Friday, November 30, 2007

Is it December yet?

Our not quite 2 year old was marching around the house tonight joyfully stating, "More toys, more toys." He was saying it as if he knew there are more coming soon.

Disclaimer: Our house currently looks like Toys-R-Us, so it is not as if the child is lacking. I can only imagine what he has in store for us in the coming years.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Walker Explains It All....

Walker has so much to say. He feels the need to explain everything to Eli. It is adorable. He was telling Eli in the car yesterday all about school. "Bye, Bye Rissa, bye, bye Tucker. Tucker share truck. Play outside with Rissa (his teacher's name is Mrs. Larissa)."

Yesterday afternoon he came into the kitchen: "What mommy cuttin?" Mommy is cutting potatoes. "Grandpa Hermie cut potatoes," so matter of fact. Whenever my grandparents cook us dinner grandpa does do potatoes, but they haven't done that in a few months and I didn't even know that he noticed. He misses nothing.

He is starting to color real pictures. Every week I get color papers from school...blank. Yesterday I got a totally green letter H. He is also coloring with me. He is making pictures and telling me that they are airplanes and helicopters high in the sky (the sky is blue, the airplane is orange, the helicopter is purple and the grass is green). Incredible. He knows all the colors in the crayon box and ask for them by name. He also knows some shapes. When I was uploading a picture of Eli, the icon showing it is loading is in the shape of a triangle, and Walker let me know that. We are even getting to do some school like crafts (mostly for mommy's sake). He loves for me to trace his hands. I'm thinking it's time to make a handy wreath! :)

Up We Go!

Eli is growing so fast now. Last week at the doctor he weighed just over 20 pounds. That is crazy. Walker didn't weigh that at a year. While is is bigger, he is far more cuddly. This makes him feel more like a baby to me that Walker did at 8 months.

At the same time he is reaching so many milestones, I know it won't be long before he is done with all the mommy holding. Yesterday he pulled up. He has been trying for a little while, which has resulted in many bumps on the head. He had success getting to his feet, first on Walker's little chair, then the window ledge and finally on the love seat. I am pretty sure he knew it was a big deal, because he did it for the rest of the day.

He has also found his voice. He will mamamamama and dadadada, but he will also scream. He just likes to hear himself make noises. It is adorable, until he and Walker start together and it gets to be a little too much. His latest trick is to scrunch up his nose and blow. He thinks it is the funniest thing going, although he refused to do it for Jason. Which is funny also, because I am able to get Jason to make the same face over and over trying to get Eli to imitate him.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

War Eagle, My Friends!

Auburn has rolled over the tide for the sixth time and I couldn't be happier. Our good friends Ben and Sara have season tickets and Sara, being an uncomfortable 8 months pregnant and sick, did not like the idea of possible cold rain so she offered her ticket to Jason. While I will say I wish I had been there, I know deep down that sitting in a warm house, in comfy sweats, and eating yummy snacks really is more my speed. Sara came over here, the boys were in bed before kick-off, and we enjoyed an evening of football and girl chat. Our Auburn boys played hard and got the win they deserved! WAR EAGLE!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Thanksgiving Tour '07

Eli's first Thanksgiving


We are so blessed to have family that loves us. When I stop and think about how many people we have seen over the past 72 hours that care for us and our boys, my heart is touched.

We began our Thanksgiving holiday in Aberdeen, Mississippi. My dad's family has a reunion there every year with somewhere between 50 and 75 people attending. It is great that I know so much of my extended family. My generation is now having their babies, so there were many little ones in attendance. The boys traveled beautifully and it was great to see everyone.

Friday we had lunch with Jason's family. His mother prepared a wonderful meal and both sets of great grandparents were able to attend. Walker and I am battling a cold so it was difficult to keep myself from holding Hannah and Leah, but I was able to stay back, even when Jason had Hannah take a nap on him (so jealous of the baby time).

Saturday finished our turkey time. We headed to my dad's and Jayne's for one more delicious meal. My brother (the other Uncle Matt) and his newly promised fiance, Elaine, were in attendance. Walker ate his last plate of "sweet" (sweet potatoes), which is basically all he ate for three days and we headed home for a good nap.

I have so much to be thankful for, and one of the things that tops the list is our amazing family. This has been a wonderful kick-off to our holiday season.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Peek-A-Boo Eli


Eli loves to play peek-a-boo. He just squeals with delight when when a new face is revealed to him. He participates, also. He has been playing with us for quite a while. I remember Walker loving to play, but he was much older before he would pull back the blanket, towel, shirt, or whatever was covering his face. Eli grabs away and reveals that wonderful smiling face.

