Monday, January 30, 2012

Theodore 1st Birthday Party - Dr. Seuss Themed

Here is the birthday boy! I had to take this photo a week before his party so I could get it enlarged. Turned out cute eh?

2 days before his party I had to start on the cake. 1 day to cook the cakes (all 7) and the next to do fondant and decorate the cake. It was so big, we had to throw out half the food in the fridge to put it in to keep it cool over night.

The day of the party we decorated the rest of the house. Here is what the outside looked like.

I made this banner that said "Theodore I Am" to hang above the table.

I had custom box made for party favors for his little friends. I made Cat in the hat goodies out of marshmellows and life savors. HAND MADE fish soaps (I know I am crazy!), HAND MADE little puzzle blocks (seriously crazy for that one!) and made cake balls covered in coconut for the book "Lorax" which is one of Joshua's favorite book. and a bunch of other little goodies in there. It was a lot of work!

We made green jello eggs for Green eggs and ham. :) and then we made this little cute sign for people to sign his birthday card which happened to be the Happy Birthday book. :)

This next pictures were the birthday invite. I had a Dr. Seuss book customized with his and Charlene's name and little bit about him in it. :) SUPER CUTE IDEA!

This next picture we took right before people showed up. SUPER CUTE BIRTHDAY BOY!!!

Once guest showed up, we had a couple activities. We had a coloring page and also a gold fish counting game.

Here is the party animals! We had 18 kids under the age of 18, between 4 families!!!

Theodore loved the birthday song. Mama had to help with the blowing out of the candle

Papa tried to get him to eat cake, but he wanted nothing to do with cake. So 5 minutes later Joshua showed him how its done. LOL

Once He got the taste in his mouth he just went to town!

Last was the presents. He got a bunch of cool gifts. His favorites are Mr. Potato head and large logos.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

A week in New Orleans

Joshua got to spend another week in New Orleans so we decided to go with to use up some of our free flights. :)

Everybody knows that if you have have a lot of stuff! Thank goodness for double strollers to help pack that stuff. This is what it looked like!

The kids are usually always good on the planes. This time around...not so much. Theodore who usually ALWAYS passes out right away, fought us for about 15 minutes of screaming before passing out. :( and Charlene who is used to being on planes with tv's...well there was no plane with tv this time around and she has flown so much, that she is used to a snack which usually doesnt come right away, so we had a little melt down on the first flight out (seems she gets these
melt down always in front of others which totally sucks) Other than that, they both passed out majority of the whole flight which makes things easier. :)

As we are driving to the condo, I noticed a lot of houses look like Portland houses, but they oh most all had gas lanterns as the front porch lights. It was really cool looking.

The first full day we were there...what do you know...RAIN!!! I HATE rain so we refused to go exploring since I am the coldest person alive. ha ha So instead we got all settled in the little condo, got groceries for breakfasts and lunches for the week and just stayed cuddled up inside.

The next day I decided to take the kids on the street car all the way up to City Park. I should have taken the car, but decided the street car would be so much fun, but didn't realize how long it would take us. 45 minutes later...we got there

We heard about the crime rate in New Orleans, but really didn't realize how bad it was until we got there. Well this next picture was taken at just ONE of the elevators at the University where Joshua was working. These two are the new ones added.

Anyways - while getting off the street car, I turned around to reach for Charlene's hand and noticed a older lady trying to pick pocket the backpack I was wearing! Kind of threw me off and scared me a little. Luckily the backpack is all diaper bag so she really could have only gotten a diaper. LOL

We then had to walk a half mile to the area where we were targeting for inside the City Park. We passed these beautiful big trees and I had to get a picture.

We then walked pass these big "scary" tree's (Charlene's words) which was native to New Orleans and were all over the place. They were also really cool looking.

After walking a while we finally got to Story Land.

