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


First Dentist Appointment

April 17, 2011

Getting her teeth cleaned.

Last Monday, Mishy had her first dentist appointment. She looked forward to it because a friend, Clara, had recommended her dentist, Dr. William Pratt in Santa  Monica, who is known for being gentle and personally cleans his client’s teeth.

Swishing the water in her mouth to spit.

We brush her teeth twice a day and sometimes even more. It is a game to brush Mishy’s teeth. She likes to eat the toothpaste. We use Weleda children’s toothpaste and  Kids Spry Tooth Gel, because they both don’t contain any harmful chemicals and are safe, if eaten. At the appointment, my husband asked Dr. Pratt if she needed flouridated toothpaste. A dentist he had met at a drugstore said our daughter did. Dr. Pratt said children get plenty of flouride in the foods they eat and it is unnecessary to give them toothpaste with flouride in them.

Getting ready to have her teeth flossed.

Her teeth after her first professional cleaning and flossing.

Dr. William Pratt
Weleda Children’s Tooth Gel
Spry Kids Tooth Gel
(Full disclosure: I do not benefit in any way by offering the links.)

Babba’s away and I’ve been recovering from an infection so Mishy and I have been laying low these last couple of days and having a wonderful time doing nothing. On Tuesday, we went to Whole Foods for lunch and to buy Mishy ghee. She loves butter – it’s fat for her brain as it develops , yet she’s lactose intolerant. Whole Foods carries organic ghee, which is both lactose and casien free. After shopping, we sat and ate lunch at Whole Foods in one of their booths. Well, I sat as Mishy played peek-a-boo with a man sitting behind us. I love how she makes friends so easily and effortlessly. Every once in a while, she checked in on me, as any friend would do, and then resumed her game – until it was time for him to go. She waved good bye, he wave back. She hugged me and then started to play with someone else at Whole Foods, sensing I needed a bit more time to chew on my salad. I bought a huge salad at the salad bar because my eyes continue to be bigger than my stomach.

Mishy watching Christopher Hawkley Rollers at The Victorian during the Food Trucks weekly event

In the evening, we headed to the Santa Monica Gourmet Food Trucks on Main Street. The food trucks are there every Tuesday evening from 5:30PM-9:30PM at the same location as the Sunday Farmers Market near Ocean Park Blvd. We’ve been going there as a family since December and I wasn’t quite sure how it would be with just the two of us. We don’t really go for the food anymore, some weeks the selection at the trucks offers delicious and healthy food and some weeks, it is rather difficult to find anything we want to eat. An association of 120 food trucks randomly picks which six to eight trucks will be there that week. Some food trucks we love? Soule Food for their shrimp toastie and lamb gyro, Nom Nom Truck for their banh mi, Let’s Be Frank for their healthy hot dogs – they do exist and are delicious, if not expensive for hot dogs at $5.50 per dog. What brings us to the weekly Food Trucks, if not for the food? Mishy’s told me she has a boyfriend and his name is Christopher of Christopher Hawkley Rollers – who plays outside at The Victorian from about 6-8PM and then inside, starting at 9PM. Mishy says she wants to join his band and travel with him.

Christopher Hawkley Rollers

Before we left for the Food Truck, Mishy quickly changed her clothes and made sure she was wearing the shirt she painted at her birthday party – “So he’ll know who I am.” She had worn that same shirt the last time she saw him during her birthday week when he sang Happy Birthday three times and she couldn’t stop smiling. I felt like I was watching my girlfriend get ready for a night out on the town, except, my girlfriend has to sit in a car seat for safety and the law. When we got to the food trucks, there was no parking available in three surrounding parking lots. I asked Mishy if we could go back home and walk back in the stroller – it’s a 30 minute walk. She assured me we’ll find parking. As soon as she said those words, we did. I love how reassuring she is.

