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media: kids edition

Just because I’m just totally curious what screen time looks like in other households, here is a fairly comprehensive list of what plays on the screens in our home:

YouTube.  
YouTube easily earns the largest share of screen time 
Lots of musical clips.  Current rotation includes: Matilda, Miss Saigon & the performances from the Tony awards back in June.  

Hazel also likes….sort of dramatic, random stuff.  Surgeries, Bot-flies…or last night, for instance she was glued to: Baby Jessica’s rescue coverage And 2 episodes of rescue 911.  (The one where the babysitter collapses and the 5 yr old calls 911, and the one where the mom collapses and the 4 yr old calls 911.)

Curious George (Netflix)

An occasional Disney princess movie (DVD).  
They are partial to Cinderella, but I like when they pick Beauty - Belle was my JAM as a kid.

Les Mis, the movie.  
I swear to God this is Hazel’s favorite.  She is OBSESSED.
She puts on the Les Mis vinyl while eating her cereal in the morning (always the side with “One Day More.”) 
Last weekend, apropos of nothing, she asked what Jean Valjean’s last name was.

Sound of Music.  
This one is in our HEARTS.  Felix sings Cuckoo-Cuckoo like a champ.  And tonight while getting ready for bed, I heard Hazel tell Felix that she could be Liesl…and Hazel was going to be Gretl. 

And, of course, NOTRE DAME FOOTBALL!!!

Through the screen, we have found a way to share our passions with the girls.  And while I am totally not down with letting them veg-out regularly in-front of the tv or anything…I do think that there are ways that screen time can be used for good.  :)

What do you watch with your littles? On what Devices?  I’d love to hear!

wgsn:

Expressive mark making and great use of colour makes Charlotte Beevor one of three students shortlisted for the annual Texprint Colour award. She also had the added bonus of winning a coverted internship with Lululemon Athletica, announced at the press launch this morning. All Texprint finalists exhibit at Indigo in Paris in September where the winners will be announced.

Image credits: Expressionist Colour by Charlotte Beevor

(via krysosandchandi)

It started with an email…

and ended up on a Sex Tape blog.
Um, wha?  (Settle down, dad..I can explain)

This Friday, a new movie opens in theatres called Sex Tape. In the film Jay (Jason Segal) and Annie (Cameron Diaz) are a married couple still very much in love, but ten years and two kids have cooled their passion. To get it back, they decide to try out every position from THE JOY OF SEX and film it. Bold Choices.. Their very private film is leaked and hilarious adventures ensue.

Oh god, can you imagine!

In the movie Annie is a successful mommy blogger (thumbs up) and I was thrilled to have the chance to contribute a guest post on Annie’s blog, Who’s Yo Mommy about how my own relationship has evolved over time and the ways that tech has helped/hurt/reflected our evolution.

Simon & I fell in love while living in different cities, and our long-distance relationship unfolded over email. Thousands of notes, 10 years and 2 Children later - the tone of our emails has shifted towards….well, life. As we have grown, so have our emails. Love poems replaced by pdfs of Mortgage statements.

But not all romance is gone. Click here to visit Annie’s blog and read about our beginning and the little thing Simon still does that reminds me of the early days.  (Swoon!)

And definitely check out the Sex Tape Trailer here.

