Trip to the doctor

I realize I haven't even posted about Charlie's birth, but 26 hours of labor takes some time to write out. In the meantime, Charlie has celebrated his first Christmas, spent three nights at home and had his first outing to the pediatrician.

The doctor couldn't have gone better. First, we were EARLY even with a newborn in tow. They said he looked great, sounds great and was nice and strong. Rejoice! And of course, he was diagnosed with a major case of chronic cuteness. The best reaction came when he was weighed. The nurse came back in the room saying "7 pounds, 14 ounces." The doctor said "ARE YOU SERIOUS?" She was pleasantly surprised (astounded?). Born 8 pounds, 1 ounce, he weighed 7 pounds, 3 ounces on Monday when we came home. 11 ounces in three days. :)

'Atta boy!!


The stockings were hung

Macy found a new little place to hang out today...on the fireplace hearth. She's trying to pull down the baby's stocking, and is pretty close. If she does the stocking holder will definitely fall on her; it's not sturdy at all. That will not be good.


Snug as a bug in a rug

Our original child, albeit furry and with four legs, makes me laugh on a daily basis. My camera roll is filled with images of her that bring a smile to my face. And while I have set up a separate blog just for her, I think I'll give it a go at Macy updates here (like back in the day) so this blog covers both my kiddos. Do you think changing the name to "son of a Fitch and our little bitch" is inappropriate?

So, for today's post, I woke up in the middle of the night (and remain awake) only to find Macy sleeping just. Like. This. She loves her snuggle time.

And yes, that's a measuring cup. How else would she get her breakfast in bed?

Finish line

We are SO close! At last Thursday's appointment all was looking well. Unfortunately it appears little man is quite content inside and when we asked Dr. Matthews whether or not we will see her at our next regularly scheduled appointment, which happens to fall on our due date, her response was, "I think I'll see you at that appointment." He already is taking after his mom...late.

But that's okay. With the recent acts of violence in Connecticut I can't help but think that any day now we are bringing a little person into the world and it is my job to protect him. And as much as I worry about feeding him the right way and avoiding diaper rash and safety proofing the house, none of that will protect our son against a tragic incident like what happened at Sandy Hook. So, while we are anxious to meet him and can't wait for his big debut, there is some comfort knowing he is safe and sound right where he is.

I've been feeling great. I won't lie...I think I'll miss pregnancy. I never knew how much people love pregnant women. I have more friends now than I ever have, and I'm talking about total strangers. Yesterday alone: the woman in the bathroom at church who struck up a conversation with me about maternity clothes. The manager at Banana Republic (bless her) who let me use their private restroom and chatted with me for a good 15 minutes about how I was doing and ended our conversation with,"well come back in here with him so we can meet him!" And all of the other random ladies out shopping who just saw this big belly and would say to me, "you're so cute!" This isn't about the attention I'm getting because I'm the size of the stay puff marshmallow man. It's the fact society treats pregnant women how we all should be treated: with kindness and adoration.

Soon, I'll go back to blending in with every other church goer and mall walker. I'll be told the "nearest public restroom is at Barnes and Noble." But what I hope I can do is start treating everyone around me like they are a pregnant women. Sounds weird, right? It's simple. Offer a seat to someone who needs it. Strike up conversation with random people. Tell passersby how great they look. I know how much those acts and comments have meant to me over the past 40 weeks and if we can bring a smile to other people who deserve it just as much as an expecting mom, I can't help but think we will make our community a better place.


Big Boi

Our 38 week appointment was Thursday. We had a sonogram to see how big little mister is and to see how he is laying. He is head down which is great. The sonogram had him weighing in at ... weight for it ... 8 lbs, 4 oz. Now this could be off by a pound either way but the sonographer's quote was "you'll be having a big baby for you." Oh fun!! The 3D sono showed super huge cheeks, just like grandpa Ronnie.

