Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Lizard Hunter

Before we left for vacation, we were dealing with an invasion in our house. And of course, we were invaded with the creatures that I probably hate most: lizards. Not just regular lizards, super tiny, baby lizards. They were literally the size of a bobby pin.

To say that the lizards wigged me out is an understatement. I am deathly afraid of lizards. I have no idea why. They are just plain creepy. I once stood on a chair for over an hour calling every pest removal service in the county, all while my cookies that I was baking to send overseas to Steven were burning in the oven (I consider it a mortal sin to burn cookies, so you can understand my shame). Of course, all of the pest control places told me that they "do not do lizards" while laughing under their breath at me. Whatever.

So, to have the creepy little things running all over the house really did a number on me. We were finding 5-6 a day. Steven, my Lizard-Slaying husband, would hear my screech, and come to my rescue. With a good WHAP, that lizard got what was coming to him for invading General Broussard's house.

Some times, the lizards would just run out in front of me, but most often, we knew we had one because Jack would corner it and refuse to leave that spot until Steven got it. Watching him hunt them down was kind of hilarious. When he would find one, he acted like a hunting dog "pointing" his prey.

On a mission

While we were on vacation, all I could think about was the big lizard party going on in our house. Steven and I figured that Jack would stay busy cornering them. We came home, and I expected the infestation to still be in full swing. However, we quickly realized that the lizards had moved on. We didn't think much of it until one evening when Jack went on the prowl.

We had put Caroline to bed and Steven and I were posted up in our chairs in the living room, enjoying our nightly boring ritual of watching tv and playing on our computers (we live on the wild side). Jack was in the dining room/kitchen playing with something, but we couldn't figure out what he was doing. Steven finally got up and went to see what he was up to. He had found a lizard, and instead of just cornering it, he had smooshed it. Steven took care of it, we chuckled, and continued about our business. A few minutes later, we heard him doing the same thing. Steven went to investigate and this time, he found Jack eating the lizard!

While we were on vacation, we hired a pet sitter to take care of the boys, and a couple of our friends also helped out. Everyone commented that Jack hadn't eaten much since we had been gone. That wasn't unusual since Jack usually goes on a hunger strike when we leave. However, after seeing what he did to that little lizard, we figured he wasn't eating his food because he was eating lizards the entire time. Gross! But I actually kind of love it. This brings a whole new meaning to the term "guard dog".

Now, when I go back into the kitchen late at night (which is when I often see them), I always take Jack with me so he can sweep the area first and protect me. I will say though, we have not had a lizard sighting in several days now, so Jack is doing his job.

Come out, come out wherever you are....

I am so glad I have my lizard slaying husband and dog to protect me! What would I do without them???

Monday, August 29, 2011

Caroline 5 Months

I can't believe it. Caroline is 5 months old! (I realize that I am posting this almost 2 weeks late, but have you come to expect anything else from me??) And things are getting interesting around here. I have a feeling that this little girl is going to be a handful.

For awhile, she was just rolling all over the place. It wasn't really a problem because it was sort of "aimless" rolling. Well, now, I think I can officially say that she is mobile. She is not full-on crawling, but she has figured out her own way of scooting across the floor, inchworm style. If she sees something she wants, she goes after it. Let the baby-proofing begin! (I know, arrest me... I didn't have the entire house baby-proofed before she was born)

We also started veggies this month. She had gotten to where she would at least somewhat eat the rice cereal, but now that she has started real food, she won't touch the stuff. I have been making her food and just freezing it in little individual portions. She has become quite the little piglet. So far, she is eating green beans, peas, yellow squash, butternut squash, and carrots.

I had a really hard time getting her to sit still for these pictures

Annnnddd the weird blue bird kept getting knocked over.....

And some one found it rather amusing

My Sweet Caroline :)

She can sit up on her own for a little bit, but then she falls over. She can't get to the sitting position on her own just yet, but she is working on it and I can tell she will be able to soon.

I couldn't get her to stretch out, but she is getting sooo long!