Now that he is mobile, he has added a new layer to this game. I will be in another room and I will hear Eli just exploding with laughter. He will have crawled over to the curtains, sat up and be playing peek-a-boo by himself. He will pull back the curtains and just laugh and laugh. Occasionally he gets rewarded with a dog on the other side of the curtain when it is pulled back, but he really doesn't find it necessary. It is great fun for him and even more fun to watch.

Dual Bath Time

Both boys in the tub

We have reached yet another new development. Friday night we put both boys in the tub at the same time. At first Walker wasn't quite sure about the new arrangement, but he quickly made peace with it. Eli just sits back and takes in all that Walker is doing. Every now and again Walker will float a toy back to Eli. They are precious. I hope they continue to like this set-up as it is saving us about 20 minutes in our nightly routine.

It makes me think about all the things the boys will do together. Their daily routines are becoming more and more similar. Eli just wants to be in the same room with Walker and Walker is always checking on him. Eli is now taking most meals with the family and just a few short months he and Walker will be eating the same things. They are so close in age that many of their first experiences will be had together. These boys will be making memories in the exciting vacations together and in the daily habits together. How blessed we are to be a part of it all.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Rain on Daddy's Car

So this post won't be particularly interesting to everyone, but I know a few people who will enjoy it.

This morning when the boys and I were leaving to take Walker to school, Jason's car was wet from a heavy dew last night. Walker exclaims, "Rain on Daddy's car." He said it several times to make sure I heard it. This immediately took me back to a story about me as a child. It was just his phrasing that seemed so right. As the story goes, there was a light snow and when I saw it I exclaimed, "Snew on Daddy's car." I have heard this story just a few times, and every time my grandpa tells the story I get younger, so I'm not exactly sure how old I was in the story. To this day if there is snow, my dad will say, "snew on daddy's car" with a smile. I think it will be a while before the boys see snow, so it might be as close as he gets to say, "Rain on Daddy's car."

Monday, November 12, 2007

Eli - On Becoming Independent

For the first several months of Eli's life he demanded to be held for all waking hours. At his six month check-up I expressed concerned because he had no interest in even trying to sit up on his own. Well, in the past 2 months he has decided that it might be fun to do somethings on his own. I also think he has realized that being on the floor and playing is his ticket to getting to be with Walker.

Now he can crawl wherever he wants. He is still army crawling most of the time, but he will get up on all fours and lunge. Usually he is chasing Walker wherever he is headed. He is trying to pull up. He will scoot over to me and reach out and really pull up on my hands to a standing position. And now today, he is able to sit himself up from crawling around on the floor. It has happened a few times today, and it is so surprising to come around the corner and see him sitting up.

Eli sat himself up

I really seemed like he was going to take his time reaching his milestones, but now it is like has has woken up and is going to do everything all at once!

Walker - The Conversationalist

Walker is growing up so fast. It is amazing how much he is able to communicate with us what he wants, or more passionately, what he does not want. No has become his favorite word, as we were told happens for all toddlers, but we held out hope. :) It is amazing how we have complete conversations with him. He uses his play phone to have conversations as well. It is so funny to hear him telling someone (daddy, grammy, grin, pops, ben, or even elmo) what he is doing in the playroom.

Walker making a call

Walker now says thank you to you when you give him something. We have moved past the stage where he tells you thank you when he hands you something. It is a precious gift to have gratitude coming from our little boy. This morning he said, "I Love you, too," to Jason on his way out the door, instead of just I Love you. Sometimes he will say, "I'll miss you." He also is always asking if someone or something is okay, "you okay, ______?" Now Hannah, Leah, Eli, Maddy, dump truck, car, and a multitude of other things have gone in the blank and it is precious. He says "sorry" now when he bumps into something or someone and then the "you okay?" phrase usually follows.

He has so much to say. It is pure joy to be a part of him becoming a person who is able to communicate what he wants, be appreciative of others, and show concern for others as well.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

140.6 Miles 13.5 Hours of Accomplishment


His final time was 13:30:03. This is much better than he had predicted or even hoped to be his best. Not to shabby for a first timer. :) As soon as Jason crossed the finish line, I bolted to the end to see him. He looked great. We took a few pictures, got his bike and bags, and headed back to the stands to see Ben finish.

