Saturday, February 27, 2010

Mexico: The Full Report, Part 1

The Cornett & Company is back safe from two weeks in Mexico! This trip was long in the planning, and brought much anxiety to the new parents, but everything worked out beautifully!

The idea was spawned by my father-in-law, the backgammon shark, last summer when we visited New York. He offered to host a family trip to some sunny location if we would pick the spot. We chose a resort on the Mayan Riviera, just on the north end of Playa del Carmen. It was a small resort, with about 100 rooms that were basically beachside cabanas. The place was called Mahekal Beach Resort. Some meals were included, but this was not one of those all-inclusive resorts. On the contrary, things were basic, but perfectly comfortable. We stayed ten days in all, then left the family for a small adventure into the interior at the end of our travels (see Part 2, coming soon).

I personally had my doubts about our ability to have a "real" vacation with a toddler. Jude just turned 18 months on this trip, and he's becoming more of a handful every day. Despite the schedule disruptions, new environment, and general chaos, our time went very, very well. There were some downers: (a new tooth, a long day in the car, mosquito bites, etc.) but there was also a daily opportunity for the kind of adventures that you just can't find at home. Swimming, playing in the sand, and time with family gave Jude plenty to do every day. We also had time for sitting in the sun, reading books, playing backgammon, and relaxing. Thanks, family, for sharing the babysitting! Although babysitting is really not the right word. There is very little sitting involved. It's more like babyrunning. :)

The resort we chose deserves some brief discussion. I worried that this would not be the best place for my little family, as most of the reviews geared it toward couples and romantic escapes. I am delighted to report that the place worked very well for us. The small scale was crucial for our success, and we knew many of the waiters and staff by name. This made it much easier when we were dealing with crying toddler tantrums, or needed a high chair, ASAP. The place was also very safe, with several full time security guards walking the premises. The place fronted a public beach, but there was zero cause for concern. Additionally, there were several other families with toddlers and small children, making it easy to find beach time playmates. The resort didn't have a "kid's club" or babysitting service, but it really wasn't necessary. Also, the small size made it possible to lay Jude down for a nap in the room and go back to the beach for an hour. I mean, we were only about 50 yards away!

The best part for Jude was an expanded sense of his own independence. There was a sandy beach just outside our cabana door, and he was always playing, going, digging, and on the move. I think it was our second day at the resort, when I said to Jude, "Are you ready to go to the beach?" I turned around a moment later and he was 30 yards away, gaining momentum and heading for the ocean.

The weather wasn't perfect during our time in Playa, but it just gave us more opportunities to explore the town, go for walks, and enjoy the experience of visiting another country. A few times we went to the local big box grocery store (called the Mega) for supplies and sundries. One night there was an adventure over to Cozumel to attend the Carnaval parade. We stayed for the fireworks, but didn't make it late enough for the street dancing!
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Friday, February 26, 2010

Seven Months Pregnant

This photo should win some sort of prize for "best location for a belly shot". Here I am at 30W, standing about halfway up the Mayan ruins of Ek Balam:

This weekend I'm 31W pregnant (also known as seven months). I went in for an ultrasound this afternoon and everything is looking good. There had been some concern that the placenta was a little bit too low (based on the 18W ultrasound) but fortunately there was no sign that it had moved down since then, which is exactly what we were hoping to find today. The baby is in the head-down position and weighs about 3.5 pounds, which is right on track for 31 weeks. I was wondering whether the baby was growing enough since I have only gained 9 pounds so far this pregnancy, but the baby's size looks good so no need to worry about that!

At this point with Jude, I was having a lot of contractions and I was about 50% effaced, so I asked that my cervix be checked today. It looks like it has not started to thin at all yet, which is basically what I expected since I've been having only sporadic contractions so far. Hopefully I won't have the same preterm labor issues this time!

I've been having some minor third-trimester complaints, like heartburn and back pain, but these things are pretty common and expected. I was diagnosed with borderline gestational diabetes a couple of weeks ago so I've continued to follow the GD diet and monitor my blood sugar. Thankfully I don't have to check as often since I'm just borderline this time, so instead of four times a day I'll only be poking my finger a few mornings a week and after any big meals (which I mostly avoid).

