Regina Spektor- we love you

DON’T FORGET ABOUT THE GIVEAWAY! JUST A FEW MORE DAYS TO ENTER!!! AND SO FAR YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING ARE LOOKING PRETTY GOOD! 🙂

Aaron and I had an awesome date Wednesday night and saw one of the most talented musicians, Regina Spektor. She came out in this adorable puffy white dress with a big cardboard bow in the front. And throughout her performance I think she was proposed to about 500 times from the men in the audience.

reginaspektor05

Not only does she sing, play the piano, guitar, keyboard and drums, but she even played the piano one handed, drummed with the other and sang. Her lyrics are beautiful, and funny. They make me smile and make me sad. I love the range of her voice and she’s beautiful to look at to boot! I think Aaron’s in love and I can’t blame him. After seeing her live, you can’t help but be amazed that she can sing the way she does. I was trying to find the right adjective to describe her, endearing came to mind, a little quirky, just overall pretty fantastic.

She closed with my all time favorite of hers. The words are amazing, and oh, that voice!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yAiHve2JZvU

I was thinking about how our tastes in music affects our kids. I remember when I was a kid, all I knew about music was from Phil Collins, Rod Stewart and Barry Manilow. Aaron and I have different tastes in music now but we still appreciate certain artists, for one, we both love Regina Spektor. I was thinking about the music my kids are exposed to. Sawyer is a big fan of Foo Fighters, that’s Aaron’s influence, and thanks to Tati he also loves Black Eyed Peas. Gunnar likes a little more mellow like Jack Johnson, and Greta is usually on board with my tastes. She knows about half the words to most songs by Feist and Regina. She can also pick out a song if it was used in a movie she’s seen. Just from watching the preview alone from Where the Wild Things Are, she knows when I play Arcade Fire, that they sing the song. And I wonder the types of music they will like as they get older. Are they going to look back and think oh lord, why did my parents subject me to Beastie Boys and Beck, they’re so old! Time will tell.

I was surprised how many young people were at this concert. I mean, young as in we had to get dropped off by our parents young. Lots of high school and maybe some middle school aged kids there with friends. Not sure why this surprises me since Regina Spektor is the epitome of what’s cool. But the epitome of what’s cool for me is very different from what these kids think are cool. I guess she is just so awesome that she transcends all age barriers. You can see some of these kids in the background of a photo below. Oh, how I dread that age for my kids. . .

Here’s a few photos we took while we were FREEZING, right before she came on. It was an outdoor venue and Los Angeles decided to welcome fall that very day. I was very thankful to be sitting next to my hot blooded husband who can just put his arm around me and the heat emanates onto me.

IMG_0193 IMG_0197

IMG_0201 IMG_0208

IMG_0206

Oh, I have to include this photo just to irritate Aaron. I snapped this right before we left, he’s pretty jealous of my new Run DMC t-shirt. Sorry babe, didn’t come in your size.

Photo on 2009-10-28 at 18.04

pilates

We all remember how the last time I exercised went, right? Apparently enough time has gone by where I don’t recall that event clearly enough, and I decided to give it another try. My TMJ has deteriorated the last few years and more specifically the last few months. Some see me driving down Olympic Blvd. with my mouth open wide, drool streaming down one side of my face while holding a phone to the other side and attempting to make words come out that sound similar to “aaon. i eed ou. my aw.” These calls are not uncommon and fortunately he doesn’t work too far from home so he can zoom on by and relocate my jaw.

These bad developments in my jaw finally had me seek out some medical help. That and I finally have more than 3 minutes to myself in a day. In fact, I have about 2.5 hours 1 and sometimes 2 days a week where I can go to the doctor. I started seeing a chiropractor about a month ago. Upon reading the little forms you fill out in the waiting room he just kind of looked at me, back down at his paper, up again at me. Then began the questions, HOW OFTEN does this happen? And you haven’t been anywhere for help? You know people have surgery for this type of thing? This is not good. And so on. He’s also a very health conscious doctor and didn’t skip over the little box where I checked “not applicable” when it asked you how many times you exercise in a week.

Upon physical exam he noticed that my posture sucks and is not helping the tension in my neck and jaw. He was a little baffled at how many nightguards I go through and surprised that my jaw is pretty much where all my stress and anxiety go. No. Place. Else.

He prescribed me a bunch of exercises to do at home. Strange ones that I only can remember to do when I’m driving. Once a week I see him for an adjustment and these little zapping electrodes that are strangely calming. And the kicker. Yes, remember I’m old, thus I like to use words like kicker. The kicker is I have to do pilates. When he told me this I kind of made a face and he explained that my instructor would be a girl who herself is recovering from TMJ and attributes the positive changes in her life to pilates.

Pilates.

My sister was a little giddy upon the news that not only will I take pilates but that my insurance pays for it. She gets excited when things in our lives intersect and bond us closer. When I told her that my session was tomorrow I asked her if I can wear jeans. This was similar to the whole “you don’t own a sports bra” conversation that we had on the ride over to the Zumba class almost 2 years ago. She just looked at me, rolled her eyes, and it was Carl who told me no, no jeans. Good news is that I do in fact own a sports bra now, 2 to be exact. The morning of my appointment made me a little nervous. I have seen those torture looking machines on television, in magazines, and I wasn’t really sure what the word core meant.

