Post sick day

The kids have been sick for For-ev-er.
I have had reservations to visit The Broad for two months longer than forever. 
The night before everyone went to bed there were rounds of medicine, vitamin infused drinks and interrogations of “how do you feel? How is your head? Are you achey? You don’t feel feverish but do you feel warm?” Etc etc etc. as of the night before we were all systems go. The morning of Kap was tired and Co had a mild headache….we went for it.

First stop was introducing the kids to the wonders of Donut Friend. You may remember me singing the praises of Donut Friend in my last post. I FINALLY got my Jets to Basil and it was perfect.  

 The kids loved them (Brayden I think was the most impressed) George kept saying how he wished we lived closer. I’m secretly glad we don’t because my self control is non existent.
After a stop by Hollyhock house (another location I visited in during my last solo adventure) Kaplan has always enjoyed the Hollywood sign ever since she was little so she liked seeing everything from this view. Although this time around she mentioned that it should say “Kaplan” instead of “Hollywood” …I might be raising a tyrant.

We made our way to the Broad.   First off. Thank God for reservations. The standby line was terrifying and I admire every single one of those people for their sticktoittiveness. I couldn’t do it no matter how badly I wanted to see something. Heck I won’t wait for Space Mountain without a fast pass. It’s a very simple process, done online and I think they’re currently taking reservations for March. 

Once you arrive you’re put into a line and pre-checked in until your reservation time. Read up on visiting the museum and reserving an additional time-slot for special exhibits here, it has a ton of great info.

So taking kids to the Broad….first of all Kap was still on the tired side so she and I spent a 1/5 of the time sitting on benches admiring various pieces of work for ten minute stretches. Besides our bench sitting Kaps favorite part was an untitled oil painting by Rudolf Stingel, Kaplan’s Favorite. Secondly some of the art can be suggestive. Brayden and Kap are both of the age where they can look at it objectively and understand the emotion it evokes instead of the image at “face value” (please understand none of it was “lewd” but you do want to be with your children when you’re walking through). On that note, Co pointed out several times that he was “pretty sure that’s a penis.” after explaining impressions and how art affects the human emotion  Co decided his favorite part was The infinity mirrored room 


 
  It was truly incredible. 

Brayden’s favorite artist was Barbara Kruger 

I’m having a moment of pride here because all of the kids favorites were mine.

       

From The Broad we went to Little Pine a new organic, vegan bistro in Silverlake for a late brunch. I had been looking forward to going ever since I found out that all profits go to animal welfare organizations. I mean come on. Wonderfully calm setting, vegan food and it’s for a good cause? It’s almost too perfect.  The kids didn’t order much (their appetites have been sporadic since getting over their various illnesses). Kap decided on the Strawberry “Poptart” which she says “is so good, way better then a regular Poptart” (I feel like I need to point out that I can’t tell you the last time we had Poptarts in the house). 

 Brayden got the strawberry lemonade, Co and George got the Peanut Butter, cacao, cashew banana smoothie and they both loved it. 

 I ordered the vegetable frittata and immediately started thinking of ways I could make something similar at home (we don’t live close by) and George got the French toast. It looked so, so, so decadent. I had a bit of the crust and holy crap. If I hadn’t wanted to try everything on the menu I would order the French toast hands down. I do feel the need to mention that if you have to choose between the peach Bellini and the strawberry basil Bellini you should choose the strawberry basil. 

 So good. Side note: the little retail store in the front of the restaurant is every nature lovers dream. Plates featuring elegant sketches of deer, candles that perfectly capture various outdoors brought indoor themes, sage bundles, recipe books, the list can go on and on.  

This is actually a squinty face picture in the bathroom…I liked the picture hanging on the wall and the natural light.

 
Our last stop was at Wackos Soap Plant .

 I’m not sure what I was expecting but I think I was expecting something a little more…original? Maybe it’s from living in California my whole life but it reminded me of a really large Spencer’s gifts with a dash of the novelty section at Urban Outfitters. The coolest part was the art gallery in the back of the store. Turns out we missed Kevin Smith by about 4 hours (something Brayden pointed out to me very quickly and seemed a little put out about).  
 
It was a nice, relaxed adventure day for some recuperating kids. I can’t wait for our next one.   

 

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So. It’s been awhile. Aka our journey to Jim Morrison’s cave.

