Thursday, October 30, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
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 (along with everyone else). He got to help with a trick where Lance had a bird cage in his hands (with a parakeet inside) and told all the kids to put their hands on the cage. Then he counted to three and the bird cage disappeared. Afterward Nathan told us that maybe magic was real. He is a natural born skeptic who is constantly trying to figure out how things work. But he said that one moment his hand was on the cage, and the next minute it was completely gone, and surely magic can be the only explanation!
Nathan had a little taste of being on stage in front of 1,274 audience members and has now declared that he wants to be an actor. We'll see how many days that lasts!
Monday, October 27, 2008
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Saturday, October 25, 2008
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!
Friday, October 24, 2008
Thursday, October 23, 2008
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 and get it to the set of Ellen. I laughed when Mike told me... after all, we, like the rest of the country and world, were hit by the recent roller coaster events in the financial world. Five thousand dollars might as well be five million dollars, right? But when I went through our accounts, I saw that we'd received payment on an invoice and that we didn't have to pay payroll or our quarterly payroll taxes until this Friday, so theoretically we did have the cash, if only for the day they needed to use it as a prop. I did throw in one caveat... as the owner of our production company (51% majority) I had to accompany the cash along with Michael.
I have to tell you that the bank was not pleased about our withdrawing the money (and in twenty dollar bills no less!) and did everything they could to stall the actual moment when they handed us the cash. It was fun showing the boys, and it was a great moment when we said, "split this stack in half and you'll see how much it costs just for the rent on this house". They were shocked (as were we, it's not as painful to write a check as it is to see all that actual money we spend each month!).
Going on the show was great. Money may not buy happiness, but it sure buys respect! Since they knew we were carrying a lot of cash, we got to park right at the door of the studio on the Warner Brothers Lot. We hung out in Keith's dressing room, which was right next to Ellen's and Hayden Panettiere's from the TV show Heroes (save the cheerleader, save the world).
I told Keith that the magic trick I'd like to see would be him multiplying the cash into $10,000! He said if he could do that, he wouldn't be appearing at Planet Hollywood, he'd be living the good life somewhere else. We got to watch the rehearsal in the studio, and then they put Michael and I in our own VIP dressing room that was stocked with goodies to watch the live feed of the show. Right before Keith was to go on, the production assistant came to check on us and handed us back the money, saying they opted to do only two of the three tricks he had planned, and the money one got the boot. Bummer! But that, as we know, is show biz. We hung out until the taping was over, and then went to pick up our kids who were spending the afternoon at our friend Amy's house. We brought her back a sweet treat from the goodie basket in the dressing room to say thanks. And then we put that money right back in the bank. By the time you read this, most of it will be on it's way to the good ol' IRS. But it was nice to hold onto it for a couple of days anyway!
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
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 cooking than I do, or else we won't be able to buy mouse pads, let alone new computers! Frankly, I'm more inclined to just hand over some cash than to buy and use the specially marked products.
Monday, October 20, 2008
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.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
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.'s, a VCUG, and countless blood draws all before he was even four months old, just lived life like getting a shot was something to be tolerated. Certainly not fun, but nothing to get particularly worked up over. He was so good about shots that every nurse who gave him one commented that they had never seen a child like him! What a joy! And then about a year and a half ago I scheduled both boys to have their annual physicals on the same day and time. I thought it would make it easier not to have to go to two appointments- just get it all done at once. I was wrong, so wrong.
Both boys required a shot, and the medical staff though that Nathan, being the "brave" older brother, could go first and then calm the little guy's nerves. Dumb, silly, stupid move. I didn't even think to say anything, I just got prepared for holding Nathan down with the help of two other nurses while a third actually gave the shot. All the while Nathan is screaming and kicking and swearing how he hates all doctors, hospitals, and parents and wishes them all a painful, horrible, awful death. Little Ben sat on the table and watched this and of course when it was time for his shot, he imitated everything that brother had done. And now, when I say we are going to the doctor, Ben's response is to start crying and ask if he has to get a shot.
These are active boys who daily ride skateboards, scooters, and bikes, and experience blood loss and bruising from these activities at least as often as they enjoy them. They love to wrestle and bonk heads and body slam one another, all of which has to hurt far more than a shot would. I'm working on trying point that out, but logic is completely lost on these two. Oh well. We have a string of CDC recommended vaccines lined up prior to our relocation to Macau, so we'll have lots of practice at trying new and creative ways of breaking them of the screaming and crying habit. Cross your fingers and say a little prayer on our behalf.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
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!
Friday, October 17, 2008
As Chinese New Year approaches (February 10th this year), we bid a fond farewell to the Year of the Dragon. My oldest son was born in the Ye...
I love cloth and fabric, and especially love the handmade kind which is such a beautiful form of art. Here in Shanghai I am lucky enough to ...
Timely. Thank you, Pentatonix.