Monthly Archives: February 2012

The same but different

I’ve been doing a little experiment for the past ten days because I started noticing a subtle difference in my boys and I’m not sure if it’s indicative of their ages or their personalities or both (spoiler: I’m leaning towards both, with a heavy emphasis on their personalities).

During my last Costco outing I purchased a large box of fruit leathers, or fruit strips as my boys call them. Copying my friend, Tracey, I’ve taken them out of the box and put them in a cup in our cupboard so when the boys want one, I grab a handful from the cup and fan them out in front of them like a deck of cards, letting them pick which flavor they want.

Without fail, when I stick one out further than the rest, Liam will always pick that one, no matter what the flavor. Jack, on the other hand, will always choose his own, never picking the one that is stuck out closest to him. And I’m not sure why exactly this is, if Liam’s just at an age where he’s more suggestable and prone to “peer” pressure and Jack’s still working on his independence OR if it is purely indicative of their personalities. I think it’s a little of both, but more personality-driven than anything. Both my boys are certainly stubborn (have NO idea where they get that from) but Liam has always been one who can be steered in a certain direction as long as he doesn’t realize that he’s being manipulated. Jack will always go his own way and has never taken redirection, he’s stubborn through and through, enough for five more children.

I’ve been thinking about that, trying to figure out what this might mean for them as they go through life. Liam has a good head on his shoulders but I worry that he won’t be able to discern when someone doesn’t have his best interests in mind and he will end up doing things because others are doing them, not realizing until it is too late that he’s doing the wrong thing or has made a bad decision. He does not stew over questions and will quickly answer, “I don’t know” if asked a question he doesn’t readily know the answer to; of course he has to stop talking first in order to hear the question being asked. He’s our little social butterfly who loves to explain things to others and soaks up information like a sponge, able to repeat whole books and tidbits of information that he’s gleaned from our reading books to him and his Tag Reader. He’s slightly easier to parent because he will be redirected and usually makes the choice you want him to if you guide him in that direction. Jack goes his own way, rarely one to bow to pressure from those around him, even when they are doing the right thing. I’ve already mentioned in earlier posts that I think his personality is key to helping him deal with his limb difference later in life. But I think it’s also going to make it hard to him to realize when he’s wrong and be able to admit it. But I’m glad he’s decisive and knows what he wants, when he wants it, I don’t feel like I’ll ever have to worry about him bowing to peer pressure, instead I’ll have to make sure he’s setting a good example for others and leading the way down the right path.

Just goes to show you, two boys with the same parents can be completely different, if even in a small way that makes a huge impact on both of their lives.

Top Ten Favorite Best Picture Winners

Apparently it’s Oscar week on the bloggity blog…

In no particular order, my top ten favorite winners of the big prize, Best Picture.

  1. Shakespeare in Love | While I don’t think it deserved to win that year when it was up against both Saving Private Ryan and Life Is Beautiful, but I really did like it; like a lot.
  2. Titanic | One of the few movies I’ve ever seen multiple times in the theater (if not the only one); and every time I cried, weepy sad tears when the ship sank and you saw all the other people dying or preparing to die. So sad and that it was a true story, even sadder.
  3. A Beautiful Mind | The amazingly told story based on the life of economics prodigy John Nash; it would have to be good if I used amazing and economics in the same sentence.
  4. Lord of the Rings: Return of the King | Well-deserved for the astronomical feat of bringing the trilogy to life in such an excellent way. I feel bad for two other deserving nominees from that year – Mystic River and Lost in Translation.
  5. The Fighter | oh wait, The King’s Speech was last years’ winner, not The Fighter (though it should have been, I feel like at least half of the other nominees should have won over The King’s Speech, for sure.) But I LOVED The Fighter, against my expectations, it was brilliantly acted and so well packaged.
  6. The Silence of the Lambs | I have seen this movie so many times; back in middle school this was a fall-back movie with my BFF, which is quite surprising because it is not at all the type of movie I would normally like and now, when I’ve seen it, I find it totally creepy.
  7. Schindler’s List | Just amazing and sad and beautiful and utterly depressing and yet hopeful to find someone so willing to risk everything for others.
  8. Out of Africa | For the scenery alone, I like this movie (that and the hair-washing scene.)
  9. Forrest Gump | Jheeeennnnyyy! Run Forrest, run! Life is like a box of chocolates… Bubba Gump Shrimp. How can you not love Forrest Gump, and it has a killer soundtrack.
  10. Gladiator | The second Russell Crowe movie on my list, must be I like Australians; true but that has nothing to do with it, just another great movie. ;)

And just for fun, I’d like to note that I saw 9 out of ten winners in the 1990s and only 4 out of ten in the 2000s – pre-kids and post-kids, sad and true. And from this year’s ten nominees, I only saw The Help and Midnight in Paris (try as I may, I couldn’t get Simon to see The Descendants at date night this past weekend, instead we saw This Means War, which was hilarious and I highly recommend it for date night). Also, doesn’t ten nominees seem like a bit of overkill?


