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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Yo Gabba...What the...?

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse has been appearing on our television less and less often. At first that was okay with me because I was beginning to have dreams about setting a mouse trap for him, but now Daniel has gone from a show that is educational and colorful though a bit irritating after awhile, to Yo Gabba Gabba. We had a brief interest in Chip and Dale: Rescue Rangers, which I thought was awesome because that was one of my favorite cartoons growing up. Now though, we are engrossed in Yo Gabba Gabba.  If you don't have kids or don't know what this show is, I'll try to create an accurate synopsis for you. I don't know if I will be able to do it justice, but here goes. Basically I think that the creator of the show (Charles Schulz's son) had a horrible nightmare about various sexual toys surrounding him and singing songs that are catchy enough to get stuck in your head ALL DAY. There's the big orange hot dog shaped guy with bumps all over him, and the white thing that resembles a suppository and cries all the time. If I'm being totally honest, if people thought about suppositories when they say me I suppose I would cry also. Then there's the little green guy with the freakishly long arms. I think his name is Brobie. Brobie is pretty much as stupid as they come. He thinks that it's okay to eat food off the dirty floor and he also has to be told that he can't bite the hot dog looking thing. Okay, I get what they are doing here. They are trying to teach these lessons in basic behavior to children, but they are actually terrifying the parents. There's a blue cat like thing that just runs around complaining about everything. It doesn't like it's yogurt and refuses to eat it but it is revealed that she hasn't actually tried it. On the plus side, the cat thing does try the yogurt and discovers that he/she/it loves it, so I guess that's a good lesson in taking polite bites, but again. I am scared. Then there's the pink thing with the flower growing out of it's head, and I don't really know what its purpose is, but it makes me wish that Care Bears were still popular so I could enjoy watching television with my children. The last character that I can think of is that robot dude. He's okay. He seems to be the smartest one in the lot, so I guess I can't say too much about him. DJ Lance, the guy who plays with all of these.....freaky looking eccentric for lack of a better word.
I'm considering putting some serious limits on TV since there are few good tv shows on anymore that I don't mind my kids watching.  Daniel was watching a Pee Wee's Playhouse DVD the other day, and there was a scene with Cowboy Curtis and Pee Wee that made my jaw drop. They were having a camp fire, roasting hot dogs, and Pee Wee says to Curtis "Cowboy Curtis, how is your wiener doing?" And that sounds innocent when you are reading the quote in a blog, but if you had seen the look on Pee Wee's face and heard the tone and innuendo in his voice you would have thought you were watching a dirty movie. I have noticed things like this slipped into kids shows a lot lately. Thankfully things like that goes right over the heads of children, but at the same time do you really want your kids hearing things like that? I appreciate a little adult humor in some kids shows, but when it makes me feel like I should go take a bath in bleach I have to draw a line.  Less TV, more books and crafts. Not that my children watch a ton of tv in the first place, but it will definitely be less now.
I finished hat #11 yesterday. This one is baby blue with a heart knit into the body in seed stitch and an i-cord top. I'm going to make #12 today and I have a really bright red sport weight yarn picked out and I plan to add a lime green leaf to the top so it will be a cute little apple. Maybe a baby born to parents from La Crescent will get it and it will be special to them. I hope all of the hats that go on the heads of the precious babies born are special to the families they are given to. Thinking about those little heads is what keeps me knitting these caps. The negative people who posted on the Tribune's site are missing something very important in their lives if finding fault with knitting for preemies is what they have the time to do.
Go out and do something good!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Desperately Seeking More Patterns

Since starting my hat mission, I have found lots of patterns that I really like! I am noticing that I'm on Ravelry several times a week trying to find new ones because it seems like once I've made a pattern once, I'm restless and want something new. A new color, a new fiber, a new pattern. I guess I'm just not a monogamous knitter. This is probably why it takes me a year to get a pair of matching socks. Once I get through one, I want the excitement of the new color and pattern. Thus my socks almost never match, and if they do it's noteworthy.

