Friday, December 21, 2007
I kept Zaza out of school so she could cheer along with Grandma and Poppy, and the mid-morning show was very well attended by both moms and dads thanks to the Writers' Guild strike.
As Ander and classmate Mlle. Pomme were both missing their front teeth when rehearsals began, they were singled out for a solo during their class's rendition of "All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth." (Their front teeth had mostly grown in by the time the actual performance rolled around, but then I suppose they got what they asked/sung for...)
There was something so awesome (to use Alexander's new favorite adjective, in its proper sense) about tall, first-grader Ander striding purposefully up to the microphone -- there wasn't even a hint of the near-paralyzed kindergartner who whispered his way through last year's Silly Songs concert, or even a glimmer of the little guy who I coached to imagine his audience in their underpants only last night.
I'm still warm and fuzzy from it all. Such a mixture of nostalgia and home-grown fun and crunchy granola-ness, nothing in the least bit slick to hint at our 2-blocks-away proximity to Hollywood: a stage decorated with wonky teacher-made paper snowflakes and hand-painted signs, little girls in fancy holiday dresses paired with crazy socks and hand knit scarves, musical accompaniment provided by two parents on acoustic guitars and the vice principal playing a frumpy upright piano, children wearing paper 'Unity Crowns,' songs in Spanish, poems written (and shouted out) by five year-olds, and a hearty rendition of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer."
Every parent (and grandparent) sang along and there wasn't a dry eye in the cafe-gym-a-torium as Ms. H's class unrolled a hand-painted rainbow banner and sang "Imagine." No one was hip or jaded or concerned about their own hair-dos or their child's flubbed lines or worrying about getting their kid's performance onto high-def video (we all knew we could rely on fellow parent and gym teacher Mr. W to shoot the whole thing for us from his perch on the gymnastics apparatus).
The kids were supposed to go back to class for an hour or so, but walking out with the crowd and into the chill -- Ander in a Santa hat and Zaza sporting a hot-cocoa moustache -- it seemed like a perfect start to Winter Break. So off we go!
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
(must. attend. liz. mcgrath. exhibit. to. counteract. sugary. sweetness.)
Zaza knew all the other kids' songs by heart as well -- her personal favorite being the part of the naughty North Wind who exclaims (in a knightly kneeling pose with kung fu punches and an evil laugh for emphasis): "Soon you will feel my icy pain! Ha-hahahahaha!"
She was also raw-therrrr jealous of the Snow Queen's costume -- she had a long, long white train that another girl had to carry behind her and drape over the garden.
This was a fully-staged production, with teacher-made costumes and makeup that rivaled the Cirque du Soleil, as well as original songs, and live piano accompaniment. Thanks to graphic designer parents, there were professionally printed programs complete with lyrics (which aided in singing along supportively, but drew attention to some of the truly baaaaad forced rhyme).
Interestingly (or, rather, uninterestingly), all of Oscar Wilde's Catholic imagery was PC-ly excised from the story -- they even made the Child a girl-child -- although the kids understood that the Giant dies of old age at the end.
We were forbidden (yoiks!) to film or photograph the rehearsals, backstage prep, and performance, with that job being assigned to a select group of 4 or 5 parents/pros (professionally edited DVDs and photo CDs will be available as a fund-raiser in the new year). The pictures above were all taken in the classroom after the play. Ander's friend Mr. A chose the Trader Joe's pink roses to bring to Zaza. He said they were "just sooooooo Zaza." He was right.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Sunday, December 09, 2007
Sunday, December 02, 2007
Wet trouser seats, soggy mittens, blisters, overpriced and oversized gloves (sold to forgetful moms).
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Monday, November 12, 2007
An E-Mail to Alissa Regarding the Kitchen, Challah French Toast, Missing Mommies, Crying Jags, and Sushi-and-Sausage-To-Go
sorry for the tardy response... zaza and i have been swapping chest colds since halloween (continuing right through this past weekend's harvest faire at school). i really just need a week in bed -- why can't i have that???????
the kitchen is awaiting tile and counters, but the end seems near... i got so desperate for a proper sunday breakfast (non-microwaved), that i trotted off to whole foods for scrambled eggs and challah french toast & zipped home fasssst so they'd be warm...
ander questioned me hard the other day about why you moved away -- why you chose YOUR family over him, basically -- and burst into tears. i had to pull the car over to hug him. sometimes his crying jags are so shocking, pouring out of his big 6.5 year old body (with its weirdly toddler-like toothless mouth).
i asked him to imagine living in a strange town far away from all his grandparents and friends. we talked about how college and grad school come to an end. we talked about rent, and freelance work. we talked and talked and talked. he says jessica is doing a good job of being his 'new alissa' craft-wise, but she's just not his other mommy the way you were, and she doesn't DRAW...
oh and ander and zaza are playing restaurant as i type this, and ander just asked the proprietor ('za) if he can get his sushi and sausage to go "for in the car, like at in-and-out burger."
goddddd we need the kitchen to be finished.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Saturday, November 10, 2007
I was stuck in the Owl Service booth, so poor Zameandad had to wrangle these guys. Apparently Zaza threw a fit (hence the puffy eyes, splotchy coloring and tall hair) and refused to change out of her princess costume. Ander needed a haircut and some time running around in the sun. Some of these were raw images, and I'm not sure the correct light source made the transfer. And nobody shot in black and white this year. But then again, three sittings with three different professional photographers -- all for under $75 -- is a darn good deal, and my favorite school fundraiser.
*That was an adventure itself -- and thank goodness the kids weren't with us and there is no photo record. Let's just say one should really, really be ver certain to check one's cell phone batteries, gas gage, and snack and water supply before driving up and up into the freshly-burnt mountains, unless one wants to become the next stupid-citified-white-women-lost-in-mountains statistic.