Monday, December 17, 2007

Jason's First Solo Swim Class

Well after several attempts at Parent Tot swim classes, I thought we might have more luck waiting until Jason was old enough to be in the pool without me. I must say that this was a big leap of faith on my part, but I've been swimming at the Woodstock Aquatic Center for several years now and have seen their program up close and was fairly confident that all would turn out well. (If you are interested in lesson times, click on the link above and click "lessons" on the left nav bar).

Well, suffice it to say when I said to Jason we were going to swim lessons he basically freaked out and did not want to go. After a tantrum, which did not end until I had him buckled in the car seat and I started to pull the car out of the garage, he must have decided it was a done deal and sulked his way to the pool. Once we got to the pool, he saw other kids heading in and seemed to decide he was going to do this. It also helped that they had those heavy plastic "car wash" sheets hanging down to keep the cold out a bit because Jason thought it was great fun to walk through them. So we got changed and headed into the pool, they whisked Jason away from me (before either of us had time to worry) and the next thing I knew he was in the pool.

They ask you to leave the swim area... so I stayed by the other parents, all perfectly calm with their books, crafts and friendly chatter. I must say this is a great group of parents, I must have had that "first timer" look about me because folks started to volunteer updates of how Jason was doing. This way I knew what was going on without chancing that he might see me and start crying. I cringed my way through the cries that I knew were his and several parents alleviated my fears by saying their kids were the same way and now they love class. *fingers crossed*.

After 45 min of tourture, class was over and they brought Jason back to me. He was shivering and cold and hugging me very tightly. The instructors were all positive and seemed to think he did great. Jason seemed to be feeling better about the entire situation and we made even better by the offer of a lollipop! It's not just for the dr. office I guess! We stayed behind after we changed out of his swimsuit to watch the older kids swim. Jason left the pool saying that swim lessons were scary, but he doesn't think he'll be scared next time!

On our way home we stopped for some hot chocolate and I think it made everything better!

Here is a little photo post swim, he seems okay:

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Trip the Fernbank

Jason has been interested in seeing dinosaurs lately, so we thought a trip to Fernbank was in order. After spending so much time at the aquarium it was a bit different to go to an order museum. While it may look a little shabby on the outside, there is a lot going on inside! The Frog exhibit was beautiful and very kid friendly. Would recommend a visit to anyone with kids over the age of 2. (Any younger and I don't think they would be interested as there isn't a lot of action, more interaction.)

View the photos:


Saturday, December 08, 2007

Birthday Party Time!

Jason invited his friends Ella, Peyton and McKenzie over to celebrate his birthday! It was a fun time, the kids made their own cupcakes and then decorated them. In true birthday party, sugar rush fashion, the also had birthday cake cup cakes, and ice cream. I'm sure everyone was wondering how so much sugar got into our house at one time! Pics from the big day are here: (Big thanks to Andrea for the great photos! You can have my camera anytime!!!)

Jasons 3rd Birthday Party

Thanks to everyone for coming, we had so much fun!!!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Happy Birthday Jason!

Happy Birthday to Me!

We started Jason's Birthday off today with Banana Muffins with Cream Cheese Frosting for breakfast!! He was really excited, especially when we told him he was taking some in to school for the entire class!

Because we have school today, we just did a couple of presents this morning, and we will be opening more this evening after dinner out and a birthday trip to Brewsters!

Enjoy the photos so far! View the Birthday Album

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Thanksgiving 2007

Jason was excited to have a-ma, a-ya, Uncle Tom and Aunt Cathy in for Thanksgiving! We had a great time with everyone. Jason made it his job to be the entertainment for the week and had everyone in stitches most of the time. Uncle Tom has most (all) of the photos of Jason, but I was able to capture this lovely account of how much Jason enjoyed the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade:

watching the parade on TV

Jason was not thrilled, about 5 min later he turned off the tv... all by himself.

We also gave Jason a nice haircut

View the entire Thanksgiving Album here.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Jason Wins Dinosaur Bingo!

