Two Months


Guys, can you even believe it? Kate is two months old...whoops, yesterday. (I should probably give up hope on ever posting these on her actual month-day, or whatever you call it.) But seriously, where did the time go? I can't believe it. I'm sure that it will continue to fly by as she gets older and older but it seems like she was just born yesterday. Craziness.

This month I still haven't had her 8 week appointment (yikes) so it's looking like you're still gonna get stats from last month's appointment, with a little guesswork included. Lucky you!

Weight: at her last appointment, she was 11 lbs 5 oz. (88th percentile). Big girl for only a month old! Since then I can definitely feel that she's getting heavier, and at our last unscientific weigh-in, she was approximately 12.5 lbs. That was a few weeks ago so I'm guessing she's around the 13 mark. Big, big baby.

Height: At one month, she was 23" (97th percentile). We measured her the other day at 25", using the same methods as our doctor, so I'm gonna call her at least 25" if not more. She definitely looks it - her limbs are lengthening out a little bit and she's getting her mother's extremely long torso. Poor baby. Also her head circumference was 15.5 inches, again 97th percentile.

Firsts this month: holding her head up and being able to catch it if it starts to droop, smiling for real at mom and dad, being able to see and play with (aka talk to) her toys, TONS of cooing and gurgling, being able to follow a light/toy with her eyes, and did I mention talking all. the. time.?

Nicknames (new):
Kitty (from her dad - that wasn't a thing before)
Big Belly
My Precious

Other things to note:
-She's wearing primarily 3-6 month clothes, and barely stuffing her belly into those 0-3 month outfits we have left.
-The hardest moment by far this month was her one-month Hep B shot. She was just sooooo sad about the whole thing - I may or may not have teared up in the doctor's office when she got them! Rough. I'm certainly not looking forward to these next ones.
-She's definitely starting to drool, which I hear will pick up in the next month quite a bit. We haven't had a ton of outfits drooled on yet but if she's really concentrating on playing or talking or watching something, it will start to leak out and it is sooooo cute. I'm thinking I'll need to buy some bibs here soon!
-She started to like the camera in the last few days, which is helpful for her monthly photo shoots.
-She loves being held up around her armpits allowing her to sit up and look around.
-She sat in her Bumbo for the first time this month, and her thighs are so big that she's almost outgrown it already. Whoops.
-If she really really concentrates, she can sort of swing her hands forward and hit the toys on her vibrating seat (praised here) which is so adorable to watch. Her forehead gets all wrinkled and she sort of squints her eyes and will barely hit it and be so happy with herself that she coos like crazy.





We love you, baby girl!
HG

A Bridal Shower

Over the weekend my beautiful friend Katie and I hosted a shower for our equally beautiful tropical fish bride-to-be Caitlin, who is getting married in (quick math) 101 days! (Previous to that google date calculation, I had no idea how long it was. What a great number, right?)



The "theme" (I can't believe I even used that word in accordance with a party I planned. Who am I? take that term with a grain of salt) was the same as her invitations - The Future Mrs. Oh, I didn't show you the invites? Well, they have my home address, phone number, and Caitlin's future last name on them so you're going to have to use your imagination. Suffice it to say that it had The Future Mrs. on them. I whipped them up in InDesign spur of the moment after seeing some like them on Minted and not wanting to shell out $50+ for 20 invites.


We had mimosas and iced tea, egg casserole, fruit, and brownies. It was too darn hot to run the oven in the days leading up to the shower, so I bought store-made brownies. Best decision ever - they were delicious and so much cooler than turning on our oven to make them.

Katie had all the hard jobs, aka the cooking. She made some delicious egg casseroles (one with bacon, one with sausage...yummmm) which I failed to get pictures of, so please accept my sincere bloggeress apologies for that fail.


We played two games, both interview-style. The first was asking the guests to answer questions about the bride, and the second was a set of questions that were asked to the bride about the groom. I may be biased but they were both pretty fun, and hopefully not too awkward.

Shall I move on to the rest of the photos? (They're always my favorite parts of posts like these.)

door decs are always fun

Guest book W for their new place
beautiful flowers via Katie



my lovely co-hostess

partay-people
more par-tay people

It was a great time and I felt like a real adult, hosting a shower in my own house!
Pax -
HG

Life lately

What have the Gokies been up to recently?



