Friday, January 17, 2014


Ok, so the hubs is done with graduate school, and we are checking out of New Orleans at the end of the month (despite the fact I said that flippantly, there will be nothing easy about leaving). We will then move on to be gypsies for a month or two, move to Richmond for 8 weeks, then...on to EAST ASIA!

That's just a small glimpse of the changes to come.  Our blog title has been "From Country to Cajun".  Now that we've mastered the "cajun", I think it might be time for a new name.  Hmmm....suggestions are welcome:)

Addie Claire...1 year!

How can my baby be a year old, already? Seriously? However, she has SO much, ahem, personality, that I can hardly remember when she was a little 7 pounder, who just ate, stared, grunted, and slept.  Oh, and pooped, lets not forget about the poop...and how obsessed I was with the specific details of the poop.  No one told me about that part of being a new mommy.


Weight: 21lbs
Height: About 30 inches, I think.  We'll find out for sure at our check up next week.
Nicknames: Ninja baby, Critter (Brad), Baby Girl, and many others.
Favorite Food: Sweet Potato in any form, avocado, rotini pasta (yes, she has a favorite shape pasta), t toast, and...wait for eyed peas.  My sweet southern belle. Oh, and she HAS to feed herself. Nope, no spoon feeding done in this house. She refuses.
Favorite Book: Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? It's not only her favorite, she's obsessed.
Personality: Precocious, Feisty, Spirited, Sneaky, Excited, Adventurous, and Happy, Happy, Happy
Major Milestones: Walking everywhere!  This actually started around 9 1/2 months or so.  She's still struggling with exactly how to work a cup. It's hard work, people.
Words: Dada, Mama (occasionally), Yeah, Yay, and Hey
Teeth: 6...and I think #7 is popping through
Mama's Comments: She's quite a little problem-solver.  When she gets an idea in her head, there's no stopping what she's trying to do.  Appropriate discipline is already alive and well in our house! But, at the same time, she is such a little sweetheart.  She can handle getting pushed around and having her toys stolen by bigger kids with a smile on her face.  And you should see the gigglefest that takes place when her daddy comes home from work!

Here are a few pictures from her birthday party!

Her monthly pictures beautifully hanging from balloons thanks to Ben and Naomi Ellis

Eating her cake itty bit by itty messy clean up here.

Finally getting in to wrapping presents 

Yummy cupcakes courtesy of Haydel's Bakery in New Orleans

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Love Keeps No Record of...Rights.

Well, hello there. Glad you stopped in to see if I was being heretical.  I figured most of my readers are either long-time believers or current biblical scholars.  I had to get your attention somehow. Gotcha! Bwahahaha...that's my villian laugh.

I digress.

Looking back at the couples that I've had in my office, my friends' marriages, and even my own, I've realized yet another common thread that, often times, gets passed over.  1 Corinthians 13 is often quoted in premarital counseling, weddings, showers, and basically any other event where marriage is the focus. Verse 5 states, "it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs." So, advice-givers typically make the point of, "Don't bring up something your spouse has done in the past to use it against them in a current argument."  Pretty much all marriage counselors in the US will agree to that basic principle, believers or not.  Duh.

"Got that, Cari," you think.

But do you really?

See, I think we sometimes go about breaking this rule in a more subtle but just as harmful way.  I may not bring up a past offense in a...ahem...discussion with my husband, but I WILL start thinking of all the ways in which I have been right.  All the things I've done for him. The sacrifices I've made.  The times I did something I didn't want to in the name of "selflessness". In other words, I start keeping score.  But it's not a score of wrongs that he's "done wrong"'s a score of things that I've "done right."  This is no more God-honoring than the record of wrongs.  It puffs up pride. It is horridly self-centered, and it is in no way Christ-like.

In effect, when we choose to do this, we are constantly reminding our spouse that WE are the superior being.  You are telling them, "I am the better half of this relationship. You should be thanking me all day long. You will never be as good as I least until you do all of _______.  You can never win this argument because I hold all the trump cards with all of the good things I've done."

As if there is such a thing as "winning" an argument, anyway.

Friends, there is nothing wrong with loving and serving your partner.  In fact, you have been commanded to do so (and you've been commanded to do it respectfully).  You are to also cherish them. They are your best friend, your love, and your confidant.  However, the minute your pride starts keeping a checklist of the great things you've done (I've heard from my husband and his friends that this is particularly hard for men to avoid), you are no longer exhibiting the agape love that you have been called to. Your marriage becomes unbalanced, and the cycle of hurt and anger begins.

Protect your marriage, keep a list of the things the Lord has done for you. Review it. Memorize it.  You will not give grace to your spouse if you forget what you have been forgiven for.  Then, keep a list of how amazing your husband or wife is.  And, no, I don't care how long it takes you to make that list.  In the over-quoted words of Nike, "Just do it."

