Our annual week at the beach has evolved considerably from the early years. I have to say, this year’s trip was by far the best so far. And by best, I mean the most relaxing. We still had to deal with the occasional meltdowns of a 3 year old who is used to napping every day. But overall it was a great week.
In a masterful display of packing, we had everything a family of six needs for a week in the trunk of the minivan.
The boys raced go-karts. Thing 3 had to stand on his toes to make the 46 inch height requirement.
SuburbanMommy and Thing 4 were all business at dinner.
On a sunset dolphin cruise we spotted many dolphins. Thing 3 insists he also saw a blue whale even though the water was mostly 3 feet deep.
Thing 3 took part in a July 4th watermelon eating contest.
It rained the first few days but it didn’t slow down Thing 4.
The sun finally came out and we spent plenty of time at the beach.
We were thankful to have an extra pair of hands with us.
Mornings began with a walk to the bakery. Donuts for breakfast.
On very rare occasions everyone will stand still and look at the camera at the same time.
No one was very eager to get back into the car for the long drive home.
On the drive home, Thing 1 was already looking at the catalog of rentals for next year.
After years of attending flag football games, Little League, and Tae Kwon Do, we got to experience our first dance recital. Picture a hundred girls ages 2-8 on a high school auditorium stage, with 600 family and friends watching in the audience. Yes, it was chaos. Babies crying in the audience. Girls getting stage fright and crying on stage. SuburbanMommy standing back stage with the rest of the dance moms. Things 1-3 complaining about having to sit still and keep quiet, especially after the sound system broke and they had to repeat two routines. I enjoyed every minute of it. Just wait until you see Thing 4 in her blue costume. She is the one walking in on her toes, dancing all the way to the left.
I had very low expectations for potty training Thing 4 given our history. But girls are supposed to be easier so there was hope.
Last weekend, we decided to do a potty bootcamp. Thing 4 helped gather all her diapers into a garbage bag and we threw them all away. At least that’s what she believed. I put them in a safe place just in case.
She picked out some favorite underwear and the training began. We got off to a shaky start. She was holding it as long as she could out of fear of the potty, and we ended up with a puddle on the floor.
But we persevered. And after that one incident, Thing 4 had a flawless record for the rest of the weekend! No accidents. Telling us when she needed to go. Pee and poop. Simply amazing. Completely potty trained in one day!
We celebrated with some frozen yogurt.
I started thinking about how long and how many diapers we have used. We have had at least one kid in diapers for over 9 years. By my estimates, we have gone through at least 30,000 diapers. And now we are through it.
The odds of getting all four kids in the same picture are low. The odds of them all looking at the camera are lower. The odds of all of them smiling even lower. The odds of them doing it while dressed in matching pajamas in front of a lit Christmas tree? Near impossible.