June 2012

Rehoboth Beach 2012

This year we returned to the same house as last year for our annual beach trip to Rehoboth Beach. This is really two houses in one: a beach house for the parents and boys plus a smaller house behind it, also known as Noni’s playhouse or Noni’s little cottage. During the first couple days of the trip we got settled into the beach houses and into our traditional family roles. If Sean were a superhero he would be the Meddler, aka the person who provides “help” when no one (such as Chris) has specifically requested it per se. If Chris were a superhero be would be the Abater, aka Chief Abatement Officer, aka the person who makes sure no food goes to waste and that every last morsel of food is eaten before we leave the beach house. Everett slowly started acting like his normal self after being sick. His sleep schedule isn’t quite back to normal yet – he is taking two naps a day (which hasn’t happened for at least a couple years) and today (Sunday) he got up at 4:30am. Ouch. Fortunately he did feel well enough to go to the beach for a few hours. On Sunday night Sean cooked hamburgers, hot dogs and chicken on the grill and we ate dinner outside.

There are few remaining natural beaches on the Delmarva Peninsula. The stretch from Cape Henlopen State Park to the Ocean City Inlet is basically a sand bar with a few wide spots that separates the ocean from the inland bays and waterways. The position of the sand bars changes over time due to the forces of tides and storms. The problem is that people generally don’t want the sandbars to move after they have been endowed with billions of dollars in real estate. So the Army Corps of Engineers has a permanent job keeping the sand in one location, which is usually accomplished by pumping tons of it back onto the beaches during each winter. The result is that the beaches no longer have their normal shape. Chris remembers bodysurfing on beaches with very gentle slopes and waves that broke and rolled for a long time before reaching the shore. The reconstructed beaches have steep slopes with lots of shore break and no tide pools. To remedy this we build our own tide pools as the tide is coming in. This is something that we have done for so long that is almost instinctive. We sit near the waters edge and start digging a hole with walls around it. Soon the bottom fills with water and the hole grows in size until it’s big enough to fit the entire family. The boys and girls both young and old with sit in these pools for hours while playing and chatting. Today (Monday) we saw a pod of dolphins swim by.

On Monday night Melissa made dinner, which we ate in the living room. It was so delicious that many of us ate a little too much so we decided to go for a walk after dinner to Lake Gerar where we saw lots of large turtles and fed them bread scraps. By this time we had come up with a rough plan for the major events we wanted to fit into the week. We went to Funland immediately after the boys woke up from their naps on Tuesday. The boys were much bolder than last year about getting on rides, and the most popular ride this year was definitely the teacups!
DSC_0105
We returned home around dinner time so that Sean and Kathy could have their date night. They went to see Snow White and the Huntsman followed by dinner at Crabby Dick’s. Chris and Melissa had date night on Thursday. They went to the Rehoboth Toy & Kite Company on the boardwalk where Chris picked up a Waboba. Then to Jake’s for happy hour (Sam Adams Summer Ale and steamed shrimp). Then to see Men In Black 3, and finally to Fins for dinner. Photos of the trip are here. Other thoughts and observations follow.

Puppets

We recently watched the movie Being Elmo, which is a documentary about Kevin Clash. Kevin is the puppeteer behind Elmo and several other Sesame Street characters. One observation that he made in the movie is that every character has a central theme or idea. For example: Miss Piggy is a truck driver who is pretending to be a lady; Fozzie Bear is a vaudeville comedian; Elmo’s purpose is to express love. Chris is not a puppeteer and is far from being a comedian but it is remarkably easy to be funny to Everett, Connor and Dillon. Chris picked up a sea scallop from Noni’s bag of puppets and within a couple minutes all three boys were sitting on his lap. The idea behind the sea scallop is that he would say “Ptoooey!” to any food or drink he was offered (the boys later morphed this into “Ptchooey!”) but he would pounce on anyone who said water. The boys thought this was hilarious!

Whine

On Thursday all three boys seemed to wake up grumpy, and the situation did not improve during the morning. There was a lot of crying and whining about everything from breakfast to picking out beach toys. The situation did not improve after we got to the beach and started playing in the sand. In an act of desperation Chris started mimicking the boys’ behavior. He sat down right next to Uncle Sean and started a barrage of questions:

“Can I sit there?

It’s my turn in this seat!

Are you using my shovel?

Can I have it?

Did you eat my snacks?

Uncle Sean isn’t sharing!”

Again, the boys thought this was hysterical, though they failed to see the irony in it.

Surrey

On Thrusday morning we went on a surrey ride. A surrey was originally a horse-drawn carriage, but in the modern version the horses have been replaced with pedals and a drivetrain. It has a single-speed and a hand brake. We rented one large enough to hold the three boys and four adults. Sean sang “The Surrey with the Fringe on Top”, originally from the play Oklahoma! but there was also a brief rendition in When Harry Met Sally.

