This weekend was TERRIBLE.
My dear husband and I were bickering. The. Entire. Time. Because he has not been managing his time well since he’s been off– literally, his last rotation ended in March, and he’s been at home trying to find something to do with all of this free time before residency starts in July. So he’s just hanging out at home and disrupting our schedule, and it’s just frustrating for all of us. Believe me, hubs, we’re ready for you to go back to work too. Love you, mean it, but still. Too much togetherness is wreaking havoc on our little family.
Anyways, to break up the chaos, we headed to the beach this weekend for a little R & R, but the South Carolina weather decided to go all bi-polar on us, and it was only 65 degrees… too cold for the beach. And windy as hell. 20mph gusts. At least it was sunny, but that didn’t really help things. We took the kiddos to the aquarium, where we learned that even though we have zoo memberships that give us discounts at literally every other aquarium/zoo in the country, this specific aquarium does not partner with our zoo, so it cost upwards of $95 for two toddlers and their parents to go inside and throw tantrums amidst an aquatic backdrop. Good thing that was worth it. But I did get this fabulous picture of me making a face that looks like I’m trying to speak whale…
Then we attempted to spend some time on the beach since it was sunny. But the wind blew sand up in all of our faces, so that was a no-go. Grumpy toddlers. Grumpy husband. Grumpy mommy. Just not fun at all. And still too cold for swimming.
We ended the trip with a little birthday dinner for Yia-Yia at one of our favorite spots on Murrell’s Inlet, where this momma had a piña colada with an extra shot. Because it was that kind of day.
We attempted a family picture, and this is what we got– it pretty much sums up our weekend perfectly. And I will be wearing this camo tee on repeat this week to hide from my family because momma needs a break. I’ve linked our outfit details, so you can “shop the feed” on the sidebar.
We are going to make up for this failed attempt at a vacation in the next couple of weeks with another trip to the beach. Perks of living in South Carolina– you’re always close to the coast.
But traveling to the beach with toddlers can be difficult. They need so much dang stuff that by the time I’m done packing for all of us, I’m ready for a vacation from the vacation. Like, is it even worth it? Yes, yes it is– if you bring wine. Having to pack for kids is not one of my favorite parts of having children. Especially when they are so close in age that they wear similar sizes– I get their clothes confused all the time, and it’s just a big old hot mess. Thank goodness for monograms. It’s the only way I survive these days.
The Pink Monogram sent us these darling monogrammed duffel bags, and they have been an absolute lifesaver. I can now keep the kids’ stuff straight, and it’s so much easier to pack for them when we go on overnight or weekend trips. These bags are just perfect for beach trips. And the material is thick and durable– so easy to wipe clean, which is a must for a beach trip where you’re going to have sand and lotion and spilled juice. That’s just inevitable.
To make your life easier, I’ve rounded up the 20 things that I pack for the kids when we’re headed to the beach. Keep in mind, my kids are toddlers, so this list is geared towards moms with toddlers and babies.
- Monogrammed duffel bag – The Pink Monogram has got you covered on this front. There are a ton of cute designs to choose from, and the quality is amazing. I’m going to get some for my husband and me next. They’re just the perfect travel bag.
- Pack ‘n Play (with sheets– seriously, don’t forget the sheets. I usually do, and it’s annoying to have to improvise.)
- Noise maker – sleeping in a new place might be a little daunting for a toddler, so we always take our sound machine to help them feel at home when we travel.
- Puddle Jumper – for your peace of mind when they’re around the pool/ocean. My boys are getting swim lessons this summer, but until then, they need some floaties when they’re in the water. I think the packaging says the minimum weight for these is 25lbs, but we used them with Reese from about 17lbs on (with adult supervision, obviously), and they worked great for us.
- Camelbak Eddy – these are the only sippy cups we use. They don’t leak, and they don’t break when your kid throws them out the window. Monogram these too, because God forbid you give your three-year-old the wrong sippy cup. Smitten in a Mitten sells these monogrammed beauties, and they’re dishwasher safe!
- Natives – shoes for the beach/ water activities
- Swim diapers – you need to have these if your kids aren’t potty-trained. This is what I always forget to pack!
- Swim suit – duh
- Sun hat – if your kid is like mine, he will never wear this. But at least you can say you tried.
- Sunglasses– see number 9
- Sunscreen – this is the only thing I can really do to protect them from the sun because they won’t cooperate and wear their hats or sunglasses. We love No-Ad SPF 45 spray for the boys. Sometimes you can find it at Walmart, but I usually order it online in bulk with my No-Ad SPF 8.
- Towels – you will need these when you set up camp, and for nap time (if you make it that long out on the beach)
- Radio Flyer All-Terrain Pathfinder Wagon – I can’t do the beach without this guy. I use it to carry my kids and all their stuff. It’s non-negotiable.
- SPF Chapstick or lip balm – nothing is worse than a baby with burned lips. Trust me.
- Baby powder – this will be your best friend if you’re trying to get sand off of their little hands and feet
- Umbrella or tent – you need to have some sort of shady place where you can hide those babes from the sun
- Cooler with ice packs – snacks and drinks are a must. We love go-gurt, cheese sticks, nature valley bars, and peanut butter crackers, and apple juice (watered wayyyyyy down).
- Sun sans – sandals for going out
- Jon jons or bubbles
- Baby soap/shampoo/ body wash – our favorite is Bella B Naturals Squeaky Bee Bodywash and Shampoo