Monday, December 22, 2014

Flying to Utah (December 16)

Needless to say, the past few days have been a complete whirlwind. I stayed up way too late packing on Monday night--after a wonderful FHE (a carol sing-along) with the Adamsons (and Greens and Doyings and Schmutzes)--and then between getting up to use the bathroom (because pregnant) and being so nervous about sleeping in that I couldn't sleep at all, 3 AM on Tuesday morning came far too quickly.

Obviously we were able to wake up in time to get to the airport. Andrew dropped me off with Miriam and Benjamin and we made it through security with all our carry-on luggage. Andrew flew Southwest so he brought all the checked baggage (since that's free). I flew minimally with the kids--two backpacks, a stroller, a diaper bag, and a suitcase. I was so happy when they announced that they'd most likely be running out of room in the overhead bins so if anyone wanted to check their carry-on suitcase through to their final destination free of charge they could. I jumped at the chance. Because I'm whiny...and being pregnant and pushing a stroller with a diaper bag on it while wearing a backpack and pulling a suitcase and backpack-laden five-year-old behind me was just too much of a burden.

It's times like these when I realize I would make a terrible pioneer.

My life just seemed so much easier without that suitcase to pull along. I almost wished the other things I was toting could have been packed, too, but food, extra changes of clothes, and Miriam's little bag of tricks were deemed necessities we could not be separated from.

The kids were pretty great on the flight, to tell the truth. There were a few fights over the iPod, but the ear buds don't really fit in their little ears so they really weren't very interested in it for long. Miriam's backpack was full of surprises and activities and they mostly occupied themselves.

When we were lifting off I suggested that Miriam open her window so that she could watch everything get smaller and smaller.

"No way!" she said. "I'm not doing that!"

"Oh, come on!" I said. "It's really neat!"

"Mom," she said seriously, "We will get sucked out."

"No we won't," I said. "That's just like a curtain--underneath there's still a window."

"How do you know?" she asked.

"I've flown before."

"So have I."

Yeah. The last time she flew she was only nine months old. So...I'm not positive but I'm pretty sure my knowledge of plane windows trumps hers. But I didn't want her to have a meltdown on the plane so I dropped the issue and our window remained closed until after we got up to use the bathrooms and she saw that other people had opened their windows.

Can I just say that I hate using airplane bathrooms? I do.

But, sadly, travelling pregnant with a two-year-old and a five-year-old kind of necessitated a few visits.

We landed in Huston and that airport is big--nay, it's ginormous. I had listened to the flight attendant announce connecting flights so I could be sure of where to go. We landed at gate D-9. Our connecting gate was A-10. We had to take a train to get there (Benjamin was beyond thrilled about this) and just as we got off the train we heard the final boarding call for our flight so we ran down to A-10 as fast as Miriam's little legs could take her. But, as luck would have it...that wasn't our flight. Our flight was at C-20 and we had two hours to get there. Another train ride later, and we were well on our way to finding our gate.

Along the way we passed a little playground, which I made (a very grateful) note of.

We found our gate and had a little brunch. Miriam had picked out all these treats at the store but when it came time to eat all she wanted was "healthy food" so we snacked on cherry tomatoes, grapes, apples, almonds, and carrot sticks before heading back to the playground. Benjamin was quickly fading in his stroller. His little head kept dropping to his chin mid-chew before snapping back up again and I knew that if he napped during our layover he wouldn't nap on the plane and I needed him to nap on the plane.

Fortunately, he (and Miriam) got super hyper at the playground. They ran around like crazy monkeys for about an hour. Then I reigned them in, took everybody potty, and then went to our gate. They both fell asleep before lift-off so I settled down for a nap, too. It only lasted for about 45 minutes, but it was a glorious 45 minutes.

After the kids woke up we went to use the bathrooms, which are disgusting and tiny. Miriam wanted me to go in with her but there was no way I was cramming three people into one of those stalls. Seriously. Taking Benjamin in was bad enough.

On our first flight I went in one stall with Benjamin and she went in the other and one of the flight attendants stood by the door because Miriam didn't want to lock it. That worked out fairly well.

Our second flight, however, constantly had a super long line for the bathroom (which is a terrible, terrible thing when you're holding it until you can't possibly stand it...I'm just saying) so I sent Miriam in first and then when she came out I told her to wait while Benjamin and I went in. I don't know what was going on in the other stall but they were taking a long time. Perhaps it was another mother with a small child, so their turn took twice as long, because I know Benjamin and I take a while in there...

By the time we got out, Miriam was gone.

"She probably went back to our seats," I told Benjamin as we made our way past the line of people standing in the aisle, waiting to use the restroom.

We made it to our seat and had to kick a man out of it so we could sit down (he'd gone into our row to let us through). It was only when I plopped Benjamin down on the middle seat that I realized Miriam wasn't there either.

"Oh, no!" I gasped.

"What's wrong?" the man I had just kicked out of my aisle asked.

"My little girl!" I said.

I looked frantically around the plane. There aren't really a whole lot of places to get off to on a plane. But have you ever seen the movie Flightplan? H'yeah. So, I was relieved when I heard someone crying, "Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!"

Up at about row ten I saw a little blonde head bobbing up and down. We were in row twenty-eight.

I started waving from where I was standing and that little blonde head spotted me and ran down the aisle, pushing past everyone standing in line for the potty (they all did their best to accommodate her because they could tell it was a desperate situation (not that it was ever very perilous, but it involved a frantic mother and a teary-eyed preschooler, so they were fairly understanding)).

She was happy to be reunited with us and Benjamin was excited to play musical chairs. He decided that since Miriam didn't take it right away it was his turn for the window seat and I probably should have put him there a lot sooner because he loved it.

"Wow, cool!" he said. "Mine plane cool! Me see clouds! Me see wing! Me see 'nother plane!"

When we started dropping in elevation he saw even more things.

"Me see mounties! Me see small cars! Me see big lake! Dirty lake! Me see big, dirty lake! Wow! Cool!"

He loved everything that he saw and probably could have looked out the window all day. He was probably the only one in our party not excited to have landed.

Miriam was so glad the flight was over. She wasn't so sure she trusted planes and the lift-off and landing made her stomach feel funny. I told her that I understood completely. Flying's not my favourite thing, either.

Grandma met us at baggage claim and Miriam tore away from me the minute she saw her. Grandma and Grandpa only live a half hour from the airport now so it was a short drive to their house. They took the kids out to look at the ducks on the pond. I took a little nap.

Soon Auntie Josie and Naanii arrived and visited for a little bit. Then I went to BYU for a hymn-sing my mom is in charge of (this month it was Christmas carols, of course) while Reid and Karen fed the kids dinner and kept them up as long as possible before putting them to bed.

Uncle David drove me back to their house when it was over and we were able to have what I hope was a good chat in the car. His wedding has been called off (it's a long (painful) story, and not mine to tell) so our trip itinerary has changed quite dramatically (since there are no wedding preparations or celebrations cluttering our calendar any longer).

He stayed and visited for a while, too, before calling it a night.

After over 36 (+) hours of not sleeping (except the 45 minute nap on the plane and the little catnap I'd managed the night before) I don't think I'd ever been so excited to crawl into bed. It did not disappoint.

1 comment:

  1. Just now reading this. I was wondering when I'd start seeing wedding pictures.

    I love the update on how your flight went. Seems like you are having a great time with family!