Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Things To Do with Your Kids in Los Angeles

I stated that I wanted to be a resource to any and all parents. Well here is my first post of what to do with your kids in Los Angeles. Some of these things are free. (i.e. free admission, half off, two for one)

So here it is....

Giggles and Hugs in the Century City mall. They have free admission for ALL Mondays for the month of July. Their last one is this Monday July 25th. Children must be of the age of 3 years old and wear socks in the indoor play facility. It is a great place to play and have some fun.
http://www.gigglesnhugs.com/calendar-2/

A great museum for kids is Kidspace Children's Museum. A lot of fun daily activities during a regular visit which are Free with a paid general admission. They also have a FREE parking lot which is a plus, be sure to get there early for space. Check out their calendar.
http://www.kidspacemuseum.org/site/PageServer?pagename=index

The Natural History Museum has a lot to offer in the kids department. Dinosaurs and the Butterfly Pavilion are the two most frequented.
http://www.nhm.org/site/activities-programs

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) has a plethora of kids events, art and hands on paint brushing for your kids. They also have a free entrance program for kids through the NextGen program. Check out the many activities on their website.
http://www.lacma.org/education-programs#panel-panel2

L.A. Parent Magazine has a great online calendar that has a plethora of FREE kid activities and also other events, camps etc etc. This is a great resource. Oh and I have entered a lot of their contests via their Facebook page. Out of the five that I have entered with them, I have won 4 of them. So get on this wagon and maybe you can be a winner too!
http://losangeles.parenthood.com/directory/event/

The Hollywood Bowl has an amazing summer music program and art activity for kids and adults. Different themed music happens for two or more week blocks. Check it out. Totally fun and on the cheap.
http://www.hollywoodbowl.com/education/summersounds/index.cfm

The Grove L.A. has a lot of free kid activities during the week and weekend. There are even store events listed on their website. I have had some fun spur of the moment events there. Ricky Martin interview, Mario Lopez of Extra tapes episodes there (my son's head was on Extra once while we were there), free concert series and under the stars movies nights and again plenty of kids activities.
http://thegrovela.com/los_angeles/entertainment/calendar.php

The Century City Mall has a lot of kid/family friendly events as well. I stumbled on this today just by looking for information about Giggles and Hugs which is at that mall. Mac has free summer technology camps for kids ages 8-13. Wow right!!!! For those of us at West Hollywood Elementary with our Mac technology introduction this is a great resource.
http://www.westfield.com/centurycity/special-offers/summer-camp-at-microsoft-store
Playdate events at Century City Mall
http://www.westfield.com/centurycity/special-offers/saturday-play-dates-in-the-play-zone
Movies on the Terrace
http://www.westfield.com/centurycity/special-offers/movies-on-the-terrace-2011

Now for ALL us parents with time crunches and making healthy quick dinners for our family here is a food blog via my friend Peter Bedard of createyourhealth.com (excellent resource) which he posted on his Facebook page and on his website. I listed the direct link for the food blog below.
http://createyourhealth.com/simple-healthy-meals-in-less-time-5-tips/

I hope all of this is helpful to you folks.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Janette's New B-Day Beach Tradition

So as I stated in my previous post, I was going to provide some photos of our beach trip to celebrate my daughter turning 4 today. Janette had a blast and my son Jonathan made sure people knew it was his sister's  birthday. Sibling love is just the best. (aaww - tear) Wait until that wears off, lol.

We frolicked in the water, sand and then sat and sun bathed a little. For me being of a medium brown complexion I am not tan all over. I did get a great tan. Yeah! The beach we went to was very calm, not so busy and easy to get in and out of. If you want to know where I went just email me via my blog.  I can say that I will make this a yearly tradition for Janette. Her birthday falls in the summer and what a better way to spend the day.

Here are the photos. My bestie Andrew is in one of the photos. What a fun day!!!! Thank you to him for coming along. Memories were made today.....


Jonathan is beach ready for sure...styling with that hat too!

the birthday girl Janette looking cute in her bathing suit

Uncle Andrew and Janette attempting to build a sand castle....Janette wasn't keen on it though,  a girl who
can make up her own mind. yeah!!! I have done something right. lol 

look at these two cutie pies!!! ready to rule the world or are just blown away
by the vastness of the ocean out in front of them...hhhmmmm I wonder

playing ball together...my heart is full seeing them enjoy each other

Janette threw the ball far right after I took this photo. go girl! 

they looked so happy! 

