Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Don't tell that to Superman

This morning DH was carrying Little Bit, laying stretched out in DH's arms, down the hallway.

DH said to him, "Look! You're flying!"

Little Bit answered, "No...Birdie fly. Airplane fly. My no fly."

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Pictures of the aftermath

As we drove home from daycare yesterday, Little Bit began his sad, yet funny litany noting all the trees felled by Hurricane Ike.

"Nuder wun fah down...nuder wun fah down...nuder wun fah down..."
Another one fall down.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A moment

Last night as Little Bit slept between DH and I, I listened to the snuffles and little sounds he made. He sighed and nestled against me like a little puppy, happy and content. I marveled at his sweetly curved arms, still plump with baby fat. It's when he's asleep that I can glimpse again the little baby that he was. When his face relaxes and his eyelashes kiss his round cheeks, my heart fills again. He may be growing by leaps and bounds, but he'll always be my baby.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The aftermath of Ike

We went to bed last Friday night to try to get some sleep. Our power had flickered off and on several times, but went off finally at about 11pm. I woke up about 2am, when Ike was supposed to be hitting land. DH was already up and walking the house, checking the floor in front of windows for water. The sound of the wind and rain outside was impressive. We looked out at our back patio to see some blue styrofoam that had come from someone's house when the siding and other insulation was ripped away. We hoped it wasn't ours. As we watched, a sudden gust of wind sucked the the styrofoam straight up and gone in an instant. We were definitely seeing the 90+ mph steady wind with the 100+ gusts at our place.

Our front door was leaking water; the seal between the stained glass inset wasn't quite waterproof. With each gust of wind, water was forced through the seal and ran down the door. The pressure of the wind gusts made the door protest and howl. DH pointed out that it sounded like a kazoo. DH stayed up longer to keep an eye on the windows, etc, but I went back to bed.

Little Bit slept through the storm. Saturday morning, we were still going through the eyewall. We were probably in the eyewall for some 12 hours. Wind and rain for hours. Hoping that the builders of our 5 year old house had built it properly to the hurricane codes.

On Saturday afternoon, we could get outside to look for any damage. We were very lucky. Besides power being out, like 20% of Texas, we had some window screens pulled off and twisted. I'll have to post the pics from my camera phone later. One of our neighbors wasn't so lucky. They were the one whose wall insulation littered our backyard.

I felt so cut off from the world without power. No internet or tv. My cell phone charge was getting low as well, so I rationed calls. We don't have a battery powered radio (yes, we need to remedy that). We got some news from neighbors who had a generator. We heard that NASA/JSC would be closed at least this whole week, and thought about taking refuge somewhere with power. After a few days of no power in the Houston heat, with a bored 2 year old (no, I'm sorry, we can't watch tyee-vee), we decided to take the opportunity to visit some of DH's family.

The drive northward through the path of Ike was interesting. We drove here on Monday. Very few stores were open. The Target was open during the day, selling non-perishable items only. No gas stations had any gas. At first I was pointing out the downed trees in the aftermath, but then Little Bit picked up on it.

As we drove, we heard, "Un moh fah down..." (One more fall down...) over and over.

It was some 250 miles inland from the Texas coast before we saw "civilization" again -- meaning gas stations with gas (only two had gas, both with mile long lines before then), power, and open restaraunts.

Updated to add: on the drive north on I-59 we saw easily 200+ "cherry pickers" and other power/utility trucks caravaning southward in fives and tens. DH and I were both heartened to see so many heeding the call to help restore power to the Houston area.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Rock me like a hurricane...

I'm watching the 17 ft waves on the news topping the seawall on Galveston just south of us. We are hunkered down in our one story house. It's 12 hours before the eye of the hurricane comes ashore. There is still the ~12+ ft storm surge and then the maybe 10+ inches of rain. The question now seems to be how much JSC will flood, not whether. Our house will be above the flooding, but we are probably going to see hurricane force winds here starting at 9 or 10 pm tonight.

More later.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Bueller?...Bueller?... Anyone?

