Saturday, January 18, 2014
AND NOW WE HAVE CONQUERED OVERSEAS TRAVEL.
we are definitely not in thailand anymore. i'm currently making vegetable broth on the stove, have enjoyed a cup of tea from our new keurig vue, and am watching the snow fall outside my window as my toddler takes a nap.
is this real life? i can tell you that i've been asking myself that question a lot the past few days. rorie and i arrived back in chicago on tuesday. we didn't leave the apartment or see another human soul (other than aaron) until friday. jet lag is a tough pill to swallow- especially as a mother of a 1.5 year old.
it seems that we have come to a turning point and i'm hoping that by the end of the weekend we will be fully back on chicago time. fingers crossed. rorie has also decided that it's time for only one nap a day, which i'm totally on board with, but it's thrown a wrench in our attempt to acclimate back to CST.
our trip back was highly eventful in a horrible, you-must-be-joking, i-can't-believe-this-is-happening, i'm-not-going-to-make-it-out-alive way. it was a pretty simple trip. leave bangkok around 1 am. stay on a plane for 12 hours. get off in stockholm. do something for 3.4 hours. get on another plane for 10 hours. arrive safety back in chicago. and really, that's exactly how it went... except for the whole, rorie's complete inability to sleep in a car seat (she gets this from me and i am eternally sad for her-and us).
rorie has a window seat and i am next to her. a father of two is next to me in the aisle seat and sleeps the whole time (bless his soul). i try to keep rorie's attention with stickers, books, and a plethora of newly downloaded curious george episodes on our new ipad (it was a lifesaver). but every 30 minutes or so, we have to get up. i have to pee and she needs to walk around. mind you- it's the middle of our freaking night. so we pace up and down the two aisles. past the other 5-6 babies sleeping soundly on their mothers. i almost cried. i really wanted to... because i was so tired already. and we had 9 hours to go still.
when rorie sleeps on a plane it's very consistent: put up a fight, slowly drift off, jump and wake herself up, cry because she didn't want to jump and wake up, suck on her paci and fall back to sleep for 15-20 minutes, wake up screaming bloody murder, and possibly fall back asleep, but usually not. it's horrible. especially the screaming part. i feel sorry for her and for the people on the plane. but what could i do? rorie is a mover. she moves in her sleep, she changes positions constantly, she is an active sleeper (again, this horrible trait i can only call my own). if she's strapped into a car seat she's unable to move into a comfortable position and continue sleeping. i totally understand why she can't sleep.
the lady behind me did not understand.
she loudly "shushed" rorie every time she woke up upset (because that's super helpful). she grumbled about my crying baby loud enough so that i could hear. then she had the nerve, right when i knew rorie had had enough and needed to sleep (and was putting herself to sleep the way only she does), to loudly and angrily confront me about how i should do something to stop my child from annoying the entire plane. i gave her a piece of my fragile and exhausted mind and then proceeded to sit in my chair imagining how i would physically hurt her if she got in my face again (i know- i'm super mature).
no, there was no lady on my second flight... but it was still no fun. i think rorie had slept a total of 2 hours on the 12 hour plane ride. it is an understatement to say that she was tired. she was in a world of her own. she was not awake or asleep. she was existing. which resulted in her waking her self up after 10 minutes of sleep and screaming inconsolably for an hour and a half. maybe more. i totally checked out too. it was bad. but we somehow landed in chicago and aaron took us home.
i'm going to be bold and say that i feel much stronger than the average mother after completing this month long journey with my daughter. just bringing her into the world was a marathon in itself. the first half of her life was a struggle to live and survive. and now we have conquered overseas travel. and rorie was sick for half of our trip if not all of it. and after all of it... i would still suggest to every family... to travel overseas. and if not that- take long car trips. just travel as a family. it really strengthens you as parents. it pushes your limits and tests your boundaries- which i think is a very good thing for parents and family units. it gives you new experiences and unique perspectives that you would be unable to have if you never traveled.
so go out there! explore the world!