Category Archives: Entertainment

Goofy Monday: Is the tooth fairy for real?

Toothiana - my favorite tooth fairy from Rise of the Guardians

Toothiana – my favorite tooth fairy from Rise of the Guardians

It’s been a long time since I posted a Goofy Monday and since I’ve managed to take notes about a few goofy moments over the summer, I thought today would be a good time to share them with you. A quick reminder: Son #1 turned 8 over the summer, Son #2 is 6 and 1/2.

The dangers of skydiving
Son #1 (thinking out loud): “Skydiving right into a cactus. That’s one way to feel pain fast.”
You don’t say! Ouch.

History explained in simple terms
Son #1: “When you say a year, BC means before cavemen, and AD means after dinosaurs.”
Me: “That’s just about right.”

How to make women happy
Son #2: “Mama, do you like it when I do something the first time you ask me?”
Me: “I LOVE it!”
This little guy is going to have some very happy girlfriends…

What happened to my birthday month?
Son #1: “Mama, you’re not treating me like it’s my birthday month. You’re telling me to DO things.”
I think he could learn a thing or two from his brother.

What a great summer school teacher I am!
Son #1: “c-7=46, so c=53.”
Me: “Wow, this summer homework is really working.”
Son #1: “No, Mama. I just have a sharp mind.”
Being a mom really is an ungrateful rewarding job.

Is the tooth fairy for real?
Son #2 lost a tooth yesterday and it started this conversation.
Son #1: “Mama, how do we know you don’t take the tooth and put the money there instead of the tooth fairy?”
Me: “Well, which version do you prefer?”
Son #1: “The tooth fairy.”
Me: “Me too.”

Have your own kids told you something recently that made you laugh? Or cry? Feel free to share in the comments section below.


Fun facts about Washington D.C.

Do you know what the hardest part is about coming back from an amazing two-week vacation to the Mid Atlantic states? Well, it’s coming back. Out of the many times I’ve visited that region, I’ve never been there during the tree blooming season. This year, we managed to be in the area right during peak bloom, and I can only thank our school district’s vacation schedule for this coincidence. The week before we arrived, only a few trees were blooming, and the week after we left, the blossoms were being blown away by high winds and rain. We had 90% blooms during our stay. That’s what I call pure luck.

Coming from an area of the country where flowers and blooms are rare and sparse, this was a welcome sight – burst after burst of colors everywhere we looked. Oh, did I hear you say allergies? Well, knowing that my kids and I are allergic to tons of things in the San Diego air (dust, tree pollen, weeds, you name it, we’re allergic to it) and miserable all year round, I figured it wouldn’t be worse on the East Coast. Actually it was 100% better. As in, we had NO allergies the whole time. Of course, 10 minutes after getting out of San Diego airport, we were already sneezing. Nice.

We got to spend the first five days of our trip touring Washington D.C., the following weekend visiting my friend in Delaware, and the next few days in Virginia. My kids got to see the famous national monuments for the first time, visit the best museums in the country for free, stare in awe at the REAL spangled star banner (it’s HUGE!), walk around the Tidal Basin with another million tourists, see robins, cardinals and other critters, visit George Washington’s estate at Mount Vernon and Thomas Jefferson’s estate at Monticello, admire the beauty and size of the Luray caverns, see many local animals at the Virginia Living Museum (first time my kids saw raccoons and beavers), and enjoy walking in real grass under real trees.

I’ll showcase a lot of the photos I took of these places and animals on my photography website over the next few weeks, but today I wanted to share a few fun facts we learned while touring Washington D.C.

Spring break is the busiest season of the year for the capital. About 600,000 people reside within the city limits. At spring break, 1.2 million people buzz around the streets of D.C. Honestly, we’ve been to the San Diego Zoo in the summer enough times to be ready to conquer any crowds, so this didn’t scare us.