We had a wonderful play date with two couples who had babies around the same time as us. (So much cuteness in those photos!)



Lots of baby-wearing and enjoying beautiful golf courses.


Taking fun photos in public while enjoying delicious food.


Like I said, lots of baby-wearing.


Dressing our adorable daughter in cuuuuuute outfits. (Isn't she great?)

What have you been up to lately?
HG

Favorite {Newborn} Baby Things

As a first time mom, I was a little (read: a LOT) overwhelmed by all the choices out there in baby gear. I walked through the aisles in Target in a sort of fuzzy pink-and-blue haze. What out of all of this is necessary? I thought to myself as I scanned the 120 different bottles of baby shampoo and cried a little bit.

Okay, so the tears were fabricated...but I definitely felt some of that emotion. I have a feeling that this list isn't going to be the same for babies #2, 3, 4, and so on (how long did you think that list was going to go? caught ya!) but I thought I'd record it for posterity's sake anyway.



1. Onesies
Since we didn't know the gender of our baby before she was born, the only clothing items we bought were onesies. Best decision ever! We've gotten so many gifts of cute outfits since she was born that I've literally only bought one item that was non-onesie. Onesies are great too because you don't feel bad when they get poop or spitup all over them, because they are so cheap. (The link is not the same as the picture...this is what I get for not finishing a blog post in one sitting. Whoops. Any onesies work, really.)

2. Bouncer Seat
This seat from Target has been a lifesaver. We didn't fork over the cash for a swing, because we're cheap (and also got a hand-me-down one later on), so this was the perfect money saving option. At only $30 at Target it was great. Kate loves that it vibrates with a battery, and especially in the early days when she was fussy, a simple bounce with our feet was enough to calm her down. It's soft, washable, and again cheap so I don't mind if it gets dirty!

3. Nursing bras
This nursing bra is the bomb.com. Seriously. I own two of them and sort of wish that I could pull off wearing them 24/7...as it is I wear them to sleep in and they are gorgeously soft and comfy and make sleeping with breastfeeding needs much, much easier.

4. Medela Hand Pump
Nursing with Kate at the beginning had a little bit of a learning curve. I couldn't tell if she was getting anything before my milk came in, but when it finally did I was so engorged that she couldn't latch on with her itty bitty mouth. Enter hand pump. Although it took awhile to get the hang of, it has been wonderful for when I just need a little assistance or milk for a feeding or two. (We've recently been gifted with an electric pump - used - but I haven't tried it out yet, so this baby's been it.) If your insurance doesn't cover an electric pump (like mine...grandfathered in or some such nonsense), this is worth the investment as a (again, cheap) replacement.

5. Aden + Anais swaddle blankets
I think these are on every new mom's favorites list. I first heard about their wonders from Grace and was convinced that I would at least give them a try when baby was born. Oh man, they have been lifesavers. Since Kate was born in May, swaddling her with anything heavier than this induces a lot of baby sweating, but these are soft and light-weight enough that they're perfect. I cannot recommend them enough. They also work as car seat covers, spit-up blankets, protection from grass/a dirty floor, and as nursing covers. Wonderful blankets.

6. Camelbak water bottle
This obviously isn't a "baby" product, but I have found that although I was great about drinking tons of water during pregnancy, I am not so hot at it when baby is here. The only thing that keeps me hydrated is how fun it is to drink water out of these water bottles. And obviously as a nursing mom I should be drinking tons of water - I'm working on bringing it back up to my previous levels, and it's all due to this. I highly recommend getting a specific water bottle that you really love so you remember to drink water! This one specifically (the double layer of insulation) is great because it really does keep things cooler for longer. 

As you can probably tell if you click the links, I'm a Target addict. I'm not getting any sort of compensation for this post because, obviously, Target isn't that into a mom blogger of my small stature. But I thought I'd link them anyway because it's nice knowing that you can buy all these items at your local Target! (And if you live far away from a Target, I will pray for your soul.)

