Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Weekend

The park was showing outdoor movies on the weekend on a big screen with free popcorn.

My dad's office staff saved us some seats so we could come watch Despicable Me.

Then we went to a movie screening to see Despicable Me 2 the next morning. Fun for everyone.

Then Steve and I got dressed up to go to a magic show down in Beverly Hills. Our anniversary fell on a Sunday this year so we had to take a rain check for a week on going out for the night.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Simple Pleasures

Evan with R2D2.

Pancakes are always more fun than toast.

Evan had his share too.

Steve tried to teach Hailey how to play Stratego.

Hailey thought her way to play was better.

Steve's hard to convince.

Game over!

Concentrating so hard on the rematch.

Waking up happy from a nap.

Patiently waiting for help to get out.

Hailey took it upon herself to to help wash the dishes.

Meanwhile Evan was getting more dishes dirty.

Seriously, we are going to stop buying cereal.

Hailey can open the baby gates and can get into all the cupboards so nothing is safe anymore.

His hair has lightened up from being in the sun so much. 

Time to escape the heat at the beach.

Read and interesting article here titled "Children prefer simple pleasures to organized trips research finds." In a nutshell a study in the UK stated, "children would rather build dens in the garden and have water fights than go on expensive outings to theme parks."

Children ranked their favorite activities in order of preference. "Playing in the park or garden was ranked the top pastime. Mud pie-making, tree climbing and feeding the ducks came in the top ten." Children prefer flying kites and playing in the pool vs going to the zoo. Going to the movies was ranked lower than planting flowers and picking berries. Surprisingly, playing on the computer was ranked as as one of the least favorite activities.

I thought it interesting that the article states parents spent money out of guilt worrying that their kids will get bored.

In this UK study they remarked that most parents book at least one day trip or paid excursion per week during the summer holiday spending on average  £183 ($272) per child per holiday.

The article closed with a quote from psychologist Dr. Papadopoulos, "Summer memories last us a lifetime and parents can learn a lot from what their children have told us in this study."

Look what I caught.

Content to play in the sand until it was time to go home.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Griffith Park

Today we took the kids to the Griffith Park Observatory.

There are so many cool things to see there, like this Tesla coil demonstration.

The inside is just packed with displays

But once Hailey saw this statue of Albert Einstein she wasn't interested in anything else.

Hailey tried to monopolize on the statue, even when other people wanted to take their picture with Einstein.

After that we headed over to travel town. There were at least 10 Thomas the Train parties going on. Thomas the Train -- I really wanted to like you, but I just can't.

Some of the things I don't like are that the characters are mean; they seek revenge on each other. They bully other trains and harbor hateful feelings. There seems to be a lack of morals. For example in one episode the mean train gets thrown in a ditch. The other trains pick on him, laugh at him, then then show ends... yea just like that. No one helps, no apologies for being mean... the story just ends. And this is geared towards young children who are still learning what constitutes good behavior and how to act.

I watched a few episodes on Netflex and didn't like any of them. In one, Thomas makes a mistake. Thomas feels terrible, says he is sorry, but the other trains keep reminding him of all the mistakes he has made for 20 minutes. Instead of  accepting his apology and letting him move on the show ends with Thomas feeling terrible like a loser. Really?

In another episode Thomas is racing another engine and there is an entire song about how important it is to be number one and only number one. You may as well not try if you're not going to be number one. Way to teach bad sportsmanship. I never finished that episode.

I have leafed through and read some of the original older stories but I don't want to have to do damage control when my kids learn bad behaviors from them. (Heard complaints from other parents.) More trouble than it is worth.

And no, I don't think terrible things about people who love Thomas. To each his own. Hailey really wants  to play  with trains. Try explaining to a 3 year old that Christmas is 6+ months away...and her birthday is even farther away....oh, the drama and tears that follow. If you have never been to travel town you should come....because it is fantastic.  We brought Hailey here for her 2nd birthday and that's is when I decided that sometime in the future we would need a wooden train set.

Friday, June 21, 2013

The boy who likes to eat

I know a good cookie when I see one.

Can you tell he is thrilled?

Now for the cookie happy dance.

He has so much cookie in his mouth  you can't even see his teeth.

First Time eating spaghetti.

Where did you go?


He is going to need a bath.

Look who decided to play with oatmeal.

They thought it was a good idea until Steve caught them , then they claimed they didn't do it.

He said they were just stuffing their mouths full of dry oatmeal.