Friday, February 9, 2018

Spreading wings

A is off at a union training this week. He’s spending the whole week at the headquarters in trainings and being wined and dined. There was an opportunity for spouses to attend as well, but really, who am I going to find to watch three kids for a week. Plus I’m still nursing baby girl. Plus I’m out of time off right now due to maternity leave. So maybe another time. But he says he is learning a lot. I can’t wait for him to come home and tell me how tired he is after sleeping alone, undisturbed, in a hotel room and not having any early shows and late finishes...

He has about 9 weeks left before he finally goes to upgrade class.  Being gone for training and back on reserve is going to be a big change for us. But it’s a step that is very needed and well overdue on several fronts. I think A is actually a bit nervous about a big training event. Even though he did fine at his most recent training event. But before he goes there, he’s finally scheduled an interview with the big dogs. It’s through a quasi-flow through type program with his airline but an interview is an interview. And moving to a legacy would change our lives.

We have friends from church whom the husband was recently diagnosed with cancer. We have brought dinner and generally reached out to provide support. But the thought of cancer STILL brings up anxiety in me. I don’t think it will ever go away. Blessedly, we are all healthy and the kids are growing well. Baby girl has gained 9 pounds in her first six months and recently had the honor of modeling a onsie with A’s company logo; the same one her two older brothers have worn.

Happy weekend!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

You can tell it’s Christmas from the glitter on my ass

The post title says it all, doesn’t it? Even though I used our dining room table to stage our decorations and we went low key this year with a baby and a preschooler in the house, glitter mysteriously shows up everywhere- our couch, in Babygirl’s ears, on our socks... it’s pervasive. We’ll spend six months picking it up and washing it off. And no matter how much cleaning we do, more just appears in our home, caused mainly by the influx of glitter laden crafts coming home and by 2 year old C constantly pulling ornaments off the tree. This year I splurged and bought a dozen shatterproof ornaments and a dozen wood and metal ornaments and that’s all that’s on our tree. The whole bottom two feet of the tree is unadorned but still- ornaments on the floor and glitter everywhere.

A did not grow up with Christmas trees or holiday traditions. His family did not celebrate holidays. But he saw it all on tv. Which had given him a somewhat skewed vision of what an average holiday season looks like for an average family. He always wants a designer tree and decorations, a huge family dinner, cocoa, cookies, snow, the works. The first few years he scoffed at my mismatched ornaments and window clings. But now that we have 13 years of memory making behind us he sees the emotions behind the mismatched ornaments and the kid’s excitement at being able to decorate their windows themselves.

I do like to have coordinating gift wraps under the tree and since I’m the one who buys the wrap, it usually works out favorably. Until we mix in presents given to us by other people...  we don’t have a lot of presents, but it’s enough. Our kids have plenty of stuff as it is. Our budget is usually $150 to $200 per person. A conducted an informal poll of his copilots and found that the large majority of people he asked spent about $1000 per person. Both our minds were blown. Completely. I guess if we bought big ticket items every year then maybe, but for the life of me I can’t imagine spending that much money on each kid every year.

We are in luck this year, maybe for the last year, in that A will be home for Christmas. He is actually going to be home for the next three weeks straight which leaves him to do all the errands and running around we need done. And be here to celebrate the season with us. And constantly brush the glitter off his ass.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Odds and Ends

A left yesterday for his third and final retraining event. This time he's gone for 4 full days because he has a union meeting backed up against his simulator sessions. We still don't have a December schedule for him because the company won't build one until he completes retraining. Usually he gets good December schedules and is able to bid a lot of time off around his vacation, but it doesn't seem like that will be the case this year. He will just get what the schedulers decide to throw at him. He will be home for Christmas though as that is his vacation week. At least we have that.

Currently he is the FO rep at his base. The CA rep is also the chairman of the group and is the one responsible for running the group- emails, meetings, conference calls- that sort of thing. There is a new CA rep as the old one moved to a new airline. Now there is a second election to determine who is going to be the new chairman; it doesn't just default to the CA rep like A assumed. Both A and the CA rep voted for each other. A is not the most organized or time aware person and it's going to cut into a lot of his time at home to stay on top of things.

