Friday, February 22, 2008

Cool Site of the Week: FlightStats

Universal Rule of Travel #1: Flying stinks. And it’s not getting easier anytime soon.

Enter FlightStats, my "can't live without" travel guru. The site covers everything — from delays across the county shown in an easy-to-understand map, airfares, frequent-flier promotions, and airport parking to weather forecasts, flight status, and travel warnings.

You can look up any flight, see how often its on time, set up mobile and e-mail alerts, and even study flight performance summaries (if you’re really bored and/or truly geeky - I am usually both). Traveling to a new airport? They have forums and guides on what to expect, where the best food, gifts, etc are, and how the airport is rated overall.

My favorite feature though is the realtime flight tracking. If you're awaiting a loved one, you can literally watch the flight on the map. As the website says:

The FlightStats Flight Tracker enables you to track most commercial flights in the US and Canadian airspace on a Google Map. Key Features:
  • Updates aircraft position automatically
  • Displays altitude, position, speed and distance from airports
  • Displays other relevant content such as current airport delays, on-time flight performance and weather
  • The map supports both automatic and manual pan/zoom

Tres cool. Check it out next time you or a loved one are winging your way across the country!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Peace or Poison?

I'm not sure if I'm fooling myself or if we may really be turning a corner. Cora has been sleeping really well this past week (even with getting over her cold). She's only been waking once or twice and then only for a quick paci plug in. Last night, she actually slept the whole night through and when she woke up, she didn't cry but just started playing with/talking to her crib toy (a plush rattle). It was a wonderful thing to wake up to. I don't want to get too hopeful but I can't help but wonder if we're heading for a good place. Of course now that I've said that she'll learn some new trick (sitting up, standing, etc) and will wake herself up trying her new tricks all night. Its always something so I hear.

Anyhoo, here is my quandary - I'm wondering if part of the reason that she's been sleeping so well is because we've been using the Vick's Vaporizer in her room each night (starting with her most recent cold). It makes it nice and moist and super warm in there. The only problem is that each morning when I go to empty the thing of the 10 or 12 ounces of water left in the bottom, the water is filled with a black silt and some floating particles. Methinks that cannot be good. I thought originally it could be some of the Vicks liquid residue so I've been skipping the Vicks liquid and just using plain water - same result. I've read that its minerals and goo left over from the water but we have a water filtration/softener system so I have a hard time believing that. The heating unit that slips into the water is encased in black plastic and I have a sneaking suspicion that is the culprit.

I'm torn between wanting to continue to use the vaporizer through these cold dry winter nights if its helping her sleep well, and between thinking that whatever that black silty goo is that magically appears overnight cannot be good when sprayed into the air in a fine mist for baby lungs to breathe in. So -I'm calling on all you moms... anyone have any experience with this contraption? Anyone have the same result? I've seen a few web posts about people who have but no one seems to know what it is or if its harmful. Yes, I'd like my baby to sleep comfortably but not while poisoning her little lungs. Perhaps a call to Vicks is in order. They got some 'splainin to do.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Weight Watcher's Weigh In - Week Three

So my weigh in was today. I knew that most likely I had gotten overconfident after two weeks of respectable loss. I could just sense it deep down. Plus I knew my V-day meal (though wonderful) was not going to be helpful. Plus this past week was the first week I ever went over my points. I went one point over on Saturday.

I just had a sense of dread queing up to get on the scale. To make matters worse, our team leader had the scale readout (designed to be mobile so that you can put it discreetly somewhere away from prying eyes) out in the open for everyone to behold. Annnd just to add insult to injury I was running 5 mins late for weigh in - just as I stepped in the door I saw a lady take the last box of mint cookie crisp bars. Now that is no joke - I need those to live. They didn't have them last week so I stretched out my remaining box like a 90 year-old depression era survivor. I thought about tackling the woman and taking the last box back, but figured that was not a good way to garner support in the group.

So, cookieless, late, and dread-laden I hopped up on the public-view scale. I lost all of .2 lbs. Not two pounds mind you - POINT two pounds. Argh. It was almost a slap in the face to have my name called during the meeting as having reached the five-pound mark. In three weeks. Great. On top of that the team leader (who is a little older, and has a hearing aid - no kidding) asks in front of the whole meeting "so how much have you lost now". To which I had to say "Um just right at the 5. 5.0. Yup." Niiiiice.

Needless to say I had salad for lunch and am having chicken breast for dinner with no treats after. By God I will get on track for next week. At least with no major dining events and plenty of healthy food now stocked in the fridge, if I don't I deserve what I get. Even in public.

Monday, February 18, 2008

24 Hours

Its amazing what can happen in less than 24 hours. Take the last 24 for instance. One day was rife with stress (over silly things) and terror (over not so silly things) and the next was one of the most uplifting moments of my life.

Sunday was not a great day. I had a horrible dream right before waking up for the day. The kind that sets your whole day off kilter. You know its a dream but you can't shake it. I dreamt that Ryan left me. I can vividly remember every detail of the dream. I remember trying to call his cell phone and getting a recording that my number was blocked. I remember trying to call him from my parent's house (I can remember where I was standing and what phone I used) and having him either refuse to answer or hang up before I could say anything. Finally my parents got a call from the police that harassing phone calls had been reported as having been made at that number. When I finally got through and got our voicemail his recording was horribly short and to the point. He was gone. I remember being hysterical, sobbing and shaking. I have never been so happy to wake from a dream in my life since the time, as a very little girl, I dreamt that my mother had died.

