faboo mama

inside the mind of an opinionated mama…

Archive for the ‘Kids’

Gratuitous kid photo

I know I still need to write about the Spring ArtNight Pasadena we attended on Friday. But before I delve into that, here’s a photo of the kids at Pasadena City Hall.

A photowalk in Chinatown



The kids take photos in Chinatown

The kids take photos in Chinatown

On Sunday, I thought it would be nice to let the kids get some pictures of LA. The kids were so excited at the prospect, especially since I hooked them up with my old camera cases.  Alton got to used Ilia’s old camera and Ilia was given our Samsung to use.  


It was a nice day to walk around Chinatown; not too hot nor crowded.  The clouds billowing over the skyscrapers downtown caught their attention as much as the red lanterns swaying in the wind.   The moment we got out of the car I remembered that I left the xD card for my camera at home. 

The kids have always loved Chinatown, but since this was their photowalk, they were calling the shots. The things that fascinated them were just as interesting as the things they walked on by.  One shop had several small pillows in the shape of various animals or cartoon charachters.  The kids were immediate drawn to them, squishing and hugging whatever pillows were in their reach. But they did not take photos of them.  Instead, Ilia focused on the rooflines of the pagoda-like buildings or colorful scrolls hanging in a shop.  Alton, took a lot of pictured of people’s feet and the sky,which we found greatly hilarious. He’s so used to see us go down on one knee to take his photo that he thinks that’s how you take photos.  

The only downside of the day was when we got home and realized that not only did most of the 121  pictures Ilia and I took on the Samsung were corrupted, but the 13 or so did turn out find can not be accessed.  We could harp on that or we revel in the fact that 2.64 miles of walking Chinatown gave the kids a little better insight on that section of LA.


Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

A day at Travel Town

Ilia takes a turn

Ilia takes a turn

When you live in Los Angeles as a childless person, you find the city at once exciting and boring. When you live in Los Angeles as a parent to wee ones, you find a city you never knew existed.  My husband recently reconnected with college friends on Facebook and made a date to meet. Where we used to plan to meet friends at a bar or restaurant, if they have kids as this friend did, we now seek out toddler friendly meeting locations and times that work around naps.  It was in this spirit that he agreed to meet this friend at Travel Town, for every parent of a child uner the age of 3 is well aware of Travel Town.  It’s centrally located, has free admission, many spaces for the kids to run around and most importantly, trains.

The meeting with the friend was nice, the kids ignored each other as they usually do, but something happened soon after our arrival. I saw the librarian from my daughter’s school. Her son is in the Dual-Language program with my daughter. Turned out, she was there celebrating her youngest’s birthday and invited us to join the celebration.  This made Ilia very happy because then there were other kids her age and other girls to play with, instead of just the two 3 year old boys we had in our small group.

There’s something interesting watching my kids play with other kids. Ilia becomes both aloof and overprotective of her brother. She makes sure Alton is included in the fun, but then wants nothing to do with him. Alton is happy being left alone, so he’ll wander off to walk by himself or sit off to the side an watch the other kids play. Occasionally, he’ll yell out to “Ewa” and run alongside her for a bit. My daughter is very social and she’s fascinated by older girls. She thinks of them as substitute older sisters. The females who’ll teach her about being girly, because it’s clear to her that mom is not going to do that.

The party was attended by most family members, but everyone was gracious and open. There were two piñatas, which made the kid of the lady we were meeting very happy. Apparently, he’s always wanted a piñata. My kids, who have not only had piñatas at their own parties, but have attended many other parties with t, still don’t get it.  Ilia, instead of grabbing any candy she ran across, mulled over the options. She discarded those she didn’t like, she allowed other kids to snatch candy from her, she was thoughtful about what went into her bag.  Naturally, this meant that when she saw how little candy she got compared to the other kids, she was a little upset. I explained to her that she had more candy at that moment than she did 5 minutes previous, so she should be grateful. She smiled and had a lollipop. Alton, on the other hand, did the same thing he always did; grabbed a piece of candy nearby and popped it into his mouth. When he wanted a second piece, he went back, surprised as always, that all the candy was gone.

