I’m writing this two days and two weeks after we got home, and I’m so grateful to say that though it was a struggle, we’ve all normalized and gotten back on schedule!
The flight back home went fairly smoothly after some major bumps in the beginning. We woke up super early (4 a.m.!) to make it to the airport early in case we had trouble again. Our flight was for 8:15 a.m. When we arrived, we were walking through the empty airport line to check in and I made a semi-sharp turn while pushing Lila in her stroller and she fell straight out right on her face! Poor girl! It was if I saw the whole thing in slow motion. She wasn’t buckled in, but I was going so slow that I figured she’d just lay back, or at worst fall forward but catch herself with her arms. Nope! She had a pacifier in which maybe helped, maybe hurt the situation. Her tooth went through her lip and it bled and bled and took at least a week to heal. Not a great start to our day!
At the ticket counter, the Austrian employee said we had two infants attached to our ticket plus a wheelchair?! Ha. Luckily she was able to quickly solve the problem and even secure us a row of four seats to our selves. Though we didn’t have a bassinet this time, it was SO nice to have Lance and I sit on the edges and give Lila two seats to play between and sleep on. She fell asleep in his arms during take off and then slept on the seats for a few hours. She may have napped again on the flight but I already don’t remember. Either way, when we got back to the USA she was exhausted.
We walked in our door at about 4 p.m. on September 12 — that’s 1 a.m. in Austria. We put Lila down for a quick nap, and I ran to the grocery store. Unfortunately we made the mistake of not waking her up again. We tried! We brought her downstairs but nothing worked. She literally laid passed out on the floor, despite our coaxing, lifting her arms, tickling her toes etc.
In hindsight, we should’ve given her a bath. But it was hard to be motivated when we were so tired ourselves. We waited until 7 or 8 to allow ourselves to go to sleep, and when we crawled into our nice big soft bed it was heaven!
Unfortunately, Lila was up at 3 a.m. She and Lance went downstairs and I eventually joined them because I too was wide awake. Lila was ready for the day and kept asking for her “choo choo train” — a wooden toy we bought in Prague. We all went back to sleep at 6 a.m., and were back up between 8 and 9 for work and the day.
The first night I thought it was kind of fun/endearing that we were all wide awake and spending time together in the wee hours of the dark. By day three when this was still happening, I was not a happy camper! It was hard because it was so unexpected — she jumped back from jet lag faster than Lance and I did when we were in Austria! Though things gradually started to get better, it seemed as though Lila’s progress had piqued at 6 a.m. I worried that 6 a.m. would be our new normal, and that’s NOT OK! I’m used to 7:30-8 a.m.! I don’t want to start my day when it’s dark, and I don’t want to have to worry about going to bed by 10 p.m. because I know I’ll be up early.
Luckily a few curve balls, like keeping her up late a few nights in a row, helped get things back on track. I was more careful to start waking her up from her naps (otherwise she’d sleep 4-5 hours) and not letting myself take naps either. After exactly a week, she slept in until 7:30. Lila now goes to bed about 8 p.m. and sleeps til 8 a.m., and wakes up naturally from 1 p.m. naps after 2-3 hours. Wahoo!