Fun With Five Months

* Maggie has started napping during the day, making her incredibly pleasant and alert during her waking hours and allowing me to get some things done during the day.

* She has also taken an active interest in what goes into our mouths, reaching for our glasses and silverware as we have meals. (For obvious reasons, I try to keep her from grabbing at Mommy’s Special Grape Juice.) We really feel she is too young for anything but the MomBar (including those rice cereals), but for convenience’s sake we seat her in a high-backed chair while we eat and try to encourage curiosity about food. Usually we put toys in front of her but sometimes she gets a large tortellini or a big chunk of carrot (nothing she can choke on) to gnaw.

* Forsaking rolling almost entirely–she *can* do it but prefers to not–Maggie can lift her head and shoulders several inches off the ground and hold the position. As her ab muscles get stronger I think sitting up might be coming sooner rather than later. She also enjoys rolling off me if I put her on my lap, and from a supported sitting position she attempts to yank my shirt down and nurse upright. It’s awkwardly funny.

* Best of all, she laughs and hoots and hollers. At length. She’s so happy and laid-back.

I’m loving five months, y’all.

Flight

Four flights: Honolulu-Newark-Boston, Boston-Houston-Honolulu. Roughly 24 hours total in the air. Maggie slept for about 17 of those hours, and cried for a cumulative total of 10 minutes. TAKE THAT!

We are, of course, incredibly lucky that she did not suffer any ill effects from flying. Her ears never once seemed to bother her, though she did spend a greater amount of time nursing than normal. Nursing really DOES work! You heard it here first. ;) This bodes incredibly well for our next anticipated trip, which is either going to be New South Wales or Wellington, NZ in February.

The wedding itself was gorgeous, my family delightful, and I’m going to write about that soon and include photos and possibly a video that still makes me misty.

But first, a word about Newark International Airport and it’s rotten thieving baggage handlers, and how Maggie’s only real meltdown proved an accessory to crime.

Actually, here’s a few search-engine friendly words: Newark International Airport Luggage Theft Baggage Handler Thieves. Theft theft theft. Google away, kiddos! I hope like hell someone in that airport monitors blog mentions, because I am furious.

Anyway. We were asked to gate-check our carryon backpack, my trusty North Face overnight hiker, because the puddle-jumper flying from Newark to Boston was too small to hold it in the overhead. Since I had a fragile laptop and DSLR camera in there I was pretty much like “Hells NO” and cleared the computer and my photo gear out of the bag. But because we were in a rush and juggling a baby who was howling for food, I didn’t a) take the laptop charger out of the mesh pocket on the side, or b) remove a small drawstring bag containing our cell chargers, iPod car kit, my Canon point-and-shoot camera (and our only video-recording device), and an 8GB flash drive containing over 200 hours worth of writing backup, which I now have to recreate through my email history. I never thought the bag would leave my possession, and we had a screaming baby, so we were sloppy and distracted but that’s NO EXCUSE, NEWARK.

Tom had the bag last, cinched it up tight, and the baggie in question was under a small cooler of frozen milk. Got to Boston, watched them take the bag from the plane and hand it to me personally, and since Tom had the baby and we had been in a rush in Newark I didn’t think anything of the open clip and loose drawstring at the top of the pack until the next day when I went to charge my cell.

(NEWARK AIRPORT NEWARK INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT THEFT BAGGAGE HANDLER SCUM THEFT STOLEN PROPERTY. Hi search engines!)

We just sent the claims form to the Port Authority police, and if that doesn’t work then we will probably file a claim through our renter’s insurance. Everything is replaceable (or in the case of my backup, easy to recreate IF YOU HAVE THE TIME AND I HAVE A FIVE MONTH OLD, SO I DO NOT), but I am bullshit pissed. Let me be clear if anyone official-like stops by: it had to have happened in Newark since there was no time in Boston where my bag was not in my view. The only time that bag EVER went out of our sight was in Newark. It could not have fallen out, or the cooler of milk would also have fallen out, ergo it was stolen by baggage handlers at Newark. Newark International Airport, for those keeping score at home.

My guess is they got tipped off by the laptop cord (which they didn’t take) and went looking for the computer and not finding it, scored themselves a little bonus. And to add insult to injury, their handling of the bag has left me short one sternum strap. *FUMES* And the best part is that the entire row next to us was empty. I could have easily buckled it into the seat and carried it there. I’m sure that’s against some sort of aviation law but at the moment I don’t care.

So the moral of the story is, make sure if you have a short leg of a flight on a small plane, pack the right carry-on. Lock your luggage, but that won’t save you from thieving TSA employees either.

In short, Newark International Airport thief theft (thuft?) baggage handler stolen luggage.

The end.