The song. Not even Eminem could prevent it from sounding like "just another"
I did it. I flew solo with a ten-month old. I did my research to try and avoid as many "issues" as possible. I purchased an umbrella stroller for ease of transport in the airports. It is lightweight, small, folds up easily and can actually fit in an overhead compartment.
I researched about babies ears popping and how to deal with the pressure changes. Luckily (this is making lemonade out of lemons) Colton had fluid on his middle-ear, an effect from a recent virus. The pediatrician told me that this was not a problem at all. It would prevent his ear from popping and there was no risk of busting an ear-drum. I didn't want to chance it though and had bottles, snacks, pacifiers and water in a sippy-cup all packed in the carry-on.
United had an automated phone check-in. They called and I checked-in, or so I thought. The automated phone person asked if I was traveling with a baby. I responded that I was. They replied that I was set, and all I needed to do was swipe my credit card.
That's not really what happened. On Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013 we arrived nearly two hours before the flight to the Burlington airport (BTV). I tried checking in with my credit card, it didn't work. No big deal. It took a bit longer, but we were helped by a desk person. I had two bags to be checked. None of my credit cards were being read (even though it worked for check in ???). Luckily, I had cash to pay for the bags $60. Strike one.
Baby, two diaper bags (one with food, one with diapers, toys and spare clothes in case of a poop-problem), stroller, baby blanket and winter jacket. This may not sound like much, but now comes my first of many scrunched-up, squinty-eyed faces at the United staff. For United Airlines flight 4232 we were required to walk down two flights of stairs outside and then up one to the plane (no ramp). Fortunately they allowed me to board early - this time. No one from United seemed to notice I had a baby in a stroller and there was no elevator, even thought they sought me out when I was feeding the baby in the waiting area to tell me I couldn't sit in the A seat section... Luckily a nice man from the Burlington Airport offered to carry the stroller. Strike two United Airlines.
On this flight the young flight attendant was quite rude. Her welcome to me (lugging my baby and two bags - that didn't fit very well through the aisle) was, "You can't sit on that side." She was referring to the A side. I didn't know why, but let her know that the airport United lady told me the same thing. Luckily I was sitting next to a bunch of Minnesotans who were very nice. I believe the lady's name was Becky and her son was scared to fly - they switched him with me (because I couldn't sit on the A side). She had to reassure her son it would be okay - from across the aisle. She also let me know why it was I couldn't sit with a baby on my lap in the A aisle - it's because there isn't an extra air mask in case of problems. Thanks passenger for explaining this. Strike three United Airlines.
Now came the flight - I had the bottle ready (warming between my knees) for take-off just in case my pediatrician was incorrect and Colton needed to swallow to pop his ears. My pediatrician told me about how overly wonderful the flight attendants were (on another airline he took) a few weeks earlier. He said there was a young couple who asked the attendant to warm a bottle three times on one flight. I thought, "wow, that's great. But I think I figured out how to feed him without help." --- Thank goodness, as no help was ever offered, not from United anyway.
Colton was pretty good on this first flight - I just kept shoving his mouth with banana puffs. The nice Minnesotan family assisted me with my bags when deplaning*. (*I believe I've blogged about my disdain for this word a few years ago - it's a ridiculous word. I don't decar, dehouse, debus or de-anything else when I leave...)
We made it to Cleveland. I love the Cleveland airport - love it. It's always clean and has a great food selection. Things were looking up. We didn't have to leave terminal C. The flight got moved, but only a few gates down.
When the time came to start boarding flight 4749 I got up and started loading the bags on my shoulders with baby in stroller. NOPE. Back-up. Sit down. Apparently a baby is not a disability, nor a reason to be able to make it down the ramp early, not even if you're traveling alone. The United lady wasn't even nice about it. She was a jerk when I asked if I could board early. OK. fine. I'll just delay all of the other passengers as I unload him from the stroller, fold the stroller up and carry both bags and baby onto the plane... and that I did.
Again, if not for a very nice (again Minnesotan) I would have been in tears. This young man helped me carry the bags so I could fold up the stroller and not drop the baby in the cold ramp. Again the only thing the flight attendant was concerned with was that I was not sitting on the A side of the aisle.
Since baby C slept on the descent of the last flight, I figured I'd let him sleep through this one. He was a little fussy, but after another bottle fell asleep and stayed asleep until we landed in Minneapolis. The flight attendant on this one wasn't as bad as the first, but she was of no assistance either.
At least there was no problem with the checked bags. That's a problem I often had with Midwest and Northwest airlines. So I guess you can give the airline a point back...
