Saturday, April 17, 2010

Quinn: 11 Months

Ack! Q's 11 month-day came and went without a post! I thought I was going to be on top of it this month - but yeah whatever. I just got back from my Houston trip and am tired, but here are some pictures of Quinn's 11 month:

This month has been all about motion for our little Q. He's definitely given up the army crawl now and is an expert crawler. He's fast too. He's standing and cruising pretty effortlessly. Of course now he's getting into everything - our stuff, Lily's stuff, you name it. At least he's still small enough to contain when we need a break:

People always tell me that he's a happy baby. I can't for the life of me figure out why they think that:

He's got such an easy smile and is just always so happy to see everybody. He seems to really enjoy being able to move around and explore. Sometimes it's hard to keep track of him:

He's figured out how to do some sign language - mostly the sign for more as he's still a really big fan of food:

He's got this adorable new habit of holding out his arm towards whatever he sees that interests him. Sometimes he sits at my feet and holds both arms out toward me "pick me up mom!". Other times he sits in the hallway and stretches his hand out towards our alarm system motion detector that sits in the corner of the room near the ceiling "what IS that light?". At the park he reaches out for the swing long before we're near it - because that baby LOVES the swing:

He's got 6 teeth now and although teething has been COMPLETE and UTTER HELL we seem to have earned a little respite. He's sleeping longer and taking real naps. Dare I even say that he's on a schedule?? (probably just jinxed us big time, but there it is).

He's managed to charm all the kids at his day care, especially one little girl who just seems to be totally in love with him. He loves her back. He gives big sloppy kisses and sweet pudgy-armed hugs. He's all baby fat now and it's wonderful and cuddly.

When I come home from work he greets me at the door by crawling over to me at breakneck speed to give me a hug. He doesn't stay long though. It's a quick hug and then he's squirming to get down again and get back to the business of wrecking the joint learning and exploring.

I can't believe that we are just weeks away from Quinn's 1st birthday. He's rocketing toward toddler-hood at breakneck speed and all I can do is try to hang on for the ride.
Check out my bad baby self 
I make 11 months old look GOOD

Friday, April 16, 2010

Houston: Where Everyone Wears Their Hair Up

The successful launch of Discovery (STS-131) landed me in Houston this week for work.  It's been over a year since I've been down here for flight support.  My last flight was in March before Quinn was born - I think it was STS-119 - the last of the big solar panel missions.  I was a little apprehensive coming this time - it's the first time I've left Quinn for any longer than an overnight. But it's actually been a really good trip.  It's been so nice to reconnect with my team down here and spend some time in mission control again.  There's an energy about JSC during a flight that is hard to describe.  Even though the role that I play is really really small it feels good to be part of something as awesome as a trip to the International Space Station.  We even got a *little* excitement during my MCC shift yesterday when they weren't able to demate the MPLM (Multi-Purpose Logistics Module) from Station on the first try.  The main result was that we sat around all day waiting and speculating as all turned out fine in the end.

Quinn is still nursing so I decided to pump while down here and attempt to get the milk back home.  I agonized over doing that for days before I left.  I thought maybe I should just use the opportunity to wean, but I so enjoy nursing Quinn that I couldn't do it.  He's approaching his first birthday - and I will stop pumping for him then - no doubt about that as I HATE THE PUMPING - but I'd rather the nursing bit end gradually - when we're both more ready for it.  So tonight I was at Target buying a bigger insulated bag to cart home all the milk I've managed to produce while here.  Cross your fingers that getting it all through security and onto the plane goes okay.  I seriously hope that TSA has learned not to mess with hormonally imbalanced nursing Moms who have been away from their babies for 4 whole days and might just be a tiny bit sleep deprived from woking MCC shifts at crazy hours...

Anyway - I had this idea that I'd have all this free time while here to catch up on the blog and my emails and who knows what. In reality it's been a whole lot of work and not a lot of time to do anything but try to catch some sleep in between.  I also had visions of catching up on sleep while here  - but the 5AM flight support shifts have worked against me in that area. 

