A Cranky Toddler, An Airplane & You

IMG_2046Maybe I’m a little late coming to this gossip session, but I just heard about the woman who was kicked off a Southwest Airline flight from Amarillo, TX to San Jose, Ca. As the plane was about to take off her cranky two-year-old was screaming for the plane to go and also screaming for his daddy. There have been a number of news stories and blog posts floating around the web abut the incident.

Basically the mom was waiting for the plane to take off before feeding the child so that his ears would pop easily and he would hopefully nap the duration of the flight. Yet passengers complained that they were unable to hear safety announcements due to the screaming toddler. Southwest made the decision to turn back to the gate and escort the mom & toddler off the plane.

Southwest apologized and gave the mom a $300 travel voucher on top of a full refund. The mom is calling for more commendation to make up for the extra diapers and porta-crib she had to purchase while staying at her parents in Amarillo for the unplanned extra night.

It’s hard to come at this story from one side or the other. Most people who fly with any kind of regularity know that not all flights kick off screaming toddlers. In fact some people might even complain that most in fact, do it often enough. It’s this observation that leads me to wonder just how extreme was the screaming?

In my reading up on the incident I couldn’t find one first hand account (other than the mom’s and the airlines official statement) of the incident. Which makes me wonder even more. You’d think that if it weren’t pretty extreme wouldn’t some of the passengers have spoken up for the mom once the story made headlines?

I’m a mom. There have been occasions where my kids where tired cranky, and just plane intolerable in public. So I did my best to avoid taking them in public during those times. I think all of us have had moments like that. As a mom, I think the last thing I would have wanted to do was to spend the next four hours in an enclosed area with my child on a lane if he was in a mood like that.

In fact, though would’ve been embarrassed, I think I would’ve happily returned to my mom’s house with my full refund and $300 travel voucher. Then returned with a happier and much more well rested child in the morning.

That’s just me though.

So what do YOU think? Was Southwest totally out of line or is this mom pushing it by continuing to push for more compensation?  And at what point do you think a disruptive child, whether it be yours or someone else’s, should be asked to leave?

Awww, motherhood. Never a dull moment.

Meghan Harvey is the Community Manager for MomConnect & never ever flies. But she IS the pilot of her own mode of transportation, a small SUV. She has never booted any cranky passengers off, though she has been tempted to. But her kids aren’t teenagers yet either…

November 9, 2009 at 4:21 pm 1 comment

Breastfeeding Sucks

100_3351That’s right, I said it. Breastfeeding sucks. That was one of the greatest pieces of advice I ever picked up as a new mom.

Let me back up just a bit. For me, deciding to breastfeed was never really much of a decision. I knew I was going to breastfeed the moment we decided to have kids. Once I was pregnant I bought all the books, read every magazine article and even took a breastfeeding class at the local clinic. I was going to be the best breastfeeder EVER.

As it turned out, the books, the class, and all the magazine articles that I’d read left out a number of things. What all those great breastfeeding articles didn’t talk about was my 30 hour labor and my 10lb baby boy. They neglected to mention the effect that a 30 hour labor and the horrific tearing that took 20 minutes to stitch up would have on my ability to sit down and breastfeed in the early weeks. Or how that discomfort would make it harder for my milk to let down so the feedings would take even longer.

They said my nipples might crack & bleed. They said engorgement may cause a little “discomfort.” What they didn’t say was that the pain involved might actually make me forget about the pain of childbirth.

These resources also listed some of the pitfalls of breastfeeding. Like mastitis, thrush, and the continuous leaking from my breasts. They didn’t explain how excruciating these things could be, especially when they all happened to me one right after the other.

Needless to say in those early weeks of motherhood I was feeling pretty beat down by breastfeeding. I felt like I was doing something wrong. I also felt like I couldn’t get a break. I really wanted breastfeeding to be this beautiful and mystical experience for me and my son. It just wasn’t working out that way.

Then somewhere along the way I came across a blog post online, I don’t remember where exactly now. But in this post the woman said, “Anyone who tells you breastfeeding is easy is a big liar! But if you stick it out, it gets better.”

And I did stick it out. Thanks to ice packs, lanolin, antibiotics and ibuprofen my problems passed. And breastfeeding did turn out to be one of the best things I ever did. I went on to breastfeed my son until he weaned himself at 14 months, even pumping for a whole year once I went back to work.

When I had my daughter a couple of years later I breastfed her as well. Oddly enough other than gritting my teeth through some sore nipples, it was pretty easy the second time around. Then again I think the breastfeeding Gods owed me one.

So why tell this story almost seven years later? Because somewhere out there is a new mom with cracked nipples and a hungry baby. And she’s feeling like maybe, just maybe, it’s too hard.

Well honey, it is hard. In fact it sucks. But it gets better. And it’s worth every ache and pain.

This post is a cross-post from Meghan Harvey’s personal blog, Meg’s Idle Chatter, where she writes about more than just sore breasts.

