Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Not Looking Good

So EVERYONE who is to be on our flight tomorrow was sitting at their computer at 1:50? 

I just checked in at Southwest.com at exactly 1:50 p.m.

I am in the B group.  Seriously? 

This will almost definitely be the last time we fly Southwest.  The B boarding passes won't even be any real use.  I was only hoping for an A pass.  We will choose to load at A and a half I suppose.

At this particular moment I am so annoyed with myself for not looking further into Southwest's policies.  I guess this is what you get when you fly a discount airline.

Well at least now I know there is no reason to plan our day around checking in online as we will probably end up with a B or C group regardless.  I will just check in the day of on our return flight.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Something else to worry and fret over.

When I booked my flight at Southwest I looked into most of their policies.  I checked into luggage rules and limitations, I checked into their children under two policy,  and I read about their stroller policy.  Basically, I thought I looked into everything.  I went ahead and purchased tickets.

For any of you who have flown Southwest, you will already be familiar with their A-B-C approach to boarding.  You are not given a seat number at the time of purchase but instead recieve a letter at check-in that amounts to what order you board.  I have almost always gotten an A and I have almost always been content with Southwest but the reason this didn't bother me is simpler than that.

We have children under two, I thought we would be pre-boarding.  Every flight I have ever been on, including those with Southwest, have boarded families and people with small children first.  I haven't flown anywhere since December 2005 however so I didn't check,  I thought it was a given. 

Turns out in October 2007 Southwest, after 36 years doing otherwise, decided to change it's pre-boarding rule.  Now families and individuals with small children board what is commonly referred to as A and a half.  Between A and B boarders.

This may turn out to be no big deal but I would be lying if I said this sudden discovery of information has me more than a little peeved.  If I had looked into this policy before booking I would have probably gone elsewhere.  Especially after reading this.  Now on top of everything else I am worried that my family won't even be able to sit together.  So now I have to be sitting at my computer at exactly 24 hours before our flight to print our boarding pass in hopes of getting an A.   If that doesn't work and we have to be seperated on the plane I will make a point to sit next to the man in the best suit I can find and weep uncontrollably with whomever is in my lap for the entire four and a half hours.  Not really, but I will not share my peanuts, that's for sure. 

So depending on this flight Southwest may lose our business for good and they should be really worried because that will amount to about $140 of lost revenue every year at the rate we fly.  So there Southwest.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

And this is the week I decided to stop biting my nails.

As I have mentioned before we leave for Arizona in less than a week now.  We begin our travels next Wednesday morning with a three hour drive to North Carolina to the city where I was born, Raleigh.  Not because I was born there of course, but because it's the closest airport to catch a Southwest direct flight.  We will then spend several hours, of what I can only imagine to be pure bliss, in an airport.  Following that bag of goodies we have the main event.  A five hour flight direct to Sky Harbor International.

Now I could list all of the things I am completely stressed about.  For instance, losing our luggage.  I used to think that it was an urban legend that people lost luggage.  Unfortunately, our last trip to Arizona included my luggage not making the flight.  Fortunately, it was on the return trip.  So I have been trying to dodge troubles, wondering if I should mix luggage instead of each of us having our own suitcase and even wondering if I should avoid that jinxed suitcase all together.

I am also a tad worried about the process of unloading two adults (one of whom will be 26 weeks pregnant), two toddlers, a double stroller, four pieces of luggage, and numerous carry-ons at the airport and parking our car in long term parking.  I have toyed with paying family members to drive us down and pick us up two weeks later but I don't know anyone who will be off and willing.  I think we will just use curbside check-in and have Todd park the Canyoneer while I stay with Bailey and Cooper. 

But all of these things, however much they are on my mind, are overshadowed by a much more complexing issue.  How in the world will we keep two rambunctous, active, toddlers content for five long hours on a plane in our laps?  We did not buy plane seats for them.  We went back and forth over it and we decided that we just could not afford it and that buying tickets was almost negating the one plus to travelling with 16 month old toddlers.  So our children, who grow tired of even their favorite lap after a short time, will be seated on our laps for what in my mind, currently seems like an eternity.  I am concerned for my sanity and well being as well as the sanity and well being of those travelling with us.  So I have been planning and plotting for months and I have asked every parent I meet for recommendations.

