Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Other Big Mouse

We went to see a big mouse. No, not Mickey. We went to see Chuck. I remember loving these places when I was a kid but I've never brought my kids. So on one fine day after a long rainy stretch, we visited Chuck.

First, some warm-up rides.

Clifford scares me but the kids like him.

Then, lunch. Here are the two pizza buddies.

Chuck E Cheese pizza is like the Wonder Bread of pizzas. It's all fluff but the kids like them. Here is the boy showing off his "Pizza Happy" face.

And here is the "Pizza Crazy" face. His left eye is so much bigger than his right when he is excited.

Dessert was some homemade lollipops the girls made a couple days ago. We actually managed to convince them to save it till dinner time.

Then the gaming began. The Girl went off with her friend and I really don't know what they did. I guess they went on more rides and played a few games. I hung out with the Boy mostly.

"Woah! Shark scary. I don't think I should mess with him."

"But they said I need these little pieces of paper called tickets to get prizes. I guess I will have to try."

And try we did. We averaged 12 tickets per game on this machine. Dare I say we owned it?

Now, if the Boy ever challenges you to a friendly game of air hockey for your lunch money, run for the hills! He's a air hockey SHARK! Our visit to Chuck's was his first exposure to the game. He watched these two people play while we were waiting for the food and somehow, he knew exactly what to do.

Here is a short video of us playing. I did score a point at the end but I think this may be the last time I beat him at air hockey.

So for $30, 2 adults and 4 kids were fed and entertained for 2 hours. I guess it's a good deal. I see more mouse visits in our future.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Private Recital

I am always surprised at how much of the dance she learned from last year that she remembers. Every time the music comes on, she's on auto-pilot.

This is a longer and more boring video but I caught the Boy "heigh ho"-ing his heart out near the end.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

New Obsession

In case I haven't talked your ears off about the upcoming fancy party, here's the deal: Hubby and I and Hubby's parents are going to the Oscars! Naturally, I started obsessing about finding a dress (the reason why I've been such a blogging slacker). After three weeks of very intense searching, I think I have found the one.

Now I am mildly obsessed about the shoes, the hair and the bag. I bought a pair of really really pretty shoes that are really really uncomfortable. The logical me is thinking I should take them back but the vain me is thinking keep them because they are so pretty. I am not sure.

I am also spending an alarming amount of time on youtube learning how to do my hair. I have a solid backup plan but I want to learn to do a messy updo with a headband like this.

I am considering making my own but if I see one I like, I'll just get it. Shopping on etsy has been super fun. Lots of hair accessories and lots of bags too look at. Now I just need to find someone to alter the dress and I am ready to party! Yippeee!

Monday, January 18, 2010

First Project of 2010

Near the end of last year, most of my sewing was the "get-it-done-and-get-it-done-fast-because-I-needed-to" variety. There was a lot of repetition and time pressure but not a lot of creativity and learning to it. So after a month of rest, I am very eager to start something new and a little more challenging than the patterns that I now know so well. After a morning spent by myself at Joann, I have chosen Simplicity 2652. It's cute, wearable and there are definitely techniques that are new to me. I am making it in a size 8 even though I think I am more of a size 10 by the measurements given on the back of the package. Somehow, things I make always turn out too big for me.

Here is a shot of the pattern and the fabric I have chosen for it.

After 2.5 hours of work, I have cut out all the pattern pieces,

and made the pleats on the front and back and pleats and casing on the sleeves.

I also opened my new pack of butterfly pins. My old ball pins were all falling apart after a couple months of intense use. I am still getting used to the butterflies because they seem much longer to me than the old ones. They sure are pretty to look at though.

Another new thing is that I've been sewing under this light. It is amazing! I don't know how I have sewn so many evenings without it. The only criticism I have is that this light does not have a switch. It's possible that I just haven't found it yet but it'd be a lot easier if I didn't have to crawl under the table to plug and unplug it each time.

I feel like 2010 is going to be a good sewing year. Is anyone interested in sewing this jacket with me? Email me if you want to play too.

