Christmas Hiatus and Our First Drawering of Franco

We are super excited that Christmas break is finally upon us.  Derrick has one more final exam and then we're off to North Carolina to perfectly split our time equally between our two families!  You can't let anyone get jealous of anyone else so early in your marriage.  Remember that, ladies.

Part of our time is going to be spent holed up with Bill and Sandy H. off the Blue Ridge Parkway, minus internet, and the rest of our time will be spent eating Derrick's Mamaw's Balls of Fury.  Get your heads out of the gutter.  They're peanut butter-butterscotch balls, they're about 5,000 calories apiece, Christmas is incomplete without them, and you will die unhappy and unfulfilled if you never get to sink your teeth into one of Mamaw's balls.

It should be a really fun drive tomorrow.  12 wrapped gifts, 11 bottles of Leigh Ann's hair products (those points don't just happen, you know), 10 Christmas playlists that we hope Sandy H. won't deem obnoxious (Destiny's Child Christmas tunes, hello!  Classic!), 9 DVDs for when DirecTV gives out in the mountains, 8 extra pounds I've already gained since Thanksgiving, 7 weathermen predicting wintry mixes, and ... 6, 5, 4 of ... something, 3 bottles of Prosecco, 2 cat anxiety pills and 1 super fat and adorable cat who would eat the partridge and the pear tree if given the opportunity.

So... good-byes can be awkward, much like the number 2011.  Which is when we'll be back.  Seriously, 11, what's the deal?


The Christmas Cards

One of my coworkers wondered recently if distributing Christmas cards designed by her four-year-old daughter would be deemed cute or nauseating.  She could not decide if the card recipients would think she was forcing her daughter's art upon them and she would thus be deemed a compliment-fisher.

This may come as a surprise, but I don't usually have an opinion about most things; I tend to see both sides of most issues.  It's not that I don't care - it's probably just that I'm a Libra.  Also, sometimes, yes, I truly don't care.

But not when it comes to Christmas cards!  Of course my coworker should have her child create her cards.  I didn't have to debate for one second about this issue.  Sandy H. used to have the three of us design our family Christmas cards.  She didn't have to wonder if people would think she was fishing for fake compliments because she knew that we were all immensely talented.  Obviously, my children will be truly artistically gifted if they are borne from me, and I won't think twice about forcing a pen in their chubby little hands the millisecond they develop any sort of motor skills and seeing if any Christmassy-looking item appears on the page.

We lost all the samples of our old Christmas cards in Katrina, but the memory of one of the earliest copies stands out in my mind.  Randy, around age 10, drew a gorgeous set of three wise men that looked almost exactly like this:

Brooke, probably around age 5, was assigned the daunting task of drawing the manger scene.  What she drew came out looking like this:

As the resident three-year-old, I was a girl who knew what I wanted.  And I didn't want to do what I didn't want to do.  And what I didn't want to do was draw anything that was not a candy cane.

They tried to stop me.  They tried to tell me the candy cane didn't belong in the nativity scene.  I didn't give a fuck.

I wanted to draw a fucking candy cane and no one was going to stop me.

So the final result looked pretty much like this:


Dog Freaks Out Over Soldier's Return

I found this video yesterday on my Facebook news feed, posted by one of my favorite Facebook connections - a connection better than a camper for whom I was a counselor one summer nine years ago, or a kid I went to pre-school with, or someone who worked in my previous office but who I've never actually met in person

Yes, my wedding D.J. posted this amazing video.  Thanks, D.J. Ken, and thanks, obscure Facebook relationships! 

CiB loves flipping our shizz over the sweet videos of soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.  We can't get enough of it because we love any excuse to cry at work!

But usually it's the kiddos bringing the tears.  Never before have we seen an animal brought in to this loop of heart-wrenching bittersweetness.  Until now!



Daily Dose: Gay Lip-Synch

If there's one thing we don't do enough of here at CiB, it's post videos of gays lip-synching Mariah Carey Christmas songs.  It's time to remedy that!

This video tickled us to the core.  Highlights include an ice-skating friendship circle, a shopping montage, gingerbread mischief, and rooftop back-up singers using glasses of champagne as microphones.  It's like a window into our family's own Christmas!



Hedge in a Bath

I have always had a soft spot for hedges.  Here is a picture of one in a bath.


Inner Demons

I like to think that if and when the time comes, I'll be a good mom.  Earlier today, Franco allowed me to practice catching vomit before it hits the carpet.  And if today has taught me anything else about potential future motherhood, it's that I'll be taking my real kids to the most expensive best veterinarians pediatricians available.

I ended up taking the whole day off today and basked in the bittersweet memories of unemployment.  Bagels for lunch!  Maury Povich!  Going to the gym ... eh.  Or not.

