Chicago-Day Four

So because I opened my big mouth and mentioned I was taking the kids to downtown Chicago during our visit here. I had to make good on that-even though I wanted to just sit by the pool all day while sipping strawberry daiquiris and judging my boy's cannon ball dives off the high dive. So today we took the train to downtown and arrived in Union Station. The boys were impressed- and Jack mentioned it reminded him of Harry Potter (#2 I think) a cab ride and the Chicago Institute of Art. Now this is a pretty 'serious' art museum....but I thought my boys could handle it. So we saw the sculpture gallery that looked like this...

And then instinctively- my boys did this (with no prompting from me, since we were all being as quiet as a mouse- using our best 'Museum Manners')....needless to say we had a great time!
We laughed a lot (Tucker really could not get over all the 'butts everywhere- oh 7 yr old humor!).....but I was thrilled to hear things like "now this is the kinda art I like'...and 'mom can we Google this guy Edward Hopper?'. We saw lots of famous works that the kids recognized instantly...and were generally excited about it. They both agreed that seeing these works in person was so totally different than in a book.
"Sunday in the Park" was a big favorite of Tucker. He stood in front of it a long time- and pointed things out to all of us. "Mom! It is made up of DOTS mom! Just Dots!" (those clever impressionists ya know). We then walked Michigan Ave. Watched part of a parade, sat in Millennium park and managed to get back to the train station without any drama. On the train ride home the boys were fighting over the little souvenir book of 19th and 20th century art....fighting over it like it was a Gameboy or something! This was a good day folks....really. good.
This ad has unbelievable copy...
"How soon is too soon? Not soon enough. Laboratory tests over the last few years have proven that babies who start drinking soda during that early formative period have a much higher chance of gaining acceptance and 'fitting in' during those awkward pre-teen and teen years. So do yourself a favor. Do your child a favor. Start them on a strict regimen of sodas and other carbonated beverages right now, for a lifetime of guaranteed happiness"
For the record, drinking soda as a toddler did not help Little Billy in anyway help as a teen. He was the teen with the rotting teeth, weight problem and sallow skin-which didn't really help his 'fitting in'....and how about the 'strict regimen'..."Billy you get in here this minute and drink your coke!!!".....the fine print says "Boosts personality!", um yeah if bouncing off the walls is a 'personality'.


Lycra waves the white flag!

Yesterday I visited Six Flags Great America here in Chicago (in case you aren't following my every move and keeping track I am visiting family this week in the Windy City).....and well, I am really not sure what it is about every single amusement park I visit- but people really have a tendency to push their Lycra to the limit at these places. Hence exhibit A to the right. I am thinking there should be a BMI requirement before allowing people to purchase clothing 3 sizes too small for them. Oh- and this was not even close to the worst offender...there were whole families that looked like they were about to bust out of their clothes. Throw in a ride that gets you all wet and it made for killer people watching. I am no super model- and should lose about 20 lbs (but I can't for some reason!)...but I would rather die than have a ROLL of FAT showing even thru my shirt.....hey, maybe these folks are more confident with their bodies than me? Maybe I am the one with the problem???
Check out silly this not hysterical ???? They had these funny "Starbuck enjoyment pose" signs all over the park. LOTS of cross marketing there...SO not case you want more...don't worry there is video coming folks!
And bloggy buddies...I am trying to find time to read all your fabulous posts...promise!


Friendship is not a skill I posses naturally. I have had to work to understand the concept and purpose of friendship. Here is a little bit about that journey….
As a young child I would study those ‘best friends’ on the playground to see how they interacted and why they chose each other. How is it that Sally and Lorie are BFF's? Why? It was a great mystery to me. Nevertheless-I drudged on thru my adolescence working at making and more importantly KEEPING friends. I had to learn the importance of being honest and loyal the hard way. And I discovered early on- people like to be friends with someone who is upbeat and can make them laugh. So I collected friends like a ferocious hunter. I wasn't picky in the least- I was looking for a good audience and someone to hang out with at lunch and the occasional weekend party. For all intensive purposes- I was well liked and just on the fringes of being called ‘popular’ (so hard to determine your true status in these matters). I wanted to be liked by everyone. I was a cross-pollinator; being involved in drama, dance, art, college prep classes and cheerleading. I had friends in the goth group, the punk group, the Asian honors kids, the jocks and the band geeks. I seemed to have friends everywhere I turned. Or at least I KNEW tons of people- whether they earned the bonefied friend status is not certain. Not until my adulthood did I realize the value in QUALITY over quantity. And it was a welcome relief. To finally be able to let go of the ever present anxiety of ‘not being liked’. Who cares if someone I met didn't like me?…who cares! I would say with reckless abandon....and now I can say that I have just a few really good friends. Friends who totally ‘get me’, and still like me. I take none of them for granted- because now I do understand the point of having friends. They take this journey with me..validating that my life experiences are actually happening. They share in my frustrations, my joys and my triumphs. They share my life and I share in theirs. Recently- for reasons I can not explain I have had the opportunity to meet several new people with real ‘friend potential’ (you know who you are!)…..and I am simply thrilled about this. I will never get over the fact that someone WANTS to spend time with me…I am honored everytime. So I may not be an expert at this friend thing, but I think I might be getting better.
Photo note: Digital Photo-Composition "Friends" 2007 by Marcy Massura. Go ahead and use- as long as you give me a little credit! Thanks....


