Showing posts with label Video. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Video. Show all posts

Friday, February 06, 2015

home movies

I am not sure what my long-term solution for video storage and play will be, but for now I've noted I come here to show videos to the kids, so I'm adding a new one. Hope you enjoy!

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Friday, February 21, 2014

love is an open door

Music from the movie Frozen is always in my head. The girls want to listen 24/7, and I can't blame their passion. I can still clearly recall the gusto with which I belted out the soundtrack to Footloose. Exhausted was the needle of my record player when I was five and six-years-old.

These songs do make better little girl ballads than Kenny Loggins' catalog. But on the flip side, earworms are a less pleasurable side effect to the album's constant rotation. They randomly and unexpectedly burrow into my thoughts throughout the day. Doing dishes, folding laundry, sitting at my computer, I hum the catchy tunes. Soon enough, I find myself musing about how accurate and poignant the message is behind "Love is an Open Door."

[LOL. I'm sorry, I've never rickrolled you before, and I simply couldn't resist. Here's the real link.]

True, exhorting the enlightening merits of my children's music is downright nutty sentimental of me. But you must already know about my sentimentality. If not, allow me to introduce myself: I am a complete and total sap.

But sometimes being sappy gets the job done! I have been a much more productive writer in the past few months, signing up to contribute essays in several places. I am also helping my dad with a project that is teaching me much about the writing craft.

In that vein, here's a book I recommend: "Several short sentences about writing," by Verlyn Klinkenborg. True to its title, it is a collection of short, powerful sentences about writing. Not so much advice as little snippets of truth, this book is what might happen if you turned Jack Handey on his head so he actually made sense.


My bed: a favorite place to write. Just me, the cat, and the sun.
{and sometimes laundry}
{ok, always laundry}

Earlier this month I submitted an essay for a collection of doula stories. Ever the romantic, I contemplated including John Lennon's quote about love and fear in my composition. You know the one. It goes like this...
"There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life."

So here's my sappy conclusion. When we let love drive, it is an open door. We say yes, even when we are afraid. New opportunities pop up. Some might seem too good to be true; I probably don't need to tell you how those turn out. But all in, life could be a better ride this way.

p.s. Here's Charlie singing Let it Go, another of the Frozen songs:

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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

{6/52 & 7/52}: surreal

I didn't post the weekly update pic last week partly because I wasn't sure if I wanted to share that we were in a commercial. It seems like no matter how I phrase it, that kind of update drips with exaggerated conceit, almost too "Hey look at this impossibly cool thing I'm doing!" even for a self-important blogger like me. Then we got more snow, and I didn't want to be that person who is all "Poor me! It is snowing AGAIN!" so I stayed away for that reason too.

But then my family shared the commercial on Facebook and said such sweet things about us, and I thought okay, reality check. We are all fine, yes. And I do want you to know about the new Family Breakfast Project, which is how we got in a commercial in the first place (note: you can see the commercial in that link). Remember when I posted about the Family Dinner Project last year? They are the same organization sponsoring this new program.

So basically, last week was surreal in a few different ways.

{6/52}: Eating cheerios while watching themselves in a Cheerios commercial. A weird unplanned coincidence.

The snow isn't even the surreal part, although it has been a huge amount. I mostly don't mind the snow; it is magical when falling, and after that you dress for the weather and get over it. The unfortunate part of this weather isn't in fact the snow but the cold; it has been almost too cold even for Charlie to play in the snow, but Vivi is determined to play no matter what the temperature and will stay out there by herself for an hour or more, just digging and rolling around.

But here's the truly surreal part. We took them sledding over the weekend, and after just a few rounds with us at the helm, the girls decided to sled on their own! They are true New Englanders. I feel the need to mention that the first time I saw this hill covered with snow three years ago, I was hesitant to go down it. Me, a grown human. And now my three-year-old is solo-traversing it. Life, man, it's weird like that.

{7/52}: Fearless Yankees
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Monday, December 02, 2013

joie de Vivi

"Oh how I love cake!"

