Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Congratulations to Tam

Snaps to Tam for winning the movie line contest. The correct answer was Death Becomes Her. Good job!

The next movie line is: "Did any of you guys ever watch the show?"

Yummy chocolate to the winner. Good luck to all.

Today was ZimDee's first day back to school in big boy pants with no pull-ups. (I have learned to say "pants" or "underwear" for him 'cuz he's a guy. We called them "panties" with Girlie, and the Count informed me that that terminology just would not do for a boy.) Anyway, little Zim came through with flying colors! I took him to the bathroom in the classroom to make sure his bladder was empty and to show him where it was. When I picked him up, he had dry pants. His teacher said he went pee-dee in the toilet once during class. Yay! Hooray for ZimDee! And he poo-died in the toilet twice today at home. I know this because he calls for me when he's done: "Mom, come heeeeah!" Rest assured this has not turned into a potty blog, but I did want to share with you all Zim's great accomplishment. And now that he's potty trained, I can start thinking about swimming lessons for him.

I went to the movie tonight with Kitty-lover. It's great to catch up with friends. We saw "Fun With Dick and Jane" and I know that some people weren't all that fond of this movie, but as you all know, I'll see just about anything. I'm not that picky about movies at all. And this one had me laughing so hard I couldn't breathe. It was the part where Tea Leoni's face swelled up from the botox. Omigosh I laughed so hard I got a headache. Kitty-lover was laughing too, but she told me she was laughing more at me laughing than at the movie itself. Oh, I'm so easily entertained.

I caught Kitty-lover up on Monday night knitting group, so I'll fill you in. I can feel that teacher is trying to suck me in to signing up for another six week's round of classes. She had pictures taken of the group and pro-rated certain members of the class so that we all started and ended our sessions at the same time. I have paid up for two more sessions, and I'm done. I even practiced what I'm going to say with Kitty so they don't try to guilt me into re-signing up. After Monday's class, another member shared with me that she is disappointed with how the classes are going. I told her that they were not quite what I expected either, but left it at that. I have no time or inclination to start a big gossip thing going. I'd just like to finish with this group quietly and go where I really want to, which is Wednesday night knitting group at another store.

In other news, the Oscar nominations were announced today. Pity that the only movie that I've seen that has major nominations is Walk the Line. I would like to see both of the leads get the Academy Award for their performances. Brokeback Mountain got a lot of nominations. I know how that movie ends, and I'm way too tenderhearted to sit through it. Wait, I did see Paul Giamatti in Cinderella Man. Most people think he was robbed of a nomination last year. The Academy is notorious for rewarding Oscars the year after a shaft, so he may be a shoo-in. Unless Brokeback Mountain makes a complete sweep. Since I saw the fewest movies this year than I have in many years, it will be harder for me to lay odds. But you better believe I will be glued to my TV watching. I only wish I was watching it with my fabulous family in Chicago, passing out cheesy prizes to whoever guessed the winner correctly. We WILL do that again, and many more times, I promise.

I'll close this post with another picture of me and Sproutie. Look at his sweet little button nose.

Love to all.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Kenna Wins

Congratulations to McKenna for winning the All Dogs Go To Heaven movie line contest. I do believe chocolate is your prize of choice, correct?

New contest: What movie is this line from:

"Can you just not...breathe?"

Good luck to all.

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jig

Here is me getting a big wet kiss from Sproutie. Oh, how I love that boy.

Congratulations to Tim for winning the True Lies movie line quiz. Snaps to you, Tim, for also setting the scene and knowing why the line is so funny to me.

We got back from in-law land late last night, and it's great to be home. There were a few mud-slides on the highway, but they were clearly marked. It's no secret that I hate that drive, so I'm glad it's behind me now.

The fantastic news is that ZimDee kept up with his mastery of the toilet. At first we were stopping at all the rest stops on the way, but even the Count was getting grossed out by the unsanitary-ness of that. (And I am the germophobe in the family). Plus it was pouring down rain and the boys would just get soaked every time we stopped. So the Count got smart and stopped at a WalMart along the freeway and bought a $9.95 portable potty so that Zim could stop and pee-dee in that while staying warm and dry and germ-free in the van. (oh yes, I had the antibacterial wipes handy at all times). We only had wet pants once, and that was on the way to wally-world. The rest of the weekend, whether at sister-in-law's house or mother-in-law's house, was dry. So I'm very excited to send ZimDee back to preschool tomorrow in big boy pants. His teachers will be so proud of him!

Brother-in-law Stoney D (husband's sister's wife)(and he actually made that nickname up for himself!) ended up not riding down with us, which was a nice surprise. The truth and what actually comes out of his mouth are usually two different things, and the four hour drive is difficult enough for me without listening to his tall tales. Those of you who know him, know. And mother-in-law is very busy getting ready for her 2-month trip to Vietnam, so she did not come back home with us. It's just less pressure off of me right now. I remember the days (before kids) when I could take the weekend and clean the house and do laundry, etc, and actually feel like I was ready to face the new week. Not anymore--right now in Topeka, everything is always in a virtual state of chaos, and I never feel like I can catch up. Add my mother-in-law to the mix, and I am running on the hamster wheel 24/7, blindfolded.

I did not make it to see a movie down at the coast, but I am going tomorrow night with my sweet friend Kitty-lover. I did buy some yarn, however. In fact, the WalMart we stopped at to buy the little potty was the same one where grandma used to shop and buy all of her yarn. So I stood in the yarn and fabric department and honored her memory there. I only bought two little skeins of yarn there, thinking of maybe trying to make a little something for Stephny someday. But at the WalMart in in-law land, I bought the rest of the discontinued Pixie yarn, which wasn't much, but made me happy.

Every time we visit my in-laws, Girlie catches a cold from one of her cousins, and this time was no exception. I hope and pray she doesn't pass it on to the little boys.

In knitting news, tonight is Monday night group, where I will put in my time until the time I've paid for is up. I really do not enjoy going there at all and will be glad when the sessions run out. I've started a cardigan in lovely Cashsoft, but I want some reassurance that I'm doing it correctly before putting too much more time into it. And the reassurance I'm looking for won't come from this group. I'll have to wait until Wednesday group for Cheryl and her grandmotherly wisdom to give me the encouragement I need. I've also started a second cardigan to work on when I get stuck with the first, this one in the discontinued (but of course) Mission Falls cotton. I like the pattern, but my heart is really into the Cashsoft cardigan at this point. Who can blame me? Have you felt this yarn?

