Friday, July 31, 2015

7QTs - All things Sunset Beach

Going back a few weeks here to our time at le beach. We spent several nights with my parents during their week at the beach. Vacation? I think not. Family trip is definitely a more accurate description. We missed having Papa (Happy-est of birthdays to you today!) and Uncle Kev (thanks a lot new job!) - our resident kid entertainer and wagon pusher. Regardless we made some fun memories which is really what parenting is all about, right? ... 

--- 1 ---
The girls and I were leaving straight from church on Sunday. I really had to have my act together with packing not at the very last minute even though stuff did end up just getting tossed in the van at the very end of load-up-time

I had my handy-dandy list - which will likely be used for future (hopefully we'll be invited again : ) beach trips, 10000 Lands End Zip Totes - if you are in search of a practical bebe gift these are fantastic, food for the journey, a serious threat of not stopping for the bathroom so you'd better go now because ain't no way I'm taking 3 kids to a filthily bathroom (insert germ-o-phob comments here) unless it was beyond URGENT, books and magazine for the 3.5 hour ride and crossed fingers that they would't drive me totally insane because we don't believe in TVs or iPads entertaining kids in the van (though I'm sure I'll eat my words if we ever go somewhere REALLY REALLY far away) 

We gave Papa one last squeeze...

And we were off. I only missed one turn which cost us about 10 minutes. The ride was manageable. There was some sleeping, some reading, lots of SINGING, some bantering. E would say are we at the beach yet and R would retort... SUNSET BEACH. And she did this all week. 

Me - Let's get bathing suits on to go to the beach.
R - No, it's SUN-SET BEACH
Me - ... {let's not argue with stubborn 3 yr old shall we} 
--- 2 ---

The 2.5 seconds any of the kids kept their sunhats on...

Not 100% sure about the tides

Sand digging 

Toy stealing : ) 



Beach bliss

--- 3 ---

There was a great roof deck which I visited a few times. There was a hornets nest on one of the top stairs which made the climb that much more interesting but that didn't last long thanks to the bug-man. 

I remember sitting up on the roof decks when we went to the beach growing up but being pregnant and spending most of the day outside as it was... If there was down time I chose to stay inside working on my cross stitch.

I took the unopened set of Magna-Tiles that the girls got for Christmas as a 'new' thing for them to play with

They were a hit...

We also painted our toe nails...

There's a standing agreement between Papa, me and the girls that nails (only toes) get painted when we are at the beach. Last year we forgot to paint them so E and R were super excited about doing it this year and M was very interested in the colored nails she had and kept pointing to them. 

Usually you could distract her from just about anything by asking her "Where are your pretty toes?"

--- 4 ---

The girls enjoyed spending lots of time with Grandpa Joe and Grammy... 

Wisdom of Grandpa Joe 

Probably my favorite pic... R might be related to someone in this pic : ) 

M had this whole Grammy-get-me-water thing down to a science. M would whine and look pitifully at her empty sand bucket. Grammy would take it and fill it up. M would dump the bucket within a minute or two. The process repeated itself... ALOT. : ) That's what Grammy's are for, right?

--- 5 ---

We had some good food... 

I think we may have been alittle early for watermelons... 

But it was an easy spray-off-clean-up pre-beach snack because we found out the seagulls are super vicious

Juice boxes and water bottles on the beach... ONLY!

Then there was the nightly walk to the ice cream shop. 

M and I only went once because we were on beach time and she was a trooper until about 8 and then it was meltdown central - not that E and R were the best but they behaved just enough to get ice cream each night. 

This is for me? 

Forever the skeptic

Still not convinced

Oh yea.. Good pick mom!

Supercow - vanilla with colors added was a popular choice

Ice cream happiness : ) 

--- 6 ---

We went to the beach some more.

Sand castles were built...

Failed attempts at sibling pictures transpired

They have no idea what's coming...

Very much stuck!

But was was mostly okay

Staying out of the water dumping war that was going on.

Spending a few more fleeting hours in the sand

Making sure our buckets and toys don't float away

Packing up and the whole.. Swim diapers are permeable to pee is realized again and again. Thank goodness the wagon could be sprayed out.

I definitely realized a few things:

1. It takes a good 30-45 solid minutes to prep everyone for the beach. Suits, sunscreen, braid hair (TOALLY necessary for E and R), go potty, get water organized, load up wagon 
2. Thank goodness for the wagon
3. Thank goodness for the stair-less beach access one street down
4. We spent a decreasing amount of time on the beach daily. Maybe the girls were bored. Maybe they were too hot
5. I wonder if the afternoon/ after-rest trip to the beach is worth it - but with only 3 days at the we went for it

--- 7 ---

Obligatory ending the 2015 beach trip pics... 

