Wednesday, July 28, 2010

An Open Letter to the Zac Brown Band

Dear Zac Brown Band,

I would like to say thank you.  Thank you for being the music that my daughter loves most.  We have 2 copies of your CD, plus iTunes downloads on both phones. 

I'm not sure if it's your voice... your melodies... or your catchy beat.  But for almost the last year, if she ever makes a peep in the car (oh and she will if she doesn't like the tune on the radio), I hit the CD button and track 1, Chicken Fried, starts up.  She's normally calm by the time Toes is on.  And she's just downright chill as the violin solo of track 3 fills the car.

Lucky for us, we love the whole cd too.  Thank you for making her calm and happy.  Thank you for keeping us sane. 

She's been a fan since she was 3 months old.  Keep up the good work!

The Smiths

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Flying By




Anyone recognize this baby? My how quickly she's turning into a full fledged kid!!



Monday, July 26, 2010

Summer Fun

While visiting Leslie, Caroline got a new wardrobe which included 487 swimsuits.  So now it seems that we need to spend a lot more time in the pool!  T cleaned it out yesterday.  We coated Caroline in sunscreen and out we went.



She really enjoyed splashing around and it didn't matter that the water was a little cold.  It felt nice because it was so hot outside!

 
"Hey, I wonder why the doggies are way over there?"

"Hey Copper!  Come play!"

"Oh wait... that's real close... help Daddy!"

"Ok, I'm good here... Copper, let's play!"

"COPPER!  Where are you going?"

"Well, darn.  I thought Copper wanted to play."

"Momma, why are you taking my picture from way over there in the shade?"

Friday, July 23, 2010

New Features

Some of you may or may not have noticed new features on the blog.  I wanted to take a minute to point them out because I think they are cool.  Blogger has come a long way since I first started this blog.

At the bottom of each post, you have some options for sharing the post.  You can email it, publish to Facebook or Twitter, etc.  I encourage you to share with anyone or everyone.  Our Oklahoma adventures are an open book.

Who know?  Maybe I can expand our readership past Estonia!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Jet-lag, Bumble Bees and Molars... OH MY!

I'm still in a sleepy daze... and I'm covered in bruises.  I guess those are the hazards of traveling with a 1 year old across the country and into another one.

We got back from a week long visit with Leslie, Jamie, Navarre and Baby Jay on Tuesday night.  We had a great time, even if there were some hectic moments.  I'll have pictures to post in the next couple of days.  I'm very aware that I owe you lots of pictures (12 month portraits, 4th of July and now these promises!!).

Caroline is still not 100% back to normal on sleep and neither am I, frankly.  I went to bed at 9 pm last night.  I couldn't keep my eyes open any longer.  It was 11 pm according to my body.  This morning at 5:30, my body thought it was 7:30 and decided I needed to wake up.

Before we left, the director at school said Caroline was ready to move up classes.  I knew she was right but still a little sad.  She is so off her routine after traveling, that I knew more change was going to be hard.  So on Wednesday, we moved to the Bumble Bee room.  (She was previously in the Tadpole room)

The Bumble Bees are decidedly more grown up than the Tadpoles.  Caroline is now the youngest in the room and the only one not walking.  She's cruising along, but all the other kids just toddle around.  It's a very structured curriculum throughout the day, even for kids so young.  They have learning objectives and I get a detailed report each day.  She even had an art page from her first day... fun with stamps!

Stephanie joked that all they do in the Tadpole room is take temperatures and monitor poo.  I can honestly say that's not going to be an issue in this room - at least from my perspective over the last couple of days. She has a definite pattern of her teething.  We've been through it once a month for the last 2 months and each time it resulted in them sending her home "sick".  After explaining it to the teachers in the Bumble Bee room, they were like, "Oh ok. No problem."  Tadpole room didn't care what I said.  She was "SICK!"

I picked her up on Wednesday afternoon and she was obviously tired and clingy but they said she did ok for a first day.  She was, however, completely FILTHY!  As soon I got home, I took off her clothes and drenched them in Shout.  Bibs just get in the way like pants got in the way in the Tadpole room.

Last night while getting ready for bed, she was fussing and I noticed something in her mouth.  She's got two bottom molars half-way broken through!  No wonder she's been miserable!!  I've been trying to look since I noticed her teething signs while we were in Halifax, but I hadn't seen anything until last night.

Today when I picked her up, she was much better.  She was even drinking water out of a sippy cup.  She hadn't had a bottle all day!  Can we say HALLELUJAH?

Thursdays are splash days.  The kids get to basically splash in a bucket of water all they want.  They said she had a ball and loves to be outside.  This from the kid who doesn't like to touch grass (and from the momma who is allergic to all outdoors).  She was once again filthy but happy.  She slept better today and seems to be adjusting very quickly.

There are kids in her room that were in the Tadpole room with her, so it's been a mini-reunion.  Some kids I hardly recognized because they've grown so much since the last time I saw them.  I'm sure they think the same thing of her.

My tiredness aside, we are slowly returning to our new normal.  We also have a new family rule - no more than 5 days apart!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Messages from the front line

Believe it or not, as a-political as I can be, I've got some inside scoop on the current Oklahoma Governor's race.  Who knew, right?

