Monday, 30 May 2011

Fall TV 2011

This year I've been paying particular attention to upfronts week and what new pilots are being picked up by the networks.  It seems like every year I find more and more new shows that I at least want to check out once or twice to see how they are.  This coming fall seems extra busy - it seems like every new show sounds promising!  Here are the shows that I'm looking forward to most - my DVR had better be ready to handle it.

  • 2 Broke Girls (CBS) - I'm excited about this one because Kat Dennings is in it, and I think she's pretty awesome.
  • Alcatraz (FOX) - I love Alcatraz.  I love JJ Abrams.  I love Jorge Garcia.  This show has all of those things.  (This one isn't on until midseason though)
  • Allen Gregory (FOX) - This one is animated, which can be either really good or really bad I think.  Jonah Hill created it and lends his voice to this show though, so hopefully it's entertaining.
  • Apartment 23 (ABC) - James Van Der Beek seems to be on his way to becoming the next Neil Patrick Harris with his recent internet videos lampooning himself, and he is continuing that trend with this new show.  (Midseason)
  • Awake (NBC) - They're saying this one is "Inception-like" which kind of sounds like it's just going to be confusing.  I'll give it a chance though.  (Midseason)
  • Bent (NBC) - Amanda Peet and Jeffrey Tambour are in this, which is enough for me to check it out.  The way NBC's recent track record has been make me incredibly wary of all their new offerings though.  (Midseason)
  • Charlie's Angels (ABC) - They are hyping this show hardcore.  I've seen the sneak peek, and it looks like it might be fun.  It might get old after a few episodes though, I'm not sure.
  • A Gifted Man (CBS) - Patrick Wilson is in this.  That's enough for me to check it out.
  • Good Christian Belles (ABC) - I'm not so sure about this one, I feel like it might be too soapy for me.  I think I might have liked it better had they stuck with the original title of "Good Christian Bitches".  Kristin Chenoweth is in it though, so I'll tune in.
  • Grimm (NBC) - One of two fairy tale themed shows.  I'm not as excited about this one as Once Upon a Time, but I'll give it a shot.
  • Napoleon Dynamite (FOX) - Yep, Napoleon Dynamite is going to be coming to you weekly in animated form.  Watch it with your liger.  (Midseason)
  • New Girl (FOX) - Zooey Deschanel stars in this.  That's enough for me to sign up!
  • Once Upon a Time (ABC) - The other fairy tale show.  This one has LOST producers behind it, and stars Ginnifer Goodwin as Snow White.
  • Pan Am (ABC) - One of two shows that are set in the '60s to help me get through until the next season of Mad Men.  Stars Christina Ricci.
  • Person of Interest (CBS) - Michael Emerson stars in this JJ Abrams show.  Yep, I'll be watching.  Also stars Jesus - I mean, Jim Caviezel.
  • The Playboy Club (NBC) - The other swinging '60s show.  This is probably the NBC show that I'm most excited about.
  • Ringer (The CW) - Sarah Michelle Gellar's much-anticipated new show.  I wasn't a Buffy watcher (I know, I know.  I'll watch it eventually) so I'm anxious to check out this one from the ground floor.
  • The River (ABC) - I'm really excited about this one.  It's a horror drama from Oren Peli (the writer/director of Paranormal Activity).  I think it sounds like a really fresh idea (a family attempts to rescue their missing father from the Amazon - very Heart of Darkness, no?) and should make for addictive TV.  (Midseason)
  • Scandal (ABC) - Desmond from LOST is in this.  That's all I need to know.  (Midseason)
  • Smash (NBC) - They're calling this a "grown-up Glee" (Glee's not for grown-ups?) and it stars Debra Messing.  I love Debra Messing, but it also stars Katharine McPhee.  Not such a fan of hers.  Jagger enjoys her though, so I'm sure we'll be tuning in.  (Midseason)
  • Suburgatory (ABC) - I hate the title, but Cheryl Hines is in it, so I'll give it a go.
  • Terra Nova (FOX) - Time travel and dinosaurs!  I'm not so sure if this is one I'll keep up with, but I feel like I won't want to miss the pilot.
  • Up All Night (NBC) - Forget what I said earlier.  This is the NBC show I'm most excited about.  It stars Maya Rudolph, Christina Applegate and Will Arnett.  Beyond that, the story sounds pretty basic (it seems to be your basic wacky family sitcom) but that is one great cast.
  • Work It (ABC) - It's the new bosom buddies!  (Midseason)
Yeah, that's a lot of TV.  Now, most of this is totally based on just reading a brief synopsis and seeing who the cast is.  I have watched very few preview videos (mostly because Hulu can't be viewed in Canada, dammit) so I'm sure that this list will dwindle down as the weeks go by, or more will be added as I get a look at some of the other shows coming our way!

