Tag Archives: blog recommendation

Friday Favourites

So this is the part where I explain why what was once a weekly part of this blog is now an infrequent visitor. I will allude to my busy schedule and my need for blogging to remain a fun hobby and not an obligation. Because DAGNABIT, I control this blog, it doesn’t control me! But every once in a while I will post a list of things I liked that week. And if you don’t like it, you don’t have to read it, but I hope you will.

Only this part is supposed to be, ya know, witty and eloquent, maybe inspiring.

But then Glen spent the evening at a work event. And I spent 45 minutes hunched over the crib holding the boy’s hand until he fell asleep. And I sang 3 1/2 lullaby songs to B. And I was sidetracked by C’s new-found love of baking and the alarming questions she would yell at me from the kitchen. And L’s dance carpool fell through.

So, here it is anyway, but without the eloquent.

Quote

A man who lives, not by what he loves but what he hates, is a sick man.

~ Archibald MacLeish

Song

This song is on constant repeat these days. The first time I heard it I thought of Glen and all he does for me and how wonderful he is and how he takes care of us all. And I felt sorry for everyone who isn’t in love with him.

This letting go is so beautiful, cause you make it so easy, to fall so hard…

Movie

Naturally, we will take the tragic Tsunami in Thailand and make it all about the rich, white tourists… Nevertheless “The Impossible” is a great movie. I cried from the beginning to the end. And yes, I like that kind of thing.

Blog

Joy in this Journey is NOT another cheesy Christian blog, as the title might suggest. I first stumbled on Joy Bennett’s blog to read a post about the death of her daughter Ellie. Not many people are able to tackle the topics of grief, faith struggles and depression with unflinching honesty AND hope. I’m in love with her tagline: “Somewhere beneath the kids’ stinky laundry and my own doubt lies a joy worth fighting for. I’m here to dig it out.” And she does.

Exercise Routine

I don’t care what he says, I invented this exercise. Except, I do it in the privacy of my own home, where only my husband can (and does) mock me.

So here’s me, dancing like no one’s watching. Because they aren’t. And that’s the best kind of dancing.


Friday Favourites 38

Tonight the girls watched part of “Yours, Mine and Ours” about two huge families who become one Mega family. Four kids is hardly a mega family, but the lovely chaos on-screen definitely feels familiar. And fun. And exhausting.

Life with 1.6 children is not historically the norm, so maybe we’re not the weird ones after all. And I don’t think it’s just about numbers. Maybe this is just how family life is supposed to be. Not neat and orderly. Not easily manageable. Not picture perfect. Just real and sticky and loud and bumpy and strangely sweet.

Quote

I’d be hard pressed to find anyone in the modern world who has heard that classic AA staple: the “Serenity Prayer.” But I wonder how many, like me, had never heard the whole thing. You know, the parts that don’t fit on a mug or bumper sticker. The extended version has been a huge help to me this week:

God, give me grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.

Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.

Amen.

~ Reinhold Niebuhr

Documentary

The best thing about Netflix (other than reruns of favourite tv series from my teen years) is all the documentaries. I’m not the kind of person who often chooses to rent or go to a documentary when there are perfectly shallow, predictable sci-fi/action/dramas out there, but with all these options I find myself watching films made for grown ups, by grown ups. And actually enjoying it.

This week I watched Precious Life, made by an Israeli journalist about the family of a Palestinian baby who needs a bone marrow transplant to survive and is transferred to a Jewish hospital. My favourite part is when the Dr. explains the process of transplant to the family, how the body and the new marrow may fight one another, but they must learn to coexist if he is to survive.

monkeyappPreschool App

Who wants angry birds, when you can have a happy monkey?

Monkey Preschool Lunchbox has cute games of matching, colours and simple puzzles. Enough of a challenge to help them learn, but enough change and rewards to keep it fun. Definitely the best preschool app we’ve got right now.

Big Kid App

iPod art by C
iPod art by C

For older kids (and immature adults like me) this Art of Glow app is pretty fun. Not only can you make pretty, shiny pictures, but you can animate them. Eat your heart out Lite Brite!

