Our Hawaii trip took three flights each way. I know. It was as awesome as it sounds. But it was the only way we could afford it. And I'm using the term "afford" loosely here.
To be perfectly honest, however, our kids are kind of great travelers. So it wasn't horrible. Except! Except. On our first flight to Reno, Lou cried a bit as we descended. I thought, "Bummer, her ears." On our second flight to L.A., she cried more, I thought, "Oh crap." On our flight to Hawaii, as we made the very long descent, she screamed. She buried her face into my chest, trying to burrow away from the pain. She was in a world of hurt. I wondered if it was an ear infection, but she didn't have any other serious signs beyond a serious binky addiction and a need to have Mommy in her sights at all times. So - sadly - we didn't do anything about it for a few days.
Two days later we climbed Haleakala (in our car). This beautiful inactive volcano is a 7,000 foot accent. At the top, she whined like crazy as the wind blew us around. She and I spent most the time in the car while Annabelle and Jess hiked around (this is actually our usual routine - Lou and I in the car while the other two hike longer than Lou's legs can muster).
Then when we drove down? She started wailing. I cried too because I knew for sure her ears were hurting. I felt awful. She's the happiest person I know, and she rarely cries. I knew this was bad. I sat next to her, wedged between the girls' car seats, getting incredibly car sick myself, and cradled her ears in my hands and told her it would be okay. When the land flattened out, she whimpered herself to sleep.
The next day, we took her to the island Instacare. Indeed, double ear infections, one more severe than the other. I'd like to say that things started looking up for Lou, but the poor girl's misfortunes didn't end there.
1. She got a ridiculous diaper rash from the antibiotics. We spent half our savings on island-priced Desitin.
2. While taking a bath one morning, she dropped a load. As I texted to Jess (who was out whale watching), "This isn't just a deer turd. This is a herd of turds." When I took her out of the bath, she peed all over the floor.
3. She also blew out on the cabana. Our poor cabana attendant graciously carted away the poopy towel.
4. She hated. No, she HATED the sand. If you lowered her toward it, she'd whine and say, "Nooooooooooooooooo," and fold her long legs into her chest as best she could. She'd be okay on a towel on the sand, until it was too KUH KUH and she'd beg to be rescued from the filth. She thought the ocean was okay, but only if she didn't have to touch it.
5. One morning, I lifted her on our bed to watch a movie while I showered, and she peed all over. As in a total bed makeover was in order.
6. When she was playing in her stroller, it tipped, and she got a giant goose egg on her forehead. Which drained into her right eye and gave her a lovely little shiner for a few days.
Seriously, this trip was pure tragic comedy for our girl. That said, she was still the best little traveling goof ball you've ever seen, as all these smiley pictures show. She loved running around the cabana area and she loved the pool with the shallow steps. Jess spent hours with her there. She ate lots of fish and cheeseburgers, and giggled deep belly laughs at all the birds who came begging for food. Despite all the bad, she was our Lou through and through and still made the trip happy.
For the record, the antibiotics did the trick and our girl was totally fine on the flights home. In fact, she slept through two of the three (red eye flights). Bless you baby. And all the angels who assisted us during that red eye journey.
And lest you think I've forgotten Annabelle, never fear. She too will get her own post. Stay tuned. :)