Thursday, September 27, 2012

Fall TV

So, this Fall, between Husband and me, we tried a lot of new tv shows. 

During the Olympics, we gave Go On and Animal Practice a shot. Husband did not give Animal Practice a go because he does not have the same sense of loyalty to Justin Kirk as I do. 

 This Fall, we tried Guys with Kids, The Mob Doctor, Revolution, The New Normal, The Mindy Project, and Ben and Kate. Husband did not watch Guys with Kids or Revolution. 

Also, thanks to Netflix, I have watched past episodes of Parks and Recreation and Doctor Who and am all caught up for this season. 

Currently, I am watching Scandal and recorded tonight's episode for after I watch all 7 episodes from last year's mini season. 

So far, so good. I know many who enjoy the show so I thought I'd check it out. Anyway, here are my reviews so far: 
  1. We still enjoy Go On.
  2. I could barely get through the first episode of Animal Practice.  The same with both of us with The Mob Doctor.
  3. I thought Guys with Kids was mediocre.  I would watch it again if my plate wasn't so full, I think.  The same with The New Normal.  I liked it, but Ryan Murphy has burned me before with a strong start before going over the top and inconsistent.  I decided to pull the plug before it let me down, but maybe I'll go back periodically.
  4. I'm still into Revolution, but we'll see.  It's not my standard fare.
  5. We somewhat enjoyed The Mindy Project and Ben and Kate.  We'll see.  I wasn't totally invested, but I'm curious to see if they get stronger or develop characters over the next couple of episodes.
I have three more shows I'm going to try to watch this season so I'll report back later once I've watched them all.  I'm actually proud that I'm staying up-to-date with everything.  Once it becomes overwhelmed, I'll have to break up with something and comedies are always the first to go. 

Weekend Update - The Boss in NJ

Last Friday, poor Little Miss had a dentist appointment. She handled it like a trooper. She admitted to crying but because of the noise, she insists, not pain. After, she recuperated very quickly. We then left to go to New Jersey. Husband and I had a delightful and relaxing dinner at Il Villagio

On Saturday, we slept late. Then, we went to friends' house where we carpooled to Met-Life Stadium to see Bruce Springsteen again. We hung out in the parking lot for a handful of hours and then found out that there was a rain delay. You can find a recap here. The concert was fantastic. We didn't get to bed until 4AM and it was worth it. 

The playlist was as follows: 
1. Out in the Street 
2. The Ties That Bind 
3. Cynthia (tour premiere) 
4. Badlands 
5. Who'll Stop the Rain 
6. Cover Me 
7. Downbound Train 
8. We Take Care of Our Own 
9. Wrecking Ball 
10. Death to My Hometown 
11. My City of Ruins 
12. It's Hard To Be A Saint in the City 
13. Jole Blon (With Gary US Bonds) 
14. This Little Girl (With Gary US Bonds) 
15. Pay Me My Money Down 
16. Janey Don't You Lose Heart (full band premiere) 
17. In the Midnight Hour (tour premiere) 
18. Into The Fire (tour premiere) 
19. Because The Night 
20. She's The One 
21. Working on the Highway 
22. Shackled and Drawn 
23. Waiting on a Sunny Day 
24. Meeting Across the River (tour premiere) 
25. Jungleland 

26. Thunder Road 
27. Rocky Ground 
28. Born To Run 
29. Glory Days 
30. Seven Nights to Rock 
31. Dancing in the Dark 
32. Tenth Avenue Freeze Out 
33. Twist and Shout 

 On Sunday, we went back to our friends' house and watched the Jets game. Then, we head on home. It was an exhausting weekend from which we are still recovering, but it was worth it!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Our Soccer Star

OK, technically, she hasn't played soccer yet.  Her first practice is Saturday.  We'll be out of town.  We're horrible parents.  Still, she has all the necessary items on her list - athletic shirt, shorts (and sweats), shin guards, cleats.  She wanted pink.  My parents looked everywhere for pink shin guards.  Her cleats also have pink stripes on them.  She chose her soccer ball as well - a pink Disney princess soccer ball.  She's pretty excited.  I can't wait to hear her report Saturday afternoon!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Weekend Update - Bruuuuuuuuuce!

