Thursday, January 24, 2008

The New Play Area

Finally, James has his own designated "play area" in our living room. Since our house has an open floor plan, I chose to put his play area in a corner of our living room. That way, I can peep in on him and he can see me as I work around the house. After researching several kinds of baby gates online, I chose this one because it doesn't look like he's in "baby jail" and the neutral tones go well with our house. The gate serves two purposes: Keeps James IN and the dogs OUT.

To start off, I put in a container of board books, some stuffed animals and his favorite toys. Right now, he just needs a safe space to learn to crawl around in.

As you can see, the mirror has become the focal point of his play area! His dad says that he is just like me! Should I be offended?

Here's Daddy and James, laughing it up before dinner.

Now, I have to decide what kind of artwork I want to put on the large wall above his mirror. I want something that is interesting, educational, and interactive, yet doesn't look like it belongs in a classroom, since this is the middle of our living room. I'm resisting the temptation to paint the wall with blackboard paint (for writing on with chalk) because I don't want James getting in the habit of writing on the walls! I'm thinking that a large world map would be cool. Or maybe something with the alphabet. Or maybe some stencils with math computations (guess who's idea that was!) Hint: his name rhymes with mill.
So, anyone have any suggestions????

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Aloha Haymans!!!

Yep, that's right. The Hayman household is headed to Hawaii!!!!
We leave in one week, so let the countdown (and the packing) begin!
Will has to go there for work (solving world peace and all while in paradise) so James and I get to tag along. Bad news is that Will has to spend the majority of each day at work (literally, solving world peace!). Good news is that James and I have the best tour guides in the world to keep us busy during the day- my dear dad and his brothers/sisters/nieces/nephews/cousins/and so on and so on. Basically, family of mine from afar whom I've never met. Yes, this will be my FIRST trip to Hawaii. It won't be the relaxing, romantic vacation that I had imagined, but the memories of exploring the island where my dad grew up and meeting family over there will be PRICELESS! I will have James strapped to me in the Baby Bjorn, a diaper bag/pack bag on my back and a camera in hand. No, I won't look like a tourist at all!
The flight will pose quite a challenge, since I will be flying over with the baby and no hubby to help out. Will has to go a few days early. But, I have solicited tons of advice online from travelin' moms and flight attendants and I think I'm about as prepared as one can be who is making a 12 hour flight with a seven month old! Luckily, James isn't truly mobile yet. So, he is perfectly content to sit/stand in my lap and be entertained. We do have a layover in LAX for about 2 hours. It will be a welcome change of position from the airplane and the USO Club (for military travelers) is always hospitable and accommodating. Anyho, wish us luck! I will be posting LOTS of pictures, so stay in touch!

Sunday, January 20, 2008


Gasparilla is a month long celebration here in Tampa, full of pirate invasions, parades, fireworks and more beads than you can imagine! Picture Mardi Gras by the bay! Well, this weekend was the ever-popular, ever-growing children's parade. And, not to deprive James of wonderful, parade-filled memories, we joined the thousands of parade-goers along Bayshore Boulevard. For those of you who aren't familiar, Bayshore Blvd is a 5 mile stretch of prime real estate along the bay with a continuous sidewalk, perfect for training runs, strolls or just looking out over the water. When I was running more, my favorite time of the week was running along Bayshore early Saturday morning when the sun was rising over the water, with the cityscape of downtown Tampa in the background. Although, I do NOT miss those 5 am wake up calls to start running!
Here is just a glimpse of our view (not much of one) of the parade. It was fun just people watching. Luckily, James isn't old enough to know that we weren't close enough to catch any beads. The day was pretty overcast and the temps took a low dip (65) as the evening grew later. The parade officials actually canceled the parade half-way through due to severe weather coming. So, James' first parade experience was a bust. Better luck next year. Luckily, we made it home before the storm came through (and it was quite the bad storm!)
We ran into an old friend of ours (she's not old) who we used to go hashing (running) with pre-baby. She fell in love with James (who doesn't?) and he fell in love with her beads! We will have to arrive much earlier next year to maximize his bead-catching potential!

When we got home (safe and dry) we had time to give James a bath, since it was earlier than we expected. I shot some adorable filmage of him splashing around and having a grand ole time in the tub, but after hours of searching for the AV cable, I can't find it. So, I can't get the footage from my camera to the computer, sadly, technology does have it's limits! Hopefully, it will turn up soon!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Rainy Day Playdates

The weather here has been overcast and dreary for the past couple of days. But, that doesn't stop us from making our weekly mommy group-playdate appointments! Here is James with some friends. Now that he can sit up, his playdates are much more engaging! His friend, Sebastian was teaching him how to work this toy, as he is 3 months older than James and very active!
Notice the open mouth???
Here is Benjamin! He is always such a mellow, happy baby!
Will James ever keep that mouth closed???? I can't wait until teething is over!
At least he still offers up a smile while teething, drool and all!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Shark Attack!!!

On Monday evening, James and I got the opportunity to see his "aunt Veronica/Godmother" go deep sea diving with some sharks at our local aquarium. She "won" this unique diving experience and asked us to witness her adventure. Here we are, waiting for her to suit up and get briefed on what to do/what NOT to do.

Here are James and I with his other godmother, Aunt Wana. She came along to witness the shark feeding, uh, shark diving experience with us! Luckily, she doesn't have the same insane desire to swim with the sharks as Aunt Veronica! Although, I do have to worry about her tattoo and sky-diving adventures! Geez!
Here's Veronica in the tank, waiting for the sharks to swim by. She was as calm and cool as a cucumber, definitely "in her element."
Here fishy-fishy!
This one got so close, she could have touched him. Unfortunately, the divers aren't allowed to reach out for the sharks, but she was secretly hoping he would brush a fin by her! What a neat experience! I hope James doesn't grow up thinking this is normal underwater behavior! Either way, he loves his trips to the aquarium!
And, his Aunt Veronica loved her shark diving adventure! I know it wasn't her first and she hopes it won't be her last, but I'm sure it was the most relaxed encounter she's had! Go figure!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Six Months Old!!!

Can you believe it? My baby boy is half a year old! I don't know where the last months have gone, time has just flown by and I only hope that we continue to make the most of it! I haven't posted in a while because we had my mom here visiting for a few days. James started teething and let's just say that he's been less than cooperative lately.

You can see that the "sign" didn't make it very long. As soon as he saw it, the paper was history. His favorite sound is crinkling, so he was tickled pink to have something new to crinkle!

Also, since his teething, everything goes into the mouth! So, I quickly replaced the paper (no paper cuts, please) with his binkie!
Here are his six month stats:
Weight: 19 lbs 75 %
Height: 26 1/4 50 % (shorty!)

And, with his six month birthday came the six month vaccinations! Ouch! After getting checked out by the doctor, the nurse comes in to administer the shots. Well, for some reason, smiley, happy James started crying big, crocodile tears as soon as he saw the nurse walk in with the tray of the dreaded needles. He took one look at her and started wailing, before the shots were even given! Now, he isn't supposed to recognize what's going to happen for a couple more years/months, right? How did he know what was going to happen? I felt so bad, but afterwards, the tears were kissed away and lots of cuddling followed.