Sunday, April 27, 2008

Weekend At a Glance

No major news or events this week. We started out our weekend by visiting the aquarium on Friday. This seems to be a pretty popular routine with James and I enjoy my time there as well. The sights in the fish and shark tanks are always changing, so there is always something new to see when we go! Plus, as soon as James gets older, there is a wonderful children's water activity area outside, complete with slides, fountains, a small mini-beach and super soaker squirters! I, uh, I mean James, can't wait!!!
James kept me very busy chasing him all around the tank/theater area. His crawling is getting much faster. He is now standing up (at everything!) and letting go to practice his free-standing skills.
Our trips to the aquarium are always much more fun when friends come along. Today, our friends Heike and her daughter Fiona joined us. Fiona and James have been play-buddies for several months now. Although James still seems to prefer older women (the moms!) he is warming up to Fiona!
On Saturday, Heike invited us to join them at Island Fest. A nearby festival of music, food, events and freebies. It was quite warm out, but we strolled along for a while. There were several of those large, bouncy, jumpy things for kids, but James and Fiona were forced to just watch the other older kids, since they weren't old enough. I could see James watching the other kids with envy and thinking, "Some day, that will be me up there on that bouncy slide!" And, what festival is complete without the ever-popular Elvis impersonator? Actually, he was very good (several older women from the crowd informed me!)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Crates vs. Cribs

So, as I'm cleaning around the house today and continuing to baby-proof the areas that James finds oh-so interesting,
he goes and finds yet another fun area to explore! The dog crates!
He normally just crawls up to the dog crates, pulls up and starts shaking it (for the fun sound, I'm sure!)
But, today he decided to follow Abby's lead (she was in her crate taking a baby-free nap) and crawl into Misha's crate for nap time!

Of course, I couldn't resist grabbing the camera for this (I'm sure to be repeated) photo opportunity! Good thing that the dog crates are reasonably clean. I wash their pillows/blankets about once a week and clorox the bottom trays for odor/hair control. But still, come on James!
So, with all the baby-proofing going on you are probably wondering, "Why don't you just put the crates up?" But, our dogs use them all the time. Misha still sleeps in her crate every night and Abby crawls into hers when she wants to escape or find her "safe place." He actually started crying/fussing when I pulled him out of it! I guess he likes being in a cage? What on earth does this say about the future of our son?!? Just wait until his dad finds out.....

Monday, April 21, 2008

Computer Troubles

So, our computer was down for most of last week and this weekend. Good news is that we have everything re-installed, all photo albums were recovered, and everything is now automatically backed up on a separate hard drive.....

Bad news is that I lost ALL of my email addresses in my Contacts folder. So, if you are a friend or family (local and from afar) then PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE send me a quick email so that I can resave your email address.

Thanks everyone!

Monday, April 14, 2008

What a Weekend.....

Let's just say that doggie ownership is NOT all it's cracked up to be.....
I'm working off of about 2 hours sleep here, so bear with me.
Our weekend started off nicely. James and I had a very busy Friday afternoon and he pooped out at 6:20 for the night. So, in honor of Happy Hour, I fixed Will and I some yummy margaritas and we enjoyed a nice dinner together.
Saturday brought lots of work outside around the house for Will and a pool playdate for James and I. I've been wanting to introduce James to our pool for some time now. I had the diaper swimmies, the sunscreen, the infant float and the pool water was nice and warm! We were ready. I invited James' good friend Benjamin (and his mommy Michelle) over for some moral support, since Benjamin is a month older than James and has taken a few swim lessons already.

Well, let me tell you. There is truth to the saying "like a fish to water...."

I held James close to me as we walked down the steps and started getting lower in the water. We did some light splashing and going up and down and around. Then, he really got the hang of it. He wanted to splash in the water (and did.) He let me hold him waayyy out from me and "swim" around in the water. Then, he started gyrating like some spastic dolphin and splashing his arms. Yes, he had a blast! I put him in the infant floater and "drove" him all around the pool, with a big grin on his face the entire time. So, long story short, this boy LOVED the water and I think I know how we will be spending most of our weekends from now on. Daddy stopped doing yardwork for long enough to snap a picture of our first pool adventure (before my battery died.)

After swimming so many laps with his friend Benjamin, it was time for him to leave (both boys were ready for dinner!) Throughout the day, I noticed that our dog, Abby, was getting more and more agitated and that something was just not right with her. I had called the vet earlier in the day, but they had closed for the weekend. She was getting more and more miserable, so after James was fed and bathed, I loaded Abby in the car and made the drive up to the Florida Veterinarian Specialists facility in north Tampa. It was quite the drive on a Saturday evening, but it is the only 24 our emergency vet clinic here and our dear dog needed help.

After numerous tests to rule out other possibilities and two hours of waiting, the doctor told me that Abby is suffering from a UTI (urinary track infection). For those of you who have been plagued with one of these, you know that my heart immediately went out to her and I was so thankful that I brought her in instead of waiting for our local vet to open on Monday. So, they prescribed her antibiotic, gave her a shot of painkiller and we were on our way, minus $332. Ouch!

