07 March 2017

I, Grace Patton, solemnly swear not to recap anything for at least 24 hours after this post. My apologies - our travels are just too exciting not to type type type about, you know? You do. YOU DO.

When the older kids were really little and we'd go on trips I had my expectations set nice and stupidly high. Obviously getting out of the house was going to be a vacation from any and all responsibility, right? Ha. Ha. Now I look back on one trip with Julia in particular and wish I had just chilled the bleep out about naps and bedtimes and enjoyed the bliss that was a vacation with one child in tow but that's always how it goes, right? Eerily accurate 20/20 hindsight.

Anyway, NOW - I go into trips with the (depressing? perhaps) mindset that it's going to be a lot more work than our usual day-to-day, that everything is going to go wrong, and that everyone is going to be a melty puddle of fatigue by the time we get home. And - my expectations are always exceeded because things are never that bad and we generally have a great time but I can't go into "vacations" thinking it's going to be poolside umbrella clad drinks then I'd be sorely disappointed. I know you follow.

So - with that said! Our flights down to New Mexico ... the first flight to Houston was fine-ish. Phoebe only spilled one full drink on Simon's lap, Bosco's crying was minimal (and understandable since he'd usually been asleep for hours by then), and the older kids were basking in the glow of the reading lights, in-flight magazines, and honey roasted peanuts.

Then came the second flight.

I'll take one skull emoji for $500, Alex.

 Or maybe just one Sebastian. I feel you, bud.

Our connection was tight but we really needed to make the obligatory bathroom stop to change Bosco's diaper, and let/make everyone use the bathroom (where Phoebe dropped my phone into an unflushed toilet but! least of our worries at that point) then hoofed it over to our gate where we boarded and were informed that there were only middle seats left. The flight attendants just shrugged at us and while I'm normally a pretty passive people pleaser I think even Simon was surprised (not in a good way - oops) at how I dug my heels in and said the kids weren't sitting alone in middle seats without us. People did eventually move with a little "free drink ticket" bribery from the intercom but the three oldest had to share a row (I was right behind them with Bosco and Simon was several rows back with Phoebe) which wasn't super ideal BUT better than the former alternative. Technically it was our fault for missing family boarding but did the punishment fit the crime? I don't know. Maybe!

With the help of the the iPad, one of my smartest purchases to date, and headphones x 3 the kids were relatively well-behaved, Simon magically got Bosco to sleep and I had to pretend like Phoebe was my giant of a lap child which was totally fine.

By the time we got everyone to sleep at our friend's house it was 3am Florida time which didn't set the best sleep tone for the rest of the trip but c'est la valuable lesson learned on the flight scheduling front vie. I suppose.

Julia teaching Simon how to play ... a very complicated game (this may have been on the way home, actually)

You all remember Posey? Welllll she's back! She delivered fairy-sized Kisses (chocolate chips wrapped in foil) to Julia's seat at the wedding along with several notes + gifts throughout the weekend. She even moved into Nana's house complete with fairy house (clothing - including unmentionables - you won't believe the detail) .. a post for another time.

One of the big trip highlights was getting to see my grandma and so we had to get a photo of the four generations! My grandma, mom, me, and some kids ...

Phoebe is oh so moved.

I obviously did a thorough and impressive of photojournaling our trip but sometimes it's best to just bask in the moment - or so I'm telling myself. Overall - we really did have a wonderful time and Phoebe about lost her mind when we pulled up at our house after hours of flying last week. I guess she thought we were just doing all of that traveling to pull right back up at Nana and Grandpa's? I guess.

The flights home weren't awesome (but we survived! and didn't miss family boarding!) and as soon as we all got in the car at the Tampa airport Simon asked, "and when can I look forward to flying with all of you again?" August, Simone.

Buckle up.


  1. That fairy idea is the most adorable thing! What a blessing to have so many that love your kiddos!

  2. I never will understand people's hesitancy in moving seats on a plane, especially if it might involve babysitting. If given a choice of watching someone else's child for an entire flight vs moving, hands down I'd move!

  3. Flying w my kids is so painful. BUT. I once had a guy in front of me move to a different section in the back before the flight after seeing me and my crew (only 3!). I punished him by later jostling a crying baby in the back of the plane. Right. Near. Him. He should have stayed put. Honestly flying is just something to endure, right??

  4. As the kids are getting older the flying is easier. Although we still drive a lot. And nursing babies tend to sleep. It's just those toddlers that scare me.. unstable travelers.

  5. Glad you made it! I had the exact same situation with the flight attendants when I was flying solo with 3 kids (3/2/newborn). I was like EXCUSE ME, no I am not leaving my 2 year old with a couple of randos 12 aisles up. K, thanks.

  6. So, have you ever had issues with getting kids over two to actually sit/buckle up on a flight? The last time I flew (by myself, of course #residency), my two-weeks-past-two-year-old refused to sit in the seat next to me with a seat belt on (this was after our flight had been delayed both because the fire alarm went off at the airport and we all almost had to evacuate and they had to clean up our plane before we could board because someone on the previous flight had vomited all over the place, so wayyy past bedtime) and the flight attendant threatened to throw us off the flight if I couldn't get her to sit in her own seat! I begged her to let my daughter just sit in my lap but she refused and was totally unsympathetic. I think I have PTSD and am now terrified of ever flying with children again. I have never heard of such a thing, and kept thinking (still, keep thinking) I can't be the only parent of a toddler who refuses to sit in their own seat (with the seat belt on!) on a flight?!

    1. Yes!! This happened to us! It basically gave me PTSD too, they humiliated our family in front of everyone cause my 2.5 year old wouldn't sit down with his seat belt on during takeoff. We had been traveling for 3 days from India back to the states (my husband is from India) and we're on the last leg of the journey from LAX to Phoenix. It was Southwest too, which is usually nicer than the other airlines!

    2. I had a similar experience with my two year old and unsympathetic (aka downright mean) flight attendant. 😫😫😫

    3. Ok, I'm a little relieved to know I'm not alone. This was also with Southwest! Which, yeah, is normally the "nice" airline. I may not be traveling with them again while I have toddlers. What was really frustrating too was it was just one flight attendant pushing it. The others were all turning a blind eye but this one woman kept coming back to me and insisting she put her seat belt on. And I got zero sympathy from anyone else on the flight. It was awful.

    4. Us too . After two days of traveling from Africa with my then 1'amd 2 yr old. The pilot actually "turned the plane around" and had the get in the back of the take off lane because she wouldn't sit in her seat. They announced it on the loud speaker to the whole plane too. was on mother day.

  7. I'm trying to figure out the 5 generations? isn't it four? oh, but it's late and I'm probably wrong.

  8. That last statement from Simon reminded me how bad I miss the Simon Says posts!

    I have anxiety over traveling with two kids, so props to you and your travel adventures!!

  9. How do you (any parent reading this) handle time zone changes? Especially with short-ish trips where acclimating would happen about the time you have to go back home. Keep them on your home time zone? (Incidentally I tried this going to the east coast, we live in CA, and it didn't work nearly as well as I hoped. Guess we should've brought black out curtains).

  10. Oh man, this speaks to me ok so many levels. We have two with a third on the way and my 4 year old has been on 40 individual flights. 😳 I will forgo sleep to catch a sunrise flight then ever do an evening flight again. It was a nightmare!!!!

  11. This is one of my favorite posts! Traveling with kids is super hard for me and I only have 3! I was afraid to miss family board the last time so I didn't make my 4 year old go before boarding. Big mistake...huge!



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