We spent a glorious week at a resort in Myrtle Beach with Hubby's mom, step-dad, their 2 friends, one cousin, Hubby's sister and her family of 5. A really great week of sit-on-your-butt type vacation. This is opposed to an adventure type vacation where we visit a foreign country. Sit-on-your-butt vacations do have goals, they're just less defined. Goals for this vacation were as follows: lower my blood pressure, gain weight on yummy food, sleep lots, visit with family, introduce Quint to family, pools, and ocean. I'm happy to say that all were accomplished!! Of course, an increase in my blood pressure medicine just before we left might have been a contributing factor.
Quint got to meet for the first time 3 uncles, 3 aunts, 3 cousins, one step-grandfather, and a partridge in a pear tree. Those of you who know me, know that Quint is not Quint's name, but is my nick-name for him because he is the Fifth. Let's say his first name is Sam. While on this trip, he got to meet Sam the 3rd and Sam the 4th. Incidentally, his step-grandfather is a Sam as well, so in the course of 48 hours, he met 3 Sams.
Quint got to swim in a big pool for the first time. His grandma bought him the blue speedo type suit with built in flotation. It is by no means a flotation device and says so in enormous print on every conceivable tag on the thing, which I quickly ripped off. Those things are murder to get your child into, but incredibly worth it. We determined that it takes at least 2 people to put him in it, and 3 people working together have an easier time getting him out of it than 2. And it really makes his buns look sooooo cute! The suit will hold him up, and mostly upright, but his face can still get in the water pretty easy. And it will not roll him over to get his face out of the water. But it made this Mama lots less panicky in the pool.
Each day, he loved the water more and more. The first day, he was pretty nervous and clung on to my swimsuit like a burr. Because of some slightly inappropriate flashings, I wore a shirt the next day, and every day afterward in the pool. Whenever he did let go for a second, he would pat his hand on the water and slash gleefully. In the baby pool, his suit kept him floating one inch above the bottom of the pool, so he couldn't even sit there.
His cousins were drawn to him like magnets. Whenever we were in the pool, I was quickly going to have 2 small girls 6 inches from my face, talking to Quint. Gwen, the youngest, was completely enamored with Quint. The others, not being the youngest, had been around babies before. Eh. No big deal. They still played with him, but he wasn't the only fascinating thing present.
At one point, I said to my sister-in-law, "your mother is in heaven over there. She's got all 4 grandkids, and her 2 kids in the same pool at the same time." She was sitting there with her (probably alcoholic) drink swinging one foot, watching the splashing and grinning hugely.
One day, Hubby, Quint, and "Sam the Fourth" went on a drive. We found a great stretch of beach and took Quint to meet the ocean. This was a very peaceful experience. The men went and played in the waves. I sat with Quint in the shallows and let the ocean come to us. He did not react badly at all! He was a nervous when the water came up to his armpits once, and turned his face away, clutching at my neck for dear life. But he didn't cry.
We played in the sand some, too. And of course, he ate some sand. He'd put some in his mouth, sputter and spit it out, then 60 seconds later, do it again. Huh, it still tastes bad! Then he started to rub his eye with a sandy fist. This could be Soooooo bad! I waved my skirt in the air to signal the men, "I NEED HELP!!!" and together we started getting him cleaned up. The guys were happy and exhausted from wave jumping and were ready to go anyway.
Hubby held Quint while I got rinsed off in the surf a bit. Quint thought that was extremely fun, watching me swim a bit and rinse things off. There were no foot baths at the edge of the beach in this remote place, so we were on our own for sand clean-up. Why on earth did I have Quint's first beach experience be 45 minutes from cleaning facilities?! What was I thinking!? Exactly how grumpy will he be with sand in his Little Swimmers diaper?
Back at the car, with lots of help, we stripped him out of his onesie and diaper and laid him on the closed trunk. We had bought some bottled water and dedicated one whole bottle to baby rinsing, mostly the diaper area. You can get a whole lot of sand off a baby's bum when two people are holding his legs still! Regular diaper affixed, chose not to re-onesie him, and we were soon off. The only problem with the drive home is that we were cutting it close on being late for dinner and little man got exceptionally hungry on the way. Lots of shrieking on that drive. When we finally pulled into a parking space, (on time I might add!) I jerked him out of his carseat and he fell on my breast as if starving! I had on my bikini top and then my nursing bra/tank on top. I let the flap down on my nursing bra and he got a mouthful of swimsuit. Oh the look of betrayal!! I had to laugh. Soon he was greedily nursing.
But all in all, that was a really fun day trip!
