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End of 2012

The last day of 2012 and it's actually chilly here in Baton Rouge. Jane and I have many errands to run. I have lots of things to do around the house too -- being at my mother-in-law's house was inspiring to purge and organize (although the turning of the calendar also has something to do about it I'm sure).

This year Jane went on five airline trips -- a total of 20 flights (takeoff and landing). I had miscalculated before and said 18. Glad I recounted:
BTR --> DFW --> LAXLAX --> DFW --> BTRBTR --> DFW --> OKCOKC --> DFW --> BTRBTR --> ATL --> CDG --> TXLTXL --> CDG --> ATL --> BTRBTR --> DFW --> LAWLAW --> DFW --> BTRBTR --> CNTCNT --> BTR That's a well traveled baby!

Jane's vocabulary is expanding. She doesn't say Mama very often, although it is what we consider her first word. Dada is her favorite word hands down. During our trip to Virginia she picked up "Popeye" or "Paba" for Gra…

Christmas Tree Skirt

This is the Christmas tree skirt that I crocheted for my mother-in-law this year. It took me over a year to finish because it was so many pieces. They're asymmetrical granny squares whipped together with a border -- from a pattern in a book Gran gave me. The number of ends I had to weave in was something else.

Unfortunately she doesn't have a tree that can make use of the skirt. (Hers is a small jobber that sits on a table.) But it's sort of draped around the tree anyway.

I'd like to make myself one, but I might look into a different pattern. I love green and red for Christmas, so this is perfect ... but I also like the idea of a filet pattern in white. For our tree this year I used some buffalo snow.

Christmas Cooking 2012

It's been a hard working Christmas for me in the kitchen. Since the day after we arrived in Virginia I've been making something every day. And nearly every step of the way something has gone wrong.

It started with the cake. I'd seen a recipe in a magazine and didn't think it seemed too hard. But the payoff looked gorgeous -- like it always does in magazines. After making the cake batter to perfection I was thwarted when the cakes rose over the sides of the pans and made the bottom of the oven super messy. Luckily there was foil on the bottom of the oven so cleanup wasn't too difficult. But the cakes were pretty much useless -- too soft in parts and crusty in others.They really seemed like brownies in consistency.

After pondering a while I gave up and decided to bake a regular box cake in two layers and go ahead and make the cream cheese frosting. With the excess frosting I mixed the half of the ruined cakes to make cake balls (kind of gross, and I never bothered t…

Crochet: A Granny Square

Finished this granny square baby blanket with the puffiest softest yarn, Red Heart Buttercream. It's bulky and worked up quickly. I interspersed some "Cupcake" purple yarn and embroidered an "A" in the middle (the baby's first name starts with "A").

I got it mailed off today. The baby was born 5 months ago, so I'm only a little late getting this finished!

The Spirit of the Season

I am fighting a losing battle with myself. I want to stop wanting THINGS and be content with all the amazing things I have -- and the people I have to share them with.

But I am susceptible to marketing and jealousy like woah.

It's Christmastime, so there are tons of "hot deals" and "buy now" messages pervading me. I have read so many gift guides and thought "oh, I want that!" And being at others' homes and seeing the beautiful decorations my tree doesn't seem like enough. And I want more-more-more.

Specific example: Christmas china. The idea of having special plates, bowls, cups, glasses to pull out for December is suddenly oddly appealing to me (although come January - November decidedly less so!). Bringing myself back to reality I remember that i have wedding china I've never used (and don't have a safe place to store so it remains in its box in the utility room). And I don't have people over to eat with any regularity anyway, ev…

Voyeurism and Reality Blogging

The idea that blogging is similar to reality TV keeps tumbling around in my head (and I'm fairly certain I've written about it before...or at least I meant to). So while I'm adamant against watching shows like "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" and "Real Housewives,"* I LOVE reading blogs that give me a peek into someone else's life.

From the twee blogger writing about style and fashion to the mommy blogger presenting a realistic look at life with a toddler to the healthy food blogger who mixes in stories about her family to the trying-to-be-funny but missing the mark honesty of a decidedly non-crunchy blogger (brags about feeding her kids Little Debbie snacks; the feeding probably isn't uncommon but the unabashed pride in doing so certainly is among what I read anyway).

