Thursday, July 17, 2008

We Survived the Friendly Skies

We made it!  Yesterday was an 8 hour travel day from start to finish and it went incredibly smooth!  Chris and I brought the four babies home by ourselves, so this meant we had 4 purchased seats and 2 free lap babies. (No, they don't allow discounts or freebies for more than 1 baby under 2 years old per lap)  We brought 2 car seats and rotated who sat in those so they could get a bit of shut eye while we entertained the others.  It took 10 months, but both Cohen and Noah got to fall asleep in Daddy's arms for the first time.  

Daddy & Cohen

It must have been truly comical to see us walking around the airport with:

1 Laptop Bag
1 Camera Bag
2 Diaper Bags
4 Umbrella Strollers
2 Car Seats (Hanging on the Umbrella Stroller Handles)

We had quite a few onlookers, especially with our hour and a half layover in the Dallas airport. We heard a few who mistakenly thought the dangling car seats were infants as well say, "Oh my Goodness, I think they have 6!"   One woman said, "I will no longer feel sorry for myself!" as she walked away with her one toddler at her side.  And a gentleman came up to Chris and said, "Can I shake your hand?"  

Finn Gets Special Attention From the Flight Attendant

I prayed and prayed on the Dallas to Houston flight that God would put someone in our path to help us in Houston in order to get all of our checked luggage and car seats, plus the onboard cargo to the park-n-ride shuttle.  We arrived at baggage claim and a skycap walked right up to us with an enormous dolly and insisted on helping us out.  Thank you, Lord!  Our luggage was already coming off of the baggage carousel and so we loaded up and headed to wait for the shuttle.  The skycap waited for the shuttle outside while we transferred the babies to their car seats in the AC.  It was going so well, it was almost too good to be true.

After getting home and putting the babies down for the night, Chris and I enjoyed some Chinese takeout and finally started to go unpack a little.  This is when I realized that the day hadn't gone as perfectly as we thought.  We'd forgotten to get our toiletries bag from the carousel.  This bag had all of my jewelry, hair products, make-up - dear me, how could I have forgotten about it? I frantically called the airline's lost and found who wasn't able to locate it for the first 10 minutes while we were on the phone.  After some persistence, the gal found it.  Apparently she thought I said I was looking for a large red bag under the name Sterling.  When I figured out she had the wrong last name and told her Goerlich again, spelling it out for the third time,  she said, "Ah, yes!  The red bag is right here next to my desk!"  Goodness gracious, that was a frustrating call! Chris walked across the street to see if our sweet neighbor, Miss Becky, was able to come sit with the kids while we went to retrieve the bag.  She came right over and we came back an hour or so later with the bag in hand. Thank you, Miss Becky, you are always such a help to us!

Welcome Home, Sophia!

Here are a few travel tips if your flying with infant quads:

-Have a relative or friend get a pass from the airline to help you through security and onto the plane. My dad was able to go through and get us all the way to the airplane door - helped us break down strollers to valet check and waited with the babies as we boarded everyone.

-Try to keep the babies' schedule as close to normal as you can.  We took advantage of the short layover in Dallas to feed bottles and change diapers, but on the way up to Iowa we fed babies one by one on the plane and it went really well.

-Bring lots of goldfish crackers or dry cereal - food is a very effective diversion to those who are suffering from lack of sleep.

-Bring your car seats onboard - it is so helpful to be able to strap a couple in so you don't have four little ones bouncing off of the walls.

-If you can, wait to deplane after everyone else has gone and the flight crew can help you to get all of the babies and belongings off of the aircraft.

-If you don't have someone meeting you at your destination - take advantage of the skycaps at the baggage claim - and tip them well - they are worth every penny!

-Make a list of the luggage you brought and double-check you have it all! :)

It's Good to be Home!


Alaine said...

So glad you are home safely. It was so good to see you today!! Much love.

Andria said...

Holy smokes! Welcome home...and I hope jetlag doesn't effect you guys too much! Thanks for the tips, although I'm not sure I'd get such treatment without those cute quads!

We're heading across the U.S. for Christmas at Disneyworld...I don't think anything's going to help me! ;)

Ansley said...

Welcome home friends!!! You are amazing and I am so proud of you!! Ansley and I are off to Little Rock today, but I will call you from the road. We miss you! Jenn & Ans

the schirano triplets said...

i am so happy to hear you are home safe! it sounds (and looks) like you all had a wonderful trip! hope you get a chance to rest up a bit!

Suzanne said...

HEEEEEEY! i'm so glad you guys had a good trip (minus the toiletrie bag incident--holy cow--would have been TICKED!) i bet it is so unbelievably great to be HOME!!!! you guys are amazing for traveling through airports and on airplanes with quads. Jeez. love you guys and miss you much!

Collegegirl said...

Welcome home!!!! Glad the trip went GREAT! Today is our day to go from airport to airport but without quads. Ya'll are AWESOME!!!
Have a great weekend!!!

Pam said...

Glad you made it home safely, such good babies you have! Good parents too! I'm sure the airline personnel was very glad to help! thanks for the pictures! A friend in East Texas, Pam

Anonymous said...

Glad you guys had a good trip! I will for sure keep all your tips in mind when i decide to travel with the quads. I still am getting use to just getting out of the house locally and having a hard time. you are my hero!

Misty said...

Glad the trip went well overall. If I knew you hangin' at DFW, I'd have come by and say hi!

Cathy Fulton said...

I have already copied & pasted your list of must have's & do's for our next trip! We have not attempted a flight yet with ours & will need any pointers we can get! Thanks! (=

Tecla said...

People should read this.

The Lukas Quads said...

Thanks so much for this -- we're visiting Bubbe and Papa in a few weeks and flying...eek!

My quadruplets (I can't stand quads), Sophia, Renee, Charlie and Finn are 7 months.