Christmas 2008 - Traveling today

David, Emily and I left on a plane at 6:30AM today for Austin, TX... why 6:30AM you might be asking yourself? Because it is the only non-stop flight between Oakland and Austin and it's only 3 hours and 20 minutes as compared to nearly 6 hours! This flight was absolutely perfect for us because Emily was able to get nearly a full night's rest, it was SHORT and we landed in Texas before lunchtime and naptime! haha :)

Emily was an absolute ANGEL on the trip and we were prepared for the worst (as most parents do!)!

She was beyond ecstatic about going to the airport and seeing the airplanes (she's so interested in all moving vehicles right now!) that she was wide-eyed and nearly speechless! She held my hand while we got through Security and stood almost motionless for the 1 1/2 hours in the airport as we waited to board our plane, staring out over the tarmac, pointing out each and every plane she saw. We had her wear her Monkey Backpack Leash as the airport was packed and she can bolt off so fast these days and that was a huge success in keeping tabs on her as well as distracting her anytime we needed a change of scenery. It also meant we didn't have to pick her up and carry her, which is nice beause she 26lbs now! :) We bought Emily her own seat, as we always do, and all three of us had "A" boarding passes so, when it was time for the A group to board the plane, David stood in line with all our carry on bags and I walked Emily around the airport until the very last second before we needed to board the plane - this was super helpful in preventing waiting-in-line-meltdowns!

Once on the plane, Emily was all too excited to sit in her own seat and wear a seatbelt just like mommy and daddy! We put her in the window seat a) so she'd have plenty of scenery to observe, b) a window shade the play with and c) two adults between herself and the exit isle which disabled her from getting lose on the plane! She actually remained seated for the first 3 hours, happy to play with her Play-Doh (a MUST HAVE for any parent flying with a toddler!!!), read her new lift-the-flap books, color, watch her DVDs and stare out the plane. I packed a full lunch as well as a ton of snacks and a recent treat = juice and anytime she got a bit stir-crazy, we let her pick out her own snack and that normally settled her down. During the last 20 minutes of the flight, we let her get down out of her seat and stand for a bit to stretch her legs and she was all too happy to use her plane seat as a table to continue to color on and play Play-Doh! It was the most perfect, stress-free flight we've been on since she was a Newborn! Such a huge change from this exact time last year, that's for sure!!!

My mom met us at the gate, as she always does to help us with Emily and all our luggage and, as soon as I pointed our "Gran" to Emily and they locked eyes, Emily went running into her arms screaming, "Grandma"!!!! I teared up because Emily recognizing her was just magical! :)

When we got back to my mom's house, it was 1:30PM Texas time, 11:30AM California time, but because Emily had been up since 5:30AM, she was ready to be on Texas time and take her nap! We set up her Pack 'n Play and she went straight down and slept her normal 2 1/2 hours. Thank goodness she hasn't outgrown the PNP just yet because she still sleeps in her crib here at home and we are so not ready to have her sleep in a "big girl" bed!

My mom has off the rest of this week/weekend so, we'll be doing last minute Christmas shopping, wrapping all the gifts we shipped here (we do most of our Christmas shopping online and ship everything to my mom's house) and just relaxing before the big day!


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