Saturday, January 31, 2009

Art and Theater, all in one great day

Today has been fabulous! (Too bad I once again forgot the camera!) We met Mum (my mom) downtown and then walked to the Farmer's market. Maddie drove her car again and, of course, loved it. We found a lady selling baby cakes - individual sized kingcakes. My daughter with the sweet tooth was thrilled. Mum bought some strawberries and shared them with Maddie, who thought four was not enough. She kept handing me the bowl and pointing inside, where she knew there were more!

The day was so pretty we decided to take the street car to the Art Market - all the way at the end of the line, about an hour ride. It was so nice with the windows down and Maddie loved riding on my lap without a car seat.

We had a picnic on the grass in the park and watched kids play ball. Maddie was so excited about lunch she was dancing and wiggling when I put down her plate. The olives, strawberries, blueberries and grapes vanished, along with the pasta. She also attacked my crawfish sausage, and seemed to like it.

Walking around the market was great. There were lots of kids and plenty of dogs (hooray!). We bought some kids French books at the library book stand. Great deal - $1/book! Maddie & Mum tried on feather hats and headbands - and I am so sorry I didn't have the camera.

The craft tent was fabulous. Maddie made a hat, decorated with shiny stars, glitter and confetti. Although I put on the glue and confetti, Maddie quickly figured out how to attach the stars and added a lot - she loved the shiny ones.

I took pictures of Maddie and her art project when we got home:

Showing off her project and her boots.
Love those shiny stars!

Our big outing was yet to come. Maddie & I were going to see Beauty & the Beast. I put her in the bath but first, she found my boots. Apparently, all boots are great and wearing them with clothes is not required.

She loved the show. We actually walked over to East Jefferson (no parking anywhere!). The show was sold out so it was really crowded but Maddie was so sweet. She sat on my lap and was mesmerized by the performance. It started late (8 pm) so she was really tired, but wanted to watch it so badly. I thought we would leave at 9:30 at intermission, but she wanted to go back again. She watched for about another half an hour before getting too fidgety. My incredible husband was sitting outside waiting for us, since he didn't want us to walk home in the dark. (Thank you, Kevin!!) Maddie was totally wiped out - I really blew it since I needed a picture of the snow princess in her "fur" lined dress, awesome black cape (kind of like Belle's) and her flashing roses, sound asleep in her stroller. Maybe she'll let me recreate it!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Maddie's car and more boots

We try to walk to the store every day - it gives us a nice half hour outside, usually right before dinner and we can get anything we need for dinner.
We now take her "car." I use her front trunk for carrying heavy items and she cracks up laughing every time. She loves driving her car and waves to everyone. As we wait at the traffic light at the intersection, she waves to the passing cars. Then, as we cross the street, she waves to the cars sitting at the light. The best response has been a car of teen-age boys - they honked and waved back. She was thrilled but her mother hoped she'd never attract the attention of teenage boys again!

Today, she wanted to wear her boots, even though they are too big. Every time someone talked to her, she showed them her boots. She is trying to lift up both legs to show her boots to the camera.

She loves boots so much that she threw a pair of rain boots in the tub tonight. I let her bathe wearing them and she thought was great! I wanted a picture but decided against leaving the baby in the tub to get the camera. She looked pretty funny, sitting naked in the tub, wearing purple and pink boots!

How fast they grow

Maddie in her boppy one year ago today, January 30, 2008.

Check out those cute feet!

Maddie in her boppy (otherwise known as her recliner) today.
Check out those cute feet - hanging off the end!
(notice the socks, too!)


Oops! Not only did I forget the memory card for the camera, but I forgot to post yesterday! We went to a playdate at Betsy and Gabriella's house with our friends. Maddie loves playing with other kids' toys, especially if they are the same toys we have at home! Gabriella has a different version of the toys - the kitchen, we have the door; the zoo, we have the circus, etc, but the toys look and work the same way, while being a bit different. Maddie seemed really fascinated by that. She's understanding so much more and really figuring things out - she finally learned how to follow Shadow and crawl under the coffee table (too bad she hasn't learned how to crawl out yet!)

