Friends with Netflix

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There has been a lot going on in the house of Sluiter lately. It seems like every day is packed and hurried with getting up, getting dressed, getting out of the house, work, school, pick up, dinner, baths, jammies, homework, stories, bedtime. REPEAT.

We have had little time to squeeze any extras in our days even though extras (like colds and coughs and fevers) keep popping up.

When we do get a moment with nothing going on, it’s nice to have a favorite mindless activity to fall back on. I’m not ashamed (nor do I think I am alone) to admit that we love TV in our house.  Most of the time the boys take over the TV via Netflix. We have watched so much Curious George (thanks to Charlie’s current obsession) that Eddie is now reciting lines with the show…from another room.

If Eddie gets a chance to choose the shows, he usually goes with Batman or Woody Woodpecker (confession: I hate that show) or Scooby Doo. But recently he’s watched {the old} Annie too. Although he told me the other day that anytime anyone says anything about Annie, someone else will break out singing “Tomorrow”, and that gives him a headache since there are better songs in the movie. Ha!

I rarely get time alone with Netflix, but when I do, I cram as many episodes of Friends in as I can.

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When I heard Friends was coming to Netflix I almost died of excitement. It’s probably one of my most favorite shows of all time. Cortney does not love it, and it’s not appropriate for the boys to watch, so if I want to watch it, it has to be when I am alone. This happens almost never.  But I am persevering! I started with Season 1, the way a good fan would and I am on episode 8 out of 24, so yeah. Not very far. But in a few weeks Alice and I have plans to watch the rest of the series together. I thought I would be nice and wait for her, so she can watch too.

Are you a Friends addict like I am? What shows will you watch over and over again?

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Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this post. I am a member of the Netflix #StreamTeam and was given a year of Netflix and a device to view it on. All opinions and experiences are those of my family and me.

Merry Netflix Christmas

This year I have been a bit of a slacker in the way of decorating for the holidays. Part of it is out of practicality. Charlie is two-and-a-half and while Eddie could go ahead and NOT TOUCH all the things at that age, Charlie is more of a destroyer of all the things. So. Many things that would go on display are simply not because Charlie.

There is also the fact that I can’t find my wreath for the door and it snowed so early around here that we never got the lights on the house.

And then there is just the “I’m pregnant and don’t want to” factor.

I don’t think my boys have noticed much though. We have a tree and the nativity scene and their stockings. We have made some cookies and they have both brought home countless Christmas crafts from school.

The boys have also been totally into all the Christmas episodes/movies of their favorite shows/characters.

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Of course Charlie has watched the Curious George Christmas movie somewhere around a zillion times. To be totally honest, this has been in rotation since they found it on Netflix this summer.

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Eddie has watched The Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot About Christmas, The Power Rangers Christmas episode (dude, what?), all of the Mickey Mouse Christmas specials, and the Veggie Tales St. Nicholas episode. And because he is sick and stuck on the couch, he is surfing for MORE Christmas stuff as I type this.

It’s pretty great to have these at our finger tips instead of having to scour TV show times (which are almost always past the boys bedtimes anyway).

Netflix also had a little hand in my holiday giving this year. As a Stream Team member, I was given two gift cards for one free year of Netflix each to give away. My immediate thought was teachers.

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As many of you know, this is my first year teaching at the Junior High rather than the High School. The transition could have been very difficult, but I was blessed with two classes where I team teach. The two special education teachers I teach with are some of the most talented, patient (with the students AND with me and my newbie status), kind people. I really hit the jackpot.

Special Ed teachers work harder than any of the rest of us since most of them have different classes every hour–some teaming with other teachers (across multiple curricula), some of their own in their own classrooms. On top of that they have more paperwork than anyone else in education. From medicare forms and IEPs and 504’s, to documenting accommodations and making parent meetings happen.

So when I was able to gift two people a free year of Netflix? They were who I thought of first.

Netflix has been a way for our family to sit together and watch great family programming, and I was happy to share that with them.

Happy Holidays!!

Disclaimer: This post was not compensated in any way. I am a member of the Netflix #StreamTeam and receive Netflix free of charge as well as a device to stream it on. Thought and opinions are all my own.

