Monday, March 30, 2009

Time Off

Due to federal budget cuts, I was forced (along with the other tutors at my school) to take 4 weeks of non-paid vacation because there was not enough money in the budget to keep paying us. Yeah.
So, with all this extra time on my hands lately, I've managed to get a few things done.
So far, I've-

-interviewed with the new principal at my old school, Rampello Downtown Partnership. She offered me my dream teaching position for next school year (3rd grade, Reading) and I graciously accepted. So, next year, it will be back to the full-time workforce for me!
-decided to run the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, DC next October. My training will begin again in about a month. I've already purchased my plane ticket and set up accommodations for the trip.
-cleaned out three cabinets in my kitchen to make room for counter top stuff.
-making plans to clean out the cabinet under the kitchen sink (not looking forward to that one!)
-had a yard sale and sold a couple of items on Craigslist.
-attended a wine tasting at the local ABC store and had a blast.
-countless number of trips to the gym/park/playground/aquarium.
-bought a Sony HD flat-panel 48-inch TV for my birthday. Then, I got to buy the new tv stand and the Tivo HD to go with it.
- had a weekend get-away at the Tradewinds Beach Resort with my hubby for my birthday.
- finalized plans for a weekend camping trip to Ginnie Springs in May.

That's all I can remember off the top of my head, but the last two weeks have flown by. I wonder what else I'll get done during the next two weeks??????
Here is James on Sunday at the park.
Taking off and being the little climber that he is!
Ah, my peoples, you have come for me!
All of that running and climbing sure does work up an appetite!
How could you not love that face?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Latest....

So, it seems that my little sunshine comes up with something new each week to entertain/amaze/exasperate me. Here's the latest....

Yesterday, as we were leaving for school/work, James really, really, really wanted my Kakui (sp?) Nut necklace that Wana brought me from Hawaii. Well, the one I had on matched my outfit and really pulled it together, so he wasn't getting that one. But, I also have another, shorter Kakui Nut necklace. So, in a effort to coax James into the car so we could get out of the house in a somewhat timely fashion, I grabbed the extra necklace and put it around his neck. He was SO THRILLED! He was still wearing it when we got to school, so I just went with it (he was wearing a hawaiian-looking shirt, so it totally matched the outfit!) When I picked him up from preschool, his teachers said that he proudly wore his necklace the entire day! They had to take it off during naptime, but he wanted it right back when he saw it later that day.
Too cute.
And today, I kept him home from preschool due to some pretty bad allergy symptoms (the pollen count here in FL is RIDICULOUS!) He eyed some old Gasparilla beads on our bookshelf and once again, demanded his necklace.

What? You lookin' at me?

Don't you know that real men wear beads with their big bellies?

Monday, March 16, 2009

Weekend Highs and Lows

High: On Friday, we got a visit from Will's sister, Samantha. She was on spring break and decided to spend the week in Florida with her boyfriend's family. They stopped by our house on their way back up to Ohio (burrrr.) She attends college at Bolling Green and has finally settled on a major, we think. It was a special visit because she finally got to meet James! And, we haven't seen Samantha in a couple of years, so it was nice to spend some quality time with her and catch up. Friday night, we had some friends/neighbors over for a cookout/Welcome Samantha/Happy Birthday Dad dinner! It was a hectic/full house (hence, no pictures) but everyone had a great time!

Low: On Saturday, dad flew back to North Carolina. His two weeks here just flew by and we would have loved for him to stay longer. But, he was needed back home, so it was time to go. I know James is going to miss having his grandpa around. Hopefully he will plan another visit soon!

High: Also on Saturday, we got a phone call from Will's boss (Colonel B.) informing us that we needed to celebrate because Will got a promotion! As of now, all we know is that Will gets a new title and there is reason to celebrate, but we aren't too sure of much more. Hopefully, more money will soon follow! Either way, I'm just so darn thankful for the jobs (Will with the government and me with the school district) that we both have. Our jobs have never been ones that earned the "big bucks", but they are secure and stable. Right now, in this new economy, that's PRICELESS.

Low: Sadly, we did not win the HGTV's Dream Home Giveaway. To add insult to injury, the winner was chosen from Lakeland, Florida (not too far from Tampa.)

Silver lining: We probably wouldn't have been able to afford the property taxes. Although, as Will pointed out, it would have been fun to try!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Happy (belated) 20 Month Birthday!!!

At 20 months of age, our little sunshine is all playful and all boy! His vocabulary is slowing increasing every day and his echoing of our words is getting more and more clear. He still would rather point and cry or fuss to get what he wants, but we are still encouraging him to "use your words." He has had a really tough time with teething lately. (still) But, I think the molars have finally all broken through.

His favorite place to play is outside. But, he has found his new/latest love-

Thomas the Train.

Actually, any train will do. I made the mistake of buying the motorized ones for his first set. Let's just say that we are keeping Duracell well financed due to their C batteries.

His favorite meal of the day is breakfast (loves his old-fashioned oatmeal). But, he is a hearty eater during the other meals, too.
He is very familiar with the Time Out Spot. Some days, too familiar.
Our bedtime routine now involves the reading of 4-5 specific books-
Five Little Monkeys
On the Day you were Born
Does a Kangaroo have a Mother, too?
Good Night Moon
Guess How Much I love You

He is such a sweet, fun, curious, independent little person. I love watching him learn something new or adapting to the challenges around him. Although, his independent spirit has led to quite a few power struggles with me. Sadly, he wins most of them. But, I choose to pick my battles.

My friend Amy and I took our kids to the Aquarium for some outdoor/water play the other day. Here are the pics:

Fun with Grandpa

We all have enjoyed my dad's visit (we always do). But it has been an extra special visit because James has finally gotten to know and understand who "grandpa" is.
From the very beginning, he went straight to him and loves following him around the house. He always remembers to give his grandpa a good-bye kiss when we leave for school each morning.
He loves having grandpa read books to him.

He loves helping grandpa work on his computer.

And he loves doing the stretching exercises and practicing Tai Chi with his grandpa.

I love the fact that they are becoming best buddies, but it only makes it more sad that dad lives so far away.

Sniff. Sniff.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

76 Years in the Making....

My dad is in town visiting for a couple of weeks. For his birthday, we decided it would be lots of fun to snorkel with the manatees in Crystal River. The water is a constant 72 degrees (burrr!) but the adventure was worth it!
We came up on a calf (baby manatee) and she wanted to play, play, play! She loved the attention from everyone and was NOT camera shy. I used our new underwater housing unit and my own Stylus 770 digital camera to capture all of these photos. I titled this post "76 Years in the Making" because this was the first time my dad has ever put on a wetsuit. After all of his years swimming and surfing in the ocean, he's never worn one. So, today was a day of firsts! Dad felt right at home in the water and absolutely LOVED swimming with the manatee. You'll see him in several photos "posing" with the baby.


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