Saturday, June 27, 2009

Way To Be A Team Player

Warning: I'm about to make a shameless plug for hubby.

He called me last night to tell me he'd received a call from the Chief Pilot. Normally words you don't want to hear. Earlier in the day at a senior operations meeting the CP heard about what M did on a trip, and he wanted to personally thank him.

Due to a change in management, the ground crew at one of the podunk airports he flies to decided to walk out in a sign of protest. That left TWO people to fuel the planes and load the baggage. With all the heavy traffic (a whoppin' 3 airplanes) at said airport, they somehow managed to load the bags onto the wrong planes. In order to still get an on-time departure, M took it upon him self to unload and reload the correct baggage. He said the passengers' eyes just about bugged out in disbelief when they saw this.

Initially I was slightly annoyed when he told me what he had done. First of all worker's comp wouldn't cover an injury sustained while moving baggage, secondly you don't want the airline to think it's acceptable to use the pilots in this capacity. Just this winter he did something similar by helping the ground crew at another outpost fill sandbags for the cargohold.

Still I'm proud that he's willing to step up when needed. Shows what kind of a great guy I married :) Shameless plug over...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Thoughts on 'Housewives'

The house is a disaster, there are piles of clothes in the laundry room that are at various points in the laundering process, and the refrigerator is bare. We finally got that exersaucer for Little E this week, so going through the family room is like running a gauntlet of baby toys. This weekend is all about housekeeping. Fun. Fun.

I’m jealous of stay-at-home moms. There I said it. We’re very blessed, and I have no room to complain. However, being a full-time mom and having a full-time job is exhausting.

If given the opportunity, I’m not sure I’d actually want to be stay at home mom. I find my job reasonably fulfilling and I value having adult interaction every day. By the end of maternity leave I was getting board at home.

Maybe it’s the fact that I view being a SAHM as a luxury, a status symbol if you will. The way I see it, in this day and age if you can be comfortable on one income, then you’ve made it as couple. Notice I said comfortable and not just getting-by. Being a “getting-by SAHM” would involve making sacrifices out of necessity. Being a “comfortable SAHM” denotes having a choice to SAH, without any changes in QOL.

Sounding whiny now, aren’t I? It wasn’t long ago that I was bargaining with God just to make me a mom. I certainly wouldn’t trade this life I’m in.

I’ve been watching far too many episodes of the “Real Housewives of ______” shows on Bravo lately. M won’t tolerate watching it so I catch it on the sly when he’s not around. My bridal shower was held at the Brownstone, so in some small way my family helped fund The Real Housewives of NJ trainwreck. My apologies to the viewing public. These are the people that give NJ it's bad rap, but yet I can't stop watching. They are certainly not the type of housewife I want to emulate.

The RHWONJ are from what the rest of us from NJ refer to as "Sopranos NJ". The section of the state that sits in the immediate shadow of NYC. The inhabitants are similar to those of Staten Island, but will deny any similarities. It's where the women walk around with spray tans, big hair, and sound like Fran Drescher.

My coworkers wanted to know if I grew up in NJ because I don't talk like I'm from NJ. I kindly informed them that the majority of people from NJ don't sound like that. Just like most people in Atlanta don't sound like Paula Dean.

I promise if I ever get to be a SAHM I'll be on much better behavior. In the meantime, I'll keep doing my best to keep this household running. I wouldn't do it if these two didn't make it worth it.

We made it to the lake on Thursday after all. It was M’s only request for Father’s Day, that we spend the day together there as a family, so I couldn't say no. It was our first time going to Lake Lanier, and it was a much closer drive from our house than we expected. I think we’ll be making the trip more often. Baby girl didn’t want anything to do with her life vest so we took turns staying behind on the dock with her. We both had the chance to successfully wakeboard. It helped that our friends had good equipment and a boat specifically outfitted for pulling a skier. (Every time I try wakeboarding behind M’s boat I get ploughed face first through the water.)