She has the funniest laugh. Her baby giggle is wonderful, of course, but the "fake laugh" is hysterical. She really just thinks the world is so much fun and I am the luckiest mama and have the cutest, happiest, smartest baby ever! (That's not too much, is it?)

Since I forgot to take pictures, here is a picture of our friends at the playdate - including a new member, 8-month-old Maddie!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Grocery shopping with Aunt Ces

Wow, the excitement - today was grocery day! I guess driving your own car (and one with two steering wheels at that) is pretty cool when you are only 29" tall. And, she taste tested her way through Whole Foods - she tried all the cheeses, ate a baby apple (her first whole apple! - even if it was a really tiny one), freeze dried snap peas and jackfruit and some animal crackers. And all of this was right after lunch at the Kosher Cajun deli.

She must be growing since she ate all day. She ate breakfast and then really wanted Daddy's bowl of cereal and blueberries. He left without eating his cereal - to meet an early deliveryman - and she signed "want" "eat" over and over to me. I finally said she could sit in Daddy's chair and eat his cereal. I know she understands words: She lit up, cheered and RAN over to try to climb in his chair. She was so proud to sit in a big chair and eat from a big bowl - she at at least a third of his cheerios and berries. (Oops, then he came back home for his breakfast!)

Maddie is really understanding words and doing so much so fast. Last night, after Kevin put on her diaper (crooked), I laughed and said "Maddie, look at your funky diaper." She laughed, too, and then sat down to look at her diaper. And then laughed some more! I love the sound of her laughter, both her giggles and her funny laugh. I try to memorize it because I know one day, she'll grow outgrow the baby giggles.

Grocery day really is kind of fun now - Maddie can eat so many new foods. I love watching her try olives and today's new food, tangerines. She loved it and kept asking for more.

Aunt Ces spent most of the day with us and helped us shop and then get dinner started. Maddie really lights up when she sees her now.

Maddie laughing with Aunt Cessie at her stuffed animals. We use her baby bassinet for stuffed animals - I wasn't ready to let it go just yet - and she loves to get in and sit with the animals.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Pajama Party

Today was pajama day at our house. Good thing I have such cute princess pjs (and check out my fuzzy socks!) It's kind of nice to stay home sometimes - I learned to blink, blink my eyes and how to put my cars down the race track. Mommy & Daddy & I went to dinner at Outback Steakhouse and I tried mushrooms - loved them, too! (Food is great.)

Monkey Room

We went to the monkey room yesterday with our Meetup Mom friends.
I wondered why all those kids were climbing all about.
Looks like fun; I'll try it.

My friend, Frances, wanted to hold hands again; I liked it better when it was my idea!

Now where did the kids go?

Xander says, "come on, Maddie, I'll help you!"

Mama had to slide down with me; we raced Aiden & Xander!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Maddie, One Year Ago

How fast the year flies by! Maddie, last January 26:

52 days and 7 and 1/2 weeks old!

She was a smiley baby, then, and hasn't changed!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Goodbye, Nick & Hello, New Hair-Do

Today was our final day of recovery from our nightmare last week - and the final day of finishing Nick's paper. I wanted to go to the parade and then Dominick's birthday party (both in Slidell), but my family had other plans. Nick actually asked if we could stay and finish his paper - I'm still not sure what THAT was about, but I didn't say no.

We spent the day here, doing not much. I cooked a Sunday brunch - my invention, Eggs Louisiana (biscuit, boudin, over easy egg topped with crawfish etouffe) and a big fruit salad. Then, I guess Maddie & I were both still pretty wiped out from being sick last week so we went back to bed at 10:30 and slept for two hours.

Nick's paper got done and Maddie finally got a variety of food again. She spent an hour eating dinner - thrilled with every new thing I put on her tray. Of course, she really wanted the cupcakes from Andrew's party. All day she pointed at the favor box and signed "eat, eat"!

Maddie pulled out all the stops and blew kisses to Nick as he left. It's been great having him around every weekend.

Blowing good-bye kisses to Nick.
Nick and one month old Maddie (1/11/2008)

Kevin must have been bored and lonely after Nick went home, because:

Daddy decided to fix Maddie's hair!

