Tuesday, June 28, 2016

It's Shark Week!

It is not a secret that we are a shark loving family. P loves sharks, SS loves sharks, and I have been swept into the shark loving fest by association. Kidding aside, it's nice to see SS still loving sharks now that she is a big girl. I wonder what kind of intelligence black ops tactics P used to achieve his goal.

I had to take this picture because it's obvious SS is going through her bodily function/anatomical reference giggling phase. She noticed the alteration to the sign before me. Thankfully I have matured albeit minimally.

After swimming and dinner we resumed our Shark Week celebration. For someone who is easily scared SS has managed to watch about a dozen hours of shark documentaries. Because what is better than watching a cuddly little baby shark grow up to become a potential human eating huge shark? How cute are they with their matching shirts? Of course SS had to add her shark hat purchased for her school's crazy hat day.

OK, they are beyond cute, but both gave me side eye for not buying a shirt for myself. I'll make sure to observe proper Shark Week protocol next year.

 I could not find matching shark shorts, and to be honest I was surprised to find a pair in an adult size. I love how P wears his shark shorts and does not care what anyone thinks. He wears them out and about, not only for this week.

Let's get our shark gear on and go watch Finding Dory, no one is going to find this inappropriate.

SS is really regaling the opportunity to do her shark imitation.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Soarin' and Frozen.

Last time we visited Disney we wanted to see the new Frozen live show, and were counting the days until Soarin' Over the World would open. After getting our Radiator Springs fix we headed over to the Hyperion theater to get in line for Frozen. That is when we had the amusement park version of the ice bucket challenge. We failed to do our research and it so happened that the show is obviously popular, and pretty much only accessible by obtaining a fast pass. But those are gone very early in the morning. You have a window of time to return with your fast pass and if you don't, then oh well. There is a stand by line where you might wait for hours on the chance someone has missed their return time. Lesson learned, we waited for Soarin' to open and returned early and with a plan in mind.

We had to leave home by 6:00 a.m., that is why SS had to go to bed as soon as we arrived home last night. She was still sleepy when we had to wake her, but by the time we pulled out of the driveway her anticipation took care of the sleepiness. We managed to be inside California Adventure and waiting at the roped area by 7:30 a.m. Our plan for the day was simple, Frozen and Soarin', once that was accomplished we'd go with the flow.

SS and I promptly left P and walked across the street looking for shade and a place to sit down.  SS found a spot in CA AD where she had not posed before. BTW, P was just fine waiting in line, we would have only hindered his ability to elbow his way to the front.

I found an old Lego magazine in a pocket I forgot my backpack had, perfect for the wait.

Oh well, wish the sun had cooperated, but still a cute pic. 

With our fast passes in hand for the 11:30 a.m. show we headed to Soarin' Around the World. The waiting was only twenty minutes, so P did not think we needed a fast pass. Say what? Nope, this is a new ride, and the next fast passes were for return in an hour. Fast passes it is for a second trip around the world.  We read about the ride and SS knew she would see the Great Wall of China. But we did not tell her she would fly over Monument Valley, however she found out just before we entered. There's a video showing the stops while people wait.  It was so cute to see her recognize she had recently visited that place.

The new Soarin' is simply AMAZING!

Grizzly River Run, and we got soaked, all of us. But we had quick dry clothing, and it was rather refreshing.

I have wanted to try the Zephyr ride since we first bought passes, but it was usually non operable when we are around. Well, since Ms. SS no longer gets to dictate what rides we get on, I used my turn to request the rockets. SS did not want to join us, so we left her downstairs, where we could easily see her.

And there she is, wrapped in her Olaf towel.

Isn't this such a cool ride? We have no idea why SS would not want to partake in the flying fun, since she has yet to be in an airplane flight she has not liked.

Another ride we wanted to try and SS opted out, the swings. I loved the ones at Knott's and it is weird it took this long to try the ones at CA AD.  And these ones have double seats! Just as well SS flaked out since we were able to sit together.

And here we are waiting for Frozen to begin. We actually scored second row middle seats, well P did with his ability to elbow his way ahead (in a gentle, non violent manner, no children were harmed).


What is not to like about a summer loving snowman?

We all loved the show, but it's funny P has yet to see the movie. SS watched the movie on the way to and from Hawaii, and many other times at home.

We indulged in another ride SS would not, and we would never think about letting her try. The California Screamer, and SS was content to wait while playing on Baba's phone.

We really liked this picture, P says that it looks like we are on an outdoor vacation, not at an amusement park.

We were out of the park by 2:30 p.m., before it became uncomfortably hot. There was a stop for a leisurely paced lunch, and SS was bathed and in bed early to get plenty of rest before school tomorrow.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

SS makes a light saber and learns the advantage of reading.

Last year SS participated in an after school Engineering for Kids workshop, where she created a simple video game. She enjoyed the experience and we looked forward to what other workshops they would offer. There was a Lego robotics workshop scheduled for March, and we knew we had to enroll SS.  We were very disappointed to find out the workshop was cancelled because they did not meet the needed minimum of six kids. That was surprising because the first workshop had at least thirty students, so we knew the pricey fee was not the problem. And to us video game kids are usually Lego kids. Oh well, things happen.

