Friday, August 28, 2009

Fall TV


Before I make a list of the the shows I'm excited about for fall, I would just like to go on record and state that I truly believe NBC is shooting themselves in the foot by moving Jay Leno to prime time. I know, it's probably cheaper for them. . . but that is 5 hours A WEEK of interesting TV that won't be happening.

Maybe they just didn't feel like being creative this year. . .

Shows I already love that I'll be watching again:
How I Met Your Mother (Mon. CBS)
Big Bang Theory (Mon. CBS)
Castle (Mon. ABC)
The Biggest Loser (Tues. NBC)
SYTYCD (Tues & Wed. FOX)
Glee (Wed. FOX)
Grey's Anatomy (Thurs ABC)
Private Practice (Thurs ABC)
Southland (Fri NBC)
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (Sun ABC)
Amazing Race (Sun CBS)

Shows I have watched countless previews about,
and am therefore cautiously excited for:
Trauma (Mon NBC)
Modern Family (Wed ABC)
Cougartown (Wed ABC)
Mercy (Wed NBC)
Flash Forward (Thurs ABC)
The Mentalist (Thurs CBS)

Shows I know nothing about,
but reading the synopsis made me interested enough to try:
The Good Wife (Tues. CBS)
The Forgotten (Tues ABC)
Three Rivers (Sun CBS)

Friday Randoms

1- Reflexology was amazing. Trippy. Fascinating. . . I can go on and on and on. In fact, if you want to know more about it, email me. I would love to sing this woman's praises. I am going back on Wednesday, and probably once a week for a while. . .

She is certain that she can cure my migraines, if I will stick with it. . . and if that happens, I will cry.

In a good way.

Still cautiously optimistic, obviously, but still optimistic.

2- Got to play with the Cricut for the first time last night (don't even get me started on the length of time it took to get to me from less than 300 miles away) And I must say, that thing is AMAZING. And I love it. And I am still a little inept at the ins and outs, but if you start getting cards from me when I never ever mailed you anything before. . . don't be surprised.

3- Fall TV is about to start (I'll post about what I plan to watch later) As such, I will be working this weekend to make space on the DVR. I am tempted to buy an external hard drive specifically to store my child's shows, just so we don't run out of space.

How sad am I?

4- I am SO ready for the leaves to change and the temperatures to drop a bit. I love me some fall weather. The in between seasons are my favorites.

5- Nolan has started singing along to songs on the TV. Don't get me wrong, he doesn't say words that contain more than one sound. . . and really, even then, it's hard to know what he's saying. . . but certain songs are really easy to sing (and dance) along with:

video

And yes, there are nights when I let him eat standing up in his high chair like that.

For 2 reasons:

#1, his high chair is about 6 inches off the ground when we have it lowered like this
&
#2, I just don't have the energy to fight him about it, when he won't, in fact, hurt himself if he stands up like that.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Something New


I'm trying something new this evening.

I should preface this by explaining something. I don't feel well. Ever, really. In fact, I think it's been years (at least 3) since I've had a day, even one day, that I really felt rested and in no pain. I don't say this to whine or to garner sympathy. It's just the way things are.
And I don't think it's normal.

I know. I know. I'm getting older. I should expect aches and pains. And I do. I know that it's common to start "falling apart" when you reach 30. But for most people, the days of feeling bad are the exception and not the rule at the age of 32.

For me, there are no exceptions. I hurt, in one way or another, or in several ways, every single day. Some days, enough that I cannot function, though I mostly just have to suck it up and go on.

In the last 10 years I have seen every kind of doctor that could possibly help me. Neurologists, chiropractors, accupuncturists, endochrinologists, pain specialists, therapists. . . on top of my family practice doctor and my OB/GYN. I'm an expert on doctor's offices. And more than one of them has thrown up their hands in frustration with me. Between chronic sciatica, migraines, and anxiety, I've taken pain killers, muscle relaxants, blood pressure medication, anti-depressants, anti-anxiety medication, epilepsy medication. . . None of them worked. At least for very long.

