I couldn't hardly do a post all about Gabs and not follow it with one all about Ellie Sue, now could I?
Well, this one is for this crazy kid!
I can't tell you how many people we meet say she is just like me. I think it is a hoot that she chose the above book by Norman Vincent Peale on positive living to pose for this pic. She went and put on some reading glasses, her visor, and said, "Hey mom, take a picture of me." And so I did.
This is a moment just before bedtime where she is just cracking herself up. She totally and completely feels that her place at night is smack in the middle of her daddy and me. Period. It, she feels, is not up for negotiation!
In fact, I only get a little sliver of a piece of bed, but this is going to have to change soon. I have not been sleeping well lately at all. Don't tell her. She might kick me out of my own house.
But all in all, this is a very independent, funny, mature and occasionally even kind kid!
She can do just about anything she puts her mind to.
Even those things that some might would consider impossible.
She has her very own sense of style. And insists on picking her own clothes out daily.
And if I am just being honest, many teenagers could take a hint from her. She really DOES have it "going on" when it comes to fashion.
She brings me great pride. This little diva of mine. I am so, so proud to be Ellie's mama.
We're almost finished with dancing pics, I swear. But seriously, LOOK at my baby's hair!
We are dangerously close to my needing to hold her hair when she is in a public restroom so it doesnt' get in the commode.
Too graphic? Sorry. But hair in a commode is just nasty.
Gabbi is finally finding her independence and quite frankly I am loving it.
She sort of lives in her big sister's (by a whole 13 months mind you) shadow. And she's been happy to be there. I am glad that she is sort of wanting to spread her own little wings as of late.
Here's Miss Linda. She is owner/ operator of our dance studio and director of our ballet company. Also my dance teacher since I was three years old. Can you fathom that?! She is also Johnnye's (of Johnnye and Paula next door fame) mom.
Ok, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention what might be one of my favorite pizza joints ever. The Mellow Mushroom. Man! Do you have one of these!? That place was the bomb!!
We had gone to join up with all our homies from West Monroe at another food joint, near LSU,. but whereas their teenagers are capable of waits upwards of an hour, our young uns were, umm... well let's just say, Not!
Plus the fact that this one had a super cool tiger that we could use to pose on. I mean, duh!
Breanna's oldest daugther is 9. Oh man. Is that right, Bre? ! Maybe 10? But you know Ellie is 12 in her own mind, so that worked!
And Gabs and Hazel (Renee's little sister.. one of the many! ha) are the same age, so they naturally gravitate toward one another.
Bre is more than 10 years my junior (let's just keep it "vague" like that!) and has 5 kids. Each are two years apart. I believe.
My two are alllllll I need thank you very much.
Especially since God thought I needed to raise THIS one! She's a mess.
Well, ya know.. since we are all filled up on girly estrogen anyway, let's just keep that ball rolling!! These are Ellie Sue's heroes... just sayin'!
We met up with our fave collegiate and took her to get some sweet grub.
We don't get to see ol' Mary Allison as often as we'd like, so when we are around her, we def try to keep her right there with us. She even THOUGHT she was going to spend the night with us both nights, but alas, the fraternity parties beat us out.
Breanna and I, and our brood of 5 daughters, hit the jackpot when we realized that there was a breakfast buffet (did I mention "Free"!?) right up there on our floor?! B.O.N.U.S.!!
We just strolled right on down there in our nightclothes. Like we owned the joint.
Last day of dance, I look over and Miss Priss has found MIA, Mary Allison's make up bag. Well... she DID choose a frat party over us. Right?! Ellie was going to town!
When our foundation got a little thick, I knew it was time to call the whole thing off. Tammy Faye was going to dance with wee schoolers, and I wasn't sure we were looking too appropriate.
Can you say, "neon"?!
I spy Ellie... hand in air. I am sure she needs some clarification.
Either that or she had some suggestions for the teacher and his approach to breaking down the dance steps. I'm praying it wasn't that!!
Every once in a while, Gabs would join them on the dance floor.
Miss Front Row Joe made up for her sister's absence though.
The instructors at LADM really do a great job bonding with the teens, calling out the best in the older girls, and inspiring the young ones by connecting with them on a "fun" level.
Ellie completely and totally LOVES getting to go to competition.
