A Travel Day to Remember (Part 2)

A Travel Day to Remember (Part 1)

Family trip

We were hell bent on making this flight. The thought of having to wait for another gave me anxiety. From a distance we saw a crowd of people who appeared to be waiting to board the aircraft. “We got this,” I thought to myself.

Once we arrived at the gate, we were informed that no more passengers were allowed to get on the plane. Here’s where I thought that playing the baby card would work in our favor. But the agent took one look at our family and reiterated, “The doors are closed.” We begged and pleaded for her to let us on, but with a very matter of fact demeanor she said, “We close the door five to ten minutes before takeoff.” I looked at my phone and realized that we missed the plane by one minute.

“Can’t you call the plane and ask them to let us on,” I pleaded some more. “No,” she said. “Once the doors are closed, that’s it.” That woman was cold as ice. She obviously didn’t care that we missed our flight. The other people who we standing there, as it turns out, were from an earlier flight that had been canceled due to mechanical problems. So we weren’t the only ones out of luck.

This was the first time I’d ever miss a flight. I kept going over in my head how we could have saved time, but it was useless. We missed it and there was no way we were getting on that plane, and no way my hubby could have made the standby cut either. Now we had to try and get on his original flight, which was set to depart at 2:30pm. Princess had been trooper up until this point. “I’m hungry and thirsty. I want some water and something to eat,” she whined. She had a pretty hearty breakfast, but we had decided to limit her water until after the flight. So, I couldn’t blame her for being thirsty. It just came at a bad time. I took her to the bathroom and searched for water, while my hubby stood on line to try and get us on his flight.

The only option we had was to place the kids and me on standby for the 2:30 flight. If luck would have it, some people would miss their flight allowing the four of us to travel together. However, it was already full and the odds of someone missing the plane was slim because there were tons of people on standby from that earlier canceled flight. If we didn’t make that plane, the kids and I would have to wait until the 7:30pm, which would mean that we’d be stuck at the airport the entire day and wouldn’t arrive I tampa until after 10pm. It would take a miracle for us to travel together. The only other option was to take a flight at 1pm to Boston and wait for a 7:30 flight to Tampa from there. We chose to try our luck and waited to see if we could get on my hubby’s direct flight.

After roaming the airport and listening to Princess whine some more, she finally got her wish. We had lunch, then headed straight to the gate to wait for the 2:30 flight. With only two one diaper left, I was hoping Baby O wouldn’t have a last minute explosion. There’s no telling when we’d be able to board a plane at this point.

We were already pissed off that JetBlue turned us away, and planned to write a note of complaint. But then I figured, why not try and work a little magic to see if the agent could do something to get us on the next flight somehow. I could bat my lashes, or approach with the kids. There are some people who have a sore spot for kids. But after thinking about that lady who shut the door, I knew that playing the kid card would be a waste of time. Batting my eyes wouldn’t work either. I looked at hot mess.

Instead, I politely explained the situation to the guy behind the JetBlue counter. “This is my first time on stand by. Can you explain the process to me?” I asked. I then went on to tell him that even if there was one seat left, I’d want to put my daughter in the flight with her dad and I’d travel on the 7:30 flight with the baby. “But, if there’s anything you can do to get us all on, I’d appreciate it,” I added. He then told me that there was a family of six ahead of us. “I don’t think they’ll want to split up, if there were only a couple seats left,” he said.

In a nutshell, we sorta had a shot of getting on. As it turns out, the family of six was supposed to have been on that early morning canceled flight, and wasn’t able to board the 10:30 flight either. They were actually supposed to be on a cruise and missed the boat too. The agent told me that they were basically out a ton of money with no where to go, and decided to spend a coupe days in Tampa and make the best of their situation. They were in a pretty bad predicament, but so were we. Traveling with small children is completely different from traveling with teens, like this family.

We had about a two hour wait, which seemed like an eternity. Princess was getting more restless and had been working my last nerve. I prayed that there was at least one seat so that she could get on. I couldn’t blame her though. If we had made the flight, we would have already been in Tampa.

She must have needed to go to the bathroom a million times. I actually lost count. After every trip to the restroom, she wanted to race back to where Baby O and her daddy were sitting. Needless to say, I was exhausted.

So what do you think, did we make it on the next plane? Stay tuned to find out.

