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Entries in Movies (5)


It's Raining It's Pouring, Try Not to be So Boring 

Photo Credit: Suzy Hyer and her adorable kiddos

Once upon a time in a far away land (pre kids), rainy days gave me a good excuse to cuddle up on the couch and watch movies all day. Fast forward to two kids later, rainy days are now filled helping to keep the entire family entertained.

And you’re probably aware, that the Bay Area forecast is calling for rain. Years ago I shared some rainy day activities. I’m adding to the list.

  • Puddle Jumping: Have the kids put on their rain coats, rain boots and head on out for some puddle jumping. Jump with them. It's a lot more fun than just watching. 

  • Dance Party: Turn on the music and just dance. Josh created this playlist on Spotify for Reese’s 4th birthday. We blast it in our living room and she teaches us how to Dougie.

  • Valentine’s Day: It’s just around the corner. Have fun making Valentine’s Day cards, cookies or cupcakes! There are so many ideas on Pinterest but here are some of my faves.

  • Toons: Turn on a good movie, make some popcorn and cuddle up on the couch. This would work for my 4.5 year old but definitely not for my nearly 2 year old who can’t sit still for too long.

Target is a great source for hidden treasures. Stop by to grab from the $1-$3 bins. Yesterday I found:

  • Mess Free Markers: These are mostly for Greyson since he prefers the walls for his canvas.

  • Balloons: Josh and I will blow up as many balloons as we can and let the kids go wild.

  • Glow sticks: I thought we could use them in the bathtub but Josh had a better idea and had a glow fest in the kids’ room. You can see in this short video. 

1$ at the store, 1 hour of entertainment. Good find @alexaranoff #thingsthatglow #withthekids

A video posted by Josh Aranoff (@jaranoff) on Feb 7, 2015 at 10:20am PST

 Check out Pinterest for more ideas! What do you like to do on rainy days?




I talk a lot of nonsense to my children. It's more than just silly baby-talk. I'm talking about ridiculous old inside jokes and pop culture references that make no sense but make me laugh.

I'm sure we all do it. Here are a few particularly ludicrous things I say from time to time. 

  • "I read you Mrs. Esterhouse! Loud and clear!" I say this when my daughter is getting cranky. It's a line from Caddyshack II
  • "Keep your eye on the fruit!" Another Caddyshack II gem that I use when spooning in the baby food. 
  • "Somebody stop me!" I say this when I am attacking my kids' cheeks with kisses. It's a line from The Mask.  
  • "You ain't got no hair, Lieutenant Dan!" I say this when I'm combing my bald baby's head. It's a variation of a line from Forrest Gump
  • "Pants? Where we're going, we don't need pants!" My husband says this to my son when he gets him dressed. It's a variation of a line from Back To The Future
  • "Not so good, Al!" I say this when I drop something or something else silly happens. It's a line from the Weezer video Buddy Holly

These things are dumb and nonsensical but they amuse me. What are the favorite nonsensical one-liners in your house?? 


MommyBeta Podcast Episode 20: Stakes On A Plane

What are the stakes for flying with a lap baby? Should you wear your baby during take off and landing or not? And should you pay your nanny when you're on vacation? We discuss all of this, plus Natali's post about how to edit together your videos a bit more professionally. 

Also, watch Baby Mo's favorite They Might Be Giants videos here and here


For Goodness Sakes Turn Those Cameras!!! 

Okay, I can take it no longer! I don't mean to call out my fellow MommyBetas but I think we can all learn a lesson from videos like this or this.

These are the cutest videos ever but the quality suffers because they were shot with iPhone cameras shooting in portrait mode rather than landscape mode. Fellow mommies, don't do that! Turn those cameras on their side! 

I think I've already scolded Jennifer on this so she is shooting correctly and most of Alex's videos are shot landcape so Nathalee is the biggest offender and, perusing YouTube recently, so are most of you! I admit, I did it at first too before my husband gave me a lecture so now I am going to pass that lecture on to all of you in hopes of saving your childrens' precious home movies! 

Why does this matter? Allow me to explain. 

The iPhone 4 and most Android phones have cameras that shoot HD video at 720p or higher. That means crystal clear videos - if you use them correctly. This is great for capturing spur of the moment cuteness but even better when you really use it to its full potential. You paid enough - might as well get your money's worth. 

When you shoot these videos in portrait mode, you do not get the best HD footage. When uploading the videos in portrait mode, the video is less clear than it should be and can be hard to watch because your video player is forced to put black bars along the side of the video player so the image is compressed, even on a computer screen. And if you decide to play your videos on a wide-screen TV, they look even worse. The video camera in your phone is meant to be used to shoot video in 16X9 ratio, which is the same ratio as your television and computer screen. 

Now that Apple offers AirPlay, we play the videos we shoot on our iPhones on our TV screens a lot. When family comes over and we want to share Baby Mo's videos, we play them through Apple TV. If we had been shooting these in portrait mode, they wouldn't look very good on the big screen. And if I want to make a montage of any sort, it helps to have the videos in the same aspect as most photos.

The ONLY caveat about shooting this way is that you can cover up the microphone with your fingers while holding the phone sideways, which muffles the audio. We have made that mistake a time or two and it can be a bummer. Keep your fingers off of the microphone slits along the bottom, or wherever they may be on your phone. 

So moms and dads everywhere, make a note to yourself: The next time your child is doing something extra cute, turn that camera to landscape mode! You'll be glad that you did! 

/Lecturey Mommy


Classic Kids' Movies


My dad owned a video store when I was growing up, so needless to say, I watched a lot of great movies.  I know that there are a ton of wonderful new kids movies, but I want my kids to see the movies I most enjoyed growing up.  My hubby agrees, so we put our heads together and came up with this list of must-see-movies. (We’ve left out the Disney blockbusters because those are kind of obvious.)

American Tail

Batteries Not Included

Ernest films, especially Ernest Goes to Camp

Flight of the Navigator

Harry and the Hendersons

The Land Before Time

Mary Poppins

My Girl

Never Ending Story

Pete’s Dragon


Princess Bride

Stand By Me



What movies are on your list?