Monday, December 31, 2007

A return to flying

A was cleared by his doctor to return to flying after the 1st of the year! Three weeks ago I wouldn't have thought it possible, but with the help of some great physical therapists, he's ready to go. So good-bye weekends and days off that we actually want. His first trip is at the end of the week. He's going back as a lineholder too, which is a nice bonus. No more reserve days or relief lines for us- we'll actually get a schedule 3 weeks ahead of time, not 3 days.

I think he's a little nervous about getting back into the plane after so much time off, but I know it will come back as soon as he slips into that seat. He'll have a few chart revisions to wade through before he can even get into the cockpit though. A is seriously the most random accident prone person I have ever known. I give it a few months before it's something else. And I say that with love, I really do.

Now that I've finally gotten used to A being home and we've settled into a routine, it's going to be hard to give it up again. It's so easy to be able to pawn off chores that I hate like vacuuming and grocery shopping onto someone else... And so nice to have someone to roll my eyes at when something crazy happens. A and Kidzilla have spent extended time together since school is out for the holidays and it's been really great for their relationship. And for A to see what it's like for me to spend day after day with Kidzilla with no reprieve. This break has been a learning experience for all of us, mostly in good ways.

Kidzilla and I are also taking to the skies soon; in an attempt to fly cross country solely on A's regional. Barring any weather problems, we'll be touring the country via New Orleans, Austin and Oklahoma City, before our final destination in CA. Once we land, we'll still have a 1.5 hour drive to get where we need to be. It will be a great adventure for us and probably much more fun than the court hearing we have to go out there for (which should be a victory in my favor though). The 5 hour layover in the tiny Austin, TX airport will probably be the least exciting part.

The new year is bringing new opportunities and challenges to us already. We have been working and planning for what this new year will bring and are ready to make the jump. We are expecting another roller-coaster year of changes and ups and downs, this time mainly self-imposed, as we finally get settled in to a new life. The unexpected is what makes life fun right?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Small victories

Hooray for Christmas, it's almost here! Gifts have been ordered, shopping lists have been made, and it's 80 degrees outside today. Feels like Christmas is on it's way.

We passed our anniversary. 3 years since our first date and 1 year married. It was pretty anticlimatic really since we lack the funds to do anything more than go to dinner. But A promised me that one day I would get my second honeymoon complete with either a heart shaped in room swimming pool or a champagne glass bathtub. If those two super cheesy attractions exist, I must experience them.

A's arm is healing. He went for a follow up apt yesterday and now has to go for some physical therapy. Seems the break was in a bad spot and there is some scar tissue building up that is inhibiting his mobility. Or something like that. He continues to walk around with his arm frozen in a weird Bob Dole like bend. I keep offering him a pen for his hand and he keeps telling me what I can do with said pen... Last night we had a good laugh over whether he could pass off his oddly angled chicken wing as healed and fly again. We're still unsure if he'll be ready to fly by the start of the new year.

A is headed out to ONT to tie up some loose ends he left due to his unexpected month long vacation. So for one night, I get the bed back to myself again. It's been over 2 full weeks since I've had any time alone, without either A or Kidzilla around. These past two weeks have not been without incident as we've worked to assimilate A into our full time lives. One day I caught myself wondering when he was going to leave again already b/c I was getting annoyed with him interfering with some kitchen related activity. It was his 4th day home. Then there was the Christmas Tree Debacle which involved the return of all of our newly purchased tree decorations until we could work things out. I sent him shopping and was unhappy with his choice of toilet paper. I'm sure it's been just as difficult for him trying to get used to the incessent noise of a kid in the house and the lack of restaurant quality dinner selections every evening.

There is a lot of time that I feel really happy with the life I have chosen and feel that it works really well for us- I'm much to independant and headstrong to live with A on a full time basis. He would go crazy having to deal with me all the time. But at the same time, it sure is nice to have him home.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

How to get out of working the holidays when you have low seniority

Fall while playing with your kid and break your elbow.

Yep, A was outside doing dad things with Kidzilla when he fell and broke his elbow. He saw the specialist today and was given a 4 week reprieve from work. It could have been much worse, this break didn't require pins or an actual cast- just a splint and a sling.

It's a heck of a length to go to to get the holidays off, but it seems to have worked.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

What I give thanks for

Happy Thanksgiving!

For those of us who, like me, who are spending it away from our partners, I feel for you. Hopefully you've found some replacement family or friends to keep you occupied on one of the biggest family holidays. I'll be spending the day with friends, while A spends it on a long overnight in Tucson, AZ.

This year, I'm thankful for a lot of things:
  • My son and his omnipresent love for life and his Mama.
  • My husband and his ever tolerant love of me depsite some of my more charming flaws, my compulsion to air our dirty laundry online, and for humoring me about my crush on "the landscaper dad" at Kidzilla's school (affectionally known as "Someday's back-up plan").
  • That I was the one who was able to help my husband attain his dream job. Seeing the light in his eyes when he talks about flying and knowing the gratitude he feels to me for all of the encouragement and sacrifice makes it all worth it.
  • That my parents are alive, healthy and live on the other side of the U.S. from us.
  • That we have shelter and food, b/c there have been times that I felt like we were on the verge of losing one or the other.
  • For all my friends (virtual and real life) who have helped me through the last few years of my life by giving me encouragement and/or advice, lending an ear and sometimes just saying "I hear ya Sister".

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

All about time

been meaning to write this for a while, but have been super busy at work, my prime writing time, and compulsively watching Sex and the City series DVD's at home

Sometimes I feel like our life is ruled by time. It's an all encompassing master. And sometimes the master orders me and A to be on different times. Which can be hard to reconcile.

We live in different time zones. 4 hours apart. When I want to call him, I have to stop and think about how early it is there (b/c hey, despite what crew scheduling thinks, no one appreciates a 4am call). When he gets in from his last flight, he has to stop and think what time it is here before he calls to tell me he's done and safe. He spends most of his time in the Pacific and Mountain time zones here, which makes it easy for him to adjust when he's flying on trips and is in a different place every night. It makes it hard though, when he comes home to the east coast. He wants me to stay up with him, but I'm tired and have to work in the morning. I want him to wake up and go to breakfast on Saturday, but it's 3 hours earlier than he is used to. It has caused a lot of arguments for us, but once I stopped taking his tiredness personally, it's getting better.

I have no idea what A does with his time. Sometimes he doesn't know either. I know what I would LIKE him to be doing with his time (mostly paying bills, looking for a new crashpad or base trade, doing his prm's and finding new routes home), but I can only make suggestions. It frustrates me when I hear that he and the CA went out and did XYZ, but that he hasn't had time to do what I asked him to take care of. From here, it SEEMS like he has plenty of time to be taking care of small thing while he's on the road. I can't say that time management has ever been his strong point though, that's always been relegated to me. But we're working on it.

A gets a lot more days off than I do. It's hard not to be jealous. When he's home from a trip, he wants to be off duty, with no responsibilities. BUT when he's home, I want help with MY responsibilities. It's a fine line to walk. Is it fair for him to not have to do anything because he's "off"? I don't ever get a chance to be off, especially not for a few days weekly. I consider his time away from us as his time off from having childcare and housekeeping responsibilities. So when he comes home, he's on again. Because that's when I MIGHT get my time off. It is frustrating to no end to have things that I need/want him to take care of on his days off and have him not do it. Some girlfriend long ago must have told him that his helplessness was cute, but it just doesn't fly with me.

Spending time apart doesn't faze us much. Today A is starting another 4 day trip. He didn't have enough time to come home after his last one (damn CAL employees hogging all the seats on their own flights!) so he's in the middle of a 11 day stretch gone. I'm looking forward to having him home again next week, but all the same, it's not that big of a deal to me. I was commended this morning (by A) for the feigned enthusiasm in my voice telling him how much I missed him. "Why of course I miss you baby, I'm counting the minutes until you are home again!". It's disappointing to have 4 days off work and not be able to spend them with him, but missing the actually holiday isn't that big of a deal.

In less than 2 weeks is our anniversary- 3 years together and 1 year married. The time is flying and I can't believe everything we've been through. It's hard to say which was harder, year #2- when we moved to FL and tackled school and instructing or year #3 when we took on getting hired, training and early life with a regional. Both have had their challenges but also their sweet moments as well. Hopefully the next year will being many more good times.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Happy 100th post!

Wow, I never thought I'd manage to keep going long enough to make 100 posts. It's all the great friends and readers I have who keep me going. We're all in this together!

In order to keep it celebratory, here's a little something I found on another site (original thread here).

