Let me begin…
So I am packing up our bags today because tomorrow we head out for Houston! We will get in Friday afternoon. I admit that I have been dreading this trip home, but God has done so much to lighten my burden this time that I am not nearly as worried as I normally am.
Usually we fly out of Krasnodar airport, which is 3 hours away on a bumpy, miserable road. This time we are flying out of Anapa, which is only 1 hour away on a miserable, bumpy road. This way we don’t have to get up and going so early and we have less time on bad roads!
Sometimes I have my bad driver, who is like negative help, and once even abandoned me at new airport terminal (unlike any check-in area had ever seen) with a ridiculous number of suitcases and my toddler. This time I have my precious driver Andrey who always looks out for us, helps us get our bags checked, and never leaves Isla and mines sides until we are out of sight when we pass through security.
Usually I fly S7, which flies from Anapa to DME so I have to fly into DME National and fly-out of DME International the next day. This time I am flying Aeroflot so I get to fly into Sheremetyevo so I only have to deal with DME on my outbound flight!!!! This is huge.
Usually Nick is out of town or staying in Novo, so Isla and I are all alone. This time he will be in Moscow already! So we will get to see him Thursday night before we fly out Friday to Houston, and he will be able to help me with Isla in the evening and morning!
Usually I have no help checking in a DME, and it’s the worst airport ever. I am all alone as I get Isla, her stroller, and our luggage through our airports pre-security before I even check in. This time Nick is coming to DME to help me check-in and get as far as he can before he leaves us!
Usually before we even get on our 12.5 to 14 hour flight from Moscow to Houston, Isla is exhausted so she is extra naughty, and I am exhausted from travel, traffic, and late nights and early mornings that I am at my patience’s end. This time I know she may be tired and I may be tired, but I think that having Nick to help me will make a world of difference in my patience and energy.
Usually it is a struggle to get Isla to sleep on the plane. Not because she is usually difficult at bedtime, she just has a hard time falling asleep outside of her bed. This time I have a feeling we won’t have trouble! She was a rock star at falling asleep on the plane at Jordan. All we had to do was be kind, but firm, and she seemed to understand what was expected of her. I am very thankful for this.
There will be some things that stay the same, we still have a 2 hour flight Thursday. We will still have to drive HOURS in Moscow traffic because it is so bad, but I know that the little breaks that I am getting will make a HUGE difference. I only wish that we had known that Nick would in Moscow this week so that we could have flown up together and stayed a day or so in Moscow with him, but it was an expensive hassle to change the tickets.
I also think that Isla may have peaked as far as being a difficult travel companion. I thought once she had her own seat she would be easier and easier, but she has only gotten harder to corral and travel with as she has grown. She is so active! I think that she was better on the planes to Jordan, and hopefully she will have peaked and become easier to travel with from here on out – she’s 2 1/2 and I praying that this is so before the new baby comes. Its hard on little munchkins, I know!
Ok now back to packing! I have my usual frantic search for the latest and greatest new toddler iPad apps, sorting clothes, figuring out what snacks to purchase (not PRUNES this time), putting together Isla’s goody bag that will only entertain her an hour or so…
As you have probably figured out, I did not get but half of my to-do list done before we left… sigh. Mt Email just keeps piling up and I am trying to figure out how I want to smuggle my Jordan pictures to Houston so that I can blog about it there… but first, TO PACKING!