Posted by: monsonmadness | June 29, 2011

Bombs away!

“Away, away.” Another new word that our 17 month old, Emma tries to copy from her siblings as we drive away from Midway on our way to the airport in the early hours of Monday morning. Mary, aged 2, tries to clarify things for her, We’re going away Emma, we’re going away on a plane. On three planes” And she holds up four fingers to show her.

It’s true, the day had finally arrived, four weeks after Dad left and now it was time for us to be a family again. To make this possible, Michael’s Mom had borrowed his sister’s mini van (thank you Emily and Ryan), put all the seats down, and driven up to Midway to load our 8 suitcases and 6 carry ons into. I drove the car with the kids, car seat, and two strollers that we would also be using. My personal nanny, Addie, would be dropped off at the airport by her husband Jason who by the way, gave me a beautiful priesthood blessing yesterday which I really appreciated.

There were lots of other blessings during our travel experience. We were supposed to pay for every piece of checked baggage, and we had 8, three of which were overweight. We didn’t end up having to pay for them, and they were checked all the way through to Pago Pago. Only one of our suitcases burst open during transit, and we didn’t lose anything in the process, that was a relief. We didn’t lose any children, and no-one threw up or needed a change of clothes. Sure there were lots of stresses along the way, like being having 6 different seat assignments on the long flight from Honolulu to Pago Pago, but thanks to Patriarch Pili, they were able to sort things out for me and give me the last row of the plane. We had to move to new seats after we had settled in with the car seat, but I was able to at least see all of my children, and the older four slept the whole flight anyway, so it wasn’t a big deal.

Something funny happed at the airport in Honolulu. It is an open air airport, except for the enclosures at each gate. Somehow a bird had got into this enclosure and was perched above us as we tried to eat a quick dinner. The kids thought this was the most hilarious thing ever. I think they were just giddy from traveling all day, but it seemed like the bird was purposely sticking it’s butt over our heads and the kids kept shouting “bombs away” because they thought the bird was going to poop on us at any minute. I think we provided a lot of entertainment to the other passengers.

Another blessing was just an hour after we left Honolulu. They announced over the PA that someone needed medical attention and asked for a doctor. A few minutes last we had a front row seat on the action. The man sitting in front of Benjamin was having some kind of breathing problem and they were considering turning around and going back to Hawaii. They took all of his vitals, and decided to just monitor him during the flight. that would have added at least 3 hours onto our travel time, so I’m glad it all worked out.

I wasn’t allowed my strollers off the plane in Pago Pago, and the ladder from the plane goes down onto the runway. I didn’t move from my seat. It was 3am our time and the kids were zombies. I couldn’t physically get them off the plane. Sister Pili arranged for a handicapped lift to come and pick us up! It was awesome, the kids loved it. Patriarch Pili got us through immigration without having to stand in the hour long line, and got us most of the customs line as well. Michael had got a special pass from the airport to be allowed to come and help us at baggage claim, don’t know how we could have done it otherwise, so now we have two carts full of luggage, two strollers to push and lots of tired children. Turns out that there was a famous American Samoan NFL player flying in on the same flight as us, and so the airport was CROWDED with fans and supporters. When we came out of baggage claim, we had to walk through a tunnel of cheering people. Michael and I were pushing luggage, Benjamin was pushing the single stroller, and Matthew, Hannah and Daniel were pushing Emma and Mary in the double stroller. I had dressed the kids alike for the journey (makes head counting easier) and the people LOVED our kids. Everyone thought they were so cute (we were the only white people in sight) and they laughed, pointed and cheered. Hannah was petrified by all of this. A little girl ran over and started touching Hannah’s hair and Hannah almost burst into tears. I had to explain that she just thought she was so pretty, that seemed to help a little bit, but she really just wanted all the people to go away.

Someone from Michael’s work had brought his truck to take our luggage home, and Michael had borrowed a mini van to take us home. We were sweating, hot and tired. It only took about 10 minutes to get home and when we did, we all woke right up! In the first few minutes we had to kill several cockroaches, lots of ants, and saw two geckos. We heard the wild dogs barking outside our door, and even though we had been expecting all of these things, it was still quite a shock to see it all.

