Trip #3: Visiting Daddy on Set in Montreal

•July 26, 2015 • Leave a Comment

This was one exciting trip for us all.  It was amazing to see how the show that all came out of Chuck’s head has taken over Montreal.  Literally-it was so cool because there were signs everywhere to basecamp, set, and closing off the roads for the production.  It was cool to meet the unbelievably nice cast and crew who were uniformly kind and wonderful to the kids (ok, not entirely uniformly, because while everyone went out of their way to be nice to the kids and talk to and engage them, none were as amazingly friendly and kind and engaging as Cary Elwes, who is a fencing hero to Jacob and took tons of his own time to really play with and listen to him and I will never forget how happy that made Jacob).  And amazing for the kids (and me!) to see Daddy at work.

AOMSet2aThis was our first visit to set, as they were shooting an Iraq war flashback.  It was so cool.  Ask the kids about the explosives… they’ll happily tell you stories.  Scarily, Molly will also tell you how much she enjoyed meeting all the “army men.”  She has no idea why that gives her parent’s pause.

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Then we visited the “Davenport mansion” (that will make sense when you see the show, in November, on Crackle…) which was a stunning estate outside the city.  Stunning!

IMG_0079Jacob was rather entranced by the huge cameras.  This one was part of the “behind the scenes” documentary stuff that was getting shot.  The guy shooting that footage was so kind, letting Jacob have free reign with the camera.

IMG_0085Molly was SO happy to be with her daddy again.

IMG_0086There’s a lot of downtime on a set, so Mol read.

IMG_0089And Jacob showed Cary pictures of himself fencing on my phone.

IMG_0091And then engaged him in a match.  Made his summer.

IMG_0101Did I mention, nicest man ever?

photoSomeone lost a tooth.  After a day playing video games at the exhibit at the Science Center.  That was a day that made him VERY happy.

Mont Royal ParcWe did manage to squeeze in a little off-set time in with Daddy, too.  This is at Mont Royal Parc.

Montreal VistaAnd this is at the vista at the top of the park.

Montreal15_0129And this is boat sailing, second favorite activity in town for Jacob (first being the video games).

Montreal15_0125We also did a fair bit of exploring while Chuck was writing.  Like a boat tour…

Montreal15_0190In the Vieux Port

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Which both kids enjoyed.

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And a visit to the Biodome, where there were sloths

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and hatching chicks

Montreal15_0051And a boat environment.

Montreal15_0050It was amazing.  We also went to the botanical gardens.

Montreal15_0075Where Molly posed.

Montreal15_0064And Jacob took in the art.

Montreal15_0095It was gorgeous.

Aside from all the stories (Molly refusing shyly when Dennis offered to buy her the mansion, both kids refusing to be in an episode, even when Dennis offered to pay them; “I don’t much care for money” Mol said!, Jacob telling everyone out of the side of his mouth that Molly might be the older twin, but he was both bigger AND stronger, and all their palling around with all the cast and crew), that’s pretty much an overview of the trip.  Though, purely for posterity, I have to mention that this was the trip (to be specific, dinner at Le Serpent) that pushed us into the world of fine dining.  We ate at a couple of very nice restaurants, and basically no place had a kids menu (yay! must be an American thing!) and at Le Serpent Molly ordered Duck with hazelnuts and spelt and Jacob had Lobster Risotto with yellow beets and marscarpone and literally licked the plate clean, and Chuck and I realized we can now eat anywhere we want, with the kids.  It doesn’t sound huge, but it felt it.

Jacob took this picture of Molly and Chuck.  She basically didn’t leave his side, and cried all the way to the airport.  Luckily, he’ll be home for good in a few short days.

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Trip #2: Portland

•July 26, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Two weeks in Portland is usually a treat of perfect summer weather and a break from the hot LA summer… but while this year was a treat of course, the weather was hot, hot, hot!  For the first 10 days it hovered between 95-100 every single day.  So we did a lot of inside cool things, or rocket blasting in the early morning, or water gun fights in the late afternoon when the back yard was shaded.  Hence, fewer pictures.  But loads of fun and family (a sleepover at Nathan and Lisa’s and getting to check out Cory’s new pad were total highlights) made the heat immaterial.

