Showing posts from October, 2008


Nathan called pumpkins "poke-ins" until about last year. I still call him "poke-in" as a term of endearment. Each evening after kissing them goodnight, just before I close their bedroom door I call out , "Goodnight Poke-ins". Benjamin, who has been seeing a speech language pathologist for two years, also calls them "poke-ins", and when I try to have him say it properly, he cocks his head to the side and says, duh Mommy, I just did.

Goodnight, Poke-ins.

Bruiser Ben

Benjamin is five and of average height and weight. But he is a mighty tyke and can take down grown men. Here he demonstrates his technique on his big brother. Learn from the master!

New Glasses!

Today was the day we picked up Nathan's first pair of glasses! They are bifocals, with just a rectangle on the bottom that has a prescription and the rest are clear. They are only to be worn while reading or doing homework, not playing or walking around. Trying to teach him to look through the rectangle was both hilarious and frustrating. Perhaps more frustrating than hilarious, but I'm trying to be optimistic that one day I'll look back on the two hours we spent trying to do his homework while wearing the glasses and laugh my head off.

Random Trip Photos

Nearly two hours into the drive, Ben announced that he felt like he was going to throw up. His face, including his lips, were paper white which was a frightening thing to behold. We took away his book and told him to look out the window. I crushed half a Benadryl, mixed it with some of Daddy's whipped cream from his Starbuck's Frappacino and told him to swallow it. Twenty minutes later he was sound asleep, drooling all over his hand.

Driving towards Las Vegas we are reminded why we love California so much. It has everything. Beaches, mountains, deserts, miles of wide open spaces, cities, ranches, you name it.
Our hotel lobby had a large pond with koi fish and two Royal Swans named Elvis and Priscilla. The boys enjoyed watching them snooze, eat lettuce, and generally ignore all the guests at the hotel.

Outside the Monte Carlo where we saw the Lance Burton Magic Show. The weather this weekend was perfect, toasting warm during the day for swimming, and breezy and cool in the evenin…

Stage Magic

We took the boys to see Lance Burton, a family friendly classic magic show at the Monte Carlo. I personally was a bit freaked out by his billboards and posters which show a man who has either been airbrushed beyond recognition or is a disciple of Botox. But several people recommended it as one that the kids would love and since this trip was work related for Daddy's job on a magic show, it was an obvious choice.

True to the recommendations, it was a great show with lots of doves, ducks, and even a goose, always a kid pleaser. At one point he asked for kids to come up and help him with a trick, and an usher pointed at Nathan and told him to go up, which he enthusiastically did, along with a dozen other children. Lance commented that he liked Nathan's striped polo shirt, and said that stripes really make a person look tall. Then he said "See? Look how tall he looks compared to... her" and pointed at a tiny toddler who had come up with her big brother. Nathan laughed (al…

Transformer Bed

In Las Vegas we stayed in a suite that had a bedroom with a king sized bed and a convertible sofa sleeper in the living room. Wise parents that we are, we excitedly told the boys that they got to sleep on a "Transformer" bed. They are currently obsessed with Transformers toys, so they were pretty excited when they heard this. When we pulled it out to make it into a bed or put it back into the couch, Mike made the requisite sound effects to go along with the transformation. They thought it was pretty cool!
The foam hands are some of the neat goodies Mike brought back for the boys from the LDI conference he was attending.


Friday night we all went to see Cirque Du Soleil's KA. The real star of this show is the set. It has a giant stage that rises in the air, spins around, and goes completely vertical, which the performers climb all over. I desperately wanted to go backstage and climb all over it myself! We've seen most of the Cirque shows in the past 10 or so years, and sadly I'd have to say that none were so memorable that I can quickly recall in detail what they were like. I think that KA will certainly be the exception to that, but only because of the industry we work in which makes us take note when something pushes the envelope technically. Nathan and Ben enjoyed the show so much, particularly a scene where hundreds of arrows were shot through the air. They both have asked if they can have their own bows and arrows for Christmas. They happily pointed out all the giant ads on the Strip that promoted KA. Here we are, treating the boys to late night ice cream after the show while Michael a…

Las Vegas

We made it safe and sound! The drive seemed a LOT longer than it did back in college when we'd get off work on Friday and hit the road to Vegas and actually stay up until the sun came up... That seems like a lifetime ago! Ben had a bout with carsickness after spending an hour and a half coloring and writing in a notebook I gave him. He turned as white as paper, even his lips. It was quite frightening for a moment! No more reading in the car for Benjamin!

Mike is attending the LDI conference here, so the boys and I are playing all day and then meeting up with him for some shows in the evening. It's nice to have a change of pace, and the swimming pool and room service sure are swell!