Mishy dancing with the shirt she painted

At the food trucks location, she immediately wanted to see Christopher. He was playing and she beamed when he welcomed her and said he missed her. She asked me to ask him where he had been last week – out of town – and also tell him she missed him too. She started to dance. I love watching her dance. The freedom of her moves and expression. Her joy at feeling the music. She invited me to dance and I did, but I became self conscious and started taking pictures. She let me be. (It’s funny. I dance all the time with her when we’re at children’s concerts, but when it’s sort of for adults – I have the thought in my head that I should be dancing better. I’ll get over it. One day. Perhaps it’s because I took too many structure dance classes when I was growing up.)

Mishy asked him to sing one of her favorite songs from his Comes Around Again CD, Home. He did and she was so excited, she laughed and jumped in one spot during the song. Anyone may get this CD at the Food Trucks by donation. He gave it to her for her birthday present and she makes us play it in the car all the time.

I love this picture of Mishy dancing

Once his set was over, she said she was hungry and we went to grab some food. While we stood in line, Mishy and I talked to two other girlfriends – two young women originally from Minnesota, who now make the Westside of Los Angeles their home. They have been friends since they were 6 years old. I’m hoping when Mishy’s older, we still can be friends and hang out at the food trucks. I will understand if she rather be with other friends she’s made, though.

For the rest of the days when Babba was away, we went horseback riding at Silver Horse Healing Ranch, toddler yoga at Kids Revolving Yoga, and grabbed absolutely healthy and delicious food at Fig during their Fig at Five promotion. On Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, from 5-6PM, all the food on their menu is half the price and you can order the food to pick up. Fig in Santa Monica is located inside the Fairview Hotel on Wilshire and if you want to pick up your meal, just call, order your meal, ask them when it will be ready – usually 15 minutes after you order and then while you are in your car on the way, let them know you’re on your way and they will deliver your meal to your car with even compostable cutlery. Don’t forget to tip well.

We picked up our food and headed to Douglas Park, where we sat and watched the ducks and played in the playground while eating roasted tomato soup, braised chestnuts, miso eggplant, scallops, and pastaless lasagna. We had plenty of left overs, which Babba enjoyed when he returned.

While I really liked being with Mishy and she with me, she told me on the eve of Babba’s return that her favorite time is when we are all together. “Me, Babba, Kitty, Momma – a family – all the family.”


Santa Monica Food Trucks

Tuesday from 5:30PM-9:30PM at The Victorian on Main Street. Their are many public parking lots in the area as well as meter parking on the street.

Christopher Hawkley Rollers


Silver Horse Healing Ranch


Kids Revolving Yoga – tell Tiffany, M.J. sent you. She might give you a special rate. I believe 3 yoga classes for $25.


Fig Restaurant


Bonus Photos:

Here are some photos of times we were at the Food Trucks with one of Mishy’s friend, John Cariani.

John carrying Mishy at the parking lot of The Food Trucks

Mishy and John running at The Food Trucks

Still running.

Ordering at No Tomatoes!

Review by Tania Lieman

On Saturday (courtesy of MJ and Natural Travelling Momma blog) my six year-old daughter and almost two year-old son and I saw the Santa Monica Playhouse production of Barnyard Madness with the Three Little Pigs. It’s a fast paced, all singing-all dancing musical theatre romp that puts a new spin on the old tail (tale) with a Romeo and Juliet storyline. It’s full of porky puns and wolfish wit to keep the adults entertained and an array of endearing animal characters beautifully performed with good ol’ country accents that mesmerised my children. The simple message that pigs and wolfs can be friends despite their differences was conveyed with snappy lyrics and dialogue.

The actors mingled with the crowd beforehand connecting with genuine warmth and humour. My daughter stood holding hands with the French female Big Bad Wolf for ages, in complete trust and totally won over. The actor’s respectful and approachable manner together with the charming theatre made for a rich theatre going experience.

The actors certainly were busy, simultaneously running a birthday party after running Saturday morning classes and interacting before, during intermission, and after the show. The Playhouse has a long history and we were told how they are currently hit upon by hard times. Would be a shame to see a theatre with such a big heart and a local business and icon fold. Barnyard Madness was designed as an educational show but for a public audience it had all the right ingredients for good old-fashioned entertainment and the audience was definitely invited in to share the fun.

