Big travels, little baby.

Traveling with a 2 month old is no easy feat.

We were either crazy, naïve, or a bit of both when we booked our tickets to the U.S. six months ago. We anticipated the trip with our infant son to be challenging… but Christmas was our best window of opportunity, as our student ministry slows down during the holidays.  Plus we scored quite a deal on our plane tickets, that even included a stop-over in Italy to rest between those looonnnggg flights homeward!

Our son, Levi, was born on September 10th. During his first 7 weeks of life we learned how to keep him alive, applied for his passport and figured out how to operate on 3 hours of sleep. Three days after we picked up his passport from the U.S. Embassy (a grueling process) we were boarding a plane as a family of three.

Ready or not, here we go.

…emphasis on the “or not.”

*  *  *

When Levi was first born, people would ask, “Is he a good baby?” I never knew how to respond to them. I had never had a baby before, so how would I know if he’s a good one?

Well, let me tell you, hopping across three continents in a week’s time with your newborn will really test not only the baby’s goodness, but yours too.

As we boarded the first plane, my heart raced as I imagined the other passengers’ stares of frustration aimed at our son.  In my past travels I had been guilty of letting a sigh slip when I saw a baby boarding my flight. Oh, how the tables have turned! Even if I was  only imagining these frustrated stares, I was severely anxious as we settled into our bulk head seats, thanking God for access to the plane’s bassinet.

Lo and behold, Levi cried a total of 30 seconds on our first nine hour flight. I’m dead serious… 30 seconds. He was an angel baby. The same held true on our next short flight to Venice. Then, we loaded ourselves onto a little taxi boat; again, angel baby. As we waited for our AirBnB host in the freezing Italian rain, he slept like a rock. Throughout the following few days we traipsed down cobblestone streets in search of gelato, cappuccinos and salamis….all with our little guy in tow. (and without a stroller I might add…we didn’t have one yet!)

Levi was a champ. Don’t get me wrong, he still cried every once in a while, but it was as though he was especially good during these jam-packed days of exploration. In-between naps he would peep out of his Daddy-wrap-cocoon and catch breath-taking views of The Grand Canal, The Almafi Coast and the Tuscan countryside. At eight weeks old this kid had seen more of the world than most do in their lifetimes. And, praise the Lord, he was consistently sleeping through the night!

*  *  *

We arrived in Georgia utterly worn out, but alive and well. Levi had grown accustomed to spending his nights in a suitcase and no longer minded baths in hotel sinks or taking naps in his carseat under restaurant tables. He just rolled with the punches and has continued to do so as we have since spent the last few weeks in Ohio and Michigan. (He now has a Pack-n-Play to sleep in, don’t worry!)

I can now say, with full confidence we have a good baby.  However, I don’t think it’s any of our doing – I believe God knew we needed Levi to be flexible and up for adventure. He didn’t just call two of us to live life in Kenya, he also called Levi. God also allowed us to venture Stateside at the perfect time – two months is a great age for traveling!!!!

*  *  *

Thank you, Lord for taking care of us and our precious Levi. Thank you that we are able to travel home for the holidays and fill up on sweet family time. We pray that Levi is able to soak up these fleeting moments with his grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. May we return to Kenya safely in January, refreshed and prepared for the work you have for us. 

 

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Our little travel champ!
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Cappuccinos with a view of the coast in Positano, Italy. This was the only day Levi had a crying fit… I was wearing him and we both got too hot with the wrap! It was such a beautiful town, even if the public bus getting there ended up being overly crowded! 

 

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Levi, in his suitcase crib! Seriously, no need for a travel baby bed at all… we just used a foam pad and packed our stuff on top of it while traveling. 
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Our happy boy!
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Taking a bath in one of our hotel bathrooms… he LOVES baths. (He thinks of them as mini hot tubs!)
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Riding on the vaporetto (Italian water taxi) on the Grand Canal in Venice!
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Our friends, who visited Italy a couple weeks before us, hid a birthday letter in this wall for Nate to find. It, along with 5 Euro, was still there! (Thanks again, Jonathan and Laura Lee!)
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Sleeping on the high-speed train from Venice to Sorrento. The countryside views were stunning. After this train ride, we hopped aboard the local “graffiti” train, which was not as peaceful of an experience but got us where we needed to go!

 

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Sipping cappuccinos at the counter, just like the locals! Nate was great at carrying Levi all around, however he was an easy target to some pick-pockets and his wallet was stolen 😦  Good thing we got that 5 Euro from earlier! 
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From Kenya to Italy to the U.S., we had a blast traveling as a new family of three!

 

 

* Thank you for your continued support that allowed us to fly home and visit with family (and show off our Levi.) Just to clarify, our extra few days of traveling did not come directly from our support account…we saved up our own money from our salaries for those few days of respite and exploration 🙂 We are so grateful for this precious time in the U.S. and hope to use it wisely. If you are in Georgia and would like to connect with us within the next few weeks, let us know!

 

 

 

 

One thought on “Big travels, little baby.

  1. Wooow amazing tour, you guys!! A round of applause for Levi!! So good to hear again from you, may God keep blessing your time back home!! Merry Christmas and may He also renew your strengths for the new year coming up!

    Love,

    Dani Maita

    Like

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