In some cases I know more about these women's lives than I do about my sister's! (To be fair I definitely know what's up with my sister's life, but I don't know the …

Christmas Movies

Something I didn't mention in my TV watching confessions was how much I like to watch TERRIBLE Christmas/holiday movies.

ABC Family, Lifetime, Hallmark. Those would be my channels in years past -- I can't count how many of the lame-oh, eye rolling movies I've watched. They're so bad they're good, at least to me.

I remember a particularly good/bad one we watched at Shawn's Aunt Diannia's house -- Wilford Brimley suddenly grabbed his left arm and Diannia shouted "heart attack!" And sure enough, that's what he had. Shawn and I still sometimes shout it out randomly and crack up, years later.

Last year I watched many while Jane was still small and sleeping all the live long day. But this year I'm not sure if I'll watch any of them. I've seen ads in some of the magazines I read -- which I'm letting subscriptions lapse as I can stand it, because seriously -- so I've seen a few I would LIKE to see. I think there's one with Tor…

Read: MWF Seeking BFF

MWF Seeking BFF: My Yearlong Search For A New Best Friend by Rachel Bertsche
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I checked out this memoir digitally, which I think is the best invention ever (or not, but I really like being able to do that ... I'm not one to crave zillions of digital files of books I'll never read again, can't sell or give away and never remember to try to loan out to someone who has the same device as me, etc.). I would even pay a couple bucks to rent books digitally -- maybe like Netflix for Novels & Nonfiction or something? I do have Amazon Prime and can borrow a book a month that way ... but the available titles are mostly self-published things plus the Hunger Games trilogy, which I've already read. Meh.

Anyway, the book itself is about the author's year-long quest to make friends in Chicago because all her friends live elsewhere.

There's a fair bit of friendship/relationship research information included but I didn't really like those parts of…

The End: What I Would Watch and What I Don't Watch

So NaBloPoMo is at an end. Again, I don't think I won any of the prizes given by the organizers, despite being a diligent, if boring, daily blogger. I also am having second (third? fourth? sixteenth?) thoughts on the wisdom of spelling out my TV habit so clearly, especially when it comes to implicating Shawn in a few of the shows. I know it's not a good habit, and I could spend time dissecting why I succumb to it and don't really try to break it. Maybe next November?

Ah, I just remembered another show I DO watch: Rizzoli and Isles (which came back on this week after hiatus -- TNT). I like Angie Harmon a lot, but the show itself is really hokey. Another police drama with two female leads (detective and medical examiner), but they've both been the target of at least one serial killer (sometimes two) and the show is only a couple years old. Anyway, that gives you an idea of its quality...

I also watch basketball -- NBA and college especially in the spring -- so our TV get…

What I Watch: Cougar Town and Dallas

Two shows that are on hiatus and are more than a little embarrassing to say that I watch.

I started watching Cougar Town when it premiered -- I think the same time as Modern Family -- because it's created by the Scrubs people (and I love Scrubs) and just kept watching it because it was so wacky and weird.

The show is about a group of friends in their 40s, love to drink wine and play a game called Penny Can. They live in Florida. Originally it was about a divorced woman (Courteney Cox) going after much younger guys, but it evolved into a much better show. The title doesn't make any sense now, but they make jokes about it in the title cards -- a blink and you'll miss it kind of inside joke I guess.

It was on ABC but apparently is now moving to TBS starting on January 8. I'm glad I looked it up, as I'm not sure my DVR will automatically record something that's on another channel.

The revamp of Dallas wasn't something I was interested in watching BUT my mom and…

A Baby and Her Tree

Baby's first Christmas tree, and our first tree as a married couple. We never bothered in the apartments and didn't have a tree to put up last year when we had a newborn. This is a pre-lit faux tree we bought at Hobby Lobby last year for 75% off.

Only the front is decorated, and I didn't put anything at all at the bottom. We have plenty of room to grow and get more ornaments. I have some from my childhood, some that were Grandma Jane's, some that have been gifts (including a birthday present this year, a beautiful glass star), and several we have collected on our travels: Canada, Germany, Caribbean, etc. I would like to crochet some flat angels and some more snowflakes. Maybe next year!

