Tag Archives: #Mommyblogger

Baseball Play!

I can see that Dodgers fans are stoked!  …Yankees fans are too!  But the Cubs and Astros are still in it!

Who is going to make it to the World Series?  The Dodgers have come further than they have in many, many years (Fans have not been this elated since 1988)!

The Yanks were a wildcard win who have not been squeezed out yet… in short: some have baseball fever and can’t wait to catch the next game!

I found some baseball beads at Michael’s Crafts, and I am trying out some new kiddo necklace designs.  

It’s pretty easy to slide these on (with new frills, glass beads and even new closures)!  I still feel as though I may not have found my signature design or “look” but it’s exciting to create a new series of accessories!  

I am coaching myself along and I never know if my jewelry will be a hit or miss…but it’s a fun change up!

(Also there are no diamonds in these necklaces)!  Hehe.  

Let me know what you think!  And also let me know your World Series predictions!

 

 

 

Family Day at School

Henry’s school here in Las Vegas is wonderful!  Once a month they provide parents the opportunity to come into the classroom for “Family Day”.  We drive Henry in for the 10 AM start, participate in a number of thoughtfully planned out activities, then take Henry home around 11:00 AM.

It is a great way to mingle with the other parents, talk to the teachers and aides, and have involvement in Henry’s school life!  Henry still doesn’t tell us every detail as to what is going on in school — so this is great for us!

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We can talk more about activities, his friends, and expand on our conversations with Henry thanks to “Family Day”!  It works both ways because the teachers and aides get the connection and communication as well.  Connecting = Success!

 

Here is a look at Science Day!

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There were many neat stations to visit!  We made a rainbow with a huge coffee filter, markers and ice to show how the ice melts and the colors blend.  Colors blend to make new colors, and ice goes from solid to liquid!  It’s magic!

 

3     Truly fascinating!     2

There were scales to see how much various items weighed.  The balance scale showed which item was heavier or lighter.  Of course we made predictions before we measured!

scienceYet another station was all about the fabulous world of fossils and rocks, another station WAS ALL ABOUT HEALTH!  (I used to be a middle school health teacher in WNY)!  This station above was set up to show which items float and sink!  Let’s make a prediction– then try it out!

Stay tuned for the next post on Family Day!  We had some “creepy and colorful” stories and snacks!  Excellent job to the staff of Garehime Elementary School’s Pre-K program!

 

Aliens Have Landed!

Parties are FUN!  But they used to be very tricky, and sometimes completely upsetting for Henry.

Social situations can always be hard for kiddos with ASD; But I continued to help his development in this area — always trying to get him through the “tough spots”.  We would go to every single party and celebration we were ever invited to – even if Henry could only tolerate 10 minutes.  Noise, “strangers”, and singing HAPPY BIRTHDAY would always spark a tantrum.  One time I couldn’t even get Henry in to the door of a party for his good friend (Caitlin).  We just sat on the sidewalk outside and he cried and cried and cried.  Once in — we would participate in intervals;  Sitting and looking for 10 minutes, then taking a break, walking out and about for 10 minutes, then returning in, and so on.

Fast forward to 2015…at about 40 social gatherings later, he has worked his way up to participating fully — with no fear and no tears.  There is a little exception though — he has to HIDE when the crowd sings HAPPY BIRTHDAY.  Actually… a lot of parents have told me this has happened to their child with or without ASD!

After a couple of parties we just went to… I could tell Henry wanted a very special party of his own.  His birthday was approaching, and Henry would drop hints and even talk about it with me.  I got the feeling that a special party would be better than any toy we could buy him.  Henry chose the alien theme; I loved it!  Green aliens for the green month of March!  I wondered if he would let us sing HAPPY BIRTHDAY?

Let’s get started!

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invitations

I put an extra spark into the invites.  I used silver glitter glue to accent the party info, and also glued an alien to the front.

Preparation:

I gave more green aliens and “alien gems” to Seth — as he found a brand new (yummy) cupcake bakery near by.  They made our order with my toppers!

