Monday, June 24

day 2: houston, we have a problem.

before we left the airport for the hotel, i bought myself a new shirt to wear because my old one was so thoroughly puke-stained.

it made me smile and i bought it in hopes it would make me smile the next day.
i guess it helped. a little.

i didn't sleep well. i was worried i would wake up late and miss the shuttle and then our flight and, you know, be stranded again. i spent half the night snuggling one girl and half the night snuggling the other. then i woke up early, got as cleaned up as i could and put the girls in their pajamas for the day.

they had told me that shuttles left on the hour and they filled up quick, so i figured i would get on the 7:00 shuttle for our 9:30 flight, since it took twenty minutes to get to the airport and half an hour (at least) taking two kids through security alone. then there was the trek to our gate, etc, so i wanted to get there early.

getting there went so smoothly. security was a breeze. we arrived at our gate around 7:45, ready to get some breakfast with our food vouchers and then hopefully hop on a flight.
but it was not to be.

the moment we got to the gate i knew something was wrong. the flight info said it was a10:45 departure. sigh. delayed again.

we went next door, bought some astronaut ice cream and a nasa shirt then checked again.
delayed until 12:30. something about pittsburg weather, i think. but we got $20 more for food (totaling $60, if you're keeping track, and we couldn't spend them anywhere but restaurants).

so there i was, stuck with two little kids in a giant airport for another FOUR HOURS at least.
tears. almost. i couldn't let them smell my fear or they definitely would have gone to find another leader.
i was so ready to leave houston and never come back. i couldn't even remember why we were in houston. i just knew we had to get out. 

i spent a good hour trying to keep them from eating old gummies off of the airport carpet and testing out every single moving walkway we could find. then another hour at subway where i bought all sorts of random menu items trying to get my voucher's worth. we took our time eating and made a huge mess.

then we watched planes land and take off and cheered (literally) when ours showed up. the nicest people made the nicest small talk with us while we waited. one mom told me i was doing great (and if you've ever been a mom in a terrible situation like mine, it means everything). a dad swapped stories with me about his two daughters at home. when we got on the plane and got settled, a few people moved around to give us the only extra seat so that we could have three seats to ourselves. the lady behind us said it was because she hoped someone would do the same for her if she needed it. to be honest, the guy who was supposed to sit next to us probably got an even better deal: not being kicked for the entire flight.

then my girls magically slept for hours as we sailed through the clouds, wrapped in airline blankets and whistling a little through their noses.

during the descent, they both woke up. turbulence again.
ellie loved it. poppy vomited her subway all over me.
but! this time i was ready. as soon as poppy woke up moaning and rubbing her ears, i draped us both in the blanket from the chin down. i caught all the puke and when we made it to the ground i wadded it up and threw it away.
piece of cake. regurgitated cake.

i almost cried again when we got off the plane in salt lake city and saw a family bathroom right across the way. oh, heaven. we cleaned ourselves up and headed slowly on our way.

of course we took a right instead of a left and went to the wrong baggage claim area, so it took about fifteen extra minutes to find grandma and grandpa and uncle noah. in that amount of time ellie tried to ride on the baggage carousel, ran away from me twice, and spun in circles until she fell and got a bloody lip.

that is how they found us, at my wit's end and ellie with tears on her cheeks and a wet cloth in her mouth. they rescued us and our baggage (which miraculously made it) and we headed home to pizza and hugs and a nice warm bed.

oh, also an adorable cousin and endless toys!

we've almost forgotten our traumatic ordeal.
however, we have a stop in houston on the way home and i'm pretty sure i'm going to cry when we land. at least daddy will be there to help us get home. i hope.

Thursday, June 20

day 1: turbulence.


we just wrapped up the worst traveling experience of my life.
spoiler alert: we made it.
it just took us 24 hours to get here.

we left our house at noon on tuesday to catch our flight. both girls slept on the way, which was great because ellie had been up since five in the morning (excited much?). we asked for a gate pass for daddy so he could help us to the plane, but unfortunately they wouldn't allow it. we actually made it through okay, considering. i expected at least one tantrum and a lot of squirming and distractions and general slow-going. i also packed light - a backpack for each of us, everything else was checked. i didn't kid myself into bringing a stroller because i knew that there would be times when i would just end up carrying a kid in each arm. that's how we boarded the plane, actually.

 the nook was a lifesaver

we got off to a bad start. as we got on the plane we heard at clap of thunder like a gun going off. then we were put in a line behind 50 other planes waiting to take off in the weather. it worked out somehow and we didn't wait too long, though. the girls were so good on the flight from atlanta to houston. ellie didn't really use her quiet voice very well, but i had picked the seats at the back of the plane and it was so loud that it didn't matter. poppy slept just a little.

then, at the end, all hell broke loose.
the stuff hit the fan.
it was BAD.

poppy woke up feeling awful and looking green. we hit terrible turbulence on the way in to houston. ellie loved the bumpy ride, she yelled "wheeeeeeeeeeeee!" and screamed like she was on a rollercoaster. poppy added her own, weak little "whee..." but it was obvious that she was miserable. then she puked all over me. the flight attendant was in the jumpseat next to us and tried his best to help despite being strapped in, but we really just needed to wait until we landed.

