Tuesday, September 29, 2009

This May Be a Weekly Thing: Best Dress

Maybe we'll make it Frock-y Friday?

(But this is already my favorite for the week.)

  • 70s 'new-old stock' Penneys dress from the Magic Thrift ("Carol Evans PENN-PREST means you NEVER iron when tumble dried," Size 6) -- $4.50!!!!

  • Knee socks, shoes, and headband (she likes to wear them low like that) from Target.

'Pupil-Free Day' Part 2: the Rose Garden (Borrowing Zaza's Fisher Price Camera)

She wanted to draw roses, and the fountain.

She also wanted -- to the point of tears on the way back to the car -- to go IN the fountain, like the ten or so kids-in-their-underpants whose parents were not as uptight as I am about cloudy-to-the-point-of-total-opacity fountain water (aka massive toddler and USC frat boy urine sample, aka homeless folks' bathwater).

Ander drew, and squinted in the late afternoon light, and said (off-handedly, casually observational), "I just noticed that we're the only people here who are not Latino."

He just noticed.

I thought about tribalism, and about Ander and Zaza's racially diverse little charter school, which is temporarily borrowing campus space from a not-at-all-diverse LAUSD school, and how the predominantly Latino LAUSD kids must see Ander and Zaza and their peers as strange/threatening interlopers: girls with Mohawks, boys with nail polish and hair past their shoulders, kids with two dads, kids with two moms, kids whose skin color doesn't match their parents', kids with a different t-shirt for each day of the week, kids with organic lunches in environmentally-friendly hemp sacks and shiny stainless steel tins, kids who are driven to school (in shiny new Priuses).

And I said, "Yep. You noticed that, huh?" And he shrugged and said, "Yeah," and drifted away from the bench where I was sitting, back to his drawing perch by the fountain, where 'Za was rolling a miniature basketball to a beaming toddler, within splashing distance of the soaking wet kids he and 'Za called "so SO lucky."

Monday, September 28, 2009

Their School Calls It a 'Pupil-Free Day'

It took us forever to get out of the house, and I willingly admit that the clinginess and whininess and crabbiness and foot-draggingness may have been due to the inevitable sugar crash. (But I cannot not purchase seasonally-available retro cereals. Cannot not.)

We ran into school friends at our first stop, where we purchased this and this and were sorely tempted by this, and this, and thought of them. Seriously: I would pay cover price for a hardcover book (very VERY difficult for an ex-bookseller), and $15.99 for a bottle of cleverly-re-packaged wine to support their free, afterschool tutoring program.

And then we ventured In-the-Direction-of-Downtown-ish-Without-Dubbadad (Is that more like South-Central? USC-Ville? Whatever: yay for Google Maps!) for a visit to the California Science Center. Perhaps understandably, 'Za refused to visit Tess (Ander's favorite enormous android, since he was three). Too big. Too scary. Etcetera. But she loved the Discovery Rooms and the general hands-on-ness and open-ness of the whole museum.

And then we headed out into the Rose Garden, where my camera battery promptly died...

Sunday, September 27, 2009

A Productive Saturday

With a pile of decomposed granite blocking our driveway (second weekend of the Big Landscaping Project), we were trapped inside for most of Saturday. Which I pretty much loved, fan of rainy-day activities that I am. Which is not to say that it rained. The weather was sunny, and ridiculously hot. But I sort of pretended it was a rainy day.

I got all the laundry finished. All of it. Washed, and folded, and put away. Right down to and including that prehistoric layer at the bottom of the hamper that contains weird things that require special handling in the wash like old backpacks and tie-dye t-shirts and vintage fabric scraps.

I did all my mending, sitting on the bed next to Dubbadad, while watching the 'House' premiere on Tivo. I stitched up ripped seams on two of Za's dresses, sewed the head onto Sleepy Bunny (a thrifted handmade toy whose long-ago creator was a bit clueless as to the sheer strength of a five year-old's bedtime grip), repaired a strap on Za's old Pooki Pack, and tightened buttons on Zaza's favorite wee Boden cardi.

I ironed. Ironed! I never iron, though I find it rather cathartic. I hang-dry most of Zaza's sundresses (to Dubbadad's constant consternation), but those Pears and Bears frocks just look better pressed. I'm just saying.

I hot-glued broken things.

And I attacked the 'distressed' yellow Chinese box (that I found with jessica at the Magic Thrift) with a Mr. Clean Magic (truly) Sponge and a nail brush and Murphy's Oil Soap. And I covered its feet with chartreuse felt so it shouldn't scratch the floor. And I lined the lid and bottom with happy cardstock. And then I helped 'Za move all her Tiny Treasures (favorite birthday cards, super balls, Pokemon cards, sparkly buttons, wax animals from the Zoo, pretty rocks, sea shells, marbles, Silly Putty, Polly Pockets, a little man made from pipecleaners and beads) into her proper treasure chest.

Yes, I took full advantage of Dubbadad's presence to do all that. (Yesyesyes, it is true that every Saturday he has emptied the dishwasher, watered all the potted plants scattered around both the front and back yards, made coffee, put in a load of laundry, fixed something mechanical and/or electronic, and made a fancy breakfast before I'm even out of bed.)

And yes, Ander and Zaza did watch TV, and they did indeed whine and wheedle, and certainly they played with their online Moshi Monsters, but they also played Sorry!, and Scrabble Junior (Ander), and made up their own games, and drew, and read, and sculpted disturbing devil spawn from Silicone Bouncing Putty (specifically an enormous chunk of Dow Corning 3179 Dilatent Compound), and made Alien Face Pie and Girl Face Pie with Play-Doh if one's hands were smaller and so so soooo tie-errd.

Monday, September 21, 2009

I Can Hear Him Beatboxing in the Shower

I have owed this guy a big THANK YOU for a while now.

And lately I owe one to this guy too.

Though -- for Ander -- it all started here, and I can't thank him enough.

Drawn in the Car for Coach Billy, Who is Leaving the Gymnastics Gym to Join the Circus (For Real!)

Ander said he didn't know he could draw a lion until he drew it just then.

Then he folded it up really small (because he said he felt goofy walking into class and handing his coach a big sheet of paper).

Coach Billy unfolded it carefully...and said he would keep it forever.

Ander wasn't sure if he was just saying that, but I told him that if somebody gave me a drawing like that I would keep it forever. And ever.

While Ander Was at School: I Wandered in to Put Away Socks, and Found Him Wherever I Looked