Double 1s

•February 12, 2018 • Leave a Comment

I can’t believe it – the kids are 11!  For almost a whole week now, and now that we’ve knocked out 2 birthday parties, their actual birthday, my actual birthday, my birthday celebration and a bonus World of Dance celebration day I can take a deep breath, update some pictures and then rest easy with the birthday month crazies for another year.

First off, right before birthdays, Cory and Tina came for a visit.  It was so great to see them before their amazing travel adventure all over Asia.  I only really snapped one good pic while they were here, but it was a nice Hollywood Hills hike day:

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Then it was right into birthdays.  First up was Jacob’s Robot Building and then Robot Fighting party.  They built VEX robots in teams and then put them in the ring to duke it out.  It was pretty awesome.  Jacob’s menu of choice (so someday he’ll remember what his favorites were at this age): blue sugar cookies, Heath Bar Crunch Brownies, Doritos, BBQ Chips, lemonade and watermelon.  That night 2 buddies came home with us for a sleepover, Playstation playing, and his favorite dinner of bacon risotto.  Whew.

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The next morning Molly and I got up (while Chuck took the boys golfing and for burgers) and got fancy and picked up 2 of her best friends for a Chocolate High Tea at the Langham.  Wow.  All of us love chocolate, and all of us agreed we had finally met our chocolate match.  Then we strolled around the grounds and come home to sniffle over the Pats loss and then make Molly’s favorite dinner at the moment: Day after Thanksgiving Sandwiches.

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Then for actual birthday on Tuesday, we did gobs of gifts (seriously, relatives, you’re all too generous!) and then took them out to dinner and to see Aladdin on stage.  It was insanely silly and fun and the best way to spend a birthday (if not the best way to spend a school night).

 

 

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So, for my birthday we had a lively dinner and celebration at home, and then Saturday everyone went without a fuss to the Norton Simon, which is currently having exhibits on Degas and Rembrandt, which is heaven for me.  Jacob isn’t a museum creature (Molly totally is!), and he very sweetly came up and took my hand and asked why I like art, and what I find interesting about it.  Clearly implying he can’t fathom it.  And I talked with him, and told him, and he said, “Mom, all I see is paint on canvas, surrounded by wood.  I just don’t get it.”  But he was very sweet about not complaining that we were there for a long time, and then went to a healthy restaurant on top of that!

Sunday it was one last outing for birthday celebrations, so we did brunch on the way to see a taping on World of Dance.  Chuck got us VIP passes, so we got to sit in the friends and family special hidden viewing platform, hang out in the VIP lounge (with awesome snacks, to the kids’ delight) and then sit right next to the judges table.  It was pretty cool, and while it was for the kids, I think Chuck and I enjoyed and were floored by the dancing nearly as much as they were.  Well, maybe not as much as Mol, who spent the whole thing with her eyes about to pop, and bouncing up and down.  We don’t have any pictures, because they yondr your phone, but Jennifer Lopez has such glowing skin in person that I commented on it.  Molly asked why I was impressed and I said, because she’s older than I am, and she looks fantastic.  And Molly was shocked that she was *that* old.  When I pretended to be offended that she thought that was old, she said, “Really Mom, it’s that you both look 30!”  And then she said, “Also, you shouldn’t feel bad, because she probably looks like that because she can get facials every day.”  I feel much better…

While that catches us up to last night, I do have one more set of pictures.  I get some pictures from the teachers of the kids on their CIMI (Catalina Island Marine Institute) 3 day camping expedition with the whole 5th grade.  So here are the kids, snorkeling, hiking, and disecting squid.

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And lastly, on their birthday, I was looking at some old pictures of them, and these two cracked me up.  Rock stars from the beginning.

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Thank you, and good night!

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Underneath the Banyan Tree

•January 23, 2018 • 1 Comment

Hawaii!  We still haven’t actually gathered all our photos from various cameras and phones, but if I wait any longer, there will be birthday pictures and we will be so far behind that I’ll never catch up.  So, here’s a smattering of Hawaii!

