Classic Movie Mondays.

We’re trying something new chez Gibbs: watching a classic film together on Monday night after the kiddos go to bed. It would seem more natural to do this on the weekend, but there seem to be all sorts of things that pop up on weekends and Monday night is usually not too busy for husband. Someone loaned us the book 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die and it has provided all sorts of ideas for things to watch. (Ideal bathroom reading, if I may say so.) Plus, husband organizes the monthly Classic Film Society at school so this kind of sort of counts as research. I don’t think I need to go into a big long explanation about why I think it’s better to watch good movies than bad ones or why I simultaneously believe that you shouldn’t get all snobby about it and that occasionally watching something like Twilight or 2012 isn’t going to kill you (at least, it hasn’t killed me). But I will say that we don’t watch nearly as many movies as we used to, so there’s been a growing desire to make it count when you decide to lose the sleep take the time.

Husband and I saw some pretty good new-to-us movies in 2010. Some that come to mind (in no particular order) were: Stalker, The Sacrifice, Solaris, Sans Soleil, Wings of Desire, Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams, Tokyo Story, Jane Eyre,  Bright StarBarcelona, The Island, Exit Through the Gift Shop, Paper Moon, The Last Picture Show, The Iron Giant, The Darjeeling Limited, and The Myth of the American Sleepover. We also polished off all the available episodes of Mad Men and Downton Abbey. There were also a lot of good repeats that one or the other of us saw for the second (or third!) time, like La JeteeThe Royal Tenenbaums, Rushmore, The Life Aquatic with Steve ZissouThe Red Shoes, A Life Less OrdinaryLover Come Back, 24 Hour Party People, On the Waterfront, A Serious Man, and a bunch of others that I can’t remember right now. We have a reasonable existing film repertoire (husband’s is better than mine), but I think it’s safe to say that both of us could stand to become more well-rounded in both American and foreign films. And if you can become more well-read, why not more well-watched?

So, we started last week with my pick (Forbidden Games), and tonight is husband’s choice (The Spy Who Came in from the Cold). We plan to go back and forth like that because, to be honest, I have an easier time accepting someone else’s choice then finding something that we both “feel” like watching. Between our excellent local university film library and Netflix streaming, it will be a long time before we run out.

What are your favorite classic films?


If I can remember, I’m going to keep a running log of the movies we watch here so I won’t have so much trouble remembering what they were at the end of the year.

The 2012 Notable Film list:

Forbidden Games
The Spy Who Came in from the Cold 
A Handful of Dust
Out of the Past
The Bicycle Thief
Tinker Taylor Soldier Spy
Dirty Harry
Days of Heaven

Never on Sunday
Apocalypse Now
The Black Stallion

Cousin Annie turns one.

My brother Tim, sister-in-law Hilary, and niece Annie came to visit last weekend for Annie’s first birthday. Naturally we wanted to throw her a party, and it was so much fun. One is a great age, and all the cousins are quite interested in each now. We even got a group shot (remember the last attempt?). There are a few captions in flickr but I’m going to let the photos tell the story here.

Cousins Camilla and Beatrice already want to know when Annie is going to come back to play with them…

Cousin Annie comes to visit.

Playing the "sharing" game.

Our toys met with approval.

My swirly cupcakes.

One candle.

Aunt Hilly helped blow out the candle.

I think she liked it.

Yay for cupcakes!

Down to the last crumbs.

The birthday girl.


Why do they have to touch each other's hair?

We stopped after this.

My sweet brother and sister-in-law.

Playing outside.

Weeks 28, 29, 30, 31, and a conundrum.

I keep getting behind on my posting but not on the photos themselves. It would be a real shame to get to week 31 and miss one, don’t ya think? The lighting is better on some days than others, and the sister photos are all over the place because there are plenty of moments when Camilla just won’t lay down/let go of her snack/change out of her jammies/some other un-photogenic thing. And by the time I’ve disciplined, Bea has started wailing and we have to try again later. And need I mention that the baby now flips over the minute I put her on her back…? But I persevere. I am going to get my 52 photos, darnit.

(Week 28 — some of my favorite vintage fabric.)

Week 28.

(Week 29 — my favorite vintage quilt.)

Week 29.

(Week 30.)

(Week 31.)

Week 31.

I haven’t decided if I need to number them somehow in Photoshop. The original project that I’m copying had photoshopped numbers on the onesies, but that’s going to be an awful lot of work at this point and I’m not sure I love the look. Maybe just a tasteful little number in the corner somewhere?

The other problem that I have been considering is the fact that I am running out of fabric. I have gone through all the large pieces in my stash and what decorative quilts/blankets we possess and I definitely do not have 21 selections left. I have been buying fabric for a while now with coupons, but since I plan to make quilts someday I want to get the nice stuff and that’s usually about $10/yard. I’ve found some cheaper, of course, but even at 40% off it’s a significant weekly expense. Plus, I just don’t need 21 more yards of fabric. Maybe 3 or 4 more pieces to round out my colors (some more green? and orange?) but I hate to buy something I have absolutely no need for.

The quilt stash.

(These are all the fabrics destined for the quilt. Everything else has been the wrong weight/fiber or the colors just won’t work.)

