Hello from Hilton Head

We’ve just passed the halfway point of our weeklong summer vacation at Hilton Head Island in South Carolina. Growing up, we went to Amelia Island, Fla., every summer, but Hilton Head has my heart now, hands down. It’s great for families, which we’re all about.

We love biking through Palmetto Dunes, and James Michael talked about biking for weeks before vacation. We take him out on rides a couple times a day. Beau has also experienced his first bike ride and loves it, though we have to designate a ‘spotter’ to ride behind him to ensure he doesn’t pull any crazy stunts.

hh bike collage

I was just realizing that of the last four summer vacations we’ve taken to Hilton Head, I’ve been pregnant for three of them. The one time I wasn’t pregnant, I was still nursing JM who was 7 months old, and became pregnant with Beau about a month later.

Vacations have changed so much over the past few years. Sipping on margaritas at sunset by the water is a grand illusion. The idea of laying out on the beach reading a book is preposterous. Sleeping in because you’re actually on vacation is a fantasy.

I am more exhausted by this first half of our vacation than I am during my normal day-to-day life taking care of the boys by myself at home. And that’s with a 2 to 1 ratio of adults to kids! But as any family will tell you, it’s totally worth it. That’s why we come back year after year, even as more little ones are added to the brood.

hh beach boys collage

Last year at Hilton Head, I was 8 months pregnant with Beau and JM was 16 months old. I was still feeling pretty great and JM was easy considering we had 6 adults to care for 1 child. This year, at nearly 6 months pregnant, I feel and look more like I’m 8 months pregnant. This third baby is really doing a number on me. I’ll explain more in next week’s 6 month bump update, but wow, this body is tired.

hh boys collage

As it just so worked out, the boys are sharing a room for the first time on this trip. I thought it’d be a great test for when little Scarlett gets here in a few months and takes over the current nursery. Much to my surprise, sharing a room has gone much better than I could have imagined. Beau has slept through the night three times, and one night he’s woken up only once. Beau has been waking up 2 to 4 times a night for the past few weeks, so this is huge for him. My mom thinks it’s because he knows JM is in the room. Maybe it’s that or he’s been so worn out, I’m not sure, but it’s been great. The only downside is that the boys have been up before 6 a.m. JM wakes up so excited to see Beau in his room that he ends up waking Beau up. I’ve walked in a couple of times to find three pillows thrown in Beau’s pack-and-play. But sleeping through the night is worth waking up early.

hh family pic outtake

Earlier this week, we dined at Black Marlin and snapped this awesome family picture, which totally sums up life with the Rowdy boys. We’ve also cooked low country boil with fresh shrimp and gotten takeout from The Sea Shack. We have plans to go to Bluffton Family Seafood House later this week, and considering we’re toting around a 2.5 year old, 13 month old and 9 month old, I’d say we’re managing to eat quite well.

hh photo collage 3

James came the first half the week, and the boys loved their time playing in the sand and waves with Daddy.

hh collage 2

As I anticipated, Beau the wild man has no fear of the ocean. He runs straight out into the water and will barely let anyone hold his hand to steady him. He saw big brother jumping waves, and knew he wanted in on the action, only it’s a lot more work to keep his head above the water. But luckily he doesn’t mind being hit in the face with salt water, and JM doesn’t either. They come out of the ocean with red eyes but huge smiles plastered on their faces.

hh collage 4

We’re trying to soak up these last couple days before it’s back to reality.