Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Emerald Isle (part 2)

The less sandy part of our beach week involved stuff around the house or down at the beach while we weren't wet (and therefore the sand didn't stick to us as well). Early on in the week, we celebrated all the August birthdays in our family (me, Papa Laser, Joanna, Eleanor, Ashleigh, and Jessie). It was a nice celebration, as it always is when the entire family is present all together. Eleanor, of course, had no idea what was going on.

Here's a video of Eleanor clapping, for your entertainment:

We ate delicious dinners every evening. Unfortunately Eleanor's favorite was lasagna, so she ended up looking like this after dinner and most lunches after that night. Erika and Jonathan also made wonderful breakfasts a couple mornings including breakfast sliders (a la The Pretzel Bakery) and something Chris referred to as "quinoa surprise," which was not surprisingly yummy.

In the evenings after Eleanor's afternoon naps, we would head back down to the beach and attempt to stay somewhat clean. We would play some corn hole or just hang out chatting.

We completed a couple puzzles at the house, and played Balderdash and Ticket to Ride:

The family also made a "violation chart" in order to encourage everyone to clean up after themselves. I think it was successful for about a day.

In the mornings, we would hang out waiting for everyone to wake up and get some music lessons from Eleanor's auntie and uncle. We also played with bubbles that Gmom brought.

In the afternoons, we walked around outside with the walker, or played up on the porch.

We made s'mores one evening while the grill was still hot from dinner, and spent some time hanging out on the lower patio of the house.

On the last morning we were there, Eleanor and I went out early to the beach with Ashleigh to watch the sunrise. It was cloudy, but wonderful.

Goodbye, Emerald Isle! We hope to see you next summer!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Emerald Isle (part 1)

After we got back from California, we spent a week at home working, doing laundry, and repacking to head to North Carolina for a week with Chris' family at the beach. It was a slightly more relaxing trip because we drove and therefore were able to pack less efficiently and more comprehensively. Eleanor also had more consistency in going to bed (mostly) on time and getting most of her naps in, which made her a happier person all week. In addition, we did the same thing every day (go out to the beach), so life was a bit more predictable for her. We were especially looking forward to this vacation this year because when the family went last year, I was 39 weeks pregnant and we didn't end up going because we were worried about me going into labor (which I ended up doing 4 days later). The last time we went to Emerald Isle, NC was in 2012 and our family has grown since then with the addition of Eleanor, a brother-in-law, and a soon to be sister-in-law.

Eleanor loved the beach. We had heard from other moms of babies that sometimes babies are hesitant of the sand and water, etc. But she seemed to love it right from the get go, so that made the week a lot more fun for all of us.

Again, since there are too many pictures to upload at once, I'll split this into two posts...because who wouldn't want to see a lot of this?

The family before one sister and brother-in-law arrived:

The first day we were there, Ashleigh and I jumped into the ocean after a family walk along the beach because I hadn't actually gotten in that day yet. I have a rule about getting in the ocean every day I'm there (since you usually have to shower anyway).

Most of our time was spent down at the beach playing in the surf, the sand, and with sand toys:

It was a week-long battle with sand. Everywhere. It was on Eleanor, in her mouth, in our bed, in my hair. I didn't get clean until we got home.

Eleanor's favorite activity was walking with her walker down on the packed sand. She flew all over the beach with that thing and then would just shout when she got stuck (either in the soft sand or the waves carrying away her walker).

We also took lots of outdoor showers, enjoying the afternoon breeze to clean off.

That was what the majority of our week looked like...more pictures soon!