Living cable-free

Last night was the premiere of the Walking Dead (no spoilers, I promise!) and we absolutely wanted to watch it live. However, due in part to how bad/confusing the customer service for the internet was, we’ve decided to go without cable for awhile longer. We bought a digital antenna for 30 dollars that gets all the main networks, so that my husband can watch American Football. And we already had Hulu and Netflix, so it seemed like that would be enough for our entertainment needs.

Until October rolled around and we started freaking out about waiting to download TWD from iTunes in case people at work/on Facebook decided to spoil it. So when I saw that Playstation Vue offers a week free trial, it seemed like a good solution.

Except it took us over two hours to watch it, because it kept slowing down, buffering, and stopping completely. I assume it’s because so many people were trying to watch it at the same time. The other channels we tested while AMC was buffering were working fine. We ended up restarting at least five times, which took some of the suspense out of it. But we saw it! Live(ish)!

It was included in our cable package in France, just 24 hours after it aired in the states. Watching premieres was always a little stressful, since we had to avoid the internet until we could see it. It was pretty cool to watch it at (almost) the same time as everyone else.

We cancelled the free trial on Playstation Vue as soon as we were finally done with the episode. For the rest of the season we’ll just watch on iTunes the next day. There’s nothing else we really need to see live, so I don’t think we’d want something like Sling TV. Besides, having a small child does not really give you a lot of time for vegging out in front of the TV! With a newborn, TV vegging is essential. You’re tired, they just want to eat and sleep, and they don’t care what you’re looking at while they do either. It’s bing-watching heaven. A two-year old who can’t be near a screen without screaming for Elsa is not quite the same. So it stays off as much as possible. And in the hour or two between his bedtime and our bedtime, we can either do absolutely nothing while watching a few episodes of “The Office,” or we can try to have a life outside of parenting and work.

I’d definitely say that for now, we’re doing pretty well without cable. I encourage anyone thinking of “cutting the cord” to give it a try. Just not with Playstation Vue!

Sick and tired

With fall weather comes fall colds! The past few weeks have been rough on everyone, bébé especially, who had bronchitis, along with the regular sniffles thanks to the changing seasons.

Things were better last week, so bébé and I headed to Springfield with a friend who came up from New York. This was to give my husband a little break, since he took care of (sick!) bébé for almost an entire week while I was at a conference in July. We know it will never be a 50/50 split between the time we both spend with him, but we do try to give each other breaks like this when we can. And we both need lots of breaks these days, as bébé is getting more and more . . . opinionated (=insanely frustrating). He even won a raffle at work for Red Sox playoff tickets, so he had a perfect sports/video games weekend all set.

The weekend with my friend was pretty nice too, eating and drinking, exploring a part of the “revitalized rust belt,” and making plans to move there once we saw at how cheap the beautiful old houses are. (These plans were abandoned, however, upon researching the quality of the schools system.) It was nice to not make any particular plans, but just go by what we felt like and how bébé was acting. That’s one thing I’ve gotten much better at the past two years. I used to plan trips down to the second, not wanting to miss anything a new city has to offer.

But this weekend was a good example of my new “non-plan plan” of writing down a few parks and family-friendly restaurants and seeing what the day brings. Day one it brought us to a corn maze with ice cream, the Dr. Seuss Memorial Sculpture Garden, the public library, and some excellent barbecue. Day two it rained, but we got in a quick walk in Forest Park, before heading north to check out a big Yankee Candle store (that sells way more than candles!). It was a very different pace for both of us, used to bigger cities, that I think we’re getting to the age/life stage to really start to crave. Definitely a bummer the schools aren’t better. So we’ll just have to keep exploring the small cities between Boston and New York to find that perfect one to live out our next-door neighbor dreams.

I wish I could say the sick and tiredness was cured by a weekend away, but as often is the case, coming back from a break means you’re even more tired than when you left. Both my office and daycare were closed today for Columbus day, so at least there wasn’t the usual morning craziness to deal with. But I decided I needed to cook all the fall things today (butternut squash soup! pumpkin spice cake!) and bébé has been coughing all day, so we’re both not in tip top shape. At least I won’t have to worry about cooking the next few days while we’re all sitting around sniffling!