. We then walked down Bourbon Street just to do it, it was very loud, and Taylor slept through it all! Amazing. Why can't she sleep like that at home? We started walking back to teh car since it was after 7 and we still had a 5 hour drive ahead of us. There was a store with Candy apples in it that looked delicious, so we stopped in. We all got Candy/Caramel apples and got one for Drew as well. I got a couple of pralines since I had read they were definitely something to try in N.O. They were great, but very sweet.

We got in the car and drove home, Taylor was so tired from her lack of sleep the night before that she slept all the way home! We didn't get home until a little after 2 am, and when we got inside, Cossie came out to say hi and the poor baby was covered in hives! I guess he had them all day, possibly got bit or stung by something. So I got Taylor back to sleep and then ran to the store to get some Benadryl for him and loaded him up. Yesterday he still had hives so when I got up this morning I called to schedule him an appointment, but by the early afternoon he was clearing up, so I canceled it and am going to continue to give him benadryl until he's back to normal.

Taylor on the other hand, had a funny looking rash on her bum taht was not diaper rash. It was in a circle shape and looked to me just like ringworm. I'm not sure how she would have gotten it on her bum which is mostly covered so I called and scheduled her an appointment too. Ironically.. it takes a month to get a well baby appointment, but a butt rash netted me an offer of 4 appointments to choose from today! How does that work??? Oh, and they wont just do her well baby while I'm there, I still have to bring her back for that.

Anyway, the doctor doesn't think it's ringworm, she thinks it's a dermatitis or exzema that is in a circular shape. So we got some creme for it and headed back home. We'll see how it is tomorrow! I also scheduled my appointments for physical and occupational therapy this week. One is Wednesday morning and one is Thursday morning, so it will be a busy week. Alan goes back to CA tomorrow, Drew has the day off so we're going to drive to Dallas and take the dogs with us as a pre-CA trip trial. That reminds me, I have the dates for our trip, and I think I have s cheudle worked out, so I'll make the calendar and e-mail everybody and get everything cleared to see if it's going to work for you.

Wednesday is our Anniversary but since Drew is taking Tuesday off and we'll probably be back kind of late we're not going to celebrate until Saturday. Betty, our neighbor, is going to babysit Taylor for us so we can go to a movie and to dinner. We're both looking forward to it!

So I just wanted to give an update, I do have pictures and I'll get them off the camera as soon as I can. I might just take the laptop with me in the car tomorrow and work on them while we drive to Dallas. At least as long as the battery lasts!

Off for now!

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Tricare talk didn't go so well.

So I went back to Tricare yesterday to ask them about going to a civilian pediatric clinic and they again told me that I was required to use the one on base unless it was an emergency. I told them that my friend just came in and asked for one and got it and the lady started getting snippity with me telling me that I didn't know their situation and no I couldn't have a referral. So sorry I asked, sheesh.

I left, then came home where I started researching and kept finding conflicting information. Even the manual wasn't specific! I finally went to the tricare online website (which had been down for the last few days) to find that if we live 30 minutes from an MTF (Military Treatment Facility) then we MUST use the MTF for care. So that really just makes me not happy. I guess that teaches me a lesson, right? Ugh.

So anyway, I guess I'll just add that to the list of things that we should have been told upon arriving (right there next to, "hey, don't park your car on this block when it rains because it always floods"). I must admit that this base has not impressed me thus far where their communication, information and procedures are concerned.

Alright, taking a deep breath and moving on!

I've been trying to figure out what to do with a left over pallet of bricks from the house we've had sitting in the backyard making an unattractive statue for a while, and settled on making a border for a plant/flower bed. I layed out the brick in the backyard today so I know where I'll have to dig my little trench (i'm going to attempt to put the brick even with the grass). I don't know when i'll get to it except during naptimes, but we'll see. At least the plan is in place.

Alan and I head to Lafayette tomorrow evening and then on to New Orleans on Saturday. We'll take lots of pics! I don't know if i'll have much to post before we get back, but I'll definitely post when we return!

Hope everyone is having a great week.

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Rough start to the week, but improving!

