Let’s build a Snowman and a Snowgirl!

It’s time to celebrate the New Year!

Come join us for some winter fun

with

MS. BITS N’ BOBS @

MANHATTAN VILLAGE MALL, THIS THURSDAY,

January 14TH @ 10:00 AM

To build our snowman or snowgirl you will need the following items:

A plastic baggie

3 cotton balls

2 lengths of twine/wool/ribbon

Googly eyes or googly stickers

Of course, you can get supplies from me at the Manhattan Village Mall Show too.

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Put the cotton balls into the plastic baggie.

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Tie the top of the baggie off with your wool tie.  This is going to be your snowman’s hair.

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Tie your second piece of ribbon or twine around the neck of your snowgirl, so she has a pretty bow.

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Stick on your googly eyes.

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Fluff out her hair by separating the wool.

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Draw a mouth and a nose with a marker if you want.

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Give your snowman or snowgirl a name, and have some fun in the snow and sun.

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Jingle Bells are here!

It’s time to celebrate the Holidays!

Come join us for some holiday fun

with

MS. BITS N’ BOBS @

MANHATTAN VILLAGE MALL, THIS THURSDAY,

DECEMBER 10TH @ 10:00 AM

AND

PAGES BOOKSTORE, MANHATTAN BEACH

THIS MONDAY,

DECEMBER 14TH @ 10:30 AM

Let’s jingle with jingle bracelets and jingle ornaments.

Here are our ingredients:

Pipe cleaners
Jingle Bells

2015-12-08 03.37.19Thread the jingle bells through the pipe cleaners.


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Create jingling candy cane ornaments.

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Or make a jingle bells wreath.

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Or a jingling bracelet.

May your Holiday Season be filled with joy and happiness

Love,

Ms. Bits N’ Bobs

The AYSO Soccer Ref

red and yellow card

This is a quick ode to my teenage son, whom I appreciate so much for his resilience and patience with his loving mum.

We are so proud of our boy.  He is going to become a youth soccer ref.  He chooses to take the ref. class out of the goodness of his kind, community minded heart.  I’m glowing with that fleeting moment of a mother with a teen – perhaps we haven’t done such a bad job with our kid after all.  Dash has played soccer since Kindergarten.  He continues to play as a goalkeeper in the AYSO league (American Youth Soccer Organization) and now he is graduating into helping out this wonderful organization and giving back by being a volunteer referee.

The class takes up a good part of the day.  Dash comes home late in the afternoon.  He has his “swag bag” with a whistle, ref. shorts and of course his yellow and black striped ref shirt.

“Mom, Mom” he calls from his room.  “C’m here!”

Oh, how my heart is leaping.  My kid actually wants to talk to me.  He is returning from the dark side of the moon.  I rush… calmly walk… to his room.

“What’s up?  I coolly inquire.

“Have you seen all the stuff I got from ref. class?”  He shows me his whistle, his youth volunteer badge, the flags, the clothes etc…

“But here is the important stuff.”  He grins.  He shows me the yellow card – the warning card.  Then out comes the red card – you’re off the field.

“Now let me explain how this works, mommy.  We now no longer have to actually talk to communicate, when you come into my room and annoy me for the first time, I’ll show you the yellow card.  If you continue to talk and bother me, well, you know what’s coming.”  He flashes the red card.  “Then you are banned from my room.”  He smiles angelically.

I laugh.  I cry a little inside.  I’m glad there’s still humor.  I think?

“You can go now.”  He blows his whistle

The game of parenting, growing up and life continues.

 

No One Ever Told Me!

Toddler boxersI wasn’t one of those parents who had the easiest of babies.  I loved Dash with a depth of maternal passion from the moment I took that first pregnancy test – protecting my still flat tummy as I dashed around New York City those first few days of realizing that from two people, you really can create a third.  He did not sleep through the night in those first six weeks, as did the babies of some of my friends who would appear bright eyed and bushy tailed – that you just wanted to slap ’em.  His toddler years involved whacking as many of his friends he could get to before I would gently say, “Dash, don’t whack, use your words.”  He was famous in pre-school for uttering these words “When your friends aggravate you, don’t hit ‘em, use your words.”  It all must have worked because his best friends are still from his pre-school days – either that or they’re all masochists.  Then Dash just chilled out.  He was calm as a ship on a quiet ocean, perhaps there was the occasional ripple but generally since those early toddler days, he has been calm, good-natured and lovely to be around.

