Snot and Vacations

posted in: Monkey My Son, Toddler, Vacation 67 comments

Link up now with February’s edition of Memories Captured with my co-host Galit Breen of These Little Waves and I! Join us between February 13  – 17 and you have a chance to win a $75 Minted gift card! Link up here now!


People say vacations will never be the same when you have children.

It’s certainly true for me. Before Monkey came along, snot didn’t exist on our vacations.

You may know from my beach pictures on my Facebook page (I’ll take this opportunity to ask you to like the page. Or not.) that I recently went on vacation. We were at two beach locations in Western Australia, specifically Mandurah and Scarborough Beach.

Such great potential for some sun, sea and sand, right?

Instead, we got puke, snot and a very miserable toddler who was sick the entire time, with a day or two of respite, in between recovering from the stomach bug he caught from me the day before our flight (Of course! He puked 8 times that night. There was a lot of laundry and distress on my part), and the pesky flu (the second time in less than two weeks!) which he most likely caught from that man who was coughing and sneezing incessantly one row down from us.

Due to the incessant flow of snot (How much snot can a toddler produce? Answer: A LOT) and a lot of wiping of said snot across his face, his sensitive skin flared up and his cheeks turned red, ruddy and dried out.

He looked part-lizard.

Couple that with dried snot around the upper lip, he looked like he developed a mustache.

No, I did not take a picture. That would be cruel, yes?

Instead, we took pictures such as these:

Father and son on a beach

Monkey’s introduction to the ocean

Mother and son on the beach

Do I look pregnant in this hat?


Crashing waves

Toddler playing on the beach

Mama, what’s this funny stuff on my feet?

Toddler with bucket playing on the beach

Give this child a bucket in any scenario and he’ll entertain himself

Father and son at the park

Watching seagulls at the park, Mandurah

Toddler with a kangaroo

I believe this is the start of a lifelong love for animals

Sunset at the beach

Glorious sunset at Scarborough Beach (unedited)

Yes, despite the illnesses, never ending snot and a sometimes-cranky toddler and always-tired parents, we managed to get in some beach time, a visit to some kangaroos whom the kid LOVED (and chased around) and a few walks in the park. Which is about 20% of our original planned activities. I was told that’s a good statistic, all things considered!

What’s a little snot, eh?

What was YOUR last vacation with kids like?

Alison Lee is a former PR and marketing professional turned work-at-home mother. After a 10-year career in various PR agencies, and of the world’s biggest sports brands, Alison traded in product launches and world travel, for sippy cups, diapers, and breastfeeding. Alison's writing has been featured on Mamalode, On Parenting at The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, Everyday Family, Scary Mommy, and She is one of 35 essayists in the anthology, My Other Ex: Women’s True Stories of Leaving and Losing Friends. In 2012, she founded Little Love Media, a social media consultancy specializing in blog book tours, and because she doesn’t sleep, is an editor at BonBon Break, an online magazine. Alison lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with her husband and four children (two boys and boy/ girl twins).

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  • February 14, 2012 KLZ

    You do not, in fact, look pregnant in that hat.

    I bet in twenty years you look back fondly on this trip. Or at least these photos because they’re great.
    KLZ recently wrote…Preparing Your Blog for Maternity LeaveMy Profile

    • February 15, 2012 Alison

      We had some good moments, yes. And thank you.

  • February 14, 2012 Kimberly

    What belly?
    I’m so sorry that you packed snot and puke but it still looks like you had an amazing time.
    I wonder…did you buy a souviner shirt that said “I went on vacation and all I got was snot and puke on this t-shirt”…cause that would be epic.
    Kimberly recently wrote…Arcana Dea Is Something Beautifully HopefulMy Profile

    • February 15, 2012 Alison

      Y’know, I was looking for that tee and Australia just didn’t have it. Bah.

  • February 14, 2012 viviene

    Hahaha.. I bet you still had a wonderful time. And no, you definitely didn’t look pregnant in that picture. Trust me! =)

    • February 15, 2012 Alison

      We had a fairly good time, all things considering 🙂

  • February 14, 2012 My Inner Chick

    Snot. Puke. Poop.

    When one is in love w/ their babies…
    it doesn’t matter a damn, does it?

    Xxx How are you Mama?
    My Inner Chick recently wrote…I’m Not Your Conventional Christian GirlMy Profile

    • February 15, 2012 Alison

      It just hurt me to see him go through that when he should have been enjoying all the new experiences in store for him. Sigh.

      I caught his virus. It’s a particularly nasty strain!

  • February 14, 2012 julie gardner

    Just so you know, I’m going out to buy that hat so I never look pregnant again.
    julie gardner recently wrote…Today call me unromanticMy Profile

    • February 15, 2012 Alison

      Julie, you do NOT look pregnant, you sexy fox.

  • February 14, 2012 Galit Breen

    Beautiful photos and so, so very sorry about the snot, my friend!
    Galit Breen recently wrote…Memories Captured February Linky!My Profile

    • February 15, 2012 Alison

      Thank you and thank you!

  • February 14, 2012 Kimberly

    I bet you over time you’ll look back and laugh, even just a little, at how things turned out. (Not everyone’s sickness, just that how there’s always another plan.)

