Expectation v. Reality: Watching TV

It’s important to know that I have a long-standing love affair with my DVR.  Before becoming a mom, an enormous bulk of my free time was probably spent doing one of my top four favorite things: baking, reading, cryptogram puzzles (if you’re laughing about that one, then QMX FXJP CMU’P KAP WP) and watching TV…specifically, things I had DVRd.

My DVR brought me all of the programming that came on at weird hours or conflicted with the air time of other shows.  It also brought me all the shows I could ever hope to binge watch.

I would spend hours watching The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, I Love Lucy and Mary Tyler Moore.  I also discovered things like My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, Toddlers & Tiaras, and everything related to pawn shops that has ever aired on A&E, The History Channel or TLC.  I could also watch The Help fifteen times in a row if I wanted.  Oh yes, my DVR was my best friend on many a solo Saturday afternoon.

Now we’re parents, which has brought an entirely new perspective to what we choose to watch.  For example, we no longer watch Toddlers & Tiaras or Tosh.0.  It’s partly because I do forget to DVR them, but also because there’s a nagging voice in the back of your mind that makes itself incredibly known once you have children.  That voice is reminding me “garbage in, garbage out.”  That voice can only be quieted by better programming choices, and wine.  Mostly wine.

Our list of shows has dwindled.  Not only has our taste in what we choose to watch changed, but we also don’t have the free time to watch TV that we did in our early 20s.  Oh sure, we have free time, but we’ve found it’s better suited for doing important things like connecting with each other, finishing household chores, eating ice cream and writing.  Also, playing Candy Crush (I will pay you in cookies to beat level 165 for me).

One of our current fave shows is American Ninja Warrior.

We’ve actually been watching this one for a while, but this is our first season watching it as parents of a toddler.  Over the past few weeks, I’ve noticed my expectation in watching this show is far different from its reality…

Expectation: Show airs at 9pm on Sunday nights, and it’s 120 minutes long.  We will probably watch this show on Wednesday night.  Miles goes to bed at 7:30p; we will sit down at 8:30p, finish the show by 10p, and I will go to bed, still getting almost eight hours of sleep.

Reality:

  • Wednesday, 9pm: Finally sit down to watch the show.
  • Wednesday, 9:15pm: Realize I need more wine.
  • Wednesday, 9:27pm: Realize I need ice cream.
  • Wednesday, 9:58pm: Realize I have fallen asleep.  Go to bed.  Show is unfinished.
  • Thursday, 8:37pm: Okay, earlier start!  We can do this.  Only 77 minutes of show to watch.
  • Thursday, 8:43pm: Cry uncontrollably after watching the first female contestant to ever successfully complete the course.  Pause the show to discuss the importance of this moment with Evan.
  • Thursday, 8:56pm: Cry uncontrollably after watching the contestant with the insulin pump fall off the cargo net and land in the water.  Pause the show to get ice cream.  Feel overwhelming guilt at the realization that the insulin pump reminded me of how much I love ice cream.
  • Thursday, 9:18pm: Fall asleep.  Get up.  Go to bed.  Show is still unfinished.
  • Friday: Watch Hollywood Game Night instead because we need a good laugh.
  • Saturday: Watch Last Comic Standing instead because we still need a good laugh.
  • Sunday: Watch True Blood because HELLO, Jason Stackhouse.
  • Monday: Watch The Leftovers.
  • Tuesday: Watch Food Network Star.  Also watch Alaskan Bush People, and shows related to storage units and shipping things cross country.  Realize I have stayed up too late just to watch someone roll a giant peanut off of a flatbed truck.
  • Wednesday: Remember we still haven’t finished the previous week’s episode of American Ninja Warrior.  Finally finish watching it.  Feeling pretty amped from watching people with far greater physical ability than I could ever hope to have complete the courses.  Decide – at 9:15p – that we will go ahead and watch this week’s episode.  All two hours of it.
  • Wednesday, 10:15pm: Holy shit, I’m still awake!  We’re going to finish a show!
  • Wednesday, 10:54pm: Holy shit, I’m still awake.  I’m only going to get 6 hours of sleep now.
  • Wednesday, 11:07pm: Oh shit.
  • Wednesday, 11:23pm: Go to bed.  Play Candy Crush to “unwind.”  Say “oh shit” a few more times before giving up and accepting the five hours of sleep I have allotted myself, just to watch people climb cargo nets.
  • Thursday, 5:32am: COFFEECOFFEECOFFEECOFFEECOFFEE.

This is how parents of toddlers binge watch, folks.  Also, people in my office, refrain from eye contact until at least 8:30am.  Thank you.