Somehow we pulled it off and made it from the lake to the airport for our intended 7pm flight to Philly. Unfortunately the last flight of the night was cancelled which automatically made the one we wanted to be oversold. C’lest la vie. After missing out on the flight, we returned home. Since I’m terrible about keeping secrets and surprises to myself, I gave M his Father’s day present early….a new casting reel. Not really sure what makes it different from his other fishing reels, but he’s wanted it for awhile and was thrilled.

By 6:30 am we were back at the airport. M had a trip of his own to leave for, so we parted ways in the terminal for our flight to Philly. Little E got to have her own seat which is a godsend when I’m traveling alone with her. My parents picked us up at the airport, and we went straight to LBI.

The saying holds true. You get what you pay for. My parents bought Little E an $80 infant life vest to wear on their boat. And she actually wore it. The $25 one we picked up at Dick’s Sporting Goods on our way to the Lake ellicited hysterical screaming, but she was perfectly content in this one. The safety ratings were exactly the same but the comfort level was obviously different. We’ve already ordered another one online.

It was too cold to go in the water, but it was so refreshing just to be by the sea. Little E got to smoosh her chubby little feet in the sand for the 1st time. The look on her face was priceless. She also loved watching the seagulls play in the water. My mom bought E three bathing suits and a menagerie of hats, sundresses, and toys. The kid would be happy in a diaper, but she needs her own suitcase coming home from Grandma’s.

We spent the night at LBI, and my mom watched Little E in the morning so I could go for a long run on the beach.. It felt so good to do that. Afterwards, I even got to sit on the deck and enjoy a cup of coffee in peace.

Next stops on the tour included a Saturday afternoon BBQ with my mom’s side of the family, and Sunday brunch with my Dad’s side of the family.

My parents were gracious enough to buy my return ticket, so I wouldn’t have to stress about getting home. I had no worries getting to the airport, but once I boarded the plane it was a different story. We’ve both been spoiled by not having to do whole “infant in arms” thing too often. Little E was determined to wiggle off my lap, and nothing would stop the crying. Admittedly, I felt slightly less guilty about making a ruckus knowing my seat was paid for, but I still felt frazzled. Fortunately nearby passengers were kind, and I didn’t get any noticeable death stares. Once we were airborn she quieted down and fell asleep on my lap.

I'm exhausted, but it worth the trip to spend time with family. Hopefully I'll be recovered by the weekend. Picutres to come shortly.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

New Jersey- It's better than Old Jersey

Enjoying a weekend in the land that brought you John Trvolta, Jack Nicholson, Bon Jovi, traffic circles, the Stone Pony, Lucy the Elephant, the Steel Pier, the first American Brewery, and 75% of the Cranberries used by Ocean Spray. There's no place like home.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Looking Ahead

We had another couple join us for dinner last night. The guys have known each other since flight school, and his wife has become one of my closest friends since we moved to Atlanta. They’re transplants from Texas and are preparing for the arrival of their first baby in November. I think M found it therapeutic to talk to people in the same situation as us. There are rocky times, but when it comes down to it, they wouldn’t be in this career if they didn’t love it (or have the support of their loving wives!). After our company left, M apologized for being such a downer lately.

There are 13 days left in June. That’s it. July is another fresh start. Although he might have unfortunate luck with his schedule, the crew, weather, etc. one month, the next month is a new start under new conditions.

Final schedules for next month come out in a few days. Hopefully it'll be a good month, if not it'll be only a few weeks before things get switched up again.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

In a holding pattern

So M is making me feel like a nagging shrew of a wife because I don’t want to go to Lake Lanier for the day. Some friends we haven’t seen in awhile invited us to go with them later this week. Do I really need to explain why driving 2 hours each way to the lake, spending a day in the sun, then catching an 8pm flight to NJ with an infant isn’t going to work? I understand he’s bummed out we haven’t been traveling much or hanging out with friends recently, but HELLO we have baby now and both work full-time.

They say the first year after having a baby is a true test of a marriage. M’s career has been stuck in a holding pattern (lame pun intended), and I know he’s having a hard time with it. Now that it’s summer, it compounds the situation further. The schedules have been craptastic lately and are only going to get worse in September.