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alien cupcakes

Seth pre-ordered the dinner and I bought the party supplies…

…including extra candles.  It’s a good thing I did.  I handed Seth the red sparkly “5” candle to put in the cake, and he broke it while taking it out of the wrapper.  Too much muscle!  Whoops!

I booked some talent!

Our sweet friend Hannah (who is 10 years old) has been teaching herself how to make balloon animals.  We asked her parents if we could ‘hire’ her to come and help with the party, make balloon creations for the kiddies, and also just have fun.

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Hannah made awesome balloon creations!

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What to wear?  I made custom Alien shirts for a few of us!

 

Set Up:

Our backyard is small — so I had to make good use of our SPACE!

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alien photo backdrop

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 Hey, it’s the month of “March Madness” — we need some alien b-ball!

More fun….

Activities to do with the kiddies:  

1)  Make an Alien “snow” Globe.  We used jars, glitter and some other “stuff”.  The kids loved it!  They looked something like this, only we used plastic jars to be safe!

globe

 

2)  Crack open geodes (but we called them MOON rocks or ALIEN rocks just to be silly).

DSC_9039  Daddy helped a lot!      ryan2

3)  Take some pictures outside in front of a SPACE themed backdrop.  Kids can use the props and take goofy photos!

(props)  DSC_8991     nikhil

 

4) Create some EERIE sounds and music (with Seth’s equipment) at our theremin station!

theremin

at first this scared Henry — good thing we warmed up earlier in the day!

Have some cake, sing, and blow out the candles!

DSC_9043        aliencake hugs  Henry gave Seth the biggest HUG after his HAPPY BIRTHDAY SONG!  THIS WAS HIS FIRST time EVER he participated in it.  He was amazing!  We were so proud!

 

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There were several times when the kids retreated to the bedroom and kind of got crazy as if they were in a mosh pit!  Expect the unexpected with boys parties!  Hannah was great — she made sure no one got hurt.

 

 

 

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Drinks and (green) watergate salad had a special “out of this world” touch…just because.

I also had this “COLOR AN ALIEN” activity just in case — it was a so cute!  Henry’s friend brought her little sister and all of the girls really likes this!

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color an alien

DSC_9046  DSC_9027  leo

 

Super fun — it WAS OUT OF THIS WORLD!

 

Construction in Vegas!!

Who knew that construction could be this fun?  …And Sunday we got to experience it first hand at a pretty cool birthday party!

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One of Henry’s newest friends (Connor) invited us to have a blast today!

A bright, beautiful sunny day (with hardly any clouds) in a neighboring park set the scene….

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I dig it!

There was a super fun play ground, and lots of sand to dig, dig, dig!  Connor’s mom was pretty awesome with getting all of the orange cones set up, constructions signs, shovels, buckets and hardhats!

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There was the yellow caution tape and little construction vehicles too.

IMG_0343Henry had to start off slow —  he always needs some time to warm up to a new environment.

Then– the kiddos grabbed a bucket and went hunting for prizes…Next came digging…and exploring geodes!  Constructions hats on — and special care when using the hammers please!  It was so fun to watch all the kiddos take a turn with the hammer to open their very own unique geode!  …magic!  Henry loved it!

 

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Let’s ROCK!

Balloons, chocolate cake (that looked like cookie crumble dirt) and fun decorations set the mood for an awesome day!

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Caution: Kids having fun!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_0353    Hammer time!   IMG_0350

IMG_0342We are so thankful for the invitation!  Thanks so much to Connor’s mom for the amazing food, fun, new friends, and discoveries!  Vegas ROCKS!

IMG_0347  This party was a HIT!  IMG_0349

We even got a Home Depot canvas work apron filled with snacks as our goodie bag!  Genius!

Vegas Valentines

I joined a “Mommy Group” that mainly meets up on weekends to try to make new Las Vegas friends!  Our first meeting was really great… Super nice ladies, very diverse backgrounds, and very cute kids similar in age to Henry.  Henry was so busy playing on the playground structures though — he didn’t connect too tightly just yet.  Henry just gets so excited to play on the slides and tunnels and swings, he just can’t help himself!  Joining this group gets me better acquainted to new Vegas family-friendly-fun activities, and to Las Vegas itself.

