Friday, December 31, 2010

Things that make Bjorn cringe

Jennifer gave Meg a dress up set for Christmas. She absolutely adores it. And so does Andy. video

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Oh, the loot

Here are the kids on Christmas morning. Note the matching pajamas. When Dad and I went shopping, we got four pairs for all four little cousins that matched. They are more boyish than girlish, but while the girls can wear blue, Andy would cry and whine (more than normal) to wear pink.
Here is Meg attempting to ride her balance bike. This is about as far as she's gotten on it. See the cookies and milk for Santa in the background. Santa was too tired (and maybe even a little drunk) after cooking his beef stew all day that it was actually a struggle to make sure to consume the cookies.
Bjorn's new shoes that despite my best efforts, were not exactly like his old ones.
Here's Dad in front of their house attempting to ride Mom's pogo stick. As you can see, he's wearing the back brace and suspenders he got for Christmas (I imagine he picked them out himself) as well as his Christmas sweater. It's a miracle we didn't end up in the emergency room.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Wow. After weeks of planning, plotting, purchasing, stressing, listening to the whining choruses of, "I want it right now," and , "But what if I don't get any presents!" Christmas is over. Bjorn made his Julia Child beef borgonionne for everyone on Christmas Eve, and damn, it was amazing. Bjorn was a champ in that the recipe calls for about 25 different steps, including cutting and drying about 100 different pieces of meat, and takes about eight hours to make start to finish. Damn it was worth it though. I consider that one of the Christmas presents to me!

We had 12 people all together for dinner, including four children. It was awesome to get to use the full range of our house for entertaining, complete with using every dish in the house. It took four loads in the dishwasher to get everything clean. So fun to have room to get out all that wedding stuff and entertain on such a grand scale.

Dallas did get like two inches of cold rain that day, the first precipitation of any kind all month. I was insanely jealous of all the snow throughout the rest of the South and blizzard warnings on the eastern seaboard. Fortunately good wine, good food and good family eased my jealousy.

It was a lot trying to keep our family traditions from Virginia and merging them into the new world order here complete with my cousin from Sydney, my sister on crutches from knee surgery and my uncle in a wheelchair. Like I made the mistake of hauling all our presents to my parents which meant Christmas morning was more bare with just a few Santa gifts. We also tried rushing over to their house to open presents after stockings and Santa, but we managed to annoy them by being late and I annoyed my own family by rushing them. We'll figure it out.

Of course, what works this year most certainly won't work next as we are thrilled that Bjorn's two brothers, his mother and all the kids are planning to come for the holiday. That would be the five of us (plus or minus Jennifer who isn't sure), four siblings and their spouses, four kids aged four to 15, plus Bjorn's mom. I am glad to have a year to get enough sheets and towels for everyone, but that's a good problem to have!

So far, winners for the holiday:
Bjorn's homemade Swedish glogg
Meg's new Yo Gabba Gabba bath toys
Andy's Nerf basketball hoop
Bjorn's beef stew
This iPad from Dad (Bjorn is insanely jealous)
Mom's egg nog
Dad's wine selection
Meg's dress up clothes (Andy also uses the shoes for "tap dancing"
Meg's new kitchen
Super Mario Galaxy
All the new puzzles

Surprisingly, the biggest duds are what I considered the biggest presents for the kids. Andy got a remote control helicopter that's harder to operate than it seems. Meg also got a cool "balance bike" that she can't figure out at all.

P.S. I have discovered Boardwalk Empire. Damn you, HBO. That's good stuff.

The bike I spent weeks researching. I was so excited to see her take off on it and she just can't figure it out at all right now. They did spend an hour fighting over my uncle's stocking stuffer, an old school magnetic toy. Typical. I am so getting these kids a box next year instead of the toy that goes in it.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Enough, now

 
As if the Christmas season wasn't enough, Andy went and lost a tooth (his third) last night. We were already at a party too late and then my niece, Megan, was coming to spend the night. After I'd read three stories and was tucking them in, finally, at something ungodly like 10:30, he pulls his tooth out. The going rate this time? Two dollars.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Damn you, NPR

I listen to a lot of NPR these days. Part of this is because the local radio stations in Texas seem to want to lynch all the Democrats and Obama himself. It's not like there is a legitimate debate here, but people screaming at me through the radio about how evil Obamacare is, how he's not a citizen, etc. etc. So I listen to NPR.