Jason won Dinosaur Bingo at school the other day. He is getting
pretty good at matching! For his efforts he was rewarded with a
Tootsie Roll Tootsie Pop... he "tasted" it for so long, the stick
fell apart! His new favorite holiday is Halloween... poor kid, so
deprived of the sugar snacks! I really like the confidence in his
posture in this photo from school! ha ha!

--posted via email--

Friday, November 09, 2007

Halloween 2007

Jason was Hines Ward, and I think totally adorable! He did a great job with his "trick or treats" and "thank yous!" We called it a night early though, because he was anxious to get to Nana and Papa's house. He spent a weekend with Nana and Papa, while mommy and daddy went to Florida to cheer on friends racing Ironman Florida. If your interested those photos on posted on Big thanks to my mom and dad for taking great care of Jason over the weekend. He has declared that he only goes to Moe's with Nana and Papa! But now he know's Moe!

Halloween 2007 Photo Album

Fishing with Papa Photo Album

Back on the soapbox

Well not so much a soapbox as an opinion?? USAToday published an article (link to article) about a study that showed that exercise increased a child's ability to organize and complete their schoolwork. Now, when a study proves something I don't like, I always say, they can rig those things to say anything they want... but this one proves something I do like... so I'm telling everyone I know!

Keep phys-ed and recess in our schools!!!

On a side note, I interviewed a girl applying to my alma mater and in the discussion I found out that there are 80 girls on her X-country team! I expressed my suprise and she said, "It's a no cut sport" and I said "The fact that you have 80 girls that want to run warms my heart." Well, they are running at states this weekend and I say "go westminster girls x-country team!!!!"

First Horseback Ride

Around the end of September, we had a nice long visit with Nana and Papa in South Carolina! Jason had a week of many firsts! First Horseback ride, first time fishing, first time catching minnows, first alligator hunt, etc.! It was like summer camp for Toddlers!! He had a blast, as the pictures will attest! thanks for the great trip mom and dad!

Link to Brays Sept 2007 Photo Album

Visiting CT!

In early September we traveled up to CT to see my friend Jamie's wedding!! It was amazing and we are so happy for her!! Jason was excited to spend time with his Ama and Aya!! He did very well on the plan trip and even made a friend when we had a layover in Newark airport!

Jason also had is first Tea with the extended family! Photos here.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Jason says Hi!

We know it has been awhile, we have news and we will try to update later! For now we are all good and hope you are too!

Monday, August 20, 2007

GCOW - so good I had to post twice

I also posted the following on my tri blog but I had to make sure everyone saw this!

GCOW or "Garbage Can on Wheels" is a syndrome that many of my mom friends including myself seem to have... the backseat is strewn with old sippy cups, crushed graham crackers and lost toys. In fact my back seat was so deplorable that last week I spent 15 min "cleaning" it out prior to taking it to the car wash to have someone actually clean it! What is all of this leading up to? well, I thought that I had the worst GCOW in Atlanta, until we drove past this over the weekend. (Note, you may need to click on photo to see the true detail of the backseat)

I have no more words!

Friday, August 17, 2007

the Big Kid - Mommy cries at daycare

Yep, I'm pathetic, can't even drop my kid off a daycare, "school", without crying. This is why the drop off is normally Alex's job. However, due to work conflicts Alex was not able to drop Jason as school today and therefore it fell to me.

Now, on his very first day of school, I dropped Jason off. I left him with a very nice teacher, but Jason was crying. I held the brave face, "you'll have a great day, buddy!" I said, "I'll be back to pick you up soon!" I closed the door of the classroom and walked away swiftly. As I made my way towards the door of the school the further I walked away the worse I felt until finally, I broke down crying. This was my baby that I had been with almost every moment for the last 18 months! I must have looked pretty pathetic because the director of the school came over to hold me while I cried. She said to me, "this happens all the time when people drop off for the first time." Therefore, reassured that I wasn't a complete basket-case I pulled myself together, apologized for crying all over her, walked to me car and proceeded to cry until I pulled into work.

