Monday, July 31, 2006

fearing corn

Yes, it is true. I now fear corn and not just any corn, but Wisconsin corn. If you are squimish or eating lunch, you had best move on to the next blog...

On our drive home from Camp Wapo last week, we stopped at a farm stand and bought fresh sweet corn. Oh, I do love a good sweet corn. We got home, boiled it up, and had it for dinner. My fun starting the next morning. I will let you use your imagination and avoid the details, but needless to say, my stomach and abdomin were VERY uncomfortable. Of course, it settled a bit after a day, so I decided (once again, against my better judgment) to eat another ear of left over corn. When will I learn? Well, the second serving of corn seemed to further enhance and stimulate the issue and I have had issues ever since. This is why I now fear corn.

I finally went to the doctor this morning and she checked as much as she could in the office (it was still gross), but I now need to visit a gastroentologist to determine the root cause of my issue. It is likely that I have a microscopic inflammation somewhere in my colon. It is most sensitive on the left side of my body, so I don't need a full colonoscopy, but I am getting a sigmoidoscopy. Fun, fun! She said that if they find any inflammation that they will take a sample and test the tissue for the usual things - infection, Chron's disease, cancer, etc.

I think that they are going to get the scope up there and find a pesky piece of corn!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

marcy minus her better judgment

Okay, this is lame to post on my blog, but it really made me giggle this morning. It could be that I pulled a 12 hour shift at work yesterday and have lost all of my better judgment brain cells, but I can't resist sharing.


Jack wakes up with a huge hangover after the night at a business function.

He forces himself to open his eyes and the first thing he sees is a couple of aspirins next to a glass of water on the side table. And, next to them, a single red rose!

Jack sits down and sees his clothing in front of him, all clean and pressed. Jack looks around the room and sees that it is in perfect order, spotlessly clean. So is the rest of the house.

He takes the aspirins, cringes when he sees a huge black eye staring back at him in the bathroom mirror and notices a note on the table: "Honey, breakfast is on the stove, I left early to go shopping - Love you!!"

He stumbles to the kitchen and sure enough, there is hot breakfast and the morning newspaper. His son is also at the table, eating.

Jack asks, "Son...what happened last night?"

"Well, you came home after 3am, drunk and out of your mind. You broke the coffee table, puked in the hallway and got that black eye when you ran into the door."

"So, why is everything in such perfect order, so clean, I have a rose and breakfast is on the table waiting for me?"

His son replies, "Oh, THAT!...Mom dragged you to the bedroom and when she tried to take your pants off, you screamed, "Leave me alone, b*tch, I'm married!!!"

Broken table - $200
Hot breakfast - $5
Red Rose bud - $3
Two aspirins - $0.25Saying the right thing, at the right time... Priceless

Monday, July 24, 2006

letting go

Mr. Ethan is home and re-acclimated to life at home. He had a GREAT weekend at Camp Wapo. He also learned one of life's most important lessons - one's own bed is the best! He couldn't wait to get home and sleep in his own bed. Too cute.

I am still amazed that he is old enough to be away from home for any length of time. I guess it is time for Mom to start letting go and understanding that these little steps away are going to continue to become longer and more steps away from me.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

how is it possible?

How is it possible that Ethan is old enough for overnight camp? We dropped Mr. E off for his first ovenight camp adventure at Camp Wapogassett in Amery, WI. He was so excited, I was so excited, and now I am missing him. I am sure that he is so busy that he isn't missing us!!

We had great weather for the drive and had a beautiful sunset for the drive home.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Missing Strawberries

I have been thinking about writing for quite a while, but just haven't made the time. Nancy, however, entered a really nice blog entry today that I wanted to share it with you all. Nancy said that she wanted to share it with her 3 or 4 readers, but I will expand that number by at least 1 or 2 by adding it to my blog, too!! :)

Read and enjoy!

