Thursday, July 28, 2011

Career Choices

We were blessed with being able to see the last launch of the Space Shuttle, STS-135. My impressionable 7 year old who already loves all things rockets, walked away from this experience with the desire to be an astronaut. I did not have the heart to tell him this probably wasn't a great choice being the last shuttle and all. (Had the shuttles performed the remaining 75% of their lifespan, maybe so but with the program canceled...probably not going to happen).

The news channels broke the bad news to M. So, showing great ability to adapt...he is going to be a professional hockey player. And last night, he let me know I could watch him on TV and he will give me some tickets to watch in person. So, in the future, I see a lot of dental bills. I can't complain though...during this hot summer that seems to have no end in sight...I'll take an Ice Complex over a hot stadium any day.

Come and Get It!!!

Once upon a time, I used to be a phenomenal cook. I found trying new recipes a delight, I lovingly stroked new cookbooks, watched Martha Stewart on cable. Then, it all changed...It's dinner time, I am making dinner and well...I'm not enjoying it.

I had H and M. I am now a short order cook. Well, in their mind. Here's why...H likes raw carrots. M doesn't. M likes cooked carrots. H does not. M will eat mashed potatoes. H will not. H and M will eat sliced potatoes baked in the oven after being tossed in oil, salt and pepper. If I throw in an envelope of onion soup so much the better. I've hit one out the ball park.

H will not touch mayo, cream cheese or sour cream but will eat mustard. M will not eat mustard but will eat mayo. So for H, a sandwich has to be made with no mayo, onions and peppers (H loves her peppers and onions just like her big sister but let's not get me started on the big sister's diet because she has celiac and is supposed to not eat gluten but she eats like she doesn't have celiac...oh wait, I wasn't going to get started on that one). Where was I? Oh yes, the ham sandwich...M has to have pickles, mayo, provolone and ham...oh, and it has to be toasted...M will eat PB&J and H will not. Do you see why I like McDonald's? They can sort it all out.

H will eat meat. H LOVES meat. M does not. Getting my beloved son to eat anything besides chicken nuggets or a hot dog requires me to consume a large amount of Motrin. H will eat broccoli. M will not. M will eat macaroni and cheese. H will not. H will eat Mexican Cheese melted on almost anything (well, not a baked potato) but will not touch American, Provolone, Swiss...oh, she will eat fact, she will eat a mound of shredded Parmesan. I blame a waitress in MA for this oddity...but that's another story. Needless to say, M will not eat the mound of shredded Parmesan but he will eat yogurt. H will not.

I hear the sound of the timer. I will go fetch the chicken, green beans and rice for the husband and me...while I finish off the Amy's skillet lasagna that I caved into making for the Short People. I usually don't do this, I usually have a dinner with much verbal wrestling and threatening but tonight. Two dinners. I'm a short order cook because sometimes the idea of a dinner with no whine while I sip my wine is just too much to resist.

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Drawbacks of being a Geriatric Mom

My kids say the funniest things...except I rarely remember what they said because I am usually driving...and by the time I get home. I know they said something hilarious but I cannot for the life of me remember what it was...BUT I found a scrap piece of paper yesterday (dated March 12, 2009) and here is the discussion that took place while I was trying to scrape something off of M's throat...when I realized it was a mole (yeah, my eyesight isn't too good either)

M: "Yeah, it's cuz the Angel kissed me. I felt him when I was sleeping. How do angels get in the house? Maybe they can go through wall because they're invisible."

Later, I'll try and remember to dig my phone out of my purse for M's theological discussion on the Fall of Man and tornadoes.

Sophie the Swagger Wagon

A few weeks ago on a Sultry Saturday morning, Hubby was paying bills, I was cleaning up my craft mess and we discussed the transportation arrangements for the upcoming FL trip. Five people were not going to fit into the Accord or the Rav4 without killing each other before reaching the GA state line. I suggested renting a vehicle and made a casual remark that I never thought I would miss my mini van but twice a week, every week, when hockey rolls around...I miss that space. I especially miss the space when I go grocery shopping and open the back to find that big ole hockey bag did not get taken out and put away. End of discussion.