I'm betting we have close to a nine-pounder on our hands because he will grow about .5 lbs / week and he's making no effort to start his way south. I was born at 7 lbs, 15.5 ounces (never round up a women's weight) and TFitch was 9 lbs, 6 oz. So yeah, story checks out. Dr. Matthews isn't concerned at his size and said we will wait for him to come (unless it is Dec. 27 when we will finally induce). She isn't saying c-section or anything either. I appreciate that she isn't rushing to get him out and believes in letting nature take its course. Makes me sound so hippie.

My blood pressure was 120 over something so I've apparently calmed my ass down. Actually that is higher than normal for me but still in the normal range.

I'm feeling pretty good. I feel ready but I'm content with him inside still (and so is he; I feed him too well). My last day of work is a week from yesterday; can't even believe it. This morning I took some time for me and got my hair cut and a nice and relaxing pedi and mani. (Feel even more ready with good toes for the ole 'rups). Hopefully later today I will find some energy to do some Christmas shopping. I'll regret not being out and about to soak up the spirit of the season if he comes early!

I haven't blogged about this but I realize I have in fact had cravings for the past 38 weeks. One being orange juice--love it. Have some every morning. Simply Orange, Medium Pulp with calcium and vitamin D is where it's at! Oranges (or this time of year, Cuties) taste divine too. Also, waffles always sound good.

May your weekend be as random as this blog post.


Making a list

Not talking about one for Santa. The past few weeks I've been making the grocery list for Tfitch and then he magically appears with all of the items. Not one to gush about my husband on Facebook, I thought I'd use this as the forum to thank him for braving Hy-Vee for me. I honestly can't remember the last time I was at the grocery store. (This is also probably better for our budget as he sticks to the list whereas I tend to deviate often.)



One of the best gifts we've received is a healthy pregnancy. I went back to the doctor today and my BP was still up but lower than Monday so I was released with the doctor's love. And all is well with Geronimo. Healthy mom and baby is what matters.

But TFitch has surprised me recently with a few thoughtful gifts. A few weeks ago he came home with a pair of Nike Air Maxes for me. Even my riding boots have become uncomfortable at times. The comfy sneaks have already been put to good use and the kicks were his idea to soothe my little (swollen) feetsies.

And then yesterday I got my first...wait for it...bouquet during the pregnancy. They were "from Macy" and she was apologizing for being a "douche" during the day while I was trying to relax. They made my day.

Better than shoes and flowers is how helpful and supportive TFitch has been throughout the last 36 weeks. It's been a good journey my dear! (Except the nights you were traveling and I was on trash duty. I did not like those nights.)


Nesting: Hazardous for your health?

We got so much crossed off our to-do list over the weekend. We got the curtains hung in the nursery and also in the little fella's room his closest and dresser organized, his toy chest painted and covered and his bathroom organized. Photos of the nursery will be coming soon; we have some art being framed and we should get them back Dec. 5. Once they are on the wall we will make the nursery blog debut!

My mom was a huge help in getting all of his stuff washed. It's amazing how much laundry a little person, not even here, can generate! She also spent five hours organizing our kitchen. It was a huge project on my to-do list and she tackled it head on. Now the kitchen makes sense and there is room for bottles, pump parts and everything else little man will need in that part of the house. Made me appreciative of the time mi madre will spend at the house after the baby arrives. She's helpful.

Also on the weekend project list was decorating for Christmas. We just put out a few decorations to make it feel festive around here. Four stockings have been hung on the mantle! We normally get a real tree but we opted for the little pencil tree we had in the basement for simplicity. Since I'm taking it easy tonight, Trevor is taking the liberty of decorating for us. I just requested my favorite ornament makes it on there: dog in salad bowl. It gets more and more random each year but I love it.