Today is my Baby Cakes' Birthday

Oh for the love of joy. Janette turns 4 years old today. I can not believe it! It seems like only yesterday my Little Man, Jonathan was turning 4. All day yesterday he kept telling his sister that her birthday is Tuesday July 19th. I was in shock and awe of how he can sometimes tell the date. Also this happened during dinner last night which I was not prepared for as a parent. (sigh)  I had a very emotional moment and it pertains to my discussion with my daughter today and how she is turning 4 years old tomorrow. I cried like a blubbering parent as the conversation my son and daughter were having about his first day or preschool, his day and what he did and didn't do that day. Then my daughter talks about going to preschool soon. Oh my has the time flown. My Baby Cakes is not a baby anymore. 


my now 6yr old son

my Baby Cakes now (a blissful 3yr old)

here she is as a true Baby Cakes


Janette's first self feeding with a spoon

Little Man at a ripe old age of 3

Jonathan's 4th birthday party...look at that cake!

sibling love when she was 1 and he was 3..wow time flies...I cried a little when I selected this photo

my soon to be 4yr old navigating her new scooter all by herself ( a proud daddy watched her with tears in his eye)

when did my Baby Cakes become an Independent Woman (lol) 

so this is the place where Janette made a list of her birthday presents...it is then that I knew she wasn't a baby anymore

As you can see time does fly. I feel so blessed and so lucky to be a stay at home dad. To be able to nurture and witness their growth. My partner Sean is the best partner ever for giving me this gift. A gift that is priceless. To be able to be home and take care of our household is just amazing. His hard work allows and affords this, so I am forever humbled and grateful to Sean. 

Today, this early morning all I could think about is how am I going to make today unique and special for Janette. Yes her very own birthday party is this Saturday but her actual birthday needs its own tradition.  Well I am taking her to the beach, her brother in tow and my (besty or bestie -spell check kept fighting this one) Andrew. We are headed to Northend Caffe (yep spelling of this establishment is correct) in Manhattan Beach, CA and then to the actual beach to sun bathe, chelax more like entertain the kids and have a good ol' time. I can't wait. I will post pictures and a brief message once I am home, cleaned up and kids are napping. 

One particular request that Janette had was for me to make her her favorite dinner. I asked and she said (in that ever so cute tone), "Daddy can you make me sloppy joes. It's my favorite." Now I had no idea she had a favorite dinner anything. Oh and since I have a 'from scratch' recipe for this I have made it before without any inkling of this being her favorite. I will post the recipe after the day's activities. =-)
Now you all know what is for dinner and I am in anxious anticipation for Baby Cakes to awake and start her day as a new 4yr old. Yeah!!! (still crying tears of joy over here) 

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Beginning

Here I am starting my very own blog. How long have blogs been available?! A long time. I felt the need to make/create/share/give/offer a place where any parent gay/lesbian, straight, bisexual, transgendered etc. etc. to have a resource. When I became a parent of two lovely wonderful beautiful happy lovely (I said that already-the list could go on and on and on but I won't do that) children September 22nd, 2008 (happiest day of my life up until that point); there wasn't any kind of resource for me to utilize as a new parent.

 Even with the vast amount of people in my life at that time; (agency, social workers, case workers etc. etc.) there was limited resources for me to help me with being a parent. I had to find this all on my own. An example of this was, I asked my agency contact person if she knew of a church that I could worship at as a family that is also gay friendly (mind you I later found out on my own that her best friend is the pastor of the church we go to now-which it never occurred to her to tell me oh and he happens to be gay), has examples of other same sex couples families and is child friendly. (sunday school hopefully)

Now I am not a person of vast knowledge but I have come to equip myself with resources, community groups, school booster clubs and parent relationships that I can offer this knowledge to. I am a self starter and a seeker of knowledge so I feel I have a lot to offer.

If you would like to follow me on this then I welcome you. I believe that I and you can offer each other a lot of knowledge sharing. =-)