I Wanna Be a RJ Driver
**To the tune of Rockstar by Nickelback**

I'm through with waiting in line to take off runway ten
Sitting next to a student that stinks like gin
This job hasn't turned out quite the way I want it to be

I want a brand new jet that I can learn in the sim
And a crashpad I can play Tetris in
And a king size case that'll carry all my charts for me

I'll need a Sallie Mae loan that's got no limit
And a nine leg day with no lunch break in it
Gonna raid the galley cart so I can just get some food in me

I want a dark crew bus with no suspension
Ride with a dozen other pilots who don't have pensions
To some cheap hotel where the mattress smells like pee

I'm gonna trade this life for flying a plane
Might even wear sunglasses and frost my mane

Cuz we all just wanna be airline stars
Live in slum flop houses driving old junk cars
The girls run screaming but my callsign's sweet
We'll all stay skinny cuz we just can't eat

And we'll get kicked out of the hotel bar
Eating ramen bricks and a candy bar
Every flight attendant's gonna think I'm square
Every Ipod wearer with the frost-tipped hair

Hey hey I wanna fly an RJ
Hey hey I wanna fly an RJ

I wanna bid each month and try to hold a line
Get stuck on reserve every single time
Commute 19 hours so I can live with my parents for free

I'm gonna dress up in the latest Sporty's fashion
I'm running low on socks so I'd better ration
Gonna work on holidays and never have a weekend free

I'm gonna trade this life for flying a plane
Might even wear sunglasses and frost my mane

Cuz we all just wanna be airline stars
Live in slum flop houses driving old junk cars
The girls run screaming but my callsign's sweet
We'll all stay skinny cuz we just can't eat

And we'll get kicked out of the hotel bar
Eating ramen bricks and a candy bar
Every flight attendant's gonna think I'm square
Every Ipod wearer with the frost-tipped hair

And we'll hide out from the FAA
With the latest regulations and a 110A
They'll take away your cert with that evil smile
Everybody's got an ALPA rep on speed dial

Hey hey I wanna fly an RJ

Gonna shoot an ILS and pray for FD capture
Gonna get bent over by some dispatcher
Get stuck in an arrival sequence 12 planes long
Let the autopilot fly so I don't get it wrong

Cuz we all just wanna be airline stars
Live in slum flop houses driving old junk cars
The girls run screaming but my callsign's sweet
We'll all stay skinny cuz we just can't eat

And we'll get kicked out of the hotel bar
Eating ramen bricks and a candy bar
Every flight attendant's gonna think I'm square
Every Ipod wearer with the frost-tipped hair

And we'll hide out from the FAA
With the latest regulations and a 110A
They'll take away your cert with that evil smile
Everybody's got an ALPA rep on speed dial

Hey hey I wanna fly an RJ
Hey hey I wanna fly an RJ

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Bad things come in threes... or fours...or fives

I hate being the drama queen, I really do. but it seems like over the last 8 weeks we've had more than our fair share.
  • A kid on a bike ran into A's car while he was at his crashpad. The kid got a ticket.
  • I totalled not one, but two cell phones in a matter of days.
  • A's plane mishap
  • I got into a fender bender with Kidzilla in the car because the lady in the lane next to me (going the same direction as me) decides to make a left turn from the right lane. She got the ticket but I've got to get the car fixed.

Hopefully some good karma will kick in for the holidays.

And I did find the one bad thing about A being off reserve and holding a line- he's no longer available by phone 24/7. When he was on reserve he rarely actually flew so I could call him at any time of day. Now that he's actually flying, I have to wait for him to land and get back to me. But I guess I can live with that.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Sometimes it's easier not to know

A made it home last night and is fine. He's already past the incident, while I'm still working through it. It's been so nice to have other wives to talk to. From the moment I first heard from A, my mental Rolodex started spinning through who I could contact for support.

It's really difficult to be on the receiving end of the knowledge, knowing only what you are told and being unable to ask any follow up questions. Every time we would talk, A would give me some new piece of information (only part of which I would understand as my knowledge of aviation and jet systems is limited) or tell me what was going to happen next and I'd ask "well what about this?" or "did you ask this?" inevitably he wouldn't know. What the next step was going to be changed every time I spoke with him. For a control freak such as myself, it was torture.

It brought up something that had been in the back of my mind since we started commercial aviation- who notifies the family if something goes wrong? I know that in the case of an accident it will be splashed all over the news before I am ever notified; news crews don't give a rat's ass about compassion for the victim's families. But who's job is it to make the official notification- the company or the union? And when? And how? Would I just receive a phone call and that was it? Would I be lumped in with the victim's families when they would probably be blaming the pilot for the incident? What if it wasn't an accident, but he had to be hospitalized and couldn't contact me? Would they contact me then? What is the notification threshold? Would I be flown out to be with him or would that be my responsibility? If, say, I couldn't get in touch with my husband for several hours after he was supposed to have landed is there a number I can call to find out if something happened to him? All I know now is that they have my "emergency contact information" (ie phone number). I have visions of being off on a day trip to the beach with a terrible message waiting for me on the home answering machine, not knowing because no one bothered to call my cell phone.... It would be nice if the company could put out a brochure for families about procedures in this type of situation.

I'm still suprised that we've already had an incident but according to A, I shouldn't be. With the frequency of flying that they do, it's bound to happen sooner or later. And then he regales me with stories of what's happened to other people he knows and I kindly tell him that it's better if I don't know these things.

He's home for a few days now before he heads out to rondeveau with his metal mistress at the end of the week again.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

When the unexpected happens

A called me this afternoon. They had to make an emergency landing on a flight he was crewing due to mechanical issues. He's fine, but does need to go to the hospital to get checked out due to overpressurization of the cabin. The crew had to be removed from the rest of their trips.

This is not a situation I thought I would be in after only 7 months on the job. I only know what he tells me, he doesn't have a lot of information. I wonder if he's withholding to try to keep me from worrying. It's killing me not to be there to find out first hand what's going on. It's hard to have whispered conversations with A and with my friends in the medical and aviation communities trying to keep any note of concern or upset out of my voice for the sake of our son. Trying to explain to our son why I am agitated and no, for god's sake you can not have another cookie right now so stop asking me.

I trust that everything will be all right. I have to because I don't want think about what could have been. I am in awe that he will be able to turn around and come home via airplane. If it were me, I'd opt for Amtrak. I guess he doesn't have a choice thought, the sky is his home. But for today, I'm happy his feet are on the ground.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

I'd let him park his jet in my hanger

I've so got to say that (the jet/hanger comment) about a pilot while standing in line at the airport food court one day. Guaranteed to make the pilot near you blush and start a conversation. It was suggested in a forum post I read today about pilot groupies.

How do you know when your date with a pilot is half over?He says "enough about flying, let's talk about me".

It's sharing time! What pilot related jokes/pick up lines have you heard or used?


The seasons are changing here in Florida (yes, we do have seasons here). It's gray, overcast, rainy, and our daily high is only 74 degrees. Yep, fall is in the air. Lots of changes for us happening too.

We had a wonderful visit to Houston and decided to commit to moving. We found a suburb we love, a school for Kidzilla we love, family overjoyed to welcome us to the area. Our goal is to move out there around June 2008. We are waiting for A to hit his 2nd year salary and for me to clear some things up related to the wasband before we go after a mortgage. It will save us from my having to find a job in my field and be employed there for at least one month to qualify (and thus saving us a second move). A maintains that he'll continue with the west coast base, but that in time, the local base may become more appealing. But for now, it's westward, ho! If you are in the IAH area, by all means, let me know.

We are having fun with the new "holding a line" schedule. The convenience of being able to trade out the terrible trips (like the 3 day that dead-heads from Ontario to Spokane to Sacramento, flies from Sacramento to Fresno and then deadheads back to Ontario. ONT to Fresno is only a 5 or so hour drive) and picking up a trip with a 21 hour overnight in Sacramento so A can see his family for the first time in nearly a year, is fantastic. The next few months are going to be enjoyable, until I find something else to complain about.

Kidzilla and I are facing our first Thanksgiving alone. A's good friend has a 21 hour layover here in town that day, but since they are on different sides of the operation, they can't trade trips so A can be home for the day. A will be enjoying a fine hotel buffet in Tucson instead. I was having visions of Kidzilla and I having a sad dinner alone at the local Denny's, with all the other patrons murmuring about what a terrible mother I was for not cooking a meal and where was our family. BUT, we scored an invite to a friend's house so now I can relax. I know I could have non-rev'd out to Tucson, family in Houston or on the West Coast, but it just seemed like too much hassle. Flights are going to be crowded and I just don't want the stress- maybe if I were alone, but not with a 5 year old in tow. I guess apathy wins again.

I was thinking this morning- it seems like EVERY pilot has to fly on the holidays. You hear about it from pilots, wives, media, forums. But really, the company only owns around 205 aircraft, so that's only 205 crews that are needed that day. That would be roughly 410 of the total 3000+ pilots with the company. Plus, adding in the ones that might be starting or ending a trip that day and it still seems like it's only 1/3 of the pilots that will actually have to work that day. So maybe we have a hope of having a holiday off eventually. At least I like to think so.

A has been off now for 11 straight days. He goes back tomorrow to start a pairing on the 1st. I thought for sure I was going to go nuts having him home for so long, but actually it's been pretty nice. His time off was extended a bit by having to call in sick on his last two days of reserve due to a chest infection, but we still made the best of it while he was sick. It's going to be weird to have him gone again. It looks like we'll have another 2.5 week block of long trips and short visits home and then another good block off at the end of the month.

In a testament to bad karma, I've managed to destroy two cell phones in as many weeks. I knocked my barely two month old phone into the toilet one day at work. Everything worked fine except the speaker, so we had to replace it. $250 later, I was the proud new owner of a Razr. A mere 4 days later, I accidentally put that phone down in a puddle of water on a public bathroom counter and shorted it out. But we got it replaced for free. So now I'm on cell phone no. three and hoping I can keep it for a while. I think if I ruin this one, A is going to make me get one of those clunky indestructible ones they advertise now. I'm resisting because they really have no bling, but I realize that it might be in my best interest.

Happy Halloween and be sure to enjoy all that candy that kids will be bringing home. One more piece won't hurt, it's little...

Friday, October 19, 2007

Good news!

A called last night to let me know that the bid package came out and he's offically a line holder as of November. Good news for us, but I don't know what he's going to do now that he doesn't have all day to watch inane television shows on VH1 anymore...

I also want to say that I <3 all of my comment posters and blog readers in general. All y'alls! Even you Grant. Especially you Rachel. It's scary to share when you are having bad days and down times and it makes it easier to post about the ups and downs when I know that there are others out there who are having the same struggles and don't belittle me for admitting to them. And it's great to be able to share acheivements. Thank you to everyone for making me feel that I have a voice and outlet worth listening to.

That which doesn't kill us makes us stronger, right?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

How to get even with Crew Scheduling

Taken (with permission) from a posting on

You know your husband is working, but crew scheduling calls the house looking for him, wanting him to fly? Ummm, he's already flying, knucklehead, check your schedules.