Gabbi completely and totally loved fixing her own water glass.
Oh well... to each her own. Variety is the spice of life. And my life certainly has a lot of variety!
Whew. I think I'm taking this "explore" thing a bit too seriously!! And I'd apologize for it, 'cept, I'm not! I'm kinda loving it. We are booking it around the state that's for sure.
This weekend we got to see this darling, but in a totally different venue. We were in New Orleans for her sister, Elaina's wedding. If we are friends on Facebook or Instagram, that's no new news to you!! However, I have Windows 8 on my new computer (new as in August of 2013 from Todd for my birthday) and have no idea how to operate my own system, so I'll have to take my computer AND phone to work tomorrow to have someone upload my pics for me. Yes, I know. I know.
WHile we are awaiting that transaction, we'll head back to the last weekend in March when we went to Baton Rouge for dance competition. This year, lil' bit got to go play with us!!
And Mary Allison was there to meet us when we arrived!
Cause, well, as you know she's a Tiger, so Baton Rouge is now her home. Can you tell my little posie Mcposers were pretty fired up!?
Aaaaannnndd... one more for good measure.
This is Linda Lou, their beloved dance teacher. And you might recognize the one shouldered net shirt from last year. Ellie let Gabs have all her "old" things. She was ready for round two of buying the cool dance clothes at Competition!
Gabs was a wee bit intimidated at first, but she settled on it. (Forget thinking big sister would help her ease in! Tweens were there who needed to be MET!)
While they danced, I bonded with this sweetie pie.
Breanna and I share a vehicle and travel this journey together each year. This year, my Gabs and her Hazel both made the trip too. However, Little Miss Audrey is also new to the crew, so there was an extra carseat.
I told Bre that if she keeps this up, we won't be able to travel together anymore. This is her number 5!
And for whatever reason, it took her fifth for me to claim, upon her birth, that I am her Godmother. Rather that is for reals or not, I make sure to buy Miss Audrey special little trinkets of love and devotion so she'll think it's for reals someday!
She has got to be one of the happiest and smilingest babies I've ever known.
I think she is saying, "YES, mo. Please be my Godmother."
We're a match made in Heaven.
So, the little girls get the same instructors as all the big girls. The instructors just take turns passing through the various classrooms, teaching each level a new dance. They have to learn and perform the dance in the hour allotted for the class.
That's quite a feat for little girls. Oh, and here's my friend, Cleavage, I mean, Cindy, who also had a little girl in this class.
She thought I wouldn't post it. Silly girl.
Here's Miss Hazel, Bre's number three kid, with the teacher.
Along with Ellie and Angel Grace, Cindy's girl.
This dude was the hiphop teacher. Please note the change of outfit. These have big baggy plaid pockets on the back , and Ellie was wearing her Converse to be all streetwise and edgy!
I gotta admit, Gabs spent about 50% (or 75ish?!) over here in this chair with us. I found out too late, sadly, that if I wasn't on the sidelines watching, she'd meander back to the class. This baby girl is a MAMA's GIRL if there ever was one!
And this is the tap instructor!
She would have the girls stand up and whisper to them a song, i.e. JIngle Bells, and they would have to tap it out until the class could pick up on what it was. Pretty neat class!
And Gabbi onlhy got excited when she saw a little bit of gymnastics happening!
Here's DJ. He is one the big girls' favorite. And so, you know who felt a kinship as well.
Our sweet Sarah (last summer's babysitter) won a spot as an assistant with LADM, so she was on stage helping teach. We felt like we knew a star!
At lunch, all the classes would convene, and Ellie would hang out with her "people"!
And as SOON as it was over, I'd convince them to come hang out with mine!! Barnes and Noble, baby!!
My kids LOVE elevators! Do all kids?!
They are sort of growing up, and I can sort of see it in these pics, with them just leading the way.
Oh, and having a little caffeinated snack. Gabs loves coffee.
Ellie just likes posing with the cup.
This was a true mama-daughter weekend. All the girl mamas are there. Most of them are going out to eat together and shopping all day until performances that night. But "most of them" aren't 44 with a 5 and 6 year old. THIS mama is still sitting in the class WITH her girls waiting til the break to help them change their shoes!!
It's quite a different perspective than most friends my age, but one I wouldn't trade for the world.