We made it home from our vacation relatively unscathed, though our trip was not without its hurdles. J balked at our TSA inspection, declaring that he was NOT going to take off his shoes or walk through that doorway. He was most upset when I declared right back that not going through and not taking off his shoes was NOT an option. He fought me anyway, which meant that I ended up sending toddling Baby E through screening first, by himself, then pushing J through, and then following quickly after to stop them both from running away. Then I asked them both to hold onto a pole supporting the lane barriers while I set up the stroller next to them. By the time I'd done that and turned around, approximately 30 seconds later, Baby E was lying flat on his back with J on top of him crying, "He was trying to get away, Mommy!" Sigh.
Our flights went better than I had expected, though J continued to be less than cooperative. Fitting all three of us in the airplane bathroom several times was quite a trick, and I'm sure the people in the Houston regional air terminal thought I was the worst mother in the world since I let them run around and chase each other LOUDLY during most of our layover, but I wanted at least one of them to tire himself out. My strategy worked: Baby E went to sleep very soon after takeoff, and J was so tired he finally consented to watch one of his DVDs quietly for most of the flight. We had a super healthy lunch in Houston of chicken nuggets and hamburgers and donuts so greasy the boys wouldn't even eat them. I didn't think it was possible for my children to refuse donuts, but I stand all amazed!
The most noteworthy part of our travels were the t-shirts I made for the boys. Those "If Lost, please call xxx-xxx-xxxx" shirts caused quite a stir wherever we went. People complimented me on them repeatedly and many asked me if that was my real phone number (who else's would I put?), if I had made them myself (these were not professional looking products, believe me), and if I sold them (what?). The boys never got away from me, so I never had to put the shirts to the test, thankfully, but they definitely helped us stand out in a crowd. If I make them again when they grow out of these, I will choose dark blue or black t-shirts--white was really not a great color choice for toddlers and preschoolers!
Sadly, we brought back some sort of crazy sinus infection with us. Since we returned, both boys have had mucus literally pouring out of their noses and EYES, which has basically grossed me out, and I'm not very squeamish about bodily secretions, believe me! Baby E also has an ear infection which he has had for some time, apparently. I guess I should just have a standing prescription for antibiotics every time we fly, since his ears seem to react badly to air travel. And both boys have fevers. It appears that the infections in their sinuses have somehow affected their balance or equilibrium, since I have spent the better part of every day since we've come home consoling one or the other of them after they've fallen for no good reason or run into a door frame or tripped over their own feet or walked into a wall. It's been a fun homecoming all around, folks!