A few weeks ago, I heard a review of a book, "As Meat Loves Salt."

I remember when I first idly opened this book over my morning coffee. I had other plans for that day, yet after about 10 pages, I put those plans aside. Indulging myself, I curled into the living room armchair and galloped on as the sun rose high. I don't, alas, often say this of any novel as an adult, but I could not put it down.

High praise, right? So I checked it out of the library. I went so far as to ask for an inter library loan (which is friggin awesome. Seriously. Any book in the country except new bestsellers is available for this inter library loan. If I work this right, I may never have to buy a book again).


So I read it and it's terrible. Well, I'm sure it's got artistic merit, maybe even be a classic, like Faulkner. But by golly, it was dark, sad, depressing, violent and, unbelievably, erotic, if you consider gay rape erotic, that is.

In a change of subject, my sister survived her knee surgery and is recovering slowly and painfully, but recovering. My mother returned to Dallas with my Uncle Bobby who is also recovering from his stroke slowly, but at least he's here where we (well, my mom) can look after him and his care properly.

Also on the health front, Andy and I are recovering from the stomach flu. Fingers crossed we are better by tomorrow as the party circuit starts tomorrow night and goes through Christmas. I. Can't. Wait. I hope to start feeling better so we can properly enjoy the merriment of the holidays in our new hometown.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The barfs

So, what's the protocol when your daughter vomits all over the bathroom at Wal-Mart?

Poor Meg. We went Friday night to the super Wal-Mart so I could get a few groceries and some stocking stuffers (I also need to enjoy that she's still young enough I can slip those past her; Andy is starting to ask some serious questions about Santa). We hadn't made it past the produce section.

"My tummy full. I need to pee."
"Really? Because I just asked you before we left. But okay..."

So we abandon our cart and go into the bathroom. For some reason, I picked the handicapped stall. The toilet's too tall, but there's room for me to stand with her.

"I can't go!" She whines. And I start to get annoyed because she's doing this a lot lately when she wants a change of scenery. Not this time.
"Meg!"
"My tummy...." And then she proceeds to throw up forward all over the floor. Fortunately, she spares my clothes, but I'm looking around wondering how in the world I'm going to handle this. She then throws up another time. The first was all red, compliments of the "red" party at her school on Friday where everyone brought in something colored red. I know, good times.

By now, she's crying and I'm trying to comfort her without covering myself or stepping in the mess all over the floor while wondering if the barfs are done. After a brief assessment of the situation, I hang up my coat and purse, take off all her clothes and start cleaning her up in the sink. Naturally the other lady in the bathroom at Wal-Mart is as nice as she can be and is talking to Meg helping calm her down, too. I take off my sweater after I wipe her down and put it on her. I sneak out to get a plastic bag and put all her stuff in it -- clothes, jacket and shoes - and we make our exit. I do tell the manager at the check out that my daughter threw up in there. "It's okay," she says cheerfully. Clearly she's not going to be the one cleaning it up.

After we get home, she throws up a couple more times, mostly dry heaves. By the next morning, she's back to normal. Go figure.

Lots going on this week. My sister is having her ACL fixed tomorrow and my uncle with lung cancer is leaving his occupational rehab on Tuesday and my mom flying out to Odessa, Texas, and driving him him back to Dallas so she can better look after him. Please keep them in your thoughts. Oh, if that wasn't enough and then we have Christmas. I am mostly prepared. Mostly.