My return flights were on Monday, January 14, 2013. I was waiting for the phone call to check-in, it never came. Okay, no problem. We were planning on getting to the airport early and we did. My dad brought Colton and me to the Minneapolis airport more than two hours prior to our departure. Again, thank goodness. We waited in line for at least 20 minutes. Then when I went to check in with my credit card, it didn't work (the registration, not my card). Instead of someone from the United desk trying to help, the nice man from Air Canada stepped in to see what he could do. For some reason the baby was not on the return flight reservation. What? arghhhh. This caused another delay.
Again we were not allowed to board early. But it didn't really matter as there were only six people (not including the baby) on a 90-person plane. And I was better prepared. This time I didn't bring a winter jacket and instead of pushing the baby down the ramp, I carried him with the two bags so I could pop the stroller down and fold it up. The check in United lady was nice, but there were many problems with other flights she was trying to manage.
Onto the ramp, finally we had a personable attendant for flight 5143 from Minneapolis (MSP) to Newark (EWR). There were two male attendants and the one at the front was very nice. He actually explained that he's not allowed to leave the plane to help and took the stroller from me and placed it in the overhead compartment as there were only five passengers on the plane, not including the baby. Well, there, a little communication goes a long way.
This attendant was semi-amused as Colton found his air mask demonstration amazing and watched very intently the entire time. Baby C was a bit more fussy on this flight, but again there were not many others on the plane with room for 90. I was able to stand up and rock him a bit. It was nice to have a flight attendant who actually conversed with us.
Onto Newark. For this boarding I can't blame the United worker for my frustration. Instead the ultimate rudeness award goes to the French Canadian Family that barged in front of me (holding my baby with two bags on my shoulders, pushing my stroller) forcing me to stand there holding 40 pounds while they took their own temps sucre! I had to sit Colton on the podium as my arms were going to give out. There was a nice French Canadian girl who offered to push the stroller. And although I don't fault the United employee - she could have pointed out that I was already in line instead of ignoring the fact that I WAS THERE FIRST and my arms were falling off... That was her job, not mine.
The flight attendant on this flight 4162 had a voice like Morgan Freeman, which was cool, but he was not friendly at all. He seemed pissed that he was working. At least he placed my bags above (because I was in a row with no seats in front of me) for me.
We made it. I wish I could say I would choose another airline in the future, but unfortunately United is the primary choice out of Burlington. This makes me sad.
I miss Frontier Airlines as their flight attendants were the best. I've never had a problem with Delta or Northwest either. Service does matter. I will pay more in the future to avoid United - who by the way advertises that your carry-on is free (that's not a USP). That's a dumb campaign.
I'm not saying that United did anything particularly wrong, but they definitely didn't do very much right.
I don't like that Weebly logs you in automatically with facebook, even when you want to type in the username and password. It irks me. Sometimes I don't want to be connected to facebook...
Photo by Brenda Rose Dadds-Woodward
There is a moose spotted near the "notch" up here in the North Country. I am not yet familiar with the local landscape and could not tell you exactly where "the notch" is located. This being said, I have a hunkering that the way this moose is being treated by the local government agency DEC is unprofessional to say the least.
I've asked people who received degrees focusing on environment and wildlife and they too had never heard of shoot
an animal with a paint gun (note the red dot on his upper right face). Redneck officials or just trying to (unsuccessfully as he's still there) move a moose?
Here's the local TV story about it. http://bit.ly/NOL0kw
From questioning the students who riot and disrespect police authority to support a football coach who hid the knowledge of staff member's sexual abuse activities.
New York Times -
Penn State Students Clash With Police in Unrest After Announcement
By NATE SCHWEBERPublished: November 10, 2011
To the students who wore shirts in support of DeAngelo Dantzler and Brent Anderson (the students who allegedly assaulted a 14-year-old girl).
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Homestead students charged with sexual assault of child
By Bill Glauber of the Journal Sentinel
I sure do hope parents (including those of the college students) are taking the time to talk about why sexual assault and abuse are wrong, and how supporting the perpetrators (and those who protect them) only further hurts the victims. I feel it may stem from the ever-growing attitude of, "It's none of my business" and "it doesn't affect me, so it's not of my concern." Well maybe the nosey-neighbor syndrome is not always a bad thing. And maybe the small-town mentality of being in everyone's biznass is a good safe-guard to be aware that you're being watched.
Hopefully we as a people can remember to live by the golden rule. And then look at our actions and make sure that the things we say/do are things we hope others would say/do to us. Really.
I went to my monthly baby check-up today. Everyone in my waiting area appears to be preggers - or so I thought. I made the horrible mistake today by asking the lady next to me when she was due... Ooops, she's not. I know you're not supposed to ask this question, but I thought the pregnancy doctor was a safe place, guess not. My bad.