Am I dreaming the impossible dream? I just want to find some nice pants for work, preferably ones that shed wrinkles (and won't end up looking like you pulled them from the bottom of the clothes pile, did a sniff test, and threw them on, even though they were fresh, clean, and unwrinkled 2 seconds before). OK, that part sounds do-able. Plenty of 'dress' pants are wrinkle-resistant.

Here's the kicker - the pants have to not make me literally sweat my ass off in the heat and humidity of Houston. Most 'dress' pants seem to be made with some sort of polyester/rayon/spandex mix. Last time I tried to wear one of my dress pants to work this summer, I had to turn around after stopping for my ususal caffeine/coffee fix and return home to change pants. I was going to lose several pounds of water if I didn't.

I need some cotton or natural blend fabric that's been treated to shed wrinkles. At the very least, a manufactured fabric with some breathability. Am I reaching too high? Am I dreaming too big? Anyone have some suggestions for brands of dress pants?

A Par-tay

Blogtations is having a party! They are marching towards the 500th blogtation quote! As part of the party, I'm posting two of my favorite quotes from Blogtations.

Middle Twerp has some type of oral fixation. The child was born with a quarter, three army men, and a Bic pen top in his mouth. Seriously. I just held out my hand as I laid in the stirrups and told him in a firm voice, Spit those out. The doctors were a little perplexed, but I knew it was just the beginning of what was to come. ~ Dreams of a Country Girl

Do you know what's awesome? You can lie around in bed all day with your plaid adult version of a child's security blanket, consuming Doritos and crunchy coffee from a three-day-old mug, and your cats will have no idea that you are completely pathetic and probably undermedicated. ~ Schmutzie

If you haven't read Blogtations before, go check 'em out! If you want to join the par-tay, and possibly win a $50 Amazon gift certificate, check out the rules.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Me-me me-me

I'm going to grab a meme that I just read over at musings' place. The meme is a good 'getting to know you' list of questions.

1. What was I doing ten years ago?
Ten years ago I was going to grad school. I was one of two "older" students in the program and one of the 5 women out of about 25. My aerospace engineering graduate department actually had a higher percentage of women than most others -- a whopping 20%. I was used to that; my undergrad physics and astro classes were 10% or so women. However, I also had some math and physics classes that were 90% women and 10% men. (That was one of the advantages of going to an all women's college with an opportunity to take classes at the local co-ed college, too.)

Ten years ago, I was wondering what I'd gotten myself into. I'd always done much better in my liberal arts classes than in my science and math classes, but the applied part of engineering was what interested me. So, I stubborned my way through, and my GPA was helped by the A's I got in a few liberal arts type grad classes like Engineering Psychology.

2. What are five (non-work) things on my to-do list for today?
Put away my clean laundry. Stop by Tarjay for a few items. Read some more of Twilight.

3. Snacks I enjoy:
Chocolate (of course). Popcorn. Potato chips and ranch dip.

4. Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
Of course pay off all my debt. Contribute to a number of humanitarian and fine/performing arts causes. Buy a bigger house here in Houston. Give a bunch of money to my extended family, and get my mom and dad a house here. Travel all over the world. Buy a house in Hawaii. Set up my son's financial future so he wouldn't have to worry about anything. Buy a trip to the Space Station from the Russians and/or fund my own private space program. *grin*

5. Places I have lived:
Counting places that I have lived at least a few months (including summer internships) - Virginia, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Illinois, Texas.

6. Jobs I have had:
Fast food worker, data analyst, astronomy intern, human factors intern, grad school Teacher's Assisstant, rocket scientist, space systems engineer.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Thursday's Tale of Torture

Today's post is brought to you by the letters T, M, and I.

Yesterday morning the fun began with my appointment at the dentist. The dental hygienist I'm sure is a lovely lady, and any other time I would have happily chatted with her about our toddlers who are so near in age. However, the torture of my gums with an instrument called a water pik (ha, how about water laser?) did not lighten my mood. Yeah, yeah, that's what I get for waiting too long between appointments. Just shut up, lady, I'm trying not to punch you in the stomach.

