This is a joint post because being in Hawaii was such a large part of this time. Being home now with her at eight weeks it’s kind of crazy to see how much she changed during the course of the week and a half we were away.
So, to call this a vacation is hard it was more of a trip. I found few chances to actually relax because our family failed to really plan things through very well. The night before we flew out we stayed in Alameda, California since our flight was out of Oakland. This just so happened to be the one night it was actually disgustingly hot in the Bay Area. Because of poor planning we never booked a hotel as we planned to just stay at a friends house. Well, the Bay Area doesn’t get hot like it does where I live so NO ONE has air conditioning. The heat wave made it so that every hotel was booked and so I was stuck in a small apartment with no AC with a cranky baby who was scaring me because of how hot it was. I’m talking 100+ at 10PM kind of hot. We ended up sleeping in the car just to keep her cool because I don’t think we could have otherwise.
This should have been the clue in for how badly planned the trip was. We knew there were specific things we wanted to do, but with a large group and a newborn it was completely unrealistic to do everything together. Before going on the trip we agreed that we’d have to split up to do things, but for some reason this wasn’t a concept that stuck. It’s so hard to explain what it’s like to have a child to those who don’t have children. My dude has three younger sisters who are all quite headstrong about the things they want to do. I think it’s wonderful and I believe they will be a great influence on my daughter someday, but their concept of what is realistic to accomplish in a day with a newborn is insane.
Even if your child is sleeping the entire night it doesn’t mean you aren’t an exhausted mama! Especially when you are a new mom. I think I might even STILL be exhausted from labor to this day. So, compromising with them was a bit tricky. I learned that being a parent means sacrificing your own fun for the sake of others at times. One of the highly recommended things to do while on the big island in Hawaii is to swim with Manta Rays. As I mentioned before it was planned to split up to do these activities as clearly a newborn cannot partake. Magically the day we intended to go it became a huge ordeal where no one wanted to split up. So, to alleviate all grumpiness I decided to be a martyr of sorts and say, “Everyone go without me I will stay back with my child.”
Problem solved, right? Not necessarily. I still seemed like a big asshole or felt like one anyways. By the end of the week I realized I needed to speak up and stand my ground firmly. I deserved the vacation too. I just went through pregnancy and birth in the past year. So when it came to the next thing we needed to split for I was like, “No, I missed one thing I do not want to keep missing things because you insist on going together!”
I think it’s very important to not let people feel any shame or guilt for trying to have fun as a parent. We deserve it infact that’s what keeps us sane! I had this moment a few times with his sisters where I needed to proclaim: “Hey I am a person too let me have fun!” I truly can’t wait for the day they have children of their own and learn how this feels.
On the other hand it was incredibly difficult to watch how everyone treated my dude’s mother. She works hard to take all of her grown children on vacation every year. This year she brought me, the baby, and one of her daughters boyfriends. It was so hard to watch this trip break her down though. I think it may be part of the process of family trips. Normally we aren’t all stuck in a hotel room together. We have that space to go home and cool down. A lot of times his mother was the only one who felt bad for me having to sacrifice my own fun, but she’s been through it so she understands. It makes me afraid to see how my own children will act when I try to give them the same opportunities.
As for Iris, she’s a doll as usual. She loved the water both beach and the pool!
Just snoozing at the beach.
If anyone had a vacation it was her. She spent a lot of this week napping and then when she was awake she became even more vocal. My dude’s family was SO amazed by this. I’ve been seeing her do this for a few weeks now though so I’m used to it. I think having a bunch of different people to talk to may have actually been helpful because she got less bored.
Tummy time was almost impossible because there wasn’t really a safe space for it so I need to spend some extra time with that now. When being held though she almost always holds her head up on her own unless she’s super sleepy. A lot of her awake time was spent being walked around. She loved hearing the waves and looking the palm trees.
At the beach with her Dad.
Before we left for Hawaii almost everyone in the family bought her a cute swimsuit for her to wear. I’m convinced finding swimsuits for newborns is actually impossible, but that’s fine because 3-6 month swimsuits are still pretty tight on her. Also, I don’t care how cute a baby swimsuit is it’s a nightmare to take off. His sisters insisted on putting them all on until one day when I told them to change her and they had to deal with her screaming for twenty minutes. I get it completely. I hate taking my swimsuit off too.
Napping at the beach once again.
Do yourself a favor and get a larger fitting rash guard and a swim diaper. It makes your life SO much easier. She spent the rest of the week dressed like this and then coated in baby sunblock. The bucket swim hat is also great as you can get them with an SPF. Iris didn’t have any signs of sunburn thankfully which is great because I burnt like crazy.
Don’t let my makeup deceive you my face was bright red.
We did get to do a lot of newborn friendly things. We went snorkeling and the boat was super kid friendly. She spent most of the time sleeping in the Pack n Play that the boat provided us. She got to put her feet in the sand at the black sand beach and we had did dinner near Kilaeua which is an active volcano! I’m sad she won’t remember these moments like I did, but excited that she’s experiencing the world so early.
She’s really great at always looking grumpy.
A really fun thing I observed change in her this week is that she doesn’t have her hands in fists as much. She’s starting to relax and actually grab at things! She often times grabs her blanket, pacifier, and our cellphones.
“Mama when do I get my own cellphone?” Oh honey, not for a LONG time.
I definitely feel like I’m starting to see her personality a little more now. I’m actually not sure I feel like she’s a newborn anymore. What even is the cutoff age for such a title? I removed her infant insert in the carseat so I mean maybe that’s it? I see what people mean when they say “you’ll miss when they were like that”. I already miss holding her while we sleep. I feel like she’s becoming so independent as she self soothes so well.
Now that I am back I have a crap ton of laundry to do and I need to start putting away some of her clothing. Everything is getting so tight even her some of her 3 month sized clothing! Also, I need to stop swaddling her as it’s recommended to stop at around eight weeks because it can cause hip dysplasia. My goals are to ween her off the Rock n Play at night and put the Bassinet to use, get her used to not being swaddled, and oh yeah, rescue my breast milk supply.
We went from being mostly breastfed to bottle fed during this trip because of convenience. I’m actually quite ashamed by it because my long term breastfeeding goal was to make it to six months. My supply is super low and even worse, I got my first period. I’m going to see if power pumping can rescue the supply, but I’ve been told once your period returns it’s really hard to keep up with.
The next weeks are going to be hard as I am returning to work on hopefully October 2nd pending our daycare situation. We are currently next on the “waitlist”. I’m dreading the return as I’m not the biggest fan of my job, but also for the obvious reasons. I love being home with her and helping shape who she is. I wish I could stay home for the first year so I don’t miss all the important milestones, but it’s so financially unrealistic. It’s also super hard for me because I was a nanny for several years so this is kind of my schtick.
A candid picture with her presents from Hawaii.
Either way, I still feel in my groove as a mama. The trip taught me a lot of valuable lessons about family and what to expect. I’m so fortunate to have a family that loves Iris so much to give her these amazing opportunities. Nothing is ever picture perfect though and being a parent does truly come with some hard sacrifices. Just remember to not completely sacrifice yourself because others make you feel guilty. We’re all only human and we all deserve good things. Those are the words I will pass on to my dude’s sisters when their time comes because being a parent truly isn’t something you understand until you are one.
Iris, 8 weeks 09/10/17.