 

BFFs and Netflix

My best friend since the 7th grade lives in Chicago which takes almost three hours one-way to get to.  We don’t see each other as much as either of us would like.

But back in the day…in high school…we were inseparable. We almost never had classes together–I’m not sure why–but we always found a way to see each other between classes. I can still remember my senior year schedule after 18 years:

I didn’t see anyone before school because I was always late, but after first hour Spanish 3, we passed in the hallway on my way to government (this is also where she would tell me if her first hour government class got donuts so I could tell our class and get some for us too).

Third hour we had advanced psychology together. This is where we watched a birthing video, a kid fainted, and she yelled out, “OH MY GOD! WHAT IS THAT BABY DOING TO THAT WOMAN?!?”  We both vowed to never have babies until we were in our 30’s. (Eddie was born when I was 31 and she gave birth at 34).

Fourth hour I had band and she went to lunch.

After band I had lunch and we met by my locker to walk to 5th hour together. Every day we passed an English teacher named Mr. Larsen and I said, “Hi to my favorite teacher I never had!” and he said hello to us always calling my BFF his favorite red-headed student.

We sat near the front in our Brit Lit class together. Daily we made our teacher chuckle with our “verbal fluencies” discussing whatever topic he told us to.

Neither of us had a last hour in the building. I was a teacher’s aid for the band director and she did some community learning thing where she assisted an elementary teacher. Some days, when neither of us had to report, we did a 7-11 run.

Come to think of it, we did a LOT of 7-11 runs back then.

We were most definitely a dynamic duo.

I miss that randomness now.

There are MANY days when I think, “what I wouldn’t give to jump in the old Nissan, pick up T, and hit 7-11 for a Big Gulp and a King Size Butterfinger.”

After those 7-11 runs we usually went back to her house and watched movies. So many movies. Reality Bites, Pretty in Pink, Footloose and the Wayne’s World movies.

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Oh the Wayne’s World movies…such great memories. Party on!

Anyway, I miss T. I miss our togetherness and how we didn’t have to talk about deep issues or gossip about other people, we just could hang out and discuss why in the world the 7-11 Big Gulp cup said that Mt Dew was available when our store didn’t have it. False advertising, yo.

Sometimes, like Wayne and Garth, the best friends are those who are just fun and get you without having to have deep conversations.

Although I like to think that if we still lived close, we would have those big discussions about religion, politics, child-raising, etc.But maybe not.

What I know is this: If you have a person in your life who you can be half of a duo with, someone who makes you laugh and is easy to be around, say an extra “thank you” for that person. Because I miss mine.

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Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. All thoughts and opinions are mine. Netflix provided my family with a free year subscription of Netflix and an ipad mini to watch it on.

Netflix and Milestones

We are sort of in the middle of the Milestone Age of Parenting here in Sluiter Nation. With a kindergartener and a 2-year old, it seems like we have a new milestone around here all the time.

Eddie has started to read and write.

Charlie is saying all new things and having first experiences.

Even being pregnant means lots of milestones. Today, for instance, I am 20 weeks…halfway!  That is a BIG milestone!

You can blame the pregnancy, but I seem to get all teary-eyed over each of the milestones and firsts my kids reach. When Eddie wrote, “I go to the bat cave” perfectly yesterday I giggled, but I also got weepy. My little man can write!  When Charlie first put his pants on himself I cheered. And then I wondered where my baby went. And when I started feeling Alice’s little flutter kicks in my tummy, I smiled. Then I cried because it was the last time I would first feel a baby kick me from the inside.

A cool thing about Netflix is that they are stocked with shows and movies that address milestones. Charlie enjoys Super Why which has episodes devoted to things like losing your first tooth. Both boys love Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, which just recently showed episodes where Daniel gained a baby sister.

This week Eddie and I stayed home from school because we were sick. We watched The Croods, which is about a family moving from their cave for the first time despite being very very afraid. We have been talking about maybe moving in the next year or so, and Eddie brought that up while we watched the movie.  He claims he’s not scared though because in a new house, he might not have to share a room with Charlie.

