We just came back from a large family reunion in Houston. My paternal grandmother lives there along with 3 paternal aunts. Getting together is special because she is turning 95 and we don't know how many more such reunions she will have left. Though travel was tiring and always a bit stressful, it was well worth it and a ton of fun. Imagine a bunch of great grandkids ages 3 mos to 4 years old running around. We even gathered the crew for some formal photos at the local mall. We wanted a photo of great grandma with her great grandchildren (alone without the adults). Very tricky... the poor photographer was only able to get one shot in and it is actually a pretty hilarious picture now hanging on my grandma's wall.
Oh and getting a carseat bag was a great decision. It is free to check in and we were able to stuff some bedsheets, diapers, bottles etc in there as well!
I just re-read my blog last year about travelling with infants/toddlers. What a difference a child's temperament can make. Our boy is a much easier baby than our second child... and our second child is a much easier toddler than our first! Our oldest is much easier to deal with now as a 4 year old who can cut, draw, paint, color etc. So even though we travelled with three kids this time, it was overall less stressful and eventful than when we travelled with just two last year or even when we travelled with just one child when our oldest was a baby! Ofcourse having my parents as extra pair of hands was helpful... 4 adults to 3 kids. They mostly watched the baby. I kept my oldest occupied with crafts and my husband sat with our middle child, who is happy as a clam when there are snacks around. Only towards the ends of the flight did we have to pull out Elmo videos for the middle child while our 4 year old enjoyed some cupcake app on daddy's ipad.
Overall, flying this time around went smoothly! We travelled enough times now to expect that they will pull my pump bag aside to check it for... oh I don't know... a hidden bomb? We also now know to put all the sippy cups and milk bottles in a separate bag because they always take that aside and test that, too. Seems silly, but I suppose it is all for safety.