Sunday, July 31, 2011

Space 2

I've been meaning to write this for awhile, and frankly it's amazing I'm doing it now. I've gotten pretty bad about planning posts and never getting down to doing it.

This week has also been a weird one. Somehow I contracted a staph infection in my nose, so besides dealing with that, I'm on powerhouse antibiotics that make me feel sick to my stomach all the time. The doctor said he's seen several cases, so I guess it's not uncommon here. Wyatt actually had an infected toe a few months back that required two rounds of antibiotics. Ah, the dark side of life in the tropics!

Anyway, moving back to the real purpose for this post: I asked Wyatt if he wanted to get up really early and watch the space shuttle come back. He got all excited about it, so I set the alarm. When I went in to get him at 0515 (after making sure it was actually going to land, as there is always a chance they will have to change it), he got up right away when I reminded him why I was waking him up. I didn't touch Oscar because he would have been a bear to deal with the rest of the day, and I knew a replay would be enough for him.

It was really nice snuggling on the couch with my six year old while we watched them track the progress of Atlantis through the sky. I'm absolutely not a morning person, and neither are my kids, but sometimes it's worth it to get up for something.

I did feel a little bit badly when Oscar got up later. Their room is right off the living room, and though I kept the TV low, he is easily disturbed and got up just after the shuttle landed. He got all sad that he missed it, so I promised him we'd find it on the internet for him to watch. Luckily, that mollified him.

As it turned out, though, I didn't have to do that because the NASA channel replayed it over and over again that day. How do I know this? Because it's all we watched all day. The boys whipped out their spaceship Legos and played in the living room. The space shuttle Legos didn't come with a whole fuel tank and launch pad set up, so Wyatt built his own out of Duplos.

It's been, what, a week since the landing? They still ask to watch the NASA channel, and are still playing space all the time. I hope they will have the opportunity to be involved in the space program if they are still interested in it as they grow up. Or at the very least, they are able to do something they care about or are good at.

I've found one of the toughest things about parenting for me is this whole schooling issue. We've been spoiled here with a tiny classroom and teacher that is able to teach the kids at their level. Wyatt's gone way beyond what he would have done in a typical kindergarten classroom because of that. After another year of that, I know we're going to have to look to more unconventional solutions for their schooling.

For now, though, we're all learning a whole lot about space.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Our boys have been very into space lately. When we were in Orlando, we picked up a couple of the new LEGO space themed sets for them. So, now they have their own space shuttle, astronaut, and astronaut van. They've been getting a lot of play around here.

Interestingly enough, our first day in Orlando coincided with the launch of Atlantis. Unfortunately, we weren't paying attention and didn't realize that until after we were there. Because of our lack of planning, and the huge traffic jam to get over there, plus the cloud cover that nearly cancelled the flight (which would have made it much harder to watch much of the launch), we decided to just watch some coverage of it on TV before going on about our merry way.

The last few days, here at home, the boys have been obsessed with the NASA channel. I guess you can watch it on the net, too, but for some reason it's part of our cable package, along with all the overseas military channels (and I do mean all of them). Oliver's been rolling his eyes a bit at it because much of what you see is shots of mission control with no sound - not the most exciting thing to have on. We have, however, been able to see interviews with the astronauts both on the shuttle and in the space station, video from the launch from all angles, including one one attached to a rocket booster that followed it all the way to splash down, and shots of the astronauts floating around doing their jobs. The boys have been fascinated by it all, and astronaut is the vocation of choice this week. Today, we caught a special they made about the shuttle program, and it was really awesome, if a bit sad, to go over the last 30 years.

With all this space stuff, I figured it would be great if we could catch the landing on Thursday. So, I looked it up this afternoon. The time its scheduled to land? 0556 bright and early. Um, yeah, not sure about that...

Friday, July 15, 2011

Because You Just Never Know

I haven't really gotten on here in awhile. I think about blogging a lot, and I even write posts in my head, but I almost never get past that. I'm hitting a bit of a low, and guess it will just take some time to refocus and get over it.

We just got back from an amazing week in Orlando. Probably one of the best vacations we've ever taken. We rented a little condo with three bedrooms for less than $100 bucks a night about 15min from Disney (for orientation, although we didn't go there for Disney World). We saw three movies between us (one Oliver saw while I spent the time at the LEGO store with the boys), went mini-golfing at an awesome pirate-themed place, did Go-Karts, ate ourselves sick at an authentic Brazilian Rodizio, and even managed to fit in a few very needed errands (we took a leaky tire and had it replaced - never flown on a plane with a tire before; good thing it was small). And then there was the visit to Sea World and a few other things thrown in. We weren't bumped once on the flights, and everything went pretty smoothly.

Then we returned, and I realized how much I didn't want to go back. Oliver looked at me and asked if we were done with this duty station, because he had some of the same feelings.

Sigh. It's complicated. In some ways, absolutely. I'm tired of crappy, draconian internet and the utter lack of anything outside of beach combing to do. I've struggled to find friends in what is a rather insular community. Surprisingly, being Navy has marked us even more here than in the States, something I didn't expect. I miss fresh food, and I'm so, so done with having to plan meals around the 4 or 5 things in the produce department (okay, who a I kidding here - it's a produce bin) actually nice enough to consider buying. I miss being able to go to Church (something we also were able to do in Orlando, the first time in a year). I want a library to visit, and a store where we can pick up in five minutes what can take hours to locate online.

But, I also know the grass isn't always greener on the other side, which is why I'm not quite done. When we leave, we welcome back deployment. We lose the weekends and holidays, the birthdays and anniversaries together. I lose the parenting partnership we've developed in the last year and a half, and will have to once again take up most of the family responsibilities. We'll lose having a beach in walking distance from our house and Oliver's work, and will no longer be able to count on having it to ourselves when we go. We'll have to leave behind the coconut palms right outside our living room window, and the silent streets the boys can ride their bikes on without fear.

So, it's never so simple, is it? I'm a girl who tends to want to move when things get difficult, but after a lifetime of doing that, I am aware that you tend to just trade one problem for another, although the trick is discovering which problems you can live with and which are unbearable. (Since I've yet to decide on that one, I suspect it is why I can't think of one place I'd like to settle down in.) We've had some really good times here. I've grown a lot in ways I didn't expect. I'm not going to be sad to leave, but I'm not anxious to go because I also realize I just might be wrong about that in the end. You just never know about a place.