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 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!!!

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!