Blog

I’ve been enjoying the blog Laments & Lullabies lately. The author wrestles with serious stuff: mental illness, step-parenting, marriage and raising a toddler. She has the two elements I love most: she’s uncomfortably (for some) honest and she’s hilarious. I especially enjoyed Evidence my Toddler is Smarter than Me. So true.

Preview

Fellow dorks: a new Star Trek movie! Yay!

Music Video

It IS December, though I find it hard to believe… so here’s a little Christmas cheer. Love the song. Love Jimmy Fallon. Love the preschool instruments.

So here’s me, off to visit the farm with my city kids today. I wonder if they’ll still be keen to eat bacon after spending some time with it In Real Life?


Friday Favourites 36

Birthday celebrations continue. Several times a day B looks at me, as if it has just occurred to her, “Happy Bir-day Mummy! I luv YOU!”

It never gets old. Apparently, Glen doesn’t feel his McCain Deep ‘n Delicious chocolate cake quite made the grade, so rumor has it the girls will be making me a cake this weekend. I’m hoping to milk this thing right into December.

Quote

The world is full of people looking for spectacular happiness while they snub contentment.

~Doug Larson

Randomly Generated Compliments

Feeling down? Depressed? Wondering if anyone cares about all your hard work? emergencycompliment.com offers a steady supply of Emergency Compliments to be used at times of great insecurity.

It told me: “Rumor is Disney is basing its next cartoon on you.” and I clicked the I-still-feel-crappy button over and over again until I hit “Your blog is the best blog.”

Thanks. I DO feel better!

Video

I had Brene Brown’s Power of Vulnerability on my “To Watch Someday When I Have Time” list for over a month. Guess what? I never have time, but I finally watched it anyway.

It was BRILLIANT! Funny and inspiring, and I have found time to watch/listen to it 2 more times since.

I want to be this person. Someone who lives wholeheartedly. Someone who is “willing to let go of who I ‘should be’ in order to be who I am.” A person of Compassion, Courage and Connection. Someone who knows that what makes me vulnerable is what makes me beautiful.

I’m convinced that vulnerability is the first step to being WHO God meant me to be.

Blog

One of my favourite ways to avoid vulnerability is to explain it all away. I slap a clever title on it and make it into bullet points and post it on my blog. Idelette McVicker knocked me upside the head this week when I read She Rises While it is Yet Night.

“I can’t be in my story, if I am constantly trying to make sense of it first.” Ouch. Right.

This article and many like it are the reason I enjoy SheLoves Magazine. I’ve hardly scratched the surface, but there are brilliant writers here, all driven by the same engine: “Let us be women who Love.” They manage to pull it off without being sugary or churchy or insipid.

So here’s me, learning to be a woman who loves, who is vulnerable, who is content.. who is Disney cartoon material.


Friday Favourites 28

My 20 year high school reunion is coming up. Mine. Which is totally weird since I’m still a young adult. Yes I am. I don’t care what those dumb check boxes on my census form say.

I was asked to be part of a medical study along with my sisters, but they decided to leave out anyone over age 35. So I don’t have to answer endless questions and get a full physical. Except now I feel kind of left out. I’m interesting. I have medical problems to contribute.

My girls were watching a movie the other day and told me that it was a “REALLY old one, made in like 2005…” 2005 was only yesterday. I’m sure it was.

As young as my brain thinks I am most days, my body reminds me I’m kidding myself. But I hear 40 is the new 20. And if I say it often enough, it’ll be true. I’m sure of it. And I’m not even 40 yet, so I have time to let the idea sink in.

I hear 40 is the new 20.

Quote

“Old age is not so bad when you consider the alternatives.”

~ Maurice Chevalier

Book

I wasn’t sure about this book, but my sister never steers me wrong. It was fun and easy to read, without rotting my brain. It addresses issues of tradition, race and aging, while telling a sweet love story. Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand is romantic and funny. And the leading man is 68 years old!

