Monday, January 4, 2010

Repacking and Unpacking are Packing's Ugly Stepsisters.

Packing to go on a trip is kind of fun.
I sit down with a pen and paper and think through all the necessities and the particular outfits I want to take along. I quite enjoy list-making, and much prefer it to the actual task of completing the list requirements.

Back at the end of October, when I was packing for this extended visit in Michigan, I was overwhelmed with the sheer quantity of things I needed to bring along. I believe I ranted about that here.
I didn't think it could get any worse than that.

But now I find myself repacking, which is infintely worse than packing, because you know that it leads to the worst part of any trip: the unpacking.

To make matters worse, I now find myself on the other side of Christmas, and it would appear that our extended family prefered to blatantly ignore my requests for few gifts lavish us with wonderful, yet not small, Christmas bounty.

This is probably about 50% of it represented here, filling and overflowing a suitcase.

And don't allow that doll to distort the scale of the suitcase; she's life-sized. Thanks for that PtB. Nothing says small gift like a life-sized dolly. 

By necessity some will have to remain at Grandma's house to entertain the kids on future visits. I'm totally fine with that, except for the possibility of being out of country for our next assignment and some of the toys being more age-specific than others.
I also have to consider their new favorites. It doesn't seem fair to ask Derek to leave his beloved orange airplane behind, despite it's large size and the fact that the noises it makes will probably set off some kind of security mayhem at the airport.

Note to self: remove toy batteries before packing

And Alex needs all three colors of her fashion high heels. "But Mama, what if I'm wearing something yellow and I all I have is the pink shoes? Then I wouldn't match!"
She just stared at me like this.

With a sense of profound disappointment that her mother wouldn't understand something so obvious.

 I'm sure some of you are wondering why I don't just head over to UPS and send a big box home. I will give you the two-fold answer:
1) I'm cheap.
2) My mom got us new luggage for Christmas.

Allow me to expound...
We're flying Southwest Airlines, which allows 2 checked bags each with no charge. Three of us flying = 6 bags. Subtract one bag for one checked car seat, and we can still check 5 bags of up to 50lbs each.
Plus I need to get that new luggage home, and there are many pieces. So instead of paying a hundred dollars or more to ship everything back, I choose to be cheap and do it the free, yet painful, way.
The main point of difficulty is actually getting the bags, car seat, stroller, and children from the car to the check-in counter.
I will have Pat the Bunny to help me, but if you've been following along on this here blog for any amount of time you will understand that I am courting disaster. She plans to try to get a gate pass to help me through security as well and on to our gate.
We shall see how this turns out.

T-58 Hours to take-off.

I plan to attempt to spend the rest of my time here not stressing about this flight.
Instead I will think of other more pleasant things, like my New Years dinner:

Or the fact that my daughter, who thinks that I  have no sense of fashion, was wearing this for the majority of today.

 I personally don't see how the yellow heels were the right choice for this ensemble.

Oh, and have I mentioned that I dislike flying with my children?
I have?
Well then, I'm all done here.


The Lumberjack's Wife said...

Oh, I feel for you! I can't imagine hauling Christmas presents across the country! Good luck!

Jennifer said...

Since when do airlines count a carseat as a checked bag? They've never counted ours!! So that's one more suitcase for ya!

And my friend -- CURBSIDE Check-in is the way to go! It's really worth the minimal amount that they charge these days. When you get to ID, then TIP some guy with a luggage cart to haul all that crap for you! It's soooo not worth stressing about!

You're going to do GREAT! As a matter of fact, why don't you swing through Phoenix for a quick vacation? We're wearing short sleeves still ;)

Erin said...

I'm really hoping they have curbside check-in available! That would be perfect.
I'm counting on either that or a "skycap" to help me in.
Not too worried about leaving the airport-- my friend is picking me up and I'll just take the kids & carry-on's out first, then I can load the other bags at my own pace.
You'd think I'd be used to it by now, but I still get stressed about flying.

Rachel said...

You can't check the kids? I've checked Collin before. Wait, don't tell anyone that.

Erin said...

I remember doing the same thing after we visited the States after having Malachi. Someone gave us a high chair as a baby shower gift. After hearing that it'd cost $80+ to ship it to the APO in England, I decided to reorganize and count the high chair box as one of our checked bags!

Have a blast on your return trip ;)

mikeandmelissafisher said...

"Does an infant or child safety seat count as baggage?

Two (2) items of travel equipment for infants and small children, such as walkers, child safety seats or collapsible playpens, may be checked and transported in substitution of one piece of the free baggage allowance for each fare-paying passenger at no charge."

Just got this from the SWA website. I guess since they aren't charging for luggage, you can't really argue.

But good luck with the 5 bags! I shipped home (to Japan) 7 large boxes last Christmas.

Jen McD said...

Southwest always has curbside checking. Erin, pack a box and mail it back USPS if it doesn't all fit. I promise it's less expensive than you think. We mailed a 30lb huge box home priority for $40.

It's cheaper than if you go over the 50lb limit charge. Oh.. and if you do, show your military ID when checking in and casually mention your hubby is deployed. They've been known to waive it, that's all I'm saying.