Posted in Good Things

Saturday morning cartoons

I miss waking up Saturday mornings with a bowl of Peanut Butter Cap’n Crunch and orange juice in my McDonald’s Hamburglar glass to watch cartoons.  Smurfs was my favorite but I also loved Tom and Jerry, The Jetsons, The Flintstones, Scooby Doo, and the Snorks.  Curls and Red will never know the delayed gratification of waiting all week to watch these 15 minute long shows before being pushed out the door by their parents to play until the street lights came on.  Now it’s Musical.ly, YouTube, and at least a tablet or videogame console to occupy their time.

I for one would still like something to look forward to at the end of a long week of working, running my kids all around town, and just handling STUFF.  We all need a little happy so I compiled a list of clips that either made me laugh, cry, or both.  Enjoy and have that extra donut with your coffee or tea.  I won’t tell anyone.

Celeste Barber: I just recently discovered this unabashedly funny Australian comedian who spoofs celebrities.  She has a following of 4.7 million on Instagram for a reason and her recent collaboration with Tom Ford had me dying:

You can find her here on Instagram along with more footage of her with Tom.

John and Hank Green: I will love the Vlogbrothers until the end of time.  And what John did for Hank’s book release had me in tears:

Billy on the Street: Billy Eichner started the new season of his loud and energetic show on Youtube.  Him running down the streets of New York with celebrities while screaming at passerbys always makes me cringe and laugh.  The first episode is with Emma Stone but I have also attached one with Paul Rudd (who wouldn’t want to sleep with him??) and Keegan-Michael Key:

Mary Halsey and Missy Elliott: If you haven’t seen the clip of Mary Halsey covering Missy Elliott’s “Work It”, you can find it here.  Then you can watch this clip of Missy surprising her on Ellen.  The anticipation of watching Mary performing knowing that Missy is about to come out on stage made me feel like a kid waiting for her presents on Christmas morning.

Posted in The Happy, Word Therapy

Leo

A lion is known for being powerful, courageous, and fierce. They have strong personalities, are very social, and live in groups. The male lions are filled with vitality and affection and protect members of their pride. As you turn nine, you are all these things. You are the lion of our family.

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When you started a new school this year, we never worried about you making friends or adjusting. You showed strength and courage and now have a group of friends you can be silly with and even took an after school comedy improv class (which you loved). You will talk to pretty much anybody once you are comfortable in your surroundings. Your strong personality means everybody knows who you are from teachers to parents to kids. If somebody is in your circle, you will make sure that person knows they are loved. Hugs and arms slung around shoulders for your friends and kisses for mom, dad, and puppies. And you will stand up and protect friends and family without even thinking about it.

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Your new favorite video game is Undertale and you haven’t even played it yet (but Fortnite is a close second). Tacos are still life but you have made room for bean and cheese burritos. You were brave and tried jalapenos in Seattle this summer and it didn’t end well for you (don’t worry, you will laugh about it when you’re older).

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At 9 years old you are the most energetic person we love. But when it’s time for bed during the week you obediently turn on your Legend of Zelda meditation on YouTube, pull down your bed, lay on your back, close your eyes, and are asleep within five minutes. You do chores for the most part without having to be asked more than once. You still want to be a video game maker but could just as easily be center stage hamming it up.

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You are a ferocious lion that loves his video games, tacos (with a side of bean and cheese burritos), and his friends. You have a heart of gold. Happy birthday Red. We love you.

Posted in The Happy

Dope

You are 11 today and you will be receiving your letter from Hogwarts, even though anybody who knows you already sees you as magical. You like to draw characters from the books you read while listening to Panic! At the Disco. You take BuzzFeed quizzes all day and LD Shadow Lady, Thomas Sanders, and Percy Jackson are on your rotation on YouTube.

