...the kids learned on vacation:
1. French. Not really. There happened to be a large population of french speaking Canadian's staying at the condominiums where we stayed. Gwyneth overheard a teenage girl calling to her mother from the pool and ever since I've been "momma" pronounced mumah. Now Wilder's starting to say it.
2. Patience. 22 Hours each way in the car.
3. Girls talk too much. Poor Wilder, at one point he put his hands over his ears and yelled "quit saying so many words!" I had to explain to Gwyneth that boys have a daily word quota and that Wilder had already reached his for the day.
4. How much they love their home. A few days after we were in Florida Gwyneth got homesick for her room. She expressed it at bedtime by saying, through tears "My feelings are starting to hurt." Precious.
4. Endurance. We quickly learned that what looks like a short walk on the beach can be awfully tiring. One morning we walked the kids down the beach to the rocks by the port to watch the ships come in and out. On the way back you would have thought we had been walking through the Sahara for days. Oh the whining. Blake said it but I agreed it's good for them to suffer every once in a while. Builds character right?
5. The ocean is too salty (Wilder) and the sand is full of spider-like dried up seaweed that should not be walked on (Gwyneth).
6. The world is full of things to explore. I could have watched Addy play in the sand and water for hours. She embraced it with no fears. Even when she was tired she could not resist running her hands and feet through the sand and handing me each and every treasure.
...I learned on vacation (some I already knew):
1. Be grateful for family. Thank you Pat and Paula for letting us stay in your beautiful condo. It was wonderful.
1. How to play angry birds. I usually catch on to trends later than everyone else (facebook), this one not excluded. Pretty darn fun.
2. How to entertain a one year old. Forget all the scheming and planning toys to pack. Foolproof amusement can be found in endless amounts of peek a boo, putting things on your head, biting toes, and giving her anything she should really not be playing with like portable DVD player's (one that is now broken), silly puddy, and chocolate.
3. Time goes by way too fast. I looked forward to this trip for months only to be past it now, sadly.
4. Less is more. The best days that we had are the ones we just stayed at the beach and pool and didn't go anywhere.
5. I am healthier when I am relaxed. Of the few physical issues I have, I didn't have any the week we were at the ocean. No ibuprofen, no muscle relaxers for my jaw. I'm trying to prolong the vacation state of mind for as long as possible!
6. We can survive without TV. The TV in the condo did not work due to some bizarre electrical problem. Chance? I don't know, I enjoyed the quiet and time spent cuddling with the kids, coloring, reading, and playing games. Ok, by about the 5th day and all-kids-all-the-time Blake and I were ready for some TV lounging.
7. Our ocean paradise was just a place. No matter how much I pondered how to get two palm trees and a hammock home to my backyard, it doesn't compare to the permanent blessings I have within my family each day and the eternal paradise of heaven someday.