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Spring Break Getaway

2015 March 23
by Becky

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Just when I thought I’d lose my mind from being stuck in the house with sick kids, everyone recovered and it was time for our escape to sunny Florida. By some miracle, Stu’s work schedule lined up with Ethan’s school spring break and we were able to travel as a complete family, to the little paradise my parents have set up as their official “snowbird” retreat.

We didn’t make a heroic escape from St. Louis, it was more like a limp. Ethan coming off no school due to a nasty case of croup (during which he felt great during the day but coughed ALL NIGHT LONG), Stu back from too much time traveling for work, Finn’s nose running like a fountain AND his toenail suddenly infected. A doctor’s appointment had been taunting us all week and the toe did us in, we snagged a Saturday morning appointment to get it checked out less than 12 hours before take off. It was like fate was working double time to keep us from a vacation.

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Not to brag, but my kids are ridiculously good travelers. They deserve little medals. Ethan will settle for M&Ms.

But we triumphed. We made our 7:30am flight (horribly early) and in no time were driving over the Gulf of Mexico en route to Treasure Island for a little Great-Grandma time. We doubled-down on the grandmas since they all seem to be migrating south.

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My grandma is amazing. She raised four kids, three in diapers at the same time, and still wields a baby like a pro. Finn looks gigantic in this picture.

She hasn’t seen the boys since Halloween, two days after Finn was born, so they were quite a bit different. Some lunch, catching up, gecko hunting, a swim, and, when the kids got fussy, we headed for “reguly” (regular) grandma’s house, another hour south, just past Sarasota.

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My parents were crazy-town excited to see the boys. Ethan was out of his mind ready to hang with personal slaves other than me, so he was bossing Grandma & Grandpa around in his first breath. Good thing he’s too sweet about to even think about refusing.

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It was about ten degrees warmer this year than last, so we soaked it all in. Boating, beaching, long morning walks, the best ice cream ever at A Better Scoop, and plenty of pool time…instant summer. I sat out a few things, like boating, since Finn doesn’t yet have his sea legs, but Ethan didn’t miss a single event.

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Turns out the beach with a 4.5 month old isn’t all that relaxing. I must have gone temporarily insane because our first day was way over-planned…a picnic, chairs and the whole day-at-the-beach set up was overboard. We brought BEERS! Omg we were delusional. We made it less than two hours–most of which I spent breastfeeding. Finn wasn’t buying the fun in the sun business. Ethan was oblivious, having plenty of fun searching for shells and digging in the sand, all the while pulling his usual “I’m scared of the ocean” act (see here for evidence disputing this claim).

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Our second day was a success. We had less stuff and lower expectations…much easier. Finn enjoyed the sound of the ocean from his perch in my sling and Ethan got in the water (after I walked him down to the water’s edge and bribed him with ice cream until he forgot to be scared).

I was a little “tied down” since the warm weather apparently doubled Finn’s appetite, but I snuck to the pool during a couple naps (putting on a swim suit 4 months post-baby is torture. For me and anyone witnessing, I’m sure) plus Stu and I escaped for a date night to Flounders (on St. Patricks Day, really bad planning, but they had a great band) and Englewood’s On Dearborn to see Elle Lee rock out on the guitar—worth the crowds. Overall just having extra baby holders and short order cooks was relaxing enough.

We actually had more help on the Ethan entertainment front…

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My mom’s best friend since forever, Laurie, lives in the same neighborhood and her grand kids happened to be visiting too. Though quite a bit older, they are super-duper sweet and couldn’t wait to play with Ethan. Ethan was of course thrilled to hang with the big kids…he tried really hard to play it cool. One evening the older kids whipped out their iPads so he politely asked for my iPhone and proceeded to turn on PBS kids but really just watched the cool dudes play their games. SO cute. I guess his reading and puzzle games weren’t up to par.

These guys are amazing travelers. They make it easy to get out of town. So much so that I’m not sure why we endured the cold for an eternity before flying away from it. We traveled with the Bob stroller for the first time ever and I’m glad. Both kids could ride and I loved having it for morning walks.

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We were gone five days then returned to a whole weekend more of having Stu home and getting things done, spending every possible minute outside in the sun. Spring is officially here!Perfect timing.

Crap. Now I’m going to have to wear shorts.

Thank you grandma, grandpa, great-grandma, and great-grandpa for the wonderful getaway!

4 Responses
  1. Linda Johnson permalink
    March 24, 2015

    Love the vacation pictures!! Looks like everyone had a great time.

    Finn is growing and Ethan is getting taller. Miss those boys!!

    Sandy and Joe are doing it right in their retirement. Nothing beats sunny Florida in the winter months.

  2. March 24, 2015

    It was a great time!!!! Perfect weather and just enough to do between naps and eating.

    Didn’t even recognize Finn after 3 months. He’s amazing and a joy to have around. Ethan is growing and learning like crazy. Can’t ever get enough of him.

    Come as often as you want.

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