Monday, June 28, 2010

Disaster in the Gulf...what a disaster!

This week I'm in Destin, FL. I'm here with Mom; we're representing the publishing company she reps so we can set up an exhibitor's booth at a Writing Convention. However, c'mon, we're at the beach! So last night we did some sightseeing.

Oh, poor Gulf Coast, how my heart breaks for you. Oh BP what a mess you have made both literally and in the hearts of all Americans who love our white sandy beaches and Gulf-Getaways!

The first "bad sign" Mom and I noticed was after we checked into the hotel. We did some exploring to see where we will be setting up tomorrow. The conference room was still marked from the previous activity..."Oil-Spill Cleanup Training". Hmm...let's get out of here and go see the area.

As we drove west along Old Hwy 98 we could see the beach. It didn't look bad yet, but there was an ominous emptiness about the whole setting. Then we saw this:
Yep, that's an open supply truck dispensing yellow rubber gloves, yellow rubber clogs, and bottled water to about 100 workers who were seemingly about to go to work on the beach. They were lined up for almost 1/4 mile! For those of you familiar with Destin, this was just outside of The Whale's Tail restaurant.

Next Mom and I went to eat at Famous Harry T's. Great food and cold beer were readily available. I say readily b/c we only had to wait about 20 minutes for a table. Sure, it was Sunday night, but still, I can remember and I would have expected to wait twice that long. Again, you can just tell there are much thinner crowds here this summer.

Our waitress was very nice. Mom was grilling her. "What do you think about this oil? Will we see it? Have you seen any?" She mentioned a couple of tarballs and said she feared the worst was yet to come. She went on about research she had done, what to expect, etc. Very informative. Clearly saddened by this whole event, but at a loss for what she personally can do.

Later the manager was making rounds to the tables. He seemed nice enough, so Mom tried the same routine with him. "What do you think? Will we see oil?" He said he encouraged all of his wait staff not to discuss the oil. He didn't want to scare people. He believed this was more hype than substance. Mom said to him, "We just saw a long line of workers who looked like they were suiting up to go walk the beaches." This manager looked my mom directly in the face, paused, and said to her "Did you know the Doobey Brothers are in town tonight? Should be a great concert." I mean, he just point-blank changed the subject! He ignored the questioning!

Again, my heart is broken for this area. But we can't ignore the need for awareness and for help.

I am lifting my prayers to God for the locals whose businesses are struggling and whose personal lives are in turmoil due to the worsened economy. I pray for the area itself, land that has possibly been forever altered due to carelessness and failure to prepare for all accidents.

On one final note, I would still encourage people to vacation here. If you are like me, when you have come to the Gulf in the past you have awakened and headed straight to the beach until sunset. Well, there are so many other unexplored attractions here. Come back to the destination you love and re-examine it. Now is the time to support this area more than ever before, not abandon it during a time of despair! Plus, you can likely get a heck of a deal on a rental!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Happy Father's Day Craft

I love a homemade's truly something you have to think about and the effort truly comes from the heart. The problem is I have a hard time finding the time with these 2 youngsters to make the craft. And we are so blessed with a large, extended family that on Father's Day (as with Mother's Day) we have not one but five, yes FIVE, fathers to celebrate. Nevertheless, this weekend we got crafty! Here's how it went...

We're making cement stepping stones. First we gathered the supplies and put down some construction paper to protect the table surface.
Next we started mixing the cement and poured them into the included plastic molds:
Now throughout this process, I asked Rob about all the Grandparents. What is your favorite thing about Papa Joe? "He has a funny 'moose stash' and he's going to let me drive his truck (someday).
Through trial and error, I found it was best to let the cement sit for a minute and get the top layer hardened before stepping into them. At one point, this was best accomplished by changing a poopy diaper! Now, let's step. Rob, what's your favorite thing about Rocky? "I love his Eagle tatoo."Caroline immediately squished her foot around. It was hard to keep her still. So for the most part, her foot was used as a guide and then I had to detail it later. Rob, what's your favorite thing about Papa? "He teaches me really smart things to know." Okay...again let this set up. How about a quick bottle for the baby...
Now let's decorate them! Rob, what's your favorite thing about Granddaddy? "He lets me come over and play and spend the night sometimes. And he's funny." Finally, we are finished. Rob, what is your favorite thing about your Daddy? "Um, I don't know. Everything is my favorite!" Awe...Rob and Caroline have the best daddy in the whole wide world! Happy Father's Day!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Caroline is 6 Months Old Now!