Last Friday, I took some vacation hours and met Husband's friend. Then, the two of us drove into the city to meet up with Husband. The three of us had a couple of beverages and dinner. Then, we went to Nats Park to see Bruce Springsteen. You can a summary of the concert here. It was a great show. We've never seen him before. As a passable fan, I enjoyed myself a lot. As a huge fan, Husband was in heaven. Stay tuned for next week's update because we're seeing him again next Saturday. The set list is below:

1. Prove it All Night (with 1978 intro)
2. My Love Will Not Let You Down
3 .The Ties That Bind
4. Hungry Heart
5. We Take Care Of Our Own
6. Wrecking Ball
7. Death To My Hometown
8. My City Of Ruins
9. Spirit In The Night
10. Blinded By The Light (tour premiere)
11. Jack Of All Trades
12. Jackson Cage
13. Shes The One
14. Johnny 99
15. Darlington County
16. Shackled and Drawn
17. Waitin' On a Sunny Day
18. The Promised Land
19 .Racing In The Street
20. The Rising
21. Badlands
22. Land of Hope and Dreams
End main set Encores:
23. We Are Alive
24. Thunder Road
25. Born to Run
26. Detroit Medley
27. Dancing in the Dark
28. Tenth Avenue Freeze-out
29. American Land (with guest Ali Weinberg - Max's daughter - on accordion)
30. Twist and Shout

Fans fill the field at Nationals Park in Washington, DC Friday night for the Bruce Springsteen concert. 
Little Miss spent the evening with the In-Laws. She loved every minute. When she came home on Saturday, Husband went to a friend's house to watch college football. Little Miss and I went to pick up cleats for soccer (along with a pair of sparkly pink shoes). We had some dinner and cuddled on the couch to watch Finding Nemo. The little one was tuckered out from her sleepover the night before and fell asleep cuddling. It was super sweet, only slightly dampened (literally) by her cuddle sweat. 
 On Sunday, we had a nice family breakfast. Husband's friend came over to watch football while Little Miss and I went to the theater to see Finding Nemo in 3D. We watched it the day before so she could be prepared. The shark (Bruce) scared her in the trailer, but he's friendly more or less so watching it twice helped a lot. After, we ran some errands and then went to Sister's house to have dinner with her, Nephew and my parents. It was a good afternoon. None of us were ready to greet another Monday though.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Books Read in August 2012

  1. All Summer Long by Susan Mallery (NOTE: This book is part of the Fool’s Gold series. The order of which can be found here.)
  2. Hard to Resist by Janelle Denison
  3. The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker
  4. Convincing Quinn and Breaking Beau by Chloe Cole
  5. Kissin’ Tell by Lorelei James (NOTE: This is part of a series. You can find more information and order in which to read here.)
  6. The Dom’s Dungeon, Master of the Abyss and Hour of the Lion by Cherise Sinclair (NOTE: Master of the Lion is the sequel to Master of the Mountain which I read but do not have previously listed. The others are either stand alone or the first in a series.)
  7. Mr. Cavendish, I Presume by Julia Quinn (NOTE: This book is the sequel of sorts to The Lost Duke of Wyndham though the books take place simultaneously. After reading this one, I went back and skimmed the other.)
  8. Unleashed by Cherrie Lynn (NOTE: This is the first book before Rock Me which I read previously. I think the second book is much stronger, but I hate to leave a series unfinished.)
  9. Baby Bonanza by Maureen Child
  10. The Perfect Play by Jaci Burton (NOTE: This is the first of the Play-by-Play series. The order of which can be found here.)

  11. Lots of books this month. It was a lot of fluff though I started some mainstream fiction books. I was on vacation so the quick reads were perfect. It’s hard to concentrate on bestsellers for me with waves and sun. You’ll probably see those titles later in the year. I’ve been reading some great books, just waiting for time to really sink my teeth into them.

Movies Watched in August 2012

  1. Into the Woods
I saw next to nothing this month. However, I’ve watched 2 seasons of Parks and Recreation this month so that explains it. I’ve also been rewatching stuff on Netflix or on my DVR. Also, 2 weeks of last month, I was on vacation so there just wasn’t opportunity to see much.