I had heard about the teenage years, but I firmly believe that your kid is allowed to go through an aggravating phase once in their childhood.  Did you hear that… I firmly believe… and I firmly passed on to Dash that he had been an aggravating toddler and that he had used up his potion of parental provocation in those young years.  The teenage years were to be a doddle of joy, happiness and coming of age.  Now, I know what I’ve built up to here… And then he…..  But no, he’s been great.  Dash does well in school, he is generally respectful, helps around the house, wonderful for the most part with his two sisters, has friends that I adore.  So what is the problem, I hear you wondering.

Overnight, aged 14, Dash discovered independence.  Yes, yes… I know that is healthy and all.  I just wasn’t expecting it to come at me so hard and fast.  I am aware the teenage years are a push and pull toward adulthood for the child and the parent has to let the bird fly free and all that fabulousness.  For me, it happened in a short and sweet three month time period, where I didn’t know what hit me.  My little boy, (okay, my particular boy was never little – he is currently 6’3” and growing) who always used to give me a hug and kiss goodnight was now asking me to pleeeeeeeeeeeeeease leave him alone at bedtime.  My kid who always let me in on what was going on in his life, now told me that I had 5 questions of the day that I might ask and generally asking him how he was and whether he was hungry, had already used up two of those questions.  It’s a little like having that genie give you three wishes and by the time you’ve figured them out, you’ve already wantonly wasted them all.  “Would you like me to proof read your essay?”  “No!”  If I’m lucky, its “No thank you, please close the door.” Believe me I could feel that metaphorical boot in my back.  Apparently, I can’t help with anything anymore.  I hear your judgement… how lucky you are.  Your kid has it together.  Stop helicopter parenting your child.   Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful.

Independent Teen

I miss him.  I miss him so very very much.  It came as a surprise!  I don’t want to coddle him, but I want to be able to have a conversation that involves more of him than discussing the latest UN resolution.  We discuss the news and philosophy, but we don’t discuss what’s goin’on!  So why did no-one ever tell me?  Am I to expect the same from my daughters, or are boys and girls different that way?  My friends and I talk about it, and many of us are going through the same separation.  We’re so proud of our sons navigating their way through life and its also bitter sweet to release them into the world.  I know that teenage-hood is the next phase of “Leave me alone.  I can do it!” Just no one ever told me whether I could do it!

Hollydale Library Kids

I swore to myself when I began writing this blog that I would only write when I had something worthwhile to say.  I am sure that I have had some valuable insights in the last eight months.  However, it is the kids of Hollydale Library in South Gate, Los Angeles who have inspired me to put pen to paper.

My story begins last summer 2011 when I was invited to perform a show called India Jane Adventurer Supreme at Hollydale library, by Jenny Wrenn – a very kind, unpretentious, red-haired librarian.  The theme was “One World”.  My shows generally skew toward younger kids where we explore lots of fantasy and fairytales.  When I got to Hollydale library on a sweltering July afternoon – there were a bunch of teens hanging around the library with a few of their younger brothers and sisters scattered amongst them.  Needless to say, South Gate is not the fanciest part of Los Angeles and I was a tad concerned with how fantastical, galloping unicorns and the three blind mice playing on the Eiffel tower in Paris were going to play to these rambunctious teens.

However, the theme being “One World” – I figured when we visited the different continents on our adventure to discover where the five Olympic rings were hidden, surely I had something in my ammunition of these many years of performing to engage this age-group.  Okay, I was nervous.

What I didn’t bargain for – and isn’t this always the most humbling of old adages – was how much these kids taught me about rising to the challenge and performing.

They sang, they danced and they came up with the “One World Rap”.  The self consciousness that one usually associates with teens was noticeably absent.  These kids were way to cool for that!

I told the lovely Jenny Wrenn that I had a show specifically for teens – The Shakespeare Show – Lady Elizabeth Shakespeare Tells Tales.  Lady Lizzie as she is affectionately known to her friends or Lazy Lizzie as she had been aptly nicknamed by her dastardly Uncle William Shakespeare – mostly ‘cos she’s lazy … has time- traveled from the Globe Theatre in 1599 to the present day seeking the most brilliant and imaginative kids to help her comprehend the incomprehensible – her uncle’s plays.  We return to Shakespeare’s’ Globe and the kids audition for various Shakespearean plays.