What I Watch: Star Trek

A local channel - ME TV - plays the original Star Trek every Saturday night at 8 pm. Our DVR records it, and Shawn and I will watch an episode whenever we feel like intentionally watching TV together, which isn't often but is usually on Saturday evenings.

When we were dating we'd watch Star Trek: Next Generation together--my first introduction to the Star Trek universe. Although we had the string quartet play theme song as we walked down the aisle after being married we are far from Trekkies.

Shawn has seen most of the original series episodes, but I haven't. And even the ones I have seen I forget and like to watch again. There are a few Shawn will say "let's skip" and some that he hasn't seen or doesn't remember. He wants to skip "Trouble with Tribbles," but I keep saving it on the DVR hoping he'll change his mind and we can watch it again. It's hilariously weird.

The show is so campy and funny, and I'm a big Spock fan. I love …

What I Watch: Fringe

Fringe is a show I've watched since its beginning, and I'm not really sure what it was that drew me. Actually it was probably Joshua Jackson. I've always been a Pacey fan myself. But I found I really liked the show, which is another that I watch with a strong female lead in Olivia.

It's now my only Friday show, but before it was on Thursdays after Bones. I had to choose between Fringe and Grey's Anatomy (I chose Fringe, but I could always watch Grey's online later).

Fringe is a scifi show that's not like any scifi I've ever watched ... not that I've watched a lot of scifi. It is not something that Shawn likes at all -- in fact he makes fun of me for watching it BUT sometimes he likes it because of the Walter and Peter dynamic ... the Walter character has some pretty good one liners and zingers.

Basically the show is about a team of FBI agents who investigate paranormal events (X-Files-ish I guess, but with the addition of a wacky scientist who'…

Thirty Two

Jane's mama is 32 years old today...

Shawn got the Christmas tree put up and I'm going to work on decorating it today. We have so many ornaments that I've collected but have never been able to actually display. Going to be fun!

Tonight is Bible study so no big evening out for us. I'd like to go out and get Mexican food some time this week.

I also need to get my flu shot and TDAP shot. Suddenly paranoid AFTER our first big travel. D'oh. Jane's vaccinated though, so at least there's that.

It's a beautiful day for a birthday -- overcast, cool and rainy. Our yard is covered with leaves, the Christmas music is playing for the first time this year and I'm in a pretty good mood.

I'm going to try to take advantage of at least one Cyber Monday deal and buy my Christmas cards. I've bought a few different ones here and there when they were super cheap (like only pay shipping cheap). But I want to get Jane's picture using this tutorial. The guest …

RIP Router

I still have a couple more TV shows to write about, but since we came home to a fried router I thought I'd write about that, since it will make blogging that much harder.

Apparently when you power up and power down a router enough times it eventually just dies. They don't come with power buttons -- at least not the model we had -- so wasn't protected from that. Even though it was plugged into a surge protector that didn't save it.

SO we still have internet via the modem if we plug in directly BUT without wifi my Draw Something time is severely limited. Not to mention that reading my Google Reader feeds without my iPod will be nearly impossible for me! Oh how my habits have changed. I don't sit at a computer all day anymore!

Hopefully we'll be back up and running by Tuesday, but until then I'll hobble along and use my Connectify program to create a small wifi hot spot when my laptop is on and connected to the internet.

Home Away

We're homeward bound today. It's been a great trip. Remember when I would obsessively write every detail of every trip? I will probably do some highlights with pictures of this trip, but nothing like my Owen-filled detailed posts of old. (But there will be plenty of Owen in any wrap up ... I still love that kid like a crazy person!)

Wish us luck getting home, although it should be infinity times easier with two of us to wrangle a toddler. And it actually wasn't all bad when I did it myself.

Happy Small Business Saturday, and I hope I can find one en route (unlikely in DFW I'd guess) -- or make it home and do some Etsy shopping just to say I did.

(This tiny laptop of my mom's is nice, and I'm grateful to have been able to use it and keep up with NaBloPoMo, but I'll be glad to get back to my own machine, photos, etc.)

What I Watch: Psych

Psych might be my favorite current show. It's another crime show -- mostly a comedy but with some drama mixed in.

I love Shawn and Gus, and Shawn and Juliet. I love the goofy jokes, 80s and 90s references and the wacky crime solving team.

