Monday, March 26, 2007

Spring Has Sprung in Zaza's Wardrobe

(Thus guaranteeing that the weather will turn windy and cold.)

Ander Goes to the Tree Show

We went to the Mark Ryden exhibit with friends this past weekend, and Ander loved seeing the many steps in Ryden's process (sketch, drawing, miniature model, painting/full-size sculpture).

Ander laid down on the floor -- completely unaware of all the hipsters around him -- and tried his hand at copying one of the sketches (a study for Stump Baby) into his own sketchbook. He wasn't happy with the result.

He perked up a bit when he saw they had t-shirts commemorating the exhibit, and we got one (I rationalized that this was somehow a more worthy wardrobe addition than say a Spongebob t-shirt, though certainly pricier).

(okay, no, I really rationalized that it was a COOLER purchase, I admit it [here only!])

As we left the gallery I glanced down at him and he was looking sad again, hugging his sketchbook to his chest. When I asked what he was thinking he said, "I'll never be that good."
(oof -- my/our shared-heart bled like a Ryden painting)

I pointed out that Ryden has had a good forty years' more practice, and he brightened a bit. (But he really really hopes we can find some of Ryden's childhood drawings in a book or online.)

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Ander, My Love

He'll be six in a few short weeks. SIX. (How did that happen? When???)

He wrote three poems before I even got out of bed today. And then he folded them up very small and stuck them into Max the Poet Dog's coat pockets.

He has been writing for a while now -- phonetically -- and only recently adding in spaces between words. Stories and ideas just come pouring out of him.

He has made a complicated diagram of a robot pinata that he plans to make for his upcoming birthday.

He is story-boarding for a video he wants to make with his dad.

He is working on a comic book.

He loves his MacMillan Visual Dictionary.

And oh oh OH he is READING. He cracked the code about two weeks ago, and is so, so, SO proud. I told him the three coolest things about learning to read are:
· When grown-ups spell stuff out around you, you know what they're saying, and
· if a grown-up is too busy to answer a question, you can just go off and look up the answer yourself, without having to wait around for them to finish folding laundry, or whatever
· and then there are all the BOOKS that are YOURS to lose yourself in...

He is my favorite person to talk to these days ("with whom to talk," sorry...)

The other night, we were at our favorite gourmet restaurant (Target), and he and I were watching Zaza stab holes in her hotdog bun with a straw, and I looked at him and said, "I promise I let you do stuff like that when you were her age."

And we talked about the odd fact that while it was funny to watch her do that, it would not be at all as funny if he were to do the same thing. And I had one of those moments where I just KNOW he and I share a heart, and I could feel him missing being a little kid, and I said, "But oh sweetie I am so glad you're not three now. I'm so very glad that you're six. Because now we can really talk." And I told him that even though I will always love him as my baby, now he's also my buddy, and we can talk and talk, and that I just love how his big ol' brain works. And he swelled with pride and gooey gooey love.

Don't Shake the Baby, Zaza!

Zaza Puts on Her Shoes HER Way

Friday, March 23, 2007

Zaza Demonstrates that Perhaps It IS Nature & Not Nurture

She has chosen discomfort in the name of beauty on more than one occasion lately.
Where does that come from?
I mean, I live in Crocs and pjs!
Yesterday it was a purple bead necklace whose clasp kept pulling on the hair at the nape of her neck -- she wouldn't remove it because she said she wouldn't be 'beautiful' without it.
And then she has been complaining and complaining about her curls -- whining about wanting 'smooth' hair.
This, despite a Barbie-free home, and big compliments on her cleverness and kindness, and certainly on her curls (and eyes, and toes, and belly button). This, despite dark-haired, curly-haired dollies, despite the fact that I almost never wear jewelery these days.
And then today she asked if I could straighten her hair. I thought the whole blow-drying process (hot, loud, lots of hair-pulling) would perhaps turn her off to all this artifice, so I went along with it.

This is what we achieved.

It curled right back up by day's end, but not before Ander came home and said "I really REALLY don't like it. You don't look like YOU."

