Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Our First Halloween on 6th

This year marked our very first Halloween on 6th Avenue. Thank the Lord it's over. I gotta admit... Halloween is pretty much my least favorite holiday. I know, I know. We picked the wrong street. Our neighbors have blow-ups that are two stories high, spiderwebs that take up the entire front of their house, and lights galore. How do the Patricks participate, you may ask? We have a gorgeous wicker wreath with orange berries and a plaid bow on the front door and tons of pumpkins on the stoop. We don't do blow-ups. 

I did, however, snag 4 lighted trees, 2 giant spiders and a yard sign at Walgreen's this afternoon at the last minute. The trees were half-off! Score. (But why wasn't everything half-off? I mean, it was Halloween afternoon! Disappointment.)

The first photo we've gotten in about a year where she was actually still. Who cares if she's eating a sucker?

This is the house next door. How do you compete with that? Dang McLaughlins. ;)

Remember the sweet little dream I had of doing an Alice in Wonderland theme? Well, it turned out a little bit differently than I imagined. Everybody flaked out at the last minute, and the only person who actually had a costume was MaryCollis. She was going to be Alice, but when everybody backed out we didn't make her wear it.

I started panicking about MC, so I called in backup from our babysitter Tyler. Of course - because I had Tyler come all the way into town - she acted like a perfect angel and sat on the front porch for 2 solid hours without so much as a peep.

Occasionally she would look up from whatever piece of candy she was inhaling and say, "Thanks, baby!"

Here come the Cockrells!

That sweet Elizabeth McLaughlin.

We love our Tyler.

I mean..... best costume ever.

Anne Trest is the cutest little indian!

The Fab 5. Probably the most clever costume of the night.

We had a pretty good time handing out candy, but I wish we would put some regulations on it. Make everybody on the street get "Children Only" signs or something. We gave out 1,250 pieces of candy one piece at a time, so we had at least 1,200 trick-or-treaters. Having said that, I'd say at least half of them were teenagers MUCH too old to be asking for candy or adults who really oughta be ashamed of themselves. We had several 40-year-olds in sweatpants with grocery bags. It infuriates me because we could've given the children 5-10 pieces of candy each if it weren't for those oldies.

Chaz was extra sugary sweet to the chillens (and adults).... unless they got more than one piece. Then he threw it down. He was pretty darn cute sitting there interacting with the kids though. Nights like this make me happy I get to sleep next to that guy. I can't say the same for him... He's probably less and less happy as I continue to take more of the bed.

Guess it's time to start buying candy for next year. It'll be here before we know it. Now... who's ready to get those front yard Christmas tress lit?!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Chaz is 33.

Chaz and I went to New Orleans for a quick getaway last weekend. We left directly after school on Friday and headed straight for Mahony's on Magazine Street. We got there at 6, which is basically like eating with the old people in NOLA. It might as well have been 4. It was PERFECT. No lines, and our food was ready in about 10 minutes.

I ordered the grilled shrimp, fried green tomato and remoulade po-boy. Chad ordered the oyster remoulade po-boy. And we shared an order of the thinnest fried onions you've ever seen. The grilled shrimp on my po-boy were cooked perfectly, and they were HUGE. Very good flavor. The fried green tomatoes were cut into wedges, which I didn't love. Overall, pretty decent po-boy. Chad said the same thing about his oyster po-boy. The onions strings were really good, but you can't really go wrong with fried onions, now, can you?

Any po-boy that wasn't ham or basic deli meat was "market price," so mine was $13.95 and Chad's was $14.95 (for 6 inch sandwiches, not 12 inch). That was fine with us because it was his birthday dinner and instead of spending $200 on a nice meal, we only spent $50. But still.... $50 for 2 po-boys and some fried onions? Geez. Verdict: Pretty good little meal but not something we will go back for again and again.

Since Chad was already cheating on his diet, we decided dessert was in order. Back in March, we took MaryCollis to the zoo. We sat next to the sweetest little girl on the trolley on the way back, and naturally Mom and I dissected her family tree and knew the names of her future children by the time she got off. She was heading to work at the Cheesecake Bistro and asked if we had ever been. We had not. Honestly, it looked like one of those places that was super touristy with the fancy facade and valet parking, and we're all about hole-in-the-wall places or restaurants that have top-notch chefs.

