Wednesday, January 23, 2008

recent movies

Three movies, three genres.

27 Dresses

When was the last time I went to the theater? Forever and ever. But a friend insisted I go out with her to get a break from being super-nurse.

It was a fun and funny movie. Nothing groundbreaking, but since so many romantic comedies can end up being lame, this one deserves a mention of being at least as funny as the trailer. It was predictable, but I mean, when is a romantic comedy not? I can think back to The Princess Bride...and that's about it. (Please feel free to remind me of others if you can think of them.)

A major bonus was Judy Greer, because who doesn't love her? Not me. Love her! I hope someday she gets to be the heroine.

Highlights? Clothes, Jane's wardrobe was adorable and appropriate, and gosh I wish I could look like that even one day a week, let alone each and every day.
The dresses! Want to know what's really funny? I was wishing I could have been in more weddings so I could have access to that much lovely fabric. obsess much?
Lessons in sibling rivalry. This movie re-iterated for me why sister relationships are so darn difficult. And made me wish all the harder, despite the stash of girl clothes I would love to break out again, that I only have boys from here on out.

3:10 to Yuma

Tom kind of had to twist my arm to watch this one. I really wanted, in theory, to watch it, but we had another one waiting, and when given the choice between a movie where you suspect all the people you like are going to die (this is a western, after all), and one that has been compared to The Princess Bride? I ask you! But, he prevailed, and we watched it.

It was really good. I'm glad we watched it. I've liked Christian Bale since Treasure Island, so I'm always glad to see him, and Russell Crowe was really charismatic as the bad guy you couldn't despise.

The highlights? The insight that the best right hand man a captured baddy can have is one that's in love with him.
Characters. This was chock full of really well fleshed-out characters. The guys anyway. The gals didn't get much play, but, well, they weren't slinging guns, so there wasn't a whole lot of room for them.
Integrity. Remember City Slickers and the question about the alien woman, it's like that, only, not silly or sexual, it's a lot more poignant.
This line: "Even bad men love their mama's" Yet another reason to hope I keep having boys. ;)

Don't be surprised if you ask yourself why Wade's gang doesn't seem to "get it" at the end.


Not so much like Princess Bride as I hoped, but you just can't expect for anything to ever be that perfect, you know?

Charlie Cox is a cutie, I hope he gets more parts and doesn't fizzle away. This was definitely a good adventure film, and funny, and quite magical in a rather original way. And I guess in that sense, it is like The Princess Bride. The main characters were quite likable, and the ending was very satisfying.

Tom kept insisting that Clair Danes was Gwyneth Paltrow, and she sure did look and sound like her.

The Highlights?
Robert De Niro as Captain Shakespeare.
The death scenes.
Rupert Everett (really!)
Ricky Gervais

See it, I know you'll enjoy it.

In order that I might look forward to coming to work today...

I was given so many reasons yesterday to look forward to coming to work today.

We had a few doctor's appointments to go to, in fact, one for everyone but me. We also had to get new meds for Tom. So we were all out together at about 10. We didn't get home until around 5. In between, I had about 4 ounces of chocolate milk spilled all over my head, was puked on, and, of course, had to clean up puke too. The best part is, she had just had a pink Italian cream soda. Thankfully that didn't get in my hair.

What a day.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Crafty gifts

While I didn't get pictures of everything I made, I think there's enough here for you to enjoy, if you enjoy such things. If you check out my flickr account with any frequency, these are not new to you, so you can go back to your other activities and save yourself the time, if you wish.

This will concluded my Christmas crafting posts...and though the 12 days of Christmas have long past, it still isn't a month since Christmas, so, I'm calling that good enough. Unless I come across pictures of Christmas that are particularly exciting, I probably won't post any more about Christmas at all. Moving on, baby, moving on.

