For Ella's spring break we decided to head down to my sister's house in Louisiana since this is the closest we'll ever live to her ever again. It was a 10 hour drive that I got to do by myself since we left Anton at home to work and earn money. On the way there we broke the drive up and spent the night in the booming town of Buffalo, TX. Then from the minute we got to LA, it was nonstop fun, fun, fun!
We had to visit our favorite alligator friends at the alligator park. The adults here are named Boudreaux and Clotile:
And one of the kids' favorite moments from the whole trip, getting to hold the baby alligator, Bubba:
That moment was talked about for days before and now days after. We also let the kids play on the super-fun playground they have there.
(Ella showing her bravery and lack of fear of heights.)
I think if I gave my kids the choice, they would both willing move in with Aunt Andrea. And do you want to know why? They have a barn and a field FULL of horses. The kids spent hours playing in the hay.
(Ella on top of the haystack peeking out of the barn.)
And I spent hours picking hay out of a certain little girl's long blond hair. :(
But the definite favorite even over the alligators was getting to ride horses.
They both were riding by themselves and directing the horse where they wanted her to go, and Ella even learned to trot. They got to ride on two different days and probably would have ridden more if it weren't for all the work you have to do in order to ride. Ella even said at one point, "Why are horses such hard work?" It was cute. I would actually love to put Ella in riding lessons, but I fear they will break the bank.
The kids also got to go on a horse-drawn wagon ride.
This wagon was built entirely by Andrea's father-in-law, and they use it on trail rides. The kids each got a turn to drive.
And then they just took over the driving seat from Pawpaw, as the cousins call him.
First Andrea did her hair all pretty. Ella insisted on a side ponytail, and I'm glad Andrea knew how to do it without it looking all '80s. Then we headed out into the bayou for photos!
(Yes, you can find abandoned bathtubs in the fields of LA.)
By the time we were getting close to being finished, Ella was really done cooperating.
We were lucky to get the good ones we did. She is just not naturally photogenic. She makes lots of goofy faces.
We watched copious amounts of movies while we were there. We went to a rabbit festival where I was able to eat the requisite boiled crawfish. You can't visit LA and not eat crawfish! And I even managed to just relax and read. The kids loved being able to run around outside and ride bikes and play with their cousins. But my favorite thing was sitting on the back porch in the mornings and listening to the birds and other sounds of nature and basking in the sun. I'm starting to think that I may need to find myself a nice country home to live in someday.
Then after a looooong 10 hour drive home (which was made much easier by listening to an audiobook), we came back to reality. We're hoping Andrea and family can come visit us before we move to the other side of the country and don't get to see them for ages. We have so much fun playing with them!
I think losing teeth is one of the grossest things ever, but Ella gets really excited. She's one of the younger ones in her class so is also one of the last to lose her teeth. But Top Tooth #1 has fallen out and left a nasty tooth shaped hole in its place. Top Tooth #2 is already loose. Soon Ella won't be able to eat a thing. You can also see where she lost her bottom teeth and the new ones have had to grow in behind the baby ones and almost next to each other because her mouth is soooo small. I'm predicting large orthodontic bills in my future!
I've gone and done it again. This is going to become a very bad thing for my already bulging waistline. But it sure is tasty.
Our house rental comes with DirecTV, which is a very good babysitter. However, after hours of Disney Junior and Nick Jr., I've decided that all these kid shows are detrimental to my healthy relationship with my children. All the mom's in those shows are perfect. They never lose their tempers. They talk calmly and sweetly. No matter what bad things their kids do, they always know the perfect thing to say to make their kids eternally sorry and never do it again. My kids are going to come to expect this level of perfection from me, and they're just not going to get it. But since the alternative is turning off the shows and actually having to deal with my kids and proving to them how bad of a mother I am, I think I'll just let them rot their brains in the fantasy worlds of perfect, happy families. Thank you DirecTV.
I think I've used more allergy medicine in the last couple weeks than I have the last few years of my life. Ugh. It's the kind of allergies where everything itches: my nose, my eyes, my throat, even the roof of my mouth! It's driving me crazy. Anton feels the same way. It's miserable. I hope this is just a spring thing and not how it'll be the whole time we're here.
Other than that things have been pretty dull around here. Ella likes her school. We've made friends with other families in the neighborhood. Anton's classes are going fine, though they bore him to death. Every time I go grocery shopping it makes me want to cry. Things are so expensive here! I want my WinCo back. :( But I guess I better get used to it since it won't be any better in California.
So there's a short and sweet update for those who care. I wish I had something more exciting to say, but I guess dull is better than dramatic.