What items did I miss? What have been your favorite baby products? Tell me in the comments so I can go out and buy them...but only if they're at Tar-jay! :)
HG

7QT #17: Edel, surprise treats, and vacation

Since lots o' the fancy lady bloggers are at #Edel14 right now, including Jen, I'm linking up with Carolyn at Svellerella this week for another edition of quick takes! She's one of my favorite bloggers because she speaks French (oui oui, bien sur!), is hilariously honest in her posting, and doesn't shy away from the big topics. Check her out if you haven't yet!

1. 
Okay yes, so I'm sad that I'm not at Edel. But to make it better, I tried to explain it to my husband, and the conversation went something like this.

Me: So there's a conference for...(how do I say this?) bloggers this weekend. Everyone I know is going.
David: What kind of conference?
Me: Umm, you know, a conference! With like speakers and stuff.
David: Uhh-huh. Okay. So what kind of bloggers?
Me: Mommy bloggers...of the Catholic variety... (inwardly cringing at the term mommy bloggers, although that's not entirely untrue)
David: Why didn't you go? 
Me: [staring at him blankly] Because we decided we couldn't afford it, remember?
David: [his turn to stare at me blankly]

So, all ye ladies of Edel, know that your conference didn't make enough of an impression on my husband for him to remember us discussing me going. Maybe that slice of humble pie will make you concoct an even better one for next time? (Pretty please?)

2. 
So I'm almost done with week 3 of P90X (yes, more fitness blogging, feel free to skip on down to nombre tres) and man, it is toughhhh. I think the farthest I made it into it last time (when I found out I was pregnant) was around this mark and yikes, my body knows it hasn't done this much working out in approximately 9 months. I'm feeling it, for sure.

blurry pre-yoga selfie. blergh.
Plus, Yoga X, Tony Horton's extreme version of here-let's-demonstrate-a-ton-of-moves-you-can-only-dream-of-doing-yoga, is totally sucky. I can do the moving ones just fine (vinyasas? something like that) but then they move into ridiculous things like Crane and Plough and stuff that are far beyond my postpartum abilities at the moment. But at least it gives me a goal for later, right?

3.
You know how sometimes you buy yourself a treat at the grocery store and put it in the fridge, and kind of hide it towards the back so you don't eat/drink it all at once? No just me? Okay well I did that with a box/carton of iced coffee approximately 4 weeks ago and just found it again this morning.

Whoops.


So I had a deliciously fancy and wonderful breakfast this morning of iced coffee and an English muffin topped with strawberry jam. Deliciousssss.

4.
I've owned Photoshop for just about a year now, and am slowly (read: hardly ever) teaching myself how to edit photos. To be fair, I bought it as part of a package for my work from home job, so I don't feel THAT bad, but now that I have a good camera and photoshop, I feel obligated to learn something about them working together. So far my editing skills go as far as VSCOCAM, and that's about it.

To get to the point: Adobe Camera RAW. Anybody use it? Do you like it? Do you just avoid it? Help a new girl out. I'm still trying to figure all this stuff out. 

5.
David and I are leaving for family vacation (with my parents and siblings) next week, and it has me dreaming back to the last time we were in Colorado, when we were just recently engaged. How about a flashback photo or two, just for fun?




We're headed to southern Colorado this year, so it'll be a different experience than our usual Frisco-Breckenridge-Dillon-Estes area vacations. Even though we're traveling with a newborn this time around (yikes!), I'm totally excited! Got anything we need to do in southern Colorado? Hit me up!

6.
Somebody (cough cough, Kate) slept in their crib in their room all night last night for the first time ever! It was definitely a bittersweet moment. I missed being able to sit up slightly in bed and see her, but her sleeping from 2:00 to 8:30 certainly made up for that.

She's the best, what can I say?

7. 
I've got to wrap these up because I need to send off a project for work and then get to cleaning & prepping for Caitlin's bridal shower tomorrow! woot woot! I'm sure there will be an update post with all the gory details of the party sometime very soon. Don't hold your breath, though.

Til next time, check out more at Carolyn's!


HG

parenting rule breaking {five favs}

So far, some rules I've broken in parenting:

1. Put a Bumbo on the table, a la Kendra:


Okay, this rule seems a little unreasonable. I put tons of things where they shouldn't go, and they tell you that this basically indistructable thing shouldn't go on a big wide table? It's got about the widest base of any chair I've ever seen.