Several months later and in real time just last week, I returned to South Gate as Lazy… I mean Lady Lizzie.  Generally, just the word Shakespeare  has a teen running for the hills.  These courageous teens, they were waiting outside for me to arrive.  Either that or the ice-cream truck had just come ’round.  Filled with quip and jest, these bubbly, vivacious kids helped me to carry the costumes and props inside the library.  They patiently waited for me to get done with the educational part of the program.  They answered some insightful questions such as What is something significant that has happened in the 21st Century?Justin Bieber.  More seriously, they knew the plot of Romeo and Juliet.  They made the connection between Julius Caesar and present day rulers.  They dove into sword fighting as though we still lived in the time of The Three Musketeers.  If any of you Hollydale kids are reading this – I still want the answer as to whom you think will run against Obama in the next election!    Then they acted out the scenes with such joy and humor and curiosity that their personalities and inventiveness burst forth like brilliant rays of sunshine.    So I issue a challenge to anyone who has ever thought that teens are a difficult group to work with, that if you just respect them and give them an opportunity to shine, they will awe you with their radiance… or maybe the Hollydale kids as just unique.

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If you know of a group of teens that would enjoy a Lady Lizzie show, a group of kids who are as curious and vivacious as those Hollydale kids, please put them or their librarian, their teacher, a parent in touch with me.  I would love to perform a show for them and they deserve a chance to shine in a great Shakespeare play!

Ms. Bits N’ Bobs Show – Take #2

Hallo there friends and fan’s of Ms. Bits N’ Bobs.  I got such positive feedback from the first two shows, that we are going to do two more.  Much Thanks to  Manhattan Beach Karate and Yoga for letting me turn their studio into a black box theatre.  In this space, the kids get to come up on into the stage space and help act out the show.
Do your kids enjoy acting?
Do your kids enjoy adventure?
Do your kids enjoy fairytales?
Where do the stories go when they get lost?
Help us solve the mystery!

Bring your cameras!  Bring your imaginations!

Watch your children dress up, act, sing and dance whilst they go on a grand adventure with Ms. Bits N’ Bobs to the Land of Imagination

The Ms. Bits & Bobs Show

A Family Performance Brought to you by

the Land of Imagination.

Interactive Children’s theater

www.landofimagination.com

Saturday May 14th & Saturday May 28th

11:00am to Noon

Tickets are $10 per person – cash at the door.

We would love you to join us with your younger kids.  However, should brunch beckon, drop offs welcomed for children 5 and up with contact info.

Reservations  are necessary as the space holds 30 people

RESERVE! RESERVE! RESERVE! BEFORE WE SELL OUT!!!

310 594 2774 or email nicole@landofimagination.com

OR


Manhattan Beach Karate and Yoga Studio

3207 Manhattan Avenue @Longfellow

Hermosa Beach, CA 90254

The Journey has Begun…

The Journey has begun…

The premiere Ms. Bits N’ Bobs theatre show has come and gone.

Without a hitch?  Mmmm?  Without any angst?  Nmm?  Fun to perform?  YES! YES! YES!

Blessed art thou, the Karate Sensei who told me that I should just go ahead and do my shows in his Karate Studio.  www.mbkarateandyoga.com He is also the guy who told me many years ago, “you do the best that you can do, with what you’ve got.”  This was when I was attempting to do karate kicks whilst holding two year old Olivia on one arm.  A crawling 9 month old Tallulah was trying to cling to my leg as I attempted to complete a Karate kick whilst avoiding kicking my son, Dash, with whom I was trying to bond and the only reason I had taken up Karate in the first place.

Ah those halcyon days… why did I ever think that those were the difficult times?  I must have sent out over 300-400 emails advertising these shows.  I approached all the very kind pre-school and elementary school principles and librarians, teachers and friends, who have provided so much encouragement and support over the last few years.  I handed out a few hundred flyers to people around my local school, including the all important local nanny network who hang out on the greenbelt close to my house.  All of this work and anxiety to merely sell 30 tickets per show.

Show #1… I sold 10 tickets!  Now on my behalf, it was the first weekend of baseball season and the St. Patrick’s Day parade.  Still… only ten tickets!

I had known going into that Saturday morning, that perhaps I had some learning to do in the marketing department.  I was  still bummed that so few people were showing up to the premiere show.

Holy Flying Guacamole!  They were the greatest ten people to ever participate in a show.  We took on the challenge of going to the Land of Imagination with verve and vigor.  When we galloped into an alternative universe on our magical horses, we flew there through a splash of color and camaraderie with fairies, dragons, Cinderella and even a cannon that shot out kids.  We met Charlotte, the spider from Charlotte’s Web.  She joined the audience – we needed her, she made 11.  One of our kids could describe Hansel and Gretel’s house so clearly, that we were all salivating to try some of the sparkling gingerbread.  But we knew the witch was really inside waiting for her chance to jump us.  The kids could talk all kinds of animal languages, my favorite being the Human Language where the mom spoke Blah, Blah, Blah all day.

