"Miracles are not contrary to nature, but only contrary to what we know about nature." ~St. Augustine

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Spring Break Part II - And the Sun Rose

Before I get into the vacation part of our spring break, I feel the need to explain our resources for going on this trip.  We are not wealthy in financial ways at all.  We are both school teachers for crying out loud!  However, we bought this time share when we first got married with money that was left to my husband by his grandma.  So, to be honest, like it or not, we are stuck with it for the next 94 years.  So, we take this one vacation a year.  We skipped last year because I was pregnant with Ryder and also skipped the year that I was preggo with the twins, but other than that we do go.  All year long we charge everything we buy (even regular monthly bills) on our credit card so that we can use air miles for travel.  We also can get a companion pass ticket for $100 with each credit card we own.  We own two so that two of us can travel for $200.  I just felt like I needed to explain because we get a lot of financial support from other people in helping with Parker's medical needs.  I would never want anyone to think that we squander money or are using their money to live it up in Mexico.  Before our resort turned into an all-inclusive, we used to go buy a case of Cup of Noodles and a case of Pacifico beers at the local Sam's Club and that is what we ate and drank on vacation.  However, luckily our resort now has an all-inclusive deal and food and drinks are unlimited!

Ok, on to the fun stuff...

As you might remember from Spring Break Part I,  we left off with our night from hell.  And let me say one more time, that seriously, I think that is the worst night I have ever had since any baby has been born.  There was crying, sweating (couldn't get up to turn the AC on), wrestling around, baby swapping, and all the while still in my airplane clothes from the previous day.  We have never co-slept - and now I see why.  There was nothing peaceful and cozy about it for us OR the kids. 

But then the sun rose and it was morning!  It was a beautiful warm sunny morning and I couldn't wait to get our day started.  And yes, it started with all 3 boys crying at 6:00 AM.  That is ok - anything to get up and get out of that room! 

We got up and went out to the front room of our hotel room (we had a one bedroom, so that was separate from the living space).  We looked at the crazy mess and sighed.   As I mentioned, I like organization (although you wouldn't be able to tell that by looking in my closet).  I especially like organization on trips -  hence the many many lists.  When I arrive somewhere I like to get things in order, unpack the necessary things - put them in the kitchen or bathroom, etc.  But I had had no time for that the previous night.  There were suitcases open, clothes strung across chairs, things had been tossed about trying to find
bottles or formula the night before...I am not stressing...I am not stressing. 

We got showered and cleaned up.  Aaahh, to brush my teeth!   We got the kids cleaned up, bottles made and headed out the door to breakfast.  We have stayed at the place for many years and the breakfast is hands down my favorite time of the day.  They have an open air restaurant right on the beach.  You can sip your coffiee and watch the waves roll in while the sun shines on you.  I love it!  The boys were enamoured with the sunshine!  Coming from Oregon where the sun only shines about 4 months a year, they looked at the sun like it was a long lost friend.  (so did I) 
Ryder and Parker checking out the sunshine and blue sky!

Brady enjoying his breakfast

We enjoyed coffee, mimosas, and the most amazing breakfast ever all while listening to the ocean.  It was heaven!  And every morning after that was the same.  Good food, good coffee and amazing atmosphere.

Everyday we had the same routine (I know, shocker).  After breakfast, we went back to our room, put Ryder down for his morning nap and got Parker and Brady in their swim suits and lathered up with sunscreen.  Jimmy would take them to the pool while I cleaned up our room and read on the patio while little man slept.  This was the one time of day when I could read and I took advantage of it by getting through the second Hunger Games book. 

When Ryder woke up I quickly got him ready and we joined the other boys at the pool.  This was a great time of the day.  All 3 boys (4 including Jimmy) LOVED the water.  They also were all fearless in the water which makes mommy fearful.  So they all had floatation devices of some sort at any given time.  Brady wanted to be "free" so he chose water wings most of the time and he did really well with them.  Ryder and Parker stayed in their floaters most of the time and couldn't be happier. 