Today we were scheduled to have a doctor's appointment, a meeting with the hospital admission coordinator and a meeting with our pediatrician. We didn't make it much past Shawnee Mission Medical Center; however. We had a new nurse and upon taking my BP she said, "what's going on with your blood pressure today?" We both kind of looked at her and she rechecked it. It was very high; I can't remember the exact numbers but I think it was 160-something over something else high. She made me lay on my side for a bit and then came back in to recheck it. It was still high, but lower than before. A little while after she left the room, I could hear Dr. Matthews talking to Ruth, our normal nurse. They were talking about how that was not normal for me. When Dr. Matthews came in the room, she had a definite look of concern on her face. There was also some protein in my urine which concerned her. After a lot of discussion as to why this may be happening (no idea; BP had always been normal) risks to me and baby, etc. she decided we needed to go to Labor and Delivery to be monitored. At one point it sounded like if the BP didn't go down soon, we may have had a baby this week. It was pretty intense for a while.

So off to the Special Addition Birth Center we went. After several hours of monitoring my blood pressure, the baby's heart rate and lab work, everything came back normal and my BP had dropped significantly. Dr. Matthews came by around 5 pm to discharge me. She has no idea why things were so high earlier in the day, but since the numbers looked good later in the day and I had no more protein in my urine, she felt comfortable sending me home to take it easy. Since everyone was so distracted during our actual appointment, we talked about the exam she did (still no progress) and induction date. We decided if Geronimo isn't here by then, we will go in the evening of Dec. 26 for Cervidil and then likely have the baby on Dec. 27. That is if he's head down...today it felt like he had moved so we have a sonogram scheduled for Dec. 6 to check out his position and size.

Needless to say we didn't make it to the pediatrician appt. and we did the hospital pre-admission bedside. But we are obviously happy everything turned out okay. When Dr. Matthews was talking about all the aide effects of preeclampsia, I was reminded that as routine as a pregnancy can be, there's still a lot of crazy things that can happen to mom and baby. I'm just grateful for a healthy pregnancy thus far and hopefully for the next 3.5 weeks.

Signing off from the couch,



I find it fitting the 36 week mark is on Thanksgiving, as we're so thankful for this little blessing. We are also thankful to my parents and Kalin and Lindsay for spending Turkey Day with us in KC and doing the lionshare of the work. I'm really starting to get uncomfortable and even standing to make Brussels Sprouts this morning was wearing on me. It's nice to have a low key holiday prepared by some of the best. Thank you.

We saw Dr. Matthews last week. She said babe feels "big but not huge." She also checked me for the first time which was crazy because that just reminds me how close we are. Crazy.

Baby Fitch's best friend, Lincoln Mac Hite, arrived last week. We can't wait to meet him!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!



Trash Day

If the neighbors haven't seen me waddling to/from the mailbox, they're sure to realize we have a little one on the way after trash day this week.

While I was running errands Sunday, TFitch assembled almost all of our gifts and purchases. Our living room looked like the showroom floor of Buy Buy Baby.

I'm thinking Fisher-Price, Graco and Chicco stock are worth investing in.

Now I'm just resisting the temptation of harnessing Macy into the swing. I think she'd like it.



Macy took a little nap on her brother during the Husker game. Approved by the American Academy of Pediatrics
for canine/sibling bonding.


Empathy belly

We had a good time watching the boys in our birthing class get a taste of pregnancy. Trevor was the first one to volunteer to wear the empathy belly. I'm sure wearing a 25 pound vest of water and sand for 15 minutes is totally like being pregnant! I wish he would have had to shave his legs, put on shoes and socks and roll over. Then again, I did make him roll over on the floor of the classroom to try and experience sleeping pregnant.

Trevor's thoughts on the empathy belly "it, uh, made me empathetic. But it was heavy."

Front row!

I've reached a new pregnancy milestone!



Baby Geronimo's crib was delivered today. We have a crib in our house. WEIRD!

We are also en route to Omaha (actually blogging from the road; I am sure I wil lose the connection) for the last time before the little lad comes. Kind of crazy it's our last road trip to the great state of Nebraska as just husband, wife and hound.

This weekend we have two baby showers and we are so excited! Tomorrow night is with all of our great friends and Sunday is with Trevor's aunts. And last weekend the Laibles, Hicks' and Torosians hosted a get together which was great fun. We will post pictures from all soon!

