Heater, Mother of Lance

One instance in which the future looks exactly like it was supposed to

This post is brought to you by Netflix.


I think I have referenced my malfunctioning Internet connection that has plagued the house for over three weeks — up for a minute, down for an hour, up for fifteen minutes, down until the next day — and my temporary solution has been to use my phone as a hotspot. That was until I got a text message that said I’d used 90% of my data plan. We were at lunch over the weekend with friends and Leta asked if she could use my phone to show her friend a video and I was like, hm. Let’s see… just how good is this video, Leta? It involves Justin Bieber? Sorry, I’d make the sacrifice for the royal baby, but I don’t love Justin Bieber fifteen dollars of overage costs.

This little hiccup in life has shown me just how much we rely on the Internet for, oh, every single thing: looking up addresses, phone numbers, recipes, take out menus, hours of operation, side-effects, symptoms, cures, washing instructions, fitted-sheet folding tips, and suggestions on how to calm down when failing every attempt to fold that fitted sheet.

I now only listen to music through online services, and all three of us have pretty much switched from traditional television to streaming video. In fact, we now watch shows, mostly through Netflix, on our phones, our iPads and through the Wii. Rarely do we even check the DVR anymore because even then it’s a question of, “Did the next episode record?”

HA! Did. The. Next. Episode. Record. That is just so precious.

Here I wax nostalgic to Leta about VCRs, how the tape would often get caught in the spools, and she will one day tell Marlo about how she had to wait a week for the next episode of a show to air. Imagine the hardship, Marlo. You can’t, can you? Kids in the 2000’s. They lived like animals.

Back in May I was invited with a huge team of bloggers to visit Netflix headquarters to preview a new set of features they’d be rolling out called Netflix Families in the next few months. I had no problem saying yes and being willing to work with Netflix because their model makes my life so much easier. They are how I want to access all of television and movies. In fact, this is what the future was supposed to look like: all of it, right there at your fingertips. Literally at your fingertips. Like, magic.


(Yes, she’s wearing some of the jewelry my mother gave her. You can’t just show up to an episode of “Hole in the Wall” in your pajamas, people.)

Side note: Netflix referred to this group of bloggers as the Stream Team. A few of us who have known each other online for a while (her and her and her and some random guy) would routinely huddle up during breaks, stack our fists and then throw our arms in the air as we shouted, “STREAM TEAM!” Just in case you ever wondered why we ended up being bloggers.

We were also very excited about the return of Arrested Development, the series that was cancelled a few years ago and then picked up by Netflix. And then Christmas came early when they released 15 new episodes ALL AT ONCE.






That’s the other innovative, industry-changing development that is happening: original programming. Whole seasons all at once. All at your fingertips. And here is where I acknowledge the four hundred thousand times people have told me that I look like Piper from Orange is the New Black:


Yeah. Whoa. I could be her stunt double if I wasn’t afraid of heights or spiders or the sound of a balloon popping.

So. I’ve pretty much done away with clearing off the DVR so that there’s room enough for it to record what both the girls and I want to watch. Instead, when Marlo wakes up at an appalling hour I fire up Netflix, cue an episode of “Shaun The Sheep” and then catch some sleep as it streams in between this adorable request: “I want another one. I want another ‘Sthaun the Stheep.'”


They’ve also improved the way they recommend content with new rows of suggestions. It’s no longer just “Recently Watched” or “Popular.” Now they offer a slew of titles under suggestions like “Family Movie Night,” “Classics to Share With Your Family,” and “Movies Based on Bestsellers” to help you decide what to watch. I’d love a row titled “Will Soothe Your Cranky Daughters Who Are Wiped Out After Camp and are Calling Each Other Names Like ‘Booger Face.'”

And even though my Internet service has been spotty at the house, my kids have been able to come home from camp and relax by streaming shows on my phone through my cell connection. Yes, I’m about to go over my data plan, but this actually has me considering a bigger data plan. Well, this, the royal baby, and the number of times I do a google image search for “Ryan Gosling with his dog.”


This post was sponsored by Netflix. Netflix Families makes summer easier.


One extra thing to mention… I am personally giving away a year’s subscription to Netflix because I like it that much. I’ll choose a random commenter on this post once I’ve closed the discussion 24 hours after it’s gone live, meaning by 10AM Eastern Time on Thursday, August 1, 2013. And then I’ll announce the winner on Friday. Whee!