As far as being without Facebook, I have to say I'm enjoying a less "plugged in" lifestyle. I'm still able to email and text with Emma (40 days with no Emma was no bueno. She's pretty much the reason I got so into Facebook in the first place) Emma's friendship is part of my life that I actually do need to function. We have basic needs as humans. Oxygen, food, water, and in my life Emma needs to be on that list as well or else the sarcastic wit that has become so much a part of my personality would shrivel and die and then I would be the crazy cat lady who knits all day everyday. Hey wait a second...

Monday, February 27, 2012

Chicken Ceasar Salad Annonymous

I think I have a new addiction in addition to knitting. The chicken ceasar salad. I have eaten a chicken ceasar for at least one meal almost every day for the last 2 weeks. Sometimes I make it at home (the chicken is always dry and chewy though- ick) and sometimes I get carside to go from Applebee's (I'm pretty sure all I need to do is call them and say "Hey, it's me. Give me the usual.") but it's literally ALL I want to eat these days. I suppose it could be worse. It's not the raisinette obsession of 1998. It's not filled with carbohydrates that will wreak havoc on my blood sugar. The average chicken ceasar has about 6 grams of carbs, so according to my diabetic educator, I technically wouldn't have to even take any insulin when I eat this because my dosage is 1 unit of novalog per 10 grams of carbs, but since I do usually have a side of something with carbs like garlic bread or french fries I do take the minimum dose of insulin. Coupled with yoga and the chicken ceasar fixation, I've been seeing a very steady drop in my blood sugar and I am THRILLED. Lower blood sugar has equaled higher energy levels and just over all a great feeling physically. I'm also taking a daily vitamin that is formulated especially to help my body metabolize sugar and use it for energy more efficiently and so far so good.
We went on a little drive yesterday afternoon just to get out of the house and enjoy the nice, fresh air. I know with gas prices people probably think we are nuts but it was well worth it. Daniel got a good nap in the car, and Julie got her reading for the whole weekend done, and I got some valuable knitting time in. I finished my 9th hat and cast on the 10th (I did end up ripping it out and starting over when I got home because the cast on was too tight and I didn't like the way it looked.)  but I finished the 10th at Mom and Dad's house last night while waiting for supper to be ready. It wasn't chicken ceasar, but mom's turkey and mashed potatoes is never a treat to be turned down.
Today is going to be a great day with the kids as all days with these amazing kids is. They teach me so much about being a child at heart and appreciating the little things that life has to offer. Right now though, I wish Daniel would enlighten me as to where he hid my car keys. It's the only set I have, and they have been missing since Thursday after I got home from Baskets of Yarn. I've looked everywhere I can think of and have had zero luck. I've missed 2 first responder calls due to not having access to my vehicle and that's never a good feeling. I also had to drive the "mom van" to church and even though it is a nice and smooth ride and it's comfortable to sit in and knit on trips, I do not like driving it. I don't know why I despise the mini van so much but I would almost prefer to walk places than to take that. My husband on the other hand loves it. I think he looks like a dork, but he's happy.
Speaking of my husband.....he's been on a kick about getting a motorcycle lately. So taking a few things into consideration, I have developed my argument against it.
#1. He constantly jokes about falling asleep at work in the wood shop. He works around huge machines with saws that could take your hand off quicker than quick. I will love my husband no matter what forever, but I don't really want him to have to wave at people with a stump. And besides, if he had no hand, who would mow the grass and pick up dog poop?
#2. He's a firefighter. As if I don't worry enough? He has no qualms about packing up and running into burning houses. In fact, I think he likes doing that. He is a hero in my eyes, make no mistake, but when you really start thinking about everything that could go wrong in a scenario like that it makes you want to stay in your house and never go anywhere no matter what.
#3. Where is the money going to come from? My yarn budget is not negotiable. This is something he's known from the beginning. I've been a knitter for 10 years so this is not something new for him. He suggested taking out a loan and I suggested he shut up. I don't want any more debt. This is the guy who listens to Dave Ramsey religiously, so does he need his hearing checked? He's also suggested saving up which I have also shot down because we need to have an emergency fund first. Again....your best friend Dave Ramsey has advice on that, Honey. Sorry to burst your bubble.
So I think that I've developed a pretty strong defense for the motorcycle thing. If he just comes home with one I'll probably just be forced to slash the tires every day until he grows tired of fixing them and gives up.