Sunday, I continued giving her the directed dosages, but she was still really agitated and bothered "down there." Poor baby wasn't happy unless either me or my husband was holding her. Then, Sunday night, I dosed her up again and we hoped for a good night's sleep. Well, she had other plans. I finally decided to try to sleep with her on the couch and keep her soothed. But, at 2:00, neither one of us had gotten any sleep and she was getting more agitated by the minute. So, after a phone call to the emergency vet and a quick change out of my PJ's, I quietly loaded her back in the car and made the trip up to north Tampa. Luckily, at 2:15 in the morning, there was no traffic so I made it in record time!

The doctor confirmed that her skin irritation "down there" had gotten worse, prescribed another shot of painkiller, some new cream to rub on it (how fun for me!) and medicated pads to wipe the area clean. Oh, AND she has to wear a e-collar now (to prevent her from licking the area and causing more skin inflammation). So, two hours and $70 dollars later, we were headed home. I got back into bed at 4:15 and Will's alarm started going off at 5:00. At 6:00, when he got up, he asked "So, how did Abby do last night?" Having no clue that I had left the house for two hours! When I told him about my fun night of no sleep, he promptly gave pity and said that I should have wakened him. But, since I'm the stay-at-home-mom, I felt that he needed his sleep for work. Still, I think he felt a little put out that I didn't ask for his help. But, someone needed to stay home with the baby!

So, let's see, I've had about 2 hours of sleep. Technicians were here at 8:00 am to install a new security system and just left at 2:00, James finally went down for his nap and we have a photo session at JC Penny scheduled for 4:00. Followed by the whole dinnertime/bathtime routine.

So, I'll get some sleep tonight. Hopefully! At least Abby is starting to feel slightly better, but she is not liking this collar one bit!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

I've Been Tagged

The person who introduced me to blogging and who was my college roomate, Courtney, has "tagged" me. So, I've had the fun task of coming up with 10 random facts about myself. Here goes....
Ten Random Facts about Myself
1. I prefer reds over whites (wines). I love to cook with wine. And, sometimes I even put it in the food! (ba-dum-bump!)
2. I love ALL desserts. For special occasions, I've been known to choose the restaurant strictly based on their dessert menu.
3. I don't consider myself an athlete. But, in 2006, I trained and ran two marathons in two months. Besides giving birth, it was the most challenging, exhausting, rewarding, exhilarating experience of my life!
4. I get very competitive when it comes to playing the game of Uno, or Scrabble. Not so much when it comes to Texas Hold 'Em.
5. I love taking long walks outside.
6. I hate, hate, hate onions! I will sometimes cook with them if the recipe absolutely must have onion flavor, then I pick them out of my dish. My good friends prepare an onion-less portion of food during for me dinner parties.
7. I am a water snob. I prefer to drink Dasani bottled water (it tastes Wonderful!) at room temperature.
8. I hate text messages.
9. I have a huge phobia about crossing the streets. Apparently to others, I wait an insane amount of time for there to be no cars before I will cross. But, these Tampa drivers are crazy!
10. One day, I would love to take ballroom dance lessons with my husband. He is a natural at it (gets it from his mom), but I have trouble following someone else's lead (personality trait maybe?) I just think it would be a great way to spend time with the man I love and learn a new skill at the same time! Dancing with the Hayman's anyone?

I now tag Rebecca Long, Jackie, Ashley and Wana.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

9 Months Old!!!

Yes, Mr. James is 9 months old today! Long gone are the days when he would sit and pose for a picture! I thought my new camera was perfect, but the slow shutter speed is making these "posed" shots much more difficult to attain! After several outtakes, I finally had to call in backup, aka "Dad." I truly could not have captured any of James AND the sign without extra hands! For those of you moms out there doing it solo, I salute you!

So, it seems that these were the best shots I could get! Boy, that child is fast! You can see the look of pure joy as he quickly tries to escape the confinement of sitting on a bed.

Nine Months Update:
James is a whopping 22.4 pounds! I'm not sure how tall he is. But I weighed him on our digital scale at home!
He eats a hearty three "squares" a day. His new favs are mashed avocado with banana and yogurt mixed with some tahini
He still has only two bottom teeth. But he does a very good job "chewing" with those!
This was a week of firsts...
He ate his first grilled cheese on Monday. After staring at the pieces for a good ten minutes and carefully watching me eat my own grilled cheese (while making grandiose UHHMMMMM faces), he ventured out and tried his own. It didn't take long for him to enjoy the cheesey, buttery goodness! Don't worry, I used non-salted, organic butter and cheese on whole grain bread!
He also took his first dip in the pool this week. We started out sitting on the side and dangling our feet in. Then, he stood on the first step. He really liked it and wanted to splash around in it. So, I think this weekend will be our first "real" dip in the pool.
He likes to shake his head "no." Only it doesn't necessarily mean that he's done eating or doesn't want something. I think he just likes the way it feels!
He is getting very brave when it comes to standing. He often pulls up on an object and does the one-handed hold for balance and occasionally does the NO hand hold. Consequently, several tumbles and tears have followed. Luckily, no major bruising (yet.)

