Thursday, September 22, 2011


A week slipped away quickly since my last post!  We took a short trip to Chicago from Thursday - Sunday and it seems to take longer to prepare and recover from trips that involve a todder.
Little G enjoying the beautiful view from our apartment.

We rented an apartment with another family who have a precious 9 month old.  We have mutual friends who live in Chicago and we all got to spend lots of time hanging out, eating and talking.  We did go to the Grant Park Zoo with Little G and he enjoyed it, but other than that it was a very low key trip.  We've done the tourist highlights in the past and this trip was focused on spending time with friends. 
Who needs pants?  Let's go to the zoo!

Little G is a seasoned air traveler now, but it still isn't a pleasant experience.  This was his fourth air trip this year.  I think it has become more difficult the older he grows because he is more and more independent.  We bought a portable DVD player to use on the plane and it was a big help on our return flight.  Our outbound flight was during nap time so he was just too grumpy to be happy watching a movie.  Now that he is down to one nap a day, I am going to make every effort to schedule flights during the morning so we aren't flying during nap time.  He won't sleep on the plane and it's pretty miserable for everyone.  Although after what I thought was a miserable flight the man sitting ahead of us turned around to compliment Gabriel on how well behaved he was.  I think parents are harder on themselves than other people are sometimes. 

Little G walking with our friend at the zoo

Another thing that helped pass the time was a small magna doodle I bought.  Little G liked to draw on it, but also liked for me to draw simple - all I'm capable of! - pictures for him to identify.  There was more than one time, that I couldn't believe he figured out what my pitiful drawing was supposed to be!  He must be a genius. 

Checking out a zoo exhibit

His favorite thing to do is squirm down on the floor at our feet (not in the aisle) and unpack his diaper bag.  As you may guess, that isn't my favorite thing for him to do since it means things go rolling everywhere or get dumped on the floor. 

The days of traveling light are not for us anymore.  We used to travel to Europe for two weeks with a roll-aboard suitcase each.  Now, we check bags and gladly pay the fee so we don't have to haul them through the airport!  I actually got a gold delta AMEX card last winter since I can waive the first checked bag fee for everyone in my traveling party.  It has more than paid for it's annual fee in saved baggage fees. 

Other tips I've picked up over the last year:

  • Check the car seat unless you are on a really long flight.  Heavy and bulky don't even begin to describe what it's like to drag it through the airport. 

  • Don't take too many clothes.  They are heavy and you can do laundry at your destination so you can wear things more than once. 

  • Take more diapers and snacks than you think you'll need onboard the plane.  Fortunately, I did NOT learn this the hard way.  New and special snacks are a handy way for us to pacify Little G. 

  • You can take liquids through security for your child (milk, juice, etc.), but expect the TSA agent to inspect it closely.  It has never been a problem and they've always been friendly towards us in that regard.

  • Expect to be embarassed by your child. The yelling and crying.  It will happen. 

  • Agree in advance with your spouse to forgive and forget arguments that may arise while traveling with a young child.

  • Take turns child wrangling with your spouse or traveling partner so everyone gets a break.

We enjoyed our trip, but were glad to get home Sunday afternoon.  After a long nap, Little G woke up and his Pops (my dad) was here for a quick visit while he was in town for business.  Little G was happy to see Pops and was soon giving him commands on how to play.   Since Pops is wrapped around Little G's finger, he followed his orders like a pro. 

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