Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Dollar Store Tests Do Work!

A couple weeks back, I blogged about this awesome double jogging stroller that I came across.  In that moment, I was merely thinking of the future and analyzing the options.  This did stir up a little interest from others in whether or not we were expecting.  NO!  I said.

A little later on in the day, I visited our local 99 cent store for the first time.  This store is much bigger than I had expected and had many products I would use.  I remembered hearing about these dollar stores carrying pregnancy tests and had always wondered how well they actually worked when most other tests cost around $10.  It then came to me that I was 'late'.  Now, the reason it took me so long to realize this is that I had breastfed for 6 months, therefore I had not had my friend until the 7th month after she was born.  So, I was not used to expecting my friend.  (Sorry for the details, but you're reading) 

I scurried around to find the tests and purchased two, along with cupcake mix and frosting.  When I got home I used one test and it immediatley showed two pink lines.  Not believing it I took the other.  Same result.  In shock, I loaded Madison up and sped over to the commisarry to buy a 'more reliable' ($10) test.  I could hardly wait to get back home.  I took the tests (yes, both of them for extra measure) and our pregnancy was confirmed. 

Our 8 month old daughter is going to have a little brother or sister.  I am definetly not going back to work now.  And I will officially be chasing a 16 month old around the house while nursing a newborn.  Here we go!

This is what I had prepared for my Husband as he arrived home for work.  He almost ate them before reading them!

Making it to Wisconsin

Well, I have finally returned from my trip back home. The time there was low key itself, however, trying to get there was quite eventful.

My poor husband who is suffering from lack of sleep as it is while continuing his grueling course in Infantry Unit Leaders Course, got Madison and I to the airport at 4:15 am. Why so early? A- He had a scheduled phone meeting at 4:30am and B- He had to be to work shortly after.

After waiting around for the agent counters to open so that I can check my car seat and luggage, I make my way through security and to my gate. We wait around for quite some time as my flight isn't until 8:30. As we are waiting I am approached by a four year old little girl who plops down beside us on the floor and exclaims "My Mommy said I could play with your baby". I look over at the Mother who is paying absolutely no attention to where her daughter is and soon come to the realization that she was probably relieved for her daughter to take interest in someone else, as I soon endured the marathon of questions she posed to me. She also offered a very dirty ratty toy to my daughter which I had to combat. Finally it is time to board the plane.

I fold up my stroller and check it at the gate and am a little nervous for the flight with a wiggly 8 month old. To my relief, I am sat next to a college age girl and her mother who are quite friendly. We are also in a window seat which Madison finds very amusing. Whatever works! After sitting on the plane for over an hour, we are told our flight is now cancelled due to a mechanical issue and that we would need to de-board, collect our luggage, and get in line to be reticketed.

Great. I arrive at the carousel and collect my daughter's massive car seat as I am waiting and waiting for my luggage, until I am the only one left at the carousel. I approach the baggage personal as it takes them a mere 45 minutes to locate my luggage. They inform me that it is already in Madison, WI.

I get in line to be reticketed and find out when the heck I can get to WI, where we do not move for a good 20 minutes. Suddenly a man who must be employee of United says nothing but waves for me to come up all the way into the First Class line, along with another couple with an infant.

As I approach the ticket counter, the unfriendly woman scours as she states the obvious "you aren't first class". What I wanted to say was yes, however, there is NOONE ELSE in this line and your employee pulled me up here so deal with it! Nope, I was actually very kind and patient as I could hear other passengers raising hell at the counters next to me. As she looks through she finally says "The soonest I can get you a flight is Saturday". Just a note: It is Wednesday.

"Fine, I’ll take it." As I sit on the floor of the airport waiting for a ride and trying to entertain an 8 month old, I take a look at my tickets. They say September 2nd. That is a Friday. This makes me wonder what other mistakes the woman made.

My hero Melissa arrives to transport Madison and I and all our stuff home. I am very thankful as it would have been one long day at the airport otherwise. When I get home, I decide to get online myself and check available flights and find that there is a flight available for the next day!! So I immediately call United and get my flight changed once again. Now to find a ride.

My wonderfully fabulous, always entertaining friend Leigh picks me up in the morning after dropping her daughter off at school and takes us back to the airport. I approach the ticketing counter thinking 'here we go again'. The woman at the counter says "we request that you check your stroller". I look at her a little confused and say "why?" She goes on and on about some safety issues. At this point I am no longer friendly and say "I didn't have to check it yesterday, why would I have to today?" "Ma'am, I need to check your stroller."

Great again. I love walking around lugging a 25 lb baby. I survive the tasks of going to the bathroom and ordering food without the use of my stroller to hold my baby and begin to notice several strollers at my gate. Then our flight is delayed. I know this could be an issue as my connection in Chicago has a short layover as it is.

We board the plane and I am pleased to be blessed with an open seat next to me. It was a blessing as my child decided to pitch a fit and squirm to her heart’s content for the nearly three and a half hour plane ride.

When we touch down in Chicago, the captain announces the current time and gate assignments for connection flights. I have 15 minutes to unboard the plane and get from concourse B to concourse F, without a stroller.

Why is it that people insist on walking slow or even standing on the moving walkways? I'm pretty sure these are meant to get people to their destination faster not slower. Never the less, I end up walking as fast as my body possibly can past these idiots, with a baby and backpack through 4 terminals. I arrive just in time, the last one to board the plane, using Madison's blanket to wipe the sweat from my face. I wait for the woman to exit our row so that I can sit in our seat (window seat) and get all situated. Time to breathe.

