Sunday, November 29, 2009

Making the Rounds

All work weeks should be only 3 days, right?
But kids should always have school 5 days a week.

Could anyone but kids and teachers disagree?
and who listens to them anyway?
Let them complain to each other while we're out playing. :)

But being off of work still requires some work.
Joan spent her first couple of evenings baking and dipping cake balls for work.
It allowed Riley a chance to eat some calorie dense batter (and create a pretty sinister looking facial hair pattern.)

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and when he wasn't getting enough attention, he walked around with a blanket over his head, laughing and banging into things.
That's ma boy.

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Wednesday (which was playing the role of Friday), I watched a trial in the morning and watched the kids in the afternoon.

Though this would be a great chance to comment about the behavior patterns of toddlers vs lawyers, I will refrain.

On the way home I picked up some tacos from Tres Hermanos on Eraste Landry.
After trying just about every taco shop in town, I'm convinced theirs are the best.
Their pupusas aren't as good as La Pagua, but you can't have it all.

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My visit allowed Riley to confirm that he likes grapefruit sodas.
He wouldn't stop bugging me for more.
That's ma boy.

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Thursday, we got up early and started cooking macque choux (with Johnson's tasso) on the stove while the Egg handled a Turkey sprinkled with Johnson's seasoning with Fat Tire in the drip pan.

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To accompany the cooking, we tried Wells' Banana Bread Beer which smelled awesome, but tasted kinda blah.

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Our lunch guests were Joan's parents, Paul, Liz & Caroline, and Liz's mom, Jill.

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The kids had a blast and stayed occupied for a long time playing with the cheapo little LED lights Uncle Paul had.

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Riley now has a few hooked to his key chain so he can take them everywhere.

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The food was plentiful and included Paul/Liz's "Sugar Free But You"d Never Know It Sweet Potatoes."

Being the innovators we are, we all ate too much.
Bet your family doesn't do that.

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While the adults without ongoing wisdom tooth/gum complications over indulged, Riley and Uncle Paul played a game we call "I got it, I knock It Down" which only Riley enjoys playing.

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But in return, Riley let Paul drive cars on his back, so it was even.

That night, we went to my parents' for round 2, and Riley finally took interest in some food- sweet potatoes and marshmallows.

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Friday morning we skipped the shopping insanity and opted to set up the Christmas tree.
Because the usual tree corner has been commandeered by the toy table, we had to flip our furniture arrangement.
That also meant cleaning up a year or two worth of Jimmy's Dust Bunnies, which Riley actually helped with.

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Riley also took quite quickly to helping decorate the tree.

Within a minute of me putting up the first section, he was throwing toys into it.

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Now our tree is filled with items including, but not limited to: blocks, balls, plastic people, a stuffed Mickey, a plastic bottle, and a book.

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Next we headed out to meet Granny Lynn.
There, Paul gave some rides on the Stroller Coaster-- Ditch Edition.

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(If Riley can just grow alot, he'll have a blast at WDW)

Then we headed down to Ms. Angela's house to help her clear off her satsuma tree.

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Satsumas have become a reliable, but low calorie part of Rley's diet, and he asks for them by name.

That night Paul cooked a gumbo that Riley ate three (riley sized) bowls of.
He also ate at least a dozen marshmallows and was visibly distended.

And after picking Paul's brain, I set out on the potentially hazardous quest of visiting Best Buy on Black Friday.
Yet I managed to get in and out in less than 15 minutes, with a new PS3 in hand.
Close Call.

Saturday, we headed down to Erath for a 100th Birthday party/Family Reunion.
Riley and Caroline had fun filling Aunt Carol's pond with dirt and leaves.
Riley wrecked the homes of many crawfish in the process, and learned the futility of throwing leaves into the wind.

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That was followed by half of the last Cajuns' football disappointment of the year.
Oh Well. we'll still buy our tix next year.

Then I crashed my car into a tree.
I mean my wife beat me with a golf club.
That was Tiger Woods.