Soul Healing, Life Changing, Energy Building, Most Brilliant Thing To Do WITHOUT Kids

This summer, when my sister-in-law volunteered to take me to the Scandinave Spa  in Whistler for the day I was somewhat skeptical. A whole day lounging around in my swimsuit… not my idea of fun. But, the brothers were determined to take all the kids and give us a whole day off. Who am I to argue with that?

The drive up through the mountains is almost worth the price of admission. Although you can pay for a massage at the spa, doing the baths is plenty relaxing in itself (and only costs $50-something). Practicing this Scandinavian tradition you cycle through 15 minutes of hot (hot pools, sauna and eucalyptus steam room), 1-15 minutes of cold (cold pools and nordic shower) and 15 minutes of relaxation (sun room, deck chairs, fire pit, and my favourite “hammock haven”). Did I mention that this is all done in silence?

Spiritual retreat, hot bath, good book and pampering all rolled into one. Bliss. It’s the most relaxed I’ve been in years.

Blog

This blog is titled Parenting: Illustrated with Crappy Pictures  Not only does it make me feel good about universal parenting themes, but my artistic ability also. And it uses a semi-bad word quite frequently, which feels a little bad-ass.

There are some that illustrate my life as well. For instance, I feel this quite accurately captures our family’s daily sunscreen battle:

www.crappypictures.com

Invention

Hovding (with the little dots over the “O” that I just can’t figure out on this keyboard) sounds like yet another Ikea shelving system, but in fact, it is a really cool invention (also from Sweden). The invisible bike helmet… for real. Check it out!

Video

Occasionally I think children should rule the world. Watching this video is one of those times. Plus, Flight of the Conchords and their bizarre New Zealand humor is hilarious. Glen thinks they’re stupid. You be the judge.

So here’s me, and most of the time I just think that I should rule the world. Or at least MY kids should. Just don’t anger the boy, he’s got a wicked head butt.


Friday Favourites: Twenty-something

Tomorrow is a BIG day in our ongoing adoption saga. It is the first visit with foster family after bringing our boy home. We’re having an early birthday party for our soon-to-be 2-year-old with ALL the people who love him best.

We love them too, so it’s no hardship to have them here. But, it’s a big deal too.

I’m not going to lie. It’s awkward. And unnatural. And weird.

I’m not sure what the happy ending is for an event like this. I want him to run into their arms and hug away all the sadness they’ve been feeling. I want him to cling to us and refuse to let go. I want him to be completely unaffected by the whole affair. I want him to express all the angst and emotion that this confusing change must create. I want to interrogate them about every detail of his life and learn all his stories. I want to live only in the here and now, where WE are a part of his story.

So, I’m pretty much a mess about the whole thing. But at least there will be cake. Everything is better with cake.

Quote

“I like flaws and feel more comfortable around people who have them. I myself am made entirely of flaws, stitched together with good intentions.”

~Augusten Burroughs

And now, further proof that he’s a brilliant guy:

“Red hair is great. It’s rare, and therefore superior.”

Blog/Twitter Feed

In honour of my son (who pulled out the racks and climbed INTO the oven this morning) I am going to promote a hilarious blog “written by” the Honest Toddler. You don’t need to have a toddler to appreciate this humor, but it helps. The Seven Stages of Night Grief really resonated with me this week.

These days, I pretty much scroll blindly through a twitter feed full of theology, politics and life-affirming, sappy quotes to read the tweets from @HonestToddler. For instance:

  • Stranger in my house.
  • He has a toolbox that should be mine and is looking at the toilet. Watching from behind the door (with my SWORD).
  • HE SPOKE TO ME!! And laughed. Uh…you are not my daddy and we are not friends. We will never be friends.
  • Took refuge in my cardboard box. I’m invisible.
  • What kind of a grown man comes into someone’s house to play in their potty? Supervising him closely again.
  • I farted. He noticed.
  • Farted again. He looks uncomfortable.
  • He asked me if I’d like to go play with my toys. NO I’M FINE HERE THANKS. Farted again.
  • Told mommy I need to use the potty. She’s excited. Asked the hostile to take five.
  • Have fun working where I just pooed, stranger. Three M&Ms!!
  • He just pulled a couple washcloths out of the toilet. Getting out of here before people start pointing fingers.

