Friday, March 29, 2013

Birthday Party Fun
Georgie's "bestest friend in the whole wide world" had a birthday party at one of those princess tea party places. This was a huge thrill to Georgie who loves almost nothing more than hanging out with friends, dressing up in princess clothes, and having a tea! (well, in her case, lemonade but you get the picture).

St. Patrick's Day
Georgie's school does St Patty's Day in a super big way. I'm not sure why its such a big deal there, it doesn't seem to be anywhere else, but it is. In the weeks leading up to the green day they talk about leprechauns, read stories about them, they wonder about where they live and what they eat. The kids design and build traps baited with chocolate and then write sentences about what they'd do with the leprechaun if they caught one. Its complex. Then, on the big day, as the kids are enjoying chapel.... wouldn't you know, the leprechauns arrive! They toss over chairs and knock books off of shelves and pull nap mats out of cubbies. Darn those crazy little guys. And, everyone knows it was the leprechauns because they leave tell tale signs: little green footprints on the floor and even a wee green hat :-)

Its very exciting! and loud!! Its hard to describe the commotion caused as the kids run in and out and all about in search of the little fellas.

The cuteness is unbelievable!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Alf Museum --named after the founder, Raymond Alf, not the TV character --is located on the campus of the The Webb School which is the school my older son went to for high school. Its the only high school in the country with a fully accredited museum on its campus! Pretty neat.

We decided to check out their family day. Cute! They did a short presentation about flying dinos then took the kids around to look at some displays. They had a little craft --decorate a dino hat-- and then we checked out the displays. It was a pleasant little outing. I think we might try to attend these in the future. Georgie's never expressed too much interest in dinosaurs. Maybe this bit of exposure will strike an interest??

Yes, we're dinosaurs :-)

Digging for fossils
I think this is an imprint of an actual dino track

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Norton Simon
We went, primarily, to see the Van Gogh self portrait that was on temporary exhibit. It was the last weekend so it was pretty crowded but still super enjoyable. I think that the Norton Simon is my favorite art museum. Its pretty small but the number of famous works of art in that one building is amazing. Its hard to believe that it all belonged to and was collected by a single man over a 30 yr period. Unbelievable. Walking through the various galleries feels like flipping the pages of my Art History 101 book from college.

They do regular kids programs. Its a pretty nice and low key program. They feature an artist and then have the kids sit on blankets on the floor and look at their works on the wall as they read a short story about them. This time it was Paul Klee. They follow up with a very open-ended art project that falls loosely within the theme. Of course, Georgiana loved this. She was the very first kid to begin working on her project and she was the very last one to finish. In fact, when she stopped, she wasn't actually finished but the program had ended for the day so she had to give back the materials :-)

After that we toured some more of the galleries. G was particularly interested in the religious paintings of the renaissance. She liked the Madonna and Child images and was fascinated by explanation of the of crucifixion and resurrection. It must have been on her mind because she asked me questions over the next day or so about it. Once I assured her that no one gets crucified anymore she seemed fine with it. That's my girl!
 Notice during the story time where G is sitting... could she get any closer???
 Hard at work on her project
She was very proud of the result. I asked her to tell me about it but other than the little square thing being a window I can't remember what she told me :-(  Next time I'll have to write it down more quickly.
Bobby isn't really a lover of art museums. He tolerates them because he knows that I love to go... ahh, what a good guy, right? Anyway, Bobby finally found a painting that he liked: Meleager and Atalanta and the Hunt of the Calydonian Boar. He was intrigued by all the images of the dogs. There really is a lot going on in this painting.
 My walking girl with Rodin's Walking Man... haha!

Monday, March 25, 2013

LA fun: Mulan and Lantern Festival
We found ourselves back in Hollywood for Mulan. Its a movie I enjoy more and more each time I see it. G got to wear her super cute Mulan dress from our WDW trip! Yay! The woman who played Mulan was beautiful and very sweet but Georgie noticed that she didn't seem to know the proper warrior stance. Not that G does it perfectly but I guess she thinks she does :-) she's gotten a little lesson each time she's met Mulan.
 See? Warrior stance :-)

 I always think its fun to see how the table decorations represent the theme.
Somehow, and I'm really not sure how, Georgie talked me into getting her another stuffed animal... she loves him though!

The movie ended about noon... what to do? what to do??

I'd read that there was a Lantern Festival going on at the Chinese Amerian Museum. Interestingly, the museum is not in Chinatown but instead just a few blocks away near the end of Olvera Street. We were close by and had no other plans so we decided to check it out.