Yesterday, I was part of a meeting that has drawn criticism and even a couple of protesters.  I find it all amusing given the actual content of the meeting.  So I can report what actually happened.

As a rule, I do not discuss work on my blog.  But since the majority of my readers are friends and family, it's not a big secret where I work or what I do.  And since my boss is one of Caroline's emergency contacts at school, I'm pretty sure she's OK with whatever I say. 

I work for a membership trade association.  I do a variety of things during the day, including represent our Association when my boss can't make it.  We are a staff of 2, so at times we must be interchangeable.  Our Association represents large and small companies in the state, many of whom are highly involved in the political process (as many business owners are).  We do have a Political Action Committee (PAC) that contributes money to campaigns of candidates that are deemed "friendly" to our industry.

No joke here people... we aren't talking a ton of money.  I cut they checks... and they aren't large in terms of campaign dollars.  But it's what we're working with.  And even small amounts of money help legislators remember your name.

My boss is a registered lobbyist because she does attend networking events with legislators and people at the Capitol.  We are very careful not to do anything that might even remotely be deemed inappropriate.  But most times it's just about knowing people and your Association being represented and being seen.

This brings us to yesterday.  There was a campaign briefing for gubernatorial candidate Mary Fallin.  She is currently our US Congresswoman from the 5th district in Oklahoma City.  Basically this memo was sent out to all the Associations and their PACs that have given in the campaign in the past or are on the email distribution list.  I forwarded the email to my boss and she was going to be tied up in meetings all day in Clinton, so she said I should go to represent our Association and report back what was said.

Here's the link to our local newspaper about the meeting and the resulting hullabaloo.  I got there to find two protesters outside the building.  They were not chanting or throwing stuff... but I thought it funny.  I got inside to find out what all the hub-bub was about.  See, I'm so a-political nowadays, I had no idea there a big stink being made about this meeting with "special interest groups".

The meeting took place.  We introduced ourselves around the room and I can tell you that there was a WIDE variety of people there, representing industries that are normally pitted against each other.  The pollster discussed Ms. Fallin's position in the polls and the current national political climate.

The campaign manager discussed scheduling and upcoming events.  The financial manager discussed fundraising.  Q&A period (which was mainly about stuff not relating to even this race) and it was over.  It easily could have been handled in a 2 paragraph email, but it was about the face to face networking.

No secrets... no special "give my industry money" pitches and secret under the table deals... In fact, I think they spent more time talking about the big attention the meeting was drawing than anything.  And what was not noted in the press is that the campaign had the same exact meeting with state legislators the day before.

Am I a support or not?  Doesn't matter one bit... the meeting was totally on the up and up and very benign at that.  I rubbed elbows and pressed the flesh and got back to the office and ate my lunch at my desk and answered the phone and made copies.  It's all in a days work, right?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Stay Tuned

After a great weekend of fun and friends, I have lots of pictures to post.  Tune into tomorrow for all the details.  I hope everyone had a happy and safe 4th of July weekend!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Vindication!

Last weekend, the Doodle slept exceptionally late on Sunday morning.  That gave us an opportunity to watch some early morning TV in bed without a goat stepping on our faces and laughing about it.

T was flipping through the guide and found Band of Brothers had just started.  It was 8 am and the first episode was on.  A quick glance showed that the whole series would be playing straight through all day.  I hadn't seen the first one, so I started watching in earnest.

T left to play in a golf tournament and I kept Band of Brothers on all day.  I realized that for as much of the series that I had seen, there also quite a bit that either I hadn't seen or I didn't remember.

I dvr'd the episodes at the end while I fed, bathed and put the baby to bed.  I curled up in bed to watch the last couple hours.  I watched the last things that I remembered from the series and it kept going.  And then, much to my horror...

after watching ALL. DAY. LONG....

a horrendous lightening storm knocks out the satellite (yes, we have satellite).  I WAS PISSED!

T doesn't help the situation.  He says "well, I can tell you how it ends... we win and they go home..."  I wanted to smack him, but I didn't.

All it did was remind me of several years earlier.  It was 4th of July and we were at T's parents' house for the weekend.  The History Channel was showing its series "The Revolution."  I spent all day watching in-depth about the Revolutionary War.

About 30 minutes before the end of the show, dinner is ready and everyone comes in and the TV is turned off.  Yes, I missed the end.  The resounding "I know how it ends" jokes ensued.

I know you're wondering where the vindication comes in this story.  You're also probably asking why I watch so much tv, but we'll address that later.

This morning while finding Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on tv for Caroline, I saw History Channel was showing "The Revolution" again all day today.  Well, I promptly found the last episode and set it to record.  And after Doodle went to bed, T and I settled in to watch the end.

I FINALLY SAW THE END OF SOMETHING!

Hey... small victories work for me...

I hope everyone has a happy and safe 4th of July holiday.   I saw General Tommy Franks speak last fall. He left us with these parting words, "Freedom is not free.  But it's worth every penny."

UPDATE:  Double Vindication!!  Band of Brothers was rebroadcast again all day yesterday and with sunny skies and no satellite malfunction, I was able to see the last episode!