Saturday, October 31, 2009

No place like home!

Since Brady isn't big enough to tell me that he's NOT wearing the costume I picked for him, I decided that I better dress him up the way I want to. Because before I know it, he'll be giving me his opinion on a regular basis. So I let Kennedy decide what she wanted to be and then I'd coordinate.

She is loving the Wizard of Oz these days, so off I went to find a costume. Dorothy was easy. Finding a lion, scarecrow, or tin man I liked was the hard part. The lion and scarecrow didn't look like a lion or scarecrow. So I went with this tin man. He was okay with wearing the costume... the oil can hat? No way.

Nina came over to get in on the action. Can you see her? Yup, that's my mom in the grim reaper costume! I love that she wears this every Halloween.

This year, I decided to borrow it and spook the neighborhood kids a little. It was so much fun! Kennedy went to a friend's house for trick or treating and Brady was in bed by 7:30 pm. It was a quiet Halloween, but still so much fun!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

One House, Two House, My House, Your House

The title of my post sounds like it should be a Dr. Seuss book. Wasn't there a book title about "red house, blue house?" Well I do feel like I've been playing a cat and mouse game with homes.

The LaPierre family is celebrating ONE YEAR (can you believe it's been that long?) in our awesome home in Bossier City. I absolutely love our home. I couldn't be happier with where we live, our neighborhood, our neighbors (best friends, included). Living there is everything I'd hoped it would be. Call me June Cleaver, but I wanted sidewalks and a street full of kids playing... neighbors who come outside and visit while the kids ride bikes in the street... block parties... a nearby top-notch elementary school... you get the picture.

The best part of our house... is that I'm back home. I missed Louisiana. There are some strange and crazy things about this state, but I love it. Where else can you get a daiquiri at a drive thru window?

Now, to the "two house" part of this post. We are SO CLOSE to closing on our house in Plano. The contract expires this Friday. According to our realtor, they are working fast and furious to get all the paperwork ready. I have temporary power of attorney for Chris because he is in Vegas all week, so there SHOULD be nothing stopping us. At that point, we will be the proud owners of ONE house!

Seriously, after nearly three years of living here - it's about time we got rid of that place. I say that with bitterness in my tone.. yes, yes I know it's the house that Chris and I made home for five years. I also know it's the house we brought our daughter home to. But truly - it's cost us so much time and money... so it's time for a clean break.

Here's hoping!!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Rodeo Day

Today is Rodeo Day for kindergardeners at Legacy Elementary! Yeeeee Haaaaaaw!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Greetings to our MAINE family!!

I received the sweetest e-mail from Chris' aunt, Aunt Lo, this weekend. She's also Chris' Godmother and loves him so much. Here is an excerpt:

Hi Jen, I've been wanting to touch base with you re your 'Blog'. What a treasure! What a gift and a blessing this historical blog will be for your kids when they are grown. I wish I could have done something like that for Joshua and Benjamin. But, Steve and I do know that they appreciate whatever we could and did do for them. As parents we will always be there for our children and future grandchildren. That is what makes all of our lives so rich and joyful. I wish we lived closer so we could visit your beautiful family, but I feel like we are getting to know Kennedy and Brady through your 'Gem' of a Blog! You and Chris are so very busy but from what I can see you try to maintain a balance with family, work, and fun. I particularly love seeing your sincere gratitude for all your many blessings! Each moment that we can all be aware and appreciate life and its many gifts, makes everyone's lives worth living.

Aunt Lo is such a sweet and gentle woman and we miss seeing her and all the LaPierre family members in Maine. We are hoping to get up there for Christmas, but the delayed closing on our house in Plano has put everything on hold. Our money has been extremely tight, but we are still trying.

Hang in there LaPierres!! We'll be there soon!!


I have a little OCD. You know, obsessive compulsive disorder? It would probably be a lot worse if I had more time to organize, straighten, clean, etc. I'm just so dang busy that I don't have much time to nurture my obsessive behavior. BUT, when I do have some free time - I let it run it's course!
For example, I do not like it when my family just throws things in the fridge. I like all the cokes out of the case, all the beer out of the 6- or 12-pack, all the jello or pudding out of the containers and neatly placed in the fridge in rows. So you say that's a little extreme, right? But when someone is in a hurry to pack Kennedy's lunch, it's super easy to grab a juice box without having to wrestle with the plastic packaging... or to grab a pudding cup without having to pull it out of the carton.
You say I'm crazy. I say I'm efficient.

Now, if I could just get my husband to jump on my bandwagon and organize his side of the closet.......

Kennedy a biter? Really?? Yes....

Hello, my name is Jennifer LaPierre.

I'm not an alcoholic.

I'm not a drug addict.

But I'm the mother of a biter.

