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.

Details:

http://www.thebroadstage.com/Mashup

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:

http://www.kidsrevolving.com/Kidsrevolving/Welcome.html

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.

http://fmlyfnd.us/g5w0g9

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

Details:

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:
$10

http://www.downtownsm.com/about/icerink.html

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/

Using the giraffe ears to help the flow of empathy - giraffe's have the biggest heart

Now that I am back to blogging, I will be posting posts that have been accumulating in my draft box. Though they are about a month old, I think the information is still enjoyable and relevant.

As part of my volunteer work with the yahoo group I co-moderate, Natural Parenting LA, I organized a talk by Bill Stierle, a Non Violent Communication educator, at the end of March. NVC, for short, is inline with Ghandi and Martin Luther King. It is about utilizing change in a non violent way and communicating your observations, your feelings your needs, and your request as empathically as possible. Some argue since this way of communicating was used/started  politically, it can be artificial and overwhelming for children and in everyday life. There are many ways to express NVC and it is important to be age appropriate in using any parenting tools. Since there are 7 ways of non-verbal communication, NVC for infants would look like Attachment Parenting.  For toddlers, you can introduce feelings and needs, in a simple, general way – to what feels comfortable. For adults who have mutually agreed on the language of NVC, it can an incredibly effective way of communicating and resolving past issues as well as helping ensure small arguments not spin into something much larger. For our purposes, Bill agreed to have the children present and made it into a living workshop. When issues arose during the discussion, he attempted to resolve them and help the parents facilitate their own awareness of how they can be peacefully handled in the future.

The children participated in the discussion too and were fascinated by him. Mishy adores him and even has a Koala bear she calls Bill.

A child playing while a question is asked about needs.

During the workshop, when two children were fighting over food, Bill became the middle man by holding on to the food and letting the children take turns eating from the container. Sometimes, it can be that simple and effective. In the heat of the moment, it is often hard to come up with those ways of resolution since we, as parents, sometimes take things personally and feel uneasy that their child is not sharing. Developmentally, children don’t have a concept of sharing until, some experts say, they are seven or eight years old.

A living workshop

After the event. Mishy wanted me to take a picture of him solo to remember him while we're away in NYC.

Details:

Bill Stierle

http://www.billstierle.com

11500 W. Olympic Blvd suite 400
Los Angeles CA 90064
310.433.8380
888 STIERLE
888.316.8383 fax

williamstierle@gmail.com

Investigating the barnacles.

I co-moderate a yahoo group called NaturalParentingLA. It started out as a small group of like-minded moms who wanted to have weekly playdates. We are 9 months old and now have 134 members. My two co-moderators and I plan weekly playdates, toddler yoga classes, toddler art exploration classes, field trips, parental educator discussions, and anything else we decide to do for the joy and desire of community, friendship, and support. The wonderful part of this group, for Mia, is that she knows some of the children from when they and she were 3 months old. I hope we never leave Santa Monica permanently.

Here are some pictures of our time at the Malibu Lagoon State Beach taken expertly by Robert Cadena, AKA Eleanor’s dad. Thank you so much, Robert, for taking these photos! I forgot my camera and it is really nice to have more pictures of Mia and me.

The hike was lead by Kelly of the Children’s Nature Institute.

Smelling the salty ocean air

Realizing she wants her scarf off.

Walking on the rocks.

Wanting to wash the stick in the lagoon

Mishy and Me at the lagoon

A bridge to the lagoon

A lizard sunning

Wildflowers dancing

Seaweed on the rocks

Details:

Natural Parenting LA

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NaturalParentingLA/

Malibu Lagoon State Beach

http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=25177

Children’s Nature Institute

http://www.childrensnatureinstitute.org/

House For Mia

March 28, 2010

Eating dried wild blueberries with Babba

We’ve been packing for our upcoming stay in NYC. I ordered 6 storage large boxes. When the storage boxes came, they arrived in a large cardboard box  Mishy and I looked at the box and I thought – this might make a perfect house for Mishy. She was game. I gave her the option of the size and shape of a door or doors and a window.

Open for business. Would you like a plane ticket to New York? It's $1.

After a day, Mishy decided she wanted to decorate her house. She grabbed some markers.

Let's jazz it up!

Now with paint.

Showing Mama Rat, Baby Rat, and Polar Bear her handiwork.

When she was finished for the day, she showed some of her stuffed animals and puppets. We love Folkmanis puppets.

Bonus photo: The final touch

Printmaking 101

March 28, 2010

Mishy and I have been hosting an Art Fun exploration series in our backyard this month. We usually plan to do three things during the two-hour class. We seem to get to do two. On this day, we did one of the planned activities. The second activity was fold overs. You drop tempura paint on to folded over cut outs of butterflies and hearts and any other shape you are inspired to create. After you mush the paint, you reveal the creation. Because there were so many cut out shapes, Mishy and I decided to do some fold overs on our own. Because we were liberal with the paint, Mishy decided to place the non painted shapes on top of the painted shapes fully revealed. This is when it became Printmaking 101. Here are a few pictures of her process.