If you missed Part 1 yesterday, read it here!
Flying with Kids: Conclusion/What We Learned
1. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, but even if it would’ve been worse, who cares? Life goes on. At a MOPS meeting a few months ago, the speaker talked about doing hard things, taking risks, etc. And the last piece of advice she said that she always gives herself to help her get through those things, “it’ll all be over in ___ mins.” “In just __ minutes, this experience will be history.” In our case I told myself, “this time tomorrow, we’ll be in Philly” and on the way back, “Soon we’ll be back in our house, sleeping in our own beds and our first flight experience with kids will be history.” And as for my worry about what other people will think about small children on a plane, I’d say the same thing to them. They’ll get over it and move on. And most people come on a plane with headphones and ways to block out the noise of my children anyway. They can deal. I’m not going to let the fact that I have children prevent me from ever traveling again. Yes, there is more planning involved now. Yes, there is more STUFF to bring. But we did it, we survived and it was so worth it to spend that time with family and friends, some of whom had never even met my kids before. Aside from just visiting family though, Ivor and I really want to travel more in the future and let our kids experience other places, cultures, etc. It’s really important to us, so we want them to start getting used to it now. And the more you do something, the more comfortable you get with it. Before going to the grocery store with 2 kids by myself for the first time, I was also terrified. But after doing it once, and surviving, I had the confidence to do it again.
2. We think car seats were a good idea on the plane. There were times we said “never again”, because of the ordeal it was trying to get them onto the actual plane and get them installed while the kids were melting down, BUT, in hindsight we think it was probably worth it. Of course we don’t know what it would’ve been like without them. But since the actual flight time was pretty smooth for the kids and they both fell asleep at some point and were comfortable, we think it worked well. The alternative of course, is checking our car seats and risking the possibility of them getting damaged, or not bringing them at all and renting them once we got to our destination. That’s something we might consider in the future when the kids are older (when they’re big enough to sit on the plane without a child restraint system). But we liked the idea of using the car seats we’re familiar with and already know how to install.
3. Choose a better rental car company 🙂
Ok, so let’s move on to our actual time in Philly!
To prevent this from being too long and wordy, I’ll just do bullet points to highlight stuff. It might still get wordy though, just fyi 🙂
*The night we arrived, Gwen was WIRED. So excited to be there and play with her cousin’s toys, see family she recognized from video chats, etc. She did not want to go to bed. And she only slept about 4 hours that night.
*While saying goodnight to Gramma and Pop-Pop, Gwen told them, “Go have lunch now, okay?”
*Gwen helping “Uncle Wichie” every morning make “coffee milk”, pack Olivia’s lunch and feed the dog & cat
*The kids meeting Aunt Nichole for the first time!
*And meeting “G-Mom” and soooo many other people too, for the very first time.
*The joint birthday party we threw for Gwen and Ivor Baby (it was 2 months after Gwen’s 2nd birthday and a few weeks before Ivor’s 1st). We wanted to celebrate it with all the family and friends that can’t always make it out to CA for their birthdays. It was a pretty awesome party. We are so grateful we were able to do it, and that so many people came! But you all got them WAY too many gifts lol. Seriously. We had to buy an extra suitcase for the trip back home 😛
*Our friends got married! Ivor was in the wedding, and also did the sound, lights and DJ stuff. I took the photos. It was a good time 🙂
*Gwen and Ivor Baby meeting Wyatt and Emma, their future spouses 😉
* Date night in Philly at Amada
*Seeing our Philly house again. So much progress has been made, I hardly recognized it! Except for when we walked into our old bedroom (which was always the finished part of the house). I got a little emotional. That was our first bedroom as a married couple. The hardwood floors, the exposed brick wall, the view of the giant milk jug out the window. Sigh…. memories.
*Ivor Baby meeting his “Pappy Fish” for the first time and having 3 generations of Ivor Griffiths in the same room
*The fact that Pappy Fish and Nana Sam drove all the way up from South Carolina to see us!
*Memorial Day picnic in Skook with Ivor’s family, (meeting several of them for the first time too). Gwen going back and forth between 3 different slides “red one….blue one….yellow one….” and on and on lol.
*Seeing my best friends and all the babies!
*Sesame Place. It was HOT and there were waaaaaaay too many people (which is bound to happen on a holiday weekend), but it was still a good trip and Gwen had a blast, especially in the water park (which is not at all surprising).
*Doing a cute craft that Erica put together for the kids- hand and feet prints on a flower pot for Gramma’s new house upstate.
There are probably so many other things I’m forgetting right now. But overall, it was a really great trip. I learned 2 things about my kids. Gwen is super adaptable. Ivor Baby is not. Gwen had no problems whatsoever being in a new environment, surrounded by new people. Ivor Baby, well, he wanted to cling to what was familiar (me). Not the WHOLE time, but way more than is typical for him. I could tell this the most when we got home. He was SO happy to be back in a familiar environment, his face lit up with happiness and he crawled around all over the place, played with his toys, laughed, etc. I wish everyone could’ve seen that side of him, instead of the super fussy/clingy side. But, he’s just a baby. Hopefully next time when he’s older it won’t be like that 🙂
I’m not sure when we’ll be back again, but for now, we have lots of great memories to hold on to. And we’re looking forward to you all flying out to CA to see us next 😉