Monday, December 29, 2008

Never just a Normal Day.....

Okay, so I wake up this morning to find James looking like this-

Actually, his eye looks much better in the picture (taken during breakfast) than it did when he woke up. His left eye was swollen and red. Not the eyeball, just the skin around it. Weird, I know. There was nothing new introduced to his bedding or food-wise, and I had no idea what could have caused this reaction. So I carted him off to the doctor's office once again! (Can we say death by co-pay?)

His pediatrician said that it was nothing bacterial or viral (good news) but that he is just allergic to something. No clue what it is though!

So, moms out there in bloggy-land, here is my question. Should I take him to get his blood drawn for allergy testing? When I took him to the doctor's office last week (see last post) another pediatrician suggested that I take him to have his bloodwork done. I was voicing my concerns about his constant runny nose and sneezing all the time. My hubby, Will, does suffer from allergies, but am I over-reacting? Is this just the cold virus that is affecting EVERY child out there or could allergies be playing a part? I'm just DREADING taking him to get his blood drawn. I know it will be a huge ordeal and I'm not looking forward to it (neither would he if he knew what was coming!)

So, has anyone else out there taken their child for this allergy test? Is it a simple finger prick or actual vials of blood drawn? Should I just quit my part time job and keep him at home instead of going to preschool? (this is Will's option, since he is the one getting sick from James' germs.) That being said, it sounds like this whole thing is caused from the cold virus and an allergy test won't help either way.

I need input people, please!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Easy Sticky Buns

No, I'm not describing some contagious condition.
A friend asked for the recipe for this yummy breakfast food and I aim to please:
1/2 cup chopped pecans
18 frozen white dinner rolls
3/4 large pkg. Butterscotch Pudding (not instant)
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
Spray bundt pan with non-stick spray.
Sprinkle pecans in bottom of pan.
Layer frozen rolls in pan.
Sprinkle pudding over rolls.
Sprinkle brown sugar over rolls.
Mix butter with cinnamon and pour over rolls.
Cover with linen cloth or dish towel.
Leave out overnight to rise.
Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes.
Invert over platter.
By now, you've probably noticed the updated, blog-makeover I've designed. It wasn't exactly the look I was going for, but I gave up working on my photoshop program and this is what I came up with. Hope you like the new look!
On Christmas morning, I took several photos of James using no-flash photography. I love the natural look of the lighting, BUT every picture came out blurry. Unless the subject is COMPLETELY still, then everything is out of focus. Can some camera-savvy person tell me what I'm doing wrong?
Question: What's worse than having a sick kid?
Answer: Having a sick kid and a sick husband! James had a slight fever on Christmas Eve, so I took him the doctor (the LAST appointment of the day, whew!) He had fluid in his ears (working on a double ear infection) and the doctor heard wheezing in his chest. Actually, his "wheezing" had sounded much worse on earlier occasions and his normal pediatrician said that it wasn't wheezing,he was just fine. Hmmm. Anyway. She sent us home with an antibiotic and a nebulizer kit. Yay fun. It's been a few days later and James' nose is dried up, much less coughing, ears are fine and he hasn't slowed down one bit. Will, on the other hand, is still suffering from the bubonic plaque or Typhoid James, as he likes to call it.
I didn't get my long run in on Saturday because James kept me up at all hours of the night (what else, playing with his new toys!) and Will needed to sleep in and wasn't up for handling an active little person when he is feeling so bad. I did get 6 miles in, though, so at least that's something.
Sorry for the long, rambling post. It's just one of those days...
Hope you all have a great week and a Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas (the late edition)

James reminded me that he wished everyone a Happy Hanukkah but forgot to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! So, Merry Christmas and Happy New Years Everyone!

Here are some quick pics of a very happy little boy opening up presents from Santa... Notice the tongue? This boy was one serious present-opener!

James loves his new fire engine. Maybe a little too much. You see, for TWO nights after Christmas, he woke up around midnight and cried and cried and cried until I got him out of his crib. He didn't want milk, didn't want to be held. Nope, he ran straight to his fire engine and Hess truck and started playing with his toys. This middle-of-the-night toy playing habit was hard to break and he wasn't a happy camper when he realized that there would be no more late night play-fests, but at least I'm getting more sleep now! I tell you, this boy LOVES his trucks! I even tried putting one in the crib with him, but that wasn't good enough.