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Valentine’s goodies

Tomorrow we are going back at it for a Valentines themed park party.  I wanted to make goodie bags because goodie bags really let me use my creativity and imagination.

Here’s how I made them:

Party City:

I bought clear party bags, and small paper heart doilies.

World Market/Cost Plus:

I picked up Old Fashioned small Valentine cards (I didn’t use the small envelopes that came with them), pink and red paper ribbon, small cinnamon heart candy (2 small bags), one bag of small foil-wrapped chocolate hearts.

Whole Foods:

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1 bag of Natural mini marshmallows, and a small bag of natural jelly beans in Bulk Foods (strawberry and pomegranate).

 

 

 

 

IMG_0350       So the kiddies will get a small treat (NUT-FREE) of about 13-15 marshmallows, a few cinnamon hearts, a few jelly beans, one chocolate heart, and the cute doily and old fashioned small card — with LOTS of pretty ribbon.  Overall — not too much of a calorie splurge; The cinnamon hearts probably have some kind of weird chemical in them — but everything else should be OK.  I actually remember eating those small cinnamon hearts when I was in grade school — so I had to throw them in just for the fun of it!  I made about 20 bags.  I didn’t sign the cards because I didn’t want ink mixing in with the treats.  It was a fun evening activity with Henry too!  Although he ate a lot of marshmallows, and left most of the work for me!

Disney is Tricky

Is it possible for a kid to NOT like Disney?

We took Henry to Disneyland when he was FREE (the summer before his third birthday) with his two older sisters; He seemed a bit agitated for most of the day.  We took turns watching him, buying him bubbles, and riding a few rides.  We were not really convinced he liked it.  Back then — we suspected he had ASD but we were not 100% sure.  The crowds… the noise… and the stimulation —  that is always a little painful for me; but it’s way more painful for someone with sensory issues and/or someone on the spectrum!  Now that he is almost five years old….Should we try it again?

Seth had a break from work in late January — so we thought since it was a “non-prime time” time (fewer crowds) we would go for just the day….and give it a shot!

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His first entrance through the gate as a paid customer!

New experiences are tough on Henry.  They are accompanied by a lot of anxiety, and repetitive questions; if the anxiety escalates — there is loud screaming and uncontrollable tantrums.  From an on-looker he just looks like a “bratty kid” who misbehaves.  That is one of the hard things about Henry’s ASD….it’s invisible.

We brought copies of his ASD test results, and birth certificate, and sought out Guest Services; they didn’t need to look at our papers though– they have a different way of assessing one’s need for help.  (Yes– there are too many “scammers” out there)!

Seth was a little reluctant to ask, he thought Henry had made so much progress over the last year —  maybe he would be OK.  And we tried to prepare as much as possible.


 

Preparation

I had put “Disney” on his weekly visual calendar at home, and we told him all about it!  We pre-purchased our tickets and did our research.  I got Henry to watch a little of the old-school Disney movies on Netflix.  We watched a little of Dumbo (and I explained that there was going to be a Dumbo ride)!  And he even liked the “Aristocats” movie!  It’s challenging getting him to watch a new movie though.  He loves the repetition of his newer “go-to” movies.

Then we talked about Disneyland….and talked and talked!  We talked about rides and Mickey and all the characters; we went on-line and showed him everything on our computer.  We downloaded the free Disney app that shows all the wait times for each attraction.  Then we bought him a new Mickey shirt (his older one was getting very small) and a little stuffed Mickey character to play with.  I brought along Henry’s favorite hat (that covers his ears to block out noise) and his I-Pad; Then I packed my “mom bag” for the park!

To a little boy — Disneyland is BIG!  He was pretty scared!  In retrospect I should have gotten Henry to color a few Disneyland coloring sheets before we went.  Every time I went to the store though I couldn’t find any!  I always found GIRL Disney coloring books, with plenty of princesses, and Minnie characters– but I just wanted a gender neutral Disney-Mickey-Goofy-Minnie-Donald-cool-not on cheap newsprint paper-coloring book.


