Monday, April 11, 2011

Airplanes+Babies=You are going to be fucking tired

Alright, so I didn't post while I was on vacation. I planned to and even tried to. But sometimes when you are in a third world country the computers just aren't what they are over here in America. I'm not what you would call tech savvy, but the internets said something about cookies being disabled and I had no idea how to able them. So that's that. But I will be posting all about the things and the stuff. Things and stuff. That is about the extent of my mental acuity right this moment. I'm absolutely exhausted, so we will start at the beginning, take a quick detour to the end and possibly make a brief pit-stop in 'traveller's diarrhea' junction. I'm talking about plane rides. And visits from the brown cow, apparently (actually this is inaccurate. I call it the brown cow because I'm lactose intolerant and he usually swings by if I decide to eat ice cream or something stupid like that. I think Sludgey the Speckled Llama is probably more appropriate). Yeah, you are just that lucky. I'm sorry, I'm disgusting. I'm just better at hiding it when I'm not overtired. So wait, yeah, planes. Airplanes. AEROPLANES. Flomp. Ok, I'm gonna try to be coherent now. I was nervous about the plane trip. I don't like to fly to begin with, but I was trying not to think about that. I spent all my time before we left focusing on what Caitlyn might need. The flight itself was 9 hours and for an international flight you need to give yourself a few hours of buffer anyway, plus we were trying to secure a bassinette and we were given the impression that we had a better shot at it if we checked in extra early. So for the trip to Peru, we were looking at a minimum of 15 hours from the time we left home till the time we arrived at Rodolfo's parents house. Now, let me tell you, 15 hours is a long time for a baby. What it isn't? A week. It would therefore make sense to assume that you wouldn't need a week's worth of clothes, formula/food and diapers (and bottles, wipes, pacifiers, spoons, bibs, toys, Tylenol, gas drops, thermometer, first aid kit, disinfecting wipes, hand santizer, etc., etc., etc.) in your carry-on luggage. Or at least that's what you would think. I overpacked. Grossly. Not in general, I wouldn't say (I did bring a lot more baby clothes than necessary, and our luggage was packed to the extreme, but a lot of those were Caitlyn's smaller baby clothes for Rodolfo's niece in Peru so they didn't come back home with us- in fact we were an entire suitcase lighter on the way home). But in the sense of what we actually needed to carry on the plane with us, I may have slightly overfigured. We had a backpack and a giant duffel bag full of carry-on items that seemed absolutely essential at the time. I mean really, what would I have done if Caitlyn felt feverish and I couldn't take her temperature to know exactly how high the fever was? Would I just give her a precautionary dose of Tylenol without being sure? How reckless that would be!!! And of course, you can't take a baby's temperature without a travel-sized jar of vaseline to grease up her booty! I can be a bit of a worrier and I'm always either completely unprepared or ridiculously overprepared. There is never a happy medium with me when it comes to things like that. So as I packed, I realized that most of this stuff would probably never be used. So it wasn't that I was carrying a bag full of stuff I didn't need that bothered me. It certainly bothered my husband, but that isn't really my problem. The problem came when we DID need something out of the bag. A pacifier, for example, right before the plane took off. The bag was so stuffed full of crap that we couldn't find a pacifier. Let me clarify that. We had a bottle at the ready. We kept Caitlyn awake until we got on the plane, and figured we would give her the bottle as we were taking off and she would doze off and nap for the first hour or two of the flight. You know, in a perfect world and all. She was fussy and exhausted while we prepped for take-off, so we figured we would give her a little of her bottle to calm her down. Except that she drank the whole thing in 5 minutes. So as everyone else is strapping themselves in for the flight, Rodolfo is annoying the flight attendants by opening up the overhead compartments and rummaging through our carry-on. It continued with that same theme for the entire flight. We would need something, and Rodolfo would mumble curses under his breath at me as he dropped things out of the bag while he searched for what we actually needed. I mean, diapers on the bottom has always been my motto; I don't know what HIS problem was. So all that being said, I can't really complain about the flight in. Caitlyn did very well and didn't cry at all, with the exception of when she decided to