Parenthood (the rest of the season)

Let’s hear it for random blogging.

The Braverman’s have really been through a lot this season, amiright? 

We watched Tuesday’s nights episode a day late and I’m sad to see Mark Cyr seems to be back in the picture. I really have a hard time with this guy. Maybe it is the mustache-like thing on his face. Oh well, I have a feeling those two are destined to be together.

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I’m mostly invested in the story-line with Julia, Joel, Victor and Sydney this season. I think Crosby may have saved the day in this past episode. Each week, I find myself wanting to recommend so many books and methods and therapies to this family. I think Julia’s had unrealistic expectations for Victor. It is hurtful when our kids don’t fall in love with us immediately (in foster care/adoption) and it is hard when the feelings we expect to have ourselves don’t show up the way we thought they would. I empathize with her so much. I want to grab coffee and tell her, “It will get better. Just hang in there!” I’ve long-learned that it is wrong to expect realistic situations out of TV shows but I think they have done a pretty good job with this issue.

I don’t really know what to say about Drew & Amy except that it made me very sad. I was sad that Drew didn’t really get a choice. I was sad that Amy felt she had no other option. I was sad that their parents were so unaware of what was happening with their kids.

This season is ending up being a very short one and I think that is doing a lot of disservice to Kristina’s story-line. I don’t think they are doing justice to the reality of cancer.

Final quick thoughts…

  • Loved the hilarious dialogue about puberty with Zeke, Camille, Max and Kristina a few weeks ago
  • Loving Amber’s hair recently (and I love her and Ryan together – hope that all resolves)
  • Will we ever see Haddie again?

Parenthood (Season 4, Episodes 2, 3 & 4)

Don’t read yet if you haven’t seen Parenthood from this past Tuesday. Know what I loved about this past week’s episode? No Mark Cyr.

But, seriously though, the plot line I loved more than anything this week was Jasmine and Crosby explaining the racism and the N-word to Jabar.

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 Jabar reminds me so much of our boys. I know a day will come when we have to explain this to our kids. I related so much with Crosby as he sat there as an “outsider” in a way, not knowing what is like to have someone think less of you because of the color of your skin. I have had the same heart-breaking feeling imaging that happening to our kids some day. I thought Jasmine’s message was so honest and hopeful. Can I just play that scene someday for our kids? (Also, who knew the guy from Punk’d would turn out to be a pretty decent actor?)

I also think the writers are doing a great job with the struggle of adopting an older child. It is a two-steps forward, one-step back process and they are showing that well. Joel continues to be perfect. (But did anyone else wonder where Sydney was this past episode?)

I don’t have a lot to say about Adam and Kristina’s plot line. I don’t really understand why they have not told people yet (although, it looks like that is what next week’s episode is about).

A few random thoughts…

  • I still like Hank a lot. And I still think Sarah needs to be by herself for a while (but that doesn’t make for an interesting story, I guess).
  • What happened to Bob Little? Did he lose the election? I liked him and Amber together.

Parenthood (Season 4, Episode 1)

I’m not going to even try to hide the fact that I love TV. Today, I went through my calendar and noted the fall start dates for each of my favorite shows (and new shows that have potential to become favorite shows).

Parenthood started last week. I love this show even when it frustrates me. That is probably why the Bravermans feel like family.

I was worried that Ray Ramono’s addition to the cast would be a bit annoying but I actually really liked him. Last season, I was 100% sold-out on Team Seth. I love a good redemption story – a recovering drug-addict and the re-kindling of what Sarah called “the love of her life.” I so wanted that to happen but for some reason Sarah still loves the mustached Mark Cyr (ick). I’d be more than happy if Ray Ramono’s character, Hank, stole Sarah’s affections. Gosh, I would even be happy if Sarah was just on her own for a bit. Am I right, ladies?

