Wednesday, June 30, 2010

It's What We Rednecks Do

I mentioned in my post yesterday that it was 7/10ths of a mile from the main campsite area at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park to the beach. There was a tram that ran every hour, but it didn't start running until 9:00am and the last tram back from the beach was around 7:00pm. I don't know if you have noticed, but my kiddos are pretty pale, and any exposure to the blistering (albeit beautiful) Florida sun between the hours of 9:00am to 6:00pm was out of the question.

We walked the first evening that we arrived down to the beach. We were excited and the kids were excited. We'd been cooped up in the car all day long, and it was a welcome relief to get out and walk. We caught the last tram back from the beach to the campsite, and felt as though it wouldn't be a problem to walk each day in the early morning and evening. The following day the walk to the beach went well. After an hour or so of playing we headed back on foot. Dirck and I had to carry the kiddos (along with the cooler, the umbrella, the beach towels, the shovels, pales and buckets, and the beach bag) part of the way back because they were starting to fall apart after playing all morning in the ocean. That evening we were hopeful that the kids would rally, and again, they did great on the walk down to the beach, but once again, after playing hard in the ocean, the walk back was disastrous. It was hot. I was carrying a huge oversized beach bag full of stuff, and an umbrella, and for a good 3/4ths of that walk, I had either a 30 lb kid or a 40 lb kid on my other hip. I really though my back was going to give. Something had to be done.

After a little research, we found out that you could rent bikes from the campground. Not only could you rent bikes, but you could rent little trailers to pull behind the bikes. This sounded perfect. We'd seen other families with bikes and many had those little double stroller looking pull behinds, so really, this sounded ideal. When we went to rent our bikes, the only trailer they had for the bikes were these plastic bread-tray looking trailers. You know, the bread trays that the grocery stores stack on top of each other? Yeah, that's what I'm talking about. It was the type of trailer that was supposed to be for carrying stuff, not munchkins. We weren't sure this was going to work, but felt it was our only option, so we picked our bikes, hitched the trailer, and drove them back to the cabin.


Turns out, not only can that little trailer hold two little kiddos, but can hold a small cooler as well! I know we were quite a site pedaling to the beach each morning and each evening, but it couldn't have worked better for us, and the kiddos . . . they loved it! After some stern warnings and several safety talks they seemed to understand that they had to be careful.

So there's our Redneck Transportation System.
Yay for Redneck ingenuity!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Get Ready . . . The Beach Pictures Overfloweth . . .

After returning - OVER A MONTH AGO - from a fabulous beach vacation, I realize that I have not posted the crazy amount of pictures that I really wanted to, so over this next week (or so), I will be posting more beach pictures.

There are a few reasons for this.
1. I hardly ever print pictures, so this is often the only way I get to see my images.
2. I plan on making a blog book so that I will actually have these images to have and to hold forever .
3. I just like seeing pictures of my munchkins, so get ready!
4. It may or may not have taken me this long to go through them and edit the keepers.
5. I may or may not be a little bit meticulous about editing my family pictures.

So, without further adieu, I give you the fist of many more beach pictures to come.

We stayed at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park in Santa Rosa, Florida in a rented cabin. The "cabin" was more like a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom small home that was wonderfully clean and perfect and brand spankin' new!

The Park was a large RV/Camping/Cabin park with a nice pool, kids activities, spacious and lovely grounds and of course, that beautiful white sand beach!

It was 7/10th's of a mile to the beach, so we hiked it the first few days. This was great on the walk to the beach . . . not so great with two small munchkins on the walk back. (our solution to this will come in another post)


The beaches in the NW corner of Florida are some of my favorite beaches ever. Such unspoiled beauty. I'm just sick over this oil crisis in the Gulf of Mexico.


This was my munchkins first trip to the beach. I was nervous that they wouldn't like the sand or the water or the experience in general, but really, I didn't have anything to worry about. They were naturals on the beach!


More pictures to come!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Little Lady

There's nothing much I want to say today.


Just that I love this little lady to no end.

Hope you had a wonderful weekend.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

A Smiling Soul

Every once in a while, he will look at me and REALLY smile.

It's the type of smile that makes me think he's just happy to be here - truly and genuinely happy to be here . . . with me . . . at that moment.


He's not being goofy or making faces or yelling at his sister or smiling/cheesing for the camera. He just looks up at me, and smiles, and his eyes sparkle, and my soul smiles.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

We Love the Swings

Run, run as fast as you can.


Last one to the swing set is a rotten egg!


OK, no rotten eggs here.

Just a fun time at the park.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010





Whatever it is you call them . . .


I sure think they're cute!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day

Lots of lovin'-n-laughter happened around here today.


Hope all you daddies out there had a wonderful day.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Symmetry and Order

He has this little car ritual.

Even spacing - All facing the same direction - No gaps - All aligned.

Every day.


He arranges them, then I put them back in his car carrier while he sleeps.

He wakes the next day, and it's one of the first things he wants to do.