Plus, Kate likes sitting in it and looking at me, instead of on the floor where she can see...my feet. And some chair legs.

2. Let a less-than-3-month-old "cry it out" (somewhat)

MOMmmmmmm...

I think it would be exhausting to NOT break this rule. If I got up every time Kate made a squeak in the night, I think my head would barely hit the pillow for more than 10 minutes in a row. Unreasonable, in my opinion. We've been putting her in her bassinet by our bed while she's still mostly awake, and letting her make some noise til she puts herself to sleep, since we brought her home from the hospital.

It makes for a wonderful sleeping baby and happy, rested parents.

3. Didn't read a bunch of parenting books



The only things I rely on for parenting advice are my instincts and other Catholic momma blogs. I haven't bought any baby books, and I don't plan on it. I have plenty of resources in the real world (hello, parents, and 4 aunts/uncles that are doctors) to ask questions if I come across them. So far I'm just trusting our instincts as parents and we've been fine.

4. Didn't take 6 weeks of maternity leave

To be fair, my job is working from home, so I'll preface this one by saying that if I had to go back to working in an office 9-5, hell yes I would have taken 6 weeks (at least!) of maternity leave.

As it was, though, I felt lazy being at home NOT working by the beginning of week 3. I toughed it out through that week and started work again when Kate was 3.25 weeks old. It helped me connect to the real world again, and made me feel not so lazy and bored. That sounds bad when I say it like that, but babies at that age just sleep so! darn! much! that I was home all day with her, doing nothing, when I could have been on my computer working.



As she's getting older and more involved and awake during the day, it's been harder working from home (that's a different post, though). But I'm glad I got back to working right away. It made me feel like myself again, and helped us by bringing in some much-needed $$$.

5. Worked out before 6 weeks were over

The second most important man in my life right meow

I was super super SUPER blessed with my recovery. Even with a (shhh..don't read if you're queasy...4th degree episiotomy) rough time in the delivery department, I felt pretty much normal (albeit a little soreness) a week after she was born. I have thanked God every day for the fact that I felt so normal so quickly. With that being said, I was itching to start working out right away after baby was born. I waited a few weeks until I felt it was appropriate, and started by doing a week's worth of light running and cardio when Kate was 4 weeks old, then moved to P90x. Now I'm in week 3 of P90X and loving it. Being able to work out and sweat and move my body is a huge stress relief and just super fun.

Ended up with 5 rules I've broken...might as well link up with Heather and Five Favorites!
Peace -
HG

thursdays & blogging

Thursdays are always a rough day for me blogging. My thought process goes something like this...

I have some things I want to blog about. But tomorrow's Friday! Should I save them for a quick takes post? Wait, I don't think I have 7 things. Then I'll have to scramble to fill a post. Is it even worth it then if I'm blogging about stuff I don't really care about? I should just write a post today. Or I should just forget it today and make a mediocre one tomorrow. Is two days posting in a row lame? Do I give myself away as a n00b blogger if I do that? I don't have a fancy schedule for blogging...or fancy post ideas either, obviously. I haven't had a worthwhile post in a long time, probably ever. Why do I even do this? gahhhhhhhaasdfljasdlfkjasdl;fkja

Welcome to the neurotic part of Hannah's bloggy brain.

source
Don't get me wrong - I like blogging. More importantly, I love reading, so I read a lot of blogs and other things. When I read a lot of things that I like, I want to imitate that pattern, whatever it is. I've made halfhearted attempts at NaNoWriMo (failed because I was doing it in the middle of a semester where I had 20 novels to read...not my best timing), some poetry, some short stories, etc. etc. So therefore I like/love to blog.

I enjoy blogging as both a creative outlet and a way to connect with other adults in the world that I would never meet or talk to without this medium. It's also been helpful in keeping track of my life, in a way that paper journaling never worked out for me. I had a diary for about 10 total weeks over the span of my childhood, each week separated by about a year. Somehow having a digital form works better and makes me keep track in a more timely fashion. (At least so far.)

You can't add blurry iPhone photos to a paper journal...
Not sure where this post is going? Me either...