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This is Grandpa Jim’s own rocket from when he was 12.  In perfect condition.  You mix baking soda and vinegar and it powers the rocket to a good 50 foot take off in the air.  Jacob will never forget these morning lift offs with Grandpa.  I don’t think he will either.

Portland15_0120This is one way to cool off!

Portland15_0146Direct hit!

Portland15_0172Molly aims.

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And Jacob scores a butt shot.

Portland15_0176I missed this trip to the bird sanctuary, but sent Jacob to document it with my camera.

Portland15_0093He got a lot of cute shots (and a lot more blurry ones…)

Portland15_0022Our to dinner with Uncle Cory, who was so nice to spend so much time ninja wrestling with two tireless monkeys.

Portland15_0186Not sure what was going on here…  :)  Jacob was dressed up for dinner with his new tie, and he slicked down his own hair.  He and Grandpa went shopping while the girls did our own shopping, and they got shorts and a belt, and then Jacob insisted on picking our “tuxedo pants” and a tie, which he proceeded to wear all week in the broiling heat.  He is into being dapper these days.

Portland15_0183That’s all the pictures I took!  It was hot, and I was working.  Jim has a few more, and I’ll post those eventually…Hopefully they include a couple of pictures of Nathan and Lisa who were so wonderful with the kids, and I just never took my camera out!

Trip # 1: Home

•June 28, 2015 • Leave a Comment

This is the summer of travel for us.  It’s a bit happenstance, and a bit on purpose, as with Chuck in Montreal, we needed distractions (and I needed childcare help so I can work) and also it happened to be the Memorial service for Grandma and Grandpa Shagoury.  So Trip #1 was home for me, and boy was it ever.  From the minute we landed in Boston to the airport shops filled with Boston Strong t-shirts (first sniffle of the trip, but definitely not the last) and the first Boston accent (the cop at our gate, saying into his walkie talkie “What you gotta do, is go to Johnny Rockets” which sounded like “jawnie raaackets”) I felt like I was home again.

Nostalgia Stop #1 was Horseneck Beach and a too quick visit with Dad, Mary Ellen and Grandpa Hubbard.  Here’s pictures from that visit, which was amazing.  Dad played games with Jacob endlessly (to his delight) and played with Mol (to hers).  After a visit to the beach to see Grandpa, who is doing incredibly well and was wonderful to see, and a bonus visit with Amy and Pauline (I’ve missed you all!) we got lobster from the fisherman, got strawberries and eggs from the farm, that had loads of animals for us to visit, and then fell asleep watching the Red Sox. (For all these slide shows, you can right click on any image, then select “view image” to see it larger…)

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Then we drove up to Merrymeeting for the Memorial Service.  I’m not sure I have enough distance from it yet to write anything about it, except that it was profoundly touching.  It was so incredible to see all my cousins and aunts and uncles, meet their kids, and realize how very much I miss being with them, and having my kids grow up surrounded by family.  It was hard yet deeply moving to go to Wolfeboro to sort through Grandma and Grandpa’s things.  And the memorial itself I think was a fitting tribute to the brilliant, loving and amazing people that created such a large and loving family.  We had a celebratory dinner Friday night, the memorial service Saturday that we all worked to pull together (though the bulk of the planning was all Paul, Rannah and Ailene) and a Sunday Father’s Day brunch, where all the kids became fast friends and we all just enjoyed and reveled in family.  I’ll end this with Jacob’s words to me, just this morning: “I think when I have a memorial service, I want to do it before I’m dead, so I can be there to hear all the nice things people say about me.  That was really neat.”  (He also added, “And I can find out who is mad at me!” – I don’t know where that came from, as certainly no one was mad at Grandma and Grandpa!)

