Nov/08
26

Finally, a bit of good news.

After a 4 1/2 hour flight and a 3 1/2 hour drive, we have arrived at our first Thanksgiving destination.

The children were wonderful, even baby J. He took a 2 hour nap on the plane and had the most awful lunch and dinner (fast food) and was strapped in his car seat for an entire day & he was still sweet as pie.

So, we’re here. We survived. Now we are ready to eat some turkey!

Gobble, gobble,

Annie

Nov/08
25

4:18 AM : After incorrectly adding, rather than subtracting, 2 hours to central time, Jeff texts my phone to ask if I am on the plane. Loud chime.

4:20 AM: Awake. Decide to get an early start, take shower. Notice house is unusually cold. Turn up heat.

6 AM: Depart for airport. We have everything but it’s hectic.

6:50: Receive boarding passes. All four of us are split up, including the baby. The ticket agent tells me to “ask someone to trade with me on the plane”. We have only middle seats.

7:20 After waiting for 10 minutes in security line, realize I have left Jman’s diaper bag in the front seat of the car. We all make a run for the airport parking lot, retrieve the bag, and get back in line.

7:40 At first security checkpoint, realize that the ticket agent has not given us a boarding pass for M. Run back to the ticket desk where they give us the boarding pass and we get back in security line.

8:10 AM: As we arrive at gate, plane is already boarding. No one has had anything to eat yet.

8:20 AM: Plane very crowded. Someone kindly volunteers to switch seats so the baby doesn’t have to sit alone. Prepare for take-off.

8:40: Still waiting for take-off.

9 AM: Announcement from pilot that a baggage truck has run into the plane, punching a hole in the side. He asks us to wait for more information on the damage.

9:15 AM: Children starving, baby crabby and restless. Try to ration cheerios and raisin snacks between the three of them.

9:30: Pilot announces that the crew has emailed pictures to Houston and is waiting for a response to see if the problem can be fixed. Passengers start getting off. I stay on.

9:40 AM: Flight cancelled.

10:05: Remove everything and struggle off the plane to the terminal. Call Jeff to ask him to get on the phone and reroute us while I feed the kids.

10:25: Mid-breakfast, Jeff calls to say that only gate agents in Seattle are allowed to reroute passengers to other airlines with earlier flights. My only option over the phone is a red eye at 11:50 PM.

10:45 AM: Hustle over to ticket counter. Heart sinks. Line is incredibly long. Baby J is fussy because it is his naptime.

11 AM: In line.

11:30: Still in line. Strike up friendship with young mother with toddler. Her husband is deployed In Iraq and she’s flying for the first time . She is excited that the airline will put her up in a hotel for the night until I tell her she will not have her luggage. She’s frantic. She has no money. I empty my diaper bag and give her all but one of my diapers, wipes, snacks, and my extra baby t-shirt so she can make a flight to her halfway point for the hotel stay.

12:00: Still in line.

12:30: Still in line. Baby incredibly crabby. As I struggle to hold him, I drop my iphone, which falls on the ground and shatters.

1:00 Still in line.

1:40 ish: Finally helped. All Houston bound flights are full, including red eye. Put on a stand-by flight tomorrow. Unable to get bags, they have already left Seattle. Unknown when we will see them again.

1:45 PM: Gathering things to go home, we notice that Jman’s car seat is missing. We are baffled. All other carry-on bags are in place next to line in a pile but car seat is missing. I know it was there because I carried it myself.

2:45 PM: After extensive discussion with security and repeated checks of lost and found, determine that J’s carseat has been STOLEN.

2:45: Baby comfort level is critical. He is screaming, sweaty, and frantic. Cannot reach any friends on cell. Decide to drive home without car seat. Decide my driving is safer than a cab. Call Jeff. Jeff objects. Have big fight. Hang up on Jeff.

4 PM: After driving for an hour and 15 minutes on side roads at 30 miles an hour with my hazard lights blinking, we arrive home. J is sleeping in his brother’s lap, with the seat belt buckled over them both.

4:02: Open front door. House is freezing, though thermostat is set at 72. Determine furnace has stopped working.

4:10: Realize that fertility medicine is packed in my suitcase and that I will miss my shots tonight. Race to get extra carseat installed, load EXHAUSTED children in car, drive to clinic across town before they close. En route, call furnace repair.

4:15: Stuck in traffic, realize I have large amount of dog poop on one shoe.

4:50 PM: Fighting traffic, I realize that I have no food or diapers at house. Detour to store.

5:45: Arrive home with delirious children, meet furnace guy. Begin cleaning dog poop footprints off carpet.

6 PM: Jeff saves the day. He calls to say he has been at the airline’s hub airport all afternoon with supervisors, has booked us on a flight leaving at 11:15 in the morning, and that he is boarding a flight back to Seattle to come home tonight. He will turn around and fly with us in the morning. Oh, how I love the man.

8:07 PM: So…how was your day?

Annie

Nov/08
23

I know this sounds whiney…

but this is a single day’s worth of mail for us. I estimate it was several pounds of paper. Out of this stack, I had TWO envelopes that were important.

Because I shop for most everything online,  I am on the mailing list for every catalogue on the planet and apparently my name keeps getting sold, putting me on even more lists. Until recently, the amount of paper I was having to deal with was somewhat manageable but recently it has exploded.

Time to do something.

Enter Earth Class Mail, a service that allows you to have your mail forwarded to a PO Box at their company, they open and scan all your mail, and send it to you via email. If you want a particular piece of mail, you can indicate that on the email and it gets sent DHL, usually in one day.

I know this sounds intense for a personal address but I really can’t tell you how much time I am spending sorting through pounds of catalogues, mailers, flyers and appeals every week, trying to find the one or two relevant things per day.

The only problem is financial documents but I think I can probably arrange to have those sent electronically as well.

I’ll be your guinea pig, okay?

Annie