MommyBlog Milestone! My Tiny Bitty Baby Rides a Big Girl Bike

FancyPants (BTW new nickname she has given herself!) anyway FancyPants saw her buddy on a two wheeler today and demanded a Big Girl bike of her own. Fortunately we had her sister’s old bike just waiting in the wings completely with super cool bell. She fell in love instantly and was a natural on it! 

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The site of both of them on their bikes together both thrills and terrifies me!

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Hysterical Exacerbations, and by hysterical I don’t mean ROFL

It’s odd that in my life with MS that something odd happens. In fact the reason that I rarely write about my MS is that there is generally nothing interesting to say. But last night something happened. Something new. Something weird.

Last night we were having one of “those” nights as parents. The kids were not listening , not minding, talking back, on our last nerve. Every parent has had one of those nights, usually 100s of times. We loved them but OMG they needed to stop making so much noise!  So finally we had reached our limit and we both yelled at them and said Go To Bed, No Ice Cream Tonight!

Yes I was stressed but in than normal my kids are driving my crazy stress. Earlier the Dr and I had argued over an upcoming family vacation but just the typical I want to do this, he wants to do that – nothing major. We bicker to reach agreement. It’s our way.

So as I’m standing at Puddin’s bedroom door fussing at her that we had been planning to do fun things before bedtime but now that’s a wash.. I step away and notice numbness in my right big toe.  My right big toe is where any residual numbness always pops up now in heat or times of fatigue – it’s my barometer of sorts. But this isn’t just the faint numbness I usually feel that warns me I’m overdoing it. This is full on rubber-band around the toe pins and needles. Instantly – not there one minute, there the next. Things this numb are very very rare and generally make me call the neuro.

We got the kids to bed and thankfully they stayed down. I went and sat down with a glass of wine and did my best just to clear my mind. I took my Imuran early – even though I know it has nothing to do with symptoms, only prevention. I guess it made me feel like I was doing something. I thought about digging up my store of old Prednisone but didn’t do it. Instead I vegged on the internet while the Dr did the supper dishes.

Sure enough, an hour later it was gone. Completely. Gone.

I stood up and it was as if it had never been numb.

So a moment of parental stressed caused a temporary exacerbation? Signs that I’m actually going bat-shit crazy? I don’t know.

I’ve looked I can’t find anything on anything like this.

Yes I know stress is linked to flair ups but it’s supposed to be “life event” stress – not “my kids won’t stop talking” stress.

Oh dear.. if this keeps up I can just hear me yelling now…

“You need to mind Mama and do as your told or Mama’s foot will go numb – and you don’t want Mama’s foot to go numb! Trust Me.”

Evidently it’s casual day in the space shuttle

Okay so the we’re watching the guys/gal in the International Space Station and they are all decked out in their fancy red white and blue mission suits – right down the matching star and stripes socks. Then they open the door and in comes the shuttle crew – completely underdressed in Dockers and baseball hats – evidently it’s golf shirt day on the shuttle. No little flags on their sleeves, no mission patches, no sign of rank. They look more prepared for a round of Skins at the TPC than they do space flight.

This just sits wrong with me – spacemen should be in spacesuits! Dresscode Fail!

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Is it just me? …

I should probably start this by explaining that my 7 year old has a DS. She begged for it for her birthday and we got a red one for her. Six months later I’m happy to know that for her, it was/is more of a status symbol than an obsession. She wanted one because everyone else has one but she has about 10 minutes of interest in it and then throws it down to run off and play. This makes me happy.

I should also mention that I tend to be pretty free range with my kid. She plays up and down our street with supervision. She walks to and from the bus stop by herself. She goes to the restroom by herself at restaurants. She is allowed out of our site in public. I usually have to dial back her freedom when we are with other kids because their moms are not as comfortable as I am with letting their kids roam.

All that being said   … here is what happened on Sunday that sort of freaked me out…

When we were in Titusville in that big old crowd of folks (and at a time when she was thankfully off somewhere with her father) there came a woman walking by with a 7-ish little girl. The girl had a pink DS open and tapping. And I guess because my three year old was still with me and I was clearly a mommy-type and we were camped out under the main flag pole, the little girl stopped and asked me, “Have you seen a little girl with a pink DS sitting under a flag pole?”

She got my immediate attention because anytime I hear the words “Have you seen a little girl …” in a crowd I immediately go into “OMG there’s a lost child” mode. Then I processed the last half of the sentence. Then looked up immediately to my left and then back down at her because WE were under the flag pole, and she was a little girl with a pink DS. I was confused. I said “I see you”

Then her mother clarified.. “No, she’s looking for a different little girl who says she is under a flag pole and has a pink DS”

Me – What do you mean?

Her – They chatted and she wants to find her

Me – They can communicate on those things?

Her – Yeah, within a short range they can find people and IM with them

Me – WHAAAA?

They left me standing there all slack jawed and moved on in search of the little girl with the pink DS sitting under a flag pole.

And I was all OMG OMG OMG

When I say my daughter plays with her DS and gets quickly bored and moves on, I’m not joking. She is more of a can-I-go-outside-and-ride-my-bike kind of gal. As a result her skill level with the darn thing is minimal and her knowledge (and previously mine) of what it’s capable of is thankfully limited.

