Thursday, September 9, 2010

We Made It (And We're All Alive ... And Somewhat Sane ... )!!!

Phew. To say I was too tired last night to post, is an understatement! I've been trying to keep my posts short and quick to read so they don't take up much of everyone's precious time, but this'll be a biggie!

First, a few stats:

10 - The number of items packed to make the trip ... 4 checked suitcases, 1 diaper bag, one carry on suitcase, 1 toy suitcase for Easton, 1 carseat, 1 stroller and 1 playpen. Phew!
2 - The number of trips it took to get all 10 items to the airport

2 again - The number of flights we had to take

3 - The number of steps Audrey took in the Toronto airport after I told a lady there that Audrey's not walking yet (Lesson: never tell people that your kids can't do something) ... since then I've been saying she's officially walking, and of course she hasn't taken another step.

3 again - The number of people who said that the kids were so well behaved (they're slightly well practiced)

4 - The number of Westjet employees that helped me get the kids and our 'stuff' on and off the planes. (THANK YOU!!!!)

11 - The number of plane rides Audrey has now been on, and also the number of months old Audrey is today!

1 - The number of naps Audrey took in our 9 hour trip

30 - The number of minutes Audrey slept in that one nap (ARGH)

8 - The size of my parent's family that we're joining for the next four weeks

11 - The new size of my parent's family for the next four weeks (Oy!!!)

85 - The approximate number of decibels at any given time in a household with 11 people ......

And now for lessons to travelling with kids ... some are old lessons and some are new!

1. Forget about germs. Let your kids crawl around the floor and don't worry about who's been there and done what there beforehand. It's just easier that way.

2. Pack a travel suitcase for each kid. I have a suitcase that is Easton's 'travel suitcase'. He gets it ONLY when we travel. It has toys that he ONLY gets when we travel, so it's like they're always new. Melissa and Doug toys are the BEST! The have magnetic toys that are awesome ... magnets are good on airplanes. So are the colour wonder colouring books ... crayons are too tricky because they need a hard backing. Colour wonder has the versatility of a marker, without the worry that they're going to draw all over the airplane!

3. Elastic-waist pants. No jeans... this goes for kids and parents. The only thing more fun than using an airplane bathroom is using it with two kids. Picture this: 4 year old wearing jeans that he doesn't know how to work the snap and zipper. Me holding just-awoken 11 month old on my hip. How does this work? Not very well ... Also picture this: Mom needing to undo jeans to go to bathroom while holding baby, etc. Not easy. Just go elastic. They're comfy and you can pull them up and down with one hand!

4. If you have two parents travelling, have one board the plane first with all the luggage and stuff. The other parent can run the kids silly outside and board at the last minute - that way the kids aren't in a confined place for an additional 30-60 minutes! :)

5. Lollypops/Suckers are the BEST! Give them to your kids for take-off/landing to help with ears popping, and they take so long to eat that you can guarantee yourself a good 20-30+ minutes of kid happiness.

6. When in doubt, portable DVD players are fantastic.

7. Don't be afraid to walk the aisles. Everyone else on the plane is bored too and a happy kid/baby face makes everyone smile. Also don't be afraid to let your kid/baby play in the aisle while there is no service happening. Audrey had a blast crawling up and down yesterday, saying hello to everyone, and for the most part, other passengers enjoy the break and a baby's smiling face too! (Just make sure you keep them out of people's way).

8. Easton once spent half of a flight from Calgary to Toronto 'washing' the inside of the plane with diaper wipes. He was so happy to wipe down the walls, seats, etc. Simple is good. If it works, go for it!

9. When you get on the plane, ask where the bathroom with the change table is AND THEN CHECK! I spent a flight getting peed on while waiting for the WRONG bathroom. It was not a fun flight to Mexico. Don't take the flight attendant's word about the bathroom with change table, check before you need it and find out it's the wrong one! (Also pack a light pair of extra clothes for said accidents).

10. Have a puke bag readily available. fold down the top about an inch so that it will stand easily on it's own. (On the way to Cuba, Easton was sick ... as he was puking with his hand in FRONT of his face - puke spewing everywhere - I was reaching for the puke bag. This is too late.)

11. Take an empty sippy cup if your kids drink from cups. Easton drinks fine from a cup now, but a sippy for a few years is a good idea ... one poor man sitting next to us accidentally had a drink spilled over him one unfortunate flight. Thank goodness it was only water!

12. I recently read that you should take ear plugs with you when travelling with kids ... if your kids cry the whole time, your neighbours will be happy for them, and it might even make them smile that you can have some fun with a horrible situation!

13. When prebooking your seats, I try to book an aisle and a window when it's the three of us. Let's face it ... no one asks for a middle seat. If you book an aisle and middle seat, someone will ask for the window. So far, I've had no one put in that middle seat, which gives you some extra wiggle room. Especially when you have an infant on your lap!

14. Don't stress, people have been there before, and they'll be there again. Hang in there, and hope for the best! At the end of the day, you'll get where you're going.

That's all I have for today! Time to get out and apply for my new driver's license and health card. Yeehaw.

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