Okay, that was over a year ago.

I've dropped Jason off at school since without issue, well, I haven't cried. Jason usually wants to stay with me and therefore put up a fuss at being left at school. I walk away but hang out for five minutes, sneak back to peek in the classroom to see that he his happily situated with a book, car, etc.

Today was the first time I've dropped Jason off in his new "big kid" classroom. He just moved up to a classroom this week wherein they use the "big kid playground"; which is, apparently, infinitely more fun than the playground for the wee ones on the other side of the school building. We pull into the school parking lot this morning and I get Jason out of the back of the car talking about how great it will be to go to school today and doesn't he want to see his friends, blah, blah, fully expecting the usual meltdown... oh no! he spies the big kid playground and notices his classmates on the playground. "I want to go to the big kid playground mommy!" "OK buddy, we have to go through the classroom to get there!" Leaving behind color blankie of all things, Jason runs to the door of the school, through the door, down the hallway, into his classroom and to the door that leads to the playground. "I'm going to go see Moira" he says, and runs off to play on the slide. Ms. Lori is teacher says, "Hey looks, it's Jason!" Some of the kids come over to say hello and before I can say goodbye, Jason's in the thick of things. Now, I know I should be ecstatic that he loves school and his friends so much, but as I walked out of the school tears came to my eyes, because all of a sudden Jason is a "Big Kid".

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Wearing Underwear - the first step?

Well, as all other attempts to provoke an interest in potty train have been thwarted by the little man, we went to defcon 5 - i.e. Thomas the Train underpants! Jason seemed very excited to wear the new article of clothing and seemed to understand the difference between underwear and diapers, asked to go potty a couple of times and then crawled into the laundry room and proceeded to pee all over the floor and laugh. Honestly, it was a little tough not to laugh myself, especially when Jason then said "mommy, I got Thomas all wet!". We refined the technique over the last few days and are now able to go most of the am in our underwear without accidents. Jason get's very excited about his "reward" of a lemon cookie after going on the potty. Who knew lemon cookies could be so persuasive!

Is this angle better mom?

I don't need clothes mommy, I have underwear

Sunday, August 12, 2007

The Next Generation of Parrot Heads

We all went out to dinner the other night at a local Mexican restaurant where there was a man playing guitar, your typical Jimmy Buffet covers, James Taylor, etc. Jason just loved him and kept staring at his guitar. Pretty soon, Jason rips off a piece of tortilla and says it's his guitar and starts to strum. I'm not kidding. Pictures are blurry as they were taken with the camera phone, but it wasn't to be missed!

This one is blurry because he was dancing:

Friday, August 10, 2007

Moon and Stars

On the way home from school yesterday Jason was telling me what had happened at school that day and I made the remark "Jason, you are a superstar!" and he said, "Mommy, I'm not a star... I'm a MOON!" After a bit he said... "Mommy is a star, Jason is the Moon!"

Thanks buddy! :-)

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Jason at the Grill

Jason took his hand at the grill last night! Actually, this was about an hour after I had grilled hamburgers and was out to clean the grill, so the grill was nice and cool. Anyhow, Jason wanted to try on my apron, so here he is!

A plane interrupted the proceedings...

A plane! A plane!

Flipping burgers

job done!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Rockin' the Mistletoe Race

Jason was in attendance at the Tri the Parks race at Mistletoe State Park last weekend. It started to pour down rain just before the race and everyone was huddled under tents... except for Jason, he thought it was great fun to run around in the rain. which we let him do until the thunder and lightening started! Eventually the storm passed and we were able to start the race. Alex and I were volunteering... Alex was announcing (he loved it!) and I was body marking (it was fun talking to everyone before their race!). Jason was with me, so he got into the body marking and even manged a pretty decent "4" on my calf. We wanted to be body marked as well, we numbered him 24 (at Jason's request) and put his age on his calf. Here is his lining up to start the race (race was changed from tri to duathlon due to the thunder in the area).