Jimmy with all 3 boys. 

We would spend about another hour in the pool before we all had to head in for lunch.  We would order our food and then had to methodically one-by-one get the boys out of the pool and dry them off.  There were always tears from all 3 when we took them out of the water, but especially Brady.   He was heart broken that he had to leave the pool every single time.  We walked back to our room and then our amazing waiter, Gerardo, would bring the food to us on the patio which I think I mentioned was like 10 yards from the pool side..  (he was our server most of the week and he took good care of us!) 

Now I should mention how we came up with a solution for the sleeping arrangement.  I am so sad that I didn't take a picture of it.  It just didn't dawn on me.  We moved furniture around in the bedroom that included moving a huge desk out into the living room along with the big heavy TV (circa 2003).  Then we separated the beds that we had previously pushed together.  And we put the 2 portable cribs on one side of one of the beds to act as a barrier so that Parker couldn't fall out.  Then I padded up the head board and other side (which was against the wall) and then built a pillow barrier at the end of the bed.   Parker had his own deluxe queen size bed - and he loved it!  Ryder and Brady slept in the cribs, which was also quite a sight because  poor Brady couldn't even stretch out.  He had to curl up to fit.  But he is a snuggler, so it was ok.  Then, Jimmy and I slept out on the pull out coach in the living room/kitchen, which was little more than a 3 inch pad on a couch.   But at least the boys could sleep peacefully and so could we...sort of.

Anyway, back to lunch time.  We would have a great lunch and then put the boys down for their nap.  They went down without a peep every day!  (even Parker who usually always puts up a fight)    I would usually hang out on the patio at this time and tell Jimmy to go enjoy some adult time at the pool with our friends and family or go down to the beach.  I am very content sitting in the sun reading, he needs a little more action than that, that is why I would send him off.  But sometimes we would just sit on the patio together.

Nap time always started out good, but it usually wasn't very long.  So often after an hour or so, Parker was already crying to get up.  Well, same routine.  When the boys woke up, we got them back in their swim suits and got another layer of sunscreen on them and headed back out to the pool and floated in the sun, played with mermaids, filled buckets with water, drank margaritas and snacked on sushi. 


And we wouldn't head in to our room again until dinner time.  Then it was almost a repeat of lunch time - dry them off - get them showered - get jammies on - eat dinner - have bottles - read books - and down to sleep!  Whew!  Yes, we normally do all of this stuff at home too, but when you are in a place without the comforts of home and have 2 kids who are not independently mobile, that is hard work!

Then Jimmy and I would look at each other like, now what are we going to do?  Not gonna lie here, we usually went to bed ourselves.  (and we are talking 7:30 PM)  Yep, that's right - we were so exhausted that we were not able to stay up to enjoy the quiet for very long.  One night we did order room service, but basically that meant that Jimmy went to meet them for the food because we didn't want them knocking on our door and waking up the boys.  And one night, I sent Jimmy out for a couple glasses of wine that we enjoyed together as we talked about our day.   But the other nights...asleep by 8:00. 

Ryder didn't even want his feet to touch the sand.
There were some exceptions in our daily routines.  For example, one day we decided that we need to go down to the beach so the boys could see what the sand and ocean were like.  Now, I already knew this had disaster written all over it.  We have one child (Brady) who is fearless and would run straight into the ocean, one child (Parker) who is sensitive about new things and cannot sit up on his own, and one child (Ryder) who is putting everything in his mouth (sand included).   But that is ok, I am going with the flow, right?  Not being a stressor.  Well, Parker was ok with the sand for a few minutes then wanted nothing to do with it.  Ryder immediately had a distaste for it and Brady loved it!  So after a whopping 10 minutes of obligatory pictures and sand play we took 2 of the 3 boys back to the pool and let Jimmy and Brady romp in the waves alone. 
There was also one exception in our night routine.  One night my mom came over to watch the boys while Jimmy and I went out with friends.  That was a great night!  We went to the 5 course restaurant at the resort and enjoyed lots of wine, good food, great service, good music and great friends!  At one point, there was no one else in the restaurant so we asked them if our friend could play on the piano (he is an amazing musician.)  So he played some tunes, we all sang along...and closed the place down! 