I guess what I'm trying to say is that even though I struggle to come up with more things to talk about in this here little blog, and that sometimes my content is less than stellar, I think I'm sticking around. It was/is still part of my 2014 resolutions, so obviously you can't go back on those. That's in the rules, right?

To finish out this post of pretty much nothing, I'll add my favorite Mark Twain quote:
“To get the right word in the right place is a rare achievement. To condense the diffused light of a page of thought into the luminous flash of a single sentence, is worthy to rank as a prize composition just by itself…Anybody can have ideas–the difficulty is to express them without squandering a quire of paper on an idea that ought to be reduced to one glittering paragraph.” - Mark Twain
And although I'm not using actual paper, I hope to someday be able to think of my writing in this light. Maybe not to Mark Twain's standard, but better and better every day.
HG

Answer Me This [#1]

I'm a little nervous when it comes to joining link-ups for the first time. It took me a few weeks of nervously failed blog posts to join Jen's weekly quick takes party so it was only natural that it would be awhile before I joined Kendra's Answer Me This linkup.

What can I say? I'm a naturally gifted [introvert] blogger so cut me a little bit of slack.

Here goes nothing, y'all.

1. How did you get your name?

For all you who don't know: my full name is Hannah Josephine Therese Baker Gokie. (Yes you can all stalk me on the internet now, congratulations.) I was originally going to be named Lucille/Lucy, my mom's favorite name for a very long time - since she was little, in fact. My parents were totally planning on it until they took one look at me and knew that they couldn't name me that.

Only time acceptable to use urban dictionary? Looking up your name.

I think Hannah was just their second option, to be honest with you. (This was back before Hannah was all that popular.) My middle name is after my great-great-grandmother, on my mom's side somewhere.

Funnily enough? David (whose middle name is Leo) and I both got our middle names from relatives, and he has a pair of great-grandparents that were named Josephine and Leo.

2. Do you have a set time in your day for prayer?

Specifically? No. I don't. When I remember, I try to pray a morning offering when I get up - if I'm coherent enough to remember it. I've been doing some more rosary praying while nursing Kate, especially in the middle of the night, which has been really great and makes me feel very connected to Our Blessed Mother - who, although she didn't get to pray the rosary, actually lived it while nursing Jesus. I mean, no big deal if you think about it. We also just hung up a giant rosary on the wall in our bedroom, the one souvenir we brought home from our honeymoon, right above her cradle so that's a helpful reminder.

all time favorite painting of the two of them!
I try to do an examination of conscience before bed or while falling asleep - my Laudete app has been helpful with that, too. I'm getting back into the swing of things which has been great after a pretty long dry spell spiritually speaking

3. Did your mom work or stay at home (or both)?

My mom was blessed enough to do both! When we were all little - until my youngest sibling went to 1st grade - my mom did freelance copyediting, which is actually pretty similar to my job now, and then went full time once we were all in school. I honestly have very little memory of my mom working, besides seeing her at her desk up in our old house's attic (their bedroom/her office) a few times. I think she did a lot of working once my dad was home from work and late at night - she was always a bit of a night owl.

me on the left with my two non-identical siblings
I'm hoping that my job will allow me to have a similar life plan, although we will have to wait and see. So far with Kateri (week 4 back on the job), so good!

4. Do you vote?

Yes and no. I vote when I can. For some reason I always seem to be extra busy on election days (something wrong about that). Also I'm a registered Independent, so I can't vote in basically the elections that really matter in Nebraska, the primaries. I do get to vote in all the other ones though, obviously, but since we're such a red leaning state it's pretty much decided once we've gotten to that point. (Obviously Omaha is a little different but for Lincoln and the rest of the state, it's red almost all the way).

This election year was one of the first I actually spent time researching the candidates ahead of time, instead of googling them all last minute before I head out to the polling booths. I was pretty proud of myself.

voting "colors" in the 2012 presidential election in NE. pretty clear cut.

5. What's your favorite drink?

Alcoholic? Dr. Pepper & Triple Sec, or a good margarita (not picky on the tequila).

drooling already

On the daily? Water all day every day. I used to be bad at remembering to drink water, but pregnancy & breastfeeding has helped a ton in that area.

