Matt, Nate, and I just returned from another wonderful two-week trip to New York while Keith was in the field. Once again, the boys adjusted beautifully to being away from home, in a completely different environment and in a different time zone. I really love how adaptable they are—a quality that certainly comes with the military lifestyle. It gives me a great deal of hope that our upcoming move to LA will go smoothly and that Matt and Nate will adjust to their new home relatively quickly.
The boys got in lots of fun, quality time with their grandma and grandpa and the rest of the family. I also enjoyed many much-needed nights out without the kiddos. Heading into the city on the subway to hit the town with my friends and family, I felt like my old self again. I ate at great restaurants, hit up fun bars, went to the movies, and even took in a New York Rangers game. It was certainly a much-needed vacation for all of us.
The trip home? Not so wonderful. My Aunt Terry flew back with the boys and me because there is no way in hell I’d be able to handle them on my own. In fact, the two of us could barely handle them. I got to see firsthand how much “behind the scenes” stuff Keith takes care of when we travel to keep things running smoothly.
The fun started when my dad pulled up to the United Airlines terminal at LaGuardia Airport and none of us could get the car seats out of the car. My dad’s car has the latch system, and Keith had made sure to show me how to remove the seats. And I did know how to remove them. I just couldn’t do it. I felt like the latches were buried so deep in the seat I could barely get my hands on them, let alone unhook them.
After 20 minutes of the boys growing increasingly agitated as my dad and I fiddled with the seats, the curbside check-in guy took pity on us and removed them in three minutes flat.
But then we had another problem. I couldn’t seem to attach the seats tightly enough to our Go-Go Babyz Travelmates, which had been lifesavers for us in the past and are amazing items to have if you’re 99 percent of the population. But if you’re me and you’re a complete idiot when it comes to anything technical—yet you don’t bother to read the instruction manual—suddenly they became way less useful, and you end up dragging the kids through the airport without the wheels even spinning half the time because various straps are getting caught underneath them, and your kids are bouncing around in their car seats like they’re on a wooden roller coaster.
(This photo, from our much more peaceful flight in December, depicts how the Travelmates are supposed to work):
Yet we made it onto our flight to Denver, and the boys were doing great. Then we sat on the tarmac for an hour and a half because of some technical difficulty. That’s when the boys’patience wore thin and they began to get whiny and fidgety. They calmed down once we were airborne, but they demanded constant entertainment for the next three hours, and only when we began our descent into Denver did they fall asleep.
We made it to Denver with about 15 minutes to spare before our short connecting flight to Colorado Springs was set to board. Piece of cake, right? Not when you come out of gate B25 and your next flight leaves out of gate B95. That’s SEVENTY GATES! But along we went, each with two carryon bags on our shoulders. Nate was so upset about having been woken up, he refused to sit in his seat. So I had to run through the airport while struggling to carry all 26 pounds of him, and poor Aunt Terry had to drag both of the rickety car seats behind her, one of which contained Matt.
Yet we somehow managed to get to B95, sweating profusely—only to find that our connecting flight was delayed. At this point it was 7 PM Colorado time (which was 9 PM to us since we had come from the east coast) and the boys were starving, so I started shoving whatever I could find in my bag—frosted strawberry Pop Tarts—down their throats. Then we boarded the plane and sat on the tarmac again for an hour—triple the time of the actual flight. Both boys fell asleep once the plane took off, but when we had to wake them 20 minutes later to deplane, all hell broke loose.
Once we got our three huge suitcases and managed to lug them, along with everything else, out of the airport and find the boys’ babysitter (who had driven our own car to come pick us up), we thought we could finally relax. But, oh yeah—now we had to get the car seats back into our car. And Nate was screaming bloody murder at the top of his lungs because all he wanted was to be asleep in his crib. And it was snowing.
We finally got home around 9:30 PM Colorado time—11:30 New York time—and the boys drank their milk and went to sleep fairly easily. Then Aunt Terry and I ate cereal and Nutella with crackers for dinner at midnight before we finally hit the sack.
It was a long way home. But two weeks later, here we are, and the whole crazy debacle is behind us. Now we can rest easy—until our big move in three months. Oh, brother…
*DISCLAIMER: I wholeheartedly recommend the Go-Go Babyz Travelmate. Just don’t be like me: Read the instructions!