Archive | May 2011

Movie Monday: “Thor” Movie Review

We wanted to go see Thor closer to when it came out but couldn’t fit it into our busy schedule until last Friday. We took the boys after Gio got out of school. They had been waiting to see it as soon as they saw the first previews.

It wasn’t bad, but there was just something missing that could have made it great… I don’t know what it is though. Maybe because I watch too many Marvel comic cartoons and movies with the boys and expected more. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy it. I did. It was cute and funny – not really what I was expecting though. The boys liked it but not as much as I thought they would.  There was just some parts they could care less about.

Cast: Chris Hemsworth (Thor) – I had no problem with this guy playing Thor. Definitely awesome eye candy for us ladies, but I did have a problem with the facial hair.  Again, because of my boys, I’ve watched a lot of Marvel movies with Thor and I don’t remember him having facial hair.

Natalie Portman (Jane Foster) – Not her best role in my opinion. Didn’t find her all that believable.

Anthony Hopkins (Odin) – He’s a great actor and he did a good job.

Tom Hiddleston (Loki) – Another good casting choice. Did a good job of being the bad guy. He just had that “You can’t trust me” look. Idris Elba (Heimdall) – also great.

I also liked how Thor’s friends were cast: Josh Dallas (Fandral), Tadanobu Asano (Hogun) and Ray Stevenson (Volstagg). Did not like Jaimie Alexander (Sif’s) character. Don’t think it was the actress, just how they portrayed her.

I felt like the story telling was a little forced. But it was entertaining enough.

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Life with a Controller

I wanted to start a new series about  my Life with an ATCS – for those who don’t know: Air Traffic Control Specialist. Yes, that is their official job title. Most of us just call them Air Traffic Controllers. Some don’t even know what they do. They are NOT the ones on the runways with the lights guiding the planes!! lol. (Yes Ben gets that a lot.)

ATCS are the guys (and gals) that talk to the pilots while they are one runways and in the air. There are several types of controllers. The ones at the airports (like Ben), centers and ones in the TRACONS (Terminal Radar Approach Control which talk to pilots, centers, and towers). I think I’ll save details and specifics for a different post though. I’ve learned so much about Air Traffic, airports, towers, centers, etc.  from Ben and his job.

Everyone says Controllers have super stressful jobs and get criticized like crazy by the media. Life has certainly been interesting since Ben decided to become an ATCS. There is a lot that I’ve really enjoyed and there is a lot that I can’t stand but I’m not going to get into all of it right now.

I can honestly say that I wouldn’t want to be an ATCS. Not that I CAN’T do the job. It’s not in any way interesting to me and because of the people and the politics. You definitely have to be a Type A personality to survive – or a minority (more on that later). To be a GOOD controller you have to be good at multitasking, assertive, and confident at all times. Ben is exactly that. His job definitely has a big impact on our family. From the day to day and the “big” picture.

And  I’m gong to share how I deal with it.

Air Traffic Control Specialists (ATCS)

Your Baby Can Read Update

I’ve been super busy lately, so I’m not sure exactly what week I’m on with the boys on their Your Baby Can Read. I think I’m on week 5 now. Before I continue with the update on how my boys are doing, I just wanted to point something out ——-> Popping this video on once in a while as background noise while your kids play with toys is not going to get you results. Also, you can NOT expect your child to miraculously start reading after doing the video for one week, a month, or a few months down the road. Every kid is different and  learns at different rates in different ways. My boys are prime examples.

With Gio, I have moved him up the different levels with his Your Child Can Read videos every two weeks. He’s older and could read a few words already.  He is learning phonics in school so it’s a little bit easier for him to pick up the words and learn them.  He is also a very quick learner.  Keeping him on a lower video for too long would only bore him and he needs the challenge.  He is on Level 3 now and will start Level 4 next week. I do show him the previous levels once a week just to help refresh his memory and to help keep it from being too boring for him. He can read quite a few words and can now read most of his own stories for story time. Now, these stories aren’t super complicated, but the fact that he can read them on his own with very little help from me, is great news for us.

