Father’s Day Present

June 13, 2011

Mishy’s favorite movie is The Wizard of Oz. Yes, she loves the Wicked Witch and isn’t scared by anything that is shown onscreen – even the flying monkeys. The flying monkeys and the image of the projected Wizard’s head scared me when I was younger. She absolutely loves the film.

Babba and Mishy have been watching clips of The Wizard of Oz on Youtube over the course of  several months before we purchased a copy from Amazon. We thought we would stop and start and watch the film over a few days. Once it arrived in the mail, Mishy sat down with Babba and watched it straight through and the next morning, she wanted to watch in again. Soon afterwards, Mishy had a new nickname for Babba – Scarecrow. She also called me Lion and our cat, Tin Man.

A few weeks ago, I took Mishy to Scribble Press, a neighborhood shop which empowers children to make their own books, placemats, bookmarks and other fun things – you can even bring your children’s entire year of art projects and convert the images into a beautiful book. While I had no idea what we were going to make at Scribble Press, a fantastic new employee suggested a Father’s Day Book  and what a great suggestion was that! Mishy sat down and started writing and drawing about her father, entitling the book, I Love Scarecrow. After we made the book, Mishy and I read it over and over again in the car and I was so excited that when we came home, I told my husband we made him a Father’s Day present. That weekend, we showed it to him. Mishy and I both really wanted to share with him her present as soon as possible.

Mishy making her father's day present


Scribble Press

Two locations – one in Santa Monica and one in New York


If you want to see a show that is well produced in a fun, child friendly way, full of energy and contains silly silly songs, The Pop Ups – Pasta! A Puppet Musical is the show to take your preschool aged children to. This Sunday, Mishy, Babba, and I
attended the morning show of The Pop Ups at The Highway Performing Arts Spaces in Santa Monica. This was our first time at The Highway Performing Arts and I hope they host more and more family theatre because it’s a charming space – with
a lovely tree covered in knitted wear near the entrance. Mishy wondered if the tree was cold.

The Pop Ups is the brain child of two Brooklyn based musicians, Jacob Stein and Jason Rabinowitz who have endurance triathletic endurance. They made a smash appearance last year locally, and they recently made an appearance in the Los Angeles area over the Thanksgiving holidays. This time, they were in town for a four performance showcase. They would love to be signed up to do a television show – hint hint. They have the makings of being incredibly successful children’s performers. Why? Because they love children and it’s so clear they love what they do.

What makes The Pop Ups special? Their energy and exuberance at being surrounded by children. They include all
audience members in their journey of finding ingredients to make the best pasta sauce in the world so they could get their chef’s hats. The story is of them journeying to various places in Brooklyn by different modes of transportation and their encounters with new friends. The plot is simple. The puppetry is fun and silly. Their songs are contagious and some songs are reminiscent of Coldplay – if Coldplay were Muppets.

If there were to be a sequel – The Pops Pasta! A Puppet Musical Two, or a title much more creative which I am sure they could come up with, I would love for them to go deeper and further with their message of fun and perhaps, add in some elements of education in a non pandering way. Of course, there is a place for just laughing and watching two grown men entertain
and win the hearts of children. Mishy loved this show. My husband did too.


The Pop Ups


For my East Coast readers, they will be performing at The Soho Playhouse from March 5th 2011 to mid April. They are performing every Saturday at 11AM.


For my Los Angeles based readers, The Pop Ups will be returning in the summer! I’ll keep everyone posted.

Mishy playing do and mi.

I love when things seredipidusously happen. I enter giveaways because I like winning things and I do tend to win.  I won a family four pack of tickets to see Brooklyn based jazz musician, Oran Etkin in concert in October. Because we are a family of three, I offered the extra ticket on a yahoo group I own and co-moderate – Natural Parenting LA. Some of my friends are members of this yahoo group and I thought this would be the most diplomatic way to offer the extra the ticket. The person who won the ticket emailed me that night and asked if my daughter had ever participated in a music class taught by Oran. No, but I thought let’s see if it’s possible to organize one while he’s here. I remember emailing him and then her late into that night trying to figure out the details to see how this can happen. I got so excited about the possibilities.