And on and on and on.

Movie

In the middle of all this toddler-mania we TRY to spend some one-on-one time with each of our big kids during the week. Last week I took the 9-year-old to see Brave.

Girl power. A beautiful Scottish princess with bushy red hair. What’s not to like?

The moral of the story: “Listen to your Mom.” and “Mom is always right.” At least, that’s what I heard. My obedient, submissive daughter tells me I am wrong, wrong, wrong about the point, but it was a decent show with a few good laughs.

App

Speaking of movies, there is no reason, NONE, to waste your time waiting in endless lines at the movie theater, especially on cheap Tuesday when things are crazier than ever. Use Cineplex Mobile to buy your tickets (with an additional scene card discount) from home (or the car, or the parking lot or anywhere your little heart desires), then scan the bar code at the “Mobile Ticketing Booth” on the way into your movie. It prints your tickets instantly; there is no line up, no wait, and no need to bother printing your own ticket. I almost felt sorry for all the poor schmucks lined up out the door last week. But it was kind of fun to zip right past them with a confident swagger.

We also use this app to find theaters, movie times, trailers and ratings.

Splurge

Obviously we are big movie buffs. For our last “date” before we entered the Toddler Zone, Glen and I decided to splurge on a VIP theater. The price tag is enough to choke all but the most decadent at $22.00 per person, BUT if you use your Scene points (which you can collect each time you go to a movie or buy a snack), it is exactly the same as any other movie. We’ve been collecting for a while, so our big VIP splurge cost us $0. And it was well worth it. Don’t waste your free movies on anything but the VIP theater!

These theaters have a restaurant and bar in the waiting area. The seating has tables, foot rests and if you sit in the very front row, full on leather recliners. No waiting in line for snacks like regular folks; the wait staff will seat you, take your order and bring you your meal (that’s right, appetizers, entrees, desserts… this is restaurant food). Even the bathrooms are fancy-schmancy, so be sure to stop by.

So here’s me, did I mention that I’m a red head? Which is rare and therefore superior. Spread the word.


Friday Favourites 22

So, despite the incessant rain (let’s hear it for the West Coast, people!), this has been a wonderful week! Instead of running through the sprinklers and eating popsicles, we are all about splashing in puddles and cozy, family time. And this week our family includes a wiggly, curious, constantly-on-the-move little man who is the happy ending we’ve been chasing for several years.

So, who cares that we are on track for the coldest June in history (for real). Bring on the rain! We’re just too happy to care.

But what’s this I see out my window… sunshine. Very fitting!

Quote

Nothing like a deeply profound quote to celebrate…

I like rice. Rice is great if you’re hungry and want 2000 of something.

– Mitch Hedberg

Board Game

After the littles have gone to bed and the bigs are feeling the need for some parental attention, we often pull out the board games. We are definitely “game people”, but some of their favourites feel more like punishment than fun. Have you ever played “Canadopoly” with a 9 year old? It takes HOURS and the only thing worse is Disney Princessopoly, a pink and purple hell from which there is no escape.

One of the games we DO like to play is Whoonu. Not only is it fun and relatively quick, it is a great way to get to know each other better. Every person has a turn to be “it” and the others choose two of their “subjects” which they think the person will like best. The subjects on the cards are totally random – everything from tic-tac-toe to accents to Chinese food. The “it” person then arranges all the cards in order of preference and you collect your points (6 pts for first place, 5 for second, et cetera).

Apparently, C actually likes early mornings (though she is impossible to wake up and spends the first 15 minutes of her day lying on the kitchen floor whining that she doesn’t know what to eat for breakfast). L thinks the Weather Channel is fascinating. Glen rates the sound of breaking waves over air conditioning. Who knew?

App

Without a doubt, the FAVOURITE app in our house is iMovie. The girls, along with their sidekick/co-star from two houses down, have spent HOURS writing, filming and editing their own movies. The really fun ones are the many dramatic trailers which they’ve created with relative ease. Just follow the instructions, plug in movie clips where needed (i.e. – action sequence here…), and the app will do all the heavy lifting. We’ve been riveted by such masterpieces such as “The Three Weirdos”, “Obsessed With Myself” and “Evil Easter Bunny Spy Thing.”

