Aven’s first beach experiences! {summer recap}

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I have to be honest. 

Last year Brandon and I went on a little Babymoon/Anniversary getaway to South Florida when I was about 5 months pregnant. While we were there I just kept thinking, I’ll never get to experience the beach like this again. Next summer will be so different with a baby. Brandon reassured me that it would be just as much fun, if not more so, to have our baby along with us. I wasn’t convinced. All I could imagine was the extra work involved. (I realize that this sounds extremely pessimistic….I just call it realism!)

Well I was partly right. It was more complicated. It was different. It required loads more crap crammed into the back of our getting-smaller-by-the-day-Civic, as well as loads more crap carried down to the beach for just an hour or two by the water. But Brandon was also right. It was a good different. It was way more fun, I have to say. It was both busier, and more laid back. I know that math doesn’t quite work out – but it’s true.

I learned that there’s nothing like introducing your new babe to something you love. It just makes you love it that much more.


*Picture overload coming. I promise, you won’t mind. She is ridiculously cute on normal occasions, but throw in a beach – getouttahere!

So Aven’s very first beach trip was a last-minute getaway with my parents and brother, and my brother’s friend. {Initially I was hesitant since Brandon would be missing her first beach experience, but we went anyway at his urging.} We had a great time. Lots of extra hands to help and love on Aven. She was pretty well behaved even with a tooth that came in while we were there. And it was a great “trial” run for us so I would know how to prepare for the next trip.

My family loved seeing Aven experience the beach. My dad even did the honors of dipping her feet in for the first time. She was a little skeptical at first. Those eyes, they totally give it away.

But the second try she actually seemed to enjoy it.
those legs. 

This was a special experience for me because I grew up at these same beaches every summer. That moment of toting your new baby on your hip, down to the water you used to play in, and just watching her take it all in…..
 it was pretty magical.

We had the pier to shade us and a constant breeze, so she was quite content just hanging out in someone’s lap for the most part.

On the last night of our trip, we were out to dinner and Aven was getting cranky at the end of the meal. So I pulled out my phone and started scrolling through pictures until I stopped on one from Father’s Day of Brandon and her together. At this point, she had not seen him in four days. I’m only slightly exaggerating when I say little hearts fluttered out of her eyes. She immediately got quiet and stared wide-eyed at the picture. She was smiling, moving her mouth like she was talking to him. If she knew how to hug and kiss, I guarantee my phone would have been in her arms and covered with slobbery kisses. 
I love that she loves him so big.

*And in case that wasn’t enough baby + beach for you….

We took a second trip, this time to Florida and this one was planned months ago.  It was just Brandon, Aven, and I. First trip ever as a family of three!

Our routine was a little different than usual, and we introduced solid foods for the first time. (Hysterical.) We spent most mornings relaxing out on the balcony over-looking the water and dolphin-watching. After her 10ish morning feeding, we went down to the beach for an hour or two. In the afternoon/evening, we would head out for coffee, a walk, and dinner. After dinner it was bath time for Aven and then Brandon and I watched Shark Week. (Yes, you read that right.)

Don’t be fooled by that grin…we saw a lot of this face too…

Oh the anguish. It’s tough being 6 months old at the beach. Apparently.
In fairness, her teeth were bothering her some, and she may have had a little bit of fun overload. She is easily over-stimulated and there were times when she was just plain cranky. 

this is her baby bird face.

We used her Mamas & Papas seat for feeding and hanging out on the balcony. Aaand a few photo sessions, too. It’s easy to travel with and didn’t take up too much space. 

As for navigating the beach, we took Aven’s infant tub (similar) down with us and lots of little toys. Once we got down to our chairs, I took the tub and filled it up at the water hose that’s used to rinse off with so the water was clean and not salty. She would lay in it and splash for about an hour pretty contently. 

{dimple sighting}

After she got bored playing in the tub we would go for a little walk down the beach and let her put her feet in the water. She only fell asleep on the beach one time. Since she’s in a new phase of fighting naptime, the other days we had to go back up to the room for a nap.

 my heart could explode from just looking at this picture of my two favorites. 

I gotta say, we are loving life as a trio. 

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