Learning to socialize from a 12 year old

I was on my way back home yesterday on a flight from DC to Atlanta when I saw a young boy being escorted onto the plane by a flight attendant. He is what is deemed an “unaccompanied minor” by the airlines. As he walked onto the plane, I could see his face was still wet from tears he shed while telling his father goodbye. His eyes were all red, and he looked really scared. My heart broke for this little boy, and made me think of my three children I had just dropped off at their dad’s the day before.

I wondered why his father wasn’t flying back with him. I wondered why his mother didn’t fly up to DC to go get him. I know that children over a certain age fly unaccompanied all the time, and it shouldn’t be that big of a deal. This little boy seemed so clearly upset and bothered by being alone. There was another unaccompanied minor that was sitting next to him. She was a very confident looking young girl…she looked younger than he was, but I would soon find out that was not the case. The flight attendants warned both of the children to stay in their seats when we arrived in Atlanta so they could escort them both off the plane. Afterwards, there were a few moments of awkward silence. I felt sorry for the little boy…I figured he was probably embarrassed about crying and now too shy to talk to the little girl seated next to him. I felt sorry for her too. I thought she probably was scared to talk to him for fear he would burst into tears at any moment. My thoughts of pity for the two of them were interrupted by the sound of their chatter!

The little boy apologized for the crying and explained to the little girl that he was just sad because he was leaving his dad’s and didn’t want his summer vacation to end. He introduced himself as Ryan. Ryan then went on to ask the girl what her name was, and she answered. They talked about Harry Potter, iPods, Angry Birds, school, sports, summer break, where they each lived, who they had been visiting, divorce, siblings, cousins, step-parents…they didn’t stop talking the entire flight. I was reading my book and overhearing lots of the conversation because they were seated directly across from me. By the end of the flight, I was just feeling sorry for myself…I had NEVER had the courage to strike up a conversation with a complete and total stranger, and then continue that conversation for a full hour and a half. It’s not that I’m stuck up and don’t want to talk to anybody…and in general I believe that most people don’t take the initiative to strike up such conversations because they don’t want to be seen as a pest. I don’t want to bother anybody. The man next to me might just want to sit in peace and read his newspaper (most likely he does!!). That’s all I usually want too! On the flip side, I really don’t get out much and should take the opportunity to meet new people when and where I can.

All in all, it’s pretty ironic that I learned something about socializing and meeting new people from some 12 year old boy that I initially thought was a shy, awkward kid…he sure proved me wrong!

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I am now “that lady”

I may have been 7 or 8 years old the first time I was exposed to breastfeeding.  I was on an airplane with my mom and grandmother and I remember seeing a woman nursing her baby.  I saw a breast, felt my cheeks flush red, and quickly looked away.  I had never seen anyone do THAT before!  What on earth was she doing?  I can’t remember if I asked my mom or grandmother any questions about what I had seen.  I was probably too embarrassed to ask.

Fast forward 25 years…I am now “that lady”.  I have flown many times since my youngest was born.  I always nurse in public while traveling…in the airport and on the plane.  I really have no choice.  When my baby is hungry, I feed him.  It really is as simple as that.  This attitude isn’t limited to our travels…it’s an everyday way of life.  I have been blessed to never have encountered any rudeness or dirty looks as a result of me nursing in public.  I’m discreet, but I will not pile up blankets on top of my baby’s head…I live in Florida where it’s hot!

Sadly, a friend of mine (who does not breastfeed) has encountered negativity–while traveling.  She was on her way home after visiting me and her 9 month old daughter was asleep in her arms in the cradle hold.  A young boy (between 8-10 ish years old) was seated next to her.  The boy’s mother made a big scene and complained to the flight attendant that she didn’t want her son sitting next to that lady while she’s breastfeeding.  My friend got a little angry.  She was obviously not breastfeeding, and lifted her baby away from her body to prove that she wasn’t, which, in turn, caused her baby girl to wake up.

All I can say is that I’m glad it wasn’t me!  I’m pretty sure I would’ve told the woman where she could go and how to get there.  I’m proud to be “that lady who breastfeeds her kid in public”.  I’ve nursed at church, the mall, the beach, various restaurants, public parks, my kids’ school, the doctor’s office…practically everywhere!

Gawk all you want…maybe you’ll learn something!

Are we having fun yet?

Most definitely!  We had a rocky start to the week…it started off like this:

Saturday, a week ago, I went to pick up the big kids.  I arrived and ended up waiting an HOUR for them to finish getting ready before we could leave.  No biggie…we had plenty of time, and Tristan was happy so long as he had his Mommy.  Once I picked them up, we grabbed our lunch and dinner at Subway, went back to my parents’ house and then to the airport.  Smooth sailing so far, right?  Yeah…until I heard those dreaded words at the airport…”Ground stop in Atlanta”.  Our flight was seriously delayed.  At first, it looked like it would be just for 30 minutes…they let us board the plane, I got all optimistic, and we were excited to leave.  Once everybody had boarded and gotten situated, the captain announced that another ground stop for Atlanta had been issued and we wouldn’t be permitted to take off again.  We sat on the plane for about an hour and a half before we could take off.  We had a connecting flight to make in Atlanta, and I was nervous that we would miss it.  Once we landed, I was relieved to see that our connecting flight had also been delayed, and wouldn’t be departing for another 45 minutes.  Big sigh of relief.  And then the captain had to open his big mouth again and tell us that although we had landed, our gate was full and we would not be able to deplane  for another half hour or so.  It ended up being about 50 minutes before we were at the gate and off the plane.  My connecting flight departed and the hunt for another flight began.  All this was occurring after 10:30 pm.  I was TIRED!  So were all the kids.  I found the gate where a flight to Orlando would be departing around 11:15, and it has already  boarded confirmed passengers, and was in the process of putting stand-by passengers on.  I needed to get on that plane if I wanted to get home in time to watch Tommy complete the Dad’s Day Triathlon the following day.  Well, thank you very much, Gina from Delta!!  She got us on the plane and we were off…unfortunately we wouldn’t arrive in Orlando until nearly 1 am, and the drive home is just over an hour.  We were getting home around 2:15 am.  The kids went right to their beds and passed out, and Tommy and I followed suit.