I just went back and read this post about Vivi. If there's one thing I'd tell that version of myself from six months ago, it'd be not to worry so much about kindergarten. Vivi seems to be enjoying herself and staying out of trouble. On the day I visited, she excelled at the tasks given to her, from leading a small group to writing sentences (she balked at the teacher's request that she complete two sentences, but she did it). I say "leading a small group," but it primarily involved her bossing around other kids while reenacting a scene from a book they had just read, and she ate up every moment, bless her.

She has many friends and loves life, so thus far I am able to report that school has not yet squashed her spirit. It's all good. Oh, and don't get me started on school lunch, which she ADORES. If I would let her buy lunch every day, she'd be happy as a pig in a poke, but we'd be $60 broker per month. For now I let her buy once a week, and she typically chooses either pizza, hot dog, or soft pretzel/yogurt. Her cafeteria routinely serves veggies like green salads and mashed sweet potatoes too, so I have mostly praise to give them on that front.

Vivi still asks more questions than I thought humanly possible. I'm considering getting her this book for Christmas as much for my assistance as for her edification. Nate gets into the answering of the questions with patience and good humor, and I try to use his example as my guide. Oh my goodness, the girl just wants to know. Here she is watching football with her daddy. In this clip, she's asking him about a football player whose name is Ball:

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Saturday, November 30, 2013

our incredible hulk


Charlie has always been fiercely independent. As soon as she could walk, she's been attempting to carry gigantic loads way heavier than her own body weight without our help. A few days ago, Vivi complained that she couldn't lift the lid to our storage footstool, and Charlie cheerily replied, "Sure we can! Just grab that handle, and I'll get this one." She prefers to push the stroller to being put in it, such that you can often find our family of four walking down the sidewalk with Vivi in the stroller and Charlie pushing it. Hence our nickname for her: Hulk.

The Princess & The Ladybug


Christmas in Florida, c. 2011. Charlie is 16 months old here. My original caption read, "Charlie, our work-dog."

Three year olds are full of contradictions. They want to be snuggled but treated like big kids. Charlie's picking up on the cues of older girls and so has begun the princessification process, but she's also still into frogs and mud.



Charlotte's desire for independence has never been as evident as since she turned three. She is quite the interesting mix of easy-going and opinionated, and you never really know which version you're going to get until the action begins. I love our daily strolls to get Vivi from school. We skip, dawdle, and mosey, the two of us in quiet pursuit of Thoreau's great art of the saunter. At times this activity is more fun...

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...Than at others...


Me: We need to walk. Charlie: No thanks.
Her primary party trick is the ability to entertain herself for nearly hours on end. It is a talent that is universally commented upon by guests when we are able to sit and chat for long periods (n.b.: this is while Vivi is at school. When she's home, all bets are off). Oh, and for her next party trick, she'll sing you a medley of show tunes:

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Monday, November 11, 2013

{45}: notes from The Mikado


"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week in 2013."
We took our friends' 3 kids for a day this weekend. Wild!

On the Range
November 5 - 11, 2013

{On the Range} is my weekly series where I discuss what we're doing, reading, and eating. It's a little bit 52 project and other photo projects, and a little bit {Did you Read?} and {In the Ranger Kitchen}.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

what does the guinea hen say?

Sorry for the poor image quality.

Nate has recently upped his thoughtfulness in the gift department. After last month's anniversary gift (Garner's Modern American Usage) and this week's birthday gift (the above guinea hen that I have been pining over in the town trade shop window for the past six months), it is GAME ON at Christmas.

When the kids saw the guinea hen at separate moments on my birthday--it was hanging out on the mantel--they both said independently of hearing the other, "QUACK!" It cracked me up because it doesn't remotely resemble a duck to me. When I told them such, they of course wanted to know what a guinea hen says.

...And then I finally showed them this video, which left them no less confused, but they were at least able to come up with creative sounds for the guinea hen. My vote is "wow pow pow pow pow pa pow!"

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

{37}: fall is here!

"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week in 2013."

