Thursday, September 18, 2014

California Dreaming

Visited beautiful Newport Beach, California today on our annual girls' trip. This year we have not one, but two babies in tow as both Laura and Kristen are still nursing their youngest ones. It was a short trip to the beach because of the babies, hardly worth the sunscreen application, but one that I will never forget. Laura and I have come to check out Kristen and Ben's new digs in California. Yes, she moved too many miles away from us! It's fun to look back on our girls' trips of past years. Our activities have changed dramatically since our first trip five years ago. On our first trip, shopping encompassed at least half of our trip, interspersed with luxurious dining and margaritas, long walks by the Charleston harbor filled with meaningful conversations and of course more shopping. Babies have a way of changing one's life to the fullest.
Radioactive Margaritas

This year we had precious little shopping time and our meals resembled a Chinese Fire Drill as it was a race against time when one or both babies needed to be nursed, fed, changed or held, usually all of the above. It's uncanny. It must be their brand spanking newborn noses that smell piping hot food that rouses them from their slumber. It's not in their best interest as their mommas need to eat to produce milk! My girls are also very attentive mothers, much more than I was. I don't remember their crying bothering me quite as much as it bothers them but this could be God's grace that I forgot. On the way home from attending church one evening we had to stop and pick up pizza. Both babies were inconsolable for one of the above reasons, producing a cacophony in Kristen's minivan. Wyatt in particular began his hyperventilating cry. Desperation ensued and at one point, Kristen yelled out," George save us!" as she thrust her PBS Kids Curious George app on her IPhone for me to give to her 8 month old son. And this was right after singing praise to Jesus! Of course she didn't actually attend the service. She volunteered to let Laura and I listen to the message while she strolled Bridget around the book store. I will therefore give her a pass on her misdirected statement of salvation. It didn't work anyway. Meanwhile I was waiting in line behind a very relaxed group of people to sample various micro brew beers before ordering their pizza. The contrast between the stress in the minivan and the relaxed group in the pizza place couldn't have been greater.
Margarita time!

Now that I think about it, I do remember trying to appear that I had it all together with my babies when I really didn't. I think I just tried to hide it better. I also remember listening outside their door to hear if they had stopped crying. I was also the thinnest I've ever been because my diet consisted of whatever I could grab while standing at the kitchen counter while I wasn't feeding, holding or changing. Who am I kidding, I was equally stressed!

As you can see, going out was somewhat stressful so we spent lots of time on the floor of Kristen's house playing with Wyatt and Bridget. This was easier on all of us and quite enjoyable, once we gave up on the idea of luxurious shopping. We did have a full 20 minutes of speed shopping when Laura almost purchased Jason a pair of socks she knew he wouldn't wear! Mostly though we slowed down our pace and had a wonderful time experiencing the world through Wyatt and Bridget's eyes, playing with blocks and rattles and busy boxes. We watched Wyatt stand independently for a few seconds as he prepares to take his first steps and Bridget practice grabbing things and smiling and cooing. I can still remember the sweet sound of her voice.

I'm sad that it's over as I had looked forward to it since last year. I especially enjoyed spending uninterrupted time with the youngest members of our family and with my equally sweet big girls. Maybe the babies are the ones who have it right. Just hanging out with their mommies and Gigi is the best way to spend our precious time together. It takes some of us awhile to get it.

and a little child will lead them. Isaiah 11:6