Monday, February 26, 2007

Zaza's First Ballet Lesson

...and first substantial pony tails!

I am completely shocked by how adorable I find this whole scene.
The Beverly Hills Rec ballet classes are sort of kiddy-pageant-creepy, with all the girls in sparkly outfits, practically in baby boot camp for anorexia. Zaza has been begging for lessons, but I wanted to find a fun class that was more about the dancing than the clothing -- perhaps with a large Russian woman all in black or a Debbie-Allen-in-Fame-type drumming the floor with her wooden staff in time with the music...
So I was (maybe a bit too) thrilled to find a class that Zaza could take with her (boy) friend Griffin in Silverlake. It's cheap, racially diverse, and the kids show up with messy hair and dirty faces in whatever crazy tights and grungey t-shirts they've pulled on -- ready to dance. (I promise, I did let her pick out pink ballet clothes too, but interestingly she's more focused and less into her 'costume' when she wears her black novice ballerina gear...) The teacher is no Debbie Allen, but she's refreshingly no-nonsense, blessedly far from anorexic, and wears silver tap shoes with her black leotards.
So I sit there on my folding chair, with the afternoon light pouring in, and I smile sappily until my face hurts.
After two lessons (she wore pink for her second lesson) Zaza has thrown out her plans to grow up and be "Dr. Sadie" (her dentist), and wants to be a ballerina.
We shall be giving the Barbie aisle at Target an even wider berth than we normally do.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Ander & Zaza Discover That it's Very Very Quiet in the Desert at Night

...while their Mommy dreams that coyotes are drinking out of the Great Grump-Parents' patio fountain, and then lays awake most of the quiet quiet night worrying about the coyote-sized hole in the screen door (but can't shut the glass door as the Great Grumps keep the thermostat at 100 degrees)....

Zaza & Ander Trek to Palm Springs (Ostensibly to Visit Their Great Grump-Parents, but Actually to See Their Cousins)

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Friday, February 16, 2007

Zaza Requests that Her Name be Changed to...

"Superstar Wing"
(I think it might actually suit her...)

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day, Zaza & Ander!

How much do I love Ander's teacher for sending home a note requesting that families actually work together and make Valentines?
How much do I love baking with Zaza (and task-mistress pastry chef Ms. Y and sous-chef Baby Ella)?
THIS MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (arms open wide)

But all that weepy "to the moon and back" stuff doesn't even begin to describe how much I love Zaza & Ander.
More than chocolate.
More than ice cream.
More than sleep.
More than long, hot showers.
More than vacations.
More than books, or Carmel, or music, or coffee, or travel, or quiet, or my entire raggedy-assed life.
And I'm so in love with a passel of new lady friends, who have surfaced suddenly-but-gently in my life, bringing with them laughter and inspiration and encouragement and extra hands and perspective and so so so much kindness.
It seems we've found our village after all.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Ander & Zaza Play in the Dirt

There are many things I like about this odd photo: the abandoned his-and-her hoppy balls in the background, the fairy house over Zaza's left shoulder, Ander's Croc-clad foot, the dirt under Zaza's nails, the goth-y sword-wielding sorceress/'dark princess' figurine half-buried by Zaza's right foot.

But mostly I just can't get over Zaza's ensemble -- the thrift store skirt, whimsical sock-shoe combo, a flash of undies, hairdo courtesy of a complete refusal to wear hair accessories, a 99 Cent Store infant t-shirt under a Coronado garage sale (25 cents!) shrug...

"Look, Daddy! Daddy! Look! See my shhhhhrug?"

She doesn't actually go to her closet and pick out her clothes for the day. Yet.

I'm still indulging my doll-playing self (or -- as her shrink will tell her 20 years from now -- being a controlling freak), and picking out a couple of outfits for her each morning. She gets to choose between them, and accessories are entirely up to her.

But then there are days when she manages to merge the two choices I have offered up -- skirts under dresses, etc. (can't decide? why not just wear it ALL!).

And now more frequently there are days when she has a genuine opinion, and I toss the outfits aside (with an inward sigh) and let her pick whatever she wants, as long as it's somewhat appropriate weather-wise -- though I confess I'll let her wear her ladybug rain boots anytime because she can blessedly get them on and off herself, and because they're dang cute.