A weekend at Ono with extended family.

Carla and Isla get their kicks on the dock.

A few weekends ago, we drove down to the Gulf and spent a weekend with my sister, her man, and their baby as well as my father and stepmother.

Isla can’t help herself from giggling all the time.

Watching Isla grow and giggle her way through the day was a delight, and being close to so many people that I love ALL AT ONE TIME blew my mind.

Isla’s super-strong little grip and tiny fingers that hold on to mommy.

Carla’s devotion to Isla’s needs- both physical and emotional- warms my heart. It’s a pleasure to watch and experience. I’ve had such a hard time in the past spending weekends with family and friends who were sleep-training. Wine glasses in hand, everybody smiling and “letting the baby learn to self-soothe” meant that we had to pretend a baby wasn’t screaming it’s little head off for forty minutes at a time. No amount of wine in the world can drown out that sound for me.

Being a mom means ignoring the fact that you have a silly facial expression in a photo where your baby looks plain adorable.

While I respect parents’ perogatives to parent as they see fit, I confess that it’s hard on my soul to be a captive audience to the tears of sleep training. Carla did nothing of the sort- she nursed when Isla was hungry or needed a little soothing and she napped with Isla when the opportunities arose. Rather than tote around a Pak-and-Play, the Newsomes traveled light and managed to share a full-sized bed between the three of them.

Pamela rocked Isla for a little while so Carla and I could venture out on the
most lazy, dysfunctional kayak ride ever confessed.

The King and the Germ got along great, and my dad kept rolling out the comments on how “nice it is to have my two son-in-laws together at the beach” (which is another way of saying he enjoyed having dudes with which to share beer).

Milla scribbles on the cement under the Baba Yaga house after a good swim.

Amid the chaos of life vests, plastic beach toys, wet swimsuits, “that’s MY shell” or “she took my shovel”, we enjoyed delicious food, good music, splendid sunsets, and a whole lot of love. Even Germ and the King did some cuddling. What can be more entertaining than that?