#10: Potty Training, CHECK. This kid was amazing. We cold-turkeyed the potty chair (didn't want to pack THAT thing) and had an unbelievable ONE accident during our two weeks out of town. It helped that he had a brand new audience to impress, "Pop! Wanna watch me go pee pee?" and that we spent roughly 80% of our time outdoors. This kid has now peed on trees, in grass, in sand, on the dunes, in the ocean, on the fence, and on the pool deck (but not IN the pool). It was also great timing to end the Potty For Rewards program going on. No more peepee chocolate chips or poopy presents, and he's not asking for them, either. Total success.
#9: Schedule, Schmedule. Remember the No Naps prescription from my pediatrician? We decided that that didn't apply to vacations. We played hard all morning and rested well in the afternoon:Nights weren't perfect, but we didn't have the obvious No Sleep=Nasty Tantrums correlation, so we did okay. I think the change in scenery, the distraction from Mom Mom, Pop and the aunts and uncles, and shaking things up with our schedule were just what Evan and I needed. We had two happy, pleasant weeks, and I'm recharged to face whatever battles lay ahead.
#8: The eats and drinks. Is there a world, outside of vacation, where it is acceptable to drink a Corona during naptime and eat S'mores every night? If there is, I want in.
#7: Free, active entertainment. Give this kid a bucket, a shovel, a truck, and endless sand and he's all set, all day. #6: Learning new things! Max mastered the one-finger point this week, as opposed to the full-hand gesturing he had been doing. He spent most of the two weeks pointing at pelicans.
Evan flew a kite!
And played paddleball (aka Pro Kadima around these parts) with the big boys.
And, perhaps most exciting, Max made the move from Army Crawling to full-fledged CRAWLING. (Because who wants to drag their belly across the sand?!)
#5: Seeing new things! We stayed at a part of the beach that is in close proximity to a natural horse preserve. We saw wild horses from our deck! In the dunes behind our house we also saw deer, a five-foot long snake, and a family of foxes that came out every morning and every evening. We also saw this:
And countless sand crabs, which, if you think about it, are just like giant, disgusting spiders that dig holes right next to where you're sitting, and for some reason, because you're at the beach, you're okay with it.
#4: Optimism. Bad news: Your baby wakes up at 5:15 am Each Morning of Vacation. Good news: Watching the sunrise over the ocean Each Morning of Vacation.
#3: Daddy Time. Better news: Your husband watches the sunrise over the ocean more times than you do. Thanks for letting me "sleep in" until Evan woke up, babe!
#2: The photo ops. It's a good thing I'm watching my beautiful boys grow up during a time of digital photography. I take a lot of pictures. A LOT, a lot. I order a bunch of prints and email/facebook/blog some pictures, too, but the number of pictures that I take and which don't make the final, excruciating cut, and are ultimately deleted, is obscene. And even with the number of pictures I delete, I still have issues. I'll take dozens of pictures of the exact same pose and whittle it down to a mere 10 of the exact same pose, none of which I can delete because they are all exactly, equally adorable. Can you imagine if I had to pay for each time my finger hit the button? And there's something about the beach...is it the lighting? the scenery? the fact that you're on vacation?....that always makes me take Even More Pictures than typical. After Much Deliberation, here is my #1 All Time Favorite Picture of the trip.
And the #1 Best Thing about Our Beach Vacation:
We're not perfect. We may not always agree. We may be separated by age, distance, and circumstance. But I can honestly say, with zero exaggeration, that I have learned something, Many things!, from each one of them. I admire, and hope to emulate, their strengths, which are varied and numerous. And I will support them, without question, in their times of weakness. They are my family. It's a rag-tag bunch of hooligans, but when we clean up, we clean up right nicely. And I couldn't imagine a more motley crew with whom I'd rather be associated.