I have had that happen to me so many times over the years it's not even funny, so today, I wasn't in the mood and really got the guy.

He asked to speak to hubby, he had some flying he needed him to cover. (For some reason they show him as sitting at home instead of in the plane)

"I thought he was flying. He told me he was flying. He's out with that girl, again isn't he? That's it."

"I know, i um."

"Don't try to cover for him. I've had it. I hope you find him before I do."

Hubby calls about ten minutes later. He's laughing so hard, he can hardly get out hello. What the hell did you say to him? He called me all stammering and telling me how sorry he is for getting me into trouble.

Well...(I reply all innocently) Maybe next time he'll look at the schedule better.
You know you wanna do it next time they call...

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Lost and found- the lost

I am usually an optimist to the nth degree. But sometimes, I just lose my groove and it leaves me floundering. It's been one of those weeks. It's the middle of our 3 week work spurt, I've been filled with anxiety about some past life issues, and we are unsettled with where we are headed next. He's gone all the time, I'm tired of taking the kid to the playground alone and for goodness sake, when am I going to get pregnant already? Is this really my life? Is this really what I want? Can I deal with this for the next 20 years? I wonder if I've already lost some of my enchantment for this.

I am reminded of when I was an exchange student and the phases of cultural adjustment that they taught us about. Getting into this aviation lifestyle is definitely an adjustment, one that it's hard to prep for. We've definitely made it through the honeymoon phase, where everything was bright and shiny new and are heading into the culture shock phase. Although there are still a lot of things we have yet to experience (like holding a line, fingers crossed for Nov.), we've settled into our routine. I feel like we are hovering somewhere between culture shock and adjustment.

This weekend, A wasn't able to get home until Sunday afternoon and had to turn around and leave on monday afternoon. The commute both ways was a nightmare for him (and then he got called for ARC and had to go spend MORE time sitting in an airport). Monday morning I realized that I felt like I had spent the entire weekend waiting for my weekend to start when he got home. Then, heading into work, I was feeling like- where'd my weekend go? Lost, to his job I guess.

A friend that I met through aviation moved away recently, her husband took a job and they moved closer to family. I miss her. I realized that I relied on her more than I thought. I wonder if I'm going to become callous toward making friends with other pilot wives when I know that eventually they are going to move away. I'm not sure I want to go through the emotional work of making friends and the ensuing drama when they leave. Yes, we can keep in touch, but losing a friend you relied on to keep you occupied when you were alone, who took classes with you b/c you didn't want to go alone, who you could call on at the last minute when you have car trouble is really hard. Going to have to get used to the lost friendships and opportunities, caused by the job.

We have our break of 8 days off coming up in just 4 more days. Hopefully some time away from the routine and the jolt of planning the next phase of our lives together will help us both find our lost enthusiam.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Lost and found- the found

I've been moping around for a few days now, composing a new blog entry about how sometimes Pollyanna leaves the building and Cranky K moves in instead. Then, yesterday, as I was playing around in the admin of this blog looking for a fix for something I discovered something new to distract me- Referrers.

Basically, it's a list of websites that led people to my blog. It includes a mostly the standards I would expect- forums where I have my blog linked in my signature and other blogs I am linked to. But also a surprising number of google, msn and other searches that have led to my blog. Random samplings include: life as a pilot in the reserves, pilots away wife home, failing pilot IOE, can a pilot come home every day, wife jealous jetsetting husband (was I looking for myself here? Oh wait, does a Fresno-Bakersfield-San Diego trip count as jetsetting?), Expressjet pilot uniform, and a whole slew of combinations of pilot, wife/wives, life, and married.

For some reason the naughty feeling of snooping on other people (don't worry, I have no idea who did what search) has completely brightened my day.

BTW, I never did find my fix, so if anyone who is good with wordpress can tell me how my archives to display by year, I'd appreciate it...

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Snicker worthy

"In the event of a water landing feel free to fight the flight attendant for survival"

Found on seatback in 19B by my favorite JetFO.

Refining the flight plan

A and I have been living the pilot family life for a few months now and with the new month, I've got a new urge to get our life back into a normal pattern. It might be the changing of the leaves or the new fall weather we are having, but suddenly I'm itching to get us into a new routine. I think we've passed though the chaotic, we're just getting used to this, adjustment phase. My goals for the month are to find a workable weekly schedule for Kidzilla and me (shopping on thursday, errands on wednesday...) and to get done all those nagging chores (ordering new contacts, signing up at the YMCA)Â that have gone undone for several months due to apathy. Hopefully this will keep our household running smoothly and stress to the minimum.

A has his own tasks to keep our household running smoothly. After all, if he is part of the family, then he needs to pitch in. Thanks to the internet, he can take care of paying our bills, monitoring our investments and keep up with the housing market while he's sitting on reserve. Once he's off of reserve, we might have to readjust, but for now, it works. Is it too much to expect that he contribute when he's around? I don't think so, after all, I work a 40 hour job as well.

I was thinking the other day, of some little things he could do for me while on the road- sending postcards occasionally, bringing me home things. Then I tried to think about what I did for him and the list was woefully inadequate. I can't send him things to be waiting for him at his hotel, there is never enough lead time. He packs his suitcase after I've already left for the day, so I can't slip a surprise in there. So I'm working on coming up with some new ideas. It's not fair for me to ask for small treats when I don't also give them.

We're just getting into our 3 weeks of misery preceeding our fabulous time off block. I'm expecting to see A for only 2 nights in an 18 day stretch. It will be nice to have him home and I know he is willing to come, but I'm wondering if the cross country flight effort will not be worth the payoff of being home for just one night. Usually those single days end up fraught with arguing and guilt for not spending a perfect day together. We'll just have to cross that bridge when we come to it.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Some goodbyes are harder than others

A was here and gone again for the weekend. Flew in friday night, late, and left sunday morning. I have to say, it seemed like this weekends leaving was harder on me than they have been lately. I think it was because I was being left at home for a full day of moping (not like Kidzilla allowed much of that, but the potential was there) vs. heading to work where I am kept busy with mind numbing tasks. It felt more like *him leaving us* than the "see ya next time" feeling we usually have when Kidzilla and I head out the door in the morning leaving him at home to depart after we have left. We kept busy with a few rounds of miniature golf, some roller coaster and a dip in the pool when we got home.

We finally got the schedule issue worked out for next month. It's not as bad as I feared it would be. This month, he got a line that is built of fill in trips dropped by other lineholders. It's a line that is created by crew scheduling and you don't get to see it ahead of time. But in return for the favor of letting CS ride you like a pony, you get a bonus 2 days off for the month. Thanks! So we have a short week off at the beginning of the month, 3 weeks of barely seeing each other, then 8 full, consecutive, days off. Now far be it from me to complain about extended time off, but perhaps they could have balanced the days off a little better? I guess the good thing about monthly bidding is that once the month's schedule sets in and really wears on you, it's already time to bid for the next month's so you have some hope that things will get better soon. It's that eternal hopefulness that leads me on.

We're planning to take some time in that 8 days off to go visit the IAH area and get a better feel for if we really want to take the leap and relocate. The thought of moving near family and having some built in babysitters is really tempting. Oh, and so is the potential to cut down on commuting time and all that other stuff. We'll see what comes up.

Poor A got stuck on a full flight for one leg of his commute today. So for 3.5 hours he has to "straddle the saddle" and ride in the RJ cockpit jumpseat. It's like a fold down bench directly behind the crew seats and he has to straddle the center console the whole way. Oh the things we do for love. And, let's be honest here, the prospect of getting some from the wife you haven't seen in a week...

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

He's lucky he's in another state

Today I am thoroughly exasperated with A. He did one bad thing and possibly one even worst thing that will make the bad thing not matter. One thing will take a month to resolve itself, the other possibly longer. Both are job related in an administrative kind of way ( they aren't flight safety issues, nor are the fire worthy offenses. Just headaches).

And the worst part is- next time I see him, he'll just give me this puppy dog look and say "well, it was an accident, I didn't know" and of course I will melt and forgive his errors. Knowing my own weakness makes me even more exasperated with him.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The apple fritter dilema

A flew back out to his base on monday after a nice, relaxed, full weekend at home. And was blessed with a 3:31am phone call on tuesday telling him he had a trip scheduled. Starting with a deadhead that left at 6pm that night. Gee guys, thanks for the advance warning; with that late of a show time, perhaps it wasn't quite so urgent and you could have waiting to call until say... 7am? The trip includes an overnight in our town, so that's a nice treat for us. Although A is opting to stay at the hotel overnight due to the am show time, we're planning on dinner and hanging out together. Then he'll fly back to base thursday and turn around and (hopefully) come home friday for another weekend. What a life!

Yesterday, as we were on the phone and he was telling me all of this, a friend stopped by my desk with a beautiful, fresh apple fritter, direct from our local bakery. It was warm, apple smelling, a golden color with a tastely glazed finish, sitting right there on my desk. But I couldn't delve into it b/c I was on the phone with A and didn't want to be rude. It was 11am and I had missed my morning snack (10am sharp) and I was super hungry and that pastry just looked SO GOOD. But A had made an effort to call me and wanted to share his news and I didn't want to interupt him for an apple fritter. And with the way schedules change, I didn't know when I'd get to talk to him again. But he was going on and on andonandonandonandonandon. And all I could think about what how tasty that fritter was going to be. I finally politely got him off the phone and boy was that fritter WAS good. Oh, the sacrifices we women have to make for our men sometimes!

So, A, that's why I had to ask you 3 times where your overnight was going to be when we were on the phone- I was distracted by that darn apple fritter but didn't want you to feel less important to me than a pastry.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Return of the model wife

A is coming home tonight. For three full days of family time. Panic is setting in and I'm realizing that I need to clean up the house and just generally get my Stepford on (thanks MSwife, that was exactly the image I was thinking of). He won't arrive until 10:45pm or so, it's a 9 hour trip from coast to coast, so I have some time. I'll probably stop short of greeting him at the door in lingere with a fresh coat of lipstick and a martini in hand. In reality, I'll probably be asleep in an old tee shirt when he arrives...

