First off, let me apologize to anyone trying to fly out of Indianapolis International Airport this past Saturday morning. Secondly, let me just say this: I’m so freaking glad it was Derrick’s fault (mostly), and not mine.

I’ll back up a bit. It’s common knowledge that traveling with the Feldmanns is a sweat- and hive-inducing activity. I love me some Paige and Blair, but in general? They really suck at traveling.

Our morning started out typically – me running around like a mad-woman trying to make sure bags were packed, snacks were aplenty, batteries were charged. Paige and Blair got into no fewer than three fist fights, and they alternated keeping the time-out spot warm. At the last minute, I mentioned that our suitcases seemed a little heavy, and it was decided we’d switch from 2 to 3 suitcases for the fam. Derrick made the swap, packed the car, and we were off to pick up Botsie and Nani and head to the airport.

Fast-foward to IND curbside. Botsie and Nani took their carry-ons inside They foolishly generously offered to take the girls inside to wait in line while I waited with the van, car seats and carry-ons (which meant, basically, that I stood outside holding Hello Kitty and Princess backpacks … without any kids in sight). Derrick ran back and forth to get everyone’s suitcases inside (one of which, I kid you not, LITERALLY was full of bricks … a hazard of traveling with a designer, apparently. So, I guess they WEREN’T foolish after all in letting D carry them in!).

We got all checked in, finally made it through a ridiculously long security line, and headed towards our gate. About halfway there, we heard it. On the loud-speaker, a booming voice announced: “Derrick Feldmann, please report to the Airtran check-in counter for your luggage.” I turned around, and my sweet, kind husband looked at me and said, “What did you do?”


He grabbed his boarding pass, gave me one last dirty look, and turned around to head back to the entrance to the airport. The rest of us (including a group of family friends we ran into) headed towards our gate, assuming Derrick would re-join us in a few minutes.

Um, did I mentioned how freaking PACKED the airport was? It honestly was wall-to-wall people. We got the girls settled on the floor against the wall, I gave Paige my phone, Blair the iPad, and I went to the bathroom (by myself! I know, right? I mean, hello vacation!!).

While I was gone, apparently, Derrick tried to call my phone a few times. Paige announced to Nani that “Daddy is calling! Don’t worry, I’ll hang up.” (Call screener – she is her mother’s daughter.) Nani decided she’d better give him a call, and he hurriedly answered with a “I can’t talk right now, I’m talking to TSA and the police.”


He finally arrived back at the gate, and filled us all in on what happened.

Apparently, in the rush to get the suitcases (now 3 instead of 2) inside, he left one out at curb and drove away without it. I didn’t notice inside, because I honestly had forgotten we had switched and added another one last-minute. He must have run right past it to get to the van – aka, this is me placing the blame on him. Not that I really cared, once I knew it wasn’t my fault. I didn’t have to deal with any other hassle than the usual (aka, our children).

You know how they always tell you not to leave baggage unattended? Well, want to know what happens when you do?

They shut down the entrance to the airport. THE. ENTIRE. AIRPORT. No one could drive up to drop people off at departures until Derrick got back to the counter, talked to the TSA and police, passed a background check, and received a lecture about how irresponsible he was and how many people he had inconvenienced (no, not from ME, fools. From the police!).

Also? They didn’t think he was very funny when he reminded them that if he had any intentions of doing harm to anyone with a suitcase, he probably wouldn’t have put his name and contact information on the luggage tag. Nope. They did not think that was funny at all.

So, we made it to Florida. We apologize to any of you who ended up running to your gates that morning. But, secretly, I want everyone in the airport to be sweating as much as me anyway, so I’m not really all that sorry.

The girls were decent. Our luggage made it. But I think Blair summed up the day well during the drive from Fort Myers to Longboat Key:



Over the past two months or so, Blair’s vocabulary and speech changes have astounded us. This fall, she basically confused everyone who met her and forcing them to smile sweetly, nod and say “Yes!” Including her Daddy. Poor, poor Derrick. He didn’t understand a single word she said.

Seeing as I spend every waking hour with her (almost literally), I actually caught about 98% of what she was saying. Basically, I was fluent in ‘Blair,’ so I was able to translate. However, she even stumped me a few times.

Then, all of a sudden, more and more people COULD understand what little Bear was telling them. And, these days, it seems like now it’s rare to NOT understand what she’s saying.

(We still have our moments. Yesterday, Paige asked Blair to come help her pick out socks. Blair said, “Jess a checkin, P!” Paige, confused, looked at me and asked, “Catch the chicken?” Um, I’m pretty sure “Just a second” is what she was going for, I believe. Otherwise, there’s a chicken on the loose.)

One of the funniest (and strangest) developments of this increase in speech is that Blair now refers to me as “lady” (pronounced, “leedy”).

As in, “Hey, lady!” when I walk into the room.

Or, “You need a checkup, lady?” when we are playing doctor.

Or, “Hellloooo, lady!!!!” when she’s pretending to call me on the telephone.

Or, “What you doing, lady?” when she peeks around the curtain while I’m in the shower.

You get the idea. I can’t explain it. I have no idea where the heck she would even have picked this up. But it makes me laugh. Out loud. Every. Single. Time.

To which she’s been known to reply, “Whas so funny, leedy?”

Oh, Bear. Silly little leedy.