Next American Ninja Napper,

K

Round-Up

As always, here’s your weekly round-up of things I did when I wasn’t staying up way too late writing, reading (I even FINISHED a book this week!) and watching TV Land.  YOU’RE WELCOME.

No sleep ’til…TEETHING IS OVER OMGOMGOMG.  Maybe that’s a little dramatic.  Do you know what happens when you humbly brag about what a super awesome sleeper your baby is?  That’s right, sharp bones begin tearing their way through his gums.  And so, for the past three weeks, between midnight and 2am…we’re up.  Why?  Because my son thinks he’s the long lost Beastie Boy (RIP Ad-Rock) and will not sleep until he arrives in Brooklyn.  Sometimes he cries, sometimes he just lays there and sings, sometimes he sands up and bangs mercilessly on the side of his crib until you shuffle in there and rock him back to sleep.  When his little eyes are closed, and he’s softly snoring, you lay him in his crib, only to find that during the course of your rock session that comfy, cozy crib has suddenly morphed into an Iron Maiden (and not the rockin’ kind) which Miles will relay to you in a series of shrieks as he frantically climbs up the side of the crib.  This happens three times.  On the fourth attempt, we finally sleep.

Sometimes I wonder why this teething business can be such a big deal…then I  look at THIS:

Where did you think all those adult teeth were hiding, anyway?

Where did you think all those adult teeth were hiding, anyway?

And I think to myself, “HOLY SHIT” and stop questioning why this teething stuff is a big deal.  PS – Good luck un-seeing THAT image.  It’s the stuff Stephen King novels are made of.

There are a few other babies in Miles’ class that are teething right now.  Every day when I go to pick him up, I find the teething kids circled up in the same corner of the play area, chewing the bejeezus out of the hard toys.  It’s like an episode of Breaking Bad.

So, now that you can chew…  We’ve been slowly introducing more “finger foods” to Miles, since the onslaught of Teethmurderfest 2014.  He wants to chew on stuff, so why not have a carrot or an apple or a banana?  When we first introduced bananas, Miles made that face, the one that all babies make when you give them a new food, the face that says, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO ME, WOMAN?!”  Only the banana face was a little bit more dramatic.  Also, it was kind of funny.  Turns out, Miles doesn’t particularly care for the texture of bananas, and if you try to coax him into eating them (vis a vis putting pieces of banana in his mouth when he is clearly over it) he’s going to make a “cat coughing up a hairball face.”  Oh, you think that’s funny?  Me too.  So we tried another piece of banana, because I really wanted Evan to see the hilarity that was the banana-hairball face.  And do you know what happened?  Miles puked all of his mangoes all over the highchair.   Miles: 1  Me: 0  Highchair: -1,487

NO MORE BANANAS.

NO MORE BANANAS.

TVTVTV… Like most parents of young children, we DVR a lot of our shows so we can watch them later (because, let’s face it, staying up until 9:30p is a challenge).  I am most excited to finally see The White Witch herself on American Horror Story.  Did you watch it?  Was it awesome?  I hope so.  In addition to AHS, I’m also going to binge watch Gypsy Sisters.  Have you ever watched My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding?  NO?!  Gypsy Sisters follows one of the families featured in an episode of MBFAGW, and it.is.awesome.  It’s a bedazzled episode of Maury Povich.  The Gypsy culture is interesting and entertaining.  Also, they have names like “Pawpaw Big Daddy” and “Mellie”.  And because the show is on TLC (which used to be The Learning Channel, remember?) I don’t feel like I’m totally rotting my brain.  Even though TLC is responsible for Honey Boo Boo, The Little Chocolatiers and, lest we forget, John and Kate Plus 8.  Barf.  Anyway, Gypsy Sisters: watch it.

Doesn't this just scream awesome?  Along with, "YOU ARE NOT THE FATHER."

Doesn’t this just scream awesome? Along with, “YOU ARE NOT THE FATHER.”

And finally, because I’m not sure if the baby teeth x-ray is enough to give you nightmares, I’m going to leave you with THIS:

Hyperdontia.  Seriously, Google it.

Hyperdontia. Seriously, Google it.

I know, my google image skills are pretty wicked.

