Sunday, August 31, 2014

Six hours of fun and play … and potty time ...

Little Fellow is two-and-a-half now and is growing up SO fast. His folks are in the middle of potty-training him, so I felt a tiny bit skeptical of him coming over to the Beach House for so many hours today without them to monitor and supervise the process! But we did OK!
I picked Brendan up from church this morning at about noon and we headed back to my place. First stop was the potty, but I was too late! Thankfully, our Little Fellow had very absorbent trainers on, which we immediately threw into the washer and exchanged them for his Thomas the Train big-boy pants! I had a little race track all set up in the main room and Brendan got right to playing as soon as he could.
Very early on in our day, Brendan brought Paco the Pig out into the main room from the play room. He wanted Paco included in all of our fun today! Olah! 
Brendan is getting more and more verbal, and his pronunciations are excellent. He is finally able to say helicopter AND windshield wipers too! For the last little while, we weren't exactly sure what he was saying for windshield wipers … he had the syllable count right, but the sound was … off! For quite a long time now, Little Fellow has had an obsession with things that SPIN or move; hence his fascination with windshield wipers, and lately CAR WASHES.
Brendan playing with his favorite helicopter
 Paco the Pig was overseeing all of the racing and building and … well, everything!
Except Paco needed to take a nap, so Brendan tucked him in quite nicely and even gave him a night-night kiss ... 
 And then he returned to spinning the helicopter blades ...
 … and spinning them … and spinning them!
 Brendan loves my Matchbox trucks too ...

 AND, Brendan discovered LEGOS today. He is NOT supposed to be into the LEGOS because he is only two … but somehow, his little chunky hands reached up to where the older grandkiddos had placed one of their models. 
 I think Brendan was completely taken in by the beauty and perfection of LEGOS … ah, Dylan was exactly like this!
 Pretty soon, it was tool time ...
 So, Little Fellow did a little bit of hammering ...
 And figuring things out ...
 He has the best time with my toys!
 About every 30 minutes or so, it was potty time! Good job, Brendan!
 Little Fellow was really into my lighthouses today! He says the word very clearly. He went from room to room asking to see them up close … so that's what we did! This one was a gift from my nephew, Daniel. You can put a little tea light inside and then … it lights up! Brendan was pleased.
 And then Brendan asked me to get down my small lighthouse models that were gifts … actually, I found them on my deck steps one afternoon … an anonymous gift!

 But I think the real hit of the day was this darling birthday card I had received from my brother, David, and my sister-in-law, Carol. As you open it, it plays an altered version of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" and there is a bright shining star inside that flashes with tiny lights!
 Brendan was totally mesmerized! He loved this SO much!
 I'm pretty sure he opened and shut this card 100 times while here today!

 In between … going potty!
 Yay, Brendan!
 And WHO KNEW that cheerleader pom-pons could be used as a CAR WASH for Matchbox cars?!!
 Wow, Brendan, you have quite an imagination!
What a FUN time we had today, Brendan! You are such a sweetheart. Grandma Carol is blessed to have you for a grandson!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Finally!! To the beach with the grandkiddos!

You might ask, "What took you SO LONG to spend an afternoon at the beach with your grandchildren?!" And I wouldn't blame you one single bit for asking! I love going to the beach, and I dreamed of an afternoon like this, and actually thought there would be many of them like this all summer long. There were many circumstances that prevented us from doing it, and I won't even begin to try to explain them. 
 I'm just very thankful that on my birthday weekend I was finally able to pile the kiddos into my little car (all packed with beach gear) and drive on out to Muskegon to … play!
 So … WHY didn't we go to Grand Haven since I claim it is my favorite spot on earth!? Well … first of all … because yesterday was Sunday (a weekend day) and I do not like crowds! Grand Haven on the weekends is just PACKED with people. Plus, I don't really like to swim at Grand Haven! The water there is less than clean, and the recreational boats come very close to the swimming area with all of their fumes, etc.
Pere Marquette Beach in Muskegon is not so busy with people; PLUS the beach area is at least three times larger; PLUS there are TWO lighthouses. The water is clear here, and it stays shallow much further than at Grand Haven. 
The grandchildren were so excited to hear we were going to the beach! We arrived at just about 3:00 in the afternoon. The children started swimming right away … no hesitation whatsoever.  
 I brought a bunch of snacks for us to eat while on the beach. The seagulls thought we'd brought the snacks for them! They were quite aggressive, and not one bit shy in their intentions. They surrounded our blanket, and got very territorial about the whole thing. We had no intentions, whatsoever, of sharing any of our snacks with them.
 We did all the usual stuff that people do at the beach. I love to dig in the sand, don't you? The children had such a good time digging and building and … smashing.

 We didn't have huge wave action, but the small waves were still fun to body surf in. Christopher really got into this!
It was a hot and humid day and our weather pattern had been like this for an amazing 4-5 days in a row; so the water temperature was … manageable. I hate cold water!  
I love to see Christopher with this huge smile! 
 Matthew dug and dug in the sand … he is a very good builder.

After we had been swimming, digging, and playing for almost three hours, we decided to walk the breakwater to see the lighthouse at the end ... 

I was so surprised when the children decided to turn back because the railings had ended and it seemed "too dangerous" to walk on the breakwater with no railings! Yikes. I told them it would be just fine, but they decided we should turn back. We did. I made them promise me that some day they would walk to the end with me. I told them many stories of how I have walked the breakwater in rough weather, and I managed to live through it!

The view was much clearer than two days prior! The fog had completely obscured my vision of all my familiar and favorite spots! 

I'm so glad we got to do this … finally! It might be the only time we make it to the beach together all season. I hope next year, we can come here more regularly and do some fun exploring.