Movie Review

Husband and I had every intention of going to see the final installment of the Hunger Games but after too much holiday merriment the children turned on us. Saturday was just too emotional of a day for them to be sprung on an unsuspecting babysitter. We don't want to scare her away now do we? I'd rather she have them when they are not being holy terrors so we skipped date night in favor of a chill night at home. I thought Casey could use some one on one time, though, so on Sunday I ended up dropping his sister off at Gaga's while Husband worked his call shift and took him to see The Good Dinosaur.
It's a story of a wee preemie dinosaur named Arlo who was kind of a coward and not really making his mark on the farm his dinosaur family was in charge of. Arlo's dad got frustrated and tried to "make him a man" so to speak and in the process end's up dying. Of course. Because I need that kind of dinosaur dad death sadness in my life. Arlo falls into a river after chasing off a little critter kid from his family's stash of corn and they both get swept off far from home. On the journey back, a friendship is formed and marks are made and everyone lived happily ever after.
I'm sad to report that while I enjoyed the movie, it was a bit of a disappointment. The character development just wasn't there and the story was just kind of weak. I wasn't even overly impressed by the voices of the cast aside from Sam Elliot's raspy-voiced cowboy T-Rex. The animation was positively stunning, so much so that I wondered if they just didn't drop in some photography along the way because folks got tired of animating. Casey and I got a few laughs and of course I cried my happy-sad tears like I always do. It just didn't blow me away or seem to be a movie I would watch again necessarily; not an instant classic like the other Pixar efforts. Maybe they should have named it "The Great Dinosaur" and aimed a little higher.
I will say, though, that the short beforehand was positively dope. Sanjay's Super Team was super Indian and randomly awesome. I was stoked to see such diversity with such a seldom used subject. How often do you get to see Hindu deities throw down superhero style? Not often enough. I hope Pixar continues to branch out and maybe make their animation a bit less whitewashed and more culturally diverse. I have to admit it made me excited to see what they could do.
Just had to sneak this in because Casey totally ditched me when he saw his school friend and I felt like a lame-oh. 
Too bad assigned seating thwarted this and he got stuck with me. Haha!


Weekend Pics

 On Wednesday after work I came home to find Betty's blood everywhere. A hematoma in her ear had burst. Vet bills and blood is not how I want to kick off my four-day weekend.
 Luckily a Dalton visit turned things around.
 Thanksgiving selfie before.
 Thanksgiving selfie after.
 Friday was Friendsgiving in LA to celebrate MIKE's birthday
 Saturday was a pretty chill day, bike ride and a walk to decompress.
 Fun at the park. Just not doing much.
 Betty with a booboo upsets Tutti
 And makes Betty think she's a lap dog.
 Sunday sidewalk chalk fun, Casey drew Mom and Dad there on the left. Ha!
This is Casey's "I'm so excited the tree is up" face.


Thankful Thursday Concuded

13. That I know many generous people who share things with us like tickets to Dodger Games and appreciation days and other things we normally probably wouldn't be able to afford.
14. That BFF lives so close and we get to see each other so much and do super fun rad family stuff like going to Disneyland for Halloween.
15. That I still live in my hometown so I get to see friends that come home for holidays.
16. For the babysitter!
17. To live in Southern California where the weather is awesome and adventure fun times are easily accessible.
18. That Casey is able to attend a great school with super nice teachers just around the corner from our house.
19. For "Mommy Mia" who is like a third grandmother (heck maybe even a second mother) to my children.
20. For happy memories of my dad, grandma and grandpa that comfort me during the times when I miss them very much.
21. That my uncles came from Germany for Thanksgiving.
22. For modern technology like IMs and texts and Facebook and Instagram and email for making it so easy to stay in touch with everyone.
23. That my good days far outnumber my bad these days.
24. That I got such a dope last name when I married Husband.
25. That my dad made sure his grandkids (and his kids for that matter) would be taken care of.
26. For this blog diary I keep that made friendships and the love of my life possible.



Date Night!

You may recall that I mentioned we have a babysitter. Her name is Bri and she's 15 and lives across the street with her mother who is a nurse. She loves dogs and reads for pleasure and does mock trial. Not only is she just great with the kids, she actually reads them books and plays games with them and doesn't fool around on her phone the whole time! And? She's totally down to coming over once a week so Husband and I can soak in some grown up time goodness. It's literally a Christmas miracle! Anyway, she came for the second time this week so that Husband and I could eat sushi like we had never seen food before and take in a movie.
Because I was somehow unaware that Hunger Games was already out, we got tickets to see The Night Before. I totally did want to see this because I am sort of deeply in love with Seth Rogen and despite how disappointed I was in This Is The End, I still want to watch all his movies. The gist of this one is that Joseph Gordon-Levitt was orphaned right before Christmas and his two buddies took him out to help alleviate his grief and be his new family. Mind you, they're a family that dabble in drugs and shenanigans, but a family nonetheless. It's about a decade later and one buddy is an NFL star and the other is about to become a dad so they're putting the kibosh on the tradition. It's one last hoorah of epic partying and even more rabble rousing mixed in with the theme of A Christmas Carol.
We saw this on opening night in a theater packed with a really enthusiastic crowd so I really think the energy helped. I have to admit, I have dabbled in some naughty behavior in my day so I could relate to the absolute silliness these guys went through. Husband and I laughed a lot. Despite the totally improbable night they were experiencing and the immature hilarity, things actually got pretty touching more than once. Plus Mindy Kaling showed up and I love her so much. There were a couple other really fun cameos and of course it's set in the amazing New York City at Christmas so I walked away with no complaints.


Busy Ass Weekend Pics!

 On Friday I had the day off with the kiddos. We went to the trampoline spot. Brilliant.
 We had a little time with "the papas" before Husband and I headed out for date night.
 Saturday morning doughnut. I love her.
 Saturday at the Zoo with Hub. Vulture saying, "Come at me, bro!"
 Saturday night sleepover with the cousins.
 Oh, iPads. Thank you for the silence.
 Sunday morning cuddle puddle.
 Then we took our kids and my nephew to Dodgers Stadium for Season Ticket Holder Appreciation Day. I wept. A lot. It was amazing. 
Seeing my kids at Chavez Ravine means EVERYTHING to me. That is all.
Full set of photos can be found here
I'm so tired today. Hungover? Maybe. Also, what a weekend!!!


Blue Card!

 While I am not a huge fan of this program, the school Casey goes to hands out "behavior" cards every day. Everyone starts at green which is a great day. If they are naughty, I believe it goes to yellow, then orange, then red. We have had one yellow card. It's not what we're aiming for. However, if the kid has a super day, he gets a blue card. His teacher said if he gets 20, he can get a prize. I try not to pressure the blue and praise the green but we try and make it a big deal if he gets the blue. Yesterday he earned one and misplaced it and his day was RUINED. He was bawling in the background when I was talking to Maria.
Being the dope mom that I am, I decided to make him a temporary blue card so that his day didn't have to be so sad when I picked him up. He was SO happy with it. He told me how nice it was and asked me to hug him because it was so cool that I did that for him. He carried it around all night. I had emailed his teacher about another incident at the school and asked if he could get a replacement so I knew this was temporary.
Wouldn't you know it? In the side pocket of his backpack, I found the missing card. He said "Now we can throw away the card you gave me" and I pretended to be hurt and asked why he didn't want to keep my amazing art. He said "Well, I mean, it was nice...." but it's just not the real deal. He's so sweet. I love my little friend. I sure hope today's parent/teacher conference goes well. I'm bringing Play Doh to bribe his teacher just in case.


2 Years

Love you and miss you every day.