Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Leaving on a Jetplane

One sleep...

One sleep left and then I fly home... (and get a Starbucks hot chocolate upon arrival)

One of the really nice things about Husband and I's first abroad destination is the proximity to our for realsies home in New Jersey. Whereas others have 8 hour flights or layovers or time changes and time zones to worry about, we are 3.5 - 4 hours away... barely a journey. That has certainly worked out in our favor considering that we have had a lot of family visits because of Rafaella's birth last year, not to mention baby bump on the way. Flying home a short distance with an infant (first when Rafa was 2 months and again when she was 10 months) also makes flying as relaxing as you're going to get.

Up until now though, I have always flown with Husband. Maybe being pregnant and emotional makes me want to be home or maybe it's because my grandmother is getting older and this summer proved to be a difficult one on her, or maybe just because it's Christmas and I love the smell of cold air through a scarf, I decided that I wanted to get home a little earlier this year. And since Husband doesn't finish school until December 21st, that means I will be traveling alone.

Well.. not exactly alone.

I am a pretty independent person but I have to be honest that since I had Rafa last year, I tend to stick pretty close to home. Home meaning Husband. He keeps me calm(ish) and is the best father. Unlike other dads that seem to be a bit clueless (I've literally heard other moms say that if they go awa they have to leave an Instructions for Dad List.), Husband is in it to win it. He is so in the loop, he might as well be the loop. So having him on my team is so key in this baby raising thing. Losing him, even for 10 days, is a huge loss. 

Needless to say, waiting for him to arrive in a week and a half and not having him on the plane ride is scary. But it is kind of nice knowing he is so essential to my life.

I have a pretty good idea of how I'm going to manage Rafa at the airport and on the plane:

but I can't feed her for 4 straight hours... can I? 
Ok. No. Right. 

I pray for her awesomeness. Sometimes, I swear she knows when we need this from her and she will look like this

And then, as I tend to be a bit of a worrier, I am terrified that she will look like this

or God forbid like this

She's a great baby. 
Sleeps amazingly at night. 
Eats incredibly well. 
Happy and independent. 
...but not a good traveler. 

Unlike many kids who need only a few bumps in a car ride to fall deeply asleep, let's just say Rafa can barely tolerate it. I have actually punched the car door a few times or imagined flinging my body out of the moving car during some of her outrageous, screaming car ride fits. 

Luckily here are the +es I have working for me:
  • Planes, unlike cars, allow for some movement and distraction. 
  • People seem to be attracted to Rafa's flirty, happy nature and she eats it up so that should help keep her attention. 
  • huge bonus - she has her own seat... and it's not a car seat! Since carrying a 6 month baby in my belly and a 14 month old on my lap wasn't the epitome of comfort, Husband and I decided to put out a little money to get Rafaella her own seat. 

My thoughtful sister also sent me this LINK a little while back which I will be studying deep into the night. I'll let you know what works.

Keep your fingers crossed. 

Do you have any tips for flying home with a small child?

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