Life as a Scrappin' Engineer Mom: I Miss Strawberries

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Kyle's comment and blog

Well, I spent the morning taking the boys to swimming, "cooking" at Sociale Gourmet and then stopping at the Franklin Covey store in the Mall of America to pick out my new planner system. Yes, I am trying paper, but I am not giving up my PDA just yet! In addition to the planner pages, I also bought a new binder that has a pocket for my cell phone and a clip for my Palm. Yes, I had planned on only purchasing the refill pages which would have been less than $50, but I also bought a new binder. *gulp* The best news is that FC has a return policy where you can USE the product and if you aren't satisfied, then you can return it within 30 days. I have loaded the binder and it is bigger than I remember. It is a LOT bigger than a PDA! I will give it a whole-hearted try and then make a decision as to whether or not I am going to stick with it.

Then, I come home (feeling a bit guilty for spending more than I had planned) to find that my adorable husband has posted a comment about his low-tech notecard system that he uses as his planning system. His lengthy comment here finally spurred him into writing in his own blog! Check out Kyle's Blog Project. He is a funny, smart guy, so I hope that you enjoy his writing!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

paper vs. electronic organization

Are you a paper or an electronic organizer? For the last several years, I have been an electronic organizer and I am missing, seriously missing, paper organization methods. I mentioned in my last post that I stopped by the Franklin Covey store to sort through the products to see if it was the way that I really wanted to go. I really think that paper plus electronic (let's see if that works!) is the way for me.

So, after spending 1/2 hour on the FC website trying to pick a binder for me, I remembered that I used to have a binder when I was a consultant. I sauntered over to our messiest shelves (okay, messiest when my scrap area is excluded) and there was my old Franklin Covey. Abandoned mid-year 2001. The pages are still there and the compass is still in its old spot. The last task entered was "Call AAC re: E's blister". That would be All About Children, our pediatrician's office and Mr. E was only 3 years old. I then found the reason why I switched from paper. It was no longer "cool" to use paper and a PDA was a must. 2001 was the year that I left consulting and and started to work at Rorke Data. Part of my negiotiations when I started there was the purchase of a PDA to keep track of my "busy" schedule. Tucked into my Franklin Covey paper planner was the receipt from my Best Buy purchase of my first PDA, the Palm Vx. My beloved friend until it died last year and was replaced by the Zire something or other.

What do you prefer? Paper or electronic? I would love to hear your thoughts. I posed the question to Kyle at dinner and he said that he has gone extremely low tech. He now keeps his tasks in a pile of index cards held together by a paperclip!! I guess whatever works for you is the best choice for you!

Edit (5 minutes later when Kyle arrived home): Kyle reminded me of a cool article on (our new favorite website) about this exact issue. Check it out at

my big feet

Help! I have big, wide feet and now that I need to fit orthotics in my shoes, I cannot find shoes!! I have ordered from, but they seem to be out of every shoe that I am interested in. Does anyone have a suggestion of a place to get shoes that meet the following criteria:
  1. BIG sizes - I am a 10 - 10.5
  2. WIDE, and I mean WIDE size - I have recently discovered that I am comfortable in double wide shoes.
  3. Shoes that are deep enough to fit orthotics

Please, please, please - if you know of a good shoe store online or brick and mortar, let me know!!! I am a desperate, wide, big-footed woman!

I have had luck in the past at Nordstrom Rack at the Mall of America, so I took Ethan and Alexander with me. The bad part about stores like that is that you never know what you are going to find. Well, last night was not a good shoe selection night. sigh....I ended up with nothing, but the boys were great. They were very patient and only whined once or twice. After Nordstrom Rack, we headed down to DWS Shoewarehouse. The boys and I split up in separate rows and searched for big, orange "W" stickers on the boxes. We had a blast checking for the stickers.

After DWS, I couldn't resist checking out the Franklin Covey store. I am tempted to return to paper. I just don't get the same satisfaction from writing in my PDA or crossing off tasks as I do in a planner. The boys had a fun time in there, too. Yes, I have task-oriented children and I think that they are drawn to paper products like I am!!

