Thursday, February 4, 2016

Family Gras and Krewe of Caesar {Mardi Gras 2016}

Last Saturday was Kenny’s 38th birthday. So of course we spent the day doing what he wanted to do: MARDI GRAS!

Okay, so he’s not the biggest fan of Mardi Gras. But he is an incredibly good sport and was more than happy to spend the day together as a family celebrating this particular season that our city loves so much.

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We picked up Grandma and Grandpa around lunchtime and headed out to Family Gras. It’s a free festival/celebration of carnival and family in the neutral ground right across from Lakeside Mall. There are lots of food booths, crafts, games, and a great lineup of music.

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We walked in and almost instantly met a very nice policeman, Captain Josh Wingrove, who let the boys climb up on his fancy patrol vehicle. He was so incredibly nice; it was such a pleasure chatting with him for a few minutes. Thanks for keeping Jefferson Parish safe for us!

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We bid Captain Josh goodbye and headed off in search of lunch. That’s when we ran into some familiar faces: Dana, Claire and Colin, who had just arrived with Dana’s sister Emily and her daughter Corinne. The kids were so excited to see each other.

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We all got something for lunch and walked up towards the stage to get a spot for the first performers: the Imagination Movers. Kenny was a very happy birthday boy with his soft shell crab po-boy. We ate, we drank, we sang, we danced. We had a great time.

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That evening we attended our first parade of Mardi Gras 2016: Caesar. We had a huge group come together in our usual spot on Vets near the beginning of the route.

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Luke was even there for his first Metairie Mardi Gras parade, although he slept through the whole thing.

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Oh, and the boys and I presented Kenny with a few birthday treats from Gambino’s. He loved that little surprise!

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The parade itself was just okay. I usually love Caesar, but they weren’t throwing very much this year. Plus, a couple of the floats went by us SO fast. Way too fast; it was dangerous. But the Star Wars presence in the parade was very cool. Darth Vader, Kylo Ren, Boba Fett, and lots of stormtroopers were all on the Grand Marshal’s float. I even caught a cup from Darth!

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It wasn’t the best parade experience, but we still loved spending time with our friends. Even if I did have to stand in the very back a lot so Rory could run around the parking lot, as is his preference. Crazy fries.

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All things Mardi Gras really started to ramp up yesterday. I was lucky enough to attend my first Nyx parade last night. I knew about a half dozen people in it; SO much fun. Tonight is Muses, which I will be attending with….drumroll please…..

JACKIE!!! She will be in town for her very first Mardi Gras, and I am so freaking excited to have her here. Plus her birthday is Saturday, so that makes it extra special. I can’t wait!!!

Happy Mardi Gras, y’all!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Let Them Eat Kingcake

Have y’all seen this shirt? It’s by Storyville, one of my favorite local t-shirt shops. Their stuff, along with Fleurty Girl, sums up the city of New Orleans perfectly, in my opinion. Their shirts are on point, and I especially love their Mardi Gras ones.

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That particular shirt sums up my two boys’ mindsets very accurately right now. They are obsessed with kingcake. I’m sure they would eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner if I let them. This is often what happens after we get home from school in the afternoons:

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I have two kingcake monsters standing in front of me, waiting for me to give them the good stuff. Kingcake has been our after school snack practically every day since King’s Day. They are loving it.

Then I had an idea to have a little kingcake party at our house. I spoke with someone in the bakery department of Rouse’s grocery store, and she agreed to what I wanted. She made 6 individual little kingcakes and also gave me a tub of icing and three containers of colored sugar, plus 6 plastic kingcake babies. The kids each got to decorate their very own kingcake!

We had the kingcake party after school last Friday. Aunt E brought Kate and Luke; Dana brought Claire and Colin; and Diana brought Alcee. We set the kids up in the kitchen. They each got to spread icing on their cake and then sprinkle sugar all over it. It was fun, it was fast, it was messy, it was chaotic. It was great!

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Everyone got to take their little kingcake home with them to enjoy later. Some took bites right away (Rory took a couple of huge bites of his), but they mostly abandoned the sugar in favor of running around the house like the crazy kids they are.

And don’t worry, Luke…..

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…..CC will have another kingcake party next year so you can participate too. I promise!

Riley also got to decorate a kingcake at school for his January fun food project. Art mom Mrs. Kristen baked a ring-shaped cinnamon roll for each student. Then the mom volunteers spread icing on top and then the kids sprinkled colored sugar on the icing. Rory came with me this day and had such fun.

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It’s been all kingcake, all the time, around here. As the shirt says, LET THEM EAT KINGCAKE!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Video Monday: Uh-Oh, Dee-a-da and Other Rory Speak

He calls footballs “oh-balls,” he says “uh-oh, dee-a-da” instead of uh-oh, spaghettio’s, and whenever he’s asked who loves him, he replies with “nobody.”

This kid.

Happy Monday!

Friday, January 29, 2016

Riley’s 100th Day of Kindergarten

Remember Riley’s 50th day of school back in October? Well, they celebrated their 100th day as well. The whole school marked the occasion, but the kindergarteners went all out. They came to school on Tuesday morning dressed as 100-year-olds. It was so freaking cute.

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Riley and I met up with Dana and Claire before drop-off so we could spray the kids’ hair silver and put baby powder in it. (Riley had requested that his hair look like Pops’, Nopsi’s dad. So sweet.) Claire had an awesome walker made from painted PVC pipe tipped with tennis balls, while Riley carried a custom Nopsi creation: a cane made from an old broomstick. Suspenders and a plaid shirt for Riley, pearls and a sweater for Claire, and glasses for both. They were both so adorable, but the pictures they took together were even more so.

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I mean, aren’t they just the cutest 100-year-old couple ever???

Dana and I were both able to help out with the fun centers the kindergarten teachers planned, along with lots of other parent volunteers. It was such a fun and entertaining morning; the kids all enjoyed themselves.

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The kids rotated through a writing activity, a counting activity (using many fun snack items!), a crown-making station, a weighing activity, and a fitness activity. I assisted the kids in making their crowns and also snapped a picture of each of them holding a special sign that Mrs. Allison had.

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Check out Riley’s writing activity: he wants 100 legos, 100 gold, and 100 jewels, but he does not want 100 drugs. He told Mrs. Allison that he remembered them talking about how if you took too many drugs you would die and that’s why he wrote that. She clarified that was during Red Ribbon Week sometime last semester and was impressed that he thought that far back. Well done, son of mine.

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Everything wrapped up around 10am, when the centenarians headed off to have their snacks. But not before we made sure to get a class picture!

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Such a fun day for them; the teachers put together a really awesome morning. Plus they got to try to stack 100 pennies (no one was successful) and have tootsie roll pops in the afternoon. They had to lick the suckers 100 times before they bit into them. Counting to 100 is a kindergarten skill, so the teachers really reinforced that all day long.

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One hundred sure looks good on them.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

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