breathers

Two-Hour Breathers: Summer Wars

Since becoming a parent, the maximum amount of time that I have without having to run off to do something or attend to someone small and needy is roughly two hours. Those two hours are precious to me, so I tend to obsess over what I’ll do.

via amazon.com

One of my favorite things to do is to watch the animated film, Summer Wars. Directed by Mamoru Hosoda, its a great story about family relationships layered under a science fiction plot.

The story follows Kenji Koiso, an insecure math genius who gets roped in by his friend Natsuki into pretending to be her fiance for grandmother’s 90th birthday. Together with Natsuki’s whole family, they work together to stop a rogue hacker program bent on causing destruction.

The story arc surrounding the computer-generated villain follows a familiar tune: artificial intelligence is created, set loose, mayhem occurs. However, Summer Wars is saved from being formulaic is the way the characters are fleshed out.

The characters are varied and authentic in a way that would make you swear they were based on people you know. There is the fierce grandmother matriarch, the uncle who asks inappropriate questions, and the well-meaning but ultimately bumbling cousin. I find myself grinning at how the characters interact, especially around the dinner table, because these are scenes that can easily happen (and have happened) during our own family reunions.

The cat and mouse, save the world plot is entertaining enough, but Summer Wars truly shines when it focuses on how family relationships work. One of the highlights of the movie is when the grandmother’s letter is read. She gives voice to what every parent thinks and hopes for their family.

Summer Wars is sweet and at times, heartbreaking. Watch it with your kids, as an adventure film. Watch it with your husband, to laugh at how Shota reminds you of your cousin. Watch it by yourself to remind yourself of how precious family is. Whatever your motivation, watching Summer Wars is a great way to spend your break, and will leave you looking forward to your next meal with your family.

 

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parenting

None of Your Beeswax

Parents, raise your hand if you have ever encountered someone who acted like their sole purpose in life is to comment on how you raise your kid.

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They can be family members, total strangers, and my personal favorite, people who don’t even have kids.

neverletMost of the time, I just give a small nod to make it seem like what they said is of consequence to me. Have you ever tried to engage anyone in a debate over parenting?

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It’s pretty much pointless.

There’s a notoriously judgmental parent at my daughter’s school. Both my husband and I have been on the receiving end of her disapproval, in varying degrees. Maybe she’s the grandmaster wizard of parenting, so she’s entitled to point out what other parents are doing wrong., but I seem to have missed the memo.

What I am certain about is that parenting is such a personal experience. It’s hard to say that what works for you will work for another. Love is shown in so many ways.

My kids are happy and healthy, and when they throw their little arms around me, I would like to think that means that we’re doing well. So what if another parent makes a snarky comment?

You know what happens when you give enough snarky comments, right? It gives the rest of us the chance to whip out Mean Girl references.

 

A Definitive Ranking Of The Best "Mean Girls" Quotes

 

 

 

 

breathers

Head Over Heels

HEAD OVER HEELS from Timothy Reckart on Vimeo.

Have you ever felt like you and your partner are being pulled towards different directions?

Head Over Heels, a stop motion animated short film by Timothy Reckart, takes this situation literally and tells the story of a married couple where one lives on the floor, while the other is stuck to the ceiling. They live in the same house, but share nothing except the space they occupy. That is, until a pair of ballet shoes is discovered and ignites the desire to reconnect.

Head Over Heels is a touching look at how marriage is often a struggle, but love can overcome in the most creative of ways.

(In my case, creativity came in the form of playing World of Warcraft)

parenting

Not so Fast, Mom.

Before going to bed the other day, I was helping Hannah with her prayers.

“What do you want to thank God for?”

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“Do you want to ask God for anything?”

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I swelled with pride because what three-year old asks for conflict resolution as a personal prayer?

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But she wasn’t done.

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The ironic thing is that she doesn’t even like pizza.

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Conversations with three-year-olds are the best.

fashion

Marker Shoes by Nendo

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I haven’t worn heels since years, which I’ve always thought as a mark that I’ve turned into a boring soccer mom. Flats are so bland, right? Not quite. These Marker Shoes designed by Japanese design studio Nendo for Backyard Byn are anything but uninteresting.

Markers are used to drawn patterns on the calfskin leather. Since leather is porous, the ink is partially absorbed to result in  subtle and beautifully washed out designs.

via Design Milk

parenting

Mommy is Worried

I used to joke around that the great accomplishment of my early 20’s was perfect attendance at all the EDM events held at that time.

Now, it seems that my little three-year old has inherited my love for the genre. She’s currently obsessed with Zedd, who she calls Zoo. In particular, she loves this “party song”

Party song. Hannah would ask for it and say that “she wants to party”

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I feel like I’m having a heart attack.

I’ve written about how I will never be the cool parent. This prediction has never rang more true now that my sweet little girl has expressed music preferences that mimic mine. Are you sure you don’t want to listen to the Philippine Philharmonic instead, sweetheart? Enya, perhaps?

I know that at this age she just appreciates how it sounds like and will not be running off to the clubs.

But still.

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And when she’s older and actually going out, so what? Lots of people went out to party and remained perfectly safe and made sound decisions their whole lives.

But still.

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As parents, we do what we can to raise responsible adults. We teach. We discipline. We say yes when it’s for something good and no when it’s necessary. Right now, I’m teaching Hannah the importance of being clean and organized. At some point, we’ll have to have a conversation on things that are far worse than Play-Doh crumbs on the bed.

I am absolutely terrified at the thought that I won’t always be able shield her from the evil influences in this world. My worries run from exposure to secondhand smoke to lecherous men. Oh, the lecherous men. Keep them far, far away from her.

But I know that eventually, it won’t be my role to shoo away the bad from her life. She’ll have to do that for herself. When that happens, I would have to trust her and trust myself that I raised her well.

But despite this knowledge, I reserve the right to worry about her.

That is why I I hope that her concept of party animals be of this kind for as long as possible.

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marriage

Having Children

Kids. They change things.

Before we had tiny human beings in our household, my husband and I were able to do things without much thought.

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But with kids around, spontaneity needs careful planning.kids3

When it was just the two of us, showing affection was as easy as reaching out for his hand.

kids4But now, our hands seem to be always full.
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Just kidding. As if they would ever stay still like that.

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My husband and I used to curl up on the couch and watch movies after dinner. It was sweet.

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Now that we have two kids, we still watch movies after dinner. But the movies we see have become less varied. Specifically, a cute little movie named Frozen, which we have watched approximately 3,562,125 times.

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Lately, my husband and I have been talking about how important it is to set aside time to be out of the parenting zone.

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So we tried.

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… and ended up talking about grown up things.

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What can be more grown up than being parents, right?

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Like I said, kids: they change things.

P.S.

Having kids did this to her marriage.