Saturday, April 20, 2013

Just another day...

I think we all can agree it's been a tense week.  Bombings...not just on US soil but around the world.  Explosions.  Earthquakes.  Lives lost.  Lives forever damaged.  Forever changed.

But yesterday evening, when citizens of Watertown, MA were cheering in the streets and the entire nation was watching the dramatic conclusion of a massive manhunt, I was at home.  Quiet.  Waiting on a text that would tell me my husband was headed home.

It was just after supper.  He was finishing up washing dishes when his phone rang.  Juggling the phone at his ear as he made more phone calls, alerting the team, changing into his work clothes.  An abandoned backpack had been spotting in the food court of a local mall.  No way to get the robot to it.  He was going to have to suit up to investigate.

Any other call out prior to this week I would have kissed him good bye and sent him on his way.  Last night, we made sure both kiddos told him good bye and good night.  My own hug and kiss was longer. It pisses me off that I spent time worried.  And scared.  Inside.  Outside, it was just a normal call out.  Bath and bedtime proceded just like normal for our children.  I may have spent a little extra snuggle time with them, a few more bedtime kisses.

I stayed away from the computer.  Away from the news.  I spent a quiet night reading.

Then the text came.  He was clear and on his way home.

Once he came home and we talked about it I tuned back into the world.  I pulled up the story the local news had about the evening's events.  And there were people on there complaining about their tax money being wasted on paranoia.  Talking about how we're now living in a state of fear.  A few even opined the local PD was feeling left out of the attention garnered by their brothers up north.

Three innocent people lost their lives and 170 others were wounded because of bombs left in backpacks.  My husband approached an abandoned backpack with no more protection than a bomb suit, fully aware that it might be The One.

A state of fear?  Nope.  Their job takes more balls and guts than any normal person could handle.  Paranoia? No.  Just a normal day? Yes.  They investigate countless backpacks, suitcases, and suspicious packages.  The only thing that made last night's call out different from any other was the massive media presence and the public awareness.

Above the hanger bay doors of my former squadron was printed: "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance."

Someone has to keep the watch.

Me? I simply need to remember that it's just a normal day.

Monday, April 15, 2013


When my newsfeed erupted this afternoon regarding the Boston Marathon, my first reaction was the same as everyone else...pure, heartbreaking horror.

Then, as a runner, it turned to anger.  Runners train for years to just qualify for the Boston Marathon. And then, minutes from the finish line, dreams are shattered.

As a mom of an almost 8 year old boy, my heart broke all over again to learn about one of the victims.

Then I saw a picture of the first responders.  And of the men in bomb suits doing their job.  As the wife of a bomb tech, I knew that somewhere in the suburbs of Boston another wife and mom had just switched over to Survival Mode.  She was gathering her own children around her and calmly explaining that Daddy was going to have to work a little later tonight.  But they were going to do something fun for supper and then, maybe, they could draw Daddy a picture so he could see it when he got home.  All the while, she was sending up a silent prayer.  Asking God to keep her husband and his co-workers safe.  And to bring them all home.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

On raising Calvin... x 2.

The boy got off the bus the other afternoon, chatted a bit about his day and "Oh, you're probably going to get a phone call this afternoon.  I've got homework! Bye!"


Sure enough, there in his folder was a note.  Making inappropriate remarks and she'd be calling.  We've danced this dance before, she and I.  I think she over-reacts.  She thinks our son has too few boundaries.  A disconnected two-step with neither of us telling the other how to do her job but both of us wanting to.

Following my conversation with her, the boy and I sat down for our own talk.  More of the same...think   things through before you speak.  Please.  And no more cursing at school.  Or anywhere, really.  Please? Thanks.

Yesterday, while out running various errands with both kiddos in tow, the subject of what Is and Is Not  Appropriate came up.  They were starting to throw out goofy suggestions and my patience was wearing thin...moderating them and navigating unfamiliar roads has that effect.

You're a bright kiddo, son.  You know what's appropriate and what's not at school.

Like playing a joke on my friends and asking them to spell Grass but without the G and R?

Before I could even answer, the wee girl chimes in...

You mean Ass?

5:30 traffic and I'm banging my head on the steering wheel.

I cannot be the only mom of a 5 and 7 year old who spends rush hour traffic time conversing with her children over the history of the word Ass and why it is now considered a Bad Word.  But, somehow, I don't think there are very many of us.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Tourists in our own backyard...

Yesterday we decided to join the rest (of what seemed like) the entire country and travel up to our nation's capital.  The boy has been begging, pleading to visit the Museum of Natural History.  For one reason only...DINOSAURS!

We were sharing my little was fun going back through them and seeing the difference in our pictures.  His...



My inner paleontologist heart squeed when I saw the working lab.  
That has got to be one of the coolest Smithsonian gigs ever!

Of course, we had to get a picture with the fossils.  It wasn't until I was uploading my pictures that I realized the skull in the background is in the same position as the dinosaur on his shirt.  He was a very happy boy!

It was a gorgeous spring day for a walk down the National Mall.  Making our way from the NMNH to the American Indian Museum...with the capital building in the distance.  
I was bringing up the rear in my Boot and cane...

The beautiful and graceful fountains in front of the American Indian Museum...

Taking a short break, taking in the sun...

Learning about building an igloo in the American Indian Museum's discovery center...

The one memorial we managed to get to 
(our focus this trip was the two museums we went to)...

One very handsome sailor.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The next Isaac Asimov?

Whilst watching a program on robots and prosthetics the boy asked the question...

If the arm is connected directly to the brain and can be controlled by thoughts, what is to stop the arm from doing something bad?  Because if I've already had the thought, how do I stop it? 

It truly made me stop and think. At what point in a brain command do our ethics and morals kick in? Our own flesh and blood limbs are controlled by a multitude of brain checks and balances. What about a prosthetic arm that is only connected to one batch of brainwaves? And it bypasses the moral checkpoints?  Can a person then be held accountable for merely thinking a harmful thought? There have been thriller movies made of transplanted parts retaining the evil from whence they came but has anyone else asked this particular question?  Have I missed that somewhere along the way?

It certainly takes Mr. Asimov's 3 Rules of Robotics to a level I haven't thought about.  Just imagine what else the brain of this brilliant 7-year-old man child of ours holds!

  1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
  2. A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

For Kokoo...

My mom (Kokoo) abstains from social media.  So I share pictures here for her.  
And others.  Because I'm generous like that. 

We dance to our own rhythm.  
Dying eggs and enjoying an egg hunt on our own time schedule.   

I had asked the boy to go easy on his little sister and let her find some of the eggs.  
I didn't ask that they keep it even, I simply asked that he give her a chance.

Turns out, the wee girl has a pretty keen eye for hidden eggs.  
When it came down to the final two, I made sure they each found one.

A fine end to a chilly spring day. 
And I get to enjoy an egg salad sandwich tomorrow.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Lightening the load...

It's been a couple of years in the making, but today it all came off.  10 inches of hair to be donated to Pantene's Beautiful Lengths cancer wig program.

In the past I've donated to Locks of Love.  This time, and most likely my last time, will go towards women's wigs in honor of a sweet friend who lost her own battle with cancer two years ago.  I don't remember ever seeing her wear a wig--she could rock a bandana like no one else! But somewhere there's a woman about to lose her hair due to treatments who will benefit from a beautiful real hair wig.  

It's also a wonderful welcome to spring.

And, yes.  That is my little R2D2 droid phone.  It's scratched, beat, the battery falls out if I look at it wrong.  But he's a feisty little thing and refuses to give up.  Kind of reminds me of me.