Thursday, June 4, 2009

Memorial Day at the Beach

We were invited - by an extremely brave family - to join them at their condo on St. Simon's Island over Memorial Day Weekend. Yes, it was Alexa and her family. I don't know if anyone else would have invited us or if I would have been comfortable enough invading anyone else's place. Alexa, I think, knew what she was getting into. Her parents on the other hand . . . are troopers. Walking into an unknown environment that is NOT yours can be a bit challenging with small children. Luckily I remembered the toy bag - oh wait - the toy bag & Stella's pacifier were the 2 things I forgot. Yikes, I'm not winning the mom of the year award for that one. I quickly purchased a new pacifier for Stella (I figured this was NOT the weekend to wean her from her pacifier). As for toys, they are highly overrated . . . right?

Good thing we were at the beach 80% of the time. The girls had an absolute blast. They played in the sand, swam in the ocean, climbed the rocks, built sandcastles, and Abigail found every type of sea creature imaginable. I'm not kidding. Abi found: sand crabs, hermit crabs, live conch in it's shell, live sand dollar, live star fish, and I think I'm forgetting something. It was amazing. Stella spotted the sand crabs first, and without hesitation chased it down, picked it up, and played with it for a while.
Abigail & Jillian body surfed. Stella spent hours in the water floating in an inflatable ring. Chloe & Claire enjoyed playing in the sand & a make shift pond by the rocks. Stella ate enough sand to poop out a sandcastle. Abi, Jillian, Stella and I took a walk on the pier & saw a bunch of fisherman. We even saw one catch a baby hammerhead shark. He let us touch it before he released it back in the water. That was cool! Overall it was a GREAT trip.

OK, a few glitches. Claire took off her diaper during nap time & pooped on the bed. Praise God she was on the blow up bed I brought & pooped on a towel. Still slightly embarrassing. Stella not less than 20 minutes later took off her pamper & peed on a chair. Lovely. Nothing like taking you girls somewhere to have you pee & poop on someone else's furniture. (Pap & Grandma Linda - if you are reading this I am sure this will NOT happen at your place in TN.) Now onto dinner time. We rarely go out to dinner . . . for obvious reasons. So the fact that we ate out 3 consecutive nights - I guess we did fairly well. There were some good looks, a few screams, lots of crackers, some annoyed looks, too much sprite, the equivalent of a meal on the floor, and 3 high chairs.

I have to say that watching you girls explore everything, swim no matter what the water felt like, and take advantage of every experience - I felt a bit wimpy. I remember being more focused on swimming than the temperature of the water. More focused on playing than how much sand was getting into my suit. More focused on exploring new surroundings and creatures than relaxing. I was feeling a bit old & whiny. Agh, the water is cold. Hmph, it's drizzling. Ugh, there's sand on my sandwich. Eek, will that crab pinch me? Get a grip old woman! Thank you girls for keeping me young. Keeping me on my toes. Keeping me exploring & experiencing. I never want to get to the point where it is too much work, effort, dirt, clean up, etc. that I don't enjoy life. God is so amazingly creative with His creatures and creation. I pray that I will enjoy it to my last breath - when I'll truly see the glory of His creation in heaven. I pray that you girls continue to enjoy His creations as well. Thanks for keeping me young!

I have to share how amazing Alexa & Katie Rose were this weekend. Having a 7, 5, 3, & two 2 year olds is a LOT of work. Especially at the beach when you all go in different directions. Alexa actually helped me before we even got to the beach. You see, packing for everyone is not something I really enjoy - so Alexa was more than happy to pack up clothes for all you girls. You know when Alexa has packed because Chloe & Claire are always matching. Plus, Stella allows Alexa to do her hair. So all you girls look cute & very put together. Maybe I should ask her to pack my stuff! Anyway, it was a complete joy having these two amazing girls there to help. I really would NOT have done this with just Papi and I. Alexa has been a complete gift from God for our family. She loves you girls, and is so natural with you = it means the world to me. I truly believe, and have probably said before, she has helped me keep my sanity quite a few times. She is more than capable with you girls - all of you girls. Her friend, Katie Rose, was an incredible help as well. All of you girls enjoyed playing with them. Thank you Alexa & Katie Rose & to Susan & Baron for you kindness, patience & generosity with our family. We love you!