Another show that I started watching because my mom turned me onto it. And I LOVE it. It's another show I can watch again and again in syndication. I might even watch it if I had the DVDs (I only have DVDs of two shows: My So-Called Life and Felicity).

Anyway, I watched tons of reruns on Ion and USA during my pregnancy. I wouldn't be surprised if Jane recognized the theme song: "I know, you know that I'm not telling the truth. I know, you know you just don't have any proof..."

Gobble Gobble

Happy Thanksgiving from our turkey to you.

What I Watch: The Big Bang Theory

I love this show, and it's one of the few that Shawn will watch with me regularly and intentionally. It's centered around academics -- totally stereotyped but also hilariously accurate sometimes.

One of the characters is socially inept but also OK with it (his mother had him tested so he knows he's not insane) -- Sheldon is so funny, and the actor who portrays him (Jim Parsons) does such an amazing job with his body language and dry one-liners.

Sheldon has a "girlfriend" in later seasons -- Amy Farrah Fowler -- who is played by Mayim Bialik, formerly known as Blossom (whose book Beyond the Sling I recently read).

We always laugh out loud at this show, sometimes because it reminds us of something we've experienced, but usually just because it's so outlandish and such a ridiculous portrayal of the way academia works.

It's definitely one of my favorite shows and one I would be sad to give up if I ever did abolish TV entirely. It's also one that I ca…

What I Watch: Community

Here's another NBC sitcom that's currently on hiatus. I've watched it since the beginning because of Joel McHale. I was a big fan of The Soup (don't watch anymore because I actually HAVE cut back on TV watching, despite what this month is showing me/us). I watched it back when it was Talk Soup and Skunk Boy was the host. (I didn't watch it when Greg Kinnear was the host, but that's probably because we didn't have cable then.)

Anyway, I think Joel McHale is super cute and funny, so I checked out his show and I liked it and kept watching. It doesn't get the best ratings because it's kind of a wacky only-some-people-will-get-it kinda show. And I like being one of those kinds of people I guess.

This is a show about a group of friends -- originally a study group for some class -- at a community college (I think in California?). The main character, Jeff, was an attorney who'd never completed his undergraduate degree, so he gets fired and decides to g…

My Daughter is Not a Princess

Jane isn't old enough to watch TV (and the irony is not lost on me that I watch enough TV for two or three people myself), but someday maybe we'll watch this clip together. A Supreme Court justice is telling one of the characters (Abby Cadabby -- the weird one I can never figure out why she's able to do magic in the books we read) about careers. Being a princess is not a career. Since I've been home my Gran and dad have both called Jane "a little princess." I know it's a term of endearment, and I haven't said anything like "don't call her that," even though I cringe a little when I hear it. (I don't think they called Owen "a little prince," but I wouldn't doubt it entirely, especially for my Gran.) Jane is a lot of things. She's funny and amazing and smart and strong and beautiful (and every synonym of those words). But she's not a princess.

What I Watch: Grey's Anatomy

Grey's Anatomy is a drama -- really a soap opera -- set in a hospital in Seattle. I haven't watched it since the beginning. I'm not sure how I got sucked into it. I know my sister used to watch it and I probably started watching reruns on Lifetime (back in Alexandria?!), and so I've watched the newer seasons since then.

I liked Izzy (Katherine Heigl), but her departure was pretty weird and her story line had degraded -- I hated the Denny hallucinations and brain tumor stuff. Otherwise I think Meredith (Ellen Pompeo), the main character, is my favorite. And I like her relationship with Derek (Patrick Dempsey). I couldn't understand the adoption story line -- it seemed very fake that they wouldn't be able to keep their baby with them as a foster child during the process, especially after she had bonded with them. But I'm sure there is some grain of truth there. It was irritating to watch though.

The seasons continue to get more and more drama filled in terms…

What I Watch: The Office

The Office hasn't been the same since Steve Carell left, but I still love it because of the Jim and Pam story line. The drama is over there, but I like a happy ending.

I've seen several of the original British "The Office" episodes, but definitely after I had seen the Americanized versions. I probably didn't think it was as funny as it would have been otherwise. I also really like it even though I don't work in an office anymore (and I guess I haven't for much of the run, since I worked from home for several years in there). Especially at the beginning some of the jokes seemed to ring true to life, making them even funnier.

