Wednesday, October 14, 2009

miracle mile

after my SIL left on sunday she left me with a special 9 yr old nephew and 12 yr old niece...oh how i wish i had a 12 yr old girl ALL the time...they are fortunate to be enrolled in a year round school and have the month of October "off track". my niece, Hope, gets extra credit if she visits certain places and takes pictures and does a report so i promised to take her to the La Brea Tar Pits and the Page Museum. My husband thought i was a little nutty for taking 4 kids into LA the day after running a half marathon, but to me it was much easier with the help of the older off we went...

Just a little note - the Page Museum is quite small...and not so much fun for a pre-schooler - much more suitable for the 8-12 yr olds...we probably spent a little under an hour there...and thats including the movie they show...but anyway - it was cool to see especially since Bryson has been into the movie "Ice Age" and its sequel. i remember taking the kids at Bethune on a field trip to the Santa Ana Discovery Center and seeing a dinosaur exhibit...i think it was the first time i realized that dinosaurs actually existed in the same space where i go to the grocery store and currently reside and drive on highways...i was so blown away and came home to share that excitement with my husband and he told me that i just discovered what every boy discovers around 8 years old...i guess i was more into ballet and barbies at that time...

my favorite part of the museum was the "fishbowl" where they show the paleontologists sorting and piecing bone fragments together...BTW they used Elmer's Glue...which Hope and Buddy found amusing (as did i) and Bryson only talked about how the dinosaurs were all dead...hmmm...not very fascinating to him i presume...

so since that museum did not take up much time and since i knew the area quite well from my L.A. days i decided to show them LACMA - but it didnt open for 45 minutes, so i marched them up Wilshire to my old office to say hi to some collegues...the only one that was actually there was a fellow secretary, Joyce - it was so good to see her though and the kids got to see how Conde Naste works a little...i am sure they were thrilled! it was fun to be back at my old work and to see the changes and what was still the same and to know how i so don't miss going into an office every day!

we headed back to LACMA but i realized the old children's museum portion was gone...good thing the admission was free thanks to Target...we had a picnic lunch outside of the museum and let the boys climb trees and run around and then headed in. the children's portion consisted of 3 tables and painting with asian calligraphy brushes and watercolors...which was cool...for like 20 minutes...and then after each kid painted 2 paintings each they were done.

i took them into the museum and noticing Bryson's sudden rush of energy realized the ONLY way it would work would be him in the stroller and Bodie in the ergo. if it wasn't for Bryson's 20 minute temper tantrum it would have been really enjoyable! There happened to be a Picasso exhibit. I was so taken aback and told Hope and Buddy "Look! Picasso!" which i received an echo of  "huh?" so i started to explain cubism...showed them some of his paintings and what he did and asked them what they which Buddy told me "I don't like that one!" and pointed to a very large painting on the wall. "why dont you?" i a hushed voice he explained "because she is NAKED!" i was actually impressed he saw the boobs all contorted, but i guess that is the benefit of being a can see boobs anywhere...

among Picasso the kids also saw Rothko, Pollock and Frank Lloyd Wright to mention a few of the bigger names (all of which they never heard of). i gave Buddy the camera and told him to take pictures of his favorite pieces (without the flash and where it was permitted of course!) then he really got into it and snapped some lovely shots of the artwork.

it was time to go and on the way home i continued to tell them about cubism. i told them about a project i did in art class in college where we took a piece of art we did and divided it into little squares and cut it all up and then re-arranged it on paper to show cubism and asked them if they would be interested in doing that with some of the art they created in the musem (half expecting them to roll eyes and say "whatever")  and to my astonishment they were excited about it!

so we did just that and here are their "masterpieces"

overall, in the attempt to be helpful...if you are interested in taking your youngster to LA i would recommend these museums to children over 8 - and beyond that, from experience i would also go to the California Science Center for children of all ages - awesome place!

in addition to our "field trip" we also did the following with our niece and nephew:
*baked banana bread
*taught Hope how to crochet a beanie - of which she has now made 3 - one for her American Doll, one for Bodie and one for her sister Katlyn...girl takes after her auntie!!
*hot-tubbed it and the kids also swam in the pool crazily enough
*taught Hope how to sew a sundress for her American Doll

on a sidenote...Buddy asked if i could teach him to crochet as well. i swear i did not put this idea in his head. and another sidenote - he is the sweetest cousin to giving...he left his Wii nerf game for him and was so generous in sharing everything with him and playing guns with him and wrestling...not to mention what a God send Hope was to me and helping watching the boys while i cleaned and got dressed! good to have good cousins!

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