I met my lovely instructor Kate (I will continue to refer to her as lovely Kate, it helps me with my issues) who immediately had me lay on my back with a small ball underneath me. Kind of uncomfortable but I was informed it was “opening me up”. I don’t really like the whole “open” idea. In fact, closed sounds nice to me. While laying on this strange little ball whilst opening some part of my body, lovely Kate and I discussed my TMJ. Then we discussed my core. Since the core of an apple is in the middle I assumed she was speaking of something in my middle and I acted like I knew exactly what she was referring to.

We then walked over to a larger ball, one that I recognized from labor. I sat on the ball and steadied myself. After about a minute lovely Kate told me that I should feel a pulling down sensation. And that if I could imagine my bladder had shrink wrap around it, it would help. Lovely Kate explained that I should wrap that shrink wrap all around my bladder and pull my belly button to my spine. Hmmmm. This is where I had to tell her that I didn’t feel a pulling down of anything and that I only know where my bladder is when I have to pee.

Apparently I am a challenge for lovely Kate. She likes to use little analogies to help me visualize what I am supposed to do. For instance there is a move called bridge that a lot of people other than me are familiar with. And I am supposed to envision straws in my thighs that are sucked right out the window. Elsewhere I get to imagine my kneecaps are sucked through straws right up my thighs. Yes, lots of straws going on. I have strings lifting my head like I’m a puppet and an imaginary towel behind my shoulders. I get to do things like hug trees and put molasses on my shoulder blades. As silly as all this sounds, it’s quite effective.

It almost feels like lamaze because I have to concentrate and focus so hard to do steps 1, 2, 3, and 79 all together. When I begin a particular move I have to find a focal point and I never take my eyes off. I have my little spot on the ceiling I use when I have to torture my inner thighs, then there’s the screw on the far pole when I am balancing on a piece of wood while lowering a bar up and down, the lint on the window screen is great for focusing when my hamstrings are getting sliced open and burned, and the “B” on the machine label for when my poor little weak arms must step up and do something. I always used to think pilates was such a calm and soothing experience. Then I tried it. Can I tell you how difficult it is(and this is coming from a mother of 3, dog owner, wife, esthetician, photographer, sister, daughter, housekeeper, launderer, problem solver, homework helper, butt wiper, sunblock applier, teethbrusher) to remember to keep your butt down, pull your belly button to your spine but never lift your spine, tighten your core, extend your leg, curl your arms, never ever ever move your hips, keep your shoulders down, keep your butt heavy, relax your neck, AND breathe at the same time? At our second session I had to stop and ask lovely Kate, “i’m confused, when do i exhale? and when I do exhale i can’t keep my core tight so what do i do?” Yes, these are the types of things that I am bewildered about, I don’t even know when I should breathe people!

Good news. Yes, there had to be a happy ending. It’s been a month so far and my jaw has not slipped out once, I found out that I do have inner thighs, my stomach is starting to look like a lined washboard, and my ham strings no longer want to suck themselves through straws up to my neck and strangle me.

Progress.

GIVEAWAY!

Okay, here’s the deets on the giveaway. I am pretty excited! It’s for a 1 hour photo shoot in the los angeles area and you get a free 8×10 and 1 5×7. It can be for a couple, family (extended family not included), kids portrait, high school senior, basically your pick. And you get to choose the 8×10 and 5×7.

To enter just leave a comment why you’d like to win and your name. The giveaway will be open until Sunday and I will announce the winner, randomly chosen by my lovely children, on Monday! After I announce the winner I will contact you and we can set up the location and date. The shoot has to take place before 2010, and that’s pretty much it!

Riley’s Farm

I just realized I never posted photos from our Riley’s Farm expedition. We will definitely go back in spring time and they have so much to do there. The kids panned for gold, picked pumpkins, walked around the grounds, made friends with a donkey. Here’s some highlights.

riley 1

riley 3

That’s Gunnar and Noah in the next picture, you can barely make them out.

riley 2

riley 4

riley 5

riley 6

riley 13

riley 9

riley 8

riley 7

riley 10

riley 11

riley 12

weekending

IMG_0111

Aaron is going to be doing a lot of working this weekend and when he’s not working he’ll be at the USC football game. We’re going with my family to see Cirque du Soleil on Sunday and I’m pretty excited for the kids to experience it. I think I was around Gunnar or Sawyer’s age the first time I went to their show. We are trying really hard to stay healthy, Greta has a runny nose and Sawyer has a leftover cough, but  we’re taking lots of Emergen-C and using a ton of hand sanitizer.

Check back next week if you’re interested in a photo shoot giveaway. I haven’t picked up my camera too much lately other than to capture Greta at her tap class and snapped a few photos while we were in Palm Springs last weekend. I had such a busy summer with photo shoots and then once mid September came it’s been super quiet. And I am getting pretty antsy to do a fun photo shoot. The details will come in a few days when I figure it all out. But basically anyone will be able to enter, whether they want family portraits, children, high school senior, couples, or just some updated shots of themselves. I think it’ll be fun and a neat way I get to meet a reader of my blog.

Happy weekend.