One week later, we had a new mini van. This is extremely unusual since the husband usually spends weeks, no months, no scratch that...years to purchase a new vehicle. Our Honda Odyssey was researched for THREE YEARS before being started in Ohio and ended in Massachusetts when child number three made his debut. We always wanted a Sienna but they were the new kid on the block and extremely expensive...sometime in VA, we traded the Odyssey for a Sienna. Rebecca Sophia (the Sienna) had a nice life until she was creamed by a rear end collision that rendered her life cycle over and made her a parts donor. Trying to be a cool mom and not realizing we would get replacement value, I went for the RAV4, John Harvard. John Harvard is a nice ride but the first thing I missed was the over abundant amount of cup holders...then when winter rolled along I missed the ability to adjust the temperature on my bun was high...or low...then one day, it got really cold and boy, did I miss the side mirror defroster (Yes, I'm not a Princess, I am a Queen).

Anyway, back to Sophie The Swagger Wagon...I got called by Hubby to meet him at the Toyota Dealership to look at a Sienna...operative word here L-O-O-K at a Sienna. Boom! My husband sealed the deal with a deposit that evening and two days later, Sophie became part of the family. The favorite oldest daughter posted a video on my FB wall...hence, Sophie...The Swagger Wagon.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Here's a Few Pictures

A few pictures from the morning of the launch...

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

STS 135 Final Launch

This is it, guys, as close as one can get without actually being part of the crew (at least that is what I am told)

I will write more later, dinner is getting cold but I am just soooo glad it uploaded since my camera usually won't upload if a video is over 1 minute.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Hit the BEACH

Yikes, I'm typing this in the dark. The Little People are sleeping. We had a big day at the beach and they are beat. I had lots of fun playing in the cold water but watching the kids play in it was even better. I did learn that if there is a next time, I need to bring a garden trowel. M's plastic shovel broke in half on his first scoop in the hard wet sand. He planned building a sand castle as soon as he heard we were coming to FL for the launch. He hit the water running with his pail as soon as we found a spot on the sand. H had a blast collecting shells. I thought they looked pitiful but she thought they were beautiful and isn't that what really matters?

L baked herself in the span and thus fulfilled her happy meter.

We had lunch at a place called Coconuts that a friend suggested. The food was good and the atmosphere was perfect beach joint.

All in all, a great day at Cocoa Beach.

Pictures later, just as soon as I get home and upload from the camera :-)

Greetings from Cape Canaveral...well, Melbourne.

Sunday Morning...L + 3 The launch was an awesome success and went off to everyone's disbelief and hope. We boarded the bus and our docent told us there was a 10% chance of launch due to weather and we would probably turn around and try again on Saturday since Saturday seemed to have the best weather for the next few days. The clouds were a mixed blessing, a cloud hung over the launch literally and figuratively. It also kept us cool for the most part. FL weather waited until about 10 to hit the dripping mark.

Let me back this story up, many years ago while Edwards AFB my husband worked with Rex Walheim. He was a bachelor and I fed him cookies and dinner. He got married, applied to NASA's astronaut program, Greg was one of the people interviewed for Rex' security clearance and voila' he was accepted. So, by being blessed with Rex' friendship, we have been blessed with invites to Shuttle launches. (We were also blessed with Mike Bloomfield's friendship and launch invites.)

This time we got to hang out with the extended family VIP treatment. It's the only way to go. We had tickets for free admission to KSC, a brief on the mission, bus tour of KSC and we got to visit with the astronauts (they were on the other side of a rope so we wouldn't infect them with our nasty germs, a good thing given the number of kids, mine included). On launch day, we had a bus to take us to a special viewing at the Saturn V building. The other VIPs (200 astronauts and celebrities) were on another side of the Saturn building with all of us mixing together in the very crowded Saturn building) I was oblivious since I wouldn't recognize the astronauts...or Stephen Spielberg for that matter. I sat outside on the bleacher watching the video feed and holding our seats on the bleachers. I went inside once and there was a tall man in a cowboy hat posing with people and signing autographs. I asked who he was, I was told his name and didn't register...and I have forgotten it. I guess at this age, I am just happy I can remember my name since I usually call my kids by the wrong name.

The actual launch covered me in glory bumps (goose bumps to everyone else). There was a small hold on the countdown but it went off to everyone's delight and many people around me cried knowing that is the last shuttle into space. I didn't realize the shuttles have only used 25% of their life span. Lots of other voyages into space are built into those magnificent flying machines. Lots of scientific knowledge to be discovered. What a shame a cut to save money will cause so many to be unemployed and medical discoveries not made or at least delayed for much later in the future.

Oh, and the kids saw 8-9 alligators in one little swampy area. Our docent said that was unusual, usually only 1 or 2 is spotted in that location showing that even the gators knew something special was happening and didn't want to miss it.

(Lots of pictures to come when I get the meantime, I'll try to grab some off of my FB page)