"When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom"
Proverbs 11:2

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Ticked Off Tinkerbell

When Addie was 3 months old, my sweet friend, Naomi, had come shopping with us.  It was Addison's first marathon shopping experience, and she handled it like a champ! A Disney fanatic  enthusiast, Naomi led me into the Disney Store.  On the clearance rack, we found the CUTEST little Tinkerbell costume (in the perfect size) and immediately formed a plan! Brad could be Peter Pan. I could be Wendy. Addie would be Tinkerbell. We could get a few friends to dress up as Schmee, Hook, and the Alligator that ticks (did he have a name?).  We would have the most adorable family/group costume ever!  Addie's first Halloween would just be an almost Pinterest worthy event!

*Fast Forward 6 Months Later*

While not chubby, my daughter is a whopping 90% in height.  She needed 12 month onesies for the length when she was 8 months old.  Let's concentrate on the days before October 31st.  I know I'm not getting Brad in tights for Peter Pan, so I settle for just a green shirt, tights, and a homemade hat with a red feather.  Supplies gathered.  However, we have a whirlwind of things happen that week (none bad, just busy).  My Wendy costume comes in.  It was super cheap on, and, well....I got what I paid for.  It was horrible.  It wasn't comfortable, proportional, or in any way cute.  Although it was (almost) floor length, it was static-clingy in some very unfortunate places.  I would've had to buy a long slip just to be properly modest.  I'm not buying a $15-$20 slip for a $7 ugly costume.   Not happening.  Oh, and my sweet daughter then acquires some congestion.  Teething? Allergies? Spite?  Who knows.  All I know is that she didn't have a fever, nor did it seem to make her feel all that bad.

All these things combined started shattering my perfect little Halloween ideal.  Luckily, I happened to be watching Duck Dynasty, and it hit me!  Why not be Missy and Jase Robertson? The only thing Brad needed in order to complete the costume was a beard!  I had a beautiful bridesmaid dress (yes, I said beautiful...thank you Kristin Galle) that is almost identical to the one the Missy wears in the opening credits of the show.  Brad will be in his comfort zone, and I get to wear a pretty dress. We'll just improvise and say that Jase and Missy have Tinkerbell for a daughter.  Who cares at this point, anyway?

The day of Halloween, I find a long hair and beard set at Target (note: they put their stuff on sale the DAY of Halloween)...only, it's a dark blonde color.  After some trimming and creative use of mascara and spray paint, Brad had a perfect beard that only gave him a slight buzz that night.  I guess we'll blame his candy consumption on the munchies???  Although last minute, everything was falling into place.  Until 5:30 rolled around.  Brad and I were semi-assembled to be at the church at 5:45, but Addie hadn't woken up from her nap.  So, we waited until the last possible minute and woke her up.  We paid dearly for this mistake.  Not only was she very angry with the fact that we had woken her up, but she hated Brad's newly acquired beard.  Enter: The most ticked-off Tinkerbell you will ever meet.

The night was still a blast, as we both Trick-or-Treated and collected food for the local schools.  When we walked into church,  the room burst into laughter at the sight of Brad Jase.  One of my sweet GA's even exclaimed, "Mrs. Cari, you look BEAUTIFUL!!!" To which, I responded "Thank you, Sara," with my face beet red.  Little girls love glamorous dresses, ya'll.  Unfortunately, hardly anybody in the area around the church knew who the Robertsons were, and several just thought Brad was a really creepy guy wearing camo.  Here are the pics.

Checkin out Dad's new beard

Seriously, who is this guy???

Jase Pose

Still Not Happy

Pretty close, don't you think? I'm sure this would make a great meme...

Happy Halloween! 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Addie Claire- 9 Months and Life Lately

 It's hard to believe that October (my favorite month) has come and gone! The Holiday season is approaching which means two things to me (at the moment).  1. Time to get crafty 2. Time to make the most of the couple of months we have left in New Orleans! 

I'm so excited about Addie's first Christmas!  We're not going to be able to go full-out with decorations at home this year because of limited space and being in the moving process.  I think we might do a felt tree like the one found here.  I am NOT playing keep away all day with Addie and a real Christmas tree in our small living space.  I can see Little Miss Sneaky Strong Will winning that battle at least a couple of times.  No, the real tree will have to be enjoyed at my parent's house.  However, I do plan on incorporating as much Christmas as I possibly can this year with other little projects and items.  I am definitely making this ornament...I've been waiting to make it before she was even born! Of course, we'll have to substitute with pink glitter...and a really big ornament girl definitely inherited my foot size.  

But, before we get to Christmas, let's catch up on the past couple of months.