Although my day has been peppered with bouts of ADD episodes disguised as actual tasks, I did manage to accomplish one thing that's been on my to-do list for several weeks - something only truly mature adults actually do: I set up my retirement account.

I have never had the head or the attention span for business - or numbers ... or budgets - and would really rather be doing anything other than thinking about this sort of thing.  I have a little demon that always appears out of nowhere when I'm trying to concentrate on things that we all know are boring.  Too bad ... the demon is always so reasonable.



I have been feeling lately like I need to be using my free time more wisely – like I need to give back to something or someone, and take part in an organization that really makes a difference in the world in a positive way.  Out with the salami-feasting while watching 16 & Pregnant.  In with the spiritual enrichment!

I have decided that the best way for me to use my spare time in a positive and fulfilling way is to take part in a fantasy celebrity league with a few gossip addicts at work.  At last, thanks to our friends over at Rants.  Raves.  Randomness., I have discovered a fantasy football/basketball/baseball league that is actually none of those lame things and is way better! 

My #1 draft pick will obviously be Britney Spears.  If I can land her, I don’t care if her teammates consist of The Situation and Larry King; I will be happy regardless. 

Dear Santa, all I want for Christmas is for Britney and JT to get back together.
And wear this. 


The Tacky Christmas Lights

Last year in our first year of marriage, Derrick and I were ultra-lame (lamer than usual) and didn't even bother to get a Christmas tree.  We blame the fact that Derrick was at the end of his first semester of law school and was hibernating at the library studying for finals and didn't have time to get one.

This year is different!  We were bound and determined to get our very first family Christmas tree!

Weeks ago, we thought ahead and picked up a stand and some lights, even stopping to discuss how many we thought we would need.  "300?"  "Yeah, that should be enough."

Yesterday, we braved the cold, winter Philadelphia streets in search of the perfect tree - nothing could stop us!  Except wine and brunch, but then on we went again in our search!

A whole half-block away we picked up our tree and brought it home.  Derrick carried its heavy, bountiful body up the stairs of our walk-up and hand-sawed its trunk.  After an hour of preparation and balancing, voila!  A perfect tree, ready for decorating!

I swiftly got to work on the lights after bragging to Derrick about how good I was at string-lighting a tree.  But something was amiss.

We had accidentally picked up lights with WHITE CORDS instead of GREEN!!!  Not only that, we barely had enough to cover the top half of the tree!

How could I have been so careless?  Christmas is Derrick's favorite holiday.  He even has a Christmas Excitement Dance that involves him jumping up and down yelling "CHRISTMAS!  CHRISTMAS!  CHRISTMAS!"  Here's how it goes:

So you can imagine his disappointment when he saw our tacky white-cord-lighted, awful Christmas tree.  He was devastated.  I had failed as a wife.

After a few tears, we jumped in the car walked 10 blocks to our car and drove around in search of proper tree lights.  For whatever reason, the first store was completely out of normal-people lights, but they were brimming with giant LED lights, snowflake-shaped lights, Jesus-shaped lights, red, blue, purple, pink, gold lights, and any other unnecessary novelty light you can think of.

I decided we would steal lights off of someone's house before we went home empty-handed.

Thankfully, the second store we went to had industrial-sized coils left, so we went home with 800,000 perfect lights.

Christmas was saved!


No Sleep Till

I have not slept more than four hours a night for the past three nights.  I won't delve into the details of why, because I do not want this blog to become all cats, all the time, but let's just say that it involves Franco's new discovery that having a dance party on my torso at 2 AM equals a late-night feeding.

In all honesty, I actually hate sleeping and wish I didn't need so much of it.  Your life will be over before you know it and you'll have spent 33% of your time on Earth asleep!  I get angry with myself when 10 PM rolls around every night and I can barely keep my eyes open.

I wonder what I could accomplish with that 33% of extra life time, since, sleep or no sleep, I am basically a zombie at work anyway.

I could finally make Mom and Dad proud by utilizing that bartending degree they paid for!

My apartment would be spotless.

I could learn new languages!

I could finally get around to doing what I really want to do.

But let's be realistic here.  I know exactly what I would be doing with my extra time.


Franco Has A Lot Of Eating To Do To Catch Up To This Girl

Would you please check out this amazing fat cat.  She looks like Jabba the Hut.

Giuly the fat cat lives in England.  Don't the crazy medical abnormalities always appear in the U.K.?  Lots of subjects on I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant seem to be in the U.K.  Just sayin'.


