Sunday, July 31, 2011

Advice for A Reluctant 4-year-old Swimmer

Okay, we're taking our son to swim class. We have him going 4 times a week for 25 minute sessions. (I should note that this is how they schedule the classes - we are not Type A parents). However, my son hates it. He cries and screams and is sooo sad. It breaks our heart. However, we are around the pool all the time, our relatives have pools at their homes and more and more we get invited to his classmates birthday parties - and many of them have pools. So, while I hate to see him cry, I do feel like he needs to learn to swim. Not sure if any of you have experience with this and recommendations for calming/soothing a child before a swim class? Popsicles seem to work every now and then....

Mystery of the Half Eaten Watermelon Triangles

It was my birthday on Friday and over the weekend we invited relatives over for brunch. My wife cut watermelon - perhaps my son's most favorite food ever - into triangles and left them in a bowl. Before we left, my wife called me in the kitchen to show me that the tops of all of the triangles had been eaten, but the bottoms had been untouched. It was slightly frustrating because we obviously could not serve the watermelon, but it was hysterical, too, when we realized our four year old had been the eater! So funny.

Monday, July 25, 2011

My Son Finally Dressed Himself Correctly

Tonight is a special night. My four year old son actually dressed himself for bed, all alone, and managed to get everything in the right place! It was such a surprise to see him take the initiative and to do it so well! The strange thing is that although I know this is a great moment, there was a part of me that was a little bummed that it's another thing he doesn't need me to help with. Every day he does more and more by himself and I feel pride with a little bittersweet on the side.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Amazing Dinosaur Exhibit in LA

Grandpa came to town and mentioned the new dinosaur exhibit hall at the Los Angeles Natural History Museum. Is that bad that I had not suggested it even though I live here? That's for another time. Let's chat about this exhibit because it rocks. Not only is it 14,000 square feet of fossils and amazing dinosaurs, but it is also the world's only Tyrannosaurus rex "growth series," which includes different T Rex's in different "ages and stages" - a 30-foot, 18-year-old; a 20-foot juvenile and an 11-foot baby. Apparently the museum is only half-way through a renovation that is going to see it nearly double in size. I wanted to read everything in the exhibit, but my four year old wanted to "ride the elevator." I'll have to go back by myself or with my wife so that I can read everything. Also, the exhibit is home to the Dinosaur Encounters, which is a "performance-based interpretive program that lets visitors get up close and personal with a realistic, life-sized juvenile T. rex." Working with paleontologists, engineers, artists, and puppeteers, the museum commissioned these huge dinosaur "puppets" that bring these prehistoric animals to life. "Terror and laughter exist side by side as the puppet roars, stalks, and bellows through our halls." Definitely worth checking out.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Our Son's First In-Theater Movie Experience

After weeks of discussion, my wife and I took our son to see his first movie yesterday. We saw Winnie the Pooh, a good first movie option! We arrived at the ArcLight in Pasadena, which is an amazing theater, armed with stuffed Winnie, Eeyore, Tigger, Kanga and Piglet. We bought a child's snack pack which comes with a little drink (water with a touch of lemonade) and popcorn in a happy-meal type of packaging. We then went into the movie where my wife sat on one side while I sat on the other. He was fine until the lights went dark, then he reached for my hand, which I held really tight. When the light from the screen came up on he looked at me and my wife to make sure we were still there. Then the movie started and he sat holding his stuffed animals with big open eyes. At the end of the movie, we were sent to the lobby where they had created a little Winnie the Pooh experience, which Winnie the Pooh "ear" hats, face painting, coloring books and a give-away. Our son actually won a little Winnie the Pooh blanket and after he grabbed his prize, he turned to us and said "I want to do this again! I want to see the movie again!" We were thrilled with our successful outing and happy that we now have all new ways to share entertainment with our little guy. Just hope he doesn't expect the face painting and give-aways the next time we go to the movies!

Dog Walkers with Poop, I See You

Tuesday is garbage pick-up day and inevitably it takes me about a day or two before I wheel them back in mainly because I don't get home from work until a little late and we have a straight in driveway, which means, for me to pull in the cans, I have to move my wife's car and my car. And after working a long day, I'll admit that I am lazy to do this. (For the record, I do wheel them in the next morning). That said, that leaves my bins on the street two mornings each week. I live in a great neighborhood of friendly faces, moms and nannies stroll with kids and of course, people walking dogs. I love and appreciate it all. What I don't appreciate is the right that some dog walkers feel, to use my garbage bin for their dog's poop. I don't have a dog, even though my family really likes dogs, because we don't want to pick up poop. I am sacrificing many fun times my family could have with a dog because I don't want to pick up poop. So, my friendly neighbors, what makes you think I'd want your poop in my trash? I know who you are, I've seen you opening my bin and disposing of your blue or white or green bags, smelling up my bin. So, starting Tuesday, I will be posting a sign that says "Do not dispose of your dog's poop in my bin!" Wish me luck that our neighbors actually respect the sign.

Good Luck to Both the USA and Japan

As an avid soccer fan, it's great to see the US Women's Soccer Team in the final today. Good luck! And Kudos to the Japanese team who have overcome incredibly adverse conditions to make it to the final in The Women's World Cup, one of the world's biggest sports.