Thursday, May 26, 2016

Jetlag and the Crazy Beach Trip

My parents live 3 hours (or we thought - more like 4-5 hours with kids!) from Pensacola Beach. And Ryan loves the sight of the ocean, especially at sunrise. So, we thought, we'll already be messed up by jet lag. Why not take a day and see a sunrise at the beach?

May be the worst decision I ever made. At least in terms of how messed up the girls were in the car rides... But it may be the best decision we made in that it seems to have cured jet lag completely!

I had hope that we were already over the worst. Hadassah slept 7 hours straight on our first night here, after all. We dutifully woke them from naps, and even had energy to stay up after the girls that Friday night to be with family who would leave soon. And they did sleep for the first half of the night. But then Hadassah was up just before Midnight. I gave her crackers and milk, and put her back to bed, thinking maybe she could sleep. Didn't work, so Ryan took her for a midnight walk just as Ellie woke up. I nursed her and put her back to bed, which actually worked. But Hadassah did NOT go back to sleep. She was happy... but it was pretty miserable to lay in bed trying to sleep while hearing a toddler singing and talking on the monitor. Especially when we were hoping to leave for the beach around 3-4 AM (we kept debating when as we were running on just over two hours of night time sleep at this point).

When Ellie woke up again just after 2 AM and didn't settle down to sleep, we decided to just be crazy. The girls weren't sleeping anyway. Maybe we would make the sunrise. And everyone knows that the car lulls kids to sleep, right? We were really trying and hoping to help them sleep more that night, not less!

 Wrong. I think Ellie only slept for one 45 minute stretch after must protestation, and Hadassah NEVER fell asleep. What we didn't take into consideration is that they are not used to car seats. Hadassah was happy in hers, but Ellie kept looking at me with pleading eyes to take her out of hers... "I don't understand, Mommy - you always hold me after I've been in something for a while and I'm all done" I could read in her face. So she alternated between playing with toys and wailing, which didn't help Hadassah's up-since-Midnight mood. Didn't help that their car seats were next to each other either.

So. It was exhausting to not get any sleep ourselves either. Add to it stops with children and miscalculated time on directions, and we didn't make the sunrise. But we did get to the beach by 7 AM. And it was still beautiful...

 Hadassah was so excited! We'd told stories about her animal friends at the ocean and shown her pictures, but she was beyond thrilled to see that much sand and water to play in!

 Her first introduction to the ocean

 She was a fan!

 And though there weren't any sunrise colors, the beach was still beautiful in the morning light

 Hadassah loved jumping whenever the ocean came on her toes!

 Ellie went to sleep in the Ergo so Ryan was nice enough to wear her. That car ride sure wore her out! But seriously, that blue sky!! This was what our eyes had craved.

 It was even more fun having a young one to experience it all too. Though we could tell she was running on little sleep. She threw a cup she was playing with into the ocean, and was absolutely completely devastated when it was swept away. "Mommy, make it give it back!!" she kept crying as I explained the ocean was much more powerful than I. The littlest disappointment is hard for a toddler to handle when she only had 4 hours of sleep that night! Thankfully looking for shells finally curbed her cries.

 My sister was awesome enough to be woken up at a crazy insane hours to do the trip with us. Having an extra set of hands and conversations in the car was so nice. And she found this really cool coral that had living creatures in all of the holes! After watching it for a while, we put it back so they wouldn't die...

 Trying the ocean again...
 ...and running away! :) After the cup incident I think Hadassah realized its power and didn't want to be in it for too long, and only would for a while if her hand was held. That was fine with me. I'd rather she have a healthy fear of it!

 Then this cute beach baby woke up...

 Seriously, her outfit is the absolute cutest thing.

 Sisters in the sand - they both loved playing in it!

 Introducing Ellie to the water

 She really seemed to enjoy it! She'd stand for quite a while as the tide ebbed and flowed over her toes, and every time I was holding her and walked toward the water, she'd kick her feet until I put her down in it. :)

 Sandy feet

 Baby chub

 And sandy face! Yes, she ate her fair share before I could prevent her!

 Family at the ocean! It seems like not that long ago that I was walking along the beach with a man I knew I loved but hadn't even held his hand yet... And here we are with our arms full. Together. :)

So the two hours at the beach was definitely awesome. The girls had fun. We had fun. And even cleaning up all that sand was okay since we had good memories - and even survived without a sunburn on any of us!

But the ride home... Oy. Now we had a toddler who hadn't slept in 10 hours and yet still refused to sleep. And a baby that hated being stuck in a car seat and mostly cried. We pushed through for a while, wanting to just get home, but then stopped when it seemed maybe Ellie was hungry again. We moved the car seats so they weren't next to her (Mama in the middle instead!) and finally, as I gave up trying to have Hadassah sleep and just tried distraction techniques instead, her eyes suddenly closed as she was doing stickers. We were an hour from home. Ellie fell asleep 30 minutes later, and thankfully they both made the transition into beds.

So when my family asked if it was worth it, we said NO!

But then... both girls slept 11 hours straight that night. And it's continued (except for one toddler wake up one night wanting milk and crackers - but she went right back to sleep!). This was only the third night in America, so it's the quickest we've EVER gotten over jet lag. Either it was all of that melatonin from the bright beach sun or the fact that we managed to exhaust them so much they just slept when they had a bed available! Or we joke that after we dragged them out and about at all hours, if they did wake at night they decided it was not worth the risk to make a noise and just went back to sleep! ;)

So, it still remains to be seen. We wouldn't do it again (probably!). But our eyes were happy with the site of sand and sea to least another few years. And the benefits of sleep since then has made the craziness of no sleep that day pretty worth it!

 And though those eyes of hers looked SO tired when we woke her from her nap after a few hours, she was in good spirits at our family hot dog roast that evening. She kept talking about the ocean and the sand. Though when anyone asked her about it, first she would say "Let's not think about the yellow cup (that she lost in the water) - let's think about something happy!"

 Ellie was a pretty happy girl too! Children are resilient. And being with family is such a blessing.

So, if you want to get over jet lag, spend a morning at the beach on the 3rd day home? Maybe. But it seems to have worked for us! :)

No comments:

Post a Comment