Saturday, July 18, 2015

And Babies Don't Keep...

The last weekend in June was a pretty big weekend for us: My first born graduated from preschool and my baby girl turned 2, both events not-so-subtly reminding me how fast they are growing up (you know, because seeing it happen before my eyes on a daily basis isn't enough).
On Friday the 26th, JJ had his graduation. It was absolutely adorable, if not painfully long. Seriously, it was an hour and a half. The kids weren't the only ones losing their concentration.  But really, it was super cute. They sang songs and danced. JJ even recited a poem.

It seems like every day he just gets more and more grown up. I cannot fathom that he will be starting Kindergarten in the Fall. Not even the Fall, you guys; August 24. I still remember when he was my little baby and now we can have conversations. Like, real conversations that make sense. He's funny and logical and loves to help. He can make himself dinner (with help, of course). I know it won't be long before he's off in his own world, listening to music in his room, not wanting to hang out with mom. He's such a good kid with the best personality. He can make friends at the drop of a hat. I often envy his personality, to be honest. I know things will change the farther into school he gets, that's just natural, but I hope he can hold onto his light as much as possible. He likes to remind me that he's a kid and doesn't really like it when I tell him he'll always be my baby, but he will always be my baby. Someday he'll understand.
The day after JJ's graduation, Kathryn turned 2. TWO!! I feel like I just brought her home from the hospital! She is a little spitfire, let me tell you. She's funny and sassy and quite stubborn and defiant. She's still a snuggler and she melts my heart whenever she speaks. She copies her big brother in everything (for better or worse). The more she talks, the more grown up she seems. She has the whole world in front of her and I have a feeling she's going to take advantage of every opportunity that comes her way!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Wax on, wax off

A couple weeks ago the chamber of commerce held the Culver City Expo. Local businesses and such all had tables set up and you could talk to people to get more info. We went to sign JJ up for the next soccer season. 
Well, next to the soccer table was a table for a place called Marina Martial Arts. I've passed it on my way to Costco probably a thousand times, but never really gave it much thought. Gary has mentioned on and off about getting JJ into karate. I've never really had an opinion about it one way or the other. My experience with karate is Daniel-son and Mr. Myagi in the Karate Kid movies. That's it. All I know, is I do not want my little boy getting kicked in the face!
Anyway, on the table was a wheel you could spin to win classes. JJ, of course, wanted to spin the wheel. He didn't particularly care what the wheel was for, he just wanted to do it. He ended up winning 4 free classes! I took a deep breath and booked his first class. Gary was very excited. I was still on the fence.
We had his class last Friday and I have to admit, it was fantastic! The class is called Lil Dragons and it was perfect for his age. They do a bit of an obstacle course, they do exercises, and learn about fitness and nutrition. They also learn about listening and obeying and being respectful. After each lesson, they have a "homework" assignment where they have to implement the lessons they learned in class at home. He gets badges and everything. 

The instructors also happen to live down the street from my mother-in-law and it turns out that they have actually known JJ since he was a baby and would go for walks with his grandma around the neighborhood! The world is small sometimes.  The instructors also assured me that his still a ways off from sparring, so no need to worry about black eyes or broken noses yet.
I think this will be really good for him. He's a bit ADD sometimes, so think this will help him control his energy and listen. If nothing else, he looks really cute in his uniform :0)

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Abracadabra: My trip to the Magic Castle

So I'm kind of obsessed with magic.  I don't do it myself, but I love watching other people do it. I find it mind-boggling. I don't have any idea how it's done, and I don't want to know. If someone says "Well, I saw him...." after a show, I plug my ears and "la, la, la, la..." away. I seriously don't want to know. Don't ruin it.
I remember as a kid, we had one of those Klutz books of magic tricks and they were pretty cool. When I was in high school, though, I went to winter camp with my church group and one night, during some free time, someone showed me a card trick that blew my mind. Ever since then, I've been so impressed with good magicians. And true magicians too, not the David Blaine "I'm going to sit in a box for a week and call myself a magician" more David Blaine "Street Magic."
Every year there are some crazy good magicians on America's Got Talent (another small obsession of mine). But this year, for my birthday, I was given the chance to go to The Magic Castle. If you don't know, the Magic Castle is an exclusive club for magicians. We are talking world-class magic here, you guys. You have to either be a member or know someone who's a member (or in my case, know someone who knows someone who is a member). They have an up-close magic room (which was my absolute favorite), and a few bigger magic rooms. Throughout the Castle (which is really a mansion), there are bars and tables set up and lots of impromptu magic shows going on. This place has been on my bucket list ever since I first knew it even existed, and it was everything I wanted it to be. 

We went to the close-up room twice with two different magicians. The room is so small--it only holds about 20 people--so it is definitely close-up. The two guys we saw were so good! I was so impressed and amazed and baffled. How do they do it?!?!?!?  No. Don't tell me! I could have spent hours in there watching them.
The other show we saw was with a magician named Liberty Larsen. She was really good, but what I found most fascinating was her history. She said she was a fourth generation magician, dating back to her great-grandfather who performed magic in Los Angeles in the 1940's, when it was literally illegal to do so. She didn't say so, but putting two-and-two together, I believe her grandfather is Bill Larsen, Jr., the co-founder of The Magic Castle. She only touched on her story briefly, but I'm sure it's worth hearing. Maybe she'll write a book someday. 
It was a great night and the perfect birthday celebration.  If you ever get the opportunity to go, DO IT! Or let me know so I can go for you.