Friday, October 31, 2008

It's a bird, It's a Plane...

Nope, It's SuperJames!
Who can slide down a slide faster than a speeding bullet?

Who can run down a ramp faster than a speeding train?

Always on the lookout for evil-doers and ready to protect the needy! He stares into the face of danger and says "Come On, Make my Day!"
Don't mess with SuperJames!

And, how does SuperJames fuel up for a day of crime-fighting?
With Graham crackers, of course!
Happy Halloween Everyone!

Have You Voted Yet?

Yesterday, I fulfilled my civic duty/honor by voting for our future president. I knew that voting with a 1 1/2 year old would be tricky, but I mustered up the courage after James' nap and started packing up a large bag of snacks, books and toys. Will called and was driving home from a meeting, so he decided to meet me at the voting location. I was thrilled to have extra hands around to help with James. Well, I didn't get out of the house in a timely fashion (imagine that) so Will was about 30 people ahead of me in line (neither one of us wanted to be 'that' person who cut in line). After a quick discussion, we decided that Will would remain in his spot, I would get in line and after he voted, he would come get James, so I could continue waiting in line and vote in peace. Well, my read-every-single-amendment husband took SO long voting, that I was practically handing over my driver's license when he finally came to relieve me and take his son. After standing in line for almost 50 minutes and entertaining a very active little guy, I needed a break. But at least I got to vote in peace. Luckily, there were two very nice ladies behind me who kept eating up all the charm that James was giving out! The thing that SAVED me while waiting in line was SNACK! While we were waiting, James devoured
two snack bowls of goldfish (well, one got dumped on the ground. Hey, the squirrels have to eat, too!)
one yogurt
one serving of blueberries
one serving of mandarin oranges
And lots and lots of singing, playing and otherwise entertaining a little boy who only wanted to run around and play in the beautiful fall weather!
But, all in all, it was a good voting experience. I'm just glad that by the time the next election rolls around, James will be old enough to wait in line patiently with mommy and daddy and entertain himself! Well, one can dream....

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Sunday Night Special

Okay, so I'm a few days late with this post, but I've been just plain exhausted by the evening time (when I have James-free computer time.) Anyway....

Usually on Sundays, I like to try a new recipe or just spend more time than usual on dinner. I belong to a local, organic co-0p called Purple Carrot. Twice a month, I pick up a HUGE basket full of veggies and fruits. This week's basket included a very large portion of Rainbow Chard. While I've read the great benefits of eating chard, I had no idea what to do with it. Luckily, there was a recipe note on the band that wrapped around the chard, so here goes.....
Rainbow Chard Chicken
4 cups green or rainbow chard
1 cup onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
6 oz. chicken breast, cubed
2 Tbsp. water
1 cup rice, cooked
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
cooking spray

Preheat broiler. Cut stems off chard leaves and dice. Cut leaves into 1/2 '' strips. Spray skillet with cooking spray. Cook chard stems, onion, garlic and chicken over medium heat for about 8 minutes. Add leaves and 2 Tbsp. water, cook another 3 minutes until chard is limp. Add soy sauce and rice and cook another 2 minutes. To serve, divide mixture between two oven-proof plates and sprinkle cheese evenly on top. Place under broiler for two minutes. Serves 2. Enjoy!
(chicken cooking with stems and garlic)

(chard leaves just added to skillet)

(the finished product)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Skiball Fun!

What was the BEST one dollar spent during our vacation?
The one that bought 8 skiballs for the kids at one of the many arcades in Gatlinburg, TN!
James prefered the more direct method of getting the ball into the hole!
Here's Dad, trying to teach James the correct form for throwing a skiball.
This game totally engrossed the kids for at least 15 minutes! Much of that time was spent by them climbing on top of the "lanes" and it's surprising that we didn't get kicked out of the arcade. I guess they are pretty lax with the rules there.

You can see the pure glee on James' face as the lights flashed.
Skiball rocks!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Gatlinburg Here We Come!

We got back this week from our annual mountain trip. We choose to vacation at least once a year with our good friends, Jenny and Eric, and their twin girls, Sierra and Tori. So, once again, we all gathered in a roomy cabin in the mountains and enjoyed some wonderfully chilly, fall weather. And, we got to show the kids that leaves DO change color (stupid Florida palm trees!)

