Sunday, December 30, 2007

What's worse?

What's worse than taking sick kids across the country by airplane?

Answer: Not taking sick kids across the country by airplane.

Such a bummer. This is going to be a long post, so feel free to skip it.

After packing and getting ready to go on Thursday, I was mostly ready for the big day on Friday. I packed a few things I had forgotten the night before and then loaded up the shoes. Back home we went. Then off to the bank and the store to pick up medication. I got some OTC stuff for me, since I am completely stuffed too. I'm going to take pictures of my trash can. It is full of kleenex. All of my trash cans are. Sigh.

Finally we were on the road to the airport. C was not enjoying the trip. She whined the entire time. I had given her a banana, juice, and some Apple Jacks for breakfast, but she had refused to eat. kept teasing and kept whining. Then, to add insult to injury, it started to snow. I hate driving in snow. I really really do! It scares me silly. But after praying for awhile, it finally stopped.

I arrived at the airport, and thanks to my lack of foresight, couldn't find the inexpensive parking space. Running low on times and nerves, I settled for the expensive airport parking. I wish I was kidding, but I drove for almost 15 minutes without finding a single parking space. Not one. No where. I drove through the garage to the outdoor parking, but it was not close to the shuttle pick up, which I definitely needed. I had the foresight to get the number from the garage pillars and call for a pick up. It took awhile, but the shuttle finally got there. It was already pretty full, but had just enough seats for me and the boys. Another nice passenger helped me get the kids seatbelts on as I had in my lap.

The shuttle to us to "the place we drop off everyone leaving from this terminal." The problem with that being it wasn't even close to where I needed to get to. The driver tried to find someone to help me get the bags in, but it was so busy, he couldn't find anyone. I was standing there with 3 kids, 2 booster seats and 1 car seat, 2 duffel bags packed full of stuff for 4 people for a week (picture a bag as long as and just as heavy), a backpack, and a small bag with the boys' Leapsters. Yeah, not a good position to be in. The driver finally says that he'll help me. He grabs the 2 massive bags, I have the backpack, carseat and a booster seat, has a booster seat and the small bag and pushes in the stroller.

We start to head up the escalator. Not my choice. The driver was leading the way and I don't think he realized we had a stroller. So, I picked up the stroller to carry it up the escalator. Then someone mentions that we lost a shoe. Sure enough, had gotten one off. I was surprised she had it on so long. Nothing stays on her feet for long. I turned around to pick it up and freaks out that I'm not on the escalator with him. He tries to go back down the escalator. You can imagine that didn't go well. He starts to tumble, I'm stuck as I'm holding a stroller, he's screaming, and some kind soul helps up and takes him up the escalator. Oh, it was such a disaster. The line for Southwest was REALLY long. I was grateful I left so early. I left 4 hours before the flight and I was still cutting it close at this point. We were waiting in line for what felt like ages. The boys kept wanting to wander off. I had to get all the the stuff moved forward every time the line moved. Ugh. The boys were really helpful and wasn't crying anymore. We finally got to the front of the line and got the bags checked and an infant pass for . A nice worker carried my massive bags to the baggage screening place. I was glad they didn't incur a 50 pound fee.

After that fun, it was off to another line. The security line. Ugh. More lines, more waiting. The kids did pretty good, only wandering off a couple of times. I really wish I had those kid straps or something. There were soooo many people there, and it was kinda scary how easy the kids could wander off. When I got to the front, a lady helped me get kids shoes off and everything into bins. I had to take out all of the liquids, of course. Thankfully, I already had them separated into quart bags. I had a lot of them between meds for his nasty ear infection, pain meds in case he hurt too bad, meds in case (who also had a nasty cold) was in pain, and more I can't even remember.

We managed to make it through without too much drama. And then off to the gate to catch the plane with a little less than an hour to spare. It wasn't easy keeping the kids all together. Ugh. I passed a few gates that said Chicago flights were cancelled. That made me nervous as we were going through Chicago. We got to the gate with about 45 minutes before it was scheduled to take off. The flight at 12:45 to Chicago had been cancelled and there was a line of probably 100 people waiting to get to the counter. Not a good sign. We sat down and the boys ate some PB&J sandwiches I had packed. I had packed them in case there weren't any restaurants in the airport we liked or we didn't have time to stop. I had brought some Toddler Meals for . So we sat and I fed and the boys ate their sandwiches and watched another passenger play on his video game console thingy. He was really nice and talked to the boys and showed them how it worked and stuff. The kids got done eating and we went around to see what was going on.