A has brought home two funny stories recently. An old friend of his who left flying and then went back to a cargo airline flew with a "flat- earther". The guy has all kinds of mathematical "proof" that the earth was in fact flat- tricks in compass polarity and all. I wonder if this guy has ever flown a polar route or made an around the world trip and how he would explain it. Seems surprising that a pilot of all people would believe that kind of thing. The second story was another pilot friend who was flying home from a retraining event and was sitting a row behind and opposite a new hire from the same (regional) airline who was coming home from training. While they were waiting for a gate at the end of the flight the guy proceeded to put on his headphones and chat loudly on the phone about how well he did during training, how great he was at Embry-Riddle, and all the girls he had banged during training. He made sure to mention the company name several times.  Way to make a great impression. I guess there will never be an end to the dumb-ass new hires. A's friend did stop the guy in the jetway (without identifying himself) and tell the guy he needed to use a little more discretion because you never know who is listening in. Mr. New Hire is going to feel like an ass for the rest of his career every time he sees the older, wiser pilot, which will be a lot as they are based at the same base.

In other news, Baby Girl is starting to outgrow some of her infant things. I love watching her grow but it's bittersweet knowing that she is our last baby. Passing on the Moses Basket that our babies have slept in and weeding through the clothes that all our babies have worn is really hard. In the past it's been easy because we could just throw it in a bin and know it will get use later. Now, not so much. The fewer kids that have used items, the easier it is, but those things that three or four kids have been through, man that's tough.

Sweet baby girl celebrating Thanksgiving

Friday, November 10, 2017

Returning to flight

i returned to work after maternity leave last week. While I enjoyed staying home, I am also relieved to be free of the monotony of housework and constantly repeating variations of “don’t touch that”, “get off that”, and “put your pants back on”. My work day is filled with working with parents and digging out juicy details like whether they have a car seat. A is still at home for a few more weeks until he goes back to recurrent training. He has been an invaluable help getting things done during the day and helping with our night time checklist. Dinner, clean up, lunches, decanting pumped breastmilk into bottles and freezer bags like an alchemist... it’s all chaotic at this point. A goes back next week and that’s when the training wheels will really come off. We’ll make it work, just like we always do- not like we have a choice really, we can’t give the baby back now. I think chaos will become our new norm with A moving up to a captain slot where he’ll be significantly less senior for bidding and his hopeful transition to a major down the road. In the meantime, we’ll just continue to live by our mottos of “figure it out” and “get ‘er done”. Because what other choice are we given really?

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Lactation iced tea

This post is unrelated to what I normally post about but I wanted to make this into something I could pin on Pinterest.

As a breastfeeding, working mother I always have worries about my milk supply and making sure I have enough pumped milk for my baby while we are apart. I am also tandem nursing my 24 month old occasionally as well and worry about maintaining my supply for two. I have used lactation teas in the past with what I assume to be success as I have successfully nursed two children past age two and still been able to donate more than six gallons of milk to a milk bank. Yes, I was blessed in the supply department.

 I like lactation teas, my favorite being this one from Earth Mama Angel Baby. But I don’t always feel like drinking a cup of hot tea. Especially during our hot Florida summers (and springs and falls). Years ago I found a recipe for making my own iced tea as our local, ubiquitous sweet tea can sometimes be too sweet and not refreshing. My own tea tastes lighter and not as sweet. I can drink it like flavored water and feel good about what I’m drinking.

The combination of being home on maternity leave during the hot late summer and being gifted with a huge amount of Mothers Milk tea by Traditional Medicinals to our local La Leche League group for World Breastfeeding Week led me to do some experimenting. And I found a tea that is easy to make, tastes good and feels like it does the job. Like when I wake up in the morning after drinking a few glasses the day before I am so full I have to round up the toddler to take a hit to be more comfortable. I can easily tell whether I’ve had tea the day before. I like to add an extra teabag of a fruity flavored tea because I find the cardamom flavor of the Traditional Medicinals a bit strong. So far I have tried Country Peach Passion by Celestial Seasonings (which is my go to for regular homemade iced tea- delish!) and Orange & Spice by Bigelow because that's what I have on hand, but other flavors will likely work equally well.

My recipe is 6 cups of water, 6-7 tea bags and a tablespoon of sugar or so. It's that simple. Here it is in steps:

Boil 3 cups of water and pour into a pitcher
 Add 6 bags of Mother's Milk (or another brand) tea to steep
Add an additional bag of a fruit/herbal tea if desired
Steep for 10-15 minutes (I do 15, do less for a less strong flavor)
Remove tea bags
Add sweetener of choice to taste- I use 1 TBS of sugar to give a barely sweet taste. The trick is to dissolve the sweetener in the hot tea
Add 3 cups water/ice

Drink as desired. I often drink the entire pitcher during the course of a day to stay hydrated.

*no one paid me any money or gave me any products to encourage me to post this recipe, nor do I benefit from the links. It's all out of my own goodwill*

This post and recipe originally appeared on the blog Oh the Life of a Pilot's Wife