The kids were excited to see their Dad, and he had bought them some toys at a yard sale so the kids got all excited and forgot about sleep. We decided we were all starving so heated up some chicken nuggets in the microwave. Michael had even found some chicken wings for me at Cost-u-less, that was such a nice suprise on my first night, and so thoughtful of him.

Trying to figure out sleeping arrangments was a little hard, there are 8 of us and we only have 3 beds. Mary had to immediately transition to a big bed which she shares with Hannah, Matthew and Benjamin share a bed together, Michael was able to find a pack and play to borrow for Emma, and Daniel is sleeping on a little chaise lounge in with Emma. It works pretty well, we may change things when our stuff arrives, we packed in a twin and toddler mattress, but we are not sure if we want anyone sleeping on the floor anyway. We’re a little too scared of that for now.

We bought a bug bomb yesterday. we sealed up the house and set it off then went out for 4 hours. we thought we would come back to dead bugs everywhere which we would then clean up and then feel a lot better. Not so. No dead bugs, and this morning when I was making breakfast (spreading butter on toast with ants running all over the chopping board), Michael came up behind me and whispered “move now”. I have learned to trust him a lot more and didn’t even question. I guess he got me just in time as there was a huge cockroach over my head. Go away bugs!!!!

My kids want the roosters to go away. They start each morning at about 5am and keep going for a couple of hours, and then randomly during the day.

They also want the wild dogs to go away. The sit on our doorstep and in our driveway and bark really loudly whenever they see people. Mary (2) said yesterday, “This house is dirty, I want to go back to our other house. I don’t like this house.” Truth of the matter is, this house does have potential. We have considered looking for another place, but in all liklihood, the bug and dog issues would exist there as well, and we really like the size and price of this house. Plus it was a miracle that we found something furnished in the first place, no-one here can believe it, so I think we just need to learn to adapt and be brave.

Anyway, it is easy to ramble, and I wonder if this will even be interesting to anyone. Sorry that I made this entry so long. We are doing fine, and are looking forward to turning this house into a home. Here are some photos from our travel. I love the one of Daniel and Benjamin on the plane. Compare their size and coloring to everyone else around them!


  1. Oh my goodness! What an adventure! I’m sure you’ll do an incredible job of turning that house into a home. We can’t wait for more updates, so don’t apologize for the long post, we want to hear everything!! I’m so glad you are finally there and all together again 🙂

  2. Wow! That was an adventure! I’m glad everything went relatively well for you. Good luck with the bugs and dogs. Two things I hate!!! And good job to Hannah for not bursting into tears at the airport- I know all 3 of mine would have been crying hysterically! Can’t wait to hear more!!!

  3. Wow. That is an exciting story! I am so proud of you! You made it! I hate, actually despise cockroaches so I feel really bad for you about that. Tell all of your kids hello from the Hintzes! We are glad you are safe and sound!

  4. Your adventure has begun! I enjoyed reading about your travels. Thank goodness you had help. I hated all the ants in Puerto Rico. Terro worked well for us. I don’t know if it’s available there. Hopefully your things arrive soon and untouched. How’s the local food? Where will your kids go to school? I guess I will have to follow your blog to find out! 😉 Best wishes!

  5. No, Helen, it is never too long! We love reading of your exploits. You are all very brave – I hate bugs too! It is certanly an adventure, and I am sure it will turn out to be a very good experience for you all. We never know what we can do until we have to, and I know you will all cope very well. I discovered that was true on the sesquicentennial wagon train in 1997. I had only ever walked 200 miles with your Mum when we did the Coast to Coast long distance walk in 1996. I had never camped before, and here I was, 1150 miles to go, two bags, two feet. That was it! No transport, no phone, no home, no family, just hot and very cold, dust, mosquitoes by the zillion and loads of blisters and sore feet. I never thought I would want to do it again, it was so hard, but you know, I would do it again tomorrow. The friendships made will last into the eternities. None of us would have survived without helping each other. Loads of love.

  6. I’m so glad you made it, Helen. Hopefully now life will be a lot less stressful.

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