What I Learned From A Two Day Vacation

By Monday, July 30, 2012 2 Permalink

We are heading out on vacation in three days and I just found this post that I wrote after one of our last trips, nearly a year ago.  Why didn’t I post it then??

Vacation.  Doesn’t the sound of that word just make you relax?  Vacation.  I close my eyes for a second, and I’m by the beach, the sun beating down on my skin.  Peace flowing through my whole body.  And then…  CRASH! A two year old with a monster truck roars like an engine and I trip over a pile of legos that I thought I picked up five minutes ago.  The moment is over.

Vacation is a rare thing around here.  So when we had the chance to take a few days off and go to Catalina Island with family, we were excited.  And we crammed a whole lot of fun into those few days.  We walked everywhere, we took the time to explore, we ate healthy food and snacked on veggies and nuts most of the day, we played at the beach and drove a golf cart up to the mountains.  At the end of the second night I sat down on the couch and thought to myself – how can I take this feeling home with me

Here’s what I came up with (yes, I actually wrote this on my phone while I was there!):

Stop checking in online ALL the time.  Email, facebook, twitter, and blogs can wait.  Put the phone down, and just check it once a day.  Or maybe twice.

I like not having toys everywhere.  We don’t need so many. There are other things in life.  Time to put a LOT more away.

I feel great snacking on veggies, salads, fruits, nuts, and lean meats all the time.  I don’t need so many heavy foods.  I’d like to go raw a higher percentage of the time, high protein at breakfast, and a family meal at dinner.

I like getting out and exploring on walks and drives.  We need to go to more parks, take more walks, more farmers markets and street fairs, museums, hikes, creeks, lakes and the beach. Take daily walks around our neighborhood.

The boys clearly sleep better when they have gotten enough exercise and activity.  And they can actually sleep in the same room without any problem.   At home, they need more exercise and running around time. Do more physical activity every day. Get outside more.

I like having my camera with me all the time. Bring it wherever we go! Keep the 50mm on, capped, in purse or diaper bag.

We don’t need Dora 24/7 in order to have fun. Let’s turn off the tv for awhile.

I also asked myself what things were the most challenging, and what I need to work on to make life in general a bit easier.

Lucas is way too frustrated all the time.  He needs to be able to make more choices for himself.  Regarding food, sleep, quiet time, play time, etc. It’s not worth the power struggle every five minutes.  Work on self serve snacks, let him choose more often, what he does for quiet time, play activities, etc. Give him 2-3 options and use timer when needed.

The boys mealtime behavior is unacceptable and we need to work on regular and routine family meals.  Standing and jumping in chairs at restaurants or at home is not necessary.  They need to learn to sit and finish their food, and that they can’t ask to eat again 20 minutes after dinner is over (if they didn’t eat their dinner).


If it were easy to take vacation home with you, the world would be a lot less stressed.  It is hard to maintain that relaxed attitude and more simplified life.  I’m going to try and incorporate some of these changes into our life at home and see what comes out of it.  Any other ideas out there??  I’d love to hear them!

  • Elle
    July 31, 2012

    I think many of the things I like about vacation are the things it’s difficult to replicate at home: another person (or people) to help out with the kiddo and fewer chores/laundry/cleaning up to do. But getting to the root of it is probably more downtime for me, and that is something I could probably replicate at home if I tried harder. Not stressing about the laundry even if it needs to be done. Getting up a few minutes earlier if it means I get to enjoy a cup of tea in piece before anyone else is awake.

    I’m with you all the way on your list. I spend far too much time staring at screens. It exhausts me and it makes me less emotionally and physically available when I’m needed. I wish I could figure out how to reduce our toy inventory; every item I try to put away I can justify keeping out.

    Have you noticed yourself subconsciously or consciously making changes in any of those areas in the past year?

    • Suzanne
      August 18, 2012

      Elle – yes, I have actually done some of those things. I put so much stuff away. We created a space in the garage up in the rafters and I put probably 50% of the kids toys up there. For awhile they would trade things back and forth and now they have forgotten about a lot of it. Or grown out of it. I find they play way better when they have less options. I guess really, we still have all the options, they are just not all available to them all the time and they have to ask me first. And I make them put something away before getting a new toy out.

      I also stopped some of my online activities. I used to do a blog just about the kids, and I haven’t done it at all this year. I barely get to this blog too, even though I want to more. Clearly I need to get to it more since it took me over two weeks to see your comment. :-) I try to limit my iphone time too, but it is harder than I thought.

      As for the other goals, they are still goals… I need to try harder at making them happen. Thanks for your comment! We loved seeing you on our trip. Lucas is still talking about Gracies sandbox. :)

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