Monday, December 21, 2009

Moving Day- Guest Blogger Edition

So, last Saturday was our moving day! We are slowly unpacking, arranging furniture and getting settled in. I love our neighborhood, love our community and love, love, love our house. It is totally more than I ever expected and honestly, I'm thrilled with this "down" market and the fact that we can afford this place. Well, more pictures and updates on the house will follow. 

Without further ado.... I have a guest blogger (my best friend and James' godmother) who wanted to recount (vent) her adventures with James as we were moving on Saturday.

Here goes........

A Day with James-

To give you a little back ground, Tom and I are James’ Godparents.   We adore the little guy and have watched him on numerous occasions, including several overnighters.  With the exception of James teaching himself to unbuckle his car seat while I was driving, or locking me out of the house (fortunately I had a key) these experiences were a little exhausting but lots of fun.  Then came Saturday December 19, 2009… 

December 19, was moving day for the Hayman household and I volunteered to help.  It was determined that my usefulness could be best maximized by taking James home with me.  “Ahhh,” thought I, “the easy job.”   It started well… I got a great big “Aunt Veronica” hug.  We loaded my car with enough toys to keep a platoon of two year olds happy for a week (or so I thought) and his car seat was strapped in and made escape proof.  

First stop…. the park.   James loves the park by our house.  It has many elaborate slide sets, swings and lots of kids to watch and play with.   He especially enjoyed being swung while there was a pretty two year old girl on the swing next to his.  (Wonder where he gets his love of the ladies from?)   Then there was the “Run Away from Aunt Veronica” game.  He was winning hands down until he fell and got an “owie” on his arm.  Got to give him credit, he never stopped laughing let alone started to cry.  The only way I knew he got injured was when I saw the scrape.  Time to get lunch and get his “owie” cleaned up.  This met with significant objection as James was not yet ready to leave the park, owie be damned.   I’ve come to the conclusion that there is no objection like a two year olds objection.  The owie had no power to cause tears but leaving the park brought him literally screaming to his knees. 

Off to McDonalds drive thru for the kids meal with chicken nuggets, apple slices and milk.  He wanted his milk immediately but his sippy cups were in the back.  I didn’t want him to have an open milk carton in the back seat of my car so told him he could have his milk as soon as we got home.  Have you ever driven five miles with a two year old screaming…. “I WANT MILK!” the entire way?  It makes for a very long five miles.

Home at last!  Now I have Uncle Tom to help and nap time is fast approaching.  Things are looking up.  It’s ok that he decides to use the caramel dip he got for his apples on his chicken nuggets!  Don’t worry about the sugar in the caramel dip because most of it is on his shirt anyway.   With a couple of minutes to clean the Owie and terrorize our cat and it’s time for nap, blessed nap.   Pack and play is set up, James is deposited in it with his blanket and pillow.  James is told to go night, night and I shut the door to his room. Uncle Tom and I lay down for a nap ourselves since we got up at 4:00 a.m. to run.  Two minutes of quiet, then I hear it…  A door opening that shouldn’t be.  Kind of like something out of a Hitchcock movie.  I creep out of bed and see the door of the guest room ajar.  Behind the opening a little face peeps out and says… “Milk!”

Somehow, James figured out how to climb out of his Pack & Play.  Why does this child turn into Houdini when I watch him?  First the car seat now, now the pack and play!  I put him back in the crib and admonish him to stay in there.  He angelically says, “OK”.   Two minutes later the door opens again.  Uncle Tom suggests a diaper change, which I do (it was barely damp) and deposit him back in the bed.  Two more minutes… the door opens again.  I send in Uncle Tom who yells… “We’ve got a gusher going.”   Big poop blow out.   Uncle Tom got him over the toilet and his diaper off before handing him to me.  I got him on his back on the bathroom rug (no time to lay down a towel) before I realized blow out residue was all over his butt and now ground into the throw rug.   While I’m frantically trying to get a towel, James jumps up and steps squarely in the poop on the carpet.  Carmel on his shirt and poop on his socks!  I’m figuring Kalani will never let me watch him again but at that moment I was thinking “I can live with that.”  Uncle Tom now abandons all thoughts of a nap retreats to the garage where he has a woodworking project he needs to finish for a Christmas present.   (Sounded like an excuse to me.)   I lay James down once more.  This time, he not only escapes but locks the bedroom door which required Uncle Tom to come in from the garage to pick the lock.  Finally, I lay down on the bed next to James’ pack and play as that is the only way he won’t try to escape.  He falls asleep and dozes soundly for all of ONE HALF HOUR.   I’m like, “Only HALF HOUR?  He’s always slept 2 – 3 hours when I’ve watched him before.” 

Nap time over and it’s time to run and I mean that literally.  He loves sidewalks and would go a quarter mile out and quarter mile back (we repeated twice).  He’s already faster than I am so I got quite the work out.  Upon our return, he set up a litany cry of “I want Tom.”  Unfortunately, saws and woodworking tools are not items you want two year olds hanging around.  In desperation, I called Kalani who suggested I get his DVD going.  Great idea except for one little problem, the DVD Kalani sent was “Brier Rabbit” and James wanted “Thomas the Train”.   This caused a tantrum as Tom and I don’t keep any Thomas the Train videos in our house.   He finally acquiesced to watch Brier Rabbit for about 10 minutes.  During this time, I cleaned up the kitchen and got some snacks ready.   In the mean time, Tom realized I locked the garage door (to keep James from sneaking out) and had to beat on the door to gain entrance.  Turns out that locking that door only inconvenienced Tom because James promptly figured out how to unlock it once the DVD ceased to hold his attention.  He was into the garage to “help” Uncle Tom almost before I heard the door open. 

The next several hours are something of a blur.  I have vague memories of things like:  1) James getting my tooth brush (long story about step stools could be inserted here) and almost putting it in his mouth before I caught him.  2) James “carrying” our cat across the room with his legs dangling and a look of desperation on his little feline face.  3) James trying to use our bed and couch as trampolines.  4)  James trying to drink out of the cat’s drinking fountain.  5)  Having to hunt down the phone that James had taken off the hook so we could again receive phone calls.  6)  James going into meltdown because he was exhausted from having only ½ hour nap.  

About 6:30 Kalani called to say they’d be by soon.  I heaved an audible sigh of relief and had James packed and ready to go in five minutes.  Kalani was a little worried I’d have him sitting street side when she pulled up.   

