We're back! And mostly in one piece....somehow LM and I both managed to have gain a bunch of little unexplained bruises. Though, his are probably from falling over left and right as he crashed around a non-baby proofed condo while trying to keep up with his cousins. Mine...no clue. I probably need to eat more iron....ehh...and I'm clumsy!
Anyway--we had a great time. We did lots of fun things---the aquarium, shopping, hiking etc. Sleep....well...sleep was a battle. Somehow dropping the bedtime bottle a few days before leaving, in combination with sleeping in a PNP don't add up to smooth sleep :-) But--we survived with a little hiding my head in the sand while he cried a bit longer than normal at bedtime and by letting him snuggle in bed with us when he woke up super early. And, now that we're home, he's making up for lost time with his crib by going down well and sleeping solidly. Plus---we're now bottle-free (I think)! Not that I've packed them away or anything...I'll save the sterilizing and packing for when we're a couple more weeks out (I'm not superstitious, worried about jinxes or anything!).
When I reflect back on the trip (the seven hour car ride either way, the sleeping, the marrying of two very different family styles into one schedule), what I've realized is that sometimes I don't give LM enough credit. We don't go out to eat much at home--partially as a money saver but mostly because it's easier than going out with him. But, on vacation, there were several times when he should be napping or hadn't napped so was close to bedtime etc, and we were just heading out to do something/eat. And---no matter how much/little he had napped or how close to being asleep he should be---he was a rockstar in the restaurants. He ate whatever we fed him, waved hi to all the other patrons, flirted with servers and in general, acted like a well-rested baby. He even happily rode around on TH's back in our new backpack carrier (LOVE IT!) on the strip well past his bedtime---with only a paci and pedestrians to keep him happy. He wiggled and danced to music coming from stores, pretended to talk on the phone and waved like crazy.
I think that I've become so used to doing whatever it takes to survive, that I've stopped taking chances. If something "works" when it comes to helping him sleep better (or anything else we're trying to work on--eating, not hitting, napping etc), I superstitiously keep doing it. Anything not to rock the boat. I think early motherhood teaches us to throw out our "mommy rules" and do whatever it takes to get sleep, stay sane etc. From that point on, I think I just clung to whatever worked and didn't want to rock the boat. But, this vacation showed me that I need to be more "brave" as a mom and give my baby a chance to surprise me. I was reading a blog the other day that said something along the lines of what works today, won't work tomorrow and vice versa. I need to remember to this. I have to let him show me what he's capable of and not be so scared of it "messing everything up". Vacation made me "survive" without routines, without naps (or just 1 somedays), without realistic bedtimes, without childlocks etc. And, it showed me that it's ok. It's not how I'd like to live my life, but it made me feel better about being brave.
So, I'm going to try to take more "risks" as a mom. Yesterday, instead of just taking it easy in the am until after LM's morning nap, we packed up and headed up to run errands 30min before he probably would've gone down. We stayed out from 1000 until 3pm. He dozed a few times in the car but woke up for stores, went out to lunch and in general, showed that he can do it. Being able to do it at home gave me more confidence.
So, folks, it's time to stop "surviving" and start living again.....because I have to stop being scared.