Tuesday, January 10, 2006

are you there god? it's me, chris.

First lesson learned in 2006: Don't go looking for blog fodder where none exists, or it will surely come to find you in the worst karmic way possible! There I was, smug as could be, anticipating tales of the fam and the outhouse, totally unaware that I would become the subject of my own blog, thanks to my vanity. Now, I'm not a very vain person by any stretch of the imagination. As far as physical appearance goes, I'm a low-key Gap/Old Navy on-clearance, touch of lipstick and newly black roots courtesy of Loreal Excellence kind of gal. As a mom, I don't have the patience for fussy routines; that said, as a mom, I do have a few new "needs" that seem to have come part and parcel with the mom territory. For example, sneezing and laughing have now become mini-Russian Roulette games. (All you moms out there, can I get an amen, please!) And after three years of nursing two children, the sisters don't revel in anywhere near the glory that they used to. Having literally had the life sucked out of them, they need a little assistance to achieve A minus status. (And why is it that the same status used for school grades doesn't apply to bra cup sizes?) Assistance presented itself in the form of leftover Curity Nursing Pads remaining from my nursing stint, so I figured, why not? and took a little help in the form of....well...stuffing. This was not the stuffing of middle-school yesteryear, but rather, the dignified post-partum alternative to plastic surgery. (Justification, clarification, denial, whatever.)

Anyhoo, Fredo, Mercenary, Bossy, Stinky and I were at the Hilo Airport, making our way through security. I'm grateful for all the security measures, but lemme tell you, going through the whole rigamarole with kids SUCKS. Breaking down the stroller, wrestling 3 tickets, taking off 3 pairs of shoes, trying to send scared kids alone through the security device while simultaneously having your diaper bag searched for embedded bombs is a little tricky. We finally made it through security when I was accosted by one of the TSA guys regarding the number of people in our travel party. I was flustered and a little worse for wear after all the hustle and bustle, but I tried to answer him as politely as possible. It was then that I noticed his furtive glances at my neckline. Not my chest, mind you, but my neckline. You know that sick feeling you get when you've eaten sushi and you start noticing people staring at your mouth and you just know that you have gobs of green nori stuck to your front tooth? I started to get that same sinking feeling as I saw the guard repeatedly looking and eventually, outright staring at my neckline. We cleared up the "travel party" matter and I walked away quickly, head held high, as I sensed the inevitable humiliation that was to follow. For as I glanced down, there, proudly displayed on my collar bone, was my handy-dandy nursing pad stuffing hanging in plain view out of the top of my t-shirt for all the world to see. Beam me up, Scotty! I had a momentary altercation with myself as I tried to determine whether stuffing it back in my shirt or sticking it in my bag would be the lesser of two humiliating evils. I opted for the former, deciding that walking around half A-/ half B- would only add to the jackass factor.

So, instead of starting 2006 with outhouse lore, it seems that self-deprecation is the name of the game here at Bits of Knits. Thankfully, that doesn't apply to the knitting....yet, at least. As promised, here are pics of some Christmas gifts given to family. My baby brother, Bozobana, modeling the ubiquitous Irish Hiking Scarf in Austermann Naturwolle from Elann. Knit with Clover size 8 circs, 7 inches wide and 65 inches long, post-blocking. He seems to like it, though I don't know how much use he'll get out of it in Seattle. The Naturwolle is a tad rougher than the Peruvian Highland, but not overly unpleasant to work with. At less than $2 a skein and 4 skeins total, I really can't complain. And here's a pic of The Mercenary, modeling Lelah. As it turns out, she likes it as is without straps (thank goodness!), and I'm quite pleased with the fit. Here's another pic of her posing with one of the paintings she did last summer. Did I mention she was disgustingly talented, too? Yep, I hate her. :-)

Time spent with the fam was wonderful and it flew by entirely too fast. No knitting was accomplished at all, but I know it's a good thing when you're so happily involved with life that you don't have time to knit. I'm sure it'll take me a couple of posts to recount those two weeks, but I'll try to give you the highlights now. Bozobana and Bossy bonded, and Stinky got very attached to Fredo, as you can see. My dad is a fantastic cook, so my body has reaped the lovely blubbery rewards of overindulgence. But they were certainly delicious pounds!! Kalbi (Korean style short ribs), shrimp scampi, sushi night (you can bet your suction cups that there were tentacles involved!), ozoni (traditional mochi soup), barbecue spareribs, seafood salad...the list goes on. And that was just dinner!! The snacks deserve a post of their own someday. Homemade hummus and salsa, cookies up the ying yang, Filipino desserts like cascaron and suman (he may be Japanese, but my dad's a Waipahu boy through and through!), and these ono-licious Mrs. Prindable's candied apples that my mom ordered from QVC for our reunion. So. Darned. Good!!! We celebrated a belated Christmas and New Year's Eve on the same taxing day, which rendered only my dad and I conscious at midnight to watch the proverbial ball drop. We rocked in the New Year the way we always did growing up, with Dick Clark and a bowl of soba noodles at midnight.