Tom and I continue to adore our little guy but he really put us through our paces.  Tom, who rarely drinks, said… “As soon as he leaves, I need a drink.”  We’ll recover enough to babysit another day (in a year or two – lol – at least I think lol.).  Seriously, we can’t wait to see him enjoying his first REAL Christmas and are very happy (usually) he’s in our life.

(James, if you’re reading this, the story about you walking through your own poop is so going to come up when you bring your first date home.) 

Aunt Veronica

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmas in Florida

Last Sunday, we had our annual family photo session with our very talented friend, Susan Gentile. The weather cooperated BEAUTIFULLY and instead of sweating to death in 85 degree weather, we actually got to comfortably wear our sweaters! Yeah! 

Even though James was FAR more interested in the playground looming in the distance, he cooperated just long enough for us to capture some quality family Kodak moments. If you want to see more of Susan's great work, click here to take a look at her absolutely adorable website. Hope you enjoy! 

Click to play this Smilebox collage: Christmas Pics '09

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Smiles for Santa


Last Sunday, during a whirl-wind trip to the mall to visit an "old" college friend of mine, we happened to walk by the Santa Station and low-and-behold, there was NO line. After asking if they were already closed or if Santa was taking a break, I was assured that Santa was ready and available for a picture. 

I was a little hesitant to go forward with the Santa photo considering the pure horror from last year, but I am a brave, brave woman-  and a bit of a gambler! But, it seems that the stars were aligning for a bit of pure cuteness and holiday magic!

No, his jeans weren't too short for him, but I didn't have the time to adjust them before the photographer snapped the picture. Luckily, James was all smiles after an initial but brief moment of panic. I assured him that the man was very nice and might bring him toys, if he was a good boy. That's all it took for this little one to turn on the charm!

James even indulged Santa in some light conversation....

Santa: What would you like for Christmas?

James: I want TRAINS!

Santa: Okay then! (push over Santa! Good thing his Kidcraft Limited Edition Train table has already been delivered!)  Since you've been such a good boy today, why don't you take this!  (Santa proceeds to hand James a cute little coloring book.)

James: (After inspecting the coloring book and observing that it is NOT a train, hands it back to Santa and says....)   No, I don't want this. I want TRAINS!

Yeah,  just like his mama, the kid knows what he wants! 

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Dude, Where's My November?

Sorry for the lame-o title, but seriously.... where did the month of November go?

Above is some of the latest handy artwork from our little sunshine. I'm so thankful that James loves his daddy, but why does it have to make me feel like chopped liver? Can't he be thankful for BOTH mommy and daddy? geesh!


And, here is the latest picture taken of our little  sunshine! At first, I wasn't too fond of this picture. I mean, where is my little baby? Who is this toddler-going-on-six-years-old for crying out loud? No, I didn't cry out loud, but I feel like it. I wasn't even going to buy this picture from his school, but my husband saw it and HAD to have it. He says it reminds him of a photo of himself when he was a little boy, same grin and everything. Okay, how could I resist?

As for our little sunshine, he continues to amaze and exhaust us all at the same time. He loves repeating new words and phrases that he hears from songs or from his bedtime books. He is so structured in his bedtime routine and LOVES picking out books for mommy and daddy to read to him. He is still in  LOVE with everything trains! One new favorite cartoon that we found is Dinosaur Train. The creator must be a genius because he combined everything a little boy loves, dinosaurs and trains! Plus, its educational and science- y. 

He is such an explosion of personality and full of life. He loves greeting people and plays so hard ALL DAY LONG. I can't wait to see what Santa has in store for him this year!

Marine Corps Marathon- Hoo Rah!!!!

Sorry to hijack the blog with my running updates, but I couldn't resist this one.

Back in October, I ran the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington DC and had a great race. Well, great in the fact that, unlike last year, I made it to the Starting Line uninjured, I had a great time during the run and I finished uninjured. My overall time was just over five hours. My GPS recorded  11:32 minute miles. Remember, I am a DIE-HARD Galloway fan. So, I walked for one minute after every 3 or 4 minutes of running. I swear that this method is the ONLY way I am able to successfully train and complete my marathons. I wanted to break five hours, but that was a pretty lofty goal considering I didn't train with ANY speedwork. I'll save that for a future marathon...

Mile 1: 16:04  (lots of slow traffic to weave through when you start waaaayyyyy at the back like me!) It took us over twenty minutes after the race had started to reach the Starting Line.

Mile 2: 12:39

Mile 3: 11:22

Mile 4: 11:49

Mile 5: 11:26

Mile 6: 11:11

Mile 7: 12:20  (potty break)

Mile 8: 10:29  (see how fast I am without a full bladder!)

Mile 9: 11:03

Mile 10: 12:34 (another potty break, I broke the seal.)

Mile 11: 11:41

The marathon was very memorable because the crowd support was amazing, the weather was ideal, the course was very scenic and all the men in uniform at the hydration stops were some great eye-candy!  I got to run past several national monuments, even the White House. At about mile 12, I looked to my left and gave a quick wave to the Obama's. 

Mile 12: 11:22

Mile 13: 11:41

I started the marathon with my good friend, Veronica. She is such a strong woman and I wish I had her drive and determination. Her knees are in pretty bad shape, but she keeps pounding away on the pavement as much as she can tolerate. We got to about mile 11 and she let me know that she was hurting. I know how much pain she can tolerate, so I expected her to keep going strong. At about mile 14, I was rockin' out with a band playing along the course and I think she was fighting back tears of pain. It was a grunge rock band and I forget what song they were belting out at the time, but it totally made my mile 14. I was singing along with them and the drummer pointed me out (you know the scene, standing up with his two drum sticks pointing at me, yes , me!) But, then I looked over and saw the anguish in V's face. At mile 15, we decided that she would hang back and that I would keep running on schedule. We both knew that she had another runner waiting to pace her in a mile 20, so she only had a few more miles to run solo. I had already had to make THREE pee stops at this point, but I had been able to run and catch up with her without expending too much energy. (race day jitters?)

Mile 14: 10:44

Mile 15: 10:42

Mile 16: 11:09

Mile 17: 10: 39

I felt really strong and was just really enjoying the race, at this point. There is  a saying about marathons,  "if you feel good, don't worry. It'll pass."  And, it's true. At about mile 18, as I was pretty much worn out. I felt like I was dragging along, but I just kept pushing one foot in front of the other. Your body is basically on auto-pilot at this point. 

Mile 18: 10:41

Mile 19: 11:11

Mile 20: 12:03  (I'm really hating life right now. Wishing I was still running with my best friend. Wishing I was done already. Wishing I was anywhere else but still on this course!)