Any new shows you're excited about?

Friday, 27 May 2011

Vivian Vendredi - Yum, Yum

Now that Vivian's nearly six months old, we get the fun of trying lots of new foods with her.  So far, we've tried rice cereal, barley, oatmeal, sweet potatoes, squash, carrots, applesauce, bananas, pears and peaches.  She seems to be a really good eater so far, and likes to try new things.  The trick with Vivian is to try and feed her at just the right time.  She can't be too hungry, too full or too tired.  Typical Vivian.

We've also pretty much stopped nursing.  She's down to only nursing in the morning, and having bottles the rest of the day.  I'm really only holding on to the morning feeding for myself - I'm not quite ready to be done with it yet.  She couldn't care less.  Once she got the hang of a bottle, she didn't seem to miss nursing at all.  That girl loves her formula!  Since we started her with formula, she really has been a different baby - totally happy and a much better sleeper.  I said from the start that I would nurse for as long as it made sense to us, and it's really stopped making sense.  It's still a little heartbreaking though.  She's just so independent - she loves sitting and holding the bottle herself.

It really is hard to believe that she's almost six months old already - we'll see what she has in store for us next!

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

So long, O

Today I'm doing about the most housewifeish thing I've done since I've been home on mat leave.

I'm watching Oprah with some friends who are also on mat leave.

Yes, we're having an Oprah Party.

In case you work for a living and don't get to watch daytime TV all day, today is Oprah's last show.  I invited my friends Paula and Sherilyn to come over with their babies to watch the last episode.  Mostly, it's an excuse to eat yummy snacks and gossip while the babies roll around on the floor.

It is a monumental thing though - 25 years of Oprah is about to come to an end.  I don't have any "Oprah changed my life" moments or anything.  I haven't watched Oprah consistently over the years or anything, just occasionally when I happen to catch it or if it's something big, like the Favourite Things episodes.  Lately though, since I've been home, I've been taping it and watching it pretty consistently.  It's usually pretty entertaining, but it can definitely get overly shmaltzy, especially this season with it being the big "Farewell Season".

Regardless, (not irregardless - that's not a word.) I'll be watching her last episode, just to see what she does.  It's history!

Will you be watching when Oprah takes her last ugly cry?

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

When do you just give up?

I love my DVR.  I don't know how I ever lived without it.  It really does change your life.  It's so nice to be able to watch things at your convenience, or to watch them over and over again.  My problem with it, however, is a habit of recording things that I never get around to watching.

Case in point - on my DVR right now I have;

  • "Children of Men"  I've never seen it, but always wanted to.  I recorded it on February 21st.
  • "The Amanda Knox Story"  Yes, the one with Hayden Pannetiere.  Don't judge me, I'm on maternity leave.  I recorded it on May 1st.
  • "The Stone Angel"  I read it in high school, so I thought I would check it out.  Just recorded it on May 16th.
  • The Gwyneth Paltrow episode of SNL from January 15th - I can't bear to delete it yet, the Pee Wee Herman digital short is hilarious.
  • The Justin Timberlake episode of SNL from May 21st - It's pretty much the best episode ever.
  • Six episodes of "The Killing"  They date back to April 10th.
So my question is - how long before I give up on these?  Am I really going to get around to watching them?  Are they even worth watching at this point?  The SNLs will be there for some time still, but I'm not sure about the others.  Is anyone still watching The Killing?  Is it worth it to keep up with it?


Monday, 23 May 2011

Here's the Deal.

