8 Things I Learned About Taking a Baby on Vacation

beach

Whew. We just got back from a week in Hilton Head, South Carolina with some of our very best friends, and then I pretty much immediately turned around and toted Grady to my birthplace, Shreveport, Louisiana for a long weekend. It was a whirlwind of crazy things, two of them being fun and stressful, but I feel like I’ve learned some lessons about taking a baby on vacation that I’ll be remembering for our next beach trip in August. Yes we’re nuts. Thankfully, our August trip is in Gulf Shores where another one of my very best friends resides, so if I run out of baby things I can just beg her for them. (Haaaaaaay Arden.)

1. Whenever possible, leave when baby is supposed to go to bed or at the very least, down for a nap. This should give you a few hours (or normal naptime) of peace when you can start the trip off on a good foot with getting gas, stopping for Sonic drinks (duh) and whatever road trip necessities you have.

2. Stock up on whatever will make your kid happy for the duration of the car ride. I learned that babies just don’t like the car for long periods of time. Or at least my baby doesn’t. Even with leaving past his bedtime, we still ended up with a cranky, fussy baby. Tylenol (because they get sore) and toys are mom’s best road trip friends. For older babies, snacks can probably be thrown in there, but mine is still on purees. For even older babies, those portable DVD players probably seem like God Himself reached down from Heaven and nestled them into the grateful and loving arms of moms everywhere. I look forward to these times.

3. Schedule-Shmedule. We’re not on a super tight schedule around here, but our routine is pretty bomb. We both love it and function very well by knowing what baby thing comes next. Plus, Grady is a pretty good baby. He’s still a baby of course, but for the most part, he will sleep and eat and everything else while we’re out and doesn’t have to be at his home base to function. Enter vacation. Crazy trip schedule + cranky, overtired baby + new and foreign place = yeah right on the normal routine. His naps were a fraction of their regular duration, every mealtime was a struggle, putting sunscreen on was as if I were rubbing Tabasco on open wounds. The list goes on and this type-A mom had to learn to roll with the punches.

4. I totally overpacked the wrong things. Because babies fit into clothes for like a minute tops, I packed alllllllllll of his cutest clothes that fit him right now. I thought I could make do with 2 swim shorts, 2 sun shirts, and 2 swim diapers. I did make do, but I definitely wish I would have considered the type of trip we were going on and what I would need most. we pretty much woke up and threw on swim stuff, so I for sure should have brought more of that. Especially the diapers. Those do not dry fast. And I as a first time mom did not understand the cleaning necessities for them. One poopy diaper being washed out in the ocean had me wishing I would have stocked up on those things instead of the cute clothes he wore half of. (He did look dang cute though let’s just be honest.)

bryan and grady

5. Sunscreen. Like all of it. I thankfully did not have to learn the hard way on this because I slathered it on my crying kid as often as I was supposed to. And really, how often do we reapply sunscreen as instructed? I even thought I did a great job on me and I still got sunburned on the first day, so I was grateful that I didn’t have to deal with a hurting baby on top of a hurting mommy.

6. They will have more stuff than you. Expect and accept it. Babies need a bunch of crap, and since mine is on solids now, food crap was added to the list. Seriously though, so much stuff. I wish I had taken a picture of our trunk. Bryan and I shared a bag and each had our personal totes, plus my sister’s bag, aaaaaaaand the rest was either Grady’s stuff, or stuff used for Grady (pumping supplies, nursing pillow, rock-n-play, etc).

pool

7. Just buy baby food. I usually make mine, but buy it sometimes when I’m in a pinch too. Like an idiot, I brought a bunch of frozen homemade baby food with me that I ended up throwing most of away. I thought I could keep it frozen during the trip, but it all thawed, and Grady couldn’t eat it fast enough before it went bad. Exactly half a day into the trip, I was wishing I had just bought it and left my frozen stuff at home for when I got back. Plus it would have saved me from having to pack and wash and keep track of bowls. Even the pouches can just be squeezed directly onto the spoon. Gaaah, so much baby food down the drain. Hold on, I need a minute.

