Little miss Logie turned 4 last week (!), and we just returned from her annual birthday beach getaway. We don’t do big birthday parties for her like we would for Jack, and eventually Wes. Those can be overwhelming for her, and we want her day to be tailored to her in any way we can. We started this tradition on her second birthday with an overnight stay in Wrightsville Beach, NC, which was so much fun, and her very first time to the ocean. It kills me to say that…I grew up surrounded by water and always envisioned my kids living in the salt water just like I did. Maybe we will end up on the coast one day, but in the meantime I am thrilled that we are only a short drive away, and that they all LOVE the sea 🙂
This trip was thrown together a few days before we left! Talk about waiting until the last minute. I searched up and down the coast of NC and SC, and luckily found the perfect beach house in Kure Beach. The weekend before was packed with swim team events for Jack, which left me with only a few hours to hunt for what we needed…beach gear, sunscreen, a non-pool-mom swimsuit for me, entertainment for the car (yay for Amazon Prime same day delivery!), and gifts for Logan of course! Halfway through my outing I realized I didn’t have to drive myself crazy finding the perfect things..we were going to be at the beach, together, and that was all we needed!
We left the morning before Logan’s birthday. The car ride was super fun. Jack had his Star Wars headphones and portable DVD player, Logan and Wes had their movies on their portable dual DVD players, they had their cozy blankets, and we had snacks…and large coffees. That should keep everyone happy, right? Well, being the super mom that I am, I forgot to charge Jack’s DVD player, Wes did not care for any of the snacks we had (and I forgot his favorite cookies!), and I had to sit in the middle on the floor to keep him happy. On the other hand, Logan couldn’t have been better! She happily watched whichever movie made Wes quiet, and she snuggled with her blanket the whole time. She even reached out to hold my hand while I was literally stuck in the middle on the floor, and would look over at me like she was checking to make sure I was ok.
A long 2.5 hours later we were there! And so was the rain. David and I looked at each other and just started to laugh. We have this rain cloud that hangs over us whenever we get to go on any kind of vacation. We went to the Riviera Maya in Mexico for our honeymoon for 10 days…it rained for 7. And, the best part…they were shooting the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Calendar at our resort. Rain and supermodels. Doesn’t get much better than that!
We got settled in just in time for naps, so David went to the store to get some much needed beverages. About 30 minutes later I get a call. Someone had ran into our car in the parking lot, knocking off the rear tire fender. David was waiting in the downpour for the police to come. Great start to a vacation, huh! Minutes after I hung up it started to thunder. Like, shake the house make you jump kind of thunder. Needless to say nap time was over and the screaming began. Logan and Wes literally screamed for 40 minutes. I had both of them in my arms, screaming in my ears, boogies everywhere. Good thing Jack had his headphones. I may have bribed him to let me wear them for a while, which he wisely declined. That’s all I’m going to write about that night! Sheesh.
Now for the good part! Logan woke up to a decorated kitchen and some beautiful singing from all of us! She gets really happy and giddy when she gets the birthday song for herself 🙂 We had breakfast and headed to the beach! The amount of beach gear we had was insane! We had a blanket, 2 adult chairs, 2 kid chairs, 2 umbrellas, a blow up pool (our saving grace! Thank you, Gussie!!!), towels, toys, a cooler and a boogie board. Normally I would pack David up with it all (one of the many perks of marrying an ex football player!), but we found this beach cart last year and don’t know how we survived without it! If you don’t have one, get one! (In my head I’m saying that like Woody from Toy Story…if your kids are obsessed like mine, you will understand). You can even stick a kid or two in there 😉
At first Logan was a bit overstimulated. It was super hot, very bright, and chaotic getting everything and everyone set up. Wes kept sprinting for the water (this kid has no fear!) and Jack kept asking when we could catch some waves. Poor Logan had to sit by herself in the sun while David set up and I chased wild man. After 10 minutes she had had it. Sometimes there is no consoling her when these meltdowns start. I usually have to leave with her and let the boys continue with the fun without us. I was all set to throw in the beach towel (har har), but David convinced me to wait it out while he blew up the pool. That $8 pool saved the day! As soon as it was inflated and filled she was one happy birthday girl. Phew! We splashed, swam, found some great shells, dug a big hole…all of the amazing things you get to do at the beach. Best of all, Logan was happy and having fun!
