I learned one thing over the last week. The schedule matters. I'm referring to my baby's schedule, of course. Upsetting her balance, whisking her to Maryland, and surrounding her with lots of loud and excited relatives meant for one thing.
A cranky baby.
That translated into an exhausted and tired mom. I brought my kindle with two newly purchased books on the trip with hopes of doing a lot of reading. The reality was that I didn't read a single page. Most of my time was spent corralling Emily who wanted to be held more than normal, never wanted to nap, hated everything we gave her to eat, and was unable to be occupied happily by any task for more than a few seconds. It was so stressful that when my dad mentioned he had to run to the store for something I nearly knocked him over running to the door to join him. Boy, I just needed a moment.
Sure, my mom watched Emily for a little here and there, but she was in the middle of her own holiday preparations and had to pay attention to that. Shawn helped when he was home, but most of the time he was out hunting, because part of my Christmas gift to him was a hunting trip on farm a few towns over.
There were just too many stimulations. Relatives coming and going who wanted to hold her and squeeze her and get in her face making silly noises. Nap times that were missed, because of family lunches and get togethers. I paid for all of that in spades.
For days I was seriously perplex as to what happened to my daughter's wonderful personality.
Finally, though, by Christmas Emily had found her groove. She got used to her new surroundings, new sleeping arrangement, and became the happy baby I know her as. Phew...
So, I learned the dangerous lesson of getting off schedule, especially with tons of stimulation and new surroundings. The schedule is not to be taken lightly and toddlers are no where near as capable as adjusting as an adult. Also, I am finding that increasingly I need vacations from my vacations. Perhaps I need to have an actual vacation that both doesn't involve taking my baby and doesn't involve a whirl-wind of family visits!