We (Fredo, Mercenary, Bozobana and I) surprised our parents on the 2nd with a belated 35th anniversary celebration, complete with a surprise vow renewal ceremony and anniversary rings. There wasn't a dry eye in the house. Fredo was in charge of everything and she really pulled out all the stops with the Martha Stewart decor and place settings. We even had our family portrait taken at Sears, which really deserves a post in and of itself. Imagine getting 10 people to smile at one time when everyone's annoyed, hot and hungry. Definite blog fodder, but for another day, once I get over the sting of my Are You There God, It's Me Margaret incident.

The semester began again for me tonight, so I'm glad that I managed to squeeze in a little knitting yesterday after arriving back in Honolulu. Along with my sight, hearing and ahem, other parts, my circulation is slowly going south, so my poor toes and fingers are always freezing. Yes, it's the tropics, but darn it, it's getting pretty nippy these days! So I set straightaway to work on a pair of anklets for myself. I opted for some Knit Picks Geranium, not wanting to screw up the beautiful sock yarn I was gifted with at Christmas. One of my knitting resolutions this year is to be more adventurous in trying new techniques. Although I finally threw out the big hair Aqua Net spray and blue eyeshadow, I still tend to get stuck in ruts, like knitting socks from the cuff down. Having failed at toe-up socks before, I decided to give it the old college try once again...this time to success, much to my delight. I'm thrilled to have finally done a short row toe and heel! With one down and one more to go, I hope to have a finished pair to show by the next time I post.

Whew!! If you made it all the way through this interminable post, I thank you for being a true blue blog pal, indeed! I promise to get this long-windedness under control by next time. See what happens when you deprive a gal of internet access for 2 weeks?? Hilo was wonderful, but it sure is good to be home. And in the spirit of Jack Handy (thank you, Olga, for reminding me of how much I love him!), I leave you with the moral of this post and my new personal proverb: Dont count your outhouse stories before exiting homeland security!

BTW, it's De-lurking week, so if you've been lurking in the shadows, it's high time to come into the light and give a holler! I'd love to "meet" you!

52 comments:

Cat said...

Home, sweet home? The best with travels is to come back home! It looks that you had a great time with yor family! And what a good -and fun - story.:)

erin said...

Aiyaiyai, you had to take off your shoes? Glad you had a good holiday.

Acornbud said...

Great pictures of your family. Lelah looks great on your sister. Sounds like such a great time.

Hah, my word verification is
pnowa

Didn't he build an ark?

Laura said...

Yay! I was thinking this morning, before I logged on, "WHERE IS CHRIS?? I want a new post!" This was a great one! What awesome pictures of your family. Isn't it fun to see your kids bonding with your siblings? I had that pleasure over the holidays too, while my sister was here.

Can't wait to see those socks. Just wondering, what constitutes "nippy" in Hawaii? Like 60 degrees?

Cathy said...

WELCOME BACK! I am so happy you had such a wonderful time with your family! Your posts are NEVER too long and you/they were missed! What a wonderful surprise the anniversary/vow renewal must have been for them, they are blessed with really wonderful children! Thanks for sharing all of the wonderful photos, your family is lovely and the kids are absolutely adorable!
I have yet to do toe up socks, I'm not sure why, it just seems as though the patterns I work on are top down - I'll have to look into it soon :) Can't wait to see your finished socks. The scarf you made for your brother came out fantastic and your sister looks great in her new top. You should be greatly impressed with yourself! I have a hard time "buying" clothes that fit people, nevermind knitting them!
It's great to have you back!

Lolly said...

First and foremost, SOOO glad you are back, girlfriend! I missed you so! What a lovely trip to the Big Island - I love seeing the pics of your family. Everyone looks great in their Chris-made knits. What a wonderful story about your parents too! They make a lovely couple and have such a wonderful large family. (that staricase photo is great!)

