Sunday, January 25, 2009

Gasparilla Children's Parade

Our weekend went something like this-
5:00 am: Wake up, drink coffee, eat powerbar, go run 12 miles (It was supposed to be an 18 miler, but my IT band started really hurting and I had to cut it short. Bummer)
2:00 pm: Pack up and leave for the parade.

7:00 pm: Sitter arrives, puts James to sleep, drive over to Wana and Darrin's house to celebrate her birthday.

12:00 am: Get home and pass out from exhaustion!

Unlike last year, we actually got to see the parade this year. The weather was perfect and James was much more entertained by all of the sights and sounds! It was so cute watching him take in all of the people and events.

We went with our neighbors, Mark and Amy, and their two kids. We were invited to her friend's house (right on Bayshore) for hot dogs, munchies, adult beverages and a nice, large front lawn, perfect for the kids! The best part was not having to wait in line for a porta-potty with the rest of the crowd! It was great having such a nice set up to relax and unwind!

My little pint-sized pirate eating some grub! Actually, this pirate outfit was too small for him and he didn't like being confined in it's tightness. So, I didn't keep him in it for too long.

James preferred to be up high for the parade viewing. I found out that he LOVES pretzels! He kept this pretzel clenched in his mouth for an eternity (until it dissolved and fell apart.)

The parade festivities were so much fun. James loved "people-watching" and thoroughly enjoyed himself the whole day. Some very nice little girls showered him with beads, but we didn't want him overloaded so we went back up to the house for some more socializing. We saw some of the most creative pirate ships (strollers and wagons decorated to look like ships). Will said that he wants to try his hand at creating a "pirate ship" for next year. Yeah, we'll see how that goes!

Blog Award

I got this blog award from Courtney- Thanks!
The award states: "These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award."

Well, I don't really know of eight bloggers, but these ones surely deserve this award!
Here you go:
1- Rebecca
2- Amber
3- Stacy
4- Carissa (college roomie)
5- Gwen (another very inspiring blog I found through another blog, and so on)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

18 Month Updates

Today (a little late, but oh well!), I took James to the pediatrician for his 18 month check up.
Here are his stats:
Weight: 25 lbs 11 oz 50%
Height: 32 3/4 inches 50-75%
Head Circumference: 19" 50-75%
Besides a mild eczema flare-up across his tummy, the doctor gave him an "A-okay" review and said that he was doing great. I was a little concerned because James has lost weight since last month. I know he hasn't been eating normally and consequently, his milk (now, SoyMilk) intake has greatly increased. I explained this to the doctor and as I was mentioning his bedtime bottle...

Yes, I said bedtime bottle. I hate to admit this into the mommy-world of fellow bloggers, but my "little man" is still addicted to his nighttime bottle. After hearing that, the doctor gave the order to get him off the bottle. Yes, I know it's time, but I'm not looking forward to the battle that will follow. James is used to getting a bottle before bedtime and whenever he wakes up at night, it's the only way to get him back to sleep. And, when he's really tired during the day, he demands a bottle, and gets it. Am I a little indulgent? (you think?!?)
But, it may run in the family. Apparently, I sucked on a bottle until I was FOUR years old! I still have very fond memories of honey-milk in my bottle (yum-yum, good stuff!) And, I have a class-A bite with perfectly straight teeth and no braces were needed. So, was my mom a little indulgent? Those of you who know her, please try not to laugh!
So, anyway, it's going to be a long, loud, exhausting next couple of nights, but I know it's for the best. Speaking of for-the-best, I've heard reports that Bob is adjusting wonderfully in his foster home and that the children there just love him. Who wouldn't? Friends have asked how I'm coping and it's hard, I miss him, but all I have to do is take a look at my non-sneezing, non-red/swollen-eyed, non runny-nosed child and it makes the pain go away.