Finally, new movie line contest. This one might be a little obscure, so do ask for help if you're stuck. One hint I will give off the bat: the target audience is under 4 feet tall. Here goes:

"Morons! I'm surrounded by morons!"

Good luck to all.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Houston, We Have Liftoff...

Here is the news I want to tell you: today while volunteering at McKenna's school with my kids, ZimDee jumps up from his chair and runs into the bathroom at the school and says "pee-dee in the toilet!" Yes, ladies and gentlemen, he announced in public his intention to pee, and then did so in the school restroom. Hallelujah!

I had brought a dry change of pants just in case there was an acci-dent, but there was no need for such trivial things. (But you know if I hadn't have brought them, I would have needed them.)

Then when we got home I told him to go pee-dee in the toilet. He did, and I told him to go poo-dee too. (This withholding phenomenon had me worried). Well, he didn't poo-dee, but he did toot, so at least I know that he knows the correct terminology and plumbing parts to use.

When the Count got home from work he came downstairs and I said "Guess what ZimDee did today?" and he said "Poo-died in the toilet?" so of course that took the wind out of my sails that the boy only let out a puff of air. In the course of our conversation, this very clever little boy escapes to another floor of the house before his parents were even aware that he had done so. If there was ever a time for a complete poop-a-ganza, complete with confetti and the like, now would be the time. The Count and I raced up the stairs and found the bathroom door closed. Bathroom=good, but no guarantee. Many's the time I have scrubbed poo-dee doo-dee from any and all facets of that room. But *angels singing* ZimDee was sitting on the toilet, doo-deein'. Very nonchalantly. My heart rejoiced. The boy has figured it out. This is a very, very good thing. And now I'm going to do a bit of shameless patting myself on the back for a job well done.

I do truly hope that this weekend's trip doesn't screw up everything I've worked so hard to accomplish all week. You all know that if I had my way, there is no WAY we would be going; #1 because I hate to go there anyway and #2 because I don't want to take any sort of chance that anything could jeopardize this hard-won victory. But marriage is a compromise, and it's my turn to give. Then, boy you better believe, it will be HIS turn next. The only thing that could make this trip any worse for me now (and there is a distinct possibility of this) would be that my mother-in-law would decide to come back home with us and stay for a couple weeks. Now, don't get me wrong, I do truly love my mother-in-law, our relationship is also a hard-won victory. But it is very hard to have her in my house day-in and day-out when she looks solely to me for her entertainment. She doesn't drive, so when she wants to go somewhere I have to pack up all the kids and follow her around from store to store until she finally finds the right chuck roast after hours of pondering. By then my kids are cranky and starving and she still wants to go to five more places and is making comments about how come my kids are cranky, and why is Sprout so skinny. Then we finally get home and I'll make the kids something fast to eat like pb&j so they don't pass out, and she wants to know how come all my kids eat is pb& j (false) and how come Sprout is so skinny. Then I'll sit down to nurse Sproutie and turn on the TV to keep my mind off of wanting to run far far away, and she'll say she wishes she had time to watch TV all day, and how come Sprout is so skinny.

But I have discovered something wonderful about my mother-in-law, something I nurture and enable every chance I get: she is obsessed with knitting. That alone gives her points in my book and allows me to overlook many of her thoughtless comments. Because I choose to believe that she doesn't really mean half of the things she says. If you know differently, please don't correct me. This particular la-la land is serving me well. No, she is not a snobby knitter. She will work with any pointed stick and $1.25 per skein yarn that you throw her way. With gusto. And I love her for that. But please, ma, please could you visit some other time? My sanity is only so-so right now. (Actually, I'm not sure that it ever reaches 100%, but hey.)

But for now I'm not going to borrow trouble. I'm going to bask in the glow of my parenting skills and celebrate the victory of a potty-trained little unit. And I hope that when Sproutie's time comes I will remember that yes, even ZimDee took to the toilet eventually.

Hanging out with my boys

Today me and my boys are just hangin' out at the crib. Literally.

And what's that, you say? Is Sproutie really laying on his tummy, holding up his head? He sure is!
I am for real and for sure once and for all potty-training ZimDee for good. And this kid is savvy, let me tell you. He has been able to "pee-dee" in the toilet for over a year, but never never has he "poo-deed" in there. I do not know why. Oh, yeah, he knows when he needs to go. Witnessed by him changing his own pull-ups to be able to doodie in a fresh one, then asked to be "chennged". And there is nothing yuckier than big boy's poo-die. I won't even go there. I would have loved to have potty-trained him sooner, and believe me, I tried, but being so sick pregnant with Sproutie, then nursing him after he was born did not allow me to jump up at a moment's notice to take Zim to the toilet. Not that he would ask, believe me. But the last and final straw happened late Monday night when we found that Zim had re-carpeted and re-wallpapered his room in poop. Yeah. It seems that he felt the urge to poo-dee but did not allow himself enough time to change to a fresh pull-up before it came out. It looks like he tried to either clean it or cover it up with pull-ups, like that would fool us. After that, there was no messing around. This kid is going to get potty-trained, whatever we have to do, the Count announced. We will sit on him and make sure he uses the toilet 24 hours a day, the Count also proclaimed. (Aren't husband proclamations great, especially when they're at work all day, and whatever they're proclaiming falls entirely on our shoulders?) Believe me, I agree, but maybe just a little help...?
So I've kept us pretty much holed in this week to potty-train in full force. I called ZimDee's school and said we were taking the week off, and would return when Mr. Zim is completely pull-up free. I have done small, darting errands, less than 45 minutes at a time, and so far little boy pants return dry. There have been some small wet incidents, that are getting less and less frequent. On Monday he peed all over the wooden chair he was sitting in. He knows better than that. I think he was testing me. With underwear on, he peed in them only once the rest of the day. But that's because he went without underwear after that. Tuesday also brought only one wet pair of underwear, with his boys hanging free again after that. Yesterday no wet pants--yay--with most of the day in underwear. In the past he has treated underwear as just another receptacle to pee and poop in. That is slowly changing, but not as fast as I'd like.
Thankfully thankfully he doesn't pee-dee when he's sleeping, so he goes all night with dry pants. I consider that a very big blessing.
But here's the problem--he hasn't poo-deed since Monday's bedroom redecorating incident. No, he hasn't hidden it anywhere because I've been on him like white on rice. Is he that good at withholding? This is getting scary now.
And that's all the news I have on that very captivating subject.