We left soon after, but it was an afternoon well spent even if this time around we never got to see the trains. As my daughter said, “We come here all the time, it was nice to be here and not just look at trains for once.”

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Hope for my children

CHICAGO - FEBRUARY 11:  Michelle Obama, the wi...

Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Last year, about a month before my daughter turned for she asked who the “pretty man” on TV was. “Obama” I replied.  When I went to YearlyKos in Chicago, I told her about how the Democratic presidential candidates would be there and she’s asked if “President Obama” would attend. I explained to her that he wasn’t president and I doubted he would be.

She bugged me all summer and fall of 2007 to vote for Obama, but he wasn’t my choice. I wasn’t interested.  She told me on my birthday last year, “If you don’t vote for Obama, maybe a bad guy will win and you’ll be sad.”  Manipulative little…

Super Tuesday

Super Tuesday

When we voted in the primaries, I was definitely going to vote for Obama.  She was at my side, as usual, making sure I voted the right way. “Is he president now?”, she’d asked.  Not yet, but at that point, I was sure he would be.

Throughout the primaries, her face would light up with she saw Obama on TV.  She’d asked if he was president yet and I’d tell her not yet.  She loved Obama.  When she finally figured out he had two daughters, she asked me to call him to see if they could have a playdate.  On Super Bowl Sunday, I had taken her to see Michelle Obama speak (the day, I firmly became an Obama fan, incidentally).  My daughter recognized that she was seeing a woman who looked like her mom, though admittedly more beautiful.  She thought Michelle Obama was a queen.

Once the general election kicked in, she was very much against McCain. “Why is that man so mean?”, “Why does he tell lies? Lying’s bad.”, “I think his mom should give him a timeout.” were questions she asked over and over again.  By mid-September, she was done with politics and thought the mean guy should just let Obama be president already.  I agreed, but gave her an age-appropriate lesson in democracy. (more…)

Noisy Kid Toys

One thing I failed to mention in the video was that most of the toys that drive me crazy were actually gifts. If I bother to buy my kids toys that make noise, they’re always educational…okay, except for the Uniqua doll, that one’s just cool. Other than that, the noisy toys we have were gifts. Gifts from childless friends or grandma; people who won’t be living with that noise any time soon. I’ve asked people to give me books or clothes (or gift cards for books or clothes if they don’t want to think about the gift), but you know the excuse they always give, “I just can’t help it!”.

Autism Awareness Month

In 2002, I joined a birth club board for people due with babies in May 2003. For 7 months, we went through the ups and downs of pregnancy. Some of us had our babies early (mine was born in April) some went beyond their due dates, hanging on until June. At the end, the due date boards of May, June, July and August were rolled into one board. Naturally, as many of us were new mothers, the demands of a new baby forced many women to leave. Typical internet drama forced others off. Still no matter what, there are times that people drop in with news or questions. Autism was a big concern. Some babies were diagnosed as early at 8 months. The kids are turning 5 this year and some are still being diagnosed.

Some time in ‘04, I joined two other birth club boards and other moms were announcing that their kids, sons usually, were being diagnosed with autism. I read what they had to say and did my own reading since I was not clear on what exactly autism was. The Autism Society has a website that goes far to educate the general public on autism.

Autism is a complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life and affects a person’s ability to communicate and interact with others. Autism is defined by a certain set of behaviors and is a “spectrum disorder” that affects individuals differently and to varying degrees. There is no known single cause for autism, but increased awareness and funding can help families today.

They also have a list of behaviours that will help you determine whether a physician’s help was needed:

Autism is treatable. Children do not “outgrow” autism, but studies show that early diagnosis and intervention lead to significantly improved outcomes.

