4.16.2014

Watching E.T. With My Seven Year Old

Watching a movie that I loved almost thirty years ago (!) with my son was quite an experience.  Interesting enough for me to want to talk about my observations in some detail...

For reference, my E.T. doll looked like this one:

this is going back in time as well...

Not this one:

I was not as smart/cool as Dawson to have more than one, let alone hold on to them for posterity, dammit.

First off, it's highly annoying that Spielberg and Lucas have gone and mucked up their classic films.  I thought I was getting the E.T. I saw for the first time.  Alas, they updated the special effects and the adorable creature I knew and loved has a CG face in most scenes.  GAH!  There's also an added bit where he and Elliot spend some time in the bathroom and E.T. falls in the tub.  It was a weird scene and I could see why it wasn't used in the first place.  Of course, I came to realize after the fact that the second disc had the original theatrical release and not just bonus material.  

If you have this version, don't just put in the first disc, like I did.
I think you can finally get DVDs of the original Star Wars releases, too, so I suppose I'll let these transgressions slide.

One observation from my point of view thirty years later, and as a mother: I'm thinking it's highly unlikely that I'd leave my own young child home sick, even once he's ten.  But, I get that she's on her own and has to work.  It just was one of those things that I bet my mom was thinking while watching the film and was completely a moot point to me when I was little.  Although, after the drunken frog breakout scene, when she has to go get Elliot from school - she just leaves Gertie at home! WHAT?  I've been on the receiving end of a call from school to come and get my boy (not drunk, he had a fever), and I can't even think of a reason why I wouldn't put my daughter in the car.  Hmph.  Also, the presence of Gertie was a fun way for my son to relate to Elliot, having a nagging little sister.

Another observation on age appropriateness: since when do third or fourth graders, at most, dissect frogs??  "What are they feeding the frogs mom?" my son inquired.  Well, that's not food...  I gave him the straight scoop and said that first off, I'm not sure if kids do that in school at all anymore.  Second, it's not until high school until you might be faced with that task.  And third, I'm preeeeetty sure you do not actually execute the frog - it comes to you already dead.  Thankfully he just thought it was gross and we glossed over this pretty quickly.

Last question: what the hell was going on in early 80s California on Halloween night?  Based on the film, one would think it was the apocalypse with jack-o-lanterns ablaze, kids openly hitting and egging cars, and fiery garbage cans rolling down the street.  What the what?  My son was rather concerned about the garbage that caught on fire.  "Oh, that's not good! Looks like that can caught on fire.  They'd better call the fire department."  

Here I was, fretting about how he would handle E.T's deterioration and possible death.  I guess that we've talked a lot about death lately, and that he doesn't have as many questions as he once did.  There was definite anxiety and sadness once E.T. and Elliot start to get sick.  But, even before you could see the glow coming from the white container that supposedly sealed his fate, my kid turned to me and said, "Mom, I have a strong feeling that E.T. is going to be OK."  A STRONG FEELING.  I just about died.  "Yeah, hon, I think you might be right."  And whenever the heartlight glowed, he was concerned that there was a hole in E.T's chest.  "No, no, it just glows so bright you can see it through his skin - there's no hole."  

One of the other funny reactions from my son came at the beginning of the movie as the kids are sitting around the kitchen playing cards: mom, where are they?  Are they at a restaurant?  He almost didn't believe me when I said they were at home.  Ah, 80s decor!  The faux Tiffany lamp hanging over the banquette table in the kitchen.  Also funny from that scene is how the kid on the phone is calling a radio station to request a song - who remembers doing that?!  Well, me, for one...

Overall, it was fun for both of us.  I love movies and they mean a lot to me.  So I'm glad we had this little experience together, where I let him stay up late after his sister went to bed (woot!) and he enjoyed my reminiscing about my own childhood.  And, lo, I didn't get around to watching Xanadu.  Womp, womp.  I thought it was streaming on Netflix.  I thought wrong.  But, never fear, I obtained it from the library this week!


