Saturday, February 2, 2013

Beach Day

Today I took the kids to the park and the beach. Apparently some people think I'm sort of Wonder Woman-ish or SuperMom because I do a lot of things with two small kids on my own. In reality, it's not always all roses so I thought I'd make this an honest post instead of just sharing pictures of my (beyond adorable) babies.

Big brother pushing little brother to the park

Last night Jerad mentioned that he was going to be working in Cayucos in the morning, and being the idiot that I am, I said (in front of Marshall) "Oh, maybe I'll ride with you and take the kids to the beach!" This morning as his alarm clock went off and both kids were miraculously still sleeping, I wanted nothing more than to stay in bed and have a lazy morning. But of course Marshall woke up and immediately started talking about the beach. Seriously?!? The weather said partly cloudy with an afternoon high of 64 so going early in the morning was definitely not appealing.

But I'm a good sport (and was dumb enough to open my mouth in the first place) so I scrambled some bacon and eggs and quickly started packing a bag. Marshall took maybe two bites and decided that he was too excited to eat so I threw some clothes on them and we were out the door around 8:30.

I dropped Jerad off and talked Marshall into going to a "really cool park! right by the beach! with dolphins! and pirate ships!" instead of the actual ocean since it was going to be so cold.

Sailing the pirate ship
I have a loaner car right now, and it doesn't have all my go-to child wrangling devices like the nice double stroller and baby carriers so I had to make due with an umbrella stroller. Marshall was excited to push Miller, and kept getting really mad at me for putting my hands on the handles. Which was unfortunate because he isn't really able to steer.

Eventually we got to the playground, and both kids darted different directions all excited to check things out. 2 minutes later Marshall announced that he needed to go potty. Of course. I put Miller back in the stroller and started power walking towards the bathrooms which of course aren't located right next to the park. By this time Marshall was crying saying he really needed to go so I picked him up and decided to cut across the grass to save some time. The umbrella stroller does not push the same as my fancy stroller and I was having a really hard time trying to do it one handed, through the grass, while carrying a toddler, and trying to hurry. Some lady made a comment as I was obviously struggling about me having my hands full in a snotty tone of voice. Lucky for her I was in a rush and didn't feel like taking the time to retort.

My pants were too long and ended up getting soaked by the time we got there.

And of course by that time Marshall had pooped in his pants.

I didn't have anything with me to clean him up (since the stupid little stroller didn't have a basket and he never has accidents when we're out anyways), so I had to do the best I could then head back to the car (which was about the same distance from the playground but in the opposite direction) where all the clean clothes and baby wipes were.

By this point Marshall was freaking out because he was upset about having an accident, and upset because he thought we were leaving. Eventually I got him cleaned up and changed into the only set of clean clothes I'd brought for him, and we went back to the playground about 30 minutes after we'd initially arrived.

My baby isn't a baby anymore, he's a toddler:(

It was just us at the park for awhile until another family with a boy the same age as Marshall showed up. The parents and little boy kept talking to Marshall and he'd just stand there staring at them without smiling or talking. Embarrassing. Usually he is a little toned down around other people, but this was seriously ridiculous especially because he just stayed there staring them down from 2 feet away acting like he had never heard the English language.

Now that Miller can walk, he likes to bolt away from me cackling like a little maniac so that I have to chase him. So I spent the next 45 min or so chasing Miller down, bringing him back, waiting to see if he would come back on his own (he won't), bringing him back, and trying to still engage Marshall and make sure he didn't copy the older boys who had shown up and were climbing and jumping off of things way to big for him to try.

At this point it was around 11 so I decided to feed the kids a snack since Jerad thought he would be done around noon and had another job in Paso to rush to. They quickly devoured the bananas and salami I had brought, as well as everything else I had in the diaper bag; mixed nuts, an apple, and a few of those organic veggie babyfood snack pouches. Probably because neither one really ate breakfast. So I loaded them up (after managing to change Miller's diaper in the front seat) and went to Foster's Freeze. We sat outside (well, Marshall and I sat and Miller climbed all over the table like a picnic ant), I got a lettuce wrapped burger, they each had a plain burger patty with cheese, and I got lunch to drop off for Jerad too since I'm such a good wife.

I brought him the food and he said things were talking longer than he planned and I should just go home without him if I wanted to leave now and he'd get a ride, or I could hang out for another hour or so. Since the kids were all fed, tired from the playground, and we had a 30 min drive home I decided I'd leave since it was almost their nap time anyways.
So excited to see the ocean
As I turned off the highway to head home Marshall asked where we were going, and when I told him he started begging so sweetly to go see the water, and talking about how he was going to swim and be happy so I decided to turn around. I had promised it in the first place, and Jerad thought he'd be done in an hour anyways.