Okay so day one down of my Chicago trip...Before swimming at the C.C. pool, we walked to the Ty Warner park (yes, that Ty Warner of the Beanie Baby craze). It is an amazing park- open to the public with a water splash area for little ones and wonderful flowers and trails. And this clock- which says "time for fun!"...When we lived here years ago- Jack was hit in the head with a golf club by a playmate when he was only 2. When we arrived at the ER Jack was given a large, soft vintage style teddy bear. Jack named him Charlie and he is never far apart form him even 7 years later. I called to thank the hospital the next day and I learned this teddy was donated by the Ty Warner company. Turns out they donate hundreds of thousands of stuffed animals to hospitals and charities all over the world every year. Now isn't that wonderful?.....Okay back to my vacation- because it is my 'Time for Fun'!
I have arrived in Chicago!
This ad talks about how travelling by plane is the 'easiest way to travel with children!', yeah right. Asking rambunctious excited boys to sit in a chair for 5 hours, after waiting at the airport for 2 hours to clear security....yeah, that is SO darn easy! I think the easiest way to travel with children, I can't think of any. But we are here- safe and I have to start thinking about the flight home in 10 days!
Is it me or do those kids look a little 'puffy' from the flight? Maybe they should cut down on their sodium...


Lights! Camera! Action!

Yesterday I had a 'playdate' with Suz from Emphasis Mine. And naturally after crafts and swimming we decided to make a movie....isn't that how all your playdates go? Wanna see it? click here .....and be kind in your comments. If I had better lighting I would have looked thinner/younger/cuter....but the darn lighting union wouldn't work on a kid film without combat pay.
Well, I am leaving to go to Chicago to spend a a little over a week with family. We lived in Chicago (Hinsdale) for 3 years when my kids were young- and I miss it dearly. I really love to return....PLUS I will be spending almost every day lounging at the pool (Butterfield Country Club-oooo fancy!) it is always a wonderful time! And yes they serve frozen daiquiris poolside....can you feel me smiling already???
I will do my very best to keep posting over the week......and my gracious mother-in-law GOT wireless internet for us! Ya, I married into a good family folks! More to come later....


And now over to Marcy....

Wanted you all to know that I will soon becoming to a TV near you! That's right ladies and gentlemen- soon you will be able to look up from your morning coffee, bagel, mimosa or whatever and see ME on your TV screen. I have been asked to be a guest on Channel 6 KDOC's Daybreak news program on June 26th and on July 2nd. I will be chatting about summer crafts and activities for kids and also travel with children. For those of you that know me in real life (this Internet thing is not real life- it is like an alter reality I believe) you can attest I have subjected your children to a craft during your visits (oh how I love new victims, er students) and you then also know I have done A LOT of travel with kids. I am feeling fairly qualified....and totally unprepared all at once. I need to bring a few 'show and tell' items....but I am leaving for vacation tomorrow-so it will have to all wait until I return. The program is from 6am to 8am so either fire up your Tivo or get ready to wake up early if you want to catch me and my VitaMeataVegamin moment (hope it goes better than THAT!)....Well, friends now I have to go run 10 miles on the treadmill.......... I have to lose 25lbs by June 26th. I wish I was kidding.

Do you have any ideas for me to use in my segments? Or maybe any tips to remember while on camera? Leave me a comment and let me know!!!


Watch out world-here she comes!

This weekend my insanely fabulous and naturally glamorous niece Manda, graduated from Orange Lutheran High School. It is difficult to write this post without sounding lame and beyond biased...but I am going to try. Manda is by far the most grounded, loving and joyful soul I have ever known. She is one of the 'good kids'. She is empathetic and patient, sarcastic (my influence I hope) and sincere. She is smart, clever and darn cute too. I am always so flattered when we are together and people comment on how we have similar mannerisms- I know we have the same sense of humor for certain! I could go on and on...but let me just say that she is truly one of my most favorite people on the planet. She will be beginning college in the Fall and lucky for the world- she is planning on becoming a teacher. So if you are very very lucky- in about 4 years, your son or daughter might come home from school one day singing the praises of their new teacher, Ms. Manda.