This post will focus on some of the obstacles we had on this little trip… how we overcame them, or just gave into them. I really think what I experienced and learned can be applied to many different situations away and at home!
Let me start by saying that I love Vancouver! Not only is it a beautiful city, I also consider it another home. I have been very lucky growing up to have an uncle whose home my family would often completely take over. I have spent many Christmas’, Easters, summer holidays and basically any slightly plausible reason for visiting Vancouver there, so I know it fairly well (at least my little corner of it)! I decided to head to Vancouver on my own with little H, for a week, to visit my Uncle, brother and dad because I know the place so well and I have other plans for my husbands holidays!
Obstacle 1: Illness
Unfortunately just as we were set to leave for our little visit all of H’s baby friends started getting sick… so I knew it was coming… it was only a matter of time! Sure enough as soon as we got to Van the coughing, sneezing and runny nose hit. This was H’s first time getting sick… so as you can imagine I was a bit worried! Fortunately I had my baby toiletry kit with me… I knew I would one day be glad I had the Nose Freda with me! That and the saline solution were very helpful in providing H a little bit of relief! If I were to be in an unfamiliar place I might want to very quickly have a look at where the nearest children’s hospital (or regular one) is… just for peace of mind (really it take 2 seconds with google!). She was never hospital sick… but the cold just had me wondering what I would have done had it been more serious. Her being sick also reminded me that she is kinda the boss… what I mean is that you need to manage expectations of what you are actually going to be able to accomplish with a baby (never mind a sick baby). Perhaps you will be able to do everything, but sometimes you wont do much… I think it’s important to be prepared for both outcomes!
Obstacle 2: Weather
Again… love Vancouver… but it can have some chilly weather! Coming from sun, and boarder line summer temperatures, to damp, wet and cold I was slightly under prepared. Adding to this a sick little girl, I had to adjust my expectations of what I could actually do! Hindsight I would have also packed a bit more of a variety of clothing… and maybe an extra blanket… but we made due! (packing list coming next week!)
Obstacle 3: Open concept
We stayed with my uncle, with the option to stay with my brother (a block away). They both live in the greatest (in my opinion) area of Vancouver… steps away from Granville Island! Staying with one of them was just a given… unfortunately I had somehow blocked from my mind the fact that they both live in the MOST open concept home on earth… seriously what’s wrong with a wall or two? My dad actually brought a tent in case we decided we were in a truly desperate situation and needed to set this up in the living room… not even kidding. Fortunately we didn’t get to that point. H ended up sleeping in a laundry room with a tarp covering the large skylight… it gave the room a lovely blue vibe!
Obstacle 4: People who don’t have babies
“So, wait, you can’t just leave the baby to go and have a coffee?!” direct quote from one of the family members I was visiting (I don’t want to name, names). Visiting and particularly staying with people who don’t have babies can be wonderful, but it also reminded me that they might not understand exactly what they are getting themselves into. My uncle and brother really were trying their very best, but you could tell they were also rather unsure as to what to actually do with little H… I was the same before her! I found it really important to be very clear about what was fine and what would just not work. A perfect example was my brother wanting me to come over for a late dinner… I can do that BUT our dad would have to stay with H. Even staying with someone who has their own baby can be challenging because, as I see time and time again with H’s little baby friends, each child has their own thing going on!
Despite these obstacles I still had a great visit and managed to actually do some things that I have never done before! Next week long with my packing list I will have part 2 which will be the activities I managed to do and some that I wish I had… till then!