In knitting news, I went to the Wednesday night knitting group at the other store, and loved it, loved it, loved it. The store is not new; it has been open for about 8 years. I've driven by it forever without stopping because it looked like someone's house. But it is a well-hidden secret. The store is well-stocked in every size addi needles (my favorite) and carries great quality yarns in ALL colors. The owner, Cheryl, is very welcoming and knowledgable. She greeted me at the door and made sure there was room for me at the table. Over the course of the evening about ten other knitters showed up, and there was not an annoying one in the bunch. No divas, no prima donnas, no teacher's pets. Cheryl's time was divided evenly among all of us. We talked stitches, needles, kids, in-laws, families, and I had a great time. I finally learned how to "finish" my garments, which means stitching, sewing the pieces of a sweater or pants together by hand. I could have winged it, but I didn't want to spend all those hours lovingly knitting up the garments to haphazardly throw them together when I was done. Cheryl was very encouraging and available. (This is the same project I had brought to the Monday night knitting group where teacher there shouted from across the room "just sew it"). Cheryl is probably my mom's age, and she is a grandma. I'd like to adopt her as my grandma. At the end of the night she invited me to continue being a part of the group. I told her I would love to. yay.

So logistic-wise, this is how it will go. I have paid up for three more sessions with the Monday night group (unless teacher shorts me again, which she has tried to do twice before). I will attend both groups until my time with Monday group runs out, then I will only go to Wednesday night group. Monday night group is closer, just around the corner from my house, but Wednesday is only about 15 minutes away. Monday group is cheaper (6 sessions for the price of Wednesday's 4), and Monday group offers a 10% discount on all purchases made in class, but I will gladly forego all of that to LEARN WHAT I ACTUALLY WANT TO LEARN and to BE TREATED WITH RESPECT as a valued member of the group and not just a number to fill a class. That's just it, what bothers me so much about Monday night group: I used to travel and teach craft and technique classes, and I knew the importance of making sure that each and every person in the class left there feeling like they accomplished something, and that they all got a piece of my unrushed, individual attention. Even if they weren't having a problem they needed help with, I would offer encouragement or a thumbs-up. I know how to treat people right, and I know when I'm not being treated right. So I'm moving on, ladies and gentlemen! Can I get an amen?

By the way, I know I said I was done talking about the toilet training, but I just wanted to add that the Count wants to make the trip to see his family this weekend. The FOUR HOUR trip. I asked him how he thought he might do this in the middle of potty-training, especially when Zim has missed school just so we could get this done. The Count says he has it under control. He says he will pull over every half an hour (as if--I see this happening MAYBE the first half hour, then him not being as vigilant about it). Also, great, I have to put up will all of my in-laws' comments and innuendos about ZimDee not being potty-trained sooner or how skinny Sprout is. Their favorite way to start a sentence with me is "How come you don't........(fill in the blank here)". The Count will get so caught up in the frenzy of his overwhelming clan that complete potty-training duty will be left up to me, in a house that's not my own in an environment where ZimDee can't roam free while the Count decides to spend all day fishing or crabbing or both. My free time is so limited these days that it's hard for me to spend time somewhere where I'm not appreciated, and I might even go so far as to say disrespected. But I do it for the Count and the kids, because I know (I truly do know) how precious time with your family can be, especially now that I rarely get it myself. When Sproutie isn't nursing anymore I will probably do what I did before he was born, and that is send the Count and the kids without me (and knit all the livelong weekend while they're gone). To keep my sanity this weekend, I absolutely reserve the right to go to a movie, any movie, by myself while I'm there, and to seek out the local yarn store and run my fingers through some wonderful fibers to ground myself again.

Speaking of movies, I don't yet see any takers for the current movie line contest. Scroll down to find the line and enter.


Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Mom+SIS+Auntie Wins Again!

Congratulations to precious Mom+SIS+Auntie for winning another movie line contest. The line was "We're in a tight spot" and the movie was O Brother Where Art Thou. Apparently an acquired taste, but one that I thought was very funny.

The next movie line is this:

"We're bad, we're cool, blah blah blah."

Good luck, everyone. The default prize is chocolate unless you have another do-able request.

Here is one of my favorite pictures so far of me and Sproutie:
I love him so.

