Tuesday, August 7, 2012

flying solo...sort of

It would be an understatement to say I was scared out of my mind to travel solo with my two littles. Kate's entire July wasn't the sunniest and she was sure to let us know with a scream. And Leah can't sit still, which doesn't bode well on a plane. That, and I had to carry luggage for three people packed for three weeks with two hands that were already carrying two people. 


I went over every single scenario in my mind beforehand and figured out what I would do if that situation came up - the list included screaming, diapers, eating, nursing, throw up, ripped handles on bags...you name it, I thought of it and I tried to figure out what I would do before I actually had to do it. 

Thinking of the worst case scenario wasn't necessarily a bad thing because it made the actual flight seem like one of the easiest things I've ever done in my life. 

We picked up my sweet friend Catherine at 4:30 in the morning. I drove to the airport. When we arrived, she sat in the car while I curb checked the big bags and Kate's car seat. She drove my car back home so I wouldn't have to pay for parking for three weeks. I put Kate in the bjorn and Leah in the umbrella stroller. I put the diaper bag and Leah's backpack on the umbrella stroller and carried my small carry on. Easy peasy. 

We got checked in no problem - all documents were conveniently located and organized in a folder in my diaper bag. We then took the elevator to the security line. The elevator door happened to be right in front of the family line, which no one was in, so they ushered me right to the front. The employees at the airport helped Leah through and even helped me repack my bag with all the things I had to take out. When we got to the gate, we got a pre-boarding pass because of Leah's disabilities. I took both girls to the bathroom for a diaper change, waited for a few minutes and then boarded the plane...safely in the back row where Leah's bouncing wouldn't bother anyone. 

The flight attendants were infatuated with both girls, and the woman sitting next to me {the flight was full} just happened to be a single mom who had two grown children and was in Boston for a conference on how to build her business. What was her business you ask? An online resource for single parents. And not just parents who are single because of divorce or death. But any parent who is single - or alone - for any point in time for any reason. This means that, to her, I was a single parent on the plane that day. She was so excited to be sitting next to us. Could I have asked for a better neighbor!? 

I was prepared with snacks, drinks, iPads, iPods, binkies, blankets, bottles, plastic sacks for anything wet, and more. And we used them all. 

Leah either did this 

or this

or this

or this

the entire flight. 

Kate did this

and only cried for maybe a total of 60 seconds the entire seven hours.  

At one point, both girls were sprawled across my lap, sleeping. I didn't dare do more than breathe for fear of waking them. It was too good to be true!

We had a stop in Vegas, but didn't change planes. The flight attendants told Leah to run up and down the aisles and sit in different seats to get her wiggles out. She obliged. 

And they gave Kate a certificate for being on her first-ever flight. 

A quick, hour long flight {that wasn't full so we had an extra seat to stretch out} landed us in Salt Lake City where my mom was waiting with open arms to hug us and help us with our bags. 

Sometimes I still can't believe how smoothly the flight went. My planning, preparing and praying definitely paid off!


Michelle said...

I LOVE this post! serious! Those pics of them sleeping are so dang cute. What a relief that such a long day turned out so great

Amy W said...

You are a superstar mom!! I would never even attempt a flight... I'd be too scared! You are courageous! I love reading about your girls and seeing all the adorable pics. Such a beautiful family.