Monday, December 18, 2006

Cutie Cutie Kokee revisited

The frog, remember? He's still with us. Fiona has added on to his name, and I am guessing at the spelling. The accent is on the first syllable.

He sings. No one told us they sing. We found out after Fiona abandoned her room again. She only slept in her room for a week (unrelated to CCK). Wait. We need more background here.

Doug got an iPod nano for me for our anniversary! I have named her Shiny. We all refer to her as Shiny. What Shiny mostly does is play stories for Fiona. I get them at, which you should definitely discover right now, if you haven't already. She is really loving The Secret Garden and I feel like Cultured Mother. Doug also showed me these pillows that have a speaker in the middle and you can hook your iPod up to. The things they have these days. You can't hear it unless you are lying on the pillow. The first night we put her to bed with this, it did not work, but Doug also stayed with her. Now she goes by herself, and so far, after two nights, she falls asleep during the story.

However, after that first night, Doug asked me incredulously, "Did you hear the frog?" I think he asked me in the morning, so at first I attributed it to early morning delirium. He was totally serious, however. I was reassuring. It had to be the noise machine in the middle bedroom, which I use right now, playing "Summer Night". He was adamant it was not.

We brought the CCK downstairs to change his water. One night with the girls upstairs asleep, we were able to sit in front of the fire watching Kinky Boots. At the end of the movie, we sat a bit and then I heard the noise. Sort of like crickets. I went to check Kokee. He stopped. Doug joined me. We started talking, then the frog started chirping, too. I feel like I should call and ask about this. First, he eats his fellow frog and now he sings. Doug wonders if he is calling for a mate. Maybe he's just hungry.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Here is my Top 100 List of Movies

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These are not necessarily "great" movies. My dad asked the three of us (sisters) for our lists of 100 movies that we could watch over and over--even if they were hard to admit to. I got stuck around 65 (I thought I might get to 50), but as I was the last person to finish I got to cheat and look at my dad's list and my two sisters where I could freely steal movie ideas and be inspired by them.

This is not a hard and fast list by any means and I reserve the right to substitute at will. I also lied. It is a list of 102 movies.

I now have fancy pictures like Ellen Aim, who has posted her list. Remember, these are not necessarily award winning movies. I mean, she has Pretty Woman on her list. I will say no more.

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1. Watership Down

2. Bridget Jones's Diary

3. The Lord of the Rings Triology (I know, this is too easy, but I adore them)

4. Beauty and the Beast (Jean Cocteau, 1946)

5. Beauty and the Beast (Disney—hey, I think with small children I am entitled to a Disney movie)

6. L.A. Confidential

7. Seven Samurai

8. The Seventh Seal

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9. Big Night

10. Priscilla, Queen of the Desert

11. All About My Mother

12. Amelie

13. The Andromeda Strain

14. Miracle on 34th Street (do I need to say the original one?)

15. Babette's Feast

16. Pippi Longstocking movies (let's just call this one, shall we?)

17. The Lemondrop Kid (Although I never would have remembered this without seeing Dad's list! I can't wait to see it again)

18. Philadelphia

19. A Christmas Carol—I used to say the George C. Scott one was my favorite. I think it still is, but I just finished the Alistair Sim one, and that is also great. I also like Jean Luc in the role.

20. The Cane Mutiny

21. Brazil

22. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

23. Eat, Drink, Man, Woman

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24. Tampopo

25. Totoro

26. La Cage Aux Folles

27. Labyrinth (oh, leave me be!)

28. The Last Temptation of Christ

29. Logan's Run

30. Firefly series (I would not have added this, but I see we are bending the rules a bit)

31. The Piano (oh, if I were rating this, this would be in my top 5)

32. Princess Mononoke

33. Nobody's Fool (what a great movie)

34. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (the original one)

35. Ringu

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36. The Secret of Roan Inish (another top 5)

37. Spirited Away

38. What's Eating Gilbert Grape (as Doug said, "who knew Leonardo DiCaprio could act?")

39. The Wizard of Oz

40. Yellow Submarine (yes, still).

41. The Wrath of Khan (Star Trek II)

42. Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark

43. The Secret Garden

44. The Flame Trees of Thika (ok, bending the rules again)

45. Orlando (I love this!)

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46. Much Ado About Nothing (*hides*)

47. My Fair Lady

48. The Princess Bride

49. Ferris Bueller's Day Off

50. Halloween

51. Alien

52. Invasion of the Body Snatchers

53. Joy Luck Club

54. A Christmas Story

55. Holiday Inn

56. Cinema Paradiso

57. The Exorcist

58. Big

59. Bringing up Baby

60. Christmas in Conneticut

61. Casablanca

62. Airplane!

63. A Fish Called Wanda

64. Dead Poet's Society

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65. the OLD Star Wars movies

66. Thelma and Louise

67. The Full Monty

68. Amityville Horror

69. Parenthood

70. The Time Machine (the 60s-70s version, I think…HG Wells)

71. Stand By Me

72. Out of Africa

73. War Games

74. Sneakers

75. Shallow Grave

76. Black Adder Series (NOT including season 1)

77. Romancing the Stone

78. Farewell my Concubine

79. Amadeus

80. Breakfast at Tiffany's

81. Kafka

82. The Shining

83. The Professional

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84. They Live (even that drawn out fight scene—ha ha!)

85. The Fog

86. El Mariachi/Desperado

87. Oliver's Travels (I have to agree!)

88. Rear Window

89. This is Spinal Tap

90. To Kill a Mockingbird

91. Memento

92. Seven

93. Terminator

94. Die Hard

95. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (I'll include also The Life of Brian)

96. Blade Runner

97. Working Girl

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98. Mr Smith Goes to Washington

99. Braveheart

100. City Slickers

101. Philadelphia Story

102. The Bishop's Wife

Why Do Birds Suddenly Appear...Every Time...You are Near?

