Thursday, February 28, 2008

Driving Zaza to School Along Hollywood Boulevard

It's one of those gloriously blue-skied, clean-aired, sunny mornings that inspire people to move to Southern California. The streets have been scoured by the rains, and trees are bursting into hopeful bloom. It just doesn't seem possible that there is snow somewhere out there.

We don't have the car stereo on, which is odd. Maybe the city is just quieter today, more full of birdsong, and we don't need to block it out.

And Zaza speaks up from the back seat:

"I love this world."
"This world, and San Diego."

"I'm so glad," I say, because I am so very, very glad. "Why do you love it?"

"I just do."

"But what were you thinking about that made you feel all warm inside and made you want to say you love it?"

"Oh, nail polishes, and pink and white, and blue skies."
"And San Diego is just bea-yooooo-tiful," she says, stressing that last word in a way that has previously only been used to describe princesses and red lipstick.

And then, a bit later, past the
El Capitan Theater, past the Pantages, past the cranes building the new W Hotel (right on top of the Vine Steet subway station), she pipes up again:

"I love our city."
"Our city is rainbow."

She doesn't mean 'a rainbow.' To Zaza, 'rainbow' is a color unto itself, a handy collective adjective (or noun, depending) that saves her the time of listing all the colors when asked for her favorite.

And then we point through the car windows, noticing all the colors that seem so bright and new and brave in the morning light, and we try to make up a song about it, but we don't get any farther than "Our city is rainbooooooow" when we make the turn past the (green!) temple and into Zaza's school parking lot.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Before School: Pop Quizes for Every Us

ZaMeAndad is big on 'pop quizes.'

"Quick --" he says, peering over his coffee cup. "Oranges or clementines?"

"Clementines!" shouts Ander.
"Clementines!" echoes Zaza.

"Okay...clementines or baby carrots?"

"Clementines!" they both shout.

"Princesses or fairies?"

"Fairies!" (Ander)
"Fairy Princesses!" (Zaza)

"You may only choose one."

"That's tooooooo harrrrrrrrrd!" Zaza whimpers, on the verge of tears, as if she really has to choose one over the other, and the unchosen one will disappear from the face of the earth.

"Okay, okay: ballerinas or aliens?"

The pop quizes invariably cover preferences in the areas of super heroes, candy, pets, and favorite toys.

But this morning, as I crossed the dining room, ZaMeAndad pointed to me and said,

"Quick, Mommy: Ander or Zaza?"

I turned from Ander to Zaza, Zaza to Ander, Ander to Zaza, Zaza to Ander, faster and faster, and finally grabbed my head, made a loud exploding sound, and slumped onto the dining room table.

Zaza laughed, but then looked somewhat sternly at Zameandad and said,

"It's too hard, Daddy. Her love every us."

Oh yes her does.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

After School: Wasting Food, Utilizing Child Labor, and Encouraging Belief in Fictional Pagan Imps

It's all in how you look at it, I suppose...
Ander and Zaza took turns mixing up (mostly-soapy) "potions" in the sink. Ander's included mushed up Cheerios, honey, and orange toothpaste -- and yes, it closely resembled a very silty urine sample.

Zaza became suddenly enamored of the new stripey sponge, and decided she wanted to wash all the kitchen counters. Over and over. (While I'm assuming it was a passing fancy, I couldn't help but roll with a vision of myself sipping two-buck Chuck from a juice glass and poring over Vanity Fair whilst Zaza tidies up the kitchen after dinner. Every night.)

I sent Ander to make sure I hadn't left a quilt on the front lawn (the temperature suddenly sprung to 80 degrees today), and he came running back in from the garden yelling, "The fairies are back!" Zaza is holding part of what they left behind in the last picture above, and Ander blogged all about it on Fairyberry.