Embroidered ornaments (Less than stellar pictures. Tom took them. He's a great photographer, but he has to care about the subject. ;))


A bib for my sister's new baby, "Meelia Jane"



A satin clutch for Tanna, containing candy and some unphotographed matching hair pins.


Three clutches like the one below, all with different ribbons and buttons, and my photo shoot was a bust. The Christmas tree was in my bright corner totally messed me up.


The year-long Wee Wonderfuls girl Elf Stitchette stocking for Ellen.




A headband for Bridget.


The Heather Bailey headband was a first for me. I think I need to make Bridget another, that fits her better and in a slightly less stiff fabric, and because one can never have too many, you know?

And last but not least, another year-long embroidery project. I was thinking ahead though, and bought this skirt for Eve a size up. And still she's nearly out of this size. Also, I'm pretty slow with this posting stuff, as this was finished before Peanut arrived.




Cute scooter courtesy of Sublime Stitching!

Phew! All caught up. And despite my very ambitious to-do crafting list (which also seems to be ever expanding) the only craft I've finished in 2008 is a smallish monogram (single letter) of a throw blanket for my wonderful big sis. No pictures. In fact, I've crafted gifts for all my older siblings, and don't have a picture of a single one. One day soon I hope to complete the backpack and scarf I have in the works for Eve, and I'm working on improving my own drawing skills so the next few onesies I do will be all me. Stay tuned folks.

We had a small chimney fire...

Yes, there were flames in our chimney. Luckily, we didn't start a house fire, and were able to put it out simply by dampening the fire in the stove, eventually. But while we were calling able-bodied neighbors at 8 PM, Eve certainly felt it was a grand adventure. Peanut, on the other hand, was so exhausted by the event that he went to bed early!

Today a chimney sweep is coming to clean us up so we can have a wood fire again. Last night we were grateful for the 40 gallons of heating oil my dad gave us. And our electric portable radiator.

Monday, January 14, 2008

EC or just good hand/eye coordination?

Well, we had another not much sleep night last night, and twice now when I have not administered the meds myself (and tried to let Tom handle it) he's overmedicated himself. Luckily, nothing he's taking has any super serious consequences for taking meds a tiny bit more frequently than he should, but it just proves I can't count on a good night's sleep any time soon.

We've been blessed to have Eve with us in the evenings and morning, but family has taken her for fun and adventure during the day since her sleep over ended on Friday. We miss her when she's gone, but her current stage in life, as well as her reaction to the upheaval around here, is making me kind of crazy. I don't feel like a nice mom, and seem to have a lot more patience for her when she's here less, and not so bored.

I find myself using my moments of less demand not crafting (as I really should be if I'm going to tackle that huge list I made) or reading, but rather surfing the net. I don't have energy for much else, even with a lot of cola in me. In a moment of quiet then, I have a chance to share a very funny story with you. This took place on Christmas Eve, and I'd nearly forgotten about it. I was reminded after reading a few friend's blogs about potty training and Elimination Communication.

We spend all our time (almost) down stairs these days, as that's where the wood stove is, and our main (and often only) source of heat. (Here I'll interject that this is my least favorite chore that I've taken over from Tom. I'm simply not a fire builder.) Hence, I change Israel on a receiving blanket on the couch. Since it was Christmas Eve he was dressed in his Christmas PJs, to look charming in pictures. Peanut only poops every 3 days or so, and as luck would have it, Christmas Eve was one of those days. As I changed him, carefully pushing his outfit far up and out of the way, I realized it wasn't too big a deal and set about cleaning him up.

I'm one of those who's never learned the lesson of putting the new diaper under the baby before you take the old one off. I guess I've just not had it be that much of a problem. Well, this time, it was a problem. Just as I was unfolding the last bit of the diaper to slide it under him, his ankles in one hand, I saw the face, heard the grunt, and watched in slow-motion horror as a new kind of "golden arch" arced its way through the air, with a trajectory ending just beyond the protective blanket. Now, I don't love my couch or anything. It's really pretty shabby and not my style, but it'll do, and I certainly don't want to be cleaning baby poop out of every little loop and crevice in the fabric. And so, I re-defined the Elimination Communication idea of "catching a poop" and stood in stunned disbelief as my son defecated all over my hand.