Monday Night Knitting Group Update

Hello all,
I went to the Monday night social experiment (knitting group) last night and kind of had a revelation (I love it when that happens). I showed up for the class and was nonchalantly greeted by the teacher once again. So I sat myself down and pulled out my projects. I had started knitting the clogs with another student, who is the teacher's star pupil. This student is nice, and it's not her fault that the teacher singled her out to be her prodigy. I really think that the teacher, while nice enough, likes to take credit for anyone who has ever been in a class that she has taught's knitting experience. (I know that last sentence would give my sophomore English teacher a hernia). So because teacher actually taught star pupil how to knit, she wants to control everything star student does. Teacher gets frustrated with me because, while I'm far from an expert, she didn't teach me how to knit, and so therefore can't control or take credit for what I do. And God forbid I offer any sort of knitting advice to anyone else in the class, especially star student. Anyway, the knitting part of my felted clogs is done, I just have finishing work left on them. Star student is having a harder time. So any time star student asks me a question about the pattern since I actually just knit them myself teacher gets all upset. Call me crazy, but I thought that was the point of a knitting group, to work on the same project with somebody to hold each other accountable and to discuss pattern and project issues along the way. So I've been leaving the sessions every week feeling like a chump-head. So anyway, revelation (have to keep myself on track). Remember when I said earlier that I had a hard time getting the teacher's attention to help me with anything because she was so wrapped up in hovering over star student? Well last night, one of star students two sisters who is in the group with us asked the teacher a question and was completely ignored. She turned to her other sister and said, "See, I tried". Then later while the teacher tore herself away from star student to close down the register, star student jokingly asked me if I would finish knitting her other clog. I said I would do it if the teacher wouldn't kick me out of class for helping her, and she said, "So you notice it too? That she hovers over everything I do?" and I said yeah, but I thought it was just me. And the sisters nodded. And that was the end of it. My revelation comes in that I should continue to always trust my instincts, my intuition telling me when something is not right. Because something was going on, and the problem wasn't me. But what I'm most proud of is that I didn't take it any further than that. I didn't gossip or slam the teacher, I just felt secure in the knowledge that I wasn't the only one who noticed what was going on. Let me try to explain this: what I'm trying to say is that in years past I might have felt the urge to gossip and done so, probably hurting feelings and getting myself into a trap. In more recent years I might have felt the urge to gossip but used a lot of will power to not do it. But here's the beauty: last night I could have gossiped and just didn't, because I felt no urge to do it whatsoever. My life is so full and busy with my kids and family and knitting pretty little things that I feel no need to spend my time cutting other people down. *sigh* that is such a good feeling.
I'm pretty sure that once the two other sister's sessions are over that they probably won't continue with the group. My knitting session at the other store starts tomorrow, and if it goes well, that's probably where I will do my weekly knitting socialization. I will continue to keep you posted. I know you can't wait. *wink*

Monday, January 23, 2006

Congrats to Mom+SIS+Auntie

Congratulations to Mom+Sis+Auntie for correctly guessing what movie this line was from: "That's what separates us from the animals: our ability to accessorize". The answer was Steel Magnolias. MSisA wins another recipe, her prize of choice.

Here is the next movie line:

"We're in a tight spot".

Good luck, all.

Here is a picture of my finished clogs before felting.
I just wanted to show how big it looks on my foot before shrinking. All I have left to do is tack the two soles together with "a short back stitch" according to the pattern. Since I have no idea what that is, let's see if I can get the teacher to give me 2 seconds of attention tonight at knitting group to show me how to do that. I really am getting frustrated with this group. Oh, and of course I have to felt the slippers so they will fit. I will post a picture when I'm done with that.

Much love to you.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Oh, and by the way...

I mentioned Dancing With the Stars in a previous post. Notice that the minute I declared who my favorite couple was, they got voted off. See? It's a conspiracy, I tell you! I'm not even going to get into the whole controversy of the (seriously screwed up) voting process. I'm just going to say how much I'll miss watching Jonathan and Giselle dance.

And I caught Skating With Celebrities, and it definitely does NOT float my boat. Very painful to watch in an extremely corny way. I would take it off my TiVo if little Girlie didn't like it so much (go figure).

That's all I have to say about that...

Yay for Tim!

Congratulations to Tim for winning the movie line from The Good Girl. The line was: "What's your name? Catcher?" and it was Jennifer asking Jake the question because he said he was named after the book The Catcher in the Rye. The book is a classic, and I'd probably have never read it if Tim hadn't been assigned the book in high school in Minnesota, and I happened to be there visiting during that time. I couldn't wait for him to get home from school, mostly of course because I LLoooovve him, but also because I would rip the book out of his hands and read some more. Good times.

And time for another movie line quiz. Here is the next line:

"That's what separates us from the animals: our ability to accessorize."

Good luck, everyone.

Timothy asked for, and will receive, a SuDoku prize. The default is chocolate, unless I get a specific request.

In knitting news, I have just about finished knitting up the second felted clog. I just have to bind off the last row, weave in the ends, and tack together the double soles. And of course, felt them in the washing machine.

I'm thinking about switching from my Monday night knitting group to classes at another store. It's been an ongoing issue, the social experiment that the Monday group is. The teacher is a little moody. And because we're knitters of all levels (beginner, intermediate [where I fall in], and advanced) the beginners are naturally going to take up more of the teacher's time. That's understandable, but when I'm paying money to go, and I can't even get the teacher to help me at all, then something's got to give. I'm paid up for another 4 weeks, then we'll see what happens. This is a group that just started in November, and apparently what happens at this store is that a core group goes on indefinitely. But I usually end up leaving there feeling like a chump. So I've signed up for instruction at another store, and if it works out better for me, I will do that instead. The classes at the other store are on Wednesday nights, for one hour instead of two, and are a bit more expensive, but if I'm getting more out of it, all the better. I will let you know after this week's classes. I know you'll be holding your breath waiting for my verdict-Ha!

I hope everyone has a lovely day. Love, Me.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Tim-o-tay Wins the Family Man Contest

Congratulations to Tim for winning the Family Man movie line contest. More chocolate is headed your way.

Another line: I will preface this by saying that I absolutely hated, loathed, couldn't stand the movie this was from (patooie!) but at least it had this line in it:

"What's your name? Catcher?"

And don't ask me for any more good lines as a clue, because that's it. There are no other good lines. My head hurts just thinking about it. I still can't believe I paid good money to see this garbage, and even more than that, I can't believe I sat through the whole thing. But there it is. All in life can't be pleasant, so we wade through the pootie to get to the good stuff.

Good luck, everyone.

And We Have a Winner...

Congratulations to mamma for winning the latest movie line contest. She correctly guessed that the line "She'd eat if we were having Tony-loaf" was uttered by Dash in The Incredibles. Props and chocolate to you, mamma!

Now on to the next contest:

He says: "That baby's crying"
She says: "And?"

The Count and I quote this dialogue quite often (in jest).

Chocolate awaits the first correct entry.

In knitting news, I've been working on the felted clog pattern from Fiber Trends. I'm doing a pair for myself first to see if they are possibly "gift-worthy". They do work up pretty fast, which is a definite plus. Here is a picture of my progress on the first slipper. It looks so funny and misshapen because it hasn't been shrunk yet. Believe it or not, it will eventually fit my foot!
I've also ventured out of my usual color comfort zone and knit these up in rich tans and browns. I'm liking the colors. I'm using Nashua Creative Focus, which is 75% Wool and 25% Alpaca. I've felted before with Babajoes Wool and Lamb's Pride, and both did well. I will let you know how this yarn felts.