At Disneyland

…..he was scared to pass through the admission gates.  But once we got him in — we went right to Guest Services.  We met with a wonderful cast member named Kelsey.  We needed to spend a lot of time with her, and pretty much establish a rapport with her so Henry knew we could trust this new environment.  Henry also needed his I-Pad (to play a familiar game).  I knew if he found out  Kelsey’s age — he would like that too.  That makes him feel good.  He usually asks young people their age when he meets them.  And he loves numbers.  Once Henry found out Kelsey was 22, he felt a lot better.  Then Kelsey got us off to a horse and trolly ride; Henry loved it; he started to warm up!  We had done motor trollies before at The Grove in L.A. — so this was a familiar feeling to him.  He also loves horses and ponies.  warming up

Seth and I were both so excited!  Feelings and overwhelming happiness from our own childhood experience at Disney flooded our system.  I don’t think Henry will  have those exact same feelings though…..but he did have fun!  Here’s how I think it went:

Children of similar age (to Henry):  Thrilled to enter the park, they skip and run towards the park…anticipation!  Happy screams!

Henry: Anxious about entering the park.  The park looks enormous.  He is quiet and afraid.  He walks very slow.

Children of similar age: They WANT to meet Mickey and all of the characters!  They feel so connected to these cute/furry/friendly characters.  Some kiddos want autographs.  There’s a WOW factor!

Henry: He wanted to run away from the characters….”they are scary”….he does not want a picture with them.  He screams.  He screams when daddy takes a picture with Chip ‘n Dale.  They look very BIG, especially Goofy — Goofy is enormous!

chippy

Children of similar age: Ready to ride the rides!  Let’s go!

Henry: Reluctant to try a ride…he looks for something familiar …something he can feel comfortable on.  He verbalizes thoughts about going home, but wants to stay and have fun.  He is at odds with his emotions.

Children of similar age: They are in line for their favorite ride.

Henry: Lines are hard; They can cause anxiety.  Guest services helps us by using their technology (and compassion) to get Henry on a popular ride with very little wait time.  They want him to be able to access the park and have fun!

Children of similar age: They don’t notice all of the loud piped in music and announcements and sound effects…and crowd noise.

Henry: He needs his hat which covers his ears (he prefers this over the noise canceling headphones).

Children of similar age: Enter the amazing candy stores to look for a tasty treat.  The rows and rows of cotton candies, sweets and lollypops are truly a work of art!

Henry: Enters the candy stores to look at ceiling fans.  He doesn’t even care about the confections.    He never asks us for candy or ice cream or treats.

Children of similar age: Enjoy the park for what it is: pretend / play / fantasy.

Henry: Anything that is pretend play or fantasy doesn’t make any sense.

Children (boys) of similar age: Goof off in line, and use pretend guns and lose themselves in the fantasy.

Henry: (looking at them like) What are they doing?

Children of similar age:  on rides – ex. Pirates of the Caribbean — Enjoy the fantasy the ride is providing.  Pretend fire, guns, shots are cool!  They laugh, and become amused.

Henry: on Pirates of the Caribbean — Why is it dark in here?  Is it day or night?  (It seems like night but it is daytime outside).  Why are the pirates fighting?  Why are we going through a cannonball fight?  Why does that one pirate seem so angry?  Why are they firing off shots and cannons….the water is splashing.  It’s loud.  That is scary.  Why are we riding through something scary like burning buildings.  “I want to get out”…..”Is it over?”

Children of similar age :on Big Thunder Mountain (roller coaster): They seem to enjoy the ride.

Henry on Thunder Mountain: Why is this going so loud, fast, and crazy and swirly….  Why is there (pretend fire) in here.  What are those loud noises?  This seems scary.  This seems too fast.

(pictured below) Henry is covering his ears on Big Thunder Mountain.  It’s LOUD!

loud

What did we ride?

