Dec 31, 2008

Our Zoo-tastic Adventure

Today we went to the Baton Rouge Zoo and had a fantastic time! While we waited for the 2:30 Elephant Show, Stella greeted a nearby monkey with a friendly wave. The elephants' tricks really impressed Stella, and she rewarded them for their hard work with a hand clap. Okay, I have to admit that she was actually looking at some other kids while she clapped, but I know she was mentally directing her praise at the performers. We were surprised to see some of our cousins at the zoo. Madison and Grace posed for a picture with Stella. Stella is crazy about these girls, and they are so sweet with her. Benjamin was there, too, but he had better things to do than have his picture made with a bunch of girls. Grace recommended the giraffes, so we stopped by their exhibit with Daddy. You can tell from this shot that Stella was really enjoying herself at the zoo. She and Grand-mere enjoyed lots of giggles over an inside joke. Finally, Stella had all the excitement she could take, and she thought that Daddy's shoulder might be a good spot to catch a few z's.

9 Month Stats

Yesterday we took Stella to her 9 month check-up. She got her Hepatitis B vaccine, and as usual, was tough as nails. She did not cry at all when they gave her the shot. Stella's stats at her appointment:

Length = 28.5 inches (in percentile 75)
Weight = 21 pounds and 6 ounces (between percentile 75 and 90)
Head Circumference = 17.25 inches (between percentile 25 and 50)

I made Damon look up the percentiles because for a while now I have been concerned that Stella was an abnormally ginormous child. For her first few appointments, she was off the top of the growth chart. I kept having these visions of a 6'5" sophomore girl, unable to get a date to the dance because she was like the Jolly Green Giant compared to the boys in her class. Now it appears that things are leveling off and I have hopes that Stella will one day have a chance at being the belle of the ball. What a relief!

Dec 30, 2008

Holiday Vacation Fun

We have really been enjoying our time off for the holidays. Here's an update on our activities of the past few days: Grandma Tonie spent some time with us. Here she is with Stella, who was sporting fresh drool spots on her cute Navy onesie that her cousin Megan sent her. Everyday is a fashion show for this child. On Sunday Stella continued to show off her new duds. For church, she wore a new dress from her cousin Shannon and family. She had so much fun in the nursery that she fell asleep on the way home and I caught this lady-like pose during her nap.When she woke up she was ready to strike a pose that gave her figure a little more of an advantage. When Stella turned 6 months old, we were photo snobs and went to a great lady here in town where we paid dearly for Stella to cry through the entire photo shoot. While visiting family for Christmas, Stella's cousin, Lacie, gave us a coupon for pictures from Sears. Since the coupon made it so cheap, we decided that we would just go take some pictures for fun and see how they turned out. Stella was MUCH more agreeable this time and we got some great shots. In the end, we spent under $9 for 36 pictures, and I think we will be at Sears every time we get a coupon in the mail from now on. Here's a sample: Today we fed the ducks, which Stella really enjoyed, but they all flew away before Daddy could find the camera. Then we went to the park. You can tell two things from these shots: 1) that Stella had a great time; and 2) that mom and dad focus more on Stella's appearance than our own.
"Hi, Mom!"

Finally, we arrive at our video highlights. This first clip is from the day after Christmas, as Stella multi-tasked by putting together a puzzle and practicing her dance moves.

Next up is video from our day at the park. Stella finds watching the other kids swing almost as
much fun as swinging.

We are hoping to visit with Stella's friends, Sadie and Rylie Sharbono, this week. If we get to see them, we'll post some pictures of that. Call me, Jen!

Dec 27, 2008

Stella's Year in Review

As we prepare to welcome 2009, we wanted to look back over 2008 and share with you Stella's highlight reel. We hope you like it!
This is Stella in the final days before her birth. She was born 5 days after her due date (more, according to some sources), and she waited until her back-ordered furniture was in place to make her appearance. Note the glow of the 9 months pregnant mother...
Here we are at the hospital. Stella also waited until her mom and dad looked craptacular to decide to be born. I did not straighten my hair that day, and boy, was that a big mistake.
These shots are from Stella's first photo shoot, on a blanket in the living room. In the first one she looks like she is licking frosting off her fingers and thinking, "Ooh, cupcakes!"
Stella made her public debut at her daddy's swearing in ceremony in April at the Ponchartrain Center. You can just see the excitement on her little face, can't you? Going to the Donut Hole with the crew is a very important part of the Pourciau Saturday morning. Here is a photo from Stella's first Hole trip outside of the womb.
Stella was dedicated to the Lord at our church on Mother's Day. This was taken that afternoon at home.
Stella's first adventure race in Baton Rouge. She is Daddy's biggest fan, and occasionally rocks a Hefner Bunny Pie jersey. Hanging out at the theatre. Stella spent her summer attending rehearsals for Jekyll and Hyde with Mommy. "Murder, Murder" was her favorite number, and she watched her mom's throat being slit by a maniacal murderer at least once nightly for 2 months. Damon is saving up for the therapy bills already. First trip to the beach in June. She found it so exciting that she fell asleep.
6 Months Old and so many exciting things to do! First run with mom and dad and first taste of rice cereal! Yummy! Stella's first hurricane evacuation for Gustav. Those of you who live in the storm-ravaged South know what a big event this is. We spent a few days with Great-Grandpa and Great-Grandma Crane before returning to Grandpa and Grandma Pourciau's with supplies. We spent many days there enjoying their generator while Daddy helped clean up the carnage that Gus left behind. How many Pourciau's can you fit under one roof? Currently the record is 11, not counting the staggering pet population.
Halloween: Kanga and Roo. The costume was precious, but large tails are not stroller-friendly and 20 pound kangaroos are harder to carry around the neighborhood than one would think.Halloween turned out to be really scary for Stella when some older kids from our neighborhood stopped by. Luckily, she had a shoulder to cry on. Two little butterballs on Thanksgiving. Stella's first snow: December 11, 2008. She was not real sure what that white stuff was. She was willing to give it the "touch test," but only with one finger.
Stella's first Christmas was a fun and magical time for our family. From picking out the tree in the enjoying Stella's help with gift wrapping (she REALLY likes to wad up paper), to singing "Happy Birthday" to Jesus at church on Christmas Eve, to spending Christmas morning and day surrounded by loved ones, we all had the best Christmas ever. Here are a couple of shots from the big day: the Little People Farm was very exciting for everyone, and by the time Stella reached her Great Grandparent's house, she could unwrap presents without even looking!
This is one of my favorite pictures. It's Grandpa Crane with the 3 Great's. We are adding little Bethany this May thanks to D.J. and Erin and we are so excited! This year Stella found many places to rest her weary head. Not only did she enjoy her own bassinet and bed... She also spent time in the swing...
In Daddy's bed... In Mommy's bed...And in Daddy and Mommy's bed...But Daddy himself might be the most comfortable bed of all... I know this was a long post, but as you can see, 2008 was a life-changing year for our family. We are looking forward to so many great things in 2009: Stella's first birthday extravaganza in March, Mommy and Daddy's 8th wedding anniversary in April, plenty of racing, and lots of fun with friends and family throughout the year. We hope you can join us as we laissez le bon temps roulez!

