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!

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow:
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
Make a Smilebox slideshow

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


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!