We were lucky enough to have my amazing parents, sister-in-law, her mom, and my nephew there also to help with the boys.  So even though our days were busy, at any given time at least 1 of the boys was taken care of by family or friends which made it much more manageable.  We are truly blessed to have such amazing friends and family.  I love them!  There is no way we could have done this trip without them.

There were also lots of little tidbits of fun/funny happenings all week long like...
  • Having the "do not disturb" sign out on our door the ENTIRE time we were there because we didn't want a maid to either wake up a sleeping kid OR mess up our amazing display of beds.
  •  Brady picking up rocks wherever we went.
  • Brady shooting the water sprayer right in the face of little girls (we really need to work on his flirting techniques)
  • Meeting some other amazing mamas of kids with special needs at the pool
  • Seeing a family that I have taught/counseled at work on the one day when I maybe had a few too many margaritas.  Nothing like seeing your school counselor (past health teacher) drunk.  Seriously, we were there for 7 days and I was never even tipsy.  But the one time when my parents have the boys I went a little crazy with margaritas and THAT is when I see some past students! 
  • Getting up earlier (5 AM) and earlier (4 AM) every day to reserve our spots by the pool.
  • Feeding Parker his bottles while he was floating in the pool
  • Ryder having 4 new teeth pop through over night!

Believe it or not, I am going to have to do a Part III for the travel home because it was the most adventurous (and humorous) of all!  I can laugh at it now, but at the time I wanted to cry.  Please check back to hear all about:
  • airports in Mexico
  • barely making it onto the flight
  • sweet new friends
  • 5 hour layovers
  • diaper blow-outs
  • projectile vomiting
  • hitching rides with random people at the airport
  • and getting  home and in bed by 1:45 AM... oh yahhhh baby!



  1. That was great Marcy. We had a trip to Hawaii with the kids that was similar. Of course my favorite time was when Chase was napping and Rob was in the pool with Sadie. That was the one hour a day of relaxation time. My mom came too and we brought my niece who is my daugther's age so she had a playmate with more energy than us. We even hired a sitter one day to help with my mom and Rob and I went zip lining! It was so fun to do something adventerous and just have our time.

    1. It sounds like you had a great time too! I think vacations are a must even if they are tiring. :) We are lucky to have amazing moms to help out! Thanks for stopping by and reading.

  2. Can you two come to the May Gimme a Break meeting about special needs vacations and how to plan? It was so FUN to read your blogs Marcy - I'm going to print it off (if I can) and bring to the May meeting. Keep writing!

    1. Thank you, Susan! I will try to make it to that meeting, but we are by no means experts! (wait until you hear about our trip home) Thank you again for stopping by and reading.

  3. Glad to hear that the rest of the trip went a little more smoothly! It's nice that you and your husband were able to have at least one night out without the kids.

    Having friends and family around was a life saver. When we went to Florida my Husband's Aunt and Uncle ended up being at the resort when we were there - which they weren't supposed to be, but Thank goodness they were because it was nice having other people to talk to and entertain the kids. Not sure I will travel WITHOUT family or friends again until the boys are much older.

  4. I'm so glad you guys took the plunge and went! It sounds like an adventure for sure! And I *hate* that you had to add that disclaimer about money to the beginning of your post, but I totally get why you did and I would be lying if I said I wouldn't wonder about it if you hadn't. It's like unless you're independently wealthy, having a special needs kid means you can never do something like this without making excuses. :P

    1. I knew you would get that. Thank you. Yes, it sucks that we have to explain, but it is important to me for people to know we are not throwing money around.


Thank you for stopping by and reading. I love your comments!