Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Fall Photo Shoot!!!

Once again, we had the privilege of being photographed by my talented friend, Susan Gentile. Her work is amazing and she does such a great job of capturing those candid moments between mom, dad and baby! I hope you enjoy the pics! You can check out more of her work by clicking on the link to the right!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Halloween Parade!

So, one of the things I love about James' school being so close to mine is that I can sneak out during school hours (thanks to having a great team!) to attend special school events, such as the annual Carlton Academy Halloween Parade!
When I showed up, I found my little Batman showing off his muscles while doing some calisthenics. Just don't call him "The Situation!"

Of course, we HAD to get a picture taken with Mrs. Batman! Actually, Ms. Jihann was his first teacher at Carlton and I absolutely LOVE her! Apparently, so does James. Err.. ummm... is it just me, or does anyone else see him totally trying to grope Mrs. Batman???? Oh dear!
Here he is.. Waving to all of his adoring fans... Me! It was such a fun morning and I loved being able to do the "mommy thing" for once in a while during the school day! Such a treat!
Apparently, my son has a way with the ladies. He was surrounded all morning by fairies and princesses. Lucky guy!

An Apple a Day....

....keeps mommy sane!
Okay, so I don't have many mommy-tricks-of-the-trade, but I have come across ONE that WORKS! Well, it works for my son, some of the time, so that makes it PRICELESS!
Basically, it (like all great inventions of our time) came out of pure necessity. You see, we have a bit of a commute from James' preschool to our home. It's about 30 minutes door to door. And, let's just say that after a day of playing hard in preschool, James is bit famished on the way home.
Usually, he screams, begs, whines, demands for a cheeseburger or a stop by the "cheeseburger store." (Healthy moms, please don't judge me.) In my efforts to curb those fast food cravings, I started packing healthy, high-interest snacks for the ride home. Not everything was a hit, but I have come across one cheap, easy-to-prepare, high-on-the-hit-list item..... APPLES!
Yep, you heard me. Apples. Not cut up, sliced and diced, but whole apples. Yes, I have to "open" the apple for James by taking a bite or two from the middle. But, then I pass it along and he does the rest.
Now, instead of a car ride home listening to screaming demands for cheeseburgers and chocolate milk, all I hear is "crunch, crunch, crunch" .... "munch, munch, munch." James loves manipulating the apple and trying to get the biggest bite after bite. He will literally eat one down to the core and seeds.
Yes, my friends, not only are apples handy for long car rides, but they are great snack/time savers while you are shopping or running errands. I carry an apple a day in my purse for those last minute errands too close to dinner time. Maybe you will think of doing the same.
So Moms.... what are your "go to" snack saves????

The Glazer Children's Museum

(Note: This blog was almost titled "To Hell and Back...."
But, I digress....

This place is amazing! Their slogan is "It will grow your mind!" It features so many "Hands On/Please Touch Me" rooms that we lost count! The best news is that the first Tuesday of every month from 4-8 pm is FREE to Everyone! That sounds great, right? Amazing, right? Especially since it is located mere blocks from my school. So, a couple of Tuesdays ago ( I've tried to erase the exact date from memory), a coworker and I took our sons to the museum for everybody-gets-in-free-Tuesday!

James loved playing and splashing in the water/beach exhibit!
All of the rooms were high-interest, child-friendly exhibits and James literally ran with glee from room to room! He was in awe of all of the people and things to explore! I loved seeing him having fun and exploring the world around him! If I only knew that it would soon, bite me in the arse!

This "room" was a three-story, multi-level contraption of nets and platforms that represented the water cycle. It was HUGE! James was pretty intimidated at first and it took him a good five minutes to get used to going from platform to platform. After he gained confidence (didn't take long for my little daredevil), he explored from the bottom to the very top of the water cycle. I took pictures of him waaayyyy up at the top, but he was so far away and the lighting quality wasn't great, so those pics were not post-worthy. Sorry!

Another thing he loved was the rock wall. He mad it all the way up to the top!

Other favorite "rooms" were the Fire Station, complete with a simulator fire truck, a two-story fire house and a pole to slide down on ! As nerve-wracking as it was to chase him around a huge facility PACKED with hundreds upon hundreds of people, it was no comparison to the fun we had leaving.
Yes, two hours of fun at the museum was enough for mommy. But, clearly, it was not enough fun for James. I tried every "trick of the trade." I gave him the five minute warning. Then, a two minute warning. Then, a one minute warning. Then, I caved and gave him ten extra minutes. I would go one way, he would run to the other. I would block one pathway, he would dash to another. He ran through the maze of strollers, laughing because he knew I couldn't reach him. Then, he took off up the stairs and I had to literally plow OVER people to reach him and drag him back down the stairs. He tried an exit door. Then he tried another play room. My son is fast, if not determined. And, he was determined to stay in that museum all night long!
Finally, I was sweating, embarrased and exhausted. But, I picked James up with both hands and tried walking out. At this point, he knew he was fighting a loosing battle, but he was determined to win the war. He bucked his head. Kicked and screamed. Reared his head back some more. We finally made it out of the building, walking past the hundreds of families still in line waiting to get into "Free Family Fun Night" and I am carrying out a screaming, head-bucking banshee. Not only was he screaming and I was dripping with sweat, but as a last resort, he BIT ME on the shoulder. Never before has he bit another child, much less ME!
He was super over-stimulated and just could not calm himself down. It was a tantrum to beat all other tantrums. After five minutes of screaming in the car, he literally took a deep breath in and said, "Okay Mommy. I stop crying! I feel all better now!"
Wow. Just like that, I had my son back.
So moms, what was your worst, over-stimulated, tantrum-inducing experience?
No really, please share and let me know that I'm not the only one!
Please... please!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

New Bloggin' Buddy!!!

A good friend of mine (self-described Air Force wife, homeschooling mother of 5 and runner) has FINALLY joined the World Wide World of Blogging! Does that make sense? Not really, but my post school-day, pre-grad class brain is fried right now, so bear with me!
Anyway, she has decided to share her trials and tribulations of barefoot running with the rest of us! She is such a strong person who is DETERMINED to find a way to pursue her passion for running. After being plagued with injury after letdown after injury, she traded in her running shoes for the freedom of bare feet. Every time I hear about one of her runs, I literally dream of running down the streets of my own neighborhood with no shoes on! Maybe you will be inspired too! And now, without further ado.... MamaRunsBarefoot!