Saturday, March 14, 2009

Dinosaurs & Flamenco, aka Reality vs. plan report, March 14

Reality vs. plan report for March 14. (See plan in earlier posts).

Yesterday I was working till late, so I made the pancakes before I went to bed (at 3am). So my husband woke up with the kids, they had the pancakes and then they were supposed to watch Dumbo, but he couldn't find it (men!), so they just played together until I woke up at 10:30, quickly packed a gift for the birthday girl and off we went to the Shoreline Lake. It was colder than we thought, but moderately enjoyable. After the birthday, which was (at least in theory) mermaid-themed, I asked my oldest L. (whose classmate's 4th birthday we celebrated) what he wanted to have for his 4th celebration in July, and (after we listed some possibilities) he said "Dinosaurs". As we drove home, I impressed on L. how important it is that they get a nap and not play together in their beds as they're wont to do. Amazingly, he listened and actually didn't make a peep when I put him in bed even though my youngest A. (2.2-yr-old) made all sorts of noises. They both fell asleep about 10-15 min. afterwards, which rarely happens unless they're completely worn out (which they weren't).

As they were napping, I researched dinosaur birthdays and apparently (hah!) it's a very popular theme, so I'm overflowing with ideas. We'll see.

After the nap, we drove to Redwood City and explored Jigsaw Java. It's an interesting idea: have a place to play all sorts of jigsaw puzzles along with coffee & hot chocolate. The execution was kind of blah. There weren't enough interesting (or non-branded) puzzles for my oldest, let alone my youngest, and the coffee was more of the office variety as opposed to Starbucks. I coaxed L. into making a Curious George puzzle (25 pieces) by pointing out the age on the box (3+) and heavily helped him; I suppose I can judge it a lukewarm success since he is really not into puzzles and gives up very quickly. He did like to see it all completed (even though it was 80% my effort) and wanted to do another one, the desire which faded as soon as I removed the pieces from the box. So we walked 0.3 miles to Barnes & Noble and my husband read L.-selected Wizard of Oz, while I read "Where's Spot" and other Spot stories to A. Then we walked back to Angelica's Bistro. The kids enjoyed the walk as the path took us under the railroad bridge and they saw Caltrain(?) pass by.

The flamenco dinner & show was a little disappointing, but mostly because of my inflated expectations. First of all, the seats we got were to the left of the stage meaning the thing that we could see best was the back of the guy who played the drum. And we couldn't really see the dancers' feet which for me is the most important thing in flamenco. Apparently, if we called earlier to reserve the seats, we would have gotten better ones (as opposed to just showing up early). Secondly, even though I looked up the regular menu beforehand and judged it to be good, they had a "special" menu. Not sure whether this "special" menu is reflective of how they usually cook food, but it was pretty basic (more homemade rather than "restaurant" food). We ordered pineapple-ham crostini, penne bolognese, salmon with mango salsa & roasted potatoes, and nutella-honey-banana crepe. As always, we split all of it among four of us. Thirdly, I always expect more out of A. than what L. was in fact capable of in A.'s age (because I forget how he was). So, A. was very wiggly and although he paid attention (and even tried to imitate the movement of the dancers' arms), he clearly is not yet ready for a formal concert. So, in that regard, it was a good experiment, as it yielded an answer to a hypothesis. (After I went home, I looked at my baby notes, and of course, L. was older, 2.7-yr-old, when we took him to his first concert and he was ready then).

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