Sunday, December 24, 2006

Zaza & Ander Start New Christmas Eve Traditions


Our first Christmas Eve NOT at Tutu & Grandad's...
There was hiking and nature art and eating clementines in the Fern Dell at Griffith Park.

And later we opened presents from out-of-town friends (Ander put Alissa's gifts to work immediately), ate Chinese take-out from Ghengis Cohen, and left out cookies and milk for Santa and one baby carrot for each of his reindeer.


Much later there were visions of sugarplums for some, and much screwdriver and allen wrench usage for others -- also, the horrible realization that there were no D cell batteries in the house (thanks, Poppy, for reminding us to raid the flashlights!)...


Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Ander & Zaza Make Mama Grinch's Heart Grow 3 Times Bigger







For the first time in years and years it actually feels like Christmas. I'm counting down the days, and feeling so happy and excited at bedtime that it's a chore to fall asleep. Bests: wearing a red corduroy coat and lugging my Christmas packages 2 blocks in a nose-watering wind to the post office where the line moved quickly and the people were giddy; Ander singing along to "Frosty the Snowman" while decorating the gingerbread house (thank you, Lineo!) and saying with utter eye-glittering joy "That's my FAVORITE part, when he says, 'I'll be back on Christmas day!'"; Zaza's conviction that when it SNOWS it will be Christmas; roasting marshmallows and eating s'mores in the light of the fire and the Christmas tree; listening to Harry Potter books on CD (thank you, Alissa!) while wrapping gifts; bundling the kids up in holiday woolies and heading out for an early morning visit to Santa at the outdoor mall (and L.A.-ly ending up in the background of some movie or commercial that was being filmed around us); coming out of "Happy Feet" with Ander (Thursday Mommy date) to find that it was snowing on all the holiday shoppers (okay so it was soap bubbles or something, but it looked spectacular and all the jaded grown-ups looked like three year-olds as they stared up into the night sky and smiled).

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Santa at the Grove, 2006


We were among the first to get there. The mall was barely open. They were filming something, and thought we were background artists.

I'm wearing Grandma's bottle-green, fur-trimmed coat, circa 1962. Zaza is wearing new-old-stock vintage saddle shoes from eBay.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Thursday, December 07, 2006

A Hearty 'Blessed Be!' to the Glue Gun Goddess


This is what happened when Zaza handed me a bunch of twigs and asked if we could make a house for the faeries...


Sunday, November 19, 2006

Zaza & Ander Strike a Pose






Best school fundraiser ever: holiday photo shoot with 3 photographers for $40 (and we got to keep the disc!)


Friday, November 17, 2006

Ander's First Art Exhibition




...his mural painting class unveiled its collaborative masterpiece. (When I rotate the picture of him in front of it, I'll post it here...)


Saturday, November 11, 2006

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Ander & Zaza Trick & Treat






(Please disregard the oversized fairy in their midst...)

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Ander & Zaza's Halloween Bash








Punk Ander was juggled by a faux cop.


Fairy Zaza refused her wings.


Sugar was consumed; masks were made; sugar was consumed; stories were told; sugar was consumed.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Zaza & Ander Brave the October Heat at the School Fair




Boneses!

Bounces!

Ander & Zaza Visit Mr. Bones' Pumpkin Patch






Zaza peeked.

Ander bounced.

Zaza said, "Rawrrrr!!!"

Zaza said, "Waaaaah!!!"

Oh, and there were pumpkins. (But we bought ours at Smart & Final)

Friday, October 27, 2006

Zaza & Ander Make Their Mawmaw Smile

Zaza's face (wide eyes, chipped teeth peeking out of pink pink curling-up lips) when a ladybug landed on the right-hand lens of my glasses as we shopping-carted across the Whole Foods parking lot.

The music just moved them: Ander & Zaza boogied and spun and shook-shook-shook their boo-tays and tried out some Savion Glover-style tap and a bit of break dancing -- all to the 80s power ballads piped through the speakers on the Target mall patio.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Ander's Bedtime Stories 10-26-06

...because Zaza fell asleep on the way home from Grandma's...

ADELE & SIMON by Barbara McClintock ('someday' seems so far away when I think of taking the kids to Paris)
THAT'S LOVE by Sam Williams, illustrated by Mique Moriuchi (sorta sacharine, but lovely illus.)
THE ORANGE BOOK by Richard McGuire (mmmmmmmmmm)

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Ander & Zaza's Bedtime Stories 10-24-06

I LOVE YOU, BLUE KANGAROO!
and
WHAT SHALL WE DO, BLUE KANGAROO?
both by Emma Chichester Clark
(and hauled across the Atlantic by Tutu)
also
EVERYWHERE BABIES
by Mem Fox, and illustrated by she-who-knows-how-to-draw-curly-haired-girls Marla Frazee
(Uncle Steve read this to Zaza and her guests at her First Birthday Party)

Monday, October 23, 2006

Ander & Zaza and the Fantastic Fairfax Flock













Most mornings the walk to Ander's school can be a somewhat harrowing urban adventure: six lanes of rush hour traffic, cars running red lights and ignoring crosswalks; buses roaring past, belching fumes and kicking up clouds of grit; overflowing trash cans, the greasy ick being hosed out of Oki Dog's kitchen and across the sidewalk; Zaza complaining in the decrepit jogging stroller ("Want OUT!" "Wanta WALK!" "Too SUNNY!"), Ander dawdling in driveways and pulling too hard on the stroller's safety tether so that it feels like Zaza weighs 8 tons, me scanning the sidewalk and grass strips for dog poop (oh please oh please let it be dog poop this week) and looking a block ahead so we can safely dodge the louder or more erratic homeless folks.

But hey -- we're walking. To school. And we're together and the day is new. We sing songs, and talk, and smell fresh baked bread, and sometimes something completely weird and wonderful will happen.

Today: a lull in traffic, and the crazy cackling of wild parrots bounces all around us. And then we see them so so so green (perfectly purely parrot green) fluttering and arguing in the pink-flowering 'prickly trees' on the median. Parrots! Drinking nectar in Dr. Seussian trees in the middle of a six-lane thoroughfare! And suddenly the sky is bluer and the sidewalks are cleaner and Zaza is saying "I see them!" Pointing this way and that way, over and over, we laugh and clap and gape. I'm kneeling next to the stroller, holding Ander's hand, and the three of us tilt our most wowed-by-fireworks faces up and up as great green flapping clouds lift from the trees and swirl and swoop and chase off grey, mundane pigeons.

And then the happy cackling and green flapping are gone. Ander has been trying to teach himself how to whistle, and now he makes a series of whispery, windy, and extremely hopeful little sounds, trying to call the parrots back to us. But they have disappeared. Which is somehow perfect. We decide it was magic, plain and simple.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Zaza & Ander and the Younger-One-Feasts-on-Scones-and-Nutella-Sandwiches-Whilst-the-Older-One-Picks-at-his-School-Lunch Conundrum



First cup of real tea (yes, it was 1/2 milk and entirely decaf -- and a good thing too as it was followed by 4 more cups) in a gen-u-ine tea room on Mommy's birthday.