I'm not so sure about this, Dad.

Well, I can still smile at the camera, of course.

Okay, let me see what he's done to me.

Oh, no, it's horrible! At least I'm still cute!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Happy Dirt Day, Andrew!

Our friend, Andrew, celebrated his second birthday. I think he can say "birthday" now, but I still love "dirt day"! His train party was great, and Maddie was well enough to get to go out. She walked in the door, and headed to Andrew's new table. Maddie and the boys, playing train...!

It was great to see our friends, especially Frances and Charlotte. Frances really loved Maddie today. Usually Maddie loves on Frances too much, but today, Fran wanted to hug and touch Maddie. I think Frances is checking out Maddie's growing hair, because she kept patting her head. It is so nice to have a best friend at 13 months! (And it is even nicer that Frances' mommy has a camera and takes pictures since Maddie's mommy forgot hers - again.)

Maddie was so thrilled to see real food again, especially Frances' chez-its and the cake. She wanted everyone's lunch - gumbo, such a New Orleans girl! - and followed Frannie around until she shared snacks. I let her eat a piece of cake without icing and yes, she ate it all, my child with a sweet tooth.

Sara brought out the balloons at the end and Maddie loved them. She was so tired she could hardly stand up, but she could chase balloons.

Nick is still at our house and I love watching them together. Maddie gets on his lap and just leans back, relaxes and smiles. She giggles with him - and for him - all the time. Nick is really sweet and patient with her and loves to tease her and is just a great big brother.

Tonight, I got to go out with my "Gym Rompers" mom friends. It was so great - thanks, Jessica for getting us all together. Same time, next week? We went to Crepe Nanou and although the food wasn't as great as I remembered, the evening was. We talked and laughed and shared secrets and just had a really nice, no kids evening. We were at our table for 4 hours and our waiter never seemed tired of us and brought me a chocolate mousse crepe. What more can a girl want?

Kevin took the kids to Spudly's for dinner. Maddie was a little tired - and loud, he said. Kevin actually blew bubbles at the table for her. I know I remember hearing that we didn't need bubble in the diaper bag - when would we use those in public? Um, now, I guess. Think it's okay to blow bubbles on a plane?

Friday, January 23, 2009

Future Mardi Gras Royalty

This was from our trip to Disneyworld in December.
Check out that royal wave!

Power Wheels and Basketball

Well, we made it and Maddie is fine, I think. I'm still feeding her a very limited diet so the real test will come when I finally let her have a bottle of milk! She keeps asking for the food on our plates and she really enjoyed dinner tonight so I think her tummy is better. Thank goodness - the night she was signing "eat, eat" was awful! (Kind of cute that she can do it, though!)

She found her power wheels today and was buzzing around on her ATV. She gets frustrated because her thumb is not strong enough to hold the button for long. (Mommy kind of likes that!) She did figure out that if she used two thumbs, she could actually move the car. It's great to see her motoring around, especially since I just (and I mean just- today - $34 in shipping today) returned the power wheels bus, thinking she was too young for these. Maybe after helping me box up the bus then watching the UPS man take it away and figured she'd better start using the ATV and car or they'd be gone, too!

Nick is here for the weekend again and she is thrilled. Her face lit up when he walked in the door. It is so great to hear them playing. She giggles and then laughes when he laughes and then giggles some more. She will do anything to get him to play and laugh with her, the little flirt.

Her best time today, though, was playing basketball. We went for our neighborhood walk and stopped to watch the neighbors play ball. (The boys are probably about 5 and 8.) She was so excited that she yelled and cheered and threw her arms up in a "touchdown" motion every time the ball went near the basket. Then... one of the boys brought over an extra ball for her. It was so big but she was determined to pick that thing up and toss it! I think I will wait to tell her that with her genes, a future in basketball is probably out.

I had already forgotten that she slept in "touchdown" position. Maybe she getting ready for a future in officiating.
(Of course, we also called it "under arrest" so we're going to assume it's just a baby position and not a prediction of her future...!)

A New Day!