Top Ten {Tuesday}This post is linked to Oh Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday.

Music Monday: The Movies

So the Oscars were last night (well, technically tonight since I’m writing this Sunday afternoon – forgive me, I’m a plan-in-advance-when-I-can kind of girl) so to honor them, here are some of my favorite songs from movie soundtracks.

My Heart Will Go On
| Celine Dion from Titanic
I once sat in a living room in Kazakhstan and performed this song with my Kazakh roommate (she played the piano) for a Russian girl’s 18th birthday. Funny on so many levels; so glad this was prior to the days of YouTube and viral videos because I’m quite certain I was overly emotive because why not? You can’t sing Celine Dion and not go all in, especially when you will NEVER see the people you are singing for again and you have dutifully drank all the vodka they have continued to pour in your glass because it is considered rude to refuse (I think it’s safe to say I didn’t want the birthday girl’s large family thinking I was rude).


Ice Cream | Sarah McLachlan from Bed of Roses
Though I’ve mentioned this one before (last week) and featured it from our wedding CD, it’s a favorite, so it must be here, too. Hello overkill, pleased to make your acquaintance.


Wayfaring Stranger | Jack White from Cold Mountain
This movie still haunts me but oh, how I loved it.


Constant Sorrow | O, Brother Where Art Thou?


Lose Yourself | Eminem from 8 Mile
Also awesome from last year’s Chrysler commercial.


You’ve Got a Friend in Me | Randy Newman from Toy Story

Really, the list could go on and on so I’ll stop there with that variety. What’s your favorite song from a movie?

Around the interwebs

Now that I’m using Pinterest, I haven’t been starring posts as much in my Google Reader but pinning them instead. So rather than sharing a bunch of those images with you [if you click the hyperlink up above there, you'll see my pin boards - crafts and recipes abound], I’ll share the writing and posts that have struck me and perhaps they will strike a chord with you as well.

The funny

The moving

  • The Luckiest by Tricia of Teaching Ty and Tuck [I could pretty much include everything she writes, but I particularly love the song she's talking about]
  • Breastfeeding isn’t free by Sarah at drunkenbee [I think I might have linked to this before, but's worth a second read]
  • (title unknown) by Alicia at Posey Gets Cozy [simple heartbreakingly honest]
  • A beautiful c-section by Kristin at Today’s Parent

New to me blogs

Five Question Friday

imageThat photo has nothing to do with this post but it expresses my utter glee in getting my new smart phone replacement in the mail. Doesn’t Jack make a cute Warhol?

1. What’s your favorite way to spend down time (alone or with a significant other)?
Oh, that’s a hard one. I equally like lounging on the couch with the hubs to the solitude and zero-guilt of being by myself. But I get plenty of alone time with Simon working second shift, so really it’s a good balance, I don’t feel like I’m lacking for downtime, especially after 7:30 every night.

2. Are you the kind of person that wants things more as soon as you know you can’t have it?
I would normally say yes but when I started “dieting” last year I didn’t really crave any particular food, never felt like I was missing out. So I guess I do have self-control and the ability to just put things out of my mind. That said, I did rather miss the quick-response of texting… but I have plenty of other technology to survive with ;)

3. If you were given $1000 to spend on yourself, what would you buy?
Either a new laptop or an iPad and spend the left over money on a guilt-free trip to Target. Remember those game shows where the contestants could run down the aisles and fill their carts with as much stuff as they could and keep it (or were this game shows really fictitious game shows they showed on sitcoms – I can’t recall) anyway, that was my dream as a child to be able to run willy nilly like that thought a store and load up. I was apparently driven by consumerism.

4. Do you ever go out to eat by yourself?
I don’t, but I do pick up food and bring it back to the office. I rarely, if ever, sit down in a restaurant by myself (though I have no problem at a coffee shop). When I lived in Chicago and traveled out-of-town weekly for work, I never ate out by myself, partly because I was young and female and partly because I just didn’t like it. Once when I was in Minneapolis I drove to the Mall of America to see a movie (can’t at the moment recall which one) but that was one of two times I saw a movie in the theater by myself. It was a big moment.

5. What company would you want to do a blog review for?
The first thing that came to mind (as I look out the window at the snow falling down) is for a ski equipment company or ski resort. Skiing is a sport I’d love to get into with the kids but it’s also super expensive for something we really have no experience at so to have a chance to try it out with them would be marvelous… Also Qantas – because free flights to Australia (preferably in premium economy or above) would be beyond marvelous!


Linking up with Mama M for Five Question Friday!