I love that he loves order . . . although I have no idea where he gets that from?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

My View From the Bench

I also could have titled this post "What I Love About Saturday Mornings."


What a view, huh?

Friday, June 11, 2010


There she goes.


A fleeting glimpse of her as she continues to get bigger and grow older at warp speed.

Won't you slow down little lady?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Help Me!

I'm trapped in the tower of a sand castle.


On second thought, leave me here.

I'm enjoying the view.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A Favorite Thing

There are many things that the beach offered that my munchkins seemed to enjoy.

The gentle waves.

The never-ending supply of sand.

The warm ocean water.

The prospect of finding shells.

Oh and one more thing:



This seemed to be one of their favorite things about the beach! Go figure.

Monday, June 7, 2010

I Heart Faces Challenge: "Play"

If you close your eyes, you can probably still hear them squealing and giggling!


To see more images that express different forms of play, head on over to

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Warm and Sunny

After a very cool and wet May, it's nice to see that June is shaping up to be a REAL summer month.


Even this little lady loves having the sun warm her face.


I'm so greatful for sun and warmth and summer and being outside!

Hope you enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

A Big Boy

He started preschool yesterday. Well, really it's the summer program at the preschool where he will be enrolled in the fall, but to him . . . it's school.

We packed a big boy lunch that consisted of a sandwich, some carrots and blueberries, a small bag of cookies, and a juice box (quite a treat for a kid that only gets water and some milk throughout the day).

We stuffed his backpack full of all the essentials: towel and swimsuit, change of clothes, and a soft blankie for naptime.


We entered his classroom, and he immediately ran for the toys. He didn't need us there. He was a strong, self sufficient little guy who was excited to finally be in school (for this is what he has talked of for the past 5 months or so . . . nonstop . . . well . . . school AND tractors . . . and trucks too). He found a little friend and they found some cars and then Dad and I became almost nonexistent to him. I won't lie, I felt a little crushed and a lot happy.

I left him there with the thought that he was going to have a great day, but, I was worried. I was worried that my little piddler wasn't going to eat all his lunch. I was worried that he wasn't going to share or would yell at the other kids, or even . . . ahem . . . at the teacher. I was worried that he wouldn't nap during naptime (my boy is used to a solid 2 hour nap each day). I was worried that he wouldn't go potty when he really needed to go potty.

I. was. just. worried.

But happy too.

Does that make any sense at all?

I thought about him all day. I wondered what he was doing? Was he adjusting well?

I managed to get off work a little early so I could go pick him up from school. In my head I imagined him running to me, arms outstretched saying "Momma, Momma, I had the BEST day! I did this . . . and this. . . . and this . . . and this." And we would hug and kiss and talk to his teacher and he would show me his cubby and his friends and his room. And then we would ride a Pegasus into a rainbow and sing campfire songs while petting cute little white fluffy bunnies.

Yeah, didn't happen quite that way.


I got there to pick him up and he was wandering around the cafeteria where the other kids were all sitting at the table. He saw me and FELL APART, and I mean completely just fell apart. He was screaming and crying and trying to hit me and kicking, and acting in such a way where I was really questioning if this was my little man? What did you do with my big boy? Where is he? Who is this kid?

I tried to calm him down. I TRIED, but he was having none of that. Finally, I just had to pick him up and leave. We got in the car and got him strapped in his carseat. It took him a good 5 minutes in the car before he would even calm down enough to sit quietly, and then as we are driving to pick up his sister, he fell asleep. Stone.Cold.Out. Honestly, my kids are not car sleepers. We just returned from an 11 hour drive back from Mississippi, and they slept maybe 30 minutes the entire trip. It's just not what they do, but my little man was exhausted - physically and emotionally I'm sure.

Once home, I realized I left his lunchbox at school, so I left the kids with Dirck and went back up the school. The teacher said he had a good day, just lost it there at the end when he saw me, but she said she felt he did really well for his first day. I looked in his lunchbox and the only things missing were his sandwich and his juice box. Not only was he completely exhausted, but probably hungry as well.

I walked away feeling a little like a failure. Is this really what is best for my child? I'm envious of you stay-at-home moms out there. You don't have to deal with this, and if you did, well, you could just pull your child out and keep them home. That's not our situation. We just have to make this work, and that's hard for me right now (and hard for my little guy as well). I know he needs to grow and learn to become more independent. I just hope this adjustment isn't too hard for him. I know it has to happen, but I want this to be as easy for him as possible.

Needless to say, he was ready for bed. He actually went to bed about 30 minutes early, and didn't make a peep once I turned out his light.

And just guess what happened this morning? That little stinker woke up this morning ready to go! He was again excited about school, and his backpack, and his lunchbox, and his teachers. Just like his little emotional breakdown didn't happen at all! Kids are great that way. I think as parents we worry and worry about them, but really, things probably aren't as big of a deal to a kid as we think that they are. I'm hoping that's the case.

I'm hoping he . . . ahem . . . me. . . adjusts better over the next week. Today was a much better day for him, and I'm sure there are more to come.