Mile 21: 11:25

Mile 22: 11:56 (At this mile, I run into the local Hash House Harriers hydration stop, ie BEER stop. I'm thinking, I'm already dehydrated and running slow, why not add some beer into the mix? So, I take a few second to stop, introduce myself as "Cocktail from Tampa" and partake in a shot of beer. Nothing wrong with some on-the-course carb-loading and I needed the morale boost. 

Mile 23: 11:10

Mile 24: 10:23 (At this point, I'm fighting back tears. Your body can only hold up barriers against emotion for so long. After running for almost five hours, raw emotions come to the surface. Everything made me teary.... seeing military men running with the American Flag along the course, seeing the beautiful faces of the men and women in uniform who were cheering ME on along the way (don't they know that THEY are the heroes?), seeing the national monuments and thinking of our wonderful country, seeing all the babies and families along the course and wishing my family was there to cheer me on. Yes, at this point, it didn't take much to bring a tear to my eye. 

Mile 25: 11:11 (I had to stop a walk just a bit here. My legs were getting really stiff and my left knee was just screaming at me. Nothing major, just your typical marathon pain.)

Mile 26.2: 11:04   

Ahhhhhh.... the last two tenths of a mile were UPHILL. But, I didn't even care. I was prepared for it. Ready to tackle my Everest. Somehow, I mustered up the energy (barn door syndrome, I have it badly!) and sprinted my way in. I didn't care that I was blowing past injured walkers and slower runners, I had my eye on that Finish Line and no one was going to slow me down!

Best of all, I caught a glimpse of some fellow BRA (Brandon Running Association) peeps in the crowd at the Finish and I could hear them cheering me in. 

I was so happy to finish STRONG. And, I was so happy to just FINISH! I felt honored to run that marathon in the presence of such greatness. By greatness, I mean all of the men and women who serve our country and who were also out there to support us runners. I also felt honored to run it for my dad (a fellow Marine), my brother (a fellow Marine), and my dear husband. (Okay, not a Marine, but still a damn fine military man who makes me so proud every day.) 

I highly recommend the Marine Corps Marathon for those of you who are deciding what's on your 2010 race calendar!


Monday, November 2, 2009

Pumpkin Carving

James was a HUGE help with carving the pumpkin this year. Well, not carving so much as cleaning out the guts! He didn't want to use his hands and kept saying "Sorry... sorry mom" each time his spoon flung pumpkin guts all over the patio. We had a great time and carved a pretty cool looking jack-o-lantern. Sadly, I didn't get any pics of our final product and the Florida heat didn't make for a very long life of a jack-o-lantern.


But, here are the pics during the making of....





Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Home Stretch!!!

Less than TWO WEEKS to go before I run the Marine Corps Marathon.
So many thoughts are going through my head right now.....
I really, really, really do NOT want to train for another marathon in the heat of the summer!
I think that tackling a full-time teaching job and a two-year old and master's classes and marathon training may just be a tad too much on my plate!
I am SO blessed with a supportive husband who understands my need and desire to run!
I am SO thankful to be healthy and to have no running related injuries.
My ONLY goal for this marathon season was to complete my training injury-free and make it to the starting line. I'm happy to report that my long runs have been strong (albeit not my fastest pace) and I've actually enjoyed the running. Strangely Amazing, I know.
However, this training, like all good things, has not come without it's sacrifices. I won't bore you with the details of missed parties/outings/and events. I haven't returned phone calls and slacked off of friendships that I hope to restore. I've totally felt torn in two or three directions at times...
But, I guess that's the nature of the beast. I won't know what to do with my free time once the marathon is over.
Any ideas???

Weekend? What weekend?


Last weekend went something like this for me.....

Attend Master's Creativity course at University of Tampa on Friday evening from 6 - 9:00pm. Join classmates for one much needed drink after class.

Attend Master's Creativity course at UT on Saturday from 8- 4:00 pm. Get home in time to take James to a local ice cream parlor for a mommy-and-me date. Then go to the park for some much needed swinging and sliding (close down the park!) Get home, get James all washed and in bed. Have "home date night" with husband. Have so much fun during "home date night" that we vow to do it again on Sunday!

Get up on Sunday morning and go for a run at the gym. Come home, get cleaned up and head back to UT for another Sunday afternoon class session.

Arrive home with headache and spend the rest of the evening vegging out on the couch. Muster up the energy for another "home date night" with hubby!

Go to sleep and rest up for the work week!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Daddy's Rough Morning...

Lord knows, I've had my fair share of rough mornings with our little sunshine. But, I think that this one may be tops for a while...
James awakes at 4:30 in the A.M. to do what? Play with his trains! Wide awake, no laying back down, just wants to play with his trains...
Today was my planning day at work, so I left for work at 6:00. Will was still in bed, trying to get the last few minutes of sleep before his alarm went off, again.
Finally, he gets up, gives James some milk and turns on his favorite cartoon, Little Einsteins. This should allow him 30 minutes of uninterrupted shower/get dressed/comb hair time. A few minutes into his shower, James comes screaming into the bathroom. After a quick glance over (looking for blood or trauma) Will discovers that James has a massive poop blowout and it's leaking down the back of his pajamas. The kid has my sensitive skin and the poop was burning/causing a diaper rash. (Sorry for the TMI for those of you non-parent-peeps who read this blog!) So, Will rushes out of the shower, scoops up James and takes him into his room for a major clean up job! He gets James dressed and settles him back down. Once James is happily playing/watching his cartoon, Will has to get back into the shower to finish washing/rinsing. (yes, he jumped out of the shower mid-wash)
Once he finishes his shower and gets dressed, he notices that it's eerily quiet. Suspiciously quiet. Too quiet for an active toddler to be in the house. Startled once again, Will roams the house looking and calling for James. His eyes immediately search the back sliding glass door. Door closed? Check. Metal pin still in the top of the door? Check. (where the heck is this kid?) Bedroom? Nope. Bathroom? Nope. Couch? Nope.
Will walks further into the kitchen area and sees James sitting on the kitchen floor, covered in wet, sticky, tangerine juice with empty fruit containers scattered around him as evidence of the crime. (he has been up for almost 3 hours at this point. The kid was hungry!) I guess the Child Safety Lock we installed on the pantry door needs to be updated. So, it's back into the bedroom for another wipe down/clean up and new outfit for school.
Finally, the boys make it into school. Will walks James in, gets out his breakfast and gets James all set up. Starts looking around and notices that there is no teacher in the room. So, he flags down someone from the office and is informed that they are short on teachers today and he should just hang out with James for a few more minutes. (No lady, I'm going to leave my son unattended. Again. ) Finally, someone comes in to relieve Will so he can rush to work. Unfortunately, there was a line of people waiting at his desk when he arrived. Late. Nice.
Of course, he shared the trials and tribulations of his crazy morning with his boss and coworkers. Apparently, they all got a good laugh and even shared some of their horror late-to-work-my-kid-has-lost-their-ever-lovin'-mind stories!
Poor Daddy! Somehow, I don't think that the family portrait coffee mug and voice-recorded card we got him for his birthday are enough anymore.....