We had an appointment with Dr. Matthews yesterday and all is well. Gerry is measuring a week early. Heartbeat in the 130s and he appears to be head down. We made the rest of our appointments through our due date--WEIRD!

Birthing class continues to be a good preparatory experience. Last week we toured the hospital which was good so we know what to expect and I can visualize everything.  I am thinking about labor like a half-marathon--all a mental game for me. And like I want to know the route before a race, I'd like to know my surroundings before I push. It is a nice facility but I am a little bummed we will be missing the brand new birh center opening in April and/or not delivering at the gorgeous Methodist Women's hospital in Omaha. But everyone says the care at Shawnee Mission, where we will deliver, is exceptional and that's all that counts!

I'm still feelin pretty good. I'm a little anxious that our due date is nearing--in the 6 weeks to go phase! My lower back was hurting quite a bit Sunday and Monday but walks and prenatal yoga do wonders for making it feel better. I've read other mommy blogs and they all write about cravings, weight gain and other standard things on a regular basis. I haven't done that. Fruit continues to taste delicious and  I'm now officially heavier than I've ever been, a whopping 33 lbs. more than I was 33 weeks ago. Well lookey there how that works out. Baby boy continues to be very active. It's weird but I love it. Aunt Lindsay got to feel his foot last week and I think she was royally freaked out. We also told her all about birthing class during our trip to Nebraska last weekend. I think we may have ruined any changes for baby Fitch to have cousins anytime soon. Getting more tired lately--getting out of bed in the morning is an issue-- and a real bummer because it means no morning phone chat with Shannon.

Well, my bum is officially aching and we still have an hour left in the car. Better change positions and complain to TFitch. Peace out.

Mama bear


30 Weeks

Say whaaaa!

Last week we had a sonogram to make sure the placenta. which was low-lying at one point, had moved up. Good news - it has. Better news: we got an unexpected 3D ultrasound. This baby is SO cute. I definitely see Trevor but think I see a lot of me too. Everything is looking good (and with just a weight gain of one pound, I clearly kept my eating in better check). :)

Last night we started birthing class. The Fitches may or may not be the class clowns. Actually, we were pretty mature and not too overwhelmed by anything we learned. Five more weeks to go, though! I definitely did let out an audible "oh my god" when she showed us what 10 cm dialated looked like. I have a little fear that once labor starts I'll immediately forget anything we learned, but I know I have a good coach to help me out. As long as his Red Bulls are regulated that day.

The nursery is coming along! We got our bookshelf last weekend, pick up our glider on Saturday and crib and dresser come next week. I can't wait to get it all settled.

All in all a positive progress report on all fronts. If anything, I just want it to slow down. I am excited to meet this little guy, but I know the experience of a first pregnancy will never happen again and I am just trying to drink it all in.


You are my sunshine

I can't believe it has been more than 200 days since this little fella started growing inside me. Not only have these past seven months flown by, they've changed me. Not in the bigger-boobs-larger-belly-huger-ass-more-emotional way. I've been changed for the better. 

We had been wanting a baby for two years before I got pregnant. I had a rule that we wouldn't stress about it and we'd let it happen when it happened. But every time it never happened, I got lower and lower. I remember purposefully declining opportunities to hang with our friends because I couldn't be around baby talk. Sometimes TFitch would hang out and I would opt to chill with my family because I didn't want to have a bad night. I felt I was irrelevant to them. I had nothing to contribute. And I was jealous. When someone else would tell me she was pregnant, of course I was legitimately happy, but I would be crying as soon as I hung up the phone or left the person's presence. I made excuses to not attend baby showers. Facebook became an album of sonograms and pregnancy announcements I couldn't bear to read. I remember one friend telling me she was pregnant and I still had to spend the rest of the evening with her. I couldn't leave fast enough, but felt obligated to finish our planned night out. I remember feeling like my chest was going to explode and how hard it was to keep my eyes from welling up with tears for that long. 

