my future's so bright...

i've got to wear shades...

well folks the first week of big boy day care was a success.  next up - OSU!  no, no i can't even think like that.  i don't want my baby to get any older.  he's so smart and learns something every single day. while i love watching him grow, i want him to stop growing and stay my baby.  i could bottle him up right now.  he's so loving and happy.  regardless, i was excited for him to make the switch from the infant wing to his new class.  his three home boys are in the same class: stephan, jeremiah, and emmanuel.  the four of them made up the brat pack - a.k.a. the lamb class.  now he has nine other "friends" to play with and even little girls!  i really think this will help james to develop his motor and communication skills.

i also hope that james enjoys all his new "friends".  we thought that james was always so happy.  we'd call him mr. president because everyone at daycare knows who he is and he shoot them his pearly whites when we leave.  until one day his report said something like - james does not like it when his friends get too close to him.  what?  seriously?  we've got the mean, bully baby??  our sweet baby james?  no way.  then we started getting updates as to his play habits.  finally we got some good news.  the note on his daily report  said - james played well with his friends today.  and had a big smiley face.  i suppose that is a good thing.  it is just hard for me to imagine him not liking anyone.  it is just so bizarre.  mr. h swears he was getting sick and that's why.  i'm not really sure i believe that excuse but i'm just glad that phase is over.  mr. president is back.  running for office in 2036. 


first family bike ride {officially}

warning!  if you like to enjoy beautiful weather and have a perfect family evening, this post will make you jealous.  in fact, i wish i could re-live this night because i'm jealous just writing this post.

after our first bike attempt, mr. h went the following day at lunch to get his bike tire repaired.  he informed me that we would, no matter what, be going on a ride that night.  it was super hot but he didn't care so that left me two choices: 1.) go along and sweat and get to see my baby's first bike ride or 2.) enjoy the air conditioned house and time alone.  what do you think i chose??  the first option, of course!  did you really think that i was going to let mr. h take my baby james on a bike ride without my supervision?!!  if they were going, i was going.  period.

doesn't he look happy? 

from the house we rode our bikes down to the splash park/playground area.  i chose to ride behind mr. h so that i could shield the baby from the hardcore road bikers that think they own the riverside trail and threaten to run anyone down who may get in their way.  so, i saw james' head bobbing away and realized that if he looked straight forward, he would be staring directly at mr. h's plumbers crack - if he had one.  i made the mistake of saying this out loud and making the hubs paranoid but no, there wasn't any exposed crack on this trip.  once we got to the park we let james out to play until  i  he got too hot.

after play time, it's time to saddle up.  james really doesn't like his helmet but he doesn't complain about it once the ride starts.  until then, he'll try about anything to get his helmet off.  i keep thinking that we're going to be cruising down the trail and james is going to throw his helmet and i'll have to yell "four!" in hopes that it doesn't hit anyone. 

the park/splash pad is about a mile from our house.  it isn't a long ride but it is apparently exhausting.

mr. h says he gets embarrassed when driving around a sleeping baby.  i think it's cute.  we're becoming professionals - all except we haven't made the switch to tight spandex.


new school.

while pregnant the to-do list kept growing and growing until finally james arrived and i didn't even notice when had and hadn't been done.  BUT one of the important "checks" to mark off the list was find the perfect daycare to watch my sweet bundle of joy.  i never realized how stressful this decision would prove to be.  after several phone calls, checking the ol' bank account and tours, we decided on victory kidz care.  we walked in and instantly knew.  we got a good vibe - one of those that you just can't ignore.  it was nice.  and new.  and clean.  and friendly.  the list could go on and on.  we were sold.  hook, line and sinker.

then, we heard that we chose a popular place and that there was limited space.  oh great!  just my luck.  please keep in mind at this point i was not even 6 months pregnant but we had to put our name on an early waiting list. this list was only to receive information, before the open public, as to when the specific enrollment dates would be announced and when sign up days were scheduled.  here's the catch - they only allowed 4 babies per room in the infant wing.  sounds big enough but staff and church members get first dibs and then this "list" of people and so on.  regardless, i was stressed.  so, the day of sign ups mr. h woke up at the crack of dawn.  literally.  got ready for work and then went to sign up at 6 am.  armed with all enrollment papers and required documents in hand, james made the cut.  yessss! 

yesterday by big boy transferred from the infant wing to the creation wing.  this is the wing that sold us.
see that door?  that is baby big boy james' new classroom.
see this hallway?  this leads to the carousel room.  read it again - the carousel room.  i have been informed that james already loves this room.  obviously.  who wouldn't?  and that tank right there.  that is where the above frog lives.  apparently there are several frogs but some escaped.  this would freak me out if i were there but no one seemed to mind so i wasn't going to make a stink about it.

these are the infamous buggies.  james loves buggy rides.  they had these same buggies over in the infant wing.  sometimes when i would pick james up i could tell he didn't want to get off the buggy.  ha!