Toes are still her favorite toy

So happy :)

I just can't believe that my Caroline Grace is almost half a year old. Just goes to show you that time flies when you're too tired to think straight having fun :)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Vacation Part 4

Okay, I'm FINALLY wrapping up the vacation posts.

We left Destin on Sunday and headed back to Lafayette to spend a couple days before we made the trek back to Wichita Falls.

We stayed with Pops and Sugar again. I think Pops was really glad to see us again. He had been by himself for most of the week, surviving on pork and beans (Steven does not take after his father-he can actually cook! Lucky me!).

It was nice to relax a little and enjoy the help with Caroline. Sugar kept saying that Caroline was going to be spoiled when we got home, but actually, I was the spoiled one. It must be absolutely AMAZING to have family living in the same town when you have a little one. At first, I felt so bad for letting any one else take care of Caroline. I didn't want to seem as if I was just dumping my obligations on other people. But I soon learned to just sit back and enjoy it while it lasts, because back in Wichita Falls, Steven and I are on our own again.

If you can't tell, this little girl totally has Pops wrapped around her little finger :)

Caroline decided that she had totally had it with lying down or even at a slight incline. She wanted to be upright RIGHT NOW! Since we were tight on space in the car, I didn't pack the Bumbo. But, never fear, Sugar to the rescue. She rigged up this little basket for Caroline to sit up and play in. She was actually pretty happy in it for a little bit.

Baby in a Basket :)

Monday night, Steven and I went out to eat with a couple of his friends. Sugar and Pops were once again gracious enough to watch Caroline. When we got home, we assumed Caroline would be asleep. We were wrong! When we didn't see her in her pack n' play, we went to Sugar and Pops' room to investigate and this is what we found:

Can you say spoiled???

She loves her Pops!

We were planning on leaving late Tuesday night and driving through the night again. We wanted to see every one again before we left, so Janet had us all over for dinner that night before we left.

The whole time we were gone, Caroline was really interested in food. She started grabbing at whatever any one was eating and she would smack her lips while she watched us eat. I was planning on starting to introduce veggies at 5 months, which was about 10 days away, but I could tell that my girl was HUNGRY and milk just wasn't doing it any more. I planned on making the majority of her food myself, but I decided to just go ahead and pick up a little container of green beans and give it a go.

We tried it that night at Janet's house and it actually went pretty well. She made a weird face at first, but once she got used to the texture/taste, she went to town.

Trying green beans for the first time!


We left that night around 11:15 and headed back to Wichita Falls. It was a rough drive due to the fact that we were both so tired. We rolled into Wichita Falls a little after 7:00 the next morning. Caroline of course slept the whole way and was ready to go when we got home. However, we were ready to crash and we didn't have Sugar and Pops here to take the little nugget off of our hands for a little bit. Needless to say, it was a rough day...

All in all, we had a great vacation and were really sad that it was over. It was SO nice to see green and water. I didn't realize how much I had missed both of those. I'll admit, it is a little depressing to be back in brown Wichita Falls, but it is nice to be back in our own house and back in a routine. So, until our next road trip, we will just have to settle for the fake falls off of I-44 :)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Vacation Part 3

For the second half of our Florida trip, we went over to the Seaside area to stay with some of Steven's friends from high school/college. We packed up and left our condo Thursday morning. It was about a 20 minute drive to where we were going, so we didn't have to embark on another long car ride with an infant.

We met up with Nic and Jenn, Dan and Julie, and Mickey and Katie. They all had their kids with them, so between us all, we had 8 adults and 7 kids in one beach house!

We spent quite a bit of time on the beach, of course. It was so fun to watch all of the older kids play on the beach and to think that Caroline would be doing that in a couple years.

Here is Miss Hollywood relaxing under the beach umbrella

Relaxing with Daddy

On Friday night, we hired 2 babysitters to watch the kids and the adults went out to a really nice dinner (Don't worry-we didn't just hire them off the street. Nic and Jenn have a house down there and vacation there very often, so they had 2 babysitters that they have used and have been very happy with. They were both retired school teachers, so I was comfortable with them staying with Caroline).