Sleep tight,

K

Early Round-Up

Just boob, no tube…
Remember last week when I told you I was going without TV for a week?  Well, weekdays?  Maybe?  I did it.  Sort of on purpose, sort of not. 
Here’s the reason it wasn’t exactly on purpose…Evan had a couple late nights this week (like, Miles is already in bed asleep late nights).  So, when I’m in Single Parent Status (this is a real thing I refer to at home, just ask my husband) there’s really no time for television.  Once The Short One has hit the hay, I’m washing bottles, prepping food for the next day, herding the small zoo that lives in our home, touching up my nail polish, drinking a glass of wine and going to bed.  But I did appreciate that time in a way, because it helped me to see that my dependency on TV isn’t as severe as I thought it was.
For instance, I have FIVE episodes of Law & Order: SVU sitting there, just waiting to be watched.  Of course I miss Detective Benson, but she’ll be there when I eventually get around to watching it. 
Other than the regular weeknight stuff, what else did I accomplish in my disconnected state?  I got Miles’ baby book caught up to current!  I also mailed some stuff to the IRS that I’d been meaning to send since 2009 for a while, painted my nails, organized our bedroom closet, did eleventy billion loads of laundry and and AND started reading a book; one that was not written by Dr. Seuss, does not have heavy duty cardboard pages perfect for chewing, or pictures!
Side note: IRS, I’m sure you’re in kahootz with the NSA.  If you audit me, you will unleash the wrath of the past eight years I’ve spent learning tax forms for personal and business, single member LLC, S-Corps, carry the 2 and divide by 17.8, wrongformagainlololol.  It’s not easy to have a full-time career and also be a volunteer accountant on the side…now that I’m a mom, I’m not playing around.  If you audit me, I will send that guy from “Taken” after you.  Seriously.  Not really.  Please don’t audit me.
I did watch a teeny, tiny bit of TV: one episode of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, and one episode of Two Broke Girls.  Because I also learned that without TV, I can get extra sleep.  Glorious, beautiful, sleep.
So, DVR…I guess our relationship just went from “it’s complicated” to “I’m just not that into you.”  If it weren’t for The Walking Dead, American Horror Story, Criminal Minds, The New Girl, SVU, Two Broke Girls, Boardwalk Empire, re-runs of Cosby and Roseanne, football, Food Network and Hot in Cleveland, we’d probably never see each other again.  Probably.
Speaking of sleep…
Miles has always been given an A++ with extra gold stars and sunshine for being such an excellent sleeper.  Then, the mindgame of Daylight Savings Time came, along with the 29-30 week growth spurt (which is, coincidentally, when babies learn about separation anxiety).  And now, for the past week, he has woken up every couple hours.  Sometimes he cries, sometimes he lays there and makes noises, sometimes he wants to play. 
Either way, he’s getting a D+ right now as far as I’m concerned.  He isn’t failing yet because his daytime naps are superawesomesunbeams, which is great.  Also, this waking up business makes me grumpy, but has zero effect on The Short One.  In fact, Miles seems to get a super energy burst of smiles from waking up every two hours.  What happens in our adult lives to change this effect?
He’s almost seven months old.  We’ve never had to sleep train, but when faced with the choice of sleep training or crazy training, well…you know what’s up.  Tonight we’re going to go all Ferber Method and see how it goes.  Please pray.  Hard.  Also, send wine.  I don’t know if my heart/mind/mommy guilt can take it.  But I need sleeeeep.
Parents of young kiddos, we follow The Wonder Weeks.  You can download a free app on your phone, and it’s super helpful for knowing what each growth spurt entails, and what skills your child is developing.  This is also how I know that we’re going through the “holy crap my parents can just walk out of the room and leave me here?!” thing at night.
Also, since my post on parenting fail, he has fallen down umpteen times, with minimal crying.  I think the feelings of fear when falling have been replaced with a dogged determination to walk, because he really, really wants to hang out with the cats and they keep finding places to nap that are just out of his reach.  He’s like a little McGyver, moving boxes against the couch to climb up them.  Right now it’s adorable; ask me if I feel the same way when I find him swinging from a ceiling fan one day.
Update!
Wow, this is the first update I’ve ever had the pleasure of giving!  Remember this post?  Well guess what…

THERE WILL BE A PART TWO!  Oh yes, there will be.  Evan was called to testify.  It’s awesome, because it gives me some writing material.  It also sucks, because the trial falls on our 8 year wedding anniversary.  Sacrifices, right?
Ferberizing,

