Musings from some former inhabitants of the sprawling metropolis that is Prudhomme City

Monday, June 30, 2008

Daigle Baby Loot Fest

by Cajun Kate

So yesterday was Melissa's baby, Melissa and Burt's baby shower?, Melissa, Burt and baby's baby shower? I never know who these soirées are actually for- mother? mother and father? mother, father, and baby? Whatever.

Anyway, we (me, Molly, Mom, Aimee, Emily, and Mary Grace) all headed down to Chalmette to Melissa's friend Melissa's house (how's THAT for confusing?!?) to attend the shower. Now, let me just say that because I suffer from R.S.S.D (Retard in Social Situations Disease), showers, on my list of things that I enjoy, rank somewhere between getting a kidney infection and standing in a pile of fire ants for ten minutes. That is to say--do. not. enjoy. Each time I get invited to a shower (or really any situation where I will be forced to be sociable and friendly with massive amounts of people I do not know), I immediately wish that there were some kind of pill out there for my R.S.S.D. that would magically transform me from Nervous Nellie girl into Shiny Magical Daisy girl. In lieu of that, I also immediately wish that I had some crazy friend with a prescription for Xanax. Alas, neither exists. So, basically, I was my usual nervous, cantankerous self which, as usual, went over like a lead balloon. The thing is that Melissa's family and friends, not knowing me all that well, tend to treat me with kid gloves. Take for example when I refused to be in the hostess picture and would only participate by taking the hostess picture. Did anyone f**k with me? No, they did not. They were probably afraid I would hurl over the cake and party favor table in a fit of rage or something. I am ashamed that people get the instant impression in social situations that I am the one "Most Likely to Flip the F**k Out," but what can I do? Science has shafted me by not coming up with that pill I need.

At any rate, from what I could tell between gulping red wine and stuffing my face with Fritos and onion dip in the corner, the shower was very beautiful, and everyone without R.S.S.D. had a rockin' good time. Melissa and Baby Daigle looked lovely, of course, and OH. MY. GOD. did she and that kid rack up on some serious loot! For reallsy. It was awesome. I think Melissa and Burt may have needed a U-Haul to get it all back to the Daigle pad in Lakeview.

And now for the photo essay! Oh surely, you didn't think you were going to get through this post without one? Silly you!

Here we have two BEAUTIFUL Daigle girls- Mary Grace and Emily. This picture p***es me off because it is just more clearcut proof that there is some awesome s**t in our gene pool that I was robbed of. Robbed, I tell you!

Here are the BEAUTIFUL Melissa and her three BEAUTIFUL cousins- Savannah, Meryl, and Morgan. Speaking of an awesome gene pool!

Here are Gwen (Mom Daigle), Melissa, and Nancy (Mom Fos). Melissa's mom suggested putting the hands on the tummy thing. I think it looks cute...and also like they're doing a magical spell! Cool!

This is Melissa and her Grandma Fos. To be honest, I have no idea what Melissa and her family actually call Grandma Fos. I'm sure it must be Granny or Grams or Maw-Maw, but in yet another stunning example of my clueless rudeness, I cannot actually tell you what the nickname is. Sorry, Grandma Fos...and Melissa... and, well, bascially the whole Fos family.

This is Melissa with her sisters. Michelle is on the left, and Kim is on the right. More good genes! Also, I really like all of these girls. Kim is so sweet and has all of those social graces that I seriously lack. Plus, she's beautiful. Michelle is awesomely different. Beautiful, like her sisters (those bitches!) but very blunt and sarcastic. More like me, but in a hysterically funny and self-assured way. She cracks me up! She's getting married soon, and I have been begging Melissa to get me an invitation because, seriously, that wedding and reception is going to ROCK. And I know Michelle would not give two hoots if I got wasted and danced like a stripper and then passed out in the champagne fountain. She's just that cool. Oh, and Michelle informed me that she reads the blog so- SHOUT OUT, Michelle! (You know what? On second thought, I hate ALL of these girls! Juuuust kidding! )

This is Melissa and me. You may be saying to yourself, Say hey, now! Kate doesn't look nearly as much like a troll in this picture as she usually does when standing next to the gorgeous Melissa. That would be because I airbrushed out the two crevasses that are normally between my eyes...and my crows feet...and my under eye bags. Because it's just not fair that even standing next to a chick who is seven months pregnant, I am the one with a double chin. Nor is it fair that I have to wear an empire waist dress to disguise a tummy with no baby in it. Just my way of evening out the playing field. Take that, lovely pregnant sister-in-law!