Here are some signs to look for in the children in your life:

  • Lack of or delay in spoken language
  • Repetitive use of language and/or motor mannerisms (e.g., hand-flapping, twirling objects)
  • Little or no eye contact
  • Lack of interest in peer relationships
  • Lack of spontaneous or make-believe play
  • Persistent fixation on parts of objects

The list made me curious as to how some of these parents decided to have their doctors test the kids. When she was around 2, my daughter had 5 of these 6 traits. It made me very concerned that kids as young as 8 months were being diagnosed since some of these behaviours were normal or impossible in 8 month olds. That’s when I learned a bit more about the spectrum. Reading about the spectrum is enough to send any parent into a frenzied state of worry. Last year, I found that a lot of the behaviours listed in some of the spectrums are exhibited by my son. Naturally, I spoke to his pediatrician and she ran a few test. She said that he was not autistic, but we have an appointment in June to revisit the issue just in case. Therefore, I tend to keep abreast of new studies and treatments in austism.

Many of the women on my birth club boards with autistic children, have something that I lack: healthcare. They are able to get their children to autism specialists. If either of my children are diagnosed with autism, I wouldn’t know where to turn. So, I direct my energies in helping these women get their representatives on board with changing and enacting legislation. There is also the obvious fact that as a black person in America, the healthcare I receive will be substandard compared to what my (white) husband would get. Wanda Brown wrote an article detailing the Disparties Among African-Americans with Autism.

There are clear racial disparities in healthcare and special education, parents and caregivers must help arrest to ensure a brighter future for our loved ones with autism.

Studies have consistently reported negative biases toward minorities in the areas of diagnosis and treatment.

Black autistic children were diagnosed later, received more misdiagnoses than Whites, and were more likely to be misdiagnosed as having organic psychoses, mental retardation, or selective mutism.

Clinicians may interpret autism symptoms differently in children of different races.

African-Americans are less likely than Whites to see the same doctor over time. A pediatrician who treats a child over time may recognize autism sooner than others may.

April is Autism Awareness Month and I’ve chosen to use my blog to spread the message. If this urges one more parent to get their child tested, then I’ve done my job. You can always donate to many autism foundations. So why don’t you join Autism Speaks on April 26th at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena for a walkathon? Or…You can buy a shirt celebrating this month:

Cherry Blossom Festival

We attended the Cherry Blossom Festival in Little Tokyo yesterday. It was a lot bigger and more fun that I expected. Kudos to the organizers of the event. As usual, with things like this in Los Angeles, it emcompassed all of Asia (though Indians were not represented at all), so we got to see things from all along the Pacific.

We started out our morning in the Plaza. Our original plan was to have get some coffee and pastries from Homeboy Bakeries but they were closed. So we wound up in the Japanse Plaza at the bakery there. BTW, they had surprising good coffee and the baked goodies we got were tasty. While we had our coffee, we sat outside the shop and watched this group. I guess they’re jazz singers and usually they’d be using a piano…I don’t know, I hadn’t had my coffee when they were introduced. Anyway, later on in their set, they sang Sukiyaki but the original Japanese song. I know some of the Japanese, but I know the English like everyone else. My husband asked me, “What is this song?” I was shocked. Mr. Music didn’t know this song? “It’s Sukiyaki!”. He looked at me, “How do you know that? See, I told you you know everything.” Whatever.

Something totally unexpected and random, Red Hat Society singing on stage. Yes. You read that right. I have pictures if you don’t believe me. We walked around, everyone and their brother were giving away trips to Hawaii. There was a section for kids with bouncy thingies. We watched a Hawaiian group play. Ilia liked that because she has a ukelele too. The kids made Chinese lanterns, something that took a lot longer than expected. There were quite a few tables set up for kids. They could learn origami, do a fish kites, paint a pet rock or make a lantern.

We walked around a bit, and looked for lunch. That should have been an easy task, but most of the places we usually eat at were closed. We wound up at an okay place, but $1.50 Kirin on tap. How could we not? Really? After lunch, we went to rejoin the crowds on the street. We caught the tailend of the Kabuki dancer.

Ilia loved it, but Alton did not enjoy the music. Then we went on the other side of the stage to see the Geisha dancers:

We also got a chance to watch the Japanese groups (I call them dance crews, since I’ve never seen them do anything but dance) do a dance in a circle. There were 4 “crews” and random people in a circle doing a dance who’s name is escaping me right now. It’s always fun to watch and it was even better to see more people under the age of 60 involved.

