Going home for Christmas

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Yesterday was the longest day in.. a long time.
Geographically, Stockholm is not really that far away, but for a small student family during the holidays who are trying to save money, we may as well have been celebrating Christmas in China.

We got up early, cause we were leaving at 6. My dear father picked us up, and off we went. Baby has never been much for car rides so we had been a little nervous about how her first drive out of town would go. Fortunately, she had only slept 6 hours so she was out like a light – we didn’t even have to sing or do the fairytale voices. Almost an hour later we arrived at the ferry terminal.

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It was a good feeling walking into the terminal that Marcus and I have both been at countless times over the last two and a half years. Dating, engaged, married, and now with a little baby on the arm. Despite having boarded that ferry so many times, I am still surprised every single time how long the trip across to Sweden takes. We had packed a lunch (or rather breakfast, dinner and lunch) … (made a LOT of tuna salad Tuesday night) which we took out as soon as we were settled in our seats at the front. Then the hours passed remarkably fast. Marcus got a little seasick, so Baby and I went exploring. We looked at all the other passengers (Baby not as discretely as me), looked out the window at all the water and did a few diaper changes. Later Baby took a nice long nap on Dad’s chest and I did some sudokus. By the time we reached Gothenburg Baby was awake and happy.

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The tram ride to Gothenburg central station was fun. Marcus who was holding Baby got talking to a very friendly lady. Always nice to meet friendly strangers!

We only had to wait for the bus to the airport for about 15 minutes. It was comfortable with not too many people. But Baby got a little annoyed that we couldn’t walk her around all of a sudden. So nursing it was!

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We arrived at the airport about 6 hours before our flight would depart. We checked in and tried to check in our baggage, but were unsuccessful. So we settled down in some uncomfortable airport chairs to wait out the time. We had some more tuna salad, nursed, we started reading A Christmas Carol, did some more sudokus, nursed again. It’s funny how, despite hard airport chairs, baby poop and no snacks, time flies when you’re with your best friend. I’m grateful to have had those hours with Marcus to just do whatever, people watch and laugh. I really want to prioritize always having time for that. Finally we could check our baggage and go through security. It was a fun experience doing all of this with a baby for the first time. Never have I been so thankful for being able to breastfeed! Don’t know how we would have survived that day dragging around bottles and formula.

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The flight was the part I had dreaded the most. Didn’t want to be stuck in a tiny crammed seat with a baby with painful ears. For that reason we had agreed to wait to feed her when we were on the plane, so she would be hungry enough to keep eating until we were in the air. Unfortunately, we weren’t permitted to board for 25 minutes and Baby was crying impatiently. Other than that the plan worked! She stayed on the boob for the entire flight and was the happiest little squirt when we got off.

Now, all that was left was the car ride back to Marcus’ parents’. It was a happy reunion in the airport with Marcus’ mom. It makes me so happy that our other family members are so happy to see Baby and seem to love her (if possible) as much as we do. Baby got packed good and snug in her car seat and off we went. She did great for the first 15 minutes due to my holding her hands and talking and singing in my high-pitched now well-trained mommy voice. Then she’d had enough. She screamed and screamed for about 10 minutes until she got tired of that. She settled for giving me ugly looks until she fell asleep.

And then we were there! After a 15 hour journey we arrived at the lightly snow-coated house shining with Christmas lights. Welcome to Sweden, Baby!

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