With so many people, traffic can be a problem in Washington D.C. I drove in it and can tell you it’s not worse than driving in Paris. Except those drivers from Maryland. Watch out for them, they’ll run you off the road if they can! Oh, and watch where you park. The city manages to collect $92 million in parking tickets every year. We saw lots and lots of parking police officers hard at work…

Washington D.C. is one of the greenest cities you’ll ever see in the U.S., and that’s probably because a law passed a long time ago says that for every tree cut, two more have to be planted. That makes D.C. a beautiful city to walk and look at.

Talking about trees, the original cherry trees donated by Japan to the U.S. feature white blossoms. Most of the cherry trees that were planted later on display pink blossoms. Honestly, I don’t care what color they are, they’re beautiful either way, especially when they’re all blooming at once.

White cherry blossoms in Washington DC

White cherry blossoms in Washington DC

Some botanist got the brilliant idea years ago to cross a pink cherry tree with a weeping willow. The result is called a cherry weeping willow, or a weeping cherry tree, and there are lots of them in and around D.C. and many of them are very large (20 to 30 feet tall). All I can say is, wow!

Pink cherry willow blossoms in Washington DC

Pink cherry willow blossoms in Washington DC

And talking about pink, how about those pink magnolias? Double wow! Also called “tulip trees” because of the shape of their flowers, they’re everywhere in the city. You can guess I took many, many photos of those.

Pink magnolia blooms - tulip tree blossoms in Washington DC

Pink magnolia blooms – tulip tree blossoms in Washington DC

Let’s talk about the Washington Monument for a minute. It was still under renovation while we visited and is supposed to reopen in a few days. I thought it was closed because of remodeling purposes, but it was damaged in the August 2011 earthquake, the one with a magnitude of 5.8 in Virginia, less than 100 miles from downtown D.C.

Washington monument in Washington DC

Washington monument in Washington DC

By the way, did you ever notice the two different hues of marble on the Washington monument? A light hue for the bottom part and a darker one above? That’s because the monument construction stopped for several years, when people were arguing if it should be built at all. Once the argument was settled, the quarry had run out of marble in that specific location, so they had to extract marble a little further away, which explains the difference in color. One more funny fact: the Washington monument is made of “Texas granite marble” and of course it comes from… Maryland!

Alright, one very last funny fact about the Washington monument: when the elevator was originally installed, only men could use it. That’s because it was considered a safety issue and people thought women and children were safer taking the stairs. Right… It would take the original elevator 17 minutes to go up and down the monument, so maybe the elevator wasn’t much faster than the stairs anyway.

Other monuments in D.C. were damaged in the 2011 earthquake, including the Washington National Cathedral. You can actually see the stones and gargoyles that fell off during the earthquake, as they’re piled up by the entrance of the church. I sure wouldn’t have wanted to be close to it when it happened. By the way, if you want to see the inside of the cathedral, plan to shell out $20/person. No need to say, we didn’t bother going in. How do you like my postcard picture?

National Cathedral in Washington DC

National Cathedral in Washington DC

Finally, if you’ve ever being to D.C., you’ve probably noticed the many statues of military men on horses. It seems that every military general, or even officer, that fought in the American Revolution or the Civil War has his own statue in the city. One funny fact about these horse statues: they all face the White House. So if you’re ever lost in the city and are looking for the White House, look for a horse statue and you’re all set!

Military man and horse statue in Washington DC

Military man and horse statue in Washington DC

Do you know other fun facts about the Washington D.C. you’d like to share?

Goofy Monday: true advertising

Every day, my kids are bombarded with advertising messages, whether it’s on the radio, TV or in writing form everywhere they go. And boy, do they notice! I have to admit my kids are smart. With a marketing professional as their mom, they can recognize the “smoke and mirrors” when they see them, and they’re often skeptical of the advertising messages they see and hear. But sometimes, they also realize that advertising can be true…

Long lasting flavor
Son #1: “Look at the gum box. It says “long lasting flavor.”
Me: “And?”
Son #1: “It’s actually true! I’ve been chewing on this gum forever and it still tastes like this. Wow, I can’t believe it.”

