Thursday, April 26, 2007

Zaza & Ander DO NOT Go to the Laundromat

Oh the glacial non-progress of daily loads of towels and sheets and underpants!!!

Oh OH the horrific shameful backlog -- worsened and finally made insurmountable by the seasonal bedding and wardrobe shift (winter stuff to be washed & packed away, musty spring stuff to be washed before wearing)!!!

At last the laundry filled both hampers and was piled to the hallway ceiling (sadly, not joking)...

And so I used up my child-free day (Tutu is visiting) and $60 in quarters doing laundry at the laundromat. I optimistically brought a book along, imagining myself reading while the sheets dried. HA. I took over 8 large-capacity washers and then STOOD for 6 hours, shifting and folding and hanging and then doing it all again.

But it was all extremely cathartic.
And I secretly dig my old neighborhood laundromat: the change machines ("please wait for second dump" heehee), the ladies commenting on Zaza's little dresses as they hang dry ("Her name MUST be Lulu!" said one), the smell of fabric softener, the nice guy who keeps all the flat surfaces windexed and the floors mopped and the lint-catchers emptied, the cross-section of weekday-afternoon launderers bonding over clean clothes and oldies radio (at one point the crazy Birkenstock lady, the grouchy 60-something, the 25-ish hipster chick and I were all humming along to "Let it Be")...
Oh, and the photo? That's only what fit in the TRUNK area -- the entire backseat was full too!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Passenger Seat Excavation

Top layer (visible):
my pink flowered rainboots, a Music Together songbook, a notebook opened to Jane's map to Master G's preschool (complete with landmarks that I actually notice, like Starbucks), Zaza's bead-handled red raffia thrift store purse, my skully purse.

Bottom layer (buried):
a pair of tube socks (clean), a 24-pack of Diet Coke, a no-spill go-cup of 3 day old coffee, a mostly used-up package of Kirkland baby wipes, and the very lame Disney pirate song CD.

As the Second Child, Zaza Spends Too Much Time in the Car

It's really the only time she naps...
(notice the frock, RedClogs Mama?)

Monday, April 23, 2007

Ander Plays Air Guitar (No, it's Not a Seizure): An Ode to H&M

This post is really a 'phalanges-to-phalanges' high-five to my friend Julie's little guy who shares Ander's passion for skellingtons. As young Master L lives far far away in the land of schnitzel, Ander wanted to send him some snaps of today's get-up. (The socks were actually concealed under his skull-covered Converse high-tops until he got home).

Julie also happens to be the person who first warned me of the money-sucking wonderfulness that is H&M (whose trousers Ander is modeling here). And then my wonderful sister-in-law started bringing me H&M baby clothes when she traveled.
H&M arrived in L.A. in the fall, at our very nearest indoor mall. I had successfully avoided it until last Friday.

It was raining hard, and I wanted to take Zaza somewhere she could run around, and I figured we would ride the escalators, look at the turtles and bunnies and puppies at the pet store, have a coffee (and cocoa), maybe catch a video and check out the sale rack at Gymboree, and run around like crazy people. And we did just that. We even got to pet the bunnies, and see a Weimereiner poop!
I mooched two band-aids off the barrista at Coffee Bean (do they call them that at Coffee Bean? Maybe they're Beanistas?), because I had somehow managed to leave the house on a rainy day in my new 3" high wedge sandals. Stupid, yes, but all in the name of my recent attempt to dress 'from the feet up' -- I'm less likely to leave the house in sweats if I put cute shoes on first.
And then I remembered H&Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

6 dresses, 2 pairs of trousers, 2 pairs of board shorts, a 3-pack of boys' underpants, and a polka-dot umbrella later, we dragged ourselves back to the car.

Fortunately, I never even saw the women's department.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Ander says, "Thank-you!" SLOWLY.

We can't NOT write thank-you notes.

Even if people get them 2 months late (which is how it's looking).

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Ander Has Scarlet Freaking Fever!

Even though the doctor says that in today's parlance it's just "strep throat with a rash," THIS is all I can think about (thanks, Wikipedia):

What does it say about me that the toy-burning 'cure' was more horrific for me as a kid than the actual dying???:

Just then Nana caught sight of him.
"How about his old Bunny?" she asked.
"That?" said the doctor. "Why, it's a mass of scarlet fever germs!–Burn it at once. What? Nonsense! Get him a new one. He mustn't have that any more!"
And so the little Rabbit was put into a sack with the old picture-books and a lot of rubbish, and carried out to the end of the garden behind the fowl-house. That was a fine place to make a bonfire, only the gardener was too busy just then to attend to it. He had the potatoes to dig and the green peas to gather, but next morning he promised to come quite early and burn the whole lot.

I suspect that our 'patient zero' is the slightly hyper boy in his weekend gymnastics class who all but licks the mats and the drinking fountain... But then it could have been any one of the kids making candy robots at his party (all those gooey little fingers). I have no idea why I care who.

But oh oh I sent him to school Monday even though he was logy and complaining of a sore throat because I figured he's eaten too much candy at his birthday party. Nice, huh? AND then I left him for AGES in the after-school program because Aliza went down for a late nap. So how many people has he (have I) Typhoid-Mary-ed? And oh -so-much more importantly: am I itchy and feverish? Is my throat maybe a little sore?

And Ander? He's feeling itchy and sour-tummied, but mostly he's fever-mellow, and is pretty happy with how I'm bending all sorts of rules for him (SIPPY CUPS of fennel tea, watching the CARTOON NETWORK [!!!] with actual COMMERCIALS [!!!!] while EATING CRACKERS IN [MY!!!!] BED), and enjoying all his sugary medicines and SOLO oatmeal baths and the leisurely, pajama-ed pace of no-school days at home...

