Saturday, October 31, 2009

Brandi Carlile

Ever since I got into blogging I've been given chances to do things I wouldn't have done otherwise. Like go to super fun events with my kids and other moms. So when something came up that wasn't kid-related, I thought it might an interesting detour. Especially since it was a free music download and I love music. I had a whole month to listen to and review Brandi Carlile's new album, Give Up the Ghost. Only problem was, when would I find the time when I had a quiet moment to listen to an entire album? I listened it to it once when I first got the download, but haven't been able to write the review. And so here I am on October 31 listening to the album again, hiding from my kids before we go trick or treating.

Unfortunately I haven't been listening to much "real" music since H was born. I have over 300 music cds from before his birth that are now in storage because he would take them out of the cases and break them. And when we listen to music, he insists it is HIS turn, which means Laurie Berkner or Elmo or TMBG. I want him to love music, so usually I give in. So listening to the CD was a treat for me to actually listen to lyrics that were clever and meaningful instead of just repeating "grumpy old troll" 500 times.

My favorite song on the CD is "I Will." If you've ever had a bad breakup, this song cuts to exactly what you've felt. My favorite lyrics from the song, "you've drawn heavy-handed lines around morality about yourself and I don't share your point of hurts to be the one you regret...I'll never be the same because we've met..." I like it in that it's different from other breakup songs, she's actually saying that she did learn from that person and she won't forget him/her but she will survive the loss. At least that's what the song said to me.

I also liked the tracks "If There Was No You" and "Oh Dear." I liked the lyrics a lot to all of the tracks because you have to listen to them carefully and actually think about them, so they're definitely songs that get better every time you listen. If you've ever listened to the group The Story, Brandi Carlile will remind you a lot of that style--very very clever lyrics and great vocals. In fact that's what I immediately thought of when I came across another of Brandi Carlile's albums, The Story. Another band I thought of when I listened to this album was Indigo Girls.

And that's my review. It's definitely been a great experience because it reminded me that I am a person too and I don't have to have children's music on repeat wherever I go. Sometimes it's MY turn.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Internet Mommy

I think I'm officially an internet mommy now. I've started writing for the LA Moms Blog in addition to blogging here and even have a twitter account (@unellie). So when I heard about the launch party for Kimberly Blaine's newest book, Internet Mommy, I jumped at the invite. A party at night without my kids at a hotel in Santa Monica--of course, I'm in!

The party was a great time. It was nice to get to meet Kimberly and many of the other women who had contributed to the book. That's one of the best things about this new blogging world, meeting women outside my little social circle who bring new perspectives on mothering. Apparently I spent a good chunk of the night speaking with someone who is a hardcore liberal, something I only found out afterwards on the ride home. (Yes I worked on the McCain campaign, proud of it!) Not that I wouldn't have spoken to her if I had known that before, but it probably would have colored our conversation. Now I know I won't see her at the next Republican moms night out, but I look foward to seeing her again.

I learned at the event that I was a baby internet mommy when I saw @techmama whip out her autographed Vivienne Tam HP netbook to write up a blog on the spot. I've never seen anything like it. I don't have any super expensive designer purses (although I do have Birkin envy ever since that episode of Gilmore Girls), but I'd definitely like to be able to whip out a computer that matched my outfit. Maybe just once, for the cool factor.

Anyway, it was way past the boys' normal bedtime when I finally got home. I fully expected them to be up anyway because Stewart has never been able to put both of them to sleep by himself. But lo and behold, when I got home the house was quiet. I thought for a second he had taken them to McDonald's, but no, they were sleeping!!! It wasn't the sound of silence, but the sound of true freedom. Now I can go out at night without having to get home by 9 at the latest. But part of me was a little sad because I knew it was the end of yet another stage of their short lives, that part that needed me a little more than they needed papa. It's kind of silly really, I've been yearning for this ever since R was born, but now that it's happened, I feel like I've lost something. Good bye my baby. Hello little boy.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Mickey Mouse at Travel Town

This past Wednesday I was lucky enough to be invited by Disney Consumer Products to Mickey's arrival in Los Angeles as part of Mickey's Virtual Train Tour of the West. It was a dream come true for H--he got to play with trains, ride the Travel Town train ride at Griffith Park, and probably his favorite part of the event, view a prescreening of the upcoming Disney Channel primetime special, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Choo Choo Express airing Sunday, October 25th (7:00-7:45 p.m. ET/PT). For me that would be like eating chocolate and watching a food network challenge at the same time!