Siblings pic... 

An outtake

2015 Beach Trip Pic

Saying bye to the ocean

She cried... ALOT and didn't understand why she wouldn't see the ocean again until she is 6

Visiting the roof deck before departure. 

E was so upset when she realized everything was in the van and we were actually leaving. Like lots of tears and crying. So despite my patience level hovering right around the empty line because of the bickering and whining about meaningless things and just generally being EXHAUSTED from the effort of taking 3 young kids to the beach - E crying about leaving solidified that all the rig-a-ma-roll of the past 3 days was in fact worth it. 

I don't expect a 5 yr old to have any concept of appreciating the sacrifices that the adults made to make the beach possible - let alone a 3 yr old and 20 month old. The tears were tears of gratitude. The tears were tears of I HAD SO MUCH FUN AND I REALLY REALL Y DON'T WANT TO LEAVE. 

But we did. We had to. 

We broke up our drive home with a dinner stop with some friends who live (mostly) on the way home. The girls got a bit of a stretch break and playtime with C - I wish they'd get to hang out with her more. M got a taste of not being the youngest in the house. She was semi-interested in little baby J. How we did not take a group kid pic I'm not sure? Oh wait, there was a 6 week old baby plus my brain was fried plus Erin and Tom and kids were literally in between trips - which I didn't know until we got there... Oppps. We definitely owe y'all one : ) and next time let's take that kid pic!

Then we rolled home later that night. 

And all the sandy beach laundry sat in the laundry room until Saturday because A. I refuse to do laundry on vacation and B. I only do laundry on Saturdays : ) 

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Answer Me This - Chocolate, Penmanship, and Babies

So bummed this is the last one : ( ... 

1. What's your favorite grocery store splurge?

Hmmm.... It would probably be wine or chocolate. However, seeing that I'm pregnant the wine consumption has dribbled down to next to nothing AND my current favorite wine did not come from a grocery store

Not sweet at all... 
It is worth trying a glass if you can get your hands on it.

Chocolate is such a problem for me especially when I'm pregnant for two reasons:

1. It give me terrible heartburn - but that rarely stop me from eating it
2. I have about ZERO self-control when it comes to stopping. Example - I got 2 packs of take and bake cookie dough because it was on sale and it was untouched for about a week and then Friday I had a hankering for some chocolate and as that was the ONLY chocolate in the house, cookie dough it was. That cookie dough did not stand a chance and was gone in a mere 24 hours. Thus I do not buy chocolate at the grocery store. I have a problem. I admit it and I have chosen the best way for me to handle it : ) #soaddicted

***We have a dinner guest coming on Tuesday so I'm hoping the second pack will survive until then!

2. How's your penmanship?

Oh it is not great. I always remember growing up my mom would leave notes for babysitters that were written so nicely and neatly. I could use some improvement and honestly I think I should clean up my act because E's going to be doing quite a bit of writing in kindergarten this year so I need to set a good example, right? 

3. Do you have a "Summer Bucket List?"

Our summer bucket list includes one thing - SURVIVING IT. Honestly summer is not for the faint of heart around here and if you don't believe me check on week in the life part 1 and part 2. With Papa's crazy long hours and negative amounts of vacation time it is quite a bit of solo parenting - which is fine, obviously he is doing EXACTLY what he needs to be doing - providing for his family.

That said, we are almost through swim team - which has been great.

We went to the beach for a few days with Grammy and Grandpa Joe - and I need to post about that.
We did not do any camps or anything like that but next year I'll have to do some better investigations
I'd still like to make it to the zoo maybe in September (but that's not really summer)
We nixed our annual trip to DC for a variety of reasons

4. What's the best thing on the radio right now?

Honestly we listen to The Classical Station or a CD of Latin chant because the girls sing along with the latter and it significantly cuts down on the bantering. Though I could really use a back up CD because I'm getting bored listening to the same songs. Also, we are listening to the Voyage of the Dawn Treader when we make the weekly trek to church so no so much radio right now.

5. Ice cream or frozen yogurt?

Probably ice cream and Mint Chocolate Chip to be specific. This kind

And if you ever happen to find yourself near a GoodBerry's and are looking for a dessert splurge on custard get a Mint Chocolate Chip concrete - it will not disappoint.

6. Have you had that baby NOW? (Again, you can skip this one if you want.)

Nope. Thank goodness! Survived going to San Antonio and back without going into labor so check that off my to do list. The trip was not without some EXCELLENT pregnancy questioning so if you need a good laugh check them out - especially the one second or third from the bottom : ) 

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