Monday, September 21, 2009

Breakin' Up is Hard to Do- Oooo....

My very talented and beautiful friend has such a way with words. She is a strong runner who is currently suffering through a tendinitis injury and it's timing could not be worse! As I've posted before here, dealing with an injury after you've trained so hard can be very challenging/frustrating/humbling.
But, since she has such a way with words and such a neat-o perspective on Life, my friend shared this analogy between a runner and running here. For those of you who run, you may enjoy it. For those of you who don't, you certainly can relate to it!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Three Nights in a Row

of James sleeping in his big boy bed! (what were your dirty minds thinking of??)
We started it on Friday night and he has done a great job of staying in his bed and sleeping through the night! No crying, no getting up and playing and no falling out (knock on wood!). I bought him a new "train" comforter set with matching sheets (too cute! It is the exact same color scheme as his room, but instead of an airplane theme, it's trains. He loves laying on his "train" pillow and covering up with his "train" blanket. It's all about the train love at our house!
Since we had a sitter today, he did get up during naptime today and start playing in his room. But, she went in and got him to fall asleep and he slept for over two hours! Woo Hoo! He is so proud of staying and sleeping in his "big boy" bed! I was so hesitant to make the transition from his crib because this boy LOVES his freedom. But, apparently, he also loves his beauty sleep! I just feel that it's one more step closer to him growing up.
Next week, he'll be asking to borrow the car keys. Sniff. Sniff.

So much to blog about....

Yet, so little time.
I'll just give you the highlights-
Friday, James and I were invited to a pretty cool playdate at a local park. James has no fear when it comes to climbing or playing new equipment. Especially if he sees his friends doing something. He wants to be "one of the big kids" and follows right along. Even if it means giving mommy a heart-attack because he has climbed all the way to the top of the rope tower. I took some great pictures of James playing on the "big kid" equipment, but I can't seem to find my camera tonight. Sorry!
Saturday- I completed my second 20 miler of this training season. This marathon training season is sooo different than the last one. Last fall, I was plagued with injuries and illnesses. I don't know exactly what I'm doing differently, but I'm just really, really glad that my long runs have been strong and that I'm able to keep up my training. 34 days left until the Marine Corps Marathon. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel!!!!
Sunday- Will and I joined our friends, Tom and Veronica for a fossil/shark tooth dive in Venice Beach. I didn't like getting up early two mornings in a row, but it was worth it. We haven't been diving in well over a month, so it was nice to get back in the water. The sky was clear, sunny and the water was calm and smooth. Perfect diving conditions! I just wish that our luck finding fossils had been better. Oh well, it was still a good day of diving!
I hope you all enjoyed your weekend!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Taking a lead from my friend "Bob" over at Discombobulated Running, I wanted to participate in the Thankful Thursday element of blogging! So here goes......
1. I am thankful for a wonderful husband/partner in life who is so helpful with our new mommy-working-full-time routine. Will has totally picked up any slack that I've missed (and with working long hours and training for a marathon, there has been PLENTY of slack people!)
2. I am thankful for my new housekeeper, Vanessa! She comes once a week and does the floors, vacuums, cleans bathrooms, windows, doors and dusts! I love, love, love coming home on Thursdays after work to a clean home!
3. I am thankful that James is doing so well in preschool and that he likes it there. His speech has really picked up over the past couple of weeks. He says a new word each day, so it's been impossible to keep track of his vocabulary. He is a total chatterbox now! Wonder where he gets that from?
4. I am thankful that I'm healthy enough to keep running and keep training for my Marine Corps Marathon. Yes, my legs are sore and my back hurts and there are the usual aches and pains that come with long distance running/training. But, (knock on wood) I'm not injured and not sick. There is so much talk about "when" not "if" you get the H1N1 virus and students at my school are already infected. The numbers are just scary. I just hope I make it through this year okay! So far, so good!

What are you thankful for peeps?

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Settling in...

We are beginning to settle in to our weekly routine with mommy being back at work full time. Oh, what a difference working FULL TIME verses PART TIME. Oh well, I knew it would be demanding. Overall, things are going very smoothly and over dinner tonight, Will and I were just talking about James is adapting so well to his new times and routines.
For starters, I am usually out of the house by the time James wakes up in the morning. I prepare/pack his lunch for the day. Then, it's up to daddy to wake him up, get him dressed, teeth brushed, hair combed, shoes on and out the door. James still eats his big bowl of hot oatmeal every morning, but at school, not home. On some mornings, I'm still home when James wakes up. He handles me leaving very well (almost too well!) He will wave good bye to me and cheerfully say "Bye!" And, he never forgets to give me a goodbye smooch! Will and I agree that he likes his morning time with Daddy. He LOVES riding in Daddy's truck to school. And, he doesn't let Will carry him into school, he climbs out of the truck on his own and walks himself all the way into school (unlike stopping halfway and asking Mommy to carry him in over the summer.)
I actually left school on time today (3:00) and got a great run in. (8 miles) I picked James up from daycare and Will was cooking dinner when we walked in the door. After a quick shower on my end (I was stinky from running!), we played "trains" for a little bit, ate a yummy dinner, followed by bath time, lots of reading books and cuddling and then sweet, sweet bed time by 7:30.
It may not be the best schedule for everyone, but it's working for us right now!
I hope everyone has enjoyed their week and is ready for Friday! I'm ready for this three day weekend! Woo Hooo!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Help a Mutha Out!