Right.

Speaking of the milestone of moving, you can watch House Hunters on Netflix too. Of course, those aren’t exactly in our price range. Sigh.

Anyway, I’m a big pile of mush when it comes to remembering and celebrating these “firsts”. Each of my kids has their own box that I put milestone-type stuff in.  For example, I kept the first golden blonde curl that was cut off each boy’s head. Sentimental or weirdo, you decide.

What do you do to celebrate or remember milestones? Do you keep memory boxes? Do you scrapbook?

Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored. All opinions are my own. Netflix set us up with a year’s subscription and an ipad mini to enjoy streaming shows and movies, but what we choose to watch and what we think about what we view is all ours.

Netflix Equals Family Night

 

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We have been outrageously busy since school started. Most week days involve us all flying out the door well before 7am, with Eddie and I getting home around 4pm and Cortney and Charlie getting home around 5pm. By that time I’m making dinner, Cortney is wrangling boys to get them ready for dinner, and then we are eating dinner.  Next comes baths and jammies. Before we know it we are settling down to watch a couple episodes of Curious George and then it’s off to bed.

Boys out by 8pm and I’m not usually far behind.

Which means all of our “family time” is a rushed battle of “put this on” and “eat this” and “wash up” and “for the love of all things, keep your hands and feet off your brother!”

These two are usually trying to kill each other in the 30 minutes between Charlie getting home and dinner being served.

These two are usually trying to kill each other in the 30 minutes between Charlie getting home and dinner being served.

Weekends have not been any better.

Friday nights have had soccer practice for Eddie with a game Saturday morning. We are rushing here and there constantly.

The theme Netflix sent us Stream Team members this month was about a family pizza and movie night. I thought it sounded like a fabulous idea!  Just what we needed!

And now here we are with just a few days left in September and we haven’t done it yet. So this past Friday night, I said enough. Eddie was supposed to have soccer practice at 6pm. But he was tired and sick of the week. We needed a break.

So we ordered up a pizza and sat together as a family who didn’t have anything pressing to get to.  It was Friday night, and we could all take a collective breath. AND I didn’t have to cook. Bonus.

Saturday after his game, Eddie and I sat down to watch some new episodes of Turbo Fast on Netflix. It was the perfect way to relax while Charlie napped and Cortney mowed the lawn. I may have even dozed off when Eddie started watching the new Clone Wars episodes.

It was a fabulous weekend. One we very much needed.

Thank you Netflix, for the inspiration to slow down and enjoy each other (and some fun shows)!

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Netflix and Kindness

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Eddie and I have been talking a LOT about the new school year.  Just today we filled out a questionnaire together from his teacher. It asked Eddie all sorts of questions about what kind of kid he is and what his interests are.  One of the last questions was “what would you like me to know about you?”

Eddie said, “that I am special.”

On the parent questionnaire, it asked many of the same questions, but in more detail. In the section about what our (as parents) expectations for Kindergarten are, I put that not only do we hope that K continues to foster Eddie’s natural curiosity and wonder about reading and math and other things, but we hope he continues to be a kind, helpful leader as well.

Also today, Eddie hung out with his aunt and uncle and little cousin, Lilly which Cortney and I moved some book shelves to my classroom. When we went to pick the boys up, my sister-in-law told us how helpful and kind Eddie was with Lilly, even counting to make her laugh when she was upset earlier.

One of my favorite Eddie traits is his kindness and willingness to help out.  His compassion even shows in the sorts of movies and shows he likes to watch.

All summer he and Charlie have loved watching Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.  I love this show because not only does it remind me of my favorite childhood show, Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, but because the boys sing the little jingles and refer to the show after they see it.

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Much of the show teaches manner and kindness and doing “the right thing” which Eddie has definitely taken to heart. Even when Charlie is mean to him, it takes a LOT for Eddie to hit or push back.  He just doesn’t want to hurt his little brother.s

Most of the shows Eddie chooses for he and Charlie to watch are like this: Curious George, Super Why, Arthur, and Wild Krats all show characters making good choices.