The one and only thing that ever helped me long term was a combo of chiropractic/accupuncture. For several years I only had 3-4 migraines a month, and my back pain was under control.

But then I had Nolan. And everything changed. The number of factors involved in this problem are too numerous to count. . . but let's just say, nothing is under control any more. My back hurts a lot of the time. The anxiety is often crippling. And the migraines. . . they're ridiculous. 3-4 a month grew to 10-15 a month. In the past 7 days, I've had 5. I have a few things that I can take when I get them, but a combination of insurance issues and fear of stomach problems keeps me from taking something every time I get one.

The longer I have them, the less willing I am to try crazy chemical combinations to try and remedy them. The side effects are awful. But the accupuncture isn't helping any more. I'm currently trying a combination of herbal supplements to try to get them under control, but after 5 weeks on this concoction, I'm finding no relief. I have to stay on the herbs for a while to get the full effect. . . and maybe they'll start helping. . . but I'm not feeling as much hope for that as I was a few weeks ago.

So tonight I try reflexology.

I know a few people who have found major relief from these treatments. And right this second, I am more than willing to try ANYTHING that will help. Especially if it doesn't involve drugs. I don't even care if it's placebo effect that makes me feel better. I just want to feel better.

So I ask you this. . .
since everyone has pain.

What have you tried? What are my other options, if this doesn't help? Any ideas are welcome. . .

Monday, August 24, 2009

Secret Garden Party

We had a busy weekend at the Hess house. Lots and lots to do.

But the final weekend activity is what I want to share.

We had a cast party.

For the Secret Garden.

A show we did more than 3 years ago.

I stage managed. Ben played Dr. Craven. And I promised the cast that I would arrange a party. . . oh. . . closing night. But we got engaged soon after it closed, and then married, and then pregnant. . . and seriously. . . We did a lot in those 3 years. But STILL.

Almost everyone involved was back around, willing and excited to play. . . so we got together at our clubhouse,

and mostly exclaimed over how much the "kids" from the show had grown.

And how Nolan was adorable, but how on earth is he a red head?

And how much fun we'd had doing that show. . .

We had a great time. And hopefully we'll get together again, along with some of those that were missing, in less than 3 years this time.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Friday Randoms

1- It was my birthday 2 days ago. I can't believe how loved a person can feel on her birthday in the days of Facebook! It is such a rush to get 50 emails, from friends old and new, in one day, all wishing you a happy birthday! I never remember birthdays, myself, so I truly appreciate that FB reminds me so I can pay the love forward.

2-My trip to St. Louis was supposed to be my birthday present. But in a moment of cheating, I got on eBay. . . and I couldn't resist. . . and won an auction for A Cricut:I got a super amazing deal on a brand new one, with several extra goodies. . . so I don't feel TOTALLY badly about it. If anyone needs creative vinyl sayings for their walls, I'm your woman. We have some interesting plans in mind for our wall. . . if the vinyl is removable. . .



3- And to ADD to the birthday love, my mom and aunt found me a sweet new sewing machine in a consignment shop, and got it for me for my birthday! It's old, but pristine, simple and solid and I LOVE it. I can't wait to work on some quilts!


PHOTOGRAPH BY ART STREIBER and borrowed from EW.com

4- I watched Project Runway, and the Models of the Runway show that followed, for the first time last night. I had heard so many good things about it, over the past few years, but we didn't have BRAVO, so I had never experienced it.

Add one more reality show to my list of favorites.

Also, they use the same brand of sewing machines on PR that I just got. Proof that my mom got a good deal.

5- I was supposed to have finished my Coke quitting by Wednesday. . . alas, I still haven't done it. I'm CLOSE. very close. but I can't make that final step without getting at least a SMALL handle on my migraines first. So I'm delaying. And still sticking to about 12 oz a day at lunch. And we'll see what happens. . .

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

More Letters

Nolan continues his obsession with his foam letters. We have misplaced (and/or baked) several. . . and I've stopped trying to account for all of them at the end of the day. There are 3 full sets, and he just doesn't notice.

