I’m here to say we are safely in Abilene, TX. The kids and I flew into Houston this past Wednesday morning at 6am, and Danny and Susan Clancy, our teammate, Mark’s, parents were there to pick us up. What a blessing they are to our family! They very graciously drove us to College Station, TX to Justin’s mom’s house, and we were able to spend 2 nights being loved on by Nana (Teri), Auntie Allie, and Great Grandma Marie. The kids were spoiled with extra attention and a few new toys that made their time there so fun. Thanks, Teri, Allie, and Marie!
On Friday my mom and sister drove us from CS to Abilene, and we have been here since. My parents are always so thoughtful in their preparation for hosting us, and the kids have not been bored yet! I look forward to sharing pictures from Nana’s house as well as some of our time here at Honey and Daddy-O’s house soon, but I want to wait until I can put our pictures on our own computer…which is with Justin in Peru.
To backtrack a bit, I thought I might share about our trip here. This is where the “Long” part comes in…haha.
Last Tuesday night began our trip here. Justin drove us to the airport, which is about 45 min. from our house, so that we arrived around 7:45pm. I just knew Corban would fall asleep in the car, because he normally goes to bed around 7:30pm, and he hadn’t napped much that day. Well…he didn’t. Instead, he cried almost the entire way to the airport, which didn’t make the growing knots in my stomach (from nerves about flying solo with the kids) shrink any. He had conveniently begun to cut his first tooth that day, and he was in pain. What?! Of ALL the days. Fortunately, he was happy to get out of his car seat and into the stroller when we arrived at the airport. Cailyn, on the other hand, was doing really well…praise God!
Justin checked our bags for us, and he was able to go through to the eating area with us. So, we had a late dinner together (which happened to be a great oven-roasted chicken meal…something that wasn’t going to make me sick before a long flight… this was one of my concerns beforehand) and then walked around a bit until about 9:45pm. At that point, we had to say goodbye to our sweet daddy (sad times…scary times is probably more like it…haha). We went through security and headed for the immigration lines. The kids and I were ushered to the front since I was a “parent with small children”, but it was negated by the fact that the paperwork that we thought we had filled out actually hadn’t been done. So, I filled out 3 sets of paperwork for all of us while Corban cried in the stroller and Cailyn circled the stroller as her eyes were rolling into the back of her head from being over tired. It was special.
When that was over, I used a payphone to let J know we had made it through, and we got to our gate an HOUR before boarding. I thought it was going to be impossible to keep the kids awake and entertained. I was afraid for them to go to sleep, because I was going to have to wake them to board the plane. Anyway, God was watching over me, because Corban crawled around happily while I read books to Cailyn. When I wasn’t reading to her, she was reading to herself. Not until the moment they called for us to board did either of them begin to get a little fussy.
Once on the plane, Cailyn (who was SOO EXHAUSTED…duh) got a second wind. We were in the 2 seats on the aisle, so that was good, but our window seat person didn’t board till the end. So, I was still worried to let the kids sleep since we were most likely going to have to stand up to let the person in. Corban was a little fussy, but the people going down the aisle were great about talking to him and making him smile. That was SUCH a blessing! Finally, our seat partner showed up…a Peruvian man…and just as we were about to take off, Cailyn accidentally pinched Corban’s finger in her pull-down tray…oops. He screamed so loud, but it ended up being a good segue into nursing him to sleep…finally! 8 month old asleep (for the first time that night) by midnight…check!
After the seat belt tutorial, I started a movie for Cailyn thinking it would keep her calm and laying down so that she would fall asleep. She’s a great sleeper, and she also falls asleep fast…but not that night. I guess she was wired, because she watched the ENTIRE movie until 2 am! She even laughed so loud at one point and said, “HAH! This is SOO silly!” in one of those “I’m nearly 3 yrs. old, and I’ve got headphones in and I have no idea how loud I’m talking” kind of voices. There wasn’t much I could (or wanted to) do about it, because due to the hour and her level of tiredness, I wasn’t sure how she would react if I turned it off. If she was going to throw a fit, I wasn’t in the position to control it. Corban was sleeping (very restlessly might I add) in my arms, and I wasn’t about to have him awake, crying, and uncontrollable in addition to controlling a fit that Cailyn *might* throw. So, she stayed awake. WAY not what I expected.