Later that day we went to the aquarium, with little time to spare before it closed. Jack was super excited to see some sharks, stingrays and my beloved horseshoe crabs! When we got into the aquarium part, Wes couldn’t stop saying, “Wowwwwww! Whoaaaaaaa!” It was so cool to see him in such awe, and to see the boys running around together holding hands. Logan was amazed too, mainly by the lights and the jellyfish tank. At one point we thought she was going to lose it again. She started throwing a typical kid tantrum in her stroller. Ugh, were we going to have to leave early? As soon as I took her out of the stroller she was fine. I think she was just tired of sitting and needed to see things from a new perspective. I know it is so frustrating for her to not be able to move freely and go where she wants to go. Boy, things will be so much easier when we get this walking and communication thing down!
We successfully made it through the aquarium and even walked away with these gems!
Now what’s a birthday without some cake?!. Logan’s favorite is Carvel ice cream cake. If you are from the northeast, particularly Long Island, you will know that this meant a celebration! One year we had this cake on the beach on our blanket. It was SO messy, but so much fun. There are still some stains on the blanket from the blue icing, and I hope they never wash away. I wish a got a picture of their blue smiles from the icing!
One of my favorite memories from all of her birthday getaways is going to the beach right at dusk. This has always been my favorite time to be on the beach. It’s not hot, not crowded, and beautifully peaceful. It is Logan’s favorite time too. The smile and sweet look on her face is worth every anxiety ridden moment I face when we are in a new place with her. That is where I can see what she sees…the pure beauty in not only what God has created, but who He created for me. If it weren’t for Logan, I don’t know if I would ever really appreciate the little things. The little things in this world like the subtle ripple of a wave, a grain of sand falling between your toes, or the way the light from the setting sun hits your skin. These are all things that Logan smiled and giggled over on the beach that night. I know that this simplicity and pureness in her will teach us all something. It is a different kind of pureness with her than it is with the innocence of childhood. Maybe one day I will be able to explain that, but right now it is the look on her face and they way our eyes lock when she is this happy. It is pure bliss.
Well, Logan must have had too much fun and thought we were doing it all again the next day! She was awake at 4am. 4. A.M!!! I tried getting her back to sleep, and decided to call it quits around 5:30. I didn’t want anyone to wake up from her fits of laughing, then crying, so we hopped in the car and drove around. She couldn’t decide if she wanted to be happy or sad. Was something hurting her? Was she in pain? Was this really happening?! Why can’t anything go smoothly with us? Why does everything have to be a struggle? Why is it so difficult for Logan at times? I was starting to drown in self pity, tears rolling down my face. Not a good way to start the last day of vacation. We found our way down a street that ran parallel to the ocean, and there it was. The most beautiful sunrise. I parked in the middle of the road (not like there was anyone on it at this hour anyway!) and rolled down the windows. The sight even silenced Logan. Not only that, but she began to smile, she began to transform into her usual happy and sweet self. It was amazing, and exactly what we both needed. Her first sunrise. I’m a firm believer in signs, and I know this was one. Thank you, God.
Feeling better, we headed to Dunkin Donuts to get some coffee and munchkins for the rest of the crew. Might as well make it a productive morning! Did I mention that we left the house literally from rolling out of bed? I was not thinking about my appearance at all when I made the call to get in the car, and as I pulled up to the drive through that panic set in. I pulled down the mirror and yikes. Mascara was running down my face, my hair was a mess (and not in the cute “bed hair don’t care” way) and I was in my ratty tank top that I love to sleep in. My mom would have been mortified if she saw me leave the house this way! Not my finest look. I even flustered the young man at the window to the point that he couldn’t get anything right. I probably gave him nightmares that night.
Logan slept most of that morning when we got back. I’m sure it didn’t help that we had her in a pack-n-play that is too small for her. She cannot safely sleep in a regular bed, or even one on the floor. She would just roll off and try to pull herself up on things. I tried to order this really cool travel bed that looks like your own personal tent (something the boys would want to sleep in too!), but they were out of stock. Needless to say I am finding one of those suckers this week.
David stayed with Logan while I took the boys down to the beach…beach cart and all! I am so blessed and thankful to have these two amazing little dudes. Jack is one amazing kid, with the biggest and purest heart I have ever known. He is the prefect big brother, especially to Logan. More on him later. And Wes…wild man Wes. He may be crazy…he doesn’t walk; he runs, and he doesn’t talk; he screams! But he is the silliest, most hilarious and sweet boy. The perfect little brother, just what our family needs 🙂 We had the absolute best time! We stayed in the water all day. My dream! If only Logan and David were there.
All in all our trip was a success, and Logan had a fantastic birthday! Everyone tells you how hard it is traveling with such young kids. Boy, is it ever! Not many know how much harder it is traveling with a special needs kid. We will find our groove I’m sure, and there will hopefully be a time where Logan will be the easiest traveler of the crew, but for now we are taking along someone to help on our next vacation. Get ready Gussie and Mimi!