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.Ă‚ 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.