A fun thing about the event is that they took footage of the kids playing with Mickey. And here is H's youtube debut:

There has been a lot written lately on whether you should or shouldn't post images of your kids online, including one article published just yesterday in the NY Times. Well, I won't tell you where he appears so it could be any of the kids in the clip, although you will notice that there is only one Asian boy. And if you blink you will miss him!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Got Milk?

From the time H was 11 months old to 2 1/2 half, he drank a lot of milk. He had always had formula mixed in with his bottle (never learned to latch on) so he had been accustomed to the flavor. R on the other hand, refused all bottles and wouldn't wean until 14 months. That is when all the milk drama began. He refused to drink plain milk. The doctor said that was the reason why he had dropped from being in the 70th percentile at six months to 10th percentile for weight at fifteen months. So I had to find creative ways to make him drink milk or risk him dropping off the chart all together. Yogurt, kefir, soymilk, yogurt drinks, chocolate syrup, and apple juice (not as gross as you might think) are only some of the things I mix in to get him to drink his milk. And of course, whatever R gets, H wants so now both boys are non-drinkers of plain milk. So when my friend @mintcool told me about a chocolate milk Halloween event sponsored by Got Milk?, I was really excited to go because that's one of their favorite food groups. (Both kids are not big eaters, but that's a story for another day.)

The event took place last Tuesday, the first day it had rained in Southern California since June. I would not be deterred by a little rain (especially since it was @mintcool who was driving us in her minivan). We made it to Paramount Studios in Hollywood in record time because so many people stayed off the roads to avoid the rain. It was my first trip to a movie studio since I had moved to Southern California and I was excited. We passed the Blue Sky and made our way to New York street. It was a great event filled with chocolate milk, treats and games for the kids.

We also got to see Got Milk? unveiling Angie Harmon's new milk mustache ad. There was an opportunity for us bloggers to take photos and talk with her, but like many of the women there, I didn't want to be photographed with my disheveled hair and sweatshirt (it was raining!) next to Angie Harmon. But I couldn't pass up an opportunity for R to get his photo taken with Jason Sehorn. Being most recently from New York, I can tell you that was a big deal for me. R shares his name with a certain NFL Hall of Famer so it was even more thrilling. Perhaps R will be the first Korean to make it to the NFL and one day this photo will be on his fan page!

Of course no blog is complete without a bit of drama. R ate and drank so much chocolate at the event that he threw it all up when we got home. But that's my fault for letting him overindulge because I was so distracted by my first blogger event. So we Got Chocolate Milk all over R, me and our living room couch. Totally worth it.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Shame on you Pumpkin Patch

On Sunday I took H and R to the pumpkin patch. I couldn't believe the prices. $6 for a pony ride (last year I think it was either $4 or $5) and $3 for the "petting zoo" which was a total of 5 animals. What was even more disgusting was the fact that the pony was so thin you could see its ribs. If you are raising prices because of the increase in the cost of whatever, you should at least be feeding your meal ticket!!! And $2 for 5 minutes in the bounce house. They made this little girl get out even though there was no one else waiting. Ridiculous. I will never go to a Cottone & Sons pumpkin patch again. H was screaming when I took him out of there but he has to learn sometime you can't get what you want all the time. That poor pony!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Dunkin Donuts

I am so missing Dunkin Donuts out here. There are only a few places in the LA area where you can get a decent doughnut. Saturday I'm going to the Grove and getting myself some delicious Bob's Doughnuts. Stewart said, aren't you going to be full from the lunch? We're going to a friend's daughter's 1st birthday party at Maggianos, yum! I said, yes, but I can bring the doughnuts home.

If DD would give me a franchise, I would wake up at 5 am to make the doughnuts. Anyway, here is my first attempt to putting a widget on my blog, hope it works:

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