The Train Bin Does in Fact Get Dusted Off & Dumped Out

She filled the whole room with track (was more interested in building than in the actual running of the trains), and then was COMPLETELY sidetracked (haha) by the Lowly-Worm-in-his-apple-car train car.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Not-Quite Three Year-Old Joke

who's there?
kite who?
a crocodile ate it

Monday, March 19, 2007

What Ander & Zaza Left Out Overnight

THIS is what greeted me this morning when I opened the playroom door.

If I was in a hardcore mood, I suppose I would have confiscated everything for a few days to drive home the neverending 'clean-up your stuff' lesson.

it just made me laugh.

After all, it was just the flotsam and jetsom left behind after truly inspired dual waves of unabashed creativity.

So I roped Ander and a friend of his into cleaning the lego up AFTER school, while I attacked the art supplies (which I secretly enjoy organizing, oh anal, anal meeeeeeeee).

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Lazy Sunday

(Which seems perfectly lovely until you realize she fell asleep watching what amounted to a "Little Bear" marathon while Mommy was on the computer designing party invitations for Ander's birthday...)

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Zaza & Mommy Break in the New Icing Gun

Sooooooooooooooo much easier than spatula-ing all that goo on top -- and prettier too!

(Though the lavendar icing turned out a bit grey.)

put the cupcake papers in the pans,
added sprinkles to the batter,
licked icing spoons,
and added the final on-top sprinkles.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

What Zaza Packed

Each day, just as we're about to dash out the door, Zaza runs back to the nursery, grabs a purse, and stuffs it with what she thinks she will need for the day.
Here's yesterday's selection. I'm assuming the doll shoes, socks, small doll and pink hankie are for her doll-friend Emily who often accompanies us on our errands. But what was she thinking as she chose the other things? Knowing her it was a special mix of quirky practicality and full-blown whimsy:
Perhaps a little shopping (Pandapple wallet), a boring wait in line (Target card finger puppet), maybe a trip to the post office (Priority Mail label), then some lunch (spoon and fork), a bit of freshening up (comb and lip balm), followed by a battle with tiny pirates (sword), all to be documented on a Heffalump camera which says things like "Maybe later we can play Rumblejumps!"

On His Desk Today 3-15-2007

Ugly Doll and knit Alien sail the seven seas with their fairy house and flying saucer securely stowed in the rigging (note the Corpse Bride figurehead).

Monday, March 12, 2007

Ander & Zaza & the March Heat Wave of '07

I suppose I would trade better air quality and a lower crime rate and some acreage for this weather, but...

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Zaza Sports Some Vintage Togs

"New Old Stock" all the way from Australia.
(And modern red rubber clogs on the wrong feet.)
It's all I can do to not squeeze her!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
A thousand only-slightly-smirky pardons to our friends back East
where we hear it's 17 degrees out...

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Ander & Zaza Catch a Train

Somehow we had never made it to Travel Town in Griffith Park.

Ander never got as into trains as I had expected, despite hours of his train-loving Mommy's encouragement and a ridiculously large bin of wooden train stuff. He liked the train tables at FAO Schwartz and the bookstore just fine, but the bin continues to gather dust in a corner of the playroom in hopes that Zaza will one day put on her engineer's hat and start building great loops of track...

We finally got to Travel Town this past weekend, lured across the L.A. Marathon route by a birthday party (i.e. cupcakes & goodie bags).

And while it reminded me of magical nocturnal teenage visits to Dennis the Menace Park in Monterey, I mostly found it to be a
full of crumbling wood, peeling paint, pointy bits of metal, big eye-poking steel pipes, and unprotected drop-offs at every turn. The child-proofing was obviously left in the hands of a grown-up right out of a Roald Dahl story, or maybe the sort of lady person who lives in a candy-covered house in the woods (I LOVE children -- to EAT!) -- as if little SIGNS and spindly chains hung at adult chest height are going to stop kids from maiming themselves.

They should just rename it Heart Attack Station.


(The kids loved it of course.)