Our recent trip to the States was unusual, even for us who have done a lot of traveling, in that: 1. we were leaving our home in Asia and actually moving back to the States, an international move with 3 kids; 2. We couldn't "forget" anything because there wasn't anything left behind except stuff we gave away or sold!; 3. We were traveling probably the quickest route we've ever had...our city to the capital city, the capital city to Chicago, then Chicago to Sioux Falls, a total of only 19 hours; 4. We were brought to the airport in our city by a large contingent of friends, who spent all of the last moments with us until finally we felt we should go through security in order to make the flight without rushing.
The scene at our city's airport was a bit rough. It was so good to have our friends there but that was a very tearful goodbye. So thankful for all of those who came to see us off, though--it was a blessing! I have pictures, more on that later.
But some funny moments did happen. Here are a few:
*Our tickets for the long flight were booked a bit late and we got the middles of three separate rows--two in one, one single, and two in another. Thankfully, we were able to switch the one single so that one of us was sitting with two girls and the other with the last girl. About halfway into the flight, we switched, not by design but just because I needed a break from two squirmy girls trying to sleep on my lap and fighting over space. I figured John could handle that better, so I was then in the row with Chloe. She also fidgeted and squirmed for about an hour, until finally I let her sit up and asked if I could put my head on HER lap! She readily agreed, saying, "It's like I'm the mommy!" and I got a needed hour or so of sleep before sitting up again and having Chloe lie down. I just felt so desperate to lie down!
*You know you have travelin' girls when they ask you excitedly if they can play at the playplace in the Chicago airport..."You know mommy, the one with the huge wooden helicopter and the phone to talk to the control tower and..." They remembered it in great detail! Sadly we didn't have any time in Chicago, we waited in a customs/immigration line that must have had 2000 people in it. We barely made our flight! It was one of those small jets where you have to actually walk out on the tarmac and board the plane that way, just as we rushed up they called out "final boarding call." Yikes! So thankful we made it!
*Just at the beginning of our long flight, Christin turned to me after wiggling and being restless for a while and said very clearly, "Mommy, I don't like this airplane. I want to get off." When I assured her that she couldn't get off and in fact had 10 more hours to sit through, it didn't help much. So, we pulled out the crayons and made the best of it!
*This time in Chicago customs we were sure that we were residents, not visitors (unlike last time where we were honestly confused) and were also extremely thankful that our trunk full of Asian food items did NOT get opened in customs!
Well, that's all my jet-lagged brain can think of at this moment, it's time for me to get to bed! Yesterday morning the girls lasted until 4:30, but then Christin cried for a drink of water and though I laid down with her to help her fall back to sleep, and everyone was resting quietly, finally at 5:30 Clara Anne came and said in a whisper, "Mommy, is there anything that will get me to sleep?" And then Chloe added in plaintively, "When will this night be over?" Finally I asked Christin if she was sleeping, and she answered in a loud whisper, "Nooo." So I let them get up and look at books. We tried to keep them up all day yesterday but Clara Anne conked out on the living room floor in the middle of playing at about 4:30 and we couldn't wake her up until after 8! She was just sleeping so soundly! We even brought her outside to eat burgers with us on the deck, but she sat and nodded and slept in the chair (sitting upright) and finally when she tried to lie down on the ground we relented and put her back on the couch again.
Christin also fell asleep yesterday and slept HARD for numerous hours in the late afternoon, she ended up going straight to bed. Chloe lasted until 7:30 last night, when she nodded off while doing a puzzle with Grandma. So it's maybe no surprise that everyone was up by 4 this morning. Argh!
The good news is we kept the girls fairly busy this afternoon with a trip to the Pizza Ranch, Walmart, and Kids Corner, and so since nobody slept during the day I'm hopeful for a better night. John and I continue to make progress in packing and organizing--we're unpacking our luggage from overseas, packing up things that have been left here for the last 8 years, and sorting through and organizing a large-scale mess. We will conquer the mess someday! But it will not be this day. I'm off to bed to grab what sleep I can!