Last year’s adoption plot-line was PAINFUL to watch. I had so much frustration over how it was handled and then at the last minute Joel (who I refer to as “The Man Who Can Do No Wrong”) and Julia take in a seven-year old boy. I’m still nervous over how it will play out but I thought Julia’s realization in the season opener was pretty realistic when she said, “I feel like I’m waiting to fall in love with our son.” I hope that is what we get to see happen as the season continues.

(*sob*)

The show closed with Haddie getting on a plane to leave for college. She was full of attitude the whole episode. It was too relate-able. I remember being such a brat as I got ready to leave for college and being super embarrassed as my mom asked some other students for directions when we got to campus. I sat there watching that scene with my baby girl in my arms and decided that we would home-school our kids through college. That is possible, right?

And two quick and parting thoughts…

  • Oh, Drew. Poor Drew. Does he even see it coming?
  • Joel’s Hair. I have mixed-feelings.

Feel free to call me over-invested in the lives fictional characters. I’m okay with that and I know plenty of you who are with me on this.

My 3 Favorite Blogs (Right Now)

I know I haven’t written a post in a while. But I have been reading other blogs. Here are my three favorites reads right now (they are all over the map topic-wise).

1. House Tweaking: The Millers are fixing up a mid-century ranch after downsizing. They have two sons and just had a little girl (I might be a bit biased). I love Dana’s style and all the information they share. I love seeing their new house come together. 

2. Mama Pop: Snarky, sarcastic coverage of pop-culture written by parents. I have a little dream of writing for this blog someday. 

3. Practical Theology for Women: I’m honestly not adding this in just so you won’t judge me for loving the pop-culture blog so much. Wendy Horger Alsup writes this blog (titled the same as her book). She says the blog is a “lecture to herself” but I am so glad I get to listen in. When I see a new post in my reader, I know I have to save it for when I can really pay attention because there is so much to take in.

Notes from Maternity Leave

Our little girl was born four weeks ago which means I have four weeks left of maternity leave. I very much appreciate and need the time off but not working is very strange for me. My job is only part-time and very flexible but it was part of my routine so everything feels a bit different.

In the fall, we signed up for a cable package so that we could watch college football. Well, college football is over and we still have cable. I told D to cancel it this week because the endless amount of home-buyers on House Hunters who claim they can’t live without stainless steel appliances, open concept and walk-in closets is making me cynical about the American public as a whole. It isn’t good when you start talking to the TV in a sarcastic and judge-y tone. You would think I would just turn off the TV but I don’t have the will power so cable must go.

DIB joined his first after-school activity last week and is now a proud member of the Running Club. They literally just run for an hour two-days per week after school. He really, really wanted to participate and I think any way he can get out that extra energy without damaging something is a great idea.

AIB lost two teeth this week. One was very loose and he let me pull it out for him. The one that was next to it was also loose and was kicked out by his brother while they were playing in a ball-pit. He was so happy about getting another $1 that he didn’t seem to care that his brother had kicked him in face.

MNB is growing and doing well. She is doing all the things that babies do. We’ve been enjoying all the cuddles and she is a great sleeper. Since I head back to work in a few weeks, I knew I needed to set up some type of routine so I’m doing the same thing we did with T (which is the EASY routine from The Baby Whisperer). We just started today and it is going pretty well but things are going to be very different this time around with two older brothers who have their own schedule.

Tomorrow, our foster licensing worker comes over to add our new family member to our file. All this means is that she needs to see her and see where she sleeps. We probably won’t be taking any respite or long-term placements for a while but our license still up-to-date since we don’t feel done with foster care yet. In the meantime, we are happily filling out reference forms and answering questions from a few friends who are either new foster parents or getting their license soon.

Reading Material

I LOVE this post from Shaun Groves on God, poverty and the government. At one point in my life, I was very interested in politics and now I am very cynical and get all my political information from Comedy Central. Shaun’s post is so well-balanced and has lots and lots of links and resources.

Megan from Millions of Miles re-posted this from last year: Do you have room?

