Thursday, September 2, 2010

We Survived, and More

So, it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it might be. I'm really glad I posted here and got some feedback. You were right. Mostly.

While we didn't have enough child-free adults to go around--considering the amount of babies we had (5 under 7 months old, 2 toddlers and 3 seven year olds), everything was OK. MIL wasn't too demanding and everyone understood that all of the babies were on their own schedules. Yes, ours went to bed before everyone else, but when they saw how tired they were in the late afternoon, they realized we weren't crazy--our kids really do need to go to bed early!

As far as the boys and their schedules/sleeping, well, they surprised us all! They must have gone into vacation mode because they slept later/napped later/went to bed later than they have ever done at home.
It worked out really well as everyone would go to the 'big beach house' in the early evening (5:30-6:30ish) for cocktails and hors d'oeuvres. This is a family that takes cocktail hour very seriously. A little too seriously for me, but even I indulged in exactly 3 adult beverages for the week. Normally, we would've missed this social hour of everyone getting together (drinking) because the boys would be doing a bath or already in bed. But, they were going to bed around 7 pm or a bit later almost every night. We would give them baths, plop them in the Ergo's, walk down the beach, hang out a bit and come back home, give them a bottle and off to bed they went.

Chicken and I took turns staying inside during the day while the boys napped so one of us could get some beach time. MIL came over twice during afternoon naps so Chicken and I could do something together. We even had family members over to our condo twice to cook dinner together--and the boys never woke up! It helped that we had a balcony with a table for 6 and it was the farthest point from our bedroom.
Other nights Chicken would go to the big beach house where everyone was having dinner together, fix a plate for me and walk it back to the house so I could have dinner.
One night someone babysat and we went out to dinner by ourselves! Oh Joy!

We even had a couple of nights that qualify as "sleep through the night" with Whoop Whoop sleeping for 11 hours straight and Grunter for 9 hours. It was unbelievable. Everyone kept saying it was the ocean air. I'm ready to live near the beach if that's the case!
It was difficult, but not impossible to tandem feed them. I used the couch cushions and made do, but mostly I just BF them solo and it was nice to spend the 1-1 time with them.
We didn't bring a baby bathtub, so they got baths in the kitchen sink which was really cute. We used their car seats to feed them, which was messy, but totally worked.

As usual, we brought too many clothes for them as they mostly spent their waking hours either at the beach or at the pool. They were either in their swimsuits or their diapers, but rarely in 'real clothes'. They both LOVED the pool, but Grunter was pretty scared of the ocean. He did alright with his feet in the sand, but when the water would come up, he cried. W2 on the other hand, was fearless and we were able to carry him out and play a bit with him. Since neither of them sit up on their own yet, it was hard as they couldn't really 'play' but I know the next beach vacation will be much easier.

Things went well until the last day or so when MIL pulled some BS about the car she loaned us. I don't know why she always is trying to make Chicken's life harder when she goes out of her way to make Chicken's brother's lives easier, but it is always this way. It's very hard for me to watch this over and over and over and not get impossibly angry at this woman. I can't think of a single time we've spent with her, that Chicken doesn't get hurt in one way or another. It's always something.

I was also keenly aware that once again--she took no photos of our family at all. She is always taking photos of her other grandson and sending them to the great grandmother. The great grandmother is asking for photos of our kids's up to us to send them (and we're lazy and haven't in a long time). But it kills me that when she is around the twins, she doesn't take out her camera, snap some photos and send them with the package.

When the boys were first born, she took some photos at the hospital and at our house. Then, she put together one of those multiple photo frame things and send them to the great grandmother. I saw this when we visited her last April. Guess who is missing from every single photo? ME. I do not exist.
Chicken finally confronted her mother about it and her mother came up with the excuse that she "didn't have any good shots of all four of us".
Um, you don't have any good shots lady, because you never take any.
I gave her the damn camera she uses. I carried and birthed and breast feed her grandchildren. I really don't know what else I can do. The only thing we can come up with is that I am alot like her ex-husband (and so is Chicken. Thank God we get along with him). I'm so over her and can now breathe a sigh of relief that this vacation is over and I don't have to see her again for a (hopefully) long time.

Would I do it again? Probably not. Will we be asked and expected to do it again next year? Probably.
The concept of family is something I very much want for my boys. I just wish I enjoyed the 'family' part a bit more.

This blog post was supposed to be a bit more positive, but I got really sad writing it. Life with her mother is such a struggle and it gets me down writing about it, but I needed to get it off my chest.
I'm so glad to be home. Just the four of us, our little family.


Anonymous said...

Good job, Puffer, Chicken, and boys! I can't imagine how that trip could have gone any better! Sorry about the MIL, boy do I hear you, only it's MY mother who's like that. It sucks and is one of the only things we fight about.

How was the drive back? I'd like to see more cute vacation photos if you have them, too. :)

Anonymous said...

Heeey ... it seemed like a positive post to me, it sounded as though you had a great time, and got some good support along the way - it's nice though that you can incorporate such honesty about how that certain aspect of the 'family' thing makes you feel.

cindyhoo2 said...

I am so sorry Chicken's mom was hurtful to you. My mom is also unfair in the same sorts of ways and it always stings us both. No wonder you need to vent a bit.

As for the boys, they sound like the challenging early stages might be passing. Yippee!! They understand that to be the children of the PufferChicken family, they will need to travel with flair. Such good boys! :)

anofferingoflove said...

((())) on the MIL situation. mine is the same way. i've taken to passive aggressive tactics - sending her framed photos in the mail of all 3 of us! no excuses if they come pre-framed, right? (of course, if we show up next visit and they arent displayed...its on!)

Nicole said...

I'm so happy the trip was better than you had feared, although sorry that the MIL situation is so crappy. Sounds like you deal with it with grace, which is commendable. Welcome Home!

Angela Gail said...

Ug. Well, it's really good that you were able find good things in the visit, and the sucky things suck. The no photo thing is so sad and I'm really sorry -- that would break my heart too. You have a beautiful family and everyone should be snapping pictures of you!

Movie Gyrl said...

Welcome back!!! Glad you had a great time for the most part. Sorry about the MIL. I know it's hard having to deal with someone you want to smack. But at the same have to respect because she's Chicken's mother. The whole exclusion in photos is just her way of having some sort of control. Show her no emotion not mad, sad, happy, nothing. Some people thrive off getting you to react. Be blank and even keeled. Trust me it'll eat her up like maggots that she cant penetrate your world :)

tbean said...

I am so happy and relieved that the trip went far better than you feared and that all four of you had moments of enjoying yourselves. (As the pictures attest.) I'm also so sorry about the shit you put up with re: Chicken's mom. That really sucks and I have no advice, just sympathy.