Tuesday, April 4, 2017

LA Activities: Discovery Cube

I think this is his ninja pose
The term "Spring Break" means something very different now that I have children.  In the good ol' days, back before I had kids, I enjoyed spending my Spring Break thawing out on a tropical beach while drinking fancy cocktails garnished with umbrellas.  Now that I am encumbered by two small kids, and therefore unable to afford to travel anywhere even if I wanted to (which I don't, because flying with kids sucks), Spring Break means that I have two weeks during which there is no school and I must find ways to occupy my kids so that they don't kill each other.

Thankfully, we have this amazing place here in Los Angeles called The Discovery Cube.  The Cube's mission is to educate kids about science and nature, which sounds super boring, but it's done in a way that's brilliant.  They have fantastic permanent exhibits - including a real garbage truck, which is the Muffin Man's favorite - but every two months or so they have a new exhibit featuring something that appeals to kids.  Earlier in the year, it was LEGOs, and right now it's The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

If you're not a fan of the TMNT crew (and we are totally not), don't let that dissuade you from going.  Prior to our recent outing to The Cube, the extent of our experience with the Ninja-loving reptiles was a box of Band-Aids.  I was a little concerned that my kids wouldn't be into it because they have no attachment to the characters, but it didn't faze them one bit. 

 They jumped right into the "sewer pipes" without hesitation.

Any exhibit offering the option to wear costumes is always a hit.
Hopefully they got something scientific out of this item in the exhibit, and not a case of pink eye. 
Screen time doesn't count when she's learning about math, right?

After my children checked out every single activity at the TMNT exhibit, we made sure to visit our favorite permanent exhibits.
First stop was the garbage truck, of course.
 Sorting garbage and recycling is endlessly thrilling for small children.
Weather is super fun..at the museum.
Explaining to Rose that these are not real donuts never goes over well.

Here's my favorite part about The Cube, and you are totally allowed to make fun of me for this: the cafe is really good.  It's not your usual crappy museum food that tastes horrible and costs more than your first car.  It's organic, there are all these cute kid-friendly meal items, and the choices for adults are really good.  Bonus points for the fact that cafe is next to the enclosed play area for little kids, so I can actually finish eating my own lunch while my kids are corralled safely.  You'll have to take my word for it as I have no photo proof since I was busy FINISHING A MEAL, and it was heavenly.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles closes on April 23
Admission: Adults $17.95, kids ages 3-14 $12.95 (get a membership - it's worth it)

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Learning Tower Love

My kids love to help in the kitchen.  I don't know if this is because food is such a significant part of their lives, what with the whole One Potato thing, or if children the World over find it fun to throw flour and sugar all over the place and call it "cooking".  Unfortunately, the reality of cooking with toddlers is less Pinterest-y and more pain-in-the-ass-y, so I'm a fan of anything that keeps messes and migraines to a minimum. 

My number one tip for cooking with kids is to invest in a Learning Tower.  I know that these can initially seem like a big investment, but we use ours all of the time (read: almost daily) and it's significantly safer than having your kids stand on a regular step stool or a chair.  Take it from me, you really don't want to learn that you need a learning tower by having your kid fall off the side of a dining room chair and onto his head.  The one we have folds up, so I can easily store it in the pantry when it's not in use (a BIG plus, as our kitchen is pretty small), the height is adjustable so that I'm able to lower it as the kids get bigger, and they can easily climb in and out of it, but don't ever fall off of it.  If you follow me on Instagram (as you should), you've definitely seen our learning tower in action; in the last week alone we've made heart-shaped cookies, mini banana muffins, and at least three dinners from our One Potato Box.

So, to all of my friends who posted photos of their kids making Valentine goodies while perched on precarious step stools, I implore you to order one of these, stat.  Or, at the very least, mention to your Mother-in-Law that your kid fell off the counter while helping you cook, and follow that up with a link to your preferred learning tower, and one is sure to show up on your doorstep within the week (along with some snarky parenting advice, but hey, it's a price worth paying).

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Here, Read This

Finally, a parenting book that doesn't put me to sleep.  

I'm not big on reading parenting books.  This is primarily because at the end of a long, exhausting day with my kids the last thing I want to do is read about children, but it's also because I figure my kids are going to end up in therapy no matter what, so I may as well save my time and energy for more important things, such as binge watching The Crown.

Lately, however, I've been really struggling with parenting a four year old and a two-and-a-half year old.  The tantrums - oh, the tantrums - are really something else, and since Cedars Sinai doesn't seem to have a return policy for the children birthed there, I figured I needed some guidance.  A friend loaned me a copy of the book Permission to Parent and I'm so glad that she did.  If you have kids who are at the age where they're becoming more independent and, as a result, are pushing boundaries, this book is for you.  It's an easy read, which is so important when you can barely keep your eyes open after 7PM, and full of really good, practical advice for how to assert your parental authority in a firm, but gentle way.

If you're committed to raising a confident, well-adjusted child, this book is a must read.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Mom Lifestyle

Well, hello, stranger!

It's been awhile since we shot the sh*t here at the Misadventures, so I want to welcome you back and suggest you pull up a chair, pour yourself a cup of coffee (or wine, if you're into day drinking) and settle in for a ride on Anna's neurosis train.

I've decided to take the blog in a little bit of a different direction in 2017.  I have absolutely loved sharing my parenting triumphs and tribulations with all of you over the years, but now that my kids (specifically my son) are older, I'm less willing to share stories about them that they may not want splashed all over the World Wide Web.  A big reason I took a break from blogging last summer was because I wanted to find a way to still share my life with you without sacrificing so much of my kids' privacy.  I'll still be sharing funny parenting stories here from time to time, but for the most part, I'm refocusing on living your best life as a parent in Los Angeles.  (Yes, I stole that line from Oprah; no I am not ashamed.  The woman has a point.) 

What does this mean, exactly?  From pregnancy through preteen, I'm going to cover it: 
  • What to register for when you're expecting
  • What stroller(s) I'm loving
  • Great Mommy and Me classes
  • School info (like real, inside info, not the brochure stuff)
  • new products for Moms and babies
  • kid-friendly restaurants and activities
  • Mom and kid fashion that's affordable and chic
  • Home decor that can withstand children
  • Traveling with kids
  • Recipes for stuff your kids might eat
Essentially, this is going to be a lifestyle blog for real people with real children and real budgets.

The Muffin Man and The Little Lady will still be your guides to the good (parenting) life, and I can't wait to share our many adventures with you in the coming year(s).

Welcome back.  Parenting in Los Angeles is a wild ride, and I'm looking forward to being your conductor.