“Wait!” I’d like to think I would scream, “I have room! Come and let Jesus be born here!” But if Mary and Joseph had taken me up on that offer, would I have really done it? Or would I have said, “Well… actually, it’s kinda cramped in here. And we have our routine and you might get in the way of that a little. Oh, and by the way- we all snore. You know, come to think of it, we’re really pretty comfortable here just as we are. Are you sure you want to stay here? We don’t have a lot of money and our TV is very small. If you went down the street, they’d probably let you stay there and their house is way bigger and they have a lot of money. You might really be more comfortable somewhere else. I’ll tell you what- here. Here’s a few dollars. Good luck. I really do think someone else could accommodate you better. And if they can’t, well… I’m just sorry. It’s just not a good time for me. You understand, right?”

Meanwhile, Jesus gets born in a barn…

And meanwhile, millions of children all over the world go without families because we tell ourselves the very same excuses…

And, lastly, this one is just pretty. Our house is about 1,000 square feet (not including a full basement & garage). I am pretty content with this size of a house but it is a challenge to organize and figure out what goes where. I always love seeing examples of small, simple living done beautifully and this house tour from Apartment Therapy was a perfect example.

photos from apartment therapy

You can see more of this house at the family’s blog: {aka}|design

Random Thoughts on Getting Out of the House & Music

If you are a subscriber to this blog, you probably noticed an old post about a trip to Chicago and one about coupons pop up. I fixed a couple of photos and WordPress updated them as new posts. I have no idea why and I don’t know anything about the Internet so, “Sorry.”

I do, however, wish we had gone on a trip to Chicago because it is a city I miss and love. (I do not miss or love couponing. Good riddance.)

The Chicago post did remind me of a time where we had a little bit more freedom in our life to pick up and go. We love our boys but we are not getting out much these days. On Saturday, after a full family day of running errands, D and I did get to go see our talented friends sing at a coffee house. D took a nap in the afternoon in preparation since their set was not until 11 pm. Brad and Meredith (and crew) did a great job and I loved hearing the songs they selected. They closed with one of my all-time favorites, Purple Rain. It is in my top ten songs of all time. I downloaded the Martin Sexton version the next morning and we’ve been listening to it ever since.  After hearing it for the fifth time or so, D2 said, “What does this even mean?”

Each night, when I put the boys to bed they ask me to sing a song and, usually, they request Ring of Fire (a.k.a. “the fire song”). I love Johnny Cash but you can only sing Ring of Fire so many times. They boys are the only two people who ever request to hear me sing so I’ve been trying out some other songs on them from time to time. I’m pretty sure they would rather I just sing Ring of Fire though because when I choose something by She & Him or from the O, Brother Where Art Thou? soundtrack they just sort of stare at me.

Lastly, this upcoming weekend we are going to hear what is my favorite artists of the moment, The Civil Wars. I am eagerly anticipating this concert. If you have not heard of them, enjoy.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ODOOo-R6kg8]

Saturday Seven


1. Mad Men: Season Four came out on DVD on Tuesday. D and I watched the first episode last night and the most exciting thing for me is the new Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce offices. The furniture and fixtures are amazing. When I see something I like, I just have to name it out loud so while watching, I was just randomly saying, “Couch. Table. Chair.” It is probably annoying.

2. I’ve been thinking of making this my profile picture on Twitter and Facebook but D was not nearly as amused by it as I am.

3. I went a little nuts at the Benjamin Moore store on Wednesday with paint swatches and then randomly bought three paint samples: November Rain (way too cool), Nantucket Gray (too dark) and Guilford Green (way too green). The first swatch up there is one I thought I had already decided on, Coastal Fog.

4.  I talked to Heather, calmed down a bit and bought two larger paint samples at Home Depot today (who happily matched the Benjamin Moore colors for me) in Coastal Fog (my original choice) and Sweet Spring (a slightly more green choice).

5. I asked what type of primer I should get to paint over red and the worker at Home Depot recommended Kilz Gold so we picked up a gallon of that as well. She made a comment about the former owners painting the walls red and I said, “Oh, no that was me.” I can’t wait to say good-bye to Roasted Pepper (Behr).

