first post of '09

Ok, enough of all that sappiness. Y’all just want to see a hyper-after-her-bathtime toddler shake her groove thang to a Dixie Chicks song, don’t you?

You’re welcome.

(Oh, and apparently when I thought she said “funny” in the middle when she starts doing that floor-hop thing? Yeah, she actually said “bunny.” Which is why she was bouncing like that. Way to pay attention there, Mama.)

We had a lovely, lazy New Year’s Eve. We finally got Catie settled down and asleep around 11 p.m. (I know!) After she was finally out, Dave and I settled in on the couch to watch the countdown coverage and have a drink. (Ok, I had two. Or maybe 2 1/2, depending on how you measure. But I woke up today with no trace of a hangover whatsoever, so the point is that I didn’t overindulge.)

Dave and I managed to stay awake until midnight, at which point we gave each other a kiss and said happy new year – you know, as you do – and then we immediately clicked over to Noggin to make sure it was still there. Romantic, right?

Apparently Time Warner and Viacom settled their beef, although it’ll probably mean an extra $10 a month on our cable bill. Oh well, no matter. Those Time Warner people don’t know the kind of fury that they would’ve had to deal with if they took my Jon Stewart away from me. Not to mention that in Catie’s world, a day without the Wonder Pets is a day not worth living. So hooray, we have all of our channels. Oh, and we now have Bravo too! Yay! I’ve already recorded a Project Runway marathon, I can’t wait to catch up on most of this past season that I missed.

Today I’ve spent a good chunk of the day putting away Christmas decorations and trying to clean up the house. I’m sad to see it go, because it’s been such a fun holiday, but it’s nice to get the house back to normal. Catie came outside with me when I took our outside lights down, and she didn’t freak out and cry like I expected. In fact, she was pretty happy and adorable.

playing peekaboo around a tree

When she asked what I was doing with the lights, I told her that they had to go bye-bye for now, but we’d put them back up next Christmas. Of course, she has no concept of time so for all she knows that means they’ll be back tomorrow, but she accepted that and was fine with it. When we headed inside to get lunch, she said, “Bye, lights! Bye, Missmas! See you later!” Darn right, baby girl. Darn right.

the really good holiday weekend

Hope everybody’s been having a fun holiday weekend. We’ve been having a ball, although it’s been pretty low-key, no big cookouts or barbeques or anything like that. Saturday was beautiful, so we spent a lot of the day outside. Dave did a ton of yardwork (sweet man that he is) and Cate and I just hung out and played a lot.

Sunday afternoon, we dropped Cate off at Patsy’s house for a few hours (hooray for her after-hours baby-sitting policy!) and went to see the new Indiana Jones movie. I know a lot of people have been nay-saying it, but Dave and I both really enjoyed it. The only thing that irritated me about it was the guy sitting next to me (who had to come to the theater alone, and I think I know why); every time some outrageous plot point or stunt happened on screen, he’d kind of groan and say, “oh, yeah right.” It was like watching a movie with my dad, who has absolutely no concept of the suspension of disbelief. I wanted to punch him (the guy, not my dad – although I have been tempted to sock my dad once or twice during a movie as well). I mean, you don’t go see a Lucas/Spielberg movie and expect realism, right? It’s just supposed to be fun. So with that expectation in mind, as far as we were concerned, the movie was great.

After the movie, we picked Cate up at Patsy’s house and came home. I made lasagna, and while it was baking, she and I wandered around the neighborhood and visited with some of the horses. Then we came back to our yard and spun airplanes (you know, where you pick her up under her arms and then spin around so her feet fly out behind her), then we’d crash in the grass and she’d laugh and laugh and sign “more” to get me to do it again. We did that over and over until I thought I was going to throw up. It was fantastic.

This morning, Cate and I headed out to Target, and for the first time I set her down to let her walk around in the store. She had a BLAST, although it wore me out because I had to chase her down everywhere. She doesn’t quite understand, “Ok, let’s go this way” yet. Hopefully she’ll figure that one out soon.

She conked out in the car on the way home, and is sound asleep right now. Since it doesn’t look like it’s going to rain like the forecast predicted, we might have to pull Dave away from his work and take a family trip to the park this afternoon. Hope y’all are having good weather wherever you are, too.

thank you, vh1

I haven’t been excited about that much on TV lately. I mean, I’m really happy that the Daily Show & Colbert Report are back on, and I’m looking forward to “Lost” starting later this month, but otherwise… eh. Not that much is on my DVR schedule. Even my beloved “Project Runway” hasn’t been as exciting to me this year as previous seasons, although I’m not sure why that is. Maybe because no one is quite as obviously evil or mentally unstable this time around.

