Monday, 11 March 2013

Interactive Map for images from ISS

Uber-cool!  Another epic opportunity to share space with your kiddies...

All for the kiddies

Yikes.  This is bang-on.

And especially relevant, as I'm sitting in my hotel room in London having full-on mom guilt for missing bedtime with R & G.

{thanks to my good friend LJ for posting!}

Thoughts for the future...

"We are sitting at lunch one day when my daughter casually mentions that she and her husband are thinking of "starting a family." "We're taking a survey," she says half-joking. "Do you think I should have a baby?"

"It will change your life," I say, carefully keeping my tone neutral.

"I know," she says, "no more sleeping in on weekends, no more spontaneous vacations."

But that is not what I meant at all. I look at my daughter, trying to decide what to tell her. I want her to know what she will never learn in childbirth classes.

I want to tell her that the physical wounds of child bearing will heal, but becoming a mother will leave her with an emotional wound so raw that she will forever be vulnerable.

I consider warning her that she will never again read a newspaper without asking, "What if that had been MY child?" That every plane crash, every house fire will haunt her.

That when she sees pictures of starving children, she will wonder if anything could be worse than watching your child die.

I look at her carefully manicured nails and stylish suit and think that no matter how sophisticated she is, becoming a mother will reduce her to the primitive level of a bear protecting her cub. That an urgent call of "Mom!" will cause her to drop a soufflé or her best crystal without a moments hesitation.

I feel that I should warn her that no matter how many years she has invested in her career, she will be professionally derailed by motherhood. She might arrange for childcare, but one day she will be going into an important business meeting and she will think of her
baby's sweet smell. She will have to use every ounce of discipline to keep from running home, just to make sure her baby is all right.

I want my daughter to know that every day decisions will no longer be routine. That a five year old boy's desire to go to the men's room rather than the women's at McDonald's will become a major dilemma. That right there, in the midst of clattering trays and screaming
children, issues of independence and gender identity will be weighed against the prospect that a child molester may be lurking in that restroom.

However decisive she may be at the office, she will second-guess herself constantly as a mother.

Looking at my attractive daughter, I want to assure her that eventually she will shed the pounds of pregnancy, but she will never feel the same about herself.

That her life, now so important, will be of less value to her once she has a child. That she would give herself up in a moment to save her offspring, but will also begin to hope for more years, not to accomplish her own dreams, but to watch her child accomplish theirs.

I want her to know that a cesarean scar or shiny stretch marks will become badges of honor.

My daughter's relationship with her husband will change, but not in the way she thinks.

I wish she could understand how much more you can love a man who is careful to powder the baby or who never hesitates to play with his child.

I think she should know that she will fall in love with him again for reasons she would now find very unromantic.

I wish my daughter could sense the bond she will feel with women throughout history who have tried to stop war, prejudice and drunk driving.

I want to describe to my daughter the exhilaration of seeing your child learn to ride a bike.

I want to capture for her the belly laugh of a baby who is touching the soft fur of a dog or cat for the first time.

I want her to taste the joy that is so real it actually hurts.

My daughter's quizzical look makes me realize that tears have formed in my eyes. "You'll never regret it," I finally say. Then I reached across the table, squeezed my daughter's hand and offered a silent prayer for her, and for me, and for all the mere mortal women who stumble their way into this most wonderful of callings."

-Author Unknown

Friday, 8 March 2013

outta this world...

Space has been given a whole new seat in our house.

Anyone else following our fellow Canadian, Chris Hadfield's, escapades at the International Space Station?   "Amazing" doesn't give his social outreach enough credit.  Com. Hadfield is online and in charge- tweeting (@Cmdr_Hadfield) 10+ times a day, sending down 8-10 images of the Earth in his view from space, and providing upteen educational opportunities to share with Canadian youth.  He is inspiring a nation, and bringing outer space right into our homefront.  Commander Hadfield is nothing short of a celebrity.

We have been taking this opportunity to share Chris Hadfield's images with Rowan (and Georgia).  To observe the awe on his face- the excitement he has every day when he runs in the door from school, asking: "Did Commander Hadfield send down more pictures today?  Can I see them?".  He's printed off images of space-view volcanos, Com Hadfield in his space suit, rocket launches- and brought them into school for "show & share".  His class has paper-mached planets and hung a solar system from the roof.  They built a "spaceship" out of cardboard and tin plates (and old computer monitors mounted on the inside!), and Rowan and his classmates take turns "launching" the rocket and flying through the atmosphere.  Rowan can now differentiate Hadfield's images: icebergs, clouds, ocean, desert, mountains, rock...all beautiful perspectives of the terra of our world- and he gets it.  He looks closer at the screen to discern some of the images that Hadfield describes in his photo commentary, and he constantly asks us to watch and re-watch his youtube vids depicting different aspects of life on the Space Station: nail clipping, hair cutting, hand washing, making lunch....  amazing.  And he's 4!

He can sing every word to the song "I.S.S.~ Is Someone Singing?", which Com Hadfield recorded LIVE from the International Space Station, with Ed Robertson of the Barenaked Ladies and the Scarborough Gleeks.  (check it out below- the words will inspire!)

If you are a parent, and have not yet taken advantage of this educational opportunity- I strongly encourage you to sit down with your child and show them some is one of those magical places that captures the imagination of children, and gives them licence to dream to dream, make-believe and become our next generation of astronauts.

Com. Hadfield has done (and is doing) awesome stuff up there:

Interviewed William Shatner (Captain Kirk!)
He "caught a dragon" (spaceship) with the Canadarm II (youtube this!  awesome!)
He dropped the puck (virtually, of course) at a Hockey game!
His guitar pick (and how he got his guitar on his small ship all the way to ISS is beyond me!), but his pick matches his mission patch! 
He is hosting interviews with elementary schools, high schools and communities all over Canada
He sees 16 sun rises a day (could you imagine?)
...and he's taking control (as in "Commander") of the International Space Station in less than 2 weeks.  The 1st Canadian to ever do so.

He is truly inspiring a nation.

Thank-you, Chris.  You truly are Canada's Hero.

"Canada built the Canadarm2, and the Canadarm2 built this Space Station.  We should all be proud of that".
~Chris Hadfield