There is no turning back now.

6. Have you heard of Pinterest? You should join it now. Here is a good explanation of what it is.

7. Today was a rare Saturday without a lot of plans. We ran errands and I was able to get this shot of my three favorite people in the world. I so wish I was able to show you their cute faces.

7 Quick Takes Friday

This one is a bit all over the place….

1. We saw M and T a couple weeks ago. Not sure why I didn’t post about it but they are both doing great. I seriously could not believe how big T was. He is not crawling yet but has taken to rolling across the room at an amazing speed. I’m not sure how they are keeping up with him. M was hesitant with us at first and clung to her mom (which we took as a good sign). But after about ten minutes she decided she needed to to show us a bunch of stuff including all her Dora-themed toys (and there are many) and her new potty skills. We took a walk to the park by their house and had a great time playing and laughing. We should be seeing them again next week.

2. My friend, Marcia, is having a little baby boy in January and, along with her sister, I’m working on planning a shower. I’m finding myself distracted by all the fun options for baby showers theses days:

{1} A school themed shower for a teacher {2} An outdoor, fall woodland event {3} A nautical, modern shower {4} And my personal favorite, a Pat the Bunny shower

Inspirational but we’ll be going with something suited to the mom-to-be’s taste for our event.

3. Due to the lack of cable television and a great deal of cynicism, I’m pretty unaware of what is going on in the political world. I know, I know…there is an election next week! I kinda wish we were headed to the Rally to Restore Sanity tomorrow.

4. D and I have both been keeping up with the crisis in Haiti. I am a bit ashamed of how unaware we were until the earthquake last January. We keep up with the news through Real Hope for Haiti and the Livesay’s blog. Right now there is an opportunity to help malnourished children.

5. Kristen at Rage Against the Minivan put together a fantastic resource of how you can help orphaned and vulnerable children if you cannot adopt.

6. Poverty Unlocked is a podcast hosted by W (of Foster Parenting Podcast). She recently did an inspirational interview with Matt and Julie Kouri and Dawit Kassaye Woldeyohannes about how they are working with the orphan care crisis in Ethiopia.

7. D and I have completed our crazy month of school and work. We are officially waiting again for a new placement and hoping it will happen sometime next week. I’m spending the weekend “nesting” (again) while we wait for some new little ones. We are excited but please pray for the kid/kids who will be coming into our home from tough circumstances.

*Hosted at Conversion Diary

7 Quick Takes Friday

1. We had a great time celebrating M’s birthday last week with some family and friends. She woke up in a mood that day but perked up as soon as other kids arrived to play with. Pictures of her would be more fun but here are some of the decorations I had fun making:

2. I’ve said it before but I definitely would have read up on babies had I known T would be coming into our life. We honestly just never expected a newborn. He changes all the time and hit a growth spurt this week that set off his schedule. Monday night he shocked us by waking up in the middle of the night HUNGRY. He had been fussy all evening and I was expecting him to sleep through the night as usual. Needless to say, there were two people having midnight meltdowns (but mine could not be appeased with food). Thank goodness for D taking over and letting me go to sleep.

3. CNN recently did this piece: Kids On Race. It was so interesting to watch. Some parts are sad but I love the girl at the end of the clip. Her attitude gives me hope for the future.

4. This was one of my Mother’s Day gifts and what T wore to M’s birthday party:

I’m slightly obsessed with these pop culture onesies. Would it be overkill if he wore one everyday?

(From: Daisy Louise-Classic Baby, Kameli Shae, and TrulySanctuary)

5. I’m just realizing that most moms want their kids to look cute and sweet. And I would dress mine in a t-shirt with the face of a cynical, fake news reporter. Or a gangster rapper. Makes you wonder about me, doesn’t it?

6. This is my new favorite meal to make: Pepper Chicken with Hummus. It is so easy. Last night I served it with tzatziki sauce as well.

7. I just painted the tiniest toenails hot pink. Having a girl is fun.

*Hosted at Conversion Diary