Monday, July 23, 2012

Virginia Beach or Bust

Once upon a time, long ago, the Jones family lived near the beach.  Every so often on a Saturday or Sunday we would venture to the seaside for some R&R.  We would take 1 bag, two towels, and two chairs.  We would occasionally throw a frisbee, go for a swim, or even take a nap.

Those days are long gone.  
Now when we go to the beach we have to drive 2 hours, and pack every "just in case" item you can think of, and when we settle into our place in the sand there is never sleeping.  Now-a-days there is shell hunting, and castle building, and wave chasing.   Who needs a nap at the beach anyway, I wouldn't trade watching them run and get sand in every crevice of their little bodies for a thousand beach side naps.

Our friends were going down to VA Beach for a couple of days this weekend, so Kev took off work on Friday so that we could join them.  He had some saved up points at one of his work hotels so he booked us a room right in the heart of VA Beach.

 Have you ever been to VA Beach?  I actually don't recommend it.  It takes beach tackiness to a really special level.  Complete with a tourist shops on every corner that sell everything from hermit crabs to crude t- shirts.  When you sit on the beach to your left and right is a sea of striped umbrellas for as far as the eye can see.  When you look out to the actual sea your view is obstructed by the number of bodies that are out enjoying the water.  Not really the place that I want to swim.

We did have a nice time.  We played on the beach until an impending storm drove us up to our hotel room.  When we left the beach, there were still a fair number of beach goers left, but by the time we hit the ninth floor the beach had completely cleared.  The girls loved staying in the hotel.  We had a great view of the boardwalk and ocean front.  Maggie particularly liked people watching from our balcony.  Libby liked the free toiletries.  But who doesn't love a free set of lime verbena shampoo, conditioner, and lotion?
 Since one day going to the sea front of VA Beach was a enough for me, the following day we drove the extra 30 minutes to Sandbridge which is my kind of beach.  It is quiet, it is pretty, and there is no fear of touching someone else should you choose to go swimming.  The only problem was, that after we toted everything we might need "just in case"  the swirling grey clouds over head and claps of thunder drove us back to our van to take cover...We never made it back to the beach after that.  We drove home in a monsoon, stopping only briefly to eat dinner while our kids were coming unglued from being desperately ready to be back at home.
We have had better trips.
At least we were together.
At least we took enough pictures for me to make a lengthy video montage.

 Happy beach tripping.  May you always have enough hands to carry your children and your chairs.

Grace and Peace

Monday, July 16, 2012

Hooray....Something Else To Help Me Waste

I'd like to take a moment and thank Kelle Hampton of Enjoying the Small Things   for posting a step by step tutorial on making video montages...Just what I needed, another way to make memories of my kids, while ignoring them to do so :) Just kidding.   I solemnly swear I will only make these during nap time or bed time when I should be doing laundry or cleaning the bathrooms.
Sugar by Garret Gue

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Lemonade and Other Things

There is no lemonade in this post.  I was going to post about homemade lemonade so that you could see our pictures from squeezing our own lemons.  It took a whole different turn though and now it should just be titled "Other Things."  Incidentally, here are the pictures that are not relevant to my post in the slightest!