November 6, 2009 at 4:17 pm 3 comments

Rainy Day Activity eBook

123374139_018df3c972Thank you to all the MomConnect moms and MomConnect Blog readers who left suggestions for activities to do during rainy days in our Beat the Rainy Day Blues contest! We are happy to announce the winner of the $50 gift card to Target, HLHArts (A.K.A. Yummy Sushi Pajamas)!

HLHArts was only one of the many amazing ideas we collected and organized into a Mom-to-Mom Handbook of “Fun Activities for a Rainy Day” for you to use and share with fellow moms.

Download YOUR free Copy of the eBook here.

You can give a copy to your children’s grandparents, babysitters as well as your mom friends – they’ll thank you for it! 
Here are the categories covered:

  • Arts & Crafts
  • Kitchen Activities
  • Toys & Fun Games
  • Songs & Entertainment
  • Even OUTDOOR activities (we know…it’s raining, but the suggestions are great!)

This e-book is FREE!!! Please enjoy and many thanks, again to the wonderful moms who took the time to share their fun and wonderful rainy day activities!

We think the eBook turned out great and would love to do another one, but we’d like YOUR input! What kind of eBook would our MomConnect like to see? Leave a comment here and let us know what you think of our Rainy Day Activity Book and what kind of eBook you’d like to see us put together next.

Congratulations to HLHArts and to everyone who took the time to contribute an idea. We truly have one creative community on our hands and we hope you have as much fun doing these activities with your kids as we had reading them!

Rainy Day Activity eBook


The MomConnect Team

November 1, 2009 at 7:37 pm 2 comments

How are Mom’s Dealing With H1N1?

Lufkin Swine Flu PrankLast week President Obama declared the outbreak of swine flu a national emergency. While this is really a procedural move that will give health care facilties and various states more access to resources they may need to combat the outbreak, it’s scary nonetheless. We asked our MomConnect moms how they were dealing with the scare and found that over 60% of moms polled didn’t plan on getting their children vaccinated.
Here are the other H1N1 survey results:

Do you plan to have your children H1N1 vaccinated?

  • Yes                                     16.67%
  • No                                      61.11%
  • I haven’t decided             22.22%
  • We’ve already done it!             0%

Would you wear a face mask outside if you knew it would prevent the swine flu?

  • Yes                                     70.00%
  • No                                     30.00%

Would you attend Thanksgiving if an attending family member had the swine flu?

  • Yes                                     18.75%
  • No                                      81.25%
  • I’m not sure                         0%

Do you think schools should close down if there are children who have been diagnosed with H1N1?

  • Yes, even if it’s just 1 child                                      33.33%
  • No, not at all                                                              16.67%
  • Only if it’s a majority of kids who have been diagnosed             50.00%

Lots of moms have had plenty to say about H1N1 and whether or not they’re getting the vaccine along with a number of other concerns related to the virus on MomConnect. You can also check out one mom’s first hand account of being exposed on our post on the H1N1: Living With Swine Flu.

October 30, 2009 at 3:04 pm Leave a comment

H1N1: Living With Swine Flu


A Few Swine Flu Necessities

Last week some of you may have read that I mentioned my family was sick with the flu, so we were going to have to wait until after everyone was better before we got flu shots. Well the day after I posted that we found out that the flu we had in our house was not just any flu, but H1N1.

That’s right, we’d been swine flued (I don’t know if that phrase will catch on, but I’m going to try and push it out there). The ugly flu going around here in my sleepy little suburb turned out to be the one and only H1N1. Now before you rush off to go wash your hands and disinfect your computer after reading something written by someone exposed to swine flu, relax.

I’ll tell you a little secret that we were made privy to by two different pediatricians in the last two weeks, the Swine Flu? Well, it’s just the Flu. Don’t go telling the media or anything though, because then they wouldn’t have anything to panic us about.

Seriously, it is a NASTY flu. My husband got sick (fever, vomiting, aches, etc.) on a Monday. My son came down with fever & aches on Wednesday. And my daughter pulled in the fever & vomiting on Friday.  Every 48 hours we had a new patient in our house.


Waiting in the Waiting Room for Doctor Visit #2

From what I understand, now, local doctors are not even testing for H1N1 because 99% of the flu cases where I live were coming back positive. The doctors we saw were very quick to stress that it was not that much different then the regular flu. The real danger was of course watching for Secondary infections. Which as it turned out did occur with all three members of my ailing family. My husband’s turned into pneumonia. And both kids had theirs turn into bronchial infections.

But, my son has had the flu in past years and it turned bronchial. It’s just how he rolls. So it was a complication we watch for anyway. And my husband, well he smokes. If you smoke, chances are any flu is going to take you down a little harder then someone who doesn’t. Whether it’s H1N1 or not. And my daughter, well they weren’t positive hers had turned bronchial, but they treated her for it anyway, which was fine with me.

My advice to you? If H1N1 is running rampant in your community stock up on soup and your favorite cold & flu medicine. And talk to your doctor or pediatrician to see what the H1N1 situation looks like in the area you live in. Think about the vaccine, if it’s still available. And don’t panic. If your kids do get sick, just take care of them and watch them close for any signs of it turning into something worse. For us it was a day or two of feeling better and then BOOM! The fever came back out of nowhere.

