Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Flight Attendant Chronicles: Part 4

Finally, after almost 2 months... here are the answers to your questions about my job as a flight attendant. Thanks for your patience and I hope you enjoy! Great questions!!

How many flights do you cover in one day?

It depends on the day. Sometimes we only do 2 or 3 flights, sometimes we do 4 or 5 flights per day. The most they can schedule us to do is 6… that’s a lot- I try to avoid those trips!

Have you had to deal with any unruly passengers?

Luckily, no! Nothing like the man who just exposed himself and disrobed on a Southwest flight last week!

Do they lose your luggage? Or do you keep yours with you?

We have to keep ours with us when working because we never know when we could be rerouted or have a cancelled flight. I’ve also been lucky enough to have never had my luggage lost while traveling for fun either!

Do you get to pick what flights or routes you want to work?

We bid for our monthly schedules, but bidding is awarded by seniority so we don’t always get exactly what we want right away. We also have very liberal trading privileges, so if you’re unhappy with your trip or schedule, it’s possible to trade things around most of the time. I’ve been flying for 10 years and prefer to work Thursday, Friday, Saturday trips for our family situation. Those are fairly “junior” days, so I usually get one of my first choices of trips each month.

Do you get lots of free tickets? (if so you should use them for a giveaway!)

I get unlimited free tickets for me, Rick and the kids, and my mom and dad. I have the opportunity to earn up to 4 tickets a quarter by working a certain amount of hours- which I haven’t been able to do yet! J I suppose I need to work more… that would be a pretty amazing giveaway, though!

Have you ever seen anyone have an allergic reaction?

I had an allergic reaction once, but not to peanuts. We were advised to give Benadryl, which the purchased in the LA airport (we hadn’t left the gate yet).

Do you have an epi pen and benadryl on the plane in case they do?

I don’t know if we have an epi pen or not… suppose I should review my manual!

Do the stories about all the germs and other "stuff" in hotel rooms bother you?

No, I’m thankful they are out there so I can be aware and protect myself better! J I was totally shocked when I read about how gross the remote controls were, but it makes sense!

Do you wear support hose?

No support hose for me! We don’t even wear dresses or skirts, our uniforms are khaki pants/shorts and navy blue shorts/pants. If we had to wear skirts, I’d probably wear them though!

Are you a member of the mile high club?


Have you witnessed someone else's induction into the mile high club?

Thank goodness… NO.

Any celebrity sightings?

Yep… I had Ben Stiller on a flight, Carlos Santana and his band (got his autograph), Elliot Gould (place Ross and Monica’s dad on Friends, from the MASH movie, and used to be married to Barbara Streisand- also had their son with him), Vivica A. Fox, Gov. Gray Davis (I think I spelled that right) when he was still Govenor of California, one of the Bush twins, Barbara, while her dad was still in office, a few sports stars that I didn’t know but other people pointed them out, an actor named Jesse Borrego (who was playing a character on 24 at the time- one of my favorite shows! Got my picture taken with him.), hmm… I can’t think of any more right now.

What are some tips for a first time flyer?

Try not to be nervous, it’s actually extremely safe! Bring something to read or a DVD player/computer and your own movies to stay entertained (especially if you’re flying Southwest because we don’t have any onboard entertainment), and plan on buying food in the airport to bring onboard for long flights because you’ll only get small snacks or nothing at all. Don’t be afraid to ask for the whole can! J

Tips for flying with kids?

Make sure you have some appropriate snacks for your child’s age and stuff to entertain them! I would even suggest a few “new” things, like books, coloring books, or a movie- they seem to bore easily of things! Avoid stickers… I don’t like it when parents allow their kids to put stickers all over the plane- how tacky! And watch the coloring all over the plane, too. Also, be courteous of the passengers around you- especially right in front of you. Seat kicking and playing with the tray (putting it up and down a lot or really rough) can be really annoying to the person whose seat it is attached to! Try and be relaxed while traveling because the stressed out parents tend to have crankier kids- they smell fear, you know! Hmm… take lots of pictures and don’t be afraid to ask to have their picture taken in the cockpit (while on the ground, of course) or have the flight attendant take family photos for you. And pray they sleep… just kidding!