One thing about knitting slippers or mittens is you have to knit two. So you get all glad that you've finished something, and then realize that you have to knit another one!

I shipped the baby blanket to Trophy Wife just in time for her trip to Minneapolis. Do let me know how that is received, won't you?

Fridays are great days for me because ZimDee doesn't have school, so I don't have to be anywhere by a certain time. That's a nice way to end the week.

Hey, are any of you watching Dancing With the Stars? I'm loving it this season. Drew and Stacy are doing well, it's true, but my two favorites couples in this order are Jonathan and Giselle and Tia and Maksim. For the first time since watching, I called in to vote last night. Maybe because I usually watch it the next day and the voting is closed by then. Anyhoo, it's a long shot for my favorites to win, but I'm pulling for them anyway. For those of you who watch, who are your favorites?

My love to all.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

We Have Another Winner...

Congratulations to McKenna for her correct entry of "Chickin Run" for the movie line: "Apple pie, my favorite!" Big cheers to you! (and chocolate, of course).

On to the next contest. The line is:

"She'd eat if we were having Tony-loaf."

Once again, it's on.

Good luck to all.

Monday, January 16, 2006

He's at it again!

No, it's not a tumah. ZimDee, with his all-powerful stuffing radar found where I hid the fluff and stuffed himself again! Stay tuned to this station for updates on fluff-stuffing sightings. *sigh* And I thought I hid it pretty good this time. When you're stuck here in Topeka, all you can do is laugh sometimes. Or go insane. Or both. (insert crazy laugh you would only hear inside a looney bin. That is me).

Congratulations to Stephny and another contest

Hooray for Stephanie for guessing the line in Scrooged: "It's a bone you lucky dog!"

You guys are getting too good at this. It's time for another movie line. Here goes:

"Apple pie, my favorite!"

Good luck, babies.

I'll leave you with these pictures of Girlie and Zim sharing some ice cream. I love it when they have fun together this way. My hope is that they'll look back on their childhood and say, "remember when we used to share ice cream right out of the carton?" I have fond memories like that myself.

And notice if you will ZimDee's adorable Batman pajamas he got for Christmas from Chicago with love. Thank you, Auntie. *kiss*
Our love to all.

New Movie Line Contest

Hello and love to all. I'm posting another movie line contest. Mom+Sis+Auntie is on a winning streak. Will she be able to keep it up? Let's find out.

Set the scene for this movie line:

"It's a bone, you lucky dog!"

As always, dreamy chocolate is the reward, unless you want to work something else out with me. Mom+Sis+Auntie has been asking for secret recipes. What's your pleasure?

Good luck, everyone.

And now is the time, my Sprockets, when we dance. It's picture time.

Here is Girlie feeding her baby brother Sprout.

He is such a good eater, and she loves to feed him. Quite a mess is made, but isn't that what childhood is all about? I'm so glad she is old enough to have fun helping me with her little brothers.

Notice how her mouth is open when his is open. So cute!!!

Next we have the boys getting their hairs cut by Uncle Homey.
ZimDee did such a good job and sat so still!
Sproutie is sitting on the Count's lap while ZimDee looks on.
Don't worry, I didn't let Uncle touch the little flyaway baby hairs on the top of Sproutie's head. Believe me, he tried!

Next on to ZimDee's new hobby:

What in the heck, you say? My sentiments exactly. Apparently Zim was hiding out and paying attention when I stuffed the Christmas ornaments, and when the opportunity presented itself, he decided to make a work of art out of himself. I told you I would make a crafter out of him yet. But let's see if I can get him to work on something other than himself, like, say, paper or something.


Sunday, January 15, 2006

Movie Review: Last Holiday

Movie Review: Last Holiday
Starring: Queen Latifah, Timothy Hutton, Gerard Depardieu, LL Cool J
Director: Wayne Wang

Synopsis: Timid store clerk Georgia (Queen Latifah) finds out she has a terminal illness and decides to live out the rest of her life in style.

Review: I decided to see this movie because it was getting pretty favorable reviews. Not that I follow that all the time necessarily, but I do use it as a guideline. Ebert & Roeper said that while some parts are predictable, it is still worthwhile to see, and I have to agree. I'm not terribly picky about movies, really, usually as long as the popcorn is good.

Anyway, though not Oscar-worthy or anything, I still enjoyed Queen Latifah's performance. Though I do think the movie has a very forgettable name. In fact, I couldn't remember it when I got to the ticket counter. I just said "the Queen Latifah movie", then noticed other moviegoers in other lines saying the same thing.

Queen Latifah plays Georgia Byrd, a shy houseware store clerk. She has a crush on Sean, played by LL Cool J, and he has a crush on her, though they are both pretty timid about it. At home she has a "book of possibilities" and that is where she puts pictures of her and Sean pasted over other couple's faces, and recipes she has made, though never eaten, because it's Lean Quisine for her. Deep inside she wants to be a chef or something like that, but that is filed away with all the other "possibilities".

Then one day after bumping her head, she is given a cat scan and told she has 3 weeks to live. After some thinking, she decides to cash in her savings and do the things she always wanted to do but never did.

She flies to some exotic country (the name escapes me) and checks into the Presidential Suite of a beautiful hotel (at $4,000 a night). She buys a beautiful wardrobe and gets any spa treatment she wants. She dresses up in evening gowns and dines in the hotel restaurant where a famous chef she has always admired cooks. She orders everything on the menu and catches the chef's, as well as other notable guests' attention. Among those notable guests is the owner of the store where she used to work, and he is a bit of a jerk.

It's fun to Georgia come out of her shell and live like there's no tomorrow, literally. I mean, what girl wouldn't want to be outfitted in a new wardrobe for any and all occasions, order anything on the menu, and stay in a luxurious suite? There are a few lines along the way that made me kind of chuckle. No serious holding my sides laughter, but harmless entertainment.