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Your favorite is still mac and cheese, especially Red Robin. When we went and got ice cream at Thrifty’s after we saw Eighth Grade, you informed me mint chip is the best. You are at the beginning of figuring out your way in life, even if you remain tight lipped about it (which is normal but drives your mother crazy).

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You are starting to embrace your womanhood with your love of cheese and bread. You also announced that you wanted a a cat and said hairless would be fine when we told you Mom and Dad are allergic.Things that you are impressed by are dope or legit and will playfully tell me to “get wrecked.” I can see hints of the teenager you will become when you lose your temper or I do anything that will embarrass you in public.

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I tell anyone that will listen how smart you are. But when your dad called you a social justice warrior recently I realized how right he was. When you see something on the news or social media that you know is not right, you get angry. You hate to see people being mistreated and have no problem vocalizing that. You aren’t leading protests or standing up for the rights of others just yet but I see that in your future. Being a good person is who you are. Don’t ever forget that.

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We have thrown a lot of change at you your 10th year and you have handled it well. We are proud of our smart, funny, and strong girl. You are dope af.

Happy birthday Curls. We love you.

Posted in California Livin'

This One is for All the Parents Out There, Part Two

STUFF WE SAW

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ANGIE THOMAS, AUTHOR OF THE HATE YOU GIVE

 

MUSIC TELEVISION TRYING TO STAY RELEVANT

“I AM ONE WITH THE NOODLE”

YOUTUBE CONCERT WITH MARSHMELLO (IT’S 2018 Y’ALL)

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MY GIRL MET LD SHADOW LADY AND SHE WAS OVER THE MOON

PRACTICING OUR FACEBOOK REACTIONS IRL

SNEAK PREVIEW OF TEEN TITANS GO TO THE MOVIES 

You know that part in Pinocchio where he goes to Pleasure Island and sees the boys having the time of their lives and then they start turning into donkeys? That’s what VidCon reminded me of (minus the donkey tails). My Curls got to meet and listen to her favorite Youtubers. Red went crazy for all the obstacle courses. It was a Winter Wonderland, Carnival, and Disneyland all brought to you by sponsors looking to catch this generation’s attention.

I hope you find passion and happiness this weekend!

Posted in California Livin', Not Today Anxiety

Summer Bucket List 2018: A Survival Guide

Raise your hand if you are a parent who misses the lazy days of summer *all hands and one foot up in the air* I love summer. I love wearing flip flops, outdoor activities become even more fun, and hello, WATERPARKS. But over the years as my kids have gotten older, the fighting and attitude is nonstop and exhausting. Red said something the other day (that I will not repeat for fear of looking like a terrible parent) that prompted me to tell him, “You are phasing out of the stage where saying something like that is cute and is venturing into getting your ass kicked territory.” I love my kids with all my heart. But it is possible to love your kids and still be terrified of being at home with them over the summer. So to try and keep my anxiety to a minimum, I am stockpiling my arsenal.  This includes a preparedness kit for myself, a summer bucket list for the kids, and sticking to a schedule that will benefit us all.

I have three hearts tattooed on the inside of my right wrist. The hearts represent my family as a reminder of why I get up in the morning and to have patience with all that I do. Reminding myself this summer to have patience and to take deep breaths will be a daily occurrence. It is easy to forget this when you have one child who won’t clean up their room even though you have asked 1,542,639,587 times and the other one other repeats everything you say. And when that doesn’t work, dark chocolate Ghiradelli squares hidden throughout the house for emergencies. I also pledge to get up one hour before the kids each weekday to enjoy peace, quiet, and get some writing done. I will go out one night a week by myself to see a movie, walk around Target with a Chai tea, or browse my favorite bookstore. While at Target I will pick up a journal to write down all the curse words I will need to write down when both kids either say, “I didn’t do it!” or “So and so just did this to me!” and also a whistle to get their attention (sorry my dear neighbors). And my last saving grace will be an “I’m Bored” jar filled with tasks (the thought of making a list of these tasks fills me with such glee).

