Wednesday, June 16, 2010

My Trip in Status Updates

Last time I traveled to the States by myself (oh, did I mention that I traveled to the States by myself with all five kids last week?), I kept a running note on my Palm of texts I would have sent ML along the way, if I could have. I sent it to him (and to family members) in an e-mail after I arrived.

This time, I kept thinking of Facebook status updates I would have posted, so I jotted those down. And posted them one by one after I got here. It was my in-flight entertainment. Cause, you know, you can't just put the headphones on and watch the movie when you have to keep track of and take care of five kids.

For those more into blogging than Facebook and for posterity's sake, here is My Trip in Status Updates.

Needn't have worried about Z for takeoff. He's so fascinated that he's been sitting still with his hands folded in his lap, eyes wide, the whole time.

There's a ladies-only bathroom on this flight. Haven't seen that before.

Forget the safety info. How about a video on how to latch the bathroom door?

I'm paranoid. Every time I hear someone repeatedly pinging the flight attendant, I make sure Z is not touching the buttons.

Sitting MA next to JAK and I was a win. She's reveling in helping take are of him. And I'm reveling in it, as well.

Z's fascination with the airplane has worn off. I think we only have 12 1/2 hours of the 13 hour flight left.

I've got to make or buy some sort of pouch that will hold 6-7 passports and our residency cards. They kind of balk at the ziplock bag.

Apparently, only some airlines are worried enough about peanut allergies not to serve them anymore.

Mental note: put long pants on the baby, even if you are flying from the Middle East to Texas. It's a tad chilly on the plane.

Ah, a Friends episode. Just what I would have picked for the first in-flight option on a family-filled flight when everyone is still awake.

Advantage of the plane engine noise: it drowns out some of the noise from the children in front of us. Disadvantage: the parents feel like they need to yell at each other from two seats apart.

Oh, Karen Rumbaugh, I could just kiss you for introducing me to the AquaDoodle product line. Just on the cheeks, of course. But three times on the second side.

The lady in front of me apparently only brought enough formula powder for one bottle, so now she's asking the flight attendant for milk. Seriously? For a 13-hour flight?

Is it really necessary to have the kids' meals scalding hot? (I know, one warmer, probably, but maybe they could take them out ahead of time?)

Rather than bulkhead with a bassinet as I was told I had, I have one row behind bulkhead with a bassinet on the bulkhead row. JAK is napping in the bassinet while we eat, but when it's time for me to sleep, he'll have to go into the sling. There's no way to strap him into the bassinet, and I'm afraid he'd wake up and fall out.

The older four kids went to sleep remarkably well. After trying to figure out how to keep the headphones on Z, so he could watch something while he fell asleep, I gave up in frustration. He conked in about 30 seconds.

Jeremiah slept in the bassinet during dinner, which was great, because I had my hands free to eat and help the other kids. Not so great when he woke up and was raring to go just as it was time to sleep.

Jeremiah's been doing his army crawl, which he just started, across the seats in our row.

I think flight attendant pinging (repeatedly pushing the call button) is something akin to Chinese water torture. And I'm not even the flight attendant. Amy and Cindy, care to tell us how it feels?

The ladies-only restroom has gone the way of the dodo bird. It's first come, first serve now.

Spoke too soon. Z just hit the call button. :-/

Just got complimented on what great travellers the kids are. A. They really are. B. I'd be crazy to do this, if they weren't, and I told the guys so. And C. I don't think the contrast to the kids in front of us hurts.

Zachariah insisted on feeding me all of the M&M's out of his trail mix once he found out that I liked them. Love that kid. (Actually, he calls them M's, because that's what's written on them. There's no convincing him otherwise.)

Yeah, the bassinet in the row with the yelling kids is not really working out for me.

Requesting kids' meals, which come before the adult meals, so I can help them get set up and actually eat my meal when it comes = win.

Flight attendants should have a way to turn off the call button for a specific seat. Not arbitrarily, but some sort of three strikes, and you're out thing.

The flight attendants on this route should get combat pay. Or overtime. Or something.

I'm totally traveling by myself with five kids from here on out. I've been waved past two humungous lines, passport control and security.

Magdalyn's response when we came up to take the train from one terminal to the next in Chicago: "Oh look, Mommy!" It was grass.

I feel like I'm in the movie Airplane. We've changed gates three times so far.

It's so nice not to have to think through how to say something before I have to say it.

Make that four gate changes. All in the same terminal but back and forth between wings. Good news is that I've bonded with several fellow passengers as we've jogged along.