Turn your iPod, iPhone or iPad into a film studio. I’ve fiddled around with many video editing systems over the years, and this is definitely the easiest to use. As cheap as I am, it’s worth the $4.99 price tag.

Movie Trailer

Not to be left out of the iMovie fun, our family’s film-making mentors (aka Uncle and Aunt) had Glen shoot this beauty on his iPad when he was visiting a few months ago. Welcome to the World Premiere of Super Family – taking cheesy home video to the next level!

I know what you’re thinking. Yes, that is in fact the Gemini-nominated director of “Love It or List It”, also known as Glen’s little brother. What’s more, these ARE the stars of Cerealized, a hilarious web serial which may or may not be freakishly psychic since they are now married and living together in real life. We’re working with professionals here! But the real draw is that cute little boy (takes after his aunt). He looks all innocent and utterly adorable, but we are going to conquer the world together one day!

Website

While we’re on the topic of high quality entertainment, let me introduce you to a brand new website for those of us who think TV is more than just a massive waste of time and soul-sucking instrument of global ignorance; it’s a lifestyle. TV Asylum brings you validation about People You Watch TV With and important articles such as We Need to Talk about The Office. I’ll admit it, I will never watch The Bachelorette, but I’m loving the Recaps; they are just so funny!

Song

I have loved this song for years and rediscovered it when I met Carolyn Arends last week. That’s right, as I mentioned in another post, she is one of my new favourite authors and I now am the proud owner of a signed copy of Wrestling With Angels! We haven’t exchanged friendship bracelets yet, but I’ll keep you posted.

This weekend, do whatever it is you have been dreaming about for years: make a movie, write a blog, adopt a child… you pick.

So here’s me, seizing THIS day. I think we’ll call this episode “Parenting the Boy.” Happy Father’s Day!


Friday Favourites 21

Last night I rocked my son to sleep for the first time… insert sappy sniffle… bliss!

He mostly smiles my way, plays for a few minutes, then runs to foster mom or Daddy, but when I “babysat” him on my own for an hour last night, we snuggled and played together. We had a great time, just us. The next 2 weeks we will continue the gradual transition home. It’s a lot of driving. And it’s hard to leave him each time. But it’s all worth it.

It’s an awkward, wonderful, strange and exciting time!

Quote

“We should not be asking who this child belongs to, but who belongs to this child.”

~ Jim Gritter

Homage to the West Coast

These are my people. This is my home. And we are hilarious. Portlandia is a show for anyone who:

a) enjoys mocking hipsters

b) enjoys being a hipster OR

c) doesn’t know WHAT a hipster is (and you really should in this day and age, since I suspect hipsters will one day inherit the earth).

I was pointed in this direction by S’s nanny, since Dumpster Diver lady and I share a catch phrase. That thing I say whenever S does something cute (usually involving absolutely-smitten-with-his-new-son Daddy): “Awwww”

I watched this with my Dad this week. I find it somewhat alarming that his only comment was “That’s good aluminum there, why would anyone throw it out? It’s worth $1/lb…”

Mom, this could be your life. Who knew Dad had so much hipster potential?

App

She scanned my thumbprint into her iPod. Very official. Kind of an “Alias” vibe. Lo and behold, my name pops up, along with the information that I am currently parenting 3 children with another one coming home soon. What the WHAT? How does it KNOW this?

An upbringing fraught with suspicion about “evil government” and conspiracies of sinful worldly systems kicks right back into play (embarassingly easily to be honest). My moment of panic is cut short as I realize L is giggling like a hyena. It’s a prank app. And it really works. Grandma was mystified that it knew who she was. Grandpa was spitting mad… cue Big Brother rant… Even Glen fell for it.

Fingerprint Security Scanner has given my kids their $0.99 worth of funny practical jokes. You can prompt it to say anything about the person who is “scanned” in. The possibilities are endless.

