Friday, April 12, 2013

Look out, fellow airline passengers

You guys!  The Griswolds are going on VACATION!

We weren't going to because our children.  There are so many of them.  And the baby will barely be past her 2-month vaccinations when we go.  And, you know, she is a baby.  And so is Cooper.  Plus we have Mr. Questions.  (Jack's pretty chill, though, so we'd totally take him).

But then we figured fuck it.  Chaotic family vacations are the stuff of childhood memories.

Also, I need to get my anxious self on an airplane so that Ben and I can go to Vegas for his 35th birthday, which falls conveniently right around the time Dorothy will be a year old and I can leave her overnight because she won't need my boobs.  And we have big plans to take the little heathens to Europe in a couple of years so Mr. Questions can see the Loch Ness already.  Not to mention Disney World which looms in our future.

Plus, every time I dust the living room, I stare at a small framed picture of the 3 boys holding hands at the ocean's edge.  And you know me, I dust that room at least 3 times a week.
So, for my 35th birthday, we are packing up the kids for beach-side a mini-break.  We decided that 3 nights away from our beds and our routine is the absolute most nights we can spend.  After that, the extended bedtimes and the eating all our meals at restaurants with Cooper who is an animal and Dorothy who cannot be put down and hates her car seat with  passion will kill us.

Our requirements were simple:

Direct flight from either our small airport, Milwaukee, or O'Hare  (I hate flying, so one takeoff/landing is a must.  Plus I think the logistics of getting everyone on and off the plane are going to be brutal.)

Plane tickets at $400 or less since we have to buy 6. (FAA says all kids under 2 should be in a car seat, so everyone gets his/her own seat.  I am a nervous flyer, and I read some horrible shit about lap babies and turbulence.)

Less than half a day of travel (On the way there, we'll be on the beach by 1:30, and on the way home, we should be raising the garage door at about the same time.)

No rental car (After schlepping 4 kids on and off the plane and through the airport, the last thing I want to do is take a goddamn shuttle bus to Hertz and pile into a Dodge Caravan.  Plus Harry will shit his pants (metaphorically, I hope) if he gets to ride in a limo from the airport to the resort.) 

5-star resort (With an awesome beach, at least one kiddie pool, a spa, enough restaurants that we can go somewhere else after the kids mortify us at one or two places, and a place for Harry and Jack to buy shark tooth necklaces, which was their favorite part of last year's trip to Hilton Head.)

No leaving the country (The US might have one of the shittiest healthcare systems in the developed world, but it's the healthcare system we know and love-- want to keep my freshly vaccinated baby stateside.)

So, Florida, here we come!

I am pretty excited even though I don't have a beach body yet.  I have lost 20 pounds, but I've got a long way to go.  So far, I weigh less everyday, but we are talking fractions of a pound a day.  I just hope I can wear last year's fat vacation clothes, but even those seem a long way off.

It will be fun, though, to shop for Dorothy.

Speaking of, here's some stuff she's worn on her head lately:

 Reasonably sized pink bow, which was short lived because she pooped through this outfit moments after I put it on.
 This kind of large purple flower that looks tiny
 Compared to this head-sized ivory flower

This chunk of Cooper's granola bar
 This wet spot where Cooper kisses her/ drips snot on her head
 Harry and Jack were tardy this morning to school-- like, officially-- because Dorothy was so hungry.  About 4 minutes before we normally leave, I realized no one had a lunch, and I was stuck under the baby.  Jack has no option to buy because his class eats breakfast, so I asked Harry and Jack to get Jack's lunch/second breakfast ready-- yogurt tube, cereal bar, milk box-- not rocket science.  Then Harry realized he didn't want either hot lunch choice-- meatball sub or spicy chicken patty-- so he decided to pack his lunch too.  About the time I suggested he get the stool from the bathroom and use something long-- he chose a rolling pin-- to knock the Ziploc bags off their shelf, I realized I lost control of the morning. But if all I have to do is rehome the Ziplocs or teach Harry how to bento in order to pass off the dread lunch packing task, then I win!! 

 This looks dangerous.
 Ah, Mr. Questions.
 She was awake from 5-6:30, and as soon as the big kids woke up, she went back to sleep.
 As soon as I get stuck under the baby, Cooper goes rogue.
 But he is such a good little helper.


  1. Having them make their own lunches is GENIUS. I will spend the summer perfecting that skill.

    Vacay sounds amazing. Where in FL are you going?

  2. SO jealous of your vacation! And your continued weight loss. Not so jealous of the copious amounts of mucus though :)

  3. Sarah- I know what the specialist say but having a breastfeeding, super snug happy baby during a flight is the greatest child to fly with EVER! Bring a carrier and keep it attached at the waste so if you need to smoosh her in during turbulence you can do it quickly. Make sure she's eating during take off and landing and BAM you only have three to worry about!My best guess is that Dot and subsequently you and Ben are likely going to be MUCH happier people if you keep her with you.

  4. We flew with Ella several times in her first year of life. It was pretty easy, and the separate seat only became necessary around 1 1/2, when she really didn't want to sit on our laps and just wanted to run around. I agree with putting baby in a carrier. Flight attendants may tell you not to, but it was the safest way to travel with her at takeoff and landing. I also have a friend that flies with her toddler frequently, and she swears by this harness (as opposed to a car seat or in the lap) . We also try to bring a small cloth bag filled with new cheap toys and a few books for her to play with, and this made her happy throughout several flights.

  5. We flew with AJU5 a bunch when she was little - but not until she was almost 6 months old. Carrying the car seat through the airport and then installing and uninstalling was a pain! But, she slept better in the carseat than my arms, so it was nice to have that option when we got the seat free (almost every airline will let you know at check-in if the flight is full and a child under 2 can have his/her own seat for free). I agree Cooper would be happy with is own seat, but Dorothy probably won't... espeically since you said she hates the car seat...

  6. The snot pic made me gag.

    We are going to Disney in Aug with my Ms Questions, my Ms Theatrics, and my Ms Crazy Angry Baby. :)