After about an hour he told me he wanted some more water, so I run off to get it. 2 minutes later Sara calls and says he has passed out and they are bringing him to the medical tent. By this point he is gray and really nauseous. They have a holding area outside the medical tent where they make you drink water and see if water and time will help you recover, or "turn the corner" as they kept saying. Well, almost an hour later of sitting in the now cold temperatures they decided it was best to take him in and get him some IV fluids. After about 2 hours he was released and we headed home. During this time Ben finished, beating is previous time by 45 minutes, that is an amazing improvement in a race like this. They really wanted him to eat and drink so he did. Then he got sick, felt better, took a shower and went to bed. The next morning he woke up fatigued but fine other than that. He doesn't think he was dehydrated, rather his best guess is that he should have taken his salt tablets; that he sodium levels got off.


He spent Sunday resting and trying to let it all sink in. I still don't think it has totally sunk in for him. I am so proud there aren't even words to describe it. The whole preparation and lead up to the race was amazing. Thank you Jason for letting us be a part of your amazing journey and it's completion on Saturday.

There are more pictures up on our Flickr Photostream and on Ben's Flickr as well. If you go to Ben's photos you can see the final step in becoming and IRONMAN that Jason took on Sunday. We are working on putting all the video together and I will post once that is ready.

The Run 26.2 Miles

When Jason and I got married, neither of us were very active. About 2 years into marriage we decided to loose some weight. Part of Jason's success is that he started running. He quickly realized that he enjoyed it and he was pretty good at it. So running is kind of how all this fitness craze got started for him. He knew if he could just make it to the run portion he could control it. Not that it wouldn't be hard, just that he could handle it.


When we saw him off on the run he, once again, had a smile on his face...a pretty good sign for being 8 hours into a race. Since the run course went past the hotel we were able to see him twice there before heading to the finish line. We almost missed him again at his first pass by the condo since he was keeping such a nice pace. This was a fun part again. People were grilling out along the run path, cheering on everyone, and even running along with participants for encouragement. This is the only race Jason has done where the race numbers had their first names on them, it is a nice touch to be able to call people by name as they pass.



Both Eli and Walker crashed somewhere between 4 and 5. Before Eli went down we discovered he was running a fever. By this point I was pretty sure that he had an ear infection, so I didn't want to wake him or take him out in the cold (or supposed to be cold) for the finish. Jayne and Dad volunteered to stay at the condo with him so we could all go to the finish. We woke Walker (which he did not care for, I think he would have slept through the night had we left him alone), both grandmas fed him dinner (and yes it took both of them) and we headed to the finish line.


This actually turned out better because my dad was able to call when Jason passed the hotel and give us a 10-15 minute warning that he was headed our way. As he headed toward the finish line it was an amazing feeling for us all. His final run time was 4:56:53, which is incredible because that is really close to his marathon time, when he is only doing a marathon, not all this stuff before it. He passed almost 200 people on the run. Like I said, this is his strong area.

The Bike 112 Miles

Once we saw Jason off on the longest leg of his journey we all headed back to the condo for some much needed coffee and a snack...Well, I say we all headed back. Jason's dad and brother made a quick trip to the golf course to play nine holes. Matthew was not going to waste an hour and a half of free time. :)

Most of the bike course is just one big loop. There is one place on the course where they turn on to a new road, ride about 6 miles and then turn around. We wanted to wait on that corner so we could see the guys twice; at mile 60 and 72. Jason's original estimation was that there was no way he would be there before 1. Since he was running ahead of schedule wanted to be there by 12:30. Both the boys fell asleep on the way, so we took our time getting out of the car. So about 12:45 we start walking to the corner....and here comes Mr. McCay, again ahead of schedule, we almost missed him.

Now, Ben's family did this last year, so they have the set up. They have chairs and a shade umbrella. I fed Eli and Walker got a snack before daddy comes back. Ben was about 12 minutes behind Jason, so we were able to see them both twice and only be there about 45 minutes.


When Jason passed he had a smile and seemed to be doing well. We were so excited to see him. So, doing our math we figured we needed to be at the transition to run area by 3:15. Part of the run course goes past the condos where we are staying so driving cars became more difficult, so me, Jason's mom, dad and brother all headed out to walk to the transition area while my dad and Jayne stayed with the boys.

