and I found this handy tip: "NEVER leave babies in an infant carrier while it goes through the x-ray machine." Thanks a lot TSA, I guess I know enough not to send the baby through the x-ray with the carry-on bags. I got smart and paid the extra $25 and checked the baby with my big bag so I didn't have to bother with the x-ray at all.
I've learned that even mentioning breastmilk can make people uncomfortable, which could be why my liquid cargo didn't get as much scrutiny as I expected. At work somebody accidentally walked in on me recently while I was pumping. (She thought I had the door closed because I was on a conference call). The bad news was that I was mildly embarrassed and she was mortified; but the minute that she opened that door it became absolutely guaranteed I will never have to share an office at work. So that's the upside.
In Washington DC I packed the insulated compartment in my breast pump full of ice so I could cool the milk I pumped at the training. The compartment had a small leak and as the ice slowly melted I left little drips behind me. I could feel the bag drip-drip-dripping across the Metro station, and I kept my fingers crossed that nobody took see-something-say-something too seriously. I was also glad that there was a dark carpet at the training location. Back at the hotel we kept the bag in the bathtub.
I might be insulated in the hippie paradise of Madison, WI, where mary jane crocs are considered professional attire, but on this trip I discovered that women's shoes out in the real world are ridiculously pointy and high-heeled, and I'd go so far as to say dangerous. I wore very sensible (meaning boring) sandals. On principle I'm against any article of clothing that could be used as a fatal weapon, although it's true that after I hang my incredibly rank running clothes in our tiny bathroom to dry, the room does develop some unfortunate similarities to a gas chamber.
I'm writing this from Portland, which is part of the second part of my big trip. We almost missed our Chicago-Portland flight due to a massive traffic jam precipitated by construction at Midway Airport but managed to squeak in at the last minute. We flew on Southwest Airlines, which was a first for me, and which I was excited about because unlike other airlines, Southwest doesn't charge to check bags. This can only mean one thing -- on the return flight, I'm checking BOTH kids.