Monday morning I got up and went to my doctor appointment. The doctor was with me for a total of about 8 minutes, she didn't even bring my chart in the room! I walked out with 2 referrals. One for a occupational therapist for my pinky, and one for physical therapy for my back (since chiropractic isn't covered for spouses). My lower back has been hurting for a long time, mostly when extended so it makes it difficult to stand up straight and sometimes lay down comfortably. I'm not entirely sure when I'm suppose to do these since I'm limited to mornings only when Drew is home, but I imagine I'll figure it out.

That brings us to today, Taylor had an appointment for her 6 month well-baby. Long story short, my alarm malfunctioned and I missed it. I was not a happy camper. As soon as I woke up I flew out of bed freaking out and called immediately. They were really rude which got me even more fired up because I felt bad enough that I missed it. I apologized, I didn't WANT to miss an appointment I waited a month for, I've never missed an appointment in the 4 years Drew has been in the military. I know THEY don't know that, but it still irritated me. So I called the appointment line to see if there was anything I could do, and they said nothing except take the next appointment which is Aug. 4th at 7:50am. Apparently they only have TWO well-baby appointments a day. One at 7:30 and one at 7:50 in the morning. That's why the wait is so long.

After that fiasco I packed her up and headed to weigh in. I lost 4 lbs. over the last two weeks so that was exciting (we didn't have WI last week). I'm only 7.6 lbs. away from goal, yay! I also talked to one of my friends who is there who previously told me she used an off base pediatrician. She said she just went to Tricare and asked for a referral off base and she got it. When I was there registering Taylor they told me I HAD to use the base pediatrician unless we paid for Tricare Standard. Apparently that information was wrong (which would have been nice to know 6 months ago!). So tomorrow I'm headed down to the Tricare office to see if I can start going off base where I can get an appointment in a timely manner, or at the very least a reasonable hour.

So after Weight Watchers we moved on to the next thing! Now some of you readers may have differing opinions on this, and that's okay! We did lots of research, and came to the decision to go ahead and get Taylor's ears pierced. I wasn't sure I could go through with it to be honest. I was on the edge going back and forth for weeks. I finally was leaning towards doing it and told Drew that if he still wanted it done, we needed to do it now or never because I was going to chicken out. So today it was!

We went to the shop (the same one that my WW friend used for her 5 month old) and I asked them a million questions about their experience with piercing baby ears, had them show me their equipment/earrings which was in unopened sterile packaging (not re-used), asked about aftercare and all that jazz. After I was comofortable I went and got Drew and Taylor and they came in and Drew sat and held her while they cleaned and marked her ears to my OCD satisfaction. She was smiling away while they prepped her. Everything looked good, they had Drew hold her arms down ( I told him he had to restrain her, I didn't know if I could do it!) and me hold her head steady. They did both sides at the same time with a 1, 2, punch! There was a slight delay then she let out a big wail.. this is where I got nauseous with pangs of guilt. They quickly cleaned her ears again and then I grabbed her and hugged her, she gave a big sniff, then started smiling! I couldn't believe it. She cried less than 2 minutes. Less than with her vaccines! She now has pretty gold earrings!

Here's the pics!
Dada holding her while Mama is getting the paperwork taken care of:


5 Minutes later.. showing off her new bling.

That was about it for today! Alan and I stopped at the grocery store for some staple food items, then came home and I BBQed a pork loin and corn on the cob. I asked him today if there is anything he wanted to do before he left Louisiana on Tuesday and he half jokingly said he'd like to see New Orleans. I thought that actually might be a good idea so he could get a little bit more of the cultural taste of the south! Unfortunately the only time we can go is this weekend since he leaves, and Holden has puppy class on Saturday. Since we live here and can go another time, Drew volunteered to stay home while Taylor, Alan and I went down. I have a friend that lives in southern LA that has not been to N.O. yet either and she really wants to so she's going to meet us in the middle and we'll carpool there.

So, the plan so far for Saturday is to hit up the Zoo/Aquarium/Insectarium which we hear are AWESOME during the day, and in the afternoon head over to the French Quarter for food, music and shopping. Hopefully we'll all have a great time, and I'll know the ropes so when we go back as a family, I can show Drew where the cool stuff is.

Well, I'm off to bed now, it's way past my bedtime, but hopefully Taylor sleeps in again tomorrow. She slept until almost 9 this morning (of all mornings to not get up early, right?).