Before having to go back to school, Eddie and I had a movie “day” during Charlie’s nap. He chose The Fox and the Hound.

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This was the very first movie my mom took me to see in the movie theater when I was about Eddie’s age.  Watching it though, I don’t remember it being so dang sad. Eddie noticed too, but kept saying, “they will be friends in the end. you watch. I bet.”  And he was right.

My boy believes in kindness and doing the right thing, and I am so glad that Netflix gives us lots of choices that encourage that belief in Eddie.

Netflix for Learning

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When Eddie was 3 months old and I was going back to work after maternity leave, Cortney was laid off from work. Cort spent his days being a stay at home dad, looking for work, and watching documentaries on Netflix. So many documentaries. And the topic really didn’t matter to him. He would watch films on subjects such as beer as well as fonts.

You think I’m kidding. He totally watched a documentary called Helvetica. Yes, it was almost 3 hour devoted to the history of a FONT.

He’s not the only one who loves to mix some learnin’ in with his TV watchin’. I’ve been known to camp out in front of Modern Marvel marathons myself. Remember when channels like History actually had shows about history of stuff on it?  Ah the good old days…thank goodness for Netflix!

I was going to try to list for you the documentaries Netflix has available, but then I spent almost 30 minutes falling down the rabbit hole of what is available and wanting to see about 50 of them.

So instead I’ll tell you the learning stuff the boys love.

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We went through a pretty heavy Busytown Mysteries phase here in Sluiter Nation. It was the go-to bedtime show. Recently Eddie and Charlie discovered The Magic School Bus which brings back fond memories for me.  I never watched the show, but my brothers had a lot of the books and when I babysat them, I read those books over and over. I think my mom still has them at her house.  I should try to find them.

As I type this, it is nap time for Charlie, and Eddie is watching Turtle: The Incredible Journey.  He claimed to know everything about turtles, but he is pretty entranced in watching all those baby turtles book it off the beach to the sea.

So you’ll have to excuse me. I’m going to shut down my computer now and watch about the lives of turtles with Eddie.

Share some documentaries or learning shows you and your family love!

Netflix For Me

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Each month I get a little email about what theme we Netflix stream-team members can post about. There is always a little craft or snack or something we can do with the family too if we want.  But this month is all about the momma, and I have to say it came at just the right time!

Cortney and I just finished season 1 of Breaking Bad this weekend. We are not binge-watchers, but we do take in a couple episodes a week. I know it goes on for four more seasons but I keep thinking, “oh they are done for this time!”  So good!

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On my list to watch with Cortney next is Orange is the New Black. I just finished reading the book and I am excited to watch the fictionalized version of the book. Piper Kerman’s memoir was so good, but I know the show is more over-the-top.

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Also on our list to watch is Freaks and Geeks. Our high school sociology classes watch this show and discuss it and the teachers are ALWAYS quoting it and talking about it in the lounge. Even though it’s only 18 episodes-long, I know I need to see it.

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And lastly, one that will probably be more interesting to me than to Cort, I want to watch Call the Midwife. This might have to be my “daycare day” show. On the days the boys are in daycare, I might have to carve out some “me time” to watch a show just for me. When Eddie was a baby, I would binge watch all the episodes (and movies) of Sex and the City, I think it’s time I upgrade, yes?

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While we LOVE Netflix for our kids (mine are watching Curious George as I type this), it’s fun to have some shows just for us adults too.

What else should be on my list?

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Disclosure: I am a member of the Netflix Stream Team and will be sharing monthly tips and stories about how my family uses Netflix on a regular basis. As a member of the Stream Team I was provided with a Roku and a voucher to apply towards my Netflix account. I was not otherwise compensated for this post. All opinions are my own.

 

Thrown Back

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We have had Netflix for about three months now, and while I thought Cortney and I would use it to watch new (to us) shows and movies, it’s really been the boys that use it the most.

Because Eddie already knows how to work the Wii and the Tivo, he easily learned to navigate Netflix. My favorite part of Netflix is that each person in the house has his/her own profile. Eddie finds his and all his shows are in there, along with suggestions appropriate to his age.

