Category Archives: entertainment

An Investment in Our Family’s Future Entertainment.

I’ll just come right out and say it: I hate school pictures. They’re stiff and staged and generally, don’t show a kid’s true personality. And the backgrounds are just hideous.


You wanna know what’s hilarious? Getting together with your siblings, as adults, and looking through everyone’s school pictures year by year. And we want to give our kids that opportunity, to make fun of each other and themselves in years to come.

Because I would feel like a horrible parent if I didn’t buy some school pictures, Matt and I discussed it and we’re getting the cheapest package there is, which is literally 6 pictures of each kid (so far, our kids have never swapped pictures with classmates, and we’re 4 years and 2 elementary schools into this, so I’m feeling pretty secure about not buying 87 wallets) + a class picture (also very fun in the future). So we’ll have record of each year in an album, but none for the wall, which I wouldn’t put up anyway.

To make it even more fun, I let the boys choose the background they wanted. In the past, I’ve picked it, going for something as tame as possible, but not this year. This year, each of them has chosen the red laser background, which goes with a half-body pose instead of a head shot. I didn’t even try to talk them out of it…I just let them pick.

I figure it’s going to make 15 years from now even funnier and more awkward.

And for a really funny read on school pictures, go over to Are We There Yet? Hilarious.

PS…a little “Picture Morning 2011″ update. I forgot to set my alarm. I woke up in time, as Bennett was already awake and he is NOT quiet in the morning. Or any other time of day for that matter. But I digress. The morning was crazy. B decided he did, in fact, want to take his lunch instead of giving me my one-day-a-week reprieve from lunch making (something about the sides being offered with the pizza not being acceptable? Grr.). A new policy was established this morning, stating that Tuesdays are eat-at-school days UNLESS the head chef has been notified the day before.

It’s 7:30am. Things can only go up from here.

Dear Mister President,

Last week, during my amazing alone time, I was in the car when some news came on. The first thing I heard was a soundbite from your speech that day from somewhere in Iowa or Michigan.

You said, in effect, that there is nothing wrong with our country. Balancing that with a statement about how what’s wrong is our politics.

I agree that our politics are a hot mess, but I flat-out disagree that there is nothing wrong with our country. There is SO much wrong with our country, but you and I would NEVER see eye-to-eye on that, so I’m not even going there.

That evening, over a leisurely dinner with my husband, I mentioned your speech. He agreed wholeheartedly with my sentiments.

Fast-forward to later that night. Husband was lying on the couch flipping through the channels, and I was painting the laundry room, right next to the living room. And yes, when I get time alone, I paint rooms. I’m crazy like that.

He stopped on a channel, and it only took a moment for me to realize what he was watching, though we’ve never even seen an episode. He watched it for a few more minutes, and I hollered, “Remember earlier today, when Obama said that there’s nothing wrong with America? This is exhibit A.”

Mr. President, exhibit A:

(photo credit, though who would want credit for this I don’t know)

The show “Jersey Shore.” It’s everything that’s wrong with America, all wrapped up into an hour-long (or is it half-hour? I don’t even know) package of filth and raunch. That show is so dirty you’ll feel like you’ve contracted a disease just by sitting on your couch and watching it.

So, Mr. President, I implore of you: please stop telling people there’s nothing wrong with our country. It couldn’t be further from the truth, and if you insist on talking about it more, I’ll have to forward you an episode of “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” as further evidence.

A Taxpayer

PS…This is HILARIOUS! A&F offering to pay The Situation NOT to wear their clothing!

Oh, to Have the Memory of a Child

Granted, he’s seen this movie more than a few times since its release last summer. But still…it’s not like he watches this daily or even weekly. And it’s been a while since he’s seen it at all!

So last week, when Jack Henry started rattling off this scene from Toy Story 3, I about died laughing. And then did what any good mother would do: grabbed my camera. Or in this case, my phone, which takes pretty decent video.

Jack Henry’s transcript (he’s doing the lines of a couple of different characters):
“We all knew Operation Playtime was an longshot (like this one). But we all said this job wasn’t about getting played with, it’s about being there for Andy. We know. But we can try again right? I’m callin’ it guys, we’re closin’ up shop. Wha?? That was our last shot!”

It’s actually pretty close to the real thing!


If your kids watch any TV, you’ve probably, at one time or another, heard them repeat commercials. It happens here all the time, particularly after watching sporting events. For instance, last summer the kids all had a couple of favorites that they repeated from Cardinal baseball broadcasts, since the same ones play over and over again.

Last weekend’s basketball viewing was no different. They watched a LOT of games with us, and there were definitely a couple that stood out: the new iPhone series of commercials. Have you seen them? They probably would have been much less attention-getting if I hadn’t just gotten one (the cheaper 3G version), but I have to admit that they’re catchy. Here’s one of them:

Here’s Jack Henry’s version:


And these are currently Bennett’s favorite series of commercials. So much so that when we pulled into a small strip mall parking lot, and he saw a State Farm office in the mall, he excitedly (and confusedly) asked me, “Are we going to State Farm?”

