Sunday, September 28, 2008

Weekend Visitor

Last weekend we had a visitor from NYC -- Wayne's little sister, Laurie, came to visit. Lots of the family came up from Tracy to visit as well. It was a great time! The weather was perfect. We were able to get out Saturday afternoon and play ladder golf, which Millie was amazingly good at! We also got some card games in, which was also entertaining. We topped off Saturday evening by walking down to the Edina Grill for a dinner...compliments of Laurie.

Sure was great to see everyone!
Here's the family (L toR): Kathy, Wayne and Millie across the back, Sherrie, Laurie and Neil seated.
Sherrie did up the pony tails for the evening out, while Millie got some quiet time with Marissa, who enjoyed reading a book with her Grandma Horsman.

How cute are these cameos of Marissa with Laurie??

Friday, September 26, 2008

Traveling is sooooo glamorous!

I've had a break from traveling for a little over a month, but then had two trips this week, one to Chicago and the other to Washington DC.

I am in the DC airport right now, going on hour four. I was booked on a 2:30 departure and when I got to the airport I was able to go stand-by on an earlier flight. Sweet! I thought, I'll make it home early!

Then that earlier flight got canceled.

They had already given away my seat on the 2:30 flight, so I cannot get back on the 2:30 flight.

So now I'm a confirmed passenger on the 5:30 departure, arriving in the Twin Cities at 8 pm tonight. I just hope this flight isn't canceled or delayed, now. :-(

Two interesting things have happened:

1. I got to see John McCain get on his plane to leave for the big debate tonight. There were about 10 vehicles with lights flashing accompanying the big bus out to the plane, which has "McCain" painted in really big letters on it.

2. I heard a man get into an argument with his travel agent as he tried to have her re-book him after our flight got canceled. She clearly was unwilling to do anything for him, and he got a little snippy with her (as I would too). She eventually hung up on him. Nice.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Had to share this one -- a friend @ work had told me about this show. We finally found it now, it's on a channel called "Noggin."

Proof positive that people who did and perhaps still do drugs are creating children's shows...that our kids LOVE.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Airport Travelers

I was traveling back from Chicago today getting my breakfast at a place in the Midway Airport, when I came across an elderly couple sitting at a table, chatting with a priest sitting at the nearby table. I had to squeeze by them to get a seat (it was pretty tight), and assumed they were traveling together, they were so deep in conversation.

When the priest got up to leave, he held out his hand, shook the gentleman's and said, "It was nice to meet you."

Wow, I thought, they are a very gregarious couple!

I decided to take my vitamins while I had orange juice in front of me, only to hear the man say, "Oh thank you!! I would have forgotten my morning pills if I hadn't seen you take yours." Then he came over and started talking.

He shared that he is 79 years old, his wife is 80 years old, and they've been married for 4 years after both their spouses died. They were traveling to Maine for the 40-year reunion of his Navy ship's crew. He served from 1947 to 1953 and they've never missed a reunion. I can imagine how incredible that's been for him to see his former crewmates over the years, and how different it must be for them to see HIM showing up with a different wife at this point in his life.

Then he laughed and went back to the discussion on pills. "You know," he said, "When I was younger we used to talk about the girls we'd see and the color of their eyes, the color of their hair or the color of their skin. Now we talk about the color of their pills!"

He was quite a character -- I thought of my dad because I'm sure the two of them would still be there right now jawing away, if my dad had been there to meet him.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Pain of Shopping

I have determined that there is a direct correlation between how much men like to oogle models of a certain piece of apparel and the humiliation associated with buying that item for most American women.

Take swmsuits, for example. An entire issue of Sports Illustrated is devoted to them. Not sure when modeling swimsuits became a sport, but it's been SI's #1 selling issue for decades. Yet swimsuits rank well above jeans as one of the purchases women dread having to make.

Does this swimsuit make my ass look big?

Honey, your ass IS big, the swimsuit just lets everyone see just how big it is.

Next on the list: bras. Those Victoria's Secret commercials make bras look so sexy, so mysterious, so magical in the way they make little tiny model size A boobs look like something so much more.

Yeah. Uh huh.

Take, for example, my shopping goal of this weekend: find a bra that fits under a special occasion dress I bought for an upcoming client event. The event is black tie -- not just any dress will do, yet it's still a work occasion, so plunging necklines and high hemlines just won't do. I found a phenomenal dress at a consignment store in my neighborhood -- a measly $29 for the dress which fits me perfectly and is a style I love. Only problem is the sheer material that makes the "straps" of the dress, requiring a strapless bra.

No problem, right? After all, I'm not looking for a bra that accommodates a plunging neckline, a plunging back, no criss cross applesauce needed, just strapless. I shouldn't even have to go to Victoria's Secret for this one, I should be able to get one at JCPenney's at their 30% off sale.

And to make things a little more interesting, Lindsey accompanied me. I'm not sure if she's scarred for life after the experience, she certainly has a new appreciation for "boobies," though, and spent many minutes gazing at the lingerie models and fingering the pretty panties on the tables.