Hello to all out there in Bloggy-land!
I have a favor. Please take a few minutes to check out my friend's blog. She is a WONDERFUL mommy to her children and her family is going through/has been through a really tough time right now in their lives. Her son's future and well-being is truly at stake here. She's asking for any prayers, well-wishes and good vibes that you could send her way.
Thanks for being the supportive online peeps I know that you are!
Hope your week is going well!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

My First Twenty Miler

(of this training season, anyway)
Yes, I had the big 20 miler on my training schedule. But, after having a super stressful week with long work hours, little sleep and little to no running, I was not counting on getting all twenty miles in. I was afraid that my cardio would get the best of me or that my IT band pain in one or both knees would rear it's ugly head and force me to cut my run short. I expressed all of these concerns in a frantic, needing-to-vent phone call to my friend Veronica. She assured me that my previous months of training have been strong, I worked hard to build a good base and one or two weeks of low mileage wouldn't totally upset a weekend long run. I had my doubts, but performed all of my pre-long-run rituals anyway (light pasta dinner, lots of hydrating on Friday, early to bed with heating pad on hamstrings.)
I set my alarm for 3:00 am to have time for my PowerBar breakfast, two drink servings of Emergen-C and loaded in the car for the 35 minute drive out to Fishhawk. I met up with Veronica and we started our run in the wee dark hours of the morning, donned with headlamps and reflective vests. The first 9-10 miles went along pretty well. Veronica and I chatted about everything, as we normally do on these runs. I think that's what makes them so therapeutic! We kept our pace nice and SLOW, as suggested by "the coaching manual" due to the heat, humidity and the fact that we were running twenty miles. If we had anything left towards the end, that's when I vowed to pick up the pace.
Another runner, Sunita, met us at mile 9 for her first 10 miler. She's been working to build up her mileage and likes the Galloway (run/walk) method as much as we do (smart woman!) When Sunita joined us, she continued the conversation chatter and enlightened us on many topics to keep us distracted. After about 10 miles or so, my conversations skills drastically reduce so it was nice to have someone along to keep it going and distract us from our misery!
At mile 18, Veronica was NOT feeling well and made the wise decision to take more walk breaks and run for shorter periods of time. My legs were hurting, feeling stiff, but that's expected. At this point, I was feeling pretty strong and had no knee/it band pain. I wanted to keep running and finish as strong as I was feeling. By this time, the sun was out and it was HOT! All the more reason to get this run over with as soon as possible! So, for the last two miles, I picked up the running pace (negative splits), walked less and was able to run/sprint it in. Sunita was such a trooper! Instead of doing her planned 10 miler, she hung with me for the last two miles and turned her run into an 11 miler! Veronica came in shortly after us, chugged the bottle of Gatorade I had waiting for her and stated, "I had twenty miles on my plate and I planned to finish it!" Stubborn much? :)
It was a good morning for me! After the run, I joined the rest of the running group at Panera for a yummy breakfast sandwich and coffee (I was starving!). The rest of the day involved spending some family time with my two favorite guys. Then, James and I went over to a friend's house for some more playtime and fun. That evening, Will and I grilled out steaks, opened a nice bottle of red and wound down with the movie, The Soloist. All in all, a productive, wonderful way to spend my Saturday!
How was yours?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Bear With Me, Folks...

I'm going to apologize now for being a bad blogger and not having any cute pictures of James to post or any cute stories from our week together. My husband has been out of town for various business trips and I'm starting full-time teaching in the classroom this school year and James' preschool has been closed for a couple of days last week due to Staff Training and I'm still training for this da#m marathon! Needless to say, I've had LOTS on my plate over the past couple of weeks.
Hopefully, once we get back into the swing of things and resume a somewhat normal schedule, I'll be able to post as usual! Good news, James has been wonderful over the past couple of weeks. He's had long days at daycare, been shuffled from babysitter to gym daycare, stayed with friends and has just "gone with the flow" each and every time! My training runs are getting longer and longer. So far, no major injuries to report! Since it is so stinking hot and humid here as soon as the sun comes up, I start my long runs at 4:30 in the morning. When I'm running alone, it really stinks to start out and run for two hours in the dark, but it beats running in 90 degree heat with 100% humidity. Oh well.
I still continue to use the Galloway method (run/walk) during my runs. Some people out there in bloggy land feel that this is "cheating." They feel that running is an endurance sport and that walking is not. I propose that they ask any woman who has completed the Breast Cancer 3 day walk about their endurance. While it's true that walking doesn't require as much endurance as running, there is still value in running (or walking) great distances and taking a few walk breaks throughout to work/stretch different muscles and promote muscles recovery verses muscle damage. For instance, if you are running a marathon (or half) and have to walk part of it or get injured and have to walk towards the end, is this called "cheating?" Absolutely NOT! As an injury-prone "runner", I find the Galloway method very helpful in injury prevention. And, I'm a strong believer in "Plan your Work and Work your Plan." Or, "Plan your Run and Run your Plan." Okay, I'm off my soap box.
I hope all of you out there in bloggy land have a wonderful week. I wish I could come up with some witty and clever comments about recent events and ongoings in my life, but I don't have it in me right now. I'm all about Back to School Welcome Letters, Behavior Logs and lesson plans...

Thursday, August 13, 2009

One Little Monkey......

(you guessed it) Jumping on the Bed!
Since Will has been gone all week (business trip), it's been just James and I in the evenings. Tonight, instead of our usual books before bedtime routine, I let him indulge in some pre-bedtime jumping on mommy and daddy's bed. (bad mommy, I know!) But, it was so much fun, I had to grab the camera and try to capture some Kodak moments.This has been such a busy week for us. First, James started back to preschool full-time on Monday. I was worried about how he would adjust to staying there all day, eating lunch and napping there, since he wasn't there full-time this summer. Don't know why I was worried! He didn't seem to miss a beat. He went down easily for naps (and stayed down!) and was totally happy when I dropped him off and picked him up. I'm so glad to have a child who just "goes with the flow" and doesn't have separation issues. Makes for a very happy mommy!
This was all good news for me, because I am going back to teaching full-time this year. This past week, I've been moving back into my classroom, unpacking boxes upon boxes of personal teaching resources and classroom library books. I am really, really, really excited about teaching again. I truly enjoyed my time at home with James, but he is ready for school (preschool, that is) and so am I!
On to more bedtime jumping.....

Pillow-fight!


As you can see, James loved his new bedtime routine. And, it wasn't too hard to settle him back down before bedtime (thank goodness!)
I hope you all are having a great week and getting ready for the weekend!


Monday, August 3, 2009

Jump Around, Jump Around....

One thing my little boy LOVES to do is JUMP! He loves to jump onto things, he loves to jump over things and he loves to jump off of things. Oh, the wonderful world of jumping!

The other day, I walked into his room to see this scene......

