Flying with a 13 month old

I must have read every article and blog post there was on flying alone with a baby in the weeks leading up to Emma’s and my trip to Oregon/Washington. I was terrified that I was in way over my head. Emma barely stays still, needs to constantly be experiencing new things, and cannot walk yet (which means that while there is little chance of her running away on me, I also am her sole means of transportation).

But it turned out the flight up to Portland was a parent’s (and other passengers) dream come true. Emma had missed her nap that day in order for us to get to the airport so she was subdued-tired but not OMG-so-exhausted-I-will-scream-until-I-crash-tired. Added to having the calmest Emma I’ve ever experienced was the fact that I miraculously had an empty seat next to me in the bulk head row open so we totally spread out without bothering our neighbors. By the time Emma got fussy there was no seatbelt sign in sight so I was able to get up and rock her in the space next to the bathrooms until she passed out. Thanks to that open seat I was then able to make a bed for her on the floor where she slept until it was time for us to land. Countless people came up to me to tell me what a wonderful baby I had. I was so happy and proud.

But if you have ever travelled with a baby and had a not-so-stellar time that reading this makes you want to poke my eyes out… keep reading… because then there was the return flight.

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First vacation of 2015

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Every Christmas since they moved there, my mom and step-father always invited Ryan and me out to their place in Long Beach, WA for Christmas but we always turned them down. In his last job, Ryan could never take off for Christmas or New Years and in addition, Long Beach is HARD to get to. A 3-hour drive from the nearest airport and that airport doesn’t have nearly as many flights in and out of it as compared to the one that is over 4 hours away. Add that to a 5+ hour flight from the East Coast (or Hawaii) and you have a 2-day round-trip commute. It didn’t sound too appealling to me just to stay at a place that was too cold to sunbath at during the summer and closed down during the winter (it’s one of those summer resort town that loses the majority of their population after labor day).

I did visit once years ago when I was in Seattle for a friend’s wedding and had a great time so I always figured I’d get back there… someday. 6 years later (this past April) I finally returned upon hearing the news that my step-father passed away. And while by no means can I say it was a great trip given the circumstances, I realized what a wonderful place it was and how much I would miss getting to come here over the years (with Emma and Ryan in tow). There’s amazing seafood restaurants, a boardwalk and biking trail surrounding a beach,

boardwalk

and even a horse back riding place literally a block away from my mom’s place.

Horse

And so as a multi-purposed trip to 1) have Emma meet my sister for the first time (who visited with her boyfriend for a couple of days), 2) introduce Emma to Long Beach, and 3) spend time with my mom, the two of us jetted off last week to Long Beach (sans Ryan… he started his new job too recently to ask for time off).

Now I’m not going to lie, I came back from Washington in need of a vacation from my solo-parenting venture (despite the extreme helpfulness of my sister and mom) but by far the best thing about the trip was how much Emma enjoyed every part of it. For a kid that spent 3 of her first 6 months of life covered up in winter jackets, Emma was even amazed by the concept of a jacket.
Jackets

It turned out that we showed up at the start of the week long international kite festival, which meant that our daily walk on the boardwalk included watching the ever-changing kites soaring in the air, eating lots of unhealthy fried goodies, and dog-watching…. and Emma LOVES dogs.

Kites 2Festivities

We took some trips to the neighboring seaside towns of Astoria and  Seaside. Our visit to Seaside was my absolute favorite part of the trip (even though I had to work each morning boo hiss).

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A total walking town, there were shops and restaurants everywhere, an arcade with bumper cars and a beautiful carousel that I made Emma ride 3 times… she got braver and braver each time. Maybe next time she won’t insist on staying in those boring chairs that don’t do anything.

Our favorite part however was the beach. It was HUMONGOUS and even fulfilled my lifelong dream (okay my dream for the last 13 months) of getting Emma in a baby swing. I was ecstatic. Emma… not so much.

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Seaside Merman

Our hotel had a wonderful balcony with a view of the beach, which brings me to the coolest thing. You can ask your hotel to make you a bonfire on the beach. I counted 20 fires all spread out on that beach while I was out on the balcony that night. I also saw the police patroling for non-fire-pit-loving loiterers once it hit 11 PM at night.

We took the stroller off-roading as we hiked around Cape Disappointment.
Cape Dis 2  Cape Dis
And because I’m a dorky history buff I dragged Emma and my mom to Fort Clatsop on our way back to the Portland airport to see what the place looked like when Lewis and Clark blazed their trail 200+ years ago.
Fort 3
Fort 2
Fort 1

Anonymous asked: Hi lovely lady! It’s your tumblr buddy here. Quick question for you – do you have any favorite colors? Looking forward to you receiving your preseeent! 🙂

Hi Tumblr Buddy!

Sorry for the delayed response. I’m not really picky but if I had to choose I’d say blue or pink. So excited to find out who you are!!!

My CT license expires in 17 days and in order to get a HI license I have to take the written permit test again. I took a practice test online yesterday and almost failed so now I’m channelling my (almost) 15 year old self and studying the driver’s...

My CT license expires in 17 days and in order to get a HI license I have to take the written permit test again. I took a practice test online yesterday and almost failed so now I’m channelling my (almost) 15 year old self and studying the driver’s manual (although now I’m secretly studying at work instead of secretly studying during Chemistry class).

I’m actually learning A LOT. Ryan told me that that fact was really alarming to him.

I silently (or not so silently if you are my friend) judge those that don’t attempt to try new foods. So when it comes to Emma I have her try everything* even if her initial reaction is that the food is gross. *Which is why her dairy allergy is a dagger in my heart… Or my over-fooded belly For some reason the girl is obsessed with peas. She can’t get enough of them. I hate the stuff. Worst vegetable ever. But I chalk her obsession up as one of my biggest accomplishments because she was not a fan of peas when she first was given them to eat. Last night Emma decided to share all her food with me. A bite for her and then she would turn and feed me. Adorable. Except for the part where I sat there being fed pea after disgusting pea while telling her how yummy they were. Yuck yuck yuck!

I silently (or not so silently if you are my friend) judge those that don’t attempt to try new foods. So when it comes to Emma I have her try everything* even if her initial reaction is that the food is gross.
*Which is why her dairy allergy is a dagger in my heart… Or my over-fooded belly

For some reason the girl is obsessed with peas. She can’t get enough of them. I hate the stuff. Worst vegetable ever. But I chalk her obsession up as one of my biggest accomplishments because she was not a fan of peas when she first was given them to eat.

Last night Emma decided to share all her food with me. A bite for her and then she would turn and feed me. Adorable. Except for the part where I sat there being fed pea after disgusting pea while telling her how yummy they were.

Yuck yuck yuck!