Hope all is well!

Friday, 11 July 2008

Nothing much to report

Well it's been a pretty uneventful week.

Drew was working day shift this week, so Alan and I hung out and did things around the house. On Wednesday night we were all suppose to go out for Cajun so we could make sure Alan got a "taste of the south" before he leaves. We were all ready to go and Drew called and was going to work late. He told us to go ahead and go without him. So Alan and I went and brought home lots of leftovers so when Drew got home he got to try both meals! It was pretty good stuff.

The place we went to was called Ralph and Kacoos, they were very friendly there. Lots of the waitresses came to see Taylor and tell us how cute she was. There was a huge fishtank behind me so I went to turn her around to see the fish and she grabbed my glass and dumped diet coke all over me and the table so that was kind of embarrassing. Luckily it was over half way gone so it wasn't TOO bad. Once she saw the fish she really liked them though!

I have a doctors appointment on Monday to get my finger checked out. I still can't bend it, some swelling that has never gone away, and it's still numb. I've got a few other things to ask about too while i'm there so hopefully it's a productive appointment since they are so hard to get.

Tuesday is Taylors 6 month checkup, I'm excited about that . It will be interesting to see how much she weighs now! She's been eating great, she gobbles up food and we haven't really found anything she doesn't like yet.

Alan goes back to CA a week from Tuesday, I will be sad to see him go. He's been a tremendous help while he has been here, and it's been nice to spend time with my brother. I think Drew has enjoyed him here as well, they are like two peas in a pod when it comes to video games and car stuff. Crazy guys!

No major plans for the weekend. If I wake up early enough tomorrow I might go down to the market in Shreveport and pick up some fresh fruit and vegetables. They have HUGE zucchini there, and sell blueberries by the quart for cheap. I have blueberries or strawberries in my steel cut oats every morning so I like to have a stock of fresh ones! Holden also starts puppy class tomorrow afternoon, so we'll see how that goes! He's about 60 lbs. already so he'll probably be much bigger than the rest of the 4 month old pups there!

Oh yeah! I did start a project.. dog beds! Cossie's bed is getting flat and Holden's is already shot. There are cot style beds called Kuranda beds that are really nice ,but very expensive. During a search I found instructions on how to make them yourself for about $40, so we got the stuff today to try and make one and see how it comes out. I have to order the material online since it has to be very strong and I couldn't find any locally. It might be a week or so before I actually finish one. I hope it comes out! If it does, it should be the only bed he'll ever need as it's virtually indestructible.

Well, off for now... to bed for me. Hope you all had a great week!

Saturday, 5 July 2008

More from the other camera!

We're really working with Taylor on trying to get her to sit up on her own and she's ALMOST there. We put her in her bumbo chair for a bit every day, then we practice without it trying to get her used to sitting. She was doing pretty good tonight so we took a couple of pics.

Hangin' out with Dad watching something on TV.

4th of July Pics!

These first pics are actually from the 3rd of July, but I had to show Taylor eating her toes! I'm not sure what she was watching, but up come the toes into her mouth.

What are you doing Taylor??
And on to the 4th! I'm pretty disappointed with the way most of these came out, at least the night ones. I was having a hard time focusing in the dark with my hands full or in a hurry (can we say shortest sparklers EVER???) but you get the point!

Here's Taylor with her friend Delaney! It was pretty warm out so Delaney was swimming in her pool, and Taylor was sweating so I was dabbing her head with cool water. We eventually went inside to cool off until dinner.
Our neighbor Steve, Drew and Alan hanging out in front of the grill.

Drew's arsenal of fireworks, he was pretty excited about them all week and couldn't wait to light them!

Alan holding Taylor while Drew was getting set up.
Our wonderful neighbors, (from left to right) Delaney, Betty and Steve!
Drew unwrapping his explosives.

Betty showing Taylor how to write her name with a sparkler (don't worry, we didn't get too close!).

Drew, finally read to start the show.
Yay, fireworks!!!!!

That's about all I got, it took two hands to make ear muffs for Taylor so it wasn't too loud for her. The first ones scared her pretty bad, but after that she was okay and she definitely liked the lights. Even the dogs were out with us and behaving for the most part considering all of the booms, bangs and noises. We had a really great time with our neighbors and really had fun with the fireworks!