Story Land is a small little park with themes to different books. It was super cheap...$3 for all of us to get in. :)

This next picture I had played a prank on Charlene. She was afraid of the big bag wolf so I told her to close the door. she walked around to the side of the house to close the door, and after she pushed it shut, I screamed and she did her "Pheebe" run with her eyes wide open and a scared look on her face. It was priceless. :)

After about an hour inside Story Land we decided to check out another nearby play area. We had to walk across this nice big green area. They even had swinging benches you could sit and enjoy. It was beautiful. Green I do miss. :)
Theodore found a couple new friends.

We found a little water to splash in.

We then walked through a garden of art work. Charlene saw this man statue and told me its like Daddy and Theodore. LOL I assumed she was talking about the private parts since this statue doesn't even look a thing like Joshua but it had private parts. She cracks me up sometimes!!! :)

After a couple hours at the Park and having a picnic and ice cream we headed back to the street car pick up location. We must have just missed it cause we were there for about a half hour waiting. In the meantime Charlene found these two leaves and was dancing with them.

and Theodore enjoyed playing rhythm on the bench to peoples loud music in their cars.

That night after Theodore was down, I just happened to hear drums out our window. It was a parade! I threw on my shoes, grabbed the camera, grabbed Charlene and had to take the elevator down 11 floors and by the time we got down there, we only got to see 3 floats. They did throw beads which was fun for Charlene to collect.

Charlene got a total of 9 necklaces.

The next day we went to Mardi Gras World. There was a free shuttle to it, so it made it easy to get to being husband-less during the day.

We went on the tour around the HUGE warehouse where they make everything. At first Charlene was afraid of all the HUGE people and animals so I had to deal with holding Theodore and her at feet scratching and pawing at me wanting up because she was scared. It was one of those moments that I wish I would have brought a friend with us to help with Theodore during these types of situations.

Theodore trying to get his pictures, He was scared also a little.

After the hour long tour, Charlene just happened to no longer be scared, so I got a bunch of pictures of her. She wanted her picture in front of a lot of things now.

During the tour we learned a lot. First this particular place recycles ALL but 3 of their figures for every years parade. This little man with a big head was last years World. We also learned that for 2 weeks before Mardi Gras there is between 2-5 parades a day all over the city! That is a lot of parades! Mardi Gras World is the only one that is for all ages.

After going to Mardi Gras world and watching one of their videos about it, I REALLY REALLY REALLY want to go sometime in the future for Mardi Gras. I think it would be so fun with all the cool activities such as the Masquerade parties and the parades

One of the first days we were there, on a walk I saw from 2 blocks away a cool old church with BRIGHT red doors. I knew I had to do some photos there. However, I waited for the last day and of course the time I went a filming crew was filming in front of it. That was the second location I couldn't shoot at too that I saw. Luckily later that day once Joshua got off, we drove past and saw they were gone. Of course then, the lighting from the sun was off. But I will have to say, they turned out cute for the most part.

There are always these ones that show up in the mix. Charlene pointing at a bird behind me, and Theodore looking at a bird the other way. LOL

This is what I saw from far away. :)

After the short photo shoot, We hoped into the car and drove one in a half hours to the Baton Rouge Temple. It was just a small one so it was closed since it was a weekday.

On the way to the temple we had passed this really cool cemetery that went on for MILES! So it was a must on the way back to get pictures.

However, we hit traffic and it started to get dark. Once we got off the freeway there was no where to pull over. :( We drove around for 20 minutes and couldn't find anywhere to park and get out. So I had to take these snap shots. :(

It is by far, the COOLEST cemetery I have ever seen!

The next day we woke up at 4:30am to get on our plane ride home. :( If I would have brought a friend I think we would have done more during the day. Hopefully in the future we can make it to Mardi Gras. :)

Lessons we learned while there. Never go out after dark, watch what you carry, and bring a friend to help with the kids if Joshua has to work, and if there is an emergency...well its going to be a while since nobody has respect for ambulances (drove me crazy!!! I could go on and on about that!)