This is the hostess picture in which I refused to take part. No amount of air brushing on my part would disguise my trolliness amongst all of these good-lookin' chicks.

This is Melissa about to open some of the awesome baby loot.

This is Melissa opening my gift. I don't know why she looks so shocked. I still contend that one day that baby will totally appreciate those two bottles of Merlot, box of Ding Dongs, and carton of smokes. Sheesh!

This is Melissa with the cutest baby shower cake I have ever seen. I did not actually eat any. I was off stealing back one of the bottles of wine from the baby gift for the ride home, but I heard the cake was delicious.

This is a closeup of the cake. Cutest cake EVER, right?

And then Melissa had the baby!
(HA! HA! Just kidding! That's Mary Grace.)

So, all in all, it was a lovely party for Melissa. Her mom, family, and friends did a great job!

And in closing, I would like to urge Burt and Melissa to enjoy their pristine baby loot and uninterrupted sleep while they can because next comes the actual baby who will proceed to ruin both in short order. Congrats, guys! As I always say, better you than me!

Friday, June 27, 2008


by CajunKate

So last weekend Alex and I drove over to Slidell to attend the very first dance recital of our niece (and godchild!) Hannah. It's hard to believe that she is already four years old. Seems like only yesterday she looked like this:

And now she looks like this:

Hannah is not the only thing that has changed over in Slidell. After Hurricane Katrina, Alex's parents' house looked like this:

And now (nearly three years later) it looks like this:

And while we were there, I got to see how much my Zandy has changed. Alex's mom busted out the home movies from Alex's childhood. That one DVD of home movies is pretty much all that remains as far as a record of Alex's childhood. They basically lost all the other family videos and pictures in a house fire a few years ago. I had never seen the video before, and I was overwhelmed with what a cute baby and kid my husband was. I coined the term Baby Zandy while watching it, as in "Baby Zandy is sooooo CUTE!" and "Oh my God, I just wanna eat up Baby Zandy, he's so CUTE!"

Then last night, Alex walked into the living room with a copy of the DVD that we, apparently, have had all along, I just never knew about it. When we watched the DVD at his parents', I was distracted by playing with Hannah, so I didn't notice that there were segments that Alex's mom had the Mottram boys narrate as she was transferring them from 8mm to VHS tape, and OH MY WORD! the hilarity of the parts narrated by Zandy when he was seven or eight years old. I was laughing so hard that I literally cried. During a birthday segment for Pete he calls him "stupid Peter," he sings out the action taking place like he's in a Broadway show, and he does lots of sound effects. As we were watching and listening (and I was dissolved in tears), Alex said, "S**t! I was annoying!" Which made me laugh even harder because he does totally sound like a poster child for ADD on that video. And it's the CUTEST thing I've ever heard.

Naturally, I immediately began planning to upload the video, which includes footage of him wearing the horrible stripes and plaids of classic 1970s couture and a bright orange pool floatie, to the blog. Knowing me far too well, a short while later, as I was still rhapsodizing about Baby Zandy, he looked at me and said, "DO NOT put that video on your blog. Absolutely, positively NO to putting any of that on the blog!" Awwww, pooper!

But he only specifically said the video, so I present to you the one and only photograph I have of Baby Zandy. Actually he's not a baby, but since I have no actual baby pics of him due to the house fire, I have to consider this photo of him at six-years-old my Baby Zandy photo. That boy was hella cute! Take time to notice the thumbs up, which Alex said he did on purpose, mere milliseconds before the photo was snapped, as an homage to his obsession with the Fonz from
Happy Days.

After the Baby Zandy bonanza, I climbed into bed later that night and told Alex, "Baby Zandy is so cute! In fact, I love Baby Zandy so much, it makes me want to check out fertility treatments. I want a Baby Zandy!" To which he replied, "That's it. I'm cutting you off. You have officially OD'd on Baby Zandy. That DVD's going into cold storage tomorrow."