Last return, he was kind enough to bring me some high end hotel samples and a box of chocolates. Just because. It's nice to be appreciated once in a while.

PS, if you have kids and you haven't already posted, check out the previous post and leave your observations. It's like a giant science project.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

More C words

Been battlling illness for 3 days now, so I'm in a contemtious mood.

Careers- A has a career, as a pilot. Prior to that, he had a career as an engineer. I have no career. I don't want one. Once, when I graduated from college, I had dreams, I had aspirations, I was going to make a difference. Then, I had a child and my priorities shifted. I wasn't content to spend hours upon hours working, spending weekends and weekdays working. I downshifted to a job. Something that pays the bills, gives me time off when I need it, doesn't leave me exhausted in the evening and has very little upward mobility. As much as I am rooting for A to climb that ladder to success, I am content to stand at the bottom and cheer him on. I have no regrets that I am an overqualified secretary who has time to stop off at the playground on the way home from school.

Complaining- Why do pilots complain about the lack of commutable routes? Is the company required to build routes that are easy for commuters? Probably not. They do it because they know it helps, but they aren't required to. YOU are the one who chose to live out of base. So deal with your decision and don't complain about the lack of commutable lines month after month. I know commuting is hard, we do it too- and farther than a lot of people. But, we chose to do it so we have no reason to complain. I have compassion for people who have less than ideal situations due to commuting, but only so much.

Consideration- On our last trip, Kidzilla and I met a Captain who was really nice. He invited us to board early, let Kidzilla sit in the cockpit and told him all kinds of stuff. It was really nice of him to take a little time out of his prepwork to do that. Kidzilla told EVERYONE how he got to fly the plane. I had A put a small note in the CA's file to say thanks. A little consideration goes a long way. I've heard of other crew who aren't quite so considerate to others. Althought they seem to be in the minority, there are those who have the "I earned the seniority, so I can tromp all over you" mentality. Stealing trips, taking base trades and taking all the commutable trips when doing TDY (temporary duty at another base, for which you receive extra pay and perks) are some of the things I've heard. I can only hope that Karma comes around to get them in the end. What happened to the Golden Rule? Or just not being a dick?

Comedy- On his last trip, A was with a Captain who was lots of fun. Made the trip that much more fun to be on. At one point, as passengers were boarding, they had a big USA map unfolded and were jokingly mapping out a route to their next destination ("OK, if we follow I40 as far as Tulsa and then turn north..."). I appreciate crews who make the effort to make the trip fun.

Children- I'm curious to hear from other parents on this one. A few weeks ago I posted about the cycle that I go through during A's absences. I'm trying to figure out if Kidzilla goes though his own cycle every time Dad leaves or if its all in my head. I can tell that it's hard for Kidzilla to go from having 100% of Mom's attention to having to share it with A- he tends to interrupt more and is more demanding of my attention when A is home. While he is excited to see A, we think he gets more competitive when A is home. He's only 5, I don't think he does it on purpose. Usually, the day after A leaves, he wants to do something special with just us- go swimming, go out to dinner, that kind of thing where he can be reassured that he still has Mama's attention. I asked his teacher to look out for whether there seem to be patterns of misbehavior at school, but it's too early to tell yet. So tell me- how do your kids react to a parent being gone frequently?

A's coming home for 2 weekends in a row. We're looking forward to getting out and about now that fall is starting and the weather is starting to cool. I just hope that I am feeling better soon. And that next month's bid is as good to us as this month's was.

Saturday, September 1, 2007


I don't do well with change. Unless it's initiated by me, then I'm all for it. It's not that I don't like change, I do. It's not that I can't be flexible or spontaneous, I just need to know ahead of time that I'm going to need to be that way. Luckily, A is usually able to indulge my weakness. Usually.

A has been sitting reserve in ONT for a month now. Without a trip. Just before he started getting concerned about timing out, he picked up a 4 day trip. Which is great. Except that Kidzilla and I were planning on him coming home on break on friday night and that got pushed back to sunday night. 5 year olds aren't exactly known for their flexibility either, especially when they are looking forward to special Dad time. While I'm excited for A to finally get a trip, it brought home the point that he needs to consider more than just his desires when changing his trips. Another "oh yeah, huh" moment for us.

I have more C words to write about, but right now I'm out of time. A asked me when I was going to post again, so I want to at least post something...

Monday, August 27, 2007


Nothing reminds me that I'm a parent more than the smell of a hot sweaty kid in the back of an already hot, sticky car. Or dealing with self-important aides at school (lady, I'm not loitering, I'm signing my kid to bring snacks, back off already!). Or having to stock up on the 3 boxes of kleenex, baby wipes and hand soap that parents are asked to provide to the class. Yeah back to school!

Getting Kidzilla home from CA was quite the feat. I met up with him at IAH and bad weather promptly set it. There was no getting out of IAH to anywhere for us that night. Low seniority and bad weather forced us to call up some long lost relatives to reserve a couch. Since A was at home in ONT, he was able to scour the computer looking for alternate routes home for Kidzilla and I. Some helpful friends from JC also offered to lend a hand if we needed it.

We ended up going IAH-AUS and then changing airlines and continuing on to JAX. We arrived home saturday. His luggage arrived home sunday. When we first met up and checked his bag in, the flights looked fine. By the end of the afternoon, we were trying just get OUT to anywere. After waiting 3 hours in the baggage area to get his luggage back, we gave up. After my third foray into the office, they finally said they could take my anticipated flight info and forward the bag in the morning. Hmmm, woulda been nice if they had said that when we had arrived there and spared us 3 hours of waiting around with a hungry, tired kid! They even said they would be able to take care of the bag switch b/t airlines. I was skeptical, but just wanted to get the hell out already. So of course we arrived in JAX but our luggage did not. I went to our arrival airline, but they had no way to trace the bag for us w/o a claim ticket and sent me to our departure airline. The bag was traced back to AUS. They told me a)there was no info in the system about the final destination of the bag and b) they would re-route it back to JAX on their airline and it should arrive around 11pm that night. At 4pm the next day, our arrival airline calls saying they had the bags. Whatever, as long as they finally arrived...

A got awarded a great schedule for this month. At least one weekend day home a week, plus several 3 day blocks. It will be nice to see him for more than after work on tuesdays.

Just when I say things seem to be falling into a routine, something will pop up and through us for a spin. So I won't say it.

Thursday, August 16, 2007


A's been home and gone again for another week. Kid's coming home from his 28 days a year w/ dad. World just keeps on spinning.

I've noticed a semi predictable cycle for A's absences.
First 12 hours apart- Say goodbye,while not feeling so bad about seperation; I am woman, hear me roar.
Hours 12-30- Start missing A, thinking of all the things I should have done/done one more time. Get all sad and mopey, blame him for: being left in FL, waking up lonely, bad weather...
Hours 30- 24 days prior to return- Talk to A about 3 times a day, make plans with friends, run errands, live life in general. Fall into lazy habits like leaving dishes in sink, eating sandwiches for dinner, taking over entire bed.
24 hrs to return to 5 hrs to return- Panic as realization sets in that he will be home soon and I need to clean up the house, legs need shaving, take care of those things I said I would do. Begin compiling overly long list of things I need A to do when he gets home.
9 hrs to return- return time Get excited because A is on his way home. Get mad and irrationally blame him for inevitable flight delays. Feel relief when he finally arrives home.

I'm not usually an Avril Levigne fan, but A downloaded a song that he said reminds him of me and what I talk about when I say I miss him. The song is "When You Are Gone". Particularly the lyrics about "the bed where you lie is made up on your side" and "the clothes that you left, lie on the floor, and smell just like you" make him think of me b/c I swear I've said those exact things. I've been known to dig a shirt of A's out of the laundry and keep it in the bed on some of my harder days. It was so sweet to know that A was thinking about me and felt reminded of me by a song on the radio. He must have been missing his family b/c he downloaded a couple of missing you type songs.

When I logged on to start this post, I saw I had had 10101 visitors. I feel awesome about having broken the 10,000 mark. And the number is just wonderfully binary, for those nerds in the herd. Thanks for all the visits and comments! Keep them coming and I'll keep posting.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Settling in

A made it through his first week out in ONT and his first trip home. He was able to get released early ( barely, too many other people were asking as well) and caught a flight home Monday night instead of Tuesday morning. It worked well, so for this month, that's going to be our plan. I dropped him off at the airport (3 hrs early) on my way to work this morning. Sad at first, although not nearly as sad as the first time he left, but with some creative counting I have myself convinced that it's only 4 days until I see him again. And that's barely even worth whining about.

We did some more talking and reflecting as we were enjoying our time together. We decided that in this circumstance, I'm the big picture thinker and he's the detail oriented one. It came about as we were discussing bidding and wider company policy. He's been so busy focusing on getting through training and IOE, basically focusing on learning to fly the plane, it's just now that he has an opportunity to sit back and expand his scope. Whereas I have always been able to see all the other details but have been (deliberately, I'm not interested) left out of learning about the small details. I know the contract specifics, ALPA goals and where the pilots hang out in IAH, but not how to turn on the XM radio. Now we just have to work on merging our strengths.

Still considering a move to TX. IAH seems the natural choice, although with the amount of pilots there, reserve is LONG (8+ months). SAT is senior and no one was able to transfer in with the last bid. And there is always Austin, which is near enough to commute, but more pricey and isolated. Thanks to some upward movement at ONT, A is a lot closer to holding a line than he was 2 weeks ago. With any luck, he'll be able to hold a good reserve line for Sept. Having a work-able schedule (he bid for anything with Jax overnights and/or 3 day blocks off) helps reduce our immediate need for more family time, but still doesn't alleviate the commuting issue. But it doesn't seem so pressing to get it all worked out NOW.