Sounds like the TSA guy was totally checking you out - that story is hilarious, although I am sure you were hating it all at the time, you can look back and laugh now ;)

Talk to you soon! *hugs*

Brynne said...

Delurking a little here. You made me laugh through post-surgery pain morning with that story. I hate airport security with kids, too.

Alison said...

So glad you're back; I missed your posts! Great family pictures and absolutely hilarious story. I was laughing WITH you (not at you) the entire read.

mamma said...

Welcome back. You were missed. Never thought of using nursing pads to "help" the girls. Might have to dig a few out, and tape them in place ;)

I've got to go eat now. Your post made me hungry.

Karen said...

Oh how I missed those long, funny posts!!!! Although they never seem long, because they are so entertaining. I'm glad you had a wonderful trip (airport security aside). You know, you can buy bras with pads sewn it (not that I wear those . . . I've just seen them around) ;) Your knitted gifts came out wonderful - I can't believe how wonderful Lea fits. Like it was made for her . . oh yeah, it was! You have such a great family, the pictures are so nice and the anniversary party looks wonderful. Can't wait to hear more.

Anna said...

Sorry, but that's hilarious about the nursing pad!! LOL!!! Maybe he thought you were smuggling something in there?? ;)

Glad to hear the toe-up experience went well this time. Hope school isn't too mean to you this semester!

Thanks for sharing your family pics!! Looks like it was a great time!!

christine said...

Looks like you had a wonderful time. Loved your post, but no smells anywhere........I'm sure that you'll fill us in on the aromas of your vacation soon....all the gift recipients look very pleased with their handknitted gifts! As they should be! Welcome back, I missed you!

Olga said...

Oh, man, where to start?....first of all, welcome back! I agree with Laura...I've actually thought about what day it was, thinking, I'll bet Chris gets back today!

I'm glad to see you had such a wonderful time with your family. No knitting at all...you definitely were kept busy! My parents *also* celebrate an anniversary in December, but theirs was their 37th (I always remember because I just add one to my birthday...yes! they got straight to business on their honeymoon!).

I will definitely give you an AMEN on the bra cup grading system. Unfair! Unfair!

The knits look fantabulous, and Lelah is just gorgeous. I think I'm going to have to add her to my growing list of to-knits for 2006. And your sister painted that!!? Does she sell them? Could I get it shipped, like, book rate?

Your toe-up story has me encouraged; I've been stuck in the same rut as you, and I'm determined that if I ever make another pair again, that's what I'm going to learn!

Don't worry about catching up on my blog, sister...there was no internet at my fam's house, so you didn't miss much at all!

Terby said...

Welcome back!

At least you weren't sneezing while going through security with a nursing pad peeping out of your shirt...

katarinaw said...

I know that laughing at other peoples misfortune is very rude, but I almost cried from laughing about your mobile "implants"! You think you have a problem, well I guess the grass is always greener... I'm size E and wish whole-heartedly for many sizes smaller. Even when I lost 12 kg they stayed the same...

All that food talk made my mouth water! Sounded absolutely delicious!

Jennifer said...

Glad you're back! You know I still have a few of those pads around the house, and now I know not to pad the old bra with them. Of course they never stayed put for me even when I had a reason to wear them.

Reading the description of the food you got to enjoy has now made me extremely hungry...

Lynda said...

Oh my gosh, where to start! Well, first, definitely with an "AMEN!" - and your knitted gives, the scarf ahd Lelah - beautiful. And, yes, your sister is disgustingly talented - love that painting.

Your mom and dad.... to cute for words!

and, BTW, it's never too late to join in on CountYourSocks! I'll add you right now. Drop me a line sometime and let me know how many you've knit so far!

Sonya said...

Oh, Chris, I just can't get the image of you and your mobile stuffing out of my head. Just remember, the larger they are, the faster they head south.

Glad you're back. I've been looking forward to the outhouse stories. Love the family pictures. What a good-looking group!

Kim said...

What a riot--glad you're back, I've missed your sense of humor :)

Agnes said...