He continued this jumping off the bed routine for well over ten minutes. He was absolutely worn out afterwards! If you turn the sound up, you can hear him asking ME if I'm "okay" after HE jumps off the bed. His scruffy little voice is so cute! He was also doing a 1, 2, 3 countdown before every jump, but got a little camera shy when I walked in.

video

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Weekend Highs and Lows

Low: Waking up at 4:00 am on Saturday morning to eat and get hydrated before my long run, scheduled to start at 5:15 am.
High: Completing all 14 miles of my run. I drove out to Brandon to meet up with the rest of the Brandon Runners. My usual running partner was out of town for the weekend and almost all of the other runners are faster than me, so I started out into the dark morning with just my Ipod for company. I won't go into specifics as to the road we run on, but it has a continuous sidewalk with a two-lane road on one side and industrial, marshy, conservation-lots on the other side. Very dark. Very desolate and Very eerie. I didn't see anyone or anything (except loud cars zooming past) for the first 2 miles. Then, some street lights were out for about another mile. More eeriness. Finally, at about mile 3, you start to see stores, gas stations and fast food chains (civilization!). Yes my friends, it takes some strong mental fortitude to start out a 14 mile run in those conditions!
Luckily, at mile 4.5, I picked up another runner from the group. She just started running with the group and it was a pleasure running/chatting with her! She kept me company from mile 4.5 until about mile 9, and the rest was up to me.
I finished pretty strong, but I did walk a bit more towards the end. The heat and humidity were starting to get to me (it was pushing 8 am at this point). But, I finished and my legs weren't that sore at all. The Marine Corps Marathon Training continues!

Low: Missing my post-run Saturday nap because we had won tickets to see Thomas and Friends at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center.
High: Taking James to see the Thomas and Friends performance!
I knew he would be super excited because he is all about the trains recently! He was so wide-eyed throughout the entire performance and clapped for everything! He was clearly focused on the trains only, though. At some points during the performance when it was just the characters on stage, he kept turning to me and turning his little palms up asking, "Trains? Where trains?" "Trains coming?" "In a minute?" Too cute!
He sat in his seat for most of the time (with both hands behind his head, laid back style!)
We lasted the entire 1 1/2 hour performance, something I didn't expect from him at all!
But, once again, he never ceases to amaze us!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Crazy, Busy Week

This week has been full of teacher training workshops and running (for me). Trying to balance finding child care for James (he's not enrolled full-time at JCC during the summer) while I am attending my professional development trainings has been crazy! And expensive.
I'm really looking forward to teaching again. But, there have been some major curriculum changes/advancements since I've been gone and I'll be in a new grade level. So, basically, I feel like a newbie teacher all over again. It's okay though, I love a good challenge, but I have a LOT of work ahead of me.
Anyway, I've still been running, running, running this week. Earlier in the week, my runs were pretty short (about 3 miles) and I was just not feeling motivated at all. Luckily, I stepped it up to complete my MLR (Medium Long Run) on Thursday. I ran eight miles at a pretty decent pace (for me.) Due to the 90 degree temps outside and high humidity, I ran it inside the gym, on my treadmill. My legs felt strong and I ending it running much faster than when I started. I have 14 miles on my plate for Saturday morning. So, think of me at 5 am when you roll over to find another comfy spot on your pillow!
Speaking of Saturday, Will and I are taking James to his first live performance show at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center! It's the Thomas and Friends performance. James is all about the train-love lately and he likes watching the Thomas cartoon. We wanted to take him, but I wasn't too keen on spending that much money for tickets (they start at $33.50) when I wasn't sure his attention span would last the entire 1 hour and 30 minutes of the program. Then, my friend Michelle told me about a contest from Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine to win tickets to the show. Well, I entered and lo- and- behold, We Won!
So, we are so excited to take James to see his beloved trains (we also got invited to go to a Meet and Greet with the cast!) And, if he gets too antsy and we need to leave early, we won't feel bad for spending all that money!
Happy Friday Everyone!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Happy 2nd Birthday!!!

Our little sunshine turned Two Years Old last week!
We celebrated on the night of his birthday by having a nice family dinner. Then, James opened his presents from Mommy and Daddy. He really got into the "opening of the presents" and loved his birthday gifts- more trains!
On Sunday, we had some friends over for a pool party/cook out to continue his birthday celebrations. James' friends are the same ones that he has been playing with since he was three months old and I joined a New Mom's Group (desperate for support and comradeship.) It's been wonderful to see the boys (and Fiona) grow up into happy, healthy, rambunctious toddlers!

At two years old, James:
~can and will climb onto just about anything. He will not hesitate to stand up in his high chair and scale down the side if you don't get him out as soon as he's done eating. He is not a patient child. He has YET to climb out of his crib, though.
~favorite mealtime is breakfast and favorite meal is Oatmeal. Yogurt is a close second. Followed by pasta.
~vocabulary is really developing nicely! Except for a few weeks of lispy "s's", resulting in some colorful "I see it!" or "I sit" expressions, we can pretty much tell exactly what he's saying. He's using full sentences for some things and surprises me with a new word each day. He will ask for his specific cartoon (Thank you Tivo!) and is now repeating the last word or two of EVERYTHING we say!
~asks us to kiss his "Ow-wees!" every time he gets a bump, bruise or scrape. It's okay though, I don't mind. I love how a mommy or daddy kiss automatically makes all the pain go away. One day, our kisses won't be enough to protect him from danger, but I'm holding onto every memory of the ones that do now!
~still loves the water and loves to swim! Lately, he enjoys having us push him to the bottom of the shallow end so he can retrieve whatever rock, car or toy that he has purposefully sunk. He gets so proud for getting it himself!
~ has a personality that lights up a room! I call him my "Future Walmart Greeter" because he loves to wave to people and say "Hey!" until they look at him and acknowledge him. He doesn't mind if it takes 2 or 3 or 5 "Hey's". Then, he smiles from ear to ear and will tilt his head to one side as if to say, "Aren't I cute?" I have no idea where he learned this from! This child truly does not know a stranger. For now, it's really cute, but one day, I will have to educate him on Stranger Danger.
~has taught his daddy and I the wonders and the joys of Parenthood. As successful adults, we thought we knew a lot about our World. But, then James came along and opened our eyes to so much more.
Thank you, James, for filling our days with sunshine and filling our hearts with love. Yes, you drive us to exhaustion and exasperation whenever you get the chance, but we love you all the way to the moon and back for it! Happy Birthday Sunshine!

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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Happy 4th of July!!!

Once again, Will and I loaded up all of our scuba diving gear and headed down to Key Largo for the weekend of July the 4th. Unlike, last year, we made arrangements for James to stay home and it was just the two of us. The trip was oh-so-nice! Great diving conditions and being "child-free" for the weekend made for a very happy and well-rested mommy and daddy. Of course, we missed our little sunshine, but we were so giddy to be back in the water again! During our dives, we saw tons of colorful fish and beautiful coral. Will was our main photographer during the trip, but I happened to capture this beautifully illuminated coral about 30 feet below the water. As nervous as I was to initally get scuba certified, I've become totally hooked on this underwater world. It truly is a "whole other world" and I feel honored to be able to spend a few hours inside of it during our dives.

