Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Ain't Nothing Easy about "The Big Easy"

Several weeks ago, Josh planned a trip for our little family of four to head to New Orleans together. He planned that we would go to the Aquarium and the Audubon Insectarium. We booked the hotel room and off we went on this adventure this past weekend! I have always loved New Orleans- the food (!), the music, the art and the architecture...all of it really makes me feel alive. Therefore, it was never hard for me to understand or relate to the city's nickname "The Big Easy"- until this past weekend.

We were so excited about this trip and had great expectations. I tried to be super prepared- all medicines, comfort blankets, favorite music even favorite juice cups were in tow. I even went so far as to get the girls their very own $3 disposable cameras so they too could take pictures and I might get just a few of them with our camera without them trying to grab the "real" camera (or "smile" as they like to call the device) out of my hands!

Friday afternoon was fine but it all started once we got to McComb- Emme's fever spiked up to 103...we stop at the local Dairy Queen...administer Motrin and continue on. Fever breaks and she is happy again with seemingly no issues. We check into our hotel- girls are thrilled and play phone while we unpack...next thing I know, they are jumping on the bead and, of course, Emme falls OFF the bed onto her head- I freak out, Josh does a quick exam and determines that she is perfectly fine as she is already off and running. After I got some oxygen and a Sprite (my how times have changed for me in New Orleans!) we headed directly for the Audubon Insectarium. (If you haven't been with your children- it is fun- girls loved it!) This was a blast for the girls- we went through the ant cave at least 6 times and the butterfly exhibit has been discussed at great length for days. I saw the largest beetle I have ever seen or thought about and learned that there are over 350,000 different species of beetles!! After this we head to the River for a little seafood- found a great restaurant with a live band and tables outside...girls were great...loved their food...champs at dinner...we danced by the river and headed to the hotel. Emme goes down at 6:30 just like every night and then wakes at 8:30 p.m. screaming her head off...fever is back at 103 and she is inconsolable...we could only hold her and pray...she gets real sick at midnight- you can use your own imagination- we consider packing up and going to Tulane's emergency room or heading straight for home...she eventually calms down and finally crashes at 3:34 a.m.!!!!! At this time, I am holding her listening to all of the "French Quarter patrons" coming in from their Friday night fun. Even though I was exhausted beyond description, stressed and worried about Emme, I had to laugh to myself at how poetic the situation was for me personally!!!!

6:34 a.m.- Ansley awakes singing to Josh and I- Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. Since we had only 3 hours of sleep the entire night, we begged her to hum and just talk to Charlotte. She loved that and laid on my stomach and told Charlotte the story of "Goldilocks and the Free Bears"! As exhausted as I was, it was a priceless moment! Emme awakens shortly thereafter and feels miserable. We pack up- grab breakfast and head to the Aquarium so not to disappoint Ansley. She loved everything about it- she loved the Anaconda even! Her favorite exhibit was the penguin exhibit and the clown fish exhibit as she was convinced it was truly Nemo in that tank!!! Below are some pictures from our trip. You can tell how much Emme enjoyed the Aquarium...she slept through the entire thing!!!!

Once we got home that afternoon, we took Emme straight to the doctor- she had hand, foot and mouth disease!!! For those of you who have not experienced this virus- it is one of the worst ever. Our girls have had it 3 times and every time I doubt whether I am going to make it through the 96 hour duration!!!! But, all is well now and looking back now we certainly made some memories! Ansley had a blast and has asked daily when we are going to see Nemo again! Josh and I are going to give New Orleans another shot to earn its "Easy" nickname from this Poole clan!!!

Charlotte Belinda Poole

Josh and I have decided to name our third daughter Charlotte Belinda. As this pregnancy progressed it was obvious quickly that it was time to name our daughter so to better pray for her specifically and so that Ansley and Emme could really identify with her. It was very important to us to honor both of our families this time around with the name selection as they have meant more to us than mere words could ever express. Charlotte is the feminine form of Charles, Josh's father's name, and Charlotte means "petite and feminine." Belinda is my mother's name and means "beautiful in spirit." Charlotte is named after two people who have not only loved us unconditionally throughout our lives but who have also been true heroes of faith every day in our lives. Our families passed down to us a beautiful legacy of faith, devotion to and love for the Lord- our prayer is that our daughters can say the same about us.

Charlotte Belinda, even though we still have over 4 months until we hold your sweet self in our arms, we love you and lift you up in prayer now.

Our Baby Bella is here!

We are so happy to welcome our new niece and cousin, Bella Gibson! Bella was born one week ago on May 19 a little before 5 a.m. She weighed 7 lbs 10 oz and is truly beautiful- she lives up to her name!! Big sister Halle is doing such a great job welcoming Bella to their home and I hear that she tells everyone that she can change her dirty diaper. Ansley and Emma Kate have not met their new cousin yet since they have been sick for the last week, but as soon as we know they are well we are racing over so that they can love on her! We all love all you Gibsons- welcome Bella!!!

Friday, May 1, 2009

IT'S A . . .

GIRL! ! ! We are excited to announce that we have another Poole girl on the way! Three little girls all in curls, we hope! Josh and I were thrilled at the news. Josh has said since week 5 of this pregnancy that he really wanted another girl. I expect that this little girl will wrap her Daddy just as quickly around her finger as Ansley and Emma Kate did. We are most thankful that our little girl is healthy and seems to be doing very good. I felt her move for the first time last week. What a gift those little thumps and flutters are to feel.