two years today.

two years ago today, at 6:23 pm, my life truly began. happy birthday sweet baby, james.

yes. i am crying as i type this. well, i'm more teary eyed but it has happened several times today thus far. i don't really know why. but i can't control it.

this morning we all slept until james woke us up at 6:45 am. one day he'll sleep in, and we'll be the ones waking him up. is it bad that some days i'm ready for those days? anyway, we had our milk and watched some thomas the train. i had a busy morning planned for us and everyone cooperated. yay!

we took james to the park for some two year pictures. here is my sweet man on his second birthday:

 i could tell this was going to be a fun day.


he was so cute and playful. 

after a few snaps, it was time to go.

oh look! it's on the ground. again.

what? you won't pick it up?!?

okay. let's go pick up some birthday donuts.

aren't they fun?

we took james and his birthday donuts to daycare while mr. h and i wrapping up some birthday party errands. i'm going to let james take his nap at daycare and then i'm going to pick him so we can birthday play!

happy second birthday sweet baby james!!! 


party peek.

james demanded a farm animal party this year. well, maybe he just told me he wanted one. okay, maybe he didn't do either. but i had this big idea for a farm animal petting zoo party. long story short - it's expensive and it is too hot to beg ask my guests to endure the outdoors. without a pool. james and i had been to the bouncy barn before and james had a good time. i knew that they had a party room as well. i thought i could still incorporate a farm theme, especially with a name like the bouncy barn. i called and we reserved the play area and the ranch room. i asked what made the ranch room ranch-like. she said nothing. they just tried to go with the name of the place. see, bouncy barn has large inflatable bounce houses for younger children. it is in a strip mall. there is bounce but there is no barn. in fact, they don't have anything inside that would remotely remind you of the country or a barn theme. this would drive me crazy, if i were the owner, but i'm not so i'll just rent the facility and hope that the party is fun for james and all his friends to bounce. and take a good nap later. and all to enjoy the air-conditioning this hot july.

i've been thinking about ways to make this party still feel like i had some creative control. i love planning parties and playing on themes. if you remember, last year "my little squirt" turned one and we had a pool party with a whale theme. this year i liked the farm party and james like animals so i think it's a win-win situation. as i've said before, i would like to plan "cute" parties for james as long as i can. i know one day he'll want a super hero, cartoon, all items store bought type of party. not that i think that would be a problem. i just want to have control while i can. i mean, james controls the the house - when we sleep, eat, shower, etc. i can control this party. i win.

here are some party peeks:

the last picture is fondant. it is the beginning of the cupcake toppers. my sweet sugar momma, sugs, set up the work station and gave me a tutorial. i am so impressed with how they turned out. they will have their own post. but for now, here is just a peek.

happy farm animal birthday party, james!

james, how does a cow go?


we're going to have a moo-velous time.

we're practicing our animal sounds. can you hear him mooing? he knows all his animal sounds. getting him to say them when asked, that's the tricky part.


pinch me.

pinch me. please. i'm dreaming and i want to wake up.

my little baby boy is turning two on friday. where did time go? how did it move so fast?? while i love this stage james is at, i miss my little snugly baby. mr. h and i once couldn't wait to go to the park and listen to him talk and wonder what his first words will be. now he's here. he loves the park and loves talking. his vocabulary has really taken off this past month. he loves making animals sounds and asking so sweetly for chocolate milk. he loves to play outside and still reminds me of a mini evil kenevil. the boy has no fear. my once snuggle muffin has grown into an independent little guy who is strong willed but isn't afraid to ask for help. i love him more every single day. how is this possible? i'm not sure but it happens. motherhood is so awesome and unexplainable. i've only got 2 years under my belt but i feel like i was born to be james' mom.

to celebrate this special boy's big day, we're going to have a fun farm animal party.

obviously the real invitation had the important information but hey, i can't afford to invite the whole blog world to the party. BUT i definitely would invite a few sweet girls i've "met" and their adorable children. maybe one day.


zoo day.

my work, and mr. h's too, has an optional summer schedule. we've chosen to participate every year. the gist of it is that memorial day through labor day you can work nine hour days monday through friday in order to get paid time off every other friday. it's call the 9/80 schedule. when said it is just like it looks "nine eighty". anyway, these 9 hour days are brutal. i hate being away from james for an additional hour every day. but...the extra fridays off are priceless. three day weekends are so much better than two day weekends. i'd still like to know who decided the five day work week and two day weekend. i'm assuming someone who doesn't actually have to work that schedule.