Treat? Dr. Pepper or Pepsi. I used to be a Diet Coke addict fan but I can't stomach it since Kate was born. Something about it just tastes weird now. I've heard this can happen with pregnancy hormones and such and it's sort of freaking me out!

~~~~

Thanks for the inspiration Kendra. Maybe I'll join in again soon!


HG

7QT #16: margs, HP, and working out

It's Friday, Friday...linking with Jen, o'course.

1.
Best part of nursing and having a Kindle now? It gives me a set amount of minutes per day that I can devote to reading.


First on my to-read list was Hannah Kent's novel, Burial Rites. Ginny over at Small Things gave it a good review probably 3 or more months ago and it had been on my list since then. I LOVED it. Oh my goodness it was amazing. It's the based-on-a-true-story retelling of the last woman put to death in Iceland in the 1800s. It was emotional, beautifully written, and compelling...I may have stayed up a little too late a couple nights reading it, after Kate was done eating. But it was worth it.

I've since read Agatha Christie's Nemesis and I'm halfway through Charles Todd's 3rd Bess Crawford mystery (can't remember the title right now).

2.
In the same vein comes take #2. Because I'm a first time mom and I have to do these things, I downloaded an app (BabyConnect, for the curious) to track Kateri's habits. Mostly I use it just for the feedings but it also has options to track weight and height and stuff, and it's all backed up online, so that's awesome.



So I started tracking how long and how often I was feeding Kate. And in my head, I knew that it was a lot of time. It felt like a lot of time, especially the first few weeks. But when I saw that the average time per day was over 200 minutes, the number shocked me! 200 minutes? How can that be possible that a little person eats for such a long time each day? That's longer than a really long movie. And that's even for an easy baby who sleeps at least 4 hours in a row every night.

For all the reading and research I did about baby-raising and breastfeeding I did before Kate was born, I was totally unprepared for that number. So just a PSA for all y'all.

3.
Another baby-related one (might as well stack them all together right?) - my appetite has drastically increased in the last couple days. For the first few weeks I thought those people who said they ate like crazy while breastfeeding must just have different makeups than me. I wasn't feeling any different than previously. In fact, I wasn't hungry as often as I was the last couple weeks being pregnant (I think my stomach was still squished post-partum).

me all day err day
But now my stomach is all EAT NOW OR GET ME OUT OF HERE about every 3 hours. It probably has something to do with starting to work out again this last week (see take #4) but man, it is crazy.

4.
I started P90X again!


I was about a month and a half into the program when I found out I was pregnant last year, and kind of gave it up after that. It didn't seem like the greatest idea to be trying to get super fit and such while my body was also trying to grow a human. Plus, the morning sickness made it impossible to get through a workout without wanting to puke my guts out.

So when I was trying to decide what to start out with post-baby when it came to exercise, I immediately thought of P90X. Obviously it's a super-intense program but I've had the best of recoveries (oh man, I'm seriously so lucky to have felt so good so quickly) so I decided to go for it. I'm doing a lot of modifications to the workouts but I love having a set workout for every day that has enough diversity to keep me going.

Plus, I needed something to get me fit for Caitlin's wedding, and 90 days is just about the right amount! (Eeeek, it is coming up so quickly! Yay!) I'm a week in so far and loving it. I'll let you know how it goes in coming weeks.

5.
Speaking of Caitlin, I am in desperate need of some bridal shower game ideas. (Caitlin, you're not allowed to comment on this.) Anyone have any winners? I've played a lot of them and would like something that's not super overused.

6.
Did you see that J.K. Rowling published a new short piece about Harry Potter and the gang?


You have to have a Pottermore account to read the thing in full, but it's free to join and completely worth it in my opinion. The "story" is an article supposedly written by Rita Skeeter about Harry and the other members of the DA at the Quidditch world cup final (hmm, inspired by FIFA World Cup madness, J.K.?).

It ripped my heart open again and made me resolve to reread the series again...after my to-read list dwindles a little bit. It's been too long!

Also you know it's a big deal when Verily publishes an article about it.

7.
David and I are having our first date night tonight without Kate! We are dropping her off at my parents' house for a few hours and heading to our favorite Mexican place for delicious food and MARGS. I am drooling over the margs already. I haven't had one since she was born - a travesty, I tell ya.