I won't describe for you the texture. After working on it for 3 days, Peanut's poop is not the normal baby poop texture, and anything I try to compare it to will simply reduce your enjoyment of some current culinary delight or another. Trust me on this one.

So. There I am, Christmas Eve. Tom's upstairs putting Eve to bed for the umteenth time. Don't feel sorry for him. He was the genius who decided to talk up Santa coming to visit the hour before Bed. I'm holding Israel's feet in one hand, and an unspeakable mess in the other. I can't let go for several reasons: If I do, he may manage to get poop on his Christmas PJs, or he may just roll right off the couch, and then we're talking a crying, messy baby and carpets to clean. I could grab more wipes, but I don't think they could have helped me.

As I was contemplating, puzzling, reaching into the dark recesses of creativity for a solution...he did it again. I was slightly more prepared and grabbed the end of the blanket and the half-applied, recently soiled new diaper to catch with. As clever as that may sound, I was in even more trouble now, as the poop quickly began seeping through the blanket, and there was even more poop in the proximity of the PJs.

I less determined person might have conceded and given up on keeping the PJs pristine, but that's just not me. It's a tradition to have special Christmas morning PJs for special Christmas morning pictures. I'm not going to let a little baby poop get in the way of tradition.

So I stood there like that for about 5 minutes, calling to Tom, making Peanut laugh, and laughing myself at the absurdity of it all. I did clean Peanut up, but he was still surrounded by his own waste, and I still couldn't get away to wash my hands. I wasn't calling Tom very loudly, so he moseyed down when he was ready and looked at me like I was crazy.

After all was said and done, Peanut looking smashing in his clean, sparkly Christmas PJs, and I learned that though essentially water soluble, Peanut's particular brand of baby poop does not wash off easily with soap and warm water.



One last thing. Tonight, when Eve was sitting with us and calming down a few moments before I took her to bed, I kissed her and told her I loved her, she responded by holding my hair with both hands, and saying, "I love you too, my sweet darling." Be still my heart. It was so cute and sweet. I just love her!


Thursday, January 10, 2008

Let's not do that again.

For the curious. Yes, it really is harder the second time around.

Tom had surgery yesterday, as planned. The surgery was about 15 minutes longer, and the recovery was probably 3 times as long.

Surgery from 12:30 to 1:30 or so, and we didn't get to leave until around 5. He had a really tough time. The one better thing about this time is they gave him straight narcotics that he can take every 3 hours, instead of the stuff with tylenol that he can only have every 4. I think it's helping keep the pain at bay a bit better, but he is high as a kite as a result.

Israel was great at the clinic, and only had a tough time for about 30 minutes in the car on the way home. Today, however, he decided that getting up with me at 6 was a great idea. I've been really wiped out waking up every 3 hours, and between meeting Tom's needs and peanut's, it took me until 11:30 to drink the cup of tea I originally prepared at 7 and reheated twice.

Now, I've had my tea, a bowl of yummy bean and chicken soup, and some bread, plus a coke and some chocolate. It's made me feel a bit more normal.

If I can manage to avoid having to build a fire again (which I have now done 3 times in the last 16 hours, the darn thing just keeps burning out too fast), I think things should go a bit better from here.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Under the knife

Tom goes in for his second hip surgery on Wednesday.

I am trying to remain positive, but I know without a doubt that Tom's going to be in a lot of pain for at least a week, and it just tears me apart to see him so...wounded.

I was praying/thinking on my way to work today. Even if this surgery is "successful" Tom may not be back to normal, physically speaking, ever. For a guy who made his living with the strength of his body, this is quite an adjustment. Why do I think this? Well, his knee surgery was successful, but his knee is not completely back to normal. And this surgery, basically weakening his hip joint, could have a lot more long-term consequences, even if it reduces his pain.