  • MyEuropeanISPCanSuckIt

    2013/07/31 at 7:50 am

    Yo. Tell those dudes at Netflix they’ve got to fix the international programming issues. It sucks that expat kids in Europe miss out on Sesame Street, SuperWhy, and other educational television programs just because they live abroad. I realize Congress probably has to get involved, but Netflix is big enough and rich enough, and many of us are willing to pay for the service, maybe even at a premium, because really that’s what we’re doing now, only illegally through VPNs. Grazie!!

  • beOHbe

    2013/07/31 at 7:51 am

    Netflix is pretty well entwined in our family’s life too. Our 2 year old is in love with Curious George and my wife and I are midway through our second viewing of Arrested Development’s fourth season. I can’t imagine all the DVD shuffling we would have to do if not for streaming video.

  • Tami Z

    2013/07/31 at 7:51 am

    I left Netflix because they didn’t seem to offer much after they split their mailing and streaming service. Seems like they’ve come back around in the last couple of years! Would be good to see what they offer now since my girls are getting older and are much more interested in our tablet!

  • Emily Gonzalez

    2013/07/31 at 7:52 am

    Hope the internet comes back. I’m still a DVR girl, but that’s mostly because we can’t justify Netflix and Cable.

  • J E Double S

    2013/07/31 at 7:53 am

    I have REALLY enjoyed the series that have been shown on Netflix as of late…Arrested Development, Orange is the New Black…it is how I prefer watching shows as well! All at once and at my fingertips! I think it is the way of the future for sure!

  • christie

    2013/07/31 at 7:53 am


  • Carolyn

    2013/07/31 at 7:53 am

    Go Netflix! Mad Men is up next for us.

  • Lisa Kelly

    2013/07/31 at 7:53 am

    LOVE Netflix and use it all the time! Pick me!
    YES -You are “Orange is the New Black” actress aren’t you???
    Where did you have dinner in Newburyport July 4th weekend?
    I have a business in Newburyport!

  • Rochelle Borne

    2013/07/31 at 7:54 am

    We cancelled our netflix account a couple of years ago and have recently been considering getting one again.

  • misscaron

    2013/07/31 at 7:55 am

    I, too, love Netflix. I just wish they had more current movies. Tons of TV shows, yes, but better movies please!

  • Krystan

    2013/07/31 at 7:55 am

    I love Netflix and use it regularly at home — would love a year off from paying for it, though!

  • Debra

    2013/07/31 at 7:57 am

    Hahaha. Thanks for acknowledging the Piper resemblance! I just binged on Orange is the Next Black, and it was uncanny. Like, you can’t always see it, but sometimes, a look or a gesture brought it back home where I’d have to go DOOCE IS NOT IN JAIL, RELAX!

  • MJ

    2013/07/31 at 7:57 am

    We are a big Netflix family. Almost all of the programming my kids watch is via Netflix. My husband is really into House of Cards at the moment, and I’m going to start Orange is the New Black soon. We actually rarely watch movies on it, preferring shows. We’ve considered dumping cable for just Netflix and are still debating.

  • Erika

    2013/07/31 at 7:57 am

    I’ve always wanted Netflix! Good looking out Dooce!

  • Kelly

    2013/07/31 at 7:57 am

    Weird — just started watching “Orange is the New Black” last night and and am currently trying to restrain myself from catching up all in one go. The perils of working at home!

  • leslie

    2013/07/31 at 7:58 am

    ….last wknd….orange is the new black….ALL OF IT……..

  • Lori

    2013/07/31 at 7:58 am

    Netflix is great. But am I the only one to wait for my movie to show up in the mail? Haven’t used the streaming feature yet. If I didn’t have Netflix how would I have watched the whole UP series, have you seen this documentary? A group of people are filmed every seven years and we see how their lives are going. Love your blog Heather!

  • Kate Hall

    2013/07/31 at 7:58 am

    Love Netflix!

  • nom, nom, nom

    2013/07/31 at 8:00 am

    I cancelled my netflix when they had their dvds vs streaming debacle, but i’ve been debating cutting my cable and going with netflix and hulu for my entertainment needs. These original shows don’t hurt! And AD!

  • Heather C

    2013/07/31 at 8:00 am

    Love me some Netflix!

  • siobhan

    2013/07/31 at 8:00 am

    love me some netflix!

  • Mary Loveless

    2013/07/31 at 8:00 am

    We haven’t tried Netflix yet, but I ordered a Chromecast and am going to try it. I’m looking forward to it!