Here he is with my latest consignment treasure. I've been pricing out art tables and such, but didn't want to spend the money. This one had been sitting outside of the Baby Go Round (located on Henderson) for a couple of months and going nowhere. I offered the owner 20 bucks (about 1/2 off the asking price) and she accepted. It cleaned up like new, but of course now, it's covered with James' scribbles! Oh well!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Teary Eyes and a Heavy Heart

Hi My Friends,
It is with a sad and heavy heart that I inform you that we sent Bob away today to find another family. For the past couple of days, I've been speaking with Lori Spala from the St. Francis Animal Society about finding a good home for our beloved Bob. This non-profit organization is a NO KILL rescue for abandoned, sick and injured animals, and pets like our Bob, who just need to find another home. I explained that he is a GREAT cat, one who has never had an accident outside of the litter box, loves children and small dogs and people, very playful and is very affectionate. However, with the results of James' allergy testing, he just can't stay at our house anymore. For the past three days, I've kept him outside on our lanai (except for the cold, cold nights) and I've already seen a difference in James' symptoms (no more sneezing or red, swollen eyes.)
Lori (the chairperson from St. Francis' Society) explained that the cats are housed at a foster home (her home) until they are adopted by a family. They personally "screen" each family and transport the cats to weekly adoptee events all around the Tampa Bay area at various pet stores. So today, I went ahead and drove him over to meet her. It's a good thing the drive wasn't too far because I was bawling my eyes out the entire way there. After speaking with her at length about their adoption process and where he would be staying until then, I explained his super cool history of being the mascot at my school and spending his days motivating young children and lingering around classrooms during supervised reward time.
Lori was very comforting and gave me at least three hugs (I really needed them) during our visit. I have to believe that Bob is in good hands and that this is the best decision for James. As my child, his health DOES comes first, but it was just a sad, hard thing giving up Bob.
I will be in touch with Lori and she will keep me informed of when he is adopted.
After a tearful drive home, Will greeted me at the door with a big hug and my fav comfort food, chocolate milk. I didn't have an appetite, but the hug really helped. Afterwards, I went down for a nap.
The nap was greatly needed due to my morning. I ran 18 miles this morning with my faithful running partner/best friend Veronica. We are going strong with our marathon training. I am very thankful that my legs held up and there was no pain. Of course, by mile 15, I was fatigued and my legs were TIRED! But, no major pain. We continue to train using the Galloway Method and today, we ran 2/1's (run for 2 minutes, then walk for 1 minute, repeat!) I swear, I could not complete this high of mileage if I had to run it continuously! Anyway, it was a physically demanding and emotionally draining day, so I'm ending this post and going to bed!
I hope everyone else out there enjoys their Saturday night for me!
And, please pray that a good, deserving family comes to find Bob and gives him a "forever family."

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Allergy Update and Other Stuff

Sorry for this all-in-one blog post, but there just hasn't been the time lately....

Let's see, first the allergy update. The doctor called to review the test results from James' bloodwork. The only things he tested positive for was a mild allergy to peanuts and shellfish, a mild allergy to milk and a significant allergy to Cats and Dogs (his allergy to cats is much higher than to dogs)! The doctor suggested that I remove all dairy from his diet and switch to soy (those soy yogurts are expensive!) and that we might want to consider getting rid of the pets. After hanging up the phone in tears and calling my mom to discuss this latest tragedy (more tears), I knew that I had to tell Will. Getting rid of our cat, Bob, will be super hard to to, but if it means that James' gets better and stops having these symptoms (red, swollen eyes, runny nose, sneezing, etc) then I'm all for it. However, getting rid of "our girls" Misha and Abby, well, that's another story. After much debate and a long phone conversation with our groomer/dog guru /friend of the family, we decided that we just have too much invested (emotions, time, money) in our dogs to let them go. Luckily, our breed of dogs are low allergens and we keep them shaved, which cuts down on shedding. It's been two days of a dairy-free diet and keeping the cat outside and I've already noticed a difference in James. His eyes aren't red and puffy, no more sneezing and no more mystery rash on his torso area.

