Friday, August 27, 2010

Vacation Success!!

Well, all the planning and stressing that went into was well worth it. Though the travelling was a bit rough there and back, this might be one of the best vacations we have ever had. Admittedly, everyone was a little grumpy when they arrived - who wouldn't be after 12 or more hours of travelling? However, once everyone got to see the house, the pool and expecially the beach, all parties were in a much better mood. The dinner plan worked fabulously! Each family took turns cooking dinner. While it was a challenge to cook for 10 adults, one child and one toddler, everyone did a great job. No one person was left to cook or clean despite their best efforts (ahem, Mary!). The days were spent getting up early (thanks T!), having breakfast and alternating between the pool and the beach. The waves were amazing and perfect for body surfing. The pool was a nice retreat and a great location for slam dunk and cannonball contests. The Hayes kids really know how to entertain themselves!
T's first experience on the beach was an emotional one for me. As we reached the top level of the board walk to cross over the protected dunes, I started tearing up thinking about how this was her first time experiencing the power of the ocean, the feel of the sea breeze and the peace that comes over you when you are there. The texture of sand certainly interested her, but she didn't want any part of the waves washing over her feet! The water was a bit colder than her bath tub and once the water reached her toes, an almost clown-like pout would cross her face only to disappear the instant she was lifted out! The pool was a completely different experience and she seemed to like it this time, maybe because it was familiar and she was in my arms.
The best part of being at the beach was how the ocean air tuckered little Miss T out! My lovely little girl started sleeping through the night a couple of nights while we were there. How refreshing those nights were! We also had the opportunity to watch cousin K (17months) while everyone took a wild horse tour (we had done this last year). It was a nice glimpse into what life will be like with 2 babes. We handled it well I think, their naps overlapped by an hour which gave us time to rest!
Altogether, this vacation was amazing. We had so much fun and truly enjoyed being with each other! There were a few bumps along the way, from teething babies to adult ear infections and runs to the local walk in clinic, but with a family that size, things like that are expected. I hope this can be a tradition that we repeat every couple of years or so. I was truly sad the first morning we were home when I woke up and realized that Grampy wouldn't be making coffee for everyone and cousin K wasn't there to tell us all a "story". I love you guys and miss you a ton! Thanks for a great week!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Vacations are supposed to be relaxing, right?

In three days, we will pack up the family car to the brim and head for the Outer Banks. I have been looking forward to this vacation since Thanksgiving last year when I was about 20 weeks pregnant, just found out I was having a little girl and couldn't wait to share one of my major loves with her - the beach. I should say that, even though my family moved around like it was our job, we were always near the ocean. To me, the beach was my back yard (literally in some places that we lived). I spent many summer, fall, even winter days on the beach, looking for shells, horseshoe crabs, and periwinkles. We would walk, run, jump to the end of the jetty and feel like we were alone in the world, surrounded by the sound of crashing waves. These memories of my childhood give me such peace (I have few childhood memories that do). The beach has become part of me, almost to the point where I have salt water in my veins! Living so far away from the ocean now makes me feel like I've left part of myself there on the sand.
So, this beach vacation has been eagerly anticipated. I did not expect the amount of stress that would accompany me on this trip! This will be T's first real road trip. With traffic, we are expecting it to take us 7-8 hours to get there! We'll be leaving early in the morning, so hopefully she'll sleep most of the time, but if she doesn't... Let's not dwell there just yet. I've made dozens of lists of what I'll need to pack for her, surveyed countless moms for their recommendations and have done "practice packing runs" in my head. I just know I'll forget something and will regret it later! Besides the packing and travelling, T has been going through a rough sleeping phase. She's been getting up 3-4 times a night (what happened to my good sleeper??!!), cranky during the day (teething and lack of continuous sleep are the likely culprits), and not eating as well.
I hope this trip turns out to be all (or even half) of what I had hoped for back in November. Maybe T will surprise me and sleep most of the way and transition out of this phase quickly... maybe. Regardless, I am so happy to share the one place that always brings me peace with my daughter, just as my mom shared it with me. This will be the first of many such trips to the beach for us, I'm sure. Our first beach trip will always be special though.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

It was a rough night...

Poor Miss T is teething. I can't see any teeth yet, but I'm convinced they're coming. Little girl is chomping down on anything and everything to get some relief. We've been hesitant to medicate her, only giving generic tylenol when she's miserable (or we are!). Cold binkies and teething rings have been helping, but only so much. Last night was a tough one. I felt like we had a newborn again! T went to bed at 8:15, woke up at 9:45, 10:45, midnight, 2:00-2:45, 4:45, and finally up at 7:00. Around the midnight wake up, I made plans to sleep in her room on the floor should she wake up again. When she woke up at 2:00, the plan went into action. For the first time in a long, long time, I "slept" on the floor last night. I can't imagine how I used to prefer this when I was a kid! In between wakings, I would try to get as comfortable as I could on a thin fleece blanket on the carpet with a sheet and one of her blankets over me. At least the baby blanket was the one we refer to as the Fluffernutter (it's fluffy and white like marshmellow and when we first used it for her, she was a little peanut, hence the official state sandwich of Massachusetts became the name of this little blanket). I would finally fall asleep, only for her to wake again. sigh. It's a good thing she is the cutest little thing in the world! Not many living things would get away with keeping me up so much! Coffee is my best friend today. More importantly, I hope Miss T's day gets better, that she gets a break from this mess, and that those darn teeth break through soon! It's time we saw some results from all of this!