When we were looking at a date to go interview at the church in Watertown, NY - the options were slim! Between my work being in the middle of moving and Nik being in the middle of Upward…we knew we had to wait until at least the end of January, if not even February. It worked out for us to go the last week in January (side note: this date was one week shy of the date we interviewed in Temple, 6 years ago!).
Our interview week looked something like this:
Monday, January 27: We woke up at 3:30 to get ready for a very long day! By 4:15 Jaxen was in his car seat and we were on the road to the airport. Jaxen did really well for being yanked out of his crib so early and was in a great mood by the time we got into the airport to our departure gate. He even did really well standing in all the lines and going through security.
A family photo before boarding our first plane
Jaxen, hanging out like a champ in the airport
Before I continue with our story…I thought I would share with you what I learned from traveling with a toddler…
1. Read everything you can about what you can/cannot bring (then follow what you read!).
2. I found it very helpful to tell everyone I came in contact with (who was working) that I was traveling with a toddler and that it was my first time and if they could tell me what to do to make this easier on all of us (ex: at security - instead of taking off shoes and coats and everything else, I asked ahead of time and found out I did not need to take anything off of Jaxen and that we had to walk through a different security area).
3. You can bring food and liquids in the diaper bag to make the trip a bit more successful (they will have to test everything at security, but it was not a big deal). And I’m so glad we did! At first I thought I would just buy stuff there, because it was easier. But I’m so glad I changed my mind because the juice and milk and snacks really helped Jaxen through the lines and especially on the airplane before we ever took off and before they served us beverages.
4. Make sure you arrive early for the little bit longer security detail of a baby/toddlers food and drinks.
5. Let your child run and be a bit wild before you put them on the plane! We were able to do this going, but not coming back and there was a huge difference. And it does not matter what people in the airport think…I promise you that they would rather deal with it in the airport than on the plane!
6. Make sure they are drinking something as the pressure changes from taking off or landing - it helps with their ears.
7. Be polite to those sitting around you…they will likely be polite back (especially if your child is not acting in the best manner!).
8. Don’t be afraid to change a diaper on a plane. I did it during turbulence (at a time when they were telling everyone to get back to your seats and put your seatbelt on - I was chaining a diaper, trying to keep both Jaxen and I steady!) Just ask where exactly the changing station is located as you board the plane. I made the mistake once of not asking first, and ended up changing his diaper as I sat on the closed-potty-lid and Jaxen stood in front of me. I’ll save you the details!
I think those are the biggest things I learned while traveling with a toddler! Continuing on…
Monday still, January 27: We had a layover in Washington, DC before we boarded another plane to NY. Jaxen did really, really well on the planes that day. Our first flight was almost 4 hours and the second flight was about 1 1/2 hours.
Jaxen was really busy exploring everything
(or just maybe playing under the seats!)
And as we were landing from the first flight he finally fell asleep!
He slept just like this for most of the second flight.
We arrived in Syracuse, NY around 1:20 that afternoon.
The view from the plane
The plane landing on the runway with snow and ice
Pastor Chad and his wife, Misty, were there to meet us and drive us back to Watertown. The plan was to see a little bit of Syracuse before we headed north - but the snow was so bad many of the roads were being closed. So we headed straight back and it was a good thing we did, because we drove about 20 mph and barely had visibility in places!
This was actually the interstate we were driving on - pretty crazy!
We finally arrived (safely) to Watertown and we checked into our hotel and then headed out for dinner with the pastor and his family. We had a wonderful meal (of pizza) while we got to know each other. One interesting thing we learned that night was that their family is all vegetarians! I wasn’t really sure what to do when I heard that news. You know, because meat is such an important part in my daily food intake, and all! But we got past that (grin) and I feel we talked all night!
We finally got back to the hotel around 8:30 and we all got ready for bed! Of course, it took Jaxen awhile to go to sleep (new place) and Nik and I tossed and turned all night. We were so tired, but the excitement and nerves kept us up!
This blog is long enough for now…so the interview story will continue another day!