Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Utensil Skills

I don't know about your family, but ours doesn't follow the typical 9-5 work day and dinner as a family.  Most of the time, Eric works late, so I would make a dinner for the boys and a separate dinner for us.  Sometimes we wouldn't even begin to make dinner until after the boys go to sleep, between 7:30 and 8.

More recently, we have made the decision to eat dinner as a family as often as we can, even if that means just one of us is present with the boys.  Since we started doing this, one thing that I have seen improve is their skill at using silverware.  Before, when they would eat just the two of them, they would attempt to use their fork or spoon, but without much success.  I think seeing us as examples has really prompted them to use their silverware more often, which only makes them better at it.

It still is difficult choosing foods that are easy for them too.  The lack of teeth along with beginner silverware skills can really make dinners challenging.  That, or just repetitive.  We tend to eat a lot of casseroles, stir fry, pasta and chilies.  Summer will be nice, we'll grill out a lot and have more finger foods.  And even better, we'll be able to sit outside, which significantly cuts down on the mess you to clean up afterwards.  Major bonus.

Monday, February 27, 2012

And the Oscar Goes to...

I have to admit, last night was loads of fun.  We have never had an Oscar party at Eric's office, but I think it may just be my favorite way to watch the Academy Awards.  Get 30+ film lovers in one place and you'd think you were watching the super bowl at a sports bar with all the cheering and booing going on.

And as I predicted, I didn't even come close to winning.  Honestly, my ballot is pretty embarrassing (red dot: my prediction and yellow highlight: actual winner).  
Only 7 out of 24 right.  And it seems that my complete guesses were more likely to winning than my educated ones.  It's always hard to know whether a film is going to sweep the board, even if they are predicted to.  This year the two big winners were Hugo (Martin Scorcese's kids film) and The Artist (the black and white silent film).  Each film took home 5 Oscars.

And, because I am your stereotypical girl, I loved seeing everyone all dressed up.  My friend Kelsey and I definitely spent our fair share of time talking about how much we liked/disliked certain outfits and how much we love Nina Garcia and Tim Gunn.  So in honor of those of us who love award show gowns, here are a few of my favorites.

Dang, I just need to find a reason to wear a full length ball gown.  Seriously, it's one of the things on my "to do before I die" list.

Sunday, February 26, 2012


So, today's the day.  Well, maybe not for many of you, but it is for us.

As some of you may know, my husband owes a film production company.  This means that we watch a lot of movies.  And when I say a lot of movies, I mean more movies than anyone I know.  This also means that we love the Academy Awards.

Before the awards show, our goal is usually to see all of the best pictures nominees.  But since having kids, it's been a lot more difficult to see 9 movies between January 24 and February 26.  This year, we were able to see just five out of the eight nominated: The Tree of Life, The Help, Moneyball, Midnight in Paris and The Artist.

Despite only seeing half of the best picture nominees, I'm pretty stoked for the Oscar party tonight.  Yes, you heard me right.  We have an Oscar party, with prizes and everything.  The prizes go to those individuals who can predict the most correct winners for all categories.  This year I expect it to be a close game, since we are watching it with everyone from Eric's office.  That means there will be about twenty avid film lovers all vying for the win.  I don't really stand a chance, but I still love to play.  It makes watching the more boring categories, like sound mixing or film editing, more interesting.

And just for fun, here is the ballot I filled out for tonights awards.  Come tomorrow morning, we'll know how I did and whether or not I'll regret showing you my predictions.
Do you get into the Academy Awards?  If you do, do you do anything other than watch?  I think my communications professor must really like them.  She is postponing our assignment due date so we don't have to submit homework during the awards show.  So I pretty much have the coolest professor ever.  We're kindred spirits :)

Friday, February 24, 2012


When this film was released in the theatre, Eric and I talked about going, but never actually did.  Then I noticed it while adding movies to our Netflix queque and put it at the top of the list.

The story follows a teenage girl, raised and trained by her father in the wilderness, who then comes out of hiding to assassinate someone her father knew.  As you get further into the story, you realize that the girl's entire life is also a result of this particular person.

I can't say that this movie is a favorite, but it was definitely fun to watch.  Come on, who wouldn't love to watch a teenage girl run around kicking butt?

I didn't recognize the young actress, but when I looked up found out she was also in Atonement and the Lovely Bones.  I don't remember her in Atonement, but do in the Lovely Bones.  Cate Blanchett and Eric Bana are also main characters in the film too.

I am not one for girly chick flicks, so this is the kind of movie I watch for fun.  Although, don't get me wrong, I do like a good mushy love story every once in a while.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Expectations and Your Kids

For six weeks I took the boys to a toddler music class at a local community center.  They would get to use musical instruments, color, build blocks and play catch during classical music, jump and dance around.  It was a lot of fun, and the best part of all, from the perspective of a parent, there were no requirements for participation.  Sometimes Baxter would join in and other times he would look out the window.  Atticus would use an instrument, then dance a little, then sit in my lap.  And this was true of all the other kids there too.

