Monday, April 27, 2009

First Day of Swimming Lessons

So, today was our first day of swimming lessons. James had no clue, but I have been anticipating this event for several days now. We arrive at the dive shop where the pool is located and meet the instructor in the parking lot. She is a bubbly, cute woman and James immediately smiled and waved at her. She asked him for a high-five and then he proceeded to give her "knuckles". Yes, our boy is that cool. The instructor then commented that that would probably be the last time he would be so friendly with her. I started to worry then.

I had heard that many children cry throughout the lesson and even the Parent Resource Guide that I received in the mail prepared me for the level of anxiety that accompanies most of the swim lessons.

Since each lesson is only 10 minutes long (albeit the LONGEST ten minutes ever), I thought that maybe the first day would be an easy one. Not so much......

James went right to the instructor in the water, then the work began. Today, they worked on finding the side of the pool (a brightly colored pole easily accessible for small children). The side of the pool means AIR and an exit point, so this is an important lesson. James went under several times, but he always came up grabbing for the pole and was kicking/reaching/swimming towards it. As much as I prepared myself, it was very hard to see him struggling and crying and going under (all under the watchful supervision of the instructor, but still.)

She was commenting on his performance, checking his vitals (temperature, bloating, burping, fatigue, etc) and giving him swim cues all at the same time. She noted how active he was and how his energy level was very high (tell me something I don't know!). He used good swimming form and immediately rolled onto his back for a floating position. Although I was on pins and needles, she said he had an excellent first lesson. After his ten minute lesson, he was completely exhausted. I let him lay by the side of the pool for about 15 minutes. He needed it to catch his breath and just regroup. Poor thing.

During James' lesson (see, I told you it was a long ten minutes!) I met another mom whose little girl was in a lesson after James. Her little girl was one month younger than James. The mom explained that three weeks ago, the little girl had fallen into their pool. When she found her, she was blue and non responsive. The mom commented that she's just lucky she knew CPR.

My eyes welled up with tears and all I could think of was the importance of these swim lessons.

I shared this story not to scare you, but just as a precaution because children do die of drowning every day. And it is something 100% preventable.

Sorry for the buzz kill.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Water Boy

No, not the slow-minded Adam Sandler version, but my very own "water boy" nonetheless.
It seems that James is OBSESSED with playing in the water lately, more specifically, our pool.
Every afternoon, when we come home from preschool, he runs to back door yelling, "Water, water, water!" This only means one thing, "I want to go swimming!"
Once we are all changed and into our suits, it's outside play by the pool until dinnertime.
He loves hanging out on the steps, jumping into the water from the sides and putting things into the filter. Oh, the fabulous filter! He LOVES watching toys drift (get sucked) into the filter, then he'll pull the lid off and retrieve the object, only to repeat the whole scenario again and again. He likes me to be in the water with him, but he doesn't want me to hold him. He thinks he can just "go" and swim on his own. Not so much....
After researching a couple of different swim schools in our area, I decided to enroll James in swim lessons with Infant Swimming Resource. They have an excellent drowning prevention rate and I really agree with their whole swim philosophy with children.
James will go to swim class every day for 10 minutes. It will be just him and the instructor in the water. By the end of 4-6 weeks of instruction, he will be able to hold his breath underwater, open his eyes underwater, swim in a forward motion and float on his back to catch his breath.
It really is amazing what these little water babies can do! Once you click on their site, there is a very compelling video of a child falling into the pool with full clothes on (as this is the most common scenario when pool accidents occur)
I was taught to swim at a very young age and loved swimming in our pool as a child. With us living in Florida and having a pool only 10 feet from our back door, I see it as a necessity for James.
I am so excited about his lessons and can't wait for him to be a little swimmer!

After Twilight

Last night, after watching the movie Twilight, Will and I had the following conversation.

Will: So, what happens next? How does it end?

Me: I don't know. I've only read the first two books and I have the other two waiting for me on my nightstand.

Will: What happens to Bella in the second book?

Me: Well, Edward abandons her, but it's for her own good. She becomes good friends with Jacob and goes on this thrill-seeking mission. Then, Jacob becomes a werewolf and that's not good for Edward.

Will: But, Edward's family are the good ones. They don't kill humans.

Me: It doesn't matter, enemies are enemies. You spend most of book two mad at Edward because he isn't there with Bella, but then he comes back and everything is better. Oh, Bella still wants to become a vampire really badly, but Edward won't let her.

Will: What then? That's it? Go get reading!

End of conversation.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Weekend Highs and Lows

High: Friday night, Will put James to bed early and we grilled out. Thanks to my friend Amy, I have a new recipe for grilled shrimp that is just de-lish! It was nice to sit by our pool and wind down our week together.
Low: I didn't get up super early on Saturday (like normal) and get in a long run with the Brandon Runners. However, I did make it to the gym to get a couple of quick miles in before my BodyPump class. As long as my legs were sore afterwards, I count it a good workout!

High: On Saturday evening, some girlfriends and I headed out for a Girls Night at 717 South(one of my favorite, trendy places to eat in SoHo.) The atmosphere is super cool and the food is wonderful!
Low: Ummm...... can't think of one..

