Sesame Street at the Discovery Science Center

1 Mar

A few weeks ago, a friend won tickets to Elmo’s Birthday Party at the Discovery Science Center in Santa Ana, and she was kind enough to bring my son and I along as their guests. I’ve taken my son to the DCS before—all before he was two years old—since it was so close to where we used to live in Orange County. Back then, while my son enjoyed exploring the exhibits, I always felt that he was just a tad too young to really “get” what was on display. With the arrival of Sesame Street Presents: The Body, I found myself saying, “Hooray! Finally an exhibit that is PERFECT for my little guy!”

Sesame Street Presents: The Body

Sesame Street Presents: The Body

When we finally got to the party on the evening of February 3, 2011, my son’s face just beamed from all the familiar visuals. Posters and displays showing his favorite Sesame Street characters were there: Elmo, Bert & Ernie, Big Bird, Cookie Monster, Abby Cadabby, Grover, Oscar the Grouch, Telly Monster, and even The Count. For the party, there were Elmo balloons flying high and an awesome-looking birthday cake display on the stage. An array of healthy food was also offered, including mini take-out boxes of brown rice and orange chicken, mini turkey sliders, fresh fruit and veggies, mini sandwiches, and even gluten-free cupcakes (which were surprisingly pretty tasty). My son LOVED the mini sliders, which says a lot because he normally doesn’t even touch regular-sized burgers of any sort.

Balloons for Elmo's Birthday Party

Balloons for Elmo's Birthday Party

Elmo's Birthday Cake

Elmo's Birthday Cake

According to the DCS’s press release about the exhibit, The Body offers interactive and age-appropriate experiences that help teach children about our bodies and how to keep them healthy. Off to the back is a store fashioned like Hooper’s, where kids can “shop” for healthy food in Baby Bear’s Mini Mart, play as a shopkeeper, or sit down at the counter to put together meal puzzles. In the main exhibit room is an impressive variety of interactive displays, including a surprising one that details what happens during digestion. (Sometimes I forget that kids probably find talking about poop & farting funny.) My three-year-old son’s favorite display was a tie between Elmo’s World and Grover’s Dance Party. Elmo’s World includes Elmo’s Vacation, a magnetic dress-up wall where kids can choose which outfits are best for specific weather, several large shoes for lacing practice, as well as a flat-screen TV and bean bag seats on the floor. Grover’s Dance Party features a huge screen and a dance floor, where kids can go hog wild by following Grover’s moves. (My son and his friend did, indeed, go hog wild in there.)

The Count's Organ Organ

The Count's Organ Organ

The Sneeze Machine

The Sneeze Machine

Elmo's World

Elmo's World

Dress-Up Elmo

Dress-Up Elmo

Baby Bear's Mini Mart

Baby Bear's Mini Mart

Grover's Dance Party

Grover's Dance Party

The exhibit offers so much more than I can write on this post and I wholeheartedly recommend checking it out. It will be at the DSC until May 1, 2011. Adult admission is $12.95, while kids ages 3-17 are $9.95 (kids 2 and younger are free). Not only is this exhibit a treat for anyone who knows and loves Sesame Street, but if you have kids who love to run, jump, dance, push buttons, turn knobs, stack and sort objects, play pretend, and basically touch things that they’re actually allowed to interact with, then you will get quite the bang for your buck here. While we were able to see the exhibit for free for Elmo’s party, we’re planning on visiting again very soon.

Adele=Love

23 Feb

I haven’t been motivated to purchase new music in a while. That is, until I found Adele. She is absolutely brilliant, possessing such a soulful voice at the tender age of 22. Her performance of “Someone Like You” at the recent BRIT Awards blew me away.

She will be performing at the Hollywood Palladium on June 9, 2011. I would LOVE to see that show!

“Rolling in the Deep”, the first single from her new album, 21, is also a very awesome tune.

Babysitters

22 Feb

I just renewed my subscription with SitterCity.com. And thus begins my search for a new sitter.

I wholeheartedly miss our old sitter, Lindsay. She started helping me out when my son was about six months old, up until about a year ago when we moved to Los Angeles. She was with us for almost two years, coming by twice a week for a few hours, and my son ADORED her. I was bummed that we wouldn’t be able to use her services again after we moved (the drive would have been too brutal).