overall, mr. h and i feel very safe and secure leaving james here.  not just because you have to have a key combination to open the locked doors but because we know that the teachers genuinely care for their students.  his teachers even cried when he changed rooms.  there is also an upstairs, where the 4 to 6 year old daycare classes are and the lunch room, and it looks like the ocean with blue walls, more fish tanks and polar bear accents.  this place just brightens my day.  i am almost jealous that mr. h gets to be greeted by this decor every morning.  it just puts a smile on your face.  i would love to come to work if my floor were decorated in such a neat atmosphere. and a daily two hour nap time wouldn't be so bad either.


first bike ride {sort of}

a few days this week were actually nice.  by "nice" i mean that the temperature was in the 90s and it felt like fall day versus the 100+ temps with a heat index of 115.  so, mr. h and i decided that it was time for james to go on a bike ride.  for this to happen, with such a short time span after work, we needed to act quick.  we made a plan and went to work.  i was in charge of fighting the downtown traffic to pick up james' first bike helmet.  well, first helmet of any kind to be exact.

cute.  right?  so, i zoomed downtown and came home.  i eagerly fed james while mr. h went to get air in our bicycle tires.  did you know if you don't ride your bike for...say 2 summers...your tires will be flatter than a pancake?  yes, it's true.  i love(d) to ride my bike but in the spring/summer of 2009 i was pretty big and pregnant.  have you seen a pregnant woman riding a bike?  no, i didn't think so.  even after james was born i still couldn't exactly jump on and go bc my flower had to heal james was too small to join.  anyway, back to the game plan - mr. h went to the closest gas station to fill our tires and hurry home to put the toddler bike seat on his bike.  we opted for one that extends off the back of the bike versus a pull behind, at this point.  this is the crucial point where mr. h realized that his back tire was flat.  i don't mean just needs more air flat.  i mean he needs a new tube flat.  dang!  we were running out of time and the once neighborhood bike shop moved downtown.  what to do?  the excitement, anticipation and hard work were done.  we were ready.  we wanted to put on the helmet and give james a spin.  so, what do you think mr. h would do?  exactly!  still ride.  strap the kid in regardless and go for a few circles out in front of the house.  duh.

the first few minutes james would not move his hands down.  at first he was trying to remove his helmet (thank you baby jesus for the chin strap) but then i think he was just mesmerized and left his hands up there.

overall it was a small success.  james seemed to enjoy it.  he didn't scream or cry.  he didn't really let out a peep actually BUT he was unhappy when ben stopped.  so, biker james had his first real bike ride the following day.  i can say that that family outing was a complete success and make me look forward to fall and future family bike rides ahead.


antibacterial addiction.

i wish i could get a lifetime supply of wet ones.  if there were a contest, i'd enter.  i'd make mr. h and my mom enter too.  and make them give them to me if they won. these beauties have been a heaven send since james was born.  i cannot stand a messy face or sticky hands.  james is the typical one year old and gets into everything, creating a tornado in his path, and learning how to feed himself big boy foods.  therefore, we constantly have a messy face and sticky hands...but not for long.  i'll even take time during a meal to freshen him up. it makes me feel better.  i'm sure it does him too.  right?

me:  i got two more containers of wet ones while i was at wal-mart.

mr. h:  good.  you can't ever have too many.  where did you put them?

me:  i know, right?  on top of the fridge.

mr. h:  i wonder if you can buy them at sam's.  they would make a great present for someone.

too cute.  i think that is officially a daddy moment and can rank up there in phrases i'd never thought i'd hear mr. h say.  regardless, we are going to see if we can buy these antibacterial bad boys in bulk.


motor boat...

can you hear him?  he makes the motor boat sound all the time.  it is also the truck sound, the speed racer sound, his red car sound and it is similar to the airplane sound.  bbb-b-b-b-b-b is a universal sound, right??


father's day.

