Summer family semi-fun

IMG_1280Our backyard garden is kicking out tomatoes at an almost comical pace these days. So I am eating tomatoes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. One of my children is eating tomato salads for multiple meals daily. The other three kids have tried tomatoes, but are not eating them in the lusty fashion that various personal essays claim children will adopt when they have grown vegetables* themselves. Unfortunately, life seldom follows a good narrative arc.

We spent a lot of time watching the Olympics this weekend. Various children are signed up for swimming and gymnastics in the fall, so they are enjoying watching these sports done well. The Olympics are also proving to be a great source of entertainment when I am up with the toddler early in the morning, and I am tired of reading My Truck Is Stuck, and The Big Red Barn.

That said, I was not up too early this weekend. It was my husband’s turn to take the little one, so on Friday and Saturday nights I slept from 10:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. It was awesome.

We went for a family hike at the John James Audubon Center on Saturday. We only went for about an hour but all four kids walked much of the way under their own power. Even the little guy! There was a lot of whining, but we made it.

I took my daughter in the pool on Saturday afternoon during nap, and it was actually kind of relaxing. She has learned to swim well enough that I can watch her without holding on to her the entire time. She kept jumping in and then turning around to swim to the wall. I like this self-sufficiency.

On Sunday we went to our favorite beach on the Jersey shore. Ocean Grove’s beaches are closed until 12:30 p.m. on Sundays (the town is actually a Methodist association), so we thought it might not be so crowded when we got there shortly after 12:30. But it was pretty crowded (see photo). I guess that is just the beach on an August weekend. We were on the beach for about 3 hours, and some child was complaining the entire time, though the complaints came in a bit of a rotation of which kid wanted to leave at any given point. So it goes with family semi-fun. You have to take the good moments where you can. We did stop at our favorite ice cream parlor, and I had a sundae involving peanut butter moose tracks, hot fudge, and Reese’s peanut butter cups. Yum.

*Yes, I know tomatoes are actually a fruit.

7 thoughts on “Summer family semi-fun

  1. Sounds like an overall win to me 🙂

    12:30 beach opening – no fair, though! I love the morning hours at the beach the best. It’s so interesting to me how unregulated the FL beaches are compared to the Jersey Shore (growing up, my standards were Cape May & Avalon). Down here, you just walk to a beach whenever you want, essentially. I think they officially open at “dawn”. There are no lifeguards. No beach tags. There are cabanas & chairs for rent by private business (hotels, etc). VERY different. While both are fun in their own ways (and I wish we had guards), I do like being able to go to the beach any daylight hour I want!

    1. @SHU- most jersey towns don’t have regulations like that. The 12:30 opening in OG is just a blue law – a holdover from the fact that the town is administered by a religious society. So the beach isn’t open because you’re supposed to be at church 🙂 I think many towns clear the ocean when the lifeguards go off duty (at like 5/5:30) but then of course you can go back in at your own risk. They aren’t hauling people off the beach. Probably Florida is just a lot more coastline, a lot less dense.
      As I go to lots of different beach towns it’s been interesting to see the structure. In OG you buy a beach tag and that’s how they pay for guards and upkeep. Almost all the parking is free. In Rehoboth Beach, DE where I was a week ago, you go on the beach for free, but all the parking in town is quite expensive (the meter would run about $20/day for the spots near the beach). So it’s just a different way of getting revenue to pay for the beach cleaning and guards.
      And yay, Legoland!!

  2. Hah, your stories of complaining children reminded me of our family nature walk yesterday (not sure if it even qualifies as a “hike” given that you can hear the traffic noise from the freeway in the woods and the whole loop is about a mile…). One child who shall remain nameless burst into tears at being torn away from her indoor reading to have to go on this tedious “hike” with all of us despite it being a gorgeous day out. She remained mad and sniffling until about 10 min into the hike when she realized it was really, really fun to race down the path with her sister in the middle of the woods 🙂 We are such horrible parents for making them do stuff like that 🙂

    1. @ARC – whiny children are maddening. Especially when they wind up loving whatever it is! We have gone many times from “No, not this, not ever!” to “that was the best thing ever, can we do it again?” Sometimes the other direction too. Hard to know!

    2. This is basically the MO for my 6 year old. He NEVER wants to go anywhere and its a ton of whining and complaining and dragging him out the door. Once we are on our way its the BEST THING EVER. I know its worth it to get him out, but sometimes I just want to give up its so exhausting.

      1. Maybe it’s a 6yo thing and it’ll pass soon 🙂 (That’s what I’m hoping for.) I can empathize as I also hate being pulled away from something I’m engrossed in, but the summer here is short (and amazing) so we just persevere.

        3/4 of us are homebodies and 1/4 has trouble behaving herself in public places, so the struggle is real 🙂

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