This weekend we were incredibly blessed with a FREE trip to the beach! Some great family friends of ours gifted us their time share at a beach condo for Friday night. We had such a great time! I've been wanting to get Abbey and Luke in the sand for a long time now, and I am so happy we finally got the chance to do it.
Not only was it special being Luke and Abbey's first time at the beach, but it was also our first vacation as a family of four. We've traveled some with extended family, but never gone out of town just us =).
It was about a 2 hour drive (our longest so far) and due to work schedules we weren't able to leave town until after nap time, so the kiddo's needed a little break about half way through the trip. We stopped at a McDonalds, as I was thinking "don't they have Playplaces in there? Yeah it'll be disgusting and we'll have to sanitize like crazy after, but it'll be a good place to stretch their legs and get some wiggles out..." Um, can you say WRONG?!? Rookie Momma over here. I had no idea the Playplaces were geared for older children. We walked in and I took one look at the giant stairs leading to nets and tunnels and went Nope. Luke was already tearing off to climb, and was very sad to hear that we wouldn't be able to explore such treacherous heights.
Luckily, a milkshake came in close second...
We piled back in the van and made our way to the beach. Once we got into town we stopped and picked up a Pizza from our favorite pizza joint over there. David and I eat there pretty much any time we are over at this beach. And pretty much every time we go, I make David climb into one of those photo booths with me and take our pictures. This year was no exception...
(please do like I am and pretend not to notice Momma's crazy eyes in the last one. Not sure what that's about)
When we arrived at the condo we were instantly STUNNED by how beautiful it was! Seriously, this place was nicer than our house. Luxury.
As Dave and I set up pack-n-plays and settled in, the twins had the best time exploring. They went from room to room running around and shrieking. They were THRILLED to find that none of the kitchen cupboards and drawers had locks on them. I laughed out loud when I flashed back to packing the night before and wondering if 2 balls and books would be enough toys to occupy them while we were there.
They made themselves right at home...
(Abbeygirl wearing Momma's discarded shoes over her own)
We finally got them to sit down and eat some pizza before letting them free to roam again.
After more play time, it was bath and bedtime routine, and night time for Luke and Abbey. They went down fairly well (Luke without a peep, and Abbey only needed a few minutes extra comfort) and then David and I spent the evening relaxing.
At one point I left to go sit in the outdoor hot tub - which was HEAVENLY. (Before you think me a terrible wife for ditching my husband to go relax in a spa, please know we recently canceled our cable in order to cut back expenses, so he was very pleased to be reunited with the letters E,S,P and N)
The kids woke up around 7 the next morning and we made some coffee and orange rolls, and just relaxed and took our time getting ready.
Then we headed down to play on the beach!!
God was beyond gracious to us, as the Oregon Coast is not exactly known for it's great weather, let alone in October, but I tell you it was perfect out. No wind, no rain. Just a calm day to play. We didn't even need our jackets, and ditched our hats half way through our play time.
The kids took right to the sand. Luke got right to work digging, just as I thought he would =).
Abigail pointing out a seagull flying over head..."BIRD!!!!"
"This stuff is AWESOME!!"
Daddy took the babies out to see the waves...
...and then reigned them back in when they got a little too comfortable...
The boys threw some rocks...
The kids ran and ran and ran...
...until they were captured, that is =)...
The Momma and her babies...
Our adorable baby boy...
Our adorable baby girl...
After plenty of beach time, we made our way back to our place to change into swimsuits and enjoy the heated pool.
After that, it was time for comfy clothes, pack up our stuff, and naps for two of us on the drive home. A good time was had by all...=)
I could fill up all of Blogland with a post about all the things I wished I'd done better thus far in parenting, but instead tonight I'm thinking about a few things I'm glad we've done.
- Taught our infants sign language. We had begun using signs like "diaper" "nurse" and "more" around 7 months, just so Luke and Abbey would grow accustomed to seeing them, but the real credit goes to my sweet friend Heather who sent us these videos for their first birthday. At nearly 18 months Luke and Abbey aren't especially verbal, and signing plays a HUGE role in our lives. Being able to communicate helps eliminate frustration for all of us. Early this morning Abbey woke up crying and I went in to find out what was the matter, and the second she saw me she signed "diaper". Sure enough, her diaper was soaked. A quick change and she was good to go. We have many moments like that during our days around here, and they serve as constant reminders of how grateful I am that we all learned so much sign language.
- Put family pictures in plastic frames on the fridge. Last month my sister Vanessa came over to babysit for the first time while I went to work. She lives about an hour away, and so the twins haven't seen her very often. She came over a few hours before I needed to leave, and right away when she walked in, both Abbey and Luke went over to the fridge, pulled off the picture of me and my sisters, and pointed at Vanessa. Amazing!
- Introduced ALL veggies before a single bite of fruit. For all I know, this one is an old wives tale, and we just got lucky, but all signs point to this being true. I had heard if you introduce only veggies in the beginning of starting solids before introducing any fruits, you will have good vegetable eaters. Sounded good to me, so that's what we did. And lo and behold, both our little ones will chow down on green beans, peas, corn, carrots and even broccoli. They reach for it without being asked or reminded!
- Associated lovies with sleep time. Sleep. Oh what an issue sleep was for a loonngg time in this house. I know we'll have many, many stages and phases to come, but right now we are in a good sleeping pattern, and neither Luke nor Abbey has fought naptime or bedtime in a long while. They know when that sound machine (white noise) comes on, and they get their binkies and their respective lovies, it's time to go to sleep. They only get binks and lovies in their cribs, and it's worked wonders for cuing sleep time.
- Discovered these. They're a little pricey, but totally organic, so I don't mind spending more on them. My kiddo's LOVE them, and they make a great "treat" for longer car rides. They aren't messy and they kids find them tasty =).
-Rotated toys. This is something my older sister does, and I'm so glad I do it too. Every couple months we pull out "new" toys from the closet and Abbey and Luke are entertained anew. Plus with only 2/3 of their actual toy collection out for play, it makes for less clean up for all of us =).
- Haven't taken away the binky yet. This one is TOTALLY selfish, but...sometimes it just comes in handy. Luke and Abbey only get their binkies (or "kinkies" as Ab's calls them) during naps and bedtime, or sometimes when we're out and about and we need to "push" them a bit longer than they'd normally allow. Last week I had to take them both to the doctor by myself, and anytime I've had to do soothe two babies post being poked and prodded at, I'm always grateful to have the binkies to help with the soothing process.
-Blogged. I am so grateful I've documented - words and pictures- my pregnancy and the twins first year and a half. Someday I hope to make the time and budget to make blog books like this Momma. It's been a wonderful way to keep family updated, a great way to journal, and fantastic for preserving memories.
How about you? What are some things you're glad you've done? I'm always looking for good ideas!! =)
Hmmm...where to begin?? I have been married for 10 years to a wonderful man, and after more than 2 1/2 years of waiting, hoping and praying, we were blessed with the most beautiful twins! Lucas and Abigail were born in March of 2010 at 38 weeks. God has been so gracious to us. We also have 2 adorable cats who tolerate us because we continue to feed them. I love Jesus, my family, my friends, a good cup of coffee, the beach, sleeping in, sunshine and witty banter. I choose to describe myself as "passionate" about most things. I can turn almost any moment into a kleenex moment, but that's ok... because I would rather feel too much than not enough, ya know?