I'll leave you with a view from the pool and a wish for a happy Friday!




Tomorrow Chris is graduating from one of his training programs! Yeah Chris! We wish we could be there to celebrate with him! Instead we are in Las Vegas where Michael is working and the boys and I are hanging out at the pool. For Chris, this graduation will mean a pay grade increase, which is always nice when you are a newlywed!
Here's another photo of Chris and his lovely bride, Alyssa.


This is what $5,000 cash in twenty dollar bills looks like:

Nathan said that would buy us at least one million video games! Which is funny considering he doesn't own any video games and wouldn't know how much they would cost. I think.

I'll bet you're wondering what's the story with the cash?

Here it goes. One of Mike's producers in New York is promoting a magician named Keith Barry who is opening a show at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas starting next week. As part of promoting the show, he taped an appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres Show, airing Thursday, October 23rd. Part of his act includes the use of $5,000 cash, which he says he will give away to the person whose mind he cannot read, or something along those lines. Keith is from Ireland and was catching a flight into Los Angeles and unable to get the cash himself. Mike's producers are in New York, and unable to get the cash here for the trick. So they called Mike to see if he could magically produce the 5K …

October Retrospective

2008: 2007:


Box Tops For Education

This program was started in 1996, and it gives schools in America 10 cents for every little coupon clipped and collected from the top of General Mills and other products. Yes, that's correct. TEN whole cents. For the last two and a half years, I've had a little Ziploc baggie tacked onto the cabinet above our stove. Every time I opened a box or bag of something with one of these little goodies on it, I would clip it and deposit it in the baggie. Occasionally when my Mom visits, she brings her own little collection as well and I dump them in the baggie, too.
Last week a note came home from the boys' elementary school, reminding parents to clip those box tops and bring them in! I pulled off the baggie and decided to count out the coupons and take them over to the school at the end of the day. Can you guess what over two years worth of collection netted? Twenty four box tops. Which is a whopping $2.40. Let's hope that some of these other PTA moms are doing more coo…

Long Beach

After Saturday's ever soenjoyable Flu Shot experience, we took a little trip to Long Beach.

We went over the Vincent Thomas Bridge which takes you over and through the Port of Los Angeles, one of the world's largest container ship ports (certainly the busiest).

Then we walked through Shoreline Village with it's pastel buildings filled with touristy tee shirts, arcades and candy shops.
We took a stroll along the harbor, which gave us a view of the Queen Mary (right over Nat's head).
Then we saw a show at our friend Ken's theater, All American Melodrama, which you'll hear more about soon.
We watched the sun set over the sailboats docked for the night. Before coming home, we dined at Famous Dave's BBQ, where we ordered a feast to share that was served on a trash can lid (lined with wax paper of course). All in all, it was a great day and everyone quickly forgot the trauma of the morning and those needles!

Flu Shots

Ah the annual day of tears, crying, screaming, and a new twist this year: running through the parking lot with Daddy in chase!

Our health insurance provides free flu shots and we take advantage of it. Now before those of you who are anti-vaccine start harping on us, remember we have a child with congenital heart disease and one of the first questions his cardiologist asks is "is he up to date on his immunizations and has he received his flu shot?" For our little guy, a simple cold that ends up with a bacterial ear infection could mean a hospital stay, so we don't mess around. We get all the shots, end of discussion.

I think fear of needles is a learned behavior. Early on, Nathan had a nurse who said "this is going to hurt, a little like a bee sting, don't worry" or something to that affect. Of course he freaked out, who wouldn't with that set up? Benjamin, who had quite a few invasive procedures like heart surgery, being on a respirator, multiple I.V.'…

Picture Day!

Today was school photo day, which means matching shirts for the boys. I always take a couple of candid snapshots that day to show their height, etc. The formal portraits aren't in for several weeks, but here's some fun pics to look at in the meantime!Of course, these were taken this evening instead of this morning when they looked bright and shiny and new. I suppose this would be their natural state!
Aw! Look at them! Aren't they cute!

Can't you tell just by looking at them how much they love each other? Hey boys! I've got an idea! Why don't you show me how much you love each other! Give each other a big hug for the camera!

Hmmm. Not exactly what I had in mind. Here's hoping the school photos turn out splendid!

The mall was a CIRCUS!

Literally!Mommy: Ben, look it's a circus! Ben: Oh no! Mommy: What's the matter? Don't you want to go to the circus? Ben: No Mommy, they have clowns there. Mommy: What's wrong with clowns? Ben: They are scary. They wear makeup. Even the boys. Well, it's official. We have another generation totally freaked out by clowns. It's a heritage to be proud of.