I know, I know.  I've been completely MIA this past week or so.  Sorry, I suck.  The truth is, I've had a few things working against me.  Jagger's been sick, I've been sick, Vivian spent 4 nights in a row thinking she's a newborn and waking up every 2 hours, I've had something going on like every single day for the last 10 days or so (completely unusual for me right now) and I have a bunch of stuff that I'm intending to do, or am on the verge of doing that I fully intend on blogging about.  So there you go.  No real blog post for you today.  I'm working on it though.

If you have any thoughts on how to convince an almost 6 month old that she is no longer a newborn, and that there is no reason for her to wake up constantly through to night to eat/just to check to make sure I'm still in the next room, I'd love to hear them!

Friday, 20 May 2011

Vivian Vendredi - Snoopy

People have always called Vivian bright, alert, curious, observant - all those good things.  What they really mean though, is that she's snoopy.

She always has to know what's going on and who's in the room at any given time.  She whips her head right around whenever anyone starts to talk and now she wants to grab at whatever anyone has.  She's too snoopy.  It's so funny to see her going from this little lump who wanted to know what was going on, but couldn't quite move around enough to manage it; to this giant girl who flings herself around in my arms to try and get a read on what's going on in any given situation.  She's such a social little kitten.

I know she'll just get worse once she starts to crawl and can actually move herself into the situation to get a better look.  Watch out - I think it's going to happen sooner rather than later.  Check out her moves!

We're taking her to Toronto on Sunday for her first Jays game - I'm sure she'll be thrilled watching all the people there!

Friday, 13 May 2011

Vivian Vendredi - Vivian + Gibson

Vivian has a new best friend.  All of a sudden, Gibson has taken a huge interest in Vivian.  He seeks her out all the time to see what she's up to, or to let her pet him.  Vivian loves it, and loses her little mind every time he comes near her.

It's cute, and Gibson's being really good with her, even though she's far from being gentle with him.  Fender is not interested in her at all yet, and tends to keep her distance from all of us until Vivian goes to bed at night.

I can't wait for the day when Vivian goes to sleep with Fender and Gibson curled up at the foot of her bed!

Thursday, 12 May 2011


I seem to learn something new everyday about being a parent.  Yesterday's lesson was "it's really easy to accidentally shoplift when you have a cart full of baby and baby stuff."

We went to Home Depot yesterday to pick up a few things - a clamp to fix my rocking chair, some chalkboard paint because Pinterest has made me want to cover everything in chalkboard paint, some peel and stick tiles to fix the landing, and a small paint brush for another project I'm planning.  Somehow, the paint brush didn't quite make it to the checkout.  Oops.

See, here's how things go.  I put Vivian in the shopping cart in her car seat.  The Home Depot had the older, deep shopping carts, so she got stuck way down there.  I used the seat part of the shopping cart to tuck her diaper bag in.  Normally, I wouldn't bring in her diaper bag, but I had to change her, so I had to drag in all of her stuff.

Anyway, the cart was full before I started putting things in it.  So you find little nooks and crannies to stick things, and hope they don't fall all over the place.  I was also dealing with some pants that were falling off of me, so I was a little distracted by the time I got up to the checkout.  To further complicate things, for some reason I decided to use the self checkout.

By the time I got out to the car and got Vivian and all her stuff back in the car, I realized the paint brush was stuck under the diaper bag.  Oops.

Of course, there was no way I was going back into the store to pay for a $4 paint brush.  Sorry, Vivian.  No morality lesson for you today.

Oh, and I tried to get into someone else's car before I realized it wasn't mine.  Not a great day for me.

I'm told this is pretty common - it seems everyone has had a time when something has found its way into the stroller or cart and didn't get paid for.  So tell me your best "I blame the baby" shoplifting story!

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Duh, Pinning!

If you've had the unfortunate experience of speaking with me in person lately, I've probably told you how awesome Pinterest is.

Oh, what's that?  I haven't told you how awesome it is yet?  Well, then.  Let me explain!

Here's my best spiel...

Is this you?  Are you constantly bookmarking pages with DIY ideas, printing dozens of recipes, clipping articles and inspiration photos from magazines?  Have long wish lists on Amazon, and are constantly hearting items on etsy?

There's got to be a better way!

There is!  Behold - Pinterest!  The coolest website you never knew you needed.  Instead of those dozens of bookmarks and half ideas from blogs floating around in a mishmash, you can now collect all those links, photos and ideas in one place with the click of a button.