Okay, so I'm making light of the situation because I am in SHOCK that Kennedy (yes, Kennedy... NOT Brady!) has bitten two kids in her class! Two weeks ago, she bit a little girl because she was "doing something I didn't like." Uh, really? People do things ALL the time that I don't like. Maybe I should try biting them?

Yesterday, she bit a little boy on the finger for no reason! She just reached for his hand, pulled it to her mouth.. and CHOMP. Seriously? First of all, that's gross. With all the germs on little boys hands, YUCK. Second of all, he didn't even deserve it! He was minding his own business when out of the blue, my reckless child takes a bite out of his hand.

So she knew she was going to be in trouble because last night! My mom picked her and Brady up from daycare because I have class on Monday nights. She asked to play outside and "Nina" answered "no" because she was in trouble for biting her classmate. At that point, let the sucking up begin!! She didn't eat her french fries because she told Nina she was saving them for me. Chick-fil-A french fries are her favorite! She eats them before she eats her chicken, so she was trying really hard! Then, rather than asking to stay up and wait on me to get home, she just went to bed. She was scared. She should be! I was hopping mad!

So in addition to a pop on the bottom this morning, she will have no TV and no playing outside all week. I've got to nip this in the bud now.

Now, let's just hope Brady doesn't start this!!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Sneak peek

A special delivery was made last night from the UPS man.... our Halloween costumes! Against Chris' will, I am coordinating the kids' costumes this year. Brady will get to the age (I'm sure VERY soon, where I won't be able to decide for him).

So I let Kennedy pick what she wanted to be... She chose Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz. Lucky for me, they had a toddler Tin Man! When we tried the costumes on last night, it was Brady's bed time... so he wasn't too happy. And he REFUSED to put on the oil can hat!

So, here is a Halloween sneak peek! We'll get trick or treat pictures later this month!

Learning to Read

Kindergarten suits Kennedy well. As her teacher tells me, "Kids this age are like sponges!" They take in everything and enjoy school (most of the time).
One night this week, Kennedy brought home a small book that Mrs. Ward had given her. Each of the kids received one... it was one of those learning-to-read small books with basic three-letter words in it.
We all crawled into her bed and she read the entire book to us! She sounded out the words, smiled from ear to ear, and definitely understood what she was reading because she answered the "reading comprehension" questions at the end.
I am so proud of her! She is learning fast! Before I know it, she'll be reading Judy Blume books ... oh wait, that was my generation.
I'm sure she will share the love of books that Chris and I have.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Thank you Mrs. Angela...

Our dear friend Angela Kelso gave my sweet girl an authentic tea set from Nordstrom before she was even born. It is not a pink/purple plastic set... it didn't come in a cardboard box. It's an extra special tea set from an extra special friend of mine. At 5 years old, I felt she was old enough to play with the set without breaking it. She was so excited when I gently placed it in her hands! Let me just say that my sweetheart LOVED having me and her daddy for a little tea party this weekend.

Yes, that IS candy corn. It was the featured cuisine to go along with our tea. Kennedy was such a fantastic hostess...offering us both tea with utensils and a coordinating blue gingham napkins.
The tea was quite tasty.... we asked for refills.

Monday, October 5, 2009

My cape is at the dry cleaners

This weekend, I tried to be Super Mom. I'm exhausted. Here is a recap.....

Saturday morning... up and at 'em at 5:15 a.m. to run with the Team in Training group. I opt for the wimpy run this week and only finish three miles. To be fair, I was running with one of our injured team members and she needed to reduce her mileage this week so she could test out her knee. She needed someone to run with, right?

I feel bad about only running three miles, so I go to the gym and do weights for 45 minutes. Then I head home, shower, breakfast, pack Kennedy in the car and head to a birthday party for our friend Ava, who turned two. Kennedy and I always have fun at birthday parties together.

At the birthday party, Kennedy jumps on a trampoline (she LOVES trampolines) and gets black stuff all over herself, her white socks, etc. So we quickly stop at home for a clean up before we meet our friends, the Arnold family, at The Revel. I LOVE the Revel... it reminds me of why I am so happy to be home. The Revel is a 'ol fashioned festival with food, music and vendors selling some of the most interesting and amazing home-made items. Of course there's face painting and other cool stuff for the kids, too.

After the Revel, run home and switch out kids. I leave Kennedy at home to play with friends while I pack Brady in the car and take him with me to the grocery store. He loves looking at all the people. After a 2-hour "adventure" in Wal-Mart, I head home to figure out what to have for dinner. That's the funny thing.... I came home with $125 in groceries, but what should we have for dinner? Ugh... the daily struggle. Dinner. Baths. Bedtime. Mom and dad crash on the couch and I start dozing off at 9:15 pm. I know... I know... PARTY, right? No.