I also wanted to know about the validity of the mile high club.

I have heard stories of crazy stuff, but never had it on my own flights.

Has anyone ever had to be detained after their flight?

Not on my flights… I’ve been pretty drama free, luckily. But, it does is happen occasionally.

Is it OK to ask for the entire can of sprite?

Yes! I prefer when someone asks right away, when I’m taking the drink order. It saves time later when I bring out the cup, instead of having to make two trips. But, I know some people are a little shy or unsure about asking- I say, ask away! J

Are there any straight male attendants?

YES! I don’t know ratios or anything, but we have quite a few working at Southwest.

Will you hold a blog contest where buddy passes will be the prize?

I would love to do that… I have to earn some first, then we’ll talk more about this! ;)

Where was the best place you flew to?

Hmm… I have a list of favorites, but it’s hard to pick the BEST. I’ll have to think about this one…

Have you ever flown with the rapping attendant?

No, but it would be so fun!! His YouTube video is awesome! I used to do a funny emergency PA and sing occasionally, but not anymore. I’ve become boring in my old age! ;)

Do you ever wish that your uniform would revert to hot pants and go-go boots?

YES! I think that would be so fun, even if it was just for a month or something, as an anniversary special! But, not all flight attendants would be able to pull off the look- probably me included! Women were hired for looks and had to weigh-in back then… not so much anymore. And it’s just not a great look for men!

What was the worst passenger you ever had?

I think the worst passengers are not necessarily the most obnoxious or in-your-face ones, but the ones who look down on you as the “help” or something. I find it amazing how dismissive people can be or not even look at me to say, “No, thank you.” for a drink or something. Just rude!

Heidi said:

I flew for the first time in 99' It was from Seattle to Orange County. They gave us a nice little box lunch half way through the flight. Who do I need to talk to to make that happen again? Cuz, no I don't want any damn peanuts! I want a sandwich like last time! Don't tell me about rising costs, I want my sandwich!....That just goes through my mind. :)

We’ve never served “food” like sandwiches on Southwest, so I don’t know what it’s like to have meals and then pull them for cost issues. We actually give some pretty decent “snack” foods other than peanuts on our flights, which is better than most airlines now days.

What is this mile high club that people are mentioning?

The “mile high club” refers to the disgusting people who think it’s “cool” to do some pretty gross things in THE SINGLE MOST DISGUSTING place on the planet- airplane bathrooms!

What are some of the most outrageous things that passengers have done?

I can’t think of any interesting stories… but I find it so entertaining how childish most adults can be when it comes to their “toys”, i.e. cell phones, computers, iPods, Blackberry. Hiding them or playing on them when we’ve asked them to turn them off is pretty annoying… sometimes I feel like I should take them away like I do at home when my toddlers won’t play nice!

Do you ever get nervous in extreme turbulence?

YES!! And lately, since I’ve had kids and been off for months at a time, I am pretty scared during most landings too. It’s crazy! I know it’s safe, but my heart races a little when we land and I always sit in my “brace position”. And I don’t mess around with turbulence either… I’ve had friends who’ve hit the ceiling in clear air turbulence (smooth air, then WHAM!, ceiling) or been injured trying to get those last drinks out. Sorry to say, but a free Coke isn’t worth that much to me!

When pilots talk to the cabin, why do they always sound so monotone?

I don't know, it’s so weird. I think it may be a part of their training! ;)

How fast is a plane going when it lifts off the runway? What is peak flying speed?

I’m not sure about take-off exactly, but most of the time our cruising speed is about 500mph ground speed. Pretty fast.

Do guy passengers hit on the stewardesses a lot?

Not a whole lot, but it does happen. I know many people who have dated (or even married) passengers.