To finish off the fun trip, we needed to go to Legoland to buy a birthday gift. I couldn't resist giving the boys a treat since they had been so good throughout the shopping trip (yes, I know...bad Mom with buying something for good behavior. Hey, at least it wasn't food that I offered them!!). Each boy got a little bucket to fill with the loose Legos of their choice. Fun! Fun! I can't wait to play with the new windows and roof tiles that they bought!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

more pictures from the 4th

more pictures didn't cooperate loading into the last entry, so I thought I would post a couple more:

Our crew at Bloomington Summer Fete enjoying a festive spread of food (l to r: Kyle, Karla, Grace, Paul, Rob)

Alexander and Ethan at the summer fete. I have NO idea who the political sticker is from, so please do not assume that I support that candidate. It cracks me up how the people handing out the stickers bypass me (I think I gave them a look), but turn directly to my son and say, "do you want a sticker?" Hello!?!? Who is the person of voting age here? I thought that it was a cheap shot to do that, so we removed the sticker after the picture was taken.

Kyle the Malingerer and Ethan the Deserter at Fort Snelling

Happy 4th of July a day late!

Fireworks at Summer Fete
Happy 4th of July!

I hope you enjoyed your festivities as much as we did. Our festivities started the night before on the 3rd at Bloomington's Summer Fete. We had never attended it before (since we aren't crowd-liking folk), but thanks to Karla's planning and preparation we agreed to give it a try. A small group of us from choir met at her house and headed to the bandshell on Normandale Lake. We were there by 5:30, so we had an excellent piece of real estate on which to spread out our blankets and chairs. We ate some fabulous food and enjoyed the music and activities for the rest of the evening until the fireworks started. A special thanks needs to go out to Rob for entertaining all of the kids in our group by playing ball and frisbee with them. Then, he was willing to be the human jumping cushion for the kids. We hope to go to the Festival of Latin Music on the 22nd of this month. Come out and join us!

We continued our festivities on the actual 4th of July by heading over to Fort Snelling. On our way there, we weren't sure which way to go because one sign was partially hidden by another sign. As our luck would have it, we took a wrong turn and ended up in Fort Snelling State Park. What a gorgeous park! There were bikers everywhere and we quickly learned why - it is filled with beautiful bike paths that hook up with other sites and trails in the city. Ethan has already decided that he wants to bike to Minnehaha Falls, so we are hoping to get out there soon to enjoy it. They also have a nice swimming beach on a lake, so my thoughts are to go for a bike ride and remember the swim gear so that we can cool down in the water afterward the ride!

After enjoying the interpretive center at the park, we opted to hike up to the top of the hill to the fort rather than driving up to it. We had only planned on staying at Fort Snelling for only an hour or two, but we ended up enjoying it so much that we were there about 3-4 hours. The things that ended up forcing us to leave were excessively hungry tummies since we had only packed water, grapes, and apples! While we were there, we enjoyed exploring all of the buildings, watching the soldiers march, seeing the cannons fire, and making a flag. Okay, the making a flag event was interesting. We sat near the table where the historical volunteers were sitting and that was our main mistake. The kids were supposed to be making flags from 1827 which meant that they HAD TO have an eagle and 24 stars on the flag. This attitude threw my boys for a bit of a loop since they are used to doing whatever their creative spirit inspires them to create. Being restricted by the number of stars to put on?! Come on. Poor Alexander had two different people come up and literally count the number of stars on his flag! Poor kid. They also chose to provide the kids with PERMANENT markers to color their flags. Yikes again. I don't want to complain too much because the boys did enoy it AND I am not the one dressed up and standing in a non-air conditioned room helping 300+ kids do an art project!!

After heading home and filling our hungry tummies and resting for a bit, we headed off to Valley View Pool aka Bloomington Family Aquatic Center for a dip and some more rest.

Monday, July 03, 2006

more appliance fun

Ever since our water heater was replaced a week ago on Friday, we have noticed water on the floor. Not a lot of water, but enough to cause concern. We also noticed that the air conditioner was running non-stop and that the house wasn't cooling. Hmmm...could the two be related? I will skip straight to the answer for you so that you can choose to keep reading details or stop with the summary. The answer is yes, yes, yes!