(It has been a busy week getting back to our normal schedule.  So this post is just a little late this month.  Sorry...)

Weight: 16 lbs 2 oz
Length: 26"
Head Circumference: 16 1/2"

Sleeping Patterns: You go to bed about 7:30 PM.  You definitely will let us know when you are ready!  These days, you also like to be laid in the bed still just a little awake.  You will fall asleep on your own.  However, you must have no intention of sleeping through the night.  You just won't do it.  Mommy is trying to be patient, though.  You will wake up almost every night around until 2:30 or 3 o'clock AM. You wake up for the morning between 6:45 and 7:00 AM. You still enjoy your mid-morning and afternoon naps, although the morning one is getting shorter and the afternoon one is getting longer.  I think you are transitioning towards a one-nap pattern. In your bed, you like to move yourself into the front corner of your crib on your stomach.  You must like the comfort of being wedged into this little area.  The first time I discovered this, I went in to check on you and thought you were out of the bed!  Then I found you in the corner.

Eating Habits: Milestone moment: you stopped nursing this month.  You were down to nighttime only, but that just was not filling you up, so we went to a bottle.  You drink 6 oz about 5 times a day now. Your nighttime bottle has rice cereal in it.  We also tried to spoon feed bananas at the end of this month.  You were just not sure what to do with the spoon, but it was an overall good time.  Mommy will wait to talk to Dr. McCown before giving you lots of baby food.

New Discoveries & Accomplishments: You have started sitting up all the time.  You do not like to lie down for anything anymore (which makes diaper changing like wrestling an alligator sometimes).  You have fallen in love with putting everything in your mouth!  You like Sophie your giraffe, you can put your own passie in your mouth (although it's usually upside down or going in sideways), and you have started babbling up a storm.  You are such a talker!  You know your "d" sounds which, of course, sounds like you are saying Dada all the time.  You also like your "b" sounds which sounds like Bubba.  So the guys in your life (Daddy and Brother) are very excited about this.  Sometimes, if someone looks at you and playfully says "No No No" you will shake your head back and forth as if agreeing with that person.  You are just so funny these days.  You have a huge personality!

Places You Love: You have started sitting in your Exersaucer a lot and you really like it.  You still like your Johnny Jump-Up.  You have not wanted to swing in your swing in a while.  I think it lulls you to sleep and you are so afraid you will miss something!  We have spent our Sundays at the ballpark with your brother, and you love being in the summer sun sitting in your stroller.

Special Friends: This month, Mommy and brother had a playdate, so you got to spend the day at Miss Beth's house.  You were a hit!  All the boys and girls -- Allie, Braxton, Morgan, Ella, and Jacob -- loved on you.  Now when I drop Rob off Morgan, especially, will say "Where Ca'line?"  But your most special friend of all is your brother.  Most little girls automatically know to be Daddy's little princess and you are no different.  However, your Prince Charming is Rob.  Your face lights up whenever you spot him.  He can make you smile and laugh more than anyone else!  You are crazy about your big brother.

Current Events: The oil is getting closer in the Gulf Coast.  Also there was a car bomb scare in Times Square New York which is believed to be an act of terrorism.  Elena Kagan has been nominated as the newest US Supreme Court Justice.  Nashville, TN has been flooded damaging and almost destroying famous landmarks such as the Grand Ol' Opry House and killing 20 people.

What We Did This Day: On your 6-month birthday, we were waking up in SanDestin, FL.  We had been down there for a 5-day vacation -- your first beach trip which you loved!  Today we had to come home.  When we got home we were all pooped, so we took it easy.  We had your 6-month check-up the next day (6/2/10) and you got your newest vaccines.  Dr. McCown gave the green-light for more solid foods and said you will just have to cry it out.  You need to be sleeping through the night.  Dr. McCown was blown away by how steady you can sit up alone already.  You got a wonderful checkup.  You are so healthy and we are all so blessed.