10/24/12- Started this blog post 10 days ago, added to it on Monday and now it’s finally Wednesday and getting posted… that is how crazy life has been around here!
10/12/12- I’m writing this post on the heels of what was possibly the hardest week for me, to date. Since he turned about 5 months, Liam has been a very easy going baby. He plays by himself and is pretty much always happy. This week, however, tested my limits as a mother in every possible way. He was going through the 36 week Wonder Weeks, just learned how to crawl and I’m fairly certain is working on talking. To top it all off, his sleep schedule somehow got screwy and he is awake until 2am. It’s been a trying time for me. The past few days I’ve been working on getting him up earlier and therefore, down to bed earlier. It’s working, thankfully.
We also set up the video monitor I’ve had for a year. It’s really just an IP camera which sends a signal out to our iPhones wirelessly using a free app. Emily at Joyful Abode has a wonderful tutorial about how to get it all running it is super easy to follow. Plus is costs about $200 less than the video monitors you see for sale at popular baby stores. I can now see what he is up to without having to disturb him or go upstairs. I also can let him play by himself for a few minutes if he’s not quite ready for a nap or after he wakes up but isn’t fussy. I feel so liberated!
We leave for vacation on Monday and it can’t come soon enough. We haven’t had a real break since 2009 and boy, do we need it! A week of sun, surf, pool and relaxation is just what the doctor ordered. I can’t wait to have a week with the two most important people in my life.
Which brings us to today (10/22/12)… back from a relaxing vacation. Liam not only has perfected crawling but now he can pull himself up and is cutting his two bottom teeth- all while on vacation! His first plane ride was amazingly smooth. We originally planned on him being on my lap but they had some extra seats on the plane so we bucked in his car seat and he sat there for a good portion of the flight. He actually passed out but because of the position of the seat in front of him, his head kept bobbing forward so I pulled him out and held him for about an hour. He is seriously such a good traveler. We left my parent’s house in Fairfax at 7am and didn’t arrive to our rental house until 5pm (4pm EST) and he didn’t have any breakdowns. We kept to his schedule as best we could and planned our beach time around him. We’d wake up in the morning, eat breakfast and play for awhile, then down for his morning nap. While he slept, Ryan and I got things ready for the beach so we could leave as soon as he woke. We also laid out by the private pool in our backyard.
You can see our beach set up in some pictures below. I ordered a beach pop up tent and had it delivered to the local Wal-mart so we didn’t have to bring it with us on the plane and it was such a good purchase! There is no way we would’ve lasted more than 30 minutes on the beach without it. Seriously good purchase for families with kids. While Liam didn’t sleep in it, we were able to play and nurse and keep him out of the sun. I also rented some equipment from Baby’s Away which delivered it to our rental house! I got a jogging stroller (which we loaded up and pulled right onto the beach), Exersaucer and two bed rails. It was so convenient and again, I highly recommend it for anyone with kids. Especially if you’re flying.
Before we left, we got a new car… err van. We traded in the Escape (sad) and upgraded to a larger vehicle that fits our family’s needs better. I’ll post pictures soon. The dogs now ride in crates in the back and Liam is in his big boy car seat and I am able to move back and forth from the front to the back with ease. I LOVE it! And I don’t even care that we’re a mini-van family now. It’s just such a damn comfortable ride, I can’t imagine ever going back to the cramped crossover SUV which doesn’t really have much more space than a sedan anyway.
Here are some pictures, probably out of order, but I’ve gotta catch up so I can say that I’ve blogged and not feel so behind with things. I’ll try to be better….
While this vacation wasn’t as relaxing as we’re used to (obviously, LIFE is not what it used to be!) we had a wonderful time. If I can offer any recommendations for families with new babies who are traveling, here is my short list:
– If your child is under 2 and you are bringing your car seat with you, hang onto it. Don’t check it at the counter. Once you arrive at your gate, ask how full the flight is and if you’d be able to bring the seat on board with you. Worst case, you gate check it, best case, you can have an extra seat for the little one without paying for it! Southwest was awesome about this. The first flight they offered, the second we asked and Liam got the last seat on the plane.
– Remember proof of birth for your lap baby! It wasn’t until we were in Fairfax for the night that I realized I’d left Liam’s birth certificate at home, 90 minutes away. Thankfully I had some Navy documents saved on my Google Drive and was able to print it out. BWI asked for it, Panama City did not. Better safe than sorry!
– If you’re going to any destination where you’re flying, look into Baby’s Away. They have a slew of things for rent and franchises are all over the country. Their prices are reasonable (we paid $105 which included delivery fee and minus a small military discount) and they deliver to your rental house, cottage, hotel even! My friend Emily told me about it and she was able to rent toys for her toddler, which we will definitely do next vacation. It was so nice to have an Exersaucer for Liam to use occasionally.
– Beach Tent! This one was a steal and easy to put up even on a windy day. The sand bags held it in place and I was very pleased with it. It’s so nice to have a respite from the sun, especially in a place like Florida!
– Pack for 3 days, not a week. We had laundry in the unit so I packed for 3 days and was able to wash our stuff mid-week. It saved on luggage space because even with that we still checked 2 bags, had 1 carry-on, 2 backpacks, and a car seat!
– Idiot Check the fridge. We’re good at doing the double, triple check even, before we leave a place. We didn’t check the fridge this time and left our yummy sandwiches and snacks for the plane! Imagine our disappointment when we realized this at the gate, starving, only option being a $7 airport sandwich. Sad pandas.
– Try to rent a kid-friendly place, if possible. The house we rented provided us with a high chair and 2 pack & plays, umbrellas, chairs, baby floaties and beach toys! Plus they had a door at the top of the open stairwell to keep babies safe. It’s nice to rent a place with families in mind.
I think that’s it for now. It was nice to go on vacation, but it sure is wonderful to be home. I can’t wait until February when we’ll be living at the beach year ’round!