1.  Disneyland Monorail System  2.  Disneyland Railroad  3.  Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage  (he loved it)!!  4.  Tarzan’s Treehouse  5.  “Astro Orbitor” (Rockets spinning)  6.  Dumbo  dumbor(spinning) 7.  King Arthur Carrousel (spinning) 8.  Chip ‘n Dale Treehouse (and other interactive play structures in Toontown).  9.  Circus Train Jungle Cruise  10.  Mad Tea Party (tea cups) spinning  11.  a random elevator in Tomorrow Land  12.  Jungle Cruise (he hated the loud noises and loud shots firing with splashing).  13.  Thunder Mountain (just a little fast and scary)  14.  Pirates of the Caribbean (he was so excited as we were waiting in line but he didn’t seem to like it at all once we were on)…..we didn’t try the rest of the attractions because Henry didn’t seem interested in them, or he refused, or he wanted to repeat the rides he enjoyed — over and over.  The Haunted Mansion was closed this day.

getin

He is screaming at me to get in — no pictures!

We had plenty of anxiety attacks and yelling; it was really tough transitioning him from attraction to attraction.


 

How Do We Cope?

We need to move at a slow pace.

Seth and I both want to talk to him together — but just one of us talking works best.

We needed to sit down in quiet spots.

We need to take breaks, talk, give Henry reassurance.

We needed to find ceiling fans.  We sat in a Coke/Candy Shop, had some pretzels, and just looked at ceiling fans.  It was nice and quiet.

IMG_0061   We just sat for a while!   IMG_0062

We needed to hang out at where Henry felt comfortable.  Many times it was here at Tarzan’s Tree House; We did this attraction several times.

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He loved this Tarzan rope!

We (as parents) have to be really, really patient.  We are ready to move on, but he is not.

We have to skip the public bathrooms; we either have to go back to the hotel so Henry can pee, or he “holds it”.

We wait in lines that seem manageable (some lines are really long but move) so we wait and move and it doesn’t seem so bad.

We wait in lines that have a wait time of 10 minutes or less.

I alternated hats for Henry; I used the ear covering hat most of the day, but sometimes I put on his baseball hat….just to try to get him used to the noise for a little while.

We get help.

I can’t say enough about the sweet cast member, Kelsey at Guest Services.  She was a pleasant, dedicated and compassionate worker who really went the extra mile to help us and help Henry feel comfortable.  They can help families who have autistic children.

kelsey

Kelsey did more of an interview with us — unfortunately some people lie to get disability benefits.

ASD can make one very anxious and impulsive; Disney will do something like a “fast pass”  for the (claustrophobic) lines.  These types of lines cause Henry to have tantrums that are unpleasant for everyone.


 

Oh, I finally found that super cool Disney coloring book on nice white paper (at the Disney gift shop).  We’ll take that home and color the pages/talk about Disney.  

mick

There’s Mickey! But we can not go near him! We’ll “color” him at home instead!

 

 

 

Have You “Sin” This?

Las Vegas is as an adult HOT SPOT — with plenty of grown up attractions as we all know.  But if you are looking for even more to do — rather than the traditional Sin City stuff — here are some pretty cool “family friendly” activities (even some that we have experienced first hand)!

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-Downtown Container Park

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Above: night picture….the praying mantis shoots fire!  However — we went during the day and Henry LOVED it!  Really cute shops, restaurants and “watering holes” surround this unique KIDS play structure.  Great fun!  Great area in Las Vegas!

-Hash House A Go Go

hash  Serving up more than you can handle…this place is all about presentation!  (Plus they play some awesome 80’s ROCK) …and the food is delish!

 

-Red Rock Canyon (you can drive through areas and just look, or do a gentle walk or more aggressive hike).  We love it here!  Henry thinks it is super fun!

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-Regal Red Rock Stadium 16 and IMAX Movie Theater:  Time to relax after all that climbing and hiking…. Let’s go to the MOVIES!

 

-Red Rock Lanes BOWLING!bowl

 

 

 

-Secret (tiger) Garden and Dolphin Habitat at The Mirage  Really NICE!

 

Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay  — Excellent!  Well done!

