Thursday, I peeled my exhausted body out of bed at 3:30 am and loaded myself, way too much stuff, and two tired babies into the 4runner. For the record, Chuck helped with the loading of said stuff.
Jade kept commenting that it was "very dark outside". After getting stopped at every red light on the way to the airport, we parked and, after organizing for 5 minutes, made our way to check in. When we got to security and I realized that Chuck was leaving, I had a very brief "oh crap" moment. "um, can I ACTUALLY do this? Like really?" And then I carried on my way like it never happened.
We had to wait in line for a while and both kids were great. Then they took Jade's milk. Something that normally wouldn't be a big deal...but when you have a very tired, possessive, stranger-phobic toddler, it's quite a big deal. For the record, TSA was great. They gave her milk back before taking her blanky away. They let me wear Piper and carry Jade through the scanner and just briefly waved me with the wand. They carried all of my stuff over to a table for me to get ready. Of course, they probably felt bad because Jade was screaming the.whole.time.
Once I started moving again, she was fine and it was remarkably easy to push the stroller and pull the carry-on with carseat attached. I went straight to the gate and the man boarded me almost immediately. The flight attendant held Piper for me while I got Jade's carseat hooked in and Jade buckled in.
The beginning wasn't too bad. But we were under a maintenance hold and sitting there got old. Fast. I will say that Piper did sleep some and Jade did not scream the *whole* flight so it certainly could have been worse. Some nice people offered to hold Piper but for some reason this made Jade VERY angry so I was basically on my own.
When we landed in Atlanta, I thanked myself for paying the big bucks for a direct flight. It took me about an hour (maybe an exaggeration, I honestly don't know) to get to baggage claim and then a family friend helped me with my bags to the car. Don't know what I would have done without him.
Bottom line: traveling with 2 young kids is not for the faint of heart. And really, the plane was just the beginning of it being hard. But it's so worth it to come home and see friends and family. And eventually my kids will be old enough to realize that as well :)
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