It turns out quite a lot of parents travel with their toddlers.  I have spoken with women who have flown with children approximately Bailey and Cooper's age to Russia and Kenya.  I have also spoken with women who have travelled alone with multiple children.  They all talk of their adventures as if it were no big thing.  I aspire to be like these women.  One morning at Romp and Roll there were six other mothers there with children all under 2, every one of them had gone somewhere on a plane with thier child. 

I have started compiling their recommendations and been searching for a little thread of hope of the internet.  What I have found are completely opposing sides of almost everything I have been told.

Many people say sit in the bulk head, you have more room.  Many other people say don't sit in the bulk head all of your belongings will have to be secured in an overhead compartment.  Many people have said give them lollipops.  Others have said "Are you crazy?  And make yourself and your child sticky?"  Most mothers have told me to dose my children with Benedryl.  A few said a horrible reaction could occur with this method. 

Now I find myself no more informed really than before, or I guess maybe a little too informed?  I have thought about letting our children watch T.V.  For those close to us, you will know that is being planned as a last resort.  And of course, I mean cartoons on the laptop which has a very crummy battery life.  But more than anything I had decided not to let it worry me, if I learned nothing else from these women and thier recommendations it was this simple fact.  They all survived to tell about it.  So even if things don't go well or even good we will at the very least probably survive. 

However, I was curious if any of you had travelled with small children on a plane and had any insights or magnificent recommendations.  I would be especially grateful if you have any recommendations on the part that is possibly concerning me the most.  How do we change a toddler on a plane, which we will obviously have to do on a five hour flight at least once per child?  I have been in those tiny lavatories, but it was preparenthood.  Do they even have changing tables? 

And should I be looking into Valium or something for myself?  That stuff is safe for pregnant women, right?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

It all feels a little too much like work.

Why is that men can pack so much easier than women? We leave one week from today on a two week excursion to the west coast. I have been working on a packing list for three weeks. I finally decided yesterday it would be best to best to begin packing.

While Todd got the suitcases out I readied my extensive list. Todd set in immediately to picking seven pairs of shorts, two pairs of jeans and a pair of khakis. I, in addition to observing how quickly he chose his pants, went looking for my favorite maternity pants. Before I remembered that there is no such thing because all of my maternity pants are just as unflattering as the next he was on to t-shirts. I decided to move on to looking for my best white t-shirt which mean the white t-shirt with the least stains and before I turned around Todd had packed his socks and pajama pants. When he moved on to bathing suits I thought I would be ahead of the game and move to bathing suits but as I was searching through them I got a mental picture of myself in one of those things, I managed to pack a suit but I doubt I will wear it. By the time Todd announced he was finished packing I was far too physically and mentally tired to continue on so I decided to stack the suitcase in the corner and give it a day or two. It's going to take that long before I can muster up the courage to face my closet again.

My mother-in-law would be so disappointed, she would have been packed and ready to go three weeks ago.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Are they kidding me?

This morning the more idiotic of our dogs woke me up by thumping his big goofy leg on the floor, repeatedly.  I decided to make the most of this chilly morning and went downstairs to make French Toast for Bailey and Coop.  I got ice cold sippy cups ready and went up to get them.  I presented them with yummy warm French Toast sans syrup.  What did they do to show their appreciation?

Well, they cried...and cried.

Turns out they want their usual.  Cereal.

I think it was a ploy to get me to give them syrup.  It didn't work. 


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Soap, it isn't just for showering these days.

I really hate to go on and on about this whole pregnancy business but it does seem to take up a lot of my time and thoughts. Another reason I can't seem to forget, which I'm not saying I want to, is that the baby and all the ailments of pregnancy won't let me forget and move on and discuss far more interesting topics, like is Jon Gosselin really cheating on his mean and miserable wife and does anyone even care?