People start to assume that Georgia is someone she is not, perhaps someone with an important position. She does not lead them on or lie to them, which I found refreshing. There are too many movies out there based on omigosh-when-is-he-going-to-find-out-that-she's-really-the-maid? kind of thing. She just wants to do what she wants to do, and if it attracts other people's attention, it really has nothing to do with her. She has some moments of solitary reflection that I appreciated.

The movie is a bit of fluff, no real drama, so the jerk gets his comeuppance, and thank goodness when he does, he doesn't offer Georgia the job of her dreams or a million dollars or something unbelievable like that. In fact, there is no need for him to offer her anything. So she doesn't end up the president of the United States or an important dignitary, or anything out of this world.

But in facing the fact that she could die, she opens her life up to "possibilities".

I'm giving this movie a 6.5 out of 10. Solid fluff comedy, nothing more, nothing less.

So I finally made it out to the movies! yay! I really didn't care what I saw. But I didn't feel like I wasted my time.

Don't forget, babies, that we still have a movie line contest on the table. Out of respect for the Count, I won't repeat the line. You'll have to scroll down to my last post to see what the contest is.

Love to you all.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Congratulations to Mom+Sis+Auntie for winning the last movie line contest with Terms of Endearment. Snaps to you, grrrl. This movie won the acadamy award for best picture in 1983, and deservedly so. If you haven't seen it, go watch it. Now.

There's been much discussion in my household over the next movie line I'm using in the contest. The Count thinks it's too risque', but I argue that it's in good clean fun, and my readers are sophisticated enough to not get their feathers ruffled. But as a disclaimer, I will say that I post movie lines that I find personally amusing, and that have me chuckling long after the movie is over. No offense meant to anyone, I assure you.

With that having been said, tempting chocolate is the prize for the first correct entry, here is the movie line:

"Keep moving, cheesedick."

It's on again.

I have much knitting to do now, as Trophy Wife, my sister extraordinaire, has asked me to knit up a baby blanket for her to give as a gift. I've got to tell you, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it when someone asks me to knit something up for them (and says "I'll pay for the yarn"). That is probably one of my favoritest things to do ever.

I'm looking forward to all of your contest submissions.

My love to all.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

New Clue

Hello Me Hearties,
I'd like to thank everyone that has participated in the current movie line contest. To refresh your memory, the line is:

"I was just inches away from a clean getaway".

Rather than add another line and give it away, I'm going to give you a clue about the movie itself (which may or may not give it away). If after receiving best guesses from all my major players and the prize is still not won, I will give another clue. Never fear, I won't leave you to wonder in confusion. This is supposed to be fun!

The next clue is: this movie won an academy award for best picture in the 1980's.

And don't worry, I'm sure you've all seen it. And if you haven't, you must!

Focus on the chocolate now. Let me hear your winning answers.

Blankets and Babies

Drammies mentioned that I haven't added a new post in two days. That's no way to keep fishies on the line now, is it?

I got to see Tulip's new baby, Gracelyn Christine. Here is a picture of mama and child:

Tulip already looks exhausted, doesn't she? But so happy too. Notice that baby Gracie is wrapped in...what is that, you ask? Yes, it is the pink blanket I knit for her! A closer look:

And now for the particulars on the blanket:

This blanket was knit up with four skeins of Lion Brand Velvet Spun yarn in Carnation, at $5.99 per skein, for a total cost of $23.96. I used size 10.5 circular needles. I cast on 48 stitches and knit in a K1,P1 rib throughout because I liked the look of the braids running up and down. The blanket turned out very soft and fluffy. And due to the size of the yarn and needles, it knit up very quickly. I would make it again for another baby.

The only downside to this yarn (and I mentioned this earlier) is that if you're not VERY VERY careful, the ends of this yarn will shed little hairs everywhere if not weaved in very well. I noticed that the manufacturer actually burnt the cut ends of the yarn on the skeins to prevent this from happening at the stores. Other than that, this yarn is very enjoyable to work with.

I made a little bit of progress with the gloves I'm working on from a kit purchased at Target, and that's what I brought with me to my Monday night knitting group last night. But knitting slut that I am, someone mentioned wanting to make felted clog slippers, and I said I would make a pair too to keep us accountable. Oh, how easily my head is turned by new yarn and new patterns. I am very loyal in all other aspects of my life, so I think it's ok to let my inner yarn hussy come out and play.

I also checked out a book at the library on knitting stuffed animals. I really would like to give that a whirl too. Where does the madness end, I ask you???

I've had a few guesses on the current movie line quiz ("I was just inches from a clean getaway") but no winner yet. Keep trying, my loves.

I will end with these sweet pictures:

Yes, little Sproutie has graduated to the high chair. I can hardly believe it myself. It's almost bittersweet for me, knowing he is my last child. I am thankful for his learning and growing and all that he will become, but I cherish his babyhood.

And he is such a good eater! TWO jars of food at a time, if you please. His favorite by far is of course bananas (mine too, hee hee) but he doesn't refuse anything. What a good boy!

Much love to all.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Congratulations to Tim and Another Contest

Congratulations to Tim for winning the movie lines for Shawshank Redemption. Hooray for you! Here is the next movie line quiz, also with a chocolate treat for the winner. The line is:

"I was just inches away from a clean getaway".

Possible you might find this one challenging, and I think I'll let you think on it for a while. Best of luck to all.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Contest clarification...

Has it been a couple days since I last wrote? Wow, that goes fast! Since I last wrote, I have finished knitting the pink baby blanket for Tulip's adopted baby, who was indeed born on Wednesday. I just have to weave in the ends (piece of cake!) and I will share a picture and review with you.

It seems my movie line for this particular contest ("Drink up, ladies) may be a bit too vague. Also upon further reflection, I realized that I didn't quote the movie 100% correctly. The actual line is:

"Drink up while it's cold, ladies".

My apologies. That may be enough to help you guess the movie correctly, but if not, I'm giving you a second clue. Again, the first person to answer this new contest correctly gets a fabulous chocolate treat. By the way, have any of you previous winners received your prizes yet? Let me know if you have and what you think of them.

Here is the new line:

"I find it decidedly inconvenient."

And in case that line isn't enough, I will give you another one, but this time with a twist. Not only will the winner be the first person to guess the movie title correctly, they will also set the scene for each line by telling who said it and why. I don't need full character names, generalities like plumber, teacher, etc. will do.