this year was mr. h's first father's day so i wanted to get him something special.  something sentimental.  this is hard.  i can buy gift for my hubs with no problems.  he likes anything that has to do with the great outdoors.  our first valentine's day i got him a bamboo longboard and i got a camelbak.  i know some ladies would be disappointed but you know what?  i use that baby blue camelbak and it is a gift i probably wouldn't have purchased for myself so overall it was a successful commercial holiday.  for our anniversary i wanted a watch.  he wanted a patagonia coat.  of equal value.  done deal.  win win.  both happy.  well, back to my point - i didn't just want to get him some wicking boxers or an arc'teryx something just to fill the void and know that i'm a cool wife who got the hubs a cool gift.  my mother's day present was special and something i'll wear and remember forever.  i wanted a gift with equal sentimental value. 
mr. h loves to be outside.  we he has a garden out back and is always tinkering outside so my train of thought was in that department when bam! it hit me.  a garden stone.  a homemade garden stone to be exact.  i went to michael's and picked out the kit.  it came with cement, a cement mixer and colored glass.  i also purchased some stamp letters bc i know i would be unhappy with my own handwriting. 
i left it in my car so it would be a surprise.  i had envisioned this wonderful mommy son day making daddy's perfect present.  then reality set in and i needed a large bucket and time.  time with daddy away and time for it to dry.  in a secret location.  hummm.  probably not going to happen.  so, it became a family affair.  ben got opened the cards and box and we made it together.  it was so much fun.  i will admit that it was more fun with him involved than it would have been if i were doing it solo.
father's day was spent with family - as it should.  i woke up with james and took him to get daddy breakfast.  why? bc mr. h is the cook around our household and bc this will give him some peace and quiet while were gone.  we return food in hand to have a jolly morning and start the project.  mr. h mixed the concrete and poured it in the form.  i promptly came outside to supervise but it was hot (hot!) so i went back inside with james for a few minutes until i felt it was time to check the concrete again.  i spent way too much time smoothing down the top. i felt it needed to be perfect.  this will only prove to be a waste of time once we try to get james to stand on the wet concrete.  this is the part where i'm clearly insane for thinking i could do it on my own. my son is heavy.  daddy picked him up and held james above the wet concrete while i held his feet and tried to get him to leave a flat impression without kicking the entire mold over.  first attempt - fail.  second attempt - better than the first but still fail.  james stood on the mix but when we went pick him up he would flick his toes in the concrete messing up the footprint.  third attempt - both sweating.  both hot.  both laughing but still really hot.  james goes up, plants feet, mom gives the go to hoist him up and there those curious toes go again BUT we didn't care.  it was funny, hilarious actually, and the whole process made for an amazing memory that we still talk about to this day.  on frequent occasion. 

see the feet?  see the blobs?  see the smeared toe marks?  they are perfect.  they are priceless.

the perfect father's day memory garden stone now has a royal place on our dining room table. we brought it inside to show company and there it sits.  so, it is clean and shows no sign of dirt or wear and is now used as conversation piece.  hopefully mr. h will find the perfect place for it outside soon.  then i will take a picture of the finished product and james.  we intend to do this next year and the next year and for as many years as we see fit.  hopefully with the practice and time, we'll get to be better garden stone makers and james will be more cooperative while lending us his feet for the design.  happy father's day!  thank you for being so good to your little family.


we had a WHALE of a time...

sunday, the 18th was james' actual birthday party. i posted the invitation in a previous post. he had a small celebration with just mr. h and myself on his actual birthday and another one with family. i think he's loving all the attention cake. but back to the whale party. i think the party came together just how i imagined. bright, colorful balloons (like 90 of them!) were set out to greet the guests - that is until they popped in the heat - along with dozens of beach balls, a giant whale was floating fun in the pool accompanied by every cute whale i could find.  july around here tends to be pretty hot but people we had a heat wave!! so temperatures with the heat index felt like 115! this is oklahoma where we get a heat wave and a side of humidity. fortunately we were generously offered a pool to cool down and celebrate my little squirt. james even had his own whale pool so he could tolerate the heat in style.

i have a ton (TON!!) of pictures i'd love to post but i'll just post a few of my favorites.

birthday boy!
stinker face!
james' personal VIP whale pool and whale squirts
if you know me, you know i love sweets.  if you saw my birthday cupcake post, you know that my boy loves sweets too.  i was SO excited for his smash cake i thought that we'd set it down and he would go-to-town.  i envisioned cake flying and a happy baby clappy and squeeling with delight.  i was wrong. 

pre-cake pose

we all gathered around to sing happy birthday, per my request, and james looked scared.  or shocked. or scared and shocked.  as soon as we finished and people clapped - he just lost it.  through his tears he tried to crawl to me and kicked the cake over.  then the real melt down began as captured in the image above.  of course i couldn't just stand by so i leaped to his side and tried to make it all better.

it worked!  mommy and daddy know how to calm this kid down.  good thing he didn't realize that all the smiles, laughs and chuckles were at his expense.  it was so sad but so incredibly cute all at the same time.  finally he ate cake.  yummy cake.
the before:

and after:

after being covered in cake, it was time to cool down in the pool.  yes, both of us were covered in cake and both were in much need of "bath".  since the formal part of the birthday party was over, we could swim, relax and enjoy the company of our guests.  our friends and family are so generous.  auntie beebs (aka sugar momma from this point forward) made all the sugars, the hancocks opened their house and pool without hesitation and andrea came to capture these priceless moments from behind her lens.  (she posted several collage pictures that really show off the details that made the whale theme a success.)  i'm so grateful that so many family members and friends were able to endure the heat and celebrate james first year of life with us.  we're one lucky family. 

happy first birthday james p. sunshine!  you make me happier every single day.  i feel so honored to be your momma and be able to raise you around so much love and support.  my wheels are already spinning for your big boy 2nd birthday shindig.  happy first birthday!