 

Zarkana by Cirque Du Soleil

IMG_0310    So many shows!   IMG_0331 IMG_0334

We love Zarkana, at Aria Resort.  We even know a cute musician who works there and gives us special backstage privileges.  Fun for all — beautiful show  — great music!

 

 

The Neon Museum looks amazing!neon

-The High Roller   (you can do this with a BAR Cart and make it a day or night out with just the adults too)!  What?!

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550 feet up! views     hr3

Henry loved it!  He wanted to do it again!  Luckily — kids are free!

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-Sprinkles Cupcakes  “Sinfully sweet treats” ….A very yummy experience!  (it’s near the High Roller); Sprinkles was first opened in Beverly Hills, CA and is an L.A. favorite!

cupcakes Fun fountain next door!  fountain

picvegas  Cute shopping and restaurants all in this area — even a Kitson!

Then there is the biggest Bass Pro Shop I have ever seen…

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(with free aquarium)!  Henry and Seth are watching the fish in the center of the store; And you can walk right next door to…

 

 

 

The Mermaid Bar & Lounge!  Yes, LIVE mermaids!

 

…drive safe, walk safe, explore, and enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

Oh Brother?

We made a big move to Las Vegas….I can’t express how proud I am of Henry for handling this transition so well.  He got booster shots at The Health Department of Southern Nevada…. a new schedule, a new teacher, a new bus, a new home….and he is doing so great!

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We are slowly building our relationship with Henry’s teacher, and she has a journal/ take home folder that lets us know how his day went.  The other day she asked me if Henry had any siblings or a pet at home.  I answered back, “Henry has two grown sisters in Buffalo, NY and no pets.  But we really want a kitty.”  The next day I got a note: “Henry told us he has a brother and a cat.”  ; )

We laughed so hard….then we asked,  “Henry, do you have a brother?”  To our surprise Henry answered, “Yes, his name is Russel.”  “Do you have a cat?”  “No,”  he said.

The move has our kiddo quite mixed up, but he is in good spirits.  He didn’t even cry when he got his three booster shots.  He just said he felt tired and needed to go home and take a nap.

It feels so good to laugh at it all!  Life can be so silly sometimes!

 

 

 

Christmas Jam

T’was December 18th, and all through ‘hood…. Henry was snoring, and over the bed we stood…..

“Wake up Henry!”  (Henry usually goes to school at around 10:45 AM) but today he needed to be at school by 8:00 AM for his Christmas Pageant, and his last day at school in Los Angeles.  We got up extra early — no rest for the weary — Seth had just arrived from Vegas after a full week’s work there.  Our plan was to drive from L.A. to Vegas, and hit the road by 2PM.  It’s going to be one of the those days where we JAM in the impossible!xmas2

We made it to school on time, and it was the cutest California Christmas Pageant ever!

Henry’s class entered the auditorium, and the parents and grandparents “arose with such a clatter” scampering down the aisle to the front!  Seth stayed behind in his seat while I jammed in with all of the paparazzi-parents!

His class performed “Feliz Navidad” and it was adorable…other hits like “Merry Merengue” and “Mambo Santa Mambo” were just fantastic!  These kids were great!

DSC_8611    xmas4

After Henry’s performance — his class sat down to enjoy the rest of the program.

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DSC_8635  xmas  DSC_8648

Then came the emotional good byes to Henry’s teachers, and his classmates and their families.  In just a short time we all became so close.  There’s something about the compassion and understanding we all shared in supporting these kiddos’ growth, development and learning.  Henry was especially smitten with 24 year-old Crystal…a helper who assisted in the classroom.  They has a very close relationship, she was so sad to see him go; Henry had caught the love bug with her from “Day One”.  A heartfelt good-bye to Micheltorena Street Elementary School.  We will miss you.

class photo  chrystal

We took Henry to Mina’s for the last time…then Seth and I packed up our two Prius’s with as much as possible, sold a couch on Craigslist, and continued to pack and pack and pack.  We took care of last minute chores, emptied the fridge, took out the trash, and carefully got into our cars and drove over to Mina’s…lots of tears, hugs and kisses later we collected Henry and put our sleepy boy in my car.  Jammed in with everything from succulents to stuffed animals (and everything in between) we started off for Las Vegas, and it was going on three o’clock.

