We just got back from a week long vacation to Cozumel, Mexico for a very dear friend of the family’s wedding. It was an amazing trip filled with lots of work but it was still a wonderful break and I really did get a chance to relax even with 3 year old twins in a hotel! Key point number one to the success of our trip was the fact that my parents joined us! It was amazing to be able to have four sets of hands to help rally the littles, instead of the usual 1 or 2.
We brought our huge arse car seats with us because I remembered what it was like trying to keep 18 month olds in their seats on a plane. Yes, everyone looked at us like we were crazy. Yes, we got asked about 5 times if we were checking the car seats. They turned out to be quite a blessing. The stewardesses made several comments at the end of the trip about how they didn’t even realize there were little twins on the plane. Take this with a grain of salt. If your kids don’t do well in a car seat while in the car, having them on the plane may be more of a hinderance. We flew Virgin Airlines and these planes have a video screen in the headrest of every seat so the kids were in heaven. They watched Dora, ate snacks, played with the entertainment I had packed for them in their little Elmo backpacks, and even slept most of the flight home.
I kind of miss those vacation kids. They were so entertaining, flirty, and well behaved (most of the time). They had tons of fun playing with the hotel’s buckets and shovels on the beach and in the pool. They ate pretty well and even napped most days. Yes, my husband or I had to lay down with them long enough for them to fall asleep but what do you expect from kids that are used to their own rooms? Since we’ve been home they are back to their usual antics and are much less cooperative during dinner time at home. Why is it that they seem to do so much better when other people are watching? Then everyone thinks that I have two angels for kids and they never know what hellions they can be! Oh well, at least they are well behaved sometimes!
I made a couple purchases before our trip and am super grateful for them! With all the sunscreen controversy (Is it safe? Is it not? What brand is best?) We went with Badger sunscreen. It even smells healthy. Here is a list of the ingredients in their baby sunscreen:
“Active Ingredient: Non-nano, uncoated Zinc Oxide 18.75%
Other Ingredients: *Olea Europaea (Organic Extra Virgin Olive) Oil, *Cera Alba (Organic Beeswax), *Butyrospermum Parkii (Organic Shea) Butter, *Theobroma Cacao (Organic Cocoa) Butter, *Simmondsia Chinensis (Organic Jojoba) Oil, Tocopherol (Sunflower Vitamin E), Essential Oil of *Anthemis Nobilis (Organic Roman Chamomile), CO2 extracts of *Calendula Officinalis (Organic Calendula), and *Hippophae Rhamnoides (Organic Seabuckthorn).”
I was very happy with this sunscreen. I did however, neglect to read that you should reapply after 2 hours or 40 minutes in the water and wound up with a burned back after half a day on a snorkeling tour. I used their unscented sunscreen and although both sunscreens are a pain to apply due to how thick they are, I felt safe knowing I was limiting my children and my own exposure to toxins and cancer causing agents found in many other sunscreens. I did look a bit pasty after application, but I figure pasty trumps ruby red. The kids didn’t even use one tube each for the week we were away. I used almost one entire tube on myself for the week.
My other pre-vacation purchase were SPF long sleeve swim rompers for the kids. (I got a shirt for myself also, hubs said “no thanks”). These were lifesavers! I may just mean that literally. The sun is fregin HOT in Cozumel, being closer to the equator and all, and although I thought we were going to hear protests about this swimwear, we didn’t! The kids were happy to wear whatever I asked, knowing that they got to play in the water! I got the rompers at Costco and only wound up applying sunscreen to the twins’ faces, neck, and lower legs and feet on most days. The only day DD’s shoulder got the least bit pink, was a day I tried to let her wear just her swimsuit. Tip for the rompers, They can ride up a bit. I had DD wear bikini bottoms under her romper and DS wear a swim diaper under his. I wasn’t worried about DS peeing in the ocean but you can bet he made quite the mess of poo pie in his swim trunks before I put the swim diaper on him. That’s not to suggest that the swim diaper poo pie wasn’t just as disgusting. It was.
What to do with poopy swim wear while your in a hotel? I’m sure some of you (my hubs included) would consider throwing them out – or not consider but just do it. I couldn’t bear the thought. That doesn’t mean I didn’t gag during clean up, cuz I did – while cursing. We tried encouraging the kids to poo before we got them all dressed for swim time. That may have worked once. This part of potty training sucks and I’m sure it will last forever. Okay, it will only seem like forever, but still. I’m SO OVER POO. At this point a colostomy bag sound much easier. But I would have to be a real jerk to suggest that because surely there are at least 2 readers out there that have kiddos with real colostomy bags who are now emailing all their friends and family to let them know that they should never read MommaWords because of that insensitive chick that writes it. Aye.
Anyway, the SPF rompers were awesome, when they weren’t filled with poo, because nothing is awesome when it is filled with poo, except maybe a baby. So what did I do with all this poopy swimwear? I rinsed it in the toilet as best I could and then I washed it in the sink with laundry detergent I brought on the trip. The twins are still in diapers for nap and night time so I had to bring diapers. I don’t have a weeks worth of nap and night time diapers for both of them so I knew there would be hand washing on this trip. After having participated in the Flats Hand Washing Challenge, I knew it would be doable. I washed the swimwear in the sink, rinsed it, and then let it soak in detergent for half a day. I rewashed it and laid it out to dry. Good as new!
For diapers on the trip I brought 10 flats (I only wound up using 8 of them), fleece liners, 8 washcloth doublers, 4 covers and 2 wool covers. This was all stuffed into a large wetbag. (I used this wet bag to carry all of our wet swimwear that didn’t have time to dry on our trip home.) I used two birdseye flats with a washcloth doubler and a layer of fleece as nap and night time diapers. I was very surprised that the diapers dried in about 12 hours considering how humid it was in Cozumel. I only washed a couple covers once and made sure to roll them up in a towel to “pre-dry” them.
To wash the diapers in the sink (I washed about 4 at a time twice a day) I rinsed very well in warm water. Then I filled the sink with hot water and added about 1/3 tsp of Charlie’s soap to the water and diapers. I rubbed them on themselves a bit and then let them soak for a couple hours. After they had soaked while we were out having fun, I agitated some more and then rinsed a couple of times. I let them dry over the backs of plastic chairs on our balcony, over doors and over one of the closet bars. You might think I’m crazy for doing laundry on my vacation but it is amazing how much time you have when you don’t have the mess and chores of your home distracting you! I did laundry, but I still had enough down time to read three books while the kids slept for nap and after they went to bed!
P.S. In case any of the wonderful family friends that were with us on the trip are reading this, you all were SO very sweet! The kids loved your attention as much as you loved them. DS keeps asking where “everyone” is! (We ate most of our meals as a large group so the kids are tripping to be home with only mom and dad.)
If you have any concerns about diapering while traveling let me know in a comment below and we can troubleshoot. I’ll write an entire other post on our fiasco on the flight home. It involves a three year old and an upset tummy. Oh, yeah. More poo talk. I know you can’t wait.