Seriously!

Am I the only one that sees a problem with some perv sitting in a crowd of people electronically trolling for little girls with pink DSes? Seriously!

Would you, Do you, let your kids pick up messages from strangers? In crowds?

I came home and googled it and evidently the feature is called Pictochat and YOU CAN’T TURN IT OFF!! I looked it up on several DS forums and it seems to be a big concern from parents, especially those in urban areas where they are always in crowds, that there are no parental controls built into the Pictochat feature.

It claims it only works within 20 feet but most users seem to say it’s more like 100 feet. We were no where near where that woman had been sitting and whoever was luring the child over said they were under the flag pole so who knows where they really were. And even then the fact that it requires proximity seems almost worse to me. The perv knows they’re close… Just meet me behind that bush over there. Yeah that one 

So how do you guys handle this? Is there a No Pictochatting in Public rule? How do you police who they are dealing with if they use it in public?

Space Shuttle Discovery STS-119

"Hey, hey, easy kids. Everybody in the car. Boat leaves in two minutes… or perhaps you don't want to see the second largest ball of twine on the face of the earth, which is only four short hours away?" – Clark Griswold

DSC_9859I’m sure every state has that really cool thing that you can do but it just never seems convenient to get around to. I’m sure there are people all over Arizona that haven’t made it to the Grand Canyon yet, and there have to be people in Minnesota who haven’t seen the Giant Ball of Twine yet.  Well in Florida that thing is watching the Space Shuttle launch. For 17 years I’ve lived within 2 or 3 hours of Cape Canaveral but never gone there for a launch. That’s not to say we haven’t seen it go up. Anyone who’s lived any amount of time on Florida’s east coast usually has a “Best Launch I ever saw” story” .. Heck I’ve got three or four because on a clear day/night the rocket is visible up and down the coast – but we’d never actually gone and watched it close up. And unlike the Grand Canyon or ball of twine there are only a finite number of launches left – after yesterday 7 in fact.

So when I got up yesterday and was sitting in my jammies savoring my “I have nothing to do today” Sunday and the internet told me NASA have given the all clear for a 7:43 PM launch you could here the record needle screetch – this was it, our perfect chance to go, we had no excuse not to. I woke up the Dr., dressed the kids, packed the car and off we went – 2 hours down the road to Titusville.

DSC_9895Space View Park in Titusville is the closest you can get without paying NASA a fortune ($50 each including kids) to bus you out on the causeway. This park is 12 miles directly across the Intercoastal from the launch pad. It’s actually closer and a better view than if you at NASA’s visitor’s center. It’s free, crowded, and a whole lot of fun! The local space enthusiasts have built a Space Walk of Fame and they create a festival atmosphere there with their vendor tents and information.

 

We got there about 2:15 – right as mercifully the afternoon sea breeze start to kick up. I don’t know what the temp was but without that wind it would have been damn hot. The girls did a great job of hanging out and playing. The Dr. bought them a set of Apollo 11 toys and it may be safe to say that yesterday a future astronaut was born.

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Even the little one put down her Barbies for a little while and got into the fun.

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Once she figured out that she was supposed to keep her eyes open those binoculars made a lot more sense to her. After hours and hours of just sitting around finally it was time for the big show!

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Little One said “Look Mama they are making a Rainbow!” And at this point I realized I had been so excited that I had forgotten to zoom in with my big honking zoom lens!

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I didn’t beat myself up for too long though because at least I remembered so I could get a shot of the solid fuel tank separation!

Because I got an uber education from all the enthusists there yesterday I can now explain to you that those are the smaller white tanks on the sides of the big orange one. They fall off first and are retrieved by ships. The big orange one comes off&#0
160; next and it just gets burned up. Yeap I’m an expert.

 

 

 

 

 

Still one of the most spectacular parts was the sun set reflecting off the smoke/vapor trail. It turned it it a full spectrum of colors and made it glow in the twilight sky. Even after it got dark it was still a visible blue-ish cloud glowing in the night sky.

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So here are the lessons we learned:

  • Go as early as you possibly can – people start saving spots hours ahead of time we got that 6 hours prior to launch and it was probably 1/3 full.
  • Bring Food and drinks! There are vendors but they only show up a couple of hours before the launch.
  • Bring Chairs – you’re not going to want to sit on the ground the whole time and chairs seem to reserve more space for you than a blanket.
  • Remember to zoom
  • Don’t count on using your phone to access information. The cellular infrastructure of little Titusville is blown out of the water with all those people. Think DC on inauguration day.
  • Bring lots and lots of sunscreen, there’s shade but not where you want to sit.
  • Get ready to be blown away with the beauty of it.

Favorite Quote from Eat Love Pray so far…

I have felt this way about every language I’ve ever studied, sadly I’ve never gotten there.

I work hard at Italian, but I keep hoping it will one day just be revealed to me, whole, perfect. One day I will open my mouth and be magically fluent. Then I will be a real Italian girl, instead of a total American who still can’t hear someone call across the street to his friend Marco without wanting to instinctively to yell back “Polo!”

– Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat Love Pray