Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Swimmin' with the Fishes!

So, a couple of weekends ago, Will and I were fortunate enough to get away together for another weekend of diving. We traveled all the way to Jupiter (Florida, that is) which is where the gulf stream comes the closest to the US. So, it makes for some very nice (but deep) drift dives! Since I became an Advanced Open Water Diver, I've been anxious to experience those more demanding dives. The weather was beautiful, seas were calm and visibility was about as good as it gets for that location. We saw some really big grouper, turtles, rays, eels and tons of the tropical fish varities. Oh, did I mention that on our first dive, we kind of drifted into about a half-dozen or so reef sharks! They were so cool!

Here we are under water. Our friend Tom had his underwater camera and just happened to swim by. So, far be it from me to pass up a photo opportunity (even at 80 feet below sea level!)

Here we are after a long day of diving, enjoying a great seafood dinner(yes, really!) with our friends Tom, Veronica, Tanya, Jon and Maureen. I thought we got a group shot of everyone at our table, but I think it was taken with someone else's camera.

Anyway, if you're wondering where in the heck was James while we were enjoying our weekend together, my mom was nice enough to fly down for the weekend to watch him so we could "escape." Even though we left on Saturday morning and returned by bedtime on Sunday, it felt like we were gone forever and we missed the little guy so much! James had a great time being spoiled by Grandma and showing her all of his new tricks. Unfortunately, she was too busy chasing him around the house to take any pictures of them, so you guys are stuck with pics of Will and I! It was a very relaxing, enjoyable dive weekend and thanks to Grandma, we were able to enjoy ourselves knowing that our little sunshine was in good hands. Now, when can we start planning our next dive trip???? Mom, got any plans for late September???????

Monday, August 25, 2008

Picture Perfect

As promised, here are just some of the pictures that my wonderfully talented friend, Susan, took during a photo-session with us last weekend. Susan was able to work her magic and capture those in between moments of intimacy between mommy/daddy/baby. For those of you who know my husband, he is NOT "picture perfect" and it requires an act of Congress to get him to "smile for the camera." But, Susan's laid back approach and style of photography made Will feel at ease in front of her camera and he actually enjoyed himself during the shoot! Yes, Susan is quite the miracle worker according to me!

Just the three of us......

To access our entire photo shoot and see more of Susan's great work, click on

Click on Client Proofing (at the top of the page) and then you have to type in our password:
For those of you ready to ditch the traditional portrait studios and let a professional capture what your family is really like, I encourage you to check out her website/galleries and book a session. No, I don't get any "kickbacks" but I just love her style of photography and was VERY happy with the results. Oh, be sure to turn up the volume of your speakers because she has added some very cute music to the site and our slideshow.
Happy viewing!

Friday, August 22, 2008


As you can see, our little man likes to relax and take it easy after a big meal. This pic was taken after lunch today for two reasons. 1- to show that his two top, middle teeth have FINALLY come in. And, 2- to show off his "I'm done/Al Bundy" impersonation after meals. And, no, it's not Tuesday, either. I stopped matching the days of the week to his bibs months ago. (yes, I know I have a problem!)
The other major changes (other than his teeth finally coming in) are that James is starting 1/2 day preschool at our local JCC
and I am going back to work as a small group tutor at school. I am SO ready to rejoin the ranks of educators again (if you've been following the news recently, you know that Tampa is in need of it's quality teachers) and ready for a change of pace. That being said, am I ready to leave my baby in the hands of others? (even if it's only for a few hours) We'll see!
Just wish us luck this week, as it will be a long week of transition for both James and me. First, our morning routine will be very different, as I have to get both of us fed, dressed and out the door in a timely fashion. And, second, James will have to go from taking two naps a day to just one nap after he gets home from daycare and eats lunch. This could be interesting.
So, any thoughts, suggestions, tips on how to make this week go by smoothly will be greatly appreciated!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Mr. Dramatic

So, it was a typical Monday. Morning was spent cleaning the house and then we were off to our afternoon playdate at Baby Bungalow.
Please note: I do not have the talent nor the equipment to take such high-quality photos. All of these photos were taken by my mommy friend, Susan. She is a local photographer who just happens to have a son, Benjamin in our playgroup. You'll see some more of her work later!

