Posted by: Missy | February 11, 2009

L.I.O.N

In my ongoing attempts to occupy Lucas while Hubby writes his dissertation, we are taking advantage of every cheap children’s outing I can come up with.

Sunday I took the children to the zoo with a friend and her son, (and most of town) since it was sunny and in the mid-70s.

Last night Hubby took Kate home and Lucas and I went to the children’s museum with the same friend, son, and her husband for family night. Admission would have normally been $16.00 for Lucas and me, but family night is sponsored by Food Lion so admission is only $1.00 per person. Also as part of their sponsorship, Food Lion was giving out little 3-D wooden puzzles of a lion.

About 6:00, the adults decided we were getting hungry, so off we went to get pizza. While we were sitting at the table, my friend put the boys’ lions together so they would have something to play with while waited on dinner.

After she unwrapped the package, Lucas picked up the paper that had that instructions on the back and was looking at the picture of the lion on the front. As I watched he took his finger and pointed at the letters.

The next thing I hear is “L. I. O. N. Lion.” My friend, the reading recovery teacher, wasn’t fazed by this at all, she just said that’s good. Meanwhile I’m thinking “Is he supposed to be able to do that?”

Either way I bet he’s going to start reading sometime this year. What is the child going to learn in kindergarten?

In one other interesting moment, the husband told me my money smells nice. I had given him some change to get his son a bottle of juice, and it apparently smelled nice.

There’s really no reason I told you that. I just felt it should be documented that I can make money smell nice.

Although, I wonder if there’s a way to turn that into a marketable skill? We could use some extra income…

Posted by: Missy | February 9, 2009

Ouch.

So last week I joined the gym.  Yet another of my attempts to lose some weight, fit into my clothes, and just be healthier in general. 

Tonight was my first meeting with my new personal trainer;  we’ll call him John. 

At the beginning of the session, John told me he’s a lot like Jillian on The Biggest Loser

He told about the circuit training and some of the other machines, which I am to do three times a week, three times through the circuit each time.  I am also to do an hour of cardio at least five days a week, 15 minutes on the elliptical machine (which I hate), 15 minutes on the bike, 15 minutes on the treadmill, then the last 15 minutes are my choice (he’s so generous).  

I also need to spend 20 minutes in the sauna or the whirlpool at the end of each workout.  Something I support 100%. 

He then took me though my first session. 

He’s right.

He is a lot like Jillian.

I don’t think I’m going to be able to move tomorrow. 

Ouch.

Posted by: Missy | February 6, 2009

Three

From this:

 img_2880

to this:

carson-birthday-031

in one short year.

Posted by: Missy | February 6, 2009

Music people

The other members of my family are music freaks nuts people.  My husband is a musician by trade, working on his doctorate in beating on things (he is a percussionist, or, as my father refers to him, “that drummer who married my daughter”). 

Lucas seems to be following in his father’s musical footsteps.  He loves to play the drums that are scattered around our house, the keyboard gets daily use, and he wants music playing whenever possible.  If there isn’t any music playing, he’s singing something he heard sometime or another.  He only has to hear a song once to be able to repeat it, melody, rhythm, and words.  The scary part is he’s three.

Even Kate, our eight month old, is developing a reputation in the music department where my husband is both student and faculty.  The early childhood music students that see her at her daycare, who go back and report to their teacher, who is a colleague of my husband, say she is the only baby they’ve ever seen who can sing and eat at the same time.  Talented, that one is.  Unfortunately for me it means feeding her takes four forevers.

Meanwhile I needed help getting my headphones to work while trying to listen to the new Dave BarnesEP on iTunes.  Apparently plugging them into the microphone jack doesn’t cut it.  Who knew…

Posted by: Missy | January 29, 2009

The one with the lost luggage

I love to go on cruises.

Interesting ports of call, good food, sea breezes, lots to do (or not), being rocked to sleep, a spa.

I mean really, how could anyone have a bad time on a cruise?

Now I know.  Somewhere in the 100 yards between dock and stateroom their luggage gets lost. 

How do I know this you ask?  Well, let me tell you.

Three weeks ago my husband and I and some very dear friends went on a cruise.  We left home early Friday morning and drove seven hours to our port.  Now, this was the third time my husband and I had left out of this port, so we knew the drill.  

Drive up, hand the porter the two suitcases, compliment him on his Caribbean style shirt, tip him, park, go check in, get picture taken approximately 1200 times, get on the ship.

Check.

Find stateroom, meet cabin steward, grab life jackets, attend life boat drill, return life jackets, find adult beverage, find lounge chair.

Check.

Begin cruise, start relaxing.

And CHECK

aaahhhh! 

