Hello! It's a Friday Photo Dump, but two weeks and a day late!
After we got home, Evan high-tailed it back to work gratefully. Our next door neighbor cornered me and told me how great he did and what a great guy he was, taking care of two kids for four whole days like that. I reminded him that I had all three kids when Evan went to NY Comicon for a whole week, and he looked at me like I was insane. Obviously I didn't understand -- a MAN took care of two small kids BY HIMSELF for FOUR DAYS! Sigh. Thankfully my husband does not share our neighbor's belief that a grown man taking care of a couple of his own kids for a couple days does not deserve a medal. (He does deserve a cool set of colored pencils and sketchbooks from Japan.)
Free Comics Day! Evan took the boys to our Local Comic Book Shop, House of Secrets. The cosplayers were much better looking than the scrawny Seton Hall students dressed up as Green Lantern we used to get in South Orange.
I took The Goose and Oscar to Earth 2 Comics, owned and operated by my friend Susan and her husband. They had Free Comic Book Day DOWN. Lots and lots of kids books, every member of the staff working the floor wearing matching tee shirts and being friendly and helpful. It's a great shop, in a fun neighborhood that we haven't really explored yet, and we will be back.
The Goose had her dance recital pictures. The actual recital isn't until June 2, but pictures were earlier. Man, there is nothing cuter than a bunch of 4-year-olds in tutus and bunny ears.
And yes, Free Comics Day weekend was also the opening of The Avengers. We booked a babysitter, bought our tickets, showed up 45 minutes early, and…
…waited in line that wrapped around three blocks. We ended up in the third row, surrounded by toddlers (people: I don't bring my almost-nine-year-old to PG-13 movies; you shouldn't bring your toddlers) but enjoyed ourselves immensely.
Evan and I both had to avert our eyes during some of the destruction of New York City. The director, one of our favorites, timed the most painful parts -- the clock in GCS -- perfectly with Hulk humor, but, as many of our friends have agreed, when you were in New York City during 9/11, it's hard to be entertained by the destruction of your favorite city.
Arlo keeps running into this puppy at the playground. She is the size of a guinea pig and it makes my heart melt to see him hold her. We really need to figure out how to work a pet into our lives, even just as therapy for Arlo.
Somebody lost their second front tooth! And by "lost" I mean their mama grabbed it and yanked it out. It was a satisfying parenting moment.
Saturday I took the kids to Lego Club at the library as Evan went to see the amazing Cabin in the Woods. I went a couple weeks ago with some girlfriends and was DYING for Evan to see it so we could talk about it. Indeed, he thought it was Roger Rabbit for horror fans. In retrospect, it's a movie that is worth $60 on the babysitter, $25 in tickets, and $25 in drinks afterwards to talk about it.
This older kid was sufficiently impressed with Arlo's tower that he took a picture with his DS. Arlo was so proud he was bursting. Oscar was in sibling hell.
Mother's Day! Evan let me sleep in (to 6:30!) and then went off to get meat pies and cheese bread from Porto's for breakfast. Yum.
I was given an amazing assortment of homemade gifts, plus, those savvy kids sent me flowers on Saturday.
A poem/magnet from Oscar:
(some of this is kind of random and weird -- "ONLY loving me?" "ending life with love?" butI will take it when I can get it.)
The Goose made me a beautiful vase and a flower.
Card from Arlo. I know how much he labored over every letter. It means the world to me. I will be buried with this card.
I also got an assortment of handmade jewelry.
Evan gave me the best Mother's Day present. I got one-on-one time with each of my kids.
Pedicures with The Goose. We got matching hearts.
Oscar and I saw that Pirate movie. It was okay. It was no Wallace and Gromit.
Arlo and I went out for ice cream. I had a little scoop of mint chocolate chip that Arlo ate most of. He has some disgusting cotton candy ice cream topped with sprinkles and gummi bears. Blargh.
At dinner time, everybody got pissy. So I brought out the whoopie cushions, and I think that they might need to become a new Brockway-Metcalf Mother's Day tradition.
In other news, we booked our end-of-the-school-year mini break. We are going to San Diego for three days and visiting the beach, Legoland, and the San Diego Safari Park, which we get into to free thanks to our zoo membership.
Santa brought us a bank to save up our change for a trip to Legoland. Luckily, we had a Team Comics pal that gave us a bunch of free passes to Legoland!
We will spend the money we've saved on a hotel, a dinner out (probably at that BBQ place we loved last time) and then we'll give each kid $10 or so to spend at the park or the zoo, as they like. $10 of cotton candy? Sure. $10 lost at the stupid carnival games at Legoland (because we didn't just spend $70 to be there, you need to sap out money with dopey carnival games)? Whatever. It's a good financial lesson for the kids. They loved putting every penny into that bank, and it's great to have a fun goal at the end. I wonder what our next goal will be? Any suggestions?
They have a pool and encourage us to use it. I am still a cautious, overly polite WASP, and although my kids want to be there every single day, I try to limit it to one or two weekday afternoons.
Arlo had his IEP this week. It went well. We are grateful that we landed in a school district that recognizes that a kid needs help and offers him help, instead of ignoring or distracting the issue.
Sometimes I think I just need to bring Arlo to this Japanese Tea Garden every week as therapy. For him and me both.
Saturday Evan had to work in the morning so there was lots of TV and video games. It's hard for me to work up enthusiasm for parenting solo on a Saturday. Evan came home, took the kids out for a play, and we had Family Movie Night. HOP. The kids were deliriously thrilled. The only good thing is that we had a coupon for Redbox so it only cost us 76¢. AND A PIECE OF MY SOUL. We shall not speak of this again.
Sunday Evan had to get us all off our fannies (as my mom would say) and rallied up a trip to the Autry. We had bought a family membership on our last visit there and only needed to visit twice to make it worthwhile. Oscar was fantastically crabby until he remembered that the cafe had really delicious chili and then he felt better.
We also saw Jay Leno driving one of his flashy, open air classic cars through Griffith Park. He's hard to miss. From what my friends tell me, it's strange that it took us this long for a sighting.
The cafe is right next to a big open field in Griffith Park. We didn't notice it last time since it was pouring. It's perfect for practicing karate kicks after you've finished your chili.
We live here.
Stupid California, being all beautiful.
We went outside and panned for gold. Oscar has a touch of Gollum in him, I think.
We spent a great half-hour in the ersatz Chinatown. Lisa See, who is one of my favorite historical fiction authors, donated a lot of pictures, stories and artifacts from her family's life in the two LA Chinatowns in the 1930s. The kids can try on traditional Chinese clothing, "cook" in their kitchen, take orders in the family antique shop, or take orders for chop suey in their family restaurant.
Oscar with Gene Autry and Trigger, in front of the movie theater. They have a screening schedule of Westerns that I look forward to going to when the kids are a little older. Today, there was a lecture about Angel Island, the Ellis Island of the West Coast that I wish I could have gone to. (Everything I know about Angel Island I know from Lisa See's books!)
We finished off the day playing mini-golf in Sherman Oaks.
Lucy and I went to introduce ourselves to our new neighbors across the street, who are from Buffalo! They also have three kids, younger than ours. They were relived to hear how much we love the school.
Here's the carp windsocks the kids made at the Autry today, flying on our front porch. See you next week.