Friday, August 24, 2012

Alabama Ramblin's

As you might have gathered, I took the children to Alabama for the arrival of my newest niece.  Since a 14-hour drive didn't seem like a fun plan for the day, I took them by air {Little Guy used his frequent flier miles!}.  And since the Mister couldn't get away from work, I took them by myself.  

It was my boldest move to date.  

Below is the evidence that we did, in fact, all arrive, each with every last one of our body parts and me, with at least half my mind still intact. know there's more to the story than that, right?

Let me hit the high points:

1. Finding, upon our earlier than necessary arrival, that the line for the ticket counter zigged and zagged and wrapped and curled its way down the entire length of the airport and back.

2. Standing in aforementioned line so long that Baby Girl came due for a nursing.

3. Nursing Baby Girl while s-l-o-w-l-y winding our way through the snaking line.  You know, that time when nobody has anything to do but stare at the people they're passing.

4. Hearing final boarding for our flight called as we near the front of the ticket counter line.

5. Being awarded a spot on the standby list for a later flight.
6. Having TSA insist that our stroller be put through the X-ray machine, despite it jamming at least four times.

7. Forgetting to remove my shoes after attending to all the possessions and herding my tiny troops through the metal detector.

8.  Being sent back to do it all over again.  {Everyone loved us by this point.}

9. Attempting to kill half a day in an airport with three small children, without getting them killed.

10. Discovering that--if standby works out--what was to be a direct flight will now be a two-leg flight with a tight connection.
11. Learning that, due to the tight connection, there won't be time to retrieve the stroller from gate check.

12. Securing the last three seats on the plane, only to be greeted by the flight attendant at the bottom of the jet bridge with a lovely, "You have got to be kidding me."

13. Standing at the front of the plane, while the flight attendant announces over the intercom, "I have a passenger here with two children and an infant.  She needs an entire row.  I am really sorry, but three of you are going to have to give up your seats."

14. Having no one volunteer.

15. Blushing as the pilot takes over, telling the passengers, "We are begging you.  She needs a whole row.  Three of you are going to have to move."
16. Taking the seats offered up, buckling in, and then cringing as the whole plane erupts in applause at takeoff.

17. Running, infant in front carrier, toddler on hip, older toddler in hand, through the airport to make the second flight.

18. Taking a second potty-trip-for-four to the airplane bathroom.  {We could just barely close the door.}

19. Buckling a toddler's seatbelt for the 632nd time.
And the one that really tops them all...

20. Doing the whole thing in reverse tomorrow.

It can ONLY be better.
And it was worth it, regardless.

Our Alabama trips are so much fun.  I usually spend the first week or so just enjoying family time, and then have a few whirlwind days of visiting with friends.  This trip went just that way.
My sister-in-law was brave enough to have the family over, just 5 days post-partum, for a joint birthday party for Buddy Boy and his twin cousin, who is just a week younger than he.  It was a great time.

We spent a lot of days with Mama at the pool, soaking up the last of summer.  Buddy Boy pretty much lived on french fries and soft-serve.  Little Guy hunted and smushed every last ant on the pool deck.  And Baby Girl napped in the shade and blew out her diapers twice daily.
We had a little infant lunch date with the new baby of one of my dear friends.  He is the sweetest, most content baby, and I was so excited to get to meet him at last!
I had a couple {un-photographed! for shame!} dinner dates with wonderful friends and loved catching up.  I tested the limits of Baby Girl's allergic tummy with a post-dinner soy milk latte one night, and very much regretted it the next day, when her spit-up was tinted pink.  Lesson sadly learned.

My fabulous college roomie brought her girls to town for an all-day visit, and we had a blast.  She is such an encouragement as a mother and such a sweet friend.  {P.S. I can't wait to put Baby Girl in pink tutu bathing suits.}
Daddy really outdid himself in the grandfather department.  During our visit, he took the boys to a baseball game, to the lake, and to the golf course.  Report from the baseball game was that Little Guy got to have his first-ever Coke [he's had puh-lenty of sips before, but was apparently quite pleasantly surprised when Gaga asked if he wanted one of his very own}.  Report from the golf course was that "most of our balls went in the holes, but one of thems went in the water!  Oh, well!" and that it's hard to keep little boys from playing in sand traps.
I gave the boys haircuts in the backyard and rejoiced all the while that I would not be cleaning a million clippings from the bathroom's tile floor.  They spent the duration of both their haircuts calling for birdies to come retrieve their hairs for nest-building.
 And...drumroll please...we hit TWO developmental milestones in Alabama.

Baby Girl rolled over.  Back to front.  Multiple times. With relative ease.  Even while swaddled.


Buddy Boy started talking.  A new word or syllable just about every day.  Lots of new sounds.  Strings of gibberish that I just know will begin to solidify into language.
We've got a lot to share with the Mister tomorrow.


Anonymous said...

You never cease to amaze me!!! I can barely get myself together for a flight let alone with three little ones! You deserve a medal! Thank you for sharing!

The Cagles said...

DUDE.... Gate 35B and the bus ride out of DCA not sounding so bad anymore, eh? :)) Sorry that grumpy people are so grumpy!

The Steffens said...

well, um, the family photo is really beautiful!!! looking for the bright side :) Gosh, that sounds so awful. Sorry, Eliz

Kimmie said...

Oh my goodness...that airport/flying experience literally made me break out into cold sweats. I. Would. Have. Died. :) I am very impressed and I'm sure you were exhausted! You'll have to give me tips on three little ones just when I have them at home (ha) let alone flying!!!

Golden Gate Fam said...

Well if you can get through that, I should be able to manage life with one little one without too much complaining. You are amazing!

Eleanor said...

Wow! I can't believe you didn't just give up and try again another day. I wish someone would have let you through to the front of the security line so you could have just made the original flight. Glad you made it though and that it was a good visit! You look beautiful in the first pic!

Wanting What I Have said...

I am super impressed! Put rock. I think I would have burst into tears when no one would move on that plane. I am proud of you for taking all three at once. You are awesome! Praying tomorrow goes better.

Lindsey said...

I just had to leave a comment. I love your blog! This post is hilarious and I love your list of travel mishaps.

Rachel Lesley said...

Elizabeth, I love your little family and how eloquent you are with everything! I read this post, and then had to read it again, out loud, to my mom because I was laughing so hard that she had to know what was going on! Thank you for sharing!

Deirdre said...

Oh my word. Oh my WORD that airport story is just harrowing! That kind of thing is hard enough to handle on one's own! People should be nicer to moms with little kids!!
Beautiful photos! :)
Your mom contacted my mom (of LMLD) to let us know about your blog. I'd love to get in touch sometime!

The York Family said...

Oh wow, you are one brave momma for doing that all on your own! Whew!