M grew up in a harbor town, and summers were spent on the water. Visiting NY last weekend reminded him what he’s giving up by being here in Atlanta (and how we won’t be getting out anytime soon). He’s slowly dragging me down with his negative attitude. I just don’t know what to do. I’m tired of being his cheerleader. Trying to make him feel better. Reminding him of all the things we do have because we chose to live in Atlanta.

It’s not easy for me either, but things could be 1,000 times worse. How do I get him out of this funk?

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Did You Know?

Do you know that when you see a pilot, he's not being paid?
It’s sad that the general public has come view air travel as a right and not a luxury. They expect to pay $59 for a one way ticket. They complain about delays or not being able to fit their carry on bag in the overhead compartment. Well, if you don’t like it Mr. Passenger there’s always Greyhound…and it’ll probably cost you MORE to travel that way.

Here's what a quick internet search produced. One way New York to Los Angeles departing July 14th:

Greyhound: $216 (2d, 18h, 45min travel time)
Amtrak: $379 (1d, 14h)
Driving (gas alone): 2791mi @ 30mpg x $2.50/gal= $232.50 (1d 17h)

American Airlines: $149 (5h 55min)

Today’s entry dedicated to every airline passenger who treats the plane like a bus with wings (courtesy of Regional Girlfriend's Blog):

When you see a pilot going through the same security you go through, he's not being paid.

When you see a pilot walking in the terminal, he's not being paid.

When you see a pilot at the gate pulling up paper work, planning the flight, and conferring with the agent, he's not being paid.

When you see a pilot walking around the aircraft doing a preflight inspection, he's not being paid.

When you board the aircraft and look in the cockpit and see the pilots setting up the aircraft, they're not getting paid.

When you land safely at your destination and walk off the aircraft and see the pilots shutting down the aircraft, they're not being paid.

When you see a pilot waiting for a ride to a hotel for the night, he's not being paid.

The only time the pilot of your aircraft is getting paid is when you DON"T see him... when he's locked behind the cockpit door as you push back from the gate. Every thing else he does until this point is for free. For no wages. Nothing!

The average airline pilot is at work for 12- 14 hours per day, yet gets paid for less than 6 - 7 hours.

The average airline pilot is away from home, at work, for 70+ hours a week, yet gets paid for only 15 to 18 hours per weeks work.

Most pilots schedules have them working 15 days or more a month... that means they are not at home half the month.

Holidays, weekends, birthdays, anniversaries, summer vacations.... not at home.

A majority of pilots have 4 year college degrees, or more. Then they begin training as pilots.

A large majority of Pilots have spent 8 years or more flying in the military, risking their lives and protecting your freedom for wages most of you wouldn't accept in the civilian world.

Civilian trained pilots have spent $50,000 or more to acquire the training that qualifies them for a Regional Airline job, which pays a wage less than the poverty level in most western countries.

Most pilots do not attain the required experience level to be hired by a major airline until they are well passed the age of 30. The average age of a new hire airline pilot is 32.

Airline pilots are required to retire at the age of 60. This gives most of them less than 28 years to maximize their income and fund their pensions, hoping that greedy airline execs won't steal it.

Airline pilots are subject to random drug and alcohol testing, any time they are at work. Fail it and they lose their job.

Airline pilots are required to undergo rigorous re-training and certification every 6 to 9 months, at which time they could fail and lose their jobs, licenses and livelihood. ;

Airline pilots are required to submit to random government "Line checks" during which their license could be revoked and livelihood destroyed.

Airline pilots are exposed to radiation levels far exceeding the normal safe radiation limits mandated by the FDA.

Airline pilots are required to submit to a government medical examination every 6 months (Captains) and 12 months as First Officers. Year after year. Fail that, and their career is over.

How many of you go to work where people try to kill you? How many of you have had your office turned into a cruise missile? How many of you work behind a bullet proof door?

How many of you are responsible for the lives of 200- 300 people, with any small mistake in your performance resulting in the death of your customers (and yourselves), and the financial destruction of your company?

