Tag Archive: television


I was the oldest of three sisters growing up in the late 80s-early 90s. As a family we always had a Saturday night tradition: bath night.

Saturday night was the one night a week where all three of us would take a bath on the same day to ensure we were clean for church the next morning. My parents formed an assembly line to get us all in and out without too many problems. My mother would help us in the bathroom, supervise the bath time if needed and help our youngest sister get dressed and such. Once we were clean and cozy in our pajamas, she sent us out to the living room to our father. He was in charge of combing out our long hair and blowing it dry.

This was my favorite part of Saturday nights – sitting on the couch with my father. Not only did we get our own time with him but we also got to watch a tv show: The Lawrence Welk Show!

While it now may be the subject of great SNL parody, this show helped introduce me to amazing music. Week after week, I heard country music, jazz tunes, energetic polkas and show tunes. There was even Jo Ann Castle who was one of the most amazing pianists I’ve ever seen:

After Miss P’s bath tonight, we were playing together in our family room while the football games were on TV. (If you follow college football, you’ll know that there was a huge rivalry game between Michigan State and University of Michigan. All I’ll say is Go Green!) I was surfing channels to find something a tab bit more calming before bed and came across PBS… and the Lawrence Welk show.

I put it on right away and all the memories of our old traditions came rushing back. I’ll have to admit I got a bit nostalgic and misty-eyed when I realized I was starting the tradition with my daughter now.   I was thrilled when she crawled up into my arms and we just sat and listened to the music together.

If she grows up to prefer more classical music over the Bieber-pop that’s popular now, I’ll be a very happy mother.

If you haven’t experienced the Lawerence Welk show (or you just want to re-experience it) Here are a few more videos!

Good night!

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First off, I’ve got to give a huge shout-out to my mother – It’s her birthday today! Happy Birthday, Mom!

* Remember how I missed my 5k race last weekend? I have three weeks until the next one and I’m actually starting a plan designed to help prepare me to run them. Right now, I’m a 5k race walker – but every year I keep telling myself that I’ll run one this year. I’m hoping I’ll stick with it and this’ll be the year!

* Did a photo shoot with Baby P on Saturday to help a friend’s business  and just got back the first teaser images. My daughter is SO adorable! I can’t wait to get back the edited images. My friend’s shop is O&E Designs – Check out her super cute goodies! You won’t be sorry. (I’ve got my eye on those precious tag blankets. Baby P loved playing with the one at the shoot!)

* Baby P is going through a phase where she won’t go to bed unless I’m cuddling with her. She’ll just lay in her crib and scream. I’ve tried to let her fuss herself to sleep, but she won’t wind down. Bedtime is going from a fifteen-twenty minute affair to over an hour and a half. It’s exhausting, but I am getting some reading done while I rock with her. Hoping it’s just a phase.

* We’ve started watching Cheers on Netflix Instant and I’m falling in love with the show. We’re only a season in and it’s BRILLIANT television. They don’t make television like that any more.  I thought Ted Danson was creepy when I saw him in Damages, but I just want to take the Cheers era Ted Danson home with me.

 

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at 12:01AM today, it was the official end of our no-spend month. We’ll have a recap of the month forthcoming, but it was delayed due to a massive migraine on the part of my writing partner.
There were a few video games played and I’ve caught up on a month of the Office episodes this afternoon. But we didn’t rush out and buy fast food and slurpees – I think our tastes have changed this month!

