Monday, May 28, 2012

Getting Our Beach Groove

Of the (almost) nine years my husband and I have been married, we have lived at the beach for six of them.  In Pensacola, Florida right after we got hitched and then in the Hampton Roads (Virginia Beach) area for 5+ years.  We aren't "beach people".  Well, my very Irish husband isn't a beach person, and since I like him and want to hang out with him it makes me not a beach person by default.  The thought of laying in the blistering sun while reading a book sounds great to me - it sounds like Chinese water torture to John.  So in the six-ish years we have lived seaside, we really haven't stepped foot on the beach unless it was in the evening to take our dog for a walk.

Until now.

Now that we have two very active children who need to have their energy burned off, the beach is the perfect place.  The beach is an energy suck - the sun, the surf, even the little dance we do to get rid of the sand.  Our kids leave exhausted.  Glazed over with fatigue.  This means easy bedtimes and quiet nights.

It is virtually impossible for us to relax on the beach right now with a 2 year old and a 1 year old.  But instead, it is socially acceptable to build sand castles, dig for shells, and bury little tiny feet in the sand.  Because of this, my "big kid" of a husband has taken new found liking to SPF 50 sunscreen and the wide open sand.  He has playmates, not just a lazy wife who wants to read her latest Jennifer Weiner book.

This past weekend we went to the beach twice.  TWICE, people.  Those of you who know me in real life know that this is a big deal.  Not for me, but for my toddler Kate who when I tried to take her to the beach once last year (just once) it was a meltdown of epic proportions.  Imagine a 2 year old clinging to her mothers neck with her knees tucked to her chest because it got her feet just *a teeny bit further* away from the dreaded sand of doom.  Dreaded sand of DOOM.  If my child had sand anywhere on her body - even the smallest speck - it resulted in a freak out.  Which made the beach impossible.  Pair that with a 6 month old who thought sand tasted delicious and a tired solo mama and you had a recipe for NO BEACH.  Like, never ever, I don't even want to look at the beach because it might send Kate into a post traumatic meltdown. 

I have no pictures of last year because I was holding my 2 year old the whole time.  Oh darn.

Thankfully, this year has been different.  A year has gone by and Kate has finally started to embrace the good things about the beach. 

She still tiptoes across the sand and notice her fingers sprawled apart because she can't stand the touch of sand between them...

But she plays, and digs, and love seashells.  She puts her toes in the water and wants to be there.  It is a huge success!  This will likely be our last summer in this area so we are happy we can embrace what makes Virginia Beach a tourist trap and causes all of the darn traffic!

Here's to a fun summer with sandy toes!


Karen said...

Sigh - I miss the beach. There is tons of sand here in Oklahoma, but no salty water to go with it. :( Great pictures!

Angie said...

I have the opposite problem with my daughter. She has to be carried off the beach and she screams the entire time. She is a beach kid. Luckily, we will be living near the ocean for most of my husband's career. That beach looks nicer than the one here in Texas. After here, we will be moving to Virginia so I am excited to see what that beach is like.

Julie said...

Just started reading your blog---found through another reader!!! And you are one lucky person to live so close to the beach---that's my dream:) Until then I will take week vacations and savor every minute! Enjoy the summer and thank goodness your little one is enjoying it this year, probably by the end of summer you won't be able to pull her away from the sand:)

Sarah said...

I too live in VB and have a very Irish-Norwegian husband, so the beach isn't his favorite place. I (and his 10 year old son) on the other hand, LOVE the beach. I have figured out that having my husband golf in the AM and purchasing a beach chair has greatly increased his likelihood of coming to the beach with us. I like to embrace what is at my fingertips and the beach is there right now!
I'm glad you are enjoying the beach! It can be a blast. The sun can be deadly though.

Jen said...

beautiful photos!

I am like John, I have pale, pale skin. I would need an umbrella, not just sunscreen. And my son has my skin too.

The weather looks perfect and tired kids means happy parents! I am glad Kate wasn't so scared this year. Enjoy. I miss the sound of the waves crashing.

dave and kate said...

#1 product we take to the beach with us: BABY POWDER. We go every weekend to escape the heat down here in the tropics...and baby powder takes the sand right off! It's a life saver when it's snack time. :) My friendly beach tip.

laura said...

I've never been a big beach person either and have had quite a few people tell me they could never imagine me laying on a beach, relaxing. I feel like there is too much to do during and get anxious with just taking it easy. I guess I'm way too high strung :) But now that our temporary beach house is a minute walk to the beach, I've had to embrace it with an energetic two year old. And like your husband, I'm beginning to enjoy the sound of the waves, the searching for seashells and the sand between my toes. Now the cleaning of everything once we get home is a different story :) Hope your summer is awesome!

Lori said...

I love, love, love, love, LOVE the beach. And am happy to say that Luke seems to take after me. John loves it too, but much like your John, now that he has someone other than boring old me, he REALLY enjoys it. He doesn't look so childish since he actually has a child WITH him playing ha ha!!

Poor little Kate...glad she was happier, but bless her little webbed hands. I get that, on earth the OCD in me and the beach get along is beyond me, but I'm GLAD!!! If I had to leave my house in MD, the beach makes it worth it!

Hi, I'm Jill!

Hi, I'm Jill!
Extrovert. Mom of two. Wife of a cute Naval Aviator. Lover of wine. When I'm not chasing my two kids around town you will find me writing, taking too many photos, and researching the ten future areas the Navy could potentially (but probably won't) PCS us. We are fish out of water, landlocked at 7,000 feet. For now.

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