Trident gum - long lasting flavor

Trident gum – long lasting flavor

Overflowing shelves
Son #1 (during a trip at ToysRUs before Son #2’s birthday): “Look, mama, the shelves are overflowing with toys!”
Me: “That’s a good way to describe it.” (have you seen how many toys are in there???)
Son #1: “No, that’s what they say on the radio, and it’s TRUE!” pointing at all the toys)
I personally think ToysRUs is still trying to get rid of excess inventory left over after Christmas, but you can’t say anything bad about their accurate statement.

Now, this Goofy Monday edition isn’t all about advertising, true or false. It’s also about socks.

Those darn socks
One day, I watched Son #1 pulling his socks up repeatedly until I said this…
Me: “Stop pulling on your socks. You’re going to stretch them and ruin them.”
Son #1: “But they keep coming down, I don’t know why.”
Me: “Let me see.”
I took a look at his socks and realized the problem.
Me: “Oh, that’s because they’re MY socks. Sorry…”
Do you know how hard it is to sort white socks and figure out whose they are as you put them away?

What’s that black thing?
Son #2: “Mama, there’s a caterpillar on the floor!”
Me: “Where?”
Son #2: “In the closet. It’s a fuzzy caterpillar, so watch out.” (those are the poisonous ones that burn your skin if you touch them with bare hands)
Me (looking at the black thing on the closet floor): “Oh, I think it’s dead.”
Can you guess what the “caterpillar” was?

Black caterpillar fuzz

Black caterpillar fuzz

Love hurts
Son #2 (squeezing me very hard): “Mama, I love you so much, your eyes will pop out.”
Me (barely breathing): “I bet you’re right. You might even crack a few of my ribs.”
What can I say, those are the best hugs in the world!

Goofy Monday a la French, and some other unknown land…

Hey, look, it’s Monday! And I have a new Goofy Monday post for you. Don’t you feel lucky? Oh, is that Irish luck rubbing on you? Well, you’ll have to wait a week for that. Nope, it’s French luck. Check out the French connection in the first two conversations. My kids have French blood running through their veins and they know it!

The smell of freedom
Son #2 (getting out of the car at San Diego’s Balboa Park): “Aaaaahhh, smell that? It’s the smell of freedom.”
Son #1: “No it’s not. It smells like croissant.”
Incidentally there was a croissant in my bag, so I think Son #1 may have been correct. But I’ll give Son #2 an A for his figurative sense of smell.

What color is your rainbow?
Son #2 (drawing a rainbow): “Red first. Then orange…”
Me (looking at him drawing): “Isn’t the orange is supposed to go on top of the red, not below?”
Son #1: “Maybe in France it’s like that, but here the red is a the bottom of the rainbow.”
I’m so bad at drawing rainbows, I had to google the answer. And just so you know, French rainbows look the same as American rainbows. I obviously have no clue, but for my defense, I’d like to add that when you see a double rainbow, the lower rainbow displays the colors in reverse, since it’s a reflection of the other rainbow. Maybe that’s what I was thinking of…

The colors of the double rainbow

The colors of the double rainbow

What’s your Native American name?
Son #2: “In class, we’re picking Native American names. You have to pick a nature name and an animal name, and put them together. What do you want to be?”
Me: “Oh, I’d like to be something soft.”
Son #2: “How about… a porcupine?”
Me: “Uh, maybe something a little softer.”
Ouch, I wouldn’t want to cuddle with one of those. By the way, I ended up being Snow Bear.

You’re not welcome in my imaginary land
Son #2 is talking on a cell phone, pretending…
Me: “Who are you calling?”
Son #2: “I don’t have to tell you who I’m pretending to call.” (what can I say ? He’s practicing his teenage attitude…)
Son #2 continues to talk, and now I’m listening…
Son #2: “Hi, I’m calling from Metro Decor*. I’m trying to recover a dead sloth. I’m about to go on the bunny of terror.”
Wow, I know who to ask if I’m looking for storybook inspiration!
*Metro Decor is a furniture store that advertises on the radio.