Scarlett took her very first flight. We were prepared for trouble - I asked doctors at both hospitals about safety issues of going through airport security and flying with a shunt; both agreed there should be no problem. Just in case, I also asked where we should take her if we should encounter a problem (Seattle Children's Hospital was their approved place). Luckily, we had no problems. TSA at both Oakland Airport and Seattle-Tacoma Airport let us through with only minimal difficulty. The biggest confusion we had was with milk: we carry individual boxes of shelf-stable whole milk for feeding Scarlett. The TSA guard asked me to pour it into a sippy cup...which we don't use. As soon as I began to explain that she is tube fed, and does not use a sippy cup or bottle, he handed the boxes back and said not to worry about it. We must have looked innocent enough!
Other than hauling all of our gear through the airport, we had no problems. Scarlett fell asleep the second the plane started to speed up on the runway. We took her car seat on board (we have a Radian, which folds for carrying, and used GoGoBabyz car seat carrying strap to make it manageable) so she was comfortable.
Once we arrived in Seattle, we met my sister, her husband and Scarlett's cousin Caleb. We all stayed in downtown Seattle one night before driving to my grandparents' house further north. It was Chris' birthday, so we arranged a special treat - he and I got to eat dinner at Sky City, the rotating restaurant at the top of the Space Needle. Despite the rain (and there was a LOT!), we could see for miles in every direction. It was beautiful and gave us a chance to recharge after a busy week.
The next day, we had planned to do some sightseeing at Pike Place Market, the Ballard Locks and the original Starbucks (while Chris still gets a discount!). Unfortunately, we were caught in one of the biggest rainstorms in recent memory - streets were flooded, freeways were clogged with traffic and the idea of getting in and out of cars with two wet babies quickly lost its appeal. Instead, we decided to do a toddler-friendly activity - we visited the Seattle Aquarium. Scarlett and Caleb loved the touch ponds and watching all the fish swim around. We all enjoyed walking around while staying dry.
|A diver answered questions from in the big tank.|
|Scarlett loves fish!|
That evening, we drove the 100 or so miles to my dad's parents' house in Sedro-Woolley. It's a tiny town, and their house is way outside of town, on a hill near the Skagit River. We spent the next few days visiting. When my grandparents needed a break from babies, we went to the mall, where there was a great play space where we could let them explore.
|The best baby entertainment at Nanny and Papa's house: the stairs! They both climbed up and down as many times as they could.|
For Thanksgiving, we cooked all morning, then enjoyed a wonderful meal with family. Scarlett ate a ton, and particularly enjoyed candied sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie.
By Friday, we were all ready to get back home. We left early in the morning to make our flight. We flew back with both babies - I'm sure everyone waiting for the flight was terrified of us! Luckily, both kids were pretty good, and we all got home in one piece.
Now I'm back at work and Scarlett is back at school. We are waiting to hear back about scheduling her surgery, which will seriously impact how the rest of this holiday season is spent around our house.