  • Allyson

    2013/07/31 at 8:00 am

    I feel so….old! I’m addicted to my DVR. We are slaves to a sky-high direct tv bill. I don’t understand this streaming stuff but if someone could give me a Netflix streaming for dummies book i would LOVE to cut costs and watch things the way I WANT to. Does Netflix really have all the newer things and things I would want to watch??? Hmmmmm….someone help me. =)

  • Lauren F

    2013/07/31 at 8:01 am

    We just moved into our new house, Netflix would be an awesome addition!

  • debra

    2013/07/31 at 8:01 am

    I know, I had one then when it was mostly mail, and some streaming thru the Wii. But not near the programming as now. I signed up for a free month to watch Orange. I like binge TV so much! Using this month to debate if I’m keeping it. Watch a lot of Amazon Prime also.

  • emily ruth

    2013/07/31 at 8:01 am

    Love Netflix!

  • Kimberly Wydeen

    2013/07/31 at 8:02 am

    Thanks for the giveaway! I love your blog and would use the subscription to watch all sorts of things nobody should admit (like The Hunger Games. Again.)

  • Natasha

    2013/07/31 at 8:02 am

    Ha! Shaun the sheep is friggin hilarious! I love Netflix. It gets mommy at least an hour of quiet time!

  • Beachgal

    2013/07/31 at 8:02 am

    I have never tried netflx. winning a year would give me a reason!

  • Ruthie

    2013/07/31 at 8:02 am

    I need a weekend so I can just watch Orange is the New Black!!!

  • Jessica

    2013/07/31 at 8:03 am

    You make it sound amazing!

  • Alisha J.

    2013/07/31 at 8:03 am

    Netflix is fantastic! I love the streaming and, with a 5 y.o. daughter, the family functionality is a must. Love what they’re doing!

  • Ginger Odom

    2013/07/31 at 8:03 am

    Dear Heather,
    yes, you look like Piper. only better. AND (bonus) you are not in a federal prison, but enjoying streaming shows with your girls (or at least NEAR them). thumbs up for family, and for Netflix!

  • Steve Whitaker

    2013/07/31 at 8:04 am

    I would like a few more features for kids old enough to use Netflix but not quite old enough to see EVERYTHING in our “recently watched” list.

  • Maureen

    2013/07/31 at 8:04 am

    I love Netflix. It’s the best invention next to Spotify!

  • Heather

    2013/07/31 at 8:04 am

    Love Netflix! Wish we had it!!

  • Sarah

    2013/07/31 at 8:04 am

    Now I apparently have to watch Orange is the New Black

  • lemmings_world

    2013/07/31 at 8:04 am

    Oh, my youngest would love a year’s worth of Netflix, he is a fellow “SHEEP! SHEEP!” lover.

  • mandolinera

    2013/07/31 at 8:04 am

    i like to be chosen randomly.

  • Euterpe813

    2013/07/31 at 8:05 am

    Yay Netflix! I’d love to try it out, since my salary dictates that the most fun I get to have, media-wise, involves borrowing TrueBlood DVDs from a friend five years after the series airs.

  • Flopsykitty

    2013/07/31 at 8:05 am

    I love Netflix! Pick me!

  • cabbiebot

    2013/07/31 at 8:05 am

    love netflix!

  • Amber

    2013/07/31 at 8:05 am

    Netfilx is the biggest life saver.

  • kara_v

    2013/07/31 at 8:06 am

    I love Netflix for watching old shows that don’t air anymore! Currently re-watching all of Gossip Girl (don’t judge me).

  • JohnFrost

    2013/07/31 at 8:06 am

    Loved Netflix. Had had to leave it due to caps on our cable internet. Wish they included wifi hotspot service to support their downloads. 🙂

  • Kathy

    2013/07/31 at 8:06 am

    I swear I don’t even know why I have cable anymore. My kids live for the little red netflix button on the blu-ray remote.

  • Brenda Gayle

    2013/07/31 at 8:07 am

    I would love to have Netflix, we fight over DVR space as it is and to be able to watch on demand on my iPad would be HEAVEN!!!

  • fairytate

    2013/07/31 at 8:07 am

    I have an almost 5 year old and a 1 year old. Netflix would be a Godsend with my oldest when the Disney Junior app isn’t satisfying her!!!

  • Rabbit Richards

    2013/07/31 at 8:07 am

    the first episode of Orange is the New Black i did totally doubletake and go.. is that…? but it wasn’t. and i was a little bit sorry, because i really think you would have made an awesome Piper.

  • Holly Waterfall

    2013/07/31 at 8:08 am

    we LOVE Netflix and can’t wait to see all the new bells and whistles

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Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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