I woke up this morning and found Eli downstairs, standing guiltily near this big mess of Cheerios.
He claims he was using two hands, but still dropped the container with the cheerios and the lid fell off. I didn't get too upset with him, but we both took turns sweeping and cleaning up the mess. Then for the next few hours, I was racing to get all kinds of random stuff done before the taxi arrived to take us to the airport. We had a nice, safe driver for once and I'd say the taxi ride was the most relaxing part of my day :)
Once we got to O'Hare, I checked our suitcase and two car seats at the curb. Oh how I love curbside check-in. It was FREEZING outside though (actual temp, 20 degrees, but felt like it was in the teens) and that was the one downside. We were in a sort of enclosed part of the curbside area, but there were lots of cold blasts of air coming in that space. It makes me shiver thinking about it.
Next was security. I went back and forth a million times about whether I should bring my joovy stroller to help with the kids at the airport. I was a little worried about Charlie refusing to walk or melting down, but in the end decided it was just easier not to deal with the stroller. We took a LONG time getting through security - I think I had six of those tubs filled with our shoes, coats, my laptop, hoodie, and our miscellaneous bags. Eli had his backpack, then I had my backpack that holds the camera and laptop, plus my huge purple hospital bag from when I had Eli that was filled to the brim with things to do on the airplane (and their prized stuffed animals and blankies - I am such a pushover). And my purse too. It was a lot to carry.
People in security were nice though and I got big smiles and funny comments because I was wearing a Cubs shirt ("Cubs fan - great parenting!" HUH???). So there's your hint - if you want the security people to be kind to you at O'Hare, wear some Cubs paraphernalia. I didn't have to go through the creepy body scanner or get patted down like I experienced on our Mexico trip (when I wasn't sporting my Cubs shirt).
After security, we had about 45 minutes to go leisurely through the terminal to our gate. So I took the slow pace moment to snap some pictures of the kids. I love how decked out they make O'Hare at Christmastime.
(Charlie and his blankie. I know it's GROSSSSSS. He was totally dragging it through the airport. It gives me the shakes to think about it. It needs a major washing tomorrow.)
Eli was so excited to be at the airport. He was being so cute and I was really glad for his happy demeanor. Charlie seemed a little overwhelmed by all of the people, but was content as long as he had his blankie and his thumb.
Here's a blurry couple seconds of them running through the terminal. They really were so cute.
Blurry Boys Running through O'Hare (Dec 2010) from Sarah on Vimeo.
Exhausted from all of that running. :)
Walking down the ramp to our plane - I didn't ask them to hold hands, they just did it. I think Eli was worried about what Charlie might do if he wasn't reigning him in.
The only problem was when Eli was walking too fast and started dragging poor Charlie!! Oops.
All better, no big deal.
New cheap monster trucks for the trip -
We were originally sitting up toward the front, but the back of the plane was completely empty, so we moved back there so we would have lots of space and not bother anyone with our movies. The boys were enthralled with Toy Story 2, Backyardigans, and Little Einstein's and were really well behaved for the majority of the trip. Eli had to pee twice (not surprising - this is also after going to the bathroom at the airport before the plane ride... he goes so often!!) and I just left Charlie there at his seat. One of the flight attendances was REALLY nice and kept coming over to see if we needed anything. She even sneaked us free snacks (you're supposed to pay for them now, but she was eating some and gave us a few bags too). There was one nice family a few rows ahead of us with teenagers, but the rest of the passengers were older adults, no kids. We flew on American and it was a nice new, clean plane with two seats on each side.
After the plane, we ventured over to baggage claim. I took the kids on the escalator to get downstairs, which was a HUGE mistake, considering I really only had one free arm (sort of) and neither child was very good at getting on the escalator. Oh my gosh. I thought Eli was going to tumble down the stairs when we first got on. It was a near disaster and there was a business man a little ways below us who booked it back up to help me. Getting off was hard too. Note to self - you need a hand for each child with the escalator!!
We got our luggage and car seats fairly quickly, loaded them onto a rented cart, threw my kids on top and headed over to the rental car place, totally teetering and looking a little crazy. We made it though!! The boys were stir crazy and so happy to have space to run, so they were running up and down the rental car area (I got a few dirty looks, but I didn't care) while I got everything in place and then we headed into the garage to pick up our Chevy Traverse. It was either a tiny hatchback that I had initially rented online or the SUV, and the car rental person made me feel like the hatchback wasn't a safe idea with two kids in the back. I was probably just conned into spending 50 more bucks for the week, but oh well. It's nice to have more room and it was way cheaper than if I had reserved an SUV in advance.
It was 50 degrees and bright sun as we drove down to Ben's sister's house. Her two older daughters were so sweet and are having me and the boys sleep in their room (they're sleeping in the basement). Eli warmed right up when we arrived and was having a blast with his cute cousins. Charlie was out of sorts from not napping and being in a new place, so he was pretty quiet. My boys went to bed just fine, totally exhausted from our big day. Now I have to sneak into the room and try to sleep with Charlie's loud sound machine in my ears!