Thursday, June 28, 2012

Beach Guide

This momma's Beach Vacation Guide

I know at least 3 of my mommy first time mommy friends with small babies are heading to the beach soon... so I wanted to share a few things that may make your trip a little easier, and fuel the economy. 

The very best thing I did... was prepare. I did some online goggling and asked around to my friends. They gave me so ideas and let me borrow their stuff. Like, did you know that baby powder takes the sand off skin? or that babies under the age of 1 can't regulate their body temperature like we can? A little work upfront might make your trip a little easier.

Baby Sun Tent
We borrowed this one from bestie and it worked out awesome. If you google "baby beach tent" there are about a million options.... some are big enough for the entire family, but we liked that this one was small, and it folds into a pouch about the size of a frisby. We would usually position our beach umbrella over our site as well, so when he was playing/awake he was still covered. This one is cute with the little bug screens...  from One Step Ahead. $50.
Pool Float
We borrowed this from bestie too! The outside blows up, and the inside is mesh... like the bottom of a jumper seat. Holds him up and lets him float with you! The beast part is the shade canopy... since our pool was in full sun the entire day. Amazon $20.

Camera/Video Camera
We bought this right before D was born and used it in the hospital and to record fun stuff around the house. It was SO FUN to have at the beach to take pool pictures/underwater video and not worry about it getting ruined because it's waterproof! Amazon. $90 I also read that you can get a waterproof case for your iphone. Lifeproof. $79. I'd be interested to know if any of you have one?!

 Battery Operated Fan
We didn't buy this specifically for the beach, but it is a little fan that clips on the stroller. We used it at the beach and on his stroller while we were there... sometimes it is just SO HOT and the air can be kinda stale. I know not a necessity, but it did give me peace of mind. Target. $19.99

Bring a Pillowcase & Sound machine
 If you have a high maintenance napper, like me, you will do ANYTHING to keep your kids routine in place so he'll nap. For us, this meant bringing his sound machine (which usually plugs into the wall, but can also run on batteries) to the beach. I also brought a pillow case to lay over the dry towel in his tent because I got a tip from another mom that said her baby wouldn't sleep on a scratchy beach towel. Worked like a charm for us.

Beach Cart
The beach is less than a 5 minute walk from the condo that we stay at... which is awesome. But toting chairs, umbrella, bags, towels, tent, cooler, AND a baby... not so much. We bought this beach cart and it was perfect! Chris and I said several times "I don't know what we would do without this cart!". We got ours at Costco for $50, but if you don't have a Costco membership you can still find it online at Amazon.

Bring some of their Toys
Don't underestimate the amount of time you will spend inside. The afternoons were super HOT, way too hot for us to feel comfortable having D outside so we would nap in the house in the hottest part of the day then hit the pool in the afternoon. We also brought his stroller, and would take walks around the condo and down to the beach for sunset.

Put teethers in the cooler
Baby D was/is teething hard core... but having some teethers in the cooler made for some quick relief on the beach if they started bothering him.

 This is who we forgot at home... we went to the beach just the three of us. I think that next time we should bring some grandparents or/and friends. There is still things to be done and a baby to take care of... bottles to wash, diapers to change, bags to pack, sand to clean up... 

What people don't tell you is that vacation is different now. For us it used to be about sleeping in past 10am and laying on the beach all day. Going out to dinner every night and doing whatever we wanted. Now it is about watching our sweet baby splash in the pool for the first time, getting so proud of him for sitting on the uneven sand at the beach, worrying about him getting sunburned, washing lots more laundry, sweet snuggles before every nap time, and baby monitor on the back porch while we eat dinner at the condo. It's better than it was before, yes, it's a lot more work, but it is so rewarding.

Have fun at the beach this summer!

Sand is Yucky

You might have noticed that all of the pictures from my previous beach post were from instagram. I mean, it is 2012 up in here, so you know we are using our cell phones most of the time. I did take my big camera to the beach though. I didn't get many pictures with it, but I got a few and I will cherish them forever.

We walked down to the beach for the sunset a couple times. This meant keeping D up past his bedtime, so we didn't do it every night. He was a trooper though, and loved the feel of sand between his toes and fingers. 

In his mouth... not so much.

My ONLY regret about our beach trip, is that I wanted more pictures of him on the beach. I had done tons of research (duh, pinterest) and brought lots of cute outfits, but we only got up early enough to do it once.  Next time I'll be more deliberate. But I am happy with the couple that I got. I 'm thinking of ordering a canvas of this first one. It is my favorite.

