Toy Story 1, 2 and 3

First, Happy Thanksgiving to everyone out there willing to stumble by Ginny Here & There.
Second, there's a Yo Gabba Gabba show tomorrow at Nokia (I think) and we've got tickets.  Secretly, I'm hoping that Sarah Silverman leads the dancey-dance.

Third, Alex and I have been in Pixar hell for months now and I am going to tell you all about it.

It all started when we had Direct TV, and we recorded Toy Story 2 one evening. We watched it over dinner, and Iolani loved it.  She loved it so much that is became THE movie.  It was a welcomed relief over the 50 bazillion episodes of Yo Gabba Gabba.  But then....we switched from Direct TV to Time Warner and we lost the DVR and Toy Story.

Imagine our moments of despair when Iolani would fall to the floor screaming "I want WOOOOOOOODY" and all we had to offer was Monsters, Inc off of Netflix.

It all got better when I came home from work with Toy Story and Toy Story 2. I put in Toy Story (which I never saw) and we watched a brand new movie.  Then, on Saturday morning Iolani watched TS2.

Alex wondered if Toy Story 3 would be a good first movie to see at the theater with Iolani.  I agreed.  But, as of this past weekend none of the theaters in the neighborhood were showing Toy Story any more.  Of course, Alex was able to track down a theater in Norwalk that was showing it for $3 a person.  SOLD.

 I was worried at one point of the movie.  I really didn't want today to be the day that we would have to explain how a toy dies.  Iolani awesomely sat and watched the movie. At first she wasn't too thrilled for the dark lights and loud previews (seriously - does it have to be that loud?). Once she got into the pop corn, soda, and booster seat....and Woody and Buzz Lightyear - all was well. The whole movie was very good.

Can't wait to take her to the movies again!

I have good neighbors

You know, when I talk about neighbors - historically it has been bad news.  I mean, Baaaaaaad news.  Like the neighbor who let his dogs play on the roof and they ended up falling down the lightwell at Santee Court.  Or, who really could ever forget Art the Ass.  (I wonder what ever happened to him?!?!?)

But, here I can tell you we have good neighbors.  Two examples:

1) Coming home last weekend, Iolani was konked out in her car seat.  As I got her out of her carseat, I started to get excited about the potential for me to get a nap.  If I could keep her asleep, I could get some sleep too.  As I gently pulled her from her car seat, landed her on my shoulder, and headed towards the elevator.

My big fear was that the elevator doors would open and a group of people would be in the elevator chatting it up.  When that happens, Iolani wakes right up and then....booo!  No nap time for me!

But, last weekend, the elevators door opened up, and three people  were in the elevator.  One was on her cell phone, and the other two were chatting it up.  The moment they saw Iolani was asleep, the woman simply ended her call, and the two others just went silent.  OMG - you have no idea how grateful and appreciative I was that my neighbors could understand that she needed to stay asleep.

And - it was awesome.  She slept until the next day.

2) I was in the laundry room tonight.  We have a washer/dryer in our unit, but when I get behind on laundry - I'll use the laundry room to get caught up.  When I got to the laundry room, two washers were close to the end of their cycles.  I could have simply tossed the wet clothes on to the table and let my neighbor work it out.  But, because I didn't want clothes to back up, I simply put  my neighbor's clothes into the dryer and got that started.  When I came back almost an hour later - my clothes were already in the dryer.  My neighbor had returned the favor of starting my laundry for me. THANK YOU!!!

Now, I know that there will be days of cranky neighbors.  But for this very moment, I feel like I have the kind of neighbor we all wish we had.

Date Night

I realized way too late in the pregnancy that our lives would change forever with the birth of our little girl. Now before you start judging me in regards to my lack of foresight, let me just claim ignorance.

Before Ms. Iolani came along, Alex and I (for the sake of this little story, let’s call us ginalex) spent Friday nights at the movies, Saturdays we’d get out of the house for breakfast at about 2, Sunday – we’d go to church and then spend the rest of the day out and about.  Weeknights were spent here, there, and everywhere.  We were busy bees. Or so we thought.

Then, when the Brideaus came home from the hospital with a new roommate in tow, the wwwwwhhhhhhooooooollllllleeeeeee world started moooooooooooooving atttttttt a muuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuch slllllllllllllooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwweeeeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrr pace. In some regards….

While we had someone watching Iolani full-time, the three of us did everything together.  It wasn’t until our childcare situation changed did we realize that the Brideaus forgot all about “ginalex”.  When Iolani transitioned from homecare to daycare, we had the opportunity to establish every other Friday night as “date night”

Date Night is sacred.

It is.  The first date night, Rosa arrived and Iolani was delighted.  The Ginalex team slipped out of the house for a couple of hours, ate dinner at our pre-Iolani pace, drank wine (gasp!!!), and realized that we still had 90 minutes of sitter time to blow.  We sat up on the rooftop of the building talking about how cool Iolani is.

As our date nights continued, we have improved our ability to stretch out dinner, relax a little bit (as in stop looking at the watch to make sure we are not even one minute late), and enjoy each other’s company. 

I mean, I do like Alex a lot.  ;-) I liked him even before I knew he could change a really really poopy diaper in 90 seconds flat. The diaper-changing thing was a total bonus that I didn’t expect.

We’ve missed one date night.  All three of us were sick, and I just didn’t want to go out that night.  Sure enough, 20 minutes into what would have been date night I thought to myself – Alex and I could have used 3 hours to even just sit at IHOP and drink hot tea.

When I hear couples talk about not having been on a date in years, or even months I tell them about our date night.  I read about it somewhere online about the importance of getting away from the little one(s) and just being the twosome even for an hour. 

I tell friends that you’ve got to find a way to schedule date night.  It is very important.  You need your space, your partner needs space, and your kid needs space.  I can only imagine that Iolani might feel suffocated at times because she’s got TWO people constantly asking her if she’s hungry, thirsty, diaper wet.  And, she knows this is her house, and that Alex and I are merely her accessories.

I’m rambling. 

Date night is important.  While Alex and I spent from 2001 to 2008 going out to dinner, weekend trips to Vegas, random car rides to Oceanside when we meant to go to Pechanga (long story), it is the time since then that we’ve had to carve out our own time to be a couple again.  And each date night, I get to fall more deeply in love than I did the week before.  (cue the awwwwwws)

Oh crap, she’s pulling a Buzz Lightyear off the back of the couch.  Gotta go.