DSC_0119

Treats

The boys ate a lot of treats on this trip. This can probably be attributed to two major factors. First, we were at the beach and were surrounded by opportunities to get treats such as candy and custard. Second, Noni was with the boys a lot and had a plentiful supply of candy and cookies in her little cottage. One evening we celebrated Everett’s birthday with a pinata full of candy. Later that evening each boy was running around the house with a bag of chocolate in one hand, and bag of jelly beans in the other hand, and they were asking in if they could have dessert after dinner. I think you get the idea.

Sibling

As our readers know, Everett has been asking more and more earnestly for a sibling. We aren’t exactly sure why he wants a sibling but can make an educated guess that he would enjoy taking care of a younger brother or sister, as well as having someone in the house to play with. However, we feel certain that he hasn’t completely thought this through, particularly the facts that a second child would always be with us, that he or she would have their own independent will, and that Everett would have to share parental attention. He was briefly introduced to these ideas one day when he and Dad were roughhousing in bed. Connor heard the commotion, crawled into bed with us and said “I want to try that!” As soon as Connor said this Everett looked over his shoulder with an expression of surprise and extreme irritation. This was his special time with Dad, and it never occurred to him that he might have to include someone else or share Dad’s attention.

Transportation

We have stopped traveling with a stroller – Everett doesn’t use one anymore, and Chris carries him during the few times that he seems too tired to walk or just can’t keep up. This is quite a change from a couple years ago when we had a caravan of the Bob Stroller for Everett, the Phill and Teds double for Connor and Dillon, and the red wagon for all the beach stuff. Amazing, Everett and Dillon are now out of the stroller and hauling the wagon:
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

No comments

Four

Thursday is Everett’s fourth birthday, which we are celebrating with family at Bethany Beach.

Happy Birthday Everett!!!

The day went something like this:

Everett got up about 7am and played kick-the-balloons and other games with Dillon and Connor for a few hours while the adults slowly got up, had coffee and prepared for the beach. For a breakfast treat we cooked up a batch of Scrapple, which is about as appetizing as it sounds (note: Scrapple is not as good as Goetta, a.k.a Cincinnati caviar).

DSC_0013

We got to the beach about 11am for a couple hours more of playtime. It was a bit chilly compared to what we are used to – both the water temperature and air temperature were 69 degrees, combined with a stiff breeze. Eventually the boys got cold so we bundled them up and fed them lunch.

DSC_0030

Then we came inside for Everett to open presents from Grandpa and Grandma Linda, followed by singing Happy Birthday with a Carvel ice cream cake. The cake had blue icing that seemed to stain everything it touched including skin, tongue, carpet, etc. This will come up again later.

DSC_0039

The boys went down for a nap and we eventually woke Everett up around 5, but noted that he did not seem like his normal self. He was moving slowly and didn’t seem particularly interested in anything. The boys ate dinner, followed by the adults, and then we gathered around to sing Happy Birthday with cake #2 (devil’s food cake with buttercream icing and a picture of Everett on it).

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Still, Everett was acting unusual, which became even more evident when he said he needed to lie down halfway through opening presents. He also mentioned that he didn’t feel good. So we put him in our bed with a large pot nearby just in case, which worked out well because he soon filled it with blue liquid from his stomach (recall the icing on cake #1). After this he bounced back to his normal self and played light saber with his cousins using glow sticks.

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

By about 10:30 Everett put himself to bed and fell asleep immediately, with his cousins a few minutes behind him. We thought that maybe his sickness was an isolated event, but it happened again around 3am and again around 10am. Ugh. He still wanted to go to the beach, so we slathered him with sunscreen and played for an hour or two until he threw up again, this time on Linda’s feet. It’s now Friday afternoon and he is resting on the couch while watching cartoons.¬†Aside from throwing up we have two big signs that he isn’t feeling good: he isn’t talking much at all, and he told Chris he does not want to roughhouse.

————————————————————————————————-

Everett seems to carefully think through the times when he is ready to expand his capabilities. Some time ago we wrote about how he decided one day to start using the toilet. Since then, one remaining challenge has been sleeping through the night without diapers. During one recent evening when we were getting ready for bed he said “I’m going to wear underwear tonight.” He did, and that was pretty much the end of diapers. On a similar subject, Chris has repeatedly been encouraging Everett to learn to ride a bicycle. Everett tried this briefly during our recent camping trip but otherwise hasn’t taken to it.

DSC_0005
Instead, he has repeatedly said that he will start riding a bike once he turns four. We will report further on this in a couple weeks.

No comments
Powered by WordPress
Natural World RapidWeaver theme by ThemeFlood