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But it wasn’t all crazy emotions!  We also (thank you Mum and Jim!) rented a gorgeous cabin on Merrymeeting to stay at and play at inbetween all the events.  We stayed there with Nathan and Lisa and had lots of time for swimming, playing, s’more roasting, canoeing, lobster roll eating and just hanging out, playing games, drinking coffee and talking.

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And lastly, for the kids to have for posterity… here are come pictures of the Memorial gathering that Uncle Skip (it was so wonderful to see him and Ann, looking so wonderful, and Skip reminding us all so very much of Grandpa) took.

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Two weekends in June

•June 7, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Well, last weekend of May, first weekend of June…

First of all!  Schools out for summer, and now we have a couple of third graders.  Insane!IMG_6757These are reading and math awards for the end of the year.  Smart kids!

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And a Dodgers game with Daddy, since the last one we went to, he was out of town.  Everyone was decked in their Dodger finest.

Now we’re up to Daddy birthday weekend…

outings_0100Part of what Chuck wanted for his birthday was to get gifts for the kids, so we got Jacob a bike and Molly some new clothes (they’re so them with what they want!).  So the boys took their bikes to CicLAvia

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While we played and parks and went shopping.

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Then we met up for a sushi lunch.

outings_0124Then the real birthday celebration was this weekend, when we rented a BMW 6 series convertible and did a PCH drive to Malibu.

outings_0079We played at the bluffs

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Lunched at the Pier,

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and went to Paradise Cove for dinner.

photo(1)We ended the night watching the sunset at point Dume.  No pictures, but pretty spectacular!

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Then today we got all dressed up for tea at the Langham.  It was amazing – the tea, and the setting AND the fact that it was a magic tea with strolling magicians.  The kids were enthralled.

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Both by the spread

outings_0015And the magic.  And we were sure to take plenty of pictures with Daddy for people who miss each other to look at this summer.

outings_0037And how much do these boys look alike?

outings_0046We found an empty ballroom on the way out, and after the kids were done playing, there was a very sweet Daddy/Daughter dance.

outings_0052What a sweet way to end the weekend…

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Easter, Passover, Grandparents and More!

•April 29, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Chuck is in Montreal shooting his TV show (!!), the kids are a month away from finishing second grade (!!), Jacob is getting glasses, and things in general are busy and crazy, which is to say usual…

I owe so many pictures, but have been swamped (again, usual) so here’s a whole bunch of pictures.  We’re getting glasses for Jacob this week, so I will at least try to get some pictures of that soon!  I tried to do these in order, and put a little caption with each… but they keep changing how slideshows work, so tell me if anything doesn’t make sense!

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Just a big old picture dump…

•March 27, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Between Chuck working around the clock and me trying to keep up with work and school and get a tiny bit ahead so I don’t have to work through all of Spring Break next week, it’s been an insane month.  So I’ve neglected updates of pictures of the kids.  As grandparents have let me know.  Mostly it’s because I’ve just been snapping low res low light stuff on my crappy phone, and forgetting to download it.  So while the kids watch Get Smart with Chick right now, that’s what I’m doing.  And between Jim and I, hopefully we’ll get some fun and good stuff next week, too.

photo(6)So first we have Art Show at school.  They did a clay section.

photo(7)Continuing the art theme, Molly did a painting badge for Girl Scouts.  This is the day they did abstract art.  Now Molly wants to be a famous abstract artist when she grows up.photo(8)Speaking of Girl Scouts, we went to a UCLA Gymnastics meet where the Girl Scouts got to parade.  Jacob and I ate hot dogs and watched.  Molly and her friend Mahalia paraded.

FullSizeRenderThis is cameraman Jacob filming a scene for his filmmaking class.

photo(9)While Mol takes Flower Arranging.

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And another later scene fromt he new Zombie movie they’re making now…  Jacob is Zombie tie-dye in the back row.

Jenis_0006And Mol loves flower arranging and we took a friend for a birthday present.  Here’s Molly’s arrangement.  In her Canada cutie shirt that Chuck got her when he was in Montreal.  They are VERY excited about Daddy’s show shooting there.