Edited to add that since I wrote this at 8:33 p.m., she went and threw up again. This time, all over Bjorn and the bathroom off the kitchen. I am hoping it's just that she drank some old milk she found (don't ask) but it could be an extension of Friday, strep or just one of those things. She doesn't have a fever, for now anyway.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Happy holidays

I'm totally biased, of course, but this is pretty darn adorable. Here's what he said when he handed it to me when I picked him up this week, "Here, Mommy. This is for you. It's a Christmas ornament. It's breakable so don't let me touch it. Okay, Mommy?" That kid is sadly as subtle as his parents.

To cap the holiday festivities, Andy has strep. I got a call from the school nurse that his was complaining of being really tired and presented with a 101.5 temperature. By the time I arrived 15 minutes later, it had spiked to 102.1 even with him lying on an ice pack. The adorable nurse who is at least 10 years younger than me insisted I take him to the doctor where a quick strep test was positive for strep. Some omnicef and Motrin later, he's bouncing off the walls again. Modern medicine simply rocks sometimes.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Chap this

This stuff is awesome though quite expensive.
Good thing I've still got a tub of it lying around.
Meg's in a phase right now where she likes to lick her lips and chin. It's probably because it's getting dry and cool here (hard to believe that would ever happen) and it feels good. She's been getting nice red rings on her chin. I was putting Chapstick and Neosporin on, but neither was making much difference until I had the genius idea to use some some diaper cream. It seems to have the basic properties of needing to resist moist areas. I also have loads of this very awesome butt paste (no paid product placement, just a fan). To my surprise, it works great! It also smells way better than A&D ointment which also works well, but makes me gag ever so slightly every time I use it. Go me!

Meanwhile, despite all the holiday excess, it's occurring to me that Andy's birthday is in a month and I need to be thinking about some kind of birthday. Last year I got away with just inviting the boys in his class, but with his new love affair with a girl in his class, we certainly can't leave her out which means inviting all 22 kids. Any ideas for good birthday party places? We haven't been to a lot here so I am not sure where to start.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Fa-la-la-la-la

video
Meg's school had a Christmas carol event tonight where all the classrooms paraded out one by one to sing songs for the families. Thankfully it's Texas so it wasn't cold. Meg is second from the last. Mom came with me and caught it on video. Too cute! Well, too cute if it's your kid. To anyone else, not so much probably.

We have been digging out the Christmas decorations here. It's been so fun to have a new house to decorate. It's definitely got more room for decorations and the formals here really lend themselves to it. Plus, I turned on the gas fireplace. So awesome! I was a purist before, insisting to anyone who would listen (probably obnoxiously, which can be my style) that wood burning was the way to go. I was wrong. This is so much cleaner and nicer and without the smoke smell.

What's no so great? The eight cavities the dentist says I have. I know, EIGHT. Who knew that was possible? I just went to the dentist last year! Two of them are replacing two old silver fillings that appear to be decaying, but the other six? Geez. I am going to have to get serious about flossing probably. Shit. In response, see the video my sister Elizabeth sent me. She better be careful. I have some incriminating photos and 600 friends on Facebook.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Thanksgiving

We went back to Virginia for Thanksgiving. It was a really good trip seeing family and friends. In fact, it was such a good trip I found myself a little wistful that we'd left it all behind. It was sort of like that first Thanksgiving home after going off to college. Sure, I liked school a lot and sure I had new friends, but nothing quite compared yet to everything I had at home. Plus, it was so fun seeing everyone at home again when it was all a big party and lots of interesting stories to catch up on. I even went into the office one day and caught up with everyone there. Lots of good, exciting personal news happening in the office that I was happy to hear about, too.

All that said, I was happy to get home yesterday and sleep in my own bed knowing the kids would (more or less) sleep in their own beds. The kids shared a room at Margareta's, which worked fine until about day three or four when Meg realized 1) she could get out, 2) she could smack her brother around and 3) she could roam upstairs to where we were sleeping. The guest bed is plenty big and comfy for two, not so much for three, including one who sleeps perpendicular.

