Sometimes I wonder if we over do it. It seems like, since the girls were born, we jump at every new opportunity that comes along - packing our weekends full of actives upon activities. I guess our thinking is that the more stuff we expose the girls to the better. Even if they don't get what the activity intends participants to get, they are still out in the world, in new situations and around new people. And if we can keep this momentum going I think it can have an extremely positive effect on them. I remember spending weekends at Huntington Library, or the Pasadena Arboretum, snorkeling in Catalina, even going to the horse races at Santa Anita. We were always out doing something unique. At the time I thought nothing of it - it was normal for me. But looking back I see how many other kids just spent their weekends and summers in front of a TV or a video game. The fortunate ones rode their bikes and ran through sprinklers, and while I did a lot of that too, I still have these much more unique memories. I hope to create similar memories for my girls - but you have to start now, even though they won't remember or understand a thing, you know if we wait until they're five we'll find it much more difficult to get the ball rolling. Today we had the opportunity to go to the Natural History Museum in LA for free, so we jumped at it. Best part, they had an outdoor butterfly habitat that you could walk through and be surrounded by these incredible insects. You have to love the fact that people freak out when a cockroach crosses their path, but they pay 20 bucks to walk into a room filled with it's cousins, who's only real difference is wings and some pretty colors. That just makes me laugh. The rest of the museum was great too - lots of dinosaur stuff that I'm sure the girls will enjoy when we go back later in life. We also had a close encounter with real nature. As we walked past the Exposition Park Rose Garden on our way to the cafe for some lunch a humongous Red Tailed Hawk swooped through the garden and came, literally, with in a foot or two of Arianna, who was being held up by Papa Jon. I'm not 100% convinced that the bird wasn't actually gunning for her, it was that close and was on a direct course for her. My heart literally stopped beating. I also have a feeling that it only altered its flight plan at the last moment because it saw Genevieve nearby and was afraid to incur the wrath of such a formidable foe. I don't blame it. A hawk is tough. ... Genevieve. ... she's tougher. Mess with her sister and you might replace the turkey at Thanksgiving dinner.
We followed up the museum with our Thia Eleni's birthday bash. It was a few months late, but a sweet 16 party is worth the wait. It had kind of a glow in the dark, techno vibe with all these glow in the dark necklaces and sticks. It was very cool once the sun went down and the room was just a glow. The girls had a blast and we had a tough time prying them away from the dance floor for bed time. I hate to end with a cheesy joke, but all the way home. ... the literally glowed. In the picture below, you can see Genevieve with in the camera's flash area and Arianna in the background, she's the area that looks like something right out of Tron. Either Tron or Close Encounters of a Third Kind.