Today we headed for the coast!
We were invited to a beach birthday party by one of Julian's kindergarten-mates, in a different class (same teacher as Gabriel had had actually). Julian and Jake play together a lot at recess, and before I was working I'd chat with his very very nice mother before school started, so we know each other. Jake also attends CDC on some afternoons, so Gabriel knows him too. Jake's mother knew that a beach party would be tough for attendance, so she made sure we were available before scheduling it. So we weren't going to miss this one!
Dave stayed home to wait for an electrician, but I decided to bring Katrina anyway, knowing this was risky. Me and all three at the beach...the boys would be fine, but Katrina's a big wildcard. Still, I knew she'd love the beach, and I don't think she's been to one yet. I should know this, but I'm pretty sure this was her first significant time on a beach!
We were the first to arrive, and Jake and the boys wasted no time messing around in the water together.
Nyah to the weatherman, who was predicting overcast and chilly -- and in the Santa Cruz area (this was in Aptos, just south), they're not messing around. It can be cold and foggy and nasty. But not today!
Jake and Julian wait for the perfect wave to jump.
To my surprise, Katrina got in on the action too. I wasn't expecting her to want to go near the waves, but she tried it. She tripped once and fell to her hands and knees with the water around her, while I was about 10 meters away rescuing Julian's shirt from the surf, and that was it for her and the ocean.
But my experience on California beaches is that most of their time is spent digging in the sand anyway, and that played out today.
The birthday boy is a really nice -- and very cute -- little boy.
When one set of Jake's grandparents arrived, they saw Jake playing with three children (we were the first to arrive) and asked me which were mine. Umm...all of them!
I had a terrific time myself, mostly chatting and hanging out with other parents. Other than one of Jake's grandmothers, I was the only single parent there. And I was the only one who brought more than two children, and of those that brought two, the second were babies.
This ball is almost as big as Katrina, but it kept her happy for quite a while!
Katrina was the only girl until Jake's 4-year-old cousin arrived, but that was it for the girls. The other parents and Jake's grandparents got much amusement (as most grownups do) from how Katrina handles herself around all these boys. I don't think much of it since that's just our life, but indeed, she's quite at home surrounded by older boys, and doesn't hesitate to make her opinion known -- loudly -- about their taking things from her, or her need to have something done for her. She didn't interact with the other girl at all.
Long after the rest of the kids had gathered for lunch, Gabriel and Julian were still hard at work attempting to fill a sandhole with water. They hauled countless buckets of water back to the sand, only to see it be absorbed in seconds. "It just won't fill up!" Gabriel exclaimed.
Several other kindergartners from Julian's school were there, and I recognized some of the parents. When I chatted with them, I got a lot of, "Oh, JULIAN is your son?! My son talks about him all the time!" and then I'd hear stories about our boys playing together. Meantime, I'd have no idea who the other kid was. Julian is quite the social butterfly it seems!
After lunch, the kids were back at the digging. With all those kids around, including friends from school, on this enormous beach, these brothers who share a room and spend so much time together, have to be in the same hole.
OMG. How cute. Jake telling Katrina a secret.
As a younger girl, I wished for an older brother so that I'd have a steady stream of cute guys in my house from his friends. In practice, it never worked that way -- my girlfriends' older brothers usually wanted nothing whatsoever to do with we underdeveloped little pipsqueaks. But maybe there is something to meeting your brothers' friends, especially when they're such cuties like this one.
Katrina didn't even make it out of the parking lot before she zonked. Julian wasn't far behind. Gabriel insisted he didn't need to sleep, right up until the point he succumbed.
When we got home, Julian got out of the car very purposefully, and without saying a word, headed straight upstairs, crawled into bed, wrapped a blanket around himself and slept away the rest of the afternoon. I too remember always being really tired after a day on the beach as a kid -- unfortunately my kids don't have a lot of experience with that yet. I'm so grateful to Jake and his family for turning that around for us today!