I think Maddie is finally better. Without sharing any more gory details, she is wearing the same jeans I put on this morning and only used one sleeper last night!

Unfortunately, that one sleeper did not sleep in her bed all night. Two nights ago, I watched her sleep, snuggled up to her daddy and wondered why I wanted her out of our bed. Last night, when she woke up at 3 am and remembered that she needed socks on top of her pjs, I remembered why!

Then, she convinced me that we needed to get out of bed to find out why Shadow was making noice. How a 20 pound toddler with no words can manage to boss me around, I don't know, but of course, we had to find Shadow and play with him and bring him back to bed!

This is Maddie actually sleeping in her own bed - last January!

and Maddie bossing me around at six weeks old...

Thursday, January 22, 2009

at least the weather is nice

I am finally feeling better, hooray!! My poor baby is still sick, but she doesn't seem to know it. I really thought we were going out today. We got up and were dressed around 8. (Yes, am, for those who know me well!) Breakfast - toast for me, Os, banana and yogurt for Maddie - went well. I pushed my luck and gave her a bottle of milk. Seconds after polishing it off (and maybe because she sucked it down), it came back - onto the sofa that did not need steaming cleaning (well, until now.) I was still pretty hopeful and made plans to meet my sister for lunch and a kid movie.

Maddie's tummy had other plans. I started to pick her up to leave and realized she had exploded. Also realized that a onsie was a really bad idea. Kevin took her straight to the shower and I headed back to the laundry room.

Kevin did keep Maddie for a little while so I could run to the store (and frankly, escape the house for a little while.) It was such a nice day! As soon as I got home, I plunked a blanket in the stroller and set off with Maddie. We walked while she napped and then had a picnic on the back porch and just played outside. Once again, I thought we had made it - maybe the really cheap store brand chicken pot pies were the answer; forget the homemade organic food! - but then, oops. I realized that she had thrown up on the porch, and once again, as I picked her up, yuck! Please tell me that the slide was wet and got it on her pants. Oh, no, she was "wet" and got it on the slide. What fun to be a mom!

Dinner - I was sure I could find something that would stay in her stomach so I made chicken soup, using all organic ingredients (at least she liked it), yogurt mashed potatoes (hated it) and homemade cranberry jello. (I didn't even know you could make your own.) The jello didn't set until after dinner and unfortunately, Maddie's tummy didn't set either. Well, at least it was bath time!

Somehow, I didn't take any pictures today. Since I didn't start this until Maddie was thirteen months old, I hope to add pictures from her first year. This picture was taken a year ago today - Shadow, Mommy & Maddie!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

we made it through another day!

It has been almost 48 hours since anyone in our house has thrown up - hooray! Maddie is still leaking and my poor baby has watched more TV this week than she has her entire first year. (It's hard to entertain a sick baby when mommy is sick.) Kevin & I are still sick, but can see the end. (Thank goodness - yesterday and this morning, I couldn't remember what it was like to not be sick, tired and depressed.)

My sister Cessie brought us sprite, bread for toast, diapers! and chicken pot pies for lunch and then matzo ball soup for dinner. Thank you! We were all glad to eat something besides bananas and rice!

Maddie is still in love with her socks. I found a set of matching mommy/baby fluffy socks and she was thrilled. She kept checking both our feet and holding her feet up to see.

She's back in her bed tonight. We'll see if it lasts. Before she was sick, she had been sleeping in her bed for about a week. She even fell asleep in her own bed three nights in a row. Maybe she likes it and will be happy to sleep on her own? (Yeah, I know, that's funny!)

Here's hoping for a good day tomorrow!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Bad Night and Sock Boots

We made it through all of Maddie's first year without any illnesses, medicines or sick baby doctor visits. Since her first birthday, we've been to the doctor three times, called twice after hours, been on antibotics (twice) and experienced her first bout of real illness. Bring babyhood back!

After throwing up all Saturday night, Maddie was better Sunday and I thought we had made it pretty well. Then came Monday - diarrhea for her, all the symptoms hitting me and then Maddie threw up all over Daddy at 2 am. (He did pretty well and held her anyway.)