Hope everyone else had a great 4th as well!!

Thursday, 3 July 2008

Sippy Cup

I don't know if I ever posted that we introduced Taylor to a Sippy Cup. I've actually been giving it to her since she was about 4.5 months just to get her used to it (it had water in it), but she mostly just chewed on the tip. We offered it to her with a little apple juice today and she liked what she got out, but then she started singing while chewing on the cup. Silly girl!! I'm sure she'll get the hang of it!

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

About a week overdue!

Again I find myself slacking in the blog department, but never to fear, pictures are here!! And lots of 'em!

Let's see, what has been going on this week. Friday was my last day at work and it was good, made me sad to be leaving though. There was only one doctor there and 5 technicians so we were pretty slow. Holden was due for his last set of puppy vaccines so I scheduled an appointment to bring him back in the afternoon. Alan, Taylor and I brought the boys in and Cossie's weight is holding steady at 135. Holden weighed in at 53 lbs. and goth is last vaccines. He's perfect except for a retained testicle that MAY still drop, but at this point they'll probably have to go in and get it when we have him neutered.

Saturday I got JEN time!! Drew and Alan took Taylor out to run errands (and stock up on fireworks for 4th of July). I had 3 HOURS to do whatEVER I wanted, and can you believe I couldn't come up with a single creative thing???? I was so depressed. I tried and tried and nothing would come out. Well, maybe next time.

Saturday night Drew went to a going away party for a guy in his shop. Sunday I went to go run a couple of errands and had a blow out. Luckily it wasn't too fast. I heard what sounded like a rock under the car, I turned down the radio but didn't hear anything , I slowed down but the car wasn't driving funny so I kept going. About half a mile later it started thunking and pulling to the right so I pulled off the road and called Drew. I couldn't find the jack so I started reading the manual to find all the stuff was under the back seat where Taylor was. So I put her (in her bucket) in the front seat and started digging everything out from the back. I had the lug nuts loosened on the tire when a nice couple passing by pulled over and offered to help. Drew was only a few minutes away so I thanked them and told them that he was almost here but they waited with me anyway to make sure everything was okay. So sweet! Drew showed up and finished changing the tire, got Taylor back where she belonged and we were on our way. My hero!

Today Alan and I went to my weight watchers meeting, I stayed the same as last week but I got my 16 week charm! I don't know if I mentioned it but I got my 25 lb. charm last week also. I was talking to our leader and she said if I brought in my paperwork from WW in England that they would combine it to my totals now (which is just over 70 lbs.!) I'm 11.6 lbs. away from the upper end of my goal weight so hopefully I can get there before our trip home!

Anyway, on with the pics.

Early last week we offered Taylor some oatmeal for a few days, but she did not like it. So after 3 days we offered sweet potatoes, they were a hit! She took one bite, then grabbed the spoon and shoved it in her mouth. YUM!
She was waiting patiently for her next bite:
A few days later we tried green beans.....a little lower on the "like" scale, but she still likes them more than oatmeal.
Okay, quite a bit more than oatmeal! Nothing cuter than a slimy green toothless grin!
She was playing on the floor the other day and I snagged this goofy look. She was crackin' me up making all sorts of faces... DEFINITELY our kid!
Holden came over to check out what his sister was doing, aren't they just too cute??

Alan got up too early when Taylor woke up one morning and fell back asleep on the couch. The dogs decided to join him, one more and it could be a 3 dog night!

Yesterday I set up a little photoshoot for pre-4th of July, and for fun. Taylor was cranky so I only got this one pic of her and Drew.
Cosworth and Holden looking handsome in their matching patriotic bandanas:
Full body shots:
Then I did some shots of Alan, this was my favorite one of the day:
This one wasn't bad either, my brother is such a handsome kid!
That's all for now. Not sure what the plans are for the rest of the week. I have to see about getting a dentist appointment, and also getting a new tire of the Trailblazer. I think we might go swimming tomorrow as well. I think we're BBQing with the neighbors on the 4th, and Drew stocked up on fireworks already so we're good to go there. Pretty excited about our first 4th of July back in the good ol' US of A! Other than that I think it's up in the air! Hopefully I'll post again soon!