Blog

iGame Mom is a wonderful resource for anyone looking for great apps and ideas. We’ve used her How to Child Proof an iPad to help us sort out ALL our apple devices. It only takes a few seconds for grimy little fingers to create total havoc. S loves Daddy’s iPad almost as much as Daddy, so this saved our bacon.

Coming To Theaters

In high school I tried to read it in the original language. It seemed sophisticated and intellectual at the time. My french is not that bien, so it was just a collasal waste of time. How do you say “pretentious” en francaise?

It is one of the BEST stories ever told (Victor Hugo), and the musical version is hauntingly beautiful (Schonberg). Add Hugh Jackman, Ann Hathaway and Russell Crowe to the mix, on a big screen… and now I’m ridiculously excited! Coming soon… a new movie version of Les Miserables.

Seeing the musical live, still on my bucket list.

So here’s me, je suis tres exhausted, but happy this week.


Friday Favourites: Adoption

I’m busy on Monday afternoon. Just in case you wanted to hang out, or needed help moving a sofa, or something. I’ll be busy.

I’ll be meeting my son for the first time!

App

Thanks to my T-Zero app I am able to report that we will be meeting him in:

2 days, 23 hours, 45 minutes and 52 seconds…ish

 It is possible that keeping a running countdown on my iPhone is a BIT over the top, but Life Changing Moments don’t come around everyday. He’s a bit shy and has stranger anxiety, so I’m practicing my calm, cool, non-traumatizing faces in the mirror.

Song

When B was born, it was 3 weeks before we were able to bring her home. Glen and I took turns sitting by her incubator, and eventually, snuggling her and her many tubes. There were so many big worries on our plate: Down Syndrome, a leukemia scare, muscle tone, feeding difficulties, but the one that seemed to matter most was, GETTING HER HOME! It was so hard to leave her at all. This song was on the radio all the time those days. I used to sing it to her under my breath and imagine smuggling her out with me.

These days I have the song on repeat again.

Book

As we ALL prepare for a big change I have been on the lookout for “Big Sister” books to read with B. It has been surprisingly difficult to find preschool level books which work for our situation. There is no baby in my tummy, we are bringing home a toddler, not an infant AND we are not going to a far away country to do it. Apparently, we’re not a big demographic.

I was thrilled to find On Mothers Lap. It is a great sibling book about a parent’s expansive love. We read it while we rock “back and forth, back and forth” on the rocking chair Glen bought me for Mother’s Day. The final line of this simple story says it all: “there is always room on Mother’s lap.”

Blog

More than just an adoption advocate, Kristen of Rage Against The Minivan is both funny and challenging, with a huge range of guest posts about every topic under the sun. I feel like I actually KNOW her family, who are awesome, even though I’ve never met them. When I first read her Form Letter Apology I knew we were kindred spirits.

Also, she is one of the creators of the Pintrest You Are Drunk board, which is one of the reasons I get SUCKED in time after time. So there’s that.

Genius

Honestly, this one has nothing to do with adoption. But it makes me smile. And hug my kids. And shrug my shoulders about my own “struggles.” It’s an old 60 Minutes segment about an amazing musician, who is also happens to be blind and developmentally delayed. I’m not sure what is more inspiring, his musical genius or his sweet personality.

Definitely, his personality!

Quote 

One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a long time.

~Unknown

So here’s me, T minus 2 days, 23 hours, 23 minutes and 6 seconds until we set eyes on a new land.


Friday Favourites 18

Another week, and another collection of random recommendations. Our adoption is moving forward at a glacial pace. And I am inexplicably (okay, very, very explicably) inspired to write posts about waiting… so stay tuned.

Quote:

Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.

~Douglas Adams

Blog:

Sadly, our extended family has more than a few addicts in its ranks. It’s a tragic lifestyle/illness and I’m left feeling angry, bewildered and completely helpless in the face of it. Sober Boots takes on this giant with faith, humour and the kind of wisdom that comes from “been there, done that”. Apart from the focus on alcoholism, I feel like Heather Kopp is someone I want to know and spend an afternoon gabbing with over coffee (for an introvert that is really saying something).

