Before I get into the ordeal of arriving in a new house, new country, with no transportation and zero household goods on hand, let me cover some details about the overseas plane trip, since it was kind of a big deal, what with the four kids and all.
First, here’s the part where I complain about the TSA:
We barely made the first flight because TSA found a “chemical” on our stroller. My best and only guess is that it was something that we spray on our lawn. Due to this unknown chemical John had to have a pat-down and his luggage had to be hand-searched. I have no idea why they decided the stroller was associated with John and not with me.
Also, we had a WII U packed in one of the carry-on bags. We had carefully wrapped all the components in the kids’ clothes to optimize space as well as protection for the electronics. TSA was quite worried about the WII and had to rifle through everything and mess up our tetris-like configuration. Then they wanted to pat-down John while I stood near the WII-suitcase-dismantling (because evidently the WII had been assigned to me, and not John), and we were like, ummm, “If you have us both detained over there, what about the several small children not-so-patiently waiting on this bench? ” So TSA magnanimously allowed John to wait a few minutes before receiving his pat-down. We ran all the way to our gate–We were able to put many of our bags on the stroller, and John and I handled most of the rest, but Arabelle and Jeffrey both had wheeled carry-on suitcases that they had to pull, and they were heavy (completely full of books). I felt pretty bad when we were yelling at them to hurry up, and they kept complaining because the bags were so heavy, but it’s what had to happen for us to make our flight. And now they are glad that they have their books : ).
(There were some more good ones, but I’m trying to keep this blog PG 😉 )
The flight from Denver to Frankfurt, Germany was horrible and long (almost 10 hours), but overall uneventful. Arabelle, Rowan and I were in one row, and John, Jeffrey and Charlotte were in the row in front of ours. Rowan was not feeling well (found out later he had the beginnings of yet another ear infection), and was being clingy, so he wouldn’t let John hold him. I was tediously and exhausting-ly pulling out every single trick in the literal and figurative bag trying to keep Rowan entertained and in our seats. To make the situation even more frustrating for me, I kept sneaking peaks through the gap in the chairs and seeing that John was enjoying a luxurious and relaxing flight, watching yet another movie. That’s Mom Life right there.
Our plane from Denver had left a little late, and our layover in Frankfurt was already quite short, so we found ourselves in yet another situation where there was no time to eat, no time for the kids to use the bathroom. We were dashing through the airport, stroller laden with carry-on baggage, constantly urging the kids to go hurry. Charlotte was crying while we were yelling at her to run faster. (John thought I should edit this so we don’t seem like such monsters of parents, but this is what we had to do in the situation we were in. We barely made our flight to Billund, Denmark.
This flight was only 60 minutes, and they gave my kids this fun “children’s” toy (read closely):
And…we made it to Denmark! Half of our baggage, including our three bike boxes, may have been lost, but at least all the kids were accounted for. (We have since recovered all luggage/bikes and faith is once again restored.)
What with all the chaos and all the almost-missing-every-flight, there wasn’t time for much picture-taking, although no doubt there could have been many gems.
I did manage this “on plane with toddler” selfie: