the flight from hell

Sounds like it could be a movie title, doesn't it? Like a B movie with terrible acting and zombie flight attendants or something.

I have to start by saying that my girls usually do very well on flights. This was only Olivia's second trip by air, but Jillian is a seasoned flyer and does very well. Except not this time.
We flew back from Florida yesterday (New Year's Eve) on a later flight that we would normally have taken- mistake number one- which put us getting in at 10pm (midnight Florida time, which both of the girls were used to at that point). After over a week of interrupted schedules and later bedtimes, staying up until midnight does not make for happy children.

The first leg of our flight went well enough, but the second flight was so terrible it was nearly comical.

There were a LOT of kids on this flight, which isn't uncommon on any flight to Salt Lake City. So I thought the odds were in our favor when it came to being those people with that kid. But turns out we WERE those people with THAT kid.
Olivia fell asleep about 10 minutes into the flight (yay Olivia!). My brother and sister flew back with me (thank goodness!) and my sister held Olivia the entire flight in crooked arm sleeping position. She kept waking up often though to hack her lungs out (like the loud, wet, people start staring and wondering what the heck is wrong with your baby kind of hacking), then would fall back asleep. It took Jillian about an hour to get comfortable and fall asleep, which was sort of what I was expecting, but after about 30 minutes of being asleep she woke up screaming. Like, screaming. The overly exhausted cries of an inconsolable toddler- you know the kind? The only thing I could decipher from her mumbling was that her ears hurt, which was weird since we were already at our cruising altitude and the pressure wasn't changing much, so I thought she was starting to get an ear infection (she'd been sick the last 4 days before this). GREAT. 
I had children's Motrin in my bag, so fished that out and tried to coax her (in between screams) to take some, which she quickly refused and dumped on the floor. After 20-30 minutes of constant, shrieking screams she fell back asleep on me.

Jillian isn't potty trained at night yet, so she still goes to bed with diapers. It didn't dawn on me that she wasn't wearing a diaper until I felt my leg start to get a little warm.

Yep. She peed. Everywhere. All over herself, my leg, the seat, and the blanket she was using. At this point she was still sleeping, so I was stuck in this place of not wanting to wake up the little sleeping gremlin and sitting in a puddle of pee. 
A rock and a hard place, friends. 
After about 5 minutes she woke up again, screaming (I'd just decided that sleep was more important than a pee soaked leg at this point- meh) complaining about her ear again. 
The flight attendant came by and asked if I needed anything.
They didn't have any Benydryl. ;-)

 I literally didn't know what to do.

We had quite a bit of turbulence the whole flight, so we couldn't get out of our seats much. Because Jillian was sitting in a window seat, I just stripped her right there and changed her pee-soaked clothes. I hoped she'd fall asleep again eventually, so I managed to get one of Olivia's diapers on her (3 sizes to small). 
After more nonsensical screaming and complaining (amidst Olivia's hacking), she finally fell back asleep.

Until we started descending and she woke up again because of her ears hurting. 

All I could think about was landing and getting off of that plane, which probably isn't too far off of what the other one hundred and some odd passengers were also thinking. 
Those people...THAT kid.

But we made it. Not like we had many options stuck in that flying tin can. We got back home about 15 minutes before New Year's, and quickly got the girls inside and up to bed. A few minutes later at midnight some fireworks in our neighborhood started going off, which scared Jillian and she got out of bed. James took her to her bedroom window so she could see them and for about 2 minutes she turned back into her cute, curious self and the three of us awed at the fireworks and gave New Year's hugs and kisses. I've never felt so happy to be home.

It was one of the worst and best New Year's Eves ever. 

"No one longs for what he or she already has, and yet the accumulated insight of those wise about the spiritual life suggests that the reason so many of us cannot see the red X that marks the spot is because we are standing on it. The treasure we seek requires no lengthy expedition, no expensive equipment, no superior aptitude or special company. All we lack is the willingness to imagine that we already have everything we need. The only thing missing is our consent to be where we are." 
-Barbara Brown Taylor, An Altar in the World

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