Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I Was Patted Down in Airport Security and Survived

One of the things that I remember most clearly from 9/11 was the lack of the planes in the sky as the airspace was shut down for those days immediately following. And of course, our airport security policies have been forever changed, and now, 9 years later, more safety precautions are being instituted with full body scanners and/or pat downs being implemented in many areas.

We've always traveled by air a fair amount -- at least once a year. That didn't stop after 9/11. And because Terry's parents live in Northern Virginia, we flew into and out of Washington Dulles airport which remains one of the most highly sensitive airports.

I didn't think twice when the female agent asked to pat me down as I flew to Houston from LaGuardia last week -- or maybe it was when I was flying from Houston back to LaGuardia -- or maybe both? See I don't even remember.

Because I remember the very careful screens in those post-9/11 years: "I'm going to put the back of my hand right here, okay?" as they felt around my waistband or near my underwire bra.

So in this busiest of busy time of air travel, know that it's not a huge deal. I am about as apple pie American looking as they come (right?), and when we were traveling with young baby Amanda, we were often pulled aside for the "random screens" before we got onboard. And I guess that was actually before 9/11, right? So things had changed even before then.

I want to continue to feel safe flying the friendly skies, and I will take what some perceive as a little inconvenience so that I can keep doing so. One change I've made is that even on a short trip, I had been more likely to choose to check my bag so that I could bring whatever liquids I wanted to (i.e. hair product). However, now that the airlines are charging for bags, I've gone back to making a carry-on work.

What about you? Have the recent changes in air travel changed the way you feel about flying?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

My Kids' Picks for November

Kyle has discovered the 818.60 section at his school library.  Over the last several weeks, at least one of his 2 books have come from there.  Any Dewey Decimal aficionados know where that takes him???

Joke books. 

I love that he'll sit and read and read and browse (and of course share them, even when he doesn't get them).  There are a couple I can recommend:

Knock, Knock has a contributor list from the picture book greats: Laurie Keller, Henry Cole, Dan Yaccarino, Tomie Depaola, etc etc. The artwork by these talented folks makes each joke stand out and adds to the telling with cartoon panels and great photographs -- very creative.

The Buddy Books series includes different categories. There is a book on Sports Jokes, Monster Jokes (which I think started the trend when he grabbed it from the Halloween display), School Jokes and more. They are written by people such as U.R. Phunny, Cyl Lee, and Hugh Moore (I had to say this many many times to get it).

Amanda has been helping me out with the Cybils still. She is really enjoying her books, and usually goes for the girly tween books. A book that we both really REALLY enjoyed is The Red Blazer Girls: The Vanishing Violin by Micheal Beil. We listened to the audiobook, which was a great telling of the story. This novel is perfect for middle school readers who want a bit of adventure, a bit of romance, and a bit of rebellion. It's all perfectly age appropriate and yet compelling. Love it!

This is the second in a series (with a 3rd coming out this summer), and after Amanda enjoyed reading about these NYC private school detective girls, she also went back to book one, The Red Blazer Girls: The Ring of Rocamadour.

How to Survive Middle School by Donna Gephart was seriously laugh out loud funny. And then by the end, I was hit with the heart. That's the kind of one-two punch that makes for a knockout of a read. We both loved this one as well, and it is also perfect for middle school readers (boys or girls).

What are your kids reading?? Let us know over at 5 Minutes for Books.

Monday, November 15, 2010


I'm pretty sick of talking about it.  We've told friends and family, teachers, acquaintances.  It's consumed the last few weeks of my life.

We are moving back to Houston at Christmas.

Bittersweet is the absolute perfect description of it. 

The bitter?
  • We love it here -- the proximity to NYC, the four seasons, the abundance of weekend getaway spots.
  • We have had a great experience with the schools and sports and everything here.
  • And mostly -- for all of us -- we have roots here.  My kids have grown up here.  Amanda was just younger than Kyle is now when we moved here 6 years ago.  We have dear dear friends who we'll miss.
The sweet?
  • Yes, we are going home, but as I stated above, this really has become home, especially for my kids.
  • We have already found a home (which I haven't even laid eyes on yet!), and it's beautiful, we have a pool, which Amanda has missed, and I have confidence in the schools there too.
  • We will be near family (though leaving a drivable distance to Terry's family -- add that to the bitter above).
  • And mostly -- we know without a doubt that God is guiding us, just as He did 6 years ago, when we left friends, family, and our home in Houston for the unknown here in Connecticut.  I look forward for what He may have in store for us there.
The last few weeks have been beyond busy with cleaning, organizing, sorting and beautiful delightful purging!  The house is not yet on the market, but we have a relocation deal that makes this completely manageable (more sweet).

Friday, November 12, 2010

We do more before 8am than some people do all day

We're not enlisting in the army, but the Daylight Savings Time has not been kind to Kyle and me. We are getting tired early in the evening (the fact that it's really dark by 5:30pm doesn't help our body clock either). It's been almost a full week, and we are still waking up early.

Actually last night I mostly stayed awake (with a few doze-offs) to watch The Apprentice, so I guess staying up until 11pm helped me actually sleep through to my 5:45 alarm!

Kyle was still up at 6:10 am, so once Amanda left for school, he and I played Farkle.

Yesterday morning I cleared out the huge dumping station that is my dining room.

So I say that it isn't treating us well, but perhaps it is?

Monday, November 08, 2010

I'm waiting for the health, wealth, and wisdom

Everyone with children knows that "gaining an hour" as a result of the daylight savings time fall back is a joke. Oftentimes we lose an hour, since we stay up later, anticipating that hour, then arise at the normal body clock time with our children.

This year, I went to bed early/on time on Saturday, so I did get my hour, but I was wide awake Sunday by 6:15 am (body clock 7:15 am). Today was even worse. By 5:00 am, I was wide awake. So I got up.

Kyle, who shares the same body clock as I do, was up by 5:30 and came downstairs dressed and ready to go. The good news is that even Amanda easily awakened when her alarm went off.

I was tired last night at my normal time, so I went to bed fairly early again. I think that my old age is making me more resistant to the change.

The upside? It's not even 8:00 am, and I've already cleaned two bathrooms and done a load of laundry. Gotta love that!

Tuesday, November 02, 2010


As a non-smart phone owner, this ad speaks to me. But is seeing people's insensitive abuse and overuse of their phones really going to make me want one?


The baseball and the wife are my favorites.