Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Mom: Susan's First Vacation - Part 1 - Arrival Day

Last week, we took Susan to Naples, Florida for her first real vacation.  She actually went to Charleston when she was 6 weeks old for a quick visit, but that doesn't really count.  She was still a newborn!  Very different from the alert, active and involved baby that she is now!

Anyway, we were very prepared.  I read up on all this tips for flying with an infant and how to make the trip enjoyable for her.  The main reasons that babies scream and cry on the airplane is because their ears are bothering them.  So the trick is to feed them if it appears that their ears are going to bug them.

Our flight left at 2 p.m. on Tuesday.  We were flying Southwest from Raleigh to Orlando and  then Orlando to Florida.  I wanted to make sure we had plenty of time to get through security (especially since we overpacked by about 3 bags - lesson learned there.)  Chris dropped us and the bags off at the terminal and left to park to the car.  Susan was napping in her carseat but woke up fairly quickly.  She and I started playing.  Once Chris arrived, we inserted Susan into the new Britax baby carrier (Chris will have to blog later about his new love for our new baby carrier) and we made our way to Check-In. 

Once at the booth, we gave the Southwest Lady our preprinted boarding passes and this is how it went from there.

SW Lady:  Is she flying in her carrier?

Me:  No, she will be sitting in our laps.

SW Lady:  Alright.  I need her birth certificate.

Me:  Um, we don't have that with us.  (UM, "we" haven't walked the three blocks from our downtown office building to even pick it up yet.)

SW Lady:  You really need to be in the habit of bringing something with you with her name and date of birth on it when you travel with her.  That is our policy.

Me:  Ok....

SW Lady:  Ok so what is her name and date of birth?

Obviously, this was a SUPER strict policy.  NOT.  And thanks for the lecture SW Lady.  I love Southwest, but she was just a tad bit rude.  I am sure we looked a sight with the 4 month old strapped in the carrier and our 9 bajillion bags behind us.  But come on.

Anyway, we got Susan a lap boarding pass and made our way to security.  I was all prepared to be pulled aside because we had so many questionable things in our diaper bag.  I even told the guys at security "I have formula, medicines, and other baby items in this bag."  The guy just smiled, said ok and put everything through the scanner.  I guess they weren't too concerned about bombs in our stuff.

Once we reached the gate area, we had lunch.  Susan played in the carrier and basked in all the attention she was getting.  After lunch, I took her to the bathroom for a quick diaper change.  After this, she started getting  a bit sleepy.  And cranky.  So I held and swayed her at the gate and she immediately passed out. 

So far, this is pretty awesome!
Sleepy girl!

We were allowed to board early with this flight.  It was practically empty.  We snagged a seat near the very back (everyone else was about ten rows in front) and settled in.  I had read it was good to be close to the bathroom in case of an incident.  Susan stayed asleep until the flight attendants began  shutting the overhead bins.  She woke up a little after that.  But she still kept dozing.  As the plane began to take off, her eyes got HUGE as the engines started.  I was holding her and Chris was armed with a small bottle of formula (a 2 oz. nursette.) So I just started talking to her and telling her that it was okay.  And she didn't make a sound.  She kept trying to fall back asleep.  But then the attendants kept walking by with drinks and finally she woke up.

AND SHE HAD A BLAST.  Seriously, she woke up and started playing, smiling and just having a ball.  We couldn't believe it!  We were so prepared for her to just lose it on the plane!  But she didn't!  We even fed her at 3 for her regular bottle.  She took the whole thing and had great burps.  Thankfully, she didn't have any movements. 

This is so awesome!!!

Why were my parents so worried?

Surprise face!!!
Once we landed in Orlando, we knew she was pretty tired.  So Chris put her in the carrier facing his chest and we went off to the food court for a snack and celebratory vacation beer.  But Susan wasn't having it.  She is just so alert and aware now.  And she  wants to be able to see it all!  When she was younger, she had no problem just dropping off anywhere.  But now its a little harder for her to block out all the stimulation.  After our snack, we made our way to the gate and she started getting fussy.

Our second and last flight was short - only 30 minutes.  And it was FULL.  We grabbed a seat in the back again, just in case.  And Susan started getting cranky.  It was super hot and taking everyone WAY too long to board.  And everyone kept passing our row like we were lepers.  Eventually, I started swaying with her and that seemed to help.  As the plane began to take off, she finally fell asleep.  (Chris was still armed with a bottle just in case.)  She slept for the entire flight and woke up after we landed.

Once we landed, we made a beeline towards that baggage claim.  We knew my brother was waiting (we hadn't seen him since April) and I couldn't wait to see him.  And Susan was fine.  She was fine until it was time to get in her car seat.  By this time, it was about 7:00 p.m. which is usually when she has her last bottle of the day.  My grandparents keep two cars in Naples and my parents had driven both to the airport to pick us up.  They had already installed the car seat base in the CRV so Susan,  Chris and I piled in.  I decided to sit in the back with her (something I quit doing after she was about a week old - and after we bought the mirror so we could find the paceys and insert them if she needed them)  She was fine until we were about 15 minutes away from the condo.  Then she had had enough.  She was hungry and tired.  So I started feeding her in the car.
Riding to the car.  Right before Susan lost it.
Once we arrived at the condo, she finished her bottle and went straight for the bath.  After a somewhat strange bath (she is used to her little tub and Chris had to hold her up while I bathed her in my grandparents super deep tub) we put her to bed.  She was in bed by 8:30, only a little bit later than she is used too!

All in all, Chris and I were so proud of her!  She was amazing!  I have decided I don't want to win the lottery anymore.  Because we somehow won the baby lottery.   And that is all I need!


  1. So glad she did well in the plane! We haven't gone through such an adventure yet... Also, glad y'all found a baby carrier you're happy with. I've heard good things about the Britax (though I still love my Ergobaby).