I keep watching this because I'm hooked into the characters' story lines. It's still funny and an OK way to spend 20 minutes. This is its last season though, so hopefully I won't fall into whatever replaces it in the time slot.

//////

Jane and I made it to Oklahoma no problem. We had a tight connection in Dallas, but o…

What I Watch: Up All Night

Let's see, a 30-minute show about new parents with a baby keeping them up all night that premiered in fall 2011 ... yeah, that sounds like something I would tune in for since I also had a baby keeping me up all night then. (In reality she slept great as a newborn ... it's now as a toddler that we're really losing sleep.)

This show stars Christina Applegate, Will Arnett and Maya Rudolph. They tweaked the set up of the show from stay-at-home dad to stay-at-home mom from season 1 (Rudolph being Applegate's boss on a talk show) to season 2 (Rudolph just being a wacky friend with no evident employment), so that's a little weird. It's not my favorite show, but I like the premise of seeing how a fictional family deals with a baby/kid.

(In real life Will Arnett is married to Amy Pohler -- of Parks & Recreation -- and they have two little boys. BUT they recently announced their divorce after 9 years of marriage and it makes me sad. Not all celebrity breakups make m…

What I Watch: Parks & Recreation

Another sitcom in the NBC Thursday night block. I've watched this from the first episode, probably because it just came on after something I already watched. But I actually love Amy Pohler from Saturday Night Live -- she created and stars in the show -- so it's possible it was an intentional decision to start watching.

In any case it's intentional that I KEEP watching.

Pohler's lead character Leslie Knope is a government employee (working in the parks department) in an Indiana town. She's idealistic and efficient and loves her job and town. She's also a goofball and is surrounded by quirky, nutty characters who fit together in really weird ways.

Here's a funny clip with two of my favorite characters, Tom and Donna:



I also really like that characters get together romantically and then seemingly stay together. Romance isn't a big part of the show (although the Leslie and Ben storyline is great), but there isn't a big effort to have some sort of ongo…

What I Watch: 30 Rock

I've watched NBC's Thursday night comedy block for what seems like a long time. I feel like since ER was on (Seinfeld and Friends for sure), but probably only sporadically since then and for a few shows.

Now it seems like I watch the whole block, and I have a real issue with my DVR. The way NBC airs their shows they end right in the middle of the top or bottom of the hour. So no matter what I do I miss part of the "bumper" after the show. What I could do is just set my DVR to record every Thursday from 7-9:05 and watch it in a continuous stream (a la a VCR), but then I might miss a show if its moved to another night (seeing as how I don't really watch commercials). So I get by with missing the last joke on every show.

Anyway, one NBC comedy I've watched for a few years is 30 Rock. At first I avoided it because it seemed too "popular kids" -- it doesn't have a mass following but it has a loyal enough following that it stays on the air. Also it&#…

What I Watch: Criminal Minds

Another crime drama introduced to me by my mom. Surprise surprise. I remember watching it first at her house -- it was a two-part episode rerun that went late into the night. I was so tired the next day, and although I had avoided watching this particular show I decided I liked it and got sucked into the characters. I caught up on most of the back episodes via Bravo and Ion.

It's a show about FBI profilers who travel the country helping local law enforcement solve gruesome cases, usually serial murders or other psycho things. They're always on the hunt for an "unsub" or unidentified subject. And I'm pretty sure each main character has had a psycho out for him or her individually throughout the course of the show's run.

I can't believe there are really so many serial killers out there. Wouldn't there be more national media coverage of some of the gruesome things if the TV show were real life? Thankfully it's not, but ugh. Some of the crimes they…

Complaint Box: Doctor Appointment

Ugh. Today was Jane's one year doctor check up. Everything is fine -- she's growing (and actually slimming down because of all the walking), but the WAIT just to see the doctor.

We had an 8:30 appointment, so we were there by 8:20.

Check in Lady: Have you filled out paperwork?

Me: Well, we've been coming for a year now, so yes we have.

CIL: Oh no, if you haven't been here since October 9 of this year you need to resubmit your paperwork.

M: Why didn't anyone tell me this?