James seemed to hit it off with Sierra. She showed him the finer art of coloring. Sadly, he was more interested in eating her crayons than making art. Oh well.

We also got to squeeze in a nice visit from Grandma! When she came over to the cabin, James ran straight to her and gave her the biggest, longest hug ever! He just laid and cuddled with her for a long time, it was just precious!

Here are the three trouble makers on their favorite past time, the stairs. At only 22 months old, these girls are brilliant! They can count to 10, identify the numbers 1-10, identify all the letters of the alphabet and sound out some letters. Truly amazing! James, on the other hand, taught the girls how to make engine noises as you push the cars around. If you've ever seen that old Steve Martin movie, Parenthood, it was like that! We had the boy who runs around the house with the bucket on his head and the girls spent their time politely coloring or reading books.

I found this beautiful trail right at the bottom of the mountain. The grown-ups used it for a running trail in the morning, but the kids liked walking on it, too.

A beautiful sunrise view from my mom's front deck.

On our last night there, there was an Elvis impersonator at the restaurant. After we finished eating, the kids followed the music (through the bar) and found this gleaming man, garnished in rhinestones. James was truly star-struck and would not take his eyes off of him. We found out that James is a HUGE fan of Elvis music as he showed off his fancy footwork for the crowd (leave it to my son to steal the show!) All of the kids had a great time dancing off their dinner and all of the adults had a great time watching! Elvis was even nice enough to give each child their own souvenir teddy bear.
Thank you, thank you very much!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Happy Birthday Skylar!

On Saturday, we went to a friend's house to attend the One Year Birthday party for their little girl, Skylar. It's hard to believe that it's been a whole year since James and I attended Skylar's baby shower. Skylar was very interested in James and tried to get his attention by tapping him on the shoulder, but he was too busy inspecting the pool screen to notice. Boys!

The two kids eventually did get some play time together and there was a brief swapping of sippy cups, but it was really difficult to get James to "pose with the birthday girl." This shot was the best, non-blurry one I could get! We had a great time catching up with some old friends and their babies.
Weekend Highs and Lows:
Low- I got into a car accident on Friday afternoon. This guy made a left hand turn right in front of me, as I was driving down the road. I slammed on the brakes, but plowed right into the side of his car.
High- No one was hurt, seat belts worked, James was safely strapped into his carseat, the guy has good insurance.
Low- My car got towed and is waiting for repairs. And, a much-needed, much-anticipated date night got canceled. :(
High- Seeing friends at the birthday party on Saturday and watching James charm everyone. That boy sure can work a room!
Low-Waking up early to run run TEN long, slow, hot and humid miles on Sunday morning by myself.
High- Actually completing all ten miles and being finished!
Fav Music of the day- Nike Running Mix by Crystal Method

Friday, October 10, 2008

Welcome to the World!

My college roommate and her husband welcomed their second child, Julian Edward Thomas Buxton, into the world on Tuesday! Weighing in at 7lbs 4oz, he has blond hair and blue eyes. Congratulations!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

15 Months Old!

As you can see, James wakes up in a pretty happy mood. He is often bright-eyed and ready to play first thing in the morning!
Yesterday, we found a great park (Freedom Park), not-so-near our house. James played on the toddler equipment, went down the slides and ran and ran and ran for almost an hour and a half! I was too busy chasing him around and keeping an eye on our stroller, that I didn't have time to snap any pictures. But, he loved being at the park and there were many cool things for the kids to do and play on there. So, you think that after all that playing, he would be content to stay inside and play once we were home, right? Nope.

Will snapped this pic of James pleading to go outside.
Dadd-eeeeee. Pllllleeeeaaaassssseeeee let me go outside!!!!

I was doing a good job of ignoring this little tantrum, as I see them at least once a day, complete with crocodile tears and everything! Besides, I had dinner to cook. We have found that James prefers a bit of spice to his foods. When introducing some new menu items to him, he didn't care much for buttered pasta. But, he gobbled down the MorningStar veggie burgers (with the red peppers, loads of veggies and a spicy kick!) And, thanks to dear ole' dad, James now knows what a Spicy Nacho Dorito tastes like, and he likes it! Great!

