March 9, 2014

Mama's First Vacation

This mama took her very first vacation. Not for just a couple of hours. Seven full days.

Two years before we leave

That’s right, the idea for this trip was conceived before Jocelyn was.

My mom decided it would be a good idea for us kids to bond without the kids around. Apparently we are all much more relaxed when we don’t have to worry about undisturbed naptimes and our children learning to share.

So, just the adults. The Royal Resort. Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

Two weeks before we leave

I desire a break. I won’t say "need," as "need" is a word reserved for food, water, clothing, shelter, and Holy Scriptures. But I will say "desire" as it is a word reserved for moms who spend all day and every day with the same sticky, sweaty, milky creatures whose endless cry makes them want to stick their head out the window and beat the wall with a frying pan.

I am going crazy. I think I need to get tested. For sheer craziness.

If I go to the cupboard and shove a huge handful of chocolate chips in my mouth more than every 4-6 hours, do I need some sort of mommy rehab?

Sleep. An undisturbed night’s rest. Unicorns. Mermaids.

One week before we leave

Writing teacher substitute plans is the worst. And now I have to write mommy sub plans for taking care of my own child. It’s not about page numbers, it’s about procedures. How do I explain the exact way I wrap her up in her blankets at bed time? The motions I do when I read her favorite book? The way I rock her to sleep? The way I tickle her tummy as I change her diaper?

What if I write too many details about her routine and come off as a total control freak? (Which I am.) What if I write too little and they wonder what the heck to do with her?

Three days before we leave


Did I forget to mention that at this point Jocelyn still does not know how to take a bottle? That she refuses to take a bottle from anyone? And that in two days I am leaving her for a week?! And that I actually had to have the conversation of “what to do if she gets too dehydrated while we are gone?!” Spoon feed her milk to her? Inject her? Set up an IV of mommy's pumped milk bags?


Two days before we leave

8:30 a.m. Breastfeeding stand-off. I will starve my child until she learns to take a bottle.

7:00 p.m. Jocelyn – 1, Mommy – 0.

One day before we leave

More panic.

What if Jocelyn dies of thirst? What if our plane goes down? We don’t even have a will written. Do I quickly write one down on a scrap piece of paper and sign it? Who would take care of Jocelyn? Who would get my first generation iPod touch?!

I don’t even want to go anymore. I am so tired from preparing and packing. Jocelyn is getting a cough. She won’t take a bottle. a;sldfj;alsdjf;lajsd;lkfjasldf!!!

The morning before we leave

2:00 a.m. Why isn’t Jocelyn waking up to eat? I had better check to see if she is still breathing.

Nerves. I know vacation will be great. I have waited so long for a break from the motherhood grind, but what if I spend the entire vacation missing Jocelyn and can’t even have a good time? (Or worse, what if I go and have so much fun that I don’t want to come back?) 

This would be a great time for the future to come and tell me that everything went perfectly and that I shouldn't worry so much. 

The afternoon before we leave

Why is she napping so long? Doesn't she know she is not going to see me for seven whole days? It’s like she isn't even going to miss me.

I love her. I am going to miss her so much! She is so cute. I don’t even want to go anymore. She needs me. I can’t handle this!

The moment we leave

One last big hug. Tears.

I look at Collin and sigh. "I am turning into my mother."

Our first day on leave

Oh. My. Goodness. Gracious. I think I may have just died and gone to heaven.

(And I apologize. I'm about to be one of those terribly annoying #vacation #beachandpalmtrees people that we all love to hate during winter. #sorrynotsorry.)

And Oh. My. Goodness. Gracious. We are such resort rookies.

Want to look like a resort rookie too? Bring your own towels. Set them up on your lounge chair. And then enjoy the judgmental smirks from the rest of the seasoned resort crowd around the pool using their matching resort towels.

Still undecided whether coming back to towel art on the bed is really cool or totally creepy.

I want to relax. But how is Jocelyn doing? Is she taking a bottle yet? Is she sleeping?!

Two days after we leave

A message from Kandy: Jocelyn is taking a bottle and slept from 8 p.m. until 6 a.m!

Boom. It's go time.

The rest of our week on leave

Sun, water, warmth, sand, beach volleyball, amazing food, unlimited frozen deliciousness brought to me in my lounge chair, a book I can pretend to read. 

Housekeeping in the morning, turning down the sheets at night. A Jacuzzi. Room service. Eight undisturbed hours of sleep.

Sibling bonding. Quality time with parents. Enough laughter to create a sufficient ab workout to justify my two pieces of cake and ice cream at dinner.

I could get used to this. I think I already am used to this.

The day we came back

A tiny bit more panic. I don’t want to leave. What if I don’t remember how to be a mom? What if she doesn't recognize me? What if she is mad at me for leaving her for an entire week?

Butterflies. Excitement. I can’t wait to see my beautiful baby girl. 

Nope. She didn't forget her mommy.

One day after we came back

IAS Staff Retreat. Family bonding. Jocelyn screaming every time I walk out of her sight. It's great to be back.

The Broekhuis Family.

Hanging out at the kiddy pool.

What's better than eating avocado poolside?

We did debate for awhile, but then decided that she was in fact breathing while napping on daddy's shoulder.

Thanks a million to Kandy and Crhistian for watching Jocelyn while we were gone. You two are the best!

And thank you, mom and dad. For everything. 

Life is good. And we are refreshed.

Grace and Peace,