Well we made it. Somehow we survived 21 hours of flight time, 6 hours of layovers, three airplanes, and four airports. And somehow all 12 of our bags, 2 car seats and stroller all made it with us. It's a miracle!
I wouldn't say I was every really looking forward to moving to Singapore. But I certainly wasn't a nervous wreck about it until about the last 24 hours. I thought it would subside once we got through secruity in Cedar Rapids and were officially on our way, but it seemed to get worse at every juncture on our journey. Poor Brennan had to pull a lot of the weight when it came to taking care of the kids. I was pretty nervous and just generally didn't feel well. My dad was able to give us both blessings the night before we left which was so helpful. I'm so grateful for him and for the priesthood.
I'll try to keep the synopsis of our trip relatively brief but I do want to document it a little. The first flight was only an hour, piece of cake right? Especially since Declan fell asleep in my arms before we even took off. Score! Then Brennan made the mistake of suggesting that I put him in his car seat which we had brought on the plane for just this reason and I made the mistake of listening to him. :) Declan woke up as soon as I tried and then proceeded to scream bloody murder for the rest of the flight. Oh boy. Then when we got to Minneapolis I'm pretty sure it was a couple of crooked miles to our next gate. We gate checked our double stroller and ended up just loading it up with the car seat and all of our carry one stuff and Tatum walked the crooked miles and I carried Declan. So fun. When it was time to board the plane Tatum suddenly had to go to the bathroom as we showed our passports, so Brennan handed ours off to us and I took her. Apparently she really had to go because she started before she was all the way on the toilet and peed all over her underwear and pants. Luckily I had an extra pair of underwear with me and I just had to make her put the slightly wet pants back on. Always an adventure.
The next leg of our journey was the longest. 12.5 hours on a plane. No bueno. I tend to get a little claustrophobic on planes if the flight is longer than 2 hours so I was at least as worried about how I would do as I was about the kids. :) There were three aisles of three seats across and we were in the middle. Not good for the claustrophobic among us. I sat in one row with the two kids and Brennan sat in the row in front of us. All in all the kids did well. There were unlimited movies to watch and Tatum had a hay day with that. She had a disgusting amount of screen time that day. You do what you have to, right? Declan slept off and on and seemed to sit better and be calmer when he was with Brennan but that's probably just my perspective. The flight attendants seemed to come around annoyingly often with nasty food and un-iced water and asking for trash. They also dim the lights and everyone closes their windows. So even though it's light outside it's dark on the plane the whole time. It messes with my mind! Declan had a blow out and Tatum went to the bathroom no less than fifty times. The rest is a blur. :)
We had another 3 hour layover in Tokyo. We unexpectedly had to go through security again, which was annoying. We had to throw away a bunch of liquids and our double stroller wouldn't fit through any of the lanes and it was stinkin' hot in the airport. It was stressful. We made it to our gate and I was feeling even more sick and nervous and useless, the kids were exhausted and grumpy and Brennan was complaining of motion sickness. We were quite a crew. The layover went quickly and it was time to board again for the last 7.5 hour flight. As we got on the plane Tatum cried and said, "Why are we getting on here again?" Poor girl. We got an outside aisle this time and I had Brennan sit with the kids and I was in the row behind them. I mostly tried to sleep for the entire flight. I turned down all the nasty food this time and tried to just calm myself down. I actually kept thinking about the talk my sister gave at church about a week before we left about the new year and looking forward instead of back. She talked about Lot's wife and how she didn't have enough faith that the Lord had something better in store for her. I kept thinking I don't want to be Lot's wife, but this is hard and scary! I reminded myself that there must be a reason for this, and I might not realize what that reason is today, or tomorrow, or next week or next month. I might not know until years down the road. But surely I have enough faith to do this. So between off and on sleep and thoughts like these swirling through my mind and occasionally helping with the kids, we made it.
Then it was time show our passports. Brennan accidentally didn't fill out the right paperwork so he had to do it in line and suddenly Tatum had to go to the bathroom. I ran off to find one with her but couldn't find one anywhere! When I finally did the women's side was closed for cleaning! When I read the sign out loud Tatum just broke down. She dropped to the floor sobbing and peed all over the floor. What on earth was I supposed to do? It was the middle of the night in Singapore and this area of the airport was virtually empty. I'm not proud of it, but we just walked away with a puddle of my daughter's pee on the floor. (I actually had a dream that night at the hotel that they caught us on video surveillance and Tatum had to get like 12 lashings on her heels. My brain is weird.) We went to join Brennan in line and Tatum was mortified by what just happened so she just kept crying and saying she peed her pants really loudly. It was quite a humbling experience.
We made it through and went to collect our bajillion bags. All they had were these tiny luggage carts and we had no idea how we were going to get it all to our hotel, which was in the aiport. Finally a worker told us to take just what we needed and leave the rest at baggage claim and come collect it the next day. Seemed a little dangerous but we couldn't see any other solution so thats what we did. Of course, what we needed was still an awful lot. We didn't really pack with this one night in the hotel in mind. Poor Declan was a basketcase at this point and it was hotter than blazes and he was still in his fleece pjs from the blowout. I'm pretty sure we woke up everyone at that hotel. Oops. We tried to bathe our peed on, pooped on, sweaty, travelled weary children but they screamed the whole time. Ooops again. Then we all managed to get a few hours of shut eye. We had breakfast at the hotel, repacked and then a coworker came to pick us up and show us our apartment.
The view from our hotel room.