Posts Tagged ‘ family vacation ’

Thank You For Letting Me Sleep In On Our Vacation!

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

2 years, 11 months.

Dear Jack,

Going into last weekend’s mini-road trip and vacation, I kept my expectations extremely low, as I’ve learned to do based on previous overnight family trips.

I kept in mind, as Clark Griswold puts it, that a family vacation is not a vacation, but instead a quest for fun.

The thing that most worried me was the sleeping situation in the 3 bedroom house we rented to fit my parents, my sister and brother-in-law, and your cousin, as well:

Mommy made a pallet (a Southern term for bed of blankets) for you on the floor next to our bed.

So that I wouldn’t be disappointed, I just went ahead and assumed that you would wake up in the middle of the night, realize Mommy and I were in the same room as you, and cry until we let you sleep in the bed with us…

Which would soon after result in me sleeping on the couch because I wouldn’t get any sleep because you never actually sleep if you’re in bed with us; instead you cry/play.

Not only did you sleep through the night on Day 1, but on the 2nd day you actually slept in! Mommy and I got to sleep for over 9 hours in a California King-sized bed!

That is miraculous!

I actually got an abundance of rest while on an overnight family trip? Thank you, Son.

Not only that, but our family actually got to chill out. At one point, Mommy took the Sienna for a spin to Starbucks, and you and I watched Monsters, Inc., or at least the first 42 minutes of it.

Peaceful. How cool.

So, here’s to hoping our “pallet plan” works for next time, and every future next time.

Noted: You sleep better on the floor when we’re in a strange house.

 

Love,

Daddy

P.S. To see more pictures of our family road trip, go to The Dadabase’s Facebook page and click on the picture folder, Louisville AdVANture Road Trip October 2013.

 

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Vacation Destination: “The Snow” To See Santa Claus

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

2 years, 9 months.

Dear Jack,

I’m going to start paying better attention to the class collaborations hanging up on the walls of your classroom.

Even though I receive your art work and other projects each week from your teacher, I don’t necessarily always see the group work unless I make an effort to look for it.

So here’s your latest contribution:

Your class was asked, “Where do we want to go on vacation?”

Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like your answer was a bit different than your classmates’ responses…

While your friends all replied with classic (and by that, I mean normal) answers, you said you want to go to the snow to see Santa Claus.

It’s impossible for me to not think that’s hilarious.

First of all, we haven’t even talked about Santa Claus since… last Christmas?!

So I’m really curious how the thought of Santa suddenly surfaced in September.

Next, I like how “the snow” is simply the location of Santa Claus.

Then, building on that, is the fact that you’re being very proactive about your mission. You don’t have time to wait for Santa to come visit you and bring you toys! No way. You’re going straight to him.

Lastly, I laugh because once you travel to “the snow” and find Santa, then what? How long until either A) he gives what you really came for, which is gifts or B) you just straight up ask him for the gifts you came for?

Forget about the zoo, the beach, or the measly park. You want to go to extremes for our next vacation.

And I respect your plan. It comes across as very… entrepreneurial. That makes me proud, having recently finished the top-selling book, Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki.

Well, Mommy just informed me today that for our next vacation, in June 2014, we’ll be going to Lake Tahoe.

For what it’s worth, there’s definitely snow there…

 

Love,

Daddy

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The Closest Thing I Get To A Vacation, As A Parent

Monday, September 2nd, 2013

2 years, 9 months.

Dear Jack,

A few weeks ago, Mommy asked me if I had any idea why my weekly paycheck was significantly higher than usual. I wanted to believe that I had been given a raise by my boss, without me being notified first.

Hashtag, “wishful thinking.”

Turns out, my extra vacation days had just automatically cashed out since I didn’t take them since the anniversary of my hire date.

That’s the way it has to be, though. I have to prepare for several extra days throughout the year for you to be sick.

Fortunately, you hardly got sick this year so I didn’t need to cash in my sick days on your behalf.

As for myself, I don’t get sick either but there are definitely days I just wish I could call in sick and truly have the day off.

But then I would feel guilty driving you all the way to school for that; just to have a day with truly no responsibilities. Not to mention, I hate the thought of spending gas money on that, too.

And by now, I have clearly established the fact that a family vacation is not truly a vacation, but a quest for fun.

Still, I am not without hope.

The closest thing I get to a vacation, as a parent, is taking the 2 and a half hour drive to Nonna and Papa’s house, for the weekend.

I still get to spend time with you but with a 3 to 1 adult to kid ratio, since your Auntie Dana, Uncle Andrew, and cousin Calla are there too, along with my parents.

You and I are both more relaxed. I like for you to be able to see me in that sort of mind; not just the one where I have to be in charge all the time.

So it’s kind of like a vacation for both you and me.

From sitting on Papa’s face (featured as top picture) to hearing Nonna read you and your cousin Calla a story (featured directly above), it’s just good, easy times for the whole family.

We don’t need a fancy trip or destination. It’s funny how family is not only home, but also a vacation.

 

Love,

Daddy

 

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To Be More Like Clark Griswold On Our Family Vacations

Thursday, August 8th, 2013

2 years, 8 months.