Since The Dawn of Paintbrush

Jeff and I first met in London in the winter of 2002.  It was a simpler time; post-9-11 paranoia was in its infancy and Britney Spears was in her prime.  The British pound was nearly two American dollars, and I had $500 a month to spend on food and booze basic necessities.

When Jeff and I were feeling exceptionally poor, we discovered the joys of Paintbrush on our computers as free entertainment.  Nearly all of my drawings from back then succumbed to the viruses brought on by illegally downloading Britney songs critically-acclaimed, thought-provoking music.

But wait!  Jeff has uncovered a treasure trove of his amazing work from this period and I am thrilled to be able to share it with you.  It all started with a visit to the Natural History Museum...

This is a primitive piece depicting us being chased by a T-Rex.  I am wearing a cute corduroy skirt and look extra sassy!

Jeff's work refined itself quickly with a visit from his friend Linda, who is featured in these two pieces of the three of us in space.

Before long, we were hanging out with the Scoobies, chasing ghosts and solving mysteries!

And riding on pigs!

We entered a psychedelic period and discovered how much more fun life would be on roller skates.

One day I walked in on Jeff alone in his room, naked as a jay bird, sitting in front of his computer, doing God knows what.  It inspired me to draw this.

Finally, Jeff's piece de resistance can be seen below: all eight members of our flat at the discotheque.  This took him 42 hours.

Jeff is our very special friend.

Here's a (real) picture of him grooming himself.  


'Tis The Season To Get A Little Lazy

We would like to take this opportunity to apologize profusely for the lack of content posted in the past week.  We spent the past day rolling our round bodies back to Philly from North Carolina, where we spent the last six days lying face-down in plate after plate of starchy, fatty, cheesy, nutty, sugary, potato perfection, washed down with multiple bottles of dry nectar.   

God.  Bless.  Uh.  Mare.  Kuh.  'Merica! 

We have much to be thankful for, especially our brother Randy for passing along this horrifying image of what a cat bath would look like if it were administered by Salvador Dali, as we try to get back to our regularly scheduled programming. 


DWTS Week 10: If You Don't Vote, Don't Complain, But Please Don't Shoot Your Television

Several of you informed us that we did not mention that Sandy H. wrote last week's DWTS recap.  Even though it was tagged under "Mom," "Sh*t My Mom Says," and "Guest Bloggers."  So, let us clarify here and now: this is Sandy H.'s last recap!

“Our most talked-about season ever!”  Tom Bergeron crowed repeatedly Monday night.  Not sure folks were talking about the dancing though.  One of our dancing couples received death threats and was forced to stop the tweeting that appeared to escalate the threats.  In Vermont a viewer, annoyed by the results and – according to his wife – off his meds, shot out his television last week.  At Cats in Baths, however, we are always on our meds, and we are always all about the dancing  - especially during finals week. 

Monday night began with our finalists Kyle, Bristol, and Jennifer doing a “redemption dance,” the single dance the judges thought each contestant should have performed better.  With Jennifer there was really only one dance that qualified – the paso doble, in which she had received her lowest score of the competition.  There was no doubt a wider selection of disappointing dances for the judges to choose from for Bristol, but the jive made the cut.  (Remember, this is the one they danced in gorilla suits, memorable for all the wrong reasons).  The judges’ choice for Kyle was the foxtrot, danced originally to a disco number and which we agree was a little weird. 

Monday night Jennifer’s beautiful redemption paso doble earned 10s from all the judges and a rare solo standing ovation from Len.  “I didn’t want this ever to end! I wish I had an 11!”  Bruno bubbled, and we agree.  We rewound just to watch it again, and it was even more fabulous the second time.  Kyle didn’t disappoint with his redemption foxtrot.  A huge improvement over the original, it was full of energy and excitement and earned him 9s all around.  Bristol’s redemption jive was better than the gorilla-suit version, but she’s still stiff.  Her partner Mark’s high, energetic steps are so precise that he makes her look even more unsure of herself.  Still, the judges found it a “vast improvement” and gave her all 9s.  As our friend with the shotgun might say in his gentler moments, it really didn’t deserve three 9s.  On the other hand, if you’re judging on improvement….well, maybe.

For their second dance, our competitors had the popular and important freestyle.  We know this because a bunch of people from past seasons told us the freestyle was really popular and important.  So did the judges.  So did Tom and Brooke.  This is how we strettttttcccccchhhhh nine minutes of dancing to an hour and thirteen minutes.  Anyway, Kyle’s freestyle was the “Tootsie Roll.” Although we did not learn the tootsie roll at the Alker School of Ballroom Dance in Mississippi and are thus unable to judge its technical merits competently, Kyle is still fun to watch.  There is no one of the three contestants who has come a greater distance in his dancing than Kyle.  From someone full of jokes and giggles the early weeks (and in the bottom the first week,) he has clearly tried so hard and succeeded beyond our wildest dreams.  His tootsie roll earned him two 10s and a 9 from the judges for a total of 59 for the evening.