I'm curious to see how the evening will go - it'll be our first time leaving her with a "babysitter." Crossing my fingers she behaves herself!

Head to Jen's for more takes this week! Have a wonderful weekend!


HG

Parenthood

...the TV show.

Thought this was going to be an in-depth, soul-searching post about my experience as a parent so far, filled with wisdom and tips I've picked up in my 6 weeks as a mom? Think again, my friend. Instead, it's going to be an in-depth, soul-searching review of the show Parenthood, and why everyone and their mom (and sister, and husband, and friend) should be watching it because it's the best show out there right now.


A quick summary of the show to get you acquainted:
Parenthood is the story of the Braverman family - 3 generations including 4 grown siblings, their spouses and kids, and their parents. It stars Lauren Graham (Gilmore Girls, one of the other greatest shows ever made), Peter Krause, Erika Christensen, and many others (it's a many-charactered show). It's the basic story of a family, including plots of a child with Aspberger's, a family trying to adopt, a divorced mom and a dad with drug/alcohol abuse issues, marriage infidelity, and so many others. It's so far-reaching and diverse that it's hard to summarize well!

Now onto the reasons why Parenthood should be the next show you binge-watch on Netflix.

ONE: the characters are real, believable, and easy to identify with.
No matter your age or occupation, there is someone in Parenthood that you can identify with. Teenager going off to college? Check. Struggling with infertility? Check. Like to write and want to be a writer? Check. In business with your family? Check. The list goes on and on. Besides the fact that there's a character for everyone, the characters are unbelievably real and personable. They make real, normal mistakes (not the kind of overblown mistakes most TV shows are based on). They forget birthdays. They forget to pick up their kids from school. They have arguments about money, and faith, and all the important things.

There aren't many shows out there like this. Modern Family is another that is set up the same way (extended family, lots of characters, etc.) but Parenthood just feels more real because the characters are real and struggle with the things everyday humans struggle with. (It's also less of a comedy than Modern Family, so that is definitely an influence.)

TWO: the dialogue is realistic.
I never realized this bothered me about TV before I started watching Parenthood. Think about it - have you ever noticed that most TV shows let each character finish a line before the next character starts talking? Unless it's a very scripted and obvious interruption, or an argument that happens once a season, maybe? Not so with Parenthood. Characters talk and yell and discuss things over each other all the time...just like talking and arguing with people in real life is like. It's impossible to hear all the different lines at the same time, again, just like it's like in real life when you're in a family discussion or argument.


they also have adorable dance parties

Like I said, this never bothered me in TV before. And of course I can totally understand that it's hard to recreate real life in the television medium. But this burst of honesty in Parenthood pleases me again and again every time it happens.

THREE: the music is incredible.
At least, if you have my taste in music for TV, of course. Sometimes music in TV shows is annoying because it's way too obvious why the music producer chose a certain song for a certain moment (Grey's Anatomy has a tendency to do this 100x an episode). Parenthood is much more subtle, and I think you really have to know the songs to understand the connection between the scene and the songs. They also don't overdo the music, and often play the entirety of a song, which is rare in TV.

any show that makes a 40-year-old dad dress like this is GOLD

Also, their music producer(s?) have great taste. I'm only in season 3 and I've heard The National, Band of Horses, The Head and the Heart, and tons of other bands I love.

FOUR: you can always see both sides of any argument.
Other TV shows do this occasionally, but Parenthood excels at making the viewers feel and understand each side of every argument. I don't want to give any specific examples because they're the best and most impressive conflicts in the series, but time and time again I find myself trying to decide which character to agree with in an argument. Isn't that amazing? Again, it's like real life - you can see the validity of both people's position and it's hard to decide.

It's beautiful and makes for an excellent TV show.

~~~

If these reasons don't make you want to watch Parenthood, well, I guess we have different taste in what makes a good TV show. To be fair mine is pretty widespread, and I'm a little ashamed to admit some of the TV shows I've binge-watched on Netflix...I debated listing them off here but I think I'll save that for another embarrassing time. Trust me when I say Parenthood tops them all.

If this post inspires you to start watching it, have fun!
HG