The Centerpoint Energy Home Service Plus person, Mike, stopped by this morning to check things out. We had an appointment on Wednesday for them to come out. However, we moved the appointment up because Kyle had the grand vision that pipes would burst throughout the house on the 4th of July and water would be spewing everywhere and we wouldn't be able to get a repair person out on the holiday. Here are the series of events that lead up to this point:

  • water on floor
  • service person comes to the house and determines it to be a leak in the water heater
  • subcontractors arrive and replace water heater
  • wait, I should include a bullet point before all of these - A/C not exactly "cooling" the house; instead, it is just maintaining the following equation: air temperature outside minus 2 degrees
  • water is STILL on the floor, but not a lot - Kyle and Marcy justify it in their minds that it is just residual water coming out from underneath the furnace (yes, we can justify away anything!)
  • A/C is running, running, and running
  • more water on the floor
  • Electronic air cleaner starts to make weird noises
  • Clean the filters (not the ionizer plates because we fear them) in the air cleaner
  • Hmmmm....noise still present - avoid the issue and turn off the electronic air cleaner
  • Freak out and decide to give the A/C a "rest" and turn it off for the rest of the day
  • Water is EVERYWHERE
  • Ugh....sigh
  • Discuss with Kyle
  • Call the Service Plus people (they are our best friends now)
  • Sleep fairly peacefully since we have now aclimated to the temp in our house being close to the temp outside
  • Wake up and decide to check the floor near the water heater
  • A small amount of water, but enough to still cause concern
  • Turn A/C back on to "prove" the connection between the water and the A/C
  • Leave for work
  • Return 3 hours later
  • House is still the same temp as the outside
  • Ugh...sigh...
  • Wait for Mike to arrive
  • Mike arrives and coils are frozen
  • Turn on the HEAT to 82 degrees to thaw out coils
  • Drain the water from the melting ice (WOW - lots of water!)
  • Chat with Mike while he works
  • Learn lots of cool tips (I should document them before I forget them!!)
  • Mike add 3 pounds of freon and the max for our A/C is 5.5 pounds!
  • Air is house is MUCH nicer
  • No water on the floor
  • I am typing away at my computer in a nice, cool, non-humid environment. LOVELY.
  • Freon boost should postpone the purchase of an A/C unit for a year or two or more! LOVELY!
  • Ponder the thought that we may have never needed a new water heater
  • Justify it away....justify...

All of this reminds me of how we ended up with a new transmission in the Camry several years ago. My words of advice from that experience:

Pink fluid on your garage floor is NOT the pigment leeching out from the leaves that you haven't bothered to sweep up!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

fun at the beach

We had a great time at Bush Lake yesterday with Minda's Family and Nancy's Family. It was so nice to sit on the beach or in the water and just relax. I think it was Nancy who said that we are in the golden age with our children and it is true! This is the first summer that I can let the boys just go and not be my typical type A Mom and chase after their every move so that they don't drown. Don't be fooled by that comment because I was really just a Type A Mom from afar. There were about 4 times that I stood up and began to panic because I couldn't spot one of the boys. Three of those 4 times, the child that I was desperately seeking was literally right in front of me and in my panic I couldn't see him. One of the three times my fear was valid because Alexander had moved to a dock away from Kyle and was attempting to swim under the dock. Yikes. I was able to get his attention in time before he did it and he returned to his activity of climbing on the dock and jumping off.

If you would like to see pictures of the day, then check out Minda's Blog. She was the photography Mom yesterday. It was nice to have someone else capturing the moment so that I could just enjoy the moment. I often get so caught up in taking pictures that I don't take the time to just be still and enjoy it! Thanks, Minda!

One of the things that I enjoyed doing at the beach was floating in the water. It is such an amazing and peaceful feeling. You go from all of the noise of the kids shouting and splashing to mere echoes of that noise once your head is back. If you close your eyes, you can focus on your breathing (yes, I miss yoga!!). I also like to focus on the stark contrast of coolness from the water versus the warmth of the sun at the point where the two intersect on your body. It is amazing that such a thin line can be so visible to our minds. And then everything shifts with the slightest motion in the water. The cooling sensation of the water washes over you and cools all of the spots that the sun has warmed so that you can start the whole process over again.