Do you have to go back and serve people who were asleep when you came through with the food tray?

At Southwest, we walk through with a drink order pad and take orders, then bring the drinks out on a tray. We don’t have a cart or anything. So, if someone is sleeping, we usually walk through the cabin enough to catch the sleepers when they wake up and bring them a drink if they want one. This happens way more often on longer flights.

Does it bug you that everybody unfastens their seat belt before the plane makes a full stop at the gate?

For some reason, yes it really does. It’s such a simple thing to comply to, but so many people just don’t think it’s one of the rules that is important enough to follow. I sometimes secretly hope that we’ll jerk to a stop and someone will realize why the FAA requires it in the first place. Mean, right? I think that about the seatbelt sign, too.

Are you sincere when you tell the passengers at the end of the flight that you appreciate them flying with you today?

Heck yeah!! Our passengers are the only reason I get a paycheck and I am so thankful for every single person who flies us! Sounds corny, I’m sure, but it’s true. So many airlines are struggling and I’m so proud to work for an airline who has persevered through this tough time.

Do passengers sitting in the same row ever disagree about whether to have the window shutter up or down?

Not often at all. But, sometimes the sun is blinding the person across the row or something and I’ll ask them to shut it on behalf of the person who is seeing spots. But, most people are pretty good about that.

Do passengers ever complain about the person in front reclining his seat too far back?

Yes, but there is nothing we can do about it… they all recline back the same distance, so I just suggest that the person also recline their seat and then the distance will be even again.

What is your favorite destination?

Some of my favorite overnights include: San Diego, Spokane, Indianapolis, San Jose, and Reno. I’m planning a Flight Attendant Chronicles about my favorite overnights, so I’ll save the details for that post.

Do you prefer short or long flights?

It depends, I guess. I like flights that are about 1 hour 15 mins- 1 hour 30 mins or one or two really long flights in a day. We get paid while away from the gate only, so pay-wise, longer flights are more efficient, but sometimes I like a few shorter flights to feel busy the whole time.

Do you work with the same crew all the time?

I rarely fly with the same people, actually. I always thought it was weird when I was new- people would run into someone they knew and it had been like 3-5 years since the last time they ran into each other. Now, that seems so normal. I could fly with someone and never see them again or not for many years. And sometimes you can end up flying with several different people throughout one 3-day trip. Usually, when I step on a plane to start a trip, I’ve never met the people I’m working with before! You get used to working with all walks of life and learn to tolerate some pretty crazy people, too!

Do the pilots ever let you take the controls of the plane for fun? Do they ever invite little kids to do so, like in Airplane?

I actually got to bring the plane down to about 5,000 ft one time, during a ferry flight (no passengers), but that was pre-9/11. I don’t go up to the “flight deck” as they call it now, very often anymore because of all of the safety precautions on the flight deck door. Kids are invited up all the time to visit the pilots- just not in-flight, like on Airplane!

Thank you all so much for the questions! Any more, don't hesitate to ask! :)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Marathon Training Update

I'm procrastinating. I'm at Cafe' Delirium in downtown Gresham, my homework hotspot, NOT doing my homework. Before arriving here to write an Art lesson plan for my class tomorrow night, I completed my long run for the week- 12 miles. I'm tired, achy, tired, hungry... you get the idea. I can't focus at all on homework. So, I'm blogging instead.

The marathon training has been plugging along. I'm in love with the 3 day a week schedule, I'm just beginning to wonder if I'll really be able to complete the 26.2 miles in only 6 weeks. The 12 today was not overly hard, but it also wasn't even half the distance! I had one guy tell me that the first 20 miles of the race is all physical and the last 6.2 is all mental. Mind over matter... and pain and doubt. I'm already trying to figure out what motivating songs I need on my playlist around hour 3!

Next week's long run jumps to 14 miles, I think. It will officially mark my longest run at one time ever... wish me luck! :)

Monday, August 17, 2009

5 years ago today...