My theme song became "Learning to Live Again" by Garth Brooks because the line "I’m gonna smile my best smile and I’m gonna laugh like it’s going out of style," was how I was living my life. I wasn't letting the outside reflect how I was living and feeling on the inside. I was doing the best I could to portray happiness. To the world, I was trying to be someone I wasn't. I felt like an absolute terrible person. An awful friend. I was mad and sad and angry it wasn't us. Moreso I was scared it wouldn't ever be us. 

Since April, my world has become sunnier. I feel like the clouds have gone away and I'm the old self I knew and loved prior to the roller coaster of trying to become a parent. I walk around smiling...and I mean it. I'm consumed thinking about babies, but in an excited way of anticipation, not in a concerned "what will this month bring" way. I feel like I belong. I am relevant again. 

This baby hasn't even made his debut on earth and he's already brought me more happiness than I could ever imagine. I've moved past those dark days but to anyone living that nightmare now, please know I understand. I realize I've become the person who used to make me cry. I know consolation from a pregnant woman rarely helped things. I don't have the words but you do have my prayers. No matter how you feel, you do belong, you are relevant and you are not alone. 


26 Weeks

Hello sonny boy!

So much activity since I last wrote. First, you attended your first wedding and what a wedding it was! Aunt Lindsay looked gorgeous and the day was beautiful. Ever since we found out you were on the way we decided to focus on the wedding first and then would be the time to really prep for the baby. I had a minor meltdown about two days after the nuptials, fearing that I'm unprepared and have no idea what I am doing in raising a baby, but then I remembered there are books, classes and grandmas for that. Now I am just excited to get the furniture here so I can start organizing. You're accumulating a lot of things already! I got a darling Marc Jacobs diaper bag from grandma and grandpa Hicks for my birthday (the big 32) that I LOVE! I can't wait to pack it full of stuff.

We had a doctor's appointment last Friday. I gained 11 pounds in one month. Whoops! I guess it was the fact I took advantage of the birthday cakes--yes cakes--grandma brought for me from Omaha. I figured if I wasn't drinking the calories...nonetheless, Dr. Matthews wasn't concerned at all (as long as I don't do that every month). See ya, sweets.

We also registered for you! It was so fun! I can't wait to start getting some of the things to make it all feel so real. Our friends were SO helpful in the registry process, telling us what we should and shouldn't get. And Annie loaned us a huge tub of newborn onesies that I sifted through tonight. I can't believe you're going to be that small! To see just how small that is, I had Macy try 'em on for size.

She just can't wait to play with you. And share your jammies.

Minus the transition into a new BMI category, I am feeling pretty great! You're still very active in the ole' tum tum (dad says he's going to have a talking to you about kicking your mom). My back hurts in the morning when I wake up. Hoping the Snoogli finally kicks in and helps! Hopefully easy pregnancy means easy baby...? :)

Love you baby boy! This momma is off to bed.




Home is where the for sale sign is

In 2005 we bought our first house; a house we thought we would live in for one year until TFitch's job took us elsewhere. 

Seven years and countless memories later, there's a for sale sign in the yard of Armstrong street. 

The house may not have double ovens, a three-car garage or granite countertops, but what it does feature is 2,110 square feet of laughs, stories and priceless moments. 

Opening the front door to see little Macy's face for the first time when the breeder dropped her off. 

My parents' reaction as they walked into the entry way and saw the house filled with their nearest and dearest, ready to celebrate their 50th birthdays.

Trevor's quote when he stumbled into his surprise 30th birthday party. "Everyone's in jerseys!" 

And all of our "firsts" as a married couple - first Christmas, first anniversary and every holiday in between. 

As a person who notoriously gets weepy over the ending of a chapter, the voluntary decision to relinquish this property to a complete stranger -- albeit practical and probably necessary -- does sadden me. Seven years ago, we bought a house. Today, we're selling a home. 

We'll always have a roof over our head, and for that I am grateful. I know it doesn't matter the house, it's what inside that makes it a home. Our shlocky Christmas trees. A jersey collection. Bins...lot and lots of bins. A happily married couple, a white fluffy dog and now a new addition. These things will make our future abodes feel like home. But those homes will never replace the wonderful times we celebrated here. 


