I’m 30 weeks and 5 days pregnant today, and finally back home in Stockholm after 3 months away, it’s been great to travel and get new impressions and gain new experiences, but there really is no place like home. It feels so good to be back!
Nicholas seems to enjoy being back home with his own things just as much as I do. He has dragged just about every toy he owns, including the baby ones he has long since out-grown, out across the floor in his playroom, and seems thrilled to just sit and play with them all day long. We have a meeting with the leader of the day care he is to start tomorrow, so it will be mine and Nicholas’ first chance to see the premises and meet the staff. I hope I like it! It is really long overdue that he starts, and I know he will benefit from it greatly, but it still will be strange not having him home with me every day- all day- as we have been the last 22 months. But it will give me the chance to give our new baby girl the same amount of attention that Nicholas got for a few hours each day. At the same time as I know Nicholas will be getting the stimulation and fun that he needs playing with other kids, it really is a win-win situation!
Yesterday was valentines day, and we spent the day travelling home from Tromso. I managed do it again, I wrote a whole long post on the iPad at the airport yesterday, then it was time to go drop Charlie off at the oversized-baggage area, and I closed the WordPress app and figured I could post once I got home, too bad the whole post is gone now, and I really don’t think I’ll be able to find it again, so here is a short and compressed version of our long journey home from Tromsø that really was supposed to have been short and quick.
The whole thing started four days ago, when I called Norwegian to make sure there was a space booked for Charlie in cargo. The lady informed me that they have now changed the rules, and that it no longer is allowed to bring a dog on a continuous flight, but that you have to book two separate tickets, with a minimum of two hours between the flights in order to bring your dog. So I had to re-book my second ticket, and now ended up with a four-hour stop over in Oslo instead of the planned 50 minutes. Not only did I get the stop over, but I got the extra pleasure of dragging three big luggages, two handluggages, a dog cage the size of a small bedroom plus a 22-month-old toddler out through customs, and then having to wait for check in for two hours with said stuff before I could drag all this upstairs and hand off the luggage, and then be stuck with the toddler and dog until an hour before the flight, as they don’t want you to hand the dog in before. And did I mention that I had no stroller, and that I am over 30 weeks pregnant as well? Not cool, not even remotely funny, and quite frankly not doable when your pelvis is falling apart, and you can barely walk..
Oh, and then i would have the joy og going through security again, and man is going through security a hassle when you have nowhere to strap the kid to. You try pulling a MacBook, an iPad and a massive amount of camera equipment out of your hand luggage, whilst at the same time taking all baby food and yoghurt out of the diaper-bag, and repacking it all at the same time as Nicholas is trying to run in between the x-ray machines and taking off into the airport… Not fun, not fun at all.
So what do you do when you sense more trouble than you can handle? You call your husband and get him to get on a plane and meet you in Oslo, so that is what I did, and that is what he did. Thank God! Or I would have been at the hospital in Oslo with a premature baby right now!
Our day of travel started pretty bad when Nicholas got up at 6.30 for the first time in his 22 month old life. Absolutely dreadful waking up at that time after having spent most of the night before trying to jam a million things into far too small bags. Then my mum came home and walked Charlie for me whilst I got Nicholas up at 11 from his very premature nap. We drove to the airport and my brother met us there, and boy am I glad they were there. I had to out Charlie’s gigantic cage together, a process that involves 5 handles that have to be put on and plastic strips among other things, and doing that at the same time as Charlie was tied to the luggage cart was more than enough for me, Nicholas was running around like crazy with my brother in tow, and my mother was in the lineup for checking in for me.
When I got to the front of the check-in lineup another disappointment hit, the plane was booked completely full, and thus there were no available seats for Nicholas, he would have to go on my (non-existing) lap. For two hours. Yay… Let me tell you, those two hours were among the longest and most uncomfortable hours of my life! My belly is so big now that it takes half my lap when I’m sitting down, and the space on the Norwegian planes are cramped to begin with, Nicholas was almost sliding off my knees and had nowhere to put his legs, so I had to keep my feet up on tippy toes to keep him from sliding into the seat in front, and his legs were jammed up along the window wall. Not very comfortable I’m sure, and yet, this little trooper, who NEVER sits on my lap for two seconds at home sat like a perfect angel for the whole two hours without complaining once! I am amazed at his patience to be honest. Personally I wanted to strangle the two people who were sitting next to the one available seat on the whole plane, and weren’t willing to swap with me…
When we got to Oslo the second crappy thing happened, our airplane parked as far away from the central airport as possible, on the only spot where you have to actually walk downthe flight steps, out across the Tarmac, and in to the airport again. yay! Have you ever tried to guide a 22 month old down slippery flight steps with your hands full? No? I don’t recommend it at all! It took us three minutes to get down the steps, and then another five to get into the airport. The walk from this side of the airport to the baggage-claim area took another 20, when we got there there was no one left at all, and our three collies were going round and round on the baggage-carousel. Charlie was just un-ceremoniously dumped in his cage on the middle of the floor and waiting patiently for us. I managed to drag our bags off the belt, and then just sat down to wait for Ken. We saw him arrive at the international luggage area the other side of the glass wall, and I had told him that I needed him to go upstairs,check in, go through security to the domestic departure area, and then through there down to our side of the baggage claim. He actually managed to do all this in the time it took Nicholas to finish his yoghurt, even though we landed 15 minutes before him. Obviously because it took us forever to get there.
You should have seen the look on Nicholas face when he spotted Kenny, he literally ran across the whole are and jumped into his arms, melted my heart completely! How lucky were we to get to spend some “quality” time together on valentines:)
Kenny collected our stuff and we were out of there in a heartbeat! To our great surprise, and joy, a Starbucks had just opened right out side the arrivals area, and right next to it was a play airplane, so we just took a seat there, and Ken went off to play with Nicholas.
They spent the rest of the four hour wait playing there, only with a short muffin and coffee brake
And here is a picture of all the stuff I had with me..
Our second flight was also cramped and full, but man does it make a massive difference that I could lean on Kenny and have part of Nicholas sticking over on his seat. Our 50 minute Oslo to Stockholm flight ended up lasting an hour and a half because of de icing and circling before we could land, and Nicholas was an angel throughout, even though it was now 8.20 and he hadn’t slept since 11am. He is the best!
Here we are, finally back in Stockholm!
There are plenty of strollers around arlanda airport that one can borrow, and Nicholas was more than happy to sit in this one whilst we waited for Kenny to get the car. We had barely got him strapped in his car seat before he fell asleep, and he slept all the way home, all the way up in the elevator, and through me undressing him on the sofa, before I finally managed to wake him up. And these two last days he has slept until 10 and 9.30. Probably still trying to catch up on his sleep!
Now it is off to bed for me, we went and gave Nicholas his first haircut today, I’ll post pictures tomorrow so you can all see what he looks like now!
Till then,good night!