We were fortunate enough to dive The Duane on Saturday, July 4th. This is a picture of me, posing about 90 foot below the surface. We were on the front deck, waiting for our friends to circle/swim around. Pretty cool!

On this dive, we saw several LARGE barracuda watching our every move. Surprisingly, there were several other fish swimming around the wreck, but it was the barracuda that kept our attention. Others on the dive saw a large goliath grouper, but we missed it. Oh well, there's always next time!


So, I said that we made arrangements for James to stay at home this trip. We flew my mom down to watch him for the weekend. I love knowing that James was happy, safe and in loving hands. He loved being spoiled rotten by his Grandma! She took pictures to document their weekend. Here was a quick trip to our local "Redneck Riveria". Mom cut the beach trip short due to the large crowds (holiday weekend, what do you expect?), dirty water and sketchy people. I tried to warn her that we don't call it the Redneck Riveria for nothing!
Yes, you see James wearing his trusty "Puppy." He really doesn't mind wearing it all and it gave mom the comfort in knowing that he wouldn't be able to outrun her. I warned her about his fondness of running away towards the street (good thing I'm working on my speedwork) and his love of running away and hiding from you! Yep, she brought Puppy along on all of their outings!



Here he is "hamming" it up for the camera! He obviously had a wonderful weekend with Grandma! Grandma had a wonderful (yet tiring!) weekend! Mommy and Daddy had a wonderful weekend together. Good times all around!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Hijacked.

I'm hijacking the blog for a few minutes to indulge in a non-James-related topic- Running!

I was very disappointed last March when I made The Decision not to run the Gasparilla Marathon, after months of training and completing several long runs. It wasn't much of a decision considering I couldn't even run a mile 3 days prior due to the pain associated with my it bands, but it was hard nonetheless. So, after taking lots of time off (the only thing to heal my type of injury) and working with a personal trainer to beef up my strength training, I'm back in the game.
A few months ago, I signed up to run the Marine Corps Marathon in late October. After that, I will run the Ragnar Relay across the state of Florida (again) and then maybe I'll throw in the Gasparilla Marathon a couple of months later.
I've been slowing increasing my mileage each week. I run almost every day, taking 2-3 days a week off for rest or strength training. Last week I completed my first 8 miler and it felt great. I could have run longer, but I don't want to do too much, too fast and risk another injury.
Today, I completed another long run. Nine miles. Unfortunately, due to all of the rain we've been getting, I was restricted to running on the treadmill at the gym, but it wasn't that bad. A loaded Ipod of energetic beats and some determination will take you a long way. Again, I felt energized the entire run and very strong. I'm hoping this keeps up. Last season, while I was training, I was constantly plagued by illness (thanks to a little one who loves to use mommy as a tissue!).
You may have noticed a new widget on the right side of the page. It's a running log of my miles, now that I've started my "formal" training for the marathon. There are several miles from the past month that I didn't log because I wasn't keeping track consistently. But, oh well.
So, not that this is becoming a running/mommy blog, but you may be reading more about how I'm struggling to balance running and running a household/husband/child at the same time.
Either way, Running is my Mental Therapy and I am addicted. So, like most addicts, I will make the time.
Now, I need to get off this and start packing for our dive weekend to Key Largo! Woo Hoo!

Solo Flight

Ever since our flight to Gatlinburg last month, James has taken more of an interest in airplanes. Whenever one flies overhead (very often since we live so close to base) or whenever we drive onto base, he gets very excited and proceeds to tell me all about these airplanes (not that I understand much of what he is saying, but I'm sure it's all correct!)

So, I picked up this little diddy at a consignment shop and it's been his new fav toy.

However, he doesn't allow the little passengers or their luggage to be on the flight. When I tried to show him that they fit perfectly inside and even have little stubs to fit on, he exclaims "NO!" and deboards them from the plane. However, the pilot remains in command of the airplane at all times. Sorry Little People, you're Hawaiian vacation will just have to wait until James gives you your boarding passes.

So, do you think we have a little fighter pilot in our midst? Oh geez, let's hope not!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Weekend Highs and Lows

High: Friday night I cooked (baked, then grilled) ribs for the first time. We actually grilled them over at our neighbor's house (Mark and Amy) and had a great time. We used a recipe from My Recipes.com and they were dee-lish!
Low: Getting up at 4:30 am Saturday morning to go run eight miles.
High: I had a really strong run. I could have/should have run longer according to my training plan, but my weekly mileage isn't high enough yet. And, I really don't want to do too much too soon and risk another IT band injury.


High: Spending a lazy saturday afternoon around the house with Will and James. The two boys were watching cartoons on the couch and James was "holding" his daddy hostage. It was such a sweet moment that, of course, Mommy had to go and ruin by snapping a picture.

The rest of the weekend was spent having quality family time around the house. All last weekend, Will and I were gone on a dive trip and we'll be gone all next weekend. I don't want James to get a complex or anything, but mommy and daddy are enjoying our dive trips! Saturday night, Will and I attended a wine tasting at our friend's house. Overall, some good couple time and some good family time make for a great weekend!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Blogs of Note

Good Sunday Morning Fellow Bloggers,
I've recently stumbled across/heard about two blogs that are totally blog-worthy and I wanted to share them with you!
The first one is my friend Beth's blog. Her nickname in our running group is B.O.B. and she is one of my favorite peoples! I won't go into the specifics as to how she earned her nickname, like all good nicknames, it's tied to an embarrassing story, so that's one for her to share! If you are a new, aspiring runner, then her blog is totally worth your time. It's funny, quirky, helpful and REAL!
The next blog is about a running mommy named Heather. I can't get enough of this woman and her quest to fit in a full-time job, two young kids (still bf the youngest), being a wife and training for a marathon. Fellow moms, if you are having a hard time balancing everything you WANT to do in the day with what you HAVE to do in the day AND get some sleep in, then this is one blog you will connect with.
Happy Blogging!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Lunch at Evo's!

To reward myself for a good, hard run this morning (six miles of hill work at a decent pace) and to reward James for his excellent and patient behavior at the gym daycare, we decided to treat ourselves to lunch at Evo's! I love this place! It's relatively cheap and very kid-friendly. I don't have to feel guilty (too much) for indulging in fries (since it's "healthy" fast food!) And, James LOVES their Garlic Gravity ketchup as much as I do! So, it's a win-win.

