Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Boy Just Wants to Dance!

So, I picked James up from school yesterday and noticed his "new do!" His teachers said that James wanted something done with his hair because all of the girls were getting their hair put in pony tails before going outside. Since he can't get a pony tail, (thank goodness!) he settled for the fashionable mohawk! Luckily, it wore off a bit before daddy got home!

Now, onto the dancing! Seeing as Will's mom is a former ballroom-dance instructor and Will was invited to (dragged to) several ballroom dancing competitions as a young child, I am hoping that James gets some of his daddy's moves! He already has a love of music, so now we just need to develop the movement/dance ability!
On Tuesday, James attended his first "dance class" provided at his preschool. After school, we went to the gym and he talked about dance class the entire drive there. It went something like this:
James: "Mommy, I pushed."
Me: "What? You pushed a friend at dance class. That's not nice, James. If you push your friends, you won't be able to go to dance class."
James: "Okay mommy. James no push friend."
Me: "Did you push because you were angry or because you were excited?"
James: "I was EXCITED!"
Me: "James, I understand that you were excited and having fun. But, you still cannot push your friends. Okay?"
James: "Okay mommy!"

Once inside the elevator, he happily showed me his "moves" that he learned in class. Then, when we got home, he asked me to put on music so we could dance. In case you weren't aware, "dancing" to a three year old mostly consists of leg-lifts, bouncing up and down and holding hands and walking in a circle (ring-around-the-rosie style.)
Of course, when daddy got home, James had to show him his dance moves and dance with daddy. I tried to snap some pictures of this, but they were all blurry and the dance session ended as soon as James spied me with the camera. Oh well!
Hopefully next week's dance class will spark some more moves!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Weekend Assignment

Okay, so I totally stole this title from my friend's blog (please don't sue me!), but I like it and it fits! And, my brain is totally removed from all creative thoughts after a full week of academic reading and writing. So, there you go....
Let's do a quick recap of this week, the teaching school year ended for me last Friday. The "student" portion of my school year began on Monday with my 8-5:00 Monday thru Friday graduate class at the University of Tampa. Woo Hoo! Bring on the fun research-based readings and lengthy papers and group projects! Do I know how to ring in the summer or WHAT?
Okay, before you get beside yourself with jealousy, let me bring us back to my Weekend Assignment (hence the plagiarized title of this post.) I have been chosen to present a right-brain based lesson to an audience of teachers and administrators at Eckerd College. Yes, folks, I will be presenting at my first ever teaching conference. Luckily, I'm co-presenting with another teacher from my school (safety in numbers, right?)
And then, Monday brings a whole new round of week-long coursework. Good times, good times.
On the James' front, he is absolutely LOVING his new school- Carlton Academy Day School. He loves his new friends and his teachers (I hear about them all the time!) When I walk down the halls with him, all these other teachers (whom I don't know) all wave and say "Hey James!" like they've known him for years. Yep, my boy gets around! Yesterday when I picked him up after a long day, his teacher was sharing a story (Pirate Pete) with the class. Instead of her reading it to them, she was playing a tape recording of the story. James put a death grip on my pinkie finger and instructed me to "sit down and listen" to the rest of the story. There were three other parents who walked in after me and were also sequestered until the end of the story.
Apparently, these kids take reading seriously (and they just LOVE Pirate Pete!)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Summer Birthday Bash

After I gave birth, I had the wonderful luck of joining a fantastic new mom's support group! Oh, how I looked forward to those weekly meetings for the socializing and how I truly NEEDED those weekly meetings for the advice and support that only a new mom can get from another new mom. But, I digress...
Fast-forward three years and here we all are! Who knew that we would ever survive those early years, much less have beautiful, active healthy children who survived?
Since our children were mostly born around June and July (two of the hottest months in Florida) and since we have had two full years of traipsing from one party to the next all summer long, we decided to get smart and have one big birthday bash for all the kids in our new mom's group. And, we decided to get extra smart by having it INDOORS in the air-conditioning.
Operation Summer Birthday Bash occurred at the south Tampa Gymboree on Sunday and it was a smashing success! Well, if you call 20 three year-olds running, jumping, rolling, falling, climbing, mosh-pitting, screaming, giggling, laughing and just having a grand ole' time.... then, yes, it was a huge success!
Here are some moments I managed to capture with my camera...

In this photo, the kids got to "hide" under the parachute and at the count of "five", they all came running out from under it. Oh my! This was so much fun, we had to re-enact it several times. James was always one of the first jetting out from under the parachute and he completed his exit with a throw-myself-on-the-nearest-mat-roll-around-stuntman-style-exit every time.

James getting into a tickle contest with daddy.

James started the mosh-pit with two of his roughest friends. It's a good thing these boys are sturdy! James was running and body-slamming up against them and they were loving it! When people say that boys are rough, please believe them!

One quick pose with mommy in the midst of all the tumbling and playing! Big smiles all around!
oh, I have to note that when James first saw my shirt, his immediate response was: "Mommy's got train tracks!" Does this boy ever think of anything else besides trains????
On a side note, his actual birthday isn't until July 9th. We are thinking of keeping things low-key (ie, cheap) and taking James on a trolley ride. A trolley ride to the ice cream shop and back should make for a pretty nice birthday celebration, right? He sees the bright yellow train (trolley) every day as we drive through downtown. It's only about $3 a ride and I'm thinking he will really enjoy it!
Any other cheap ideas for a three year olds birthday party?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


May was...
  • a wonderful visit to Key Largo with good friends and my wonderful hubby!
  • My first dive trip of the season in ideal diving conditions on two deep wrecks off the coast of Key Largo
  • an extra long visit from my mom and my uncle Joe
  • extra doses of grandma's kisses and hugs for James!
  • a heartbroken mommy when we had to take grandma to the airport and James started bawling his eyes out because he wasn't getting on the airplane with grandma
  • our 5th year wedding anniversary
  • fun weekend visits with good friends
  • lots of trips to the clubhouse pool and slides down the "big" slide
  • putting daddy on a flight to Ohio to stay with grandma while she recovered from surgery to remove her lung cancer
  • putting James in a new preschool that's conveniently located to mommy's school and the University of Tampa (mommy's grad school for the summer)
  • being so proud of James for acclimating so easily into his new school and fitting right in after the first day like he's been there for years
  • still missing daddy because his week-long trip got extended another week
  • the end of the school year (with all it's craziness, report cards, portfolios, etc)
  • gone too quickly.....

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Operation Potty: Bust!

Okay, so this past weekend was try # 2 for Potty Training with James. WShen my mom was here, he showed all the signs of being ready. Finally, I had a nice three day weekend with no plans or distractions, so I decided to "take the plunge."

Saturday morning went very well. James wore his "big boy undies" all morning and went to the potty when prompted. Then, before naptime, I put on a diaper so he doesn't wet the bed during his sleep. He took his usual 2 1/2 hour nap and when we awoke...

he REFUSED to put his undies back on. Flat out refused. He would not go try to use the potty (even when reminded about gummy treats and cookies!) and DEMANDED that I put a diaper back on him. And honestly, I just didn't have the "fight" in me to force the issue.

Skip forward to this week....
I took James to his new preschool (just for the summer, for convenience reasons) and he has pee'd on the potty several times every day since then. I'm convinced that PEER PRESSURE will potty train this boy, because it sure doesn't seem to be mommy!