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Baby’s First Oceanfront Penthouse Condo

  • Posted on June 6, 2008 at 2:59 pm

We took the baby on her first beach vacation last week to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. My parents rented a fabulous oceanfront penthouse condo and generously invited their kids, significant others and grandkids to come along on vacation with them.

Some highlights from the trip: Bramanda temporarily renouncing their vegetarian ways in order to eat seafood, so they could fully experience the ocean and all its bounties; countless hours playing Mario Kart on Nintendo Wii, in spite of the fact that we were only several yards from the beach; watching the baby smile and laugh over and over and over when Grandpa said “where’s your mama?” (we call it “Stellavision” because it’s so entertaining to just sit and watch her); climbing Jockey’s Ridge again, but this time taking the shortcut; relaxing on the beach with a good book, the sound of the ocean in the background, and a salty breeze on my face; Eric’s complete lack of knowledge on sunscreen, and the fact that you have to rub it around after spraying, or you end up with blotches of white and red skin; and watching the fishing boats come in at Oregon Inlet.

This time around, I didn’t get attacked by a single dolphin or bird like last time we went to the Outer Banks and I was gruesomely attacked by an angry gang of killer dolphins high on crystal meth, and then a gang of evil rabid birdsĀ  flocked around me and tried to peck my eyes out. To be fair, though, I did not go in the ocean this time. It was too cold, and babies and oceans don’t mix. I also didn’t make eye contact with any birds.

You may think that taking a 6-week old on vacation would be a silly, stupid idea, but it was pretty easy. In fact, maybe it was easier than staying at home. We had a Grandma that wanted to hold Stella, change her diaper, give her baths, and even feed her (which is kind of hard since she is on a breastmilk-only diet–and breast pumps aren’t exactly soft and cuddly like a newborn baby, so bottle feedings are rare. I’d rather just feed her and not pump and then feed.) We also had a Grandpa that just wanted to play with the baby (”what do you mean she’s asleep? Wake her up so I can play with her!”). And with Uncle Eric and Auncle Bramanda, and we had a whole village. Remember? It takes a village.

I have pretty much gotten over any issues I had with breastfeeding in public, because a) I’ve learned to be more discreet, so I don’t have to whip my breasts out and flash the whole world each time the baby is hungry; and b) I’ve decided that I don’t care. If someone is going to stare, I’ll just stare right back. This worked well all week, and I fed her in restaurants, coffee shops and benches. The only time it didn’t work was when she was over hungry, tired and crabby at a restaurant on our last night. I was sitting on a wall, facing the restaurant, she was fussily eating and having a hard time staying focused, and I just felt like I was one of those big stuffed animals at Chuck-E-Cheese, putting on a show for all the families eating dinner there. People were staring, it was just bad. And the food was mediocre, and the floor was sticky, and the baby had a diaper blowout, and the bathroom was too tiny and gross to change her diaper in, all of which only added to my discomfort and irritation.

Ah, I wish I could be on vacation again.

The happy family on vacation

Grandma, Grandpa and Stella

I just think this photo is funny–what the heck is he doing?

Jockey\'s Ridge

At Jockey’s Ridge. These poor suckers didn’t know about the shortcut:

The Shortcut