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.