Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Utah here we come

And now we're here, but this post is about our trip.

We arrived early for our flight to Anchorage from Kenai.  I checked all of our bags - the flight is only 20 minutes, what in the world could I possibly need for the next half hour?  Less than thirty seconds later I turn around to see Nolan red in the face.  I said, "Are you pooping!?" to which he responded with an index finer indicating "give me a second."  Again I urgently questioned, "You're pooping?" and the index finger was thrust forward at me as if to inform me, "I said give me just a minute!"  All I could do was take him to the bathroom, dump the poop out of the pull-up and put it back on him.  Doug did finally decide to quickly drive to Safeway where he bought travel wipes and brought me back another pull-up.  I suppose I should be thankful it happened there when I still had some help.

The boys said their goodbyes to Doug and we left Kenai at 10:40 p.m. as planned.  As I said, the flight to Anchorage is only 20 minutes, but immediately upon sitting down, Brenden was ready to pull out the DVD player and coloring books.  No Way!

I had been very worried about our transfer in Anchorage.  Delta is in a completely different terminal than we were arriving, so we had to pick up our belongings and take a shuttle.  I had: 3 sleepy kids, a stroller, 4 carry-on size bags (2 of which weighed over 30 pounds), and a 48 pound large suitcase.  I needed to pick up my luggage from the first flight and take all of it and the kids to the next terminal.  For anyone who might ever come see me - although Era Aviation will tell you they cannot check your bags through to Delta, they can, they are just usually too lazy to do it.  I found that out one airport too late.

On our flight from Kenai was a wonderful woman and her teenage son.  She sat right in front of us and was high fiving the boys and saying, "Boys rule!"  She asked if Anchorage was our "final destination" and I informed her we were headed to Salt Lake City.  She asked if we were taking Delta and then I saw her Delta employee badge.  Exiting the plane, she asked if we needed any help and I jumped at her offer.  She and her son helped me haul children and baggage and were so kind.  She made sure we were all checked in and our checked baggage was off before she left us.  Thank you, kind Delta woman!

By this time, it was probably about midnight.  We soon found out our flight was delayed and we should be boarding about the time we were supposed to leave.  In the meantime, my children expelled energy (in a way I am not so sure the strangers appreciated, but I was sure they would appreciate it once we got on the all night flight and my kids were not expelling their energy in the tight confines of an aircraft).  Brenden soon fell asleep in a very uncomfortable looking way.  Once they called us to board, he was nearly impossible to wake up.  I poked him - nothing.  I shook him - nothing.  I stood him up - he immediately fell to the floor.  And try explaining to your deaf child that we need to leave NOW when he won't open his eyes to look at you signing to him.  We finally boarded at about 1:10.  I am pretty sure the plane was half full of small children.

Brenden fell fast asleep the minute he hit his window seat.  Nolan fell asleep after stating "But I'm not tired" about 50 times.  Ethan was the last to go.  
That was all before our plane even pulled away from the gate at 2:30 a.m.  They had to de-ice the plane, so we sat there for a long time before we even hit the runway.

The flight went well except there was always someone who needed re-arranged.  If Brenden moved, they all had to move since Brenden was the base layer of the sleeping pile.  I, on the other hand, did not sleep.  There was nowhere to sleep and not even a place to rest my arm.  

About a half hour before we landed, I suddenly got a bloody nose.  At that point, I had 2 children draped across my lap.  I immediately put my hands over my nose (although still bleeding on Ethan's head through my fingers) and frantically searched for anything to sop up the blood.  I looked down into the aisle and saw a napkin which I was fully aware had been in the aisle for several hours.  I thought, "No, I can't... but I have to."  During this time, I was also fully aware of the couple across the aisle pointing and saying, "Look she has a bloody nose." "Look her kids are asleep across her lap."  "I wonder what she is going to do."  To these people I say:  Could you not offer to help me?  I inched my way out from under the kids and headed to the bathroom - they were both occupied.  The stewardess started looking for napkins or anything to help me out until the bathroom was available.  Blood was everywhere!  Finally, the bathroom was available.  I stayed there, trying to get my nose to stop, but it was relentless.  I worried about my 3 kids sprawled out, all alone, knowing that the couple across the aisle would be of no assistance.  I worried Ethan would roll off the seat the way I had left him.  The "please take your seat" announcement came on.  "We are beginning the final dissent" announcement could be heard.  Finally, I shoved toilet paper up my, by this point, very raw nose and attempted to slide myself back under my children right as the plane hit the ground.  My nose continued to bleed as people exited the plane, but stopped as it was our turn to leave.  

I packed up our belongings as Ethan started wandering the plane.  By this point, we were the only people left on the plane.  The flight attendant urgently grabbed our carry-on bags and asked what I would like done with them and I told her she could set them out by my gate-checked stroller.

Then I had to wake the beast.  As I said before - not an easy task.  BUT, the waking beast must pee the moment he is aroused, so I sent him to the airplane bathroom right as the cleaning people were getting on the plane.  One stewardess, seeing Ethan's bobbing head a few rows ahead of me asked if I had forgotten something and informed me the plane needed to be cleaned.  I said I knew he was there and we would be just a moment.  A minute later, 2 stewardesses grabbed my kids and my last bag and told me I had to get off the plane now.  I said, "I realize the plane is delayed and there is a hurry to get it cleaned, but my son is in the bathroom and I am NOT leaving without him, so I don't know what you want me to do, but you are going to have to wait!  He needed to go, so your choices were let him use the bathroom or have him pee all over the plane on his way out."  She impatiently waited with me while the other hauled off the little kids (making me even more unhappy).  

My dad was there to pick us up (Nolan was the first to spot him and yell, "There's GRANDPA!) and he tossed the kids in the car while I ran back into the airport to get our bags.  We were fortunate that my grandma was visiting and has a huge trunk, so we fit everything all in one car (and reduced her MPG from 34 to 28.5).  The kids slept on the way back to my parent's house.

My mom and dad have worked so hard on their house to make it comfortable and accommodating for our visit.  We are thrilled to be here and love the changes they have made for us.


Anonymous said...

Oh wow. That was quite the adventure. Impeccable timing for the nose bleed! I hope you have a wonderful stay in Utah now that you can (hopefully) relax some.

Heidi Sorensen said...

That makes me exhasted just reading about it. Flighing with children is very difficult. You are a tough women! I love the picture of the boys on the plane!

Nolo and Lauren said...

Wow... I'm exhausted just reading it. Glad you finally got here. Hope you were able to get some sleep.

Anonymous said...

You're a trooper! Bet it was cute seeing all your kids asleep looking so adorable. :) Great picture.

JoLynne said...

I am so sorry-I have some horror stories of my own of flying with kids-every time I swear I won't EVER do it again. So far I have stood by that-well for a year and a half at least. I will have to be REALLY motivated before I ever do it with three kids. My new plan is paying for others to come visit-we will see how long that lasts.

doug said...

Cosmo likes the Shiatsu pillow, couldn't figure out what the noise was while reading your blog. His muscles must be sore. Thought it was pretty funny. Love you.