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Zaza & Ander Celebrate that Holiest of Holidays: Free Cone Day

And Ben and Jerry said, "Let it be free," and it was, and it was darn gooooood.

Fulfilling Lady J's Request for a Reference Photo for a Portrait of Ander as Jack in "and the Beanstalk."
He was told not to smile.
(The pebble in his hand is a stand-in for a magic bean).

Hey, What's that Noise Outside our Hedge?

Uh, yeah. 

Only in L.A. 

Just outside the front gate. 

(...and don't you love how they're staring at ME like it's freaky to NOT be a 6 foot tall blonde being pawed by a Great Dane in front of a bunch of folks with cameras?)

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Ander's 6th Birthday Bash: Pertinent Numbers

1 hand-decorated table cloth by Ander featuring a pantheon of robot buddies; 3 robot faces painted by Ander on boards and used as decor; 25 'Peace, Love & ROBOTS' t-shirts stuffed into silver mylar goodie bags by the unflappable Tutu; 6 99 Cent Store plastic robots and 10 mylar spinny hanging decorations hung in the oak tree by Grandad; 1 last-minute run to the 99 Cent Store for candy robot-making supplies; 12 minutes left before party-time to take a baby-wipe 'shower' and put on lipstick; 0 cups of coffee consumed by me before and during party (!!!); 25 children aged 6 and younger with their parents (including a record 7 dads); 2 grandfathers; 2 grandmothers; 4 hot glue guns wielded by a rotating band of parents; 20 very cool robots made by kids from recycled materials; (6 cans of metallic spray paint used the day before while spraying Priority Mail boxes to be used as robot bodies and heads, effectively canceling out the environmental friendliness of the recycled materials); 3 large cheese and 3 large pepperoni pizzas delivered by the fine folks at Tomato Pie on Melrose; 2 gifts for Zaza brought by thoughtful parents; 6-way tie for pin-the-nose-on-the-robot; 3 people's breath to get the birthday candles blown out; 8 times I took fly-swatters away from boys using them as swords (they were supposed to be robot heads/arms); 1 WWF-style 'play fight' on the sofa that turned a bit too real, resulting in 1 full-blown melt-down; 1 late-arriving parent who asked Zameander Dad if he 'worked here' and then demanded he make a fresh pot of coffee, thus resulting in ZD's taking down of decorations and stacking of chairs 15 minutes before party's actual, stated end-time; 3 wonderful families who stayed to help clean up and open presents; 5 women and 3 men who fetched and carried and set-up and broke down and without whom the whole thing would never have come together (I hope you know who you are); 1 very happy boy who nonetheless decided that perhaps his 5th birthday party was 'more fun' because he had picked a 'better theme' for that one (oy), causing me to suggest that perhaps 7 children shall be invited to his 7th birthday harrumph...

Ander's !!ROBOT INVASION!! Birthday Party: A Photo Essay

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Ander: Heck on Wheels (4 of them)

A haiku to celebrate Ander's first non-trike:

Birthday Bike: ding-ding!

Cool leather streamers, chrome bell!

(Training wheels may hurt street cred...)

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Ander is Both a Sprite AND a Mexican Wrestler

His friend Miss L. decorated him with flower petals (I'm always amazed at what he WILL sit still for).

He made the mask in school -- inspired by a painting at Storyopolis featuring lucha libre guys...

Monday, April 09, 2007

Ander's ACTUAL 6th Birthday

It was a school day, so we woke him up early and Daddy read him Dr. Seuss's Happy Birthday to Me in bed (thank you, AGAIN, Anne!), and then we brought him breakfast in bed (banana oatmeal), and then he made himself a special "AZ is 6 today" robot t-shirt so all his classmates would know.

Zaza and I stole him from school at lunchtime and took him to Starbucks.

I was SUPPOSED to waltz into his classroom in lipstick and heels with silver trays stacked with ornately decorated square robot-head cupcakes.


Instead, the square silicone cupcake forms caused the cupcakes to take over an hour in the oven, and I arrived (pony-tailed and un-showered) 10 minutes before school-day's end with a cranky Zaza, 2 dozen half-baked cupcakes (which frankly tasted like non-stick spray), and two bowls of icing. Ander's rockin' teacher helped me slap spoonfuls of icing onto crumbling cakes and everyone was good and gooey just in time for pick-up...

Grandma came over to play with Zaza after school, and I whisked Ander off to our posh, reserved seats for the afternoon screening of "Meet the Robinsons" at the El Capitan. We ate popcorn and Sour Patch Kids, and shared a giant root beer.

When we arrived home, I told Ander to hush because "Zaza might be sleeping" and then Daddy, Grandma, Poppy and a wide-awake-of-course Zaza popped out to yell **SURPRISE**!!! There was chocolate cake (and presents, including the robot seen below whose right hand/claw promptly fell off).

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Zaza & Ander Prepare for the Pagan Egg-Hiding Rabbit

We found that brown eggs actually make for some jewel-bright colors.

(Dig the juxtaposition of the organic eggs and the flagrant waste of those plastic garbage-bag-smocks!)

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Ander Visits His Soul-Sistah jek

He brought roses from our garden, and wore a t-shirt he drew just for the visit (Easter-egg-making robot).

There were giant streetside mushrooms, Spzmls, robots, pancakes, more robots, shortcake, moonpies, garden tours, kapok studying, parrot-spotting, and incessant mommy-chatting (in no particular order, and mostly overlapping).
We love you, jek! (And thanks for the pictures, which I have quite obviously put to use...)

Monday, April 02, 2007

Ander & Zaza Take a Nature Walk on Melrose

They found some cool stuff too.