Life in Photos, Travel/Moving

LIFE IN PHOTOS :: Sandcastle Destroyer Extraordinaire

A fun[ny] aspect of living in the tropics is the rather large collection of swimsuits little Miss Alenka has amassed! Today we have the purple one-piece, tied in the back with a headband off of mama’s hair, covered with a ruffled swim diaper, accessorized by pink sunnies, a paisley paci clip, a whole lotta Burt’s Bees sunsreen, and a sandy María.

Eh, it works. ;)

Aveline destroying sand castle with pink teacup

Aveline - sandy hand and cookie confusion

Aveline - sandy hand

P.S. I just LOVE her!

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Life in Photos

LIFE IN PHOTOS :: Beach Day (With BMX Brother, Without Toddler)

Reading Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry Reading in the car — Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry. So sad. So good.

Patches on backpack from Europe travelsThis backpack has been a lot of places.

Xtreme Surf Shop, Cocoa BeachThe town of Cocoa = ubiquitous surf shops and signs with strange grammar.

Cocoa Beach Shark on SignImpaled shark on sign post. Also, brother. The glasses did not make the trip home; they were swallowed by a wave.

Off Price Shells Cocoa BeachNot sure what “off price shells” are, but they are selling out.

Sans toddler!Sans toddler! Thank you, Mom and Dad, for our very first full day away from Aveline. This was the first time in a long while that we both sat down simultaneously while at the beach. ;)

Filming SchultzFan of YouTube - BMX videoJosiah filming my brother (SchultzFan/John Busakowski rides BMX on YouTube)

BMX VIdeo Channel on YouTube - SchultzFan being filmed at Cocoa BeachThe kid is crazy. (SchultzFan/John Busakowski rides BMX on YouTube)

SchultzFan on YouTube - John Busakowski rides BMXAmazing to have my brother here (from 1,500 miles away!) for Spring Break!

26:PM - Missile Monkey Developer - Josiah MunseyHusband. His hair’s getting long again.

California Sun Date box Snacks. And I didn’t even notice the cheerio until just now!

Board Walk near Lori Wilson Park Cocoa BeachOnce John edits the footage he took while he was here, I’ll post a link! Until then, you can check out his YouTube channel.

Little Style, Travel/Moving

What to Pack for a Day at the Beach with a Baby

We couldn’t stay away from the beach. We went again, last weekend, and Aveline loved it even more than the week before.

Josiah and baby Aveline in stormy Atlantic Ocean on Cocoa Beach

Having a baby has only made me love the ocean even more. Our wee girl literally yells and squeals in delight when the waves splash up over her fat little knees, and she loves the way the sand feels on her toes and fingers.

I love sharing the ocean with her.

Aveline wearing striped watermelon bathing suit

Babymel UK Diaper Bag on a Florida Beach

Taking a baby to the beach honestly doesn’t involve tooo much extra effort. What we pack for a day a the beach is not really much more than the usual beach items plus a diaper bag (shown: my favorite Babymel London bag).

Here’s a round-up of what to pack for a day at the beach with a baby:

  • Diapers & wipes: Although we use cloth diapers, Aveline wears disposable diapers when we are traveling — we live just over an hour from the beach. When swimming a pool, though, I recommend one of these pool-approved reusable swim diapers.
  • Sunhat & swimsuit: We put Aveline in this before we leave the house, to avoid attempting to dress a wriggling sandy baby once we’re at the beach.
  • Sunscreen: Choose your sunscreen wisely. Most sunscreens on the market contain harmful hormone-disrupting ingredients. Explore all the information linked in this Sunscreens Exposed report, and then use the Environmental Working Group’s helpful Sunscreen Guide to select a product with low toxicity.
  • Small cooler containing picnic lunch, cloth napkins, and water: Obviously it’s super important to keep the baby hydrated…but that goes without saying. We packed Aveline a separate lunch, but she preferred to nosh off ours. And the cloth napkins (or washcloths) have a multitude of uses. I actually never leave home without a washcloth or two.
  • Blanket and towels: I like bringing a large blanket (actually, I use an old tablecloth) for us to sit on.
  • Toys:  Having something for her to play with definitely makes beach life easier. As you can see, we use the definition of “toy” loosely around here….this stainless steel water bottle occupied her for quite a long time. Oh, and when we got back home, I just tossed her toys in a bowl of water with a few drops of grapefruit seed extract to disinfect them.
  • Ziplock bag or small wet bag: It’s nice to have something to put the wet clothes in for the trip home. If you’re not familiar with the concept of a wet bag, it’s a waterproof fabric bag with either a zipper or a drawstring closure. They are SO handy, especially since they are designed to be washed right alongside the dirty laundry. I have the small “sunset stripe” wet bag shown here.
  • A dry outfit for the way home: This one is pretty self-explanatory. ;-)