Unfortunately, James spotted the large case of cookies right at the front counter and kept asking for "cookie? cookie? cookie?" I told him a firm "No" and explained that we were there to eat Lunch, not Cookies. Then, as I braced myself for his all-out throw-down-on-the-floor scream-like-a-banshee-tantrum, he just looked at me square in the face and said, "Pleeeeaaaaassseee?"

Fellow Supermoms, How could I resist?

So, after a scrumptious, healthy lunch of hormone-free chicken strips and air fries, I relented and gave him his coveted chocolate chip cookie. (reaching for my 1/3 of the cookie!)


(all smiles and covered in chocolate!)

(passed out in a cookie-induced coma!)

Friday, June 19, 2009

Survival Swim Lessons- Complete!!!

video

I am proud to say that our son has successfully completed the Infant Swimming Resource course! I tried to scan his little certificate and post it here, but the scanner isn't cooperating tonight. So, you get real, live (at the time) video of one of his survival skills lessons. At the end of the course, once your child can successfully do the swim-float-swim sequence unassisted, then they conduct three survival lessons, where your child has to be fully dressed. One day is in summer clothes, the next in pajamas and the third day in winter clothes. The child must wear socks, shoes and a regular diaper, since this is what most children are wearing when/if they ever accidentally fall into a pool.

During this lesson, you will see the instructor flipping him upside down, having him "fall" into the water and just dropping him into the middle of the pool. All of these scenarios are designed to instill the swim/float/swim instinct in a potentially life-threatening situation.

Today, James completed his lesson wearing full winter clothes (including a hooded sweatshirt). Shame on me for not getting it video-taped because he did WONDERFUL! The fact that he was carrying an extra 6-8 lbs of wet clothing did not hamper his swimming skills. It was great to see him succeed and become such a competent little swimmer! From the swim skills he shows during his lessons and watching him dive under the water in our pool at home, I think we have a future little scuba diver in our midst! Daddy is so proud!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Planes, Trains and Automobiles


Last week, James and I flew to Gatlinburg TN to spend the week with my family for our summer vacation. Will couldn't come because of work commitments, but I survived the plane ride with a two-year old nonetheless. In some of the pictures, you may see a friendly-looking backpack/harness that looks like a puppy. Yes, I broke down and bought a harness/leash for my child. Before you judge me, just know that I have a very fast, active little boy who loves to run and jump, but hates the stroller. We were flying solo and would be going to theme parks and downtown Gatlinburg and I thought that this was the best time for a leash. As it turns out, I used it a LOT and James affectionately asks for "puppy" when it is time to head out the door. Yes, my friends, "puppy" was a life saver! We visited the Gatlinburg Aquarium. It is by far, the best aquarium we've been to so far! It's not super huge, but the views of the tanks and the exhibits are really well-designed. They have a large, interactive area for kids. It's pretty interested for us "big kids" too. If you ever get a chance to go, I highly recommend this aquarium! Part of the aquarium takes you on a moving walkway through a glass-tunneled view of the large shark tank. The dome-shaped ceiling is painted to look like the sky, so above the fish and sparkling water, it looks like you are outside. Very cool!
Here I am with my baby brother, Elliott. Yes, I am the runt of the family.

Here is my mom, my brothers and me.
Here are James, Mason and Christian (his cousins). The boys had a great time playing together! It was a wild, loud house when all three boys were playing!


James and I even had a special visit from an old friend of mine (Hunt) from Greenville. We've known each other for about 13 years (we did the math) and he is now a professor of history at Western Carolina University. It was such a treat to catch up with a good friend and laugh about some old times together.
Here is James and his new buddy, Austin. Austin's parents own the Condo and Motel that my mom works at and they are wonderful people. They are like a second family to my mom and even let us stay at this huge house for free! The house was very roomy, a great space for all the kids there and was only 1/4 a mile from downtown Gatlinburg- great location! Their son, Austin, immediately took to James and they were best buds during the week.
Here we are on a carousel in Dollywood! James had several firsts this week (first Mc Donald's cheeseburger and fries, first trip to an amusement park, first train ride and first ride on a carousel.)
One of the last things we did was ride the Dollywood Steam Engine. It's 15 minutes of loud, whistle-blowing, steam-filled, soot-covered fun! James was a tired pup at the end of the day, but he was awe-struck by this train. Just mesmerized the whole ride! Apparently, most kids all asleep with all of the rocking, but he just stared and stared....
With a few eye rubs in between.
One pretty cool section of Dollywood is full of classic cars. One of James' favorite rides (one of the few he was tall enough to ride) was a track with these models of classic cars that you could drive around in. The pictures were pretty fuzzy and far away, not blog worthy. But, here is James and Austin "at the drive in."
This was James' first official amusement park ride- The Flying Ducks. Not too scary and he fit the height requirement (yeah!)
Overall, our week flew by and it was wonderful seeing James play and getting to know his cousins. The kids kept busy playing and swimming and the grown ups were busy relaxing and resting up for the next outing/activity. My mom really hooked us up with a free place to stay all week, free tickets to Dollywood and the Aquarium. I love freebies!
It was good family time and good vacation time!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Building Blocks and Bedtime

We have fallen into our evening routine of dinner, play, bath time, a little more play, then books and finally bedtime. Will (daddy) usually gets home sometime after dinner (James eats before Will and I do). This evening, he didn't make it home until after bath time. I was just getting ready to head into James' room for some books before bedtime, but then daddy walked into the door. Once James' sees him, it's goodbye mommy and hello daddy! He immediately grabbed Will's hand and led him over to the play rug. He asked him to "Sit down" so he could bring over his blocks. Then, James noticed that daddy had forgotten to take his shoes off. James never forgets our cardinal rule of no outside shoes inside the house, but daddy often forgets! So, James helped with the shoe removal. See below-


James took Will's shoes and put them into the closet for him. Then took out his slippers and proceeded to put them on daddy's feet. Yes, Will has him trained very well. You could call this child labor, but James takes his "job" very seriously and actually looks forward to "helping daddy with his shoes" every evening.


Once the dirty outside shoes are safely put away and daddy has on his slippers, the tower building can begin.....
James is very good at taking turns (sometimes)............
And he always applauds the efforts of his daddy when building towers. Apparently, he is very proud of his daddy's building skills!

Finally, after two towers have been built and demolished, it's time for bedtime books with mommy. His new fav book is Bedtime Stories with Elmo. Oh Elmo. Elmo, Elmo, Elmo......