So, if everything went well, what was so bad about it? Well, number one was being sick. Had I just felt well it wouldn't have been so bad. For me nausea always spirals into high anxiety and panic attacks and weird OCD issues, so being tortured with that while managing a toddler was not fun. I had also underestimated the toll hauling a giant 50 lb suitcase, a heavy, awkward stroller, a heavy carry on, a purse, and a 25 lb toddler strapped on my ill stomach, would take on me. It was just way, way too much. From car to shuttle bus to check in to gate, then on the other end, baggage claim to shuttle bus to second shuttle bus to car rental place (thank God I at least had my sister helping at the other end). Thankfully the car rental place did have car seats; unfortunately they would not install it, so my poor sister had to wrestle with the LATCH system while B happily played with all the nobs on the dashboard. Then we got lost on the way to the hotel. We were both starving and exhausted and I of course felt like puking every minute. Oh, good times.
I really screwed up as far as food for the flight, too. B ate all of the food I brought for him within ten minutes of the first flight. I brought for myself blueberries, edamame, and a felafel sandwich...which I then tried to feed to B, which was an absolute mess, since I had to chew the edamame and blueberries first because of the choking hazard. He didn't sleep at all, nor was he interested in sitting still or playing with anything for more than a few seconds. I let him tear apart magazines, play with my Kindle, play with the toys I brought, and finally just resorted to feeding him tiny handfuls of the dry, crumbly felafel very, very slowly, because it was the only thing that would keep him occupied for a decent length of time. The minutes flew like hours. And I get to do this all again in a couple of days - and heading back west, which adds an hour onto the flight. Oh joy.
So, what do we do about this? I love my family and miss them terribly. I want to see them more often. But I just can't do this. It's way, way too hard, and the arrival of another one will make it completely impossible. For years, until they are both old enough to be ok flying (and I can afford three flights-!). Again it was my choice to move 3000 miles from my closest family member. And I would rather stick flaming bamboo spears under my fingernails than move back east. So what's the answer? Skype, maybe?
Oh, and today's my 41st birthday. Funny how unimportant this becomes when wrangling a toddler and a new pregnancy!