Tuesday, June 26, 2012

An Afternoon at the Beach

We spend a lot of time on the weekends running errands.  

I know, it sounds super lame, but the weeks are so hectic and we're all so tired, so we end up leaving errands like grocery shopping and trips to Costco and Target for the weekend.  And then there are also those household tasks that suck up a lot of time, like mowing the lawn and weeding the gardens, or laundry... yeah.  I often wonder where people get the time and energy for all the fun stuff I see them doing (on Facebook or Twitter) on the weekends.  Probably, they just manage their time better than we do, and its likely they get up and start doing things right away in the mornings rather than rolling out of bed when the kids force them to, and then lounging around in jammies wasting an hour of time reading the paper and making eggs and drinking coffee.

So I've got this running list in my head of all the fun summer things here in the cities that I want to do with the kids, but then the weekend comes and we have all these other more practical things to do and just taking into account the timing that is necessary when dealing with nap times, and the preparing and the packing of milk and snacks and sun screen and two different sized diapers... 

A lot of times it just sounds so overwhelming, especially when it involves driving to another part of the city, so instead... we go for a walk to the park.  Same old neighborhood park.  Same old stroller.  Maybe we'll stop for ice cream on the way home.  

All this to say, unless we have made plans ahead of time with friends or family, items on this running list of fun things to do never seem to get checked off.  

This annoys me.  And it's on me, I'm not blaming anyone else.  I annoy myself.

This weekend we ran all our errands on Saturday.  We hit up the little local farmer's market in the morning after Louie's nap, the baby and I enjoyed a glass of fresh-squeezed lemonade and picked out some snap peas and red potatoes, while Dan went across the street with Gus to the City Hall where they were having an open house... with a bouncy castle and slide!  
Wooooo!  (The child was excited, and bonus!  It totally wore him out and he was quite calm and easy-going during the rest of our errands.)

Then it was off to Costco.  Then home for lunch & nap.  During the boys' naps I went to Cub and finished our grocery shopping.  

Seriously, three different places in one day for produce and groceries?  I am becoming MY MOTHER.  (I kid Mom, I kid.)

Sunday was spent enjoying our family, with no to-do's, no distractions.  It was quite nice.  We had breakfast with my parents at the new neighborhood place that opened up down the road a few weeks ago, and spent the rest of the morning in the back yard.  

Then after naps we went to the beach!  FINALLY!  I have been talking about going to a beach here in the city FOREVER.    

We went to the Theodore Wirth beach, which is nice and close for us, and wasn't too busy.  There's a park there as well, and a pretty great boardwalk that surrounds the swimming area.  Gus was a little hesitant to get too far into the lake at first, but ended up walking out until the water was up to his shoulders, as long as I was holding his hand he was brave.  Too cute.  He even practiced some kicking and scooping with the kick board, showing off his swimming lessons skills.   

It was a perfect beach day for babies, not too hot or humid.  

Next time we will have to plan ahead and invite some friends, because 2 kids + 2 adults means we're both child rearing pretty much the whole time on our own.  Gus doesn't stay in one place for very long when there aren't any other kids to play with, so Dan had to follow him all over the place while I hung out with Louie.  Then we'd switch.  Baby Louie loved sitting on the shore though, feet in the sand, splashing the water.  It was his first time in a lake, but alas, I was too occupied and wet to manage a photo.

Me and the boys (and all our CRAP... Dan could not believe the amount of crap I packed for a few hours at the beach).  And yeah, I'm in my one-piece mom suit.  Ahh well.  I am a mom, I suppose, and I've got the stretch-marks and two adorable blonde boys to show for it.

Hideous picture of me, Louie was about reaching his end, and Gus has a mouth full of chips.  Dan looks pretty dreamy though, if I do say so myself. (Rawrr!)  And it's not often we manage a photo of all four of us together, so it's a keeper.

See Minne the Lake Creature out there?  I tried to point it out to Gus but I don't think he was paying attention to me.  I guess SNACKS!!! are much more thrilling to a hungry two year old than a cool lake monster.  Whatevs.

It was seriously... so great.  This kid just had such a blast.  Like, big bright eyes, beaming, running all over the place, chirping from the back seat in the car on the way home, "Mommy I had fun at the beach!"  When we were leaving, he was waving goodbye and yelling in his sweet voice, "Bye beach!  Bye park!  Bye wash your feet!"  (That last goodbye referring to the little outdoor shower thing for rinsing off that he was obsessed with.)  I was so happy that this outing wasn't one of those times where we come home thinking, "Thank God that's over, soooo not worth all the effort."  

It was worth it.  As cheesy as it sounds, it was everything I had hoped it would be.  


Erin said...

Ooh, I haven't been to a Minnesota beach (other than the cabin) for YEARS. I can already imagine Ben's response if I suggest it (ugh! the sand! no shade! etc) but maybe I can convince him. We go to pools/splash pads a fair amount but not the beach although I know Annie would love playing in the sand.

Regarding how it seems like other people are always doing so much fun stuff - I can tell you how we do that - we basically barely ever do anything errand or chore related on the weekend, or if we do, it's nothing that takes too long. Laundry is done in between going places or on a weeknight, grocery shopping lately might happen on a weeknight after the kids are in bed too (Ben is willing to do this, I can't stand going that late), and we just... don't clean. Makes it easier ;) Of course, half the "fun" outings are really probably more work than they are worth anyway... but at least we are out of the house!

Jo said...

We also try to squeeze in errands during the work week, but that's because my husband's flexibility with his work allows him to do so.

My kid is greatly disliking water right now, but she likes sand so this might be a way we can expose her to water more. I will now put this one on the list... and if all else fails it's nice to know there is a park near by.

Lisa said...

Your afternoon at the beach sounds like it was wonderful! And very cute pictures of you all.

Berbs33 said...

Love all the pictures! And I hear ya about running errands but becuase we head to the lake most weekends I have gotten used to getting them done during the week and it is second nature now! We have not been to the beach in a long time either - well except at the campground! We are considering heading to Lake Elmo tonight being as it is supposed to be 95 degrees but the thought of packing up all the toys, beach toys, blankets, diaper bag, snacks and lathering up both kids with sunscreen makes me think that an hour running through the sprinkler might be just as much fun! Glad you guys had a great trip to the beach, maybe one of these weekends we can join you guys for a day of fun!