We are back from our second and final vacation this year. We took a week-long trip to Madeira Beach, Florida with my in-laws and some friends. Both Hannah and Colin were angels during the plane rides and they had a wonderful time at the beach. They couldn’t get enough of the sand, bobbing in the ocean and splashing in the pool. They played all day and were completely tuckered out each night. We mostly hung out at the beach but we took a quick trip to Clearwater so we could take Hannah to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. Hannah was so excited to meet “Winter”- the dolphin featured in the movie Dolphin Tale. It was so great to see the joy on her face as she took it all in. She’s pretty obsessed now and wants to play “Rescue Winter” all day long.
Colin delighted us by doing lots of new things like clapping to “Patty Cake,” putting his arms up when you say “Soooo Big,” getting a second tooth and taking his first official steps in the airport. One busy little guy for sure! He had been taking a step or two walking between my husband and I, but in the airport he was just standing by himself and decided to try to walk on his own. I’m sure he’ll be running around by his birthday, just like his big sister.
We had a wonderful trip for sure, but we are glad to be back. My husband and I were both tuckered out at the end of each day, especially since we had to watch Colin like a hawk (even more so than usual). On the beach he loved the sand but also liked trying to eat it. We put him in a blowup pool on the beach but discovered he could quickly crawl out of it. It was also hard to have an almost-walker, get-into-everything baby in a non-babyproofed condo with all tile floors and glass tabletops. I did a bit of redecorating but someone still had to be standing behind him at all times. I had rented a Jumperoo for the week, which did help, but since Colin wanted to be mobile, his patience in it was short. I think if he had been two months younger or a bit older it would have been easier. We would do it again if given the chance, but that level of vigilance is sure tiring.
I’m also glad to be back to my own kitchen where I can cook and eat a variety of safe foods. I was really really nervous to take this trip to Florida and to eat away from home. I was really scared there would be days I was starving or miserable. I can only eat so much fresh fruit and plain vegetables before it gets depressing. On our last trip, to the Wisconsin Dells, I packed the car full of meals and foods I could eat. To go to Florida I had to pare it down to the bare essentials that could go in a suitcase. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to buy a whole kitchen full of ingredients to have to throw most of them away 6 days later. However, everything worked out great. I did a lot of planning, found a Whole Foods in Tampa and I never starved. I even tried eating out (which I will blog more about later). Eating the same couple of safe foods did get a bit tedious by the end of the week but overall it went way better than I expected.
I’ve talked to other families that have food allergies/issues and heard many of them echo my fears about traveling. So my next couple of posts I will post some more information on my meal planning, restaurants, and trying to eat out away from home safely while avoiding at least dairy and soy.