8 Things I Learned About Taking a Baby on Vacation

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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).

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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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Camping in Our House.

You guys.

We are sleeping in our new house for the first time! Oh, you didn’t know that we bought a house? That’s probably because I suck at blogging as of late and also because OMGithappenedsofast.

We drove by this house on a Saturday and I said “nah, I don’t want to look at it because it’s a row home and probably isn’t what we want. On Sunday, Bryan went to look at it anyway without me. He called and said “So how would you like a house that has 4 bedrooms plus an office, a formal dining room, a big kitchen, and a bonus room, AND is in our price range?” I was all “Please yes I would like that please.” “Wellllll it’s that house you didn’t want to look at.” So our awesome realtor Blair showed us both the house on Monday, put our offer in and the owner accepted it on Tuesday. For real. They wanted to close 30 days later and we had to slow their roll.

(Seriously though, if you are local-NWA-call Blair Williams asap to be your realtor. He stuck with us even after last yeah when we had him show us houses all over the area and then were like “Haha jk Alex is pregnant so we’re not buying for like another year hahahaha sorrrrryyyy.” He did everything we asked and took amazing care of us. CALL HIM.)

So moving still sucks, in case you were wondering. We have been moving throughout the week and have been stuck in the limbo of two different houses with halfish of our stuff in each of them. Tonight though, we are sleeping here! It’s not as chaotic as I thought it would be, but I still feel like I’m camping out in my own house. I mean sure, our bed is here, but Grady’s is not and neither is his monitor, so I’m typing this all stealthy-like because he is asleep in the rock-n-play beside me and I’d like him to stay that way.

Here are a few of the many piles of un-gone-through stuff that I am choosing to deal with tomorrow instead of tonight. (“LALALA it’s all organized and decorated so you can take a chill pill and go to bed crazy person LALALALA”)

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I’ll try to put together some sort of virtual tour soon for you guys. I know you’re all dying to see an undecorated house with boxes everywhere.

We filmed a virtual tour earlier today TO SEND TO AN ADOPTION HOPEFUL! The kid will be shown our photos and video on Tuesday, so if you’re the praying and/or encouraging words type, we could use all of the things before and on that day.

I’ll keep you posted! Eeeeeeee!

Love, Alex