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Vacationing: Kids or No Kids?

Illustration by Adrienne Hedger

In the past, I would point my finger anywhere on the globe and just take off.  It didn’t matter how long the flight was, or the number of days I was gone (well to an extent), or how long I stayed out in the evenings, or the activities I did during the day or the minor bumps that came along with traveling.  There were no restrictions.  And, a beach vacation was exactly what it was meant to be; no recollection of time, sprawled out on a beach blanket, nursing several nearby pina coladas, shades on, eyes closed, toes buried in the sand and waves crashing inches away.  So simple, so easy, so carefree.  A real vacation.

This year things aren’t so simple and there is a tough lingering question.  That question it not how many bathing suits should I bring, or which restaurants and lounges are in the area, or what activities can we do, or what drinks will be offered poolside.  The difficult mother question is, should we take Madison or not?  Am I ready to leave our 14 month old for almost two weeks?  Will she be traumatized?  Will I?

My 10 thoughts on not bringing children, or Madison, on vacation…

1)  Will Madison be distraught if we leave her behind?  She breaks down the moment the babysitter enters the apartment and doesn’t stop until bedtime!

2)  The poor grandparents!  Will they be able to handle a 14 month old, who is teething, for almost two weeks?  Will they ever want to come back?

3)  Vacation = Relaxation.  Will I truly be able to relax wondering about Maddie a 14 hour flight away?

4)  No checking out this year!  Need to get international service.  I will definitely need daily check-ins and maybe a messaged picture or two.

5)  Reservations about a 14 hour flight.  The last time I flew I was 6 months pregnant, having back pain, Maddie was hanging-out on my sciatic nerve and I was dealing with those other unmentionables, that all women can relate to, during pregnancy!

6)  However!  We will have freedom to stay out as late as we want!  I know there’s life past 7pm.  Lets find it!

7)  All the pina coladas, margaritas and sangria I want!  Reliving carefree days.

8)  Lets kick start that spark!!  Gets a little dim when everything revolves around kids.  We know it’s there!  Just needs a little Santorini fuel.

9)  No diapers, no clean up, no laundry, no temper tantrums.  Looking better and better!

10) I think we both need some adult time!

I vote, No Kids!  Will Madison need child therapy in the end, no, and will mommy need to turn to countless sangrias, no, well maybe just a couple.  Even though traveling used to be easier, the things that made it easy before don’t seem to be as important now.   So what, if I have to check my luggage rather than have easy breezy carry on.  So what, if our transportation is running late to pick us up.  So what, if we don’t get the check-in time we wanted.  What matters is time together, either as a family or as that so-needed couples time.  Things for us have definitely changed, our worries have changed and our needs have changed, but changed for the better.

Are you taking a self-needed vacation this year and leaving someone or something behind?  My girlfriend is taking a vacation and leaving her cell phone and technology behind.  Now that’s tough!  How about you?

Until next ride,

Amy

It’s Here! It’s Here!

We have been checking the mail for the last two years anxiously awaiting, not giving up hope, and blaming the poor mailman!  Here is an example of our evening conversations, after checking the mail, over this long awaited time…

Dean: Did it arrive Amy?

Amy:  Not today, honey…

Dean: Do you think they’ll really publish it?

Amy:  I hope so, but not sure…

Dean: Should you check on it?

Amy:  I have been…

Dean: Ok, we probably won’t recognize ourselves once it does get published, because we’ll be so old!

Amy:  Speak for yourself!  I plan on looking the same as I did on our wedding day 20 years from now!  {well, that’s what I thought before I had a baby :) }

Dean: Of course honey :)

Drum roll…trumpets please…announcement…it’s here!  Two years in the making, or two years of Amy following up so we don’t get lost in the wedding paper shuffle, is our debut in Melbourne Bride Destination!  We were hoping for a tiny spot in the corner, but to our surprise, got four pages!!  It’s an Aussie magazine, so tough to get your hands on, since they don’t mail out of Australia.  But, so cool to know we are in a magazine!  Probably my first and last time in a magazine, so I’m going to dwell in it for a while.  Here it is…take a peek…

Looking at these pictures and reading the write-up brings back so many fun and happy memories with family and friends.  I feel like I could do it all over again…

I can’t believe we have been married for two years already.  How time flies, especially with a 14 month old.  And, your calculations are correct.  Maddie blessed us shortly after we were married.  Celebrating our one year anniversary, at home, with our three week old daughter could not have made the first year of marriage more memorable.  She is truly the icing on the cake, no wedding pun intended!

Is there something you hold onto, or have, that reminds you of a special time?  I would love to hear about it.

Until next ride,

Amy

 

Fun Fourth Favorites

Happy 4th of July everyone!  What a fun time to plan family and friend gatherings, hitting the nearest fireworks show, or heading out of town.  We all get busy; therefore, I love to keep things simple – quick and easy!  One of my favorite magazines is Real Simple.  They always have lots of easy, fun, creative ideas that anyone can do.  It’s my go-to stress free guide!!!  This year we’re going to Mystic, Connecticut for some family fun, but if we were celebrating at home these would be my simple favorite picks for the 4th of July!  (Click on the pictures for more info from Real Simple)

1. Red, White and Blue Cocktails for the adults!  What’s a 4th without drinks!!!

Cocktails

2. A fun drink for the kids and everyone else.  Mix different types of fruit with anything – even water!

Drinks for everyone

3. Don’t forget the snacks!  A simple and festive idea.

Snacks

4. There’s always something delicious on the grill.  Kabobs are easy and fun!  Love this honey glazed chicken idea with grilled corn.  Cook them both at the same time.  Yummy, easy, and quick!

