Randy and I took the kids to the beach this past weekend to get some much needed away-from-the-house time and to visit with some friends. This was our first time taking a vacation with kids by ourselves and now we have three! It was definitely interesting. The kids were great and it was a lot of fun but I can't say that we came back rested... I learned quite a bit on this trip...
First I learned really how much different little boys and little girls are. Not that I didn't know this to start with but it was evident at our time out on the beach. Hailey was so cute. She would get her little sand bucket and would make cookies and pies out of sand and then she organized all of the buckets and shovels so that we would all have coordinating buckets and shovels.
Caleb, on the other hand, wanted to build piles (or towers) of sand and then jump on them to destroy them. I caught him once lying on his belly licking the sand. He also loved to run and jump in the water and throw clumps of wet sand on his sister :)
I also learned that when you take three young children to the beach you really don't get to play at the beach. I'm not saying I didn't have fun, because I had a lot of fun, but I didn't get to do the usual beach stuff. I did mom stuff. I did have a sand fight with the kids and that was a blast! I loved watching the mlaugh and giggle as they threw wet sand all over their mommy and Caleb would say "Got you!"
I learned that taking the kids out of their normal setting really helped them grow closer together. I loved watching Hailey and Caleb bond on this trip. They had their normal sibling fights but I saw a love grow between the two of them that I haven't seen before and it made this mommy's heart melt. I saw them care for one another and share with one another without my telling them to. It was just very sweet to watch them grow.
Speaking of grow...I learned that my little girl is growing up way too fast. I watched her while she was on the beach and I just can't believe how she is maturing and growing and seriously getting so tall. Since she has turned four I feel like her personality has just blossomed. She is spunky and thoughtful and opinionated and caring and always wants to help with everything. She is so motherly to her younger siblings, even though Caleb a lot of times does not want to be mothered :) She is learning to face her fears. Last year she would not even go in the ocean but this year after going out with her daddy a couple of times she decided she was going to be a big girl and walk out into the ocean by herself. I am just so proud of her.
I learned that my little boy is too cute for his own good. I guess I knew that to start with but he knows how to work his charm. He absolutely loved the beach. He loved playing in the water and letting the waves knock him over. He loved tossing seashells into the waves. He loved eating snacks, of course. He slept in a sleeping bag for the first time and he did so well. He is definitely in the "MINE" two-year-old phase. He talks non-stop...non-stop. He is such an affectionate little boy. He is always hugging me and telling me "Wuv you, mommy, wuv you."
All in all it was a really great trip. I feel like we really bonded more as a family and that is very precious to me. Speaking of precious...I can't forget my baby girl! She had fun at the beach too :)