Thursday, March 12, 2015

I'm Gonna Gush Now.

The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Have you watched it yet? The whole first season went live on Netflix on Friday March 6th, and I've already watched it all the way through once. Then I watched it with my husband. Then I watched it with some friends. Now I'm impatient for season two.

 Kimmy Schmidt (Ellie Kemper) is one of the "Indiana Mole Women", a group of four women who were held in an underground bunker by the "Reverend" Richard Wayne Gary Wayne (Jon Hamm) of the Church of the Scary Apocalypse, an apocalypse cult. When they are finally found after fifteen years of captivity, Kimmy decides to move to New York to start a new life without her past hanging over her head. 

This is one of the best shows I've seen in a long time. It's smart, funny, and incredibly sweet. Off-kilter story lines combined with a wonderful cast of quirky characters make this show a pleasure to watch. It's packed with one liners, musical numbers, and 90's pop culture references, and there is a character called "Xanthipe".

Basically, I'm telling you to go watch it. You won't regret it, promise.

Troll the re-spawn, Jeremy.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Shoes Notwithstanding.

My girls and I have been enjoying the Ever After High books by Shannon Hale (The Goose Girl, The Princess in Black) and were excited to find out that it was also a show available on Netflix. 

What do you do when you don't want the destiny that's been written for you? That's the problem faced by Raven Queen, and several others who are not looking forward to following in their famous parents' footsteps.

The stars of the fairy tales that we all knew growing up have also grown up, and are parents themselves. Their children will be the next generation of fairy tale princesses, princes, and evil queens, and are learning how to fulfill their destinies at Ever After High. All that's left to do is sign the Storybook of Legends to seal their fates. Apple White is more than happy to become the next Snow White and live out her Happily Ever After. Raven Queen on the other hand, has less than no desire to fulfill her role as the Evil Queen.

Rumour has it that if a character doesn't sign the book, their entire story will disappear, including happy endings. If it means becoming the hated evil queen, then not signing might just be a chance that Raven is willing to take.

Ever since watching a couple of episodes, including the newly released Spring Unsprung, for our Friday movie night, the girls have been pretending to be Ever After High characters (Kitty Cheshire and Madeline Hatter among the favourites).

They've even made their very own Storybook of Legends, and their favourite part, by far, is slamming it shut while declaring loudly, "I am going to write my OWN destiny. My happily ever after starts NOW!"

For a lesson like that, I'm willing to overlook the make up and ridiculous shoes.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Of Course It Is.

This morning, after five hours of restless sleep, I got out of bed. I made sure the girls found clean clothes to wear. I made the girls breakfast. I made them their lunch. I made sure that water bottles were clean and filled. I combed and braided hair. I found projects and library books. I made sure that backpacks were packed.

As Kee stood in the hallway, complaining about the waterproof mitts I was insisting she wear so that she could play in the snow at recess without getting frostbite, we heard the school bell ring. Frustrated, I stomped my foot and said, "crap. You're late! What happened? we were running on time! When did it fall apart?"

She replied, "I'm not sure what happened, but I am sure that it's your fault."

And because I am a very, very, nice lady, I'm still going to let her live here.

BTW - Don't forget to go enter the giveaway for a free year of Netflix!

Friday, January 30, 2015

Wait... There's a Book?

I love books... everyone knows that. I also love movies... which everyone also knows. So when there is a book that gets turned into a movie, I'm a very happy girl. Even happier when I watch a movie that I love and realise after the fact that it was adapted from a book, because then I've got a new book on my list.

How To Train Your Dragon, is a great example. One of my favourite movies, ever. The animation is charming, I have a soft spot for vikings, and there are lessons to share with the kids. Lessons about accepting  people's differences, about not judging a book (or dragon) by it's cover, about working together. See? Lessons! So when I found out that it was also a book - nay, a series of books - I was pretty darn excited. And Then Beege read them, and then Kee read them... *sigh*... so happy. 

The Lorax, which I can't recommend enough, is a wonderful adaptation of the book which, by the way, everyone should read to their children. Then there's Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs (which is nothing like the book - but both fun), The Very Hungry Caterpillar (beautiful art, great for the little guys), Harold and the Purple Crayon (again, great for the little guys). Percy Jackson, The Hunger Games, World War Z, The Book Thief... there are so many great adaptations to enjoy.

