Sarah and I just returned from our annual trip to Florida. When she was a baby we would go a couple times a year, but now that I have to pay for her plane ticket we only go once a year.
Our trip consisted of 10 days, 2 Jewish holidays and 2 family birthdays. To sum it up, we were really, really busy!
My tools for flying with kids were once again successful. I checked out the dollar bins at Target and Michael’s for a few weeks before the flight. I purchased new toys, new craft supplies and new snacks.
Flying to Florida was a breeze. However Sarah didn’t nap like I thought she would. She only asked to get up once, 30 minutes before we landed.
A few weeks before we left, I went on FB to ask my Florida friends for help. I needed a car seat (so that I didn’t have to lug mine along with the stroller and luggage I needed to bring) and a crib. After confirming both items, my friend started having contractions and went into early labor. Therefore it turned out she needed the car seat after all. I’m happy to say her baby girl was born early, but healthy.
The crib was a big headache. After securing a crib, my friend went to pick it up from her friend’s house. She then told me that it barley fit in her van. With my mom’s 4-door car in mind, I knew it would not work. I started to search online for rental companies when my mom told me she put a FB status like I did. After securing a twin-sized pack’n’play I was relieved the headache was over.
Surprisingly Sarah slept in the pack’n’play the first night. The second night she fought me, but I knew I needed to establish a good sleeping routine or otherwise we would have a difficult vacation. After only a few minutes she fell asleep (I knew she was tired with the time change and short naps). Then during the night, she spotted me and cried out for me. From then on she napped AND slept with me in my bed.
Once again I was very surprised. She does not sleep well when we bring her into our bed at home. However she did really, really well! There were a few times during nap where she got out of bed and called for me, but between 10 naps and 10 bed times I call that a huge success! I simply did our bedtime routine, laid her down and told her I would come back soon. A few times before I left the room, she would ask “You coming back?” As always I assured her I would be back soon and kissed her goodnight.
Now I’m not going to lie, keeping our routine while on vacation was very difficult! Sarah went to bed later so that means she woke up later and even took her nap much later then usual. Everything was messed up. Routines and our norm went out the door. Some of our clothes were still in suitcases, while others were in our room. Then we showered in my parent’s bathroom, but had our toothbrushes in another bathroom. Both Sarah and I are used to sleeping with blackout curtains. Bless my mom, this is what she thinks black out curtains should look like.
The weather also didn’t help much. Whoa was it hot! With 80-90 degree days and 65% humidity (by 9am!!) both Sarah and I were miserable! We just couldn’t hang!! Sarah disliked being outdoors for long periods of time. She would get really cranky, whiny and hard to handle. It became difficult as her mood would then make me cranky. Bottom line we missed our Cali weather. Sure it get’s hot here too, but it always cools down (a sense of relief after a hot day).
Regardless of routines and hot weather we got to do a lot of fun things!
Miami Seaquarim with my parents.
Visiting Safta (my mom) at work.
Food Truck Alley for dinner w/my mom, sisters, and cousin Mor.
Breakfast w/my friend Mariana (she used to live in CA).
Young Art Museum w/my cousin Mor, Oshrat and childhood friend Corrie.
Disney On Ice w/my sister Oshrat.
Synagogue and Simchat Torah celebratory dinner at my uncle and aunt’s house.
No picture due to the religious holiday.
Breakfast w/my sisters to celebrate Oshrat’s birthday.
Beach w/my dad, and sister Germaine.
MNO w/my cousin Mor’s mommy group.
Fall Harvest Festival w/my mom, sisters, cousin Natalie and friends.
Oshrat’s birthday dinner w/family and friends.
Cousin Night Out at my sister Germaine’s home.
Paint and Cocktails w/my sisters.
Many visits to the duck pond w/saba.
Lot’s of fun w/second cousin’s!
Other then naps we were never really home. There was always something for us to do/see.
Growing up in Florida was the same. With lots of family and friends there was never a dull moment.
Goodbye Florida! See you next year!
Flying back to Cali was a little less fun. I woke up at 4am the night before multiple times to vomit. At 7:30 am my mom came into my room to wish us an easy flight before heading to work. After explaining my condition she and my dad started to pack for me as I was in no condition to pack for my 11am flight. After vomiting on the side of the road while at a red light I was in no mood to fly. Finally getting to the airport I sat with my dad for while as I contemplated on what to do.
My stubborn self decided to fly. After going through the long security process with a stroller, electronics, liquids, etc, I needed to sit down. I was winded, nauseous and exhausted. As I was calling my dad to tell him I made a mistake and to come pick me back up, Sarah started running away. I dropped the phone and ran to get her. After holding her in my arms, I let it all out in the middle of the airport and started to cry!
I was in no condition to fly, I was in no condition to take care of a enthusiastic toddler and I was in no condition to take care of my self. Then my little angel looked up at me and said, “It’s ok mommy. Don’t be sad” With tears streaming down my face I hugged her once again.
She finally pulled back and said, “Mommy you want a smoothie?” I looked up and realized where we were. While I was balling to my dad on the phone I remember her saying something about being hungry, but as I asked her to wait for a minute she ran off. After going back to security to get our stuff we headed into Jamba Juice. I bought Sarah a smoothie and a green juice for me.
After a quick conversation with my mom I decided I needed to get back home. I needed my hubby, my bed and my life back. 10 days was a long time. Maybe too long? I said a quick prayer and got on the plane.
The Flight was bad! Real bad! I consistently filled up the vomit bags in the front pocket of my chair. At one point the stewardess took Sarah so I could get some rest as I wasn’t looking really good. After she returned Sarah back to the seat. A passenger came up to me and asked if she could take Sarah to play with her son (whom we said only hello to before taking off) to the back of the plane. Since I was in such a bad state I let my daughter go with a stranger to the back of the plane so I could dose off for what felt like a long time. Thank you to the mom I never got a name from. Thank you for being a mom and understanding motherhood.
With water, animal crackers and vomit bags in rotation, Ami the stewardess was my hero! Like a worried mother, Ami constantly came in to check on me. She was never grossed out when I handed her yet another filled bag of vomit. She was never upset with me when I was laying passed out with one eye open while my daughter dropped another crayon that rolled down the aisle or making a mess of her snack on the plane. In fact she was so good that towards the end of the flight she became my cheerleader. She would come up to me to let me know how close we were to landing “Only 1.5 hours left ma’am” “We are almost home, only 45 minutes left ma’am.” Without Ami and that mom, I wouldn’t have survived that flight!
After gathering most of our stuff (I’m sure I left something as I was not in a state to look) I headed out of the plane. All I could think of was, thank g-d I made it! 10 lbs lighter (if only), but I made it home.
Obviously a detailed letter will be written to Jet Blue’s CEO as Ami was a perfect example of how a stewardess should be.
Until next year’s adventure!