It's hard to believe that nine whole months have gone by....
Being a full time mommy is a hard, rewarding, exhausting, overwhelming, gratifying, indescribable, fulfilling responsibility that leaves me worn out at the end of day. But, I wouldn't trade it for anything! For all you other Supermoms out there (you know who you are), I know you feel the same way!

Monday, April 7, 2008

A Day in the Life....

of a 9 Month old (well, almost nine months!) Photos taken over several days, narrated by James.

After I wake up in the morning, I hang out in my play area until breakfast. This gives mommy a chance to get some coffee and unload the dishwasher. Then, it's time for my yummy breakfast of oatmeal and bananas! :)

After my morning nap, we are off for the day! Here I am all strapped in and ready to roll! Mr. Banana-man is always there to keep me company.
Here I am at the Aquarium. This place is the best! I especially like to crawl around on the floor by the big shark tank. I'm so brave! I crawl right up to the glass and wave to all the fishes and sharks! They may have more teeth than me, but they don't scare me!

Now, it's almost dinner time. While mom is busy in the kitchen, I have to inspect my high-chair for any loose parts.

Yep, it's stury enough for me! Any furniture that can't stand up to a little bit of shaking is just no good if you ask me! Good thing they have me around to inspect all furniture items in the house and check for any loose knobs. Those things are everywhere! Yes, it seems I have my work cut out for me. A man's job is never done!

A Day in the Life (cont.)

During dinner, I like to start with some veggie puffs for an appetizer. Then, mom brings in the real food! Some of my favs include chicken dinner with brown rice and carrots, sweet potatoes and apples, peas and carrots, tofu with pear/banana and of course, some prune/banana for dessert!

After dinner, I like to unwind by watching some Baby Einstein. This particular episode was about animals! Good times.
Finally, I like to take a nice, hot bath at the end of the day. I love splashing around and getting as much water as I can out of the tub! Mom keeps saying something it being time for a "real" bathtub, but I have no idea what she's talking about!

After a soak in the tub, I need some time to let my booty breathe! I love this time of day! Mom also said something about some really cute photos during this time, but not wanting to post them on the blog due to all the "crazies" out there. I think she's the only crazy one here! Every one's got a bum! Either way, I'll always flash a smile whenever she's holding the camera! After some naked time, I get a much needed lotion massage before my jammies get put on. Then, it's some quiet time with books or music. Soon after, I'm ready for my night-time bottle and then off to bed. I can't wait to see what mommy has planned for tomorrow!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

April is......

Autism Awareness Month!
The alarming rate of increase in autism is something that has been in the back of my mind ever since I found out I was pregnant. I've always been an advocate for children with autism. Most of you probably don't know that while in college, I was an Applied Behavioral therapist who used Lovas behavioral therapy to work with children who have autism. My experiences introduced me to the wide spectrum of the disorder and witness first hand how it impacts the entire family. I will never forget the two young boys I worked with and how each of them were vastly different, the only similarities was their label of "autistic."
The CDC recently announced that 1 out of every 166 children born in America develop autism. At the current rate of increase in autistic cases, in 7 years, 1 out of every 7 families will be affected by autism. I don't know about you, but those statistics scare the bejeezus out of me! Especially since this disorder affects boys more often than girls.
There is a wealth of information out there about possible links of autism to mercury in vaccines, environmental toxins and genetics. I should be sleeping right now, but my mind is focused on all of the children who have lost their "voice" and on all of the parents who are wondering what to do next. As parents, we make so many decisions for the benefit of our children. It scares me that a seemingly harmless, unknowing decision could contribute to my child being led to the world of autism. A beautiful quote from the mom of an autistic little girl is, Autism is the not the end of the world. Its a doorway to a new one.
Who knows what the answer is. But, I do hope that we find a cure/treatment in our lifetime. I just wanted to share my thoughts with you on this and bring some awareness to an epidemic that is sweeping across America's children.

Autism Awareness Online

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

A Blog/Cause Worth Mentioning

Okay, friends and family, I'm calling out for your help.

I have several friends who keep up wonderful blogs and it is so interesting/inspiring reading about their lives. I really need to put up one of those "Blog Links" sections to the left, but I haven't gotten around to that yet.

Anyway, there is one friend of mine who has a very special blog devoted to her family and most importantly, to her adopted daughters from China. My friend Rebecca, Ladyblog, has been in our lives for several years, since her husband used to be Will's boss. Both men have since moved onward and upward in their military careers, but Rebecca and I have remained friends.

She is a super strong woman and a wonderful mommy (you'll see that once you check out her blog) and her family leaves for China in just over a week to get their daughter. She is hosting several fundraising opportunities to help out with the adoption expenses, including Ebay items, a Blog redesign give-away and Ally Zabba blankies. I purchased one for James and he sleeps with it every day! As you can see, he loves feeling the soft, silky side of the blankie! Just visit her website if you're interested at all in reading about the world of adoption and one family's journey to bring their daughter home!