Sunday - up and at 'em a little later, 7:30 a.m. Quickly feed the kids breakfast, throw on clothes, and out the door to church at 8:00 a.m. We go to the early service at 8:30 a.m. because it's less crowded, PLUS if we lay on the floor and start reading the paper or watching TV - we'll never get up and go.

Come home from church, start cleaning up the house to get ready for the week. Chris left for California this morning so when he's gone, everything HAS to be in order or I will go crazy. Neat and tidy kitchen, no toys on the floor, freshly vacuumed floors... you get the picture. In the midst of all the cleaning up, I also manage to iron for over an hour....

Then, Kennedy and I make two batches of rice krispy treats - one batch for her teacher, Mrs. Ward, whose birthday is Tuesday. We put it in this cute container. Precious! These are 1/2 fruity pebbles and 1/2 rice krispies. YUM-O!

If that wasn't enough, I decided to make a loaf of banana bread. I thought it would make for a quick breakfast for the kids since Chris is out of town this week. The easier I make it on myself during the week, the less likely I am to have a breakdown. Oh, who am I kidding... I will probably have one anyway about Thursday evening...

Then I vacuumed, Chris did laundry, cleaned the kitchen, struggled with the dinner plans... again. We settle on pizza (no dishes, no clean up). I managed to squeeze in a little research time for my class. Play with the kids. Baths. Bedtime. And then Chris and I, again, crash.

The trouble with the futile attempt at being Super Mom is that it is exhausting. And that leaves me no energy for my kiddos or Chris. So I will do my best to find that balance, which it seems I am always looking for. In the meantime, I think I'll leave my cape at the dry cleaners.

Friday, October 2, 2009


I love books. I don't have much time to read, but I still love them. I love the smell of them. Okay, that's a little weird, but you get the idea. Chris loves to read. He could care less what happens to the book after he's done reading it, but my dear sweet husband cannot consume enough books.

Kennedy likes books, too. She is learning to read, which is very exciting. And now Brady is starting to enjoy books! So maybe he only sits in my lap for about 30 seconds to look at the pretty pictures, but it's a start, right? I CANNOT WAIT for the day when I snuggle up in bed with both the kids and read to them. So it may be another year or two before Brady will sit still for that long... and Kennedy may be disinterested in us reading together by then. But a book-loving momma can dream, right?

Life Goes On...

I have had an internal debate for a few weeks now... about whether or not I should write this post. I decided to go ahead and write about it because it's not a secret... and since this blog is a chronicle of events that happen in my life and the lives of my friends and family - I'm going for it. It's just that it's hard to discuss this subject because we are all very sensitive and a little protective about Eric and his life. It's also awkward because while none of us will ever forget Amber, we all must recognize the fact that life goes on.

As we approach the one year anniversary of Amber's diagnosis and death, I am really shocked at how quickly the year seems to have gone. I remember last fall very clearly, even with a four-month-old baby at home. But the focus of this post is not to reflect on Amber's struggle with Leukemia; it's to focus on how well Eric is doing, one year later.

We all watched as "E" has slowly started laughing more, running more, enjoying his friends more... He started slowly removing some of Amber's things from their house. He sold her car to her family. He started joking around more. You can see the sparkle in his eyes again.

And now, just recently - Eric has started seeing someone. He is testing the dating "waters" and it is going well. There is a very long line of women who would give their right arm to date Eric, but he has been quietly talking to someone I've known for a while... Pam. I first met Pam a couple of years ago when Sky was doing my hair at a salon on Line Avenue. Pam had the booth next to her. When Sky moved to Texas, I was stranded without a Tony & Guy-trained hair stylist. (Side note: I am a hair snob. I don't trust just anyone with my hair. Being in Dallas spoiled me). So Sky recommended "Pam Pither." Don't you just love that name? I haven't trusted anyone with my hair since.

So how did Pam meet Eric? What's absolutely amazing about this connection between people is that it seems to have fallen into place the way it should be. Let me explain.

Susie's path crossed with Pam's at Louisiana Tech. They were sorority sisters... Although several years apart, they knew each other by name.
When I started getting my hair done by Pam, we realized that we knew some of the same people - such as Ford and Eric. Pam's dad owns the company that Ford and Eric work for.
Amber liked the way my hair was colored, so she started getting her hair done by Pam.
Within the last year, Pam divorced her cheating husband - so her and Eric have been commiserating about loss.

Our circles have been overlapping for a couple of years. It seems as though there was a natural progression for Eric and Pam to go on an official date... and they did. What will come of this? Who knows. Am I hopeful about the future of these two? Sure I am! But what I enjoy seeing is both Eric and Pam happy.

At Eric's birthday dinner this summer, he bravely invited Pam to join a large group of friends to celebrate. It was the first step in public for him and it seems to have gotten easier each time. That night, a cover band started playing the song "Life Goes On." My BFF and I looked at each other and choked back the tears. It does.