Sunday, July 13, 2008

Living Long and Prospering at the Beach

We are heading home today after a great weekend. Yesterday the water had MUCH less seaweed and we spent the entire day at the beach.

Even Ellie had a nice, relaxing day. She read and walked dogs, mostly.

We hardly ever stay at this place over the weekend, we always prefer to come during the middle of the week to avoid crowds. But due to our Big Bend trip in January and our California sojourn, we are running low on paid vacation days so here we are on a weekend. The beach was PACKED. But this is the first year I have felt that everyone understood that cars can flatten you. Last year, I would have been a nervous wreck chasing Jasper and trying to keep him out of the cruising beach traffic. I just love it when they get old enough and you can say to them, "See that car? It can kill you. Stay out of the road," and have them go, "Yikes! No problem, Mom." Of course I still had to keep a close watch on everyone in the water. The little ones don't scare me as much as the big boys. They will swim out as far as they can and it makes me crazy. Jules, as usual, spent the entire day in the water.

This was the first time that Camille did the same. She hardly ever came in. I would have to go and drag her out to apply more sunscreen. Here she is after getting wiped out by a wave...

While she was trying to do a nice little pose like this:

So last night we came back to the RV park and Jeff and I took the little ones to the pool. They have a really nice pool, here. The 3 bigger kids chose to eat dinner at the trailer, instead. Ellie and Joel were nursing some mild sunburns. When we returned from the pool there was somewhat of a block party going on. Most of the people here keep their RVs here all summer and they come out on weekends. So they all know each other. Like i said, we never come on the weekends so we were unaware of all of this partying. While we were eating dinner after swimming, I was like, "Where is Camille?" and Jeff says, "I think she's at the party." Sure enough, I go outside and there she is, engrossed in a game of Duck Duck Goose with about 20 or so other kids - game being supervised by a daddy. She had walked out, said, "My name is Camille. I want to play." We literally dragged her in at 10:00 - interrupting a game of Freeze Tag. She was devastated. "No, no! Let me stay out here with all of my friends!!" Who says homeschooled kids have no social skills?

OK - speaking of homeschooled kids and social skills, that reminds me of another Ellie story. I had dropped her off at the birthday pool party of a friend who attends school. He was the only kid she knew at the party. When I came back to get her she got in the car and said she'd had an ok time. She said the other kids weren't intentionally rude, they just didn't know how to include her in on their conversations. She said, "They were just lacking in social skills." I found that funny because Ellie was clueless that that is what people say about homeschooled kids - not the other way around. But often, we find that it is the other way around.

So last night Jules begins talking about how his bangs are bothering him. I have mentioned that it is suspected that he has Asperger's. So we were thinking, "He's either gonna say it a couple of times or he is going to get fixated on it and not be able to stop..." It was the latter. After an hour of him saying his bangs were bothering him Jeff says, "I'll cut them."

"No way," I said. "Don't you touch that child's hair."

Too late. Jules was on the bandwagon. "Oh yes! Please! Cut them! I can't take it any longer. Really. They're too long." Apparently, the bangs had crossed some invisible barrier between bearable and unbearable, instantaneously.

The other kids, who were quite tired of hearing about the bothersome bangs, chimed in, "Let him cut them!"

"You don't even have scissors," I said.

"Yeah, I have some here in my tool kit," Jeff said as he dug out a pair of dull, industrial-looking scissors.

The surgery began. There was much talk about being still. "Be still. Why can't you be still? Dude, be still. I'm not kidding, be still."

Jeff didn't actually say, "oops". It was more implied. There was a brief moment of silence and expectation on Jules' part and then Jeff said, "Oh my God!" followed by, "It's not that bad," followed by, "Really."

Then the siblings got involved and there was hysterical laughter. Jeff started laughing, too. We are talking deep, permanent, psychological scarring. Jules worked his way through the crowd towards me and when he emerged he was.......Mr. Spock. That's all I can say. The kid is Spock. He will be getting a buzz cut tomorrow. I would post a pic but he would never recover from it.

Every year in the past, Joel has been the social butterfly here. We were never here long before he had a couple of boys hanging around on skateboards, or gathered around him on the beach. I knew he was changing quite a bit but this trip really showed it. He had no interest in socializing - just wanted to hang out and read a book. He will be 14 in September. While he is still quite the clown, he is also becoming more quiet and I can just tell there is a whole lot of "stuff" going on in that head of his. It takes a lot of quiet energy for a caterpillar to turn into a butterfly - and I think that is kind of what he's doing. Obviously, though, he is still quite goofy. But I FINALLY took a photo of him where he wasn't self-consciously turning his face into a clown face...

But then THIS you can see, he receives much encouragement....

Well, gotta pack up this can. But first, here are the most interesting google searches that landed people on this blog overnight:

1. Can I feed sardines to my dog?

2. Can I feed sardines to my baby?

3. Recipes with canned sardines

4. Potassium level in sardines

Answers: yes, wouldn't, why?, don't know


Sardine Mama


  1. sounds like you guys have had a really good time at the beach.

    looking forward to see all of you soon.

  2. Looks like a great time was had by all. I can't believe the sea weed.
    I do understand what you say about the closeness. We just got back last night from my mother-in-law's home in Mexico City. We figured out the the whole place could probably fit in our kitchen. Anyway, as soon as we get back to our enormous house, what do we do but all stand in a little circle together in the kitchen, with no more than 2 feet between us. And then we migrate to the bathroom together as I am putting things away. Closeness is nice.

  3. You're kids are so cute. I had to laugh when I saw your latest blog and pictures. We were also at the beach this weekend! We go to Rock Port; we have a pop-up camper and we stay at the SandDollar RV/Resort. We love Fulton beach and there was NO sea weed. There is also fresh water showers and a nice (well, it is nice in the early morning hours) bathroom area. The kids can walk out in the ocean a good ways before it gets really deep. Glad to see you guys had fun...we had a blast...just a very busy I just have to get all the laundry finished! Love your blog! Steph

  4. Looks like a fun weekend! Could you share where you stay? We are always looking for new places to camp.


  5. We stay at Pioneer Village, which is just outside of Port Aransas. They have a boardwalk to the beach and their bathroom/shower facilities are very nice and clean. They also have 2 great pools.

    We are really looking forward to our trip to Garner next month. We like to go during the middle of the week, after school has started, and we literally have the river to ourselves.

    That's cool that there are a couple of other "camping mamas" reading the blog!