So instead - I'll share a funny little story about Lily.  I like that she's old enough to talk to me on the phone now when I'm away.  It helps me still feel connected to her even though I'm not there.  So every night I make sure to call early enough to catch her before bedtime.   And every night we've had this exacty conversation:

LILY:  Were are you Mommy?
ME:  In Houston
LILY: but WHERE in Houston Mommy?  WHERE?
ME: In my hotel
LILY:  Oh - do you sleep there?
ME: yup
LILY: Is your hair up Mommy?

So yeah, she's STILL got that hang-up over my hair.  Honestly I thought she'd be over that by now  - it certainly doesn't come up as often.  I find it hysterical that this is her main concern after "where do I sleep".  It's like she thinks I'm off having wild parties with my hair up since she can't be here to keep an eye on me.  Of course the truth is that I'm just wandering around JSC with a head full of unruly curls and the wrong color shoes since I keep having to get dressed in the dark.   Oh well - maybe tomorrow I should put my hair up for a little while - you know just because I can.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Nothing is as it seems

I wrote a little bit ago about Lily's extensive world of imaginary friends.  I had no idea, at the time, that it was just the tip of the iceberg.  Lately we have been living in a world entirely of Lily's imagining.  There are no printed directions, no road map.  I pretty much just muddle through trying to keep track of what is what and who is who and hope that some day I'll recognize things again.

For starters we are STILL princesses - all of us.  The roles don't really change either. She is Cinderella, I am Ariel, Gordon is Jasmine and Quinn is Ursula - but sometimes he's "Masky".  "Masky" is her name for the dude in the mirror in Snow White - a movie she got to see at a friend's house while I was away on a Mom's weekend.  Poor Q- he's going to have an identity crisis before his second birthday. 

Lately she's added some embellishment to the game.  She is Cinderella and she is ten.  She also goes to high school.  She has a castle - it is very far away, in New Hampshire.  But she rides her tricycle to get there.  She is relentless in her adherence to these roles.  I took her to a kid's yoga class last week and the teacher was talking to her before class.  She asked Lily if she went to pre-school.  Lily said very seriously that no, she did  not.  Then she looked at her and said: "I go to high school and I'm ten". 

I am SO in high school

Gordon is working on changing his role from Jasmine to "king".  He seems to believe he can save face on the playground by answering to "king" instead of "Jasmine".  I wish him success in his endeavor.

I could keep track if it were just princess/castle/high school world that was being forced on us.  But instead there are new things that crop up every day.  A few days ago we were on our way to school.  I asked her if she was bringing an animal with her - she went and got her favorite one, a stuffed panda:
Lily: "yup, I'm going to bring my fish"
Me: "your fish?  You're holding Panda"
Lily: "no Mommy, this is a fish.  It's a fish named Panda.  Oh and he looks like a panda.  But he's not a panda.  He's a fish"
Me: ??????
Lily: I have lots of fish.  Elmo has a fish too. 
I went to work thinking how fun it'd be to be a fly on the wall at pickup time when Lily had Gordon searching the classroom for her fish.  I laughed about that for a while, but then felt bad and warned him.  In order to keep things fresh, today she came into my room to show me her "cat".

Taking care of her fish

And then there are the games.  Auntie Lindsay and Amber gave her an adorable dominoes set for her birthday.  I love that as we can play actual games now - she enjoys Memory, CandyLand, the Goodnight Moon game.  But I am realizing that "games that Mommy likes to play too" phase is taking a hiatus.  The other day she had the dominoes all spread out.  Quinn was asleep and I was happy to have some time to play with her.  So I suggested that we play dominoes:
Lily: Mommy, these aren't dominoes, this is the quiz game.
Me: oh, I see - how do you play that?
Lily goes on about some crazy rules that make no sense and really don't make for a fun game.  I think we had to line up the dominoes and then pick them up one at a time saying "hello hello" as if it were a telephone. I don't know - it wasn't a very good quiz game. Eventually she tires of this and says:
Lily: OK, do you want to play dominoes now
Me: Sure! 
So I start eagerly turning over the dominoes, before she has a chance to change her mind.
Lily: " No mommy!  That's the QUIZ GAME.  The dominoes are over THERE.  points to a pile of puzzle pieces
Me: head explodes

It's like no one told her that she's the daughter of a very literal, play-by-the-rules, engineer.  I do not do creativity and imagination well.  However, I am truthfully pleased that she's got such an active, creative play style.  I also get the feeling that she really enjoys messing with me.

What?  Just figure it out already, MOM