All that changed tonight, though. Because the second season of “Rock of Love” premiered. Oh. My. God. Did you see it? Did you see the poor girl who was so drunk that she slept through the elimination round? And the crazy French woman who listed off all of the various plastic surgeries she’s had, and then later said that “beauty is only skin deep.” HA!

The new season of Scott Baio’s show premiered too! And he’s still a weirdly angry, neurotic, middle-aged man! Only now he’s having a baby! Oh lord, I am in heaven.

And did anyone else see the first episode of “Celebrity Rehab”? I think my mouth was hanging open for the entire episode. I used to have a little bit of a crush on Jeff Conaway (when he was Kenickie in “Grease”), and seeing him all befuddled and incoherent and in a wheelchair because he was too wasted to walk or sit upright was kind of upsetting. I’m not sure if I’m going to be able to watch the entire series, but it’s sort of fascinating. In the same way that you know you shouldn’t look at the scene of a car accident as you’re driving past it, but you do anyway. Eek.

NaBloPoMo Day 25: Playhouse Disney

I mentioned recently that Cate is really loving My Friends Tigger and Pooh on Playhouse Disney. It’s more the theme song than the show itself, I think. Yesterday at Target I caved into the powerhouse that is the Disney marketing machine and bought her the Christmas special DVD, and eh… not so much. They don’t do the theme song at the beginning of the movie, so she was bored and crawled off after about five minutes. I’m guessing she might like it more next year.

Btw, if any of you watch that show, you know the turtle? Did you know that Mark Hamill – as in Luke Skywalker – does his voice? Um, WTF?

Anyway, since we’ve been watching a lot of Playhouse Disney in the mornings, I’ve started noticing a couple of thing about the little segments that they show in between the regular shows to fill in the time.

First, Feeling Good with JoJo is a little segment based on the show JoJo’s Circus, which comes on at ridiculous o’clock in the morning, so we’ve never watched it. Basically, in these little segments, JoJo (a clown) shows kids how to do one yoga pose, which is a nice idea in theory. However, at the beginning, she says something along the lines of:
“Hi, I’m JoJo, and today I’m going to show you how to do something with your body that’ll make you feel really good.”
And I giggle at how completely inappropriate that is for children’s programming. Because apparently I’m a 14 year-old boy.

Also, JoJo has a pet lion named Goliath, and the first time Dave saw him, he almost fell off the couch laughing. It’s all done in claymation, so Goliath’s mane is rather well-coifed. Dave says he looks like Christopher Walken, and well, he sort of does.

One of their other segments proves that I clearly need to get out of the house more often, because I think the DJ on Choo-Choo Soul is kinda hot. Dave thinks that the singer (Genevieve) looks like a stripper. There is something sort of Fergie-esque about her, and the train conductor’s uniform that she wears is a little costume-y, so I can see where he gets that idea. But I like their music, and Cate seems to dig it too, so no complaints about that.

And as much as I despise the Happy Monster Band, and I can’t decide if Go Baby is really cute or really creepy, I still think it’s nice that they don’t show tons of commercials in between shows.

Like I said, I need to get out more.

NaBloPoMo Day 16: TV talk

Since it’s NaBloPoMo and I have nothing to write about: Who saw the season premiere of “Project Runway”? Who thought it was kinda boring? Just me? I’m hoping it’ll pick up as the season goes on. I really hope it doesn’t turn out like “Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style,” which I barely managed to watch three episodes of, and oh my god, it is so very, very dull. What can I say, I’m not a huge fan of makeover shows. (Unless they’re home makeovers, as I think I’ve already mentioned my “Clean House” obsession.)

Also, does anyone else watch “Kitchen Nightmares”? I have a bit of a crush on Gordon Ramsay, which is probably because I have a thing for blonde British men (case in point: my husband). But I really love this show. Dave and I have been watching the version on BBC America for ages, but the American version of the show is great because now I get to read the recaps on Television Without Pity, and they’re fantastic. I generally don’t care much for cooking or food-related shows, but this is my one exception.