So in lieu of a real recap today, I give you a great SNL skit about money…

 

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Hello Monday. Seems like you were just here… and I’m not even working yet. Here’s what’s batting around my head today:

  • I have a dentist’s appointment to get cavities filled. Ugh. I get myself worked up over these visits. One of them isn’t my fault though, a filling came out. Still not looking forward to the afternoon.
  • Liked the Academy Awards last night, although I could have done with a REAL musical number.  if the Social Network had won Best Picture, though… it would have been an ugly scene at my house (I’m rather baffled at the popularity of the film.)
  • About midnight, as we were wrapping up the awards – I was coming out of our kitchen and heard baby P stirring in her bedroom down the hall. All of the sudden, she rips one of the loudest farts I’ve ever heard. Ground-shaking. Is it wrong that I collapsed onto the floor in the giggles?
  • I have one week and two days before I return to work from my maternity leave.
  • I haven’t been grocery shopping in a week, and we’ve run out of milk. I don’t really like sitting down and writing up menus and shopping lists… even though I don’t mind the shopping itself. Guess I’ll have to do that today.
  • The car is in the shop, hopefully being repaired from the crash so that it’s drivable.

It just seems that today, and this week, are full of disappointing necessities. Things I don’t enjoy (nor does my bank account) are all headed my way.

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Well, we’ve done it.  Made it through a whole week! I’m rather proud of the effort – here’s some highlights:

Silence is golden

And that’s the truth! At first, I hated how quiet the house was. I’ve always been one to turn on the TV in the background for some noise while I do other things. But now I find myself listening to more music, and I even downloaded a few courses through iTunes U.  I’ve also read more in the last week than I probably have in the last year. I’m almost through re-reading C.S Lewis’ Space Trilogy, and currently reading The 4-Hour Work Week. We even went to the library and checked out several more books to read over the next few weeks.

Advertising is addictive

As one of our stated exemptions from the No TV rule, we watched the Super Bowl with some friends yesterday. I’m an ad junkie (and a marketing junkie in college) so I love the advertisements. After going without TV for a week, I was really surprised at how I reacted to some of the commercials. Arby’s had a few commercials and by the end of each, I was drooling and craving some fast food in the worst way. In fact, while I was out running errands today – I passed an Arby’s and got that same craving again. We are conditioned by those ads. Scary.

The ads weren’t that stupendous this year, and most left me bored. But I did have one that was my favorite ad:

Gave me goosebumps then, and gives me goosebumps watching it now.  It’s one of the best commercials in years.

Cooking is an art

And we feel like we’re just playing around with finger paint. We had never realized how much we had eaten out before – and cooking for ourselves has been an interesting experience.  There was the pizza attempt, where it took us three tries before we had a successful pizza dough (how we managed to mess up pizza dough, I have no idea!).  We ate spaghetti twice, since it’s easy and we knew we couldn’t mess that up.  I made stew for supper and decided to be ambitious and make heart shaped biscuits. They were delicious. My second batch, made from the left-over dough went into the oven as we were sitting down to eat. My bright idea was to turn off the oven and leave the biscuits inside to cook. Save energy, and they will still bake properly right? No. We had a laugh about it, and promptly trashed the bad batch.

“Mommy knows better now.” I advised my daughter who was snuggled up to me.

Jeff sighed. “But father knows best!” he declared.

Silly man.

A penny saved is a penny earned, and time saved…

Overall, we’ve saved money and I’ve been amazed at the things I’ve been able to accomplish. I even reorganized my freezer! We’re not spending money this month, but I foresee using some of this freed time for those home improvement projects that I’ve been putting off.

I think moving forward, we will be keeping a lot of these practices even though we won’t have any hard and fast rules about it.

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Jeff and I are trying an experiment in February. We’re calling it the ‘no-spend’ month.  Essentials only is the aim.

Here’s a few of our guidelines:

  • No slurpees
  • No fast food/take-out pizza, even when we’re tired (or lazy)
  • No gratuitous purchases at the bookstore or grocery store
  • Stick to a grocery list at the store, no buying extra things because they’re ‘on sale’ or a snack because we’re hungry on our way home.
  • Eat out of our cupboards/freezer
  • No money spent on movies

In addition to the no spending rules, we’re also going to make some rules about using our time.