Kidzilla will be home in about 1.5 weeks. I'm looking forward to having him home again, but at the same time, it's going to be hard to give up my freedom. Grandpa is flying him out to IAH and I'm going to pick him up there and fly him back here. It will be fun to play jetsetter for a day again.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Caught up in life

Been meaning to update, but just got busy and then very sick, but it's all better now.

All this "alone time" has actually become very boring. My friends are either out of town or out of commission and I'm left with not a lot to keep me occupied. I'm so used to having my constant companion, Kidzilla, that it feels weird to do stuff by myself. But I'm making the effort. Tomorrow is my big splurge, some time at a spa after work.

A finally really finished his IOE and is already out in CA, miserable. Through some fluke and a friend's bad advice, he missed his chance to bid for a base closer to home so now he's stuck out there for a while. His aug schedule is all 2 day breaks, ie not really long enough to come home (I have a fear that we'll end up having to plan a rondevue in the handicapped bathroom on concourse C of random airport X if we want this baby thing to happen). He says it's smoggy, smells like a dairy and just generally sucks. And once we sat down and did the math, we found that it was only saving like $400 over the course of 4 months for him to stay for free with a friend out there. Neither of us feels that it's really worth it. He got out there too late to be able to get a line after only 1 month of reserve, so really there's no reason for him to be out there.

We've made the decision to move to IAH and live in base. It's not a base that is likely to change any time soon, so we feel safe going there. Now the only decision is when. Should we go now and leave me to find a new job that I hope to leave once we have another child? Should we wait it out and try to move after a new baby when I won't have to worry about a job? If we move to IAH soon, we can take advantage of his being home during reserve and enjoy our time together vs. him being in a crashpad and only home during breaks. Decisions, decisions...

Even though I'm not a pilot myself, I spend a lot of time reading posts on forums, trying to understand the industry, union and management roles and just general stuff. For fear of being flamed, I rarely post. One topic that seems to come up frequently is salary. It's always about the salary and how much pilots *should* be paid vs. how much they are. Yeah, pilots used to make a lot more but really, right now they aren't and people just need to deal with it already. Really, if you can't live off off $100K, then you need to reconsider your lifestyle. Maybe you can't be the highest roller on the block, but it's a pretty respectable income. And for someone with only an AS degree (ie someone who topped out at Regional CA) that's a pretty darn good salary. I have a BS degree and I'll never make close to that. And that is certainly higher than the average American income. I was living in one of the most expensive places in the US and doing fine on less than 1/2 that. Heck, we've been living on less than 1/3 of that for the last 1.5 years and we are fine. If you were making $2-300K and didn't put any away for a rainy day, then that's your own damn fault. I bet all those auto workers in Flint, MI thought that their well paid gig's would also last forever. Would I like the pilot salaries to go up? Absolutely. Do I think they will? I have no idea. But you sure won't see me crying poor about the salaries they are making now.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Alone Time

I am actually and finally alone in my house. It's blissful. The kid is gone, my pilot is gone, I can eat ice cream for dinner. I promise to thoroughly enjoy myself.

The day got off to a rough start last thursday with trying to get the kid to the other coast for his month with bio-dad. A butterfly flapped it's wings twice in the Amazon, which set off a chain reaction causing a flight to be delayed into ERW. Which led to a the flight here being canceled. Which then caused the last flight to IAH to be canceled b/c there was no equipment. Which meant that A and Kidzilla missed their am flight to IAH due to all the reshuffling of people. Which added on a 6 hour layover for them in IAH and added 12 hours to A's final arrival time home from the trip. But they made it.

One of the flights was so full that Kidzilla had to sit by himself a few rows up from A. I was a little nervous when I heard that, but A said that he behaved himself and his row companions said he was a champion seatmate. Thank god! A chose not to follow my standard method of getting a seat next to the kid. If we have to sit separated, I get the kid settled in and then bat my eyes (if I think it will work) and say to his seatmates "it looks like there is no room for me to sit with my son today, but if you would like to change seats with me, I'd be more than happy to. I sure would hate for him to disrupt your flight by spilling a drink on you, falling asleep on you, or having to get up 3 times an hour to use the restroom." If they say no, then hey, I tried and if they are miserable sitting next to him, it's their own fault.

A shared an airline secret with me the other day. The reason the coffee tastes better on planes is that they make it with bottled water. So now I know.

A is away on a trip so tonight I'm going to wallow around on the bed reading books and occasionally eating non-dinner foods. Heavenly!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Smooth sailing and turbulence

Seems like it's been forever since I updated. But really there's not much to update on.

A is slated to finish up his IOE today. I hope it goes well for him. He's gotten down to Mexico twice, once for a quick turn and once for an overnight. I guess the overnight was not as glamourous as he had hoped. And many, many small towns in between. After this, we'll have to wait and see when he has to report out to his base in CA. He comes home wed. and is slated to fly Kidzilla out to CA on thursday and then fly home again on fri. So hopefully he'll have a few days break. All he wants to do when he comes home is sleep and yet he says it's not restful b/c all he dreams about is flying planes. Everytime I bump him at night, the arms go flying up and the checklist muttering begins. It's funny now, but I hope it doesn't go on for the next 25 years.

We have our ups and downs when A comes home. It's funny b/c back when we were dating and he lived 2 hours away, I didn't see him more than a few days a week and we never had any trouble turning it off and on. But now, when he's gone, I miss him yet when he's home I feel like he's invading my space. It's bugging me that it seems so different when he's gone now. Why? Is it because before it was my space and he was a guest and now it's our space and he's a family member? I can't say it's because now we are married or because now he is gone more. Even when he was learning/instructing his schedule was irregular and there were days we didn't see him. Neither of those reasons strike me as something I would react to. As long as we are able to work things out each time he's home, we'll make it over this hump.

This is only our second month and I am already so over commuting. Having to leave a day early and arrive a day after for trips just seems so wasteful to me. That is so much family time that he is missing out on. Plus it's such a hassle with flights being full/canceled. It's probably compounded by the fact that we live in a place we aren't emotionally vested in. It's not like we live near family and that's keeping us here. I've heard time and again not to chase metal and move to live in base. But I think for us that that is what would make us happiest. Yes, we run the risk of his being transfered, but his airline isn't one that's known for that. So we are starting to look at moving to TX. There are a lot of pro's, but also some con's. ( aside from it just plain being TX). New bid doesn't take effect until January so we have some time to think about it. We are still hoping for a new southeast base, which would help with time, but not necessarily financially. We had only planned to stay here for a year anyway and it's already 6 months past that. So we'll keep talking and asking advice and eventually make a decision.

Good things are going on in life too. He loves flying. I get lots of cool mini shampoos and soaps. Kidzilla has mastered the basics of swimming. FL is like living in a sauna, but a.c. makes it tolerable. Work is not terrible. I've been cancer free for 11 months now. A year from now I'll look back at this and think about how much I've grown.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007


Good- Finding out your last turn is canceled and you can go home early.

Bad- Finding out all flights home are also canceled.

A made it home from his IOE yesterday. He echoed what his friend had told him a month or so ago; that when you first get in the actual plane you will wonder "WTF am I doing here? I am in no way qualified to be doing this". But it gets better and more routine with each flight. Soon it will be so routine that he'll forget how hard he ever thought it was. His second IOE trip is scheduled for fri/sat. After that? We don't know yet, but assuming he gets through this second trip, he'll be released from IOE and headed out to the west coast.

This is my 11th month of keeping this blog. I can't believe I've managed to stick with it for so long. And this is my 76th post, which I think, for this site, puts me into the prolific catagory (there's a lot of blogs with 2-5 posts and then nothing). So for those of you who haven't been with me long and/or don't have the time to read from the beginning, here's a little recap of where we've been:
We met in 12/04 in CA, both of us divorced after having been previously been in relationships for 13 years (me) and 11 years (him) years. I have a son from the previous relationship. After 9 months of hearing about how he wanted to fly but not seeing him take any action, I told him "S*&T or get off the pot already". 4 months later we moved to FL so he could attend flight school. A year after we decided that we would go for it, he was instructing in FL. We married on our 2 year anniversary in 12/06. He got hired with a regional in 3/07 and is now flying trips.

This is an aviation related web site, so I mainly write about the parts of my life that are effected by aviation. And I tend to write more when I am upset or aggrevated. Kind of like how we only notice when kids are misbehaving but not so much when they are good. I don't expect people to always agree with what I post- after all, they aren't me, aren't privy to the details of my relationships, and I only post one side of the story. But if I gave you something to think about then I am happy.

So here's to another sucessful year!

Friday, June 29, 2007


A got his call for IOE yesterday. At 4pm. To report for a 6:15am flight the next morning. We had been hoping for more than 14 hours notice, but at least we got that. So he got up bright and early at 3:30am and headed out the door. First flight is IAH-JAX, which is nice because at least he'll be flying into an airport he's familiar with. Then onto EWR, and several intriging destinations (Jackson, MS anyone? Hartford, Ct?) with 3 overnights. One day short of 6 weeks after completing training, he's finally in the air.

So we are officially property of crew scheduling at this point. And we will be for a while. A was kind enough to point out yesterday that since he will be on reserve for a bit and will just be assigned trips, it may actually be crew scheduling who determines when we finally get that addition to our family. How depressing is that? I'm thinking that my calling them up and saying "can you send my husband home for 4 days so I can get knocked up?" isn't going to be very effective. I'm sure they'd all get a laugh out of it though. I have to chuckle just at the thought of what their response might be if I actually tried it.

