back! and meditations on "vacation" with a 2-year old.

Back and trying to get caught up. Working my way through all my work emails, while trying to navigate a new computer. They did a great job of transferring over all my bookmarks and shortcuts and a lot of settings... but there is always stuff to arrange and things to find. And oh boy do I just have plenty of work to do.

The trip was great. I love Cape Cod so, and while vacation with a two year old is way different then our vacations there pre-baby, there is just so much to love about it too. It gave me great joy and lots of chuckles watching Gwen and her cousin Wyatt run around like little whirlwinds laughing and hollering. Gwen is a little fish, so we definitely spent even more time in the water then we used to... though we also enjoyed time on the water, as Gwen was enthralled with the kayak. She would sit perfectly still while we paddled, occasionally asking for her own turn... which was rather impressive considering the paddle is twice her size.

There was a lot less reading, though I still got in almost a book's worth between her 2 (or was it 3) naps (total), some post-bedtime reading, and a few times when she was just playing so peacefully on her own. I also had one gorgeous day where everyone else headed to the beach, but I decided to stay back and just chill. Thankfully Travis was just fine with me staying, and the time was so appreciated.

I think that's the biggest difference, before you could be as selfish as you wanted on vacation. We would stay up late catching up with our relatives, sleep in until whenever we wanted, eat when we wanted, and in between read or swim or nap or kayak (etc) to our hearts content. We still stayed up later then we do here at home, and we still did much swimming and some kayaking, but sleeping in happens less frequently, eating had to be more uniform in time now, and quiet times like reading and napping are more at the discretion of the little loud ones then the person hoping to do them.

I still loved the whole time and each year we get to do things with Gwen that 1) we do every year, and its so fun to see how she's grown since the last time, and 2) she is doing for the first time because she's big enough now. Both are great in their own way, and I'm so glad she's going to have this to look forward to every year.

I think the hardest parts this year were two-fold. First, we parent differently then my in-laws did, and Trav's brother's family does. They are wonderful parents, and they get no judgment from me as they do what works for their family; however sometimes I didn't feel that they were giving me the same courtesy. This played in big time with #2, which is that the cousins were on slightly different schedules (so she ended up getting less sleep), and people were a bit free with the sugary stuff. "It's vacation!" was a big refrain, but my baby doesn't get "it's vacation" and that vacation ends and we have to go back to eating healthy and sleeping. Ugh. I did my best to modify, but girl had way way more popsicles, chips, donuts, and other treats then we normally allow. So less sleep and more sugar means a girl who was a bit crazier then normal towards the end of the week. I have the feeling it might be a bit of a rough transition back.

That said, I loved seeing her with her Aunt, Uncle, Great Uncle(s), Pop-Pop, and Nana. We don't get to see any of them enough, so I love how much she loves them. And if that involves a little spoiling, well, I can deal.

Apparently "Daisy cold Mommy."
The drive itself was... well, LONG. We did it differently this year. We'd been leaving after dinner, around her bedtime in hopes that she would sleep much of the way. That avoided some rush hour traffic, but getting there so late was really hard. This time we took half days and left at 1 o'clock, hoping for a brief nap in the car, knowing we'd hit rush hour, but hoping that it would be easier in the long run since we wouldn't be so tired. We ended up hitting traffic everywhere. Horrible traffic in NJ, normal crappy traffic plus a little extra in NY, and exhausting/frustrating rush hour traffic in CT, at which point we just stopped for an hour for lunch to give Gwen time to stretch her legs and blow off some steam. She never did nap, though obviously that made bedtime a little easier, which was good since we didn't get there until 9:30!! We left about 6 hours earlier then normal and only got there about 3 or 4 hours earlier.

The ride home was thankfully much easier with a stop over to see a friend in RI, and just little bit of traffic in NJ.

All-in-all, the week did leave me relaxed and happy. I can't wait for next year.

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