Trying to look at the bright side of things - Moving is good for reducing your collection of "things." This is unless you're in such a hurry that you throw everything into boxes and hope for the best.
I've moved a few times in my life. I start out with the intention of being meticulous and going though the "keep, throw and donate" piles. I started out well. I've made three trips to the good will and have donated a plethora of items to the "neighborhood garage sale." On the lower east side this is when you place your unwanted items out on the curb and wish them the best. Thus far I've unloaded several pieces of framed art (yes, I called them pieces, not works as they were just that), a pretty little table, baby gate, shelving until, books - books and more books, and miscellaneous swag items from my various jobs.
The good will has received more than 100 items of clothing, 10 pair of shoes and all of the random "stuff" not taken in the neighborhood.
Even with all of this donating I still managed to pretty much fill a Two-men and a truck, truck. YIKES!
Thank goodness for movers however, this was the first time I had the luxury of movers and they were a true God send. I feel bad for them having to carry all of the books that I did not donate. This also makes me thankful for electronic files. ;)
Now, while I'm blogging my wonderful fiance is packing up the remaining misfit items. He's throwing everything in boxes and they join the "hope for the best" of being unpacked -- eventually...
Closing thought - twomenandatruck.com - I always see T women an
The drive back to Milwaukee started like any other... it took me way too long to pack up and get going. I piddled around, worked both horses, and washed and waxed my car (and my mom's too).
I got on the road around 4ish. I noticed my air bag light was on as I reached HWY 65 from my parents and thought, well don't get in an accident. Then I went another 20-30 miles and noticed other dashboard monitors also misbehaving. The speedometer worked intermittently. The radio started turning on and off. The car started revving at higher rates (I was up to 4 and only going 40 MPH). I called my brother and he said, "Well there's nothing I can do about it." NICE.
Then reaching HWY 10 my check engine light came on. CRAP. Unlike my father who simply covers the CEL with a sticker from his morning apple so as not to concern himself with the matter, I knew this was different. I wanted to make it past St. Paul since I was in rush hour traffic and didn't want to be charged St. Paul fix-it and tow rates...
I shut off anything taking energy, A/C, radio, fans, lights... I called my friend Kathryn when I began the trip and originally planned on watching her riding lesson in Hudson. I called her again and said, "Can I have Bob's (her husband) number?" I knew this wasn't good. I saw the Woodbury exit and thought it looked like a good place to be stalled. I was correct.
I tried merging three lanes of I-94 that was already in stop-and-go. This would have been fine but I only had intermittent go and semi-trucks were trying to merge the other way. I made it over safely but was going 20 mph at this time. I rolled up to the top of the hill at the off-ramp and stopped.
At this same time Kat's husband Bob called me back and I must have been slightly freaked out ( more annoyed than anything) as I said, I'm sitting here and my car won't go, I have no energy and the flashers won't even turn on (the just made an eeeeerr sizzle sound). He could tell I was flustered and I told him I would call him after I talked to Geico.
Luckily a nice man in a business suit who drives an Audi stopped and pushed my car out of the turn lane onto the side of HWY 13. He made sure I was ok and had roadside assistance. I love Minnesotans. The last time I broke down near Quad Graphics in south eastern wisconsin the sheriff (who had already drove past me twice) stopped and said, "M'am we had complaints that you were on the side of the road." Not one person helped me that time.
This time I had several motorists stop to make sure I was ok and to see if I needed a ride. Two walkers stopped and offered me their cell phones. Awe - Minnesota Nice isn't so phony after all.
I called Geico and get this, they cover towing up to 15 miles. That's nice, I guess but I didn't even know the address to Bob's shop. The Geico lady took care of it for me. She phoned Bob and got his location and information. Lucky for me his shop was 14 miles away. Perfect.
Bobby the tow truck driver took about an hour longer than anticipated, but he hooked up the Kia and we were on our way.
Kat picked me up from the shop and Bob ran the diagnostics that night. He had an alternator and belt expressed in from Kia and tested and recharged my battery. I was gulping hard as I had only budgeted enough for the summer to get buy with a little on the side. I looked up how much the job should've cost (between $750 and $1,100) and was a little sad. Instead Bob only charged me a fraction of that price. On top of it I got to hang out with my childhood friend. She's a beautician so I also got an eyebrow wax and color on top of it all.
I must say this was one of the best break-downs I've ever had :)
I adopted a kitten last Tuesday (photos to come - I'm horrible at uploading things). We've already been through the gamut. She was pretty good driving all the way to Milwaukee from New Richmond, Wisc.