We left the morning after Christmas and flew into Maui, picked up our car and drove to Kapalua, our favorite part of the island because it’s so green (and near the Ritz, which it turns out we could walk to, and is our favorite hotel on the island – or it was, and now it’s a tie with the Montage, and since the condo we stayed at was actually on the Montage property, that worked out quite well!). So, I’ll start with pictures of us, at the condo, getting ready to play tennis on the courts (we were the only people who used them!), on the lanai having breakfast, in the pool, or on the beach directly in front of us (which you can see, we had entirely to ourselves one morning).

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Well, I see that I’ve uploaded 76 pictures, so clearly the only way we’re getting through this is with a series of big slideshows.   I’ll try and explain pretty thoroughly what is in each, and remember, you can right click and enlarge anything.

Next, here’s a couple of slide shows with our trip to Hana.  I’ll start with the first half of the drive, which included the Garden on Eden and several waterfalls.  Not to mention a roadside stop for freshly macheted coconut water and chicken curry served in banana leaves…

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The end of the drive to Hana included a visit to the underground lava tunnels (you go down underground and explore the caves with flashlights and it’s pretty amazing) and a maze in the bushes (you can’t tell it’s a maze from the pictures, but it was very cool) and then the red sand beach.  Spectacular.

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How about a Luau?  Because of course we had to take the kids to one, and it every bit as cheesy as you’d think, and a whole lot more fun than we imagined. It’s also where Molly learned to stop hating it when men don’t wear shirts (she freaks out every time anyone isn’t wearing a shirt, even at the beach) and learned to appreciate well toned abs.

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How about a whale watch?  It was a very Rose family whale watch.  Lots of excitement.  Then… Molly realized she gets violently sea sick and Jacob remembers he hates boats.  But, still, it was amazing, because I’ve never seen that many whales come so close to a boat.  Even the crew was amazed and said they’ve never seen anything like it.  So between getting sick, Molly did adore the whales, and to occupy himself, Jacob made buddies with the captain and the bartender, had lots of fun and learned many interesting facts.  Success?

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Next up, the cliff dive at the Black Rock at sunset.  It was gorgeous, and we took a long walk on Kanapali Beach before getting seats at the beach bar to snack and watch the run up the rock with torches and the dive.

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Here’s a look at Kapalua: both hanging out at the Montage (the one with the telescopes and koi), the Ritz (wind and hammocks!) and going up to the blowhole (which of course the pictures I got were between blows) and the dragons teeth and the gorgeous little forest walk on the way there that looked like you had been transported to the Amazon which was filled with chickens and ended at a beach great for snorkeling (and chickens).

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And that’s about it!  We also ate at Morimoto’s restaurant, which delighted our little Iron Chef watcher

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and our trip ended right around the night of the Super Moon.

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The last thing we did, on the way to the airport, was get one of our favorite meals there in a gorgeous spot, the Mill House at the Maui Tropical Plantation.  Somehow, I think all the pictures from that are on Chuck’s phone or Jacob took with their new polaroid, but here’s one he took as a panorama (Jacob spent this trip obsessed with taking pictures either with the polaroid or as panoramas).

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And that’s pretty much our trip in a nutshell!  Aloha!

Christmas Weekend

•January 8, 2018 • Leave a Comment

So… that feels like ages ago now, but since we just got home and downloaded pictures a few days ago, I have to play catch up before I can get to our Hawaii pictures.  (Which are awesome!)  But I don’t want to shortchange this Christmas, which still had a lot of Santa and magic and fairy tale dust that I sometimes have weepy moments fearing these times are coming to a close.

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Let’s start here: the day before Christmas eve (this is totally and completely skipping the entire first week of vacation where I took approximately zero photos – but we had a crazy cookie party to kick off the week, saw Star Wars, went to several tennis lessons and hung out with friends every day, had a fake New Years Eve evening and did a fabulous backlot tour with Chuck of Universal Studios).  We went to see the decor of Beverly Hills.  Though it took on a different tone: there was no Jolly Trolley this year and the kids refused to visit Santa (sniff sniff – we can’t go down this rabbit hole or I’ll burst into tears as I type), but we did get a few more last minute presents and poke in shops and enjoy all the trees and twinkling lights.  This was Mol, trying on some fab sunglasses.  And then here are the kids playing in Ralph Lauren (one of our favorite places to play pretend, still – yes, all of us).