We have been attempting to teach him to clean up his messes lately, and Ben managed to get him to put all of his letters in this rubbermaid container on Sunday:

He then had to join them

But it was a bit tight. . . and slippery
He needed some help out again

Monday, August 17, 2009

Graduation

It feels like Ben graduated 2 months ago when his classes were over. . .
but the official day, the walking and the cap and gown part. . . that was last Friday.
We are so proud of him.
And so glad for him to be done with that time consuming portion of his life.

He got a fancy robe reserved for Masters students. . .
the kind with long pockets in the arms to store your things. . .
He was not impressed with the design.

Ben's parents flew in for lunch & the ceremony. . .
just getting to see him walk before having to leave for the airport. . .
Nolan commanded their attention as usual.
(Ben's dad IS his namesake, after all)


I wasn't great with the focus with no tripod from that distance,
but you can pretty much tell it's Ben.

Nolan was especially excited for Ben to graduate. And had quite the time in the Marriot Center. (BYU's basketball arena)

Apparently, while sitting a few seats down the row from me, with my dad, Nolan was doing his trademark "Hmmm" with his fingers to his lips, as if thinking deeply about something. There was a woman, about 50, sitting behind them, wearing a knee length skirt. Nolan turned around, in the middle of the ceremony, and with one hand, grabbed the woman's skirt with 2 tiny fingers and lifted it a few inches. . . gazed under it. . . put his finger to his lips and said "hmmm".

Luckily the woman had grandchildren. . .

and a sense of humor.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Nolan Stuff

It's been a while since I've posted cute pictures of my kid, so I've searched iphoto for some appropriately cute ones to share along with some of his favorite things at the moment. He's still as cute as ever, he just moves too fast to catch a good photo of most days. . .

Nolan will not wear sunglasses, but he's a champ about this hat. Thank goodness. He's got the fair skin that tends to go along with red hair, so it take a lot of vigilance to make sure he doesn't sunburn.
------------

Nolan loves a good cupcake (more on that in a minute) but more than that, he loves to stand up on a chair in the kitchen and "help" with dinner, baking, whatever he can. He wants to be one of the big kids so badly.

-----------

While working from home one day, I stopped paying close attention to what Nolan was doing as he ran back and forth between the kitchen and the living room. I had a batch of orange cupcakes cooling in the kitchen, and it never occurred to me that he could reach them. . . until I looked over to the living room and saw this:

He didn't need to wait for me to unwrap it. . . or even ask permission to HAVE a cupcake, apparently. He just dove right in.

--------------

When we drive, Nolan is usually a perfect angel in his car seat. It normally only takes a few toys and his sippy cup and he's good all the way to grandma & grandpa's house (which is about as far as we ever drive) But every once in a while, he gets crabby. In those cases, usually brought on by tiredness, the thing that calms him down is holding someone's hand. He threads his fingers with yours and he is content. . . He does this instead of cuddling with a blanket or stuffed animal. It's not the most comfortable thing for the parent in the front seat, but it's more comfortable than screaming. . .

This particular day, he not only wanted mom's hand, he also needed a few of his letters. . . & dad's empty soda cup. . .

whatever it takes. . .
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And finally, a short little video of Nolan eating his first popsicle. Peter bought it from the ice cream man driving down the road and we tried it out. Nolan wasn't quite sure what he was supposed to do with it. We'll have to work on that one:

video

Friday, August 07, 2009

Movie Review Catch Up

Once again, it has been far too long since I did this, so the list will go on forever.
I'll try to be brief.

Rachel Getting Married
This movie feels. . . long. It's super realism, so things tend to happen on screen at least vaguely at the pace of real life. . . and that makes it drag. There are also a LOT of uncomfortable scenes of family discord, that just made me squirm. Anne Hathaway is, indeed, brilliant. But I didn't really find the movie to be so.