image

*This is a sponsored post written on behalf of Sony Pictures

Monday Night
Simon picked up Hazel from his mom’s house (who picked up Hazel after school).  I headed straight home to let our nanny go by 5:30, her nightly finish time.  It’s always sort of a scramble right after work.
Simon & I agreed on a plan: meet at ChipotleFelix & I decided to walk the 5 blocks.  Along the way, I pointed out 5 things for us to talk about…to keep her engaged.
The dog bowls of water sitting outside a crowded patio.
A Geronimo the Mouse poster on the Bookstore window
Red Eye Newspaper Rack - We took one
Bath Bombs in the window of a fragrant soap shop 
Red Fire Hydrant (there’s water inside!)
Hazel joined us for the walk home and the sweetest thing happened. Felix pointed out each of our five microstops to her sister.  She did her best to share what she had learned with Hazel…an amalgamation of disjointed words, gestures and facial expression.   But she got the general gist across.  
It was the first time I have seen Felix teaching Hazel about the world.  A great mom-moment.
Tuesday Night
While Simon worked on dinner, I took the girls out for a quick adventure.Our building has an up close view of a beautiful church steeple.  Simon says it is close enough that if we were in an action movie, he could leap onto it from the pool deck.  Hazel has been asking to see the church - she wanted to know how far away it was…
Let’s find out!
We walked to the end of the block, around the corner and there it was. They wanted to go in, but the doors were locked.  So we sat on the steps and Felix shared her peanuts.  I scanned the park for a Part II to our adventure.  Ah!  Newberry Library.  I’ve lived within eyeshot of this independent research Library for 7 years, but had never actually gone in…Why not now?
It was…DRAMATIC.  The vaulted, stone lobby, echoed aggressively.  The girls’ eyes were wide.  I tiptoed to the security guard, perched at the base of the sweeping staircase and made sure it was cool that we peeked around the lobby.  It was.
Turns out, there is the most perfect little bookshop right in the lobby of the Newberry Library.  It was fantastic with an artfully curated children’s section.  This place is a hidden gem!  (#HazelApproved) 
We had 15 minutes to browse before they were closing for the night, which gave us just enough time to do a little bit of outdoor climbing before we headed home for dinner.
This city serves as a spectacular playroom for my girls.  We love Chicago.

Monday Night

Simon picked up Hazel from his mom’s house (who picked up Hazel after school).  I headed straight home to let our nanny go by 5:30, her nightly finish time.  It’s always sort of a scramble right after work.

Simon & I agreed on a plan: meet at Chipotle
Felix & I decided to walk the 5 blocks.  Along the way, I pointed out 5 things for us to talk about…to keep her engaged.

  1. The dog bowls of water sitting outside a crowded patio.
  2. A Geronimo the Mouse poster on the Bookstore window
  3. Red Eye Newspaper Rack - We took one
  4. Bath Bombs in the window of a fragrant soap shop 
  5. Red Fire Hydrant (there’s water inside!)

Hazel joined us for the walk home and the sweetest thing happened. Felix pointed out each of our five microstops to her sister.  She did her best to share what she had learned with Hazel…an amalgamation of disjointed words, gestures and facial expression.   But she got the general gist across.  

It was the first time I have seen Felix teaching Hazel about the world.  
A great mom-moment.

Tuesday Night

While Simon worked on dinner, I took the girls out for a quick adventure.
Our building has an up close view of a beautiful church steeple.  Simon says it is close enough that if we were in an action movie, he could leap onto it from the pool deck.  Hazel has been asking to see the church - she wanted to know how far away it was…

Let’s find out!

We walked to the end of the block, around the corner and there it was. They wanted to go in, but the doors were locked.  So we sat on the steps and Felix shared her peanuts.  I scanned the park for a Part II to our adventure.  Ah!  Newberry Library.  I’ve lived within eyeshot of this independent research Library for 7 years, but had never actually gone in…Why not now?

It was…DRAMATIC.  
The vaulted, stone lobby, echoed aggressively.  The girls’ eyes were wide.  I tiptoed to the security guard, perched at the base of the sweeping staircase and made sure it was cool that we peeked around the lobby.  It was.

Turns out, there is the most perfect little bookshop right in the lobby of the Newberry Library.  It was fantastic with an artfully curated children’s section.  This place is a hidden gem!  (#HazelApproved) 

We had 15 minutes to browse before they were closing for the night, which gave us just enough time to do a little bit of outdoor climbing before we headed home for dinner.

This city serves as a spectacular playroom for my girls.  We love Chicago.

This weekend, my beautiful friend Jen, married her person, Mike.  
The wedding was incredibly beautiful.  And also..SO MUCH FUN!
We may not actually be related, but this was a family wedding!