Somehow, around 5:30 am, Tommy woke up, got himself ready, and left for the Triathlon.  He said he kissed me goodbye, and that I tried to get up to join him and he told me to go back to sleep.  I don’t remember any of that.  I do remember waking up around 8:30 and finding a text from him shortly after that he had already completed it.  I was stoked he did so well, but not so stoked that we had all missed it!  We went to brunch after he got home, then I spent the rest of the day grocery shopping and letting Tommy catch some rest before we had to go to his boss’ house for a picnic.

Right after Tommy woke up from his nap, Karissa had taken Tristan with her into the kitchen.  Nothing out of the ordinary when baby-hog junior is around.  Less than two minutes later, I heard a blood-curdling cry come from the kitchen.  Something happened to the little guy.  I ran to the kitchen, hurdled over Jacob who was standing in the doorway.  Karissa was already holding him, but he was still crying.  She told me that she dropped him.  Before you freak out…she had placed him on the kitchen counter and he was sitting up.  She thought he would be okay for “just a second” while she turned around to get something (whatever it was, she forgot about what she was getting in all the confusion!).  He lunged forward and fell off the counter, straight onto the tile floor.  He landed on his back, and the back of his head.   He cried for a good bit (as would I have if my head had hit that hard floor).  I wasn’t really too concerned because he didn’t have a knot anywhere on his head that I could see.  It wasn’t until he vomited twice that I started to panic a little.  I thought it would be best if we took him to the ER to get him checked out to ensure he didn’ t have a bad head injury or a concussion.  So much for that picnic!!

We spent one hour in the ER (yep, just one hour!! quickest ER visit EVER!), then were sent on our way with some piece of mind.  Off to the picnic we went anyways…just a little late.

So, that’s that tale of our first 24 hours (almost…but not quite) in Florida.  I’m happy to report that the rest of the week was somewhat uneventful.  So, are we having fun yet?

All about the baby this week

Wow, this has been a crazily busy week!  Sunday was Mother’s Day and I was fortunate enough to have my mom here for that.  We enjoyed a quiet morning together at my home (I was working on homework), and in the afternoon we all (mom, DH and I) went to Wuesthoff in Melbourne for our birth center tour.  A good friend of DH accompanied us to the hospital for the tour.

When we arrived, I was completely stressed, because we were about 7 minutes late.  I HATE to be late!  Turns out the tour hadn’t started yet, and there was only one other couple there to take the tour.  So, I calmed down.

The hospital was great, very quiet, clean, and….empty!  According to the nurse doing our tour, they only deliver between 30-40 babies per month on average.  I liked the sound of that!

After we finished the tour, we went home so we could host the Mother’s Day cookout at our home.  DH’s entire family joined us for that.  It was fun to have all our nieces over to swim around in the pool and the food was delicious!

Monday, after work, my mom, husband and I went to the other hospital for a tour.  When we walked into the birth center there, it was PACKED and NOISY!  DH said to me, “I already don’t like it!”.  I had to agree.  We kept an open mind and finished the tour out, feeling like our group was being herded like a bunch of sheep (or cows…my DH kept moo-ing under his breath as we moved from one room to the next). The clincher that told me we definitely weren’t going to deliver here was when she told us she couldn’t show us an actual Labor room because they were all either full or waiting to be cleaned.  No thanks!!  The other hospital had only ONE patient on the floor at the time, and she and her husband had actually shown up JUST as we arrived to take the tour.  Prior to that they had nobody on the unit at all!

After the tour, we went to a local seafood restaurant and enjoyed a dinner overlooking the Indian River.  It was such a beautiful evening!

Tuesday afternoon I had my anatomy ultrasound.  Mom went with me, and DH met me there on his way home from work.  They squeezed my mom and DH into the exam room (which was actually a closet they cut in half to turn into an exam room, so it was definitely a tight squeeze) so they could see the baby too.  The ultrasound lasted over an hour, and we got to see all of Tristan’s baby parts!  He got measured several different times, and it looks like his dates are anywhere from 9/21/10 to 10/5/10 ( the 10/5/10 is the date based on the LMP I gave to the dr originally, but my actual due date is 9/25/10 based on my true LMP and date of conception, as well as sizing dates from first ultrasound).  He appears to be in the 98th percentile for his gestational age, and they estimated him to weigh about 14 ounces right now!

His heart looks great, the placenta is positioned well, and the cord insertion looks great in both places.  During the  ultrasound, he was breech (he changed from footling to frank during the ultrasound), but I have full faith that he will flip many times before it’s time for him to be born and be head down so I can deliver him vaginally.

Today was mom’s last day here.  I drove her to the airport this afternoon and look forward to having her back here in September when Tristan arrives!

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