... in the middle of a lagoon on the island of Kauai, Rick asked me to be his wife!

We went to Hawaii 5 years ago so Rick could meet my mom and step-dad for the first time. After a week on Oahu visiting them, we made our way to Kauai for a few days of relaxation. We rented a kayak on the second day to take advantage of the beautiful lagoon surrounding the property of the hotel. It was hot, bright, and I remember all of the helicopter tours flying overhead... and of course I remember the proposal! I was shocked in the best way possible and we spent the next 2 1/2 days on the island only telling 2 people we were engaged: Wayne, the kayak rental guy and our waiter at dinner. It was so fun having this "secret" that none of our family and friends knew about- we were engaged for a week before Rick's family even knew because we really wanted to tell them all in person! When we returned to Oahu, we took my mom and Jim out to dinner to share the news with them and then called the rest of my family and told them by phone.

It's been an adventurous 5 years... we bought our first home, got married, and added 3 amazing children to the mix. I'm a lucky lady!

We took this self-portrait right after getting engaged!
Later that night, at dinner.
And just before leaving the island, we went back to scene of the crime and asked Wayne to take our picture!

I was looking for a particular photo to post, but couldn't find it. It's a beautiful photo of the lagoon, right about the spot we were floating when Rick proposed. For a wedding gift, he had it enlarged and framed. It hung in our dining room/office for about 4 1/2 years, until the new playroom furniture won the wall space instead. It is currently sitting under our bed, waiting for another perfect spot to hang as a memory in our home.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

My brother's wedding!

Yesterday, we celebrated the wedding of my brother, Bryan, and new sister-in-law, Lauren-Taylor (LT).
The would-be ring bearer being carried in by grandpa and grandma. He said the grass hurt his feet... I think he was just a little nervous!
My dad and step-mom walking in.
Beautiful little flower girl, Cassidy.
The bride
The wedding was held in my mom and step-dad's backyard and it all looked beautiful!!

While at Disneyland in June, Rick and I picked up the Mickey Ears for Bryan and LT, they liked them so much, they walked out with them on. They are also enjoying their honeymoon at Disneyland right now!
Mr. and Mrs. Burt!!
Who needs champagne toasting flutes when you can have beer steins!
Daddy and Riley, waiting in line for food.
Sweet Riley, holding the bouquet.
Me and my aunt Loralee
The cakes were so cute- one had silver hearts on top, one had little silver golf clubs (for Bryan), and the last had some scissors (for LT, who cuts hair).
Me and my amazing husband.
Mom and son, dancing.
This was one of my grandma's favorite moments of the night.
Cooper found some fun, playing peek-a-boo under the table!
My cousin Christina and her beautiful little girl, Jordyn.
Second generation cousins!
Dad, me, Bryan, and Robyn
My gorgeous sister, Robyn and her goofy friend, Melena. :)
Dancing Queen is Riley's new nickname, she lived on the dance floor all night long. This morning she told me she loved the wedding and her favorite part was being able to "Twirl!"
Here she is cutting a rug with aunt Loralee and uncle Cevin.
A few family shots from the dance floor...
I'm still amazed at what kids can sleep through... even really loud wedding music.
Cousin Audrey, Loralee, Cevin, and Jim, enjoying the evening.
No song gets my family out on the dance floor like Footloose... we love it!!
(You can see Riley really getting into on the right!)
One last shot of the bride and groom!
Congratulations, Bryan and Lauren. Welcome to the family!!
Hope you're having a great time at Disneyland!!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

2 1/2

Tyson is officially halfway between 2 years old and 3 years old!!

Current favs:
Pretending to be different animals, especially a polar bear
Watching Little Einsteins and conducting like Leo
His brother and sister
Macaroni and Cheese
Jamba Juice
Making "cars" out of different things in the playroom and pretending to drive to the mall (for Jamba Juice, of course!)
Going to the park
His tiger stuffed animal
"Roaring" like a tiger, lion, dinosaur, dragon, etc. (and scaring his sister while doing it!)
Doing things "All by myself!"

