Sunday, February 28, 2010

2/27/10: Aubrey's Birthday Party at Kidz Planet

The kids had a great time at Aubrey's Birthday Party at Kidz Planet Gymnastics. Here is Evan swinging after getting his face painted with a race car.
And Lauren swinging too.
And now Lauren getting flipped by Daddy.
And the Birthday girl with Evan right next to her. Here was Aubrey's Princess Party last year.
Here are Haley and Lauren before the party. They decided they should paint their nails. Don't they look pretty?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

2/20/10: Jack Frost, Animals, and Rides

We started our weekend fun off at the Billerica Library to start for Jack Frost's Winter Blast Party. As I previously posted "Love Your Local Library", the Library comes through again with a great free event. The kids had so much fun. They made hats, scarfs, wands, and snow globes. Then ate snacks of donuts and popsicles and put paper on their feet to pretend they were skating. Both kids went in by themselves and the volunteers were great with them. This was a free event and I am glad I signed up early as spots filled up quickly.
Lauren showing off how cute she is with her rosy cheeks because we all know your nose and cheeks get red when they are cold.
Then we headed over to the Shriner's Auditorium for the Commerford Petting Zoo/Amusement Rides. I must admit the kids had a lot of fun, however the value was not so great. It was $10 per adult and $7.95 for children just to enter. Luckily I had a coupon for 2 free kids passes. Then once you got in you had to pay for everything. 2 tickets for a ride (about $2) and 4 tickets for animal rides. They had elephants, camels, and ponies. There were also carnival type games also with a fee of $2-$4. Here are the kids on the train.
And feeding the animals.
More feeding.
And on another ride. From the second we got there Lauren was asking to go on the horsey ride.
And the "famous" one horned cow.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

2/17/10: What do you want to be when you grow up?

Ok, so everyone at one point in their lives is asked "What do you want to be when you grow up?" At this point my son would answer - A Fire Fighter, and my daughter - A Princess, specifically Cinderella.
So for me in 6th grade my parents took me to Disney World for the first time. During this trip they took me to Kennedy Space Center. That trip took all the indecision out of my mind, I wanted to be an Astronaut!
My parents thought it was a passing phase, just like when I wanted to be a Vet, a travel agent, and an interior decorator. But this one stuck. My Mom who was a traditional home maker or could be called a domestic engineer tried to push me to be a teacher or actress but I would not change my mind.

I then was in awe of the Space Program and would put posters up in my room and I knew all of the missions and what was going on. So when it came to looking at colleges I would not even consider any college that did not have NASA in their books or did not have Aerospace Engineering. When I went to WPI for my interview and the Admissions Rep talked about Projects with NASA I knew immediately this was where I would go to school so I applied early decision and was accepted.

Once Jr. year hit and the NASA Project selection began I was the first to apply and would touch base with the Teaching Assistant coordinating the program daily. Low and behold I was picked! I was soooo excited. This was my dream come true. I was selected to work at NASA Lewis Research Center (now Glenn Research Center) in Cleveland, OH. I couldn't contain myself, I was so happy.

The whole experience of 3 months at NASA was amazing. I worked in the Orbital Mechanics area (which was my favorite class at WPI) on the Discovery Diana mission. I worked on a program to calculate how much time the solar electric powered space craft would spend in shade and sunlight and presented to NASA Branch Chief's and Staff. I smiled every day going to work and would get caught many nights working late by NASA engineers who would go on to tell me to go out and have fun.

When I was there I even got to meet Sally Ride and get her Autograph. That was amazing. I had her picture up in my room for years.

The Branch Chief at NASA loved my work and wanted to hire me but couldn't at the time. Instead he did the next best thing and gave me personal contacts at several NASA contractors. I reached out to all of them and then Martin Marietta came to interview at WPI. I was selected and found out who was interviewing me. I let the guys at NASA know and they had worked very closely with this person in the past. So I did a little name dropping and got passed on to the on-site interview with Martin Marietta Defense Systems in Pittsfield, MA. They hired me in to the Engineering Leadership Development Program which was meant to build leaders in the company. At the same time I went for a Master's Degree in Mechanical Engineering. To make a long story short, I worked several years with Martin Marietta who then became Lockheed Martin but was never really happy. It was not what I had pictured. I worked on black boxes, test equipment, decoys for aircrafts, and a liquid propellant gun. This was not the dream of the Space Shuttle or Orbital Mechanics I once had. I did apply for the Astronaut Program through NASA figuring I might as well. I knew my chances of getting picked were very slim but I did have the degree and some experience. Everytime I got a thick envelope from NASA I would get all excited, but it was just to renew my application. Worth a shot though. Who knows, crazier things have happened.

Unfortunately for me this interview question's answer tells the story...On an interview recently with BAE Systems they asked me what is your biggest career regret. Well for me it was going to school for Aerospace Engineering (so really a decision made in 6th grade is my biggest career regret). When I got out of college it was recommended I only list Mechanical Engineer on my resume and not even list Aerospace with the limited amount of Aerospace jobs with all the budget cuts. I know at this point NASA is getting cut even more.

Now I think overall other jobs would have been a better fit. I spent days upon days looking at part-time jobs and they are mostly in medical areas such as Therapy. I highly respect people who can make a change in direction of their career at any point. At this point I feel too invested and don't want to have to start at square one to do something different especially with two kids that are my focus. It is not that I hate what I do, I like Project Management and being a Business Analyst, it is just the dream I thought I had was only fulfilled for a fleeting 3 months. But that's ok.

So when people say to me "It's Not Rocket Science", my response is "No it isn't, but I wish it was."

So what did you want to be when you grow up and are you doing it? Comment and let me know.