We went to a restaurant in Alys Beach called Caliza. It was AMAZING! The food, the atmosphere, everything. It is a poolside restaurant, so it has a really chic, Mediterranean vibe. We walked in, and I felt like we were in Greece. BEAUTIFUL! It was such a treat for us, especially after being in Wichita Falls.



The whole group before dinner:
From left to right: Mickey and Katie, Nic and Jenn, Dan and Julie, Steven and I

The ladies: Jenn, Me, Julie, and Katie

Another group pic AFTER dinner... I have no idea what is all over my husband's shirt...

After dinner, we went to a really fun outdoor bar where there was a band playing. We had a couple drinks, danced and just enjoyed ourselves. It was such a treat to be able to enjoy adult company.

When we got back to the house, we ran into a problem. Earlier Friday afternoon, when we all came back from the beach, we noticed that the AC in the house wasn't working too well. The men toyed with it and determined that a repair man was needed. So, a call was made and supposedly, some one would come out that evening. Well, when we got back, it was obvious that the AC had not been fixed. It was about 90 degrees in the house and the poor babysitters were drenched in sweat. I felt so bad for them. They were so nice about it, but needless to say, we tipped them well.

The kids were all asleep, but they were also covered in sweat. Mickey and Katie were staying on the bottom floor of the house, so they still had AC. But the rest of us were staying in the part without AC. We decided to go over to another section of the house that had two sets of bunk beds and a full-size bed. Long story short, we all piled in that room, kids and all. There were 6 adults, 4 kids, and 1 baby (Caroline) in there. All night long it was a symphony of snoring and other bodily noises. It was less than ideal at the time, but it was definitely a memory that we will all laugh about in years to come!

The last night we were there (Saturday), we decided to go into Seaside and go down to the beach to watch the sunset and then grab dinner afterwards. The kids ran around and played on the beach, and we were able to get some great pics in the beautiful light. (Steven let me take the good camera, so FINALLY, we have some quality pictures)

The group

All of the kids, minus Camille with Steven

From left to right: Nicholas, Ellie, Braxton, Caroline, Audrey, and Owen

Caroline and Daddy-I love they way she is holding his face here. So sweet :)

Family picture. Kinda dark because we had the sun behind us, but we wanted at least one pic of the beautiful sunset

This was about the best we could get of the three of us. Caroline was fascinated with Steven's watch, so she would not look up for anything.

The whole group

From left to right: Dan, Julie, Ellie and Owen; Jenn, Nic, Braxton and Nicholas; Mickey, Katie, Camille and Audrey; Steven, Dallas and Caroline

Doesn't this just make you happy???

Eskimo Kisses!

We had a great time with Steven's friends. It was so fun to have all of the kids together and I can't wait until Caroline is old enough to join in the fun. We hope to see them all a lot more often now that we are closer!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Vacation Part 2... Finally...

Sooooo, you know in my last post when I said that I wouldn't take too long to post the rest of our trip??? Yeah, well I lied. Little did I know that as I was typing that last post, a vicious bug was taking over my body and would soon totally wipe me off of my feet. What I think started as a head cold, soon turned into a full blown sinus infection. And did I go to the doctor??? NOOoooOOOoo... Of course not. That would have been the smart thing to do. Instead, I thought I could "tough" it out. All I have to say is, being sick stinks, but it is really hard when you have a little one to take care of. Caroline was pretty much a feral child during the day and all operations under General Broussard's (that's me... if you had to ask, then you don't know me too well) command ceased (my house looks like a war zone). Thankfully, I have a wonderful husband who came home and took care of Caroline so that I could crawl in bed around 7:00 5 nights in a row. Yeah, I was that sick. You know I have to be sick to do that. Finally, after about a week of running a low-grade fever and having unbearable pain in my jaw/ear/nose, I finally broke down and asked my friend Darcy to call me an antibiotic in because I obvidously wasn't fighting that nasty bug too well on my own. I feel like a brand new woman today! I'm not quite back to full-speed, but I'm at least up and moving, which is more than I have been in the last 8 days.