Seeing this cover is making me speechless.  I CAN'T WAIT to watch this again!  Maybe I'll have some fun observations to share...

4.13.2014

This Weeks Eats 4.13.14


Ahhh, it's been a really lovely week.  I was dreading the fact that my husband had to take a business trip while the kids were on Spring Break.  But, we've had such amazing weather and took advantage of it all week.  And, yes, I did watch E.T. with my son.  I have so many observations to make that I'm writing them in a post - lest I forget the hilarity.

Spring Break got off to a great start with a long play date that began with lunch at the park, included a walk to gelato, and ended at the beach.

Actually taking turns and playing well together!


Everyone and their brother was at the zoo this week, the most crowded I've seen it.

I also managed to fit in a ten miler on Thursday, and it was glorious.  It was the first time I've run double digits in almost a year!  I also did a few tempo miles today and was slightly shocked to see that my pace was the same as the last 5K I raced.  I've been feeling really good with my running lately and I'm wondering if part of it has to do with the weather...  

The BBQ Pork Salad we tried last week was excellent.  The summery BBQ taste over salad was satisfying and refreshing on a warm evening.  I'm thinking we'll make this quite a bit in the coming months, maybe even with my favorite Pioneer Woman pulled pork that's more spicy and less sweet. I don't know why I never thought to make this kind of salad before!

As always, I'm linking up with Org Junkie, Mommy Run Fast and Jill Conyers - be sure to check out all the great weekly menus!

4.09.2014

Books I Read in March 2014

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Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

This was another of the many Printz honor books I've been trying to catch up on, and it was pretty compelling, albeit dark, material (the protagonist is dealing with having been raped). It really called to mind the feelings of isolation most teens feel at some point in their lives (at least I did), and the author does an amazing job of putting you in Melinda's shoes in a very real and visceral way; certainly not uplifting, but very worthwhile.  Incidentally, it's the 15 year anniversary of this book and Book Riot just did an interview with Laurie Halse Anderson on their blog.


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The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom

This was another one of those 'not exactly uplifting, but very worthwhile' novels, as any written about slavery in the South are bound to be. In some ways it felt a little soap opera-like, with person X not knowing that person Y was someone's relation, etc., and love triangle misunderstandings. But the story was absolutely riveting and I could barely put it down, it was so suspenseful - in a very ominous way. The characters were all fully realized and I fell in love with every each one in Lavinia's family.

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Daring Greatly by Brene Brown

I just don't know about my affinity for self-help type books.  It's just a re-hashed version of a lot of common sense to me.  It's like someone went on Pinterest for inspirational quotes and then extrapolated it into a book.  I wholeheartedly agree with all of her sentiments and would love to hear her speak, but my eyes totally glaze over with these types of books.


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The Lost Child of Philomena Lee by Martin Sixsmith

A friend of mine suggested I read this and another friend of mine had told me she loved the movie, and I thought I'd better read it before seeing it.  This was absolutely heartbreaking and riveting material.  It exposes the history of Irish adoptions to the United States in the 1950s by following one remarkable story.  I was especially engrossed because my late father in law was adopted around the same time, born to an unwed Irish Catholic mother.  I will say that although I really loved this book, I wish there was more of Philomena's story included.  We follow her for the first quarter of the book or so, and then don't hear from her again until the very end.  Now to watch the film... 


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As They Slip Away (a novella prequel to Across the Universe) by Beth Revis

Thanks to Bookriot, I learned that Beth Revis wrote a novella prequel to Across the Universe, which is my favorite YA dystopian trilogy as a whole (Meaning, each book was great and the last one didn't fall off the rails like The Hunger Games, Divergent, The Maze Runner, Matched, etc etc etc - all fantastic, all they all fall apart IMHO.)  As They Slip Away was a rather melancholy story of one of the peripheral characters and how she chose to become a drone on Godspeed (the spaceship where the story takes place).  If you have 30 minutes and read this series, it's worth checking out.