You can pin your own ideas onto categorized boards (For the Home!  Stuff for Kids!  Recipes!  Style!) and repin other people's items to create your own personalized inspiration board.

Never forget what blog you read that cool idea on again!  Pinning automatically saves the link for the original picture, so you can always go back to the source!

Follow other people's boards for more ideas, and become terribly flattered when people follow your boards.  Waste more time than anyone needs to waste over the course of a day!  Become horribly, horribly addicted to a website that you compulsively check almost as much as Facebook!  Get crazy inspired to do all kinds of wacky DIY projects, but then have no time to complete any of them because you're too busy pinning new things on Pinterest!

It's awesome.  You should check it out.

You can follow me on Pinterest here.  If you want to join, send me your email address and I can send you an invitation.  (Yes, you need to be invited.  It's just that cool.)

So check out Pinterest - it's what all the cool kids are doing.

Monday, 9 May 2011

Me time.

I've gotten in to a new routine in the evenings.  Vivian goes to bed sometime between 8:00 and 10:00 (most days at least, you never can tell with that girl) then Jagger goes to bed at 11:00.

Then it's me time.

I usually stay up until 1:00 a.m. just relaxing and doing whatever I want.  Have a snack, watch some trashy TV, browse compulsively on Pinterest, read, whatever.  I try to resist the urge to do laundry, make formula, do the dishes or anything really productive and just take the time to be alone for a couple of hours.

I know that a lot of people would use the extra time to snooze, but I would rather have the time to myself in the living room when I don't have to share the remote or the laptop.  I find it really recharges me and makes me feel like a normal person again.

I kick myself when Vivian wakes up to eat at 2:00 or 3:00 (and often stays awake for an hour or so) and then wakes up for the day anywhere from 6:30-8:30 (yeah, we have no schedule) but I feel like this is more of my natural schedule.

As much as I love spending the day with Vivian, and as much as I enjoy spending time with just Jagger after Vivian goes to bed, it's this time of day that I look forward to the most.

It's also when I get most of my blogging done, so you should be grateful as well!

Do you have a special time of day to just relax and be alone?

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Mother's Day

Today is my first official mother's day. What a strange concept. I never really thought too much about "graduating to a holiday" as it may be. In honour of this, I thought I would share something.

You know how people talk about the overwhelming wave of love that you feel when you first hold your child in your arms? I don't know if I felt it.

I remember them handing Vivian to me, and I definitely felt something, but I don't know if I would call it love. I felt shock, relief, and disbelief more than anything. It just felt so surreal - I just kept saying, "I can't believe she's real."

The first few months with Vivian were rough, and while I definitely loved her, I still don't know if I felt the way most other new moms feel. I think I was struggling with a bit more of the baby blues than I wanted to admit. A lot of the time, I wondered things like "Do I love her enough? Do I feel differently about her than other babies?"

I think the fact that I've spent so much time around other babies made me really question if I felt more bonded to her than to any other babies. I knew that I loved her, but I just didn't know if it was enough. I didn't know if I told her I loved her enough. I wondered how I would feel if she wasn't here - would I miss her enough?

In the first few weeks especially, I worried a lot that I didn't really know what she looked like or that I wouldn't be able to pick her out of a baby lineup. What kind of a mother would think these things?

I think an exhausted mother thinks these things. A mother who puts too much pressure on herself. A mother who is trying too hard. A mother who wants so badly to be the best mother she can be, but just isn't sure if she has it in her.

Things are definitely different now. Now, I feel it. I know every little eyelash, every little dimple and roll on her sweet little body. I miss her when she naps and peek at her while she's sleeping. I tell her I love her all day long.

Things don't always come easily, and I think that's okay. It definitely has made me appreciate how far our relationship has come, and I can only imagine how much stronger it will get as the years go by.

So today, on Mother's Day, I say thank you to my sweet little daughter. Thank you for loving me when I couldn't love myself, and for knowing I could give you everything you needed when I felt I had nothing left to give. Mom loves you.

(And now I'm crying.)