On the Range
September 10 - 16, 2013

{On the Range} is my weekly series where I discuss what we're doing, reading, and eating. It's a little bit 52 project and other photo projects, and a little bit {Did you Read?} and {In the Ranger Kitchen}.


Media


Meals



I'm not sure why I never posted this video before (or if I did, I can't find where), but I just rediscovered it on my desktop this morning. It's of Vivi collecting "clumps" of snow. It was hilarious to me because there was more snow on the ground than one could possibly enjoy, yet she was finding special mounds that she insisted on carrying with her. Girl loves her some winter weather.

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Here's a video of Charlie playing by herself. I love the age when they talk to themselves in teeny munchkin voices.

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Saturday, June 15, 2013

Charlie does "the Elaine," and other summer scenes

We went to the always fun farmer's market this morning. There was a musician and popsicles, meeting the girls' two requirements of a good time: food and entertainment. Charlie busted out her favorite dance move, which we like to call "the Elaine."


We are enjoying camp, so much so that I can scarcely make time for anything else. It is as all-consuming as I remember it being in my youth, at times leaving me feeling like I have half a brain and even less energy. Even as I am running myself ragged, camp is a splendidly salutary environment that heals my soul and brightens my days. I wouldn't change a thing.

Watching the younger counselors work with the kids, I am reminded of the fortitude it takes to achieve praiseworthy work with children. Their exemplary passion, zeal, humor, and resolute endurance are a shining example of the good work that can be accomplished by human beings when the right conditions are present. Here's a video from camp last week in which the CITs (counselors-in-training) sing a rendition of Woody Guthrie's "This Land is Your Land," with words tailored to our camp and written by a counselor many years ago. Even if you don't get the context of what they are singing, you can't help but smile at the sentiment.


Thursday, March 28, 2013

{girl rising}: go see it!

I never embed videos in the blog two days in a row, but the exception is worthwhile because this film is itself so exceptional:



I saw it a few nights ago at our town's tiny theater with girlfriends. Find a theater near you to see it for yourself. I recommend taking your daughters too, so long as they are 13 or older. There are stories of sexual violence and a child giving birth in the film, but they are handled with discretion for the sake of minors watching. A few moms and seventh graders were leaving the theater next to us, and I overheard one say to the other, "Oh thank goodness! I was worried about where we were headed for a moment, but I think it was just perfect." I couldn't have said it better myself. Powerful, inspiring, important.

If, like me, you leave the theater wondering how you can donate, check out this website. The issue of girls' education is one that is dear to my heart. When I left Kenya the second time, I tried to assist in the creation of a Kenya girls' education fund, and I learned much about the process of becoming a NGO, as well as other great life lessons. Now in my thirties, I'm happy to see there's an organization doing good work in this needed area. I hope that some day, girls won't have to live their lives on the street, selling their bodies to feed their hungry families.

I wrote about this girl in a post last year

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

this just in: adorable child sings adorable song, gives interview

Charlie is at that age where she'll answer questions and sing songs on demand. Thus, I spend most of my time asking questions and requesting songs. See for yourself...

Dancing!

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Tuesday, January 01, 2013

roof permits are hard to come by...

Between the Lincoln logs, Duplos, and wood blocks, we've got lots of building going on 'round here. If only Charlie would let us put a roof on it...

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The kids are enjoying their new holiday loot, and meanwhile Nate and I are dividing our time between college bowl games (nearly done! phew) and basement shuffling. New year, new stuff! Purging seems to be a disdained activity in many households, but I know I'm a broken record when I say I love rotating my belongings.

How are y'all holding up? Any resolutions? I'm going with the standard "more exercise, less sugar" routine. And maybe some L-glutamine to help my tummy along...

I'm also going to try to take some sage advice and keep my list of regrets down to a minimum. I love the "what is my legacy?" and "who will be there with me?" questions he poses in that HuffPo article. Thought provoking to be sure.

Hope you're having a splendid start to the new year!
xoxo
~J

Monday, December 24, 2012

happy holidays!

