We stuffed the van to absolute max capacity Thursday night, picked up one of our nephews, and headed northward for the Canada cottage once more, achieving roughly eight miles a gallon due to the staggering weight of three milk-filled children, two adults and a loaded cooler. Oh, and the shocking amount of STUFF I felt compelled to bring, terrified as I was of being stranded in the Canadian wilderness on a rainy day with nothing but a deck of cards and a can of bug spray to entertain three kids.
Note to self for next time: we do not need a beach AND bath towel for every person. Nor do we even need a change of clothes per person per day, as everyone apparently lived in their swim suits the whole time. However, we DO need to bring more chips next time. And SPRAYABLE sunscreen, because sweet Lord, it took about ten minutes and a day's worth of teeth-gritting to hold Eli still long enough to slather him in an appropriate SPF. Ah well, live and learn.
A great beach activity for those tending toward sunburn: bury your lower extremities in sand.
Eli was happy as the proverbial clam so long as he was left the heck alone with his pail and shovel. Try to feed him, change his diaper, prevent him from drowning or blistering in the sun, though, and prepare to face the WRATH OH YE GODS THE WRATH.
Mortifying story: I was feeling all brave and decided to break out a bikini top to go with the demure, mom-ish skirted bathing suit bottom originally purchased with an equally demure, mom-ish, belly covering top. Because hey! I am young! I have worked (kind of) hard to reclaim my figure from the ravages of pregnancy! I should show it off! And also, I have been drinking!
I boldly put it on the second morning we were there and strolled down to the beach where the kids were already shell hunting. I was totally happy, basking in the sun, feeling good, when my nephew inquired politely, "What happened to your stomach? You have scars all over your belly."
"My children wrecked my youthful beauty," I replied bitterly, before throwing myself into the sea.
Oh wait, no. Something more mature and rational, like, "When moms have babies in their bellies, their skin stretches and sometimes it leaves scars," accompanied by a reassuring smile. I'm sure that's how it went.
PS: Tanning does seem to fade those stretch marks a lot. Just fyi. Not that you should EVER tan though because it will give you cancer and it's bad bad BAD.
Greg with his Uncle Jimmy, working on a fantastic sandcastle. More of a sand fortress, really. I am always amazed by Jim's patience with projects like these. I am sure the kids found his enthusiasm for butterfly stone collecting, mudball racing and giant hole digging far more entertaining than PawPaw, Aunt Nancy, Grandma's and my enthusiasm for basking in the sun while reading our novels.
Addy did enjoy taking occasional breaks from all the lakeside fun to sit with Grandma and watch her read while liberally sprinkling sand into the bag of chips. Good times!