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Jacob was selling purses, while Mol mixed perfumes.  Chuck and I pretended there is a world where we actually shop for $22,000 couches.

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That night we went to our second annual outing of A Christmas Carol, by the Independent Shakespeare Company.  Where Molly got an autograph from her favorite Shakespearean actor, who runs the company, and does the one man show each year as Dickens.

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Then on Christmas eve morning we went to Grand Central Market for lunch, a trip on Angel’s Flight (first time for the kids!) and then to the amazing Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors exhibit at the Broad.  I thought it was a pretty brilliant example of marrying actual art with a millennium exhibit perfect for selfies, which I’m actually deeply opposed to unless, I have learned, that also means we get awesome pictures of the kids.  Like the Ice Cream Museum.  So, I’m a hypocrite, and ok with that.

 

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Each room had a box you stepped into with mirrors that reflected you in an unending loop of something – lights, tubers, balls, pumpkins.  It was really interesting.  The last room brought the kids into the art, by allowing them to place dot stickers in a white room which would contain a different kind of infinity and changing exhibition.  They were very thoughtful about what they did.

 

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To run thought this slide show, we start with our traditional Christmas Eve dinner at Miceli’s.  You can see from Molly’s beaming face (and plate) that we got to be 7 swans a swimming.  Not every table gets a verse, but Molly asked the waitress if they could sing it before we left because it’s her favorite part of Christmas, and they came by and gave her a plate.  Then we went home a wrote to Santa.  Their letters were so them – Molly wished Santa a Merry Christmas, and Jacob said he wanted 1 of 4 things, and Santa could pick which one. (That was: LEGO Death Star, PS4VR, Nintendo Switch or a winning scratch ticket.  Somehow, Santa came through!  He got each kid 2 scratch tickets, and due to a Christmas miracle, they each got a winner…).

The kids changed into their new Christmas Eve jammies (thanks Grandma and Grandpa!) Then on Christmas morning, you can see them opening stockings (look at Jacob’s face as he realizes he got scratch tickets!), our (also traditional) chocolate bun and fresh squeezed orange juice breakfast, a little bit of the aftermath of presents and Jacob swimming in wrapping paper.  And that’s a wrap (pardon the execrable pun) on Christmas.  We spent that night packing and got up early the next morning to catch a flight to Maui.  Pictures on that coming once Chuck and I can get them off our various cameras and choose some!

Grandma and Grandpa and Misty

•December 15, 2017 • Leave a Comment

We had a wonderful visit with Grandma and Grandpa and I don’t even know how to convey how much we packed into their visit!  This slideshow won’t really help, since I didn’t bother to take pictures most of the time, but it’ll give you a sense of going to see Misty Copeland dance in the Nutcracker, seeing the Cuba Is photography exhibit and eating our way through Eataly, just hanging out and playing at home, taking our holiday picture (which you’ll get in the mail soon-ish!), going to brunch and an art gallery and more!

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Then, as soon as they left, it was time for Hanukkah.

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And I’ve got a couple of catch up pictures Chuck sent me that he took.  Two from Christmas tree decorating:

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and Jacob:

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And a few from the beloved car show!

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One of the night before Grandma and Grandpa came, of when we were waiting (wands at the ready) to hear a conversation between Neil Patrick Harris and Lemony Snickett about NPH’s new book.

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and finally, this morning, the kids were dressed and ready (and trying to out-tall each other) for this afternoon’s holiday concert at school.  Which I’m dashing off to right now!  So I will update with more later, post this weekend’s school party, Girl Scouts holiday party, cookie making bonanza, Star Wars viewing, Hanukkah celebrating and finally Sunday’s annual cookie party.  Then next week, we sleep.

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Holidays are Here!

•December 5, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Mom and Jim come tomorrow and we have so much planned, I know I won’t get a chance to update for a while, so I want to get some quick Thanksgiving and then tree decorating pictures up NOW!