I pulled off in just a random spot again cursing the fact that I didn't have a sling or Ergo to put Miller in. Miller had of course pooped so again I managed to change him on the front seat which is tricky because he doesn't really fit on it. In my SUV I can do it on the floor boards or in the cargo area because the car is higher. Since Marshall's shorts were dirty and I wanted to save the pants he was wearing to put on him when we were done, I gave him Miller's shorts and let Miller go in his diaper. He wears a 2T and Miller is size 12 month, but since Marshall isn't in a diaper anymore they work (they're just short).

Chasing Marshall to the waves
Both the kids were SO excited and rushed out to the water. We basically had the whole beach to ourselves! At first Marshall was content running from the waves, but before long he wanted to be way out there in the action.

This is the part that's most stressful about the beach to me.

Marshall is super adventurous and likes getting knocked around by the waves but I need to stay close in case he needs help or gets fully submerged and doesn't pop back up. Miller is more of a toe dipper and doesn't have the balance to withstand the waves yet so he likes playing right by the shore.... or running away in the opposite direction. I can't WAIT until the day when I can lay on my beach blanket with a book and casually watch them frolic together. In the meantime, if Jerad is with us we each shadow one kid, and if it's just me I put Miller in a carrier (all of which have a pocket for my phone and keys) and stand a few feet from Marshall where I'm not crowding him but can lend a hand if needed.

Loves the water getting his toes
So I stuffed my keys and phone in my bra, put Miller on my hip, and stood in the frigid water hoping and praying Marshall got bored pretty soon. He was purple and chattering and I kept asking "aren't you cold?" and he'd answer me "yes and I'm sooo happy!" Eventually, about 45 minutes later, he got knocked under pretty good and decided he was "fweezing" and wanted to go back to the car. I tried holding one of each of their hands and having them walk but Marshall was upset that he was cold and his feet were getting dirty, and Miller walks so slow so I picked them both up and carried them to the car which seriously felt like it was 80 miles away.

As soon we got to the car Marshall started freaking out about being soaking wet and muddy while simultaneously begging to go back. Since he was too cold to actually move, he waited patiently by the car while I put a dry diaper and clothes on Miller, then dry clothes on him as well. I asked if he needed to go potty, and he told me "no, I peed in the water." Gross.... but also sweet, I didn't have to find a bathroom and try to hold Miller while making sure Marshall didn't fall in the toilet. After everyone was buckled in I called Jerad who said he would probably be a few more hours so I should just go without him.

Once they dried off and warmed up both kids were in great moods and Marshall was talking about how much fun he had and when can we go back etc etc. About 15 minutes into our drive he announced that he had to go potty (of course) but the road we were driving on is a narrow winding road with no place to stop. I begged him to hold it, but by the time I was able to pull off he had pooped in his pants. Again. I think he's only had two accidents when we have been out of the house together EVER since potty training, and now he's had 2 POOP accidents in one day. Ugh. I didn't have any more clean pants, was parked in a terrible spot, and Miller was asleep so I made the judgement call to just drive home (we were about 10-15 minutes away) and deal with it there.

When I pulled in the driveway both kids were sleeping and not too thrilled about being forced into the shower. I thought about letting Miller go to bed sandy but I had just changed all the sheets yesterday and didn't want to have to do it again so soon if I could help it.

Finally everyone was nestled all snug in their beds and I had a chance to sit down and relax for the first time since the alarm went off in the morning.

So, that was an honest look at about a 5 hour window of our day.

I don't mean to make it sound like my life sucks or the kids are difficult or anything. They had a ton of fun, just look at their smiley little mugs! But it is mentally draining. I just figure that they're little, and they're going to have tantrums and accidents, and do things that make me want to pull my hair out sometimes but they'd be doing them if we were cooped up in the house (and probably more often in that case) so we might as well get out and enjoy life. They have a better time if we're out and about, and I feel like I'm doing a better job.

When I look back on the week I don't want to feel like all I did was go to work and sit around the house. I want to feel like I was engaging the kids with things like parks, Children's Museums, the zoo, long nature walks, swimming, trying new restaurants, wandering around new cities when Jerad is working out of town... 6 hour adventures to Ikea (okay, that one was more for me but they survived). I don't remember things like "Miller kept running away and eating handfuls of sand" or "Marshall demanded I make the sand less 'bumpy' and said his feet would break off if he walked."

I remember that on Saturday I got up early and took the kids to a new fun park, out to eat, AND went to the beach all before naptime! And it's worth it every time.

I know everyone is biased when it comes to their own kids but seriously. The Cuteness kills me.

1 comment:

Jessica said...

You are a crazy good mama. You are so brave. I don't know how you do it. Thanks for the honest look at your morning. I only have one at the moment (hopefully more someday) and I always wonder how people do it with more. Keep up the good work!