Monday, February 18, 2013

First vacation - a photo pictorial

We went on our first vacation with Magpie this past week. We have wanted to take advantage of my maternity leave and take a big trip. And so we decided to go to Costa Rica. We always said we wouldn't stop doing the things we love if we were lucky enough to have children. That we would make sure to still get out and do the things we enjoy. We thought (naively), how hard could it be to travel with one baby?


Actually, it hasn't been all that hard. Mostly it's just been different. We can't do many of the things we would have done before having her. And she dictates our schedule entirely with her naps and bedtime routine. This is all as it should be, as she is just a wee little one.

The travel itself took a lot of logistical planning, especially because I had to bring donor milk with us, using dry ice to keep it frozen solid throughout the journey (five hour plane ride followed by a three hour drive to our destination). So that was a bit stressful. But we were successful - we got it here solid as a rock!

The exclusive pumping that is currently my reality also required a certain amount of planning ...picture me pumping in the airport bathroom (thank goodness for family restrooms!), on the airplane, and in the rental car. If you can imagine it, I have pumped there. A little bit crazy, but it is what it is.

Despite us being on vacation, we remain as sleep deprived as ever. Magpie seems to be going through a phase where she wakes up every two hours or so...but luckily since we're on vacation we can nap and give each other breaks throughout the day and night.

I think Magpie has loved the bright sun (although we keep her from direct exposure to it) and warm weather. She is old enough to be looking around a lot now and I think has found the whole trip very stimulating from that perspective (of course she would find any trip out of our apartment equally stimulating...but it is nice to see her so interested in everything around her).

It's beautiful here, even if we aren't getting out as much as we would sans baby.

The view from our condo balcony

I think the key to this trip has been to have realistic expectations. There have been (of course) no canopy tours, no ziplining this trip. We took one shortish morning walk in the rainforest, but it was still hot hot hot! And I worried about Ms. Magpie, so we didn't repeat it.

Hot baby!

Magpie drinking her breakfast as we enter the national park at 7am.

So what have we done this vacation?

In addition to cooking, we have gone to restaurants within walking distance...

Magpie hanging out at the table

And we have spent a lot of time at the condo relaxing. Because we knew that would be the case, we picked a condo that had monkeys right off of the balcony so we could enjoy watching them while Magpie was safe and comfortable.

Squirrel monkey on the balcony

Capuchin monkey in tree at our condo

We also found a local beach that has a lot of shade and have taken Magpie there a few times in her sunsuit and hat...

And we've gone to the pool when it's shady...sometimes accompanied by a monkey or two...

We leave today, heading back to the capitol of San Jose and then flying back to NYC. May the travel gods be with us!


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  1. I can totally picture pumping in the airport restroom. I had to do that and unfortunately didn't have a family restroom. I had a battery backup for my pump luckily. I've also pumped in a bus traveling to Atlantic City from Baltimore and in our car on long rides or when I didn't feel comfortable pumping elsewhere there have been many a time I sat in my car and pumped. The joys of a baby not nursing (or being away for a day trip). Glad you're having fun. I do think having realistic expectations is the only way a trip with an infant can be relatively stress-free. We took a trip to Disney at 6 weeks post-partum. Our oldest was 5 and we really wanted to take him as we'd already seen that our second was a much different child (not at all laid back with food allergies despite nursing, and reflux which was a joy, and just altogether more high maintenance) and we just planned on having to be flexible. My mother thought we'd be miserable with a nursing, barfing newborn and while we had to do laundry twice in our 6 day trip we really did have a good time.

  2. I dragged my pump all the way to Taiwan on a work trip once. I have to hand it to you actually pumping on the plane. I skipped out on the pump and just prayed I didn't get mastitis. Good for you guys still getting out there in the world I am braver now but in the beginning I freaked out over just going to NJ :)

  3. Good luck with travel!! As a former EPer I've pumped all over and know it isn't fun. I pumper on the plane next to a business man who I'm sure was far more uncomfortable than I. I knew my baby had to eat so I did what I had to do. We love vacations with the littles. You do adjust your expectations and people think you're a little crazy but we have never regretted a single one!! Magpie looks beautiful and like she's having a great time!!