Oh, and while I was working, the kids were supposed to be napping. Instead, they did this to poor baby Ali (the doll, of course). So next time they see the real baby Ali, I wouldn't quite trust them to be Ali's babysitter yet. They both claimed that baby Ali asked to be made pretty and they were just trying to help. I guess the doll is plenty pretty now.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Here's some random girliness:

Monday, January 11, 2010

Let's Go See Fishies

We revisited the awesome Academy of Sciences after a long long break. The last time we went, the Boy was just starting to walk and I spent most of my time worrying that he may run off or get trampled. This time, he was totally in charge. He could walk right up to the exhibits and "talk" to the fish. He touched a sea urchin, a star fish and a live abalone. Do you suppose he made the connection that the abalone in the tank is the same species as the "bao yu" that he loved so much at the restaurant?

Our first stop was the rain forest. The kids' favorite thing to see in here are the butterflies. Last time we came, a butterfly stopped briefly on the Girl and she's convinced that the butterfly thinks she is so beautiful that it had mistaken her for a flower.

Right next to the butterfly, on the bottom of the flower bed, I spotted this little guy. Do you see him right in the middle, hidden in the back there?

We were really close to her. I wanted the kids to see so I kept pushing them closer to get a look. What I didn't realize/thought about was the kids were noisy and wanted to touch everything. Eventually, the Boy scared the birdie off and I saw her nest and eggs. So sorry bird. We won't bother you next time. Good luck to you and your babies.

After the rain forest, we took the elevator down to the aquarium. The Boy was, well, concerned. While the Girl has always been fearless, the Boy is much more cautious. He kept asking me if those giant fish are sharks and if they were going to eat him. I kept tell him no but he wasn't so sure. He was intrigued by what he saw but he was definitely on the defensive side.

"Mommy, big shark coming to me!" (Not a shark, just a giant catfish.)

"Is the shark going to eat the other fish now?"
"No, it's not a shark and it's not going to eat the other fish."
"It's LIKE a shark, right?"
"No, it's a catfish."
"It's like a cat?"
"Kind of."
"What about the whale shark in Piccono?"
"You mean Pinoccio?"
"Yeah, that one bad, like a shark and eat the daddy one."
Ah, the mind of a 2 year old!

After all the shark talk, I figured he would enjoy a happier tank. So we went in search of Nemo.

"Look, I found Nemo. It's in there. Where is Dory?"

"Let's see what we are looking at." (I kept thinking he looked like he was ordering sushi.)

Once it's established that there are no sharks in this tank, the Boy showed his true colors and started acting like a monkey again.

Then the Girl joined him.

And she did a little fishie dance.

Then they decided they wanted some Goldfish crackers for a snack. Good thing mommy is always prepared. We sat down, ate our snack and finished our visit by checking in on Claude the albino alligator. He was chilling out with the giant turtle this fine afternoon. Can you see the turtle? It's on Claude's right hand side.

Hope you had a good weekend too.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Gentler Side Of The Boy

The Boy has never been a doll player. When he does pick up a doll or a soft toy, it's usually to toss it aside to make space for his cars. This one night while he was waiting to be tucked in, he picked up this bottle and baby (which I haven't seen in months) and started feeding it while saying, "I feeding Baby Ali". It's the sweetest thing I have ever seen!

This Boy doesn't like to pose for pictures but he was so proud of himself that he wanted me to take a picture for him

He did take a sip from the bottle at one point to "check to see it's not hot".

Then the Girl wanted me to take a picture of her. Here is a token girl picture.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Young Magic Players

Remember this? Husband had some friends over to play Magic again and the kids had a friend over for a play date prior to that. So we thought we'd train them while we had the card table all set up. Look at these serious young card players.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Husband Chef

My Husband can bake bread!

Here is the artfully braided dough.

Evidence that the Husband is indeed the chef.

The product! Can you smell it? This is a loaf of apple challah. It's so so so good with homemade apple butter. I ate half the loaf promptly after this picture was taken. Husband is a genius!

Our little chef in training. Lesson today: how to artfully display ordinary food. Check out that clementine flower.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Havev A Dirty Messy Year!

A life time ago when I used to teach high school, I'd give an encouraging speech at the beginning of the year to help my students re-focus and put the past behind them and do the best they can with the new year. One of my favorite things to tell them is "Don't just stand on the sidelines and watch. You can't know how much you are capable of until you immerse yourself in the subject and get dirty and messy. Even if you think you can't do it, try it with all you've got and more often than not, you'd surprise yourself. " So here's to a dirty and messy year of 2010! Let's all throw ourselves into whatever we decide to do completely and get the full experience. Bye bye fear. Bye bye hesitation.