Friday, May 13, 2011

The END of my blogging drought... and the BEGINNING of our Epic Vacation Tale!

Some of you may have noticed my absence in cyber space as of late. I owe that absence to my in-laws for taking Kevin and I on an incredible and unforgettable vacation! It will take me several posts to cover the whole thing and tons of pictures will be included. But I will simply tell you how it all began.

As a family tradition, Kevin's parents like to take their kids back to the places where they served their LDS missions. This allows the graduated missionaries to reminisce about the "good-old-days" whilst simultaneously giving mom and dad a chance to see see what their missionaries' lives may have been like. However, when Kevin's turn rolled around, he traded it in for the chance to buy a diamond ring, and marry me instead. No complaints here! I not only got the good end of the bargain, but because I now come attached to "all-things-Kevin" I too, received a ticket when his parents decided to take him back to see New York (his mission) via Caribbean Cruise!!!

The plan was to fly out to Utah and spend 10 days visiting family before dropping the girls off with my mom and dad and then flying to San Juan, Puerto Rico where we would meet Kevin and begin our 7 day cruise followed by 2 full days in New York. I was super excited to finally be kid free and have a REAL vacation, but still a little nervous and stressed out about leaving my girls for that long. And that's when Lily decided to help her mommy out. I didn't know about her special plan until I got on the airplane to fly to Utah, but it didn't take me long to catch on...and let me tell you... IT WORKED!

In order to keep me from stressing out and missing my girls terribly throughout the course of our trip, Lily decided that she would scream bloody murder for the entire 3 hour flight to Utah! The second the doors closed on the plane, she started to wail. An hour and a half later, after I had tried to stop the madness by using every movie, stuffed animal, sugary snack, bottled drink, children's book and toy I could get my hands on to distract Lily, Brooklyn announced that she had to pee. I picked up my screaming 1 year old, grabbed Brooklyn's hand, walked to the back of the plane, and stuffed myself and my two children into a bathroom stall the size of a broom closet.

Once we were in, Brooklyn went into hysterics because she was convinced that she was going to get sucked through the toilet and then be tossed from the plane to her impending doom. This, of course, caused Lily to scream louder and thrash about like a crocodile trying to drown its prey. Holding Lily above my head as high as I could (since the only space was up) I attempted to bend over far enough to lift Brooklyn and put her on the toilet. It took a lot of bumping, twisting, and maneuvering, but eventually I got her on and she took care of business. When she was done, I closed the toilet lid, put Lily on the floor, sat down, and cried my eyes out.

After I finally composed myself, I picked up my still-screaming baby, grabbed Brooklyn by the hand, and I walked back to our seats where we received many unpleasant glares accompanied by some swearing and several complaints to the stewardess. I buckled Brooklyn back into her seat, started a movie for her, and then buckled myself in and sat Lily back on my lap where she could continue to practice her crocodile roll. In that moment I blocked out the rest of the world and then bowed my head and prayed. It was simple. All I said was "PLEASE KNOCK HER OUT! I know that you can... and I know you love me enough that you will!" And guess what? IT WORKED! 15 seconds after I said "amen" Lily was unconscious on my lap and I was crying again...but this time from relief!

About 20 minutes after Lily fell asleep, the stewardess came over and told me I would have to sit her back up because we were getting ready to land. I was peeved because I knew that would mean 30 more minutes of screaming, but grateful for the little break I did get. I sat my chair back up and Lily immediately started screaming again. She didn't stop until we had landed, parked, and opened the doors. But then, it was over!

Some good things came out of this experience. For one, Lily's plan worked! I was more then happy to leave her in the care of my parents and managed not to miss her until the last 2 days of our trip! Also, the woman sitting next to us on the plane took care of Brooklyn almost the whole flight while I cared for Lily. They chatted, read together, and played games. In fact, at one point she and Brooklyn fell asleep on each other all snuggled up! And another woman across the isle tried several times to take Lily off my hands and give me a break. Their kindness restored my faith in people and the flight reminded me why I believe in the power of prayer and kid-less vacations. And now that you've heard the beginning, stay tuned for pictures and stories from our trip, starting in Kaysville, UT and ending in New York City!

To be continued...


Tau said...

Man that sounds like a tough flight. Good for those who tried to help, there are a lot of good people out there.

Brian Hanks said...

Lily is a genius!

Kevin Hanks said...

That day for me was also super-difficult... I had to decide between reading a book out on the porch or on the couch. Man... the things we go through!

Sarah said...

Dude, I love this post. Although it sounded terrible, you had me smiling because what you said about knocking Lily out. What a great reminder that the Lord does love us enough to help with even the littlest things like knocking our children out if we need Him to, even if its for a few minutes of relief. What great faith you have :) I am glad you survived so I could be reminded of this truth. Now please excuse me while I go pray for my kids to knock out in their beds. Love ya

Rachel Uda Murdock said...

Man, I totally feel your pain. I flew to Boston by myself with all 3 kids. When we flew to Hawaii, we had 3 adults and 3 kids (so 1 adult per kid.) But still it took all 3 adults just to handle Malia. It was a nightmare and she screamed most of the 6 hour flight. I was so grateful when she finally passed out on mom's shoulder. Except then mom didn't dare move for the next 2 hours cause she didn't want to wake her up. So so hard flying with kids that age. Glad you survived and glad Heavenly Father answers prayers! Miss you! So excited to do some serious hanging out in July!