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Going to the opera.  We saw the LA Opera production of Barber of Seville.  All 3 hours.  It was amazing and the kids loved it.

marchmj_0093There was a preshow for kids…

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Which Molly took part in.

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And Jacob watched.

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Then Jeff visited and we went to the Pier to win minions.  Daddy and Jeff each won one, which made for two happy kids.

photo(1)And we did a late celebration of my birthday spending the day at the pier in Malibu.

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And finally, the school had a March-A-Thon as a fundraiser.  Here they are stretching with their Kinder teacher before running.  Well, Jacob is.

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Molly was goofing with a friend.

marchmj_0044Jacob ran all 30 laps (well, ran/walked) which was 7 1/2 miles!

marchmj_0067Molly zipped along and then cute out at 13.  Still pretty good.  Then she helped me hand out snacks and cheer friends on.

marchmj_0052And just to end with pics I took yesterday for work of kids enjoying ice cream at the newest place in town (it’s amazing – the first LA outpost of a Jeni’s).  Thought it might be on interest to see how big they seem to look right this very minute.

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Molly is giving the side eye to her friend Ava.  I think she had designs on her cone, too.

Jenis_0043And now we’re on Spring Break, which covers Passover and Easter, so I will definitely have the camera out!

Now We Are 8

•February 15, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Eight!  Holy cow.  I can’t believe it.  But I love it.  It seems (so far) to be the perfect balance of insightful little beings that say amazing things and snuggle monkeys who still adore their parents.  So we’re prediction a good year.  We sure kicked it off in style.

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The weekend before their actual birthday, Molly had her celebration… a two night sleep sleepover with her friend August.  First was dress up, then the next morning the girls had me do their hair to match.

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And we played all morning and after lunch went to make candy bars.

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While the bars were setting, the girls tried on lipsticks.

turning8_0153And then picked up their bars.  They thought they did a spectacular job.  I’m just glad they were happy, as I don’t think gummy bears, Nutella, peppermint and cookie dough all together is a flavor the world is clamoring for, but they loved them.

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Movie time at the El Capitan.  Got to meet Tinkerbell, too.turning8_0108

Then they built lego cars for a car convention when we got home.

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After a sushi dinner out, we opened presents at home.

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And watched Annie and slept in tents.

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Then…  actual birthday day was the next Friday.  And any good birthday starts with a donut.

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Clearly.

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It happened to be the day we had a parent teacher conference – they are brilliant, in case you were wondering – which also means it was book fair day at school.  So after great conferences, they got to pick out a book, which they read all the way to the car.

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After dinner (stuffed shells and cloud cake was their pick), it was present time.

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Needless to say, that was a very happy part of the day.

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Very happy.

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And then we lost Molly to her books.

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And Jacob to his Legos.

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Moll models her new nightie and robe.photo(6)

And the next morning started Jacob’s sleepover extravaganza.  We picked up 3 friends and hit sushi.

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And they all ate until they were so full they said they couldn’t ride in the car until they ran off some of the sushi…  Apparently, if you’re an 8 year old boy, the best way to work off lunch is tackling each other.

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Next stop, Chuck E. Cheese.

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Then home for Nerf wars.  Darth Vader showed up.

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And the boys all attacked him with their new nerf clone shooters.

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Then after hours of running and attacking, it was time for pizza and clone wars tv show.

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The next morning they had Princess Leia buns and bacon and ate themselves silly until everyone went home and Jacob and Chuck went to play golf.  Meanwhile, Molly and I went to see Swan Lake.  After all that (awesome, but exhausting) boy energy, that was a delight for both of us.

photoAnd that was the birthday!

And now here are all the pictures we remembered to take from the two birthday weekends.  CLICK HERE to see the slideshow.

This long weekend is pretty busy, and I will update with pictures from Jacob doing a fencing demonstration and Harlem Globetrotters, too!  Speaking of which, we had a Girl Scout cookie booth early this morning, so Molly and I need to nap (or maybe read, but rest is the key!) before we head to the Globetrotters, so that’s my update for the afternoon!

 
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