Yesterday was National Pancake Day at IHOP and like all good pancake-loving Americans, Greta and I celebrated the event in high style. For those of you who missed the freebie memo, National Pancake Day was launched in 2006 to support the Chilcren’s Miracle Network Hospitals and a host of local charities. Now in it’s tenth year, IHOP gives out free short stacks very March 3rd in the hopes that patrons will donate to the cause.
So, just like we did last year, Greta and I grabbed some friends, braved the lines of crazy teenagers just getting out of school and got our free pancake on. And as you can see from the pics, it was awesome! Thanks, IHOP!
Yesterday was my first day as a classroom volunteer at Greta's school and though my inner child was kinda wigging out at the prospect of returning to the classroom after twenty-plus years away, I gotta tell ya, it was awesome!
I helped the kids with a craft project, Clorox wiped the tables after play time, and organized next week's math homework, but the highlight of the day was playing Sticker Ninja during quiet reading time. While the kids “read” books at their tables, my job was to walk around the room and place stickers on the hands of those that were being the most quiet. It was adorable! Even the pushy kids that kept thrusting their hands at me, silently pleading for stickers, were cute. They didn't get as many stickers as the kids who were actually quietly enjoying their books, but, trust me, everyone had stickers to spare by the time my “shift” ended.
I'm hoping to make the Thursday volunteer gig a regular thing, and in the meantime, I've also helped pass out donunts and bagels (at 7:45AM!) for a Breakfast with Buddies event and helped the kids work on a cool ocean mural on the back wall of the auditorium. It's been a lot of work but the parents, teachers and kids I've met along the way have all been awesome and Greta and I have been having a lot of fun. Even if we do collapse the minute we get home every day!
Speaking of things that exhaust me, one mom who I've seen at almost every event jokingly asked me when I was running for PTA president. Ha! Probably not in this lifetime, but, then again, President Yeti does have kind of a nice ring to it…
Speaking of Halloween costumes, Greta got to test drive her Queen Elsa costume over the weekend at the Friends of the Burbank Library's very cool Princess Book Party. Held at the Burbank Library's central branch on Glenoaks, the event featured Princess trivia, bingo, crafts, cookies, gift bags and even a visit from everyone's favorite Disney Princess/Queen du jour, Queen Elsa from Frozen! Hooray!
As you can see, Greta had an awesome time. And despite the fact that there are already piles of library books scattered all over her bedroom, we came home with another big old batch of new ones as well. Now if I could just remember when they're all due back at the library, all would be right with the world. Either way, enjoy the pics!
With Greta’s kindergarten starting next Monday, today marks the official beginning of our last full week together before “big girl” school starts. And while I’m very proud of the impossibly sweet, funny, intelligent young lady Greta has become over the past five years, part of me is dreading the many changes to come. I know we’ll always have plenty of time together but I also know that things change when kids go to school. I guess I’m just kinda bummed that the first great chapter of our wild and crazy time together is coming to an end.
With a few notable exceptions, I’ve been by Greta’s side almost every day since she was born and I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything in the world. I know it sounds corny, but, she’s been my favorite “production” of all. She has also been, quite literally, my life for the past five years.
And though I’m sad and happy and kind of terrified (especially of getting up early every day to get her to school on time! Yikes!) by the strange and winding road ahead of us, I’m looking forward to it as well. Every day with Greta is an adventure and no school schedule is gonna change that!
So, here’s to our last week of total freedom together, sweetie! Let’s get busy!
One of the best things about taking a nice, long road trip every summer to Grants Pass, Oregon (by way of Santa Cruz, CA) is that being away from Los Angeles for any extended period of time always reminds me of just why I love L.A. so much in the first place. Yes, I admit it, I love L.A., probably more than anyplace I've ever lived.
In fact, having been down here for over twenty-two years now, Mrs. Yeti and I have officially lived in L.A./Burbank longer than we've ever lived anywhere else. And though we love to get away, something about this crazy, sprawling urban jungle just makes us feel excited and alive. Maybe it's because we were both born down here, who knows? But for us, L.A. is home, and as we drove over the Grapevine on Sunday night and caught our first glimpse of the shimmering lights of the San Fernando Valley in the distance, I'm not embarrassed to admit that we both got more than a little choked up.
I'm not sure if that was because we were relieved that some of the more dramatic episodes from our trip were behind us, or the simple fact that we were just happy to be home. But for whatever reason, we practically kissed the ground when we arrived!
And today, as Greta and I grabbed lunch at a totally 80's Taco Bell on Ventura Boulevard — which is one of my two favorite thoroughfares in L.A., BTW, Wilshire Boulevard being the other — I spotted a dude with the long grey hair and tight, studded jeans of a faded rock star enjoying a Meximelt while a crazy-eyed trannie demanded the key to the restroom at the register, and I just smiled from ear to ear. Oh, L.A., how I've missed you. It really is good to be home!
Greta’s third ballet recital was a couple of weeks ago and, as you can see from the pics below, it was another smashing success. This year Greta’s class danced to “Octopus’s Garden” by The Beatles and though some of the kids struggled a bit with the choreography, Greta was spot on the entire performance. I know I’m supposed to say stuff like that, but, I really mean it…she was awesome!
My Dad put it best when he remarked that this year was the first time you could really see a big improvement in Greta’s dancing. “It’s actually kind of cool to see the growth over time.” he said, adding that “If I hadn’t seen all three shows, I don’t know if I would have noticed it. But, I can definitely see it!” Wow. Those of you who know my Dad know that he is not very free wheeling with the compliments, so, if he says that…he means it. So, thanks, Dad, I totally agree!
Enjoy the pics!
Greta started her third year of swimming lessons this week — hard to believe she's been doing anything for three summers already, but she has — and though I still have some issues with the cleanliness of the pool's locker room and outdoor shower area, so far, things are going great.
Her teacher is very cool, the class size is much smaller than last year (there are six kids in her class versus last year's whopping 12-14!) and best of all, the pool finally got some chairs for parents to sit on. I've noticed that you have to get there kind of early to score a chair, but, hey, if that's what it takes, I'll be there before roll call every day!
Anyway, as you can imagine, I'm taking loads of pics every day (from the comfort of my awesome new deck chair!) but, this one seemed to sum up the unbridled joy of summer swimming lessons better than all of them combined, so…enjoy!