1. Pearl starts kindergarten in one week! Pearl starts kindergarten in one week! Pearl starts kindergarten in one week! I'm hyperventilating. Is this for real?
1.5. Both girls will be at new schools. Also they will not be at the same school. Lots of change.
2. The girls took swimming lessons in June and August. They've made a lot of improvement with the help of their cool teacher whose name btw is Cricket.
3. BAD news: Lori Hahn might stop blogging! Make her feel the love!
4. My knee is bothering me.
5. Next month Marcia and I are going on a getaway. Yes, a weekend away. Just us! If you have suggestions for a wondrous destination, let us know. Both of our passports have expired, so it can't be in a foreign country.
Pearl works out the puzzle of a fossilized tyrannosaurus rex at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.
1) Get free lodging. This takes a network and a lot of luck or love, but so far we have managed to do it on every vacation. This is the first step.
2) Book tickets early, and try to get either low prices or frequent flier tickets.
3) Set modest expectations about what you will see or do. We usually have one planned activity each day.
4) Choose destinations where you know families with kids the same ages as yours.
5) Try to take advantage of free museum days. We know our kids have only a limited attention span for most museums, and it is a lot less troubling if the admission is free.
6) Someone WILL get sick or have an accident. You will get lost. And it's okay!
7) Stick to the routines of home, as much as possible. We usually try to stay in the same spot the whole trip and take little day trips, rather than moving the gang from place to place.
8) Review high points of each day after dinner or at bedtime. Hearing the children's thoughts can help you plan the subsequent days of the trip. You can model this ritual for your kids to help them learn how it works.
9) Let each kid choose a souvenir of the trip to take home, preferably one that takes of a small amount of space in your luggage.
10) Spending money is not what makes the vacation fun. Your time together--playing, talking, laughing, connecting--these will make your travels memorable.
Please share your travel tips with us. Pretty please?
In some places there are seasons like autumn, winter, or spring. In lack of those, Houston has come up with its own. The last three weeks of March mean the blooming of the azaleas and the rodeo. Since it's tricky to dress up as an azalea, pretty much every school in Houston celebrates the rodeo instead.
Here are the official photos from our trip to Marathon, Texas, and Big Bend National Park.
While we were in Austin, Pearl and Carrie got to play with Toby and Harris of 2boys2moms2dogs.The boys have two great moms, one of whom went to summer camp with me when we were not much older than these kids. It was a fun outing, and Pearl and Carrie got their first chance at tree-climbing with guys. They loved it, naturally.
Yesterday at 3:30 pm, Marcia and I realized that the kids had been at home in their pajamas all day. Marcia consulted a few websites and found a list of family-oriented activities. We decided on Hermann Park where the kids took a train ride, raced up and down hills with boys of all ages, ate a picnic supper, and attended their first live performance at the outdoor theater. We were surprised how much they liked the musical. They've never stayed up so late in their lives, and even Carrie watched and listened with complete enthusiasm.
This is our first visit to Palm Springs, and it's not really like any other place I've visited. Marcia's sister, her partner, and their two kids have rented a house here for the month.It's toddler heaven for the cousins, and after they go to bed, it's fun for us moms too. Pearl has fallen in love. The cousins have a German shepherd puppy. His name is Peter Pan. He's going to spend the week with us. Pearl has been counting hours until he arrives! Mama and Baba have been revising our housekeeping strategies. Wouldn't want the little guy eating Keens for breakfast, now would we!
It's that time of year again. We're gearing up for summer vacation. I wonder if you have some book suggestions for us. I'll give you a few topics on each of our minds. Pearl and Carrie's recent favorites are listed in the right-hand column.
Carrie: animals, sisters and brothers, books like LIttle Quack, Mama Cat, and Five Little Monkeys
Pearl:dogs, dogs, dogs
Marcia: quirky literary nonfiction, documentary films, ice cream trucks, and cultural studies
Robin: European murder mysteries, Haruki Murakami, stories involving Los Angeles, well-written lesbian fiction, and experimental poetry
Your suggestions are welcome.
[photo by Daniel Lestarjette via flickr]