For the last class, our regular instructor wasn't there, so we had a substitute and I don't think that this person had ever taught this particular class before.  Without ever specifically saying anything, this person changed the entire dynamic of the class.

Without words, this instructor communicated to the moms that participation was now necessary by all children.  This not only put more stress on the kids, it put loads of stress on the moms.  There was a sense of frustration in the room that had never been there before, as mom after mom tried to rein her kid(s) in, who up until that day was allowed to roam free.  It's hard to explain, especially to someone who isn't a parent, but there's this looming expectation to present children who are well behaved.  Let's be honest, every parent wants that, although we don't always get it.

As a stay at home mom, sometimes this feeling can be almost overwhelming.  Like my job is to raise "good" children, and if I don't, then I have failed at the only thing I was responsible for.  I know this is absolutely false, but when the only thing people tend to look at when judging the job your doing as a stay at home mom are your kids, it's hard not to feel pressure.

In an instant, I went from loving this little music class to really hating the way I was feeling during it.  I hate that something so simple as someone's expectations can completely alter your attitude.  And it's just not in a music class, it's in the store, at the mall or even at the park.  Our culture places a great deal of value on good behavior, whether the child is 1, 2, 5, or 10.  And if your child doesn't meet these expectations, even if it's for a good reason, the parent is showered with looks from everyone around, parents or not, that can range from disgust, to pity to even anger.

Having good manners and being well behaved is important, but sometimes a little grace can go a long way.  So, if you ever encounter a parent who may not have the most well behaved children, maybe try to have a little extra patience.  It may just help turn their day around.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Weekend Wear

As you may already know from my previous post, Eric and I went to the symphony this past weekend. I was so stoked to go and love any reason to get dressed up.  I know you can dress up to go to dinner and a movie if you want, but it's just not the same.  The symphony just calls for a little extra class.

Top: UO // Skirt: Thrifted // Tights: Target // Shoes: Target

It was fun to pull something a little dressier out of the closet and I'll get to do it again on Thursday.  Eric's company is nominated for a few local advertising awards and the ceremony is this week.  Looking forward to another reason to wear heels.  I'll take as many as I can get :)

Saturday, February 18, 2012


Last night, I got to do something that I've wanted to for a long time now.  I've been to an opera, a musical, the ballet but I hadn't been to the symphony, until now.  Our local symphony played the entire score from the film, The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King.  And in addition to hearing the score, we watched the movie as the symphony performed.

It was pretty incredible.  Most of the time, I completely forgot that the music I was hearing was live.  And during those epic moments, the music built so much that it totally enveloped you.  Music in films can be moving, but it's really nothing like experiences it live like we did.  I would recommend it to anyone and everyone, even if they aren't really interested in the symphony.  It's a great way to experience something so beautifully artistic, yet avoid the fear of being bored (which is something that I think a lot of people stereotype about the symphony).

We are not huge Lord of the Rings fans, but would go again in an instant, especially if the film was one that we were really interested in.  We thought that Gone with the Wind or Lawrence of Arabia would be awesome to experience this way.  I don't know about your city, but we are so grateful that our city offers events like this.  I can't wait until the boys are old enough to come along.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Billy Elliot

Oh my goodness, talk about a heart-warming film that just makes you want to dance.  This has be on my "to watch" list for so long and I can't believe it.  And when Eric suggested watching it, I only did because I didn't have anything better to do.  Shame on me.

It is seriously such a sweet movie.  It's set in a rural town in England during the 80's and is about a young boy who discovers his love for ballet, but must hide it from his father and brother, who are both miners currently on strike.  He secretly takes lessons from a local dance instructor who, after seeing his talent, suggests he audition for the royal school of dance.  This means he would have to confess to his family what he's been doing.

I can't give away what happens, because you really should just watch it for yourself.  Seriously.  I'm like, go-out-right-now-and-get-it-so-you-can-watch-it-tonight serious.  Or better yet, if you have Netflix, you can stream it.  However you have to do it, just watch it.

And if you don't like it, well, I don't know what to tell you.  Because I can't imagine anyone not liking this film.

Oh, and if you have a son who wants to dance and a husband who's not willing to let him do something so "girly," have him watch it too. It may just help to change his mind :)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Some New Photos of my Kiddos

So, I feel like I have been slacking in the "take pictures of my kids because they grow so fast and then posting them for everyone to see" category.  But the other day I whipped out my camera and snapped these few gems.

Check out Baxter's face in the second photo.  It seriously makes me laugh every time I see it.  It literally has as much personality as being in the same room with him.  And actually, most of the pictures have some great faces too.

