We totally didn’t pay to get the kids in…

•March 14, 2019 • Leave a Comment

It’s funny to have downloaded these pics off my computer finally, today, when all the talk is about parents cheating to get their kids into universities.  Because it’s totally the kind of bragging pics those parents would post somewhere, but we for sure didn’t have to pretend the kids are this smart and good – they were so excited to be invited to join their school’s National Junior Honor Society.  We went to the induction ceremony, and it was a way bigger deal than I pictured – all the kids dressed up and carried candles and promised to not only study hard, but also serve the community and act as leaders.  It was really touching.

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Then, Cory and Tina came to visit!  Unfortunately, it rained, so we didn’t get outside a lot, or take a ton of pics, but we did make it to Milk Bar (everyone’ favorite new dessert place!).

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And Molly yelled at Cory for being “one of those Instagram food people.”

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THEN, we had another Uncle moment, when Molly & Jacob were extra’s in Matt’s short film:

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They had a blast.

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And that night, Chuck took Jacob to a Lemony Snicket event (Molly went last time…).

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And finally, I have to add in these pictures that my boys took.  Chuck took this one of Chaplin:

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And Jacob took this one:

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And this one, which he left on my phone after sending to a friend…

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And that pretty much is a quick catch up!  Otherwise, it’s all school, drums, clarinet, fencing, Girl Scouts and friends…

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Happy Birthday, Baby (So not babies!)

•February 11, 2019 • Leave a Comment

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The birthday celebration started early this year, and we kicked it off with dinner and Wicked, for Molly’s birthday!

Then we had a party for Jacob’s birthday.  It happened to pour that day, so the pool part was off, but we did do breakfast then laser tag then pizza and video games then cake and a sleepover!

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After that, we went to the LEGO experience, in anticipation of the new LEGO movie…

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And on to BIRTHDAY!  Presents (including some very cool letters handmade by Aunt Debbie), a happy happenstance of a visit from Aunt Lisa, and then capping it of with a cap from Uncle Nathan that Molly couldn’t wait to wear to school the next morning.  And everyone fell into an exhausted sleep in their new birthday beds!

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Kittens, Strikes and Beds!

•January 23, 2019 • Leave a Comment

Usually January is quiet, as we try and detox and gear up for birthday month.  This year, not so much!

We started the year by visiting a shelter and letting the kids pick out the promised Christmas cats.  We got two big kittens, Chaplin and Kingsley.  They’re brothers, very chill, and perfect for us.  They’re adorable.  They’re not hyper (in fact, when you meet Kingsley, he will hide and run… he’s a very shy boy).  They like to cuddle on laps (on their terms) and get treats and play with mouse toys. Because they’re 6 months old, the shelter knew their personalities, and that they get along, which was good (I was immediately drawn to this sleepy smoky grey cat, which the shelter director warned us away from, saying he was darling, but so high energy and needed so much attention that one family had already brought him back – we just happened to catch him after he had worn himself out for the day).  So, here is us from bringing the cats home, to being fully settled in with them.

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Then, the teachers went on strike!  It’s made huge national news, and they were really striking for the kids, not for any money, and our superintendent is the WORST ever and wants to privatize the school system, and he was shocked by the support for our teachers and public schools!  There were rallys and picket lines and by the end of the week, only 17% of kids were in school.  We brought treats to the picket lines every other day, and went to the rally downtown (with 60,000 other people) on Friday.  And today was our first day back, with a new contract that is MUCH better.  So, it sucked, but the kids got an amazing lesson in living through history, being part of the story, unions and standing up for the little guy.  They felt really great about their contributions.  Here’s the kids, picketing in the rain with their teachers and going to the rally downtown.

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And finally, super generous Grandma and Grandpa got the kids new beds for their upcoming 12th birthdays!  So we spent this past weekend having them delivered (and in the case of Jacob’s bed, Chuck and Jacob spent 4 hours on Martin Luther King Day putting it together!).  Happy, happy kids!

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And the start of Jacob’s desire for all black furniture in his room (and drawers under the bed to keep all his things in, so our smart kitty cats can’t get at his stuff!):

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Now we’re got this one weekend to see friends and catch up on homework before Birthday Celebrations commence!

Merry Vegas and Ghosts

•January 5, 2019 • Leave a Comment

I can’t believe that three weeks of vacation are almost over, and we have one more day before we get up at 6 again.  At least for three days, and then there will probably be a teachers strike!  But we will get up early anyway, and go support the teachers on the picket lines…  But happier updates!  Like Christmas, with stockings, amazing gifts from such generous family, and loads of lazing, eating, playing, reading and hiking (though mostly the cameras only came out for presents!)

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The morning after Christmas, we road tripped it to Las Vegas.  There may have been an outlet stop on the way for the parents, too…  We needed new sneakers!  And actually, both kids got a few uniform clothes and jackets that didn’t feel fun enough for Christmas but were much needed.  In Vegas, it was as neon and glitz filled as we told the kids, and they were awed and enjoyed it, especially the food, the shows and sneaking onto the Casino floors from the walkways through them.  I think everyone’s favorite meal was actually the Bobby Flay Burgers (even more than the Wynn Buffet!) and favorite show was the Beatles reenactors.  They were pretty amazing.  Also adored was our suite at the Venetian, which was pretty fun, and had a spectacular view.  They were pretty impressed by the Mirage volcano, the champagne vending machine & robot butler at the Waldorf, M&M and Coca Cola shops too.  Not so adored: the view of Trump Towers from our room.  And the smoking!  Both kids were shocked to be somewhere where so many people smoked, and publicly.  They got a lot of practice in giving people the stink eye… As we left, we detoured by Ethel M. chocolate factory, which I remember from my road trip to Vegas in college.  No one was disappointed there…

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And lastly on the way home, we stopped at Calico Ghost Town.  It was a silver mining town that was founded in the 1880s.  Molly was entranced with the Sasaparilla, and Jacob liked the cabins built into rock.