De-lurking week? Haven't heard of that! But I am not lurking here anyway! :)
Why is it you always have these hilarious adventures? They made my life so boring in comparison! LOL!
Belated happy anniversary to your parents.

keohinani said...

girl, you are TOO FUNNY! knit blog reading just hasn't been the same without you ;)
just so you know, my mom and my SIL use the nursing pads too. well, my SIL is understandable; my mom is just hilarious!
oh, and i never wear shoes to the airport nowadays. i learned my lesson, and some places let you walk right through with your slippers if they're thin. FYI.
your presents turned out lovely! i'm just wondering what ever happened to the hello kitty intars-ile thingy?
your family is so cute! (actually, i'm not sure if "cute" fully projects what i think, but i can't think of the word...i hate when that happens!)
looks like you had a great holiday! i had o-zoni on new year's, too! made by a japanese national (my friend), so it felt really authentic...
anyways, welcome back to knit blog land! lots of KAL's to catch up on, eh? (lynda's, chrissy's, etc.) i'm sure you're right on top of it, super mom :)

Jenn said...

Hooray, you're back, we've missed you!

I love your family pictures! And what DOES qualify as 'nippy' in Hawaii?

Just remember: too much boob is as bad as too little boob. Trust me on this.

msubulldog said...

So glad you're back! Your knitted gifts turned out fabulously and everyone looks really happy with them. :)
The nursing pad fiasco is to die for! The Boy and I usually travel by ourselves, so I know what a madhouse security can be--but I can't imagine trying to coordinate it with TWO! Throw some nursing pads into the mix and Wahoo! What a story.

myra said...

Welcome back! I've missed reading up on your latest adventures. Glad to hear you had a wonderful time in Hilo (except for the nursing pad). Your gifts look amazing on your sibs. Especially the Lelah!

It's a little late but Happy New Year!

knittinmom said...

YAY!!! You're back!!! We all missed you so much. And of course you made me spit Sprite out my nose - thanks a lot! But hey, better a nursing pad than a wad of toilet paper, right? I mean, Stinky could still be nursing... And don't those suckers have sticky stuff on them? The kind I use do... Anyway, so much for trying to be vain, huh?

Looks like you guys had a great time! All the best to you and your gorgeous family!

And you're in for the sock-along (as soon as I have time to get the darn sidebar updated, you'll be there!).

Teresa said...

Welcome back-I missed you! Looks and sounds like you had a great time-your folks are so cute! I look forward to hearing more stories of the trip, as well as some sock action. Take care-

Jack Handy rules!!!!

Talitha said...

Hullo! Welcome back. I missed your stories. I'm so glad you had a nice time with your family. When you said you guys planned a surprise vow renewal ceremony for your parents, I definitely saw comedic visions in my head of them turning around and saying, "And what if we don't want to." He he, that's awful and purely because I'm from a broken home *sob*. :p I'm glad everything was so lovely. Only in Hawaii can a person plan a simple little ceremony like that and have it turn out like a dream! Oh it's so cute and romantic. I can't wait to hear the rest of your stories from the trip! Oh, and don't worry about the stuffing incident, at least you're using something that's actually meant to be in your bra. I totally woulda grabbed Stinky and told her to suck on it though. Then you would've just gotten looks from the mothers in the airport and not so much from the guards. And, speaking of new semesters, my uncoordinated butt has been sticking itself out in ballet class. Oh, the insanity of it all.

Blair said...

Your airplane story gave me just the laugh I needed today, thank you.

Judy said...

Delurking to say AMEN!! I just got over a cold that left a hacking cough behind...I was connsidering Depends for a while there.

The nursing pad thing cracked me up, too. I am the opposite, with too much up top, and the last time I came back from Germany the underwires in my bra set off the metal detector. I had a woman "inspector" but I couldn't quite remember the German word for bra underwires so I had to resort to sign language. It was funny and awful at the same time, but she let me on the plane.

Mimi said...

Welcome back! Oh you gave me a good wake up with laughs about your nursing pad story. :D
You have a such happy family and it was a joy to read about the gathering and see the pictures.

Mimi said...

Forget to mention that your sister,
The Mercenary is so talented. Great painting!

Cheryl said...

Glad you are back and glad you had a good time, as soon as you mentioned your dad cooking, I thought of octopus tentacles!! lol!!!
I am sure the people who work at the airports have seen it all..........

Jenn said...

Too funny! The fam looks great in all their knits and I love your anniversary suprise! How sweet! It's great to have you back on the internets, and we like the longwindedness!

debbie said...

looks like you had a nice family gathering! the knitted gifts are beautiful - good job! the nursing pad story reminds me of those days past - i remember them crawling up my neckline too....

Anonymous said...

It looks like you had a fabulous visit with your family.
There should be a rule about looking for blog fodder...
I missed your posts. Glad to have you back.
Karen
http://nothingbutknit.blog-city.com/

Beak-Knits said...