An update from Omaha

Hello son!

This weekly post comes to you from Omaha. Your great grandma Lusienski passed away this week so we are here to celebrate her life. You would have been her 39th great grandchild! I am sad she didn't have a chance to meet you but she knew a little boy was on the way and she was very excited. She was a neat person and will be missed.

We had an appointment with Dr. Matthews yesterday and everything is looking good! She said I'm measuring at 23 weeks so just a little big. I started to convince myself (based on yesterday and the sonogram where you were measuring +6 days ahead of schedule) that you're going to come early (12/12/12?) but you have already proven me wrong once so I'm not placing any bets. Just please don't make me wait until 2013! Dr. Matthews said you were "very active" upon listening to your heartbeat (strong and solid, in the 150s). I wasn't surprised to hear her say that! You like to kick, do turns and perpaps a form of inutero marial arts all the time! I like it.

You have a place to sleep once you graduate from womb to room. We bought you a crib and dresser last weekend at Nebraska Furniture Mart. Let the decorating begin!

Next weekend is uncle Kalin and auntie Lindsay's wedding and we can't wait!! Fitting into a bridesmaid dress I ordered pre-pregnancy has proven a bit challenging but if that's the biggest hurdle in this pregnancy, I'll take it.

I'll write to you soon, little sweetheart snuggle pants (Daddy's first nickname for you).



It's a Boy!

The blog that was once for wedding planning, then married life, then old married life, is about to take on a new topic...parenthood! We couldn't be happier that we are expecting a BABY BOY and plan to use this outlet to document the journey until then so we remember all of the joys of expecting.

Most recently--the big reveal. Last week we found out "it" was a "he." The ultrasound tech asked me what I thought it was and I immediately said, "girl." I was convinced, for no reasons other than I felt like I was carrying high, I had been craving fruit, baby's heart beat was fast and my skin was bad. Immediately upon putting the wand on my belly she said, "Oh mama...you are wrong."

We were shocked! It made it all that more of a surprise! I just hope you'll do crafts with your mother, sonny boy! :) After the doctor's appointment we had fun talking names while at dinner at Old Chicago, and then buying some gifts to send to the grandparents and a few clothes at Janie and Jack for baby boy's closet.

After that came the big reveal. We wanted to wait to tell everyone until Friday since that's when the grandparents would be finding out. We posted some teaser pictures on Facebook Wednesday and Thursday , which garnered a lot more comments and likes than I EVER anticipated. It was SO fun to share in this special time with so many special people. Finally on Friday the news came out.

The Hites received a box Friday as well, since we had to tell them if we have future BFFs or if we could start the plans for the arranged marriage. Shannon texted me her excitement and immediately we started planning for our next vacation together with all of the boys. :)

Then came the text from grandma Joyce. They had opened the package with Aunt Katie and Aunt Alissa on Skype, so they were a part of the fun, too! All were so excited to know it was a boy.

Finally, we told grandma and grandpa Hicks while we were in St. Louis. We had had that trip planned for months so it was fun that it worked out to see them in person. This video captures their reaction.

It's been such an amazing journey so far. I never thought I would but I really love pregnancy! And, the best part is that I can feel the baby moving now! He is so active at night. Last week was the first time I felt the kicks and they were in response to Macy's barks. I was giggling because it tickled and because it was so funny. He was also going crazy while at the Cardinals game on Saturday night after this momma enjoyed some nachos with jalapenos. I could see the kicks through my shirt! I tried to get daddy, Aunt Lindsay and Uncle Kalin's attention but they couldn't really see it. Just a special time right now for me and the baby I guess. And as I type this from my hotel room in Le Mars, he's going Pele (our new code word) again. It's so funny/weird/cool/creepy to see your stomach fluttering! Trevor/daddy (who's my audience here?) hasn't been able to feel them yet but he will soon when "his boy gets big and strong."

I have typed up a few other memories from the pregnancy that I'll go back and retroactively post so that no memories of this awesome journey are forgotten. It's going by so quickly!