Bristol’s freestyle was the “Cell Block Tango” from Chicago, which she had neither seen nor heard of.  Nor has she ever seen a Broadway show.  Mark probably put his finger on one of the problems (and perhaps should have gone to Plan B when he realized it) when he said that Bristol was intimidated by this dance because of her total lack of familiarity with it.  The judges pointed out that this particular dance is almost iconic and that expectations are high when it’s performed.  The Bob Fosse choreography is sharp and sultry and sexy, and that’s just not in Bristol’s range.  In short, she was painful to watch. Still, the dance earned her two 8s and a 9, for a total of 52 for the evening.

Jennifer’s freestyle, danced to “Do You Love Me?” was an effervescent, exuberant twist full of lifts and jumps and spins.  Len said she has been “a consistent, persistent juggernaut.  Fantastic!” Carrie Ann said she was “amazing.”  Bruno pointed out how much range her two dances of the evening had shown, from the dark and dramatic paso doble to the bright and bouncy twist.  It came as no surprise then that her second dance also earned her three 10s, giving her a perfect 60 for the evening. 

Tuesday night, after our competitors perform two more dances, we’ll see the “Mirror Ball Trophy” awarded to one of our three finalists.  Kyle has certainly shown the most improvement.  Bristol, probably the least gifted dancer ever to be in the finals, has been the most talked about.  Jennifer came into the competition with arguably the highest expectations of any contestant ever having starred in Dirty Dancing, one of the greatest dance movies of all time.  In this our last week, we’re just trying to be fair.  We’ve enjoyed the show this season, and we promise we will be happy no matter who wins.  As long as it’s Jennifer.

Sandy H. wouldn't let us watch this movie when it came out.
Wonder why.


Sour Cream Cat

We do the same thing when we eat sour cream!  Thanks for the tip, Casey R.!

The Least Surprising News

We were growing a little tired of the pretty blue geometric shapes on our background, so we tried unsuccessfully to redecorate with a new one.  We simply cannot remember how we customized it, so we immediately gave up because if you can't figure out how to do something right away, you should quit trying.

Then we poked around our blog and discovered our Statistics page, and it opened our eyes to the nature of our audience!  Not only are you tuning in from Denmark (hi, Staci G.), the U.K. (hi, Mackie B.), and Romania (hi, .... uhhhh ... ), but an enormous number of you found us by Googling "Hot Rugby Player."

Yes, this is the least surprising news ever: that most internet users are regular people - horny, voyeuristic hooligans, so our most viewed post by several hundred page loads is Hooligans, where we wrote about Derrick joining his business school's rugby team and featured a naked rugby-playing piece of ass.

When one performs a Google image search for a "Hot Rugby Player," CiB is thrilled to announce that we appear on Page 2!  Go Team!

We can't even find our own blog when we Google Cats in Baths!

Not that we are judging - because we initially found that picture by Googling "Hot Rugby Player."


This Is The Sound Of Pleasure

It's been a while since we've posted a good cat in a bath, and we think this video is highly deserving of a coveted place on CiB.

The sarcastic and instructional nature of this cat bath is truly inspired, and it had Derrick and me in stitches.

Enjoy, and special thanks to Meg B. for the tip!  


Dear Prince William

We have been giggling like school girls ever since the royal engagement of Prince William and Kate Middleton was announced.  We are sincerely happy for the couple and wish them all the happiness in the world!  But we cannot help but wonder that things might have turned out differently if the Prince had ever received that letter we wrote to him when we were in middle school.

Wonder whatever happened to that letter.

This seems feasible.


The Stupid Ballet

I took ballet for several years as a child, but I quit after 6th grade when the other girls got way too snobby Sandy H. offered to buy me a horse.  But I never stopped loving ballet.  Sign me up for a viewing of Center Stage any day!

A few years ago I decided to share my love for this art form with Derrick and combine it with his deep, mad love for all things Christmas: I took him to see The Nutcracker!

At first he went all "reluctant boyfriend dude" on me.

But he soldiered on and went with me anyway.  What a champ.

When the curtain opened, he was still skeptical, but then he heard the irresistible and recognizable melodies, which, he wants me to add, he used to play in symphonies when he was a brilliant child musician prodigy.

And then more magic unfolded.

And then...

And now Derrick loves The Nutcracker.  Giant Christmas trees can change anyone's mind about anything!  We just bought our tickets for the 2010 P. Family Nutcracker Viewing today.  Yay, Christmas is coming!