I feel invigorated and joyful that I had the chance to entertain and be entertained by those magical children.  The journey has begun with small but magical steps.  I look forward to Ms. Bits N’ Bobs – Take #2 this weekend.  Naturally, I would love to share the adventure with you.

Ms. Bits N’ Bobs Live Performances Coming to a Theatre Near You!!

Hallo there friends and fan’s of Ms. Bits N’ Bobs.  I am so excited to be able to perform some shows in my own theatre space, thanks to Manhattan Beach Karate and Yoga.  I would love you to come and see the first couple of shows….

The Ms. Bits & Bobs Show

A Family Performance Brought to you by

the Land of Imagination.

Interactive Children’s theater

www.landofimagination.com

Saturday March 12th & Saturday March 19th

11:00am to Noon

Tickets are $10 per person – cash at the door.

We would love you to join us with your younger kids.  However, should brunch beckon, drop offs welcomed for children 5 and up with contact info.

Reservations  are necessary as the space holds 30 people

RESERVE! RESERVE! RESERVE! BEFORE WE SELL OUT!!!

310 594 2774 or email nicole@landofimagination.com

OR


Manhattan Beach Karate and Yoga Studio

3207 Manhattan Avenue @Longfellow

Hermosa Beach, CA 90254

The Definition of a Winner!

If you have been following my blog, I hope that you have figured out that I believe in a positive attitude when it comes to raising children.  It’s so uplifting  when you see your daughters following a similar philosophy.

I don’t know what bedtime conversation is in your household… The following took place in our home last night.

Olivia:  Do you ever feel like a loser, Tallulah?

Tallulah:  No?

Olivia:  ‘Cos if you do, you’re not you know.

Tallulah:  Really?

Olivia:  Yeah, ‘cos your sperm swam faster than all the other sperms and got to mom’s egg first.  See, no matter how much of a loser you sometimes feel, you’re always a winner!

Tallulah:  Mom?!!!

Now I have to define sperm for my six year old.


The Mighty Fashionisto

Once upon a time I wore fashionable, quirky London/New York city finery.  These have been replaced by wanna-work-out-but-can’t-quite-get-my-butt-in-gear clothing.  One early morning, the tables were turned upside down in our household.

I am still rushing to finish the breakfast dishes and prepare the school lunches when I hear the following remark from the living room…

“Mmm…I don’t know about wearing those boots with cut off jeans.”  A fashion opinion in my household at 7:30 am in the morning from a male?  And Dash had already left for school.   That left…

The Mighty Buza (aka my husband and father of our children) has dared to confront Olivia (8 years going on 18 years – fashion icon to our family) on her brand new black boots – admired by the entire third grade.

Worried for his safety, I drop the clutter of mugs and dishes in the sink and rush to his rescue, dripping suds in my wake.  There…on the couch sits the Mighty Buza and his daughters – Tallulah has joined the fray – discussing the merits of boots versus kicks.  Kicks, by our definition, are Converse All Star/Skechers sneakers that come in a variety of colors from simple black to sparkling bejeweled rainbows. The discussion has not come to blows and tears, just bright, articulate, bubbly conversation.  As I am picking my jaw up from the sudsy floor, the Mighty Buza politely explains that kicks are a more appropriate shoe to wear with jeans – whilst boots look great with skirts and leggings.  The girls are listening intently.  Did you read that!  “Listening intently!!”  Not dismissing him like an abhorrent vegetable on their dinner plate.

Then…the Mighty Buza suggests “Let’s see a fashion show!”  Off dances Olivia on the improvised catwalk performing a Parisian perfect runway show complete with twirl and contemptuous stare pose.

Tallulah:  Well…I’m not going to do THAT!

Before my astounded, still sleepy eyes… up rises the Mighty Buza and demonstrates the model saunter – one step directly in front of the other, shoulders back, hips a swaying – to his youngest child.

My jaw has dropped so far down that its threatening to roll out of the door by this time.  Tallulah – who is model tall and therefore naturally slouches – jumps off the couch – stands up to her full height, shoulders back and produces her own magnificent model on the catwalk swagger.

“And that’s how it’s done.” pronounces my husband “The Mighty Buza” as they each peck me on the cheek and head out the front door to school and work respectively.