Now Mommy and Daddy get to try out the new PS3.
The first game system I've had since a Super Nintendo. I'm over a decade behind.

And to share a little money saving with you.
We bought the PS3 mostly because it is also a really good Blu Ray Player.
According to Paul, our full time tech advisor, Pixar movies are awesome in Blu Ray.
Since we'll be at WDW in about a year, we want to familiarize Riley with the characters.
So, the timing just seemed right (except that whole rebuilding the entertainment center thing)

Back to the deal.
Right now, Disney is selling many of its current releases in packages that come with a Blu-Ray, and a regular DVD. That's cool since a BluRay won't play in a portable system.

Amazon has been running some really cool specials on Pixar Blu Ray/DVD packages.
We bought a package that was Cars, UP and monsters Inc, on BR and DVD for $30 total.
If you have a BluRay player or may get one in the future, you may want to look out for those deals.
Here's the one we got.

(sorry its not hyper linked, I can never get those to show up on this page.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Suck Stops Here

Disclaimer- the title of this post is not meant to reference the quality of said post, but you'll see that by the end.

Things have been a little rough around here thanks to a great disturbance in the star of the show's sleep schedule.

If you are actually around us, or just follow the progression of Riley's slowly bucking front teeth, you know that he is a bedtime thumbsucker.

We're lucky in that he only does it when he's tired and holding his "blanket", but it's pretty much the only way he'll calm down to sleep.

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Because of this, he has a huge callous on the thumb, which the doctor said is normal.

But last week it dried out a little and cracked. That was followed by a little infection and a good bit of inflammation.

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Now it hurts too much for him to suck, thus making sleeping difficult.
Even though it was rough, we hoped it would maybe break the habit.
Alas, he is slowly regaining suckage strength. oh well.

Saturday, Riley, who sees very little TV, headed to the Cajundome to see Disney on Ice with Nonnie and Poppy.

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We were worried that he wouldn't care much because he doesn't know the characters.

Despite what his face says in this shot, we were wrong.

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They had great seats.

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and reported that he was mesmerized the whole time (except during the Incredibles.)

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He was a little scared by the Beast, who was huge, and by the Genies, who look way more tripped out than I recall in the movie.

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After the show, they stopped by Jason's for a grilled cheese and fruit that he barely ate despite his seeming enthusiasm.

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Joan and I were at the funeral of a good friend's father that morning, and by the time we got back in the car, were thoroughly convinced that the cold rain made it too miserable out to even attempt the Cajuns game.

The cold and rain didn't stop us from getting Tagalong(TM) Blizzards from Dairy Queen, but.......... whatever............ Don't judge us.

Sunday he watched the Saints game in his new, retro Sir Saint shirt from his Nanny.
He's getting really good at spotting things around town and either saying go Cajuns or Go Saints.

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We're still working on "Boo Tigers"

To round out the week, blocked off Sunday evening for the member showing of the Safari of Lights at the Zoo of Acadiana.
We've always said we needed to go, but never got around to it.

Entry tonight was free for annual members, and even then, I'm not sure we got our money's worth from it. It was pretty weak.

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Except the Santa helicopter. That was cool.

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and in closing, I'll get back to bad puns and semi-running jokes.

Riley and Anna had a picnic on the patio this week.

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and yet again, he took a food name at face value and was way off base when he heard that restaurants were having success with cooking Sliders.

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Ouch. Even Anna didn't think that was funny.

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but you keep coming back anyway.
It's almost embarrassing.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

I'm on A Boat **

Mark this weekend down in history, as a similar situation may never come again.

We had absolutely nothing that we had to do.


Just two empty calendar squares.

That's boring though, so we found stuff to do.
C'mon. Like I'd let you come here and be bored. (great place for a sarcasm font)

Mid week, the weather was nice, so Riley and I met my dad and brother for a little boat ride in the Basin.

Things went south when we put the life jacket on, but he eventually calmed down a little.

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He liked scaring up the ducks, but was unimpressed by the cajun architectural ingenuity.