I had to deal with my first critical incident without A yesterday, and he wasn't even gone yet. I took Kidzilla to the pool for a bit so A could do some review work and as luck would have it, he jumped in and broke open his chin on the ledge. In the exact same spot he had 5 stitches in just over a year ago. So I had to make the decision whether it was ER worthy (no) and closed it up myself with some butterfly band-aids and a big band-aid over that. In the past, all yucky medical tasks have defaulted to A, which he doesn't mind handling. Hopefully there won't be too many incidents like this to deal with.

Now the fun really begins!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Sugar and Salt

A managed to get through his LOFT ( Line Oriented Flight Training, basically a regular, non-eventful flight in the sim, like what a normal flight on the line would be like). He said he did well and was complemented by the Check Airman on being one of the 30% (I think) who actually landed the plane on the first try. That was a good boost to A since he was feeling rusty after waiting at home for so long. Other people from his class have been called for their IOE, so we hope that we will be called soon. There seems to be nothing that we can anticipate with this airline though...

It's good he hasn't been called yet though, because he's come down with a miserable cold. Kidzilla told me this morning that "his brain is on fire" after feeling A's forehead. Hopefully he'll be better soon.

It was funny to have him be gone again, even for just one night. All this time he's been home, I've been waiting for him to leave so I can get back into a routine and being the only parent around again. Yes, there are times he gets on my nerves and times when I get incredibly jealous that he gets to be home all day while I am at work. I have been looking forward to getting back to the coming and going schedule again. But at the same time, that one night that he was away, I missed him so much. Much more than I thought I would. Even thought I knew I was being lame b/c it was only one night away. It will be sweet when he's actually doing the job he wants to be doing (flying) and we have some semblance or normality again, it will also be salty b/c we will miss him in our lives and I know he will miss us.

We're still holding out for the company to open and east coast base so we live in base. He's still based in ONT, but thinking about taking the temporary duty assignments to LAX because a) they will fly him out positive space from here for it and b) they will give him room and board during it. Standing bid is for IAH, but really we don't want to move there. I'll still pick hurricanes over tornados anyday.

We had a talk last night about getting to follow our dreams and who's turn it was now. 18 months ago, I put my goals on hold and we all moved out here to FL to support him as he went to flight school. We weren't sure how we were going to make it but we were committed to trying. Now that he's acheived his goal and is employed with an airline, I feel that it's time to turn our focus on acheiving my goal of adding to our family. As much as he wants it, he's worried about finances and wants me to put it off for another year. We've been back and forth with it for the past few days, but I think he's starting to see my side of it. Besides, with him based on the west coast, lord knows how long it will take for us to finally get our timing right on this one.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Finally getting somewhere

A got called last night for his LOFT. FIN-A-LY! They called at 5pm thurs. and told him he needed to be at the schoolhouse in IAH, ready to go for a 2:30am sat session.
He's nervous, I can tell, b/c things have turned into a crazy rush. Had to get the 3 hours worth of Jepp revisions done (thank goodness we had them on hand). Fly out at 11am Friday, shuttle to the training center to pick up uniform since he's in IAH, clear up some issues with the training dept, find out what hotel he's supposed to be at, shuttle back to the terminal, shuttle to the airport, sleep from 3-12 (or at least attempted to), wake up, study refresher, report to sim at 2am. Once he's finished with the sim, he'll be on his way home again. I'm sure it will go fine, especially with all the jumpseating he's done recently.
Once this is done, it will just be the wait for IOE, hopefully not more than another 2 weeks.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

UAL Pilots- at least one of you rocks

Kidzilla (age 5) recently flew with Grandpa and Grandma back to SFO from OKC (via DEN? ORD?). They were non-reving on UAL (yeah, that was my kid, taking up your coveted first class seat, sorry about that). Not only did the pilots give him a set of wings (which he wore for 3 days straight I'm told), they also gave him a trading card of the airplane he flew on. Photo on the front and stats on the back. He loves it! I wish I could get my hands on some more. That's the first time on ANY airline that he's ever been given anything.

Thanks to those UAL pilots who still have time to make a little kid's day, it really meant a lot to him.

Waiting to see

Still not much going on.

The missing paycheck finally showed up in our mailbox. 17 days after it was issued. Judging from all the notations, it went to both IAH and ONT before someone decided to pop it in the mail. Thank goodness we weren't actually relying on that money for paying any important bills. Lesson learned here- set up direct deposit immediatly.

Trip to RDU was really fun. I only had about 2 hours of sleep prior to leaving, but we still managed to make the best of it. Flights were nice. We had breakfast with A's former training partner (who decided to cook at home for us since all the restaurants were too crowded due to it being Father's Day- delish!); it was nice to meet him after having heard so much about him. We took a trip out to Rocky Mount, where A lived and worked several years ago. An interesting trip down memory lane for him, and interesting look at the greater Raleigh area for me. Again some small snafu's with listing and checking in, but it all worked out in the end.

A sat in the jumpseat on the way home and then 2 more times on his way out to ONT. Once he got over the first time jitters of asking to ride up there, he had a blast. Says he's learned a lot, met some nice people and even got to sit in the left seat for a bit while the Cpt. hit the restroom. He's planning another trip in a few days. So far all of the crews have been pretty hospitable about sharing their cramped space.

It's now been over 30 days since he completed training. A said he flew with an FO who did his training 2 classes after A started his. A said (I'm paraphrasing here b/c I really wasn't paying that much attention...) that that class had been speeded up as some sort of damage control for the backlog. Like from now on they are doing people much quicker after training and then they are working on catching up the people from A's cohort that still need their IOE's.Whether that's true or not remains to be seen. I know there are some agitated people from A's class who feel they were skipped and it was unfair. Hard to know what's really going on though, so we just sit back and enjoy it. We never did hear back about a LOFT getting scheduled- guess that "few days" isn't up yet.

I can't believe that A's been home with nothing to do for 4.5 weeks now. Sadly, he's not managed to do nearly as much as he and I wanted with the time. There are still a whole lot of tasks on his list, added by both me and him, that haven't been touched yet. Things came to a head last saturday when he was cleaning out a storage closet for us. Something along the lines of "your inability to complete a task has ceased being a charming trait and is now just disrespectful." Definetly wasn't the nicest thing to say, but there is an underlying truth. I am the one who has to pick up all the slack on the things he doesn't do. Yes he's worked very hard and spent more time doing it than I do at work, but at some point (that we've already passed) his time off balances out with all that extra work that he put in and now he needs to pitch in. So we're still working on it. Admittedly I'm a bit jealous, I wish I could have 5 weeks of consecutive vacation.

Thanks to all the people who have left me comments in the last few weeks. I think I've had more comments in the last 3 posts than in all my other posts combined! I'll put out a plug for as a great resource for pilot wives. Stop in to the forums and say hello- you'll find the comaraderie you've been looking for. And if there is something specific you want me to blog about, let me know.

Friday, June 15, 2007


Tomorrow we're flying up to Raleigh, NC. Just because we can.

Well, really it's to pick up the Jepp updates from someone who picked them up in TX for A recently. Raleigh is only an hour plane ride away and there is a 7 hour gap in between arriving and departing flights. So we're going to rent a car and check out the town for the day. Flying non-rev, the price is right.

Flying to a different city, just for the day. I feel so cosmopolitan...

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Whole lotta nothing going on

Well, that pretty much sums it up lately. But I know people are wondering, so I figured I'd update.

Still haven't been able to locate the missing paycheck. Payroll dept. says they sent it to the Training dept. at IAH, and they (training) either have it or mailed it. Training dept. has no idea what the Payroll dept. is talking about. But we are expecting trips to both IAH and ONT in the next 1.5 weeks, so we'll get it figured out eventually. Lord knows where the one due to be issued tomorrow will end up.

A is still on paid vacation at home awaiting his IOE. I think we are in week 4 now. He got a call from scheduling today to report to Newark tomorrow for it, but he had to remind them that he had not yet done his LOFT flight yet and that had to be done first. So they said they would schedule that and call him back "in a few days". He still hasn't been out to IAH to pick up his uniform yet either, but that's his own fault. Once he's done with IOE, we'll know when he has to report out to ONT.

We did have a pleasant trip non-reving out to OKC last weekend. There were a few kinks to be worked out by the ticket/gate agents, but overall it was nice. I didn't mind the kinks as a non-rev, but as a paying passenger I would have been a little suprised. Flight crew we had on the way out was top notch. Flight crews for the return trip were ok- one was perfunctory and one was new. But it all could have been a lot worse, so I can't complain.

Sent Kidzilla out to CA for a week to visit family after the trip. It's so nice to have a week alone with just me and A. We've been out to dinner, to the movies and just hung out. He'll be traveling out to ONT to get him at the beginning of next week.

A and I have been dealing with our impending separation differently. He's become more clingy and wants to spend as much time as possible with me. I've been pulling away from him to avoid missing him too much when he leaves. It's interesting what we notice in each other and how we cope.

I've been thinking lately about military wives and how they cope. When A is gone, I always think to myself- well at least he's only gone for a week, he could be military and gone for months. But then I realized that while that may be true, there is also quite a bit of support for miliatry wives that isn't there for pilot wives. In the military, you are surrounded by other families who are going through the same thing. There is base daycare and activities, a family support office and just a general sense of community. As a pilot's wife, the only other wife friends I have are part of a virtual community. I don't know, in person, a single other wife who's husband is based across the country and only comes home on select weekends. It's kind of like comparing apples to oranges, but still I feel in some respects they do have it easier. Although I don't envy the constant worry of whether my husband will return home that they must undergo.

Thanks to all of the people who publicly and privately supported me after seeing the negative comment that got posted. I appreciate what you said. The poster used an obviously fake email address when leaving their comment. My feeling is that if are going to critizize someone then you should at least have the balls to leave your real name. So I don't take what they had to say very seriously. Yes, my pilot does read this blog; he's actually been asking me when I was going to post again. And every relationship is different.