Two things have happened recently in regards to Fiona. First, we went to her friend Max's birthday party; he is five now. She has been playing with Max since she was about 6 months old. I suppose it would be more accurate to say, she has been playing near Max since then and they gradually started playing together. Anywho.

A couple of days later, Max told his mom, Ame, the following (the words aren't going to be exact here; I am paraphrasing)...his party was at a barbeque restaurant that has a !!play area!!:

Max: At my party, Fiona and I played a racing game.

Ame: Oh?

Max: Fiona said that if I won, she would give me a kiss.

Ame: Oh? Did you win?

Max: Yeah (said very sweetly).

Ame: Did she give you a kiss?

Max: Yeeeah (same sweet tone, sort of shy and happy).

(Fiona told me she also gave Kira a kiss, too, as well.)

And a few days later, I hear from her friend Gryphon's (I love this name) mom. At his school, the kids made paper turkeys and wrote something they were thankful for on each of 5 feathers. He wrote his mom, his dad, his brother, his grandmother, and ...Fiona. It's fairly surprising because now that Fiona goes to school every morning, she doesn't get to play with him very often anymore. I can't even remember the last time she did. Surely not as long ago as last summer! Perhaps, though.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

We Fear Change

Boy, Blogger really does want us to change to beta, as Ellen Aim points out in her blog...soon they'll start sending me emails about Beta...then who knows what. I guess the other version will cease to exist and we'll be forced to comply! Maybe that's when all the bugs will be gone.

I just actually have not ever had a problem with Blogger except not being able to get in at times.

So the documentary was good, funny at times, but mostly the kind of thing where it pisses you off. You KNOW all the information (well, most) in the documentary but seeing it all in one place and realizing, once again, that the USA is so far behind other industrailized nations in terms of health care, maternity/paternity leave, and equal pay and work rights for mothers (the documentary states that mothers make 60% of what men make for the same work...women without children make 90% of what men make---and here I thought it was closer to 100% now!) that one is totally dumbfounded.

If you are interested, here is more about the organization, MomsRising, behind the documentary. MomsRising is co-founded by a co-founder of, Joan Blades.

We have more snow now! We didn't need to shovel the driveway this morning, though, so it's not a lot.

Monday, December 04, 2006

The Motherhood Manifesto

I get to see another movie tonight, only it's at the library and so far 18 other women are going. There will be food! Here's the blurb about it:

An engaging new documentary, The Motherhood Manifesto, presents moving personal stories combined with humorous animation, expert commentary and hilarious old film clips to tell the tale of what happens to working mothers and families in America.

The film illustrates how enlightened employers and public policy can make paid family leave, flexible working hours, part-time parity, universal healthcare, excellent childcare, after-school programs and realistic living wages a reality for American families. Featured people include:

• Dr. Deborah Richter, a Vermont doctor and advocate who has seen patients die because they didn’t have health insurance.

• Kiki Peppard, a Pennsylvania mother who has been battling discrimination against moms for the past decade.

• Selena Allen, who had to return to work four days after she gave birth prematurely.

• Sharon Dorsett, whose son’s illness bankrupted her family even though the Dorsett’s had health insurance.

• Jim Johnson, a conservative Republican businessman who found that flexible hours and family-friendly policies can increase a company’s profits and success.

• Joya Chavarin, who knows what California’s new paid family leave law means to mothers.

• Republican pollster Frank Luntz who says that “lack of free time” is the most important issue for women with children.

• Democratic Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey, a former welfare mother who works tirelessly to help working mothers.

• Angenita Tanner, a childcare provider who takes in children from families too poor to afford childcare.

I'm excited!

We baked some ornaments (Sophia was a little confused at first and tried to eat one---it's just salt, flour, and water but not tasty). They are now painted and ready to hang. We have paper chains and cranberry/popcorn chains. The gingerbread house just needs candy and I will take a picture.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

O Christmas Tree!

We bought a huge fluffy tree for $20. Get this. They also deliver for free. The only problem with that is, we aren't sure when they will deliver it. I think it's supposed to be this weekend, but it didn't come yesterday. The price was so great, that we also got a $15 wreath. Apparently we can write it off on our taxes (which I'm sure we won't, ha!) because we are buying them from the Northfield Ambulance Depot. I guess the trees are donated to them? I should find out.

We are in the process of making a gingerbread house from scratch. I have never made a gingerbread house, period. I have the walls and the roof made. I made stained glass windows. Today we have to glue it together and possibly decorate it, but I think that will probably happen later. The dough is tasty and light but it puffed up way too much. We're just going for fun here, but next time I'm going to try a different dough recipe. If I rolled it out any thinner, it would have fallen apart as it was also a very soft dough. I think I need a dough with fewer eggs. Fiona is very excited but she wants to eat all the candy decorations.

We had decided there would be no fires in the wood stove this year because we could just not find firewood and Sophia insists on getting behind the gate. But lo and behold! I found firewood and Doug stacked it all up (the only place to put a cord of wood or two is right in the driveway). Doug also bolted the gate to the wall, so Sophia is really blocked away from the wood stove. Now we have toasty fires. It's also nice to have in case the power every goes out. I hope we never have a nasty ice storm (as has happened here before, of course, but it was before our time here), but it's nice to be prepared. On that note, we need pantry supplies!

And on a last and even more exciting note, I finally ordered snowboots for Sophia. Now if it would only snow!