We said good-bye to our guides, Martin and Grace, at 830am Saturday morning at the China Hotel and headed to the Guangzhou Airport for our 11am flight home.
We got ourselves checked in and made it through our first connection to Beijing with no problems. Mia slept nearly the entire 3 hour flight since we timed her mid-morning bottle to be had right at take-off.
She charmed the flight attendants on our Beijing to Chicago leg so much they gave her a set of wings to pin on her Ergo. That one lasted just over 12 hours. She again slept for 80% of it. Momma however got very little sleep since my 23 lb baby was too big for the bassinet. That means me or Aunt Carla had to hold her the entire flight. Not very comfortable but I was willing to do whatever it took to keep her quiet. She did so well that as we were leaving one of the first class flight attendants said she didn't even realize there was a baby on board. Proud momma.
For 5 years I've been stressed over that long flight home with a baby ...but my girl surprised me. Mia was such a trooper. She traveled like a dream. Not a peep from her as I marched her in the Ergo through airports. Even when we were both sweating our butts off. Did just fine through every security check when I had to take her out and hand her to an officer to be patted down. Charmed the Chicago customs officer with her smile which got us escorted to the shorter, faster "diplomat" line. Still had a big cheesy happy grin as we were about to board our last flight home nearly 24 hours after we started our day.
Mia hated the pacifier when we were in China. But I tried it again on the flight in the hopes it would help with the pressure in her ears. She's decided it's her new best friend. Now I have a binky baby. But I don't mind.
Finally! Finally... landed at our home airport and walking out to see the family. Momma a little worse for wear, very exhausted and a little stinky. But so very happy to be done with the flying.
Meanwhile, the star of the show was taking another nap.
Our welcoming party. I was so happy to see this! And so relieved to be home.
My sunshine girl did just fine in her car seat. I swear this girl just rolls with it as long as momma is near.
And now sheer devastation in my living room as we try to recover from the jet lag and the time difference.
But she makes it all worth it. I love her so much it takes my breath away.