Here's to a hopefully happy and fun filled, adults only weekend for me!

Friday, June 1, 2007

Where's Waldo, I mean my paycheck

It's funny how during training they make sure you know how to fly that plane like nobody's business but they neglect to tell you things like- how do you list for a flight, what's a V-file or where in the heck does my paycheck go. I guess you are just expected to pick that kind of stuff up though osmosis.

We're currently stuck in a morass of passwords, webpages, new hire materials and all the other extraneous materials A came home from training with. Or came home without as we are finding out. We can tell from the employee website (he was on hold for over an hour to get the password to get on this one) that he was issued a paycheck. But we haven't yet figured out where it went. We know it didn't get direct deposited. Is it on its way to our house? Is it in his file in TX (and where might we find that file), since he's technically a new hire still? Is it in his file in CA (and where might that file be) since he's technically been assigned a base? What is our pass code and how do we list for our trip to OK next week? How do we find out that info? Trying to iron out these little glitches is incredibly time consuming and frustrating. Seriously- is there not a new hire coordinator or a manual that we can consult to find this stuff out? With as many pilots as the company is hiring, you'd think they'd have the answers to all this stuff handy...

Thanks to my new BFF Emily, we are hoping to go up flying tonight. It's been a pain to coordinate her being able to babysit with the FBO's rental availability (more on the FBO part than hers :) ) but we seem to have finally gotten it all straightened out. Except that the forcast calls for thunderstorms this evening. But I'm holding out hope.

Today is the first day of hurricane season. I think I'm more motivated than most to actually be prepared b/c I went though a major earthquake when I was in high school. From day 1 earthquake preparedness was pounded into my brain. So we are working on getting our supplies together. Read an interesting blog on preparedness here. I'd rather have hurricanes than earthquakes any day- at least you have warning that hurricanes are on their way.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Making headway

A got a call from Crew Services today with his base assignment. And of course, since we live on the east coast, he's been assigned to a base on the west coast. No word on when his LOFT or IOE are going to be- that's Crew Scheduling's responsibility and Crew Services can't give us that info...

So what's it mean to us? For now, M and I are going to stay put here in FL. There are rumors swirling about that there will be a new east coast base opening within a year, possibly where we live now. So in order to avoid the major disruption of moving twice, we're staying put until we find out the validity of said rumor. In the long run, we hope to live in base to avoid commuting hassles. And while it would be nice to move in a westerly direction, back towards friends and family, west coast living just isn't finanacially feasible and our QOL wouldn't be nearly so high. So for now, he'll be commuting and we'll be "exploring our options".

A has a friend in So Cal who has offered her couch as a free crashpad through the end of the year. Free is free so I think he's going to take it. It will give him a place to stay until he gets settled in the area and will free up income for important things like payroll deductions for uniforms and chart bags. He's known her longer than he's known me, so if something were going to happen between them, it would have happened already. He knows my thoughts about it and I'm not really concerned.

For now, we are just enjoying our time together. Took a 3 day trip to Atlanta for the long weekend, something we haven't been able to do since we moved here due to schedule constraints. And now it's back to real life.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Returning to normal or some semblance thereof...

A did make it home Saturday after all. Even managed to get his ID before he came home so he could use the crew line for security and jump seat on a few flights while he's waiting for his IOE. No idea yet how long he'll be home with us or where he'll be assigned once he officially starts. Right now is the rush to figure out all the new hire stuff, direct deposit, how to avoid the seemingly endless emails from ALPA, how to bid and all the other tasks that come with starting at a new company.

It's been nice to have him home, but it has taken some getting used to on both our parts. He wakes up at 2:30am and panics because he thinks he's late for his sim time. All he dreams about is flying RJ's and emergency procedures. The arms still fly up reaching for controls when I bump into him at night. He's so unused to having free time and not being directed by scheduling or a syllabus of checklists to cram that he spent an entire day doing nothing b/c he didn't know what to do first. We realized that now that his friends have also been hired away by airlines that he has few friends left in town to hang out with. An hour after he came home I told him to go back to IAH because I was already tired of him and his opinions. I'm bristling at having to share the absolute power in decision making for the household. We have different ideas of what we want to do on friday night, Memorial Day weekend, after dinner. Sometimes being relieved of childcare duties leaves me feeling left out, instead of freed up.

But it's also been so sweet to just be able to hang out with him again. Listening to the giggles coming from the bedroom while I'm in the shower, walking hand in hand after dinner down by the river, having him tell me how much he missed sleeping next to me. Being able to have conversations with another adult about things is priceless. So we work through the tough spots and enjoy the tender ones.

Next month we'll be attempting to non-rev out to a family wedding in the mid-west. With 2.5 months of seniority. I'm doing my best to maximize our chances of actually getting on. I've non-reved all my life, but I was born into 12+ years of seniority, so this will be a first for all of us. We'll see how it goes.

Saturday, May 19, 2007


Woke up to a text message this morning from A saying he had made it through. Sent him a congratulatory text message back and promptly fell back asleep for another two hours. So now he's done except for the LOFT portion, supposedly to take place Sunday am. Rumor has it that they are rescheduling LOFT's for father out, so he MAY be able to come home as early as tonight. Good news except that preping for that means running the wild dogs out of the house and washing some clothes so I can show up at the airport in something a little nicer than a burlap sack. I've been a little lazy this week...

I'm working on infusing some Zen into the whole situation. He'll be home when he gets home and until then I should enjoy every day as it comes. I never know what it will bring

Thursday, May 17, 2007


First A was supposed to have his LOFT on Sunday morning and come home that evening. Then the sim broke and they got a day behind. And his partner ATR'd which may put him another day behind. And now because of the delays, he's got a new instructor for his session 7, recommendation ride tomorrow morning (2:30am sharp). He certainly is being put through the paces in handling stress with all this.

He's tired, he wants to come home, I want him to come home. Every time I start counting down the days, more days get added. It's frustrating to say the least. I may have to run down to the airport and get a big whiff of av gas to remember what he smells like. At least it would block out the choking smoke blanketing the city due to the rampant fires burning north, east and south of us.

Monday, May 14, 2007


We are in the homestretch for training. Only 5 days until A comes home to stay (for a few weeks at least). Part of me can't believe we've made it though 7 weeks of this. The other part of me thinks- duh, of course you did, was there any question?

Poor A is finally getting sick. It's kind of a wonder he made it this far without. I'm sure the combo of insane hours, multiple people in and out of the sims, unhealthy restaurant food and stress all contributed. But knowing that he is at the end and can come home to recuperate keeps him going. He said his last eval ranked him "above average". Hearing that puts a smile on my face.

While I'm excited for him to come home, his dropping in and out is disrupting to the schedule that M and I have created. It's hard to go from being the only parent, having executive privilege in making decisions, to having to weigh someone else's opinions. And I'm a little disappointed to be giving up the closet space I've been accustomed to in the past few weeks. I know it's as hard for A to drop in as it is for us, so I try to make it easier for all of us. A does his best as well, taking over running errands, doing daycare drop-off/pick-up and anything else I need (ie. don't want to do). Yes, his days here are his days off and he deserves some time to relax, but my weekends off are consumed with business as well. It's not fair to be excused from contributing just because your day off is a Tuesday or because you work far away. Luckily, A is just as committed to making this work and I can be a very persuasive girl ;) It's hard to come out and admit that I'm not 100% excited for him to come home; not exactly the homecoming anyone wants. But we've talked about it already and he's prepped for a possible cold shoulder for a day or two. I'm open to advice on this one- how to integrate the frequent comings and goings with my own desires to be the one in charge and him feeling detached from our lives, balancing letting him be a parent with watching the disaster when things get out of sync.

My parents announced that they were coming out to FL for M's preschool graduation. Good news because a) we haven't seen them since the wedding in Dec. and (more importantly) b) M will happily stay with them in a hotel room, allowing A and I to have some time to ourselves. Outside of a few evenings out at the bar, we haven't been alone since our honeymoon. Certainly nothing so extravagant as an entire night alone. M will be spending 4 weeks with his father in CA this summer, so we're looking for that "aloneness extravaganza" as well.

Something that annoys me lately- that the training department thinks that telling the hotel staff to tell trainee's to go to another hotel when they arrive is ok. Really. They can't be bothered to call the 16 trainees to let them know? Shoot them an email? Isn't that what they have interns for? Being told to show up at Hotel A and being told by them to go to Hotel B just doesn't instill confidence in organizational ability.

I count my blessing every day that we have come this far so easily. And I do my best to share the knowledge and experiences I've gained with other spouses. Someday I'm going to develop a Yoda complex.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Just life

Was up at 4am this morning to take A to the airport for his last training stint. It seems that no one can fold shirts as well as I do. A was stressed, running a little behind schedule, but we live close to the airport and it was early so everything worked out fine. But my eyes feel like sandpaper due to the lack of sleep (and the rampant forest fires causing a nice layer of smoke in the area). This last 10 days has been a whirlwind, with him home after 16 days away, then gone again, then home again and now gone again for the last 12 or so days. This block will be the training in the full motion sims and he's got the fantastic 2:30am to 9am shift. I told that at least if he could function well to pass at 2:30am, then he'll do fine on a 10am flight. he's bummed that he's going to miss out on the free continental breakfast provided by the hotel every morning.

A called from Houston already this morning and said that it seems that the hotel has no reservations for him or anyone else coming from ExpressJet. This is a different hotel from where he's been for the previous 5 weeks. So he's currently stuck at the airport trying to get in touch with the training travel department to find out where he is supposed to go. We had an inkling of an idea this would happen last night when his roommate called to tell him that he had called the hotel and was told the same thing. Hmmm, ALPA's going to have a field day with this one if it turns out that there are no hotel reservations. All A wants is to be able to get some sleep before his session thursday am.