Happy Half-Birthday to our big guy!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Setting a good example

Last week, Riley started a story like this:

"Mommy, when you were out running and daddy was doing his exercises..."

The story continued on about how she hurt her arm on the table, but the beginning was my favorite part. Rick has been getting up with the sun every morning to complete his hour+ workout with the P90X program and I am still plugging away at my marathon training runs 3 days a week. Around 6:45am, when the kids wake up, they used to ask, "Where's daddy?" Now they just say, "Is daddy doing his exercises?" And yesterday, when I returned from my 9 mile run all sweaty and gross, Tyson knew it was from running- plus, he wouldn't give me a hug and told me I needed a shower. Nice, right? The point is, I really hope we are laying a great foundation for our kids, modeling great physical health and eating habits.

We look forward to the days when we can go on family walks (minus strollers) and bike rides, maybe even some family runs! But, that is a ways off...

Sunday, August 9, 2009

3 1/2

Riley is officially at the halfway point between 3 years old and 4 years old!

Current favs:
Singing, making up her own songs, dancing, and twirling
Her two little brothers
Jamba Juice
Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
Carrots with "crunch" (ranch dressing)
Going to her classroom at church
Playing with Legos
"Reading" books and working on her letters
Her new Princesses backpack

She is also thrilled to be starting preschool in just 3 short weeks!!
Happy Half-Birthday to our big girl! :)

Friday, August 7, 2009

"Mommy, it's too hard for me to be quiet."

Rick is off playing poker tonight, enjoying a much deserved night away to hang out with friends. I am home, already in bed (before 9pm) and all 4 of the kids are in bed (we are watching our niece again for the week). I'm enjoying a mostly quiet house- outside of the whispers and "Shhhhs" coming from the girls' room down the hall (hence the title of the post), the spin cycle on the washing machine, and the whoosh of the baby monitor.

... Well, so much for semi-silence. Riley's drapes (which weren't very sturdy to begin with) just fell (or were pulled down), causing a mini-crisis. Both girls crying (out of fear or guilt?) and Riley declaring, "My room is ruined!"...

20 minutes later, after calming the girls down, I can finally settle back in for my "me" time, which will consist of me finishing this post and reading about 3.5 pages of the 7th Harry Potter book before I can't keep my eyes open any longer and crash. Probably with my glasses and the bedroom light on, too.

Had a garage sale today, so we had a very early start, and we'll do it all over again tomorrow. It feels so good to purge so many things that have been taking up precious space in our closets, drawers, 3rd car garage stall, and shed... Whatever doesn't sell will be shipped off to Goodwill first thing Monday morning. It never ceases to amaze me how much people will haggle and offer WAY less than the price marked... I mean, at least wait until the second day of a sale, when I'll be much more willing to take a quarter for everything, then 1 hour after we open on the first day. Definitely the most difficult thing we've sold so far has been the entire bedding set and decorations we had for Riley's room when she was a baby... I nearly cried. Okay, I teared up a little bit.

Running with the new schedule has been going much better, which is good news because I dropped the $100 entry fee for the Portland Marathon a couple of days ago. No backing out now. I find it a little funny I was willing to PAY somebody else $100 to LET me run for nearly 5 hours- voluntarily. I've also been following along behind Rick in eating WAY too healthy. He started the P90X program on the 2nd, but I need to figure out a balance between the crap I was feeding myself before and the starvation I'm feeling most days while I deprive myself of carbs and all things yummy. I want to be supportive, but no Starbucks whenever I want it is pushing it a bit too far. :) But seriously, I don't think I've been eating enough carbs my body needs to recover from running so much, because I've been getting a little dizzy and feeling sort of weak, so a minor adjustment may be in order. I'm certainly ready to say goodbye to these pesky 10 pounds that don't seem to want to leave my body since having Cooper.

