We left at a few minutes after 9 and arrived around 9:45. It was a perfect day in Atlantic Beach, sunny, breezy and warm, almost 70 when we arrived. The parking lot was already filling up quickly, and I was glad to be there early. Annie did not remember what sand was like, and she seemed a little uncertain about it, but Delaney got right to work with her shovels and buckets. A few minutes later, Amy and her kids arrived, and not a minute too soon. I already had to use the bathroom. The walk to the bath house seemed long enough with Annie on my hip. It would have been three times as long if I'd had to drag Delaney along too. Oh, the joys of pregnancy. As soon as I arrive anywhere, I'm looking for the bathroom.
I loved every minute of being at the beach today. The kids were having fun, Amy was such good company, and Haley and Ashlyn, who I believe are 8 and 6 respectively, were being a huge help with the girls. If Delaney wanted to run down to the water, there was always one or the other of them trailing after her. They tried to help with Annie too, but for the most part, she didn't want much to do with them.
The water was still a bit chilly for our taste, so we didn't go in any further than our knees, but there were plenty of braver people further out in the waves. The little kids loved to run up to the water and then run away as the water chased after their feet -- until they got too close and a wave knocked them over. That happened to Ashlyn, Delaney and Annie at different times. Annie was a little scared of the water, until I got the idea to hold her hand and let her run around in circles next to it. For her, running around in circles makes everything more fun.
She even got used to the sand too. That's good because she was completely caked with it in the first five minutes. Then right before we left, she started wallowing in it like a little piggy.
|Annie was none too happy about the ocean at first. She warmed up to it later, and that's good because she'll be seeing a lot more of it in the coming weeks.|
|Delaney loved it.|
|For some reason, Annie liked it when Ashlyn poured sand on her feet.|
Here's a video of Annie being really silly with the waves. I'm sorry you can't see it, Tim, but I will put it on a disk and send it to you.
Here's a kind of serious video of Delaney deciding which shells to throw in the ocean. I wish I could have captured her laughing hysterically at the waves, but this little girl is very evasive when it comes to the camera.
|Annie and I, and the bump that is Timmy|
I would have been happy to make it two hours, but we ended up staying three and a half. I knew that meant that the girls would conk out in the car on the way home, and there would be no nap for me. I decided it was worth it. Amy and I thanked each other for coming, and we'd like to do it again next weekend if it's nice. We hope some of our other friends can make it too.
There was a whole line of cars coming into the parking lot as we were leaving, and as I was loading my car, an older couple in a convertible called out to me, "Are you leaving?" I said, "Yes, but it's gonna be a few minutes." No kidding. Annalise's bathing suit bottom was not only packed full of wet sand from my failed attempt at showering her as we left the beach, but her diaper was full of diarrhea. (Annie's irregularity issues are another post entirely.) Diarrhea and wet sand together. What a lovely combination. I laid her down in the cargo area at the very back of my car and cleaned her up as best I could while the old people waited for me to leave. I tried not to show her sandy butt to the world, but I heard someone remark, "It's like she's getting a loofah wipe." Yes, I'm sure Annie's bum is very well exfoliated now.
Somehow it only took a half hour to get home. The girls, as I'd predicted, fell fast asleep within two minutes of driving away, and I'd planned to leave the engine running when I got home and let them sleep a little while longer. But both their eyes opened as soon as I shifted into park. I was surprised when Annie, who's accustomed to a three-hour nap every afternoon, woke up happy; and Delaney who's used to no nap at all, woke up a little beast who cried and whined over everything. Not even a bath lifted her mood. But eventually she cheered up after watching some of a Barbie Princess movie, and we went out to eat at our new favorite restaurant, the Cow Cafe.
It was a great day, and what's even better is getting to turn the calendar to May tonight, finally! I thought this month would never end.