A flight attendant approaches me and says "I'm sorry ma'am, but you can't sit here." You'll have to move to the back. Great. Let's do that. Like the last flight fortunately enough, I have an open seat beside me. For some reason, at this point Madison is in a great mood and enjoys the short flight. I happily arrive to see my Mother and gather my undamaged items all at the airport minus a toy that has detached from the stroller.  No biggie.

What I have learned is to say "No" to checking a stroller and to either never travel with a baby again or to buy a seat next to me to save sanity.

I had a great trip in the end. I was so fortunate to have friends and family that went out of their way to come see me and spend time with me.  It really made me miss home and made me think of all the more time I could spend with these wonderful people.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Comparing Jogging Strollers

The Pod by Baby Jogger

This morning I came across a give-away for a new jogging stroller called The Pod.  It is a stroller that is quickly and easily convertible from a regular stroller, to jogger, and to a hitch so that you can bring your little ones with you on your bike rides.  Honestly, I would only use the jogging attachment.

Looking more into this stroller I became more interested.  I was surprised that considering the size, it holds two children.  It also has an adjustable handle bar to accommodate shorter or taller people.  There is a built in mesh lining to protect from bugs and a rain guard that can be purchases separately.  This would be a plus for me as there are some days when I skip my run due to rain. 

BOB Double Jogger

I am so amazed at how small it is and how easily it folds up compared to most double joggers I see.  It seems as though it would fit in most SUVs whereas I am not too sure about others. 

What double jogger do you use and why do you like it?  Does anyone have experience with the Pod?  What can you anticipate not liking about this jogger?

NOTE:  This is not an "I'm expecting" announcement.  Simply just brainstorming for the future.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Current Happenings

First off, I am leaving Wednesday to head back home and am very excited to have some time with my Mom.  Although, I looked up the weather and it is going to be HOT.  And it is different than California hot.  Wisconsin is just sticky and nasty.  I think Madison and I will hide indoors on those days. 

The hubby has been extremely busy with the course he is currently in (IULC).  He ended up pulling an all nighter last Thursday night to complete several papers and projects.  He's getting a little taste of the college life if he decides to go that route some day.  Thankfully he only has one month left.  He has been working very hard. 

We attended the 3/5 Family Day at Mariner's Church out in Irvine this past Saturday and it was great!  Of course my husband took off to compete in every sporting competition available as soon as we got there.  This means we missed our chance at a professional family portrait that the Church was providing.  A little bummed about that but it was great to see everyone and it was a great day with great food. 

We had a scary parent moment yesterday.  Our daughter was on the floor surrounded by her toys and my husband and I were playing a game.  She suddenly started crying so I picked her up as I usually do and laid her in my lap.  She started making a choking sound, but it didn't alarm me too much because she seems to choke on her own saliva alot since she produces so much lately.  Something seemed different though and I don't even know what made me look but I reached in her mouth and pulled out the eye to a stuffed animal.  THAT is what she was choking on!  Then she was really crying.  My poor baby.  I am so glad I noticed it.  We really learned our lesson and went through all her toys.  We took away any item that wasn't specifically made for babies, even all the stuffed animals.  We sure learned our lesson!

This is her just before the incident.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Being Sick

It is no fun, no fun at all.  I feel completely unmotivated to do anything and that includes running and working out.  However, my husband did manage to drag me out of the house last evening for the Endless Summer Beach Bash on Camp Pendleton.  There were many vendors selling beach gear, food, beer, etc.  There were motocross races showing us their awesome tricks and a live band.  Matt and I enjoyed some fried food and beer and it was a good time.  It was nice to take the 2 mile walk to and from the event and stretch my legs a little. 
She was having fun til she bonked her head on Daddy's chin.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Going Home

I am so excited to announce that I am going home to visit!  Although I will be there nearly a week and a half, I will not be seeing a whole lot of people.  I want to actually have some quality time to spend with my Mom this time around.  It seems that everytime I go home, I have a jam-packed schedule, driving all over WI and IL to visit friends and family.  In May of 2010, I put 1,000 miles on my rental car.  I stayed in southern WI and Northern IL.  I love being able to see everyone and that is the whole point of me coming home, but this time I just need to relax with my Mom.  I am very excited for her to be able to spend lots of time with Madison.  I know how much she loves her and is probably missing her so badly. 

I will be going to Milwaukee to see all my girlfriends (because it is a must!).  I will also plan to see my Grandmother and my cousin.  My cousin Kelsey is one of the sweetest, nicest people I know.  When we were young, we used to ride our bikes all the way across town during the summer days, just to meet up so we could hang out for the day.  Now she has two little girls and I have one.  I wish we were closer so we could spend more time together. 

Of course I will be traveling down to IL to see my in-laws too.  They are the best in-laws I could ask for.  I am so lucky and I know it.  I hear many horror stories from friends about their in-laws.  Being at their house is like being at home to me.  I am also hoping to see my aunt, uncle, and cousin and his new wife. 

One of my best girlfriends has recently moved back to the area.  I have not seen her in over a year and she is very special to me.  Some how, some way, I will see that girl!

It seems that as a Military Family, it is very hard to find enough time to see everyone you love and care about.  Moving about the country and the world puts a kink in that.  How do other Military Families deal with this?

Monday, August 8, 2011

20 Year Retirement Plan

The Marine Corps Times is reporting on the proposed changes to retirement benefits of Military Personnel.  The change is meant to reduce retirement costs while providing some portion of benefits to all those who have served in the armed forces, rather than only those who choose to stay in for 20 plus years.  A 401k plan with matching government funds would replace the current system.  What are your thoughts?  Read the full story here.