16.4.15 Ali Moore 0 Comments

 Henry has flown several times before this trip, but he was much too young to remember.  On our first flight to Florida we were just on a little regional jet out of Wichita to Dallas, and even though he had the window seat, Henry couldn't quite see unless he was on his knees peering out.  So once we were up in the air and the seat belt sign blinked off, we let him get up to look out.  What a sight that must be for a little boy!
"Mama, we're up high!"  Up in the air so blue!'
And then once more later in the flight I told him to look at the clouds below us, and he said" it snowed!" 
because they completely covered our view below.  

Our first night at the beach (after a day full of airport time, due to delays - hooray for kids that realllly did well and went with the flow that day), 
we ate a quick dinner and ran the kids out to the beach just below our condo before bedtime.  

Henry went right into the water and squealed.  And then said, "the ocean is playing with me!" every time the waves washed up onto his feet. 

We got a full day of playing in on day two, and Henry had the best time trying to scoop up all the sand and put it back in the water.  
"No, Mama, it's the ocean not the water."

Nelle forgot what sand was after every quick trip back to the condo and always took a good 10 minutes to get reacquainted.  She never did quite make friends with the ocean though.  Girlfriend was content as could be sitting and playing in the sand or strolling at a safe distance from the shore.  
 Nelle had the best ringlets at the beach.  Don't judge if you catch me spritzing her hair with some texturizing spray. 

Me and the two littlest.  Look again...there's the belly!  

We spent our second evening at a local ice cream shop just minutes away.  Henry chose Cookie Monster flavor over chocolate, and even though he never finishes an ice cream treat, this one he completely devoured.  The looks and comments we got back on our walk home.  
He was so happy and proud.
We really just had the best getaway for our little family.  Our weather was gorgeous, it was amazing getting to spend it with good friends, and I didn't realize how fantastic a vacation could be for our family.  It wasn't the type of vacation we were once used to taking when it was just Andrew and I.  There was a lot of work involved planning, packing, schlepping two kids and their stuff through the airport, navigating airport bathrooms with a recently potty trained toddler plus little sis in diapers in tow, not so successfully wrangling Henry to bed every night sharing a room with Nelle (makes me suuuuuper pumped for when we transition them to a shared room this summer), and there was that day I got a little stomach bug 
and was zero help in the parenting department.  
But leaving real life behind and focusing on just the four of us was pretty amazing.  Even though Nelle will only know of this beach trip through pictures, and Henry may get lucky and remember bits and pieces, getting to share things with them like this is really a highlight of parenthood.  Like saying, "this little family of ours matters, and we're going to value our time together and make sure you feel special, and loved, and important."  And we can be fun sometimes and let you get blue-dyed ice cream all over yourself from head-to-toe, and let you stay up past your bedtime, 
and run wild and free next to the ocean, and encourage you to chase after those seagulls for the 10th time.

"Seagulls, come get your featherssssss!'
Several times since we've been home, Henry has waken up from nap time, and said, "I took a good nap, and now we can go to the beach!"  
I wish, Ham.  I wish.