Here is the final line:

"What say you, Fussybritches?"

Good luck, everyone!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

In Record Time

Congratulations go out to Tim for winning the 2nd movie line quiz in record time. I either thought this quote would be way too hard or way too easy. Impressive. Quite impressive. The line, of course, was: "That's some bad hat, Harry" and it was of course from Jaws. They played Jaws here on New Year's Eve and that got the line in my brain again. So Tim, your chocolate treat is on its way. Enjoy.

So on to the next trivia movie line. Once again, fabulous chocolate awaits the first person to answer correctly. Here goes:

"Drink up, ladies."

Good luck, everyone. It's on now.

Now on to knitting. I have a question that's been bothering me for some time now. Why, why, why is it that every time I fall in love with a particular yarn, the company that makes it decides to discontinue it??? Namely, I'm talking about Mission Falls Cotton, Lion Brand Polarspun, Bernat LuLu, Patons Pixie, JoAnn's Sensations Castaway, and JoAnn's Sensations Bamboo. Sheesh, it's starting to not feel safe to like something so much. Same thing happens at Bath & Body Works. The minute I declare a scent my favorite, they stop manufacturing it then and there. Do they like pulling the rug out from under me??

Starting with Mission Falls Cotton--rumor has it that someone else is supposed to be making it this spring. But that's all it is-a rumor, until it is confirmed. Right now with my yarn luck, I'm not holding my breath. Next, Lion Brand Polarspun/Bernat Lulu/Patons Pixie. I discovered this yarn knit up into the most adorable baby blanket at a party I went to. Here is my version of it, knit with a Bernat Lulu in Fancy Dance with a Baby Coordinates border in Baby Pink:

Since then, I've been knitting these blankets up for anyone I know who is having a baby shower, and they've always been a big hit. Well, lo and behold, someone must have found out how much I liked it, because it's nowhere to be found. I have a little stash of it, but not as much as I would have had I known I wouldn't be able to get it anymore. So now it will be knit only for those very special babies, like great-nieces and nephews, know what I'm sayin'?

Sirdar from England makes a yarn like Polarspun/Lulu/Pixie called Snowflake, but it's twice the price. Not that I'm going cheap on you folks, because I have shelled out the money to have it shipped here. Did you know it was less expensive to have it shipped here from England than it was to buy it from my beloved local yarn store? So then I've got the issue of it costing more WHEREVER I get it from, and the guilt from not supporting business locally. So that doesn't look like a very promising way to go. Besides, their colors are not as bright and vivid and nice like the ones made here. Oh, and by the way, since I've shown some interest in their yarn, most likely they'll discontinue it any day now anyway.

And Stephanie, since you asked, I have two blankets started out of these types of yarns. Both for my baby boy Sprout before I knew he was a boy. I knit the pink one first, thinking he might be a girl, but then thought I'd better cover my bases and at least start a blue one or two. Here is the first one:
I didn't get too far on it, though I like the colors just fine. It's knit in Lion Brand Polarspun Delft with a Bernat Baby Coordinates border in Baby Blue. I hope to finish it before his first birthday.

The second one I like a little better for a few reasons. The first reason is because I was knitting on this blanket in the waiting room for my VERY LAST prenatal appointment ever. And this was also the knitting project I brought to the hospital when I gave birth to Sprout, though I never had the time to knit. But JUST IN CASE. Here is the picture:

I also love it because I mixed Snow White Polarspun with White Bernat Baby Coordinates and this yummy blue loopy yarn called Bamboo from JoAnn's Sensations. Yes, the blue yarn is made from BAMBOO. It's not scratchy or hard like you might think, but very silky and soft. I love the fact that I'm knitting a blanket out of bamboo for my little Oriental baby. There's something so right about that.

BUT imagine my horror today when I read on the JoAnn website that the bamboo yarn has been...yes,you guessed it: DISCONTINUED. I ran to my stash to see how much I had left, which was some but not much. The new JoAnn's by my house, while nice and new, never carried the bamboo yarn. So when the Count got home I told him I was on a mission and I grabbed Girlie and we ran to the little po-dunk JoAnn's store across town that hasn't been modernized yet, and what did I find? Paradise! Here is a picture of my haul:

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I cleaned them out of the only Bamboo yarn left in the city. For those of you reading this who know of this yarn and love it, run, don't walk, to get the last of it in your town, because when it's gone, it's gone. (I love that I just used, like 20 commas in that last sentence). Maybe you'll get lucky like me. They only had three colors left; they were out of the green colorway and pink colorway, but I was consoled by what they DID have. And that's not even the best part: Back when I first saw this yarn, it was being sold for $4.99 a skein. It was marked $4.00 a skein today, but when I took every last ball up to the register, they rang up at $2.00 apiece. I am beside myself thrilled.

Such is the life of someone who obsesses over knitting and yarn. Oh, the highs and lows that we sail.

You know, I think someone in the yarn manufacturer business is laughing a very evil laugh right now, because they have succeeded in their diabolical plan of creating yarn stashes in every knitter's home in America by discontinuing yarns and creating fear that if you don't buy all that yarn today, you will NEVER find it again, mwahahahaha. And I have fallen into his little trap. Sheesh.

I don't know how well the colors will show up, but I wanted to share a picture of ZimDee's artwork. The canvas was his face.
He got ahold of Girlie's markers and decided to be creative himself. If the colors show up at all, I would like to draw your attention to the fact that there is a different color on each cheek, his forehead, and his nose. He chose red for his nose, which I thought was very inspired. I'll make a crafter out of him yet.

Much love to all.

We Have a Winner...

And the winner of my first ever movie line trivia contest is: Stephanie. Yay! The line was "Did they teach you that at the Bureau? How to rile up the deviant?" and the answer was the movie "Taking Lives" with Ethan Hawke and Angeline Jolie. Hottie Ethan Hawke said it on the train as he was leaving. I gave the movie such high marks (10/10) because I guess every ending of every movie I ever see, and this one eluded me, many times. It has all the elements I like in a movie: mystery, some spookiness, clever lines, cute guy. Some parts can be pretty gruesome, though, so disturbing for some. I, myself, can handle it. *wink*

So snaps go to first best guesser Stephanie, who beat Tim by 17 minutes. Your chocolate is on its way. You have learned the ways well, Grasshoppa.