                                                Source: lifeinthenow.com via Maryann on Pinterest


Our house is already a mess even a day before the main event, but I am enjoying every moment to its fullest. We are waist-deep in presents and macaroons and chocolate moose. The fireplace is fixed now, so we reveled in our first living room blaze in the new house last night. I am also patiently waiting for my new oven, an unexpected gift (our last one broke last week) that will arrive the day after Christmas. I hope you're enjoying some great holidaying as well. I'll try to update again when I can, but for now here's a few videos of Charlie exuding holiday cheer.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

{animoto}: family togetherness rocks!

My mom is coming today for Thanksgiving. We are so excited because it's been over a year since her last trip up to Beantown. I am really happy that I was given an opportunity to make a video where I could showcase our enthusiasm about the family togetherness that the holidays bring. Click here to see my video and learn more about how you can get a free video too! (No contest required!).



Wednesday, November 14, 2012

the decider

In doing some motherly introspection a few days ago, I mulled over a typical interaction that happens between me and Vivi lately. I'm starting from the middle of the story though, so I really should back up to what spurred the self-examination. I'm a Sunday school teacher for the first and second graders; I complain about this job probably too much to Nate and my mom, but secretly I love it. Six years old is IMHO clearly the best age next to eleven, and these kids are every bit as excited about life, potty/button/shoe-tying trained, affectionate, and not yet sarcastic as I had hoped. But I digress.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

perfect is as perfect does

Don't bother telling me that title doesn't make any sense. Grammar is not my friend today. In any case, that modified Gumpism is the phrase that's been going through my head over the past few days.

It all started with an episode of NPR's On Point about perfectionism. Did you catch it? I enjoyed it because members of my immediate family--who will remain nameless--have perfectionist tendencies, and I've often wondered if striving for perfectionism is simultaneously a sort of strength and weakness. The radio program addressed this issue in a way that didn't point fingers but at the same time offered an impetus for perfectionists to be less perfect. It's worth a listen.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

alligator song, part deux

I am home for a few hours of nap between session one and two with a laboring mom. I'm scarfing down a banana and peanut butter while the kids eat lunch, then planning to put on tele-nanny for Vivi while Charlie and I sleep. Some weeks are all about threading seconds together to make minutes, and it feels like there is a never-ending trail of stuff not being done along the way. But the kids are fed (even it is the eleventh day in a row of PB&H) and entertained. Sometimes that has to be enough.

I couldn't end the post without also providing you some entertainment, so here are videos of Vivi and Charlie singing the same song as two-year-olds. FYI, the lyrics are actually:

Five little monkeys swinging in the trees
Teasing Mr. Alligator
You can't catch me, you can't catch me
Along comes Mr. Alligator quietly as can be
And SNAP! that monkey out of the tree

I love how the kids butcher it. And whispering is the cutest.

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Thursday, September 27, 2012

we interrupt this program...

...to bring you a baby video of Charlotte (5 1/2 months old) I found when organizing the computer. Notice how I am barely able to keep Vivi from smothering her. That was the status quo for what seemed like forever. It's astounding how much daily life can change in two years.

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Friday, September 07, 2012

parenting a "spirited" child

Picking a Halloween costume. Much to Mommy's dismay, Raggedy Ann is not the winner.

Although I realize I handily place myself into a parenting cliche with this next observation, I'm going to say it anyway: Vivi is a special kid. I know, I know, I went there. I even nerdily bolded the text. Go ahead and call me a trite mother. But it's true, she is special! Ever since she turned to me at eighteen months old after a lengthy car trip and said "Oh my goodness, that was long!," I knew I was in for a parenting experience I wasn't quite expecting. The child knew about 150 words (counting what she knew in Spanish too) and spoke in 5-word sentences by the time the doctor told me at her check-up that she should know "about three to five words."

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

I found my thrill...

Come climb the hill with me, baby
We'll see what we shall see
I'll bring my horn with me
I'll be wit' you where berries are blue
~From "Blueberry Hill" by Louie Armstrong

Thanks to Kerry for sharing a great location to pick blueberries. This was our best morning I can remember in a while. I made a video to share the memories!




I'm off to make some cobbler. Hope you're enjoying the July bounty!

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