Sure enough Jason came into transition at about 3:15 and was off on the run, his strongest area. His total bike time was 6:39:11

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

The Swim 2.4 miles


The start of the race is something to behold. The ocean really turns into a sea of arms and legs - somewhere in the neighborhood of 9,000 limbs swishing around. I did not have a good view of the start so as soon as they hit the water we headed to the turn around point so we could see Jason and Ben on the beach before heading out for the second loop. Both made good time and looked really happy as they headed back out. Ben's one question..."How far ahead his he?" :) Jason made it out of the water for the second loop and to complete the 2.4 miles in 1:26:11, 15 minutes ahead of his goal. This began his faster than expected performance.


One of the funniest parts of the race is that when the swimmers hit the beach they have to remove their wet suits. Now, of course ironman provides the participants with assistance. The people who help them remove the wet suits are called when they get out of the water there are strippers waiting on them. It is hilarious to watch them pull these people out of these wet garments while trying to save as much time as possible.

Then, they run up the beach to a transition area in a tent; put on their bike gear; get all their swim gear back in a bag and head out to their bikes. We ran also, hoping to catch Jason leaving the transition area on his bike. By this point (about 8:30am) Eli is done. I am running through crowds of people in bright sunshine and he completely passes out on me and would remain that way for about 45 min. He looked absolutely precious even if it was only because he had been pushed way past his limit.

We were able to see Jason and Ben leave the transition area and begin the bike.

364 Days of Anticipation...And Race Day Arrives




Jason signed up for IRONMAN Florida 2007 the day after seeing Ben and Arthur complete the 2006 edition. I knew he would come home signed up, he wouldn't commit; but after observing something like that, I knew he would have to do it himself. He really started preparing by training for and completing The Gulf Coast Triathlon, a half Ironman distance that follows much of the same course as the IRONMAN Florida event. That training began in February, and he has pretty much been going strong ever since. August and September were the worst months, but on Saturday it was all worth it.

The event is much more than just race day. Jason registered and got all his official gear on Wednesday. On Thursday, they had an athletes pasta dinner and, that I was able to go to as well. On Friday, he had to check in his bike and his transition bags (where all his change of clothes and stuff is). All this made for three very full days before race day even arrived. The picture of the four guys is the crew that we knew doing the race at the Thursday night dinner. A big thanks goes out to Jason's parents and my parents. It would have been impossible for us to enjoy all the events without grandparent support.

The morning started off in a rush. Eli had a rough night, so I slept later than I had planned to. Jason, his dad and brother had left earlier to get him there on time and the rest of us were to follow with the boys. At 5:40 I bolted from the bed and began rushing around trying to get myself and Eli ready while Jason's mom got Walker ready. My dad and Jayne arrived and we headed down to the beach. I was so afraid I wasn't going to get to see him, but we made it (and had a little emotional moment). After going through all the training I couldn't imagine not getting to give him one last hug before he headed out.

The scene on the beach of 2300 participants and all of the spectators was quite impressive.

Happy Hawoween!!!

Halloween costumes

The boys had their Halloween at the beach. We drove down that morning and the boys were able to get a good nap in when we arrived. We dressed them up and headed out to dinner at one of our favorite beach spots, Schooners. We met Ben and Sara there, and of course they were impressed with our adorable Tigger and Pooh's honey pot. It was pretty warm so Eli's came off after a few minutes of picture taking.

Eli as a pot of honey

We didn't do any trick-or-treating, but the hostess at the restaurant did have a bucket that Walker picked a piece of candy out of. Walker has never had a piece of candy, so I don't think he missed it. It will be neat that they will get to do it together for the first time next year.

Walker as Tigger

Walker loved his costume (thanks, Keith and Meredith, for the loan). It was pretty warm, but he wanted to keep the top part on, and who can argue with Tigger? How many kids get to run around on the beach in their Halloween costumes? It was pretty precious. Walker did have a cute "Happy Hawoween", but he never really got "trick-or-treat", not that he needed it.

Sunday, November 4, 2007


Jason completed his IRONMAN at 8:30 last night. His final time was 13:30:03, which is a full hour better than his best predicted time. At every point that we saw him he was happy and he said he really had a good time. I am so proud it is hard to describe the exact feeling. The day was incredible. It was an experience right up there with births, weddings and graduations. He is in the recovery process now (as we all are) and will be able to spend his time reflecting on his journey.

Pictures and videos will come soon after we are able to return home and get things put together. Thank you all for your prayers and well wishes.