Packing for yourself and two small children for a long trip (11 days) can be daunting. The cure for me is to pack at least 24 hours in advance so I have time (or at least convince myself that I do) to remember the last few items that otherwise would have been forgotten if I had packed the day of. I can jump out of bed and jot a few things down to remember to pack in the morning. Of course there is the challenge of packing 3 people for 11 days, including nice clothes for a wedding, in one small carry-on size bag, because you know I am NOT going to pay to check a bag. But rolling clothes and planning to wear at least a few outfits more than once did the trick.
As we boarded the plane we got two very distinctive looks
1) the warm happy smiles and bright eyes from the passengers that thought are kids were the cutest (o.k. they probably would have thought that about any kids, but we'll take it)
2) or the straight faced, eyes say it all "oh hell, small children on the flight, please tell me they aren't sitting close to us," and I swear you could hear them sigh with relief as we walked a few aisles passed them.
I have to assume that the first category of people are parents and can appreciate the fact that kids are people too and need to get from point A to point B. I can also say that I understand where the people from category two are coming from because lets face it, sitting near a screaming child in a confined space where no one has the luxury to leave can be challenging.
Luckily for us, our kids were very well behaved and hopefully making all the people in category 2 feel bad for the looks they gave us.
As we were exiting the plane Jason scored him and Blythe a seat in the Cock-pit. I don’t know who was more excited, but I was shocked that they kept telling Blythe – yeah push all the buttons you want, yet pull that up, push that down, etc. Blythe is usually shy in this kind of setting, but she was all about flying that airplane. Certainly a highlight of the vacation for Blythe.
When we arrived in Charleston and collected our rented mini-van the theme park started for Blythe. She was mesmerized by her ability to open and close the doors with the touch of a button, rolling the windows up, and down, moving the seat, and the DVD player. I think she thought THIS was the vacation. We really put our kids to the test while we were in Charleston. The girls and I left the 'bachelor party' bar at 11pm on Thursday, closed down the rehearsal dinner at 10:30pm on Friday, and were out in downtown Charleston at 1am on Saturday enjoying dessert after the wedding. We received tons of comments on how well behaved the kids were and I think we made some of the couples decide that maybe they really were ready to do the kid thing, if life with kiddos was this easy. We even received a really sweet letter from the parents of the groom upon our return stating "you guys are a great advertisement for how you should do the parenting things." Its moments like this that as a parent you swell with pride and thing "hey, at least we got something right."
On Sunday we drove from Charleston to Columbia to stay with Jason's soon to be Aunt and Uncle and to have some much needed regular napping and down time for the kids before their wedding the following weekend.
Jericho was loving being down on the ground and out of arms and figured out a new trick on Monday night. Of course as soon as we got the camera out she went all silly...