CIL: They were supposed to tell you to come 45 minutes early for your appointment when they called to remind you. I'm sorry. Here, fill these out.

Uh ... I guess that means it takes 45 minutes to fill out AND for some numbskull to type everything into the computers.

I had forgotten to bring my ring sling, so I was actually holding Jane while writing out everything. I don't understand why they didn't just input the previous charts' information into the computer system since they wer…

What I Watch: Modern Family

Another funny sitcom, and it's very popular/won a lot of awards. It's clever -- about an extended family full of wacky people.

It's got some good writing, and I think my favorite character is Phil. He usually has the funniest lines. Although lately the kid Luke has had some pretty good ones -- that take me a minute to get. He said something about "we already do" after his sister said "someday we'll be using Chinese money." I thought that was pretty funny, especially considering the Luke character is supposed to be a little daft/goofy like his dad.

By zooming through the commercials I can watch an episode in about 20 minutes, so it never feels like enough. Sitcoms seems like they have much less bite or heft to them nowadays. But what do I know?

Because this is on at the same time as another show I DVR I don't get to DVR Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. I haven't really watched new episodes of that show religiously in a while, possibly …

What I Watch: The Mindy Project

This is a new show this season. I have loved The Office for many seasons, and Mindy Kaling wrote some of my favorite episodes (she also plays Kelly Kapoor). Now she's got her own show, and so far so good.

I was able to read her recent memoir, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, and some of the content and jokes are repeated on the show, but it doesn't make them any less funny. I am sure as the show finds its footing she'll keep getting better.

I also listened to an interview on NPR's "Fresh Air," and I liked the way she was approaching her job and long hours that come with it (she's star, writer, director, producer, etc.). She vowed never to talk about how busy she is (because how boring is that?). She may have written about that in her book too, but it's a good drum beat to repeat and let sink in. We're all busy. (Although to be honest I don't feel as busy as I once was, but that might be a product of decreased efficiency in terms of my out…

What I Watch: Parenthood

Here's a show I have watched from the beginning (2010), although I'm not sure WHY I chose to watch it.

Maybe it was Lauren Graham, because I loved Gilmore Girls back in the day (until the awkward weirdness with Luke and his suddenly-have-a-teenage-daughter-of-his-own storyline).

Also I think the people who made Friday Night Lights are somehow involved because a lot of the same actors have shown up as recurring guest stars. But I'm sure I didn't know that when it started.

As the show's gone on though I think my favorite is "Crosby" played by Dax Shepard. He's the goofy younger brother who's cool and relaxed. In the beginning of the show he finds out he has a 5 year old son he's never met, and now he and the mom are married. Not sure how realistic that is, but I like it because I like the characters/actors together.

The characters do a lot of other eye rolling things, but it's a TV show so what do I expect? There's an awful lot of emoti…

How Birthday One Went

Mama fails left and right.


I had wanted to get Jane a helium balloon for her birthday. I went out Wednesday night to get one. I went to two grocery stores before I found out there's a national helium shortage. I know we saw one in the store a couple weeks ago because I remember her looking at it longingly. In the grand scheme, it's no big deal. But I still would have liked to surprise her with a fun balloon on her birthday morning, and this is the only year a big "1" would be appropriate.

Our play date fell through because the museum closed exactly when we planned to meet. (It was OK though because Jane wasn't feeling well and to be honest I don't really have a good mom friend with a kid Jane's age, so it wasn't something I was looking forward to -- but I didn't choose the time/didn't intentionally torpedo the date). 

One thing went relatively "right" in that the Google Plus hangout with family actually WORKED. One aunt joined f…

What I Watch: NCIS

This is a trend with my TV watching, but NCIS is another show introduced to me by my mom. I caught up on back episodes via endless marathons on USA.

Another crime drama, this one tied to the Navy. It's one of the most popular shows, so it has broad appeal. My inlaws watch it too.

It's not the best show I've ever seen, but I've been watching long enough that I keep watching to see what happens with the characters' relationships (way more than I watch for any of the Navy crimes/murders they investigate).

DiNozzo!

I don't watch the spin off, NCIS: Los Angeles, although I did watch the first episode. I guess I just didn't want to get drawn into something else.