Dang, I just love those little kiddos.  Writing this post kind of makes me want to wake them up from their nap so I can play with them.  But I won't.  Because I'm not that crazy.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Post Valentines Day Post

Just for fun, I thought I'd share the valentine note that I received at the end of the day Tuesday.  The email it came in was titled, "Pretty Lucky."

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentines Day

Neither Eric nor I assign a lot importance to Valentines Day, we never have.  But Eric's too sweet not to do anything, so I get a pretty flower and sweet note.

And I managed to slip a valentine note in his car before he left this morning.  They are small gestures, but they're enough for us.  My valentine is enough for me.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Weekend Wear

From Friday afternoon until Saturday morning, mother nature decided we should have a lot of winter and dumped a ton of snow on us.  Luckily, by Saturday everything was fine and I was able to partake in all of my kidless Saturday plans.  In the morning, Eric and I went out for breakfast, which is one of my favorite things to do.  I like going out to dinner, but I am such a morning person that I love getting up, getting ready and going to breakfast before some night owls rise and shine.  And I can't lie, I'm more likely to choose coffee over wine or a cocktail.

Moving on...after breakfast, while Eric had plans, I spent the afternoon thrifting with friends.  Seriously,  it was pretty much a perfect day: going out for my favorite meal, getting a delicious mocha/hazelut coffee concoction and then doing my most favorite hobby.  Thank you mom and dad Johnson for making it possible!

 Cardigan: Silence+Noise // Tee: UO // Jeans: H & M // Boots: Top Shop

And I know that I posted an outfit with this sweater last week, but what can I say, it's my favorite.

So, this past weekend was totally awesome, this week will be great because of zumba, girls movie date and girls V Day outing and then, we are going to the symphony this weekend.  February is shaping up to be quite a great month if I do say so myself.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

5k: Round Two

Two years ago, I did something that I had always wanted to do, I ran a 5k.  And I'm going to do it again.  Last year, being a new mom to two infants really lessened the amount of time I spent at the gym, but this year there is no excuse.  And I even have a friend running it with me!

I have been running at the gym, but not in any organized way.  So in order to feel ready for the race, I am running four days a week; three time on a treadmill and once on the track.  Each week I am increasing the distance that I'm running by .3 miles.  So last week I started by just running 2 miles, this week it's 2.3, next week it's 2.6 and so on.  My hope is to be running 4 to 4.5 miles at a time for at least two weeks before the race.  If you don't already know, 5k is only 3.1 miles.  I really want to run a good race, and beat my time from my first try, so if I'm running over 4 miles at a time on a regular basis, 3.1 shouldn't be a problem and hopefully I will be able to keep a good pace.

Once it gets nice, I'm hoping to run outdoors too.  I think there's a big difference between running outdoors, on a track and on a treadmill, and since the race is outdoors, I want to run outside as much as possible beforehand.

I know, you'd think I was running a marathon by how much I'm analyzing this, but I've never been much of a runner, so this little 5k is a big deal to me.  And if I can stay motivated, I might continue increasing my distance and maybe, just maybe run the 10k next year.  But I'm not getting my hopes up yet.

I do hope that the weather is nicer this year than it was two years ago.  Cold and rainy in May is not fun to run in.  But the race fee isn't refundable so I guess I'm doing it either way.  Hopefully Eric will be able to come down to watch me and maybe even take pictures.  Because who wouldn't want to see me gracefully galloping across the finish line huffing and puffing?

Friday, February 10, 2012

The Virgin Suicides

Eric has been telling me to watch the Virgin Suicides for a really long time and I was finally able to while he was out of town.  I didn't really know anything about the film, and wasn't super excited about watching it, but those are usually the moments when I am so glad I did.

Yes, the name is a little odd, but it actually describes the movie quite well.  It takes place in a small town during the 70's and revolves around of a family with five gorgeous daughters.  The parents, on the other hand, rule with an iron fist.  The narrative is told by several boys who were completely infatuated with them and did their best to find out everything they could.  These boys are now grown and are telling this as a story from their youth.

I was completely drawn into the story and was totally interested in every character.  It also makes me come to conclusions on how I will never parent my daughter, should I ever have one.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Lately, I'm been noticing how big my boys have been getting.  As a result, I have found myself going back and looking at pictures from when they were small.  They really are growing like weeds.  A part of me misses when they were that small, but I am having so much fun seeing them develop lots and lots of new skills.

But just for sentiments sake, here are a few lot of pictures beginning when they first came home.  It's so crazy how fast time flies, it seems like just yesterday.

Generally, if I let myself dwell too long on their smaller sizes, I tend to get all teary eyed and lose at least an hour of my day.  So here, why don't you lose an hour of your day on my kids, so then I don't have to.  Come on, you know they're cute :)