  • Reduce/eliminate TV watching (Exemptions for the Super Bowl, movie award shows)
  • No video games on XBox, iPod or computer

Even though we’ve set this out, we’re giving ourselves some flexibility in it. For example, we received gift certificates for our local movie theater at Christmas time. Pairing that with some concessions items that we had earned through the theater’s rewards program, and we’ll be able to see a movie for free.  I’m also doing my cooking challenge, but it will be incorporated into our grocery list – and we’ll still stick to it.

It’s going to be a difficult month at first, since we’re used to queuing up a TV show on Netflix when P is up in the middle of the night and can’t sleep. But I think as we go along, we’ll realize how much nicer it is to explore some of our other hobbies or even find new ones!

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When P is fussy, my husband has a sure-fire way of calming her down. He didn’t want to tell me his secret at first, but he found it so funny that he finally confessed.

My baby loves Glee.  All Jeff has to do is queue up our copy of Season 1’s songs and she’s happy! (We don’t have anything from Season 2 yet… but that will be forthcoming!) I tried it the other day, and it’s totally true.  My little one loves music! I performed a test by playing Chicago on Netflix the other night and I can confirm she likes musicals as well.

This thrills me, and makes me suspect two things: first, that our love of music is hard-wired into our brain. second, if not the first – it’s because she heard music so much on my hour commutes to work back and forth while she was gestating. Either way, it’s pretty awesome.

Next weekend, we’ll be headed to see the Merry Wives of Windsor put on by Pigeon Creek Shakespeare Company (of which I am proudly an alumni!) – they’re a professional Shakespeare company that performs shows with original practices. In short, that’s universal lighting and character doubling (one cast member playing multiple roles).  It’ll be baby P’s first real introduction to Shakespeare and I can’t wait! I won’t put any pressure on her, but I’m secretly hoping P will love the theater as much as I do.

And this post is so short because P is also a lot like me in that she likes being cuddled. Apparently it is much better to sleep in her mother’s arms than in a crib and she lets me know… so I don’t have a lot of two-handed free time.  I suspect this means we’ll have a night-time visitor once she’s older – eep, but don’t want to think about that just yet!

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Being home on maternity leave and spending a  lot of time cuddling with baby P, I have a lot of time on my hands – as long as I don’t need more than one hand and I can do it sitting down.

That doesn’t leave a lot of options, and I found myself struggling to stay awake at 4AM when P thought it was a great time to be awake and cuddled. I’ve had a chance to read some great books that I’d put off because I was busy – but reading a book in a darkened room doesn’t do much for one’s wakefulness!

So I’ve been taking advantage of Netflix’s online streaming movies on our XBox 360.  The selection of movies and tv shows is quite impressive, and they’re adding more all the time. With a high speed internet connection, it’s pretty much instant streaming. (I’m not involved with Netflix at all, I just REALLY like their services! We’ve been members for many years now.)

Instead of getting sucked into a billion seasons of Saturday Night Live or Law and Order: SVU, I’ve decided to watching something a little more educational.  I’ve queued up many documentaries – and really enjoyed watching them! I wanted to share a few with you today, if you’re interested in another point of view. All links go to the Netflix page!

Urban Explorers: Into the Darkness
This is an older documentary, and rather slow at times – but was really interesting. It follows a group of people who explore abandoned buildings, structures and tunnels throughout the world. The photos in the documentary are just incredible.

Shaolin Ulysses: Kung Fu Monks in America
This documentary follows several monks from Shaolin temple as they come to America and spread their faith (and incredible moves!). It was an interesting side of kung fu that I wasn’t aware existed.

Air Guitar Nation
Did you know there is an International Air Guitar competition? I didn’t either! This follows the American competition and the winner to the international contest in Finland.  It’s bizarre, crazy and pretty fun to watch.

Nursery University
Apparently, babies make you crazy.  People are nuts over preschools in New York City, expecting the best schools now will lead their kids to the best college later! I came away resolving I would never get that crazy over P (don’t hold me to that though!)

Enlighten Up!
A skeptic’s journey into the world of yoga. This was SO fascinating. There are great interviews that left me amazed.

What are you watching these days?

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