The most important thing to remember during this outbreak of H1N1 is that the ONLY person you should really be seeking advice from is YOUR doctor.

As for my family and me well everyone is on the mend and back at school and work. I never did get sick, though as I write this I have a bit of a head cold. But that’s ok. I’ve got a cupboard full of soup and some cold medicine sitting beside me on my desk. Because after all, it is flu season you know.

Meghan Harvey is the Community Manager for MomConnect & all though she has no actual medical expertise considers herself to be way more knowledgeable about H1N1 then she would like to be.

October 29, 2009 at 3:50 pm 6 comments

The Great Baby Einstein Refund Debacle

DSCN3062-1.JPGIt wasn’t long after my son was born in 2003 that Disney’s Baby Einstein line-up became super popular. They were going to make my child smart and stimulate him in a way that I couldn’t. Or so they claimed. As cool as the marketing made the videos sound, I knew better. I’ve always been a very “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is” kind of woman, and I took that mentality into motherhood with me.  I had read enough baby books and even taken a few early childhood development classes in high school to know that T.V., no matter what, can have some negative effects a child under two. So any video series that was targeted for younger than that made me roll my eyes.

But the idea that there was a video out there that could somehow stimulate my baby enough to make him smarter, well it did peek my curiosity. And after all the videos were stamped with Walt Disney seal of approval. So I ran out and picked one up to see what the fuss was about. The music was classical, which I already played for my infant on a regular basis, and the video was, well odd. Sure there were bright colors and moving objects, but nothing that led me to believe that my child would indeed be the youngest Nobel Prize winner for Astro physics or anything.

I put my baby in his favorite bouncy chair (yes we lived & died by the bouncy chair in our house) and pointed him towards the TV.  For about five minutes my infant was mesmerized. Then he was done. His eyes started to wander his feet started kicking and the bouncy chair started moving. He looked for me, looked for his binky, and refused to turn his attention toward the TV again. And that was the extent of our time with Baby Einstein. A big thumbs down in our book. And as my husband pointed out, “Well we could’ve saved $15 and made that ourselves!”

Baby Geniuses? Really?

My instinct was to stick with what the pediatrician and all the trusted baby books I had read told me, which was TV before age two was a no-no. I should probably admit that as my child got older he was granted far more TV time then I would ever admit in a public forum such as this, but as an infant his stimulation was kept to me reading and playing with him face to face. Lots of music and lots of playtime with the kids at daycare.

Now, a few years later, it seems Disney has decided that maybe those videos weren’t so great at making smart babies and that they should probably concur with what the previously mentioned studies has shown.

First of all, most of us didn’t really think these videos were going to make our babies smarter, did we? And most women who have children right now know that TV before the age of two is not really the best idea (though we all know in real life NO TV is a little ridiculous). We don’t always follow that advice, but we know that there have been enough studies to show it to be true.

So, why I do think the marketing for the Baby Einstein videos was exaggerated, they also offered a money back guarantee if you weren’t satisfied all along. I don’t know if Disney should shoulder the responsibility for people believing what they see on TV. That being said, I also think the fact that they are anyway is a testament to how much the company truly does care about their reputation and their consumers. Bravo Disney for taking responsibility and trying to make it right.

If you have a Baby Einstein DVD you’d like to return you can return up to four DVDs in any condition, with or without the cover, for a refund of $15.99 each. The instructions for returning the DVD’s are on the Baby Einstein website.

Meghan Harvey is the Community Manager for MomConnect and never cared for the Baby Einstein videos anyway. She and her two children do however standby their claim that Little Einstein’s on the other hand is one of the best kids shows EVER.

October 27, 2009 at 3:38 pm 5 comments

Is Halloween in or out this year?

n597848656_1000638_173Recently we asked Moms if this year’s economy will affect Halloween. According to MomConnect moms, Halloween is definitely still in! While moms are saying they are spending less this year, the average mom will be spending between $25-$50 on Halloween (this includes costumes and candy). Here are the survey results:

Will you spend more or less $$ this year on Halloween?

  • I will spend more                                                             9.09%
  • I will spend less                                                            45.45%
  • I will spend the same as always                                    18.18%
  • I haven’t thought about it!                                                27.27%

How much do you typically spend on Halloween?

  • We don’t celebrate Halloween!                                    12.82%
  • $0 – We make our costumes and don’t buy candy!            2.56%
  • Under $25                                                                        20.51%
  • Between $25 and $50                                              38.46%
  • Between $50 and $100                                                20.51%
  • Over $100                                                                        5.13%

Will you be going out this Halloween or spending it with the kids?

  • It’s a Saturday – I’m going out!             0%
  • Taking the kids trick-or-treating            70%
  • Both the above                                    23.33%
  • Hosting our own Halloween party            6.67%

Whatever your plans are when celebrating this year, please remember to be safe! Make sure you keep a close eye on the little ones and do a quick check of their candy before letting them go to town on their sweet bounty!

Happy Halloween!

October 25, 2009 at 6:35 pm Leave a comment

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