Mugging Sissy

Leanne is such a good big sister.

She lets JacJac climb all over here when they play together.
Can you tell how much JacJac loves her Sissy?
And the other thing Leanne loves? Working puzzles with Grandma.
It took us a little longer to do this non-traditional puzzle but we finished it!


Jac's First Road Trip

Hubby had a roaring case of cabin fever after being down for a week with a sore back, so Saturday we packed up the available baby grands and headed north.
First stop - Ostrichland.

Leanne was a bit nervous at first
- those are some big dinosaurs birds - 
but she quickly figured out they were only interested in the food pellets
and not in biting/pecking her.
Once the ostrich food ran out - and we'd counted ostrich toes -
we headed for our own lunch
and then into Solvang
for Leanne's special surprise -
a ride on the horse-drawn trolley.
She was one very happy girl.
You know it's been a good day when you end up with green frosting on your nose.

And I was happy too . . .
these silly socks and another cuckoo clock might have followed me home.


Music and Science

Leia's teacher needed volunteers for a musical instrument presentation and I couldn't get my hand up fast enough.
The program is sponsored by the local professional orchestra and introduces third graders to various instrument 'families' while letting them try out some instruments under supervision (hence the need for volunteers).
Kids can sign up for band in 4th and 5th grade and Leia is already asking to play flute (is it in the genes??). 
I have such great memories of orchestra and band - especially marching band - and I want the baby grands to have the chance to experience that also. So yes, Leia, we can get you a flute.
This was also Science Week, with more volunteer opportunities for Grandma. Monday's experiments involved electromagnets which the kids thought were cool. 
Today's lesson was on force, inertia 
and friction, 
with easy experiments -
like a butterfly make-and-take - 
that explained the concepts on the third grade level. Very cool program that will hopefully get these kids excited about science and future careers.


Center Stage

Leanne is another baby grand who loves being on stage. 
She recently starred as a puppy in her kindergarten production of "Mother Goose's Goose is Loose", singing 'Hey Diddle Diddle'.

Super cute play, with lots of (really awful) nursery rhyme puns.  
She was also part of a performance with her after school hip-hop group. Leanne missed 2 of the 6 practices due to illness, so I was afraid she wouldn't know the routine.
No need to worry - 
what she didn't know she faked with attitude and enthusiasm.
Which is actually a great life lesson.


Hollywood and Vine

I love getting discount offers from the Pantages - plus I'd heard good things about this play - so Tuesday we headed south with Mary and Leia to see Finding Neverland.
The thing about driving into LA is you can never be sure how long it will take. The 50-ish mile trip could take 50 minutes or 3 hours and 50 minutes. 
So we tend to err on the side of caution and leave extra early - in this case, at 3:30 for an 8 pm show. 
Good news: traffic was light. Bad news: 2 1/2 hours to kill before the show started. Solution? Dinner!
While we were enroute, I made online reservations at Musso and Frank's, a Hollywood institution. And while the prices were (very) high, the food was good and the sight-seeing even better. See the waiter standing behind hubby (above)? He's talking to Helena Bonham Carter. Yep, Hollywood royalty.
And the play?
Excellent, as expected.
One day we may see Leia up on that stage. 


Baby Puzzle

Look who's upwardly mobile . . . 
Rather than spend all our time trying to corral 8-month-old Jaclyn, we bought several sets of puzzle-shaped, extra thick foam floor mats (my idea)
and enough storage ottomans to block all avenues of escape (hubby's idea).
Now Jac can roam to her heart's content and we don't have to worry about concussions when baby noggin hits the hard tile floor. Plus, Leia and Leanne get a kick out of rearranging the puzzle colors. 
Definitely win-win-win. Now if we can just keep Jac from learning to crawl over the ottomans . . . .