Wow! I'm so glad that we did! What a great event! They had dozens of craft booths where kids could make kites, lanterns, dragon puppets, brush painting, origami (I'm pretty sure that's not Chinese but whatevs), and even an abacus. What I found interesting is that most of the crafts were pretty complicatedSeriously, Georgie-the-craft-loving-kid was in HEAVEN! They also had some Chinese dance demonstrations and more lion dancing. Oh, and guess who we came across? The Chinatown Queen and Princesses. They actually remembered Georgie from the CNY party the week before which thrilled the heck out of her.

We ended up being there about 4 hrs or so and finally had to leave because Georgie was completely exhausted. Plus, I can only take so much of being in downtown...its uh.... interesting.

Coloring this dragon took Georgie FOREVER! It did turn out well but criminy that kid is persnickity.
 Georgie is a Chinatown princess groupie :-)

This kite was one of the more complicated crafts. It started out with a plain piece of paper which had to be folded and then attached with yarn to crossed straws which required cutting notches into the end of them. Then the butterfly had to be chosen, colored and cut out. These were projects!
 This panda is by far the creepiest looking character I've ever seen.

Georgie's attempt at origami. Pretty good! I had to help her some but she did a pretty good job of keeping up with the instructions.
And finally, the abacus. Other than choosing the bead colors Georgie didn't make this at all. It was SO hard to put together but a pretty neat idea.
Georgie wanted one of these animal balloons in the worst possible way... sure, that was worth $5 :-)

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Jekyll & Hyde
Our Pantages series continues! Wow, what can I say? It was an incredibly dark story... murder, intrigue. It was a far cry from the typical musical that's for sure. Constantine Maroulis was pretty good. He's gotten really bad reviews but I think they were undeserved. He doesn't have a typical stage voice. The actress who played his love interest was amazing! What a beautiful voice. Overall I really enjoyed the show and appreciated that it was something very different than usual.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Joys of Georgiana
Georgie is very creative. She gives little attention to toys but loves her craft supplies; scissors, tape (her fav!), markers, pencils, crayons, and paper. These are the things that thrill my girl! She can spend hours working on her projects. Our kitchen table is perpetually covered with the remnants of her work.

This was one of G's more interesting creations. I was getting ready to toss this piece of cardboard in the trash when Georgie stopped me explaining that she "needed it". I tried to tell her it was trash but she said "please!" Ok, ok. A couple hours later she reappeared "look what I made mommy!" She told me a little story about it too:
"Once upon a time there was a little, little butterfly that was really, really small. She saw a path that led to a shady spot. She fluttered up and fluttered down and then saw a tiny spot, a shady spot. She fit it in just right so she curled up and said 'good night'. The end."
Cute, huh? I was most impressed with the way she used the tape to wrap the tree around the corner to make it stand up. The red piece in the corner is the butterfly, the red dots represent the butterfly's path leading to the "shady spot".

A few days later she drew these flowers and then taped them (gotta have tape!!) to the vase. I encourage her to tell the story and this time she wrote it down. Love it! She water colored the background then I helped her attach it.
 The idea for this one came from a children's art book I bought.

 This is one Saturday's projects!
This is G's interpretation of an orphanage in China. All the little people are babies, all the big people are the nannies that take care of the babies. She explained that all the babies are happy because the nannies take good care of them. I have no idea why there is a smiling mouse. I'm also not clear on whether or not that thing at the right is a boat and if the little creatures on the bottom are sea animals, snakes, worms or something else???
One afternoon we gave wax resist a try. We used a white crayon and tried a few different methods.
This was Georgie's favorite of the group.
This one was Georgie's own creation... a family of merfolk. She freehand cut the pieces then taped them together. The tape isn't quite as obvious in person as it is in this photo.
Time will tell if Georgie's creativity leads to artistry. It doesn't really matter though... what matters is that she LOVES to create things. And, I can't wait to see what she comes up with next :-)

Friday, March 22, 2013

FCC CNY Dinner
Gong Xi Fa Cai! We had so much fun last year we thought we'd go again. Funny story... for some reason I put this in my phone calendar for the Saturday two weeks earlier than the actual date. Yes, we drove all the way to LA, parked, did some quick shopping, and made our way to the restaurant to find out we were there exactly 14 days too soon. Oops.

Anywho, two weeks later on the right day we headed back in to LA. Again, it was a great night! We were lucky to be able to enjoy the evening with friends. The LA FCC is a large one and the dinner is attended by hundreds of people. It really is a lot of fun with a lion dance, magician and Georgie's favorite the Chinatown Queen and her Princesses! Georgie loved being at this event. Its clear that she feels a kinship with all the other little girls, dressed in pretty qi pao with families that look like hers.

Fun, fun!

The princesses danced with the girls for a long time. Its hard to imagine how they managed it wearing those Lady Gaga heels. They are absolutely adored by the little girls who would hardly let them go when it was time for them to leave.
 Georgie and all the girls waiting anxiously for the bubble wrap "fireworks" to be completed.