We have arrived safe and sound on American soil. We landed on schedule at 1pm yesterday after a wonderfully uneventful trip. All of our luggage managed to arrive with us, with the exception of our stroller, which has still not arrived more than 24hrs later. But at least it’s been found and we’re hoping to get it some time tomorrow.
The last few days – few weeks, really – have been exhausting and trying for all of us, but I just have to say that our kids are just amazing. After all the chaos of moving, during our last week in Sweden we slept in four different places. Everything has been upside down for weeks and the kids just seem to be taking it all in stride. Then yesterday, our travel day, we woke them up at 4:15am Swedish time to make it to the airport for our 6:20 flight. Emelie was awake for over 21 hours of that day with only a 45 minute nap on the plane, and she was still so pleasant the whole time. Peter slept a little more than that, but also seemed to enjoy all the new sounds, sights, and people with very little fuss. There is so much that can go wrong and so many things that can make traveling with toddlers a nightmare, but our trip was genuinely enjoyable. We’re so thankful for our incredible kids!
Like most kids, Emelie loved watching the planes at the airport. This was the plane that would fly us from Luleå to Stockholm.
She also loved looking out the window. This was far from the first time she’s flown, but it was the first time she was old enough to be this aware of and curious about everything going on around her. Seeing it all through her eyes made flying so much fun for us too!
We bought this safety harness for her and we’re so glad we did. It made the plane seat seem just like her car seat and made her more safe and comfortable overall. I wish they were a bit less expensive, and I’m not sure it would be worth the expense for just one trip, but we travel enough that it will hopefully be worth it. We were definitely glad to have it on this trip and would recommend it to others traveling with little ones who are in their own seats (not lap held).
We were so glad to have Staffan’s tablet with us with some preloaded videos and music. The children’s or “family” options on the in-flight entertainment system were definitely aimed at much older kids. We found one movie that was worth trying, but she was scared and asked us to turn it off after about a minute. She watched a documentary about Olympic cycling for a little while but we were really disappointed with the selection of things that were appropriate for her. It would all depend on the child and what he or she is used to, of course, but we would definitely recommend bringing a tablet, iPad, laptop, etc with some entertainment options that you know the child enjoys.
Peter got to hang out in his own little bed that mounts on the wall. He’s right on the edge of being able to use this at his height and weight, and we’ll miss having it on the way back. It served as bed, high chair, and playpen during the transatlantic flight.
A nice little nap on the plane.
I wish these two photos of peacefully sleeping children were taken at the same time. Not that I’m complaining after they were so easy overall, but it would’ve been nice for Mom and Dad to get a little break. Emelie had trouble settling down in all of the excitement despite how tired she was. But thankfully we had a new book with us that she got for her birthday that was a bit long. I’m not sure how long I kept reading after she fell asleep listening, but that was the only thing that helped. So that’s something else I would recommend to other parents – a new book that they’re excited to read. And it wouldn’t hurt if it’s long enough that the sound of your voice and the hum of the engine lulls them gently to sleep.
So now we’ve crossed the pond and are enjoying spending time with family while we land a bit and get adjusted to the time change. A trip to Target without the kids wasn’t so bad either. We’re so excited for all the people we’re going to get to see this week after being away for so long. After the last few weeks of moving, ending a job, and seemingly endless packing, unpacking and packing again, now it’s time to just relax and enjoy!