I haven’t posted in the blog for…well…a thousand years.
We’ve hiked, loved, learned, lost and have grown in the last year. As we all know I love hiking, I love adventuring with the kids and I love taking pictures of the people I love in the great big outdoors. That’s part of the reason I could never be a “professional” photographer. I only like taking pictures of what I like and I don’t follow the formula of what makes a good composition in a picture. I don’t even know if that’s phrased correctly, see! I even lack terminology. 
Also, I’m lazy.
So Kap and Co have been fighting some intense colds that they caught somewhere so my original hiking plan fell by the wayside because it contains river crossings and a lot of miles. My second choice was at too high of an elevation for their awful post nasal situation so we went with choice number three, an easy 2-3 miles to Jim Morrison’s Hideaway in the Malibu area.  

 Getting there is pretty easy if you follow these directions http://www.newgirlsguidetola.com/do–see/jim-morrison-cave. I stumbled upon her site accidentally and I was so glad I did. The topographical picture showing where the cave is in comparison to the spiral rock formation helped us get there fairly easily and then we were able to help about 6 other people get there. 

The entrance is tight and not for the claustrophobic (I’m VERY claustrophobic so I only got brave on my second try). 

 FYI this graffiti saying this is not the way to the pink cave is a liar. Tricky tricksters.

 Kap and Co did not want to go in the cave but they LOVED the sandstone formations that are sprinkled around this trail.  

    
 Kap kept climbing to the top of various rocks and exclaiming “this is so cool!”. Which as a mom that has to sometimes drag her kids on hikes that’s music to my ears. 

By the way I totally don’t like The Doors. I tried. 
Just, meh. 
But! 

Cool cave Jim, 

cool cave.

 
  

  
Picture by Cohan

    
   

Picture by Brayden

The spiral rock formation made by who knows who is pretty great and really close to the cave 

 

  Picture by George

 

Ps I recommend getting there EARLY (we left our house by 6:30 which had us at the trail head by 7:30). By the time we left between 10-10:30 there were about 12 cars in the lot and a swarm of people. 

In other words, no thank you. 

So go early! 

Unless we plan on going then you can head down around 10 or 11.

  

The evening I flunked being a mom

So my youngest wanted this book that he saw at a little shop called Home Economics that we go into every so often.

He has been asking me to get this book for him

ALL.
WEEK.
LONG.

I called the store today and asked them to put it on hold for us. Cohan was beyond thrilled and he walked around the farmers market with it clutched to his chest, beaming, asking if he can read it when he got into the car.

I smiled feeling like I hung the moon and like I had fulfilled my motherly win for the day…

The book has the most adorable cover. A cute chubby, cartoon dog with a red foil heart in a speech bubble over him.

Then we got in the car.

Mischievous giggles sounded behind me.

Soon I heard my oldest with a smile saying “um I think that has the S word…”

*even more uproarious laughter from my youngest*

I intervened, grabbing for the book, saying “no no let me see it. I thought it was just a book about a pet dog.”

I flipped to the next page and the cartoon dog was accosting a Honda and shouting four letter words.

It was hilarious.

I had also flunked as a mom (for the day).

The kids were absolutely cracking up and I was thinking of ways to put stickers over the non kid friendly words.

The author had no idea it would be purchased as a children’s book. I don’t think the shopkeeper had any idea it wasn’t a children’s book.

At the end of the day I had still flunked yet I haven’t heard my children laugh that hard in a long time (and our house is positively bursting with mirth).

Ps I’m fully anticipating people that don’t know what it’s like to truly parent to take great offense to all of this instead of seeing the humor behind good (yet failed) intentions in parenting.

Remind me to tell you about the time my mom took my brother and I to the rocky horror picture show in Berkeley. We all thought it was just going to be watching a movie….she still refers to it as the night she flunked motherhood.

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Antelope Valley – for the record, no antelopes were seen

So if you’ve read my last blog post you’ll remember that I’ve been selfish with my time and effort so it’s taken me a whole two weeks to finally sit down and tell you about our awesome adventure out to Antelope Valley.

What first drew my eye was the Poppy Reserve . We had done flower fields in Carlsbad but I loved the idea of a more natural occurrence. Thankfully the website for the poppy reserve is very honest about the state of the flowers.

If it’s windy the flowers won’t be open.

Period.

