At the end of July/beginning of August, we headed to the beach a second time with my family. Everyone made it - all of my siblings and all of their littles - that is an achievement alone. Adam had to leave on Monday. We flew him out so we could scrape up every minute possible with him and so he could drive us to the beach. Cousin Crystal came to help me with my 3 little people so I wouldn't go in sane! I'm going to let the pictures do most of the talking, but suffice it to say this trip to the beach when we all have a million more kids was easier and more enjoyable than the vacation we had when we all had our first baby. I think we've all relaxed a lot.
There are 12 adults and 11 children in my family. We also had some other people come as well like I brought cousin Crystal. So at any given point during the week we had at least 23 people in the condo.
The condo had 8 bedrooms and 7 bathrooms.
Two flights of stairs made Henry super happy and me very tired.
Lucy loved collecting sand crabs.
Henry didn't nap as good on the beach this week as he did the previous beach trip. We got a morning nap of the beach about 50% of the time. Still totally worth having the tent and setting it up everyday just for those days that I did get to lay him down for an hour so I could play with the girls in the ocean.
Caroline got to ride the bumper cars. She is 47.5 inches tall, but with shoes on she passes as 48 inches every time. She could have actually driven this bumper car, but don't tell her that. She was happy being a passenger.
Henry was even more into the ocean on this trip. He loved laying on his belly and dipping his face into the water. He crawled all through the little pools made along the beach during low tide. He would crawl straight into sections that were over his head and come up smiling.
Crystal rode all the way home to Kentucky with us saving me from having to drive 3 kids 10+ hours by myself. We made record time. That could be because Henry once again cried most of the trip. It sort of motivates you to keep going! Some other highlights that are in photos include: nightly spades and poker, Caroline reading her first American Girl book in it's entirety by herself Meet Felicity (in the last 5 weeks since that trip she has read 8 more American Girl books!), and Henry taking lots of steps,
And lest I forget, there were so many hard things about having 3 small kids at the beach by myself. I think I have just lowered my expectations a lot.
1) I accepted the fact that Henry would regress on his sleeping and would probably wake up a lot and probably be in my bed. I rejoiced that he would sleep on his own in the pack 'n play until about midnight each night giving me some adult time.
2) I had no time to myself the whole week, but honestly I look forward to one on one time with each kid and I DID get to have one on one time with each kid that week thanks to having Crystal there to help out.
3) And finally, my biggest concern for the whole week was all the discipline I would have to dole out by myself. Disciplining takes such a toll on me - I guess it probably does for all parents. To remedy this, Crystal and I resolved to keep the kids VERY busy! When I saw there was going to be about an hour of down time one night, we drove to a local playground. It helped a lot to stay busy. Sure we saw a woman at the playground holding a gun and had to leave in a hurry (a story for another time).