Any way, on to happier items. So, Part 2 of our vacation, we headed to Florida. We got up early Monday morning and left Lafayette around 5:45 a.m. We made a stop in Pensacola to visit Mrs. Donna and Mr. Bill. They lived next door to Steven's family when they lived in Pensacola and they have kept in touch ever since.

Once we arrived in Destin, we set in to unpack and get settled. Once we did that, we were going to try to go to the beach, but a thunderstorm moved in and dumped on us. We totally did not mind though-it was SOOOOOO nice to see rain! (Yes, I realize how sad that is... It has been so long since we have seen rain that we don't even care if it shows up on our beach vacation)

The great thing about this vacation was that it kind of turned into a mini family reunion. Sugar and her friend Mrs. Dianne came and stayed with us to help out with Caroline and so we could actually enjoy the beach (Lifesavers!!!!!). Steven's sister Janet and her family were going to be there the same week we were, so his other sister Julie decided she didn't want to be left out of the fun, so she made arrangements to be there at the same time as well. It was so great to all be there at the same time. However, we really missed Pops-he had to stay back in Lafayette to work.

So, after we unpacked and settled in, we went next door to Janet's condo and ate some dinner and just relaxed. Everyone passed Caroline around and she loved being the center of attention (go figure).

Getting some quality Sugar/Aunt Julie/Aunt Janet time

The next day, we woke up and got around to go to the beach. I wanted to at least take Caroline down for a little bit before it got too hot.

Ready to hit the beach! (please excuse my flabby arm-I was trying to get Caroline to look at the camera)

I didn't get a lot of very good pics on the beach. Steven didn't want to take the good camera on the beach, and I didn't disagree. I have a very love/hate relationship with sand, so it was a wise choice. That being said, I couldn't get too excited about taking pictures with my regular ol digital point and click camera. I have been spoiled by our awesome camera and I just can't go back to the old way.

Hanging out on the beach with Steven's nephew Ben, and Amber, Blake's girlfriend (Steven's other nephew)

Caroline wasn't too sure about the sand. She just looked at it and I could tell that she wanted to touch it and put it in her mouth.

With Daddy about to go in the water

Annnndddd she wasn't too happy... She likes the pool now, but I think the waves freaked her out.

A litte better....

We pretty much just hung out on the beach the next couple of days and Caroline enjoyed some Sugar time.

One night, we went down to the beach to catch the last of the sunset. We kind of just stayed down there for awhile because it was so nice.

I realize that this picture is fuzzy due to the humidity (I never thought I would say this, but I actually MISS humidity... Do you see what Wichita Falls is doing to me?!). However, I absolutely love this picture of Caroline and Blake.

On that note, it was so funny to see Janet's boys with Caroline. Janet has four boys, and they are ALL boy. But, get them around a baby, and they turn into these gentle giants. I actually heard Andre and Mitchell fighting over who had held Caroline more. They just love babies! They were all so great with her and she loved spending time with her cousins. I told Janet that her boys were going to be excellent daddys some day.

Aunt Janet and Caroline on the beach (sorry for the fuzz again)

Family picture! I love how Caroline is holding Steven's face here. Too cute :)

Really freaky picture of me, but cute picture of Caroline. I'm sensing a trend here...

We had a great time with Steven's family. We don't get to see them often enough, so it was really nice to have a couple of days to spend together.

Okay, now I mean it this time.... Part 3 will be up shortly... Barring any more illness or natural disasters.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Vacation-Part 1

Hello world! After a long break, I am finnnnallllyyyy back. We returned from our whirlwind of a vacation last Wednesday, but after all of the unpacking and settling back in, I am just now getting around to posting about our trip. I'll admit, I have also been somewhat dreading the daunting task of posting this trip because it is going to be a novel. So, that is why I am going to break our trip up into 4 posts. Mainly to save my sanity, but also keeping the sanity of my lovely readers in mind :)