Jason asks "is my HRM ready?"

Due to the USAT Age-Up rule, Jason is racing as a 3 year old.

After the race Jason helped with the clean up. Here he is carrying and stacking buckets.

Is this dangerous?

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Hangin' at the "New"!

View of the bridge crossing the New River Gorge

New River Gorge is one of those places that every kid who traveled by car from Pittburgh to Hilton Head, SC has driven by and wondered just how far down is that river? The New River is also home to some amazing white water. Well, on this last trip back down south from Pittsburgh, Jason was awake when we passed by and I suggested to Alex that it might be fun to stop at the overlook and let Jason run around a bit. I think it saved our butts because he ran around like crazy and seemed to have a blast. He successfully navigated the 250 feet down to the overlook and back all on his own!!! Thank goodness because I wasn't looking forward to carrying him back up 400+ steps!

Note the mention at the bottom that the way back up is strenuous

It didn't really phase Jason that much as you can tell from the shots below:

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Back from Pittsburgh!

We were in the city of bridges last weekend for PaPa's birthday! We had a blast and Jason really enjoyed visiting with his cousins. Here is a great shot of the proud Grandpa with the whole brood! (Jason, Virginia and Charlie)

As if a part wasn't enough fun, we also had fun at the zoo! Pittsburgh Zoo has a new Polar Bear exhibit, which interested Jason the least of course, that's just a toddler for you! Of course he did spend the entire zoo visit saying good bye to each animal we saw with "Good bye ___ (ex: alligator)! I am going to visit the Polar Bear!" I've got some great video footage of it and will attempt to get it up soon! For now, here's a photo of the boy with his daddy.

That's a big bear, daddy!

Link to all pics from Dad's 60th B-day
Link to all Zoo pictures

Thursday, July 19, 2007

I am "Specialized"

Well folks, it is that time of year again! The time of year when the TiVo starts to melt from all of the hours of recording... yep! It's the Tour de France!

For those of you who don't know this, Jason was born with an affinity for Phil Ligget and Paul Sherwen (the TV commentators for American cycling). When he was a baby I could soothe him by putting on recordings of Tour de France stages, he liked the flat stages the best. I've always thought it was that he finds the voices of Phil and Paul very soothing.

Well, we are halfway through Tour de France 2007 and we have been watching every day! Jason has soaked in quite a bit of cycling jargon and bike advertising. He asked me today if I "could do this Ironman" (referring to the tour as an Ironman and wondering why I wasn't riding. Kids are great for thinking that their parents can do anything!!). He likes to watch the "awards" at the end of the stage when the winners get gifts and kisses from the "podium girls".

This year, there is a cute commercial from the bike manufacturer Specialized starring World Champion Paolo Bettini cycling through Italy. As many of you know, Jason loves to dance and this commercial has some great music halfway through. I caught Jason's dance on video today and to see him in action play it below.

Special thanks go out to Alex for the early birthday present of a new Mac!!! The video editing software that came with the computer was so easy to use and made this little video possible!!!! I'm the luckiest mom on earth!!

Here is a link to the original ad on the Specialized website

Monday, July 16, 2007

Today's funny stuff

Jason came out with some dandy one's today! We solved a mystery that been bugging Alex and me for a couple of months... Jason has been saying "Each out da bawndooo bawndoo" and we couldn't figure out what Jason was saying. Well, we watched "JoJo's Circus" today for the first time in a few months and I realized he was singing the theme song which says "Reach out the sunlight surrounds you!" Whew! Mystery solved!

Jason also started something new today, waking up from nap by yelling "MOMMY!!! Can you come upstairs??!!!!" This was the first thing I heard today, no rolling around, or talking to himself (the usual signals that he is waking up), just out of the blue "MOMMY!!!" Too funny!

Well, we are off to play with the Rocket Launcher!

