1) Your children will acquire new, life changing skills while you are on vacation.
- Night #1 James learned to crawl out of his pack-n-play crib. This made our lives EXCITING while we were on vacation. The first night I ended up laying down on the bed next to his crib until he fell asleep. The rest of the nights we kept him up 1-1.5 hours later than normal so he would be so.very.ready to go to bed when we finally put him there, he would stay. He did fine at nap time, probably because he was exhausted then, too. (probably from going to bed so late!)
- Reese learned to sit up independently. This was actually awesome and helpful. We put a pillow behind her and put some toys around her and VOILA! Happy baby.
- Sometimes around 5pm, after baths and before dinner, it was a great time to take a walk on the beach. We only tried taking a walk with James (in clothes, no bathing suit) once on the beach. After he got totally in the water, we decided that was a bad idea.
- Pre-vacation: Both kids in bed at 7pm, awake around 7am. On vacation: Reese in bed at 7:30pm, James at 8:30 or 9pm, both up around 6am.
- James was to the right of our bed in a pack-n-play, Reese was to our left. When Reese would wake up talking at 6am, James was quick to follow suit. He could reach my side of the bed from his. This made waking up SO enjoyable.
- Reese ate soooooo much sand. Fistfuls of it. Look closely at this picture. She has a sand moustache AND goatee. Yuck, yuck, yuck. In case you were wondering, it looks exactly the same when it comes out the other end, except it smells like poop.
6) Related to number five, baby wipes do not do a satisfactory job getting sand off a baby bottom. That's all I'm going to say about that.
7) There is no method to the madness of predicting how your kids will handle being at the beach on any given day.
- Loved the beach today? Might hate it tomorrow, or vicey versey. The first day I didn't know if Reese would like being on the beach or not. I was prepared to stay a short amount of time and then head back to the house. Day 1: She LOVED it. Played for a solid hour and a half in a sandy hole we dug out for her to sit and splash in. Day 2: I was prepared to stay a while, based on day 1. Twenty minutes in she was over it and wailing. Of course. Whatever I was prepared for, she did the opposite! James was only slightly more predictable. He was unsure of the water the first day, but warmed up to it quickly and wanted to spend the rest of the WEEK in the water.
8) Taking a small plastic pool to the beach was a fantastic idea.
- James played in it a little bit, but Reese played in it a LOT. She loved it. We didn't have to worry about little waves overtaking her. The water is able to warm up a little bit more than the ocean water temperature. One day we didn't even put any water in it, just kept it in the shade with some towels positioned in it and she played in that! She also took a nap in the water-free-pool.
9) Having at least 2:1 adult to kid ratio will greatly improve your quality of life. (actually, this is true any time, not just at the beach or on vacation)
- On our trip was my mom, dad, my sister, and one of my brothers in addition to my family of four. It was really helpful to have extra adults around to help kid-wrangle. My mom was kind enough to leave the beach at mid-day, take a kiddo back to the house, feed, bathe and put them down for a nap. Scott also spent a good bit of time at the house while children were napping. I got to spend a lot of time on the beach. My family helped make that possible. I am so, so appreciative of them!
What did I leave out? What did you learn on vacation with kids (of any age)?