How many of your jobs require you to fight your way through thunderstorms, rain, snow, ice and turbulence, day and night, year after year? No mistakes allowed? The excuse " I had a bad day at work" never accepted?

Many pilots volunteer (on their own time and own dime) to be trained as Federal Flight Deck Officers, and carry weapons to defend their aircraft, crew and passengers. They maintain their proficiency and qualifications twice a year on their own time and money.

How many of you go to work where you are searched, patted down and your personal items scrutinized by strangers, even though you can kill everyone in your place of work with your two bare hands?

Airline pilot pay scales and hours worked are usually posted by absurdly overcompensated Airline Exec's who are waging a PR campaign against their Pilot Unions and trying to justify their own greedy bonus's and draconian wage and pension cuts. Cheap a** airline passengers just love this s*** since they don't care if their airplane is flown by the lowest denominator, as long as they can fly for next to nothing. Course if they don't get to their destination, their next of kin can sue....

Keep Yer Paws to Yourself!

The weather was really nice here today, so I took Emily to an outdoor mall so we could get some fresh air, and of course shop. I love having a little girl. Little E's already a great shopping companion. She sat in her stroller the entire shopping trip without making a peep. She dozed off briefly, but was alert and looking around most of the time.

Of course pushing a baby stroller through a store attracts people like a magnet. It drove me nuts that people kept touching her cheeks and grabbing her little hands. I don't know you, I don't know where you've been, and I don't want you touching my baby, thankyouverymuch! The momma-bear in me came out, and I ended up covering her stroller with the bug netting I had decided to pack last minute on my way out the door. It came in handy. Once I put up the protective force field, we were able to navigate through stores much easier.

I picked up a few skirts, t-shirts, and a sun dress. It was a pretty productive shopping trip, and for the first time in almost a year, I actually felt pretty good looking in the mirror. I drove home excited about my purchases, not bummed out and discouraged. I do need to buy a new bathing suit for our trip next weekend, but I've still got a few days to jump that hurdle. For now I'll enjoy my shopping high from today.

Time to give Emily a thorough bathing before she falls asleep for the night. Next time strangers try and paw at my baby they may just get a shot of Purell in the eye.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Got my baby back, baby back...

It turned out to be a busy week for all of us. M and Little E didn't get back from NY until 3 am on Wednesday morning. Then yesterday morning M brought her to the doctor for another round of vaccines. She took it like a champ. No fever or lethargy like after the last set.

This time we took her to a different pediatrician who is willing to work with us and follow the Dr.Sears alternative schedule. Our last pediatrician gave us the spiel about how vaccines are safe, there’s no research to indicate they cause autism, yada yada..... Well, until they can tell me what does cause autism I’m not discounting any theory that doesn’t sound completely wackadoo. It’s no inconvenience for us to go every month for shots instead of every other month. But I digress….

It's time to get the weekend started! I just finished a workout on the elliptical. It was too hot outside to take E running with me today. Washed bottles, folded laundry, paid bills, ate some chores are done. I'm so excited to spend the weekend with Little E. M just left on a 3-day trip, so it's just us girls. Think I'll take her to the aquarium tomorrow, then we'll do some mother-daughter shopping at the mall on Sunday. I'm so glad to have my baby back!

Monday, June 8, 2009

M-E-T-S! Let's go Mets!

What an exciting weekend. Our 18 year old cousin, the baseball player extraordinaire, is expected to be picked up by the Mets in this week's draft. The team held a "showcase" this Sunday for all the draft hopefuls to come out for one final practice. We couldn't pass up the chance to cheer him on, so we made an impromptu trip to NY. He did a great job, and now we're sitting on pins and needles until the draft choices are announced.

What made it even more awesome, is we got to roam around the inside of the new Mets Stadium with only a handful of other spectators. I can say with pretty good certainty I'll never get to watch another baseball game from a seat directly behind the home-team dugout.