I have been becoming increasingly tired and I am having a rather difficult time finishing 'Brave New World'. Every night I get into the bath, read four pages and fall asleep risking both drowning in the six inches of water and the drowning of that miserable book (OK, it isn't that bad but it's more effective than any Tylenol P.M. I've ever taken).

Of course, then I have to get out, dry off, put on my PJ's, for which I am having a harder and harder time at doing as 'maternity' pajamas just seem a little out of the budget, at which point I am wide awake again. Fortunately, another three pages of Aldous Huxley and I'm out again.

Here's the part that is really irritating. Several hours later I awake to the most awful leg cramps. When I was pregnant with Bailey and Cooper the awful leg cramps started at 18 weeks, I remember clearly because I was a HUGE baby about it, crying and whining and all that nonsense. My husband thought I was being bludgeoned to death and rolled over when he found out what was ailing me. At that point in my last pregnancy I was still under the assumption I couldn't take a bath at all so I 'tried' to walk it off and then ran hot water over the calf muscle. The cramps continued pretty regularly throughout the rest of the pregnancy no matter how many bananas I ate with some of them causing me to limp around for most of the following day.

When I'd made it to the halfway point a few weeks ago without any leg cramps I thought I had possibly escaped this pregnancy without them. I know, foolish. So last Friday I had a leg cramp before I even made it to bed. And the last two nights I have awoken to them, and boy they are mean and nasty.

I have tried stretching...that can sometimes even bring them on so I try and avoid stretching. I have tried the banana thing, that doesn't seem to help either. I have, and did last night, drink a lot of water before bed. This only resulted in having to pee a dozen times in addition to leg cramps. This morning however, I may have found the solution. The same website that advised me on how to mix my urine with Draino is now saying I should sleep with Zest.

That's right, sleeping with a bar of soap between your sheets may ward off leg cramps, who knew? I am at the point that sleeping with a bar of soap doesn't sound all that crazy. So has anyone else tried this or heard about this? Is there any truth to it? I think I will try it regardless. I mean if nothing else, I can always use it to hit Todd when he snores and that may result in at least a little more sleep.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Are they sure?

So last week I was pretty sure the sky was falling, the world was coming to an end and there was no possible way I could board a plane. I was special ordering $300 face masks, stockpiling Cream of Mushroom soup and revising my will. I was afraid to go outdoors or check the news.

Today I'm finding out the government doesn't even know what a pandemic means and that this Influenza A (H1N1) business is no worse than the regular flu.

Now I don't know whether or not to cancel the $300 face masks, if it's safe to go outside or if I even like Cream of Mushroom soup.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Baby Sean at 23 weeks

I wanted to share this picture with you yesterday but my computer and blogger in draft were not cooperating but this morning I managed to get it loaded in a convoluted manner that worked well enough.
Not as scary as the 1976 swine flu commercials and much more charming than Morrissey, at least as far as I can tell.

Friday, May 1, 2009

23 Weeks Already?

This is the fastest pregnancy ever. OK, I'm exaggerating, but it just felt like I was pregnant with the twins for maybe six or seven years. OK, I'm still exaggerating, which I am prone to by the way, but I can't believe in just a few days we reach viability.

This morning I went for my 'free' ultrasound. It had better be free because it only lasted about 10 minutes and there was no real measuring or scanning of the baby. Just a few quick shots for the video. The heartbeat was 146 BPM and the baby, there is no mistake about it, is 100% a boy. I was explaining to the tech that it was important for me to get the video because Todd hadn't been able to make it to any of the ultrasounds. So what did she do? She switched to the 3/D ultrasound and let me tell you it was both freaky and absolutely amazing. She didn't do it for very long because we weren't paying for it, but she did get the babies face. We could clearly see babies nose (looks a little like Cooper's) and babies philtrum dimple and column (that look like Bailey's). We saw a hand with five fingers and baby sucking on his lower lip. A pretty awesome experience and the DVD worked this time!!!

I took a 23 week photo but I was so disappointed in my plumpness and it's lack of roundedness that I decided that it would be best for my self esteem if I waited a week in hopes of sharing a more rounded shot.