My little girl just loved all the dancing and the music. She wants a taiko, she wants a kimono, she wants to learn hula and kabuki. She wants to learn Japanese! That she wants to broaden her horizons and learn more about the world means the weekend was a success.

Ballet Recital

Last night was Ilia’s 3rd ballet recital. It was a close call, as the instructor couldn’t get into the room. Luckily, one mom has a background in breaking and entering and we got inside the church. Okay, not really…she just tried the door and it opened.

Ilia was really excited about last night, not only would she get to dance to 2 songs from The Wizard of Oz, but she would get to wear a brand new dress.

They started off with warmups and that spinning thing. This time Ilia actually moved across the room and didn’t get stuck spinning in one place.


One of the most annoying things…cellphones. You’d think that in this day and age grown folks would know better than to go into a recital with their damn cellphone on, let alone freakin’ answering it. Yes. That’s right. One of the people in there, not only had a stupid music ringtone, that she took forever to get to (4 rings), but instead of shutting off the phone, she answered it. I wanted to just kick her chair over.

They started out with the theme song to the Backyardigans. That was kind of weird because the opening has dancing, so you’d sorta expect to see the kids doing that dance or something similar. I’m sure they all know it by heart.

They did Supercalifragilisticexpealidocious (which I spelled from memory, thank you very much!) from Mary Poppins. In this one, Ilia clearly decided to do what she wanted to do. OMG, they did this really annoying song from Cinderella. I realized then, that I’ve never seen the Cinderella movie and this song pretty ensured that I never will.

Then they did the Grandma Mambo, which always cracks me up:

There was some issues during the recital. One little girl pretty much kept the whole place hostage to her drama. At first she was scared of the Wizard of Oz sign and ran off the stage. Then it was moved and she came back up, only to try to run off again because she wanted to wear her Dorothy costume. Sigh. Then there was the bathroom drama in between, which sorta snowballed into everyone having to go to the bathroom. I knew Ilia was going to say she had to go soon, but there was no way I was having that nonsense.

Finally, they did their Wizard of Oz songs:

And here’s the class:

Slice of life

My little boy totally fascinates me. He talks a bit and the randomness of it is hilarious. He also absolutely adores his big sister and acts like any time she’s away from more than 2 mintues is too long. Luckily for me, they play well together. This video is a little long for what it is, but it’s just a slice of my daily life.

Bloggers and the Huntington Library

We met Kat today at the Huntington Library with her kid and goddaughter. We got our photo together that we managed not to do last week:

And we got some great photos of all the kids together.

You’ll note that my son seems to be the only one interested in taking the photo. Kat kept saying, “He’s a supermodel.” and while the cameras were up, Alton was posting. I actually got two photos of KidKat facing us. The other photos he’s crawling away.

Here’s the second try:

Much better. You may now move around the cabin.

And moved they did. Or didn’t. Alton alternated between running way too far ahead or lagging way too far behind. Especially when he got his pan dulce. Talk about lagging. People we had passed yards ago, were lapping us as Alton dawdled. KidKat either wanted or didn’t want to be in the stroller. Meaning if he said he wanted to be in the stroller, that really meant he didn’t. Kids just love playing those headgames.

Kidwise, or should I say, Iliawise, it’s been a rough week for us. We are thisclose to putting her ass on craigslist or eBay. Done. She’s been the perfect little brat and today was no exception. Katdaughter had walked away and Ilia wanted to tag along. I asked her to sit down so I could get a photo and she said she didn’t want a photo:

She wasn’t lying. I took 4 freaking pictures and this is the least morose one. She’s acted like I asked her to eat beets. At least I got a cute photo of Alton and KidKat checking out the lake:

You can see more photos of our trip to the Huntington Library’s Botanical Gardens in my flickr pool. Since everyone was hungry and the kids needed a nap, we headed out without seeing most of the property. That’s okay, since I got my free tickets for next month and most of the succulents I want to shoot will most likely be in fuller bloom or just starting to bloom then.

Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/fabooj12/faboomama/wordpress/wp-content/plugins/fresh-from-friendfeed-and-twitter/fresh-from.php on line 1925