2. Some of my favorite highlights of the week: palm trees and sun (well, that's a given but I just had to say it); rockin' hotel; getting to eat at a restaurant and NOT GET SICK; cable TV (we don't have it at home); reading a whole book; getting to experience the magic of Disney (and figuring out everything we would do differently if we brought the kids); a big fluffy bed; naps in the sun; snuggly, chit chatty pool time with Lola; time to reconnect with Michael (even though I didn't get to see him a ton); a nice sloooow pace. AND NOT HAVING TO CHANGE TODDLER DIAPERS. Boo shaka. Except I did not sleep in. 5:30am alarm to nurse and workout (2 freaking 30 back home time). Oh well, sleeping in is overrated. (That was a big fat lie.)
3. So, I mentioned above about the getting to eat somewhere other than home and not get sick. I had no idea what the food sitch would be like so I majorly planned ahead. I brought along enough (pre cooked at home) halibut and chicken to last me for a few days (ended up lasting the whole time), two big tupperwares full of green beans and steamed zucchini, three big bags of cut up veggies, my protein muffins (recipe coming soon. they're the bomb.com), some protein bars, and, ahem, my blender. If we're going somewhere longer than a few days we always bring it. In Maui it was for smoothies (to which we added lots of alcohol. gotta keep it honest) and this week I used it for my morning protein smoothie and as a back up in case I couldn't grab a meal anywhere. Since I can't even request lemon in my water in a restaurant (for fear of it being cut near something with wheat) I have to be super careful. Usually I find a grocery store right away and stock up on a few things (more veggies and fruit for the week) which we did right after we landed. Is it annoying? Kind of. But I've learned to deal and, with a little planning, it's not that bad. But apparently this hotel and its restaurants really got their gluten free crap down because they were so knowledgeable and completely reassuring that everything gluten free would be cooked/prepared in a separate section of the kitchen with special equipment and the lady who oversees the operation is a super gluten free stud. Soooo, I took a chance. We ordered breakfast and I nervously took my first bite (it's always that first bite that's nerve-wracking because it can make or break the next three weeks) of eggs and fruit and guess what, AWESOME SAUCE. I can tell immediately if it has gluten (sudden migraine and blurred vision within minutes) but no such bad luck. Happy happy joy joy.
4. What did the big kids do? Well, this. Bike rides, lots of Legos, lots of TV, playing with grandma and homeschool with grandpa.
5. So, how is traveling with a newborn? Not that bad actually. Here are some of my best tips:
-stick to their schedule as best you can. I knew Lola could only handle about 1 1/2 hours of wake time so I made sure to put her down for a nap "on time." Whether the nap was in the stroller or backpack (which she hated) or on the lap or in the arms or whether it lasted 1/2 hour or 2 hours, I always put her down before she had the chance to get overtired. It wasn't perfect science and sometimes by nature of what was going on she stayed up later, but this totally prevented her from going psycho.
-find out what makes them tick. Lola likes the vibration of her bouncer and, since I couldn't pack that thing in my suitcase (trust me I tried), I had to find a way to make her car seat vibrate if I could - because the car seat is what she slept in for a week, lol. Hence, this freaking awesome baby contraption that, when you clip it onto something, MAKES IT VIBRATE. $13 of baby sleeping sweetness.
-keep it simple stupid. I figured all Lola needed was sleep, nursing, and a few changes of clothes. I made sure to pack light (but I packed three extra outfits on my carry on for her and one for me *just in case*) because there is no worse feeling than having a screaming baby and having to dig through a bag full-o-shiz to find the nursing cover.
-WEAR PINK (or red or purple) LIPSTICK. Seriously, it makes people think you have your stuff together (when really you're just praying that she won't scream). But in all seriousness it totally helps. It lifts the mood, makes me feel less tired, and I swear Lola was into it (c'mon she is a girl). Plus the stuff I have doesn't come off when I kiss her a ba-gillion times.
-know that most people love babies and think they are a blessing. I think we assume people hate seeing a baby walk onto a plane and while that may be the case, if *I* smile and am happy and greet people with joy and sing and coo to her then they pretty much respond the same way.
-and my biggest tip: BE HAPPY and shake it off, shake it off (sing it Taylor Swift). Crap is going to happen and babies are going to cry and things might suck but by staying happy and grateful it turns a bad situation into (to quote my husband) an adventure.
6. Now that we're back home it's back to the grind and I feel at home again with my threats and time-outs. No, actually I'm happy we got them something from Disney World because now I have something to hang over their heads when I want things done. Bahahaha. Love love love these crazy kids.
7. And, now, drumroll please............to announce the theme Michael and I chose for 2015. We are starting a new thing by picking a theme for the next year - something we really want (NEED) to focus on as a family. So what's it going to be???
THE YEAR OF THE FAMILY ADVENTURE
We have always had something big going on: remodeling, babies, football, running, work, life, etc etc etc etc but we are putting on the brakes and are going to focus on making awesome memories with the kids. Little or big, simple or crazy it don't matter. We have some ideas up our sleeve and I'm convinced it'll be just what we need, for the six of us. (Oh my word I just realized that we are two kids shy of the Brady Bunch...)
So, bring it on 2015. We're ready for you!!!