I know it probably goes without saying now, but our fatty-fatty is a sitter! He started sitting on his own just a day or two before the beach and now he is a rock-star sitter! He loves to sit and play, and look around. I'm sure the view is so much better than laying and looking at the ceiling.

I brought my tripod and remote, with high hopes of trecking it down to the beach for family beach photos. That never happened, but we snapped these behind the condo about 15 minutes before we headed home. I love that beautiful pink flower bush, and I love even more the way Durham is looking at me. Melts my heart.

The lesson in the story is...
bring your big camera and take more pictures
sand is yucky.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Durham's 1st Beach Trip

We took Durham to Florida last month, his first beach trip. It.was.awesome.

We are so blessed, Chris's parents let us stay at their condo that is right by the pool and the ocean. That made being there with our 6month old a little easier. We packed up almost everything we own and rode down after work on a Thursday and stayed the entire next week. It was a great idea to do our traveling at night because Durham slept the entire time. Thumbs down that baby d did not get the time-change memo and was up before the sun came up the next day.

Each day, Durham would get up eat, play, and go back down for a nap. While he napped, we would eat breakfast, pack a lunch in the cooler, change and be ready to walk down to the beach... that way, when he woke up we could roll on out. Chris did get in the ocean with him a couple times, but the water was kind cold for him. He loved to sit up and play with toys on a towel at the foot of my beach chair, lay in his tent and watch the umbrella, and take naps on the beach.

Durham took naps like a champ on the beach. The kind of champ that needs to be bounced to sleep, have a fan, and a sound machine. That is still a champ, right? I guess we can't complain, he is a high maintenance sleeper at home too.... so I wasn't surprised. I know that our next trip will be even more fun because he wont need as many naps, there will be more time for playing!

 He loved the pool much more than the ocean. We knew he would love it, since he loves bath time and splashing in his kiddy pool at home. I loved it too, because there was no sand. I'm not a big fan of cleaning up sand everywhere. We borrowed this baby pool float from bestie and it was perfect to keep the sun away and give him a little support. We would hit the pool in the late afternoons when it was a little cooler.

I am not going to lie to you guys... being on vacation with a 6month old baby is actually not a vacation at all. It is just moving all your crap from home to a sunnier place with a pool. There was still so much to be done and only our four hands to do it. Now we know why people bring grandparents on vacation!

Chris and I did manage a little time together too... it is so important to us that we connect each and every day. When we are home that is even harder because of my work schedule, but at the beach we ate dinner on the back deck every night once durham was asleep, watched movies on the couch, and hung out just the two of us.

We had an awesome time and we can't wait to go back!

this is a three part post:

today: family fun 
tomorrow: Durham ate sand
Thursday: Beach guide for the mommy of a 6month old

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Happy Birthday Jackson Rush

Dear Jackson,

I love you so much. From the moment I saw you... my heart was forever changed. I have absolutely loved every life stage you have gone through...and I always say "this one is my favorite".

You were so itty-bitty. so snugly down in my arms. I remember coming over in those early weeks to just hold you on the couch while mommy caught a few minutes of sleep snuggled up beside us. I remember you getting bigger and stronger. I remember watching you try new foods and learning to scoot across the floor. I remember tagging along with you and mommy to physical therapy and cheering you on when you decided it was time to walk. I remember not being able to say no when you would lift your chubby little arms up and say "Nanny, I hold you", I remember every Halloween costume you've worn, every birthday party, and every Christmas card. I remember the name of our marching band, the way your hair curls up when you sweat, and how the freckle on your finger reminds me of the one on mine. I remember it all because I love you. You and every one of these memories live in a very special place in my heart.

Your mommy is such a beautiful example of a mother. She shows me how to love in such a pure and simple way. I am so grateful for the relationship that she allows us to have... she nurtures it, and supports it, and loves it.

Thank you for being such an amazing little boy, Jackson. You are so strong, so kindhearted, so passionate, so loving, and just a joy to be around. The past 4 years have flown by in the blink of an eye...I know I say this about every stage... but I think 4 might be my favorite. I love you sweet boy. 

Happy fourth Birthday, bubs!

I love you,

I can't wait till Durham is older and yall can play together, 
he is already so fascinated by you...