The Thomas the Train set was a hit!

I had to post a picture of my Christmas Morning Sticky Buns! They were so yummy and gooey! Definitely a keeper recipe for next year!

I hope you all had a great Christmas with friends and family!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy Hanukkah (and other updates)

James would like to wish his preschool friends a very Happy Hanukkah!

I've been taking James to preschool this week for a couple of hours in the morning so I can get some last minute shopping done and errands ran. This morning, his class was already in the social hall where they had rented a large bouncy inflatable for the kids. Picture a bunch of 1 1/2 year olds bouncing and laughing! It looked like so much fun, I wanted to stay and bounce with James! Well, I stayed all right, but only to console my terrified child. He HATED being inside the bounce house (even with me inside, holding him) and cried the whole time.
Note to self: cancel the bouncy house for his 2nd birthday. Who knows, maybe by July he will grow out of his fear of bouncy houses.

After he had calmed down and was happily playing OUTSIDE of the bouncy house, I made a quick exit to finish my holiday shopping. This included a much-needed trip to the commissary (that's the grocery store on base, for you non-military peoples!) On my way into the gate, I noticed that some cars were getting these Hess boxes. When I pulled up, I asked what they were for and the guard told me that they were handing them out to all the children who came on base. I sadly looked back at James' empty carseat and explained that my son was in preschool, but that he LOVED trucks! So, the guard gave me not one, but TWO Hess trucks. I guess he thought that I loved trucks, too? They are SO nice and I can't wait for James to open his truck! (should we say it's from Uncle Sam or Santa?) As for the extra truck, we have a very nice neighbor who gives James all of her son's hand-me-down ride on toys and outdoor play equipment, so he will be getting an extra gift from us this year. Too cool!

For those of you interested, I did run my 14 miler on Saturday. Well, my IT band started talking to me about mile 10 and it started screaming at me at mile 13, so I only got in 13.5 miles. Apparently, IT issues take a long time to heal, so I didn't want to risk any injury. I ran 4 miles yesterday and I need to get in a few more runs this week. On Saturday, I plan to run 15 miles. It will be a long, slow 15, but I need to keep increasing my mileage.

I hope your holiday plans are coming together nicely and for those of you traveling this year-
Good Luck!

Friday, December 19, 2008

What a Difference

a year makes!

Here he is last year. How cute is that smile?
Seriously, this must be the best Santa photo of all time!

Same Santa. Are we sure this is the same kid?
Today, after running errands after work, I picked James up from preschool and took him to the mall for the annual photo with Santa. He was very intrigued by all the decorations and sights around Santa's shop. But, as soon as realized that he would have to leave mommy's right hip, the panic and terror set in. Once the bottom lip started quivering and breath was held, there was no turning back. The crocodile tears were flowing.
Oh well, I guess every child needs a teary, terrified Santa photo in their photo album.

It's been such a long week and I'm exhausted. I've been staying up really late to finish my holiday treat baking/dessert bags. But, I handed them all out today and the sweets (some of them) are safely removed from my house!
In continuing with my marathon training, I've upped my running this week. My total mileage for this week is 29 miles.
I'm running 14 tomorrow. Following my Friday Night Pasta tradition, I made Pasta Pomodoro to load up on my carbs for my long run. Will and I both had TWO servings it was so yummy (even though he's not running any!)
I've incorporated a few new tricks into my "mommy arsenal" for dealing with James after I pick him up from preschool.
Trick #1- Have classical music (preferably Bach) playing in the car to entice him. Then, seal the deal by giving him an apple slice to suck/munch on during the ride home.
Also, I've moved up his bedtime to 6:30. He's SO worn out from a long day of playing by then and still sleeps until 6:30 the next day. He's a little busy boy who NEEDS his sleep and functions much better when he has enough of it. Yes, I LOVE bedtime!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Save the Drama fo' yo' Mama!

Well, that seems to be James' motto these days! And yes, I am SOOOO over it!
Not to complain (but here goes!) Every day, I pick James up from preschool and I get great reports, he had a great day, smiling, happy, playful, the whole bit. But, once we leave his school, a whole other child emerges who is NOT happy, playful, smiling, etc.
It's a battle to get him into his carseat (the term, bucking bronco, comes to mind.)
When we get home, he's fussy, cranky and nothing makes him happy. After much reflection, I think he is just exhausted from his busy work day at preschool (even after a long nap).

