Monday, August 6, 2012

Williams Beach House Twenty Twelve

A typical day at the Williams family beach house:

7am Wake up with my kids to find Grammy & all the cousins already awake. 
7:30am After a quick breakfast, I get my running clothes on, ipod hooked up and hit the boardwalk for a refreshing morning run. I run past the balboa pier, to where the sidewalk ends. It is amazing! The cool crisp air, the misty wind on my face, the row of beautiful homes on my left and the incredible ocean view on my right. I notice that the only people on the boardwalk this early are other runners and it makes me feel proud of myself. I want to throw my arms out wide, turn my face to the sky and shout, "I am one of you!! I am the kind of person that does this!" But then they would think I was crazy so I don't. Instead I look at each home as I run past it and pick my favorite feature on each house. I think I've got the plans for my dream beach house all figured out.
8:30am Grammy makes everyone a 2nd breakfast of pancakes, eggs and orange juice.  (1st breakfast is cold cereal)

10:30am We load up the kids, lug everything to the water and set up camp on the sand for the day directly in front of "our house." I carry my son in a geela sling, even though it's meant for babies and he's the size of a two year old. He loves it and I get to have my hands free to carry other things. We get lots of smiles from strangers on our way.

  *Harvey's favorite seat: mommy's chair anytime she gets up for a second :)
*Wendy's favorite seat: her special beach chair from Grandma

10:30am - 1:30pm We stay on the beach. I re-aply my fair skinned children with spf 50 sunblock every hour. We (my sister-in-law, mother-in-law, myself) eat yummy snacks, watch the kids play, read gossip magazines and chat our hearts out.

This picture shows Harvey's forbidden love affair with the ocean. He'd scoot his little bum almost to the waves, then throw a mini tantrum as I picked him up and walked him back to our row of chairs. But as soon as I sat him back down, he'd start scooting to the water again. You can even see his little bum tracks in the sand. The only things that stopped him from scooting away were...

... the Harvey sized holes that his cousin Charlie would dig him. He loved it in there. He would sit back like he was in a lazy-boy recliner and owned the world. Thank heavens for helpful, older cousins. I wish they didn't live in AZ.

*daily lunch menu: corn dogs, chicken nuggets, peanut butter & honey sandwiches, fruit and licorice

1:30pm At about this time I would take Harvey back up to the house and lay him down for a nap in a pitch black room with a loud fan. There he would sleep for 3 glorious hours each day! The very best part about this set-up was the fact that Ryan's dad prefers to stay up at the house, so I got to spend that time on the beach and my wonderful father-in-law would just call my cell phone when he woke up.

1:30pm - 4:30pm We continue to play on the beach. If Harvey's days on the beach are spent scooting to the water and hanging out in holes, Wendy's is definitely spent doting on her older cousin, Ruby. She worships Ruby. She follows her around like a puppy dog, begging me for clothes and hair "just like Ruby's." They spend their days holding hands, running away from or jumping over waves, burying each other in the sand, using the parachute as an indoor fort, and playing pretend. Tangent: They play "Mommy and sweetheart," where one of them is the mom and one of them is the "sweetheart" or daughter. They take turns spoon feeding each other bowls of water, doing each others hair, and putting each other to bed (with the full bedtime story, prayers routine). Wendy gets embarrassed if she catches me watching them play pretend, but something about spying on her playing the role of the mother, doing little things that I do for her and sweetly taking care of her "sweetheart" (which is what I call her) make me melt. Like maybe I'm not doing such a bad job after all.
4:30pm - 6:30pm We come back from the beach, bathe the kids, men watch kids while women make dinner, we all eat, we clean up dinner.
6:30pm - 8:00pm The evenings are wonderful on the beach. There's something about dusk on the beach, the heat of the day burning off to a fresh coolness and the sunsets over the water. We spend this time riding bikes on the boardwalk, flying kites, or going on evening walks. 

 *grandpa flying kites with Wendy and Ruby

*Harvey's 1st bike ride!!!

The first evening we were there, Ryan and I took Harvey on his first ever bike ride. I felt a little guilty realizing that, at 14 months old, he'd never been on a bike ride, but we live in a super hilly neighborhood. He didn't quite know what was going on at first, but he loved it! He kept clapping and slapping the handle bars. Then he noticed all the dogs that were being walked around him and forgot he was on his first bike ride. He would point and squeal and kick at each dog he saw. Toward the end of our ride, he started to get frustrated that he was stuck on a bike and couldn't pet every dog he saw.

Usually, at least once during our trip, Ryan and I find time to sneak away on a walk or a bike ride after we put the kids to bed. Last year we rode bikes to the Balboa Fun Zone, got some dessert and took photobooth photos. This year, we took a walk down the boardwalk and to the end of the pier. We watched the sunset over the water and just took our time. I love when Ryan suggests we put the kids down and sneak away somewhere, and I love the giddiness I still feel when he asks me out on a "date."

8:00pm - 9:00pm We always spend at least one evening walking down the boardwalk to get an ice cream cone. My in-laws have been doing this for 24 years, so naturally, the cute little Asian lady that runs the ice cream stand knows them. When Wendy was born, she crocheted her a beanie & matching blanket. My mother-in-law always makes us all take a picture with her, holding our ice cream cones up (as you can see, I inhaled mine before we even got to this point). All the Williams men grumble and make fun of us, but they do it to make their mother happy.
9:00pm - WAY too late We put the kids to bed and stay up playing games around the kitchen table. This is when the sillies come out. This is also when all the desserts come out. These are some of my favorite memories with Ryan's family. We all go to bed giggling, then do it all over again the next day.

After a week, you really start to feel like this is your life.
I think I could get used to it.


jenn (+ will) said...

oh my gosh heather! i loved reading this. it sounds like heaven. maybe this is exactly what heaven will be like. you have the cutest family and you look so gorgeous in all the photos. your kids are getting so big! they're so fun!!!

Beth said...

I am so happy that my daughter married into such a nice family!

Thanks for sharing all the photos...loved them all!