I guess they began bringing the food carts around at about 1am or something…I honestly can’t remember, but it seemed like they were SCREAMING “CHICKEN OR BEEF?!” Seriously, pipe.it.down. Cailyn heard that, and she immediately began saying, “OH, I want CHICKEN!” “Uh, no baby. It’s in the middle of the night. We’re not eating another dinner.” (oh my). I offered her a couple of crackers instead due to her whine for something…honestly…just to keep her quiet…I confess. Luckily, she forgot about it since her movie was still going on. Thank God 2am finally rolled around, her movie ended, I told her it was time to lay down and rest, and she did just that. I did have to remind her a few times that she could NOT dig her toes under the man’s legs that was sitting next to her. “He is NOT our daddy.” Needless to say, I had to “undig” them once she was asleep and apologize to the man – yet again.
While all of this was going on, Corban had been tossing and turning…poor me baby. He had even woken up enough at one point that he was crying and moving all around as if he might find his crib somewhere. It wasn’t fun, but I finally got him to fall asleep again. So, when 3am rolled around and both of the kids were FAST asleep, I had a moment to realize I had been holding my bladder for HOURS due to not finding just the right moment (as if there was going to be one) to use the restroom. So, I decided that it was unhealthy the way I was feeling, and I HAD to get up. That meant that Corban was probably going to wake from his deep sleep that he had worked so hard to get into…but it was a must for me. I got up, left Cailyn asleep in the seat, and decided to ask a flight attendant to hold him while I used the restroom. The only male flight attendant immediately jumped up from his seat and said, “I’m a father of 3, just hand him on over!” UH…THANK YOU! By the grace of God, Corban never woke up, and I was completely relieved. 😉
4am. Cailyn began to stir, which turned into her waking up in a state of crying…well, scream crying, really. Corban was asleep…at least up until she began to cry. I offered water, crackers, and…oh, wait…I had NOTHING else to offer at that point. I seriously might have taken that chicken plate had they been offering it then…hah. She didn’t want either. I finally had to wedge Corban into my seat and listen to him fuss so that I could pick her up to try and talk to her. She began to fall off the seat, because she thought she could roll around a bit…that wasn’t good. She rolled herself right onto the floor, and that made her MAD. I asked her if she just wanted her pillow and blanket so she could sleep on the floor…nope. Strike 3. She just kept getting more upset in her half-awakeness. So, she sat on the floor of the plane scream-crying for what seemed like 30 minutes…it was maybe 7. During those embarrassing 7 minutes, I decided my best bet was to put her pillow and blanket down on the floor so that she would eventually lay down, ignore her, and pray. So I did just that. “God, PLEASE either get her back up on her seat, or make her fall asleep down there. Either way…I can’t do anything about this, but I know you can.” Cheesy? Not in the moment. She finally fell asleep, and our sweet Peruvian friend was kind enough to move his feet so that she could basically use “his” area to stretch out in.
Both of them slept on and off, on the seat, in my arms, on the floor, etc until we landed. Wow. Long 6 hours. I had to wake Cailyn up so that we could get off of the plane. She did pretty well with that, but I basically had to drag her down the aisle because she was so out of it.
I began to cry but quickly stopped myself as we were walking down the looooong hallways to the immigration lines. There wasn’t anyone in the halls anymore, because we were practically the last ones off of the plane. I think my emotions were partly due to the fact that I hadn’t slept but about 45 minutes or so in the previous 24 hours, but also due to the fact that I said to Cailyn as we were walking down those empty halls…
“God brought us here, Cailyn. We made it!” HE is SO GOOD!
This momma is giving praises to God that our daddy will be with us when we fly back home! We miss/missed you, Justin!