So it looks like I'll have to be satisfied with this Zandy:

And that's okay... because, after all, he still is pretty cute.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Happy Birfday to ME, ME, ME!

by CajunKate

So yesterday was my birthday. I'm not really into my birthday like I once was. I think this mostly stems from the fact that I seem to bearing down on the big FOUR-O at warp speed, which is really, really disconcerting. Two years from now, I'll be middle-aged, which is so like a What the hell,man?!? situation for me and one which I choose to think about as little as possible. So, for the past few birthdays, I have kept it low key. That way my age escapes notice, and no one can remind me that Heeeeyyy! You're going to be FORTY in a few years! Ha! You're OLD!

These days all I want on my birthday is a nice meal and a happy birthday from the Zandinator. Which I almost didn't get this year. On Saturday, I told Alex I was gong to the grocery store to get stuff to make some pies. Puzzled, he asked, "Why are you making pies?" To which I replied, "Well, I'm making one for my dad for Father's Day, and I'm making one for myself for my birthday. I want pie instead of cake this year." For a nanosecond he looked at me, eyes wide with horror, and then started cursing a blue streak. Things like, "F**k me! Your birthday is on Monday? D**n, d**n, d**n!" At which point it became totally clear that he had forgotten my birthday was on Monday. He was very upset with himself. I, on the other hand, did not really give a s**t. He's been totally stressed about work and the merger and whether he will have a job in the coming months, so I could completely understand that he had a few more pressing issues with which he was dealing. I did my best to calm him while he frantically asked me what I wanted for my birthday...and that, my friends, is when the real birthday dream came true. Oh, yes.

I've been bugging Alex for about a month now to let me spend the money to go see my best friend Seth in San Francisco. He'd been pretty resistant what with things so up in the air at work. He didn't want to spend the money now when we might need it in a few months if he's unemployed. I, on the other hand, am on the opposite end of the spectrum. I figure now is THE time to go because if I don't go now, who knows when I will ever get out there, and it's already been two years since I've seen Seth. And so you see, when it became clear that he had forgotten my birthday and was feeling really guilty and then asked me what I wanted, I took complete advantage of the situation and said, "You know what I want." With a sigh, he said, "San Francisco, right?" And I was all, "Yep." And he finally relented, and I am GOING TO SAN FRANCISCO, PEOPLE! I'm a complete b***h who took advantage of the man she loves in a moment of weakness, but no matter because I am GOING TO SAN FRANCISCO, PEOPLE! It's a win-win really because this relieves him from being a d**k for forgetting my birthday, which he would totally hate, and instead makes me the b***h, which I can totally live with. Also, he did not have to go to a store and deal with people to get me a gift which, for him, is the equivalent of having hot pokers jammed into his eyes. So, yeah, win-win!

Now, as I have mentioned, keeping my birthday on the down-low is a way of escaping the Wow! You're almost forty! HA! You're old! comments. But on Monday morning, Alex exclaimed, "Happy birthday, baby! How old are you?" He knew th answer, of course, so when I said, "Thirty eight." He got to say, "Wow! You're old!" and got a really big kick out of it. This is despite the fact that he is seven months older than me. So the joke's on you, Mister Alex! You're the old one, not me! HA!

The rest of my birthday was pretty unexciting, although I did get a text from my brother Ted at 6:30 AM wishing me happy birthday. This was very sweet of him, mostly because it may be the first time in our adult lives that he actually remembered it was my birthday. I was very touched. I also got a birthday card from my brother Burt and his wife Melissa. Very sweet of them to remember, too. And, of course, Mom and Dad had given me a card and wished me happy birthday on Sunday when they came by for Father's Day. I also got some MySpace messages from various friends wishing me a good one and phone calls from my two best friends, Seth and Naomie. I felt very special, and only Seth harassed me about getting old. The message he left was pretty hysterical, and I am going to try and record it and put it on the blog for all to enjoy.

After an uneventful day, Alex came home and gave me a birthday card with the most delightfully touching note from him written in it. I tried to be a big girl about it, but I got tears in my eyes when I read it. While I sat with my head down focusing on the card and trying not to cry, he placed a bottle of wine in front of me and said, "Ever had Menage a Trois?" HUH?!? This did a good job of squelching the tears and bringing on a case of the icks. Then I saw the label on the bottle.