By lunchtime I had shaken most of my grey cloud away and was feeding Coco at the table. At the end of lunch she always gets a handful of little disolvable 'poofs' on her tray to feed to herself. That day I decided to switch it up and put out the small pieces of canned diced peaches I bought. I still remember - as if in slow motion - telling Ryan "I think she's put two pieces in her mouth" right at the same time she started to gag. Within a millesecond the gagging turned into silent little convulsions with her tounge thrusting in and out. I yelled "Oh my God Ryan she's choking" and bolted up from my chair so fast I knocked it backwards onto the floor and into the dog's water dish. As I pulled her tray off, Ryan grabbed her, turned her upside down and smacked her on the back (I know - exactly what you're not supposed to do but its instinct). She spit out the offending fruit and he tipped her up again. It all took about 10 seconds tops but it felt like hours. Its amazing how fast your mind works in situations like these. I remember my first thought was "Its a blizzard outside, the ambulance isn't going to make it in time and she is going to die." My second, and bizzare thought was "my mom is going to kill me if she dies." Weird. Luckily hubby knew just what to do - he immediately started talking to Cora in a normal voice saying "Wow that was icky huh? I think we'll just stick to poofs next time" in order to keep her calm. I on the other hand had to walk over to the kitchen sink and cry my eyes out while cleaning her tray so she wouldn't see mommy upset. I knew the day would come. I knew we'd have a choking scare, or a bad fall, or a big cut. I knew it mentally, but not emotionally.

Fast forward to this morning - Coco has a cold (shocker) and when she gets a cold she gets constipated since she doesn't eat (drink) a lot. Knowing that we keep Milk of Magnesia on hand for these occasions. She had some first thing this morning and then hopped in her jumparoo after breakfast. The jumparoo always seems to help things "move through" even if its not pleasant. Meanwhile I was upstairs getting ready - fresh out of the shower. I heard Coco start to cry, and then the cry turned into a wail. Hubby went and picked her up out of her jumparoo but that did no good. She was working herself up to a full-on scream. I hollared down the stars "Honey I think she's working on a bad poopy. Do you want to bring her up here and I'll see if I can help her?" I'm not sure he heard me over the wailing and I didn't want to undermine his "daddyness" so I waited a second and made myself go back to applying eyeliner. That was when I heard it - from downstairs, through sobs, and for the first time ever I heard "Mmmmaaaaa maaaaaa. Ma Ma." I could not have run faster if I was being hunted. I dropped my eyeliner in the sink, pulled my robe off the hook and was flailing it around myself as I took off down the stairs. Even hubby was calling "honey, I think she's calling for you!" I rounded the corner and those little wet eyes met mine. She reached out for me from her Daddy's arms. I ran and took her in my arms and told her it would be alright - that mama would fix it. We went upstairs with her silently clinging to my neck. It was one of the most wonderful feelings I've ever had. My hair could have ended up flat, my makeup could have looked horrid - it would have mattered not at all today. it would have taken a lot to bring me off my high.

So, I suppose if you believe in the karmic yin and yang, I put in my dues a-plenty on Sunday in order to pay for my moment of awe today. I never want to have to go through another scare like that with Cora... but I know I will. I know that's part of being a mother and part of having a child. Life and growing up is scary. I just pray that after each horrible scare, there will be a happy ending - a moment of awe, a moment of pure love, a little girl who wants her mommy to take her in her arms and make it better - no matter if she's not that little anymore. That's all that matters.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Mommy's Day Off

Friday I had my post Valentine's Day, day off! I got up at 6:20 to help hubby get little scoots ready and out the door. At 7:33, against my better judgement (in a wonderful way) I went upstairs, promptly changed back into my pjs and went back to bed. At 9:20 I decided I had darn well better start my day.

My "to do" list was long and I knew I was likely not going to get it all done before 4:15 when I had to go get Coco from 'school'. But by golly I was going to do my level best. So, here is what I accomplished Friday: Cleaned/straightend the kitchen, living room, dining room, family room and Coco's room; emptied the dishwasher; refilled/ran the dishwasher; cleaned all Coco's bottles; changed Coco's sheets; uploaded and sent out photos of Coco; updated my blog (good girl!); packed away Coco's outgrown clothes for storage; transfered all my old files from my junky computer to my new fancy laptop (ok so the laptop is a year old and I'm just getting around to this). WOW! Yay me.

At 2:00 I came to a conundrum... I could either take a nap (yay) or get more things finished off my list (kinda yay). For the first time in a while I got selfish... when would I get this chance again? Not anytime soon. So at 2:25 I climed BACK in bed and woke up at 3:50 just in time to get ready and get out the door for Scoots. There were about 7 things I did not get done (boo me) but at least the first floor of my house looked like the place I used to live 9 months ago and I was a well rested happy camper. It was heavenly.

So, as much as I'd love to do this once a month, both my job and my sensabilities won't let me I imagine. So, for now I'll just cherish the best V-day gift I've ever given myself, and try not to sigh too deeply when the house - in a day or two no doubt - returns to its state of chaos.