Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The plane ride

I still don't believe it, but it was like I was traveling with the two best behaved boys in the world. Apparently, my super active, always running kids can actually calm down and follow instructions when push comes to shove. Hopefully Greg can experience this miracle when he takes them back.

I managed to keep patch awake for the Manila -Tokyo flight, which landed right at nap time. Carrying a sleeping kid, plus two carry ons, would be beyond me. By the time we made it through security, two potty trips (of course, Patch said he didn't need to go when Wm and I stopped), bought a snack, and found our gate, it was time to board. Kudos to Narita gate staff. They took one look at me and the boys, and said they would be happy to carry our two bags to my seat after I folded up the stroller. Never pass up help!

Patch promptly napped for the first three hours of the flight, and Wm ate the funny Japanese-style children's meal (think fish cake). Around his usual bedtime, Wm volunteered to change into pjs and go to sleep. Weird! But. Of course I said sure! Patch took a little more convincing, but wasn't fussy, thankfully.  At 9:15 pm Manila time, I experienced a moment of peace... I was sitting in the middle seat, and wm and patch were each asleep on a leg, slightly diagonal, both heads resting next to my very pregnant belly. Were an artsy photographer on the plane with a birds eye view, it would have been a poignant moment. 

Both stayed asleep for the next few hours until breakfast was served and time to land. I was able to doze, but not really sleep, since I had to watch out for Patch stretching his legs out into the aisle and Wm rolling off the seat. But, hey, dozining off and on for three or four hours is more than I hoped for - I kept my expectations low.

My low point came when I lost my temper at a Delta agent in Detroit. Wm was a trooper - we had to move two carts of heavy suitcases plus a double stroller with a sleepy Patch through customs and to the baggage re-check place. Wm amazingly helped out, pushing a cart very carefully, not running into any people. I even got a few comments from other passengers about what a great big brother he was.

But, then when we got to the baggage recheck, the agent asked me very curtly what I was doing there (since I already had a boarding pass) and (after she determined the other location was stuck and all passengers were being routed to her spot) yelled at me for loading the suitcases too close together on the belt. At this, I curtly responded that at 8 months pregnant, having a 5 year old helping me push carts, I was placing the bags where I liked. She was more than welcome to get out of her chair and help (though, snarkily, she said union rules prohibitted her from touching bags. Yeah. I left the bags where they were and walked away.).

Thankfully, the TSA agents at the security stop next were actually kind! Wm and Patch didn't have to get out of their stroller; they just escorted us to the "special" screening section where we could take our time. And by the time we got to the last gate, it was time to board. Before we knew it, we were in DC.

I wish I knew what I did to make the plane ride so smooth so I can replicate. Sadly, aside from packing six peanut butter sandwiches for Patch, I really have no idea.

Now, if only getting the boys over jetlag could be as easy as that plane ride...

Monday, August 6, 2012

Home alone

Whoa, didn't know I was still here, did you?  Thing is, with Pam and the boys gone, I have nothing else to do.  I was reading Game of Thrones book 3 (book 4?  I don't know), but it was on the iPads, which Pam has.  I can play FIFA12 on the iPad almost indefinitely, but same problem there.  No boys to deal with or Pam to talk to.  It's pouring rain, so no swimming, tennis, or exploring the city.  The Olympics offer some refuge, but... oh, no, there's more badminton coming, then, even worse: artistic gymnastics.  Maybe I'll just go to bed.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

See you later, Manila :)

I'm about to check in for the dreaded plane flight and am just waiting for G to get back from the store so I can finish packing (how did I not notice until last night that Patch had exactly two diapers left???). Three days of work in Manila - done. One busy day of packing - done. One day of last minute odds & ends packing - half way through. G needs to get back to get down a suitcase so I can decide if I want to use the duffle or a third big one. Hmm...

Luckily, I'm feeling calm and not going to attempt to climb our step stool to reach the suitcase. It's one of those things I know I very likely could do, but why risk losing my balance and falling today, of all days? Not worth it. Better to just write this post and be patient.

For the record, 5.5 days left for my zen count down :)

Yesterday, our two helpers decided it would be easier for me to pack if they took the boys "gala." (i.e., out and about) And they were adament this was just for fun since they wouldn't see the boys for so long - not overtime. Of course I said yes! I think a train ride, hamburgers at Jolibee, and some ice cream will be involved. Off they went at 9:30 with our camera (of course! this is the Philippiness - anything and everything must be documented) and some fun spending money.

But for now, I don't think I have much to do. Sadly, the olympic channel here is only showing badminton. While it's interesting to a point, after two hours, I'm ready for something else.

Packing up for three months is a little bizarre, especially in this life, where I had to think about which friends will be transferring from post during that time. And surprises pop up: I had dinner with a 2000 Wellesley alum I've met here and her husband just accepted a transfer to Germany (private sector) ... so that was a goodbye I wasn't expecting. Luckily, if I forget anything, G is coming in a few weeks. And America has stores. Lots and lots of stores. Like Target.