I am not entirely sure how to start this post, but I know I need to record it in writing so that in the future it can be referenced when E and I are old, drinking tea and reminicing about our early parenting days. So you know that last week we traveled to the US Virgin Islands from Seattle. That is an 8 hour plane ride - 13 hours door to door. I did this trip on my own with three kids under six. Looking back it doesn't seem like such a big deal as it did in the days before I left. To keep the drama of it all in perspective, I reminded myself that many women do this sort of thing all of the time. Maybe not on an airplane but they are parenting on their own because of deployments, work schedules, loss, divorce. I could certainly do this for a day and I had certainly done this on my own alot at home. How hard could it be? Well let's say that the passengers alongside me were very gracious, helpful and tolerant. I was at times the crazy mom that you sometimes see (and totally empathize with I hope) as you are walking down the street. In my case I was dragging my screaming 3 year-old by the wrist moving her out of the main thouroughfare at the airport so she could have a tantrum about...what? Yikes! It was a trip and despite the lack of sleep, terrible food, confined space, the kids did as well as can be expected. I also knew I had the bonus of relief (dad, auntie and cousin) at the other end. The picture above: stuff in my carry-on. Small wrapped toys, a Leapster, books, coloring books, lollypops, pipecleaners, snacks - and a few videos just in case! We survived.