We received an email with the summer schedule and were pleased to find Friday and Saturday workshops. The first one that stood out was to build a lightsaber.  SS already has three but we knew this would be an awesome experience for her. Three hours of engineering fun, pizza and drinks included. The kids were encouraged to dress up or wear character PJs.

P and I were excited to get three hours of alone time and decided to go out to dinner then window shopping.  We dropped off a very eager SS and had dinner at a Lebanese restaurant we had not tried before. The flatbread appetizer half topped with cheese, and half topped with herbs was tasty. However we did not eat much, because as soon as the beef shawarma and chicken kabobs arrived, we dug in and did not look back. We will definitely bring SS to try their chicken and flatbread, also the garlic sauce. Funny that SS has always been a garlic kid.

When we returned for our Jedi the kids were outside getting ready for a group picture. The look on SS's face was just worth every freaking cent paid, and then more. The sense of accomplishment was oozing out of of her every pore. We looked at ourselves and could tell we were thinking the same. Acknowledgement of how we are grateful we can provide little opportunities like this.

As we walked inside to sign SS out and for the kids to clean up their stations P pointed out a model of some creature. We noticed SS had a foam glider but did not see any other kids with one. Who knows, she probably had it tucked somewhere as plan B if the lightsaber did not work.  SS told us it was a treat for guessing correctly. Every child in that room was a die hard Star Wars fan, but SS had one advantage, reading the three book series Santa brought her.

The model was of that mean, scary creature above. The question was if anyone knew what it was. I would have never guessed, nor could I remember in what movie it appeared. P knew right away that it was Jabba the Hutt's pet on Return of the Jedi. Yes I watched the movie, I must have been distracted by some glittery object. SS has watched the original trilogy dozens of times, thanks to Grandpa, who bought the set, with an extra DVD of special features.

But here's the thing, the animal is not identified in the movie. SS knew it was a Rancor because she read the book. She was so happy because there were a lot of kids there older than her, and she was the only one with that little piece of information. We proceeded to shamelessly drive home the point that her reading had paid off. SS is a lovely, intelligent, but darn lazy child. We want to make sure that she keeps reading. P really had a good laugh about SS knowing it was a Rancor, and probably a tad jelly he did not know.

The lightsaber consists of a color plastic tube, three AAA batteries, a flashlight, aluminum foil and electrical tape. P and I are going to take her shopping as soon as we have time, because we want to make our own. SS is certainly going to enjoy being in charge.

SS wanted to play with her new creation and was not happy to be told she must go to bed. Tomorrow we have an early start, and we know the girl is not an early riser.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Family swimming day.

Family swim night gave us the opportunity to cool off and have fun, and for P to help SS with her swimming. We picked up our hungry child at B&G Club, had her change, then fed her on the drive to the pool. SS impressed us by inhaling two tacos, impressive because I made them, and I packed them with as much meat as possible. Once we returned home she ate one and a half tacos. It would be nice if SS kept eating as much, since she needs more weight to be able to dive to the bottom of the pool.

SS took over my job of helping Baba apply sunscreen to his back.

SS announced recently that she likes diving, and we are glad she is interested. The problem is that SS is so slight that she can't always reach the bottom of the pool. I asked P what can we do, and he said weight gain is the only option. A diving weight belt would also work, but that is not something done at this summer, fly by the seat of your pants class. Makes us sad for SS because she has been excited about her new found interest. We do have a plan for helping her with balance and strength, but it will have to wait a few weeks.

We brought SS's diving sticks that actually light up, something she really likes. SS dove for sticks for quite a bit.

She also enjoyed doing cannonballs on the deep side of the pool, and all the goofiness she could manage.

We are always game for underwater shenanigans.

Then it was time to put the camera away and for P to get some coaching time in.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Patching, drawing, and reading.

Patching SS's eye is now a common everyday occurrence, much easier than our last try. She knows she has to patch for an hour, doesn't complain, and sometimes even reminds us. SS also continues her love affair with drawing, sometimes using the how to draw book we bought her almost two years ago. With SS it is all a matter of when she is ready.

We liked the detail on the dinosaur at the top of the page, and if you look at SS's index finger, you can see her lovey, DOG.

SS had a lot of fun with this drawing, although we are a tad embarrassed about the stereotype. The drawing book had 501 drawing instructions, and it did not occur to me to look at every single one. So we are blaming Costco. For some reason this chihuahua just made SS laugh, and she named it Chihuahzilla.

Once SS stopped laughing she was able to finish the drawing and pose with the finished result.

SS read four Calvin and Hobbes books at least twice. It was fun watching her read something her brother (and we) enjoyed so much. We also introduced her to the concept of newspaper comic strips, a whole new world for this electronic age child. SS now needs to concentrate on her summer reading challenge and read the extra books (she exceeds the required weekly reading) in exchange for library goodies.