We are now actively making plans to host all of Bjorn's family here for Christmas 2011. Bjorn and I are thrilled at the thought of having everyone stay with us here. This gives us a year to stock up on furniture and air mattresses for the kids and think of things for everyone to do, besides the customary eating and drinking lots.

Here are the kids (and their ginormous Pillow Pets TM with Fafa at Dulles Airport.

Meg and Andy (he's the blur of stripes) using Jennifer as a horse. She was thrilled. Obviously.

Margareta and Willie -- family friends for more than 40 years. Isn't that cool?

The kids and Fafa working a puzzle.

Auntie Viv and Andy.

Andy and his BFF Liam (and our BFFs Jenny and Sean). It was so fun seeing them and drinking their fine wine and beer.

Some of the C-spot girls (women?) at a friend's birthday party. They are just awesome.


Monday, November 22, 2010

Potty training = epic fail

Meg had been doing so well on the potty training front. She was ready. Then she did it! My girl went from diapers to panties and didn't look back.

Except. Well, now she's totally looked back.

So during the week, she doesn't mostly well at school. But once she's home with me, no amount of prodding, bribing or "racing" to the toilet seem to make a difference. Andy has become a champ at fake-racing where he tries to motivate her to go by challenging her to a, "Who's first? I'm going to beat you!" race. But even that has lost it's appeal. As a result, she has ruined about a half dozen pairs of girls panties (actually, they may not have been ruined, but I was not in the mind to do the scrubbing necessary to save a $.50 pair of girl's underwear). It's gotten so bad I practically have her in diapers or a pull-up most of the time at home because I was tired of cleaning up the carpet from accidents. 

Any tips out there on battling potty training regression? I know she can do it, but she's still a two year old for another couple of months and I have (somewhat) learned it's not worth it to get into a battle of wills with a person that age. 

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Football is king

No surprise, football is a big deal here in Texas. Such a big deal that the bi-district game between the Southlake Carroll Dragons and the Colleyville Panthers was held at the new Cowboys stadium (there were three other teams playing there today as well, making good use of the facility). I was interested in going to the game, but I was mostly interested in checking out the new stadium. And it was indeed awesome.

It helps with the fun that our team won. Plus Andy (and the rest of us got to wear green to support the home team.). We went with some neighbors so the kids had others to play with.
In fact, it was such a good time Meg fell asleep in the parking lot leaving the stadium in Arlington.
This wasn't from today, but our friends today had this on her phone and sent it to me of her daughter with my kids from when she'd watched them for us a couple of weeks ago. It's such a wonderful picture of Andy especially that I had to share it. That kid can be photogenic sometimes, can't he?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Rant du jour

I think I accidentally have a cause. When Andy started school and all the mounds of paperwork came home about the PTO etc., I filled something out to be on the Student Health Advisory Committee. I did have to explain what public health experience I have. Sure, I work for a medical trade association, in communications, but I'm hardly a nurse or anything. Despite that, I got on this committee. I presumed it was all about vaccinations and school lunches, that kind of stuff. I had no idea that what this really is is a front group to try to get sex education taught in Texas public schools, one school district at a time.

Fun facts that I've learned the last few weeks -- Texas leads the nation in abstinence only sexual education because the state mandates that only abstinence be taught at the local schools unless the individual district explicitly decides to do otherwise. In 2005, it also had the highest teen pregnancy rate (apparently Texas, New Mexico and Mississippi take turns with that honor).

Now believe me, I'm not all about seriously graphic sex education or anything, but I do believe that teaching kids the basics of developing bodies, pregnancy prevention and STD and HIV avoidance is one of the big things a school should do in addition to reading, writing and basic math/checkbook maintenance. I'm serious. World history is important, but it's hardly the life skill that say, not getting pregnant is. Sure, this is a touchy subject and sure, parents, should absolutely be the final teachers in this, but to let kids teach themselves through Gossip Girl and Facebook is really criminal. And this is avoiding the really controversial stuff (!) like teaching kids that homosexuality is okay or that abortion exists. My parents were pretty conservative when it came to a lot of things, but I'm really proud that they knew you have to teach kids these things. And I can say from experience that my mother's talks and books teaching us all about these things did not make me more apt to out and sleep around or do drugs.