*Natural Traveling Momma is excited to offer a chance for two readers to win two tickets to see any upcoming show of Barnyard Madness with The Three Little Pigs at the Santa Monica Playhouse. It runs Saturday and Sunday at 12:30PM and 3PM until May 22nd, 2011. The suggested age for the show is 2-102. Tickets are normally $12.50 for adults and $10.50 for children 12 years and under.

Want more information of the show, click on to the link:


If you would like to enter the giveaway, please comment below. If you click on to the link above regarding details of the show, comment again below and you’ll gain another entry. Good luck! This giveaway ends Friday, March 18th at 5PM.

UPDATE: Congratulations Kathy, Connor’s mother and Edie – you’ve both one two tickets to see any upcoming show of Barnyard Madness! I’ve emailed you privately.

My daughter loves the song, Itsy Bitsy Spider. She knows this song well. We all do, yes? My daughter was first exposed to Itsy Bitsy when she was 2 months old. It was a song the swimming instructor, Liz, sang when we went swimming at the YMCA. The parents sang the song while they held their child and walked around the edges of the pool, in the water, to help learn the beginnings of water safety. When Mishy and I took a break from the lessons and then returned with us alone in the pool, Mishy instantly smiled when I sang to her, Itsy Bitsy Spider, as she now held onto the edges of the pool.

Itsy Bitsy Sipder was one of the first songs Mishy sang by herself and she sings it proudly. She sings a few songs proudly, including- Allouette – a French Canadian folk song about a bird getting it’s feathers plucked. (I didn’t really listen to the words of the song until after we sang it together and by then, it became embedded in her head.) I do prefer the relatively positive message of Itsy Bitsy Spider – determination, skill, and necessity of time sometimes, and the power of practice. While she doesn’t likes to me sing now – “Momma, don’t sing!” she loves to sit in my lap and have me wrap my arms around her. That is how we sat while watching the newly launched video of “Itsy.”

This video is produced by Groove Kid Nation – the brainchild of Santa Monica resident and father, Rodney Lee. He will be having a CD launch party and benefit this Sunday, March 13th at 4PM in Santa Monica at Capoeira Basoura. The CD sales benefit CARE and the concert benefits the soon to be YWCA Preschool. The video features simple graphics of a female spider walking up a water pipe and then falling out of the pipe, the sun comes out, dries the rain, and Itsy goes up the spout again. What was fun for Mishy was the spider’s solo on the piano. It opened up the conversation to how many legs does Itsy have – eight and the difference between arachnids and insect. Most insects have 6 legs. Also, how come in this video she plays “bad piano” and that’s a “good” thing? We talked about the use of colloquial terms. A cute detail in this video if you’re not a fly? The fly band caught in the spider’s web.


“Itsy” video by Groove Kid Nation posted on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EvlEs6rKJoE

Groove Kid Nation: www.groovekidnation.com

Groove Kid Nation
CD Release Party

rocco the raccoon

The Groovy Way to Learn About Musical Instruments

Sunday, March 13 at 4 pm
(Doors open at 3:30pm)

Capoeira Besouro Studio
2901 Ocean Park Ave. #103
Santa Monica, CA 90405

1 FREE CD with minimum suggested donation of $25/family
$15/single person including CD
Additional CDs available for $15 each.

100% of proceeds benefit
The YWCA Family Cooperative Preschool
at the YWCA Santa Monica/Westside

Featuring: Rodney Lee on keyboards, Fred Clark on guitar, Katisse Buckingham on sax and flute, Andre Berry on Bass, Satnam Ramgotra on percussion, and Jeff Robinson on vocals.


Who's the birthday girl? Matt asks Mishy to be his helper.

Our daughter turned three and she wanted a party. Fifty of our friends and my mom came to celebrate with us. Matt, from The Reptile Family brought many amphibians, reptiles, and arachnids to entertain and educate all our guests. He was a sensation.

