Packing for the Pool/Beach + Running Stats

I hope y’all had a fabulous weekend!  Lanier and I headed up to the mountains with a group of nine of us, to the same cabin we’ve been going to for the past fourteen years.  This cabin is the essence of rustic.  I’m talking no central air, wood stove, no cell service, etc.  Thankfully, the weather was pretty cool, but warm enough to hang out in tubes on the creek most of Saturday.  I only took a few pictures while we were there.  I’ll share them with you on Wednesday’s Whereabouts.  It was just really nice to be unplugged and have some time with just us and our great group of old friends.  The photo above was taken a pretty empty road, right before you lose cell service on the ride up the gravel road to the cabin.
Now that we’re back home, it’s back to the heat and seeking the refreshment of the pool!  About this time two years ago, I wrote a How I Do It post about a day at the pool/beach here.  But things have changed.  While I did have four then, they’re older than they were then.  I know these kinds of lists are helpful for other parents trying to get a little more organized.  Plus, I wanted to see if I do anything differently now when I prep myself for the pool/beach now, than I did back then.  One thing’s for sure, after you get everything together, you don’t have to do this everyday.  I keep most of this in the back of my car all the time, so I’m not having to reload everything, every time we hit the pool/beach.
With summer in full swing, and beach/pool trips on the calendar, I thought I’d give y’all a little check-list of items I always have handy, whenever we hit the beach/pool…
Beach/Pool Must-Haves
(Always in my beach/pool bag – ready to go, at a moments notice!)
Suntan Lotion
Beach Towels
Pool/Beach Toys (in a small basket with handles)
Change of clothes, usually pjs (for all kiddos)
Shampoo, Conditioner, Soap (travel size)
Plenty of drinks
Swim Diapers
Baby Wipes
Swimmies (Floaties)
*This entire list was the same as two years ago, except I’d add that we carry along my speakers now too.  Next summer I’ll be able to omit the swim diapers, diapers and wipes so that’ll definitely free up some space!  I also bring water bottles instead of juice boxes usually.  They seem to chug them down more, and it’s so much healthier than the sugar in juice boxes.
The Procedure.  Whenever we head out for the pool/beach, I always get the kids dressed in their swimsuits, with their suntan lotion on their faces, before they get in the car.  When we arrive at the beach/pool, I lather them up with suntan lotion, and have them wait until it gets pretty dry, before they get in.  I wait until we arrive, before I apply it all over, to keep the lotion off of their carseats.  You have no idea how much suntan lotion we’ve been through this summer.  So far this summer, they have yet to get a sunburn (fingers crossed!).
Kids Who Lunch.  I always bring lunch whenever we’re on an outing.  That way I can feed them while we’re out, and they normally eat better, when we’re away from the house.  While it’s an extra step when we’re getting ready in the morning, it makes it so much easier when we get home.  That way I don’t have to mess up the kitchen for lunchtime, and they can go straight to bed for naps, when we get home.  Make sure to include small paper plates, napkins, throw-away drink boxes, and wipes.  Easy lunch ideas include: cut-up fruit, veggies, crackers, string cheese, deli meat, squeezable yogurts, applesauces, etc.  I always include a fun dessert (cookies, fruit chews, etc.) too, which gives them an incentive to eat all of their lunch, so they can earn their dessert!  I’ve been enjoying this little cooler to pack all of their lunches in.
Sorry, Not Sorry.  Although this may offend some people (attempting to help), but never rely on others to help you prep.  I know, I seem crazy, because assistance is always appreciated, but what I mean is that if you always prepare and pack the bags yourself, then you know what goes.  Have your helper (if you’re lucky enough to have one – a friend/parent/grandparent/spouse/neighbor) watch the children, while you pack the bag.  This way, there’s no one to blame, but yourself, if something gets left behind.  Here’s hoping in my case, it’s not one of the kids!

Edit: I will say that I’ve become very grateful if I have a helper prep the food.  When we were at the beach with family a few weeks ago, it was extremely helpful when family would help prep the food for the beach/pool, while I got the children ready.  It definitely sped up the prep process.  It also helps that my kids aren’t too picky with food, and they’ll eat most anything that’s prepared for them.  
Did I leave anything off of my list?  What else do you include in your beach bag?
Running Stats
It was a little tricky to squeeze in some running time while in the mountains this weekend, but I was determined.  Both Friday and Saturday, I set to the gravel, hilly road and ran/walked three miles each day.  You’ll probably notice the slower times on those days.  Not sure if that was just me or that my GPS was off, but hey, better than nothing, right?
I love this little Christmas Tree plot I spied on one of my runs.
I hope y’all have a great start to your week!  I’m off to take the girls to their only summer camp this week.  It’s an art camp, and I’m so excited for them to attend.  So it’ll just be just me and the boys from 9-1 everyday.  I’m envisioning lots of cars/trains time and reading books and maybe a trip to the museum and aquarium.  I’d say the pool, but we’re going to save that for after camp and naps this week.

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