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What I’m Into Lately: April 2015

geek mom love
“We’re drawing what a volcano looks like on the inside and the outside, mom!” Like, for fun.

I’m linking up with Leigh Kramer to share What I’m Into Lately  – the books, music, tv, movies, food, websites, moments in life and photographs that have been making up the backdrop to my life this month.

What I’m watching

  • We’ve been watching a few newish shows lately. Last Man On Earth oscillates between fascinating, ridiculous, awful and inspiring. As much as the premise still intrigues, I hit the nail on the head the other day when I turned to my husband and said, “I don’t actually like anyone on this show.”
  • We’re also watching iZombie which was made by the folks that made Veronica Mars and it’s sometimes painfully obvious in the flow of the dialog and the overall feel of the show. Even the characters, if you think about it, are right out of the Veronica Mars Handbook. Petite sarcastic blonde who has been through a hard time and is now hell bent on solving crimes to make up for it but has to do so unconventionally. Perfect ex boyfriend who main character isn’t sure if she wants back or not. Jerky guy who might be a good person deep down somewhere but he’s so neck deep in his bad boy lifestyle that it’s hard to tell. Affable sidekick who likes main character in spite of her quirks. I could go on.
  • I’ve been watching Weird Loners on my days off and I’m still not sure if I like it or not but the characters are interesting and it’s just good enough to keep watching basically.
  • I made my way through Parks and Rec and Garfunkel and Oates and now I’m deciding which series on Netflix to get obsessed with next. Ideally, I’m looking for a comedy show that’s smarter than it seems with characters I can root for. I’m dabbling with The Office but feel compelled to watch the British one first. I haven’t fallen for it yet though so I’m still kind of playing the scene and trying not to just binge watch Friends again for fun.

What I’m reading

the girl with all the giftsThis month I read The Girl With All the Gifts by M.R. Carey. This book was kind of amazing. I really had no idea what I was getting myself into with this book when I started and I loved how the story seemed to kind of unfold itself as I read. The author did a great job of giving you just as much information as she wanted you to have as the story progressed. The characters were wonderfully fleshed out and the story lingered in my mind constantly throughout the day and probably will continue to do so for quite some time.

Yes Please by Amy PoehlerRight now I’m reading Yes Please by Amy Poehler which is kinda the opposite of the last book I read as far as tone goes. Poehler is basically my hero and the book is really well written with lots of fun little photos and old notes and stuff. There are funny observations on life as well as lots of stories about her career and life and it’s one of those books that makes you laugh and inspires you at the same time. I’m trying to read it slowly because I really don’t want to be not reading but I’ll need to get started on May’s book club pick soon so I’ll need to pick up the pace eventually.

In my kitchen

I can’t seem to find my kitchen – it’s buried under an ocean of oh crap we both have jobs now and apparently someone is supposed to cook and clean here. Sometimes I get it just cleaned enough to make dinner but it all somehow caves in again when I leave the room.

In my ears

My husband bought me a bluetooth speaker that I guess was designed to be used in the shower but I’ve been using it sporadically through the house so I can listen to sweet jams while doing the dishes on a better speaker than my phone which always sounds kind of tinny – or in my car for the same reason. I’m still mostly listening to John Mayer because you guys are like 15 years late for the intervention but I also listen to Gwen Stefani, Matchbox 20, Florence and the Machine, Rebecca Loebe, Paramore, Meghan Trainor, Taylor Swift, etc.

Speaking of the immensely talented Rebecca Loebe, she’s working on putting out a new album right now and my daughter appears in the video she recorded to announce her crowd funding campaign.

BB appears around 37 seconds in but you should watch the whole video because she talks a lot about why she makes music and it’s worth the listen. Then listen to her music. And fall in love with her. And live happily ever musically after.

Tabs open on my browser:

I’m still obsessed with this song by Garfunkel and Oates. The next time someone talks to me about sports, I might just stick this video in their face:

Or I’ll feign interest and offer them a snack. One of those.

After a convo with my blog partner Kimmy, I’m trying to give Twitter another shot. Sometimes Twitter feels like shouting into a void or trying to jump into a conversation you weren’t invited to that ended twelve hours ago and now everyone is talking about shoes instead. But I’m going to try again anyway because I’m persistent like that. You can follow me here. I’d follow you anywhere.

Next I’ll be attempting to understand tumblr. What social networking website baffles you? Let’s be brave together.

What I'm Into
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family fun motherhood

5 Tips For When You Are Mad / Sad.

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Yesterday my daughter woke up on the wrong side of the bed. It was like a flashback to 2010 with incessant, incoherent whining that just seemed to linger all day. We’ve all had days like this.

I talked to them about this on the ride to school – we all lose our cool when we get sad or mad (or mad sad) but screaming at people or sobbing in a puddle rarely helps us move forward. I shared with them some of my ideas for how to better cope when you feel like you are going to lose it.

Instead of screaming at that jerk, why not:

  1. Listen to some music. Sing out loud, dance, or just lose yourself to the tunes. Some people wallow in sad music, other people listen to something as perky as possible or just something with a great beat – whatever your choice of jams, it’s healthier than slapping someone.
  2. Write how you feel. There’s a reason I’m a blogger. Writing my feelings is very cathartic. Sometimes I publish those feelings so other people can chime in, sometimes it’s just for me. Either way, by the time I’m done writing, I usually feel better. I encouraged the kids to try this at home and maybe draw pictures, too (for the early writers, this might be easier).
  3. Take a deep breath. Do this first, actually. When my kids are approaching the deep end of a tantrum, I always tell them to stop and take a deep breath. I have them raise their hands above their head, take a deep breath and then slowly lower their hands as they release the breath. They may give you the side eye the first time you suggest it, but I promise, it almost always makes my kids feel better or at least calms them down enough to talk things out. If you are in a deep funk, try meditation or yoga.
  4. Or take a walk (or run, if that’s your thing). Really, whatever your preferred method of exercise, getting active and moving your body is a great way to clear your head. We talked about how I like to take a walk (and maybe listen to some music) when I’m in a bad mood – and bonus points, it’s really good for you – way better than telling your problems to a carton of cookie dough ice cream, unfortunately.
  5. Don’t forget to talk it out. Once you are calmed down enough to not throw a hissy fit, remember to talk to the person who upset you and tell them how you feel. I’m not talking about the blame game or ripping them a new one. I mean using your words like an adult and saying something like, “It hurt my feelings when you ________. Do you think that next time you could ___________.” If you aren’t ready for this conversation, talk it over with a trusted confidant first. Mom, dad, grandma or the smartest friend you know (etc.) are great people to turn to for advice here.

I wish I could say that there were no more hissy fits after our talk – in truth, while they were interested and motivated during our talk, BB still threw at least ten more tantrums that day. In all fairness, I think she is utterly exhausted and also five. But I’m hopeful that our talk might help them in the future.

How do you calm down when you are mad / sad?