so, here i am, working nine hour days and sucking it up. i've just vowed that since i have to be away from james the additional time, i'll make it up to him on my fridays off work. it has worked like a charm and made the brutal schedule worth while.

my good friend, mandy (okay - i call her mandy from college because that is what she went by back then. now i'm pretty sure that she goes by amanda, or miss amanda like i'm trying to teach james, but old habits just die hard. or they don't die at all. she is still mandy to me), is a school teacher and has the summer to play with her sweet boy. i am so jealous. my first friday off we made plans to get the boys together and go to the okc zoo. they have this amazing children's zoo, so i've heard. i couldn't wait to take james! well, we woke up and took off. i bought chocolate donut holes at the gas station to start our journey. big mistake but james loved them. that was pretty much the highlight of my drive. i know my cardinal directions and such but man, okc and the highways scare me. i used the maps app on my phone but it told me the wrong exit. and trust me, i didn't want to be in the neighborhood i did exit. i called mandy and she got me back to the zoo. phew!

once she got to the zoo. i mean, she obviously beat me at this point, she read a sign that said the children's zoo was closed due to a philanthropy event being held inside that evening. what? there are school buses of kids and me with james ready to feed the lorikeets! luckily, i was so happy to be alive (exaggeration just a bit) that i just didn't care and was ready to have fun with the boys. now i just have an excuse to go back. when it's not so hot outside. speaking of, i didn't take very many pictures because it was dreadfully hot. you could tell even the animals thought it was hot most were sleeping, playing dead or hiding. we did however see the baby elephant. that was the second on my list. well third, make it to the zoo in one piece, go to the children's zoo and then see the baby elephant. it is crazy how small it looked but knowing it was 200 pounds. i wish i had that problem.

i loved seeing james excited for the animals that were out and watching him and liam play. and getting to catch up face-to-face with my friend! let's not forget that there are perks for moms on play dates too. with the heat and challenge of keeping the toddlers in sight and happy, i didn't take very many pictures. we stopped on the way out to let the boys ride some of the little rides. until we realized that we didn't have any quarters. awesome. so, now it's over 90 degrees and the boys are just playing on the toys. they didn't seem to mind but i'm sure the spectators thought we were mom of the year. personally, i think we are! the only thing i wish i would have done now is used a clorox wipe to disinfect the animals before we let them play. oh well, they survived and came out without any major diseases or injuries. that is a success my friends.

i did manage to get in a few pictures at the very end. in the shade. on the filthy "rides".

see the smiles? those are because a family with a little girl about the boys' age came up and had quarters. they let us ride along. there were no straps but this thing moved at a snails pace so trust me, it didn't matter.

next came time to try to get both of them to smile and look at the camera.

(insert laugh)

see mandy's head. she is doing a dance and trying to get their attention.

it worked!!!

they are both looking in the same general direction. i'll take it!!!
once i saw that on my camera, we packed up the boys to leave and find air-conditioning. much needed a/c.

from there we went to lunch. this was not james' finest hour. at first he was so good and the boys were playing at the table. then, like a switch, james was a terror. we broke our first plate. i could have died from embarrassment. i ate as fast as i could, paid, tipped well, and got james to the car. fortunately, or unfortunately, mandy knows the feeling and shared that liam had in fact broken his first plate there too. she understood my quick exit and james was asleep in about five seconds flat. it was such a fun day. i'm so lucky that i have gotten to see mandy and sweet liam since then. i already can't wait to meet up and go back to the zoo! and take the right exit, of course. james may be hitting the "terrible two's" but his interaction and play dates are so much fun! i am enjoying them just as much as he is! double bonus!!


expecting ryder.

my friend, skinner, is expecting her first baby in november. i am over the moon excited for her and her husband. let me tell you a bit about her - when i first met her, mr. h told me not to worry if she wasn't nice to me. he said that she wasn't always accepting of new "friends" into the circle. ummm. do you know what that really sounds like to a female? she is mean! beware! everyone likes her but she is mean! well, let me be the first to tell you that this wasn't the case. at all. she was nice and friendly. actually, we hit it off right from the start. you've heard me talk about her in some of my previous running posts. we also have a few other things in common. like our first name! and to our friends,  our maiden name is our nickname and what we are referred to as on a daily basis - neither of us mind. we also share a love for cookie dough and one night, after some wine, i deemed her my soul mate and haven't looked back since.