The Reader
Speaking of uncomfortable. Set in Germany leading up to World War 2 and extending to the present. . . the subject matter is tough, but interesting. Again, I didn't think it was a great movie, but Kate definitely deserved her many awards for this one. She's wonderful. The boy who plays opposite her, teaching her to read, is not great, though. Although you have to give him credit for hanging with Kate in their scenes together and not getting stomped on.



Up
OK, I was told to take tissue. I didn't listen. The first 20 minutes of this movie were AWESOME cry-inducing scenes. Not that the rest isn't also wonderful, but the beginning was just SO wonderful. Ben's favorite part was the dog.

I ask you, is Pixar ever going to really screw up? Not that I want them to, I'm just amazed that it hasn't happened yet.


The Proposal
I wanted to like this movie. I am an unabashed lover of the cheesy chick movie, and I really like both Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds. . . and yet. . . the writing is SO bad, the plot SO contrived, that I just couldn't like it. When Betty White can't pull off her lines, you know they're bad. & that's all I have to say about that.


Happy Go Lucky
I must admit, I didn't finish watching this. (Don't cry Melissa. I tried) I made it about 2/3 of the way through and just couldn't see a compelling plot point coming. . . so I quit. I was mostly just annoyed with all of the characters the whole time anyway, though I know I was supposed to find them charming. Maybe I missed something in the last 1/3, but I can't see how it was nominated for so many writing awards.


Things We Lost In The Fire
This was on one of the movie channels one Sunday afternoon, so I started watching, and then I got stuck. I vaguely remembered seeing the ads when it came out, but I never made an effort to go, or to add it to my Netflix queue for that matter. But it turns out, it was a really good movie. The acting is great. The plot is compelling and believable. . . It's not cheerful, by any stretch, but it's a good film.


My Sister's Keeper
Let's just say I cried through this entire movie. I didn't read the book, and was therefore not thrown by the ending. . . but regardless, it starts you crying a couple of minutes in, and doesn't let you stop until it's over. Every few minutes, you realize you're at it again. Enough said.


Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
In preparation for seeing this, I didn't go back and read all of the books. I have an awful memory for the things I read, and though I really really enjoyed the books, people like Ben, with a great memory for what he reads, end up enjoying the movies less. So instead, we watched the first 5 movies. And that was the perfect way to go about it. I really liked this one. I wasn't a huge fan of the ending. I did remember the ending of the book, and was looking forward to the scene they left out. . . but other than that, it was brilliantly done, for me.

Star Trek
I am NOT a Trekkie. In fact, I mock them, I must admit. What I am, though, is a huge JJ Abrams fan. And after many weeks of positive reviews from people who were also not Trekkies, Ben and I went to see this. It is, in fact, the only Star Trek movie I've seen in a theater. And I liked it. A lot. There, I said it. Long live JJ.

The Ugly Truth
I sort of thought I was going to hate this little Cyrano spin. And it's true, it was totally predictable in plot. No surprises at all. (& it's a little bit dirty, in places, you should be warned) BUT, and this is a big BUT for me, Katherine Heigl and Gerard Butler (who is not at all hard to watch in general) had really great chemistry. And that sort of sucked me in and kept me there. And in the end, in the badly green screened end, I was happy for them.

Friday Randoms

(photo courtesy of Emily, she's the one front and center)

1- I spent last weekend in St. Louis, and it was such fun. These girls (12 of us in all, each with a child Nolan's age) came from all over the country to hang out and craft together. . . and no one turned out to be a psycho killer! Score!


2- I was pretty darn happy with the winner on SYTYCD, but I have to say, although I watched every episode, I wasn't as excited about this season as I was last. . .
I wonder if the fall season will help. . .


3- My child has discovered Dora/Diego. Our lives may never be the same.

4- I must admit to being GIDDY excited for GLEE to start on Sept. 9th. It may just make up for the loss of Pushing Daisies. . . and I didn't think anything would. You people out there better watch, though, because if Glee gets cancelled as quickly as PD did. . . I won't know what to do.

5- This is the funniest thing I've seen in a while. (forgive the link, it wasn't embeddable)