Matt shows J a scorpion.

L looks to see what's in the basket.


Mishy has 5 frogs on her. We had to keep them wet so her dress got wet. She didn't mind.

Mishy touches a frog.

Y holds two lizards.

Matt shows L a geeko.

Gentle touching.

Fascinated by another lizard

Mishy picked 3 friends to hold an iguana together

Feeding snakes banana

A turtle

Watching the turtle move

This was Babba's favorite part of The Reptile Family

Matt had to remove the snake from our necks to let it pee and poo. The snake's pee is solid white and gooey yellow. They poo every 1-2 weeks.

Babba carried the snake around his neck for as long as he could. Long time friends, Joan and Beth look on.

S and Beth get a closer view of a snake while Mishy and others watch a snake on the grass.

Blowing out the candles.


Mishy just after she blew out the candles.

The children and adults painted t-shirts and puppets to take with them.

Mishy's new friend, John Cariani - Babba's long time friend. He's a Tony nominated actor and playwright of the most produced play in America. His play, Almost Maine, is more produced than Shakespeare's Mid Summer Nights Dream.

After the party, Mishy and friends played with chalk while others played upstairs and in the backyard.


Matt from The Reptile Family


Hire them! They make things very easy, are reliable, dedicated, and make a very unique experience which children and adults will remember. One child brought home an imaginary turtle and it still lives in their place. They also offer special classes for all ages.

Catering was by Maggie’s Tapas. Delicious food and healthy too. We ordered two party platters from them. They deliver too.


Cupcakes were from Vanilla Bake Shop and Yummy Cupcakes. Both are in Santa Monica and other locations in Los Angeles. Vanilla Bake Shop has baby cupcakes which went very fast. So fast, I had to ask a guest to take a cupcake from his hand so Mishy could have one. Yummy Cupcakes has vegan cupcakes.

Vanilla Bake Shop


Yummy Cupcakes


The cake was from Angel Maid Bakery in Culver City. We ordered the strawberry shortcake. On Mishy’s first birthday party, we ordered the guava passionfruit cake, which I thought was very yummy. Angel Maid is a family owned business which makes a special effort for customers and they make beautiful custom orders which are reasonable.

Angel Maid Bakery – Here’s their Yelp review, with all of their details


Fabric paints we got from Jo-Ann’s Fabrics.


The Pop Ups are headed back to Los Angeles again for a 2-day only showcase on Saturday, February 26th & Sunday, February 27th of their hit show PASTA! A Pop Ups Puppet Musical! For further info, to hear songs or watch video from previous shows, please visit us at http://www.thepopups.com

This group is an amazing group based in Brooklyn, NY. They have created a buzz among the mothers I know – who are very excited to have them back for a very short run – for only four performances! They will be in Santa Monica at:

Highways Performance Space

1651 18th Street
Santa Monica, CA


I have 2 tickets to giveaway for the Sunday, February 27th show at 2PM. Since this is a quick giveaway, the first to comment wins!

UPDATE: Congratulations, Morgan! Enjoy the show.

The stage before the show.

I am always in awe of the spectacular musical talents who choose to entertain our children with love, passion, spirit, and fun. That was the energy we experienced at the Broad Stage this past Saturday for their first ever Saturday Morning Mash Ups series. Rachel Worby conducted the Angeli Ensemble with narration by spoken word artists Steve Connell and Sekou “The Misfit” Andrews. The first of the series was Camille Saint-Saen’s The Carnival of the Animals, which featured Lynn Harrell on the cello. The show was an enjoyable dissection of Saint-Saen’s inspiration for the piece – the animals – and how an instrument could take on the sound of an animal – the flute for birds, the bass for an elephant, xylophone for the dinosaur bones, the clarinet for the coo coo bird, and the cello for the swan. Conductor, Rachel Worby demonstrated the can-can with pianist, Gavin Martin, first in regular speed and then in slow motion to visually represent how Saint-Saen used the popular-at-the-time, Can-Can to depict the slow moving turtle. While I was familiar with The Carnival of the Animals and played it for Mishy prior to the concert, this presentation was an educational joy and being present and in the midst of such fun, it didn’t seem like learning – which in my opinion – is the best kind of learning. (Mishy has experienced several magical musical moments – one which was a concert by YoYo Ma at a private residence – and this concert rates as a highlight.)