Thanksgiving, we spent with a few friends.  It was low key and wonderfully fun. We ate too much, played games, and then the kids treated us to a fashion show…

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We also had a couple of birthday parties for friends.  Jacob got to play bumper soccer at one.

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You can tell which is him in this shot:

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Then there was an arcade party, which Mol opted out of.  We went shopping and for hot chocolate instead.

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We also visited a Gibbon Sanctuary.  It was amazing.  Here’s one picture I took with my phone.  Jacob also used my camera to take a gajillion.  I put an album of them (and I snuck the camera to take some of the kids and their friend Emma who came with us) on Shutterfly, which you can see by clicking here.

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And just to get us caught up, I’m going to end with another slide show of pictures of early Christmas activities: opening advents on Dec 1, setting up and decorating the tree, and a trip to Zoo Lights with best friends.

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Aunt Debbie’s Visit

•November 16, 2017 • Leave a Comment

The perfect way to kick off the festive time of year is with family visits!  So we felt like we were starting the holidays early when Debbie and Matt came to visit.  And we packed their visit full with tons of things to do!  I don’t have any pictures of it, but first Chuck took them to a taping of Will and Grace and I heard it was a blast, and they got to sit right on the floor, with the director and showrunner.

Then we went on a tour of Dodger Stadium, which was amazing.  That was out outdoor time, really, all together, so that’s where most of my pictures were taken.  I’ll put everything in a slideshow below.  Then Saturday Jacob had his last regular season soccer game, so we were at that, while Chuck took Deb, Matt and Molly to an animation workshop.  Molly’s favorite parts were learning about stop motion and getting to record some voice over with one of the artists.  I would give anything for that audio!  Sunday we went to see Casablanca on the big screen (for the first time for the kids!) and then to check out the new Eataly.  Whew.  Oh, and the last pictures are of the last night dinner we had here, after which the kids constructed and decorated their gingerbread turkey…

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Then after the most dramatic soccer playoff game in kids soccer history (tied 3-3, after being down 2-0 quick, then winning in penalty kicks – first time any of the kids had ever been involved in that!) we went with a couple of Molly’s friends last night to meet the authors of this book on how girls can change the world.  It was a grandmother/granddaughter team who wrote it and the girls were all inspired.

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Oh, yeah, first we got crazy good ice cream.

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And went for a walk at a nature center.

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But then we got absorbed in the book:

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and Mol got her book signed.

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Now just two more days until Thanksgiving vacation!

 

 

Happy Halloween, from Jareth & Hawkeye

•November 4, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Let’s start with Halloween, because it was the cutest.  Here’s a little slideshow from our pre trick-or-treating photoshoot:

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Then there was trick-or-treating with friends,

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and a candy swap (while watching the penultimate Dodgers game-we still shan’t speak of the final game).

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Here’s the Goblin King, reading after we tried of the make-up in a trial run:

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And the school parade with friends earlier in the day. You’ll notice that they’re wearing different costumes, because they didn’t want to ruin them for later that night.  Also, during the parade, you can see that the 5th grade did a lap with their Kindergarten reading buddies.  It’s so cute.  They partner with a kinder kid and read to them in Spanish once a week.

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And final Halloween pic, here are our pumpkins.  Molly did a cyclops, Jacob did a pirate and Chuck did a jack O-Lantern, classic style.

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You can see Jacob’s pirate has a little buddy and Molly’s cyclops is eating her terrified little pumpkin.

Here’s another catchup picture: Chuck interviewed Brian Selznick at the screening of Wonderstruck, so the kids got their copy of the book signed.

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And finally, our friends who moved to London got to visit and it was so awesome to see them.  The kids played like puppies at Jacob’s soccer game, so couple pics from team picture day too.  His team is Hot Sauce!  They have their last game next weekend and then it’s playoff time!

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Today Molly is at a Girl Scout event and I took Jacob to his soccer game.  Tonight we are all very excited to see Thor, and then tomorrow Jacob has another soccer game while Mol and I heard to hair day and then her Girl Group workshop.  Whew!  Then we get to start to plan and get excited for Aunt Debbie and Matt’s visit this week!