But I just couldn't seem to properly juggle the fits of whimsy and the must-dos of parenting tonight. I let the kids have a late tea of Girl Scout cookies and milk, got caught up in all of the above, and then didn't get dinner started until nearly seven. Zaza was a wreck by then, squirting tears horizontally if you looked at her the wrong way. She was staaaaarrrrrving, she said, but wouldn't let go of me long enough for me to safely stir the three pans I had on the stove top. Ackkkkk pfffftttt vicious vicious circle.

Then ZaMeAndad arrived home with spare hugs, strong arms, a free lap, and the new They Might Be Giants CD/DVD. And the evening was saved.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

A Patch of Sunlight Between Storms: Photo Phrenzy in Zaza's Room

I'll add Ander's photos once we download and purge about 800 of them (he's still figuring out his camera's depth of field). Something's up with my camera battery: it was freshly charged, but pooped out after these pictures.

Which was too bad since afterwards we threw on clothes (many layers, mittens even) and hiked almost all the way to the Observatory in Griffith Park. Zaza ran full out most of the way, even on the steep parts (she has sparkly new 'joggling' shoes). She and Ander were gung ho to go all the way to the top, but the sky was quite menacing at that point. And sure enough, the rain started splat-splat-splatting when we were halfway down the hilll -- and then we all ran full out.

Still, we managed to have an al fresco snack of graham crackers and clementines by the creek, and Ander found interesting rocks, leaves, pods, and a neon green caterpillar (which made up for his stepping in a HUGE dog pile).

Three hours after we took these pictures the sky was nearly black, and the rain was coming down in sheets.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Home from School: A Playdate with Jek

Photoboothing, cupcaking, giant-chessboard-racing (I never had sick days like this!), all in the name of birthdaying our beloved jek.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Home from School: Paper Flowers & Barber Shop Dancing

Obviously soooooooooooooooooo soooooooooooooooooo ill, right?

Ensemble chosen and accessorized by Zaza. She said that was her 'Batgirl Pose' in the fourth picture -- wha-huh?

We both had our hair cut (hers was trimmed while my color set).

In the chair next to ours was a young guy whose mother would not allow him to attend her birthday unless he had his hair cut -- she had even given him the money to do it. Wow. I told him he should shave it all off or have HAPPY BIRTHDAY shaved into the back (he opted for a trim that accentuated the rat-tail mom hated most).

I cannot imagine anything Ander or Zaza could do to their hair or bodies that would ever cause me to ban them from my birthday. Really. They could paint themselves blue and opt for plate-lips, and I'd say, "Come on over for some cake!"

ander off to school (a Dubbadad Observation)

i like when the little boy leaves the car: he always runs into the school, with his backback waving back and forth.

(above: Zaza's portrait of Ander)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Aura/Halo: Zaza in the Kitchen

I took a break from organizing the utensil drawers, and she made off with the ice cream scoopers.
(Why do we have three???)

They're Saying HALF of California Has the Flu

...and now Zaza is on antibiotics too -- actually she gets two different antibiotics (one is a lotion), as she has strep throat, and some sort of painful (and contagious) red bacterial rash under her nose.

Lovely. I've been sending her off to school with a sore throat because I assumed it was just post-nasal drip. I've also been finishing her abandoned cups of juice, snuggling her madly, sharing a pillow with her in the middle of the night, and letting her smooch me awake.

Moments after the doctor left the exam room, with the word STREP hanging there all green and gooey in the air, my throat began to hurt. And is that a pimple or some weird rashy thing on my upper lip? Despite a desperate attempt at describing my already-weeks-long symptoms in minute and disgusting detail to my own doctor by phone, she wants me in her office tomorrow.

So stay tuned: there may be 4 dosing syringes on the Dutch door shelf tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Accidental Still-Lifes (Lives?)

  • On the dining room table
  • Christmas ornament mermaids find a year-round home in Zaza's room
  • Zaza's snack request: 'little little pieces of bread with Brie cheese' (oy)
  • What gathers by the sink (yogurt pot painted by Zaza)
  • Zaza's desk