Mr. Green Jeans

I am absolutely loving colored denim this season. I wear jeans to work a lot (another ad agency perk) so I am thrilled that with a few pieces of colored denim in my closet, it will look like I've got an entire new wardrobe with the same comfy feel of being in jeans. So far I have the black and rose pink always skinny jeans from the Gap and red ones from the Limited.

I would have never believed it until I spent some time thinking of outfits, but really any color denim can be extremely versatile. Last week I wore my rose pink jeans with a fun navy and white shirt, navy cardigan and the gold Revas I got for Christmas that I have recently become obsessed with (much comfier than my other pair of Revas and also a versatile color). This color will also be cute with grey, black, brown, whites and any other fun color if in the right hue. We all know black pants will go with anything, but I loved the simplicity yet fun combination on Boden's website of the black pants, white oxford and bright green cardi. As for my red pair, they've so far been worn with a black and white top with a black blazer over but I see a lot of color combinations in their future. I bought a few purple shirts to go with the red pants and think it will really make for a fun look. The pants are also the perfect Husker red, so I'm already planning on pairing them with my grey "blackshirt" tee

I'll definitely be buying a few more pairs of fun colored denim--likely in skinny jeans (love they can be paired with flats, boots or heels) and maybe a skirt and some shorts. Tell me what colors are you loving this season and what are you pairing with?


Another Happy Customer

I can't help but share my most recent and as expected, positive, interaction with Zappos.com. I think my exact words when I hung up with their customer service rep (was it Christina I was talking to?), was "how are they so nice?"

Story goes a little something like: my folks bought me some Hunter boots and liners for Christmas. The boots are grey and the liners ma purchased were green--and boy oh boy did they clash. So those had to go back and get exchanged for charcoal. As for the boots, I wore them one day after Christmas and unfortunately the insole of the left boot rode up the back of my heel as the day went on, making for a very uncomfortable fit.

I had emailed Zappos a few times to figure out how to do the exchange and they said I should call--they'd be available 24/7. So finally, I did tonight and with ease, the transaction was completed. But this wasn't your normal transaction--the customer service gal was so nice! Chatting me up, asking what I was doing this weekend (and when I said going for a training run for my half-marathon, she made conversation about that). Looking up the gift order was easy--all she needed was my mom's email address. And, apparently the boots were $35 cheaper when my mom ordered them than they are now, but the gal just waived that. I was slightly worried about the boot exchange since they had been worn once, but they chalked it up to a defect--no questions asked. Additionally, since my mom and I are both VIP customers, my order is shipping tomorrow for arrival Monday.

Gift returns and exchanges can be difficult when you're in the store, standing across the counter from an associate. Thanks for making this process easy, breezy, beautiful, Zappos.com.



As a follow-up to my past blog post, I have to give a huge shout out to Southwest for helping me book my airline ticket to Austin! I really appreciate them listening to me and helping me with the process. I was agitated with the events of last Tuesday, but they have redeemed my faith in their customer relations after all. LUV ya' SWA!

What do I also LUV? That I have officially reached my fundraising goal for the 2012 LIVESTRONG half-marathon! $500 down? CHECK! Plane tickets booked? CHECK! Training--working on it!


Letter to Southwest Since I Exceeded their Character Count on their Email Form

Dear Southwest:

On Jan. 3, I started the entirely-too-long-of-a-process to book my flight from Kansas City to Austin, where I will be running in the Austin LIVESTRONG half-marathon. I’m running with my uncle, a cancer survivor, and his nephew, also a cancer survivor (stating this to put into perspective that all of this is for a good cause). By the time we run our 13.1, our team will have raised $2,000 for the LIVESTRONG organization.

This debacle started when I found a flight to purchase on southwest.com. To Austin would be flights 1509/3388 departing KCI on Sat., Feb. 18 at a rate of $39, and the return flights would be 1198/3072, departing Austin after the race on Sun., Feb. 19.