I asked the people in boarding line and it turned out they were going to Nashville and were already over an hour late to depart. Then I tried to ask the lady boarding the people, but once tried to sneak on the plane (grrrr) she ignored me. I did hear her say they were taking off all of the bags for about 6 transfers. Albuquerque was the last one she said. She said the bags were going back to baggage claim. I was back and forth on the phone with my mom and Brad. We were trying to find another flight, but everything was either cancelled or booked solid. We tried calling the airline, but there was nothing open for days. Many tears were shed and it was decided that it wasn't going to work out. My siblings would start leaving on Monday, and there wasn't a way I could get there by then. I was going to go home instead. So then it was back to baggage claim with 3 crabby kids. grabbed some Doritos from a vendor and said, "Look mom, we don't have these." The vendor was not happy.

The bags were not in. Not that there weren't lots of bags there, none of them were ours. A lot of flights got cancelled, so there were bags everywhere. The bags took a long time to get in. Long enough that got to sleep and the boys played Leapster for awhile. When the luggage finally arrived, I went to get a luggage carrier thing. freaked because I couldn't carry all of the bags at once and left some stuff. Sheesh. I'm not an octopus. I ran back to get the rest and pushed the cart out to the shuttle. The lady picking me up said, "Did you miss your flight? I saw you trying to get in the building earlier." I told her about the cancellation. She was sympathetic. "You went through all of that for nothin'!" Yeah, I did.

The ride home wasn't much better. It was in that the kids fell asleep after a long, exhausting day, but it was snowing and the roads were a mess. Did I mention I hate driving in snow? I was going quite slow. I wasn't the slowest by any means, but people were flying past me too. Crazy drivers. There were so many people that had gone off the road. Lots of tow trucks. I saw one SUV drive off the road, swerve back on, and almost cut off another vehicle. It was scary. I was glad it was a divided highway. I kept going, quite slow. At one point, I had tried to pass the slow people in front of me, but when I changed lanes, I lost control of Odie for a split second and just about peed my pants. I decided I should just stay behind the rest of the slow people. The speeders passing me would fling slush all over Odie and make it really hard to see and drive. Not cool.

Eventually I made it home to get Brad. The main roads in Lansing weren't too bad. We went out to eat at Applebee's and then to the movies to see Alvin and the Chipmunks. That is the last time we will be going to the movies as a family. did not like it one bit. Thankfully, there weren't too many people in the theatre to hate our guts. It was pretty empty. I let her climb up and down the stairs until I got in trouble. It just did not go well.

Sleep wasn't much better. kept coughing and was up from about 4 until 6:30. Therefore, I was up then too. Can't I catch a break?

Brad was on a 24 hour shift today, so I've been home alone with the kids. It has not been fun. The boys spilled the Fruity Pebbles while I was outside trying to scrape up ice off the drive-way. Rather than clean it up, I tried to make them clean it up. Ugh. It would have been so much easier to do myself. They kept stepping in them and spreading them around. Pebbles were everywhere.

I spent the day trying to clean up, administering medication, refereeing the constantly fighting boys, handling the cry baby and doing my best to not completely lose my mind.

I'm not going to church tomorrow. I don't want to take this show on the road. Too many of us are sick. And Brad can't go tomorrow and there is no way I can handle the kids out by myself again. I'm done. Done I tell you! I'm going to spend tomorrow coughing and blowing my nose, if you need me.

Oh, and in happy news, I have discovered the power of cookies. We gave cookies to the trash collector for Christmas. Ever since, he brings our trash can back up the drive way for us. Isn't that thoughtful? I sure appreciate it.

That is about it. It took me forever to write this. The boys were fighting was whining, and the Patriots were making NFL history. I thought the Giants had them for awhile. I was torn. I don't like Brady. At all. I just think it isn't right to dump your pregnant girlfriend for a super model. Yes, I know that isn't fair of me. I know he was already dating Gisele when he found out about the baby, but it still really bugs me. A lot. On the other hand, it is cool to set a new record. Okay, now I need to go to bed. It's 1:30 am now.

5 chocolate lovers:

Jordan and Elaine's Family said...

Oh my gosh, Melisa.
I am sooooooo sorry you had to go through that. I have had some bad travel experienced with kids, but that one wins hands down.
I hope that every one gets better, and that you enjoy the rest of your holidays.
Oh, and I don't like Tom Brady either. What a jerk!

iPhilip said...

Ouch. Remind me to give the kids benadryl before we travel like that. I like the Patriots and Brady.

Joy said...

What a nightmare! You are so brave to attempt to travel with kids!!

Tyler & Robyn said...

Oh Melisa,
You deserve a trophy after all you've been through- in just 1 day!! I hope you are having some better days.
Love, robyn

Sean and Jeannette said...

YOOOOUUUU HAAAAAVVVE GOT TO BE KIIIIIDDDING ME!! Holy heckers, you are the bravest woman on earth. Wonderwoman is nothing compared to you!