We went on a mini vacation this weekend to Hilton Head Island. Not so much news there, really, but our last mini vacation as a foursome, last September to go apple picking in NC was fun but an unmitigated DISASTER when bed time rolled around. This time, we were forewarned and prepared or at least as prepared as we could be.
Our problems were these: J can sleep in a toddler bed but not so much in a big person's bed, so he needs a crib or pack-and-play, as does Baby E, of course. Last time around, we had a crib in the room but mistakenly assumed one of us could sleep with J and put Baby E in the crib. In fact, what ended up happening was the opposite: I slept with E and J ended up in the crib after a harrowing evening of not sleeping. This time, we brought our pack-and-play and asked for a crib in the room, so everyone would have a nice little place to sleep.
J and Baby E are also not able to sleep together in the same room right now, both being rather loud sleepers prone to nightmares in the case of the former and brief but loud crying jags in the case of the latter. So we set up the pack-and-play in the bathroom and stationed the crib all the way across the room and set up noisemakers for both boys. It worked like a charm, with the one small exception: the pack-and-play was exactly, and I mean EXACTLY, the same size as the space between the toilet and the door and the tub and the counter. So once it was up, the bathroom was completely off limits for the night, which meant that we all took a few late (and some really late) night trips downstairs to the lobby restroom but it was worth it for uninterrupted sleep for Baby E. In fact, he slept better there in his warm, slightly damp, pitch black cocoon than he has in weeks in his own room. I think we're going to get some window darkening shades for him soon!
While vacationing, we visited Island Playground, an indoor play area with jump castles, real castles, and all sorts of balls and toys; the Sandbox, billed as a children's museum but really a more diverse play area, with a life-size cockpit and pirate ship and all sorts of arts and crafts, not to mention a toddler area with its own play structure; Stacks Pancakes, where we had lots and lots of yummy buttermilk pancakes and fruit and J discovered that he likes breakfast sausage ("It's a little sour but I like it, Mommy!"); the Main Street Cafe, which served fabulous gyros and HUGE kids' cheese sandwiches; Rita's Water Ice for custard and mango water ice, of course; a children's consignment store (more on that later); and, of course, the beach AND an outdoor pool AND an indoor pool, where Baby E went under for the first time and J treaded water on his own, with the help of a water noodle. Our resort (we were staying with the husband while he went to a conference) was located inside a development dotted with ponds and marshland, so we also go to see many and large alligators, turtles, and birds of all sorts during our drives around town. It was fabulous!
Our first visit to the beach, at night.
Shots from the Island Playground.
More beach time, during the day.
Scenes from The Sandbox, in the cockpit of an airplane and on the toddler play structure.
The only downsides were packing related: I planned on the right number of outfits for Baby E but somehow forgot who I was planning for so I brought four or five bottoms but only three tops...? Um, duh! And I wasn't planning on his getting a little GI sick while we were out, ruining even more outfits. So, we had to visit the consignment store to get a few extra outfits. And the husband somehow forgot to bring any jeans or casual shirts, which meant he almost ruined a pair of khakis and wore his pajama shirt lots and lots around the hotel.
And my last quibble was our resort. The location was great, right on the beach, but the place was, in a word, filthy. Oh, and unsafe! I put Baby E down on the floor to change his diaper, and he came up covered in dirt and hair. Someone else's black hair. And the balcony was covered not just in dust but dirt, and there was a used cigar out there. And I found a huge spider in our blankets. Worse, we were on the fourth floor and the space between the railings on the balcony AND over the interior courtyard were so big, J could get his whole body through them. He showed me he could, much to my terror, while we were walking by the courtyard on the way to the elevator. I almost lost both boys in my haste to grab J while holding E! I mean, I can cover outlets with duct tape and bring a toilet lock or lock the bathroom door or tie up all the loose cords, all of which I did, but how do I block the railing on the balcony or over the common courtyard?