I briefly walked out of the room to speak with another lady at the center and this is what followed. Complete melt-down with crocodile tears and hands held up to his face. Oh, the agony!

Of course, once I stepped back into the room and picked him up, all was right and happy in the world again!

James' Hawaiian name is Kekoa, which means The Brave One.

We call this his Warrior Face.

This is his friend, Benjamin (yes, there are two Benjamin's in his playgroup!) I've been giving James' eskimo kisses, where you rub noses together (my dad used to do them with me). He loves getting them and just cracks up every time. Now, I guess he is sharing the love!

Nice drool, Benjamin!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Thirteen Months Old!!!

Yesterday, James turned the ripe ole age of 13 months! We took him out to Explore a Shore at the aquarium (after the rain storm) to celebrate. He usually loves running into the fountains and splashing around in them, but today he was a bit more reserved for some reason.
As you can see, I take sun protection very seriously. You have to with this florida sun! It was 4:30 in the afternoon, but the sun was still shining very bright and very strong!

With all of the fountains, slides and sea creatures to play on, what was James' favorite activity you may be wondering...

It was the steps leading up to the outdoor stage! He learned the joys of climbing up stairs while we were in Gatlinburg and has been keeping an eye out for some more ever since we returned! Well, today he found some! And, they were more of a hit than the the cool, refreshing water! Oh well!

Let's see, at 13 months, James loves his toys and loves to be "chased" around the house. Speaking of chasing, he also loves to chase Bob (our cat) and Misha and Abby (our dogs) all around the house! Poor animals!

Whenever he has friends over, he shares his toys and plays very well with everyone. I haven't seen any possessiveness (except for me, of course) yet, so that's a good thing! He loves anything with wheels (cars, trucks, tractors, etc). It's so cute to see him pushing them around the house. Here he is playing ball with his friend, Donovan. The two boys play together every week, so they have become great buddies!

He is still a good eater and will eat any veggies I serve to him. Let's hope this continues! We have been practicing with a spoon/fork, but most of the food still ends up on his head or the floor (not a problem for Abby!).

His personality shines every day and his smile just lights up any room. He still does his wide-mouthed grin where he wrinkles his nose and grins as wide as he can. So cute! And he knows that we love to see it! He still has his favorite books, but the collection of favs grows each week.

He claps at himself all the time. Yes, he is very proud of his own accomplishments. (another trend that I hope will continue) But, he does share his applause whenever we do something to make him happy. Mainly, it's whenever I start filling the tub for his bath. Another big hit with him! On the day we took him to the aquarium, he would climb up the three stairs to the stage and then start clapping for himself! Us saying "yeahh!!!" probably didn't help.....

Bath time fun! He loves playing in the water from the faucet. At this point, he has learned how to reach up inside the faucet, push it up and trigger the shower to turn on. What fun for mommy, who by this point in the day, doesn't really need another shower!

Look at that devilish grin! What a little stinker! He has also figured out how to turn on/off and work several other items in our house, much to my dismay. He can push up on the handle (how did he see it?) on the dishwasher to turn it off mid-cycle. One day, it took the entire day to finish washing one load of dishes! He also has found the on/off , channel and volume buttons on our TV. So, whenever he feels like some TV time, he will walk over and turn on the TV. Or, if he wants us to play with him rather than watch the news, he will walk over and turn it off for us. How nice. Don't even get me started on his love of using the Tivo remote! The teacher in me can recognize that he is learning the meaning of cause and effect and that these are valuable learning opportunities happening here in our very home, but man, sometimes I just wanna watch my soaps!