Addison Claire: 19lbs. 29in long (Approximately 50% for weight and 90% for height)
Loves Books and Cheerios
Claps Hands...even when angry:)
Has 2 Smiles. One Sweet. One Cheesy.
Favorite Toy is a Pink Penguin from the Aquarium
26ish ounces of milk a day, 3 solid meal and will eat ANYTHING
Says "Dada" and "Baba"(Bye Bye, I think)
Has taken as many as 11 steps in a row!
Crawls on hands and feet (not knees)
Takes 2 naps a day (1.5-2 hrs. each)
Will not perform on command.


San Francisco in September 

One Happy Daddy on top of Maggie's Peak, Lake Tahoe

First (HOT) trip to the zoo.

Visit from the Givans and their sweet baby Graham!

Guess What?  There are now 3 mommy's in this picture!
Congrats Michael and Ashley!


Second Zoo Trip

Baby Blues

First Baby Crush: Hudson

Visit from the Goldmans and Lily Joyce


4th Anniversary Dinner at Ralphs on the Park

This pumpkin is not nearly as impressive as the big one, apparently. 

It is not that I neglect socks in these pictures, but that she pulls them off in the car. 

More New Mommy Moments

-Walking around humming tunes found only on your daughter's favorite light-up toy remote
-Your sweet husband then telling you that you need to get out more
-Learning to feed the child naked
-A new hatred of Daylight Savings Time
-A love/hate relationship with teeth, baby leggings, and walking
-Taking a swig out of her sippy cup because you packed her water, but not yours.
-Forgetting to eat because she ate and that counts, right??? 
-When your child looks at Duck Dynasty on the tv and says, "Dada!" Seriously???
-Finding the angry baby pictures the funniest. 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Summer? Fall? Summer? Fall?

 ...Aaaand just like that, summer's gone!  Okay, summer's not really gone, seeing as how it stays in the 80's/90's until mid-October.  In fact, I usually experience quite a bit of ambivalence this time of year.  The day that Starbucks releases their Pumpkin Spice Latte is one of the best days of the year.  It's pretty much a holiday in this house.  However, the continuance of intense heat and mosquitos beats down on my "Happy Fall Ya'll" high.  This year will be different!

Brad and I are planning a vacation to San Francisco/Lake Tahoe at the end of September (the point where you start praying for cooler weather to arrive).  I worked there for a summer back in college and have been so excited to show Brad the breathtaking result of mountains colliding with sparkling water.  This will be our last vacation before we head overseas, and we wanted to make it count.  Hopefully those pesky wildfires will decide to disappear within the next month!  On a serious note, the fires are horrible this summer.  The church/daycare/after school program I worked for is having to keep the kids inside at all times because of the dense smoke in the air...not cool.  In the South, we don't often have to deal with fires on that level, but they are devastating.  Our prayers are definitely with those out West.

I digress.  I haven't done an update for Addie in a while, and I know that, if I don't do it now, I won't remember this stuff in just a few months!


-6 Months: 16lb 5oz
-7 Months: 18lb even....Can you say "What up solids?!"  Apparently, they're treating my girl very well!


-6 Months: 26 1/2in
-7 Months: 27in...Still around 50-75% for height.  Short for our family!

Head: She's staying in the 90-95%...that's actually a good thing.  As long as it doesn't grow percentage-wise, we're still good!


6-8 oz bottles at 7, 11, 3, and 6:45
Solids at 8, 1, and 6..There's nothing she's refused, yet! I've even included spinach, squash, parsnips, and rutebeagas (sp?) in some of her stuff.  She's made a few "ugh" faces, but she's never spit it out.

I make my own baby food using the Nuk.  I'm not a mommy who believes that my child is going to be poisoned by a packet of Gerber-something every now and then, but I do like knowing what's in her food. Plus, it's cheap, and it's easy!  I love this little contraption, and highly recommend it (especially if you're like me and don't have a food processor, therefore having to buy something, anyway).


-This kid is ALWAYS moving!  It's no wonder she eats so much.  We can barely change her diaper, because she insists on "barrel rolling" every time.  It's a feat!  The week that she turned 6 months, she learned to pull up, crawl, sit herself up and lay herself back down.  It was quite a week full of creative baby proofing!  We have what we affectionately call, "The Baby Corral."  It is formed by or L-shaped sofa, and we've boxed in the other 2 sides with other furniture and various baby gear.  It works for now, but I have a feeling that she's going to learn to push them out of the way sooner than we would like.  As it is, I'm guessing she will be walking by 9 or 10 months at the latest.  We can already see the motivation and the wheels turning!