NaBloPoMo Day 11: errr…

This is when the whole NaBloPoMo thing gets dull, because Sundays are our lazy day, so I have basically nothing to write about. A few highlights:

* Cate’s ear infection seems to be better, but she keeps doing this weird gesture where she sort of rubs her ear against her upper arm, and I wonder if it’s still bothering her. Her antibiotics run out tomorrow, so I may take her back to the pediatrician for a quick check to see if she’s all better. Meanwhile, her nose is still a little faucet. And man, she hates it when I try to wipe her boogers away. She’ll squirm and try to hide her face anywhere so I can’t reach her. Nice try, kid. Here’s a tip: mama is bigger than you and she can always get to your nose if she tries hard enough.

* My cold is still going strong. I almost lost my voice entirely for a couple of days there. It seems a little better today, but instead I have a really horrible cough. I’m not sure which is worse. (Dave, for the record, seems to be fine, although he keeps talking about his “head cold.” Whatever, dude. I’ve heard nary a sniffle from the man, I think he’s just playing for sympathy.)

* This weekend I’ve watched both “The Good German” and “The Good Shepherd.” I liked them both – or rather, I liked what I saw of them. It’s kind of hard to focus on a movie when you’re also playing with a 9 month-old on the living room floor at the same time. I suppose that’s why I’ve only seen a handful of movies since Cate was born. My concentration is shot. The massive doses of Sudafed probably don’t help, either.

random wednesday

I forgot to mention the other weird thing at church on Sunday: the woman sitting behind us made a big fuss over Cate – oh she’s so cute, how old is she, etc. Then she asked if she could hold her. Um, how exactly is one supposed to handle this type of situation? I said, “oh, I’m a little germaphobic, and it’s cold season, so I’d rather you didn’t…” And she seemed fine with that, but I felt so rude saying it. What I meant was: dude, you are a total stranger. Yes, we’re in church, big happy community of Christians, blah-blah-blah, but hell no, you cannot hold my baby. Of course, it turned out that she was one of the people who passed around the offering plate and directed traffic for communion, so I had to make eye contact with her two more times after that. Argh. Awkwardness.

The only other time anything like that has happened was once when I went to this deli place for lunch with my friend Janet. We were standing in line, and the guy in front of us turned around to talk to Cate (who was in the stroller). Then he reached in and grabbed her hand. I resisted the urge to scream, “UNCLEAN!!!” But just barely. My only guess is that these are people who don’t have kids themselves, so maybe they don’t know that this is inappropriate? Or am I a big weirdo for worrying about strangers’ germs?

Of course, it occurs to me that one week from today, Cate and I are going to be on an airplane, and that I just might have to hand her off to a flight attendant if I need to use the bathroom. Because seriously, what else am I supposed to do? So I guess it’s a bit hypocritical on my part – I’m ok with strangers holding my baby when it’s for my own personal convenience. But I also figure that flight attendants probably wash their hands a lot, since they handle people’s food and beverages. I know that if I had that job, I’d be a total Purell addict. (I’d also probably have a drug problem, since I usually need either a cocktail or a Xanax to not freak out when I fly.)

Speaking of the airplane, I am really looking forward to visiting my family next week (and getting to meet a couple of bloggers too! How cool is that?). But I am dreading the flight. The idea of having Cate on my lap for six to seven hours in a tiny cramped airplane seat doesn’t sound like that much fun to me. I’m sure it’s better to do it now than when she’s a toddler and needs constant entertainment, but still. I imagine that she and I are both going to be good and cranky by the time we get to Mississippi.

Total topic change: As for that full-time job that I wrote about last week – I did update my resume and send it off to the recruiter, but I haven’t heard anything about it since then. The more I think about it, though, the more I think that I really don’t want it. I know there are a lot of working moms who love what they do, and I think that’s fantastic. I’m just not sure that I’m one of them. I could see myself getting miserable really quickly if I was doing the whole 40-50 hour work week again. But you know, I’ve never been all that passionate about my career to begin with. It was just something I did to make money, so I could afford the lifestyle I wanted. And sure, I liked it ok, but I’m totally fine without it too.

So I’m now kicking around the idea of some possible freelance writing and work-from-home options, in addition to sticking a few ads on this site. If that works out, I imagine I’ll still need to find some sort of part-time baby-sitter or daycare for Cate, because I don’t know how Dave and I could possibly both be working and taking care of her all the time. But I think that maybe some type of Mother’s Morning Out program, just a couple of days a week, might be sufficient.

Total topic change, part two: Does anyone else watch “The Riches”? Did the dentist in this week’s episode make you really depressed? Because I almost cried for him. I know I’m still a big hormonal mess, but god, that was sad.