The reality is that while we had a lot of fun moments, it was tough to be there without JD hour after hour with seven kiddos. Gabriel and Alei stayed home because of work and school, so I was a bit overwhelmed at times. The worst is usually when Julia hits her high-pitch scream and it's incredibly difficult to calm her down. Elijah has also taken up high-pitch screaming just for fun, so I exert a lot of energy just keeping the two of them from screaming in the hotel and at the pool!
We did have a wonderful time visiting with two long-loved families from our days of living there and my friend, Wendy, blessed us with tons from her mega-garden that we are eating and freezing. We did cut short our last planned visit due to our AC at home leaking in the basement and me straining my back lifting the cooler. I'm OK now as long as I don't look down, lean down or lift anything or anybody. It could be worse, but not fun never the less.
Here's a few beach shots -
Elijah and I had a hundred conversations about the King Neptune statue that went like this:
Elijah - "MOOOOMMMM (grabbing my chin and turning my face so I'm staring right into his eyes) - THAT?"
Me - That's King Neptune
Elijah - "I scared, BAD Neptune, BAD!"
Me - Don't be scared. He's just a big rock.
Elijah - "I scared, BAD Neptune, BAD rock"
Then we'd play for two minutes and repeat the above.........He did like the blue slides, however, when the sand wasn't too hot - like at 9:00 p.m.
One of our trips to the beach, Julia found a few friends and they spent hours gathering little sand crabs. They must have had 100 in the bucket. The one little girl would get mad at Elijah anytime he came near the bucket. I saw the little girl's parents eye-brows shoot up when Julia announced that Elijah was her brother. I always find it humorous to watch people's reactions to my very African and very blond children. (You've got to entertain yourself somehow so many hours at the beach!)
There's my little screamer. She is a cutie and she loves, loves, loves the water.
Oh, the sand. It doesn't matter what precautions I take, we seem to eat and sleep in sand for a week after a trip to the beach. The one day after I outside showered off all the kids and boogie-boards, I turned around and Julia was rolling around in the sand. Amazing.....
Here's Elijah soaking up some rays. He broke his sun-glasses, so he wanted to wear mine!
All in all, the kids had a great time and I survived. I may need a little vacation to re-cover from my "vacation" but that generally is part of my normal life.
I have some okra to freeze (never mind, I've never even eaten it - Wendy told me how to freeze it for stew this winter.)