Happy New Year! 

Hope you had a wonderful holiday season! We have been fortunate to spend time with family and friends, near and far. 

Right before Christmas, we drove to Los Angeles for a much-needed vacation to the happiest place on earth… Disneyland! Because of the new movie Star Wars: The Force Awakens, there was so much excitement in the air. I tried to cosplay as a StormTrooper but was quickly shot down by security, no pun intended. Evidently their rules had changed in the last 48 hours to a ban on cosplay for adults. 

   
 
I was able to quickly get these pics before I got kicked out! No, I didn’t get kicked out though I wonder if the kids will say to each other, decades later, “Remember the time we went to Disneyland and Mom almost got removed from the park?” 

Noticeably absent from the pics is my husband R, partly to save money but mostly because he just can’t handle the crowds anymore. He expressed his dismay and believes that he is getting worse but really… Everyone hates crowds! Even I have to take a break from it all and return to our hotel room to take a breather. My happiness and adrenaline level probably outweigh my disdain for crowds. Maybe one day he’ll join us but it’s not something I push or make a big deal over.

While I love seeing my family on Christmas, I hate traveling so we opted to stay home. We went to church on Christmas Eve so I could assist with the CFF classes when they performed during mass. 

  
At the Grand Californian Resort in Anaheim, CA

The spirit of giving is very much alive in our home. L, at only 8 years old, gave all of us handmade Christmas cards. A, who’s 10, used her own money to buy all of us chocolate bars even though they still had plenty left over from Halloween. She even bought cat toys for our old tabby and a chew toy for our dogs to share. And while the boy didn’t give us anything to open, his kind manner sets the tone for his younger sisters. For that we are grateful. 

Our New Year’s celebrations have always been low key as we’ve found the older we get, the less alcohol we consume. We actually stayed up until midnight with family and friends, a first for the two younger kids.  

   
On Monday the girls go back to school. They’ve been off since Thanksgiving break so I can imagine how difficult it will be to wake up… Even more so for R and I though! We’re going to have to be more awake than them to wake them up!

The boy and I go back on Tuesday. I’ll make sure I have my coffee machine ready then.

In the meantime, happy new year from all of us, wherever you may be. Here’s to a prosperous and blessed 2016!

   
    
 

The Tech Museum of Innovation Exploration

Last month I took a day off to chaperone my son’s trip to the Rosecrucian Egyptian Museum and the Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose, California. Only a teacher would take the day off… To spend time with MORE KIDS!

We have been there before with R, who wanted to bring us since he had a field trip with his DLI class fourteen years ago, so I did not even mind being rushed through a tour with a million kids. Okay, so it wasn’t a million kids but it sure felt like it on the two hour drive back! If you are ever in the Silicon Valley, I highly recommend it.

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Because of traffic, our group had to head to the tech museum first. We didn’t mind.

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I was so excited about the science lab. I inserted glow in the dark DNA into jellyfish!

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I met a cool dude.

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Saw this in the gift shop. Yep, I wanted it all but only bought the Bazinga mug.

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The First Fluxuation

May the Fourth was a special day.

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Okay, it was Star Wars Day. (May the Fourth be with you!) It was also the day that A got her first holy communion. She is a cute kid, if I say so myself, but in her beautiful white gown, wearing her gorgeous veil, and just beaming because her Daddy is home? I will never forget this day.

Neither will she.

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More collages…

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The Big Bang Parenting Algorithm, Part 2

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Why I Let My Kids Watch The Big Bang Theory

(#5 was “It’s okay to be smart”)

6. …but it’s not okay to tell everyone
Sheldon’s mom told him when he was a little boy, “Because people don’t want to hear it!”

7. It’s okay to make mistakes. If you make a mistake, apologize.
In The Apology Insufficiency, Sheldon accidentally ruins Howard’s chance to become an astronaut.

8. There is such a thing as too many cats
See The Zazzy Substitution.

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9. True friends stick by you no matter what
Watch the series. See how many times:
* Sheldon insults his friends but they still remain his friends
* they defend each other from a cyber bully, Penny’s ex-boyfriend, and Wil Wheaton
* they take care of each other when one is sick (except when the boys make Penny look after a sick Sheldon)
* they help each other through tough times like break-ups and broken Star Trek toys

10. Sometimes songs will make you feel better although my kids will tell you that Soft Kitty is only for when you’re sick.

The Big Bang Parenting Algorithm, Part 1

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Why I Let My Kids Watch The Big Bang Theory

1. Exposure to science and scientists
My son recently looked up “Schroedinger’s Cat” in a physics text. On his own. And my kids know who the guy is sitting next to Sheldon.

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This picture is from The Hawking Excitation.

2. References to Pop Culture every kid should know
Without TBBT, my kids would never have known who Wil Wheaton was. I was never a Trekkie but I do remember him from Stand By Me. I swear I saw him at a club in the City back in 1993 but I will never be able to verify that information. Shame too because Wesley Crusher is a good dancer.

Indiana Jones, Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, Firefly, ComicCon, Doctor Who, Lord of the Rings, Marvel, DC, and the list goes on and on.

3. Science is cool
Liquid and solid moving to music. Pranks involving slime and YouTube. Going camping to see a meteor shower. How cool is that?

3. Alcohol is bad
In the The Pants Alternative, Sheldon accepts an award from the university while he is piss-ass drunk.

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“Mommy, why doesn’t Sheldon have any pants?”
“Mommy, why did Sheldon moon everybody?”
“Mommy, why is Sheldon talking like that?”

“He’s drunk. That’s what happens if you drink beer. You do stupid stuff. Don’t drink beer.”

4. Reasoning is an art form
My kids watch their favorite fictional scientists banter back and forth but it’s more than that. They see how articulate they are, their well-structured arguments, and logical reasoning.

“I think we should have a cupcake because we did not eat sugar all week and we drank milk every day!”

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While this adds up to complex conversations about EVERYTHING, I do appreciate that they can explain their opinions instead of throwing tantrums.

5. It’s okay to be smart
All of the scientists have doctorates in their respected field. Except for Howard. He ONLY has a Master’s degree.

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Yes, ONLY a Master’s degree. From MIT!