A little known fact about our sweet Littlest is that at times she is quite literally "attached" to her mama... Still, at 18 months old, nursing quite regularly throughout the day.
 While I don't claim to be an "attachment" parent, I have always let her feed "on demand."  I admit that for the most part this worked for us, but in the last few months "on demand" has taken on new meaning.  I was all set to write a post requesting tips on weening until I realized admitted that my baby is actually a toddler and understands a lot more than we give her credit for.  This week after a day demanding to nurse every time something upset her, I decided it was time to cut her off, or at least drop back a bit on the whole nursing thing.
To be honest, I NEVER thought I would nurse this long.
 To be honest, I think it is weird...
No offense to you if you are still nursing your toddler, elementary student, high school graduate, whatever works for you...ehhh or ewe.
To me when I see her next to an infant I think, "she is really to big for this"
That's just me though.
 Don't get offended.
I have heard that nursing is a hot button for people...I'm not judging.   I'm just saying that when we are at the pool and my darling is trying to pull my top down b/c someone splashed her, it's my indication that perhaps it is time to let go of this part of our life.
The following day when it came time for her nap, I basically explained that she was a big girl now and she just had to get in her bed and go night-night.  I was laughing  in my head while explaining this to her, assuming that she wasn't really going to understand the soliloquy I had just delivered.  To my surprise, she got in her bed and laid down for her nap.  To double my surprise, with just a bit of resistance, the same thing happened at bed time.
It has been about 5 days now of cutting way back.  Some days we have managed to skip all nursing sessions.   Unless I plan on waking up way before her in the morning, I think our morning sessions  will be around for a bit longer.
I see the end in sight and hopefully I won't end up like this lady  (not that I'm judging her...I just don't want to breast feed a 3 or 4 year old).
However, if I'm honest, the first night she went down with out me feeding her, I cried.  Kev laughed at me b/c all I have been talking about since our return from England is how I need to stop, and enough is enough...But there you have it I am one big contradiction of a mother.. You know stopping breast feeding is just one step closer to her leaving for college and her wedding and wahhhhhhhhhh!!!!!
(Just for interest sake, one day I'm going to go through all of my post and note how often I mention the impending doom of my children leaving for college or getting married..I know I have a problem)
Why do babies grow up so very, very fast?
I've been working on her baby book this past week and that coupled with the weening crack down has me pinning for my babies to be small again.  After our trip to England I actually admitted that our baby days may be behind us now.  To my realistic husband's dismay I may need to retract that statement.  You never know there may still be a little Jones baby on the horizon for us..
In the mean time I officially declare that I need my children to stay small for just a bit longer.

Grace and peace

Monday, July 9, 2012

Red Hot

"I can beat the heat, I can beat the heat" that is the mantra I have been repeating in my head over and over again for two weeks of 100+ degree weather.  The other one I have been repeating is "I'm so glad I'm not pregnant, I'm so glad I'm not pregnant" ....strictly based on the summer two years ago when I was pregnant and we stayed inside for two months straight while I waited on the couch for cooler temperatures.  Poor Libby.

Saturday morning I opened the door at 8 am to put a bag of trash outside took a deep breath and in came the thick, hot air that has made up our last few weeks...Yuck!  I quickly went inside and hashed out a plan for our Saturday that involved air conditioning.

Kev was off on Wednesday for the fourth of July.  The temptation was to stay at home and get jobs done around  the house since he has been away from home the better part of 8 weeks because of our holiday and works trips.  We knew we would feel like we accomplished something if we took care of our chores.  Instead, we opted to spend time together as family doing what we've done most years since moving to VA.  

We went to the Ashland Fourth of July Parade.  It's a little slice of home town heaven that makes you feel glad that you live in place that celebrates in such an old fashion sort of way.  After we walked through crowds, while an old brass band played "You're A Grand Old Flag," and we ordered up Good Humor ice cream bars from an ice cream truck, we headed home and prepared for an evening with friends. 

 We had friends over last year on the fourth also and it remains one of my favorite days from last summer.  Despite my initial thought of skipping a shrimp boil this year since Kev has been away so much, we decided to do it anyway.  I'm so glad we did.  The kids had a water gun battle and the dads almost got fined for setting off fireworks...All things that make for a lovely 4th.  The way the 4th should be spent eating watermelon, holding sweaty babies, and laughing with friends... Not doing chores. 

A storm rolled through last night lighting up are skies and sending my Little into a series of questions about lightning and thunder that I'm sure would have continued till morning if we had allowed it.  As a bonus, the storms cooled our temperatures right down and they only climbed to 90 today..

Ah summer, I'm so glad that you are here!
Grace and Peace