(P.S. - A friend of mine sent me a link to this video while I was pregnant and it really resonated with me. It's a bit long, but very honest and worth watching)

Let's talk parenting taboos: Rufus Griscom + Alisa Volkman | Video on

Friday, 6 May 2011

Vivian Vendredi - Sweet Dreams

So I had this whole post written up on Thursday about how now that Vivian is 5 months old, it was time to start thinking about moving her to her own room because she's just getting too big and wiggly to sleep in her playpen in our room.  Of course, I was all "I don't know if I'm ready for her to be across the hall, it's too far away, I don't know if I'll be able to sleep, I don't know if she'll be able to sleep..." you know, typical overreacting, overthinking me.

Yeah, she slept in her own room last night.

It just kind of worked out on its own.  She went to sleep at like 7:30, and I was washing her bedding from her playpen at the time, so I put her in her own room.  She "woke up" at around 11:00 - I say "woke up" because I don't think she even opened her eyes, just fussed a little and then I changed her and fed her while she was still asleep.  Her bedding still wasn't ready (I think I overstuffed the washer a little, because it didn't spin out very well at all) so I put her back in her crib.  When I went to bed at 1:00, I couldn't decide if I wanted to sleep in my own bed, sleep in the bed in her room, or sleep on the couch and wait for her to wake up.

I bit the bullet, put the monitor in our room, and got into bed.  Her bedding was finally dry, so I made up her bed in our room just in case.  I fell asleep watching the red bars on the monitor, expecting her to start freaking out at any moment.

At 3:00, she woke up.  She wasn't too angry, so I brought her into our room so I could lay down and feed her.  I was worried that once she was in our room, she wouldn't want to go back to her own room, but she ate and fell back to sleep no problem.  I put her back in bed and closed the door.

At 7:30, I started to hear her talking over the monitor.  I let her babble on until about 8:00, then went to rescue her.  Of course, she was completely flipped the opposite way from where I'd put her into bed, and had her leg stuck through the bars of the crib.

But she was happy.

She got a good night's sleep, and she was happy to see me in the morning.

So I guess that's it?  Vivian sleeps in her crib now?  It seems strange that that's just the way it is, but I think it's better this way than if I had worried about it and made it a bigger deal.  As long as we're both sleeping, I suppose it doesn't really matter too much where she's sleeping.

She's getting to be such a big girl.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Just what I needed, more places to spend money

I went to a Mom to Mom sale a few weeks ago (basically a big group yard sale with just baby clothes and toys and stuff) and happily got some great deals.  Lots of cute summer outfits for Vivian and a few cheap toys.  Can't go wrong.  There were also vendors there selling some really cute new items as well.  There were a couple of vendors in particular that I enjoyed, so I wanted to help spread the word about them here.

Designs by Danielle had so much cute stuff.  I got Vivian this sweet tie onesie...

My mom doesn't know why I "dress her like a boy" but I argue that there's a pink fish on the tie, and it's adorable.  Designs by Danielle also had lots of other cute appliqued onesies and pillowcase dresses, as well as really cute little wristlets and coupon holders for moms.  I picked up a wristlet as well, which is great.  I wish I'd paid more attention to which one I grabbed though, because some of them had detachable straps so you could clip them onto a stroller.  Damn me just grabbing one with a cute pattern!

I know this is all stuff that you can find from any one of a hundred vendors on Etsy, but I like that she's local (in London).  I would always rather do business with someone trying to make it around here rather than someone online.

The other vendor that I loved was Funky Flower.  Everyone seems to have the same fake flower headbands and hats for baby girls.  That's great if that's your thing, but I love that these flowers are so different.  They're almost a rag-style flower, and I love the dimension of them.  I couldn't get a picture from their website to load on here, so you'll have to go check them out yourself!

Update - Sara from Funky Flower was nice enough to send me some photos.  I looove the newsboy hats that she has - Vivian is definitely in need of one!

(Neither of them gave me any reason to write this, nor do they know that I've written this.  I just wanted to pass the word along about some awesome independent vendors!)

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Royal Wedding Hangover

Well, I'm happy to say I did get up at 4:30 to watch the Royal Wedding last week.  It might seem crazy to some people (especially since it was replayed all weekend) but I am so happy that I did.

I enjoyed the wedding while Facebook chatting with friends and drinking far too much coffee and Bailey's.