So, does anyone know where I can find a good home for a great cat?????

He is about 5 years old, neutered, never has had an accident outside of his litterbox, up to date on all shots/vaccines, loves children and dogs and is very affectionate. All around a very cool, well-behaved cat! He even comes with his own LitterMaid Deluxe litterbox (the bomb!) and a traveling carrier case.
On Tuesday, we enjoyed a wonderfully relaxing date night together! I'm lucky enough to belong to one of the best, most supportive new mom groups and I've met several great friends through it. One of moms is Rebecca. We came up with a baby-sitting swap deal where we take turns coming over to each other's house (after the babies are put to bed) and stay while the other gets a sitter-fee-free night out with her hubby! It's great, because all you have to do is show up and sit there, watch TV or get a couple of hours alone with a good book! It's a great system and we try to do it every other week. This week, Will and I splurged on a trip to the spa for massages. I indulged in the hot stone massage. Wow-za's! So wonderful and the heat brought a whole new element to the massage!
Afterwards, we went to Sakana's on Gandy for some sushi. All around a very relaxing evening with good conversation and yummy food. Great date night!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Weekend Highs and Lows

James came home from preschool on Friday with a low fever and a super runny nose. He was a little puny on Saturday, so we just stayed home all day and I got to wipe his nose about 1,000 times. Luckily, the fever went away late Saturday night and stayed away. By Sunday, he was feeling well enough for an afternoon trip to the park for some outdoor playtime. I love to see him conquering parts of the playground and he loves to watch the other kids play.

Completing a 12 mile run, all by myself. My running partner was at Disney with her man, supporting some other runners in the Disney 1/2 and full marathon. My only running companion was my trusty Ipod. Two songs that made me run faster and sums up my running experience were:
Going the Distance by Cake
Crazy by Gnarles Barkley

Will is taking an online course and basically worked in the computer room all weekend. Oh wait, he did finish late Sunday evening just in time for me to proof-read his research paper. Am I back in college, proofing papers for my boyfriend or what?!?

We have a date night planned for Tuesday and we are both pretty excited about it. Details will follow!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Happy 18 Months Old!!!

Our little sunshine is 18 months old today! I haven't been able to get him to sit still long enough for a decent "photo shoot", so here are a couple of "action shots" that I snapped throughout his day.
Here he is enjoying an apple and watching his fav show - Little Einsteins on the Disney Channnel.

James' goal in life is to "have a ball!" Here he is trying to lounge on top of one while I was "trying" to cook dinner. His three priorities in life are as follows,
Sleep. Play. Eat.
I can't argue with that (especially the sleep part!)

I think he is spending too much time playing with the dogs. He was bound and determined to pick up his pencil from the floor with his mouth. He loves to carry around pencils and pens and "write" on little notepads. I tried to get a picture of him laying on the floor and doing some note-taking, but the lighting didn't work out.

Hmmmm. decisions, decisions.....
At 18 months old, James has developed several personality traits. He can be a charmer or a devil. He mainly saves the worst behavior for me, so I guess that's kind of good. Certain tasks (diaper changes, sitting in the high-chair, holding my hand in a parking lot) are becoming more and more of a power struggle.
He frequently gives us hugs which we just adore. We are working on giving kisses with his mouth CLOSED! No wonder the kid is sick all the time!
Blueberries are his favorite fruit now. The only foods he will eat consistently are yogurts and oatmeal. Anything else (pasta, veggies, Morning Star nuggets, cheese, sandwhiches, etc) are hit or miss.
His vocabulary is increasing, but he would much rather point or grunt/scream/cry in order to get his way, rather than "using his words." I guess screaming like a wild banshee is his words! He can say "juice, shoes, truck, ball, up, NO" and he knows what several words mean. (outside, school, milk, cat, dog, etc)
His eating times and sleeping times are still on a schedule and he loves his schedule (a boy after my own heart!) Other than that, PLAY TIME is always on the schedule!