Did I mention that my knitting article was published in the Wisconsin State Journal? Well it was! I would normally be really proud of this, but the fact that these newspapers allow commentaries on the articles is really disheartening. Some people are nice and offer encouragement for the ministry I'm doing. Others are just great big meanies and say things that are completely not necessary and rude. One person pointed out that agnostic people are out doing good things for the community every day and not getting any recognition. Well...okay? I guess if you're an agnostic person and you're serving soup to the homeless or walking 3 legged dogs, the papers are at fault for not recognizing your contribution to the community. I should really stop dwelling on what nay-sayers have to say, but it is hard when something that you're doing out of kindness and compassion for other people, especially premature infants, is dissected. How sad is your life when that's what you have to do with your time? I guess I should feel sorry for people who feel like they need to say negative things like that. Maybe I should offer up my phone number and tell people who want to be rude to give me a call and say it so I can hear them. Or better yet, meet up somewhere and say it right to my face. How many people would show up to do that? Probably none. The internet is a playground for spineless bullies. I wish I would have considered that before doing the interview, but at least I learned a lesson. If you are doing something you are passionate about never ever tell anyone about it no matter what because people are jerks.
With that being said, I'm off to knit some more.
hat #9

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Hat Progress

Day 1
"Hurricane Hat"
Tried to get a good angle so you can see the heart
"Swirl Hat"
"Cabled Hat"
"Diamond Hat"
I don't know what this one is. Kinda looks like a cupcake
"Striped hat"

You Can't Do Anything Nice Anymore

Some of you may have read the article in the La Crosse Tribune this morning. Maybe you didn't think it was newsworthy. Maybe you got a kick out of it. Maybe you live in your grandmother's basement and should get off the computer and apply for a job. I could not believe the negative comments left on the article. I should have expected as much living in the world we live in today. Here's the story in a nutshell.

Every day, when I sit down to have lunch, I go on the tribune's website to see what's making local news each day. Since signing off of Facebook on Fat Tuesday, I've been working hard on the preemie/newborn hats for the NICU (or really any baby in the hospital) and hope to have 40 made by Easter. ANYWAYS, when I checked the Trib's website I saw an add asking for people giving up Facebook for lent to contact a reporter who's email address was in the article. So I emailed her. Had I known that there were so many small minded and heartless people in this area I never would have done such a thing, and I could really kick myself now for agreeing to do it. As soon as the article was posted, people were saying things about me actually being ungracious, arrogant, and addicted to Facebook. They insinuated that if I had just lived a "clean" life all year I wouldn't have to worry about giving up anything for Lent. REALLY? So all of these people are perfect and have no vices they could give up for 40 days? And on top of all of that, I'm doing something for the community to make it a little NICER. Something these people might want to consider doing instead of running around trying to steal the joy from other people. I was hoping that doing something for the greater good would inspire other people to do the same and then maybe the community and eventually other areas would benefit from paying it forward and doing good deeds for less fortunate people, but the human race has proven that it just isn't possible to do that.

I really hoped that perhaps what I'm doing would inspire others to try and do something nice for other people. The people commenting acted like I was seeking an "atta girl" for what I had been doing, but what the story didn't say was that I've been doing things like this with no recognition for years. I don't expect recognition for it. I do it because I'm blessed with an ability to knit and create things and giving something I have put love and effort into to a baby who was born too early, or a child going into foster care, or a cold elementary school student makes me happy. It gives me a good feeling to know I've helped someone. So someone wanted to write a story about it and people run around saying it's not "newsworthy". Well it wasn't scrolling across the screen as breaking news for Pete's sake. It was just one of those little stories that's meant to warm the hearts of people and remind them that there are good things happening in the community, and it's not all robberies, rape, kidnapping, and assaults. People do have kindness in their hearts to share with others but I learned an important lesson in being humble. If you are ever going to do something nice don't tell anyone about it no matter what because someone is waiting to dissect and berate you. I feel very sad knowing that this is the world we are living in. In spite of these people I'll continue to knit and be kind to people and just pray that it spreads to other people somehow. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Facebook Fasting