Vivian even woke up just as Prince William was on his way to the Abbey, and fell back asleep just after the vows.  So now I can tell her when she grows up that she did watch the wedding.

I think she was a little confused as to why I dragged her out to the living room instead of just feeding her in bed like I normally do.

All in all, I loved the wedding.  I thought it was just beautiful and I hope we continue to hear many good things about the royal couple.

And just because I'm a big dork, I took pictures of the TV to commemorate the occasion.

I like how the glare gets worse and worse on the TV as the sun comes up.

Totally worth losing the sleep.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Did you know this could happen?

I was cooking dinner last night when, for whatever reason, I decided to move my bottle of balsamic vinegar.  I'd been storing it on top of the fridge (I think it was too tall to fit in the pantry) and thought I would try to find a new home for it so I could de-clutter the top of the fridge a bit.

Apparently, my balsamic vinegar was having a problem.

When I picked it up, I noticed the vinegar wasn't moving in the bottle.  I turned it upside down and shook it, and it wasn't moving.  It looked totally solid.

I started running hot water into it, thinking it was hard and crusted or something, and was surprised to see that it was actually a thick, jelly like skin that was on the top of the vinegar.  I managed to get through it with the hot water and got the rest of the liquid vinegar out, but then I was left with some of the globby disgustingness stuck in the bottle.

I managed to get most of it out, but it was so, so gross.  It smelled so badly, and it was just the weirdest, grossest texture.

Have you ever had this happen?  Is there some universal knowledge on where to store vinegar that I don't know about?

Monday, 2 May 2011

Nacho dip

I love appetizers.  If I had my way, I would probably only eat snacky-type things for every meal.  I don't think there's anything wrong with that.

I have a few standby dips that I like to make for potluck type things.  Recently, I made my nacho dip to bring to a friend's birthday/bridal shower/bachelor/bachelorette/going away party (seriously).  I thought I would share the recipe with you.  It's nothing fancy, but it's really, really good.

What you need:

2 bricks of cream cheese
lemon juice
mayonnaise (I normally use mayonnaise, but this time I was out, so I used plain yogurt instead)
2 tomatoes
2 peppers (red, green, whatevs)
1 bunch of green onions
shredded cheese (I usually get lazy and just buy a package of pre-grated cheese, and usually go for the Tex-Mex kind)
1 bottle of taco sauce (very important - taco sauce.  Not salsa.)

What you do:

Blend your 2 bricks of cream cheese in a large bowl with about a 1/2 cup of mayonnaise.  Like I said, this time I didn't have any, so I subbed in plain yogurt for mayonnaise.  It turned out really, really well.  It was much smoother and creamier than with the mayonnaise, so I'll probably stick with that in the future.  The measurements don't have to be specific, just add enough that the cream cheese isn't quite so thick.  Add in a couple of tablespoons of lemon juice.  (I used the juice of half a fresh lemon.)

Spread evenly in a pan (I use a 9x13 baking dish)

Start chopping your toppings, and put them down in layers.  I usually like to put down the green onions first, so they stick in the cream cheese mix instead of falling off the top.

Usually, I go green, red, green for my layering.  I'm OCD like that.

When you put down your tomato layer, I really recommend that you de-seed the tomatoes.  I just slice them, then run them under water using my hands to push out all the little seed pockets.  You can leave the seeds in if you want, but I find it makes the dip really watery as it sits.

Last layer of veggies...

I used about 1 1/2 green peppers, but you can just eyeball it.  You want the dip to be covered evenly, but you don't want it to be so topping-heavy that everything falls apart when you try to scoop it.

Cover the whole thing in cheese.  I'm not shy with the cheese.  I usually use the whole package.

The last step I don't have a picture of, but you want to pour your taco sauce over the dip just before serving it.  I don't like to put it on early or it soaks in to the cheese and makes it a bit messy.  Just drizzle it over evenly.  Do not loosen the cap, forget that you've done so, then try to bang on the bottom of the bottle to mix it up.  You will end up spilling taco sauce all over your friend's kitchen.  Trust me.

I usually use mild taco sauce, because I'm a wimp.  You can use hot, or add hot sauce to bring up the spice if you want.  You could also chop some jalapenos or something if you wanted to mix those in to bring in some heat.