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Then we got home to delight in NYE at home with friends, getting to catch up with friends and our new toys and books, watching movies (we’re about to duck out to see Stan & Ollie in a few minutes) and TV shows (mid-binge on the last season of Series of Unfortunate Events) and… meeting our new cat(s)!  More on that later, because nothing is official until the home visit tomorrow evening, and then if we get approved, we get to adopt someone special from the shelter…  The kids are beside themselves with excitement, are already in love and have picked out names, so we hope it doesn’t matter that we don’t have screens on the living room windows (that’s all I can think of that would ding us!)  So hopefully I’ll have an update on that and some super adorable pics later this week…

Pre-Christmas Dump…

•December 23, 2018 • Leave a Comment

That’s an inelegant way of saying I have some amazing pictures I need to share before Christmas!  But you’ll see…

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First off was Zoo Lights, with friends and dancing and craziness.  Such a fun tradition, and we did it the last week of school, so everyone had plenty of crazies to run and dance out!

The first weekend we had off for winter vacation, we went to Beverly Hills.  We went straight from picking Jacob up from an epic sleepover, where the kids went to bed at 4am.  So the first stops we made, he looked like this:

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and this:

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Then we met the giant bears:

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and

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and got some lunch, and he perked up.  Which was perfect, because then we found this amazing interactive art installation.  Flip through to see:

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We also stopped at Williams Sonoma and found some candy:

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The next day we had Jacob’s last fencing class before holiday, and they played a cool game, which ended in Jacob fencing the whole class! (This was on our way to the kids first NBA game, which was an exciting Clippers/Blazers match…)

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And later in the week, we went to a cool art exhibit of Victor Hugo’s art.  Molly loved it.  Jacob preferred the chairs in the courtyard.

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Yesterday was our holiday cookie party!  Our new house is really the perfect party house. (You can’t tell from the pics, but we thought it would be a tiny party this year, since it was later in the season, but it was perfect – still some 45 people came…  and you’d never have knows because of the rambling yard.  We see so many more parties in our future!)

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And today we woke up to a cookie breakfast and then checking out the RBG exhibit at the Skirball, which is amazing.  Now we’re inspired and going to watch “On the Basis of Sex” tonight!

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Petruchia of Venus

•December 10, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Molly’s first full length play was this weekend!  She was brilliant, if I may say so.  She was Petruchia, in a gender reversal Taming of the Shrew, that took place in outer space, where men were outnumbered 1000 to 1, and so in short supply.  They can’t be trusted to make good decisions, so their mothers would arrange marriages for them.  Here’s a set of pictures of Molly’s debut…  WordPress is being weird about uploading video, so email me if you want links to the YouTube videos I took (they’re pretty crappy, but I’m still happy to have them!).

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(You can right click to view image larger…)

Holidays, Full Steam Ahead

•December 6, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Well, here we are, post-Thanksgiving and mid-Hanukkah, coming up hard on Christmas!  So, catch up, once again…  First off, just for fun, there’s this:

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It’s from the Annenberg photography exhibit, which we took Matt and Debbie to.  Yes – their visit!  I never got any of those pictures up because we went straight into Thanksgiving week from there.  So here’s a quick overview of the dim sum and hike and museums and just hanging out we got to do on their amazing visit…

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Though I didn’t actually remember to take enough pictures, as always, lately with visits – the kids are so big and we all move so fast, I forget to take pics.  Luckily, Matt and Debbie sent some they took, too.

Then it was Thanksgiving! And we had a wonderful one, in our new house, with our Thanksgiving friends, Molly & Fiona, and their Aunt Jules and Uncle Brian.

We also got to sneak in a couple of hikes that week (this is how Jacob feels about hiking),

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some movies, museums and a visit to the Huntington Gardens…

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where we literally told the kids they couldn’t eat until they stood near each other, smiled, and let us get a picture.

So we got a few snaps.

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But they were still happier solo.

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And finally, we come to hard core holiday season, starting with Hanukkah.

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We had the first two nights,

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And then Chuck had a work meeting, and wasn’t home to light candles.  So the kids did it, and said the prayers, and I took a video and sent it to him as a surprise.

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(This is just a still, I’ll send you the video from my phone if you want it… wordpress is just being wonky about letting me upload video right now.)

And we’ve decked our own halls for the very first time. 

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And our stockings are hung by the chimney with care.

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Lest that look too actual cold weather holiday for LA, here’s a picture I took Monday morning of sunrise from our kitchen, looking perfectly like a Los Angeles December morning.

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Happy Holidays!  One more week of school, and then the kids are off for 3 weeks of festivities and fun!  (And then maybe more, if this teachers strike really comes to fruition… but we’ll worry about that when the time comes.)