Tuesday 10: 10 favorite movies

Below is a list of my 10 favorite movies. Some of them might be good, some of them might be bad, and some of them might be strange. Have some popcorn and enjoy!

In no particular order…

Goonies: For as long as I can remember, this movie has been one of my favorites. I’ve been quoting this movie for years and it has never failed to entertain me. I don’t think I can look at a Baby Ruth and NOT think of this movie. I own copies on VHS and DVD.

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Ghostbusters: This was the very first movie my parents ever took me to the theater to see. My mom loves telling the story that while the audience was freaking out about the special effects and screaming at the ‘scary parts’ I was laughing and clapping. I own copies on VHS, DVD, and self-recorded VHS.
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Star Wars IV, V, VI: Yes, I am a Star Wars purist and prefer special effects done with models vs. pixels. Also, I like my characters with dimension, story development, and hairstyles modeled after pastries. Another also, Luke Skywalker was my first love. I own 2 copies of each on VHS, copy of Return of the Jedi and Empire Strikes Back on self-recorded copies of VHS, and on DVD.
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Mary Poppins: For whatever reason, this is my go-to movie when I am in bed feeling ill or am struggling with insomnia. Unfortunately, this movie is not accurate… I have tried snapping my fingers many times to clean my son’s nursery and nothing happens. I own it on DVD and self-recorded VHS.
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Sense and Sensibility: Dude, Alan Rickman! Shot by shot this is a beautiful movie and a who’s-who of talented British actors. I had seen the movie years ago and thought it was alright, but when I took the time to pay attention the characters and story are no less than awesome. I own it on VHS and DVD.
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Harry Potter I and II: Christopher Columbus really accomplished something amazing (and under-appreciated) with the first 2 movies of the series that he directed. It was nothing short of magical. Had it not been for the wow factor of the first movie, I never would have had an interest in the books. I own his and her copies of each on DVD.

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Cars: I experienced the marketing phenomenon of Cars as a teacher who saw backpacks, toys, and clothing in her classroom everyday. When I was confined to bed rest recovering from an operation, I saw the movie for the first time of many. I thought the jokes were funny, the Cars were cute, and the plot reminded me of Doc Hollywood (another super-cool movie). Yes, a love of Cars before I had children. I own it on Blu-Ray.

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Labyrinth: Jim Henson + David Bowie = Too awesome to be calculated by math! I own it on DVD and self-recorded VHS.

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Month Python and the Holy Grail: Yes, I am one of those annoying people with a bad British accent who quotes the movie line for line and I have been known to browse for clips on YouTube when I need a laugh. I own it on stolen borrowed VHS and DVD.

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Any John Hughes Movie: His filmography is the stuff of greatness: Mr. Mom, Sixteen Candles, Breakfast Club, Weird Science, Pretty in Pink, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, National Lampoons Christmas Vacation, Home Alone… I own them on VHS, DVD, and many, many self recorded VHS.

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Participate in the poll and vote for your favorite movie on my Top 10 List!

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When Mom is a Bridesmaid

Mostly, I think I am a grown-up… or at least I pretend to be. There is no definitive criteria for establishing adult-hood and maturity is not automatically granted at the age of 18. Occasionally I’ll have one of those wow-I’m-getting-old moments and by occasionally, I mean all the time.

My best friend of almost 25 years is getting married. Yes, that would make us 21 years young. I am honored to be her bridesmaid and looking forward to the wedding. Although I don’t mind humiliating myself by blogging about life’s embarrassing moments, I won’t humiliate her by mentioning we used to have practice weddings in the library with paper flowers, wedding invitations written on notebook paper, and an aisle we used to walk down near the non-fiction section.

I haven’t been in a wedding since my own and I hadn’t anticipated the challenges of being a bridesmaid and being a mom at the same time.

Ah, how un-fondly I look back on that moment when the bridal shop called to verify my unusual measurements were accurate. Nonetheless, I re-did my measurements to determine whether or not having a baby had turned me into a mis-shapen mutant and it had. I not-so-enthusiastically ordered a larger dress size and was distressed when I tried it on. Snug is not a word that makes women feel beautiful or sexy. Bless the seamstress who promised the next time I try the dress on, my expression will be happier. If that is the case, I might have clothes professionally altered more often just for the pep-talks.