I'm hoping Rick will let me post his before and after photos on here when he's all done with the 90 day program. He's working his butt off in the workouts everyday, so I'm really proud of him! (He even got up before 4am today to complete his workout before we had to set up for the garage sale- total dedication. Or he's just mental.)

Alright, off to put the smackdown on two little girls who are STILL awake- at 9:40pm!!!

Make that ONE little girl who is still awake:
"Mommy, I need a hug and kiss."
"Mommy, I need to go potty." (which she did)
Riley: "Mommy, I need cuddles." me: "Maybe tomorrow, it's too late tonight." Riley: cough, cough, "Mommy, I don't feel berry well. I think I need cuddles right now." me: (on the inside- AAAAHHHHH, I just want to read my freakin' book and go to sleep!!!), but really I cuddled with her for a few minutes.

Somehow I don't think this is over... at least Cassidy is asleep. Riley is the lone holdout.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

9 month stats

He's a happy, healthy, growing boy!

Height: 2' 5.5" (86%)
Weight: 21 lb 10 oz (67%)
Head: 18.5" (90%)

With a sister and brother who love him!
Doesn't his face just say, "Get me outta here!"

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Pearly Whites

Riley had her first visit to the dentist on Monday and she did amazing!

"I love it here!"

Checking out her post-cleaning smile!
Clean teeth, some bubbles from the prize box, and alone time with mommy and daddy grocery shopping afterwards equals one happy little girl!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Monday, August 3, 2009

New do'

After playing outside in the heat and realizing Tyson was sweating like crazy under his hair, Rick decided it was time for a little buzz cut. So, last Monday night he pulled out the clippers and took Tyson to the garage... where he screamed bloody murder the entire time! Rick was worried the neighbors may call CPS or something. As soon as the clippers stopped, Tyson immediately stopped crying, looked at Rick and said, "Thank you daddy, for cutting my hair!" Then declared, "I look great!"

Doesn't he?

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Camping adventures

Fort Stevens 2009

The kids were kept entertained during the car ride by watching movies on the our old iPhones.

First stop after setting up camp was the beach! The temps were HOT for the coast, around 90 degrees. Perfect day!

Of course, I was expecting cooler weather and didn't pack swimsuits... we had the white trash kids on the beach in their diapers because I didn't want a dirty stroller!

Playing in the sand with grandma and grandpa.

Cooper, enjoying the beach and warm weather, too!

One of the only photos of me from the trip... also to prove Cooper isn't ALWAYS stuck in the stroller.

Love baby feet in the sand!

Love dirty beach faces, too! Sand and snot do not mix! :)
We had to rip Tyson away from the sand, he was in heaven!

Riley looking sweet.

Day 2 we visited the batteries at Fort Stevens.

The kids had fun climbing around in an Indian longhouse.

Rick and the kids.

"Driving" an old military jeep.

We made our way into Seaside for the afternoon to have lunch. Grandpa bought the kids their very first ice cream cones- mint chocolate chip, YUM!

What messy fun!!

Probably my favorite photo from the trip, taken on Rick's cell phone.
Tyson loves his grandpa and felt pretty special wearing grandpa's hat and getting a ride!

We planned to return to the beach, but the kids found digging around the campsite to be fun, too.

Riley was making some yummy "oatmeal".

While Tyson played on the fire pit, eventually falling in and getting ash everywhere... thank goodness for the bathtub in grandma and grandpa's fifth wheel!

I think Cooper liked camping.

We also fit in a quick bike ride around the trails at Fort Stevens.

We had a good time camping with my mom and step-dad, although it was a lot of work! The weather was crazy, ranging from the 90's when we pulled in on Tuesday to rain while we packed up and left on Thursday. As the kids get older and are able to ride bikes and (hopefully) not wander off as much, camping will get easier and more fun. They definitely enjoyed all the dirt, digging, freedom, the beach, junk food, and cuddling at night with mommy and daddy. And it looks like our little trip to Fort Stevens will be the only camping we're able to do this year.