And a big thank you to all who participated.

New movie line contest, starting now: I love this line, but a lot of people do. It's gotten a lot of overuse sometimes. Many people even use it but don't know where it's from. I'm not sure if it's going to be too easy or too hard. So here it is: The first person to correctly guess what movie this line is from gets yet more chocolate. The line is:

"That's some bad hat, Harry."

You may recognize the line if you watch House (great show). It appears in the end credits after every episode. But do you know where it came from?

Good luck to all.

On the knitting front, I started a baby blanket for Tulip's adopted baby girl, who is due to be delivered this morning. Here is a preview:
I'm knitting it out of Lion Brand Velvet Spun. This yarn is a very fluffy chenille. The jury is still out on what I think of it yet. I chose it because Tulip likes fluffy blankets, and I knew it would knit up quick. But if you aren't very careful, you will get little fuzzies EVERYWHERE from the ends of the yarn. So you must take care to weave them in carefully, especially for a baby blanket. I'm knitting it in a K1,P1 rib pattern, because I thought the little braids running up and down would give it a nice texture. I'll let you know if I like how the end product turns out.

Girlie went back to school yesterday. That doesn't make me the happiest person on earth. She is such a loving presence that I miss her all day long. Sure, she has her spaz moments, but I love having her around. I don't think I like the idea that I constantly have to get used to not being around the people I love all day every day. I love the Count, but work keeps him so busy that we mostly see each other when trading kids. My babies are my heart, but once they start school, is this the start of training me to get used to not being with them? I refuse to believe that. Yet Girlie is gone all day, and here I am without her. Trust me, I've got plenty to do every day, I don't sit here and look out the window until she gets home, but I wish she was with me doing what I do. And that goes for my mom too, who lives in Seattle, and for my sister Trophy Wife and her beloved Purple family over in Chicago and Minneapolis. WHY CAN'T WE ALL BE TOGETHER ALL THE TIME? *sigh*

Ok, I'm done feeling sorry for myself.

Did I mention that little Sprout has sprouted a sharp little tooth on his bottom gums? It's the cutest thing if you can catch a glimpse of it. He's very secretive about it and won't let you look at it on purpose. I would take a picture of it to show you, but he won't let me. So you'll just have to imagine a sweet little sharp white toofie where just gums used to be. He's my first child out of three to get his first tooth on the bottom.

ZimDee also started preschool yesterday, but that's only for an hour or two, three days a week. I love it when he acts so excited to see me when I pick him up, like I didn't just drop him off 60 minutes ago.

This Christmas break felt like the shortest I've ever experienced. Probably because I was sick for part of it, and it made me feel like I lost some days. At least I feel like I partly caught my breath and can maintain the carpool/volunteer/taxi schedule once again. I was running on fumes there at the end of the year.

So good luck to all. Drink up me hearties, yo ho.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Hey, I'm back! I don't know if you missed me or not, but my internet service was down for two and a half days. Talk about feeling out of the loop. Not a good way to start a blog, but I'm here again. It felt like I was gone for such a long time.

Thankfully we are all over the flu. This was a very bad season for us. The worst I've seen. Hopefully that will give us immunity through the rest of the winter.

On a sad note, the world has lost a phenomenal knitter and crafter, my Grandma Carolyn Young. She died on New Years Day of a terrible fast spreading cancer. I will think of you whenever I knit a stitch, Grandma. And your love of all things crafty and knitty will continue to live on in me. Thank you for that legacy.

So in the vein that life goes on, I finished all of the ornaments and got them delivered to my friend Ryndi. She liked them, thank goodness. I delivered them in a basket like this:
As I showed you in a previous post, I knit these up in three colors; Red:
and Burgundy:
of which burgundy was my personal favorite, though they all were nice and surprisingly easy to knit up and sew up. Very nice pattern, again from Nicky Epstein's Knitted Embellishments, knit in Lion Brand Suede on size 9 needles.

And before I put all things Christmas away, I thought I'd show you one of many beaded ornaments I've done in years past:

I still do love to bead, and in fact I'm going to be taking a few beading classes in the next couple months with Ryndi (my ornament exchange friend), but knitting is now my true crafting passion, and I don't see that changing for quite some time, if ever. And speaking of classes, I'm going to sign up for a really neat hat class at the Yarn Garden. It's a little spendy, but there are a lot of cool techniques used that I want to master. And I've still got that finishing class coming up at the Knitting Bee. Fun stuff.

The hat class will be held over four Saturdays for two hours each class. I talked with the Count, who usually likes to work on Saturdays, but for his little Countess, he said he would work half days on those days. I tell you, this guy is the best.

I'm itching to get out to see a movie, namely the remake of Fun With Dick and Jane. But I don't get out to the movies as much as I used to or I'd like to, what with three small kids and my movie buddy Tulip adopting a baby this month. I'm just going to have to start going by myself, which is just not half as fun as going with someone else. But you've got to do what you've got to do. And desperate times call for desperate measures. Have any of you readers seen Dick and Jane yet? Your thoughts, please.

I've received a few quite good guesses on that movie quote, but no one has guessed it correctly yet. I guess it's a little more obscure than I thought. Some hints: the movie was released in 2004, so it's fairly recent. And a weird bit of trivia: this actual line was not included in the unrated director's cut, which I thought was very very strange, being the only thing cut out of the movie while other scenes were made longer, and it was my favorite line from the whole movie. Maybe that's why I noticed. By the way, crazy as I am, I own both the unrated director's cut and the regular editions of this DVD. I did not see this movie in the theatre, but would have if I had gotten the chance to.

And on the off chance that my dear readers have only seen the director's cut of the movie and missed the line, I will give you another hint. Kiefer Sutherland plays a small roll in this film. You guys might not have liked this movie as much as I did. Its kind was right up my alley, and I'm giving it a 10 out of 10. Ya'll would probably rate it lower than me, but I'm sticking to my marks. So who will be the first to claim the chocolate, anyone?

Love you babies, bye now.