Sunday, August 09, 2009

Beach Routine

Ok, I lied. Here I am, blogging from the beach. My uncle went and installed wireless in his house so now I have internet access and, well, like a moth to flame is all I can say about that...

This is the routine we have settled into at the beach:

8-8:30 am: wake up, make Tazo Zen green tea to sip while doing my quiet time and journaling

9:00 am: make another cup of Tazo Zen green tea and sip it while logging onto the internet to check emails, update Twitter, and do various other mindless things. Ignore kids' requests to go to the beach NOW. Ignore fights that erupt because kids are bored and want to go to the beach NOW. Explain that it is just too early to go and we will go... eventually. Encourage them to sleep later. As if. Point out that the beach house has all the cable channels we don't have anymore and encourage them to watch said channels. Point out very cool blocks that my teacher aunt Frances has provided for kids who visit the beach house.

10:00 am: Join kids in wondering why the time is going so slow. Make two slices of turkey bacon and eat that with watermelon. Congratulate self on not eating the sugar cereal we have allowed or the donuts we have bought for "fun vacation breakfast foods."

10:30 am: Work on some edits for the book. I know. This is me, working on vacation but I like what I am doing so it doesn't count.

11:00 am: Finally announce that it is time to go to the beach. Wiggle children into bathing suits and pack inordinate amounts of junk into back of car. Load children into car to drive several blocks down the beach to my in-law's house. Carry chairs, towels, quilts, sand toys, and cooler like pack mules over to the beach while trying to keep up with children. Look at husband and smile because, though we complain, we wouldn't want to be anywhere else.

11:30 am: Begin the sunscreening process. Lather down wiggly, already sand-coated children while they complain and wrench away. Lecture children about the dangers of the sun. Remind them how fortunate they are to have parents that care about their skin. In the process, forget all about putting sunscreen on yourself. Only realize that later after your face is burned and you go around looking like a lobster, which your husband delights in calling you.

Noon: Flop down in chair and rest. Ignore children's requests to "get in the water," "build a sandcastle," or "go deep." Try to have adult conversation with in-laws, which is impossible with 12 kids milling around this week. (We brought ours plus one, Curt's sister brought her two and his step-sister brought her three. Seven of the 12 are aged 7 and under and 4 are teenagers. I'm just sayin.)

12:15 pm: Begin handing out lunch. Eat lowfat granola bar and banana and congratulate self on not eating chips and Little Debbies like everyone else.

12:30 pm: Throw away wrappers and other lunch trash in trash cans that are located very, very far away from family compound. Flop down from long walk. Sit and soak up rays, still oblivious that you have not put sunscreen on yourself.

1:00 pm: Hand out drinks from cooler to kids who are "so thirsty."

1:30 pm: Attempt to read book you brought to beach. Read two lines.

2:00 pm: Finally agree to get in the water, only to discover it is COLD! In August! Go back to your chair and hope the water warms up somehow while you are there this week.

2:30 pm: Wonder about burning sensation and determine that perhaps it would be best to get out of the sun. Feel stupid for forgetting sunscreen for self. Pack up three year old to return home while husband and other children stay.

3:00 pm: Come home and get running clothes on. Get online even though you shouldn't. Waste time on computer. Bathe 3yo who is coated with sand.

3:00 pm: Tell teenagers who are home that they have kid watching duty while you go run. Run three miles in 100 degree heat. Congratulate self for exercising on vacation. Ignore faint feeling from running in 100 degree heat.

4:00 pm: Husband and other children come home. Showers and getting dressed all around. Is the hot water gone? It would seem so. Husband is such a man-- he is giddy over the outdoor shower and plans to shower there every day. What. Ever.

5:00 pm: Head to the grocery store to buy various things we need. Navigate crowds while attempting to keep up with three wandering children. Say no approximately 100 times.

6:00 pm: Head home and pour a much-deserved glass of wine. Sip it and enjoy. Feel very happy to be at the beach, with family. Ignore nagging tiredness.

6:30 pm: Head to in-law's house for dinner. Feel grateful that they are there and that you are not responsible for every dinner this week.

7:30 pm: Watch kids play the Wii at in-laws. Feel body begin to relax into tired stupor.

9:00 pm: Head home to get kids to bed. Think about reading a book or watching tv but decide to succumb to tiredness instead. Fall into bed, grateful, tired, and very happy.
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Angel77 said...

LOL! I love it! I love that you have to say NO 100 times to 3 kids. I love that you sip wine. I love that you go online when you shouldn't. I love that you are disciplined enough to eat "right" and exercise while on vacation. I love reading about you and your family realizing that we are "normal" too.
Thanks for sharing!

Mama Joan said...

Marybeth, I just love hearing about you and your family. Am so glad you are at the beach and still able to blog. I started to read your blogs shortly after Zoe was the speaker at our "Advance" in Lancaster, in March. You are just an amazing woman and someday I hope to meet you in person. Have a great week and God bless!

Karin Katherine said...

I am so glad you had wireless internet so that you could post that! That post makes me smile, feel like I was there, relate on so many levels and miss our Avalon beach house so much....I know I live in Florida now and the beach is down the street year round---but it's not the same as a beach house in a beach house town----I'm just sayin'

Amy Jo said...

Sounds absolutely dreamy. Praying that your time continues to go very, very, V E R Y slooooooooooooow. :-) And don't forget the suncreen (and aloe.)

Sweet blessings,

Arlene said...

Here's advise from someone who worked almost 12 years in the suncare business: put the sunscreen on before you go to the beach. For sunscreen to be truly effective, it should be applied 1/2 hour before going into the sun, and this way you also avoid sand all over and forgetting yourself.

Enjoy your vacation - big thumbs up on eating healthy! God bless.

Becca~TimeWellSpent said...

Sounds like a fun packed day!

mimi said...

What a great day!! I've visited your site often over the last year. There is something so calm and real about you....I get encouraged and inspired when reading what you share.

Julie Coleman said...

What a great read today's post is! I loved it. You have captured life with kids in a nutshell. I laughed out loud!

Bonita said...


Zoe said...

Loved reading your post. Wishing I was at the beach. We really need to schedule a girls beach trip. Think you could get away for a Mon-Wed in October?

Kelly said...

I am currently reading your "We Speak" book that I purchased at She Speaks. Already have "Reason to Write" - you're an inspiration :)

Just stopped by to check out your site. Loved your post Mary Beth! You made me laugh out loud :)

Enjoy your vacation!

JottinMama said...

I love this post :)

It made me smile this morning :)

Blessings to you,
Kate :)

Ann Voskamp @Holy Experience said...

(Thinking fondly of you this morning... just wanted to whisper that Jesus set you on my heart to pray your sweet name...

You are loved.

Amy Carroll said...

As my brother says, "A bad day at the beach is still better than a good day anywhere else." As you've shared, a good day at the beach is pretty close to heaven. Enjoy!


Alison said...

Marybeth, I have commented before about how similar our families are. We have 6 between 4-13 and we just recently returned from the beach for a week also. I can so relate to each detail that you described. Although this year we(my husband and I)felt like we were two steps behind the children every step of the way we realized that we were just so glad to be beyond the years of taking wagons, strollers, pack and plays, down on the beach. I always enjoy your honesty and transparency. Thank you for sharing.

Angie Vik said...

I can relate to many aspects of this post and enjoyed reading about your day at the beach. Beach days are good deposits in your children's emotional bank accounts. Blessings on your family.

Susannah said...

How wonderful! What treasures these days are! We're in the thick of them too. Enjoy - 'seems like this summer's already over & it just!