To the beach, Batman!

I wish we’d had the Bat mobile to get to the beach last weekend. Our ac was acting finicky in the car, but fortunately, after some stern talking to, it decided to be good for most of the trip. Good thing, too, because with a baby on board, we could not have driven 3 hours without ac in the hot weather. That was pretty much it for the bad news. We spent the entire weekend at North Myrtle Beach with Nana B, Aunt Katie, and Suzette. Suzette use to take care of David and his siblings when they were younger, so she is pretty much family. The funny thing is that until Christmas, we hadn’t seen Suzette since our wedding 4 years ago. Starting with Kevin’s graduation, we’ve now seen her three times (well, David has) in as many weeks. Funny how those things happen.

Anyway, David’s parents rented a condo on the beach for the weekend for all of us to enjoy. We arrived late Friday noon and did some grocery shopping to stock up. Then Katie arrived, and we all enjoyed some bbq. Suzette arrived a little late, so I missed her since I was already asleep. Good thing, too, because Harrison decided he wanted to get an early start Saturday for the beach and woke up at 4 am! He has never done that. I mean, we woke him up for early morning feedings when he was an infant, but I don’t know what got into him that morning. He woke up laughing and on his hands and knees ready to play. David was able to get him back to sleep, but only for 30-40 minutes at a time before he’d wake up again ready to play. I tried to see the bright side of things and tell myself at least he wasn’t crying, but when it’s that early, those kinds of thoughts aren’t much consolation. Eventually, it was 7:15, so we drank coffee just woke up. We took Harrison out for his first beach experience after breakfast before it got too hot. This was relative since it was already humid enough that my camera lens fogged up.

Harrison wasn’t entirely sure what to think, and it didn’t take long since he was ready for a nap (maybe that’s because he woke up at 4; not entirely sure). We were back out there again, though, after lunch for another dip in the ocean and playing on the beach.

After some fun beach time, we got ready for dinner at Duffy’s. Not the first place I would’ve picked, but the food was great. The drink wasn’t too bad, either ;). After Harrison was down for the count, we enjoyed some yummy margaritas (Thanks, Michele for that recipe. It was 2 years ago, but everyone I make it for loves it!) and good conversation. Mommy hadn’t stayed up that late in a long time, and Harrison was happy to let her know that was a bad idea by waking up at 6:30 this time. Better than the previous day, but still not 7:30/8 per usual.

Sunday morning we headed out early for a family walk on the beach and seashell collecting. We wanted to have some souvenirs from Harrison’s first trip to the beach. That afternoon we headed to the Tanger Outlets for some shopping before heading back home. Nana B spoiled us all. You can’t pass up cute baby clothes, though. Harrison did great on the ride home, and he was definitely ready for bedtime in his own room. I think we bother him just as much as he bothers Mommy us when we sleep in the same room. He was out before I could lay him down and slept until David woke him the next morning. It was a short, but very fun beach weekend.

The Hoosier State

Last weekend we flew into Indiana to spend the weekend with David’s family and attend his younger brother’s, Kevin, graduation from DePauw University. It was a fun, albeit , short weekend. We flew in Friday night and left Sunday late afternoon. David headed to the Indy polls with his dad and Kevin Saturday morning, while Nancy and I played with Harrison in the hotel room before Katie and Suzette arrived.

We all had lunch together and then headed to a park for a nice walk.  After that we had to get ready for an awesome dinner at St. Elmo’s Steakhouse. Man oh man, that was some good eating. We all had their famous shrimp cocktail to start and then I ordered the filet mignon with mashed potatoes and a shot of tomato juice. For dessert, David and I shared the chocolate and cherry bread pudding with a bourbon-cream glaze.

On Sunday we had a nice brunch on campus before Kevin’s graduation and then had some time to take some photos. I certainly jumped at the chance to use my new camera. Here are some group shots and graduation shots.

Kevin with Nancy and Katie

Kevin with Suzette (left) and Nancy and Katie (right)

The whole gang

Kevin with Mike and Nancy

Us with the grad

Family shot

The university president speaking

Kevin walking across the stage

To go or no to go…

Every weekend, I face the decision of whether to go somewhere with Harrison. Not because he isn’t good at being out and about but because we are rarely gone for just waking hours unless it’s a run to the grocery store or Target. Waking hours are limited because now that Harrison eats solids, feeding time takes longer. By the time he eats, gets cleaned up and we get him ready to head out the door, an hour of the 2-hour wake time is gone. And, unless we are just hitting the grocery store or Target, it’s highly unlikely we will get to where we are going in under 15 minutes.
Take today, for example. We decided we would grab lunch and make a trip to get some wine after Harrison had his 11:30 feeding. Well, we weren’t out the door until 12:30. By the time we hit Panera, it was 1:00, and Harrison had fallen asleep (this happens in the car when it’s close to nap time). He woke up around 1:30 because we were eating outside and there were cars driving by, people talking, etc. The problem with this is that he was now awake when he should’ve been going to sleep, and I knew he wouldn’t fall back asleep since he is now so interested in his surroundings. This isn’t a problem until he realizes how tired he is, but fights going to sleep because of all the stimuli. Before you ask, “Why don’t you just close him off with the canopy on his car seat and stroller?”, I will tell you that we do try this and he just becomes upset that he can’t see us or anything else when he hears things going on.
The real problem is when we get home. It was just 2:30, so at least an hour of nap time was salvageable. Try telling this to Harrison. David took him upstairs, changed his diaper, swaddled him and set him in his crib. Little man just quieted down (now some 20 minutes later), but I’m not sure if he’s asleep or not. If I go check and he sees me, all hope is lost.
I know you may think that in the long run, all of this is trivial; however, my little man needs his naps. It’s sort of a vicious cycle when you think about it. If he does sleep, “yeah!”, if not, “boo!”. If he doesn’t, he will eat at 3:30 and then look tired already because he didn’t nap much. This means, he won’t be as interested in solids after nursing. And this means, even though he will get tired and fall asleep for a late afternoon nap, he will likely wake up before 7 and be hungry already because he didn’t eat enough earlier. If he doesn’t nap, he will just be a grouch because he’s tired but can’t go to sleep because he’s overtired and overstimulated. See what I mean?
I do not want us to be confined to our house on the weekend or have it where only one of us can go out at a time, and we don’t do this, but each time I end up feeling guilty when it negatively impacts Harrison’s schedule. I feel like a bad mother for not giving him a nap. He’s past the newborn stage of sleeping whenever/wherever and fully in the exploratory stage. Unless really tired, Harrison will not just conk out anywhere/anytime. He needs someone to cue him that it is nap time. He is not picky about where he sleeps (doesn’t have to be his crib), but he will no longer just doze off in the stroller. He will rub his eyes and fuss, telling me he knows it’s nap time, but he is just a baby. And a very curious, investigative baby at that (very Sagittarius from what his baby Gap onesie says 🙂 ).
Just wanted to share my constant weekend conundrum and see if anyone had any thoughts or ran into the same thing. I know I’m not a bad mommy, but it’s just a something I struggle with. To go or not to go…

Oh, and we got ourselves some wine and a few good beers, which is good in case I really need something to drink later.