The fun continued in the afternoon's appointment with my ENT (aka, the sinus doc). First there was the long metal scope he stuck in my nostrils to look into my sinuses. Then, he needed to clean out one side so that the nebulized antibiotics could finish getting rid of any sinus infection. My brother used to offer to use a Roto-rooter on my sinuses when I had a bad infection. Well, that's what the doc did. He kept turning up the suction, because apparently my sinuses have discovered a great recipe for cement. No one's inner sinuses should have to feel that. When the suction thingy of doom didn't get it all, the doc *scraped* at the inside of my sinuses. shudder

So, I left there with both my gums and sinuses scraped and raw and achy. Obviously I should have scheduled a pap smear and a colonoscopy yesterday just to complete the fun. I totally stopped at Dairy Queen on the way home.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

It's good to be the Mom

What have I been up to in the last week? Being the best parent ev-ah! For one thing, we let Little Bit eat dinner on the couch while watching Dorya. And it was pizza, ya'll! We also had hot dogs for lunch one day, too. I must confess that Little Bit has been getting to watch some tv just about every morning and evening. If we tell him it's time to turn off the tv, his little face gets red, tears spring to his eyes, and he puts his little hand out in a stop motion, like warding off Swiper*, and cries, "No!! More tye-vee!"

Being awesome, we give in and say, "One more story. One more."

The theme songs of all these toddler shows are stuck in my head. I've suggested a drinking game to DH where you have to drink everytime one of the characters on these shows break the fourth wall. You'd be very drunk watching Dora, what with all the "Say map! Say map!" and "Say backpack!" It's one way to get through the horror.

At one point this weekend, Little Bit was doing something that we'd told him not to do (banging a toy on the table, I think). I got *that* tone and said, warningly, "Sonnnn..." Then, being self-aware, I said, "If you don't stop that, I'm going to say, 'Sonnnn...' again."

DH laughed. Sometimes it's just too much trouble to follow-through, ya know? Then, we somehow got Little Bit distracted.

However, my favorite parenting moment this last week was when we were driving home. Little Bit started asking to sit in my lap. I said that he couldn't right now; he had to stay in his seat while we're in the car.

DH then said to Little Bit, "OK, as soon as we get home, one of us will hold you." Then he said to me, "It helps if you can say yes to him in some way."

I said, "Yeah, I know. But I'm a mean mom and sometimes I just like saying 'no'."

* As an aside, check out that link above for Swiper. I googled "Dora Swiper" and came across an interesting post by a history/religion professor about Swiper as an archetypal "diabolical fox-spirit" found in many religions. DH and I were just recently talking about how it was interesting that you have to say "Swiper, no swiping!" the ritually important three times in order to keep him from swiping.

I got an award!

Cool! I got an award from TxGambit.

I'm supposed to answer the following questions with one word each and then tag 7 people with the honor.

1. Where is your cell phone? Purse
2. Where is your significant other? Home
3. Your hair color? Reddish
4. Your mother? Homemaker
5. Your father? Shy
6. Your favorite thing? Chocolate
7. Your dream last night? Forgotten
8. Your dream/goal? Adjusted
9. The room you're in? Cubicle
10. Your hobby? Reading
11. Your fear? Alone
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Hawaii
13. Where were you last night? Home
14. What you're not? Excercising
15. One of your wish-list items? Laptop
16. Where you grew up? Virginia
17. The last thing you did? Coffee
18. What are you wearing? Blue
19. Your TV? HD
20. Your pet? Cats
21. Your computer? Old
22. Your mood? Good
23. Missing someone? Yes
24. Your car? New
25. Something you're not wearing? Makeup
26. Favorite store?
27. Your summer? Hot
28. Love someone? Yes
29. Your favorite color? Purple
30. When is the last time you laughed? Today
31. Last time you cried? Recently

I'll have to think about who I might want to give the award to. I'm so happy that TxGambit gave me an award.