I always love taking pics of the kids on the beach. We managed to get ONE pic with ALL THREE children smiling and looking at the camera. I consider that a miracle!
Andrew had a wonderful time at the beach. He loved jumping in the waves, pretending to surf, searching (and finding) sharks' teeth, doing cartwheels, and resting on his Clone Wars beach towel.
Ryan loved the beach too, but preferred staying closer to the land. He had a fun time running away from the waves. He told me he was "faster than Dash" (Incredibles) and that I couldn't even "catch him with a camera."
Molly was slow to warm up to the beach, each time we went. She would be clingy and sad for the first 75% of the time we were there, and then loved it the last few moments, crying when we left. She kept throwing the shells back in the ocean and then would dig in the water for sand, and carry it up to dry land. I think she has inherited a tad bit of OCD.
Our Nana, Aunt Emily, and Aunt Rachel were all able to join us at the beach, too! The kids had so much fun with them. (And so did Chad and I)!
I brought gold pirate coins with us and made a treasure hunt complete with an "X" to mark the spot. Andrew was a little upset that the pirate treasure was fake coins and thinks that the pirates did that to trick us and that they really hid their gold somewhere else.
We stayed at the same hotel we went to last year, Compass Cove. This time we got a 3 bedroom oceanfront condo. It was so nice. The water slides and pools were such a fun places to hang out. Molly's favorite place to play were the HOT TUBS! She had no interest whatsoever in the pools. She also went down the gigantic enclosed water slides. After the 3 time, she wanted to go by herself and was very angry that we would not let her. Andrew was a fish in water this time. His swimming has really improved. He doesn't do stroke work yet, but he can safely swim anywhere he wants in the pool. We bought Ryan a float to wear. He refused to wear it the first day. He was afraid someone would laugh at him. We convinced him that no one would laugh and that he looked cool. He loved the float and wore it the rest of the weekend happily with no complaint. It gave him so much independence, something that Ryan prizes above everything else these days.
We had a wonderful time on our trip. We had a few hiccups, but I didn't post pics of those things here. I don't have pics of our car troubles we had or the multiple trips to car dealers and car part stores. Or pics of Chad getting food poisoning on our trip. Molly's multiple tantrums or the boys' meltdowns when the dvd player wouldn't work on the trip down when the fuses kept blowing. I don't have any pics of me. (At least none I will ever post. I am way too self conscious of all the weight I have gained while I can't work out while I wait for my tendon surgery). But I was there. We all were. And we all had a really fun time.
I love making memories with my family. I love spending time away from the normal chaos and trading it in for the vacation chaos. I don't think we will remember the unpleasant things in the years to come. Instead we will remember it as the trip , brave and independent Molly went down the water slides, Ryan ran faster than the waves, and Andrew explained to us how he and Ryan have a symbiotic relationship. Ryan makes him laugh, and Ryan gets Andrew to tell him what to do. I love my children. The smiles they share with me the moments they make me laugh, even when they aren't trying to be funny.