But that was the last truly relaxing part of the trip. 

A few hours later we headed back to our cabin to unpack and change for dinner.  When we realized our luggage wasn’t there we made our first trip to the guest relations desk and found out all of the luggage had been distributed.  Little did we know that this would be our first of  eight trips, in two and a half days, to the guest relations desk. 

Friday night we were taking it all in stride, thinking we were glad we didn’t have anything valuable and everything could be replaced.  Our friends offered to share clothes and bathing suits with us, so we figured we could manage; we’d just file the claim against our travel insurance when we got home.  However, in the middle of dinner, I remembered that my suitcase contained these:  

 I have been working on these, on and off, for eight years.  The one on the left is my husband’s, started in 2000, ignored for a while, and then completed in 2006.  The one on the right is my daughter’s, started in 2006 and completed in 2008.  If you click on the pictures you will get a better idea of the details.  There are hundreds of hours of work in these two stockings.   And I thought they were gone.

I know, it was pretty stupid of me to have them in my luggage, but I had my son’s to work on while we were gone and these were in the same bag.  At some point, for reasons that now escape me, it made sense to keep them all together rather than put the two completed ones away.   The ironic part is that I almost left my work bag in the car, but it never occurred to me that our luggage could get lost.  We had dropped it off with the hundreds of other suitcases headed for the ship.  Where could it possibly go?

I was heartbroken.   When we got back to the cabin I just sat on the end of the bed and cried.  My husband, proving yet again what a wonderful man he is, just held me, understanding why something as inconsequential as Christmas stockings had me so upset.

Saturday we spent a great deal of time with the guest relations staff, including one of the assistant managers.  At noon we were told they would give us credit to buy some necessities.  So instead of spending the afternoon poolside we went into Nassau to by bathing suits and warm weather clothes. 

I’ve been to Nassau.  I really didn’t need to go again.  I really, really didn’t want to buy a bathing suit.  Especially since I had packed two.

Our friends went with us into town, which made it fun, but we were still irritated that it was necessary.  Of course, it doesn’t help that everything in Nassau is either very cheap or very expensive, and the quality of the products reflects that fact.  Also, while another woman understands the difficulty of buying a bathing suit, it’s hard to make your own husband wait while you try on one after the other.   I had the added joy of making another woman’s husband wait as well. 

Sunday, instead of getting up early and taking the first tender to the cruise line’s private island, we had a 10:30 meeting with the guest relations manager.  We had planned to spend the morning reading in a hammock or snorkeling with our friends.  Instead we killed time on the ship just to have a 10 minute meeting in a cramped office.  By the time we got to the island the day was half over.  We did get to snorkel and read in the hammock, but missed out on the early, quiet part of the day that we love most.

When we returned from the island we headed back to our cabin, dodging the luggage left in the hall for pickup since it was the last night of the cruise.  After showering and dressing for dinner, in the same clothes as the previous two nights, I opened the cabin door to wait on the snack we had ordered from room service.  

I was stunned to see our two suitcases sitting by the door like little children, waiting to be chastised for not being where they supposed to be.

I called guest relations.  They had no idea where it had been.  I went to talk to the guest relations manager; he was as shocked as I was that it had just appeared.

At that point I was mad.  All the things they had told us throughout the weekend were not true. 

We were told the tags could have come off.  Yes, they could have, but they didn’t.  The tags with our cabin number and names were still firmly attached, and the ID tags with Ryan’s cell number, which we checked throughout the weekend, were there as well.

We were told a ship wide search, including staterooms, was completed.  Apparently not, or the bags would have been found.

We were told the luggage could have been left in port.  Yes it could have, and I had finally started to believe this is what had happened, but it wasn’t.  It was on the ship the entire time.

We were told they would let us know what they found out after the trip was over.  I gave the guest relations manager my email address.  I’m still waiting for a message.

While we are very thankful to have our luggage, and especially the stockings, back, it was very frustrating to have to spend so much time and effort dealing with this during our short vacation.  The letter explaining all of this, in much greater detail (if you can believe it) was mailed to the cruise line and emailed to our travel agent last week.  We’re still waiting to hear what they are going to do, if anything, to make this up to us.

That said, it was still a good trip.  We had so much fun with our friends who traveled with us; we laughed and joked most of the weekend.  They helped keep our spirits up and our minds off the luggage debacle as much as they could.  They weren’t even fazed by the one time Ryan and I let the situation get to us and were sniping at each other. I can’t wait to cruise with them again. 

But, no matter how many times we travel with them, this trip will forever be known as “The one with the lost luggage.”*

*A homage to the naming convention for Friends episodes due to the weekend’s large number of Friends references.

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