There is a group here that is fascinating and doing some work that actually may inspire me to get more involved -- The Texas Freedom Network. Check it out.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Travel

So I was in San Diego for work last week. It's a good thing I didn't visit before we moved or I might have thought about relocating there instead. Dang, it's gorgeous, temperate and has an interesting landscape with both the ocean and the mountains. I am sure I wouldn't be able to afford anything nearly as nice anywhere nearly as cool as where I was staying, but it was a nice fantasy. Check out this view from the convention center? That's some mighty fine advertising, my friends.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

More backlog

This is our master bathtub. Sure, I haven't actually taken a bath in it yet, but all the kids love it!
Doesn't this look like an album cover?
This is the kids with Miss Ayesha on Meg's last day with her. We were all in tears. She was a huge part of our lives and we miss her!
Flowers Bjorn sent me for my birthday, you know, in June. Note the "Happy Birthday Princess" balloon my equally sarcastic colleagues got me.
This is just a pretty picture from the top of the stairs looking at the entry. Looks like we have a grown up house now.
I know! How cute is she? I also love her pajama shirt "Dancing Makes Me Happy."
I miss this jokers a lot, too. These is a group of us getting some fine inexpensive beer after an indoor soccer game.
I miss these guys from outdoor soccer, too. What I don't miss? All that pesky running around outside without the promise of beer afterwards.
The guest room is finally furnished with a bed. When are you coming to visit?
See? An even better reason to come visit!

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Backlog

For the first time since we moved in, oh, August, I hooked up my camera and downloaded all my pictures. As you can see, I've been a little behind. Here are a few. I'll be adding more as time and interest allows.
Here's Andy on his first day of school.
Megan and Andy at Balmorhea, the largest natural outdoor pool where all the water is a balmy 62 degrees all year round.
Elizabeth and I somewhat by accident climbed a mountain at Ft. Davis with this crew. Everyone did surprisingly well, including the grown ups.
All four Deans at Ft. Davis.
We drove to see the Marfa Lights. I am so glad to see it. It was interesting but sort of a waste of time. I was expecting something very different, like a star show. Instead it was twinkling lights in the distance.
Big Tex! I managed to get to the Texas State Fair for the first time in 20 years.
Rebecca is a champion at "flipping chicks" where you hit a mallet into a frying pan to win prizes at the Fair. Elizabeth and I were champions at watching and drinking beer.  
Andy has been taking swimming lessons at Emler since we arrived. I am impressed with the program and his progress. Here he shows off his ribbon for being able to jump, look and turn.
Andy here is Spiderman at his school's "Book Character Day" (nee Halloween). Lots of girls in his class were Fancy Nancy. It was too adorable.
Meg also had to be Spiderman. Note -- she was SpiderMAN. She refused to be Spidergirl or Spiderwoman. She sort of like Spider Meg, but in the end, Spiderman won.

Both of my Spidermen.
"Shisha" Jennifer came to visit!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The worst school photographs ever

The kids got the school pictures back. And they are both terrible. Poor Andy was in the throws of Fifth's Disease, also called Slapped Cheek Disease, so his cheeks look like he's got bad acne.

Meg's, well, wow those are just bad. Her hair looks greasy and messy (messier than usual even) and the black background doesn't do her any favors. It's too bad, too, since I purposely put her in a green dress thinking it could be Christmasey enough.

Sure, I went ahead and bought some. Even bad pictures are a chronicle of their youth that I want to preserve, possibly in the form of Christmas ornaments. I doubt either kid is going to thank me in 10 years for saving these though!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Praise thee oh heavenly television

It didn't happen overnight, but I am pleased to report that Meg finally likes to watch television. It's shocking to believe a child of mine didn't climb out of the nursery demanding her episode of Sister Wives, but it's true. Sure, there was a passing five minutes here or there, but never anything where I could let her watch Little Einsteins while I took a shower and know that she'd more or less be there when I was done in 10 minutes. Rather, before this she preferred to watch for five seconds and then follow me into the shower and stand outside and cry while I tried to shave my legs.

