Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Moving Out, Moving In, Moving On

I really don't know where to start. I can hardly believe that it has only been 7 days since we arrived in the USA. It seems like we have been here for weeks.

It also seems like we had never left, but I am not sure of how that is possible.

I'll be brief and give as much of a synopsis as possible....

Saturday, June 29th, the movers arrived to pack up our house. I took Grace over to a friend's house for the morning and by the time I got back to our house it seemed like the movers were moving really fast and that they would finish in just an hour or two. Sophia and I visited with a neighbor one more time and I picked Grace up at noon and Ian texted to say that it was going to be awhile, so I literally drove in circles so that Grace and Sophia could have a nap (no cribs to sleep in anymore! and we couldn't check in to the hotel until 3.)

They woke up at 2 and we went to a mall to walk around for awhile and headed back to the house at 4 to pick up Ian. The movers were still working away so Grace ran around our empty house yelling "Where'd you go couch? Where'd you go bed?" or accusingly proclaiming "HEY!" and pointing at the movers like they did something wrong. Fun times.

We finally left the house at 6 pm and checked into our hotel and crashed at 8. Grace slept in a big girl bed for the first time ever and she LOVED it. Sunday we mainly ran errands, swam in the pool a couple of times, and took naps at the hotel.

Monday came and I could hardly believe it. It was the day I had been waiting for for months! Travel day. We swam in the morning while Ian was trying to get some of our accounts closed up and tied up some loose strings. The girls had their nap and then we checked out of the hotel and went to our friends house. Honestly, that afternoon was a blur. Before I knew it, it was dinner and bath time for the kids and they were in bed before 7:30. Our friends had set up pack n plays in their room and the girls slept while we took a nap in the guest bedroom.

Our alarms went off at 10:30 pm and I took a quick shower before we got the girls up, loaded the car, and headed to the airport at 11.

Everything went well at check in. We got all of our baggage (5 suitcases, 2 carry ons, 1 diaper bag, 1 pack n play, 2 car seats, and our stroller,) through security and then got checked in at the ticket counter. We headed through with just our carry on things (2 carry ons, 1 diaper bag, Grace's car seat,) with Grace sitting in the stroller and Sophia in our Boba carrier. We got a snack at McDonald's and by the time Ian and I took turns going to the bathroom and changing the Sophia's diaper and taking Grace to the bathroom it was time to board the plane.

Just like that, the gate opened and people with small children were asked to board. We weren't using the bulkhead seats or bassinet and we got to our four seats pretty quickly. Ian was able to install Grace's car seat without a worry (no one even asked if it was airline approved,) and we all buckled up and took off pretty quickly after that. Sophia fell asleep while we were taxiing out and slept in my arms for the first hour or so, and then after that took another hour nap or so. The first flight was 6 hours from Abu Dhabi to Frankfurt, Germany.

When we landed in Germany we were tired! We walked to the right terminal and then got more McDonald's (real pork breakfast sandwiches! much better than turkey sausage!) and then spent an hour at one of the airport's playgrounds. We then set up at one of the gates. Sophia took a bottle and then fell asleep in the stroller while Grace was set up on two chairs with a pillow, blanket, and her pacis. We used our carry on luggage to provide a wall of sorts around her to make her feel secure. I sprawled out on some chairs with a pillow too (I would highly suggest anyone traveling with babies to bring their own pillows!) but couldn't fall asleep. Ian finally took a nap and Grace slept for 3 straight hours on those chairs!

Finally we woke up, got some lunch, and could check in at our gate, 7 hours after landing. Whew. We boarded our next plane with a sense of doom. We knew Sophia was over exhausted but there was nothing we could do about it. Grace watched an endless stream of Mickey Mouse between cat naps and Sophia cried off and on throughout the next 9 hours of flight. At one point I cried silent tears because I was just so exhausted and my baby was so tired.

Just being real with you.

I also think the German family who watched our whole debacle had a new sense of appreciation for their teenage kids.

If you can avoid flying with a 6-12 month old for a long distance (5 plus hours,) that is really the best thing. They just don't understand why they are being cooped up and they are too little for upright car seats and there is no where for them to roll around. It's just a hard age.

Finally. FINALLY we approached Orlando, Florida, and got ourselves cleaned up and made a half hearted attempt at eating some food. When we landed, we went through customs, claimed all of our baggage, then went through immigration and had to send our luggage on to the regular baggage claim area.