JCPenney's was a bust, no pun intended. Sure they've got strapless bras, on sale, mind you, $17.99! Sweet. Okay, looking for my size...looking for my size...yup, still looking for my size...going to the women's section...right cup size, wrong band width....looking for my size....aaaannd we're done. Couldn't even find one to TRY ON.

Wow, I could do this all day but as delicious as that sounds, I'd rather not. So I head straight to Victoria's Secret where I know they'll have my size but I will also drop more money than the dress cost.

I pick up one strapless bra and one convertible bra. What the hell does that mean? you ask. Can you DRIVE them around? No, it means that if I choose not to wear it as a strapless bra it's got straps I can put on and wear it like a normal bra. Prices? $42 for the one style and $53 for the other.

I try the first one on -- not too bad, but it's scrunching my boobs together like pages in a book. But at least you can't see any part of the bra through the sheer of the dress.

I should've just said "done deal" and left. But no, I wanted to see if I could get something else that wouldn't be quite as smothering. And I was given the busiest and most memory-impaired fitting person to work with. I ring the buzzer inside the dressing room, a nice little feature of VS so you don't have to leave your dressing room and flash everyone.

Employee: Hi, do you need help?

Me: Yes, I'm looking for a strapless bra to go under this dress, I tried this one on but want some other options.

E: Okay, what size?

I tell her my size.
Pause. Long pause. Awkward pause.

E: Okay, let me see what I can get for you.

Several minutes later she hands through the door two regular bras with straps, but my size.

Me (handing bras back): Uh, these have straps.

E: Oh, oops! Just a minute.

Several minutes later, a strange brown and a tan bra are thrust through the door.

E: Here you go.

Me: Uh....these are A cups.

E: Oops, sorry those are for someone else. Here are the ones for you.

I go to try them on, only to find they are ONE cup size too small. she perhaps in her professional opinion trying to tell me she thinks I'm trying on bras too big, in some ridiculous show of big boobism? So I try one on -- yep, even smaller, definitely spilling out the top. NOT my size. I ring the buzzer again.

Me: These aren't the right size. Forget it, can you just give me back the first one I tried on? I believe you took it.

E: Oh, sorry, let me look for it. Hmmm...I'm not sure where I put it.

Me: Forget it, I'll just go get it myself.

I did finally try on some other styles -- some had material sticking out the sides, others looked like wings with material floating out of the top. Really, people? This shouldn't be this hard!

Lindsey was having fun checking out the bras -- some of the ones I tried on even had little pockets where pouches of water had been placed to help "push up" your breasts, she found those fascinating. And seriously people, what size do you need to be before people STOP thinking your boobs need to look even bigger? She tried a bra on and strutted around pretending she had boobies. Eventually she entertained herself with pretending to sleep on the chaise lounge just outside the fitting rooms.

I ended up with the original style that I had tried on, which I had to go get myself. Cost, you ask?

$42, or a full 44% more than the dress cost.

At least I'll be wearing the bra more than once, which is more than I can say for the dress.

Next shopping adventure: shoes to match. Aarrrgh!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Kid Rock and Lynyrd Skynyrd: All Summer Long/Sweet Home

I know the song is overrated, but I remember seeing Lynyrd Skynyrd the summer of 1989 at Alpine Valley, WI and rocking out to "Sweet Home Alabama" while the high Harley bikers in front of us stumbled around in their attempt to dance.

For lots of years artists were singing songs about the "good ol days" for times long before I grew up. (Think Bryan Adams "Summer of '69"). It's strange to think that I'm old enough that people are singing songs reminiscent of when I grew up now.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Height Predictor

Click on the title of this posting to go to the ParentCenter height calculator.

You put in your child's age to the closest half-year, current height and weight, and then the height of the parents.

Out spits the estimated height of your child at age 18, with a margin of error, depending on the age of your child.

According to this calculator, Lindsey will be 5'4", while Marissa, the YOUNGER sister, will be 5'9".

These have not changed for either kid the last few times I've put them in, outside of Marissa's height being estimated as taller. Lindsey has been consistently predicted at 5'4", a whole 2 inches shorter than I am.

Check back in about 15 years and I'll let you know!

Out of the Mouths of Babes

Isn't it odd when you hear your kids say things that you say all the time? It just sounds different coming from their little voices.

The other day Lindsey was talking about a bee project that they made at kindergarten that she really enjoyed doing. She described gluing on the little wax paper wings, and then she said, "How cool is that?!"

I have confirmation from my co-workers and spouse -- those words leave my mouth several times a day.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Mother Sentenced

I don't know why I read these things when I see the headlines pop up -- it's like staring at a car wreck as you pass by.

Good for the judge for throwing the book at her. I cannot imagine anyone who would even THINK of putting their month-old baby in a microwave, even in an altered state of mind.

The last quote of the story:

Rion (the defending attorney) said Arnold loved her baby "with all of her heart and more" and regrets drinking the night of her baby's death to the point of not remembering what happened.