It makes me really sad to think that we will likely never resume our physically active lifestyle. No more boating? No more Wakeboarding? No more day hikes or after-dinner walks? All this time since the accident, I've expected things to get back to normal someday, so we could resume the activities we enjoyed together. I don't feel confident of that at all today.

The reality is, Tom is probably looking at a career change. I'm thinking I really need to start adjusting my expectations in regards to the length of time I may be working. It just breaks my heart to say that, because I already feel less connected to Israel than I felt to Eve when she was this age, and I feel like this just makes it worse. I can tell by his sleeping and eating habits that my long absences two days a week have made an impact.

At work, I haven't been the star employee, but today I resolved to stop having a short-timers attitude, and start working a bit more like I value my job--which is something I should have been doing even if I won't be here long.

I feel fairly confident that Tom won't make any career decisions that would require me to work any more than I am currently, but on the other hand, he may not have that much control. I like to think that if his income changed significantly for the worse, he would also consider selling the house to get our monthly expenditures reduced somewhat, but I don't want to rely on that.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Old onesies...

or, "Didn't I already post these?"

Looking through my archives, I'd have to say no.

Well, as per tradition, I once again failed to get a photo of an embroidered onesie I gifted to the last of the late Summer/early Autumn baby batch at church. But, if you can imagine, it was an electric guitar from the Sublime Stitching Stitch it Kit, done in blues, mainly, with a teeny, tiny pair of 16th notes on the bum. The head of the notes were french knots, of which I made judicious use throughout the piece.

And here's the one I made for Peanut! It's a Peanut, and it says Peanut on the bum! Isn't that ironic?



Of this I am quite proud, the peanut image is of my own design. Yay me!

Here is, I must say, the piece d'resistance. The long-sleeved onesie I made for Gillian




Let me just see if I can not go on too long about this one. First, the bird/banner design is courtesy of one of Jenny Hart's books. Can't recall which at the moment. I think, again, it was the stitch it kit. The little wonky heart on the bum is me. Who can't draw a symetrical heart, I ask you? Me, that's who. The text on the arms are an exact replica (as much as can be) of the tatoos Gillian's daddy has on the underside of his forearms.

If you want more details on this shirt, check out my craftster post on it, here.

Here's the one I made for Killian, born a little after Gillian...isn't it cute that they rhyme? Wouldn't that be cool if they married eachother one day? Stranger things could happen.


and the bum detail


Both designs were public use images from the web, printed, and slightly altered when I traced with the iron on transfer pen.

I'm actually a bit sad about this one. The name is in chain stitch in a modern Celtic font, and the trinity knot (I think there's a more official name for it, but I'm not certain what it is) is in heavy chain or double chain. It's a way cool stitch, but I think it might have overwhelmed the light knit t-shirt material. It will probably require ironing whenever it is washed. Plus, the design looks really simple, so the recipient's parents and other viewers may feel it was a simple thing to create, with less thought and work put into it than the Gillian top, which is not at all the case. I also wonder if it's too serious for little Killian, and maybe he would have been better suited to a monkey or a dancing veggie instead. This was much more personal, chosen and made just for him...oh well. It was a blast to make, so I'm trying not to be sad about it.

And last but not least, my new baby niece's shirt. It's long sleeved and pink, but otherwise just a normal onesie.



The bird is from the Sublime Stitching book, and the little sunshine is something I drew myself.

I think it's pretty darn cute. I didn't iron it for the pictures, so that's probably just what it will look like when baby 'melia jane (that's what Eve calls her) wears it.

So there you go, the latest batch of onesies. I have plenty more crafty goodness to share, so stay tuned. And there are two new babies at church, and at least one other gal due this month, so I'll have another bundle to share soon enough.