Friday, March 25, 2011

Angels and Demons: The Tale of Two Delta Flight Crews

Over the lasts two months, I've taken four flights with Miss Paige. One round trip to NY, and most recently a round trip to San Diego. All Delta. And I have to say I really took the flight crews on the first three of the four flights for granted. Both ways - to and from NY - were fabulous as far as the flight crew is concerned. My personal comfort is secondary - all I really care about is keeping Miss Paige from having a complete meltdown, therefore keeping myself from having a complete meltdown. And the flight crew can have a major role in this. Smiles, waves and Biscoff cookies go a long way in keeping a baby content while on a cramped airplane. Here is a picture of Paige on the return flight from NY last month:

Happy as a clam. Double-fisting the Biscoff cookies. And happy passengers around us.

And this is a picture of Paige on the flight to San Diego... Excited. Happy. Content. Why? Becasue the flight attendants were trying their best to play nice, despite the demands of a full plane. The Biscoffs were definitely flowing, and an hour after take-off, Paige was in dream land. All was well in the world.

And now take a look at this third picture... Taken mid-flight on the way home from San Diego... "One of these things is not like the other, not like the other". And so begins the "demon" portion of this tale... No, I'm not referring to Miss Paige. I'm referring to the evil Delta flight attendant who made it her mission to make baby - and parents - raging maniacs.

Before we even took off, I knew things were going to get ugly. I saw the flight attendant roll her eyes when she saw us get on the plane. Daniel saw it too, and immediately shook his head at me as if to say, "Let it slide..." So I did. But mama wasn't happy. So we took off without incident, except the Demon flight attendant's constant barrage to meanness over the PA system, reminding passengers it would be their own faults if this flight didn't take off on time. I have an idea, lady - how about you offer some assistance to passengers instead of yelling a them?! Just a thought... We timed this flight with Paige's nap time so she would sleep through most of the flight. About 30 minutes after take-off, Paige was snoozing. All was well in the world - Mama was reading. Daddy was working on his laptop. And then the Demon decided it was time for the beverage cart to make an appearance. Not a big deal. EXCEPT when she parks said beverage cart RIGHT NEXT TO THE SLEEPING BABY! And then instead of continue moving it down the aisle, she screams to each seat behind us, "Want some soda?!"  I was in the window seat with smoke coming out of my ears. Daniel was in the aisle seat and asked her nicely to move the cart down the row. She said no, and proceeded to shake the ice around as if she was in a production of "Stomp". Then she turns into our aisle, looks right at sleeping Paige, and in full-demon mode she screams, "Does the baby want some soda?!" At this point, Paige jumps awake, startled, and sees the Wicked Witch of Delta staring straight at her. Her eyes get big and round and she begins to scream at the top of her lungs. Tears start flowing. And you would think the Demon would move on at that point - but she didn't. She looked at Daniel and said again, "Does she want some soda NOW?!" Daniel looked at her, now also with steam coming out his ears, and said in his I'm about to punch you in the face if you don't get away from me right this second (which, BTW, I've only seen two other times in the near decade I've known him, both times directed at total idiots), "She.Is. A. Baby. She. Doesn't! Drink! Soda!" The Delta Demon rolled her eyes and finally moved her cart. Paige, on the other hand, didn't move on and cried uncontrollably for another 30 minutes.

And you probably think that is the worst of it, right? Wrong! The Delta Demon struck again on our way off the plane. Because of our sizable load to maneuver off the plane, we stayed in our seats until everyone had exited the plane so we wouldn't hold up people trying to make connections. And just as we were making our way down the aisle with baby, car seat, diaper bag and carry-on in tow - literally just 60 seconds after the last passenger had gotten off the plane - I hear the static of the PA system turn on. I look up and see the Delta Demon glaring at us through her magnifying glasses, perched on the tip of her nose. She then says, "Would you mind moving a little faster? We all have another flight to catch and you are taking FOREVER!" I swear. She really said that. Exactly. And began flagging us up with her hand. Daniel was in front of me and I heard him saying, "Deep breaths... deep breaths." I'm pretty sure he was directing himself to calm down, but I took his words for me as well and made a judgment call NOT to punch her in the face as we passed by her. However, I gave her a major stink eye, at which she smirked.