Because I had a one-way voucher that expires on Jan. 26, I called 800-I-FLY-SWA to make sure a voucher-worthy seat was available for the Sunday flight. I wanted to confirm that before I paid $50 to extend the voucher. The nice man on the phone ensured me there was and said I should book the flight quickly, which I did. I completed transaction one of paying the $50 fee, extending my voucher and booking my return flight home from Austin. Easy as pie, as is typical when booking and flying Southwest.

Because my other flight would not be with a voucher, I then went to complete my separate transaction of booking my $39 flight to Austin; this was minutes later. I got an error message when I tried to select my flight, so after refreshing the webpage, imagine my shock when I see the flight price had risen from $39 to $178! An increase of $139 in a matter of minutes! I was floored!

I immediately called 800-I-FLY-SWA back and explained the situation to them. I was floored what I was told by Southwest—a company I covet for customer service: there was nothing they could do for me. They gave me another number to call: 214-932-0333. I called the number and got a response I don’t think I’ve heard in the 21st century: a busy signal. I looked at my phone, back and the number I scribbled down, and back at the phone. They matched; I must of written it down wrong. I tracked down the number on Southwest.com and low and behold—it was the right number. Because of the wonder that is the iPhone call log, I can prove that I called 214-932-0333 at 5:01 pm, 5:05 pm and 5:13 pm Central—being greeted by a busy signal all three times.

It’s about this time I call 800-I-FLY-SWA back and tell the woman that answers this time what is going on. I paid $50 to extend my voucher, went to purchase my $39 flight and it went up to $178. I’d either want the $39 rate or the $50 refunded. She told me she can’t do either, but that my newly extended voucher is now good through Jan. 3, 2013…to which I wanted to respond with, “at this time, I hope to never fly your airline again.” Alas, there’s nothing she can do; I need to call customer relations and she gives me the number: 214-932-0333. I explained I had called that number and it was busy. She said again there was nothing she could do, that I needed to call customer relations.

“Then who am I talking to?” I asked?
“Customer service,” she replies.

Oh, I see. Not.

It’s around this time I send an email to Southwest asking for someone to call me back and also tweet to @southwestair “@southwestair your customer relations line has been busy for an hour now. What's the trick to get thru?” And then I pack up and head home from the office, because my colleagues are tired of me getting worked up about all of this.

5:40 pm
6:15 pm
6:21 pm
6:24 pm
6:38 pm
6:52 pm
7:02 pm
7:19 pm
7:42 pm

Those are the next attempts at getting through to customer relations, again, only to hear the dreaded beep, beep, beep.

Finally, at 8:02 pm I get through. No busy signal! But the greeting on the other end did tell me they closed at 8 pm.

Yesterday, I received a tweet back from @southwestverity and she and I tweeted back and forth about her helping me, which I appreciated. But what if I wasn’t on Twitter; how would I have been helped? This morning I received a response to my email, but ultimately I asked for them to call me, which didn’t happen.

At this point, I’m just disappointed that I was told no twice and basically ignored 12 times by a company I’ve long admired for customer service. And unfortunately, I’ve shared my thoughts with many friends, family members and co-workers.

I guess what I want is this:

1.  Let’s get this flight booked. I’m going to Austin. I’d like the $39 rate that disappeared in front of my eyes. If that isn’t possible, I’d like to be told if there is a voucher seat available for the Feb. 18 flight I referenced above. My uncle has a voucher that I can extend and will use for that flight if a voucher seat is available. (They are transferrable, right?)

2. Please recognize the annoyance Southwest has caused me the last few days. I’m a loyal customer. I travel frequently and SWA is my preferred airline. I accept rules and policies. I just felt I wasn’t listened to during my communications and the inability to talk to who I apparently needed to talk to added fuel to the fire and was frustrating. I like you; like me back. In the end, I’ll continue to fly Southwest and I’ll probably even fly Southwest to Austin (though there is a $59 on Delta I’m seriously considering). Please just show me a little LUV cause I haven’t been feeling it thus far in 2012.

Wendy Fitch