High: On Sunday, I scored free tickets to the Performing Arts Center to see Faust. A couple of girlfriends wanted to join me, so it was another "ladies day out" event. Of course, we had to meet for lunch before the show, so that was even more good yumminess! After some good food and great conversation, we headed over the theater and found our seats. I immediately became lost in the music and was in awe of the performers. I think everyone truly enjoyed themselves!
Low: Ummm..... can't think of one....

High: Saturday afternoon, I took James out to the beach so Will could get some quiet time for studying. The late afternoon sun was bright, but not sweltering and the sand was soft! James had a great time jumping in the small waves and driving his truck all up and down the beach. It was such a nice, relaxing way to spend the afternoon and the drive wasn't bad at all (about 6 minutes) We went to the beach on base instead of driving over to St. Pete.
Low: Not having Will there to enjoy the sunshine with us.

James heading out to sea

r> Off-roadin'

Evidence of Me at the Beach

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

James' First Easter Hunt

On Saturday, we were invited to a large egg hunt hosted by some members of the local Presbyterian church. This was their 10th annual hunt and they knew what they were doing! There was tons of food being prepared (burgers and hotdogs) and there were three different hunting locations to accommodate the various ages of children there. After the hunt, the Easter story was explained to all of the children. James lasted for about 2.5 minutes during the story, but we'll work on that!
Considering it was his first egg hunt, he did fantastic! We just showed him what to look for and where to put his eggs. He handled the rest! It was so cute watching him hunt and look around for the eggs! Even after the hunt was over, he was still on the lookout!
It was such a nice day and a nice event, but also bittersweet. The more holidays that pass by, the more I miss having our family around to share these memories with. Of course, taking tons of pictures and posting them here does help a little, but it doesn't compare to the real thing. For years, I was totally content it being "just the two of us" but then James came along and now, all of a sudden, I want my family and Will's family closer to us. Am I crazy or what?
Anyway, enjoy the rest of the pics!

I can't look at the camera mom! Too busy looking for eggs!

If I pose real quick, will you let me focus????

Daddy and James counting his eggs!

Which came first? The chicken or the egg?

James loves having his friend John around. He actually grabbed John's hand! So sweet! Either that, or he wanted to get closer to his basket!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Happy 21 Months Old!

Yesterday, James turned the ripe old age of 21 months. I really can't believe he's almost two already! Where has this year gone?
Anyway, we celebrated the day by going for an early workout at the gym, meeting with some friends for a playdate, followed by a brief naptime, then outside for some R & R by the pool. Sadly, R & R does not exist when you are 21 months old, so I got to "swim" him around the pool and catch him over and over and over as he jumped off the side. Yes, I am researching swim instructors as I type.
There are just a few updates this month.....
James has been ruined by the Publix bakery. In an effort to appease him during one shopping trip, I took him to get a free cookie from the bakery. Well, now, EVERY time we go into the store, guess what he's demanding? Yep, a cookie. I also made the mistake of putting him into the cool car grocery cart with the steering wheel, once.
Now, even when I only need to run in and grab two items, guess which cart I have to put him in. Nice.
His vocabulary is slowly increasing. He can now say- Milk, Cookie (thanks Publix!), Cracker, Outside, Abby (all dogs are Abby), Truck, Ball, Einstein (or, a version of it, for his fav cartoon), and maybe some others, but I can't remember at this point. Whenever I prompt him to say something, he just points at me and shakes his head Yes, as if to say, "Yes, what you said mommy!" Why does he need to talk when I do all the talking for him? Right?
His favorite expression is still, "oh coooooolll!"
Here are some recent pics that I was able to snap recently-

Are we there yet?

shootin' some hoops with mom!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

It's Official...

Yep, I have officially registered for the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C.
The race (26.2 miles) isn't until late October and I don't have to start training until May, but I am SO excited about this new venture! I was really disappointed when I was unable to run the Gasparilla marathon due to IT band issues in both knees. I'm proud to say that the injury is completely healed now (it just needed time). I learned a humbling and valuable lesson about cross-training and not being a weekend-warrior (someone who doesn't run much during the week and then runs LONG on the weekend.) However, it will be challenging to fit a full-time teaching job (not just a day job!), being mommy to the best little sunshine around and finding time to train. But, I know it can be done.
One thing about me- I LOVE setting goals and new challenges. I truly am not happy unless I'm working towards some long-term goal. And, working towards a goal that makes me feel strong, healthy and lookin' okay in a bikini isn't too bad!
I am fortunate enough to have found great friends who also are great athletes/runners who keep me motivated and inspired to achieve these goals. My goals would truly not be attainable without them.
So, it would only seem fitting that I want to share my experiences with others. This is where my friend, Stacy, comes in.
Stacy and I "met" in the world of mom-bloggers. I came across her mom-blog and immediately became drawn to her Working Mom blog. Then, I realized that we actually went to the same college and graduated the same year! It wasn't until 10 years later, marriage and kids that we really connected and found that we share the same passions- running/healthy living/personal fitness. Anyway, I shared my enthusiasm for marathons with her and now THIS has happened! I can't wait to finally meet her in October!
I love being a good influence on people (although it may seem crazy to most of the world's population, ie my Mother!)