Seppe, is the complete opposite. I am going at a slower pace for him.  He is still on Level 2. I show him Level 1 once a week. I combine the Level 1 and Level 2 books and flash cards and try to go over them once a day. Level 2 is a little bit longer than Level 1 so he is having difficulty sitting still for the entire time. Luckily this level has two songs that get him to stand up and dance that he really enjoys. He now knows almost all the words from level 1 and about 3 words from level 2. I can honestly say that he’s learned the new words more quickly. His progress isn’t as quick as Gio’s but for Seppe, it’s very big progress :-) I have to constantly remind myself that he is different from Gio and that I have to work hard to help him learn HIS way.

I’m not perfect. There are days when I don’t have them watch their videos – especially when we travel(something I have to work  on). I make it an effort to make it a part of our daily routine. The key is making sure that I am involved.  I can’t just put it on and walk away – especially for Seppe. I also make sure Ben is involved and helps when he is home. It really helps that we are working together to help give our boys the best.

Tuesday Tunes: Long Live the King

It’s a shame that the King of Pop, Michael Jackson is gone. But Thanks to my 4 yr. old son and the millions of fans out there, he will never be forgotten. At 3 yrs. old my son discovered Michael Jackson while playing with YouTube on my phone.  He was fascinated with werewolves and came across the Thriller music video.  Needless to say, he was hooked. The scary werewolf, the zombies, and the music captivated him. He would watch it over and over again. He even started to mimic the dance moves.

Because of his fascination, I have been reintroduced to MJ. I was a fan, but didn’t know much more than beyond his most popular songs. Blame it on a super strict dad who didn’t approve of MJ’s music. I sat down with him and watched “This Is It”.  I was truly impressed by how amazing Michael was.  We watched the new Thriller music video over and over again. We also got him the “Michael Jackson Experience” game for the Wii. He can play that game all day. Again, I was blown away by MJ’s talent.  There is no way, I could ever come close to dancing like he did.  My son will do the dance moves anywhere he is – without any music. He doesn’t have the moves down yet, but he’s working on it.

Now at 4 yrs. old, my son is completely obsessed with all things Michael Jackson. He rolls his sleeves and leaves his jackets or sweaters open so he can be like MJ in Beat It and Thriller.  He even has a MJ action figure. Thriller is his favorite song, but he loves listening to all of MJ’s music. The ones that we listen to Every day:

Thriller

Beat It

Bad

Smooth Criminal

Leave Me Alone

Black or White

Ghosts

Rolled up his sleeves to look like MJ

Dancing at his brother's T-ball game.

Sep with his Favorite MJ Thriller

He doesn’t understand that MJ has passed away. It’s sad that he will never get to see him live, but I know that he will be influenced by MJ’s music for the rest of his life.

Movie Monday: “Fast Five” Movie Review

It’s Movie Monday!  And Yes! I wanted to see Fast Five as soon as I saw the previews. I am a HUGE Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson fan. How could I possible pass up a movie with Both of them in it??

We went opening weekend.( Tip: Get there early for good seats). We saw it in IMax and it was definitely an experience. It was awesome to have all that action on such a big screen. And there was a lot of action.

Besides my favorites (Vin and Dwayne), it had people from the previous 4 Fast and the Furios movies: Paul Walker, Jordan Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Matt Shulze, Sung Kang, Gal Gadot, Tego Calderon, and Don Omar. Jaquim de Almeida plays the villain.

The plot is pretty much the same as the previous Fast and the Furious movies.  The “bad” guys are on the run from Federal agents and get caught up with an evil drug lord in Brazil. They have to put their skills and driving to the test for “one last job” that will free the people from the drug lord, and give them their freedom to escape to place where they no longer have to run. Dom and his crew are the “good” bad guys and even the federal agent hunting them (Dwayne Johnson) winds up joining the team (just for a short time). There is no black or white when it comes to “good” and bad. Definitely many shades of gray. No oscar winning acting, but still very entertaining. Lots of car chases and some very comical characters. This movie is 2 hrs and 10 min long. I was worried that it would drag on, but it did not feel like a two-hour movie.  The last chase scene was a bit long and you should know by now that there is always a twist in the end. Definitely stay until the credits are over because there is more to see. If you like action movies, fast cars, and eye candy – you’ll like this movie.