A told me that he's started to read this blog more often now. He wanted me to update and say that they did in fact finally get to do the cabin training evacuation stuff :)

Twice in the last 10 days, we've had conversations about him feeling so disconnected from our lives. I tell him about conversations I've had and he has no idea who the person I'm talking about is. I tell him about things we've done and he feels left out. He's been so deep in training that he has no idea what's going on in the world. It's hard for him. He comes home for a few days off and is torn between resting and getting done what needs to be done. He doesn't have enough time for both. I have to give him credit for trying though. Hopefully things will get better when he's not away from us for such long stints.

It's hard for me to get sympathy from friends as well. When ever I make mention of missing him or having to do it all myself, all I get is "Well you knew what you were getting into". Well, yeah, I did. But I'd still like some recognition that I have a hard life sometimes. I have a few friends who have long distance relationships. They see their boyfriends less often, but for longer blocks of time. They say to me "well, you see him more often than I do". Yes, that's true. But when you see yours, you are on vacation and can focus on just him. A comes home and I still have to go to work, make sure we have enough milk and clean laundry and do all that other day to day stuff. I think that being in a transition right now makes it harder. Once he's settled and has some regularity in his life, things will ease up. But right now it's hard- end of training and we are all getting worn down.

I did get a boost to my flagging spirits yesterday when A gave me some Mother's Day gifts. I was so suprised because they were great things that I never thought about getting. He used his per diem money to get a gift certificate for a local spa and an Ipod Shuffle. I don't know which one I am more excited about using.

Counting down the days until the end of training...

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Thoughts on training with a family in tow

In response to a question on JC about going through training with a family in tow, I posted this-

Been there, done that about this time last year actually. We were in Jax, did the PPL and then the ACPP and instructing. It really wasn't all that bad. Our son was 3-4 during all this.

Here's some things that kept us sane:

- Studying had to be done outside of the house- at the airport, partner's house, library, apt. clubhouse. If he was home, it was too easy and distracting for all of us. I didn't care how long he was out studying,I knew there was a lot he had to learn, as long as when he was home he was ours. There really was no place for him to study in solitude at our apt. anyway and Kidzilla wouldn't have been able to leave him alone (with a younger kid this might not be a problem). Occasionally he was able to get in some study time when everyone else was sleeping.

- Some time had to be carved out for family each week. Didn't have to be daily, but we tried to go out to breakfast every sunday so we had some special family time. Ignoring your family completely is a sure path to an unhappy wife who will make your life miserable.

- Divide up tasks appropriately. I knew I couldn't expect him to be home helping with dinner every night, but he was still expected to pitch in. Gas stations and the dumpster are open 24 hrs, so are the library drop off bin and the post office... We divided up who was resposible for what so that I didn't feel like I was stuck with EVERYTHING. But I knew going into it that I was going to have to take on a large majority of household running.

- Aviation gets left at the door. Really, I don't give a crap about windspeed and weight and balance sheets. Airport gossip was another thing entirely though...

-Make a list of local "family" things to do. We keep a list on the fridge and whenever we have some family time, it's easy to find something special to do. It's all too easy to sit and home and waste the day. I refer to it when it's just me and Kidzilla to keep us busy too.

-Get your wife to join It's a great support group of other pilot wives.

I may come off as a harda$$ with my "rules" but they really did help us out and everyone who knows me or A-dub knows I'm not really that way. I see it as protecting my investment- in both his flying and our family.

-Make sure you tell your wife how much you appreciate her. For leaving whatever she had to leave behind so you could do this, for supporting you in attaining your goal, for keeping everything running smoothly while you are occupied... Just a little "thank you for being so good to me" goes a long way. Hearing about how you would rather be at home than in a hot, sticky, cramped seminole with a flight partner who forgot to pack his deoderant and snores like a freight train for your 4 day cross country makes us feel like at least your sacrifice is equalling ours.
And our son thinks that the pens/pencils/soaps/ etc picked up from different FBO's along the way are the greatest treats ever.

I've noticed in the last few months, that our son will ask mama's permission or for help for things, even when Dad is sitting right there. Not sure if it comes from my being the stable one in his life- before the divorce he's too young to remember, when we were alone and now- or from A being away from home so much flying and training. Probably a little of both. When A is home, I always remind M, "there are two adults here, you don't always have to ask mama for everything, dad can help you too". After a few days of A being home, M gets used to asking him again too, but there is still, always, a 3:1 ratio of requests to mama vs. A.

I think a lot of the topics can also carry over to managing a family for a professional pilot. The same time/distance/mind occupation are still obstacles to overcome. It's still important for both partners to help out with what they can and both to feel appreciated for their contributions and sacrifices...

A's been home yesterday and today. Returns to IAH tomorrow and come homes again 3 days later. It's been nice to have him home, he's been extra cuddly lately, but at the same time, it's hard to adjust to not being the adult in charge anymore. And he's a cover stealer...

Monday, April 30, 2007

Fingers crossed

A has his systems oral exam today. He and his partner have studied and are feeling confident, so hopefully it will be good news for them. They are scheduled for a 5 hour block for the exam, but don't anticipate needing all of it. A always did good in the oral portion of his checkrides, so I think he'll be fine. Resisting the urge to make all kinds of naughty comments involving the words oral and exam...

A had an interesting experience in the FTD a few days ago. He and his partner have been doing really well and have had good reviews. The other duo that they are splitting time with haven't been so lucky. They seem to be struggling a bit. They had a new instructor for this particular evenings FTD session who had mixed up which was the "doing well" duo and which was the "needs more work" duo. A said the guy was a total jerk and rode their ass about every little thing. However he missed about half of what the other guys messed up on. Self fulfilling prophecy in action. They realized during the final brief what had happened. The instructor threatened A and his partner with an ATR (additional training required) and A flat out told the guy "I don't like you". Yes, A has balls of steel.

A is coming home tonight for the first time in 16 days. Ironically, I can already feel a headache coming on... He'll be home monday pm-thursday am, then back to IAH and then back home again sun pm for a few more days. Then off to the full motion sim at Hobby Airport in Houston.
We are looking forward to having him home. M can't wait to do boy things like catch lizards and play video games. And I'm looking forward to some adult pursuits. And also to him getting my a/c fixed in my car. It's supposed to be in the 90's all week here. Can't wait to get to the airport tonight!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

New stuff

Oh oh oh! I just added a link to another pilot wife's blog in my blogroll for even more reading (and empathizing) pleasure. Check the blogroll on the sidebar to find the link. I'll add more as I receive requests or find sites. See what interesting things you can find when you have time to poke around a bit?

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

One down, two to go

A had and passed his systems written exam on Tuesday. That guy in class that you hate because he always gets good grades yet never cracks a book- that's A. He scored an 89%, 2nd highest in the class. 5 people, including his sim partner, didn't pass. So next on the plate is FTD's for the week, the oral exam on Sunday and then a short trip home for a few days. We had a minor panic when they gave him his May schedule and it showed him going straight from the LOFT training to his IOE, and him being gone from the 9th through the 31st. But we heard that that is most likely going to change.

Looking forward to having him home again for a few days, even if it's days I'll be working.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Keeping the home fires burning

We made it through week 3, so hopefully we have hit the half way point of training. A stayed in Houston this weekend to study. He doesn't do text books very well, he just retains an amazing amount from lectures and hands on stuff. Study sessions have been hard on him and he hasn't attended many. I told him- as long as you know as much as everyone else knows, you'll be fine. And he tells me he does. We'll find out when he has his systems written exam tomorrow.

Maybe it's just me, but I had some higher expectations for what his training would be like. I guess those low fares translate into less money spent on training as well. Tomorrow is his exam. He still has no idea what happens on Wednesday. He has no schedule. Straight to FTD/Sim stuff? A few days off? Where will the sims be- Houston? Memphis? Orlando? He has friends in other classes so he knows what they did/are doing and his class seems to be getting the shaft on all this. They haven't even had a chance to do a walk-around on a real plane. I would have expected that that would be a REQUIRED part of training. Also, they didn't get to practice any evac procedures. Again, woulda thought that would be required. And now we hear that they will be doubling up on IOE's. He'll be riding in the jumpseat for his partners IOE and then they will switch. Hopefully he won't end up getting shorted on that time as well. At least he'll learn from his friend's mistake. They don't use headsets in the sims, so when his friend showed up for his IOE, he realized he didn't know where to plug the headset in.

We've been fine back at home. It was kind of nice to take it slow this weekend instead of frantically trying to fit everything in. A always worked weekends when instructing, so having to occupy ourselves on a weekend is nothing new. M was on the phone to bio-dad last week and said "I need a new daddy now because you are in CA and A is in Q-ston and I don't have one here anymore". So we had to talk about that a little. Seem to be clear on it now though.

We had a rough spot this past week when I got angry at A on the phone and then spun it out of proportion in my head and wouldn't talk to him on the phone for 3 days. One of those things where it starts with some small slight and blows up bigger and bigger the more you think about it- like when "you put pickles on my sandwich when you know I don't like them" becomes "you must not love me because after 2 years you don't know I don't like pickles" when really it was all the Subway guy's fault. But it blew over eventually. A told me he did finally come and look up this blog to see if he could find any clues. Said it made him feel good to read what I've been writing, hooray for validation.

I'm sure a good deal of it was hormonal and blowing off steam about our whole situation. Now that we have emotionally come to terms with it, we are less in shock. Carrying a baby that isn't going to live and waiting every day for the inevitable to occur, hiding pregnancy symptoms from friends and family, and A not being here to help deal with it has taken it's toll. For him it's easier; he's away and doesn't have to deal with it, but also he can't let it interfere with his studies. I'm left trying to hold the pieces together. We've been able to let this pregancy go emotionally, now if I could just let it go physically...

In the end though, the days keep on coming, we make it though one at a time, and the world keeps spinning, just like it should.