Speaking of YA dystopian stuff, I saw Divergent last week and thought it was great!  Although, I'm conflicted, as The Fault in Our Stars is coming out and it's really weird to have Ansel Elgort as Shailene Woodley's brother Caleb in Divergent and then play Gus to her Hazel in the most heartbreaking romantic story.  I suppose there's only a handful of actors that can play YA roles, and the all obviously keep overlapping.  Sigh.  I shudder in fear of what they might do to Eleanor and Park.  For my third link to Book Riot, I think they hit the nail on the head on why casting the film adaptation will be very important and have the potential for great change...


Linking up with The Modern Mrs. Darcy's awesome 'Twitterature' book posts roundup!

4.06.2014

This Weeks Eats 4.06.14

I've got a pretty slim menu to share this week, as The Mister will be out of town for a couple of days.  This is when I usually make dishes he doesn't like, or ones that can easily be consumed on the couch in front of the TV while watching Pitch Perfect or, lately, Veronica Mars.  We watched Anchorman 2 this weekend and I'm inspired to watch Ice Castles, and maybe Xanadu if I have time.  


I may or may not have roller skated around our basement listening to the soundtrack as a child...  Speaking of my childhood, I also was obsessed with E.T. around the same time (when I was around seven or eight) and I'm thinking of introducing this classic to my oldest who is almost seven.  It's Spring Break for the kids this week and I might let him stay up late to watch it with me, which could be totally awesome (he'll love it), totally frustrating (he'll be boooored), or a total mistake (he'll be horrified/freak out).  I'm guessing it'll be one of the first two, hoping for the former: will report back.

In no particular order, this weeks dishes for when we're all together:


mmm, hopefully for Saturday night dinner
The baked Caprese Pesto dish from last week was okay; it dried out a bit too much for my liking once baked.  I'd either half the amount of pasta, or just serve the pasta and sauce without baking.  We did enjoy our burrito bowls with the addition of the Chipotle Sauce; it was easy to whip up, as we usually have chipotles in our freezer and plain Greek yogurt in the fridge.

As always, I'm linking up with Org Junkie, Mommy Run Fast and Jill Conyers - be sure to check out all the great weekly menus!

4.03.2014

April Goals and March Check In


Goals from March 

Drink that 72oz of water a day!
I did much better at this last month, adding an 8oz glass of water as soon as I wake up in the morning and remembering to drink a glass (or a glass of Nuun) with my lunch.  I realized that I hardly ever drink anything when I eat, which is weird, right?  That was an easy fix.

Start going to yoga.  
Yay!  I actually set foot in a yoga studio for the first time in my life!  I really like this place; they offer a variety of classes at various temperatures, not always hot.  I definitely feel like it's been beneficial and will try to keep up after I've used up my Groupon. 



Figure out Spotify.  
I downloaded the app, set up my account and one playlist.  I don't know if I'd call that 100% figuring it out, but I'm LOVING that I can pick out specific songs to listen to and will continue to investigate this nifty app.

Get back to monthly photo posts.  
I did organize my January and February photos offline, but have yet to arrange them for a collage.  Adding that to April goals...


Goals for April:
  • Finish up monthly photo catch up!
  • Have a plan for the kids birthdays and get presents.  Both my kids have early May birthdays and it gets a little hectic, although I've been trying to ease away from 'big party' expectations, we shall see...
  • Get out to the trails at least twice a month.  Now that the weather is getting much more Spring-like, I really need to take advantage of the trails while the kids are still in school, and I already got one day in this month!
I feel pretty lucky that I live near places like this to go running.
  • Lastly, go to the chiropractor at least once a month for an adjustment/ART.  I felt really great during/after my latest long run (an 8 miler!) and I really want to keep the whole injury thing at bay.  

