Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Summer Flicks on Netflix

I don't know about you, but right now our family is really in summer.  It's all swim practice and camp pick ups and sunscreen and mosquitoes and dirty soles of feet.  So for my Netflix post this month, it only seemed appropriate to focus on summer.

Netflix has countless summery-type movies (and you can google various lists), but the following are my five favorites, all available to live stream.  I plan on watching them during our upcoming trip to Cape Cod (ahhhhhhh).  I love summer.

1) Adventureland

Ahhh, the days of the crappy summer job.  I for one spent my first crappy summer job working at Johnny Rocket's, where I had to perform a choreographed dance with my fellow servers every time Aretha Franklin's "Respect" came on the jukebox.  But I digress.  The main character in this movie is a high school student who is forced to work at a podunk amusement park for the summer.  The love interest is none other than Kristen Stewart, before she became an adulterer.  The movie is funny, endearing, and worth watching again.  It's a reminder of simpler times.  Sigh.

2) Dirty Dancing  

I still get sad when I think about the passing of Patrick Swayze.  And in this movie, he is in his prime.    It's one of those timeless movies that everyone has seen several times, and if you haven't seen it, well then I don't know if we can be friends.  The theme song still gives me goosebumps, and is there any better line in a movie then "Nobody puts Baby in the corner"?  And if the movie leaves you so inspired that you want to visit the actual hotel that inspired it, you're in luck - it's about to become a "billionaire's yoga hub."

3) Sharknado

This movie brings new meaning to the phrase "so bad it's good."  I mean, it is so, so, so bad.  But they are trying to make it bad.  Kind of like that recent Lifetime original movie starring Will Farrell and Kristen Wiig.  In any event, this movie is about menacing sharks attacking people on land during a hurricane.  The premise is ridiculous and the movie is constantly making fun of itself.  You'll want to stop watching, but you won't be able to.   You may even find yourself watching the sequel...

4) Stand by Me

It's an 80's all star cast!  River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, and a pudgy, nearly unrecognizable, Jerry O'Connell.  Another classic, this one is a coming of age story of friendship and an adventure through the woods looking for a dead body.  It's based on a novel by Stephen King, but it's not cryptic or supernatural - it's actually poignant and deep and was even nominated for an Oscar for best adapted screenplay.  Time to dust this classic off.

5) Y Tu Mama TambiĆ©n

When this movie came out back in 2001, it was the first foreign language film (with subtitles) I had ever seen, and it was so amazing that it completely opened me up to the genre.  The movie takes place in Mexico, where two teenage boy best friends embark on a road trip with a woman in her late 20's.  The movie explores their sexual escapades, their sexuality, and the fragility of life.  You'll laugh, you'll cry, and you'll want to watch it again.

Happy summer, and happy Netflixing!


Friday, June 26, 2015

Six Things I've Learned from Six Months at the Gym

This past January, I decided I would do something all original and join the gym.

I hadn't worked out regularly since the year 2005, and even at that, the only time I worked out regularly was the 9 month period before my wedding.  I'd never been what you'd call, "athletic."  Or "muscular."  Or "coordinated."  Or "well rounded."   Or "interested in bettering myself."  The gym, and all that health stuff, just hadn't been "my thing."

But that all had to change, because after baby #3, it was now or never.  No more excuses.  If the flab was going to go, it was going to now.  

And so I embarked on my gym journey.  

It's been 6 months, and much to my surprise, I have completely embraced it.  I don't go everyday, but I would if I could - I generally make it there five days a week.  The gym has become my place of respite - one of the only "no kid" zones that I get to enjoy in my life, and without the guilt.  I really love to work out.  Which is really, really weird. 

In my six months at the gym, I have gained tone, muscle, and confidence, but I've also been enlightened as to the gym culture.  It's a mini cult society in and of itself.  There are unspoken rules, unexpected truths, and a stringent dress code.  Oh and judgment.  Judgment abound.  

I was so naive when I walked through those gym doors in January.  So, so naive.  

I feel the need to pass my wisdom on to other gym novices.  To other stay at home moms like myself, who feel its their duty to get into shape, because really, we all have so much time on our hands. 


