Okay, so we did it. We went down the shore.
First, last week, Philip and I went all by ourselves overnight and spent a few days at the Borgota in Atlantic City. Very nice. We had not been overnight without the kids since October. In October, we stayed 3 miles from the house and my mom watched the kids, with my stepfather and a nurse.
This time she had no nurse and we were maybe 4 miles from them. It was relaxing and we got really good sleep.
Then over the weekend, we took Adam to the beach. There was no way we could have done it without a house 3 blocks away. It is difficult to bring a toddler to the beach normally- and our 9 year old also requires "stuff" So, we had: boogie boards, wave boards, sand toys, towels, chairs, blanket, umbrella, drinks, snacks, etc. We also had to bring: Oxygen, clean and sand free clothing towels, bandaids, ambu bag, mick-key feeding buttons and tubes, and sterile water and gloves. That was all the stuff at the beach!
We needed the house close by because as soon as Adam was ready for lunch, we took him back to the house, let him eat there, bathe him and let him take his nap in a sand free environment. We were stressed trying to keep the sand and water out of the trach hole. It's almost closed up, so we put tegaderm (it's like saran wrap) over the tiny opening and then about 4 waterproof band-aids criss crossing one another. We also had him wear his high neck swim shirt on top.
So, how did Adam like the beach? He loved it. He was crazy about the ocean. If we were not there to stop him, he would have run full speed into the water until he drowned. He had no fear at all and was really uninterested in digging or playing in the sand. We were basically at a 90 degree angle, holding around his tummy so he would not go too deep or get water by his neck. Phil, me and my mom traded this duty off, because our backs would really hurt after a few minutes and we wanted to straighten up. He would laugh and laugh and scream when the water would hit his toes and it was worth the work.
"The work" is always there. I have to say to myself am I saying "no" to this invitation/event/activity because it's dangerous? Or am I saying "no" because it's too much work? Sometimes, I initially say no to something and then I catch myself, and say "Okay, if he was a normal 2 year old, would I do this?" Usually the answer is yes, and I start loading up the car and my ENORMOUS diaper bag.