Husband suggested reusing some pieces and that would, of course, be the most economical solution. I’m fighting it, though, because I want to know in my mind that every week is different. But when you see them all together you probably won’t really notice. Plus, it’s not like there’s a big final destination for these photos — I just want to put them up at the girls’ 1st/3rd birthday party and make up a little photo book.

What do you think?


Now for some outtakes…to be honest, these end up being my favorites sometimes!

As soon as the official photo shoot is over, Milla wants to start playing on the fabric.

And Beatrice, of course, is pleased as punch to be done with that nasty on-your-back business.

Shhh….don’t tell anyone that Beatrice is sucking on the grimy old cell phone!

I took away the phone.

Mama took it away.

I gave it back.

Mama caved and gave it back.

Mmm, fingers.

She insisted on wearing the monkey jammies.

This was the I-absolutely-have-to-wear-my-pajamas week.

How the fabric ends up.

And this is how the fabric ends up after a few minutes of flapping.

See why I have to work fast?

Oh dear, she doesn’t nap anymore.

Well, I think a certain toddler is ready to be done with naps.


It helps a little that naps haven’t been going particularly well lately. First there was a half hour of winding down, general upsetness, and me sitting outside the door trying to hear if the wailing was moving away from the vicinity of the bed. Then there was a short (45-60 min) nap, which was followed by at least an hour of tremendous crabbiness that required a lot of discipline and walking on eggshells. So, nap wasn’t exactly this glorious break for me anyway.

But still. I know four and five year olds who nap, so I’m trying not to feel gypped. Right now we’re compromising with an hour of books and music in her crib, and (as of day three) it’s going pretty well. I don’t get much done besides essential housework, but I remember feeling that way after she dropped the first nap. So I probably just need a few weeks to adjust as well. She needs to get a little better about doing things on her own, and I need to get a little better at doing things with her. And then it will all work out.


In unrelated news, our church had its annual Blessing of the Water / Cross Dive a week ago and there’s a nice write-up about it here in the local paper. I also put a few pics (starting here) on my flickr page. Camilla was terribly, terribly excited about getting into her swimsuit and being at the beach and then freaked out a little at the last moment. But I carried her in a little ways and a good time was still had by all. Next year, maybe her feet will actually get wet.

January snippets.

I mentioned to husband that I wanted to blog more so that I don’t forget some of the things our kids do and he told me that I should just write shorter, more frequent posts. Oh. Why didn’t I think of that?

So, some things about Camilla (2.5 yrs):

— She invented her first name: Gobbia. She bestowed the name upon a styrofoam fish bath toy. I think it was very creative of her.
— She also likes the names Corduroy, Chloe, and Miss Suzy. We have lots of Corduroys, Chloes, and Miss Suzies around here.
— Her favorite books are The Shoemaker’s Dream, A Bargain for Frances, and The Year I Didn’t Go to School. She will request each of them to be read ad nauseam.
— She is obsessed with dancing and asks me to play the Nutcracker Suite and “Odette’s Song” (the theme from Swan Lake) every day. She prefers to dance in a “tube-tu” (any poofy skirt), a headband/crown of some sort, and the ballet shoes from Grandma. I always get asked to dance too so that we can hold hands.
— She uses a lot of sentences right now. We work on some things purposefully (pronouns are hard!) but she picks up so many things from conversation and listening to books.

Some things about Beatrice (6 months):

— She wants to scooch quite badly but can really only manage to push herself backward. She can swivel 360 degrees, though, and is very good at rolling in both directions.
— She is the smiliest kid and people just love her because she smiles when she notices you looking at her. Although constantly referred to as a boy (even in pink), she is beloved by other shoppers and clerks when we go out.
— She’s still nice and plump with lots of fantastic rolls in places I can’t show you.
— She is just getting the hang of swallowing food, so I think we’re going to move soon from little tastes to real meals.
— I don’t have to worry that she’ll be the little sister who gets nothing but hand-me-downs because she got some of the cutest clothes for Christmas. I wish I could wear her clothes sometimes.

Some things about me:

— I am already lagging a little on some of my resolutions (um, diet? what diet? and was I supposed to be reading instead of cleaning the closet?) but succeeding in a few others I didn’t mention (like wearing makeup more often and trying to get our household budget under control).
—  Ridiculously warm weather combined with our upcoming house blessing has given me the urge to start some spring cleaning. Er, midwinter cleaning. I also have to figure out where to put all the kids’ new toys…the photo below shows some of their new stash. See the problem?
— Gosh darn it but I just love my girls so much. And my husband. I am so blessed.

Some of their Christmas loot.

The new year.

Among other things, it has brought:

…a new baking set from Aunty Marian and Uncle Jacob.

…new legos for Daddy.

…some playdough cookies.

…some cookie cutters.

…squinchy-nosed smiles.

…a first attempt at petits fours

….(which will require some practice).

Petits fours (first try).

…and a first attempt at vasilopita (I used this recipe — a little dry, but it made excellent vasilopitoast the next morning).


Now I am off to finish Downton Abbey, which has proved almost sinfully addictive. That is why it is best for me to watch shows with a limited number of episodes which are available streaming.