But now? Well, she's in love with Quincy and wants to be Annie. She will even tolerate an episode of Phineas and Ferb, much to Andy's delight. She seems to have skipped over the whole Jack's Big Music Show stage, which is a shame because I really liked that show. I find her tastes are in the Disney family at the moment -- Little Einsteins mostly, followed by Mickey Mouse Clubhouse with a little Phineas and Ferb mixed in. Sure, she'll tolerate a little DJ Lance Rock on Yo Gabba Gabba (a show that I find totally overrated by the way), but mostly it's her boy Quincy.

I do find that it makes life so much easier if I can find something safe that doesn't involve her pulling knives from the kitchen drawers or climbing out the window on to the roof just so I am able to get dinner started or shave my legs.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Playground

Our new backyard is sort of weird. Right now, all that's fenced is the pool. We have more land around it, but it's not fenced and is heavily wooded. We're been trying to think about what the best way would be to use it. Right now, we're thinking that someday when the coffers replenish, we'll fence the rest of the yard, create a gate out of the backdoor to fence off the pool from the kids and add some type of playground stuff. Since it's wooded, I was thinking some sort of tree house would be perfect.

Have any of you ever done something like this?

I don't think we want to make our own from scratch. I think it would be more complicated than we can realistically handle and I'm not sure I'd want the kids up in some structure that's not sound. I did some searching online and there's some way cool stuff out there. I certainly don't want to spend $3,000 on it so I'm noodling other things.

This would be pretty darn awesome though.

In other news, my high school reunion was this weekend. I need to finish processing the overload of names and faces (and snarky remarks) so expect a post on it someday.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Why I don't want to fly US Airways again, part two

Apparently I'm not one to learn from my previous mistakes. Remember when I said I would never fly US Airways again? Yeah, well, I did it again. And it sucked. Again.

I had to fly to Philadelphia for work this week. It's sort of weird being a remote employee and I'm definitely conscious of trying to not seem to expensive. So when I looked online at the flights, I could fly American to Philly, but return flights on American were twice as expensive as on US Airways. So I went with the cheaper option. I know, my mistake.

I showed up for my return flight well in advance to find out I had no seat assignment. I swear they must find the mean ladies to work the US Airways counters from rejects from the DMV. I have rarely had such continued bad customer service and this from a person who really seems to court it somehow. I nicely asked several people who kept saying I had to get to the gate to figure it out. So I arrived about 4:45 for my 6:10 flight. There were four gate agents there, but they continued to chat with themselves. When I asked a question about my seat assignment, they looked up and left the gate. Without saying anythign. I know, right? Who does that?

Eventually at 5:10, I was able to get someone to talk to me.

"We're in an oversold situation. You may not be able to leave until tomorrow."
"Really? I have a confirmation."
"Doesn't matter. We're oversold. We're going to ask for volunteers."
"Oh. Do you need my information?"
"No. We'll find you if we want to."

I hung around and about 5:20, they asked for volunteers. A $300 travel voucher and a hotel room. Two people walked up. Clearly there were a lot more "oversold" seats than that. (I love that it's "we're in an oversold situation" implying no fault as opposed to "We oversold the flight.")

Anyhoo. I came back about 5:30 and eavesdropped as the guy in front of me went through the same thing.

"But you don't have any other flights going to Dallas?"
"No."
"What about connecting through another city? I really have to get home tonight to see my son."
"Hang on. Wait, there's a flight going to DC and then going to Dallas. It leaves now. Do you want it? It arrives at 10:05 p.m."
"Am I going to get on this flight?"
"I don't know. I don't know how many seats we need. You have to decide NOW."
"Um, I guess I'll take it."