We spent all night trying to make it to morning! We've also washed every sleeper she owns, every towel in the house and a lots of other miscellaneous blankets, pillows, tshirts...

I've wiped down every door handle, phone, light switch and surface space I could - and now I am doing it again. And all her toys are going for a spin in the dishwasher!

Through it all, she's been great. A little bit cranky and whiney (who can blame her?), but she able to be jollied into a good mood and she has developed a new habit. I got out some fluffy socks for me to wear and she wanted them! I let her have a pair, of course, and they came up to her hips. She has worn a pair of my fluffy socks since then. Kevin said that after she threw up all over him at 2 am, she first checked to make sure her socks were still on! (It's a good thing I had more than one pair!)

They remind me so much of my first meetup with the Metairie Moms. I went to story time at Barnes & Noble with 2 month old Maddie and met a (now former) member, who had forgotten her shoes. She pulled up her socks and called them sock boots. I must have really needed friends because looking back, that's really weird - I should have run away from that group!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Weekend with Nick

Much to Maddie's delight, Nick came back again this weekend! Since we cancelled today's playdate (sharing with our friends is encouraged, unless it's a virus!), we had two days of FUN, FUN, FUN.

Nick is working on his social studies project. He picked the exciting topic, Louisiana State Parks. I am the official paper writing helper, so we often spend weekends in the office, fighting over wording. At least for this paper, we could visit some of the parks. It still ended up being a pretty boring list of the state parks, with a little bit about each. We did actually finish almost all of it this weekend, so we are pretty pleased with each other. His Dad is really proud of us and wanted this paper saved forever, so I am copying it to the bottom of this post. If there is anything you really need to know about the state parks, read away. Otherwise, sorry!

Maddie loved the time with Nick. She thinks her brothers are pretty wonderful and I think Nick may have actually been her first word. I know she said Nick & Michael (or something with the right syllables!) before she said mama.

When she was really little, she would just stare at Nick all weekend. Now she finds him to play or help her. She loves to lean against him so I tried to get a picture.

Louisiana’s State Parks

Louisiana’s State Parks are part of Louisiana’s Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism. CRT is headed by the Lt. Governor. There are three kind of parks within Louisiana: the historical sites, the preservation area and the recreational parks. There are sixteen historical sites and one preservation area. This project is mainly about the twenty state recreational parks.
Louisiana's State Parks System began in 1934 with the passage of legislation creating the State Parks Commission of Louisiana, a state governmental agency charged with the "establishment, protection, and management of state parks and recreational centers

The state parks system began in 1934. In 1974, the State Parks and Recreational Commission developed a long term plan for making the parks better and larger. Since 1975, the state has spent $77 million dollars buying land and improving the state parks. Since 1995, the Office of State Parks has built new facilities and upgraded many others, spending more than $80 million dollars. In 2002, more than two million visited Louisiana state parks annually.