We played it by ear and when we stopped for lunch and were hit by a strong gust of wind we decided no poppy would show it’s pretty face that day.

Moving on to the next item on my list. The Antelope Valley Indian Museum. Now the politically correct Californian in me pauses and wonders “can you say that? Are we allowed to say that?”

The Native American touring the museum with her Meso-American husband didn’t seem to mind and the 16th of my blood seemed ok with it so I didn’t take issue.

This museum is incredible. The gentleman they had working are knowledgable, helpful, friendly and welcoming. I felt like I couldn’t take enough pictures and the whole location of the museum had such a transported back in time vibe to it. Even down to the rusted out house on the back of the nature trail that winds around the museum and the abandoned motel and gas station on the road in.

The next stop was Vasquez Rocks. This park looks like another planet. Which would explain why it has been the location for several movies (something I didn’t know till after we got there). You’re welcome to climb all over the rock formations (at your own risk of course) and while the place wasn’t crawling with people I did notice 2-3 groups of photographers speaking German and other languages I couldn’t place.

There are certain places that just feel like home. Almost magical and both of these hit that mark (much like Joshua Tree in the spring or winter or a redwood forest in February or August).

Getting there takes a few hours from our home in Southern California so depending on how much time you want to spend on the road you can make it a day trip or spend a weekend in the area at various campgrounds and hotels.

Till next time, enjoy your adventures!

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Paper mâché Easter eggs – an alternative to dyeing hard boiled eggs.

So since becoming vegan holidays have been a challenge. I’m not talking in the traditional food sense but just traditions in themselves. Buying pounds of butter for Christmas baking and buying dozens of eggs to dye for Easter…I was a vegetarian for 14 years prior to making the switch so I could always cut corners because “it’s not meat.”

Now….Easter is around the corner (for us it’s today because the little ones will be at their dad’s) and I needed a project that agreed with my new outlook (I’ll be honest I shudder to think of what I’ve consumed in the past).

Sorry, no soapboxes I swear.

I found this craft and it’s a really fun (and messy!) DIY paper mâché Easter “egg.”

For the most part it’s very easy and kids of all ages can participate (the “glue” is mostly flour and water).
Now, I need you to take “messy” and really make your peace with it. Seriously. If you have the kiddos in their “good clothes” and you’re one of those spic and span moms you’re going to want a tarp and gloves. I also doubled the recipe below because we had about 9-10 “eggs” to make

I am not a spic and span mom.

Let the festive mess begin!

You will need:
1 cup flour
2 cups water
1 pinch table salt
1 large mixing bowl
Balloons (I used 3″ balloons)
Tissue paper, cut into small strips (teacher supply stores sell the big craft packs for a couple of dollars in a bunch of different colors)
Mason jars or cups with small openings.

You can also grab some glitter, sequins, yarn etc for decorating. We used glitter. The herpes of the craft world. Don’t worry I do not divulge this nickname to the children.

Mix the flour, water, and salt in a bowl until smooth. Separate into several other bowls to cut down on the inevitable “my turn!”

Blow up a balloon until it is egg-shaped and the desired size.
Using your fingers (be prepared, it really does get messy), spread some flour mixture on the balloon. Dip strips of tissue paper one at a time into the mixture and lay flat across the balloon. Continue until you have covered the balloon completely. Repeat with 6 to 8 layers of tissue paper. You can smooth as you go.

On the final layer you ca use your patterned tissue paper, glitter, yarn, sequins, and string make to get fancy.

When you’re done put your “egg” on top of a cup. Let harden for 8 to 12 hours.
Pop the balloon using a pin and remove the deflated balloon.
Boom! A new “egg” tradition!

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40 days of gratitude day 29

this morning I watched my oldest (the young man on the left) receive an award for making principals honor roll. I would have loved to post pictures from the ceremony but I wasn’t sitting in the best spot and quite frankly I love this picture of him.

Brayden is incredible.

My philosophy on parenting is “raise the kind of kid you would want to hang out and be friends with.” He continually validates that philosophy. He has a miraculous capacity for love, a freakishly brilliant mind and the ability to not just whistle but laugh through a graveyard (most of the time). To say I’m proud to call him my son is an understatement. To say that I’m merely grateful for his presence in my life would be an offense of the highest form.
I’m more than grateful. I’m thankful, appreciative and forever indebted that I was blessed with this soul to care for. ‪

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