The rest of them are on YouTube if you need some quick entertainment. Honestly, I think they’re all pretty funny, especially the one of the couple on a date where she tells him he’s making her head numb! (Disclaimer: we aren’t even SF customers.)

Programming Notes

In two parts.

The first is alternately titled: I Don’t Even Know Who We Are Anymore.

Today, I sent this romantic text to my love: “u+me+carryout+history channel = perfect valentine’s night.”

I know, right?

The History Channel?

I remember one night over the summer, Matt and I watched some show on The History Channel about how state lines were determined when states were being formed. It was really interesting, and we both commented that The History Channel has gotten a lot cooler over the years. And then we looked at each other and died laughing, realizing that we had just gotten a thousand times lamer; the channel probably hasn’t changed all that much.

However, on Monday nights, we very much enjoy American Pickers and Pawn Stars, and have for a long time (though, I have to admit, I don’t have a clue what’s on that channel the rest of the week). So after the kiddos were in bed, Matt picked up Chipotle and we watched Pickers. We’re so hooked on that show that when we drive stretches of interstate in Illinois, we look for places that would be good picks for Mike and Frank. Because we’re on a first-name basis with them and stuff. I totally get the intrigue in picking honestly; my dad is kind of a picker, too, so I think it’s in my blood.

18-year-old Nicole is laughing her you-know-what off right now, seeing the 33-year-old version of herself actually enjoying watching The History Channel.


The second half of this post could also be called “I’m Pretty Sure the Disney Channel Hates Me.”

One time, years ago, Cartoon Network messed up my daily schedule. And now, Disney has gone and done the same garbage with their programming.

Do they not know that Jack Henry gets up between 5:45 and 6:30 almost every day? And that we generally don’t like him up and roaming the house until 7am, after both of us have had quiet time and maybe shut our eyes for a few more minutes?

This morning, Finding Nemo was on. Which is great – Jack Henry loves that movie. However, in looking at the daily schedule, it appears that Nemo was an anomaly, and that they have now moved all of their most craptastic programming to early morning. Timmy Time (worst show ever made – even JH hates it), Chuggington (second worst show ever made), Imagination Movers (horribly annoying and not entertaining) and Special Agent Oso (who makes my head want to explode) are now the 5:30-7:30 lineup.

For the love: bring back the Handy Manny and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse marathons.

I was pleasantly surprised to find Clifford on during the 6:00 hour this morning on PBS Kids, so it looks like we’ll be switching until further notice.

UPDATED TO ADD: Handy Manny showed up at 6:30 this morning, despite what the lineup said, and Oso wasn’t right before him, so I have no idea what’s going on.

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone :)



I don’t use the word ‘repulsive’ lightly, but that is simply the only word that comes to mind after what I just watched on DVR.

Please keep in mind that I’ve watched episodes of “Infested” and I will confess to some E! Network viewing as well as whatever channel Tosh.0 is on. And this, by far, takes the cake for the sickest thing I’ve ever seen.

I’d only ever seen commercials for the TLC show “Toddlers and Tiaras,” so the other night I hit “record” on the DVR when I saw it was coming up next. Tonight, when the DVR messed up recording “Biggest Loser” for some reason, I watched this instead while I folded laundry. From the get-go, I was ready to throw up.

In this episode, which will be the only one I ever watch, they were in Oklahoma. There was a 15-month-old baby, and a 4 and a 5 year old, I believe. I’ve never seen such a disgusting example of parents putting their own desires and lost dreams onto their children as this.

The 15-month-old’s mom has THREE sons (none of whom were mentioned or shown). She was devastated to discover that each was a boy, because she wanted a daughter. Prayed for her, apparently, because she wants to raise a Miss America. She spray-tans that baby girl, and duct tapes her pageant clothes to her. She gives her “special juice” (aka soda) to give her energy instead of letting her nap. This mom is SOLELY focused on giving this baby everything she possibly can, so that she will be a beauty queen. She said she wasn’t sure what the baby would do if she didn’t win the pageant that was being filmed for this episode. ‘Scuse me? She’s 15 months old. Even a genius 15-month-old doesn’t have any concept of winning or losing. They care about food. And putting toys in their mouths. And sleep. And learning to walk without falling over.

I can’t even talk about the 4-year-old’s stepmom and pageant-winning 15-year-old stepsister. It was that bad.

The 5 year-old’s mom has her eyebrows waxed. Did you read that? The kid has a unibrow, and that just won’t do in the pageant world. Once, when she got waxed, the wax was too hot and it ripped off her skin. So now, according to her mom, she’s scared to have it done. You don’t say. This mom also compared her daughter to a movie star because she throws tantrums when it’s time to get her ready for a pageant by putting on fake eyelashes with a long tweezers.

I’m sorry, but where are the authorities? How is this even allowed?

And beyond the pain that these kids endure, how about the fact that some of these kids (not all of them) are being taught to act sexy when they’re toddlers? Let’s just take a second to hypothesize where THAT will take these girls. Sheesh. And all of them are being taught that physical beauty is the only way to “win.”