It is so good to have you back!!

It sounds like a great trip. I feel for you with the nursing pad. I have SO been there. I was a working mom/pumper when I still taught high school. Needless to say I have had those moments.

I con't believe you knitted all that!! It all looks great.

Wanda said...

It's great to see you're back. That was pretty awesome of the siblings to have a 35th wedding anniversary vow renewal! Your parents look so sweet together!

Jen said...

OK, not a lurker, but I've been gone for way too long. I love your pad story. Thanks for the giggle, and yay for toe up socks!

Thank you so much for the lovely gift and card. I was so happy with everything in your package, but I really mean it when I say that the note was the best part. There was definitely a lot of "aw" and "that's too sweet" going on when I read your note. You're the best...

The fam looks too cute, and you like sushi?

Debi said...

I'm not a lurker either but I missed you SO MUCH!! I love your writing, such vivid images :)

Loved the wayward nursing pad story, your fam looks delightful and I'm lad you had a wonderful holiday!

On a knitting note, try the turkish cast on for toe ups, you'll LOVE it!!!

Glad your back Chris!!

=joy= said...

shhh... i'm LURKING!!!! ^_~

what a great trip (except for the nursing pad snafu... aiyah). happy friday!

kimberly said...

It's great to have you back! I'm still smiling at that boob incident-that could have been me! Thanks for sharing that one-i'm sure it makes us all feel better. I'm glad you had a great time with your family-they look so wonderful.

Ragan said...

I feel your pain...on the airline travel with small children...and on the stuffing issue!!!! It sounds like you had a terrific visit with your family! Hope all is well with the knitting!

Ragan said...

ok...forgot to mention in my last post...HURRAY to you for completing your first toe-up sock!!! They are super fast once getting the hang on the short row thingy. I can't wait to see them!!

Dina said...

Yea! You're back! Loved the post, the family pics, the food (can't find that here in Germany)! Uh ... about those nursing pads ... maybe you could do a Knitty version? LOL .... Glad to hear you did well on the toe-ups and can't wait to see them!

Oh, yeah ... how can I forget Miss Judy during my middle/high school years? I remember reading that book ... and so many others. The title of your post brought back memories :)

Dina

amylovie said...

I hear ya on the breast feeding cleavage. I have the opposite problem though. Grass is greener and all that. You handled yourself with dignity. Hold on to that thought. :)

Amy

jessica said...

Hi again, I really appreciate the comments you leave on my blog, your so sweet! I found a little something that I wanted to send your way and was wondering if I could get your snail mail addy?! You can e-mail me at: jjgutoski(at)sbcglobal(dot)net

happy knitting!

jessica said...

oh yeah I almost forgot to leave a real comment... I tried yesterday but blogger was acting up. Tears came to my eyes when i read about your parents... how cool! I'm glad you had a good time with your family! Sorry to hare about your incodent at the airport, here is a *hug* When things like that happen i try to think that lots of other moms have been there too... But somehow that doesn't help:)

Stricken madchen said...

Oh my goodness, your security story! I was laughing so hard, because what mom of 2 can't understand? What a nice holiday you had with your family. Your siblings look great in their new knits! And I'm so with you about sticking in my ruts. I'm looking forward to seeing your new sock!
Michelle

Say said...

Oh my. Your airport fiasco sounds like something that would happen to me! I have a long list of similar stories but fortunately, I haven't seen any 'post your most embarassing moment' memes in knitting blogland.

Glad to hear your holidays went well, and the idea of a vow-renewal ceremony is very touching. Congratulations to your parents!

Your sister looks adorable in Lelah!

Sonya said...

If you're feeling meme-ish, I just tagged you for a little meme. Questions are on my blog.
;o)

Sheryl said...

OMG - 50 comments?! You have been greatly missed! I was actually worried about you, so glad to know you had a great extended time with your family. How cool that you all surprised your parents with an anniversary celebration. Your knitted gifts look great, and congrats on the sock success. I am addicted to sock knitting, but just don't seem to have enough knitting time these days. I nearly lost it reading about your TSA experience. Amy and I will be flying on Thursday - bet we won't have that much fun!

Heather said...

You cracked me up with the nursing pad story, that so could have been me! I'm still nursing (seems like it's been forever) and I know everyone can see the lovely nursing pad circles through my shirt, but what's a gal to do?

And Lelah is absolutely beautiful on your sister, wish I was skinny enough to wear it because I love the design.