Don't take it from me though - go ahead and surf around on Netflix to find some new favourites. Not on Netflix? Here, let me help you out. Thanks to the lovely team over at Netflix Canada, I'm giving away a free one year subscription! **Make sure to use the Rafflecopter to be included in the giveaway.**

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This contest is running from January 30th til February 13th, and is open to Canadian residents (excluding Quebec), over the age of 18. Don't worry if you already have an account - the prize can be applied to current accounts as well as new ones. Good Luck!

Monday, January 19, 2015

And Then We Played Backgammon.

I will admit, that it is partly my fault. And certainly, partly Husband's fault. We tend to cave. We're cavers. There, I said it. Sometimes, after half an hour of being whined at, I hang my head and say, "fine. FINE. Have a cookie." Or play on the computer, or watch TV, or whatever it was that I said no to, for whatever reason I had.

Kee is exceptionally good at wearing me down. And she knows it. And since we've been cavers, she also knows that the chances are pretty darn good that if she keeps at it, she will get what she wants.

"Please mummy? Please? Pleeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaase?! But mummy, I really want [insert thing I've already said no to five times]! PLEASE! PLEASE!" And then she'll fall on the floor and sob, or maybe crawl into my lap and stare at me with watery eyes and a quivery lip. She follows me if I try to leave, she will scream if I manage to ignore her, she will take a breather to let me think that I've won and then come back at me. She's got it down to a science.

And it sucks, because I have to make her do things herself, no matter how much easier it would be to keep doing everything for her. I need to help her be more self sufficient FOR HER, no matter how much easier it would be to cave. She's six though, so she does not see it that way. She's not worried about being away from home on her own for the first time and being able to make toast without burning it, or keep from shrinking all her laundry, or clean a toilet properly. I realise that's getting way ahead of myself, but when she asks me to do things like brush her teeth for her, it's hard not to.

I have been trying to put my foot down lately. It's hard though, to put my foot down with the trembling lip and blankie clutching.  I'm a marshmallow. I really need to work on that.

Anyway. On Saturday, we had a bit of a break through. She asked me to make her breakfast. I said no, because it was the weekend, and I like to make them do it themselves on the weekend because it doesn't really matter if it takes forever. They know where everything is, and they can reach it all. She took a deep breath and started crying.

"Kee," I said, pulling her onto my lap, "you need to learn to make your own breakfast. That's why Daddy and I put the cereal and the bowls in the bottom cupboard, so that you could do it for yourself."
"I KNOW how to make breakfast," she said, glaring indignantly at me.
"Then what's the problem?"
"I don't WANT to! I want YOU to do it!"
"I need you to do some things for yourself, kid. You're a big girl now. You can't cry every time I say no to you about something. I'm not going to change my mind and say yes, and it's a waste of both our time for you to follow me around yelling at me. And you know what? If you start doing things like making your own breakfast, and putting away your own laundry, and cleaning up after yourself, then I'll have more time for things like playing with you and your sister. So I'm going to be ignoring your tantrums, okay?"
She looked at me for a minute, then dried her eyes and said, "okay."

About ten minutes later, I went into the kitchen, and there was Kee, very proudly standing beside the kitchen table where she'd set out two bowls of her 'wonderful breakfast recipe', which consists of Cheerios and corn bran squares, and two glasses of water. "I made your breakfast!"

Seriously? Best breakfast ever.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Oppressive Inertia

That's the only way to describe it. This heavy feeling that has pushed me down into a nest of blankets on the couch, staring blankly for hours in the general direction of the Friends marathon that's been happening on my TV.

It's getting harder and harder to open my eyes in the morning. Getting the girls out the door without screaming at them is becoming even more of a challenge, and I honestly can't tell you the last time I had an actual conversation with anyone. I have projects that I should be doing. Manuscripts I should be reading* and revising, costumes I should be making... rooms that I should really, really be cleaning. But each day, no matter what my intentions were as I saw the kids down the street, I find myself shaking off a stupor at the end of the day when the alarm tells me it's time to pick them up again.

And every day, I feel more and more useless. Which just pushes me farther down into the blankets.

So today. Instead of letting the feeling that I am letting down everyone I know with my inaction, I am forcing myself. I am ignoring the siren call of that warm couch piled high with blankets, and forcing myself to write. To read. To make that present that I've been meaning to make since October**.

I don't care how pregnant Rachel Green is, I'm getting stuff done today.

*I'm lucky enough to be one of the beta readers for my friend Lesley's second book "The Queen's Viper", and I haven't been fulfilling my duties. Her first, "Growing a Rainbow", her preemie son Torran's birth story is available through Aquhorthies Publishing.
**It's coming, Sunshine, I swear!