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?
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.