  4. Dear Mo, I love how you are leading the way for us! I am devouring your blog these days to help us keep realistic expectations and to be ready (at least a little) for what's in store. We too already have some beach trips planned - nothing as adventurous as Costa Rica in the first year, but we'll get there. With baby. And probably pump. Go you!

  5. I'm so impressed that you took the plunge to Costa Rica with Magpie that young! While I consider us reasonably bold about holidaying with the children, we didn't try a plane flight until around the six month mark!

    One tip for beach-going is to invest in one of those pop up child-sized tents that folds down to a disc a little bigger than a frisbee (and invest in some tent pegs too). We live close to the beach, and our pop up tent got a lot of use as a place to let baby nap or even for me to nurse in (I used to put the flaps down, with my legs sticking out from underneath).

    Anyway, good for you for taking the plunge, and I can assure you that each vacation from here on will get easier (you probably figured) and more fun, as Magpie gets increasingly involved.

  6. Love the photos-- looks like everyone is having fun, even if not quite enough sleep. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Good for you! Pumping kept me from traveling as much as I would have liked to on my leave- you are my hero! We got married right outside the entrance to Manuel Antonio- seeing you and Magpie there was a special treat.

  8. What a wonderful trip! You're so brave to go international with her. I struggled at 6 months to achieve a 3 hour flight. Hope you had a wonderful time and a safe trip home!

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  10. I love, love, love, the table picture. She is so adorable.

  11. Such lovely pics. Glad you had a fun trip, Mo.

  12. Very glad to read that you and the wee one are doing so well.

  13. Love that you took a trip so early! Good for you! Love seeing pictures of you guys and those monkeys are amazing!!!

  14. You are a brave new mama! We went to CR on our honeymoon - Manuel Antonio- so beautiful - would love to go back with Winn someday. La Pura Vida Magpie!

  15. You are BRAVE, mama, but I am so glad you are. Yes, vacations with an infant are not nearly the same. However, our son is almost 6 and they get better and better and more like you remember only different.

    Now that we have a newborn at home and know the logistics of traveling with one (:)), I'm not sure when our first family of four vacation will be.

    It is so lovely to see you, as a mother, with your precious baby girl. She is cute as a button!

    So, so happy for you.

    (Oh, and how cute are those monkeys? Wondering if they are pesky..)

  16. Haha, I think my DS nursed in every reststop up and down whatever instate traverses WV en route to OH to visit grandparents (sadly the only time they got to see him, but a joyful visit), and I pumped in the car (not while driving!) when we weren't pulling over to feed him.

    Glad you got to get in such a wonderful trip. Magpie is beautiful, thank you for sharing her photos with us.

  17. As someone who's also pumped in an airport bathroom, I second the praise for family bathrooms -- but I would have appreciated a chair. I couldn't even sit on the toilet because the cord wouldn't reach the outlet, so I stood the whole time rather than sit on the floor. Sometimes now when Burrito and Tamale go into a family bathroom they ask why there is a chair. I can always think of lots of possible reasons... :)

    Glad you had such a great trip!

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  20. So awesome that Magpie has already visited what is my favorite place in the world!!

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  22. Weird typo.

    You are a champ! Looks gorgeous! And Miss Magpie ... LOVE HER! What a wonderful thing to do during your maternity leave. And a break from this long NYC Winter. I can't wait to travel with Sunshine. Finances and the logistics of doing it on my own have held me back. But someday ... I think she'll be a great travelling partner. xo

    (P.S. Valentine should be waiting for you at home. :-)

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  24. Magpie is so sweet!!!!!! And looking so grown up already!!! Good for you for getting away. Vacations will evolve as she grows! Hope your trip home was smooth:)

  25. Hey Mo!! I've been thinking about you and I'm interested to hear how the one boob feeding is going?

  26. Wow, what a great vacation! I love the pictures - of both Magpie and secondarily the monkeys. :-) Sorry for sleep deprivation/short sleep periods but glad you and Will are finding it doable to switch back and forth and take some naps. Hope your nursing adjustment is going okay.

  27. So glad you get a nice little get away with your sweet hubby and baby. :))))

  28. I've been away a LONG time, so just checking in, I LOVED this post!!! Beautiful baby girl! Congratulations!!!!

  29. I really enjoyed looking at your holiday all look so relaxed and happy...and baby is just beautiful!

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