Kristin

Friday Round-Up: Halloween(ish) Edition

If it takes four months to prepare for vacation, then it should naturally take some length of time to get back into the swing of things, right?  I’m getting there…it’s just hard to catch up with so many important things on my list I need to accomplish:
         Haul all of the fall and Christmas decorations out of the garage.
         Sort the decorations.
         Admire the decorations.
         Tell the decorations how much I’ve missed them.
         Sit around and smell my Fall Harvest, Cozy Fireside and Balsam Pine Scentsy bars, to prepare myself for the seasons.
Look, it’s a zen process, full of meditation and sitting around in PJs wishing the weather would turn cooler.
So, Round-Up time…yes, Halloween was a million years ago, but I had some thoughts that I wrote down and I’m sharing them now…
Halloweenie
Teenage girls and mothers of teenage girls…seriously, what’s up with the costumes?  Why do you look like you’re auditioning for the Bunny Ranch?  WHAT KIND OF EXAMPLE ARE YOU SETTING?  I would like a nationwide spandex/lycra ban next year.  Also, no more animal ears and tails.
Greedy kids…one visit to a house/trunk-or-treat/other Halloween event is adequate.  There’s no need to show up four times, demanding more candy.  I’m totally ratting you out to your dentist.
Florida…can we get some cooler weather for Halloween?  It’s unfair that I find the most adorable costume ever in the history of time and space, and Miles can only wear it for 20 minutes because it happens to be fleece but it also happens to be 178 degrees outside at 8:00pm.  Get with the program.
Neighbors…when we arrived home from Trunk-Or-Treat, you were throwing boomerangs in the park across the street.  You are not Aussies, but I respect your hobby.  I am unsure as to why (and a little unnerved) you felt the need to throw boomerangs until ELEVEN THIRTY PM.  I half expected Halloween night to turn into some B horror movie: “Boomerangicide: THEY ALWAYS RETURN.”
Costumes…other than the costumes for Miles and Evan (I win 1,000,000 points for those) my favorite costume this year belonged to a dad of one of the kids trick-or-treating in our neighborhood.  He was wearing a “bloody” t-shirt with knife slashes and mini cereal boxes attached all over.  I interpreted this costume as “Killer Cereal”, since to be a cereal killer, it seems like he’d be the knife wielder, right?  So if his intention was ironic, he gets 10,000 points.
American Horror Story…are you guys watching this season?  It hasn’t been very scary, but it’s been disturbing.  I’m loving the last two Halloween episodes, though.  Good stuff.  If you watch AHS, you can catch a good (and hilarious) recap over at My Favorite and My Best.  She’s awesomesauce, not only for her artistic abilities (inspires me to continue not finishing any of our reno projects) but also for her spot on Jessica Lange impersonation and screen caps from each episode.  I mean, it’s no Walking Dead (swoon) but it’s still good stuff.
Candy…I love you SO. MUCH.  Especially candy corn, mini Snickers, Milky Ways, Baby Ruth, Tootsie Rolls, and Dots.  Man, do I love Dots.  They’re totally worth it, even if they pull out your fillings.  But candy corn wins all the candy points; that stuff is irresistable.   
Now, for things non-All Hallows’ Eve related…
Hairy Carey…last week, I cut my own bangs.  I do this a lot, usually with some level of success.  I’m still growing out a not-awesome haircut I got right before Miles was born (my hair grows super slow, except for the grays – they sprout like bamboo and take over).  I know I’m not the only person too lazy/thrifty to pay for someone else to cut my bangs.  What about color?  I’m considering a new color, which I’ll do myself.  Darker?  Lighter?  Grayer?  If your choice is the last, I have been fashionable for 18 months.
The No TV Project
PEOPLE: I am considering taking a hiatus from television for one week (okay, five weekdays).  One of those guilt-ridden inspirational photo posts popped up somewhere (Facebook?  Pinterest?  Instagram?  Epicurious?  I have no idea…) and it said,
If you don’t have enough time, turn off the TV.
And I thought to myself, “sonofabitch, they’re watching me through the living room window.”  Because seriously, I love my DVR.  I love my DVR in a way that if polygamy was allowed in Florida, we would go all Big Love with the DVR.  Maybe the OnDemand, too.  I will admit that my amount of TV watching isn’t what it used to be, but I still think that I watch enough of it in the evenings that it interferes with the things I’d like to accomplish during the week (also, things that have been on my to-do list since before Miles was born).
We don’t watch TV until after Miles goes to bed, normally around 8pm.  I usually hit the hay by 10pm, sometimes earlier, but let’s average and say I’m watching two hours of TV a day.  It doesn’t seem like much to some, but when I consider how ticked off I get the next day because I didn’t complete XYZ task, I silently curse the TV in my head.
TV : Kristin  ::  Apple : Eve
So, I am considering going off the DVR grid next week.  Wish me luck.  I’m already depressed.  A little excited, but depressed, too.  Maybe I can just cut down to one show a day?  The thought of missing AHS, SVU and Criminal Minds is giving me heart palpitations…thank the TV angels that The Walking Dead airs on Sunday nights.
18 mini Snickers to go,
Kristin