Weekend Update - Not much to report

Nothing much happened last week.  It was a successful week at school.  Our routine worked well.  Little Miss went to bed early for us each night.  We were on top of forms and homework and lunches.  On Friday after work, we went grocery shopping as a family and then had a late night.  As thanks, Little Miss slept late on Saturday.  We played Chutes and Ladders (I lost).  Little Miss had big meals which worried me she was having another growth spurt, but I think she was just hungry.  Then, we cleaned up a little bit and took naps.  In the evening, Little Miss tried her new food of the week (sweet potatoes).  They were a bomb, but she did enjoy the pork and rice part of the evening.  I gave her some applesauce to take the place of sweet potatoes.

On Sunday, Husband woke up with Little Miss.  Then, I was called in for reinforcements as she tossed her cookies.  Again and again.  Poor thing had a low fever and was sick on and off.  She also dozed quite a bit.  She was a pretty good trooper though.  I gave her some juice and crackers.  She asked for some more so I went to the store for more crackers.  She ate oyster crackers and wheat thins.  Then, she had an English muffin for dinner.  This morning, she seemed fine.  She's had bad allergies or a light cold so we'll watch her, but I'm sure she just needed the rest.  

Here's hoping the second week of school goes just as smoothly.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

School Days

Yesterday was the unofficial first day of school. Little Miss the official first week of school so this is our first week of school. She got up very early (for our house) and had some father/daughter bonding time while they watched some cartoons. Then, Husband makes her a nice breakfast (waffles yesterday and French Toast today). Then, he gets her ready and dressed. If you're asking yourself what I do, I get myself ready and lay out her clothes and pack her backpack the night before. I also handle homework, any forms and administrative stuff. We both remind her of Show and Tell (which starts this Friday!)
When she returned home, she was so full of energy and excited. She even talked about her day briefly which is huge for her. Usually, there's radio silence. We set her up to do her homework.
She has a little homework book in which she practices the letter of the week - upper and lower case. Then, she chooses pictures that start with the letter of the week from magazines and cuts and glues them into the space. This week was the letter M.  She came up with the words Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Mommy, Moon, Mail and Mary.  She did a great job with the capital M, but the lower case m was trickier.  Also, she likes to write on the upper part of the lined paper, still taking up half but the top half.  I'm not the teacher so I let it go.  It'll happen eventually.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Weekend Update - Back to the Real World

Brother-in-Law, Sister-in-Law and Nephew left on Saturday. In-Laws and we left on Sunday. That gave us Labor Day to recover. On Labor Day, we mostly cleaned a little, took the car for a wash and went grocery shopping. We got ready for our entrance back into the real world.
I know I only worked two weeks in August, but I don't want to go back to work! I've had no luck gaining sympathy though.

Vacation Update - Beach Fun

Little Miss loved having her cousin at the beach with her. Well, at first. Then, they went their separate ways, but they were always glad the other was there at least. They'll play more as they get older, too. They are at tough ages to interact a lot now.
Little Miss loves having her grandparents near her - both sets. Both sets spoil her and give her their undivided attention.
Nephew was great at the beach. He was definitely stylin'. Also, on the last day, I got quite a bit of cuddle time as he napped on my chest. Nothing more relaxing than hanging out at the beach with a baby sleeping on you.
After the beach every day, we went to the pool to extend the fun. Little Miss loved it. She's getting to be quite the little water kid. We definitely want to get her swimming next year. We were a little slow this year to sign her up. Husband wants to work with her through the off-seasons, too.

Vacation Update - Boardwalk Fun

The highlight was the ferris wheel which she was promised. The second time, she also rode the ferris wheel, but I did not have to ride twice which was nice. I used to love it when I was younger, but it's a little more terrifying riding with your child sitting next to you and wondering about all the things that could go awry. Little Miss loved the Boardwalk so we went twice. The first time, she played one carnival game and rode on a handful of rides.
The second time, she played the carnival game again and won her cousin a stuffed toy. She also got to watch fireworks which was a big thrill for her.
She also got to ride the carousel again which is another favorite. Unfortunately, the woman working the ride wouldn't let us go on with her unless we gave double the tickets whereas earlier in the week, Husband was allowed to go on with her for free to make sure she was safe. It's also the rule for kids 5 and under. So, Little Miss went on by herself. Another woman went on and made sure she was all situated. Luckily, she wanted to ride in the cart portion so it was relatively safe and safer than riding a horse by herself. You can see she didn't give riding by herself a second thought.