While we were waiting to have the alteration ticket written up, my mother and I were discussing undergarments. Yes, undergarments. My mother suddenly laughed (although I take undergarments very seriously) and I realized my son was standing on the pedestal with a young girl¬† who was having her prom gown fitted. Flirting already at 15 months… hide your daughters. After I offered an apology only necessary for me, I scooped him up and pondered the logistics of being a bridesmaid and being a mom.

We had a plan at the bridal shower for when he got fussy and I wasn’t able to make him happy without neglecting my bridesmaid duties, but the wedding will be a bigger challenge. I think I can hear some moms telling me to just leave him at home, but my usual childcare options will be AT this wedding and making arrangements is a little more complicated seeing as how we are traveling for the wedding.

And how will I get ready? I have been responsible for getting myself, my husband, and my son ready for the past 15 months. I’m afraid if I’m not there to help they’ll show up with no pants on or else inconveniently late. If the universe ever implodes and time collapses on itself, it is because a mother was not there to get her family ready.

This is another one of those unexpected ways a woman’s life changes after having a baby. No matter what other role I might serve as a bridesmaid, a working woman, or someone trying to wash their car… first and foremost I am a mom now!

What experiences have you had with taking your child to a wedding? Success or embarrassing disaster?  Any tips or tricks for taking your child to celebrate a special occasion?

5 Parenting Things I Should or Shouldn’t Be Doing

Although I am a working mom, my toughest job is being a mom. Children are complicated and they don’t come with any instructions.

I taught for five years before switching careers in 2008. My students ranged in age from 3 to 14 and the subjects I taught ranged from Montessori to Spanish. Some of the more friendly parents would talk to me about their parenting issues, and I assumed that someday I would be well prepared to handle it. As a teacher, I had to deal with potty fights (use your imagination), wrangled groups of kids on the playground, and helped several children deal with some serious emotions and situations.

This is where I say something like; Oh, how wrong I was.

Working with children has, in no way, prepared me for having a child of my own. I’ve looked to parenting literature, social media forums, and other parents as I struggle to be the best mom that I can be.

When I am in public with my child, I am aware of the stares I get from people who used to be just like me; the people without kids who silently remind themselves that they never want to be a mom like me. There is no right or wrong with parenting, there is just… different. But despite my open mind about parenting, others have strong opinions about how it should be done. Moms come in a lot of varieties; strict, cool, serious, kind, silly, strong, etc. I’m the confused kind of mom.

As parents, we can all agree that nothing is more important than having safe, happy, healthy, and loved children. What we disagree on is how to make all those things happen. I am aware of some things I do as a mom that other parents disagree with. Below is my list of 5 things I should or maybe shouldn’t be doing.

5 Things I Should or Shouldn’t Be Doing

What I do: I let my son brush my hair My hair is thick and long, thus taking a very long time to dry even with a blow dryer. My son has been mimicking what he sees others doing and that includes brushing his own hair in an awkward manner his motor skills can’t handle yet. He has his hair brushes, but he really likes to use mine. When I hand my brush over to him, I know it’s gonna be painful for me. Why I do It? We’re bonding; he is trying to take care of me the way that I take care of him. Kind of like the monkeys that pick bugs off of one another. He’s also learning good grooming and controlling the force of his touch (the grabbing-pulling that makes doggies cry when he pets them).

What I Do: I let my son play with my cell phone My husband, mother, and so many others have told me this is a bad idea. Mostly, they think I am teaching him playing with phones is OK and they are afraid for theirs. I have rules though. He can only play with my phone when I offer it to him. If he takes it himself, I take it away. I also require that he only play with my phone under my supervision. I don’t want him eating, trowing, or losing my cell phone. If it looks like he is getting rough, again I take it away. Why I do it? It just makes him happy. More often than not, the only thing he does with my phone is turn it on, turn it off, and smile each and every time he does it.