While I don’t necessarily need a regular sitter or nanny like I used to, there are a few dates coming up that I could use some help with. And if the planets align and the sitter doesn’t end up running from our house screaming, then I could possibly start doing monthly MNOs again.

Any sitter recommendations are welcome! Must be good with energetic and talkative preschoolers! My kid will talk your ear off if you let him.

Preschool Woes: WTF isn’t your child in school yet?

21 Feb

At the gym today I was making small-talk with another parent of a young child. I mentioned that my son isn’t used to listening to other adults, and that this was his first real non-mommy & me class. “How old is he?” she asked. “He just turned three,” I answered. “He’s not in preschool??” was her follow-up question. The look I got was priceless—it was as if I suddenly grew horns on my head! I’m pretty sure she wanted to say, “WTF is wrong with you??!”

Listen. I get it. Parents here in LA, especially in the Westside, sign up their kids for preschool as soon as they come out of the womb. I realize that trying to find a preschool for my son now is a fairly futile process (unless I’m willing to play $1,500 a month for three half days). In my defense, we just moved here 10 months ago, and no one warned me.

I hardly think Orange County was THIS competitive!

My Cupcake Army

8 Jan
Cupcake Army

Cupcake Army

Tomorrow is my son’s third birthday. We’re not throwing a party, mainly because unlike the past couple of years, my parents aren’t able to fly in from New York this year to celebrate it with us. Instead, we’re just going to have a mellow time at home with our little family.

I’ve made cupcakes though! My first bake job of the year! They’re chocolate sour cream cupcakes, which is a doctored-up box of devil’s food cake mix. For “frosting” I ended up with some kind of ganache–I actually meant to make something fluffier, but for some reason, the thing wouldn’t fluff. Just as well, since I usually scrape off the frosting every time I give my son a cupcake.

The Police Stand Off

7 Jan

Earlier today, my son and I drove home to find part of our street barricaded by the police. Yellow tape, tied to trees that line our street, prevented us from going near our house.

Cops!

Cops!

Part of me wanted to stick around to see what all the hullabaloo was about–I mean, this is Mar Vista! We moved here because of the nice homes, the aforementioned tree-lined streets, the great elementary school. Exciting, YES! But the sensible part won the argument–considering that I had my child with me, sitting in my car watching policemen wield large guns in bullet-proof gear was probably a very bad idea. (Since we were headed home for lunch, he was also hungry and I needed to find a bathroom.)

I left the neighborhood for a bit, but came back 15 minutes later to find a large police truck had also rolled in, as well as several black, unmarked police cars. The scene was busy, but not panicked. I saw a few neighbors watching right from their front yards. I parked the car and hopped out to get some quick info from a few bystanders. Supposedly someone in one of the houses was “going crazy with a gun.” When I asked if they knew which house it was, no one knew exactly, but pointed over to where the sniper was in position. Yep, a freakin’ SNIPER was a few doors down from our house, laying on his stomach on the sidewalk, aiming squarely at a house across the street.

Right, time to leave (and I still needed that bathroom). We ducked into the Westfield Culver City for a little bit, and when we came back a little over an hour later, the yellow tape was down and the cops let us through. I haven’t had a chance to ask any of my neighbors about what happened–I sure am curious about how it all started & ended, but hope those snipers didn’t have to actually fire their weapons.

Stuff I Love: Benefit the POREfessional

6 Jan
Benefit POREfessional

Benefit POREfessional

I have fairly oily skin. And having spent plenty of my teen years squeezing blackheads off of my nose has left me with small crater-like pores. (Attractive, I know!) Which is why I’m loving Benefit’s the POREfessional balm.

Meant to be used on “problem” areas (instead of an all-over primer), I’ve used POREfessional mainly on my t-zone, where my pores seem the largest. The very first time I sampled it was at a Sephora; I dabbed a little bit on my nose, on top of makeup, and to my amazement, those yucky craters seemed to almost magically disappear. Benefit says you can use POREfessional under makeup, or over it as a touch-up.

Paired with Too Faced’s Primed and Poreless Powder, I seem to have found something that will keep my makeup in place and the oil slick off my t-zone.

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