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He cooperated a little when Uncle Jake let him drive.

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But really, he just wanted to push buttons on the fish finder.

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He found his maritime calling when Poppy let him reach in the water, and the rest of the trip was just us holding on tight, and looking out for gators, so that he didn't disappear on us.

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Thursday, we headed to my grandma's house to meet 3 of her siblings who had driven in from Michigan: Aunt Marcia, Uncle Ron, and Aunt Sandra (not pictured)

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Riley looked kinda funny since a mosquito bite on his forehead was causing swelling down to his left eye, but the visit went well and everyone had fun.

Tonight though, we had dinner with everyone at Coyote Blues and Uncle Ron quickly became Riley's new best friend.
Riley stayed in a high chair for a world record duration and laughed the whole time.
When we got in the truck he kept saying "I wan see Untle Ron."

Riley keeps friend all over the country, just in case he ever needs to get away and drop off the radar.

Saturday, since "Untle Paul" and "Keh-line" were in town, we headed out to Lake Martin for a little nature hike. Granny Lynn and I handled the kids while Paul and Joan played nature photogs.

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Joan tested out a new lens and got this pretty butterfly.

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and this 55 gallon drum mysteriously nailed to a tree.

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Riley and I were the tour guides/wildlife spotters. All of the adult gators were in hiding, but we were able to find a few babies.

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Unfortunately, the most prevalent creature was all too willing to find us, which took alot away from the beautiful setting, and left plenty of marks.

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Riley and Caroline celebrated the end of the hike by sharing mini Nilla Wafers and having a truck bed drum jam.

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To replenish the calories burned in that hike, and then some, we headed over to Johnson's where the kids met up with their Granddad.
Riley quickly remembered the joys of playing with salt and pepper shakers, so everything was basically just a challenge for us to keep them from him.

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Eventually, we gave him a purpose and assigned him to throwing away the trash.

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And for the second week in a row, (this time completely randomly), he was recognized by a blog reader, Ms. Kelly.
Pretty neat.
Thanks for saying hi.

After adequate napping, Caroline came over to play and Riley showed her the joy's of one of his favorite toys, his magnets.

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Then everyone headed out to Hong Kong Buffet, by the new WalMart and HD in Broussard.

I was disappointed by the selection at first, but everything I had, except the sushi, was abnormally good.

The buffet is very seafood centric, and everyone liked what they tried.
The few pieces of sushi I got were disgusting, but you can't have it all.

Riley found his niche in eating "Jello" with a fork. The "jello" tasted like garbage (as would be expected) but he loved it.

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Despite liking the"jello", his favorite part was the fish pond in the front.
He could've stayed there all day.

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In fact, that thought is going to lead me to give away another million dollar idea.
If the restaurant would gate off the fish pond, hire a teenager to hang out, and let parents pay $5 for their kids to hang out and look at the fish while the parents eat, you would have the most popular restaurant in town. Fortune 500 company in no time.
Just make sure no one drowns or gets stolen, and you're golden.
Hell, I may have to open up a buffet, just to give the idea a whirl.

But back to the real world, and by the real world, I mean our tendency to over eat.
(as if plate lunches followed by a buffet hadn't clued you in)

Seeing that at the other end of the shopping center housed an after dinner treat shop, we had no option but to stroll down there after our fortune cookies failed to predict massive heart attacks before age 40.

And let me just say thank you to the person who decided it would be a good idea to combine a Hershey's Ice Cream shop, with a Great American Cookie shop. You are a genius.
Likely a morbidly obese, adult onset diabetic genius, but a genius nonetheless. (and the drive-thru is just icing on the cake, err, cookie)

Riley and Caroline had fun running amok and dreaming about the contents of the cookie case.

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If you're ever out that way, stop in and try the Honey Bun Ice Cream. It will melt your brain (even though it is cold)

That's about it.

but I'll throw in a Who Dat? for good measure.

** Google it if you don't mind bad words, or find the clean edit