Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Studio Tuesday - Design-It-Yourself Tooth Pillow

It's teeth-losing time!

Sage has this weird (but normal, I'm told) thing going on where his adult teeth start coming in before the baby ones fall out. He must be part shark. When the first tooth fell out we weren't prepared with a tooth pillow for the occasion. Luckily, I had mine from waybackwhen and he used it. Last week, when his second tooth started getting loose I told him to design himself a new tooth pillow. Here's what he came up with:

After our Sesame Street Body exhibit excursion on Wednesday (it must have inspired us to make our own crazy creature) we started assembling it. I cut out the shapes, he assembled them, and I guided it through the sewing machine while he stepped on the presser foot. Then he stuffed it:

and I stitched up the hole. Viola! A hungry drooly crazy-eyed tooth monster!

His mouth doubles as a pocket for the money. I also added a tiny tooth pocket inside the mouth to keep the tooth safe.

It fits nicely on his bed rail, easily accessible to the Tooth Fairy who visited Sunday night.

This gave me an idea (my kids inspire all my best ideas). . . I bet other kids would like to design their own tooth pillows too - I should offer this service on kokoleo. So today I updated my (sadly barren) monster shop to offer a Design your own Monster and Design your own Tooth Pillow service. I can't wait to see what kids come up with. Grownup designs are welcome too - I'm an equal-opportunity monster-maker.

Monday, March 30, 2009

My 8 Days Around L.A. (with kids) . . .

Well, that was fun. . . exhausting and expensive, but fun. I don't know what I'm going to do this summer when I have to entertain both kids again. We could visit a new place in L.A. every day for the rest of our lives and still not see it all. Besides, sometimes it's nice just to stay home.

Lest you think I'm some happily energetic supermom and my children are always sweet and joyful, I feel like I should mention that what I presented was an edited version of the last 8 days. I chose the cutest pictures and deleted all the ugly ones of myself. I didn't show the meltdowns or mention how many times I said typical mom phrases like, "Keep your hands to yourself!" and "Do you want me to turn this car around?" I didn't show you what it was like when we came home from these excursions - my messy kitchen, projects piled up in my studio, the weeds in the garden. I didn't photograph Sage staring at the television while McKenna napped and I got on the computer. Those things just aren't as exciting or photogenic.

Sometimes I wondered why I made myself do it. It took well over an hour each night to upload pictures and write about our day in order to meet my self-imposed deadline. I'm such a demanding boss and I don't even pay well. It was worth in in other ways though. Some people scrapbook; I blog. I have no idea where we'll be in a year or if I'll ever have this kind of time again. These kids are growing up so fast I just wanted to capture the way they are right now. Sage has enjoyed reading about our excursions too. Yesterday he said I should make it "9 Days Around L.A." and blog about our trip to Big Lots. Haha. No. (Don't worry, I stayed true to my pledge not to buy anything. Luckily Erik didn't make the same pledge.)

Today, we're returning to a normal routine. Sage is in school, McKenna is sleeping, and it's time for me to get back to my kokoleo. . .

Sunday, March 29, 2009

8 Days Around L.A. (with kids): Day 8! - The Aquarium of the Pacific

Day 8! We made it! And today I even had Erik around to help. We went to the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach. I'll spare you the endless pictures of fish (you can see those in my Flickr album) and just show my favorite pictures here.

Then we explored the harbor. . .

And ate at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. , which after spending the day admiring beautiful ocean life seemed a bit cruel, but also delicious.

Good night!

Friday, March 27, 2009

8 Days Around L.A. (with kids): Day 7 - Kidspace

As if my kids weren't getting enough kidspace these days, today I took them to another one - Kidspace Children's Museum near the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. I can't believe we've lived here this long and have never been there before. Sage played on the playground beside it years ago but I guess I didn't notice it? It's pretty inconspicuous. From the outside, it looks like a preschool or bathrooms or something.

The entrance though, is anything but inconspicuous. It's a stained glass patchwork mosaic of awesomeness:

This part is free - go see it! Take lots of pictures. Next time we go there I'm going to bring the good camera and spend more time in the hallway.

Here are those dinosaurs we were looking for yesterday:

McKenna's like, "Oh look, another completely surreal environment."

This was a bug cafe':

In this place. . .

they had real bugs (behind glass). We saw spiders and bees and beetles and scorpions and lizards (with tails).

This area reminds me of A Bug's Life land in California Adventure park, only more educational and less Disney-fied.

Of course, I had to take a picture of this patchwork tile work:

We climbed stuff:

And made crafts.

Sage made that Astroidman and I made that footed puffball creature. Remember those, from the 70s? I want to start making those for kokoleo now and bring the fad back. I'm glad I got a picture of this because we lost the puffball creature and the ink that said "Asteroidman" came off on my hand and McKenna decapitated Asteroidman and tried to eat him. We also lost one of McKenna's shoes. Apparently mama needs to stop taking so many pictures and pay attention to her belongings.

Outside, they have a bike course:

Okay, we're back inside now, are you keeping up with us? They also have a great science lab, set up like an oldschool classroom.

Here's Sage smelling sage:

On the way out we saw this, which we weren't quite sure was meant for kids, but it is:

Then we went to the giftshop and adopted caterpillars. "Adopted" is way different than "bought," so I'm not going to count this as a thing. We're just fostering them until they become butterflies.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

8 Days Around L.A. (with kids): Day 6 - La Brea Tar Pits

Smack dab in the middle of Los Angeles is a prehistoric pet cemetery where saber toothed tigers, ground sloths, and Wooly Mammoths who were unlucky enough to get stuck in asphalt ended up immortalizing themselves as fossils.

Yesterday I said we were going to see dinosaurs. I learned today that the dinosaurs had all died out by the time the asphalt started oozing up through fissures in the fault below the city. The animal bones we saw weren't from giant T-Rexes or pterodactyls, but from extinct creatures that look similar to animals we have today. Like this sloth:

and this bison:

and Wooly Mammoths:

It's strange to think that stuff like this is trapped in the ground below the giant buildings and billboards and busy-ness of L.A.:

Look, it's mama's little vulture. . .

These are skulls, not shoes:

This will probably give them nightmares:

McKenna kept growling at these:

We took a guided tour of the tar pits. We learned that the animals didn't drown in these pits, but got stuck, often in less than an inch of asphalt. When they cried out, other animals would come to eat them and end up getting stuck too. That must have sucked! Also, we learned that these big animal pile-ons were not a daily occurance but only happened a few times within a hundred year span, and only when the weather was hot enough to make it gooey. It's been going on for 40,000,000 years though, so there's plenty in there.

Sage listened while McKenna took off to explore.

Here's some bubblin' crude.

It's some people's job to wade through tar in search of bone fragments. Those crates above hold millions of bones waiting to be excavated.

That's the job of these people:

The kids found this giant creature:

And this little one:

See? L.A. has plenty of wildlife.


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