I asked if I could do the same thing. She seemed skeptical but eventually looked it up.

"Yeah. Run over there."

So I ran over there and then waited for two minutes in the line to board for Las Vegas. Fortunately, I figured it out in time to convince the gate agent to let me on the plane. Phew! I still didn't have a seat assignment for Dallas, but my thought was if I got stuck in DC, at least I'd get to see my friends.

I got to DC. All the monitors were saying the wrong thing so I finally had to stop someone in the hallway to ask where the flight to Dallas was. The boards said 26. It was 23? I explained finally I needed a seat assignment and was stunned to get one. Yay! I was going home!

The rest of the trip was uneventful. The seats were actually nicer than expected, but man, the service they provide is just so, so awful. I really do intend to fly on anything else if given the chance.

Customer service is hard. It really is. Dealing with people who are stressed and frustrated is also hard. But if you don't want to do the job, don't do the job. Likewise, I think US Airways needs to rethink its gate agent approach. They're the face of the company and they're giving it a black eye.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

I heart television

So after I wrote this long post about TV shows I like, I realized, "Wow. I sure watch a lot of television." Later, I also realized, "Dang. Not only do I watch a lot of TV, but I left off a bunch of shows I watch." So, herewith to you my loyal fans, all both of you, I give you my real updated list.

Back in action that I love:
1) 30 Rock
2) Modern Family
3) How I Met Your Mother
4) CougarTown
5) The Office
6) Glee
7) 90210*
8) Parenthood
9) Saturday Night Live**
10) Parks and Recreation
11) Friday Night Lights
12) Mad Men

*This is a guilty pleasure that I watch about half of each week just to keep up with the girls in the office. They make me!
** I usually only watch the first couple of skits and Weekend Update.

Recorded but relegated to the B list (i.e. if I have time although if they go about three or four episodes without me touching it, I usually stop recording)
1) Desperate Housewives
2) Brothers and Sisters
3) Big Bang Theory
4) Pardon the Interruption

Here are some new shows I've recorded and am trying to get into, but haven't really decided on yet:
1) Lone Star (bummer, it's filmed here in Southlake and apparently just got cancelled).
2) Raising Hope
3) Running Wilde
4) Hawaii Five-O
5) Sister Wives.

Since I wrote this post last week, I've now realized that with my Tivo able to record two things at once, I have waaay more stuff than I can watch at the moment. So here are the shows that I'm now no longer watching unless desperate.

1) Lone Star (cancelled, that was easy)
2) Running Wilde (not funny, also easy)
3) Hawaii Five-O (recorded, never actually watched)
4) Brothers and Sisters (it's been boring for two years now)
5) Friday Night Lights (I was watching Season 1 on ABC Family, but now that I've seen it, I'm done. Course, when the final season starts again in 2011, I will so definitely watch it. I heart me some Tim Riggins and Tami Taylor.)
6) Big Bang Theory (I like it, a lot despite Leonard's hoodies, but inexplicably when I watch it, something bad seems to happen, like a kid starts throwing up so that makes it hard to watch and even harder to want to watch when everyone is healthy.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Things that make you go, "Hmmmm"

So Bjorn and I both applied to register to vote in Texas. And both of us had our applications returned for "insufficient information." Bjorn's was because they said his social security number wasn't valid, mine because it said I failed to complete the "citizenship question."

As you may have heard, the Texas governor's race between incumbent Rick Perry (R) and former Houston mayor Bill White (D) is getting a lot of attention these days. It wouldn't take much to figure out that Bjorn was active in the Barack Obama campaign in Virginia and would likely be voting for White as well. Do you think there's a conspiracy here? I mean, one incomplete voter registration form is one thing, but two? A solid 100 percent?

