Friday, September 6, 2013

Our Trip Home

The family & feast of food last night was terrific! Scott gave his parents some tips on making fajitas. Susan, Alvin and Scott all cooked. Alvin handled the barbecue. Aunt Nancy, Uncle Arnold, Uncle Mike and Nanny all showed up to eat. It was another scorcher outside, so we ate inside. Sebastian kept his Great Uncle Arnold (born in the 1930's) very busy. They spent lots of time riding their bikes up and down the street while dinner was being prepared. Nanny complimented Scott as he cooked. He looked up & told her lovingly, "Everything I know I learned from you." However, it's likely this was Nanny's first fajita! Nanny sat beside Willow and I at dinner. She held Willow a couple of times. Willow mimicked her saying, "Eat, eat, eat!" Nanny enjoyed eating and chatting with her great grandchildren. I think everyone had a good time & the food was of course delicious! It was a huge meal! We took lots of pictures to capture the evening.

We arrived at the ticketing counter at the Oklahoma City airport early this evening, only to find that our biggest piece of luggage was 57 pounds (7 pounds over), and would no longer be free but instead would be a hefty $75! We asked if we could rearrange things and ended up emptying much of the suitcase into the car seat bags until we hit 49.5 pounds. Who knew you could stuff items in the car seat bags??! They just have to be 50 pounds or less too! And of course they don't count as luggage, so even better! While all of this was going on, the boys were fighting and Judah was periodically taking off. And of course there was a line behind us. Stressful.

Oklahoma security can't be as bad as Portland, right? WRONG. We made it quickly through the short security line and reached their checkpoint. From there we were immediately directed down a hall and into a secluded security area. We had no idea why. At this point we had to empty out most of the items in our carry-ons. They inspected our items using machines and other methods. They confiscated an ice pack because it was partly melted.  I struggled to keep Judah under control while they had me open sippy cups & milk bottles and checked my hands for bomb material. Scott had to go through a completely separate search, including a full pat-down. His items were separated from ours and taken across the room where they could be inspected more thoroughly. We were told his search was just "routine". Was there really anything "routine" about any of this?!? I was beginning to wonder if the recent "We're The Millers" movie was being taken seriously by security officials. (It's a comedy about a diverse group of characters posing as a family to transport marijuana.)

After a long, insane trip through security, we finally made it to the gate. We spent the next 20 minutes trying to corral the children. Judah nearly made it on a plane at one point. But at least we could all relax when we made it on board our flight. The boys could watch a movie and Willow would likely sleep. Unfortunately, during the flight we were told that the boys needed to use headphones for the DVD player (even though it was turned down to a volume equal to conversation on the plane). This headphones rule had not been enforced during our last two Southwest flights, so it came as a bit of a surprise to us. It was very disappointing.  As any parent will tell you, the DVD player is a saving grace on long journeys when you have children. Lucky for us, the boys didn't seem to mind their silent movie. Judah filled in the silence with loud chatter & noises. It was actually noisier with no movie volume.

At the Denver airport we played the same routine that we did last week - McDonald's to eat, refill cups & bottles with juice, diaper changes and get on plane. A two hour layover is the perfect amount of time for us to get through our routine. While In Denver, a worker strolling through the airport with a huge trashcan began heading straight for me as I stood holding Willow in my arms and holding Judah by the hand. "Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!", I said loudly. Too late. She bolted right into me with her gigantic trashcan on wheels. Judah fell to the ground while I struggled to catch my balance, stepping all over him. People stopped to watch. Sebastian was enjoying the show, as if he was watching a comedy act. He had many laughs. A woman stopped to pick up Judah for me and quickly walked on.  The lady who hit us apologized. She asked if we were okay a few times and walked on. Scott didn't see a thing, by the time he turned around it was all over. So anyway, just one more catastrophe to add to our day.

We are currently on an airplane heading to Portland. I think this may be the first night time flight for the kids. Willow instantly passed out. Judah & Bash were excited about the dark and are currently watching a Sesame Street video with no volume. This flight is pretty empty. Sebastian is now asleep. Judah is still up and talking. He has been riled up all day, saying new words, trying new foods, physically active every second of the day & at times hasn't even seemed to notice when I'm not around (usually a meltdown moment).  He dropped his sippy cup as we stepped off a moving walkway at the Denver airport. It was so funny. He chased after it, kicked it away on accident and then dove to the floor like a football player going for a tackle. It was hilarious.

Home soon. All kids now asleep.

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