Henry screamed for is dad to get into my car, he didn’t want to drive apart from him.  I had to explain that we needed to bring both cars to Las Vegas; he didn’t quite like this concept of driving separately.  But as long as I drove right behind Daddy’s car he was OK.  Enter L.A. traffic.  Stop, slam on brakes, car cuts me off, Henry screams.  Repeat– several times.

My face was the color of Rudolph’s nose.  Henry would yell and scream every time a car would cut me off — because then he couldn’t see Daddy’s car!  The L.A. traffic added another hour onto our trip.  Then Henry was screaming that his belly hurt.  I thought the stress of it all probably caught up to him, so as I was driving I helped him loosen his jeans and seatbelt a little.  One hand on the wheel, one hand on Henry I kept this up for about 90 minutes…then I called Seth and told him we better stop and give Henry a break.  About 20 minutes later we stopped, stretched, and Starbuck’d (Seth has an addiction).  Henry was fine on the rest of the trip to Vegas, but it was long!

We marveled at the day, and the silliness of it all.  Our couch literally walked down the streets of Los Feliz (they didn’t have a vehicle big enough to transport it).  We jammed in a school concert, lots of emotional good-byes, Christmas donations to charity, Part I of our move, and so much more.  …and as the story goes…I can’t wait to settle in for “a long Winter’s nap!”

 

To SILVER from GOLD

Yukon Cornelius sings “Silver and Gold” in the unforgettable Christmas Special (Rudolph)… it’s been running through my head lately.  Not only because it’s holiday time, but because I am moving from the Golden State to the Silver State!

A few months ago Seth’s Cirque job became long-term (it started out as a temporary 3-4 month gig).  It’s funny but not funny how things happen sometimes….  Iris closed here in Hollywood at the Dolby Theatre– then nothing for a while– then Voila!  Cirque’s Zarkana opens up in Vegas!!

We had a lot to figure out — lots of scenarios ran through our heads; But in the end it’s yet another adventure for us.  We are over the moon happy to live under one roof together!

I love L.A. sooooo much, so I am going to make a list of the Top 10 things I will miss … accompanied by a Top 10 list of things I will NOT miss!  (I have to make both in order to move on)!

Here goes…

Top 10 Things I Will Miss in L.A.:

10.  Customized license plates, and the diamond-studded license plate frames — so fab!

9.  “Face-booking” about the Earthquakes, rains, flash floods, mudslides or droughts, or fires, or protests…or…

8.  Tie: Urth Cafe (green tea milk boba’s are the BOMB)!  and The Grove urth(especially at Christmas)!

7.  The trains, ponies, Merry-Go-Round and other gems at Griffith Park (including the views)!

6.  Tie: Mina’s (his pre-pre school) & Henry’s school with that amazing garden for the students, teachers and community!

5.  Fun, interesting and diverse people, along with spotting celebs and filming crews.

4.  Climate/weather along with those awesome fruit trees that can exist in this climate!  Fresh figs, lemons and avocados have been such a blessing.

3.  Los Feliz, and daily views of the Hollywood sign, and the Griffith Park Observatory.

2.  Parks, hiking trails, beaches, museums, movie theaters, concerts, events…so many fun things to do here!

1.  Our fabulous friends (including Henry’s wonderful friends).

 

Top 10 Things I Will NOT Miss in L.A.:

10.  Girls who talk like a “sexy baby” …they speak in that voice, and speak with a question mark at the end of every statement.

9.  The people who don’t clean up after their dogs.

8.  The people who 1/2 way clean up after their dog; they leave bagged poop on the trail.

7.  Rich kids (16-year-olds) who have BIG super, duper, pricey, luxury vehicles.

6.  People who roll through STOP signs, and almost hit me.

5.  Air pollution.

4.  Traffic.

3.  High prices for everything.

2.  High taxes.

1.  Parking tickets and the Parking Violations Bureau; those officers are fast, sneaky, and evil.