I have known Jen since our very first day in preschool…her home was my second home, we grew up side by side:  Montessori, Catholic grade school, Transferred to the public school in 6th Grade, HFHS &  Pi Phi’s at Northwestern.
Her wedding was a chance to see old friends from every stage in our life..and her extended family who feel like an extension of my own….plus, of course the 3 tables filled with my (blood) relatives who wouldn’t miss the opportunity to witness this milestone. 
Such happy reunions.  Such a happy union.
In his father of the bride speech, Mr. H. shared heartwarming stories and his favorite pieces of marriage advice over his 35(?) years with Mrs. H.  
He was far more eloquent than this, but I wanted to document his sentiments, for they captured the spirit of this celebration!
Sometimes it is more important to say “I appreciate you” than “I love you.”  Say both, often.
Discover your partner’s passions…and support those passions wholeheartedly (although, don’t tag along unless invited) 
Dine together once a week.  It is amazing what can be solved while sitting across from each other, in an environment other than your own.
You don’t have to think alike, but you have to think together.
Flip your expectations into hopes.  Expectations have inherent conditions that if not met leave you disappointed.  To move from “expecting” to “hoping”, your attitude also shifts to one of gratitude.
I didn’t know so much love could fit into one little weekend.
Congrats Jen & Mike!

This weekend, my beautiful friend Jen, married her person, Mike.  

The wedding was incredibly beautiful.  
And also..SO MUCH FUN!

We may not actually be related, but this was a family wedding!

I have known Jen since our very first day in preschool…her home was my second home, we grew up side by side:  Montessori, Catholic grade school, Transferred to the public school in 6th Grade, HFHS &  Pi Phi’s at Northwestern.

Her wedding was a chance to see old friends from every stage in our life..and her extended family who feel like an extension of my own….plus, of course the 3 tables filled with my (blood) relatives who wouldn’t miss the opportunity to witness this milestone. 

Such happy reunions.  
Such a happy union.

In his father of the bride speech, Mr. H. shared heartwarming stories and his favorite pieces of marriage advice over his 35(?) years with Mrs. H.  

He was far more eloquent than this, but I wanted to document his sentiments, for they captured the spirit of this celebration!

  1. Sometimes it is more important to say “I appreciate you” than “I love you.”  Say both, often.
  2. Discover your partner’s passions…and support those passions wholeheartedly (although, don’t tag along unless invited) 
  3. Dine together once a week.  It is amazing what can be solved while sitting across from each other, in an environment other than your own.
  4. You don’t have to think alike, but you have to think together.
  5. Flip your expectations into hopes.  Expectations have inherent conditions that if not met leave you disappointed.  To move from “expecting” to “hoping”, your attitude also shifts to one of gratitude.

I didn’t know so much love could fit into one little weekend.

Congrats Jen & Mike!

humansofnewyork:

"I want to study engineering at MIT. I’ve still got two years until I graduate high school, so I’m trying to learn everything I can. I’m a certified cable installer, and I’m also certified in fiber optic cable, but I still need my copper based systems certification. I practice making cables all the time. I can write the perfect essay telling you how to make cables, but I still need to work on keeping my hand steady. You need a very steady hand when you’re working with fiber optic cables. So for twenty minutes everyday, I work on balancing my tools on my hand, just like this."

humansofnewyork:

"I want to study engineering at MIT. I’ve still got two years until I graduate high school, so I’m trying to learn everything I can. I’m a certified cable installer, and I’m also certified in fiber optic cable, but I still need my copper based systems certification. I practice making cables all the time. I can write the perfect essay telling you how to make cables, but I still need to work on keeping my hand steady. You need a very steady hand when you’re working with fiber optic cables. So for twenty minutes everyday, I work on balancing my tools on my hand, just like this."

We spent last weekend in Arkansas.  My dear friend Bordy got married.  It was an architect’s and art lover’s wedding.
She lives in Boston.  He lives in NYC.  But they chose AR because of this place - the Thorncrown Chapel.  It was the most spiritual space I have ever seen.  I was so moved by this hidden church.
It glowed.
The groom’s parents had passed away…they weighed heavily on so many hearts.  You could feel the love/loss in the chapel.
I noticed the best man hold the groom’s hand as the music swelled before the procession began.  They were lifelong best friends…and it was so clear how much they had been through together.  Ag, the lump in my throat just thinking about it.
Another tableaux I’ll never forget: When the doors in the back of Thorncrown opened to reveal a stunning bride…with a forest behind her, on the arm of her father dressed in Admiral Whites.  It was breathtaking.
Simon and I walked away from the chapel, hand in hand.  I turned back to get one more glimpse.. and it had completely disappeared.  From 50 feet back, the structure became part of the landscape.  #Unity

We spent last weekend in Arkansas.  My dear friend Bordy got married.  It was an architect’s and art lover’s wedding.

