Tuesday, January 29, 2008

NASA Finally

Well it took me awhile but I finally got to travel to a NASA facility. I am at Johnson Space Center in Houston Texas this week. I'm learning more than I ever thought I would learn about NASA stuff. I got to take a lot of tours that I can't tell you about but I've seen some really cool stuff. I'm also learning about the stuff they'll need to bring out of moth balls to help support the CEV and MSL projects. See I'm even talking in acronyms now... :-) I can give you one hint as to one thing that I did get to see. It was where "Houston, we have a problem" was heard on earth. I actually saw the actual control consoles and screens used during that mission. It was so cool. I also visited the visitor's center and gift shop. I really could've done some damage in that gift shop. Actually I did, I hope Kris isn't reading this. :)
I don't know how much I'm allowed to talk about so I'm just going to stop here. Who knows who reads these things.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Future City Competition

You may have read a few blogs ago when I mentioned that I was "Google Famous" for my mentoring a Future City Team at what is now Royal Oak Middle School. The competition for this year was yesterday Jan. 22nd and we managed to win again. It was a really close battle against the team that beat us the two years before we went to the national competition last year. However, our time won the Best Essay award so we think this must have given us the edge that we needed to win again this year.

So during Engineer's Week (February 17th - 23rd) we will be going to Washington DC again and competing in the National Future City Competition. Wish us luck. And look back I'll post a picture soon and the ESD web page should have pictures soon too. They have the list of winners listed already.



A video showing the kids excitement is on the following web page.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Twins vs. Singletons

Why would anyone want just one kid at a time? Moments like the above video just make me love the fact that I have two children who are the same age and are at the same stage developmentally and love playing together. Sometimes it really is a fight but a lot of time they press on each other's bellies and giggle.

So many people that I meet while out with my twins say things like, "I can't even imagine" or "Double Trouble" or "You must be really busy" - I reply to this one, "My husband actually is busier he's the stay at home dad" Man does that one get some weird looks. Lastly, I get the comment "Glad it's not me." - My comment back to them is "me too."

Then my least favorite comment that I get is: "Having twins is not different then having 2 kids who are different ages." I just smile and say, "if you think so, but I'm sure you have no idea what you're talking about" Now granted I only have experience with twins and I'm sure the degree of difficulty of having 2 kids increases tremendously when a second child is added to the family of 1 child. But two kids at separate ages are at completely different stages developmentally. For instance:

- One kid sleeps through the night, newborn up all the time - when you wake up with one you just have a half - hour of feeding with twins it's an hour minimum - And sometimes with twins you are awake all night long because as soon as you finish everything with one (feeding, diapering, reclothing) the other wakes up again, and you finish that one and the first one wakes up again... Oh that was a long 2 months.

- One kid can feed himself most foods, newborn bottle fed then learning to eat, when you feed one there is another one waiting to be fed

- When one kid is crabby and you get him calmed down that's it, twins there's another one that has probably been crying the whole time I was trying to calm the first one down (I've also gotten the comment, "what do you do when they are both crying?" Guess what? One cries: I'm only one person - I think this helped them learn patience.)

- One kid can walk to the store, car, house, park, etc., twins both need to be carried, pushed at the same time

- Teaching 2 kids to use utensils at the same time

- Doctors appointments with the same shots in each child, and 3 kids to console after the shots

At a certain age I'm sure twins will absolutely be no different than 2 kids at separate ages. Like when they can get ready themselves and get into the car by themselves and are able to communicate clearly what the problem is or what's wrong or what they want. But I'm sure there are other difficulites I'll come across then. Like do I keep them together in school or separate them?

So my venting part of this blog is that people who don't know really shouldn't tell me that it is the same. I'm sure they got a lot more sleep then me during the first 3 months, that is the biggest difference. And even now I'm feeding two kids and bed time and bath time rituals last twice as long. So do me a favor. If you read this blog and you happen to come across another mother of twins or multiples don't depreciate their experiences by comparing it to the same as 2 kids, separate ages. I know that I only have experience with twins so you may think I don't know. However, based on the previous comments mentioned in this email (which came from people who have multiple children) obviously the perception is that twins and multiples are more difficult then just having one. Oh and a co-worker had twins first then 10 years later had 1 child and she has told me that it is so much easier to have one than twins and that it was a good thing I had twins first because I don't know the difference. There's my vent I'm sorry if I don't have enough personal experiences and examples to demonstrate my point but hopefully my point has gotten across.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Jungle Java

Yesterday I finally took the boys to Jungle Java. The closest one to me is in Farmington Hills so it's not the most convenient place for me to get to. But my mom asked if we could do something on Sunday so we took the kids there to play. Luckily, our first choice was the zoo and based on how foggy it was from the snow melting I don't think we would've been able to see any animals.

So we get there and the kids of course were a little intimidated. As they always are in a new situation. So they just sat back and watched for a little while. Grandma took Trevor over to watch some of the bigger kids shooting hoops and I sat with Alex and tried to get him to sit on the various toddler structures. Which included a zebra, an alligator, a tree stump, and a "waterfall" slide.

Unfortunately, I forgot my camera but my dad was nice enough to bring it up, however, it was stuck in an error when I got it so I couldn't take any pictures. The only pictures I got were from our phones. So now we just have to go back. :)
These pictures turned out really fuzzy and out of focus and the lighting is way off. But at least I got something.

Eventually the kids started playing on the toys and having fun. For part of the time it was only Alex and Trevor in the toddler area so I let Trevor walk up the slide because that was all he wanted to do. But when other kids started joining us I had to stop him from climbing up the slide because he was influencing the other kids and causing a traffic jam on the slide. When I would pull him off the slide he would sit on the floor and have a temper tantrum then run and hang out with Grandpa instead. A little girl never even thought to walk up the slide until she saw Trevor do it. Hopefully, her parents didn't get mad with me. Course I didn't feel too badly when the siblings can charging in and jumping over everything and crawling up the slide and jumping over the wall.
Alex really started having a blast. Basically when the rest of the kids were gone. I took him over to the steps for the slide and he climbed up them. Then when he got to the top he would hold his arms up. I don't know if he wanted me to pick him up or if he didn't know how to sit down on the slide himself but every time I sat him down and pushed him down the slide. Then he would stand up and start running around to climb up the stairs again and he had a huge smile on his face and would screech as he ran by me. It was the most adorable thing. I hope that he'll still do it next time we go and I'll remember a video camera to capture it. I just loved seeing him so happy. Especially, after how crabby he was during the holidays from all his illnesses.1