just as i thought we were going to touch down, we started going up again.
"uh oh," the flight attendant said. "they just aborted the landing."
apparently there was some sort of problem caused by the weather and we had to circle around and try again. can you guess what happened next?
puke 2: revenge of the puke. she got the whole other side of my shirt. and her hair.
poor thing, she was crying and moaning "oops! oops! yuck! yuck!" like it was her fault.

second time was the charm for the landing, but i was sure we had missed our connecting flight. our flight attendant checked for me and said that he thought it was delayed, too, because of the weather, and we could maybe still catch it.

we got off the plane quick and the attendant at the gate said that, yes, it was still in the airport but we needed to take the train from terminal b to terminal e and we only had about twenty minutes. we had to make it by 7:15. she said we could try and run. so we ran.
 (when i thought about it later, i realized that she really should have called our flight and told them we were coming. i mean, what's a couple more minutes after an hour's delay? but she didn't.)

if you've ever run with a preschooler and a toddler and all their stuff you would know that you can't run fast. we went up and down escalators, on and off the train, through endless concourses and finally got to the gate.
at 7:19.

there was nobody there and nobody at the surrounding gates, either. i was covered in puke and literally dragging two exhausted kids when i finally found someone a few gates over.

she looked at me and said "i can talk to you in about five minutes."
(i can't help but think that that this was another moment that could have changed everything.)

i didn't know what to do. so i waited. and the girls ran amok. a nice guy made small talk with me about his three-year-old and tried to make me feel better. when the woman finally got to us, she called the plane and they were just too far out on the runway to come back for us. but they were still on the runway. sigh.

we waited forever in the customer service line, where they issued us toothbrushes and food vouchers and set us up in a hotel. i let the girls cover themselves with stickers while they waited. we had tickets for a flight at 9:30 that next morning. after some french fries, i bought myself a new shirt and we went out to catch the hotel shuttle. we walked out the doors just to watch it drive away, then waited in the dirty, sweaty houston night for another hour as every other shuttle came and went at least twice. 

gross airport meal

 gross wait for the shuttle

we made it to the hotel at 10 pm (11 our time). oh, that was the best hotel room i've ever seen. i washed the girls, wrapped them up and put them to bed. then i showered and never, ever wanted to get out of the shower again. when i finally fell asleep i couldn't even think about our final destination. my only thought was getting out of houston alive.

to be continued...

Monday, June 17

here we go.

we've been getting in as much georgia summer fun 
(splash pad, zoo, camping, parties, sandy creek beach, movies) 
as possible the past few weeks because 

we're headed to the beehive state tomorrow. 

it has been over two years and most of my family hasn't even met sweet penelope.
there will be rodeos and fireworks and swimming and mountains and so many hugs and kisses.
we will be there for three weeks, so if you're in the area i'll try to post on facebook when we're going to be out playing so we can meet up with lots of friends.

personally, i'm so excited and anxious (in a good way) that i can barely eat. i can't wait. i just want to be there already!

oh, and the girls and i are flying out alone. 
pray for me!

p.s. - we basically spent yesterday hugging this guy because we're going to miss him so much until he comes to play with us in utah. he such a great daddy.

p.p.s. - happy birthday to my wonderful dad. can we eat cake with you tomorrow? :)

Friday, June 7

favorite things.

i thought i'd share some of the fowler favorite things right now.

another beautiful day at our favorite park

penelope's favorite things: 

strawberries (stah-beees)
shoes & boots & sandals (and wearing one mary jane and one boot at the same time)
curious george (muhkee show)
chocolate (chot-let)
coloring pictures & showing them off (see?! see?!)
owls (owwws hooo hooo)
reading stories (book, mommy)

eleanor's favorite things: 

jake and the neverland pirates (and so doubloons and treasure and eyepatches) (ahoy!)
playing memory & doing puzzles
adventures, hiking, camping
making her bed (and sometimes my bed) when she wakes up (i know, right?!)
snuggling up on the couch (with friends!)
swimming (yay summer!)

daddy's favorite things: 

the new daft punk album (this song makes me want to invite the world to dance party)
 an awesome manly backpack
his new workout program
his girls
i'll stop now before i get too embarrassing for him 

mommy's favorite things:

feta cheese
thunderstorms (yay summer again!)
summer eating (lots of fresh fruit & veggies)
recent adventures all over georgia
spring/summer cleaning
diet mountain dew (and lana del rey singing about diet mountain dew)

oh, and did i mention our NEW COUCH?!
(one day soon i'll explain the saga of the couch, but for now know that we love it)

we thoroughly wore out the old couch....

so let's just say the new couch is probably our favorite favorite thing right now.

Wednesday, June 5

my sweethearts.

via pinterest

you know this song?
ho hey by the lumineers.

i get the girls to sing it with me. they love it because they get to shout "hey! ho!" over and over and they are pretty good at shouting.

anyway, what i want to say is that i belong with them and they belong with me and they are definitely my sweethearts (even though there are times when they are anything but sweet).

i've captured some sweetheart moments recently: 

e cheesin' it with mommy

sisters reading together

p snuggling her pup

playing dress up

if i take pictures of their sweeter moments it's so much easier to forget the ones that aren't so sweet.
i mean, what? they are always sweet.