She lives in Boston.  He lives in NYC.  But they chose AR because of this place - the Thorncrown Chapel.  It was the most spiritual space I have ever seen.  I was so moved by this hidden church.

It glowed.

The groom’s parents had passed away…they weighed heavily on so many hearts.  You could feel the love/loss in the chapel.

I noticed the best man hold the groom’s hand as the music swelled before the procession began.  They were lifelong best friends…and it was so clear how much they had been through together.  Ag, the lump in my throat just thinking about it.

Another tableaux I’ll never forget:
When the doors in the back of Thorncrown opened to reveal a stunning bride…with a forest behind her, on the arm of her father dressed in Admiral Whites.  It was breathtaking.

Simon and I walked away from the chapel, hand in hand.  I turned back to get one more glimpse.. and it had completely disappeared.  From 50 feet back, the structure became part of the landscape.  #Unity

new quarter

Welcome to q3.
A clean slate.  A chance to hit reset.

Self-assess: What’s working?  What’s not?  
Resolve to change
…then actually do it.

It was easy to identify my resolution as we enter the back half of the year: I’ve got to take better care of myself.

I’m not talking afternoon spa visits and cucumbers on the eyes.  I need to, like, go back to basics.

Eat food.  Drink something other than coffee.
Sleep for reasonable chunks of time.
Breathe.

(A low point:  3 weeks ago.  I wedged in a trip to the urgent care clinic between a breakfast meeting and afternoon all-hands.  I had a violent reaction to some antibiotics & was struggling to breathe.  They treated me and when the nurse told me I needed to stay for a few hours of observation…I informed her that  wouldn’t be possible and checked myself out.  Clearly not a best practice.)

I have fallen into this habit where I let my stress escalate to levels directly proportional to the work on my plate….the problem with that approach is that stress doesn’t actually solve any problems.  In fact stress (exhaustion, dehydration, etc) just makes it harder to be awesome….so it is time to get out of my own way!  

9 days into this quarter and I have already felt a shift.  And since any effective goal has to be actionable, here are three must-do components in my plan:

1. Eat superfoods for breakfast (This week a poached egg on a bed of spinach & kale has been like rocket fuel for my body)

2. Conduct one meeting every day while out on a walk….It can be my planning time or a 1:1 with a teammate, but I have to force myself to get out of my seat and move.  A little air & sunshine on my face will do my soul good!

3. Prioritize home repair efforts.  It has been nearly 4 months since our home was destroyed and I have not had the wherewithal or time to drive this project with much tenacity.  This quarter I am dedicating myself to all things home with the goal of being back home by end of September.  Being unsettled has been more stressful than I could have imagined.

I suppose I share all of this with you guys in the spirit of keeping myself accountable.  But also because I can’t be the only working mom (dad) (human) to have unintentionally let myself fall so low on the priority list…I’d love to hear any thoughts/tips/advice on how you manage yourselves and a schedule that is bat shit crazy!

#bestlifeorbust

+5 little good things

  1. Over the holiday weekend, I did not receive a single work email.  Not one.  I was really happy (proud?) that everyone took the opportunity to unplug.  Myself, included.
  2. The way my husband grabs my suitcase for me whenever we encounter a set of stairs on our travels.  He tries to make my life a little easier…in all sorts of ways…I love him for that.
  3. Veep.  Great show.
  4. The dog who kept dropping his rubber ball at Felix’s feet at the dog park* this evening.  He did it like a dozen times.  She would laugh & chuck it as high as she could….and the little jack russell-ish guy would jump up and catch it mid air.  Fee was impressed.  (*We didn’t get a dog or anything…a walk to the dog park is one of those free/effective ways to entertain city kids cooped up in a highrise.)
  5. A walk home from the office.  Sunshine on my face and a 20 minute chat with my mama.  It is a good way to end the work day.