My family did not grow up going to the same summer spot every summer, at least when it did not involve visiting family. But Josh's family went to the same beach almost every summer and they contain some of his fondest childhood memories. While we are not "beach people" per se, we could not pass up the opportunity when Josh was asked to preach at a church on the coast of North Carolina. To thank us, they put us up in a condo, overlooking the dunes and the water. Ahhhhhhhhhh. That is the life.
Vacation should be exactly what it was for us this year- just time spent together with absolutely no distractions. We kept phone usage to a minimum and did not even bring a computer. The condo had a TV, but we hardly turned it on. Mostly we just read books, played with the kids, and hung out pool and beach-side (but mostly pool since it was right outside our door). We went down to the beach as soon as we arrived and while it took Jake some time to get used to the sand, Lil only wanted to do one thing:
Yep, she's my little bathing beauty... I think we'll get along fine. Once she was up, she'd stick her hand in the sand and cry, I'd wipe it off, and she'd go right back and do it all again. Over and over... so funny. We thought she might like the little tide pools that formed, but even wet sand was not appealing to her. She lasted long enough to get one picture... works for me:
Once Jake warmed up to the sand (and discovered buckets and shovels) he was a lot of fun! He even let Daddy take him into the water for a minute, but I could tell he was pretty concerned. I didn't mind since Carolina Beach has some of the worst rip tides in the area... I stayed on shore and pretended not to be nervous!
We did have one not-so-successful beach day when Jake just wasn't having it. The little dude thought that we were going to the pool and LOST HIS MIND when we went to the beach instead. He had a true terrible-two's temper tantrum complete with throwing himself on the ground and rolling around, which resulted in him being more upset and shouting, "I'm dirty! I'm dirty!" over and over again. I probably could have helped, but I was having a hard time not laughing. I took pictures instead... way to be supportive, right??!!
We tried to spend an entire day out there (even purchasing a small baby pool for Lil at the advice of several bloggers with young children) and the day ended up to be too windy. Our umbrellas and tent blew over repeatedly, the lifeguards called all swimmers out of the water, and Lil decided that the baby pool was not a good option for her and stayed on the blanket, continuing to do her hand in the sand-cry-wipe it off cycle instead. It was, however, a great day for flying a kite.
Much to the joy of our children, we ended up right back here:
So this year my kids certainly preferred the pool and that was A-okay with me. I'm just as happy lounging poolside as I am beachside, and we could hear the surf from our balcony so I spent plenty of time out there, especially when I drank my morning coffee. Jake even came around and wore his water wings, which was a fight that lasted days. I so wish I had a video camera... the kid thinks he can swim and acted like we were torturing him when we tried to make him wear them. We let him go under once when he was "swimming without them" and he came up wide-eyed and panicked before raising both arms in the air and yelling "I did it! I swim!" Oh boy. Mr. Independent does not want help from anyone. He is going to do mighty big things some day with that attitude! We enjoyed our uninterrupted time with them so much. We did manage a family picture on the beach, too, where both kids are looking at least in the direction of the camera. I'll call that a win!
I'm still in post-vacation mourning mode, so these daily posts are therapeutic for me and will help me remember the little antecdotes and share them with Jake and Lil someday. I so very much love this little foursome of mine and have to thank God daily for a gift this big and special.
Next up? The night-life in Carolina Beach! Well, night-life with a toddler and a 9-month-old anyway... which is the night-life I prefer!`