Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Exceeded Expectations

We're having a great time visiting family up in Seattle. Jared and Annabelle are enjoying the massive amounts of extra attention and I'm already dreading when they'll have just me again.

I had been dreading traveling along with the kids for a while. A couple weeks leading up to the trip, I constantly asked all my mom friends their best travel tips (sorry ladies, but thank you). Eight hours, one layover, and three total flights would have any Mom worried. So, I came to the dreaded T-Day (Travel Day) with a plan---- but all carefully laid plans are meant to go awry--- especially when toddlers and babies are involved.

Since I had a plan, I spent the night before our trip packing almost everything and then leaving just enough time in the morning to finish the job and get the kids ready for the journey. Our flight out left at 630 am, so our goal was to be at the airport and through security by 6. With the chaos of two checked bags, a pack-n-play, carseat, two carry-ons, and our limo stroller, we arrived at the baggage counter at 6. By this point I was freaking out because I didn't want either us or the bags miss the plane. Now, I didn't have to worry about the bags, but we still had to make it through security in 20 minutes or less.

Unfortunately, security was crazy busy----fortunately, we cut over to the family line and Gweg was able to get special permission to go through security to help us all the way to the gate. I don't know what I would have done without him through security---- yet another reason to love Gweg and his awesomeness. We got lucky again, as we arrived at the gate just in time for family boarding. I couldn't believe we caught it soooo close; I said my first gratitude prayer of the day then. Jared didn't so much like saying bye to Daddy, but we were getting on a plane so he overcame his sadness shorter than he probably should. :)

Jared and Belle were better than I expected on the all of the legs. As soon as we got on the plane, I corralled him into window seat and Jared spent the whole time saying 'momma on airpain' or some variation. He loved watching the trucks on the runways and became mezmorized when we finally got in the sky. The airplane got even cooler when I pulled out my secret weapon: A portable DVD player.
Bless the inventor of that contraption. Jared spent the majority of all three flights watching Cars and Mickey Mouse. He got so excited when he realized he could watch movies on the plane. He sat so still and even liked having earbug headphones in his ears later. I think some of it had to do with the fact that he was so tired from waking up early; he just sat and sat---until we landed in Seattle, but I'm not at that part of the story yet. :)

Belle was also better than expected on all the flights. One part of me thought she would be like she normally is, a great baby and another part of me thought she'd show her true baby colors on the plane and become 'that baby' that people want to avoid. Like always with her, I had nothing to worry about. During the first flight, she fell asleep on my lap and stayed there for half of the flight.We made our connection just fine and spent the layover climbing and feeding Belle her solid foods. I wanted to feed it to her then, so we wouldn't make more of a mess on the plane (keep that in mind for later). A hard part of my day came here, when I tried to take down the stroller by myself just before boarding. Traveling alone with Two kids is like having a sign on you saying "I'm crazy/daring/mad/desperate please help me or I might break down." So, as I was struggling with keeping Jared off the plane and Belle from army crawling away, the mom behind me volunteer her services. Another gratitude prayer---this time for kind strangers.

The second leg was the only full plane on our journey. Jared got the window seat again and as soon as we could, he finished his movie. Belle took another nap on me while we watched a movie. Another uneventful flight. At this point, I really thought I had hit the traveling kids jackpot and I already started to imagine my victory lap through SEATAC. "Yes, my kids were angels. Neither had issues with the planes and no meltdowns occured. I can't believe it either, I must be lucky." Little did I know, I jinxed myself.

At the beginning of the third flight it was lunch time for Jared and I. So, I got out his food and he sat quitely (and as patient as he could be) eating. We were snacking on our favorite Costco freeze-dried fruit and I thought 'let's see how Belle does with this---I bet she'll be great.' The smart Mama in me should have immediately thought 'wait, she's never had pieces before I better not or she might gag.' So, I foolishly gave her an apple piece and what did she do... she gagged... and then threw up most of her bananas from a few hours previous. I sat there, dumbfounded for a few seconds, not knowing what to do because, at this point, we're about to take off. Fortunately, I snap back to reality hit the call button and get some extra napkins right before it's our turn on the runway. I strip Annabelle down and put on her extra outfit (yay for packing one in the carry on) and continue on as if it was all planned that way.

The rest of the flight is fine; Jared's suffiently distracted by Mickey until the moment we have to put it away for the decent (he actually had a harder time with this on the second flight---he held the off DVD player until we moved up the plane). It's at this moment that I notice his diaper. Over the morning it has become a diaper from legends because of it's monumental growth. It growed so much because I had Jared permanently keep his cup with him to combat potential air pressure problems.

So, we land in Seattle and I know his diaper needs to be changed as soon as we get to the gate. The problem came when we landed early and didn't have a gate to go to, so we waited on the tarmac for 20 more minutes. During that wait, I completely forgot about the diaper because I was trying to appease a toddler who was done with planes for the day. We finally got off the plane, met Jiji, got the bags, and remembered the diaper.

By this point, it started to leak and leak so bad I had to fish out pants from the suitcase. Jiji was nice enough to change him because Belle had finally reached her limit and did not want anyone but Mama. It was a long day and I didn't blame her. Besides the two-leaky incidents, the day was definitely better than I expected.

I just hope I get the same luck coming home...

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