Dec 24, 2008

My Christmas Essay

As an English teacher, I have countless opportunities to torture my seventh graders with writing assignments. I generally provide them with an example of what their essay should be. The following is my example for the assignment, "My Favorite Christmas Gift Ever."

When I was eight years old, I had one Christmas wish. More than anything, I wanted a baby doll stroller. I begged my mom and dad for one all year, and I even petitioned a higher power in my letter to the North Pole. Christmas morning, I eagerly opened every box bearing my name, but when the wrapping paper settled, I had no stroller.

I was devastated. Adding insult to injury was the fact that I had received a new doll and had no means of transportation for her. My mom told us to get dressed so we could go to my aunt's house for Christmas dinner. I obeyed, but my heart was heavy.

When we arrived at my aunt's, she greeted us at the door with a big smile. "Scarlett," she said, "I think there is one more gift for you under the tree." I raced to the tree and ripped open the package. It was my doll stroller!

I played with the stroller all day, and for many years after that. My sister and I even used it to wheel around our puppy dogs. On Christmas day 2007, there was another stroller under my tree. This time it was not for a baby doll, but for my daughter, Stella. Both strollers were fantastic gifts and memories that I will cherish forever.

Note: Like all good stories, the facts of my essay have been slightly tweaked for dramatic effect, but I did receive two strollers for Christmas - one as a child and one as an adult.

Dec 23, 2008

Watch Stella Live!

For those of you not satisified with the amount of information that is published on "A Streetcar Named Stella," you can always try to get a little extra Stella by visiting her webcam. She's generally in front of the camera from about 9 PM until about 6 AM.

For access, simply email Scarlett and she'll provide you with a username and password.

Dec 16, 2008

Commercial Debut

Stella was about two months old when she made her commercial debut. Before you jump to conclusions and think that I am a typical stage mother living my life vicariously through my child, I would like to make clear that a friend of ours who works at a local TV station needed a mom and a few kids who were willing to work cheap (by cheap, we mean free) and she thought of Stella and her friends, Emma and Sadie. Since Kelly was pregnant at the time, she was not ready for her close-up, so I was drafted to play the mommy. Sadie ended up being the real star, but Stella is visible having her bottle. Enjoy! (Note: Stella's autograph is available for a small fee if anyone is interested)

Dec 15, 2008

Celebration in the Oaks

This past Saturday, Stella and her entourage descended on “Celebration in the Oaks.” Our plan was to participate in the two mile fun run and then enjoy the lights and other attractions. True to form, nothing went according to plan, but we still managed to have tons of holiday fun!
How many adults do you need to take Stella on an outing? Apparently, the answer is nine. They say it takes a village to raise a child, and we are very blessed to have wonderful friends and family in our village. Left to right: (back row) Grandpa, Grandma, Tabitha, Daddy, Kirk, Matt, (front row) Jamie, Mommy, and Lori. Oh, and an interesting side note, this is our Santa-less Santa picture. We are not telling Stella what some friends have termed "The Big Lie," so we asked Santa Claus to step out for this one.
This photo captures Stella’s level of excitement throughout the night. We are hoping that she enjoys her next “Celebration in the Oaks” with a little more enthusiasm.
Stella hanging out with the cow who jumped over the moon in Storyland. If she looks a little alarmed, it is because she is allergic to cow’s milk and didn’t want to get any on her. I think most of the adults enjoyed Storyland more than Stella did, but I am not going to post the blackmail worthy shots of Matt attacking King Cole’s castle. You’re welcome, Matt. Tabitha, Stella, and I hitched a ride in Cinderella’s pumpkin coach. Unfortunately, we stayed out too late and the driver turned back into a rat. Stella and Daddy enjoy her first carousel ride.
The little kid sleeps in heavenly peace while the big kids enjoy “The Cajun Night Before Christmas.”
Thanks to everyone who made our "Celebration" outing so special! We hope to make it an annual holiday tradition for Stella.