As for the kids, I know the key to keeping the attitude and fighting level low is to keep them busy. There will be bike rides, park play time, (outdoor) arts and crafts, running in the sprinklers, the local pool, and library trips. There will be lots of reading (my goal is for the three of us to read Artemis Fowl together and to introduce Red to Roald Dahl), prep work for the upcoming grade, and writing exercises.

We are continuing our summer bucket list tradition for the sixth year in a row (this will definitely be one of my crowning achievements as a mother). Our plans for the summer include:

  • Vacation to Seattle, WA and Portland, OR with family
  • VidCon
  • Knotts Berry Farm (DUH)
  • Cousin visit
  • LA days
    • LACMA
    • California Science Center
  • OC Fair
  • Wish List: Disneyland’s California Adventure 

The biggest challenge I will face this summer will be limiting screen time, be it video games and YouTube. I know I will fail some days. I hope to show the kids that I will also be holding myself accountable for screen time and not just them. I always feel so much better when I walk away from my phone for an extended period of time (and I get so much done!).

Are you counting down the days until summer? What do you have planned?

I hope you find passion and happiness this weekend!

Posted in Bookworm

Friday Favorite: Turtles All the Way Down

I have a soft spot for John Green.  The Fault in Our Stars exposed me to a new type of young adult novels where before I was only reading dystopian (The Hunger Games) and fantasy (Harry Potter).  He does YouTube videos with his brother Hank called the vlogbrothers and he is open about his mental struggles.  His newest release is called Turtles All the Way Down and even though it doesn’t beat The Fault in Our Stars as my favorite, I enjoyed reading it and the story managed to surprise me.

The story is about Aza Holmes, a high schooler who lives in Indianapolis, Indiana.  Her best friend is Daisy and she lives with her mom, a teacher.  She misses her deceased dad every day and drives his car to school.  Aza has obsessive compulsive disorder.  She is constantly worried about the bacteria that could be infecting her body.  And when she decides to investigate the disappearance of a local billionaire with Daisy, her mental health starts to spiral out of control.

Green has used the missing person angle before.  Looking for Alaska and Paper Towns both deal with boys going after girls that they are fascinated/infatuated with.  When I began Turtles I thought I was getting more of the same.  Aza’s singular focus on what is going on in her body irritated me as the story of the eccentric billionaire didn’t hold my interest.  But as I kept reading, I began to empathize with Aza.  I don’t know if it is because sometimes I wish I could get out of my own head because of the destructive thoughts or if I could relate to her feelings of almost drowning.  The mystery became secondary to her getting worse and those around trying to help.

If you like young adult novels (and you really should because there are so many great ones out there), I recommend Turtles All the Way Down.  John Green obviously cares about the younger generation and it is reflected in these characters he creates with attention.

I hope you have a go to list of things that make you happy and you get to enjoy them over the weekend.  Thanks for reading!

 

Posted in Good Things, Pop Culture

Friday Favorite (aka Where I blabber about what I love): Summer Playlist

Unless I love a song, more likely than not I don’t know the lyrics. If you are in the car with me and you listen, you can tell when I don’t know the words. I will either start to hum or get vwery, vwery quiet. And then the chorus will come and I will be singing at the top of my lungs. My poor daughter knows this and has to suffer while her brother and I sing in our miniscule electric car every day, to and from school. With school out a week from today, she can at least leave the room when we play music videos on YouTube. These videos will be on our big screen during dinner and for random dance parties throughout the summer:

  • Bleachers “Don’t Take the Money”
  • Portugal the Man “Feel it Still” (my hubby’s pick for song of the summer)
  • Weezer “Feels like Summer”
  • Foster the People “Doing it for the Money”
  • Sir Sly “High”
  • Kaiser Chiefs “Never Miss a Beat”
  • M.I.A. “Bad Girls”

I hope you have a go to list of things that make you happy and you get to enjoy them over the weekend. Thanks for reading!