Thursday, November 8, 2012

Chicago: Our first Plane adventure

Anika and I went to Chicago last weekend. Thursday-Sunday.
As you can see I had my hands full.  Southwest allows you to check 2 free bags, so I brought a good sizes suitcase and the pack n play as my 2 bags. Then, they allow a free stroller and car seat. Since Anika is still under the weight and height requirements for the infant seat, I brought that. It was easier to manage because I snapped it into the Bob.  She uses convertible seats usually at home, but I didn't want them getting bashed around either. The straps on the infant seat just BARELY fit her right now.
Then I had a back pack with snacks and toys. And I wore Anika in the sling.
I also DID bring cloth diapers and cloth diapered the whole time, so those took up some room.
When we were waiting in the security line I looked up and saw a familiar face! My friend Kate. I was shocked. She said she was going to New Mexico, but flying through Chicago! I cant even tell you how excited I was.
First of all Kate LOVE Anika. She is very good with her and has been since she was born. Kate doesn't want her own kids (yet) but I can always trust her with Ani.  Actually, Kate has even seen my birth video of having Anika! ha, but she wont even go to her own sister's live birth.
Anyway, Southwest doesn't have assigned seating so I was even more excited.
Anika and I didn't have to go through the xray machine which was a relief to me.
But, then my Bob stroller did not pass some test, so I had to be patted down and all my other stuff had to be searched and tested. They couldn't even tell me why my stroller failed.
Kate took Anika while I dealt with security.
When we got to the gate I folded up my stroller to put in the stroller bag I bought from Monday and shipped 2 day.  IT DIDN'T FIT. The description said it fit single Bobs, but it didn't, so a wheel was hanging out.  I was sweating after attempting so many times.
Kate had boarded with Anika by then and I dealt with that.
It was so nice to have Kate and Anika was pretty decent on the plane ride. It was 2 hours. When the plane first took off Anika squealed with delight "WOW!!" which made people near us laugh. It was a full flight. She also Flirted with the boy behind us ridiculously. She would get shy and hide but then smile at him. She did ask to nurse almost right away, which I don't like to in front of people so I maneuvered to hide that. It was hard for me to get into my bag with A on my lap, so on the flight home I made sure to have a smaller bag and more organized.
Saying bye to Kate in Chicago.
My sling is a K'tan. It also works like a Moby for infants.
E went to O'Hare airport instead of Midway, so Anika and I collected our bags and waited a bit.  She cleaned chairs at the airport for a while ...I pulled out the camera at the end, but this entertained her for a long time.
Thursday night we went to E and J's place. E was my college roommate and J also went to college with us and is E's fiance. We had dinner and I put Anika to bed and we had some wine.
Friday morning we had breakfast at the Bongo Room. It was delish!

J's dessert breakfast.

We drove out to Northwester where E is getting her masters.

Then, we met up with my friend C who also lives in Chicago. E just moved to Chicago this summer for school. C has lived there a while and I went a couple years ago for her bridal shower. In fact, I found out I was pregnant the day after I returned from that trip!
Then, I went when I was 18 weeks pregnant with Anika to be in C's wedding.
This was A's 3rd trip, first on the outside :)
We went to the city zoo, which is Free and Amazing!! 

We saw lions..
and Tigers
and what Anika said was a kitty!

Anika called this big fake Gecko "Froggy" she was REALLY excited.

She also identified Turtle.

John was with us too. A wasn't sure about him the first night (Thursday) but by Friday she was calling his name...EARLY in the morning. I had to say "Shhh" and she would yell  JOHN SLEEPING!

At the park

Making music.
Since Anika didn't nap on Friday, she went to bed kind of early. Then, Erin and I met up with C and Allyson (I was going to link Allyson but she no longer has a blog)  for dinner and drinks at Fork.  
John "watched" Anika while she slept. He was nervous, but luckily she didn't wake up. I knew she wouldn't. Not before we got back anyway. She was OUT like a light.

Saturday morning E had to go to school.  C came to meet us and we took the train to breakfast.

Then Anika fell asleep in her stroller and we went to Michigan Ave to shop a bit.
I had a few small things to pick up (a lip glass at Sephora, a mascara at Macys but we went to Nordstrom instead). We went to a 3 story H&M. I used to love H&M when I lived in Boston.
Anika got a new pink hat and a scarf! I had been wanting to get her a scarf but never saw them before.
She also picked up some leopard print pants, a skirt and a sweater!
We then went to C's place. I got a tour, saw her husband and then we got sushi for lunch, which Anika mowed down (and got her grimy hands everywhere).

THEN we went to the park!

(We were going to go to the Children's museum and stuff, but the car seat was still at E's place. The park was free and I think A had a blast!)

Saturday night, C, her husband, Ani and I walked to dinner-Mexican. Anika had a bit of a tantrum so we decided to walk so she could fall asleep in her stroller and she did. She slept though dinner, but when she woke up, she was MAD. I tried to hand her some leftover rice and she was not having it. Luckily we were done, so we walked home.  She went to bed and E came over that night.
-Saturday was daylight savings, and Anika was UP at the crack again, just like every morning, but while staying with childless people, its hard. She is loud! She woke up all our hosts all weekend.
On that note though, our hosts were all fabulous.  I will admit, I was really happy that my girlfriends and their partners were so patient and great with Anika. It really did make our trip so much easier and fun.  She had a few doozy tantrums where I looked at her and thought "WHO ARE YOU and Where is my baby?"  I know we were travelling and things were new but I wasn't prepared for those.

Sunday, we met E and J for breakfast again and I had a Flight of delicious French toast. Have you heard of flights? Chicago had them at every place! Its a sample of 3 things. For example, a  flight of 3 wines, a flight of 3 tacos, 3 kinds of French toast, the list goes on.

Out of order. This was A playing the keyboard with J Saturday.

And, our plane ride home was pretty good. There were about 10 minutes that Anika was not great and those 10 minutes felt like an hour.  She pulled herself together though. After ripping skin off my face and ripping the magazine out of the hands of the lady next to us!

She colored, read books, ate snacks, and looked at her cards on the plane ride.
Ok, I want to post this tonight. I am so tired and I should review this first, but I'm not :) 
PS. Rachel- when you comment, it doesn't link to a blog or an email. If you see this can you tell me how I can reply to you or see your blog. thanks.


  1. So fun! Anike is going to be a world traveler :)

    Where was Ally?

  2. I can't believe she still fits in the infant cars seat. Gunner has almost outgrown his. The limit is 22 lbs and he was 20.9 at his last appointment. I didn't know a breastfed baby could get so big!

    I would be a hot sweaty mess hauling all of that stuff through an airport! That would bring on lots of anxiety for me, way to go!

  3. She's so cute! I'm glad you guys had a fun trip! And I want a flight of french toast. YUM!

  4. We have been given a few of those slings. I'll be interested to see how they work :)

  5. It looks like A had a wonderful trip! I applaud you for traveling alone with a little one. I adore Chicago, and loved the Lincoln Park Zoo when I was there, too...hard to believe it's free, huh? I'm so sorry I've been such a bad commenter lately. :-(

  6. Cute denim shirt, black pants, and boots outfit! So normal for them to throw tantrums at this age especially when traveling and tired. I'm sure your hosts didn't mind getting woken up. They don't have kids and can sleep in soon still!