"We have a mother who has lost her own daughter," Rion said. "That will plague her and follow her like a shadow for the rest of her life and into the next." (Jenny's ed: The defending attorney will fight for her life here on earth, but knows that ultimately her soul is going to hell.)

Prosecutor David Franceschelli told Wiseman that Arnold has shown no genuine remorse.
"The only remorse here is she got caught," Franceschelli said.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Last Post of the Day: A Request for Prayers

Okay, after this I'm going to bed.

If you are reading this, I ask for you to send your prayers and good thoughts to the Gilles family of my hometown in Wisconsin. Many of you know (and many don't) that they lost their youngest son to cancer at the young age of 21. Paul died 16 years ago this September 29th -- he was the youngest of six in a remarkable family and was very dear to me.

One of their remaining five children, their son Andy, is struggling with a rare disorder which has weakened his kidneys and liver. It requires a stem cell transplant to fight it, which is administered after a very powerful dose of chemotherapy to kill off the offending cells, along with many of his own healthy cells in the process.

Andy's stem cell transplant is scheduled for tomorrow, Sept 5th. He will be in the hospital for a month after, and then will require to be within 5 minutes of the hospital for 60 days after that. His immune system will be severely compromised and this time period will be extremely difficult for him and his support network.

I spoke with Andy's mother today -- she said that her other son's death of 16 years ago is crashing back in her life right now; it is all so familiar, even though Andy does not have cancer. I am praying that he has a very different outcome.

I am not a very religious person (okay, try not at all), but I do believe in the power of prayer and of positive energy, so please send some his way.

Video proof

Can you tell I'm catching up on my photos and videos?

Earlier I had a posting about Marissa telling us "I like you a lot!" Yeah, it sounds kinda cute, but I now have video proof that it's in the delivery and not the words that makes it endearing. (Kind of like Obama.)

We had obviously been asking her to say this for some time before I finally got it on video, so it's not quite her same delivery, but pretty close.

State Fair Photos

Okay, now that I can upload photos to my computer again, I've got some catching up to do!

The week before school started we took the girls to the State Fair, our annual mecca. My first posting on this blog was for the state fair two years ago -- hard to believe!

So here are some goodies from the day:

Marissa finally got into the rides this year -- once again, the difference between Marissa and Lindsey was made apparent. We would watch Lindsey on a ride and see her yelling and pointing. She would see a ride from her high up vantage point and be yelling about the next ride she wanted to go on. The minute she was off, she was leading us by the hand to the next ride.

Marissa, on the other hand, just wanted to keep going on the same rides over and over. She was barely off and would say, "I want to do that aGAIN!" and we would either stay on and hand over more tickets, or get back in line and do the ride again. The bumper boats were her favorite ride -- she went on them three times.

She also had a knack of sticking out her tongue while on rides, shown here:

And occasionally we would get the two girls to SHARE a ride...nicely, please:

And then, of course, there were the interesting things that we saw.

Really? That's appetizing? Check out the size of the guys headed toward this food booth.

And since everything else at the state fair is on a stick, why not the landscaping? Sure, why the hell not? It's a two-ton boulder, what could possibly go wrong by putting those up on sticks and having people sit in front of them?

And in case you didn't catch the fact that these boulders were supposed to look like they were on sticks, check out the sign on the left that tells you so.

Whew! Good thing, because if you hadn't let people know you were poking fun at the state fair, you'd see people in the 'burbs trying to talk some landscaper into doing this for them. "It's the latest thing, I swear! I saw it at the state fair landscape building!"

First Day of Kindergarten!

Today was Lindsey's first day of kindergarten. I think it went well for Lindsey, not so hot for Marissa. Marissa's had a bit more difficult of a transition to Kindercare; she's missing those nice long naps she needs and was getting this summer! The crankiness factor is going up and up every day of the week. Today while we were taking photos of Lindsey (and trying to get ones of Marissa too) all she did was walk around and say "no no no no no" to everything. So Marissa was crying and throwing crackers on the floor as I walked out the door at KinderCare. (Hard to believe, isn't it? Look at how cute she is.)

Lindsey, on the other hand, was incredibly excited, couldn't wait to go! She forgot to eat, brush her teeth and hair, and we had to remind her to do those things before we went. We dropped of Marissa first, then took Lindsey to the Mpls KIDS program, where one of her friends was already there. She asked Wayne to sit down next ot her for a while while she played, then after a few minutes he and I left. I had to go back home and get a little bracelet that the teacher had asked her to wear on her first day that we had forgotten, and when I brought it back her friends Alex and Emma were already there. She and Emma were busy playing with a little pink house, so she turned around, took the bracelet from me, said, "Oh, thank you, Mommy! Bye!" and that was it.

Lindsey's actual kindergarten day is three hours long. She then gets a little recess and eats lunch at 1 pm. Thank goodness she'll also get a breakfast option at Mpls KIDS, because that's a late lunch for her! Then she'll spend the afternoon back at Mpls KIDS until we pick her up.

I think Lindsey is going to have a really good day today; Marissa, well, depends on the kind of nap she gets.