On the way to NOLA Friday afternoon, Chad asked me to Google good dessert spots. Cheesecake is one of his favorites (mine too), and the Cheesecake Bistro was one of the first to pop up. It was fate. It had pretty good reviews, and the photos looked amazing. So after our meal at Mahony's, we drove the few short blocks to the CB and ordered the most decadent cheesecakes. Chad got the black and white tuxedo (three layers: the bottom was dark chocolate cake, the middle was milk chocolate ganache, and the top was cheesecake. oh. my. gah.), and I got the standard cheesecake topped with raspberry and white chocolate. They were both to die for. Verdict: We will be back. Very soon. And we had a chance to look at the regular menu, and it looked pretty good too! Honestly, it's hard to get bad food in New Orleans... and we are always looking for new spots.

My favorite meal ever.

Saturday morning we lounged in bed for a few minutes before heading to our favorite breakfast spot. Actually, it's probably my favorite spot in America period. Easily one of my Top 3 favorite meals. (Read about how we found it here. Read about other CFDL ventures here, here and here.) Chad had the benedict with cheese grits, and I had the usual... pancakes with a side of hashbrowns. We discovered that their grits are amazing. How many places can you say that about? (Ugh. Ended a sentence with a preposition, and it's driving me crazy but I don't know how to fix it. English teacher problems.) But seriously... I've NEVER had good grits at a restaurant. So the fact that we claim it as the best breakfast spot in New Orleans was once again validated.

After breakfast, we hit the road. It was a nice getaway, even if it was for just a night. Sometimes you just need to sleep in someone else's bed and eat pancakes that you didn't cook. Am I right, moms?


Saturday, October 27, 2012

Anatomy of a Name.

In April of 2010, I sat on an island stool at my mom's house (the house that will always be my mom's house, even though they no longer live there) and went through our book of family genealogy to find the perfect boy name. I just knew we were having a boy. Barbara scribed while I called out names from the book. I called out a few girl names, too, just in case... even though I've had Mary Malone picked out since 2004. Shortly after, we found out MC was a girl and the boy names were put on hold.

A few weeks ago, we found out we are having a boy this go-round (yay!) so the agony of finding a good male name was back. The most prominent male names in our family are William, Thomas and Benjamin. I adore all three. I like good, strong boy names. None of this Brayson/Jayden trendy junk (no offense).

The only problem is my brother is William and so are about 3 babies that were born last year to people we know. Thomas (Tom) was born to one of my closest friends in January of this year, not to mention our good friend Tommy Blake and Chad's best friend Tom. Benjamin is probably my favorite boy name of all time but LORD is it overdone (probably because we all have the same family names and just keep using them!). I also love Jackson (Jack), but we know several of those as well. So we were back to square one. 

Chad's grandfather's name was Edmond, and we knew we wanted to use it as the middle name. So at least one thing was settled. After some looking upstairs, I discovered I still had Paul Blake's wedding invitation with a list of 9 boy names written on the back from 2.5 years ago.....

Okay. Process of elimination. First up, Griffin. Love it. But I know a girl who just named her baby Griffin (shout out, Kelly!). Teague. Love it.... but it sounds trendy to me. Even though it is an ANCIENT name from our heritage, I feel like it sounds a little too cutesy. Cullen. Adore it. In fact, I was supposed to be Cullen Aultman Rice until I turned out to be a girl. I would call him Culley. How precious is that? Chad didn't like it.

Tanner... don't love it. Thomas and Benjamin were already out before we really gave them a fair chance. Chad LOVED Davis. Wanted to name him Davis Wade Patrick (for you non-MSU people, that's the name of our football stadium). Lord, help us. So that left us with Pennington and Finnegan. I looove Finnegan. I'd call him Finn. Chad hated it. In fact, Chad hated all of these names last go-round so it was a good thing we didn't have a boy last time.

This time, however, he sort of liked some of the names, and we settled on a name almost immediately. Those who know me know I love names with alliteration. I loved Penelope Patrick (call her Penny) when I was expecting MC because I just love the way alliteration sounds in names. I dated a guy in college whose last name was Mathias. My girl name was Mary Malone Mathias (a triple "M!") and my boy name was Thomas Miller Mathias (call him Miller). I mean.... those are some good-sounding names.

The problem is there aren't really all that many "P" names. So when I found Pennington in that book, I was so excited. Not only is it a "P" name, but it meets all the requirements. It's a family name and definitely nothing I've heard before. So there you have it. Biscuit's birth certificate will say Pennington Edmond Patrick... but we'll call him Penn. Penn Patrick. Doesn't that just sound like the captain of the baseball team? Or a guy that graduates Summa Cum Laude from Princeton?

So each of our children will have a name from Chad's family and a name from my family. And I'm pretty sure you'll never meet another MaryCollis or Penn. Hopefully they'll both appreciate the thought and consideration we put into naming them...... or not.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Loblolly. 23 weeks. Starkville. Fair.