Dear Jack,

Last week when I wrote “My Kid Doesn’t Easily Sleep In The Same Room As Me,” in reference to our recent family vacation, I ended by saying, “I just had to ask myself, ‘What would Clark Griswold do?’”

I think that’s a point worth elaborating on.

There is a lot of behavior of the fictional character, first introduced in the 1983 movie National Lampoon’s Vacation, that I do not wish to replicate.

However, he does possess a quality I very much admire. It’s the fact that, with pride as a husband and father, he ultimately remains optimistic and adventurous on family vacations.

Yeah, that’s not necessarily me right now… but I’m working on it.

I’ve said it before, it’s hard for me to not be in control. It’s how I’m wired.

But on a family vacation, so little is in my control, especially when it comes to your sleeping arrangements. And if you don’t sleep well, I don’t sleep well. Then we’re both really grouchy the next day!

This may sound “out there,” but I have recently started practicing the art of meditation. It’s actually been very helpful to me.

I’ve learned to focus on what I can control versus what I can’t.

Turns out, my attitude and my perception of reality are what I can control the most.

And now, I’m applying my meditation principles in everyday life; not just on family vacations.

I find a quiet moment and place at some point each day and “focus on nothing,” clearing my head of un-dealt with concerns.

Then I pray for wisdom, humility, and grace.

In the process, I realize so much of what I let bother me is actually rooted in fear. It’s ultimately fear that I won’t get to relax and have a peace of mind. It’s fear that I won’t get my way or be happy… or get a break.

But if I accept that a family vacation is not a true vacation, but instead, a concentrated effort to spend time with family without the distraction of work and school, then it’s easier for me to have the right mindset.

It’s not about me. It’s not about me. It’s not about me.

Honestly, this mantra has efficiently helped my attitude as a parent.

I also try to remember this quote attributed to Jim Henson:

“The attitude you have as a parent is what your kids will learn from more than what you tell them. They don’t remember what you try to teach them. They remember what you are.”

This reminds me of an article I read recently about Shawn Achor, known as “Dolphin Dad,” who promotes the idea that kids learn to focus and react the way their parents teach them; including the frequency of laughter and smiling that takes place in a household, as modeled by the parents.

He believes the attributes of successful parenting are demonstrated in dolphins; because they are playful, social, and intelligent. In essence, happier parents make happier kids.

For me, at least, I can’t be happy, especially on a family vacation, if I’m focused on what will make me happy.

I have to think the opposite: What will make everyone else happy? What will it take to lose my ego and therefore lose what limits me? How can I sacrifice to make this trip memorable for everyone, instead of one we will all later wish we could forget?

Plus, I have to remind myself of the words of Clark Griswold: “This is no longer a vacation. It’s a quest. It’s a quest for fun. You’re gonna have fun, and I’m gonna have fun.”

We’ll be taking a mini family vacation in October. I think I’m actually ready for the challenge now…

 

Love,

Daddy

 

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My Kid Doesn’t Easily Sleep In The Same Room As Me

Friday, August 2nd, 2013

2 years, 8 months.

Dear Jack,

As part of our 5th wedding anniversary, Mommy and I celebrated by flying over Sacramento for our very first hot air balloon ride. Just so you know, these pictures you see of your parents were not easily obtained…

The first morning we were scheduled to launch, it was too windy to fly. Then for our second attempt a few days later, not enough riders showed up to keep the balloon’s weight heavy enough for the flight.

Fortunately, the third time was a charm.

However, that meant that for three mornings of our ten day vacation, Mommy and I had to sneak out of the bedroom we were sharing with you, while staying at Grandma’s house.

It was a concentrated effort to keep you from waking up in the process.

We both had to set our alarms for 4:00 AM to make it in time for the launch, but had to remember to set our phones on vibrate; placing them close enough to hear them, but not too close to you.

Then, we had to crawl on the floor, using our cell phones as flashlights, hoping not to bump the bed as we groped and hoped for the door knob, holding our breaths it wouldn’t squeak as we escaped.

That’s not even mentioning the fact we had to sneak in the bedroom the same way every single night, crawling on the floor with cell phones, just to go to bed.

This wouldn’t have been so challenging, perhaps, if you weren’t the kind of kid who doesn’t sleep well in the same room as your parents.

You’re the opposite of me, in those regards.

When I was a kid, I always looked for an excuse to sleep in the same room as my parents; being so desperate I didn’t mind sleeping on the floor.

As for you, it’s nearly impossible for you to fall asleep if you know Mommy and Daddy are in the same room.

You’ve been conditioned to fall asleep only if you’re in a room by yourself.

I suppose that’s a side effect of the “cry it out” method; not that I regret that decision the least bit.

It was best for you. We offered to let you sleep with us when you were an infant and you seemed annoyed by it.

You’re a solitary sleeper.

But hey, when we’re on a family vacation staying for free with family, we find a way to make it work.

I just had to ask myself, “What would Clark Griswold do?”

Mixed with a little bit of Ethan Hunt from the Mission Impossible movies.

 

Love,

Daddy

 

P.S. To see the rest of the pictures from our hot air balloon ride, go to the Dadabase Facebook page and click on the photo album, Hot Air Balloon Ride: 5th Wedding Anniversary.

 

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