Once we get rolling to bathtime and then bedtime story/bottle, he is much calmer and ready for his beauty sleep!

Then, morning rolls around and he is on the rant again! Everything is a battle and it is wearing me out! On a typical morning, I'm lucky to make it out the door only 15 minutes behind schedule, then I realize I have snot marks all over my black pants (not from me, mind you) and dirty handprints from some unknown suspect who wandered into the backyard after breakfast on my dress shirt. Do I go back inside to change clothes? Heck no! I've finally coerced him into the carseat!

I know I've blogged/complained about this behavior of his before, but this time, I REALLY, REALLY hope this phase ends soon!

On one of our easier mornings, I snapped a few pics of James brushing his teeth. At least THAT routine is getting somewhat easier!

Notice how long his hair is getting? I don't even have time to get MY hair cut lately, much less his! Actually, I've been stalling because I think his grown-out hair looks really cute! It's doing this little curl-up thing in the back and I think it's adorable. Will keeps calling him a hippie!

Gotta really brush those pearly whites and check out yourself in the mirror! Apparently, my brushing skills beforehand weren't up to par.

All clean!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

We're Back....

from the cold mountains of Tennessee.

It was a great trip. Not because we spent every minute going from one place to another (we didn't) and not because we found bargain after bargain when shopping (we didn't shop, much). No, it was a great trip because of the time spent between mom, daughter and grandson. It was beautiful seeing James bond with his grandma! He even picked up a couple of new words- "Gan-ma" for Grandma and "tuck" for Truck!

Highlights of the trip:

1. Running along the beautiful Friendship Trail and being COLD! I NEVER get to run in the cold weather and it was very exhilarating. Well, that was when the temps were mid- 40's . On the day that they were low 30's, I was FREEZING and decided that my future runs could wait until I got home. :)

2. Taking mom to Starbucks (her first time ever!) for their highly addictive, very yummy Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate. Yes, she's already been back for another one since I've been home. Those things are gooooood!

3. Waking up to snow lightly falling across the mountains.

4. Watching James make memories with his grandma and wishing for many more to come.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

You Can't Go Back..

They say you can't go back. Yes, I know this is true, but a part of me still wishes it was true. Let me explain...
I'm up in Gatlinburg, Tennessee this week. James and I flew up on Wednesday for a visit with my mom. Since we won't be traveling during the holidays, this is our Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Years all rolled into one. When I was growing up, my parents owned a house and a couple of chalets in this mountain tourist-trap. We would drive up to Gatlinburg a couple times a month and celebrate some major holidays up here. Needless to say, I have a lot of fond memories in this small, highly-populated and over-priced little town!
Anyway, one of the highlights of this trip was to be the millions upon millions of holiday lights that blaze up the town every winter. Just imagine if Clark Griswald himself were in charge of decorating the city's lights and that's what it looked like. There were gazillion upon gazillion glowing holiday scenes, lights on every streetlight, tree, building, structure, anything that was stationary was aglow! There were magical displays of presents, larger than life trains, trees, marching nutcrackers and bears (it's in the mountains!) It was just beautiful and made the holiday season seem super festive!
So, imagine my dismay when I drove around yesterday after nightfall (grocery store run after James fell asleep!) and didn't see the festive lights of my childhood.
Instead, the city of Gatlinburg has replaced the larger than life, glowing displays with these cheap-looking LED displays. Now, I'm all for a cheaper electric bill and going "green", but at what expense? This little town used to literally light up with festive-ness. Now, these new LED lights can't compete with the brightly lit "old school" lights on some buildings who are obviously hold-outs from earlier times.
No, they say you can't go back and it's true. I was soo looking forward to sharing the bright lights and big displays with my little boy and watching his face light up with glee, but I'm afraid the pastel glow of the new lights won't be enough.
We'll see. The Christmas parade is tomorrow night (can we say BURRR!) and I'm truly hoping that the parade hasn't gone "green" too. It just may be too much for me to handle. (j/k)
Is this why people get depressed during the holiday season? Are they comparing it to the memories of the past and the present just can't compete?