Thursday, February 23, 2012

Mardi Gras 2012

Mardi Gras is a huge deal in Louisiana. Lake Charles has the second largest parade in the state (next to New Orleans) and the festivities start a month before Fat Tuesday. This year we went to the Gumbo Cook-off, all you can eat for $5. Dave and I definitely ate too much, but it was fantastic! Unfortunately the Dog Parade got canceled because it was raining on Saturday.

On Sunday we went to the Children's Day festivities. They have free food and games for kids at the Civic Center before the Children's parade. Andrew played a few games; he loved putting the beanbags through the holes in the Mardi Gras masks (he's not quite ready to throw them) and he especially loved the frisbee he won. The boys had a lot of fun at the Children's parade. James loves the big floats and walking around. Andrew loved running around picking up everything that was thrown.

We took Monday off from festivities to rest (and Dave had to work) and then hit the ground running on Tuesday. We took the boys to the Fun Zone downtown, which is a fun area for kids that is tobacco and alcohol free. They had free hotdogs and popcorn and several blow-up games for the kids. James loved the slide! We also went to the Mardi Gras carnival and saw the motorcycle parade while we were downtown. We went home for naps in the afternoon and then went and camped out in the KMart parking lot to watch the big parade. We were at the end of the parade route so it didn't get to us until 7. We only stayed for about a half hour of the parade and then the boys got too tired so we headed home. It ended up lasting until nearly 10 so it was a good thing we went home early!

All and all it was a super fun Mardi Gras. We highly recommend it for a fun vacation sometime. It's very family friendly (unlike what we are led to believe in the good ol' Midwest). I hope you all have a happy Lent...only 38 days until Easter!!!

James trying to wait patiently for the parade to start. It was a beautiful day for a parade.

Andrew needed a snack to wait patiently, but that's not new.

The family enjoying the parade.

Andrew loved wearing the beads. Our friends Alan, Jessica, and Austin are in the background.

Watching the Motorcycle parade on Tuesday.

Andrew had a great time!

James thought the Children's Day parade was better :-)

James loves carnival rides. He was not happy when the ride was over.

James also loves slides: the bigger, the better!

James signing "All Done" at the parade Tuesday night. He was ready to go home.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

James is 2 and a half!

James is officially 2 1/2. I'm not sure where the time went, but he sure is growing up. James is officially taking steps. He'll take up to about 8 steps at a time, sometimes more. He doesn't go anywhere without both arms out for balance, but we'll take it! He is starting to make more consonant sounds, but still no words. James is using sign language a little bit. He loves to sign "ball." He also knows milk, bye, and all done. We're working on others with a video that his therapist is letting us borrow and with an app on the iPad. James is also interacting with Andrew. He thinks it's hilarious to tackle his brother when he is least expecting it.

James has been mostly healthy since he came home from the hospital in December. All his doctors are happy with the progress he has made. We're going to continue being extra careful though until cold/flu season is over, especially since it seems that RSV is everywhere this winter. We got a standing script for prednisone (steroids) to add to James lists of medicines. This one is to be taken at the first sign of congestion in hopes of preventing colds from turning into pneumonia. Hopefully we won't ever need it, but I'm glad to have it just in case.

James has his first transitional meeting with his therapists today. When children turn 3, they switch from getting therapy through the state to getting it through the school system. Everyone is very impressed with the progress he has made over the last year, but he still needs speech and physical therapy so we'll have to go through the process of getting him evaulated by the schools and setting up an IEP (developmental goals) with them. We'll probably look into getting him some extra private therapy soon too because they can better advise us on any equipment James might need if his walking doesn't develop as it should.

Overall, James is doing great! Enjoy his pictures!

P.S. Sorry for the lack of posts over the last month. I promise to do better, Grandma!