TV For The Summer

I’ve given up on Arrested Development Season 4.

There. I said it. I am not cool, I am not a hipster. I understand I will not, now, know the right catchphrases to say at cool dinner parties, and I will not know how the ending brought all the parts together in complex magnificence. People will complain to me that “ohh but it got sooo much better after episode 7”. You know what? That’s too long! If you haven’t hooked me, Alison Gerber self-confessed television junkie by episode 7 then you’re not trying hard enough.

Instead, rather than waste my life on a project that was doomed from the start, I am going to watch new shows that are exciting and filled with possibilities of awesome. So, without further ado, here are the

5 TV Shows I Will Be Watching This Summer

1. Hunted. Has been axed after one series on the BBC but this won’t stop me checking out this spy/government thriller. Frank Spotnitz of The X-Files heads to the BBC to write a series about a British Spy who can “trust no one”. Possible X-Files with British accents? Yes please. Also, it has Melissa George (yes, Angel from Home and Away) as the new Scully, she even does the pouty lip thing like Gillian.

2. Parade’s End. This one is easy. Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock Holmes from Sherlock) in a BBC/HBO period drama based on a Ford Maddox Ford novel. Batchy, in a tuxedo. How can that NOT be good.

3. Broadchurch. Every now and then I find myself missing David Tennant on Doctor Who. I know, flame away. But he’s just so…cute! Anyway, here he is now, sporting a beard, in one of those slow-burning crime stories, “a town full of secrets”, lots of surprises in the finale etc.

4. Utopia. I like this because it looks weird. A cult graphic novel that predicts a series of terrible disasters lands in the hands of seemingly normal, everyday people, who then become paranoid? Or are they being watched?

5. The Fall. This is the MOST exciting thing for me for the Summer by far. I mean, DVD on pre-order exciting. Gillian Anderson (Scully from the X-Files) returns to crime genre for the first time since the X-Files as Stella Gibson. The show was a hit in the UK and has been renewed already for a second season.

So that’s it: my 5 for the Summer. Feel free to plan to come over for a TV marathon if any look exciting to you! And comment below if there’s something amazing you are watching you think I should add to my list!


New Photos of Ivy

Nana and Pa Jones have requested “NEW PHOTOS OF IVY”, which is basically the whole content of this post. Well, they are photos of a blurry mess resembling Ivy, who is the world’s most un-photographable child, constantly on the move except for that one time she climbed into the refrigerator and got stuck there, evidence of which I have included in this collection. Don’t worry Nana, we have since rectified the refrigerator problem and she can most definitely get herself out of it now when she climbs in.


Planning Ralph’s Spring Outfits

Okay. So I have an unhealthy obsession with planning out my kids outfits. But, seriously, I have my reasons.

For one: it prevents mass accumulation of clothes. When I look at free or very cheap clothes I think: does this fit with what I have planned for them? I don’t want to be a clothes hoarder — I would rather get a few great things that look amazing.

And two: it’s a creative outlet for me. I would do this for myself, but it’s cheaper (way cheaper) to plan great outfits for kids than for adults. Also: they actually grow out of clothes, which means a new “look” each season, or at least twice a year, is actually realistic.

To plan a style of outfits for my kids I pick a few items I think will look cool or my kids will love wearing, and think about what colors I like for this time of year, as well as what themes. For this Spring my notes to myself were:

preppy college kid on a yacht (yellow jacket)

neon + pastel

not too much black

no gray

denim on top only

Then I put a whole bunch of items together to see how they will look. Here is my mood board for Ralph’s outfits for Spring:


Things that are missing here are shorts and t-shirts. I just can’t seem to find what I like online? I don’t know what will happen with shorts this Spring/Summer, since we had colored pants all Autumn/Winter…but the idea of colored shorts seems weird to me. So besides these things I am also on the lookout for some nice plain pastel or neon t-shirts and…mystery shorts?

Now, the fun part – putting it all together in real life. Of course, just because I pictured a pair of jeans from Gap doesn’t mean I get those particular jeans, but I try to find the cheapest (while still being most durable) option I can find. Often this means second-hand items. I did however score big on the mint/aqua jeans department: I found a pair on sale at Target for $7! Also I purposely included things in this picture that Ralph already owns and I want to make use of through the next season: the navy hoodie, the white shirt (it has blue bicycles on it), the mustard pants and the apricot shirt (though that may be on its way out: yesterday Ralph stamped gold ink on it while I was rocking Ivy to sleep).

I know this won’t last forever, that eventually Ralph will pick his own clothes at the store, and find his own way of expressing himself. Even today, we found a free t-shirt at the Give and Take (the thrift store on campus) with a monster truck on it. He said “That shirt is sooo cool”. So we took it home: of course I am going to let him wear it. Just not with denim. Unless it’s on top.

If you should visit us: Things We Can Do in October

This post is inspired by my parents, who are coming to visit us this year during the first week of October. I thought it might be fun to share with all of you the special things that happen around here that month, just in case anyone else is thinking of visiting MA at a similar time.

Early October is a perfect time to go leaf-peeping! We can take a drive up into the White Mountains to look at some of the beautiful fall scenery. Really, pictures do not do it justice – you will have never seen leaves such vibrant colors before, anywhere from fluorescent pinks to bright lime greens.

Topsfield Fair happens during the early weeks of October: America’s longest continually running fair, and it is just down the road from us. There are plenty of animal exhibits, flowers, fruit and vegetables and bees, America side-show food to eat, a rodeo, and best of all – the annual Giant Pumpkin Competition.

Russell Orchards, a local huge orchard will still have apple picking going this month. This means a hayride, all the apples you can eat (straight off the tree: and let me tell you, you have not eaten apples until you have eaten these apples), followed by a hot apple cider and apple cider donuts freshly made. The orchard also has animals that roam around for kids and they make their own fruit wines for the grown-ups.

And of course, the biggest thing going in Massachusetts in October is Halloween. At the Gerber house this usually consists of the kids dressing up and knocking on the doors of our building on campus as well as the neighboring one (you can see them doing this in the picture above, alongside their friends Oliver and Isaac). If you are really brave (or insane), you could make the trip into Salem, which is the number one tourist destination in the world for Halloween. The traffic is crazy in Salem at this time of year, though, so I would definitely recommend taking the train.

One last completely random must-see: there is a guy down the road from our place who spends hours and hours making a themed scarecrow display each year, last year was Star Wars. I know it seems weird to make life-sized things out of straw, but actually they are pretty awesome.

Of course there are plenty more things to do in October that are available to visitors year round. If there is a special month you would like me to feature on the blog, don’t forget to say so in the comments below!

Highlights from Ralph’s 3rd birthday party

For Ralph’s 3rd birthday party we invited friends over for lunch, consisting of spaghetti bolognaise and apple juice. Ralph requested a “quarry cake”, which Jono and I made out of chocolate cake with butter cream icing topped with crushed Whoppers (like Australian Malteasers) and chocolate-coated raisins and peanuts. For entertainment we had Aimee come and make balloon animals, and played a game of pass-the-parcel, which I never realized until then was completely unheard of in the US. About a dozen kids came over plus Moms and Dads. Everyone had a great time, especially Ralph! (Click on the pictures to see them full size).

Welcome to the new blog!

I felt like the family blog needed an upgrade, and after some deliberation here it is! I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy this fabulous little family of mine. To all of you here with us in the States, and all those far away in sunny Australia: lots of love, Al.