I would say I’m speechless, but clearly, I just let about 500 words spill out onto the page.

Have you ever seen this show? Care to comment?

It’s That Time of Year

Tonight, the kids and I will break out our favorite Christmas movie of all time, Elf. Which got me thinking about last year, when Jack Henry was just (finally) learning to talk, and he heard Bennett say “son of a nutcracker” and get in trouble for it, and then he started repeating it.

It cracks me up that I recorded it, because his language has changed so incredibly since last February when this was taken. Enjoy my terrible lapse in judgment by letting him repeat this (and, please notice that disaster of a toyroom in the background).


Just taking a quick break from our vacation story…

Friday night, Matt was out with some guys from work, so I decided to rent “Up in the Air.” I’ve really been wanting to see it for a long time, since it was primarily filmed in St. Louis. I’ll give this movie a “B.” It was entertaining to identify St. Louis locations (which doubled as locations in other cities in the movies) and hello, George Clooney. Enough said. His voice…sheesh. Amazing. I’d love it if he’d be my GPS voice.

Saturday afternoon, Matt and I were lucky enough to have Hayley watch the boys so that we could catch a matinee and go to dinner. Matt has really been wanting to see “Inception,” so I agreed. Even though this is totally NOT my kind of movie (fantasy/science-fiction-ish). Even with the aging-gracefully Leo DiCaprio, who I love in a leading romantic role (which was kind of half his role in this movie), I didn’t really want to see this. But I did.

I hated the first 20 minutes, because it’s one of those movies where you have NO clue what’s really going on…it’s explained enough later to figure it out. So I started out irritated. And then when I realized what it’s really about, phew…it was over for me. Except, oh wait, it’s a 2 1/2 hour movie. Crap. I’m stuck here for the next forever. Wishing that this was, instead, a fourth Bourne movie (but only if Matt Damon is on board).

Reflecting on it last night and then today, I can say this for it: I understand the plot (as much as one can in a movie like this). I get it. I just didn’t like it. It’s just soooo out there. To me, it’s like this: sometimes, people look at something and think “oooh, that’s so creative. THAT’S art.” And then other people look at the same thing and think it’s just junk. The latter was me and this movie. Because I just have trouble thinking that 6 people can slip some charm bracelets hooked to wires around their wrists, plug them into a briefcase, and then magically fall asleep and dream the same dream about Siberia and a fortress.

Rating: D.

For the record, Matt really liked it.

Now, if you’ve seen the movie and would like some explanation into how the whole thing supposedly works and what everything means, you might want to click here.

I realize that I am one of two people in America who feel this way, but oh well.

On to my last review of the weekend: Sen Thai Bistro. Best Thai in St. Louis, no question. Please go there. Eat crab rangoon and fire rice and corn todmun and Sawaree beef. (I did not eat all of those things last night, but I could have.) Yum. A+.

The end.

Weekend Update

-Jack Henry peed in the potty for the first time. And immediately demanded candy after he did it…we’ve been trying to psych him up for this for a long time! I’m not really planning to potty train him until this summer
-I made The Pioneer Woman’s Cinnamon Rolls (except I didn’t make the maple frosting, I just did buttercream, because I cannot bring myself to put coffee in anything), and she isn’t kidding, they’re the best you’ll ever eat. Amazing. The recipe makes 50 cinnamon rolls, so I stuck several pans in the freezer and baked three pans (two of which went with us on Saturday, just so you don’t think we ate that many ourselves. But we could have.).
-We ran a few errands as a family after Matt got home, and finished by having dinner at Bellacinos, where this exchange occurred:
Me: “Bennett, use your napkin, not your sleeve.”
Bennett: “I was using my pants, not my sleeve.”
-Watched Jimmy Fallon close out Friday night’s Olympics coverage with this hilarity. (The best part starts about a minute into the video.)

-We FINALLY got to drive up to Springfield to see our niece, Calla Grace! Many of you don’t know that she was hospitalized for about two weeks after her birth due to some problems with her blood pressure, which have been taken care of. Matt and I each took a trip up to see her while she was in the NICU, but hadn’t held her yet, and the boys hadn’t seen her at all. Illness kept us away for a couple of the weekends since then, so we were really happy to go on Saturday! Pictures at the end of this post. Calla is a sweetie and cooperated fully with her cousins holding and feeding her!

-Bennett had a birthday party at the bowling alley
-Dinner at McAlister’s, my new favorite inexpensive place to feed the whole fam for well under $20
-Small group :) Where we ate another pan of cinnamon rolls.

Favorite Commercials

Thanks for all of the nice comments on yesterday’s post, everyone! :)
I have a couple of commercials that I have to share, in case you haven’t seen them!

This Old Spice one is everywhere, but man, it’s hilarious.

And this Taco Bell one? Matt and I were both cracking up. (I strongly advise against going over to the youtube page and reading the comments…for some reason, they’re especially foul.) And I’m going to pretend like I haven’t tried the $0.89 burrito mentioned in this ad and also pretend that it is not good, because then I may want one.