Let it be known I didn't hold my tongue for long... once we got Paige's diaper changed and a bagel for her to munch on, I was on the phone with Delta. I told all. I named names. And I don't know if they will ever say anything to this particular Demon flight attendant, but I felt better about it. And if you see the Delta Demon on a flight you are on, take those magnifying glasses off the tip of her nose and break them. Because that's what I wish I would have done... that would have really given me "closure" : )

The Babymoon

Some couples go on "Babymoons" - the last hoorah vacation before baby arrives. Well, I guess the first time around, our Honeymoon doubled as our Babymoon, since we found out we were prego not even 24 hours after we returned from the white sandy beaches of Mexico. This time around, we weren't planning any big vacay before Lil D arrived. But, we did want to make some special memories with Miss Paige during her last months as an only child, especially since her time in the sun as an only child was pretty short : ) And as luck would have it, I ended up winning an all-expense-paid trip to San Diego! I know what you are thinking... "Won? Yeah right! Like when those telemarketers call on the phone and tell you you won a cruise, and all you have to do is buy 500 subscriptions to Cat Fancy magazine?" But I really did! And it had nothing to do with this blog, sponsorship, getting paid, etc. Suprising, I know : ) Last summer/fall I entered a contest through Tiny Prints ( to "Name The New Logo". I guess they were going through some sort of re-branding at the time and decided upon a new logo of an elephant. And this elephant needed a name. Randomly, I entered the name "Ollie". Not overly creative for an elephant name, but I thought it was super cute. And I guess lots of other people did too, because I won the contest! The prize was a trip for me and my family to San Diego to see the new elephant exhibit at the San Diego Zoo! So cool, right? What can I say, I'm a lucky duck.

So last week we packed up our bags and headed out for a fun-filled adventure to the West Coast. They put us up in a great resort right on Mission Bay. We spent one whole day at the Zoo, where Paige discovered a new love for animals - specifically Giraffes, Zebras and Camels. Camels? Yup - camels. I think she identified with their strong odor : ) One came right up to her and it was love at first sight. Since meeting Mr. Camel (as he is now referred to), Paige has been making an interesting face. I've yet to catch it on camera, but it kind of looks like this:

Cute on Paige. Scary on Mr. Camel.

It was a little chilly in San Diego so we didn't get to hit the beaches or pool. But we did some shopping, eating and sleeping. And most importantly, we spent lots of quality time as a family of 3. Although Lil D did make his presence known through constant kicks, punches and daily Tae Bo sessions.

The next few posts will detail our journey to and from (and during) our "Babymoon plus Paige". Fun times... for the most part!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Walk it Out... Or Maybe Not

When Paige pulled herself up for the first time at 9 months, and started cruising around (walking while holding onto things)a few weeks later, I figured walking would soon follow. I mean, isn't that the logical next step? Well... Miss Paige had other plans. 11 months, 12 months, 13 months... no walking. She was very content cruising her way around the house, and dropping down to a quick crawl if there wasn't a clear path of "handles" that led to her destination. She could stand on her own for a significant amount of time. Dance. Bend over and pick something up from standing. But walking? Not so much. We're now at 14 and a half months... 2 weeks away from the "deadline" of normalcy that my doctor offered up... and she is FINALLY taking steps on her own. (Cue the angles singing...) HALLELUJAH! I wouldn't quite classify her as walking yet, but she is definitely taking three or four steps at a time on her own, then tumbling over. Luckily she doesn't seem too phased by falling, and it certainly isn't dampening her spirit for movement.

However, this walking thing - or lack there of - has seriously stressed me out. Everyone tells me it shouldn't, but it really has. I of course jump to the instant conclusion that I'm not doing something right. You know what I mean... that feeling that creeps over you when you are overly tired, haven't taken a shower in two days, and just got smacked in the side of the head with a flying piece of apple? That little voice that says, "Um. You kind of suck as a mom." A classic case of mommy guilt. I think to myself - "Jeez! I stay home with her. Play with her, read to her, teach her all day long. Why can't I figure out how to teach her to walk??"

What is it about us mamas that makes us personally burden every little negative thing (or things perceived as negative) that arises, as if we did something to create it, deserve it, etc.? From day one, it's always something. She isn't breastfeeding? Must be me. She is crying? Must be me. She keeps waking up in the middle of the night? Must be me. And then we wrack our brains trying to figure out what we did, and how we could do things differently next time for a better result. And no matter how supportive our spouses, friends and families are... no matter how many people tell us that everything is ok and totally normal... we still walk around thinking we're not doing enough, doing it right, or keeping up our end of the deal as "Mommy of the Year."

