Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Going the Distance

So we're back in the NW after traveling some 3,500 air miles ... but that's not the distance I am talking about ... however, you can expect more travel adventure recounts in another post.

What I am hoping to describe here are two impressive (and consecutive) feats of sleep by one beyond adorable almost 11 month old. Allow me to set the stage, as the past few days have been anything but typical.

On Monday evening Natalie and I left Colorado (and our dear friends Missy, Joe, and Emmett) to return home to Seattle. Due to severe weather - ridiculously high winds to be more specific - our flight that was scheduled to depart at 7:55 pm didn't even board until 8:55. I knew I was already pushing my luck by traveling so close (actually after) bedtime, but the relatively cheap fare prevailed against my mommy instincts. A decision which came back to bite me in the proverbial arse when I found myself entertaining an overtired 10 month old - who desperately wanted to crawl on the nasty airport carpet - for an hour and a half longer than planned. Nothing fun about that. By the time we did get on the plane - thankfully the gate agent was nice enough to block a seat for Natalie and her infant carrier - NHV had crossed over into the dreaded "third wind." She had caught her second wind after napping in the car on the way to the airport, crashed again right about the time we should've taken off, and then reached that "slap happy" stage just as we got seated on the plane. She babbled - happily and loudly during the passenger briefing and Captain's announcements - and laughed - I swear everything I did was hilarious to her. Until finally, about an hour after take-off, she fell asleep.

My weary traveler continued to sleep through the remainder of a very turbulent flight, including an extra 45 minutes of "holding" until the winds died down enough for us to land. And she continued to catch those zzzz's during deplaning; even as I carried all 20 pounds of her in the infant carrier plus an overstuffed backpack down the narrowest of aisles. I pushed the stroller with her in the infant carrier all the way through the Sea-Tac airport, on several different elevators to baggage claim, where the convey belt did its little parade of suitcases until I spotted our humongous hot pink bag, and out to Arrivals where Chad was waiting in the Volvo ... Natalie didn't make a peep, didn't stir even a little. I had to check to make sure she was still breathing! We loaded her in the car - still in her infant seat - and drove the 30 minutes home. I carried her upstairs and put her in her crib. All without her waking up. She slept right on through until about 4:00 am when I fed her and laid her back down for another two hours of sleep.

The following day, Tuesday, yesterday ... I was scheduled to spend the day at the school where I'll teach next year. So after a morning of much needed daddy-daughter bonding, Natalie spent the afternoon at her friend Sahara's house; her mom Deann watched Natalie while I met with my teaching partners. Unfortunately for Deann, Natalie refused to take a nap, so by the time I got there at 4:00, she was an exhausted, cranky mess (so sorry, Deann). Back home and after a quick feeding, she fell right to sleep, and then woke up at 6:00 pm. I was quite pleased with her hour and a half afternoon snooze, but when I went in to get her I could tell she was still hella grumpy :( She signed milk and I fed her again only to have her fall back to sleep within just a few minutes. Apparently, Natalie missed her bed while we were gone because that late afternoon nap turned into an all night event.

Without dinner, without the bath she definitely needed, still wearing her clothes from the day, without our usual stories and lullabies ... she slept for more than 12 hours - from 4:30 pm until 5:20 am and then back down until 6:30 am. I thought I was putting her down for a much needed nap not to bed for the night. I must've gone upstairs to check on her a dozen times; each time she looked so comfortable, so peaceful.

Clearly, our little NHV had a sleep debt to pay, and as Chad likes to say, "She went the distance."


T&D said...

Yes, your little sweetie did go the distance!! That is a lot of travel for a little one and she's a trooper to have made it so graciously. BTW: We are always happy to have Natalie over to play, sleep deprived or not :-). Sahara was SO excited to have her over to play.

Emmett Joseph said...

That is hilarious...I would give anything for Emmett to "go the distance" for just one night :) By the way, Emmett misses Natalie something fierce--ahhh, young love!

TX momma said...

Tell Emmett there will be a new man in town next week...that Natalie sure does get around!

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