8. Take advantage of people offering help. Because OMG vacation should not be as stressful as it definitely can be with a baby. When people offer to hold your kid so you can eat or go to play candy crush in the bathroom, for the love of all things good, LET THEM. Having people on your team makes babying sooooo much easier, especially on vacation.

We are pretty #blessed (Sorry.).

bryan and grady2

Love, Alex

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What I HAVE Been Doing.

So I told you about what I have not been doing, which was being a good friend, keeping my appointments, and generally being a responsible human being. I thought I’d take a moment to share what i have been up to…in photo form. Now I am not a photographer. I leave that monkey business up to my amazing husband. These are all taken with my iPhone, and although I did try to edit them, I promise, they can only come out so well. So enjoy my photo journey!

We spent A LOT of time at Circle of life Hospice, which is wonderful, by the way. The staff was super nice and took really great care of my grandmother and all of us. We had to break up the heavy atmosphere with some humor sometimes, though. One night, Bryan had stayed home to edit some photos so Sierra decided to bombard him with selfies FROM MY PHONE. These gems are just 2 of the many pictures she gifted him.

I should pause to tell you a little about their relationship. Even though Bryan is not blood related to her, they act more like brother and sister than any of us combined. There are a myriad of hilarious stories I could share, like the one where she kicked him out of the tea shop where she works for touching things and offering to help customers. Or the one where I was telling Bryan’s dad about their feud in front of both of them. Donald turned to Sierra and says “You don’t like Bryan?” Sierra shrugged and with narrowed eyes and pursed lips said “Mmm, I like him fine…” Donald was at a loss for words. The rest of us laughed uncontrollably.

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Isn’t he adorable? Baby pictures available upon request.

 

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Y’all…Those lemon ones though.

 

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A glimpse into my future I suppose?

I helped organize a Moms’ Night Out for our church’s women’s ministry. My awesome brother up there hooked us up with free Andy’s with his new management powers. (And He’s single, ladies. And going to med school next fall. Submit all applications my email for my sister and me to review.) We had ladies make cupcakes to share and let me tell you…Best decision ever. I love to cook, but since I lack “following recipe” talents, baking is not my forte. I love anytime I get to enjoy yummy homemade cupcakes.

We went to our community group for the first time in what feels like forever. Such a cleansing experience to be around friends, share food, and feel the love when going through hard times. The CG host home, Casa del Horner, contains this crazy child who loves Bryan. His dad is an avid shark fan, so Bryan is still working to get Adler on Team Bear. Adler can put his paws up and growl now! Sorry for the underwear shot Becca…let’s just be glad is wasn’t his nightly “Nakey Time.”

I took photos of Phoebe being Phoebe, which is always entertaining. On the left, she had weasled her way under Bryan’s blanket, where she slept soundly on his stomach. He was unable to move for hours for fear of disturbing her highness’ slumber. On the right, she was looking at me perturbed because I was choosing to spend my time throwing the ball for her sister instead of holding and petting her, which is of course my actual job. I’m thinking of making Daily Phoebe Photo a thing for this blog. Thoughts?

I helped my parents move, and caught this winner of my goofy dad with all of his pairs of glasses on his person. I swear to you this was not staged, he was actually wearing them all like this because he found them moving and didn’t want to lose them again. I love him.

Because I am about to retire from the professional workforce, I figure there is only limited time to take my husband out for dates. On dates we usually do what I want to do, because my husband is super super sweet, so I decided to return the favor and take him our for some Chick-Fil-A (I offered PF Changs-his favorite-but he chose this instead) and Transformers. In this giant bucket of movie popcorn and the coke not pictured lies my happiness. Oh, and Transformers was pretty good too.

Lastly, because I just can’t take waiting any longer, I went to a friend’s charity garage sale and bought Lil Fitt a couple of gender neutral onesies. We feel that it is our duty to raise this child to be a correct sports fan. AKA The Razorbacks (amen), the Cowboys (amen), and the Mavericks (amen). Train a child up in the way that s/he should go…

That goofy guy pictured above stamped his approval on this outfit as well. We are a family of Arkansas/Texas sports fans.

And that’s all! As you can see, I haven’t been up to much, but I am trying be social and a good friend again.

 

Love,

Alex