Basically this is a show that gets high enough ratings to expect it to be around as long as the actors want it to. So I guess it's likely to have a happy, wrap-it-up ending at some point. And I like shows that get to do that.

Jane's Day

See Jane grow...

It's Jane's first birthday -- hooray! She's got a runny nose thanks to some snot nose kid at either the library or the playground yesterday. Now she's the snot nose. Otherwise she's OK, although sleep last night was a challenge, and it continues into today's napping.

We go to the doctor on Monday and will know her height and weight then. She's always been off the charts in height and in 95th percentile in weight, so I'm sure it continues. She's healthy, happy and just a joy to be around.

Less blogging, more snuggling! Happy birthday, Jane!

Edit: Sorry these weren't ordered properly before. Now they're in a set and arranged by date taken so now you should ACTUALLY be able to see Jane grow.

365 Days Later

Today is my 365th day of being Jane's mama (not counting gestation time). Because 2012 is a leap year her birthday is tomorrow, but I'm already feeling nostalgic and ecstatic about the beginning of her second year.

I am worried that I'm not doing enough -- she's not having a "real" party, I haven't planned to give her a cake, etc. She will have a play date tomorrow at the children's museum, she has an "I'm One" t-shirt and a cake hat that my aunt made for her to wear, we'll have a Google+ hangout for family to watch her eat dinner and open some presents before bed, and then on Saturday we'll have friends over for dinner to celebrate more.

She's got many presents -- probably too many from us, even though it didn't feel like enough at the time I was putting them together.

I don't know what it is -- a cultural pressure? an internal pressure? -- that's making me want to overindulge her with THINGS, when th…

What I Watch: Covert Affairs

Covert Affairs is a USA show about a CIA operative named Annie Walker. I've watched it from the beginning, in part because the lead character's name is Walker! Also we had recently seen Piper Perabo in a play on Broadway when the show started so I wanted to at least check it out. I've kept watching, and I think the show gets better and better.

Last night I watched it and kept flipping back to election coverage on commercials (eventually I just went to sleep -- Daylight Savings Time has done a number on us, and I'm glad I didn't try to stay up until 1 a.m. when the election was finally called. I was just as happy finding out this morning at 7 a.m.!)

Basically I love that this show has a kick ass female lead. She's not perfect and makes mistakes and has to be saved sometimes, but she also gets to do the saving plenty.

She's also beautiful, and they constantly change up her look -- her hair goes from curly to straight, up to down, etc. And the recent arc when…

Election Day 2012

Four years ago I pulled a lever in New York City to vote for President Obama (although judging by that post I wasn't as passionate as I feel this year ... although I'll give the bedbugs some credit for that!). This year I pushed some buttons in Baton Rouge, LA, to vote for him again (how funny are the little icons -- I didn't realize that as I was voting. Is that for someone who can't read?!). Both times my vote didn't really "count" because neither state is a swing state. But it's still important to vote. I also think it is important to share our convictions with others BUT I can say it gets super obnoxious on Facebook with people I disagree with. Honestly I will never see some people the same way based on the absurdity they've posted.We've been getting a lot of electioneering calls, including one yesterday that was asking me to get on a bus to Philadelphia to help get out the vote (since Pennsylvania is a swing state). I think it was a mista…

What I Watch: The Mob Doctor (?!)

Here's a show I started watching from the beginning (there have only been about four episodes so far). It got a LOT of advertising before it launched, and it took the time slot of House, which was one of my favorites up until last year. I dutifully watched it to the end of its run, although without Cuddy it just wasn't the same. (Hey, that was another show I started watching because of USA reruns ... anyway.)

I like the main girl on The Mob Doctor (I used to watch her old show My Boys, and Shawn recognized her from Must Love Dogs), although that and the premise of the show--she's paying off her brother's debt to the mob by being a sort of inhouse doctor for them--weren't enough to get me watching. What was? Two words: Matt Saracen.

OK, the actor's name is Zach Gilford, but I've been a fan since Friday Night Lights, one of the best shows ever. I'd actually rank it up there with My So-Called Life in terms of my favorites. (The FNL season with a random mu…

What I Watch: How I Met Your Mother

Ah, sitcoms. I watch several, and they're definitely not shows I find from my mom. In fact, I don't know if she watches ANY sitcoms regularly. Do you?

