Thursday, September 12, 2013

packing, flying, & arriving!

We went home to Houston last month for three weeks and had such a great time!

Talton and I couldn't wait to get out of Busan for the month of August because of this...
Because I walk literally everywhere with the boys AND because I remember what this crowd was like last year, I had no desire to stroll my way through tons of people every day.  The month of August is the most popular time to visit Haeundae Beach, where we live, so I was more than happy to be missing out on all this craziness.  Thankfully, when we got back three weeks later, the crowds were gone, along with all of the umbrellas and most of the lifeguard stands.  It was nice to have "our" beach back.  :)

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know that my boys are attracted to a suitcase like a moth to a flame.  Here they are sitting on top of my suitcase going through something they pulled out of there that I already packed.  That's exactly why I don't pack until the day before.  I know someone is going to come behind me and move something that'll end up missing later, and it's easier to keep these little rascals out of the suitcases for one day than several days leading up to traveling.

These little guy wouldn't cut me a break, though.  I had to eventually give him his own empty suitcase to play in so he'd stay out of the ones I needed at the time.
This is him popping up to surprise me.  You can see his lips are making the "B" in BOO!

The next day we headed out to the airport in Busan to make our way to Tokyo for the night.  It's our experience that breaking up the long trip into two legs with an overnight at a hotel works out better for our littles.  We grabbed some snacks, explored, read a book, and played with some toys while waiting to board our plane.

Check out P with one shoe off. So here's the deal with that.  He likes to take his shoes and socks off, so I use that valuable knowledge as a way to distract him or get him to do things he would rather not do.  For example, I got him all situated in the chair and had to put his seat belt on him.  He didn't want it on, so I asked him if he wanted to take his shoes off.  He sat, I put the seat belt on, and I took off one shoe and sock.  At that point, I knew I only had one shoe/sock left to work with, so I tried to distract him with something else.  He bought into my idea of coloring while the plane ascended....phew!  Then we were allowed to turn electronics on, and I didn't have to use my leverage on the second shoe/sock until it was time to put the electronics away and he wasn't happy about having to turn his movie off.  He gave the iPad up with a quickness when I asked him if he wanted to take the other shoe off.  Look people, you do what you gotta do.  :)
These two have gotten to do really well on flights, but C is like a flying rock star.  For real.  So proud of them.

We arrived at Narita airport in Tokyo, Japan, went through immigration, retrieved our luggage, went through customs, and then waited outside for the shuttle bus to take us to our hotel for the night.  This was the third time we'd done this routine (spending the night in Tokyo between flights), and it's just so darn convenient.  What's funny is the boys have gotten use to staying in the hotel as well...never thought that would happen.  I take a sound machine, and they sleep just as well as they do at home.  :)

No matter how many times we stay in the hotel, though, they like to explore it, as if something new has been added.  On our trip back home in September, C thought the fridge hidden in the dresser was the coolest thing ever and wanted to keep retrieving drinks for everyone.  :)
 P loves to "talk" on the phone.  We often have to unplug both phones so he doesn't accidentally call someone.
 We ordered room service for dinner, took baths, and hit the sack.

The next day, our direct flight from Tokyo to Houston wasn't until 4 pm, so we had to kill a bunch of time that morning.  We ate breakfast downstairs...
 ...played in the room (not so easy when you don't have toys or English TV and you don't want to entertain them with an iPad or toy from their backpacks that are meant for the upcoming long plane ride)...
 ...and even went outside to walk around a bit.

Soon enough it was time for the 13 hour (nearly 14) plane ride.
The boys did AMAZING.  Seriously y'all.  I'm so impressed by them.  Yes, they have their moments, but we've got a system down now that works for us.  It involves their own personal lunch kits filled with snacks, their little backpacks filled with toys and stuff to play with, and an iPad with new movies and games to keep them busy.  Oh....blocking each of them in by a window so they can't escape down the aisle or bother someone on the other side of them doesn't hurt either.  ;)  We sit one row behind the other and take the middle and window seats.  Works like a charm!  Thank you, God, for putting kind people in the aisle seat who don't mind having to get up every now and then to take a 3 year old potty or to take a 2 year old to have his diaper changed.  Speaking of, if I could show you a picture of P and I crammed in that tiny plane restroom, you'd die laughing.  The changing table is above the toilet, so after I change his diaper, I leave him sitting on it (because there's no way he's sitting on that floor!) so I can use the potty....and that's when the fun ensues, for P anyway.  He thinks it's hilarious to climb on my back like a spider monkey and giggle his head off (because the toilet is right under the changing table so I have to hunch down to use it).  Yeah, take that visual in.  It really is funny, I have to admit.

And look who got his first pair of wings!  :)
"Dare just wike da pilot's wings, Mommy!"
Can I just say how polar opposite the immigration lines are between what we experience in Japan and Korea (literally no line at all most of the time) compared to what we stood in in Houston (30-40 minutes)?  Ridiculous.  Again, I'd like to thank God for keeping my babies calm enough to sit in the stroller for that period of time after having been on the plane for more than half the day.  Geez Louise.

After going through all checkpoints and picking up our luggage, we were finally ready to walk out the doors to meet my mom!  :)
 We were all pooped, as you can imagine.  Poor C fell asleep in the stroller sitting up.  He was happy to see his GrammE though and wanted to hold her hand as we walked to the car.  P did not fall asleep in the stroller prior to this and slept for only a short while on the plane, so he was not interested in being conversational with anyone.  How can you blame the kid?  :)

We hopped in the car and headed for my mom's...another 30 minutes or so of sitting still for the boys.  We all couldn't wait to get to her house and be able to move around a bit.
It was so good to be home.  :)

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