... some later additions after dinner, Jason had his lemon cookie for the night. He ate the cookie and then asked me where the lemon cookie went. It transpired as follows:

Me: I don't know, where did the lemon cookie go when you ate it?
Jason: I ate the one lemon cookie and it's in my TUMMY!!

too cute!

Then he said something that amazed me:

Jason: I want to see a picture of fireball

This immediately made me wonder if he was talking about our family cat from when I was little, his name was Fireball.

Me: Where did you see Fireball
Jason: I saw pictures of Fireball at Nana's house

Are you kidding me?!?!?! Nothing gets past Jason, even when you think he isn't paying attention, he's taking it all in... to have that skill! Hope it's something he can hang on to as he gets older!!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

We won the Crane Game!!!

We all went to breakfast as a family this morning, and Jason wanted Daddy to play "the Crane Game" outside the restaurant. For anyone who doesn't know what I am talking about this "game", featured in such classic movies as Toy Story, is a box full of stuffed animals/toys, there is a crane that you manuever over a desired toy, press a button, the crane decends and if you are lucky "captures" the toy in it's claw and delivers it to the player. Basically, it is a big waste of money because the claw can never quite grasp the toy... well, today to the delight of on-lookers, Daddy was able to capture the bird in the picture at left for Jason!!! Jason was ecstatic and has since named the bird "Boppy" and only left Bobby long enough this evening to take a bath. Very entertaining!!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Trans Fat Information

Food Thought of the Week

A lot of attention has been brought to Trans Fats recently, but I wanted to include it in the Food Thought of the Week because while people are aware of Trans Fats, I believe the food labeling is misleading.

Trans Fats are an unfortunate man-made invention and can be found in a lot of foods that we bring into our house as parents (crackers, sandwich bread, frozen baked french fries, etc.) Trans Fats are used by food manufacturers to increase the shelf life of many items. As of Jan 1, 2007 food manufactures are required to print the grams of trans fat on the nutrition label of their products. While this was a good attempt by the FDA to help inform the public, unfortunately the Nutrition Label doesn't tell the entire story.

If the level of trans fat in 1 serving of an item is less than .5 grams, they can publish the item as 0 grams of Trans Fat. As many of us realize by now manufacturers can change the serving size to fall below .5 grams of Trans Fat, and we (or our kids) are eating what we may consider a portion are actually eating 2-3 servings and getting almost 2 grams of trans fat when we thought we were not getting any! This is especially shocking when ideally we shouldn't consume ANY grams of Trans Fat as they (unlike other good fats) are not necessary or beneficial to our health. A good example using Girl Scout cookies is available on

So how do I really know if the food contains trans fat?

The secret is to look in the ingredient label. If you see "partially-hydrogenated" or "hydrogenated" oil of any kind PUT IT BACK ON THE SHELF!

Why should I be concerned? What is so bad about Trans Fats?

Trans fat wreaks havoc on the body and has been linked to heart disease, high cholesterol, liver disease and obesity! I won't rewrite everything here because it is available on Wikipedia (

Information on Trans Fat is also available at WebMD, and Mayo Clinic.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Trader Joe's - Customer in Training

Happy Fourth of July everyone!!

This is Jason in his American Flag t-shirt, shopping for cookout items at Trader Joes! This is his first time with the Trader Joe's mini cart... he was doing fairly well until he ran into mommy in the freezer section and daddy took the cart away :-(

We ran into Kate and Mike with Ella at the Trader Joe's, it's such a small world sometimes! They were not able to make our last minute party due to prior commitments so it was nice to see them to say hello! After Jason's nap we welcomed friends to the house for dinner and drinks. Jason was he usual entertaining self, singing at the dinner table and repeating most of what he heard! Thanks to Michelle, Eddie, Kim, Patrick and younger Patrick for making the trip up north! :-)

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Jason goes potty at school!

