Tuesday, July 14, 2009

To NJ and Back

On June 29th we left for a week-long adventure in New Jersey to visit with my family and introduce them properly to our son for the first time. We were mainly excited to have our son meet my dad, who is going to be 87 in September, since J is the first grandchild in our family since 1971 (my sister's son, who is only 14 months younger than me...). The trip went really well, with only a few downs compared to the many ups we shared.

The plane ride out went well. We opted for daytime flights instead of our typical red-eye flights to help give us extra time out there. We didn't want to risk keeping the plane cabin awake with a potentially screaming child while people are trying to sleep, so the non-stop day flight was a good move for everyone. There was really only one meltdown, but a good rocking and bottle quelled it before the Air Marshals had to step in! The flight back home was even easier, minus a plane problem that made the airline switch terminals and the size of the plane. We almost got bumped (again) but my wife deftly played the "baby card" which may have helped us get a seat on the new plane. We thought we were safe until they realized a baby would be in an exit row (not allowed) and that he was check in as an infant without a seat though we paid the money to get his own seat so we wouldn't have to hold him for 5.5 hours. It all worked out in the end and J slept through a lot of the flight.

His demeanor while in NJ was up and down, with a melt down here and there to keep up in check. One happened in the car on the second night, and some later-night road work caused a traffic jam that only made his screaming bout longer and more frustrating. The kid just doesn't know how to cry, only yell! He was really overtired, apparently, so much so that he slept for EIGHT HOURS STRAIGHT that night, from 10PM to 6AM, the longest such stretch to date. We actually thought he might have died, honestly and morbidly as it sounds, because he was in the same position the whole night. My wife touched him to see if he was okay and he felt really cold so she got paranoid. I went to check him and felt his head, which was warm, thankfully, then moved his hand and he stretched his fingers out. We let out a sigh of relief...

My father and my siblings really enjoyed spending time with our son, and that was the whole point of the trip. Everyone got to hold him and J seemed to take well to all of them. He like grabbing my dad's ear and nose, and also gave him many slobbery kisses that my dad promptly wiped off with nearby tissues. It was really great to see our family all together for such an occasion.