Weekend Update - Vacation #2

The following weekend, Little Miss had a birthday party. It was a rainy day so the kids were all cooped up in the house, but they had a blast. When the rain stopped, they got to run outside a little which helped. Little Miss loved seeing her friends from school. Just the previous Thursday, she had a school social and saw 3 of her friends from school and just loved being with them again. On Sunday, we left for another week-long vacation. This time, we head to the Jersey Shore. Halfway through the week, the In-Laws joined us as a surprise for Little Miss. She loved it. 

Little Miss also missed the first week of school to go on vacation. She didn't miss a thing, but we kept in contact with the school to make sure her transition was seamless once we came back into town.

Weekend Update - All Good Things Must Come to an End

It was a great vacation. We took a quick family shot in our New York Jets t-shirts. I'm going to have to get one in green to match everyone else!

Every year, we take a big family picture next to the American flag, and this year was no different though we're missing a cousin or two. I asked for a family picture to be taken as well. It was a good way to end a vacation. On the way home, we also stopped at Husband's hometown in New Jersey. We had brunch at a diner and visited the graves of his grandparents.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Vacation Update - Old Friends

In 1985, I moved from Massachusetts to Connecticut which meant I left all my friends.  It's funny because I moved maybe an hour or hour and a half away, but it was an eternity when you're 10.  My friend and I have kept in touch by phone, by letter and now by email and Facebook.  We're both married with at least one child (she has 3 additional than we do).  This past year, she moved to Maine so we managed to spend the day together during our trip.  It was so great to catch up and it really felt like only a short time had past since we saw each other.  We just fell into chatting and laughing like old times.  Our conversations, I hope, have grown a little more mature, but it was still one of the most fun days this summer.

Vacation Update - Fishing

Since the beginning of summer, Little Miss has begged to go fishing. Aunt picked her up (by way of my parents) a pink princess fishing rod. So, when we got to Maine, we tested that sucker out. We all loaded into two cars and sat. And sat. And then someone felt a raindrop and then more fell.
Still, it was fun.  Nephew had it down and did a great job.  However, no fish.  You'll see Little Miss sitting on a towel above.  The towel was in the fishing gear.  Little Miss took it out and spread it on the dock so she could sit on it.  She's still my little girl underneath it all!

Vacation Update - Boardwalk Fun

Little Miss loves carnival rides. Neither Husband and I are big ride people, but Little Miss LOVES them. She doesn't like the ones that go up and down (as we learned this year), but she loves getting dizzy.
She rode the Tilt-a-Whirl (or a version of it) with her cousins and then rode almost every single kiddie ride. She rode the carousel four times - in a row.

Vacation Update - Beach Fun

During the week, we spent as much time on the beach as possible. The kids mostly played well together.
Of course, playing hard results in being exhausted. So, occasionally, Little Miss would ask to cuddle and then would fall asleep. Life is tough for a toddler transitioning into a big girl.
The kids love to descend on the rocks at low tide. There are snails, crabs and other creepy crawly things living there. We collect them in a pail and then set them free later.  Even on the overcast day, we managed to get to the beach.

Weekend Update - On the way to Maine

We take the two day trip to Maine. This time, we stopped by our hometown of Fairfield, Connecticut to show Little Miss where we grew up. We had lunch at an old favorite spot. Then, we drove by where I used to work. We were a block away from where we got married, but we turned before we got to that block and forgot to show her that. After, we took her past my middle school and second place I worked and then she fell asleep before we hit my old house. She was in deep sleep when we drove by Husband's house.
We had some quiet time in the hotel before we went for a quick bite for dinner. Then, Little Miss spent the night in the pull out sofa all by herself. She looked so small in the big bed and started to look all grown up.
The next morning, we got a box of Munchkins for the quick ride to Maine. It was overcast the entire trip which made for a nice little nap.
Once we got to Maine, we did hit the beach for some quick fun. It was overcast, but that didn't stop the kids from enjoying the sand, the rocks at low tide or just running around.