Yes, we are still continuing with the brushing of the teeth, but it is a struggle.

Weight: 24 lbs 14 oz

Height: 31 inches

Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Balloon that Won't Quit

After a couple of days of abuse by a toddler, this is what the balloon from the dentist's office looks like. As sad as it looks, James has grown quite fond his little, blue balloon and insists on carrying it around the backyard (it's not allowed inside the house anymore.)

I tried taking it away on Friday and he got close to tears.

On Sunday, he was STILL carrying it around the backyard. Unable to say goodbye....

He has crawled through doggy-doors, climbed up rock walls and stumbled over patches of grass, all while clutching his beloved by a string.

Here he is, showing off his new riding skills. His legs are long enough now to actually move himself while riding Rocket.

Weekend Highs and Lows:

Low: Missing the last dive trip of the season due to finances.

High: Fried okra with dinner on Saturday night.

Low: Only running 3 miles on Saturday morning (slacker)

High: Running a strong 6 miles on Sunday morning and feeling like a champ.

Fav Running song of the day: I Will Survive by Cake

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Dreaded Dentist

Okay, so today was James' first visit to the dentist. No pictures, my hands were too busy with him. I scheduled the appointment because he has some white, hard build up on the bottom of his two bottom teeth. I asked the pediatrician to check it out and he had never seen a build-up like that, so he suggested that I take him to a dentist. I found a nearby pediatric dentist who took our insurance and the appointment was made.
The visit went very well overall. Long story short, the build-up was PLAQUE! Of all things! On a little baby (well, not really little anymore.)
I assured the dentist that I don't spoon feed James sugar, I don't let him drink soda from a sippy cup all day and he doesn't snack endlessly on white bread, chips and candy. How on EARTH could he have plaque already??????
He assured me that the only way to prevent plaque build up is by frequent, effective brushing of the teeth. He explained that most foods contain the carbs, which contain starches, which turns to sugar in the mouth, which causes tartar, which leads to a plaque, when it's not brushed away on a daily basis. So, I guess our little efforts at brushing his teeth before bathtime have given way to serious, open-up-I-mean-business brushing TWICE a day. Oh, get this, he even suggests that I start flossing his teeth! Uh, okay, I'll get right on that when I finish flossing mine!
During this visit, the dentist scraped off the plaque from James' two teeth, demonstrated the correct way to brush his teeth (clearly I needed instruction in this area), provided James with a dose of fluoride, and managed to answer all of my burning questions. He had a great rapport with James and handled him very well. I could see his years of experience at work! James did cry some during the plaque removal, but it wasn't a painful cry and honestly, I've seen him more upset when the pediatrician was trying to look into his ears. Soon after leaving "the chair" James was smiling and his usual, charming self. We left the office with one balloon, one toothbrush, one rubber ducky, one maraca and a pack of flossing stick-things. So, overall, it was a successful first trip to the dentist.
Towards the end of our discussion (and my education on oral hygiene) I earned major bonus points (not!) by asking why it's so important to take care of these baby teeth when they are just going to fall out in a couple of years anyway. Apparently, this is not a good question to ask a dentist. I could see his blood pressure rising (this man takes his job very seriously, which I admire, by the way) and I quickly explained that I, of course, knew the importance of good oral hygiene from an early age (Hello, I'm here for an appointment with my son and his SIX teeth) I was just curious on the direct correlation between healthy baby teeth and healthy adult teeth.
And yes, for all of you out there dying to know the answer......
there is a direct correlation between healthy baby teeth and healthy adult teeth. Babies are born with both sets of teeth (52 in all) in their mouths. So, when the baby teeth fall out, the adult tooth is there, ready and waiting to take it's place. If that tooth gets damaged or gets moved, then the adult tooth is messed up from the moment it pops through.
After all of my questions, I was given a very informative pamphlet written by the dentist himself which contains lots of good info and tips about preventative measures.
But, the main lesson of today is BRUSH, BRUSH, BRUSH!