Our hotel was right on the beach, with just a short boardwalk over some sand dunes to the ocean. So we took a couple of trips down to the beach. Mira seemed really interested by the beach. I held her so that she could stand up on the sand while the waves crashed around her legs. She thought that was really neat and she'd stomp her feet in the sand. The waves would wash her feet out from under her, but since I was still holding on to her torso she'd end up with her legs nearly doing the splits. It was pretty funny. My dad had caught some hermit crabs at the beach and took them up to the room to show everyone. Mira and I went with him to release them back into the ocean. When we released them, one of the larger hermit crabs stuck around for a while rather than making a run for it and Mira was watching him with big eyes.
We also made several trips down to the hotel's swimming pool. Mira LOVES to swim. Even when she was tired and hungry, she would still smile so big once we got in the pool. I took her into the shallow end of the adult pool with me. As I'd walk deeper and deeper, the water would reach her feet and she'd hold her feet up higher and higher to keep them out of the water. Then I'd slowly lower her in up to her shoulders. She'd quiver her chin for a second and then get this huge grin. I would drag her body through the water and she would start kicking her legs. She loved to watch me go all the way under or show her how to blow bubbles. She would deliberately put her chin into the water. She'd splash with her hands, look startled when the water would splash onto her face, and then put her hand into her mouth to taste the pool water. (Gross, I know, but what are you gonna do? Tell a 4-month-old "please don't drink the pool water"? Yeah cuz that'll work...)
While we were out there, we went to the Corpus Christi Aquarium. They had these underwater viewing areas for both the sea turtles and the dolphins. Mira enjoyed both. For a while. Not long enough to watch the entire dolphin show, but that's just the attention span of an infant. She really liked walking through the aquarium, looking at all the different habitats and all the different fish. She enjoyed any place that she could get right up to the glass and see lots of movement and colors. They had a saltwater tank with some blue angels, yellow tangs, and clownfish which seemed to be her favorite. Of course that could have had something to do with the fact that every few seconds a kid would run up to the tank and go, "Look Mom, it's Nemo!" Mira likes watching other kids about as much as she likes watching fish.
I was nervous about making the 4-hour drive alone with her. (I met my parents down there because they stayed longer than I did.) But the drive there and back was actually really smooth. Mira slept the entire time on the way down. Even when I had to stop for gas and a potty break. (Yes, I was that bad mom that left her baby in the car while she went inside to pee. But she was sleeping and the car was in the shade and I was only gone for a minute and [insert other typical bad mom excuse here] and she was fine anyway and still sleeping when I got back and never even knew I was gone.) On the way back, she woke up after about an hour in the car. So we stopped at a fast food place and changed her diaper and nursed. Then I put her back in the car seat and kept driving. A couple of times she woke back up, but I have this trick where I roll down the windows and it puts her right back to sleep. I'd rather deal with the heat from the windows rolled down than listen to a crying baby. And once she fell back to sleep I could roll the windows back up anyway. So I was pleasantly surprised at how well she travelled.
You might remember from a previous post that I was having issues with sunblock and swim diapers. Well, I checked some online mommies' forums about the sunblock, and the general consensus seemed to be that Banana Boat Baby was the way to go for tear-free sun screen. So we used that on this trip, and it was soooooo much better. No eye stinging at all. Yay. And thanks to Marcy's tip, I figured out how to rip the sides of the swim diapers to get them off more easily. So thanks Marcy.
The only item that I forgot to bring on the trip was my camera. I was so mad at myself for forgetting it! And my parents didn't bring one either. So no pictures from the beach. And it's really too bad because Mira looked so cute in her swim suit and sun hat and sun glasses.
This trip really brought home for me how much I NEED to get our pool tags so that we can go to our neighborhood pool, which is only 3 blocks or so away. So I'm supposed to go pick up our tags later today, then Mira and I can start making afternoon trips to the pool on the weekdays when there's nothing else exciting to do. She naps so much better after being in the water. Once we have our tags, we can walk down to the pool to get good and hot, then play in the water to cool off, then walk home while we drip dry. Then Mira can take a nice nap while I shower. Sounds fun! And I promise to get some pictures the next time she's all dolled up for the pool. You will die from the cuteness.