Monday, February 15, 2010

2/14/10: Valentine's Day Love from Chuck e Cheese

We started Valentine's Day with pancakes with I Love You written on them in frosting. Then we went off to Ice Skating and since John was away at his annual Movie Marathon I took the kids to Chuck e Cheeses for some fun. Evan and Lauren got a big hug from Chuck e Cheese.
We played lots of games and got lots of tickets and some toys.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

2/13/10: Let's Celebrate with Disney on Ice!

We had so much fon at Disney on Ice Let's Celebrate! The kids loved it. Lauren dressed up in her pretty Belle dress and Evan was all decked out in Mickey attire.
As I posted, there is still time to use the MOM discount code. This show is going all school vacation week. What a fun event for the kids. Refer to my post.
This show was very well done as are all of the Disney on Ice shows. They did some pretty cool things in this show including a fire baton twirler and lighting up the ice with fire in addition to having all the fun Disney Friends. Many Disney classics and new movies were highlighted including Princess Tiana from The Princess and the Frog. Both of my kids enjoyed that. The Celebration begins.
Of course Mickey Mouse. This was Evan's favorite part of the show. Going way back to Sorcerer Mickey and the brooms.
And the finale. Always a crowd pleaser.
Here are more pictures from the show.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

2/10/10: Evan's School Valentine's Day Party

Evan had his Valentine's Day party today at school. Brought back such fond memories of handing out cards as a kid and getting so excited to receive them. He was so cute. He has a little crush on one of the little girls and it was adorable to watch him. Here he is giving everyone a box of conversation hearts.
And he got to dress weather girl.
And the best part receiving Valentine's Cards. He was so excited, with his Penguin Bag. Evan handed out Lightening McQueen ones with Pencils and Free Ice Cream cone coupons from Friendly's.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

2/10/10: Join Us for Disney on Ice Celebrations

We enjoy Disney on Ice every year and would love for you to enjoy it too. Here are links to us at World's of Fantasy, and Mickey and Minnie's Magical Journey and 100 Years of Magic. What a fantastic show and as a Feld Family Activator I have discount codes for you to enjoy Let's Celebrate at the TD Garden from February 12th - 21st. What better way to entertain the little ones on School Vacation Week! It’s one colossal party on ice, with all your favorite Disney friends! Join Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse as they celebrate a Very Merry Unbirthday Party with Alice and
the Mad Hatter; a Royal Valentine’s Day Ball with the Disney Princesses, including Cinderella, Ariel and Tiana; a Hawaiian luau with Lilo & Stitch; a winter wonderland with Woody and Buzz Lightyear from Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story; a Halloween haunt with the Disney Villains and more in a magical medley of holidays, celebrations and festivals from around the globe. Come join the party when this spectacular ice show!
Purchase a 4-pack of tickets for only $44 for weekday shows, or
receive $4 off weekend tickets by logging onto and entering the promotional code: MOM into the Advanced or Promotion Ticket Selection.*
TD Garden show dates:
Friday, February 12 - 7pm**
Saturday, February 13 11am and 3pm
Sunday, February 14 12 NOON and 4pm
Monday, February 15 - 11am and 3pm
Tuesday, February 16 - no shows
Wednesday, February 17 - 1pm
Thursday, February 18 - 11am and 3pm
Friday, February 19 - 1pm and 7pm
Saturday, February 20 - 11am and 3pm
Sunday, February 21 - 12 NOON and 4pm

*Get 4 tickets for $44 Monday-Friday matinee or $4 off weekend Friday evening – Sunday. Use promo code “MOM” at time of purchase by phone 1-800-745-3000 or visit Minimum purchase of 4 tickets required; additional tickets above 4 can be purchased at $11 each. Offer not valid on Front Row, VIP or CLUB seats. Cannot be combined with other offers. Additional service charges, facility fee, & handling fees will apply.
**Friday, February 12th 7pm performance is our Opening Night performance and all Tickets are $15 (no code required and excluding Front Row, VIP and CLUB seating)!!!
Disclaimer: I received a Family Pack of Tickets to Disney on Ice to promote and review it.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

2/6/10: Lauren's 1st Dance Class at Ellen's School of Dance

Mommy has been waiting for this day for a while. Today was Lauren's first day of Dance at Ellen's School of Dance where Mommy went as a kid and taught at for many years. Here is Lauren all excited to go to the "big Dance School". She has already come so far in the short year she has been taking Dance.
Here she is sitting in Miss Laurie's chair ready for class. Mommy also had Miss Laurie when she was a kid.
Time to start yet?
Arms out.
Bouncy, bouncy. The little girl in blue's Mom also danced with Mommy.
Dancing in a circle.
Lauren loves her skirt.
Following her teacher.
Good job!
Doing her front roll. She has lots of practice with this from Gymnastics.

Here is some video:

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

2/2/10: The Year of Things Breaking

So 2010 seems to be the year of everything breaking. Luckily Evan has his tools and is ready to fix things. It all started with the home computer not booting. That appeared to be the memory and it was under warranty so that went back to be replaced. Then I was watching TV and the I heard a pop and the screen went black so we ordered a replacement lamp for that. Then John's Check Engine light came on, which seemed to be nothing. Then it was my digital camera which I can't live without. When I would zoom little black shadow marks would show up in the corner and showed up on the pictures. That was shipped back and a replacement is in route back to me. Right now our cable box DVR is doing wierd things where it thinks it is taping, but it is not and I delete things and they keep coming back. We have rebooted and are hoping for the best. I also put up the new photo calendars I ordered and gave as Christmas gifts to family and noticed that they were for 2009! Oops, those had to get replaced.
As you may see from this picture, our kitchen is in the first stage of re-model. The wallpaper is being removed as a first stage.
Here's to hoping February is a better month!