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A Travel Day to Remember (Part 1)

I consider myself a pro when it comes to traveling. But, adding kids to the mix makes me feel like a novice. In preparation for our trip to Tampa, I prepared as if I was studying for an exam. But, all the cramming in the world couldn’t prepare me for this trip. It’s definitely a travel day to remember.

The plan was to wake up at 7:00am and get ready for a 10:30 flight to Tampa, Fl. I was up by 6:45. Our bags were packed and ready to be loaded into the SUV. All we needed to do was jump in the shower and get the kids fed and dressed.

I made some of my delicious oatmeal from scratch. Once we were all good to go, the clock read 8:20. We all made a quick bathroom run, while my hubby quickly placed all the luggage in the car. By the time we hit the road it was just after 8:30. Normally I’d be a little worried leaving so late. But since it was a Sunday, I thought no one would be on the road, except for maybe church folk. The last time I traveled on a weekend I practically flew through security. Besides, with two small kids in tow, less waiting meant less chances for meltdowns.

We got there in about a half hour, but hit a bit of a snag with parking. We wanted to park in the cheaper long term lot, which was miles from the Jet blue terminal. So we opted for the more expensive closer one. By the time we unloaded everything to head to the terminal, it was around 9:20. We soon realized that the more expensive lot didn’t necessarily save us time. We had a little over an hour to go through security and it seemed like we were walking for miles to get to the JetBlue counter.

Tampa, FL 1

Tampa, FL 2

Thank goodness we checked in the night before. All we had to do now was check our bags and my hubby wanted to see if he could get on standby for our flight. As I mentioned in my previous post, I was supposed to be traveling with the kids alone, while he took a 2:30pm flight. Once we arrived at the line to drop our bags, it didn’t seem so bad. The only problem was that the line for standby grew in like 10 seconds while he was with us for the luggage drop off. I know you’re probably thinking why didn’t we stand on separate lines? The problem was that we had a lot of stuff, including two big ass suitcases, two carry ons, an umbrella stroller, and Princess’s Doc McStuffins mini suitcase.

In hindsight, I should have just put Baby O back in the carrier and try to maneuver with everything, while the hubs stood in the other line. I think that may have save us a few minutes. But we got back the loss time because the guy who checked the bags expedited the process by putting him on standby. All we needed to do was go through security, and it would be smooth sailing from there – or so I thought.

I almost pissed my pants at how long the line was. I tried to talk my way into getting us moved ahead. The agent advised us to get on the ‘express line.’ “You’ll make it. You won’t have to take off your shoes or put any thing in a tray. You can leave the baby in carrier and all they would need to do is swipe your hand,” she said. An elderly lady took pity on us and insisted we moved ahead of her, which worked out in our favor because I later found out she had metals in her body from having two knee replacement surgeries. By the time we’d gone through she was still waiting to be cleared. Thank goodness we weren’t stuck behind her.

It was 10:12. We had to haul ass to board the plane. From a distance, the lady who had been standing ahead of us on line was trying to get our attention to hurry up. She vigorously waved us along. We began running down the corridor toward the gate praying we’d make our flight.

So, did we make it? Stay tuned to find out if we were able to board the plane.

A Travel Day to Remember (Part 2)

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Things Only Parents Will Understand

family

Let’s face it, being a parent is the toughest job ever. I’ll admit, I used to be one of those people who would hate waiting for the mom with her kids in tow and tons of shopping bags to boot. Now that I’m a mom, it looks like karma has bit me in the butt. Now my husband and I have only become those people. I share things only parents will understand in my latest post on BabyCenter. But, this isn’t just for people with kids. Those without children are welcome to give this one a read too.

Here’s a snippet:

1. Being sick all the time. If you’re a parent to small children in daycare, then you know what I’m talking about. Kids can be susceptible to all kinds of germs. I’ve experienced this with both of my children. They would catch a virus, which leaves one of us having to call out from work. Then it becomes a game of tag with each of us taking turns getting sick.
2. No sleep. It took Princess a while to start sleeping through the night. Once we got a routine down, I got pregnant with baby number two. Right now I’m averaging around five hours a night.
3. No privacy. Nowadays I can’t enjoy a 15-minute shower without one of my kids needing me for something. Either my daughter would barge in to ask a random question or her baby brother would need my attention. Sometimes I’ve had to bring him into the bathroom with me.
4. Can’t sit down to enjoy a meal. Having an infant keeps you on your toes. My husband and I have a rule that we don’t eat unless the kids eat first. There’s usually so much going on that we end up taking turns at the dinner table.
5. Can’t get through a movie. Making it through any program is challenging. With two kids around, we can never hear dialogue. It’s way too loud! By the time we get ready to put the kids to bed, my husband usually falls asleep in minutes.

father son

There’s just so many things we go through as parents. I’ve only scratch the service, but the list goes on. You can check out the rest over at BabyCenter. If you have anything you’d like to add, please do. Non-parents can feel free to chime in too. Good bad or indifferent, your comments are welcome.