They have two more upcoming concerts in this year’s series – Sergei Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf on Feb. 12th, 2011 at 10Am and 11:30AM, and Benjamin Britten’s The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra on Saturday, March 12th at 10Am and 11:30AM. The Broad Stage is located in Santa Monica. It feels like an intimate concert hall where every seat has terrific views of the stage. They also have one of the most comfortable bathroom lounges. Tickets for the concert are $20-$35.



Bonus photo:

Mishy playing outside Broad Stage - after the concert.

Kids Revolving Yoga

December 14, 2010

My daughter and I have just started taking classes at Tiffany Craft’s Kid Revolving Yoga. We take the side by side yoga class for 2-4 year olds. It’s a lovely studio in Santa Monica and she is a fantastic teacher – incredibly imaginative, creative, and flexible – in terms of what to offer the children. She uses simple tools such as rocks or soft balls to encourage coordination, fun music to encourage movement, and delicious smelling lotion to massage our child(ren)’s feet and hands at the end of the class. Her classes are small – we took one lesson where it was just me and my daughter and another class where there were two children and two parents. Here is her website for more details:


She also teaches at various highschools and preschools in the Los Angeles area. If you do decide to attend a class, please let her know I referred you 🙂

I found out about her via Family Finds – this is a great online website which feature special deals that are family oriented in the Los Angeles Area. It also features recommendations for families to go out and do things together. Here is my referral link if you would like to sign up to family finds.


I love this site. I have bought several deals on this site and have not been disappointed. Another great thing about this site – if you purchased a deal, have not used it, and would like a refund on the deal, you have 30 days to ask for one. 30 days! So, you’ll never get buyer’s regret.

Ice Skating

November 28, 2010

Mishy's first time on skates.

Having been raised a Canuck – born in Seoul, but raised in Toronto, Canada – I have many fond memories of my childhood spent ice skating. I was never a good or even decent ice skater. I’m pretty terrible on ice – but my lack of abilities has never lessened the joy of skating, or the ritual of spending time on and off the ice – sharing hot chocolate after many falls, enjoying the camaraderie of hurting ankles, and watching other skaters breeze by. Every year, different indoor and outdoor skating rinks pop up in the Los Angeles area in November. When we were invited by friends to join them on the ice, I was surprised Mishy was incredibly excited and delighted by the invitation. (Maybe it was my husband reading Roch Carrier’s, The Hockey Sweater that piqued Mishy’s interest.)

Mishy and I didn’t last long on the ice, but we did enjoy the hot chocolate – well, she did – she didn’t want to share and I felt my ankles hurting. Together, we enjoyed watching other skaters breeze by. The most enjoyable part of Mishy’s premier time on the rink? I think by far was her father coming down last minute to join us on the rink.

Babba and Mishy on the rink


Santa Monica – I.C.E.

From Nov. 5th – Feb 15th, 2011.

1324 5th St.
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(Corner of 5th St. & Arizona Ave.)

(310) 496-9880

Hours of Operation:

Monday – Thursday: Noon-10pm

Friday: Noon-Midnight

Saturday: 10am-Midnight

Sunday: 10am-10pm

Admission & Skate Rental:


I.C.E. also has location in Perishing Square, downtown L.A.

Year round ice rinks in Los Angeles area:

Culver City – http://www.culvericearena.com/

Pasadena – http://www.skatepasadena.com/

Burbank – http://www.pickwickgardens.com/sqs/dsk.aspx?tabindex=1&tabid=17

Lakewood – http://www.glacialgardens.com/view/glacial-gardens-cms

Van Nuys – http://www.vannuysiceland.com/

Paramount – http://www.paramounticeland.com/