Why? Because when my daughter was younger, I took her to a music class where a teacher with a guitar sings and passes around instruments to play and while it’s a way to connect with other parents, in terms of actual music learning – not really. More importantly, after that one class series, my daughter made it very clear she wanted nothing to do with music classes.  Yet, she’s showed a keen interest in music – notably piano and has been asking for a piano for over a year now. I had talked to piano teachers about giving my daughter lessons, and they said they don’t teach children until they are 4-6 years old. Mishy was 1.5 years old when she started asking to play piano. I did investigate the Suzuki method and found a good Suzuki violin teacher, but Mishy said she wanted to learn piano. I thought maybe the ideal situation would be to find a class that taught music in a child friendly way and I thought perhaps Oran’s music class would be the answer.

During my early correspondence with Oran, he told me the class would be special. And it is. Musical concepts such as beats, high/low notes, hearing notes in music, parts of an instrument, classification of instruments, being introduced to non traditional instruments, and so many more are done in respectful, fun ways. His classes are entirely refreshing, enjoyable and most importantly, they are taught in a way that get into your bones so music becomes natural and comprehensive . After the first class, Mishy started becoming curious about all the instruments I had bought during our travels. We started having parades on our street and concerts at home and she wanted to go to concerts and learn – really learn about music – which made me incredibly happy because I love going to concerts and being surrounded by music as well.

When Oran wrote to me in December and let me know he would be in Los Angeles again to celebrate his nomination and attend the Grammy ceremony – he has been nominated for his work on the CD, Healthy Food For Thought – I jumped at the opportunity to host two more classes and help spread the word about his classes. (He taught at a friend’s daughter’s preschool and a homeschooling group as well as two other private classes during his recent time here.) He teaches children from 0-12 years of age and private classes are 6-12 participants. Los Angeles based parents, he will be returning in the summer, most likely June 2011! Consider your children very lucky if they get an opportunity to have him as a teacher. (Oran teaches classes in New York regularly, when not traveling with his band.)

Learning about the caxixis - pronounced cashishi




Central Park

January 1, 2011

I know it’s not the summer right now – especially in New York. I thought it would be fun to post about our adventures in New York in 2010, when it was hot and the perfect attire would be to wear just a diaper. We were living in Brooklyn for three months last year for work and got to see and re-visit so many wonderful places. One of the most enjoyable for Mishy and probably for many is Central Park.

Here is a snapshot of one of Mishy’s time in Central Park.

At the entrance of the playground. We stopped by Whole Foods where their breakfast buffet is 50% before 10AM on a weekend.

On the swings. No visit to a playground is ever complete without some swinging.

Mishy finds the water! She made me run into the water many times before she ventured to them. I got soaked, of course. She did too.

Taking a break to drum on the concrete.

Running again.

We didn't bring a change of clothes. Mishy picked out a balloon that was by donation.

Both my husband and I used to live in New York. We met in New York. We had one of our first outings as friends at Lombardi’s – shared their clam pizza. We walked around the East Village where we were both working in the theatre. We went to see many plays together because he was reviewing shows for a magazine then and through my contacts at various theatre companies. Somehow, we fell in love and now we have a beautiful daughter whom we love and appreciate so much in our lives. This time in New York was my opportunity to show Mishy all the things I love about New York.


Central Park


Central Park also hosts Shakespeare in the Park by the Public Theatre and features a zoo.

Mishy connecting with Pooh

The original animals

Inside New York City’s Public Library’s main branch lives the original animals, minus Roo, which were the inspiration for A.A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh stories. They are housed in a small room inside the Central Children’s Room, which is on the second floor. (Roo was lost somewhere in Sussex, unfortunately.) It is wonderful to see the original and then the inspired versions which are painted on the walls in the small room. This is a must see for anyone touched by the stories of Pooh, Piglet, Kanga, Eyeore and a surprise late addition to the family of animals I will not name 🙂 You just have to go and see it for yourself.


Central Children’s Room (2nd Floor)
Donell Library Center
The New York Public Library
20 West 53rd Street (between 5th and 6th Avenues)
New York, NY 10019

Day Hours
Monday 12.00-18.00
Tuesday 10.00-18.00
Wednesday 12.00-18.00
Thursday 12.00-20.00
Friday 12.00-18.00
Saturday 12.00-17.00
Sunday 13.00-17.00

Closed Sundays May-September

No flash photography is allowed.