On Wednesday morning, Andrew and I made our way to the Denver airport. Travis had to work, so he was coming on Friday, which meant that I was on my own for taking care of the babe on his first flight. We got to the airport and I anticipated him being hungry, so I nursed him on one side after I parked the car, sitting in the back of the jeep. When he was done there, I wrapped him up in the wrap carrier and hauled the bags and stroller to the shuttle bus stop. Unfortunately, he decided that one side just wasn't enough to eat and he fussed and fussed and fussed about it. I couldn't very well stop and sit down to nurse him some more - we had a schedule to keep. So I let him latch on right inside the carrier! The wrap covered us both up so no one could really see what was going on. And he nursed in there all the way through loading the bags, the bus ride, and all the way through checking our luggage at the counter! He fell asleep in the wrap, which was just fine for me, so I could get on with our business.
At security, I was a well oiled machine. I had all my stuff organized and the stroller collapsed and on the belt before many people without kids had their stuff together. I had visualized this many times in preparation, imagining exactly how I would take everything apart and put it back together, and it paid off. I did get in a small fight with the TSA agent about taking him out of the wrap or not - I had quadruple checked tsa.gov the night before to ensure I knew the rules, and I was sure that it said that you could wear baby through the metal detector in a fabric carrier and not be subject to "additional screening" unless you set off the alarm. I surely didn't want to take him out and wake him up and make life more difficult for *everyone*. Turns out the language is actually "may or may not be subject to additional screening," and so of course the TSA opts for "may." So we got a pat down from an apologetic supervisor. She was nice enough to tie my shoes for me, which was above and beyond her job description.
Here we are at the gate for DEN-ORD:
Our upgrade to first class cleared, and so we sat in row 6 on the domestic 777. Andrew immediately charmed everyone in the cabin. We sat next to a friendly Idahoan girl on her first international trip - heading to a cousin's wedding in the UK. We chatted through most of the flight.
Midway through the flight, a flight attendant came through and gave Andrew his United wings for being such a great passenger:
He was a great flyer! He spent most of the time looking around the cabin, gazing at the bright windows, or being fascinated by the reading lights. He fell asleep for about 30 minutes, which was enough time for me to eat my salad. I was pretty impressed with myself, that I could wrangle a baby and lunch at the same time in an aircraft seat. I nursed him on take off and landing, although he was really done eating mostly during taxi and he finished halfway through the descent. His ears seemed fine - he never fussed about it.
We had to hustle to our Detroit flight with a short connection time. But I knew I *had* to change his diaper, as he had been pooping up a storm ever since I had last changed his diaper just before boarding. Indeed, he had a bit of a leaky diaper, though thankfully not a blowout. As soon as that was done, it was time to board our RJ for Detroit.
The First class cabin was full of businessmen who looked skeptical about the baby. When he fussed on taxi, I let him latch on. He made the funniest face when the plane accelerated to take off - his eyebrows went waaaay up. He nursed - first for eating, then for comfort - through the majority of the 50 minute flight. He fell asleep and I wasn't about to wake him, so he made it through almost all of descent without nursing. After landing, all of the gentlemen in first jumped up to help me -- I can't help but think they were impressed at my quiet, calm guy.
Here he is, the old pro, freshly landed in Detroit:
So we spent a few days at Grandma Joyce's house, getting ready for the weekend festivities, garage sale-ing, and generally having a good time. Look at this smile:
On Friday afternoon, Daddy flew in and we went to go meet Grandma Mary Ellen and Grandpa Jerry for the very first time at their hotel. Here are some pictures of that adventure:
On Saturday, June 18, Andrew was baptized. He was welcomed into God's family at his grandparents house, surrounded by a small group of family and friends. There was a lot of legacy going on there. Andrew's first name is from his paternal great-grandpa, and his middle name is shared by his dad, paternal grandpa, and maternal great-grandma. He was baptized by his Great-Grandpa (Pastor) Larry - the first of the great-grandchildren to have that honor. He was baptized wearing his Great-Grandma Delores's baptismal gown, and the bowl that held the water once belonged to his great-great-grandma. He was blessed to be joined by four of his five living great-grandparents, and all four grandparents, in addition to other friends and family. It was really really special.
Meeting Great-Grandma Delores for the first time
Receiving the sign of the cross from Pastor Paul
Getting baptized by Great-Grandpa Larry
Trying on great-grandpa's baptismal bonnet
Wearing great-grandmas precious baptismal gown
This is all of Andrew's living lineage, except for Great-Grandma Sarah
Andrew's godparents: Dave, Sarah, and Uncle Tyler
Great-great Grandma Kanehl's glass bowl
Our dear friend Laura, who represented the church congregation at the small gathering
A belated mother's day photo: four generations
After the baptism, we celebrated Uncle Tyler's graduation from the Air Force Academy with a party. Michigan congressman Thaddeus McCotter, who gave Tyler his appointment to the Academy, sent a representative with congratulations and commendations for him and Monique. The representative was the recipient of Tyler's first salute as an officer:
The next day was Father's Day, and after an awesome worship service at church led by Grandpa Mike, we got to spend the afternoon hanging out with ALL of Andrew's fathers:
Four generations of MEN
Even though the family weekend was over, there was still one more adventure to be had - the flight back to Denver, this time with Daddy in tow.
First airline lounge: Lufthansa Senator Lounge at DTW
Happy flying family.