This set up a hilarious evening for Alex, of course, as he was able to say things like, "You think you'll like Menage a Trois?" and "Bet you're going to really love Menage a Trois!" and "Are you ready to try Menage a Trois?" and "Thinking about having Menage a Trois yet?" All night long with the vaguely salacious Menage a Trois jokes. He was in seventh heaven.

We did go out for a meal. We went to Olive Garden. What can I say? We had a gift certificate. We're cheap these days. Then we came home and had some of the apple crumb pie which was OH MY GOD! delicious. Seriously. Here's a pic.

Now my birthday is over, but I'll get to enjoy Menage a Trois for a few days. (Alex would be so proud of me right now.) The end.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day

by CajunKate

Dear Dad,
So today is the day we honor our fathers. I am truly blessed to have a father. Some people have none, and some have a man who simply raised them, but I have a father. To me, having a father means I have an endless supply of everlasting, unconditional love. How did I come to this definition of father? How could I not? I have you. Happy Father's Day, Daddy. To say I love you is not enough. Not nearly enough.


1954- Before his kids were even a twinkle in his eye

2008- Still lookin' good after the stress of six kids

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Priestly Dining

by Cajun Kate

So last night Ted and I went out to Grand Coteau to have dinner with some friends of ours from our high school know, back in the Bronze Age. It just so happens that the friend who set up our little supper club, Mark, is a Jesuit priest. He was recently transferred...uh, been stationed...uh, WHATEVER! He works in Grand Coteau now, OKAY?!? He's in charge of a bunch of Jesuit novitiates. Well, nine exactly. I'm guessing in terms of rounding up possible priests, that's a goodly number. Novitiates means guys who are still in their first or second year in the process of becoming a Jesuit priest...I think. I'm pretty sure. Okay, just believe me for now because listening to Mark that's what I deduced but it's all very involved, and I am way too lazy to go look it up and make sure I am correct. Anyway, it takes a really, really long time to get to the point of taking your vows as a Jesuit priest. Like eight years or something. Like the equivalent of getting a medical or law degree. I tend to think of the Jesuits as the rocket scientists of the priesthood. The other friend who attended, Mitchell, is also a priest. Not a Jesuit, though. He's a... um, regular priest? Ugh, I don't know what his freakin' order or whatever is, ALRIGHT?!? Listen, let's all just go ahead and label me a bad Catholic and move on.

Ted and I arrived a little early for supper, so we walked around the grounds of Saint Charles, the Jesuits' joint out there. Grand Coteau is a very pretty area, kind of hilly or know, not the awe-inspriing flatness of the rest of south Louisiana. The grounds of St. Charles' itself are just amazing. It is so incredibly peaceful there, but in a way that I can't really describe or put into words. I brought along my camera and tried with all my might to capture some photographic evidence that relays the feeling this place produces in me, but they didn't end up doing it any justice. I've included a few at the end of this post anyway.

The supper itself was delicious. Mark had made a spicy dip and guacamole which we consumed with ice cold Abita beer. For the meal, he kicked out a great green salad, yummy potato salad, and delectable chicken sauce piquante. But it was the company that really made the evening special. Mark has traveled all over the world in his twenty years with the Jesuits, and he has the most amazing stories. He's also very, very funny and incredibly smart. Mitchell is the pastor of the church in Gueydan, and he also had some very funny stories to tell. Between the two of them, I could have stayed there all night just talking. We also spent a lot of time talking about growing up in Acadia Parish and how we spent every spare moment outside and how our parents never worried for a moment about our whereabouts or safety. I cracked up when Mark told us about riding his bike directly behind the the mosquito truck, a vehicle that traveled around belching out a spray of pesticides. Mark recalled riding in the direct line of carcinogens in the heat of summer, and thinking, "Ah! It feels so nice and cool!" Ah yes, the refreshing spray of potential cancer! Of course, we didn't know that then. But I think the top story of the night was one Mark told about randomly meeting Patch Adams (you know, the guy from the movie?) in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. He said it was absolutely one of the most surreal moments of his life.