I do think I found this one via Lifetime reruns a few years back, and now I watch it regularly, despite it not being very good. Rarely do I start watching a show from its pilot -- maybe I want to wait and make sure it's going to stick around/be popular enough to bother watching? There are exceptions to that rule though (Fringe, Up All Night and some of the other NBC sitcoms).

Anyway, with this show I laugh and really like the Barney character BUT it's "just tell us who the mother is already" that makes me keep watching and wishing that I didn't watch. Pretty dumb. I do like the version of New York in which they live, although the street scenes are so fake lot-style that it's laughable.

With fast forward I can watch a DVR'ed episode in 20 minutes or less. Seems like TV shows are getting shorter and…

What I Watch: Bones

Now that Major Crimes is on hiatus, Bones is probably my top Monday show. It's nearing its end, thankfully as it is getting hokier as it winds down. This is another show I got sucked into via watching at my mom's and then TNT reruns (I watched many after work in NYC, sometimes marching in place while I cooked dinner -- oh to be dedicated to exercise again).

Anyway, it's another "crime procedural" but it's got a heightened sense of comedy. There's some slapstick and weird, fun situations where the characters go undercover and/or dress up to try to catch the criminals. That also means there are more groan-worthy moments.

The sexual tension is gone now that the two lead characters are together and have a baby together ... who is almost never in the show and they never talk about who is watching her -- such a giant storyline hole for the mama in me. The main character is pretty preachy and a big know-it-all (she has shown remarkably little growth over the co…

What I Watch: Major Crimes

There isn't much that I watch on Sundays.We usually DVR 60 Minutes and then don't watch it. We watched The Simpson's "Tree House of Horror" episode, and because of no Showtime we don't watch Dexter anymore. Otherwise, Sunday is a night for catching up on other DVR'ed shows -- or rarely, not watching TV at all. (I almost always have a Law & Order or 10 DVR'ed for situations like that!)

So that leads me to Monday. TNT "knows drama," and all of the shows I watch on the network are their dramas, including Major Crimes, a spin off of The Closer. I didn't watch The Closer from the beginning, but I'm pretty sure it was a show my mom introduced me too -- a theme in my TV watching.

I did watch The Closer re-runs while Jane napped and I was still working earlier this year. There would be one on per day and I would somehow find the time to watch it (on DVR so I didn't have to watch the commercials). It was leading up to the series final…

Welcome to NaBloPoMo 2012

So we begin again. I've done NaBloPoMo (National Blog Post Month) since 2008. The goal is to write one post per day for the 30 days of November. November is my favorite month, and I like blogging, so it can be fun for me. I managed to complete 2011 while being pregnant, being in the hospital for a few days after having a baby and then learning to care for a newborn. But something tells me having a toddler (yeah, she full on walks now) may prove a bit more challenging.

My idea for this year is to talk about TV shows to fill up the bulk of the month. I watch a RIDICULOUS amount of TV and am always thinking "I wish I had someone to talk to about this show."

Even though I watch more TV than is necessary, it's cut back drastically from what I watched before I had a baby. (Jane doesn't watch TV. We don't even have it on when she's awake.) Before Jane I would fill every minute home with TV -- watching endless episodes of House Hunters and reruns of Law & Ord…

Pumpkin Says Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween, from my pumpkin to you!

(P.S. NaBloPoMo starts tomorrow... YIKES.)

Read: A Year of Biblical Womanhood

A Year of Biblical Womanhood by Rachel Held Evans
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this book. I've read Rachel Held Evans' blog for a couple years, ever since I read her first book Evolving in Monkeytown, but I haven't paid super close attention. I finally understand the "women of valor" series I kept seeing pop up but never took the time to read.

When the opportunity to pre-order her new book for less than $7 I didn't hesitate. Now several months later and I've got the book in my grubby little hands. The book is officially released today, but I've had it for about a week and finally finished it today (parenting books--and parenting itself--got in my way of devouring it more quickly).

I love the way Evans writes -- her conversational style about such a weighty topic of women's role in the church and home speaks to my heart. And this very issue is something that cuts deeply and has vexed me.

I'd like to think I could ask the questions Evans t…