It's weird because I've never been one of those mamas who thinks everything has to be perfect. I pretty much go with the flow on any given day and don't get too worked up over the little things. But even I am struck with regular spells of mommy guilt. You would think if you told yourself "things aren't going to be perfect..." then you could build up immunity to mommy guilt. But you can't. And that's why God created Chardonnay : ) Just kidding... kind of.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Modern Mama Coupon Clipping

Thank you to P&G’s Have You Tried This Yet? program and Kroger for sponsoring my writing about trying new things and breaking out of my everyday routine. Click here to find great savings on high-performing P&G products at a Kroger store near you. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.

My friends at P&G and Kroger challenged me to step outside my comfort zone and try something new. I HATE routine and am always up for a change - major or minor - so this was right up my alley. A few months back I wrote a post about making our money stretch (literally, every single dollar) so I could stay home with Miss Paige (read that post by clicking HERE). In the post I noted there was one major place I could cut back, and really SHOULD do more of, but I just hadn't yet... and that is clipping coupons (cue dramatic music). Something about sitting down with a stack of coupons and my handy dandy scissors made me cringe. Not because I think I'm above it or anything like that - but more so because I feel like it would take SO much time for very little ROI. But, in the name of trying something new, I decided to become a coupon clipper. Well - sort of. More of like a coupon PRINTER and electronic coupon DOWNLOADER : ) I started by searching for products that I use all the time and buy on every shopping trip - bread, spaghetti sauce, chicken, toilet paper - and seeing if the manufacturers offered any printable coupons on their websites. Lo and behold - they did! Maybe I'm the only fool who never did this before, but I was really impressed with all the coupons available. On some of the sites you have to sign up for email newsletters - which is kind of annoying - but with the newsletters I found you receive coupons for $1.00 off everyday products - which can make a big difference! Here is the P&G one which is pretty great:

And then - during my searching - I came across something I consider utterly amazing... downloadable digital coupons! HELLLLLLLO?! Where have you been all my life?! I happen to do all my food shopping at Kroger, and if you go to and click on "In Store" and then "Coupons", you'll be amazed at this whole new world of savings that will open up right before your eyes. I know - I'm being a little dramatic. But for someone who's never done anything like this before, it really is pretty cool. In a nutshell, you register your Kroger swipey card thing (the one the cashier swipes anyway whenever you shop)... and then you click through all the coupons and click which ones you want downloaded RIGHT ONTO YOUR SWIPEY CARD. Genius! 

So here's to turning over a new leaf, saving money, and keeping Mama at home another few years : ) Thanks Kroger and P&G for the inspiration... I owe ya one! 

Friday, March 4, 2011

10 Things Never to Say to a Mama

I found these hilarious lists on and I just had to share... Happy Friday!

10 Things Never to Say to a Stay-at-Home Mom

1. When the kids are older, do you think you'll get a real job?

2. How June Cleaver of you!

3. Oh, so you don't work?

4. Since you have extra time on your hands, could you whip up a few dozen brownies for the bake sale tomorrow?

5. All day with your kids? I can't even imagine.

6. I'm jealous. I wish my husband were rich so I wouldn't have to work either.

7. What do you do all day, anyway?

8. I'm sure you're not the only one who's ever wasted money on a college degree.

9. That explains why your son is so clingy!

10. Weird. I assumed your house would be superclean.

—Candy Kirby of, with help from her Twitter followers and friends

10 Things Never to Say to a Working Mom
1. It must be hard missing all those special moments every day.

2. I suppose it's smart that you're working. You know, in case your husband leaves you some day.

3. I'm surprised you went back to work. Your husband seems so successful.

4. It's cute when they call your nanny "Mama."

5. I just love my kids too much to leave them during the day.

6. Did you see Dateline? The one with the hidden camera in the day care?

7. I could never let someone else raise my children. But that's just me!

8. I hated my mom because she was never home after school like everyone else's mom.

9. You must feel so guilty.

10. I wish I were as laid-back as you and could just let the housework go.

—Liz Gumbinner of, with help from her blog readers