— 1 —
It was a rainy weekend and continues to be a rainy week. This was the view from my bedroom window this morning as more storm clouds rolled through. I don’t mind the overcast skies though — it’s a nice respite from the heat. But the mosquitos? That’s another story. They are bad enough that I dream about moving to somewhere, anywhere, as long as there are no mosquitos.
— 2 —
I know every parent says this, but geez, my kid really is the cutest kid ever. Ha! I stopped writing monthly letters when she turned 1, but Emma passed the 13 month mark on Friday. And over the last month, she has shed the last vestiges of babydom and really started looking like a toddler. She’s walking, which is the most obvious thing, but there are other signs too. She looks leaner and less baby-chubby than she used to be. The haircut makes her look older too.
Instead of using books as chew toys, she sits on the floor and actually turns the pages and points at things on them. She has opinions on what toy she wants, or what food she likes. She said her first word — ball. When we say it’s time to go bye-bye, she turns to the door and waves. When we say it’s time for dinner, she walks over to her booster seat.
Holy crap. She is starting to UNDERSTAND us.
— 3 —
Emma also seems to be adjusting well enough to the 1 nap schedule at daycare (which I mentioned a few weeks ago). The teachers report that she is one of the LONGER nappers in the room, which kind of blows my mind since she was a 45-minute napper for so long. She’s not suddenly taking 3-hour naps or anything, but her midday nap is usually at least 90 minutes, and she often takes a 15-20 minute “power nap” in the car on the way home. She also gets 11-12 solid hours of sleep at night, and this all seems to be enough to keep her happy, so we’re going with it.
— 4 —
Yesterday my branch chief dropped off a little gold pin in honor of the fact that I’ve given the U.S. government 15 years of service. I actually passed that milestone on August 6 — Emma’s birthday, by coincidence! — but NASA is nothing if not slow to process paperwork. Despite that sarcastic remark, I am pretty excited about it because while I don’t get any big gift or item other than the pin, I get something a lot more valuable to me — 6 additional days of vacation per year! Hooray for that!
It is actually pretty cool to reflect on 15 years of service too, extra vacation or not. I still remember my very first day at JSC as a co-op, and it’s crazy to think that so many years have passed since then. (It’s actually been 16 years since my first day, but I only have 15 years of service because of the way the government counts time worked. I won’t bother explaining it since it’s complicated.) I’ve done a lot of different things in that time and even though I’m currently going through some career-related indecision and frustration, it’s nice to think about all the good stuff that’s happened.