In any event, if you are considering jumping on the gym bandwagon, please consider the following tips.  After all, knowledge is power.  

Thursday, June 18, 2015

The Perpetual Baby Phase

For the past six and a half years, I have had a diaper in my purse.

Casey, my second child, was born before my first was potty trained.  Back then I had two different sized diapers in my purse.  

Colin, my third child, was born just as Casey was graduating to the potty, but I always had to be prepared.  So around that time I had two sized diapers in my purse too.  

Now my third is 19 months, Casey is 4, Braden (my first) is 6, and I have one size diaper that I carry around.

As the diaper quantity and sizes have shifted around in my purse over time, the majority of my friends have graduated from this stage.  They no longer carry around diapers in their purse.  They also don't cut up food in small pieces or carry around sippy cups.  They don't have to be home by noon for nap time, and scream bloody murder in the car to keep their toddler from falling asleep on the way home.  They don't have to worry about explosive diapers or sleep training or choking hazards, and all of their outlet covers have been removed from their home.  They, and their kids, have graduated to a different stage.  And I kind of want to join them.

The other day at our community pool I saw a mom I recognized from when my oldest was a baby. She was on a lounge chair, reading a book, while her son went off the diving board.  As I chased after Colin heading straight for the pool, and removed a rock from his mouth, I nearly cried.

I'm sick of the diapers.  I'm sick of the baby phase.  And I'm really, really tired.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

A Documentary About... Motherhood

I'm a huge documentary film fan.  So when my friend Valerie told me that she knew of someone who was making a documentary film about motherhood, and who was looking for mothers to interview, I jumped at the opportunity.

Truth be told, I didn't know much about the documentary when they showed up at my door with the camera crew a few weeks back, but I did know what it was called:  Mom is a Dirty Word.  I also had watched a fundraising trailer, which was intriguing in and of itself.

The tag line for the short stated:  "Mom is a Dirty Word" feature-documentary explores how damaging public policy and media depictions impact Mothers and their families.  

Sure, I can talk about that!

I used a hair dryer and put on make up and cleaned like crazy and got rid of the kids and the dog so that we could have a calm, peaceful ambiance for the interview.  I think I was so busy getting prepared for the interview that I actually never thought about what I was actually going to say in the interview.

I kind of choked.

Not completely.  I mean, the conversation was casual and covered a wide range of issues, many of which I've written about in this blog - the sad state of maternity leave in this countrythe reasons why mothers are leaving professional careers in drovesthe difficulties women face when trying to reenter the workforcethe adjustment to being a stay at home momthe regrets we face, the things we gain, and learning to let it all go, among other things.

It was nice and informal and the conversation flowed naturally.

But at the end, the interviewer asked me if I had one thing to say about motherhood, what would it be?  And could I please look in the camera and say it?

Um.... my mind raced.  Surely, I needed to come up with something really deep, really poignant, really meaningful here.  But the pressure, my God, the pressure!  How to narrow it down?  How to word it?  What was it, anyway?

I rambled a few things, and I honestly can't remember what exactly is I said.  But I do know I said the following:

Being a mother is the best job in the world.  


Yup, I choked.  (And this isn't the first time this has happened to me on television - see my interview on the British version of candid camera where I absolutely BOMBED by clicking here).

Hence, there is a very real chance I won't appear in the documentary, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't support the documentary!  Because it is timely and poignant and generally needed.  There's simply not enough out there by mothers, about mothers, for mothers.

There is currently a fundraising effort underway - please support the documentary by donating here.

There's also a new trailer (featuring my dear friend and mentor, Valerie Young - there are no words to describe how awesome she is).

You can like the documentary on Facebook by clicking here.

You can follow the documentary on Twitter by clicking here.

You can find more information on the documentary's website here.

And you can tell all your friends about it.  (There's no click for that).

The director hopes to get the film finished by election season.  I for one can't wait to see it (whether I am in it or not!).


Like this post?  Like me on Facebook by clicking here!

Copyright ©2011 Small Bird Studios| All Rights Reserved |Free Blog Templates at Small Bird Studios