3.30.2014

Crispy Chocolate Coconut No Bake Energy Bars and This Week's Eats 3.30.14

After making those Shutterbean energy bars (that freeze so nicely), I got on a bit of an energy bar kick in the last couple of weeks.  I've experimented with a lot of different recipes, combining them and making substitutions.  My favorites always start with dates, and must include chocolate, almonds and coconut.  I've come up with a winner that hopefully you'll enjoy, too:





Crispy Chocolate Coconut No Bake Energy Bars

  • 1/2 Cup Almond Butter
  • 2 Tablespoons Cocoa Powder
  • 8 Medjool Dates (pitted)
  • 1/2 Cup Almonds
  • 1/2 Cup Walnuts
  • 1/2 Cup of Crispy Rice Cereal (like Rice Krispies, I stole some of my kids Nature's Path Chocolate Koala Crisp for extra chocolatey goodness)
  • 1/4 Cup + 2 Tablespoons (divided) Shredded Sweetened Coconut
  • 2 Tablespoons Chia Seeds
  • 1/4 Cup Honey
  • 1/3 Cup Mini Chocolate Chips
Set aside the 2 tablespoons of coconut and chocolate chips, then combine all remaining ingredients in the bowl of a food processor.  Chop until it forms a thick dough and all of the dates are well incorporated, about five minutes.  (If your dates are really dry, soak them in some warm water for a few minutes and drain before using.)  Add in chocolate chips and give dough a few quick pulses, just to incorporate.  Press dough evenly into an 8x8 pan lined with parchment paper or coated with cooking spray.  Sprinkle the 2 tablespoons of coconut evenly over the top and press into the dough.  Freeze about 2 hours or until set.  Cut into whatever size bar you like.  

For a snack size, you can cut into 16 squares.  I like to eat them for breakfast, so I make 8 bars and put them back into the freezer in between pieces of parchment.  When I'm ready to eat one, I just take a bar out and let it thaw for a few minutes on the counter - yep, just a couple of minutes and they're good to go straight from the freezer!


This week's eats:

As always, I'm linking up with Org Junkie, Mommy Run Fast and Jill Conyers - be sure to check out all the great weekly menus!


3.27.2014

A Few of My Favorite Things (And March Julep Review)

I just realized it's been awhile since I talked about my latest favorite things when I posted this picture, as part of the Zooma photo a day challenge, on Instagram.



So many of my favorite things in here!  I only recently caved on an Erin Condren planner.  They had a pretty good sale going in February, and I took the plunge.  I really do love it; it's so nice to have a big layout for the monthly calendar and there are ridiculously cute stickers you can paste inside for things like: Date Night, Vegas! (I wish), Girl's Night Out, No School, as well as the more often used Birthday, Anniversary stickers.  The spiral binding could be a bit smaller and it could have WAY less journal pages for the way I use it.  Still, it's just such a happy little thing to have to look at every day.  No, I will not start using my iPhone as a planner, you can't make me.



This month's Julep box was another hit.  I went for the 'Bombshell' box.  I now keep this gloss (I chose 'Fearless') in my purse at all times: LOVE.  It's just the right consistency, stays on, and has a super yummy vanilla scent.  I love the yellow 'Lilou' polish, but think it needs to wait a bit for summer when my skin isn't so ghostly white.  The blue 'Monaco' color is now my absolute favorite blue.  Yes, they put a piece of candy in there too - it was pretty tasty.



I've been poring over this cookbook and I'm rather excited to try some of the recipes!

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We've been watching the CNN original series Chicagoland, partly in horror and partly with pride.  Either way, it's a fantastic show.  There are definitely echoes of This American Life's piece on Harper High, which is an absolute must listen.  Incidentally, my Facebook feed has blown up lately with Chicago trivia.  To name a few: 22 Words That Have A Completely Different Meaning in Chicago (although, The Second City means comedy, not NYC), and 50 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Chicago (Interesting stuff if you're not from Chicago, but I must admit, I didn't know we had the longest continuous street.)

I'm adding two new favorite songs to the playlist, Red Lights by Tiesto (ah, good old Tiesto) and Alone by Armin van Buuren featuring Lauren Williams.  Happy listening and happy weekend!

"Red Lights"

"Alone"