Everyone misses Daddy

Ed: I wrote this post up a few days back, and scheduled to post it so that I’d spread out my posts on this blog.

My husband and I both work at the same place. That’s where we met. Where we went from being him and me and became us. We make a great team both at work and at home. I couldn’t imagine it any other way.

We both used to travel now and then for our respective positions. He’d travel much more than I would, but we both traveled. Since we had children, I have had a great reluctance to travel. First it was because I was nursing, and wouldn’t travel in the first year for each of my children. Then it just became harder for me to leave them in general.

Luckily, reductions in the travel budget at work have resulted in less funds available. This has lead to more of a reliance on internet and phone methods of holding meetings across county and less face to face meetings for the work that I do. That works out just fine for me.

For my husband, it seems that everything he ever works on requires some travel. Some months he’s gone for a couple of weeks, and some months he’s gone a day. Some months we are lucky enough that he doesn’t have to travel at all. The kids and I are used to Daddy having to leave now and then. It’s hard on everyone, but we’ve got our routines and we manage.

That is until this trip.

This time the kids are missing Dad terribly. I don’t know if it is because both kids are more aware of their father’s absence, or because we just had a wonderful couple of weeks off as a family for winter break, or because it’s actually been a few months since Daddy has had to travel. Whatever it is, these last two nights, both kids have been in tears and seem to be unable to fall asleep. At least tonight it only took an hour before their tired little bodies finally gave in to sleep. Last night, it took two and a half hours, and eventually ended with them both sleeping with Mommy.

I feel like they do. I hate it when my husband is away. I stay up far too late, getting all of those things (like blog posts) done that I don’t get to when he’s home. In truth, I do all these little tasks because I can’t sleep when he’s gone.

Just like my children.

Good night. I wonder how long it will take me to fall asleep.

RSM

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Starting the new year with a post

I have neglected this blog. A lot. I don’t post here much because I don’t quite know what to post.

I like to write about my adventures setting up my Apple products because I hope that my adventures might help someone else to figure out how to use their new Apple products.

I enjoyed it when I was using the blog to help motivate myself to do a drawing here and there.  Posting the drawings I was doing on my iPhone using the Brushes app was less about publishing them than it was about keeping a promise to myself to draw.

I used to write articles on my experience as a parent for a now closed site. While that was the most challenging writing experience because I had to make sure I kept enough details private when talking about my kids, it was rewarding to put my feelings into work.

As with all of these topics, I would write something and then eventually not have time to write something. WordPress would show me that folks would come to read some of the things that I wrote. That was very gratifying. Knowing that someone somewhere had read something I’d written always made me smile.

All of the above sounds like I am saying goodbye to this blog. Shutting her down. That’s actually the opposite of what I want to do. I hope to write more here this year.

I don’t have a lot of free time to write here, so I am not going to make a promise to write once a day (much as I’d like to). That is what twitter will be for. But I do promise to post at least a few times a month. I might post about my kids, or about a drawing I am working on, or even a television show I am particularly enjoying.

Mostly, I will continue to post mainly for myself. If other people read them, that will make me smile.  If they don’t, motivating myself to post again will be its own reward.

Welcome to 2013!

RSM

Planning a multi-family trip to Walt Disney World: Initial steps

If you know me, or read any of my tweets, you know that I love Walt Disney World (WDW). My husband and I have taken our kids down to see the Mouse at least once a year since they were born. But our love didn’t start when we had kids. Our first vacation together as a couple was a week staying at Dixie Landigs (now called Port Orleans Riverside) at Walt Disney World. Together and apart, we’ve both lost track of just how many times we have visited the Magic Kingdom resort area.

My Mom first talked my Dad into taking my sisters, brother and I to Disney World when it was just the Magic Kingdom in 1976. We were lucky enough to be down there during the bicentennial celebration.  We went two more times together before I went off to college and my parents got divorced. My husband went with his family even more times than that, starting out shortly after the Magic Kingdom opened in 1971.

On almost all of the WDW trips we’ve taken our kids on, we’ve also taken my Mom and step Dad. It started because my step Dad had never been, and my husband and I were DVC (Disney Vacation Club) members and wanted to show him the magic of Disney. He was instantly hooked, and each time we went back, he and my Mom would charm their way into joining us.

