And then this little number. Kills me. It's a hand-me-down from my little sister, and, though I am typically not a bikini kind of gal, I sort of couldn't resist stretching this bitty little thing over all of her rolls. It reminds me of like an old-school retro bikini and I'm pretty happy my mom held onto it.
Now that those are out of the way, let me get back to Baby Pea's first experience with The Beach. I was worried about her eating lots of sand and/or sitting in sand and getting a rash, so right at the beginning I attempted to keep her on a sheet on the sand. Yeah, that lasted about 15 seconds. Little Girl has a streak of will and determination to rival the best of 'em, and she was not having any of the sheet business. I decided fighting it was too exhausting and just did my best to keep her body covered while she roamed the sand, and then remove any small choking hazards from her mouth as quickly as possible.
Here she is making a beeline for the sand once I let her go.
Rubbing the little grains of sand around in those chubby hands.
She liked it.
We added some shades to the mix for fun. My little brother (Ben) and sister (Hannah) bought Pearl these sunglasses (and the little ice cream cone sandals that she is wearing) when she was only a couple of weeks old, and it was so much fun to have a reason to put them on her now that they fit.
She quickly experimented with eating the sand (no surprise there). I tried to keep her from ingesting handfuls, but she definitely swallowed her fair share. I am such a fan of this first picture because you can see George in the reflection of her sunglasses. I wish I could say that I planned that, but it was totally just luck.
Perhaps she could get strange marine diseases from chewing on kelp, but I decided not to think about that and just let her do it. I love those super sandy fingers all up in her mouth.
When she wasn't eating kelp she was eating orange peels. With sand.
People almost always tell me that Pearl looks like me, and I tend to agree. She looks a ton like I did as a baby. But I liked these pictures when I saw them because I could totally see her daddy in her. Do you see it?
This first picture is an excellent summation of our days on The Beach. John off playing with the boys, Pearl crawling around freely, stopping to put anything and everything she could find into her mouth, and me sitting back and photographing it all. And then there is John chatting with his Uncle Steve with our little Penguin in tow.
Pearl is like, "Look George! I found your shovel!"
I loved how effortless it was to keep George happy and entertained. The kids played so hard all day long-- we had to interrupt their fun to make sure they were fed and hydrated, but other than that, they didn't even really need adults around. And then, a gratuitous wetsuit photo of my dashing husband getting ready to hit the waves.
George tirelessly ran out into the water to fill up his bucket to bring back for the sandcastle. And I love this second shot of the bigger kids all in a row, digging frantically for sand crabs. They found dozens and dozens.
I am pretty happy about these pictures because I just happened to catch the exact moment that George was running back into the water behind Pearl to fill up his bucket (tireless, remember?). Yay for lucky photograph timing. Plus, look at Penguin's little face. Oh the squishiness.
These next two (actually there are 4, but they are in collages of 2) pictures are a plug for why you NEED as SLR camera if you don't already have one. I was playing with my aperture to get the lighting right and really loved the contrast of the two different exposures. These are not edited because I wanted you to see what being able to manually control f-stop and shutter speed can do. Here is the first set:
And here is the second. These were taken at the same time as the ones above, in the exact same lighting conditions, and again, were not edited. The difference in the images all just comes from controlling the exposure through f-stop and shutter speed.
Doesn't that make you want an SLR (or happy you have one)? Really, you will never be the same once you get one :). Which set do you like best? I am partial to the first one. I like the soft golden light and how you can still see details. But the more silhouetted one is fun, too. Hooray for SLRs.
Proof that I was there and that it was warm. That is me (please try not to be alarmed by my pale legs) putting sunscreen on my face while chatting with Lis and Natalie.
Look at those happy faces :).
I really love this moment of Grandpa sitting in the sand making "donuts" for the kids out of sand. They were having so much fun.
George was very, very into the "donut" making and "eating."
I super love this photo of all the kiddos together. Yes that is my son on the right, sobbing his little heart out. It was the end of a long beach day and his cousin (we've discussed their tumultuous relationship before :)) had hurt his feelings by pushing him away and telling him he couldn't be in the picture. I love how Logan is totally watching him because he knew what had happened. And the drama of it all, completely depicted in George's pathetic little face and shoulders drooping in defeat. Normally this wouldn't be such a heartbreaker, but you know how 3 year olds are when they are tired. Could not stop crying. Not even for the picture :).
Georgie and Prestley playing in the waves together.
George wasn't the only kid I didn't really have to entertain at The Beach. Between Grandparents and aunts and uncles, I pretty much only had to care for Pearl when she needed to nurse and at night (which was a little bit of a nightmare, I might add :)). Here she is on Grandma's lap enjoying some water out of a lid, and then playing with Aunt Lisa.
And here she is sitting on Great-Grandma's lap, looking on as her mama and daddy play some beach volleyball.
My little family. My whole world, right here in a picture.
Baby Girl and me.
I had to take a photo of my snowflaked toes (pedicure courtesy of Christmas present from my mama) in the sand. Yay for beach escapes in the winter.
Here are some boogie boarding shots. John is one of those people. If I looked closely I am sure I could tell you which one. But I am not going to look closely right now. Just take my word for it.
I am a beach lover, but not necessarily a waves/saltwater lover. If the water is chilly (and it always is in January), I really don't mind not getting totally in. But I had a wetsuit. And John really wanted me to go boogie board with him. So I did. I am nice like that.
I am including a bunch of close-up shots of my babies because I like them all. They remind me of what a long beach day looks like on their faces. Tired eyes, wind-blown hair, sandy faces, and sun-kissed cheeks.
Georgie, getting warmed up in a towel after some fun in the water, and Pearlie, in a rare moment of sitting still on the sheet.
This was at dusk and George was finally so cold and tired that he was ready to be done at The Beach for the day.
Okay, I think I only have one (perhaps two) more Beach installments. Lots of wide angle shots coming up next :).