Bayou Segnette State Park is in Westwego near New Orleans and was established in 1934. It was swampland at one time and was changed to marsh by the creation of canals. It is 580 acres containing a boat launch, 100 campsites, 20 cabins, a group camp, a playground and a wave pool.
Chemin-A-Haut State Park in Bastrop, near the Louisiana-Arkansas state line, is 503 acres. It was created in 1935. The word Chemin-A-Haut is French for “high road.” It has 35 picnic areas, 5 group sites, cabins, a boat launch, rental boats, swimming, a playground, fresh water fishing from the shore and hiking.
Chicot State Park is found in south central Louisiana in Ville Platte and was added to the system in 1939. The 6400 acre park contains a 2000 acre lake, with record breaking fish. The hiking trails go completely around Lake Chicot. It has 200 campsites, a lodge, 27 cabins, a group camp, picnic areas and playgrounds, a swimming pool, a boat launch, a fishing pier and a dock with rental boats, a 400 ft. fishing pier. The only state preservation area, the 300 acre Louisiana Arboretum, is located near the entrance to the state park.
Cypremort Point State Park is southeast of Lafayette. The 185 acre park was created in 1970. Visitors can go sailing, windsurfing, pleasure boating, fishing, swimming and waterskiing. The park has a 100 foot fishing pier, fish cleaning stations, picnic tables, barbeque grills, covered picnic pavilions and outdoor showers.
Fairview Riverside State Park, near Madisonville, was established in 1963 and was named for the 1880s house located on the property. It is the site of the Otis House, the 19th century home donated to the state with the land for the park. Otis House was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1999.
Fontainebleau State Park, near Mandeville, formed in 1938, was originally named Tchefuncte State Park and Conservation Reservation. It is a 2800 acre state park, containing the ruins of a plantation sugar mill and brickyard. The property was donated to the state by the owner’s son.
Grand Isle State Park is located on Grand Isle, and became a state park in 1968. There are over 280 species of fish in this state park. Every year in July, Grand Isle hosts the Tarpon Rodeo, an annual saltwater fishing competition, the oldest fishing tournament in the country. This park is located on a barrier island on the Gulf of Mexico.
Hodges Garden State Park in Florien was donated to the state in 2007. The 700 acre parks contains 40 acres of gardens and a 225 bass fishing lake. The lake water is also used throughout the park for waterfalls, pools, fountains and a watering system. There are hiking and biking trails and also has RV and wilderness camping.
The Jimmy Davis State Park in Chatham was established in 1996. It is located on a peninsula in Caney Lake. The park was originally named Caney Creek Lake State Park and the name was changed in 2003 to honor former governor Jimmie Davis.
Lake Bistineau State Park, on the western side of Lake Bistineau, is in Doyline. Lake Bistineau was created by a gigantic log jam in the Red River two hundred years ago. The park has a hardwood forest containing cypress and tupelo trees. The park offers two boat launches, hiking and biking trails, playgrounds, two swimming pools, a lakefront beach, camping, cabins, lodges, and excellent fishing.
Lake Bruin State Park became in a state park 1956. It is located in St. Joseph, is a 53 acre park, and has access to the 3000 acre Lake Bruin. The site was originally established 1928 as a fish hatchery. The park has three large fishing piers, a year round boat launch and a boat shed.
Lake Claiborne State Park, near Homer, was established in 1974. The lake was created by damning Bayou D’Arbonne. When the lake is at full reservoir level, it has a surface area of 6400 acres. Visitors to the park can go swimming, fishing, birding, boating of all kinds, waterskiing, camping and hiking.
Lake D’Arbonne State Park is in Farmerville was created in 1967. It is 655 acres, with a 15,250 acre lake. It has a swimming pool and a tennis complex, and 65 campsites, 18 cabins, 2 lodges and a group camp that sleeps 52. Lake D’Arbonne is also a good fishing location, with fishing piers and boat docks.
Lake Fausse Pointe State Park is located 18 miles east of St. Martinville and was established in 1974. This state park was once part of the Atchafalaya Basin and is 6,000 acres and was once home to the Chitimacha Indians. It is located near Longfellow Evangeline State Historic Site.
North Toledo Bend State Park is located in Zwolle and was created in 1976. This state park is located on Toledo Bend Reservoir. Toledo Bend is one of the country’s largest man-made reservoirs. This park is 900 acres and it is situated on a peninsula, which extends into the reservoir at the mouth of Bayou Miguel. This state park is located near five of the state’s historic sites: Fort Jessup, Fort Jean Batiste, Los Adaes, Mansfield and Rebel. The park has a boat launch with a fish cleaning station, boat rentals, fresh water fishing competitions and an Olympic sized swimming pool. It also has 63 RV sites, 10 vacation cabins and a group camp that sleeps up to 150 people.
Poverty Point Reservoir State Park is in Delhi, which is located near the Mississippi flyway. Visitors have good chances for viewing birds, and sighting black bears.
This park, created in 2003, was located on a 2700 hundred acre manmade lake, which was formed in 2001 as a water resource for the area and also as a recreational park. The park features 24 campsites and 8 lake front cabins, with a water playground. The north marina complex features a swimming beach area, a boat launch and a marina with 48 covered slips, as well as a concession stand, fishing pier and fish cleaning stations.
St. Bernard State Park, 18 miles southeast of New Orleans in Braithwaite, was established in 1978. The land for this park was donated by a local family in 1971. This park suffered the most damage of all Louisiana parks during Katrina, and was re-opened in December, 2006. It has a network of manmade lagoons and is located near the Chalmette National Historic Park, Jackson Barracks, and other historic sites and plantation homes.
Sam Houston Jones State Park is named for the Texas folk hero, Sam Jones, who traveled in western Louisiana and became the 37th governor of Louisiana. This park is 1,087 acres, and was created in 1944. There are three hiking trails and the most interesting is the old Stagecoach Road.
South Toledo Bend State Park was established in 2003 and is located in Anacoco. The area is a common nesting ground for the bald eagle. It is located near Fort Polk Reservation Center and has a 3000 foot surface nature trail.
Tickfaw State Park is located southwest of Springfield in Livingston Parish and became a state park in 1999. The park was the first state park devoted to natural resource education. Visitors can canoe on Tickfaw River or have fun at the water playground.
In 2009, there will be two new additions to the state parks system. These additions are Bogue Chitto State Park and Palmetto Island State Park. Bogue Chitto is located near Franklinton and Palmetto Island is located south of Abbeville. There will be fishing, camping, swimming and nature trails, and visitor centers at both of these parks. There will be continued upgrades to all the state parks, including new cabins at Bayou Segnette State Park and improvements to the Hodges Gardens State Park.
Since the start of the parks in 1934, the state parks system has greatly improved and expanded. Visitors to the state parks system, spending over $40 million annually, can now fish, hike, camp, swim, picnic and enjoy numerous wildlife, floral and vegetation habitats. This year is very special because it is the seventy fifth anniversary of the state parks system, and there will be special celebrations and events throughout the year. ((this can be a theme on the display board))