At first he had a good time finding all the superhero shows and then there was his slight addiction to all things Ninjago.

Then one day he found the old Super Mario Brothers show/cartoon.

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Do you remember this awful show? I had naturally completely forgotten about it. I mean, it’s awful. But Eddie is totally into Super Mario Bros on the Wii and when he found it, he had to watch every single episode. I wanted to laugh at the badness of it all. Even Cortney got sucked into it: “Oh man. Remember this show? Sheesh it was bad!”

Remember how it started out and ended with a live show that took place in Mario Brothers Plumbing? And the guest stars? The episode Eddie was just watching had Winnie Cooper on it (yes, I know that is not her real name, but she will always be Winnie Cooper to me, Ok?). Oh it was just SO BAD.

But Eddie loved it. It was new to him.

One day when Eddie was busy doing something else, Charlie asked for Elmo, so we looked up Sesame Street on Netflix. They totally have the classic episodes from when I was a kid on there. Now THOSE I like! Bert and Ernie before they were cartoons, pre-Abby Sesame Street. Barkley!

One yucky cold day over Spring Break, Eddie and I curled up together on the couch and I talked him into watching old cartoon movies with me. We giggled over The Emperor’s New Groove all afternoon and he has watched it more often than he has watched Frozen.

It’s so fun to find treasures from our childhoods that we have forgotten about show up in the Netflix suggestions. And our kids are having fun experiencing them for the first time.

Because Netflix is just so much darn fun, I have a special treat…I get to giveaway a free 3-month subscription to Netflix!  Free Netflix for three months!  Woot!

Follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter widget below and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Disclosure: I am a member of the Netflix Stream Team and will be sharing monthly tips and stories about how my family uses Netflix on a regular basis. As a member of the Stream Team I was provided with a Roku and a voucher to apply towards my Netflix account. I was not otherwise compensated for this post. All opinions are my own.

Charlie Krat

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Charlie has never cared about the TV. He is the complete opposite of his brother in that regard.

If a TV is on, Eddie’s life pauses and he will sit directly in front of the boob tube and get immersed in anything that is on it.  He will even get into the news and ask questions and talk about what is on.

We have to be careful about what is on when he is around.

Charlie has never, ever cared.

If the TV is not on, he will point out that it’s not on, but he really doesn’t pay any attention to what is on it.

At two, we could turn on PBS and Eddie would be good for hours (if we let him…not that we ever did that. Ahem). Charlie will sit and watch Curious George or Octonauts before bed if he’s REALLY tired. Otherwise he just plays.

There is one show, however, that we noticed that Charlie has fallen in love with: Wild Krats.

Or Krat Krats, as he calls it.

You should know that Charlie is in love with all animals. All of them.

His favorite books are any book that requires pointing out animals and what they say.  Brown Bear, Brown Bear is in HEAVY rotation right now.

We are home between 5:00 and 5:15pm every day after school/work/daycare, and every day at 5:30pm, Charlie shouts “KRAT KRATS!” from wherever he is the second an animal appears on our TV.

He’s pretty uninterested in the actual cartoon part of the show, but the parts with the actual Krat brothers showing animals? He squeals and laughs and points and get so excited!

Always after school: Eddie on the tablet and Charlie watching "Krat Krats" while I make dinner.

Always after school: Eddie on the tablet and Charlie watching “Krat Krats” while I make dinner.

We recently discovered that Netflix has Wild Krats.

It is impossible to scroll through the options without Charlie seeing those animated brothers and yelling “KRAT KRATS!” In fact, if that is not what Eddie is choosing (Ninjago is on his fave list right now), Charlie generally has a fit. Luckily, we can get Netflix on every TV in the house thanks to the Tivo, the Wii, and the Roku, so Charlie can watch in another room.

What are your kids watching lately?

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Disclosure: I am a member of the Netflix Stream Team and will be sharing monthly tips and stories about how my family uses Netflix on a regular basis. As a member of the Stream Team I was provided with a Roku and a voucher to apply towards my Netflix account. I was not otherwise compensated for this post. All opinions are my own.