Being that I have very limited vacation time that we're saving for later this year, this ended up being a day trip for me. Fortunately all went as planned and this was a flawlessly smooth trip. Reminiscent of what non-revving USED to be. M arrived back from his overnight trip at 6:30 am. I met him at the airport with Little E at 7:00, and by 7:45 were were on a flight to LaGuardia. We watched the practice, went out for lunch, and then headed back to the airport to drop me off. I was back in Atlanta in time for a late dinner.

M and Little E are still in NY with his parents and will be back tomorrow night. I've never been away from E for this long. Ever.I thought I'd enjoy having a couple nights to myself. I went for a long run after work, ate a cup of Oodles of Noodles for dinner, and sat on the couch to watch the Bachelorette. What I used to consider a perfect Monday evening. Amazing how the times have changed. I can't stop thinking about much I miss that little munchkin. Just one more day before I get to shower the hubs and the baybay with kisses.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Today's National Doughnut Day

And celebrate I did.

The section of Atlanta we live in is greatly under-served by Dunkin Donuts. That's a good thing. Before we moved to Atlanta, I used to stop there at least a couple times a week on my way to work. Now it’s a rare occasion when I get to have authentic DD. Occasionally I’ll ask M to bring me coffee and a doughnut home from B concourse at the airport.

So today in honor or National Doughnut Day, DD was giving out a free doughnut with a coffee purchase. TWO of my coworkers offered me their extra doughnut this morning, but I was good and only accepted one. It was chocolate frosted heaven. Yum!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

4 Month Stats

E is four months old!

Actually 16 weeks and 4 days to be exact. Of course mommies need to be more precise, so I’m still keeping track of her age this way. Months don’t seem like the appropriate unit of measure when she’s still changing so much from day to day. Besides, counting her age in months just reminds me how fast she’s growing up.

However, when I say she’s x weeks old, I can see people trying to convert it in their heads to months. It’s like measuring in inches when every one else is measuring in feet. So I’m going to keep it easy for everyone.

E has received so many clothes as gifts, I thought she’d be at least a year old before I ever had to buy her anything. Her 6 month clothes are already getting too short and tight on her. At this rate she’s going to be in her 12 month clothes by the end of September. She won’t even get to wear the jackets and sweaters people bought for her because it’ll still be too hot here.

No one believes us when we tell them her age. M’s got the height, but neither one of us would be considered big. We’re puzzled as to where this jumbo baby came from.

Here are her stats so far:

Birth:   7 lbs 15oz, 19.5”…..50th percentile height & weight (keep in mind she was born 9 days late too)

1 week old:   7 lbs, 6 oz, 19.5”……took a slight dip

2 weeks old:   8 lbs, 4oz, 20”……made a comeback

1 month old:   10 lbs, 8oz, 21.5”……90th percentile height & weight

3 months old:   12lbs 9oz, 24”……96th percentile height and weight

4 months old:   14 lbs 6oz, 24.5”…..90th percentile height & weight

It looks like her growth might be starting to slow down. In the past month, she hasn’t increased the amount of formula she eats in a day. Since she seems to be content on formula, I’m holding off on rice cereal. I did pick up a box this weekend in anticipation of her next spurt.

We’re very grateful for the fact that’s she’s been a good eater because she’s been consistently sleeping through the night since I started back at work in April. Bedtime is around 7:30, and she sleeps until about 6am. Hopefully it’s more than just a phase. We’re enjoying it while it lasts…

Here are some of my favorite pics of E from this past weekend

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Goodbye Old Pal

Last night was a little bittersweet. We sold Little Red Saturn. When I received her (Little Red Saturn was definitely a “girl car”) as my 17th birthday present she had 4 miles on the odometer. After 11 years and 153,147 miles, it was finally time to say goodbye. She needed some maintenance, and we decided it wasn’t cost effective to keep her anymore even as a commuter car.

So now I’ll be cruising around in the “Mom Mobile” full time. While I love the Subaru, Little Red Saturn was a symbol of my carefree single years. But it’s time to move on to bigger and better things. Most likely she’ll be purchased by some parent for their teenager. It’s a cute car for that age bracket. I hope they treat her well.

Here’s to you Little Red Saturn.