It’s long been my Mom’s dream to get all of her kids, their significant others, and her grandkids down on a mega-family trip to Walt Disney World. The grandkids are almost all in grade school now, so after bounding the renewed idea off of my Mom, I decided to start the ball rolling. Starting last December, I pinned my siblings down to give me a yes/no answer on their interest level. If only one or two of them were interested, I’d still do the planning, because my husband and I would most likely be taking our kids down to Disney World again anyway, but it wouldn’t accomplish the family gathering my Mom had in mind. Thankfully, everyone either said “oh, yes!” or “ya, ok” and everything in between. We were go for launch.

In order to go the next step (to our travel agent – more on her in later posts) I needed to have additional information to start getting some quotes. I put together a short questionnaire for everyone, sent it to them via email or snail mail depending on which would work, and we reconvened with their answer.

In order to plan a trip to Disney World, the four biggest things you need to decide are:

1. When do you want to go (this is related to when can you take off work, are you willing to take your kids out of school).

2. What is your budget (this is tougher, because you have to start looking at prices of things in order to set your ballpark figure).

3. Where do you want to stay (on property or off property)

4. How are you going to get to Florida (Driving, flying, etc).

Because this post is getting a little long, and because I haven’t been really good about getting new posts up here on my site, I am going to end here. I will pick up in the next post with deciding when you want to go to the parks.

Wish us luck on this journey.

RSM

Reflecting on the Transit of Venus

Transit of Venus broadcast live via NASA TV app, streamed wirelessly to my Apple TV from my iPad2.

As I was checking out my site’s stats this morning, I noticed that a few folks were coming to my site by searching for “transit of venus for kids”. I have kids, and I June 5th’s  dinner explaining the transit, streaming it live via NASA TV on our television, then (with my husband) taking my kids outside to see it for themselves. They seemed to understand what they were seeing and what I was explaining, so I thought that perhaps I’d tell you all what I told them.

A long time ago, scientists thought that everything we see up in the sky revolved around the Earth. The moon obviously did, so the thought process was that everything else must too.  This simplifies things a bit, because when I say scientists, I really mean those in western Europe. There were star gazers in other countries and other cultures who were very aware that the Earth was on a journey around the Sun and not the other way around.

But for my purposes, I wanted to set the stage that the great Galileo lived at a time where his discovery was against publicly accepted knowledge.

Let’s segue to Galileo.  He built a telescope because the technology of the time was insufficient to view the things in the sky he was hoping to investigate and use to verify his mathematical estimations. He was starting to believe that while the moon did revolve about the Earth, the Earth herself might revolve around something too.

Using his telescope, which wasn’t even as strong as a telescope you might have in your own home, Galileo gazed at Jupiter and found it also had moons! He only saw four of them, but that was enough to support his theory. The Earth has a Moon. Jupiter has moons. Maybe the other planets have moons, and maybe everything doesn’t orbit the Earth.

Next came Venus. Galileo was doing some calculations of where he expected to find Venus if it’s orbit was actually around the Sun and not the Earth. If it orbited the Sun, every once in  a while it should appear to the Earth that it would cross in front of the sun. In front of the sun!? If Venus marched in front of the sun from our point of view, then it has to be between the Earth and the Sun. And if it’s between the Earth and the Sun, it really should orbit around the Sun and not the Earth.

This wasn’t proven until folks like the Salford stargazer William Crabtree who in 1639 was the first to observe the Venus transit. You can read about him at: http://menmedia.co.uk/manchestereveningnews/news/s/1580747_salford-marks-transit-of-venus-from-home-of-man-who-first-saw-it-in-1639—video

The tracking of the transit of Venus was so important, that just like we send science spacecraft and set up telescopes to observe and discover new things about the universe around us, the great Captain Cook set sail to Tahiti where he successfully observed and took data on the transit of Venus.

NASA has a little writeup about Captain Cook’s Tahiti voyage here:

http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2004/28may_cook/

Technology developments like a special clock that worked on the unsteady voyage on the ocean for Captain Cook and crew, and better telescopes developed by Galileo, helped scientists discover and learn new things, or confirm things they’d been thinking were true. Just like then, NASA and other scientific agencies, academia and companies continue this wonderful tradition of technology development today.

So, I told my kids, at the end of this talk on the history of science and  Venus, that science is just as exciting now as it was when Galileo and Captain Cook were out discovering new things. We are using their same techniques to discover new planets around far away stars. If you have a thought or theory about how things work, even if that thought is different than other folks around you, don’t assume you are wrong. Investigate. Gather data. Observe. The universe is an amazing place and she is just waiting for us to learn.

In short, Science = Awesome. Then, Now and into the Future.

Or at least that’s what I think. 🙂

RSM