    Those photos are amazing! I love that sunset.
    Kimberly recently wrote…Worst Valentines Day DateMy Profile

    • February 15, 2012 Alison

      We are slowly putting the not-so-awesome times behind us and cherishing the sunsets we caught 🙂

  • February 14, 2012 Ann

    Hi Alison! I’m sorry that Monkey was sick on vacation…..your photos are stunning! I’m glad you were able to grab some fun despite his illness and you look lovely.
    Ann recently wrote…Happy Valentines Day!My Profile

    • February 15, 2012 Alison

      Thank you Ann!! Can’t wait to see more of your vacation photos!

  • February 14, 2012 Karin

    Sorry about the snotty and poopy vacation, but I think all of you enjoyed it anyway, right? And the shot of Monkey with the kangaroo, awesome. I hope you’ll have some quiet and easy days ahead to recover from the holiday. 😉
    Karin recently wrote…What are little boys made of? (Memories Captured)My Profile

    • February 15, 2012 Alison

      We had a few good moments, yes 🙂 And thank you! We’re recovering, slowly but surely.

  • February 14, 2012 Mark

    When my kids were toddlers, my shirt sleeves were covered in snot. Thanks for bringing up that painful memory for me.
    Mark recently wrote…"Walk like a man"My Profile

    • February 15, 2012 Alison

      Just your sleeves? I wore a black tee the other day and by the end of the day, it looked like a snot-colored tee with splashes of black.

  • February 14, 2012 Barbara

    I’m sorry everyone was sick, but the pictures still look like you had a good time! Our last vacation was a three week road trip through Europe. Definitely exhausting!
    Barbara recently wrote…Pinterest make me prettyMy Profile

    • February 15, 2012 Alison

      Oh brave you!

  • February 14, 2012 Leslie

    Awww…it looks like he had a grand time, despite the snot! Happy Valentine’s Day!
    Leslie recently wrote…Happy Valentine’s Day!My Profile

    • February 15, 2012 Alison

      Hop you had a wonderful Valentine’s Day, Leslie!

  • February 14, 2012 Katie E

    20% seems pretty good. It looks like you managed to squeeze in some fun, even with all the snot. I hope he’s feeling better now.
    Katie E recently wrote…Monday Listicles: Love (Featuring Me and My Valentine)My Profile

    • February 15, 2012 Alison

      We did! Just wish we could have done more with him 🙂

  • February 14, 2012 John

    Hey – your blog isn’t listed as “Adult Content” at my workplace today! WOOHOO!

    I’m so glad to hear that snot didn’t get in the way of a great vacation — looks like a lovely, beautiful time.
    John recently wrote…Where I answer Natalie’s eleven questionsMy Profile

    • February 15, 2012 Alison

      Well, that’s always good to know!! It was lovely there, thanks John.

  • February 14, 2012 Leighann

    How beautiful!
    Even with all of the snot, the pictures are gorgeous!
    I love the kangaroo photo, I’ve always wanted to go to Australia and visit with Kangaroos.
    Lucky girl!

    • February 15, 2012 Alison

      You absolutely should! Your little girl will love it there. Honeymoon destination? 🙂

  • February 14, 2012 Mirjam

    Well, you did great on the pictures. I could not have guessed that there was that much drama from looking at those pretty pictures. Vacation with kids is no vacation for moms!
    I hope he’s all better now.
    Mirjam recently wrote…Heart festMy Profile

    • February 15, 2012 Alison

      I did well with the camera, that much I can say. In between wiping snot and administering medicine 🙂 He’s getting better, thank you!

  • February 14, 2012 francerants

    aw, poor little guy…..

    it looks like you did manage to squeak in some fun though.

    and you didn’t look preggers at all in that pic! great angle!
    francerants recently wrote…Life In GeneralMy Profile

    • February 15, 2012 Alison

      Thank you France – I always love seeing you comment 🙂 My husband can be handy with the camera!

  • February 14, 2012 Jaime

    We’ve been lucky that we’ve only had one vacation marred by illness due to my daughter. My last vacation involved bronchitis for my husband which was oh so pleasant.

    I hope you are both feeling better and you can look forward to a healthy vacation next time!
    Jaime recently wrote…Valentine’s DayMy Profile

    • February 15, 2012 Alison

      My poor husband caught the stomach bug the toddler and I both had – on the plane! He was actually puking during the flight. So we all landed, worse for wear 🙂

      The toddler is getting better, slowly but surely, his Mama however, is still coughing. And thank you!

  • February 15, 2012 Lady Jennie

    I double checked your facebook page and was surprised I hadn’t already liked it – so fixed that.

    Poor Monkey – poor you having him sick on vacation. It always seems to happen though. I remember a trip to Bretagne and finding our son in his crib in our room covered in vomit. Stomach flu.
    Lady Jennie recently wrote…Mum Rhymes With GlumMy Profile

    • February 15, 2012 Alison

      Thank you for liking my page!

      Monkey was vomiting the night before the flight, and our first stop in Australia was the doctor’s. He caught the stomach bug I had 2 days before that. After he recovered from that, the virus kicked in. Poor chap, right?

