Sunday, May 27, 2007

Ander & Calder

Ander has always had a genuine affinity for the art of Alexander Calder. His earliest grasp of the concept of death came out of his inability to call Calder on the phone (that, and the dead pigeon he found on the sidewalk on the way to Starbucks). 
His fascination with Calder has its roots in early and repeated readings of Maira Kalman's heart-breakingly out-of-print book ROARR! CALDER'S CIRCUS, a free-verse story built around the miniature circus that Calder built and performed with over the course of many years. Ander's first forays into three-dimensional art were attempts at building his own miniature circus. First there were wire and pipe-cleaner "Flip-a-lini" acrobats which hung from the playroom curtain rod. We brainstormed, and dreamed, and discussed, and experimented with gauze bandages and beads and clay, and then laid things aside for weeks or years.
This spring he took another crack at it, all on his own, freed-up by his discovery of the gravity-defying properties of sticky-tape to make a fierce paper-fringe-maned lion, an elaborately-hatted lion-tamer with whip in hand, and a brave acrobat who actually swings (and who is small and without much detail because he is "so high up").

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Ander's Portrait by PLAIN JANE is Finished

(I forgot to upload the reference photo last time, so here it is.)
Jane? Can I use you real name on here? Because you so very quite muchly rock, and people want to know who you are, and jek actually thought I painted the portraits hahahahaa.

And you just CAN'T sell it. You have to quick-like-a-ratty paint ANOTHER Jack for the stupid money-making exhibit!

Zaza Makes Lemon Cupcakes

...injected with lemon curd and drizzled with Nigella's lemon juice and powdered sugar icing and sprinkled with yellow sugar...
(this is what happens when you and your mommy are both still in pjs at 1pm and mommy has let you watch too much Noggin while she works on the computer and you have such curly-burly hair and you say, "Maybe we could make cupcakes?" while your eyes turn into little crescent moons)

Friday, May 25, 2007

Ander Has Mastered the Drop-In

...or is it drop-down? Not sure.

Anyway, he's master of the front walk (thanks to his new bestest friend Mr. A), and man-oh-man he looks cool. I get these little flashes of him as a teenager when he has that quiet-proud smile on his face (interestingly it's the same smile he gets on the pony ride at the farmer's market).
And most every morning he's out there after his teeth are brushed, and I can hear jubilant cries of "I LOVE SKATEBOARDING!!!" while I pack his lunch.

A note about the t-shirt:

I have until this week taken a firm stand against the wearing of camouflage. Somehow it just gives me the heebie-jeebies. (My mom always kind of exuded this disdain for kids who wore camo pants -- my take on her feelings was that it was basically tacky to run around dressed in a costume, and perhaps especially a costume that somehow glorified war.) Personally I think it's icky to make fashion out of the uniform of folks who are dying in what we call around here "the stupid-stupid-stupid war." I mean, I'm not foaming at the mouth about this, but I feel sort of uncomfortable about it, and have told Ander as much.

Then somebody gave Ander camo shorts for his birthday. And he loves them. He saw the t-shirt at Target, and we struck a bargain: I'd let him use the Clorox Bleach Pen on it (a craft project he's been begging to try) to draw a nice big peace sign on it...

Monday, May 21, 2007

Zaza's First Charm

Three candles, pink -- how could we resist?

Zaza's Pink Party Part 3: The Actual PARTY

To magical Emily, Ballerina for the day, to whom Zaza had previously turned a cold shoulder when she arrived in jeans:

"I can talk to you now that you're a ballerina."

To dear darling Master G., who is usually game to borrow Zaza's skirted swimsuits, and who appeciates a good pair of sparkly sandals, but who today opted for his Power Rangers costume, and was thus greatly outnumbered by girls in tulle:

"Come whisper in my ear. U-huh. Oh. I'm sorry, I can't play with you right now. I have to do ballet tricks. But I love you."

To me, the next morning, the second her eyes opened:

"Thank you for my party, Mommy..."

Her favorite parts? The dancing and the cake.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Zaza's Pink Party Part 2: the Buffet

Zaza's Pink Party Part 1: Decor

A million pink lipstick kisses to my talented lady friends who took pictures so I could flit around and around and around, and to Grandad for the coffee and for hanging the lanterns yet again, and to Tutu for making pink paper chains and keeping me company while I decorated wands and hot-glued headbands into the wee hours. (Click on the collage to see the pics bigger)

Friday, May 11, 2007

Zaza Turns THREE!!!



I blinked, and here she is, a little girl...

We brought her this as breakfast in bed, and read Eric Carle's Secret Birthday Message, and then she opened her presents.

We spent the day playing Mommy and Baby, and pretend grocery shopping -- with her new doll and cash register.

We also spent a good part of the afternoon discussing the fact that she has to wait a week for her actual birthday PARTY. Tears were shed. (Ander told me that when he was smaller he used to worry that he had to become a baby again on the non-party-but-day-you-were-born-day)

Grandma and Poppy came by after dinner with a cake so pink and sweet that it gave us all headaches. And Zaza slipped into her new fairy costume (courtesy of the NCJW thrift store) and proceeded to turn Ander into a "stinky toad."

After bathtime, before bed, Zaza sat on my lap in front of the computer, and we clicked through photos of the first two months of her life while I softly kissed her soapy-clean three year-old neck.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Ander & Zaza (& Mr. G & Miss I) Brave the Ren Faire Thing

Prithee, whither be the (oddly cinnamon-scented) port-a-privies?

It was hot and dusty and windy, and the authentic Renaissance filth accumulated in noses and eyes and ears. Food was expensive and mostly left uneaten (but the not-at-all-authentic Iced Coffee was worth every farthing...). There were, as ever, lots and lots of goopy Hobbit-y crafts and overpriced hair wreaths, but this man's leather masks were works of ART...

Despite lots of prep-pep talks, Zaza was clingingly afraid of all the costumed folk ("Pirates!"), and so spent SEVEN hours in the ergo on my back and sometimes on my front (all 35 pounds of her). She also had a complete melt-down-freak-out ("Wanna go hoooooooooome!!!!!") in the midst of a dust storm when she spied (from a great distance) a man on stilts dressed as a giant. His proportions were pretty disturbing, and she was ab-so-lute-ly convinced he was going to pop out and surprise her around every bend in the road. Crouched out of the wind behind a gypsy wagon, Lady J. and I spooned dusty ice cream into wailing mouths, wiped tears and other liquids from dirt-streaked faces, and somehow pressed on.

Would the journey have continued with adult men-folk along for the ride? Methinks not. Let's all lift a pint of mead to female stamina and its accompanying drive to have-fun-or-else : HUZZAH!

(And it did get better.)

There was jousting (and a shocking amount of fake blood) for Mr. G, fancy hair-dos for Miss I and myself, pony rides and a giant swing for Ander, and a pirate sword and fairy dust for Zaza. And I completed my quest to reach the far-flung tent of the wand-maker (to purchase a replica of Dumbledore's wand for grad-school grad Uncle Steve).

The wind finally died down, and as we waited for our (ye olde valet-parked) car, Ander said he wanted to come back next year -- grammercy for that -- but will Zaza be discussing this day with her shrink when she's 20 and trying to get to the root of her paralyzing fear of tall men and iambic pentameter?