Bottom left and right have just peaked out! She got teeth way earlier than I did, but around the same time when Brad did...slow down, Baby Girl! But they do make her smile just that much cuter:)


Chewing on anything, particularly tags. Red solo cups. Apples and pears. Shoes and feet (which is funny, because I HATE feet!).  Being tickled (under her arms) and hung upside down. Standing...she rarely sits down for playtime. Dogs...any dog.  She thinks they are really fun toys. She seems to get a real kick out of pulling on tails and long hair.  Thank goodness, we have VERY patient puppies in our lives! Dr. Brown's pacifiers are about all she'll take. She loves strolling just about anywhere.  And, she loves people, in general.

Brad and her Uncle Ben took her to Cabela's a few weeks ago, and she made friends with every man behind the gun counter.  Can't you just see a bunch of grown outdoorsmen talking in a high pitched voice, telling her how pretty she is? Hah!


Not much really.  She is getting a little fiesty when we try to give her medicine that she took easily before.  She doesn't like when the doctor looks in her ear.  She is unpredictable in the car.  On the way up to Arkansas, she was an angel, but on the way back...not so much. Overall, though, she's pretty happy-go-lucky unless she's really, really hungry.  Hmmm...I wonder which parent she got that from?

Silly Girl

"Try it again. See what happens."

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Addie- 4 Months

It's been another whirlwind of a month!  It's becoming sort of a trend these days...I'm guessing we are just making a whirlwind of a life:).  That's ok, because it's a crazy and fun one. Well, mostly...

I have a small knot in my stomach even typing this.  I'm sure I'm overreacting, but it's my first "my baby could possibly be sick in kind of a big way" incident.  Addie has been all over the place on her growth charts...she's varied from 25% to 75% back to 50% in length.  She has maintain a pretty constant 50-75% in weight...Woot (14lb 6oz)!  But her normal little 40-50% head circumference has now jumped to 90-95%.  Why is this a big deal?  Because a jump that large my indicate a condition called Hydrocephalus or "Water (CSF) on the Brain".  Symptoms include large spurts in head circumference, bulging veins, irritability, feeding and sleeping issues, enlargement of the softspots, delayed development, and downcast eyes. The doctor didn't say she had it, but that we need to keep monitoring it.  Addie has the first two symptoms listed.  Enough to make me do what I do wonderfully...worry.  Every mom knows the ache of imagining your baby going through an intense sickness.  It's horrible.

I trust my doctor to be honest with me and tell me when we should be worried, and she hasn't done that.  I also trust that my Heavenly Father loves Addie more than I ever possibly could.  He has her little life in His sovereign hands, and I learned with our miscarriage that I had to give our children over to Him.  I will chose to trust Him or else be a basketcase.  Parenthood is scary, and this is not the first time I will get a knot in my stomach over something that affects my child. If you would like to add a certain little girl's head to your PR list, that would be fantastic.

On a lighter note, we definitely haven't had to worry about any developmental delays! She is talking, talking, talking, rolling over every which way, and I swear she would crawl if she could get her arms coordinated.  I'm totally not ready for that kind of mobility!  I usually get 3 kind of comments on her.  They generally sound like, "She's such a happy baby!", "She's so active", and "I love her blue eyes".

Feedings have become interesting.  She's very wiggly, and this applies to mealtime, as well.  She still eats well, but it's a bit of a struggle to keep her focused and even somewhat still.  It's like she expects to eat while moving around...doesn't work that way, Kid.  Also, she's been waking at night for the last two weeks.  At first, I thought it was a growth spurt plus teething.  Maybe it was, then the waking became a habit.  I fed her in the middle of the night for the first two weeks.  Now, she's not acting as hungry, so I'm trying to hold her off until morning.  She did sleep all night after she got her shots a couple of days ago, so I know she can...little stinker.  I was spoiled by two solid months of 10-11 hours of straight sleep.  She can't go back on me now!  Any tips or tricks are appreciated.  Right now, we're trying Tylenol and gas drops right before bed to see if we can find the culprit.  In reference to the above mentioned symptoms of the Hydrocephalus, I don't think these count as feeding and sleeping issues.  They are extremely mild and most people would laugh hysterically as my counting waking maybe once at 3 or 4:30 am as a sleeping issue.  She always goes right back to sleep.

As far as the rest of the family, Brad is lifeguarding at the pool on campus a little this summer.  Hopefully we'll both come out of this with a great tan:)  We've been able to see my parents a good bit, have made the trip to Arkansas, and have seen my grandparents, aunt, and cousin recently.  The Gaunts are probably going to come see us in a couple of weeks, and we can hopefully do Addie's baby dedication that Sunday.  We also attended the graduations of some wonderful friends.  It seems like such an exciting time in the lives of so many of our friends!

Here are a couple of my favorite pictures from the past few weeks...

Happy. Happy. Happy. 

4 Month Check Up

Uncle Ben's graduation

Best daddy ever

Seriously, where did this face come from? Oh yeah, it's because she wakes up like I do!

Licensed for Ministry!

Licensed for Ministry!