Monday, June 30, 2014

I'm no kind of expert, since I've taken babies to the beach a whopping one time...but any excuse to make a product collage, amiright? Here's a little round-up of a few things that helped make all the schlepping...better? easier? Nah. Made things a little easier though, just maybe.

Our babies did great. We had Juliette at 2 years 10 months, Molly at 15 months, and cousin Jane at 8 months.

Just another attempt at a group pic, NBD:


They all decided to wake up extra early (it is vacation, after all!)so in an effort to not wake the entire house, we were up and at 'em early, tucking the Jerkins girls into the (rented) bike trailer with cheerios and milk and going on long bike rides. Bleary-eyed though we were to start, it was a fun way to begin each day!

All three of these gals need their afternoon nap, even more so after lots of fun in the sun plus early rising. It was nice taking the day in two chunks, and being forced to be inside during the hottest part of the day (at least it was for me and Jonny...we're not avid sunbathers).

After the naps, we would usually go to the beach; if it was a full beach day, we'd head back to our tent, where the grandparents/uncles had been holding down the fort. If it was a split day (between pool/beach/bike rides/whatever), we'd head to the beach and get a couple of umbrellas for the chickies and not have to worry as much about the sun at that point because it was normally 4 PM or later.

Here are a few things we employed during our beach week:

ONE : if they've been blogged about once, they've been blogged about a million times. The dearly beloved Saltwater sandals. Both of my girls have this color (tan little Molly's legs are practically the same color, gah I'm jealous), and they were great for when the gals actually needed to wear shoes (over hot sand or on pavement). They're constructed to handle water and sand, and hose off beautifully, plus they stay on really great. And...darn cute, duh.

TWO : a simple, blow-up baby pool (we got ours at Target) for putting under a tent. Jules loved helping ferry water in her bucket from the ocean into the pool (an activity that can occupy her for 30+ minutes usually earns an A+ from me). We were on a stretch of beach where they had these lovely cabana-style tents for rent, so we didn't have to carry the tent down to the beach, which was nice. But one of those tailgating-style tents would probably work, right?

Like so:

THREE : the surprise hit of the week, my genius sister brought these along for baby Jane, along with frozen mangoes and whole-milk yogurt to make popsicles (just blended together in the blender...easy!). She was so kind to share these with her nieces also, who devoured them while on the beach. Smarty-pants sissy just packed these in her lunchbox-sized cooler with an ice pack, kept fully in the actual molds, and they stayed plenty cold for when the girls ate them (while sitting in the blow-up pool, usually!). I'm scheming to acquire some of these for our household now!

FOUR : As you can see from all the photos, I kept my very fair-skinned eldest child in a rashguard shirt most of the week. For her part, Molly had the little short-sleeved/shorts version (matching Jane!). We would douse them in sunscreen of course, on top of this, but it was just so nice knowing their little shoulders weren't going to get torched while wearing these.

FIVE : Add rashguard to sun-hat and you're breathing a little easier. Jules was just a champ about keeping her hat on all week, much to our delight. Molly, on the other hand, wore her white version a total of two minutes. Dang it. Fairly priced with billions of color options, this item might earn MVP for the trip. Sweet little Jane was killer in the lilac.


- The ubiquitous "puddle jumper", which the gals took turns wearing in the pool. Molly took to it pretty easily.
- Bag of basic sand toys from Target, $10. We didn't need anything this bag didn't have. RIP blue shovel.
- Blow-up twin bed for Jules. She slept great on this! I loved how the sheets tucked into the mattress so there weren't blankets everywhere. It was nice for her to have her own little space. Also nice that this comes with its own pump and travel bed, and is a useful bed for future adult guests too.
- Double jogging stroller (we have this one off Craigslist). Such a workhorse. We were fortunate that my sister/her husband had room in their truck bed to bring this for us. Whether we were strolling a combination of the gals around the myriad trails available, or using it to schlep things to the beach (thanks, Dad!) while the rest of us biked there, this thing got used.

Obviously, there are about a billion other things I missed. If you want to share in the comments, I'd love to hear what you got! We're hoping for a repeat next year! :)

One of my biggest takeaways from this trip?

There's a lot of just plain work behind a photo like this:

Worth every minute.


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