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5 Reasons why I’m freaking out about traveling with my kids

Last summer I accomplished something I never thought I could do. I got on a plane with my newborn. The trip was a success. Baby O and I had a blast. Now, My hubby and I are gearing up for a trip in a few weeks, and I’m going nuts. Here are five reasons why I’m freaking out about traveling with my kids:

1. Baby O is no longer a newborn. Traveling with a two-month-old was a piece of cake. I kept him in the baby carrier most of the time. He was so quiet that people were surprised to learn that I had a baby the entire flight.

baby O
2. The four of us will be getting on the plane, but we won’t be together. My husband will have to take a separate flight, which means that I’ll be traveling with the kids alone. I equate this to zone defense. How the heck am I gonna be able to keep both kids in check.
3. Kids are unpredictable. Baby O is usually no fuss, but get him on the wrong day, fuggetabboutit! Oh, and his big sis too. There’s no telling when or why she’ll have a meltdown.
4. Carrying all this stuff with two kids! My husband said he’ll take some things. But you know how it is traveling with kids. They need a lot of stuff. How am I gonna carry it all?
5. I’ve never done it before. It’s easy to pack your own things. But when you’re responsible for little ones, that’s a whole other story. We’ll need to pack the car seats, diapers, wipes, gadgets, and the list goes on.

I know we’ll get through this. I’m gonna start my having a long conversation with Princess, and make a list. We’ll just have to take baby steps. This trip should be interesting. Stay tuned.

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I am Beautiful Project

siblings

I tell my kids they’re is smart, beautiful, and talented practically everyday. I do this because it’s true. I do this because I want them to know their worth. I think it’s important our children know how great they are so that they can be confident in themselves. As much as I reinforce these positive traits, something makes me think about my own self-esteem. Do they ever see Mommy pointing out her flaws?

It’s been tough losing the postpartum belly bulge. Sometimes I’ll squeeze it in the mirror, thinking somehow it’ll shrink. Even though they aren’t in the room, I realize that what I’m doing is not good. I’m sure that most women can agree that we can be self deprecating at times. But, it may be sending the wrong message.

Rather than put myself down, I say “I look great.” My husband – the stud that he is – always compliments me on how fantastic I look too. I’m glad that my children are able to see this because I want them to be able to build positive relationships with their spouses some day. But most importantly, I want them to be confident in who they are and their abilities, so that their kids can also be confident.

With that said, I hope that every parent does the same. Tell your kids how beautiful they are, and tell yourself how beautiful you are. I came across this YouTube video called “I am Beautiful Project” and it inspired me to write this post. Please feel free to share. It has a very powerful message.

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Frozen: My Daughter’s First Experience at the Movies

When I took my daughter to the movies for the first time, running was the last thing I thought she’d ever do. But, that’s exactly what she did. I didn’t tell her where we were going or what we’d be doing. She loves surprises, and that’s exactly what I told her – “It’s a surprise!”

Everyone’s been talking about the Disney movie, Frozen. I thought it would be a great thing for us to see together – sort of like a mommy daughter date.

“What is this place?” she asked.
“You’ll see,” I responded.

As soon as we paid for the tickets, bought some snacks, and walked into the theatre, she immediately bounced.
“I’m scared,” she yelled upon stepping into the big dark room. She appeared surprised by the huge screen and the loud noise coming from it.

I ran after her and told her it would be ok, and that I was there to protect her. She held my hand and walked in for a second time. I could tell by the way she tried to wiggle her fingers away that she was still a bit reluctant. Again, I told her that everything was gonna be alright.

This time she walked in with confidence. I showed her to our seats, and it was smooth sailing from there.

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Frozen1

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frozen4

As you can tell by the first few photos, she had a great time. But her laughter turned to disappointment because she didn’t win a prize from one of those game machines at the concession stand.

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