Julie Mewmar (named after Julie Newmar) was 8 1/2 weeks when I got her and is a busy, bossy kitten. My body is marked by mini-kitten claws from head to toe. She likes to lick and then BITE. She sleeps all day and Runs around all night. Well she did run around all night until last night.
I noticed on Friday that her left eye was red and puffy. I called the vet Saturday morning and they couldn't get her in until Monday morning... During this time I also noticed the growth of two scabs on her back that had originally looked like cigarette burns... She also had a scab on her left ear. This can not be good.
I brought her to the vet on Monday morning and it was storming. She was not pleased. Her eye was infected (but not scratched - extra fee). And it turns out those little scabs are most likely RINGWORM. Ringworm isn't actually a worm, it's actually the fungus also known as jock itch.
Not only did I have to clean all surfaces she may have touched with bleach water (kitchen, living room dining room and bathroom, couches, chairs, rugs, blankets...) I had to wash all articles of clothing, towels, EVERYTHING she may have touched. You can not eat off my floor - really.
I was/am paranoid about getting ringworm (since the last cat, Lucky, caused me to have to get a shot on my arse because she clamped her teeth into me during a seizure and my "Luck" isn't always the best). So not only did I purchase Lotrimin jock itch spray, I bought funi cure soap. I am now bathing and then spraying my entire body from head-to-toe morning and night. I actually had a numb right arm for a couple hours this morning. I wasn't sure if it was from sleeping incorrectly, the self-medicated treatments or from spraying Lysol on everything after being cleaned by bleach...
This has also resulted in me having to quarantine Julie. This is not of her liking. AT ALL.
The next post will explain the trials and tribulations of constructing the Julie Mewmar fortress! off-dah.
I'm composing this note in Ah hooo ah hooo ah hoooo Viking Purple. My first question to the Vikings (and the NFL is) - HAVE YOU READ A NEWSPAPER lately? My second question is that even if you feel you deserve a new stadium - Have you earned it? In most businesses/ways of life you need to be hard working and successful to have things given to you. (ummm you're on strike and have never won a superbowl.)
Our national deficit has reached its limit. The unemployment rate is crazy. And you think that since you're putting in $400 million that it's okay for the taxpayers to foot the rest? Maybe during the 90's America was stupid enough to buy into your 30-60 deal, but you didn't seal the deal then. And I hope for the sakes of Minnesotans you don't this time either. Have you turned on the news today? It doesn't matter if you're a right-wing radio HTBTWTT (have to be told what to think) entitlist or a lefty-NPR liberal EEIAI (everyone else is an idiot) elitist. Even the crazies on both sides understand cuts are being made all around. These are cuts so that people can eat for the Love of God.
Why don't we ask each player to contribute in order to keep their job? Cuts are being made all over the place. Whether it be a furlough or shortened work week. NFL and Ziggy this is stupid. If I were the Governor of MN you wouldn't be seeing a cent. I love football more than most people. But I love rationality more. This is stupid. T'hell with the Queens and taxing people only for another losing season.
Below is the article from the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal - Goodell: NFL to contribute toward Vikings stadiumMinneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal - by Ed Stych, Web ProducerDate: Tuesday, May 17, 2011, 10:43am CDTNFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, after meeting with Gov. Mark Dayton Tuesday, said the league will contribute financially toward a new Vikings stadium.Goodell, who was in town for court-ordered talks aimed at ending the league’s lockout, said he’ll reveal details in the next few days about what the NFL would contribute. Metropolitan Sports Facilities Chairman Ted Mondale said Goodell may take a more active role in the stadium debate, Minnesota Public Radio reported.
>Click here to read MPR's story.
An NFL contribution had been presumed by the Vikings, and the $407 million contribution the team has offered towards an Arden Hills stadium includes the NFL's money too.
Regarding possible NFL funding, Mondale said, "We presume it's something. How much? (I’m) not particularly sure, but a range would help all of us.”
Goodell said he toured the Arden Hills site where the Vikings want to build the new stadium on Monday, the Star Tribune reported.The Vikings feel “very strongly” about the Arden Hills location, the commissioner said.
>Click here to read the Star Tribune's story.
The Vikings would contribute $407 million to the building of the facility under a plan between the team and Ramsey County. The county would raise $350 million through a sales tax, and the state would contribute $300 million.
Gov. Dayton said Tuesday that he was holding firm to $300 million as a maximum contribution from the state, and that figure needed to include road improvements that have been pegged at $175 million.
The Vikings think the road estimate is too high, and state Transportation Commissioner Tom Sorel said he was working on determining a final figure for the road costs, the Star Tribune reported.
Sometimes I'm perplexed by the things people do. Sometimes I'm perplexed by the things I do!