I must say I have voted in most elections (I won't say all, because come on, I was in college for a while) and I have never had a voter form rejected, whether it be for voting absentee or changing my location. Considering the White campaign is trying to tap into the Hispanics, many of whom are first time voters and might be dissuaded by an official letter like this, the whole thing smells a little fishy, that's all.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Fall TV preview

They're back! The TV shows, I mean. Thank heavens, too. I was really getting to the dregs of my Tivo what with my Real Housewives of New Jersey as the only thing that I could tolerate on there to watch. Hey, it's good. Stop that.

Ahem, so here's what's on my Tivo right now. (And I do say TivoTM there and not that crappy Verizon Fios DVR that makes my 1985 discman seem like an iPod.)

Back in action that I love:
1) 30 Rock
2) Modern Family
3) How I Met Your Mother
4) CougarTown
5) The Office
6) Glee
7) 90210*
8) Parenthood
9) Saturday Night Live**
10) Parks and Recreation
11) Friday Night Lights

*This is a guilty pleasure that I watch about half of each week just to keep up with the girls in the office. They make me!
** I usually only watch the first couple of skits and Weekend Update.

Recorded but relegated to the B list (i.e. if I have time although if they go about three or four episodes without me touching it, I usually stop recording)
1) Desperate Housewives
2) Brothers and Sisters
3) Big Bang Theory
4) Pardon the Interruption

Here are some new shows I've recorded and am trying to get into, but haven't really decided on yet:
1) Lone Star (bummer, it's filmed here in Southlake and apparently just got cancelled).
2) Raising Hope
3) Running Wilde
4) Hawaii Five-O

I haven't had a chance to really watch these yet so they're collecting dust at the moment. I will admit the premiere of Running Wilde left me sort of cold.

My other favorite these days is Season 1 of Friday Night Lights on ABC Family. I have watched the later seasons, but missed this first one. Damn, that's one good show, too. It makes me cry just about every time and makes me wish I was cool enough to be a television writer. Some of those folks put together some amazing stuff.

This picture has nothing to do with the earlier post. I just took it today and it makes me smile.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Cousins

One of the really great things about being back in Texas is being near my family. I have one of those awesome southern families where we have lots of cousins who aren't even actually related, but are those cool people you see every holiday so you never really realize until you're older that you had a first cousin who was once married to a guy who had an in-law who is your cousin. It's kind of awesome actually.

This weekend, we had family come up for the Texas State Fair. They came to our house Saturday night and then we met for lunch yesterday. The kids who are about a year apart respectively had a grand time. It was really cool. Andy has asked if George can come over for a sleepover tomorrow. Poor kid doesn't realize Austin is three hours away.

As for the fair, I went on Friday with my sister and another friend to experience all sorts of treats, like Texas Caviar (fried black eyed peas) and Chicken Fried Steak on a Stick. Both were good, but not fantastic. What was great though? Fried Chocolate. It was basically a chocolate donut with whipped cream and powered sugar that tasted kind of like a brownie. Good stuff.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Fifth's Disease

So Andy has Fifths Disease. It sounds a lot more awful than it is, it's basically just a viral infection that causes his cheeks to get all red with a little spread on his arms and legs. What is notable about it, it's also called "Slapped Cheek" disease. I find that somewhat hilarious as it apparently hearkens back to a time when people would slap the cheeks of five year olds. The other notable thing is that Fifths Disease is harmful to unborn babies, but only when it's contagious which was before he broke out. So all last week he was contagious, which makes me feel terrible since there are several pregnant teachers in the kindergarten wing. Hopefully they've had it before and have immunity (most likely as all these random illnesses are a work hazard, but still). There is no treatment for it, it doesn't hurt and it doesn't itch -- it's just red and icky. It gets better when cool (like in the pool) and worse when hot (like when he's running around outside). Bizarre.

Naturally, the peak of his face AIDS, as Mark would call it, happened yesterday which was picture day. He will be thrilled to see those popping up on Facebook the rest of his life wondering why he had bad acne at five.

Oh, and the other picture? Today is silly mismatched dress day so he's wearing a striped shirt, too small, plaid shorts and green socks. Adorable!