Jason has been going potty when we sit him on the potty at home for a couple of weeks, but we hit a big milestone at school today with a pee-pee on the potty! It's it a little crazy how excited we get about this stuff??? Jason received the following card from his teachers for his big accomplishment!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Greek Yogurt

Several months ago my sister-in-law suggested that I try Greek Yogurt. I am so glad we did! Jason loves the creamy texture and since it is thicker than your "typical" yogurt it is easier for him to eat (i.e. keep on the spoon). Jason likes the plain Greek yogurt with honey drizzled on top. Sometimes we put muslix and raisins in there too!

On it's own Greek yogurt is lower in carbohydrates and higher in protein than similar "typical" yogurt. When compared against a "fruit" yogurt the calorie difference is significant and for those folks worried about glycemic index sweetening the plain yogurt with low glycemic sweentener such as Agave Necter will really make a difference. The yogurt tastes just as sweet and is just as much of a treat with a lower glycemic index and less calories to boot!

Some numbers:

Plain Yogurt
Dannon 2%
Plain Yogurt
Saturated Fat3g

There are some decisions to make based on the number above (i.e. if the extra g of saturated fat has you worried), but all in all if your kid is more likely to eat this yogurt because of the creamier texture, I think that's all you need to know!

Typically you will find FAGE brand greek yogurt (our personal favorite) in your grocery store, it is available for us here at Whole Foods Market and Trader Joe's. The FAGE brand isn't stamped organic but is made from the milk of naturally/no bovine antibiotics fed cows. More information is available from their website:

Styling Olivia's "Hair"

It was a rainy day here in Atlanta, which must be the reason Jason decided to brush Olivia today. He picked up a hairbrush, turned to me and said "Olivia needs a pony tail!". Below is hopefully a slideshow of the action. If it isn't working, please let me know and I will just post regular pictures.

To see the captions, click on the little "comment" icon at the bottom of the slideshow window.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Double Hilll

Our most recent train track masterpiece! Note the "double hill" in the back.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Ella's B-day party!

Jason says:

"I went to my friend Ella's birthday party today! We ran around on a mat and sang songs, then I got to jump up and down on a bouncy thing! After that I walked across bridges and beams and jumped into tickle pits!"

We had a ton of fun at Ella's birthday party, it was at the Little Gym in Roswell and Jason really worked himself out climbing and jumping, etc. He attacked his piece of cake! Kate (ella's mom) posted pictures on her website. Thank you for inviting us!

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Jason's First Duathlon

Jason outlined the course (loops around downstairs) and determined a "transition area" in the house today. Here are some photos of the "race"!

Jason takes the corner with a look of determination!

Through the family room and into bike finish...

Quick Transition to the run...

Last corner!

Showing determination at the Finish Line!

Friday, June 08, 2007

Jason's Pink Eye

So Jason is dealing with his first case of pink eye! Alex and I both had a big project due without an extend-able deadline, so with Jason out of school for most of the week, things became a little challenging! I noticed Jason's eye was a little gunky on Wednesday night and I mentioned to Alex that he might have pink eye and we shouldn't count on school tomorrow... Woke up Thursday am with his little eye swollen and gunky. Confirmed with the dr that is was pink eye, so we started the anti-biotic drops and he's already looking much better. I wanted to get pictures today, but it looks so much better you can hardly tell. And of course, with Jason being Jason he looks more like he is posing for an ad, than showing off his pink eye!

So I took a closer picture:

Monday, June 04, 2007

MKZ in the house!

Jason's friend McKenzie made the trek up to us with her mommy Andrea on Monday. Unfortuantely, we don't have photos of the occasion, we were having too much fun. Jason and MKZ played trains for awhile, Jason was "showing off". Then the kids piled in the jogging strollers and we walked to the duck pond/lake about .5 mile away and played with the ducks. They kids had a blast! MKZ wanted to play with the ducks, but they kept running away! silly ducks! Came home, had lunch and the kids were ready to crash! Thanks for driving all the way up here!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Good night with Daddy

Jason is getting so big I decided to get another "reading with daddy" photo. Here is the comparison:


July 1, 2006 (about 1 year ago)