Infographic:

This is an incredibly accurate portrayal of my home country. I grew up in “Bibles”, spent five years in “Centre of the Whole Freaking Universe” and ultimately moved out to “Rain, Rain, RAIN” right near “Snobs”.

Courtesy of http://lolsnaps.com/news/22612/0/

Rick Mercer Video:

Along these same lines: “Everything you wanted to know about Canada, but were afraid to ask.” Surprisingly educational coming from a comedian. Three years behind the game, but I finally understand what happened when parliament was suspended in 2009.

I made my girls sit down and watch it. I know, I can hear the howls of protest: “educational stuff on a Pro-D day, what kind of monster are you?”

Beanie Baby/Hunger Games Video:

Finally, they’ve found something useful to do with all those beanie babies from the 90s! Funny and surprisingly faithful to the book, definitely worth a look for anyone who has seen the movie and/or read the book.

App

In honour of this very special holiday (Star Wars Day, duh) here is an app that both I and my 3-year-old nephew really enjoy. Feel the force on your iPhone as you use realistic sound effects to draw and swing your LightSaber and, well, that’s pretty much all it does. But it’s a LightSaber, so how cool is that! LightSaber Unleashed is a slight upgrade from the program I have, still free, and will totally make you the cool auntie.

So here’s me, wishing you a Happy Star Wars Day. May the Fourth be with you!


Friday Favourites 17

I know that many of you are eager for updates on our adoption process. I wish I could give some definitive answers, but right now all I can say is that it’s looking good! These things do not move quickly, not even when I attempt to use the power of my mind to leap forward in time. But we are cautiously optimistic.

And so we imagine and dream and make plans… just like any other expectant family.

Quote

We see with the eyes, but we see with the brain as well. And seeing with the brain is often called imagination.

– Oliver Sacks

Blog

Enjoying the Small Things has been recommended to me more times than any other blog. And it lives up to the hype. Kelle Hampton writes about the small moments of daily life and all that she is learning about love and life through it. She is heartfelt, genuine and ridiculously likeable. But the real treasure here, are the amazingly beautiful pictures of her family (she is a talented professional photographer). I may be biased, but I especially love the ones of her youngest Nella, because she reminds me so much of my little B. It’s not really fair how kids with Down Syndrome are so much cuter than all the rest…

I dare you to read  Nella’s birth story and not cry. A short version of the story is here, in the trailer for Kelle’s new book Bloom, which I can’t wait to read!

App

Last month L got herself an iPod Touch. After much debate (To iPod or Not to iPod: That is the Question) we decided to let her have her heart’s desire. She worked her butt off (Child Labour and Other Parenting Dilemmas) and saved up all her pennies. BUT she opted for a 3G, which means no camera and no photos, which was kind of disappointing.

Bump has been a lifesaver! When two devices have it, they can pass pictures or contact information by simply selecting and then “bumping” together. Not only is it easy, it’s kind of fun! And now each of us can have all the photos we want on our own phone/pod/pad. Everyone’s happy.

Book

My first “official” book review (posted here yesterday), but it bears repeating. You Are A Writer (So Start ACTING Like One) is both the shot in the arm and the kick in the pants I need. It is a toolbox of ideas geared specifically towards writers, but anyone with an artistic calling could benefit.

Jeff Goins premise is simple: “Believe you already are what you want to be. And then start acting like it.” I can’t think of an area in my life where this isn’t good advice – as a writer, in my faith, as a parent, or as a human being.

Video

This week my children have repeatedly watched Ode to the Brain! by Symphony of Science (cough*nerds*cough). It’s bizarrely catchy, educational and just a scooch gross… what’s not to like? A great place to start conversations about how our bodies were put together and how they work. The human brain is probably the most amazing piece of creation there is! Yet it remains mysterious; there is so much we don’t understand about it.

In the meantime, we will set it some of what we do know to autotune and be amazed that a wrinkly piece of flesh can produce a poem, a brilliant idea… or a weird YouTube music video.

So here’s me, seeing not just with my eyes, but with my brain as well.


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