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Finally blogging and Maddie's New Boots

I follow my friend's Blair blog with fascination and admiration. She has made me laugh and cry and I am always so grateful when she includes Maddie in her posts and pictures. With her encouragement, I started this blog - and posted once. I vowed to start on Maddie's birthday and post once a day, with at least one picture. With two parties (both for Maddie), two birthday dinners (one for Maddie and one for me), a fabulous trip to Disneyworld and the Christmas / New Year holidays, blogging fell well down on the priority list.

At Charlotte's third birthday party (thanks for including us!), I decided to honor our friendship and really start blogging. Well, I planned to, anyway.

Maddie had other plans for my evening. With Kevin & Nick in Houma for the day and evening, I thought I would finish the thank you notes from Maddie's birthday (yes, still working on them!), clean up a bit and have some quiet time. Maddie seemed especially cranky and tired so I thought I would put her to bed early and have an evening alone. Right at 7 pm, I fixed her bottle, then heard a bad noise - Maddie getting sick. She opened her mouth and it just poured out, right onto the sofa arm, then on me, then the floor, then everywhere. She was sick over and over until 1 am, poor baby.

Fortunately, she bounced right back and has been fine all day. Her mommy is worn out and the house is still a mess - and smells a bit - steam cleaner needed!, but Maddie is happy baby again.

Yesterday's picture was going to be this photo of Maddie wearing her boots from Mr. Wayne. We finally took him to dinner - a month and a day late - for his birthday on Friday. He gave Maddie a great present - rain boots, and she loves them. She wanted to wear them to Charlotte's party, but compromised on the lavendar loafers on loan from Blair. (Neither were the pink ballet shoes I had planned, but I think it is my fault for creating a shoe princess.) Maddie had a great time pushing her blue dog around in her favorite toy (a $4 stroller from KB toys - not any of the presents I picked out for Christmas or her birthday, of course!), wearing her new boots.

Today I followed Maddie's lead on food and drinks. After strongly encouraging her to eat dinner - and then having to watch it it all come back up, I realized she really did know if she wanted to eat or not. Tonight, I let her feed herself - bananas, rice, rice noodles, and then the fun stuff - yogurt and pear sauce. I found out that she's not bad with a spoon. The tray and Maddie look a bit messy, but a surprisely small amount hit the floor. My baby is growing so fast and is able to do so many things herself now. It is so much fun and so exciting, but I wish it were just a little slower!