Honey chicken skewers

5. Everyone will be waiting for a light refreshing dessert!

Dessert

6. Dessert or Snack!  Everyone loved these berry marshmallow kabobs when I made them for Maddie’s party!  With the colors, they look very 4th of July.   My shot doesn’t compare to the pictures above but you can get the idea.

7. Lets keep the kids happy, having fun and busy!  Making pom-poms is easy to do, only a few supplies are needed, and they can use them all day.

Kid's project

 

Do you have some fun creative ideas for the 4th of July?  I could always use more great ideas!  Enjoy your 4th everyone!!!

Until next ride,

Amy

Milestone

She’s walking!  She’s walking!  What an exciting and emotional week this has been.  I turned just for a second and saw Madison walking across the living room, on her own!  All week she has been surprising Dean and I with more and more little steps.  She has taken a few hard blows, a few chin crashes, a few tumble and rolls, a few contorted falls and some baby tears.  But she’s done it!  She is now a one year old and walking, officially a toddler, according to my parenting books.  Wait, officially a toddler?  No longer a baby?  Tear.

A toddler and walking, such an exciting milestone, in the mix of all the development stages.  The camera is full of pictures, the family has been informed, and of course, the exciting baby news has been shared with my mommy’s group.  We cheer Maddie on, as she stands and starts to walk towards us and as she waddles from room to room with the occasional crash.  But, what comes with this excitement is a little bit of sadness.  My baby is no longer a baby anymore, she’s a toddler.

The last thirteen months have been a roller coaster of bitter sweet.  Starting with the packing of the newborn onesies, then the 3-6 month clothes, graduating from the baby bath to bath tub, nursing to whole milk, holding the bottle on her own, sitting to standing to now walking and the list goes on.  Watching Madison grow and develop has been sweet and so much fun, with a bit of sadness as each phase of babyhood disappears, and the need for mommy becomes less.  Already independence?  I’m not ready!  Well sometimes I feel ready, but not this week.

Before Maddie walked, I would watch the other toddlers, younger than Madison, walk at the park and wondered when that might be her.  Everyone had been saying or asking, “Has your baby started walking yet?  You might want to try this.  My child started walking at __.  You should read this book.  My child was an early walker.”  Why do I let these things get to me?  I know every child is different.  I know Maddie has been on track with her development.  Maybe it’s yahoo news, or the unfortunate stories we hear, or the lingering “what ifs.”  I have a tendency to stress over little things, big things, and probably nonsense things.  It’s my own doing, trying to be the perfect mom to something loved so much.  Just chill-out Amy!  Maddie is!

These precious moments go by fast.  I’m truly learning that now.  I need to relax a little and just enjoy each moment as it comes and goes.  It doesn’t matter what other kids on the playground are doing and it doesn’t matter whose child is doing what.  I love watching Maddie develop into her own little person and watch her excitement when she does something by herself, even though it means mommy is needed a little less.  No one said parenthood would be easy, and who knew, the best and smallest roller coasters would require a few mommy tears too.

Uh oh, Maddie is on the move!  Those feet have already gotten her into something she shouldn’t be into.  Got to go!!

Do you remember a milestone in your life that you have fond memories of?  If so, I would love to hear about it!

Until next ride,

Amy

 

 

Father’s Day is Sunday!

Each year in June, I always ask myself that not so easy question, ‘What am I going to do for Father’s Day?’  How can I truly let my father know how much he is loved?  Is there something out there, big enough?

Let me tell you a little about my dad…

He is a true family man.  A man who would give the shirt off his back for his loved ones, a man who asks for very little,  a man who has worked to the bone to provide for his family, a man who would come home from a long tough day at work and would have no expectations, because the love from his family was enough.  Gifts were never expected for any occasion, but he was always very grateful when he received one.  In an emergency, such as a stubbed toe or scratched finger, he always took it very serious and never dismissed a ridiculous story to how it happened.  My father saw the weekends as sacred family time and not a day went by without an I love you.  He has always been simple in his wants, yet there is nothing simple, at all, about my dad.  Through the challenges of parenthood, his love has never stopped and never wavered.

So how will I honor such a great man on Father’s Day this year, you ask … with a fruit basket.  No need to reread it, you’re eyes are not playing tricks on you, it is true, a fruit basket.  I have asked him for 35 years what he would like for Father’s Day and he always has the same reply, ‘Nothing, just time and love from my family’.  Since I am now 3,000 miles away, I will have to rely on Plan B.  I happen to know my father loves food and loves to eat.  So this year, a fruit basket will have to say, I love you.  Keeping it healthy, since I want to make sure we have many more years with such a great father.  Just hope he knows, he is loved much more than a fruit basket.

This weekend we will be taking a family trip to the Central Park Zoo, so Maddie can honor her father.  Dean, who may not have 35 daddy years under his belt yet, has definitely shown Madison what a great father he is and will be.  This weekend, no gifts will be handed, no top-notch event will be thrown, just a day with the family celebrating a father and daughter’s love.  Something I have learned from my father.

What plans do you have for Father’s Day?  Would love to hear!  Have a great weekend!!

Until next ride,

Amy

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