  • February 15, 2012 Jessica

    Our last vacation was to Disney World. Nya was 16 months old at the time and I was six months pregnant. It was tough. Tough. And by the end of it, we were all exhausted. But in hindsight, we did have a good time (or good moments). I’m even planning our next family vacation there (or, to Disney World). I know, I’m insane.
    Jessica recently wrote…52|6: Sick Days and WhitneyMy Profile

    • February 15, 2012 Alison

      Haha, yes you’re insane! But good luck! 😉

  • February 15, 2012 JDaniel4's Mom

    It is so hard when kids get sick right as you go away. It looks like you still were able to have a wonderful time.
    JDaniel4’s Mom recently wrote…Pause Life for a Moment- My Front Porch SwingMy Profile

    • February 15, 2012 Alison

      We did have some nice times in between all the snot wiping 🙂

  • February 15, 2012 Natalie

    Ugh I’m so sorry he got sick! It sounds like you guys still made the most of it. He’s gotten so big!
    Natalie recently wrote…Getting to Know YouMy Profile

    • February 15, 2012 Alison

      We did try! And yes, he’s a big boy now!

  • February 15, 2012 Jessica

    Dude, I don’t vacation with my kids.
    Jessica recently wrote…Why Did I Say Yes (Like A Chump)?My Profile

    • February 15, 2012 Alison

      Dude, I should follow your foot steps.

  • February 15, 2012 elizabeth-flourishinprogress

    You are so lovely and radiant.

    Sorry about the snot.
    elizabeth-flourishinprogress recently wrote…Monday Dare: Dragon WaterMy Profile

    • February 15, 2012 Alison

      Aw, thank you Elizabeth!

  • February 15, 2012 Natalie

    I totally know this feeling. I’m so sorry you had to deal with this! What misery. But it sounds–and looks–like you guys had fun despite the sickness. So glad to hear it!
    Natalie recently wrote…The Past and the Present and the FutureMy Profile

    • February 15, 2012 Alison

      We did try, we didn’t want to spend the entire time indoors, miserable! 🙂

  • February 15, 2012 Kiddothings

    Gosh the poor thing. I can’t imagine having a sick kid while we vacationed…actually I can now.
    Kiddothings recently wrote…Picnesday – The New Arrivals!My Profile

    • February 15, 2012 Alison

      Yeah, he was suffering, poor thing. The whole time. I just feel bad that he had to miss out on so many activities we had planned.

  • February 15, 2012 Ado

    I’m so sorry Monkey was sick BUT…I’ll have you know I’m still jealous of your trip to Oz you lucky girl!
    PS: You do not even look pregnant in that shot! You look fantastic!
    Ado recently wrote…The Greatest Love of AllMy Profile

    • February 15, 2012 Alison

      Don’t get me wrong, I was happy we managed a trip at all. I just wish Monkey could have had a better time.

      (and thank you!)

  • February 16, 2012 Roses Daughter

    My last vacation with the toddler was….like being at home but at the beach. Still tantrums, lunch to be fed, bedtime struggles etc. SMH.
    Beautiful photos by the way! And I like your hat!

    • February 17, 2012 Alison

      Haha, yup, that sounds about right! (and thank you)

  • February 16, 2012 Stasha

    Beautiful photos! Love how fearless he is around animals. And 20% is a lot my friend…
    Stasha recently wrote…Wordless WednesdayMy Profile

    • February 17, 2012 Alison

      20% is better than 0%, no? 🙂

  • February 16, 2012 Janice

    These are such gorgeous photos! I love the beach too – not swimming in it – for photo taking purposes. It’s wonderful you guys had this family time. Can’t wait to see the next one where there’s four of you!
    Janice recently wrote…A Love StoryMy Profile

    • February 17, 2012 Alison

      Oh it might be a while when four of us go on vacation 🙂

  • February 16, 2012 Charlotte

    Such beautiful pictures! And that is one fearless child you have there 🙂 Love that he’s developed a love of animals at such a young age.
    Charlotte recently wrote…A Valentine’s Day grinch goes softMy Profile

    • February 17, 2012 Alison

      I’m so proud of him 🙂

  • February 16, 2012 Kimberly

    my boys are in hgh school. Vacations are a lot different now…Last vacation was group camping, but *I* was sick, so the boys camped with the group while my husband and I stayed at a cheap, dinky, close-by hotel….
    Kimberly recently wrote…Sometimes my children laugh at me…My Profile

    • February 17, 2012 Alison

      Oh, so sorry to hear you were sick!

  • February 18, 2012 Runnermom-jen

    Ha! “Do I look pregnant in this hat?”…you crack me up. Sorry about the whole sickness thing though. That really sucks. What rotten timing!
    Runnermom-jen recently wrote…A Letter…My Profile

  • February 20, 2012 Elena

    Oh my gosh…you look amazing in that hat! Traveling with kids is definitely different. Sorry there was snot & puke on your trip. That’s never fun for anyone.
    Elena recently wrote…First World Preschool Problems and Valentine’s Letters to DaddyMy Profile

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