I made two treks into the ocean to play in the waves. The first time was great! The waves were big enough to be fun and small enough to not knock me over. Really a fun time! The second time, the waves were stronger and it was not so fun. I finally accused my husband of just enjoying a situation where I cussed a lot and clung to him for dear life. He continued to laugh hysterically. At least I was entertaining!
One afternoon, I got to sit and swing on the resort porch swings, listen to the ocean, people watch and play with my baby. It was wonderful. We were mostly shaded, Quint and I both had on our hats, and I had snacks. Very peaceful.
Nursing at the beach: My sister-in-law made the point that public nursing is less noticeable when there is no nursing drape. It just looks like I'm snuggling him because his head covers up everything. The times that I nursed Quint with no drape, no really took any notice. Once or twice, a look would linger on us for a second, and when they noticed why my swimsuit was off my shoulder, they would then notice the nursing and calmly look away. When I tried to nurse with a drape, Quint would try to get the drape off his head in a flailing octopus fashion which would draw attention to the fact that we were nursing.
When we were swinging on the porch swing, a woman came up and said that we were just too picture perfect. She offered to take our picture with my camera. While I was digging out my camera, she noticed that I was nursing. She hadn't noticed until then!
New foods for the baby: Quint had lots of foods for the first time that week. We joked that if he had some terrible reaction to something, we'd have a list for the ER. Let's see if I can remember them all. Baked beans, black beans, lemon, pickle, lasagna goo, avocado, salmon, mint ice cream and Spanish rice. He only seemed to react badly to the lasagna goo, but tomatoes are very harsh on the belly. He spit up several times that night. Friday evening, he completely threw up everything, but I really think he was just coughing too hard and the vomit reflex was triggered. He didn't seem to feel bad, and was really hungry an hour later. He threw up carrots and peas with 14 saltine crackers - very regular foods for him. Perhaps it was one cracker too many...
Baby facilities: The evening he threw up, he was in the car. Oh, the mighty mess that made. We pulled over and cleaned up some. We went on to the restaurant which did not, from the outside, look like it would have a baby-changing station. I went to the Burger King next door. They didn't either.
You ever have one of those days where you just are NOT coordinated? You're more likely to dribble food, stub your toe, and drop your keys six times. Well, this day I was having the WORST baby luck. Baby threw up in the carseat. I managed to have 3 baby wipes for this emergency. First restaurant didn't have a changing station in the bathroom. Second restaurant didn't have a changing station or even counter space. Hubby has the keys to the locked car where I could maybe change the baby. Separate trip inside to fetch them. I did manage to find another package of crappy baby wipes in the car. Quint DID manage to not roll off the plastic box in the trunk I was changing him on. Once inside the restaurant again with clean baby in clean outfit, the high chair they had brought us was, I am not effing kiding you, held together with duct tape. I find another high chair and strap Quint in. His chin is like 3 inches below the table top which makes it hard see the crackers there for him. I notice our table is not level. Maybe the table height will be better for him on the other side. I move the high chair over there. The floor isn't level and now the high chair rocks. Really?!
Through all of this, Hubby came out to the car and commend me for actually managing to clean up the horrific mess. He also fetched me whatever I wanted from the yummy Chinese buffet.
Back at the room, I took apart the carseat and washed the cloth liner in the bathtub. Those thick carseat liners WILL DRY over night if you place them directly on the air conditioning blower in your hotel room.
Our son is a speed crawler now. Upon arriving at home (yes, we are completely skipping the drive back!)we plunked him down in front of the fireplace with his toys like usual. He whimpered for about 30 seconds and then remembered that he could CRAWL!! There are corners to be explored!!! Next thing we know, he's underfoot in the kitchen - 20 feet from the fireplace. Sitting with his back to the fridge, he's looking around with a look of triumph on his face. I'VE NEVER BEEN HERE BEFORE! And while I've spent a good bit of time baby-proofing various rooms of our house, suddenly, I realize how much we still have on the floor that is not baby-proof. All paper things should be picked up. Anything with strings, laces, or cords. The cat's hair-band toys. Random twist ties. Things that had been raised off the floor, but only to the height of a chair are still accessible.
We put up the baby gate in the upstairs hallway and closed (AND LATCHED) our bedroom door. Quint's room and my office are pretty safe for him, as long as I'm still there to jerk things out of his hand like the rubber band, twist tie, marble(?), and penny. Yes, Mom, I know, I should store them together in an easter egg for safekeeping. Toys are really not interesting right now. Slamming the office door open is fun because of the metal towel rack vibrating against the wall. Kneeling in front of the bi-fold washer/dryer doors and smacking them with your hand is fun. Similarly beating the metal TEXAS tub we use for baby laundry is fun. Shaking the baby gate for all it's worth is fun. Banging a glass mug on the metal leg of the futon is fun.