The baby is very active, especially when I lie down and after meals. I'm taking a prenatal yoga class and plan to start swimming again soon. I did a lot of swimming in my third trimester with Jude and it was great exercise. It is a little harder to walk with the rainy weather, but I'm getting out as much as I can. In general, this pregnancy has been very easy (other than my almost-constant sickness). I'm hoping that the next nine weeks go smoothly!

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Monday, February 22, 2010

Chichen Itza (at 18 months)

Jude celebrated his 18-month birthday today by spending the morning at the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza. We stayed the night in the nearby town of Villadolid and were among the first to arrive when the site opened this morning. This was definitely the way to see it, as we missed both the crowds and the midday sun. By the time we were leaving at 11am, the lines were ridiculously long and we could barely stand to be in the direct sunlight. We also got photos of many of the famous structures with no other people in sight, which is almost impossible most of the time!

Jude is exhibiting some classic 18-month behavior, including temper tantrums and irrational demands, but overall he´s proved himself to be a very adaptable traveller. We´ve learned to sleep in the same room and to take naps in the daylight, to eat pretty much anything, anywhere. And now I have to go, since it´s time for dinner. Look for the next update (with photos) when we return later in the week!

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Cornett & Company flew to Mexico yesterday, an interesting day of travel for us all. Jude was up early, four hours before his usual wake-up time, and didn´t really have a chance to nap much to catch up, so we made an executive decision to let him have as much milk as he wanted during the course of the long travel day. He usually drinks about 20 ounces, sometimes up to 25. Yesterday he drank FIFTY FIVE ounces of milk. We were amazed that he could get that much liquid through his system, but I think he might have had even more if we had offered it. On the airplane it was unlimited, otherwise just the usual amount.

Upon reaching our hotel room, we stripped him out of his sweaty travel clothes and let him run around naked for a few minutes. Jude christened the room with a huge puddle of urine. This is the first time he´s had a major accident outside of his diaper, and we all just started laughing. Luckily it´s a tile floor and cleaned up pretty easily. He looked so shocked to see that much liquid coming out of his body. I wish I had a picture of the expression on his face.

We´re having a great time on vacation, but I´m just using the hotel computer, so no photos until we return home. Jude loves the beach and waves and there are lots of toddlers at the resort, so everything is working out really well so far. I´ll try to post more later in the week.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

More Beach Fun

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Jude and Lucia at the Beach

Beach weekend in Manzanita with the Jones Fam and Jude's BFF, Lucia.

Holding hands in the backseat!

Jude is a big ham at the crab shack. E Ben cooked three crabs for dinner!

The sun came out for a nice morning of beach combing!

Thanks, Jones Family!
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Monday, February 1, 2010

So, How's the Baby?

Wow, is it already February? It seems like just yesterday we broke out the pregnancy tests on a whim and discovered that we're having Baby #2. And despite our best intentions, this past weekend was the first profile shot we've taken since that fateful day in September... Below is a 27-week belly shot.

Everyone says that I look pretty small considering that the baby is coming in three short months. In fact, I've only gained seven pounds so far, which is quite a bit less than I had gained with Jude at 27 weeks. This is partly because I've been limiting my carbs and partly because I've been really sick for most of this pregnancy. Last week was the final blow (I hope!) with a nasty intestinal virus that knocked me out for two days and stripped four pounds from my already-sort-of-small belly.

But the baby is doing really well! She has a strong heartbeat, moves constantly (sometimes a little more than I'd like), and is growing right on track. My pregnancy symptoms have been almost non-existent so far, but I have noticed the third trimester heartburn kicking in over the last week or so. A yummy batch of olive-oil brownies over the weekend led to a sleepless night popping Tums and wishing for some sort of upright sleeping device.

I'll try to be a little more regular with the baby updates for the next three months. May 1 is going to be here before we know it!

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