Well it's the first day of my 40 day "Facebook Fast". So far it's going quite well. I didn't roll over and pick up my phone to read the news feed. It felt a little odd as I am a creature of habit, but I'm really glad that I am sacrificing something that's become a fixture in my day. It's going to be a challenge and I'm sure there will be temptations but I plan to overcome them.

Is Facebook really all it's cracked up to be? I see more people sharing way too much information about their personal lives and starting arguments and trouble than people using it for keeping in touch with old friends. No matter what you post as a status, someone is going to find some reason to complain about it. I'm sure people have said "She talks entirely too much about knitting." or "If I was her husband I would hide all the markers in that house." about me. Then there are the plain jane "Thank goodness it's Friday." or "I'm tired/hungry/sick/bored (and there's always the person who spells bored wrong and ignites a whole forest fire of judgement from the spelling and grammar sticklers.) and people find fault with those people too. So what can you post? And don't even get me started on the people who dissect every little innocent comment you ever make and turn it into something offensive, thus starting a debate on whether or not that was what you meant or why you said what you said. For example, I had a friend who posted a status about running on the treadmill and feeling good about getting into shape. I commented with "I went for a long run this morning, too! Good for you. All aboard the energy train! Whoo whoo!" and almost immediately there was a notification that someone else had commented. I looked at the comment after mine and it said "I think he better just stay on his WIFE'S energy train." My jaw dropped and my head almost surely spun 360 degrees. I hadn't meant that at all! I got that sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach when I realized that if that's how this person had taken it to mean, is that how other people perceived it as well? I sent my friend a quick message saying, "Oh mylanta- that is NOT at all what I meant by that! I'm so sorry if that's how you took it. Not my intention!" and he replied almost instantly saying that he knew me better than that and he didn't take it that way at all. I felt SO much better knowing that no harm had actually been done and then I deleted the comment in question and went about my day. Then I started to notice that I didn't see any posts from this friend anymore so I searched for him and he wasn't on my friends list anymore. Surely he didn't "unfriend" me over that! I searched outside of my friends list for him and couldn't find him so I thought maybe he just deleted his facebook. Then a mutual friend mentioned him and I told her that he wasn't on my friend list anymore and she said "that's odd. He's still on mine." Now I was puzzled. My husband went on his facebook account and did a search, and sure enough. There he was. And then when I searched again on mine, no dice. What the heck. So he blocked me. Really? Over something so silly that was simply a misunderstanding? This irritated and hurt me a lot and I'm still not really sure why. I shouldn't care but it really got to me. I want to go back to the life before Facebook where if someone didn't like you, their only option was to tell you. Being blocked on Facebook by someone isn't a very nice feeling, especially when you didn't do anything wrong. Who needs that? There is real life to live. I'm hoping if I can get used to living sans facebook I will enjoy it so much that I will just delete my account permanently. It has just given me reason to feel awkward around people I don't need to feel awkward around too many times. Some people just take it way too seriously. Perhaps I am one of them, but I have 40 days to figure out how I functioned before joining the popular social network, and I really think that I will be just fine.

I'm going to try to make one hat each day over the 40 days of lent. Hopefully I will have a huge donation to make to the NICU when Easter arrives. I'm also going to commit more time to bible study and devotion. Maybe I'll even try learning something new. Maybe I'll take a cooking class or some kind of art class. Maybe I will not do either, but at the end of the 40 days I'm praying that I am renewed and refreshed and just overall a better person.

Well, I have things I need to do. I have to pet my cat, feed my son some lunch, and work on this pretty little preemie hat I started this morning. Maybe I will read a book. Do people still do that?