All in all, it was fantastic evening. Something we definitely need to do again and again and should be able to do now that Mark is in a fairly, by Jesuit standards, stable position. (He'll be in Grand Coteau for the next ten years.) Before we left, Mark took us on a brief tour of the building, which is ninety-nine years old and just gorgeous. Soaring ceilings and magnificent wood floors, etc., etc.

As we were leaving, Mark gave Ted and I copies of his books. He has written two, both about prayer. One is The Armchair Mystic: Easing Into Contemplative Prayer, which I had a copy of but gave to Ted who never returned it, so Mark gave me a new one. He gave both of us a copy of his second book (he's working on a third right now) titled God, I Have Issues: 50 Ways to Pray No matter How You Feel. When I got home, I sat down with it and randomly flipped it open. It landed on the section titled "God, I'm Procrastinating!" Yeah, one of my most enduring and troubling character traits. Just the latest reminder from the Big Guy/Gal that I am under constant surveillance. I like to think of this latest sign as being akin to a post-it note, if you will, from God reading, "Hey, lazy *ss! I see you wasting your precious time! Whaddya think yer gonna live forever or what?" To which I reply, "Sorry, God (for the nine millionth one hundred and eighth time)! I'll put down the Ding-Dongs now and get to work."
Sigh. That God. What a slave driver!

Have a great weekend, peeps, and keep on, keepin' on! Pics from the grounds of Saint Charles in Grand Coteau below.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Mary Grace Hits the Big ONE

by CajunKate

So yesterday the majority of the current and former Prudhommians headed over to Ted and Molly's to celebrate Mary Grace's first birthday. When Molly called to invite us, I told the Zandinator that I really wanted him to come because I wanted to video the ceremonial blowing out of the birthday candle but, because I am in love with my new camera, I would be too busy taking copious amounts of momentous pics to do the video stuff, so would he please, please come with me. Alex normally gets a pass on the kiddos' birthday parties, well, there are buttloads of ankle biters hopped up on sugar, and Alex no likey. I am totally okay with this. Having grown up in a big family with lots of yelling and fighting and tears and injuries and general bedlam and chaos, it is no big whoop for me, but I can totally empathize with someone who would run screaming in the other direction at the mere mention of an invitation to witness it all firsthand. That's a good thing since I am married to that person. Still Zandy sucked it up and obliged this once. More on this later.

Prior to the party, Ted and Molly had really hyped up the party to the boys telling them that since Mary Grace is the only girl, there would be a big blowout with ponies in the backyard and a private show by Disney On Ice. You can imagine their consternation when it turned out to be just cake and ice cream like every one of their birthday parties. Mary Grace didn't even get the usual pinata! Boo! Hiss! Of course, Ted and Molly thought it most hilarious to torture their boys in such a manner. And I could not agree more!

Mary Grace was dressed in a lovely pink frock, and she had a pink castle cake which she ate very demurely leaving nary a crumb on her face. The boys got more on their faces and the floor than she did. How she remains so ladylike and composed in that house full of testosterone is beyond me, though I see no way that she won't eventually be sucked into the male vortex and end up mud wrestling at some point. Additionally, I'd like to point out that she has the awesome set of initials ever- M.G.D.- sure to invoke envy on the part of all men everywhere since, as everyone knows, they also stand for Miller Genuine Draft, preferred beverage of rowdy frat boys, and all I have to say about that is...! I'd love to show you the fun video of the singing and the blowing out of the candle, but I was so caught up in taking pictures that it was all over by the time I realized Alex had totally not done his videoing job. Me being me, I called him out in front of everyone by yelling, "But that's what I BROUGHT you for!" Then I told him he was grounded. And everyone laughed...except Alex whose eyes said, Oh, there will be payback for this little tantrum.

I took lots and lots and lots of pics. Like over one hundred. I'm putting up just a few of my favorites, but you can see tons more on my Flickr page. The link is over to the right. I had time to upload them because our house is kid-free, though I did whip up a Banquet chicken pot pie and and Kraft Easy Mac for Alex tonight. See, it's
like having a kid... but one who manages the Quicken stuff... and doesn't throw up all over me...knock on wood.