What I Do: I feed my son food other than fruit and vegetables I was strict on what my child ate during the first year of his life as though I was following a specific recipe to ensure healthy eating habits for life. Now? Not so much. As we added more and more foods to his diet and different textures, I don’t restrict him to fruits, vegetables, and small portions of healthy meats. I have no problem sharing a few bites of cake with him. Why I do it? If he wants to try something I am eating, then why not? It’s my job to teach him how to make healthy choices, not limit his taste buds while he’s growing.

What I Do: I let my son play with things that are not toys Like things with buttons (computers, calculators) newspapers, shoe boxes, and other things you might just throw into the trash. Currently, his favorite toy is a tin box and some ticket stubs. He loves opening and closing the tin box and passing out the tickets one by one to anyone nearby. And like a lot of other children, he also loves cooking with an empty bowl and spoon. Sometimes he even makes ticket soup. Why I do it? This entertains him for HOURS and is made up of a tin box a friend gave him and left over ticket stubs that were garbage. He plays quietly, why wouldn’t I let him play with it?

What I Do: I let my son make a mess Yes, sometimes I watch him dump his toy bins on the floor and mix the organized contents. That same thing some mother’s update their Facebook status about with pictures of the damage their children caused. Why I do it? He’s just having fun and clean up is a game for him. I cheer and praise him when he puts toys back into his toy box or the bins. So instead of telling him NO when he makes a mess, I’m telling him YES when he cleans it up. This positive reinforcement has led to him spontaneously putting things away and another game he likes to play called, pick-up-the-tiny-thing-the-vacuum-missed-and-give-it-to-mommy.

BONUS: I also let my son shower instead of bath (you just try getting him to sit in the tub), I laugh at how cute he looks when he has a tantrum, and I let him get dirty when he plays in the yard.

Do you let your children do something maybe they shouldn’t be doing?

 

Tuesday 10: 10 things I would want on a deserted island

Below is my must-have list, should I ever encounter a deserted island. I am assuming there will be food and water sources available if I know where to look and/or how to acquire it.

To be clear, it is a deserted island not a dessert island. In that case, the only item I would require is a spoon.

1. Big Gun: Not necessarily for shooting at anything in particular, just for piece of mind. When a twig snaps in the middle of the night, I’d feel much better after firing a few random shots to spook the twig away. Also, if the Hunger Games should ever happen, I got dibs on a big gun.

2. A Man: I’m not very knowledgeable about physics, but I think there is something called Fabio’s Law that says; when on a deserted island, must have a tan muscle man. I’d like to amend that law to say; must have a nerdy man with glasses. My nerd can build fires with lenses, make a stand mixer out of a coconut husk, and know the friendly edibles. Oh, and by nerd here, I mean my husband. My husband is Bear Grylls.

3. A Volleyball: Things are much less deserted on an island when you have a companion made out of a volleyball.

4. Tent: I like sleeping outdoors but I have a minimal standard. A tent is very necessary for keeping mosquitoes away from me at night and making me feel a little more secure under a dome of waterproof fabric.

5. Fire: There is a reason fire is so important for survival. It provides warmth, light, a valuable cooking tool, and peace of mind. Also, when my nerd makes me a shower out of bamboo, I gotta have hot water.

6. My Goody Brush: There is one hairbrush on this earth that can get through my thick hair without causing breakage or pain. It took me 25 years to find the perfect brush and there is no way I am leaving it behind.

7. Blank paper: I don’t need to take books or reading material with me; I love writing my own. Blank sheets of paper open up endless possibilities.

8. Sunscreen: I have had sun poisoning each and every time I have visited the beach.

9. Electronic Device: I need to be able to tweet about what’s happening on the deserted island of course and pinning my bamboo and grapevine DIY projects.. Also doubles as a flashlight, a camera, and a way to communicate regularly with Amy @ It’s 10:02 Again.

10. My son: He is EVERYTHING to me! And, he comes with a dinosaur.

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What or who would you take on a desert island with you?