Dave Barry describes going on a flight with his 8 month old daughter. Among the factors he discusses that make traveling with little ones difficult are: the average baby requires 100 times the baby's weight in supplies (diapers, wipes, toys, stroller, car seat, clothes); planes make babies poop extremely and the only changing table available on the plane is barely large enough to change a baby chipmunk; babies pop their heads up over their parents and emit shrieks like prairie dogs; they have an attention span of 15 seconds, so you need 960 different activities for them on a 4 hour flight.
With this difficult research done, we prepared to fly to Utah to visit Joy's family with our 8 month old son. We didn't pack tons of diapers - we bought more at WalMart when we arrived. Hyrum didn't poop on the flight, but one plane didn't even have a changing table if we had needed one. He popped his head up occasionally, but only to look around. He enjoyed playing with some Mardi Gras beads Joy bought for him most of the time he was awake.
Best of all, he fell asleep in my arms and slept through a significant portion of both flights. This was the first time he fell asleep in my arms. It was precious. I texted Dad on our arrival that he was "Dickesian." He asked: "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times?" I finished: "He was as good as gold, and better."
We've spent this first part of the trip with Joy's cousin/sister Laurel and her wonderful family in Provo. Joy says, "It is so nice to stay with Lala and Rich. They play games with us and make us feel so at home. Our first day at their home we just rested and visited. We played Dance, Dance Revolution, Guitar Hero, and a singing competition game - all for the first time. A good time was had by all. Joy had to go to bed by 10pm that night because we were up until 2 am the two nights previous. The second day I went to visit my aunt and uncle Swanny and Leonard. My cousin Swanny and her children live at their home, so I got to see them. Cousin Swanny and I got to chat for a while, it was really nice. We played board games with the Lala, Rich and kids that night. We played Throw the Pigs and Therapy." We also got to crash a birthday party for a 5 year old cousin. He was happy to get a Lightning McQueen car, but really excited about Mater. [Edit: Thanks to the several people who corrected me. I haven't seen the movie yet and very few Americans pronounce a mid-word T like a T, so always thought he was Mader. One of the worst teasings I got out here was when I pronounced ghetto with a distinct T - laughed to scorn, I tell you.]
Saturday we had a party at their church and invited all of our family in the area. We had a really great turnout. Best of all, family came in waves, so we could spend some quality time with each group before they left and the next families showed up. In that way, it was much easier for me than the last time I met most of them, which was at our reception line. We played a lot of volleyball and kids raced around on the racks that hold the folding chairs until some enterprising parent hid them. We were all up pretty late.
Hyrum's two favorite toys were the dirt for the potted plant and a broken fax machine that beeped at him whenever he hit its buttons. Videos forthcoming.
We joined Lala and Rich for church on Sunday and were disappointed that my friends from BYU/Cornell/and now BYU again got sick so we couldn't get together. We finished our game of Therapy (my wife, the Master of Counseling Arts won) and headed over to spend the night with my brother and his wife. Hyrum had a very bad night because he was trying to sleep in the same room we were all playing on their Wii. We somehow all got to bed eventually.
In Hyrum development news, Hy stuck a piece of food in his mouth for the first time! It was a carrot. We're uncertain how much of it he ate, if any. But a few days later at our first Thanksgiving dinner, he munched on a few crumbs of a roll that I placed in his open mouth. Until now, he has only been willing to eat things on spoons and forks, so this is an important, if dangerous, development. Joy informs me as I type this that he also ate a few Cheerios on a spoon for the first time.