Archive for the travel Category

1-2-3-4, Baby!

Posted in breastfeeding, Gabbi, love, Maximo, travel on July 26, 2009 by Gabbi El Mas Negro

IMG_7764_resize_resizeRecently we took our first family vacation, and Maximo set foot on American soil for the first time – in the Dallas/Fort Worth airport, no less.  So where do you vacation when you live in paradise?  Hawaii, of course!  I know, we just can’t get enough of the beach.  Well, truth be told, our path to Hawaii was not one that we forged ourselves, though I certainly have no complaints about ending up there.  My mom (Karen), my step-dad (Mark), and my hermanito (aka little brother, Zachary) invited us to join us on their family vacation this year and we happily and graciously joined them (yes, it took about 0.0 seconds to agree to this).  A week on the Big Island + a week on Kauai = 2 weeks of vacation bliss — and with Grandparents to boot?  Sign us up!

IMG_7516_resizeNow, since moving to Mexico and living our totally awesome, semi-vacation-y lives year-round, we (being me and my hottie hubby) have not taken a real, fly-our-asses-to-another-place (together) vacation.  Seriously, we have not flown together since, well, since we went to Maui for our great friends Gordy & Alicia’s kick-ass wedding (so you don’t feel sorry for us or anything, we have flown places, just not together, you know, for fun).  AnyWAY, what I mean to say, was this was a BIG DEAL!  Flying somewhere together, for vacation (2 weeks!), with our BABY!

The week leading up to our departure felt like an old-school pre-vacation work week, with tons o’ stuff to do and prep – which always makes it that much sweeter to be on the R-O-A-D, or in the S-K-Y, as may be the case, in our case.  Which case would be – a flight with a lap-baby, from PV to the aforementioned Dallas/FW, on to LAX, and finnnnnnalllllllly, Kona, HI! – so, we were curious how this grand flight adventure would play out with our wee one, in our laps no less.  Luckily, Maxxi is still nursing (con ganas!) which made for an easy soothing solution during all those flight legs.  (sometimes I would righteously think, when looking at other babies, “my baby doesn’t use a pacifier”… and then I would have to remind myself that my nipple had been in his mouth more or less continuously for the past few hours, and that his pacifier was in fact my breast.)

Long story short, Maximo was a traveling champ, and we became quite deft at the dance that isIMG_7811_resize traveling with a babe.  At each checkpoint/security gate/boarding/de-planing, we would rattle off our foolproof counting system to make sure we had all the important things: “1, 2, 3, 4, Baby!”  Which counted our 1, 2, 3, 4 carry-on bags (don’t you judge me, non-parents!), and of course, the baby, which was most often in the portable stroller (our other accountable item) which we had acquired for just such an occasion as flying to the US and subsequently across the South Pacific.  Thus was our mantra as we moved from plane-to-plane, checkpoint-to-checkpoint, towards our destination of vacation awesome-ness.

And what an awesome vacation it was.  I think I had forgotten how great it feels to really be OFF, to let go of work, household chores, email, even writing (yes, it has been a while, has it not?).  Being on vacation with family also takes on a whole new sheen when you have a baby of your own.  While we do have a Nanny who helps out occasionally during the day while we work, we just haven’t been in the habit of leaving Maxxi alone with a sitter while we go out or go do stuff together.  So having family to help care for him and hang out with him opened up a whole new world.   Gabbi & I got to go out at night, go running together, go kayaking & snorkeling, and go on an amazing boat ride around the incredible Na Pali Coastline on Kauai.  We went to bars, had wonderful dinners, and got to know each other again.


“Oh, yeah… YOU!  You’re awesome and fun and sexy and I’m in love with you!”  Not to take anything away from the way I love my husband as a father and the way I love my son as the creation of our love – it’s just that sometimes it’s easy to lose yourself as an individual when you are focusing most of your energy on being a parent.  And as a Mother, I know I’m not always the best Lover and Wife.  My mind is often centered on the next need to be filled, the next chore to get done, the minutes I can use to cram in some work or do some personal writing.  Being on vacation peeled away all the layers of the everyday and brought the most important things into laser focus.  Plus, spending time alone as a couple, doing fun things together, is re-energizing.  It made me feel like a kid, which is a nice break when usually all I think about is being a mom to a kid.

As our 2 weeks wound to an end, I started feeling a little anxious about coming home.  And I LOVE my home.  I love my town, my chosen country, my house.  But aside from the obvious greatness of being on vacation, Hawaii spoiled me with the most perfect weather (80s, sunny, breezy, never humid), lots of safe space for Maxxi to crawl around and play, and a refreshing lack of dirt and dust.  Everything was so…. Clean.  Paved.  Simple.  Easy.  Home was waiting with humidity, mud, crazy rain storms, construction on my house, dust, mosquitoes, chores, work.  So, I was a little nervous.

I was also excited to get back home, as always after being away.  And luckily, summer being our slow season here, it has been an easy transition to reality.  With work slow, we have been able to ease back into the day-to-day, and make sure to keep some of our vacation glow and our vacation mentality, applied to our own little corner of paradise.  Is that not a lesson that we all try to take away from our vacations, no matter what waits at home?   My other big takeaway is that it really is important to find/make/create time alone with my husband, where we can really focus on each other without one ear tuned on the baby monitor.  Because we love being a family, and we are a better family when we are tuned into and in love with each other.