All the boys in the pool (l to r): Gabe, Max, John Thomas, and Sam



Joe Cool a.k.a Max


The Birthday Girl

And, oh my God, she is so cute and delicious that I just want to devour her whole!

The party only really gets started once the guest of honor gets semi-naked, right?

Every lady knows how to give a good raspberry to the old woman shoving a camera in her face every two seconds.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Baby Furniture

by BDaigle

We got baby furniture delivered last week. I was scared and with good reason. Since we moved into our new house in New Orleans back in September, we have purchased a lot of furniture and I have learned one lesson over and over and over and over and over and over.... you get the idea......and over again. The less expensive the furniture, the better the chance it needs assembly and the difficulty of the assembly increases with the decrease in purchase price.

This is our living room. The couch is the most expensive piece. It was purchased from a furniture store. It was delivered, put exactly where I wanted and the movers even placed the cushions. Perfect.

The chair and ottoman were purchased from a store that sold "home furnishings". We haggled to get it in the color we wanted and had to wait for it to come in to stock. I picked it up and brought it home and unpacked it. Assembly consisted of putting on the feet of the chair and ottoman. Not too bad and it was decently priced.

The coffee table was a gift I got for Melissa for Christmas the year before we got married. I bought it from World Market and it was an average price for a coffee table. It's all real wood and assembly was simple because it's a coffee table. I was very pleased with myself.

This is our entertainment center and it consists of 3 pieces. We bought it from Crate & Barrel and it was delivered via UPS. Crate & Barrel is not what I would call an inexpensive place to shop. It looks like it came from a furniture store but it required assembly. This took me about two hours to put together and only because I was being VERY careful not to scratch anything. Super simple assembly.

This is our dining room. The hutch in the back came from World Market and was bought in Lafayette right after we got married. It cost about average for that piece of furniture. I had to bring it home, but it came mostly assembled and was easy to put together.

The dining room table was a steal from a furniture store. It has a built-in leaf and expands to seat six. It took forever to come in but it was delivered and required no assembly. I call it the exception to the rule.

These are our dining room chairs. They did not come with the table. The chairs that came with the table were hideous. We chose not to purchase them. We did not find these dining room chairs until about a month and a half ago at World Market. They are cheap compared to anything you can find in a furniture store. They are difficult to put together and I'm fairly handy. I'm not Bob Vila, but I can handle an allen wrench. These things require glue and have to be leveled. They take about 45 minutes each. Do the math. I spent 4.5 hours over 2 days putting these beasts together. These things are prime examples of my rule, but they are not the best example.

Meet my barstools. I have four of these. They came from World Market. I searched for weeks online and in furniture stores for barstools and was amazed at how expensive they were. Then I found these at World Market and was stunned that they were exactly what I was looking for and that they were so cheap! This should have set off warning bells, but I was a victim of sticker price lust. These things are my dining room chairs times two. Do you know how hard it is to level a barstool? Then to add insult to my stupidity, the undersides of these things just simply Velcro on and off. Its like a slap in the face to fight this chair for an hour and then have the last step be to simply Velcro the final piece on. These bad boys take over an hour each to assemble. Their picture goes by the rule in the dictionary.

Now you might think this might be leading all up to a horror story about my baby furniture, but no. We bought the set at Babies R Us for a moderate price and had it delivered, but not unpacked nor assembled. For the record, Melissa was afraid that they delivery MAN would die in our home. Apparently, the delivery MAN (not delivery men), Alonzo, was pushing 60, had a beer belly the size of a keg, varicose veins in his legs, and a back brace. According to Melissa, he wheezed, hacked, coughed, and gagged the three pieces of baby furniture up to the nursery. I say it was money well spent on delivery and asked her why she didn't videotape it for America's Funniest Home Videos.

Here's the furniture that almost took a man's life.

This is the dresser. It required no assembly but I did have to unpack it and move it into position.

This is the chest of drawers. Again, no assembly required, but I did unbox it and wiggle it against the wall.

This is the crib. Later on it can be changed into a full size bed whenever needed with the addition of some rails. It did require assembly. It maybe took me 30 minutes to put together not counting the naggi...I mean...advice and counseling from Melissa.

The lesson is: Calm down your inner-Horecky when shopping for furniture and never trust deals on any piece meant to put your butt on.