We blasted out of Wichita Falls on Friday (July 29) around 11:20 p.m. We fed Caroline her last feeding, put her in her carseat and hoped for the best. We made the journey to Lafayette and arrived a little after 7:00 the next morning. Caroline actually did great. She woke up once when we stopped for gas around 4:00 a.m., but I rigged her up a bottle, she ate a little, and she went right back to sleep. When we finally arrived in Lafayette, Pops practically ran out the door like his hair was on fire, grabbed the carseat (with Caroline in it), and took off back inside, all with barely a word in our direction. Steven and I just stood there in the driveway looking at each other. We see where we stand now :) Sugar had fixed a big breakfast for us, so we ate and went and caught a couple hours of sleep while Pops and Sugar took care of Caroline. Glorious.

We pretty much just lounged around the house the rest of the day. Caroline was eating up all of the attention from Sugar and Pops. Steven and I got ready and went out to our FIRST dinner sans baby. I'll admit, it was weird... We didn't even know how to act. We kept marveling at the fact that the other diners might look at us and think that we were just a "normal" couple. I guess in our eyes, "normal" now means "without children".

Anywhoo, we enjoyed an awesome seafood dinner at Don's there in Lafayette. Steven ordered the fried alligator (duh... I mean we were in the land of Swamp people... watch that show and you will understand a lot more about my crazy Cajun husband) and I had the fried oysters (don't judge... we were on vacation). Can I say how AMAZING it was to have fresh, albeit, fried seafood??? That is one of the things that I have missed most here in dry, hot, water barren, hot, dusty, dry, hot Wichita Falls.

After dinner, we headed to a little bar called The Wild Salmon to hear Steven's nephew's band, Pretty Price and the Shack Rockers, play. Pauly, said nephew, is awesome on the guitar. He has been playing in this band for a little while now, and we were so excited to go hear them play. All I have to say is..... WOW! They were phenomenal. I'm no music guru, but they really were outstanding. They play a little bit of everything from Elvis, to the Stones, oldies, and even a little disco. You can sing along to every song, which of course, I love (only when in places loud enough that others will not hear me). I will not be surprised at all when very soon, they are playing in New Orleans. Yeah, they are that good.

Pretty Price and the Shack Rockers
The lead singer, Jared, is the one in the middle. He is so good. He may be a big guy, but don't let that fool ya. The boy can move. And he can sing like no other. Pauly is to the left of Jared.

This kid is absolutely amazing. For what he has been through, (liver and kidney transplant when he was just a wee babe), he has such an amazing attitude and heart. He is going to school at UL right now, but the band is his passion. It makes Steven and I SO proud to see him doing something he truly loves.

This is Jesse. Not only does he play the keyboard, but he also plays the sax. Not only does he play the sax, but he plays 2 saxophones AT THE SAME TIME!!!! I can't even play one saxophone...

Steven and I with the man, Pauly, after the show

One of Steven's biggest wishes has always been to have his Granny (on his mom's side; his only living grandparent) hold/see his baby. Granny is 93 years old and is living in a nursing home in Abbeville. Unfortunately, she is no longer the vibrant Granny Steven remembers. Old age can be so cruel. Never the less, we still took Caroline to see Granny on Sunday.

This little lady had 8 children of her own and has somewhere around 44 grandchildren, approximately 48 great grandchildren, and about 5 great-great grandchildren (sorry for the estimates-I asked Steven here next to me and you know how men are with details). Needless to say, this woman has rocked and bounced more babies than I can count.

I never knew the Granny that Steven talks about, but I would love to have known her. She sounds like such a neat little lady. And tough. You would have to be to have 8 kids.... Without the miracles of modern medicine.

After the visit to Granny's, we headed back to Sugar and Pops' house to rest up and get ready for the next leg of our trip the next morning.

Caroline played...

And I played with Caroline. I know, cheesy pic, but how could I resist with that adorable little smile??? You know I am a sucker for that smile because I posted a picture of my side profile, which I loathe.

Well, that does it for Part 1. Check back soon for the next thrilling installments of the Broussard Family Vacation. And this time I promise it wont' take me 3,000 years to make the next post :) Toodles!