Thursday, April 30, 2015

What We're Netflixing These Days

(Yes, netflixing is a verb).

And yes, I am part of the Netflix Stream Team, which means yes, I get free Netflix (and I even got a free I-pad mini!  Perks of blogging are few and far between, but sometimes you get some good ones).  

But believe me when I say that even if the above were not the case, I would still be obsessed with Netflix.

There are a few reasons - the first is that we recently got a smart TV, so we can now easily watch Netflix on our main television (we had Apple TV before, but somehow the fact that I had to remove one plug and insert another one was too much for me to handle).

Then there's the fact that my kids (well, two of them at least) are now old enough and have the fine motor capabilities to hold and manipulate their own iPads, and choose what they want on Netflix.  This means that if necessary, I can get a 4 year old and a 6 year old to sit quietly for long periods of time.  Yeah, I know, screen time limitations, rotted brains, blah blah blah.  Sometimes it's necessary.

Lastly, the content is just awesome lately.  I've made my way through a seemingly unending inventory of fascinating documentaries, I've happened upon forgotten favorites, and, most notably, I have binge watched their original shows (more on that below) and it is all fabulous programming.

Since my kids and husband are also on the bandwagon, I thought this month I'd share what it is we are watching on Netflix these days, in age ascending order:

Colin (1):

My little love doesn't have the attention span to watch anything yet.  But how can I leave this cutie out?

His brain is not yet rotted, but his hair is wild.

Casey (4):

I'm somewhat ashamed to say that Casey has been binge watching Caillou, and I have done nothing about it.

Caillou generally elicits hatred.  There are all sorts of articles written on the topic, and there's even a Facebook page called "I fuckin' hate Caillou" (it has 1200 likes, by the way.  That's almost twice as many as I have.  Not that I'm bitter or anything.  You can rectify this by liking me and clicking here).

I found this on Pinterest.
But eh?  I don't mind him much.  I mean, Caillou's a complete asshole (even more so than my own kids, if you can believe it).  But he's just living his life.  And now, after watching his show, Casey wants to go bowling and make his own pizza from scratch.  So fine.

Braden (6)

Braden has been watching vintage Disney shorts.  I'm not sure how he happened upon it, but he loves them.  We're talking Mickey and the Beanstalk (1957), Three Little Pigs (1932), Chicken Little (1943), and Brave Little Tailor (1938), among others.  I thought this was all cute and funny and wholesome until I realized that things weren't as PC back then.  I mean, what Disney movie now shows a main character smoking a cigarette?

From "Brave Little Tailor."  It's not everyday you see Mickey in a cigarette.
What's in his mouth?  Braden asked.  A cigarette, I replied.  Can I have one? he immediately asked.

And so it begins.  Thanks, Disney.

Husband (34)

My husband is a nerd.  I say that out of love, and solidarity.  I'm a nerd too.  He's not one of those surly guys into football and whisky and weight lifting and race cars.  In high school, he was in the model UN.  And he still remembers his test scores on every single one of his state regents exam.  He's a nerdy Jewish lawyer whom I happen to love.

So imagine my shock and dismay when shortly after dating him I learned he was obsessed with WWE wresting.  Yes, that WWE wrestling - the fake one where it's all pre-staged and when if you pass through it channel surfing you probably think: Who watches that?  (Answer - my husband does.)

Now he has my kids into it too.

The Ultimate Warrior and Roman Reigns - my husband's wrestling figurines from his childhood.  My kids are obsessed.
In any event, he is super excited to watch The Sheik, a documentary about the Iron Sheik, a wrestler from the 70's and 80's who has turned himself into an extremely foul-mouthed tweeter about all things pop-culture.  I've caught my husband reading Twitter and laughing out loud at his tweets, only to then question his maturity after reading the content of his Twitter feed.  Is the documentary about wrestling? Potty humor? Does it really even matter?  This is definitely one for my husband to watch when I am out...

Me (36)

As the most chronologically mature member of my family, I like to think that I have the best taste.  So if you are going to watch anything on this list, you have to check out Bloodline - the latest Netflix original series.  I didn't think anything could beat House of Cards or Orange is the New Black , but Bloodline does it!

The tag phrase for the series is "We're not bad people, but we did a bad thing."  That had me hooked from the beginning.  And the first episode brings you right in, with a strong set of characters (Kyle Chandler, Sissy Spacek, and Ben Mendelsohn) and immediate intrigue.  The plot centers around one brother - who is the black sheep of the family, who comes home for an anniversary party and turns everything upside down.  It's also set in the Florida keys and has me wanting to go there for our next vacation.

In the interest of full disclosure, I haven't finished Season 1 yet.  I promise to report back if all of a sudden it goes south and the last episodes sucks.  But I highly doubt it - this is the best show I've happened upon in a while.  And they've just renewed it for Season 2, hooray!

As always, I love Netflix suggestions, so send them my way.  Happy Netflixing!

#Stream Team

Friday, April 24, 2015

To My Baby Boy, Before You Become an Asshole

Dear Baby Colin,

How can I express how precious you are at this stage in your life?  At nearly 18 months old, you are endearing, joyful, upbeat, appreciative, charming, playful, silly, easygoing, good humored, cuddly, loving, and a complete momma's boy.  You are, quite simply, irresistible.  To me and everyone around you.

Sure, you have your moments of crying and irrational tantruming.  But most of the time those are just because you want to be picked up and held.  And given that you're my last baby, I am happy to oblige.

I call you my angel baby.

Just last week when I referred to you as this, your daddy reminded me that I used to say the same things about both of your older brothers (now 4 and 6).

I laughed in his face, assuming he was kidding, until all at once it came flooding back to me.  I did refer to your brothers as my angel babies.  (I even have the blog post to prove it).

Don't get me wrong, I love your older brothers with all of my heart.  Unconditionally and completely. But they are not angels.

They are not angels at all.

In fact, a lot of the time they are assholes.

I would never call them that to their face, of course.  No, I try to be cool, calm, and collected at all times - with limited success.  But in my head, if I am being honest, I am often calling them assholes. Because at this age, they kind of are.

I can't imagine you ever turning into an asshole.  I mean, after all, you are an angel!  But as you begin to leave your babyhood and enter the era of toddlerhood, I have a few requests:

Monday, April 13, 2015

Surprising Myself

There have been three times in life that I've really surprised myself.

The first was when I studied abroad in London for the first time, as a junior in college.  Two years prior, I scoffed at the idea, and even changed my initial major since a semester abroad was a requirement.  I was timid and risk averse and joined at the hip to my high school/college boyfriend, and living abroad was definitely not for me.  Then, after two years something made me change my mind.  I took the leap and spent a few months in London, and I haven't been the same person since. Not only did I return to live in London for two years, but travel became my passion, and it still is (even though I don't get out and about like I once did- that second trip to Vietnam will have to wait a decade or two).  The further out of my comfort zone I get, the better.  

The second was when I walked away from my law firm career.  I've written various blog posts about this, so I won't rehash what I've already said multiple times, but if someone would have told me during my law school days (or any other days, for that matter), that I would quit my job as an attorney to stay home with my kids - three BOYS no less, I would have laughed in their face.  I was as ambitious as one gets at one point in my life, and I had a stellar resume to prove it.  I was on a trajectory upward - getting off was not an option.  But yet, here I am - I got off and then some.  And I am embracing it, enjoying it, and not looking back.

And now, I'm experiencing another unexpected surprise in my life.  I'm embarrassed to admit what it is, because it's such a cliche.  

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