I really love our beach days with Aveline. Josiah and I feel strongly that there is no reason why Aveline shouldn’t be introduced to the types of things we all can appreciate — as opposed to only participating in overtly child-centric activities now that we are parents.

Aveline in sun hat with plaid bolsa and stainless steel water bottle

Granted, there are a few differences in beach life BC and AC (before child, and after child).

We don’t go on endlessly long walks down the shoreline together anymore (although, she took her first step last night, so I would say our walking days are about to resume).

We keep seashells out of her mouth.

We stop her from crawling off in hot pursuit of sea gulls.

We definitely don’t fall asleep in the sun.

Beach towel on deserted stormy beach

Sea Gull on sandy beach

But none of this takes away the breathtaking beauty of the endless sea, the saltiness in the swirling air, the way the stormy clouds dip down low beneath the horizon and blend with the oceanic blues and greens.

Josiah carrying Aveline

The best part of all, is being there with my two loves.

Life in Photos, Little Style, Travel/Moving

Day at the Beach

Gina and Josiah with Aveline on Cocoa Beach in FLorida

We spent Saturday at the beach, and yes, I went a little picture crazy. But do you blame me? I mean, we’re talking about a day at the beach. Delicious picnic food, sunshine, Hannah — who is suspiciously absent from these photos, although she is the camera-girl behind the pictures of Josiah and I together — deliciously salty air, the water’s steady rhythm, and Aveline’s first time splashing in the waves.

Baby’s inaugural trip to the ocean was this spring, but as she wasn’t even three months old yet, she mostly slept. So, last Saturday was her first time really experiencing it. How great is it that Auntie Lauren was there this spring, and Auntie Hannah was here for this moment? Hannah even captured video of the moment Aveline walked into the water. I just wish you could have heard Aveline’s tiny giggles when the water touched her feet!

I was really surprised that she didn’t eat handfuls of sand. I mean, she’s the girl who puts everything in her mouth, so I just fully expected her to try to chow down on sand. (I’m so glad she didn’t.)

We walked alongside her, and let her crawl along in the wet sand next to the water’s edge. She was delighted, and kept making happy little sounds.

Our own little beach baby, our own darling girl. It’s such an unspeakable and overwhelming feeling to share these joyful moments with her. Thank you, Lord!

[Note: For those of you who’ve asked, Aveline is wearing a Raw Amber Teething Necklace c/o Hip Green Baby. It is designed especially for babies; the plastic clasp is designed to break, and there is a knot between each bead to keep them secured.]

Baby on beach towel in eyelet lace sunhat holding handful of sand

Gina and Josiah walking toward ocean at Cocoa Beach in FLorida

Aveline's first steps in the Atlantic Ocean

Josiah with Aveline as she sits in the wet sand at the ocean's edge

Aveline sitting in wet sand holding fistfuls of sand

Aveline crawling near the ocean with Josiah right behind her

Baby in floral swimsuit, sunhat, and raw amber necklace crawling in the sand

Baby hands holding wet sand

Josiah hold Aveline while Gina wraps her in beach towel

Aveline wearing sunhat, wrapped in beach towel, held by Josiah

P.S. Yes, yes, Josiah is getting a haircut this weekend. You can stop tsk tsk-ing now. ;-)

Life in Photos, Little Style, Travel/Moving

Aveline at Cocoa Beach

Josiah holding Aveline at Cocoa Beach

We just got back from spending the afternoon at the beach, and we’re all tired out in that “Ooooh, the sun felt so good” sort of way. It’s a good feeling. The house is full of garlicky smells and dinner’s a few minutes away. I just had to stop for a minute and share this precious photo of Josiah and Aveline! (I took a gazillion and three more pictures today, which I’ll put up on the blog later.)

But for now, back to snuggling my sweet, freshly-bathed beach baby.