We road the tram to the main terminal (I love Orlando International Airport. It's just great!) and when we came around the bend I saw my father in law, brother in law, and his wife waiting for us. We gave hugs and introduced them to the girls and then this loud yelling noise and running bodies came straight at us! It was my best friends, Courtney, Jessica, and Katie, who were at another area waiting with my mother in law and brother in law. My mother in law had gotten a text saying we were there and my friends took off running and screaming through the airport. HA! I don't think I'll ever forget that.

We re claimed our luggage and headed to the car. We said our goodbyes to my friends and then the family went out to dinner. One car had to return to the airport because we had forgotten the pack-n-play but we had a nice dinner at Logan's Roadhouse and went home and slept.

Actually, I remember very little from the restaurant as I was entirely overwhelmed and overstimulated by the sights and sounds!

I couldn't even eat, ha.

I wish I had kept a better account of the last couple of days but to the best of my memory, our week was like this:

Wednesday- slept until our normal time and got up and got showered. Headed to Target with my mother in law while Ian went on errands with his Dad.
Thursday- Celebrated the 4th of July with the family! Went swimming, smoked ribs, and hung out as a family.
Friday- saw my girlfriends and had Chick-Fil-A for the first time. Made another trip to Target and did some clothes shopping. That night we left the girls with his parents and went out with his brothers and sister-in law and her family to dinner and a movie (saw Bring The Heat- hilarious but dripping with profanities.)
Saturday- stayed home? This day is a bit of a blur. I think we went to lunch with his family at Sonny's barbecue
Sunday- beach day with the family! It was gorgeous and we had a great time. We got home, put the girls down, and Ian's dad and I went to see The Lone Ranger- I loved it!
Monday- Had an early morning with Grace, walked to the park, went for a swim, all before noon. My friend Katie came to hang out for a little and then Ian and I went out on errands late that evening.

Our days have been jam packed and we have been spoiled by friends and family but we are loving just having family and friends around! What a treat! And I am so shocked by how green everything is and how NOT hot it is here!


Natalie said...

Wow! You are AMAZING for going through all of that with two little ones! I am traveling in a few weeks by myself with my two girls and I am nervous about it, but its only a 2 hour flight so if you can do that long I can certainly manage 2 on my own ;)
So glad you got here safe and sound. Enjoy your time!!!

Tami said...

I am so impressed that Grace slept in the airport like that! I so wish Emerson would have done that on a few of our trips! I wanted to cry for you reading about your longer flight. You know I've been there and I think I'm still traumatized! :) I'm SO happy for you guys and I know that you are enjoying every second of life back in the States!

Emily said...

Glad your travel went fairly well! Also glad you arrived in FL safely and with such a warm (and loud) welcome! :) I am totally jealous that you had Sonny's BBQ-just sayin'!

Rachel and John said...

I hear you on airplane difficulties with over tired babies. Only it was my Henry at 2 years old who was beside himself on a bumpy 5 hour flight that required seatbelts the entire time. He just wanted me to hold him....but I couldn't. Man oh Man.

Glad you are back home and catching up on all the love!

Lauren said...

I'm just so happy to know that you all made & safe & sound! Hope you're already settled in and enjoying some long-overdue time with precious family & friends!

Preppy Pink Crocodile said...

I didn't realize you were moving out of your house. Will you be able to move back in to the same home six months later? Or are you not returning?

You two deserve an award for that flight with two babies. I can't imagine! So glad y'all are having a wonderful time reconnecting with family and friends.


The Taffs said...

My heart just sympathizes with you for those long flights. I once spent 6 hours on a plane with my newborn...I can't even imagine doing what you did! Sounds like it was totally worth it though!

Unknown said...

So pleased you are home and that all your family can finally meet your girls!

Alison H said...

Love you and SO happy ya'll are there and safe and that your girlies are getting spoiled! ;)

Julie @ Living on the Ledge said...

Just found you via the Loflands blog...interesting story and cute kiddos!

Julie @ Living on the Ledge said...

Just found you via the Loflands blog. Interesting story and cute kiddos!!!

Anne @ Sincerely, Britches said...

OH my goodness! I've been off the blogging realm for quite awhile but have been trying to get back in the groove now that I have a new blog space and hopefully a bit more time. I've been HORRIBLE about reading blogs, but I'm trying to get back at it, and when I looked at yours, OH MY GOODNESS! You've back in the states, and you had another baby! Wow! So exciting for you! And little Sophia was born on my birthday! :)
Just wanted to say Hi and I hope all is going well!