Thursday, September 29, 2011

Jacksonville Visit {from my phone}

After a last minute plan to visit my family, a long week of a crying toddler - refusing food, sleep, and pacifiers - a Hand Foot Mouth Virus scare at preschool, and two visits to the pediatrician with a bad case of teething diagnosis, we packed our bags up Saturday morning and drove down to Florida!  {Hello, run-on sentence.  Goodbye, week from Hell.}


It’s been a long time since I’ve been home.  One of the reasons has been my dread of 10 hours in a car with a toddler.  I can thank my wonderful husband for overnighting this portable DVD player.


James hardly made a peep on the five hour drive there.  He did however, say “Bob” about 5,000 times in request to watch Bob the Builder.  And he did however, skip his nap {out of excitement for his DVD player} for the very first time of his life.  Not a good outcome, by the way.


Saturday morning, James’ mouth had a miraculous recovery, which = smiles = appetite = happy family.  With eyes that never left the TV…


I don’t recommend skipping naps.  James hit his wall at 4:30.  Leaving three hours of a meltdown before bedtime.  So tired that he thought he didn’t need to sleep.  Here’s the video monitor.  I guess he gave up.


I have to admit, I only took one picture with my camera this entire trip.  Here are a few random pictures from my phone.

Lynyrd and his teeny tiny shadow.


My brother has a goldfish, and it was James’ go-to-happy-spot the whole trip.  I don’t know if it had a name before this trip, but his new name is “Ish”.  James talked about him every. five. minutes.


At some point, my brother talked Justin into doing handstand pushups.  {Now that is random.} And it’s moments like this why Justin fits right into my hyperactive family. 5 minutes later, this picture was on Facebook, and a video was posted on youtube.


Josh and James.


Lynyrd and his one true love, Maggie.


Justin, Josh, James and I went to the Jacksonville Beach Pier.  It’s five minutes from my parents’ house.  The original was torn down by a hurricane a few years ago, and we hadn’t been to the new one yet.  We realized that having a kid to entertain keeps you going places and doing things that might otherwise pass you by.


James loved it.  He chased the birds around saying, “chirp, chirp”.


We took James to lunch then home for a nap.  When he woke up, we went to the beach.  He wanted to be in the water the entire time so, there was no time to take pictures.  I was just happy to see him laughing.

{Insert mental image here}

We left Tuesday morning.  James was a little tougher to soothe on the way home, but did great nonetheless.  Bob the Builder and a blue raspberry tootsie pop {gross} did the trick.


It was a well-rounded trip, and it felt good to visit my beach home.  It always feels good to get back though.  Which is a feeling that I appreciate.


And the picture I took with my camera was from my parents porch when the sun was going down.  Not a bad view.


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Halloween Sneak Peek

So, as we may – or may not - remember from last year, I can’t resist taking {and posting} costume pictures… before Halloween.


Last year, it was that day when I discovered that the duck was a bad idea, as my six month old nearly choked on the yellow fur and the costume got stuck on him.  Literally.  We couldn’t get it off.

So, change of plans and my baby was a pumpkin for his first Halloween.  Classic and sweet and babyish.  And most importantly, safe.


I’m all about dressing babies in babyish costumes while you can.  Won’t be long before James is calling the shots.

Until then, I think dressing him as his favorite celebrity is clearly the right thing to do.  So, Bob the Builder it is.


Since James isn’t into dressing up yet, and tends to fight most things, I thought I’d ease him into the accessories first.

He hates wearing hats, but was fascinated with his new Bob Hat!  (We’re working on wearing it longer than 1.5 seconds.)


I knew the only way to possibly get him to wear a tool belt was to make a big deal about Bob’s tools and Bob’s tool belt and Bob this and Bob that. I do have to say these pictures make me a little sad… James’ teething has gotten so bad that he has hardly eaten since Sunday.  And he has definitely lost a couple of pounds. :(

Bob the Builder

He did a great job wearing the tool belt!  It’s the first time we’ve ever talked about tools, but he immediately got the concept.  We focused on the screwdriver, and I don’t know how he learned this, but he grunts when he’s fixing something.  Kinda funny.


He’s a great handy man around the house.  His pager informs him of incoming jobs. Although he thinks it’s a phone.  And he wiggled his tool belt to the side, always staying true to his swagger and style.


He fixes trucks and trains.


Shopping carts.


Storm doors.


Even puppies.


Puppies must be harder to fix, because it took some extra time.  Although he was very, very gentle.


Being a builder is a very important job.  Rarely do you have time for the paparazzi.  But when you do, it’s always best to sing your theme song: “Bob the builder, can he fix it?  Bob the builder, yes he can!”  Or as James sings, “Bob the Bob, Bob the Bob, Bob the Bob.”


But don’t worry, I haven’t spoiled all of his costume.  There will be more to see. I can’t guarantee James will cooperate on Halloween, but I can say that I think these next few months of holidays are going to be festive!


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Labor Day

Here are a few snapshots of our Labor Day weekend... posting just a few weeks later. :)  We went to Lake Wateree with The Grangers and The Shellenbergs.  James pretty much cried the entire time, which kept my hands {and patience} full.  I didn’t know until a week later that he was teething times 8.  Poor baby.

After a quick stop by Walmart on the way, James had his first boat ride!  With a very uncomfortable life jacket… you get what you pay for.  The boat ride was the highlight of James’ trip, although the pictures tell a different story.

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After naps, the Daddies took the big kids in the lake.


While we sat by the “pool” with our sweet baby Chloe.


Lynyrd thought he was a country dog and seemed to think he was about 60 pounds bigger than he really is.

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That is, until the next morning when he got a bug bite, and his whole world came crashing down on him.

Yes, The Helfers have seen better days.  I don’t know if James is a horrible traveler or if he just has really bad luck.  Our trips usually come with an ear infection, stomach bug, 8 teeth or something.  I never figure out the cause of all the crying until we get home, which makes our family vacations pretty frustrating and exhausting.


I think the only time James was able to get his mind off of his teething pain was when he read books with Callie.  These two really are best friends, and I think it’s so sweet.

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In fact, it appears to be a mutual first crush.  And when I look at these pictures, I am so thankful for friends that stand by our side through the good times and the bad.  Through smiles and tears.  Because that’s what friendships are all about.  And sometimes you just need a buddy.