Wednesday, May 9, 2012

First family vacation

Traveling with a baby is an interesting task when you arean A-type personality like me. Not having complete control over a situation canthrow me into a bit of tailspin. So when it came time to jet off to Cancun fora week of sun and relaxation for our first family vacation, you’d betterbelieve I had packed, re-packed, consulted baby travel blogs, stockedup on infant pharmaceuticals and even quizzed my husband about how to best survive theplane ride. Fun right?

To fit with my aforementioned personality, my husband willoften accommodate me and leave the house extremely early, carry everything Ithrow at him (and I do mean throw) and listen to my one-sided conversationsabout all the possible scenarios we could encounter.  So when we boarded the plane, he knew that myanxiety level was high. Red alert high. And when a gum-popping, loud-mouthed19-year-old sat down next to us, chatting with her friend about how manytequila shots she was going to do once they reached their resort, he knew mylevel had just bumped up a notch. Cue the Babe starting to cry and my seat neighbor rollingher eyes. I saw her. She was facing away but I saw her! Since we had begun totaxi to the runway, I began clawing at my nursing tank, scrambling to get theBabe latched for takeoff. I wanted to ensure her ears popped so we wouldn’tstart the trip with a screaming baby. I also oftenexpect my (poor) husband to read my mind. As I fought with my nursing coverwhile trying not to smack the Babe’s head on the armrest as she kicked the girlnext to me he asked if he could do anything for me. “Fix the cover!” I snarledand shot him a dirty look. Now you know how the rest of the six-hour flightwent…

However, once we settled in at the resort, found out ourroom was only 50 paces from the beach and one of the restaurants, and I got theswing of nursing and napping (the Babe, not me, well one day it was me too) onthe beach it turned out to be a very relaxing vacation indeed. We had one dinnerout with the group when the Babe went to bed thanks to long-range walkietalkies and a clear view of our room. I got a night out with the group ofdrinks and dancing thanks to the husband and my Ameda breast pump. We had familyswim time in the pool and the ocean and the Babe loved both types of water.This calmed our fears that she hates swimming altogether. I read 4 books (yes4!) and the husband got to partake in the group sports he loves and I… don’t.I overpacked heroutfits, underpacked her sleepers, had enough sunscreen for her but not enoughsunscreen for us. Sidenote: resort sunscreen is mucho expensive.

We agree: the first family vacation was a resounding success. Welearned a lot – bring a few spare crib sheets because handwashingdiaper-explosion victim sheets sucks; stroller naps on the beach are awesome; andbabies will get covered in sand no matter what. Also, seven days is the perfecttime away number for us – long enough to chill out, but long enough to miss your own bedand washing machine.

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