We've had a lot going on lately, and there is no stopping until Christmas break. This coming weekend, I'm taking Chad to New Orleans for a short getaway to celebrate his 33rd birthday. Next weekend, Mom and Chad will take MC to Starkville while I sit in class all day Saturday. The next weekend, I have to make up a Saturday class in Gautier. The next two weekends, we'll be in NYC!! The next weekend is Pancake Day/Gala weekend, the next week/weekend is my play, the next weekend I have Saturday class, and the next weekend we get out for the holidays! Ahhhh! Can't come soon enough. Seriously.

Just in case you were wondering, this is what my classroom looks like after every single class period. When did children lose their manners?

We enjoyed Loblolly and Heritage Arts Fest a few weekends ago. MaryCollis acted like a complete turd in public (You moms know the song and dance. Don't want to stroll but don't want to walk. Don't want shoes but don't want to be held. Don't want to hold the corn dog but want to take a bite. And so on.)

Getting ready for Loblolly 2012

Enjoying Heritage Arts Fest at the museum

Tres generations at Loblolly

Tyler, our beloved babysitter

One of mom's students won Best in Show for her art piece

In MC news, she is officially in her big girl bed. The transition couldn't have been easier. One night after bath time I decided it was time, and that was that. No turning back. Now I can "nest" and get Biscuit's room ready! :)

She went through a phase a few weeks ago with driving

Wearing my MSU shirt from 25 years ago!

In other news.... The house looks pretty and fallish with my favorite wreath on the door and pumpkins galore. MC has been wearing lots of cute Halloween outfits. We've been missing daddy while he travels.

The flag just completes the look, don't you think?

We went to Starkville last weekend, where we had Gamma and Doc all to ourselves. We tried to get a family picture for our Christmas card, and just like every other time we've tried in the past year.... no cigar.



She was very quiet Saturday morning while Mom and I were getting ready, then she showed up with the entire loaf of poppyseed bread! I literally laughed until I cried.

And it wouldn't be a nice, enjoyable Saturday if MC didn't pout after being told "no."

MaryCollis went to her first game ever (and my first game in several years). She didn't act bad, but she just did not want to sit down... and she wanted to clean up every single mess on the ground. I think next year she would do much better sitting down, but we'll have an infant so it'll be another 2-3 years before the entire Patrick clan gets to enjoy a football game.

She was, without a doubt, the most precious thing there

She was OBSESSED with this sticker. She must've stuck and unstuck it 57 times.

We drove back Sunday and headed straight to the fair for our yearly corn dog fix.

She was awfully concerned about the bubble guppies being trapped by the wicked witch.

Fair 2012

In pregnancy news.... I am 23 weeks and feeling fat, fat, fat. When I was pregnant the first time, my friend Emily was pregnant with her second child. I remember thinking that she seemed to show much quicker than I did (even though I was much heavier). She is naturally very thin, so she was still tiny, but even she will tell you that she started showing at like 8 weeks. Everyone says you show more with your second but wow. I feel like I look 27 weeks, not 23.... but I digress.

I think this was 21 or 22 weeks but gosh, who's counting.
Week 23 Breakdown

How Far Along: 23 weeks

Size of Baby: Grapefruit; About 10.5 inches and 12.7 ounces

Gender: Boy

Movement: All the time.

Weight Gain: Meh.

Maternity Clothes: Same ole. Wearing the HECK out of the 4 pair of pants I bought at 14 weeks.

Sleep Habits: Depends. But always lots of tossing and turning.

Cravings/Aversions: Nah.

Emotions: Feeling better about things, but I still get overwhelmed at times. If I can just make it to December 8 (the last play performance), I'll be fine.

Symptoms: Mainly bad skin. Occasional headaches. Dizziness.

What I Miss: Not much.

What I'm Looking Forward To: Finishing Biscuit's room, revealing the name, getting MC potty trained, buying cute boy things, and definitely our trip to NYC! That pre-natal massage just ain't EVEN ready.

News: We've just about decided on a name. When I was expecting MC, I went through our family tree to find names. We have a HUGE thing with family names. You won't see any trendy names here. Barbara took notes while I shouted names I liked. She wrote them all down on the back of Paul Blake's wedding invitation, and I still have it. I took it out a few weeks ago and still loved all the boy names I chose. I asked Mom to get out the book of genealogy so I could see exactly where they came from, but after hours of perusing I couldn't find them anywhere. What the heck?! So even though we are just about settled on the name, I don't want to announce it until I know for sure where it came from. Stay tuned!

And Imma just leave you with this......

I mean, she won't look in the direction of a camera at home but at school she'll hold a bouquet of flowers and pose like she's modeling for Glamor Shots?


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