as i've said, we are she is expecting her first baby towards the end of the year. i cannot wait! and let me tell you why. they are having a BOY! now, i know i'm bias and i love all the little girls that my friends have had recently but finally! james will have a best friend to play in the dirt and be able to do manly things together like fish and camp. what really makes this special is that skinner's husband is one of mr. h's oldest friends. they grew up in close proximity and shared the same passion for bicycles, 4-wheelers and skateboards. i just know that james and ryder will be the same. our husbands already have big plans for these their little men. i'm afraid that their plans are the kind that will leave me fearful and involved motorized toys and skateboards with large hills. regardless, i know that they will be taken care of and will make priceless memories together.

i'm getting teary eyed just thinking about how are families are going to grow together from this point forward.

this past weekend, i finally got to take pictures of ryder. meet this sweet boy.

okay, okay. this was kind of a tease but baby ryder has been baking for 19 weeks. he's almost half way done! and i cannot wait!!


fourth of july.

i feel like i'm late. i feel like i should have joined the other mommy's on the internets and posed james with an american flag before the fourth of july. then had the post ready to roll and scheduled to go live on the actual holiday. welp, i didn't. you know why? because i was having too much fun! this was a long weekend away from the office but so busy with fun-filled activities and food. yes, i said it. food. i never realized how great the food is over the fourth of july. i cannot narrow it down to just one favorite but let's just say i got my fill on hamburgers for a while and i was more than happy to indulge in some homemade banana pudding. you know, the kind with nilla wafers? it was delicious.

well, besides all the fun and food, i really spent the past four days with family and friends. it was so nice. we went to the bouncy barn to practice for james' big birthday coming up. we went to two lakes, to grandma's, to the splash park, and out to watch a fantastic firework show. james loved the fireworks. i was so surprised that the loud noises didn't seem to bother him. he didn't care for the loud ones without pretty colors, but i don't either. with the 100+ temps, we decided to stay inside for most of those. until, i decided it was photo shoot time. loud noises, really hot temps and being out at a new place made it challenging to get some snaps of my little man. i think i got some keepers though. what? i'm not too bias.

on james' daily reports, i've noticed they've been practicing by waving flags and marching.

james, wave your flag for mommy.

shake, shake, shake. can you see his little hiney waving too?

i couldn't get him to march, but he did like saying one word over and over....


after all the loud noises james would say boom! and smile.

after all the pretty fireworks would explode and fade, james would immediately start saying and signing "more" to let us know he was ready to see more fancy firecrackers. unfortunately, once the sun went down and our own little show was beginning, james was tired and started saying "nemo. home." over and over again. let me interpret james' two year old, toddler language for you. nemo has been in my jeep dvd player for too long. now he associates a ride with nemo. he was letting us know he was reading to watch nemo and go home. and as you know, what james wants, james gets.

this weekend was so wonderful. i need a nap to recover from all the fun.

let freedom ring!!!


saturday morning scene.

my morning started early. try 3:38 early. my alarm went off to go to the fifty mile midnight madness run

no, i did not run fifty miles this morning but there were 160 people who started out at 11:59 pm on this goal. i was a pacer. i ran beside my running buddy, and friend, kellie. i ran with her from miles 20 to 30. all in all, i ran a little over ten miles. we carried a twelve minute mile, including aid stations and one restroom stop. that is simply unbelievable that she was strong enough to carry that pace the whole run! i am so proud to call wonder woman my friend.

after i finished, i waited around looking for other crazies to make their lap(s) and happened to watch the first person cross the finish line. yep. 20 miles ahead of my friend. you know, the one that i'm so proud of. it was a woman! a woman one the who dang race in just under 7 hours. CRAZY. there is a fifteen hour time limit. i mean, that woman must eat long runs for breakfast every morning.

after my run, i came home and wanted starbucks. i decided to take james along for the ride. the starbucks by my house doesn't have a drive-thru so we had to venture inside. i took his leash and hoped he'd behave.

he was PERFECT!!!

i am on such a buzz about the run, i'm going to take james to the splash park that happens to be located right in the middle of the finish line. people have tents set up, coolers stocked and are anxiously waiting to give their crazy 50 mile friends a warm welcome every ten miles. i'm going to be there for my friend when she  crosses. i cannot imagine running 50 miles. not in my wildest dreams. her goal was to run a 50 before 50. she is 48 and accomplishing her goal. i am so proud of her. i actually think i hijacked her running buzz. she eats energizer bunnies for breakfast.

off to the splash park for a morning of fun!

Saturday Morning Scene