Our morning (and therefore our vacation, woohoo!) started with an early flight that was taking us all the way to Phoenix—which was FIVE HOURS. To say I was nervous about this with a 2 year old would be an understatement.

While we waited for our flight to board, Michael kept Nora busy by riding the people-movers… over, and over, and over again.

Since this was the first time that we’ve ever bought Nora her own seat, we decided to bring her car seat on board with us to strap her in—both to control her wiggly ways, and also with the hope that she would fall asleep since it was familiar to her. Um, no.

First of all, the car seat gave her excellent access to kick (repeatedly) the seat in front of her. With an older gentleman in it, who—thankfully—looked like he slept peacefully through most of it. But after a while he was awake again and I couldn’t take the stress, so mid-flight, I uninstalled her car seat and turned it so it was rear-facing. That way, the only seat she could be kicking was her own.

Unfortunately, movies did not hold her attention the same way they have during road trips in the past, and apps and other activities—stickers, coloring, EATING—could only do so much. I swear, we fed the kid nearly the entire five hours. She ate snack after snack after snack.

All of this effort and methods of distraction were no match for five hours in the seat, though. She had a COMPLETE.FREAKING.MELTDOWN about three hours into it. We were those parents. At first we did everything to try to calm her, but she kept at it, screaming even louder in some cases, so I eventually gave up, put her on the floor at my feet (she was standing), and LET her hit me repeatedly. Of course, she NEVER would have gotten away with this at home, but at 20,000 feet, what exactly was I supposed to do? There is no “time out” on a Southwest Airlines plane. It probably lasted all of five or maybe 10 minutes, but it felt like an eternity. Coincidentally (or not), this was right around the time she would’ve been due for a nap… which she wouldn’t take.

Mercifully, we made it to Phoenix without much more issue. Nora was good in the airport (we were no longer packed into seats like sardines, so I can see why), and although our flight to San Diego was delayed a half hour or so, it wasn’t long before we were on our way again. For the one-hour flight, we gave up on the car seat and gate checked it. Muuuuch better. I still don’t know that we’ll make it through five hours like that (how on earth we are going to survive the five hours back, I don’t even know), but the car seat certainly didn’t work, so we’ll give it a whirl. Can’t get any worse, I don’t think (BUT OHMYGOD KNOCK ON WOOD PLEASE DON’T LET IT GET WORSE).

She never did nap.

Once in San Diego? ANGEL. We got her loaded into our friend’s car and within two minutes of pulling away from the curb at the airport, she was out like a light.

We arrived in San Diego to RAIN… like, a lot of rain. Jay said that today was one of the Top 5 worst days he has seen since he moved to the city. Go figure. But still, it is like 60 degrees, which feels amazing compared to the 12 degrees we left this morning.

We went back to Jay’s house and got settled in, then went out to pick up a pack ‘n’ play for Nora from the rental place. From there, we swung by a local pizza joint called Luigi’s and got a few slices each. Nora hounded an entire slice all by herself.

Not much else on the agenda for the evening, since it already feels way later than it is… time zone changes, whew. When we put Nora to bed, she fell asleep in record time. I won’t be far behind. Weather still looks iffy for tomorrow, so we’ll see what it brings.


4 Responses to Cross Country

  1. Heather says:

    Ahh, flights with a 2 year old are a blast, huh? ;) I definitely recommend checking the car seat. Grace was so thrilled to get to ride like a “big girl” that she was occupied playing with the seat belt, window, etc. and we could lift the arm rest between us and try to snuggle up for nap time. Try it for your longer flight maybe? Couldn’t hurt right?! Good luck- and have a blast on your vacay!!

  2. Andrea says:

    I would look into buying a CARES harness to use for future flights. We took a trip to Jamaica in October and even though my daughter wasn’t 2 yet and could have been a ‘lap child,’ we purchased a seat for her and used the harness. It allowed her to sit in a regular seat but also be more secure. Surprisingly she fell asleep on her own during both flights.

    You could always ask when checking in if any bulkhead seats are available. They are usually blocked out for passengers who have preferred status, but if they are still open maybe you could be reassigned there. My husband travels a lot and we always take advantage of being able to book those seats. There is a lot more leg room and my daughter can stand at the seat and play for a short amount of time if she needs to stretch her legs. Also – no one is in front of you so there is no opportunity to kick other passenger’s seats. :-)

  3. Cheryl says:

    I think you do an awesome job traveling with a two year old! Nora has been more places than I have in the last few years :)

    Congrats on the new little one – I love how it looks like they’re a dolphin in the ultrasound, haha. Don’t worry, there’s a baby human too :)

  4. Travel with toddlers is all trial and error, isn’t it? It never ceases to amaze me how many snacks Ryan can put away on a plane. We literally give him whatever he wants in whatever quantities he demands. And we have the same problem with him not wanting to watch DVDs as much as he wants to at home. I guess opening and closing the tray table is just way more fun (much to my frustration, as I am desperately averse to bothering the people in front of us). I will give you some hope now: We once had a very, very bad flight across the country with Ryan. I threatened to not go home because I didn’t think I could handle it again … and on the way home? He was pretty darn good. So maybe she got it out of her system! :) Enjoy the rest of you trip. I love me some SD.

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