I want to give a shout-out to Dianne at Great Clips on Swann Avenue. I took James in for a much-needed haircut and she was fantastic! While we were waiting, she walked over and started talking to James. He held up his arms and immediately went straight to her (she was blond, smiling and that's about all it took!) She carried him over to her chair, sat down with him in her lap, handed him a little toy truck (bonus points already) and proceeded to cut his hair with him sitting in her lap. Every now and then, she would rotate him around and ask him to look in the mirroir or out the window, so she could reach all around his head. I was blown away at how well he handled himself and how well she handled him! I told her that she was keeper and expect to see us again! So, moms, if your active little one needs a haircut and you're in the Hyde Park area, stop by Great Clips and ask for Dianne!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Would you want to live here?

Check out the 2009 HGTV Dream Home! Not only is it a gorgeous home, but it's located in the heart of wine country, Sonoma Valley. Yes, I will be registering to win every day, once a day until the winner is announced in February. It's worth it, right?
Actually, I LOVE that area of California. Will and I spent our first anniversary/honeymoon in Napa Valley and fell in love with some of the vineyards and the landscape. We still have wine shipped to us from Mondavi every other month! Yes, it's THAT good! :)
In other news, I did complete all 16 miles of my long run this morning. It wasn't my best speed, but that's okay when you are going long. I'm just glad I completed it, since I'm getting sick, again! It started yesterday with lots of sneezing, runny nose, sore throat, stuffy head and lots of congestion. After a big pasta dinner, I took some Nyquil, fell asleep halfway through our blockbuster movie (sorry, hon) and went to bed shortly thereafter. I was up at 5 am and running by 6:15.
Lessons learned:
#1-You CAN run with a head cold, but it does suck. Just bring lots of tissues.
#2-Toe socks rule! Over three hours of running and not one blister!
#3- It feels absolutely wonderful to run on asphalt after miles and miles of running on a cement sidewalk. Yes, your legs feel a difference. I never in my life thought I would utter the words: "Man, this asphalt feels great!" and mean it.

Allergy Update:
I kept James' appointment to have his blood drawn for allergy testing on Friday morning. His skin keeps breaking out (contact dermatitis stuff, no biggie) and we just want to know what to look out for/keep him away from. After waiting for about 10 minutes, the nurse called us back into the room. When I hopefully asked her if it was going to be just a finger prick, she said no and that I needed to relax and be calm so as not to upset James. I quickly pulled myself together and just thought of those super brave moms (you know who you are, Ladyblog) who go through much worse with their babies than having blood drawn.
I held James in my lap and restrained his legs and one arm while she taped off the other. Then, I had to hold down his extended arm while she put in the needle. Needless to say, he didn't like being restrained or the sting of the needle, but I held him close and kept talking in his ear. Of course, he cried and whimpered a little bit, but nothing like I was expecting. That scene came later!
So, we were in and out of the office in about 15 minutes. No harm, no foul and I was THANKFUL! The rest should have been a cakewalk, right? Well, not with my son. He refused to sit down in his car seat. When I tried to forcefully seat him in the car seat, he was like a screaming banshee/bucking bronco all rolled into one! People were walking by actually laughing ( in pity) at me because he was making such a huge scene! After a few minutes of talking to him, trying to coax him into sitting down, trying to offer snacks/juice/toys/etc, I called Will and asked him to talk to James over the phone. That worked for a little bit, but then James realized what I was up to and threw the phone, of course! After promising a trip to the playground and then explaining that we had to go "bye-bye" in order to get to the playground, James finally caved in and let me buckle him into the car seat. Streams of sweat were pouring off of me at this point, but, what the hay, we survived the blood work and that was my only prayer for the day. Maybe I should expand my prayer spectrum.