refuse her pacifier as we descended and her ears started to bother her. But at that point she had already spent the entire flight charming the pants off of everyone in her sightlines (she almost always has a smile on her face and had just started waving hello so it was really novel for her to wave at absolutely everyone who crossed her path and they all seemed more than happy to wave back) and one of the flight attendants felt for her and asked if she could carry her around and entertain her for a few minutes before we prepped to land. And of course, I said yes and Caitlyn was all smiles about being the center of attention after that. The flight home was a bit more challenging. On the way to Peru, we did end up getting a bassinette, which also meant upgraded seating to the bulkhead area, with more room for Caitlyn to move around. When she did nap, she was able to nap in the bassinette fairly comfortably. We weren't so lucky on the way home. Sludgey had made his appearance by then, and she had just started cutting the second of the two teeth she got during our trip (the two on either side of her front top teeth), and along with that, the soreness of a nose that had been running for a week because of the teething, so she was already naturally more fussy then on the trip there. This was an overnight flight, so I was really hoping to get a bassinette so she could rest comfortably, but also so WE could rest too. But the flight was packed and it just wasn't possible. Still, I figured, she usually does sleep through the night, this shouldn't be too bad. I had on my baby carrier and she always dozes off in there. That night though, she was cranky and overtired by the time we got on the plane, so she decided that the carrier was the worst thing that had ever happened to her. And she cried. A lot. Even after I took her out of the carrier, it seemed like I could do nothing right for her during that entire flight. When I cuddled her close to try to get her to fall asleep, she Hulked out on me and busted out of my grip with an angry scream. Daddy took her then, as Daddy can do no wrong. She only slept on Daddy that night. But even once she did fall asleep, she tends to be a little restless and wiggles around all night and the confines of Daddy's lap made her wake up and whine an annoyed little cry at least once an hour. And because of all the wiggling, we had to be on guard constantly because she nearly rolled off of Rodolfo's lap about a hundred times. At some point, and after that, for most of the rest of the night, she decided that the most comfortable position was on her stomach with her head and torso on Rodolfo's lap and her butt and legs hanging off my legs at a 90 degree angle. The problem with that was that she only needed to move an inch to fall off our laps. Rodolfo was on watch for the first few hours, and I probably slept for an hour of it, in 10 or 15 minute intervals. But I was so afraid she might fall that I couldn't manage anything besides a light nap, and every time she moved even a little, it would startle me awake, and I'd find myself lunging forward to grab a hold of her legs. Rodolfo's attempt at sleep went just about the same, and I think he slept maybe 15 minutes the whole time. Luckily, when Caitlyn woke up about an hour before we landed, she was in a pretty good mood. I wasn't sure what to expect after her crappy night's sleep. My dad picked us up from the airport and hung around to watch Caitlyn for a couple of hours while Rodolfo and I napped. That was yesterday. Unfortunately, Caitlyn's lack of a good night's sleep did catch up with her (also the time difference- only an hour but it was like doing daylight savings time all over again, and she tends to go to bed late anyway), and she spent half the day napping. Which meant that she didn't go to bed till almost 1am. I had to be up at 7 and I'm still trying to recover from my sleepless night on Saturday. So I am still very tired. A big reason I started writing this post right away was so I wouldn't doze off at my desk. Anyway, there you have it. Plane trips with babies can be pretty shitty. I will be posting more with all the fun stuff and pictures soon.

3 comments:

AKD said...

The trip home sounds MISERABLE. Mizz-er-a-bull. I hope that she acclimates to the time change again quickly, and that you can somehow squeeze 15 hours of sleep in tonight.

Elizabeth-Flourish in Progress said...

Holy smokes.

You are a serious trooper. That kind of long flight is no joke with a babe!

Hope you get the rest you so richly deserve!

Nadine said...

It is difficult to comment on your blog since I comment on all this material first-hand in live and verbal conversation before you even type this stuff out.

So, with that in mind, are you going to make another blog post about how you've not gotten over La Tourista?